November 10, 2009
Interview with Kevin Phillips author of “American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush” recorded January 16, 2004.
Continuing this series, this column focuses on what was the centerpiece of the Bush/Cheney (or Presidency: the destruction of our treasured Constitutional Democracy that (for the most part) has served our nation so well for the 218 years of its existence.
To start, let’s review the seeming conundrum between this worst, while at the same time most successful, President ever. An item on AOL News for June 13, 2007 was headlined: “Bush: Does He Have Any Clout Left?” Gosh. His poll numbers were in the tank and going lower. The Congress was Democratic (by the thickness of the hair on Joe Lieberman’s head which was not much, and no one could figure out what was going on inside Joe Lieberman’s head anyway until the McCain campaign, but the Democrats had majorities in both Houses). By a fairly large margin the public disapproved of his major foreign policy initiative, the War on Iraq. Republican candidates, for the Presidency, the Senate, and the House were beginning to desert him personally, while not so much on policy, except, for some, on the distractive issue of immigration.
It’s a sign of how much the Bush administration skewed America’s moral compass that we are currently facing the possibility that the only way to bring the torturers to account is through a “Nonpartisan Commission Of Inquiry” — essentially, a toothless truth and reconciliation commission — of the type proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
We know that both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder believe that the Bush administration approved the use of torture. In an interview with ABC News on January 11, President-Elect Obama responded to a recent CBS interview with Dick Cheney, in which the then-Vice President had sounded his usual alarms abut the need for “extraordinary” policies to deal with terror suspects, by stating, “Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures and from my view waterboarding is torture. I have said that under my administration we will not torture.”
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
George W. Bush is hitting the lecture circuit. Represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, Mr. Bush for a fee of at least $150,000 flew up to Calgary, Canada and spoke to a conservative business audience amidst street protests.
He also has signed a book contract with Crown Publishers tentatively titled “Decision Points” about a dozen personal and presidential decisions ranging from giving up booze to choosing Dick Cheney to invading Iraq.
Now that he is becoming a lecturer and an author, why not also be a teacher? The 43rd president has much to teach Americans about how weak their democracy is—rights, institutions, processes and the sovereignty of the people.
His first lecture to students could be how he and Cheney violated, circumvented and trampled our Constitution. It was as if they replaced the opening preamble of “we, the people” with “we, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.”
Early in his Administration, Mr. Bush showed a determination to pick up on King George III and root himself in something called “the inherent powers of the Presidency,” often called the “unitary Presidency.” With that, King George IV was establishing his unilateral kingdom, though instead of invoking his divine right, his mantra was the “war on Terror.”
by Rick Rozoff
March 19, 2009
Few of his contemporaries and far fewer since knew of the nineteenth century French journalist and novelist Alphonse Karr, but most everyone is familiar with some variant of his quip plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: The more it changes the more it’s the same thing.
Anyone driving the streets of major American cities over the past year or more has seen a bumper sticker that simply read 01-20-2009.
The numbers indicated the date that George W. Bush would leave the White House.
Until last November no one knew who his replacement would be or even with which of the two major political parties he or she would be affiliated; it was enough to anticipate Bush’s departure as an end in itself.
Judging by other bumper stickers that often accompanied this one on a given vehicle, it was assumed that those who so adorned the back of it looked forward to the end of eight years of an aggressive foreign policy, one marked by the war in Iraq and, for anyone who had paid attention to other matters, that in Afghanistan and assorted counterinsurgency and proxy wars such as those in Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.
March 12, 2009 BBC
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Iraqi journalist jailed for Bush shoe attack – 12 Mar 09
The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, has been sentenced to three years in jail. Continue reading
By Eric Black
Wed, Mar 11 2009 11:17 am
At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”
Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.
In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in public.”
“Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …
“Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.
“Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is good, please watch the entire video. Don’t get discouraged, continue to speak out loudly. ~ DS
Talk by Ray McGovern, 27-year Veteran of the CIA and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) speaking at the Veterans for Peace Northwest Regional Conference March 8, 2009 in Kirkland, WA.
Sun, 08 Mar 2009 14:41:33 GMT
Former US President George W. Bush could possibly stand trial at the international Criminal Court in The Hague, says an ex-UN prosecutor.
David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said similar to the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Bush could be an ICC target.
“The principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror suspects,” Crane was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald on Saturday.
Mosaic News – 3/6/09: World News From The Middle East (last story on the video)
Wiki tell us, “Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others. The results or ‘fruits’ of actions are called karma-phala. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one’s present life and all past and future lives as well.” Well, we can all see the fruits of Bush karma, the karma-phala, all around us.
They include a wrecked economy, with debt at an all-time high and the Dow at a 1997 low. Thanks to two preemptive wars that were on the Bush drawing boards before 9/11 ever hit and became that false-flag attack on America to ignite the wars. The lack of responsibility in starting those wars, including lack of real evidence, like the photographs of the so-called terror hijackers that mystically appeared out of the FBI files in 48 hours, when that same bureau and the CIA had been burying reports of a 9/11 attack for years. Also, that a year later, FBI chief Robert Mueller, claimed he could not be absolutely sure the men in the photographs were really the hijackers. By then, we were in Afghanistan.
Hopefully, torture, and how to deal with its purveyors in the Bush/Cheney Regime at both the policy and delivery levels, will be back on the political/policy agenda, once A.G. Holder and his team get set in their new positions.
One of the principal lessons that Karl Rove (gone for now, but don’t forget him) learned from his master teacher Lee Atwater was that he who controls the agenda wins the debate and, in grander terms, the election. Rove was positively brilliant with this tactic, from 2000 until 2006. True Bush policies and programs were never on the agenda, whether in that first election or any of the subsequent ones. Rove was able to do this on both the grand and the lesser scales. And so we came to the debate over torture and Judge Mukasey (Bush’s last undistinguished Attorney General, you may recall) at his confirmation hearing, and the agenda for that debate. I have no way of knowing whether Rove was still active on a day-to-day basis at that time in the Bush White House. My suspicion is that he was, for the tactics they used had Rove’s fingerprints all over them.
About two years ago, on The Political Junkies.net I published a series of columns under this title. I thought it useful to revisit the argument, and will be doing it over my next several columns here on TPJmagazine.
Under the combined efforts of the GOP and their media Scream Machine and Pres. Obama’s determination to “look forward, not back,” the record of the Bush Presidency is receding quickly from public view. Most observers who still look at it (and future historians will return to it aplenty, we can rest assured) characterize as the worst, or at least one of the worst, Presidencies in American history. But “worst” is a value judgment. In this particular case, given my values, I agree with that assessment. But I am not talking here about an application of my values. I am talking about an application of the values of Bush himself and his principal supporters: the extractive industry, military-industrial complex, and prison/industrial complex segments of the US power elite, the thought/behavior-control legions of the Christian Right, and the Republican Scream Machine in the mass media. In applying their values and measuring against them what of his original true goals (not the advertised ones, almost of them being lies) he accomplished, George W. Bush becomes the Most Successful American President.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
Headlines coming soon. Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.