MY PET GOAT
by Tara Carreon
"Did Papa buy you a goat?" -- "Satyricon," by Federico Fellini
"The lust of the goat is the bounty of God." -- "Proverb of Hell", by William Blake
Mutant Star Goat Vignette, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
"You see, you have to understand that because Bush is a conservative Republican, he could be caught sodomizing a goat on the front lawn of the White House and they'd say this only showed his love for animals." -- "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," by Vincent Bugliosi
See Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911"
[Michael Moore] As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida. When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity.
[Teacher] Good morning, boys and girls.
[Students] Good morning.
[Teacher] Read this word the fast way. Get ready.
[Teacher] Yes. Get ready.
[Teacher] Okay, get ready to read the words on this page without making a mistake.
[Michael Moore] When the second plane hit the tower his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush, "The nation is under attack." Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and no Secret Service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat with the children.
See "First Lady Talks About Horse Penises, Harvests Accolades," by Charles Carreon
See "Unauthorized Biography of George Bush," by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin: "Mr. Bush got off Air Force One looking tired, eyes puffy and his stride less spry than the 'spring colt' to which he always compares himself."
See "Peter Levenda and the Magickal Roots of Nazism," interview by Tracy R. Twyman
That's not what I was told. My commander swore that the entire planet was about to be eaten by a mutant star goat.
See "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," by Vincent Bugliosi
How did Bush respond to this moment of great crisis, the first deadly attack by foreigners on American soil in our history? If we didn't know what he did, no one could possibly believe it. It is so incredible that I am certain one would be extremely hard-pressed to find one other person out of a million -- but certainly no public official of any rank, much less another president of the United States -- who would have responded the way he did. At 8:55 on the morning of September 11, 2001, Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, informed Bush over the telephone that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. He was then told this in person by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, before he walked into the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, at 9:04 a.m. He would have had no way of knowing at this point that it was a terrorist attack, and could have reasonably assumed it had been an accident. Eighteen second-graders rose to their feet as the president entered the classroom, and he proceeded to sit down next to the teacher (Sandra Kay Daniels) at the front of the class and listen to the students as they read aloud a children's story about a girl's pet goat. A small battery of news reporters and camera crews in the back of the room recorded the event.
At 9:07 a.m., Card entered the classroom and whispered into the president's ear: "Mr. President, a second plane has struck the second tower. The nation is under attack." Unbelievably (why can't there be more powerful words in our lexicon to describe special, yes, unique situations like this other than this tired, terribly overused adverb), Bush did not instantly apologize to the students and excuse himself to immediately respond, as the president of the country and the commander-in-chief of our armed forces, to this attack on the nation's soil. While inside the two towers were scenes of horror and death that Hollywood would not even try to capture on celluloid, Bush, after a momentary show of concern upon hearing the news, "grew cheerful," per the Orlando Sentinel, as the seven-year-olds continued to show off their reading skills to the beat of Miss Daniels's tapping pen. "Reading more than they watch TV?" the president asked, smiling. "Anybody do that?" The children's hands shot up. "Really good readers -- whew. This must be the sixth grade," Bush joked, remaining in the classroom.
You, I, or anyone else in Bush's shoes would have instantly excused ourselves from the children's classroom and demanded to be briefed immediately by our national security adviser and secretary of defense on exactly what happened, asking if they had any idea who was behind the attacks. Was there any fear that this was just the opening salvo of a much greater attack on the entire nation? What steps should be taken to protect the nation? What emergency measures were being taken at the Twin Towers site? Have our military forces been placed on national alert -- and a host of other questions. What Bush did before 9/ 11 was bad enough, by itself, to be thrown out of office. It was grossly irresponsible conduct; conduct that was inexcusable. But that type of behavior was at least "imaginable" and has happened before in different contexts. But I maintain that what Bush did in that classroom could not have been imagined.
Bush continued to sit in the classroom to the very end of the reading session, leaving the room at 9: 12 a.m., five minutes after learning the nation was under attack! God knows how long he would have stayed in the classroom if the reading session had been longer. Indeed, he showed no indication at all that he wanted to leave. When that part of the reading session scheduled specifically for him came to an end, and the children closed with the phrase "more to come," Bush asked, "What does that mean, more to come?" The president was told by Miss Daniels that they didn't intend to take up any more of his time, at which point he finally left the classroom.
Bush later told Newsweek that when Card said to him that America was under attack -- "I'm trying to absorb that knowledge. I have nobody to talk to. I'm sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children's story; and I realize I'm the commander-in-chief and the country has just come under attack." In other words, Bush, a very small man, was in a state of paralysis because he knew he was so far beneath the situation.
In his interview with the 9/ 11 Commission, Bush tried to improve on what he told Newsweek by not only telling a transparent lie, but a remarkably bad one at that. The 9/11 Commission reported that Bush said he stayed in the classroom because he "felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening." But how could he better understand what had happened by remaining inside the classroom rather than leaving the classroom and being informed by his advisers? And to whom did he want to project strength and calm? The seven-year-old children? Even if that were his demented goal, how could he project strength and calm to them when they didn't even know the attacks had taken place? Or was he trying to project strength and calm to the American public? But how could he do this when the public couldn't see him inside the classroom?
To call Bush's conduct a dereliction of duty would be to minimize it a thousandfold by employing a term used to routinely describe commonplace, garden variety types of negligence and failure in public office. No. What Bush did here was not only unprecedented, but most assuredly will never happen again, no matter how long this crazed little planet of ours revolves around the sun. When I told a right-wing acquaintance of mine about what the president had done, I already knew he would defend it. You see, you have to understand that because Bush is a conservative Republican, he could be caught sodomizing a goat on the front lawn of the White House and they'd say this only showed his love for animals. My right-wing acquaintance told me: "The president didn't leave because he probably didn't want to upset the children." Even if his leaving would have left a scar on the psyches of the children for the rest of their lives (which, of course, is ridiculous and impossible to believe), Bush still had absolutely no choice but to immediately excuse himself from the classroom to attend to the security of 280 million Americans. (Indeed, even if the two planes that struck the Twin Towers did so as a result of an accident, what happened was still catastrophic enough for Bush to have excused himself.) But the reality is that it wouldn't have hurt the children a bit, since seven-year-olds are old enough to understand emergencies. If they were hurt at all, it was when they heard the president speaking at the school minutes later on television about the attack on the towers. There would be a full-scale investigation, he said, to track down "the folks" who were responsible.
Let me add that in view of Bush's mind-boggling, extremely bizarre, and utterly incredible malfeasance in the way he responded to learning that the nation was under attack, the whole nation should have been terrified down to the marrow of its bones that someone like George Bush was our president. Yet unbelievably; far from being lambasted as he should have been for his severely aberrational behavior, Bush was treated with kid gloves by the nation's press at the time, and the incident was mostly ignored.
The first time Bush started receiving some serious ridicule for what he did was when Michael Moore came out with his movie Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004. Though Bush, of course, came off badly in the movie, I didn't think there was any possible way for anyone to even partially redeem or explain Bush's otherworldly conduct in the Florida classroom until Moore did so. As I have suggested, I believe there was only one true reason for Bush's behavior -- he was in way, way over his head, and no one was immediately nearby to coach and mother him in this moment of crisis. Not so, says Moore, determined to throw out a rope to a fellow human in an unforgiving sea and pull him from the other world aboard our planet earth. Moore, inadvertently moonlighting for Bush, came up with a possible explanation for Bush's behavior, which, though still depicting Bush in a negative light, brought his conduct within the margins of imaginable human behavior. Moore told his audience that Bush may have stayed in the classroom because he was immobilized by the thought that one of his friends (like a Saudi billionaire) might have been behind the attack. Moore asked, "Was he thinking, 'I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Which one of them screwed me?"'
The sultans of silliness over at the editorial board of the New York Times (the nation's paper of record) went far beyond Moore in defending Bush. They actually wrote (I'm not making this up -- you can't make up stuff like this -- September 2, 2004, edition, page A22) that in "judging Bush's leadership" abilities, his staying in the classroom after being informed the nation was under attack is "irrelevant." Can you imagine that?
In any event, Bush's conduct in remaining in that classroom for five minutes after being told the nation was under attack is nothing short of unbelievable. And this is the "war" president who was reelected because he was perceived as being a strong and effective leader against terrorism.