My red alert signals go off big time when I read stories like this:
- The Cuban news service reports that George W. Bush has purchased 98,840 acres in Paraguay, near the Bolivian/Brazilian border.
- Jenna Bush paid a secret diplomatic visit to Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and U.S. Ambassador James Cason. There were no press conferences, no public sightings and no official confirmation of her 10-day trip which apparently ended this week.
- The Paraguayan Senate voted last summer to “grant U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction.”
- Immediately afterwards, 500 heavily armed U.S. troops arrived with various planes, choppers and land vehicles at Mariscal Estigarribia air base, which happens to be at the northern tip of Paraguay near the Bolivian/Brazilian border. More have reportedly arrived since then.
...One way to interpret this is that it is merely a mashing together of unrelated news stories. Another way to interpret this is that Bush is going to flee to South America to be protected from international war crimes. I admit, it sounds very juicy - it's a wonderful rumour. But the rational part of me is still there saying "no way in the world!"
Here’s a fun question for Tony Snow: Why might the president and his family need a 98.840-acre ranch in Paraguay protected by a semi-secret U.S. military base manned by American troops who have been exempted from war-crimes prosecution by the Paraguyan government?