blasts Bush over Iraq war
By Steve Hinnefeld, Herald-Times Staff Writer
November 18, 2003
William Rivers Pitt wrote a book titled War in Iraq: What Team
Bush Doesn't Want You To Know.
He said expanding the argument to book length, with help from co-author
Scott River, was no problem. "I mean, where do I begin?" he
In a Monday interview, Pitt ran through a list of deceptions, including
claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that
Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and
hidden links between administration figures and businesses profiting
from the war.
"This administration is a smash-and-grab robbery," he
Pitt is an outspoken activist who serves as managing editor of
the Web site www.truthout.org and whose other books include The
Greatest Sedition is Silence and It's Our Flag Too: The Paradox
of Patriotism. The 32-year-old former high school teacher from
Cambridge, Mass., was in Bloomington to give talks Sunday and Monday
at Indiana University.
His targets include not only the Iraq war but the USA Patriot Act,
the manipulation of fears about terrorism and what he sees as uncritical
coverage by television news of the Bush administration. Truthout.org
tries to break through soft broadcast coverage with daily links
to news stories and political columns from U.S. and international
newspapers, he said.
"There's an enormous amount of integrity remaining in the
mainstream print media," he said. But "people don't read."
Pitt said he came to activism at an early age, talking politics
with his Democratic father and jousting with his conservative
grandfather. He said his writings often strike a chord
with conservatives who
are disillusioned with the Bush administration over its shifting
rationale for the war.
He said Bush's ability to persuade Americans that the war was
about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks ranks near
the top of the
administration's deceptions, although the president has recently
said there's no evidence Iraq was involved.
"They don't want you to know the idea of an alliance between Saddam
Hussein and Osama bin Laden is laughable," he said. "They're
absolutely blood enemies."
He faulted the administration for slanting intelligence, failing
to understand that current actions have future consequences and
creating an atmosphere in which political dissent is suspect.
But Pitt sees hope in old-fashioned electoral politics.
He said Democrats
can win the Senate and the White House next year.
"I think this group of Democrats we have in the (presidential) field
are some of the most interesting we've had in a long time," he
Pitt said half the Democratic candidates look like potential
winners, including Howard Dean, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt,
and Wesley Clark.
"Right now, I think it's probably Howard Dean's race to lose," he
Reporter Steve Hinnefeld can be reached at 331-4374 or by e-mail