Archive for the ‘Neo-Cons’ Category
Bush Mob is Like West Wing “Sopranos”
You are inclined to say that Scott McClellan is like the first one out of The Bada Bing Club, scurrying into the light and looking for redemption, except that it has become clear by now that even the hoods from “The Sopranos” would be out of their weight class with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.
The shame of McClellan and this new book of his isn’t that it took him this long to develop a conscience or actual convictions about what he says he saw and heard in Bush’s White House, especially in the runup to the war in Iraq.
The shame of this particular White House, the rock from under which McClellan reappears, is that no one is surprised for one minute about the story he tells, no one is shocked, no one is outraged. No matter how fast the book is selling.
One of the ironies of the hysterical reaction, mostly from the media, is that even a watered-down version of the truth about Bush and his lieutenants could sell this big.
For now the real outrage on McClellan comes from inside the White House, not outside. What McClellan does here is make work for them on their way out the door, because for the first time they will be forced to Swift Boat one of their own.
To save what is left of his sniveling reputation, Rove – noted analyst for Fox News – will have to take down one of his own. They all will, now that somebody from their own club is calling them out as criminals for the way they got us into this war.
You can call McClellan any kind of bum and weasel, a mouse who grew up to be a rat. Nobody will stop you. But when you look at the shameful cost of the war in Iraq, the cost of it in all ways, starting with the dead and the wounded, you tell me whether the real bum here is the one writing the book or the ones he is writing about?
“I would not personally participate in a process in which we are misleading the American people,” former White House counselor Dan Bartlett said on the “Today” show yesterday morning, during McClellan’s appearance there.
To the end Bartlett defends an administration as weak and lousy as we have ever had, Nixon’s without the indictments, at least so far. But then Bartlett comes out of a culture where little Scooter Libby, given a get-out-of-jail card by the President, is treated like some kind of an American hero.
It is different with McClellan. They will get him good.
You were unpatriotic if you tried to go against them in the months before the war. You are some kind of traitor if you cross them on it now the way McClellan does.
McClellan, who helped sell this war the way ad companies used to sell cigarettes and now feels real bad about that, knew something long before he wrote a book: You can only sell war the way these people did if you have a willing and eager buyer.
The buyers in this case were the media. Some of them bought the White House’s huckstering on Iraq because they would have bought anything. Some were afraid to speak out against the huckstering because they didn’t want to look soft on terrorism in a post-Sept. 11 America. All fell over themselves getting on board.
The hyenas Bush still has in the media will make this all about disloyalty. They won’t just try to shoot the messenger – McClellan – they will try to shoot him out of a cannon. They will make him the issue. And when they are through with him, he won’t just be a disgruntled former employee, he will be some kind of threat to national security and if you believe him, the terrorists win.
“He can’t back up his story!” they are already yelling about McClellan.
Maybe he can’t back up all of it. But look where the loudest yelling about Scott McClellan, author, comes from, the authors of a war that Frank Rich described in his own best-selling book as “The Greatest Story Ever Sold.”
McClellan is no hero here, or even close. If he believed all these things when he stepped down as Bush’s press secretary, nobody was stopping him from saying something as soon as he was out on Pennsylvania Ave. He said nothing at the time. No money there.
So he is late in the church service finding religion, late having the stomach to tell the truth about the people that he worked with, looks as if he is only doing it to sell a book.
But take a look at the ones coming after him hardest for the story he is selling this time around. It is those for whom he sold the war, and the ones who helped him do it.
The war lovers will declare war on McClellan now. At least this time somebody actually attacked them.
You’ll pardon us if we don’t jump on the “Yay Scott McClellan” band wagon – what we see is yet another son-of-a-b cashing in on what he knew to be wrong in the first place.
We wish to say to Mr. McClellan –
“What you have done, or more importantly, WHAT YOU DID NOT DO BY CALLING OUT THE UNTRUTHS AS YOU SAID THEM, has led directly to the deaths of thousands of American men and women as well as to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis civilians.
Whatever your beliefs are about ‘Karma’ – we’d hate to be in your shoes.”
If you have the stomach to read about yet another “fine American civil servant just doing his duty” and then finally telling “the truth” – click below for the story of Mr. McClellan’s book:
Not that we’re fans of GW or his cohorts but we’re just curious, Scott – as an admitted liar, what makes you think we should believe you now?
Remember: They Are Liars
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Tuesday 08 April 2008
No one is such a liar as the indignant man.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, along with a slew of administration underlings and a revolving-door cavalcade of brass hats from the Pentagon, have been making claims regarding Iraq for many years now.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, “enough to kill several million people,” according to a page on the White House web site titled Disarm Saddam Hussein.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of 500 tons, which equals 1,000,000 pounds, of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of nearly 30,000 munitions capable of delivering these agents.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of several mobile biological weapons labs.
They claimed Iraq was operating an “advanced” nuclear weapons program.
They claimed Iraq had been seeking “significant quantities” of uranium from Africa for use in this “advanced” nuclear weapons program.
They claimed Iraq attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes “suitable for nuclear weapons.”
They claimed America needed to invade, overthrow and occupy Iraq in order to remove this menace from our world. “It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country,” went the White House line, “to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.”
“Simply stated,” said Dick Cheney in August of 2002, “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
“Right now,” said George W. Bush in September of 2002, “Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of nuclear weapons.”
“We know for a fact,” said White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in January of 2003, “that there are weapons there.”
“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction,” said Colin Powell in February of 2003, “is determined to make more.”
“We know where they are,” said Donald Rumsfeld in March of 2003. “They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, south, west and north somewhat.”
“The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about,” said Paul Wolfowitz in March of 2003. “Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.”
“No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were,” said Condoleezza Rice in June of 2003, “where they were stored.”
“I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country,” said Gen. Tommy Franks in April of 2003. “Whether we will turn out, at the end of the day, to find them in one of the 2,000 or 3,000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us, ‘Oh, well, there’s actually another site,’ and we’ll find it there, I’m not sure.”
“Before the war,” said Gen. Michael Hagee in May of 2003, “there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.”
“Given time,” said Gen. Richard Myers in May of 2003, “given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.”
“Do I think we’re going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do,” said Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton in May of 2003, “because I think there’s a lot of information out there.”
Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, is about to give testimony before the Senate regarding the current state of affairs in that battle-savaged country. He is a political general, one of many America has seen and heard over the last five years, one who would leap nude from the Capitol dome before telling the real truth about matters in Iraq … or who would speak using words fed to him by liars, and thus be wrong.
Remember: they lie. They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding. If they say water is wet, get into the shower to make sure.
End of file.
Please take the time to watch these videos – it’s what’s necessary for all of this to change.
Address by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 30, 2006
A patriot is a person who loves his or her country.
Who among you loves your country so much that you have come here today to raise your voice out of deep concern for our nation — and our world?
And who among you loves your country so much that you insist that our nation’s leaders tell us the truth?
So let’s hear it: “Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!” Because if we had had the truth, we wouldn’t be here today.
Let no one deny we are patriots. We support our nation’s troops. Let’s hear it for our nation’s troops! We have so many veterans here today. Let’s here it for the veterans! We are grateful to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President, our administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our nation.
So to James Evans and these folks who financed this massive radio campaign these last few days, let them understand that blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president.
That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience — a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid —afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane, regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous president, his administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and, I might remind everyone, a Republican, who said:
“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.”
President Roosevelt continued: “Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,”—listen up
Utah Republicans and James Evans, and all the good Republicans listening today—”or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing”—President Roosevelt didn’t stop there—”but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
Those were the words of Teddy Roosevelt, a great president who knew the true meaning of patriotism.
We are here today as truth-tellers.
And we are here to demand: “Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!”
We are here today to insist that those who were elected to be our leaders must tell us the truth.
We are here today to insist that our news media live up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth, that our news media live
up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth rather than acting like nothing more than a bulletin board for the lies and propaganda of a manipulative, dishonest federal government.
We have been getting just about everything but the truth on matters of life and death, on matters upon which our nation’s reputation hinges, on matters that directly relate to our nation’s most fundamental values, and on matters relating to the survival of our planet.
In the process, our nation has engaged in a tragic, unnecessary war, based upon categorically false justifications. More than a hundred thousand people have been killed — and many more have been seriously maimed, brain damaged, or rendered mentally ill. Our nation’s reputation throughout much of the world has been destroyed. We have many more enemies bent on our destruction than before our invasion of Iraq. And the hatred toward us has grown to the point that it will take many years, perhaps generations, to overcome the loathing created by our unjustified, illegal invasion and occupation of a Muslim nation.
What incredible ineptitude and callousness for our President to talk about a Crusade while lying to us to make a case for the invasion and occupation of a Muslim country!
Our children and later generations will pay the price of the lies, the violence, the cruelty, the incompetence, and the inhumanity of the Bush administration and the lackey Congress that has so cowardly abrogated its responsibility and authority under our checks-and-balances system of government.
We are here to say, “We will not stand for it any more. No more lies. No more pre-emptive, illegal war, based on false information. No more
God-is-on-our-side religious nonsense to justify this immoral, illegal war. We are here to say most fundamentally, no more inhumanity in the name of our nation.”
Let’s raise our voices, and demand to the administration and our news media, “Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!”
Let’s consider some of the most monstrous lies — lies that have led us, like a nation of sheep, to this tragic war.
Following September 11, 2001, the world knew that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for the horrific attacks on our country. Our long-time allies were sympathetic and supportive. But our president transformed that support into international disdain for the United States, choosing to illegally invade and occupy Iraq, rather than focus on and capture the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
Why invade and occupy Iraq when it was bin Laden and al Qaeda who attacked our country and still haven’t been brought to justice? Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice represented to us, without qualification, that there were strong ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
In September, 2002, President Bush made the incredible and absolutely false claim that “You can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam.”
President Bush represented to Congress, without any factual basis whatsoever, that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks.
Our President and Vice-President, along with an unquestioning news media, repeatedly led our nation to believe that there was a working relationship between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, a relationship that threatened the United States.
Even last week, when I met with Thomas Bock, the National Commander of the American Legion, I asked him why we are engaged in the war in Iraq. Why did we invade and occupy Iraq? He said, “Why, of course, because of the 9/11 attacks on our country.” I asked, “What did Iraq have to do with those attacks?” He looked puzzled, and said, “Well, the connection between al Qaeda and Iraq.”
I was shocked. I was stunned. Here is a man who has criticized us for opposing the war in Iraq — and he is so completely wrong about the underlying facts to justify this war.
Not only has there never been any evidence of any involvement by Saddam or Iraq with the attacks on 9/11, but there has never been any evidence of any operational connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
And Colin Powell finally conceded that there is, and these are his words, no “concrete evidence about the connection.” “The chairman of the monitoring group appointed by the United Nations Security Council to track al Qaeda” disclosed that “his team had found no evidence linking al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein.” And the top investigator for our European allies has said, ‘If there were (any) such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever.'”
