Are we living in the United States or in George Orwell's Oceania? After six years of Bush and the Neocons I scarcely recognize the United States as the country in which I was born and raised.
Brandon and I have aways said that "the only way [this administration] would ever tell thew truth would be if it were to do so by mistake." Now, after nearly six years of Orwellian rhetoric, historical revision, and out right prevarication, the Demander and Thief, our magnificent Mortimer Snerd act-alike has finally, finally made the huge mistake of telling the truth--albeit by accident.
For those of you who missed the following exchange in the President's recent pit stop in Cleveland, I offer the following snippet of dialogue between Bush and a concerned member of the audience.
QUESTIONER: Mister President, at the beginning of your talk today, you mentioned that you understand why Americans have had their confidence shaken by events in Iraq. And I'd like to ask you about events that occurred three years ago that might also explain why confidence has been shaken. Before we went to war in Iraq you said that there were three main reasons for going to war in Iraq: weapons of mass destruction, the claim that Iraq was sponsoring terrorists that attacked us on 911, and that Iraq had purchased nuclear materials from Niger. All three of these turned out to be false. My question is, how do we restore confidence that Americans may have in their leaders and how can they be sure that that the information thy are getting now is correct?
BUSH: That's a great question. First let me correct a misperception. I don't think we ever said, at least I know I didn't say, that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein. We did say that he was a state sponsor of terror, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on America.
Now compare that remark to what Bush said in his January 2003 State of the Union Address:
"Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda. Secretly and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists or help them develop one of their own. Before September 11th many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained..."
Only a few months later, in March 2003, Bush informed the united States Congress that:
"The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary action against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person (sic) who planned, authorized,committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001"
No, you aren't imagining things; the remarks from January 2003 and March 2003 openly contradict the remarks that Bush made in Cleveland in March 2003. And to make matters even worse, he isn't the only one in this God-awful administration who can't get his story straight. During the course of the 2004 Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney offered this pearl of wisdom:
"I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 911. But there is clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror. And the point is that that's the place where you're most likely to see terrorists come together with weapons of mass destruction, the deadly technologies that Saddam Hussein had developed and used over the years."
But prior to the debates, however, Cheney, like Bush, had also attempted to paste Osama Bin Laden's beard on Saddam Hussein:
"If we're successful in Iraq, then we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years but most especially on 911."
In so many ways this administration has begun to resemble the repressive dystopia that we found in George Orwell's 1984. Granted, we haven't had Scott McClellen appearing at a White house briefing, telling us that the United States and The former Soviet Union were allies against international terrorism during the Cold War; and we haven't rewritten the history books so that the neocons leader of choice won World War II, but how bad does it have to get?
These people are living in a fantasy world. They have so isolated themselves from the outside world that they not only create reality as they go along, they expect the American people to accept the illusions they're spinning as historical fact.
During the run up to the invasion of Iraq, when it was politically convenient to associate Saddam Hussein with Osama Bin Laden, the Bush Administration openly linked the two individuals together, blissfully promoting the idea that Saddam and Osama were mortal enemies. But now, when their pre-invasion rhetoric has come back to haunt them, they have altered the past, inadvertently telling the truth as they deny their outrageous prevarications.
Luckily we have a level of technology which prevents a complete rewriting of the historical record, but that hasn't stopped the Bush Administration from trying. Whether it's sealed records, or secrecy, or a myriad of self-contradicting explanations for their destructive, death-obsessed policies, the fact of the matter remains that this administration can only tell the truth by mistake.
We'll try not to worry when the Neocons tell us that "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength."