Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Old Joke -- Updated; Old Question -- Revisited

There is an old joke that asks, “How can you tell if a politician is lying?” The answer: “His lips move.” I actually like politicians, and dislike generalizations. And yet, as with all humor, there is a grain of truth in that joke.

To be more accurate, the joke should go something like:

“How can you tell if a Republican politician is lying?"
"He says the same thing over and over again. After all, if his lips are moving he may just be reading some Republican lying talking points."

Admittedly, the joke is not as funny that way. Mainly that is because the joke is on us: we are the ones being lied to.What made me think of that old joke, and the deeper truth within it, was that I heard for the gazillionth time some Republican say, “Congress had the same intelligence that we had …”

We might want to ask one question, namely, “Sez who?” This is not the same question that George W. Bush asked, which was “How many is a gazillion?” But still, our question bears looking into.

We know that the White House had inquired of the CIA regarding the allegation that Iraq had tried to buy yellow cake from Niger. We know that Ambassador Joe Wilson IV, formerly the Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, was sent to Niger as a result of that inquiry. We also know that he came back with a report that debunking that allegation. We know that there were two other reports that came to the same conclusion. And we have every reason to believe that the White House was briefed on those reports, but that the allegation was repeated in the State of the Union anyway.

We know the Congress did not have access to that intelligence. How? From the fact that during the State of the Union address, the members did not arise as one, and shout “Bullshit!”

During my lifetime, I have met hundreds of criminals who complained to me that they were arrested even though they had "never done anything like this before." I was always struck by how unlucky these poor criminals were. A lifetime of unblemished virtue and the one time they fell short, Bingo! they got caught! It all seems so darned unfair.

Now George W. Bush may be a criminal, but nobody can complain that he is unlucky or that life has been unfair to him. So, I am guessing that he didn't get busted on the very first time the WHIGs (White House Information Group) had intelligence that was not shared with Congress.

Mind you it’s just a guess. But the 500,000th time that the Republican misinformation machine repeated “They had the same intelligence we had, and they voted in favor of the war,” we should have started asking questions.

Though it’s not original with me, it is pertinent now as it was before:

The question is, What did the White House know, and when did it know it?

America deserves an answer.

… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!

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