It was clear from the start that the White House understood that information was power as they carefully choreographed every message with visual images or slogans such as “Clear Skies” that moderated the actual substance being conveyed. With David Suskind’s 2002 interview with a White House aide, however, we discovered that in the Bush administration basing policy on a “discernible reality” was a thing of the past. “[W]e create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality . . . we’ll act again, creating other new realities.”
Indeed they did. Like no administration before it, the Bush administration has worked diligently at creating new realities by concealing, distorting and manufacturing information on a broad range of issues aided by a once timid media and docile Congress.
Last month’s “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report” on the effectiveness of the surge in Iraq report was the administration’s latest pièce de résistance. Despite the fact that the report’s claim of success on eight of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress was pure spin and contrary to testimony by the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council that there have been “few appreciable gains,” the press ran with the report’s glass half-full assessment.