To the Young People - This Is What a Cover-Up Looks Like:
Oh, you innocent youngsters, under 30 and so filled with ennui. You think you've seen it all. You think you've seen cover-ups left and right in movies like Men in Black or The Insider or books like The Pelican Brief or tv shows like Alias, where some underling says to the big boss something like, "You sold me (us) out, damn you." Or you think a cover-up is "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and the silence of a secretary or two. Oh, let the Rude Pundit enlighten you, young citizens.
A real cover-up, when uncovered, reveals something deep and terrible about the core of our government and/or its institutions, something that, if faced full-on, has the potential to shake our nation to its "democratic" soul. Lied about a blow job? Whether under oath or not, that's a blip, and its revelation does nothing more than say something about those who chose hyperbole over reasoned action (like, say, and why not, "censure" for Clinton instead of "impeachment). My Lai, that was a motherfucking cover-up. The massacre of over 500 Vietnamese civilians was part of a calculated effort by the military to "search and destroy" the enemy. However, it was blamed on a "few bad rotten apples," like other massacres during 'Nam.
And, oh, children and grandchildren of the 'Nam generation, Watergate was a cover-up, but for that, my dears, you may read your history. One nice tidbit: Nixon ended up accepting full responsibility for the scandal. That's right, my little darlings: Nixon was a better president than our little George W.
So look around you now. Cast your innocent eyes about at the constant flow of news. It will be whistleblowers like Sgt. Samuel Provance who may lead us the way to the truth. Provance is busy revealing that the MPs now facing court-martial were under orders from military intelligence to degrade prisoners. Or perhaps Staff Sgt. James Massey, who claims he was ordered to shoot innocent Iraqi protesters.
But, you may say, these could be random disgruntled soldiers who are doing this for personal motivations. And the Rude Pundit would laugh and pat you on the head and tousle your hair. Because, little ones, corroboration is the name of the game. And, yes, one whistleblower is easily dismissed. But we're up to a few by now, each of whom backs up the stories of the other. Some will be public and some will be anonymous tipsters, like the "senior Army officer" who says that officials at Abu Ghraib stopped the Red Cross from making suprise inspections at the prison. Oh, and then there's the documents.
Yes, yes, the documents, children. Like the memos from White House "cousel" Alberto Gonzales that discussed whether or not U.S. officials could be prosecuted for war crimes for the new and improved interrogation techniques America was using to get useless information from tortured prisoners. And the reports keep flowing that demonstrate that Rumsfeld and others higher up in the administration and military knew and approved more intense interrogations.
In his "denial" of Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article, Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita said, "No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses as witnessed in the recent photos and videos." Sure, maybe no one could have envisioned breaking lights and pouring the chemicals over the nude bodies of prisoners, but, then again, do you think the military, during 'Nam, "intended" that "search and destroy" meant to massacre civilians? If the right wing can hold filmmakers and television shows responsible for sex and violence in American society, then perhaps they can hold their own accountable for creating an environment that allowed the Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Afghanistan, and other Iraqi prison abuses to occur. This is what a cover-up looks like: when the people involved could go to jail, they will scapegoat and scurry to place blinders on the world. Or the scapegoats will turn on those who choose to place them in the firing line without taking any wounds themselves.
But shouldn't we give the government the benefit of the doubt, you may ask. Ahh, children, you are so, so cute in your blind faith. And that is because you have bought into the Bush lie that the government is separate from the people. See, if you can vote, you are the government. And anything the government does is in your name. Now, do you want innocent civilians beaten, sodomized, and humiliated in your name? And, in your heart of hearts, who do you think is responsible? Think hard on this, children, for you are the future.