Increasing pressure on the Bush regime and pals not only from the left but from the right
It’s one thing for lefties and centrist Democrats to attack the Bush regime. Now even right-wingers and other known torturers are putting on the squeeze.
We’re past the turning point anyway. There are still 1,147 days before George W. Bush‘s term officially expires, according to my handy-dandy Backwards Bush keychain. But the rapidly rotting regime and its corrupted cronies on Capitol Hill have turned so sour that even their natural allies here and abroad can’t stand the odor.
Gee, you think so?
It’s far more significant when one of the grandfathers of the far right, Paul Weyrich, calls his fellow Republicans hypocrites and warns of electoral disaster for a Republican Party that has suckled the right wing for the past quarter of a century.
This morning’s Los Angeles Times carries this Weyrich quote about the fall of Cunningham:
That’s not as ominous as a growing rebellion by some at the American Enterprise Institute, one of Dick Cheney‘s favorite venues. Scholars who helped agitprop up the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal are increasingly pissed off about the much bigger scandal: the one revolving around lobbyist Jack Abramoff that I call Wampumgate.
The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Jeff Shields pointed out the AEI’s pissiness in his November 7 story about a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing in late October on this big daddy of all influence-peddling schemes:
Shields rightly noted:
More significantly, Shields quoted from an explosive October 19 article by conservative scholar Norman J. Ornstein, who’s housed at the AEI. The think tank is a veritable safe house for the vise president‘s major policy pronouncements, like his November 21 speech in which Cheney repeated his charge that his war critics were “dishonest” and “reprehensible.” I wrote about that AEI talk in “Cheney’s High Dive into Shallow Waters.” (Note: I originally screwed up the date of the speech in that item, but it’s now corrected. Sorry.)
Even before Cheney’s speech, the AEI was becoming less and less of a cuddly place for the rapidly devolving Bush regime. You can watch the propaganda on Fox News or the bland crap of CNN and other networks, but then you go to the AEI’s own website to read Ornstein’s piece and you see this headline:
Ornstein, reportedly a jaded veteran of the lawmaking scene, answers his own question this way:
I don’t think we have had something of this scope, arrogance and sheer venality in our lifetimes.
It is building to an explosion, one that could create immense collateral damage within Congress and in coming elections.
He has some advice for those pols whom he and fellow conservatives have installed as our rulers:
Even overseas, the Bush regime has lost and is losing its natural allies. Cheney and Rumsfeld are such screwups they couldn’t even keep a grip on one of their main pals in Central Asia, Uzbekistan dictator Islam Karimov, whose prison guards have been known to boil people to death.
These are trials, by the way, not of the shooters but of the protesters who survived the government slaughter of hundreds of their fellow citizens. In early summer, when it still had hopes of keeping Karimov as a buddy, the Bush regime was helping block international probes of that sorry incident.
What makes me think of just who’s putting the squeeze on Dick Cheney these days is that Uzbekistan’s government is flouting its own laws about open trials.
That sounds like the kind of thing that the likes of Cheney and Lindsey Graham are doing as they play fast and loose with our Constitution. (Read my colleague Nat Hentoff‘s recent riffs on Cheney and Graham.)
After all the butt-kissing we’ve lavished on Karimov — George W. Bush buttered up the buffoon on behalf of Enron’s Ken Lay, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has posed with the poseur, and New York’s finest protected Karimov for an outrageous photo-op at Ground Zero — the guy still wound up kicking our soldiers out of his country. That was an embarrassing defeat in the Great Game.
At least two trials related to the Andijan events are underway in cities near Tashkent, with unconfirmed reports that others are also taking place. The police guarding the courthouses denied Human Rights Watch access to both of the known trials. …
The Supreme Court and the police outside the courthouses refused to reveal the names of the defendants, lawyers and judges as well as any information regarding the charges against these defendants or information about other trials related to Andijan that may be underway.
According to Uzbek legislation, every trial is considered open unless declared closed by the judge for reasons such as the protection of national security or the interests of minors.
The results from previous trials of protesters should explain why these are being held in secret. HRW notes:
Meanwhile, in the muck of the Iraq debacle, the Bush regime has already lost its grip on the war-ravaged country’s most powerful Shiite pols and their militias.
But you can understand Iraqis’ discontent. Despite the ballyhooed trial of Saddam Hussein, many of the billion or so Arabs on the planet won’t soon forget such atrocities as those at Camp Mercury, where U.S. soldiers calling themselves the “Murderous Maniacs” have routinely beat and tortured Iraqis — the psycho and sexualized soldiers refer to it as “fucking” them. Remarkable how little play that story has gotten since Human Rights Watch broke it in September. But those tales will live on in other countries.
Longer than the Bush regime and its Capitol Hill pals will be able to keep the lid on their domestic scandals.