01 September 2006

A Rare Moment of Honesty from a Politician

Or maybe there's a partisan reason for it. nyway, truth is truth.

A patriot is a person who loves his or her country.
Who among you loves your country so much that you have come here today to raise your voice out of deep concern for our nation — and our world?
And who among you loves your country so much that you insist that our nation's leaders tell us the truth?
So let's hear it: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!" Because if we had had the truth, we wouldn't be here today.
Let no one deny we are patriots. We support our nation's troops. Let's hear it for our nation's troops! We have so many veterans here today. Let's here it for the veterans! We are grateful to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President, our administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our nation.


So to James Evans and these folks who financed this massive radio campaign these last few days, let them understand that blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president.
That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience — a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid —afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane, regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous president, his administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and, I might remind everyone, a Republican, who said:
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right."
President Roosevelt continued: "Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,"—listen up
Utah Republicans and James Evans, and all the good Republicans listening today—"or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing"—President Roosevelt didn't stop there—"but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
Those were the words of Teddy Roosevelt, a great president who knew the true meaning of patriotism.
We are here today as truth-tellers.
And we are here to demand: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!"
We are here today to insist that those who were elected to be our leaders must tell us the truth.
We are here today to insist that our news media live up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth, that our news media live
up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth rather than acting like nothing more than a bulletin board for the lies and propaganda of a manipulative, dishonest federal government.
We have been getting just about everything but the truth on matters of life and death, on matters upon which our nation's reputation hinges, on matters that directly relate to our nation's most fundamental values, and on matters relating to the survival of our planet.
In the process, our nation has engaged in a tragic, unnecessary war, based upon categorically false justifications. More than a hundred thousand people have been killed — and many more have been seriously maimed, brain damaged, or rendered mentally ill. Our nation's reputation throughout much of the world has been destroyed. We have many more enemies bent on our destruction than before our invasion of Iraq. And the hatred toward us has grown to the point that it will take many years, perhaps generations, to overcome the loathing created by our unjustified, illegal invasion and occupation of a Muslim nation.
What incredible ineptitude and callousness for our President to talk about a Crusade while lying to us to make a case for the invasion and occupation of a Muslim country!
Our children and later generations will pay the price of the lies, the violence, the cruelty, the incompetence, and the inhumanity of the Bush administration and the lackey Congress that has so cowardly abrogated its responsibility and authority under our checks-and-balances system of government.
We are here to say, "We will not stand for it any more. No more lies. No more pre-emptive, illegal war, based on false information. No more
God-is-on-our-side religious nonsense to justify this immoral, illegal war. We are here to say most fundamentally, no more inhumanity in the name of our nation."
Let's raise our voices, and demand to the administration and our news media, "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!"
Let's consider some of the most monstrous lies — lies that have led us, like a nation of sheep, to this tragic war.
Following September 11, 2001, the world knew that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for the horrific attacks on our country. Our long-time allies were sympathetic and supportive. But our president transformed that support into international disdain for the United States, choosing to illegally invade and occupy Iraq, rather than focus on and capture the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
Why invade and occupy Iraq when it was bin Laden and al Qaeda who attacked our country and still haven't been brought to justice? Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice represented to us, without qualification, that there were strong ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
In September, 2002, President Bush made the incredible and absolutely false claim that "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam."
President Bush represented to Congress, without any factual basis whatsoever, that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks.
Our President and Vice-President, along with an unquestioning news media, repeatedly led our nation to believe that there was a working relationship between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, a relationship that threatened the United States.
Even last week, when I met with Thomas Bock, the National Commander of the American Legion, I asked him why we are engaged in the war in Iraq. Why did we invade and occupy Iraq? He said, "Why, of course, because of the 9/11 attacks on our country." I asked, "What did Iraq have to do with those attacks?" He looked puzzled, and said, "Well, the connection between al Qaeda and Iraq."
I was shocked. I was stunned. Here is a man who has criticized us for opposing the war in Iraq — and he is so completely wrong about the underlying facts to justify this war.
Not only has there never been any evidence of any involvement by Saddam or Iraq with the attacks on 9/11, but there has never been any evidence of any operational connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.


[Link.]

And you might ask, Who is this guy? What kind of politico speaks truth in this era?

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