Monday, June 23, 2008

Eye of Newt

“This court decision is a disaster which could cost us a city. And the debate ought to be over whether or not you're prepared to risk losing an American city on behalf of five lawyers…”

That’s Newt Gingrich on Face the Nation after the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision striking down the Bush regime’s denial of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees.

Glenn Greenwald, arguably the most eloquent blogger on the planet, explains why this is fear-mongering of the worst kind, and documents other instances in which Gingrich has used the same wording about “losing a city.”

It’s hard to add anything to what he said, but the fiery outrage I feel demands that I try.

First of all, I’d like to know how allowing a human being the minimum due process of appearing in a court of law would cause us to “lose a city.” This is an example of pure nonsense without any rational foundation being peddled on the public stage as if it had substance. Gingrich wants us to believe that the only way we can prevent destruction of a city is to throw people in cages for the rest of their lives at the whim of the executive.

The few examples offered by Bush of terror plots prevented through his methods have all been debunked as pathetic lies or entrapments, exaggerated for political capital. The UK, on the other hand, has actually prevented some plots, and they treat terrorism as a criminal matter for the courts and police, not a phony macho war on terror.

The Bush regime doesn’t want any legal daylight shed on their little concentration camp because that would expose them as the criminal outfit they are. They want to keep torturing people without any consequences. And that’s all this is.

Secondly, I’d like to point out that we’ve already lost a city. It’s called New Orleans, and the Republicans deliberately let it drown because they don’t give a damn about Americans who don’t look like them or go to their country clubs. They weren’t even able to respond competently when the chips were down, so anything they say now about security should never be believed.

In any case, what Gingrich is saying in layman’s terms is, “If the Supreme Court doesn’t allow us to practice our disgusting perversions, you and your family will die.” He’s saying to the American people, “You must consent to human beings being forced to lick their own feces, being chained to a wall without food or water for days, being tied up in stress positions, being beaten to a pulp and shoved underwater, undergoing sexual humiliation and endless sleep deprivation—you must accept all these things and more, or else you and your loved ones could be killed.” That’s what it amounts to.

To Newt Gingrich, the death of an entire city is nothing but a rhetorical strategy, a trick to keep him and his friends in power. All the people in his hypothetical city are nothing more to him than a chess piece or a bargaining chip. And it demonstrates that he is a revolting piece of garbage that should be hauled off the public stage forever instead of being interviewed on network television.

He’s not the only one, either. Not by a long shot. Republicans have been addicted to this tactic for far too long. The slimeball John Bolton said the other day that the only things electing Obama would accomplish are more terrorist attacks. These wingnuts have a compulsion to threaten the American people unless we elect them and agree with them and always let them have their way. They’re like a madman waving a gun around and screaming about how the boogie man is going to get us. If you’re more worried about the boogie man than the madman waving a gun, you’re a fool.

Furthermore, whatever threat there actually is out there, bed-wetters like Gingrich and Bolton aren’t protecting us from it. If there’s a crisis going on, do you want some wild-eyed hysterical coward yelling “We’re all going to die unless you follow me!” while he shits his pants? No, it’s the calm and collected person, the person who can accurately assess the threat, rally the spirits of those around him, and reaffirm our human values, that we trust to lead us in a crisis. But the neocon artists have turned this topsy-turvy so that wetting the bed is now considered toughness, while actual courage and intelligence is derided.

Perhaps the most despicable aspect of this country’s right-wing is how they’ve cynically exploited the tragedy of 9/11 to advance their interests. They have gleefully enlisted the people who were murdered on that day in order to win elections, make money, attack anyone who disagrees with them, and destroy American institutions and values. Deep down inside, Newt Gingrich and his friends loved 9/11. They rejoiced inwardly when it happened. It meant new life for their outdated politics of hate.

And not only do they love 9/11—they want it to happen again. “Please God,” Newt Gingrich secretly prays, “prove me right. Resurrect my career. Show these liberals what’s what. Please, Lord—destroy a city.”

1 comment:

Mauigirl said...

Excellent post. It boggles my mind how this administration seems to think that just allowing someone to question the evidence that landed them in Gitmo would result in such terrible consequences.