"After racking my brain, I can come up with only one reason why Padilla was held for 3 1/2 years without charges and tortured. It was not because Padilla had 3 1/2 years of information that needed to be elicited it from him. It was not because what he may have known was a state secret. Padilla was imprisoned and suffered simply because Bush wanted to prove he had the power to do so. To anyone, even Americans.
Why? Why would Bush want to do that? What does he - more importantly, what does the country - gain from this kind of totalitarian behavior? Well, once again, Bush is making a point, that the president has the power to do whatever the president wants, without having to provide reasons to anyone. Especially during "wartime."
And Bush thinks, and the Bush administration thinks, and Republicans think, that it is a Good Thing. They must destroy America in order to save it. Shrink the American government down to nothing, so it drowns, as Norquist once said. What no one ever asked Norquist was what Republicans would replace the American government with.
Well, now we know.
Sickening. Absolutely sickening."
"This morning's press conference was one of the scariest public events of the last few years. Bush appears to be crumbling before our eyes; I can't believe they let him out in the condition he displayed. His responses were rambling and unfocused, stringing together irrelevant bromides and half-thoughts, the discourse of someone not getting any sleep. His response styles were even more alarming, bouncing from whining about all the hard decisions he has to make; to a sort of sneering impatient condescension, with which he explained simple falsehoods as though to children and as though they were obviously true; to the recital of incompletely rehearsed talking points, cut up into phrases and reassembled at random; to his familiar fake-macho pronouncing style. There was a round of joking about reporters' clothes that just made him appear clueless about the importance of the North Korean bomb and the collapse of his party's electoral prospects, completely tineared in the context of the event. One response after another headlined a simple unexplained and unembroidered refusal to hear facts, from poll results to the new estimates of Iraqi deaths. And the word unacceptable apparently means "if it continues, I will say it's unacceptable, but louder, so watch out!"
Bush has always been a man who knows a few simple things, to assert if not to act on coherently, and who is not in the business of increasing this stock. Now those are one-by-one turning out to be silly, bad guidance, or just vacuous, and his handlers are coming up empty giving him lines and tricks to get through the week. The man is not only in desperate straits but, what is new for him, beginning to recognize it. It was a really chilling spectacle; we're all in a bad situation here. It's not good for anyone that the president becomes a humiliating occasion for ridicule, a midget drum major prancing on the sidelines, beating out a rhythm no-one else is keeping, while the band breaks up into chaos on the field."