Guest Comment: “Bush is Lying” by Kevin McMillan
Kevin McMillan of Columbia University writes:
“I’d suggest a friendly amendment to today’s post on many Americans’ view that President Bush actively lied to them about WMD in Iraq. You appear to be trying to offer an “interpretation” of that view that “makes sense” of it. This isn’t necessary, however. They are reporting their view that Bush and his Administration lied to them, and they would be entirely right.
“It is a simple, incontrovertible and easily demonstrable fact that the Bush Administration carried out a massive and systematic campaign of deception with respect to its case for war in Iraq and with respect to alleged WMDs in particular. Administration officials, and indeed Bush himself, engaged over and over again in:
“(1) outright lies (even in the “lawyer’s” sense of the term);
“(2) serious distortions and deliberate obfuscations with respect to known facts and existing evidence;
“(3) claims which strictly/literally were true but which were crafted with a deliberate intent to deceive and to suggest something quite different;
“(4) deliberate omission of critical information when presenting claims (information that would seriously undermine the force of those claims);
“(5) deliberate ambiguity about verb-tense in order to create a false impression that current facts were being referred to when in fact only long-past ones — invariably pre-1991 — were;
“(6) false assertions of certainty about matters that were anything but certain (in many cases highly controversial or purely speculative);
“(7) deliberate and systematic misrepresentation of others’ claims (most notably UNSCOM and UNMOVIC reports);
“(8) unequivocal assertions about matters for which no evidence was ever provided; and so on and on.
“I would be happy to provide myriad examples of each of these and more. And none of this has anything to do with that favourite excuse of war apologists, “bad intelligence” — of which of course there was tons, most of it served up by Iraqi “defectors” coached by the Iraqi National Congress (and Allawi’s Iraqi National Accord).
“Unfortunately, the “mainstream media” (!!) is both unwilling and unable — out of ignorance, for example, of technical matters regarding WMD or of the history of weapons inspections in Iraq — to come out and say this. Equally unfortunately, the “alternative media”, while more than willing, shares this ignorance. The result is that — incredibly — more than two years afterward people are still able to get away with the claim that the Bush Administration didn’t actually *lie* in making its case for war in Iraq (it only, as people like to say, “exaggerated” or “sexed up” their case).
“One salient exception to all of this is the series of impeccable analyses produced by Dr. Glen Rangwala of Cambridge University, the person known for exposing the UK government’s “dodgy dossier” and for releasing the leaked transcript of Hussein Kamel’s 1995 interview with UNSCOM. His meticulously informed and rigorous work on allegations about WMD in Iraq is available online at:
“There’s no need to play softball with this Administration. Its case for war was fraudulent or ludicrous in virtually every respect, and so many of its deceptions were demonstrably so at the time they were made.