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Lies and the lying liars who recant them

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 20 years ago, in 2004, on the World Wide Web.

In weather today, the forecast for Hell is cloudy and below freezing, with a chance of snow:

WASHINGTON – Conservative television news anchor Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The anchor of his own show on Fox News said he was sorry he gave the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s weapons program poised an imminent threat, the main reason cited for going to war.

I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this, O’Reilly said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.

What do you want me to do, go over and kiss the camera? asked O’Reilly, who had promised rival ABC last year he would publicly apologize if weapons were not found.

O’Reilly said he was much more skeptical about the Bush administration now since former weapons inspector David Kay said he did not think Saddam had any weapons of mass destruction. . . .

He added: I think every American should be very concerned for themselves that our intelligence is not as good as it should be.

(from Conservative U.S. anchor now skeptical about Bush; link via Tom Tomorrow, who got it from Pandagon)

I have no kind words to say for Bill O’Reilly; I think that he is an ignorant raver and his show is an on-going exercise in the worst sorts of thoughtless, anti-intellectual bullying. Moreover, on this particular issue I don’t have any sympathy at all: he was suckered in by a not-so-subtle propaganda operation producing ahistorical, politically expedient lies—propaganda that anyone should have been (and many were) able to see through without any great difficulty. Be that as it may, O’Reilly’s admission is an admirable act from a mostly regrettable man. He may be a bully, but he’s not a charlatan.

The same cannot be said, alas, for Donald Rumsfeld. Thus Tom Tomorrow:

photo: Donald Rumsfeld, looking particularly ghastly

He’s either a complete liar or he’s completely senile. Either way, he should resign tomorrow. This is just outrageous.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he did not recall British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s pre-war claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready to be deployed in 45 minutes.

I don’t remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest, Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference.

General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he didn’t remember the statement either.

The claim made headlines around the world after Blair leveled it in a 55-page white paper presented to the House of Commons in September 2002.

I can’t even begin to express my astonishment. . . .

…this is the biggest problem I face as a satirist these days: these guys keep outdoing my cartoons. How am I supposed to stay ahead?

The sorriest fact about this whole affair is not so much that Rumsfeld is mouthing such bald lies, but that the Bush administration has created and institutionalized such an environment of half-truths, duplicity, and deceit that it may actually be plausible to say that Rumsfeld and his gang actually believe this stuff; in their own echo chamber they may have begun to believe in the lies that they have created.

But if this is so, then the very insularity and deceit and secrecy may be a reason to take hope: the senior officials of the Bush administration, surrounded by yes-men and PR twists on every side, has become routinely accustomed to its spin and while Democrats are looking increasingly invigorated for the upcoming election, Bush increasingly seems simply out of touch with the fact that he might possibly have some difficulties being re-elected:

First of all, he’s [John Kerry’s] not the nominee, and I look forward

Are you prepared to lose?

No, I’m not going to lose.

If you did, what would you do?

Well, I don’t plan on losing. I have got a vision for what I want to do for the country. See, I know exactly where I want to lead.

(from Tim Russert’s interview with President Bush on Meet the Press)

You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and there is good reason to hope that the American people are more and more prepared to rise up against Bush and his gang for what they have done. Even George Will and Bill O’Reilly are starting to think that this ship may be going down. I know that it’s very hasty to make predictions at this point, but if things continue to go as they have been going, then when will Bush and his gang realize it, and what will it do to them? As an administration that has spent the past 4 years feverishly working to construct their own pseudoreality and to break the whole American public to their will, what will it mean if they suddenly realize that they are on the brink of losing it all? Let’s hope that they find out—all too late.

And far away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath Naur the very heart of his realm, the Power in Barad-dûr was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him, and his Eye piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were at last laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung.

For further reading:

3 replies to Lies and the lying liars who recant them Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Sameul Haque

    The eye of sauron huh? Nice.

· March 2004 ·

  1. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    The War on Iraq One Year On: Countdown Regime Change

    Today is the first anniversary of the Bush administration’s war on Iraq. hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in protest of the war, the occupation, and the lies that were used to murder some 8,000…

  2. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Hardy Har Har

    Belly laugh! Let’s say you told a lie and everyone found out. In fact, let’s say you started a war over a lie and everyone found out. Hell, let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you started…

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Anticopyright. This was written in 2004 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.