Archive for September, 2006

Of Schadenfreude, G�tterd�mmerung and Bush’s gestalt of failure, war crimes, and treason!

September 26, 2006

I suppose I should indulge a bit of Schadenfreude. For years, from obscurity, I have been yelling that the policies of George W. Bush have made terrorism worse, alienated friends, confirmed potential enemies, and, in short, made Americans less safe, despised, reviled around the world. Bush’s polices were bone-headed �misunderstanding and misstating the nature of terrorism and, worse, failing to address it. There was some hope even among liberals that Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan might bring an acknowledged terrorist to justice �hopes dashed when Bush, himself, made of our nation a rogue state with a pattern of ineffective, ham fisted, policies. Under Bush, we became a rogue state, little better �if at all �from terrorists themselves. Bush’s body count in Iraq alone far surpasses those of either Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein �whom Bush calls terrorist and dictator.

Among Bush’s policy blunders, he arrogantly dismisses the principles of Geneva, Nuremberg and the other treaties to which the US is not merely obliged �we helped write many of them. Bush has thus abjured the very principles which had �until Bush �distinguished America from the dictatorial regimes of Hussein, Pinochet, Pol Pot et al. We have �under Bush �become the world’s number one terrorist threat.

Bush’s own intel team has now made the assessment that puts the sewer rats of the GOP in the corner that they have made for themselves. Bush’s war of aggression against the civilian population of Iraq has NOT made Americans safer. It has, they say with one voice, made us less so. Ranking members and experts in 16 of US intelligence agencies now confirm what many of us in the opposition had already known: the war in Iraq has increased the spread of terrorism.

Now, when the tide had turned, the GOP and George W. Bush, like the cornered sewer rats they are, lash out against our nation’s intelligence agencies simply because they are in a better position to know the truth about Bush’s entirely fraudulent regime and dare to speak it!

Much is now made of former President Bill Clinton’s confrontation with an effeminate quisling: Chris Wallace, a simp kiss up of the Fox ilk. Whatever you may think about Bill Clinton, this much is fact: Clinton, at least, addressed the issue of terrorism realistically. He did not exploit it with a perpetual Orwellian war with which Bush hopes to rescind the Constitution and assume dictatorial powers. To sum up: Bush has made Americans less safe from real terrorism; there is probable cause that he has done this deliberately in order to exploit the threat, to rescind due process of law guaranteed us in the Constitution and to install himself as dictator, or, as he calls it, decider. There is a word for this gestalt of lies, this web of deceit, but none dare say it: high treason!

It’s time for another dose of truth:

I remember having referred to Jacob Bronouski who wrote in his Science and Human Values the only moral dictum I know that makes sense: behave in such a way that what is true can be verified to be so. I added: nothing good comes of a lie or, indeed, believing and repeating known lies. I have been correctly admonished for quoting Bertolt Brecht too often. But, there are times when no other words will do.

A man who does not know the truth is just an idiot but a man who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a crook.

�Bertolt Brecht

George W. Bush is a crook who has very nearly destroyed this nation. His administration is destined to end like the radical, right wing regime that it is �in a flaming g�tterd�mmerung.

Of the biggest updates this week: Bob Woodward charges that Bush ignored warnings about Iraq. Also �the real reason gasoline prices are going down:

White House �ignored� Iraq warning

By Caroline Daniel in Washington

Published: September 29 2006 23:38 | Last updated: September 30 2006 01:09

The Bush administration was shaken on Friday by revelations from a new book by Bob Woodward, the veteran investigative reporter, which said Andrew Card, the former White House chief of staff, had twice tried to force the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, over his handling of the Iraq war.

State of Denial by the Washington Post reporter who uncovered the Watergate scandal, paints a picture of an administration riven by personal rivalries, with Mr Rumsfeld at one point refusing to take calls from Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser. It claims that even Laura Bush, President George W. Bush�s wife, had misgivings about the defence secretary.

It also suggests Ms Rice �brushed off� a July 2001 briefing from the CIA director and former head of counterterrorism, about an imminent terrorist threat. That contrasts with claims from Ms Rice that the administration had in its first eight months been �at least as aggressive� as the Clinton administration.

Critics could use the account to question the White House�s credibility on its handling of the Iraq war and the �war on terror�. It comes at a time when Mr Bush has forcefully made the case that his actions since 9/11 have made the US safer….

The New York Times was the first to report on the book, an embarrassment to the Washington Post, which is due to publish extracts on Sunday. It is the second blow to the newspaper, which was also scooped on the outing of Deep Throat, Mr Woodward�s source during Watergate.

In a claim that could fuel conspiracy theories about the recent oil price decline � in an interview to be broadcast on CBS on Sunday � Mr Woodward described a conversation between Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Mr Bush in which the former Saudi ambassador said he could ease oil prices ahead of the elections.

�They could go down very quickly. That�s the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day,� Mr Woodward said.

And from the Washington Post:

Is Woodward Calling Bush a Liar?

…CBS News reports: “Veteran Washington reporter Bob Woodward tells Mike Wallace that the Bush administration has not told the truth regarding the level of violence, especially against U.S. troops, in Iraq. He also reveals key intelligence that predicts the insurgency will grow worse next year. . . .

“According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret…

“The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. ‘The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], ‘Oh, no, things are going to get better,’ he tells Wallace. ‘Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know,’ says Woodward.”

Woodward also tells Wallace that aged Republican war-horse Henry Kissinger is closely advising Bush, telling him there is no exit strategy other than victory.

“Woodward adds. ‘This is so fascinating. Kissinger’s fighting the Vietnam War again because, in his view, the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will.’ . . .

On the heels of a report by 16 US intelligence agencies, a report from the UK which tends to confirm the overall finding that Bush’s war of aggression against the people of Iraq has made “terrorism” worse by inflaming the entire middle east:

Iraq war ‘increased terror threat’

Failure to find WMD has reduced coalition’s ‘credibility’

Britons are more – not less – likely to be the target of terrorist attacks as a result of the war in Iraq, an influential group of MPs claims.

The Foreign Affairs Committee says British interests are under threat in the short term because of the conflict.

It also claims a failure to find weapons of mass destruction has “damaged the credibility” of the US and UK’s war against terrorism.

There was a “crisis of confidence” in the security services, one MP said.

The MPs also outlined their concern that “that the war in Iraq has possibly made terrorist attacks against British nationals and British interests more likely in the short term”. …

Proof that Bush is not a real Texan. Had he been and had he not destroyed the Texas educational system, he might have heard a simple but historic phrase: Remember the Alamo! Millions throughout the middle east probably have their own version �Remember Baghdad! Alas! That’s what you get when you allow idiots to steal important elections.

A peripherally related update from my friends at Crooks and Liars:

Liberal bloggers in New Hampshire busted an aide to Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) who was posing as a liberal blogger on such blogs as Blue Granite, NH-02 Progressive and others. Bass� office admitted culpability to HOH and said the staffer would be “appropriately disciplined.”

The unnamed aide to Bass – who, like many others in his party, faces a tough re-election fight – was routinely trolling liberal New Hampshire political blogs calling himself “IndyNH” and more commonly IndieNH, pretending to be a progressive.

Finally, after noticing that lots of things he said just didn�t add up, a couple of the bloggers traced IndieNH�s IP address to the House of Representatives. Read on�








New Orleans


<!— ‘Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission–> The Existentialist Cowboy

Bush lost the war on terrorism because he dare not win it

September 23, 2006

Bush lost the war on terrorism by waging and losing the war against the people of Iraq. The people of Baghdad have suffered most. It is doubtful that Bush has ever killed, captured, or brought to justice a single bona fide terrorist. It is enough for Bush to produce a body and term it a “terrorist” after the fact. Bush, of course, has assumed for himself the power to define terrorist; therefore, a terrorist now may not have been a terrorist earlier and vice versa. You just have to take Bush’s word for it from day to day.

Bush’s Orwellian use of the word “insurgent” clouds the issue; it deceives the American people and the world. What Bush calls an “insurgency” is most often a “guerrilla” resistance to the US occupation. It was Dick Cheney who claimed -perhaps falsely -that Zarqawi was in Baghdad after we took Afghanistan and before we went into Iraq.” Sadly, Tim Russert did not press Cheney on this point despite the fact that there is good reason to doubt Cheney who also told us that we would be greeted as liberators.

Casting doubt on Cheney’s assertion is the fact that the relationship between Saddam Hussein and Zagawai was a hostile one. At last, Bush has never made a convincing case that either Iraq or Zarqawi had anything at all to do with the events of 911 which he cites as the catch rationale for an endless war. Clearly -this is absurd and especially so when you consider the fact that 911 was never properly or thoroughly investigated.

It was Colin Powell who blamed Al Qaeda for 911. Has anyone seen any convincing evidence that Al Qaeda ever operated out of Iraq? The Washington Post reported that Iraq’s ties to Al Qaeda had been disputed even before the US attack and invasion.

Iraq’s Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War

Links Were Cited to Justify U.S. Invasion, Report Says

By Jonathan Weisman

Washington Post Staff Writer, September 9, 2006; Page A01

A declassified report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts were strongly disputing the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda while senior Bush administration officials were publicly asserting those links to justify invading Iraq.

Far from aligning himself with al-Qaeda and Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Hussein repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaeda’s overtures and tried to capture Zarqawi, the report said. Tariq Aziz, the detained former deputy prime minister, has told the FBI that Hussein “only expressed negative sentiments about [Osama] bin Laden.” …

The fact of the matter is bluntly this: we don’t know who planned or executed 911. Various “official conspiracy theories” are full of holes. And we have George W. Bush to thank for forever for obscuring the truth of it.

The war between Shi’ite and Sunni is something else altogether and the US should never have gotten in the cross fire, though we are definitely the catalyst.

Even George W. Bush recently admitted that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 911 but not before he allowed a terminally gullible American public and a sycophantic corporate media to indulge the delusion and spread the lie for years. In normal times, that would have gotten a President impeached. These are not normal times.

These are times that demonstrate a second very important reason Bush has lost the war on terrorism. These are Orwellian times and terrorism is a perpetual war. Bush has lost this war because he dare not win it and cannot afford to win it. It’s the only issue he polls well on; without it, he’s finished. It is tragically ironic that the future of humankind may very well depend upon the infamously short American attention span inuring a jaded public to a demagogue who is rapidly approaching the limit to which he can ratchet up a rhetoric that millions have already tuned out.

Bush lost the war on terrorism in many others ways. Prominently, Bush never had an enemy, and, most certainly failed to identify one. Terrorism is not a philosophy or an ideology. Terrorism is a tactic that may be exploited by numerous enemies of US imperialism. Terrorism may be employed against US imperialism from a number of opponents at every end of the political spectrum. How does one wage war against a tactic? Enemies of US imperialism are found everywhere in the world. Are we to invade every country and kill every critic? Absurd!

In this case, a war of arms, tanks, and solders is impotent and absurd. The catastrophe in Iraq proves that. Consider the case of World War II, often cited nostalgically by militarists who find in that chapter redemption for our short but bloody history. Americans cling to the myth that we defeated Nazism -but we did not. What we and our allies defeated was the German army. We did not defeat Nazism itself.

Even the Nuremberg Trials -which US prosecutor Justice Robert Jackson hoped would set a precedent for world justice -did not defeat the Nazi ideology which is still alive and well and less underground than is comfortable. That Bush repudiates the Nuremberg Principles, and, in fact, may be in violation of those principles himself, is evidence enough that Nazism is not dead.

Bush’s failure demonstrates a basic, common sense principle apparently lost on American liberals who were initially fooled by Bush. That principle is simply: terrorism cannot be defeated with terrorism; a tactic cannot be defeated by employing that tactic. We are what we do. If we employ terrorism, we are terrorists.

If 911 was an act of terrorism because it targeted the civilian population, then the US attack and invasion of Iraq is, likewise, an act of bloody terrorism. The civilian population of Iraq has suffered from American terrorism, blood lust and vengeance.

There is NO evidence that anyone having had anything to do with 911 was, in any way, and at any time since 911, harmed in any way by the bloody, disproportionate and barbaric Blitzkrieg on Baghdad, a Blitzkrieg, lately called “Shock and Awe”, that most certainly murdered some 140,000 civilians in the bombing campaign alone.

This is one of a multitude of compelling reasons Bush must not renounce the Geneva convention. It is absurd that he be allowed to try “detainees” and possibly convict them upon “evidence” kept secret from defendants as well as the American public. Bush -a known and practiced liar -simply cannot be trusted. Such an unprecedented overturn of every principle established by Geneva and Nuremberg would guarantee the executions of a limitless number of innocent civilians. There is no justice without accountability. The alternative is tyranny.

The US is not killing terrorists in Iraq; rather, a guerrilla resistance to the illegal US occupation of that nation are killing Americans. If you think the US is killing bona fide terrorists in Iraq, show me one and prove it. Some very astute writers have charged that George w. Bush took the bait. If terrorists there are in Iraq, they were not there before the US attacked and invaded. Terrorists would not have been tolerated by Saddam Hussein. Hussein is credibly reported to have loathed Bin Laden who is at once Bush’s whipping boy but absolutely essential to Bush’s perpetual, unwinnable war.

The Bush administration never foresaw nor planned for the eruption of three civil wars now raging in Iraq. The separate wars are waged by Kurds in the Northwest, Sunnis and Shi’ites against one another as well as against the so-called “government” in Baghdad. Confusing the issue for a man who cannot no nuance and most certainly lied about reading “…three Shakespeare’s” and a Albert Camus, is the fact that the army that he placed in harm’s way is in the cross hairs. More importantly, Soldiers are sent into war zones to shoot people. Who is the enemy? Is the enemy Sunni? Shi’ite? Kurd? Who do we shoot? If none of those groups turn out to be the mortal enemy of the US, then what the hell are we doing in Iraq? [See: Terrorist Network Disconnect, Gareth Porter, September 13, 2006]

Americans have begun to see through transparent lies. Bush, therefore, has found it necessary to obscure truth with yet another: we are war with Islamo-fascism. This is not an enemy! Islamo-fascism is a GOP invention, a phony word made up by the right wing blogosphere and GOP consultants desperate for yet another boogie man. Moreover, Islamo-fascism is racist, on a level with rag head, camel jockey, and sand nigger. Bush might as well have said: we are at war with sand niggers. His policies most certainly wage war on everyone but wasps back home.

Bush plays the race card, knowing full well that his base is mostly bigots and extremists for whom any one of any color is the object of condescension or disgust. These are people who would have taken picnic baskets to lynchings. These are people who call Mexican-Americans spicks and pepper bellies. These are people who called the citizens of Viet Nam -whom we were supposed to be defending against the Viet Cong –gooks! Is anyone surprised that Texas Governor Rick Perry would try to link terrorism with immigration from Mexico -never mind that the suggestion is ludicrous on its face. Perry, nevertheless, appears in a Marlboro man jacket with the Rio Grande behind him and tells the people of Texas that to be secure against terrorism, we must secure our borders against immigrants from Mexico. Last time, I checked none of the 911 terrorists came from Mexico. Perry, like Bush, before him exploits fear, suspicion and bigotry. But Kinky Friedman would not be outdone. He recently called New Orleans evacuees “crackheads and thugs”. Earlier, he said that ” …sexual predators should be imprisoned and forced to ‘listen to a Negro talking to himself.”‘

Why should we be surprised that millions more now hate America than at any other time in our history? Is every country in the world, then, peopled with potential enemies of the United States? If so, we have only ourselves to blame; our only enemies are the enemies of our creation, the monster from our collective id; they are the blowback of our stupid bigotry, racism, and ruthless yankee imperialism.

Bush dare not win his war on terrorism because it just might turn out to be as fraudulent as everything else about his failed and miserable administration. Here’s Keith Olbermann:

A timely update:

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat

By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: September 24, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 � A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled �Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,�� it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe. …

Previous drafts described actions by the United States government that were determined to have stoked the jihad movement, like the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guant�namo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and some policy makers argued that the intelligence estimate should be more focused on specific steps to mitigate the terror threat. It is unclear whether the final draft of the intelligence estimate criticizes individual policies of the United States, but intelligence officials involved in preparing the document said its conclusions were not softened or massaged for political purposes…








New Orleans


<!— ‘Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission–> The Existentialist Cowboy

Bush makes a hell of Iraq; Chavez smells sulfur; the minions of Satan get rich!

September 22, 2006

Iraq is hell if you live there, survive there, get tortured there. If it gets worse �and it will � the dead will be called lucky. War may be hell but Iraq is the product of one man’s lies, frauds, deceptions. Things are so bad that I wonder if Bush will withdraw, re-invade and hope things turn out better. But that assumes Bush wants things to turn out better. He doesn’t.

Truth is things couldn’t be worse but, as long as Bush occupies Iraq and the White House, things will get worse anyway. Truth is the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam than Bush and are probably nostalgic for Saddam. Truth is we won’t get the truth �not on the American media, anyway. It was left to the BBC to report its lead story: torture in Iraq is more hellish now than under former leader Saddam Hussein, demonized and all but compared to Satan by Bush.

Bush had cited Saddam’s own hellish torture program as one of his many rationales for the US war of aggression �itself a hell on earth called “Shock and Awe” �the source of pictures of modern, mechanized, souless hell fire if not brimstone. After the attack and invasion, Bush boasted about how much better things were for the Iraqi on the street. That was just one of innumerable lies that this “deceiver of nations” has perpetrated upon the American people and the entire world. Had the Iraqi people been delivered? Into hell! None of this was told us. We were deliberately deceived. All the nations of the world were deceived.

“Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers.

�”President” Bush, 2003 Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, Oct. 8, 2003

Uh huh! That was a lie that was told to all the nations of the world. There’s more.

“The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don’t have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over.”

�Paul Bremer, Administrator, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003

Another lie told to the entire world. The BBC’s source, UN chief anti-torture expert Manfred Nowak, paints a vivid picture of reality and truth, a situation “…out of control” and a seemingly endless stream of abused victims traceable directly to the US-led multinational forces, security forces, militia groups and anti-US guerrillas. It’s a picture of hell on earth:

The UN report says detainees’ bodies often show signs of beating using electrical cables, wounds in heads and genitals, broken legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns.

Bodies found at the Baghdad mortuary “often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances”.

Many bodies have missing skin, broken bones, back, hands and legs, missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails, the UN report says.

BBC, Iraq torture ‘worse after Saddam’

But Bush had assured the American people and the world that Iraq was better off now that the evil dictator had been deposed by an American army that Dick Cheney said would be greeted as liberators.

Because we acted, torture rooms are closed, rape rooms no longer exist, mass graves are no longer a possibility in Iraq.”

�Bush, remarks at “Ask President Bush” event, Michigan, May 3, 2004

Now �Bush wouldn’t deliberately lie through his teeth, would he? The reality in Iraq is a harsh light on the lie. The situation is much worse now; Bush brought to Iraq an American corporate apocalypse, in fact, a preview of the corporate hell that awaits the US.

But one hell at a time. Back to Iraq. Bush’s civilian body count, likewise, continues to rise �250,000 dead civilians in Iraq and climbing.

The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by U.S.-led coalition forces has been responsible for the death of at least 150,000 civilians.

