It’s long past time for this administration to be held accountable. Over the last two years we’ve become accustomed to the pattern. Each time the administration comes up with another whopper, partisan supporters a group that includes a large segment of the news media obediently insist that black is white and up is down. Meanwhile the “liberal” media report only that some people say that black is black and up is up. And some Democratic politicians offer the administration invaluable cover by making excuses and playing down the extent of the lies.
If this same lack of accountability extends to matters of war and peace, we’re in very deep trouble. The British seem to understand this: Max Hastings, the veteran war correspondent who supported Britain’s participation in the war writes that “the prime minister committed British troops and sacrificed British lives on the basis of a deceit, and it stinks.”
It’s no answer to say that Saddam was a murderous tyrant. I could point out that many of the neoconservatives who fomented this war were nonchalant, or worse, about mass murders by Central American death squads in the 1980’s. But the important point is that this isn’t about Saddam: it’s about us. The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra. Indeed, the idea that we were deceived into war makes many commentators so uncomfortable that they refuse to admit the possibility.
Update: Steve at Bush Wars is compiling a list of known Bush lies.
The invasion of Iraq was based on a genuine belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to the US.
Intelligence reports prior to the war supported that belief.
The invasion of Iraq was based on a desire to liberate the Iraqi people.
The US wants democracy in Iraq and the Middle East.
The war in Iraq was an extension of a larger war on terror.
There is a larger war on terror.
The Bush administration’s foreign policy was born spontaneously and by necessity in the wake of 9/11.
The Bush administration had a plan for restoring essential services after the shooting war ended.
The Patriot Act and other sundry rollbacks of domestic freedoms were conceived only after 9/11, as a response to the events of that day.
Saddam was involved in the plotting of 9/11.
US troops have been under attack on the numerous occasions when they have killed members of angry, protesting crowds in Iraq.
After the war, the US would promptly facilitate the formation of an independent Iraqi government.
After the war, the US would not seek to control Iraq’s oil supply.
The US’s invasion plan was backed by a 40-nation-strong “coalition of the willing,” many members of which (if they existed at all) refused to be named publicly lest the rest of the world hate them, too.
There has been progress to date in the war on terrorist/guerrilla elements around the world.
US troops bravely rescued Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital.