Vin Crosbie's Personal Blog

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Wishful Thinking versus Reality

Since George Washington was sworn in as president of the United States, 42 men have held that office. I lived through the criminal administration of Richard Nixon, but I had thought the odds were good that I wouldn’t live during a incompetent president (Nixon’s unelected successor, Gerald Ford, although prone to tripping over his own feet, was a competent administrator). When I think about incompetent U.S. presidents, I think about Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover, or other names from past generations. I’ve however realized that I am living through the administration of who may be the most incompetent president in U.S. history. Andrew Johnson’s administration (1865-69) may have been a nadir, but the U.S. wasn’t the world’s only superpower at that time. The incompetent George W. Bush‘s United States is. Six years into it, I cannot name anything he has competently done. Quite the contrary. Almost five years since the terrorist attack on New York City, the site of the destroyed World Trade Towers is still an empty lot and no one directly involved with those attacks has subsequently been captured, prosecuted, or convicted. Bush quite rightly led the United States to invade Afghanistan after that country’s government refused to prosecute or extradite the people (notably Osama bin Lauden) who openly claimed to the masterminds of the New York and Washington terrorist attacks. The U.S. military conquered most of Afghanistan (the first time anyone had successfully done that since Alexander the Great), but refused (reputably at the White House’s insistence) to send its troops into the Tora Bora Mountains where those masterminds were hiding. Osama bin Lauden and the other masterminds apparently escaped into neighboring Pakistan. No one publicly knows if Bush demanded his extradition. Moreover, widespread evidence arose that the chief of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb project had been providing bomb plans and materials to North Korea, Iran, and Libya (the latter country’s dictator admitted this and turned the plans and materials over to the U.S. government). Yet Bush didn’t flinch when Pakistan’s own dictator pardoned the bomber and continued to shelter the September 11th masterminds. Bush this past week visited Pakistan and called it an “unwavering ally.” With allies like that, we’re in big trouble. Bush then proclaimed a doctrine of ‘pre-emptive war’ and invaded Iraq because, according to the White House, there was ‘slam-dunk’ proof that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction. The […]


A ruling Monday by U.S. Federal Judge Joyce Hens Green, who was called back from retirement in order to adjudicate the civil rights of the 550 alleged terrorist detainees the Bush Administration is holding at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: “Although this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats … ” that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over 200 years.” Green is allowing the Bush Administration to appeal her ruling that its actions are unconstitutional. She specifically ruled that hearings set up by the government to determine if the prisoners are “enemy combatants” are unconstitutional. Those hearings, called Combatant Status Review Tribunals, had been criticized by civil rights groups because detainees are not represented by lawyers and are not told of some of the evidence against them