Lying for war's sake

The Bush Administration has a serious credibility problem. One day, Donald Rumsfeld tells the world that US claims that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction--the entire aegis for the war, mind you--was based on "good intelligence." The very same day, a secret transcript revealed that Colin Powell and British foreign secretary Jack Straw, during a February 5 meeting at theWaldorf Hotel in New York, admitted that the US-UK WMD claims couldn't be proven and were based on "assumptions." At the UN on February 5, Powell gave a very different assessment to the UN, offering an impassioned plea for war with Iraq based on intelligence gathered by "people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam is really up to." Let's not forget that the "good intelligence" Rumsfeld defends and the death-defying intelligence work Powell spoke of actually included a 10-year old graduate thesis they plagiarized and dubious information obtained from Iraqis on the Pentagon payroll. Now criticism is mounting that the US manipulated the data to support their war claims. Patrick Lang, a former director of Middle East analysis at the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency said of information on Iraq's supposed WMDS, the Pentagon "started picking out things that supported their thesis... It's political propaganda." Baroness Williams, Leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, said yesterday: "As new and disturbing facts emerge, the war on Iraq begins to look more like a tragic mistake ... It is very depressing to see our fears confirmed."

Hollywoodizing September 11

A personal friend of Karl Rove has produced a made-for-TV movie about the Bush Administration's version of their response to September 11. The Globe and Mail writes that "compared with other journalistic accounts of the period, the movie is clearly an effort to reconstruct Mr. Bush as a determined and principled military leader. The public image of Mr. Bush — who avoided military service in Vietnam and who has often been derided as a doe-eyed naif on satirical TV shows — is a key concern to White House communications officials, many of them friends of [the film's creator] Mr. Chetwynd." To air nationally in September, it depicts a hyperbolically decisive president:
"If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I'll be at home! Waiting for the bastard!"

His Secret Service chief seems taken aback. "But Mr. President . . ."

The President brusquely interrupts him. "Try Commander-in-Chief. Whose present command is: Take the President home!"
The reality is far more complicated and far less flattering. Which makes it more curious why, going into his re-election campaign, the president has classified--or, in MSNBC's word, censored--key Congressional reports on 9/11. (Via Cursor)

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