Insurgency is in its ‘last throes,’ Cheney lies
You’d have be Deep Throat to swallow what Dick Cheney is trying to force down us these days—I’m talking about his current lies concerning Iraq.
This morning’s excellent piece on A1 of the Washington Post lays it out, although the story by Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker is a lot more dynamic than the hack headline: “Bush’s Optimism on Iraq Debated.” They start out with this:
While Bush and Vice President Cheney offer optimistic assessments of the situation, a fresh wave of car bombings and other attacks killed 80 U.S. soldiers and more than 700 Iraqis last month alone and prompted Iraqi leaders to appeal to the administration for greater help. Privately, some administration officials have concluded the violence will not subside through this year.
Yeah, no shit. The current wave of suicide bombings is more intense than it’s been in Chechnya or Israel, as Carol J. Williams of the Los Angeles Times recently pointed out.
Today’s Post story noted that Cheney told CNN early last week that the insurgency is in its “last throes” and that the U.S. is making “major progress” in Iraq.
Well, I didn’t believe him back in 2002, either, so I’m not surprised that he’s still lying about the Iraq debacle. Too bad he got over on us by cooking the intelligence books.
And most of the press went along with it. The New York Times‘s Elisabeth Bumiller, who covered the pre-invasion Bush like a kindergartner’s cuddly little blanket, and her colleague James Dao fanned the dung-fueled war flames back on August 26, 2002, by writing:
Mr. Cheney said a nuclear-armed Mr. Hussein would “seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.”
Bumiller and Dao went on to write:
Mr. Cheney’s speech … appeared intended to quell the confusion and present the administration as united behind the central idea that [Saddam] Hussein must be ousted, sooner rather than later.
“What he wants is time, and more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Cheney said.
The risks of inaction, he said, “are far greater than the risk of action.”
Colin Powell‘s speech of lies to the U.N. was months away—you remember, that was the one for which the Bush regime borrowed trucks from Hanna-Barbera to illustrate the danger we faced from Iraq.
But August 2002 was a crucial time. That was when Cheney and Bush were twisting the British government’s arms, as the Downing Street Memo and other documents reveal, and both regimes, having already decided to invade Iraq, were working really hard at coming up with enough bullshit to get over on us.
It didn’t work on everybody. On October 7, 2002, three Knight-Ridder reporters noted the strong dissent within the Bush administration about the justifications for war. In a Miami Herald story, Warren Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay, and John Walcott just about summed up the whole situation by writing:
These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses—including distorting his links to the Al Qaeda terrorist network—have overstated the extent of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East.
They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House’s argument that Hussein poses such an immediate threat to the United States that preemptive military action is necessary.
“Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Still, that kind of reporting was drowned out by the mostly lame networks and cable talk shows. Too bad.
No matter what anyone says, the propaganda war from that crucial period is important today, if we’re to try to sort through the Bush regime’s current lying about Iraq.
The Post‘s VandeHei and Baker show how the Bush regime now finds itself—and 150,000 or so U.S. soldiers—trapped by those pre-war lies:
Are we going to believe these post-invasion lies too? Reminds me of what we used to say in the Watergate era, that Nixon had to see Deep Throat twice before he finally got it down pat.
But Watergate was just a gag compared with the serious bloodletting in Iraq.