FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Shootout at the Marin Hot Tub Club

by Larry Chin YellowTimes.org

In a rare television appearance a couple of days ago, former (or some say still current) president George Herbert Walker Bush lashed out personally at John Walker Lindh, the American who took up arms with the Taliban. Shaking with rage, the elder Bush spit venomously about how he has “absolutely no sympathy” for the Taliboy teenager, and how sick he was of “liberal Marin County hot tubbers.”

The former CIA Director veered like a hijacked jetliner into ramblings about “liberal” critics alleging prisoner mistreatment (we can assume he was referring to “liberals” like the Red Cross and European government leaders who have a problem with Guantanamo), and the need to “get tough and get behind the military” (as if the mass goose stepping isn’t quite “getting” enough for his tastes).

Pure vindictiveness may explain some of the Carlyle Group senior adviser’s lust to see the young Taliboy’s neck in a noose. More likely, Poppy Bush is angry that his son, President W., is being confronted by a nemesis from his own dark Iran-Contra past: James Brosnahan.

James Brosnahan, former federal prosecutor and former member of the Lawrence Walsh Independent Counsel team, is John Walker Lindh’s attorney.

Recall that the elder Bush hated no one on earth more than Walsh. In his book Shadow, Bob Woodward describes how, during the height of the Walsh inquiry, Bush received a “Lawrence Walsh” doll as a gag Christmas gift from a member of his staff. Bush slammed the doll repeatedly against his desk, shouting, “Take that, Walsh!”

Recall that Bush and his minions did everything possible to obstruct Walsh’s investigation. Walsh’s team had discovered notes written by Caspar Weinberger which disproved Bush’s claim that he had been “out of the loop.” These notes proved that Weinberger had knowledge of $25 million in Saudi Arabian contributions to the Nicaraguan contras.

Recall that it was Brosnahan who spoke out against White House attacks against Walsh as blatant obstruction of justice. In a piece written by Robert Parry (from Mother Jones January 1993):

“It was all so transparent that I was disappointed more people didn’t pick up on the fact that all they were really trying to do was obstruct the trial of Weinberger. It was going to be a hell of a trial,” Brosnahan said. V”The full story would have been told, as it pertained to the [obstruction] counts of the indictment. They [senior Reagan-Bush officials] couldn’t have a trial. The cross- examination of Caspar Weinberger was going to be an event.”

According to Brosnahan, the trial would have shown that Weinberger knew as early as summer 1985 that President Ronald Reagan had personally authorized missile shipments to Iran in violation of the Arms Control Export Act, and that this potentially impeachable act was concealed by constructing a false record. “The August [1985] meeting [of Reagan’s National Security Council] discussed having Israel send the missiles to Iran and replenishing them out of U.S. stocks,” says Brosnahan. “Weinberger is responsible for all missiles. The Secretary of Defense is the guy.”

Another guy who stood to lose his exalted standing in Washington if the trial took place was General Colin Powell, who was Weinberger’s principal aide in 1985. In an affidavit, Powell said he “saw virtually all the papers that went in and out of [Weinberger’s] office” and thus would have had direct access to the evidence of missile replenishment. Early in the investigation, Powell gave conflicting accounts of his knowledge of Weinberger’s extensive personal notes, denying knowledge of their existence (when Weinberger was claiming he didn’t take any), and then saying in 1992 that the notes were no secret and describing them in detail (after Weinberger was forced to cough them up).

One of the prosecution’s star witnesses would have been White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, who finally would have recounted the frantic Oval Office scrambling to contain the scandal in November 1986, Brosnahan says. “Regan would say that when it broke, he denied things. But there came a point when he knew it was out of control. At some point, in December [1985] or January [1986], he wanted to get the whole thing out.”

In his notorious final act as president, George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger. He also pardoned the rest of his Iran-Contra gang. Elliott Abrams, his former assistant secretary of state for Inter- American affairs. Former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane. And CIA agents and friends Dewey Clarridge, Alan Fiers, and Clair George.

In defending John Walker, Brosnahan has vowed to fight the current Bush administration every step of the way. Brosnahan has many points to raise. For example, Walker Lindh joined the Taliban during a period in which the Bush (and Clinton) administration considered the Taliban to be an ally. And that the Bush administration handed over $100 million in aid to the Taliban, including a $43 million check in May 2001.

All of which, by objective reason, makes George W. Bush and his entire administration guilty of the same charges leveled against Lindh, including “providing material support” and “willfully and knowingly contributing goods and services to, and for the benefit of, the Taliban” and “supplying directly and indirectly goods and services to the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban.”

When faced with stress, scandal and opposition, Bush family members don’t like it. They wind up vomiting on the laps of Japanese officials, or having bruising Pretzel-gate fainting spells. And starting wars.

It is time for all of us to sit back, in our “liberal Marin County” hot tubs, and witness the spectacle of Bush vs. Brosnahan: The Sequel. And look out for dirty tricks.

Larry Chin is a freelance journalist and a columnist for YellowTimes.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism:  Transcending the Masters tools
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Chuck Collins
Wall Street Hopes You’ve Forgotten the Crash Already
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Robert Koehler
Costa Rica’s Peace Journey
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail