A Marine, businessman, advisor to several GOP Administrations and forefather to the Freedom of Information Act by his role in the release of the
Pentagon Papers in 1971 ( note: Operation Northwood! Look it up!), lays out some of the myths that have been allowed to shape the "war" debate.
So what exactly are the lies you say the press should be examining more deeply?
The first lie is: Saddam represents the No. 1 danger to U.S. security in the world. To allow the president and Rumsfeld to make that statement over
and over is akin to them saying without challenge from the press that they accept the flat-earth theory. To say Saddam is the No. 1 danger is being
made without real challenge from the press, with few exceptions. More dangerous than al-Qaida? North Korea? Russian nukes loose in the world? An
India-Pakistan nuclear war?
I'm impressed by the testimony of Gen. Anthony Zinni, Bush's mediator in the Middle East, who said he'd place Saddam sixth or seventh on any list
of dangers we face. The question is, are we helping our cause against threats one through five by going after number six or seven?
Two: That we are reducing the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by attacking Iraq. This is one of the most dangerous assertions since
all evidence is that we are increasing the threat of such terrorism by the attack, as CIA Director [George] Tenet said in his letter to Congress.
Tenet said the danger is very low that Saddam will use weapons if not attacked and fairly high if he is attacked.
Three: The reason we are singling Saddam out is that he cannot be contained or deterred, unlike other leaders in the world, and again this is largely
unchallenged by the mainstream press. No one brings out the following point: This is a man who had weapons of mass destruction, including nerve gas,
and missiles capable of hitting Israel and ready to go in the 1991 war -- which he does not now have -- and he kept his finger off the button. So how
unreliable is he if not on the brink of being deposed or killed?
What specific questions are not being asked or not asked often enough by the press?
One question the press is not asking: Is there a single high military man who believes this war should happen now, that it is appropriate and [the]
risks worthwhile? Every indication leaking out is that most feel that it is far from certain, even unlikely, that the war will be as short and
successful as the civilian bosses say. What are we gaining here that is worth the chance of a disastrous outcome? The military chiefs do not agree
with civilians in the Pentagon as far as we can tell. And does anyone in State or the CIA strongly favor war?
Another question not asked is: What do we do if Saddam launches chemical weapons, nerve gas, etc., against invading U.S. troops? Based on my years of
experience within government and familiarity with such scenarios, let me say I am certain we have contingency plans for use of nuclear weapons in
response to a successful use of gas against our troops. I would say there's a significant chance that we will respond by initiating nuclear war.
So you should press officials hard. Ask: "Under what conditions would you use nuclear weapons? Are there plans? Have targets been picked?" Ask:
"Are there nuclear weapons in that region right now?"
There must be a public discussion of how serious we are in possibly using nuclear [weapons]. But officials don't want to do that fearing it will
scare the public and our allies who may think they are out of their minds. In fact, they are smart guys -- who are out of their minds.
Another question, about how the oil reserves play out in this -- has that issue been fully explored for the American public, and have they weighed it
adequately? Again, if you read the foreign press, you'll see a lot of serious discussion of a "war for oil," and even the pros and cons of that,
and I don't see that in the American press. So the public is not being asked to address a powerful motive for this war.