Thursday, November 03, 2005

Faith and Fraud

A factitious picture of the world built up by the Bush Administration over its five years in power is now going to pieces before our eyes. Great jagged spikes of reality, like the crags of the iceberg that ripped open the staterooms of the Titanic, are tearing into it on all sides. The disrespected world of facts, an exacting master, is putting down this governmental insurrection against its ineluctable laws.

The pivot is of course the war in Iraq, which in its origins and conduct was and remains a colossal, blood-drenched fraud. But now a majority of the public has caught on and wants the United States to withdraw. In addition, a special counsel has reached directly into the White House and, for the first time since 1875, indicted an official who works there: the Vice President's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, who was trying to suppress the truth about the war by punishing a truth-teller, Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

But of course, the Administration's rebellion against the factual world has gone far beyond the war. The government has been mobilized across the board to erase or deride knowledge of everything from the largest problems now requiring the world's attention--such as global warming and the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their materials (while the Administration ransacked Iraq in vain for them)--to the comparative minutiae of domestic policy, such as the cost of prescription drugs, the extent of power-plant pollution and malfeasance in the award of Pentagon contracts.



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