Tuesday, March 25, 2008
We watched the first part of the two-part Frontline series Bush's War on PBS last night. Oh my. I knew things were bad and that the entire premise for getting into the war was a web of lies, but I had no idea just how awful and manipulated the entire process leading up to the war was. I was especially enraged by the way the rest of the cabinet & the warmongers in general (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Tenet, Wolfowitz & others) purposefully kept Secretary of State Colin Powell & NSA Condoleeza Rice in the dark about developments and plans. Completely inexcusable. And the lie-ridden National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) orchestrated by Tenet in the CIA is appalling--the "source" for the information regarding the Iraqi capabilities for nuclear and biological weapon development was not reliable, according to the Germans who had actually had contact with the source. NO AMERICAN ever made contact with the source, and the Germans warned us about the source's unreliability and actually didn't officially allow the U.S. access to the information. It's easy to see why they didn't want us to see it. And what really really burns me up is that the cabinet then decides that Colin Powell should present these "intelligence findings" to the U.N. and the world at large, because he has the highest rating of anyone in Bush's group. Powell confronted Tenet of the CIA to verify the data in the NIE and Tenet told him bold-faced lies. The whole document presents the idea that there are multiple lines of intelligence supporting the data, when in fact there is only one spurious source. Powell required that Tenet sit behind him in camera view during the presentation to the U.N., and maybe he always looks this way, but Tenet looks particularly squirmy and shifty-eyed while Powell is speaking. Over and over, both Powell and Rice (but especially Powell) tried to be the voices of reason and moderate action, and over and over they were given lip service and led to believe their ideas were being given due consideration. And it's obvious that Cheney is the puppeteer behind it all. He and Rumsfeld are old buddies who go back nearly four decades.
It just makes me sick. These men have no souls. To want to get into a war so badly that you will base your case on unsubstantiated lies is atrocious. Yes, Saddam Hussein was an evil, awful man, but the Bush administration played on the fears and paranoia of the American people to get into a war that has cost trillions of dollars, 4,000+ American lives, untold innocent Iraqi lives, and the end is nowhere in sight. Before the war started, Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki testified that it would take a force of several hundred thousand to maintain security after the war was completed. This was scoffed at and viewed by Rumsfeld and others as ridiculously high. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that Shinseki was right. According to Wikipedia, up to this point 297,000 troops (U.S. and international combined) have been deployed to Iraq since 2003. Those aren't all at one time, but that number is mind-boggling. And we're not close to finishing or having a "secure & free" Iraq.
If you have time/interest, you can watch the full show either by going through the video chronology or just watching it in its entirety. Link to Bush's War
See, I told you it was a tirade!