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Monday, June 05, 2006

Yet Another Cover-up, Why Be Surprised?

WASHINGTON -- The saying that the cover-up is worse than the crime surely cannot be applied to war crimes.

The U.S. military is investigating whether Marines on patrol in the Iraqi town of Haditha committed an atrocity last November, killing up to 24 people, including women and small children, in house-to-house raids. Part of the inquiry is meant to determine who among the higher-ups in charge of such things concocted the apparently false public account that civilians had been killed in the blast of a roadside bomb.

The alleged cover-up is to be one focus of Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, its chairman, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., says. Rep. John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat and ranking House Armed Services Committee member who has withdrawn his earlier support for this war, is particularly incensed. "Who covered it up?" he asked on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "Why did they cover it up?"

But, it is fair to ask, why such surprise? The American endeavor in Iraq always has been a deception built upon a foundation of fraud.

In the beginning were the false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed potent weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear weapons program that could lead to the fearsome "mushroom cloud." When Joseph Wilson wrote in The New York Times that his own CIA-sponsored trip to Africa essentially disproved evidence of an advancing nuclear program, the former ambassador and his wife, Valerie Plame, became targets of a leak-and-smear campaign orchestrated by Vice President Dick Cheney's office. The criminal probe into the Plame leak centers on whether high-level administration officials lied to the grand jury about it.

The lie that Saddam had some unspecified connection to the Sept. 11 attacks, promoted indirectly in the president's own speeches and more directly by the vice president, was for a time so potent that a huge majority of Americans believed it.---------------
read the rest......
Yet Another Cover-up, Why Be Surprised?


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