FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Shootout at the Marin Hot Tub Club

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:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 13, 2019
Vijay Prashad
After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia
Charles Pierson
How Not to End a Forever War
Kenneth Surin
“We’ll See You on the Barricades”: Bojo Johnson’s Poundshop Churchill Imitation
Nick Alexandrov
Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines
George Ochenski
Montana’s Radioactive Waste Legacy
Brian Terrell
A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7
Nick Pemberton
Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech
James Bovard
The “Officer Friendly” Police Fantasy
Dean Baker
The Logic of Medical Co-Payments
Jeff Mackler
Chicago Teachers Divided Over Strike Settlement
Binoy Kampmark
The ISC Report: Russian Connections in Albion?
Norman Solomon
Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge
Jesse Jackson
Risking Lives in Endless Wars is Morally Wrong and a Strategic Failure
Manuel García, Jr.
Criminalated Warmongers
November 12, 2019
Nino Pagliccia
Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War
Patrick Cockburn
How Iran-Backed Forces Are Taking Over Iraq
Jonathan Cook
Israel is Silencing the Last Voices Trying to Stop Abuses Against Palestinians
Jim Kavanagh
Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage
Susan Babbitt
Fidel, Three Years Later
Dean Baker
A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security is What America Needs
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Trump’s Crime Against Humanity
Victor Grossman
The Wall and General Pyrrhus
Yoko Liriano
De Facto Martial Law in the Philippines
Ana Paula Vargas – Vijay Prashad
Lula is Free: Can Socialism Be Restored?
Thomas Knapp
Explainer: No, House Democrats Aren’t Violating Trump’s Rights
Wim Laven
Serve With Honor, Honor Those Who Serve; or Support Trump?
Colin Todhunter
Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer
Binoy Kampmark
Walls in the Head: “Ostalgia” and the Berlin Wall Three Decades Later
Akio Tanaka
Response to Pete Dolack Articles on WBAI and Pacifica
Nyla Ali Khan
Bigotry and Ideology in India and Kashmir: the Legacy of the Babri Masjid Mosque
Yves Engler
Canada Backs Coup Against Bolivia’s President
November 11, 2019
Aaron Goings, Brian Barnes, and Roger Snider
Class War Violence: Centralia 1919
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
“Other Than Honorable?” Veterans With “Bad Paper” Seek Long Overdue Benefits
Peter Linebaugh
The Worm in the Apple
Joseph Natoli
In the Looming Shadow of Civil War
Robert Fisk
How the Syrian Democratic Forces Were Suddenly Transformed into “Kurdish Forces”
Patrick Cockburn
David Cameron and the Decline of British Leadership
Naomi Oreskes
The Greatest Scam in History: How the Energy Companies Took Us All
Fred Gardner
Most Iraq and Afghanistan Vets now Regret the Mission
Howard Lisnoff
The Dubious Case of Washing Machines and Student Performance
Nino Pagliccia
The Secret of Cuba’s Success: International Solidarity
Binoy Kampmark
Corporate Mammon: Amazon and the Seattle Council Elections
Kim C. Domenico
To Overthrow Radical Evil, Part II: A Grandmother’s Proposal
Marc Levy
Veterans’ Day: Four Poems
Weekend Edition
November 08, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Real Constitutional Crisis: The Constitution
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail