Friday, February 28, 2003

Bush's top intelligence officer at the Pentagon and the No. 3 man at the CIA have met with Michael Drosnin, author of "The Bible Code," to discuss the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, according to today's Wall Street Journal. Drosnin claims that his "Bible code" can reveal Bin Laden's hideout in the Middle East and the Bush officials agreed to meet with him after he "pestered" them with faxes and phone calls.
Is it really that easy for any wingnut to get an audience with the top brass at the Pentagon these days? Was this just another case of the Bush folks pandering to the far-right religious nuts? Or are they really this desperate that they are willing to believe anything? The "Bible Code" is essentially some guy taking the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, running all the letters together like a big jumbo crossword puzzle and then searching for specific word combinations (forward or backward) by skipping every 'nth" letter. For a more thorough explanation and debunking of the Bible Code go here.

It reminds me of when I was a reporter in a small town in Connecticut covering a bunch of local officials struggling with a water shortage. Up until that point, they had relied on well water for the whole town but the wells were starting to run dry and they were desperately looking for anyway to stave off the big water companies from coming in and hooking everyone up to city water. Without the water company they could enforce a minimum one acre per residence rule on all new home building because that is how much room you needed to separate a well and a septic system. That way they kept out the multi-unit housing (apartments and condos) which would lead to (gasp!) poor people moving into town and filling the local schools with kids that would eventually require local property taxes to go up.... and so on.
Anyway, they couldn't find any fresh water sources and they were getting so desperate that they turned to a water diviner for help. You know, the people who walk around with a forked stick and claim that it can point the way to fresh water sources. The person they hired actually used a couple of bent coathangers. I thought that was pretty silly at the time and had a lot of fun writing about it. But now we have something similar going on at the top levels of our government. What's next? Astrologers in the White House!?! Oh, wait. I forgot. Ron and Nancy Reagan already did that.

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