Will Pitt FYI: George W. Bush, the Frightened Man
George W. Bush, the Frightened Man
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | FYI Blog (Click through for feedback)
Mar 31st, 2005
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
When I went to New York City this past summer to cover the GOP convention, I remember being awed by the degree of security surrounding Madison Square Garden. There were fences to control the fences, fifty cops on every corner, none of whom knew what the others were telling people to do, a half-dozen passes of needed to get twenty feet in any direction, and that was before you even got inside the door.
I saw the same thing when I went to DC to cover the Inauguration. The capitol was an armed camp, a sea of Bush supporters surrounded by tens of thousands of protesters. At one point, I stopped for 30 seconds next to a squad car to check my cell phone, and was immediately confronted by three cops asking me what I was doing. Amusingly, the security fences and cops decided not to give those protesters One Big Spot to congregate, and instead spread them out like butter across the entire route. The effect was to make the protests seem much larger than they were - and they were big - while forcing the Bush folk to elbow past them every six feet for the entire length of Pennsylvania Avenue.
All those fences. All those guns. All those cops. At first, it seemed like an arguably necessary precaution; these were, after all, the two cities to take the hit on 9/11. But the longer I stayed, the longer I looked around, and the closer I observed the behavior of Bush and his people, I came to a sad conclusion: This security was not about keeping us all safe from terrorists, but was about keeping Bush safe from his own people. The President of the United States is flatly terrified of the citizens he would supposedly lead to some supply-side promised land. He is scared to death of us.
Some positive proof of this came down the wires on Tuesday, when a report surfaced about three people who were removed from a supposedly 'public' town hall meeting with Bush. According to the report, the Secret Service hustled them out because their car had a "No Blood for Oil" bumper sticker on it. The three said they had obtained tickets to the event through the office of Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-CO), had passed through security and were preparing to take their seats when they were approached by a Secret Service agent who asked them to leave.
Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for Americans United, described the incident accurately: "They're screening the people who are allowed to come and then they're profiling them in the parking lot," he said. "It's quite extraordinary, and disappointing."
'Disappointing' is a mild word. 'Disgusting' would be a better one. George W. Bush is petrified of his own people, and his security goes to extraordinary and wildly expensive pains to make sure that only a hand-picked few, the elect, can get near him to shower him with love and affection.
Where is all this heading? This isolation of the President from the world, from his own people, from any information that does not jibe with his pre-formed opinions? Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower from the Nixon scandals, has some thoughts on the matter he shared in an interview with CommonDreams.org:
I think our democracy is going to be tested to the breaking point by some very dark days ahead and before long. I do expect there to be another major terrorist event. Ports, the nuclear power plants and the chemical factories are extremely vulnerable to an attack. To a considerable event, the war against terrorism has been a hoax because the president has not only spent so much money on the war in Iraq, but because the war in Iraq virtually subverts the war on terror. You cannot reduce the appeal and the strength of Al Qaeda while we occupy Iraq. You can only strengthen it, and strengthening it is what we've been doing steadily for the last couple of years. This is the worst public policy decision making, most antidemocratic and most inclined to be authoritarian, I would say, since the Nixon administration, but Nixon was confronting a Democratic House and Senate and a relatively liberal population in media 40 years ago. John Mitchell and John Connolly and Nixon himself had quite authoritarian instincts, but they weren't allowed to act on them, and to the extent that they did act on them -- it brought them down.
Virtually all the things Nixon did against me that were illegal to keep me from exposing his secret policy are now legal under the Patriot Act. Going into my doctor's office to get information to blackmail me with, wiretaps without warrants, overhearing me--all legal now. The CIA supplied the burglars in my doctor's office with disguises and with cameras and they did a psychological profile on me. That was illegal then, legal now.
I would have said that one thing that Nixon did against me was not yet legal and that was to bring a squad of a dozen Cuban-American assets of the CIA up from Miami to beat me up or kill me on May 3rd, 1973 on the steps of the Capitol. Right now there's at least one Special Forces team under control of the White House operating in this country to take 'extra legal actions'. Now, that sounds to me like a White House-controlled death squad. And that is what the White House sent against me. It's not clear whether the intention was to kill me then, the words were to 'incapacitate Daniel Ellsberg totally'. When I asked their prosecutor, 'does that mean to kill me?'. He said, 'The words were 'to incapacitate you totally.' But he said, 'You have to understand these guys that were CIA assets never use the words 'kill'.'
I think that's the kind of thing we do have in our future, especially when there's another terrorist attack. In that case, I think we'll see enacted very quickly a new Patriot Act, which I'm sure has already been drafted which will make the first Patriot Act look like the Bill of Rights, and the Bill of Rights will be a historical memory.
It is not terrorism that motivates George, or patriotism, or even profiteering. It is fear, pure and simple: Fear of the truth, fear of the world, fear of any data that collides with his faith-based bubble-encapsuled worldview, and fear most of all of the people he would represent.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. Now we know, and the knowledge is deeply and profoundly disturbing.
William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for truthout. He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'