Shallow Throat to Kerry:
Don't Torture Bush, Just Abuse Him
By Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
June 22, 2002
Those who have followed my conversations over the years with "Shallow
Throat'* -- the high-ranking GOP mole in the Bush Administration -- know
that ST has been paranoid about being discovered by his employer. Wigs, dark
glasses, scarves -- all have been used to disguise ST's identity when
meeting with me in smoky taverns, out-of-the-way parks, and so on.
But this time, no mask, no shades, no costume embellishments. Just Shallow
Throat with a real face. ST still insists on anonymity, so I do not reveal
gender or current department of employment in Washington, D.C. But let me
tell you: ST's straight-out appearance threw me back a bit. I asked why no
"See me smiling?" said Shallow Throat. "For the first time since this crew
took power, it looks more and more clear that they are going down. Big time.
And they're so bogged down in the chaos and backbiting and battling to
contain the scandal revelations inside their own closed circles right now
that they have no time or interest in bothering about 'little' officials
"And I'm in good, public, unafraid company -- all those diplomats several
weeks ago that denounced Bush&Co. policy, and then last week all those
generals and other elite officials and office-holders that have urged voters
not to cast their ballots for Bush. The GOP heart, represented by many
former heavies from the Reagan and Bush I administrations, are making plain
that it's OK, indeed desirable, to get the younger Bush and his crowd out of
the White House.
"But I don't know why you looked so shocked when I came in the door. You
know what the symbology of no-disguise represents."
"No, I really don't," I said.
"You must have missed a lot of hostage and terrorist movies," said ST. "It's
the old kidnap/hostage rule. Beware when the captors take off their masks:
They no longer have to hide their faces in fear that you'll tell the cops
what they look like. Nope, you're not going to be released, you'd better
prepare yourself for death. In my case, it's something similar. They're
GOP Defections Growing Daily
"But the polls have Bush and Kerry in a statistical dead
heat. How can you be so confident?"
"It's not just the polls, many of which are manipulated to make Bush seem
more popular than he really is. It's the combination of exploding scandals,
the increasing defections of so many of the GOP power elite -- along with
more and more ordinary Republican voters -- and the desperation and utter
lostness inside the Bush camp.
"Consider: In the past several months, they spend nearly $100 million on
bashing Kerry. Doesn't work. They arrange the establishment of something
resembling an interim government to 'hand off' to in Iraq. Doesn't help. The
economy, in certain areas, is starting to do a little better. Doesn't
matter. Put simply, the public has seen enough to make a final judgment on
Bush -- and they've decided a big fat No."
"So Kerry will walk into the White House?"
"No," Shallow Throat replied, "'I'm-not-Bush' will walk into the Oval
Office. Few voters give a rat's ass whether it's Kerry or McCain or the
Pumpkin Fairy. All they care about is getting rid of this crowd of arrogant,
bullyboy extremists that are ruining our country and endangering the
job-security and well-being of so many American citizens.
"They realize that the current occupants of the White House are bringing
ruin to our long-term national interests, are engaged in extremist
experiments at home and abroad that tend to benefit the already well-off
rather than the squeezed middle class, are spending us into massive deficits
for as far into the future as the eye can see, are cutting popular social
service programs because of the hundreds of billions of dollars going to
imperial wars, are shredding our Constitutional guarantees of due process of
law, are trying to set up a kind of legal dictatorship at the top, and on
and on. In short, more and more Americans are willing, indeed eager, to get
to November 2 and get these vicious, incompetent radicals out of the White
Rove's Desperate Strategy
"Well," I replied. "If that's true, and Karl Rove and his
planners know that Bush is going to lose in a landslide in a fair election,
what's to prevent them from all kinds of devilment and chicanery between now
and November? You know what I mean: Purging the election rolls of more
Democrat voters, especially minorities; encouraging fiddled-with software
programs for the computer-voting machines in the toss-up states; starting
another war in the Middle East, and/or looking the other way again as Al
Qaida launches another major terrorist attack inside the U.S. -- you know,
to try to obtain the rally-'round-the-President support in a time of fright
"You've been doing your homework, I see," said ST, with a grin. "We can
expect any or all of those, depending on how Rove and Cheney and the rest of
the boys interpret their election prospects in the next several months.
They're not without resources, you know. They probably can depend on the
fundamentalist base staying with them through thin and through thin; no
matter what the Bushies say or do, there's that solid 30-35% they can count
on. Then they go for the electoral vote-rich states, sliming their opponent,
advertising out the wazoo to tear him down with lies, inciting some dirty
tricks, getting ready to exploit the major terrorist attack that is coming,
probably in late-October, etc. -- and see if they can raise the Bush numbers
just high enough to eke out enough victories to capture the presidency."
"Or," I popped in, "hope for a tie vote and another Supreme Court coup."
