A little over a week ago, Fox News aired an exclusive interview with Jeb Bush. It has caused a stir. Jeb has yet to announce officially that he is running for President, even though it is perfectly obvious that he is running whole hog for President. Didn’t he take part in the Sheldon Adelson Primary, after all? What could be more grotesquely Presidential than that? Welcome to the horror show known as the 2016 U.S. election cycle.
Campaigns for the U.S. Congress and Senate or for the White House are underway constantly, year in and year out. We are being subjected to non-stop mendacity and fundraising by the mediocre and the misguided. CNN and Fox are having a field day, fixating upon the trivial and transient, pretending to take the passing show seriously.
That is a problem one must adjust to. Accordingly, I did not give the Fox Noise, eh, News, interview a second glance. Jeb has been flip-flopping like a boated baby tuna off the coast of Key Largo ever since. So I’ve revisited the original interview. It is indeed curious.
With respect to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, Jeb is at sea, just like his brother before him. Jeb does not know what he is talking about. Why should he? Jeb is a golfer and a businessman. More importantly, he doesn’t seem to care. The whole Iraq invasion/war fiasco does not seem to have made a dent upon him as a human being.
Could Jeb still be a cynical turd, to employ his own colorful description, as he was when he attended Andover? No, he has moved on. There is more to it than that. Words are coming out of his mouth in the May 10th interview with Megyn Kelly, but they do not compute.
He repeats the standard Neocon/Dick Cheney cover story, which boils down to this: CIA Director George “slam dunk” Tenet is ultimately responsible for the invasion of Iraq. Well, what would you expect GW’s brother to say under these circumstances? “Operation Iraqi Freedom” has turned out to be a very expensive and bloody train wreck. The Middle East is a killing field. There was no civil war in Iraq, no chaos, no terrorism, no internecine religious war, and no training ground for terrorists prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Predictably, Jeb blames Mr. Peace Prize for going to sleep at the switch. If only Drone King Obama had followed the path of wisdom set down by GW and his “magic man”, Dick Cheney, all would be well. I find this approach a tiny bit arrogant. At best, Obama has made a horrible situation worse, which would have probably become much worse under any scenario.
The party line for both the brain-dead Republicans and the liberal Democrat interventionists is as follows: the CIA handed the Cheney Regency a dossier of flawed WMD intelligence. The Cheney/Bush White House team and party leaders on Capitol Hill had no choice but to act upon said intelligence in carrying out “the war on terror” by invading Iraq where no Islamic terrorists then existed. End of story. I hope that makes sense. Iraq and its immediate neighborhood are now overflowing with terrorists.
How convenient this narrative is for malfeasant Senators and Congressmen and for the formidable network of Neocon manipulators throughout Washington! No accountability, no downside. “Bad intelligence” is the Hillary Clinton glib excuse for her “blank check” vote to invade. Ditto for Joe “I am a Zionist” Biden. And ditto for Washington’s current clueless Secretary of State, John Kerry. Were these prominent Democratic Senators fooled and brainwashed in 2002 by Cheney’s minions? Or did they have their eyes focused on the next election, and just pretended to be fooled?
The ploy to blame the Iraq fiasco on the intelligence community is hypocritical and self-serving in the extreme. With mock confidence, Jeb blithely repeats the disinformation like an automaton to a rope-a-doped public. He can’t tell the truth about Iraq in any event. He probably has only an inkling of what it might be. The truth is beside the point, anyway. Jeb’s handlers understand that.
And what, pray tell, is this suppose to mean in the Fox report? “Bush says the United States failed to focus on security first, which he argues led Iraqis to turn on the military because there was no protection for families. However, he challenged the idea that the security issue was a point of disagreement between him and his brother, President George W. Bush, who ordered the invasion.” Say, what? Watch the video. You figure it out.
I do recall in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad that the only “security” which the White House provided was for the Iraq Ministry of Oil. The American military did not step in to stop looting or maintain order, which is what an occupying power is supposed to do under the Geneva conventions. Is that what Jeb was referring to? And is that the reason the Iraqis began an urban guerrilla war against American troops–not because Iraq had been attacked and invaded by a foreign army? If so, the suggestion beggars the mind.
When Hillary, Biden and Kerry tell you that they voted on October 11th, 2002 to authorize the Iraq war because of the WMD intelligence provided to them at the time, you might ask them if they actually read the classified October 2nd, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate as opposed to the unclassified propaganda provided to a gullible, confused public. Further, you might tell them to explain why the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham of Florida, recently in the news, voted “No” on the war resolution.
Graham was the top Democratic expert in a position to recognize authentic intelligence when he saw it. Much to the annoyance of the bipartisan war party, Graham did not buy the cooked “intelligence” served up by Dick Cheney and his lie factory at the Pentagon. Graham must have realized it was all a big con, as indeed it turned out to be.
As reported in a November 6th, 2005 article in the Washington Post by Frank Davies, Senator Graham replied “Yes” when asked point blank if White House officials had lied to the public about pre-war Iraq intelligence. “He [Graham] said the administration suppressed ‘all the nuance’ and internal disagreement among intelligence agencies over whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, then exaggerated the threat and covered up their activities.”
Cheney was in the habit of running over to CIA headquarters and twisting everybody’s arm to confirm that Iraq possessed WMD when it didn’t. In sum, this was not a crisis that CIA brought to the White House, like in the Cuban missile crisis. It was a non-crisis that the White House, under the de facto control of Dick Cheney, brought to the CIA and hyped to the skies. No one who voted to authorize the war dares to point out the obvious even now: Cheney and Bush and their entourages were fabricating a tall tale from the word go to scare the bejeezus out of their fellow countrymen. Gary Leupp covered this territory for CounterPunch in his March 29th, 2013 article “The Neocons Won”.
Tennis Hall-of-Famer Gardnar Mulloy, now pushing 102 years old, recently gave me a DVD by his long-time friend, the incomparable California prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi. The two are lawyers and tennis players. Both attended the University of Miami. Gardnar served in World War II as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy. Vincent was a Captain in the U.S. Infantry sometime later. The DVD is entitled “The Prosecution of an American President” and is based on the book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.
Bugliosi feels the evidence is overwhelming that President G.W. Bush took America to war in Iraq in 2003 under false pretenses. Therefore, under the law, G.W. Bush is guilty of murder for the deaths of over 4000 American servicemen who fought and died in Iraq. I have not read the book, but I can say that the DVD is a blockbuster. It has not gotten the attention it deserves. It is non-partisan and non-political.
I realize Bugliosi’s conclusion sounds over the top. But then I think of what the recently-departed William Pfaff, the dean of diplomatic commentators, wrote about the Cheney/Bush regime in April 2009 in an article entitled “American Fascism”.
Pfaff was addressing the issue of torture. For him, it was the last straw. “The latest case of the human moral vacuum created and encouraged during the Bush years is so outrageous, perverse, sadistic and nihilistic that it demands attention, for all that it tells us about the rest that has happened. I speak of the ordered, authorized, and conscientiously supervised water-boarding of two prisoners 266 times. The men who authorized, ordered, and performed such acts should be hanged. It is as simple as that.”
Is it possible that the moral and legal goal posts have been so drastically moved in recent times that the very idea of accountability for America’s elected officials, no matter how deplorable their conduct or crimes in office might be, is considered outrageous itself? What Bugliosi and Pfaff have written seems, at first blush, far-fetched and beyond the pale. If we were living in a sane world, it might not be.
PATRICK FOY is an essayist and short story writer. He graduated from Columbia University, where he studied English literature, European history and American diplomatic history. His work can be found at www.PatrickFoyDossier.com.
Copyright 2014 Patrick Foy.