September 24, 2003


The "US mainstream news media," including the NYTwits
and PrettyBlandStuff (PBS), have close to no
credibility or integrity left. How can these people
sleep at night? When they can't hide the bad news,
they use the bad news to drown out the worse news. For
example...You heard about the incredible
shrinking_resident's *exclusive* interview with Faux
News, you heard about his weird and disassociated
speechlet at the UN, you heard about the explosive
remarks of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Camelot)concerning
fraud and bribery, you even heard (if you listened
carefully) that the _resident has fallen behind Wesley
Clark (D-NATO) and John Kerry (D-Mekong Delta), BUT
except for the LNS and the Information Rebellion (i.e.
BuzzFlash, TruthOut, MediaWhores, etc.) hosted on the
Internet, who have not heard about this...
"An investigation of files and archive film for my TV documentary Breaking The Silence, together with interviews with former intelligence officers and senior Bush officials have revealed that Bush and Blair knew all along that Saddam Hussein was effectively disarmed."

THE BIG LIE Sep 22 2003


John Pilger

EXACTLY one year ago, Tony Blair told Parliament:
"Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction
programme is active, detailed and growing.

"The policy of containment is not working. The weapons
of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is
up and running now."

Not only was every word of this false, it was part of
a big lie invented in Washington within hours of the
attacks of September 11 2001 and used to hoodwink the
American public and distract the media from the real
reason for attacking Iraq. "It was 95 per cent
charade," a former senior CIA analyst told me.

An investigation of files and archive film for my TV
documentary Breaking The Silence, together with
interviews with former intelligence officers and
senior Bush officials have revealed that Bush and
Blair knew all along that Saddam Hussein was
effectively disarmed.

Both Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and
Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's closest adviser,
made clear before September 11 2001 that Saddam
Hussein was no threat - to America, Europe or the
Middle East.

In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: "He
(Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant
capability with respect to weapons of mass
destruction. He is unable to project conventional
power against his neighbours."

This is the very opposite of what Bush and Blair said
in public.

Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of
"containment" that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi
dictator - again the very opposite of what Blair said
time and again. On May 15 2001, Powell went further
and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to
"build his military back up or to develop weapons of
mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he
said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box".

Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a
weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam
does not control the northern part of the country,"
she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His
military forces have not been rebuilt."

So here were two of Bush's most important officials
putting the lie to their own propaganda, and the Blair
government's propaganda that subsequently provided the
justification for an unprovoked, illegal attack on
Iraq. The result was the deaths of what reliable
studies now put at 50,000 people, civilians and mostly
conscript Iraqi soldiers, as well as British and
American troops. There is no estimate of the countless
thousands of wounded.

In a torrent of propaganda seeking to justify this
violence before and during the invasion, there were
occasional truths that never made headlines. In April
last year, Condoleezza Rice described September 11
2001 as an "enormous opportunity" and said America
"must move to take advantage of these new

Taking over Iraq, the world's second biggest oil
producer, was the first such opportunity.

At 2.40pm on September 11, according to confidential
notes taken by his aides, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense
Secretary, said he wanted to "hit" Iraq - even though
not a shred of evidence existed that Saddam Hussein
had anything to do with the attacks on New York and
Washington. "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as
saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
Iraq was given a brief reprieve when it was decided
instead to attack Afghanistan. This was the "softest
option" and easiest to explain to the American people
- even though not a single September 11 hijacker came
from Afghanistan. In the meantime, securing the "big
prize", Iraq, became an obsession in both Washington
and London.

An Office of Special Plans was hurriedly set up in the
Pentagon for the sole purpose of converting "loose" or
unsubstantiated intelligence into US policy. This was
a source from which Downing Street received much of
the "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction we now
know to be phoney.

CONTRARY to Blair's denials at the time, the decision
to attack Iraq was set in motion on September 17 2001,
just six days after the attacks on New York and

On that day, Bush signed a top- secret directive,
ordering the Pentagon to begin planning "military
options" for an invasion of Iraq. In July 2002,
Condoleezza Rice told another Bush official who had
voiced doubts about invading Iraq: "A decision has
been made. Don't waste your breath."

