Saturday, April 02, 2005

The whitewash won't clean the blood of Americans from Bush's hands

The most startling news to emerge from the Bush-appointed commission on Iraq's pre-war WMD capabilities is what was omitted.

Search the commission report yourself. You'll find not a single mention of the name Douglas Feith, nor any mention of his Office of Special Plans. In short (no surprise), this is a another whitewash of Bush administration lies, cherry-picking of faulty intelligence, courting charlatan political opportunists like Ahmad Chalabi, and Cheney visits to the CIA to question intimidate analysts into finding justification for war.

Instead, without assigning any blame for the faulty intelligence promoted by President Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condaleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and others, the commission conceded the gravity of the result, stating that the United States was "dead wrong" about Iraq's WMD capabilities, and that United States credibility was damaged for years to come.

The whitewash really comes as no surprise from a President that can't muster the courage to admit any mistakes; whose only achievements are derived from outright lying, and boasting about a fabrication of his accomplishments to the American people. To further shelter himself from criticism that he placed Americans in harm's way based on bald-faced lies, he appointed a team of panelists whose histories guaranteed a report scrubbed clean of any blame.

To put it mildly, the commission co-chair, Laurence Silberman is "rabidly partisan." Silberman was the "October Surprise" guy who made illegal contacts with the terrorist Iranian Khomeini regime to deal in weapons, hazarding the lives of American hostages by delaying their release to make sure Jimmy Carter looked weak, and to make sure Ronald Reagan was elected. Silberman was the guy who overturned the conviction of fellow traitor and terrorist collaborator, Oliver North. Silberman was an active participant in the Clinton witch-hunt Whitewater investigations and Lewinski impeachment.

The commission's claim that the "intelligence community" was wrong about Iraqi WMD disregards the responsibility of the President to use what powers of reason he has to dispute the credibility of the facts presented to him. Of course, the President's faculties are notably impaired in this regard, but any number of people around him could have disputed the intelligence.

Nobody in the White House wanted to slow the build up to a war that was planned years before Bush ever dreamed he could steal the presidency. So the administration marshalled a case for war, whipped up a frenzy of images of mushroom clouds, with Douglas Feith and Dick Cheney beating the CIA into formation or bypassing analysts entirely:

The State Department and the CIA, institutionally wary and dismissive of the extensive intelligence about Saddam Hussein and his crimes provided by the dissidents of the Iraqi National Congress, had to the president recite a dossier full of Iraqi National Congress information and insights that have filtered down over the years through the media, the government and academia to the skillful and alert speechwriters on Bush's staff.

Furthermore, all the way back in 1996, it was in fact the CIA that ceased funding Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress stating that "The INC has a track record of manipulating information because it has an agenda. It's a political unit - not an intelligence agency."

The commission had no intention of assigning blame. President Bush structured the rules of the commission to make sure its panelists would stop short of asking the really tough questions about what he, and his insular neocon advisors did with the information they cherry-picked:
Sadly, there is nothing about the central issue - how the Bush administration handled the intelligence reports on Iraq's weapons programs and presented them to the public to win support for the invasion of Iraq. All we get is an excuse: the panel was "not authorized" to look at this question, so it didn't bother. The report says the panel "interviewed a host of current and former policy makers" about the intelligence on Iraq, but did not "review how policy makers subsequently used that information." (We can just see it - an investigator holding up his hand and declaiming: "Stop right there, Mr. Secretary! We're not authorized to know what you did.")

No, the commission report won't save us from future "intelligence" debacles. It fails to address the fundamental problem: The politicization of intelligence by the Bush administration to protect itself from criticism that it miserably failed us on 9-11, and that it lied in front of the entire international community about Iraq.

We have lost so much. So many dead and injured. So much treasure spent.

Let it never be said again that, in justification of war, "freedom isn't free." George W. Bush and the rest of his evil cabal have subverted that rallying call to undermine our democracy and to satisfy their own personal ambitions.

Freedom is very dear, but wars for oil won't save us from ourselves.


At 4/05/2005 04:57:00 PM, Blogger PRB said...

Ah, good old Oliver North. I have a story about a personal encounter with Ollie that I'm meaning to get around to writing about soon...for now, I'll just mention that I had a college roommate who was both an Amry captain and a serious Christian; he wanted to protest North's promotional visit to a Christian bookstore because it bugged him that the place invited North...


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