Bush, Oil & Iraq: Some Truth at Last


Here we have former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill disclosing that George Bush came into office planning to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and MSNBC polls its audience with the question, Did O’Neill Betray Bush?

Is that really the big question? The White House had a sharper nose for the real meat of Leslie Stahl’s 60 Minutes interview with O’Neill and Ron Suskind, the reporter who based much of his expose of the Bush White House, The Price of Loyalty, on 19,000 government documents O’Neill provided him.

What bothers the White House is one particular National Security Council document shown in the 60 Minutes interview, clearly drafted in the early weeks of the new administration, which showed plans for the post-invasion dispersal of Iraq’s oil assets among the world’s great powers, starting with the major oil companies.

For the brief moment it was on the tv screen one could see that this bit of paper, stamped Secret, was undoubtedly one of the most explosive documents in the history of imperial conspiracy. Here, dead center in the camera’s lense, was the refutation of every single rationalization for the attack on Iraq ever offered by George W. Bush and his co-conspirators, including Tony Blair

That NSC document told 60 Minutes’ vast audience the attack on Iraq was not about national security in the wake of 9/ll. It was not about weapons of mass destruction. It was not about Saddam Hussein’s possible ties to Osama bin Laden. It was about stealing Iraq’s oil, same way the British stole it three quarter of a century earlier. The major oil companies drew up the map, handed it to their man George, helped him (through such trusties as James Baker) steal the 2000 election and then told him to get on with the attack.

O’Neill says that the Treasury Department’s lawyers okayed release of the document to him. The White House, which took 78 days to launch an investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA officer, clearly regards the disclosure of what Big Oil wanted as truly reprehensible, as opposed to endangering the life of Ms Plame. It’s going after O’Neill for this supposed security breach.

Forget about O’Neill "betraying" Bush. How about Bush lying to the American people? It’s obvious from that document that Bush, on the campaign trail in 2000, was as intent on regime change in Iraq as was Clinton in his second term and as Gore was publicly declaring himself to be.

Here’s Bush in debate with Gore, October 3, 2000:

"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. I’m going
to prevent that."

The second quote is from a joint press conference with Tony Blair on January 31, 2003. Bush rationalizes:

"Actually, prior to September 11, we were discussing smart sanctions. We were trying to fashion a sanction regime that would make it more likely to be able to contain somebody like Saddam Hussein. After September 11, the doctrine of containment just doesn’t hold any water. The strategic vision of our country shifted dramatically because we now recognize that oceans no longer protect us, that we’re vulnerable to attack. And the worst form of attack could come from somebody acquiring weapons of mass destruction and using them on the American people. I now realize the stakes. I realize the world has changed. My most important obligation is to protect the American people from further harm, and I will do that."

In his cabinet meetings before 9/11 Bush may, in O’Neill’s words, have been like a blind man in a room full of deaf people. But, as O’Neill also says, in those early strategy meetings Bush did say the plan from the start was to attack Iraq, using any pretext. Bush’s language about "smart sanctions" from the press conference at the start of last year was as brazen and far more momentous a lie as any of those that earned Bill Clinton the Republicans’ impeachment charges.

Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?