One scenario is found in Brattleboro Vermont.
Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.
I am sure the night life in Brattleboro is confined to few small local pubs and there probably isn't much in the way of crime there. So, the pressing issues of the day aren't as big as other localities. But still, I would think there would be more important things on the agenda to discuss than beating a dead horse at the federal level, where their votes mean nothing and they have no jurisdiction. I would think there would be the need for a stop sign at some intersection, somewhere.
Another scenario can be found at The Center for Public Integrity. This is a group self-described as:
....a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.
Based on this description, you'd think it is without an agenda. So when they decided to publish this example of beating a dead horse, many normally astute and intelligent people might be tempted to fall for it, without question. Some already have.
Here is the crux of their latest argument, which beats the dead horse one more time:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
Nothing new here, no surprises. The liberal blogs have been stating this kind of thing since the beginning of the war. And they still are. So then the question becomes, why spend the kind of money they spent and devote the time they did, just to restate what has already been claimed by the Bush-haters, ad nauseum?
Well, I looked at the financiers of this non-partisan organization and was not at all surprised at the list of wealthy contributors.
Among them is The Streisand Foundation.
And we all know that Babs has never minced words about how she feels about the President. She would never support anything that would give him the benefit of any doubt, on any issue, at any time. Here is a sample of her lack of fondness from the article:
"How could such a destructive man be so popular with the American people?" she asks of Bush.
"Not only is he poisoning our air and water - he's poisoning our political system as well."
Hyperbole at its best. Look up the word and give the teacher one example and this would qualify. Others can be found scattered about here.
Another prominent contributor you'll recognize right off of the bat, is The Heinz Endowments. You know the one, John and Theresa Heinz-Kerry's group. Need I say more? Do some research on the others and I would bet you'd find the same bias in 9 of 10.
So, what of it? Does it mean as much now, as it did when we were just looking on the surface?
It's really no more or less important than it was when the leftist bloggers started this campaign, from the outset of the war or anytime else, since the day Bush was inaugurated. The words Bush lied will be typed 100's of thousands of times over this article and any other that supports their preconceived notions and "after the fact" analysis.
A lie is something told that is told while knowing it wasn't true. In all of these writings over the past few years, I have tried to uncover strong evidence that he knowingly lied about WMDs. Being wrong, and not knowing is a miscalculation. It is not a lie.
In all of this, Sunday's 60 Minutes gave us something to think about, something that Brattleboro, the Center For Public Integrity, and those that sound their trumpets will not discuss at any length. Aired was an interview with George Piro, a person that spent a long time with Saddam after his capture and had many conversations with him. Here is the portion of the interview which is certainly pertinent to this post:
"And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?" Pelley asks.
"He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the '90s. And those that hadn't been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq," Piro says.
"So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk, why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?" Pelley asks.
"It was very important for him to project that because that was what kept him, in his mind, in power. That capability kept the Iranians away. It kept them from reinvading Iraq," Piro says.
Before his wars with America, Saddam had fought a ruinous eight year war with Iran and it was Iran he still feared the most.
"He believed that he couldn't survive without the perception that he had weapons of mass destruction?" Pelley asks.
"Absolutely," Piro says.
"As the U.S. marched toward war and we began massing troops on his border, why didn't he stop it then? And say, 'Look, I have no weapons of mass destruction.' I mean, how could he have wanted his country to be invaded?" Pelley asks.
"He didn't. But he told me he initially miscalculated President Bush. And President Bush's intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 under Operation Desert Fox. Which was a four-day aerial attack. So you expected that initially," Piro says.
What? Saddam miscalculated?
He had the power to stop the invasion, but didn't?
I guess Bush should have known that he was bluffing.
No, sorry Bush haters. No lie here. I know Chirac told him and this will be salt the French will pour on wounds, for decades. But far more in the world community believed he had them, because his behavior was designed to create that perception. Fooled yes, Lied no. Another thing I notice about those that continue to beat this dead horse is, I hear no one in these circles holding Saddam accountable for what has transpired, for the false impressions he gave.
There is more than one dimension to a song on a record. But if that record gets stuck in a rut, there's only one part you'll hear. And the song won't make any sense.
Addendum: Thanks to Greg for reminding everyone that this video is pertinent and needs to be looked at again.