FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Questions Barbara Walters Didn’t Ask George Bush

by Don Williams

Last Thursday, ABC News announced that Barbara Walters would interview President Bush for the December 5th 20/20 broadcast. ABC News asked viewers to submit questions for Walters to ask Mr Bush.

The transcript of this interview is now up on ABC ‘s web site.

I think Ms. Walters softball questions, as shown in the transcript, illustrate the extent to which the news media is in the pocket of the White House.

What follows are some questions I submitted to ABC News for the interview:

Mr. President: In a 1998 ABC interview, Osama Bin Laden stated that a Jihad was justified because of America’s support for Israel against Muslim Palestinians. This past summer, Sharon attacked several Palestinian sites with US-made F-16 fighter jets –while the US government looked on. Yet now, several recent news stories based on White House sources have claimed that you were secretly promoting a Palestinian peace plan and a Palestinian state at the end of August. Question: If these stories are true, why did you approve Lockheed Martin’s sale of 52 new F-16 jet fighters to Israel on September 5, precisely one week prior to the September 11 attack?

The F-16s sale was criticized in the Arab world on Sept 8. In a November 9 interview with Pakistan’s Ausaf newspaper, Bin Laden justified the Sept 11attack by noting that the US government sells advanced weapons to Israel which Israel then uses to kill Muslim Palestinians. Wasn’t the Sept 11 attack triggered by the sale of the F-16s?

Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne Cheney, was on Lockheed’s Board of Directors from 1994 until January of this year. Did she have any influence on White House approval of the F-16 sale? Were the jobs provided to Fort Worth Texas by the sale a factor?

Mr. President: Several huge oil deposits have been found in the Caspian Sea area north of Afghanistan –especially in Kazakhstan. When VP Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, he served on Kazakhstan’s Oil Advisory Board and his recent energy report advocated that you direct the Cabinet to “deepen their commercial dialogue with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and other Caspian states.” While CEO, Mr. Cheney lobbied for relaxation of US sanctions against Iran so that a pipeline could be built to carry Caspian oil to a tanker terminal on the Indian Ocean. Given China’s projected demand for oil over the next 30 years, the potential profits are huge. Question: Will US oil companies’s desire for a pipeline to Kazakhstan via Afghanistan/Pakistan influence who the US government supports for the post-Taliban government?

Mr. President: Your February 2001 budget indicates that you will pay for your income tax cut by borrowing heavily from the government Trusts (Social Security, Medicare,etc.) over the next ten years. By 2011, the Trust Funds will be holding $6 Trillion in IOUs, which your Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey has noted are “not real assets”. When the huge baby boomer generation begins retiring in 2011, the government will need to repay the IOUs in 2011-2031–i.e., the government will need to run a $300 Billion/year surplus for twenty years. How will they do that?

If we cannot run a real surplus today, in the boomers peak earning years, then how will we do so when a large portion of the population retires?

Follow-up: The US spends more on defense than the next 13 largest military powers. We spend $350 Billion/year while our major allies (UK, Germany,Japan) and our major competitors (Russia, China) only spend $20-$50 Billion /year. Why, then, did you push for an increase in the defense budget?

Mr. President: During 1995-2000, large numbers of personnel were laid off from the military and intelligence community due to budget cuts by the Republican-controlled Congress. For example, employment at Lockheed Martin, the large defense contractor, fell from 190,000 in 1996 to 126,000 in 2000. ( VP Dick Cheney’s wife was on Lockheed’s Board of Directors during this time.)

In 1998 and 2000, the Republican-controlled Congress raised the H-1B visa limit to allow US corporations to bring in 800,000 foreign professionals and to allow said workers to stay for 6 years. News reports stated that Congress did this at the urging of Silicon Valley campaign donors.

In view of the current high unemployment, the slump in the tech industries, the reluctance of industry to hire older workers, and the recession, should Congress rescind the increase in H-1B visas?

Don Williams lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail