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"Who will speak for our military dead, the civilian dead, the fatherless, the motherless, the childless, the armless, the legless, the broken families and all the death and suffering caused by the Bush administration’s recklessness in starting this unjust, unnecessary war?”


Smirkin’ n Shirkin’ NOT HIS FAULT!
Posted February 1, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org

By: Ted Lang


Things are really livening up over at the ole District of Criminals!  Our president, Karl Rove, and his cabinet of unelected PNAC Israeli ministers, have lurched into accelerated damage control mode!  In fact, caught up in the rallying, protective surge for figurehead President George W. Bush, the United States Congress is fumbling and stumbling to save the smoldering wreckage of their Honorable Numero Uno as well!  It is indeed humorous to see this congressional bunch skidding on their fannies down Rove’s slippery slope!

On the heels of irrefutable evidence that President George W. Bush lied in both of his constitutionally-mandated State of the Union addresses concerning the imminent need to attack the economically and militarily-strapped Third World dictatorship of Iraq, the Bush administration is doing a most admirable job of spin-doctoring.

While pumping out the standard smoke to blind all and to advance a posture of total innocence on the part of both the president and his administration regarding what were obviously the lies, fraud and propaganda that sucked US into a totally unnecessary and now increasingly dangerous no-win situation in Iraq, the Bushies are now hitting some other hot buttons to affect additional distractions to protect themselves from the growing curiosity and outrage.

Coming completely out of the blue, or even more figuratively speaking, the red ink of his budget proposals, Bush has hit the hottest button imaginable!  He wants to materially increase funding to the National Endowment for the Arts.  And this right in the middle of budget estimate failures concerning his administration’s monstrous Medicare prescription drug plan, which has just been revealed will miss the mark of the earlier proposed price tag by a whopping $140 billion of our taxpayer dollars!  Whoa!  What’s goin’ on here?!

Needless to say, both these whopping distractions were generated by, you guessed it, the Bush administration.  The NEA funding news is no mystery; a simple White House announcement took care of that.  But check out the sources for the $140 billion distraction.  In My Way News article “Bush Budget Raises Cost of Medicare” posted January 29th by Alan Fram, the sources of the fiscal bombshell were, “…aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”  Later in the article, Fram writes, “White House budget office spokesman Chad Kolton would not comment on the Medicare figures.  But an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the estimate would rise to nearly $540 billion.”

Can you just believe all these juicy tidbits coming from the most secretive, closed-door administration in the history of the republic?  My, what a coincidence!  The Washington Post in their January 30th article, “Medicare Drug Cost Estimate Increases” by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin offers “federal sources.”  The Post article states, “Administration officials would not explain the precise reason for the discrepancy.”  The standard political hogwash offering “any number of unknowns” was recycled.  Also, “…the Bush administration never provided its own overall spending estimate, preferring to rely on the [Congressional Budget Office] figures.”  So the question becomes: Why are they offering a number now?

These budget bombshells, not necessarily favorable to the Bush administration and tantamount to machine-gunning one’s foot, are nevertheless better than inquiries that start to smack of a momentum that might conceivably lead to thoughts of impeachment, as well they should.

Concerning the direct damage control being employed by both the Bush administration and his supporters in Congress, an article in the Washington Post by staff writers Dana Priest and Walter Pincus reveals the new damage control mode now being adopted by the Bush administration to stifle further inquiry.  In their article “Hill Probers Fault Iraq Intelligence” posted January 30th, a new diversion is being launched to once again blame faulty intelligence for faulty policy.

The Post article begins: “The House and Senate intelligence committees have unearthed a series of failures in prewar intelligence on Iraq similar to those identified by former weapons inspector David Kay, leading them to believe that CIA analysts and their superiors did not seriously consider the possibility Saddam Hussein no longer possessed weapons of mass destruction, congressional officials said.”  And the New York Times’ David Sanger, in his January 30th article, “Debate Over Iraqi Arms Poses Risk to President” offers: “The intensifying debate over prewar American intelligence about Iraq presents President Bush with difficult and risky alternatives as he balances election year politics with calls to overhaul the intelligence apparatus and to restore the nation’s credibility around the world.”

Both articles fail to address why the Bush administration ignored intelligence warnings of the impending 9-11 attacks, yet relied completely upon the same intelligence sources to launch an unjust and unnecessary war against Iraq.  Additionally, notice how quickly focus has been diverted from the vulnerable policy executions of the Bush administration to the incompetence of GS-12 level analysts and their supervisors at Bush’s CIA?  Remember when Senator Joseph Biden chided former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter for “exceeding his grade level” for suggesting strongly to Congress that Iraq had no WMD?  Now President Bush wants US to accept the explanation that they relied upon the incompetence of underlings and their supervisors unquestionably, thereby immersing US in the horrors of Iraq.

President George W. Bush had ample opportunity to distance himself from both an errant CIA and FBI when the incompetence of intelligence operations resulted in the deaths of 3,000 of our fellow citizens on 9-11.  It never even remotely occurred to Bush to fire FBI Director Robert Mueller, III, or CIA Director George Tenet.  If there was evidence of intelligence breakdowns, those were much stronger relative to 9-11 failures than is now the case with respect to faulty prewar intelligence concerning Iraq’s imaginary WMD.

And if Tenet was considered to be competent back then, such that Bush wouldn’t consider firing him, a holdover from the Clinton administration as well, why should any of US believe he is at fault now?  And let’s please not forget the strong Bush family ties to our nation’s CIA; former President George Herbert Walker Bush was also a former director of the CIA.

It is clear Bush will now seek to divert blame of his exposed plot against Iraq, as revealed by former Secretary O’Neill and confirmed by the revelations of David Kay, the latter also heavily connected to the CIA, to the intelligence community.  As to the congressional committees “unearthing a series of failures,” how utterly convenient that all these “unearthing” efforts have now come to a head only a little more than a week after President Bush’s latest State of the Union falsehoods.

Examine the language in the Washington Post article: “The committees, working separately for the past seven months, have determined that the CIA relied too heavily on circumstantial outdated intelligence and became overly dependent on satellite and spy-plane imagery and communication intercepts. [Emphasis added]

But isn’t that what they’re supposed to be doing?  The quote makes it seem that they were being tasked with a “mission impossible!”  The article continues: “Like Kay, the committees have found that CIA operatives and analysts failed to detect that the Iraqi chain of command for developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons had fallen apart, and that Iraqi scientists and others were engaged in their own campaign to deceive the Iraqi leader, telling him they had weapons that did not exist.” [Emphasis added]

What we are being asked to believe, is that the lies, fraud and phony information given to Saddam Hussein to fool him, was in turn used by our CIA to incorrectly inform the White House.  The article quotes Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and a staunch supporter of the now-debunked shady Boeing KC-135 deal pushed by the Bush administration, who offered, “ ‘It was like a runaway train – once it left the station, it kept going faster and faster.  Some analysts may have been trying to slow it down, but it just kept going.’”  There you have it folks: the United States Congress’ official explanation of what really went wrong.  Do you not now feel informed?  Personally, I would have taken Senator Robert’s explanation a lot more seriously if he made an analogy using a runaway KC-135!

Post writers Priest and Pincus continue: “The White House, meanwhile edged closer to acknowledging flaws in the intelligence on Iraq but continued to say it is not yet possible to draw final conclusions about Hussein’s weapons.  On CBS’s ‘Early Show,’ national security advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “What we have is evidence that there are differences between what we knew going in and what we found on the ground.’  But, she added, ‘that’s not surprising in a country that was as closed and secretive as Iraq, a country that was doing everything it could to deceive the United Nations, to deceive the world.’” [Emphasis added]

Are we all on the edges of our seats awaiting final determination by Bush and his cabals as regards this astonishing turn of events?  What is painfully clear is that the explanations offered by the Bush administration ask US to believe that the intelligence and the war are all one big mistake.  But that doesn’t hold water.  Bush pressed the issue of war, and in his first State of the Union address on Iraq in January 2003, he presented a long list of specific weapons AND the quantities of those stocks of weapons.

Bush refused to listen to the urgings of the UN and summarily ignored them when they requested he allow UN weapons inspectors, headed up by Hans Blix, to finish their job.  Now, everything done in Iraq was to validate and legitimize the UN, a UN he ignored.  Bush ignored the much publicized protests of former US weapons inspector Scott Ritter.  Bush ignored David Kay’s preliminary negative findings presented to him just this past October.  And now we know that attacking Iraq was the Bush administration’s number one priority from the get-go.  The explanation that this was necessitated by a follow-through of foreign policy executions originated by the Clinton administration is yet another lame excuse.

As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pointed out in his January 30th piece, “Where’s the Apology?” Bush has done everything imaginable to block the 9-11 investigation and resultant report to the people.  He writes, “[Bush] administration officials have consistently sought to freeze out, undermine or intimidate anyone who might try to check up on their performance.

Referring also to the 9-11 commission sabotage, Krugman offers, “Then there's the stonewalling about 9/11. First the administration tried, in defiance of all historical precedents, to prevent any independent inquiry. Then it tried to appoint Henry Kissinger, of all people, to head the investigative panel. Then it obstructed the commission, denying it access to crucial documents and testimony. Now, thanks to all the delays and impediments, the panel's head says it can't deliver its report by the original May 11 deadline — and the administration is trying to prevent a time extension.

Blaming the CIA when Bush never held them or its director, George Tenet, accountable before the State of the Union, sabotaging the 9-11 commission, and Condoleezza Rice’s humorous description of a “closed and secret” government and then assigning it to a nation other than her own, is no longer merely laughable.  Now the Bush administration just wants to put it all behind US and move along.

Who will speak for our military dead, the civilian dead, the fatherless, the motherless, the childless, the armless, the legless, the broken families and all the death and suffering caused by the Bush administration’s recklessness in starting this unjust, unnecessary war?  Congress was indeed complicit in giving Bush unchecked carte blanch war powers by failing to constitutionally evaluate the need for war and then to declare war itself, and by passing a “Patriot Act” they didn’t read and we surely didn’t need.  Let’s hope they now do the right thing and deny the Bush administration’s request to terminate the 9-11 commission and then begin to investigate all aspects of Bush’s lies.  And let’s hope they muster the courage to override his veto of the bill scaling back the Patriot Act.


© Copyright THEODORE E. LANG 1/31/04 All rights reserved. Ted Lang is a political analyst and a freelance writer.



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