It’s still Thursday, and we found an analysis of Junior’s Valentine’s day press conference that appealed to us.
Breakdown At The Iraq Lie Factory
By Robert Dreyfuss
Feb 15, 2007, 12:54
It was, President Bush must have been thinking, a heck of a lot easier five years ago. Back in 2002, the president had a smoothly running lie factory humming along in the Pentagon, producing reams of fake intelligence about Iraq, led by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith and his Office of Special Plans. Back then, he had a tightly knit cabal of neoconservatives, led by I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, based in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, to carry out a coordinated effort to distribute the lies to the media. And he had a chorus of yes-men in the Republican-controlled Congress ready to echo the party line.
In 2007, Bush stands nearly alone, and he never looked lonelier than during a bumbling, awkward news conference on the Iraq-Iran tangle Wednesday.
Feith is long gone, and last week his lie factory was exposed by the Pentagon’s own inspector general, who told Congress that Feith had pretty much made up everything that his rogue intelligence unit manufactured. Libby is long gone, apparently about to be sentenced to jail for lying about Cheney’s frantic effort to cover up the lie factory’s work. And the congressional echo chamber is gone: In six weeks, the Democrats have held more than four dozen hearings to investigate the White House’s catastrophic Middle East policy, and even Hillary Clinton is warning that Bush had better keep his hands off Iran, saying: “It would be a mistake of historical proportions if the administration thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force against Iran.”
Without his Orwellian apparatus behind him, the president spent most of his hour-long news conference yesterday shrugging and smirking, jutting his jaw out with false bravado, joshing inappropriately with reporters asking deadly serious questions and stumbling over his words. It was painful to listen to him trying to justify the nonsensical claims that Iran and its paramilitary “Quds Force” are somehow responsible for the chaos in Iraq:
What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. That’s a known. What we don’t know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did.
Pressed about what the “head leaders” are doing, he went on:
Either they knew or didn’t know, and what matters is, is that they’re there. What’s worse, that the government knew or that the government didn’t know? … What’s worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening?
If that makes no sense to you, well, that’s because the whole thing makes no sense. It’s a farcical replay of Iraq 2002, when the White House demonized Saddam Hussein with fake intelligence, turning him into a menacing al-Qaida backer armed with weapons of mass destruction. This time, however, the lie factory has been dismantled. All by himself, the president is trying to turn Iran into a scary, al-Qaida-allied, nuke-wielding menace. But he’s not fooling anyone. The potent “war president” of 2002-2003 is now an incoherent, mewling Wizard of Oz-like figure, and people are paying attention to the man behind the curtain.
Read the rest here.