By Ward Reilly
“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
— Samuel Adams
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
— Patrick Henry
“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”
— Thomas Paine
My friend Dennis Kyne wrote a song that we recorded together while he was staying at my home in January. He was in Baton Rouge in order to attend, and to speak at, the “Jazz Funeral For Democracy” in New Orleans, a counter-inaugural demonstration that activists from south Louisiana had organized.
The song is called “All We Want Is the Truth.”
Dennis is a Gulf War vet, and was a medic with the front-line 24th Infantry in 1991. I am an older volunteer infantry vet, one who spent 32 months overseas, from 1971 to 1974, serving this country as an occupation soldier. We are patriots.
The truth. It’s not too much for a soldier or vet to ask for, particularly when the subject is whether or not our nation goes to war.
As many of us – those who actually tried to stop the occupation of Iraq before it got started – watched this tragedy unfold, what we saw was everything BUT the truth.
Will the press now do its job, and report the facts?
We all know how hard Congress, and the press, went after Clinton because of his lie. He was impeached for his lie about sex.
So all we can hope for now is that the actual words of the Bush administration, the neocons, will somehow get the same scrutiny that ANY lie made by our elected officials should get. All we can hope for is that they will be punished.
All we want is the truth.
Here’s a FACT. Before President George “Dubya” Bush forced his “war” against Iraq down the world’s collective throat, he said, “First, we will demonstrate to the people of Iraq and the world that the United States and the coalition aspire to liberate, not to occupy Iraq.” Iraq heard him, and now they know it was a lie.
That was in the first few days of the “war.”
Bush also promised our nation that he would go to war as a “last resort.” That was a lie.The truth is that the administration was hell-bent to go to war with Iraq at any cost.
The TRUTH is that they planned this “war” before 9-11. And the parents and families of those who have given their lives were lied to, as were we all. We deserve MUCH better.
Can we truthfully say this is not an occupation? We are, in fact, building 14 permanent military installations as I write this. We have poured $1,500,000,000 into building the Green Zone embassy complex alone. An embassy for $1.5 billion, in war zone? Undoubtedly a “cost-plus,” no-bid contract.
Ask our troops if they are “occupying” Iraq.
Bush refuses to let the country see the coffins he is filling with his “non-occupation,” much less admit that this is an occupation. I say it is now at genocidal proportions.
Here is a FACT. On March 16th, 2003 Vice President “Dick” Cheney said on Meet the Press, “We will, IN FACT, be greeted as liberators.” A lie.
Can Cheney now say that we have been “greeted as liberators”? When the most powerful man in the world says something, he MUST be held accountable.
“Oops I was wrong” cannot be used as an excuse for failed foreign policy.
In May, 2003 President Bush said “Mission Accomplished,” and since then more than 1000 of our citizens have died in Iraq. Is the mission accomplished OR NOT, Mr. Bush?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, “I don’t believe that the United States has the responsibility to pay for reconstruction.”
Can he truthfully say that Iraq is paying for this war? With a straight face?
The FACT is that this disaster in Iraq has already cost the people of the USA $300,000,000,000, with no end in sight.
Condi Rice said on CBS, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that … they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” A HUGE lie, if any lie was ever told.
The TRUTH is that she had been handed a memo, by our nation’s top terrorism expert Richard Clarke, long before 9-11, a memo that said exactly what Rice said “nobody could have predicted.”
Condi also said “Richard Clarke had plenty of opportunities to tell us in the administration that he thought the war on terrorism was moving in the wrong direction and he chose not to.” That is a complete LIE.
The TRUTH is that Clarke sent a memo to Rice principals on 1/24/01 marked “urgent” asking for a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with an impending al Qaeda attack.
Our own weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, said “there are no WMDs.” He had scoured Iraq FOR YEARS looking for them. He knew the truth. Bush ignored him.
Our own investigative diplomat said the “yellowcake” rumors were false and fabricated. He was told to shut up, and his wife’s CIA-agent identity was released by senior administration officials in retribution for his unfavorable report.
All we want is the truth, why’s it so hard to find? I can find it, why can’t the TV news find it, report it, and act on it?
