Friday, July 10, 2009

Secrets on the Telephone...

By Patrick Alcatraz

EDINBURG, Texas – Every now and then I amble into the 107 Café here for my breakfast, most-always a plate of warmish Huevos a la Mejicana chased with hot, black coffee and the morning newspaper. The small eatery, like many in this sleepy, backward town, the county seat, is usually full of law enforcement types - city cops and deputies and, at times, a covey of uniformed state troopers and agents of the U.S. Border Patrol. I like to think they like the food in these places, although I always wonder how their schedules, presumably watching over the bad guys, allows them to sit for long hours while nursing a cup of coffee. You see them at area Starbucks, as well. I know it’s long hours, because that’s how long I hang around.

Fighting criminals is a full-time job. And, yes, I grant them a shot at a pot of coffee if that helps get some miscreant or wife-beater off the streets or off the backs of local defenseless women. Law enforcement has a place in this country’s hurry-up culture. If an idiot hits a laundromat, well, I want that fuck-up arrested at the most a block away. When I see a cop writing a ticket off to the side of the road, I tell myself he’s doing his job, although, yeah, I say it quicker if it’s a White person in the detained vehicle. Damn me for that, but know that I wrote about open racism against Blacks and Hispanics in the South for The Boston Globe. Those horrific images are seared in my usually happy brain. Also know that I have good friends who are of the Anglo-Sax persuasion, including one whose new friendship I already treasure. But they know me, and they know that I am opinionated, yet fair. It is a balance; that’s how I look at it.

So this morning, when I was watching network television, I caught-up with the mess that is our Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Really, the story on MSNBC – never on right-wing extremist Fox News – told about how the agency had been lying to Congress since 2001. You remember who our president was back then, don’t you. If you don’t, well, I’m not going to tell you. I do suggest that you take your ignorance to your local newspaper, where it will be duly matched. How novel! An intelligence agency lying to the people it theoretically answers to, in peace and during war. Pathetic and criminal is what it is, absolutely. The day is coming, I pray, when these outlaws in charge of the country’s agencies face the music while doing the perp walk. Bastards!

George W. Bush, the former president, should be arrested and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, for plunging the country into an unjust war, with marching young soldiers to their death in the hot, sandy geography of a country that did not attack us. His vice-president, the suck-ass Dick Cheney, should also be jailed. Vincent Bugliosi, a former district attorney in Los Angeles and the man who sent mass killer Charles Manson to prison for life and beyond, has written a book demanding a trial for Bush and Cheney. I agree. Until we resolve that mess, we can rightly be lumped in with rogue countries that do rogue things, like the Russians or the North Koreans or the Israelis or, lately, Mexico.

The CIA lives a secretive existence. A bit of darkened life is expected within its functions, but it must be truthful before Congress. That is the proverbial checks & balance we reportedly live under. I say reportedly because Bush turned it into some domestic spy agency that just doesn’t fit the idea of freedom to speak on your cell phone without the conversation going into some data bank recording inside the CIA’s building in Langley, or believing that you’re making hard love without some infra-red scope looking into your bouncing bed. It happens. And if you think it doesn’t, well, keep reading your hometown newspaper.

The crazy part of the CIA story for me is that it was current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who headed the agency during the soiled George W. Bush administration. Current CIA Chief Leon Panetta says the agency started lying one year after Bush took office and after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on New York City. Well, what does Gates say now?

One more thing: didn’t former Secretary of State Colin Powell mention the CIA as a source of the so-called Weapons-of-mass-destruction lies disseminated to the United Nations Security Council ahead of the American invasion of Iraq? Powell has paid the price. Bush hasn’t. Cheney hasn’t. And the height-challenged Robert Gates is still serving the country.

These are the people who tell you they protect you and your family and your peace-of-mind. Cops – local, state, national - are funny. Their business is apart from society out of necessity. Bob Dylan had it right, however, when he sang: “…the cops, they don’t need you…and, man, they expect the same.”

Obese, donut-scarfing cops aside, it is time to clean up this beaten country. What we have is shameful and, worse than that, it gets in the way when we want to tell other countries how civilized nations behave…

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[Editor’s Note: Patrick Alcatraz holds humanity to a higher standard…]

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