Prompted by questions about an insinuation I made regarding the Bush administration I find myself writing a longer answer than I initially intended, in my compulsion to clarify my own mind about the history. In a few hours I tried to put a few ideas together to describe how I came to understand that the Bush administration had followed a formula that Madison had warned us about: "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
Just relying on memory of the chain of events I tried to find links of pages documenting them. Maybe the dots can be connected differently, but my interpretation is coherent with the facts. I have not cherrypicked facts to make my point because I know of no facts that contradict my narrative, I simply googled some of the events I mention to facilitated anyone's investigation of these facts. In any case it is easy enough to do further research online, whether the intent is to support or contradict this interpretation.
Many people believe that 9/11 was the result of a willful neglect of warnings that an attack was about to happen. There are many indications that Cheney, Rumsfeld, and influential neo-cons wanted an excuse to go into Iraq from the first day in office (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml ). As outrageous as it sounds it is not much of a stretch compared to tactics used in the past by overzealous right-wingers such as in the Iran-Contra scandal. As it turns out they did use 9/11 as an excuse to go into Iraq by exaggerating non-existent threats. In the process they declared a war against a ghost country/army - Terror - and created a bloody conflict that killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed the livelihood of millions, all at a safe distance that could be witnessed on TV by a horrified but untouched populace. The argument that we were at war was used successfully, combined with voting shenanigans http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10432334/was_the_2004_election_stolen), to re-elect Bush in 2004.
In the 8 years of that administration billions of tax-payer funds were used to bribe occupation collaborators in Iraq (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x1550912 ). Billions were awarded in contracts to Halliburton, KBR, and organizations that sprouted out of the blue to fill the need to stir the pot of terror with mercenaries hired in Peru, Chile, Central America (http://www.worldpress.org/Americas/2853.cfm ). The lives of our military were gambled away on a battlefield so frivolously created, while back home traumatized young veterans' suicide rate shot up to 6000 per year as the war went on (http://www.wpxi.com/health/22206480/detail.html ). Meanwhile the propaganda machine touted the dangers of a color coded Terror threat to keep the public in fear and in line. More people were at risk of choking on a pretzel than from terror attacks at home over all those years. But the merchants of war had their endless orgy of profits, and this country, that hasn't had a real war in it's mainland for over 200 years, spread terror and death among millions of brown people, on the opposite side of the world. They stirred up the hordes of those who understandably hate us and therefore enlarged immeasurably the numbers of potential recruits to the cause of anti-Americanism. There was Abu Graib, Guantanamo, illegal torture (to be redundant) perpetrated in the name of the American people. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jNCvoPHgjZpDTm4VC-gaz2XbWx0Q ). This process made us more likely targets of a threat that appears to be initially neglected and subsequently carefully nurtured, judging from the results.
Undoubtedly the war business was a success for enriched arms merchants (including some of the largest corporations in America that would presumably bankroll the Republican Party ad infinitum). The depletion of our treasury was useful in other ways. The debasing of government offered more opportunities for privatization of any operation that could yield profits for the corporate moguls. There was a great plan to dig into the Social Security funds and enrich the hunting grounds of Wall Street predators. Taking money from unprepared involuntary overnight investors would be like shooting fish in a barrel. But the memory of 2001-2002 crash and the corporate fraud scandals from Enron to WorldCom were still fresh in people's minds and that effort thankfully failed. Yet, the credulous mobs nurtured by the religious right were mostly appeased with the version of facts presented by a president that they identified with. He was one of them, a man on a Christian mission. As Aristotle warned: “A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious.”
And while he did the PR work Bush's brain, as Carl Rove came to be known, conspired with the “dark side” in Cheney's office to persecute political foes, by hook or crook. Where the US Attorney was ready to collaborate in the witch hunt Democratic foes were taken down. A governor election was overturned in the dark of the night after the winner had been declared (Alabama) and the presumed winner was thrown in solitary confinement for months without the ability to contact his own wife and lawyer (http://www.donsiegelman.org/pages/MAIN/aboutdon.html ). Where the US attorney was not cooperative he was thrown out, accused of incompetence, and replaced with a “true believer”. (http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2008/06/04/looking-back-on-the-justice-department-scandal.html ).
Under cover of war powers (even a war that had been invented by them) the administration found ways to get around courts and infringe on the rights of any and all citizen by collecting phone call recordings into the huge NSA databases in collusion with corporate telecom giants, such as AT&T. Again corporate America and the “permanent majority” party scratched each other's backs (http://news.cnet.com/AT38T-leaks-sensitive-info-in-NSA-suit/2100-1028_3-6077353.html).
All this was part of a grand plan for 100 years of Republican majority. Tom Delay the majority leader who scruplelessly ruled the House rigged the redistricting in his home state to bar any chance of opposition representatives being elected. He twisted arms to pass a deficit busting bill in the middle of the night giving the pharmaceutical companies a sweetheart deal (http://securingamerica.com/ccn/node/7827 ) saddling seniors with the perplexing “donut hole”, and adding Big Pharma to the list of political supporters. He was unable to finish his term leaving under a cloud of perfidious indictment for bribes and lobbying deals with tearfull lobbyists that for so long had operated above the law. Rumsfeld was discarded as a face saving act from Bush after the debacle of the 2006 elections, as the failures of Katrina brought to the surface the true incompetent nature of this government. The people started questioning the trust they had bestowed on this man that they believed had been chosen by God. Reality started infringing on the fictional story that had been manufactured to disguise the simple goal of this team: permanent and total power.
The castle of cards started to crumble. It was a downhill ride all the way to the end. Democracy bobbed back up, partly saved by a disaster brought about by the incompetence of those who so recently saw themselves as permanent masters of our destiny.