When Will Bush Come Clean?

The recent disclosure that the latest National Intelligence Estimate concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapon program several years ago, assuming Iran ever had such a program, has caused consternation among neoconservatives, right-wing Israeli government officials, and Bush regime ranks.

Members of the right-wing Israeli government have denounced the NIE finding as contrary to Israel’s interests. Former Bush regime official John Bolton accused America’s intelligence agencies with conspiring to discredit President Bush with politicized intelligence. According to Bolton, it is US intelligence agencies, not the neoconservatives, who have their “own agenda.” President Bush has promised to continue his threats against Iran regardless of the NIE finding.

The NIE finding puts Bush on the spot by bringing US intelligence up to speed with the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose director has repeatedly reported, as he did on December 4, that “the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.”

Bush has been trying to work up an attack on Iran based on a non-existent nuclear weapon program. When asked how he could be threatening World War III with a nuclear-armed Iran when US intelligence (and the International Atomic Energy Agency) cannot find evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, Bush said that “nobody told me” about the new finding.

Absurd say intelligence officials. The White House has known about the finding for six months while Dick Cheney tried to suppress the NIE finding. Neocon National Security Advisor Steve Hadley even lied to the press that the NIE finding was new and that’s why Bush didn’t know about it.

The unasked question is: What is the real reason the Bush Regime is so determined to attack Iran? We now know for certain that the reason has nothing whatsoever to do with Iranian nukes any more than the US invasion of Iraq had to do with Iraqi nukes. What is the real reason that is driving the Bush Regime to seek to overthrow with military invasions the only MIddle Eastern states that are not US puppets or dependents?

Until we have the answer to this question, we cannot know why the Bush regime wasted two administrations and $1 trillion at the minimum in order to kill and maim civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bush’s insane wars have seen the US dollar plummet in value, the price of oil skyrocket, American’s soft power destroyed, and the hardening of opposition to the US worldwide.

What has been gained by these extraordinary sacrifices?
How can the American people and their representatives in the two parties in Congress tolerate a criminal executive branch that uses lies and deceit to lead them into illegal wars for secret reasons?

Surely, no one believes that Bush invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, or that Bush and Cheney were working up an attack on Iran because the executive branch did not know of the intelligence findings of its own agencies.

The invasion of Afghanistan also remains unexplained. The Taliban are not Al Qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11 even in the official version of that event. Bush clearly did not invade Afghanistan in order to capture Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, who escaped scot free. The Bin Laden/Sept. 11 rationale for Bush’s wars has completely disappeared.

Osama and 9/11 were never more than public excuses for a pre-determined agenda.

Why do the US media and the investigative committees of Congress have no interest whatsoever in finding the agenda behind Bush’s wars?

How can Americans be a free people living under a rule of law when the president can commit the country to catastrophic wars on the basis of deception and escape all accountability?

And Bush has the chutzpah to call on Iran to “come clean” about its nuclear program or face diplomatic isolation. When is Bush going to “come clean” and tell us the real agenda behind his lies, deceptions, and wars?

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.