Jeb Bush and the return of the Neocons – just say no to a ’45’

Jeb Bush’s given name is John Ellis Bush. “J.E.B.” are his initials, no doubt monogrammed on all of his clothes as a child of wealthy privilege. I’m sure there must be some lame Bush family story about how little Johnny thought his name was Jeb from the monogram on all of his clothing, and everyone thought it was so cute they all just called him “Jeb.” You had to be there.

Jeb-George-BushJeb Bush is trying to distance himself from his brother, former president C-Plus Augustus, George “W.” Bush, the unindicted war criminal who, along with his co-conspirator Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney, lied this country into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, the consequences of which we are still living with today.

“W” is also responsible for the Bush Great Recession, the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, at the end of his presidency which was a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers. By any measure, C-Plus Augustus was an unmitigated disaster for America. Jeb Bush is banking on Americans’ short-term memory loss to “get fooled again!”

Today, Jeb Bush tried to assert that he is his own man — but he comes with the heavy freight of the unindicted war criminals who were the architects of the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, who now want to get their war on with Iran. Jeb Bush vows his own course while tapping longtime family advisers:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday promised to chart his own course on foreign policy — though one that would rely on the advice of a cadre of well-known figures who represent most strains of mainstream GOP philosophy regarding national security and international relations.

He also embraced the legacies of his father, George H. W. Bush, and his brother George W. Bush, saying in a speech here that he has been “fortunate” to have family members “who both have shaped America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office.”

“I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,” Jeb Bush added. “But I am my own man.”

In the speech Wednesday before the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Bush mentioned Iraq only once — and by mistake, when he meant to say Iran.

The threat of Iran as a nuclear power is “the defining foreign policy issue of our time,” Bush said.

Nearly all of the 21 names his campaign-in-waiting announced as supporters and advisers served in high-level positions in the administrations of his father, the 41st president, and his brother, the 43rd. The Same People Who Lied To You About Iraq Are Now In Charge Of Jeb Bush’s Foreign Policy:

[Jeb Bush’s] remarks come just days after Bush brushed aside questions about his view of President George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq [asked at an event Friday about his foreign policy speech, the former Florida governor replied, according to Bloomberg News: “I won’t talk about the past.”], and as the Florida governor and presumptive GOP frontrunner works to define himself in the early days of the 2016 campaign.

Yet Jeb Bush’s efforts to distance himself from his brother’s foreign policy may only be skin deep.

According to Reuters’ Steve Holland, Bush has tapped a “diverse” roster of former George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush officials to advise his burgeoning campaign on foreign policy, including key architects of the 2002 invasion of Iraq.

The list of advisers provided to Reuters by a campaign aide includes Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley, as well as former George W. Bush Homeland Security Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, and Bush adviser Meghan O’Sullivan.

Wolfowitz, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, began advocating an attack on Iraq shortly after the Sep. 11 attacks, established “what amounted to a separate government” to push for war and invited journalists to secret meetings in order to lay out the foundation for his plans. Wolfowitz established the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon that ignored the conclusions of the intelligence community and fed policy makers and the media discredited claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley famously disregarded warnings from the CIA and then-FBI director George Tenet and included references to Iraq’s pursuit of uranium in Bush’s speeches, a claim that proved to be false. Hadley later apologized for leaving the now-infamous phrase in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address and was promoted to become the president’s National Security Adviser.

Meghan O’Sullivan was as a top adviser to L. Paul Bremer — the U.S. viceroy in charge of the Coalition Provisional Authority that is blamed for mismanaging the occupation of Iraq immediately following the American invasion — and is credited with developing the security agreements and early transfer of sovereignty negotiations between the United States and Iraq. She also served as special assistant to George W. Bush from 2004 to 2007.

In some ways, Jeb Bush’s reliance on former Iraq war architects is not surprising, as it reflect his previous support for his brother’s Iraqi policy — endorsements the former governor is now downplaying as he prepares to officially enter the race.

