From: NY Transfer News
Subject: Can Dummy Distance Himself from Scummy?
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 04:44:35 -0400
Organization: NY Transfer News
NNTP-Posting-Date: 14 Jun 2002 08:43:21 GMT
User-Agent: Pan/0.11.3 (Unix)
Can Dummy Distance Himself from Scummy?
Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit
VillageVoice.com - Wednesday, 12 June, 2002
Bush Distances Himself from Attorney General
by James Ridgeway
Washington, D.C.--As Bush angrily backpedals away from Attorney
General John Ashcroft's statements Monday about the supposed
dirty-bomb plot of former Chicago thug Abdullah al Muhajir (a/k/a
Jose Padilla), Washington officials are nervously watching the
nation's top lawman and wondering what's next.
Yesterday everyone here had their maps out to see whether their homes
were in the range of the radioactive plume of the bomb the attorney
general claims was going to be set off. Ground zero was near the
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, extending across parts of the
Capitol lawn, the Archives, the East Wing of the National Gallery of
Art, and on into Union station. J. Edgar Hoover's memorial FBI
building seems to be out of the high-risk zone, and, of course, the
CIA is across the river in Langley, Virginia.
According to press reports, the White House thinks Ashcroft made too
much of Padilla, who has not been charged with a crime. The
government attorneys apparently could not get an indictment out of a
New York grand jury and, rather than let him go, handed Padilla off
to the military. According to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
speaking from Quatar, he might never be tried.
By this morning, there were charges flying around the capital that
Bush had known about the Muhajir case for at least a month, and that
Ashcroft released the information hurriedly only to divert attention
from Intelligence Committee inquiries into the FBI and CIA handling
of 9-11. The White House has been desperately trying to stay clear of
accusations that the intelligence agencies knew about terrorist
threats well before 9-11.
Up to now Bush has been letting FBI director Robert Mueller take the
heat within the Intelligence Committee investigations, where the
members of Congress and Spook officialdom are close buds and
everything can be kept under a lid. But now Bush is having to push
away from Ashcroft. Even though he's high in the polls, Bush can't
afford bad press, because crucial elections determining control of
Congress are coming up in the fall. So this is serious politics. If
Ashcroft should go, then Bush is in danger of losing the Christian
conservatives who form a small but important part of his
administration and are among the most ferocious grassroots political
"The information was available earlier. Why was it not announced?"
asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who has proposed setting up
a commission to investigate 9-11--a move Bush strenuously opposes.
"I'm very concerned about rumors that there might not be much to it,"
said Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein. One anonymous
Republican senator told the Washington Times, "Did it have to be done
[Monday]? Why didn't they do something earlier?" And John McCain
said, "He [Padilla] cannot be kept without some legal rights, the
rights of a citizen, indefinitely," adding, "I think there's going to
have to be an explanation why he should not have the rights of a
citizen. People who are a clear and present danger to the country
have been held, and there's a rationale for that. They've got to make
the case, that's all."
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving the included information for research and
(c) t r u t h o u t 2002
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