You Can’t Handle the Truth

February 3, 2004 at 5:46 pm
Contributed by: Chris


The message to the American people from the Bush administration is as clear as if Jack Nicholson delivered the line himself: you can’t handle the truth.

Over and over, on the most important questions we have faced, this administration has spoken with a forked tongue: it says it has the truth, speaks the truth, and wants the truth; then it
does all it can to prevent us from finding out the truth.

Consider some of the most salient examples:

Why Are They Stonewalling the 9-11 Investigation?

Is there any American, conservative or liberal, who
does not believe that we have a right to know what happened on 9-11?

Apparently so: the Bush team. Over two years
have passed since the tragedy of 9-11, and the Adminstration is still dragging
its feet.

“First the administration tried, in defiance of
all historical precedents, to prevent any independent inquiry. Then it tried to
appoint Henry Kissinger, of all people, to head the investigative panel. Then it
obstructed the commission, denying it access to crucial documents and testimony.
Now, thanks to all the delays and impediments, the panel’s head says it can’t
deliver its report by the original May 11 deadline — and the administration is
trying to prevent a time extension.” [Krugman, “Where’s the Apology?“]

The Bush team opposed the formation of an
independent investigative commission, then when the commission finally began its
work, Bush used Nixon’s dictatorial doctrine of “Executive Privilege” to deny commissioners access to crucial documents. Now, after
almost two and a half years, they have dragged their heels so much that the
investigative panel now needs an extension to get its report
done. But the administration is lobbying against the extension, in an effort to
nullify the entire investigation. “I fully support an extension to ensure that
the commission’s work is not compromised by the Bush administration’s delaying
tactics, secrecy and stonewalling,” Mr. Lieberman said Tuesday from New
Hampshire, where he was campaigning in that day’s Democratic presidential
primary. “Clearly the president is not interested in a complete and thorough

Who Says 9-11 Couldn’t Have Been Prevented?

The Administration claimed to have been caught
completely by suprise by 9-11. And yet, they had been briefed about the
possibility of a 9-11 style attack before it happened, and decided to ignore
that briefing. Now, we know that 9-11 was, in fact, something that could have been prevented, given the intelligence and process we had. There had been numerous warnings that the
Bush administration ignored.

ABC reported, “White House officials acknowledged that U.S.
intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks
that bin Laden’s terrorist network might try to hijack American planes.” and
yet, Bush and crew repeatedly stated that they never had any idea that this
could happen.  Rice said on 5/16/02,
“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take
an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam
it into the Pentagon. [No one predicted] that they would try to use an airplane
as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”

Condoleezza Rice, the National Security
Adviser who was warned about 9/11 prior to the attack, had the nerve
to blame “previous administrations” for terrorist
attacks, while refusing to mention that the Bush Administration tried to
slash counter-terrorism programs upon taking office. [The Progress Report, Oct.
31 2003.]

Who Bought the Puts on United and
American Airlines?

In the week before 9-11, somebody purchased
an unusually high number of “puts” (stock options) on United Airlines and
American Airlines, netting them a cool $2.5 million in profit after 9-11. Many
citizens rightly hoped that following
the money on these trades
would have led to some good intelligence on what
happened and who was responsible. Unfortunately, that investigation stalled
under pressure from the SEC.

“Although uniformly ignored by the
mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of
transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of
the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the

In the case of at least one of these trades — which has
left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed — the firm used to place the “put options”
on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the
number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency.”

More 9-11

There are many things
about 9-11 that just don’t add up, but these 20 questions stand
out. How can we tolerate a president who tries to keep us from finding out the
truth about the worst attack on US soil in history?

WMD and “Intelligence

The Bush cabinet has had a long history of
repeating its assertions about Iraq’s WMD, despite the lack of any evidence it
was willing to share, and despite the reports of weapons inspectors. That is,
until chief weapons inspector David Kay said last week that we just “got it all
wrong,” which may finally put an end to that stream of distortions.

Now, when it is painfully clear that, at best, they
overstated the case for Iraq’s WMD, and at worst, they flat-out lied, they have
stonewalled any attempt to find out where and how the intelligence chain broke
down. For a while, they tried to discount the importance of the WMD issue, and
Bush tried to toss it aside, saying, “What difference
does it make?”

Yet, with stakes so high, they
haven’t been able to just ignore the outrage about the lack of WMD, so yesterday
they made an about-face: “President Bush offered a welcome announcement
yesterday that he will appoint a bipartisan commission to examine American
intelligence gathering. But the devil is in the details.  The president
will make the appointments; the scope of inquiry could be so broad as to evade
specific questions about what went wrong in Iraq; and most importantly, the
findings of the commission won’t be available until 2005.” [Guardian, Feb. 2, 2004]
That concept of a commission has been compared to the Warren Commission–with
the great job they did on putting questions about President Kennedy’s
assassination to rest, I’m sure we can all rest easy knowing we’ll get to the
bottom of this one.

Clearly, Bush is not interested in finding out
the truth about the “intelligence failure.” And I submit that is because he
already knows what went wrong: Cheney engineered the “forward leaning
intelligence” via his Office of Special Plans.

As CBS has written, “And this new inquiry should have
begun last summer. It should be well along the path to examining not just
intelligence pertaining to Iraq’s banned weapons, but also the alleged ties
between Saddam and al Qaeda. (Perhaps then Vice President Cheney would stop
repeating the same discredited, now just bizarre claims.) And the very doctrine
of pre-emption, though not a factual case, needs to scrutinized.”

Disingenuous Budgets
In all
of his budgets, Bush’s numbers just don’t add up. And even then, they don’t include the costs for our wars and
occupations. Between the tax cuts for the rich and the wars and occupations, we
went from a record surplus to a record deficit in three short years,
scoring record bankruptcies and unemployment along the way.  “The CBO reports the federal government’s budget deficit will top $475
billion this year alone, with nearly $5 trillion in accumulated debt projected
through 2014…The near $500 billion deficit is a sign of a
dramatic long-term deterioration, not a one-time blip due to 9/11 and Iraq….a number of independent organizations…have projected ten-year deficits of $5 trillion, which suggest that $500
billion annual deficits will be the rule, rather than the

For a quick review of the numbers, see Krugman
– “Another Bogus Budget

Foxes Guarding the Henhouse
appointment after appointment, Bush placed people with deep connections to
industry, and histories of corruption, in charge of overseeing those same
industries. And still, somehow, manages to seem sincere about wanting to stop
corruption. Just a few examples:

– Harvey Pitt, chairman of the SEC, supported the
appointment of William Webster to head an accounting oversight board that
presumably would put a stop to corporate fraud, even though he knew that Webster
Webster had served on the audit committee of U.S. Technologies, a financially
troubled company facing fraud accusations.

– Bush has supported letting polluters set their own
voluntary standards to reduce greenhouse gases.
Bush Lied About His Military Record

Turns out Michael Moore was right, Bush did desert his duty
with the National Guard. If it were you or me who had done that, we would have gone to prison. Bush got a job working on Winton
Blount’s campaign.
Who Sent Anthrax to the Congress
Offices and Post Offices?

And what happened to those
investigations? They went nowhere, and turned up nothing. I submit there is a
reason for that: because it was an inside job, and there’s nothing to be gained
by exposing the perpetrators.

“Two commentaries by New York Times columnist
Nicholas Kristof, published July 12 and July 19, raise further questions about
the refusal of the FBI and the Bush administration to take any action against
the most likely suspect in the anthrax terrorist attacks that killed five people
last fall. These columns—and the near-universal silence in the rest of the
media—underscore the high-level complicity in the suppression of any serious
investigation into the terrorist attacks that targeted two leading Democratic
senators.” [“Who is stonewalling the US anthrax investigation?“, 20 July 2002]

Who Left Ricin In Bill Frist’s Office?

When I first heard about this story yesterday, I was
a bit ashamed at my first reaction to it, until I learned that I wasn’t the only
one: it also smells like an inside job. Conveniently timed, along with the
ridiculously blown out of proportion “scandal” over Janet Jackon’s
breast-baring, to distract you from the WMD controversy, and give you a fresh
dose of fear.

Think that’s far-fetched? Then try this out:
“Law enforcement and congressional sources told CNN the powder was found on an automatic mail
opener in the mailroom. A worker used the machine to open numerous pieces of mail, then left for
a couple of hours and returned to find the powder on the machine, a House Republican leadership
source said, so authorities have been unable to trace the substance to a specific letter or

Why Are They Stonewalling the
Valerie Plame Investigation?

It has been eight months since somebody leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame to columnist Bob Novak. The
administration has stonewalled that investigation too, even though the penalty
for such a leak is high, because the crime is treason.

By comparison, it took the Administration all of 24
hours to launch an investigation to see whether they could nail former Treasury
Secretary Paul O’Neill on a leak charge, in retribution for simply telling the
about Bush’s idealogically motivated rush to war in Iraq.

Why Are They Stonewalling the Investigation
into Cheney’s Industry-Written Energy Plan?

Because you can’t handle the truth. The truth
is, the energy industry knows all about the Peak Oil and Gas problem, and has decided to do all it can to increase domestic production
over all objections, as well as to make a grab for control of the world’s major
producers of fossil fuels.

For two years now, Cheney has stonewalled the investigation into why
the energy policy was drafted behind closed doors with key energy industry
leaders, including Ken Lay of Enron. Why? What are they so afraid of us finding

Why Are They Stonewalling the Investigation
into Enron?

Bush is an old friend of Ken Lay, whom he calls
“Kenny Boy”…and yet, shortly after the Enron debacle broke, Bush claimed not
to know him. Once the scandal had come into the light, and thousands of
citizens had been cheated out of millions of dollars, Bush has done all he
can to keep the door on Enron closed. Why? Isn’t it important to the president
to find out the truth about how the American people were fleeced, and bring the
fraudsters to justice?

Why Did They Stonewall the Investigation into
the Saudi Funding of Terrorists?

And why did they allow members of bin Laden’s family
fly out of the US
on 9-11, when all other flights were grounded? And why did
they censor
the parts
about the Saudis from the 9-11 report they released? Probably
because we can’t afford to jeopardize
our oil business
with the Saudis even a little bit.

Too Many More to List

These are just some of the whoppers. But the
deceptions and misdirections of the Bush administration could take up pages
more. You could spend days reading about it on the Web.

Suffice to say, George Bush has little respect
for the truth, and even less for the people who entrusted him with their
country. Don’t we deserve the truth? And
if we got it, could we handle it?

–Chris Nelder
Posted to GetRealList Feb 02,

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