Information Clearing House

Each one of them is one count in the war crimes indictment that may one day be returned. Meanwhile, as Bush diverted more than $200 billion from needed services in the US, he has created, in Iraq, a hot bed for discontent, anger, hatred of US imperialism �a hell on earth. In short, Bush has created an incubator for real terrorism �not the phony stuff he exploits; rather, the real thing that will rise up against us in ways Bush will never, could never predict or understand, despite whatever Skull and Bones powers he may pray to in private. In a worst case, Bush may have sealed our fate, insured our doom.

Why did Bush embark upon this deliberate campaign of torture and atrocity? Why did the Bush administration inflame the middle east? Why did Bush pursue policies guaranteed to radicalize moderates and give cause to real terrorists? Why has Bush, in fact, endangered the people of the United States by making of our nation a rogue, outlaw state? Ironically, Bush cannot claim to have made us safer. To do so would remove the only issue around which he might hope to rally the American people: fear!

Whatever was discussed by Dick Cheney and his so-called Energy Task Force, the result has been the American corporate takeover of Iraq. Surely, in that meeting, it was all planned and discussed just as Hitler literally auctioned off the Third Reich to Thyssen, Krupp, and I.G. Farben �a single meeting described vividly by William Shirer in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. Just as Hitler favored Farben, lucrative contracts were awarded to Dick Cheney�s Halliburton, circumventing even the pretense of a bid process.

The liar-in-chief would have you believe that Iraq is better off. In fact, Iraqi civilians were abandoned to chaos, out-sourced torture, hunger, and �now � civil war. Nothing said by Bush about Iraq has ever been true. By every sane definition Iraq is lost �but for Halliburton, the very picture of a fascist corporate rule, things couldn’t be better. Truth is, Iraq has been looted!

A great collection of “worse off under Bush” links:

Additional resources:

The Minions of Satan:

The New Testament tells us that Satan is a liar, the great Deceiver, who appears as an angel of light. It tells us that this great master of hoax and deception will lead many Christians into apostate Christianity to their own destruction. It describes him, in the book of Revelation, as the great deceiver of nations.

Satanic Lie and Delusion

I’m an agnostic. But I am also a logical positivist who believes that a “thing” is defined by a finite number of “attributes” that are known to exist. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s a duck! Simply �if the “Beast” is defined as “deceiver of nations” …well, who do you suppose that is? You get one guess.

It would appear that some one in the Middle East, a long time ago, wrote some stuff down that sounds a helluva lot like the hell on earth that Bush has since created in Iraq. Bush has made of himself a helluva “President”! Just ask Hugo Chavez �who understands better than anyone what Bush has in mind for Venezuela. It’s a helluva plan.






<!— ‘Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission–> The Existentialist Cowboy

Congress is powerless to absolve Bush of capital crimes and torture charges

September 18, 2006

Bush is in a heap of trouble. The US Congress should be impeaching Bush �NOT conspiring with him to cover his backside!

Whatever torture compromise may work its way through an intimidated Congress, it cannot help Bush. The US Constitution requires nothing less than a Constitutional Amendment to relieve US obligations under the Geneva convention; and, at least one Constitutional provision means that nothing legal can get Bush off the hook for the crimes that he has already committed.

Let’s take the second one first. Bush seeks an ex post facto law that will make legal �after the fact �his violations of the Geneva Convention having to do with torture.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

�US Constitution, Article I

That means that Bush cannot commit crimes, possibly including having ordered summary executions and brutal tortures, only to have them made legal later on. The Constitution flatly states that it doesn’t work that way! I’ve been screaming about this for a long time now. Maybe the time has come to be vindicated:

George Washington University Professor and Countdown resident Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley joined Keith tonight to discuss the legal implications of President Bush�s proposed changes to Article III of the Geneva Conventions. Keith raises an obvious yet seldom mentioned point: Is the Bush administration trying to retroactively legalize crimes it very well may have already committed? Wouldn�t be the first time.

�John Amato, Crooks and Liars

Bush is beyond help from a mere act of Congress at this point. It’ll take either the second coming or a constitutional amendment to change any US treaty obligation; the chances of that happening are very, very slim.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

US Constitution, Article VI, Annotations

Therefore, the Geneva Convention is the supreme law of the land and Bush is subject to it even if Congress should pass a measure that attempts to pardon him or, in any other way, absolve him of the capital crimes that he has already committed.

Even US Codes, Title 18, � 2441. War crimes bind the US to the those international treaties which address the issue of war crimes, crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity. The case can be made that Bush has deliberately violated all of them. There is probable cause to bring severe criminal charges against Bush now. If the US government had not been hijacked by a handful of crooked corporations, Bush would already have been impeached, tried, and removed from office to stand trial in ordinary criminal courts. Only partisan politics has kept him in office.

Meanwhile in London, Britain’s Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith warns that the US risks “international condemnation” if it tries to renounce Geneva or limit its obligations. Goldsmith’s comments come after a US Senate committee rejected changes in the law that Bush had demanded. An alternative measure has been proposed by GOP Senator John McCain and supported by former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who stated earlier:

The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.

�Colin Powell

The world has every reason to so doubt. Indeed, there is no moral basis for the US position and the actions that have taken place on Bush’s watch. Bush, like Hitler before him, has literally thumbed his nose at US international obligations though we are bound to them by our own US Constitution �the supreme law of the land �and US criminal codes.

I have, at last, located the Keith Olberman/Jonathan Turley video. Here is it is. Enjoy and learn how a man who claims to be our “President” has thumbed his nose at our own Constitution, our treaty obligations, indeed, the very values of a civilized society:

The media has done the American public a disservice, dealing with this story in Orwellian terms, calling torture “tough questioning” or “stringent interrogation techniques” or some other absurd euphemism. Bush, himself, calls it “an alternative set of procedures”! Hey! We’re talking about torture, folks, and it’s a crime! And when death results �as it has in fact �it’s a capital crime prohibited by federal laws, punishable by death at the pleasure of the court. Moreover, it will take a constitutional amendment to undo those obligations and even that will not exonerate Bush after the fact.

Bush perpetrated a fraud upon the nation in order to wage of war of naked aggression, itself a war crime under the Nuremberg Principles. Then, in the course of waging that criminal war, Bush violates Geneva which he now pressures Congress to abjure. My position is: it is not Geneva that Congress should abjure �but Bush! Instead of papering over his crimes with what Bush hopes will exculpate his guilty butt, the Congress should be drafting his impeachment.

An update:

People have died under U.S. torture

Published: September 23, 2006

The writer of the Sept. 21 letter of the day, “They may be detained, but they get food,” ignores the Pentagon’s admission that more than 20 detainees deaths have been classified as homicides in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo.

These deaths were at the hands of U.S. soldiers and civilian contractors, in our facilities. Decent food, medical treatment and humane conditions did not help these detainees. They are dead through some means of torture.

The letter writer also suggested liberals don’t understand the enemy we face. Quite the contrary, we see the inhumanity all around and question the leadership, direction and tactics of our war against terrorists.

The US War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a felony to commit grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act. Observers on The Hill say the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority�perhaps as part of the military appropriations bill, the proposals for Guant�namo tribunals or a new catch-all �anti-terrorism� package.

As David Cole of the Georgetown University Law Center pointed out in the August 10 issue of The New York Review of Books, the Supreme Court�s decision in Hamdan v. Rusmfeld �suggests that President Bush has already committed a war crime, simply by establishing the [Guant�namo] military tribunals and subjecting detainees to them� because �the Court found that the tribunals violate Common Article 3�and under the War Crimes Act, any violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime.� A similar argument would indicate that top US officials have also committed war crimes by justifying interrogation methods that, according to the testimony of US military lawyers, also violate Common Article 3.

Lo and behold, the legislation the Administration has circulated on Capitol Hill would decriminalize such acts retroactively.

Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith, The NationClearly �Bush attempt to cover his back side with an ex post facto law is a transparent abuse of power and �on its face �an attempt to subvert the rule of law itself. Such power leads inexorably to a self-pardon, a concept repugnant to every principle upon which this nation was founded.

From Joseph Story’s venerable Commentaries on the Constitution:

� 1339. Of the same class are ex post facto laws, that is to say, (in a literal sense,) laws passed after the act done. The terms, ex post facto laws, in a comprehensive sense, embrace all retrospective laws, or laws governing, or controlling past transactions, whether they are of a civil, or a criminal nature.

�Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 3:�� 1338–39

And from a more contemporary commentator, the syndicated liberal talk personality from KCAA, Los Angeles:

There is no slicker way to exalt Bush above the law than to simply make legal the laws he’s already broken.

I have more to say about ex post facto attempts to make legal the numerous crimes Bush has committed but first the Hamden decision to date: In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, handed down June 29, the United States Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush exceeded his authority. Neither the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), nor the so-called inherent powers give Bush a legal authority to set up military tribunals at Guantanamo.

For those of us who have maintained for some time now that Bush is a “war criminal” — who has breached not only international conventions but also U.S. criminal codes — the high court’s decision is vindication. In effect, SCOTUS has said that for a period of some five years, the Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney gang has been guilty of violating the Third Convention on treatment of prisoners of war as well as a U.S. federal law of 1996 which binds the U.S. executive to those relevant parts of the Geneva convention.

Predictably, a conspiratorial GOP is scrambling to let Bush off the hook, even though he is most certainly guilty of violating U.S. and international law. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says that Congress will reverse the Supreme Court’s declaration and Sen. Arlen Specter is already at work on the language of the bill. I submit to Sen. McCain that Congress does not have the authority to reverse a decision of the supreme court; it can only pass a new law addressing its objections. Moreover, there is no precedent for excusing culprits ex post facto! On it its face, this is unfair; but more importantly, unconstitutional

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Article I, U.S. Constitution

Bush and his GOP co-conspirators are routinely at odds with the supreme law of the land but also simple common sense. Because ex post facto laws change �after the fact �the legal consequences of acts already committed, the ex post facto law becomes an instrument of oppression and tyranny. Hoping to crack down on dissenters, for example, a government need only make the voicing of certain opinions a crime but only after they’ve been printed, broadcast or spoken. Such a government need only make the law, round up the usual suspects, and prosecute them for actions that were legal at the time of their commission. Conversely, the dictator-in-chief in such a society need only subvert the very foundations of law and order itself and demand that his actions be made legal �after the fact! Convenience is the enemy of the rule of law.

