Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE L WORD....Remember all those pro-U.S. stories the Pentagon was contracting with the Lincoln Group to write and then paying the Iraqi press to publish? Donald Rumsfeld was asked about that program last night and gave one of his trademark Mr. Rogers answers:

"When we heard about it, we said, 'Gee, that's not what we ought to be doing,' " Rumsfeld said Friday during a taped interview on PBS' "The Charlie Rose Show.".... "They stopped doing that," he said.

The LA Times is too discreet to say it outright, but as the rest of the article makes clear, Rumsfeld was lying:

One person familiar with Lincoln Group's operations, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of an ongoing investigation, said the program in Iraq was still active as of a week ago.

Army Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said during a Dec. 16 news conference more than two weeks after the existence of the operation was revealed that it had not been shut down.

"We did a preliminary assessment shortly after the [news stories] came out, and we concluded that we were operating within our authorities and the appropriate legal procedures. And so we have not suspended any of the processes up to now," Casey said.

I'm sure Rumsfeld will get a stern talking to from his boss over this. After all, we can't have administration officials misleading the American public, can we?

Kevin Drum 12:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

After lying us into a war that has cost 2,200+ American lives, hundreds of billions of dollars and our reputation as a moral people, why should the American people believe anything that Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, et al. ever say again?

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 18, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

He should have said Gee Whiz.

Posted by: apeman on February 18, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

And Total Information Awareness is dead. Because they named it something else. The Lincoln Group's propaganda division is now called Fox Lite.

Failed administration with vestigial dissemblers.

Who will lead this nation now that these guys have self-annhilated? The GOP better send someone to take over pretty soon--this party is about to be crashed by the cops.

Posted by: Sparko on February 18, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

They have been lying for better than five years. Remember "I'm a uniter, not a divider", and that they would restore morality to Washington?

Future promises involve cutting the deficit in half by 2009, ha-ha.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on February 18, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Good thing the Bush administration is pushing for more development of domestic fuel supplies.

http://sandiego.cox.net/cci/newsnational/national?_mode=view&_state=maximized&view=article&id=D8FRKVN00

Sorry to distract attention from the theme of this thread.

Posted by: republicrat on February 18, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

The L words I'm worried about are "leaker" and "lame-brain dumbass".

The L words Casey should be worried about are "laid-off" and "lacking a pension".

Posted by: Rumsfeld on February 18, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

It amazes me to what lengths they go to claim legality for all these unethical, extralegal, illegal, and immoral practices.

There was a time when Americans embraced the outlaw that stood against status quo corruption. Being an outlaw was at least romantic even when not wholly just. But, this new "Red" culture can't stand being labeled outlaws. They're willing to play with the nation's collective sanity by saying black is white *over and over* again. The claim of legality has become everything to them against all common sense. What prevents them from celebrating their rogue behavior? Why doesn't Cheney/Rumsfeld, et al just come right out and say "Fuck the law?"

Their entire culture is now perched atop a card house. Future generations will not treat that half of America kindly and less so because of this cowardly can't-accept-the-consequences stance.

Posted by: dennisS on February 18, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

this administration reminds me of a movie peter sellers made ( BEING THERE ) , the problem is which one of these so called politicians is the charcter played by peter sellers ?

Posted by: wondering on February 18, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry about Don, his prickly coat of arrogant irony will protect him from reality.


There also happens to be nothing inside that coat either folks.

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on February 18, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

The LA Times is too discreet to say it outright,

Why is that? I thought they were liberal and stuff.

Conservatarians, care to explain this apparent paradox?

Posted by: craigie on February 18, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

"The LA Times is too discreet to say it outright,"

Deceptive, duplicitous, and damn liars are all more accurate then "discreet."


Posted by: Joey Giraud on February 18, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

LA Times is now officially an organ of the RNC.

I think even Jonah Lucianne Goldberg will agree.

Posted by: lib on February 18, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody who doesn't expect a politician to lie to them is a rube.

Posted by: mark on February 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Article on how Conservatism is a mental illness,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/shot-through-the-heart-an_b_15942.html

Posted by: cld on February 18, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"They stopped doing that," just means that the vermin in question has a new angle, face, title, identity, or location. So, "Now they do something else."

Truthiness... check!

Posted by: sadderbudwiser on February 18, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: The LA Times is too discreet to say it outright, but as the rest of the article makes clear, Rumsfeld was lying

The LA Times, eh? This is the first time I've heard you say it about any of the liars in this administration. Welcome to reality.


Posted by: jayarbee on February 18, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

The LA Times is too discreet to say it outright, but

I know that's what I always look for in my news sources: discretion.

Posted by: derek on February 18, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

During the past few yrs certain Iraqi bloggers would start up and as I read them I was startled by their seeming adherence to the RNC talking points. In their comment sections people would often write that the author must be in cahoots with Chalabi, or the CIA. And, then 40 nasty nasty comments from the rightest of the rightwing Americans would procede to blast away at the person questioning the integrity of the blogger.

I didn't know what to think at the time. I was wondering if perhaps these people were of the elite class, educated abroad, rich enough to move elswhere during the worst part of the fighting, able to afford generators, etc. But, how, I wondered were their posts so often describing exactly what the right wing commentators here in the US were writing about. (Iraqi's soooo grateful for the US presence; violence not so bad; absolute faith in a secular govt being elected; electricity improving; and, of course, all those schools being built.)

Well, it looks like they were in cahoots with the DOD, or maybe they actually were soldiers pretnding to be Ahmed or whomever.

Posted by: robin frost on February 18, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I lie. Therefore I am a Republican.

Posted by: nut on February 18, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Anybody who doesn't expect a politician to lie to them is a rube."

Good 'Ol American Cynicism! That will save us.

Posted by: dennisS on February 18, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

only two possible answers: either he's lying or he's out of the loop; either way, it's grounds for firing him.

Posted by: secularhuman on February 18, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Great post. You are on the ball.

Posted by: Lou Delgado on February 18, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

I almost took an internship with these guys before this scandal broke out. They kept asking me if I liked to travel, followed up with, "to Iraq?". I knew something was up.

Posted by: looper34 on February 19, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

After lying us into a war that has cost 2,200+ American lives, hundreds of billions of dollars and our reputation as a moral people, why should the American people believe anything that Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, et al. ever say again?
Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 18, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Because they desperately want to. Because if they don't believe them, then they have to accept the awful truth that they've been fooled by 1st-grader-equivalent lies and propaganda tactics. In America, where there's a free press.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on February 19, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Anybody who doesn't expect a politician to lie to them is a rube."

And anybody who doesn't think we should them to account is a Republican.

Posted by: Night Owl on February 19, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

My question for the mainstream Republican is this: Why are you not ashamed of Rumsfeld?

I hear far too many of your party voice approval and/or admiration of this man's childish dodges. And I mean childish.

Have you no pride? Want you kid to grow up to be like Rumsfeld?

Some commenters on this blog like to say about Bush: Worst President ever.

I nominate Rumsfeld as worst secretary of defense ever.

Why would you say you know where the WMD are when you haven't a clue? Why did he say, years ago, that the Soviet Union had many times more tanks that all NATO forces combined? Why would he approve of the torture?

Rumsfeld has always been nothing more than a redneck (the bad kind) who pops off in a manner that sounds cool to the ignorant and prejudiced. That's his constituency.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on February 19, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's kinda sad.

Like that ugly desperate chick who meets a guy at a bar who tells her she's pretty, to get into her pants, and then leaves her thinking she's pretty until he never calls her back.

After this presidency is over, and America is in shambles from the budget mess they've left behind, they're going to be on some beach in barbados with all their stolen tax money, their kids and grandkids in private schools, our kids drafted into service to clean up the mess they left in the middle east.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on February 19, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

This administration has been working hard to train the American people not to be shocked, or even bothered, by government lying. Gradually, Americans are getting to the point that they expect it. Telling the truth about almost any aspect of government policy would only play into the hands of terrorists who would use the information against us.

Sure, the Bush team is more dishonest than any administration in recent memory, but that's only because they care so much more about American security...

Torture, lying, domestic spying...before you know it, these will be campaign issues against Democrats: "Why haven't you endorsed these necessary steps to protect America?"

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