Friday, July 03, 2009

There are still some worms left in that can

Do you remember, boys and girls, in the early days of the Bush Administration the secret energy task force headed by the Vice President? And how we all thought it was just trying to figure out a way around all those bothersome environmental types? But we were thinking way too small:

    It was believed then that Cheney's secretive task force was focusing on ways to reduce environmental regulations and fend off the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

    But Bush's first treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, later described a White House interest in invading Iraq and controlling its vast oil reserves, dating back to the first days of the Bush presidency.

    In Ron Suskind's 2004 book, "The Price of Loyalty," O'Neill said an invasion of Iraq was on the agenda at the first National Security Council. There was even a map for a post-war occupation, marking out how Iraq's oil fields would be carved up.

    Even at that early date, the message from Bush was "find a way to do this," according to O'Neill, a critic of the Iraq invasion who was forced out of his job in December 2002.

    The New Yorker's Jane Mayer later made another discovery: a secret NSC document dated February 3, 2001 - only two weeks after Bush took office - instructing NSC officials to cooperate with Cheney's task force, which was "melding" two previously unrelated areas of policy: "the review of operational policies towards rogue states" and "actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields." [The New Yorker, February 16, 2004]

That’s from a recent article by Jason Leopold.

Now there’s an interesting word: “cooperate.”

Let’ see what that “cooperation” produced:

    It began more than six years ago with a lie, followed by another lie, and another lie, and then two more, ten more, a hundred, a thousand, an avalanche of lies from heads of state and hatchet men and well-fed media types more interested in getting the interview than in getting the facts.

    It began with lies like this:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

    - Dick Cheney, Vice President Speech to VFW National Convention 8/26/2002

    ... and this:

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser CNN Late Edition 9/8/2002

    ... and this:

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary Press Briefing 1/9/2003

    ... and this:

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State Remarks to the UN Security Council 2/5/2003

    ... and this:

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense ABC Interview 3/30/2003

    It began with George W. Bush standing before both houses of Congress and an international television audience for his January 2003 State of the Union address and stating that Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons - which is one million pounds - of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent, 30,000 missiles to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, al-Qaeda connections and uranium from Niger for use in a robust nuclear weapons program.

Pretty impressive cooperation, wouldn’t you say, boys and girls? That’s William Rivers Pitt, also in

You know how people say You can’t make this up? Apparently you can.

Spot is sorry to drop this one on Dave on the eve of the Fourth of July, when Dave is undoubtedly busy sharpening and polishing his ornamental spear for the parade or some such, but these articles came out in the last couple of days, and Spot thought they were interesting, especially taken together.

After he puts the silver polish away, Dave will no doubt deliver an impassioned defense, pointing out that many Democrats voted for the Iraq war and were therefore collaborators. We won’t quibble about the meaning or intent of the resolution that Congress passed, nor whether the Dems who voted in favor were collaborators or dupes, but you have to draw the conclusion that many anti-war types did early on: it was about oil.

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