Programming Note: HUBRIS


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Charles Johnson at LGF has posted Rachel Maddow’s documentary on the selling of the Iraq War in six parts, for those of you who have trouble with MSNBC’s elaborately glitchy interface, or who can only take so much Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Feith at one sitting.

Highly recommended, for those too young or incurious to have paid close attention ten years ago — or for those of your relatives & acquaintances that still insist Saddam Hussein must’ve had WMDs, or why would our leaders have flushed thousands of lives and trillions of dollars down the crapper looking for them?

79 replies
  1. 1
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Thank you.

    I don’t think I’ll watch; I remember all too well how I felt on the day they started bombing Baghdad. I never believed those bastards for one minute.

  2. 2
    piratedan says:

    was a nice comprehensive overview, if someone could have extrapolated a timeline, that would be nice. Makes me cringe knowing what they did to Plame and then watching these same neo-con bastards deny the State Dept funding and then blame the administration for Benghazi. They should make a follow up to Hubris, call it “brass balls” to document the Republican hypocrisy

  3. 3
    kc says:

    It still makes me sick to think about it.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Same here. One of the proudest things in my life is the fact that I never believed Bush when it came to Iraq. When we started bombing, I remember hoping that the would find WMDs for the sake of vindicating that whole misadventure.

    Rachel noted last night that the #1 accomplishment of Obama’s first time — ahead of getting bin Ladin — was getting out of Iraq.

  5. 5
    Hill Dweller says:

    Also too, Maddow just had a great segment at the end of tonight’s show on public sector employment during the last 4 recessions.

  6. 6
    Alison says:

    @piratedan: It’s a bit hinky and may not include the newest stuff, but MoJo did this timeline a while back

  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    I want to watch. Might be a good companion piece to Tom Ricks’ book “Fiasco”.

  8. 8
    Fluke bucket says:

    Too soon. Probably never.

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    Have no desire to relive that shit. It was like parking your car on a hill, and the emergency brake goes out and there is nothing to be done, and the only thing that would come next was how many people were going to needlessly die.

    I am still amazed I didn’t get a visit from the FBI for a completely unhinged phone call to Senator Domenici’s office with a staffer. Pete may have been too busy caucusing a fellow senator’s daughter for all I knew/

  10. 10
    piratedan says:

    @Alison: very nifty Alison, tyvm!

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    While the show did introduce some new material to bolster what is/was already known (Rumsfeld’s written pieces searching for the preferred ‘hook’ to pull the wool over the general public’s eyes, for example) it was oddly coy about definitively labeling the pure villainy at play, insisting on defining the totality as a hoax instead of the high crime which it was and shall ever be.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:


    Another twist on republican family values. She was in her early twenties, Pete was 50, or thereabouts. Amazing they kept it secret all these years, especially from Paul Axalt, the girls senator pappy.

    The good news is my state has turned pretty solid blue, except for the congressional district I live in, with gumby Steve Pearce being the dimmest of dim tea tard bulbs. Can’t have everything, I guess.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    On a brighter note, 3 – count ’em, 3 – Preston Sturges movies in a row on TCM, beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET, ending at 5:43 a.m. ET.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The deserting coward and the Dark Lord should have been put to death for their crime, the first time a major power engaged in an outright,no holds barred war of aggression since the start of the Second World War.

    Our media played along with this as if Joseph Goebbles were directing their “reporting”, yet now they whine that they didn’t get to tag along for Obama’s golf weekend with Tiger Woods.

    The meteor…it shouldn’t have shown up over Russia. It was needed over the Village.

  15. 15
    sylvan says:

    This dovetails nicely with the Maddow bashing in this thread.

    Snooty Oxford PhD. Not a real journalist, etc.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I watched the second half, and the only thing I really learned was that Colin Powell knew sooner and better than I had thought that he was selling the country a steaming pile of shit, and I continue to believe that a Powell resignation could have brought the whole thing screeching to a halt. Charlie Pierce said the other day that the glaring weakness was the NBC corporation’s refusal to acknowledge their own role, chiefly but not exclusively in the person of Tim Russert, in selling that war. And that’s the whole thing writ small, in both parties and throughout the media, and frankly right on down to (I would guess) two-thirds of the 74% of the country who supported it, don’t want to face up to their responsibility.

