From Pine View Farm

Highlights from the Wide World of Spots 0

(I was wondering whether I was beating this subject of public honesty, or lack thereof, to death.

Then I figured, Naaahhhhh.)

Near the end of his analysis in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer of the implications of the indictment of Mr. I. Lewis Libby on natioinal politics, Dick Polman includes a summary of the current Federal Administration’s use of the politics of character assassination as regards the Iraq War.

His analysis may be off; after all, it’s an attempt to predict the future. The history of retaliation and vindictiveness towards those willing to question the actions of the current Federal Administration is worth reviewing (and these are just the big fish–how many little fish have they stepped on)?

In the weeks and months ahead, Bush critics will argue that the Plame affair is merely the most publicized example of how the administration treats those who dissent on the war. There is a documented track record of retaliation.

After Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress that the occupation of Iraq would require “several hundred thousand” troops, he was pushed into an earlier retirement. After national security aide Richard Clarke questioned Bush’s response to al-Qaeda threats, he was assailed as a disgruntled, publicity-hungry partisan. After ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill wrote a book claiming that Bush and Cheney were obsessed with Iraq, the administration suggested that he may have shared classified documents with the press. After an ABC reporter did a story on low troop morale in Iraq, he was painted by a White House aide as an “openly gay Canadian.”

This, of course, does not include other highlights of this tactic by the same team in other areas, such as

  • circulating rumors that Ann Richards, Mr. Bush’s opponent when he won the Texas gubernatorial race in 1994, was a Lesbian;
  • circulating rumors, just before the S. C. Republican primary in 2000, in South Carolina that John McCain had a mixed-race “love child” by a prostitute; and
  • the scurrilously misnamed campaign of lies by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” just last year.
  • And these are the people who promised to restore integrity to the White House.


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