�Barry Gordon, summa cum laude political science, California State University, Los Angeles; J.D. Loyola Law School, 1991, BarryTalk.com

A law, however, cannot be denominated retrospective, or ex post facto, which merely changes the remedy, but does not affect the right.

�U.S. Supreme Court, HOLLINGSWORTH v. STATE OF VIRGINIA, 3 U.S. 378 (1798)


The Torture President

Additional resources:

I am pleased to have been picked up by a French language blog called Paroles de Qu�b�coisHere’s a portion of the story they wrote about the ex post facto issue:

J’ai mentionn� pr�c�demment que Bush cherchait un pardon r�troactif pour les crimes qu’il a commis en relation avec la convention de Gen�ve sur le traitement des prisonniers. Heureusement, la voie qu’il poursuit est anticonstitutionnelle en raison de ce petit “bout de papier” (le terme utilis� par Bush pour r�f�rer � la constitution, ironiquement le seul et unique devoir du pr�sident est de la faire respecter), particuli�rement cette ligne r�v�latrice:

    No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    �US Constitution, Article I

Howard Zinn’s names has come up several times now in the comments section. Here’s Zinn’s latest essay:

America�s Blinders

By Howard Zinn
April 2006 Issue

Now that most Americans no longer believe in the war, now that they no longer trust Bush and his Administration, now that the evidence of deception has become overwhelming (so overwhelming that even the major media, always late, have begun to register indignation), we might ask: How come so many people were so easily fooled?

The question is important because it might help us understand why Americans�members of the media as well as the ordinary citizen�rushed to declare their support as the President was sending troops halfway around the world to Iraq.

A small example of the innocence (or obsequiousness, to be more exact) of the press is the way it reacted to Colin Powell�s presentation in February 2003 to the Security Council, a month before the invasion, a speech which may have set a record for the number of falsehoods told in one talk. In it, Powell confidently rattled off his �evidence�: satellite photographs, audio records, reports from informants, with precise statistics on how many gallons of this and that existed for chemical warfare. The New York Times was breathless with admiration. The Washington Post editorial was titled �Irrefutable� and declared that after Powell�s talk �it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.�

It seems to me there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture, and which help explain the vulnerability of the press and of the citizenry to outrageous lies whose consequences bring death to tens of thousands of people. If we can understand those reasons, we can guard ourselves better against being deceived.

One is in the dimension of time, that is, an absence of historical perspective. The other is in the dimension of space, that is, an inability to think outside the boundaries of nationalism. We are penned in by the arrogant idea that this country is the center of the universe, exceptionally virtuous, admirable, superior.

If we don�t know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. I am not speaking of the history we learned in school, a history subservient to our political leaders, from the much-admired Founding Fathers to the Presidents of recent years. I mean a history which is honest about the past. If we don�t know that history, then any President can stand up to the battery of microphones, declare that we must go to war, and we will have no basis for challenging him. He will say that the nation is in danger, that democracy and liberty are at stake, and that we must therefore send ships and planes to destroy our new enemy, and we will have no reason to disbelieve him.

An update from my good friends at Bad Attitudes:

Speaking of Invidious Comparisons

Donald Rumsfeld is onto something when he suggests that opponents of Bush�s occupation of Iraq are at best appeasers like Chamberlain and at worst Vichy collaborators like Marshal P�tain. World War II parallels to Georgie�s Excellent Adventure actually do exist, although not where our Secretary of �Defense� finds them. They�re in Casablanca.

Doesn�t the Nazi, Major Strasser, remind you of Rummy himself? And of course to most of the world (all of the Arab world), Feldmarschall Rumsfeld�s Iraqi �terrorists� look strikingly like that heroic resistance fighter, Victor Laszlo.

paul_henreid.jpg






<!— ‘Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission–> The Existentialist Cowboy

Human Dignity Lessons for George W. Bush who was planning �before 911 �to commit war crimes abroad

September 17, 2006

Lesson No. One: Bush is thrown into Abu Ghraib, violated and made to wear a dress! A pop quiz for Bush:

Did you feel violated? Did you feel like your “human dignity” had been violated? Did you feel as small as you really are? Did you lose your self-esteem �or only your big mouthed braggadocio? Would you like to repeat the experience?

Remember, George, this is not a “no child left behind” program; there are no right or wrong answers and you will not be coached to “test”. You can be honest �for a change.

Seriously �had this nation chosen to lead the world instead of bullying it, GWB would not be standing up �belligerently, arrogantly, desperately �in front of the American people admitting to the world that he does not understand the meaning of the phrase: outrage against human dignity.

This debate is occurring because of the Supreme Court�s ruling that said that we must conduct ourselves under the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, and that Common Article 3 says that, you know, there will be no outrages upon human dignity.

That�s like � it�s very vague. What does that mean, �outrages upon human dignity�? That�s a statement that is wide open to interpretation. And what I am proposing is that there be clarity in the law so that our professionals will have no doubt that that which they are doing is legal. You know, it�s � and so the piece of legislation I sent up there provides our professionals that which is needed to go forward.

�George W. Bush, quoted in the New York Times

I submit that those who perpetrate outrages to human dignity are those who don’t know what it is, i.e. “evil doers” who lack human empathy. There is a short of list of such people: Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Torquemada, Richard Topcliffe, Mao, Mussolini et al.

The matter is open to interpretation only among those �primarily the GOP �who have schemed from the git go to exempt the US from war crimes prosecutions long before the so-called war began. A bill entitled To protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States Government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not party was introduced by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as an amendment to H.R. 1646, The Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2001, on May 8, 2001. It passed the House 282-137 on May 10 and introduced as S. 857 in the Senate on May 9 by Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC), Zell Miller (D-GA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Warner (R-VA), Trent Lott (R-MS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Frank Murkowski (R-AK).

The bill authorized the President “…to use all means (including the provision of legal assistance) necessary to bring about the release of covered U.S. persons and covered allied persons held captive by or on behalf of the Court [International Criminal Court, ICC, in the Hague]. That means that Bush could attack the Hague to effect a rescue of US war criminals on trial there.

Consider the implications of the timing. This measure was introduced months before 911 �yet, it is clear, that even then Bushco was planning a war. How could Bush have been so sure that he would have the pretext for war if 911 had not been an inside job? Just asking! Waiting for a plausible answer!

So �Bush’s attempt to undermine the ICC while subverting the meat and potatoes of the Geneva Convention was and remains pre-meditated. Bush had been planning to commit war crimes and atrocities in Iraq and elsewhere even before 911. Else �why would Tom DeLay and the above named Republicans have “conspired” to introduce this enabling act before the US congress?

Elsewhere it is learned that the authorization for torture came from Bush himself.

Among a new batch of documents rights groups have forced the gov’t to release, a Bureau communication refers to a presidential Executive Order endorsing some forms of torture witnessed at Iraq prison. …The email, which was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, represents the first hard evidence directly connecting the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the White House. The author of the email, whose name is blanked out but whose title is described as “On Scene Commander — Baghdad,” contains ten explicit mentions of an “Executive Order” that the author said mandated US military personnel to engage in extraordinary interrogation tactics.

President Authorized Abu Ghraib Torture, FBI Email Says, NewStandard

Clearly �Bush either understands what “outrages to human dignity” are and chooses deliberately to perpetrate them; or, indeed, he is utterly lacking human empathy and truly does not know what every other human being on earth knows. If Bush “unnerstans” human dignity but orders torture deliberately �knowing it to be unlawful even under US Codes �then his recent hysteria is understandable. Bush is culpable and vulnerable to war crimes prosecutions. [See US Codes; Title 18 � 2441. War crimes]

Here are some “human dignity” lessons for the occupant of our increasingly corporate White House:

  • Human dignity means not being electrocuted.
  • Human dignity means not being photographed in a dress while being electrocuted
  • Human dignity means not having a night stick �or worse �shoved up your rectum by a perverted Halliburton contractor who thinks he’s above the law
  • Human dignity means not being photographed naked in a pile of naked bodies while rolling in excrement.
  • Human dignity means not being posed in homosexual positions and photographed by perverted Pentagon personnel and/or defense “contractors” from Halliburton or elsewhere.
  • Human dignity means not being water boarded until willing to confess to anything whether true or not
  • Human dignity means not having your privates played with by US soldiers who think its funny or get a perverted thrill out of it
  • Human dignity means not having US troops and/or Halliburton paid killers knock down your door and murder you and your family [Marines hid evidence of Haditha massacre]
  • Human dignity means not having your head blown off in Shock and Awe whether you liked Saddam or not
  • Human dignity means forcing war criminals out of your country.
  • Human dignity means not having done to you what the Washington Post reports were done to hundreds, thousands of Bush’s victims.

What is it about “human dignity” that Bush doesn’t understand…and why doesn’t he understand it? Is it because the man who dares to call himself “President” is a mass murdering torturer by proxy?

Bush has repeatedly stated that US torture policies are within the law. I say they are not! Acts perpetrated by the George W. Bush administration upon his policy and direction violated US Codes; Title 18 � 2441. War crimes, our Constitution, our treaty obligations, and, of course, the common values of our Western Civilization i.e., the very values that Bush claims he is defending. In fact, he subverts them; in this, he has been much more successful than “terrorists” which he claims “…just hate freedom”.

Torture, moreover, is ineffective, repugnant, an abominable evidence of savergy and barbarism. Civilized nations do not torture. Legitimate administrations do not torture. Intelligence gathered by torture is notoriously inaccurate and misleading. Bush’s cruelest lie: that the US is involved in a great war on terrorism. It’s a fraud and Bush’s own words betray him. Colin Powell, who helped lie this nation into aggressive war, may be trying to atone for his sins.

