So, here’s the question: Who does the government serve? Where John F. Kennedy would say that we should not ask what the country can do for us, but what we can do for the country, George W. Bush would say that the government, the people and the military exist to serve the winners of election. Political capital, it seems, needs to be bought back from the winner with abject servility to the goals of, in Bush’s case, Bush’s whims about war and the truth.
Case in point: It turns out that the biological weapons trailers that Bush crowed about for months to justify his war with Saddam Hussein were never believed to be related to chemical or biological weapons-making. He’d been told this before he started touting the trailers as evidence he’d been right to put American troops in harm’s way. According to Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War, which appears today in the Washington Post:
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president’s statement.
The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped “secret” and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.
“Stamped ‘secret’ and shelved” is the same way that totalitarian governments operate. Democracies do not conspire to hide the awkward decisions made by government officials, even if certain people have done it. The decision to lie to the American people is more proof that Bush believes that the country exists to serve him and his “base,” the top one-percent in wealth, as long as they can fool the people into going along with them. He won’t even be honest with us, because it’s apparently his country to run for the duration of the term.
A honest democratic politician serving the people of a republic like the United States cannot believe himself above reproach and honest debate. The only explanation for this behavior is that Bush doesn’t share the principles on which the United States was founded and has been governed for the 210 years before he took office.
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