Finally the president thanked us and we were dismissed. As I was leaving, he smiled and said to me, “You sure Saddam didn’t say anything about where he put those vials of anthrax?” and everyone laughed. I responded that he didn’t and, if he had, the president would have been the first to know. It was a lame response, but I thought his crack was inappropriate considering that the United States had already lost more than four thousand men and women, with tens of thousands injured.
—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 168.
… Saddam was out of his depth. He never fully grasped the impact of 9/11, which he saw as something that might bring Iraq and the United States closer together. Since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington were the work of Islamic extremists, Saddam thought the United States would need his secular government to help fight the scourge of Wahhabist militancy.
—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 112.
For the last 36 years, since the advent into power of Ronald Reagan, public education and the public school system has been gutted. It’s criminal that we’ve seen how two whole generations have grown up with shamefully limited understanding of the world, history and geography. People in this country now have great difficulty in critical thinking and being able to express themselves.
The public mind has been shattered, fragmented.
Remember reading Macy’s book in the 80s, in the slide into darkness that was the Reagan Administration. Giroux’s got another piece analyzing US destitute thinking on truthdig.org. His hope placed in women’s marches, or Hedges’ calling for protesters to “make America ungovernable” remind me of Jacobin Magazine’s article on the”general strike” coming up, in which those “who can do so without being fired” should go on strike. I think people in this country now have great difficulty in critical thinking.
We subsequently found out, as the U.S. military prepared to invade Iraq, that Saddam was sending the latest draft of a novel he was writing to Tariq Aziz to critique. This was not a man bracing for a pulverizing military attack.
—John Nixon, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2016), 40.
The BBC covering Trump’s meeting with police chiefs today:
Mr Trump also said: “I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well. OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody.”
Watching Democracy Now‘s coverage of Saturday’s Women’s March I have to echo a Guardian article:
And when Ashley Judd gave her speech – a mangled, rambling, beat poetry thing, where she amped up her southern accent and likened modern-day micro-aggressions to black slavery and the Holocaust – I felt a little like I’d taken acid (bad acid).
I think I’m not a pink knitted cat ear hat wearing kind of guy.
From the BBC: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” President Trump said on the steps of the Capitol.