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Bush lies and deceptions

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This article is part of SourceWatch's coverage of the Bush administration:
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The Lies and Deceptions of the Bush Regime are chronicled, in part, at and through the following:

Books

SourceWatch Articles

External links

Data Base

General

Articles
  • "All the Presidents's Lies," Selected Articles from The American Prospect.
  • bush-lies.blogspot.com, with citation links to the most current articles.
  • Barry Yeoman, "Lying is a key part of the way the Bush administration governs,"barryyeoman.com, February 18, 2004.
  • Tom Daschle, Floor Statement of Sen. Daschle on the Abuse of Government Power, U.S. Senate, Office of the Floor Leader, March 30, 2004: Richard A. Clarke "did something extraordinary when he testified before the 9-11 Commission last week. He didn't try to escape blame, as so many routinely do. Instead, he accepted his share of responsibility and offered his perceptions about what happened in the months and years leading up to September 11. ... The retaliation from those around the President has been fierce. ... The point was to damage Mr. Clarke in any way possible. ... This is wrong-and it's not the first time it's happened. ... There are some things that simply ought not be done - even in politics. Too many people around the President seem not to understand that, and that line has been crossed."
  • Sidney Blumenthal, "For Bush, lies follow lies. For those who backed Bush, the argument over the Iraq war has moved beyond facts and on to pure fervor," Guardian/UK, May 3, 2004.
  • Thom Hartmann, "Bush Family Wounds America Below The Belt Line", Published on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
  • Columbia Journalism Review observes major news organizations fact-checking the lies told at Republican National Convention speeches. [1]
    After a dismal performance by the major news organizations in fact-checking the Wednesday night assertions and accusations of Vice President Cheney and Sen. Zell Miller, Campaign Desk woke up this morning to a new world: the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as if the scales had fallen from their eyes, rose up as one and subjected the speakers at the last night of the Republican National Convention -- including the president -- to a rigorous fact-check. Moving at last beyond he-said/she-said reporting, all three news organizations struck back in their own voice at the mis-statements and subtle distortions of the record that the evening's speakers produced.
    The Times history review found that "President Bush's acceptance speech last night included assertions about his accomplishments and Senator John Kerry's past statements and voting patterns that were at best selective, and in some cases challenged by the historical record."
    As the Post put it in its summary, the Republican National Convention speakers time and again put forth claims that were "at best selective and in many cases stripped of their context."
  • Jonathan Weiler, "On Bullshit," The Gadflyer, June 13, 2005: "By contrast, in the world of bullshit, the world that President Bush now commands, there is no standard for judgment and, hence, no basis for accountability."
  • Paul Craig Roberts, "Enabling Evil. Bush's Willing Executioners," Counter Punch, June 14, 2005.
  • Robert Kuttner, "Head in the sand," Boston Globe, June 15, 2005: "Somewhere, in a parallel universe, real leaders in a country very much like our own are dealing with real problems. Imagine what America might be like if our top officials were addressing the genuine challenges that confront us."
  • Eric Alterman, "Lying Liars & the Presidents Who Employ Them," The Nation, June 29, 2005.
  • Randolph T. Holhut, "'Even Karl Rove's lies can't save President Bush now'," The Smirking Chimp, June 30, 2005: "It's a sign that the Bush administration is now so tapped out, so intellectually bankrupt and so without scruples that it is reduced to attacking the patriotism of the 60 percent or so of Americans who now think George W. Bush is running this country straight into the ground."
  • "Liberally use Rove's rules against Rove," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 30, 2005: "Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser and deputy chief of staff, had himself a little fun a week ago. ... 'Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war,' Rove said in a New York speech. 'Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.' ... That's a harsh indictment of a substantial portion of the American people. It's also patently untrue."
  • Helen Thomas, "Rove Crosses Line With Attack On Liberals. Bush Adviser Comes Close To Calling Democrats 'Appeasers'," Hearst Newspapers, June 30, 2005.
  • M. Kane Jeeves, "Bush's Damaged Control," mkanejeeves.com, July 5, 2005.
  • Robert Scheer, "Bush Is Serving Up the Cold War Warmed Over," Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2005.
  • Mary deJuliis, "Texas protest changes columnist's perspective," Muskogee Phoenix, August 18, 2005.
  • Patricia Goldsmith, "Government by Dirty Tricks," Dissident Voice, August 22, 2005: "That’s the kind of government we have now. It’s run by people who have the mentality of 13-year-olds who repeat everything you say. Everything is carried out in the spirit of a very nasty practical joke whose very stupidity is a tremendous insult. Unfortunately, these puerile tactics do accomplish their purpose: they make us disengage."
  • Carla Binion, "Cindy Sheehan, mainstream media and Bush propaganda," The Smirking Chimp, August 31, 2005.
  • Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus, "Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument," Washington Post, November 12, 2005.
  • Craig Unger, "The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed," Vanity Fair, June 6, 2006: "The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House."
  • Margaret Carlson, "Bush Mired in Stealth, Lies and Cover-Ups," Bloomberg News, April 26, 2007.
Pages
Sites

Iraq specific

Dated Material

Instances

  • Although there is documentation for any number of Bush lies and deceptions, the one which could perhaps be called the "Grand Daddy of Them All" originated with the events of September 11, 2001 and "ended" with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) on March 19, 2003.
  • Op-ed columnist Paul Krugman, in the March 19, 2004, New York Times, points directly to President George W. Bush, who, merely a year ago, "had a global mandate to pursue the terrorists responsible for 9/11 (i.e. Al Qaeda), [but] went after someone else (Saddam Hussein) instead." [4]
  • Another interesting event is something the Salon blogspot calls "Truth by Decree": "In case there was any question whether our invasion of Iraq has made the nation and the world safer, Congress has passed a resolution to that very effect." On March 11, 2004, Henry Hyde (R-IL) introduced House Resolution 557 which "affirms [among other things] that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq." It passed 327-93 on March 17.
  • "The president's speech was misinformation, pure and simple," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. [5] "The administration is making a series of deliberate misstatements to deceive the American public." about the PATRIOT Act.
  • Pete Yost, writing for the Associated Press announced February 17, 2005, that it had uncovered two private meetings between former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and Republican pollsters during the Presidential campaign. "Ridge's get-togethers with Republican strategists Frank Luntz and Bill McInturff during a period the secretary was saying his agency was playing no role in Bush's re-election campaign were revealed in daily appointment calendars obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act."

Tools

Analysis

Optical Delusion: Maureen Dowd writes in the April 7, 2004, New York Times Op-Ed "Mired in a Mirage" that "All White Houses spin and lots of presidents stray into fiction. ... Johnson on Vietnam. Nixon on Watergate. Bill Clinton trying to squeeze through silly semantic loopholes on his sex life. And when Ronald Reagan made statements that turned black into white -- trees caused pollution or welfare queens drove Caddys -- his aides said that authenticity was irrelevant because the Gipper was sharing 'parables' or 'notions,' reflecting larger truths as he saw them."

However, she adds, "By holding back documents, officials, information, images and the sight of returning military coffins, by twisting and exaggerating facts to fit story lines, by demonizing anyone who disagrees with its version of reality, this administration strives to create an optical delusion."

"Just as they once conjured a mirage of a Saddam sharing lethal weapons with Osama, now the president and vice president make the disingenuous claim that Al Qaeda is on the run and that many of its capos are behind bars. Meanwhile, counterterrorism experts say terrorism has become hydra-headed, and one told Newsweek that the spawned heads have perpetrated more major terror attacks in the 30 months since 9/11 than in the 30 months before. Experts agree that the nature of the threat has shifted, with more than a dozen regional militant Islamic groups reflecting growing strength."

"The president did not want to mar the gay mood of his fund-raiser here Wednesday night, so he did not mention the ghoulish slam dance in Falluja. As The Times's David Sanger wrote, 'In the Bush campaign, casualties are something to be alluded to obliquely, if at all.' In the Bush alternative universe of eternal sunshine, where the environment is not toxic and Medicare is not a budget buster, body bags and funerals just muddy the picture.

"Bush strategists say that good or bad Iraq news is still good for Mr. Bush; they think scenes of desecration will simply remind voters of his steely presidential resolve.

"The Bushies are busy putting a retroactive glow on their terrorism efforts, asserting that their plan was more muscular and 'comprehensive' than Mr. Clinton's. To support that Panglossian view, they held back a load of Clinton documents on terrorism from the 9/11 commission.

"If we can't take a cold, hard look at reality, how can we protect ourselves from terrorists? And how can we rescue Iraq from chaos? Now we're told the military is preparing an 'overwhelming' retaliation to the carnage in Falluja. You can hear the clammy blast from the past: We're going to destroy that village to save it."


Congressional investigation into "intelligence failures" behind the Iraq invasion: "like many Congressional investigations, this one has been set up to avoid answering key questions while wasting millions of taxpayer dollars that do not even exist because of huge budget deficits. The focus of the investigation was limited so that it addresses only the gathering of intelligence but not how forthright the administration presented intelligence to Congress, the U.N. or the American public. The Bush administration is also appointing all committee members so the investigation can hardly be independent. In addition, the scope was expanded to include intelligence on other countries such as Libya, Syria and North Korea and the time frame was pushed into 2005 so that the findings would not impact the 2004 election. Since the Congressional investigation has been corrupted, [Garland Favorito, author of Our Nation Betrayed, has] produced the following analysis of the exact intelligence known PRIOR to the invasion and what the investigation will never reveal to the American public."


Moe Blue, in his March 29, 2004, Bad Attitudes posting "Reliable Numbers", puts it this way: [6]

"The Bush administration has a proven proclivity for doctoring the output of government agencies to suit the agenda of the moment. Whether it's messing with EPA reports (deleting all references to global warming, falsely claiming the air at Ground Zero is safe, etc.) or submitting known-false cost projections to Congress over the prescription drug benefit, the White House has shown time and time again its willingness to lie about anything and everything.
"All of which leads to the real dilemma: The reliability of the data issued by the White House is questionable, and that makes it difficult or impossible to govern the country, and impossible for business to flourish. The president's economic forecast, issued last month, was quickly proven to be so much fantasizing to meet the political needs of Team Bush. With that document now on the trash heap, how can Congress or the White House do any substantial planning for the next year?
"Similarly, the Bush budgets famously leave out known extreme expenses (i.e., the cost of the Iraq occupation). Again, this makes it impossible to prepare a budget that's based on anything other than blue-sky fantasies.
"All this should disturb voters of any political stripe -- from far-right to extreme left. If the data upon which our government governs is twisted or fabricated to suit instant political needs, governing is impossible. And that poses far more of a threat to our system of government and our way of life than any possible terrorist attack."

Compare THIS: George W. Bush's Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people. The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda. The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other." TO THIS: "Just a Thought" by Joshua Marshall, Talking Points Memo, March 17, 2004: "One of the things we hear again and again from the administration is that Saddam Hussein still had both the intention and the capability to build and possess weapons of mass destruction. ... Isn't this a logical fallacy? ... I mean, if you have the intention to build WMDs and the ability to build them, then you have WMDs. It's about as close to 2 + 2 = 4 as you get in human affairs. ... We can infer from the fact that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction that he lacked either the intention or the ability to have them. Something is missing from the equation. Maybe he had the intention to build them later. Maybe he was working to get back the ability. But he really couldn't have had both."