The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism!

�Colin Powell

I would submit to Powell that the lies he helped tell about Iraq completely undermined the “moral basis” for this war from the start. There is no moral basis for this immoral war.

At last, our war is lost when our behavior is no longer distinguishable from that of terrorists. We have become the terrorists. Pogo said it first: “We have seen the enemy and he is us!”






<!— ‘Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission–> The Existentialist Cowboy

How Bush made of the last remaining superpower a banana republic

September 15, 2006

Nothing said by Bush about Iraq has been true. Nothing said by Bush about 911 has been true. Nothing said by Bush about the “war on terrorism” has been true. All are lies. Let’s take them one by one.

Bush said Saddam had WMD! He didn’t. Bush has repeatedly tried to link Iraq with the war on terrorism. Bunkum. Even Bush has admitted of late that Saddam had nothing to do with 911 and, within a week, Bushies were back on the liar’s trail again with yet another absurd spin: Iraq is a part of the war on terrorism �a blatant and nonsensical lie. Besides, if Iraq �a debacle �is part and parcel of the war on terrorism, then what is to be said of the “war on terrorism”?

The war on terrorism, therefore, is as catastrophically failed as is the Iraq occupation. Bush has not identified an enemy in either war and his implication that we are killing “terrorists” in Iraq is a lie. Insurgents are not terrorists; they are guerillas resisting an illegal occupation �their right under international law. Compounding Bush’s failure is the fact that Bush is creating enemies in Iraq. One wonders �how many more allies and friends might this nation have if demogogues had not needed enemies more?

Bush apologists claim that if we don’t fight them there, we’ll fight them here! Who is “them”? I wonder. Certainly, the some 140,000 civilians whose murder was ordered by George W. Bush would never have made their way to the United States in order kill a single American. Bush and his apologists know their cover story is a lie but they tell it anyway.

The Bush administration has witnessed a deteriorating situation in Iraq even though Saddam is jail and on trial. So �who’s to blame? Saddam? No! George W. Bush and his incompetent policies.

�The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power,� Bush says not with a straight-face, but with a smirk. “He was a clear threat,� Bush says. To whom? I put it to his forum: Iraqis were better off under Saddam than under the incompetent and brutal occupation of the US military. Secondly, Bush’s body count among Iraqi civilians is most certainly higher than that of Saddam, called a “brutal dictator” by Bush.

Dick Cheney chimes in: “…the world is better off” without Saddam. Rather, the entire world would be even better off without Bush.

Not only Iraqi civilians but American soldiers too have paid with their lives for Bush’s incompetence and stupidity. For the most part, these soldiers are from the millions of US citizens literally robbed by GOP “trickle down” economics. No Child Left Behind is GOP-speak for Every Child for Him/Herself. When the future consists of flippin’ burgers or greeting Wal-Mart shoppers, who is not seduced by empty promises and wars that look like video games?

Bush tells Matt Lauer that he is protecting American citizens! The truth is Bush creates enemies faster than he can murder them. But let’s look at this from another angle. Who protects us from the Bush �a man who wages war on Americans by destroying jobs and opportunities? by plotting to destroy the retirement of older Americans? by leaving New Orleans to its fate? by putting the tax burden on any one lucky enough to find a job?

Bush/Cheney tell you that Iraq is a central front in the mythic �if not mythical �war on terrorism. This is cruelest lie of all! Wager: when we pull out, terrorism in Iraq ceases! Moreover, as I have written repeatedly, if Iraq was not a hot bed of terrorism before the US invaded, it is now. Rational people would draw the correct conclusion that Bush’s war of naked aggression is the world’s number one cause of terrorism. That was so during Ronald Reagan’s similarly failed war and I have previously cited the FBI stats to prove it.

The Middle East is not merely aflame it is destabilized. Three civil wars rage in Iraq and American troops are caught in the cross fire. Credible sources support the conclusion that the world has very narrowly averted World War III. Bush gave Ehud Olmert a green light to attack Hebollah on the pretext of avenging the alleged kidnapping of Israeli soldiers inside Israel. Oddly, however, the story changed in later versions. The original AP story stated that the soldiers in question were captured inside Lebanon �not Israel. Who attacked who? Bush, meanwhile, urged Olmert to attack Syria. By that time, Olmert must have seen a debacle in the making and refused to take the bait. An attack on Syria would most certainly have been intended to draw Iran into the conflict. World War III? Possibly! Was Bush trying to start it? Possibly!

The US, meanwhile, is increasingly isolated and reviled. We have not helped our case by torturing people upon no evidence or probable cause. We have not helped our case by making stupid comments about how “we” �the world’s last remaining superpower �are not obliged to International Law but all other nations are! We have not helped our case by demonizing allies like France. We have not helped our case by being hypocrites. We have not helped our case by acting like stupid, spoiled brats.

The war on Iraq is a complete and utter disaster, a quagmire of biblical proportions and the entire world knows that to be the case. It is bad form for Bush to strut around like a bantam rooster on hormones. It is counter-productive for the world’s last remaining superpower to hold a nuke over another nation’s head and rub their noses in Bush’s excrement. It does not help our case that Bush cannot define the enemy in Iraq. Who is it? Is it the Kurds, who want autonomy in the north west? Is it the Shias, who want dominance in Baghdad? Is it the Sunnis, who likewise want control over central Iraq? And why does the US wish to get involved with purely internal and largely sectarian controversies that only Iraqis can sort out for themselves? And, finally, what has all that to do with “terrorism”. Nothing!

The world is sick and tired of this mountebank, this demagogue, this poser, this fraud who dares to threaten the world. Billions the world over have seen the naked emperor and called his bluff. Billions have had enough of a talent-less mediocrity who dares to lecture his betters.

That Bush may have no regrets about Irag says more about Bush’s pathology than it does about the cause, if cause there be for mass murder, war crimes, oil theft, and lies. Bush has no regrets because he is utterly without humanity or empathy. Thousands have died for Bush’s vainglorious dreams of conquest and military glory. The attack and invasion of Iraq, a sovereign nation, was and remains a war crime. It was Dr. Gustav Gilbert, the allies Nuremberg psychologist, who said that evil is an utter lack of empathy. That is a perfect description of the man who usurped the White House and made of this last remaining superpower nothing more than a banana republic.

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he has grown so great?

Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare






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U.S. to Bush: Get yourself a good lawyer; you’re gonna need one!

September 14, 2006

There may be probable cause to try George W. Bush for capital crimes. Bush is losing it. He’s combative, belligerent, rambling, disconnected and overtly defensive. He’s desperately trying to come up with various defenses on various fronts �all ex post facto. One is tempted to tell him: give up, George! Surrender to the authorities! You get one phone call; use it to get in touch in Jim Baker. Get your lies straight!

The issue is torture �a heinous act that Bush insists on calling “…an alternative set of procedures”. Interviewed by Matt Lauer, Bush tried to justify torture as necessary even as he denied that the US was torturing. Bush tried to avoid the question: if torture is “legal”, then why did the US try to keep it secret throughout Eastern Europe? Bush may choose to refer to torture by some Orwellian term. The rest of us know the truth of it! In the name of decency and humanity, we will call the US program of atrocity what it is: war crimes!

Bush openly claims the right to torture �at his personal discretion. The dictatorial powers that he claims �work against him. They make him personally culpable for all crimes that follow from his lead, his example, his direction.

All the various lies are now laid bare �that abuses were perpetrated by low-level grunts; that the US was/is above the Geneva Convention, that the Geneva Convention did not apply, that the Nuremberg Principles could not restrain the mighty US, that soldiers were ignorant or poorly trained when prisoners were beaten, abused, tortured, water boarded, or humiliated. All were lies!

Despite the fact that the truth is now known, Bush gets in Matt Lauer’s face and declares that he is protecting the people of the United States, that the US �under his incompetent misrule �is going to torture people when he �the decider �sees fit, and that whenever he is questioned, his word is final. Even if that were true, Bush makes enemies abroad faster than he can murder them in our name. Bush’s irrational statements convict him. At the very least, they are �in themselves �probable cause to bring him to trial for capital crimes, crimes against the peace, war crimes.

Here’s Bush in his aggressive/defensive/thin-skinned mode, interviewed by Matt Lauer:

A war is lost when atrocities begin. There are good reasons to believe that US atrocities began with the US invasion of Afghanistan. Bush was referring to Afghanistan when he said of victims of US aggression:

Many others have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way �they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.

�George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003

If by “different fate”, Bush means summary executions of Afghan citizens, he is in violation of US Codes; Title 18, � 2441. War crimes

(a) Offense.� Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.

�Cornell Law School, US Code Collection, US Codes; Title 18, � 2441. War crimes

It is no wonder that Bush is agitated and defensive under Lauer’s cross examination. Capital crimes are a serious matter. That there is probable cause that capital crimes have been committed �even more so.

I suggest a complete reading of the Geneva Conventions relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. But here is a small portion which flies in the face of the numerous lies that are told about Geneva by Bush partisans:

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

�Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

As four US Supreme Court justices agreed in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld recently, Article 75 is �indisputably part of the customary international law.��[see:Marjorie Cohn Israel Creates Humanitarian Crisis].

A war is lost when those perpetrating a war of aggression question the patriotism of legitimate critics. Recently Donald Rumsfeld called the Democratic opposition “Nazi appeasers”. In the meantime, Bush denies having committed the very crimes he now wants to make legal. Why would he want to do that, if he were not guilty?

