19th Update + Readers Responses July 29th
Mid-Summer's Standoff in the Bare Knuckle Jungle
'The same people who managed 9/11 bankroll Hammas. They run the deal over
there. Weve known that for some time'.
For the past six months
I had not heard a peep from my infamous GOP insider, Georgetown, at least
not in the usual sense; the occasional caustic message on my cell phone
or a chance meeting at some function or other. This is odd, considering
his repeated appearances in this column for nearly five years. Odder still,
when considering that Washington has ostensibly turned into a Republican
headquarters for the past two of them.
However his absence becomes clearer when viewed through a political lens.
Georgetown is nothing if not a political monster, and since Id left
the New York headquarters of The Desk, my appearances at political or
sporting events have waned considerably. And so my running into him or
someone with access to him has lessened greatly. Georgetown had not heard
of a fundraiser or a press conference he didnt like, which is why
he enjoyed a continued anonymity in this space, and a direct voice for
his madness. I, in turn, have come to enjoy his wickedly honest and accurate
assessment of national politics.
Ive spent my free time mostly away from frontline politics lately,
paining to finish a well-overdue manuscript for my next book. So Id
more or less assumed that Georgetown had little to no use for me or this
column. Moreover, it has been tentative times in our nations capitol,
what with the infinite "War Against Terrorism" and the crippling
of Wall Street with these repeated corporate cover-ups. Especially damaging
to a president who was bankrolled into office by big business interests
and grotesque oil funding.
However, about three weeks ago I began receiving cryptic E-mails from
someone with the title of GT through an anonymous Hotmail account. The
notes had Georgetowns recognizably vitriolic tone, but with very
little of the usual wit, one-line commentaries on past columns, much like
the ones I receive from any rankled reader.
"You twisted hack, what is the point of dissecting the (Bush) administrations
Middle East policies when they do not exist?"
"You have little to know idea what kind of godless twits roam in
the offices of Bob Kerry these days."
"Time to come to grips with the fact that Worldcom is run by wild,
fuck-crazy Arabs who wish to sink the U.S. economy from within."
"Youve got a better chance of making deadline under 600 words,
than anyone has of hearing the identity of Deep Throat, least of all from
that puny douchebag stoolie, John Dean."
"This bullshit about the 'Pledge' (of Allegiance) is beneath you,
so why dont you stick to speculating about gay rights in Bergen
Cute, pointless, and highly provocative, I decided these almost daily
barbs were Georgetowns attempt at riling my attention, without fully
coming out of hiding. I balked at mentioning this in my column until I
had a beat on his methods, which unpredictably alter with the political
wind these days. And I surely did not want this space to turn into some
kind of running libel machine for the upcoming mid-term panics that rumble
down the streets Washington around this time every four years.
And so it seemed right to track down the old boy in D.C. during our nations
celebration of Independence. It had been a few years for me actually "working"
inside the Beltway. That takes a different kind of breed, younger, hungrier,
willing to be lied to incessantly, until all manner of faith is rendered
impotent in its wake. It takes the guile and fortitude of a "reporter"
with at least a modicum of optimism, of which I have traded for using
the "F" word liberally.
But that is why this trek was so necessary, so vital to the continued
vitality of this column. Truth has always been the mantra of Georgetown,
and although he has incurred the wrath of many who already know he is
selling them out, he blabs and barks and carves with the best of them.
Unable to reveal the methods in which I weed out sources, to protect their
cover and keep the gravy train greased and fired up, suffice to say the
double-vodka martini is a good place to start. So the following is the
first of a two-part discussion that took place in a darkened booth in
the back of Chadwicks Pub somewhere along K Street in the part of
our nations capitol that bares our friends name. It is a fine
bar for a summit on mid-term madness and all things politico.
jc: I want you to know I missed deadline tracking you down.
GT: Thats the least of your problems. This is a bad time to be here.
Didnt you hear; the Arabs are going to fire missiles at the Capitol
building from Arlington Cemetery during the fireworks?
jc: Is this directly from Tom Ridge?
