Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Architect of division, distrust

Commentary by Pat Murphy


Pat Murphy

He's celebrated as "The Architect," famed for transforming a bankrupt, alcoholic playboy into a winning politician and president of the United States.

Nothing is too unseemly as a weapon in Karl Rove's stated missions in life—to create an all-Republican majority government in Washington and to create an aura of greatness, even if artificial, around George W. Bush.

During this July 4 week celebrating the lofty ideals of "one nation" that's "indivisible," Rove's shameless triumphs and dishonorable code are on parade.

He's engineered division, distrust and disunity to distract Americans from President Bush's plunging popularity and to create smokescreens concealing the costly, bloody reversals in Iraq.

Rove sent scripts to his soldiers in Congress and in rightwing talk radio to unleash vile, pre-planned polemics that trash media and critics of the president as cowards and disloyal, seditious handmaidens of foreign interests.

Democrats who urge a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq were accused by orchestrated Republicans of "cutting and running" like cowards—although Army Gen. George Casey Jr. announced plans to gradually withdraw troops.

Worse was in store for the right wing's ultimate liberal bogeyman, The New York Times, for documenting the work of Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a Belgian consortium that clears global financial transactions. (The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times also published the story, but escaped Republican excoriation.)

The mildest venom was from Vice President Cheney, who called the Times a "disgrace." Republicans in Congress want Times editors charged with espionage. A shrieking female rightwing California radio hostess even wants Times executive Editor Bill Keller executed for treason.

The SWIFT program has been publicly known for years. President Bush and then-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill appeared at Treasury's Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center in November 2002 to boast that global financial transactions were being tracked in the war on terrorism. SWIFT also advertises its international work on its Web site.

Rove's lamebrain conscripts would have the public believe terrorists were unaware all this time that international banking would be monitored for money transfers.

During Senate debate on the flag desecration constitutional amendment, Rove's gambit was to urge Republicans to question the right of "five unelected justices" to overturn laws to prevent abuse of Old Glory.

More Rove flim-flam: He and other Republicans didn't object to "five unelected justices" giving George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 with its fateful 5-4 decision to end vote counting.

Rove's greatest, obvious skill is in knowing when nitwits can be useful.

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