DEFENDING AMERICA
David H. Hackworth
1 Sep 98

FORT PINOCCHIO AND ITS SOLDIERS

The White House, the Pentagon and CIA headquarters must have more professional liars per square foot than any other buildings in the world! To many liars, like the commander in chief, lying is second nature, but most have been specially trained at Public Affairs Liars School.

This school churns out hundreds of government-trained liars each year. Upon graduation, the newly certified Pinocchios join the world-class prefabricators' club, right up there with Pentagon Head Liar Kenneth Bacon, an absolute master at shading and evading and spinning and thinning the truth.

This bunch of liars -- from Bacon to the newest flack PFC in the field -- is about the strength of an Army light division with an annual budget that could keep an Air Force fighter/bomber wing running for a year. Sadly, many of these liars are soldiers who have sworn on a bible to serve their country faithfully.

Their primary targets are the very citizens they serve. We give them our tax dollars so they can snow us, in order to get more tax dollars. Get it? I've been lied to by these dealers of deceit for years. Most of the time, I catch 'em because of great sources -- serving soldiers who care about our country and the truth.

Here are some recent Pentagon lies to help you spot them too:

Lie: The U.S. Navy fired 75 Tomahawk missiles at terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan on 20 August.

Fact: The Navy fired 132 Tomahawks missiles. It lied about the number because they used a sledgehammer to swat a fly and because Tomahawk missiles cost between $1 and $2 million a pop -- sticker prices vary depending on which Pentagon liar you ask. They don't want you to know that the cost of Tomahawking a terrorist ran $5 million a corpse.

Lie: The reason there was a rush to attack the mostly CIA built targets at the very hour Monica Lewinsky was providing graphic testimony concerning President Clinton's "inappropriate behavior" was that -- coincidentally, of course -- Terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was meeting with his chieftains in Afghanistan at just that time.

Fact: bin Laden knew of the attack at least 24 hours before the first missile thumped down, while sources tell me the commanders' meeting was made up to justify the urgency/timing.

Lie: Tomahawks were used to destroy a secret chemical plant in Sudan that was making a key ingredient for a lethal nerve gas. The liars described this plant as a high security facility, guarded by armed soldiers.

Fact: Intelligence sources say there's not one scrap of evidence that this plant produced any precursor chemicals for nerve gas. American and British engineers who built and subsequently ran the plant report it produced medicine and veterinary drugs and was guarded by one night watchmen with a habit of sleeping on the job.

Lie: Terrorist leader bin Laden financed the chemical plant.

Fact: Our intelligence community can't find the slightest money trail to prove bin Laden bankrolled the plant. When all's shaken out, besides our having spent several hundred million to punch a few craters in terrorist training areas that can be quickly replaced for a few thousand bucks, we'll probably end up coughing up another $100 million to replace the "lethal weapons' factory" that wasn't exactly lethal.

Lies got us into Vietnam when we were told that our ships were attacked by Red PT boats in 1964 in the Tonkin Gulf. Now, after all the death and destruction, we know this isn't true. But it doesn't remove the pain that lie brought to millions of innocent people.

The Gulf War was one big lie from beginning to inconclusive end. Smart weapons weren't smart, nor were the politicians and generals who lied about how and why the war ended the way it did.

There's an old saying that truth is the first casualty of war. It's about time we the people demanded that the lying stop. And it should start with the President of the United States, who -- protest though he and the Military Industrial Congressional Complex may -- clearly was not a straight shooter when he tried to eliminate bin Laden with extreme prejudice last month.

THE END