Bush Jumps the Shark

Bush Jumps the Shark
John Calvin Jones, PhD, JD

On Wednesday, 18 October 2006, G. W. Bush granted an interview to Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. In light of delicious news about Republican party peccadilloes, homosexual aides and members outside the closet, Bush sought to reinvigorate the panic button base. However instead of being his sycophantic self, Mr. O’Reilly exposed some of the Bush lies, double-speak, and disassembling. As a result, what looked to be a standard re-run of some Bushevik telenovela, All My Iraqi Children or As the Jihad Turns, morphed into a sit-com where Bush was forced to Jump the Shark [?] – without a stand-in. And with his ratings in the low 30s, which is higher than the field for the Republican Congress, I imagine that soon Bush, Coach Hastert and Fonzie will be commiserating at the ranch.

The following is an annotated excerpt from the Life with O’Reilly’s Factor episode that ran on 17 October 2006 (redacted transcript posted on 20 October 2006).[1]

O’REILLY: Today, you’re signing the [Military Commissions Act] … that gives the Bush administration — and subsequent administrations — the military tribunal option in bringing suspected terrorists to justice [sic]. Your administration has been accused of being fascist, violating human rights, ignoring the Geneva Convention … [why has there been] a fierce campaign against this policy?

GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t know. … I — you know, I — look, after 9/11, I vowed to protect this country. And when we pick up somebody on the battlefield, we want to know what that person knows. And we can find information without torturing that person. And we have found useful information necessary to protect the American people.

As you know, we picked up a fellow named Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Intelligence folks believe or suspect that he was a person that masterminded the 9/11 attacks. I believe [that] they (the terrorists!?) are coming again. … therefore, [I] had a program in place that said “we’ll question these people.”

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take One
Move a pile of manure, I just did: Point one, Bush has defined “the battlefield” as anywhere on the planet. Secondly as FBI officials and other interrogators know, and as Bush says “we can find information without torturing that person.” Nevertheless he advocated for and signed a bill that grants immunity to him and every other American or American employee who tortured and abused people (see section 948d(a)). Third, I like Bush’s reference to KSM as merely a suspect. On a myriad of other instances, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzalez have called KSM the mastermind of 9/11. Now it is only that others suspect him. I wonder if they suspect him due to a willing confession? ]

BO: Now Brian Ross of ABC said — reported the CIA waterboarded [KSM]. That is dunked him in water, tied him down and then that broke him. Is that true?

GWB: We don’t talk about techniques. And the reason we don’t talk about techniques is because we don’t want the enemy to be able to adjust. We’re in a war.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Two
Shark Tank sighting: If any human being can adapt to being tortured … I guess super, Islamo-fascists can. Or maybe Fox News watchers are most immune to torture – when it comes in the form of abuse of the English language and logic. Regardless, if the enemy is so smart, won’t the battle-ready terrorists already suspect that the U.S. uses waterboarding (which usually results in loss of consciousness and vomiting – when done correctly)? Nevertheless I am glad that Bush will not confirm the use of one particular torture technique – that means the Islamo-terrorists will have to learn all the American tricks by translating the Spanish-language torture manuals used at the School of the Assassins (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) in Fort Benning, Georgia. ¿Se habla Español Osama?]

BO: Is waterboarding torture?

GWB: … we were within the law. And we don’t torture. We — I’ve said all along to the American people we won’t torture, but we need to be in a position where we can interrogate these people.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Three
Don’t forget the life vest: See we do waterboarding, but if I keep telling you that it’s not torture, then you should believe me. Who is asking anyway, some agent of Goldstein?]

BO: But if the public doesn’t know what torture is or is not, as defined by the Bush administration, how can the public make a decision on whether your policy is right or wrong?

[News Flash: O’Reilly asks a real question – it’s nascent journalism budding at Fox!]

GWB: Well, one thing is that you can rest assured we’re not going to talk about the techniques we use in a public forum. No matter how hard you try because I don’t want the enemy to be able to adjust their tactics if we capture them on the battlefield.

[You already said that W.]

But what the American people need to know is we’ve got a program in place that is able to get intelligence from these people. And we’ve used it to stop attacks. The intelligence community believes strongly that the information we got from the detainee questioning program yielded information that made America safer, that we stopped attacks.

[How can you tell that W. is lying? His lips are moving!]

Secondly, the courts. I believe that it was necessary to have military tribunals because I ultimately want these people to be tried. And it took a while to get these tribunals in place.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Four
Make-Up, aka Reality Check: Section 948b(d)(1)(A) of the MCA declares that detainees have no right to a speedy trial! They can be held forever! All their mendacity aside, the fact is that the Bush folks only attempted to hold hearings on 10 detainees. In the meanwhile, these Islamo-fascist tricksters (so much like the Jews, Catholics, Homosexuals, Communists and Roma in the German labor camps) use tricknology to seduce the Nazi, er Bush regime into believing that suspending Habeas Corpus will make us free. (Mission accomplished).
The trials will be great, especially as the prosecutors and judges can keep any and all evidence from the accused while all statements extracted via torture are admissible as evidence of guilt! See sections 949d(f) and 948r(c)(d). I heard that Bush’s Uncle, Franz Kafka, is really impressed with the system and its efficiency.]

