Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: Congress Loses Monopoly On Deception

9.08.2006

Congress Loses Monopoly On Deception

Napoleon once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that you never had to actually lie to the people, just delay the truth until it is no longer relevant. Fortunately for Bonaparte, he never had the New York Times, CNN or the internet to contend with or he never would have been able to convince his people to go to war without provocation. Thank God, we live in the twenty-first century where war and ignorance have been abolished and we savor the delicious taste of Soylent Green.

Today the Senate Panel released a scathing report (Are there any other kinds these days?) on the Administration for, wait for it, misleading the American people on pre-war intelligence. And they said it with a straight face. Truth be told, the Administration didn't mislead the American people, they misled the American people who voted for the use of military force and the last time I looked, that was still Congress.

Senator Carl Levin (D - MI), one of the more outspoken critics of the Administration's misinformation campaign and one of the members of the panel was incensed. When George Tenet, then-director of the CIA told Bush that his agency's intelligence on Iraq's possession of wmds was a "slam dunk" (he did a hell of a job, didn't he?), Levin responded by saying this was "a corruption of the intelligence process". Except he didn't say that in October 2002 when it mattered. He said it today. What he said when it mattered was: "The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power." (CNN's Late Edition, 12/16/01) And he wasn't alone. A lot of Senators believed this to be true. To his credit, Levin didn't vote to authorize the use of military force in October 2002 while newly reincarnated doves like Senators Clinton, Reid and Schumer did. My question is this: I knew the Administration was lying to us and I live in Everytown, USA. Why the hell didn't you guys figure it out when you're the ones who are supposed to have all the information?

Anyone doing the very minimal amount of research and possessing even the tiniest amount of critical thinking would have understood that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were, like the mongoose and the cobra, natural enemies. Osama killed people for not praying to Allah while Saddam killed people for not praying to him. Much of the Administration's and Congress' information came from Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi refugee who, according to the Wall Street Journal participated in a secret Defense Policy Board meeting just a few days after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which the main topic of discussion was how 9/11 could be used as a pretext for attacking Iraq. Not to mention the fact that the New Yorker did piece after piece discrediting the Administration's own Middle Eastern Madam Chiang Kai Shek. Now, don't tell me that these two publications know more than the CIA. And if they do, perhaps we need to make Seymour Hersh the head of Homeland Security.

So when White House spokesmodel, Tony Snow tells the AP that there was "nothing new" in the Senate Panel report, he for once isn't lying; there is nothing new in what it says. There was no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda regarding 9/11. It's Senators like John D. Rockefeller IV (D - WV) who are lying by claiming the Administration "exploited the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, leading a large majority of Americans to believe - contrary to the intelligence assessments of the time - that Iraq had a role in 9/11." It was he who had the deep sense of insecurity. He was the one who actually voted to go to war. Anyone who picked up the New Yorker or the Wall Street Journal knew exactly what was going on. I guess if Napoleon were alive today he would alter his statement by saying all a leader would have to do is delay the news long enough from Congress until it was no longer relevant.

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