No More Books to Cook

Brian Cook

Like the big time CEOs that advise them, time and time again the current administration disregards, manipulates, or simply disappears information that doesn’t fall in step with their company line. On Monday April 18, the State Department announced that it would stop releasing the annual report on deaths due to terrorism. This comes after last year’s report, issued before the presidential election, was found to be erroneous and needed correction. But only after the administration had used the false information to claim that, in the “war on terror,” the report provided "clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight." The actual "reality-based" findings noted that the number of terrrorist attacks in 2004 were the highest ever recorded since the report was first initiated in 1985. It is more than interesting to note that in all years prior, the numbers had been provided by the CIA, but a year before the false numbers were reported, President Bush created the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and appointed the task to that office. On March 10, Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) signaled that the second phase of the Senate Select Committee on Iraq Pre-War Intelligence was now without merit, calling it an “exercise” in a "post-election environment." Yet in the pre-election environment of July, the senator told Meet the Press, “But even as I'm speaking our staff is working on phase two and we will get it done.” The second phase of the Senate’s report was to directly address the pre-war intelligence information in regards to the public statements given by administration officials leading up to the war in Iraq. Remember, “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Regressives have argued that the recent presidential report on WMD closes the discussion, yet in that report’s introduction it states, “we were not authorized to investigate how policymakers used the intelligence assessments they received.” I hear WorldCom's indicted accounting chef Bernard Ebbers is in need of a cellmate. Doesn’t he deserve a presidential one? This blog was actually written by ITT intern extraordinaire, "Cruisin' and Bruisin'" Christopher Burrow.

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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