|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|The political war waged by the creative minds in the Bush administration is most effective for its principal side-effect: lie fatigue. The mendacities purveyed by Mr. Bush and his minions are so numerous, so relentless, and so quick in coming that, stunned, we allow them to stand. Case in point is the administrationís position on the Report of the Special Advisor to the CIA on Iraqís WMD*. It should have been called the Report on Iraqís lack of WMD. The Report concludes that Iraqís weapons capability and stockpiles were destroyed in 1991, after the Gulf War. Saddam, claims the CIA, intended to rebuild his arsenal if UN sanctions were lifted, but only with the aim of cowing Iran.
No WMD since 1991, no capacity to build WMD, the UN sanctions worked, and if Iraq ever did re-acquire such weapons, their intended use was against Iran. Every rationale for the administrationís $150 billion, 9,000 casualty occupation of Iraq is shown to be false by the governmentís own investigator. But instead of hanging their heads in shame, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney trumpet the CIA Iraq report as demonstrating that Iraq was a genuine threat. With no apparent irony, Mr. Bush claims that Saddam Hussein would have restarted his weapons programs as soon as the world looked away, oblivious to the fact that his argument confirms the success of the UN sanctions he has disparaged.
The reaction to this inverting of the truth has been oddly muted, when thereís any reaction at all. Bob Herbert in the New York Times is a notable exception, but mostly the administrationís bare-faced lie has been greeted with dull indifference. News stories dutifully record the Presidentís statements, such as this one he made in Pennsylvania: "There was a risk, a real risk, that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist networks." A chimerical risk indeed since the weapons had been destroyed ten years before and their reappearance depended on lifting sanctions no one, before we invaded Iraq, suggested lifting.
But such correctives to the Presidentís falsehoods are never offered, a passivity that can only be the result of lie fatigue. The condition, after all, has had a long onset. The symptoms first appeared with the theft of the 2000 election, when the voters and the media (and, seemingly, the Democratic party) were stunned by one of the biggest frauds in history. There were half-hearted attempts to get to the bottom of the big lie, but no efforts at all to reverse its consequences. A consortium of newspapers did pay for their own recount of the votes, concluding inconclusively and months later that the Bush campaign won Florida, but only if many and various types of disputed votes were excluded. The consortiumís own statistician determined that it was impossible to pick a winner from the data he collected.** No one insisted on a new vote, starting from scratch, in the sun-stroke state.
A less dazed electorate in 2000 might have demanded that Florida be declared a draw and the election decided on the basis of the popular ballot, which Mr. Gore won by over 500,000 votes. The dazed electorate of 2004 is just about as likely to demand that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney acknowledge the facts in their own report, admit that Iraq is a horrible mistake, and do something decisive about it right now.
General George Patton tried to cure the WWII battle fatigue of one of his men by smacking him across the face. His prescription probably didnít work and very nearly got him fired. But looking at the dulled, dazed face of an electorate bludgeoned into quiescence by the lies of leaders whose opposition to our real interests have made them enemies, the Generalís frustration, while unacceptable, is at least understandable. For the voters to be revived and brought to their senses before November 3rd, they need the truth thrust in their face, frequently and firmly. The Kerry campaign finally seems to agree that this is the right medicine. For all our sakes, letís hope the patient can still be saved.
The Afternoon Affront
How typical of Mr. Cheney that his most memorable line in the vice-presidential debate Ė Senator, Iíve never met you before this evening Ė should have been an obvious lie. The Vice-President is on record as having met Senator Edwards on three prior occasions. At least one of those occasions was photographed. Perhaps Mr. Cheney forgot that he has met Mr. Bush as well. That might account for how very infrequently Mr. Vice acknowledged the existence of his alleged boss.
©J.C. Nossiter 2004
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