Tag Archives | Iraq War
Abby Martin calls out the corporate media for their incessant coverage of Biebergate, whilst ignoring important stories such as Congress’ attempt to implement new Iran sanctions amidst promising diplomatic negotiations, as well as new photographs emerging of a 2004 incident involving US marines setting fire to Iraqi corpses in Fallujah.
Ten years ago, anyone who said that the United States was invading Iraq in part to take its oil was dismissed as delusional. But via the Daily Beast, former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum now confirms:
I was less impressed by Ahmed Chalabi than were some others in the Bush administration. However, since one of those “others” was Vice President Cheney, it didn’t matter what I thought.
In 2002, Chalabi joined the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute near Vail, Colorado. He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.
As the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War passes, its architects are close to being in the clear for good, Elizabeth Holtzman writes via the Nation:
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A critical deadline is fast approaching without attracting much notice. Statutes of limitations applicable to possible crimes committed by former President George W. Bush and his top aides, with respect to wiretapping of Americans without court approval and to fraud in launching and continuing the Iraq War, may expire in early 2014, less than a year from now. Since no prosecutions can be brought after the statutes run out, unless investigations are started soon, any crimes that did occur will go unprosecuted and unpunished, deeply entrenching the principle of impunity for top officials.
President Bush has publicly admitted to authorizing wiretaps of Americans on more than thirty separate occasions without a court order, an apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Assuming that the warrantless wiretapping ended when Bush left office on January 20, 2009, the statute would run out on January 20, 2014.
Via Bear Left!, six months before the start of the Iraq War, the New York Times op-ed page featured an advertisement containing a statement signed by 33 leading scholars of international relations from universities across the United States. Dismissed at the time by mainstream pundits, today their points read as prediction of everything that was to come in Iraq:
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WAR WITH IRAQ IS NOT IN AMERICA’S NATIONAL INTEREST
• Saddam Hussein is a murderous despot, but no one has provided credible evidence that Iraq is cooperating with al Qaeda.
• The first Bush administration did not try to conquer Iraq in 1991 because it understood that doing so could spread instability in the Middle East, threatening U.S. interests. This remains a valid concern today.
• The United States would win a war against Iraq, but Iraq has military options—chemical and biological weapons, urban combat—that might impose significant costs on the invading forces and neighboring states.
Yesterday marked the ten-year anniversary of the start of the invasion of Iraq. Oddly, there was little public celebration or commemoration from the war’s architects, with the exception of Donald Rumsfeld via his Twitter account. Is there any hope that Rumsfeld along with Bush and Cheney can be airlifted and dropped into the rubble that was once Fallujah so that everyday Iraqis give their thanks in person?
Despite a strict ban on recordings and transcripts at the secretive proceedings, the Freedom of Press Foundation has gotten a hold of a covertly-made tape of Manning’s full speech to the court explaining his motivation for leaking classified government materials. He remarks:
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“I am the type of person who likes to know how things work. And, as an analyst, this means I always want to figure out the truth. Unlike other analysts within the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, I was not satisfied with just scratching the surface and producing canned or cookie cutter assessments. I wanted to know why something was the way it was, and what we could to correct or mitigate a situation.”
“I began to become depressed with the situation that we [the U.S. military] found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year…we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists…[I wanted] society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.”
“I knew that if I continued to assist the Baghdad Federal Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister al-Maliki, those people would be arrested and in the custody of the Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police and very likely tortured and not seen again for a very long time – if ever.”
“I read more of the diplomatic cables published on the Department of State Net Centric Diplomacy.
A man who helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. "Curveball", the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. When it is put to him, "We went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie", Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi simply replies: "Yes." His lies were presented as "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" by Colin Powell when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003, after US officials "sexed up" Mr Janabi's drawings of mobile biological weapons labs, admits General Powell's former chief of staff. Mr. Janabi tries to defend his actions: "My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq."
Thomas Frank on the establishment economists, bankers, journalists, and foreign policy experts who create our consensus reality, via the Baffler:
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)