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View Diary: Frank Rich: Closing On The Big Enchilada (165 comments)

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  •  He left out some of the biggest lies (4.00)
     Interesting that Rich left out at least two of the most egregious examples of the administration's lying to promote and sustain support for the invasion of Iraq, at least in my view.

    One is Condoleeza Rice's cute metaphor (repeated by others after it seemed to get nice play in the so-called liberal media) that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud".  The second is Bush's whole "Mission Accomplished" performance (which they later lied was all the idea of the carrier unit, not the WH), and especially his statement during that speech that this "victory" was just one of many in the war "that began on Sept. 11, 2001".

    These were always the two Big Guns in their propaganda arsenal: that Saddam was a potential nuclear threat, and that he had something to do with 9/11.  Those were the images that could enrage a docile public, intimidate spineless Democratic politicians into joining the war chorus, and indeed ensure that the media, liberal or otherwise, would echo their talking points with barely a whisper of dissent.  Yet they were both out-and-out lies, and it amuses me that knee-jerk supporters of Bush and the war still try to parse words and semantics in classic Clintonian style to claim otherwise.  

    There was NO credible intelligence that Saddam was remotely at risk of producing nuclear weapons, nor that his regime had any involvement with 9/11.  Everyone in the administration knew this at the time: it was NOT a case of "faulty intelligence" which could be blamed away on others.  Yet the entire cabal, from Bush and Cheney to Libby, Rumsfeld, Rice, and the rest of them, went out of their way repeatedly to sell both ideas to the American public, in the most sophisticated marketing/propaganda fashion they could devise.  Why? Because they understood that a majority would never buy an invasion merely to "liberate" Iraq; so much for their respect for democracy and the will of the majority, to say nothing of the "honesty" and "integrity" they pledged to restore to the Presidency.

    The whole Wilson/Plame/Libby affair, as Rich points out, is just the tip of this nefarious iceberg, but in truth, it doesn't really matter.  Bush isn't up for re-election, and his administration's policy and moral failures are now more than clear to the bulk of the American electorate.  The fallout, from legal indictments to political revelations about the inner workings of their machine, is mostly for the history books at this point.  The going-forward questions involve mainly the impact on the next rounds of elections, and how both Democrats and Republicans will respond to the changed public attitudes, both toward Iraq in particular, and toward a broad swath of other issues and agendas that the neocon movement has attempted to sell with much the same strategy as the Iraq fiasco (and with comparable results in most cases).  I said months ago that a new political era is already upon us, although it's too early to see clearly what most of its prevailing themes will be.  The Bush-Cheney Mob, however, will not be a part of it.

    So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause -- Padme

    by dnta on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 08:52:51 PM PDT

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