President Bush, by the way, finally admitted nine days ago on Aug. 21 during a press conference that there was no connection between the attacks on 9/11 and Iraq. It’s terrific that the President has now admitted what others have known for so long — but where is the accountability for the tragic war we were led into on the basis of his earlier misrepresentations?
Beside the fictions of Saddam Hussein somehow being linked to the 9/11 attacks and his supposed connections with al Qaeda, what was the principal justification for forgoing additional weapons inspections, working with our allies toward a solution, refraining from seeking additional resolutions from the United Nations consistent with international law, and hurrying to war — a so-called “pre-emptive” war — in which we would attack and occupy a Muslim nation that posed no security risk to the United States, and cause the deaths of so many thousands of innocent men, women, and children — and the deaths and lifetime injuries to so many thousands of our own servicemen and servicewomen?
The principal claim was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — biological and chemical weapons — and was seeking to build up a nuclear weapons capability. As we now know, there was nothing — no evidence whatsoever — to support those false claims.
President Bush represented to us — and to people around the world — that one of the reasons we needed to make war in Iraq — and to do it right away — was because Saddam Hussein was seeking to build nuclear weapons. His assertions about Saddam Hussein trying to purchase nuclear materials from an African nation and about Iraq seeking to obtain aluminum tubes for the enrichment of uranium were challenged at the time by our own intelligence agency and by our own scientists, yet President Bush failed to tell us that!
Ten days, 10 days, before the invasion of Iraq, it was proven that the documents upon which President Bush’s claim about Saddam Hussein trying to obtain uranium was based were forgeries. That was found 10 days before we invaded Iraq. However, President Bush did not disclose that to the American people. By that failure, he betrayed each of us, he betrayed our country, and he betrayed the cause of world peace.
Neither did the vast majority of the news media in this country disclose the forgeries — until it was far too late. It took our local newspapers here in Salt Lake City four months — until after the war was commenced and until after President Bush declared that major combat in Iraq was over — to report the discovery that the documents were forgeries — and, therefore, that there was no basis for the false claims about Saddam Hussein trying to build up a nuclear capability. By its failure to promptly disclose those forgeries, our news media betrayed us as well.
Had the American people known we were being lied to — had President Bush informed us that the documents were forged and that he had no other basis for his claim — had our nation’s media done its job, rather than slavishly repeating to us the lies being fed to it by the Bush administration — our nation very well may not have allowed the commencement of this outrageous, illegal, unjustified war.
Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that high-strength aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs,” warning “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
Undisclosed by President Bush or Condoleezza Rice was the fact that top nuclear scientists had informed the Administration that those tubes were “too narrow, too heavy, too long” to be useful in developing nuclear weapons and could be used for other purposes. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed.
So, so much for the phony claims of Saddam Hussein building nuclear weapons, which were the primary claims justifying the rush to war, without working with the United Nations, without working with our long-time allies, without giving the weapons inspectors an opportunity to do their job, which if they had that opportunity they would have disclosed what we know now — and that is there were no weapons of mass destruction.
What were we told about chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction? These claims were as baseless and fraudulent as the claims about nuclear weapons.
President Bush told us in his January 2003 State of the Union address that Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. Then, in May of 2003, he made the outlandish statement that, it turns out to be totally false, “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.”
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the (same) secretary of defense who assured us that the war would take maybe six days, maybe six weeks, but he doubted as long as six months. He told us at that time, “We know where the weapons of mass destruction are.” Vice President Cheney and then-Secretary of State Powell also joined in the chorus of lies and misinformation about weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, no stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons were found. Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, appointed by the Bush administration, noted that Iraq did not have an ongoing chemical weapons program after 1991 — a conclusion remarkably similar to statements made by Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice just months before the 9/11 attacks — and before they sacrificed the truth in the service of promoting the Bush administration’s case for war against Iraq.
On February 24, 2001, less than 7 months before 9/11, Colin Powell said that Saddam Hussein, and these were his words, “has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors,” said Colin Powell, some seven months before 9/11.
And in July 2001, two months before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice said, and these were her words: “We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” She told us two months before 9/11.
It is astounding how they changed their claims after the President decided to make a case for the invasion and occupation of Iraq!
To think that we could be lied to by so many members of the Bush administration with such impunity is frightening — chilling. Yet these imperious, arrogant, dishonest people think we should continue to just fall in line with them and continue to take them at their word after we have been lied to time after time after time by these people.
The truth has been established. It is the established truth. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on the United States. There is no evidence of any operational ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. And there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
What a tragedy, leading to greater tragedy. We are fed lie after lie, our media reinforces those lies, and we are a nation that has been led to a tragic, illegal, unprovoked war.
We are here today because of our values. We love our country. We cherish the freedoms and liberties of our country. We don’t call those who speak out against our nation’s leaders unpatriotic or un-American or appeasers of fascists, as we heard from our nation’s secretary of defense yesterday. We have good, wholesome family values. In our families, we teach honesty, we teach kindness and compassion toward others, we teach that violence, if ever justified, must be an absolutely last resort. In our families, we teach that our nation’s constitutional values are to be upheld, and that they are worth standing up, as we are here today, and fighting for. Our family values promote respect and equal rights toward everyone, regardless of race, regardless of ethnic origin, and regardless of sexual orientation. In our families, we teach the value of hard work and competence — and we are left to wonder about a President who, after receiving an intelligence memo about the threat posed by al Qaeda, decides to continue his month-long vacation — just before the 9/11 attacks on our country.
As we demand the truth from others, let us also face the truth. Our government all too often has not cared at all about the human rights of people in other nations — and it doesn’t really care about democracy, unless it leads to the election of those who will do our bidding.
Consider the irony regarding the claims that Saddam had chemical weapons and, because of that, we needed to rush to war in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons — first against Iranians, then against his own people, the Kurds — our country provided him with biological and chemical agents and equipment to make the weapons. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush refused even to support economic sanctions, let alone go to war against him, against Hussein for his use of weapons of mass destruction. What did our nation do in response to Hussein’s use of chemical weapons, killing tens of thousand of people, when he actually had them and we knew that he had them? We befriended, coddled, and rewarded him — with government-guaranteed loans totaling $5 billion since 1983, freeing up currency for Hussein to modernize his military assets.
Perhaps those in the United States government who aided and abetted Saddam Hussein to further US business interests, while he was gassing the Kurds, should be sharing his courtroom dock as he is now being tried for crimes against humanity.
No more lies, no more hiding of the truth — we can stand the truth — no more wars that more than triple the value of stock in Dick Cheney’s prior employer, Halliburton — and which, as of last September, has increased the value of the Halliburton CEO’s stock by $78 million.
We are patriots. We are deeply concerned. And we demand change, now.
I want to hear from you.
No more lies from Condoleezza Rice about whether she and President Bush were advised before 9/11 of the possibility of planes being flown into buildings by terrorists.
No more gross incompetence in the office of the Secretary of Defense.
No more torture of human beings.
No more disregard of the basic human rights enshrined in the Geneva Convention.
No more kidnapping of people and sending them off to secret prisons in nations where they will be tortured.
No more unconstitutional wiretapping of Americans.
No more proposed amendments to the United States Constitution that would, for the first time in our nation’s history, limit fundamental rights and liberties for entire classes of people simply on the basis of sexual orientation.
No more federal land giveaways to developers.
No more increases in mercury emissions from old, dirty, dangerous coalburning power plants.
No more backroom deals that deprive protection for millions of acres of wild lands in our nation.
No more attacks on immigrants who work so hard to build better lives in this nation.
No more inaction by Congress on fixing our hypocritical and inconsistent immigration laws and practices.
No more reliance on fiction rather than the science of global warming.
No more manipulation of our media with false propaganda.
No more disastrous cuts in funding for those most in need.
No more federal cuts in community policing and local law enforcement grant programs for our cities.
No more inaction on stopping the tragic genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
No more of the Patriot Act.
No more killing.
No more supposedly pre-emptive wars.
No more contempt for our long-time allies around the world.
No more dependence on foreign oil.
No more failure to impose increased fuel efficiency standards for automobiles manufactured in this country.
No more energy policies developed in secret meetings between Dick Cheney and his energy company cronies.
No more excuses for failing to aggressively cut global warming pollutant emissions.
No more tragically incompetent federal responses to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
No more tax cuts for the wealthiest, while the middle class and those who are economically-disadvantaged continue to struggle more and more each year.
No more reckless spending and massive tax cuts, resulting in historic deficits and historic accumulated national debt.
No more purchasing of elections by the wealthiest corporations and individuals in our country.
No more phony, ineffective, inhumane so-called war on drugs.
No more failure to pass an increase in the minimum wage.
No more silence by the American people.
I we can do this in Salt Lake City, we can do this throughout the entire country, and the world is going to hear us.
This is a new day. We will not be silent. We will continue to raise our voices. We will bring others with us. We will grow and grow, regardless of political party — unified in our insistence upon the truth, upon peace-making, upon more humane treatment of our brothers and sisters around the world.
We will be ever cognizant of our moral responsibility to speak up in the face of wrongdoing, and to work as we can for a better, safer, more just community, nation, and world.
So we won’t let down. We won’t be quiet. We will continue to resist the lies, the deception, the outrages of the Bush administration and this complacent, complicit, go-along Congress. We will insist that peace be pursued, and that, as a nation, we help those in need. We must break the cycle of hatred, of intolerance, of exploitation. We must pursue peace as vigorously as the Bush administration has pursued war. It’s up to every single one of us to do our part.
Thank you everyone for lending your voices to this call for compassion, for peace, for greater humanity. Let us keep in mind the injunction of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
This is a vitally important post at Your New Reality. As a nation, we need to start looking at ourselves as “the bad guys” and decide if we are ok with that. If not, we can no longer sit by and let things happen in our name – and act like we have no responsibility.
If you’re still alive in 2040 or so, kids are going to come up to you and say “What the hell was going with you people back in 2001-2010? Did you all just totally lose your minds or what?”
But what they will really want to know is what the deal was with Bush-Cheney. They will want to know if they really were as insane as people in 2040 claim they are. You will only be able to nod, sigh, and then shiver.
I’ve spent a lot of time tracking news stories about President Bush over the past 12 months, and I’ve spent far too many hours reading just about every one of his speeches, for The Last Days Of President Bush blog.
I’ve tried to highlight the good things Bush has done, and of course I’ve covered the absurdities, his threats of violence, his sometimes truly bizarre behaviour and his quotable quotes.
Stupidly, I’ve actually clung to the hope that Bush might actually surprise everyone and make the last two years of his time in the White House into something really special. That he might unfurl a plan to reshape the world for the good of the many, for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden. That he might do something, anything, that would make up for the excruciatingly grim holocaust unleashed by his illegal Iraq War.
