Let’s stop parsing and ignoring the very basic heart of the NIE findings, Bush’s and Hadley’s comments over the past couple of days, as well as a number other facts that just so happen to be eerily similar to that other country that starts with the letters “I”, “r” and “a”. It’s the same exact playbook as last time around – make no mistake about it. Except, this time there is one major difference:
This time, they got caught lying.
You want a frame? There it is. Unsupported and unsubstantiated claims are once again being made with the knowledge they are false in order to scare the country into another war. And they’ve been caught doing it this time.
Plain and simple. It’s not like they haven’t lied before. It’s not like most people don’t think they will lie again. Even down to the splitting hairs about Bush’s choice of words (as my good friend occams hatchet pointed out yesterday), including something much worse than the “16 words” from the 2003 SOTU Address when Bush said this back in October(emphasis mine):
But this — we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously. And we'll continue to work with all nations about the seriousness of this threat. Plus we'll continue working the financial measures that we're in the process of doing. In other words, I think — the whole strategy is, is that at some point in time, leaders or responsible folks inside of Iran may get tired of isolation and say, this isn't worth it. And to me, it's worth the effort to keep the pressure on this government.
Now, as pointed out by emptywheel and the fact that the White House is still stonewalling the very simple question of “what did Bush know and when did he know it?”, it is getting closer to the point where we can see that certain people – many of the same certain people that did this very thing about Iraq were either lying or have no memory and should be removed from office from being unsuited to serve.
As much as it is tempting to choose the latter, I am going to go with the former.
Problems here are also precisely the same as they were with Iraq. False talk of “the hope for diplomacy” and the shoving of the Overton Window with the completely false and/or irrelevant “facts” of ties to killing Americans (like Saddam to 9/11) and being terrorist organizations (as Saddam met with Atta) or “slam dunk” evidence of weapons of mass destruction related program activities or the aforementioned “knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon are being trotted out relentlessly.
The NIE slams the door on another round of sanctions, which of course had proven to be so effective with Iraq anyway. And when there is talk of Bush telling Iran to “come clean” just as he did to Saddam, then you don’t even get a C- for originality. So, there is still no letting up, even as people at the American Enterprise Institute know that the NIE report means that Russia, China and whoever else is not going to agree with Bush to go any further in pressing Iran.:
Other countries may not see it that way, though, and diplomats said the report may cripple U.S. attempts to win a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran. Just two days earlier, Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns met in Paris with British, French, Russian, Chinese and German counterparts to seek support for a new Security Council resolution.
“You'd think that the effort to get a third resolution is dead,” said Bruce Riedel, a former senior official at the CIA, Pentagon and NSC now at the Brookings Institution. “This has got to be a very serious argument to be used by opponents of a third resolution. It will say America's own intelligence community says Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago.”
Michael Rubin, an American Enterprise Institute scholar and a leading Iran hawk, agreed. “Certainly it makes diplomacy a lot more difficult,” he said. “It almost gives Berlin, Beijing and Moscow an excuse not to come together for a third round of sanctions.”
So other countries and even neocon wannabes know the gig is up. The same vague threats of Armageddon with no facts to support the threats or warnings. The dismissal of the entire United States intelligence community and its unanimous findings in favor of “good solid evidence and intelligence I’ve seen which the intelligence community isn’t privy to”. Which begs the question as to why the intelligence community isn’t privy to this kind of information when dangerous warmongering lunatics is.
But these words need to start being said, and not with any equivocating. They are lying, just as they were lying about Iraq. They must be stopped before it is too far gone. Hearings must commence. Impeachment must be back on the table.