11 Aug 2003 @ 1:11 PM 

I find it interesting that I hadn’t heard anything of this on the national news the past few days. You’d think if Iraqi Trailers were for making hydrogen, not biological arms, someone would have made a big deal of it.

Not saying that the Bush administration’s dissembling, misdirection, and outright lying is malicious, of course. It’s all just the normal way of doing business for neoconservative ideologs.

The rest of this entry is from the FAS Secrecy News mailing for today. Forgive the redundancy.



The Bush Administration has engaged in “a systematic effort to manipulate facts in service to a totalistic ideology that is felt to be more important than the mandates of basic honesty,” said former Vice President Al Gore in a pointed speech last week.

He itemized a series of what he said were “false impressions” propagated by Administration officials in connection with the war on Iraq.

One need not be a Democratic partisan or agree with all the particulars of Gore’s argument to sense that there is indeed something very wrong with the Bush Administration’s public communications. Error, distortion and official misdirection are common threads binding several major news stories in the last few days alone.

Thus, the New York Times reported that “Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say.”

The Bush Administration had triumphantly cited the trailers as unambiguous evidence of an Iraqi biological weapons program.

See “Iraqi Trailers Said To Make Hydrogen, Not Biological Arms” by Douglas Jehl, New York Times, August 9.

The next day the Washington Post provided a startling account of the Administration’s misrepresentation of the Iraqi nuclear threat, lending weight to Gore’s critique (even as a Post editorial contemptuously dismissed it).

“The new information indicates a pattern in which President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their subordinates — in public and behind the scenes — made allegations depicting Iraq’s nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support,” according to the Post story.

“On occasion administration advocates withheld evidence that did not conform to their views. The White House seldom corrected misstatements or acknowledged loss of confidence in information upon which it had previously relied.”

See “Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence” by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, Washington Post, August 10:

And the problem is not limited to foreign policy.

“The Bush Administration has manipulated, distorted, or interfered with science on health, environmental, and other key issues,” according to Rep. Henry Waxman and the minority staff of the House Government Reform Committee, who identified over twenty policy areas that they said had been skewed by ideological considerations.

If even half of these findings and allegations are correct, the implications are profound.

“The very idea of self-government depends upon honest and open debate as the preferred method for pursuing the truth — and a shared respect for the Rule of Reason as the best way to establish the truth,” said Gore. But “The Bush Administration routinely shows disrespect for that whole basic process.”

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Aug 2003 @ 01:11 PM

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