Quite a spectacle in the White House Rose Garden today: George "Butt-Thumper" Bush denouncing Russia for an act of aggression. Bush, with the blood of a million innocent Iraqis dripping from his hands and dribbling from the corners of his smirking mouth, said that Russia's military operations were "damaging its reputation" and were "unacceptable in the 21st century."
The black, bleak hypocrisy of the scene constitutes a kind of all-consuming event horizon, from which no glint of sense or reason can escape. It would almost be funny if people weren't, you know, dying all over the place.
The moral authority of a serial aggressor who keeps a dungeon in his own basement* is a fearsome thing to behold. We're sure that V.V. Putin will really have a long dark night of the soul after this chastisement.
*From Ron Suskind's new book, The Way of the World (via ThinkProgress):
In Ron Suskind’s new book, Suskind describes a disturbing case in Washington, D.C., where security officials detained and interrogated Usman Khosa, a Pakistani U.S. college graduate, because he was “fiddling” with his iPod near White House gates. Officials took Khosa to an interrogation room “beneath” the White House:
He turns as a large uniformed man lunges at him. The backpack!” the man yells, pushing Usman against the Italianate gates in front of Treasury and ripping off his backpack. Another officer on a bicycle arrives from somewhere and tears the backpack open, dumping its contents on the sidewalk. [...]
Usman is trundled from the SUV, escorted through the West Gate, and onto the manicured grounds. No one speaks as the agents walk him behind the gate’s security station, down a stairwell, along an underground passage, and into a room — cement-walled box with a table, two chairs, a hanging light with a bare bulb, and a mounted video camera. Even after all the astonishing turns of the past hour, Usman can’t quite believe there’s actually an interrogation room beneath the White House, dark and dank and horrific.
“Usman Khosa is a Pakistani national in his early twenties, a graduate of Connecticut College now working for the International Monetary Fund,” Suskind notes.
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This story was published on August 14, 2008.