A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
George W. Bush is getting desperate in his mission to officially sanction torture and warrantless wiretapping. Apparently out of ideas, Bush gave up on the merits of his plans and resorted one of the more annoying infomercial strategies: impulse buying.
At a press conference this morning, Bush essentially said we need to pass the bills that he wants now, or else we will all be killed by terrorists. "Time's running out," he warned ominously. "Congress is set to adjourn in just a few weeks. Congress needs to act wisely and promptly, so I can sign good legislation."
Should Congress not give Bush exactly what he wants right now, he added, "the program won't go forward and the American people will be in danger."
If they pass the bills in the next ten minutes, he might even throw in an extra set of steak knives.
This takes scare tactics to a whole new level. Vote first, ask questions later. If people are panicked enough, they may not even be able to realize how absurd this apparent urgency is considering the fact that both programs have already been going on for years!
Besides, if the matter was really so time sensitive, couldn't Congress skip their next vacation and do some work for a change to make up for the unprecedented breaks they have already given themselves?
Bush's statements today are full of other subtle tricks as well. He claims the only thing he cares about is resolving ambiguities in the Geneva Conventions. "It's like - it's very vague," Bush pondered. "What does that mean, outrages upon human dignity?"
Bush isn't lying when he says he wants "clarity in the law." But that's not all. What he is not saying is that this clarity has to allow torture and disallow defendants and their lawyers to see the evidence being used against them.
He also wants to make it sound like he's trying for a compromise across party lines for once. He has already taken the rare move of personally lobbying on Capital Hill. But consider this sentence Bush muttered today: "Just had a great visit with House members -- House Republican members." (emphasis added) Apparently Bush is having a hard enough time just getting his own party on board to start worrying about Democrats.
Despite troubles in the Senate, Bush was able to brag about his interrogation bill passing the House Armed Services Committee "in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion." The vote? 52-8. But remember, that's not just bipartisan, it's overwhelmingly bipartisan. Is that what he meant by being a uniter, not a divider?
Lest anyone is still worried about the imminent doom Bush said we would face should his own party's Congress not rubberstamp his unconstitutional agenda, BuzzFlash will leave you with an excerpt from the White House transcript this morning from Bush's press conference with South Korean President Roh, which included foreign journalists:
PRESIDENT BUSH: . . . and the American people will be in danger.
Q (Asked in Korean.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: See, I'll interpret the question for him. (Laughter.) "How come you look so beautiful in your blue tie, Mr. President?" (Laughter.)
We wonder if the laughter is over our John Wayne-wannabe president describing himself as "beautiful."
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT