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Archive for the ‘George W. Bush’ Category

‘Bush and Blair misled the public… yes, it’s conceivable both could end up on trial’
So why hasn’t UN weapons expert Hans Blix been called to give evidence at the Chilcot Inquiry?

By Tim Shipman and David Jones
Daily Mail on 5th December 2009

Devastating critique: Former UN weapons expert Hans Blix says Bush and Blair showed 'very bad judgement'

Tony Blair and George Bush were orchestrating a witch-hunt against Saddam Hussein that ended with the Iraq War, according to a former UN weapons inspector.

Hans Blix said the two leaders behaved like 17th century witchfinders in their willingness to oust the dictator.

In an interview with the Mail, he revealed that Mr Blair tried to force him to change his mind about the absence of WMDs in Iraq to placate the Americans.

The former Swedish diplomat, who headed the UN weapons inspection team in the run-up to war, concluded that Mr Blair and Mr Bush ‘misled themselves and then they misled the public’.

He said: ‘They were convinced they had their witch in front of them, and they searched for the evidence and believed it without critical examination.

‘I’m not saying they acted in bad faith [but] they exercised very bad judgment. A modicum of critical thinking would have made them sceptical. When you start a war which cost thousands of lives you should be more certain than they were.’

Source

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Tony Blair and George Bush might have “signed in blood” their agreement to topple Saddam Hussein a year before the Iraq war, according to Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s former ambassador to Washington.

By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter, The Telegraph/UK, Nov 26, 2009

 

Sir Christopher Meyer told the Iraq Inquiry that the two men spent an afternoon meeting in private at the former president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002, which appeared to lead to a shift in the then Prime Minister’s stance on Iraq.

Sir Christopher said: “I took no part in any of the discussions and there was a large chunk of that time when no adviser was there.

“The two men were alone in the ranch so I’m not entirely clear to this day what degree of convergence (on Iraq policy) was signed in blood, if you like, at the Crawford ranch.

Continues >>

 

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Rumsfeld, Defence Industries, 911, & Corporate Government in Retrospect


On September 10, 2001 Rummy said this in a speech at the Pentagon

“Today’s announcements are only the first of many. We will launch others ourselves, and we will ask Congress for legislative help as well. We have, for example, asked Congress for permission to begin the process of closing excess bases and consolidating the B-1 bomber force.”

One month later…

Rumsfeld Visits B-2 Bomber Base as Afghan Campaign Heats Up

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., Oct. 19, 2001 – Amid news reports that U.S. ground troops are aiding anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld flew to this Missouri air base today to meet B-2 Spirit bomber pilots and support crews.

Speaking to reporters en route here, Rumsfeld praised the air base’s service members and declared that the B-2’s more than 40-hour missions to Afghanistan are “amazing.”

The secretary declined to give specifics on reported U.S. ground operations in Afghanistan. He noted that providing operations information about U.S. air attacks or the involvement of U.S. troops could imperil lives, missions and damage national security.

~0~

 

Jeremy Scahill mentioned the speech that Donald Rumsfeld made at the Pentagon on the day before September 11, 2001 in his book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. In this address Rummy outlined the streamlining of the DOD and changes in CIA policy, where radical changes would be implemented in the military, especially in the organization of the National Guard and the three branches of the armed sevices.

This speech can be found on the DOD web site and should be required reading for those who are interested in the history of what is now being called The Long War.

MORE on Home Nature Report

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By Mutadhar al-Zaidi, Counterpunch, Sep 15, 2009

Mutadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi who threw his shoe at George Bush gave this speech on his recent release.

In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful.

Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war.

Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act.

But, simply, I answer: What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

And how it wanted to crush the skulls of (the homeland’s) sons under its boots, whether sheikhs, women, children or men. And during the past few years, more than a million martyrs fell by the bullets of the occupation and the country is now filled with more than 5 million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. And many millions of homeless because of displacement inside and outside the country.

Continued >>

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Doug Bandow, The Huffington Post, Aug 24, 2009

Buzz up!

Attorney General Eric Holder is appointing a special prosecutor to review CIA interrogations of terrorist suspects. However, the investigation shouldn’t stop at the agency. No one should be above the law, especially top policymakers.

Investigating Bush administration policies and officials is bound to be controversial. President George W. Bush and his aides undoubtedly did what they thought was right. However, much of it was wrong. The Iraq war was foolish and unnecessary.

Continues >>

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By Mark LeVine, Al Jazeera, Aug 8, 2009

Some human rights groups want Obama to investigate top Bush administration officials [GETTY]

Somewhere in the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier, is being held captive by the Taliban.

The threat of execution hangs over him if the US does not agree to the still unspecified demands of his captors.

Bergdahl is the first US soldier captured in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion and the circumstances of his capture, which occurred around July 1 outside a US military base in Helmand Province, remain unclear.

