Archive for BushCo can suck it

Iraq is "beyond our control. There is no such thing as the Iraqi people."

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a Gold Star father's point of view iraq afghanistan war Jeff Wilfahrt

Before I get into an impressive op-ed piece on Iraq, allow me to remind you of my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. He is never at a loss for providing unique insight and commentary on the frustrating events of the day. That's him above, holding a photo of his son. You can read about the remarkable Wilfahrts, and watch them on The Rachel Maddow Show, by following the links above.

That image came to mind when I read an op-ed by Joseph J. Ellis in today's Los Angeles Times. Ellis is a professor of history at Williams College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation," among other books. He starts of his piece with his explanation of how the U.S. goes to war:

The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication.

He then goes on to chronicle war after war that prove his point, including the Iraq War:

[T]he dark shadow of 9/11 hung ominously over all deliberations in that moment, so the CIA bent the arc of the evidence to fit the fabrication, a cowed Congress went along and the bulk of the American media endorsed the deception. Dissent became unfashionable.

Ellis points out how we erroneously decided to pursue "the creation of a democratic government in the middle of the Middle East." That move, along with all that deception by BushCo and a very accommodating press, caused many of us non-believers to do this:

banghead

And all those political and journalistic pundits who got it dead wrong the first time around, and who now blame President Obama for failing to maintain a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, need to be called on their credibility. For they fundamentally underestimated the tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties that dominate the Middle East and that make any Jeffersonian version of a secular state in Iraq impossible for the foreseeable future... In truth, there is no such thing as the Iraqi people. 

He then comments on the commentators, a pastime we apparently we have in common. Their focus, he says, is on damage control. And that is a "hubristic assumption" that got us into this hot mess in the first place. We created a catastrophe a BushCo ago, and there was no way, and is no way, to regain what we never had: control.

Ellis drives home the point that "permanent U.S. military presence will only further empower the Islamic extremists in the ensuing conflict."

That has already happened. To quote Jeff from the image at the top, "...Let us try using books, pens, and paper instead of just guns. Bring the living home, the dead are already here."

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Time to apply the Lemon Law to Dick Cheney

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cheney bush iraq lemon law

Anyone else becoming weary of the same old Iraq drivel pouring out of the mouths of former BushCo war cheerleaders the way word salad pours out of the mouth of Former Alaska Half-Gov Blabette McDimBulb? Seriously, guys, championing a fraudulent invasion that produced nothing but death, PTSD, maiming, a destabilized Middle East, and an economic toilet flush is getting to be redundant, more ludicrous, and increasingly embarrassing and boring. Read our lips: Anyone defending Dick Cheney should self-deport to Gitmo. The Lemon Law most definitely applies here, as one letter-writer ingeniously explained.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Jonah Goldberg plays his own questionable game in this piece, but surely most of us can keep our eyes on the pea in his shell shuffle. ("A questionable game of 'shut up' on Iraq," Op-Ed, June 23)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his policy brethren were the architects who created a war in Iraq that turns out to have been both unnecessary and, now, an utter disaster. These folks didn't just have opinions that were wrong; no, they made policy decisions that have led to catastrophic results.

That's why their current self-serving opinions and their preposterous attempts to revise history are contemptible, and richly deserve all the derision that can be mustered.

John de Jong, Long Beach

***

Goldberg reminds us that he supported the Iraq war, and he states that he still thinks that the arguments in favor were superior to those against.

What arguments would those be? Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. We were not greeted as liberators. Democracy has not flourished, and the promised capitalist paradise has not emerged.

Goldberg should write another column so he can clarify for us just which arguments he still supports.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank

***

The Lemon Law:

A car salesman knowingly misconstrues facts concerning a car he is trying to sell you. The purchase is made and the car eventually falls apart, but you have recourse — the law, fines and perhaps even jail for the dealer.

With Iraq, we have a similar scenario but with hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars lost and a treating of the wounded that will go on for many years.

Would you ask the car salesman his opinion on your next purchase? Would you ask the same individuals who lied us into the horrors of a 10-year military engagement for advice now?

Stephen S. Anderson, Hacienda Heights

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Iraq "not our fight, we fought there for too long, killed too many people"

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coffins restarting Iraq war mistake

How about some accountability for the mess Iraq is currently in, neocons? How about cable TV  shows stop showcasing and giving credibility to the very people who got us into a fraudulent war, broke Iraq, and have the unmitigated gall to tell us how President Obama should fix their mess... while blaming him for what they did? Let me put it this way, Pollack, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Bremer, et al... and you too, Kristol:

stfu wheel of fortune wall

BushCo invaded Iraq. BushCo is responsible for killing thousands upon thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and anyone else who got in their way. BushCo should be thrown in a group cell so they can spend the rest of their worthless, isolated lives patting each other on the back for destroying multiple countries, their economies, their people, and their morale.

The chaos we're witnessing in the Middle East today is a result of the Bush and Cheney itch to even the score on Saddam Hussein on behalf of Daddy Bush, and for-- say it with me-- their insatiable thirst for oil. Their reckless bombing of Iraq, a sovereign country that did not attack us first, has led to nothing but psychological and physical pain, economic disaster, and more deaths.

Inserting ourselves into the turmoil that Bush and his impotent little pals created would be compounding the problems (understatement). Waving more weapons around is not the answer, yet that's what those on the right continue to do both here at home and internationally. Here's a thought, warmongers: Learn from your mistakes. You know, the ones you won't admit to.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

This chaos and craziness is a consequence of one country conducting a war of choice and trying to impose change from the outside. ("Militants' gains in Iraq pose threat of broad regional ramifications," June 14)

The United States invaded Iraq 11 years ago and broke the country and its infrastructure, its cities and whatever small social contract the Iraqis had with one another. Before the invasion, the Iraqi Sunni Muslim minority had a lock on power; afterward, Shiite Muslims took control. So they fight.

The thought of going back into this place beyond sending humanitarian aid is unthinkable. This is not our fight, and we fought there for too long and killed too many people.

There are reasons that other regional powers might want to be involved in Iraq, but the United States has no such good reasons. Don't forget that after all the smoke has cleared, the victors still have to govern a country of 36 million people.

Larry Margo

Valley Village

With the insurrection in Iraq, the United States gets a second chance to act prudently and avoid any military entanglement in that country's internal affairs.

To try again to enforce our political preferences in Iraq by force would be to confirm to ourselves and the world that a hallmark of insanity is to keep repeating the same behavior while expecting a different result.

Robert Ouriel

Pacific Palisades

No useful purpose could be served by airstrikes or reintroducing U.S. troops into Iraq to shore up Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's sectarian regime. The lesson from our experience in Iraq should remind the Obama administration of the disaster that awaits it in Afghanistan if it pursues a similar policy there.

If military equipment and advisors from the United States cannot prevent the Iraqi army from collapsing in the face of a determined insurgency, is President Obama confident the same scenario will not repeat itself in Afghanistan?

The time has passed when we can use military power to impose our will in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Dennis McIntyre

Rancho Palos Verdes

***

While president, George W. Bush said that it would take 50 years to evaluate his decision to invade Iraq.

I think we have an answer much sooner than Bush said we would.

V.J. Carollo

Upland

Undo Bushco

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Students, faculty to protest "Improving the Human Condition Award" that is still going to... George W. Bush

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wtf moments 2013

Who better to receive an "Improving the Human Condition" award than the lying fool who couldn't wait to start a fraudulent war with Iraq that resulted in mass death, torture, and both physical and psychological maiming of thousands upon thousands of people, both Iraqis and Americans alike?

Some humanitarian.

If it weren't so horribly and offensively inappropriate and utterly disgraceful, it would be funny. Almost.

The University of Denver spokesperson defended the decision by saying that university is "a place where civil discourse should occur." What about uncivil actions? What about uncivil death and destruction? What about uncivil deception? What about uncivil swaggery lawbreaking?

Via Time:

(DENVER) — Students, faculty and alumni at the University of Denver plan to protest when the university’s international studies school presents an award to former president George W. Bush next week.

Bush will be recognized Monday evening at a fundraising dinner in Denver both for his service as president as well as efforts to fight HIV, cervical cancer and malaria in Africa. The Josef Korbel School’s decision has outraged many at the school who fault the 43rd president for starting the war in Iraq and allowing the use of torture on prisoners. [...]

He’s tarnishing Korbel’s name in an attempt to rebrand Bush as a positive character,” said Sara Fitouri, a Korbel and law student at the university who plans to attend the protest.

the ugly bush stain

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Doonesbury, Melissa Harris-Perry skewer GW Bush: Library Decision Points "Option 2- Continue reading the goat book."

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bush library fema trailer

doonesbury bush library 3

Garry Trudeau continues his wickedly satirical story arc about the George W. Bush “lie-bury." Previously, he skewered W and his House O' Coloring Books and Propaganda in these posts: Doonesbury, Rachel Maddow and the Bush Lie-Bury: “You’re a top decisioner!” “Way to go, wusses!” and Doonesbury– Bush Lie-Bury “Decision Points” Option 2: “Fly over flooded city and look out window with concern.”

Melissa Harris-Perry didn’t hold back either, both in this terrific Maddow Show video, and now in a segment from her own show:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Melissa nailed it:

Dear President George W. Bush,

It’s me, Melissa.

Congratulations on the opening of your library. Now maybe you’ll go inside one. [...]

[A]s a resident of post-Katrina New Orleans, the one decision point that really has me fired up is how your library represents the choices you faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [...]

Looting was the big problem?

As much as 80% of the city was flooded. Nearly a thousand Louisiana residents died, many in their own homes, drowned by storm surges that breached inadequate federal levees. Many thousands more were trapped in the Superdome and Convention Center for days without food, medicine, water, electricity, or working bathrooms.

And you were trying to figure out whether or not to quell an insurrection? These people were Americans, Mr. President. [...]

I am glad that you are slowing down, catching your breath and finding a way to live life to the fullest. In the meantime, tens of thousands of New Orleanians are still trying to find a way home, still displaced by the policies of your administration, still reeling from the failures of your decisions.

But hey, “Heckuva job, Dubya.”

