In the personal and private writings of Harry S. Truman, he says, “I don’t think there’s ever been a president who really did damage because he wanted damage to be done. I don’t think any of them willfully and maliciously tried to get the country in trouble…”
Looking back over the last eight years we can see what Harry could not have believed. Starting with Enron, the theft by manipulation of billions from California’s utility payers, this administration has willfully and maliciously done just that and more.
After the utter fiasco of 9/11, when the finest air defense system in the world stood down just long enough for the Vice-President to have to confirm the order to stand down in an emergency of unprecedented proportions, the “Patriot Act”, a one-foot thick stack of legal documents that abolished most of the Bill of Rights appeared overnight. No one assembles a foot-high stack of documents without preparation and, dare I say it, premeditation.
Then, like a forties newsreel, we have Colin Powell and G.W. Bush telling lies to Congress and the United Nations about non-existent weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of a sovereign country, Iraq. Even though Saddam had offered to leave the country and open up his country to the entire US Army coming in to verify that there were no such weapons. But Bush refused Saddam’s offer, preferring invasion that eventually cost the lives of over four thousand American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens, mostly women and children.
It does not take a psychologist to predict the effect of a bully. What a bully inspires is not cooperation. A bully cannot enlist the aid of allies in the fight against terrorists. A bully predictably elicits more opposition than help. But that’s where Bush & Co makes and has always made their fortune, back to the US Civil War, when they sold arms to both sides, that’s where their money has been, in the blood of their customers. The Bush family sold arms to both sides in WWI, too. The Bush family financed the rise of Hitler, and sold him arms and war material after the outbreak of war with the US. Conflict, catastrophe, collapse and death and destruction have always been their meat and potatoes.
Then we have the matter of nuclear proliferation. Cheney and Rumsfeld actually sold Iran nuclear technology during the Reagan administration. Then, when Iran began using the nuke tech to enrich uranium, Bush objected and accused Iran of building a bomb even though experts had studied the Iranian program and saw no evidence of an ongoing weapons program. But even so, Iran sent the Swiss Ambassador to Washington (since Bush was not then speaking to the Iranians). The ambassador carried an offer by the Iranians to suspend the enrichment in exchange for an agreement by the US not to attack Iran. Bush refused the offer and censured the Swiss Ambassador who brought the offer.
Clinton had negotiated a deal with North Korea that exchanged coal deliveries and food for the cessation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Bush canceled the arrangement– until North Korea had developed, built and ignited a nuclear weapon–then he had Rice resume Clinton’s deal, leaving North Korea with newly developed nukes.
Skipping ahead, we see the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue cutting various budget items to help pay for his “war” in Iraq. Among these cuts are veterans’ health care, school lunches, nutrition programs for childbearing women, and the levee maintenance budget for the Army Corps of Engineers to protect New Orleans.
The Congressional budget office has estimated the cost of the Iraq “war” at three trillion dollars. During that occupation, Bush shipped into Iraq truckloads of pallets stacked with bundles of hundred-dollar bills. Billions were handed out, but no one seems to know who got those billions. Meanwhile, Bush had privatized Army food, laundry, fuel deliveries and even diplomatic security. The bill for these services was into the billions. It cost three hundred dollars to wash a bag of dirty clothes.
Last year Vice-President Cheney gave the order to release water in the Klamath River to agriculture, killing eighty thousand adult salmon, returning upstream to spawn. Recently the Supreme Court cut four and a half billion from the five billion dollar fine Exxon was levied for the Valdez disaster. Exxon had been appealing the fine since 1989. The Supremes also allowed the US Navy to continue sonar exercises that are killing mammals like whales and dolphins. During his last sixty days, Bush is lifting restraints on coal pollution, allowing more mercury into the air. Bush also feels it necessary to undermine the endangered species act, reasoning that if allowed to go extinct, those animals cannot interfere with the continued operations of mining and oil and gas drilling. Bush has done all he can to secure the oil monopoly currently enjoyed by his cronies. In the process, he has reinforced alliances with the Saudis, a military dictatorship that publishes school textbooks naming the US as its sworn enemy. Even when gas prices went up to over four dollars a gallon, Bush made no effort to stop the flow of our money into the coffers of our enemies.
Bush has violated treaties, “the supreme law of the land”, notably the Geneva Conventions, the nuclear arms limitations and the ICBM treaty. Bush has violated the Nuremberg agreements under which Nazis were tried after WWII. Bush has violated US Code, Title 18, the criminal code. Bush has even broken the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the fundamental law of US military honor.
IN all these acts the motive cannot be said to have been constructive. In no case was the result constructive. They kept saying, ‘Gee, we messed up’. In New Orleans, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, in Veterans’ health care, in children’s health care, in school lunches, in nutrition for mothers-to-be, ‘Gee, we messed up.’ In limiting the Clean Air and Water laws passed by the Nixon administration. In allowing coal companies to dump mountaintops into riverbeds. They want us to believe they accidentally spent the US into an unregulated depression, too. ‘Gee, we messed up.’
But in absolute fact, none of this was in error. They meant for New Orleans to die, for four thousand GIs to die for oil, for our children and young mothers to go without food, for our investors to lose their life savings and for our environment to lose life itself. At the very beginning they said they wanted to drown government in the bathtub. What they left out was then they could buy its corpse and sell its organs to their friends. That’s what is meant by ‘malice aforethought’.
In international law, the supreme crime is invasive war. In US Code, beside treason, the supreme crime is first degree, premeditated murder. By abolishing most of the Bill of Rights, violating the laws and treaties, betraying the security of the country by ordering air defense to stand down, allowing a budget cut to sentence thousands of New Orleans citizens to death, by using the lunch money of our children for war, by leaving our Veterans homeless in the streets, by filling our air and water with poisons, by allowing imports of poison into our food and drug systems, by refusing to negotiate lower drug prices, by privatizing everything they could including our water, by distorting science to accommodate their religious barbarisms, and by lying about it all to the American People, the Bush Administration has committed attempted murder of the country that gave them birth.
And now, during an unprecedented economic disaster, we have the nail in the coffin. As Nobel prize-winning economist Krugman of the New York Times has said, ‘Now Bush can do more damage by doing nothing.’ While Rome is burning, Bush is fiddling with weakening environmental protections and increasing coal profits. The past eight years have been a demonstration of attempted first-degree murder of the United States of America.
Martin Weiss is an avid reader, jazz musician, philosopher, chef, stone mason, carpenter, writer, painter, poet,humanist, teacher, holistic ethicist who believes consciousness and love pervade the universe, except among self-obsessed humans. Weiss perceives the philosophical unified field to be consciousness and joy and that “the entire universe is composed of waves, which we surf by understanding.”