Politically Motivated (editorial 2)

One of the new arguments designed to prop up the legitimacy of the Iraq war is that although no WMDs were found, the military did uncover massive stockpiles of conventional weapons. So score one for the administration.

Unfortunately, as we learned recently, the U.S. failed to actually secure the masses of conventional weapons they found. Thus, sometime after March 9 of 2003 (when International Atomic Energy Agency representatives confirmed their seals on the materials were in place) 380 tons of high explosives disappeared from the unguarded Al Quaqaa complex, probably into the hands of the enemy.

But not to worry. As we also learned, the revelation of this tactical blunder was “politically motivated,” in that the news came out just a week before the election. That is, it came out to the rest of us just now. The administration apparently has known about it for many months. But their silence was tactical: they didn’t want the enemy (the ones who stole the explosives) to find out about the stolen explosives. So no harm, no foul.

Or, as they say over at the Pentagon, “Don’t’ ask, don’t tell.” You remember Abu Ghraib, right? Donald Rumsfeld knew all about that, too, months before the press broke the story. But he wasn’t telling, because no one asked. Unfortunately, once the press got “politically motivated,” out came the messy facts.

It’s the same over in Congress, where a “politically motivated” bi-partisan ethics committee recently admonished Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay–not once, but twice–for shady practices during his orchestration of the “re-redistricting” of Texas congressional districts. As you may recall, when the Texas Democrats balked at the patently unfair slicing and dicing of districts and left the state to deny Republicans a quorum, DeLay was the one who called on the FAA to help round them up like so many stray dogies.

Said DeLay when questioned about his reprimand, “It’s a month before the election. You do the political math.” Which is amusingly ironic, since “political math”–calculating election-proof Republican districts in Texas in an effort to offset predicted Democratic gains in the House on November 2nd—is exactly what led to his rebuke.

But hey, we’re on permanent spin cycle here, people. You can’t trust a bi-partisan Congressional committee to tell you the truth. Trust Tom DeLay instead.

Or trust Halliburton. Because this week brought another Halloween skeleton out of the closet, one you may have missed since the press didn’t pay it much attention. In this instance, the “politically motivated” chief contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—apparently a bastion of liberal sympathizers—has leveled the bothersome charge that Halliburton was probably unfairly awarded some of its lucrative “no bid” defense contracts and contract extensions.

The chief contracting officer for the Corps of Engineers is worried that the process was corrupted by senior administration officials. I can’t think of who that would be. Maybe you can. But don’t worry. Because of the proximity of the election, a Halliburton spokesperson assured us, such accusations are “politically motivated.”

Sure, there was that matter of Halliburton overcharging the Pentagon many millions of dollars, but they gave that back. Right after the press found out.

Do you see a pattern here? Reports suggesting incompetence in handling the Iraq occupation? Politically motivated. Bipartisan Congressional committee reprimanding Tom DeLay for ethics violations? Politically motivated. Accusations by the chief contracting officer that the administration improperly steered lucrative contracts to Halliburton? Politically motivated.

Economic forecasts of crippling deficits necessitating either massive increases in tax rates or massive reductions in Social Security and Medicare payments once Bush is out of office? Findings by the National Academy of Sciences confirming the contribution of human activity to global warming? Polls showing America’s loss of prestige in the world? The bi-partisan 9/11 Commission’s findings of no connection between Iraq and 9/11 conspirators?

All politically motivated. The economists, the scientists, the bi-partisan committees, the rest of the world–they’re all apparently just pessimistic Bush bashers. As Bush himself might say, they’re “blame America first” types. Some of them are probably Old Europeans or even Massachusetts liberals. So they come up with all this stuff to make his administration and his political allies look bad.

It’s a shame, really. Why can’t these folks just mind their own business and trust the government to do what’s right?

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