by Mentarch | 4/19/2008 04:24:00 PM
Over the last seven years, the words and actions of President George W. Bush, of the whole of his administration, as well as those of allies, enablers and supporters of said administration, constitute a veritable litany of lies, hypocrisy, arrogance, mendacity and outright incompetence.

This three-parts series aims to illustrate why the whole lot of them are absolute paragons of incompetence.

In Part I, the fear and arrogance inherent to incompetents were exposed - using President Bush's torture memo as a main example.

Herein in Part II, the compulsive lying, hypocrisy and mendacity typically displayed by the Bush administration in order to hide or conceal their incompetence are discussed.




Once again, the Eight Principles of Incompetence:
Zeroth Principle: Incompetence is driven by intellectual sloth.

First Principle: Incompetence surrounds itself with incompetence.

Second Principle: Incompetence is ethics-impaired.

Third Principle: Incompetence abhors transparency and accountability.

Fourth Principle: Incompetence does or says anything to defend itself.

Fifth Principle: Incompetence always supports incompetence.

Sixth Principle: Violence is the last refuge of incompetence.

Seventh Principle: Incompetence is nothing but consistent with itself.
Incompetents are intellectual sloth- and fear-driven, in addition to being morally hypocritical and ethics challenged, as well as hopeless slaves of expediency. That is why incompetents will cheat, lie, misuse, "back stab" and abuse anything and everything in order to get their way - all the while making perfectly quaint rationalizations, as well as giving themselves a deluded moral high ground (or authority), to justify their wrongdoings. In other words:
Incompetents will do and say anything to defend themselves and other incompetents, including disassembling, obfuscating, lying and blaming others (...).

They lie, they misrepresent, they use decoy arguments and make ad hominem attacks. For them, the use of duplicity, of secrecy, of arguments of (non-existent) conspiracy, of fact (and non-fact) selectivity/cherry-picking, of quacks/fake experts, as well as putting forth logical fallacies, are simply means to an end.

For incompetents, everything is about spin and truthiness - never about facts and truth. Even when they are blatantly caught, incompetents continue to react and reason with their intellectual sloth-driven infantile/adolescent immaturity - they will deny that they did anything wrong or that they have lied, then they will blame/attack (read: character assassinate) their "accusers". I call this: "Lie and Cry".
Let us now take another look at the justifications put forth by the Bush administration for the Afghanistan war, as laid out by President Bush's address on October 7, 2001 (emphasis mine):
"On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime (...).

I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps. Hand over leaders of the Al Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens unjustly detained in our country.

None of these demands were met
. And now, the Taliban will pay a price
."
Hence why the war in Afghanistan is deemed to this day a "just" war, meant to capture/destroy al Qaeda (especially their leader Osama bin Laden), the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Putting aside the fact that the Taliban was never a terrorist organization to begin with, here are some interesting, seldom known, truths concerning the Taliban's "refusal" to hand over bin Laden:
a) From September 28 to October 4, 2001, the Taliban negotiated and agreed to extradite bin Laden to Pakistan in order to place him before an international tribunal, with the court free to decide whether to try him on the spot or hand him over to America - but Pakistan President Musharraf killed the deal in the end;

b) In the morning of October 7, 2001 (a few hours before Bush's address and the beginning of the war), the Taliban offered to try bin Laden themselves - but the White House rejected the offer;

c) On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand bin Laden over to the U.S., provided that proof was shown that he was responsible for 9/11 - but this offer was likewise flatly rejected by the White House.
Ergo: in its (incompetent) desire to rush into war, the White House effectively lied about the Taliban's refusal to hand over bin Laden in order to cover up ... their desire to rush into war.

As for the hunt/capture/killing of Osama bin Laden? As we know all too well, such primary purpose - the very raison d'être for the Afghanistan war launched seven years and a half ago - has ever remained an "on and off" affair meant to be "turned on" for nothing more than keeping political support for the Global War on Terror(TM)when said support is perceived as wavering. A few quotes as cases in point:
Hunt is "on":
"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." - Pres. G.W. Bush; 09/12/2001;

"We made it very clear we want Osama bin Laden (...)" - Vice-Pres. R.B. Cheney; 12/09/2001;

"We are going to continue the hunt for Osama bin Laden (...) I'm quite certain that we will get Osama bin Laden." - Sec. State C. Rice; 03/17/2005;

"We have got US forces on the hunt for not only Bin Laden but anybody who plots and plans with Bin Laden." - Pres. G.W. Bush; 03/01/2006;

"We've been looking for (bin Laden) for some time." - Vice-Pres. R.B. Cheney; 01/24/2007.


Hunt is "off":
"(...) He’s not the issue." - Pres. G.W. Bush; 02/05/2002;

"I truly am not that concerned about him." - Pres. G.W. Bush; 03/13/2002;

"The goal has never been to get bin Laden." - Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. R. Myers; 04/06/2002;

"bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism." - Pres. G.W. Bush; 09/14/2006;

"He’s not the only source of the problem, obviously(...)" - Vice-Pres. R.B. Cheney; 09/10/2006.
In essence, bin Laden is a de facto bogey man who's existence is reminded only when deemed politically convenient. Why? Because these people need to cover-up their utter incompetence and therefore rely on hype, fearmongering, cherry-picked facts (and non-facts) and outright lies in order to get, and keep, everybody else "on board" with them. I even suspect that in their intellectual sloth- and fear-driven petty minds, they actually come to believe their own tall tales - because, in their self-deluded vanity and arrogance, they are right.

Case in point with this excerpt of Donald Rumsfeld appearing at Meet The Press on December 02, 2001 (links and emphasis mine):
Russert: The search for Osama bin Laden. There is constant discussion about him hiding out in caves, and I think many times the American people have a perception that it's a little hole dug out of a side of a mountain.

Rumsfeld: Oh, no.

Russert: The Times of London did a graphic, which I want to put on the screen for you and our viewers. This is it. This is a fortress. This is a very much a complex, multi-tiered, bedrooms and offices on the top, as you can see, secret exits on the side and on the bottom, cut deep to avoid thermal detection so when our planes fly to try to determine if any human beings are in there, it's built so deeply down and embedded in the mountain and the rock it's hard to detect. And over here, valleys guarded, as you can see, by some Taliban soldiers. A ventilation system to allow people to breathe and to carry on. An arms and ammunition depot. And you can see here the exits leading into it and the entrances large enough to drive trucks and cars and even tanks. And it's own hydroelectric power to help keep lights on, even computer systems and telephone systems. It's a very sophisticated operation.

Rumsfeld: Oh, you bet. This is serious business. And there's not one of those. There are many of those. And they have been used very effectively. And I might add, Afghanistan is not the only country that has gone underground. Any number of countries have gone underground. The tunneling equipment that exists today is very powerful. It's dual use. It's available across the globe. And people have recognized the advantages of using underground protection for themselves.
I still remember to this day this interview because, as I watched it, I kept thinking that somehow someone had slipped hallucinogenics in my coffee, making me experience an alternate reality whereby pure fiction is not only discussed as reality, but that high officials of the White House actually confirm such paranoid fantasies as reality.

That was when I had begun to understand that I was witnessing utter incompetence in action: all that mattered was that people support the war in Afghanistan (a war to cover-up their incompetence in not heeding the alarm bells signaling for an al Quaeda strike on U.S. soil, thus likely preventing 9/11) and, consequently, any lie, obfuscation, conflation, fearmongering or outright fantasy constituted acceptable means to A) make the "deciders" appear serious, competent and deserving of trust; and B) keep the hype going to sustain a frenzied support for the "deciders" (some George Orwell, anyone?).

Because - once again - everything is about spin and truthiness, never about facts and truth, where incompetents are concerned. It matters more for them to appear competent and "on top of things" than actually doing something to correct/remedy their incompetence.

So, what of Osama bin Laden, nowadays? Well, without any competent strategy to this effect, let's just say that the hunt for bin Laden will be a long one and leave it at that.

Or, as President George W. Bush proclaimed recently: "He'll be gotten by a president".

Thus, after seven and a half years in Afghanistan, all we ended up with is a quagmire with no end in sight - all the while having ignored the real problem: Pakistan.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan has been a big success in the minds of the incompetents in the White House.

But, and again as we know all too well, things worsened with regards to the so-called Global War on Terror(TM) - for shortly after the onset of the Afghanistan war quickly came the justifications of the Bush administration to go to war with Iraq. And there, the lies, obfuscations, disassembling and truthiness were offered profusely - just a few examples (emphasis mine):
On Iraq's WMDs:
Vice-President Dick B. Cheney (August 26, 2002): "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

President George W. Bush (October 7, 2002): "The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror (...) (The Iraqi regime) has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons. It is rebuilding the facilities used to make those weapons (...) Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program (...) (Saddam) is seeking nuclear weapons (...) he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."

Vice-President Dick B. Cheney (March 17, 2002): "But we do know, with absolute certainty, that (Saddam) is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."

Condoleeza Rice (September 8, 2002): "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (November 14, 2002): "Well, we know that Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. And we know he has an active program for the development of nuclear weapons."

Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (January 29, 2003): "(Saddam's) regime has the design for a nuclear weapon; it was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

State Secretary Colin Powell (February 6, 2003): "(Iraq's programs to create WMDs) are a real and present danger to the region and to the world."

Vice-President Dick B. Cheney (March 16, 2003): "(Saddam's) had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

President George W. Bush (March 17, 2003): "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."


On al Qaeda, 9/11, Saddam Hussein/Iraq links:
Vice-President Dick B. Cheney (August 26, 2002): "It is a certainty that the al Qaeda network is pursuing such (weapons of mass destruction), and has succeeded in acquiring at least a crude capability to use them. We found evidence of their efforts in the ruins of al Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan (...) containment is not possible when dictators obtain weapons of mass destruction, and are prepared to share them with terrorists who intend to inflict catastrophic casualties on the United States (...) Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator (Saddam Hussein), or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined."

National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice (September 26, 2002): "There clearly are contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented; there clearly is testimony that some of the contacts have been important contacts and that there's a relationship here."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (November 14, 2002): "Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years, or a week, or a month, and if Saddam Hussein were to take his weapons of mass destruction and transfer them, either use them himself, or transfer them to the al Qaeda, and somehow the al Qaeda were to engage in an attack on the United States, or an attack on U.S. forces overseas, with a weapon of mass destruction you're not talking about 300, or 3,000 people potentially being killed, but 30,000, or 100,000 of human beings."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (January 29, 2003): "The (Iraq) regime plays host to terrorists, including al Qaeda (...)"

State Secretary Colin Powell (February 6, 2003): "Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction (...) I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al Qaeda."

President George W. Bush (March 18, 2003): "(...) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations (Iraq), organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

President George W. Bush (May 1st, 2003): "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 (...) The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more."
(More "on the record" quotes can be found here, here, here and here)

Hence, what we got was the exact same modus operandi, but incredibly worse.

Of course, every single one - think about it: every single one! - of those claims were proven as empty of substance and reality as they were completely false.

That is why the justifications for the Iraq war were changed retroactively - from regime change to bringing democracy and freedom to the Middle East (domino theory, anyone?) to preventing al Qaeda from acquiring control of oil resources.

(And in the end, it does not matter if the true justification was oil, and only oil - because this further underlies the Principles of Incompetence!).

Thus we got the Iraq war, the second/concurrent quagmire with no end in sight.

And as in the case of Afghanistan, the Iraq venture has been a big success in the minds of the incompetents in the White House.

What are incompetents to do when they are revealed for the incompetents that they are, when they are confronted with their very own mendacious words?

First, they deny their exagerations, their cherry-picking of facts, their fearmongering, their hype and their lies. A few examples:
Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link;

Rumsfeld denies making claims Iraq had WMDs (see above);

President George W. Bush denies he'd ever said he wasn't worried about Osama bin Laden (see above);

Dick Cheney Denies "Last Throes" comment (see this);

Rice heatedly defends her integrity on Iraq claims (see above);

Bush denies torture claims at CIA-run facilities (see Part I on this series);

Bush: "We’ve never been 'Stay The Course'" (see here);

Etc., etc., etc.
Second, they blame others for misquoting them, or for taking their words out of context, or for seeking to make cheap political attacks. Better yet: they simply blame others for their own failures - I could provide here examples of these, but they are far too numerous where this administration, as well its allies, supporters and enablers, are concerned - as we have come to know all too well.

And in the end, incompetents deny reality because they are too busy creating their own in their petty, deluded minds.

Unfortunately, reality does not care one bit about the delusions of incompetents and has this nasty knack of biting them in the arse - sooner or later.

But what terrible, wasteful damage incompetents do nevertheless.

In the meantime, the drums of war keep on beating the exact same way as for Afghanistan and Iraq - this time with Iran as the target, in what I have come to dub Operation Enduring Propaganda.

All of which once again illustrate clearly what incompetence is all about:
(They) are often deluded by intellectual vanity and invariably become slaves of expediency. Furthermore, everything is about image and appearance, instead of substance. Truthiness, instead of truth. All of these characteristics underlie incompetence - whether as nations, as communities, as citizens, as blue-collar/white-collar workers, as parents, and/or as thinking, reasoning human beings. In short, intellectual sloth transforms any adult person who is guilty of it into an irresponsible and reactionary child or adolescent, who lives only in the “now” while remaining blind to “yesterday” and “tomorrow". Such a person thus becomes incompetent - in dealing/composing with reality, or in at least trying to understand it (...).

