The Suskind book and a possible bill of impeachment.

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Impeachmentticket "A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”  Politico

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Suskind argues that this charge, if proven, would constitute a "High Crime."  I agree.  "Reasons of State" may be an excuse for such behavior in some polities, but, it is clear that it is not in the United States.

President Bush is called a liar and a law-breaker in this book.  The charge is that he, personally, ordered some documents forged and others ignored in order to lure the American people into support of a foreign war.  These are charges that make Bll Clinton’s difficulties with his libido look rather trivial.

The charge is so serious that Bush deserves an opportunity to clear his name of the accusation.  Therefore, the House Judiciary Committee should meet to consider a bill of impeachment. Anything less will leave a stain on Bush that will follow his family name down through the ages.  pl

Note:  I know Ron Suskind fairly well and respect both him and what I have read of his work in the past.  I have not discussed this book with him although we have talked about the general direction of his work.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12308.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Suskind_Congress_wants_testimony_about_Iraq_0806.html

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69 Responses to The Suskind book and a possible bill of impeachment.

  1. 505th PIR says:

    Should this prove true…Mr. Bush should have his bedroom wall papered with photographs of the war dead..with actual photographs of battlefield causualties liberally sprinkled amongst them. When he wakes up and goes to bed thereupon he must gaze.

  2. J says:

    Colonel,
    sadly, i just don’t see any in the congress (other than kucinich) on the dem or gop side for that matter seeking articles of impeachment against bush or cheney or both. both conyers and pelosi have said that impeachment is ‘off the table’.

  3. Cato says:

    “Anything less will leave a stain on Bush that will follow his family name down through the ages.”
    This strikes me as sort of like saying that an Appaloosa will have an extra spot on its rump. That’s no big deal to the horse.

  4. lina says:

    “Anything less will leave a stain on Bush that will follow his family name down through the ages.” pl
    If Bush cared about the family name, he’d be a different person. The man is so insulated from reality, concepts like shame and remorse don’t exist for him.
    The ridiculous impeachment of Bill Clinton turned this constitutional remedy into a farce. And with less than three months to go until a new president is elected, no one has the stomach for a complete review of Bush-Cheney sins against America. Mr. Suskind can produce all the coroboration he wants, the American electorate has “moved on.”
    Personally, I’d like to see Bush and Cheney flown to The Hague and tried for war crimes. I’d like to see Crazy Dick sitting in one of those glass cubicles listening to a translation of the case against him.
    Alas,relying on our lilly-livered Congress to do anything about anything seems far-fetched at this point.

  5. Duncan Kinder says:

    Suskind argues that this charge, if proven, would constitute a “High Crime.” I agree. “Reasons of State” may be an excuse for such behavior in some polities, but, it is clear that it is not in the United States.

    Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment off the table, which means that not only this but anything else one might conjecture fails to qualify as “High Crimes.”
    Nancy’s reasons for doing this are the same as her reasons will be during the next term for her failing to deliver on any sort of health care reform or her finding it necessary to renew the Bush tax cuts.
    “Bipartisanship” or something like that.

  6. Hudson says:

    Good for you for highlighting this abomination.
    Suskind is a respected journalist who won many awards as a Wall Street Journal reporter for most of the 90s.
    Yet the White House response has been to accuse Suskind of practicing “gutter” journalism.
    That the Bush camp would make such an utterly baseless charge against an honorable man only heightens the likelihood that the White House is lying.

  7. jonst says:

    Since he claims (and I don’t doubt)he has the tapes that he interprets as backing his charges I suspect not even the Dems can find a way out of not investigating this. Though you never know, with them.

  8. Cold War Zoomie says:

    The House Judiciary Committee won’t do anything. Bush has played the Congress like a cheap violin since HJR 114. Apart from Social Security privatization, he has gotten almost everything he has wanted – which is why I don’t think he’s as dumb as he appears (and he appears like an absolute oaf at times).
    The Dems are scared of being called names on cable news channels and talk radio. Bush and the GOP know this. Nothing will come of it.
    Well, I shouldn’t say “nothing.” Someone will write a stern letter.

  9. Jose says:

    Col., I agree but it’s an election year and to quote Stephen Colbert, “Nancy Pelosi has no balls!”
    Dumbya and the Jacobin’s will unfortunately get away with it.
    Additionally, IMHO, it’s probably only the beginning in what will probably be a long line of impeachable offenses by this administration.
    Remember the Clinton pardon-scandals, just wait to Dumbya gets ready to leave.

  10. jr786 says:

    Not just Bush: How about any and all who participated in this alleged forgery? If the charge is true, they should all be flogged.
    Didn’t anyone say: “No, I won´t participate in such a criminal ruse.”? In fact, has any officer refused any order since these scoundrels came to power?

  11. Maureen Lang says:

    Thank you for this post, Pat.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis indeed.

  12. dlb says:

    In response to jr786 I’d like to believe a goodly number of officers resigned without fanfare rather that besmirch themselves. And in response to lina here’s what I envision: a future Iraqi gov requests that Bush/Cheney & Co be charged with war crimes by the Hague Tribunal. Would it work? Probably not.

  13. History is going to be studying the question of could or should Congress have impeached George W. Bush (the trial of course is before the Senate) over his activities during his term. Whatever the outcome of that debate, the American people deserved far better than they got in my opinion from Bush and from the Congress. But that just is one more arrow in the quiver of weaponary assisting in documenting the decline of the Nation in the past generation. Whether Bush or Clinton or Bush the road downhill as it often is was paved with good intentions but the whole crew long ago adopted the end justifies the means approach. Where do we get such men? From US of course. Look in the mirror.

  14. J says:

    we had ‘words of mass deception’ from the bush-cheney admin. ever since it came to power (really even before — during the campaign of 00). what is one more word of mass deception matter to the bush-cheney admin.?
    “F___ Saddam. we’re taking him out.” Those were the words of President George W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/03/24/timep.saddam.tm/
    downing street memos
    http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html
    downing street memos for dummies
    http://whatdoiknow.typepad.com/what_do_i_know/2005/06/downing_street_.html
    blair acknowledge memos were authentic
    http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/050630/2005063046.html
    how the leaked docs questioning the war emerged
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1669292,00.html
    white house memo extracts between bush and blair
    http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=1656
    “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
    George W Bush, 5/24/05
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/05/20050524-3.html
    Dick Cheney
    Speech to VFW National Convention
    August 26, 2002
    Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/08/20020826.html
    George W. Bush
    Speech to UN General Assembly
    September 12, 2002
    Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html
    Ari Fleischer
    Press Briefing
    December 2, 2002
    If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021202-6.html
    Ari Fleischer
    Press Briefing
    January 9, 2003
    We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030109-8.html
    George W. Bush
    State of the Union Address
    January 28, 2003
    Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html
    Colin Powell
    Remarks to UN Security Council
    February 5, 2003
    We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/17300.htm [this has been scrubbed from the state dept. web site]
    George W. Bush
    Radio Address
    February 8, 2003
    We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030208.html
    Colin Powell
    Interview with Radio France International
    February 28, 2003
    If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.
    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/18094.htm [this has been scrubbed from the state dept. web site]
    Colin Powell
    Remarks to UN Security Council
    March 7, 2003
    So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/18458.htm [this has been scrubbed from the state dept. web site]
    George W. Bush
    Address to the Nation
    March 17, 2003
    Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030317-7.html
    the various cites about the bush-cheney admin. and their words of mass deception can go on for multiple pages.
    the bush-cheney admin. could care less if they get caught in their lies, they think they are above the law, and in most cases they think they are law unto themselves and our Constitution and Bill of Rights be damned.
    so sad for our children and grand children having to witness a spineless congress and deceitful white house.

  15. This is what the international courts are good for. Despite the high ideals of our Constitution and laws, we can no longer police ourselves and preserve our democracy against dictatorship and criminal leaders. I’m sorry that America does not have the political will to live by her own principles; indeed I hope my pessimism will be proven wrong, and that our Congress will indeed prosecute Bush and Co.
    If not, I do hope that the rest of the world will have the strength to hold our war criminals to account. Justice and the rule of law is more important to me than clinging to national sovereignity. If we elect tyrants and refuse to use the lawful means at our disposal to depose them, then let the world court render justice.
    Next year in the Hague!

  16. Homer says:

    If not impeachment, why not censure?
    Back in 1999, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat of California) wrote a motion to censure Clinton for lying about sex.
    But now, in 2008, after hundreds of lies and a newly revealed forged document, Senator Feinstein does NOTHING to President Bush?
    What she wrote lies below ….
    Much of it could be easily re-used as a template for a motion to censure Bush….
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee in the White House, which was shameless, reckless and indefensible;
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, deliberately misled and deceived the American people and officials in all branches of the United States Government;
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, gave false or misleading testimony and his actions have had the effect of impeding discovery of evidence in judicial proceedings;
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton’s conduct in this matter is unacceptable for a President of the United States, does demean the Office of the President as well as the President himself, and creates disrespect for the laws of the land;
    WHEREAS — President Clinton fully deserves censure for engaging in such behavior;
    WHEREAS — future generations of Americans must know that such behavior is not only unacceptable but also bears grave consequences, including loss of integrity, trust and respect;
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton remains subject to criminal actions in a court of law like any other citizen;
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton’s conduct in this matter has brought shame and dishonor to himself and to the Office of the President; and
    WHEREAS — William Jefferson Clinton through his conduct in this matter has violated the trust of the American people;
    Now therefore, be it resolved that: The United States Senate does hereby censure William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, and condemns his conduct in the strongest terms.
    Now be it further resolved that: The United States Senate recognizes the historic gravity of this bipartisan resolution, and trusts and urges that future Congresses will recognize the importance of allowing this bipartisan statement of censure and condemnation to remain intact for all time; and
    Be it further resolved that: The Senate now move on to other matters of significance to our people, to reconcile differences between and within the branches of Government, and to work together — across party lines — for the benefit of the American people.

  17. linda says:

    there will never be any accountability for their crimes because madame speaker is complicit and any investigation would reveal the extent of her duplicity — and several other democratic members of congress.
    face it, this is no longer a nation that abides the rule of law. and quite frankly, considering other similar reports, i suspect any moves by congress to investigate with an eye to impeachment would most definitely guarantee no president barack obama would ever be allowed to cross the white house threshold.

  18. Ormolov says:

    Thank you for this post and thank you, J, for your long list.
    “so sad for our children and grand children having to witness a spineless congress and deceitful white house.”
    My first memory of watching television was as a 3 year old gazing at Nixon try to weasel his way out of Watergate. For my entire life the U.S. President has been coupled in my mind with criminality.
    Wait–who’s that sitting behind Nixon? Oh yeah, Rumsfeld and Cheney.

  19. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    The letter is the ultimate of very strange. The publication was months after the Iraq invasion, after the looting, and the beginning of the Iraqi resistance; when even corporate media was grasping that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    Even more interesting is the reference to the Niger uranium which blew up with the outing of Valerie Plame the summer before.
    If the letter is real and is pre-dated, the fevered minds in the White House hung on to their grotesque illusions months and years after proven to be false. Saddam was in league with Osama, ready to trigger nuclear clouds and spreading anthrax through the postal system. Through the whole time, the White House instructed their neo-con pawns to disperse their illogical false flag propaganda blithely ignoring reality.

  20. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Although I am reluctant to put these sad thoughts on paper, I can’t help but wonder whether Susskind’s revelations simply confirm something I’ve been thinking about for some time: whether the rot in the country is so pervasive and widespread as to be incurable. That what we have been talking about in SST has been the nature of the country’s irretrievable decline and decay. The energy and housing crises and their genesis, the failure of the political system to use the institutional mechanisms whether legal or political available to it for self-correction, the basic draining and exhausting of the country’s potential for growth and prosperity by greed, religious domination and economic exploitation.

  21. Bill W, NH, USA says:

    Here’s some interesting videos and text from Suskind, looks like he’s got them by the …..
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Suskind_Congress_wants_testimony_about_Iraq_0806.html

  22. Annie says:

    I highly recommend Vincent Bugliosi’s new book on the subject of bringing him to trial for murder. To watch Bugliosi’s recent booktalk via cspan click here:
    http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9611&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No

  23. J says:

    Colonel,
    the only ‘thing’ that i can see bringing any of the bush admin. to ‘justice’ will be ‘first degree murder charges’, as there is ‘no statute of limitations’ on murder, everything else has a ‘time clause’ or an ‘escape clause’.
    there is ample evidence for first degree murder charges against bush, cheney, and others in their administration.

  24. Pvt. Keepout says:

    Congress won’t pursue impeachment because it would expose complicit, enabling Democratic leaders to the same legal liability as Republican administration officials.

  25. zanzibar says:

    It seems that SST is unanimous that absolutely nothing will be done nor anyone held accountable.
    I think alnval speaks to many of our sentiments on this topic.
    What we have seen since Watergate, Iran-Contra on – the law is only for us little people. Notice that our prison population grows every year but those who commit high crimes including treason and occupy the highest offices in our country are never charged let alone witness Club Fed.
    We have a constitutional republic only in name.

  26. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Well the letter allegation is consistent with other deceptions we were manipulated by. “Aluminum tubes”? “Yellow cake”? Remember those and all the rest?
    Also, that false story about some terrorist “meeting in Prague” that Cheney and others kept pushing. This was promoted as I recall vaguely by a Czech politician and also by a former head of Israeli military intelligence.
    Add to this the stories recently about Cheney’s ideas of provoking the Iranians using faked speedboats and imposters.
    So it seems certainly within the realm of possibility that the Bush-Cheney crowd cooked the letter and much more we don’t yet know about.
    Deceiving the American people into an unnecessary war would seem to me to fit the “High Crime” category. I am not a lawyer but I would think the issue of treason could somehow be involved as well.

  27. Homer says:

    alnval: whether the rot in the country is so pervasive and widespread as to be incurable.
    It is rotten to the core …
    Any enabler of Bush in the Congress should probably be flushed down the toilet like the turd that they are!
    Over the last 10 or so years, there has been some really freaky stuff that has occurred w/o precedence and has given great benefits to the GOP.
    So freaky that it smacks of careful organization.
    Just look at what has happened in the elections, the economy, etc from Bush vs Gore onward.
    And who has profited handsomely at every turn?
    God Save America!!

  28. Paul says:

    No doubt the perpetrators of these crimes will be protected by their political cronies. Bush, Cheney and the rest of them will be kicking back at their respective ranches a-la-Rumsfeld while denying and defending every illegality they put into play in their “war on terror”.
    The recently concluded Red Army-like show-trial at Gitmo squarely places a bullseye on the back of every U.S. military person serving abroad.
    The civilians, including congress, and the weak military leadership who concocted these tribunals have placed a permanent stain on the U.S. military. We can expect reciprocal show trials by those who dislike us. Shore liberty has just become dangerous.
    How could we have allowed this to happen?

  29. Bartolo says:

    On the complicit Dem leaders, their out surely could be that they were not given all the facts; in fact were lied to and threatened not to speak.
    Given the low bar set by the GOP for the Clinton impeachment, I can’t see why they can’t get Bush.

  30. Tyler says:

    Help is not going to come from the outside. The Hague will not arrest a former POTUS/VP, and if they did the media spin cycle would have a field day as we whipped up the troops to go invade Europe.
    It seems like a typically American attitude (and I say this as an American) nowadays to wait for someone on the outside to come in and take care of your problem.
    To paraphrase Machiavelli: If you would raise a sword against your prince, you must be prepared to throw away the scabbard.
    Until American anger and dissent goes beyond the level of angrily posting on blogs and writing letters that are ignored by your congressmen, nothing will change.

  31. JohnS says:

    Our modern Washington elite respects raw power, not the rule of law. For the same reason that Dems handed Bush the FISA “upgrade,” with retroactive immunity for telcos and his administration, there will be no Bush impeachment over Iraq, or anything else: the Dems were complicit. Furthermore, the media will not be clamoring for impeachment either, for the exact same reason. They all knew what was going on and they still allowed it to happen. I’m not even sure this crew has the stomach for a post-Bush era Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    Note: the website Raw Story is reporting that Suskind’s two sources (both CIA) are recanting. Suskind says his sources are under “enormous pressure” to change their stories, but he’s got ’em on tape.

  32. J says:

    Colonel,
    suskind is now saying that his sources are under intense pressure from the white house to recant/deny their statements regarding white house forgery.
    the thing is that suskind recorded all his interviews, so they can now deny all they want under pressure, and all suskind has to do is bring out their recorded statements.
    suskind’s sources really need to be hauled before congress to tell the truth under threat of perjury.
    the white house is really starting to feel the heat and they’re striking back in a very vicious manner.

  33. Marcus says:

    Agree with above comments about a gutless, soulless Congress. Expediency and political advantage is the only thing this corrupt organizations cares about.
    About the only thing propping up this state is court system and that is close to being fully compromised, Bush v. Gore the example of blight there.

  34. Buff52 says:

    Have forgotten 9/11. President Bush was pursuing a “forward deployed” strategy in attacking all entities including foreign countries that support terrorism. You are either for us or against us. Saddam Hussein and Iraq fit this profile.
    This struggle is as convuluted as was our war with the Barbary Pirates from 1794 to 1803. President Bush should be given the benefit of the doubt. We are at war.

  35. zenpundit says:

    Hi Col. Lang,
    Someone has to be a dissenter, so here goes:
    With all due respect to Mr. Suskind, and I have The One Percent Doctrine sitting on my shelf, these charges beg questions:
    Normally carrying out covert-ops require a presidential finding, a NSDD/PDD at the NSC level and notification of relevant Congrssional committees. How would a forgery be done without a paper trail ?
    Skip over Tenet. Why would Bush and Cheney trust the CIA senior management to not leak an order of this nature ?
    For that matter, why would they trust the CIA to be able to create a reasonable forgery in the first place without contracting out the expertise ?

  36. Patrick Lang says:

    zenpundit
    I rather doubt that an order delivered as one sheet of paper would have been thought of in that situation as a covert action requiring a finding.
    What? you think Tenet would have refused the order without the finding?
    Who says they didn’t contract it out?
    As Suskind said today to Blitzer, “you are surprised at stupidity in this administration?” pl

  37. mlaw230 says:

    Not acceptable in this politie? Have you forgotten the Maine? Tonkin Gulf? The medical students endangered on Grenada or the coincidence of General Noriega’s shocking drug trade involvement just prior to turn over of the canal? How about Bush 41’s falsified “baby incubator” story or the Iraqi troops massing to attack Saudi Arabia before Desert Storm?
    The politie is just fine with “reasons of state” so long as it isn’t but so obvious and, of course victory is rapidly achieved or declared.

  38. David Habakkuk says:

    J,
    Thanks for that list of references — very valuable to have so many links relating to the disinformation system put together.
    With the Habbush letter, we once again see how the ability of the disinformation peddlers to muddy the waters is related to the way that they cross national boundaries, while the people who they seek to influence — and those who attempt to shed light on their operations — commonly do not.
    The author of the story in which the forgery appeared was not simply ‘a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph’, as the Politico story describes him. He is the former Managing Editor of the paper, Con Coughlin — Britain’s answer to Judy Miller. But while Miller has been put out to grass, Coughlin soldiers on. Having previously been Defence and Intelligence editor of the Daily Telegraph, he is now the paper’s executive foreign editor — and as such in an excellent position to maintain neocon Jacobin orthodoxy in what was once a conservative paper.
    It also puts him in an excellent position to act as a kind of satellite, where disinformation sourced in the U.S. can be received and transmitted back to a U.S. audience.
    It is symptomatic that Coughlin’s Wikipedia entry, while describing his disinformation peddling activities, locates them in a purely British context:
    ‘Coughlin has been criticized for writing highly controversial unsubstantiated articles that provide justification for British foreign policy, which have subsequently been proven false. He has a history of accepting phoney stories from MI6 and then publishing articles in the name of fabricated sources. He has been accused of being a conduit for Black propaganda.’
    (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_Coughlin.)
    The effect is to obscure some of the reasons why the disinformation system of which he is part functions so effectively. Cutting across borders in this way makes the process by which black propaganda is created and transmitted more difficult to pin down — and also facilitates the passing off of disinformation as genuine information.
    Anyone in Britain familiar with the long stream of dubious reports Coughlin has produced would not dream of taking any claims he makes on trust. But people in the US have no reason to be familiar with his record — and given his position could perfectly well assume, in good faith, that he is a serious journalist.

  39. jr786 says:

    Treason never prospers, etc.
    In any case, there is little difference between this alleged forgery and the other deceptions, deflections and misconceptions that have been employed to support previous imperial schemes. All you need are capitalists and brown-skinned people – the rest takes care of itself.
    Rather than complain (I am reminded of the waste of energy reminding the Lantos eulogists of the Nurse Nayira nonsense and the babies ripped from incubators) we would all do well in coming to a consensus on a compelling counter-narrative, another outlook on what the United States can and should be, at least in regard to correcting the excesses of the Imperialists.
    We’d have to exclude history, of course, since most Homelanders have had their consciousness of American history erased along with their capacity for critical thinking.
    I’m off for an extended stay in the Middle East shortly, where I intend to start my long-planned homage to Lytton Strachey: Eminent Neo-cons. I’m open to suggestions for candidates.

  40. Cold War Zoomie says:

    There’s a lot of rending of garments and gnashing of teeth about our decline as a nation.
    The pendulum swings. It has been this bad before:
    Gilded Age Politics
    And counter forces emerged.
    We’re going to see changes over the coming years in both political parties.

  41. Farmer Don says:

    It was easy to impeach Clinton, because no one shared his blame.
    But there can be no self rightess indignation and shock when we ourselves were happy and eager to strike back after 9/11, not carring who we were going to hurt.
    Bush would still be liked if the war had gone well. All the Arabs that got killed/mamed/ruined do not rate at all for a lot of people in the western world.
    I know when the war was starting, a lot of my friends knew that it was all made up, but just didn’t care. God, most of the world’s leaders advised against the adventure.
    When you are putting blame on the pres.& US gov., don’t forget the millions of ordinary people who knew what was going on, but just wanted to kick some arab butt, and didn’t give a s*** about the truth.

  42. Farmer Don says:

    As soon as the US starting moving troops to the middle east, every one knew the war was coming. They weren’t gong over there for a vacation were they? How long did the setting up for the war take? If my memory is right over 6 months. All the time Blitz was saying no weapons of mass destruction.
    You don’t “impeach” the leader of your gang, when a mugging you were all for turns bad, and the victim puts up more of a fight than you bargined for.
    You just grumble and try to let everyone forget you had anything to do with it.

  43. John Drake says:

    Pelosi and Conyers both mistakenly believe that Obama will win in a landslide. They are wrong. McCain’s political hacks who own the voting machines will manufacture a squeeker win that will echo the “religious right coming out to vote for Bush at the last moment syndrome.” This time it will be “Americans who are afraid of anti-american muslims who threaten our values.” Then when McInsane takes the leash, all political hell will break loose and we will see martial law or it’s reasonable facsimile. The Dems are trading off a chimera win for the totalitarian state that is upon us.

  44. CafeenMan says:

    Should this prove true…Mr. Bush should have his bedroom wall papered with photographs of the war dead..with actual photographs of battlefield causualties liberally sprinkled amongst them. When he wakes up and goes to bed thereupon he must gaze.
    Posted by: 505th PIR | 06 August 2008 at 10:29 AM
    I don’t think that would bother him a bit.

  45. Patrick Lang says:

    zenpundit
    Also –
    They would not have wanted a finding to exist that sanctioned a clearly illegal action.
    They probably thought that Tenet would do this himself, not realizing that Tenet’s only real talent is the same as Monica’s pl

  46. Easyrider says:

    Around Watergate, E. Howard Hunt had been ordered by someone in WH to forge WH JFK’s cables ordering the assination of Rep. of S Vietnam President Diem. If JFK had really done this, they wouldn’t have to forge them. Said cables were found in Hunt’s WH safe, and handed over to then FBI Dir. L.Patrick Grey who promptly burned them at his Stonington CT home. So it’s a presidential perogative to forge when so desired, particulary when “accountability is off the table”.

  47. Why does accountability need to happen before Bush leaves office?
    If accountability happens after he and his cronies leave office, there won’t be anyone around to pardon him, provided we have a President who understands the rule of law.

  48. Paul says:

    This is more than just a high crime. After our dead and casualties, and ~1.4 million Iraqi dead and millions of destroyed lives, the false pretense that was the basis for this war makes reduces it to an illegal war of aggression, basically, for purposes of colonization. That…is a crime against humanity for which he and his administration should be compelled to suffer justice. At the Hague. That he has used the war as an opportunity to desecrate the Constitution is an act that has nullified the sacrifices and service of all who have served this country to defend and protect the Constitution, going all the way back to the beginnings of this nation. All this from a sociopathic coward and a deserter.
    George W. Bush is the arch-criminal of American history. He must be brought to justice by competent authority.

  49. SharonB says:

    I used to hope in the Hague. I do not think old Europe will have the fortitude to take this administration to task. International Justice is reserved for petty third world criminals.
    The first and second world get a pass.
    Sigh.

  50. CJ says:

    Even without this letter, if it does turn out to be true, there has been more than enough evidence in the public domain to impeach Cheney and Bush for years for any number of greivous offenses against the Constitution and the American people. The worst crime of all, however, is the failure to impeach, because what the Bush/Cheney regime has done is successfully establish new anti-Constitutional precedents for future administrations, all ratified by the cowardice of the Congress.

  51. I’ll never understand this obsession people have with “impeachment.”
    It is not the preferred remedy for criminal wrongdoing. You could have impeachment proceedings and votes and there simply is not the courage in the House or the Senate to join hands and eject the occupant of the White House from his seat. The House may Impeach, but the Senate shall not remove; The Senate is paralyzed. So much for the remedy.
    From our enemies, we learn what patience is. They wait for their justice to be delivered poetically and with finality. There is no conceivable Ceausescu or Mussolini scenario–we are too polite of a country. There will probably be a long, drawn out Pinochet scenario but with more colorful lawyers and its own channel. Yes, we are justifiably outraged. But, with patience, we can wait for the day when the power of the pardon is in the hands of someone who will not grant it, and then and only then can you find your remedy, which is in the courts. I don’t want to see another Caspar Weinberger skate free at the last minute. Oh, and make sure you have five Justices who will agree to whatever the verdict is–funny how appeals go in this country.
    Impeachment is off the table because the table has been run off its legs. Impeach Bush and you have to put Jay Rockefeller and Jane Harman on trial with him, along with more than a few others. Better to wait and see who can bring the best case when all of the documents are shaken out of someone’s private safe. Right now, those safes aren’t ready to open.

