I can’t say I expected the U.S. Army to declare “Bush Lied, People Died,” on the cover of its Very Special 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Collector’s Edition in-house magazine, Soldiers, nor for it to include an introductory essay from Noam Chomsky on how political elites manufacture consent for endless war and empire. I’m an idealist not, as some might credibly contend, an idiot.
To my surprise, though, the last line of defense between god-fearing Americans and the Soviet/Chinese/Islamic/Beiber hordes did do a pretty capable job detailing the lies the Bush administration told an admittedly gullible and blood-thirsty nation in orde sell a war against Iraq that, conservatively, killed more than 100,000 people. It’s just unfortunate they didn’t tell any of their readers they were lies.
Here, for instance, is how the U.S. Army recounts the events immediately following the September 11 attacks:
Well, now. Where to begin? Just six little sentences packed with so much disinformation.
Let’s start with the claim that one of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta, was trained at a facility in Iraq, an allegation the Army helpfully notes was disseminated by Iraqi defectors — meaning the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi’s group, which was of course agitating for war under the hope its members would be installed as Iraq’s new leaders. As PBS’ Frontline notes, “there has been no verification of the [defectors’] account of the activities at Salman Pak. In fact, U.S. officials have now concluded that Salman Pak was most likely used to train Iraqi counter-terrorism units in anti-hijacking techniques.”
Okay, so that one’s bullshit claim down for the count. Next!
Let’s examine the claim about the meeting in the Czech Republic, the one the official voice of the Army confidently states was “later verified.” What does the 9/11 Commission Report, the official view of the U.S. government, have to say about that? It’s interesting, really: “No evidence has been found that Atta was in the Czech Republic in April 2001,” the time of the alleged — no, verified! — meeting (p. 228). Where was he? “The FBI has gathered evidence indicating that Atta was in Virginia Beach . . . and in Coral Springs, Florida.” Whoops!
But what of the claim about Saddam and Osama hanging out at Muslim poker night shootin’ the shit over how best to defeat America? Let’s go back to the 9/11 Commission and look at what it has to say about ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq: “We have seen no evidence . . . [of a] collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States” (p. 66). Whoops again!
Besides the Bush administration lies the Army forgets to tell its readers are lies, we are also presented a timeline of the events leading up to the March 2003 invasion. Events like this one:
And, Soldiers magazine? What did they find? Can you tell us? Oooh, I bet they totally found the WMDs, didn’t they? Guess we’ll never know.
My favorite part, however, is this:
Whose intelligence estimates, U.S. Army? And how and why were they “increased”? Better leave that one ambiguous.
Alright, I’ve been bit a bit hard on the Army’s writer-warriors. I acknowledge this. And I acknowledge that they’re only doing their propagandizing jobs and that we “should support [them] . . . unconditionally because their service is unconditional.” My bad. So let me at least give the writers of the prestigious Soldiers magazine some credit for letting us know Why We Fight in this item from their 2009 timeline: