On Friday February 10, 2005 the Washington Post reported that ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar had released a report stating that the Bush administration had misused intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq. Once again, the media acted surprised.
The Washington Post reported on Pillars assessment:
"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.
The fact is, however, that this was really clear three years ago during the lead up to war with Iraq in the first place. How is it possible that so many people failed to either recognize this, or to act on the recognition of it? The people I am questioning are the Senators and military leaders, the journalists and news agencies, and, most importantly, the American public.
Is blindly falling in line patriotic? When doing so allows the country to be taken down a path towards destruction, as offensive war often does, I think the answer is clearly no, falling in line and trusting the president is not patriotic, it is a form of treason.
When I originally wrote This War Is About So Much More back in March 2003 I asked the following question:
President George W. Bush Jr. has lied to bring us to war with Iraq. Whether this war be right or wrong, and whether its immediate consequences be good or bad, there can be no denial that the nation was moved to war with lies. So what does that mean?
I also stated repeatedly that it was clear that the Bush administration had already made up its mind to go to war with Iraq prior to making their public case for war; indeed I contended, and still contend, that the Bush administration had plans for going to war with Iraq before Bush was even elected in 2000.
The report by Paul Pillar is just one more confirmation of the fact that the Bush administration was able to manipulate the American public into war, and the American mainstream media aided the Bush administration in its deception of America and the world. During the time when questions should have been raised, the American mass media fell in line behind the president and became an instrument of State propaganda. There should be no mistaking the fact that the so-called "independent media" in America, i.e. the monopolistic corporate media that is in bed with the American government, played a vital and critical role in helping George W. Bush lead Americans into a poorly planned and ill conceived war that is now having, and will continue to have, grave implications for this country. The ones who called themselves patriots for waving the flag and "supporting the president" must also be held accountable for their role in further undermining American interests and the interests of the global community as well.
Not only have thousands been needlessly killed, but America is in a weaker military and diplomatic position because of this war, is less capable of dealing with the threat of Iran and North Korea, and has further tarnished its image internationally in ways that have undermined the long term security of the country and the global community.
As I stated originally, this war is about so much more, it's about the fact that the American public doesn't know how to distinguish lies from reality and doesn't exercise independent analysis and judgment of things that they are told by leaders, be they corporate leaders or government leaders. Americans in general truly are an easily manipulated people.