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Oh, We Got Trouble

Feb
19
2004

The President of the United States is says he is “troubled” by San Francisco’s decision – and make no mistake, this is citywide feel good movement – to marry 3,000 (and counting) gay and lesbian couples. His wife is “very, very shocked.”
I know exactly how they feel.
Because when I look at Washington, D.C. I am very, very shocked and troubled. Some days, even after 15 or so years as a political reporter, I’m beside myself.
It’s disturbing that the government of this country has corrupted the process of gathering intelligence, misinterpreted (or shaded) the data it collected to launch a war.
That it probably used this corrupt data to corral another government – the United Kingdom – to cooperate in this scheme is worrisome. Oh, and that a distinguished U.S. diplomat was allowed to make false statements to the international community based on this intelligence is more than shocking, it’s appalling cynicism.
It bothers me that after statements about Iraqis dealing in special weapons grade uranium were disproved, the U.S. government launched a campaign to smear a former diplomat and his wife, a CIA agent.
It’s surprising that this same government has put off looking into the process by which it was misled by its own intelligence until well after the November election. With the war on terrorism you’d think the people who run this country would want to make sure the process by which they gather information is secure, wouldn’t you? That’s a bit upsetting, isn’t it?
And it’s dismaying that a special commission set up to investigate the events of Sept. 11, 2001, has met with little cooperation – and then only grudging – from the Bush administration.
It’s alarming that the U.S. government has somehow confused and conflated the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the Iraqi War. There are a host of sins hiding under this banner; some could have been prevented with good leadership. Others not. But, let’s keep things simple for the time being and talk about money. In the name of fighting terrorism, this country has run up a $500 billion (or $2.4 trillion depending on how you count) deficit only a small part of which has gone to actually defend this nation here, where it was attacked. State and local governments faced with alarmed citizens – citizens who, perhaps, read false FBI alerts? – are carrying the burden of anti-terrorism defense at the same time they find themselves collected lower taxes because of a weaker economy.
In the name of defending against terrorism, young men have been captured and held far from their homes, in isolation, in prisons and special security compounds awaiting a formal, closed and secret hearing that goes against the fundamental legal and human rights established by the founding of this nation. Their lawyers and their religious counselors are spied upon.
But you know what’s really troubling, what’s very, very shocking? That all of this – from the shaded intelligence to the funny economic numbers to the civil and human rights violations – doesn’t seem to bother anyone in Washington. But a bunch of people who have been living together for years and want to get married so they can pay taxes together and raise their kids as a legal and social unit recognized by the laws of this country? That’s got the president on the warpath.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 5:18 PM | Permalink

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