Tuesday, January 13, 2004

More on Paul O'Neill

A few more reflections on the revelations of Paul O'Neill:

  1. Whatever the Bush apologists may say, this is a big deal. For months now, conspiracy theorists have speculated that the motivations for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq weren't pure, and the Bush Administration had used the 9-11 attacks and the 'war on terror' as a bogus excuse for wars they wanted to have for other reasons. Those who lick Bush's boots made fun of these theories. O'Neill's revelations prove conclusively that the conspiracy theorists were 100% correct, and the boot lickers just got to taste a lot of boot. If the Bush Administration was looking for a way to have a war on Iraq from the moment it got into power, it is clear that neither the attack on Iraq nor the attack on Afghanistan had anything to do with 9-11. September 11 was, as the PNAC-ers would have it, the 'Pearl Harbor' which gave them the excuse for the wars they wanted to have for other reasons. All the talk about Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and his alleged connections to al-Qaeda were lies told by the Administration to fool the American people and Congress into a war they had been planning since the Administration came into power (remember, both Powell and Rice said in the first half of 2001 that Saddam was no threat to the United States). The wildest and most unbelievable theories of the conspiracy nuts have proven, again, to be true. The only difference here is that we don't usually find out the truth so conclusively and so early.

  2. As the This Modern World blog points out, contrary to the assertions of the Bush apologists, O'Neill's revelations are news, and directly contradict Bush's own claims that he had not been looking for a war against Iraq before September 11. Bush is a liar.

  3. One of the Bush Administration's claims is that O'Neill simply doesn't know what he was talking about. But he was on the National Security Council! So either the secret cabal that really runs the United States was keeping the truth from the National Security Council, or O'Neill was in a perfect position to know whereof he speaks. Which is it?

  4. The Bush Administration is so terrified about these revelations that they've had to roll out professional crackpot Laurie Mylroie to attempt to debunk him. Mylroie is the one who believes that everything bad that has ever happened to the United States is the personal work of Saddam Hussein, and is regarded as a joke by experts on the subject, but is very popular with the neocons, who use her nutbar theories to support their nutbar plans. Her 'debunking' consists of the fact that Ron Suskind, the author of the book on O'Neill, during the 60 Minutes interview referred to one of Cheney's secret energy documents - squeezed out of Cheney with a lot of litigation by Judicial Watch - as a Pentagon document. It also isn't supposed to be exactly the document that Suskind, in a passing reference, seemed to claim it was (note that O'Neill turned over 19,000 documents to Suskind, so a little confusion is understandable). This little slip, if it was a slip, is supposed to prove that O'Neill is a complete liar, and we can't possibly believe anything he has to say. As 'debunkings' go, this is awfully pathetic. You'll also note that the idea that O'Neill is lying about the Bush plans for Iraq is inconsistent with the boot lickers' argument that everyone knows that Bush had early plans for Iraq, but consistency isn't always possible when you are panicking to find a rebuttal to the truth. The only way to test the crackpot's allegation is for Cheney to finally disgorge all his secret energy documents, and let the public decide who they want to believe!

  5. Why are conspiracies so hard to prove? Why don't more people come forward with the truth? Within hours of O'Neill's revelations the Treasury Department began an investigation because one of the sheets of paper shown in the 60 Minutes interview had 'Secret' marked on it (compare the speed of the O'Neill investigation to the lack of speed in the far more important Plame investigation). This is obvious intimidation, not of O'Neill, but of anyone else who might contemplate telling the truth. This is why conspiracies are so hard to prove. The 'Catch-22' for the Bush Administration is that if they prove the document was important enough to be a real secret document, it backs up O'Neill's case.

  6. Benedict Spinoza at American Samizdat points out that within the course of one week the Bush Administration has faced the following:

    • O'Neill's revelations;

    • the Carnegie Endowment's report about the lies told by the Administration about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;

    • the New York Times story about David Kay's team that was supposed to be looking for evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction but had to return to the United States an utter and embarrassing failure (I wonder how they spent the $600 million in their budget?);

    • the Washington Post story about how there weren't any weapons of mass destruction (together with what must be one of the most embarrassing drawings in American history);

    • the report by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute which found that the war against Iraq managed to both distract from the war against al-Qaeda and bring the U. S. Army "near the breaking point"; and

    • Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski's concluding article on the baleful influence of the neocons on the American military.

    Yikes! Seven days of reports that you are a liar makes one weak!