The Bush general theory of government to paraphrase Johnson, 'patriotism (or hiding behind a war on terrorism) is the last refuge of the scoundrel', covers such a wide area of abuse, that most sane and naturally sceptical people have long ago stopped being shocked. Nevertheless, here are few of the most recent egregious examples, under this administration in juxtaposition, provided by hilzoy of Obisdian Wings, The first story:
Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.
But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock."
The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.
The Pentagon, after some deliberation, prefered not to spend 42 dollars to buy a 'Purple Heart' medal for one of it's wounded veterans, since it had higher priorities in the military food chain, that must be rubber stamped, with all speed and delivery.
Now the Second story:
A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas, U.S. officials said..``The majority, if not all of these parts, were going to high-priority, conflict areas -- that's why they got paid,'' Stroot said. If the item was earmarked ``priority,'' destined for the military in Iraq, Afghanistan or certain other locations, ``there was no oversight.''
I'm sure there was a screw loose in the Pentagon, but it they can't be be rectified by these costly purchases. Now the Pentagon policy of dispensing with oversight, because it had other priorities, perhaps, can not entirely be laid at the door of the Oval Office, but this next juxtaposition certainly can.
The Ashcroft/Gonzales hospital confrontration is really a stake in the heart or the guts of this administration, that at times doesn't even appear to have respect for the sick of their own. I had always thought that to visit an ailing patient was one of the most christian and charitable of virtues. But for the present White House, politics, even when it means taking advantage of illness, trumps over such civilized courtesies as thinking first and foremost about the health and care of a sick patient. In this case, even more because as the Attorney General you are now talking about the exercise of your duties as counsel to the President with a former Attorney General.
hilzoy again contrasts Gonzales' version of his famous hospital visit to Ashcroft with the Director of the FBI, Mueller, who was functioning almost as as stenographer at the evening meeting. First, Gonzales' testimony:
"Obviously, there was concern about General Ashcroft's condition, and we would not have sought, nor did we intend to get any approval from General Ashcroft if in fact he wasn't fully competent to make that decision," Mr. Gonzales testified.
"When we got there, I would just say that Mr. Ashcroft did most of the talking. We were there maybe five minutes, five or six minutes. Mr. Ashcroft talked about the legal issues in a lucid form."
Now Mueller's notes,which he wrote a few minutes after the hospital meeting" AG in chair; is feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed."
The typewritten notes, heavily censored before, were turned over to the 'House Judiciary Committee'.
Who do you believe is lying."Don't recall" Gonzales who Bush describes as 'honest and honorable', 'who will tell the truth to Congress' in Bush's words, or everyone else in that hospital room?
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!