  52. Buff52 says:

    There are some Americans like myself who do not believe in impeaching a President for decisions made in prosecuting a war against a terrorist enemy.

  53. different clue says:

    Even if one of those decisions turns out to have been the issuing of an order to fake and forge evidence designed to trick Congress and the Country into accepting war against a country which had precisely zero involvement with that terrorist enemy (al Quaeda), or its attacks (East African embassies, Cole, Twin Towers)?

  54. fnord says:

    buff52: Are you saying that any and all actions are legal due to the nature of “the enemy”? My goodness, thats an interesting take on the Rule of Law and the concept of judicial oversight. Please, continue and expand your thoughts?

  55. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    All,
    Phil Giraldi has a clarification which is interesting:
    “My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment. Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. The Pentagon has its own false documents center, primarily used to produce fake papers for Delta Force and other special ops officers traveling under cover as businessmen. It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq.”
    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2008/08/07/suskind-revisited/
    Even more consistent with what we have seen….Office of Special Plans/Feith….

  56. Patrick Lang says:

    All
    Suskind has posted the transcript of one of his interviews with Richer the head of DO/NE at that time. The story is very specific.
    http://www.ronsuskind.com/thewayoftheworld/transcripts/
    “Interview Transcript
    . . . Ron Suskind: I know we’ve talked through these things eight ways to Sunday, and hour after hour, but here’s what I want you to ask yourself. Prior to me jogging your memory, okay–forget Habbush part one, okay.
    Rob Richer: Okay.
    Ron: You know, the prewar stuff, cause there’s zillions of people in on that part. And there’s people in on the second part, too. But here’s my question to you: before I, as I said, before I jog your memory on this stuff, what do you–and I think I have a good idea, cause I’ve asked you this seven different ways, but I just want to make absolutely sure–what do you remember? If I just grabbed you on the street and said what do you remember of the second part, okay–with the letter and all the rest–what would be the high marks in terms of what you–memory’s the best editor I think’s a line from Tennyson–
    Rob: Exactly.
    Ron: What were the parts that you remember most vividly?
    Rob: You’re talking about Habbush himself, correct?
    Ron: No, I’m talking about the second part, with the letter being passed from–through George [Tenet] and down the ranks. Cause at one point–and I know we have recollections at the top and that’s fine–you have recollections, not from me but from your own memory on that–
    Rob: Let me tell you what I know, just so before you color any of it. Is that when you first asked me about it I remember just really telling you that it was a non-event, and if you were to ask me today I would tell you it was a non-event. It came down from the seventh floor. It was part of–as I remember it, it wasn’t so much to influence America–that’s illegal–but it was kinda like a covert, a way to influence Iraqis.
    . . .
    Rob: To characterize it right, I would say, right: it came to us, George had a raised eyebrow, and basically we passed it on–it was to–and passed this on into the organization. You know, it was: ‘Okay, we gotta do this, but make it go away.’ To be honest with you, I don’t want to make it sound–I for sure don’t want to portray this as George jumping: ‘Okay, this has gotta happen.’ As I remember it–and, again, it’s still vague, so I’ll be very straight with you on this–is it wasn’t that important. It was: ‘This is unbelievable. This is just like all the other garbage we get about . . . I mean Mohammad Atta and links to al Qaeda. ‘Rob,’ you know, ‘do something with this.’ I think it was more like that than: ‘Get this done.’
    Ron: Do something with this, right. Get this, this is like–
    Rob: It died a natural death as you know.
    Ron: ‘This thing stinks, take it.’
    Rob: Yeah, kinda like that, yeah. But, you know, we got so much garbage that first couple—that year.
    Ron: Were there other things like this where we were creating product?
    Rob: You know, I don’t remember that.
    . . .
    Ron: The intent–the basic raison d’etre of this product is to get, is to create, here’s a letter with what’s in it. Okay, here’s what we want on the letter, we want it to be released as essentially a representation of something Habbush says. That’s all it says, that’s the one paragraph. And then you pass it to whomever to do it. To get it done.
    Rob: It probably passed through five or six people. George probably showed it to me, but then passed it probably to Jim Pavitt, the DDO, who then passed it down to his chief of staff who passed it to me. Cause that’s how–you know, so I saw the original. I got a copy of it. But it was, there probably was–
    Ron: Right. You saw the original with the White House stationery, but you didn’t–down the ranks, then it creates other paper.
    Rob: Yeah, no, exactly. But I couldn’t tell you–again: I remember it happening, I remember a terrible brief kinda joking dialogue about it, but that was it.
    . . .
    Ron: Now this is from the Vice President’s Office is how you remembered it–not from the president?
    Rob: No, no, no. What I remember is George saying, ‘we got this from’–basically, from what George said was ‘downtown.’
    Ron: Which is the White House?
    Rob: Yes. But he did not–in my memory–never said president, vice president, or NSC. Okay? But now–he may have hinted–just by the way he said it, it would have–cause almost all that stuff came from one place only: Scooter Libby and the shop around the vice president.
    Ron: Yeah, right.
    Rob: But he didn’t say that specifically. I would naturally–I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president.
    Ron: Right, I’m with you, I’m with you. But there wasn’t anything in the writing that you remember saying the vice president.
    Rob: Nope.
    Ron: It just had the White House stationery.
    Rob: Exactly right.
    Ron: That’s fine, White House stationery’s fine. Everything’s from there. You know, that’s the center point. But not OVP’s Office. It’s just the White House. It comes from the White House. That’s plain and simple.
    Rob: And you know, if you’ve ever seen the vice president’s stationery, it’s on the White House letterhead. It may have said OVP. I don’t remember that, so I don’t want to mislead you. . . .”
    CIA trying to wiggle off the hook?
    We will see. Suskind has the tape of that interview. pl

  57. zanzibar says:

    Buff52
    There are many Americans including myself who believe that propagandizing the American people based on false premises into an unnecessary war of choice on a sovereign country that had nothing to do with terrorist attacks on our country is treason.

  58. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    <"Rob: But he didn't say that specifically. I would naturally--I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president.">
    OK, so then it would still be consistent were the Vice President’s office to have been the locus of the plan for the forgery and/or instructions to create one. This could have been a bright idea from Feith and the Neocons at OSP, for example, sent up to the VPs office. Also, there was a move by Rumsfeld early to set up an office for dezinformatsia and press manipulation.
    Interesting case here.

  59. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    From Salon, still more:
    “On Dec. 14, 2003, the Sunday Telegraph hyped the phony Habbush memo as a front-page exclusive over the byline of Con Coughlin, the paper’s foreign editor and chief Mideast correspondent, who has earned a reputation for promoting neoconservative claptrap. As I explained in a Salon blog post on Dec. 18, the story’s sudden appearance in London was the harbinger of a disinformation campaign that quickly blew back to the United States — where it was cited by William Safire on the New York Times Op-Ed page. Ignoring the bizarre Niger yellowcake reference, which practically screamed bullshit, Safire seized on Coughlin’s story as proof of his own cherished theory about Saddam’s sponsorship of 9/11…..But the credulous Telegraph coverage is still significant now, because Coughlin identified the source of his amazing scoop as Ayad Allawi. For those who have forgotten the ambitious Allawi, he is a former Baathist who rebelled against Saddam, formed the Iraqi National Accord movement to fight the dictator, and was appointed to Iraq’s interim Governing Council by the U.S. occupation authorities after the invasion.
    Although Coughlin quoted Allawi at some length, neither he nor his source revealed how the Habbush memo had fallen into the hands of the Iraqi politician. But the Safire column made an allusion that now seems crucial, describing Allawi as “an Iraqi leader long considered reliable by intelligence agencies.”
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2008/08/08/suskind/

  60. Patrick Lang says:

    Clifford
    Come now.
    You cited Giraldi to say that that “the Pentagon,” a favorite formulation of the CIA for DoD as a whole, planned AND executed this crime.
    Now, you are saying that “the Pentagon” is still responsible on the basis that the handful of political screwballs in Feith’s office MIGHT have dreamed this up? Say what?
    Whoever came up with the idea, Richer’s transcript makes it clear that EITHER; 1-CIA ROUTINELY accepted and CARRIED OUT the mission without objecting, or 2- Suskind is lying. pl

  61. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    PL,
    I said Giraldi’s piece was “interesting.” Didn’t say I believed it to be the final word on the matter. Haven’t blamed “The Pentagon.”
    I said: “This could have been a bright idea from Feith and the Neocons at OSP, for example, sent up to the VPs office.”
    It seems to me, from what is known about OSP “cherry picking/stovepipe” activities, through Sy Hersh’s New Yorker articles for example, that the idea could well have emerged from Feith’s shop, gone over to the VPs office, and thence to CIA to execute. This is a reasonable scenario.
    If it originated in Feith’s shop, would it have passed through Wolfowitz, his boss? Would Rummy have been in the picture?
    The phone transcript: 1. clearly points to the VPs office and 2. clearly points to CIA.
    The Salon article gives more context for the CIA “active measures” angle and active involvement pointing to Allawi’s activities spreading the dezinformatsia. Also interesting is the reference to Safire.
    So: Feith’s OSP to VP to CIA to Allawi and Con Coughlin/Telegraph and Safire/New York Times seems a fair reconstruction at this point.
    Did Neocons like Feith or those inthe VPs shop get some inspiration from Neocon fellow traveler Roy Godson’s book on Dezinformatsia?

  62. J says:

    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2008/08/07/suskind-revisited/
    Suskind Revisited
    Posted on August 7th, 2008 by Philip Giraldi
    An extremely reliable and well placed source in the intelligence community has informed me that Ron Suskind’s revelation that the White House ordered the preparation of a forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to attempts made to obtain yellowcake uranium is correct but that a number of details are wrong.
    The Suskind account states that two senior CIA officers Robert Richer and John Maguire supervised the preparation of the document under direct orders coming from Director George Tenet. Not so, says my source. Tenet is for once telling the truth when he states that he would not have undermined himself by preparing such a document while at the same time insisting publicly that there was no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Richer and Maguire have both denied that they were involved with the forgery and it should also be noted that preparation of such a document to mislead the media is illegal and they could have wound up in jail.
    My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment. Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. The Pentagon has its own false documents center, primarily used to produce fake papers for Delta Force and other special ops officers traveling under cover as businessmen. It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq. Unlike the Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public. Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith’s office specialized in such activity.

  63. J says:

    Colonel,
    i just posted the giraldi article complete for all to see. my question is, who is the ‘source’ for giralidi that appears to be trying to ‘direct’ the angle of view? hmmm…… now did the butler do it in the palor, or was it the maid in the kitchen? hmm……….guess we can expect ‘turns’ and ‘more turns’ as the rats run away from any responsiblity/accountability. hmmm…….it would have been better had giraldi cited who his ‘well placed source’ was. on this level, phil we need names for the record, names give us names.