His efforts are futile. Such a law �an ex post facto law �is specifically and unambiguously prohibited in Article 1 of the US Constitution:

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

�Article 1, US Constitution

The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre took a strong stand against torture. In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre said of torture that it was intended “…to reduce men to vermin”. Like the US in Iraq, the French used torture to suppress the Algerian resistance. Like the Bush administration, the French denied the practice even as they declared its effectiveness against the Algerian Liberation Front. Sartre, however, was true to his avowed “existentialism”, urging others others to ask of themselves as he asked of himself: what would I do if I were tortured!

If we Americans are to hold on to what’s left of our humanity, we simply must learn to think objectively about Bush and about the role our nation now plays throughout the world. Are we, in fact, a force for good �or evil? We must be honest if Bush is not! There is, indeed, a choice to make but not the one falsely framed by Bush. We must demand that the atrocities end now! We must rise up and demand that the United States withdraw immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan! We must demand full and transparent investigations into every outrage perpetrated by Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere! We must ask of ourselves as Sartre asked of himself: What would we do if we were tortured by the armed forces of a belligerant aggressor nation?

Some updates:

EU tensions over CIA prisons

From correspondents in Brussels
September 16, 2006

THE European Union has declared that secret prisons run throughout the world by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are against international law.

“The existence of secret detention facilities where detained persons are kept in a legal vacuum is not in conformity with international humanitarian law and international criminal law,” the EU presidency said.

“We reiterate that in combating terrorism human rights and humanitarian standards have to be maintained,” said Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja after chairing a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

US President George W. Bush admitted last week for the first time that the US Central Intelligence Agency covertly held prisoners in overseas camps, reports of which had been publicly denied by many of the countries involved.

He also defended the interrogation tactics used by the CIA.

Mr Tuomioja said the issue had been raised at the meeting by Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot.

“The European Union reiterates its commitment to combating terrorism effectively using all legal means and instruments available. Terrorism is itself a threat to our values based on the rule of law,” Mr Tuomioja said.

On Thursday, a European parliamentarian probing the suspected secret CIA prisons denounced Bush and members of his administration as liars.

“I am stunned that he lied to us for months. Mrs (US Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice lied to the European Council,” Italian socialist deputy Claudio Fava told other members of the investigating commission.

Bush Takes Security Push to Capitol Hill

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 14, 2006

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the House speaker, heading into a meeting with the G.O.P. members of the House.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of election season.

Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

Earlier in the day, Bush had journeyed to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation.

”I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity,” Bush said at the White House.

The president’s measure would go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terror trials, using coerced testimony and protecting U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that violate the Geneva Conventions.

The internal GOP struggle intensified along other fronts, too, as Colin Powell, Bush’s first secretary of state, declared his opposition to the president’s plan.

”The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” Powell, a retired general who is also a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a letter. …

Sidney Blumenthal Calls George W. Bush ‘The Most Uniquely Radical President We�ve Ever Had’

Why do I call him a radical? I call him a radical because he is undertaking a fundamental transformation of our Constitutional system of government and of our longstanding policies that have been accepted for literally generations. He thinks to concentrate unaccountable power in the Executive. He thinks you alter the laws so that, as Commander in Chief, he can determine, under what he says are wartime conditions, what the laws are, which laws should be enforced, and declare by fiat what our policy should be, even abrogating longstanding international treaties.

This is a long project whose main driver is the Vice President, Dick Cheney. Bush has overthrown a sixty-year consensus on foreign policy. He has exhibited hostility to science that no other president has ever displayed. He has adopted a formal policy of so-called preemptive, first-strike attack that was rejected openly by Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower. And he has deliberately polarized and divided the country for political purposes, politicizing the most basic questions of war and peace for partisan advantage. Those are some of the policies and politics he�s pursued that lead me to call him the most uniquely radical president we�ve ever had in the White House.

�Sydney Blumenthal, Buzzflash Interview

How Bush Rules: Bush’s Radicalism is Leading to a GOP Crackup

The inescapable signs of disillusionment surrounding the Bush administration in its sixth year, facing a second mid-term election, suggest far more than the usual syndrome of incumbent weariness. These are the rumblings of a regime crisis.

President Bush’s whole party bears the burden of his accumulated self-generated difficulties not only because of their overwhelming scale but also because the Republicans have sustained disciplined one-party rule in which congressional oversight has been largely suppressed.

The congressional Republicans’ feeble assertion of institutional authority has made changing the Congress the only way to revive it and check and balance Bush’s radical presidency during his remaining two years.

Bush’s radicalism dominates policy and politics, as I document in my book new How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime.

His all-encompassing “war on terror,” conflating the disparate al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Iraqi insurgency as “a single movement,” is also reflected in his dismissal of diplomatic and political solutions, urgently advocated by U.S. military commanders in Iraq for years, and Vice President Dick Cheney’s sneering denigration of “law enforcement” in favor of the militarization of policy.

Additional Resources:






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Bush’s Orwellian campaign of deception, distraction, and linguistic legerdemain

September 10, 2006

Right out of George Orwell’s 1984, George Bush comes up with another Orwellian corker: torture is no longer torture; it’s an “alternative set of procedures”.

Bush is a coward �afraid to call torture what it is: torture. Bush talks about torture obliquely, in language reminiscent of his state of the union address of 2003 when he talked about the treatment and, quite possibly, the deliberate murder, of thousands of detainees presumably captured in Afghanistan. At the time, Bush said:

“Many others have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way �they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies”.

�George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003

Bush is back in that newspeak mode referring not to a “different fate” (murder?) but calling torture an “alternative set of procedures”.

We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used–I think you understand why–if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

George W. Bush, Text of President Bush’s speech, September 07, 2006

In other words: torture! Let me address the following comment directly to George W. Bush. NO, Bush, torture procedures DO NOT comply with our laws, our constitution, or our treaty obligations. In fact, torture itself blatantly violates ALL of the above. Torture is repugnant to American values, decency, morality and civilization. Civilized nations do not torture. Legitimate administrations do not torture. Barbaric, cruel nations do. Torture, which you have not the courage to call by name, is an offense, an affront to our very basic “American” values.

As Spencer Ackerman wrote, Bush continues to exploit the ignorance of the American people. The truth of the matter is this: there is no need to torture anyone; nor is it effective. Intelligence gathered by torture is notoriously inaccurate and often misleading. As Bush said of evil, I say of Bush’s un-American program of torture: if it is not evil then what is?

Bush wants to continue his program of torture and wants the congress to change the laws so that he can. Bush had already broken the law; his torture program was denounced by a federal court. In the face of laws, morality, and American values, Bush urges Congress to pass a terrorist surveillance act. It will give Bush the authority he wants to try what Bush expects us to believe are “al-Qaeda detainees” currently held in secret CIA facilities throughout Eastern Europe. The existence of this gulag archipelago was denied vociferously but now it is openly admitted because Bush holds out hope for an ex post facto law. Bush had to admit his crime but only because it was the only way he could get congress to make legal the crimes he’s already committed. I read the Constitution. Congress has not the power to pass ex post facto laws of any sort.

When Bush is not playing Orwellian language games to hide the truth, he is telling bald faced lies:

Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations.

George W. Bush, Remarks by the President on Iraq Cincinnati Museum Center – Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Ohio, White House.gov

Here’s yet another corker from the same speech:

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

And this absurdity from his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September, 2002:

And al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.

�George W. Bush, UN Speech

Events have proven those statements untrue. Bush found it necessary to link Iraq with terrorism for several reasons. Members of his own administration had already identified Al Qaeda as responsible for 911. From the get go, Bush wanted to attack Iraq where the terrorists weren’t; he needed to figure out a way to pin 911 on Saddam. It was a problem for Bush that almost no terrorists exist in the United States. [See: Foreign Affairs, Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?, John Mueller] Bush needed a fall guy!

At last, even members of Congress will allow that Bush deliberately hoaxed the Congress and the public. If this is not treasonable and impeachable, what is? Must Bush solicit oral sex that this nation might be saved two more years in which Bush wages dangerous, heedless, reckless war upon the entire world?

At last, Bush has employed every evil to achieve his goal of global domination. Most pernicious among these evils is the right wing debasement of language to obscure, to distort, to pervert. No one can be free when language is defiled. Language is liberty.

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

�William Hazlett, 1778

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq

CBS News Exclusive: W.Va. Senator Says Iraq Would Be Better Off With Saddam In Power

Sept. 9, 2006

(CBS) When the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of its findings this past week, the Republican chairman of the committee, Pat Roberts, left town without doing interviews, calling the report a rehash of unfounded partisan allegations.

Its statements like this one, made Feb. 5, 2003, by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that have become so controversial, implying Iraq was linked to terror attacks.”Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associated collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants,” Powell said.

But after 2 1/2 years of reviewing pre-war intelligence behind closed doors, the lead Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, who voted for the Iraq War, says the Bush administration pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

“The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said ‘we want to go to war,'” Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. “Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said ‘my vote was wrong.'”

Rockefeller went a step further. He says the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq � even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.

He said he sees that as a better scenario, and a safer scenario, “because it is called the ‘war on terror.'”

Because Bush exploits fear with lies, his entire administration has taken on an hysterical tinge of late, born, no doubt, of Bush’s own knowledge that he is a fraud.

In a Pivotal Year, GOP Plans to Get Personal

Millions to Go to Digging Up Dirt on Democrats

By Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 10, 2006; Page A01

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

Just in time for elections, Bush campaigns on fear

September 10, 2006

BY MONROE ANDERSON

Five years after the 9/11 tragedy, the kingpin of Abraham Lincoln’s party is still dead set on fooling most of the people most of the time.

President Bush and his chorus of Republican pols, Cabinet members and neo-con sycophants would have us believe we’re safer or, depending on political expediencies, not that safe. According to the president’s pre-9/11 anniversary speeches on the progress of the war on terror, we’re safer than we were before the attacks but not yet safe enough to steer clear of his failed stay-the-course strategy. As Bush explains it, al-Qaeda’s leadership is decimated but remains dangerous enough to destroy the entire civilized world.

There he goes again.

We best observe the anniversary of 911 by reflecting upon the fraudulent nature of Bush’s various “wars” �his war of deception, distraction, and Orwellian legerdemain. Just how great is the so-called terrorist threat? I am confident that you will find many authoritative sources for the following fact: your chances of getting killed by a terrorist are about point 0000001%. And we gave up our freedom for that?






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Bush’s new "offensive": old lies wrapped up in newer desperation, hubris, arrogance and bigotry

September 10, 2006

Charles Gibson of ABC pressed the issue: what had Iraq to do with 911? Bush leaned forward aggressively and shot back: I just told you!! Oh ..well!!! That clears up everything, doesn’t it?

Bush’s new offensive is summed up thus: repeat the same old lies but do it belligerently! The same old lies �no argument, no facts, no evidence! You are expected to take the word of a proven liar who, faced with an unprecedented national debacle, goes back to the well, summoning the old bogeyman: terrorism! Here’s Bush’s new package of old lies:

In the war on terror, we face a global enemy. �Bush

But who is the enemy? Is it the people of Afghanistan? The people of Iraq? Evil doers? Why don’t we start with the “evil doers” in Bushco? Or �perhaps Bush prefers to murder them in order to save the infidel souls that he has “liberated”!

And if we were not fighting this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle; they would be plotting and trying to kill Americans across the world and within our own borders. �Bush

That’s the if we don’t fight them there, we will have to fight them here argument. Bush is lying again. No one �certainly not the administration �has made the case that there were “terrorists” in Iraq before the US invaded. What are improperly called “terrorists” or “insurgents” by Bush are, in fact, guerillas resisting by whatever means an illegal, oppressive occupation. Such a resistance is recognized as legitimate by International law and is, therefore, not terrorism.

If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms,�never! never! never!

�William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. (1708�1778), Speech to Parliament, Nov. 18, 1777

Those not making up the guerrilla resistance to the US are of three remaining groups: Kurds fighting for control of the northwest; Shi’ites and Sunnis fighting one another for control of Baghdad. What is that if not civil war? Bush either does not understand this or is deliberately misstating the facts in order to mislead the American people.

Against this enemy there can be no compromise, so we will fight them in Iraq, we will fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won. �Bush

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warns of this “clash of civilizations” rhetoric; if Bush continues, warns Brzezinski, the US may find itself on the losing side of just such a confrontation. The term “Islamo-fascism” is a made up word �the work of paid GOP focus groups and the right wing blogosphere. There is no such thing. It is pure and misleading propaganda designed to conceal the true nature of the conflict just as the term “insurgent” conceals the nature of Iraqi resistance to the US occupation. Even if there were such a thing as “Islamo-fascism”, how are we to know who to murder and who to spare? “Islamo-fascism” has its roots in racism, jingoism, and bigotry, just as do the terms “raghead” and “sand nigger”. Islam is insulted and ought to be. As the bigot that he is, Bush has denied humanity to millions if not billions of the world’s population.

Victory, meanwhile, seems even more elusive now than ever. Some three years after a Blitzkrieg called “Shock and Awe” more than 2,300 Americans are dead and more than 17,000 wounded. Iraqi causalities vary but the best estimates are some 40,000 dead from “Shock and Awe” alone; total dead between 100,000 to 140,000.

Of course Bush will exploit the terrorism card again. The opinion surveys reveal growing disenchantment, impatience with a war that is increasingly associated with torture, atrocities, escalating death, horror, and the absolutely unacceptable deprivations that the US has forced upon a civilian population. There is no justification for what the US has done to the people of Iraq.

Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 911; Saddam doesn’t even like Bin Laden, a right winger, a creation of the American CIA. Saddam had no WMD. Saddam’s Iraq had not been a haven for “terrorists” before the US invaded, and even now, most of the so-called “terrorists” are guerillas who oppose an aggressive war by the United States. No ex post facto rationale put forward by Bush has ever, in any way, justified the heinous level of deprivation and horror exacted upon that civilian population by Bush.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski is absolutely correct: Bush is bogged down in the Iraq quagmire because he doesn’t understand the nature of the conflict, the nature of Middle East politics, the subtleties of Middle Eastern culture. Speaking on NPR this weekend, Brzezinski, characterized Bush’s recent statements as hubris and ignorance. Brzezinski had earlier stated that the US would lose a war of attrition. We have already lost our legitimacy.

Another Bush lie implies that the US is involved in a struggle to bring democracy to Iraq. That’s the lie; now here’s the truth: if the Middle East never becomes democratic , it will be because Bush has made a dirty word of “democracy”. Throughout the Middle East, you will find this admonition: “Be nice to America….or it will bring ‘democracy’ to you!” By violating all democratic principles to wage war of naked aggression against Iraq, Bush lost! Villages are not saved by destroying them; democracy is not defended when it is subverted. When the US is eventually forced to withdraw ignominiously from Iraq, it will have lost all credibility, all influence, and, most tragically, its own democracy at home. If it were true that terrorists “just hate freedom”, then Bush succeeded where every terrorist failed!

The US is now thought to be the most dangerous nation on earth. Even our closest ally �Britain �will soon rid itself of the once promising Tony Blair who owes his demise to his association with George W. Bush.

Now I would like to say very briefly that in my view, that war which was a war of choice is already a serious moral set back to the United States. A moral set back both in how we start, how it was justified, and because of some of the egregious incidents that have accompanied this proceeding. The moral costs to the United States are high. It�s a political setback. The United States has never been involved in an intervention in its entire history like it is today. It is also a military set back. �Mission Accomplished� are words that many in this administration want to forget.

�Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Charting a U.S. Foreign Policy Road Map for 2005 and Beyond

Desperate to link Iraq to his phantom menace, the “war on terrorism” and, more recently, the “war on Islamo-fascism”, Bush has become a war criminal under international law and a capital-crime felon under US criminal codes. When he can no longer hide behind the Presidential seal, Bush may very well find himself in the dock, charged with capital crimes. [See US Codes, Title 18 � 2441 ]

The issue is not only aggressive war but torture. Contrary to the official cover story, George W. Bush authorized torture in a memo of Feb. 7, 2002. His deliberate act violates both Geneva and the above cited US criminal codes that were, in fact, approved by a Republican-led Congress in 1996. Now that Bush has at last admitted the existence of the torture camps that his administration had initially denied, he seems more prosecutable than ever.

So let’s take a step back and analyze what just happened.

  • First of all, Bush instantly pissed off what few European allies he had left, because he told them that the secret prisons didn’t exist.
  • Bush once again painted himself as a liar. He might as well be wearing a sign reading “I cannot be trusted”.
  • Not only did he lie about the existence of the secret prisons, but he must have also lied about the torturing of detainees. He has denied all along that “we don’t torture”, but the only reason for shipping them off to non-US territories is to have them out of the bounds of US laws & protections. Bottom line – of course they’re being tortured.
  • In the process of admitting to secret “black-site” prisons, and having ‘renditioned’ these detainees for ‘special interrogation’, Bush is also pushing for congressional action to allow for a change in the Geneva Conventions and military tribunals. The Supreme Court has already ruled against this, but now Bush is trying to change the laws… right now… in a hurry… in time for the November election. Gee, could it be that Bush is politicizing his tough-on-terrorism rhetoric for GOP advantage?

Public Affairs Magazine

Now �appallingly �Bush insists upon “staying a course” when there is no course to stay. Old lies are no truer now than they were then. Bush insists upon miring the US in a Middle East quagmire in which there is not only no victory but no definition of one. Bush insists upon staying the course when, in fact, his incompetent administration has failed to define the “enemy” beyond an infantile description of “evil doers” and “terrorists”. Bush has committed the United States to a perpetual war that it has already lost, from which it cannot withdraw with honor, and cannot stay with even less.

Whatever campaign of un-American aggression Bush has committed this nation to, I can tell you that it is not war. It is, rather, bloody murder �a campaign of aggression, oil theft, and imperial, vainglorious hubris. As Pogo said: “We have seen the enemy and he is us!” Bush has made of us Nazis! We are the aggressors! We will not win! We will not have deserved to win! Bush has damned the US to a perpetual, un-winnable conflict which Bush does not and cannot understand, against a mythic enemy which Bush has not and cannot define, with tactics which do not and will never address reality!

Additional resources:

Updates:

Calling a Spade a Spade

If it looks, feels and sounds like one, why won’t Iraqi or U.S. politicians call what’s unfolding in Iraq a ‘civil war’?

By Scott Johnson

Newsweek
Updated: 9:53 a.m. CT July 30, 2006

July 30, 2006 – The killing spree in the Baghdad neighborhood Hai al-Jihad began in the darkness and continued into the morning of July 9, when marauding gangs of militiamen began systematically separating Shia from Sunnis, and killing the Sunnis on sight. “We found dead bodies in our neighborhood which means that the gangs started killing during the night,” says one woman who witnessed much of the killing, “In the morning, they put a checkpoint near the entrance to the neighborhood and started asking for IDs; any Sunni was killed immediately. They stopped private cars and buses, the Shiites were asked to go and Sunnis were killed. The gangs also raided houses and shouted at the people there, ‘You pimps, Sunnis, we will kill you. And they did.'”

Panel: Saddam had no use for Osama

Democrats on Senate committee say White House knew it, tooMcClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – Saddam Hussein rejected Osama bin Laden’s pleas for help and tried to capture terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi when he was in Iraq, a Senate Intelligence Committee report released yesterday found, casting further doubt on the Bush administration’s rationale for invading Iraq.

President Bush and other administration officials repeatedly cited Saddam’s alleged ties to Islamic terrorists as one reason to invade Iraq in March 2003.

The 150-page report said the administration’s claims were untrue. “Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al Qaeda to provide material or operational support,” the report said.

The report was released along with a second one that said false information from the exile group Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmad Chalabi, had been widely used to support intelligence assessments about Iraq’s weapons and links to terrorism. Intelligence officials repeatedly warned that the INC was unreliable, but White House officials ignored the warnings.

The reports are part of a five-report study that the Senate Intelligence Committee has undertaken. The study has left the committee badly divided. Three reports remain classified, including one comparing prewar statements by Bush administration officials to intelligence available at the time. Democrats have accused Republicans of delaying the reports until after the November congressional elections.

Yesterday, Democrats charged that the reports showed that the White House had manipulated intelligence to make the case for war to the American people.

“The administration ignored warnings prior to the war about the veracity of the intelligence it trumpeted publicly to support its case that Iraq was an imminent threat to the security of the United States,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. …






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Olbermann: "This is a Democracy…still! Sometimes just barely!"

September 6, 2006

There’s no point in trying to improve upon Keith Olbermann’s video in which he is said correctly to have “channelled” Ed Murrow. [See: Wires and Lights in a Box] All Olbermann needs is a politically incorrect cigarette dangling off the ends of his fingers, smoke curling up around his head against a black background. But that would denigrate Olbermann’s own significant contribution.

See it now:

Since Olbermann’s commentary, Bush, himself, has gone on the offensive. Billed as news, it’s nothing new. Bush is still trying to link the so-called “war on terrorism” with his perpetual, never ending quagmire in Iraq.

The Iraq quagmire continues to endanger Americans by subverting our economy, empowering real terrorism, and creating �in Iraq �a killing field from which there is no graceful exit, begun. as it was, upon the deliberate commission of a war crime: aggressive war! It’s too late for a prudent, face-saving exit. But even that may require a wholesale change of leadership in this country. It is too much to hope that the current administration will face the reality that Bush and, by proxy, the US was wrong, dead wrong to have attacked and invaded a sovereign nation�a nation which posed far less threat to the American people, less threat to their Democracy than Bush himself.

From CNN the proof that Bush has failed to float his latest package of lies:

Less than half of Americans believe the United States is now safer from terrorism than it was before September 11, 2001, according to a CNN poll released Wednesday.

Forty-three percent of 1,033 adults surveyed by Opinion Research Corporation said they think the country is safer now than it was before the 9/11 attacks. Thirty-two percent said they believe it is about as safe, while 25 percent said it is less safe.

The telephone poll was conducted August 18-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Other questions were posed to a half sample, or 517 people, and have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Among those responses, 54 percent said they think it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” an act of terrorism will occur in the United States within the next several weeks, though just 36 percent said they are worried that they or someone in their family could become a victim of terrorism.

And 11 percent said they believe their community will be the target of such an attack. However, if their community were attacked, 70 percent said they consider their local police force unprepared.

And 55 percent said they believe the federal government is unprepared for a terrorist attack targeting any U.S. town or city. Another 52 percent said the government is unprepared to handle the damage the attack might cause.

Sixty-five percent, however, said they are either “not too worried” or “not worried at all” that they or someone in their family will become a victim of terrorism. Thirty-six percent said they are “very” or “somewhat” worried.

Fifty-five percent of poll respondents said they believe the U.S.-led war in Iraq has made the country less safe from terrorist attacks, and 59 percent said the war has made the world less safe from terrorism.

As if to put the exclamation point to Olbermann, Fred Kaplan recently summed up the nature of Bush’s failure to grasp the reality of his war of aggression in Iraq. Though he denies it, Bush has always questioned the patriotism of those who, in fact, understand the nature of the situation better than does Bush.

Among the many flabbergasting answers that President Bush gave at his press conference on Monday, this one�about Democrats who propose pulling out of Iraq�triggered the steepest jaw drop: “I would never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me. This has nothing to do with patriotism. It has everything to do with understanding the world in which we live.”

George W. Bush criticizing someone for not understanding the world is like � well, it’s like George W. Bush criticizing someone for not understanding the world. It’s sui generis: No parallel quite captures
the absurdity so succinctly.�

[I]t’s not clear that the Iraqi people want a “democratic society” in the Western sense. Second, and more to the point, “helping Iraqis achieve a democratic society” may be a strategic objective, but it’s not a strategy�any more than “ending poverty” or “going to the moon” is a strategy.

Strategy involves how to achieve one’s objectives�or, as the great British strategist B.H. Liddell Hart put it, “the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy.” These are the issues that Bush refuses to address publicly�what means and resources are to be applied, in what way, at what risk, and to what end, in pursuing his policy. Instead, he reduces everything to two options: “Cut and run” or, “Stay the course.” It’s as if there’s nothing in between, no alternative way of applying military means. Could it be that he doesn’t grasp the distinction between an “objective” and a “strategy,” and so doesn’t see that there might be alternatives? Might our situation be that grim?

�Fred Kaplan, Slate

Just as Murrow’s target �Joe McCarthy �exploited and over-dramatized an internal “communist” threat largely a figment of his own imagination, Bushco policies make terrorism worse. Indeed, none other than Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, exposed the truth about Al Qaeda: Al Qaeda is a creation of the United States.

Ex-Security Chief Brzezinski’s Interview makes clear:

The Muslim Terrorist Apparatus was Created by US Intelligence as a Geopolitical Weapon

Le Nouvel Observateur’s Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser

Published 15-21 January 1998

Translated by Jean Martineau

I. Comment: The US & European States are still using Brzezinski’s Muslim terrorist strategy!

by Jared Israel

II. Interview with Brzezinski

Below is our translation of an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski. It is important for three reasons.

First, it flatly contradicts the official US justification for giving billions of dollars to the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, namely that the US and Saudi Arabia were defending so-called freedom fighters against Soviet aggression.

Not so, says Brzezinski. He confirms what opponents have charged: that the US began covert sponsorship of Muslim extremists five months *before* the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. He says that after President Carter authorized the covert action:

“I explained to the president that this support would in my opinion lead to a military intervention by the Soviets.”

Second, the interview is instructive concerning so-called “conspiracy theory.” To be sure, there are plenty of nutty theories out there. And of course, there are plenty of just plain wrong theories. But as Brzezinski demonstrates, the US foreign policy establishment did, for want of a better word, conspire. Even as they claimed to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly fomented it *as a weapon of policy.* And they lied about what they were doing, pretending they were helping freedom fighters resist an invasion. In other words, deceit on two levels.

One must ask oneself: if the US foreign policy Establishment used Muslim extremism as a weapon once, how can one argue *in principle* that they would not use it again?

We say they *have* used it again; that they have used it continuously; and that we are seeing the fruits of this policy. Most recently we have seen the real essence of the Brzezinski doctrine in the horrendous events this past week in Russia (culminating in the school attack) and Israel (the double bus bombing).

Lying with dollars

Brzezinski and his prot�g�, Zalmay Khalilzad, set up a corporation in 1985, funded by the US congress, to train the mujahideen to sell reporters the lie that the mujahideen were freedom fighters and victims of aggression:

[Excerpt from Associated Press dispatch starts here] My emphasis

Headline: U.S. Provides $500,000 So Afghan Rebels Can Tell Their Story

AP, September 16, 1985, Monday, PM cycle SECTION: Washington Dateline

By JOAN MOWER

WASHINGTON

Guerrillas in Afghanistan are about to get money from the United States government for a public relations campaign intended to bring their struggle against Soviet troops to the world’s attention.

The money will train Afghan rebel journalists to use television, radio and newspapers to advance their cause. Reporters will be given mini-cameras to photograph the war inside Afghanistan.

“It is the goal of this project to facilitate the collection, development and distribution of credible, objective and timely professional-quality news stories, photographs and television images about developments in Afghanistan,” said a notice in the Federal Register. The program will be overseen by Uncle Sam’s own propaganda arm, the U.S. Information Agency. Congress appropriated $500,000 to hire experts and may provide more later.

In making the money available, Congress all but instructed USIA to consider an organization like Friends of Afghanistan, a new group whose board includes former Carter administration national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, known for hard-line anti-Soviet views.

USIA has solicited proposals, due Sept. 25.

Friends of Afghanistan includes other American foreign policy luminaries such as Lawrence Eagleburger, a former undersecretary of state, and Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, a Columbia University political science professor and some-time paid adviser to the State Department on Afghanistan.

[Note from Jared Israel – Eagleburger played a prominent role in first Bush administration in demonizing the Bosnian Serbs.]

[…]

Afghan rebels, called the Mujahadeen, have been battling 100,000 Soviet troops who have occupied the rugged, mountainous country since December 1979.

[…]

[Excerpt from Associated Press dispatch ends here]

The A

ssociated Press referred to Khalilzad as a “some-time paid adviser to the State Department on Afghanistan.” This was in the late summer of 1985. Less than three years later Tass, the Soviet news agency, reported that Khalilzad was delivering the mujahideen an important message from the State Department. Khalilzad told them that the State Department would continue to support them a) only if they could consolidate control of Afghanistan and b) only if they maintained an attitude of implacable hostility to the government in Kabul. In other words the US ordered the mujahideen *not* to make peace:

“‘The United States has told the Afghan guerrillas that it would support them in an effort to form a provisional government if they consolidate their control of most of the country and meet other criteria,’ the newspaper New York Times today quoted State Department officials as saying. A top State Department official made it clear that the government must oppose ‘the soviet-backed regime in Kabul’ and said that the USA did not ‘accept the legitimacy’ of the authorities in Afghanistan. The relevant message was delivered to the rebels in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last week by Zalmay Khalilzad, a special adviser on Afghanistan to under secretary of state Michael H. Armacost…”

[– To Support Afghan Counter Revolutionaries

New York; The Russian Information Agency ITAR-TASS, May 6,

Opening with Olbermann, it’s only fitting to close with Murrow:

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

See it Now “A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy”, (CBS-TV, March 9, 1954), Edward R. Murrow






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