Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reasonable Al Gore . . . .

Our local library here in conservative-repuglican-land is becoming more Progressive-friendly thanks to our efforts. To counter the ann coulter, sean hannity and robert novak books in abundance, we have successfully gotten them to order "The One Percent Doctrine" by Ron Suskind, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and most recently "The Assault on Reason" by Al Gore. All have been great additions to our local literary options.

I checked out Al Gore's latest the other day and am about half-way through it. I found the following excerpt in the chapter entitled "Convenient Untruths" particularly good. He is describing how the bushco administration operates in regards to disseminating information to the US public. These paragraphs pertain to their one-time Iraqi point man Ahmed Chalabi:

Yet in spite of those analyses, President Bush chose to suppress those warnings and conceal that information, and instead he went right on conveying to the American people the absurdly Pollyannaish view of highly questionable and obviously biased sources like Ahmed Chalabi, a convicted felon and known swindler.

The Bush administration put Chalabi on its payroll and gave him a seat adjacent to First Lady Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. They then flew him into Baghdad on a military jet with a private security force. However, the following year the administration decided he was actually a spy for Iran who had been hoodwinking the president all along with phony facts and false predictions. Now Chalabi is a top official of the new government in Baghdad.

It has become common for President Bush to rely on special interests, like the one represented by Chalabi, for basic information about the policies important to these interests. ExxonMobil, for example, has apparently been his most trusted source of information about the climate crisis. Chemical companies are his most trusted sources on whether or not particular chemicals are hazardous to the environment. The major pharmaceutical companies are his most trusted advisers on the health risks of new drugs. Insurance companies are considered the most reliable source of data on any policy that affects them. And so forth.

And then, amazingly, the president seems to trust what these special interests tell him over and above objective information prepared for him by independent analysts who are charged with protecting the public interest. Since his ideology teaches him contempt for the very notion of "the public interest," he actually prefers to rely on biased information prepared by sources of questionable reliability - like Chalabi - who have a private interest in a particular policy outcome. The president has, in effect, outsourced the truth. (Emphasis mine.)

Once again, you've got to ask yourself: If ordinary folks like us can see stuff like this and be concerned about it, why didn't our elected "representatives" see it and apply their Constitutional responsibility of oversight over this crowd? Could it be they were protecting their cushy jobs and perks to the detriment of what was right?

A pox on all their houses . . . .

(Cross-posted from Moving to Vancouver)

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