Commission Revision
Dubya stumbles towards The Truth


ONCE UPON A TIME in the not so distant past, in a kingdom not so far away, there was a terrible tragedy. Thousands of people died. The living wondered how such a tragedy could have happened. Some time later it was revealed that certain servants in the King's court charged with preventing such tragedies from happening had warnings ahead of time: warnings that something horrific was about to occur. The citizens of the kingdom demanded answers. No, this isn't a refrying of Pearl Harbor beans.

It was determined that in a foreign land a certain Black Knight had orchestrated the terrible tragedy. The King amassed his soldiers and directed them to search out, capture and bring the Black Knight to justice. After many battles, providing a reward, changing the rules with a "dead or alive" clause, and much searching, the Black Knight was nowhere to be found. Embarrassed by not being able to stick the severed head of the Black Knight on the end of a spear, the King redirected his attention to a different Black Knight.

Black Knight II was no stranger to the King, as the King's daddy had ruled the kingdom years prior and had waged an unsuccessful war with Black Knight II. This Black Knight had survived the war and remained in power, which was a huge embarassment to the King and his soldiers. So it was only natural that King Take Two would want to avenge the one responsible for ridiculing his father not so many years ago. Sabres were sharpened and soldiers dispatched. A new (and old) battle was imminent.

Remember the Terrible Tragedy? Friends and families of the victims of the Terrible Tragedy remembered, too. And the King's tunnel vision and maniacal quest for Black Knight II's head infuriated these friends and family.

"What about the Terrible Tragedy?," they cried, suspicious that the new battle was merely a diversion from the truth about the Terrible Tragedy.

The King then announced the birth of a group of courtiers to gather information about the who, what, where, when and why of the Terrible Tragedy. These wolves, our wolves - lupus politico domestica, were given 18-months to complete their work, thus buying the king a year and a half to devise and bake an explanation palatable to the surfs, peasants and citizens as to how enemy wolves could have attacked our sheep. The Truth, it would appear, takes time to develop. And as any accused knows, the more time one can put between arrest and sentencing, the more likely the judgement softens.


EXIT FAIRY TALE - ENTER REALITY ...

Nearly 15-months after the 9-11 terrorist attack on America and under mounting pressure from many directions, (p)Resident Dubya introduced a bill that mandated the formation of a commission to get to the bottom of the event and disclose any and all information about it. This commission's task was, in the (p)Resident's own speech writer's words "to investigate the events of September the 11th, 2001, and the years that led up to that event." But the world wasn't quite ready for the next part of this drama.

Committees and commissions need a kingpin: someone to steer the machine, sign off on it's work, and sometimes to be the fall guy. This new commission was no different, and a chairman was chosen. Being experienced with recycling antiques, relics and fossils alike, (p)Resident Dubya announced that none other than Henry Kissinger was to head this commission tasked with uncovering The Truth surrounding the 9-11 attack

Huh? Henry Kissinger? To uncover The Truth?


RETURN WITH US NOW TO THE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR ...

The William Tell Overture is screaming away inside my head: perhaps a persistent malady the result of a fractured skull sustained in a motorcycle accident years ago. Therefore, I find myself unable to avoid paraphrasing some of the intro to the Lone Ranger program:

"This is a story of one of the most mysterious characters to appear in the early days of the Nixon administration. He was a fascist individual. A man whose presence brought fear to the powerless and hope to the lawless. He was known as Doctor K., the Lone Deranger."

In what will probably be the understatement of the year, Kissinger's appointment was coined "controversial" in the mainstream media. Journalists fortunate enough to don buckled leather collars as opposed to the choke collars worn by bretheren in other media packs, and on longer leashes too, characterized the appointment as incredulous, an insult to America and politically suicidal for (p)Resident Dubya.

The big problem with having the likes of Kissinger heading up an investigatory commission of any sort is the not-so-good Doctor's penchant for secrecy, love of all things covert, and shrudging off casualties (either human, material or Constitutional) as unfortunate yet necessary collateral damage. I can almost hear his flat-toned, emotionless voice saying "it was a small price to pay for the greater good."

Both Kissinger and Vice-(p)Resident Cheney have voices hauntingly devoid of spirit. Their voices remind me of the 1979 movie And Justice For All in which the voice of Judge Fleming is described as "sounding like death." Dubya's voice makes me laugh; Kissinger and Cheney have voices frighten me.


IT'S THE QUIET ONES YA GOTTA WATCH ...

What's worse - the loud, ranting psychotic lunatic or the emotional flatliners? One thing that's certain is that they're both very dangerous. At least the more flamboyant members of The Fringe are easier to identify and read.

