The Thousand-Lie War


Pick your poison….

This story came out earlier in the year but, clearly, has not gotten the traction it deserves, and probably never could: According to a study by the Center for Public Integrity, via, “President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements, in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”

Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration’s case for war.

The above graphic, which enlarges when one clicks on it, shows that the administration’s output of false statements reached an orgasmic peak in February 2003, shortly before the declaration of “shock and awe”—war—against Iraq a month later, after which the quantity of lies diminished.

You can read the entire report, “False Pretenses,” on the CPI web site. As well, on their search page, you can look for Bush administration’s deceptions by individual word. Or by each white lie.



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