President Bush did everything to get us a war in Iraq

President Bush and company explained to the American people that Saddam Hussein was an evildoer and we needed to strike a blow against terrorism when he ordered US forces to invade and occupy Iraq in March 2003.

We were told among other things that Saddam had a large cache of weapons of mass distruction just waiting to be used on America or American interests or sold to terrorists who would then use them on us. The administration even has tried to link Saddam with the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

I remember reading an article on the CBSnews.com website where it quoted Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on 9/11 telling his staff he KNEW Saddam was beind the attacks and they should work on plans to invade Iraq to remove him from power.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11

posted 9/4/2002

(CBS) CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq � even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.

“One guy is associate of Cole bomber,” the notes say, a reference to the October 2000 suicide boat attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which had also been the work of bin Laden.

With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted “best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H.” � meaning Saddam Hussein � “at same time. Not only UBL” � the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.

Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn’t matter to Rumsfeld. 

<http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/04/september11/main520830.shtml>

Little hay was made of this revelation. No one in the media investigated it further. At the time it was seen as being un-patriotic to question the Bush administration.

Then in June 2003, current Presidential canidate Wesley Clark, a former General, made a startling statement on “Meet the Press”. Here are the details:

Media Silent on Clark’s 9/11 Comments:
Gen. says White House pushed Saddam link without evidence

June 20, 2003

Sunday morning talk shows like ABC’s This Week or Fox News Sunday often make news for days afterward. Since prominent government officials dominate the guest lists of the programs, it is not unusual for the Monday editions of major newspapers to report on interviews done by the Sunday chat shows.

But the June 15 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press was unusual for the buzz that it didn’t generate. Former General Wesley Clark told anchor Tim Russert that Bush administration officials had engaged in a campaign to implicate Saddam Hussein in the September 11 attacks– starting that very day. Clark said that he’d been called on September 11 and urged to link Baghdad to the terror attacks, but declined to do so because of a lack of evidence.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

——————————————————————————–

CLARK: “There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.”

RUSSERT: “By who? Who did that?”

CLARK: “Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.’ I said, ‘But–I’m willing to say it, but what’s your evidence?’ And I never got any evidence.”

——————————————————————————–

Clark’s assertion corroborates a little-noted CBS Evening News story that aired on September 4, 2002. As correspondent David Martin reported: “Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the secretary of defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.” According to CBS, a Pentagon aide’s notes from that day quote Rumsfeld asking for the “best info fast” to “judge whether good enough to hit SH at the same time, not only UBL.” (The initials SH and UBL stand for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.) The notes then quote Rumsfeld as demanding, ominously, that the administration’s response “go massive…sweep it all up, things related and not.”

Despite its implications, Martin’s report was greeted largely with silence when it aired. Now, nine months later, media are covering damaging revelations about the Bush administration’s intelligence on Iraq, yet still seem strangely reluctant to pursue stories suggesting that the flawed intelligence– and therefore the war– may have been a result of deliberate deception, rather than incompetence. The public deserves a fuller accounting of this story.

<http://www.fair.org/press-releases/clark-iraq.html>

The media shrugged – again.

Then this week, in a 60 Minutes interview, former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill added another corroboration to the story that the Bush administration had planned all along to take out Saddam and were looking for an excuse to do so.

And what happened at President Bush’s very first National Security Council meeting is one of O’Neill’s most startling revelations.

“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O�Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic “A” 10 days after the inauguration – eight months before Sept. 11.

“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,� says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”

As treasury secretary, O’Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” were never asked.

“It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,'” says O�Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”

And that came up at this first meeting, says O�Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.

He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. “There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,'” adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001. Based on his interviews with O’Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq’s oil wealth.

He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts,” which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.

“It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions,” says Suskind. “On oil in Iraq.”

During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: “If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I’m going to prevent that.”

“The thing that’s most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said ‘X’ during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing ‘Y,'” says Suskind. “Not just saying ‘Y,’ but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election.”

<http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml>

The reaction from the White House to conservative talk radio was shift and expected. O�Neill, they said, is prone to putting his foot in his mouth, he’s crazy, no one really liked him etc… The Treasury Department is going to investigate how the alleged secret documents used in the 60 Minutes interview and the book were made public. The inference is that O�Neill stole them.

Some conservative commentators have gone so far as to claim that Bush was only continuing what the previous Clinton administration was planning. “When you can’t deny something then blame it on Clinton” seems to be the mantra in the GOP.

The point is clear. The war on Iraq was fulfilling a political “to-do list” from day one of the administration and they mislead the American people and pissed off our allies to do it.

Jeffrey Record, a professor at the US War College, wrote in a report on the Iraq war that the invasion of Iraq [was] “an unnecessary war of choice” and a “detour”.

