Liar! Liar! Your house is on fire
by Tom Pearson Last week saw a further unravelling of the lies and deceptions used as a pretext for war by the governments of the US, Britain and Australia. The death of British scientist David Kelly, a weapons advisor to the Blair Government, has seen more calls for Prime Minister Tony Blair to resign. Those defending the criminal war on Iraq had hounded Kelly because he had the audacity to refute his government's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that threatened the world. Kelly, found dead with a slashed wrist in woods near his home, was an Oxford-educated microbiologist and a member of the UN weapons inspection body UNSCOM since 1991. He had told the BBC the documents used by Blair to justify war had been "sexed up" i.e. falsified. It is being taken as self-evident that his death was by his own hand: that he may have been driven to suicide for simply telling the truth is in itself enough for Blair and his warmongering government to resign. But it is also not beyond a government willing to slaughter thousands of innocent people in Iraq to have one of its own public servants murdered. Whatever the case may be, others have now been put on notice to keep their mouths shut. The latest developments came as the US was forced to admit that there is organised resistance against the army of occupation in Iraq and more revelations about the concocted "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction were emerging. The head of US Central Command, General John Abizaid, contradicted his predecessor Tommy Franks and the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by admitting US troops were facing "a classic guerrilla war" . In Washington last week it was revealed that a committee led by Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told George W Bush to include a reference in his January State of the Union address that claimed Iraq had tried to purchase 500 tonnes of uranium from the African state of Niger. Though the CIA had told Wolfowitz that this information was "unreliable" it was inserted in the statement anyhow because of Bush's desperate need to stampede the American people into accepting the necessity to go to war against Iraq. Now, Bush is feeling the heat of public scrutiny and anger as the realisation grows that the war was based on lies. According to a recent Newsweek poll, 45 per cent of Americans say the Bush administration misinterpreted intelligence reports about Iraq, and 38 per cent think it deliberately miss-led the country. Wolfowitz's rejection of their advice did not please the CIA advisers, a disquiet that was compounded by the CIA Director George Tenet last week becoming Bush's fall guy. Tenet took the blame for the false information about Niger in the Bush statement, a classic case of blaming the messenger. Contradictions between the administration and the CIA began to fester before the attack on Iraq. In the months leading up to the war, Rumsfeld became increasingly frustrated that the CIA wasn't coming up with any evidence of Iraq's chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, evidence that the White House needed in order to spark the conflict. Instead, as the world is now seeing, Bush and his circle manufactured evidence. Getting the "right" information To ensure that Bush got the "right" information, Wolfowitz and Vice- President Cheney set up their own coterie of intelligence agents called the Office of Special Plans. According to the New Yorker magazine this committee started picking out things that "supported their thesis, stringing them into arguments". The Office of Special Plans also provided "information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to terrorists". Former CIA officials describe the agency as being "demoralised", saying that "George Tenet knows he's been beaten up". The rift between spy agency and government grew as the administration dismissed all intelligence on Iraq from the CIA because it failed to find any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Reactionary Republican Congressman, Pat Roberts, the chair of the Senate select committee on intelligence, is spitting chips: "What now concerns me most is what appears to be a campaign of press leaks by the CIA in an effort to discredit the president". As the heat is turned up on Bush, Blair and Howard, the pro-war spin doctors are racketing up their ballyhoo. The foreign editor of the Australian newspaper, Greg Sheridan, leapt into the fray last week. In his column Sheridan, a committed flag waver for US global ambitions along with his boss Rupert Murdoch, stated, "The US has discovered what it believes is decisive proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destructions programs". Cooking the evidence Not actual weapons, but programs. There is according to Sheridan "evidence", from unnamed "well-informed sources", in the form of "material not in a pristine or readily identifiable state when it was discovered" so, "it was decided to take it back to the US for comprehensive laboratory testing". There are no prizes for guessing what the results of those tests will be. Sheridan, and his mates, Howard, Blair and Bush, are now desperately grasping at straws. The fact is that no evidence has been found of Iraqi chemical or biological weapons capable of "causing death and destruction on a mammoth scale", as Howard claimed, because there was none to be found. The trio lied on a mammoth scale so as to commit forces to a war that caused more than 10,000 innocent civilian deaths. They continue to heap one lie on another. To admit their deceit and their guilt would be fatal to their cause and to their government. In Iraq, unrest is growing among the US soldiers who are facing increased resistance and have been told their deployment is now "indefinite". With some personnel openly criticising the Bush administration, General Abizaid has told them to shut up. "None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defence or the president of the United States", he said, warning of disciplinary action. Such developments are echoes of the dirty war on Vietnam. The US is calling up 10,000 US National Guard troops to reinforce the occupation and is attempting to find other countries willing to send troops to replace US forces as it prepares for new wars against other countries.