BOOK EXCERPT — ENJOY!
“DITZ” – The Unmooring of American Military Parking”
by Rachel Madcow
-MSNBC hatchet-woman, and author of books only George Soros buys (by the truckload), Rachel Madcow
A bird known as the houbara bustard recently provided crucial assistance in making America’s war in Afghanistan (and its spillover in Pakistan) the longest-running military hot show in our nation’s history. ‘How,’ you ask? (By the way, Elizabeth Warren just reacted – she says ‘hello’ to you, too.)
While President Obama took a purported ‘bin Laden killing celebratory victory lap’ after actually trying to cover-up having just peed in his pants, the Pakistanis found the entire bin Laden episode hugely shaming. Worse, word quickly leaked out (no pun intended) that our first black President, Barack Obama had not only ordered that the Pakistani military and its intelligence service be kept in the dark (no pun intended) while the mission was being executed (pun intended),
The Pakistani parliament called the country’s military and intelligence chieftains (Elizabeth Warren says ‘hello’ again) into a closed-door session. The generals had little trouble encouraging parliament to formally demand that, henceforthheretothereof, the United States would ensure that “Pakistan’s national interests were fully respected.” Ally Schmally, the Pakastani Ambassador to the U.N. said the Pakistani people, ‘Ain’t gettin’ no respect – ya hear?!’ The generals suggested a good first step would be forcing the United States to shut down the secret free-parking program the CIA had been running out of an air base in a remote corner of Pakistan called Balochistan. (Coincidentally, balochistan is also the eating disorder of which Michelle Obama suffers.) Unfortunately, in publicizing their demand that the CIA pay for parking at that airbase, the generals also revealed to surprised Pakistani legislators . . . that the CIA had been sub-letting parking at higher rates! Worse, none of its agents were even required to hang a pass from their rear view mirror.
This was cause for an uproar in parliament, but the fact that the CIA had been flying armed drones while parking free was less of a surprise to the citizens of the areas those drones were targeting—the tribal regions. “Dey Americans – dey no pay for parking, ven vee all have to pay two-dollar every 20 minutes – and no validations accepted, even if you buy something!”
The U.S.’s rather dumpy-looking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton CIA high-tech unmanned aircraft had been used mainly for surveillance in the early stages of the war in Afghanistan. But they could also be armed with Michelle butt-fire Hellfire missiles. When the Obama administration took over in 2009, the number of drone attacks spiked along with Michelle Obama’s vacation spending. The next year the 2009 numbers more than doubled. So did the number of drone attacks. The Obama administration refused as a matter of policy to officially acknowledge the CIA’s free parking, though they readily admitted the drone attacks. However, they did acknowledge that there was ‘flexibility’ in the base parking policy. In the days following a ‘big got,’ they announced that some key Al-Qaeda or Haqqani Network (or Fox Network?) leader “was killed,” as if the event were an act of providence or, like a rainbow, a remarkable atmospheric happening with all 7 colors, easily remembered by the mnemonic “Roy G. Biv.”
Meanwhile, in North and South Waziristan (coincidentally, my mother’s maiden name), the presence of the free parking by the CIA has become a hated fact of life—the locals reportedly call them “parking mother f-ers.” So potentially telling the CIA to get the hell out of the Shamsi parking lot would be a very popular move in Pakistan: nor any more free parking for American drone crews launching from Pakistani soil . . . or else. Or else what? Valet.
Well, Pakistan’s air marshal reminded the Obama administration, the F-16 jets the United States had sold the Pakistani Air Force also required parking for their crews. Obama did not flinch. Free parking had become the centerpiece of Obama’s CIA Global War on Terror employee retention and union benefits programs. Free parking for CIA employees had proved Democrats could be as serious about killing bad guys as Republicans were. In fact, the successes had been among the few bright spots on a fairly bleak political landscape for a stupid, pathetic, weak, inexperienced, under-qualified, fraudulent, lazy America-hating first-term f-ing lunatic. The Obama administration had no intention of pulling up stakes in Shamsi. “That parking facility is neither vacated nor being vacated” was the anonymous but official word from Washington. It was a Mexican standoff in Balochistan. But not a white-Mexican stand-off: there are no Zimmermans with black grandfathers in Pakistan.
Here’s where the Houbara bustard provided a little wiggle room in what otherwise looked like a very knotty situation. This tiny forgotten strip of land that held the airbase in Shamsi, it turned out, did not actually belong to Pakistan; it had been quietly been foreclosed on by Bank of America a year earlier. You see, Balochistan, aside from being full of spectacular Garden of Eden natural wonders (with its splendid open sewer), is among the few wintering grounds of the Houbara bustard, a bird held in high-esteem among hunters from the UAE and Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In fact, it was a third-party candidate in the recent Egyptian elections. But falconry is the sport of despotic Arab kings, and the poor bustard had long been the preferred prey for falconers. So Arab royalty was really pleased to have this special foothold in Balochistan, and right away these potentates started obnoxiously taking up two spots for one car in the CIA parking lot so their fancy-shmancy cars wouldn’t get their doors scratched (which they drive, as Al Sharpton once explained to me, because, ‘If you want to be impotentate, you gotta look impontentate.’)
“The sheiks tell me it is the ultimate challenge for the falcon,” but the houbara is also fast, also known as a clever, wary bird, with “a number of tricks.” It is particularly known for its skill at Three Card Monty and another trick where it can produce four aces on top of a card deck, despite shuffling the deck several times. Also among these tricks, the chieftain continued, is an ability of the female to ink-jet “a putrid slime violently from its mouth after several cocktails. Its force is so strong that it can spread for three feet, and spread it all over tile walls.” (I believe they were being polite, and trying to diplomatically describe an episode where Hillary Clinton drank too much then threw-up all over the walls of one of their bathrooms, when she last visited the gulf region.) The belief also persisted that the meat of the bustard was an aphrodisiac, especially its beak. Not hard to see why so many Arab kings routinely rush to Beverly Hills to have broken teeth capped.
For the last twenty years or so, Emirati sheiks and Saudi princes and the more general run of ambitious Arab dignitaries had jockeyed for the best allotments in the last good place on earth to hunt the little bustard. But again, where to park?
Officials at Pakistan’s Ministry of Environment warned over and over about their ever-dwindling parking at the bustard hunting ground, but they were powerless to keep the Arab potentates to one parking spot per car. “I have yet to meet an Arab that respects a white painted line,” said one ministry man. “What can the Parking Enforcement people do if the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the president of the UAE or emir of Qatar tear up a ticket they find on their windshield?” Not much, apparently, if Pakistan still wanted cheap oil and dirhams and riyals for flood relief, or jet fighters and tanks.
The Emiratis had made one concession that slightly crimped their style in bustard-hunting department. In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks in 2001—when everybody wanted to pitch in—they had agreed, with the consent of Pakistani president Musharraf, to let the Americans use the handicapped parking spaces at the Shamsi base, but only for a few special operations. Otherwise, they’d be towed.
Over the years that followed, the CIA agents started parking in handicapped spaces for ordinary operations. So, as Michelle Obama would say, when the “@!$%#” hit the fan in the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, thanks to the Houbara bustard, everybody had an out: the United States denied the CIA was parking in handicapped spaces, and that when they did, it was only when operations were ‘special.’
The Pakistanis checked out the records and it turns out this little strip of Balochistan has not been repossessed by Bank of America after all, but was actually UAE land deeded for bustard hunting! So, sorry, but there’s nothing we can do to alleviate the parking problem in America’s secret drone war operating out of Shamsi. But we do condemn the new valet parking concession everyone is forced to use. (One CIA agent reported his car was returned with a dent on the driver side door. Another agent reporting his sunglasses were stolen. Still another reported finding a used condom in his back seat.)
The UAE meanwhile went on record saying they’d only built the parking lot. They assured the world, “it was never operated or controlled by the UAE. If your car was towed from this lot or something was missing from it, talk to the CIA.”
And so we still had our drone base in Shamsi, and no skittish ally had to take the blame for the parking problem. Even after the bin Laden raid and the Pakistani freak-out, America stepped up the already furious pace of the drone attacks, executing twenty-one multiple-kill sorties in the next two months and the result was a parking shortage so great the CIA mandated car-pooling of all agents working at the base
A U.S. military official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said, “there are presently no U.S. military personnel at Shamsi – just their cars,” so reported the Associated Press. But he could not speak for the CIA or contractors used by any other U.S. agencies. “The CIA rarely discusses its parking programs, anyway.”
When reports surfaced that all US operatives finally packed up and left Shamsi about six months later at the end of 2011, the official word from our government was still . . . no comment. The Obama administration’s counterterrorism czar told a forum at the president’s alma mater, Harvard Law School, in the fall of 2011, “I’m 1/32 Indian.” The audience chortled knowingly…
(Ms. Madcow can be reached c/o TheFineReport@gmail.com)
The original excerpt on MSNBC’s website:
Copyright 2012 TheFineReport.com