HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » WilliamPitt » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 ... 90 Next »

WilliamPitt

Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,724

Journal Archives

The United States of Aftermath



A statue of Saddam Hussein stands in front of the
burning National Olympic Committee building in Baghdad,
on April 19, 2003. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)


The United States of Aftermath
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 21 February 2013

It's hard to say grace and to sit in the place
Of someone missing at the table
Mom's hair sprayed tight
And her face in her hands
Watching TV for answers to me
After all she's only human
And she's trying to find her own way home, boys
She's trying to find her own way home

My legs ache
My heart is sore
The well is full of pennies

- Tom Waits


Ten years ago on this day, my life was a blur of frantic activity. The week before, tens of millions of people had taken to the streets in more than 600 cities around the world to protest the looming invasion of Iraq, an attack that had been pursued with single-minded ferocity by the administration of George W. Bush. As the author of the book "War on Iraq", which had been published in October and argued Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections to the September 11 attacks, I was one of the voices crying out in the wilderness of the "mainstream" news media trying to make it clear that the whole thing was a sham, and a disaster in the making. I did as many television, radio and print interviews as I could - at one point, CNN interviewed me in the gymnasium of the high school where I was still teaching, because that was the only time I had available - in an attempt to halt the calamity in its tracks.

One month later, I and every other person who tried to stop it encompassed the totality of our collective failure as we watched huge swaths of Baghdad be incinerated by the "Shock and Awe" bombing campaign that heralded the opening festivities of America's nine-year debacle in Iraq.

(snip)

The war against Iraq, in the end, was nothing more or less than a massive money-laundering operation that took American taxpayer dollars, soaked them in blood, and redirected them to Certain Friends In High Places. It was, as I said years ago, a smash-and-grab robbery writ large, aided and abetted by an American "news" media which had its own profit motive, and which made a nifty sum off the whole deal. Even better for them, today they get to enjoy the ratings and advertising dollars to come when they broadcast their somber "documentaries" about how terrible it all was, how many lies were told, how many mistakes were made, and all without ever looking inward at their own enormous complicity.

They say the war is over now, but Halliburton is still getting paid to "rebuild" Iraq, the military contractors are still there, bombs are still going off all over the country, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were killed are still dead, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were wounded and maimed are still scarred, and many of the millions who were displaced are still not home. Almost 5,000 American soldiers are still dead, nearly 40,000 more are still scarred, and the VA is utterly incapable of dealing with the aftermath.

Three trillion dollars of taxpayer money was laundered away, and today we have squadrons of politicians who voted for the war and made sure it happened now talking about cutting Medicare, about cutting Social Security, about how we can't afford decent health care or the United States Post Office, without even a blink of acknowledgement toward their own overwhelming share of blame for what has happened to the nation.

Ten years ago, they used 9/11 against us, with the happy help of the "news" media, to unleash butchery for a payday, and broke the country in the process.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14688-the-united-states-of-aftermath

The GOP Reaps What It Sows, Part The Double Infinity



McCain at an AZ town hall getting shouted down by angry wingers who think shooting brown people into space is the appropriate course of action for "immigration reform." Also known as: The GOP Reaps What It Sows, Part The Double Infinity.

The look on McCain's face is what makes this art.

Source: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/mccain-jeered-at-town-hall-after-opposing-mass

NEVER FORGET

The very last quote is what makes this art.

===

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

- Dick Cheney, Vice President
Speech to VFW National Convention
8/26/2002

"There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press
9/6/2002

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
CNN Late Edition
9/8/2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

- George W. Bush, President
Speech to the UN General Assembly
9/12/2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."

- George W. Bush, President
Radio Address
10/5/2002

"The Iraqi regime ... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
10/7/2002

"And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."

- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
10/7/2002

"After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."

- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
10/7/2002

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
10/7/2002

"Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand."

- John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
Speech to the Hudson Institute
11/1/2002

"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists ... The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."

- Dick Cheney, Vice President
Denver, Address to the Air National Guard
12/1/2002

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
12/2/2002

"The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press
12/4/2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
1/9/2003

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

- George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."

- George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to the UN Security Council
2/5/2003

"There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Address to the UN Security Council
2/5/2003

"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world - and we will not allow it."

- George W. Bush, President
Speech to the American Enterprise Institute
2/26/2003

"If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us ... But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Interview With Radio France International
2/28/2003

"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to the UN Security Council
3/7/2003

"Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

- Dick Cheney, Vice President
"Meet the Press"
3/16/2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

- George W. Bush, President
Address to the Nation
3/17/2003

"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
3/21/2003

"One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."

- Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman
Press Briefing
3/22/2003

"I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."

- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board Member
Washington Post, p. A27
3/23/2003

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
ABC Interview
3/30/2003

"We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference
4/9/2003

"You bet we're concerned about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction ... and terrorist groups - networks - is a critical link. And the thought that ... some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference
4/9/2003

"I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
4/10/2003

"But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
4/10/2003

"Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"Meet the Press"
4/13/2003

"We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."

- George W. Bush, President
NBC Interview
4/24/2003

"There are people who in large measure have information that we need ... so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Briefing
4/25/2003

"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."

- George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters
5/3/2003

"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to Reporters
5/4/2003

"We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Fox News Interview
5/4/2003

"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein - because he had a weapons program."

- George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters
5/6/2003

"U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."

- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
Reuters Interview
5/12/2003

"We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you."

- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Interview With Australian Broadcasting
5/13/2003

"It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."

- George W. Bush, President
Speech at a Weapons Factory in Ohio
5/25/2003

"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
5/27/2003

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Vanity Fair Interview
5/28/2003

"The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
5/29/2003

"We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Infinity Radio Interview
5/30/2003

"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

- George W. Bush, President
Interview With TVP Poland
5/30/2003

"You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ... They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two ... And we'll find more weapons as time goes on."

- George W. Bush, President
Press Briefing
5/30/2003

"This wasn't material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Press Briefing
6/2/2003

"We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth."

- George W. Bush, President
Camp Sayliya, Qatar
6/5/2003

"I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, 'Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?' Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Fox News Interview
6/8/2003

"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."

- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
"Meet the Press"
6/8/2003

"What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions ... And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press
6/9/2003

"Iraq had a weapons program ... Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."

- George W. Bush, President
Comment to Reporters
6/9/2003

"The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Associated Press Interview
6/12/2003

"My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Briefing
6/18/2003

"I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time ... It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue."

- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Pentagon Media Briefing
6/24/2003

MS. BLOCK: There were no toxins found in those trailers.

SECRETARY POWELL: Which could mean one of several things: one, they hadn't been used yet to develop toxins; or, secondly, they had been sterilized so thoroughly that there is no residual left. It may well be that they hadn't been used yet.

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
"All Things Considered" Interview
6/27/2003

"That was the concern we had with Saddam Hussein. Not only did he have weapons - and we'll uncover not only his weapons but all of his weapons programs - he never lost the intent to have these kinds of weapons."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
"All Things Considered" Interview
6/27/2003

"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."

- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
7/9/2003

http://archive.truthout.org/032009J

The Dog Ate My WMD (6/15/2003)

The Dog Ate My WMDs
With no Iraqi WMD to be found, the Bush administration is coming up with excuses as creative as any heard in high school.

By William Rivers Pitt

June 15, 2003

After several years teaching high school, I've heard all the excuses. I didn't get my homework done because my computer crashed, because my project partner didn't do their part, because I feel sick, because I left it on the bus, because I had a dance recital, because I was abducted by aliens and viciously probed. Houdini doesn't have as many tricks. No one on earth is more inventive than a high school sophomore backed into a corner and faced with a zero on an assignment.

No one, perhaps, except Bush administration officials forced now to account for their astounding claims made since September 2002 regarding Iraq's alleged weapons program.

After roughly 280 days worth of fearful descriptions of the formidable Iraqi arsenal, coming on the heels of seven years of UNSCOM weapons inspections, four years of surveillance, months of UNMOVIC weapons inspections, the investiture of an entire nation by American and British forces, after which said forces searched "everywhere" per the words of the Marine commander over there and "found nothing," after interrogating dozens of the scientists and officers who have nothing to hide anymore because Hussein is gone, after finding out that the dreaded 'mobile labs' were weather balloon platforms sold to Iraq by the British, George W. Bush and his people suddenly have a few things to answer for.

You may recall this instance where a bombastic claim was made by Bush. During his constitutionally mandated State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, Mr. Bush said, "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." Nearly five months later, those 500 tons are nowhere to be found. A few seconds with a calculator can help us understand exactly what this means.

500 tons of gas equals one million pounds. After UNSCOM, after UNMOVIC, after the war, after the US Army inspectors, after all the satellite surveillance, it is difficult in the extreme to imagine how one million pounds of anything could refuse to be located. Bear in mind, also, that this one million pounds is but a part of the Iraqi weapons arsenal described by Bush and his administration.

Maybe the dog ate it. Or maybe it was never there to begin with, having been destroyed years ago by the first UN inspectors and by the Iraqis themselves. Maybe we went to war on a big lie, one that killed over 3,500 Iraqi civilians to date, one that killed some 170 American soldiers, one that has been costing us one American soldier's life per day thus far.

If you listen to the Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, this is all just about "politics." An in-depth investigation into how exactly we came to go to war on the WMD word of the Bush administration has been quashed by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Closed-door hearings by the Intelligence Committee are planned next week, but an open investigation has been shunted aside by Bush allies who control the gavel and the agenda. If there is nothing to hide, as the administration insists, if nothing was done wrong, one must wonder why they fear to have these questions asked in public.

The questions are being asked anyway. Thirty five Representatives have signed House Resolution 260, which demands with specificity that the administration back up its oft-repeated claims about the Iraqi weapons arsenal with evidence and fact. The guts of the Resolution are as follows:

Resolved, That the President is requested to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 4 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution documents or other materials in the President's possession that provides specific evidence for the following claims relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:

(1) On August 26, 2002, the Vice President in a speech stated: `Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction . . . What he wants is time, and more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons.'

(2) On September 12, 2002, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the President stated: `Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.'

(3) On October 7, 2002, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, the President stated: `It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.'

(4) On January 7, 2003, the Secretary of Defense at a press briefing stated: `There is no doubt in my mind but that they currently have chemical and biological weapons.'

(5) On January 9, 2003, in his daily press briefing, the White House spokesperson stated: 'We know for a fact that there are weapons there Iraq.'

(6) On March 16, 2003, in an appearance on NBC's `Meet The Press', the Vice President stated: `We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. El Baradei frankly is wrong.'

(7) On March 17, 2003, in an Address to the Nation, the President stated: `Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.'

(8) On March 21, 2003, in his daily press briefing the White House spokesperson stated: `Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly.all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.'

(9) On March 24, 2003, in an appearance on CBS's `Face the Nation', the Secretary of Defense stated: `We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established.'

(10) On March 30, 2003, in an appearance on ABC's `This Week', the Secretary of Defense stated: `We know where they are, they are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.'


On June 10, 2003, Representative Henry Waxman transmitted a letter to Condoleezza Rice demanding answers to a specific area of concern in this whole mess. His letter goes on to repeat, in scathing detail, the multifaceted claims made by the Bush administration regarding an Iraqi nuclear weapons program, and deconstructs those claims with a fine scalpel. "What I want to know is the answer to a simple question: Why did the President use forged evidence in the State of the Union address?" the letter concludes. "This is a question that bears directly on the credibility of the United States, and it should be answered in a prompt and forthright manner, with full disclosure of all the relevant facts."

It is this aspect, the nuclear claims, that has led the Bush administration to do what many observers expected them to do for a while now: They have blamed it all on the CIA. A report in the June 12, 2003 edition of the Washington Post cites an unnamed Bush administration official who claims that the CIA knew the evidence of Iraqi nuclear plans had been forged, but that CIA failed to give this information to Bush. The Post story states, "A senior intelligence official said the CIA's action was the result of 'extremely sloppy' handling of a central piece of evidence in the administration's case against then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein."

Ergo, it wasn't the dog who ate the WMDs. It was the CIA. Unfortunately for Bush and his people, this blame game will not hold water.

