Bring 'em On!

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

Finally, we don't have to speculate about whether the administration would really plant bogus WMD evidence in the American media, because they have already done it, most visibly in the case of Judith Miller of the New York Times and the Iraqi defector "scientist" she wrote about at the military's behest on April 21. Miller did not even get to speak with the purported scientist, but she graciously passed on several things American commanders claimed he said: that Iraq only destroyed its chemical weapons days before the war, that WMD materiel had been shipped to Syria, and that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda. As Slate media critic Jack Shafer told WNYC Radio's On the Media program, "When you... look at [her story], you find that it's gas, it's air. There's no way to judge the value of her information, because it comes from an unnamed source that won't let her verify any aspect of it. And if you dig into the story... you'll find out that the only thing that Miller has independently observed is a man that the military says is the scientist, wearing a baseball cap, pointing at mounds in the dirt."

 

39) "The Iraqi people are now free."

So says the current U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, in a recent New York Times op-ed. He failed to add that disagreeing can get you shot or arrested under the terms of the Pentagon's latest plan for pacifying Iraq, Operation Sidewinder (see #36), a military op launched last month to wipe out all remaining Ba'athists and Saddam partisans--meaning, in practice, anyone who resists the U.S. occupation too zealously.

 

40) God told Bush to invade Iraq.

Not long after the September 11 attacks, neoconservative high priest Norman Podhoretz wrote: "One hears that Bush, who entered the White House without a clear sense of what he wanted to do there, now feels there was a purpose behind his election all along; as a born-again Christian, it is said, he believes he was chosen by God to eradicate the evil of terrorism from the world."

No, he really believes it, or so he would like us to think. The Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that Bush made the following pronouncement during a recent meeting between the two: "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."

Oddly, it never got much play back home.

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

This was truly a collaborative effort from start to finish. It began with the notion of running a week-long marathon of Bush administration lies at my online Bush Wars column (bushwarsblog.com). Along the way my e-mail box delivered more research assistance than I've ever received on any single story. I need to thank Jeff St. Clair and the Counterpunch website (counterpunch.org), which featured the Lies marathon in addition to posting valuable reportage and essays every day; I also received lots of lies entries and documentary links from BW readers Rob Johnson, Ted Dibble, and Donna Johnson, as well as my colleagues Mark Gisleson, Elaine Cassel, Sally Ryan, Mike Mosedale, and Paul Demko. Dave Marsh provided valuable editing suggestions.

I also found loads of valuable information through Cursor and Buzzflash, the two best news links pages on the internet, and through research projects on the Bushmen posted at Cooperative Research (cooperativeresearch.org), Whiskey Bar (billmon.org), and tvnewslies.org.

But the heart of the effort was all the readers of Bush Wars who sent along ideas and links that advanced the project. Many thanks to Estella Bloomberg, Vince Bradley, Angela Bradshaw, Gary Burns, Elaine Cole, George Dobosh, Deborah Eddy, David Erickson, Casey Finne, Douglas Gault, Jean T. Gordon, Doug Henwood, George Hunsinger, Peter Lee, Eric Martin, Michael McFadden, George McLaughlin, Eric T. Olson, Doug Payne, Alan W. Peck, Dennis Perrin, Charles Prendergast, Publius, Michele Quinn, Ernesto Resnik, Ed Rickert, Maritza Silverio, Marshall Smith, Robert David Steele, Ed Thornhill, Christopher Veal, and Jennifer Vogel. And my apologies to anyone else whose e-mails I didn't manage to save.

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