    And so John McCain prattles about the “surge” as if it were the greatest and most important American military victory since Antietam, and Condi Rice and 65% approval rating were recently hired to spew self-satisfied, pedantic, prissy, partisan nonsense full time by CBS. And Schieffer was more skeptical about that war, as I recall, than Russert or any other chuckle head on your TeeVee, other than Tweety.

  17. 17

    @Xecky Gilchrist: @Baud: Hell yeah, we should be proud. I can sympathize with the average American not knowing, but the fact that our media and big parts of the Democratic party went along with it is a black mark of shame. I don’t know if I can watch this documentary though, it’s probably too aggravating.

  18. 18
    handy says:

    Not gonna watch, though am curious about one thing: did Maddow make sufficient time to highlight the doings of MSNBC employee Chris Matthews and others in the “mainstream” media like Judith Miller in the liberal New York Times for their role in selling this mess?

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist

    And Schieffer was more skeptical about that war, as I recall, than Russert or any other chuckle head on your TeeVee, other than Tweety.

    Phil Donahue.

    Lost his slot over this.

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:


    Speaking of longer term Bush effect. Here is some more evidence that SteveM’s concern for dems getting too uppity and lax, cause soon the GOP will rebound with voters.

    A new Bloomberg National Poll finds President Obama enters the latest showdown with Congress with his highest job approval in three years and public support for his economic message, while his Republican opponents’ popularity stands at a record low.

    Key findings: 55% of Americans approve of Obama’s in office, the strongest support since Sept 2009. Meanwhile, just 35% of the country has a favorable view of the GOP, the lowest since Sept 2009.

    In addition, Americans by 43% to 34% say Republicans are more to blame than and Democrats for what’s wrong in Washington.

    Unless another Reagan shows up, this poll like most others, tells a story within the tabs, that the republican brand may be irrepairable under the previous version. Change or else, seems to be the message voters are sending.

    Or at least enough of them to make it very difficult for wingers to win national elections under normal circumstances. Then there is the steady drumbeat of melting pot demographics that is pure math, and outside the realm political mystery.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    My own immediate reaction is TEN YEARS HOLY FUCK! In one way it is as fresh and stinky as yesterday, in other ways it epitomizes “wehavealwaysbeenatwarwith.”

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    Hate to admit this but I wasn’t paying that much attention. I thought it was going to be one of those short wars that Republicans always get us in i.e. Desert Storm/Grenada. Who the hell knew this was going to be a ten year nightmare?

    Anybody catch the story of Pete Domenici being the father of Michelle Laxalt’s child. I don’t know why/who was going to let the story out but there is an ewww factor to a senator boinking one of his colleague’s daughters, thirty years younger than you. Anyhow, whatever, the reason I bring this up is that the resulting kid(Adam Laxalt) is a lawyer who worked under John Bolton.

  23. 23
    sylvan says:


    highlight the doings of MSNBC employee Chris Matthews


  24. 24
    NotMax says:


    Miller and NYT, yes.

    Matthews, can’t recall. Anything about him or from him is instantly rejected by and ejected from my precious gray matter.

  25. 25
    Nemo_N says:

    How many times have the major news networks played videos of the anti-Iraq war protests anyway? It’s like they have been erased from the Iraq war history.

  26. 26
    handy says:


    What, you didn’t feel the thrill go down your leg when Commander Codpiece landed that fighter plane onto the Lincoln?

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @mai naem:

    Domenici voted for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998 after his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but his floor statement focused on the fact that Clinton had lied under oath, noting that the trial “has never been about the President’s private sex acts, as tawdry as they have been.

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    @General Stuck: We still gotta get that damn vote out. Approval ratings mean bupkess unless they translate into actual votes.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NotMax: Tweety was in my memory the biggest name Villager to speak consistently against the war as we ran up to it, his later infatuation with the Codpiece and the Sunny Nobility notwithstanding.

    And he’s still infatuated. The other week he was talking about the biggest fan of the Hagel appointment was almost certainly a man who was used and misled by Cheney and the neo-cons, a man who could see Hagel’s appointment as a first step in the reconstruction of his reputation. I assumed he was talking about Powell, he was talking about Dumbya.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @mai naem

    Who the hell knew this was going to be a ten year nightmare?

    Contemporaneously, the State Department, whose analyses were consigned to the circular file before the ink had dried. Also too, respected and impeccably credentialed people such as Chalmers Johnson.

    The squelching of voices from State once the war began (and the demotion of inclusion in process plus the usurpation of power by Defense) was not accidental.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:


    You know, it is possible to feel good about the electoral future for democrats, and say so, noting the reasons why, without the requirement of adding ‘on the other hand’ for the obvious.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @General Stuck: There is indeed much to be hopeful about here that’s for certain. I’m just terrified of a Presidential off year election slump minimising the gains that we could potentially have. I believe there is room for both views.

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:


    We still gotta get that damn vote out.

    Anybody with a shot gonna run against Deputy Dog Reichert next time? I can’t think of any other nearby races that need any help. Well, maybe the third (Olympia->south).

  35. 35
    Steeplejack says:


    Good call. Hail the Conquering Hero is a particular favorite that doesn’t get enough love.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: We came close last time, but unless one of the Dems in the state Senate feels like moving up I’m drawing a blank. I’m in Del Bene’s district and she was around getting some input on immigration this week. So far I’m not disappointed in her. I personally think Reichert is vulnerable with the right candidate, but I’m drawing a blank as to who that would be.

    I’m almost deluded enough to think McMorris in Walla Walla might just be vulnerable too, but again it’ll take the right candidate. There’s a guy who perenially runs against Doc Hastings that I personally like but Doc gets the gubmint dollars flowing to Hanford so I’m afreared he’ll have that seat until he drops dead.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:


    Not in tonight’s line-up, but The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek is a personal fave among Sturges films.

  38. 38

    @Alison: thanks for that. I made it to 2002 before quitting due to disgust, but I’ll pick it back up later. Dark days.

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:


    Okay then.

    Mid term elections are usually rough historically for the party with the WH. But we shall see. I feel good about this one coming up because i think Obama has locked in on the power of the presidency, and how to use it. And has built a GOTV juggernaut without peer, imo. The republicans get more fractured and insane with each passing day, and I don’t think they will be any where near as motivated as in 2010.

    I don’t know if it will put the House in play, but otherwise, I have very few expectations for a lot of good policy to be put into law for the foreseeable future. We are in a shift and the turmoil of an ideological reckoning, I think.

    2016 will be the jumping off place for a makeover off our national politics, if there is one. My biggest worry is the whether the crazy tea tards in the House, pull the wrong loose thread that brings it all down into a dystopian clusterfuck, the next two years.

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: The fifth has been sloooowly becoming less Republican, but I wouldn’t count on getting rid of Rodgers any time soon.

    Since we went all vote by mail do the kids in Pullman tend to vote in the 5th CD or back home (where ever that may be)?

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    Not sure if we’ll be able to watch. We watched about 15 minutes of Fair Game before we had to turn it off and watch our Tivoed “Puppy Bowl.” G already has borderline high blood pressure and I didn’t want to push it.

  42. 42
    Mandalay says:


    Rachel noted last night that the #1 accomplishment of Obama’s first time — ahead of getting bin Ladin — was getting out of Iraq.

    OT, but for me Obama’s greatest achievement was simply winning in 2008, thereby keeping McCain/Palin out of the White House.

    I don’t mean to damn him with faint praise; he is a great man. But I doubt that all the good he has done, and will do, can outweigh the harm that surely would have happened with a McCain/Palin presidency. For a start, with President McCain we would surely be waging full scale wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria right now.

    Our nation really dodged a bullet in 2008 thanks to Obama.

  43. 43
    James E. Powell says:

    The most important parts are still pretty fresh in my memory so I don’t expect to watch it. I had a similar response to the 2000 War on Gore and Bush/Cheney Junta.

    My most bitter memories are from so-called friends and family who ridiculed my opposition to the war, who cheered while innocent men, women, children, babies were killed by Our Brave Troops (one person justified it with “he’d probably grow up to be a terrorist anyway”).

    My fellow Americans.

  44. 44
    Hill Dweller says:

    FWIW, Stewart just eviscerated McCain and Graham for their hypocritical Benghazi tantrums and Iraq rationalization. I was pleasantly surprised.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think that was the first Sturges film I ever saw. I spent the whole movie with my jaw hanging open thinking, “Wait, did they just do/say what I think they just did/said? In a 1940s movie?”

  46. 46

    OT but some trenchant commentary on the Hegel situation from noted scholar enabler of home runs off of his head:

    (Hegel) will be confirmed. neocons resent him for iraq break and will weaken him. Politicos Friends of Hamas rumor didnt help

    He was going on insanely about how gravity used to be much weaker for the dinosaurs to exist the other night on the twitters as well.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: When I lived there I always voted absentee in Benton County (where my parents lived) because Whitman County has an income tax. It wasn’t much but I recall there being one. I think most of the students there tend to do the same as me and vote in their respective counties back home, although there is a large contingent that does vote there as well. It was the only blue county east of the Cascades this last election.

  48. 48
    Roy G. says:

    It was a strange experience to be a skeptic at that time. A lot of us on the left were tarred with the old ‘na na too afraid to go to war,’ even though a critical review of the evidence showed it was clearly lacking any causus belli. They pulled out all the stops to have their war of choice. Powell deserves to be tarred for his ridiculous ‘aluminum toobz which could be used for blahblahblah.’ I think there’s some buyers remorse on his part, but f*#$ him for selling out.

    Also, too, let us remember the anthrax hype, and what a key terroristic threat that was – and who made it, and how quickly it disappeared down the memory hole. They were counting on even less critical thinking when Bruce Ivins was framed later on in their ‘lone madman’ scenario.

  49. 49
    nellcote says:

    Hubris was a rehash of the far superior episodes of Frontline without any sign of the culpability of the media. The Cheney interview was even carefully edited to eliminate Tim Russert’s role. Very dissapointing.

  50. 50
    Mandalay says:


    Just point me to a quote

    Sorry to learn that your google has died. Is there a lack of charging stations in your area?

  51. 51
    Marc says:


    OT, but for me Obama’s greatest achievement was simply winning in 2008, thereby keeping McCain/Palin the fuck out of the White House.

    Fixt for truth.

    For a start, with President McCain we would surely be waging full scale wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria right now.

    And Iran. He’d have probably found a way to fuck Libya up, too. We’d sure as shit have a lot more than the four deaths he and his little buddy keep bringing up.

    Watch the lead clip from tonight’s Daily Show as soon as you can, folks.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    Pardon my asking General Electric news network, where the fuck were you 10 years ago when saying this shit might have actually mattered?

    Tweety could barely hide his raging hard on for Dubya.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sylvan: I just read that thread. Your standard for “bashing” is pretty low.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:


    And Iran.

    Assuming he didn’t cut that one short by nuking them. OTOH, I’m not sure there would be a Syria or Libya to be involved with, since I’m sure McGrumpy would have broken out the big guns to support our friendly dictators in MENA, cutting off the Arab Spring at the beginning.

  55. 55
    MikeJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I just assumed that the idiots I have pied said something stupid. The two comments I saw seemed very, very gentle.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:


    Where? Suckling at the bloated teat of the military-industrial rah-rah complex.

    In July 2002, Phil Donahue returned to television after seven years of retirement to host a show called Donahue on MSNBC. On February 25, 2003, MSNBC canceled the show, citing his opposition to the imminent invasion of Iraq by the United States military. Donahue was the highest rated show on MSNBC at the time it was canceled, managing to beat out Chris Matthews’ MSNBC show “Hardball” in the ratings. But Matthews was a big proponent of the Iraq invasion and he cultivated a good relationship with MSNBC’s management before Donahue came to the network. He played a crucial role in procuring the firing of Donahue and “saw himself as MSNBC’s biggest star, and he was upset that the network was pumping significant resources into Donahue’s show.” In the fall of 2002, U.S. News & World Report ran a gossip item that had Matthews saying over lunch in Washington that if Donahue stays on the air, he could bring down the network. After the item was published, Matthews showed up at Donahue’s office and apologized.

    Soon after the show’s cancellation, an internal MSNBC memo was leaked to the press stating that Donahue should be fired because he opposed the imminent U.S. invasion of Iraq and that he would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war.” Donahue commented in 2007 that the management of MSNBC, owned by military contractors General Electric and Microsoft Corp., required that “we have two conservative (guests) for every liberal. I was counted as two liberals.” In 2005 Norman Solomon’s book Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State came to the same conclusion.  Source

  57. 57
    Mandalay says:


    Tweety could barely hide his raging hard on for Dubya.

    Actually I think tweety is the worst of them all, bar none.

    He wasn’t just a dumb sheep stenographer like the rest of them, and fully understood the gravity and insanity of what we were doing, and wrote about it. Yet the minute he saw dubya’s cod piece he started drooling (worse than normal), while concurrently complaining about the war itself, acting as though one had nothing to do with the other. Cognitive dissonance is a strange beast.

    And now Matthews brazenly pretends that he never supported the Iraq War, despite the mountain of evidence which proves he is a liar. Fuck him.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: Nope. I saw one saying she is an academic not a journalist, the Poli Sci PhD comment, and someone who said she takes too long to get to the point. I don’t really agree with either of the comments. I don’t think that a particular academic background is necessary to be a journalist; practicing journalism is. And the other is really a matter of taste.

    I’ve seen bashing around here, and that ain’t it.

  59. 59
    Mike E says:

    @NotMax: Typical librul media.

  60. 60

    The most respectful thing I can say about John McCain is that he survived a POW camp while being tortured to the point that he is partially disabled. Yes, he assuredly lasted a lot longer in those conditions that I would have. I’ll gladly admit that. So respect must be paid.

    However, this is tempered by the fact that John McCain is a fucking asshole. In fact, I would go far as to post that being a fucking asshole is one way to last longer in a POW camp while being tortured. He was a fucking asshole when he went in, he was a fucking wife-cheating, Keating Five asshole when he got out, and he is a fucking asshole to this very day.

    One of the most vivid examples of his fucking assholery was the time he bragged about how safe it was to walk through a Baghdad market and then arranged a giant photo op of himself walking through a Baghdad market (facilitated by a complete military lockdown of said market while McCain got his video tape and accompanied by 100 soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, and 2 Apache gunships). And then the next day we were all treated to the news of 21 Shia workers at that market being specifically targeted and killed by insurgents because of McCain’s little stroll.

    So the fucking asshole John McCain needs to shut the fuck up about how much of a fucking success the Iraq War was, because fuck him.

  61. 61
    Mandalay says:


    This dovetails nicely with the Maddow bashing

    There were just two comments about Maddow, both of which were lukewarm in their praise, with one completely valid criticism IMHO: that she repeats herself far too much.

    And nobody accused her of being “snotty”. You made that up.

    ETA I’ve just seen that two other posters have made similar points.

  62. 62
    Mandalay says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    One of the most vivid examples of his fucking assholery was the time he bragged about how safe it was to walk through a Baghdad market

    An excellent and accurate rant, but you might also have mentioned that McCain is the most vindictive bastard on the face of the earth.

    McCain got called on his bullshit performance in that Baghdad market by Susan Rice at the time, to the amusement of many, but not McCain. That explains (to me at least) why he did all he could to ensure that she never get the job once her name was floated as a possible replacement for Hilary Clinton.

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    @Mandalay: Did someone say McCain? Here he was today at his town hall.

  64. 64
    mouse tolliver says:

    I just wish she’d gone a little harder on the media, but she’d need at least a whole other hour to document the malfeasance in that department. Of course, the suits wouldn’t allow her to point out how badly St. Timmy failed.

  65. 65
    Rich2506 says:

    I wrote a piece on this on the blog I maintain for PRAWN. This particular incident got about two sentences on the show, but really, really bothered me at the time. Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein threw out the weapons inspectors in 1998. No, he didn’t. That was a such a blatant and flat-out lie, i didn’t even need to go back to any sources to confirm it. What really disturbed me was that the media cheerfully went along with that lie with very few exceptions.

  66. 66
    xian says:

    @General Stuck: Omama has the advantage that he makes corrections based on reality, in a feedback loop. That is, he knows how to learn from experience. This is an art the right lacks these days.

  67. 67

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Keating Five asshole

    This is something that McCain has quite successfully erased from the memories of the news media. It essentially ended Alan Cranston’s career, yet we still have ol’ Walnuts. He was a colossal douche then, and he still is one now.

  68. 68
    Feebog says:

    I watched the entire thing Monday night. Unlike a few here, I think it is important that we remind ourselves of this disaster. And yes, I opposed the war from the getgo. The breaking point for me was the Powell speech at the UN. Complete and utter bullshit, and Powell knew it. Drawings of “mobile chemical units” that looked like they had been drawn by a first grader? I agree with Jim the Foolish Literalist early on in the thread; if Powell had resigned over this it might have unraveled. But he didn’t. more shame to him. We need to remember this, we need to remember the details, we need to firmly afix them in our minds. Because someday, another administration is going to try to go to war with the same bullshit tactics, and we need to be ready to call them on it.

  69. 69
    Maude says:

    The US government learned nothing from Vietnam. It won’t from the Iraq War.
    People tend to push away unpleasant memories about war. If they didn’t, The Korean Police Action would have been a cause for huge demonstrations.

  70. 70
    Calouste says:

    @Mandalay: That’s pretty much why he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Although of course it really should have been awarded to the American voters.

  71. 71
    Robin G. says:

    @Roy G.:

    It was a strange experience to be a skeptic at that time. A lot of us on the left were tarred with the old ‘na na too afraid to go to war,’ even though a critical review of the evidence showed it was clearly lacking any causus belli.

    If not for The Daily Show I really think I would have gone crazy. It was like living in bizarro world; the only questions you were supposed to have was about how many troops we needed, or maybe if we should enlist another ally. You were insane if you suggested we shouldn’t go.

    It astonishes me to this day that anyone believed the sell. You didn’t even have to know anything about the Middle East to know it was all bullshit; all you had to do was listen to what Bush’s team was saying. They mentioned Saddam and Osama so many time in the same sentence that over half the country thought Iraq was part of 9/11, but never said that that was the case. The only conclusion was that they knew Saddam had nothing to do with the attacks, wanted people to believe it, but didn’t want to say anything that could get them impeached or thrown in the Hague, so they just propaganized their asses through it. And it was a short step from there to see how much of their other “evidence” was implied or obfuscated. We’d seen two years of Bush by this point, and anyone who wasn’t jonesing for a Great Sand Adventure or wetting themselves over the idea of another attack knew that if Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney had anything even close to real they would have been shouting it from the high heavens. But they had nothing, they knew they had nothing, and that sure as hell wasn’t hard to figure out.

    Yeah, bitterness hasn’t faded yet.

  72. 72
    the Conster says:

    What a dark horrible time, realizing that your country had run completely off the rails. Everything was upside down – I knew in 15 minutes of Googling “history of Iraq” that it was going to be a giant clusterfuck, and that no one in the White House or on my TV apparently had taken even that much time to consider what they were doing, and since they hadn’t, the whole Iraq drumbeat was nothing to do with 9/11, or any other reality that I was living in. It was like living in a really long episode of the Twilight Zone where I got to witness in real time more than half the country’s descent into willful mass hypnosis. Thank FSM for the blogs that let me know I wasn’t alone, like Eric Alterman’s Altercation, where I came to love Charlie Pierce and his C+ Augustus characterization of the Idiot In Chief. In fact, I still use someone’s support of the invasion of Iraq as a statement of their character.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    smintheus says:

    @Alison: We did the original timeline, at It’s exhaustive and searchable.

  75. 75
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    I have to say that what bothered me was the sense that I was going crazy.

    The IAEC was clear: the aluminum tubes were not for centrifuges, and the weapons inspectors (who weren’t part of the IAEC) could see clear records saying that Iraq was trying to reverse engineer rocket technology – yes, the tolerances were very tight, but they’d had tubes with less tolerance, and they hadn’t worked.

    But we were still being told that they were clearly for centrifuges.

    It’s worth noting that the IAEC was the group that had caught Saddam in earlier inspections, finding discrepancies that proved he was still doing some nuclear research. So when the IAEC said “he seems to be in compliance” I was believing them.

    The final Security Council resolution wouldn’t have won the support of the security council unless it did not include an automatic war trigger – violations of the resolution would have to come back to the security council. It was worded very strongly, and they did intend to give the US the go-ahead for war if major problems were found… but the US immediately said they had their permission to go to war, in direct defiance of what had been reported about the negotiations the previous day!

    The worst part was the hydrogen generating stations used for weather balloons (which, note, were used for spotting for warfare – they weren’t *innocent*) that were clearly inappropriate for use as mobile weapons labs. That was reported the first day – they didn’t have the marks of corrosion that would be seen if they had been for production of bio- or chemical weapons. Again, the next day, reporters reported the finding of mobile weapons labs.

    Saddam Hussein allowed weapons of war to be destroyed because they violated the rules (he thought he could have a longer range missile, so long as it was only for conventional explosives – nope, he couldn’t have longer-range missiles at all), with an army camped on his doorstep, and yet the newspapers insisted he wasn’t cooperating with inspections.

    I felt like I was going crazy – shouldn’t these journalists be doing *more* research than I was? Was I wrong? Were those other articles I was seeing being superseded by new information? Why wasn’t that mentioned in the article?

  76. 76
    My Truth Hurts says:

    I was cynical and skeptical of power before Iraq, but after it was clear sometime early in 2002 that they were going in I crossed over into a new level of anger and hatred for our elected officials and the cowards and whores in the news business. I used to read the NY Times. Today I would not line a bird cage with it. I worked for an NPR station for most of Bush’s 2 terms and realized just how part of the problem they were as well. They didn’t analyse, they didn’t provide context or fact checking, they simply parroted what the Bushies said every hour on the :01 with their 5 minute updates and their horrible, horrible daily “news” shows featuring opinions by Juan Williams, EJ Dionne, and David Fucking Brooks. There was nowhere to go for sanity or truth other than maybe the Guardian online and, to be fair, a few select weekly NPR shows that were not produced in Washington DC. Even so, we have been living in an information and truth desert for at least most of my 40 years on this earth.

    The people who perpetuated this crime and helped make it happen will never get what they deserve. For the rest of my short life I will never vote for a Republican, never watch or listen to broadcast news and never look at the majority of my fellow Americans with much if any respect ever again.

    They ruined me, the bastards.

  77. 77
    toned says:

    So true all of these.

    “Why don’t you support the twoops?”
    “Why you hate Amurka?”
    “Saddam was probably a bad person”


  78. 78
    toned says:

    If it weren’t for KEITH OLBERMANN and Jon Stewart and Colbert I would not have survived.

    Rachel was good back then, but not nearly so much now.
    She used to do investigative stuff, I mean back when MSNBC had guests on their shows that were NOT all paid employees -they used to have actual “guests” back when KO was on.
    Now every one of those shows just has the hosts of their other shows as guests and no new info is to be had.


  79. 79
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    As Atrios said, it was gaslighting on a national (and actually, an international) scale. I still remember flying into the US in the middle of the Iraq invasion (around the time of the Jessica Lynch rescue) and the CNN jumbotrons at Detroit airport felt like Orwellian propaganda screens.

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