Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wait, Bush lied America into war with Iraq? Seriously?

Yeah, yeah, we knew this already, but it's important to keep track of the evidence as it mounts and to prevent the whole sordid episode from slipping into the oblivion of Americans' generally non-existent historical memory. Think Progress reports on the latest brick in the wall:

[W]ith the help of a Freedom of Information Act request, the National Security Archive has obtained a newly declassified document that details talking points that emerged from a meeting between Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks in November 2001.

The talking points mainly revolve around the logistical planning for a war in Iraq. They detail the "decapitation" of the Iraqi government by U.S. forces and make regime change the goal. Interestingly, they already mention U.S. forces "coming out of Afghanistan" to join the invasion of Iraq. Yet the most alarming part of the document is a bullet point titled, "How start?" (which is a discussion that actually appears after the planning of the entire war). The participants in the Rumsfeld-Frank meeting discussed possible ways to provoke a conflict with Iraq, including an attack by Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish north, the U.S. discovering a "Saddam connection" to 9/11 or the anthrax attacks, or a dispute over WMD inspections. It appears from the language of the talking points that the Bush administration had already decided to go to war with Iraq and was looking for an opportunity to invade:


Another document obtained by the National Security Archive shows that the Bush State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research created an assessment of international support for a war against Iraq in December 2001.

This won't get much attention. It's not sensationalistic enough for the media and Americans just don't want to know what really happened lest they actually have to face the fact that their president lied to them and that a war that has cost thousands of American lives, not to mention countless Iraqi lives, was built upon a campaign of utter dishonesty and deception.

It is essential, however, that the truth not be swept under the rug. History, after all, has a way of repeating itself, including in a democracy with a demos that doesn't care enough to hold its leaders accountable.

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  • "How start" reminds me of the story about Bush suggesting to Blair that we disguise a plane to look like a UN plane and get the Iraqis to attack it.

    By Blogger Kevin Robbins, at 2:10 AM  

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