Criminals

May 20, 2015

The Three Amigos(Illustration found here).

Nearly 11 years ago, and standing proud on Texas dirt, Dick Cheney, George W., and Don Rumsfeld posture perfect while seriously explaining away an accelerating horror-nightmare then boiling out-of-control in Iraq (US troops in August 2004 were having an extra-nasty time in Najaf), and were still full of war fever — another two years of like shit, and smirks slightly started to slip away, add Katrina and the 2008 financial meltdown, and you’ve a portrait of the worse presidency in US history.
And a picture, too, of three unrepentant, lying assholes — despite obvious reality, a smirk will never vanish from the lips of The Dick.

However, thanks in part to George W’s idiot little brother, real history might be finally starting to bubble-up as if stink from formerly-tightly-closed shithouse. Jeb Bush couldn’t handle the Iraq scenario, and the whole GOP political apparatus could come unglued — more unglued than they are already.
The big point to Jeb’s blubber was whether the Iraq war was a ‘mistake’ based on bad intell — or a lie.
Last night, up popped a turd. Michael Morell, a longtime CIA official who eventually became the agency’s deputy director and acting director, appeared with Chris Matthews on ABC’s ‘Hardball,’ and when asked whether it was true or not Saddam had nuclear weapons, Morell (also W’s intelligence briefer during pre-invasion) answered: “That’s not true.”
David Corn further at Mother Jones:

Appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball on Tuesday night, Morell made it clear: The Bush-Cheney administration publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq’s supposed WMD program and Saddam’s alleged links to Al Qaeda.

There’s the indictment, issued by the intelligence officer who briefed Bush and Cheney: The Bush White House made a “false presentation” on “some aspects” of the case for war.
“That’s a big deal,” Matthews exclaimed.
Morell replied, “It’s a big deal.”
And there’s more.
Referring to the claims made by Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, Morell noted, “What they were saying about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda publicly was not what the intelligence community” had concluded.
He added, “I think they were trying to make a stronger case for the war.”
That is, stronger than the truth would allow.
Morell’s remarks support the basic charge: Bush and Cheney were not misled by flawed intelligence; they used the flawed intelligence to mislead.

Way-way ironic, too, Morell would tell that to Chris Matthews, one flag-waving dumb-ass in 2003 — didn’t Matthews nearly-gushed in man joy when George W back-seated onto the ‘Mission Accomplished’ aircraft carrier, or something?
And what about that “war fever” from the American media in run-up to invasion?
Matt Taibbi back at Rolling Stone on Monday reflected on how the media rolled with the lie:

But the individuals aren’t the issue.
It’s the general notion that the Iraq War issue was some kind of tough intellectual call that we all needed hindsight to sort out.
It wasn’t, and we didn’t.
It was obvious even back then, to anyone who made the faintest effort to look at the situation honestly, that the invasion was doomed, wrong, and a joke.
Do people not remember this stuff?
George Bush got on television on October 7th, 2002 and told the entire country that Saddam Hussein was thinking of using “unmanned aerial vehicles” for “missions targeting the United States.”
Only a handful of news outlets at the time, most of them tiny Internet sites, bothered to point out that such “UAVs” had a range of about 300 miles, while Iraq was 6,000 miles from New York.

I don’t believe that most of the otherwise smart people who supported the war back then, from Hillary Clinton to the editorial boards of our major newspapers, bought any of this.
What did happen is that a lot of people got caught up in the politics of the situation and didn’t have the backbone to opt out.
They didn’t want to look weak, un-American, or “against the troops,” at least not in public, so they sat out the debate and got behind the president.
That’s why the lambasting of Jeb Bush by all of these media voices grinds a little.
At least plenty of Republicans sincerely thought the war was a good idea.
But I know a lot of my colleagues in the media saw through the war from day one.

