Those who attempt to caution or contradict Bush Washington about even the smallest matter are doomed. They are the Unbelievers, and for their independence will be mercilessly attacked by the psychopathic charlatans who wield great power in an administration that has deteriorated into a monstrous circus of arrogance, self-deception and malevolence. The onslaughts of the zealots are aimed at destroying the careers and reputations of those who dare question the deceit and knavery of the Head Charlatan. It does not matter how distinguished the victims might be; it is of no consequence that they may have been for decades loyal servants of the American Constitution; and it is irrelevant that they might have a world-wide reputation for honesty.
The Cheney-Bush imperium has dictated that neither dissent not challenge can be permitted.
Irrespective of harm to individuals, or to their organizations, colleagues, friends and families, the unbelievers must be destroyed. The fact that most of the unbelievers are foreigners adds a surreal dimension of shrill self-righteousness to the process of demolition. The American psyche is now in such a tailspin of hysterical xenophobic suspicion that anything foul will be believed of a foreigner, especially if the foreigner is — Oh, Horror — a Muslim associated with the United Nations.
Much persecution by the fundamentalist quasi-Christians in Washington begins at home, where the case of the CIA deep-cover agent Valerie Plame has been forgotten by the US media. In Britain there would have been investigative journalists crawling all over the place revealing the foulness of those who betrayed (forget the word ‘leaked’, for this was a matter of high policy) her identity, thus placing her in physical danger — but not as much danger as all the contacts she made over the years in some exotic and evil places. We’ll never know how many of them have died horribly because her identity was made public by traitors. Her anti-Bush crime was to be married to a man who questioned the ludicrous Bush lies about non-existent nuclear weapons in Iraq which formed the basis of the nuclear "mushroom cloud" claptrap by Cheney and Rice.
But Plame’s husband, a former ambassador, had told the truth, and therefore had to be punished. They couldn’t lay a hand on him, personally, and although he was investigated to the hilt there was nothing that the sleazy knaves around Bush could do to him, officially. So how else could they make him pay and suffer for his insolence to The Great Leader?
That’s a simple matter – providing you have a mind like a festering dungheap that has been shat on by a troop of rabid baboons suffering from terminal diarrhea. What you do is to destroy his wife’s career, which they did. As I’ve written before, any independent FBI team could have discovered within days the identity of the rancid filth who betrayed Ms Plame. But the investigation has dragged on for over a year and it is most unlikely that there will be legal proceedings against the rats who have been traitors to their country, because they are loyal to Bush.
With regret we’ll pass over the matter of the many CIA analysts who have been sacked in the last year or so because they refused to cook the books for Cheney-Bush. They would forfeit every last cent of their pensions were their stories to be told. (But one of them — at least — is writing a memoir to be published after his death.) So let’s go to the revolting Bolton and his mean and petty destruction of Mr Jose Bustani, former head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Nobody remembers Mr Bustani, but he was the man who advocated sending UN chemical weapons’ inspectors to Iraq in 2002. President Cheney-Bush didn’t want this, because it would have shown — and did show, eventually — that Iraq had not a grain or drop of chemicals that could have been delivered by missiles which it didn’t have, either. (The really funny thing is that Bush has stated on record that Saddam Hussein would not permit weapons inspectors to enter Iraq, which is an out-and-out lie, and that Bush himself has forbidden UN weapons inspectors to enter the country since he invaded it. Up is down; black is white; lies are truth in Bushland.) So Bolton, the man that Bush is foisting upon the world as his personal representative to the United Nations (which would also be funny were it not so sick) phoned Mr Bustani and was "menacing".
It was claimed that Mr Bustani "was not responsive to US and other countries’ positions". For ‘other countries’ read the prime minister of Britain, one Tony Blair, a lying, manipulative, devious little two-faced creep who fits well in Bush Washington.
Bolton had demanded that Bustani appoint Americans (approved by Bolton) to his staff and that the (eventual) UN inspection results be altered, but got no satisfaction. So Washington threatened to withdraw its financial support for the OPCW if Mr Bustani remained its chief. Then the US insisted on a special session of the OPCW, having bribed and bullied its members beforehand to vote its way. They managed to get Mr Bustani sacked a year before the end of his tenure. (I’m happy to say that his country made him ambassador to the UK, although I doubt he’ll be seeing many of Blair’s politicized officials.)
It was an easy victory for Bush and Blair. Exit another little problem. Easy peasy, says Washington: now that we have got rid of one embarrassment, let’s look for another Unbeliever to victimize.
So here is the barely believable tale of another decent man who was sacked because Bush Washington knew he was honest. And the man wasn’t only sacked, but his appointment was eliminated. Let’s begin with his brief biography:
"Cherif Bassiouni, Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law [in Chicago] serves as president of DePaul’s International Human Rights Law Institute, the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences in Siracusa, Italy, and the International Association of Penal Law in Paris . . . From 1995-1998, he was vice-chairman of the UN General Assembly’s Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court and in 1998 was elected chairman of the [Committee]. Professor Bassiouni is the author and editor of 54 books and 176 law review articles . . . He has received numerous honors, including the Order of Merit of the Austrian Republic (1990) [etc, etc. . . ] In 1999, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his lifelong work to establish an International Criminal Court."
Mr Bassiouni is a truly distinguished international figure.
He leaves Cheney, Rice, Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of the wierd bunch at the starting post. For a start he speaks foreign languages. (And remember how Rice, that supposed expert on Russia with supposedly fluent Russian, somehow mixed up the words for "yes" and "no" during an interview with a Russian TV station. I doubt Professor Bassiouni would do that in either English, Arabic or French, the languages he speaks most fluently.) But the Bush people managed to get him sacked from his appointment as the UN’s independent investigator into human rights in Afghanistan. It wasn’t easy for them to get him out, of course. The process went through various stages, and the beginning of the saga was as bizarre as the rest of it.
