The Bush administration has gone into full spin mode and Tony Blair is battling to save his political life, reports Jake Tapper, as charges mount that they lied their way into war.
Columnist Paul Krugman writes that "the public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra. Indeed, the idea that we were deceived into war makes many commentators so uncomfortable that they refuse to admit the possibility. But here's the thought that should make those commentators really uncomfortable. Suppose that this administration did con us into war. And suppose that it is not held accountable for its deceptions, so Mr.
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are asking the White House for more information behind its charges that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Reuters reports, "Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, a Virginia Republican, said his panel would hold hearings on the issue, possibly along with the Senate Intelligence Committee, because 'the situation is becoming one where the credibility of the administration and Congress is being challenged.' Rep.
Columnist Paul Krugman compares the war on Iraq to the 1997 movie Wag the Dog, saying that "if you don't think it bears a resemblance to recent events, you're in denial" because "much of the supposed justification for the war turns out to have been fictional. The war was justified to the public by links between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. No evidence of the Qaeda link has ever surfaced, and no W.M.D.'s that could have posed any threat to the U.S. or its allies have been found. ...
"The American people were manipulated" about alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, says a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Several U.S. intelligence officers who are angry about the politicized distortion of their work and have formed a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
The dramatic rescue of Private Jessica Lynch became one of the big moments of the war, but her Iraqi doctors say the rescue was staged. "We were surprised. Why do this? There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital," said Dr Anmar Uday, who worked at the hospital. "It was like a Hollywood film. They cried 'go, go, go', with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions.
With George W. Bush proudly proclaiming victory in Iraq, many worldwide continue to ask, "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?"
"In a city where image is everything ... the White House has created an indelible, and formidable, image by having Bush land aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to deliver a speech signaling the end of the military phase of the war with Iraq. ... The attention the event generated was a political consultant's dream, said Michael Deaver, who was President Ronald Reagan's White House image guru. ... Paul Begala, a former Clinton aide, called the flight a 'tax-subsidized commercial.' ...
"As Americans, it's hard for us to see the roots of anti-Americanism," Nancy Snow, author of Propaganda Inc., told the Orange County Weekly. "We don't hear a lot about imperial power, but in a lot of the world the U.S. is seen as a major imperial power -- militarily, economically and culturally. We keep saying we need to get our message out, but often the world is saying, 'We get your message; we hear it all the time.' ... We need to have our voice in the world but also to understand that ours is not the only voice. Right now, the world sees us as the big megaphone."
PR Week's "PR Play of the Week" goes to the Pentagon's limited edition playing cards, which the trade publication described as "part troop diversion and part Most Wanted poster." The cards features the pictures of the of 55 top members of the fallen Iraqi regime. "The deck's unveiling in and of itself would have amounted to a smart PR move, as the reporters stationed at the briefing center have grown restless in recent weeks from the perceived lack of real information and news coming from [Brig. Gen. Vincent] Brooks' daily briefings," PR Week writes.