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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 7,393

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Same old me

I signed up in 2001 and got tombstoned in 2004 for correctly opining that Kerry ran a terrible campaign for president months after he lost. Must have been a huge Kerry supporter on moderator duty that evening.

Apparently it's now okay to restart your old log in so I did. It shows I've been a member since 2001, but apparently my post count (with many thousand posts) was zeroed out.

How I found out the Bushies were lying about Iraq (before the war)

I have an interesting story to tell about how I found out the Bush administration was lying about the Iraq war a full year before it started. It's been 12 years so I may have forgotten a few of the minor details, but the overall experience is still vivid in my mind, and so I will tell it now because I think some of you may enjoy it.

(Full disclosure: I signed up for DU right when it started back in 2001. I got banned in 2004 after the election. I think it was because I said something unfavorable about John Kerry's campaign, but I don't know for sure. I just woke up the next day and logged in to find out I was banned. I wrote to the admins to ask why, but never received a response. I'm back now because apparently there was some sort of amnesty and old members can now reactivate their old account. So I did).

Okay, here's the story. Back in 2002 my spouse worked for a national news network. Not in the news department, but as a manager in operations for their web site. Ops employees would have exposure to some of the journalists but they didn't hob nob with them much. However, in Feb 2002 one of them did sit down with 5 or 6 of the ops management types (my spouse being one) and the discussion that ensued was fascinating. My spouse, knowing what a political junkie I am immediately wrote down the bullet points after the discussion was over so as to share them with me later.

The journalist in question is very famous. I won't disclose her name here, but suffice to say if I named her every one of you would recognize the name -- no Google required. She also, through familial relations, has very close ties to republicans (although I did not/ do not have the impression that she is on either the liberal or conservative team). I mention this to point out that I thought her information was solid because my assumption is that her familial relationships gave her good inside access. And she turned out to be exactly right later on, so there is that as well.

Here is what she said in Feb 2002:

- She said that we were definitely going to invade Iraq - no ifs, ands, or buts. She said the Bush administration would roll it out to the public in August. She was off by 1 month. She said the delay was for planning purposes, and apparently they'd used a lot of munitions in Afghanistan and needed to rebuild stores of missiles, etc. Nothing was mentioned about WMD. At the time it was about supposed ties to Al Qaeda.

- She said Cheney was indeed essentially running things at that point. If I recall correctly she called him the Shadow President.

- She said that the Bush administration made it very clear that journalists who wrote/reported negative stories about them would be cut off from access, and that this could ruin a journalists career.

- She also stated that some journalists had considered taking out a full page ad in the NYT about this access issue that would occur if negative stories about the Bushies were reported, but nothing had come of it, again, because it would lead to career suicide.

- Separate from this conversation, the person in charge of network news for this organization sent out a company wide email telling everyone that not supporting the administration was unpatriotic. I cannot remember the exact words in the email, but that was definitely the gist of it. I actually read the email myself (my spouse shared it with me).

So, the bottom line is that in all through the fall of 2002 when Bush was saying he had not made up his mind about invading Iraq -- that he was only asking for authorization from congress in case inspections failed, I knew he was lying his ass off (based on the information I heard in Feb 2002). And when the Downing Street Memo was released much later, stating that the Bush administration was fixing the facts around the policy that made perfect sense to me. There was no doubt in my mind, even before the memo was revealed, that was exactly what was done.

I don't know if other journalists had the same information as the person my spouse spoke with, but I know she did not speak out when Bush was claiming he had not made a decision about invading Iraq in the fall of 2002. Maybe she had no proof that was good enough for news reporting. Maybe she couldn't betray the familial relationships she had. I don't know. But I do know she was right. The Bush administration was determined to invade Iraq, come hell or high water.

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