BO: What’s wrong with civilian courts? What’s wrong with doing what you did to Moussaoui?

[What the hell O’Reilly, you trying to win a Polk award or something?]

GWB: Because there’s some — a lot of times there’s intelligence involved that would, if exposed, would make it very difficult for us to beat the enemy, to prosecute this war. And the tribunal are people — are going to have — they’re going to have lawyers. But it enables us to protect certain intelligence. And the American people understand that.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Five
Did someone fall into the Shark tank – again? Let’s see, Moussaoui was denied access to witnesses for his defense. His attorneys were not allowed to interview and depose people in Gitmo. Then the government changed their theory of Moussaoui’s involvement and or criminality. After the Busheviks said that he had nothing to do with 9/11, but was plotting some other hijacking, they let Moussaoui plead guilty to being involved in 9/11. The American people understand that … don’t they?
By exposed, I trust Bush means that witnesses and defendants will talk about torture and all the amusing anal penetration that occurs in Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and secret prisons. By the way, where did our brave boys learn to enjoy the dark arts of anal penetration? In a Log Cabin, the Congressional page program, or while selling dildos in Texas?
Now I am to believe that Gitmo detainees will have attorneys? Yes, attorneys who, if they do their job and defend the innocent, will get fired! Can you say “Don’t let the door smack you on the read end as you leave Lt. Comm. Charles Swift,” boys and girls?]

BO: Let me to read you what Hillary Clinton [said about the MCA]:
“this law would give license to this administration to pick people up off the streets of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charges and without legal recourse.”

GWB: You mean pick the enemy up off the streets?

BO: She says “pick people up off the streets.”

GWB: I don’t know who she’s talking about. But this law will enable us to find people that with like to kill Americans. Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda affiliates and [discover] their plans and … more [sic] protect this country. I have no idea who she’s talking about.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Six
Fonzie, have you ever been on water skis? If Bush bothered to read, he would know what Hillary means. But then again, he is the decider and it is the job of the Executive to interpret the laws. But maybe Bush is confused because he likes to kill Americans – be they in Texas, Iraq, Afghanistan, but who is paying attention. After all, now that we have the MCA, a piece of paper – you know the one that nullifies that other piece of paper kept at the National Archives – we can find al Qaeda terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Is he important again?]

GWB: … I believe there’s a group of people here in Washington … who have a different view of this war. They view it as a law enforcement matter. I view it as war. And therefore the federal government must use all our assets at our disposal, obviously within the Constitution to protect this country.

[Yeah, within the Constitution, like Article I, section 8, clause 11 – Congress shall have the power to declare war. Congress did declare war on a military tactic – didn’t they?

… Now there are some who say we’re not at war. There are some who say Iraq is not part of the War on Terror. I strongly disagree. And so does Usama bin Laden, and Mr. Zawahiri, sworn enemies of the United States, who would like to attack us again.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Seven Drunk and in the Shark Tank: When Bush is feeling a little lonely, and in need of reassurance he finds the most credible people, his loyal confidants and his conscience. Nothing like claiming that we should “trust” the lying, conniving, blood-thirsty enemy. And when the terrorists claim that Venezuela is the Southern front on the “war on terror” we will need to attack Caracas too (again – this time with our own Marines like we did with Aristide in Haiti).]

BO: The Taliban has obviously resurrected itself [in Afghanistan]. Their sanctuaries are in Pakistan. You just recently had [Pakistani dictator, General Pervez] Musharraf here at the White House. Why can’t Musharraf wipe these Taliban guys out?

GWB: … the answer is good intelligence sharing. And President [sic] Musharraf made the commitment that upon good, actionable, intelligence that he will take care of the leaders of the Taliban.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Eight
Cue laugh track. Bush made a funny. “Good, actionable, intelligence,” get it? The Bush regime has either never had any or never acted on it. I blame the CIA and the Congress, they saw all the documents, even those delivered to Judith Miller … oops, never mind.]

BO: Do you believe that? I mean … he hasn’t done anything for years. [You] think [that] his army could go up and pacify those areas?

GWB: … it’s much harder than you think … it’s going to require good intelligence. [Musharraf has] been very effective on Al Qaeda. He understands [that] it doesn’t do this [sic] country any good to have extremists and radicals inside his country, fomenting violence … inside Pakistan or outside Pakistan.

[That Kool-Aid certainly looks tasty. I think that if we wait just a few more years that we, along with our coalition partners, will finally conquer the evil-doers who are in their last throes…]

BO: The Taliban is financed by poppy sales, heroin trafficking. Why doesn’t the United States destroy those fields?

GWB: We’re working with the sovereign government of Afghanistan to do just that. … I spoke to President Karzai [and] said “look, it doesn’t make sense for us to be trying to help your democracy succeed and you have got major poppy growers growing.” And so they’ve got a new eradication program that he’s going to try out this upcoming year.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Nine
Forget reruns, what do the sponsors want? I think that someone has been reading again. Crop eradication, like shark jumping, is the dying cry of a sit-com in need of a finale. Nixon did crop eradication in Turkey in the 1970s, “can you spell T-A-L-I-B-A-N boys and girls?” They were just one of the many beneficiaries of the shift in global heroin production when Cheney and Rumsfeld were in power the first time. By the way, American pharmaceuticals purchase opium all the time – legally, from India and Pakistan! Now I see why we need to eradicate opium. The more grown in Afghanistan or Colombia or Myanmar or Laos, the lower the price it is for our friends who are fighting over the Kashmir. At least they are making nuclear weapons with American help.]

BO: … The bottom line is this, crazy insurgency or the Islamo-fascists, as I call them, it’s never going to end in our lifetime?

GWB: Well, I think that’s an … interesting point. The question is how do you marginalize them? I think this is the big ideological debate of the 21st century … By far, the vast majority of people want to have a peaceful existence.

BO: They will kill you and your family and every kid you have.

GWB: … Not only will they kill their families. They’ll come and kill us. … The biggest issue we face for this country is how do you protect yourself? Our strategy is two-fold: One, get on the offense and stay on the offense and bring them to justice. When we find them, bring them to justice.

[That is what daddy Bush said about Manuel Noriega, “bring him to justice.” You remember Noriega, the guy who was on the CIA payroll, involved in stopping drug trafficking after he helped the CIA cocaine flights. I knew Bush was right to say that the GWOT-Iraq front is no Vietnam. Well it is no Panama either. There is no chance that Saddam Hussein was a CIA asset or that CIA flights were delivering weapons to radical, Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan who were involved with the opium trade only to receive billions from the U.S./UN for crop eradication … I knew this was no Vietnam – you think that opium and cocaine was flying from over there to the U.S. – no way!]

And secondly, defeat their ideology by helping moderate people, particularly in the Middle East, to come up with competing systems that actually speak to people’s hopes and aspirations. I’ve been widely criticized for promoting liberty, but I believe it works as an antidote to the dark visions of these radicals. I know this, if the United States … pulls out [of Iraq], a generation of those people will say, “they lost their way. They forgot what caused America to be created in the first place. They lost their faith in liberty.”

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Ten
Cut – will someone re-read the script? Apparently the hopes and aspirations of people in Iraq include being without electricity, running water, or steady employment. And while at least 100 Iraqis are killed daily and kidnapping has become the largest growth industry, on top of that, Iraqis want American and other foreign nationals to own nearly everything – unless I am misreading the Constitution that incorporated Paul Bremer’s 100 Executive Orders.
Now repeat that line about what Americans in the next generation will say. If Congress passes a law to enable the Executive branch to grab and hold anyone forever, trials where statements extracted from torture are admitted, secret evidence okay, undeclared wars of aggression – the crimes of the Nazis and Japanese after WWII, what will folks say about “faith in liberty?”]

BO: But in the back of your mind [you must believe that] some Muslims want Sharia. They don’t democracy. They want to be in a theocracy. They want to be told what to do.

GWB: … See, this is not a struggle of religion, in my judgment. … This is a struggle between people who have subverted a great religion to meet their own ambitions and kill. I don’t believe religious people kill innocent people.

I believe these are totalitarians who want to impose their vision on others. And they use murder as a weapon to achieve it. And the fundamental question facing all civilized world … is “can we have systems in place that end up marginalizing radicals and extremists?”

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Eleven
Armageddon Wars: penultimate episode: We are winding up for the big finish. Where do we put all those Dominionists and Christian fundamentalists? Falwell, Dobson and Blackwell – report stage left. Are they on the side of subverting a great religion, killing and torturing innocent people (Generals Boykin, Sanchez, Miller, etc.)? Or are they seeking a system of government that marginalizes them? Where is David Kuo when I need him?]

BO: Brutal.

GWB: Well, it’s brutal, but it’s necessary.

BO: Absolutely.

[Bush Jumps Shark: Take Twelve
Cutting room floor. When a sit-com is over, and the producers, writers, directors and actors all know it … jumping the shark is not necessary. It is brutal, absolutely brutal, but none of this is necessary.]

John Calvin Jones


[1] Partial transcript from “The O’Reilly Factor,” October 17, 2006, edited for clarity (according to Fox News). Source: http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,221975,00.html


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