the daily misleader

MoveOn.org is a very cool grassroots political organization that has risen from modest roots to become a serious force in national politics. They raise a lot of money, quickly, for a variety of issues, and are attempting to build a media machine that can counteract the highly coordinated rightwing attack machine that has been pummeling the unorganized left for years. Everyone should join, of course, but my point in this post is to draw attention to a new email newsletter they offer.

It’s called The Daily Misleader: a daily email about some area of policy and the lies the Bush administration has told about it. It’s fairly sober, well-researched, and as non-polemical as these things can be. It just draws attention to statements and facts on public record. You should subscribe to it, if you can stand to be outraged every single day.

It is truly astonishing the number and size of the lies the Bush administration cranks out. Here, for instance, is the full text of yesterday’s Daily Misleader:

Bush Administration Spends Week Retracting Assertions about Saddam’s Threat to the U.S.

The Bush administration this week backed away from three major rationales for going to war in Iraq last March, undermining its assertions that Hussein’s Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and its allies.

September 11th
As recently as Sunday, Vice President Cheney, claimed that on the question of Saddam Hussein’s involvement in September 11th, “We just don’t know.”[1] But within days, both President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld each admitted there was no evidence that Hussein had any connection. On Wednesday, Bush maintained there was “no evidence” that Hussein was involved.[2] Two days later, Rumsfeld, said, “I’ve not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that.”[3]

Yet in March, Hussein’s possible involvement in the terrorist attacks garnered support for the war from many Americans. At the time, the widely reported meeting between 9/11 planner Mohammed Atta and Iraq’s security chief in Prague a few months before the attack was found by the CIA not to be credible.[4]

‘Reconstituted Nuclear Weapons Program’
Recently, Cheney backed away from the assertion he made three days before the war began, that the strongest reason for going to war was that “we believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”[5] But the International Atomic Energy Agency reported two weeks before that , “There was no indication of resumed nuclear activities.”[6] And six months later on Meet the Press, Cheney said simply, “I misspoke.”[7]

Weapons of Mass Destruction
This week, Rumsfeld reversed earlier statements claiming that the U.S. knew where Iraq’s weapons of destruction were located. When asked why the weapons hadn’t been found, this past Tuesday Rumsfeld said, “What do you mean? You’re talking about a country the size of California.”[8] Yet months ago, just two weeks into the war, Rumsfeld said, “We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”[9]

Sources:
1. Meet the Press, NBC, 9/14/03.
2. Remarks by the President After Meeting with Members of the Congressional Conference Committee on Energy Legislation, 9/17/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1162683&l=5426
3. Defense Department News Briefing, Secretary Rumsfeld and General Pace, 9/16/03,
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1162683&l=5427
4. “Bush Team Stands Firm on Iraq,” Washington Post, 9/15/03, p. A1.
5. Meet the Press, NBC, 3/16/03.
6. The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update, 3/7/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1162683&l=5428
7. Meet the Press, NBC, 9/14/03.
8. Defense Department News Briefing, Secretary Rumsfeld and General Pace, 9/16/03,
http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1162683&l=5427
9. This Week with George Stephanopolous, ABC, 3/30/03.

Unbelievable.