Tag Archives: Nuremberg Principles

Bush apologists and 9/11

jeb-and-george-bush-1One of the most remarkable propaganda campaigns of the modern era are the George W. Bush apologists who would have you believe that “W”‘s presidency did not begin until September 12, 2001 (and that the Bush Great Recession did not begin until Barack Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009, but that is another story).

On Friday, Tea-Publican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump sat down with Bloomberg Politics and had this exchange:

DONALD TRUMP: When you talk about George Bush, and say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, BLOOMBERG: Hold on, you can’t blame George Bush for that.
TRUMP: He was president. Blame him, or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.

In the military this is known as the Officer On Watch. Anything that happens during your watch, you will be held accountable for.  The Donald is not saying anything particularly controversial here. It is an obvious truth.

But note the Bush apologist response from this reporter from Bloomberg, “you can’t blame George Bush for that.” Well yes, you can lady. George W. Bush was president, or as he preferred to call himself, commander-in-chief, on 9/11. He was the Officer On Watch, and he is most assuredly accountable for what happened during his watch.

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The Perpetual War Party wants its war with Iran

I have noticed that the mainstream media — particularly disturbing is PBS which really  ought to demonstrate better judgment — has trotted out the Neocon architects of the Bush-Cheney regime’s unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq and illegal torture program to comment on the P5+1 world powers nuclear agreement with Iran.

NurembergTwo quick points. First, these unindicted war criminals should not be given legitimacy by giving them a seat at the table to discuss the nuclear agreement with Iran. They have forfeited any right to speak by virtue of their war crimes. The only time I want to hear from these Neocons is under oath before a Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunal (there is no statute of limitations for war crimes).

Second, if the feckless media is going to give them a seat at the table anyway, it should preface their remarks with a litany of their failures war crimes in Iraq, and make a full disclosure that these Neocons are actively engaged in seeking the next war with Iran. If the media is not going to inform the public, then do not invite these Neocons to appear on your network programs. Otherwise, the media is, once again, a complicit accessory to war crimes (and the media is also liable to prosecution under the Nuremberg Principles.)

Matt Yglesias at Vox.com has a pair of posts explaining GOP opposition not just to to the Iran agreement, but to negotiations with Iran at all, in pursuit of their desired goal for war with Iran. Why Iran hawks can’t be honest about why they hate the Iran deal:

Iran hawks displeased with the nuclear deal struck between Iran, Russia, China, the United States, and the European Union have an awful lot of complaints. But if you look closely at what they are saying, you’ll notice something funny. They don’t actually have any arguments about what Obama has done wrong or how a different administration would park the situation in a better place. What they have instead are a lot of talking points, MacGuffins, red herrings, and distractions that aim to divert attention from the core issue — hawks’ desire to avoid diplomacy and have a war.

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Krugman: The Iraq war was worse than a mistake, it was a crime

The Beltway media villagers have all decided that the framing of the question — in order to extricate themselves from their own complicity — should be “would you have invaded Iraq, knowing what we know now?” The premise of the question presupposes that decisions were made in good faith based upon “faulty” intelligence. In other words, Iraq was a “mistake.”

That is complete bullshit. There was solid reporting at the time questioning and undermining the Bush administration’s case for war from McClatchy News and Scripps Howard, and numerous international news sources. There was solid evidence that the case for war was based upon fabricated “cooked” intelligence. The American people were being lied to, and it was reported at the time.

krugman.pngBut the so-called “gatekeepers” of the mainstream corporate news media all chose to ignore this countervailing reporting for the Bush administration’s narrative (see the New York Times’ Judith Miller, for example) because they made an editorial decision to cheer lead for a Neocon war of adventure in Iraq, the consequences of which we are still living with today.

Paul Krugman today in a must-read column destroys the media’s framing of the question. Errors and Lies:

Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.

But many influential people — not just Mr. Bush — would prefer that we not have that discussion. There’s a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite trying to draw a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.

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New York Times calls for the prosecution of Bush-Cheney regime torturers

I believe that the New York Times is the first major U.S. publication to call for the prosecution of the Bush-Cheney regime torturers. Of course, the Times is also guilty of propaganda by Judith Miller and others at the Times in support of the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq — also a war crime under the Nuremberg Principles — but this is at least a good start. Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses:

Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.

Mr. Obama has said multiple times that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.

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Rep. Trent Franks dares to explain torture to Sen. John McCain

Trent_FranksThere are many qualified candidates on the list for the “Worst Member of Congress,” but Arizona’s contribution to this list is Rep. Trent Franks, a Christian Right anti-abortion zealot ( he founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, the predecessor to Center for Arizona Policy) and an avowed Islamophobic bigot.

Arizona’s worst member of Congress dares to explain to Senator John McCain, the only member of Congress who was actually tortured as a prisoner of war, that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Waterboarding is not torture according to this uninformed ideological extremist (more on this below). I’ll bet Arizona’s angry old man is scrapping to kick his ignorant ass!

The Arizona Republic reports, Franks says McCain wrong, waterboarding not torture:

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., says the CIA’s use of waterboarding was not torture and that a scathing Senate report on the agency’s secret interrogations released Tuesday was politically motivated.

Franks added that he disagreed with the only member of Congress who has endured torture, Arizona’s senior Sen. John McCain. McCain has called waterboarding “an exquisite form of torture” that is “shameful and unnecessary.”

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ACLU proposes a preemptive pardon to the Bush-Cheney regime for illegal torture

I have long made my position clear on the war crimes of the Bush-Cheney regime. The architects of illegal torture deserve to be prosecuted under the Nuremberg Principles for their war crimes, at least at a minimum, prosecuted under U.S. law and international conventions prohibiting torture.

America needs to demonstrate to the world that we are capable of holding our own accountable for their heinous crimes to restore our honor and moral standing in the world.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), proposes what I consider to be an unacceptable half-measure in a  New York Times op-ed today. Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured:

BEFORE President George W. Bush left office, a group of conservatives lobbied the White House to grant pardons to the officials who had planned and authorized the United States torture program. My organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, found the proposal repugnant. Along with eight other human rights groups, we sent a letter to Mr. Bush arguing that granting pardons would undermine the rule of law and prevent Americans from learning what had been done in their names.

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But with the impending release of the report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have come to think that President Obama should issue pardons, after all — because it may be the only way to establish, once and for all, that torture is illegal.

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