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:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail