Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lies Lies LIES!!!

The Thompson Twins would be proud... and man is this a sweet video.

The center for Public Integrity just published a report that is definitely worth checking out. Even though the premise (Bush Administration lied us into war) isn't new information, it's important to remember how we got where we are today, especially since of much of the general election campaign will hinge on the Iraq war:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, "independent" validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq.
Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual "ground truth" regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who's Who of domestic agencies.
On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation's allies on their way to war.
The brain dead media may have decided in recent weeks that the economy has overtaken the Iraq war as far as election issues go, but I would hope that the American people are smarter than that. First off, the economy only became an issue in recent weeks because it started affecting the haves. Once it hits wall street, it's a crisis. The fact the have-nots have been getting screwed for last 20 years (and especially the last 7) will not, and has never been a "crisis" as far as they are concerned.

Similar things can be said about the Iraq war. American soldiers are still dying. Iraqi citizens are still dying at an unconscionable rate. The country is still in ruin, and the political process that the surge was supposed to allow is further from any progress than when it started. So while these story lines may not be as sexy as a tanking numbers on wall street, Iraq must remain THE major issue. If there were still a draft, and the toll of this war was actually being shared by all Americans, would any thing else be on people's minds? Of course not.

And although getting out is the issue now, remembering how we got into this mess is critically important, and must be pointed out throughout both the primary and general elections.

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