In today's companion posting, "Watergate II : Margolis : Neocons under attack", we learn of the many assaults on the neocons by the 'old-con' establishment: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?id=974&lists=newslog In the report below, we read of a pitiful White House 'counterattack'. Like a trapped insect, Bush & the neocons are struggling in the web of their attackers, and of their own lies, entangling themselves all the more. By publicly denying specific charges, such as 'manipulating intelligence', they give weight to those charges. By their denial they imply that if the charges were true, they would indeed be in trouble. This entangles them in a dangerous way, because Fitzgerald's investigation, and the Libby trial, are likely to show that 'manipulating intelligence' is precisely what the neocon's were up to: that's what loyal Libby was trying to cover up when he lied to the grand jury. rkm -------------------------------------------------------- http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=31085 Inter Press Service News Agency Tuesday, November 22, 2005 U.S.: The Politics of Pushback Analysis by Bill Berkowitz* On Veterans' Day, Nov. 11, President Bush told troops gathered at Pennsylvania's Tobyhanna Army Depot that, "It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war [in Iraq] began." OAKLAND, California, Nov 18 (IPS) - He said that, "Some Democrats and antiwar critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people," even though they knew "a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programmes". A few days later, on the way to a week-long trip to Asia, Bush stopped off at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to again chat up his wars on Iraq and terror before another captive military audience. There, Bush told the crowd that "some Democrats who voted to authorise the use of force are now rewriting the past", and are "sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy". U.S. soldiers "deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them into war continue to stand behind them", Bush said. Back in the continental 48 states, on Wednesday, Vice President Cheney came out of his bunker long enough to address a no-press-allowed Frontiers of Freedom Institute 2005 Ronald Reagan Gala at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. In partisan form, Cheney told the crowd that "the suggestion that's been made by some U.S. senators that the president of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city". Cheney pointedly said that, "The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out." "American soldiers and Marines are out there every day in dangerous conditions and desert temperaturesà and back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into battle for a lie," Cheney said. Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi also got in on the action. He returned to Washington and met with Cheney, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld (the Pentagon allowed no television cameras during that sit-down) and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and he partied with other prominent neoconservatives. The man who was convicted in absentia in Jordan of embezzling millions of dollars, is suspected of passing U.S. secrets to Iran, and is one of the chief purveyors of the myth -- passed on to an eager Judith Miller of the New York Times -- that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, defended himself from critics in a speech Tuesday. At a gathering of longtime friends and supporters at the Washington home of lawyer Jeffrey Weiss and his lobbyist wife Juleanna Glover Weiss, two prominent Republicans, Chalabi accused those critics of "rewriting history" and "repeating lies to justify positions that are no longer tenable". Referring to the false intelligence his Iraqi National Congress provided the administration, Chalabi suggested that people should disregard "the rumours and innuendo" spread about him. Newsweek's Michael Hirsh reported that Chalabi's speech "was greeted with loud applause and a cry of 'next year in Baghdad' from former CIA director James Woolsey, one of the Iraqi's leading supporters". Former Defence Policy Board chairman Richard Perle, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent Washington-based think tank, and author Christopher Hitchens, a well-known leftist who has supported the war in Iraq, were also in attendance. The Washington Post's Terry M. Neal called the administration's response to its critics a "withering counterattack". USA Today's Judy Keen termed it "fighting back", and Roll Call's Morton Kondrake dubbed it "pushback". Nicolle Wallace, the White House communications director, said that challenging Democrats was essential. "Our strategy has to include hitting back... and calling them out for what are actually lies," she told USA Today. Regardless of what it is called, the Bush administration and its surrogates are availing themselves of every opportunity, not only to defend the war in Iraq and their war on terror, but also to attack critics of the war, accusing them of demoralising the troops and aiding the enemy. As it was designed to by Bush's aides, the charge that Democrats had access to the same intelligence as the administration was picked up by a gaggle of conservative media figures. Within a short time Human Events editor Terry Jeffrey, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, National Journal editor Rich Lowry, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes, and Fox News hosts Neil Cavuto and Chris Wallace, repeated them in one form or another. Although the Washington Post's Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank addressed the claim on Nov. 12 -- "Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material" -- the White House's first thrust achieved its goal. These days, the president's poll numbers are in a free fall. A recent America Online poll revealed that more than 70 percent of the 500,000-plus people participating believed that President Clinton was both a more trustworthy, and a better president than George W. Bush. It is going to take a Roveian-like pushback campaign to reverse those numbers. In the meantime, it is highly unlikely that the president will appear anywhere else at home aside from military-related events or Republican-organised gatherings in the near future. *Bill Berkowitz is a longtime observer of the conservative movement. His WorkingForChange column "Conservative Watch", documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the U.S. Right. (FIN/2005) Copyright © 2005 IPS-Inter Press Service. All rights reserved. -- -------------------------------------------------------- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?date=01Jan2006&batch=25&lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• ___________________________________________ In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.