President Barack Obama or his minions have made or soon will be making representations about the Islamic State, Iraq, Syria and other state and non-state actors in the Middle East to persuade Congress to enact an Authorization for Use of Military Force.
A substantial number will be lies. All should be received by Congress and the American people with a high degree of skepticism.
The White House habitually lies to get us into war. It is an institutional flaw unaffected by the idiosyncracies of the incumbent. There is a demonstrative White House lying syndrome.
In the run-up to the Iraq War, President George W. Bush confidently asserted on Oct. 7, 2002 while speaking in Cincinnati that Iraq was a “grave threat to peace.” He vouched that:
“[Iraq] possesses and produces chemical weapons. it is seeking nuclear weapons.”
“Surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons despite international sanctions, U.N. demands and isolation from the civilized world.”
The president then evoked the following specter:
“Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.”
But in the infamous diction of the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, President Bush was guilty of staggering “untruths.”
There were no biological weapons.
There were no chemical weapons.
And Saddam’s nuclear program was barely breathing.
A post-mortem report on Iraqi’s weapons of mass destruction, the “Duelfer Report,” concluded that Saddam “resolved to eliminate the existing stock of WMD weapons during the course of the summer of 1991 in support of the prime objective of getting rid of sanctions.” In regards to Saddam’s nuclear weapons aspirations, Matthew Blum, a Harvard expert on nuclear proliferation, has explained: “There was no highly enriched uranium, no plutonium, no remaining capacity to produce either of those things. They could have rebuilt someday, but not with international inspectors in place.”
President Bush’s lies were no aberration.
President James K. Polk lied about an American soldier’s death on American soil at the hands of a Mexican soldier to justify the Mexican-American War.
President William McKinley exploited the false accusation that Spain was complict in the explosion that destroyed the USS Maine in Havana habor to justify the Spanish-American War.
President Woodow Wilson lied about munitions on the RMS Lusitania sunk by a German submarine to justify United States entry into World War I.
President Franklin Roosevelt lied about the efforts of the USS Greer to attack Nazi submarines in hopes of accelerating United States entry into World War II.
President Harry Truman lied in characterizing the Korean War as a “police action.”
President Lyndon Johnson lied about a second North Vietnamese torpedo attack on the USS Mattox and USS Turner Joy to justify the Vietnam War.
President William Jefferson Clinton lied about the prospective unraveling of NATO to justify the Bosnian War.
President Obama himself lied about an impending Gaddafi orchestrated genocide to justify the Libyan War.
The established White House lying prompted my collaboration with Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) to introduce the Executive Accountability Act of 2009 to criminalize intentional material lies by the President or his Cabinet to Congress for the purpose of obtaining an authorization for war. Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
Congress and the American people should be forewarned that President Obama will probably lie about many things, including but not limited to:
The number of Islamic State fighters;
The Islamic State’s unity;
A miraculous harmony between Iraq’s Shiite, Sunnis, and Kurds to defeat IS without Kurdish independence;
The existence of Syrian Sunni moderates eager to be trained to fight IS in lieu of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad;
The probability of Islamic State attacking the United States with chemical or biological weapons and killing American citizens here;
The probability of destroying Islamic State without U.S. ground troops and nation-building for decades throughout the Middle East;
The vastly greater probability of an American dying from a dog bite or moving furniture than from an IS attack; and,
North Korea’s vastly greater threat to the United States than IS.
In sum, beware of presidents pleading for Congress to authorize the use of miliary force.
They ordinarily come with a jumble of lies in their quiver.
For more information about Bruce Fein, please visit www.brucefeinlaw.com.