"Mission Accomplished" May 1, 2003

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"Mission Accomplished" was the slogan that appeared on a banner behind President George W. Bush on May 1, 2003, as he gave a speech aboard the USS Lincoln declaring that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

The events of the day, which featured Bush landing in a fighter jet on the deck of the aircraft carrier, were praised at the time but have come to be regarded since as an expensive and embarrassing publicity stunt and a premature declaration of victory in a war that had only begun.

"Moments after the landing, the president, wearing a green flight suit and holding a white helmet, got off the plane, saluted those on the flight deck and shook hands with them. Above him, the tower was adorned with a big sign that read, 'Mission Accomplished'," CNN reported May 1, 2003.

Photo-Op Cropped

On November 6, 2006, the vigilant mmcintee posted a video clip entitled "White House Caught Doctoring 'Mission Accomplished' Video" on YouTube. The video takes the viewer step-by-step through the process of discovering that the White House has, indeed, rewritten history, so to speak. The White House news link to the altered video to which mmcintee refers can be found here.

Compare the photo above to the cropped version provided on the page by the White House. Additionally, the White House photo gallery for May 1, 2003 no longer includes the "Mission Accomplished" frame. The previous news link expired, but mmcintee's video can still be seen here.

Fortunately, the image has not been webscrubbed and numerous links to the original photo can be found by conducting internet searches:

May 1, 2006

"'We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools,' Mr. Bush said on that glorious day. Three years later we know, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers, that our corrupt, Enron-like Iraq reconstruction effort has yielded at most 20 of those 142 promised hospitals. But we did build a palace for ourselves. The only building project on time and on budget, USA Today reported, is a $592 million embassy complex in the Green Zone on acreage the size of 80 football fields. Symbolically enough, it will have its own water-treatment plant and power generator to provide the basic services that we still have not restored to pre-invasion levels for the poor unwashed Iraqis beyond the American bunker," Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times.

David Swanson of After Downing Street reported April 18, 2006:

  • "May 1 marks three years since George W. Bush staged his 'Mission Accomplished' aircraft landing in San Diego Harbor and 'delivered good news to the men and women who fought in the cause of freedom: their mission is complete and major combat operations in Iraq have ended.' Nothing ended. The violence since has not just been sporadic and small scale. The U.S. has been demolishing dozens of entire cities and towns.
  • "As of April 27, at 3:15 p.m. EST - 2,393 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.
  • "The count of US wounded is around seven times that number, and Iraqi civilian deaths are officially between 34,000 and 39,000, and actually between 200,000 and 300,000.
  • "The State Department's annual terrorism report finds that Iraq has become a safe haven for terrorists and has attracted a 'foreign fighter pipeline'."
  • "Meanwhile, a National Counterterrorism Threat Center report finds that terrorist incidents and deaths more than doubled in 2005."

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