Friday, June 17, 2005

Invoking the "I" Word

"I" as in impeachment. It is an impeachable offense to lie to Congress. A couple former presidents have stumbled over that law in the past. And now the buzz surrounds our current president and whether he misled Congress in to a war based on falsehood.

The fact that there is a call to have hearings regarding the 'Downing Street Memos' by both congress, and by the public, is heartening. When military families get involved (many of which who have lost sons and daughters in the conflict) then matters are becoming serious.

If the decision to go to war was made lightly and under false pretenses (and I believe it was) and the public and our elected representatives were deliberately misled, then heads should roll. America is strong enough to handle that. We survived Nixon's scandal and that didn't involve body count. This war has bred the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay, damaging our image as a fair and humane country. It has served as the ultimate recruiting poster for Bin Laden and his ilk. It has tumbled over the hive, sending a torrent of enraged bees swarming throughout the world. If we were sent into that war based on a lie, we need to know that and insure that sort of travesty never happens again. Too many soldiers and Iraqis have died to hide the truth.

I recently read an article that made a number of things very clear to me. Unfortuntately it received little notice when it was published last October. The article discusses Mr. Bush's biographer and what the president told him during their interviews in 1999. The biographer, Mickey Herskowitz, was eventually replaced as the prez's handlers didn't feel he was shading the book in a way that made Mr. Bush look good.

From the article:
"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade·.if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."

If you're up for more, the link is below. It's worth the read if nothing more than to send a cold shiver up your spine.

Do I believe this? Actually, I do in light of other unrelated incidents involving Mr. Bush. When the word came that our forces were moving into Iraq, according to reporters present, the president pumped his hands in the air and cheered. It so unnerved the reporters given the solemnity of the moment, they didn't tell the public, feeling it was highly inappropirate as our soldiers would be dying in battle. I can't imagine Lincoln or even Bush I being so callous. But then, according to Rev. Pat Robertson, Bush II honestly believed there wouldn't be any casualties in the war. That is indicative of a man who is dangerously out of touch, solely focused on his own agenda.

In another blog down the line I'll chat about the conspiracy theories around 9/11, including the one that believes that certain key members of our government knew about the terrorists plans before that day and chose not to intervene. When the terrorists got 'lucky' and the towers fell, the imagery was even more graphic. Now even I don't want to contemplate that a president of the United States would allow such a horrific thing to happen solely to insure his presidency was a raving success. Is it impossible? No. Johnson made sure to engineer the Gulf of Tonkin incident to get us into Vietnam. It's been done before. I just hope 9/11 wasn't one of them.

That sort of revelation would do incalculable damage to our trust as a nation. I prefer to think that fate handed Mr. Bush a moment of glory and he milked it. Yet, he should be careful. Those who claim they want to create a legacy invariably do, but not in the way they intend.

For further info on the Downing Street Memos and how the Brits saw the Iraqi disaster coming and that Washington wasn't listening, please visit:

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