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The Back Story 

I don't care what the facts are

Thursday, May 22 2003
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“Way back in 1988, on the 3rd of July, the USS Vincennes, a missile cruiser stationed in the Persian Gulf, accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner and killed 290 civilian passengers. George Bush the First, who was at the time on his presidential campaign, was asked to comment on the incident. He said quite subtly, ‘I will never apologize for the United States. I don’t care what the facts are.’

“‘I don’t care what the facts are.’ What a perfect maxim for the New American Empire. Perhaps a slight variation on the theme would be more apposite: The facts can be whatever we want them to be.”

Arundhati Roy reminds us what we know, what we don’t, and what we’re trying to forget.

“Many Americans wrongly believe that a preventive vaccine for HIV/AIDS has already been developed, according to surveys recently conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Nearly half of African-Americans surveyed (48 percent) and more than a quarter of Hispanics (28 percent) believe that an HIV vaccine already exists and is being kept a secret. Twenty percent of adults in the general population share that belief.

“The conspiracy theory was just one of a number of startling misconceptions found by the surveys.”

What people don’t know could kill them.

“Smashing padlocks and deadbolts, the men checked for booby traps as they felt their way by flashlight from room to room. They reached a murky stone passage, smelling of mold. Cement covered its windows. Steel doors, a dull orange, lined the hall. Interrogation cells? Munitions vaults? One last bolt snapped. The door creaked open and Deal stepped through. There, in the innermost chamber, he found a cache of vacuum cleaners. So it goes for Site Survey Team 3, which today begins its ninth week in the hunt for illegal weapons. One of four such units assembled before the war, it has screened intelligence leads from Basra to Baghdad with discouraging, even darkly comic, results.”

If they knew Hussein had WMD, how come they didn’t have a clue where he kept them? From the Washington Post.

“The War Profiteers Card Deck exposes some of the real war criminals in the U.S.’s endless War of Terror. This is no Sunday bridge club. These are individuals and institutions that stack the deck against democracy in the rigged game of global power. Exposing their place in the house of cards illuminates the links among corporations, institutions, and government officials that profit from endless war. The U.S. War of Terror is not about liberation, democracy, or U.N. resolutions. Plainly put, the War of Terror — whether in Iraq, Colombia, Afghanistan, or the USA — is about subjugation, resource extraction, and opening markets: a practice once referred to more honestly as colonialism.”

The War Profiteers Card Deck, from The Ruckus Society.

Reach the writer at judith.lewis@laweekly.com

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