Record says that by lumping together a host of threats – from the destruction of the al-Qaeda network to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction – the administration has set goals in the war which are unsustainable.

“The United States may be able to defeat al-Qaeda, but it cannot rid the world of terrorism, much less evil,” he says in the report.

Record adds: “[The war] against a deterred Iraq has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from the security of the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al-Qaeda.”

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3391583.stm>

When is a lie a lie?

The Republicans wet themselves to impeach President Clinton for lying about sex yet they see nothing wrong about President Bush’s lies about Iraq. We need a new administration to get us away from these dangerous people running the country.

Saddam didn’t attack the World Trade Center

Ok. One more time. There has been NO evidence that Saddam Hussein helped in the planning or execution of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

I am gobsmacked when I continue to see polls here in the states that report people think he had something to do with the attacks. It simply has not been proven.

The idea that he did have anything to do with the attacks of 9/11 was one of the ruses used by the administration of President George Bush Jr. to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The other ruses being that Saddam was an immediate threat to the US and that he had tons of weapons of mass destruction to use or sell. Those have also not been proven.

The typical knee jerk rebuttal to my comments include “then you must have wanted Saddam to stay in power. He was an evildoer and we helped rid the Iraqi people of a ruthless dictator.” This rebuttal is a simple red-herring trying to distract one from the illogical conclusion.

I agree that Saddam was a butcher and didn’t deserve to remain in power. That doesn’t mean that taking him out with a full scale invasion based on a false premises was the correct action to take at the time.

My comments peak to the outright falsehoods spun by our President and his cabinet to mislead us into supporting his strong arm tactics.

The removal of Saddam didn’t make the US any safer nor was it a blow against terrorism. Meanwhile the Taliban (remember them) are regrouping in Afghanistan as we try to loot the commercial interests in Iraq. I argue that was the REAL reason Bush et al lied to the US people.

Bush and the neo-conservatives who dreamed up the BIG LIE have the blood of over 500 brave soldiers on their hands, most killed AFTER Saddam was removed from power. The week of Christmas the Terror Threat was raised to Orange – the 2nd highest level – and we are now safer?

When will the President stop lying to us? Maybe when he is removed in the 2004 elections. I hope the rest of the country gets a clue by then.

Oh where oh where are the candidates?

It is the time of year for prospective candidates to indicate their intentions in running for elective office. They must submit their names for the ballot at least 100 days before the March primary.

Lori Miller, director of the Hancock County Board of Elections lamented the lack of candidates in the 12/19 edition of The Courier.

“The same people have been on and I don’t know why people don’t run against them,” Miller said. “You would think with all of interest in the commissioners’ race that someone might file for some of the other seats.”

As of December 19, the only contested county races were for 2 spots on the County Commissioners. All the other elective offices up for a vote in 2004 had just incumbents running.

Miller’s question was answered in another story in the same edition.

“It’s very difficult to get Democrats to run for office in Hancock County,” said Mary Jane Roberts, interim chairwoman of the Hancock County Democratic Party. “They don’t feel they have a chance to win.

“We are trying to encourage more Democrats to get involved so we can have more support,” she said.

There you have it. People won’t run if they think they won’t win. But it is also true that you can’t win if you don’t run.

What the issue is, is the power of the incumbent and machine politics. There is a machine at the heart of Hancock county politics and the Republicans run it. They hold all the offices and with that they decide who runs and who can win.

Hancock county is a hard place for a new person to break into the politics. Mike Oxley wouldn’t have become the power he has become in the 4th District if he hadn’t been appointed to the House seat in 1981 upon the death of Tennyson Guyer. Oxley barely won the run-off election against the Democratic candidate who was better connected. The fact that Oxley was the incumbent made up for his lack of experience.

The reason the same people run for the same office year after year isn’t only about the lack of an opponent. It also speaks to how nothing changes in Hancock county. It wouldn’t matter which party was dominate as long as the status quo was maintained and in Hancock county it has.

What that means is the party affiliation has had no bearing on the success, or rather lack of problems, of the county.

John Sausser has been on the Findlay city council for years and served as Mayor in the 1970’s. He use to be a Democrat but now claims to be an independent. He had success as a Democrat because he worked hard to get elected and had views on the issues.

If a person has a choice of candidates and they each had views on maintaining the status quo then of course the incumbent is going to win for the simple fact that people won’t change their elected officials unless they have to. In Frankin county, the clerk of courts, a Republican, was caught stealing money. The voters voted in a Democrat to the job.

The problem with incumbents with no opposition is that it disenfranchises the voter. Why vote if Joe Smoe is going to win anyway?

The lack of participation leads to more races with no challengers which leads to less participation. It is in fact a threat to Democracy because we move the power of the offices into the hands of the Party rather than the voter. We go back to the days of the political machines, where it was who you knew and not what you would do that decided if you got elected to office.

Sad indeed.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”