A Good Thing from the Bush Years
Editor’s Note: One reason we need your support is so we, in turn, can continue to edit, publish and pay for the work of brave former U.S. intelligence analysts. (To make a tax-deductible donation, click here.)
There have been plenty of negatives from George W. Bush’s presidency – a disastrous war, a damaged economy, exploding government debt and assaults on the U.S. Constitution – but, as my mom used to say, it’s always important to look for the positives.
And here is one: At no time in my three decades in Washington have I seen more common purpose between honest American journalists and patriotic U.S. intelligence analysts. By trampling on a principle that both groups hold dear – respect for the truth – Bush has pushed these historic adversaries together.
Traditionally, the two groups have viewed each other with suspicion, if not hostility. The best reporters see their job as getting the facts and sharing them with the greatest number of people, while intelligence officers view their task as getting the facts and funneling them to a few select individuals only.
But the Bush administration has changed this dynamic by following the neoconservative “perception management” strategy: you start with a certainty about what should happen – say, invade Iraq. You then cherry-pick the “evidence” and mold it into a scary case to stampede the public.
Some careerists at the CIA – and many careerists in Washington journalism – played along with this neocon game during the run-up to the Iraq War. But other intelligence professionals and journalists rebelled, recognizing that this neocon approach was anathema to both an informed government policy and an informed public.
We began to see intelligence veterans – like Ray McGovern, Mel Goodman and Larry Johnson – take the lead in objecting to the Bush administration’s disdain for reality. Meanwhile, honest journalists looked for new ways, outside the control of corporate and right-wing news outlets, to warn the people of the dangers ahead.
At Consortiumnews.com, we have worked hard to build this alliance: American journalists collaborating with U.S. intelligence veterans.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been honored to publish the writings of Ray McGovern and his Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
We’ve also carried stories by the likes of former CIA analyst Peter Dickson, who faced career retaliation when he objected to politicized intelligence in the 1980s, and Sam Provance, a military intelligence officer who spoke out against abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.
When we pay for articles from these brave intelligence veterans, it not only means that the public gets the benefit of their information, but it enables VIPS and similar groups to reach out to other former colleagues so their stories can be told.
Over time, we can strip away the web of lies that unscrupulous politicians have used to entrap the country in bloody foreign adventures and harmful domestic policies. We can help give you back both your real history – and a realistic assessment of today’s events.
But we need your help. We can only publish and pay for the writings of these courageous intelligence veterans if you help us with your contributions.
For our spring fundraiser, we have set a modest goal of $25,000, but we must reach that mark if we are to continue operation much longer.
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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.
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