brucekluger.com

    Salon.com, November 22, 2001

    Memo to George #7
    We have many things to be thankful for: No Taliban, no Rudy
    and a whole lot less due process.

    By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin


    INTEROFFICE MEMO

    Date: November 22, 2001
    To: The President
    From: Andrew H. Card Jr., Chief of Staff
    Re: Thanksgiving on the Potomac
    cc: Karl, Karen

    Mr. President:

    Excellent pardoning of the Presidential turkey on Monday. What a show of
    chopping-block compassion. Thanks to you, "Liberty" is now off to roam free at a
    Virginia petting zoo. (Karen: Pls. find out if anyone pets turkeys. If not, drag its
    feathered ass back to the W.H. kitchen, pronto.) In any case, with the enemy fleeing
    faster than Robert Downey Jr. down the 405, and the noose around Osama getting
    tighter than J.Lo's jeans, let us take a moment during this bittersweet holiday
    season to give thanks for:

    1. THE "OUCHY-BOO-BOO" TALIBAN: Gee, maybe they could have held Kabul if
    they hadn't chipped a nail. Turns out our enemies aren't exactly the sand-storming,
    hump-busting, camel-cruising cowboys they were trumped up to be. Their
    commanders switch sides more often than Anne Heche, and their "army" of
    bearded nancy-boys continue to set world records for the 100-, 200- and 400-yard
    retreats. In fact, these platoon buffoons make Iraq's Republican Guard look like
    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin hopped up on a steroid soufflé. So long, losers.

    2. FDR'S MILITARY TRIBUNAL PRECEDENT: "Hot Wheels" got it right back in '42
    when he hauled those Nazi saboteurs into an all-brass, all-balls courtroomyou
    know, the one that chucked due process in favor of a good old star-spangled
    spanking. Same applies here with al-Qaida, no matter what those limp-wrist liberals
    say. With Wiretap Johnny bugging everything but my granny's rotary phone to
    collect evidence, and "Down, Boy" Wolfowitz gunning for a trial that would make O.
    J.'s seem like a day in traffic court, we're looking down the line at one sweet
    exercise in American justice. The only thing missing from this jurisprudential wet
    dream is a beet-faced Nicholson, nose to nose with Osama, spittle flying as he
    screams, "You can't handle the truth!" And who knows, after Karl's successful
    smooch-a-thon last week in "90210," we may be able to land Jack after all.

    3. DON AT THE PODIUM: Move over, Dirty Harrywe've got Dirty Rummy. If I knew
    our esteemed Secretary of Bunker Busters would be so galvanizing in front of the
    press corpslock-jawed and squinty-eyed, going through reporters faster than Ted
    Kennedy goes through a bag of DoritosI would have had him on a bus to
    Tallahassee a year ago this week. I mean, can he handle those briefing room
    gnats, or what? The other day I even heard Blitzer telling his cameraman he was
    too scared to ask for the key to the West Wing crapper. That's what I call handling
    the media.

    4. ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: Now, here's some media I'd like to handle. The hair, the
    glasseshell, the whole damn package. I don't know about you, but I for one
    welcome this new age of the femme fatale war correspondenta bespectacled
    babe with facts at her fingertips and a naughty-girl glint in her eye. Ashleigh
    beckons me through the screen with a "come hither" look. Christiane Amanpour, on
    the other hand, tells me to get out of her face. I say once this mess ends overseas,
    we personally invite A.B. to join the W.H. beat. Helen Thomas, yer outta here!

    5. GIULIANI, THE FINAL DAYS: Not that the guy doesn't deserve credit for his
    heroics, but yours truly is getting a bit tired of seeing Hizzoner's face on every rag
    from Newsweek to Cigar Aficionado to Combover Monthly. But the real advantage
    to the end of Mayor G's reign: no more dough-re-mi dilemma. As you know, we're
    running out of excuses for playing hide-the-checkbook with the Big Apple bailout,
    especially when the stiffee is Rudy St. Mahatma Fiorello H. Winfrey Lincoln the
    Divine. But a rookie like Bloomberg? Fuhgeddabouditwe can jerk that guy around
    like the Bullwinkle balloon at the Macy's parade. Besides, if New York wants the
    cash that bad, Mega-Moolah Mike could probably pick up the entire tab with his
    friggin' ATM card.

    6. AIRPORT SECURITY: Finally, a bill we can live with, thanks in no small part to
    your fancy footwork on both sides of the aisle. (Man, you play the Capitol gang
    better than Strom plays dead.) But, hey, the fight was worth it, right? At long last,
    Americans will enjoy the same level of intelligence, expertise and customer courtesy
    from their airport security personnel that they've always gotten from the Postal
    Service. On second thought, maybe we should hold off on this thank you till next
    year.

    7. CLINTON UNDERGROUND: Question: Where'd he go? Answer: Who cares? All I
    know is that the last time I saw Bill Clinton pull an Invisible Man routine like this was
    when he was playing peek-a-boo from inside a certain intern's plus-size panties.
    Silence is golden.

    8. PITCHES, BITCHES AND WITCHES: Nothing like a sudden onslaught of
    entertainment blockbustersa great World Series, the new season of Sex and the
    City, the Harry Potter flickto keep America's attention on show business -- and
    out of our business. Case in point: Last Thursday morning, the front pages were
    teeming with all that nasty nitpicking about our economic strategy. Thursday night?
    The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on ABC. By Friday morning, we'd been bumped
    to the weather section by Tyra Banks' frilled and bounteous bosom. Talk about
    your stimulus package.

    Call me.

    Andy