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.

Friday, September 19, 2003

MiniTru and backpedaling to change history

His Chimperial Majesty Watch

I found a link to a very moving set of pictures from the days after 9/11, showing the reaction of the rest of the world to the attacks, entitled "When Words Fail Us". It is a poignant reminder of the good faith and respect which Smirky has squandered in his rush to warmonger and bully the rest of the world and the citizens of the US. Remember these pictures if you hear any neocons talking about how we should hate the rest of the world, or how they should hate and fear us.

Ministry of Truth Watch

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rice, and most especially Bush lied and lied leading up to the inevitable Iraq war, claiming (always with weasel words, of course) that Saddam and Osama were good buddies, and that 9/11 was hatched out of Iraq. We heard all about how Al Qaeda was suspected of having training grounds in Iraq, how Saddam was in cohoots with terrorist operatives, how Mohammed Atta had met with an Iraqi functionary in Europe before the attacks. Of course, it was all untrue, as so many experts on the Middle East and Islam tried unsuccessfully to point out. The administration succeeded in turning the wrath of the American public against Iraq, which although not a great place, was innocent of the attacks of 9/11, with their slimy innuendoes.

Most of the mainstream press was happy to let them do it, apparently, and rarely if ever corrected the false impressions they were leaving, but continued to beat the drums of war (probably because it would increase their profits). Stalwarts in the liberal press tried to right the record, but the smear campaign was in full swing. Innocent Iraqis (and even some not-so-innocent Iraqis) would have to die because of what other people had done to us.

Dick Cheney, always hard to find but increasingly removed from the people he is supposed to be representing, made an appearance on Meet the Press about six months ago and made a whole basket of lies about Iraq's supposed nuclear capability. Then he disappeared into his hidey-hole for another six months. But he reappeared last week, saw his shadow, and appeared on Meet the Press (apparently Tim Russert is the only presstitute servile enough to this administration to rate an appearance by Sneer).

Cheney immediately began lying again about the connections between Saddam and Osama. Russert, of course, let him get away with it completely. But this time, in addition to his ballsy mendacity being pointed out by the liberal press, the mainstream press seemed to be tired of the lies as well.

And then a funny thing happened. In rapid succession, and in a fashion that would make even Winston Smith proud, Rumsfeld, Rice, and even Bush himself lined up to deny that there ever was a connection between Hussein and Bin Laden. "What are you talking about?", they seemed to imply, "Who ever gave you that screwy idea?"

One can hope that the DNC will produce a video montage juxtaposing these collections of Oilwellian and contradictory statements for the upcoming election, but they usually aren't very good at pointing out lies and hypocrisy and things like that. But we should never forget. What follows are some of the more salient articles on this phenomenon.

The first is an article from March on how the Bushies blurred the lines between Iraq and Al Qaeda with their bellicose rhetoric called "The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq".
Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks. A New York Times/CBS poll this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in Sept. 11, about the same figure as a month ago.

Here are several fine articles on Cheney's most recent bout with the truth:

From the Boston Globe, "Cheney link of Iraq, 9/11 challenged":
But Cheney left that possibility wide open in a nationally televised interview two days ago, claiming that the administration is learning "more and more" about connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq before the Sept. 11 attacks. The statement surprised some analysts and officials who have reviewed intelligence reports from Iraq.
From the Minnesota Star-Tribune, "Truth / Too little of it on Iraq":
To explore every phony statement in the vice president's "Meet the Press" interview would take far more space than is available. This merely points out some of the most egregious examples. Opponents of the war are fond of saying that "Bush lied and our soldiers died." In fact, they'd have reason to assert that "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz lied and our soldiers died." It's past time the principals behind this mismanaged war were called to account for their deliberate misstatements."
Josh Marshall hammers Cheney:
In Cheney's answer he reels off a series of allegations, most of which have either been positively discredited or remain wholly unsubstantiated. Even if each point were true -- which, for the most part, they aren't -- they are clearly intended to muddy the issue by tossing out a variety of points not directly related to the question of Iraqi government involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Joe Conason, "Half-Baked Whoppers Hard to Swallow":
And Mr. Cheney reasserted the primal myth of the Bush White House, which holds Saddam Hussein responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. "We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the 90’s," he claimed, "the Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization." He provided no new proof. In fact, he cited no evidence whatsoever.
The always excellent Mother Jones comments on Cheney's interview with the appropriate title "Liar, Liar".

