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THE KENNEDYS WERE PUSSIES How One Family Consolidated Enough Power to Overthrow America Ever wonder how

a dumbass gets elected President? Or if it's just a neat coincidence that the President's Daddy also used to hold the highest office in the land? Or if it's just a really, really neat coincidence that the dumbass President, whose Daddy was also once President, has a brother who's Governor of Florida, and is rumored to be favored in the 2008 Presidential "election"? Or just how, exactly, does a guy with supposedly no experience in professional intelligence gathering get hired as Director of the CIA? Huh? Ever wonder stuff like that? Ever think about why, when you're caught doing 48 in a 35, and everyone else is going the same speed, and the cop ignores your lame excuses and hands you a ticket anyway, the President's daughters get away with drinking under age, again and again and again? Or why the Governor's daughter (you know, the niece of the President) gets busted for drugs, again and again and again, and is able to make good on her infractions with some rehab and a little community service? Hmm? Okay, so maybe you've thought about that stuff, but it didn't seem like a big deal to you at the time. Maybe you've got a lot on your mind these days, what with the superb offerings of our fine television broadcasting companies, and how Renee Zellweger is gaining all that weight for that movie and whatnot. Or maybe you've been drunk a lot lately. So how 'bout this - ever wonder who was involved with the financing of the Third Reich, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the JFK assassination, Watergate, the CIA's history of narcotics trafficking, Manuel Noriega, the Iran-Contra affair, the 2000 Florida elections scandal, the attacks on September 11th, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the ongoing war on terror and most every major economic, political and military policy in this country for the last 70 years? Ever wonder about all that? It's only a conspiracy theory until Wolf Blitzer says so. In the meantime, why not get creative and stage your own "news broadcast"? Mousse your hair and put on a shitload of make-up, sit at the kitchen table like you know what you're talking about and READ. Prime time will never seem the same. LAURA BUSH Reader. Librarian. Cyborg. On the evening of 6 November 1963, two days after her 17th birthday, Laura Welch failed to stop her Chevy sedan at a stop sign and drove into a Corvair being driven by her then-boyfriend, Michael Douglas, also 17. Laura and her passenger, Judy Dykes [snicker], were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, where they learned that Douglas had died from his injuries in the collision. No police charges were filed, apparently, but the record is unclear. Now Laura Welch is married to George W. Bush and is known around the world as Laura Bush, the first lidless First Lady. Nothing else really happened in Laura's life worth mentioning outside the pages of Redbook. She studied at Southern Methodist University as an undergrad, so from what we know of George's college days, they were complete opposites from the beginning. She went on to be a teacher, librarian and lover of books, so, again, not much in the way of intellectual compatibility with her future husband. However, they got married the same year they met, which makes you wonder: did she get knocked up early on, and they tied the knot to cover

it up? Or was their sex just so blisteringly intense that they couldn't keep themselves from the chapel? THE TWINS, BROUGHT TO YOU BY SMIRNOFF ICE In April of 2001 Jenna Bush was cited for underage drinking in an Austin bar; she later pled no contest and was sentenced to community service and alcohol awareness classes. A second incident occurred on May 30th 2001, when both Jenna and her twin sister Barbara were cited by police after attempting to buy drinks at an Austin restaurant. According to the Washington Post, yet another incident occurred in July 2002, when the girls were spotted (but not cited for) drinking in a Washington, D.C. bar. The fraternal twins (rather than identical) were born November 25, 1981, which means the turned legally old enough to drink in 2002. Jenna attends University of Texas at Austin, and Barbara goes to Yale, being the fourth generation of Bushes to do so. There is little else of interest about the Twins. Their main contribution thus far has been to prove that Daddy's a hypocrite, twice over. Though he was tough on his stance regarding drugs as a Governor, he was a drug user himself, and now his daughters have followed in his footsteps. That hallowed institution of journalistic integrity, Entertainment Tonight, reported in May, 2003 that dopey actor Ashton Kutcher (Dude, Where's My Car, Cribs) violated the girls aplenty. "So we're hanging out...The Bushes were underage drinking at my house. When I checked outside, one of the Secret Service guys asked me if they'd be spending the night. I said no. And then I go upstairs to see another friend and I can smell the green wafting out under his door. I open the door, and there he is smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah." Nice. None of this would be a real issue if they weren't the First Brats. But they are, and they manage to get away with all of it because of that. It is to be assumed Ashton enjoyed himself thoroughly. COLUMBA BUSH Columba Garnica Gallo was born in Guanajato, Mexico, in 1953 (the same year as her future husband). When they were 18, she met Jeb while he was an exchange student from his family's alma mater, Phillips Andover Academy. She's sorta hot at 50, so you know Jeb was enjoying himself at the time. She's also a fairly unremarkable character, with one GLARING exception. In 1999, she publicly apologized after she was caught by customs officials trying to sneak $19,000 worth of Paris goods into the country. WHA? Yeah, it seems ol' Columba didn't want to pay the tarriffs on luxury goods brought into the country, and tried unsuccessfully to smuggle them in. What a dope. But, as Jeb's wife, and thereby covered under the Bush umbrella of immunity, she was simply fined $4,100, and that was it. "Simply", because the Bushes are FUCKING LOADED. She wrote a check for the fine and went on her way. As reported in the Naples Daily News, "International travelers do not have to pay duties on foreign purchases that total less than $400. Mrs. Bush declared only $500 worth of merchandise." Her reason for lying to customs agents? She didn't have one: "It's an accident and I regret it with all my heart." Accident? She must have forgotten about the $18,500 of other expensive jewelry and clothes in her luggage. Could've happened to anyone.

NOELLE BUSH Just Say Mo' Noelle Bush was born in 1977 in Texas. A proud graduate of Tallahassee Community College, she made news headlines on January 29th 2002 when she was arrested by Tallahassee police and charged with prescription fraud. Noelle was trying to buy the sedative Xanax at a local pharmacy with a fake prescription. In February she entered an Orlando drug treatment center for a few days, but apparently it didn't take. That July she was jailed temporarily after she was again found in possession of prescription pills, a violation of her court-ordered treatment plan. Then in September 2002 she was back in the news after police visited the drug treatment center and found Noelle in possession of crack. She was sentenced October 17th 2002 to ten days in jail for violating the terms of her court-ordered drug treatment program. As of June, 2003, she is "doing well" in rehab. Again. NEIL BUSH In 1990, federal regulators filed a $200 million lawsuit against Neil Bush and other officers of Silverado Banking, accusing them of gross negligence contributing to its $1 billion collapse. "Our conclusion is that Silverado was the victim of sophisticated schemes and abuses by insiders and of gross negligence by its directors and outside professionals," FDIC Senior Deputy General Counsel Douglas H. Jones said in a statement. To be more specific, one source put it this way: "Neil received a $100,000 'loan' from highroller Ken Good, of Good International, with no obligation to pay any of the money back. Good was a big-fish shareholder in JNB Explorations, Neil Bush's oil-exploration company, the one that 'successfully' drilled 30 wells without ever striking oil. Neil forgot to mention that the money was to be used in joint venture with his own JNB. He later petitioned fellow Silverado board members to extend to Good International a $900,000 line of credit. Good reneged on $32 million in loans from Silverado, while Neil Bush kept quiet about Good's promise of $3 million for JNB. Good subsequently raised Bush's JNB salary from $75,000 to $125,000 and granted him a $22,500 bonus. These dealings presented no conflict of interest? At least not to the interests of Neil Bush. "Neil approved $106 million in Silverado loans to another heavy JNB investor, Bill Walters. Neil never formally disclosed his relationship with Walters, who defaulted on the entire outlay. "Neil, stung, after being told that he must agree not to violate thrift regulations in the future, is reported to have said, 'I'm not going to be bullied by an overzealous agency of the United States government.'" And with Dad and your big brother at the helm of that government, Neil, no doubt you'll get your wishes. Oh, one other thing - Neil likes banging his Mom's personal secretary. So much, in fact, that his wife threatened to divorce him and spill the beans about the Bush family's web of bullshit. Neil responded by offering Sharon Bush $1,000 a month in alimony, which amounts to peanuts, especially for someone used to such wealth as the Bush clan's. It's also likely Sharon was privately "talked to" by family associates, intent on making certain she keeps her trap shut. Not surprisingly, it seems to have worked. Well done, Neil.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH A Brief Biography Or, How to Rule the World In a Few Easy Steps George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. Today he wields an unsettling amount of economic, military and political power throughout the globe. Naturally, a lot happened between then and now. George was born to Dorothy Walker and Prescott Bush, as in, "Oh, the Bushes." The Bush clan extends back generations. Theirs is the stuff of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Kennedys, but on a quieter (and more powerful) scale. A handful of influential families have helped shape American history to better suit their needs, and the Bushes were, and are, no exception. At the time of his birth, George was instantly ushered into a world of wealth and privilege. His father Prescott had close ties to the powerful Harriman family, and by extension, the Rockefellers. Prescott was the son of Samuel P. Bush, who owned several railroad manufacturing concerns in Ohio, and was a close adviser to Herbert Hoover (who, on a side note, helped architect Emperor Hirohito's rescue from certain, and deserved, doom after Japan succumbed to U.S. forces at the end of World War II). As was the custom with upper crust families at the time, young George was endowed with both his Father's and Mother's last names, hence the Walker part (the "George Herbert" came from Dorothy's famously powerful father). By all accounts, his early upbringing was a normal one, insofar as it included affluence experienced by very few. The Bush home in Greenwich, Connecticut was attended by three maids and a chauffeur, and the family's idyllic lives were unaffected by the ravages of the Great Depression. As would his first son, George entered the prestigious Phillips Andover Academy outside Boston as a young teenager. Prior to that he even attended an elite preschool, Greenwich Country Day School. His mother was of the Walker clan, an even more influential family than the Bushes at that point (the now famous Bush compound in Kennebunkport, Maine was originally the Walkers' summer home, "Walker's Point"). Thus, sending George to Phillips Andover was a way for Prescott to ensure his son would rise even higher than he himself had in East Coast social circles. George was an active student, participating in baseball and cheer leading [snicker]. He also participated in an elite, secret society, similar to the one he would later join at Yale, Skull and Bones. While at Andover, George was inducted into A.U.V. (Auctoritas, Unitas, Veritas ""Authority, Unity, Truth"). Such groups were prolific among blue blood East Coast prep schools and Ivy League universities, and did little other than to function as circle jerks for those who were deemed worthy of belonging. Young pledges like George were forced to undergo various initiation rites. In an Andover-published pamphlet, it was even disclosed that each new recruit, or "scut" was, "given a letter with a list of rules he was to follow. He was to be in the cemetery every night from 12:30 to 5:00, deliver a morning paper to each member of the Society each morning, must not comb or brush his hair nor wash his face or hands, smoke nothing but a clay pipe with Lucky Strike tobacco [it should be noted these kids were all younger than 18], and not speak to any student except members of A.U.V."

Charming. The best thing George ever publicly did came the day of his graduation from Phillips Andover, which was also his 18th birthday. He enlisted in the Navy. This is an important fact not as an endorsement of the military, but because he was a Bush - he didn't have to. He could have easily landed a cushy role with any number of his parents' friends, or continued on to his father's alma mater of Yale, or, like his son would years later, illegally cajole his way into a lesser (and safer) domestic military position. But George has always had more moxie (or perhaps it was political foresight) than his eldest son would ever muster, despite the absurdly underestimating accusations of him being a "wimp" while Vice President (the guy ran the CIA - how fucking wimpy is that?). It is important (and predictable) to note, however, that George was likely fast-tracked to flight duty, given the fact that new Naval recruits were required to complete two years' training prior to such service. But Artemus Gates, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, was a buddy of Prescott's, so George was probably given the green light to chase his dreams. As stated in his web site's official biography: "On active duty from August 1942 to September 1945 during World War II, Mr. Bush flew torpedo bombers off the USS San Jacinto. On September 2, 1944, Mr. Bush's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while making a bombing run over the Bonin Island of Chichi Jima, 600 miles south of Japan. Although the plane was afire and severely damaged, he completed his strafing run on the targeted Japanese installation before flying towards sea to bail out. Mr. Bush was able to bail out successfully and was rescued by a Navy submarine, the USS Finback. Tragically, his two crew members were killed. For his courageous service in the Pacific Theater, Mr. Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals." Holy shit, the guy's a freakin' hero! Well, not entirely. Let's go over that again. George H.W. Bush, an 18 year-old graduate of an upper crust preparatory academy and son of wealthy East Coast socialites enters the Navy. It's entirely possible his lineage helped ensure him somewhat better treatment, but it wasn't used to guarantee him cush duty doing next to nothing (that would come years later when his son would join the Texas Air National Guard rather than face the carnage of Vietnam). So this kid joins up, while World War II is raging across the globe, and what is his role? Flying bombers off the deck of a fucking aircraft carrier. And this was no U.S.S. Nimitz, but a wood bedecked tub with a catapult so weak that bombers and fighters alike would often plummet into the water for sheer lack of go power. Hell, we didn't even have televisions yet. Okay, so we've established a millionaire brat with no business in the military ups and starts flying carrier-based bombers over the Pacific. Then he goes and gets heroic. The actual series of events over Chichi Jima may never be publicly known, but one big sticking point has been raised time and again. Numerous Bush biographies make glorious mention of his plane being aflame, hence his need to bail out rather than attempt a water landing. Rocketpropelled ejection seats were the stuff of science fiction back then, and protocol would have called for George to try a water landing if his plane was up to it. The tail gunner of an accompanying bomber, Chester Mierzejewksi, swore up and down in a 1988 interview with the New York Post that no such fire or smoke was visible from the Barbara II, as George had christened his Avenger (the first Barbara was lost at sea due to a mechanical failure). Several experts interviewed for the Post article agreed that Mierzejewksi would have had the best view of George's plane. The main problem here is fire. If the Barbara II was aflame, okay. If not, George may have inadvertently doomed his two crew members, Radioman second class John Delaney and Lt. Junior Grade William White (who, strangely, was previously attending Yale and was a member of Skull and Bones). As Mierzejewksi added, "I think [Bush] could have saved those lives, if they were alive. I don't know that

they were, but at least they had a chance if he had attempted a water landing." The truth likely died with Delaney and White. After earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for service to his country, George returned home on Christmas Eve, 1944, and two weeks later married Barbara Pierce (you know, of the Rye, New York Pierces), a similarly wealthy young debutante who left Smith College for George's good looks. The two settled in New Haven and George began Yale, living across the street from the university President. In July of 1946 Barbara gave birth to their first child, George Walker Bush, our 43rd President. George Sr.'s time at Yale was relatively easy. The university afforded him the veteran's advantage of a briefer course load, and George completed his Bachelor degree in two and a half years. What is unknown about George's Yale years were his actual academic accomplishments (or lack thereof). Yale has admitted to having turned over his records to the FBI years after his stay there, when George was under public scrutiny, making it impossible for journalists and investigators to learn more about his college days. The fact that his father at the time was a trustee of the school, responsible with much of their fundraising, certainly wouldn't have helped interested parties open up his files. Such precautions would be unnecessary for a grade A student, and it seems likely George, like his son after him, was less than a stellar academician. Perhaps those nights when he should have been studying were instead spent laying naked in a coffin. George continued the Bush tradition of joining Skull and Bones, as well as Delta Kappa Epsilon, the best party house on campus. DKE has produced its fair share of movers and shakers, but was more or less the inspiration for Animal House. Skull and Bones, however, was far more sinister. Bush graduated in 1948, and quickly moved to west Texas. Huh? It has been put forth that George's move was not a spur of the moment display of independence from his old money, East Coast roots, as he would have us believe: "I was trying to, not compete with my father, but do something on my own." In fact, the likely reason for his sudden shift in lifestyle was to help reap enormous benefits for his father and maternal uncle, George Herbert Walker, Jr., who was also a Skull and Bones member (yeah, we get confused by the names, too). Both had much to gain from a young, family bound Yale grad in the booming oil business. After all, the war was over and the "Me" generation had begun, bringing with it the "good life": cars, televisions, interstate highways, you name it. All that commerce would need plenty of energy to run on, and what better way to capitalize on the new age than immerse young George into the Texas oil economy? George's every business move was funded by George Herbert Walker and Prescott, and it is to be assumed that developments such as The Bush-Overbey Oil Development Company, Zapata Petroleum and Zapata Offshore, which George came to establish, benefited the Bush-Walker clan in general. By the time all three of these companies had been founded, George was just 30 years old. Now that he was becoming his own man, George was slowly brought into the true family business; namely, doing very bad, illegal things for profit, and getting away with them. George embodied a turning point in the Bush family history. Prior to him, the Bushes gained power as did all blue bloods, by hobnobbing with their own kind. Nepotism is a way of life for the world's elite, and the Bush clan was no different. Each generation's patriarch had his hands in other tycoons' interests, in order to benefit himself and his family. When Samuel P. Bush spoke in then-President Hoover's ear, it furthered his own interests in the railroad

business. When Prescott helped govern Union Banking Corp., the American headquarters of Nazi financing, he had the same idea in mind. What set George apart early on was his keen focus not just on business and allying himself with the right social circles, but also involving himself intensely in politics. Granted, his father was a former Senator, but George rose to far greater heights. He helped pave the way for a generation of hornswogglers that capitalized on secret relationships between government and industry, to such an extent that his son, and his son's cronies, have been able to swindle the world on an unprecedented scale. Where Prescott stopped at Congress, George graduated to U.N. Ambassador, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Director of the CIA, Vice President and ultimately President. Some say he even acts as "Executive President" today, allegedly holding far more sway over his son's administration than any retired octogenarian has a right to. When it came to tying in the power of government with his personal fortune, one need only look at the Zapata-Cuba connection of the early 1960s. It has been suggested by many that George developed close ties to intelligence organizations long before heading up the CIA in 1976. According to an article published in The Nation, "a source with close connections to the intelligence community confirms that Bush started working for the agency in 1960 or 1961, using his oil business as a cover for clandestine activities." In fact, one FBI document dated 1963 refers to him as, "Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency". The Bay of Pigs debacle, a failed attempt by the CIA to infiltrate Cuba and topple Fidel Castro's communist government, was code named "Operation Zapata". Two of the support ships used to carry out the doomed attack were called the "Barbara" and "Houston", and some sources have stated that George's oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were used as launching platforms for the secret operation. In fact, his history with the intelligence community is much longer than his official biography accounts for, and has been confirmed by many in the know, including infamous CIA operative Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban agent responsible for the assassination of Che Guevara. Bush was also implicated by Richard Nixon in private conversations with his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, as having connections, along with Nixon himself and his hangers-on, with the Kennedy assassination in 1963. During the 1950s and 1960s, much of the intelligence community was heavily active in New Orleans and Miami, due to those cities' proximity to communist Cuba. Because of George's business concerns in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, he also spent these years in that area. His family also maintained an estate on Louisiana's Jupiter Island, an area which doubled as a covert headquarters for many of the organizations that would later come to form the Central Intelligence Agency. It should be no wonder then, why in 1976 Gerald Ford would appoint George to Director of the CIA, despite his alleged lack of intelligence experience. George was personally involved with secret national security policies early on in his career, and cultivated powerful political and economic ties previous Bush patriarchs could only dream of. Later, George would move to solidify his dominance in a variety of ways, including close associations with the Trilateral Commission and the Carlysle Group, and rearing the next generation of wealthy, White and Christian power brokers. GEORGE W. BUSH Episode I George Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut (where, like his father and grandfather before him, he would later return to attend Yale). The oldest of George Herbert Walker and Barbara's kids, George Jr.'s birth was a profound moment, one

that would both continue the little known legacy of the Bush family as well as propel it to astounding heights. The Bush family, thanks primarily to the often un-American efforts of patriarch Prescott Bush (George W.'s grandfather), enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, one of the most privileged existences in the world. The Bushes, regardless of the seemingly innocent antics of George W. and kid brother Jeb, are by no means an average extended family. They are enormously wealthy and powerful, holding vast influence over the facets of everyday life that matter most: economics, religion, the military, domestic politics, defense manufacturing, intelligence gathering, etc. These are the forces that drive the modern world, and while our current President's influence over them is only a recent occurrence, the Bush family hierarchy has helped shape global policy for generations. After George Jr.'s birth, George Sr. moved the family to west Texas, where he began establishing oil businesses. George Jr. was raised among the Texas oil and political elite, despite his contrived down-home attitude. He graduated from the prestigious Phillips Andover Academy in 1964, a Boston-area preparatory school, and alma mater of his father. After Phillips Andover came Yale. So when the White House official biography of George W. simply states, "he grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas," don't you believe it. He was never your run of the mill west Texas kid, which he even admitted while being horsewhipped in a failed 1978 run for the House. Responding to his opponent's use of Bush family facts as a strategic weapon, George complained, "We've been attacked for where I was born, for who my family is, and where my money has come from. I don't think that's fair." Awww.... The opponent, Kent Hance, also made clever use of George's funding of a campaign keg party for students at Texas Tech. But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, what would a thorough biography of our 43rd President be without mentioning Skull and Bones or Air National Guard? Upon finishing Phillips Andover, George settled into Yale life (when exactly did he have time to "grow up" in Texas?), where he received his Bachelor degree in 1968. Bush was a mediocre Yale student, scoring well in the middle of his class (though to be honest, mediocre at Yale is damn good at State). He joined one of the best party houses on campus, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and was eventually elected their President. It was while a member of DKE in his junior year that George experienced his first (but not his last) arrest. He and some friends from his house decided they needed decorations for the upcoming Christmas celebration. They drank a few beers and headed out to town. George saw a wreath he liked in a hotel lobby, so he stole it. Unfortunately for George, he was drunk, loud and in the vicinity of a police car. The officers arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct. The charge was later dropped, presumably at the behest of his father. He was also held by police during his senior year after attempting to lead an effort to remove the Princeton goal posts following a Yale football victory. Throughout college, George continued to drink and party, did well enough to pass classes and, finally, made time to become a member of Skull and Bones (again, like George Sr. and Prescott before him). The elite group was similar to the secret homoerotic society in Animal House, but for real. New members were subjected to lying naked in a coffin, then forced to recount every sexual experience (and inexperience) they'd had. Like any other gang, SB members were also expected to steal something of value in order to be accepted as a brother. In 1918, it was Prescott Bush and some cronies who broke into an Oklahoma cemetery and stole the skull of Geronimo (or who they believed to be Geronimo - those who know aren't saying), which later found its way to the Skull and Bones house in New Haven, no doubt for sundry conservative Christian rituals.

Graduating from Yale presented George with a dilemma - to fight or not to fight? During the Vietnam War, George enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard, despite the waiting list of 100,000 nationally. Ben Barnes, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at the time, received a request from longtime Bush family friend Sidney Adger asking, on behalf of Bush and family, that Bush be admitted into the Guard immediately, ahead of others waiting. Barnes contacted Brig. Gen. James Rose, head of the Texas Air National Guard with the request, and Bush was admitted, saving him from possible duty in Vietnam. Despite a score of 25% (the lowest possible passing grade), Bush was soon made a pilot. He was also commissioned as a second lieutenant, which required a "special appointment". This act normally required eight full semesters of college ROTC courses, eighteen months of military service or completion of Air Force officer training school, none of which Bush had. Later, after being "fast-tracked" to special pilot duty (again, ahead of others waiting) and not appearing for a scheduled physical (which could have made him randomly subject to a drug test, and which also caused him to be temporarily suspended from flying), Bush began a nearly one-year period where he did not appear for duty in Texas, nor in Alabama, to where he had recently requested a transfer (incidentally, the Alabama National Guard did not have aircraft at that time). Between May 1972 and October 1973, Bush was documented by his superiors as having been absent from duty. To date, it is still not publicly clear where he was, what he was doing or why he was not present for regular service. AWOL (Away Without Leave) describes someone who is absent for 30 days or less. Absent for more than 30 days with evidence of no intent to return to duty is known as Desertion. Now that the war in Vietnam was coming to an end, and having finished his "service" to the country, George was directionless. He was a Yale graduate and had money to burn, but no goals. So he drank. An old chum from George's wild days would later recall, "We did drink... we drank what people gave us to drink... And if we went to a party and they were serving liquor, then we would drink it, and we would drink it until it was gone." In 1972 he drunkenly crashed his car into a neighbor's trash can. When George Sr. confronted him about it, he suggested they settle it "mano a mano". Four years later would see him finally arrested for a DUI while visiting the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, and he wouldn't quit drinking for another ten years. To this day George maintains a strict jogging schedule, which he credits with helping him beat alcoholism. Not to be outdone by his drinking problem, George also used cocaine. In 1972 he was arrested for cocaine possession, according to J.H. Hatfield, author of Fortunate Son. In the book, Hatfield quotes a "a high-ranking advisor to Bush", a former Yale classmate and "a longtime Bush friend" as all confirming that George was indeed a cocaine user who had his arrest record expunged by a Texas judge who owed his appointment to George Sr. As one source admitted, "It was one of those 'behind closed doors in the judges' chambers' kind of thing between the old man and one of his Texas cronies who owed him a favor. There's only a handful of us that know the truth." When asked by the Dallas Morning News in 1999 about his alleged past drug abuse, then-Governor Bush only admitted he had not used drugs in the past seven years. He later would amend this statement by saying he had not used hard drugs since 1974. In a much harsher allegation, publisher and freedom of speech advocate Larry Flynt declared on CNN that George enjoyed a string of affairs while his marriage to Laura was still young. One of the affairs, claimed Flynt, resulted in the woman receiving an abortion. He said he possessed five affidavits from sources close to the woman confirming the operation.

During this time he again turned his attention to college. He attended Harvard Business School, and in 1975 received his MBA, which he would later put to use scuttling doomed oil businesses and organizing the purchase of the Texas Rangers. In 1978 George established Arbusto Energy, arbusto being Spanish for "bush". How clever. Arbusto went ar-busto as oil prices continued to fall in the late 1970s, and by 1982 the end was near. Seeing some value in the failed enterprise, however, Arbusto was purchased by Spectrum 7 in a deal purportedly arranged by Bush family friends. George was promptly made CEO of Spectrum 7. Just four years later, however, Spectrum 7 itself was in trouble, with millions in debt. Once again, alleged friends of the Bush family, this time running Harken Energy, agreed to save George and his bleeding company from itself. Spectrum 7 was absorbed by Harken, in a deal which earned George and his partners over $2 million in stocks. George was brought on as a "consultant", with an annual salary of up to $120,000. Unbelievably, that was not the end of his oil business troubles. One year later Harken was in dire straits. According to one source, "Bush and his fellow Harken officials met with Jackson Stephens, head of Stephens, Inc., an investment bank in Little Rock, Arkansas (Stephens contributed $100,000 to the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 and gave another $100,000 to the Bush dinner committee in 1990). Stephens arranged for Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) to provide $25 million to Bush's company in return for a stock interest in Harken. As part of the deal, Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, a Saudi real estate tycoon and financier, joined Harken's board as a major investor. Stephens, UBS, and Bakhsh each had ties to the infamous, scandal-ridden Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In 1990, Bush sold his remaining stock options and left the oil business." In fact, it didn't stop at shady investment schemes. Harken's history also included shady accounting practices and earnings reports. The company was hiding huge debts as orchestrated by the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. In one such case, a subsidiary of Harken was sold to Intercontinental and Mining Resources, Ltd. IML, however, was in fact owned by officers of Harken, and though the $12 million sale wouldn't be paid off for years, Harken immediately recorded the deal as an $8 million profit, pushing stock prices up. When the time came for George to leave Big Oil, he did it with style. As writer Jack Colhoun revealed, "On June 22, 1990, George Jr. sold two-thirds of his Harken stock for $848,560 a cool 200 percent profit. The move was well timed. One week after Junior sold his stock, Harken announced a $23.2 million loss in quarterly earnings and Harken stock dropped sharply, losing 60 percent of its value over the next six months. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops moved into Kuwait and 541,000 U.S. forces were deployed to the Gulf." U.S. News & World Report stated, "There is substantial evidence to suggest that Bush knew Harken was in dire straits in the weeks before he sold the $848,560 of Harken stock." It was eight months before the SEC took notice of George's apparent insider trading (he had failed to notify them of the sale, despite his Harvard Business School training), at which point he excused himself by saying, "In the corporate world, sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." Well, that explains everything. After his repeatedly failed, yet strangely lucrative business dealings, George pooled his friends' money and moved to purchase the Texas Rangers on their behalf. The deal was helped along by Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a friend of the Bush family. George was made Managing General Partner, and received $200,000 annually.

George put the bullying tactics he'd learned throughout his life to good use while with the Rangers. It was suspected by many that the ownership, represented by George, was trying to force the city of Arlington to construct a new sports complex, to be paid for by a tax increase. Litigation with the city later revealed documents that showed the owners, "conspired to use the government's power of eminent domain to further its private business interests." In other words, George wanted a new ballpark, and was expecting taxpayers to foot the bill. By the time the team was sold during his Texas gubernatorial reign in 1998, his share in the Rangers netted him a $14 million payout on his $600,000 investment. As he later told a local newspaper, "I think when it is all said and done, I will have made more money than I ever dreamed I would make." Coming from a kid raised as a millionaire, this seems an awfully hollow and strange statement. The latter baseball years saw an increasing group of friends and family associates urging George to do something. His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a Senator from Connecticut. His dad had also been a Congressman, as well as Ambassador to the U.N., Director of the CIA, Chairman of the RNC, Vice President and finally President. Politics were in his blood. Hey George, you should run for Governor! And after hearing it enough, and likely being cajoled into it by his father, he acquiesced. He quit his job with the Rangers, hit the campaign trail and won the election to govern the Lone Star state. George W. Bush is the current record holder for most executions by a governor. GEORGE W. BUSH Episode II When George W. Bush agreed to run for the 2000 Presidential race, he accomplished something few thought likely - he won the Republican primary. Early on, John McCain, a respected Senator from Arizona, decorated Vietnam vet and 5-year prisoner of war, was by far the favorite to win. But McCain was an intelligent, moralistic individual who could hardly be molded by stronger parties with their own agendas. He had strong ideas embracing moderately conservative values. After the election had come and gone, McCain even teamed up with Connecticut Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman in the fight for campaign finance reform, an issue considered heresy by many Republicans, who regularly receive more corporate donations than their liberal colleagues. Much of the conservative, Christian right liked Bush's "values" over McCain's. He was born again, largely in part to his finally beating alcoholism at the late age of 40, and with the help of a Bush family friend, evangelist Billy Graham. And of course, there was the very matter of his being a Bush, which did far more than his drunken upbringing, failed business endeavors or political inexperience to garner the support of influential Republican backers. By this time, George Sr. had been a Senator, CIA Director, Ambassador to the U.N., Chairman of the RNC, Vice President and finally President, not to mention a wealthy oil tycoon. He had also sat on the boards of several enormously powerful international organizations, including the Trilateral Commission and the Carlysle Group (which he is still involved with). With a pedigree like the one George Jr. was carrying around with him, wellheeled and well-organized Republicans began lining up to lend their support to the next Bush dynasty. Betting on the phrase "compassionate conservatism", a meaningless hook intended to attract more women, moderates and "undecided voters", George swept the primary, and was set for a battle with his Democratic challenger, Al Gore, the Vice President of the

previous Clinton Administration. Gore the Bore was a droning do-gooder, educated at Harvard (as George was), and the son of a powerful and wealthy Southern Senator (as George was). Al could no more connect with the common middle class taxpayer than could George, though both did their best to come across as if they were just one of us, trying to help out where they could. Each candidate would pose in factories, schools, hospitals and outdoor settings, sleeves rolled up on their L.L. Bean oxfords, ready to get to work for the well-deserving people of the U.S. of A. Even Republicans would grudgingly admit that Al was the superior candidate, that he was more experienced and learned, and that he would effortlessly hand George his ass in every debate in which they appeared. But George had two things going for him: he was sassy, and he was a Bush. George began winning the hearts of voters, who could only imagine the wealth and privilege he (and Al) enjoyed in private, not through his political wizardry, but because he was a clown. Much like young Americans backing Bill Clinton in huge numbers in 1992 after he appeared in shades playing the sax on Arsenio Hall, George was able to sway voters by pretending to be a regular joe, a guy who loved baseball and "Merica" and God, to such a successful degree that Al was left looking like even more the nerdy bureaucrat that he was. A guy who loves baseball enough to manage the ownership of an entire team can't be all that bad, can he? Al still held the educated liberals and moderates who knew the issues, and who could see through George's thin veil of commonality, but much of the country was duped, enough so that when it came to one of the final state's votes, all hell broke loose. The final red flag, as if anyone truly needed one, that the Bush family was in fact in control of the universe, was raised by the state of Florida. As the national election was winding down, with Gore leading, something most curious happened in the Sunshine State. The difference between the two candidates' votes was so minute that, when calculating the margin of error, a clear winner could not be determined. Soon every news broadcast was shouting from the rooftops the election was "too close to call". Who won in Florida, and with its precious electoral votes, in the country? As luck would have it, no other state could have been better suited to George's aspirations if presented with a similar voting error. And thus, the shit hit the fan. When it conveniently came down to Florida, all the players were in place to carry George to victory, regardless of truth, law or ethics. Katherine Harris, a Republican staffer on George's Texas gubernatorial campaign, was placed in charge of the Florida elections commission by George's younger brother Jeb, who was Governor of Florida. In the weeks preceding her state's vote, she approved a taxpayer-funded, public service announcement starring Bushsupporter and former commander of ground forces during the first Iraq war, retired general Norman Schwarzkopf. The general urged Floridians to get out and vote, though he was known widely as a public backer of George's campaign. The state's voting system at the time was governed by county, with ballots from one county often being far different from those of another county. The result was a comedy of errors. Voters from three populous, largely Democratic counties (Broward, Palm Beach and MiamiDade) mistakenly cast votes for the wrong candidates. In one instance, large numbers of liberal Black voters accidentally backed ultra-conservative Independent Party candidate Patrick Buchanan. The ballots were rife with problems, including confusing directions and ineffectual "chads", the punch-holes voters had to use to indicate their choices. So far, so good.

Because the final tally was so close, it was up to Katherine Harris and her office to determine a clear winner. By her count, (she didn't bother to correct for the 50,000 someodd mistaken votes of the three aforementioned counties), George was declared the winner, by a margin of 537 ballots (out of more than 6 million cast). An immediate uproar was heard around the world, as our national election system began resembling sub-Saharan Africa more than America. Harris refused to conduct a recount, and Al took it to the Florida Supreme Court, who ruled in his favor. A recount would take place, it was decided, by hand and open to the public. Not good for George. Enter his Dad. Republicans appealed the Florida court's decision and took the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is weighted in favor of conservative issues. 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were installed under Republican administrations. Led by Reagan-nominated justice Antonin Scalia (another friend of the Bush family), the court ruled that Florida's recount be stopped, one day after it began. Interestingly, the Miami Herald later showed that the recount likely would have still declared Bush the winner. Scalia's influenced behavior cast doubt both on the Bush campaign and the Supreme Court itself. But no matter. In the end, George, his brother, his staffers and former staffers, his friends and not least his Dad, were able to secure the national election for themselves. The country was left feeling either violated or vindicated, depending on your views, and the rest of the world watched in awe. George W. Bush became our 43rd President. On a side note, there's an interesting and disturbing similarity between the two Bush administrations (Sr.'s and Jr.'s), as well as that of FDR's. For years, George Jr. skirted responsibility and found himself in trouble with the law. By the time he helped orchestrate the Harken debacle, many were beginning to suspect something. Here was a man who, despite his world class business training at Harvard (he studied history at Yale), continued to run oil businesses into the ground. And yet every time he was saved at the last minute by an interested party, who always happened to be friends with his father. It was only 41 days after George illegally sold his Harken stock that oil-rich Iraq invaded oil-rich Kuwait, prompting oil-thirsty America to intervene with half a million troops. The distraction was instant and all-encompassing, and questions about the Harken sale were only raised a decade later when George Jr. Was installed in the White House. When the September 11, 2001 attacks on America occurred, Newsweek featured on its cover a new expose' of the Enron scandal, strongly questioning George's legitimacy as President (particularly in the aftermath of the Florida catastrophe). Enron, a Houston-based energy trading firm, was shown to have been "cooking" its books for years, much like Harken had during George's time with the company. In fact, both energy interests employed the same infamous accounting firm to oversee these illegal practices - Arthur Andersen. Enron had perpetrated accounting schemes so convoluted it would take months for the nation's news organizations and the SEC to unravel them. Enron was chaired by Ken Lay, a very close and old friend of George and the Bush family, though George would later deny any such friendship existed. The truth was too damaging to admit, it seems. Ken was responsible for helping to create George's national energy policy and creating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission when George entered office. Enron officials were even hired by the White House to cabinet-level positions, as well as other federal offices, to help determine the course of their own industry. That, and Ken Lay had contributed over $260,000 for George's gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns. So if they weren't friends, they were damn chummy strangers. Just as the heat was being turned up on the Bush-Enron connection, BLAM! KAPOW! EXPLOOOOODE! Much like Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, planes flying into

