Bring 'em On!

The Bush administration's top 40 lies about war and terrorism


19) This war was notable for its protection of civilians.

This from the Herald of Scotland, May 23: "American guns, bombs, and missiles killed more civilians in the recent war in Iraq than in any conflict since Vietnam, according to preliminary assessments carried out by the UN, international aid agencies, and independent study groups. Despite U.S. boasts this was the fastest, most clinical campaign in military history, a first snapshot of 'collateral damage' indicates that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi non-combatants died in the course of the hi-tech blitzkrieg."

Joshua Karsten


20) The looting of archaeological and historic sites in Baghdad was unanticipated.

General Jay Garner himself, then the head man for postwar Iraq, told the Washington Times that he had put the Iraqi National Museum second on a list of sites requiring protection after the fall of the Saddam government, and he had no idea why the recommendation was ignored. It's also a matter of record that the administration had met in January with a group of U.S. scholars concerned with the preservation of Iraq's fabulous Sumerian antiquities. So the war planners were aware of the riches at stake. According to Scotland's Sunday Herald, the Pentagon took at least one other meeting as well: "[A] coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), met with U.S. Defense and State department officials prior to the start of military action to offer its assistance.... The group is known to consist of a number of influential dealers who favor a relaxation of Iraq's tight restrictions on the ownership and export of antiquities.... [Archaeological Institute of America] president Patty Gerstenblith said: 'The ACCP's agenda is to encourage the collecting of antiquities through weakening the laws of archaeologically rich nations and eliminate national ownership of antiquities to allow for easier export.'"


21) Saddam was planning to provide WMD to terrorist groups.

This is very concisely debunked in Walter Pincus's July 21 Washington Post story, so I'll quote him: "'Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists,' President Bush said in Cincinnati on October 7.... But declassified portions of a still-secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released Friday by the White House show that at the time of the president's speech the U.S. intelligence community judged that possibility to be unlikely. In fact, the NIE, which began circulating October 2, shows the intelligence services were much more worried that Hussein might give weapons to al Qaeda terrorists if he were facing death or capture and his government was collapsing after a military attack by the United States."


22) Saddam was capable of launching a chemical or biological attack in 45 minutes.

Again the WashPost wraps it up nicely: "The 45-minute claim is at the center of a scandal in Britain that led to the apparent suicide on Friday of a British weapons scientist who had questioned the government's use of the allegation. The scientist, David Kelly, was being investigated by the British parliament as the suspected source of a BBC report that the 45-minute claim was added to Britain's public 'dossier' on Iraq in September at the insistence of an aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair--and against the wishes of British intelligence, which said the charge was from a single source and was considered unreliable."


23) The Bush administration is seeking to create a viable Palestinian state.

The interests of the U.S. toward the Palestinians have not changed--not yet, at least. Israel's "security needs" are still the U.S.'s sturdiest pretext for its military role in policing the Middle East and arming its Israeli proxies. But the U.S.'s immediate needs have tilted since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the Bushmen need a fig leaf--to confuse, if not exactly cover, their designs, and to give shaky pro-U.S. governments in the region some scrap to hold out to their own restive peoples. Bush's roadmap has scared the hell out of the Israeli right, but they have little reason to worry. Press reports in the U.S. and Israel have repeatedly telegraphed the assurance that Bush won't try to push Ariel Sharon any further than he's comfortable going.


24) People detained by the U.S. after 9/11 were legitimate terror suspects.

Quite the contrary, as disclosed officially in last month's critical report on U.S. detainees from the Justice Department's own Office of Inspector General. A summary analysis of post-9/11 detentions posted at the UC-Davis website states, "None of the 1,200 foreigners arrested and detained in secret after September 11 was charged with an act of terrorism. Instead, after periods of detention that ranged from weeks to months, most were deported for violating immigration laws. The government said that 752 of 1,200 foreigners arrested after September 11 were in custody in May 2002, but only 81 were still in custody in September 2002."


25) The U.S. is obeying the Geneva conventions in its treatment of terror-related suspects, prisoners, and detainees.

The entire mumbo-jumbo about "unlawful combatants" was conceived to skirt the Geneva conventions on treatment of prisoners by making them out to be something other than POWs. Here is the actual wording of Donald Rumsfeld's pledge, freighted with enough qualifiers to make it absolutely meaningless: "We have indicated that we do plan to, for the most part, treat them in a manner that is reasonably consistent with the Geneva conventions to the extent they are appropriate." Meanwhile the administration has treated its prisoners--many of whom, as we are now seeing confirmed in legal hearings, have no plausible connection to terrorist enterprises--in a manner that blatantly violates several key Geneva provisions regarding humane treatment and housing.

« Previous Page
Next Page »