And now for the new denials:

Robert Scheer notes the evil Wolfowitz making, then having to retract his lies in "White House's cynical Iraq ploy: 'Misspeak' first, 'correct' it later":
The pattern is clear: Say what you want people to believe for the front page and on TV, then whisper a halfhearted correction or apology that slips under the radar. It is really quite ingenious in its cynical effectiveness, and Wolfowitz's latest performance is a classic example -- even his correction needs correcting.
The amazing Rumsfeld can't figure out why anyone would have thought Saddam and Osama were linked in "Rumsfeld: Iraq, 9/11 not linked":
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he had no reason to think that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a hand in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Rice can't figure out where anyone got such a crazy idea in "No Iraq link to 9/11":
"We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9/11," Rice added.
And finally, Dim Son himself suggests maybe people's ears were clogged in "Bush: No Proof of Saddam Role in 9-11":
"There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties," the president said. But he also said, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."
I just don't know what to say. I could point out that one of the frustrations of the anti-war movement was that no one would believe that Saddam wasn't involved in 9/11 - and now here are those same liars finally confirming what we knew all along. I guess we can only hope that the press and the public continues to wake up.

Foot Soldiers for Bush Watch

One of our best reporters, Christiane Amanpour, finally began talking about the elephant in the living room, the blatant media whoring for this administraion, as reported at "Amanpour: CNN practiced self-censorship":
CNN's top war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, says that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war. And, she says CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
No doubt she will be punished by her bosses. Check out the response by a Fox representative at the end: 'Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."' THAT'S the spirit!

Buzzflash followed this up with a MUST READ editorial, "It's Me or the Terrorists! You Have Three Seconds to Decide.":
We have said since just a few days after September 11th -- and repeatedly since then -- that our lives and the lives of our families are at stake. The likes of Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarborough aren't going to decide for us how to best protect ourselves and those we love. They can back an administration that is nothing more than the Keystone Cops of anti-terrorism if they want. They can support a strategy that is 10 parts partisanship and greed and one part actual anti-terrorism effort if they want, but it's our lives at stake -- and these exorbitantly compensated PR hookers aren't going to get away with selling the security of America to the highest bidder.
PaleoCons Watch

Finally, it always worries me how much I agree with Pat Buchanon these days, but he at least has the fortitude to point out that this administration has responded to the 9/11 attacks exactly as Bin Laden had hoped (there were several great This Modern World cartoons to this effect a while back as well). Way to be completely predictable and easily goaded into a ruinous mess, George. The article is "Wrong war in the wrong place". Some excerpts:
But our enemies know us better than we know ourselves. We are reacting exactly as they anticipated and doing exactly what they want. Full of wounded pride and outraged patriotism, we lunged right into the trap baited for us on Sept. 11.
.....
But the president did not listen. Instead, like Pinnochio heeding the lazy and roguish Candlewick and heading off for Funland, where both were turned into donkeys, he heeded the neocons, who whispered in his ear about his being the Churchill of his time, who would strangle Islamofascism in the cradle the way our fathers should have strangled Nazism. When we march in, the neocons assured him, we will be welcomed as liberators, Muslim nations will fall like dominoes to democracy and peace will reign in the Mideast.
.....
But, like a bad marriage, the mistake was going in, in the first place, and now, there is no easy way out. If we pull out, Iraq could become a failed state and a haven for Islamic warriors. If we stay and fight, we may be plunging into an endless or unwinnable war. Somewhere, Osama bin Laden is saying to himself, "Mission accomplished."
Scales Falling from Our Eyes Watch

It seems that Ted Kennedy has not only finally figured out the Bush/Iraq axis of lies, but actually has the cohones to talk to the press about it. Just because the rest of us had this figured out a year ago doesn't mean we aren't happy when Democratic senators finally get it, but let's hope there is something we can do about it now. The article is entitled "Kennedy says Iraq war case a 'fraud'". At least he knew enough to vote against the IWR last October. An excerpt:
"There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud," Kennedy said.

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