But in the wake of years of revelations of abuses by US personnel of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib, and of alleged Taliban or al-Qaeda detainees elsewhere, the spectre of US troops in enemy hands is disturbing because of the possibility that they could face copy-cat treatment.

Continues >>

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October 2001, planned the war on terrorism but broke over whether to pardon one of its key architects. Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

October 2001, planned the war on terrorism but broke over whether to pardon one of its key architects. Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

Massimo Calabresi and Michael Weisskopf | Time | Friday, Jul. 24, 2009

Hours before they were to leave office after eight troubled years, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney had one final and painful piece of business to conclude. For over a month Cheney had been pleading, cajoling, even pestering Bush to pardon the Vice President’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. Libby had been convicted nearly two years earlier of obstructing an investigation into the leak of a covert CIA officer’s identity by senior White House officials. The Libby pardon, aides reported, had become something of a crusade for Cheney, who seemed prepared to push his nine-year-old relationship with Bush to the breaking point — and perhaps past it — over the fate of his former aide. “We don’t want to leave anyone on the battlefield,” Cheney argued.

Bush had already decided the week before that Libby was undeserving and told Cheney so, only to see the question raised again. A top adviser to Bush says he had never seen the Vice President focused so single-mindedly on anything over two terms. And so, on his last full day in office, Jan. 19, 2009, Bush would give Cheney his final decision.

ORIGINAL STORY

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Ralph Lopez | Daily Kos | Thu Jul 16, 2009

pic

“You have the power to hold your leaders accountable.” – President Obama, Ghana, July 14, 2009

While congress says it is gearing up to investigate what is old news, that CIA and Special Ops forces are killing Al Qaeda leaders, a decision of far different gravity is being contemplated by Attorney General Eric Holder.  The new insistence of Congress on its oversight role, conspicuously absent throughout 8 years of Bush, is suddenly rearing its head in the form of questioning a policy which has been in place with no controversy for years.  The U.S. has been hunting and killing Al Qaeda leaders outside of official war zones since 2004, when the New York Times reported that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had signed an order authorizing Special Forces to kill Al Qaeda where they found them.

As recently as September 2008 CBS reported that Special Forces struck Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

The decision faced by Holder, whether or not to appoint a Special Prosecutor on torture, is of a different gravity altogether.  A weight of evidence keeps building which indicates torture was employed on innocent men, that it didn’t work, and that it didn’t prevent any attacks.  And it gets worse.  Bush’s own FBI Director Robert Mueller recently confirmed to the New York Times what he told Vanity Fair a year ago, that “to [his] knowledge” torture didn’t prevent a single attack.  Former Legendary CIA Director William Colby has said that torture is “ineffective.”

(more…)

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Cheney’s secret assassination program may be terminated, but the U.S. is already carrying out “targeted killings”

By Mark Benjamin | Salon.com, July 17, 2009

News

Dick Cheney

Media reports recently exposed efforts by the Bush administration to create a CIA “assassination squad” so secret that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the agency to keep Congress in the dark about it. The Wall Street Journal called it a secret plan to “capture or kill al Qaida operatives”; on Thursday, the Washington Post said the program was about to be activated when CIA director Leon Panetta pulled the plug.

But the blaring headlines, and the buzz in the blogosphere, are not just due to more evidence of the ex-veep’s addiction to executive power and behind-the-scenes machinations. It’s that word “assassinate.” Most observers assume that assassination is specifically proscribed by U.S. policy. Except it isn’t, exactly, and while the secret CIA assassination program canceled by Panetta may never have claimed a victim, the U.S. is already carrying out actions that look nearly exactly like assassinations, and doing so within the guidelines of domestic and international law. The United States has had plenty of legal latitude to carry out targeted killings during the so-called war on terror — and has been exercising that option vigorously for the past eight years.

Continued >>

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Jan Egeland, Mariano Aguirre| openDemocracy, June 17, 2009

The degrading treatment meted out to prisoners of the United States-led “war on terror” over seven years has yet to be subject to proper legal scrutiny and accountability. But the responsibility is Europe’s too, say Jan Egeland & Mariano Aguirre.

In the very heart of the western world, Europe’s major ally has tortured prisoners to death – in an operation that we Europeans too were involved in. The fourteen “techniques” authorised by the George W Bush administration include semi-drowning (”waterboarding’), confinement in cramped and dark boxes, psychological torture and deprivation of sleep for up to eleven days and nights (see Mark Danner, US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites” [New York Review of Books, 9 April & 30 April 2009]).

An undefined number of prisoners have died or committed suicide as a result of mistreatment in interrogation chambers run by the United States and its allies (the last one was a Yemeni in Guantánamo). It may be recalled that Japanese military jailors who employed these techniques during the second world war were adjudged war criminals by the US’s own military-legal experts.

Continued >>

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