Tuesday, January 22, 2008

THE BIG FRAUD: Investigative journalism project collates Bush administration lies

It's no longer news that the administration of George W. Bush mounted a systematic misiformation/disinformation campaign to sell the country on a need to attack Iraq. And it's not news that the star journalists of the US mainstream media served as uncritical fuglemen in this biggest and deadliest of political frauds.

"President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda," wrote reporters for the Center for Public Integrity today. "Secretary of State [Colin Powell] had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. [Don Rumsfeld] and [Ari Fleischer] each made 109 false statements, followed by [Paul Wolfowitz] (with 85), [Condi Rice] (with 56), [Dick Cheney] (with 48), and [Scott McClellan] (with 14)."

In 2005, DD reported on the results of a terror trial in London on an alleged ricin gang which had figured in Colin Powell's infamous Security Council speech at the UN.

One of four slides which showed Colin Powell and the US government connecting a "UK poison cell" to al Qaida and Al-Zarqawi in Iraq as proof of that country's collusion in terror plots aimed at the west. No such link existed and a jury trial found the "UK poison cell" to be nonexistent except for one loner named Kamel Bourgass. No ricin was ever found in England.

Powell never explained where the fabrications about the "UK poison cell" came from and it was left to your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow to report on the trial and explode this particular Bush administration claim in April of 2005. At the time, the US mainstream media was still hesitant to question the claims of the Bush presidency. As a result, the trial and its ramifications were not well-covered or well understood in this country. The result of the trial, along with other news such as the revelation of the Downing Street memo, contributed greatly to the British public's disillusionment with its nation's role as the primary ally of George W. Bush's war in Iraq.

In September of 2006, a report from the Senate Select Intel Committee on Iraq shed some light on this series of Powell slides.

The "detained al Qaida operative" in the above slide was Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. It is now well-accepted the al-Libi was tortured into a number of admissions, statements made to placate his captors. This blog reported on the subject and presented pertinent snapshots from the Senate report in September of 2006 here.

"What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence ...I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources," Powell told the United Nations in February of 2003.

"As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information," reported The Center for Public Integrity today.

"One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named 'Curveball,' whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had 'decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].'"

This particular fraud, only one among many, depended upon two regular tools of the lawless Bush adminstration -- lying and torture. And it is the cynical, systematic and belligerent use of them which has so stained our country's once good reputation.

The Center for Public Integrity's "Iraq: The War Card" report.

Coverage of the so-called 'UK poison cell.'

Google search on 'Colin Powell' and 'ricin.'


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