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William Rivers Pitt: Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Wednesday 27 July 2005

Even maniacs need time to reload, but it is a rare quirk in history when they all run out at the same time, and anyone who has spent any time around wars will tell you that a sudden calm, for no reason, is almost always a time to get braced.
-- Hunter S. Thompson, January 20, 1986

The First Marine Expeditionary Force, which took part in the initial invasion of Iraq more than two years ago, is suiting up for another deployment to the war zone. For many in this vaunted crew, it will be their third deployment to that country since all of this began.

And George W. Bush is heading off for another month-long vacation in Texas.

One thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the Marines first landed two years ago. Thirty nine of those deaths have taken place in the month of July. The civilian casualties in Iraq have skyrocketed. The man who has run the Baghdad morgue for the last 15 years, Faik Amin Baker, says, "Before the war we used to get maybe 250 bodies a month. Now it is 800 or 900 a month from the Baghdad area alone. The situation has worsened dramatically. We cannot cope."

And George is going on vacation, again.

Bombs are going off inside the subway system of America's most stalwart ally in the Iraq fiasco. Britain endured four deadly explosions a few weeks ago, four almost-explosions a few days ago, and the nervous London coppers are shooting the dog out of anyone who even vaguely appears to be packing plastique.

George hears this and thinks, "Break time."

French news reports after the first round of bombings indicated that the explosives used may have come from the al Qaqaa facility in Iraq. You remember that one: The bunker filed with high-yield explosives that was unlocked and opened by US forces last year, left totally unsecured because they didn't have enough troopers to guard the thing, and then looted completely by persons unknown. The invasion of Iraq, touted as a necessary step towards safety and security for the American homeland, has been proven beyond doubt to be the initiator of deadly peril to America and its war allies.

And George thinks, "They ain't gonna bomb Crawford. I'm out of here."

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has widened his probe of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. He is moving beyond questions about who said what about Plame to whom, and is auguring towards the larger issue: How the outing of Plame by White House officials was part of a larger plan to distance the Bush administration from all of its lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and how they managed to lay the whole mess at the feet of a quietly outraged CIA.

And George shrugs while packing his bags.

Fitzgerald has interviewed Former Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton, Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, current White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, senior White House Aide Karen Hughes, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, among many others. Rove and Libby, to date, are the chief suspects in the outing of Plame, and face perjury and obstruction charges if the deal goes down.

And George says, "Karl who?" while fantasizing about the comfy furniture down on the ranch.

Former CIA spokesman Harlow, it was reported by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post, vehemently and stridently warned columnist Bob Novak about using Plame's name under any circumstances. Harlow, reports the Post, "said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed. Harlow said that after Novak's call, he checked Plame's status and confirmed that she was an undercover operative. He said he called Novak back to repeat that the story Novak had related to him was wrong and that Plame's name should not be used."

And George digs in his closet for his old Slip-n-Slide while cursing the liberal media.

Imagine you're the CEO of a company. The last several major decisions you've made have gotten a large number of your employees killed. The company you're working with overseas is taking a beating in its infrastructure. The customers you tried to entice with your product are arriving in morgues by the busload.

Several of your executives are about to get nailed to the shed for obstruction of justice and perjury, while words like "Treason" are whispered behind cupped hands. Your company is hemorrhaging cash from every pore, and your big plan for the future has turned out to be the largest threat to the continued existence of the business to come down the pike in a few generations.

Yeah. I guess I'd want a vacation, too.


William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

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