In 2003, for instance, Jeb Bush explained to Florida reporters that “in his heart, I know [George W. Bush] is doing what he thinks is right, and I concur with him.” Ten years later, he told an NBC reporter that “history will be kind to my brother [on Iraq] the further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to what’s going on now.” And in a joint CNN interview with George in 2010, Jeb said, “I have never disagreed with [George W. Bush]… ‘til death do us part.”

Phillip Bump at the Washington Post provides a useful diagram. Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team is eerily familiar, in 1 Venn diagram:

If Bush’s goal is to present himself as his “own man,” that list of advisers undermines the point somewhat: 19 of the 21 people on it worked in the administrations of his father or brother. We’ve identified the roles each played in the past three Republican administrations, divvying them up as needed in the following Venn diagram.

JBush

It’s easy to suggest that the above diagram indicates that Jeb Bush is hopelessly linked to his brother and father. But it’s important to remember that the foreign policy team of any Republican president probably would draw heavily from the experience of the past three Republican administrations — each of which had a Bush at or near the top.

Jeb Bush represents the return of the Neocon war mongers, the unindicted war criminals who lied this country into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, the consequences of which we are still living with today. They are salivating at the opportunity to pick up where they left off, and to get their war on with Iran.

This is why President Obama should have established a Nuremberg-style tribunal and prosecuted these Bush-Cheney regime war criminals under the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal. He should not have allowed them to go free, and the possibility of returning to power again.

Never again, America! As C-Plus Augustus hilariously once tried to say: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again!”

16 responses to “Jeb Bush and the return of the Neocons – just say no to a ’45’

  1. We’ve had more than enough of the Bush wars, the Bush recessions, the Bush stolen elections, the Bush general corruption, the Bush war crimes, the Bush presidencies, to last all of us more than a lifetime…. BUT, Jeb seems to have gone a long ways already towards buying the 2016 GOP nomination. They have proven over and over again that they will shrink from NOTHING to gain power, and that there is no limit to their level of corruption. To see it begin to play out again is like a repetitive nightmare. I have personally taken a huge leap out of my longtime activist lethargy to fight this man and his family, via a new website and social media. SAY NO TO JEB BUSH!

    • I don’t think you have to worry about Jeb Bush running for office. He isn’t garnering much enthusiasm in the GOP.

  2. Donna Gratehouse

    Steve:

    “Before anything else, I want to thank you for calm and reasoned tone of your responses to this subject. I appreciate it when you do that.”

    Wow, more rude condescension from you. I guess “civility” means that you get to be a dick to anyone you want but they have to be deferential to you.

    “As an aside, during my training, I have gone through sleep deprivation, food and water deprivation, water boarding, flashing lights, loud music, spraying with a fire hose, etc. It was uncomfortable, frightening, disorienting, and generally unpleasant. But if that was the limit of the “torture” our captives went through, then prosecution is laughable.”

    If you did go through such training then you chose to undergo those ordeals! They were the means to some end reward. That is a far cry from being snatched out of your home (in many cases detainees were in the wrong place at the wrong time, turned over by neighbors for bounties) under the flimsy pretext that you know of some (nonexistent) link of Al Qaeda to Iraq and subjected to everything you say you went through in training in addition to being raped. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5395830/Abu-Ghraib-abuse-photos-show-rape.html

    I certainly hope no one raped you as part of your training.

    • That was NOT “rude condescension”. It expressed my genuine gratitude to him for the tone in which he was addressing the issue. You don’t read me as well as you think you do.

      Yes, I went through the training voluntarily to prepare me as well as as possible for my possible capture given the nature of the job I was doing. If I was ever captured, I knew it would be much worse, but it gave me a glimpse of what would happen. No, I wasn’t raped, but then I haven’t read where our people raped any of the prisoners, either. I read the article you attached, and all the outrage was couched in terms of “purport to show” and “are said to show”, yet none of the cited photographs have ever appeared. The eyewitness testimony came from an Egyptian who was trying to defend himself from other accusations. That does not rise to the level of evidence anywhere except in the kangaroo courts of leftist opinions.

