Friday, May 05, 2006

A Piece of the True Story

Now that they are cooking another war against Iran let us not forget the lies used to manipulate public opinion in favor of a war of agression against Iraq. Here is a piece of the true story denounced by Ray McGovern:
ajc: "Q: What's your latest mission?

A: We're trying to spread a little truth around. I've just been watching very, very closely how intelligence has been abused in the lead up to the Iraq war and, now, after the war. I fear for what this will mean for a very crucial part of our government. If the president can't turn to the CIA for straight answers, whether he knows it or not, he's in bad shape. He has nowhere to turn for a straight answer. He can't expect [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz or [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld to tell him, "Sorry boss, we didn't think of A or B or C. We thought it would be a cakewalk." He's getting slanted advice from the people running the policy toward Iraq.

Q: Who's to blame?

A: Rumsfeld and [Vice President Dick] Cheney primarily. And then George Tenet, the head of the CIA. He's not making any waves. This is an abnegation of responsibility because the CIA is supposed to make waves. The CIA [should be] completely objective. It should not promote or defend any particular policy. So, once the CIA loses its reputation for complete objectivity, it has nothing special to offer and you might as well just close it down.

[McGovern says Tenet and Cheney should resign.]

Q: What are the most egregious examples of "sexed-up" intelligence?

A: The report that Iraq was seeking uranium from the African country of Niger was false on its face and has to be at the top of the list. That was the most obvious and crass lie and the only report they had in September and October of last year to raise the specter that Saddam Hussein might get nuclear weapons.

The other main thing, of course, was the alleged tie between Iraq and al-Qaida. CIA analysts spent a year and a half poring through each and every report and found none to be persuasive or reliable. Then [Secretary of State] Colin Powell made his speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, where he produced some cockamamie evidence suggesting that al-Qaida types were roaming around Iraq with Saddam Hussein. In the period leading up to the war, the president would say that we have to go after Iraq because of 9/11. That is the way that the president played on the trauma of 9/11 to persuade the American people that we couldn't take a chance on Saddam Hussein.

Q: Do the American people care that they were misled on Iraq? Does Congress? The press?

A: There's still a lot of torpor, but there are two new elements now. No. 1: The men and women who are being killed every day in Iraq. No. 2: The fact that no one --- not even the press --- likes to be lied to. I'm an American, and I never thought the president would lie so often and so demonstrably.

The Bush administration's reasoning went like this: 'We'll deceive Congress. We'll have our war. We'll win handily. The folks in Iraq will meet us with cut flowers and open arms, and who will care at that point whether the [war's premise] was based largely on a forgery?' But there's zero chance that Congress will establish an independent judicial commission to investigate how we got into Iraq. Both houses of Congress are controlled by the president's party. There are no statesmen to rise above party affiliation and say, 'We were lied to.' No one will do that."

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