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By Bill Gallagher

"You told a lie, an odious damned lie.
Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie."
-- Emilia in William Shakespeare's "Othello."

DETROIT -- The lies are like leeches sucking the blood out of our republic and national purpose. The pale American people are catching on, even as the enabling parasites in the mainstream media keep repeating the lies, assuring the populace that the sucking sound is good for our political health.

Former NFL star Pat Tillman, an honorable and decent man, would quickly tell the truth about how he was shot three times in the head in a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan. If he could.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will lie about his lies to his grave. Honor and decency have no place in the role he plays as a shameless legal whore, turning tricks for President George W. Bush, the diseased "john" Gonzales has serviced his entire, sordid adult life.

Bush -- who promised to "bring morality" to the White House -- has used his addiction to lies to sell the war in Iraq and continues to peddle untruths to justify the continued deaths of American troops and Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire of a civil war that military violence will never quell.

Wicked lies are the soul of Bush's public life, pervading his perverse presidency and rotting civic discourse. Lies are used in matters great and small, and are the routine first weapons of choice for this corrupt regime.

The Republicans and their followers feigned outrage over Bill Clinton's lies in a civil deposition -- wrong, but largely inconsequential to public life. They then pressed to remove him from office.

But now the right-wing chorus of lofty righteousness -- so quick to condemn Clinton's transgressions -- sits back in conspicuous silence as Bush and his minions spew serial lies, ripping our nation apart and poisoning the world with the grave consequences of violence and aggression built and sustained on lies.

The truth about the circumstances and subsequent coverup of Tillman's death should make every American scream in anger.

Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar contract with the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals to join the Army after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was killed near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in April 2004 while serving as an Army Ranger. The Pentagon claimed he was killed by enemy fire. He was decorated posthumously, and the military used his service to promote recruitment.

At the time of Tillman's death, the White House issued a statement touting him as an American hero: "Pat Tillman was an inspiration on and off the football field, as with all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. His family is in the thoughts and prayers of President and Mrs. Bush."

Those consoling words were steeped in lies, and Bush is continuing to cover up and conceal the truth about Tillman's death. Pat's brother Kevin, who served with him in Afghanistan, has called the administration's behavior "deliberate and calculated lies."

Documents obtained last week by the Associated Press show Tillman's death may have been murder. Evidence points to a "fragging," the assassination of an officer or NCO by another American soldier.

The military scuttled an early criminal investigation.

One of the first doctors to examine Tillman's body found, according to the documents, that "the medical evidence did not match up with the scenario described." The forensic examination found that "the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Ranger was cut down by an M-16 from a mere 10 yards or so away."

The doctor's attempt to get a criminal investigation launched was initially nixed by Pentagon brass. The documents the AP got in response to a Freedom of Information Act request showed "Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative or non-criminal punishments."

There was no evidence whatsoever that there was any enemy fire near the scene of Tillman's death, yet for five weeks the Pentagon stuck with the lie and kept Tillman's family in the dark.

It's hard to image that our sports-crazy president -- as incurious as he normally is -- didn't ask a couple of questions about Tillman's death. It's inconceivable that former defense secretary and notorious control-freak Donald Rumsfeld was not kept in the loop about the Tillman death coverup.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has a few questions he'd like to ask about what White House staffers knew about Tillman's death, when they knew it and what they passed on to the president.

The committee wants to interview Dan Bartlett, until recently the White House communications chief; former press secretary Scott McClellan; Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson; John Currin, a former fact checker; and Taylor Goss, the former spokesman who issued the statement on Tillman's death.

The request for the interviews should be simple and routine to honor -- but not when you want to keep the lies from being exposed. The White House is expected to evoke executive privilege, claiming even Bush's former advisers cannot come clean about what they know.

A week after Tillman's death, a top general wrote a memo to Gen. John Abizaid, then head of Central Command, warning him that it appeared it was "highly possible" that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The memo noted the information should be relayed to the president. Does anyone really think Abizaid did not do that?

Before going to Afghanistan, Tillman was in Iraq, and the U.S. invasion and occupation deeply troubled him. Tillman was a freethinker and he read and admired Noam Chomsky, a vocal critic of U.S. aggression.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Army Spc. Russell Baer, who served with Tillman in Iraq, vividly recalled him calling the war there "f---ing illegal."

Kevin Tillman has unloaded on the Bushevik war in Iraq, writing on a Web site, "Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow this is tolerated, nobody is accountable for this."

The Army is, at long last, holding a few officers accountable, and handing out reprimands and a demotion for a retired three-star general, Philip Kensinger. But no civilians involved in churning out the lies at the Pentagon and White House are facing any accountability.

Lt. Gen. Kensinger, in more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon's inspector general's office in 2006, claimed 70 separate times that he did not recall certain events relating to the Tillman case. Memory lapses get a general in big trouble.

For the attorney general, poor memory is an essential tool in his defense of wrongdoing at the Justice Department -- that, along with constantly lying.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is a national disgrace, demonstrably a chronic and habitual liar. He should face perjury charges. Only with the protection of the liar-in-chief can such a manifestly inept and ineffective man remain in public office.

Gonzales is way beyond a failed memory and simple delusions. He is a master of deceit and has repeatedly lied under oath before congressional committees, trying to cover up his role in the White House-directed political purge of several U.S. attorneys.

Gonzales lied when he testified that "there was no serious disagreement" in the Justice Department over the National Intelligence Agency's domestic spying program. Last week, he compounded that lie with a new one. Now Gonzales is claiming an emergency meeting in the White House and a panicked hospital-bedside visit to then-attorney general John Ashcroft had nothing to do with the NSA eavesdropping program.

Two days later, FBI Director Robert Mueller III told the House Judiciary Committee, under oath, that yes indeed, the confrontation in Ashcroft's hospital room was over "an NSA program that has been much discussed."

The attorney general -- the nation's chief law enforcement officer -- or the FBI director committed perjury. Congress must investigate this, and a special prosecutor should be appointed to look into the whole mess at the Justice Department.

Bush will do nothing to stop the hemorrhaging of credibility at the Justice Department or remove Gonzales. This is an administration built on odious, damned, wicked lies.

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 July 31 2007