September 11, 2003
Mysterious Campaign Donations From "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden" May Have Influenced Decision To Invade Iraq
The RNC and President Bush have received substantial contrubutions over the past two years from two individuals named "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden," who the GOP claim are nothing more than "two used-car salesmen from Scranton, PA."
The two Scranton individuals have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the GOP from companies called "Al and Ben's Cars That Have Been Owned By American Peoples," "Joe's Car Parts From Cars Driven By American Peoples," and a company that purports to repackage used car oil and sell it back to car owners.
Lawyers from the American Federation of Campaign Financing Violations Committed By Terrorists found the campaign donations suspicious.
"The President's actions don't really make much sense," said lawyer Marjory Morningstar.
"Among other things," she said, "in the two years since the 9/11 attack, Bush bankrupted the treasury, weakened the military, and created a dangerous terrorist free-for-all in the Middle East where one never existed before."
"He let the Saudis off, let bin Laden escape when 'he was completely cornered,' didn't chase him into Pakistan when he did escape, allowed the Taliban to regroup in Afghanistan, and destroyed the most significant alliances America has had to aid us in the war against terror." (A more complete list is below the fold.)*
"Could there be a connection between the money -- from two men in almost seductively flimsy burnooses carrying cases of used motor oil and loose cash -- and the President's actions?" said Morningstar.
In response to the claim that Bush was at the bidding of terrorists posing under the names of "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden," Karl Rove issued a short statement:
There was no influence peddling or quid pro quo for these entirely legal contributions. No evidence exists to suggest anything other than that President Bush accomplished these things all by himself.
*He's bankrupted the treasury.
He's handicapped the military, and refuses to send adequate troops either to protect those already in or to effectively carry out the mission they have been given.
He let bin Laden escape when he "had him cornered" in Afghanistan.
After bin Laden escaped to Pakistan, he didn't chase him.
He's cut a deal with Pakistan, a country whose government is partially loyal (especially its intelligence department) to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, and sent them huge amounts of dangerous arms and money.
He helped Saudis who could have shed light on Saudi Arabian's role in the 9/11 disaster escape from the country while he told the nation that he was doing whatever he could to get to the bottom of the attack.
He attacked Iraq, which had no ties to al Qaeda, and let Saudi Arabia alone, which has countless known ties to al Qaeda, including providing citizenship for almost all of the 9/11 hijackers, possibly funding the attack, and certainly financing al Quaeda's international operations.
He's starved the nation of money it desperately needs simply to secure the homeland, and the nation is no safer today than it was on 9/11.
With breath-taking speed, he took an enormous surplus and deftly turned it into a record-breaking deficit.
He's downsizing and weakening the U.S. military, by exposing its soldiers to significant unnecessary casualties, slashing veterans' benefits; withholding basic and needed increases in combat pay and family absence wages, and increasing the required duty of reservists and national guardsmen so that those that finish duty won't reenlist and those that have not enlisted will do anything to avoid it.
By using available military resources to cause the deaths of untold thousands, even tens of thousands of innocent Moslems (and depriving them of essential comforts that they enjoyed before: electricity, health care, security, and of a government of their own choosing), he's swelling the ranks of bin Laden's army with angry young men.
By destabilizing Iraq he has actually significantly increased the chances that will become a fundamentalist moslem state formed by the 60% of the country that is Shia'.
He's pursued an energy strategy that makes America more dependent on oil and thus more dependent on the Middle East, the very region his actions are further destabilizing.
He has done nothing of any significance to stop hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.
He's rolled back and is attempting to further roll back the most basic protections that were (formerly) guaranteed to U.S. citizens under the Constitution.
He has shielded the Saudis from revelations to Americans concerning the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attack.
He has failed to cooperate with the independent Commission investigating of the intelligence failures of 9/11, even denying that Commission requested documents or unfettered interviews with government employees.
He opposed the creation of the independent commission.
He opposed the creation of the Homeland Security department and then rushed its creation without adequate deliberation.
He's starved the states of needed funds for them to provide for their security, and the welfare of their citizens.
He's deprived the country of funding it needs to give decent education to its children.
I'm sure I've missed some things.
But when you look at it all, there's almost only one conclusion: George W. Bush is serving the interests of al Queda.
Addendum: In his speech to Congress following the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush, echoing Lincoln, asked us to appeal to "the better angels of our nature," in meeting the tragedy and the challenge of reshaping the world.
He has not led by example. He has called upon the worst in himself and in us; he has played upon our greatest fears and his judgments and actions spring from the basest instincts. He values brute force over diplomacy. He has rejected world consensus and real community and prefers instead unilateral action informed by an arrogant sense of American "manifest destiny."
George Bush's response to 9/11 is like Hamlet's response to the terrible tragedy in his world, the murder of his father. Hamlet was cautioned that the well-meaning spirit that appeared to him and urged him to seek revenge for the murder might be a malevolent demon that would seek to lure him to his doom.
Hamlet heeded the spirit's advice. And in seeking to right the wrongs of the world, Hamlet destroyed it.
The New York Times said today:
It is worth reminding ourselves, on this day particularly, that we come no closer to understanding the significance of 9/11, at home and abroad, if we use the memory of what happened that morning falsely and vainly. . . .
It seemed as if two great tides emanated in response to the tragedy of that Tuesday. One was a sense of generosity, a deep compassion that expressed itself in immediate acts of cooperation and support. The other was a sense of patriotism, a strong consciousness of our American identity. . . .
Those buildings did not fall or their occupants die to become symbols in an incoherent argument. That outpouring of strength and consideration was never meant to serve as the pretext for false conclusions. The day will slip away from us as time passes, but not the clarity of the actions we took together in response. The purest patriotism we have in us to express was expressed in the common generosity of that moment.
Let the memory of that day serve ever as a call to embrace the better angels of our nature, to dig far down inside ourselves and rescue them from the tyranny of fear and the instinctive and impetuous desire to blindly strike out at the world in hate and anger.
Posted by Tom Burka at 8:09 AM