Put simply, the question that refused to leave my head was : ‘Come on, he can’t all that bad, can he? I mean, he’s the president.’
But after reading that Bush put the veto to a $US50 billion improvement of health care for poor American children, and then, only 48 hours later, turned around and demanded another $47 billion or so to fund more war…well, that’s it then. Isn’t it?
He’s beyond hope.
He’s a filthy unrelenting whore of the American, and international, arms industry. And he doesn’t give a shit.
And sitting right beside him, only still managing to cling to life thanks to the brilliance of modern medical technology that he wants to deny the poorest of the American poor, is Dick Cheney. An ogre of our age. A dark and brutal blight on the good name of the American people.
I mean, look at them. Look at the photo. The Drunkard and the Ghoul, who now want to unleash incomprehensible violence upon the people of Iran, not because their president has nuclear weapons, or is even trying to build nuclear weapons. They want to kill thousands, if not tens of thousands, of innocent people in Iran, to stop that odious president from gaining the knowledge to build nuclear weapons.
Bush & Cheney are pumping for a war on information.
Bush said that he told countries that want to avoid World War 3 that they have to stop the Iranian president from gaining the knowledge to build nuclear weapons.
The same knowledge that kicks around to this day in literally thousands of text books, published from the early 1950s and onwards. The same knowledge that appeared in a ‘popular mechanics’ type magazine in Australia in the late 1970s in a front page cover story titled ‘How To Build Your Own Atom Bomb.’
Bush & Cheney are looking for any excuse to begin bombing Iran. Blood crazed NeoCons are demanding they do it now. Not later. Now, now, now.
Russia and China are saying “No way, it ain’t gonna happen” and American Iraq War allies like Australia and the UK are scrabbling to get out of the way. Just in case.
They’ll tell us soon enough that air strikes on Iran will be carefully targeted to avoid civilian casualties, but we’ve all heard that one before, haven’t we?
Maybe Bush will even announce that it was actually Iranians who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Hell, why not try that? Two years of near ceaseless fear-mongering about Iran has done little to get the American people on side. Why not go all out and claim that it was actually Iran who launched the 9/11 attacks?
I’m in regular e-mail contact with people in Iran. If this blog never achieves anything other than allowing me to make contact with these wonderful people, then I’ll always think of it as utterly worthwhile.
We talk via e-mail about books, movies, music, about weird stories in the news, about great places to visit in Australia if they ever get the chance to come to my homeland, and they always ask me to come to Iran. They love their country, they love their cities and villages, they’re immensely proud of who they are, and they want to show off their country to people in The West, who see little of Iran but that president.
For example, did you know that tens of thousands of young Iranians go skiing every year in the mountains? I didn’t, until some of them sent me photos. They looked like they were holidaying in the Australia ski-fields, or on a slope in the Alps.
What have we done wrong? they ask. Why do your people hate us so much? Do your friends think we are monsters? Are the Americans and Israelis really going to attack us? How can we stop it? We don’t want to become like the Iraqis, please help us.
So what do you say back to people in Iran who ask you questions like that? Duck?
Know this now, if Bush & Cheney get their World War 3 it will The West that goes down in history as the aggressor this time. The ones who started it all. It is The West who launched devastating pre-emptive war, using false intelligence, fully against the wishes of the world, and their own people. It is The West who now wants to park missiles on Russia’s borders, who wants to attack the innocent people of Iran, who wants to stop the people of Iraq from running their own country and doing business with whoever they please.
It’s not them.
Can America really survive another 15 months of Bush & Cheney?
Can the people of Iran?
Can the world?
By Scott Ritter
Don’t worry, the White House is telling us. The world’s most powerful leader was simply making a rhetorical point. At a White House press conference last week, just in case you haven’t heard, President Bush informed the American people that he had told world leaders “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” World War III. That is certainly some rhetorical point, especially coming from the man singularly most capable of making such an event reality.
Pundits have raised their eyebrows and comics are busy writing jokes, but the president’s reference to Armageddon, no matter how cavalierly uttered and subsequently brushed away, suggests an alarming context. Some might note that the comment was simply an offhand response to a reporter’s question, the kind of free-thinking scenario that baffles Bush so. In a way, this makes what the president said even more disturbing, since we now have an insight into the vision, and related terminology, which hovers just below the horizon in the brain of George W. Bush.
When I was a weapons inspector with the United Nations, there was a jostling that took place at the end of each day, when decisions needed to be made and authorization documents needed to be signed. In an environment of competing agendas, each of us who championed a position sought to be the “last man in,” namely the person who got to imprint the executive chairman (our decision maker) with the final point of view for the day. Failure to do so could find an inspection or point of investigation sidetracked for days or weeks after the executive chairman became distracted by a competing vision. I understand the concept of “imprinting,” and have seen it in action. What is clear from the president’s remarks is that, far from an innocent rhetorical fumble, his words, and the context in which he employed them, are a clear indication of the imprinting which is taking place behind the scenes at the White House. If the president mentions World War III in the context of Iran’s nuclear program, one can be certain that this is the very sort of discussion that is taking place in the Oval Office.
A critical question, therefore, is who was the last person to “imprint” the president prior to his public allusion to World War III? During his press conference, Bush noted that he awaited the opportunity to confer with his defense secretary, Robert Gates, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice following their recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. So clearly the president hadn’t been imprinted recently by either of the principle players in the formulation of defense and foreign policy. The suspects, then, are quickly whittled down to three: National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Vice President Dick Cheney, and God.
