But, like the rest of the world, I have at least seen Saddam Hussein in his underpants. It's amazing how quickly a squawk can be raised over something so silly.
But then, that's the whole point. Despite denials from the White House (politicians lie -- never, ever forget that) there's not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that the Saddam photo/s were intentionally released by the US government. And I can't say I blame them. Think about it -- cui bono?
1) If Arabs and/or Muslims riot over it, George W. Bush can say "look, it isn't desecration of the Quran that upset them last week -- they're looking for something to be upset about," and "these riots are being fomented by regime holdouts." (There is, by the way, some merit to the first proposition)
2) If Arabs and/or Muslims don't riot over it, Donald Rumsfeld can say "see -- they're glad we got the bastard."
3) Assuming that it's actually Saddam they have (not a safe assumption, btw), the photos verify that -- at the time they were taken, at least -- he wasn't being visibly mistreated. He's obviously well-fed, he's unbruised and he isn't acting like he's under any kind of immediate duress or mentally disruptive chemical regimen. So much for the "our Glorious Leader is being tortured daily" bull sessions at the underground Ba'ath HQ.
4) He's now been pantsed in public. That should about wrap up any future political aspirations. Then again, you never know. George W. Bush flashed nothing but ass for four years and still weaseled in for a second term.
5) The real prize: Attention is deflected from the Bagram homicide report.
And that, of course, is the whole point.
The Busheviks have managed to, well, manage the Abu Ghraib atrocities into obscurity by mouthing platitudes and throwing a few enlisted schmucks to the wolves.
They managed to fob off blame for the Quran desecrations -- actions reported for more than a year, by the way, and admitted to in the New York Times by a former Gitmo interrogator -- on Newsweek for making the mistake of trusting a government source on the claim that the Busheviks were going to depart from habit and actually tell the truth.
And, with the help of a virtual media blackout, they've managed so far to slip by unscathed in the matter of the British cabinet memo which establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that Bush and Co. lied, continuously and through their teeth, throughout the buildup to war.
Now they're going to get a free pass on a few more murders, just by leaking some photos of Saddam's package.
These guys are not as stupid as we sometimes allow ourselves to believe they are. As evil, yes. As stupid, no.
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