GT: Yes, the Grand Poobah of Homeland Defense. We call him Chicken Little
Junior down here. Hes sucking millions of taxpayer dollars foraging
out angry love letters from Muslim law students and leaking germ warfare
memos to the State Department on the hour.
jc: Enough fucking around, where have you been?
GT: Fucking around? You need a beating after that "Pledge of Allegiance"
mess I see is running this week. Was that bit of insurrection planned
for the holiday?
jc: Please. Youre and atheist.
GT: Yeah, I loved that crap about taking God off of money. You miss the
point entirely. God IS money.
jc: Lets get back to your absence from my answering machine. Is
it the doomed economy under this Republican "big business" government
weve got going on down here?
GT: You see this is why the press has no fucking idea what is going on.
Perception is king, and I know that, but the question will be over the
next two months does this administration know how cozy it is with these
companies that keep cooking the figures and floating belly up on the shores
of the Potomac. Chaney is in deep with Arthur Anderson. Bush has the stench
of these oil bastards all over him. Christ, he has to start talking about
this shit. It will cost us seats in the Senate and then youll see
where his "compassionate conservatism" gets us.
jc: How deep in is this Worldcom fiasco? Has it reached Enron proportions
GT: It doesnt matter. The more these trials drag on, and new miscreants
are dragged out to testify, the more the public has the perception that
everyone, not just the politicians; everyone is bought and sold by these
jc: Guilt by association?
GT: The fattest hens always come home to roost.
jc: So, correct me if Im drifting here, but what you are saying
is the Bush Administration, while not directly linked to any current corporate
malfeasance, is suffering the political consequences purely by association.
GT: That would be correct.
jc: Constituency meltdown.
GT: Something like that.
jc: Whos worried and how much?
GT: There have been discussions, certainly for Bush to get out there and
say something. Hes treated this thing like the Middle East crisis,
but this one hits too close to home.
(NOTE: A few days later the president in fact did make a speech deriding
the current climate of bad business, prompting critics and supporters
to wonder how much of it was politically motivated and the approaching
mid-term elections) jc: What about Chaney and these crazy rumors about
Arthur Anderson and the oil stuff?
GT: Listen, Chaney is untouchable right now. There are a lot of us who
would go to bat for him over Bush. I think many conservatives in this
town are having the same problems with Junior as they had with Senior.
There is a survival chip in the Bush genes that rub the hardliners the
jc: What about you? Where do you stand on Bushs conservative record?
GT: I think Ive mentioned the inordinate amount of funds wasted
on this ambiguous Homeland Security thing. And Im not sure the money
spent on the military right now is well founded. I believe...and again,
youre just asking me, right?
GT: Well, the vouchers thing was a mess. And there seems to be cracks
in the tax cut support on Capitol Hill right now. The money flooded into
defense since 9/11 is staggering. I cannot recall being here during a
time, and this does not include Reagan mind you, but I cannot recall the
type of major league funds for a war effort being juggled around the federal
government like these. And this incessant wrangling over disclosure. I
have yet to see one of these cable news networks get a fucking story right
when it goes down. And they want Rumsfeld to brief them on where operations
in Afghanistan are? Sure, right.
jc: Is Rumsfeld still running this thing?
GT: Another dumb ass reporter heard from. I read that garbage you wrote
about Rumsfeld being clinically insane and my somehow lauding it. That
was bullshit journalism.
jc: You didnt leave me that message about his wild-eyed performance
on Meet The Press last spring?
GT: Out of context. I was referring to his grit in the face of ridiculous
assertions that we are mired in Afghanistan. That couldnt be further
from the truth. This man has his finger in the dam. You think this thing
is being orchestrated from Pennsylvania Avenue?
jc: Its the CIAs puppy now?
GT: Afghanistan or the whole thing?
jc: And the whole thing?
GT: Theyre too busy negotiating with the anti-Hussein factions in
jc: The White House is preoccupied with Iraq completely?
roll call is as follows. Write this down, because Im not repeating
One: the mid-term campaigns. Theyre definitely worried about the
Two: This bullshit with Worldcom finishing up quickly, and with very little
discernable press. And by that I mean understandable by the American people.
Remember, the frustration of selling Whitewater is that no one could figure
out what the fuck it was all about. Thats why Starr went full force
on Lewinsky, and...fuck it. Im off the path.
Finally, three is the goddamn stock market and four is Iraq.
jc: What about Israel?
GT: I can tell you that this government, as presently constituted, will
not support a unilateral negotiation with the Palestinians while Arafat
is in charge.
jc: Word I get is hes not in charge now.
GT: You answered your own question. The same people who managed 9/11 bankroll
Hammas. They run the deal over there. Weve known that for some time.
jc: What about all this money we have wrapped up in the Israeli Defense
GT: Those people have to defend their nation.
jc: How much can you tell me about support for ousting Hussein.
GT: Its big on our end. The Pentagon already had ten or twelve plans
nixed and reworked. Thats not the issue.
jc: The surrounding Arab states have always been the issue. Thats
why hes still there in the first place. God, I am so tired of talking
GT: Why did you bring it up?
jc: I need to know about the real deal. Do they plan on going through
with a full-scale attack with troops and the whole bit or keep driving
at a coup based on unrest.
GT: The latter. Half, no, more than half of the Iraqi populace is truly
afraid of Hussein now. The intelligence we get daily is this maniac is
willing to fry the whole desert for a whiz bang finish. I think Ive
told you before, the CIA has always been certain that if Hussein thought
he was fucked, he would detonate everything hes got.
jc: Which is...?
GT: The mother load, if our reports are somewhat in the ballpark. I dont
know anything for sure, and I know youre taping this, so lets
just say it is not good.
jc: How much does Daschle want the presidency?
GT: Jesus, what a fucking suck-ass, dried out old liberal hump this guy
is. He does not give a flying fuck about national security, the stock
market plummeting, corporate distrust or anything but jacking up these
talk shows to bash the cause. Its fucking criminal. Ill not
answer another question about Tom Daschle. Hes a political dead
man. I think you know I believe theyll run Kerry up the flagpole
jc: What do you hear about Gore?
GT: Your boys going to petition.
GT: Al Gore, the sitting vice president for the administration that lorded
over the best non-war economy in the history of this republic, who couldnt
even win his own state and went out in a whining blaze of shame by crying
foul, is begging for a sniff. They call it taking the temperature of the
jc: Hes auditioning for the party?
GT: Just like Nixon in 68.
jc: The parallels continue to be uncanny. So, hes a dead man too?
GT: If Im not mistaken, it was an open casket funeral two autumns
jc: Are you guys retaining congressional power this November?
GT: Unless something dramatic happens with this economy by mid-September,
then no. Of course Bush could pull out the violins and get everyone teary
for a 9/11-anniversary tribute to Americas resolve. We can ride
that into the sunset.
© James Campion Ju;ly 2002
July 29th Update: READER's RESPONSES
Your well-reasoned response to this latest outcry against removing God
from the "Pledge of Allegiance" was appreciated by this reader,
although I fear not many more. It took some guts and intellect rarely
attributed to a columnist. This publication should be proud of your stance
and your willingness to express unpopular ideas with an enviable wit.
So the "Pledge of Allegiance" was some kind of socialist mantra?
always thought it sounded goofy, and I never really knew what it meant
anyway. It was the thing we did before I sat down and attempted to make
animal sculptures out of my boogers. They always wound up looking like
sea horses, for some reason. It's only right that another Bellamy is
exposed for the worthless cretin that he is. I am of course talking
profoundly mediocre "comedian" Bill Bellamy. Oh, and Cleveland
Just thought I'd throw that in.
This very nation was founded on the basis of a loving, benevolent
Creator. This is not Post Sept. 11 cheery-ra-ra bullshit. This is
consistent with what MOST Americans have believed. It is only the pseudo
elite who thinking they are too fucking cool for the traditions that
this country what it is.
