George Bush is a walking malignancy.
The big news today is Bush's farewell visit to Baghdad. The watermark of the event was that Shrub and companions had to sneak out of Washington aboard Air Force One in the middle of the night under a tight security blanket at home so that he could land in Baghdad by surprise.
Five years after he supposedly liberated Iraq, Bush's only safe way into and out of Iraq is in secrecy. He has to sneak in, he has to sneak out - the same way any of his senior people have to skulk their way into and out of Iraq. Wow, Mission Accomplished George. Go hide in your closet.
The New York Times has another item on Iraq today - an as yet unreleased report on how totally and how deceptively the American reconstruction effort in Iraq was botched and covered up:
An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.
The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.
In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ”
Mr. Powell’s assertion that the Pentagon inflated the number of competent Iraqi security forces is backed up by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of ground troops in Iraq, and L. Paul Bremer, the top civilian administrator until an Iraqi government took over in June 2004.
But it's not all dancing around Christmas trees and whacking pinatas these days for America's greatest-ever Frat Boy, there's also work to do. Now that he's done as much damage to his country as he could manage in just eight years, George w. Bush is working real hard to cause as much damage as he can to the Obama administration. From The Guardian:
By the time he vacates the White House, he will have issued a record number of so-called 'midnight regulations' - so called because of the stealthy way they appear on the rule books - to undermine the administration of Barack Obama, many of which could take years to undo.
Dozens of new rules have already been introduced which critics say will diminish worker safety, pollute the environment, promote gun use and curtail abortion rights. Many rules promote the interests of large industries, such as coal mining or energy, which have energetically supported Bush during his two terms as president. More are expected this week.
It seems there is no end to the damage that George w. Bush and his Wrecking Crew will inflict on their nation and their countrymen. Even Richard Nixon cared for his country, even he couldn't summon up this bottomless well of malevolence.