August 05, 2005


If your brain short circuits when you hear someone say 'fuck', but you can't figure out why Enron was such a big deal, you are a child. If you think it's blasphemous to say 'damn', but failed to note the opposition of the major Christian denominations to attacking Iraq, you are a child. If you think it's nasty for anyone to talk about sex, or to say 'penis' or 'vagina' and you also think it's a shame people made a fuss about Abu Ghraib, you are a child. If Howard Stern's free mouth and Janet Jackson's free titty freaked you out, but the strangulation of the free press sounds like a yawner, to the kiddie table with you.

Too many people who have the time to be offended by the seven words you can't say on television, naked human bodies, or the ongoing fascination with procreation related program activities, can't seem to spare the wattage to notice the lies, fraud, theft, torture and murder perpetrated on or in the name of the American public.

That's why every once in a while it's a good thing to round up a partial list of the real obscenities. The truly gross, disgusting and depraved examples of man's inhumanity to man, shocking contempt for the law and behavior that definitely can't be explained to actual minor children without scarring them for life:

Not only has Tom Noe apparently been defrauding the citizens of Ohio, his wife may have been busy at the time tampering with Ohio's vote.

Jack Abramoff is being investigated for a shakedown of Native American casino owners, but close associate Ralph Reed (formerly of the Christian Coalition, the Georgia Republican Party and the Bush campaign), who was the foil in Abramoff's scheme, is being fielded as the Republican candidate for Lt. Governor of Georgia. Abramoff is also very close to Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who appears at the least to have violated campaign finance laws in his home state of Texas.

In the lead up to the Iraq war, Bush administration officials repeatedly implied that Saddam Hussein had links to 9-11 and was on the verge of getting nuclear weapons. When Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador to Iraq and Niger, debunked administration claims that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger, someone in the administration outed Wilson's wife as a clandestine CIA agent who worked in WMD containment in revenge. US weapons inspector David Kay later came before the Senate to present his final report on Iraqi WMD after having unfettered access to post-invasion Iraq and concluded that Hussein had no WMD stockpiles. The bipartisan 9-11 commission, which Bush initially opposed, came to the conclusion that Iraq and Al-Qaida had no working relationship. More recently, the so-called Downing Street memos released by British intelligence whistleblowers showed that the decision to invade was shared with the UK government in 2002, along with plans to make the 'facts' fit the plan. However, former Bush administration officials Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke have said that Bush already wanted to invade Iraq in 2001.

After the invasion, which had been sold to the public on the threat of Iraq's weapons capabities, known and IAEA inspected stockpiles of dangerous materials were left unguarded. At one site, 380 tons of high grade explosives went missing from an IAEA sealed facility that was unguarded for months, which should prompt the reader to consider how long it must have taken to cart out that much explosive on trucks. At the Tuwaitha nuclear facility, 2,500 barrels of unrefined uranium, along with other radioactive materials and specialized equipment, were left completely unguarded for days during the worst of the post-invasion looting. The looting of the facility poisoned several neighboring villages with radiation.

While Republicans are still up in arms over the UN Oil-for-Food abuses that US companies participated in, (and which the US government knew about and turned a blind eye to,) $8.8 billion disappeared from Iraq's coffers when the CPA was in charge. It was used for bribes, handed to troop commanders to use how they wanted, given to the Kurds and to US contractors who shamelessly squandered it after they carted it off in duffel bags. Receipts? We don't need no steenkeeng receipts.

Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, was given $18 billion worth of contracts, much of which it wasted extravagantly. No significant action has been taken against this defrauding of the public.

The Bush administration has taken no action to retrieve $50 million in fraudulent charges by Custer Battles, a company that was only two years old and inexperienced at the start of the war, apparently because one of the company's founders is very close to the Republican Party and the White House.

While all that money was being wasted, Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was claiming that we couldn't provide the troops with armor plating for their vehicles because there wasn't enough production capacity. The manufacturer went public to say that they could increase production at any time, but that the Pentagon had never asked them to.

Adding insult to injury, after so much money had been wasted, Iraq had virtually no additional infrastructure, jobs or security to show for any of it.

