Robert Scheer: Bush Pushes the Big Lie Toward
Even some in government can no longer be silent in the face of
So the truth is out: George W. Bush lied when he claimed to be worried
stepped-up cooperation with the U.N. on disarmament would be stunningly
good news, obviating the need to rush to war.
Instead, the U.N. weapons inspectors' verification of Iraq's destruction of
missiles, private meetings with Iraqi weapons scientists, visits to
locations where biological and chemical weapons were destroyed in 1991
and a series of unfettered flights by U2 spy plans have been met with a
shrug and sneer in Washington. The White House line is that even if the
Iraqis destroy all their slingshots, Goliath is still bringing his tanks and
instituting "regime change." The arrogance is breathtaking. We have
demanded that a country disarm -- and even as it is doing so, we say it
doesn't matter: it's too late; we're coming in. Put down your guns and
await the slaughter.
Abraham Lincoln once observed that even a free people can be fooled for
a time -- and this, mind you, was long before Fox News existed -- and in
his chaotic two-year presidency, Bush has pushed the Big Lie approach so
far that we are seeing dramatic signs of its cracking: an international
backlash, a domestic peace movement and whistle-blowing from inside our
own intelligence and diplomatic corps.
"We have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of the American people, since the war in
wrote John Brady Kiesling, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service in
his letter of resignation last week to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Kiesling, who was political counselor in
And this brave man is not the only one who has caught on. The entire world
is astonished that our president is lying not about a personal indiscretion
but about the most sacred duty of the leader of the most powerful nation in
human history not to recklessly endanger the lives of his own or the world's people. Yet lie he has.
The first lie, claimed outright, was that
The second lie was that
represent an imminent threat to
expensive but secret high-tech spy operation in human history -- estimated
by most at well over $100 billion a year -- and a vast network of defectors
and spies, we have not been able to find their supposed weapons.
The third and most dangerous lie is that our mission now is to bring
lasting peace to the
end, as the president outlined last week, in
Muslim governments around the world will end the downward spiral of violence there. Which leads us to another lie: that this is all good for our ally,
This construction of a new world order comes from a naive and untraveled
president, emboldened in his ignorance by advisors who have been plotting
an aggressive Pax Americana ever since the Soviet bloc's collapse. Bush insiders Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld are all members of something called the Project for a New American Century that has been pushing for a