The Siege of Washington

March 25, 2003 may serve as a crucial turning point in American history. On that day, George W. Bush displayed his increasingly erratic and irresponsible behavior before America’s top military leadership. The friction between Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on one hand and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the other was evident at the afternoon Pentagon press briefing. This reporter had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Myers at a swank reception for Afghan leader Hamid Karzai a few months after U.S. troops launched Operation Enduring Freedom against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Myers demonstrated that he is an affable individual and not one to bask in the conceitedness of constant media attention.

Trailing the pompous Rumsfeld into the briefing room, Myers’ jaws were tight and his lips were pursed as he stared straight down at his notes during Rumsfeld’s opening statements. I was in the military long enough to know when someone has either just been chewed out or has had it out with his superiors. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing four stars on your shoulders or one stripe on your sleeves, the telltale signs are always same.

Myers, on two occasions, appeared to differ with Rumsfeld. One was on the issue of Iran’s conduct during the war. Myers said Iran had done nothing to make him unhappy. Rumsfeld, however, chastised Iran for supporting and training Iraqi Shia militia in Iraq. In a few days, Rumsfeld obliquely warned both Iran and Syria of the potential for U.S. retaliation against them. When Myers was asked about Iraq’s possible use of chemical weapons, the general responded that no such weapons had yet been used. Rumsfeld indicated that he expected Iraq would use chemical weapons and warned that there was a retaliatory plan to deal with such an occurrence.

The gulf between Rumsfeld and his neo-con advisers is now wider than both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Add to this the increasingly nasty and un-presidential demeanor of George Bush. Pentagon insiders report that Bush, in a not-too-rare Hitleresque moment, used his March 25 visit to the Pentagon to berate the Joint Chiefs for the conduct of HIS war. Moreover, Rumsfeld did nothing to defend his generals and admirals from such a verbal beating by a draft dodging and often AWOL member of a posh and cozy Texas Air National Guard unit. Rumsfeld, from the outset of his Pentagon stint, treated his generals and admirals like dog crap. They were not even invited to Pentagon planning meetings. These were reserved for Rumsfeld’s coterie of neo-con gargoyles like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, outside and well-paid “consultants,” and wet-nursed GOP political hacks.

Bush, who fancies himself a “born-again” Christian, is actually a foul-mouthed and erratic alcoholic. For example, the “pretzel” incident had nothing to do with a pretzel. While watching a football game at the White House, the “leader of the free world” got so drunk he fell right on his face and blamed it on his inability to remember his mother’s missive about chewing all one’s food before swallowing. Such alibis and ruses are the trademarks of drunks. During the presidential campaign Bush called a New York Times reporter a “major league asshole.” In 1986, a clearly drunk and disorderly Bush told The Wall Street Journal’s Al Hunt, “You fucking son of a bitch . . . I saw what you wrote. We’re not going to forget this.” The rich frat boy was irate about an article Hunt wrote about Bush’s father. Time magazine is reporting that during a March 2002 briefing for three senators by Condoleezza Rice, Bush poked his head into a White House meeting room and bellowed, “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out!”

But for Bush to vent his spleen on America’s military leadership defies logic and clearly demonstrates that he is mentally unfit for his office. Never mind the fact that Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, was harangued by Rumsfeld and his chickenhawks for suggesting not enough troops were provided for the invasion of Iraq. The head of the U.S. Army’s V Corps, Lieutenant General William Wallace, said of Iraqi forces, “the enemy we’re fighting is different from the one we war-gamed against.” Score two for the generals and nothing for the neo-con draft dodgers who planned this idiotic war.

Richard Perle, the ethically-challenged former chairman of the Defense Policy Board and virtual agent for the Russian-mafia dominated Likud government of Israel, got it completely wrong in the hours leading up to the war when he suggested, along with a pathetic Iraqi opposition capo, that U.S. troops would be met with “flowers and candy” upon entering Iraq. Obviously, Perle’s military experience does not permit him to distinguish between flowers and candy and bullets and mortar rounds. It is a shame that Rumsfeld still can’t pry his lips from Perle’s backside. After Perle resigned as chairman of the advisory board amid a financial scandal involving personal war profiteering, Rumsfeld praised him and asked him to remain as a board member.

