Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that George Bush was at his pseudo-ranch in August for a well-deserved (!) vacation. Someone starts to brief him on some severe dangers faced by the United States regarding attacks by al-Qaeda, and he tells them to go deal with the problem, as he is on vacation. Again, for the sake of argument, let's say that it was in the interests of at least part of the Bush Administration for there to be a dramatic attack on the United States of sufficient importance to justify: 1) a war on Afghanistan; 2) a worldwide war on terror to be used as an excuse to secure major oil reserves for the United States; 3) major military spending including huge expenditures paid to defence contractors; 4) major increases in the budgets of the military, the CIA, and the FBI; and 5) a major revamping of U. S. domestic laws to restrict civil liberties. Let's say that aides working for this part of the Bush Administration told Bush not to worry and they would get right on it, and then did absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, Bush forgets all about it, enjoying tall, cool glasses of 'pretzel' and enjoying his vacation. A month or so later, Bush is sitting in a classroom waiting to read to some children, and all hell breaks loose. He is again told not to worry, that his advisors will figure it all out and solve the problem. So he sits in the classroom, and reads. About half an hour later, he is handed a speech to read. When he is no longer in front of the cameras, he challenges his aides to explain why nothing was done about the dangers. Over the course of the day, while he is being flown around the United States, it is explained to him that nothing was done to stop the terrorism because they wanted it to occur - "let one happen stop the rest" - and that it was in the best interests of the Administration and the country that things turned out the way they did. They also tell him that if he complains, they will make it clear that it was his dereliction of duty that led to the terrorism not being stopped, and that if this information were to be revealed to the press, he would be impeached. Any information that he might have received is covered up, and the official story is that the attack came as a total shock to the Administration. Everything works out just as planned until somebody, probably somebody in the FBI or CIA, starts to leak the truth. This is a pretty dark scenario, but it isn't the darkest possible scenario. The darkest possible scenario would be that al-Qaeda had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks . . .

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