What IS it about the Iraq war that makes people lie?

“Conflating” one’s war record has a fine tradition in American culture, but it certainly does cheapen the experiences of people who actually do go into harm’s way.

An internal investigation has been started at NBC, and Williams will step down from his job temporarily.

Funny thing is, NBC’s Brian Williams is not the first to lie about the war. In no particular order, aMTE4MDAzNDEwNDgwMDM5NDM4dd his name to this list:

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UPDATE, with an assist from Leftover: Post-Wild Bill [Clinton], from the Picking Up The Ball and Running with it Dept., Congressional authorization for Bush the Younger, et al., to use military force in Iraq could not have passed without significant support from the Democratic Party. Kerry, Lieberman, Levin, Ford, Gilman, Byrd, Rockefeller, Waxman, Senator Clinton, Graham, then Senator Biden, Edwards, and the Neoliberal Lion himself, Ted Kennedy, are all on record buying into all the lies the Bush Administration…well…administered. Even Al Gore…now out of office…jumped on that bandwagon. But…you know…they, of course, were duped…because…blind faith in Bush The Younger and The Dickster, et al., just…well…seemed so Right.

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12 Comments

    1. I do not believe they did. And I respect Mr. Powell very much, but that speech he gave at the United Nations’ security council is still wrong.

  1. Forgoing the obligatory Aeschylus quote…
    …and unsure of the identity of the first woman pictured…
    …you’re saying no Democrats lied about the war in Iraq? Or do they get a pass for just picking up the ball and running with it?

    Politicians lie…especially about war. It’s what we pay them to do.

    It’s not uncommon for contemporary journalists to lie…especially about war…present company excluded. We expect them to be a little more skilled in the practice, but generally consider willful and convenient ignorance, spin and misinformation to be the price of “free press” reportage. Williams’ only mistake is he got caught with his pants down: no reasonable excuse…as yet…for his actions, or a skillful redirect to deflect criticism. He believed his own bullshit.

    I hear there’s an opening on The Daily Show. He’ll probably wind up there.

    1. I mean to give no Democrat a pass. I was thinking of the lead-up to the war, and the administration in power at the time. What Democrat would you add in that lead-up? If I can’t recall any who were as boisterous as this rogue’s gallery, help me out. I’m old and I forget stuff.

      1. I agree that in the march to the Iraq war, the Republican Administration shoulders a good deal of the responsibility for employing the Propaganda Model to manufacture consent for war.

        But before Bush the Younger and his cohorts took control, there was significant priming of the pump from the across the aisle:
        For example, Wild Bill Clinton 1998…at the pentagon:

        In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.
        If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.

        Similar statements were made by Al Gore, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Nancy Pelosi, and other influential Democrats at the time…like Lieberman, Feinstein, Milulski, Daschle, John Kerry in a letter to then President Wild Bill…

        [W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”

        Most included in their justifications for war Saddam’s documented use of chemical weapons against the Kurds, but, nevertheless, exploited the fear of nonexistent stockpiles of WMDs to enhance their call for war against Iraq. The manufacture of that propaganda began before Bush and Cheney took office. The Congressional resolution calling for regime change in Iraq was signed by Wild Bill in 1998. The stage for war is set.

        Post-Wild Bill, from the Picking Up The Ball and Running with it Dept., Congressional authorization for Bush the Younger, et al., to use military force in Iraq could not have passed without significant support from the Democratic Party. Kerry, Lieberman, Levin, Ford, Gilman, Byrd, Rockefeller, Waxman, Senator Clinton, Graham, then Senator Biden, Edwards, and the Neoliberal Lion himself, Ted Kennedy, are all on record buying into all the lies the Bush Administration…well…administered. Even Al Gore…now out of office…jumped on that bandwagon. But…you know…they, of course, were duped…because…blind faith in Bush The Younger and The Dickster, et al., just…well…seemed so Right.

        1. Do you mind if I use your last paragraph and insert it into the blog post? I’m too lazy to go seek all those photos.

          1. I don’t mind. Your blog.
            I have links for the statements I mention in the last paragraph. I could include them, if you like. But it will take some time. I have a teleconference in a little while and I’m not sure how long that will take.

  2. In all fairness, should you mention our own Richard Blumenthal (vis-a-vis Vietnam), or even Hillary Clinton, who exaggerated the dangers when she visited the Middle East? And then of course — though I don’t agree — there are those who “swiftboated” John Kerry regarding his actions in Vietnam, claiming he did not deserve any of his medals. Those claims were largely discredited, and were certainly politically motivated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift_Vets_and_POWs_for_Truth

    1. You’re right. I was focused intently on the lead-up to the Iraq war but there are plenty of liars to go around.

      1. Regardless of exactly who, it looks as though politicians get a free pass, while journalists face consequences, because (whether actually true or not) we need to be able to trust the news anchor, and not necessarily the politician (yup a problem). However, gone are the days when we all relied on the words of Walter Cronkite as truth. Sensationalism and numerous “news” sources are competing for our attention. This issue with Brian Williams bothers me most because it’s another sign of overall change in news delivery, and loss of integrity in the information delivered.

  3. They lied because no one would follow them if they said, “We think that killing Iraqis and maiming and killing our own soldiers for oil is a cool idea” they lied about funding because, well again the truth would stop them.

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