"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."
"...the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq"
As a part of preparing the study the Center produced, and has made available on their web site, a 380,000 word database of the statements made by top Bush administration officials that enabled comparisons between what they said and what they actually knew according to official documents and statements.
"A few days ago the State Department released what it called a "first blush" report on the Blackwater incident in Baghdad, a report which largely exonerated the Blackwater personnel involved.
I noted at the time that "first blush" was something of an understatement since the report was based exclusively on statements the State Department took from Blackwater operatives on the scene. In other words, the Blackwater employees who did the shooting gave State an account that largely exonerated themselves. A truly shocking development.
But it seems that I was behind the curve on the level of caricature and self-parody that is the military contracting biz in Iraq these days.
The report was written out of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the folks who hired Blackwater to provide security for US diplomats in Iraq. But it turns out that the State Department employee who interviewed the Blackwater folks and wrote the report, Darren Hanner ... well, he wasn't a State Department employee. He was another contractor from Blackwater.
So yes, you've got that right. We've now reached what can only be called the alpha and the omega of contracting accountability breakdown ridiculousness. We're outsourcing our investigations of Blackwater to Blackwater."
Despite denials from the right, the Iraqi Quagmire resembles Vietnam in many ways, not the least of which is the response by the pro-war leadership to criticism. What if someone in Congress had had the courage to call for immediate withdrawal from Vietnam sooner? How would history have changed, how many more would have lived if we hadn't had to endure the endless peace talks seeking "peace with honor?"
"In his 37 years in the military, John Murtha won two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with a Combat "V," and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. As a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania for the past 31 years, he has been a fierce hawk, championing conflicts in Central America and the Persian Gulf. Yesterday, he was called a coward." [...] Murtha, whose brand of hawkishness has never been qualified by the word "chicken," was expecting the attacks. "I like guys who've never been there to criticize us who've been there. I like that," the burly old Marine said, hands in pocket. Referring to Vice President Cheney, he continued: "I like guys who got five deferments and never been there, and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
"Schmidt was later forced to return to the House floor and have her remarks stricken from the record. Despite having said the purpose of her “coward” statement was to “send Congressman Murtha a message,” Schmidt claimed: "Mr. Speaker, my remarks were not directed to any member of the House and I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member, most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania."
Meanwhile, right-wing NewsBusters ("exposing and combating liberal media bias") used a misleading headline "Media Ignore Congressman Murtha’s Long History Of Opposition to the Iraq War" to muddy the waters around Murtha's positions on the Iraq war. Their story does report (as if it was a bad thing) that "Rep. Murtha has been expressing disgust with the Bush administration’s prosecution of this war since six months after it started."
Harpers.org re-posts this October 2003 piece quoting Bush Administration statements about the Iraq war on the same day that the AP quoted Bush:
"We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas. President Bush on Monday defended U.S. interrogation practices...[as he] supported an effort...to block or modify a proposed Senate-passed ban on torture.
According to The Observer an appeal to Americans (and others, I suppose) to donate money to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq has raised a total of six hundred dollars ($600) [actually $540 - see below] since it was launched September 9th.
"The public's reluctance
to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods to the
administration's attempt to offer citizens 'a further stake in building
a free and prosperous Iraq' has been seized on by critics as evidence
of growing ambivalence over that country."
Huh. Perhaps, since aid for the poor after Katrina "is working very well for
them," Iraqi war supporters should be hit up to donate to rebuild the destruction we created there. Operation Green Elephant, anyone? Click on the logo above to add your donation to the $30 billion in tax dollars already appropriated to Iraqi reconstruction.
USaid's Heather Layman denied it was disappointed with the meagre sum raised after a fortnight. 'Every little helps,' she said...Layman [also] said: 'There is no
financial goal. People are looking for a way to help rebuild Iraq and
this is a way to facilitate that.'
USAid does not provide email addresses from their website, so I used their contact form to ask for the total number of donations to the effort, and what the cost was for the relationship with GlobalGiving, which is processing the donations made at the iraqpartnership.org website. GlobalGiving's site [it is a 501(c)3 even though the address is a .com] says that "we retain a 10% transaction fee on all donations."
We've seen the reasons for the Iraqi war change repeatedly over time, as WMD's, terrorist flypaper and violent extremism all took center stage for a time. Now the Iraqi's are about to approve a constitution that includes the recognition of Islam as being above the rule of law. While many right-wing Christians would like to see the same sort of provision in our constitution, many Iraqi's are asking in vain for American help in preventing the enshrining of Islam in the constitution that the Americans have been pushing them to create.
In fact, the American leaders in Iraq are pushing those opposed to Islam's inclusion to compromise, in order to get a constitution, any constitution, by their self-imposed deadline.
The Islamist constitution would effectively deny to women many of the rights they had under the reign of Saddam Hussein.
As Digby and Majikethis and some of the conservatives at National Review have pointed out, it's hard to imagine that anyone would have supported this war if they knew that Americans were giving their lives in Iraq not to fight terrorism, but to establish an Islamic government equivalent to the Taliban we removed from power in Afghanistan.
In an interview with Tim Russert early last year, Mr. Bush said, "The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me, as I look back, was it was a political war," adding that the "essential" lesson he learned from Vietnam was to not have "politicians making military decisions." But by then Mr. Bush had disastrously ignored that very lesson; he had let Mr. Rumsfeld publicly rebuke the Army's chief of staff, Eric Shinseki, after the general dared tell the truth: that several hundred thousand troops would be required to secure Iraq. [...] A Bush loyalist, Senator George Allen of Virginia, instructed the president to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother camping out in Crawford, as "a matter of courtesy and decency." Or, to translate his Washingtonese, as a matter of politics. Only someone as adrift from reality as Mr. Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can't win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering TV cameras and the blogosphere 24/7.
Agitprop notices that a crashed U2 spyplane that was purportedly spying on Afghanistan was more likely to have been collecting information about Iran, and includes links to several other stories that add to evidence of US intent to attack Iran.
Why would the United States need to perform high altitude reconnaissance in Afghanistan? I thought the United States was rebuilding the country and had it secured. It's not like the remnants of the Taliban possess sophisticated anti-aircraft guns which could pose harm to low-flying U.S. fighter jets. So what would we need a U-2 for other than covert surveillance and intelligence gathering? Look at which country lies smack between Afghanistan and The UAE.
Other sites note that the press relase from the military claimed that the U2 crashed in "southwest Asia."
I took the stats that PSoTD has been keeping from Technorati and Google on Downing Street Memo coverage and put them in a graph. Beautiful, although the media's still running pretty far behind. The new stat for today: 225 mentions of Bush and impeachment in the same story. I found that post through After Party, from whom I stole the idea for the "War Supporters click here" link on the sidebar.
The thoughts of Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf Should I be worried that the top Google result (update: in October of 1994) for Relentlessly Optimistic is to the former Iraqi Information Minister?
That's somewhat offset by the fact that the #3 link is to Sponge Bob Square Pants.