The fact of the matter is that Bush, Rumsfeld, the other war makers in the administration, and their political allies in Britain, Denmark, Australia, and Spain, are all dangerous megalomaniacs. On March 30th, Rumsfeld continued his deception by claiming on Fox “News” that Bush’s war coalition has expanded to 66 countries. This is a bald-faced lie. Some of the countries on the list published by both the White House and Pentagon claim they are not members of any coalition and never have been. The list is false propaganda. It is worthy of Joseph Goebbels

Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop said the State Department told him his country had been listed by mistake. But Slovenia remains on Bush’s coalition list. The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Allan Kemakeza, said his country was erroneously listed as a member of the coalition. But the Solomons, which don’t even have a military, remains on the White House list.

The White House and Pentagon lie purveyors include Croatia in their coalition but Croatian President Stipe Mesic has condemned America’s war on Iraq as “illegitimate.” The White House claims the Czech Republic is a coalition member but the country’s president, Vaclav Klaus, said that anyone who thinks democracy can be imposed on Iraq is “from another universe.” Klaus means that people like Bush, Tony Blair, Rumsfeld, and the other neo-Crusaders are just plain nuts. Indeed they are.

U.S. ambassadors in Canada, Norway, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and New Zealand have publicly condemned the host governments for failing to support the U.S. war on Iraq. Such behavior in modern times is unprecedented. Bush heralds Tonga’s accession to his pitiful coalition but continues to lose the support of major countries like Italy, Norway, and South Korea. Also, Bush just can’t understand why the “Grecians” and “East Timorians” are opposed to his unlawful war.

As U.S. troops began to get bogged down in Iraq with heavy Iraqi resistance and sporadic supply lines, forcing the down to one meal ration a day instead of three, U.S. Marines were handed a pamphlet called a “Christian’s Duty.” The Marines were exhorted to pray for Bush, his family, and his staff and then mail in a pledge form to Bush to prove that such prayers were rendered. I cannot even begin to fathom a young American military man or woman, risking life and limb on an Iraqi battlefield for U.S. oil companies, being asked to pray for the likes of Ari Fleischer, Andy Card, or John Ashcroft. It rates about a “10” on the puke meter.

But I have a better idea for our brave troops who are being mishandled by the crowd that incrementally seized unconstitutional power between January 20, 2001 and in the weeks after September 11th. Instead of being forced to offer prayers for Bush and his cabal, their commanders should seek a pledge of their support for a military action to return the United States to its people.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, armed with enough support from their subordinate commanders, troops, and civilian staff, could place a team of Delta Force commandos and armor on the South Lawn of the White House and in front of the North Portico on Pennsylvania Avenue. Using large loudspeakers designed for use in civil action campaigns like the ones currently taking place in Umm Qasr, Basra, and Safwan, Iraq, the Delta Force commander would instruct the Secret Service to exit the White House and lay down weapons. Five minutes should be sufficient. They should then secure the “football” and the military officer who maintains it. The football is actually a large briefcase that contains the nuclear firing codes and it would have to be quickly separated from the madmen in the White House.

Bush, Cheney, Card, Rove, Fleischer, Rice, and the rest should then be taken into custody and transferred to a remote facility like Wackenhut’s large detention center in Kern County, California, which was originally designed to hold American political prisoners and anti-war protestors.

The Joint Chiefs should quickly name a transition Executive to plan for new presidential elections. Executive authority could be vested in the man who received the majority of votes in the 2000 election. Al Gore would be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. In the interest of national unity, Gore would be asked to pledge not to seek re-election in the upcoming presidential election, which should be held no later than nine months from his inauguration.

Former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter could be named as co-Vice Presidents (it would be constitutional since neither ever served two full presidential terms). These one-time political adversaries are also the best of friends. Although the Joint Chiefs would also have to remove Rumsfeld and his war hawk advisers, Bush Cabinet members (sans Ashcroft and Tom Ridge) who pledged to support the transition government could remain in office pending new elections. However, in all likelihood, many of the Bush appointees would probably be too embarrassed to remain in any official capacity. Washington, DC has a huge reservoir of talented people who could assume Cabinet and other governmental functions – there are a number of ex-senators, representatives, ambassadors, and cabinet members who could step up to the plate during such a national emergency transition.

