Joseph Wilson is merely one of the many people who provided evidence that this administration lied about why we went to war in Iraq. When former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill wrote that Bush planned to invade Iraq from the day he took office, the administration went after O'Neill. When Richard Clarke disclosed that the Bushies wanted to use September 11th to go after Saddam Hussein from Sept. 12th on, they went after Clarke.
They went after General Zinni; they went after Genenal Shinseki and everyone else who opposed the folly or told the truth about it. After they got done lying about weapons of mass destruction and about connections to al-Qaeda, they switched to the stomach-churning pretense that we had done it all for democracy.
We suffer the worst attack on this country since Pearl Harbor, and the Bush administration sends the FBI after the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU exists to protect every citizen's rights as defined in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. The ACLU works solely through the legal system. It does not advocate violence, terrorism, or any other damn thing except the Bill of Rights. Why in the name of heaven are we wasting the FBI's time on this idiocy?
I know that sludge-for-brains like Bill O'Reilly attack the ACLU for being "un-American," but when Bill O'Reilly's constitutional rights are violated, the ACLU will stand up for him just like they did for Oliver North, Communists, the KKK, atheists, movement conservatives, and everyone else they've defended over the years.
We are living in a time when our government is investigating an organization that stands for the highest and best American ideals and claiming the mantle of patriotism while they are about it. This is cuckoo - and such an idiotic waste of the FBI's time and the taxpayers' money that whoever thought up this idiocy should be fired yesterday.
But even that is superseded by what lies at the heart of Plamegate - and that is lying in order to get this country into war. If the Washington press corps had a memory bank longer than 10 minutes, they could have exposed this years ago: The lies so often directly contradict one another. Before the war, the administration said the CIA was a wussy organization for trying to downplay the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. After the war, it was all the CIA's fault, because they had exaggerated the weapons of mass destruction. And so on and so on.
The trouble with piling lies on top of lies is that we can't even agree on facts anymore. They read the Downing Street memos and convince themselves they don't mean what they say. I really don't understand: Is it that hard to admit you're wrong when you're wrong? Is it that hard to admit that the invasion of Iraq has been a disaster? Isn't it self-evident? You can't not care about lies and war. Not if you care about American soldiers. n
Molly Ivins writes for the Creators Syndicate.