they're still lying - SUN

This is a discussion on they're still lying - SUN ; Lying Like Its 2003 By FRANK RICH THOSE who forget history may be doomed to repeat it, but who could imagine wed already be in danger of replaying that rotten year 2003? Scooter Libby, the mastermind behind the White Houses ...

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  1. they're still lying

    Lying Like Its 2003


    THOSE who forget history may be doomed to repeat it, but who could imagine
    wed already be in danger of replaying that rotten year 2003?

    Scooter Libby, the mastermind behind the White Houses bogus scenarios for
    ginning up the war in Iraq, is back at Washingtons center stage, proudly
    defending the indefensible in a perjury trial. Ahmad Chalabi, the peddler
    of flawed prewar intelligence hyped by Mr. Libby, is back in clover in
    Baghdad, where he purports to lead the governments Shiite-Baathist
    reconciliation efforts in between visits to his pal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in

    Last but never least is Mr. Libbys former boss and Mr. Chalabis former
    patron, Dick Cheney, who is back on Sunday-morning television floating
    fictions about Iraq and accusing administration critics of aiding Al Qaeda.
    When the vice president went on a tear like this in 2003, hawking Iraqs
    nonexistent W.M.D. and nonexistent connections to Mohamed Atta, he set the
    stage for a war that now kills Iraqi civilians in rising numbers
    (34,000-plus last year) that are heading into the genocidal realms of
    Saddam. Mr. Cheneys latest sales pitch is for a new plan for victory
    promising an even bigger bloodbath.

    Mr. Cheney was honest, at least, when he said that the White Houses Iraq
    policy would remain full speed ahead! no matter what happened on Nov. 7.
    Now it is our patriotic duty politicians, the press and the public alike to
    apply the brakes. Our failure to check the administration when it rushed
    into Iraq in 2003 will look even more shameful to history if we roll over
    again for a reboot in 2007. For all the belated Washington scrutiny of the
    war since the election, and for all the heralded (if so far symbolic)
    Congressional efforts to challenge it, too much lip service is still being
    paid to the deceptive P.R. strategies used by the administration to sell its
    reckless policies. This time we must do what too few did the first time:
    call the White House on its lies. Lies should not be confused with
    euphemisms like incompetence and denial.

    Mr. Cheneys performance last week on Fox News Sunday illustrates the
    problem; his lying is nowhere near its last throes. Asked by Chris Wallace
    about the White Houses decision to overrule commanders who recommended
    against a troop escalation, the vice president said, I dont think weve
    overruled the commanders. He claimed weve made enormous progress in Iraq. He
    said the administration is not embattled. (Well, maybe that one is denial.)

    This White House gang is so practiced in lying with a straight face that it
    never thinks twice about recycling its greatest hits. Hours after Mr.
    Cheneys Fox interview, President Bush was on 60 Minutes, claiming that
    before the war everybody was wrong on weapons of mass destruction and that
    the minute we found out the W.M.D. didnt exist he was the first to say so.
    Everybody, of course, was not wrong on W.M.D., starting with the United
    Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq. Nor was Mr. Bush the first to come
    clean once the truth became apparent after the invasion. On May 29, 2003 two
    days after a secret Defense Intelligence Agency-sponsored mission found
    no biological weapons in trailers captured by American forces Mr. Bush
    declared: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological

    But thats all W.M.D under the bridge. The most important lies to watch for
    now are the new ones being reiterated daily by the administrations top
    brass, from Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney on down. You know fiasco awaits America
    when everyone in the White House is reading in unison from the same
    fictional script, as they did back in the day when mushroom clouds and
    uranium from Africa were the daily drumbeat.

    The latest lies are custom-made to prop up the new way forward that is
    anything but. Among the emerging examples is a rewriting of the history of
    Iraqs sectarian violence. The fictional version was initially laid out by
    Mr. Bush in his Jan. 10 prime-time speech and has since been repeated on
    television by both Mr. Cheney and the national security adviser, Stephen
    Hadley, last Sunday and by Mr. Bush again on PBSs NewsHour on Tuesday.
    It goes like this: sectarian violence didnt start spiraling out of control
    until the summer of 2006, after Sunni terrorists bombed the Golden Mosque in
    Samarra and forced the Shiites to take revenge.

    But as Mark Seibel of McClatchy Newspapers noted last week, the
    presidents account understates by at least 15 months when Shiite death
    squads began targeting Sunni politicians and clerics. They were visible in
    embryo long before that; The Times, among others, reported as far back
    as September 2003 that Shiite militias were becoming more radical, dangerous
    and anti-American. The reasons Mr. Bush pretends that Shiite killing started
    only last year are obvious enough. He wants to duck culpability for failing
    to recognize the sectarian violence from the outset much as he failed to
    recognize the Sunni insurgency before it and to underplay the intractability
    of the civil war to which he will now sacrifice fresh American flesh.

    An equally big lie is the administrations constant claim that it is on the
    same page as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as we go full speed ahead. Only
    last month Mr. Maliki told The Wall Street Journal that he wished he
    could be done with his role as Iraqs leader before the end of this term. Now
    we are asked to believe not merely that he is a strongman capable of
    vanquishing the death squads of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr,
    his political ally, but also that he can be trusted to produce the troops he
    failed to supply in last years failed Baghdad crackdown. Yet as recently
    as November, there still wasnt a single Iraqi battalion capable of fighting
    on its own.

    Hardly a day passes without Mr. Maliki mocking the White Houses professed
    faith in him. In the past week or so alone, he has presided over a
    second botched hanging (despite delaying it for more than two weeks to
    put in place new guidelines), charged Condi Rice with giving a morale
    boost to the terrorists because she criticized him, and overruled American
    objections to appoint an obscure commander from deep in Shiite territory
    to run the Baghdad surge. His government doesnt even try to hide its
    greater allegiance to Iran. Mr. Malikis foreign minister has asked for
    the release of the five Iranians detained in an American raid on an Iranian
    office in northern Iraq this month and, on Monday, called for setting up
    more Iranian consulates in Iraq.

    The presidents pretense that Mr. Maliki and his inept, ill-equipped,
    militia-infiltrated security forces can advance American interests in this
    war is Neville Chamberlain-like in its naiveté and disingenuousness. An
    American military official in Baghdad read the writing on the wall to
    The Times last week: We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government
    that is actually part of the problem. We are being played like a pawn. Thats
    why the most destructive lie of all may be the White Houses constant refrain
    that its doomed strategy is the only one anyone has proposed. Administration
    critics, Mr. Cheney said last Sunday, have absolutely nothing to offer in
    its place, as if the Iraq Study Group, John Murtha and Joseph
    Biden-Leslie Gelb plans, among others, didnt predate the White Houses own.

    In reality were learning piece by piece that it is the White House that has
    no plan. Ms. Rice has now downsized the surge/escalation into an
    augmentation, inadvertently divulging how the Pentagon is improvising,
    juggling small deployments in fits and starts. No one can plausibly explain
    how a parallel chain of command sending American and Iraqi troops into
    urban street combat side by side will work with Iraqis in the lead (it will
    report to a committee led by Mr. Maliki!). Or how $1 billion in new
    American reconstruction spending will accomplish what the $30 billion
    thrown down the drain in previous reconstruction spending did not.

    All of this replays 2003, when the White House refused to consider any plan,
    including existing ones in the Pentagon and State Department bureaucracies,
    for coping with a broken post-Saddam Iraq. Then, as at every stage of the
    war since, the only administration plan was for a propaganda campaign to
    bamboozle American voters into believing victory was just around the corner.

    The next push on the way forward propaganda campaign arrives Tuesday night,
    with the State of the Union address. The good news is that the Democrats
    have chosen Jim Webb, the new Virginia senator, to give their official
    response. Mr. Webb, a Reagan administration Navy secretary and the father of
    a son serving in Iraq, has already provoked a testy exchange about the
    war with the president at a White House reception for freshmen in Congress.
    Hes the kind of guy likely to keep a scorecard of the lies on Tuesday night.
    But whether he does or not, its incumbent on all those talking heads who
    fell for shock and awe and Mission Accomplished in 2003 to not let history
    repeat itself in 2007. Facing the truth is the only way forward in Iraq.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
    getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence
    - jules feifer
    to email me, delete syzygy. from my return address

  2. oops i fumbled again Re: they're still lying

    sorry to have misposted.
    getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence
    - jules feifer
    to email me, delete syzygy. from my return address

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