Sincerely,

Melissa

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Doonesbury-- Bush Lie-Bury “Decision Points" Option 2: "Fly over flooded city and look out window with concern."

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bush lie burydoonesbury bush library 2

If you missed Doonesbury, Rachel Maddow and the Bush Lie-Bury: “You’re a top decisioner!” “Way to go, wusses!" then please link over, because Rachel Maddow was nearly as snarky as Trudeau was in his strip.

As the inimitable Garry Trudeau continues his wickedly satirical story arc about the George W. Bush "lie-bury", Melissa Harris-Perry didn't hold back either. She hosted The Rachel Maddow Show last night, and full-on skewered W in this segment:

bush library katrina interactive

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Melissa:

What is the Decision Point that the Bush library asks you to confront when it comes to Hurricane Katrina? A disaster in which nearly 2,000 Americans died, many in their own homes. What's the Decision Point that's laid before you at the Bush library?

"Officials in New Orleans are overwhelmed. The president can send in troops, but those troops would serve in supporting roles and state efforts and would not have law enforcement powers unless the president invokes what's called the Insurrection Act. President Bush had to make a choice: One, rely on the National Guard and local police. Two, send in federal troops in a supporting role with no law enforcement authority.
Three, invoke the Insurrection Act and send in troops to restore order."

Excuse me, restoring order was the problem when it it came to Hurricane Katrina, seriously? The main dilemma faced by President Bush when it came to the government's response to Hurricane Katrina was quelling disorder?

The Bush library takes you through this whole scenario about how to deal with the problem of looters and how to restore law and order in New Orleans. That is the Decision Point. No mention at all of, you know, search and rescue.

Eight years later, the people of New Orleans, who were basically left to starve and dehydrate and die in our city, mostly elderly people and children, eight years later, these people are memorialized at the Bush library as public enemies, not as citizens who were in need of relief....

So it should be noted that the level of urgency that's on display inside Decision Point Theater was not so much on display when it came to the decider himself.

This was President Bush, the morning that Katrina made landfall, sharing a cake with John McCain in Arizona! This was after his administration had already been informed that levees in New Orleans had been breached. This was President Bush on Day Two of the disaster, yukking it up with the country music star in Southern California.

That night as the situation was growing worse and worse in New Orleans, George W. Bush decided to return to his ranch in Crawford, Texas to finish up his vacation.

When he finally headed back to D.C. the next day, President Bush got an aerial view of the damage in Louisiana and Mississippi.

But by Friday, five days into that disaster, his aides at the White House were putting together DVDs of news coverage to convince President Bush how bad things were in New Orleans. During those five days,

President Bush was not "on the edge of his seat" as the Bush library would like you to believe. He was basically checked out. That's the real history.

The truth is, the American people have already decided how they felt about President Bush's leadership during Katrina, and while his approval ratings before Katrina weren't that impressive, they never recovered afterwards.

15 months after the failed response, Democrats took control of the House. They took control of the Senate. and they took a majority of gubernatorial seats across the country. The public has already decided.

But, hey, if you're in Dallas this weekend, you've got some time, go see how President Bush "saved" a city from disaster, and "restored a sense of calm" in all of the disorder.

bush blew it katrina headline

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Nonpartisan, independent review: "Indisputable" that U.S. under Bush practiced torture, had "no justification"

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torture cartoon

The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment had no access to classified records. It was led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — Asa Hutchinson (Republican) and James R. Jones (Democrat) and concluded that the use of torture had “no justification,” “damaged the standing of our nation” and “potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel.”

There is another report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, 6,000 pages long, that covers the CIA’s record and is based on agency records, rather than interviews, but that one is still classified.

Here are some excerpts that confirm what many of us already knew: That the Bush administration should be prosecuted for what they did to human beings who they renditioned to secret black sites and then abused and tortured.

Via the New York Times:

A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.

The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning. [...]

The task force found “no firm or persuasive evidence” that these interrogation methods produced valuable information that could not have been obtained by other means. While “a person subjected to torture might well divulge useful information,” much of the information obtained by force was not reliable, the report says [...]

But the report’s main significance may be its attempt to assess what the United States government did in the years after 2001 and how it should be judged. The C.I.A. not only waterboarded prisoners, but slammed them into walls, chained them in uncomfortable positions for hours, stripped them of clothing and kept them awake for days on end.

It also confirms a report by Human Rights Watch that at least one Libyan militant was waterboarded by the C.I.A. The CIA has said that they only waterboarded three Al Qaeda detainees.

By the way, Asa Hutchinson, who served in the Bush administration as chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration and under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, was a torture denier... until now. But he still believes BushCo "acted in good faith." Someone please tell me how one tortures "in good faith."

torture methods bush

So, President Obama, do you still want to “look forward, not backward”? Maybe this is why he is reluctant to check the ol' rearview mirror:

While the Constitution Project report covers mainly the Bush years, it is critical of some Obama administration policies, especially what it calls excessive secrecy.

Citing state secrets to block lawsuits by former detainees is part of that secrecy.

This article is a must-read. Please link over. And while you're at it, imagine your child being tortured...for years.

______________________________________________

here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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