Early in October of 2002, Bush went before the American people and delivered yet another vat of nightmarish descriptions of what Saddam Hussein could do to America and the world with his vast array of weaponry. One week before this speech, however, the CIA had publicly stated that Hussein and Iraq were less of a threat than they had been for the last ten years.

Columnist Robert Scheer reported on October 9, 2002, that, "In its report, the CIA concludes that years of U.N. inspections combined with U.S. and British bombing of selected targets have left Iraq far weaker militarily than in the 1980s, when it was supported in its war against Iran by the United States. The CIA report also concedes that the agency has no evidence that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons."

Certainly, if citizen Scheer was able to read and understand the CIA report on Iraq's nuclear capabilities, the President of the United States could easily do so as well.

The scandal that laid Bill Clinton low centered around his lying under oath about sex. The scandal which took down Richard Nixon was certainly more profound, as he was accused of misusing the CIA and FBI to spy on political opponents while paying off people to lie about his actions. Lying under oath and misusing the intelligence community are both serious transgressions, to be sure. The matter of Iraq's weapons program, however, leaves both of these in deep shade.

George W. Bush and his people used the fear and terror that still roils within the American people in the aftermath of September 11 to fob off an unnerving fiction about a faraway nation, and then used that fiction to justify a war that killed thousands and thousands of people.

Latter-day justifications about 'liberating' the Iraqi people or demonstrating the strength of America to the world do not obscure this fact. They lied us into a war that, beyond the death toll, served as the greatest Al Qaeda recruiting drive in the history of the world. They lied about a war that cost billions of dollars which could have been better used to bolster America's amazingly substandard anti-terror defenses. They are attempting, in the aftermath, to misuse the CIA by blaming them for all of it.

Blaming the CIA will not solve this problem, for the CIA is well able to defend itself. Quashing investigations in the House will not stem the questions that come now at a fast and furious clip.

They lied. Period. Trust a teacher on this. We can spot liars who have not done their homework a mile away.

----

William Rivers Pitt is the author of two books -- "War On Iraq" available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is Silence," now available from Pluto Press at SilenceIsSedition.com. Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.


(Scott Lowery was known as Khephra on DU before he passed several years ago)

http://www.alternet.org/story/16175/the_dog_ate_my_wmds

The Revolution Was Not Televised (10/31/2003)



The Revolution Was Not Televised
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 31 October 2003

There was a large anti-war rally in Washington last week. The standard slogans were on display for all to see: Impeach Bush, Bring The Troops Home, No Blood For Oil. On the periphery of the protest stood a few dozen 'patriots' holding a counter-demonstration in support of Bush and the Iraq war. Among the signs carried by this crew was a banner that succinctly summed up the madness of the age, and the dangerous nature of the current ruling class.

Across the top of the banner, which was clearly professionally made and not hand-lettered, were the block-letter words "SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH." Through the center of the banner were black outlines of a fighter aircraft, a tank, an M-16 rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, an attack helicopter, a surface-to-air missile battery, and a thermonuclear bomb. Underneath these images were two more block-letter words: "TRUST JESUS."

The sentiment apparently finds resonance with Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi. The Wednesday edition of The Hill carried a story about GOP concerns over the manner in which the post-war war is unfolding. The trepidation is understandable; more American troops have been killed in the 'Mission Accomplished' phase of the war than in the war itself. Lott responded to the crisis in Iraq by saying, "If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens."

The Bush administration has tried to frame their wars as not being a religiously-based crusade against the Islamic world. This has been a hard-sell with Muslims, especially since Bush used the word "crusade" immediately after September 11. Norman Podhoretz, one of the ideological fathers of the cadre of hawks currently running our foreign policy, publicly described our conflict in the Mideast as being a process aimed at bringing about "the reformation and modernization of Islam." The religious overtones are difficult to miss.

