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They make a grain into a kubba

Last Tuesday, the Center for Public Integrity published a study which it had prepared with the help of the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

As the introductory paragraph in the section explaining their study methodology states:

Over the past two and a half years, researchers at the Fund for Independence in Journalism have sought to document every public statement made by eight top Bush administration officials from September 11, 2001, to September 11, 2003, regarding (1) Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and (2) Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Although both had been frequently cited as rationales for the U.S. war in Iraq, by 2005 it was known that these assertions had not, in fact, been true.

The study concluded that these assertions of falsehoods, these lies, "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

Thanks to the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism we now have access to a searchable database, the result of their work in chronologically tracking top Bush administration officials Iraq-related public pronouncements. The database enabled a count of the lies. Nearly 1,000 of them.

So rather than list them all here, let's look at a couple of entries that set the scene and then a sample of just a few from the hundreds of false statements, the lies, listed in the database:


January 30, 2001

The new Bush policy was an aggressive agenda for any president, but especially for someone who had previously shown little interest in international affairs. "We're going to correct the imbalances of the previous administration on the Mideast conflict," Bush told his freshly assembled senior national security team in the Situation Room on January 30, 2001.


With America's long struggle to bring peace to the region quickly terminated, George W. Bush could turn his attention to the prime focus of his first National Security Council meeting: ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein. Condoleezza Rice led off the discussion. But rather than mention anything about threats to the United States or weapons of mass destruction, she noted only "that Iraq might be the key to reshaping the entire region." The words were practically lifted from the "Clean Break" report, which had the rather imperial-sounding subtitle: "A New Strategy for Securing the Realm."

Then Rice turned the meeting over to CIA Director George Tenet, who offered a grainy overhead picture of a factory that he said "might" be a plant "that produced either chemical or biological materials for weapons manufacture." There were no missiles or weapons of any kind, just some railroad tracks going to a building; truck activity; and a water tower—things that can be found in virtually any city in the United States. Nor were there any human intelligence or signals intelligence reports. "There was no confirming intelligence," Tenet said.

It was little more than a shell game. Other photos and charts showed U.S. air activity over the "no-fly zone," but Tenet offered no more intelligence. Nevertheless, in a matter of minutes the talk switched from a discussion about very speculative intelligence to which targets to begin bombing in Iraq.

By the time the meeting was over, Treasury Secretary O'Neill was convinced that "getting Hussein was now the administration's focus, that much was already clear."

SOURCE: James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday/Random House, 2004), pages 265–267.


September 11, 2001

At 2:40 that afternoon, an aide to the defense secretary jotted notes of Rumsfeld's conversations. Written deep in the War Room, the notes describe the Pentagon chief as wanting "best info fast; judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only U.B.L. [Osama bin Laden]." "Go massive," he noted. "Sweep it all up. Things related, and not."

From the notes it was clear that the attacks would be used as a pretext for war against Saddam Hussein. Despite the fact that there was absolutely no evidence implicating the Iraqi leader, Rumsfeld wanted to "hit S.H. at same time." The idea was to "sweep" him up, whether "related" to 9/11 or "not." Wolfowitz had the same idea and quickly began talking up an Iraqi connection in conference calls with other officials, including Cheney.

SOURCE: James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday/Random House, 2004), page 285.


October 11, 2001

President Bush Holds Prime-Time News Conference [lies are highlighted].

Question: Mr. President, on that note, we understand you have advisers who are urging you to go after Iraq, take out Iraq, Syria, and so forth. Do you really think that the American people will tolerate you widening the war beyond Afghanistan?And I have a follow-up. (Laughter.)

The President: Thank you for warning me. (Laughter.) Our focus is on Afghanistan, and the terrorist network hiding in Afghanistan, right now. But, as well, we're looking for Al Qaeda cells around the world. If we find an Al Qaeda cell operating, we will urge the host country to bring them to justice. And we're having some progress, we're making progress.

We—as I mentioned, Helen, this is a long war against terrorist activity. And the doctrine I spelled out to the American people in front of Congress said not only will we seek out and bring to justice individual terrorists who cause harm to people, to murder people, we will also bring to justice the host governments that sponsor them, that house them and feed them.

You mentioned Iraq. There's no question that the leader of Iraq is an evil man. After all, he gassed his own people. We know he's been developing weapons of mass destruction. And I think it's in his advantage to allow inspectors back in his country to make sure that he's conforming to the agreement he made after he was soundly trounced in the Gulf War. And so we're watching him very carefully. We're watching him carefully.

SOURCE: Office of the White House Press Secretary, statement by the president in his prime-time news conference, October 11, 2001.


December 10, 2001

Defense Department News Briefing by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz:

Wolfowitz: With respect to Iraq, I think the president had been very clear, the secretary's been very clear, the combination of support for terrorism with the development of weapons of mass destruction is clearly one of the most dangerous potentials in the world.

And Iraq is under an obligation from the end of the Gulf War to give up all weapons of mass destruction and all programs for developing them, and under an obligation to accept inspections to verify that they've done so. And as of now, they have neither given up the weapons nor, for three years, accepted the inspectors. So that is a problem.

Question: Having said that, what do you believe should be done?

Wolfowitz: There are a lot of ways to think about that. But I think the problem—the president stated the problem very clearly. He's also stated very clearly, from the very beginning in his address to a joint session of Congress, that this is going to be a very long campaign against terrorism, against not just Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda means not just Afghanistan, but 60 countries where there is an Al Qaeda presence. We've seen, frankly, increasingly one of the things that comes through in the intelligence picture that you get from the various—interrogations of various—we're getting a lot of information about Al Qaeda we didn't have. Among that information are lots of connections to other terrorist networks. So we have a much clearer picture even than before that these networks operate with one another. And as the president said from the beginning, the problem of state support for terrorism is one that we have to solve before this is over.

SOURCE: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), news briefing with Paul Wolfowitz, November 21, 2001.


September 27, 2002

President Bush Presses Congress for Action on Defense Appropriations Bill:

There's not going to be an easy road to secure our freedom. There is going to be—there are some steep hills to climb. But we're ready to climb them as a nation, I think. There's a steep hill to climb in Iraq. I went to the United Nations the other day, and I want to share with you why I went. First, I wanted to make sure the world heard the case: This man is a dictator who tortures and rapes women—has women raped in order to make a point, who kills, stifles decent through murder. A man who said he would get rid of weapons of mass destruction and still has them. And we need to fear the fact that he has weapons of mass destruction. He's used them before. He's used them on his own people before. He's invaded two countries. He's lied and deceived the world.

The United States is no longer secure because we've got oceans. We're vulnerable to attack, as we learned so vividly. My job is to not only deal with problems—people kind of run around and lurk—my job is also to anticipate problems. My job is to be realistic about our future. My job is to make sure that the world's worst leader is not able to blackmail or hurt America or our friends and allies with the world's worst weapons. We've got to make sure that these dictators aren't able to team up with terrorist groups, use their weapons of mass destruction as a way to intimidate those of us who love freedom.

So I went to the United Nations. My message was, we want you to succeed as an organization. We remember what it was like when the collective body was the League of Nations, unable to stop totalitarianism; that in order to secure the freedom in the 21st century it's important to have an effective body. But you've been ineffective, I said. For 11 long years you have said one thing to the dictator in Iraq, and he has thumbed his nose. For 11 years you've allowed this man to be—to lie and deceive about weapons of mass destruction, and you have not held him to account. And now is the time. For the sake of freedom, you have got a choice: You can hold him to account. And for the sake of freedom, he has got a choice: He can disarm.

There's no negotiations, by the way, for Mr. Saddam Hussein. There's nothing to discuss. He either gets rid of his weapons and the United Nations gets rid of his weapons—(applause)—he can either get rid of his weapons and the United States can act, or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm this man. (Applause.)

SOURCE: Office of the White House Press Secretary, remarks by George W. Bush, September 27, 2002.


February 6, 2003

Statement by President Bush:

The secretary of state [Colin Powell] has now briefed the United Nations Security Council on Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempts to hide those weapons, and its links to terrorist groups. I want to thank Secretary Powell for his careful and powerful presentation of the facts.


The Iraqi regime's violations of Security Council resolutions are evident, and they continue to this hour. The regime has never accounted for a vast arsenal of deadly biological and chemical weapons. To the contrary, the regime is pursuing an elaborate campaign to conceal its weapons materials, and to hide or intimidate key experts and scientists, all in direct defiance of Security Council 1441.

This deception is directed from the highest levels of the Iraqi regime, including Saddam Hussein, his son, the vice president, and the very official responsible for cooperating with inspectors. In intercepted conversations, we have heard orders to conceal materials from the U.N. inspectors. And we have seen through satellite images concealment activity at close to 30 sites, including movement of equipment before inspectors arrive.

The Iraqi regime has actively and secretly attempted to obtain equipment needed to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Firsthand witnesses have informed us that Iraq has at least seven mobile factories for the production of biological agents, equipment mounted on trucks and rails to evade discovery. Using these factories, Iraq could produce within just months hundreds of pounds of biological poisons.

The Iraqi regime has acquired and tested the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction. All the world has now seen the footage of an Iraqi Mirage aircraft with a fuel tank modified to spray biological agents over wide areas. Iraq has developed spray devices that could be used on unmanned aerial vehicles with ranges far beyond what is permitted by the Security Council. A UAV launched from a vessel off the American coast could reach hundreds of miles inland.

Iraq has never accounted for thousands of bombs and shells capable of delivering chemical weapons. The regime is actively pursuing components for prohibited ballistic missiles. And we have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons—the very weapons the dictator tells the world he does not have.


Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with Al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.

We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network, headed by a senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner. The network runs a poison and explosive training center in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad. The head of this network traveled to Baghdad for medical treatment and stayed for months. Nearly two dozen associates joined him there and have been operating in Baghdad for more than eight months.


Saddam Hussein has made Iraq into a prison, a poison factory, and a torture chamber for patriots and dissidents. Saddam Hussein has the motive and the means and the recklessness and the hatred to threaten the American people. Saddam Hussein will be stopped.

SOURCE: Office of the White House Press Secretary, statement by George W. Bush, February 6, 2003.


March 16, 2003

Vice President Dick Cheney, Interview on NBC's Meet the Press

What do you think is the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq?

Vice President Cheney: Well, I think I've just given it, Tim, in terms of the combination of his development and use of chemical weapons, his development of biological weapons, his pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Russert: And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?

Vice President Cheney: I disagree, yes. And you'll find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of our intelligence community disagree. Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We've got, again, a long record here. It's not as though this is a fresh issue. In the late '70s, Saddam Hussein acquired nuclear reactors from the French. 1981, the Israelis took out the Osirak reactor and stopped his nuclear weapons development at the time. Throughout the '80s, he mounted a new effort. I was told when I was defense secretary before the Gulf War that he was eight to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. And we found out after the Gulf War that he was within one or two years of having a nuclear weapon because he had a massive effort under way that involved four or five different technologies for enriching uranium to produce fissile material.

We know that based on intelligence that he 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. I think Mr. [Mohamed] ElBaradei frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this kind of issue, especially where Iraq's concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past.

SOURCE: Dick Cheney, interview on Meet the Press, NBC, March 16, 2003.


How about we use this thread to do something interesting? Pick a few entries in the database, share them here in a comment and share what you think of those particular entries.

As I read the 935 lies listed I'm reminded of an old Iraqi saying, "They make a grain into a kubba." It means the same as "making a mountain out of a molehill." The Bush administration, particularly the hawkish neocons within it, told these lies in order to set the stage for war with Iraq.

I'm also reminded of an old Arab saying, "Lies are accepted once, not twice." Thankfully, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the ranks of neocons within their administration have not been effective in their effort to set the stage for war once more with another mountain of misinformation.


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And what a surprise they find it politically sensitive. Or not.

Fiona, if your link was the first report from CNN in the matter then they are a bit slow as McClatchy had it at least two days ago - my link came via Raw Story. However, things have moved on a bit as now the Administration is making it more difficult for people to get hold of the report.

ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention.  This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online.

The report was to be posted on the Joint Forces Command website this afternoon, followed by a background briefing with the authors.  No more.  The report will be made available only to those who ask for it, and it will be sent via U.S. mail from Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. 

It won't be emailed to reporters and it won't be posted online.

Asked why the report would not be posted online and could not be emailed, the spokesman for Joint Forces Command said: "We're making the report available to anyone who wishes to have it, and we'll send it out via CD in the mail."

Another Pentagon official said initial press reports on the study made it "too politically sensitive."

It should be far too late and there has been far too much evidence for people to be surprised about the lie. Nor that the Administration would find the matter "too politically sensitive." The surprise should be that Congress has not taken the appropriate action.

What a surprise

It's all over the media this afternoon - the Pentagon says that Iraq under Hussein was not linked with al Quaeda, although they did find evidence that Hussaein supported terrorism both in and outside Iraq:

The U.S. military's first and only study looking into ties between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda showed no connection between the two, according to a military report released by the Pentagon.

The report released by the Joint Forces Command five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq said it found no "smoking gun" after reviewing about 600,000 Iraqi documents captured in the invasion and looking at interviews of key Iraqi leadership held by the United States, Pentagon officials said.

The assessment of the al Qaeda connection and the insistence that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction were two primary elements in the Bush administration's arguments in favor of going to war with Iraq.

The Pentagon's report also contradicts then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who said in September 2002 that the CIA provided "bulletproof" evidence demonstrating "that there are, in fact, al Qaeda in Iraq."

Although other groups, like the September 11 commission, have concluded that there was no link between Hussein and al Qaeda, the Pentagon was able to analyze much more information.

The documents cited in the report do reveal that Hussein supported a number of terrorists and terrorist activities inside and outside Iraq.

"The Iraqi regime was involved in regional and international terrorist operations prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The predominant targets of Iraqi state terror operations were Iraqi citizens, both inside and outside of Iraq," according to the report.


There's lively and there's lively, Richard. Decorum, if only.

On the resignation, as usual the matter is clouded by differing accounts, about why. From the SMH.

The military being the source of resistance to Bush has been a matter of conjecture for a while - on Irises and Craig's Iran threads, for example. There have been examples of them standing up to him - but then others in the military are of the "how high?" school. Still it is an area of hope for a more sane approach from the US. The Congress is reluctant to do anything, ie., impeachment. As I suggested way back - perhaps another Monica was needed. And Bush did have a spiritual adviser who might well have been happy to oblige. I refer , of course, to Ted Haggard who was not always on his knees before the Lord, even when he was on his knees.

With thanks.

Thank you Richard for the explanation. It is unfortunate that there has been a surge of incivility of late. Some topics attract it which is again unfortunate as there is a need for honest examination of such important matters. 

You've been stuck with much of the workload of late, for that you also have my thanks - and sympathy. 

Richard:  Actually, Bob, it's good to see such a lively thread. Just a tad more decorum..   I just heard on the radio that the commander of US forces in Afghanistan has resigned because of differences in opinion with Bush!  Onward! 

Truth can be uncomfortable.

G'day Richard, odd that you place a comment on a post that reveals truth and makes the observation that there are those who do not want to confront the truth. That observation is undeniable. 

I placed the material here not  only as it is a follow up to the 935 but also to separate it from the merde - false accusations, abuse etc - which has been posted on my thread. I would have thought that type of behaviour was far more deserving of comment and your limited time than this.

Richard:  Bob, I would have put that comment on whatever and whosever (?)  was the first post I published for the day (which wasn't the first I'd read).  I understand your not wanting to see this thread reduced to a slanging match.   Neither do I.   There's been some strong language from most if not all quarters, and I'm sure you agree that Webdiary normally conducts itself with a greater degree of civility.

Proof of a lie.

No link, but there was a lie.

After reviewing hundreds of thousands of captured Iraqi documents, a Pentagon-sponsored review has found no evidence of operational links between Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terror network, a McClatchy article reports.

he "exhaustive" study found that Saddam Hussein did provide some support to other terrorist groups but, as Warren Strobel writes for McClatchy, "his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime."

Strobel reiterates that the new study "found no documents indicating a 'direct operational link' between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion," according to an unnamed US official. The study is due to Congress and for general release by midweek.

As is well known, President George W. Bush and his administration freely connected Saddam and al-Qaeda as a key pretense for the invasion of Iraq after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Polls indicated that a large majority of Americans believed the president's assertion.

In the time since then, the Saddam/al-Qaeda tie has been criticized and deconstructed in the press and blogosphere and by study panels, but the upcoming Pentagon report promises to be a particularly stark and thorough refutation of one of the primary Bush administration arguments for the invasion of Iraq. The subsequent war has come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, nearly 4,000 US troop deaths, and some half a trillion US dollars and counting.

Of course, if this is uncomfortable for some they can always ignore it. As they do. 