As long as incompetents do not acknowledge their affliction with intellectual sloth, they will stubbornly refuse to change. Some people call this hubris. To this effect, incompetents are known to repeat the same mistakes again and again, because of their arrogance and utter fright at being exposed for what they truly are - and thus, they find themselves unknowingly enacting Franklin's, and/or Einstein's, very definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Fear.
Need for expediency.
Lack of morals and ethics.
Vanity and arrogance.
Lack of responsibility.
Denial of mistakes.
Duplicity.
Mendacity.
Denial of reality.

Incompetence.

Thus again I give you President George W. Bush and the whole of his administration, resulting in countless thousands of deaths, increased instability in the Middle East and terrorism ever on the rise.

That, and three trillion dollars wasted (see what you can buy with that insane amount of money here).


(In Part III: "control, control, control" - or be questioned, exposed and held accountable)


(Cross-posted from APOV)

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10 Comments:


Anonymous Anonymous on 4/20/2008 5:38 PM:

Incompetence is cited by nearly all

of the disinformation agents who

post on forums where 9/11 is

discussed.

Why? Because it's about the only

defense they can put up to explain

the lie that OBL and 19 young Arab

men were able to defeat the entire

U.S. National Defense system.



I'm surprised and disappointed to

know that you apparently haven't

studied the known facts and

evidence which show that 9/11 was

an inside job, falsely blamed on

OBL.

 

Blogger Mentarch on 4/20/2008 10:04 PM:

I do not cather to conspiracy theories - let alone to proponents of said theories who hide behind complete anonymity.

To do so would be ... incompetence on my part - because I am first and foremost a scientist.

 

Anonymous Anonymous on 4/21/2008 8:55 AM:

Anyone who doesn't know that 9/11 was

a state-sponsored conspiracy either

hasn't studied the facts or else has

an interest in maintaining the

status quo position as propounded

by Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld et al. -

a group not known for its fidelity

to truth, whether it concerns why

it started two illegal wars (and

is apparently itching to start a

third one) or the views of certain

scientists regarding everything

from so-called global warming to

the THEORIES of Charles Darwin.


I do not "buy" the government's

9/11 conspiracy theory and I'm

not impressed with the opinions

of someone who is uninformed.

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 4/21/2008 9:19 AM:

Anonymous, there are plenty of us here at PH who do not "buy" your theory, not because we are "uninformed" about the facts but because we disagree with you about what those facts show. You're welcome to your own opinion, but now that you've made your point, please don't harass the diarists about it unless their diaries specifically address whether 9/11 was or was not staged. Further comments posted in this vein on unrelated threads will be deleted.

 

Anonymous Anonymous on 4/21/2008 9:51 AM:

Mr. Young,

Please be fair. Just because someone
dissents from the status quo is no
reason to blame the victim, and that is exactly what it appears that you are doing in this case.

 

Blogger Mentarch on 4/21/2008 9:54 AM:

JY: my sentiments exactly, "Boss" ;-)

Anon: please go troll somewhere else.

 

Anonymous Anonymous on 4/21/2008 10:03 AM:

Dear My. Young,

In as much as you are blogging about
the incompetence of the Bush administration, I think this would be a good time to explore whether incompetence explains 9/11 or whether
9/11 was no different than so many other peculiar things that have happened during the Bush years - WMD
as the basis for convincing the public to support an invasion of Iraq.

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 4/21/2008 11:24 AM:

Anonymous, to clarify, I'm not blaming the victim. You're welcome to your opinions. What you're not welcome to do is to harass diarists on unrelated subjects and to call them "uninformed" when they dare to disagree with you.

If someone here writes a diary about whether 9/11 was an inside job, then you're welcome to comment on it (and we have at least one front-pager who may do so). Until then, please let the matter drop.

 

Anonymous Anonymous on 4/27/2008 5:37 PM:

Anonymous wrote about the use of incompetence by government apologists, not about conspiracies.

"Mentarch" is the one who posted his beliefs about people that s/he calls "conspiracy theorists".

Maybe Mr. Young feels the need to admonish the victim is due to the career advancement benefits of "going along to get along" - especially when it involves coming to the defense of an academic superior.

Hopefully after Mr. Young completes his graduate work, he'll be more objective.

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 4/27/2008 10:43 PM:

Anonymous Two, Mentarch is in no way my "academic superior" -- he's a professor in an entirely different field. 9/11 conspiracy theories are notorious conversation derailers (as has happened here) and they were NOT RELEVANT to the topic being discussed. In addition, the original poster was extremely rude to the diarist, which was uncalled for.

Please let the matter drop.