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— General Tommy Franks, US Central Command

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"He’s a personal friend, and I called him to wish him well in his election that night. It was a personal call."
— Karl Rove, about calling Joseph Liebrman on the eve of the election.


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The Big Lie, first coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf, was utilized by Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for the Third Reich.

The idea was simple: Tell a lie (the larger the better) often enough, and most people will come to accept it as the truth.

During World War II, the predecessor of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services, described how Germans used the Big Lie:

Never allow the public to cool off.
Never admit a fault or wrong.
Never concede that there may be some good in your enemy.
Never leave room for alternatives.
Never accept blame.
Concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong.
People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

"In our democracy, a president does not rule, he governs. He remains always answerable to us, the people. And right now, the president’s conduct of our foreign policy is giving the country too many reasons to question his leadership."  7/28/03

"It’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation’s peril."  12/7/05

"Iraq is a lot better, different than a year ago."  2005

"No, but some of my best friends are Neo-Cons."   2005 (when asked if he was a Neo-Con)

"This is an exciting time. I believe we stand at the edge of a new age - a Golden Age - of freedom that will rival any of the great eras of world history because it will be the entire world itself that is changing."   2005

"Bottom line, I think Bush has it right."  2006

"I not only respect your right to disagree or question the president or anyone else -- including me -- I value your right to disagree."   8/6/2006, 2 days before primary

"What I don't think is right, as I've said over and over again, are many of the Bush administration's decisions regarding the conduct of the war. The fact is I have openly and clearly disagreed with and criticized the president."   8/6/2006, 2 days before primary

— "Democratic" Senator Joseph Lieberman

Bush Will Not Endorse Republican Opposing Lieberman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush gave a boost to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's re-election bid as an independent by taking the rare step of refusing to endorse the Republican candidate running for Lieberman's U.S. Senate seat.

"We are not making any endorsement in Connecticut. The Republican party of Connecticut has suggested that we not make an endorsement in that race and so we're not," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

It is highly unusual for a sitting president not to endorse a Senate candidate from his own party and suggests the depth of the political machinations over Lieberman's Senate seat after his defeat in last week's Democratic primary by Ned Lamont, a well financed challenger running on an anti- Iraq war platform.

Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, has vowed to launch an independent bid to retain his seat. The little-known Republican candidate in Connecticut's Senate race, Alan Schlesinger, trails both Lieberman and Lamont in the polls.

Snow would not say why the Bush would not endorse Schlesinger, but other White House officials have made known their displeasure with him as a candidate and the Connecticut Republican Party has urged him to drop out of the race.

There were published reports last month that Schlesinger had once run up large gambling debts and had gambled under an assumed name.

"There have been races in the past where candidates didn't meet the expectations of the local parties and presidents have stayed out, Democrats and Republicans in the past," Snow said.

The White House has said Bush will not support Lieberman's re-election bid because Lieberman has made clear he will vote Democratic.

Democrats who oppose illegal wars and torture want to reclaim the party

A grassroots revolt by voters has sparked a struggle for the party's soul, and a New England senator is in the firing line

Gary Younge in Bristol, Connecticut
Monday August 7, 2006
The Guardian

In 1998, Connecticut's senator, Joseph Lieberman, broke ranks with his Democratic colleagues and railed against the "premeditated" deception of the commander-in-chief. Back then the enduring legacy of this presidential deceit could be found on the dress of a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. And Lieberman, who went on to be Al Gore's vice-presidential running mate, was hopping mad. "Such behaviour is not just inappropriate," he told the Senate, referring to Bill Clinton's affair. "It is immoral."

Recently, Lieberman has been struggling with some infidelity issues of his own. Last year, he was caught in a tender embrace with one other than his wife. Worse still for Lieberman, an opponent of gay marriage, it was another man - George Bush. Bush planted "the kiss" as he worked the Congress floor after his state of the union address. But for Democratic voters of Connecticut it might as well have been the Garden of Gethsemane.

In tomorrow's Democratic primary, Lieberman may well pay for that kiss with his job. Polls suggest he will lose the fight against a previously unknown anti-war candidate, Ned Lamont. Last week's Quinnipiac survey showed Lamont drubbing him 54% to 41% with only 5% of voters undecided. It has been a dramatic turnaround. Just three months ago, 91% of Democrats did not know enough about Lamont to make up their mind.

As one of the wealthiest and best educated states in the union, Connecticut is no bellwether. The Senate seat is so reliably Democratic that when the Republicans nominated their candidate earlier this year some in the convention bleated to signal a lamb to the slaughter. Lieberman, meanwhile, is no regular Democrat. That incriminating smooch didn't come from nowhere. He was the only New England Democratic senator to support Bush's energy policy, one of only a few Democrats who thought the government should intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, and a rare Democrat who said he was willing to work with Bush's failed plan to overhaul social security.

Indeed, it is the very presence of this unreliable Democrat in this reliably Democratic seat that has transformed this primary into a national race, for it tests just how much betrayal Democratic voters are prepared to accept before they assert their electoral clout. The big guns have been pouring in. Recently a forgiving Clinton came to back Lieberman; last week Jesse Jackson was down to support Lamont. Liberal-left bloggers backing Lamont have been in overdrive.

Some have described it as a struggle for the heart and soul of the Democratic party, but a more accurate portrayal would be a battle to establish whether the party should have a soul at all. It raises not only the question of what does the party stand for apart from office but also whether it is prepared to adopt an agenda that could actually win office. This race could set the tone for the 2008 presidential elections.

Less then half of those backing Lamont cite the war as the main reason. "It's mostly about the war but not exclusively," says Christine Koskoff at a Lamont meeting at Bristol's Clock and Watch Museum. "It's about Senator Lieberman articulating the agenda of the rightwingers who run this country. The war sums up everything that's wrong."

In this Lieberman, like his kiss, is more symbol than substance. He was one of 29 Democratic senators who voted for the war. Some have since expressed their regret; most, like him, haven't. Some, like Hillary, face token challenges. Only Lieberman is in serious trouble. For he went one step further, arguing that when it comes to the war the opposition had no right to oppose. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander-in-chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal last November.

Lieberman's colleagues duly rounded on him. But his real crime was to give explicit voice to their spinelessness. In truth, only a handful had expressed anything but token opposition to the war and even fewer had set out a clear alternative for fear of being branded unpatriotic. They were mad because Lieberman blew their cover. What this race has really exposed is not a rift between him and the Democratic establishment, which has now closed ranks to back him, but between the establishment and both its base and the nation at large.

Once again, this is not just about the war. Thanks to money and name recognition, the best guarantee that you will be elected in the US is to be elected already - more than 90% of incumbents are usually returned. Being a congressman is the closest thing to tenure you can get outside of academe. If Lieberman, who has served for three terms, can be ousted by a restless party then who's next? Such is his sense of entitlement that Lieberman has vowed that if he loses the primary he will run in November as an independent - at that point the establishment will probably turn against him.

But the war is central. The partisan divide over Iraq is greater than over any other war in living memory bar Grenada. Democrats are overwhelmingly opposed to the war and in favour of setting a date for troop withdrawal; Republicans are the opposite. According to the non-aligned Pew Research Centre, the difference in how the two parties viewed the Vietnam war never exceeded 18 percentage points. The most recent poll on Iraq suggests a partisan gap of 50.

Yet while the Bush administration gives full throated expression to its supporters' pro-war sympathies, Democrats rarely find their views echoed by the party. A Quinnipiac poll last month showed 93% of Connecticut's Democratic voters disapprove of Bush's handling of the war; 86% think the war was a mistake. On this key issue their representative does not represent them.

This could be, as most of the media and Democratic establishment has painted it, a militant grassroots being restrained by a pragmatic, moderate leadership. But the truth is the views of the Democratic membership chime more closely with the rest of the country than those of its leadership. Polls show more than half of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq, support either setting a timetable for or immediate troop withdrawal, and believe Congress is not questioning the president enough about the war. This gives the lie to the claim that Lamont's challenge represents a bid by radicals, urged on by the blogosphere, to hijack the party. If only.

Bloggers can appeal to an ideological constituency, but they cannot create one out of thin air. Addressing the meeting in Bristol last weekend, Lamont, a millionaire and heir to great wealth, could have been a candidate for social secretary at a country club. If this is the face of US radicalism, then it will reassure some to know that it is evenly tanned and neatly coiffed. Those who follow it are similarly respectable. Of the 200 or so who cheered him most were middle-aged white professionals and retirees.

The joke is not on Lamont or his followers, but on those who brand them insurrectionists. Opposing illegal wars and torture are not radical positions. These are ordinary people, indignant at the "premeditated" deception of their commander-in-chief. And, like Lieberman eight years ago, they think it is time to speak up.


Lieberman loses battle over war
By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman lost a Democratic Party showdown to a relative unknown on Tuesday, a casualty of voter anger over his support for the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush.

Six years after he was chosen the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Lieberman fell in a tight Senate primary battle to wealthy businessman Ned Lamont, who called him a cheerleader for Bush and urged voters to send an anti-war message to the country.

Lieberman conceded defeat but said he would file petitions on Wednesday to run as an independent in November.

"Tomorrow, we launch a new campaign to unite the people of Connecticut," he told cheering supporters at a downtown Hartford hotel. "If you're fed up with the nasty partisanship in Washington, then I ask your help."

Lamont's outsider bid to unseat the three-term senator in Democratic-leaning Connecticut offered a gauge of anti-war sentiment among voters before the election in November, when control of Congress will be up for grabs.

"Connecticut voters do not call for change lightly but today we called for change decisively. No more stay the course," Lamont told supporters at a victory celebration in Meriden, where he was flanked by black leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

"Stay the course is not a winning strategy in Iraq and it is not a winning strategy in America," said Lamont, who sent an e-mail to supporters asking them to contact Lieberman and urge him to reconsider his independent bid.

The Connecticut race attracted national attention as a referendum on the war and Democratic anger at Bush, with Lamont calling Lieberman a Bush "lapdog."

Lieberman fought back, emphasizing his experience and Democratic credentials and calling himself a reliable opponent of Bush's domestic agenda.

He argued a quick pullout of troops "would be a disaster for Iraqis and for us" but said the Bush administration had made mistakes in its conduct of the war.


Lieberman wrote a Wall Street Journal article last year headlined "Our Troops Must Stay" and warned Democrats about criticizing Bush on the war.

Lamont, whose last bid for public office was an unsuccessful 1990 state Senate race, will be the Democratic Senate nominee in November against Republican Alan Schlesinger, a former state legislator seen as little threat.

To run as an independent, Lieberman must file petitions with 7,500 valid signatures with the Connecticut Secretary of State by the end of the day on Wednesday.

Lieberman, who held a wide lead in polls over Lamont in May but trailed him by double digits in a poll last week, portrayed his loss by a spread of 52-48 percent as a sign of momentum and called it "a much closer race than all the pundits were predicting."

Polls show Lieberman, who draws support from independents and Republicans, leading in a three-way race with Lamont and Schlesinger but that could change after Lamont's primary win and months of heavy media coverage for the challenger.

His independent bid will also put pressure on congressional Democrats in Washington, who will have to choose between supporting Lamont, the choice of Democratic voters in Connecticut, or their colleague Lieberman.

Lamont's win offered vindication to the army of grass roots Internet activists who rallied around his campaign and provided volunteer muscle and energy for the cable television executive and political novice.

Lamont spent more than $3 million of his own money and a total of $5 million on the campaign, although he was still outspent by Lieberman's $7 million campaign.

More than 275,000 ballots were cast in the primary, in which about 27,000 newly registered Democrats were able to vote. Some towns in Connecticut were recording more than 50 percent turnout, officials said, high for a primary.