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Bush's Legacy of Atrocities Is Nowhere to Be Seen at His New Library -- and the Local Paper Won't Even Run One Ad That Tells the Truth

Kill a few, they call you a murderer. Kill tens of thousands, they give you $500 million for a granite vanity project and a glossy 30-page newspaper supplement.

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The president's mass murdering? But a footnote. All the Dallas Morning News says is that, “The success or failure of his Iraq plan will take historians years to figure out.” Perhaps the papers editors should speak to an Iraqi. Or, if they're not interested in journalism, perhaps they should just let CODEPINK take responsibility for informing its readers.

Unfortunately, when CODEPINK tried to do just that by way of an ad highlighting Bush's real legacy – rivers of blood flooded by a war based on lies – the Dallas Morning News rejected it. Pressed as to why, the paper cited vague “advertising guidelines,” asking us to remove a graphic of a blood splotch and to include “sourced facts and how they prove the 'lie'” of the Bush-approved official history (none of the facts cited in the ad are disputed by the US government). One wishes corporate advertisers were subject to such scrutiny.

Click to see the full-size ad:

Meanwhile, despite the former president's stated commitment to a “Freedom Agenda,” those who dissent from the rosy take on Bush's time in office face exclusion from the ostensibly free corporate press and petty harassment from the state. On Monday, a dozen activists with CODEPINK and Veterans for Peace were issued “first warnings that they were not allowed to stand on the sidewalk” on the campus of Southern Methodist University, the school where the library is based. Salam Talib, an Iraqi who was to speak at a press conference in Dallas about the violence Bush brought to his country – maybe the Dallas Morning News would have sent a reporter? – was detained by airport security in San Francisco just long enough that he missed his flight (and the press conference).

Bush's legacy is reflected not in his library, but in the regular bombings that rock Baghdad, killing dozens at a time. The Connecticut blue blood turned straight talkin' Texan is of course welcome to tell his side of the story. That's only fair. But let him do it at the Hague.


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Charles Davis is an independent journalist based in Los Angeles. 

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