Perhaps the best example of where we stand today comes in the guise of Lt. General William Boykin, deputy undersecretary for defense, who is charged with finding important enemies like Osama bin Laden. Boykin, when not smoking 'em out of their holes, has been touring the fundamentalist pulpits across the America. Describing the hunt for a Somali warlord last January, Boykin said, "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Boykin has held forth on the true meaning of the War on Terror. "Satan wants to destroy this nation," says Boykin, "he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army." In June of 2002, Boykin held up a photograph of Mogadishu to a church congregation. The photo carried the image of a dark spot in the sky above the city. "Ladies and gentlemen," Boykin said, "this is your enemy. It is the principalities of darkness. It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."

The banner carried by the 'patriot' in Washington should have had the black outline of an oil well alongside all those weapons. Trusting Jesus has been a lucrative business for some. The Center for Public Integrity released a report on Thursday which details how $8 billion in contracts to 'rebuild' Iraq and Afghanistan have gone exclusively to companies which donated piles of money to Bush's 2000 election campaign. These contracts were awarded without the usual bidding process; few beyond the friends of Bush were given the opportunity to cash in on the war.

Most prominent on the list of companies awarded these contacts is Halliburton, the oil company recently run by Vice President Dick Cheney. Halliburton subsidiary, Kellog Brown & Root, has gathered to itself a tidy $2.3 billion contract to repair Iraq's oil industry. The price tag for this project was doubled recently by the Bush administration so Halliburton could get a larger share of the $87 billion allocated for Iraq. The reason for the doubling? Halliburton plans to go beyond repairing old oil wells and develop new wells to tap virgin supplies of oil and gas.

Islam is not the only religion to have a militant, fundamentalist Taliban wing making up part of the whole. In America, the Taliban wing of Christianity has assumed power. The banner at that 'patriot' rally captures the essence of these frightening extremists: Supporting Bush is placed on the same level as worshipping Jesus, and shot through the middle is the steel fist of weapons and war. September 11 has been refashioned by the Christian Taliban as a rallying cry for an end-times death match against Islam, a rallying cry that obscures the orgasm of profiteering that is taking place behind the scenes.

There has been a religiously fundamentalist revolution in the United States. The extremists have taken control of the White House, Congress, the courts, and the military. You did not see this on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC or Fox, but it happened all the same.

http://archive.truthout.org/article/william-rivers-pitt-the-revolution-was-not-televised

What am I giving up for lent? Joy.



Ronald Dworkin, legal scholar and great liberal thinker, has died

Ronald Dworkin, Legal Philosopher, Dies at 81
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: February 14, 2013

Ronald Dworkin, a legal philosopher and public intellectual of bracingly liberal views who insisted that morality is the touchstone of constitutional interpretation, died Thursday in London. He was 81.

(snip)

Professor Dworkin was “the primary legal philosopher of his generation,” said Judge Guido Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School who now sits on the federal appeals court in New York. He was also one of the most closely read as a mainstay of The New York Review of Books, contributing articles to it for decades.

Professor Dworkin’s central argument started with the premise that the crucial phrases in the Constitution — “the freedom of speech,” “due process of law,” “equal protection of the laws” — were, as he put it, “drafted in exceedingly abstract moral language.”

“These clauses,” he continued, “must be understood in the way their language most naturally suggests: they refer to abstract moral principles and incorporate these by reference, as limits on the government’s power.”

The rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/us/ronald-dworkin-legal-philosopher-dies-at-81.html?hp

Aerial view of Boston two days after the blizzard

Pretty cool.

Thank you for my Hearts

Thank you for helping DU.

Thank you.

TV station's emergency broadcast system hacked, broadcasts warning of zombie apocalypse. Seriously

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana television station’s regular programming was interrupted by news of a zombie apocalypse.

The Montana Television Network says hackers broke into the Emergency Alert System of Great Falls affiliate KRTV and its CW station Monday.

KRTV says on its website the hackers broadcast that ‘‘dead bodies are rising from their graves’’ in several Montana counties.

The alert claimed the bodies were ‘‘attacking the living’’ and warned people not to ‘‘approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous.’’

The rest: http://www.boston.com/news/odd/2013/02/11/station-hacker-warns-zombies-montana/Jrwg08jk5v1Hw5M01zzTxI/story.html

The vid:

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 ... 90 Next »