War on Bush
by Mac Johnson [writer,
Many people claim that the mainstream media have done nothing
to contribute to the war effort. But that is not true. They
have contorted themselves into a veritable
journalistic Kama Sutra of uncomfortable positions, exposed themselves to grand
juries, and sacrificed more of their already waning audience all to further the
cause of victory in war. The only problem is that it is not the War on Terror
they are so committed to. It is the War on George W. Bush.
Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge,
Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and
Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He
is a frequent opinion contributor to Human
Events Online. His website can be found at macjohnson.com [go
to Johnson index]
To see what
I mean, just look at the coverage of last week’s
ridiculous Supreme Court decision overturning the planned military
tribunals for the terrorists held at Guantanamo. This decision
has profound implications for the status of these prisoners,
affording them protections legitimately due only to uniformed
military personnel captured while in the service of a recognized
national government and conducting themselves in accordance with
the established rules of war.
It also represents
yet another power grab by the court, which claims it made its
decision in order to strengthen the hand of
Congress in defining the status of these illegal combatants.
This is a curious assertion given that the Congress passed the
Detainee Treatment Act just seven months ago, declaring in unusually
clear language that “no court, justice, or judge” has
the authority to hear habeas corpus petitions filed by detainees.
But for the media, such national and immediate consequences
were secondary at best, as the headlines and stories declared
gleefully what they saw as the real news:
- “In a major defeat for the Bush administration, the
U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday…” “…the
decision was a stinging blow for the administration…” (Reuters)
- “The Supreme Court today delivered a sweeping rebuke
to the Bush administration…” “The decision
was such a sweeping and categorical defeat for the Bush administration…” (New
- “Supreme Court Blocks Bush…” “5 to
3 Ruling Curbs President's Claim Of Wartime Power.” “…emphatically
rejecting a signature Bush anti-terrorism measure and the broad
assertion of executive power upon which the president had based
it.” (Washington Post)
- “In a blow to President Bush's strategy…” (Los
York Times even continued into a delusional Watergate flashback, so frenzied
was it’s joy at the decision: “The
courtroom was, surprisingly, not full, but among those in attendance,
there was no doubt that they were witnessing a historic event,
a definitional moment in the ever-shifting balance of power among
the branches of government that ranked with the court's order
to President Nixon in 1974 to turn over the Watergate tapes or
with the court's rejection of President Truman's seizure of the
nation's steel mills, a 1952 landmark decision from which Justice
Kennedy quoted at length.”
If any major media
source made a serious reference to whether or not the decision
would help or hinder the nation’s fight
against terrorism, I missed it. No, the news and analysis was
all about George W. Bush, his image, his popularity, his effectiveness,
and his defeat.
This myopic obsession with the political consequences of all
actions in the War on Terror neatly explains every seemingly
inexplicable action taken by members of the elite media over
the last five years. While America fights the War on Terror,
the media are fighting the War on Bush, in which the terror war
is just one more battlefield in a far-ranging domestic rebellion.
If the U.S. must lose the War on Terror so that the media can
finally show people just what a bad, bad man Bush is, then so
be it. As a matter of fact, losing the War on Terror might demonstrate
what a failure Bush is better than any other possibility.
York Times doesn’t expose national secrets for
profit as some have claimed. It does so for ideology.
To their mind, it is better that 10 guilty terrorists (or even
100) go free than that George W. Bush remain President, possess
a successful legacy or pass his political capital onto the next
Republican nominee for the presidency.
In pursuit of the War on Bush, the old media have:
1. Revealed covert wiretapping programs aimed at foreign terrorists
trying to contact collaborators within the United States.
2. Revealed CIA transportation infrastructure, right down to
the tail numbers on individual airplanes.
3. Revealed covert banking investigations designed to find
the donors and money launderers that make terrorist mass murder
4. Focused on the
rare abuses, rapes, murders, civilian casualties, and friendly
fire incidents that offer to discredit the entire
military while it is under Bush’s command. While at the
same time, ignoring any individual act of heroism, medal ceremony,
or inspirational tales of valor, charity, humanity or honor among
our troops in combat.
5. Revealed covert detention facilities and the foreign allies
that have helped us to capture and detain those in them, threatening
these alliances and exposing these allies to terrorist retribution.
6. Taken up the cause of the brutal prisoners at Guantanamo
as if they were child-like victims of Bush, human rights martyrs
unrelated to the war they began.
7. Tracked each new
death among our military personnel in Iraq as if it were the
countdown to the end of Bush’s life,
the political equivalent to the flashing crystals from Logan’s
Run. Normally, highlighting our casualties would be a job for
enemy propaganda. But since the casualty clock helps in the war
the media really believes in -- the War on Bush -- they dutifully
report every tick, tick, tick, even exaggerating the numbers
by including those who spontaneously die of natural causes and
traffic accidents as far away as Kuwait. Likewise, they have
claimed that the lower-than-civilian suicide rate among our troops
is an epidemic caused by the “cracking” of morale.
In short, the elite
media have functioned as the intelligence
services and the
propaganda publishers of our enemies, solely
because they share with them a hatred of George W. Bush. If the
enemy of one’s enemy really is one’s friend, then
the terrorists have certainly found friends in America’s
First appeared at Human Events Online
2006 Mac Johnson