The Bush Administration in a nutshell
This cartoon neatly captures the legacy of the Worst President Ever
Here's a couple of stories that illustrate just how stupid and just how brutal the Bush Administration was:
Buy High, Sell Low
The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to shift its holdings from bonds to equities, just about the time the bottom fell out of the stock market.
A finance professor who had previously advised the agency not to make the switch away from bonds compared the move to an insurance company writing policies to cover hurricane damage and then investing the premiums in beachfront property.
Bush was able to do for the PBGC what he tried and failed to do for Social Security.
Bush's Torture Rationale Debunked
Abu Zubaida was the alpha and omega of the Bush administration's argument for torture.
That's why Sunday's front-page Washington Post story by Peter Finn and Joby Warrick is such a blow to the last remaining torture apologists.
Finn and Warrick reported that "not a single significant plot was foiled" as a result of Zubaida's brutal treatment -- and that, quite to the contrary, his false confessions "triggered a series of alerts and sent hundreds of CIA and FBI investigators scurrying in pursuit of phantoms."
Zubaida was the first detainee to be tortured at the direct instruction of the White House. Then he was President George W. Bush's Exhibit A in defense of the "enhanced interrogation" procedures that constituted torture. And he continues to be held up as a justification for torture by its most ardent defenders.
But as author Ron Suskind reported almost three years ago -- and as The Post now confirms -- almost all the key assertions the Bush administration made about Zubaida were wrong.
Zubaida wasn't a major al Qaeda figure. He wasn't holding back critical information. His torture didn't produce valuable intelligence -- and it certainly didn't save lives.
Betray every ideal that America was supposed to stand for, and stupidly flush billions of dollars down the toilet. All in pursuit of long-debunked theories of economics and interrogation techniques that were based on the sort of simplistic reasoning that appeals to children. Greater risk brings greater reward. Inflict enough pain, and you'll get to the truth.
It's as if we were governed for eight years by teenagers who were raised on a steady diet of "24" and "Wall Street". Except that I think the teenagers might have gotten better results for their efforts.
(cross posted at appletree)