Probably the most appalling example of government propaganda in my lifetime were the lies fed the American public by the Bush administration to urge us into war with Iraq. No matter how your feelings fall regarding the outcome of the war, you expect honesty from your elected leaders in justifying a war in the first place.
You’d think this old news but MailOnline is reporting a comprehensive case on how Britain’s Tony Blair government was an all too willing accomplice feeding the Bushies and the rest of the world bogus intelligence.
We know that based on intelligence, that [Saddam] has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
America’s newly found horror in the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction is in sharp contrast to the 1980s when it is suspected America blocked the United Nations from condemning Iraq for using mustard gas during the all but forgotten “Holy” Iran-Iraq War. Even if it were true, why the sudden urgency to go to war over it?
The obvious answer is the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
However, while the Bush administration could dust up a room with allegations of a secret link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, no real proof was offered. As former CIA director George Tenet admitted in 2007: “We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.” Given Iraq’s past track record, the weapons of mass destruction ruse was far more convincing.
Why? Enter ‘Curveball,’ an Iraqi defector held by the Germans running from embezzlement charges in Iraq turned ace-in-the-hole informant. He was the perfect useful idiot for the Bushies to leverage in their propaganda efforts shilling the war. The Germans holding him and not offering easy access provided an air-tight excuse for the CIA not to dig to deep into his claims while swallowing whole what they wanted to hear. The fact that the Germans called him “crazy… out of control”? Not relevant.
We have since learned Curveball is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, an easily proved liar. He claimed to have worked with ‘Doctor Germ’ building mobile biological warfare labs. How is this easily proved false in secretive Iraq? Well, he claimed he was picked for the project because he was top in his class in chemical engineering. Actually, he graduated last. Forgetting even a cursory background check would have revealed him a fraud, his claims didn’t always make sense to the experts tasked with analyzing them and he often sent U.N. inspectors off on wild goose chases proving he was wrong on the details. However, if you’re not looking for proof of a war, merely an excuse, it’s easy to wallpaper over the facts. Hey, the inability to find evidence is wonderful proof of just how devious and dangerous Saddam Hussein really is!
Which is why I like the MailOnline article so much. Based on the release of Gordon Corera’s new book, The Art of Betrayal, it documents how British intelligence has become whores of the political elite. Recall, Tony Blair’s “sexed-up” dossier was a critical component in the sales brochure the Bush administration put together on Iraq. Our expensive and seemingly never ending involvement in Iraq is the price we pay for such purposeful incompetence.