Sen Bill Frist, Majority Leader and erstwhile doctor (some say “pretend doctor”, but I won’t go that far) who was nowhere near the inner councils of the Bush Admin in the lead-up to Iraq and only knows what he’s told by them about what went on, has decided that he is just the guy to explain to the country why Richard Clarke is a scum-sucking pig. In a long speech on the floor of the Senate, Frist is “outraged”. “I am troubled by these charges,” he says. Because they might be true? Well, no, not exactly.
I am equally troubled that someone would sell a book, trading on their former service as a government insider with access to our nation s most valuable intelligence, in order to profit from the suffering that this nation endured on September 11, 2001. I am troubled that Senators on the other side are so quick to accept such claims. I am troubled that Mr. Clarke has a hard time keeping his own story straight.I do not know Mr. Clarke….
Well, don’t let that stop you, Bill. Bushies don’t have to know anything to brag about how much they know, that’s been proved time and again. So don’t beat around the Bush. Tell us what you really think.
There is not a single public record of Mr. Clarke making any objection whatsoever in the period leading up to or following the 9-11 attacks. No threat to resign. No public protest. No plea to the President, the Congress, or the public, to heed the advice he now says was ignored. Mr. President, if Mr. Clarke held his tongue because he was loyal , then shame on him for putting politics above principle. But if he has manufactured these charges for profit and political gain, he is a shame to this government.I myself have fortunately not had the opportunity to work with such an individual who could write solicitous and self-defending emails to his supervisor, the National Security Advisor, and then by his own admission lie to the press out of a self conceived notion of loyalty only to reverse himself on all accounts for the sale of a book.
This obviously isn’t about truth, this is about saving Junior’s ass. Excuse me–Our Great Leader’s ass.
Frist then goes through the litany of personal attacks, historical revisions, lies and innuendo that every BA flack from Cheney on down has repeated, sometimes in identical words (prepared scripts courtesy of Rove/Bartlett Communications–“We Sink This Low So You Don’t Have To”), to every newspaper and tv station that would that would listen. By this point, you could repeat it as well as them, probably, and dissect it all better than I could, so I’m not going to go through it all again. Fuck ‘im.
See, they don’t need Frist to say it all again, that’s not why he does it. He does it because Clarke’s heartfelt apology was getting too much favorable press and somebody had to take it down. The repetition is just set-up to make the attack on the apology look like justifiable “outrage” on the part of an honorable man. Read it for yourself, and if you don’t throw up, my hat’s off to you.
In his appearance before the 9-11 Commission, Mr. Clarke’s theatrical apology on behalf of the nation was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility. In my view it was not an act of humility, but an act of supreme arrogance and manipulation. Mr Clarke can and will answer for his own conduct but that is all.
Uh-huh, that’s the way to treat the only person in the Bush Administration to admit a mistake that led to 3000 deaths, Bill–call it “theatrical”, arrogant and manipulative. That’s how radcon Publicans think.
Frist Attack 2–The GenesisI bet they handed this hot potato around the WH like there was some ticking coming from inside it.
“Condi! You wanna take this one? You’re playing point on Clarke.”
“Uh, no, no thanks. I gotta go christen Chevron’s new ‘Condi Rice–The Sequel’ tanker. Bye.”
“I could ask Dick–”
“Cheney? God, no, what’s wrong with you? Nobody believes anything he says any more.”
“So that would mean the president–”
“–is out. Definitely. Anyway, he’s in Utah signing up the Militias to be election officials in Florida. He won’t be available until after the cross-burning on Tuesday Try Powell.”
“Uh-uh, no good. Powell’s at the UN trying to explain why we threatened to invade Haiti if Aristide didn’t leave.”
“Shit… Did we do that?”
“Oh, yeah. Paid the generals who formed the opposition $3 Mil to run around shooting guns in the hills.”
“Bad timing then. How about Scooter?”
“Not a good idea. He’s up to his eyeballs with Justice over that Plame thing. Him and Hannah are both out–about to be indicted.”
“Christ, who’s left? Look, there’s Wolfie! Hey, Paul, over here! About Clarke–”
“Lemme at ‘im, that sonuvabitch! Just ’cause he thinks Laurie’s a fruitcake, he makes me look bad. I’ll get ‘im. On page 226 of Laurie’s book she proves–”
“No, no, it’s not about Iraq, Paul. We need to damage the credibility of the apology–”
“Oh, damn, I’m sorry. I forgot–I promised my wife I’d wax her knees and I’m late. Catch you next time, fellas.”
“I never seen him run like that before.”
“I did. Once. When they fired a missile at him in Baghdad.”
“We’re running out of sycophants, Chief–”
“‘Team Players’. I told you to call them ‘Team Players.'”
“Well, we’re running out of TP’s. Perle resigned and anyway his credibility’s in the toilet, Bartlett’s already been out there and got shot down, Rummy locked himself in the DoD john about halfway through Clarke’s testimony and won’t come out, and Doug Feith went to Bagdad with Chalabi–something about a coronation–”
“No. no, that’s in June. He bailed out, that’s what. Jesus, it’s like rats from a sinking ship.”
“You know, Boss, maybe we’re going about this all wrong.”
“What do you mean?”
“Maybe we should get out of the White House altogether. I mean, let’s face it, right about now everybody in the West Wing’s got about as much believability as WC Fields giving a Temperance lecture. Maybe we need new blood.”
“You might be onto something there. Feed the illusion that we aren’t the only ones who think we’re doing a great job with terror…. On terror…. Well, you know what I mean.”
“Yeah, but who? Who’s around on the outside who’s that gullible? that dishonest? that ambitious? that free of conscience? I thought we moved all those guys up here.”
“No, but we can’t use him. He shot himself in the foot when he used a children’s charity to front his fund-raising gig.”
“I know that, he was just an example.”
“Oh, I get it–you mean Congress. Boss, that’s brilliant!”
“Now you know why I’m in charge. But we got to find the right guy. We need a fresh face, somebody the public doesn’t know, somebody whose reputation we haven’t destroyed yet, somebody who looks good on the surface but underneath is a Grade-A, Number One, World Class asshole without a shred of dignity or a hint of integrity who’s so ambitious–
“–and servile that he’ll do anything we tell him to do without questions or qualms.”
(A pause while they consider. Then light dawns on Marblehead. Simultaneously:) Frist!