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Bush, Blair To Whistleblowers: We Will Destroy You

by Steve Young

Bush And The WMD Follies
How many times do we hear Prime Minister Blair speak and think to ourselves, "I wish he were our President?" In the least, how I wish our president spoke as eloquently. But eloquence of speech does not hide that fact that Blair may have been a conduit to death in Iraq, and most recently, in his own nation with the death of British Ministry of Defense scientist Dr. David Kelly.

This past week the Blair administration leaked the name of a "senior official" who was linked to the BBC story reporting that a government intelligence document stating alleged Iraqi nuclear intentions was "sexed up," including the insistence that Saddam Hussein could ready WMD with 45 minutes.

How absolutely British.

How indecently improper.

How utterly homicidal.

Now don't get me wrong. David Kelly's death seems to be a clear cut case of suicide. But it may also be a clear-cut case of suicide by government. As surely as if Kelly had shot himself in the back, say, ten times, this would a crime of murder be. A political murder to be sure, but murder all the same.

The messenger took the bullet for the message. The "leak" did not categorize the "sexing" as untrue. This wasn't the British government's intent in outing Dr. Kelly. This was his punishment for exposing the truth to the public; his punishment for undercutting what many seem to think of as politics as usual, a form of politics where it is quite acceptable to take selective information and pass it off as total. They don't say that's what they do, but they do it just the same.

The U.S. of A. showed that it doesn't take a back seat to their former colonizers when two senior Bush administration officials slipped to conservative comb-over, Bob Novak, the identity of the undercover CIA officer whose husband, retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, revealed a problem with those controversial 15-17 words about Iraq/Niger uranium connection (or lack of connection).

Valerie Plame, AKA Mrs. Joseph Wilson, works on weapons of mass destruction issues in a supposedly undercover (oops, formerly undercover) capacity. Mr. Wilson believes that the information of Plame's relationship to him that was fed to Novak was an attempt to intimidate others like him from talking about Bush administration intelligence failures. Though "Bush" and "intelligence failures" ring in at number one on this week's redundancy list, the leaking of her job and name violates the law, puts a wrench in her career and possibly endangers the lives of her contacts in foreign countries. Hey, it's just politics as normal.

But at this White House, politics as normal ain't good enough as they ratcheted up the smell factor and really shoved killing the messenger out of the closet when ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman did a story on the network's "World News Tonight" concerning the withering morale of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

A day after the report, someone in the White House alerted the Right's answer to Edward Murrow, Matt Drudge, that Kofman is gay.

And worse yet, he's a Canadian.

Perhaps this was a "mistake." Perhaps they "misspoke" The White House seems to "mis-" a lot of things.

The rationale that the Bush administration gave for his "16 Words" is that while it may not be true, it has not yet been proven that it isn't.

Isn't that just the way we want our kids to learn how to tell the truth? Until I am proven wrong, I am right. I can just see my eight-year old son salivating to use this one on his teacher.

"My dog ate my homework. You can't prove he didn't."

Like an attorney pleading his case to the jury, the President and the administration give only the side of the information that proves their case, even though they know there is information out there that might make their case weaker -- selective evidence. It's the reason so many hate lawyers. But the President isn't our lawyer, he's our President. He's supposed to give us ALL the truth so that we can make proper decisions on the facts, not only the part of the facts that prove his case.

Isn't it the truth that should be proven before it is thrust on a nation, on a world, as canon fodder?

Shouldn't a president or a prime minister or their aides to be responsible for checking out the validity of what they say, especially when there is evidence to the contrary sitting an office or two away? The blame here was taken by CIA chief George Tenet. As a loyal-to-the-boss employee, Tenet has taken responsibility for what the President won't. Though his career seems to be in danger of being served up for blame's dinner, I don't expect Tenet to commit suicide. After all, he gets paid for keeping secrets. He was trained for it. That's his job definition.

But then again, there are CIA personnel who are speaking out. Raymond McGovern, a former CIA analyst and supervisor, said, "Never before in my 40 years of experience in this town has intelligence been used in so cynical and so orchestrated a way." McGovern said that he is speaking out for those in the CIA who can't: "The Agency analysts that we are in touch with are disheartened, dispirited, angry. They are outraged."

David Kelly left an ominous note that spoke of "many dark actors playing games." I figure he wasn't referring to the Hussein boys. Not anymore. And anyway, the very late Uday and Qusay were never this subtle. These are entire governments who are so threatened by citizens willing to speak out that they must adjust the comfort level just enough to silence them. Sometimes forever.

As Voltaire said: "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." Whistle blowing is always a risky deal. But even so, some are still willing. For that, and for the David Kellys willing to jeopardize their career and their lives to expose the truths -- and the lies -- we thank you.

Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" (Tallfellow Press) and a regular column for Jewish World Review

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Albion Monitor July 24, 2003 (

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