Richard: A request to all Diarists.   Can we have a more polite day today?  Everyone's wearing me out!

Lie by lie

The good people at Mother Jones have assembled Lie by Lie: The Mother Jones Iraq War Timeline:

In this timeline, we've assembled the history of the Iraq War to create a resource we hope will help resolve open questions of the Bush era. What did our leaders know and when did they know it? And, perhaps just as important, what red flags did we miss, and how could we have missed them? This is the third installment of the timeline, with a focus on Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and torture in a time of terror.

Liar by Liar

Naturally, Craig, the first thing I did was hit the Cheney button.  It's a great little list.

We need an Australian one. 

More lies ... Lies and Spies

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan's first term and a former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, now writes for Counterpunch:

President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive branch will not be able to spy on terrorists, and we will all be blown up. Terrorists can only be stopped, Bush says, if Bush has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts.

The fight over the Protect America Act has everything to do with our safety, only not in the way that Bush and McConnell assert.

Bush says the Democrats have put "our country more in danger of an attack" by letting the Protect America Act lapse. This claim is nonsense. The 30 year old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives the executive branch all the power it needs to spy on terrorists.

The choice between FISA and the Protect America Act has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, at least not from foreign terrorists. Bush and his brownshirts object to FISA, because the law requires Bush to obtain warrants from a FISA court. Warrants mean that Bush is accountable. Bush and his brownshirts argue that accountability is an infringement on the power of the president.

To escape accountability, the Brownshirt Party came up with the Protect America Act. This act eliminates Bush's accountability to judges and gives the telecom companies immunity from the felonies they committed by acquiescing in Bush's illegal spying.

Lost In Translation

Craig Rowley: "Looks like someone didn't read the book"

No, I can't say I did read the book. Perhaps it is just me; however, I can't get my head around the idea, as to why Professor Rice would be eating a banana in the midst of an important conversation. Would you care to enlighten me?

Bananas, Republicans, The Bridge

They've been associated before. See here, for example.

Banana Republicans

Looks like someone didn't read the book.

Or the cartoon.

What's This All About?

Bob Wall: "An imaginary meeting in the Oval Office: 'Condi, take that banana out of your mouth.' 'Yes, darl ... Mr President.'"

Why would Condoleezza Rice be gnawing on a banana in the midst of conversation? Are you suggesting the bilingual Professor Rice, the youngest ever Provost at Stanford and accomplished pianist, is incapable of mastering basic etiquette? Or are you suggesting something else entirely different?

Credulous or what?

A response from one of the perpetrators.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice vehemently defended her integrity Wednesday when asked about an independent report that found she made 56 false statements on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

At a congressional hearing, Rep. Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, questioned Rice about a report from the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity that accuses Bush administration officials of making 935 false statements about Iraq, which the United States invaded in March 2003.

"This study has found that you, Madame Secretary, made 56 false statements to the American people where you repeatedly pump up the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and exaggerate the so-called relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda," he said at the start of a testy exchange with Rice.

"Congressman, I take my integrity very seriously and I did not at any time make a statement that I knew to be false, or that I thought to be false, in order to pump up anything," Rice replied. "Nobody wants to go to war."

Mushroom Cloud does take her integrity seriously, remember her response at her Senate confirmation hearing when read a list of her "inconsistencies? Note - it was a lengthy bit not complete list.

I did not come here to have my integrity impugned.

So, is it a case of more front than Mark Foy's? Does she think everyone else is credulous? Or did she, despite all the debate and questioning that surrounded the administration's case, believe everything she was told? Which would be a worry for someone holding such an important position.

An imaginary meeting in the Oval Office:

"Condi, take that banana out of your mouth."

"Yes, darl ... Mr President."

"A matter has been raised about an item from your visit to Australia. It is payment of $150 Billion for the Sydney Harbour Bridge."

"They said it was worth twice that."

"But couldn't you have got them to drop the price even more?"

A prime example.

Craig, on the matter of lying and managing to avoid reality there are few to rival one of the main cheerleaders, William Kristol. And he seems to inspire others to follow his twisted ways. Tom Engelhardt presents Jonathan Schwarz - The Lost Kristol Tapes.

An extract:

Later, when the discussion gets closer to the present. Kristol's demeanor changes. He appears to be better informed and therefore shifts to straightforward lies: 

"ELLSBERG: Why did we support Saddam as recently as when you were in the administration? And the answer is--

"KRISTOL: We didn't support Saddam when I was in the administration.

"ELLSBERG: When were you in the administration?

"KRISTOL: 89 to 93."

This is preposterously false. First of all, Kristol worked in the Reagan administration as Education Secretary William Bennett's chief of staff -- when the U.S. famously supported Saddam's war against Iran with loans, munitions, intelligence, and diplomatic protection for his use of chemical weapons. After George H.W. Bush was elected in 1988, Kristol moved to the same position in Vice President Quayle's office. During the transition, Bush's advisors examined the country's Iraq policy and wrote a memo explaining to the incoming President the choice he faced. In a nutshell, this was "to decide whether to treat Iraq as a distasteful dictatorship to be shunned when possible, or to recognize Iraq's present and potential power in the region and accord it relatively high priority. We strongly urge the latter view."

And Bush chose. Internal State Department guidelines from the period stated, "In no way should we associate ourselves with the 60 year-old Kurdish rebellion in Iraq or oppose Iraq's legitimate attempts to suppress it." (Saddam's gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja has occurred less than a year before.) Analysts warning of Iraq's burgeoning nuclear program were squelched. The Commerce Department loosened restrictions on dual-use WMD material, while Bush the elder approved new government lines of credit for Saddam over congressional objections.

And Saddam was receiving private money as well: most notably from the Atlanta branch of Italian bank BNL. BNL staff would later report that companies wanting to sell to Iraq were referred to them by Kristol's then-boss, Vice President Quayle. One Quayle family friend would end up constructing a refinery for Saddam to recycle Iraq's spent artillery shells. The Bush Justice Department prevented investigators from examining transactions like this, while Commerce Department employees were ordered to falsify export licenses.

 I assume Kristol said these things with a straight face. Quite a trick.


An overdue awakening.

Craig, a cleansing and awakening is long overdue. That lies have long been believed is examined by Howard Zinn in this 2006 article.

Now that most Americans no longer believe in the war, now that they no longer trust Bush and his Administration, now that the evidence of deception has become overwhelming (so overwhelming that even the major media, always late, have begun to register indignation), we might ask: How come so many people were so easily fooled?

The question is important because it might help us understand why Americans—members of the media as well as the ordinary citizen—rushed to declare their support as the President was sending troops halfway around the world to Iraq.

A small example of the innocence (or obsequiousness, to be more exact) of the press is the way it reacted to Colin Powell’s presentation in February 2003 to the Security Council, a month before the invasion, a speech which may have set a record for the number of falsehoods told in one talk. In it, Powell confidently rattled off his “evidence”: satellite photographs, audio records, reports from informants, with precise statistics on how many gallons of this and that existed for chemical warfare. The New York Times was breathless with admiration. The Washington Post editorial was titled “Irrefutable” and declared that after Powell’s talk “it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.”

It seems to me there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture, and which help explain the vulnerability of the press and of the citizenry to outrageous lies whose consequences bring death to tens of thousands of people. If we can understand those reasons, we can guard ourselves better against being deceived.

One is in the dimension of time, that is, an absence of historical perspective. The other is in the dimension of space, that is, an inability to think outside the boundaries of nationalism. We are penned in by the arrogant idea that this country is the center of the universe, exceptionally virtuous, admirable, superior.


Dr. Carol Wolman, is running for the US Congress as a Green.

She's standing for California District 1, which is currently represented by Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat. 

She wants to beat Thompson because he has refused to cosponsor the several bills of impeachment that have been brought before the House since 2004. 

Today Wolman has published a passionate piece on why she sees impeachment of Bush and Cheney as necessary:

Impeachment is essential for cleansing the national soul

Without impeachment, Bush and Cheney, the greatest criminals in American history will get away with it. They will walk away scot free, having wrecked the US Constitution, with the collusion of Congress. They will walk away with billions, perhaps trillions, of American taxpayer money funneled into their pockets, via their family corporations Carlyle and Halliburton, which have benefited enormously from the Iraq boondoggle. And We the People are allowing it to continue.

Unless there is impeachment, and with it repudiation of all the evil deeds of Bush and Cheney, repudiation of the lies, the torture, the "unitary executive" restoration of monarchy,- unless there is impeachment, the great American Republic will vanish into history. Our freedom and prosperity, perhaps our ability to survive on the planet, will be lost forever. And We the People are allowing it to happen. >From being a shining beacon of freedom and opportunity, we have become a rogue, outlaw country, feared and hated by the rest of the world.

We the People know this at a deep level. We are in despair. We elected Democrats to Congress in '06, and they have betrayed us over and over, playing ball with Bush and Cheney, enabling the giant war/ripoff machine. Although we protest, we continue to tolerate them. The rest of the world holds the American people responsible for the crimes of our government. Unless we impeach the criminals in the White House, international hatred against We the People will mount.

Impeachment would shine the light of truth on the secrets and lies that currently rule Washington, DC. It would re-establish justice and the rule of law, proving that we are a nation governed by laws, not by the whims of corrupt politicians. Impeachment would enable us to withdraw from Iraq in a quick and orderly manner. We then could start making amends for the havoc our government has wreaked on the unfortunate Iraqis, whose only crime is that they sit on a huge reservoir of oil. It would enable us to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), so that Bush and Cheney and their network of supporters could be tried for war crimes, a la Nuremberg. Above all, impeachment would restore the morale, the spirit of righteousness of America, which has been so rudely flushed away.

Pick the most credible person ...

And send him to the UN to lie his head off.

Two days ago was the fifth anniversary of Colin Powell's infamous presentation to the UN of the US case for Iraq's alleged possession of WMD. Here are three articles on the Powell liefest:





In their own words.

G'day Craig, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, perhaps 935 is a more appropriate number. A video of the culprits and the things they said.


Enough to make a person cry.

G'day Craig, here is a story about what the US was told - and ignored.

When Saad Tawfiq watched Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations on February 5 2003 he shed bitter tears as he realised he had risked his life and those of his loved ones for nothing.

As one of Saddam Hussein's most gifted engineers, Tawfiq knew that the Iraqi dictator had shut down his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes in 1995 -- and he had told his handlers in US intelligence just that.

And yet here was the then US secretary of state -- Tawfiq's television was able to received international news through a link pirated from Saddam's spies next door -- waving a vial of white powder and telling the UN Security Council a story about Iraqi germ labs.

"When I saw Colin Powell I started crying. Immediately. I knew I had tried and lost," Tawfiq told AFP five years later in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Now in his fifties, a round-faced man with a small moustache and lively eyes behind delicate spectacles, Tawfiq described how the CIA set up an elaborate operation to recruit Iraqi weapons scientists and then ignored the results.


Mr Bush told the Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence ...

Another extract from the above-linked article:

From the end of 2002 the US spy agency had sources inside Iraq's weapons plants telling them clearly what the whole world now knows -- that Saddam had ended efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction.

The WH Memo was based on a meeting on 31/1/2003. No wonder Bush was worried.

