Monday, April 18, 2005
Bush Policy Encourages Terrorism
Q: What does the Bush administration do with bad news?
A: It starts thinking like the Stalin "administration."
What else, other than scrubbing reality - which Uncle Joe performed with bureaucratically ruthless efficiency -- would you call the State Department's recent decision to purge unwelcome news by simply suppressing its publication? Admittedly the bad news was really bad, even for this administration. It seems the international-violence bean-counters over at the National Counterterrorism Center tabulated last year's terrorist attacks and the number popped out as 625.By itself, the number is perhaps a tad unstartling. By comparison to 2003's count, however, it's hair-raising, because that count - and the use of emphasis is a sad way to have to put it - was only 175.
So we suffered a blistering three-and-a-half-fold increase in "significant" attacks in just one year. Worse yet, the 2003 count itself was the highest on record since experts started counting in 1985.
And even worse than that, the 625 number did not include attacks on American military personnel in Iraq. One cringes at the thought of the true count had those terrorist attacks - emanating from what the president himself calls "a central front in the war on terror" -- been counted in, oh, say, a terrorist attack count.
So what does the administration do with data that contradicts its tireless claims of "winning the war on terrorism"? It just quashes its publication. Presto. Contradiction begone; bad news be expurgated. It's the happy miracle of censorship. ...
We know the truth of the matter because of an insider somewhere handing it to former State Department official and CIA analyst, Larry Johnson, both of whose shoes I'm glad I'm not in right now. The backwash won't be pretty.
Naturally an unnamed State Department source hastened to the administration's rescue in denying as "categorically untrue" that suppression of the counterterrorism center's report was done for political reasons. ...
Somewhat attenuating the official source's claim of political innocence were those intelligence analysts interviewed for the Knight-Ridder newspaper story only on the basis of anonymity because "they feared White House retribution." Where these analysts would get such an idea is beyond all of us, I'm sure. ...
Aside from the very real reality that this cowboy administration has largely contributed to the explosion in international terrorism, there remains the very troubling question of its willingness to operate with the fundamental honesty demanded of elected officials by a democratic society. ... END QUOTE.
The point is that a world in which there is more terrorism with no statistical disclosure serves the ends of the Bush Regime. It produces fear without indicting the regime's efforts. It's a bait and switch away from objective analysis and toward the production of incident-by-incident anxiety. This regime requires an irrational mindset in the public, irrational enough to make people willing to give up the Bill of Rights, willing to stand for fixed elections and unconstitutional practices, and willing to engage constantly in the idolatry of flag and nation worship.