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Bush Cooked The Books To Get To Iraq
Can we get one more big collective yawn from the media and right-wing bloggers? Robert Dreyfus writes about "the so-called Downing Street memo," implicating the Bush administration for falsifying intelligence in order to go to war:

What accounts for the media's refusal to hammer away at this story, to demand that Bush administration officials explain it, to dig deep into much more detailed British accounts surrounding it and to get British officials to comment, to ask Pentagon and CIA officials to explain it, and to put it in context? (In this case, the context is that in early 2002, the Bush administration was well on the way toward assembling a secretive team inside the Pentagon, supervised by outgoing Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, to cherry-pick facts and rumors that were used to promote war.)

First, most distressingly, the media is following the lead of the Democrats. True, John Conyers and 88 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote a letter asking the White House about the memo, but by and large the Democrats took a pass. That's in keeping with the party's decision in 2004, during the election campaign, not to raise the issue of the Pentagon's Feith-based Office of Special Plans and the widespread reports that the intelligence on Iraq was falsified. During the campaign, John Kerry barely touched on the issue, and in the Senate, West Virginia's Jay Rockefeller--the ranking Dem on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence--decided not to make a fuss over it. Rockefeller agreed to postpone an investigation into the political use of Iraq intelligence--a code word for an inquiry into whether it was faked--until after the election in November 2004. Then, inexplicably, Rocky let Sen. Pat Roberts get away with a decision to renege on the promised investigation. So the Senate plans to do nothing.

Second, my impression is that the media have collectively gotten fatigued with the whole issue. Always sensitive to conventional wisdom, the media seems to have concluded the story of fake intelligence on Iraq is "old news." It's as if they've concluded they they've done their job, and that those Americans who choose to believe the first catechism have all the ammunition they really need, and that those who choose to believe the second don't want to hear anything more. It's a slam-dunk story: We went to war, there weren't any WMD to be found, and so let the public draw its own conclusions, the media seems to think. Not only that, but it's exhausting to dig into an old story like that, they must believe. The fact that no WMD were found in Iraq is widely known, and Americans pretty much know that the WMD rationale for war was a cover story, so why bother with the details? Why bother with trying to sort all that out? Who has the time or the energy to rehash all that now?

Third, the media have pretty much allowed their investigative skills to atrophy. The Bush administration has stone-walled inquires on the WMD fakery, the seemingly endless parade of Iraq- and 9/11-linked commissions have all avoided the topic, and the Senate Republicans have blocked any inquiry. So the media doesn't know where to go: it's as if they've forgotten how to investigate something--as if they've forgotten how to find second- and third-level folks to help assemble the story, how to background key players in the OSP and the U.S. intelligence community. And doing that gets the administration mad at you. You get snubbed by "sources." Access dries up. The administration closes ranks against you. Do we really want all that grief?

The clearest proof that this is all true is the stunning lack of editorial comment on the Downing Street memo. Where are the thundering editorials demanding that the White House explain itself? That Congress investigate? That a team of senators flies to London to look into this?

Helloooooo? Anybody out there? As one commenter, probably a Brit, writes on the Alternet site (below the article at the above link):

What mystifies me about Americans is that they do absolutely nothing. But, if Bush had lied about having received oral sex from a White House intern with bad laundry habits you would consider impeachment. There is something seriously wrong with priorities. No, for a war criminal you do absolutely nothing. You even elect him back into his job. The man running against him never suggests the war is anything but "righteous".... something to take pride in.... Abu Graibh, uncle Dick Chenny's Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, and all

And we, little minions in the rest of the world, are supposed to feel confident that thousands of nuclear warheads and a military force equal in cost anyway, if not in brain power, to all the forces of the rest of the world combined... and some... are in the safe hands of a "man like that" in an administration like that. They trash treaties, try repeatedly to trash the UN, and the entire world if you let them. Leadership, Yaaa thanks.

Posted by aalkon at May 24, 2005 7:27 AM

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And n one's raising much of a stink about holding this administration responsible for atrocities like this, either:

The only comforting fact may be that it's quite possible, we didn't actually elect this war criminal even once:

Posted by: Frank at May 24, 2005 12:56 PM

Let us be consistent, here.

Silence on the part of sworn political enemies is NOT evidence that something has occurred due to the Bush administration. If you think it is, then you should be ecstatic about the abundant proof of the existence of Jesus - because of the silence of a hundred or so historians reporting on minutiae in the Middle East 2K years ago.

If you hate George Bush - and you make it personal in some way, despite the plain fact that you really don't know anything about the man, personally - at least be logical about it. An excellent start would be the examination of the role of your and other states' congressmen in the daily business of government. It may not be so satisfying to complain about or investigate his or her business, but Congress handles all the funding.

In short, you can't claim the "W" is "stupid" and then blame him alone for what is going on. That puts you right there with assorted Bible thumpers who have never really read their book.

Posted by: Radwaste at May 24, 2005 3:18 PM

No idea what your point is, Radwaste, as the only thing "consistent" about your posting is the use of non-sequitur. But if you are implying that, given the Republican rule of the executive branch, both houses of Congress, and the judiciary, that the Democrats must share equal blame for the dark path our country has followed -- I can't quite go there. The Dems have mostly been guilty of sins of ommission rather than sins of commission. Whereas Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al are actively destroying much of what I once loved about this country.

Donald Rumsfeld bears a little more responsibility for Abu Grabe than Barbara Boxer, you must admit.

Posted by: Frank at May 24, 2005 5:53 PM

Well, Frank, since it escaped you, I'll get closer to home: a brief look at legislation passed over the last 15 years - use - reveals that Federal policies in all three branches of government have diminished personal liberty while disavowing any responsibility on the part of government officials. Pork, for instance, is still pork.

Note well that the shallow people still blame the President for whatever goes on, not having the wit to recognize what the other branches of government are for.

You can't claim Clinton is smart and clueless at he same time, just as W can't be dumb and responsible for everything. That these claims occur is a sign of "hero" (or "devil") worship as manifested in a cult of personality.

It isn't logical thought.

Posted by: Radwaste at May 25, 2005 2:09 AM

Here's a logic problem for ya, "Rad": which party is controlling all three branches right now? And how many elections does W have to steal before it's no longer all Clinton's fault?

Posted by: Frank at May 25, 2005 2:39 AM

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