Some lied, some cried, so many died - and people are still dying.


Recalling this from the article on the WH Memo: 

Pants on fire

Here are some other websites dedicated to listing the lies of President George W. Bush and Co.:

BushLies.net has an A to Z of the lies.

Bushwatch has most of the big ones.

Bush lies  "attempts to track and document the unfathomable dishonesty of our president and his minions."

BuzzFlash has a handy chart of Bush's lies about Iraq.

Motherjones has a lie by lie timeline.

And these are just a few of the many.

Blood libel.

Two days ago I linked an article by Robert Parry on a persistent lie. Chris Floyd has a follow up - with internal links worth following. An extract on the matter Parry raised:

And so we come to the latest regurgitation of this blood libel, on last Sunday's edition of "60 Minutes" – the nation's most venerable and prestigious TV newsmagazine. "60 Minutes" is the closest thing left in our fragmented media culture to the kind of powerful sway once held by Life Magazine and Time Magazine in establishing the parameters of conventional wisdom. The show featured an interview with FBI agent George Piro, who had interrogated Saddam Hussein after his capture. The interview was conducted by "journalist" Scott Pelley, who pounded again and again on this question: "Why did Saddam choose war with the United States?"

The sheer moral depravity of that question is almost beyond comprehension. As the historical record shows, the war was launched at the direct order of George W. Bush. (I saw it on television myself; Pelley might look it up in the CBS archives.) Earlier, Bush had ordered the UN inspectors to leave Iraq; then he ordered a "decapitation attack" (as Bush officials themselves called it) – a bomb strike on a residential neighborhood where Saddam Hussein was thought to be staying. He wasn't, of course, but the innocent people who were torn to shreds by the attempted decapitation were soon forgotten after Bush's next order: the massive "shock and awe" bombardment that was meant to terrorize the Iraqi people into submission, followed by the full-scale ground invasion itself. Bush chose war.

Or rather, he chose to escalate a war that had been going on for years, through sanctions that enriched Saddam and selected Western firms but killed at least – at least – half a million Iraqi children; through CIA-sponsored terrorist attacks against Iraqi citizens; and through the constant bombing of Iraq, which in the months before the ground attack had secretly surged to an all-out air assault to "prepare the battlespace" for the coming invasion. And yet Pelley – who we must assume is not four years old, but was actually an adult during the period in question, even a "journalist," presumably able to read and to comprehend moving images and human speech on television – can go on national television in 2008 and ask why Saddam Hussein chose to make war on the United States.

Tell a lie often enough and it can take on the aura of truth. Especially if people want to believe it.

With a little help for my friend...

"unless you believe it was a massive conspiracy"

Why Eliot, what would make you feel I could ever believe that? A weary old albatross like moi, with a very small brain (great wings though).

But I would forgive you if you felt there was something fishy in the State of States, and I suspect you are just dying to purge your suspicions but too shy to do so. So please accept a little help from a friend:

935 lies may have something to do with it, the Office of Special Plans may have something to do with it, the White House Iraqi Group may have something to do with it, the manic and reckless patriotism (and dishonesty) by the MSM that certainly helped win the hearts and minds of the punters, may have something to do with it; after all the punters were the ones who were going to do the ugly stuff and even die a glorious and noble death.

And yes the gutless bunch of Dems (sans a few,) were never going to be caught out being labelled un-American; or upsetting their backers, who are the same lobbyists who back the GOP. The Dems simply went along with the lies, the deceit and the charade; the path of least resistance.


Call it what you want, but word games are never going to change the reality that for the past 5 years the majority of people (sans the Kurds) in Iraq were better off under Saddam. The Kurds of course now have new problems to deal with; what's worse, getting gassed by Saddam or bombed by the Turks? But hey many of those pesky Kurds are commies anyway.

America, or at least the ruling oligarchy,  wanted this war and they went out of their way to engineer its birth; everyone knows that, some may call it a conspiracy, some may call it foreign policy; take your pick but it wont change the fact that this adventure simply highlights our collective insanity.

Sadly Eliot good intentions do not necessary foster good consequences, no doubt you know this, but hey what can we do?

Sometimes telling the truth can help, or so  a wise albatross once told me.

BTW. Supporting the abolition of apartheid was not the same as supporting the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country.  Apples and  kiwi fruit don't you think? Now go pack that lunch box and give my regards to HB.

Vanishing in a puff of dust.

Such memories you recall, Richard, of spinning and contortions where stockpiles of WMD became programs and later even the those disappeared into the empty desert. Replaced by talk of hopes and dreams.

So Downer said "it's far too early to say" but what did he say when the Duelfer Report (WAPO article  here) was released? That is something I can't recall off the top of my head. Not that we should be concerned as the existence of WMD or otherwise was not going to stop the Crawford Caligula - the White House Memo showed us how the two Bs were thinking. Here is a Guardian article in the Memo.

Despite what Downing Street was telling us at the time, tonight's story
shows that Mr Blair backed President Bush when told the US was intent
on war - UN resolution or not - and evidence or not that Iraq was
hiding its weapons programmes.

And doubts that WMD would be found led Bush to propose staging an incident:

Mr Bush told the Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure
to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2
reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in
UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in
breach [of UN resolutions]".

To your:

You'd expect Downer would've had a chat about this to former Chief Inspector Richard Butler, wouldn't you?

Very amusing.  Or as the song goes:

"Don't ask me nothing about nothing,

I just might tell you the truth." 


"Don't ask me no questions and I won't tell you no lies."

Some who tried to tell the truth suffered for it.

As to the Downer as head of the IAEA, we'd have been up the proverbial creek not only without a paddle but also with large holes in the canoe.

Independence for Kenya

Justin: "...the Democrats were very much a part of the charade as well."

Which rather suggests it wasn't actually a "charade" - unless you believe it was a massive conspiracy involving both Republicans and Democrats. And the British Labour Party.

Personally, I think it was a good thing Saddam was thrown out. But then I would have supported independence for Kenya and the abolition of apartheid in South Africa.

And look at the chaos over there.

But Wait, There's More

Remarks here, Bob, by Dubya on 6/10/03

Mr. David Kaye reported to the nation. I want to thank him for his good work. He is a thoughtful man. He and his team have worked under very difficult circumstances. They have done a lot of work in three months, and he reported on an interim basis.

The report states that Saddam Hussein's regime had a clandestine network of biological laboratories, a live strain of deadly agent botulinum, sophisticated concealment efforts, and advanced design work on prohibited longer range missiles. The report summarized the regime's efforts in this way, and I quote from the report:

"Iraq's WMD programs spanned more than two decades, involved thousands of people, billions of dollars, and was elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

That is what the report said. Specifically, Dr. Kaye's team discovered what the report calls, and I quote, "dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002."

In addition to these extensive concealment efforts, Dr. Kaye found systematic destruction of evidence of these illegal activities. This interim progress report is not final. Extensive work remains to be done on his biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs. But these findings already make clear that Saddam Hussein actively deceived the international community, that Saddam Hussein was in clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, and that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the world.

Back to that 9/10/03  Lateline link you provided:


TONY JONES: Sticking to Iraq for a moment, you've said little so far on the Kaye report into weapons of mass destruction, the survey group.

You told us on this program not so long ago that you expected they would find actual weapons to the degree of biological or chemical material in rusting barrels, if you can recall, in underground bunkers, you thought all those things would be found.

Were you in fact wrong?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: I think it's far too early to say.

There's a long way to go in terms of the exploration of weapons of mass destruction, physically, of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But I think, you know, people take from the Kaye report what they want, I suppose.

One of the very strong messages that comes from the Kaye report is that it's perfectly clear Iraq was continuing with weapons of mass destruction programs, with research and development, it's perfectly clear they were moving towards trying to obtain missiles which had a range far in excess of the UN requirements and limits.

And it's perfectly clear that they were acting in clear breach of UN Security Council resolution 1441 and the 16 resolutions that preceded it.

I don't think there's any doubt about it from the Kay report.

Iraq was blatantly in breach of the Security Council resolutions and Saddam Hussein was clearly pursuing a policy of trying to obstruct and interfere with the work of the UN inspectors in order to be able to rehabilitate his programs once the inspectors left.

You'd expect Downer would've had a chat about this to former Chief Inspector Richard Butler, wouldn't you?


Richard Butler, speaking to the Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD on 22/8/03:

"I happened to bump into the Foreign Minister on two seperate occasions, once at Melbourne airport and once at a conference on Hayman Island, and had an very brief conversation with him of a completely informal kind.  Obviously Alexander Downer and I talked about the state of affairs, but for the minutes, if I recall correctly, I think we did not agree.  But we talked.  But I do not think that constituted seeking opinion or advice from me.  My answer remains the same: at no stage was that sought.

Butler goes on to say that his disagreement with the invasion was that it violated international law, of which he was an ardent advocate.  Butler, for those who don't know, went on to become the Governor of Tasmainia.  He was booted out 10 months later, a $500,000 fee in his pocket.

A telltale sign crops up about 18 months later, when Alexander Downer makes a late night call from Laos to proclaiming the arrival of Rumfseld and Condi, Sorry the link's gone so I only have my blog as a reference, though I remember the morning well.   Of the meeting being in Adelaide, Downer crowed on ABC-891 "We get it because I live there.," adding that Condi's Alternative To Kyoto would '"Ensure substantial investment in technologies that would lead to cheaper energies."    Later, when Condi cancelled, Downer said that it was because "leftist protest groups" were planning to protest.  It's odd that it diddn't bother Warlord Rummy.

I'm digressing, but you can see where I'm heading....  thank whichever dieties you follow that  Cheney didn't manage getting Downer to replace ElBaradei and changing the IAEA's mind.

Get rid of his weapons was it?

And I've always enjoyed the following comparison, Richard.

Statements such as:

He either gets rid of his weapons and the United
Nations gets rid of his weapons

As compared with Downer on Lateline, 9/10/03:

And talking of John Howard meeting President Megawati, as you know, he
did meet with her earlier this year when he went to Jakarta and
discussed this issue up front with her, and the Indonesians have always
made it clear that, whilst they disagree with the decision to overthrow
the wicked regime of Saddam Hussein, and we obviously have a different
view about that, the Indonesians have also said that they wouldn't
allow that to stand in the way of our bilateral relationship.

Strange that the transcript did not appear on the DFAT site. Perhaps due to Downer inadvertently letting on what the agenda was, ie., removing a government, for which there was no legal authority, as opposed to the removal of WMD. Well, maybe not so strange as the truth was not wanted on the journey, being incriminating. I wonder if the runt had words with Dolly over his slip of the tongue.

Ausstralian Collaboration

I'm enjoying comparing this bit...

Bush:There's no negotiations, by the way, for Mr. Saddam Hussein. There's nothing to discuss. He either gets rid of his weapons and the United Nations gets rid of his weapons—(applause)—he can either get rid of his weapons and the United States can act, or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm this man.

..... with this bit,,, 

John Howard, on announcing Australian collaboration in March 2003: "This morning I announced that Australia had joined a coalition, led by the United States, which intends to disarm Iraq of its prohibited weapons of mass destruction.... The government's principal objective is the disarmament of Iraq; however, should military action be required to achieve this, it is axiomatic that such action will result in the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime. Early this morning, President Bush telephoned me and formally requested Australia's support and participation in a coalition of nations who are prepared to enforce the Security Council's resolutions by all necessary means. This request was subsequently considered and agreed to by cabinet."