buildings was simply too much of a distraction to pull America's attention back to Houston or Florida. We will likely never know whether the events in Iraq in 1990 and in the U.S. in 2001 were somehow influenced by members of the American conservative power base. However, as tragic and reprehensible as the attacks on September 11th were, they were also awfully helpful to the new Bush administration. Formal inquiries into the 2000 election and George's role in the Enron fallout have yet to resurface on a national scale. September 11th changed George Bush's political career as much as it changed the world. Suddenly he had something to latch on to, a mission he could understand and get behind with all the muster only a red-blooded 'Merican can. He declared war, much as the U.S. declared war on the Axis powers after Pearl Harbor. But how does one declare war on random bad guys running around the globe? There was no army or foreign power to point the finger at. And so began America's war on terror. With this new war would come giant leaps backward regarding civil and human rights, as well as unprecedented defense spending, political bullying and heavily ham fisted, doctored laws. George Orwell was off by a decade. Hours after three passenger planes were flown into the World Trade Center and Pentagon buildings (a fourth jet was crashed into a Pennsylvania field when passengers revolted and wrestled for control of the doomed airliner), Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was in the White House pleading with George to invade Iraq. Iraq? Why? The attacks were conducted by terrorists in hijacked planes, not by a foreign government (at least not directly, as in an act of war). What possible connection to the attacks did Iraq have? This fundamental question has yet to be answered, despite the Bush administration's best efforts. In one response, George even replied, "After all, this is the guy that tried to kill my dad at one time." Hardly reason to invade another nation half a world away. The attacks were quickly linked to Al Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group headed by Osama bin Laden, a millionaire Saudi deportee. The bin Laden family is the second most powerful in Saudi Arabia, having earned their fortune in construction. Members of the family were involved with the Trilateral Commission along with George Sr. up to September 12th, when they were either asked to leave the group or quietly removed themselves. The bin Laden name was not new to the Pentagon and CIA, either, who funneled taxpayer dollars to the mujahadeen leader as he was teaching Soviet soldiers a thing or two during their invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s (see Rambo III). After mopping up the last of the Soviets, bin Laden turned his attention to what he saw as the next great evil facing the world, American economic and political aggression (never mind that part where we gave him cash and weapons). So, as one does when faced with roving, wealthy terrorists, George ordered the shit bombed out of Afghanistan. The fact that Afghanistan had already been bludgeoned back to the stone age during the Soviet invasion didn't phase the White House. Soon stealth bombers were dropping massive payloads on countless mountainside targets throughout the wasted country, and within months the self-imposed thugocracy known as the Taliban was shown the door. Thousands of detainees were taken into custody, housed in a prison camp called X-ray on the Marine Guantanamo Base in Cuba. The prison camp was constructed especially for them. The Pentagon and White House argued the Geneva Convention did not apply to the detainees (news sources were repeatedly told they were to be called "detainees", rather than prisoners, despite the obvious fact that that was what they were), because they were not part of a standing national army when captured, but instead were simply "combatants" working under a rogue terrorist group.

The semantics were (and are, as many of the "detainees" are still being held) ridiculous, but the implication was deadly serious. Under the Geneva Convention's rules, recognized prisoners of war must be afforded certain rights, similar to those established by the Miranda Act. Detainees, however, need not be afforded shit, and to this day many have not been allowed to speak with a lawyer, a family member or even been officially charged with a crime. They simply sit and wait for the next round of interrogations. To be sure, the Taliban regime was a cruel, repugnant, wholly hypocritical gang of bullies and those guilty of crimes should be brought to justice. However, the countless saps who just happened to go along with bullshit Taliban doctrine rather than undergo bullet-to-head therapy are lost among the numbers, and their only taste of American justice has been to rot in cages while the White House decides what to do with them. When the military campaign in Afghanistan came to an end, the Taliban was gone from power. But their elusive leader, Mullah Omar Mohammed, was nowhere to be found. Neither was Osama bin Laden, who had been seeking refuge in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. So if the two figures most responsible for creating and harboring Al Qaeda were still at large, was the war on terror a success? Was it even over? To hear George tell it, now that his new found mission was in full swing, the war wouldn't be finished any time soon. But who to pick a fight with next? Afghanistan, if not directly under American control, was at least off the top of our shit list. But no other nation could be directly linked to the September 11th attacks other than Saudi Arabia, which had not only produced bin Laden, but was also known to either be sympathetic toward Islamist movements or downright financially supportive of them. They were untouchable, however, given their world's largest oil supply, so at least we had our priorities straight. With no other plausible targets, and the ghost of Saddam Hussein still chuckling in the collective Bush ear, the White House and Pentagon set about bullshitting the world on a scale eclipsing that of Florida. Enter Desert Storm, the sequel. RICHARD BRUCE CHENEY The Biggest Dick in The White House It is completely beyond us why anyone would choose, or allow to be called, "Dick" as their nickname. Pardon the pun, but no good can ever come from such a decision. Nonetheless, this Dick was born on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Wyoming. Not wanting to deny their son the riches of sophisticated life, his parents soon moved him to the bustling city of Casper, Wyoming, where he was formed into a young adult during the boom years following the second world war. By all accounts, similar to his current cohort Donald Rumsfeld, Dick was a busy, go-get-'em kind of guy, and wound up senior class president as he prepared to leave high school for Yale, the hallowed Bush alma mater. Not bad for some Dick from Wyoming [sorry, it's impossible to resist]. But Yale would prove, um, disagreeable to the future veep. While his official biography simply states he, "earned his bachelor's and master's of arts degrees from the University of Wyoming," the whole truth is that he did so only after dropping out of Yale and running back to the Cowboy State. There, he would work for the power company for two years before finally getting around to his higher education. After all, his Dad wasn't - well, you know. Putting his college days behind him, Dick headed for Washington. There he began working as a special assistant to Rumsfeld, who was already one of the brightest young stars in the Republican camp, and well entrenched in the Nixon administration. When Nixon was

cannibalized by his own party and staff, Rumsfeld led Gerald Ford's transition team, and made sure to bring Dick along for the ride. By 1975, Rumsfeld was our Secretary of Defense and Dick was Ford's chief of staff. He was 34 years old. But then 1976 happened, and it sucked to be a Republican. Some UFO-spotting hayseed from Georgia, named Jimmy Carter, rode the still substantial wave of Nixon-hating to the White House. For his part, Carter was a fairly lousy and ineffectual President, but by far the greatest ex-President this country has ever had. Hell, the guy won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, and he'd been retired for over twenty years. Getting back to Dick [snicker]. When the kinder, gentler Carter camp moved in, there was nowhere for him to go but back to Wyoming (again). He took with him a certain beltway sophistication that worked in his favor, and he managed to gain that state's sole seat in the House of Representatives (again, similar to Donald Rumsfeld). Dick was reelected five times, and wound up the Majority Whip, which is not only very impressive, but funny as hell when you figure his name into that. As the 80s continued, his voting record became one of the most conservative in Congress. Dick supported Reagan's missile defense pipe dream, "Star Wars", and military backing of Osama bin Laden in his fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan, but was outspoken against the Equal Rights Amendment, the Clean Water Act, a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases and federally funded abortions. Oh, and he called for school prayers. So all in all, Dick was a hard case [giggle]. All of which fit perfectly with the grand scheme concocted by George Bush Sr. and his mentally retarded front man, Ronald Reagan. So in 1988, as Bush was ascending into the Oval Office himself, he nominated Dick as Secretary of Defense (Rumsfeld was off making millions and installing nuclear reactors in North Korea). One of his first decisions was to bring in Gen. Colin Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dick also began working closely with Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. And today, 15 years later, these figures still control national defense and foreign policy: Powell (Sec. Of State), Cheney (VP), Wolfowitz (Asst. Sec. of Defense) and Rumsfeld, who rejoined the fun as Sec. of Defense in 2000. Good to know cronyism is still alive and well in Washington. Dick then did something either darkly good or terribly, terribly bad, depending on how you earn a living: he started the war on terror. Or more precisely, he put into motion the major reason that so many fucking Muslims hate us, and thus the last straw that led to September 11th, and therefor the war on terror. What was that one thing, you ask? Well, to be fair, Dick was confronted with a shit storm when he moved into his new office in the Pentagon, known as Operation Desert Shield (which became Operation Desert Storm). It's likely that Bush unforgivably entered into a war against a nation whose only real sin was interrupting our oil supply (sound familiar?), and Cheney was there to lend a hand. He bullied the Saudis into letting the U.S. establish a huge military presence in their country, the same country that's home to Islam's two holiest shrines. Not good, Dick. After the Iranian revolution and years of shitty treatment elsewhere, not to mention their seriously distorted view of EVERYTHING, fundamentalist Muslims hardly needed another reason to despise the Great Devil. But Dick gave 'em one anyway, and with perfect timing. Osama bin Laden, our former pal in the fight against Communism, had finished beating the shit out of the Soviets, and was looking for something to do. "What's that? American soldiers in the Holy Land? Cool, let me get my bombs and I'll be right over." The war on terror is such a convoluted, conspiratorial subject we've devoted an entire entry to it. So for now, let's stick with Dick [snicker, chortle]. There's the topic of his heart. It wants to die. In fact, it's done so, three times, in 1978, 1984 and 1988, at which time Dick

