July 18, 2003
The Banality of Lying
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
You could best compare the Bush Cartel’s defensive posture on the uranium story to a live fish tossed into a slow-heated frying pan. The Bush Cartel lies so frequently -- and with such impunity -- that it appears surprisingly inept at actually having to defend a lie. Its members just aren't used to being challenged.
Forgive BuzzFlash if we appear skeptical about the long-term impact of the phony Niger Uranium document "revelations." After all, it's just one in a very long list of distortions, half-truths and lies that the Bush Cartel used to mislead the citizens of this nation into a war in which our soldiers are still dying. And the Bush administration is still trying to con us on the Iraq post-war war.
Tenet's most recent reported confession that a White House official insisted on the 16-word statement being included in the State of the Union speech will add fuel to the fire, but without Bush and Cheney being forced to testify under oath, more scapegoats will be found and tossed overboard, allowing the S.S. Bush to stay afloat.
Indeed, if we continue to focus solely on the infamous 16 words, Bush's credibility will be measured on the basis of one act of deceit. But this administration lies MORE than it tells the truth. Emphasizing the forged uranium document alone is a bit like arresting the head of a drug cartel for smoking a joint. Sure, you got him, but what about all the other crimes?
In the past few days, we have posted original BuzzFlash commentary and links to other articles that have detailed the Bush Cartel’s multiple deceptions and lies about Iraq. What's most important to remember is that the majority of Americans believe these lies. The polls show that Americans supported the Iraq war based on the trumped-up propaganda that the Bush administration doled out through the media.
As the media partakes in a feeding frenzy on the uranium story, it overlooks the even more mind-boggling and brazen lies that have been uttered since January’s State of the Union address.
"What's more disturbing?" one of our Buzzflash readers wrote us the other day:
While in Europe a few weeks ago, Bush claimed that two Iraqi vans were weapons of mass destruction, even though experts indicated that was a hardly unlikely scenario. Karl Rove knows that it's a game of headlines, and if the President of the United States claims that America has found WMDs in Iraq, that will be the headline that people read.
Lies have, of course, also been the basic tool used by the Bush administration to fend off criticism of its failure to protect America from 9/11. In a recent BuzzFlash editorial, we mentioned, yet again, one of the most astonishing lies in a long list of audacious mendacity.
It’s still worth repeating. (Note that in this incident, Condi Rice once again carried the water for Bush):
The lie that Rice told to explain away Bush's pre-9/11 briefing on the threat of deadly hijackings by Al Qaeda was the political equivalent of robbing a bank in broad day light -- and getting away with it.
Jumping back to the present, David Corn, a columnist for "The Nation," documents how it appears that the Bush White House may have deliberately "outed" a CIA agent, in order to get back at former ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson moved to the top of the Bush/Cheney enemy's list when he revealed to the Washington Post that he had warned the Bush administration that the Niger documents were undoubtedly fakes BEFORE the State of the Union speech. (See [LINK]) Revealing the identity of a CIA agent who is working undercover may not only be a violation of the law, it is an act of treason. Why did the Bush administration allegedly commit this act of treason? To intimidate others who might speak out, it would appear. The CIA agent, in question, you see, is Wilson's wife.
So we are not just dealing with deceit; we are dealing with an administration that, apparently, if Corn is right, betrays its own CIA agents and its own "war on terrorism." The specialty of the CIA agent who the Bush administration allegedly rendered inoperative by outing her is, of course, "tracking parties trying to buy or sell weapons of mass destruction or WMD material."
However, in the absence of a formal inquiry that would require Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld to be queried under oath about ALL the lies that they fed to the American people -- including 9/11 (before and after), the ginned-up terrorists alerts, the pre-Iraq deceits, the Cheney energy task force, Bush and Cheney’s Enron relationships, favors done for campaign contributions, the plan to "starve the American government" through a combination of tax cuts and soaring federal deficits, North Korea, Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Al Qaeda, (the list could go on for pages, but we will spare you the pain of reading it) -- in the absence of a truly independent legislative or legal probe into the dark underside of the Bush Cartel, this administration will likely continue to get away with deception.
If they were all put under oath -- and documents were surrendered -- there would be impeachment proceedings on far too many counts to list, and, in a perfect world, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft would serve jail time. Of course, it will never come to that. Bush, ever the coward, would strike a deal. The Bushes believe it is the duty and responsibility for their servants to take the rap.
Corruption breeds corruption. When a BuzzFlash reader recently took John Kerry to task for his dismissal of Democrats who continue to decry the theft of election 2000, the reader understood that an administration that came into power through a Supreme Court coup, engineered by a Federalist Society judge who believes he takes his orders from God, was corrupt from its illegitimate birth.
But when big lies are such a daily occurrence, it is hard to see how any long-term damage will be done to the Bush administration. The key members of the Bush Cartel lie so frequently, it now seems banal. Lying has become an acceptable standard in the Bush administration; in fact, it is part of an admired skill set.
The Republicans have successfully used the vehicles afforded them by the structure of our democracy to reverse the will of the people. Consider Kenneth Starr and the impeachment hearings; the 2000 Supreme Court decision; Karl Rove and Tom DeLay’s unprecedented congressional redistricting robberies in Texas and elsewhere; and the Gray Davis recall effort in California.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been timid (and we are being kind) about using the legislative process or independent investigations to expose Republican lies and corruption. When Tom Daschle had control of the Senate, he did little to encourage his committee chairmen to vigorously investigate the Enron relationships with the White House, Cheney's energy task force, the Bush Administration’s failure to try and prevent September 11th, Ashcroft’s dismantling of the Constitution, and so on.
Now the Democrats in Congress don’t even have the power to probe the Bush administration’s pathological lies. The Democrats do, however, have the platform to keep the Bush administration on the defensive by jumping on every lie like a junkyard dog.
This administration is kept afloat on a sea of lies. Expose the lies, and its credibility and legitimacy will sink to the bottom of the water.
Allow them to get away with their deceit, and the sweet water of democracy will turn into a quagmire of deficits, deaths and deception.
It already has.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original