It's Always Worse Just Got Worse

« March 2009 »

Memo to George W. Bush and Company: HOLY SHIT.

One of the recurring themes of the eight long years suffering under Dubya Von Doofenhoffer was the concept that It's Always Worse. What this means is that whenever you learn something awful that these evil fucks perpetrated in secret, there's always something worse that you haven't learned about yet. Abu Ghraib was bad, extraordinary rendition was worse, torture at Guantanamo was worse still. No-bid contracts were bad, billions in overcharges from Halliburton were worse, $10 billion in cash on pallets "lost" in Iraq worse still.

We have been told to move on, to look forward, to not dwell on the past. But when you're standing chin-deep in a hole full of shit, you can't actually move on until you've dug yourself out all the way to your ankles. Trying to move on while the shit's still waist-deep helps nobody. When I heard about the latest completely psychotic revelation from the early days of the Bush administration, I wasn't surprised. But I'm pretty sure I'll be surprised by whatever is Always Worse than this, because this is pretty fucking bad. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Justice Department secretly gave the green light for the U.S. military to attack apartment buildings and office complexes inside the United States, deploy high-tech surveillance against U.S. citizens and potentially suspend First Amendment freedom-of-the-press rights in order to combat the terror threat, according to a memo released Monday." - Newsweek.

Remember before, when I said I never wanted to hear the phrase Bush Derangement Syndrome ever again? Well, escalate the threat level to Damn Well Better Not Hear It, because the son-of-a-bitch and his enablers laid out a scenario far worse than the paranoid fantasies libertarian militia nuts dreamed up about Bill Clinton and Janet Reno. They were worried about Clinton taking away the stockpiles of ammo in their compounds with his black helicopters. George W. Bush planned to take away the news.

"First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully." That's what everyone's favorite lawyer, John Yoo, wrote in one of his many memos designed to give the Bush administration short-term legal cover to do whatever the fuck they wanted. You know, like torture people and spy on Americans. John Yoo is now teaching law at the UC Berkeley, in what I can only assume is an effort by a sentient cosmos to create a stockpile of irony for future generations to tap into.

This whole thing just restokes the flames of rage against one of the previous administration's most noxious contributions to what passes for civics: the idea that if you can pay a lawyer to tell you it's legal, then it's legal. That shit never got properly slapped down between 2001 and 2009, and if Patrick Leahy's Truth Commission accomplishes anything of value, maybe it'll give this despicable gimmick the burial it so richly deserves. Because as you can see, you can pay John Yoo to write a memo telling you ANYTHING is legal.

I'm sure any of Bush's remaining defenders will comfort themselves with the thought that none of these draconian measures were widely implemented. Well, fuck that noise. They did a whole lot of awful shit because John Yoo put "Yeah, that's fine." on a piece of Office of Legal Counsel letterhead. The only reason they didn't pull the trigger on these memos is that the press and the populace shit themselves in terror on cue, and they didn't have to. If they'd decided it was necessary, what would have stopped them? The same thing that stopped them from doing all the other stuff. NOTHING.

And remember, It's Always Worse. As bad as this is, that means there's an even more rotten, putrid skeleton in our collective closet. And as much as we need to find out what that is, I'm not looking forward to actually hearing it. Because I bet it's going to piss me right the hell off.