The ultimate cynicism of this cover-up was expressed
by Rumsfeld himself only last week. When asked why he
thought most Americans still believed Saddam Hussein
was behind the attacks of September 11, he replied:
"I've not seen any indication that would lead me to
believe I could say that."

It is this that makes the Hutton inquiry in London
virtually a sham. By setting up an inquiry solely into
the death of the weapons expert David Kelly, Blair has
ensured there will be no official public investigation
into the real reasons he and Bush attacked Iraq and
into when exactly they made that decision. He has
ensured there will be no headlines about disclosures
in email traffic between Downing Street and the White
House, only secretive tittle-tattle from Whitehall and
the smearing of the messenger of Blair's misdeeds.

The sheer scale of this cover-up makes almost
laughable the forensic cross-examination of the BBC
reporter Andrew Gilligan about "anomalies" in the
notes of his interview with David Kelly - when the
story Gilligan told of government hypocrisy and
deception was basically true.

Those pontificating about Gilligan failed to ask one
vital question - why has Lord Hutton not recalled Tony
Blair for cross-examination? Why is Blair not being
asked why British sovereignty has been handed over to
a gang in Washington whose extremism is no longer
doubted by even the most conservative observers? No
one knows the Bush extremists better than Ray
McGovern, a former senior CIA officer and personal
friend of George Bush senior, the President's father.
In Breaking The Silence, he tells me: "They were
referred to in the circles in which I moved when I was
briefing at the top policy levels as 'the crazies'."

"Who referred to them as 'the crazies'?" I asked.

"All of us... in policy circles as well as
intelligence circles... There is plenty of documented
evidence that they have been planning these attacks
for a long time and that 9/11 accelerated their plan.
(The weapons of mass destruction issue) was all
contrived, so was the connection of Iraq with al
Qaeda. It was all PR... Josef Goebbels had this
dictum: If you say something often enough, the people
will believe it." He added: "I think we ought to be
all worried about fascism (in the United States)."

The "crazies" include John Bolton, Under Secretary of
State, who has made a personal mission of tearing up
missile treaties with the Russians and threatening
North Korea, and Douglas Feith, an Under Secretary of
Defence, who ran a secret propaganda unit "reworking"
intelligence about Iraq's weapons. I interviewed them
both in Washington.

BOLTON boasted to me that the killing of as many as
10,000 Iraqi civilians in the invasion was "quite low
if you look at the size of the military operation."

For raising the question of civilian casualties and
asking which country America might attack next, I was
told: "You must be a member of the Communist Party."

Over at the Pentagon, Feith, No 3 to Rumsfeld, spoke
about the "precision" of American weapons and denied
that many civilians had been killed. When I pressed
him, an army colonel ordered my cameraman: "Stop the
tape!" In Washington, the wholesale deaths of Iraqis
is unmentionable. They are non-people; the more they
resist the Anglo-American occupation, the more they
are dismissed as "terrorists".

It is this slaughter in Iraq, a crime by any
interpretation of an international law, that makes the
Hutton inquiry absurd. While his lordship and the
barristers play their semantic games, the spectre of
thousands of dead human beings is never mentioned, and
witnesses to this great crime are not called.

Jo Wilding, a young law graduate, is one such witness.
She was one of a group of human rights observers in
Baghdad during the bombing. She and the others lived
with Iraqi families as the missiles and cluster bombs
exploded around them. Where possible, they would
follow the explosions to scenes of civilian casualties
and trace the victims to hospitals and mortuaries,
interviewing the eyewitnesses and doctors. She kept
meticulous notes.

She saw children cut to pieces by shrapnel and
screaming because there were no anaesthetics or
painkillers. She saw Fatima, a mother stained with the
blood of her eight children. She saw streets, mosques
and farmhouses bombed by marauding aircraft. "Nothing
could explain them," she told me, "other than that it
was a deliberate attack on civilians."

As these atrocities were carried out in our name, why
are we not hearing such crucial evidence? And why is
Blair allowed to make yet more self-serving speeches,
and none of them from the dock?

Posted by richard at September 24, 2003 09:54 AM