The Truth Will Set Us Free

by digby

Jonathan Schwartz over at A Tiny Revolution is reading "The Italian Letter" and finds a rather startling quote from a member of the Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center of the CIA(WINPAC):

He had a clear message for the men and women who controlled the output of the center's analysts: "If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so." The directive was not quite an order to cook the books, but it was a strong suggestion that cherry-picking and slanting not only would be tolerated, but might even be rewarded.

Read the rest of Jonathan's post to see the full atrocity.

As it happens I'm also reading "The Italian Letter" and was struck by another little tid-bit that I haven't seen reported:

Within the Bush administration, Cheney was described as the leading architect of and cheerleader for the war with Iraq. Behind the scenes, former administration officials told us, Cheney and his secretive team of loyalists had maneuvered to make war inevitable.

Cheney at times had faced challenges inside the White house. Before the 2004 election, Karl Rove, the president's powerful political advisor, privately sounded out social and fiscal conservative activists, who were unhappy with America's foreign adventurism, about the possibility of dumping Cheney as Bush's running mate. It is unclear whether Rove had th clout with bush to arrange such a makeover of th ticket or whether he was simply "playing to the conservative base," according to0 a source who is a personeal friend and consultant to many conservative stalwarts. Nevertheless, Cheney soon found out about Rove's secret conversations with the influential conservative backers. He was not happy. Yet Rove had reason to be concerned. His own internal polling six months before the election showed that Bush would gain 3.5 percent more if Iraq, strongly identified with Cheney ceased to be an issue --- a critical margin in what would certainly be a close election.

Now, I'm actually surprised by this. I had thought Cheney was revered by the conservative base during that period. If he wasn't I wonder why Dem polling didn't pick up on it and play it up. I'm even more surprised that if Iraq was such a salient issue six months before the election, that the Dems were unable to prevail in the election.

Oh wait. No I'm not. Remember this book?

This fascinating and disturbing book is the official record of testimony taken by the Democratic Members and Staff of the House Judiciary Committee, presided over by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member. Originally published in January, 2005 by the Government Printing Office, it has been edited and re-designed for maximum readability. Both a riveting and alarming report on the status of our ailing presidential election process, this book provides new insights into the abuse and manipulation of electronic voting machines and the arbitrary and illegal behavior of a number of elected and election officials which effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in order to change the outcome of an election.

Imagine that.