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Today's Note from a Madman

Tuesday, May 1, 2007



Reading Between the Lines


Just what does former CIA Chief George Tenet mean when he says something like "We don't torture"? What is President Bush actually telling us when he says "Stay the Course"? Well, boys and girls, welcome to Reading Between the Lines 101, or as I like to call it, deciphering the bull (and yes, there is a word missing after "bull").


Tenet's "We don't torture" statement to Scott Pelle's 60 Minutes left my mouth agape and my mind wondering just how one can state such an erroneous statement and still keep a straight face. Even when Pelle gave him an out by asking him if he got approval from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Tenet couldn't, or wouldn’t take it. Pelle pressured Tenet about the act of Water-boarding”, where a "suspect" (for lack of a better word) has water poured over his head to induce a gag reflex. I guess, somewhere in Tenet's mind, he can justify water-boarding as non-torturous because its intent wasn't to kill the suspect. One wonders what the water-board-ee thinks.


In fact, Tenet's CIA did torture and whether you think it would lead to useful information, as Tenet suggested when he said it gave them information which stopped numerous terrorist attacks; or whether you believe that someone being drowned to gagging will say anything they think you want to hear isn't the point here. The fact that Tenet says "We don't torture" while all of the evidence is to the contrary makes me think about what he actually might mean. I think, if you read between the lines, what Tenet actually is saying is that "We don't torture unless torture you and your friends. Everybody else is fair game." While Tenet's CIA was sending terror suspects out to our middle eastern "friends" in a program called "Rendition", what little lie was the former CIA top guy telling himself to sleep better at night? If it wasn't to absolve himself of torture, or more to the point, the knowledge of torture, then why send anyone anywhere?


Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's line of "We know where they are,” in referring to WMD's in, near and around Kirkuk was another one of those statement. What Rummy really meant was that "We're telling you a story so we can continue to do what we want to do. Then, when you find out the truth, we'll have it buried someplace or simply wait it out until it goes away." Brilliant when you think about it. Similarly, when Cheney said "We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators" and have "flowers thrown at our feet", Cheney must have really been saying "We'll tell you anything we want and bury it when the truth is revealed."


And why wouldn't this administration say one thing when they clearly mean something else? After all, no President in history has had a press, in the form of a national main stream media, that has been so open to suggestion. The press has decided that working for a story is no longer necessary and just reprinting White House press releases is now good journalism. The "Big Three", and the other Cable News Networks have forgone their overseas offices and rely more and more on a pool mentality where the story is the same and no one dares question it. The Fourth Estate, like the administration, is letting us down. Somehow they all let the likes of Fox News convince us that Anna Nicole's baby's father is more important than IED's blowing up our soldiers in Iraq; and a good helicopter chase down LA's "10" Freeway is worth more than the truth on the ground in Baghdad.


Today we have to use our powers of reading between the lines even more so than before. For example, while the President says he wants to work with Congress on an Iraq War spending Bill, he decides that there will be no formal, or even informal timetable allowed. If one reads between the lines, one would see really hear President Bush's true message which would sound something like this: "If I don't get my money the way I want it, I don't give a crap who suffers, including the troops."


Another example is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who says she will break the law and  won't testify in front of Congress when a subpoena is issued to her because she already answered all of the questions two-plus years ago. At the same time, she says she would consider answering those same questions if submitted by mail. Yeah... I know... that makes no sense at all. If she uses the excuse that she has already answered the questions, then why will she agree to answer them by correspondence but not in person? Let me decipher her sentiments: If left to her speak the truth, Rice would have said, "I can't answer any questions unless I can speak with a bunch of people to tell you all the facts as we want to present them." It's similar to how President Bush testified to the 911 Commission: Behind closed doors with puppet-master Dick Cheney beside him.


Remember that when the Bushies speak you aren't going to hear the truth. You'll need to read between the lines, tip-toe around the bull-(stuff) and hold your nose. It's going to be deep and smelly down there.


-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg