Lies Terrorism War Inc
10 BIG LIES in the U.S. "War on Terror"
1 "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."—Vice President Dick Cheney, August 2002
No "weapons of mass destruction" were ever found in Iraq. An October 2004 CIA
report concluded, "Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons
stockpile in 1991" and found "no credible indications that Baghdad resumed
production." An unnamed CIA official later said, "Bush didn't give a fuck about
the intelligence. He had his mind made up [to go to war]."
2 "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."—candidate Barack Obama, 2007
Obama expanded U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and increased the number of
bombing raids into Pakistan. As of June 2011, 46,000 U.S. troops occupied Iraq.
Under Obama the U.S. has staged bombing raids on six countries. The number of
open military bases outside the U.S. has grown to over 1,000. When Obama took
office in January 2009 there were 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. By December
2009—when this number had grown to 68,000—Obama announced an "Afghan surge" to
add over 30,000 U.S. soldiers. Now Obama plans to withdraw the 33,000 "surge
troops"—10,000 by the end of 2011 and the rest by the summer of 2012. This means
by the end of 2012, there will still be 68,000 troops in Afghanistan—more than
twice as many as the 32,000 when Obama took office.
3 "The idea of liberating women, empowering women, encouraging women, educating women in Afghanistan is all part of laying a foundation for lasting peace." —President George W. Bush, in an interview on Fox News
While women in Afghanistan living under the Taliban were treated horribly,
the U.S. military occupation has in some ways worsened and created new
conditions making women vulnerable to exploitation and degradation. In terms of
impoverishment, homelessness, and lack of medical care, the situation of Afghan
women has deteriorated under the U.S. occupation and the barbaric imposition of
Islamic law on Afghan women remains largely unchallenged. August 2009:
U.S.-backed Afghan president Karzai signed a law which, among other horrors,
allows men to deny food and housing to their wives if the husbands' sexual
demands are not met, and prohibits a woman from leaving her home without her
The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) reported in July 2011, "about 50 women die in childbirth each day in Afghanistan. One in three is physically or sexually abused and the average life expectancy of women is 44 ... more than 85 percent of Afghan women are illiterate, while 70 percent of school-age girls do not attend school for various reasons—conservative parents, lack of security, or fear for their lives."
Speaking about Afghanistan in March 2011, a top Obama official said, "Gender
issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities."
4 Jessica Lynch "was fighting to the death. She did not want to be taken alive."—U.S. Army official to assembled media, March 2003
Lynch was part of a small Army convoy attacked by Iraqi resisters. The vehicle she was in overturned and she suffered broken bones, was knocked unconscious, and taken to a local hospital by some Iraqis. A doctor who examined her said, "It was a road traffic accident that caused her wounds. There was not a drop of blood.... There were no bullets or shrapnel or anything like that." At the hospital, he said, "She was given special care, more than the Iraqi patients."
Media reports claimed, "Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in a daring nighttime raid by U.S. commandos acting on a CIA tip.
" In fact, the U.S. raid on the hospital actually encountered no opposition.
In June 2003, the Washington Post wrote: "This was the single most memorable
story of the war, and it had huge propaganda value. It was false, but it didn't
get knocked down until it didn't matter quite so much." As Lynch herself said
later in 2003 about the hype surrounding her injuries, "It was not true."
5 "Torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture."
—President George W. Bush, New York Times interview, January 28, 2005
"I was clear throughout this campaign and was clear throughout this transition that under my administration the United States does not torture."
—President-elect Barack Obama, January 2009 press conference
It has been clearly documented that the U.S. has tortured many, many
prisoners at Guantánamo, its Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and at the Bagram U.S.
Air Base. The U.S. has captured and illegally held prisoners and then "rendered"
them to dozens of countries to be tortured and interrogated under the direction
of U.S. officials. Bush's Justice Department wrote memos sanctioning the use of
torture. Under Bush and Obama, countless people have been tortured by the U.S.
and at the direction of the United States. In 2010 Bush boasted, "Yeah, we
waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I'd do it again."
