September 18, 2003

Hypocrisy? Dan McLaughlin is a Mets fan known as the Baseball Crank. He wrote a column for the Providence Journal website before starting his own blog. I love his baseball writing, but was turned off by the blog because he also wrote about politics. Which wouldn't be a problem, really, but he's much more conservative than I am. [Looking at his site today, I see for the first time that readers can click for baseball-only content. Has that been there the whole time?] Anyway, I realized about a week ago that I'm doing the same thing here and that there must be at least a few fans out there who are similarly put off by my politics. I have no idea what the ratio of baseball:other stuff will be, or even what it should be, but I realize I'm doing something I wouldn't necessarily like to read if I didn't agree with it. ...

The Bush regime has used the 9/11 attacks as justification for invading and occupying Iraq, but now it's flat-out denying that it ever linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11. Indeed, Bush says there is no evidence that Hussein was involved in the attacks, but he has made many, many comments that link Hussein to al-Qaeda. Here are some uttered over a one-month period last fall (more lies here):

10.7.02 Bush in Cincinnati
"We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. ... We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. ... Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

10.14.02 Bush in Michigan
"... we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind."

10.28.02 Bush in New Mexico
"This is a person who has had contacts with al Qaeda."

10.28.02 Bush in Colorado
"He's got connections with al Qaeda."

10.31.02 Bush in South Dakota
"This is a guy who has had connections with these shadowy terrorist networks."

11.1.02 Bush in New Hampshire
"We know he's got ties with al Qaeda."

11.2.02 Bush in Florida
"We know that he's had connections with al Qaeda."

11.2.02 Bush in Atlanta
"He's had connections with shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda."

11.2.02 Bush in Tennessee
"We know that he has had contacts with terrorist networks like al Qaeda."

11.3.02 Bush in Minnesota
"This is a man who has had contacts with al Qaeda."

11.3.02 Bush in South Dakota
"And, not only that, he is -- would like nothing better than to hook-up with one of these shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, provide some weapons and training to them, let them come and do his dirty work, and we wouldn't be able to see his fingerprints on his action. "

11.3.02 Bush in Illinois
"He is a man who would likely -- he is a man who would likely team up with al Qaeda. He could provide the arsenal for one of these shadowy terrorist networks. He would love to use somebody else to attack us, and not leave fingerprints behind. "

11.4.02 Bush in Missouri
"This is a man who has had al Qaeda connections."

11.4.02 Bush in Arkansas
"He's had contacts with al Qaeda."

11.4.02 Bush in Texas
"This is a man who has got connections with al Qaeda."

Also CIA Director George Tenet, October 7, 2002: "We have solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." Tenet added that "credible information" also indicates that Iraq and al Qaeda "have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression." ... And Christian Science Monitor, March 14, 2003: "In his prime-time press conference last week, which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11. ... Sources knowledgeable about US intelligence say there is no evidence that Hussein played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, nor that he has been or is currently aiding Al Qaeda. Yet the White House appears to be encouraging this false impression ..."

There has also been outcry over Cheney's statement about his financial connection to Halliburton, the oil company he was the CEO of before joining the Bush ticket in 2000. Last Sunday, Cheney said: "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years." However, there are many stories that seem to contradict this. ... Josh Marshall: "[T]his seems to be the first time that the press, the editorialists, everybody is reacting with mounting indignation over the Vice-President's habit of stating notorious falsehoods and unsubstantiated allegations on national television. The behavior isn't new; the reaction is. Something's changing."

Not only that, but Halliburton is having so much trouble getting the Iraqi oilfields restored, the US is currently importing oil into Iraq -- at a cost to US taxpayers of about $6 million per day.

Ted Kennedy says the Bush administration has failed to account for nearly half of the $4 billion the war is costing each month. He believes much of the unaccounted-for money is being used to bribe foreign leaders to send in troops. It's possible. Back in May, General Tommy Franks admitted Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defense of key Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by American special forces. ... Kennedy said administration officials relied on "distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence" to justify their case for war. "This was made up in Texas ... This whole thing was a fraud." (Max Cleland is also speaking out.)

Meanwhile, as Thomas Friedman prattles on about "America's military victory in Iraq," there are reports of eight American soldiers killed in a bomb and grenade attack about 50 miles west of Baghdad today (3 more killed near Tikrit). It says here that 298 Americans soldiers have died in the invasion, including 94 since July 2, when Bush said (regarding further attacks on American troops): "Bring 'em on."

So, no weapons of mass destruction; no connection between Iraq and 9/11; thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans dead; more than $166 billion wasted. When do the war crime trials start?

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