By Melvin A. Goodman for TruthOut:
Joseph Goebbels, the leading propagandist of the Third Reich, believed in the power of the lie; the greater the lie, the greater the power. Goebbels would have loved Karl Rove’s Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight, a pastiche of lies, fabrications and distortions designed to rehabilitate the record of the Bush-Cheney years. There are too many lies to treat in this one column, but his greatest lie is that the Bush administration would not have invaded Iraq if it had known there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) there. Its corollary is that the administration did not lie about the presence of such weapons in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
In fact, the Bush administration mounted an intense six-month campaign to make sure that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) produced “evidence” of WMD, and then made sure that such players as National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell parroted the administration’s big lie to the American public and to the international community. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their acolytes Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove desperately wanted to go to war against Iraq for reasons that have never been explained. As a result, they created and employed a strategic disinformation campaign to convince Congress and the American people of the need for war. Goebbels would have beamed.
This is not the first time the United States has manipulated intelligence to make a case for war. It happened prior to the Mexican-American War to support the policies of President James Polk, the Spanish-American War to support the policies of President William McKinley and the Vietnam War to support President Lyndon Johnson. But the Iraq war marked the first time that the White House mounted a full-court press with such zeal to take the nation to a war that was unneeded, illegal and immoral. Rove and Libby were key operatives in a programmatic “marketing plan” to justify the war, which included the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose husband had dared to challenge the case for war; the phony intelligence documents produced by the CIA and DIA; and the public commentary linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and Iraq to al-Qaeda. Bush’s chief of staff Andrew Card has already admitted to the marketing plan, which was introduced in September 2002, because “from a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”
In the summer of 2002, the White House Iraq Group was formed to convince public opinion at home and abroad of the need for war against Iraq. The group met regularly in the White House situation room and the regular attendants included Rove, Libby, Condi Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley. At the same time, Cheney and Libby began meeting directly with analysts at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, an unprecedented procedure. The purpose of these meetings was to garner the intelligence justification for a pre-emptive war to remove Saddam Hussein in order to make a case to the Congress, the American public and the international community. In July 2002, the chief of the British MI6 intelligence service, Sir Richard Dearlove, after several meetings with CIA Director George Tenet, warned Prime Minister Tony Blair about the American misuse of intelligence and the public relations campaign to justify war. Dearlove concluded that “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” and that “military action was now seen as inevitable.”…
[continues at TruthOut]