6 "The loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman last week in Afghanistan brought home the sorrow that comes with every loss, and reminds us of the character of the men and women who serve on our behalf."
—President George W. Bush, May 1, 2004
After 9-11, Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar professional
football contract to join the U.S. Army. But Tillman increasingly questioned
what the U.S. was doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. He began expressing opposition
to the U.S. war in Iraq and continued to be outspoken when he was sent to
Afghanistan. In April 2004, Tillman was shot to death by U.S. soldiers in what
is called "friendly fire." The circumstances of his death remain murky. In 2007
Associated Press reported that doctors who did an autopsy on Tillman said, "it
appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or
so away" and that a criminal investigation was warranted. No such investigation
ever happened and instead Tillman's death was used by Bush and Rumsfeld to
promote the kind of mindless patriotism Tillman opposed.
7 "Under this compromise legislation... the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over."
—Senator Barack Obama, June 19, 2008
In 2002 George W. Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States. By 2006 the NSA was collecting phone records of tens of millions of Americans. In 2008 Bush signed into law a bill that legalizes warrantless wiretapping.
Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator and presidential candidate, voted for the
bill. Domestic spying has increased during Obama's presidency. The number of
federal wiretaps doubled in 2010 from 2009; the Electronic Freedom Foundation
said, "Obama has gone two steps further than Bush," and concluded, "essentially,
the Obama Administration has claimed that the government cannot be held
accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes."
8 "This war in Iraq is a grotesque mistake."
—Democratic Party congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, June 2005
From the first votes in the U.S. Congress to approve the invasion of Iraq,
which passed overwhelmingly, to today, when wars in three countries are being
led by a Democratic president, the Democrats have, overwhelmingly and as a
party, been in full support of the U.S. wars aimed at extending and defending
the U.S. empire. Congressional Democrats have approved every military spending
measure since 2002.
9 "Our courts have employed habeas corpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy."
—candidate Barack Obama,
Habeas corpus is a judicial mandate in which a prisoner must be brought before a judge to determine whether he/she is legally imprisoned, and if not, released. In 2002 the Bush administration claimed sweeping new police state powers that effectively put an end to habeas corpus.
Hundreds of people seized by U.S. forces under any pretext in Afghanistan and
other countries have been denied any right to judicial review. A U.S. Supreme
Court ruling said prisoners taken by the U.S. and sent to Guantánamo have the
right to a hearing. Bush circumvented this ruling, setting up "military
tribunals"—after the pretense of a "legal hearing," prisoners are sent to
dungeons other than Guantánamo. In February 2009, a month after Obama took
office, his Department of Justice argued in court that military detainees in
Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing
a key argument of former President Bush's legal team.
10 "I can say that the types of operations... that the US has been involved in, in the counter-terrorism realm, that nearly for the past year there hasn't been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we've been able to develop."
—John Brennan, Obama's "counter-terrorism" advisor, on U.S. drone attacks
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that at least 2,992 people have been killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan. This is part of a larger war that has brought massive death and suffering to many people. A Johns Hopkins study published in the British medical journal the Lancet reported that by 2006 there were at least 600,000 deaths in Iraq as a result of the U.S. invasion and war. The number of dead civilians in Afghanistan is unknown, but more than 2.7 million Afghans are refugees. Wholesale and often random killings of civilians are part and parcel of the wars the U.S. is waging.
It is not uncommon to hear these days, from government officials and others, that only 1 percent of the population is in the U.S. military but that this 1 percent is fighting for the freedom of the other 99 percent. The truth, however, is this: That 1 percent, in the military, is in reality fighting for the other 1 percent: the big capitalist-imperialists who run this country—who control the economy, the political system, the military, the media, and the other key institutions—and who dominate large parts of the world, wreaking havoc and causing great suffering for literally billions of people. It is the "freedom" of these capitalist-imperialists—their freedom to exploit, oppress, and plunder—that this 1 percent in the military is actually killing and sometimes dying for.