When asked at a press conference on Thursday what went wrong in Iraq, Snow replied "I'm not sure anything went wrong."
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates continues to insist that the White House is not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran. What a load of road apples. The White House has been looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran for years.
Mr. Bush still refers to Iran's nuclear weapons program, although he has yet to produce a shred of evidence that Iran intends to develop anything but an independent means of producing nuclear energy, an "inalienable right" guaranteed to it by the U.N. Non-proliferation Treaty.
At the now infamous secret briefing in Baghdad on Sunday, unnamed senior military officials claimed that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government were responsible for the funneling of weapons to Shiite militant groups in Iraq without providing any evidence to back the allegation. Shortly after that, both Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Peter Pace and Mr. Bush allowed as how, well, no, they didn't know for sure if the "highest levels" of Iran's government were involved, but by golly, somebody from Iran was, especially that there Quds group.
But they offered no evidence that the Quds are involved in Iraq either.
When asked to comment on the apparent disparity between remarks made by the "senior officials," General Pace and Mr. Bush, Tony Snow said, "We're not on separate pages."
They're not on separate pages. They're in a separate solar system.
The Echo Chamberlains
In an attempt to discredit critics of Mr. Bush's war, Frank Gaffney, Jr. of the Washington Times recently opened his column with this gem of vituperation:
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
--President Abraham Lincoln
But guess what. Lincoln never said that. As Editor and Publisher notes, the quote was penned by conservative author J. Michael Waller. The misquote originally appeared in a 2003 issue of Insight, a conservative current events magazine published by the Washington Times. Waller, according to Editor and Publisher, admits that he never intended to put quotation marks around the sentence, and blames his Insight editor for the mistake and the failure to correct it.
The misquote has been used many times by right wing pundits and politicians, and was exposed as a fabrication last August by Brooks Jackson at FactCheck.org, but that didn't stop the right wing echo chamber from repeating it. And as of Friday, February 16, the Washington Times had not retracted or corrected the false statement in Gaffney's column.
As I've noted before, the greatest casualty of the Bush administration's tenure has been the abject pollution of America's information environment. In an effort to maintain some semblance of journalistic integrity, the mainstream (or so called "liberal") media allow the right equal opportunity to air its propaganda. The Big Brother Broadcast--A.M. talk radio, Fox News, Tony Snow, the Washington Times, etc.--follow no journalistic standards whatsoever. Facts are as fungible as fairy tales and childish insult contests pass for honest debate. Volume and nastiness substitute for reason. Out and out flatulence is sold as the perfume of enlightenment.
And yet, lamentably, entirely too many Americans still fall for this Orwellian line of tripe. Living in Virginia, I regularly encounter people who consider themselves informed and witty because they can quote whatever Rush or Bill or Sean said that day. And if a right wing luminary is quoted in the New York Times or the Washington Post, well, shoot, it has to be true if it was run in one of them libruhl papers.
The greatest threat America faces is not Iran or the terrorists or weapons of mass destruction or Russia or China. It is the purposeful and focused internal campaign, being conducted by right wing ideologues, to destroy the citizenry's capacity for critical thinking.
To make us so confused and so afraid that at the end of the day, we have no choice but to believe what Big Brother tells us, even if we know he's contradicting himself and making no sense whatsoever.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.