October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati: Bush’s biggest day of deception
If you’re upset and sore about Iraq, it’s probably because George W. Bush humbuggered you on the night of October 7, 2002.
Many of us listening to his televised speech to the nation that night, broadcast from Cincinnati, thought he was talking bullshit. You didn’t have to be a genius to figure that out. But we were all at the mercy of a mighty propaganda machine, stoking fear, like in this line from Bush:
Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
Complete and total bullshit—”clear evidence of peril.” Clear evidence of lies, distortion, misrepresentation, hocus-pocus, flim-flammery. Irresponsible and reprehensible for Bush to use the fear of a nuclear attack to justify an invasion that his handlers had already decided on.
Contrary to the excuses by even the best of the mainstream media that the Downing Street Memo doesn’t add anything new, in fact the documents now flooding out of Britain are important confirmation of the lies we were fed back in ’02, and the reasons we were fed them. Bush’s speech in Cincinnati is what is meant by “intelligence and facts fixed around the policy,” as the British government officials in the Downing Street Memo phrased it.
One of the best chroniclers of the Bush regime’s lies during the 2002 run-up to invasion is congressman Henry Waxman‘s Committee on Government Reform Minority Office. Go back and read Waxman’s Iraq on the Record, a March 2004 catalog of deception by the regime’s top five officials: Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice.
Hey, it was readily available before last November’s election—I harped on it last September when writing about another Waxman report, one on Bush administration secrecy.
Yes, Bill Clinton lied to the American public when he said he didn’t have sex with “that woman.” That prompted a Starr chamber.
Cum stains, however, can be washed out easier than blood stains. There’s no such thing as a bad blow job, but there are bad wars.
What’s a lie about sex in the Oval Office compared with lie after lie that directly lead to the deaths of more than 1,600 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis?
While we’re waiting for a new special prosecutor, chew on this from Waxman’s Iraq on the Record:
Between September 12, 2002, and July 17, 2003, President Bush made 55 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq in 27 separate public appearances. On October 7, 2002, three days before the congressional votes on the Iraqi war resolution, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, with 11 misleading statements, the most by any of the five officials in a single appearance.
The Cincinnati speech, in other words, was more packed with bullshit than any other. Bush’s handlers seemed to know that. They not only had him practice it that afternoon—appropriately enough, in the White House Family Theater—but they even photographed the practice session for posterity (see photo below).
The POTUS handled his performance well, apparently, because the media described him the next day as having been “sober and forceful.” But history will record this as one of the most shameful presidential speeches—lie after lie, hyperbole and hysteria, fear and fibs, start to finish. A partial list:
• “The Iraqi regime … possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons.”
• ” … the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons.”
• “The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today—and we do—does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?”
• ” … a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions.”
• ” … surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.”
• “Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States.”
• ” … all that might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi intelligence operative to deliver it.”
• “Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don’t know exactly, and that’s the problem.”
• “The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.”
• ” … his ‘nuclear mujahideen’—his nuclear holy warriors.”
• “Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.”
Of course, as we know now, the biggest lie of all was that no decision had been made, as of October 7, 2002, to invade Iraq. Bush clearly lied when he said the following that night in Cincinnati:
The time for denying, deceiving, and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself—or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.
Actually, only the second sentence was a lie—we had already decided to invade.
Bush spoke the truth, for once, when he said “the time for denying, deceiving, and delaying has come to an end.”