All the President's Lies

In recent weeks, the press and some Democrats have finally taken up a critical White House deception about Iraq and uranium. What took them so long? And what about all the other lies?

One of the larger questions looming at the moment is how far the CIA wants to carry its current info-war against the Bush gang. Now that Congress's heavily redacted and emended 9/11 report is going public, watch the papers for additional disclosures about the White House's handling of pre-9/11 warnings about imminent attacks. Keep a particular eye on Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, the dean of CIA-insider American journalists. It was a Pincus story, published on June 12, that set the ball rolling by reporting that an anonymous official--later revealed as Joseph Wilson--had given the CIA a negative report on Niger uranium. More recently he has written that the Agency also advised Bush before the war that a besieged or deposed Saddam could pose greater risks than he did as leader. If the coming days and weeks bring leaks of a what-they-knew-and-when-they-knew-it nature about the White House and 9/11, it's probably fair to assume that the CIA is not out merely to humiliate Bush but to destroy him. At least we can be sure that the president, never a very industrious student, has learned one thing during his time in the White House: He knows why none of the numerous presidents who hated and feared J. Edgar Hoover ever dared show him up in public.

If the furor over lies keeps up, the president's men will only make it worse on themselves through their secretive, peremptory, capricious ways. A take-no-prisoners policy seems already in effect from the look of things. We see what they have already tried to do to Joseph Wilson, Dick Durbin, and Jeffrey Kofman, but the air of paranoiac retrenchment runs much deeper than that, as I lately learned firsthand. When City Pages contacted the White House for copies of photographs to accompany this story, the flack who fielded the request demanded to know what it was about, and later declined the request. A small thing, but it was the first time in my cumulative 10 years or so at the paper that any agency or office of the federal government has flatly refused to provide public materials on the grounds that it didn't like what we might do with them.

Tyler J. Clements

It's been evident for some time that only Bush could beat Bush in 2004, and he is already part of the way there--accent on part. Never forget that the White House still has two formidable assets in the ever-shrinking American public memory and the Democratic presidential field.

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