Out of Romney’s 24 special advisors on foreign policy, 17 served in the Bush-Cheney administration. If Romney were to win, it’s likely that many of these people would serve in his administration in some capacity — a frightening prospect given the legacy of this particular group. The last time they were in government, it was disastrous. — The Romney-Cheney Doctrine
VERY! according to Dan Froomkin at the Huffington Post, who reports that a recent poll… found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view. [...] this latest poll result seems to indicate a refusal — unique to the modern Republican Party — to acknowledge facts. According to this poll, an even larger proportion of Republican respondents who said Iraq had WMD — 64 percent — said they have either always believed (or have come to believe) that Barack Obama was born in another country, which he was not.
REMINDER: You’ll want to vote in November, because these people are definitely planning to.
“It’s over 800 billion dollars that we have expended [in Iraq]. I believe that Iraq should pay us back for the money that we spent, and I believe that Iraq should pay the families that lost a loved one several million dollars per life, I think at minimum.” — Michele Bachmann (R-Mars) on Meet the Press yesterday
As Ian Millhiser remarks:
It’s important to understand exactly what kind of burden Iraq has already shouldered because of our presence there. Iraq did not ask to be invaded by the United States, and the Iraqi people have wanted American forces out of their country for a very long time. Estimates on the number of Iraqi civilian casualties due to our presence in Iraq vary from just under 35,000 to well into the hundreds of thousands, according to a 2008 Congressional Research Service report, but there is little question that tens of thousands more Iraqis would still be alive today if not for our decision to invade their country.
Apparently Bachmann needs to be reminded we invaded Iraq based on lies about WMDs by George W. Bush and his administration. No wonder she’s a Teaparty favorite.
HOWEVER DIFFICULT THIS IS FOR THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT, Iraqis would like their country back:
For Abu al-Hamza, a retired colonel of the pre-2003 Iraqi army who lives in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, the withdrawal gives a chance for “Iraqi forces to depend on themselves and develop their abilities in the future”.
“The US presence brought problems for us — of course, their withdrawal will lead to an improvement in Iraqis’ lives.”
Around 39,500 US troops remain in Iraq on 18 bases, down from a peak of nearly 170,000 soldiers on 505 bases, and all must withdraw by the end of the year under the terms of a 2008 security pact.
I think most people will agree that the purpose of Cheney’s book was to go full-Orwellian (much like the Bush years, business as usual) using propaganda, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past. It helps the Believers feel better about themselves but mostly ensures that Reality slowly evolves into a difference of opinion rather than a set of known facts. You can’t prosecute an opinion.
1. Cheney lied; Iraqis and U.S. soldiers died. As Vice President, Cheney lied about (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s (nonexistent) ties to the 9/11 attack as a way to justify a war with a country that never attacked us. Thanks to Cheney and company, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and over 4,000 American soldiers perished in a war that should never have been fought.
2. Committing War Crimes in Iraq. During the course of the Iraq war, the Bush/Cheney administration violated the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.
3. War profiteering. U.S. taxpayers shelled out about three trillion dollars for the Bush/Cheney wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—a major factor in our nation’s present economic meltdown. But Cheney and his cronies at Halliburton made out like bandits, getting billions in contracts for everything from feeding troops in Iraq to constructing the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan to building the infamous Guantanamo prison. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995-2000, leaving for the VP position with a $20 million retirement package, plus millions in stock options and deferred salary. Before the Iraq War began, Halliburton was 19th on the U.S. Army’s list of top contractors; with Cheney’s help, by 2003 it was number one—increasing the value of Cheney’s stocks by over 3,000%.
Cheney defends the Iraq war, says waterboarding “worked” and tells Matt Lauer the greatest achievement of the Bush administration was preventing further attacks on U.S. soil after 9/11.
“… he knew the Texas governor was not steeped in anything but baseball, so he knew he was going to be president and I think he got his dream. He was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration.” — Larry Wilkerson [former Chief of Staff to Collin Powell] , Cheney ‘fears being tried as a war criminal’
GLENN GREENWALD: [...] Dick Cheney is not just a political figure with controversial views, but is an actual criminal, that he was centrally involved in a whole variety not just of war crimes in Iraq, but of domestic crimes, as well, including the authorization of warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens in violation of FISA, which says that you go to jail for five years for each offense, as well as the authorization and implementation of a worldwide torture regime that, according to General Barry McCaffrey, resulted in the murder—his word—of dozens of detainees, far beyond just the three or four cases of waterboarding that media figures typically ask Cheney about.
And yet, what we have is a government, a successor administration, the Obama administration, that announced that there will be no criminal investigations, no, let alone, prosecutions of any Bush officials for any of these multiple crimes. And that has taken these actions outside of the criminal realm and turned them into just garden-variety political disputes. And it’s normalized the behavior. …
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Wilkerson, do you think the Bush administration officials should be held accountable in the way that Glenn Greenwald is talking about?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I certainly do. And I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due. And I have to say, I agree with almost everything he just said. And I think that explains the aggressiveness, to a large extent, of the Cheney attack and of the words like “exploding heads all over Washington.” This is a book written out of fear, fear that one day someone will “Pinochet” Dick Cheney.
Glenn Greenwald has been in the firebagger camp for quite some time and, so, his opinions are largely tainted for me. But on this one issue re: the Obama Administration — no criminal investigations of the Bush Administration for war crimes — I have to agree with Greenwald. It’s one of the biggest disappointments I have with Obama. I do wish he’d change his mind.
