FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush, Cheney and the 9/11 Commission

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.

Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

It’s hard to believe they didn’t tell everything they knew. When George Bush and Dick Cheney went hand in hand to testify before the 9/11 Commission they just forgot to mention some things they knew that the Commission might have been interested in hearing. They didn’t realize they’d overlooked that until the Commission report made it seem like they were both a couple of grade school miscreants who had been caught out having lied to the principal.

On February 8, 2003, Mr. Bush said in a weekly address: “Saddam Hussein has long-standing, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990’s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document-forgery experts to work with al Qaeda . . . .” On May 1, 2003, celebrating the successful end of the Iraq war Mr. Bush said “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding. . . . No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraq regime. . . .” On September 14, 2003, Mr. Cheney said: “[T]here was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the 90’s. . . . The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al Qaeda organization.” On June 14, 2004, Mr. Cheney said Saddam Hussein “had long established ties with al Qaeda.”

On June 16, the Commission released its preliminary report. It said that bin Laden explored possible cooperation with Iraq” and sought assistance from Iraq “in procuring weapons but Iraq apparently never responded.” Two senior al Qaeda leaders denied there were any ties between al Qaeda and Iraq.”In response Mr. Bush said: “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda” is “because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.” Mr. Cheney went even further and said the evidence of ties between the two was “overwhelming” notwithstanding the report. He then went on to blame the press for the discrepancies between what he said and what the report said. “The press wants to run out and say there’s a fundamental split here now and between what the president said and what the commission said.” He claimed the press confused the question of whether Iraq was involved with 9/11 with whether a relationship existed between Iraq and al Qaeda. Never mind that 9/11 was the justification for invading Iraq. When asked on television whether he knew things the commission didn’t know he responded like a truculent child, “probably.” The commission said “prove it.” We’ll see if he can

In the midst of the Cheney-Bush reality avoidance, a funny thing happened. Coming to the aid of the lying president, Russian president, Vladimir Putin said his intelligence agency had information that the Saddam regime was preparing “terrorist acts” on the United States and beyond its borders and said: ” This information was passed on to our American colleagues.” When Mr. Bush first met Mr. Putin he said: “I looked the man in the eye, and I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. I was able to get a sense of his soul.” He could not have known that the former head of the KGB would prove to be an invaluable character witness.

Unrelated to the foregoing but worthy of note nonetheless was the juxtaposition of two events that occurred a few days earlier. Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004 and the following week was devoted to (a) paeans for his real and imagined accomplishments, or (b) recitals of the dreadful things that happened during his administration, the devotion depending on the perspective of the observer. So moving was the final service conducted as the sun set over the Pacific, that one could almost see the former president rising through the clouds towards a celestial home accompanied by a heavenly host. Two days later George Bush, the 41st president of the United States, celebrated his 80th birthday by descending through the same clouds, accompanied not by a heavenly host but by members of the Army Golden Knights Parachute team from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The event was covered live by NPR news which had two small business owners on the ground in College Station Texas describing the first glimpse of the former president’s celestial appearance. Had Mr. Bush jumped two days earlier we might have been treated to the spectacle of the two presidents passing each other in midair. That would have been quite a sight.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI is a Boulder, Colorado lawyer. His column appears weekly in the Daily Camera. He can be reached at: brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail