01/23/2008 06:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Essential Reading

A new, huge database created for the first time and posted online by the Center for Public Integrity collects the BananaRepublican lies that took us to war in Iraq. One section highlights Key False Statements.

Researchers Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith write:

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

The center describes itself as "a nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-advocacy, independent journalism organization" designed "to produce original investigative journalism about significant public issues to make institutional power more transparent and accountable."

The New York Times reports this morning in its news story on the database: "There is no startling new information in the archive, because all the documents have been published previously. But the new computer tool is remarkable for its scope, and its replay of the crescendo of statements that led to the war."

That is true. But the old info is plenty startling, doncha think? I'd bet Joshua Brown thinks so. Consider his diary entry for Dec. 7, 2005, above, from his blog Life During Wartime. It's two years old, sure, but as startling as ever. And the words -- pace, Miss Piggy -- are pure Condi. Even if they don't turn up in the database quoted precisely that way.

(Not incidentally, an exhibition of four years of Brown's diary entries, from 2003 to 2007, is on view through Feb. 29 at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he teaches history and directs the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning. More on that later.)