On June 20, 2006 PBS' Frontline showcased a scathing and gravely damaging expose′ that took us into the shadows of a dark, brooding war scheme concocted by Vice-President, Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld shortly after 9/11. How after the events of 9/11, "Vice President Richard Cheney seized the initiative. He pushed to expand executive power, transform America's intelligence agencies and bring the war on terror to Iraq."
Cheney and Rumsfeld, left-overs from another failed attempt at an imperial America, are aptly painted as sulky, sore-losers after the forced resignation of their then, Commander-in-Chief, Richard Nixon. Both men felt that the executive branch and the office of the president had been emasculated. Over the next two decades, Cheney and Rumsfeld would skulk in relative obscurity, serving in Congress and different cabinet positions for other neoconservative presidents absent a "galvanizing event" that would catapult their perverse cause to the forefront of America's agenda. 9/11 would change that, catching sleepy Americans and its Congress off-guard. Cheney and Rumsfeld each set forth on an undertaking to reclaim the highest office in the land, rebuild the monarchy of mayhem they had begun with Nixon and the Vietnam War and to solidify the "unitary executive theory" in their latest plant to the presidency, George W. Bush.
Bush, already bellicose and keenly fixated on being a war-time president, deeply disturbed by what he described as "wasted capital" by the elder Bush's failure to spread a global hegemony during the first Gulf War, became the perfect talking head while Cheney and Rumsfeld "worked from the shadows" to bring the world their latest product borne of the military/industrial machine the war on terror. As does any other ethereal war, such as Reagan's war on drugs, it required an antagonist. The chosen adversary would be Saddam Hussein. The same Saddam who, 20 years earlier, the United States helped prop up and fund during the Iran-Iraq war. Now, Saddam would become the centerpiece villain to trot out to the American people, purportedly capable of vaporizing us in a mushroom cloud, compliments of a weapon of mass destruction.
All too malleable was lifetime under-achiever, the newly appointed poster boy for the neoconservatives, George W. Bush. Eager to please and on a "mission from God", Bush was more than compliant in a Trojan horse charade of tying Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11. The only problem was drudging up enough wobbly evidence to sell the idea of war and blind loyalty to Congress and the American people. Enter George Tennant, the CIA and the "NIE", an acronym for National Intelligence Estimate. A now dubious report that would be the focal point for Colin Powell's infamously misleading speech to the U.N. about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction capability. (Later to be proven to have been hastily contrived and poorly researched, leading to the conclusion of Congress that "much of the information turned out to be false" and WMD's did NOT exist.)
Catching Congress asleep at the switch, freshly baited by the galvanizing events of a national crisis on September 11, 2001, on a vote of 98-1 in the Senate and 420-1 in the House, with only a handful of Congress' members actually reading the grossly inept NIE, they voted extemporaneously to, "Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States." Cheney and Rumsfeld now had their trifecta in hand; a go-along-with-the-gig president, the perfect villain in Saddam and Congress' open-ended invitation to fund an endless war of aggression. The windfall benefit was a busy American public -- suffering from shock and fear, attention deficit and anger and a thirst for blood and revenge.
The result, which the PBS documentary lays to rest ANY doubt of, was a war of aggression with Iraq that was based on colossal lies and fabrications. Saddam clearly had no ties to the 9/11 attacks or Osama Bin Laden. Congress and the American people where lied to and coerced into an unfounded, pre-emptive war -- by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld -- to expand executive power, weaken Congress and spread predatory capitalism and a U.S. imperialist agenda around the world.
The documentary produced by Frontline is not commentary, it's not opinion and it's not political in nature. Its facts and unfettered truths from the sources that know better than anyone else: CIA operatives that produced and spread the spurious intelligence to bring a pre-emptive war to Iraq, the deaths of thousands of US soldiers and bitterly divided a nation. A war that has cost America its conscience, gave us a dictator instead of a president as a well as hundreds of billions of wasted tax payers dollars. A war that was seen as a galvanizing event, by Vice-President Dick Cheney, to expand war-time presidential and governmental powers and oppress civil liberties under the dark veil of pre-emptive war, propagandized fear and contemptuous, bold lies.
Given such a grand, intricate and well-woven web of deceit, the imprudent rush to rally around the Bush administration with blind patriotism and support an unjust war comes into focus. However, the eyeglass now firmly planted in reverse, critical thinking and a sensible examination of facts, not prideful nationalism and artificially implanted hubris, is required to peel back the endless layers of lies and illuminate the truth. The time is now to lay down your flag, set aside your Bible, suppress your patriotic bravado and open your mind and find out what really happened after September 11, 2001.
Every American has the right and the responsibility to learn what YOUR government has been doing the past five years in your name. Each one of us must examine and seriously re-think our views and understanding of the Bush administration's real ambitions. We are obligated to scrutinize the unmerited war in Iraq, call for the impeachment of Bush and his supporting cast and make it a personal duty to help restore America to a democracy of peace not war. A beacon of hope not fears, a place of progress not oppression and fundamentally free for all.