Hadley is a long-established neoconservative thinker who has for the most part operated “in the shadows” when it comes to the formulation of Iran policy in the Bush administration. In 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Hadley (then the deputy national security adviser) instituted what has been referred to as the “Hadley Rules,” a corollary of which is that no move will be made which alters the ideological positioning of Iran as a mortal enemy of the United States. These “rules” shut down every effort undertaken by Iran to seek a moderation of relations between it and the United States, and prohibited American policymakers from responding favorably to Iranian offers to assist with the fight against al-Qaida; they also blocked the grand offer of May 2003 in which Iran outlined a dramatic diplomatic initiative, including a normalization of relations with Israel. The Hadley Rules are at play today, in an even more nefarious manner, with the National Security Council becoming involved in the muzzling of former Bush administration officials who are speaking out on the issue of Iran. Hadley is blocking Flynt Leverett, formerly of the National Security Council, from publishing an Op-Ed piece critical of the Bush administration on the grounds that any insight into the machinations of policymaking (or lack thereof) somehow strengthens Iran’s hand. Leverett’s article would simply underscore the fact that the Bush administration has spurned every opportunity to improve relations with Iran while deliberately exaggerating the threat to U.S. interests posed by the Iranian theocracy.
The silencing of informed critics is in keeping with Hadley’s deliberate policy obfuscation. There is still no official policy in place within the administration concerning Iran. While a more sober-minded national security bureaucracy works to marginalize the hawkish posturing of the neocons, the administration has decided that the best policy is in fact no policy, which is a policy decision in its own right. Hadley has forgone the normal procedures of governance, in which decisions impacting the nation are written down, using official channels, and made subject to review and oversight by those legally and constitutionally mandated and obligated to do so. A policy of no policy results in secret policy, which means, according to Hadley himself, the Bush administration simply does whatever it wants to, regardless. In the case of Iran, this means pushing for regime change in Tehran at any cost, even if it means World War III.
But Hadley is simply a facilitator, bureaucratic “grease” to ease policy formulated elsewhere down the gullet of a national security infrastructure increasingly kept in the dark about the true intent of the Bush administration when it comes to Iran. With the Department of State and the Pentagon now considered unfriendly ground by the remaining hard-core neoconservative thinkers still in power, policy formulation is more and more concentrated in the person of Vice President Cheney and the constitutionally nebulous “Office of the Vice President.”
Cheney and his cohorts have constructed a never-never land of oversight deniability, claiming immunity from both executive and legislative checks and balances. With an unchallenged ability to classify anything and everything as secret, and then claim that there is no authority inherent in government to oversee that which has been thus classified, the Office of the Vice President has transformed itself into a free republic’s worst nightmare, assuming Caesar-like dictatorial authority over almost every aspect of American national security policy at home and abroad. From torture to illegal wiretapping, to arms control (or lack of it) to Iran, Dick Cheney is the undisputed center of policy power in America today. While there are some who will claim that in this time of post-9/11 crisis such a process of bureaucratic streamlining is essential for the common good, the reality is far different.
It is said that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this has never been truer than in the case of Cheney. What Cheney is doing behind his shield of secrecy can be simply defined: planning and implementing a preemptive war of aggression. During the Nuremberg tribunal in the aftermath of World War II, the chief American prosecutor, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, stated, “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Today, we have a vice president who articulates publicly about global conflict, and who speaks in not-so-veiled language about a looming Armageddon. If there is such a future for America and the world, let one thing be certain; World War III, as postulated by Dick Cheney, would be an elective war, and not a conflict of tragic necessity. This makes the crime even greater.
Sadly, Judge Jackson’s words are but an empty shell. The global community lacks a legally binding definition of what constitutes a war of aggression, or even an act of aggression. But that isn’t the point. America should never find itself in a position where it is being judged by the global community regarding the legality of its actions. Judge Jackson established a precedent of jurisprudence concerning aggression based upon American principles and values, something the international community endorsed. The fact that current American indifference to the rule of law prevents the international community from certifying a definition of criminality when it comes to aggression, whether it be parsed as “war” or simply an “act,” does not change the fact that the Bush administration, in the person of Dick Cheney, is actively engaged in the committing of the “supreme [war] crime,” which makes Cheney the supreme war criminal. If the world is not empowered to judge him as such, then let the mantle of judgment fall to the American people. Through their elected representatives in Congress, they should not only bring this reign of unrestrained abuse of power to an end, but ensure that such abuse never again is attempted by an American official by holding to account, to the full extent of the law, those who have trampled on the Constitution of the United States and the ideals and principles it enshrines.
But what use is the rule of law, even if fairly and properly implemented, if in the end he who is entrusted with executive power takes his instructions from an even higher authority? President Bush’s relationship with “God” (or that which he refers to as God) is a matter of public record. The president himself has stated that “God speaks through me” (he acknowledged this before a group of Amish in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2004). Exactly how God speaks through him, and what precisely God says, is not a matter of speculation. According to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Bush told him and others that “God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.” As such, at least in the president’s mind, God has ordered Bush to transform himself into a modern incarnation of St. Michael, smiting all that is evil before him. “We are in a conflict between good and evil. And America will call evil by its name,” the president told West Point cadets in a speech in 2002.