... with this bit. 

Bush spokesperson (last week): "As you'll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed the dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence."

So ridiculous but keeps cropping up.

I have dealt with a particular Bush lie before as it is my favourite. Despite the news coverage of the progress of the inspection teams and of Hans Blix reporting to the UN on the matter Bush would claim on July 14, 2003:

“We gave him [Saddam Hussein] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and
he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we
decided to remove him from power.”

And  on Jan. 27, 2004:

“We went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming
resolution – 1441 – unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must
disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the
world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice
to make, and he did not let us in.”

March 21, 2006:

 “I was hoping to solve this [Iraq] problem diplomatically,” Bush said.
“The world said, ‘Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.’ … We
worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world.
And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to
disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And
we did.”

 May 24, 2007:

 “As you might remember back then, we tried the diplomatic route: [U.N.
Resolution] 1441 was a unanimous vote in the Security Council that said
disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. So the choice was his
[Hussein’s] to make. And he made a choice that has subsequently caused
him to lose his life.”

He's nothing if not persistent. As are others, as exampled in this Robert Parry article.

Justin, Madison and Mencken - good stuff. I can only agree with your sentiments except for the bits about shooting the culprits. Despite past references to firing squads and Black Ops, I am against capital punishment. Life sentences would suffice. And hard time, no coddling. No privileges, just the demand "Come here, bitch".

Avoiding unpleasantness

Paul Krugman reminds how the forces of imperial righteousness will respond to a Democrat in the White House. From Lessons of 1992:

First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

Reading between the lines, it seems like Krugman will not the give the nod to a candidate who cannot enunciate an actual health care reform policy.  

935 lies or one big one

James Madison wrote. “Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.... No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

H.L.Mencken wrote: “Wars are seldom caused by spontaneous hatreds between people, for peoples in general are too ignorant of one another to have grievances and too indifferent to what goes on beyond their borders to plan conquests. They must be urged to the slaughter by politicians who know how to alarm them.”

935 lies hey Craig, GWB and his neocon puppet masters should be shot, or at least impeached (then shot) but that won't happen because the Democrats were very much a part of the charade as well.

Looks like the ordinary Yank is going to be paying for this debacle with his wealth and his freedom for yonks. Correction: the ordinary Yank is already paying for this with his wealth and freedom. Correction: the ordinary Yank is paying for this with his wealth and his freedom and his arms, legs, sanity and some throw in their whole life for the fuckwits who engineered this crime.

Dems on Iraqi WMD

Justin: "...the Democrats were very much a part of the charade as well."

Indeed, they were.

Is Lebanon on the brink?

See news report at http://www.linktv.org/mosaic or the clip is here.

"... many Lebanese believe their country is on the brink of another civil war." 

Who is counting the armaments going into Lebanon? Who is paying for them?

Still at it.

Before delving into the archives, Craig, here is an item on Thursday's Republican presidential candidates debate. Following are examples of how they are still spinning the same old bs despite all that has been revealed. What does it day about them and their audience?

* McCain said that the invasion of Iraq was justified because Saddam Hussein was "hell-bent on acquiring" weapons of mass destruction. Actually, he wasn't. Saddam might have desired WMDs. But for years prior to the invasion, the Iraqi dictator had suspended his WMD program and done nothing to pursue WMDs, according to the final report of Charles Duelfer and his Iraq Survey Group.

* Mike Huckabee, voicing his support for Bush's invasion of Iraq, said that just because the United States didn't find WMDs in Iraq that "doesn't mean it wasn't there." The aforementioned Duelfer report--and Duelfer took over the Iraq Survey Group as a hawk who had believed Saddam possessed WMDs--made it clear that Saddam not only had no weapons in the years leading up to the war, he had no WMD program. In other words, there were no WMDs to be found in Iraq--period.

* Romney praised Bush for mounting the Iraq war and making sure al Qaeda could not gain "a safe haven" in Iraq "for launching attacks against us." That was certainly not an issue prior to the invasion. Saddam had no operational ties with al Qaeda. And now there's little, if any chance, that the small and unpopular al Qaeda outfit in Iraq could take over Iraq, pushing aside the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds.

The above are just the war related examples. There are others on other matters.

The belligerent Beach Boys wannabe, John McCain, has issued a warning. With video. But at least he doesn't sing this. 

The presidential candidate who sang "Bomb bomb Iran" is already looking towards the war after the war in Iraq.

Sen. John McCain told a crowd of supporters on Sunday, "It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars." Offering more of his increasingly bleak "straight talk," he repeated the claim: "I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars."

"And right now - we're gonna have a lot of PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] to treat, my friends," he said. "We're gonna have a lot of combat wounds that have to do with these terrible explosive IEDs that inflict such severe wounds. And my friends, it's gonna be tough, we're gonna have a lot to do."

Of course, if they didn't start wars based on lies they could avoid such problems. But perhaps McCain likes the smell of charred bodies in the morning. Or thinks it is a good way to win votes.

And what does that say ...?

Architect of Lies

Wolfowitz is back in the game (Arms control role for Wolfowitz) and he scored 51 hits in the database of lies on the subject of 'weapons'. Has he been put there as a distraction? 

How can he be seen as credible? OK, Gaza is an old sore and is being freshened up, again, as a flash-point. In the database, Wolfowitz mentioned Gaza once, in proximity to money transfers. So, in the context of the funding of arms purchases with money transferred across the web, and Wolfowitz's recent job with the World Bank, maybe he is going to concentrate on international routes that finance terrorist activities.

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