“Policy makers have a right to their own opinions but not their own set of facts.”
— former DCI George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm (2007)
“In the push to war with Iraq, something extraordinary happened in the world of Intelligence. All the king’s agents…silent partners in former crimes against humanity… refused to provide false information to support the administration’s claims. Even in the last minute of the
last hour, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet flatly stated there was no documented link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.”
— Jack Random, The War Chronicles (2004)
The lies to launch war have been supplanted by the lies of war itself.
The trail of lies is as long as the trail of Iraqi blood and tears.
The lies of weapons of mass destruction, Al Qaeda connections and
Middle East democracy have given way to the lies of civilian massacres,
the lies of military heroism, the lies of Abu Ghraib, the lies of the
Samarra mosque bombing and the lies of progress in securing Baghdad.
When former DCI George Tenet accuses vice president Dick Cheney of
misleading the nation to war, he is sculpting the truth to his own
benefit. The vice president did not have the power to declare war and
he could not have succeeded without the ascent of a feckless commander
and the silent complicity of those in the White House who should have
spoken out. That evasion of responsibility continues to this day with
the newly appointed field commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus.
The General claims there is measurable progress in Iraq if you do not
count car bombs or sensational attacks or attacks outside of Baghdad.
Just as the White House cherry picked evidence to justify war, the
military will select facts to prove the security plan is working when
the soldiers on the ground know otherwise.
Like George Tenet, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld
before him, General Petraeus has betrayed us, along with every soldier
under his command. His mission is not to secure victory in Iraq — a
“victory” that would only further secure America’s place in the annals
of infamy. His mission is to continue the chain of lies to perpetuate
an illusion of success that will enable the worst president in history
to pass his catastrophic war along to a new president.
In a spirit of unbridled cynicism, the neocons that launched this
campaign of never-ending war are counting on a party of opposition so
inept that it will parlay almost certain victory into electoral defeat
by stammering, stumbling and falling on the word “peace.”
As witnessed by the recent group debate-a-thon, the Democrats have
become so conditioned to aggressive posturing that they cannot oppose
an unqualified disaster and wholesale waste of life without ceaseless
qualifications and pontificating on the virtues of aggression in lesser
wars (Afghanistan, the Balkans) and potentially greater calamities
General Petraeus, the anointed savior of the Bush war strategy,
betrayed us from the moment he ascended to his post as director of the
Baghdad theatre of blood. He is not so much a commander as an
illusionist, not so much a strategist as a front man for a magic act.
Watch the right hand while the left covers over a pile of fresh
corpses, the latest yield in an orgy of sectarian conflict, resistance
and revenge. Poof, the war is manageable! Poof, the violence has
ebbed! Poof, the Iraqi government is taking charge! Poof, the war is
It is a dog and pony show (rated R for blood) but the players only come
out at night. It would be too easy to see through their masks and
detect their slight of hand in the light of day.
We started the wrong war for the wrong reasons, and we continue to fight
only to cover the lies and the greed that placed us in the center of a
Nothing could have empowered our enemies more than a dim witted, poorly
planned and poorly executed war of attrition on foreign terrain and
nothing will continue to empower our enemies more than a march of
lemmings over the Arabian cliff.
As the surprisingly frank Senator from Alaska suggested in the
presidential debate, Osama bin Laden must greet every dawn with a
prayer of thanks to George W. Bush.
The warlords, who have never faced an enemy on the field of battle,
think it amusing to throw accusations of betrayal and treason at those
who acknowledge the reality of defeat but who was more loyal to the
troops: the officers who advised General Robert E. Lee that the war was
lost after the slaughter of Gettysburg or those who advised him to
To those obstinate holdouts that still support this cowboy commander
and his calamitous war, wake up and smell the battlefield. The air is
filled with deadly fire, toxic smoke and the scent of scorched flesh.
It is filled with foreboding and a promise of further horrors beyond
our immediate view.
Wake up because it is you that enable the horror to go on. Your blind
allegiance and false patriotism is all that stands between the lies of
victory and the beginning of reparations. Your irrational support is
all that props up a failed war president.
The Democrats, with their pandering and posturing frontrunners, will
not stop this war or the wars to come unless the people demand it with