What is the "mother of all lies?"

The Utah Coalition Against U.S. War In The Middle East held a teach-in in the Saltair room that one speaker said should help people decide that.About 50 people attended to watch "Project Censored," a television special with Bill Moyers; listen to a panel discussion; and participate in an open-microphone session. Panelists included Keri Lynne Sanders, U.S. Air Force reservist; Ray Matthews, senior librarian and historian; and Chuck Hunt, associate professor of sociology at the U.

"Tonight we will be discussing - and maybe you can decide in your own mind - the mother of all lies," said Matthews.

"I never did understand the kind of thinking that says somehow war would bring peace," Matthews said. He said the gulf war was more closely related to the Spanish-American war than Vietnam or World War II. He accused the Bush administration of using the gulf war to divert attention from the savings and loan crisis, the failing economy and the national debt.

"The Teapot Dome scandal that brought down the Harding administration, the Watergate scandal that sank the Nixon administration are nothing compared to the current scandals (of the Bush administration)," said Matthews. He confessed to the audience that he was once a Reagan-Bush Republican and praised the audience for being much wiser than he was.

"When civilians get killed, they (the government) call it collateral damage," Matthews said. "George Bush is basically evil. I really believe that."

"No longer do the words of our national anthem portray our country," said Sanders. She paid tribute to not only those who sacrificed their time, money and lives in the gulf, but also those who refused to fight in a war they believed was unjust.

"The U.S. military people are surely prisoners of war . . . because of their opposition to the war," said Sanders. Those refusing to fight number in the hundreds, said Sanders, but no one hears about them.

"The more you watch the media, the less you know," Hunt said. "You have a press that is much more effective in working for the elite than any press that was functioning in the Soviet Union."

"We need to understand that the government doesn't need to censor the press because they do a wonderful job all by themselves," said Richard Hurst during the open microphone session. He added that programs like "Project Censored" only serve the interests of the ruling party.

"The anti-war movement is alive and well in this state and the country. Don't get sucked into believing that the war is over and that American involvement in the Middle East is over," said Simone Seikaly, a coalition member.