Okay, I know I said I was going to get off the political bandwagon and get on with my life, but I’m a bit of a dog on a bone here. CIA Director George Tenet is trying to take the bullet for Bush’s claims about Saddam going after uranium in Africa. (Look here if you need the background.) This is wrong on so many levels I’m about to explode.
First, Bush can’t expect to have a lackey take the fall for something he said in his most important speech of the year. To abdicate responsibility for the content of his State of the Union Address is tantamount to a confession that he is not in control of the words, ideas, and (by implication) the policies which emanate from The White House. It’s an admission that he’s no more than the mouthpiece of a behind-the-scenes person or group, and that he really is the intellectual lightweight he appeared to be prior to his 9/11 rebirth. Yet Bush is staying comparatively silent, and (inconceivably) no one is calling him on it! C’mon George. You’ve been full of testosterone-laden rhetoric for 18 months. Is it all bluster, or are you really man enough to be accountable?
Second, Tenet admits that the information was known to not be credible, but claims someone at The White House (presumably either Bush or the aforementioned “men behind the curtain”) insisted it but put in the speech anyway. The motivation was clearly to create a case for a war he/they had already decided to fight. He/they lied to us to gain support for their agenda. It’s that simple. And this is the same political faction that demanded Clinton’s impeachment for lying to the American people, right? I’m sorry, but Clinton told a lie damn near any of us would have told given that we’d been accused of a similar transgression. His lie did not cost the taxpayers billions of dollars and hundreds of citizens their lives.
Which brings us to point three. There is no evidence for WMDs after the fact. The pre-war evidence was at least partially fabricated and probably exaggerated in whole. The stated motivation for the war was to remove the imminent threat Saddam posed to U.S. citizens, soil, and interests overseas. (Claims about spreading freedom and liberating the oppressed are merely emotional posturing. Were that a reason for military action, the Marines would never sleep.) In essence then, the motivations for the war were fabrications. This leaves a huge hanging question: Why then did we attack Iraq? Enquiring minds want to know.
There are two obvious answers. One is that the motivation was simply for the Son-of-a-Bush to finish the job his daddy started. If true, it would mean that a vast portion of the political machinery of this country is malleable enough to be formed to the narrow agenda of a handful of emotionally insecure radicals. I find that unlikely. If the structure were that weak, the government would not be so paralyzed over so many other issues. Power is not that easy to wield. Politicians have repeatedly demonstrated that they are capable of being immensely self-serving, and are not likely to align behind an emotionally driven plan.
The alternate obvious answer is that the war was motivated by the financial interests of the industrially oriented oligarchy. That this was about oil and all the downstream old-money families and companies which would benefit from its cheap and plentiful availability. Occam’s Razor leads us to the cold reality that this is the most likely truth. If it is, this makes Bush’s posturing about fusion, fuel cells, and future alternate fuels all the more disingenuous. Moreover, it makes the ethical blunderings on Enron, WorldCom, et. al. executives look all the more pale by comparison. If their acts were criminal, I’m thinking the beltway insiders should be looking at being fit for striped suits – and I ain’t talkin’ pinstripes.
Let’s face it, if Clinton was in the Oval Office, and this situation developed, there would be special investigators falling over each other’s commissions to get the first indictment. I’m not advocating tit-for-tat witch hunts here. But do think a little accountability is in order. In fairness, there may be an alternate explanation. I’m all ears George.