Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Mickey Mouse Dictatorship

You know all those comedies about dictators where the ruler of a country says something like "but I want my name at LEAST three times on EVERY PAGE of EVERY speech!"? Pretty funny aren't they? I mean, you might expect that from say, Saddam Hussein if he were not dead, maybe Kim Jong Il, maybe a few of the African despots, possibly someone like Hugo Chavez. But the person who actually has asked for it is none other than.... well, I'm sure you've all guessed by now! As reported by Gardiner Harris in the New York Times:

Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.

Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona also went on to testify that the reports that came out of his department were effectively censored and altered by Bush Administration officials and that important public announcements were suppressed due to political considerations.

Dr. Carmona's sworn testimony went on to say that the administration would not allow him to speak or issue public reports on the following topics:
  • stem cells
  • emergency contraception
  • sex education
  • prison
  • mental health issues
  • global health issues and also from the same NYT article:

Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.

Now whilst the first part, about El Duce wanting to be mentioned three times in every speech makes me laugh, the second part I find more than mildly disturbing. It verges on the criminal. It is so unbelievably dictator-like that the mind boggles. The right, who just dream of being ruled by a dictator are probably going to lap this up of course. The perversion of the surgeon General’s office to pander to the Republican Neocon agenda should have everyone up in arms, but the Ann Coulters of this world will no doubt find a way to justify it.

It all points to a runaway Presidency, all the more dangerous because of its, now almost total, impotence. No one takes Bush seriously any more, not even Republican Senators, and every day, is a day nearer when this excuse for a leader is going to need another 9/11 just in order to go out with a bang so that someone, somewhere, can raise an eyebrow and exclaim: "Oh that old fool's still around?"

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