Spies, Lies, And The Sunday Morning Paper


A couple of wonderful headlines this AM.  One, in the Guardian, reads “Spy chiefs say checks validate surveillance.”  What would you expect them to say?  That their programs are overly-broad?  That they’ve been negligent in their jobs and deserve to have their budgets cut?  That they’re failures and should be removed?

The other is a sub-head that reads, String of car bombs in southern Iraq and shooting in Mosul raise fears of return to sectarian war.”  Remember back in 2002, in the months and days leading up to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq?  Remember those who doubted the existence of WMD’s, and others who used logic instead of fear to advise against the decision to invade and reminded us that daddy Bush had pushed Saddam’s troops out of Kuwait, but that he was smart enough not to follow him into Baghdad, where he would have gotten mired down in a potentially unending conflict?  Remember those thinkers who advised that Iraq was made up of three major warring factions and regardless of any military action by the United States, it would eventually return to those various warring factions once we left – except that Saddam would no longer be in power to hold the country together and that in the end, Iran, would be the big winner at our expense by gaining undue influence in the south following our withdrawal?  Remember any of that?

They were right, weren’t they?  The Bush Administration, presented fiction after fiction as the reasons for invading continued to change to legitimize their bastard child, to frighten the American people and by proxy their leaders in Congress, into authorizing the invasion of a sovereign nation and the execution of that nation’s leader.   And now, as we were admonished by those with experience in the region, Iraq, is sliding back toward “sectarian war.”  What a surprise.  Remember Dubya’s  “mission accomplished” speech?  Here’s how it started-

“Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.”  President George W. Bush – May 1, 2003

The United States completed its troop withdrawal in December of 2011.  Today, June 16, 2013, there are reports of at least 40 dead and dozens wounded in spreading sectarian violence.

The idea that yet another Bush is thinking about running for president makes me shudder.   That this is even possible stands as a monument to the degree to which our society has been insulated from rational thought by an ever expanding media more interested in profit through infotainment than public service through honest journalism.

It could happen I suppose, Jeb Bush, being swept into office by those millions of Americans who continue to believe there really were WMD’s in Iraq, that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, that our ancestors walked the Earth with dinosaurs, that women who have been raped can magically turn off the pregnancy process, and that Hillary Clinton was somehow personally responsible for the attack on our consulate in Benghazi.  They just might have enough intellectually challenged supporters out there to make it happen.  If it comes down to hanging chads in Florida, they can again cast aside the democratic process and use the Republican-stacked Supreme Court to throw the election.  It worked once, it’ll probably work again.

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