Power To Speak
The travesty that is the Iraq war and its cost to Americans
By Raymond Freeman 06/17/2010
Karl Rove’s rewritten history in his book. He’s saying that President George W. Bush wouldn’t have invaded Iraq if he’d known there weren’t any WMDs. This is a lie — as in falsehood, fib, whopper. Here’s a three-minute briefing.
The notion that Iraq could attack the U.S. was ridiculous. In 2001, Colin Powell stated twice that Iraq was “not a threat” and had no WMDs. Operation Desert Fox under President Clinton had reduced it to impotence. That was a submarine-launched cruise missile attack, which Saddam Hussein never even imagined.
Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said that Bush first raised the idea of attacking Iraq just 10 days after his inauguration. After 9/11, the Muslim world was firmly behind America and against Osama bin Laden. The Taliban offered to hand him over, if shown evidence he’d masterminded the attacks. Bush refused.
According to Bob Woodward, Bush asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld two months after 9/11, “What is the status of the war plan [against Iraq]? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz hatched the plan. To manufacture links between Iraq and al-Qaida, he asked Douglas Feith at the Pentagon for intelligence to be “pulled together” on “short turnaround.”
Bush simply announced there’d be a war against Iraq. No discussion ever took place as to whether a war was actually necessary, according to C.I.A. director George Tenet. He knew that a bogus war was being foisted on the American public, but remained silent. He later confirmed that WMDs were merely a “bureaucratic” excuse to sell a pre-ordained war.
Bush often proclaimed that he wanted war only as “a last resort.” However, Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency commented on his lies in the “Downing Street Memos.” They stated that the administration had already decided on the Iraq war in July 2002. At first, Prime Minister Tony Blair could dodge questions. But in Britain, the prime minister isn’t cocooned as the president is here. He faces Parliament daily. Blair became known as “B-liar” (bloody liar). He left in shame after the truth came out.
Bush’s lies were all rebutted. A document regarding “yellowcake” uranium from Niger was a crude forgery, debunked by Joseph Wilson (who got slimed as thanks). “Curveball” said he was an engineer who knew about Iraq’s WMDs. In fact, he was an alcoholic ex-taxi driver. But when U.N. weapons inspectors found no WMDs, Bush simply ordered them out. What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, the book of former White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006, Scott McClellan, reaffirmed that Bush was “unconcerned” with the truth.
Colin Powell regretted going along spinelessly, and apologized to the nation in May 2004. Everybody yawned.
Bush obstructed the 9/11 commission in every way possible to keep his lies hidden. It only got going because of the widows’ persistence. Bush wouldn’t testify under oath, and the commission members couldn’t take notes. He had Vice President Dick Cheney beside him to keep his lies straight. The Center for Public Integrity counted 930 of them.
The trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in January 2007 for perjury about Valerie Plame (the wife of Joseph Wilson) got Bush and Rove worried. However, Viveca Novak, a reporter at Time magazine, simply obstructed justice. She tipped off Rove’s counsel with classified information that enabled Rove to change his testimony based on “faulty memory.”
Rove thus dodged a perjury charge.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Report of June 2008 found that the WMD issue was “inaccurate and deeply flawed.” Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said the conflation of Iraq and al-Qaida into “a single, indistinguishable threat” was “fundamentally misleading and led the nation to war on false pretenses.”
The late Pope John Paul II twice described the planned invasion as “immoral.” So how could it have happened? Before 9/11, the Project for a New American Century set out the goal of seizing Middle East oilfields. Almost unnecessarily, Alan Greenspan stated, “The Iraq war is largely about oil.”
America hasn’t seen a drop of it. That’s no lie.
Our last hero is Ahmed Chalabi. He’d been absent from Iraq for 20 years, and had been convicted for fraud, but had no difficulty in convincing the Bush crew that he was an expert in Iraq’s current affairs. After the invasion, he was installed in a cushy position. There was only one snag. He was a Shiite and an Iranian agent. He was finally thrown out after pocketing millions. So he got America to do Iran’s dirty work – and got America to pay for it!
If you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, take my advice. Cry, very hard. Because you, your children and grandchildren will pay for this travesty. It’ll cost more than $3 trillion. And it all happened in broad daylight in a so-called democracy in the so-called Information Age.
The Iraq fiasco happened as a result of deliberate lies, repeatedly told to a gullible public, lapped up by the credulous media. Rove is continuing the tradition of shameless mendacity. Why ever not? It pays well.
Raymond Freeman lives in Thousand Oaks and has hated liars all his life.