also underwent quadruple bypass surgery. For every hamburger Jay Leno joked about Clinton eating, Dick had scarfed down half a dozen, with an extra chocolate shake to lube them up a bit. Maybe it's all that Wyoming beef. Maybe it's stress. Maybe it's a vast liberal plot to whack him. The White House assures us he currently possesses a clean bill of health, but few are buying it. His lifesaving cyborg heart, by the way, was invented by Segway creator Dean Kamen. It's like that movie or bad TV show or whatever where the White supremacist is saved by a heart transplant from a recently passed Black man, except the supremacist is an oil-loving Cheney, and the Black guy is the one man who poses the biggest threat to the auto industry. Oh, have we mentioned Dick's passion for petroleum yet? Because it fairly defines everything about him. As we stated earlier, his previous work experience (that is, jobs held outside the public sector) included fixing power lines in Wyoming (and not much else). So when the Democrats again kicked our little circle of goons out of Washington, and Dick found himself unemployed, what better credentials than his for running one of the largest corporations in the country? Of course, it wasn't his skill in climbing telephone poles that Halliburton was after. One of the largest oil equipment and services companies in the world, the Dallas-based conglomerate desperately needed an inside man, someone with sterling connections to Washington insiders. They needed a pimp, and his name was Dick [outright laughter]. As a high level Government employee, Dick was already making good money. Pundits scoff at the President's annual salary of some $250,000 as paltry, which apparently goes to show pundits make too much fucking money. So as Congressman and Secretary of Defense, you know Dick had gotten used to a decent bank account. None of that meant, uh, dick, when it came time to play for Halliburton. In 2000 alone, for example, his earnings were $36,086,635. THAT'S EIGHT DIGITS, PEOPLE. And when he wasn't lighting cigars with Benjamins, he was busy lying to the SEC and arranging corporate blowjobs back in the capital. From, a Democratic watchdog group: -Increase in government contracts while Cheney led Halliburton: 91% -Minimum size of "accounting irregularity" that occurred while Cheney was CEO: $100,000,000 (One hundred MILLION dollars) -Number of the seven official US "State Sponsors of Terror" that Halliburton contracted with: 2 -Pages of Energy Plan documents Cheney refused to give congressional investigators: 13,500 -Amount energy companies gave the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign: $1,800,000 Speaking of that "State Sponsors of Terror" thing, it was Halliburton's subsidiary Brown & Root which was ultimately fined $3.8 million for wheeling and dealing with Libya. This took place under Dick's leadership. Oh, and the Financial Times of London reported that Halliburton sold more than $73 million in goods and services to Saddam Hussein's government, no doubt before the U.S. decided (again) Saddam was a "bad guy". Dick swears up and down, by the way, that he supported sanctions against Iraq while at Halliburton, though the numbers show the complete opposite. The sticking point with Halliburton is that truckload of government contracts (actually, those, and their bullshit accounting practices, which we'll get to in a moment). These hugely

lucrative promises of work are normally competed for. After all, isn't that what a free market, capitalist society is all about? As in, the kind of economy every conservative espouses from every soapbox, every second of every goddamn day? But in the now scandalous cases of Halliburton and Brown & Root, things didn't exactly go that way. The most recent contract, secretly agreed upon by the Pentagon and Halliburton, and only brought to light by Congressman Henry Waxman's public investigations into the matter, called for up to $7 billion for Iraq's reconstruction costs, costs which were to be necessary after the serious pummeling of that country (Part II). Not only did the U.S. Army not allow other companies to compete for the work, but the contract itself was actually in addition to a previous agreement between B&R and the Army, originally drawn up in 2001 for unrelated work. Neither Dick, nor Halliburton, nor the Pentagon nor the White House have given any explanation for this wholly unscrupulous and sinister scam. Then there's the 1992 deal where the Pentagon, still under Cheney's leadership, awarded Brown & Root $3.9 million to report on how private companies, like itself, could better help U.S. Military concerns. Later that year, B&R was paid another $5 million to update the report. Finally, in the same year, B&R won a huge contract for work throughout the world on defense projects. Three years later, Dick was CEO of Halliburton, B&R's parent company. Hmm... According to a 2000 article in Mother Jones, "between 1992 and 1999, the Pentagon paid [B&R] more than $1.2 billion for its work in trouble spots around the globe. In May of 1999, the US Army Corps of Engineers re-enlisted the company's help in the Balkans, giving it a new five-year contract worth $731 million." Some who have everything to gain by keeping the current gaggle of thieves in power have suggested that Halliburton's business is its own, and has nothing to do with the Vice President. After all, he doesn't work for them anymore, right? Well, he's still getting paid by Halliburton, to the tune of $1 million a year in "deferred compensation", for reasons known only to nauseatingly wealthy white guys. Then there's the $13.6 million severance package he left Halliburton with. In all, Dick could well have made $100 million for his five years' sweat and toil with the company, not counting the seven-figure retirement perk. So it's no surprise why, after that much circle jerking, he'd want to pay back his friends. Look at it this way: if your former coworkers (the ones you're still friends with) told you they could really use your help to bring in another SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS, wouldn't you see if you could lend a hand? The chances of some of that mad bling making its way back to you are pretty good, after all. And if his bullshit wheeling and dealing isn't enough to convince folks, what could be, in these times of shady accounting procedures and financial scandal? Oh yeah. In one of the most ballsy accounting hornswoggles ever, Halliburton overstated profits by $445 million between 1999 and 2001, half of which time Dick was leading the way. In May, 2002, Halliburton admitted the SEC was conducting an investigation into its thievery, though as of June, 2003, nothing from the probe had surfaced (big surprise). Then there's Dick's chummy relationship with world famous evildoers Andersen Accounting, the con artists behind such gargantuan frauds as Enron, Worldcom and Harken Energy, George W. Bush's old oil company. In a promotional video he taped for the accounting firm in 1996, Dick described how Andersen gave advice, "over and above the normal, by-the-books auditing arrangement." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the understatement of the millennium. DONALD H. RUMSFELD His wallet probably has "Bad Motherfucker" embossed on it like Samuel L. Jackson's

character in Pulp Fiction. Donald Rumsfeld (we have no idea what the "H" stands for) is that ornery. Known to the world for his charming, smart-assed, cantankerous exchanges with reporters, "Rummy" was born on July 9th, 1932, in Chicago. We know as little about his family and childhood as we do about that "H", but one thing is apparent from early on: Donald was a spaz. The guy could hardly contain himself from at least his Princeton days, where the public record on him really begins. He was BUSY. Princeton accepted him on a scholarship, and because of his generic middle-class background, it is to be assumed he was a far more involved and successful student than certain members of the Bush clan he would later come to work for. Upon graduating in 1954 he entered the Navy, and wound up a cavalier pilot. Three years later he left the Navy for a spot on a Congressman's staff, where he apparently was bitten by the political bug. He entered into the business world for a few years, and emerged in 1962 to take a stab at running for a House of Representatives seat from Illinois. He won. He was also just 30 years old. Oh, and he was reelected three times, so again, a busy guy. Then came 1969. Donald was in his fourth term as a Congressman. He was 37 years old, and had accomplished more than most dummies do in a lifetime, for better or worse. Apparently with too much time on his hands back in Illinois, he decided to ditch Congress to help out Richard Nixon, which, given his reputation, was a pretty ballsy move. Donald spent the next few decades keeping himself occupied in one form or another. Whereas you and I might take up fly fishing, or lending a hand at the community theater on weekends, Donald chose a slightly different set of activities, including: -Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Assistant to President Nixon (1969 1970) -Counselor to the President and Director of the Economic Stabilization Program (1971 1972) -U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels, Belgium (1973 - 1974) -Chairman of the transition to the Presidency of Gerald R. Ford (1974) -Chief of Staff of the White House (1974 - 1975) -13th U.S. Secretary of Defense, the youngest in the country's history (1975 - 1977) -Member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control - Reagan Admin. (1982 - 1986) -President Reagan's Special Envoy on the Law of the Sea Treaty (1982 - 1983) -Senior Advisor to President Reagan's Panel on Strategic Systems (1983 - 1984) -Member of the U.S. Joint Advisory Commission on U.S./Japan Relations - Reagan Admin. (1983 - 1984) -President Reagan's Special Envoy to the Middle East (1983 - 1984) -Member of the National Commission on the Public Service (1987 - 1990) -Member of the National Economic Commission (1988 - 1989) -Member of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University (1988 - 1992) -Member of the Commission on U.S./Japan Relations (1989 - 1991) -FCC's High Definition Television Advisory Committee (1992 - 1993) -Chairman, Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States (1998 - 1999) -Member of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission (1999 - 2000) -Chairman of the U.S. Commission to Assess National Security Space Management and

Organization (2000) So all in all, HOLY SHIT. He also spent the years between 1977 and 2000 (when he was again appointed Secretary of Defense) in various private business roles, including heading two companies involved in pharmaceuticals and electronics, both members of the Fortune 500. You'd think a guy with such a vast public record wouldn't have much in the way of damaging secrets. After all, this man has been in public service for forty years, and not like George H.W. Bush, whose "public service" often involved attempting to overthrow heads of state and sealing shadowy deals with terrorist organizations. Donald's career was more transparent. So it naturally comes as a bit of a shock to some people to learn HE ONCE DATED SADDAM HUSSEIN. Okay, to be fair, they weren't exactly dating, but they did enjoy each other's company for dinner. We imagine the conversation to have flowed thusly: "Mm, delicious couscous, Mr. Dictator." "I'm delighted you like it. But please, call me Saddam. So, what can I do for you, Donald?" "Well sir, rather than question your current campaign of chemical warfare against unarmed civilians, I'm here to discuss three things - oil and Iran." "But Donald, that's only two things." "The third thing are these pita breads! I love 'em!" In 1983 Donald traveled to Iraq on behalf of the Reagan administration to privately suck the madman's cock. Saddam was engaged in two nasty conflicts at the time. In the north he was fighting the evil Kurds, a vicious band of farmers and sheepherders who were ruthless in their request for a moderately decent existence. He massacred them with torture, murder and barrages of chemical warfare. The chemicals, by the way, were provided by George Bush Sr. To the east was Iran, and everyone knows Iran is bad, right? Our representatives in Washington knew that better than anyone, it would seem, and Donald had two express reasons for cozying up to Saddam, oil and Iran (the pita is tasty, however). The U.S. hates fundamentalist, religious zealots in power (never mind our own fundamentalist, religious zealots in power, like W.) almost as much as communist zealots, and Donald was sent over to give Saddam a shitload of weapons and cash to help fight back the orthodox Muslim nation (Iran, not Iraq - Iraq is a strictly secular country). Not one to intrude upon his host's troubles, however, he made no mention of the wholesale slaughter of thousands of helpless Kurds by Saddam and his thugocracy known as the Ba'ath Party. The other issue at stake was oil, naturally, and Donald was there to keep the peace as far as the pipelines were concerned. America runs on oil, after all, not the blood of noisy refugees. Good to know our government's got its priorities straight. All this only came out in February, 2003, when the National Security Archive at George Washington University published a series of declassified U.S. documents on the subject. When asked about the trip on CNN, Rumsfeld tried to defend his actions by saying, "In that visit, I cautioned him about the use of chemical weapons, as a matter of fact, and discussed a host of other things." Trouble is, he was lying through his teeth. According to GWU, "the document indicates there was no mention of chemical weapons." Nice try, Rummy.

