I was initially astonished watching the Bush-Cheney presidency, not certain they realized the very familiar path (at least to me) that they were taking. Richard Nixon, who resigned his presidency thirty years ago, had many admirable strengths and qualities. His secrecy, which shielded his abuses of presidential power, was not among them.
The Bush-Cheney hidden agenda relates to their national security policies, given their critical importance. Equally worthy of attention is their hidden agenda to end federal entitlement programs by running up budget-busting deficits while hiking military spending, which is bleeding the federal treasury and will ultimately result in there simply being no money available to pay for social programs after this administration is gone. These, of course, are programs-such as Social Security and Medicare-that they dare not eliminate.
From time to time, I fired off flares, hoping to throw a bit of light-if not a warning-on where they were headed. I did so by raising these matters in my regular Find Law column. For one such column, in which I discussed the potential of impeachment if the Bush administration had intentionally manipulated government intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction an editor at Salon, which reprinted the column, used the title "Worse than Watergate"-drawing his own conclusion from the material. I could not deny that it describes perfectly what I have to say in more ways than I had anticipated.
It goes without saying that it would be best to have neither a scandal nor something far worse. There is, however, only one antidote: an end to the obsessive, unjustified, and disproportionate secrecy that defines the Bush-Cheney White House.
My hope along the way is not to scandalmonger, but rather to spray as much antiscandal disinfectant-called light-as I possibly can.
By way of preface I must add that I do not believe in conspiracy theories. I use terms such as "shadow national security council," "secret government," and "hidden agenda" because they are descriptive of actual facts, not theory. In addition, I have provided detailed documentation not only to show where information was found but to provide access to it for others.
I note the early-warning signs of the undue Bush-Cheney secrecy. What at first appeared only a penchant for secrecy I soon realized was a policy of concealment that they exercised throughout the 2000 campaign. Their campaign stone walling have morphed into White House stonewalling.
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