Have you noticed that this country's appeal and power has been
diminished since elitist anti-God liberals have found a voice in modern
Fuck that Atheist fuck. If he doesn't like it, go to Russia, oh,
wait, he can't. They have now have organized religion. No more Atheistic
If your elitist attitude is right, then the Declaration is
unconstitutional, the Constitution is unconstitutional (the whole "In
the year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Eighty Seven" thing)
and the Supreme Court is unconstitutional as well as the House and the
Senate who open their sessions with a prayer.
This country was founded on a love and belief in a creator (God)
and no lib jack-off in the 9th circus of appeals will ever change that.
Sometimes my friend, you are too hip for your own good.
a) I have no problem with not allowing a pledge with the word God in
it.... the point here is, though, that i dare one person to find a school
kid that has ever done anything other than mindlessly drone the pledge
at 8am after a long night of wet dreams and listening to the radio
under the covers , while not understanding, nor caring to understand,
word of it.
b) "beyond insane" is tame. Who can complain, though, as you
mentioned, that we try to fix our kids problems by invasion, instead
of paying attention and teaching them to not take steroids in the first
Nah, that's silly, that means all the Fathers of the world would have
get up from in front of the TV and stop moronically screaming for all
the athletes that are on steroids, and speak with their kids.
c) free market, my friend. There is no way schools can't get better
they have to compete.
I must disagree with your assessment of the situation regarding the
ruling to mark the "Pledge of Allegiance" as being unconstitutional.
The argument that God should not be referenced in any to do with government
is a valid one. I do believe in the separation between church and state
and you make a good point that if we do not uphold this, then we end
up with neophytes that think somehow God wants them to destroy their
enemies by using airliners as weapons. However, I do not believe that
the intention of Mr. Newdow's argument is for the separation of church
and state, but instead I feel his argument is targeted at what he feels
is protecting his daughter from hearing anything about God.
I heard a discussion with him on Thursday, in which he stated that he
and his daughter were being "harmed" by his daughter hearing
the term "one nation under God" in her public school while
the Pledge was being recited. The media can speculate all they want
but to hear this man, the argument, to me, is simply this: "I am
an atheist, I do not believe in a supreme being therefore I do not wish
my daughter to be exposed to anything that may reference any form of
deity, depending on your religious point of view, including a reference
I believe the argument about separation between church and state is
merely a smoke screen to get what he wants. If the school she was attending
had a morning prayer he would be arguing over that. I bet that if students
around his daughter were wearing religious symbols, such as a crucifix,
in a public school, he would be attacking that.
I do believe in his right to raise his child anyway he sees fit.
But the law of this nation permits his daughter to be excused from reciting
the "Pledge of Allegiance". In so far as having to sit and
listen, we must remember this is a public place, and she will have to
deal with it. If not then he should use his right to home school his
child and then she can be exposed to whatever he wishes.
Sincerely yours, PJDude.
Do you hold anything dear? Is there nothing sacred in your realm of
reasoning? I was appalled by your "Pledge" story, as any American
with a care in the world for their soul.
Roger TempletonMr. Campion, I am not a religious person by nature. In
fact some religions would consider me a "heathen" due to the
fact that no one splashed water on my head as a child, or gave me a
cross of gold. But couldnt these people find something better
to do with their time. Do most High School students even KNOW the words
to the "Pledge of Allegiance"? I cant believe that most
do. Most people dont even know the National Anthem let alone that
there is more then ONE verse! They are so concentrated on this damn
word that most of their kids are probably smoking pot, shooting up and
getting knocked up while Mommy and Daddy are out fighting so their kids
dont have to say GOD!!!!
People it is just a WORD! Isnt religion more then just a word?
Its your beliefs, its your thoughts, its what you
feel in your heart and believe in your mind. Couldnt you substitute
the "word" with what ever you want? This is America isnt
itfreedom of speech and all that crap! I have freedom and Im
speaking. Have a mind, use a different word, move on and get the fuck
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