The Bush administration has been practicing extraordinary rendition for the last few years, picking up anyone they suspected of having terrorist ties and flying them to nations known to practice torture during interrogation. Many of these countries are routinely denounced by the US government for their inhumane treatment of prisoners, which apparently made them ideal destinations. This man was sent to Morocco, and his interrogators thought it would be interesting to repeatedly make shallow cuts on his body and genitals. This Canadian citizen was sent to Syria for a year for continual beatings and confinement in a tiny, windowless cell. The Italian government has issued arrest warrants for CIA operatives they say kidnapped a cleric from Milan for deportation to Egypt, and the same article describes a German investigation into the apparent transport of one of their citizens from Macedonia to Baghdad. They aren't the only ones, just some of the ones we know about.

Many detainees in US care have been tortured as well, though the administration is trying to hide the evidence of the most shocking crimes, and some died from their injuries. This Iraqi general died after being tied in a sleeping bag and beaten with a rubber hose. In Afghanistan, guards at a Bagram base beat two men to death over several days, though similar beatings and chaining prisoners up by their arms overnight were routine. One of the men who died in Bagram had such severe injuries from repeated kicks, the coroner said his legs looked like they'd been run over by a truck and would have had to be amputated if he'd lived. Again, the worst stories of Abu Ghraib haven't been made public. Both veteran reporter Seymour Hersh and Republican Senator Lindsay Graham say that it wasn't just humiliation, as also suffered by three Iraqi Reuters staffers detained in 2004, but rape, murder and the torture of children to coerce parents.

An historical panorama of obscenity: The condensed US history of creating terrorism and supporting tyrants, the legacy of which we're still dealing with.

Naturally, while all this is happening, the public is too busy with the latest missing white woman to notice. And that's a goat-blowing, ratfucking, dead turtle humping obscenity.

I am of course disgusted by the acts of terrorists who think that taking out their anger against the west is best done by attacking innocent civilians going about their daily lives. That too, is an obscenity. But I don't fund them with my tax dollars, I didn't vote for them and they aren't my representatives before the world. I don't have the power to hold bin Laden responsible for his crimes, but it's my responsibility as a citizen to hold my own government accountable for theirs.

Opposing the terrorists shouldn't just be about capturing or killing them. It should be about proving that they've judged us wrongly by exemplifying ethical behavior. Our most important struggle is with ourselves, as any sincere reading of the world's main religious texts will affirm.

Posted by natasha at August 5, 2005 01:08 AM | Corruption & Graft | TrackBack(2) | Technorati links |

That is so good I want to hang it on my wall!!!

Posted by: K.Kelly at August 5, 2005 04:33 PM

This string began by questioning how conservatives use religious dogma to derive conclusions. But as the string progressed, ethics or the lack thereof, determined their conclusions.

Far Right conservatism and christian fundamentalism have much in common. Both demand unquestioning,.. something, I don't know, loyalty, dumb ass obedience, bald intolerance of, gasp, unauthorized opinion?

Christian fundamentalism is a strain of corrupted doctrine. It's within most denominations. Some scriptures can be interpreted to have 'contrary' connotations, but fundamentalism does not allow any liberty for thoughtful, reasonable interpretation of scriptures. The same way, Far Right politics do not tolerate contrary viewpoint. There's some kind of connection there; conservatives harnessing the blind loyalty of sheepish christians for political power.

Posted by: Art at August 5, 2005 11:01 PM

Art - Well, fortunately more reasonable Christians are stepping up to reclaim the public image of the faith as a whole. I expect it will take a while before they get air time proportionate to their numbers, but the effort is appreciated.

Posted by: natasha at August 6, 2005 12:15 PM

Natasha, I've gone through my bible study phase of life's lessons and survived, not unscathed. Liberal interpretation can be expressed by anyone willing to challenge the most intolerant dogma. Sodom and Gomorrah may have become God's worst-case example not because of homosexuality, but because of violent intolerance and conservative inhumanity.

I do not believe George Bush is a Christian. He just plays one on TV, badly when he shows his true colors like flipping off the media the other day. What a hoot! Watch for krischuns making liberal use of their middle finger in the future. Perhaps they think of flipping off non-krischuns as an act of love?

Posted by: Art at August 6, 2005 05:06 PM