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By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- Fear, smears and lies are the essential elements of the Bushevik empire. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, top political aide Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove and Press Secretary Tony Snow were like maggots on rotting meat, feeding on the British terror plot even before the threat was made public.

They have no shame. They have no souls. They have no decency. They will do anything to survive. They don't hesitate in using terror and the fear of it to buttress their political positions and slander those who dare to oppose them. They get away with it because the cowards in the mainstream media are afraid to point out their transparent exploitation.

The plan to bomb planes bound for the United States with liquid explosives, to be carried out by Islamic militants, had all the earmarks of an al-Qaeda operation. That terror group is a real threat, one that the Bush administration downplays or ignores except when bin Laden's organization serves its political agenda.

Bush and his minions used the British plot to again conflate al-Qaeda with the disastrous war in Iraq and slur those who question the occupation that only inflames hostility toward the United States.

Bush again displayed his babbling ignorance about the enemy and willingness to shape reality to fit his political purposes. Brazenly suggesting he is a 21st-century Winston Churchill, Bush said the arrests in Great Britain are a "stark reminder" that the United States is "at war with Islamic fascists."

He should have added that he's doing his best to impose his own fundamentalist-flavored fascism in the United States to protect us in the "war." Bush declared that our enemies "will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

How many times can he peddle that lie? The reasons for Islamic rage are many, but none has anything to do with American freedoms, which Bush, ironically, is systematically attacking.

Alienation, historical isolation, real and perceived injustice, the U.S. military presence on the holy land of Islamic nations, economic exploitation, fanaticism, intolerance and fears of Western cultural domination are a few of the factors that inspire Islamic militancy and terrorism. Such complexities confuse Bush. It's much simpler for him to say, "They hate our freedom."

The British cracked the terror plot with good old-fashioned police work. They were diligent and were able to infiltrate the group plotting the terror.

Bush can only see the "war on terror" as a military operation. Without an army, without dropping bombs and enraging an entire population, British police, using superb intelligence, were able to thwart the plot without a single casualty.

Professor Juan Cole, a Middle East expert at the University of Michigan, sees the hand of Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's No. 2 man, in the airline-bombing plot.

Cole points to al-Zawahiri's role in last summer's London subway bombings.

"He used Pakistani-based terrorist organizations like Lashka-e-Taiba or Jaish-e-Muhammad to recruit Britons of Pakistani heritage for these operations, and so it is possible this is an al-Qaeda operation," Cole told me as we discussed the bombing plot at his Ann Arbor home last Thursday.

Cole sees the war in Iraq as a disastrous diversion that erodes our abilities to deal with the real threat.

"It certainly wasn't a war that had anything to do with al-Qaeda or the threat of al-Qaeda," he said. "That's a threat that's still there. And I personally think it was a mistake to put $300 billion into an Iraq misadventure at a time when al-Qaeda still had not been cleaned up and bin Laden and Zawahiri are still out there."

That simple truth must be dealt with in the only way the Busheviks can -- lie. The war in Iraq and the struggle with al-Qaeda are really the same thing, they will claim until hell freezes over. Never mind the evidence. That's for the "reality-based community."

Bush and his top staff knew of the British plot well in advance and immediately began their own plot to use the news to try to position the administration and its political supporters as the only way to protect the nation from doom. Anyone who opposes the war in Iraq is a coward ready to surrender to terrorists.

The scope of the smear is stunning. And the primary election defeat of Sen. Joseph Lieberman gave the Busheviks the opening they needed to introduce their new spins.

NBC reports that the White House forced toady Tony Blair to move up the timing of the arrests, even though British intelligence agencies recommended against it. They wanted to wait to nab more suspects and get more names.

It's easy to conclude Bush saw an opportunity, by imposing his timetable, to make partisan points from the election of Ned Lamont in Connecticut's Democratic Primary. The Busheviks don't think twice about compromising national security for political gain.

We should have known something was up when Cheney left his Wyoming cave to chat with reporters and lament the Lieberman loss. Remember, the more solemn and sober Cheney sounds, the more he is spewing lies.

"So it's an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy," Cheney moaned. He then slandered those Connecticut voters who voted to dump Lieberman, suggesting that those who supported Lamont encouraged "the al-Qaeda types."

Press Secretary Tony Snow claimed Lamont's election was a "defining moment" for the Democratic Party and those opposed to the bloody occupation of Iraq were offering "a white flag in the war on terror." Both Cheney and Snow knew the arrests in the United Kingdom were imminent and wanted to be positioned to score political points.

Lapdog Lieberman was quick to bark and made a frothy-mouthed attack on Lamont's support of a timed withdrawal from Iraq. At his whiny, sanctimonious worst, Lieberman claimed, "If we pick up like Ned Lamont wants to do, get out by a date certain, it would be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again."

Those are words of stench and desperation. Lieberman has no conscience. Not only has he blindly supported the war, he even argued that those who criticize our "war president" should stop because "we undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."

No one could do a better job of undermining his credibility than Bush has done himself. Lieberman wants us to remain silent about the crazed incompetence of the commander in chief responsible for the most poorly planned military operation in American history.

Lieberman suffers from a severe case of Giuliani fever -- a degenerative affliction that causes politicians to have delusions of supreme self-importance and consider themselves indispensable.

His public life -- like Bush's presidency -- will be remembered for the folly in Iraq and ignominious defeat. Their hope is that fear and ignorance will keep them afloat a little longer.

Polls show most Americans still believe George W. Bush keeps them safe from terrorists. Fifty percent of the American people continue to believe Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction. With a crew like that, it is no wonder Bush is still captain of our national ship of fools.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com August 15 2006