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By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- The frauds and deceptions are unraveling every day and cascading truths are forcing the Busheviks to do more of what they do best: lie. We now have the first eyewitness account from a CIA officer confirming what the reality-based community has long known -- that President George W. Bush and company cherry-picked and distorted intelligence to make their phony case for war in Iraq.

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were not only aware that the identity of an undercover CIA operative was leaked, we now are learning they ordered the treasonous deed themselves. Oh, yes, another eyewitness account provides the testimony.

Bush lied through his teeth when he said he didn't even know corrupt former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, Bush met with him personally about a dozen times at the White House, and at countless fund-raisers where Abramoff helped buy the favor-seeking crowd.

Bush forgets warnings of terrorist attacks and natural disasters, but he always remembers the big money people. Bush allowed Abramoff access to the White House and invited him to visit the Crawford ranch. Abramoff has the photos and e-mails to prove it.

The U.S. attorney general denies any wrongdoing and says the president can make his own rules, even when Congress has enacted a federal statute prohibiting warrantless electronic surveillance.

We now know -- through another eyewitness account -- that Bush and his minions lied about when they were warned about the breach of the New Orleans levees.

It is stunning to realize the lid was blown off all these monumental lies in a single week.

On top of that, our squirmer in chief had to endure Coretta Scott King's funeral, where he had to listen to criticism of his war and his assaults on the Constitution.

Cheney was forced to leave his bunker and defend lawlessness, declaring that "we have all the legal authority we need" to trample on the Fourth Amendment and wiretap anyone without probable cause or judicial review.

The vice president made his wild assertions on "NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer. Cheney, in a rare interview with someone other than his pal Rush Limbaugh, was in legal limbo, declaring the president can do as he damn well pleases in matters of foreign policy and national security. Congress, Cheney claimed, only has the right to "suggest" in these matters.

A CIA veteran said the Bush administration engaged in the "politicization" of intelligence relating to Iraq. Paul R. Pillar, who recently retired from his post as the CIA's top counterterrorism analyst, reviewed assessments on Iraq from 15 agencies in the intelligence community.

In an article in "Foreign Affairs" magazine, Pillar provides a scathing indictment of the White House interference, revealing that "it has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made."

All those Saturday morning visits Cheney and his top aide, "Scooter" Libby, made to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., paid off for the cabal that had already decided to invade Iraq.

"If the entire body of official intelligence on Iraq had a policy implication, it was to avoid war -- or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath," Pillar wrote. "What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence on Iraq is not that it got things wrong and thereby misled policy-makers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in decades."

Pillar joins the growing list of truth-tellers: Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism chief; Paul O'Neill, former secretary of the Treasury and National Security Council member; and Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for former secretary of state Colin Powell. They all say Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld first made the decision to attack Iraq, and then fabricated the reasons and justifications for what they were going to do.

Libby is preparing his defense, which will pivot on a claim that he was just following orders. Murray Waas of the "National Journal," who did the finest reporting on the CIA leak investigation, has learned that Libby has already testified to a federal grand jury that he was "authorized" by Cheney and other "superiors" to disclose classified information to reporters in order to "defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq."

Libby's twin titles at the White House were chief of staff to the vice president and special assistant to the president. Bush and Cheney had to know what Libby was doing. My theory is that Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, had a hand in encouraging the treachery.

Amazingly, the White House has "lost" relevant e-mails, in a clear attempt to impede special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation. Whoever destroyed the e-mails obstructed justice and should be charged.

Bush's "brain," Karl Rove, certainly was a key player in the plot to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson for his report debunking the administration's bogus claim that Saddam Hussein was buying enriched uranium in Niger. That lie was so pivotal in the case for war that the conspiring Busheviks blew Wilson's wife's cover.

Waas cites "people with firsthand knowledge of the matter," indicating that Libby will structure his defense on the argument "that Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war."

After the war began, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the National Intelligence Estimate report, to defend the administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war. Cheney and his boy in the Oval Office should be indicted for that crime.

"I don't know him," Bush said of admitted felon, influence-peddler and bagman for Republican causes, Jack Abramoff. Bush's amnesia baffled Abramoff. Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor of "Washingtonian" magazine, "The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything."

Hell, Bush forgot the entire year of 1972, when he was supposed to be reporting for Air National Guard meetings in Alabama. He still can't remember why he skipped his required pilot's flight physical.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales forgot the Constitution when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the administration's illegal searches. Gonzales sounded more like a mob mouthpiece than our nation's chief law enforcement officer.

Without being required to take an oath swearing to speak the truth -- courtesy of the shameless committee chairman, Arlen Specter, and the other gutless knaves on the panel -- Gonzales ducked and weaseled as he defended the indefensible. A New York Times editorial aptly described his performance as "a daylong display of cynical hair-splitting, obfuscation, disinformation and stonewalling."

The soft-spoken Gonzales is, in fact, an advocate of monarchical powers for the president, and should be fitted with the brown shirt his fondness for fascism merits. He, too, should be indicted.

Michael "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" Brown, the disgraced former FEMA director, got his licks in, blaming top White House staffers for the disgracefully delayed response to Hurricane Katrina.

Brown -- who did take an oath to tell the truth -- appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last week. Brown said it was "baloney" for Department of Homeland Security officials to claim they only learned of the extent of the flooding in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Brown testified that, the day before, he had informed senior White House officials of the unfolding disaster and the dire need for more help from the federal government. He said he probably spoke with Joe Hagin, the deputy White House chief of staff, and he may have informed chief of staff Andrew Card of his concerns.

Either the White House staffers did not inform the president about the crisis -- in which case, they should have been fired -- or they did and he did nothing. The latter is more plausible. Bush was in California at a political fund-raiser and probably just shrugged off the warning. Recall, his staff had to sit him down to show him videos of the devastation, because "Bubble Boy" had not bothered to watch it on live television.

Bush works to frustrate our freedom on every level, especially with his incessant lying and isolation from the reality of the horrible failures his deceit and incompetence have wrought.

My friend and colleague Amy Lange wrote a description of our national suffering, which I condensed and shaped into verse.

Welcome to Democracy Row
Just outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
This is where our greatest freedoms
Once cherished -- now worn out, washed up and
Discarded like empty gin bottles -- have hit the skids.
There's Freedom of Speech
Curled up in a ball under a tattered American flag -- rocking
Silently back and forth.
Freedom of Expression is nearby trying to warm -- huddled under two T-shirts that read
"Support the Troops" and "2245 Dead How many more?"
Wiretapping walks by fresh from a party at the White House
Reeking of arrogance and undeserved superiority
He spits on Privacy and Privacy whimpers in despair.
Lies come running out like a pack of wild dogs
Tearing Truth to shreds.
Fear and Ignorance chase after them
Drunk with power
They kick dissent a few times
As they pass just for fun
The Liberties watch in disgust
Waiting for We the People to wake up.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Feb. 14 2006