Donald Rumsfeld is not an evil man. He's not a usurping, nepotistic, self-serving bullshit artist like his boss. He's a straight forward guy who believes in defending the American way as he sees it. He's rough around the edges, to be sure. He makes his mind known, which isn't always a good thing when you're hosting press conferences every other day. He has a black and white view of the world: democracy is good, and those who try to defeat democracy deserve a world of pain. He's fond of "preemptive action", which is pretty slick jargon for beating the piss out of the school bully before he gets around to picking on you first. He suffers from a bit of tunnel vision, no doubt. But then again, he's the Secretary of Defense, not Feelgoodery. That's Powell's job. THE WAR AGAINST TERROR In 1997, acclaimed director Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam, Rain Man) presented the movie-going public with a wholly unbelievable new film. Based on the book by Larry Beinhart, Wag the Dog revolved around an eccentric Hollywood producer and an expert Washington spin doctor. The duo teams up to contrive a blockbuster-style war production. Rather than release their fiction in theaters, however, their intent is to distribute "news" and images of the fake war, allegedly fought in Albania, via mass American media. Why? In the film, a la Bill Clinton, the President has been caught with his pants down, literally, and to avoid a ruinous scandal, the producer and spin doctor conjure up the notion of a bullshit war to distract the public's attention. And, being a good comedy, it works. Beinhart cleverly used the ever-suffocating role of ham fisted news organizations and a corrupt White House to tell a funny, and sobering, story. But he got it backwards. Though his version is funnier, in the real world, the war distracts the public from what is about to happen, rather than what already took place. And everyone knows war is a bit much if you're just trying to cover up boffing a cute intern. Oil, however, and economic stability, are perfectly good excuses. So take note, Beinhart. For the sequel, make sure the fake war premiers as the White House and Pentagon are establishing pro-Western governments, smuggling oil, illegally imprisoning enemies, dodging questions about unlawful business practices and carrying out their secret energy policy. Otherwise, you know, people might notice. We already gave the basic details on how September 11 came about - that is, the disastrous events and decisions that led up to that day (see Cheney). But what about the 11th itself? Like Kennedy's assassination, we all knew where we were or what we were doing when the planes struck (if we were around for both). When the first crash occurred, folks thought it was a nightmarish accident, though that day was unusually clear, and the approach over the water would have given the most inept pilot plenty of time to move aside. But soon the truth became clear, as the second jet plowed into the adjacent tower. It was already the worst act of terrorism in this nation's history, and the crashes in Pennsylvania and upon the Pentagon had yet to happen. Over the months, as truckloads of debris were hauled out of Ground Zero, the body count was finalized at 3,025, not including the 19 hijackers. That's 618 more than those killed in Pearl Harbor, and unlike the attack in 1941, these people were just going to work, or school. They were fucking bankers, and cafeteria workers, and children. By any measure, September 11, 2001 was Hell on Earth. Which, sickeningly, was great if you happened to be the President, or Paul Wolfowitz. George W. Bush used September 11 [a few words on that date: "9/11" is a grotesque

belittling of the horrific pains endured that day. People on fire jumped out of windows 80 and 90 floors up. Whole families died violently, including children. When 3,025 people are savagely murdered, get your fat ass off the couch and expel enough air to say "Sep-tem-ber Ee-lev-enth". Abbreviate "tits and ass" or "blowjob" if you want, but at least show enough respect to these victims to sound out six whole syllables.] as the ultimate springboard (and some say the ultimate smokescreen). It's clear that the attacks were exploited to boost his ratings to astronomical heights, as well as divert attention from his mounting problems with the Florida "election", Harken and Enron. Whether September 11 was actually orchestrated to do just that is pure (and awfully shaky) hypothesis. Regardless, the attacks did happen, and the world was forever changed, beginning with our good President. On Sept. 10, 2001, his approval rating hovered around 50 per cent. Several hours later, it catapulted to over 90 per cent, one of the few times a President had received such good will from voters. Of course, it wasn't as a result of some good job he did, but simply as a sign of solidarity and collective mourning. His popularity has remained high only because, according to one source, "[it] is built on the carnage of the atrocities of" September 11. The same was true for his daddy back in 1990, as American troops were sent to liberate Kuwaiti oil. But then we didn't get Saddam, who had conveniently been demonized to polarize Americans, and voters suddenly remembered the economy sucked, and Bush was handed his hat. It's uncanny how alike this moment in history is to that of 1990-91. Except this time if George W. loses the White House in 2004, Clinton won't have anything to do with it. Okay, so we've established that a bunch of sick, hypocritical Islamists hijacked four passenger jets and crashed them on American soil. Thousands die horribly, the nation rallies around the flag, the President, firefighters, country music and online pornographic images of Osama bin Laden, the former Saudi millionaire turned Afghan freedom fighter turned murderous scumbag at large. What is most interesting is the homosexual nature of bin Laden's centerfolds. Why is it the images meant to stoke masculine patriotism and ass-kicking bravado all feature huge cocks and sweaty, man-on-man buttrape? A tidal wave of other emails and Internet imagery washed over America, taunting bin Laden, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein as if they'd pushed us off the swing at school. The brave shows were terrific at replacing our terror and vulnerability with machismo and vengeance, but they did nothing to help explain a complex and terribly sad situation, one that was brought about in large part by secret American policies, and resulted in the pointless deaths of thousands of innocents. The war against terror simultaneously encompasses many complex details and one irrefutable, cold fact. The various policies, decisions, acts of war (overt and covert), backroom dealings, arms trades and sundry political and economic maneuverings of this country and others have bestowed upon the Western world an atmosphere in which we are not as popular as we once were, especially us Yankees. Propping up dictatorial, yet Western-friendly regimes (Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran and the Saudi royal family, to name a few) has been a hallmark of American style democracy, and it's earned us little friendship in the Arab world. That many Muslims harbor a deep hatred of Jews and a Jewish state in their front yard, and that we're quite friendly with Israel, doesn't help cool Arab tempers much. But Islam's hatred of the West is also somewhat unfounded. It stands to reason a healthy dose of historical resentment is mixed in with their political rhetoric. After all, 2,000 years ago, the Arab world was the wellspring of civilization. Arabs gave us mathematics, architecture, written language, even beer. Few in the Middle East are oblivious to their

shitty living conditions today. While a handful of millionaire and billionaire Arab oil thieves see the world as their playground, most Muslim nations enjoy third world status. And with every new SUV model debuted in the U.S., jealousy seems to play an ever larger part in their anti-American tirades. But most of Islam's grievances against the West are valid, at least from a diplomatic, opinionated point of view. No one said anything about blowing up office buildings and nightclubs. But what's that "one irrefutable, cold fact", you ask? Let's all say it together, folks: MONEY. Very good, class. More than ideology, more than philosophy or philanthropy, or, despite the bullshit Bush is fond of laying down, freedom, the war against terror is about money. Don't believe it? Perhaps you're about to let loose with the most common knee jerk antiwar term, "oil"? Well, you're not entirely wrong. In fact, in a gesture that was either a terrible goof or a big "fuck you" to the world's naysayers, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz recently spilled the beans on the true reasons for invading Iraq (to everyone who has blindly stood with the President in calling the invasion an act of liberating the Iraqi people, this is where you suddenly feel duped on a massive scale): "We just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil." This bombastic statement was made June 4, 2003 at an Asian security summit in Singapore. He also used this argument bluntly (and publicly, if you can believe it), in explaining to reporters why we're not bothering with North Korea, which actually does pose a very real and immediate threat, unlike Iraq. It seems Kim Il Jong needs to find some oil, and quick, if he wants to be taken seriously - tactical nukes (capable of striking the western U.S.) just aren't doing the job. But you'd be missing the larger picture if you thought an entire war effort would be conducted just for oil. After all, other countries have oil, and plenty of it: Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Angola, Nigeria, even Canada. In fact, Royal Dutch/Shell recently opened a shale oil operation in northern Canada, one which employs 10,000 workers. The reason? If extruded from the rock properly, Canada's oil shale reserves are believed to be second only to Saudi Arabia's. Even the first Gulf War wasn't strictly about oil alone, which we'll get to in a moment. But oil is a good starting point, so let's begin at the beginning. Why is oil so freakin' important? Because if human civilization were a person, he or she would have light sweet crude for blood. Keep in mind what the petroleum industry gives us: Gasoline for your car. Diesel for cargo ships, which unload their freight onto tractor trailers, which also require diesel, and which transfer and deliver everything you've ever purchased, eaten, worn or played with your entire life. Don't forget diesel for farm equipment, and back-up hospital generators, and construction equipment, and tanks and war ships and other billion dollar toys. Jet fuel, for the thousands of planes that ferry hordes of slowmoving fat people to and from overcrowded beaches around the world, and for the ones that drop bombs on Iraqis trying to get to our oil. MOTOR OIL. HEATING OIL. RUBBER. NATURAL GAS. PLASTIC, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE. So when you see another "No Blood for Oil" bumper sticker on the back of a car that burns exactly that, consider the grand scheme of things: the sticker is printed on vinyl, a plastic derivative. And it's unevenly placed on a plastic bumper. Half of the car is made of plastic, it runs on gas and burns motor oil. Petroleum companies are also heavily invested in auto maintenance, and may have even manufactured the oil filter. Texas tea, while vitally important, is but a part of a much, much larger whole.

Now that it's clear this war isn't just about oil, what else could compel the world's foremost democracy to give the U.N. the finger and go it alone (sorry, Britain, but let's be honest)? How about military contracts? You know, the ones estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers upwards of $100 billion? It's expensive to bomb the shit out of a large nation, though relatively easy. Imagine the costs involved if you then try to rebuild that nation, especially if it's half a world away, you're in a fairly hostile area and you'd like to see your new country all shiny and democratic. Before we began the war, The White House and Pentagon were promising everyone we wouldn't be there for too long. "We want to give Iraq back to the Iraqi people," they'd swear. The invasion would not become an occupation. Now both centers of power are admitting troops will have to remain in Iraq (and Afghanistan) until President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld damned well say so, which, by one recent estimate, will be at least ten more years. So fuck you, Army brats. Daddy will send you an e-card for Christmas. By the way, do we have to mention again that Brown & Root, which is owned by Halliburton, which has close ties to Dick Cheney, is one of the Pentagon's major recipients? Didn't think so. So what do we have? Oil, and everything that goes with it (plastics, natural gas, etc.), and now military contracts. So far we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars. Not bad. What else, what else.... Oh, what about that catchy phrase that's always thrown around at White House press conferences? "Economic stability", that's it. What is economic stability, and why is it important enough to send Johnny off to the desert? Let's try an exercise. You devise a way to sell nude pictures of the football coach's wife at school. She's pretty hot, and it's a big school, so you figure you'll make a killing. Unless coach killjoy finds out, and then you're in deep shit. So you talk it over with the gang. There are five of you, but since you're the biggest, and a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do besides, you get the most floor time. Nigel says he's with you, but Ivan, Francois and Helmut tell you to go screw yourself they're not messing with the coach, even for enough money to buy an Xbox and four dizzope games. So it's you and Nigel. What are you going to do? If you don't find a way to quell coach asswipe, you'll never make a cent. What you need is economic stability! So after school one day you and Nigel wait in the bushes next to the faculty parking lot. You know which shitty car is the coach's, because it's got all those ridiculous D.A.R.E. and "plAYSOccer" stickers on it. What a dork. Okay, here he comes. You can hear the swish of his track suit as he makes his way toward you. He rounds the corner, and you jump out of the bushes and take him down. Nigel holds his arms behind his back while you strangle him with his whistle. After he passes out, you bang him on the head with his clipboard for good measure. He's sure to get the message now. Good job, you two. Not only have you executed a successful preemptive attack, but you've managed to establish economic stability. Porn for everyone! In other words, to create an environment where you can peddle mature nudey pics (or telecommunications services, fast food, running shoes, mid-sized sedans, portable computers, energy drinks, Harry Potter wizard hats and tall iced mochas), you must sometimes take strict measures. Like, say, using cluster bombs and bunker busters. Or destroying Iraqi trucks on Syrian soil after briefing faulty intelligence. The point is, you won't sell a single picture until your market is "economically stable" enough to buy it. To give this proper perspective, keep in mind America is a capitalist society. Capitalism is a free enterprise system. That means it's only regulated where it's deemed absolutely necessary, and even then it's iffy, depending on how much you're willing to donate to the

latest election campaign. If China and Japan and South Korea get to the Middle East before us, you may want to start looking for another job. Taken another way, we need to keep growing as an economy to prosper. If the Gulf states continue snubbing American products, and (gasp!) encourage other countries to do the same, again, think about dusting off that resume'. The war against terror was initiated and is being fought for the sole purpose of maintaining this country's economic superiority. Iraqi liberation doesn't have anything to do with it - just ask Paul Wolfowitz. Now that you know why we're there, let's get to the how. Following are a few questions, along with their respective answers: -"Why was the public willing to go along with such an attack, given the nature of the impending war?" Uh, because everybody lied to us. President Bush went on the record declaring Saddam Hussein's regime (that word is so overused now it's ridiculous) was the world's most imminent threat, more dangerous than North Korea, despite their claiming they've got a couple of long range nukes pointed at us and they're itching to use them. By the way, every time Bush points out, in his effort to garner further support for an illegal war, that Saddam used chemical weapons against his own people, remember this: we gave him those weapons. In the 70s and 80s, when he was engaged against the big bad Iranians, we supplied him with nearly every weapon the White House now accuses him of "stockpiling", since we had a grudge against socialist-leaning Iran. And when he used them on the Kurds to quell separatist grumbling, WE DID NOTHING ABOUT IT, though we were certainly aware of it at the time. The fact that Bush is now trying to use that episode to his own advantage is nothing less than despicable. Getting back to our longwinded answer, Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and Colin (say it ain't so) Powell all swore up and down that Iraq posed a clear and present danger, and would be dealt with right after we finished up in Afghanistan. Yet the International Atomic Energy Agency, after years of inspections, found diddly. Same for the world's investigative journalists, who've turned up exactly dick in the hunt for Saddam's feared WMD. Even the CIA and British intelligence have admitted their findings on Iraq's weapons programs were both highly inaccurate (in one instance, actually plagiarized from a college student's online senior thesis) and forcibly skewed to reflect the desires of the Bush and Blair administrations. Hell, Britain's equivalent to Colin Powell even quit over the matter, upon learning how riddled with bullshit the whole thing was. So, to answer the question, half the war's supporters went along because they believed the lies, while the other half are simply the hardcore Republicans who will follow any crackpot conservative scheme. Logic often has nothing to do with it. -"What reactions did the rest of the world display?" Every nation on Earth, even our "coalition" members (U.K., Australia, Italy, Poland, etc.), began a concerted effort to hate our asses. And with good reason. The United Nations, created from the ashes of World War II, officially made war illegal, except in acts of direct self defense or in the defense of another U.N. country. After a silly series of votes and summits, the U.N. said, "Um, no." And since we went ahead anyway, without the pretext of self defense, we essentially committed the grandest international crime since 1945. -"What specific military strategies were put in place to carry out the invasions?" Bomb first, ask questions later. Questions like, "Where do you think Saddam is?" and "Hot enough for ya?" And to make sure the folks back home liked what they saw on CNN, military brass pulled a stunt straight out of Stripes: After a few wrong turns, the 507th Maintenance Company bumbled into an Iraqi ambush on March 23. The ensuing attack left 11 Americans

dead, and several more captured, including Private Jessica Lynch. American news outlets collectively reached orgasm in their excitement to report on Lynch's heroic rescue from an Iraqi-controlled hospital. Marines jumped fences and broke down doors in their hurry to extract Lynch from enemy hands, but the truth about the hospital was far different. Local Iraqis claimed the soldiers could have just opened the front door and walked in, that the hospital was no longer held by Iraqi troops when the Marines arrived and that Iraqi doctors had not only taken very good care of Lynch, but even provided her with a private room and her own nurse, rare luxuries in war-torn Iraq. The surgeon who cared for Lynch stated the Americans were very clearly firing blanks, and equated the over the top break-in to Hollywood action flicks. Of course, the Lynch family was never allowed to discuss the facts about Jessica's "rescue", but CBS ignored all that in their rush to air her first interview. -"What kind of rehabilitation has the U.S. followed up with in these countries?" The White House has stated very clearly they will not permit a truly free election process in Iraq, in the event that a fundamentalist government is put in power, as in neighboring Iran. So a multiethnic council, comprising all walks of Iraqi life, has been installed to make recommendations on internal affairs. Actually, this is the best way to go. We never should have stepped foot in Iraq in the first place, but now that we've gone and fucked everything up for our own purposes, we may as well make the best of it. Simply packing up would create a sess pool of chaos and violence, the antithesis of economic stability. Making a Disneyland go of it, where everyone is treated equally in the effort to bring warmth and happiness to a bombed out desert, is a much better alternative. But the U.S. has been lackluster in their steps toward concrete progress, to say the least. Witnesses during the war reported seeing American troops immediately surround the oil ministry building in Baghdad, but leave the National Museum to fend for itself. Clean water, electricity and phone service (even cell phones, which are currently forbidden by American authorities there) have all yet to make their ways to most Iraqis. Hospitals are severely lacking, and unemployment hovers just over 50%. By most early estimates, reconstruction costs will run upwards of $100 billion, and take years to complete. In fact, for a paltry $1500, you can even subscribe to Iraq Reconstruction Report, in case you're thinking about profiting from it all. -"What does the future hold for Afghans and Iraqis?" If they behave, Friends on DVD, Diet Coke, about 3,000 Starbucks, a wave of Christian missionaries and most of their oil back. If not, more spanking. -"How do these wars benefit Americans?" If you still don't know, please return to your previous existence, before you started asking uppity questions.