For the next two years…
Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is planning to massively expand investigations into the executive branch.
Issa plans to hold hundreds of hearings, create new subcommittees, and launch investigations into the bank bailout, the stimulus, and health care reform, according to Politico.
“I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks,” Issa said.
On Monday, Issa apologized for calling President Barack Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times” on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.
“Do I think the president is personally corrupt, no, I should never have implied that or created that in a quick statement on a radio call-in,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Great! Issa will probably want to start at the beginning, right? So obviously he’ll start by investigating the Bush Administration and split up some of those “hundreds” of hearings on:
- how 9/11 happened on Bush’s / Cheney’s watch
- how they missed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
- the lies they told us to get into Iraq
- the war crimes committed all along the way (with Bush’s admitted approval)
- and, of course, how Bush / Cheney tanked our economy and the American middle-class for decades to come.
The serious issues listed above accumulated over eight years and surely deserve complete investigations before the House can legitimately deal with issues of the current administration’s first two years.
I look forward to Rep. Issa not making his chairmanship of the House committee about politics and the 2012 election, but as an opportunity to discover both the Truth and some real solutions for our country’s problems.
… I totally just made myself laugh / cry a little.
But remember… they hate us for our freedom.
History will NOT be rewritten:
Bush March 19, 2003:
Bush Iraq War Speech, March 19, 2003 — WATCH:
Bush admits that Iraq Had Nothing To Do With 9/11 — WATCH:
“I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force,” Bush said. “I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it’s clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world’s better off without Saddam in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.”
Bush went on to say that he still feels like going to war was the right decision. And as he wrote in the book, “No one was more sickened or angry than I was when we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction.”
- FOIA request finds Bush Admin planned invasion of Iraq in Nov. 2001
- Trailer: Fair Game – with documented highlights leading up to Iraq War, including: 20 SEP 2001: British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with President George Bush at the White House. According to former British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, who also attended the dinner, Bush indicates that he is determined to remove Saddam Hussein from power: “We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.”
- (Video | Maddow) Go ahead, thank the GOP for Iraq
- Fox News devoted less than 10 minutes to troop withdrawal from Iraq
“And just like that the worst President ever is back in the news.
Former President George W. Bush signaled on Thursday that he sees not privatizing Social Security as his greatest failure from the eight years he served in the White House, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The unpopular Republican leader made the suggestion while speaking at a trade conference in the Windy City, where he discussed his legacy and also offered a glimpse into what readers can expect from his forthcoming memoir, Decision Points.
‘I would like to be remembered as a guy who had a set of priorities, and was willing to live by those priorities,’ explained Bush. ‘In terms of accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amidst a real danger.’
Yes, if you pretend away the worst terror attack in U.S. history and the unnecessary invasion of Iraq that allowed Al Qaeda and the Taliban to flourish, Bush kept us safe for the domestic anthrax attack and the drowning of New Orleans.”
Worst. President. Ever.
And where were all the Tea Partiers who worry so much about big government and spending between 2001 – 2008? Oh yeah: they were all hunkey dorey until Nov. 4, 2008.
When columnist Robert Novak unveiled Valerie Plame as a CIA undercover operative in his syndicated column in 2003, Plame reportedly confessed to a friend, “I didn’t plan for this day.” …
In Fair Game, director Doug Liman bravely tackles the now well-known story of how Plame’s husband, former career diplomat Joseph Wilson, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times accusing President George W. Bush of knowingly lying in his State of the Union address about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and how, in return, White House officials leaked Plame’s true identity to the media. As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reportedly told Wilson, Karl Rove declared, “Wilson’s wife is fair game.” …continued
Some highlights from the following timelines:
- 11 SEP 2001
- 14 SEP 2001: Congress authorizes [PDF] President George W. Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
- 20 SEP 2001: British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with President George Bush at the White House. According to former British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, who also attended the dinner, Bush indicates that he is determined to remove Saddam Hussein from power: “We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.”
- 29 JAN 2002: In his State of the Union address, President Bush describes an “axis of evil” between Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Osama bin Laden is not mentioned in the speech.
- 26 FEB 2002: Joe Wilson arrives in Niger. Before the leak: 2002 (Wilson’s Trip to Niger)
- 24 SEP 2002: The British government releases a dossier [PDF] alleging that Iraq has and is developing weapons of mass destruction, including a claim that Iraq attempted to obtain uranium from Africa. George Tenet briefs the Senate Intelligence Committee on the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq. In his summary of the document, he includes the allegation that Iraq attempted to obtain uranium from Niger. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had been sent to Niger by the CIA in February 2002 and who had determined that the allegations that Iraq had sought to obtain uranium from Niger were false, contacts the CIA and advises the agency to inform the British about the intelligence that had been acquired during his mission to Niger.
JAN – MAR 2003:
- BEFORE 28 JAN 2003: The National Intelligence Council sends and the White House receives an unequivocal memo, drafted by Robert G. Houdek, the national intelligence officer for Africa, that the Niger story is baseless and should be laid to rest. (WaPo, DailyKos)
- 28 JAN 2003: The 16 words are spoken by the President in the State of the Union address (transcript; SSCI). “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
- 29 JAN 2003: Joseph Wilson meets with a friend who works at the State Department and asks why the president had cited the British intelligence report about Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium, when he had debunked the allegation a year earlier. (NYT)