Taibbi is spot on — back in the day, I was a reporter/editor with the Times-Press-Recorder, a bi-weekly on California’s central coast, had Internet exposure, a free-thinking brain, and made more than ‘the faintest effort‘ to figure out what was happening. The war was fucked, I knew it, and knew real-bad shit was forthcoming.
Not only that, sites like antiwar.com, and especially foreign news sources like the UK’s Guardian and Independent, pretty-much revealed the war as a sham, and did it without real specifics, which would unfold over the following years, culminating it sounds like into last week’s catch-phrase attempting to explain away the true facts of the whole-literal shooting match: “Knowing what we know now. . .”
Bullshit…

Right-directly in line, a most-interesting piece by investigative journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek yesterday with the story of Ben Bonk, a former deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, and an officer responsible for intelligence on Iraq in the year leading up to the U.S. invasion in 2003.
As Eichenwald writes, Bonk ‘…spoke with me on background in June 2010 about events leading to the disastrous war. He died eight months later. Under our agreement, everything he told me is now on the record.’
An indictment for sure, read the whole article as it pretty much lays it all out — some noteworthy snips:

By 2002, Bonk and his team knew the claim that Iraq possessed WMDs was built on the intelligence equivalent of spiderwebs.
On the other hand, senior Pentagon officials — including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith — were pushing Bonk about connections between Saddam and Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda.
Both men were certain the ties existed, which would have helped justify an invasion.
The assertion was ridiculous.
Bin Laden despised Saddam; he had even attempted to organize an Islamic army to fight the Iraqi strongman after he invaded Kuwait in 1990.
Bonk instructed his team to put together a comprehensive white paper showing the hawks were wrong about a nexus between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.
Throughout the summer of 2002, the CIA’s top Iraq experts worked on it, with people like Feith phoning in every week or so with new, silly leads to follow.

But Cheney’s unspoken threat came too late to influence analysts at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), who were circulating a devastating report with a simple conclusion: The idea that Saddam possessed WMDs was built on air.
There was no evidence any Iraqi facilities produced, tested or stored biological weapons.
No mobile production plants could be found.
They found nothing showing Iraq had the processes to produce chemical devices.
The analysts even doubted Saddam had long-range missiles.
This report, administration officials told me, was never shown to the president.
On the other hand, a National Intelligence Estimate based on the work of the less-than-qualified CIA analysts was reviewed by Bush.

Bonk told me that as soon as he read this intelligence estimate, he knew he had been played, chasing absurd claims of a bin Laden connection.
He knew the intelligence didn’t back up the robust certainty of the estimate.
He had just read the assessment of the Pentagon intelligence team—that, he knew, was the truth.
The intelligence was weak; the new CIA estimate was a lie.
After reading the document, he walked down the hall to confront one of the people involved in compiling the report.

And then the Brits:

Documents from inside Blair’s government show that while the prime minister believed Saddam possessed WMDs — a conclusion based in part on that bogus American intelligence — he and his staff thought that an invasion could prove to be a monumental disaster and that the U.S. strategy was based on wishful thinking and driven by incompetence.
However, Blair decided to side with the Americans, both to provide a counterbalance of reason and caution to Cheney’s empty-headed warmongering and because he was unwilling to turn against the United States in what he told aides would be “the biggest shift in foreign policy in 50 years.”

When Blix’s inspectors came up empty, the Bush administration demanded that they portray the equivalent of popguns as major threats.
For example, officials told Blix that two items found by inspectors — a balsa wood drone with a motorcycle engine and a rusted, decades-old bomb that amounted to little more than a massive paperweight — should be declared violations of the WMD restrictions.
When Blix scoffed at this, administration officials anonymously leaked lies that misrepresented what the two items were, falsely declared that the inspection team thought they constituted violations of the U.N. weapons restrictions on Iraq, and attacked Blix for hiding the truth to prevent war.
Ultimately, Blix found nothing.
And, just as Cheney promised, the administration dismissed this strong intelligence as meaningless.

And as for Bonk, Eichenwald noted during the interview there were tears in the agent’s eyes: ‘“Maybe if they hadn’t deceived me, I could have done something,’’ he told me. “Maybe I could have stopped the Iraq War.”

Hundred of thousands killed, the country of Iraq will soon cease to exist, and the world a shitload-worse off, all from the lying bowels of those three assholes pictured above — one thing, though, the turds don’t dare leave the US…they could be arrested for war crimes.

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