• No Sweat
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    Yes...they really DID lie to get us into a war

    It is now official. According to a study done by the Center for Public Integrity, the Bush adminsitration, including Bush himself, Colin Powell, Cheney and many of Bush's top advisors, made over 930 demonstrably false statements in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.

    I knew when they were justifying the invasion that it was a pack of lies. Too many statements just didn't make sense, like trying to connect al-Qaeda (fanatical Sunni), Iraq (secular), and Iran (Shi'a who hate both al-Qaeda and Iraq). Or their claims that Iraq was developing sophisticated weapons when the first Iraq War and the UN blockade had basically eliminated the Iraqi airforce and famed tank corps. Nothing they were telling us made sense to me. Well, that was because they really were lies.

    From the survey:

    President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

    On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.

    Here is the graph: (click to enlarge)

    And here are a few highlights from the report:

    * On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney's assertions went well beyond his agency's assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, "Our reaction was, 'Where is he getting this stuff from?' "

    * In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: "The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year." A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn't been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn't requested it.

    * In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: "Sure." In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of "compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda." What's more, an earlier DIA assessment said that "the nature of the regime's relationship with Al Qaeda is unclear."

    * On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories." But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team's final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.

    * On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement "probably is a hoax."

    * On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: "What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources." As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named "Curveball," whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had "decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government]."

    The conclusion is clear. They lied, blatantly and deliberately, to get us into a war that was NOT in our best interest, was NOT justified and which has turned into the greatest foreign policy and military blunder since the Vietnam war. THAT is the Bush legacy.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Downfall of Another Corrupt Republican: Missouri's Matt Blunt

    Among the very first corrupt Republicans I targeted were Roy and Matt Blunt, corrupt father and son who were, respectively, Congressman and Governor of Missouri. This pair were about as corrupt as you can get, and Matt Blunt was among the least popular governors in the nation. To me, the Blunts are probably the most embarassing political dynasty this nation has, perhaps next to the Bush family itself. Yet, to my dismay, this corrupt and seemingly unpopular bunch hung on to their elected positions even in 2006 when the voters did a pretty good job of sweeping out corrupt politicians.

    Well, it seems we are finally starting to force these sleaze out. According to Daily Kos, Matt Blunt, the younger sleaze, is deciding NOT to run for re-election as governor of Missouri. He is retiring because he has "fulfilled all his campaign promises." I guess becoming one of the most corrupt and least popular governors in America, making his chances of re-election slim, is his way of fulfilling his campaign promises. Or is the skyrocketing unemployment in Missouri part of his campaign promise?

    Given that Matt "Coverup" Blunt was already paying for TV ads for re-election, this sudden withdrawal suggests either he realized he had no chance in hell of winning, or thre is some real major relevation coming up regarding the corrupt Blunts. Meaning Jay Nixon will likely be the next Governor of Missouri. Which will be a HUGE improvement for the people of Missouri! Could the sudden withdrawal have something to do with the $89,300.08 Matt Blunt's campaign has recently spent on "legal fees"? Does this mean the many scandals are about to spiral completelt out of control? will this affect Roy Blunt's chances of re-election to Congress. Will Missouri finally rid itself of this sleazy family altogether? For those who want to help these corrupt sleze get the boot, you can donate to my Missouri Act Blue Site, targeting the MO-07 race in particular to get Papa Sleaze Blunt out as well.

    Weeding out corruption is among the most important things we can do in America. In 2006 we did a great deal to weed out corrupt governors and Congressional reps. In 2007 the corrupt Kentucky governor got the boot. So far Missouri has been immune to this clean government movement. My feeling is that Matt Blunt's retreat is the first sign that Missouri will kick out its corrupt Republicans, starting with the Blunt family. I for one will be proud of Missouri once the Blunts are in disgrace.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    Republican Corruption...and treason

    Republicans like claiming they are tough on terrorism, but the evidence shows they are weak when it comes to combating terrorism. Osama bin Laden is still free as a bird and al-Qaeda stronger than ever. Terrorism has grown throughout the world while Bush remains friendly with Saudi Arabia, one of the nations that helps fund and train terrorists.

    But some Republicans go further than this it seems. One Republican in particular has been indicted for actually helping al-Qaeda...which strikes me as outright treason.

    From Truthout:

    A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

    The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

    A 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying - money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Siljander, who served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for one year in 1987.

    A Republican Congressman and Ronald Reagan appointee being paid with taxpayer money to launder money for al-Qaeda...sounds treasonous to me.

    Of course Republicans have committed treason before, like when they illegally outed a CIA agent out of petty spite. That action als endangered America's war against the terrorists. Over and over Republicans show themselves to be unwilling or unable to fight terrorism.