The first act of the new Defense Secretary would be to extricate U.S. and allied troops from the Iraq morass. The new Secretary of State would be charged with trying to help stabilize the Persian Gulf region, seeking widespread international support for a new Iraqi administration with the help of the United Nations but without an Anglo-American occupation force. The UN and Red Cross should facilitate the repatriation of refugees and prisoners of war. The autonomy of the Kurdish zone in northern Iraq should be internationally guaranteed. The European Union should apply pressure on Turkey not to take advantage of new transitional governments in both Washington and Baghdad.

The new State Department leadership would fan out across the world to reassure allies, friends, and potential adversaries that America once again adheres to multilateralism, international law, and collective action by the UN, NATO, and other regional bodies. Fences would have to be quickly mended with France, Germany, Russia, Canada, and Mexico. The war against Al Qaeda should continue with a primary focus on the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Both countries should be warned that the “business as usual” policies of the Bush regime will not be continued. The new administration would warn that the bankrolling of Al Qaeda in any form will be considered an act of war against the United States. Saudi assets in the United States should be identified for possible seizure in the event of non-cooperation. Pakistan should be required to bring to justice military and intelligence officers who have aided Al Qaeda.

In the United States, special care would have to be taken in appointing a new Secretary for Civil Defense (the new name for the Department of “Homeland Security”). This individual would have to be committed to the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the land status quo ante to September 11th. His or her first steps would be the dismantling of Bush’s surveillance web. Gone would be the Total Information Awareness program, the Freedom Corps, “Tips” programs, invasive airline passenger profiling, government “data mining,” routine wiretaps, “First Amendment Zones,” and unlawful detentions. Back would be the writ of habeas corpus, the unhindered right to an attorney, open government, the right of peaceful assembly, and the right to vote without intimidation. New would be the real and well-funded coordination of public safety across federal, state, county, and municipal lines.

Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith would join their fellow war criminals in Kern County. The new administration should ensure that photos of the inmates in their bright orange coveralls are transmitted around the world. Post-Bush regime America would demonstrate that America’s democracy is unshakable and resilient.

As for Congress and their responsibilities, this doesn’t really matter. Congress abrogated its constitutional responsibilities long ago. They could continue to voice their opinions, because that is all they are – opinions. But knowing how vapid and pimp-like most members of Congress are, they would probably quickly support the military’s actions and the transition government. After all, why irritate the military when they could pump a few more military contracts into a member’s district? That’s all that motivates these so-called “representatives of the people.”

But contingencies should be made to handle some congressional troublemakers. The Kern County detention facility could add people like Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, and Zell Miller to their inmate roster. Others, like John McCain, Arlen Specter, Joe Lieberman, Joe Biden, Steny Hoyer, and Dick Gephardt, should be offered an Air Force ride to a retirement place of their choice.

The Supreme Court is the only institution that would be problematic. But international law would trump the Supremes in this case. The Kern County detainees would eventually be turned over to the International Criminal Court for trial. The temporary administration’s first action would be to adhere to the treaty setting up the international court in The Hague. The new administration could also argue before the Supreme Court that the 25th Amendment could not be properly invoked since a significant number of Cabinet members were too mentally unstable or incompetent to properly vote on declaring both the President and Vice President as being mentally incapable of carrying out their duties.

Although military coups often obliterate democratic rule, there have been a few cases when the military has stepped in to return a country to democratic rule or protect a democratic government from an anti-democratic rebellion. Portugal in 1974, Spain in 1981, and the Soviet Union in 1990 serve as cases in point.

An American Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which would be named by President Gore, would look into what Bush and his cronies really knew about the September 11th attacks and whether they allowed them deliberately to occur in order to seize unconstitutional power, who was responsible for the anthrax attacks on the Democratic leadership of the Senate and the media, i.e., the attempted assassinations of the Democratic Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeb Bush’s malfeasance in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, the alleged profiteering of George H. W., Marvin, and Neil Bush in post-September 11th Middle East business deals, and the role of The Carlyle Group, Halliburton, Enron, and others in disastrous pipeline politics in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission should also be empowered to direct the new Attorney General to bring criminal charges against criminal conspirators. For example, if there was one shred of evidence that anyone in the Bush regime had advance knowledge of the September 11th attacks, treason charges should be brought against the conspirators.

Our Founding Fathers established the blueprint for such an action to remove Bush and his criminals and gangsters from office. Let us remember these words from Thomas Jefferson:

“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government … it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future.”

And these from Abraham Lincoln:

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”


WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Madsen can be reached at: