James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Monday, October 11, 2004

Keep telling the truth

As we approach the wire in the presidential campaign, the Bush crowd is beginning to reach deeper into its bag of lies, distortions and dirty tricks.

There are some who say the Bushies might lie about anything if they see a chance of conning the public and winning votes. That’s not quite accurate.

In fact, the Bush crowd does lie about everything. One cannot name a topic on which they have been substantially, let alone completely, truthful.

And, no, the two sides are not alike in that respect. The Kerry camp, unfortunately like most political campaigns, distorts some of its own positions and history, and dissembles where the truth is inconvenient. Unlike the Bush bunch, however, they do not lie outrageously – baldly stating as truth that which is 100 percent false -- by habit and preference.

There is a reason for the Bushies having made lying their way of life, of course: Everything they do is aimed at furthering the interests of the very small band of the very rich who are their masters and their ideological peers, much to the detriment of the vast majority of the population.

If the poor, ignorant public understood what is being done to this country and the world by the extremists who control the White House and the House of Representatives, the election would go to John Kerry by a margin of at least 100 to one. (Or the Democrats would have put up a better candidate than Kerry who would win by such a margin.) But the public generally is ignorant, and about half the population accepts the oft-repeated Big Lie without question, especially if it is wrapped in the flag and delivered to the tune of "Proud to be an American."

The best thing to do in the days remaining before the election is to pound at the truth, to point it out to the hard-nosed Bush voters and the few undecided voterss one might run across – with documentation, demonstrable facts, inarguable evidence. Let no Bushy lie go unchallenged between now and Nov. 2. Write letters to reporters and editors as well as letters to the editor for publication, and challenge each false statement you hear from Bush supporters (being mindful of personal safety, of course; the Bush crowd attracts bullies).

For the sake of your arguments, I’m including here, in no particular order, a few of the lies on which the Bushies are campaigning and the truths about those situations, with suggestions on where you can find more documentation.

* The lie: Iraq was a direct and imminent threat to the United States.

The truth: As even many of the Bush backers now must concede – despite the lies repeated by Dick Cheney and others even now – Iraq posed no danger to this country. It had no "weapons of mass destruction," nor did it have even the means to make such weapons. It did not have ties to Al-Qaida, the Taliban or other international terrorist or extremist groups, nor did it actively support such groups or terrorist activity outside its own borders.

Those facts have been affirmed by the 9/11 Commission, virtually every major newspaper and news magazine throughout the world and a great many Republican office holders and former office holders. It’s no longer a question. Among the countless factual reports: ABC News report on 9/11 Commission report, July 7 of this year, CNN report on Cheney attack on media for reporting the lack of an Iraq-Al-Qaida link, June 18 of this year. You can find reports on statements by Charles Duelfer, head of the CIA Iraq Survey Group, in any major newspaper of Oct. 7, 2004. The Washington Post report is thorough and straightforward.

*The lie: Citizens of Iraq are better off for having got rid of Hussein.

The truth: Reporters for a variety of publications and agencies have reported recently from Iraq that the majority of the country’s citizens want the U.S. and its few allies there to leave immediately; they are much worse off economically under our puppet regime than they were under Saddam. While our no-bid contractors bring in workers from other countries, unemployment among Iraqis is running at something over 60 percent. Men are lining up to join the new Iraq police forces despite the killing of literally hundreds of recruits by "insurgents" simply because they can find no other work and their families are hungry. Reporters in Iraq have said recently that they are under constant pressure by our government to report "good news" even if it doesn’t exist.

Months after Congress approved the biggest foreign aid package in our history for the rebuilding of Iraq, less than 5 percent of the $18.4 billion has been spent on rebuilding, and now hundreds of millions of those dollars are being shifted to administrative and "security" spending. As Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., chairman of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Committee, said, "loss of central command and control" in Iraq has made serious rebuilding in Iraq all but impossible. (See Washington Post, April 29, 2004, among many sources. Check "Iraq reconstruction" on the Internet.)

*The lie: The war in Iraq has made America safer, protecting us from terrorists.

The truth: As virtually every news agency (with the possible exception of Fox) has reported, our occupation of Iraq has led to the recruitment of thousands of new terrorists and young men who have entered Iraq to fight our troops. Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader – one around whom terrorists rally and the one who set up the attack on the World Trade Center -- remains free despite Bush’s public vow to capture him quickly, and Bush now pretends he didn’t mean it and that bin Laden just doesn’t matter.

Sen. Bob Graham of Florida discloses in a new book that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many needed resources were being shifted from Afghanistan to be used in the upcoming war against Iraq, making it all but impossible for the army to locate bin Laden and other Al-Quida leaders. The book also says there are ties between the 9/11 attackers and the Saudi Arabian government, which is led by close friends of the oil-loving Bush family.

Former Bush counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke also reveals in a book, "Against All Enemies," that the Bushies ignored repeated warnings about an Al-Quida attack on this country before 9/11 – a charge since confirmed by others – and that they were determined to invade Iraq even though they knew it had no connection to 9/11 or other international terrorist activity. Clarke, who worked for every Republican administration from Reagan on, has been attacked viciously by the Bushies, but they have not refuted his statements.

And yet another truth: The Bushies have underfunded their own "war on terror." They have, for example, refused to fund a request from the IRS for more investigators to seek out terrorist money sources, and, according to a Washington Post report in the last week of March, 2004, immediately after 9/11 the White House cut almost 65 percent from an FBI request for counterterrorism funds.