Two years ago today, on March 29th, 2003, Baton Rouge, Louisiana held an anti-war demonstration and march. At that march, off-duty police stood with those advocating that we (protestors) should be shot for protesting. SHOT for protesting!
How fascist will we allow this nation to become before we wake up? During the same week, a local DJ, while ON THE AIR, advocated beating protestors. How much trouble would we protestors have gotten in for advocating violence against say, Republicans who were for the war?
The media advocating violence on the air. Can this really be the USA? Policemen advocating death to protestors?
All we want is the truth.
On May 21st, at LSU in Baton Rouge, LSU police built a “Free Speech Zone” and ordered protestors to stand inside it to protest Bush’s visit on campus. We refused, and I now own a “free speech zone.” My anti-war trophy. But the point is, “Free Speech Zones” in the U.S.A.? You must be kidding. And non-protestors were allowed within inches of the president, with no security whatsoever.
That’s the truth and reality of our nation today. “Zones” for free speech. What “Bill Of Rights”?
Perhaps we should issue “free speech zones” to our leaders. Here are a few documented lies they told the world to force this Iraq disaster to happen:
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” “Little” Dick Cheney. A lie.
“Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” George “aWol” Bush. A lie.
“We know for a fact that there are weapons there.” Ari Fleischer. A lie.
“25,000 liters of anthrax … 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin … materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent … upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents … several mobile biological weapons labs …” George W. Bush even told us the quantities that he KNEW existed.
Where are they George? What a lie that was.
“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”
Even Colin Powell started lying to send us to war: “Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly … all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.” Ari Fleisher lied to send us to war.
“We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
Donald Rumsfeld even told us where the WMD’s were: “Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find – and there will be plenty.”
Neocon scholar Robert Kagan was lied to. He believed their crap, and he is one of the neocons.
“We are learning more as we interrogate (torture) or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.” Bush kept on lying, even after he lied to send us to war.
We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.” George Bush lied.
There were no WMDs.
“I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it just now.” — Colin Powell
Absolutely Sure said our Secretary of State. A lie.
“US officials never expected that we were going to open garages and find weapons of mass destruction.” Condoleezza Rice told that lie. She was obviously not listening to the rest of the administration. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell all stated that they would find WMDs, and even stated we knew where they were.
“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”
Paul Wolfowitz said this, and it might have been the ONLY true statement that the whole administration made.
All we want is the truth.
But for those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong, we found them. George W. Bush said THAT! What a delusional lie that was.
Where are they George?
So now we have passed the 2-year mark in a “war” sold on lies. When will the Congress and the “free press” rise up to punish this band of war-criminals and professional liars?
All we want is the truth. We deserve the truth. The liars deserve to be impeached, at the very least. Wake up America, our country is hanging on the edge of a cliff, and only the truth will save it, but to allow these war-criminals to get away with their lies will send us tumbling down the mountain side.
We still have the choice. We should DEMAND “the truth.” We MUST demand “the truth.”
James Garfield, one of our presidents, once said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.”
“If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
We the people must DEMAND the truth, especially when war is in the balance.
All we want is the truth, why’s it so hard to find?
“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” — Thomas Jefferson
The “truth” is that our top-level government is lying, IS BAD, and it wouldn’t matter so much if these lies didn’t mean the deaths of so many innocent citizens of the world. But it is a war that these lies sent us to, and many, many innocent people have died for these lies, and it is our job, the press’s job, and our elected officials’ job, to stop it all, now.
The innocent dead deserve that much. They have certainly earned that much. All THEY wanted was the truth. Had the truth been told, NONE of them would have perished for these liars.
“All we want is the truth, why’s it so hard to find.” Thanks for writing that Dennis, it says it all, and that’s no lie.
“We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts – not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” — Abraham Lincoln
“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.” – James Madison
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country…. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.” — Theodore Roosevelt
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice ALL SWORE to abide by and obey the Constitution. They have all failed to do so in the worst possible way. They LIED to send us to war, and countless thousands to their deaths. That’s NO lie.
The “TRUTH” … it’s out there. All we want is the truth. Why’s it so hard to find?
Excellent meditation on our truth-famished culture from a leading light of Veterans for Peace.
Ward Reilly is the S.E. National Contact for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and a member of Veterans for Peace.