Lunch in Prague (or, The Succinct Version)
Mohammed Atta may or may not have met a man who may or may not have been a mid-level Iraqi secret agent for lunch in Prague in the years before Atta flew a plane into the World Trade Centers, but this meeting that may or may not have happened was a central piece of the Bush Administration's propaganda for the justification of the invasion of Iraq. Even to this day, Republicans - for instance, Orrin Hatch just a couple of days ago - still insist that there was a crucial connection between al-Q and Saddam.
Dick Cheney, in his interview on The News Hour a couple of weeks back, insisted that the Administration could not brief all 100 Senators and 435 Representatives, much less 70, on the secret and Constitution-violating surveillance program:
That's not a good way to keep a secret, to brief 70 members of Congress when the practice is well established and has been used in the past to brief just eight, just the speaker, the majority leader, the minority leaders of both Houses, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of the committees.We were taken to war, that decision still being justified in part by a phantom connection between al-Q and Saddam. This administration refuses to abide by laws written specifically to allow the government to legally spy on its citizens, and it justifies that decision by claiming the necessity of utmost secrecy, to the point that it will not trust members of Congress - or the judges on the secret court itself.
So, just for symbolism's sake, let me get this straight: The Bush Administration desires a deal that will give a foreign government whose connections to al-Qaeda are far more extensive and verifiable than Iraq's ever were access to the secrets of security at major American ports.
The ramifications and implications - symbolically, metaphorically - of this are mindboggling. It literally deconstructs virtually all the stated justifications, explanations, and excuses this administration has used for war, foreign and domestic policy, and especially attacking its opponents. Mindboggling.
UPDATE: Read this. The metaphor continues to evolve:
Bush tried to push back with blunt force yesterday, threatening to veto any legislation aimed at stopping the deal. Opponents, unfazed, are saying that they have the votes in Congress to override any such veto. Now the administration is trying another tack, saying that the president didn't know about the plan and that others in his administration should have done a better job of informing Congress along the way.It's unbelievable it's so believable.