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Powell Aide Says Case for War a 'Hoax' 931

PBS recently aired an interview with Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson (Ret), Chief of Staff at the Department of State from Aug 2002 - January 2005, addressing some of the skepticism surrounding the pre-war claims made by the Bush administration. Wilkerson claims in no uncertain terms that he "participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council." This is not the first time that Wilkerson has spoken out against the administration and intelligence community.
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Powell Aide Says Case for War a 'Hoax'

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  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#14651399)
    Everyone outside the US already knows this.
    • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:03PM (#14651520)
      And half the people inside the US know it too (not coincidentally, it's the same half who doesn't use Faux News as their sole source of information, and who voted against Bush). The trouble is that the other half are the ones running the country at the moment...
    • Pehaps this is only sour grapes that the Clinton administration failed to capitalize on setting up a war that would ensure Al Gore's Whitehouse instead of George Bush's. After all, look at how many statements were made about the dangers accumulating in Iraq before George Bush became President:

      February 1, 1998: "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction." - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

      February 4, 1998: "One
      • by hamburger lady ( 218108 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:35PM (#14654408)
        back in 1998 hussein had WMDs and a WMD program. that's why all of those quotes are from 1998. in late 1998, clinton got pissed and bombed the shit out of iraq, targeting anything that looked remotely like a WMD storage or manfacture facility.

        that isn't to say that some dems didn't speak of WMD programs in iraq after then, but just realize that using those statements from 1998 is about as disingenuous as using quotes from 1945 to 'prove' that the democrats thought germany was a threat to the US in 1973.
      • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @07:31PM (#14655442) Homepage Journal
        I honestly don't think a Clinton invasion of Iraq would have put the presidency in Al Gore's hands. For better or worse, Conservatives and the Republican part 'own' national security. When Democrats are seen as doing anything to promote security, the right wing takes it as the Left playing politics with the military. Remember, the strikes Cliton ordered on Sudan and Afghanistan were on the eve of his impeachment. Remember all the 'wag the dog' talk? How much worse would it have been if Clinton had invaded Iraq? I don't think he would have had much support o n the left for his invasion either.

        Though it would have played out much betterif Clinton *had* invaded Iraq -- there might actually be a stable democracy there right now. Clinton did a great job in the former Yugoslavia, with no combat casualties.

        Hell, I don't know.
  • Marked? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haluness ( 219661 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#14651400)
    I wonder whether he'll be marked - crazy, unreliable, or simply unpatriotic
    • Re:Marked? (Score:3, Insightful)

      And why can't he be marked all three?
    • Re:Marked? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jilles ( 20976 )
      No they'll simply ignore him. Has worked just fine so far. It's not like that wasn't very obvious anyway.
      • Smedley Butler []
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Jump to: navigation, search

        Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 - June 21, 1940), nicknamed "the fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be so decorated. He was noted for his outspoken left-wing views and his book War is a Racket [], one of the first works describing the military-industrial complex. After retiring from service, Butler became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, communists, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s. Butler came forward to the U.S. Congress in 1934 to report that a proposed coup had been plotted by wealthy industrialists to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

        War Is A Racket []

        It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

        A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

        In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

        -- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. []

        War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

        I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

        I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

        There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

        It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

        I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with ever

        • by irritating environme ( 529534 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:09PM (#14654167)
          Our "defense" department is only minimally defensive. The fundamental design of our military is offensive and aggressive, built on the projection of power globally.

          The primary example of this is the aircraft carrier and its associated air power elements, which allows the US to attack any target in the world within a week if not a day. This advantage subjugates any defenses of a target country.

          ICBMs are likewise designed for intimidation and aggression. Whereas the soviet-era ICBM standoff was defense by mutual destruction, now our ICBMs threaten any country not armed with similar capability with instantaneous death.

          Our long-range bomber fleet is likewise a power projection (offensive) unit, for the delivery of bombs over distances thousands of miles from our borders

          Even ground forces have been reconfigured for maximum mobility, so that full effective ground combat can be waged anywhere in the world in the span of a month. This delay is considered acceptable since that provides a month for our air and sea forces to gain air superiority and soften any defenses.

          The implicit reason for this is maintenance and coercion of our economic projects throughout the world, in order to sustain the resource consumption of America's economy. Our overconsumption leads to the reality that we must project power (via offensive threats) in order to "defend" our "security" (availability of resources)

          This can only be concluded to mean we are an imperialistic aggressive country. Any pretensions to the contrary is strictly propaganda.
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:50PM (#14651402) Homepage Journal
    I've been watching Wilkerson's speeches and interviews and opinions since early 2005. He's been one of the highest ranking officials to speak about the cabal that is in control of the White House now, but he also has inferred that the cabal has been in power for longer than the currency administration has been. For those who are anti-Bush, do not believe the Clinton was not part of the power party, either.

    I strongly believe that the true case for war was to keep the petrodollar in power. I also believe that almost every war and military action we've been involved in since 1913 has been primarily for control of the global currency base, not for oil or trade or communism or any of the usual suspects.

    Iran's current oil bourse theories came along just before the power party started beating the war drums against Iraq. I posted today the link to the Cheuvreux Report [] that reconfirms my crazy tinfoil hat theories about the control of the dollar, and this time from a huge international investment bank. War is the health of the State, said Randolph Bourne. For millenia, war was always about directly controlling others. Yet in the recent centuries, war has been about controlling others indirectly -- by controlling the means of barter between people.

    No matter what Bush or Rice or Clinton or Nixon or Kennedy have said, hindsight lets us see what they were really about -- making sure that their peers and families and cronies were at the front of the welfare lines when our Federal Reserve was handing out newly printed paper dollars. To believe anything else is to continue to be a pawn to the system.
    • For those who are anti-Bush, do not believe the Clinton was not part of the power party, either.

      Triple negative! Followed by postfix conjugation!! That's like 1,000,000,000 Grammar nazi points!!!!
    • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:08PM (#14651577)
      For those who are anti-Bush, do not believe the Clinton was not part of the power party, either.
      Why is anyone against Bush assumed to be for Clinton? Aren't we allowed to have the opinion that they both suck?
      I strongly believe that the true case for war was to keep the petrodollar in power. I also believe that almost every war and military action we've been involved in since 1913 has been primarily for control of the global currency base, not for oil or trade or communism or any of the usual suspects.
      Indeed; if you think about it, we started this Iraq war for exactly the same reason as the Japanese started [the Pacific theatre of] World War II.
    • I strongly believe that the true case for war was to keep the petrodollar in power

      I agree, although a side "benefit" would have been bases from which to promote continued instability in the Balkans and central Asia, regions where instability is frankly a benefit to the Empire because it potentially disrupts the supply of oil between major producers and potential future foes of the Empire.

      And the Empire is not just the US, although the US has been chosen, for its economic and military strength, to do mos

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I also believe that almost every war and military action we've been involved in since 1913 has been primarily for control of the global currency base, not for oil or trade or communism or any of the usual suspects.

      Well I agree with your other points, except this one. Keep in mind that it wasn't until the late 1940's that the US had anything resembling control of the global currency base. Up until the 1940's, everything was pounds sterling. And even then, it probably wasn't until the 1960's that the pou

      • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:30PM (#14651837) Homepage Journal
        Actually, you are very close to being correct in refuting my "since 1913" idea, but I have been spending a LOT of time lately reading up on how the US helped prop up the Sterling for decades and it seems that they/we may have done so in order to help it crash and be replaced. I'm hoping that I'll have performed enough research to back it up in the next few months -- which is why I am holding to the theory.

        • It's always good to know what you want to prove when you go looking for evidence. It helps you prove it.
    • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:34PM (#14651894)
      You are a pawn of the fantasies inside your head.

      "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence" [], or even apply Occam's Razor []. None of this makes sense compared to the simple truth that some people are nasty and have their own agenda; there is no overarching conspiracy across the generations. Or shall we start discussing the New World Order []?

      This is what is truly damaging - those who should be helping the fight instead damage it by acting like crackpots. How do you expect to effect any change if unable to convince others?
      • by Paladin144 ( 676391 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:38PM (#14652649) Homepage
        None of this makes sense compared to the simple truth that some people are nasty and have their own agenda; there is no overarching conspiracy across the generations.

        Your point is reasonable, sane, mainstream and utterly feasible. However, your second point is absolutely wrong. You are making a common mistake among normal, respectable citizens. You believe that politicians are "nasty" and have a tendency to misbehave. A more realistic POV is that politicians are often "evil" and have a tendency to destroy all who oppose them.

        I think Wilkerson's points are well taken. There are certain things that are constant in government, like taxes, war, power, secrets, money and lies. It doesn't really matter which party is in power. Sure, Republicans are a more obvious form of evil, but Democrats are much more subtle and insidious in power. Neither party is good for America. Both parties are corrupt.

        Is it really so hard to believe that a group of wealthy businessmen, bankers and military types would conspire to "own" both parties so that no matter which way the public votes, they'll still be in power? That's not conspiracy-theory madness, that's just good business. Just look at the campaign contributions from the last few election cycles. Most major businesses & their leaders would give heavily to both parties. Why would you, as a businessman, want to piss off one of the parties? Doesn't it make sense to own both? Hell, politicians are cheap - you can rent-to-own for extremely low prices, like a couple hundred grand, but you can get back millions, if not billions of dollars in favorable legislation (tax breaks, pork, no-bid contracts, etc.). Let's not dance around the issues like we live in fantasyland: Corporate America owns the U.S. Government. They own both parties, less a few hardcore partisans and maybe a couple idealists.

        You speak of crackpots, but I think you're the one dealing in crackpottery if you want me to believe that things are exactly as the (corporate) news media presents them. The truth is much more complex, and much uglier. Our politicians swear allegiance not to our liberties or the Constitution, but to the Almighty Dollar. Do they work together to keep their status/office? Of course: You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

        You can call that a conspiracy. I call it business as usual.

        Some good documentaries to check out if you want to look into how oil and the military industrial complex fits into all of this:

        Why We Fight []
        The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear []

        This is what is truly damaging - those who should be helping the fight instead damage it by acting like crackpots. How do you expect to effect any change if unable to convince others?

        Why should the truth be convenient or rational? Why does the truth have to fit inside mainstream political discourse? Why should we have to let the politicians frame the debate and define the terms? You're the one who's ruining the discourse by throwing around words like "crackpot" while doing nothing to refute the grandparent's original points. If you want to have a discussion, then by all means, let's. However, you should concentrate more on facts and reality than attacking others' viewpoints just because they don't fit into your narrow reality.

    • by csirac ( 574795 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:13PM (#14652351)
      As a non-USian, I'm sure I speak the sentiments many others have by saying it wouldn't be nearly as frustating, nearly as fucking annoying if only the USA would stop prancing about with all its self-congratulating double-speak and admit it's just greedy/doesn't care just like everybody else, PICK A SIN AND RUN WITH IT ALREADY.

      As if the phrase "Opeartion Iraqi Freedom" (yes, Iraqis gained some freedoms, but at the expense of others) wasn't bad enough, they actually had the nerve to go and mock real people's blood and guts with it.
  • Fourth estate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zelet ( 515452 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:51PM (#14651418) Journal
    It's too bad that there are no news organizations left that do any kind of investigative reporting. It would be nice to have this guy's claims analyzed by a third party. Oh well, I guess profits are more important than protecting the People of the US from their government.
    • Re:Fourth estate? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 )
      Oh well, I guess profits are more important than protecting the People of the US from their government.

      Ah, but the restraint on media ownership rules that got us to this point were a restraint on freedom. The fact that this destroyed the institution of independent journalism is an unfortunate side effect. The fact that the market doesn't provide the people with the institutions necessary for freedom is tautological proof they don't want freedom.
  • This is not news. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joey Vegetables ( 686525 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:56PM (#14651465) Journal

    War is almost always a hoax, and war other than in self-defense always is.

    The only just reason for war is because the alternative would be even worse - that by not going to war we would have doomed even more people to slavery or death. That is almost never the case.

    It clearly was not the case here, even if every allegation made against Hussein had been true, although most of them were not. The hypothetical murder of some relatively small number (hundreds or thousands) of people, via a terrorist attack Hussein had little reason and less ability to commit, would not justify the actual murder of hundreds of thousands or millions (keep in mind the long-term effects of depleted uranium, not just on Iraqis, but on US forces as well).

    This war and the mindless support US citizens have given it will go down as one of the greatest crimes of modern history, and those who knowingly support it deserve at least as bad as what is coming to them, and probably worse.

    But, as is almost always true of almost every war, the innocent - including those in the US - will suffer far, far more.

    That of course is one of the many good reasons not to start one.

  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:59PM (#14651483)
    ...there'll be an interview with another crew-cut dude with a dot-mil e-mail address, not retired, who'll say the first dude had an axe to grind and is totally wrong. And he'll be right. And the first guy will have been right, too, well, mostly...

    Yeah, but Fox is slanted.

    Wait, I thought it was PBS that was slanted.

    Hillary's moving to the right!!

    But Condi's a snappier dresser.

    Act before midnight tonight, and we'll throw in a debate on global warming!

    Step Right Up! Choose yer channel, make yer choice!

    (Get away from me, Mod, ya bother me...)

  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:01PM (#14651509) Homepage Journal
    So is this enough for an impeachment hearing? People go to jail for murder with less evidence that we have about Bush, Clinton, and Bush, Sr. Do we have enough for Congress to begin a real case? Or is this just dreaming because not enough people in Congress have the balls to go through with it?
    • Impeachment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:53PM (#14652113) Journal []
      The procedure is in two steps. The House of Representatives must first pass "articles of impeachment" by a simple majority. The articles of impeachment constitute the formal allegations. Upon their passage, the defendant has been "impeached."

      Next, the Senate tries the accused. In the case of the impeachment of a President, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the proceedings. Otherwise, the Vice President, in his capacity of President of the Senate, or the President pro tempore of the Senate presides. This would include the impeachment of the Vice President him- or herself. In order to convict the accused, a two-thirds majority of the senators present is required.
      To summarize: President Bush is not going to get impeached unless more Congressmen vote for it, than against it.

      The reason Clinton got impeached for parsing words, is because the Republicans controlled Congress & they managed to get Articles of Impeachment passed. The Impeachment died in the Senate... because the Republicans couldn't convince 75% of the Senators that it was a good idea.
  • Poor Colin Powell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:04PM (#14651531) Journal
    I really feel bad for him.

    He should have either run for President or gotten out after Clinton and not come back.

    Bush & Cheney took all the credibility he had built up and wasted it by sending him to the U.N. to tell fairytales.

    You can read the speech here [] but it isn't really worth doing, as so many of the facts provided in that speech have been proven false and were apparently known to be false at the time the speech was given.

    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:13PM (#14651637)
      > I really feel bad for him.

      I detest him for not having the moral fiber to resign.
      • by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:41PM (#14651972)
        I wouldn't say I detest him for not resigning, but it certainly lowered my opinion of him. I'm sure his rationalization was the "Google defense", we can do more inside than outside, but in fact in his case it's demonstrably false.

        Inside, he proved nearly ineffective ungainst the Rumsfield/Cheney "cabal". By resigning, he would have cast an extremely bright light on the shadowy claims of Bush & co, he would have staked out a clear place for Republicans who don't blindly follow the party line, and he would have been an extremely popular presidential candidate, should he have chosen to run,
      • I hope you're being sarcastic. He left the administration in the most graceful way he could, and preserved most of his image which is pretty impressive, considering the crap he was forced to argue for. I think this is a huge testament to the man's integrity and reputation.

        If I see Powell, McCain, or Guiliani on the 2008 republican ticket, I would vote for any of them in a heartbeat.

        The moderate/liberal republicans seem to be the most effective in office while still preserving a sense of honesty and integr
  • It's true. (Score:5, Funny)

    by bcattwoo ( 737354 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:08PM (#14651587)
    Snopes confirms that it was a hoax.
    • There are at least three possible explanations.

      1. Hoax: intentional falsification of intelligence reports.

      2. Honest mistake: Saddam's bluff took in the intelligence community, and every time his scientists lied to him they were lying to Western eavesdroppers.

      3. Dishonest mistake: starting with the desirability of a war as a premise, drop any conflicting assessments onto the floor and assume that whatever you want to hear is the truth.

      Draw your own conclusions, but read Woodward's _Plan of Attack_ first.
  • by Nato_Uno ( 34428 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:16PM (#14651672)
    Note that he claims to not have *known* that it was a hoax at the time that he participated and that some of his superiors were in the same boat.

    I suspect this would be the likely defense if there *were* an investigation (which I don't expect) - "It wasn't *me* - I had no idea!"

    The part that I find to be *more* damning is where he lists the items that the "intelligence community" *failed* to predict - fall of the Soviet Union, etc. The implication seems to be that the entire system is so flawed that preventing "hoaxes" like this in future will be difficult because it's almost impossible to know what is and is not true and whether or not you have all the data.

    He's able to label the Iraq situation as a hoax only in *hindsight*, as he examines data not available to him at the time. This seems similar to the analyses done after 9/11 where there were suggestions (again, in hindsight) that the "intelligence community" should have known and been able to prevent 9/11 from happening. Hindsight's 20/20, after all...

  • by antv ( 1425 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:30PM (#14651833)
    The problem is that politicians could lie and get away with it. Before the war Bush & Co were pretending that we were in danger from Iraq, and now that they've been proven wrong no one called them on the original claims. If I call the police and falsely claim there's a robbery when there isn't, I will be fined for false call. Bush made a false call which caused 2,000+ Americans and unknown number of Iraqis to die - and he just got away with it.

    We need some sort of accountability system that would force politicians to pay for their mistakes. Require them to publicly estimate cost of war and take all outstanding costs from their personal bank accounts. Wolfowitz estimated war to cost around half a billion, and so far we ended up with more than $200 billion (yes, two hundreen billion US dollars) of extra costs. If Bush & Co were forced to pay all outstanding costs, they would've estimated the cost of war honestly, and people wouldn't be misled into supporting war.

    Same thing for human cost. Require pro-war politicians to gather signatures. It's way too easy to say "I support a war" while sitting at home in front of TV. Make a law that starting a war would require million or so legally binding signatures from people to cover in case we run out of troops. There's always so many vocal pro-war supporters, but when it comes to actually fighting the war we always seem to run out of people. Make war supporters actually carry the cost of war, and they will actually start using their brains first.
    • Bringing politicians to account - isn't that what a democracy is supposed to do?

      Blame your fellow Americans for the way they voted in the last election. If the "people" don't care about being lied to or don't care about complete idiocy and incompetence they *deserve* to bear all the consequences of the incompetence, mistakes and lies of their leaders.

      The American people had a chance to "bring Bush to account" and they gave him a big thumbs up.
      • Fuck democracy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:20PM (#14654818) Homepage
        Only 30% of the eligible population elected this government.

        We don't live in a democracy. We live in a republic. To make politicians accountable, that's the first thing you have to realize.

        You also have to realize that citizens of a republic have certain responsibilities. And I'm not talking about the patriotic bullshit that we're told by government schools, media, and other institutions. I'm talking about being an active, capable, independent member of political society. I'm talking about being able to withhold your vote if there are no candidates you agree with, if the only decision is between the lesser of two evils.

        We're beyond government "ignoring the Constitution". We're beyond government "breaking the law". We're beyond government turning on it's own citizens. We're way into the realm of applied political science, here. So this is a crash course:

        Politicians in the US are using the "anything we can get away with" method to screw us out of our freedoms, our property, and a large chunk of our labor. And they can do so because a large percentage of Americans aren't capable members of the republic. Many of us are dependent upon the empire. We have government jobs, government loans, government housing, business tax breaks, welfare, military pay, military benefits, social security. Each of these things is a chain that binds you to this government and anything it wants to do. As long as you are dependent upon government, this government will act like it owns you. It will tax you, find you work, feed you, house you, and when things get tough, it will send you to die in war. You are their nigger.

        So if you and your family can't do that: if you can't live without government hand outs, if you can't eat without a government job and US money, if you can't heat your house without oil extracted at the point of a gun or coal strip-mined with the help of a court order, you are a slave already. You don't get to complain about how your master treats you. That's the first step: become a citizen deserving of freedoms. Be capable of asserting your independence. Take responsibility for being a member of the republic.

        And the alternatives should be clear by now. As the president has said: it's us versus them. It's us, peaceful, freedom-loving individuals who are concerned for the future of America, versus them, lying, warmongering sycophants who are in it for themselves. It's those that build and create versus those that take and destroy. And here's how we'll win:

        Stop voting. Don't register. Stop using US currency. Stop paying taxes.

        Forget about protesting. Forget about democracy. Forget about "working within the system". That's all bullshit to keep idiots occupied. These four steps, taken on a massive scale, will bring down the US government faster than you can say "military coup". And it will do so peacefully, fairly, "democratically" even.

        That's how you get your country back. But here's how you keep it:

        If you find a politician you agree with, and you think he will win, get a written copy of what he plans to do. Get physical proof of all his political beliefs. Scrutinize it like a lawyer would. Don't fall for any vague crap. This is your contract. You are exchanging your vote, and your sovereignty, for this politician's word. Get it in writing.

        Now, when you vote for the politician, and he wins, and he doesn't do what he said he would do, or does anything that is against the contract you have with him, sue him in court. Sue him for damages. Find co-plaintiffs. Demand to be relieved from your contract. Find another politician you can trust. Or, don't, and learn to live without government. But, most importantly, remember:

        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:31PM (#14651858) Journal
    I've personally always fealt this was the right war, but for the wrong reasons. The Bush administration needed to come up with some reasons to go to war, but they didn't want to admit the truth of why, so they made up these cock-and-bull stories.

          I can't really speak to what the Bush administrations true motives were. I suspect, that, mostly, Bush did think that Saddam Hussein was a growing threat to the US and the Western World, and didn't want to give him any chance to acquire any more WMD than he had. Maybe they sexed up the intelligence (which, btw, if they did do, I don't condone).

          Why do I feel this was the right war? Perhaps my limited knowledge of history is incorrect, but, it is my current understanding that Europe and the US have played 'chess' with the Middle East for most of the 20th century, and that, to a large extent, Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq because earlier administrations had propped him up. The U.S. has, purportedly, done some very bad things in the region, including: Iran had, at one time, a democratic government. The CIA apparently helped overthrow the democratic government and install a dictator (I don't know that he was a *bad* dictator per se, but still), which lead to the Iranian revolution which installed the current Theocracy we all know and love. It my understanding that the US then propped up Saddam Hussein as a sort of first-line-of-defense against Iran.

          Personally, I feel America needs to give the middle east an apology for so much meddling, and get the hell out of their business. But, alas, Saddam Hussein was part of that meddling. And so, to try to get things somewhat 'right' before leaving, we are forced to meddle some more. And that, I feel, is the truest and best justification for the current actions in Iraq. To turn over the future of Iraq to the Iraqi people. As for Iran, as much as I don't like the current government (espcially the hate-mongering, former-terrorist president of Iran) it should also be recognized that, for to some extent, the current government of Iran represents the people of Iran, and outside of defending ourselves against them, we need to let their politics run their own course.

    Of course, I may be completely wrong. I can only go by the history that I have learned, and it is within possibility that the history I've been taught is either completely wrong, or incomplete in some critical way.

    The sad thing is though, that what history will likely remember is that we entered into this action on bad intelligence and bull-crap stories from Bush & Cheney, LLP. And, because we entered into it the wrong way, with the wrong communication to the Iraqi people, and the rest of the Muslim world, it will probably have the wrong outcome - forcing us to meddle further in Middle Eastern affairs.
  • by corbettw ( 214229 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:37PM (#14651928) Journal
    First let me say, I'm a Bush supporter. I'm in the Reserves, and I participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). I was lucky enough to be 1500 miles from the front lines, unlike the rest of my unit, but in any event I was there and I've got the tee-shirt to prove it. When the war first started, I was completely in favor of it. Today, I don't regret that we went in at all, and think in the long run the Iraqi people (and by extension the rest of the Middle East) will be much better off with a participatory democracy than living under the heel of a thug.

    Having said all that, it's becoming more and more worrisome to me the degree to which the administration apparently ignored or possibly fabricated evidence. I remember saying at the time that it was a fool's errand to use WMD and/or terrorism as the reason to go to war, and that it seemed more like slick marketing than actual strategery. We had plenty of reasons to go in, and none of them had anything to do with WMDs or terrorism. Like the fact that the Iraqi forces habitually fired on US and UK aircraft patrolling the UN mandated No Fly Zones (considering that just prior to the war, I was working in the Turkish command center that controlled the Northern No Fly Zone and had friends and, literally, family flying over Iraq, yeah, I kinda took it personally).

    But apparently someone, somewhere, decided that overt acts of aggression in violation of a cease-fire agreement weren't sufficient reason to justify reopening hostilities. So they decided to use weak or non-existant evidence to justify it, instead. Stupid. Just fucking stupid.

    So now here we are, not-quite-three years later. We've spent billions of dollars, have hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground, and have thousands of war dead. What's the solution? Well, on the right you have people saying "It wasn't a lie, it was just a mistake." Well, when it comes to something of this magnitude, does it really matter if the root was incompetence or malfeasance? Sure, maybe from a criminal point of view (for instance, I'm not convinced there's a case for impeachment here). But not a whom-do-you-trust-to-run-the-country point of view.

    Then on the left we have people like Murtha and Kennedy screaming that we should leave, RIGHT NOW GODDAMNIT!!! That's just insane, we can't leave the Iraqis in a worse position than we found them. That would be like walking away from a car stuck underwater with a woman trapped inside. I mean, what kind of man does that?

    So here's what I want to see from politicians: be willing to say "Looks like we screwed up. We completely apologize to the Iraqi people and ask that you forigive us. We promise, to our citizens and the world, that we'll never again invade another country without an individual declaration of war passed by the Congress, ensuring that there will be a full debate before we, as a nation, take the lives of other human beings. We also promise that, now that we're in Iraq, we need to do right by the Iraqis and help them fix all the problems we caused. To that end, we'll follow the policies implemented by the Iraqi National Congress, and be willing to lend whatever assistance they request of us.[1]" Any politician who can say that, consistently, with a straight face, would get my vote.

    [1] I know this would be effectively giving the Iraqi government a blank check, but I think that would be worth it to gain some much needed good will.
    • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:46PM (#14652729) Journal
      Then on the left we have people like Murtha and Kennedy screaming that we should leave, RIGHT NOW GODDAMNIT!!! That's just insane, we can't leave the Iraqis in a worse position than we found them. That would be like walking away from a car stuck underwater with a woman trapped inside. I mean, what kind of man does that?

      First, and with respect to your service, impugning the character of Jack Murtha is beneath you. It's little better than when "Mean" Jean Schmidt did so on the house floor, and is disrespectful of the Representative's service and, even more importantly, his dedication to the well-being of our troops.

