January 24, 2008
The complicit corporate media were dragged, kicking and screaming into our reality this week after an independent study revealed an orchestrated campaign by the Bush administration to lie this country into the Iraq War. Those of us who have been part of the alternative media of course have been painfully aware of these facts for several years now but it was nice to see this week the study released jointly by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
The study analyzed administration statements, regardless of venue over the two year period leading up to the Iraq War. It has long been reported by the alternative media that this was the selling period, where Bush and his cronies would spend every chance they could telling us how dangerous Saddam Hussein was to us. They would tell us about weapons of mass destruction and when that didn’t work, they tried to scare the people with visages of mushroom clouds. They told us it would cost us nothing, in fact that eventually Iraqi oil profits would pay for everything! Greeted as liberators, really! Six months, tops, swear! Almost six years later, what we find is a report that reveals that the administration lied a total of 935 times during this two year period. That means a day did not go by, when they did not lie about the impending Iraq War.
The two greatest lies were that Iraq had WMD and had ties to al Qaeda. These accounted for 532 of the lies. Bush led the campaign of lies, checking in with 259 outright lies to the American people. The once revered Colin Powell, now a neocon puppet in history, came in a close second with 244 outright lies to the American people. Who can forget the lie-fest Powell presented to the United Nations? In summarizing this report, the Fund for Independence in Journalism said yesterday, “In short, the Bush Administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information, methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.” Basically this means that our president methodically lied to this country to start a war.
The response from the administration is staggering in its infantilism. White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel played revisionist historian by saying that “the actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world.” Even if this were true, which it is not, what difference does it make? Is Stanzel saying that Bush abdicates his responsibility as Commander and Chief based on what other people say in the intelligence communities? The recent NIE on Iran would suggest otherwise. That document outlines that Iran is not a threat, nor seeking a nuclear weapons program. Yet despite the “collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world”, Bush has virtually dismissed this NIE and does not agree with its findings. This really cuts to the heart of the issue. Bush cherry picks the intelligence he wants to fit his desires. There were plenty of dissenting opinions on Iraq in 2003, including the people who were inspecting the country at the time Bush threw them out of Iraq to blow it up. The weapons inspectors new the cooked intelligence against Iraq was false. So did the United Nations. So did Joe Wilson. In fact, outside of the hand picked intelligence from the secret Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the Pentagon, most knew that Saddam did not have as much as a stockpile of slingshots. The OSP was in fact a hand-picked group of neocons such as Douglas Feith whose job it was to find something, anything that could be spun as actionable; thus justifying the desired action of war.
Despite the junior high school defense of “everyone else thought so too”. Stanzel cannot escape the fact that it was the decision of George W. Bush to act on this cherry picked intelligence. It was not the cake walk or slam dunk though that they told us it would be. I have heard this war described as a war of choice but I say it was far worse. It was a war of pre-meditation. Those who have left the administration, such is Richard Clark; tell a story of a president who intended to invade Iraq from the moment he took the oath he so casually discarded. The tragic events of 9-11 only provided the window dressing he needed to sell it to the American people.
And sell it he did. We heard wild stories of rape rooms never to be found. We were regaled with stories of chemical weapons and mobile weapons labs never existing in the first place. We were told tall tales of all sorts of weapons of mass destruction that the madman we put in power was just ready to unleash upon the American people. We were introduced to terms like “dirty bomb” and “suitcase nukes.” When they felt the American people were sufficiently softened up, they brought out the big guns. The specter of nuclear Armageddon was raised over and over again. False links to al Qaeda were concocted, despite the fact that Osama bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein’s secular Iraq. The corporate media became the pushers for the administration. They would do special after special about the impending doom, selling you the war as they would a tube of toothpaste. Their complicity is frankly still understated. They barely put up a defense. They didn’t ask any questions. The administration fed them lie after lie and they just lapped up and regurgitated it to the masses. The blood of the innocents now stains their hands as well.
That is because there was a price to pay for this enormous bill of lies. That price has been paid in blood and money. Nearly 4,000 Americans have paid the ultimate price for this pack of lies. These were kids who had a future until George Bush lied them to death. Tens of thousands are injured severely; their lives forever marred by this vicious pack of lies. That does not take into consideration the dead Iraqis, which could total over 100,000 more innocent people killed. This little cake walk has cost the American tax payer to date, $488,453,101,383. This all being paid while our bridges collapse around us and our education system is in shambles. The obscenity is overwhelming. The land of the free and the home of the brave has become the land of the lies and the home of the politically expedient.
The complicit corporate media is silent. They are silent because they are as culpable as the administration. If someone makes a mistake, you can always overlook it. This was no mistake. You do not make the same mistake 935 times in a two-year period and still have a shred of credibility left. Either it was an orchestrated campaign, as this study concludes, or George W. Bush is the stupidest president in history. Quite frankly, both are likely to be true. You do not get to shrug it off though, as if the blood of the thousands killed for these lies is irrelevant.
This should be a watershed moment in our history. Impeachment should only be the beginning but the democrats have sold out their country for the continuation of the two-party stranglehold on the American democracy. Both sides present candidates that cannot even guarantee ending this illegal war, now confirmed to have been based on a concerted effort to lie to the American people. John McCain says we should stay in Iraq for 100 years. Mike Huckabee says Iran will see the “gates of hell” if their little speed boats get to close to one of our destroyers. Hillary cannot tell us when the troops could come home. Obama reflects generously on Ronald Reagan, a fatally flawed president who committed crimes against this country and started the ruination of our economy that still continues to this day. The Fred Thompson sideshow thankfully ended but Giuliani would probably blow up what is left of the world should he somehow revive his floundering campaign and win. The only two candidates left who speak about ending this debacle, Ron Paul and John Edwards, are marginalized by the complicit corporate media, covered in the blood they have helped to shed.
George Bush is fond of saying that history will judge him. His administration will go down as one of the worst in history, of that we can be assured. But how will history judge us; as we stand by and watch events as if they are part of a reality TV show? When will enough be enough to break through the morass we find ourselves in latter day America? Where the media is bought and owned and acts as the pimp; prostituting the orchestrated lies of the government, which results in the deaths of so many innocent people. It was confirmed this week that George Bush lied 4000 of our kids to death. The excuses are vacuous and equally untrue and do nothing to remove the stain of blood on the pages of this history, which we are witness to right now.