Thursday, January 24, 2008

False statements from the Bush administration before the war in Iraq

This should be considered old news, but the Center for Public Integrity has done an extensive analysis of statements made by the president, the vice president, and five other senior members of the Bush Administration between September 11, 2001 and September 2003 and identified 935 specific false statements made. These statements are now part of a searchable database, and they've put together a graph that shows how the frequency and number of false statements dramatically increased during the run up to the invasion of Iraq, and then declined as the truth became known in the course of the war:

President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.

The CPI report is titled "The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War."


Hume's Ghost said...


"Now let's see here. There have been 3931 US military deaths in Iraq. That's 4.2 US military deaths per lie.

The lower estimate of Iraqi deaths from Iraq Body Count is 80,625. That's 86.2 Iraqi deaths per lie.

The more realistic estimate of Iraqi deaths from the Lancet study is 655,000. That's 700.5 Iraqi deaths per lie.

The Iraqi occupation has cost the United States about 500 billion dollars so far. That's 534,759,358 dollars per lie.

A more realistic assessment of the cost of the Iraqi occupation is about 1 trillion dollars. That's 1,069,518,716 dollars per lie.

And yet they sleep at night."

Conspiracy to fraud is a serious crime. Imagine what might happen if the media pursued this story with the tenacity that they pursue missing white females, celebrity deaths, and Britney Spears's vagina.

Seven Star Hand said...

Greetings Class,

Now please be seated and listen up! The lectures will now commence...

The combination of the Center for Public Integrity's "Iraq: The War Card" research, George Tenet's book, At the Center of the Storm, Eisner & Royce's The Italian Letter, and the books and research of many others in recent years now provide enough of a foundation for everyone to finally discern that 9:11 was a "false flag" operation against both the American public and the Muslim world. Notice how the Bush/Cheney crew and cohorts ruthlessly profited from these events and the resulting wars and how they were ready and prepared to do so, even before 9:11.

Read More: What they knew and when they knew it!

Jim Lippard said...

Please, don't try to connect 9/11 conspiracy nonsense to a carefully researched report.

Hume's Ghost said...

I listened to a podcast of Real Time with Bill Maher the other day. Rapper Mos Def was a guest and didn't believe that al Qaeda exists.


I posted something about Ron Paul a while ago and got a reply with a link to a page with a video of about every conspiracy theory you can think of .... hold on ... here it is.

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello again Jim,

Those who deny the existence of conspiracies are doomed to be victims of deception. That is one reason why ignorance is symbolized as blindness.

Remember, their is no wisdom without the truth, and no truth without discernment. When you paint all so-called "conspiracy theories" with the same wide brush, the truth becomes obscured, just as those who crafted the deception had hoped.

What will it take for the blind to open their eyes to "see the light" (understand the truth)?

Here is Wisdom !!

Einzige said...

Who is denying the existence of a conspiracy? Clearly there was one. How else did these 19+ conspirators co-ordinate their hijackings?

Jim Lippard said...

I guess I'm going to have to get around to watching that entire Zeitgeist movie at some point, so that I can critique it more fully. It seems to be getting passed around more and more.

In the first 15 minutes it's already completely full of shit, with bogus parallels between Egyptian religion and Christianity from Tom Harpur's _The Pagan Christ_, a work of pseudoscholarship that relies heavily on other pseudoscholars (like 18th century archaeologist Godfrey Higgins, 19th century amateur Egyptologist and poet Gerald Massey, and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, a high school language teacher and promoter of Theosophy) and entirely ignores actual work in Egyptology. For example, it draws a list of comparisons between Horus and Jesus that is just fabricated--Horus wasn't born of a virgin, he was the child of Isis and Osiris, though Isis was impregnated by Osiris through some magic after he was dead. There have been parallels drawn between Isis and Mary that are more plausible (especially in iconography), but the movie exaggerates them, too, and fails to note the considerable areas of dissimilarity. A quick look at the Wikipedia entries on Horus and Isis is sufficient to show that the comparison is strained.

I'm not sure I can stand to watch another hour and 43 minutes, especially since I know reams of nonsense about the Federal Reserve and 9/11 conspiracy theory are coming...

Jim Lippard said...

There was definitely a 9/11 conspiracy, probably funded by Saudi royalty and possibly by Pakistani intelligence services. But the "9/11 truth" people tend to be completely ignorant about radical Islam and the actual events leading up to September 11, 2001--and it shows in their crazy theories, which don't even begin to include the level of detail that's in the 9/11 Commission Report. Sure, it's a flawed document, just as the Warren Commission Report was flawed, but it is still far, far more comprehensive, detailed, and accurately sourced than anything the truthers put out. The right way to investigate 9/11 is to start with the 9/11 Commission Report, with accounts of the movements and actions of the 19 terrorists, and going back farther to the 1993 WTC bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and the Alkifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, the murder of Emir Shalabi, the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane by El-Sayyid Nosair, the killing of Rashad Khalifa in Tucson in 1990 and the role of James Williams and Wadih el-Hage (secretary for Osama bin Laden in Sudan), and so on. But I'd guess that this is all meaningless to Seven Star Hand.

The U.S. government's connection is that it funded the mujahideen insurgents in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, and then walked away after the Soviets were defeated, allowing rich Saudis to step in. There's no question that "blowback" has played a major role, and I'll also agree that the Bush Administration has hugely exploited the 9/11 attacks to its advantage and to expand presidential power (as the PBS Frontline on "Cheney's Law" documents, which I highly recommend watching and you can see online).

But again, my point is stick to reliable sources and accounts that attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, not bullshit stories made by collecting a few bits of data from unreliable sources and constructing elaborate fantasies of speculation.

Jim Lippard said...

Seven Star Hand:

Your "two spirits" link definitely falls into the bullshit category. One of the articles off your main page is titled "Money: The Greatest Lie Ever Told" and features this quote: "Unknown to almost everyone, the Vatican is the secret ruler of Planet Earth. They are also the secret central bank that sits behind several layers of deception and manipulates the world’s financial systems. They are the hidden controllers of those who control national and international banking and economies. All national debts exist because of the Vatican’s manipulations, and all national debts ultimately enrich the Vatican and its primary cohorts. ... They secretly control or instigate all the primary secret societies such as the Illuminati, Masons, Skull and Bones, KKK, and various Nazi and White Supremacy movements."

I note that there is no evidence supplied or referred to that supports any of these claims, and that document goes on to show that the writer doesn't have the slightest comprehension of money or finance, but thinks that if money went away we'd magically have some kind of socialist paradise. Guess what--in reality, even socialists use money, which is just a store of value used to facilitate voluntary exchanges. In reality, you can't get rid of money--if you abolish government currency, you'll get private currency and credit, since barter is too unwieldy for most transactions.

Hume's Ghost said...

"I guess I'm going to have to get around to watching that entire Zeitgeist movie at some point, so that I can critique it more fully. It seems to be getting passed around more and more."

Someone sent me an e-mail several months asking me to do that. I watched about 5 minutes and then I could take anymore. I responded that it was pretty obviously conspiracy propaganda, but that someone more knowledgeable than I am about world religions would need to rebut the specific allegations in the film. I fast-fowarded it and later on it shifts into more typical 9/11 conspiracy stuff.

I was going to e-mail Skeptic magazine or Michael Shermer and recommend Tim Callahan doing a review but I never got around to it.

Jim Lippard said...

Looks like Zeitgeist's source on the Egyptian stuff could also be Acharya S's (D.M. Murdock) "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold." That seems likely.

Jim Lippard said...

The 9/11 section of Zeitgeist is pretty bad, with a few accurate facts here and there. It relies heavily on Michael Ruppert, about whom I found this interesting news article.

Nothing seems to be sourced, and it seems to contradict itself. It claims there's no evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to the attacks (despite the fact that we have people like al Qaeda member Ramzi Binalshibh, who attempted to enter the U.S. to enter a flight school but was denied a visa, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, head of al Qaeda's media committee and main plotter of the attacks, in custody), yet turns around and suggests that there's something suspicious about the Bush family connections to the bin Laden family and that two members of the bin Laden family lived in Falls Church, Virginia "right next to CIA Headquarters." Why would that connection be relevant or suspicious if Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with it?

Osama bin Laden's father had 55 children and 22 wives, and there are currently about 600 of them--most appear to be law-abiding citizens who have disowned Osama. The two Falls Church residents, however, were two of Osama's sons, Abdallah and Omar, the latter of whom was a member of al Qaeda.

The charge of the FBI being told to "back off" from bin Laden investigations from the White House is now known to have been approved by counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, not exactly a fan of George W. Bush, whose testimony on the issue has been somewhat inconsistent. While Clarke originally claimed the plan came from top officials in the White House and was approved in consultation with the FBI, he subsequently said that he took personal responsibility for the decision to allow the bin Laden family members to leave the U.S., and that he didn't think it was a mistake, and that he'd do it again.

Jim Lippard said...

Another Zeitgeist source is Ted Gunderson, who I'm familiar with from his spouting nonsense about Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s. He also has endorsed the accuracy of phony psychic Sylvia Browne, and endorses wild claims of child sexual abuse by "some of America's leading politicians" including George W. Bush, which makes him sound like the crazy mind-control sex slave claimants, "Brice Taylor" (Susan Ford), Cathy O'Brien, and Kola Boof (the last of whom makes the sex slave claims without the mind control claims).

Hume's Ghost said...

Check it out. The usual suspects have once again discovered that all roads lead to the evil liberal Nazi fascist communist progressive George Soros.

I'm trying to decide which I think is crazier - the 9/11 conspiracies or the 'all roads lead to George Soros' hate. If you check Google there are gaggles of bloggers saying the study is bogus because the institution has received funding from foundations connected to Soros. Off the top of my head, the conservative movement has now dismissed on the grounds that it can be connected to Soros: global warming, the Lancet study, a Free Press/CAP study about talk radio diversity, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, um ... that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Funny how this standard doesn't go the same way. You don't see Malkin dismissing Murdoch owned entities, even though his influence in content is a bit more intrusive than their imaginings of Soros as the Liberal Fascist puppet master.

Sorry for the rant. The reality dismissal sets me off ... I used to react the same way to creationism. I suppose I'll get used to this eventually.

Hume's Ghost said...

Is that you on the donors page? If so, I can imagine their response to this post:

[channels inner Malkin]: Ha! Left-wing Bush Derangement Syndrome infected liberal moonbat Jim Lippard tries to pass off the "study" HE funded as "journalism" when in reality its just typical BDS talking points. The Truthers strike again!

Jim Lippard said...

No problem, your comments are always welcome here. I agree with you that the Soros/Murdoch position shows a double standard. The fact that Soros funded one of the two organizations that funded this study says *nothing* about its accuracy. (BTW, I'm a funder of the other organization, the Center for Public Integrity.)

There's a statement at the bottom of Malkin's blog piece that says "Being proven wrong is not 'lying.'" True, but repeating falsehoods after being corrected is lying. And some of the bullshit the administration was promulgating was transparently obvious bullshit, in my opinion--aluminum tubes, Nigerian uranium, 50kg of Turkish uranium, etc.

I'm still working my way through Zeitgeist... the Federal Reserve section argues that the Panic of 1907 was caused by (rather than, as was actually the case, ended by) J.P. Morgan, and makes no mention of the Knickerbocker Trust. It argues that the Federal Reserve Act was put into effect by a conspiracy of international bankers and the Rockefellers through Sen. Nelson Aldrich, and claims that the Federal Reserve is entirely private (even though its head and board of governors is appointed by the president, which isn't mentioned--Wikipedia gets the legal status right, it's part of the federal government but with a fair degree of independence so that politicians can't directly manipulate the monetary policy). It then goes off into tax evader craziness, claiming that the 16th Amendment wasn't properly ratified, but without actually discussing the evidence. That argument is made in William J. Benson and Martin J. Beckman's book The Law That Never Was, which documents errors in the ratification documents, such as typos, alternate capitalization, alternate pluralization, etc. Courts have ruled that Benson's argument doesn't work and that his selling his book as part of a tax evasion defense package constitutes fraud, and he's served time in jail for tax evasion.

I just came across an even more interesting argument against income tax (not in Zeitgeist) discussed by Cecil Adams in his "Straight Dope" column, which is that the 16th Amendment is invalid because Ohio was not a state at the time of ratification, and William H. Taft, who was president, was therefore not legally president since he was not a U.S. Citizen. Everybody thought Ohio was made a state in 1803, but in 1953 when Ohio was preparing for its 150th anniversary of statehood, they found that Congress had defined its boundaries and approved its constitution, but failed to admit it to statehood. Ohio made an appeal for statehood (delivering it to Congress by horseback) and Congress passed a resolution granting it retroactively. Cecil Adams' description and commentary about it is worth reading.

Hume's Ghost said...

Strictly speaking, much of the false statements are indeed not lies, but bullshit and self-deception based on cherry-picking the intelligence to find what they wanted to hear. Which doesn't excuse it in the slightest.

William Clifford gives an excellent rebuttal in "The Ethics of Belief".

A shipowner was about to send to sea an emigrant-ship. He knew that she was old, and not overwell built at the first; that she had seen many seas and climes, and often had needed repairs. Doubts had been suggested to him that possibly she was not seaworthy. These doubts preyed upon his mind, and made him unhappy; he thought that perhaps he ought to have her thoroughly overhauled and and refitted, even though this should put him at great expense. Before the ship sailed, however, he succeeded in overcoming these melancholy reflections. He said to himself that she had gone safely through so many voyages and weathered so many storms that it was idle to suppose she would not come safely home from this trip also. He would put his trust in Providence, which could hardly fail to protect all these unhappy families that were leaving their fatherland to seek for better times elsewhere. He would dismiss from his mind all ungenerous suspicions about the honesty of builders and contractors. In such ways he acquired a sincere and comfortable conviction that his vessel was thoroughly safe and seaworthy; he watched her departure with a light heart, and benevolent wishes for the success of the exiles in their strange new home that was to be; and he got his insurance-money when she went down in mid-ocean and told no tales.

What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men. It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship; but the sincerity of his conviction can in no wise help him, because he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him. He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts. And although in the end he may have felt so sure about it that he could not think otherwise, yet inasmuch as he had knowingly and willingly worked himself into that frame of mind, he must be held responsible for it.

Let us alter the case a little, and suppose that the ship was not unsound after all; that she made her voyage safely, and many others after it. Will that diminish the guilt of her owner? Not one jot. When an action is once done, it is right or wrong for ever; no accidental failure of its good or evil fruits can possibly alter that. The man would not have been innocent, he would only have been not found out. The question of right or wrong has to do with the origin of his belief, not the matter of it; not what it was, but how he got it; not whether it turned out to be true or false, but whether he had a right to believe on such evidence as was before him.

Instead of a sound ship, they believed they had a sound war.

Penguin said...

I found it amusing while I was reading your article at the fact of someone searching for a fault in the President and his Cabinet because they don't have enough trust in their own goverment that they would try to detect a fault in the government, perhaps to make themselves feel somewhat witty and secure(though I'm not sure how that works). If there were false statements there was probably a reason that did not concern you. It was a time of crisis and you are out of line on scorning their decisions, for, as far as I know,you were never president. It's funny how you trust a single source over the leaders of our country.

Einzige said...


There's no way you're for real. No one can possibly be that deluded.

Jim Lippard said...

Penguin: What are you talking about? No one is relying on "a single source" here. And nobody had to "search" very hard for faults in the president when we've had almost eight years of dishonesty and criminal acts documented by numerous sources.

The president is damned by his own words and actions.

Hume's Ghost said...

Screw trust.

"[F]ree government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go ... In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." - Thomas Jefferson

It's well past time that this president was impeached. As we speak he continues to assert the power to act in violation of laws duly passed by Congress and the Constitution of this nation, having done this through signing statments hundreds of times.

We already fought a revolution over someone doing that.

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." - Declaration of Independence

Jacob Aliet said...

Hi Lippard,
I only have 2 questions:
Question one, is it true (from your research) that there were several planes on the air carrying out "mock attacks" on the WTC and pentagon on 9/11 with Cheney as the Commander In Chief?

And from that context, are the following 9/11 statements true:
"Is this real world or an exercise?" Col. Robert K. Marr Jr, NorthEast Air Defense Sector
"We didn't know how many more there were..."
Lt. Col. William E. Glover Jr. NORAD Air Defense Operations

Second Question regards the "warnings not to travel" issued to the likes of the AG, Salman Rushdie and Condolezza Rice on the eve of 911. Were they warned? Why not the general public?
What has your research uncovered regarding these two claims?

The following link presents the claim in my first question more comprehensively

Keep up the good work.

Jim Lippard said...

Jacob: There were NORAD exercises occurring on 9/11, but not involving attacks on the WTC or the Pentagon, nor with Cheney as Commander in Chief. The two military officials quotes you have look accurate. For more info, see this blog post from The Lippard Blog.

There were certainly warnings and chatter about the attacks for several weeks or months prior to 9/11, but not specific as to the targets. One of the key NSA intercepts about the attack wasn't translated until a few days after it was over. The biggest screwups were due to lack of communication between the INS, FBI, and NSA about specific individuals who should have been closely followed, but weren't due to that lack of communication.

Your "Crossing the Rubicon" link's thesis strikes me as implausible.