Dem Lies, Memes, Bush and WMD to Fit Lack of ME Policy

Editor’s Note – As we see Obama spin and twist the story about Russia entering the war in Syria as a sign of Russian weakness, he deflects by calling his detractors’ ideas as “half-baked” and “mumbo jumbo”, and apparently he forgot about Hillary Clinton’s idea for a “no-fly” zone.

Major Garret posed that question to him yesterday and his answer called for a quick two-step and then referred to the fact that she being a candidate and being President were two different things.

“Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems,” Obama said carefully, reminding reporters she served in his administration as Secretary of State. But Obama pointed out that Clinton’s rhetoric on Syria is merely campaign rhetoric.

“I also think that there’s a difference between running for president and being president,” he said carefully, pointing out that he was having specific discussions with his military advisors about the right way forward in Syria. “If and when she’s president, then she’ll make those judgments and she’s been there enough that she knows that, you know, these are tough calls,” he said. (Read more here at Breitbart.)

Classic Obama deflection, or twist in the wind like he has done on almost everything Iraq related, including sticking to old lies and societal memes that have long since been disproved as bunk. But it is not just Obama dancing fast and loose with the facts, it seems every single Democrat is as well. Victor Davis Hanson shows us the proof below and reminds us of the stunning flips and flops, lies and half-truths, and stark regularity you can bank on at a Reno Casino in all likelihood.

The Left would rather forget its old slogan, “Bush lied, thousands died.”

By Victor Davis Hanson – National Review

The very mention of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Iraq was toxic for Republicans by 2005. They wanted to forget about the supposed absence of recently manufactured WMD in great quantities in Iraq; Democrats saw Republican defensiveness as key to their recovery in 2006.

george w

By the time Obama was elected, the issue had been demagogued to death, was no longer of any political utility, and so vanished.

So why all of a sudden is the New York Times strangely focused on old WMD stockpiles showing up in Iraq? Is the subtext perhaps that the rise of ISIS poses an existential threat in such a dangerous landscape (and by extension offers an explanation for the current bombing)?

Or are we to be reminded that Bush stirred up a WMD hornets’ nest that Obama was forced to deal with? Or is the sudden interest intended to preempt the story now before we learn that ISIS routinely employs WMD against the Kurds? How strange that Iraq, WMD, bombing, and preemption reappear in the news, but now without the hysteria of the Bush era.

Indeed, for the last two years, reports of WMD of some sort have popped up weekly in Kurds and Iraq. Bashar Assad has used them, apparently with strategic profit, both in deterring his enemies and in embarrassing the red lines of Barack Obama, who had threatened to bomb him if he dared use them.

ISIS is rumored to have attempted to use mustard gas against the Kurds. Iraqi depots are periodically found, even as they are often dismissed as ossified beyond the point of easy use, or as already calibrated and rendered inert by either U.N. inspectors or U.S. occupation forces. But where did all the WMD come from, and why the sudden fright now about these stockpiles’ being deployed?

For much of the Bush administration we heard from the Left the refrain, “Bush lied, thousands died,” as if the president had cooked intelligence reports to conjure up a nonexistent threat from Saddam Hussein’s stockpiles of WMD — stockpiles that Bill Clinton had insisted until his last days in office posed an existential threat to the United States.

Apparently if a horde of gas shells of 20th-century vintage was found, it was then deemed irrelevant — as if WMD in Iraq could only be defined as huge Iraqi plants turning out 21st-century stockpiles weeks before the invasion.

The smear of Bush was the bookend of another popular canard, the anti-Bush slogan “No blood for oil.” Once the fact that the U.S. did not want Iraqi oil was indisputable, that slander metamorphosed. Almost immediately the Left pivoted and charged that we were not so much oil sinister as oil stupid.

If the Iraqi oil ministry, for the first time in its history, was both acting transparently and selling oil concessions to almost anyone except American companies, it was now cast as typically ungracious in not appreciating the huge American expenditure of blood and treasure that had allowed it such latitude.

Was the Iraq War then a stupid war that helped Russia and the Chinese? Poor Bush ended up not so much sinister as a naïf.

Although we don’t hear much any more about “No blood for oil,” the lie about “Bush lied, thousands died” has never been put to rest.

