"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it." -- Oscar Wilde.
DETROIT -- The march of truth is trampling the lies of President George W. Bush and exposing his fanatical insistence that people continue to die for his deceptions and delusions. Former CIA director George Tenet, Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman's family, a brave Army officer, journalists who see the facts flat-on, and members of Congress who refuse to forget lies are crushing Bush and his disciples in deceit.
Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq and deputy commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, takes on the generals and their failure to provide honest assessments about the military risks and difficulties the war presented.
Yingling wrote scathing criticism in "Armed Forces Journal," blasting the top brass for bailing out on their "responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic possibilities."
It is rare for an active-duty officer to speak out so publicly and courageously fault his superiors. The article, titled "A Failure in Generalship," provides needed candor absent from the sloganeering that Bush and his blind supporters use to defend their doomed strategy in Iraq.
Yingling presents a grim case: "Iraq's grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war."
He sees Iraq presenting the prospect of defeat because "America's generals have been checked by a form of war that they did not prepare for and do not understand."
Too little has been written about the military commanders who willingly cooperated and "went along" with departed defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's incompetent judgments. Too many generals -- thinking more about their careers than the good of the nation -- became ready pawns for Rumsfeld's untested military moves.
Afraid of being branded obstructionists and having seen the fate of Gen. Eric Shinsecki, the Army chief of staff fired for telling the truth about what would be needed to pacify Iraq, the brass buckled under Rumsfeld's reign of intimidation. Only a handful had the guts to dissent and do what real leaders should do.
The commander in chief wanted loyal yes-men, and so most of the manly military men morphed into bed-wetting wimps. They were afraid to offer honest, dissenting opinions about what was required to conquer and occupy Iraq.
Although belatedly and with self-serving motives, Tenet is speaking the truth about the rush to go to war with Iraq and the Bush administration's misuse of intelligence to create fear that Saddam Hussein's government posed great peril for the United States.
"There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat," Tenet writes in his new book, "At the Center of the Storm." A New York Times reporter got the book in advance of publication, and the paper described Tenet's work as "the first detailed account by a member of the president's inner circle of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the decision to invade Iraq and the failure to find unconventional weapons that were the major justification for the war."
That justification was used to bring America into an unjustified act of aggression and insanity that could only be sold with a cascade of lies.
Tenet writes there was never even "a significant discussion" about containing Iraq without the invasion and occupation. The former CIA boss wants to distance himself from his signature remark that intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was a "slam-dunk case."
Tenet argues the leaking of that remark was designed to shift all the blame for the failed reasons for war from the White House to the CIA. He writes WMDs were never the real reason for the war, merely "the public face that was put on it."
The real reason, Tenet suggests, flowed from "the administration's largely unarticulated view that the democratic transformation of the Middle East through regime change in Iraq would be worth the price." That is a truth Bush will never admit and people are dying for every day.
Tenet knows Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were determined to remove Saddam regardless of the facts. His long-delayed candor is welcome but does not justify his willingness to "go along."
Bush gave Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but even that bribe didn't work in keeping his silence. Bush never has to worry about Condoleezza Rice telling the truth, and she's willing to commit perjury to protect "my husband," as she once referred to him.
The secretary of state has been slapped with a subpoena to testify under oath about the lie she helped sell that Saddam tried to buy enriched uranium from Niger. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has spent years trying to get straight answers about the Niger hoax. Rice has been stonewalling through those years, hoping to dodge the perjury she will resort to in protecting her man. Rice's memory will conveniently fail. She will filibuster, obfuscate and absurdly parse words. In the end, Waxman will expose her serial lying and the dangerous fraud she is.
Bill Moyers did a masterful job in exposing the toadies in the mainstream media who helped Bush and Co. sell the war and allowed the likes of Rice to repeatedly use the phase "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
"Buying the War," shown last week on the PBS broadcast of "Bill Moyers Journal," should be required viewing for every reporter, and every history class and journalism class in the nation. Moyers presents a riveting case and aptly notes the media "has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses."
The media enablers continue to help manufacture consent for Bush's troop surge in Iraq. They ridiculously parrot his lines that any approach other than his means a "precipitous withdrawal" and that "the terrorists will follow us home."
One way to make the surge shine is to say that sectarian violence is declining. But Nancy Youssef, the Pentagon correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers, has uncovered a telling omission -- one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians is off the books.
Last Saturday a car bomb at a Shiite shrine in Karbala killed 58 civilians. Such grim numbers, Youssef reports, are simply excluded in calculating the casualties.
She points to arguments that ignoring those deaths skews the evidence of what's really happening: "Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims."
Jessica Lynch, the former Army private seriously injured in Iraq, eloquently debunked the myth Pentagon types fabricated to make her story a tale of heroic endurance and rescue.
Appearing before Rep. Waxman's committee, Lynch said, "The bottom line is, the American people are capable of determining their own ideals of heroes and they don't need to be told elaborate lies."
But lies are vital in selling a war built on them. Pat Tillman's death proves that. The former NFL star who became an Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. The Pentagon deliberately hid that truth from Tillman's family for months, and the full extent of the deception is still unknown.
Kevin Tillman, who served with his brother, testified about why he believes the circumstances of Pat's death were cloaked in lies. It happened at the same time the tortures and abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were revealed.
"Revealing that Pat's death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters, so the truth needed to be suppressed," he said.
Four years ago Tuesday, Bush strutted on the deck of an aircraft carrier in his flight suit and spoke about his war under the "Mission Accomplished" banner. That truth will never be suppressed.
|Niagara Falls Reporter||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||May 1 2007|