PPRC Friday Rally reviews latest lies and new hysteria of Bush Administration, condemns Education Secretary terror-baiting, Bush for scapegoating gays

Event: PPRC Friday Rally reviews latest lies and the new hysteria of Bush Administration.
Date: Friday, February 27th, 2004
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition’s Friday rally will review the latest prevarications and political thrashing of the Bush Administration, condemning the Education Secretary’s branding one of the largest teachers unions a "terrorist organization"1 and denouncing Bush’s call for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage.2 "I believe [the attack on the teachers union] fits in with the general Bush Administration's premise that anyone or any group that doesn't agree with them or fall into line is ‘a terrorist’," said Regina Hannon, a volunteer with the PPRC. "I think this is a serious slap in the face to the thousands of hard working teachers who, day after day, strive to teach our children, sometimes in very difficult situations such as lack of funding and lack of community support." Hannon said that an important lesson often taught in public schools is that people may differ in their opinions but that name-calling is not the way to deal with those differences. "It would seem that many in the Bush Administration were absent the day those lessons were taught," said Hannon, "This recurring name-calling and lashing out at critics would truly sadden the heart of a dedicated teacher."

PPRC spokespersons said that Bush’s call for a Constitutional Ban on gay marriage revealed the Administration’s panic with sliding public opinion polls and diminishing prospects for reelection. "This regime is built on lies and deceit, and although it is way overdue, their lies and prevarications are finally being brought to the attention of the American people," said Will Seaman, another PPRC volunteer. "Whether the lies about an imagined Iraqi nuclear program, lies about nonexistent links between Hussein and al Qaeda, lies throughout the budget Bush submitted to Congress, lies about new jobs in our degraded economy, or the lies of distorted science,3 the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz regime has distinguished itself as the premier lie factory of our day." Seaman said the phrase "lie factory" has been used to describe a secret Pentagon group, called the Office of Special Plans, created to manufacture the case for invading Iraq.4

Jody Heatlie took special note of the recent statement issued by sixty influential scientists regarding the Bush Administration’s "junk science". "Last week this group of scientists, including twenty Nobel laureates, issued a statement condemning the White House for deliberately and systematically distorting scientific facts in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad," said Healtie. "They say [these distortions] are having serious consequences for our health, safety and environment " the Bush people are distorting the evidence for their political agenda."

"And what are the consequences of these lies and prevarications?" asked Seaman. "Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed and injured in this criminal war and occupation, over five hundred US soldiers killed, thousands injured, an entire country in ruins, no exit strategy, no viable plan for transition to a genuine democracy, future generations in our own country burdened with a deficit that enriches the super-wealthy Bush cronies with tax cuts and war-profiteer no-bid contracts, and the world a far more dangerous place." PPRC spokespersons noted that Osama bin Laden remains at large, as does Mullah Omar of the Taliban.

"As his polling numbers decline, Bush is desperate to find an issue to misdirect the public and rally his extremist religious followers, and he thinks that issue will be gay marriage," said Seaman. "So now we have the spectacle of an unelected President, guilty of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors in defrauding this country into an illegal war, setting off on a campaign to dishonor our Constitution with an amendment that would codify discrimination against our gay brothers and sisters." Seaman said that Bush ’s strategy will only further solidify and expand the efforts to bring about his defeat in November. "We say no to this disgraced, criminal regime in Washington," said Seaman. "We believe that our country can move beyond the hatred and the fear that Bush has used to sell his wars and corruptions, even if it means overcoming the largest reelection campaign war chest in history." The Bush campaign has targeted more than $200 million for the campaign, and has reportedly raised over $150 million.5

1. "Education Chief Calls Union 'Terrorist,' Then Recants", by Robert Pear, New York Times, February 24, 2004

2. "Bush Backs Ban in Constitution on Gay Marriage", by Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times, February 25, 2004

3. "Scientists Say Administration Distorts Facts", by James Glanz, New York Times, February 19, 2004.

4. "The Lie Factory", by Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest, Mother Jones, January/February 2004. 5. http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/ (a project of Public Citizen)

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