Shallow Throat: Don't Torture Bush, Just Abuse Him
Shallow Throat to Kerry: Don't Torture Bush, Just Abuse Him
By Bernard Weiner
The Crisis Papers
Those who have followed my conversations over the years with "Shallow Throat'* -- the high-ranking GOP mole in the Bush Administration -- know that ST has been paranoid about being discovered by his employer. Wigs, dark glasses, scarves -- all have been used to disguise ST's identity when meeting with me in smoky taverns, out-of-the-way parks, and so on.
But this time, no mask, no shades, no costume embellishments. Just Shallow Throat with a real face. ST still insists on anonymity, so I do not reveal gender or current department of employment in Washington, D.C. But let me tell you: ST's straight-out appearance threw me back a bit. I asked why no disguise.
"See me smiling?" said Shallow Throat. "For the first time since this crew took power, it looks more and more clear that they are going down. Big time. And they're so bogged down in the chaos and backbiting and battling to contain the scandal revelations inside their own closed circles right now that they have no time or interest in bothering about 'little' officials like me.
"And I'm in good, public, unafraid company -- all those diplomats several weeks ago that denounced Bush&Co. policy, and then last week all those generals and other elite officials and office-holders that have urged voters not to cast their ballots for Bush. The GOP heart, represented by many former heavies from the Reagan and Bush I administrations, are making plain that it's OK, indeed desirable, to get the younger Bush and his crowd out of the White House.
"But I don't know why you looked so shocked when I came in the door. You know what the symbology of no-disguise represents."
"No, I really don't," I said.
"You must have missed a lot of hostage and terrorist movies," said ST. "It's the old kidnap/hostage rule. Beware when the captors take off their masks: They no longer have to hide their faces in fear that you'll tell the cops what they look like. Nope, you're not going to be released, you'd better prepare yourself for death. In my case, it's something similar. They're toast."
GOP DEFECTIONS GROWING DAILY
"But the polls have Bush and Kerry in a statistical dead heat. How can you be so confident?"
"It's not just the polls, many of which are manipulated to make Bush seem more popular than he really is. It's the combination of exploding scandals, the increasing defections of so many of the GOP power elite -- along with more and more ordinary Republican voters -- and the desperation and utter lostness inside the Bush camp.
"Consider: In the past several months, they spend nearly $100 million on bashing Kerry. Doesn't work. They arrange the establishment of something resembling an interim government to 'hand off' to in Iraq. Doesn't help. The economy, in certain areas, is starting to do a little better. Doesn't matter. Put simply, the public has seen enough to make a final judgment on Bush -- and they've decided a big fat No."
"So Kerry will walk into the White House?"
"No," Shallow Throat replied, "'I'm-not-Bush' will walk into the Oval Office. Few voters give a rat's ass whether it's Kerry or McCain or the Pumpkin Fairy. All they care about is getting rid of this crowd of arrogant, bullyboy extremists that are ruining our country and endangering the job-security and well-being of so many American citizens.
"They realize that the current occupants of the White House are bringing ruin to our long-term national interests, are engaged in extremist experiments at home and abroad that tend to benefit the already well-off rather than the squeezed middle class, are spending us into massive deficits for as far into the future as the eye can see, are cutting popular social service programs because of the hundreds of billions of dollars going to imperial wars, are shredding our Constitutional guarantees of due process of law, are trying to set up a kind of legal dictatorship at the top, and on and on. In short, more and more Americans are willing, indeed eager, to get to November 2 and get these vicious, incompetent radicals out of the White House."
ROVE'S DESPARATE STRATEGY
"Well," I replied. "If that's true, and Karl Rove and his planners know that Bush is going to lose in a landslide in a fair election, what's to prevent them from all kinds of devilment and chicanery between now and November? You know what I mean: Purging the election rolls of more Democrat voters, especially minorities; encouraging fiddled-with software programs for the computer-voting machines in the toss-up states; starting another war in the Middle East, and/or looking the other way again as Al Qaida launches another major terrorist attack inside the U.S. -- you know, to try to obtain the rally-'round-the-President support in a time of fright and confusion."
"You've been doing your homework, I see," said ST, with a grin. "We can expect any or all of those, depending on how Rove and Cheney and the rest of the boys interpret their election prospects in the next several months. They're not without resources, you know. They probably can depend on the fundamentalist base staying with them through thin and through thin; no matter what the Bushies say or do, there's that solid 30-35% they can count on. Then they go for the electoral vote-rich states, sliming their opponent, advertising out the wazoo to tear him down with lies, inciting some dirty tricks, getting ready to exploit the major terrorist attack that is coming, probably in late-October, etc. -- and see if they can raise the Bush numbers just high enough to eke out enough victories to capture the presidency."
"Or," I popped in, "hope for a tie vote and another Supreme Court coup."
"I'm not even sure the Court would be so amenable these days. The justices don't like to be told that their work and authority are irrelevant, which is what Bush&Co. are claiming in the torture-memos that give Bush sole authority to make and interpret the law. Anyway, all the signs point to a Kerry victory. But your Dem friends can't risk a slim victory, because those close elections are easy to fix. Unless Kerry takes him down in a landslide, it's risky.
