Christopher Scheer | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Christopher Scheer 

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The evidence is mounting that George W. Bush and his neoconservative gurus sold the American electorate on the Iraq war by shoveling blatant lies that went far beyond the usual spin and BS of politics. Yet while recent months have seen those lies fray--and the arguments for war collapse into a din of accusations, backpedaling, and denials--this country's major news outlets have offered an incomplete and sometimes confusing picture of the tragic mess. In The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq (Akashic Books/Seven Stories Press), Christopher Scheer, of the independent news site AlterNet.org--along with his father, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer, and AlterNet senior editor Lakshmi Chaudhry--provides a concise primer on the subject with this dense but readable exposition of how the White House responded to 9/11 not by sanely mobilizing global cooperation against a genuine terrorist threat, nor by addressing the root causes of the problem, but by cynically playing on Americans' fears and patriotism to scare up support for an outrageously irrelevant military adventure in Iraq. Scheer and his colleagues chronicle the charade in painful detail: the Bush administration's selective use of intelligence to fit preconceived conclusions; its pattern of lying, obfuscating, and retracting while maintaining deniability; and its arrogant cluelessness about the outside world. Even for those who consider themselves well read on the subject, Scheer's book offers a lucid and disturbing overview of how this country was so easily bamboozled. Scheer will discuss The Five Biggest Lies twice this week: at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, March 30, at Borders Books & Music, 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909, and at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, March 31, at Barbara's Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted, 312-413-2665.

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