Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

Nov 2 - Nov16, 2005
Issue #87

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
All Day Suckers
Getting fooled again
Allan Uthman

The Undoucheables
Even Fitzgerald can't cleanse media pussies
Paul jones

All Eyes on Greenland
Global Warming continues to warm the globe
Alexander Zaitchik
Scalito's Way
Supreme Court loses its swing
Donnie Dobovich
Nuclear Terror goes Primetime
But who's watching?

Russ Wellen

Why 2K?
Lucky 200th dead soldier wins free autopsy
Jeff Dean

Slaving You More
A brave new world right next to the salsa
N. Sorrenti
An Evening with Malcolm McLaren
We got to hang out with him & you didn't
Paul Fallon

Ask Kim Jong Il
Advice from the world's most colorful super-villain

Judy, Judy, Judy
An interview w/ Judith Einach, Buffalo's best hopeless Mayoral candidate
Vote for Helfer or He'll Kick Your Ass
The Buffalo News' Illogical Endersement

The BEAST Blog
Irresponsible vitriol on a near-daily basis

[sic] - Letters
Wide Right
Bills Football & other sports
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
 Cover Page

Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

(right-click & "save target")
( Now includes classic early BEASTS!)


Last Issue: (86)

Getting fooled again
Allan Uthman

For those of you who are excited about the Libby indictment, and think you can’t imagine another politician who would knowingly mislead you into war, here’s a little perspective on this whole WMD thing:

As revealed in the New York Times on Halloween, a National Security Agency historian discovered in 2001 that “critical intelligence” surrounding the famed 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which started the Vietnam War, was “deliberately distorted” by NSA officers. (Scott Shane, “Vietnam Study, Casting Doubts, Remains Secret”)

The historian, Robert Hanyok, concludes “that communications intercepted by the N.S.A… were falsified so that they made it look as if North Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash. President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the supposed attack to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but most historians have concluded in recent years that there was no second attack.”

The distortions include the deliberate mistranslation of communications intercepts, the original Vietnamese transcripts of which are inexplicably missing.

But why has it taken so long for this information to reach us?

“…starting in 2002 [Hanyok] and other government historians argued that it should be made public. But their effort was rebuffed by higher-level agency policymakers, who by the next year were fearful that it might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq…”

So we couldn’t be told, because we might figure out that the falsification of evidence for war is not something new, but a recurring pattern, and then we might be angry about that.

Besides, nobody really wants to know. America’s been in denial about Tonkin since it happened. It’s just too horrible to consider that the deaths of 58,000 Americans and a million Vietnamese could be the result of some mid-level screw-up attempting to cover his ass (talk about a bad day at the office). At least that’s the theory; Hanyok concluded “that they had done it not out of any political motive but to cover up earlier errors, and that top N.S.A. and defense officials and Johnson neither knew about nor condoned the deception.” So sayeth the NYT, but I’m having a little trouble buying that.

At any rate, somebody faked the intelligence on the Tonkin Gulf, and then congress authorized the President to go to war. Thousands dead, and an unwinnable, untenable occupation. Sound familiar?

What about the first Gulf War? Then we were treated to a fake congressional hearing, set up by a PR firm called Hill & Knowlton, in which the Kuwaiti ambassador’s 15-year-old daughter played an anonymous witness to an unimaginable atrocity – over 300 Kuwaiti infants ripped out of hospital incubators by Iraqi soldiers. It never happened, but that just didn’t matter. Bush the elder condemned the act. The incident was referred to specifically by seven congressmen when debating the resolution to invade Iraq, and the bill passed by 5 votes.

Tonkin wasn’t the first time we’d been misled into war either. When the U.S. battleship the Maine exploded in 1898, an investigation revealed no culprit, but newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst spread the dubious story that the Spanish were to blame, despite the fact that nearby Spanish sailors had rescued the Maine’s survivors. Other yellow journalists followed suit, providing false depictions of Spanish atrocities—even cannibalism—and pictures depicting the alleged sabotage of the Maine. Soon enough, there was another war based on a fabrication.

In fact, this whole debacle involving intelligence manipulation designed to garner public support for war in Iraq is just another in a series of similar instances. The only thing astounding or shocking about it is that anyone would be surprised at this point. It’s just how you get war done, when there’s really no public need for it.

In fact, in light of all of this history, this kind of deception should be the very first thing the press would look for. Instead, they hang on the words of a special prosecutor, waiting to hear the parts of the story they already know, so they can finally report them. What the hell does any of it mean?

When you hear another politician or commentator say that “we were all fooled” by the “bad intelligence” circulating before the invasion, or that no one could have predicted that the WMDs would be gone, make a mental note: that person is full of shit. No matter how smart or honest they may have appeared to be in the past, there’s no way anyone knowledgeable about the matter didn’t smell the dung coming miles away.

Take it from the hardnosed New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who spoke at the Nation institute October 19, along with Scott Ritter.

One of the things that’s overwhelming to me is the notion that everybody believed before March of ‘03 that Saddam had weapons. This is just urban myth. The fact of the matter is that, in talking to people who worked on the UNSCOM and also in the International Atomic Energy Agency, they were pretty much clear by ‘97 that there was very little likelihood that Saddam had weapons. And there were many people in our State Department, in the Department of Energy, in the CIA who didn’t believe there were weapons. And I think history is going to judge the mass hysteria we had about Saddam and weapons.

Ritter’s response, in part:

The bottom line is by 1995 there were no more weapons in Iraq, there were no more documents in Iraq, there was no more production capability in Iraq because we were monitoring the totality of Iraq’s industrial infrastructure with the most technologically advanced, the most intrusive arms control regime in the history of arms control…the CIA knew this, the British intelligence knew this, Israeli intelligence knew this, German intelligence, the whole world knew this.”

But the sad fact is, regular people still insist on trusting their rulers. To this day, many will insist that Bush is “just doing what he thinks is best for the country,” and that he wouldn’t have misled us on purpose. Even now, faced with documented evidence that we were knowingly told lies about an Iraqi nuclear program, some choose instead to cast baseless, juvenile aspersions at Joe Wilson and his wife. Anything to avoid acknowledging what we already know: that we were lied to, conned into buying a pointless occupation in our most vulnerable hour.

There’s a word for a person who trusts strangers—“sucker.” But what do you call it when the sucker keeps on trusting a con artist long after he’s been taken?

It’s called blind faith, and it doesn’t die easy, or pretty. A lot of people just don’t want to face the humiliating reality that they’ve been made fools. That’s why the war con always works: you can’t prosecute a swindler when his victims refuse to admit they’ve been duped.

© Copyright 2002-2005, The Beast. All rights reserved.