"I'm not even sure the Court would be so amenable these days. The justices
don't like to be told that their work and authority are irrelevant, which is
what Bush&Co. are claiming in the torture-memos that give Bush sole
authority to make and interpret the law. Anyway, all the signs point to a
Kerry victory. But your Dem friends can't risk a slim victory, because those
close elections are easy to fix. Unless Kerry takes him down in a landslide,
"So, I guess the point I'm making is for the Dems to stop gloating over
Bush's scandals and the deteriorating situation in Iraq dragging down his
numbers, and to quit thinking it's going to be easy to win a landslide. You,
we, all have to work our butts off between now and November, and be willing
to spend the necessary money to do so, if we want to send this vicious crowd
packing. We may not want to, or be able to, electorally torture Bush during
the campaign, but we sure need to abuse the hell out of him with the final
returns in November."
Stopping at Nothing to Hold on to Power
"OK," I said. "But I've got a question for you. Could you
envision a scenario between now and November where Bush&Co. see the
electoral handwriting on the wall, that they're going to lose big time, and
declare martial law and call off the election? Or, lose the election on
November 2 and then declare martial law and indefinitely postpone the
transfer of power to a new president?"
"Ordinarily," said Shallow Throat, "I'd chide you about your overly
conspiratorial frame of mind. But, as I've said before, these are not good
people. They will stop at NOTHING to remain in power. There are billions of
dollars of potential profit at stake here, not to mention the ideological
goals these fruitcakes have set for America to control the world and all its
energy resources, and bring democracy and free markets to the rest of the
globe -- even at the barrel of a gun.
"But I think the Bushies know that doing something as outrageously fascist
as what you're suggesting -- interrupting the time-honored electoral process
-- would invite a civil war. And I don't think they're confident that large
parts of the U.S. military establishment would obey their commands in such a
situation. But, who knows? Rove may just be desperate enough to consider
"On the other hand, Bush&Co. may be loony but they ain't crazy. They see
what's happening, and if they ever want another chance to rule, they can't
go off completely half-cocked.
"They look around and see that even many conservative leaders, who once
bought into the Bush/Cheney Grand Game, are now having second thoughts. The
world simply doesn't operate according to the simplistic theories these
neocon zealots hammered out in their ivory-tower think tanks. Iraq is the
best example. The situation there is even more desperate and hopeless that
the American public is aware of. To stay is to continue sending our young
men and women into the bloody jaws of hell. No good will come of that
The Election Rules All Decisions
"Bush's entire Iraq policy now, and for the next four
months, is his U.S. re-election campaign policy. Install a
puppet-government, or at least a U.S.-friendly Iraqi government, into power.
Put them in the forefront, the U.S. pulls the strings in the background. Do
whatever is necessary to get the American death and injury tolls out of the
daily news cycle. Try to drag out all major moves until after November, but,
if things keep deteriorating there, indicate that the U.S. will make
whatever concessions are necessary to the Iraqis --including re-constituting
the Iraqi Army with Ba'athist leaders, letting Al Sadr join the political
free-for-all, even seeing an Islamist theocracy emerge.
"Bush/Cheney figure that if they're lucky, as a result of a potentially
'improving' situation in Iraq, they can stumble their way across November's
electoral finish line as victors. After that, the gloves can come off in
Iraq and elsewhere, the neocons (none of whom have been fired and all of
whom remain in place) can re-emerge from hiding, and the conquest/control
game can begin anew. In this theory, the American public will acquiesce,
especially if there's another huge terror attack inside the U.S., and all
will be well in Bushland."
"But, as you say," I replied, "the real world will intervene to dash those
plans. The U.S. would be involved in far too many wars outside our borders,
too many American troops will be killed and wounded, the --
"You still don't get it, do you?" said ST. "This crowd believes that since
there is no superpower to oppose them anywhere in the world, and since fear
is a great crowd-controller domestically, they don't have to worry.
Playing Stealth Politics
"They believe that a few more shock&awe invasions --
including the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, and backed up with
the re-starting of the draft to get the troops required for such global
policing -- should finally get the message out to those who would oppose
American power. Domestically, more prosecutions and 'disappearances' into
the military-gulags should silence those harboring rebellious tendencies at
"Do you really believe what you're telling me or are you just pulling my
proverbial?" I asked.
"It's not a question of what I believe," Shallow Throat replied. "I have no
authority. But these guys figure they control all the levers of essential
power and can do and get what they want. If they have to play stealth
political games for awhile, they're quite willing to do so in order to snow
the public and remain in control. After that, watch out. The restraints will
"You came in here so chipper," I said, "almost happy. And you've done
nothing but lay gloom&doom all over me ever since. What happened to the
smile of hope?"
"I still believe it is possible to wrest control from these guys. They are
such blunderers, and so reckless -- even in their crimes and scandals, as if
they can do or say anything and not have to pay a price for their actions.
Abroad, they have brought America into disrepute, bankrupted the treasury
and social programs to finance their wars of choice, made the U.S. feared
but not respected, created more terrorists by their actions.
"Bush&Co. will go down, and I'll watch the inevitable nasty fall of this
crowd with this giant grin you see on my face. Free at last, free at last,
thank God Almighty, we'll be free at last."
Bernard Weiner, a poet and playwright and former writer for the San
Francisco Chronicle, is co-editor of The Crisis Papers, where you can read
more of his conversations with Shallow Throat* (www.crisispapers.org/weinerpubs.htm
). He is a contributing author to the just-released book "Big Bush Lies,"
available through Barnes&Noble, Amazon.com and other book outlets.