After some brief snooping on the Internet, I found the website for Doctor K's "consulting" firm. If you think Kissinger is conservative in the number of words he uses when speaking and is hyper-selective in the choice of those few words, check out http://www.kmaglobal.com/. Not a lot of fat at that site, eh? The "website" is nothing more than an electronic business card, and a spartan one at that.

It's obvious that you don't consult with Kissinger-McLarty Associates for help in starting up an auto repair shop or hot dog cart business. The KMA website tells me "You better be important and have lots of money." It also screams at me "We're not extroverts. Don't even think about asking about our client list!"

Business types interested in getting their products into new foreign markets hire the expertise of "consulting firms" such as Kissinger's. These business types seek out the power brokers, those in the know and those with the political contacts, connections and clout that can grease the skids for new ventures to safely enter difficult markets and territories.

And any firm or owner thereof that is that vague about what the company is and does, and that secretive about their clients is bound to stir up the insatiable curiosity of administration types, senators, congress-persons, and mere citizens alike when the head honcho gets appointed to some government position.

Such is the life of a public servant. When the taxpayer is footing the bill for the salary, the job performance review tends to be on the critical edge, as it should be.

Yet all the money and power in the world doesn't render even Kissinger immune from such review and criticism. Christopher Hitchens' book, "The Trial of Henry Kissinger," accuses Kissinger of war crimes for his involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia and Chile. The book "Secrets," by Daniel Ellsberg, concentrates on Kissinger's behavior in the Vietnam war era. Both books and a recent documentary question his honesty and integrity, so the appointment by (p)Resident Dubya to chair the commission was greeted with astonishment by many.


HENRY'S VICE ... , VICE CHAIR THAT IS ...

You just can't have a commission without having a chairman, and you can't have a chairman without having a vice-chairman, or so the rules go in Washington, D.C. Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell (D-Me.) was awarded the dubious honor of working along side Doctor K on the commission.

Mitchell, a well respected member of the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1995, was Senate Majority Leader between 1988 and 1995, and has been a member of the law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand since 1995. Other obligations in the legal arena include being senior counsel to the Portland, Maine, firm of Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau, Pachios and Haley. Michell has chaired the Northern Ireland Peace Initiative since 1995 and was appointed to the board of directors of Unilever Corporation in 1998. Other corporate connections include being on the board of directors of Walt Disney Company, Federal Express, Xerox, UNUM Insurance and Staples: a lot of irons in a lot of fires.


QUITER! QUITER!

On December 11, just weeks after the controversioal appointment of Kissinger as chairman, the commission's vice chair and former US Senator George Mitchell resigned. Mitchell stated the reason he bowed out of returning to government service being that he didn't realize his post with the commission was a full-time gig and hence his reluctance to quit his law firm. Uh, mmmkay. Whatever.

A different take on this turn of events is the rumor that Mitchell was uncomfortable working alongside Kissinger. You decide which is more believable.

The former Senate majority leader who played a key role in the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, appears to have had very little dirt cling to him during his political career. It isn't inconceivable that he wanted to keep his apparel, person and soul clean, and that spending so much time rubbing elbows with the likes of Henry Kissinger would put that very cleanliness in serious jeopardy.


IT'S A FUMBLE! LOOSE BALL ON THE PLAYING FIELD ...

Apparently the G.W. Bush administration screening team dropped the vetting process when it came to the selection and appointment of (Witch) Dr. Kissinger. It should have been obvious to the administration that there were going to be a lot of folks in both the House and Senate running around with turbo-charged vacuum cleaners in a maniacal search of any and all manner of dirt on Kissinger, which there's plenty to gather. So much dirt, in fact, that many books have been written about it.

The heat got a tad too intense in the commission kitchen for Doctor K. In a move that took many by surprise, and no doubt left the Dubya Administration in the 51st State of the nation (the State of Confusion, established in the year 2000), it was mere days in the wake of the Mitchell resignation that Kissinger himself decided to abandon the commission.


YOU SIMPLY CANNOT HIDE FROM THE UGLY TRUTH ...

It's a special treat watching Kissinger's trail of questionable activities and infamy catch up with him. He's an old man now and can't run and hide as fast as he used to. Oh, he'll continue living a luxurious lifestyle on his fortified, mountaintop estate in Kent, Connecticut, surrounded by the other rich and famous of Litchfield County. But being mortal makes for a level playing field in the matters that count. So although Dr. K will never have to buy generic anything, shop with coupons, or take advantage of his senior citizen discount, Judgement Day will find him naked, alone and without any money in his cold, clenched fists. Just like a civilian. A mere citizen. And if Hank thinks the Senate and House were going to carefully scrutinize his job application form, wait until Saint Peter peruses his bio and whips out a fine toothed comb designed for angels' hair.


ATTENTION ON DECK: TIME TO SCRAMBLE ...

Starting off the week after the Mutiny on the Good Ship Lollipop, (p)Resident Dubya announced on Monday, December 16, 2002, that Thomas H. Kean would now serve as Chairman of the commission.

Kean, former governor of New Jersey and President of Drew University in New Jersey, is no stranger to Washington, DC, as serving in a variety of capacities including the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race from 1997 to 1998, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the Fourth U.N. World Conference on Women in 1995, and led the U.S. Delegation to the World Conference on Education for All in Thailand in 1990

In the press release announcing Commission Chair Appointment Take Two, the (p)Resident said "I am confident he (Kean) will work to make the Commission's investigation thorough. It is important that we uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September 11th." Uncover every detail and learn every lesson?

Note to self: E-mail (p)Resident Dubya. Ask "Are you and your commission willing to 'uncover every detail' should a trail of blood somehow lead up to the offices of Kissinger-McLarty Associates, Enron, Dick Cheney, or an outhouse at the Crawford Texas ranch? Well ARE you?"


WHERE WE STAND TODAY ...

Okay. Lets review the pratfalls. Kissinger appointed chairman. Mitchell appointed vice-chairman. Mitchell resigns. Kissinger resigns. Kean appointed. Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-In.) appointed vice-chairman. Commission waters calm. News dries up.

Putting all that aside, the important thing for the present is that Kissinger is no longer chairing the commission. I suspect he'll still get tangled up in it somehow, as I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if his consulting firm holds some information relevant to the 9-11 investigation. Time will tell.

And we should be grateful that the second string players in the chair and vice chair positions }{\i appear}{ to be reasonable men. Whether time and the commission will uncover and expose The Truth is something we'll have to wait out.

There are more ominous things we citizens should concern ourselves with. It's January 6, 2003, as this paragraph is being typed into the computer. All across the land, people are recovering from one holiday after another. Santa's sleigh wasn't shot down by "the Arabs" and New Year's celebrations in Times Square weren't firebombed. However, it all isn't happy-happy-joy-joy.

After an at-sea search and temporary seizure of a vessel; an act that borders on piracy and against the doctrine of freedom of the seas by the Spanish and United States Navys, Yemen is probably in possession of Scud missiles from North Korea that Spanish and American freebooters found on the vessel.

The People's Republic of North Korea, PRNK, has removed surveillance equipment from their nuclear reactors and ordered inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to leave the country.

As (p)Resident Dubya continues his red, white and blue sabre waving and spitting threats at Iraq's Saddam Hussein, many Americans are sending sons and daughters, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers into the unknown: to a war in the middle east. They're on ships, in planes and on the desert just waiting for the green light from a man who stole the 2002 presidential election and is more fake than that cheezy western, good ole boy drawl of his. The pseudo-cowboy and United States (p)Resident Dubya is getting ready to open up a big can of whump-ass for Black Knight II. And things are going to get a hell of a lot uglier before they're going to get any prettier ...

The >other Black Knight is lurking in the shadows somewhere, probably in the midst of planning the next stage of his Jihad on America. And there's a new "bad guy" in the mix: Black Knight III in the PRNK. Do you notice a pattern developing here?

Three missionaries have been recently killed by some lunatic in Yemen, and now the FBI has issued an alert about five illegal immigrants believed to be somehow connected with al Queda that entered the country "around" December 24, 2002.

Around December 24? That's rather inspecific for a supposed intelligence organization, isn't it?


MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE COMMISSION ...

Remember the commission? There has been nary a peep out of anyone in Washington regarding the commission since the new chair and vice chair were named. Even the "conspiracy theory" and "patriot" websites, as well as more pedestrian print, electronic and broadcast media have been quiet. This news void leaves me feeling uncomfortable and wondering if having the likes of Doctor K at the helm of the commission might be better from the standpoint of his very persona drawing the attention from civilians and media types alike.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid. For all I know, the commission may be commissioning away, gathering data, compiling records, making a detailed timeline, writing reports and producing multimedia presentations.

A lot can happen between now and when the commission completes its work. And with the current state of affairs in the middle east and elsewhere, it's not unreasonable to expect news on the commission to take a back seat to more au courant happenings around the globe.

Eighteen months is a long time for political sylists to spin a story. Lets hope this one doesn't get catagorized with the Kennedy assassination, the Apollo moon landing and MK-Ultra. The nation deserves better.


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Revised - Sunday, October 23, 2003