Vicious, vicious lies. Bush and Cheney's treason, fraud and murder in Iraq. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Vicious, vicious lies. Bush and Cheney's treason, fraud and murder in Iraq.

http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0906/359351.html

Sen Carl Levin
Speech on the Floor of The U.S. Senate


Today the Senate Intelligence Committee is releasing two of the five parts of Phase II of the Committee’s inquiry into prewar intelligence. One of the two reports released today looks at what we have learned after the attack on Iraq about the accuracy of prewar intelligence regarding links between Saddam Hussein and al Qa’ida. The report is a devastating indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration’s unrelenting, misleading and deceptive attempts to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein was linked with al Qa’ida, the perpetrators of the 9-11 attack.

The President said just this week that “one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” That shouldn’t surprise anybody. The President’s decision to ignore Intelligence Community assessments prior to the Iraq war and to make repeated public statements that gave the misleading impression that Saddam Hussein’s regime was connected to the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11 cost him any credibility he may have had on this issue.

President Bush said that Saddam and al Qa’ida were “allies” and that “[Y]ou can’t distinguish between al-Qa’ida and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.” The bipartisan report released today directly contradicts that linkage which the President has consistently made in his effort to build public support for his Iraq policy.

The bipartisan Committee report finds that the prewar intelligence assessments were right when they said that Saddam and al Qa’ida were independent actors who were far from being natural partners. The report finds that prewar intelligence assessments were right when they expressed consistent doubts that a meeting occurred between 9-11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague prior to September 11th; and the report finds that prewar intelligence assessments were right when they said that there was no credible reporting on al Qa’ida operatives being trained in Iraq. Those were the two principal arguments made by the Administration to support a linkage.

Those accurate prewar assessments didn’t stop the Administration from making many false and misleading statements trying to link Saddam Hussein and al Qa’ida.


In his February 5th presentation to the United Nations, Secretary Powell said that “Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associate in (sic) collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants.”

After the war, in June 2004, the President said that al Zarqawi, the terrorist leader recently killed in Iraq, was “the best evidence” of a connection between Iraq and al Qa’ida.

And, to this day, these statements haven’t stopped. Just two weeks ago, the President said in a press conference that Saddam Hussein “had relations with Zarqawi.” The Intelligence Committee’s report demonstrates that statement to be false. The Committee report discloses, for the first time, the CIA’s October 2005 assessment that Saddam’s regime “did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.” The President’s statement, made just two weeks ago, is flat out false.

The drumbeat of misleading administration statements alleging Saddam’s links to al Qa’ida was unrelenting in the lead up to the Iraq war, which began in March 2003.

On September 25, 2002, the President said “Al-Qa'ida hides. Saddam doesn't, but the danger is, is that they work in concert. The danger is, is that al-Qa'ida becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world...[Y]ou can't distinguish between al-Qa'ida and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.”

The next day, Secretary Rumsfeld said, "We have what we consider to be credible evidence that al-Qa'ida leaders have sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapon of – weapons of mass destruction capabilities."

CONTD

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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CONTD

On October 14, 2002, the President said “This is a man [Saddam] that we know has had connection with al-Qa'ida. This is a man who, in my judgment, would like to use al-Qa'ida as a forward army."

On January 30, 2003, Vice President Cheney said, "His [Saddam] regime aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida. He could decide secretly to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for use against us. And as the President said on Tuesday night, it would take just one vial, one canister, one crate to bring a day of horror to our nation unlike any we have ever known."

On February 6, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said, "And, worst of all, his connections with terrorists, which go back decades, and which started some 10 years ago with al-Qa'ida, are growing every day."

What the President and other Administration officials did not say was what the Intelligence Community was saying about this crucial issue because it would have undermined their march to war and refuted their main argument for attacking Iraq – that Iraq was linked to the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11.

In June 2002, the CIA said that "our assessment of al-Qa'ida's ties to Iraq rests on a body of fragmented, conflicting reporting from sources of varying reliability." That same report said that “the ties between Saddam and bin Ladin appear much like those between rival intelligence services.” And the Defense Intelligence Agency stated in a July 2002 assessment that "compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and al-Qa'ida has not been established.”

These two then-classified assessments preceded the President’s statements that “you can’t distinguish between Iraq and al Qa’ida” and that in his view Saddam would like to use al Qa’ida as “a forward army.”

CIA assessed in January 2003 that “Saddam Husayn and Usama bin Ladin are far from being natural partners” and that Saddam has “viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat.” The CIA also assessed in January 2003 that Saddam viewed al Qa’ida with “deep suspicion” and stated that “the relationship between Saddam and bin Ladin appears to more closely resemble that of two independent actors trying to exploit each other.” This January 2003 classified report was issued just one day before the Vice President stated to the American public that Saddam’s regime “aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida. He could decide secretly to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for use against us.”

The misleading statements by administration officials did not stop there. The Intelligence Committee’s report recounts the story of the alleged meeting between Mohammed Atta and the Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague. In the fall of 2001, the Czech intelligence service provided the CIA with reporting based on a single source who stated that Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April 2001.

On December 9, 2001, Vice President Cheney was asked about the report on Meet the Press. The Vice President said that, “...it's been pretty well confirmed that he [9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.”

On March 24, 2002, the Vice President told Meet the Press that “We discovered, and it's since been public, the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohammed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague...”

But the Intelligence Committee’s report cites a June 2002 CIA paper that said, "Reporting is contradictory on hijacker Mohammed Atta's alleged trip to Prague and meeting with an Iraqi intelligence officer, and we have not verified his travels."


The Intelligence Committee’s report declassifies, for the first time, a July 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency paper that said “Muhammad Atta reportedly was identified by an asset (not an officer) of the Czech service only after Atta's picture was widely circulated in the media after the attacks, approximately five months after the alleged meeting occurred” and that “there is no photographic, immigration or other documentary evidence indicating Atta was in the Czech Republic during the time frame of the meeting.”

Two months later, in September 2002, CIA published its assessment that “evidence casts doubt” on the possibility that the meeting had occurred and that "The CIA and FBI have reviewed the reporting available so far and are unable to confirm that Atta met al-Ani in Prague."

None of those assessments stopped the Vice President from continuing to suggest that the report of the meeting was evidence that Saddam’s regime was linked to the 9-11 attackers. On September 8, 2002, in a Meet the Press interview the Vice President said that the CIA considered the report of the meeting “credible,” although, again, that same month the CIA said that there was evidence that “cast doubt” on it having occurred.

In January 2003, the CIA published an assessment stating that, “A CIA and FBI review of intelligence and open-source reporting leads us to question the information provided by the Czech service source who claimed that Atta met al-Ani.” The January 2003 paper stated that CIA was "increasingly skeptical that Atta traveled to Prague in 2001 or met with IIS officer al-Ani” and that "the most reliable reporting to date casts doubt on this possibility."

But the Vice President was undeterred by the CIA’s skepticism. On September 14, 2003, eight months after the CIA said that the most reliable reporting cast doubt on the possibility of a meeting between Atta and the Iraqi intelligence officer, Vice President Cheney was still citing it as having possibly occurred.

On January 19, 2004, a full year after the CIA expressed serious doubts about the meeting and the fact that not a shred of evidence had been found to support the claim of a meeting, the Vice President told the Rocky Mountain News that the Atta meeting was “the one that possibly tied the two together to 9/11.”

Six months later, on June 17, 2004, the Vice President was asked whether Iraq was involved in 9/11. The Vice President said “We don’t know... We had one report, this was the famous report on the Czech intelligence service, and we’ve never been able to confirm it or to knock it down. We just don’t know.” The Vice President may not have “known” but the intelligence community sure as heck didn’t believe – for a long time before the Vice President’s statement – that the meeting took place.

The intelligence assessments contained in the Intelligence Committee’s unclassified report are an indictment of the Administration’s unrelenting and misleading attempts to link Saddam Hussein to 9-11. But portions of the report which Intelligence Community leaders have determined to keep from public view provide some of the most damaging evidence of this Administration’s falsehoods and distortions.

Among what remains classified, and therefore covered up, includes deeply disturbing information. Much of the information redacted from the public report does not jeopardize any intelligence sources or methods but serves effectively to cover up certain highly offensive activities. Even the partially released picture is plenty bleak about the Administration’s use of falsehoods and distortions to build public support for the war. But the public is entitled to the full picture. Unless this report is further declassified, they won’t. While the battle is waged to declassify those covered up portions of the report – unless those portions truly disclose intelligence sources and methods – every Senator should read the classified version of this report.

CONTD

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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CONTD


In addition to trying to create the impression that Iraq was connected to the 9-11 attackers, the administration also claimed that Iraq had provide al Qa’ida with training in poisons and gasses.

For instance, in a speech in October 2002, the President said "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qa'ida members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases."

In February 2003, the President said "Iraq has also provided al-Qa'ida with chemical and biological weapons training."

And in March 2003, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said there was “a very strong link to training al-Qa'ida in chemical and biological weapons techniques, we know from a detainee that – the head of training for al-Qaida, that they sought help in developing chemical and biological weapons because they weren't doing very well on their own. They sought it in Iraq. They received the help."

Those statements were based on statements from Ibn al Shaykh al-Libi, a detained senior al-Qa’ida operative. The Administration hid the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency didn’t believe al-Libi’s statements. In February 2002, a year before the President claimed that Iraq “provided al-Qa'ida with chemical and biological weapons training,” DIA assessed that al-Libi “is more likely... intentionally misleading the debriefers.”

Nor did the administration disclose a second DIA assessment of February 2002, that said “Iraq is unlikely to have provided bin Ladin any useful CB knowledge or assistance” or DIA’s April 2002 assessment that there was no credible reporting on al-Qa'ida training “anywhere” in Iraq.

The Administration statements also flew in the face of the CIA’s January 2003 assessment that al-Libi was not in position to know whether training had taken place.

So here’s what we’ve got.

The President says Saddam had a relationship with Zarqawi. The Senate Intelligence Committee found that the CIA concluded in 2005 that “the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.”

The President said Saddam and al Qa’ida were “allies.” The Intelligence Committee found that prewar intelligence shows that Saddam Hussein“viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime.” Indeed, the Committee found that postwar intelligence showed that he “refused all requests from al-Qa'ida to provide material or operational support.”

The Vice President called the claim that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta met with the Iraqi intelligence officer “credible” and “pretty much confirmed.” The Intelligence Committee found the intelligence shows that “no such meeting occurred.”

The President said that Iraq provided training in poisons and gasses to al Qa’ida. The Intelligence Committee found that postwar intelligence supported the prewar intelligence assessment that there was no credible reporting on al-Qa'ida training at “anywhere” in Iraq and that the terrorist who made the claim of training was “likely intentionally misleading his debriefers” when he said Iraq had provided poisons and gasses training.

But the Administration’s efforts to create the false impression that Iraq and al Qa’ida were linked didn’t stop with just statements. One of the most significant disclosures in the Intelligence Committee’s report is the account of the Administration’s successful efforts to obtain the support of CIA Director George Tenet to help them make that false case.

These events were of major significance – going to the heart of the Administration’s case for war on the eve of a congressional vote on whether to authorize that war.

On October 7, 2002, at a speech in Cincinnati, the President represented that linkage existed between Saddam and terrorist groups. He said that “Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorist.”

But that very day, October 7, 2002, in a letter to the Intelligence Committee the CIA declassified, at the request of the Committee, the CIA assessment that it would be an “extreme step” for Saddam Hussein to assist Islamist terrorists in conducting a weapons of mass destruction attack against the United States and that the likelihood of Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction, if he did not feel threatened by an attack, was “low.”

When made public, the CIA assessment would undercut the President’s case. Something had to be done. So, on October 8, 2002, the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, issued a statement that “There is no inconsistency between our view of Saddam's growing threat and the view as expressed by the President in his speech.” The Tenet statement was aimed at damage control and undercut the CIA’s own crucial assessment at a critical time. The New York Times quoted Tenet prominently in a major story on October 9th.

We called Tenet before the Intelligence Committee on July 26, 2006.

In his testimony, quoted in the Intelligence Committee’s report, Mr. Tenet admitted that perhaps there was an inconsistency between the President's statement and the CIA's assessment.

Mr. Tenet said that he issued his statement denying an inconsistency after policymakers expressed concern about the CIA’s assessment as expressed in the declassified October 7th letter again, that it would be an extreme step for Saddam to assist Islamist terrorists in conducting a WMD attack. Tenet admitted to the Intelligence Committee that the policymakers wanted him to “say something about not being inconsistent with what the President had said.” Tenet complied.

Tenet acknowledged to the Committee in his July 26, 2006, testimony that issuing the statement was the “wrong thing to do.” Well, it was much more than that. It was a shocking abdication of a CIA Director’s duty not to act as a shill for any administration or its policies. Director Tenet issued that statement at the behest of the Administration on the eve of the Congress’s debate on the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. The use of the Director of Central Intelligence by the Administration to contradict his own Agency’s assessment in order to support a policy goal of the Administration was reprehensible and seriously damaged the credibility of the CIA.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:58 PM
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So explain to me, how are these lies and deception of the American (and allied) people, which have cost thousands of lives, less important as an issue than Watergate?

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So, get yourself a good writer and make a TV mini-series out of it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Turn on CSPAN and watch it.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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67_xxx

"So, get yourself a good writer and make a TV mini-series out of it."


^^^^^^
Ok, you may be on to something there.How about "All the President's mis-guided arse lickers" as a working title?
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With a title like that, there will be many Dems prominently featured in the movie.

I remember them tripping over themselves to sound tougher than year-old rawhide beef jerky.

They all had their wet tongues firmly planted up Bush's ass.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Your usual intelligent analysis. Try not to drool on your shoes.

Coming tomorrow: The Iraqi National Congress report. This is the Iranian-spy organization run by Ahmed Chalibi that took control of Dick Cheney and supplied Bush with a steady stream of lies he could use to murder Iraqis over WMDs.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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What we lost

Almost 3,000 Americans died on Sept. 11, 2001. But our losses are still mounting -- in Iraq and at home -- thanks to the bullying, big-lie culture that dominates American politics today.

www.Salon.com

By Joan Walsh



Sept. 9, 2006 | Five years later, I remember odd fragments from Sept. 11, 2001. The kindness in the voice of the co-worker who called to tell me about it; the care and concern I saw everywhere that day, in fact. At my daughter's school-bus stop in the near-dark that morning (yes, many of us sent our kids to school in California, only to have them sent home), not all of the parents knew about the tragedy yet, but I'll never forget the sadness and compassion in the eyes of those who did -- for ourselves, for our children, and also for the people in our group who hadn't seen the television yet. We already knew: Nothing would ever be the same.

We had no idea. As awful as our losses were that day, five years later they're almost incalculable. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said something that moved me at the time -- that the losses were likely to be "more than we can bear." In fact, he was right, even though the death toll was ultimately lower than first expected. The losses from 9/11 may still ultimately be more than we can bear.

The number of Americans who died that day at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa. -- 2,873 -- has been surpassed by the number of American soldiers who've died in the so-called global war on terror, the vast majority -- almost 2,700 -- killed on the utterly unrelated battleground in Iraq. Add in almost 30,000 U.S. military casualties and a reported 46,307 dead Iraqi civilians, according to Iraq Body Count, and the tragedy is staggering -- more than we, or the Iraqi people, should have had to bear. The quick victory in the Afghan war against the Taliban, which had broad national and global support, now seems on the verge of being reversed; every week brings more killing, more repression. This week alone the New York Times reported that the Afghan city known as Little America is now the capital of Taliban resurgence and opium production. Global sympathy in the wake of the attack has turned to global distrust and disdain.

Maybe the loss I regret most was the shimmer of national and international unity we enjoyed after the attack -- the warmth I felt from friends and acquaintances and even strangers those first raw days, a seriousness and purpose I felt more broadly in the following weeks. Like most Americans, I didn't vote for this president. To me, Dec. 12, 2000, the day the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount that Al Gore would have won, is another day of infamy in U.S. history. But I was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt in the weeks after 9/11, let him build on the global support we'd won and do something thoughtful and effective about al-Qaida. His response in those early weeks seemed uncharacteristically measured; he warned against targeting Muslims, he took almost a month before striking Afghanistan.

Since that time, though, we've seen hubris beyond imagination. We've watched an unbridled executive-branch power grab, warrantless wiretaps, the curtailing of privacy rights; a pervasive smog of secrecy descended to obscure our government. Outrage about torture, rendition and secret prisons here and abroad is dismissed with a flippant "We don't torture" from the president. And all of it has been shellacked with an ugly culture of bullying in which dissent equals treason, shamelessly, five years after the attack. Last week it was Donald Rumsfeld comparing war critics to people who appeased Hitler; this week we had Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying they're the sort who would have ended the Civil War early and let the South keep its slaves. Their intimidation is meant to say that the very freedoms worth fighting for -- the right to dissent, the right to question our government -- might have to be abridged while we fight. Politically, that truly is more than we can bear.

Still, we've seen nothing so brazen as the president's "war on terror" victory lap this 9/11 anniversary week, three speeches to tell us he's made us safer though there's still more to be done, and pay no attention to the carnage in Iraq. Bush's 2006 anniversary shtick is an eerie inversion of his first anniversary shtick in 2002, another election year, when he used the sad occasion as a platform to sell the Iraq war. Back then, you'll recall, he'd changed the subject from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein at least partly because we'd blown our chance to capture the al-Qaida leader at the end of 2001. So he went months without mentioning the man he'd once vowed to capture "dead or alive." The normally quiescent White House press corps was moved to ask him about it at a March 2002 briefing, and here's how Bush replied:

"Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission. Terror is bigger than one person ... So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him ... to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong."

"I just don't spend that much time on him." Fast-forward four years, and suddenly he's spending time on him again -- Bush mentioned bin Laden 17 times in a 44-minute speech Tuesday -- and the reason is obvious: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, our soldiers aren't well supplied, our strategy isn't clear, the coalition isn't strong. And so this week: Osama is back! And he's as bad as Stalin or Lenin! But we're winning the war on terror anyway! And those secret prisons we wouldn't admit existed? They're out there, all right, but now we're moving the guys we had stashed there to Guantánamo, at least the ones we'll tell you about. (They probably won't talk anymore anyway.) Now we're readying the military tribunals, where you can't see the evidence against them, or how we obtained it. But rest assured, we've gotten a ton of intel out of them that's kept you safe. But we don't torture!

I thought I lost my capacity to be shocked at this administration a long time ago, but Bush's decision to declassify information about our "war on terror" "successes" just in time for the midterm elections is craven and deeply offensive, even for an administration that's made an art form of craven and offensive political cheap shots.

Four years after the first 9/11 anniversary, I have an eerie sense of déj* vu. Back in 2002, some liberals already had anniversary fatigue, since it was clear the administration was going to use the tragedy to gin up support for the Iraq war and demagogue Democrats who opposed it (and even some who supported it). I argued at the time that ignoring the anniversary, being callous about the losses we suffered that day, was wrong. This year I feel even more strongly that it's important to take stock, because of all we lost that day, but more important, all we've lost since.

Despite my disturbing déj* vu, there's reason to believe 2006 will turn out differently from 2002. This time around the midterm elections are looking grim for the GOP, thanks to the war in Iraq, high gas prices and overall gloom about the country's direction. A CBS News/New York Times poll reported Thursday that when asked if the government had done "all it could reasonably be expected to do" to prevent another terror attack, nearly two-thirds of Democrats and Independents said no. Even among Republicans, only 56 percent said yes. Bush's campaign to convince us we're wrong is just beginning, and maybe it will work as it did in 2002 and 2004, but it won't be easy. The great thing about freedom and democracy is we have multiple chances to get things right. Given the erosion of our liberties in the last four years, though, it doesn't seem too much to suggest that getting it wrong again could threaten that very freedom and democracy.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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