"So, I guess the point I'm making is for the Dems to stop gloating over Bush's scandals and the deteriorating situation in Iraq dragging down his numbers, and to quit thinking it's going to be easy to win a landslide. You, we, all have to work our butts off between now and November, and be willing to spend the necessary money to do so, if we want to send this vicious crowd packing. We may not be able to electorally torture Bush during the campaign, but we sure need to abuse the hell out of him with the final returns in November."
STOPPING AT NOTHING TO HOLD ONTO POWER
"OK," I said. "But I've got a question for you. Could you envision a scenario between now and November where Bush&Co. see the electoral handwriting on the wall, that they're going to lose big time, and declare martial law and call off the election? Or, lose the election on November 2 and then declare martial law and indefinitely postpone the transfer of power to a new president?"
"Ordinarily," said Shallow Throat, "I'd chide you about your overly conspiratorial frame of mind. But, as I've said before, these are not good people. They will stop at NOTHING to remain in power. There are billions of dollars of potential profit at stake here, not to mention the ideological goals these fruitcakes have set for America to control the world and all its energy resources, and bring democracy and free markets to the rest of the globe -- even at the barrell of a gun.
"But I think the Bushies know that doing something as outrageously fascist as what you're suggesting -- interrupting the time-honored electoral process -- would invite a civil war. And I don't think they're confident that large parts of the U.S. military establishment would obey their commands in such a situation. But, who knows? Rove may just be desperate enough to consider it."
"On the other hand, Bush&Co. may be loony but they ain't crazy. They see what's happening, and if they ever want another chance to rule, they can't go off completely half-cocked.
"They look around and see that even many conservative leaders, who once bought into the BushCheney Grand Game, are now having second thoughts. The world simply doesn't operate according to the simplistic theories these neocon zealots hammered out in their ivory-tower think tanks. Iraq is the best example. The situation there is even more desparate and hopeless that the American public is aware of. To stay is to continue sending our young men and women into the bloody jaws of hell. No good will come of that quagmire.
THE ELECTION RULES ALL DECISIONS
"Bush's entire Iraq policy now, and for the next four months, is his U.S. re-election campaign policy. Install a puppet-government, or at least a U.S.-friendly Iraqi government, into power. Put them in the forefront, the U.S. pulls the strings in the background. Do whatever is necessary to get the American death and injury tolls out of the daily news cycle. Try to drag out all major moves until after November, but, if things keep deteriorating there, indicate that the U.S. will make whatever concessions are necessary to the Iraqis --including re-constituting the Iraqi Army with Ba'athist leaders, letting Al Sadr join the political free-for-all, even seeing an Islamist theocracy emerge.
"BushCheney figure that if they're lucky, as a result of a potentially 'improving' situation in Iraq, they can stumble their way across November's electoral finish line as victors. After that, the gloves can come off in Iraq and elsewhere, the neocons (none of whom have been fired and all of whom remain in place) can re-emerge from hiding, and the conquest/control game can begin anew. In this theory, the American public will acquiesce, especially if there's another huge terror attack inside the U.S., and all will be well in Bushland."
"But, as you say," I replied, "the real world will intervene to dash those plans. The U.S. would be involved in far too many wars outside our borders, too many American troops will be killed and wounded, the --
"You still don't get it, do you?" said ST. "This crowd believes that since there is no superpower to oppose them anywhere in the world, and since fear is a great crowd-controller domestically, they don't have to worry.
PLAYING STEALTH POLITICS
"They believe that a few more shock&awe invasions -- including the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, and backed up with the re-starting of the draft to get the troops required for such global policing -- should finally get the message out to those who would oppose American power. Domestically, more prosecutions and 'disappearances' into the military-gulags should silence those harboring rebellious tendencies at home."
"Do you really believe what you're telling me or are you just pulling my proverbial?" I asked.
"It's not a question of what I believe," Shallow Throat replied. "I have no authority. But these guys figure they control all the levers of essential power and can do and get what they want. If they have to play stealth political games for awhile, they're quite willing to do so in order to snow the public and remain in control. After that, watch out. The restraints will be off."
"You came in here so chipper," I said, "almost happy. And you've done nothing but lay gloom&doom all over me ever since. What happened to the smile of hope?"
"I still believe it is possible to wrest control from these guys. They are such blunderers, and so reckless -- even in their crimes and scandals, as if they can do or say anything and not have to pay a price for their actions. Abroad, they have brought America into disrepute, bankrupted the treasury and social programs to finance their wars of choice, made the U.S. feared but not respected, created more terrorists by their actions.
"Bush&Co. will go down, and I'll watch the inevitable nasty fall of this crowd with this giant grin you see on my face. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almight, we'll be free at last."
Weiner, a poet and playwright and former writer for the San
Francisco Chronicle, is co-editor of The Crisis Papers,
where you can read more of his conversations with Shallow
www.crisispapers.org/weinerpubs.htm). He is a
contributing author to the just-released book "Big Bush
Lies," available through Barnes&Noble, Amazon.com and other