The matter of how and when an individual chooses to practice his faith, or lack thereof, is a deeply personal matter, one which should be kept from public discourse. For a president to so openly impose his personal religious beliefs, as Bush has done, on American policy formulation and implementation represents a fundamental departure from not only constitutional intent concerning the separation of church and state but also constitutional mandate concerning the imposition of checks and balances required by the American system of governance. The increasing embrace by this president of the notion of a unitary executive takes on an even more sinister aspect when one realizes that not only does the Bush administration seek to nullify the will of the people through the shackling of the people’s representatives in Congress, but that the president has forgone even the appearance of constitutional constraint by evoking the word of his personal deity, as expressed through his person, as the highest form of consultation on a matter as serious as war. As such, the president has made his faith, and how he practices it, a subject not only of public curiosity but of national survival.
That George W. Bush is a born-again Christian is not a national secret. Neither is the fact that his brand of Christianity, evangelicalism, embraces the notion of the “end of days,” the coming of the Apocalypse as foretold (so they say) in the Book of Revelations and elsewhere in the Bible. President Bush’s frequent reference to “the evil one” suggests that he not only believes in the Antichrist but actively proselytizes on the Antichrist’s physical presence on Earth at this time. If one takes in the writing and speeches of those in the evangelical community today concerning the “rapture,” the numerous references to the current situation in the Middle East, especially on the events unfolding around Iran and its nuclear program, make it very clear that, at least in the minds of these evangelicals, there is a clear link between the “end of days” prophesy and U.S.-Iran policy. That James Dobson, one of the most powerful and influential evangelical voices in America today, would be invited to the White House with like-minded clergy to discuss President Bush’s Iran policy is absurd unless one makes the link between Bush’s personal faith, the extreme religious beliefs of Dobson and the potential of Armageddon-like conflict (World War III). At this point, the absurd becomes unthinkable, except it is all too real.
Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation’s greatest founders, made the separation of church and state an underlying principle upon which the United States was built. This separation was all-inclusive, meaning that not only should government stay out of religion, but likewise religion should be excluded from government. “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself,” Jefferson wrote in a letter to Francis Hopkinson in 1789. “Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.” If only President Bush would abide by such wisdom, avoiding the addictive narcotic of religious fervor when carrying out the people’s business. Instead, he chooses as his drug one which threatens to destroy us all in a conflagration derived not from celestial intervention but individual ignorance and arrogance. Again Jefferson, in a letter written in 1825: “It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.”
Nightmares, more aptly, unless something can be done to change the direction Bush and Dobson are taking us. The problem is that far too many Americans openly espouse not only the faith of George W. Bush but also the underlying philosophy which permits this faith to be intertwined with the governance of the land. “God bless America” has become a rallying cry for this crowd, and those too ignorant and/or afraid to speak out in opposition. If this statement has merit, what does it say for the 6.8 billion others in the world today who are not Americans? That God condemns them? The American embrace of divine destiny is not unique in history (one only has to recall that the belt buckles of the German army during World War II read “God is with us”). But for a nation born of the age of reason to collectively fall victim to the most base of fear-induced theology is a clear indication that America currently fails to live up to its founding principles. Rather than turning to Dobson and his ilk for guidance in these troubled times, Americans would be well served to reflect on President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered in the middle of a horrific civil war which makes all of the conflict America finds itself in today pale in comparison:
“Both [North and South] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other…. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes…. [T]hat He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?”
God is not on our side, or the side of any single nation or people. To believe such is the ultimate expression of national hubris. To invoke such, if one is a true believer, is to embrace sacrilege and heresy. This, of course, is an individual right, granted as an extension of religious freedom. But it is not a collective right, nor is it a right born of governance, especially in a land protected by the separation of church and state.
The issue of Iran is a national problem which requires a collective debate, discussion and dialogue inclusive of all the facts, and stripped of all ideology and theocracy which would seek to deny reasoned thought conducted within a framework of accepted laws and ideals. It is grossly irresponsible of an American president to invoke the imagery of World War III without first sharing with the American people the framework of thought that produced such a comparison. Such openness will not be forthcoming from this administration or president. Not in the form of Stephen Hadley’s policy of no policy, designed with intent to avoid and subvert both bureaucratic and legislative process and oversight, or Dick Cheney’s secret government within a government, operating above and beyond the law and in a manner which violates both legal and moral norms and values, and certainly not in the president’s own private conversations with “God,” either directly or through the medium of lunatic evangelicals who embrace the termination of all we stand for, and especially the future of our next generation, in a fiery holocaust born from the fraudulent writings of centuries past. The processes which compelled George W. Bush to speak of a World War III are intentionally not transparent to the American people. The president has much to explain, and it would be incumbent upon every venue of civic and public pressure to demand that such an explanation be forthcoming in the near future. The stakes regarding Iran have always been high, but never more so than when a nation’s leader invokes the end of days as a solution.
Scott Ritter is a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq.
Even the chair of the 9/11 Commission now admits that the official evidence they were given was ‘far from the truth’.
12, 2007 10:30 AM
Six years after 9/11, the American public have still not been provided with a full and truthful account of the single greatest terror attack in US history.
The chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, respectively Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, assert in their book, Without Precedent, that they were “set up to fail” and were starved of funds to do a proper investigation. They also confirm that they were denied access to the truth and misled by senior officials in the Pentagon and the federal aviation authority;
and that this obstruction and deception led them to contemplate slapping officials with criminal charges.
Despite the many public statements by 9/11 commissioners and staff members acknowledging they were repeatedly lied to, not a single person has ever been charged, tried, or even reprimanded, for lying to the 9/11 Commission.
