War on Iraq

Pulling A Nixon On Us?

It took 36 years to confirm that Nixon lied. Do we have to wait another 36 years to find out whether the Bush administration lied to us too?
When did this happen?
WASHINGTON - White House advisers convene secret sessions about the political dangers of revelations that American troops committed atrocities in the war zone ….. in the face of an increasingly unpopular war, they wonder at the impact on support at home. The best way out of the war, they agree, is to prop up a new government that they hope can unite the fractured foreign land… The President, meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told them to pull out all the stops. "don't worry, we're taking the political heat. "Publicly, we say one thing," he told aides. "Actually, we do another."
You are forgiven for assuming that was from George Bush and Dick Cheney's talking points the other day. Actually, it's straight out of newly-released Nixon administration documents from 1969.

Back then Nixon was trying to worm out of blow-back from the Mai Lai massacre and his illegal bombing of neutral Cambodia. (Full Story)

The reason I bring this up is because on Wednesday our current President and Vice President were busy furiously denying that they lied to get us into another war.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - Vice President Dick Cheney joined the White House attack on critics of the Iraq war Wednesday night when he told a conservative group that senators who had suggested that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence were making "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city." (Full Story)
It took 36 years to confirm that Nixon lied. So, do we now have to wait another 36 years to find out whether or not this administration's lied to us too?  Should we have to? After all, democracy is just a sham if citizens are forced to vote in the dark.

The President and VP say they did not lie ("I'm not a crook"). Instead, they accuse those who say they did of being the liars. Okay -- so let's find out who's lying. The Senate should get on with its Phase 2 investigation.

But considering the Senate is under control of the ruling party, a Senate investigation is not enough. Things have gone too far now. Instead, Congress should impanel an independent commission, a la the 9/11 Commission -- and considering that the war in Iraq is an ongoing conflict, time is of the essence. This commission's mandate should be narrowed to the question at hand: Did the administration make an honest mistake -- or exaggerate, manipulate, misrepresent or flat-out lie in their stated reasons for attacking Iraq? And get that answer to us; not 36 years or 36 months from now, but within 4 months.

It can be done just that quickly, too. We learned, with the release of the Nixon documents, that the answers are already right there on paper over at the White House. They were there 36 years ago, and they are there today. Go get them. If they contain real secrets, keep the parts that deserve secrecy, secret. But expose the lies. Lies are not secrets. They are simply lies -- who knows, they might even be evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Has this administration pulled a Nixon on us? ("Publicly, we say one thing. Actually, we do another.")

Don't you think we should find out -- and much sooner rather than too late?
Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer.
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