When shame replaces pride

An email from an active-duty Marine suggests the phony press conference staged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the California wildfires last week wasn’t the only skullduggery pulled by the Bush administration during that state’s emergency.

The Marine, home between deployments in Iraq, says he was sent to California to help in rescue and relief efforts but was ordered to not wear his USMC basic utilities but instead was given a uniform of the Army National Guard.

The uniform switch, he feels, was part of a deliberate effort to conceal the fact that California lacks enough available National Guardsmen and Reservists who respond to the emergency because they are overseas fighting in President George W. Bush’s Iraq war.

“I am a Marine,” he said in his email. “I am proud to be a Marine. I am not proud of my country when they ask me to wear the uniform of another branch of service in order to deceive the very citizens I am sworn to serve.”

At his request, I am not using his name, although he did provide enough information to verify that he is, in fact, a member of the Corps. I cannot confirm that his story is true but, given the history of the Bush administration when it comes to lies and other public deceptions, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of his claim.

Governors, both Democratic and Republican, have expressed concern over the depletion of National Guard and Reserve units to fight in Bush’s unpopular war. Gulf Coast states dodged a bullet this year when the hurricane season did not produce any Katrina-level storms. When the wildfires began to approach disaster proportions, the Bush administration panicked, sensing another public relations debacle.

We saw the level of that panic last week when FEMA staged a press conference with their own staff members posing as reporters. We saw Bush hustled aboard Air Force One for one of his photo op flyovers of the fire area out West. And we most likely saw the Pentagon try to pass off active duty personnel from other branches of the armed forces as National Guard members and reservists.

We truly have reached a low point in this nation when it is too easy to believe that our government is lying to us. Public opinion polls give Bush the lowest job approval rating of any President in modern times. The same polls show most Americans believe the President routinely lies. Another poll out Friday says 75 percent of Americans believe Congress is “doing a lousy job.”

Other polls suggest an increasing number of us no longer feel pride in being an American. I saw this recently at lunch with an old friend, a Vietnam veteran who said he will no longer participate in our local Veteran’s Day festivities.

“The country I fought for no longer exists,” he said. “I cannot feel pride in the America that exists today. I am ashamed of my country. I never thought that would happen.”

Neither did I, old friend. Neither did I.

Comments

  1. sherry

    Every time I think this government can’t possibly get any lower, they surprise me. No matter what they do, they get away with it.
    To think I actually voted straight democrat thinking there might be hope for change.
    Kids, we are all plenty angry with just cause. It ain’t the republicans. It’s the government. We need to fire them ALL and start over
    Sherry

  2. Stratocaster

    There is absolutely no one to vote for. All of the politicians have sold out. How do you get people into office that are not politicians? I am sure not going to vote for the person that raises the most money. Maybe the person that raises the least money should win.

  3. kevns007

    We’re all ashamed of our Country! What’s there to be proud of? It’s become a Fascist State because a complicit, impotent Congress allowed evil, insane men unlimited power. Hitler could only have dreamed of the power, elitism, wealth, and destruction these guys have created. We, the people, have to find a way to take it back, ourselves, and hopefully in a Gandhi-esque, MLK kind of way. It’s up to us. Politicians are useless. It’s Revolution time again, mouseketeers.

  4. Yankeespie

    To the Marine that let this information Out!!

    As an Marine you took an oath to Serve and Protect! Be a Marine and come out of the Closet and give this Validation! Do a Youtube vid and expose this Government for what it is! Transparency is you’re Suit of Armor against these people!!

    Thank you
    Yankeespie

  5. hillbilly

    Someone said something about going to DC with pitchforks? Looks like that would make you a ‘lone wolf’…Also looks as though the members are stacked 6/4 in the administrations favor…and appointed for the life of the committee.

    `SEC. 899C. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE.
    `(a) Establishment- There is established within the legislative branch of the Government the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism.
    `(b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:
    `(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or `lone wolf’ violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.
    `(2) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of–
    `(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;
    `(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and
    `(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.

    (c) Composition of Commission- The Commission shall be composed of 10 members appointed for the life of the Commission, of whom–
    `(1) one member shall be appointed by the President from among officers or employees of the executive branch and private citizens of the United States;
    `(2) one member shall be appointed by the Secretary;
    `(3) one member shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;
    `(4) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;
    `(5) one member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
    `(6) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;
    `(7) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;
    `(8) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;
    `(9) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and
    `(10) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

    (i) Powers of Commission- The powers of the Commission shall be as follows:
    `(1) IN GENERAL-
    `(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.
    `(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.

  6. Stratocaster

    This government represents the rich and the powerful; it no longer represents the people. I see no difference between slavery and wage slavery. If you cannot afford gas for your car, food for your table, a roof over your head, and health care for your family, what is the point. If Lincoln freed the slaves, who is going to free the American Worker?

  7. douin

    The easy way to check out what is in H.R.1955 is to Google H.R.1955….and it will be available for you to read…and finally see why people better wake up and realize that this nazi-acting regime is up to no good. It certainly is not a government ‘ of , by and for the people. ‘ It is time to wake up and Go On Strike before it is forever too late.

  8. Stratocaster

    The link given by turrentman1st is a temporary one so you will have to go to the home page and do a search on the bill number, and I ran out of patience before I found the clause he was talking about, but yes it is a scarry bill. It addressess ideological based violence, so anyone with a thought in their head could be put on a watch list as a potential terrorist. What will become of it when it filters down to the dimwit with a badge and a gun? And, what about all of those detention centers that have been built? Bloggers may become an endangered species.

  9. SEAL

    How bout a link to hr 1955, douin, for us internet search challenged puter dummys that don’t know how to find that stuff.

  10. turretman1st

    to douin and every one check out (hr 1955) house resolution sets up a committy on domestic terrosim there is a contracters cloase in it that really horrifies me about the whole bill. i have been following the breakdown of our military and national gaurd for years now and just didnot understand why till now!
    sorry

  11. Stratocaster

    These people own the banks. If you are drowning in debt, that is good, they make money that way. These people own the weapons manufacturing companies. If we are at war, that is good, they make money that way. These people own the construction companies. If your home burns down in fire, or washes away in a flood, that is good, they make money that way. If your kid is on drugs…

  12. SEAL

    I think it was a couple of weeks ago I informed the group that Bush had just quietly called up 8 more units of the National Guard to go to Iraq right after he announced bringing home the first group of the 30,000 surge. 8 National Guard units would be 12-15,000 troops. That would be about half of the surge being quietly replaced as they are publicly being brought home.

    Bush doesn’t give a rats ass what anyone else thinks or wants. He is going to continue to pour fuel on his Iraqi fire as long as he is in office.