The shell game being worked by G.W. Bush and his toady Tony Blair over the proposed war on Iraq was exposed last week.
It happened when The Guardian revealed Blairs highly-touted dossier on Iraq as fakeplagiarized from published academic articles, some several years old.
The resulting uproar has left Blairs government in a precarious position with a British public incensed at the lies and deception involved and, most of all, the betrayal of public trust.
If that wasnt enough, the scam became even more embarrassing when Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, referred to the bogus document during his UN presentation and gave it high praise.
Said Powell: I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed … which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.
The story of the fake dossier broke on U.K. television when that countrys Channel 4 News showed that four of the reports 19 pages had been copied from an article by Ibrahim al Marashi, which was published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs last fall.
The document begins with a statement that it draws upon a number of sources, including intelligence material.
Glen Rangwala, who lectures on politics at Cambridge University, said: I found it quite startling when I realized that Id read most of it before. Six additional pages rely heavily on articles that appeared in Janes Intelligence Review in 1997 and last November. The dossier does not acknowledge those sources.
Dr. Rangwala added: Apart from passing this off as the work of its intelligence services, it indicates that the U.K. really does not have any independent sources of information on Iraqs internal policies. It just draws upon publicly available data.
Dr. Marashi, now a research associate at the Centre for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., said no one contacted him before using his material.
Marashi said, however, that he regards the report as generally accurate despite some cosmetic changes. He said the only inaccuracies are possibly inflated numbers supplied by intelligence agencies.
Marashi said his sources were documents taken from Kurdish rebels in the northern part of Iraq and some 300,000 documents left behind in Kuwait by Iraqi security services.
The government report can be found at: www.number10_gov.uk/output/Page7111.asp. You can find the students original paper at: http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/is.
One problem with the material by Marashi is he was writing about the Iraq of 1991, not 2003. Also, parts of the dossier were altered by Tony Blair to make them more inflammatory and seeming to show terrorist links with Saddam Hussein.
The end result could be a new British government, one that is not mind-welded to the Bush administration. That would be a huge problem for G.W. because he cant carry out his invasion plans without the U.K.
About the only way he can pull the fat out of the fire is for Bush to launch the war in the very near future, before public anger begins to envelop the White House and No. 10 Downing Street.
One indicator of that is that the 101st Airborne has been ordered to the Gulf. They are usually the first to go in with an operation like the one thats planned.
Things are going to get very hairy shortly. With an eye on what may develop, the Bush administration is quietly preparing to slip through a new and expanded version of the USA Patriot Act, which will give it much expanded powers for domestic surveillance, intelligence gathering and increasing law enforcement authority.
At the same time, it will decrease judicial oversight and further restrict public access to information.
The bill being drafted by Attorney General John Ashcrofts staff is called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.
Members of Congress claim to know nothing about it. A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee said: They havent shared their thoughts on that. Obviously, wed be interested, but we havent heard anything at this point.
Some of you may have seen the Bill Moyers PBS report on this matter. It contained many chilling details of what this bill would do if it becomes law.
A Georgetown University Law School professor, Dr. David Cole, examined a draft copy of the bill. He said it raises many serious concerns. Its troubling that they have gotten this far along, and theyve been telling people there is nothing in the works.
Police state is stamped all over this one, and the Bush crowd is anxious to get it in place as soon as possible. When the American public finally understands that theyve been had, Bush wants a suppression mechanism ready to go.