November 26, 2003 – As we
reported recently (see story
President Bush wants the press to be Pravda, the old Soviet Union
news source that was not actually a news source at all but just
one-party-supporting propaganda - in that case, the Communist Party
of the U.S.S.R.
President Bush does not like - or allow
for - the American press to operate freely. He, in fact,
demands that they only cover what he wants them to from the angle
that benefits his re-election prospects.
Well, he is getting so bold in his
hubris that he is now issuing edicts - in writing - commanding that the press
only, "Write positive stories," covering his visit yesterday to Ft.
Carson in Colorado. In fact, he handed out a 10 commandments
to all members of the press, which he labeled "10 ground rules" for
covering his visit to the base, as reported by Jim Spencer of the
Denver Post (see column
In the first place, the President and
his people swear they do not politicize the war and attack the
Democrats for doing so. This memo shows that to be an obvious lie,
as the President is not concerned about talking to the soldiers or
the families of those who lost people in Iraq, but only in the
ensuring the proper press image - timed, not-coincidentally, to
exactly coincide with the Democratic Debate in Iowa. Yes, like
during the 2002 election, the President used the war to try and
drown out the Democrats, back then by demanding the war resolution
on Iraq be passed by Congress and voted on by the UN just in the
weeks leading up to the election, this time by demanding a slew of
"positive" coverage of a visit to an army base.
All of that is disgusting and anyone one
with an IQ over 6 who pays attention to things knows this already.
But yesterday, the President began
taking it to the next level - to the level a Soviet Premiere, third
world dictator, or nut job power freak like Napoleon would when he
is about to turn a Democracy into an undemocratic empire.
Among the "10 ground rules" handed out to
all members of the press, according to Spencer, were:
Rule 9: "Write positive stories
about Ft. Carson and the U.S. Army."
Rule 3: No talking to soldiers or
their families before, during, or after the event.
Talk about un-American - the soldiers
must serve their commander but not even their families can be talked
to to get their opinions about how the war is going so people can do
what people do in democracies, namely decide if they want to keep
their leader or not.
Rule 6: "No roaming."
In other words, we want to be able to
keep an eye on all of you - we are watching you - and so will not
allow the free reporters of the free press in free America to so
much as move out of our sight. Wow.
Rule 2: "Remain in press riser at
all times; you will be escorted to the bathroom."
They wouldn't even let them go on their
own to the bathroom, because they didn't want to lose sight - or
control - of them for a single second.
Rule 1: "No video at Butts (the
base) until the President arrives."
Again, only cover what we say to cover
when we say to cover it - which is the President and his pre-written
speech. Not only do they demand complete control of the text,
banning interviews and demanding 'positive' coverage, but they want
complete control of the images, prohibiting recording images that
are not exactly what they want the people to see (God forbid a
parent who lost a son in the war might be seen crying or being
consoled for a second.)
And then, in true dictator style, they
add a sarcastic rule number 10:
Rule 10: "Have fun."
That is the second part of the abuser's
game: do something horrible, but then tell the person it is
not horrible what is happening and they should just be happy and act
as if nothing horrible just happened. That, my friends, is
propaganda 101, abuser/addict behavior 101, and, as we see,
President Bush 101.
As Spencer reports, this memo is an
escalation by President Bush. Neither President Clinton nor
President Bush had previously used such horrible, "heavy-handed smack(s) at the First Amendment."
Spencer says, "When
then-President Clinton honored the crew of the USS Cole after it was
targeted by a terrorist bombing in Yemen, reporters roamed the crowd
getting quotes. When Bush spoke to sailors at the Norfolk Naval Base
earlier in his administration, reporters were equally free to seek
the thoughts of those who heard him."
arrogance and sense of absolute power is growing beyond control.
His tolerance and allowance of the freedoms inherent - indeed,
central - to America are vanishing at alarming speed.
There is only
one step to go beyond where the President has arrived at at this
point. Already, he has shown he will destroy anyone who dares
give him bad press, like he did by outing Ambassador Joseph Wilson's
He then went and made clear to the press that they
should cover him in a positive light or they will not get to cover
him at all, as we reported
Now, he is putting his unspoken code in
writing, having no qualms about distributing on paper his
anti-freedom, dictator-like edicts. The only step left to make
his complete conversion to dictator is to issue directly a list of
consequences should the rules not be followed.
You see, the press should have raised a
huge storm over his edicts yesterday. It should be front page
everywhere, but like the frog dropped into cold water that Enron
whistle-blower Sherron Watkins spoke of, the President has little by
little turned up the heat, and just turned it up a little more.
The press didn't jump out of the water and tell the other frogs what
is happening. They just noticed it was a little warmer but
didn't think action was really necessary, don't believe it will
really ever get dangerously hot.
Even Mr. Spencer's excellent and bold
column is not nearly as enraged or alarming in tone as it could be, albeit he does a great job getting the point out and
probably going as far as he is allowed within the constraints working
as a member of the corporate press - which doesn't allow truth to be
spoken as strongly as we do here at The Moderate Independent.
But the real question is, why is he the
only press member bold enough to even point this assault on freedom
So, now the President has made clear, he
has no problem ordering the press to report as he wants it to, and
to take away even their freedom of movement - "no roaming" -
and to take
away the freedom of speech of those who stood beside him having lost
a loved one in Iraq.
The Bush/Limbaughians get outraged when
people assert they are in some way similar to the way the Nazi's
were in the 1930's. How dare someone make that assertion, they
We agree. How dare someone suggest
the Bushies are in some way similar to the early Nazi's. The
question isn't is there some way in which this Bush-brand of
Republican is similar to the early Nazi's, the question is is there
anyway they aren't? There are far more similarities than
differences, and this fact is absolutely unquestionable - the
belligerence with which they react to comparisons keeps people from
asserting this obvious reality, but it is the truth.
And it has nothing to do with Iraq,
nothing to do with taxes, it is their philosophy and hostile,
Nazi-like manner of action. Don't take our word for it, look
for yourself. It is not that people have always thrown around
accusations of "Nazi-like", not against either party. When did
, in recent history, the accusations begin that the Republicans were
acting "like Nazis"?
As we said, don't our word for it, do a
Lexis search. Search for Republicans and Nazis. The
answer is, it began exactly when the first of this new breed of
Republican took power, the Limbaugh-led Republican revolution that
led Gingrich to power.
breed of Limbaugh/Gingrich/Bush Republican acts like Nazis, and long
before the conquest of Iraq, long before the anti-American Patriot
Act, long before anyone outside Texas had heard of George W. Bush, this
new breed of Republican was being assailed as "Nazis" by the
Democrats in congress who were be assailed with their unfair,
hostile, belligerent tactics. One Senator said back then it
was as if they were exactly following Hitler's old motto, "Tell a
lie, tell it big, tell it often."
So everyone stop trying to figure if the
Bush Republicans somehow, in some way, are like the Nazis were back
in the 1930's. Acknowledge that in many, if not most, ways
they are, and determine to draw a line not letting it get any
further and rolling back how far it has gone. In other words,
members of the press, the next time you are handed "10 ground rules"
by the President - or anyone - crumble it up, throw it back in their
face, and inform them that this is America and you will not be given
any "ground rules" or intimidating edicts to act by.