2004-04-02 / Community

Meeks Says ‘Connect The Dots’

Meeks Says ‘Connect The Dots’

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, a member of the International Rela tions Committee releas ed the following statement today, "It was Abra ham Lincoln who said, ‘You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’A0 Until recently, the Bush Admin is tration has fooled some of the people all of time and all of the people some of the time on Social Security, Medicare, tax cuts, economic recovery, the No Child Left Behind Act, nation building, the war against terrorism, and most especially, the war in Iraq.A0 The Pres ident has been able to do this because most Americans simply do not believe that the President of the United States would distort and deceive on such basic issues as war or the well-being of children and the elderly.

But, as two days of public hearings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States get under way, time for fooling the people may be running out.A0Of course, there are those Americans inside and outside of Congress who always questioned the veracity of the President’s arguments for going to war.A0My hope is that the testimony at the hearings yesterday and today along with a series of widely publicized books and articles published in the last year or so — the latest, Richard ClarkeAgainst All Enemies — will enable the broader public to connect the dots to the truth.A0A0 I believe they will see that the dots of deception lead straight to the Oval Office.

The response of Administration officials to Mr. Clarke’s charge that the President has "done a terrible job on the war against terrorism" is typical of the Bush Administration’s modus operandi.A0Throw sand into the public’s eyes.A0Bait and switch.A0In other words: attack a person’s motives while refusing to address the substance of the critique.A0 Hide the facts.A0Concoct data.A0Delay.A0Blame everything on Clin ton.A0 Do the opposite of what you say.A0 Claim not to remember a conversation or meeting.A0 Insist on redacting critical portions of critical congressional reports.A0 Accuse critics of being a disgruntled employees.A0All to cover up the President’s arrogant, reckless, and disgraceful conduct of foreign and domestic policy.

"We should commend those public servants who in the aftermath of 9/11-Patriot Act hysteria have put loyalty to country above loyalty to the President, risking their careers to shed light on the dark underside of George W. Bush’s presidency.A0This lengthening list includes:

95 The Minneapolis-based FBI agent who revealed that FBI field operatives tried to get higher ups to pay attention to individuals on the counter-terrorism watch list (including several who later crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon) were in the United States taking flying lessons.

95 The joint inquiry of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that revealed serious lapses on the part of senior Administration and intelligence officials during the lead up to 9/11.

95 John Wilson, a former ambassador, who disputed the claim that Saddam Hussein had sought uranium fuel
in Niger, Africa.A0Wilson re jected the tales Pres ident Bush, Vice-Pres ident Che ney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Sec retary of State Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice were telling about Saddam’s alleged nuclear weap ons program.A0(As we now know, the White House retaliated by telling a journalist that Wilson’s wife was a covert CIA operative.)

95 In a book by Ron Suskind, former Treasury Paul O’Neill’s insists that from the very beginning the Adminis tration and the President personally were fixated on invading Iraq.A0Mr. O’Neill, who told the President that a second round of tax cuts would damage the economy, also reveals that Vice-President Cheney contended that Ronald Reagan had proved that "deficits don’t matter."

95 David Kay, head of the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group, congressional testimony that no weapons of mass destruction had been found, that no weapons of mass destruction were likely to ever be found, and that frankly, the Ad ministration and the intelligence community had it "all wrong."

95 And now, Richard Clarke, a senior counter-terrorism official in the Rea gan, Clinton, and both Bush administrations, who says immediately after 9/11 the President and other senior officials were focused more on finding a pretext for attacking Iraq than on finding Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.A0Clarke quotes Defense Secre tary Rumsfeld as saying, "There weren’t any good targets to bomb in Afghanistan but plenty in Iraq."A0Mr. Clarke also contends that invading Iraq was a priority even before the President took office.

If what Clarke, Kay, O’Neill, and
others have said is true, then it’s fair
to not only say "weapons of mass destruction" was hype, but also that every new explanation the Admin istration has given since it declared "an end to major operations" is part of a cover-up of a war of choice, not necessity.A0This is the context in which the public can connect the dots to the Administra tion’s attempts to obstruct the joint congressional intelligence committee investigation of 9/11 and its belated cooperation —and then only under the threat of subpoena — with the independent commission investigating intelligence.

"The Bush presidency is a long ways down the road to putting the Nixon presidency to shame when it comes to contempt for truth and the integrity of the democratic process.A0

Interviewed over the weekend, Richard Clarke said, "The tragedy here is that Amer icans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were avenging Septem ber 11.A0

I think for a commander in chief and a vice president to allow that to happen is unconscionable."A0That may not be as unconscionable as giving this President and this Adminis tration a second term.

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