      For the record, I don’t believe we should have ever been involved in any of the activities you call “illegal torture”. I understand why it occurred. That doesn’t make it right, though. The point I keep trying to make is that none of this rises to the level of War Crimes. That was the entire exchange between AZBlueMeanie and me.

  3. Aside from whether or not our invasion of Iraq was legal, the much bigger point is that it was very stupid. We have now essentially turned the government of Iraq into a satellite state of Iran. For that, we will end up spending close to $2 trillion. The neo-cons live in a fantasy world. I think Bush was sorry at the end that he ever listened to Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  4. Three Bush presidencies would be called a ‘tri-fuckta”.

    • It would also be one the greatest things to happen to you lefties. Just think of all the joy you would derive from having another Bush Administration to attack and to go insane over. You all were never more alive than when you had the Bush’s in office and could wage your campaigns of hysteria and hyperbole.

      • Donna Gratehouse

        For a guy who constantly lectures writers here on our “tone”, you certainly like to lob insulting little barbs like this one. How rude of you!

  5. Your histrionics remind me of a speaker at Trafalgar’s Square, standing on a soap box, bursting forth feverishly with his oratory, spittle forming at the corners of his mouth as his invective against the Bush Administration reaches it’s heated peak. Quite humorous…

    President Obama didn’t indict anyone from the Bush Administration because he couldn’t. This nonsense about “illegal wars” and “war crimes” exists only in the minds of hard lefties with a gut hatred of the Bush Administration. I was opposed to the Gulf War, just as I was Desert Storm. I was opposed because I knew what a tar baby the Middle East would be and once we became involved there, getting out would be next to impossible. Even as I participated in both wars, I knew we were in for a much longer national agony than most Americans realized. We still have a long way to go.

    • Obama and AG Eric Holder made a political decision not to prosecute, one, because “W” had cratered the economy and that was job number one on taking office and, two, the conservative media entertainment complex would have dialled up their savagery of Obama way past eleven and engaged in tit-for-tat with Obama and future presidents. At least one war crimes tribunal has already convicted the Bush administration in abstentia, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/05/12/bush-convicted-of-war-crimes-in-absentia/, and there is no statute of limitations for war crimes. I have studied the war crimes tribunals in Germany and Japan at great length, and I know that a prosecution would lead to conviction. America lacks the moral will to hold its own accountable, reflected in your comments.

      • Kuala Lampur?!?!?!? You have to be joking!! An Islamic Nation found the Bush Administration guilty of war crimes for fighting a war against an Islamic Nation. That is your standard of judicial oversight? You set the bar very low.

        When I attended the Army War College, we studied the Nuremburg Trials very carefully, for obvious reasons. The actions of the Bush Administration did not come anywhere close to meeting the standards established by the Tribunals for War Crimes. This another case where the raw savagery and butchery of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan are downplayed by the left in order to score cheap political points against past Bush Administrations.

        I will grant you that you that I believe President Obama is a smart man with political savvy, but that is not the reason why Bush and his associates were not put on trial. I also agree that the American people would not stand for such trials, but not because we are weak willed as you imply. It is because we know the truth…no war crimes were ever committed. I have no expectation of changing your mind on this, but I did want to point out how the subject of a Bush Administration – any Bush Administration – drives the far left into irrational fits.

        Oh, for the record, I don’t want Jeb Bush to run for office, either. He is as soft a conservative as his brother and father were and I shudder to think what another Bush Administration would do to this Nation. Although I must admit that, trapped between the choice of Jeb Bush or the average Democrat, I might have to vote for him. I am hoping the GOP can offer up something better.

        • The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal was purely symbolic, but purported to use the Nuremberg Charter as the basis for the tribunal. It’s findings that prisoners were illegally tortured were referred to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council, which are duty bound to investigate and to prosecute war crimes.

          The U.S. Congress in the CIA Report and the Senate Report on torture concede that illegal torture was committed. President Obama has publicly said that “the U.S. committed torture.” Under U.S. laws, international treaties on torture, and Geneva Conventions on warfare, the U.S. is duty bound to investigate and to prosecute crimes of illegal torture. Despite admitting that illegal torture has occurred, only one low level CIA agent has ever been prosecuted for the crime. Are we a nation of laws, or not? When we do not enforce our own laws, we have no moral authority in the world.

          The Nuremberg tribunals in Germany and Japan were not limited to the “brutal savagery” of the death camps. Even “journalists” who participated in wartime propaganda were prosecuted under the Nuremberg Principles. Your assessment that what the U.S. did under the Bush-Cheney regime does not meet the standards for Nuremberg prosecutions is not supported by the evidence, and a large number of highly qualified legal experts say that it does. Your legal credentials are highly suspect.

          Obama has yet to release the CIA Report and Senate Report on torture. A number of countries have expressed interest in pursuing an investigation and prosecution for illegal torture of their citizens, as they are authorized to do under international treaties on torture and Geneva Conventions on war. They have an obligation to do so.

          The U.S., which was the principle drafter of these agreements and determined the moral standard to be mt by the rest of the world, should live up to its treaty obligations and U.S. law and to prosecute the crimes of illegal torture it has already conceded occurred. Those who devised, rationalized, authorized and implemented the illegal torture regime at the top of the Bush-Cheney regime should be the ones who are prosecuted, not the low level scapegoats who carried it out (who are still subject to prosecution for “just following orders.”)

          Your sad attempt to characterize this as Bush hatred is to be an apologist for war crimes. I don’t give a rats ass about Jeb Bush. He will never be president. I do give a damn about the large network of Neoconservative war mongers in government, in the military, in think tanks, and in the media. Their desire for perpetual war and a Pax Americana empire through invasion and occupation of countries is a clear and present danger to the security of this country. They should never be allowed anywhere near a position within government or the military ever again — which was the point of the post above.

          • Before anything else, I want to thank you for calm and reasoned tone of your responses to this subject. I appreciate it when you do that.

            I think I have been pretty upfront and honest about my credentials on this site, and I never claimed to be a legal scholar. I don’t know what your credentials are because I have never read where you stated them. As for me, I have to go by what I read. When I read legal opinions from the left, horrible war crimes have been committed. When I read legal opinions from the right, it is all a bunch of poppycock. As is common when dealing with the Law, nothing is as certain as you would suggest it is.

            Regarding the CIA and Senate Report on Illegal Torture: I am suspicious about that document because the Senate raced to publish it once the Democrats realized they were losing control of that august body with the last election. Any document produced in haste by a partisan organization is bound to be biased in its findings. I have no doubt that there are some countries that want to prosecute the Bush Administration for war crimes. We have enemies. One of the problems the left has is it believes firmly in the saying that “the enemy of my enemy (the GOP) is my friend”. So any country that is willing to embarrass a GOP Administration gains credibility in the eyes of the left.

            Something that bothers me greatly about constant references to the Nuremburg Tribunals when speaking of the Bush Administration is the inference it was as evil as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Of course, that is ridiculous in the extreme. Even if everything you say was true – and I don’t think it is – about the Bush Administration, it doesn’t register on the “Evil Meter” when compared to Germany and Japan.

            We differ in opinion on this subject. Only time will tell which of our opinions will prevail. My feeling is that the American People would not stand for such a trial to take place against one of our Presidents. Other countries can do as they will, but any Democrat Administration that attempted to initiate such a procedure here would be grabbing hold of a tiger’s tail.

            As an aside, during my training, I have gone through sleep deprivation, food and water deprivation, water boarding, flashing lights, loud music, spraying with a fire hose, etc. It was uncomfortable, frightening, disorienting, and generally unpleasant. But if that was the limit of the “torture” our captives went through, then prosecution is laughable. It will be interesting to see what the Report says.

  6. captain*arizona

    I agree with his mom “NO MORE BUSHs!”