The Unravelling… at Last?

Last week may have marked the beginning of the downfall of Bushism – the fatal loosening of the centripetal Bushevik grip – as senior intelligence officials from sixteen federal agencies finally stood their ground against the Bush/Cheney regime.

Dec. 12, 2007 ( – The earth orbits the sun, as it has for four billion years, in perfect balance of two opposing forces: the centrifugal force which, in accordance with Newton’s first law of motion, draws the planet outward, and the centripetal force of the sun’s gravity which draws it inward.

Analogously, political rule remains stable only as long as centrifugal forces that would overthrow it are successfully resisted by centripetal forces that contain them. Among these centripetal forces are the rule of law and consent of the governed in democratic governments, and bribery, propaganda, intimidation, and brute force in despotic regimes.

History teaches us that while a threatened despotism can regain control through a ruthless imposition of force, as with the Russian revolution of 1905 and the Hungarian uprising of 1956, once the centripetal grasp of the despot is weakened, and is seen by the public to be weakened, an ever-accelerating collapse of the regime often ensues. Then, what begins as an appeal for reform can escalate into revolution. The American revolution began with appeals to the English Crown by petitioners who fully intended to remain British subjects. Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to reform Soviet Communism triggered events that led to the downfall of both the Soviet Union and Communism.

Although we are too close in time to realize it, last week may have marked the beginning of the downfall of Bushism – the fatal loosening of the centripetal Bushevik grip – as senior intelligence officials from sixteen federal agencies finally stood their ground and said to Bush and Cheney, and to the world, “no more! – we will no longer validate your lies and be complicit in your war crimes!”

When, prior to the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, the Bush regime was determined to “fix” the facts and intelligence to fit the pre-determined policy, the intelligence apparatus complied, suppressing the compelling evidence that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and was in no way involved in the attacks of 9/11, 2001. Then followed an illegal war and occupation in Iraq, the violation of the Nuremberg and Geneva Conventions, the looting of the U.S. Treasury, and the deaths of a million innocent Iraqis and four thousand American soldiers and still counting.

An attack on Iran, equally illegal and unjustified, would possibly have even more drastic consequences. The military Joints Chiefs of Staff are reportedly opposed to the attack, along with career officials in the State Department and the CIA. But who will prevent an attack on Iran? The Bush administration owns the courts and the media. The Democratic Congress, elected to end the Iraq fiasco, refuses to do so. Neither will the Congress support a resolution to refuse funding of an attack on Iran.

That leaves the intelligence agencies and their primary weapon, the plain facts and the evidence that supports them.  In their National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded, "with high confidence  that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” It is reported that several senior intelligence officers told the White House that if the NIE report were not officially released, they would take the report directly to the media, even if it meant jail sentences for the leakers.

With the release of the NIE report, the primary Bush/Cheney pretext for an attack on Iran has been discounted, and the likelihood of such an attack reduced, though not, unfortunately, eliminated.

Bush responded to the NIE report with a package of excuses and outright lies so absurd and transparent that even the mainstream media had to take note of it. In a White House press briefing, “spokesmodel” Dana Perino’s attempt at defending Bush was met with unprecedented ridicule from the press corps.

It is clear that the Bush/Cheney administration is at a crossroads: if it is to retain its power, it must initiate some bold and likely ruthless means of control. If not, a disapproving public, an erosion of media support, a deteriorating economy, and a revolt within the administration may lead to a spectacular disintegration of this misbegotten regime and with it the Karl Rove’s “permanent Republican majority.”

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