And I Thought the Mars Thing Was Bad!
Just as the high of hearing about Dubya's trillion dollar spaceship to Mars scam was starting to mellow, along comes former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill to make my weekend complete.
By now, everyone's probably read or heard about O'Neill's shocking revelations concerning Bush, his cabinet and advisors, in a new book written by Ron Suskind called, "The Price of Loyalty."
Finally, someone in the Bush inner circle had the courage to disagree with many of the administration's policies. Dick Cheney fired him two years into his tenure for rocking the boat.
Bush and Dick apparently cannot tolerate dissension from the inner circle. O'Neill was featured on Sunday in a candid interview on the CBS newsmagazine, "60 Minutes."
Citing official documents, agendas, memos, meeting minutes and other sources (which were authenticated by high ranking White House officials), O'Neill confirmed what many of us have been speculating about Bush since the Supreme Court first appointed him president.
Here's a recap of O'Neill's statements, made to various news media representatives.
-Removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq was a top priority for the Bush clan. Planning his overthrow began *within days* of the inauguration, and was the main item on the agenda for Dubya's first National Security Council meeting. O'Neill said Bush kept repeating to his cabinet, "Find a reason for me to take him (Saddam) out. Just find me any reason, as soon as possible." Yep. This is the same guy who campaigned about his intentions to stop U.S. government involvement in nation building.
-The plan to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam was in place a full eight months before the 9/11 attacks. Documentation verifies that.
-Though Bush told the American public that war with Iraq was an immediate necessity because Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat to America, O'Neill said, "In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. There were allegations and assertions by people...To me, there is a difference between real evidence and everything else.''
-O'Neill said Bush balked at the treasury secretary's aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals, because Bush said he did not want to face opposition from his "corporate crowd" constituency.
-O'Neill said he tried to warn Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits -- expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone -- posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. ''You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter.'' Then Dick added, ''We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.''
-During a cabinet meeting, even Dubya himself questioned the fairness of the second tax cut, saying, "The first tax cut already helped the rich people, shouldn't this one help the middle class a little more?" His handler Karl Rove immediately cut in and started chanting, "Stay on point, stay on point, stay on point," much like a dog obedience trainer would correct a naughty German Shepherd pup.
-During O'Neill's first one-on-one meeting with Bush to discuss crucial treasury matters, he said Bush made no statements, asked no questions and showed virtually no curiosity or interest in the topic.
-Bush apologist Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida accused O'Neill of taking ''a Shakespearean approach to advance his career and his book sales.
However, O'Neill was not paid for his participation in Suskind's book, so Foley's claim can be added to the ever growing, steaming pile of Republican bullshit. The decidedly pissy Foley said of O'Neill, "Not since Julius Caesar have I seen such a blatant stab in the back. Et tu, Mr. O'Neill?''
Foley apparently joins the ranks of Republicans who have forgotten that Bush is a president, not an emperor, and that America is a democracy, not a monarchy.
If O'Neill made these allegations without documentation or corroboration by high ranking White House officials, the GOP would predictably fall into their standard mode of sidestepping accountability that I like to call, "Deny, deny, discredit and deny." O'Neill's credentials prior to his appointment as director of one of the cabinet's most powerful departments will belie the GOP's inevitable claims that he was somehow incompetent.
Before he was dragged into the Bush administration, he was CEO of Alcoa.
So, let me lay it out for the Barcode set.
O'Neill has backed up all his claims, and he pegged Bush and his clan for the liars and snakes they are.
Ashcroft is in cahoots with the Bush clan, so he's out.
It's time to appoint a special prosecutor and launch an in-depth investigation.
And this time, it won't be about an intern and couple of two-bit blowjobs.
Mark my words, O'Neill's courageous defiance against Bush and his corrupt administration will encourage others to come forward and add more charges to this disgraceful administration's pile of self-serving lies, crimes and treasonous acts.
But let's face it, they won't be doing do it for altruistic or patriotic reasons.
These types will be lining up to spill their guts in exchange for prosecutorial immunity.