  64. J says:

    Colonel,
    i’ll put my money on door #1.

  65. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    S’more “interesting” material:
    “The disappearance of all that credible evidence reflected a deliberate decision by Tenet. The White House Iraq Group had just rolled out its new campaign to create a political climate supporting war in early September, and Tenet knew what was expected of him. As an analyst who worked on the NIE told Bob Drogin of the Los Angeles Times, “The going-in assumption was that we were going to war, so this NIE was to be written with that in mind.” That means Tenet’s account of the CIA’s role in the WMD issue in his 2007 memoirs completely ignored the credible evidence from Habbush, Sabri, and the former Iraqi specialists that there was no active program, as well as his own role in suppressing it. ….
    Tenet – who was a political operator rather than an intelligence professional – had betrayed the CIA’s mission of providing objective analysis, instead choosing to serve the interests of the Bush administration in preparing the way for war. It is not difficult to imagine how he would have meekly carried out whatever was asked of him by the White House – even forging a document and leaking it to the media, to buttress the administration’s case for war.”
    http://www.antiwar.com/porter/?articleid=13273
    As far as “The White House” is concerned: What is the relationship of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) to the forged letter we are discussing on this thread? Would it have received the idea through Feith’s OSP via VPs office? Would it have been involved in the orders to CIA to execute it? or would the order simply have been straight from the VPs office?
    Did Bush know? Or was it simply done under a blanket wink and a nod to the VP so as to keep his fingerprints off it/plausible deniability? How much did Reagan personally know about Iran-Contra….”lessons learned” by Cheney and Rummy for the future?

  66. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Think I left out link to the Gareth Porter article from which I just posted a quote”
    “How Tenet Betrayed the CIA on Iraq WMD”, Gareth Porter 9 August http://www.antiwar.com/porter/?articleid=13273

  67. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Questions for the lawyers at SST, and All:
    1. What statutes make it illegal for USG to use propaganda in the US as opposed to circulating it abroad? I think there are several to this effect that came about during the Cold War era????
    2. If such activity is illegal under statute(s), then it would be logical for an evildoer (advised say by lawyers like Addington in the VPs office) to float propaganda abroad with the intention that it would blowback to US and get picked up by US press and thereby propagandize the US public.
    3. I dimly recall something on the books that makes it illegal for a federal official to knowingly supply false information to another federal official with the intent to deceive???
    Other Questions:
    Thus, the scenario OVP (“The White House”) to CIA to FOREIGN destinations via Allawi etal. FOREIGN press such as Con Coughlin/Telegraph pick it up and a preinformed (or merely sharp eyed) Safire picks it up from the “FOREIGN” source to blowback into US.
    Would this method not also apply to the known forgeries from Italians per aluminum tubes and yellow cake?
    Or to things floated in Israel by the Herzlya crowd and others and moved into London, thence US and etc.?

  68. different clue says:

    The only way to even begin
    unravelling all these threads for real and not just in our minds would have
    been to start impeachment proceedings in 2006. Hopefully maybe that would have crippled certain Very Highest Principals enough to
    where they would not have been able to stop the subsequent pulling of every thread.
    But nooooo. No, our Speaker of the House and Defender of the Constitution
    Pelosi took impeachment “off
    the table.” Thank you ever so much, Madame Speaker, for
    all your efforts to “firmly shut and seal (and weld down) this manhole cover.”

  69. Tom Griffin says:

    it’s interesting that Richer’s latest statement seems to accept the accuracy of the transcript that Suskind released:
    An order such as the one outlined by Mr. Suskind would have been a huge event – and in my opinion illegal. An order to fabricate such a document would have been rejected out of hand and it is improbable to believe anyone would write such a request. In the edited transcript I am vague on the circumstances of whatever the issue was regarding Habbush. I would have had much clearer recollections of an issue or order of the sensational magnitude outlined by Mr. Suskind,” Richer said.
    http://www.pubrecord.org/politics/252.html?task=view
    So I suppose a lot rests on how damning you think the transcript is:
    To characterize it right, I would say, right: it came to us, George had a raised eyebrow, and basically we passed it on–it was to–and passed this on into the organization. You know, it was: ‘Okay, we gotta do this, but make it go away.’ To be honest with you, I don’t want to make it sound–I for sure don’t want to portray this as George jumping: ‘Okay, this has gotta happen.’ As I remember it–and, again, it’s still vague, so I’ll be very straight with you on this–is it wasn’t that important. It was: ‘This is unbelievable. This is just like all the other garbage we get about . . . I mean Mohammad Atta and links to al Qaeda. ‘Rob,’ you know, ‘do something with this.’ I think it was more like that than: ‘Get this done.’
    http://www.ronsuskind.com/thewayoftheworld/transcripts/
    Where Richer is consistent is in talking about using Habbush against the insurgency rather than against western opinion.
    This is exactly the kind of totally disingenuous distinction which facilitates the transnational disinformation networks that David Habakkuk describes above. The apparent chain of events from Ayad Allawi to Conn Coughlin to William Safire would seem to be a good example of this.
    As a polite fiction, might a disinformation operation ostensibly aimed at Iraqi opinion have seemed of less ‘sensational magnitude’ for the CIA than Richer suggests?

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