What was odd about the untruth was not just that Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and the anti-war street crowd become popular icons through spreading such lies, but that the Democratic party — whose kingpins (Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid, et al.) had all given fiery speeches in favor of invading Iraq — refined the slur into an effective 2006 talking point.

That Democrats from Nancy Pelosi to Harry Reid had looked at the same intelligence from CIA Director (and Clinton appointee) George “slam-dunk” Tenet (who authored a self-serving memoir ankle-biting George W. Bush while still in office), and had agreed with Tenet’s assessments, at least until the insurgency destroyed public support for the war, was conveniently forgotten.

The Bush administration did not help much. It never replied to its critics that fear of stockpiled WMD had originally been a Clinton-administration fear, a congressional fear, an international fear — and a legitimate fear.

I suppose that the Bush people wanted the issue of WMD to just go away, given the insurgency raging in Iraq and the effective Democratic campaign to reinvent fear of WMD as a sinister Bush conspiracy. (Do we remember Colin Powell’s U.N. testimony and the years that followed — cf. the Valerie Plame/Richard Armitage fiasco — in which he licked his wounds while harboring anger at his former associates for his own career-ending presentation?)

In sum, the Bush White House certainly did not remind the country that most of the Clinton-era liberal politicians in the 1990s had warned us about Iraqi WMD (do we even remember the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act?).

Nor were we reminded that foreign leaders like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak had predicted mass death for any invaders who challenged Saddam’s WMD arsenal. (“General Franks, you must be very, very careful.

We have spoken with Saddam Hussein. He is a madman. He has WMD — biologicals, actually — and he will use them on your troops.”) Was part of the Bush administration’s WMD conspiracy forcing tens of thousands of U.S. troops to lug about chemical suits and masks in the desert?

No one, of course, noted that the initial success in Iraq also helped shut down Moammar Qaddafi’s WMD program in Libya and pressured the Pakistanis to arrest (for a while) the father of their bomb, Dr. A. Q. Khan. The latter nations apparently feared that the U.S. was considering removing dictators who that they knew had stockpiled WMD.

The current The Iran-Iraq War by Williamson Murray and Kevin Woods is a frightening reminder of how Saddam massacred the Kurds (perhaps well over 150,000 killed), often with gas, and how habitual was Saddam’s use of WMD against the Iranians in that medieval war.

Nor do we remember that James Clapper, in one of his earlier careerist contortions as a Bush-era intelligence officer, along with top-ranking officials in both the Iraqi and Syrian air forces, all warned us that WMD were stealthily transferred to Syria on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.

The dutifully toadyish Clapper added the intensifier adverb “unquestionably” to emphasize his certainty. Clapper, remember, went on to become Obama’s director of national intelligence and a key adviser on much of the current Obama Middle East decision-making, including the near bombing of Syria.*

So there were stocks of at least older WMD throughout Iraq when we arrived in 2003, and it was plausible that many of the newer and more deployable versions somehow found their way into Syria.

So worried was Barack Obama about the likelihood of Syrian WMD that he almost started a preemptive war against Bashar Assad, but without authorization of Congress and with no attempt to go to the U.N., as Bush had done. (Indeed, we are now preemptively bombing Iraq on the basis of the 2002 authorizations that state legislator and memoirist Barack Obama derided at the time.)

There were all sorts of untold amnesias about Iraq. No one remembers the 23 writs that were part of the 2002 authorizations that apparently Obama believes are still in effect.

They included genocide, bounties for suicide bombers, an attempt to kill a former U.S. president, the harboring of terrorists (among them one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers), and a whole litany of charges that transcended WMD and were utterly unaffected by the latter controversy.

How surreal is it that Obama is preemptively bombing Iraq on twelve-year-old congressional authorizations that he opposed as trumped up and now may be relevant in relationship to dealing with Syrian and Iraqi stockpiles of WMD?

We forget too how Harry Reid declared the surge a failure and the war lost even as it was being won. Or how Barack Obama predicted that the surge would make things worse, before scrubbing such editorializing from his website when the surge worked.

Do we remember those days of General Betray Us (the ad hominem ad that the New York Times, which supposedly will not allow purchased ad hominem ads, granted at a huge discount), and the charges from Hillary Clinton that Petraeus was lying (“suspension of disbelief”)?

As Obama megaphones call for national unity in damning Leon Panetta’s critiques during the present bombing, do we remember the glee with which the Left greeted the tell-all revelations of Paul O’Neill, George Tenet, and Scott McClellan during the tenure of George W. Bush, or how they disparaged the surge when Americans were dying to implement it?

It is hard to recall now the fantasy climate that surrounded “Bush lied, thousands died.” Cindy Sheehan is now utterly forgotten. So mostly is the buffoonish propagandist Michael Moore, except for an occasion tidbit about a nasty divorce and cat fights over his man-of-the-people sizable portfolio — and occasional attacks on Barack Obama’s supposed racial tokenism.

Hillary’s shrill outbursts about Iraq evolved into “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Barack Obama rode his anti-war distortions to the presidency only to adopt his own anti-terrorism protocols and preemptive wars using the Bush-era justifications, but without the candor and congressional authorizations.

The media went from “No blood for oil” and “Bush lied, thousands died” to noting strange discoveries of WMD and trumpeting near energy independence.

The U.S. is now nonchalantly referred to as the world’s largest oil producer, but largely because the Bush administration green-lighted fracking and horizontal drilling, which the present administration opposes and yet cites as one of its singular achievements in terms of lowering gas prices — the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal economic record.

So we live in an era of lies about everything from Benghazi and Obamacare to the alphabet soup of scandal and incompetence at the IRS, ICE, VA, USSS (Secret Service), NSA, GSA, and even the CDC.

But before we can correct the present lies, we should first address the greatest untruth in this collection: “Bush lied, thousands died” was an abject lie.


NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.


* Here is an excerpt from the October 2003 New York Times story:

The director of a top American spy agency said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq’s illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria and perhaps other countries as part of an effort by the Iraqis to disperse and destroy evidence immediately before the recent war.

The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material “unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.

“I think people below the Saddam Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,” General Clapper, who leads the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said at a breakfast with reporters.

"Let them eat cake" – The 1% Life of the Obamas

Editor’s Note – The 1% lifestyle – such nasty press and rhetoric about the rich, but where is the media about the 1% lifestyle of the Obamas?

When anyone points out how much the Obamas’ vacations, and what it costs, the immediate knee jerk reaction is to cite the George W. Bush years as if there is some moral equivalence, a common tactic. But the critique on the Obamas largesse goes much deeper, and it’s not just the cost, it’s in the optics, a term we hear so much about in political parlance, often ignoring any Obama ‘optics’.

In the following article, its refreshing to see someone point out the vast differences. The left whitewashes all that Obama does but they certainly tarred the Bush family at the drop of a vowel, or a mangled word, to him chopping wood at his Texas ranch – a double standard that even makes the word hypocrisy seem far too soft a description.

Let them eat cake” seems to be the unspoken mantra, yet that does not matter unless it was about Mitt and Ann Romney. Perception is the rule, and it certainly depends on who you ask, especially when convincing “low information” voters.

The Obamas live the 1 percent life

By Joseph Curl – Washington Times oped

Being president of the U.S., the most powerful man in the world, is often most about perception. The man (or, one day, woman) in the job takes actions large and small every day, but it is the perception of the man that seeps into the everyday lives of working Americans.

That’s why presidential candidates always hit Philadelphia for a cheesesteak during campaigns (Democrats to Pat’s, Republicans to Geno’s). Sure, they’re running billion-dollar operations trying to win the White House, but one picture of them wolfing down a Cheez Whiz-covered glob of meat on a Philly street hits home with millions of voters: “Hey, that guy’s just like me! He loves him a Pat’s [or Geno’s] cheesesteak, too!” (Unless you’re John F. Kerry and order Swiss cheese — then everyone hates you.)

Sometimes, that perception cuts to the core. Like when President George W. Bush stopped playing golf in 2003, at the height of the Iraq War.

“I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” he said years later. “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”

That’s also why Mr. Bush did two other things, without fanfare or praise. First, he never headed home to his Texas ranch until after Christmas, instead going to Camp David for a few days. That way, the hundreds of people revolving around him at all times — White House staff, Secret Service agents, reporters, photographers, all the others — could spend the holiday with their families in and around Washington, D.C. No one ever reported that — until this column.

Second, he rarely attended sporting events, although he once owned a baseball team and was a self-confessed stats junkie. His thinking there was the same: If he went to a baseball game (right down the street from the White House), his mere presence would mean hours and hours of extra security for fans. He once stopped off at the Daytona 500 and the metal detectors through which every fan had to pass left thousands outside in line when the green flag fell; he didn’t attend many sporting events after that.

But something remarkable has happened with these occupants of the White House: Neither President Obama nor first lady Michelle appear to give a damn about perception. They won the White House and, by God, they’re going to enjoy their time there, no matter the cost. And who cares what you think, anyway?

How else to explain the nonstop vacations the pair keep taking during what Mr. Obama calls the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression”? In 2013, the First Family has already enjoyed three vacations — that’s one a month. (Sorry, Joe America, you might have to forget your week at the beach again this year, but make sure you get those taxes in on time!)

The Obamas ended 2012 and kicked off 2013 in an $8 million, 6,000-square-foot house in Hawaii (they left well before Dec. 25, by the way). There, the president played five rounds of golf (breaking the 100-rounds-as-president threshold). Scarcely a month into Term 2, Mrs. Obama headed off for Aspen, taking along the couple’s daughters. Vice President Joseph R. Biden also hit the Colorado slopes. While the girls (and Joe) were gone, Mr. Obama nipped down to Florida for a four-day boys weekend of golf, teeing it up with his buddies — and Tiger Woods. He hit the links again this weekend, then dropped in for an NCAA tournament game in Washington.

Jumpin’ Joe, for his part, spent New Year’s in the Virgin Islands and popped off over the Easter weekend for a golf outing at the glorious Kiawah Island, S.C. (where rounds of golf on the spectacular Ocean Course run $353 — nearly $20 a hole). His third vacation of the year came the same week as reports that he and his entourage spent $460,000 for a single night in London and $585,000 for a night at a five-star hotel in Paris.

Then, last week, reports emerged that the Obama girls were kicking it in the Bahamas for spring break. Days later, a Colorado news station, KMTV, reported that the girls were now skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho. The White House flacks didn’t like that one bit.

“From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest,” said Kristina Schake, communications director to the first lady. “We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”

At their demand, the station scrubbed the report without explanation. What losers.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with the daughters. Never has. They are wonderful girls. The issue is use of taxpayer money, especially since Mr. Obama has shut down the White House to visitors, citing the cost of security. All these trips cost millions for Secret Service protection; couldn’t they just skip a few vacations so taxpayers could visit “America’s House”?

But no, the Obamas don’t care a whit about that, or the perception of them living high on the hog while many hardworking Americans are struggling to get by — and hoping to save enough for just one vacation this year.

And that perception, juxtaposed with reality, more than nearly anything else, tells you an awful lot about this president.

________________

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and @josephcurl.

Give the Pulitzer Prize back – Levin proven wrong again!

By Scott W. Winchell, Editor-in-Chief – How many times does one have to endure being investigated, cleared of all charges each time, and then investigated again? Apparently Senator Carl Levin thinks at least four.

Yet, despite failing to prove his accusations and all his demagoguery, he is still adamant that there was some sort of propaganda machine pushing the US to war in Iraq. Those of us who are intimately aware of the facts leading up to that war, the existence of WMD, and the end of Saddam Hussein’s murderous rule, know that the only propaganda that took place was the anti-war machine, led by people like Senator Levin and the NY Times.

They just didn’t like facts because they hate the military and they had already made up their minds. Despite proving Albert Einstein’s definition of stupid, they keep accusing and demanding further investigations, expecting a different outcome each time.

David Barstow - NY Times Pulitzer Prize Winner De-Bunked

The left was looking for Donald Rumsfeld’s head on a platter and they beat the propaganda drums with their loyal aids in the Main Stream Media, trying to ruin the reputation of many retired flag and command officers who spoke the truth on the air. When do these folks get their reputations back? Who is going to compensate them for lost income?

When will the Pulitzer Prize Committee demand the return of the award they gave NY Times’ David Bartsow for printing the story that accused so many great people of wrongdoing.

From Democracy Now:

David Barstow, investigative reporter at the New York Times, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his articles Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand and One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex.

In his first national broadcast interview, New York Times reporter David Barstow speaks about his 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of the Pentagon propaganda campaign to recruit more than seventy-five retired military officers to appear on TV outlets as military analysts ahead of and during the Iraq war.

Apparently with the Pentagon releasing information to the public that you don’t agree with or like is propaganda. That is what Barstow and Levin apparently thought when they saw Pentagon documents and heard of briefings where Military EXPERTS attended and were given permission to speak about the content on air. Unfortunately, its not propaganda when one speaks truth, a concept that the left cannot comprehend. Its all fine when they (the left) twist the truth, demagogue, manipulate data and stats, and promote conspiracy theories. What is pricelss is that since they do it all the time, they think everyone does.

The left just flat out hates the military, so they try everything they can to de-fund it, cast aspersions upon it, and attempt to ruin the reputations of its American citizen soldiers. Apparently defending America is a bad thing, even after eons of proof that appeasement of mad men does not work. Let’s go and talk with Iranian mad men until they die of boredom?

Pentagon’s inspector general finds no misconduct in briefing program

Concludes three-year investigation

By Rowan Scarborough

The Washington Times

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin pressed for a probe of a government briefing program, but no misconduct was found. (Associated Press)Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin pressed for a probe of a government briefing program, but no misconduct was found. (Associated Press)

Senator Levin - Wrong AGAIN!

The Pentagon’s inspector general has released his final report on a Donald H. Rumsfeld-era program for briefing TV and radio military analysts, concluding for a second time that there was no wrongdoing.

The three-year investigation by the inspector general marks the fourth time a federal agency has found no improper conduct in the program.

The probes involved some of Washington’s most influential voices.

Some of the accused Military Analysts - Exonerated - AGAIN!

There was a powerful journalism institution. The investigations were spurred by a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times story that strongly implied the practice of giving briefings to retired military analysts (RMAs) violated Pentagon rules against propaganda.

The story also suggested the ex-officers, some of whom worked as defense contractors, received financial favors from the Pentagon because of their roles.

There was Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin, who pressed the inspector general to find that the program was improper.

And there were the analysts themselves, some war heroes, boasting three and four stars during long military careers, who went on the air to comment on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They repeatedly denied they had done anything wrong.

  • In the end, no agency found wrongdoing.
  • The first inspector general’s report, in 2009, said the briefing program was legitimate.
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ auditing arm, later said the program followed regulations.
  • Democrats pressed the Federal Communications Commission to find that the analysts had violated federal law, but the FCC has issued no report.
  • Mr. Levin, Michigan Democrat, pressed Pentagon Inspector General Gordon S. Heddell for another probe, and his findings were just released.

On the main issue, the new report says: “We found that the [Pentagon public affairs office] conducted the RMA outreach activities in compliance with policy and regulation.”

On the second issue of whether the retired officers gained financially, the report concludes: “Based on interviews, we did not identify that the RMA outreach activities provided a financial benefit to those RMAs affiliated with a defense contractor. Our review of relevant procurement ethics rules and regulations identified nothing that would preclude the RMAs with such an affiliation from participating in the events.”

On possible wrongdoing cited in the 2008 New York Times story, the report says: “We also reviewed the specific examples mentioned in the New York Times article. Based on our interviews, we did not find that the RMA outreach participants used the RMA outreach activities to further their own or the affiliated Defense contractor’s interests.”

Mr. Levin’s spokeswoman had no comment Thursday.

The Washington Times reported Sept. 24 that a draft report had cleared the briefings’ participants of wrongdoing.

The Times also reported Nov. 3 that Mr. Levin had intervened in the probe via a senior aide who, according to a source close to the investigation, was communicating with the inspector general’s office in an effort to get some findings changed.

Mr. Levin did not comment to The Times but later acknowledged the contacts to Fox News.

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is conducting a review to determine whether there was an attempt to influence the inspector general.

Said retired Army Col. Ken Allard, one of the investigated military analysts: “Where do we go to have our reputations restored after four federal investigations and who knows how many millions spent? I meant every word of that letter I sent to Issa: This was a media-political cabal of congressional Democrats and the New York Times. And, oh, by the way, it turned out that, just as in war, the first reports were wrong.”

Said Keith Urbahn, spokesman for former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld: “Two things ought to happen, though they never will. One, the New York Times should give back its Pulitzer for a story that is now proven to be a fabrication. And two, Sen. Carl Levin should reimburse U.S. taxpayers for what must be the millions of dollars squandered in pursuit of repeated investigations that he ordered to fit his partisan agenda. And while they’re at it, the New York Times and the senator from Michigan ought to apologize to the uniformed military officers whose reputations were maligned by their attacks.”