And yet at the time it was quite obvious to those who were watching and paying attention that the US was determined to go to war. The die had been cast. Richard Clarke's testimony and that of many others have certainly given credence to the notion that from the beginning of the administration and most certainly in the wake of 9/11, a war with Iraq was in the works.
The desire to invade is not disputed but it seemed very clear that by the summer of 2002 the decision to do so had been made. The US would invade and preparations were underway. All the drama surrounding inspections, the UN and WMD were simply window dressing and an attempt to legitimize the invasion and market it to the public. The order was given, just not publicised. The US would overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish a new government in Baghdad.
The why does the media continue to obsess with the point of the CIA and WMD? They seem to suggest that if the WMD argument had fallen apart then Bush would have packed up his armies and gone home.
As the years go by numerous testimonials indicate otherwise. Just recently George Tenet said as much.
The interview is with the creators of a recent documentary called 'The Spymasters'. Fresh Air's Davies asks the following with regard to Tenet and WMD:
DAVIES: On the other hand, Tenet does make the case that, yes, while we got that wrong, it -he seems to say wouldn't have mattered because they were well on the path to going to war anyway.
WHIPPLE: That's right. This became, in the legend, the seminal moment when George Tenet said, Mr. President, it's a slam dunk, and off we went to war. Tenet would say that's not at all what happened. This was long after the decision to go to war had been made. That horse had left the barn. And they were talking about the public case that could be made to support the presence of weapons of mass distraction, which, of course, turned out to be completely wrong.
They get into 'Curveball' (al Janabi), and I recall the British documentary series Panorama in which the interviewer suggests to Curveball's face that he 'started the war'. That's not quite the case. He was but a factor, a block in a massive structure that would have stood with or without him.
There's a larger story here that the media seems to miss. The issue is not the supposed failures in the WMD investigation and its justification for invasion. The story is a regime that was (even before 9/11) bent on war and conquest and would say and do whatever was required to legitimize their narrative. Many know this but the media won't seem to really tease out that issue.
To do so is to subvert the American system and expose the inherently anti-democratic and unlawful nature of the Bush regime. They had no interest in legitimate institutions, laws or acting on the basis of popular will. They had an agenda. Fourteen years after 9/11 there are perhaps a million people dead due to the wars they launched and the chaos they fomented.
Of course these actions were criminal both in terms of domestic and international law. These questions push the system into crisis and media is exposed for what it is. It's not a watchdog or sentinel for the public. It's a protector and guarding of the Corporatocracy and the Praetorians who sit atop it. It's task is not to inform the public but to protect the Establishment.
Otherwise Tenet's statement would be the basis of a very large headline. The media provides no context. They don't dare.
A few years ago Alan Greenspan's admission with regard to Iraq briefly made world headlines:
He admitted Iraq wasn't about WMD but was largely about oil. Well, even saying that, is but to hint at much more. Oil isn't just about the black stuff coming out of the ground. It's about control. It's about power.
His statements generated a furor. But then just as quickly (at least in the US media), Greenspan quickly backtracked and the story was all but dropped.
It's not too difficult to understand the big picture. It's easy to get bogged down in the minutiae and details. There's a bigger plan being worked out. There are many players and they don't all agree and not everyone sees what everyone else is doing.
Something sinister happened on 9/11 and it wasn't just the toppling of buildings and hijacked planes. It was a watershed.
I remember picking up a magazine a few days after 9/11 and there was a big quote from Ehud Barak, something to the effect that this changes everything. The world won't be the same.
He was right. We have entered a new era. Many people were saying things like that at the time but I don't think very many really understood the full import of those words.
None of this is surprising. The only people who are shocked are those who harbour romanticised notions about what America is. It's not exceptional. It's following a course many have trod before. You cannot have a military empire and democracy. You can maintain a facade for awhile but eventually the tensions reach a breaking point. For the British it was 1945. For the United States it was 9/11 and yet it would seem the US is going in a different direction.
The United Kingdom began to divest and embrace social reform. Over time it has reversed and now is facing a social crisis leading toward a police state. It has survived and to some degree flourished by subordinating itself to its upstart cousin across the sea.
As usual the United States does things in a more impetuous and extreme manner. Rather than divest the United States has embraced the expansionist model. The Praetorians ought to revisit Napoleon and the Grande Armee. The Napoleonic system had subordinated the economy to military expansion. The army had to continue expanding. If it ever stopped it would implode and take the economy with it.
Some historians have argued America's economic malaise and inflation of the 1970's was in no small part a consequence of post-Vietnam retraction. The US survived the episode but not unscathed. It's also noteworthy that its emergence was due in part to the destruction and outsourcing of its industrial sector and a new era of militarism.
Even Bernie Sanders does not represent a true reform or retraction of these policies. Hillary Clinton certainly does not and apart from Rand Paul the Republican field is unanimously in support of expanding the scope of American militarism. Paul's failing is in understanding the nature of the Capitalist system. The nation state and imperialism are necessary developments and consequences of the system he would promote. His minimalist version of Capitalist orthodoxy would (at this point) bring about the collapse of the system and generate chaos.
The United States is on a runaway train. If it stops it will not be able to start again and in fact will likely explode.
I don't believe the system can be reformed. As I've said before that wouldn't be a reform but a revolution. It won't happen in the ballot box. I don't think it can happen at all... the nation wouldn't survive.
We've all grown up in dangerous times but I do think we are in a new era, a phase that is in some ways more dangerous than the Cold War. This is an age of lies and it seems most Christians would rather believe in deception than embrace the truth. They've got too much to lose. They are too in love with their idols and the pleasures and security they bring. They will bring destruction upon many including themselves. They were warned in the Scriptures but they have not understood the message.
Truth is the most dangerous weapon that can be wielded. If you're in power and want to maintain it -- do you destroy the truth or create ears that cannot hear it?