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The Lies We Bought: The Unchallenged Evidence for War


By John R. MacArthur, Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 2004.

"[W]here was the American press on September 7, 2002, a day when we sorely needed reporters? It was then that the White House propaganda drive began in earnest, with the appearance before television cameras of George Bush and Tony Blair at Camp David. Between them, the two politicians cited a �new� report from the UN�s International Atomic Energy Agency that allegedly stated that Iraq was �six months away� from building a nuclear weapon. �don�t know what more evidence we need," declared the president.

For public relations purposes, it hardly mattered that no such IAEA report existed, because almost [no] one in the media bothered to check out the story. (In the twenty-first paragraph of her story on the press conference, The Washington Post's Karen De Young did quote an IAEA spokesman saying, in DeYoung�s words, �that the agency has issued no new report,� but she didn�t confront the White House with this terribly interesting fact.) What mattered was the unencumbered rollout of a commercial for war--the one that the White House chief of staff and former General Motors executive Andrew Card had famously withheld earlier in the summer: �From a marketing point of view, you don�t introduce new products in August.� Millions of people saw Bush tieless, casually inarticulate, but determined-looking and self-confident, making a completely uncorroborated (and at that point un-contradicted) case for preemptive war...But the next day, more �evidence� suddenly appeared, on the front page of the Sunday New York Times. In a disgraceful piece of stenography, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller inflated an administration leak into something resembling imminent Armageddon: �More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today."

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And Senator Diane Feinstein is still buying the' intelligence failure' ruse:
June 9, 2005

Mr. Bruce Sims
San Diego, California 92116

Dear Mr. Sims:

Thank you for your letter about removing the President
from office because of intelligence failures prior to the invasion of
Iraq. I appreciate you taking the time to write and I welcome the
opportunity to respond. I regret that we disagree on this issue
since I do not support the impeachment of the President on these
grounds.

First, the Constitution details that the President may be
removed from office if he is impeached and convicted of treason,
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, which, leaves the
basis for impeachment open to some interpretation. The actual
process for impeaching a president involves the House of
Representatives acting as the prosecutor and bringing relevant
charges against the President. The Senate then acts as the jury and
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court acts as the judge, together
responsible for trying the President.

Second, the Senate vote on the resolution to authorize the
use of force in Iraq was difficult and consequential based on hours
of intelligence briefings from Administration and intelligence
officials, as well as the classified and unclassified versions of an
important National Intelligence Estimate that comprehensively
assessed Iraqi's WMD program. It was based on trust that this
intelligence was the best our Nation's intelligence services could
offer, untainted by bias, and fairly presented. In this case it was
not.

The bottom line is that Iraq did not possess nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons in 2003 when the war began.
Saddam Hussein did not have an active nuclear, chemical or
biological weapons program. Considering the statements that were
being made by the Administration, and the intelligence that was
presented to Congress which said otherwise, this is quite disturbing
and points once again to failures in the analysis, collection and use
of intelligence.

In order to address these intelligence failures, Congress
passed the Intelligence Reform bill, which I voted for. This law
will make consequential changes to the structure and organization
of the 15 agencies which make up our intelligence capabilities.
Please know that as a member of the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, I will be sure to continue to monitor this issue closely.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write. If you have
any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact
my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website
at http://feinstein.senate.gov/.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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