First, Washington tried to stop any investigation whatever into human rights violations in Afghanistan. Then when it became obvious that this demand was preposterous, because the place is a sink of hideous persecution, especially against women, the fallback position — stand by to shriek with laughter — was to demand that US troops be excluded from all investigations into human rights violations. And this — it becomes even more surreal — was after it was revealed that there had been torture by American soldiers of illegally detained inmates at the Abu Ghraib hellhole.
But Professor Bassiouni had offended the zealots well before he went to Afghanistan. He had, after all, been a staunch advocate of the International Criminal Court. This organization is feared and detested by Cheney-Bush people because it might at some stage be able to hold US soldiers accountable for atrocities and war crimes if the US justice system refuses to indict them on such charges. In the eyes of the Cheney-Bush people (and of many millions of American citizens) it is not permissible for US soldiers to be judged by foreigners, no matter their atrocities.
Therefore Professor Bassiouni was by definition a major enemy of the Cheney-Bush Imperial project. An Unbeliever. He had to be eradicated.
His report on human rights violations in Afghanistan wasn’t even mentioned by most US media (so what’s new?), but the Independent newspaper in the UK recounted that "The [Bassiouni] report, based on a year spent traveling around Afghanistan interviewing Afghans, international agency staff and the Afghan Human Rights Commission, estimated that around 1,000 Afghans had been detained and accused US troops of breaking into homes, arresting residents and abusing them."
That was in April. Since then we have been told about horrifying torture and even murder of Afghans by US soldiers. I’ve written about this before, but think it appropriate to repeat one paragraph:
"It was a joke to these US soldiers that their helpless Afghan captives died lingering deaths, suffering hellishly for days from soldiers’ fists and feet and dogs before merciful release. The documents given to the New York Times include one terrifying quotation concerning one of the tortured and murdered men : "Everyone heard him cry out and thought it was funny." We are now told that the men were "young and poorly trained", as if this could be justification for torture and murder. "Oh, excuse me while I ram this broomstick up your ass, but I’m young and poorly trained". Tim Golden’s opening sentence in the Times sums it up : "Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him". Can you imagine this? Are we really talking about soldiers of the American Army?"
Can anyone be human who actually torments a dying human being and laughs at him? Who were the dozens of Americans who were so vile, so grotesquely barbaric as to think it ‘funny’ that a despairing man is crying out from the pain they have inflicted on him?
There could be no justification for this, even on the fatuous Cheney/Rumsfeld grounds that they would obtain information from what was left of the agonized minds in the wrecked bodies that had been deliberately crippled by giggling military degenerates. By no stretch of the imagination can this treatment be called other than violation of human rights.
The torturers were US soldiers whom Bush is determined to protect from independent investigation. Little wonder the commander-in-chief and his people go to any lengths to pervert the course of justice, because, according to the US official report into the atrocities : "Military spokesmen maintained that both men died of natural causes, even after military coroners had ruled the deaths homicides."
The US military has plumbed the depths of deceit. It has descended to the very bowels of deception and dishonesty. Nobody can ever trust the US military, ever again, to tell the truth. Until, at least, there is a cleansing of the filth, as happened in the traumatic post-Vietnam years, when the US Army was set again on the track of honor from which it has since strayed in the most disgraceful fashion.
So Professor Bassiouni (an American citizen as well as Egyptian) had to be discredited, vilified and sacked. Which he was. And the reasons for his dismissal and for eradication of the position of Human Rights Investigator in Afghanistan came from the usual US source "who preferred not to be named". The anonymous official said that the "human rights situation in Afghanistan is no longer troubling" and that in any case Bassiouni was "grandstanding" "to bolster his resume".
That sort of fatuous lie and malevolent vilification plays well almost everywhere in America, and is spread assiduously by the psyops machine of the snake oil salesmen in Washington.
Contrary to the fetid vomit of the tame Cheney-Bush mouthpiece, the human rights situation in Afghanistan is appalling. Living there is grim unless you are a warlord or a drug baron (usually combined) or an associate of same, or in a government appointment, or a highly paid (as they all are) member of a foreign aid or consultancy organization. There is no law, save that of local chieftains; there are no rights, except for the powerful and their adherents. The place is a human rights’ cesspit. And the US military has been up to its eyeballs in keeping up the good old Afghan traditions of torture and merciless persecution of weak individuals in secret prisons to which they forbid entry by such as Professor Bassiouni. No wonder they wouldn’t let him in to the hideous jails where US soldiers torment and laugh at dying men.
And as for the allegation that Professor Bassiouni produced his Report in order to flesh out his CV . . . . This could be thought up only by the cruddiest of the cruds; the most putrid of guttersnipes; the foulest of all serpentine pestilence that slithers from beneath the flattest rock into a welcoming sewer. It beggars belief that even the Bush courtiers could stoop to such depths as these. But they do.
Professor Bassiouni wrote that " . . . the Coalition [read US – there are no other foreign troops involved in torture and murder] forces’ practice of placing themselves above and beyond the reach of the law must come to an end." But it was Professor Cherif Bassiouni who came to an end. Which goes to show that nobody dare question the Cheney-Bush imperial project without being subjected to retribution by the demented zealots whose holy mission is to destroy the Unbelievers.
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY writes on military and political affairs. He can be reached through his website www.briancloughley.com