An Exercise in Truth-Telling

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Tonight’s must-see TV is on MSNBC at 7 pm: “Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War” uses the occasion of the upcoming tenth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq for an unusual exercise in media truth-telling, hosted by Rachel Maddow. The documentary is based on a book co-authored by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

In the documentary, many of those who were sources for the book “Hubris” appear on camera for the first time. One of them, Mark Rossini, was then an FBI counter-terrorism agent detailed to the CIA. He was assigned the task of evaluating a Czech intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attack on the World Trade Towers. Cheney repeatedly invoked the report as evidence of Iraqi involvement in 9/11. “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April,” Cheney said on Meet the Press on Dec. 9, 2001. But the evidence used to support the claim–a supposed photograph of Atta in Prague the day of the alleged meeting—had already been debunked by Rossini. He analyzed the photo and immediately saw it was bogus: the picture of the Czech “Atta” looked nothing like the real terrorist. It was a conclusion he relayed up the chain, assuming he had put the matter to rest. Then he heard Cheney endorsing the discredited report on national television. “I remember looking at the TV screen and saying, ‘What did I just hear?’ And I–first time in my life, I actually threw something at the television because I couldn’t believe what I just heard,” Rossini says.

  1. #1 by Cliff Lyon on February 18, 2013 - 10:53 am

    I hope the squash forever the selective amnesia about how “everyone thought” there were WMD as if we weren’t SCREAMING, “LIARS! Bush is LYING to you!!

    …as if Joe Wilson never existed. As if the entire modern world were not protesting in the streets against BUSH!


  2. #2 by Glenden Brown on February 18, 2013 - 11:33 am

    The sad part is that we were right not just about Bush and his administration lying but about the predictions for the war itself. We kept saying “We won’t be greeted as liberators, we won’t be welcomed and it’s going to be a gigantic mess.” If anything, we were too sanguine in our predictions about the disastrous fiasco that would be the Iraq war

  3. #3 by brewski on February 18, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    Apparently you have never heard of a thing called the United Nations:

  4. #5 by Larry Bergan on February 18, 2013 - 6:23 pm

    This one night I wish I still had cable. Is this going to be available online?

  5. #6 by Larry Bergan on February 18, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    I’ll be darned. MSNBC has a live steam!

  6. #7 by brewski on February 18, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    I guess Annan, like Cliff, like Richard, has never read the Security Council resolutions.

  7. #8 by Larry Bergan on February 18, 2013 - 8:41 pm

    I was largely underwhelmed by the MSNBC presentation.

    Although it brought some new information to light, most – if not all – of what we needed to know to stop the phony war was known BEFORE the war was perpetrated on the world, but three excellent documentaries came out soon after the undeclared war.

    Robert Greenwald’s, “Uncovered – The Whole Truth About the Iraq War” came out in 2004 and everything was there.

    Michael Moore’s, “Fahernheit 911” was released in 2004, and had a lot more information.

    Bill Moyers produced, “Buying The War“, which lays it all out there with interviews involving the media personalities who didn’t “get it” in time to save us from the debacle.

  8. #9 by Larry Bergan on February 18, 2013 - 8:48 pm

    To paraphrase brewski:

    1441, 1441, 1441, 1441!!!

    You sound like Sean Hannity.

    Try this:

    Aluminum tubes, aluminum tubes…

  9. #10 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 4:51 am

    Fahrenheit 911 helped get W re-elected. It was the best case against looney leftism I’ve ever seen.

  10. #11 by Cliff on February 19, 2013 - 5:39 am

    Actually Brewski, It wasn’t a movie that got Bush re-elected, it was election fraud.

    want more?

  11. #12 by Richard Warnick on February 19, 2013 - 6:17 am

    One thing the MSNBC documentary didn’t address was the complicity of the media in 2002-2003. Including MSNBC. They fired Phil Donahue, the host of their highest-rated show, for opposing Bush. I watched the invasion on MSNBC, and they wrote a theme song for their nonstop coverage.

  12. #13 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 7:20 am

    You should know all about election fraud.

  13. #14 by Larry Bergan on February 19, 2013 - 5:23 pm


    Before you link to “We Will Not Be Silenced” again, you might want to notice the video is no longer available.

    I guess you think it was OK for Bush to steal two elections.

  14. #15 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    Video works for me.

    I guess you think it was OK for Obama to steal the 2008 election. If so, then you must be fine with Bush stealing his.

  15. #16 by Larry Bergan on February 19, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    David Swanson gives his take on the documentary with a link to the entire presentation.

    He starts by bringing up the Phil Donahue cancellation.

    I think the documentary could have been a lot stronger, but any information about the farce that is the Iraq war is a good thing. It should be shown on commercial television, but we know that’s not going to happen.

    I like the imaginary Time cover in the article:

  16. #17 by Richard Warnick on February 19, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    I’m not familiar with the 2008 election conspiracy theories. But it sure seems like the Bush administration made it very, very hard for any Republican to ever become President again, via Supreme Court or any other means.

  17. #18 by Larry Bergan on February 19, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    Well OK brewski, the video eventually comes up. That’s a really impressive site. 🙂 Did you donate to bring this blockbuster to a theater near you?

    You should be somewhat happy with the “Hubris” documentary seeing as Michael Isikoff was probably there as a ‘minder’ for David Corn.

    Isikoff, who broke the Monica Lewinsky story, also poo-pooed Fahrenheit 911, which doesn’t include one factual error.

  18. #19 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    “Fahrenheit 911, which doesn’t include one factual error.”


  19. #20 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 8:20 pm

    “I’m not familiar with……”
    The truest thing you’ve said.

  20. #21 by Larry Bergan on February 19, 2013 - 8:41 pm


    Just because you laugh maniacally, doesn’t discredit Moore’s great film. Just because he asked questions about what was going through Bush’s mind as he sat there with his pet goat book, doesn’t discredit the film or take away the fact that the “president” of the US just sat there while the country was being attacked.

    But then, you haven’t even seen the film, have you?

  21. #22 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    I don’t need to discredit it. It already has been. I laughed out loud during the film it was so bad. Fictional. Made up. I saw the film when it first came out, before the election.

    Did Michael Moore tell you about this:

    The “Enron loophole” exempts most over-the-counter energy trades and trading on electronic energy commodity markets from government regulation.

    The “loophole” was enacted in sections § 2(h) and (g) of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, signed by U.S. president Bill Clinton on December 21, 2000.

    It allowed for the creation, for U.S. exchanges, of a new kind of derivative security, the single-stock future, which had been prohibited since 1982 under the Shad-Johnson Accord.

  22. #23 by Larry Bergan on February 19, 2013 - 10:23 pm


    This particular film wasn’t about Bill Clinton, but Moore has been a BIG thorn in the side of Bill before.

    For hell sakes! Moore was accused of making Al Gore lose the election because of his early support of Ralph Nader.

    Moore knows that the Republicans are corrupt to the point they don’t even care who knows. They have the money.

    Does that make him bad?

  23. #24 by brewski on February 19, 2013 - 10:57 pm

    It makes him bad if he spends 2 hours trying to draw a line between W and Enron and everything else bad in the world and ignoring the bright lines between Enron and Slick Willie and Teresa Heinz Kerry. The Enron fraud all took place when Slick Willie was president and W was not. The Enron prosecution all took place when W was president and Slick Willie was not. You wouldn’t find that out in the movie would you?

  24. #25 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2013 - 12:02 am

    brewski, brewski:

    “Fahrenheit 911″ was two hours devoted to Enron? What movie did you see?

    The ONLY reason Enron was an issue at all was because Democrats were in charge of the congress after Bush stole office. Nobody would have even heard about Enron field or Enron anything, otherwise.

    “Fahrenheit 911″ was mostly about Saudi Arabia and it’s connection to 911. Iraq was not involved in the attack.

  25. #26 by brewski on February 20, 2013 - 7:50 am

    Saudi Arabia and Blackwater gave Slick Willie tens of millions of dollars. Did Michael Moore tell you that?

  26. #27 by Cliff Lyon on February 20, 2013 - 4:39 pm


    I may shock you to know that most good progressive liberals learned nothing new from Michael Moore.

    We still enjoyed the movie, especially the part when people fell all over themselves trying to prove that the movie had an inconsistencies with the truth.

  27. #28 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    Yeah. What was that movie that was supposed to discredit Moore’s movie; Fahrenhype 911. Haven’t even seen one at a discount in the video stores.

    Garbage is just garbage. The trashcan is the only proper place for it.

  28. #29 by brewski on February 20, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    So good good progressive liberals already knew Slick Willie was in bed with the Saudis and Blackwater. Good to know.

    I guess you don’t count Larry as being a good progressive liberal.

  29. #30 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2013 - 8:17 pm

    OK brewski:

    Let’s see your evidence that Clinton was in bed with the Saudis and Blackwater. It had better not be from Newsmax.

  30. #32 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    So Obama required Clinton to release donation documents as a prerequisite to Mrs. Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State, and he did.

    When Romney was asked to release tax information, he said to get lost.

    Can you see a slight difference in the two parties.

  31. #33 by brewski on February 21, 2013 - 3:33 am

    Clinton tool millions from the Saudis and from Blackwater.

    Romney gave millions to charity and didn’t even deduct it all.

    Yes, I see a difference.

  32. #34 by Cliff Lyon on February 21, 2013 - 8:31 am

    It comes as no surprise that a frothing conservative would support his argument with a whopper lie.

    Anyone who thinks Romney doesnt right off every penny he donates to charity is deluded at several levels.

    I still want to see Mittens tax returns. Don’t you Brewski?

  33. #35 by brewski on February 21, 2013 - 8:39 am

    “The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity—nearly 30 percent of their total income, which is very impressive indeed. Next, however, trustee Malt notes that “the Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.” In other words, they didn’t take a deduction for nearly $1.8 million in charitable donations— donations for which they would have been perfectly entitled to take deductions.”
    Daily Beast

  34. #36 by brewski on February 21, 2013 - 8:41 am

    I want to see total radical tax reform most of all.

    I want to see Romney’s tax returns less than I want to see Obama’s college transcripts.

  35. #37 by Richard Warnick on February 21, 2013 - 9:38 am


    Willard (“Mitt”) Romney doesn’t fit the topic of this post, which is truth-telling. He can’t even tell the truth about his own name.

    Mitt Romney in July 2012 said if he overpaid his taxes he wouldn’t be qualified to be president:

    “Frankly, if I had paid more than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president,” he said. “I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.”

    Back in 2010, he deducted the cost of maintaining (feeding, brushing, training) his wife’s show horse, Rafalca, as a business expense.

  36. #38 by Cliff Lyon on February 21, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Brewski, In thinking about the kind of mind that would consider the college transcripts of a Harvard Law Grad, University of Chicago Law professor and unarguably exceptionally intelligent well-educated man, to be a more important litmus test for leader of the free world than the tax returns of a filthy rich, silver-spooned, putz who most durable legacy is the number of whopping lies told in a single election, says something about that mind.

    That the law professor is Black and the filthy rich guy is White, raises more uncomfortable questions

    That the filthy rich liar will not release his own college transcripts (and that no serious person really cares about either mans’ transcripts) paints an ugly picture of that mind.

    That the identity of anonymous petitioner is carefully guarded is sufficient cause to assume that mind is most likely, a racist one.

  37. #39 by brewski on February 21, 2013 - 11:28 am

    If Romney did anything illegal on his taxes, then it is huge issue. You know, sort of like Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel, Jessie Jackson, Jr., Catalina Villalpando and slimebuckets like that.

    “Democrats have the most tax scandals by a margin of 18 to 7.

    Republicans and Tea Partiers tend to shout the loudest when it comes to tax reform, and they’re also the most law abiding”

    Daily Beast

    If Congress allows investments in horses to be treated as a business then take it up with Congress. Don’t blame anyone for following the rules. Blame the rule makers and the rule breakers.

    I see no evidence at all that Obama is smart. Anyone who tells us that the supreme court has never ruled that a law passed by congress is unconstitutional should be disbarred. I couldn’t care less if he graduated from Harvard or not. If he is so smart then why is he hiding his transcripts? What is there to hide? Perhaps that he isn’t that smart and getting gentleman C’s at Columbia was all he was capable of getting?

    As for his race. Race doesn’t exist. We are all children of God and created in his image. Your insistence otherwise is disturbing. You need therapy.

  38. #40 by Larry Bergan on February 21, 2013 - 5:11 pm

    I still believe that one of the reasons Romney didn’t want to release his taxes is that he would have been exposed as committing felony voter fraud.

    We have a multitude of better things to do then spend time listening to right wing “news” sites, radio and television wastelands combing through old Obama documents to come up with a scandal a day that really isn’t a scandal.

    Remember Whitewater? The non-event which ended up wasting Americans time for years and making us look like fools to the rest of the world.

  39. #41 by brewski on February 22, 2013 - 9:18 am

    Yes, I remember Bill Clinton was disbarred.

  40. #42 by Larry Bergan on February 22, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    Yeah, Clinton was disbarred and left the presidency, polling higher then Saint Reagan.

  41. #43 by brewski on February 22, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    Beyonce polls higher. So what’s your point?

  42. #44 by Larry Bergan on February 22, 2013 - 11:19 pm

    The point is that the American people got it.

    They knew that Clinton should have never been put under oath to answer for something that was none of anybody’s business. Committing adultery which Newt Gringrich did, but Bill Clinton did not was seen as the political farce it was.

    That is why the Senate didn’t impeach Clinton.

    Just another in a very long series of IOKIYR.

  43. #45 by brewski on February 23, 2013 - 6:05 am

    Bill Clinton sexually assaulted a married woman in the oval office. Anyone who defends him is a traitor to all women.

  44. #46 by Cliff Lyon on February 23, 2013 - 8:04 am

    George Bush lied to the American people and the world.

    Anyone who defends him is a traitor to humanity.

    BTW: Who defends Clinton for Kathleen Willey?

  45. #47 by brewski on February 23, 2013 - 8:48 am

    The DNC invites a serial sexual assaulter as its keynote speaker at its convention and you don’t see that as a problem?

    “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”

  46. #48 by Larry Bergan on February 23, 2013 - 9:10 am

    Let’s see now…

    Which party is voting for violence against women legislation?

    Which party lost a couple of congressmen because they endorsed rape.

    Clinton was accused of multiple murders and even invading a country to distract from his blow-job, yet they went after him for something that was sure to fizzle out. It’s perplexing.

  47. #49 by Cliff on February 23, 2013 - 11:51 am


    In addition to inviting a “serial sexual assaulter[sic],” the DNC also invited arguably the most important, influential, elected leader alive in the world today (except maybe Carter, Hillary Clinton and President Obama himself).

    But what your pathetic observation really DOES bring to light, it the stark reminder that the Republicans can put up a string of sexual deviants, none of whom matter in this world to anyone outside the tiny, cloistered, world of cave-dwelling, carnival barkers who comprise YOUR party.

    “Let those of us without sin cast the first stone” comes to mind.

  48. #50 by Larry Bergan on February 23, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    If I may invoke Monty Python:

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