by Mary Pitt
If there are two words in the English language which should raise one’s level of alertness, those words are, “Trust me”.
In our personal lives, it takes time and experience with another to reach a comfortable level of trust and there are few who earn it. We trust those persons who deal with us honestly, who do not lie to us, and who treat our possessions and our personal interests even more carefully than their own, and do not keep secrets from us unnecessarily. Now we are asked from those in government and their supporters to invest absolute trust in a President who ascended to power over our lives and our future through two successive questionable elections and his personal appointees to the Executive Branch of our government. We are told that this is necessary because Awe are at war!@ Let us examine that war and the basis for the reasoning behind them.
It is true that we all watched the planes fly into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and we all realize the devastation which that caused every citizen of the United States. However, to this day, we are not sure of the identity of those who perpetrated that atrocity beyond some names that we were given by the President and his appointed hirelings. Those who were accused, we are told, were members of a group which we had trained, armed and sent into Afghanistan to assist that nation in resistance against Russian invaders. Once that was accomplished, they stayed there and by their presence and their natural inclination, had assumed virtual control of that long-beleaguered country.
President Bush publicly demanded that this nation, having been bombed into the Stone Age and living in a tribal culture, Aturn over@ to our custody the entire band of people whom we had sent to them and those who had come to support them. This, of course, was an impossibility for them to accomplish and so we invaded, bombing and killing indiscriminately, towns and villages containing innocent women, children, and elderly. Our titular targets were Osama bin Laden and his followers and anything else was merely Acollateral damage@ and not to be considered. The main group of Al Qaida escaped into the mountains of Pakistan and their whereabouts are still unknown. And so we still occupy Afghanistan, the people still suffer from privations beyond our understanding, and there is no government or law outside the capital while our sons, brothers, and husbands remain in mortal danger as an occupying army.
Immediately after the WTC incident, we are told by Areliable sources@, the CIA and other agencies were instructed to find a way to tie Iraq to the act. Being unable to do so, we and Congress were given false information including Weapons of Mass Destruction, mushroom clouds and stainless steel tubes along with an Aattack in 45 minutes@ as reason to invade that nation. Only recently were we privy to the testimony of those who knew the truth as they spoke to the Democratic Pre-Iraq Intelligence Hearings, which are still available at www.c-span,org for those who missed them.
We heard about their warnings to the administration that information which had been gleaned from such Iraqi informants as Ahmed Chalabi and the man known only as “Curveball” had indeed been delivering curve-balls in the form of self-serving and fallacious information. The “Weapons of Mass Destruction” were an illusion, the “mushroom cloud” was a figment of somebody’s imagination, and the “stainless steel tubes” were exactly that, no more and no less! Rather than being able to launch an attack on the West “within forty-five muntes”, Saddam Hussein was toothless and virtually helplss, thanks to long years under the United Nations boycott and the incessant flights over and outside of the “no-fly zone”. Despite the vocal protests of the U.N. inspectors, who stated unequivocably that there were no WMD in Iraq except some chemical and biological weapons which we had supplied to them during the Iran-Itaq War, which had deteriorated over time until they were useless.
Srill, we are urged to “trust our President”. Rather, we suggest that we ask whether our President trusts us! We now know that the process of spying, not only on enemies or potential enemies, but on Americans citizens was begun before September 11, 2001 though, according to the information which is released by the White House press, this is done only “in the interest of national security”. Almost the first action taken when Mr. Bush assumed office was to close the papers of all former Presidents, back to and including those of Ronald Reagan from study by historians into the unforeseeable future. The White House has been converted to the Presidential Palace and what goes on there is considered to be none of the people’s business. As the Congressional Republicans were occupied in rejoicing over their “control” of the nation, their own control over the Executive Branch was being usurped as the President, while failing to veto anything they passed, routinely added notations that none of those provisions applied to the Executibe Branch of government.
The military was ordered to make secret arrests and to fly “suspects to off-shore prisons in nations where it was legal to torture prisoners, A “secret” prison was built at Guantanamo Bay where “illegal combatants”, by edict of the President, could be lawfully tortured and held indefinitely, waiting for “secret tribunals” to determine whether they would be put to death or would spend the rest of their lives in that miserable place. Citizens were arrested as “suspects” on minimal information and held in comunicado without hearings, telephones and communication records were and are tapped without warrant and “on suspicion” inside the United States while bank records are opened for inspection at an international transfer data base. News sources that learn of these things and report them are damned by the administration as “helping the enemy” and “traitorous” in allowing the citizens of the United States to know about the activities that are being undertaken against us in violations of our Constitutional rights.
This man, who ascended to the position via a Supreme Court decision, who has failed at the only war in which we are justified as well as the one which was brought about by his own will, who has bankrupted our government, shredded our Constitution, is trying to destroy the social fabric which we have built up over two centuries, and is by treaty selling off and giving away our national resources, has the temerity to stand before the cameras and ask, “Trust me!” I think not.