“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, January 06, 2006

B58/732 was pulled in by mistake

David Ignatius has a nice profile of Cheney’s Cheney, as he calls him: one David Addington. Addington has the typical cold war criminal’s profile: active in Casey’s CIA as the illegal operations were mounted against the Sandinistas, a big supporter of torture, the kind of enabler who emerges in certain historic situations – the dirty war in Argentina, the conservative support for the jihadis in Afghanistan – always on hand to make sure that the worst are not only full of passionate intensity but have the blowtorches and the electric generators they need to put in a good eight hours:

“A special target of Addington's needling during the first term was John B. Bellinger III, at the time the chief legal adviser to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Addington would attack any sign of caution or wariness from Bellinger about proposed policies, breaking in to say, "That's too liberal," or "You're giving away executive power," remembers a colleague. Bellinger is now Rice's legal adviser at the State Department.

Addington's most bruising fights have been with colleagues at the Justice Department and the Pentagon who challenged his views on interrogation of enemy combatants. He pushed Justice's Office of Legal Counsel to prepare a 2002 memo authorizing harsh interrogation methods. When that memo was later withdrawn, Addington was furious. Last year, he successfully blocked the appointment of one critic, Patrick Philbin, as deputy solicitor general, even though Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wanted him in that role. Also last year, Addington was so adamant in resisting the efforts of a Pentagon official named Matthew Waxman to limit interrogation that Waxman eventually quit and is now moving to the State Department.”

Which of course reminds me of two scenes from one of my favorite movies about the Bush administration:

“KURTZMAN is pacing anxiously. SAM walks into the office.
During the brief opening and closing of the door we just
manage to hear the piano player in "Casablanca" singing,
"... a kiss is just a kiss ...". KURTZMAN is too worried
to notice. He is holding a piece of paper gingerly as if
it were contagious. He waves it frantically as SAM enters.

Thank God you're here! We're in
terrible trouble! Look at this! Look
at this!

He thrusts the piece of paper at Sam.

(taking the paper)
A cheque.

The refund for Tuttle!


I mean, Buttle! It's been confusion
from the word go! He's been wrongly
charged for Electromemorytherapy and
someone somewhere is trying to make
us carry the can!

I've never seen a Ministry cheque

We've got to get rid of it! There's
been a balls-up somewhere, and when
the music stops they'll jump on
whoever's holding the cheque!

Send it to somebody else. Send it to
Buttle. It's his cheque.

I've tried that! Population Census
have got him down as dormanted, the
Central Collective Storehouse
computer has got him down as deleted,
and the Information Retrieval have
got him down as inoperative ...
Security has him down as excised.,
Admin have him down as completed

Hang on.

SAM sits down at the console and punches keys. He does
this very efficiently, muttering to himself and generally
demonstrating an expertise which obviously leaves KURTZMAN
way out of his depth, until -

He is dead.

Dead! Oh no! That's terrible! We'll
never get rid of the damned thing!
What are we going to do?

Try next of kin.”

But Addington’s role, when the movie is made, should really be played by Michael Palin. Who can forget him as Jack Lint?

How much do you know?

Not much.

Enough though, eh?

(getting sucked into this
Not really, no.

JACK goes over to the sink and turns on the taps full
blast, splashing the water noisily into the basin.

OK. OK. Let's not fence around ...
This is the situation. Some idiot
somewhere in the building, some
insect, confused two of our clients,
B58/732 and T47/215.

B58/732, that's A. Buttle isn't it?

Christ! You do know it all!

No, no, I don't. I'm just beginning
Honestly. Sorry, carry on.

Well, your A. Buttle has been
confused with T47/215, an A. Tuttle.
I mean, it's a joke! Somebody should
be shot for that. So B58/732 was
pulled in by mistake.

You got the wrong man.

(a little heated)
I did not get the wrong man. I got
the right man. The wrong man was
delivered to me as the right man! I
accepted him, on trust, as the right
man. Was I wrong? Anyway, to add to
the confusion, he died on us. Which,
had he been the right man, he
wouldn't have done.

You killed him?

Sam, there are very rigid parameters
laid down to avoid that event but
Buttle's heart condition did not
appear on Tuttle's file. Don't think
I'm dismissing this business, Sam.
I've lost a week's sleep over it

That last sentence about sums up the moral sense of the crewe of thugs who rule us. At one time we thought that the New Left was essentially bogus, making up caricature monsters of oppression against which to let fly their cries of outrage. And now those caricature monsters exist. Life imitates art once again.


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't your penultimate sentence read "And now we see that those caricature monsters exist"? Gilliam saw those monsters then, so it was a case of art imitating life. (And what a brilliant vision Brazil was—the police state on the cheap.)

roger said...

Anonymous, you spotted my skepticism -- that they existed then. I didn't believe, back in the 80s, though I was out there protesting against Reagan. In my heart, I thought that sweet reason would convince anyone.

So I guess what I am saying is: the reign of Cheney has destroyed my illusions.