OK, I admit it: I'm starting to feel sorry for our
president again. Why? Things seem to be crashing all around him.
If he had ever read W. B. Yeat's poem, "The Second Coming," he would
be remembering these grim lines:
"Things fall apart;
The center cannot hold. . .."
For instance, there's an Associated Press story by
Douglass K. Daniel from last Tuesday with this headline: "Study:
Bush, Other Officials Issued Hundreds of False Statements Before Iraq
The first sentence goes like this: "A study by two
nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top
administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about
the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the
2001 terrorist attacks."
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an
orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and,
in the process, led the nation to war under decided false pretenses."
And it doesn't get much more friendly than that. A few
sentences later, we get this:
"The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year
period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews, and other
venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at
least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was
trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both."
Rememberthis isn't coming from a Democrat propaganda
machine. It's coming from the Associated Press.
And Douglass K. Daniel isn't the only journalist writing
about the subject.
Another A.P. story, this one in USA TODAY, on the same day
quoted Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith making this charge:
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any
weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-
Qaeda. . .. In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war
on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated
and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."
The story named Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald
Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Ari Fleischer, and Scott
McClellan as co-actors in the scam.
The Truth, Mainly
But, Daniel writes, "Bush led with 259 false statements,
231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's
links to al-Qaeda."
He goes on to conclude that "The cumulative effect of
these false statementsamplified by thousands of news stories and
broadcastswas massive, with the media coverage creating an almost
impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war."
It makes more sense if we remember that Alan Greenspan
who was Federal Reserve chairman for 18 yearssaid in his new book,
"The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World" that "I am
saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what
everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil."
And to top it all off, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Dem.
Wisconsin) has called for her colleagues on the House Judiciary
Committee "to conduct hearings on a resolution of impeachment" of the
That may be going a little too far. Before such a step is
taken, we should remember the President is nearing the end of his
term in office. I imagine he will welcome his leaving office
almost, I'd guess, as much as the electorate will welcome his departure.
Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity
from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail