Interesting piece on the Iraq war by Greg Palast, at Tikkun. His main point is, planning the invasion, that the neocons thought they could privatize the Iraqi oilfields and destroy OPEC's price-fixing power, while Texas-based Big Oil wanted to "enhance" Iraq's place in OPEC, thus assuring high petroleum prices.
(In case you didn't notice, Big Oil won.)
But there's all sorts of curious detail in the report, including this:
Ever since the conviction of Elliott Abrams for perjury before Congress, neither [Paul] Wolfowitz nor the other Bush factotums swear an oath before testifying. If you don’t raise your hand and promise to tell the truth, "so help me, God," you’re off the hook with federal prosecutors. How the Lord will judge that little ploy, we cannot say.
I'd actually noticed this, back when Senator Spector refused to swear in Alberto Gonzales before hearing the AG's testimony about surveillance of American citizens. But somewhow, I hadn't thought about its implications. And the implications are stunning.
Our leaders no longer swear to tell the truth when giving public testimony, because they don't intend to tell it and don't want to be punished for lying. Let me just repeat the key concept: They don't even bother to pretend they're telling the truth.
Somewhere, George Washington is weeping.