04 October 2004

Thorough, Accurate and Shocking

This New York Times article lays it all out in stunning detail, and will almost certainly win every Pulitzer-type prize available. It is a very long article, particularly by online standards (15 pages!), but compelling, horrifying and resonant on every single page. If you're looking for a thorough one-stop shop for where we went wrong in this war, here ya go (and though 15 pages is big for a newspaper article, it's a considerably quicker read than any of the myriad books by foreign-policy experts that amount to the same conclusion).

It makes plain and indisputable the fact that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and yes, even Colin Powell all deliberately and knowingly lied -- to the UN, to Congress, to anyone who would listen -- even though their own documentary evidence told them that their claims were specious at best, utterly false at worst, over and over again. It's one thing to suspect that someone lied, but want to give them the benefit of the doubt (which is where the whole "Bush must have gotten bad intel" meme came from), and another thing entirely to see hard-core, incontrovertible evidence that they lied and continue to lie because there's nothing else they can do now.

It's particularly disheartening to learn that Colin Powell -- one of the most honest (but I guess that's now a relative term) members of the administration -- was in on the lying, participated in the lying and at best only mildly tempered his lies compared to others (like Darth Cheney) even as he was speaking before the UN. He is a disgrace to his uniform, and deserves scorn and ridicule for putting party loyalty above America's interests. I used to think he could have been America's first black president, but now that mantle has definitely passed to Barack Obama. What a shameful end to what, at one time, was one of the most honourable men in Washington. What a shame.

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