      Second, you mischaracterize Rep. Murtha's proposal. Should you care to read it, it's available here. It calls for large-scale redeployment at "the earliest practicable date," which Murtha has in the past estimated as requiring about six months. This is hardly equivalent to "leaving right now." []

      Third: rather than debate the "immediacy" of the representatives plan, many supporters of the administration have chosen to take issue with the notion of an "artificial timetable." Obviously you're free to agree or disagree with the idea, but keep in mind that a sizeable portion of the Iraqi National Assembly recently released a statement in which they called for that very timetable. Even more recently, they repeated that demand: tellingly, they condemned terrorism, but defined terrorism in such a way that excludes insurgents who attack the US Military.

      So, respectfully, I would suggest that the Iraqis that you fought to "liberate" have spoken, and what they're saying is, "Thank you. Now get out."
    • Then on the left we have people like Murtha and Kennedy screaming that we should leave, RIGHT NOW GODDAMNIT!!! That's just insane, we can't leave the Iraqis in a worse position than we found them. That would be like walking away from a car stuck underwater with a woman trapped inside. I mean, what kind of man does that?

      If you knew anything about congressman Murtha you would know he is (or was) considered fairly conservative - which is why his speaking out had such impact. Of course, I expect him to be bran
  • It's Still Happening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:41PM (#14651962)
    The Bush administration continues to present "facts" that are carefully selected to support their policy decisions. Because they control all three branches of government, there is no one within the government that can challenge these "facts". Unless the news media grow a pair and start challenging the Bush administration's "facts" we will just have more of the same.

    Here are some current "facts" from the Bush administration that are being accepted without question by the media and most of the US population:

    If we withdraw from Iraq the terrorists will win.

    This statement seems to imply that unless the USA maintains 100,000+ troops in Iraq for many years then the insurgents will overrun Iraq and set up Bin Laden as a dictator of Iraq. This is obviously false at a number of levels. At a most basic level, the insurgents lack the capability to defeat the Shiite militias. In the broader picture, even if the USA sets up a stable democracy after many year of occupation, there is no guarantee that the Iraqi people will not elect a government with strong ties to organizations that the USA considers to be terrorist organizations. Whether it is a good idea for the USA to maintain substantial trooop levels in Iraq for many years to come is unclear without substantial impartial detailed study. If these studies have been done at all, the results have certainly not been presented to the American people. Instead, we are merely given some simplistic message about how the terrorists will win unless we do what the Bush administration wants.

    Social security is broken.

    The way social security works is that people who are working pay into the system and that money is used to pay benefits for people who are retired. Strictly speaking, it's not possible for the system to break. The government just transfers the money that is collected from the workers to those receiving retirement benefits. In order to cushion the effect of the baby boom generation, however, the government was collecting more than it was paying out. The problem is that the rest of the government started borrowing against this surplus and now the Bush administration is looking to avoid having to pay it back. Whether the current system is optimal is certainly open to debate but the idea that the system is "broken" is obviously false.

    The Bush administrion did nothing illegal in order the NSA to listen in on American phone conversations

    From the Bill of Rights in the US constitution:

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    I'm not a constitutional scholar but that seems to rather clearly state that some kind of warrant is required. Maybe there's a loop hole and maybe there isn't but it is certainly not factual to blatantly assert that it is legal for the US government to listen in on American phone conversations without a warrant.
    • Strictly speaking, it's not possible for the system to break.

      Sure it is. If you have a lot of old people, and not a lot of young people, the system breaks. It's that simple. American social security works, because current workers pay for the current retiring generation. If you have a lot more people leeching benifits than are working, either taxes have to go (way) up or you have to decrease benifits.

      If social security went into a fund where you were paying for your own generations retirement it
  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:54PM (#14652134) Journal
    Building WMDs on any large scale is a HUGE undertaking. Sure, anyone with a little knowledge can cook up poison gas in their bath tub but to make it on a military scale is very complex you need:
    1) Chemical plants (or bio incubator sites) to make tons of the stuff.
    2) Railrods or fleets of trucks to bring in precursor chemicals.
    3) A source for the precusros, either from overseas or from plants in country.
    4) Then you have to develop some sort of delivery system, shells, bombs, planes, boats etc.
    5) You need thousands of people to support the operation: scientists, engineers, security people, administrative people etc.
    6) Power plants to run the various factories.
    7) Then you ned to train people in use of the delivery system.

    During WWII the Germans tried to proect ahd hide some of their plants in caves. The locations were usually easy to spot due to the huge infrastructure needed. And even though many of the factories were deep enough not to be damaged by bombs, many of them could effectively be shut down by cutting off access to power or the transportation net. And factor in that there were UN inspectors on the ground as well as electronic survelliance, and the possibility of Sadam developing stockpiles of wepaons on the sly becomes slim to none.

    We were definitely lied to.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:00PM (#14652204) Homepage
    Cost us $400B in direct losses and 1000+ lives so far with no end in sight. Some of that $400B goes to companies closely affiliated with Bush and Cheney. Bush gets blanket immunity from impeachment under the guise of "war on terror", domestic economy goes down the shitter, international relations follow, constitutional rights are infringed upon... Sure beats Clinton screwing an intern. Why was Clinton impeached and this fella is still in the office like nothing happened?
    • by puzzled ( 12525 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:48PM (#14652743) Journal

        I voted for Bush because I was sick of Clinton's zipper going up and down. Body bag zippers go one way and they take a lot longer to close since they're about six feet long.

    • by Björn ( 4836 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:24PM (#14653747)
      Cost us $400B in direct losses

      That is probably and optimistic figure, at least a according to Joseph Stiglitz:

      The real cost to the US of the Iraq war is likely to be between $1 trillion and $2 trillion (£1.1 trillion), up to 10 times more than previously thought, according to a report written by a Nobel prize-winning economist and a Harvard budget expert.

      This is from an article [] in the British newspaper The Guardian about a month ago.

  • by MECC ( 8478 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:29PM (#14652540)

    What son, when stepping into his father's footsteps, does not feel the urge to outrun his old man.

  • by truckaxle ( 883149 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:33PM (#14652587) Homepage
    If the president had to sell the war on the cost up front there would have been no support whatever. The cost is now around $ 800 [] per citizen. If you are a middle class tax payer that is more around 2k per family member. Some are claiming much higher [].

    But Bush was able to sell the war on a deferred payment plan which includes record deficits and raiding surpluses. If Bush said we are going to war and we are going to tax petro an extra 10 cents a gallon to help pay for it he would have gotten booed of the stage. There should always be a cost for all citizens to go to war as some families are called to pay the ultimate sacrifice.

    I swear the most important number on peoples mind is the price of gas at the pump. The president's approval rating inversely proportional to the price of gas that fuel pump.
  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:36PM (#14652627)
    In another news story today, Bush announced he will cut the deficit by cutting domestic programs. Is it safe to assume that, after this story aired, PBS will be one of the programs cut?
  • by DanTheLewis ( 742271 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:50PM (#14652767) Homepage Journal
    This was the coming-out speech for Wilkerson. It's long, but it's well worth the time. He says Cheney and Rumsfeld made up a cabal that circumvented the foreign policy decisionmaking process, and argues for wholesale reform in the transparency of foreign policy

    We have had some peaks and valleys in our history, but I think post-World War II and World War II itself was a peak, and we had some really good people thinking hard about these issues. And one of the things that they probably wouldn't tell you if they were here today - unless they'd had a few drinks, and Harry Truman would have had a few - (laughter) - is that they didn't want another FDR. They did not want another Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They even amended the Constitution to make sure they didn't get one for more than eight years. But they didn't want the secrecy, they didn't want the concentration of power, they didn't want the lack of transparency into principal decisions that got people killed, even though they'd been successful in arguably one of the greatest conflicts the world has seen. And so they set about trying to ensure that this wouldn't happen again.

    That is not the case today. And when I say that is not the case today, I stop on 26 January 2005. I don't know what the case is today; I wish I did. But the case that I saw for four-plus years was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process. What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. And then when the bureaucracy was presented with the decision to carry them out, it was presented in a such a disjointed, incredible way that the bureaucracy often didn't know what it was doing as it moved to carry them out.

    Video: =520 []
    Transcript (pdf): ile_2644_1.pdf []
  • holy crap (Score:4, Funny)

    by delong ( 125205 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:23PM (#14654856)
    Is it possible to moderate an entire story "Flamebait"?
  • by fatmal ( 920123 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:53PM (#14656713)
    As a non-American, I find it slightly disturbing that the US is now justifying its Iraqi invasion as 'spreading democracy'. This has traditionally not been a strong point of American foreign policy e.g. the Vietnamese people would have voted for 'Uncle Ho' (Ho Chi Min - Communist leader) had the US allowed those elections to go ahead. Now we're seeing the 'wrong' (for the US, the EU and Israel) result in Palestine.

    The danger is that the US will intervene whenever there is a free and fair election result with which it doesn't agree - then we're back with the US installing and supporting their own dictators (Saddam Hussein anyone?) with all of their attendant power abuses simply to keep the 'wrong' people out of (legitimate) power.

    History always repeats!

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller