Welcome to The Truth Zone. My name is Michael Keith, and I will bring you truth from the left.
I will tell you things that make you angry, things that make you cry, some things that will make you laugh (or chuckle), and things that will make you think to yourself, "you know, now that I think about it he makes a lot of sense."
What I won't do is lie to you.
Granted, I am a human being. I am prone to mistakes. But one of the endearing virtues we on the left possess is that when someone points out where we've fucked up, we admit that we fucked up, correct ourselves, issue any necessary apologies and move on. Unlike right-wing liars such as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter, who having clearly lied their asses off will refuse to admit they lied or even made a mistake. More often than not, these pathological liars will even deny that they said what it was that was a lie, or simply flat out wrong.
I will not do that to you. That is my promise to you, the reader.
I will say things you may or may not agree with. I am not out to preach to the choir, and yes there are rare occasions where I may find myself agreeing with something or someone conservative. But make no mistake: I am a liberal and more than likely will be until the moment I die.
And so, in that vein, I bring you my first blog entry.
In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen laments the lack of government insiders brave enough to come forward with what they knew of the Bush regime's manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
Why did James Risen, Michael Sheuer, Paul R. Pillar and others not come forward before we invaded, stating as Pillar did in his recent Foreign Affairs article that Bush & Co. were selectively using intel in presenting their false case for war? Was it simple fear of retaliation by the Bush regime's neocon inner circle?
Most likely. After all, when Joe Wilson came forward after the invasion to call bullshit on the Iraq/Niger/uranium lie, the regime retaliated by exposing his wife's identity as a CIA NOC. But that was after the war had begun, not before.
Could it be that when people in the know did come forward with what they knew, such as Stephen P. Pelletiere on Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of Kurdish rebels at the battle of Halabja in 1988, no one paid any real attention?
Or could it be both?
Given the history of the last five years under the Bush regime, chances are it is both. Surely the New York Times' Maureen Dowd in her writings before the invasion had to get her information from somewhere. Same goes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Elizabeth Sullivan. Is it possible that Risen, Pillar, Sheuer and others did come forward, in secret?
Probably. The question is, why didn't these insiders come forward publicly, instead of quietly leaking what they knew to reporters on condition of anonymity?
Had they done so, would we even be mired in Iraq now, with over 2,300 American deaths and thousands more wounded, and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead for no good reason? Would Bush have even been able to rig his way to a second term?
The saddest part of all this is that we'll never know, because the insiders kept quiet until it was too late. All the tell-all books in the world can't reverse the damage done to Iraq, or to our nation's credibilty, its soldiers, and its treasury.
As has been demonstrated, it is far more dangerous to a lot more people to keep silent and remain "safe" than it is to go public with what you know and risk personal harm. Every member of the United States government in a position to make law, interpret it, execute it and defend it, is sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.
If only the leakers were brave enough to fulfill their oaths when it mattered.