The Bush administration counts on Americans having short memories. Since the beginning of the year, the Bush administration has conducted a campaign of lies and misinformation about widespread domestic spying.
Bush has lied about it, denied, acknowledged it, and, most egregiously, Bush has said that if he orders it, it's legal.
Interestingly, none of the various cover stories are consistent with one another. How convenient for Bush should you forget one of his past lies!
But among the numerous and conflicting official cover stories is, not surprisingly, a most pernicious cover story: had there been an NSA domestic spying program in place prior to 911 the attacks might have been prevented. That is, of course, an outrageous, bald-faced lie. The attacks might have been prevented anyway!
Moreover, the measures Bush has taken since then have utterly failed to address the issue of terrorism. But while there has been no war on terrorism, Bush has made the world less safe by playing at war, rattling sabres, disrupting lives and threatening sovereignties. He is a sixty year old adolescent playing at war for ego and glory and the world is nearer to the nuclear brink because of it.
That Bush ignored numerous warnings is heavily documented. And there is yet another new story from AlterNet:
Back in the year 2004, Presidential advisor Richard Clarke was revealed by CBS News to have told Bush that there was no link between Iraq and the attacks of 911. Clarke's admonition had legs, even then. [See: Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes] Saddam's was, after all, a secular regime! But Al Qaida —we were repeatedly told —consisted of raving, militant Islamic fanatics. Even then, Bush's cover story made no sense whatsoever, but even now, you will find among Bush's dwindling faithful a few die hard idiots who still spread the bunkum that Bush's attack on Iraq was but a part of the larger "war on terror".
In 2001, an anonymous White House source leaked top-secret NSA intelligence to reporter Judith Miller that Al Qaida was planning a major attack on the United States. But the story never made it into the paper. ...
It's all nonsense! Bush has never waged a "war on terrorism"! Afghanistan —where bin Laden was allowed to escape —was not it! And Iraq —which even Bush concedes had nothing to do with 911 —was not it!
Consider Bush's official conspiracy theory with respect to 911. It goes something like this. Bin Laden sits at the head of a vast and super secret world wide conspiracy the likes of which has not been seen since Smersh. There are several things wrong with the official conspiracy theory but let's deal with the most obvious ones.
- Bush ignored hard evidence from top intelligence officials between April and September of 2001 about an impending attacks on U.S. soil. Why? If Bush really wanted Bin Laden, he blew SEVERAL opportunities. One of them was in July, prior to 911. The Guardian and the French newspaper Le Figaro reported that bin Laden received dialysis treatment for a period of some 10 days at the American hospital in Dubai, and while there, he was visited by a local CIA agent. It was also about this time that U.S. State Department officials were threatening Afghanistan with carpet bombing if the Taliban didn't come to terms on the proposed Unocal pipeline across Afghanistan. Bush had other opportunities to seize bin Laden but didn't. See: Alexander Cockburn: Bush was offered bin Laden and Blew It.
- Keep in mind, when the CIA was reported to have visited bin Laden in Dubai, 911 had not happened. But, already the Bush State Department was spoiling for war. All it needed was a pretext that the gullible American public would buy! It got it —conveniently, too conveniently —on 911!
Even Bush concedes that Saddam had nothing to do with the events of 911! Then why does Bush continue to cite the war against Iraq as justification for a widespread domestic surveillance program?
Briefly, Bush lied to the nation and the world in order to begin the war on Iraq; "terrorism" had nothing whatsoever to do with it. It was about oil. There were, arguably, no "terrorists" in Iraq before the American attack and invasion and, if terrorists are there now, it's because they are not stupid.
Bush likes to say that we fight them there rather than here.
Rather, Bush took the bait. The terrorists are most surely telling their own constituencies they are killing Americans in Iraq! But how many of what Bush calls "insurgents" are, in fact, terrorists? How many are simply Iraqis defending their own country against an illegal occupation by an aggressor? To that extent, they are protected by International Law. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, put it this way to Parliament during Britain's occupation of the American colonies:
If I were an American as I am an Englishman, I would never lay down my arms! Never! Never! NEVER!Now —about the real reasons for war against Iraq. Bush made promises to Dick Cheney's Halliburton, Condo Rice's Exxon-Mobil er al. It was not promised to them that oil prices would go down upon the American seizure of control over Iraqi oil fields and production! Rather, prices would go up and with them, the profits of big oil. Now —isn't that precisely what has happened? Just keep this in mind: it's hard to go wrong when you realize that nothing that Bush has ever said about anything has ever been in anyway true.
I have reinforcements
History shows that it was secrecy and incompetence that helped the hijackers get on those planes.The Republican senator tossed Gen. Michael Hayden a big, fat softball of a question: "Do you think that if you had this program [of wiretaps without warrants] in place before Sept. 11th you might have prevented it?"
Gen. Hayden jumped right on it. He said that yes, if he had his secret powers then that he has today, he could have stopped al Qaida's plot.
Then he said, there were two guys in San Diego …
He was referring to Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. George Bush also talks about them when he wants to justify wiretaps without warrants. The truth is that Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar are the poster boys for missed opportunities. If the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the White House had not screwed up so royally, mostly by cherishing their secrets, they would have had al Hasmi and al Mihdhar several times over. Here are the facts. ...
A United Nations panel today made the strongest call yet on the United States to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to disclose the locations of all of its rumoured secret prisons abroad.
The committee said it was "deeply concerned" that detainees were being held at the prison camp in Cuba for protracted periods without proper legal safeguards or reliable judicial justification.
The ten members of the UN Committee Against Torture also called upon President Bush to end the use of torture and cruel treatment in interrogation of detainees, citing sexual humiliation, mock drownings and the use of dogs to induce fear.
In a 11-page report published today, the panel urged the US to reveal the location of any of the secret prisons, believed to be in Egypt, Jordan and Eastern Europe, to which suspects are allegedly transported by special rendition for interview under conditions which violate human rights conventions. ...Some essential resources:
price of perpetual war is a police state, one in which a permanent state of "emergency" – the threat of a terrorist attack – is utilized to break down institutional safeguards, the system of constitutional checks and balances, that protect us from dictatorship.
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .
[It should be well understood] that the powers proposed to be surrendered [by the Third Congress] to the Executive were those which the Constitution has most jealously appropriated to the Legislature. . . .
The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war . . . the power of raising armies . . . the power of creating offices. . . .
A delegation of such powers [to the President] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.
The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.
The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them, is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them.
The separation of the power of creating offices from that of filling them, is an essential guard against the temptation to create offices for the sake of gratifying favourites or multiplying dependents.
James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. This is from Letters and Other Writings of James Madison.