The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Marching us off to War

Bushwa Watch

At the end of July, Bush gave one of his only 9 "solo" press conferences where he actually had to stand up and answer questions about how he is running our country into the ground. (This was the one where he blamed the poor economy on news channels playing their "March to War" logos. As John Stewart of the Daily Show asked, "Yeah, what was up with that? It wasn’t like some a**hole was marching us to war!") Don’t worry, though. The people asking the questions were the gelded courtiers known as the White House press corps, and most of the questions were in the cringingly sycophantic tone of "Has prayer helped you get through this difficult time?" and "Do you think Saddam was a vewwy bad man?". One of the normally docile crowd did have the audacity to ask Bush a question with some teeth: Campbell Brown, who I’m sure was threatened with lessened "access" to Bush if she ever pulled anything like that again. Here was the exchange:

CAMPBELL BROWN:
Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al Qaeda were a key part of your justification for war. Yet, your own intelligence report, the NIE, defined it as -- quote -- "low confidence that Saddam would give weapons to al Qaeda." Were those links exaggerated to justify war? Or can you finally offer us some definitive evidence that Saddam was working with al Qaeda terrorists?

THE pRESIDENT:
Yes. I think, first of all, remember I just said we've been there for 90 days since the cessation of major military operations. Now, I know in our world where news comes and goes and there's this kind of instant -- instant news and you must have done this, you must do this yesterday, that there's a level of frustration by some in the media. I'm not suggesting you're frustrated. You don't look frustrated to me at all. But it's going to take time for us to gather the evidence and analyze the mounds of evidence, literally, the miles of documents that we have uncovered.

David Kaye came to see me yesterday. He's going to testify in closed hearing tomorrow -- which in Washington may not be so closed, as you know. And he was telling me the process that they were going through to analyze all the documentation. And that's not only to analyze the documentation on the weapons programs that Saddam Hussein had, but also the documentation as to terrorist links.

And it's just going to take awhile, and I'm confident the truth will come out. And there is no doubt in my mind, Campbell, that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States security, and a threat to peace in the region. And there's no doubt in my mind that a free Iraq is important. It's got strategic consequences for not only achieving peace in the Middle East, but a free Iraq will help change the habits of other nations in the region who will make it -- which will make America much more secure.


Let’s take the key pieces out of Bush’s response: Yes . . . we've been there for 90 days . . . it's going to take time for us to gather the evidence and analyze the mounds of evidence . . . David Kaye . . . was telling me the process that they were going through to analyze all the documentation . . . as to terrorist links . . . I'm confident the truth will come out.

In other words, three weeks ago Bush admitted that they didn’t have evidence now, and they certainly didn’t have evidence before the war began, that Al Qaeda had ties to Saddam.

Strange, since Bush said 11 times on the campaign trail last fall, that this was definitely so. I wonder why this is not the lie that the press corps latched on to? See this for a complete listing of Bush’s assertions that Hussein had links to Al Qaeda for example:

* OCT 28 Remarks by the President at New Mexico Welcome
"This is a person who has had contacts with al Qaeda."
* OCT 28 Remarks by the President in Colorado Welcome
"He's got connections with al Qaeda."
* OCT 31 Remarks by the President at South Dakota Welcome
"This is a guy who has had connections with these shadowy terrorist networks."
* NOV 01 Remarks by the President at New Hampshire Welcome
"We know he's got ties with al Qaeda."
* NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Florida Welcome
"We know that he's had connections with al Qaeda."
* NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Atlanta, Georgia Welcome
"He's had connections with shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda."
* NOV 02 Remarks by the President at Tennessee Welcome
"We know that he has had contacts with terrorist networks like al Qaeda."
* NOV 03 Remarks by the President in Minnesota Welcome
"This is a man who has had contacts with al Qaeda."
* NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Missouri Welcome
"This is a man who has had al Qaeda connections."
* NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Arkansas Welcome
"He's had contacts with al Qaeda."
* NOV 04 Remarks by the President in Texas Welcome
"This is a man who has got connections with al Qaeda."

So there you have it, another great reason why we are losing one soldier a day. Thanks, Bush.

Rice Watch

The Daily Howler recently put all the information and spin which Rice has used about "bad information" together and concluded that she never reads (or reads and ignores) important, key security documents. What a great National Security Advisor! We can all feel safe knowing she is on the job. Here is a sample:

Rice couldn’t imagine planes used as missiles? Rice hadn’t read last October’s NIE? Wouldn’t you think that actual journalists would want to ask about such matters?


We know now that Rice didn’t bother to read the National Intelligence Estimate, because it was put together after the war was already a foregone conclusion in Cheney’s sweaty head. But it would be nice if maybe the press could point this out, as well.

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