From the outset, the commission seemed to be hobbled. It did not start work until over a year after the attacks. Even then, its terms of reference were suspiciously narrow, its powers of investigation curiously limited and its time-frame for producing a report unhelpfully short – barely a year to sift through millions of pages of evidence and to interview hundreds of key witnesses.
The final report did not examine key evidence, and neglected serious anomalies in the various accounts of what happened. The commissioners admit their report was incomplete and flawed, and that many questions about the terror attacks remain unanswered. Nevertheless, the 9/11 Commission was swiftly closed down on August 21 2004.
I do not believe in conspiracy theories. I prefer rigorous, evidence-based analysis that sifts through the known facts and utilises expert opinion to draw conclusions that stand up to critical scrutiny. In other words, I believe in everything the 9/11 Commission was not.
The failings of the official investigation have fuelled too many half-baked conspiracy theories. Some of the 9/11 “truth” groups promote speculative hypotheses, ignore innocent explanations, cite non-expert sources and jump to conclusions that are not proven by the known facts. They convert mere coincidence and circumstantial evidence into cast-iron proof. This is no way to debunk the obfuscations and evasions of the 9/11 report.
But even amid the hype, some of these 9/11 groups raise valid and important questions that were never even considered, let alone answered, by the official investigation. The American public has not been told the complete truth about the events of that fateful autumn morning six years ago.
What happened on 9/11 is fundamentally important in its own right. But equally important is the way the 9/11 cover-up signifies an absence of democratic, transparent and accountable government. Establishing the truth is, in part, about restoring honesty, trust and confidence in American politics.
There are dozens of 9/11 “truth” websites and campaign groups. I cannot vouch for the veracity or credibility of any of them. But what I can say is that as well as making plenty of seemingly outrageous claims; a few of them raise legitimate questions that demand answers.
Four of these well known “tell the truth” 9/11 websites are:
1) Scholars for 9/11 Truth, which includes academics and intellectuals from many disciplines.
2) 250+ 9/11 ‘Smoking Guns’ a website that cites over 250 pieces of evidence that allegedly contradict, or were omitted from, the 9/11 Commission report.
3) The 911 Truth Campaign that, as well as offering its own evidence and theories, includes links to more than 20 similar websites.
4) Patriots Question 9/11, perhaps the most plausible array of distinguished US citizens who question the official account of 9/11, including General Wesley Clark, former Nato commander in Europe, and seven members and staffers of the official 9/11 Commission, including the chair and vice chair. In all, this website documents the doubts of 110+ senior military, intelligence service, law enforcement and government officials; 200+ engineers and architects; 50+ pilots and aviation professionals; 150+ professors; 90+ entertainment and media people; and 190+ 9/11 survivors and family members. Although this is an impressive roll call, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these expert professionals are right. Nevertheless, their scepticism of the official version of events is reason to pause and reflect.
More and more US citizens are critical of the official account. The respected Zogby polling organisation last week found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe President Bush and Vice-President Cheney regarding the truth about the 9/11 attacks; 67% are also critical of the 9/11 Commission for not investigating the bizarre, unexplained collapse of the 47-storey World Trade Centre building 7 (WTC7). This building was not hit by any planes. Unlike WTC3, which was badly damaged by falling debris from the Twin Towers but which remained standing, WTC7 suffered minor damage but suddenly collapsed in a neat pile, as happens in a controlled demolition.
In a 2006 interview with anchorman Evan Soloman of CBC’s Sunday programme, the vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, was reminded that the commission report failed to even mention the collapse of WTC7 or the suspicious hurried removal of the building debris from the site – before there could be a proper forensic investigation of what was a crime scene. Hamilton could only offer the lame excuse that the commissioners did not have “unlimited time” and could not be expected to answer “every question” the public asks.
There are many, many more strange unexplained facts concerning the events of 9/11. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to be puzzled and want an explanation, or to be sceptical concerning the official version of events.
Six years on from those terrible events, the survivors, and the friends and families of those who died, deserve to know the truth. Is honesty and transparency concerning 9/11 too much to ask of the president and Congress?
What is needed is a new and truly independent commission of inquiry to sort coincidence and conjecture from fact, and to provide answers to the unsolved anomalies in the evidence available concerning the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Unlike the often-stymied first investigation, this new commission should be granted wide-ranging subpoena powers and unfettered access to government files and officials. George Bush should be called to testify, without his minders at hand to brief and prompt him. America – and the world – has a right to know the truth.
We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.
If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org
THE LETTER POSTED HERE MONDAY HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE A HOAX. AS PROMISED, WE HAVE REMOVED THE LETTER.
Below is Dr. Wasfi’s statement from her own website – www.liberatethis.com:
***Re: “The Kennebunkport Warning”***
The Bush administration has proven that sacrificing lives of Americans and other innocents around the world is a price worth paying in the name of criminal corporate profit. Dr. Phil says that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. As such, it is certainly within the realm of possibility for the neo-conservative junta in Washington to launch another war based on lies. However, I do not have “the smoking gun,” if you will, to prove it.
I signed a statement in Kennebunkport to endorse the impeachment of Dick Cheney, but my signature has been used on this “Warning” without my consent. While I was humbled to have my signature misappropriated with such prominent voices as Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and Jamilla El-Shafei, none of us signed that document.
Therefore, please contact the statement’s distributors for information on their evidence.
With you in the struggle until justice is served,