Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War

Exclusive: A dozen years too late, President George H.W. Bush has given voice to his doubts about the wisdom of rushing into the Iraq War, putting much of the blame on President George W. Bush’s “iron-ass” advisers, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern

Media reports on Jon Meacham’s biography of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, have brought me a painful flashback to the deceptive, destructive yet at the same time highly instructive years 2002 and 2003, when his son George W. Bush, the 43rd President, attacked Iraq.

Reality should trump rhetoric regarding that godforsaken war in my view the most unprincipled and consequential foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. This may be reason enough to renew focus on those years because, for many Americans, those events remain cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

With his candor about his eldest son, the 91-year-old Bush patriarch also has sounded what may be the death knell for the moribund campaign of his younger son Jeb to be president #45. I do not suggest that #41 did that consciously. His unusually unguarded remarks, though, will lead voters to be chary of yet another Bush, if only on the “fool me once … fool me twice” aphorism that Jeb’s big brother had trouble remembering.

Meacham’s Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush will not be available to the hoi polloi until next week.  Details already reported on the critical years of 2002 and 2003, however, permit I think, rather, dictate some preliminary analysis, before the Karl Roves of this world create still more “new history.”

The clear and present danger of getting sucked into yet another quagmire or quicksand pool on false pretenses persists. Thus, it seems fitting and proper to review the lead-up to the unprovoked “shock and awe” on Iraq proudly launched in March 2003 by #43, egged on by Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other white-collar thugs.

Despite the propaganda and more tangible signs of incipient war in Iraq, my former intelligence analyst colleagues and I with considerable professional experience watching other countries prepare for aggression against others were finding it difficult to believe that the United States of America would be doing precisely that.

Still harder was it to digest the notion that Washington would do so, absent credible evidence of any immediate threat and would “fix” intelligence to “justify” it. But that, sadly, is what happened. On March 19, 2003, U.S. “shock and awe” lit the sky over Baghdad.

A Dozen Years Later

That was more than 12 ½ years ago.  That not one of the white-collar crooks responsible for the war and ensuing chaos has been held accountable is an indelible blot not only on our country, but also on international law and custom. After all, the U.S./U.K. attack on Iraq fits snugly the definition given to a “war of aggression” as defined by the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal. Nuremberg labeled such a war “the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

And the evil continued to accumulate: torture, kidnapping, black prisons, extrajudicial killing, massive invasions of privacy, and even the annulment of such basic human rights as the great writ of habeas corpus that was wrested from England’s King John 800 years ago. And, in the wake of this criminality, bedlam now reigns across large swaths of the Middle East driving millions of refugees into neighboring countries and Europe.

That the U.S. and U.K. leaders who launched the Iraq war have so far escaped apprehension and prosecution might be seen as a sad example of “victor’s justice.” But there are no victors, only victims. The reality that President George W. Bush and his co-conspirators remain unpunished makes a mockery of the commitment to the transcendent importance of evenhanded justice as expressed on Aug. 12, 1945, by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the chief U.S. representative at Nuremberg:

“We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it.”

Maybe it is partly because I know the elder Bush personally, but it does strike me that, since we are all human, some degree of empathy might be in order. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to be a former President with a son, also a former President, undeniably responsible for such trespass on law for such widespread killing, injury and abject misery.

It is something of a stretch, but I have tried to put myself into the shoes of the elder Bush. In them I find myself insecure and struggling like Jacob before his dream about wrestling with God. The story in Genesis shows Jacob full of anxiety, despite God’s promise that God would bless his dynasty. He cannot overcome his fear and is powerless to control his fate.

Jacob is aware that he is at a pivotal juncture but he is physically spent. Alone in the wilderness facing death, he collapses into a deep sleep, only to find himself wrestling all night with God. At daybreak he awakes with an injured hip; he is disabled but his life is spared. He had come to grips with God and, in the end, receives God’s blessing of peace.

What author Meacham has written suggests to me the possibility that the sins of the son are being visited on the father, to reverse one familiar Biblical expression.

In these circumstances, the tendency to require that thugs like Cheney and Rumsfeld bear their share of the blame seems quite human. And, to his credit, Bush-41 concedes “the buck stops” at the President. But I sense him thinking correctly, in my view that without those two “iron-ass” advisers, things would have been quite different. The son might even have paid more heed to the experienced cautions of the father and his associates.

Sins of Omission

As the senior Bush knows, sins of omission can be as consequential as those of commission. Judging from what he is quoted as saying in Meacham’s book, it appears he decided to make a (sort-of) clean breast of things okay, call it a Watergate-style “modified, limited hangout,” if you will. But, clearly, Bush has to be painfully aware that he was one of only a handful of people who might have been able to stop the chaos and carnage, had he spoken out publicly in real time.

He does hedge, saying for example that he still believes the attack on Iraq was the right thing to do. But this is a position he staked out years ago and, especially at 91, it may be too much to expect of him that he acknowledge the full implications of what he says elsewhere in the book about the misguided advice of “hardline” Cheney and “arrogant” Rumsfeld together with where, after all, the buck does stop.

My take is that Bush-41 has not completed his wrestle with the truth and with the guilt he may feel for failing to warn the rest of us what to expect from George, Cheney and Rumsfeld as he watched it happen. The elder Bush did use surrogates including two of his closest and most prominent friends, James Baker, his secretary of state, and Brent Scowcroft, his national security adviser, to speak out against the war.

But here the mainstream media was of no help. Instead of weighing the merits of the strong arguments of Baker, Scowcroft and other experienced foreign policy professionals made against attacking Iraq, the media gave inordinate attention to incessant debates as to whether the seeming surrogates were actually speaking for the elder Bush.

In effect, the media was demanding what they knew Bush senior would almost certainly not do, “Speak for yourself, George H. W. Bush.” He refused to do it; he would not even comment on the critical views expressed by Baker and Scowcroft on Bush-43’s plan to attack Iraq.

Sure, it would have been hard, but at the time Bush senior was only in his late 70s, as he watched his son fall in with bad companions and join in the dishonesty and foolishness leading up to the attack on Iraq.

With his current modified, limited hangout especially (his richly deserved) criticism of Cheney and Rumsfeld Bush the elder may be able to live more comfortably with himself and to get past what I believe must be his regret now over having made no public effort to stop the madness back then.

The chronology below includes some of the more important events and may help inform those who have not had the time or inclination to follow the play-by-play as Cheney and Rumsfeld played on the younger Bush’s unabashed preening as “the first war president of the 21st century.”

Keeping a Watching Brief

The elder Bush knew all too well what was happening. He also knew what his son George was capable of not to mention the inclinations of Cheney, Rumsfeld and other white-collar criminals. To be brutally candid, it is a little late for the family patriarch to be telling us all this while blaming the Iraq debacle mostly on Cheney and Rumsfeld, quintessentially blameworthy though they are.

Worst still, if Bush-43 is to be believed, Bush senior had guilty foreknowledge of the war-crime attack on Iraq. George W. Bush divulges this in his 2014 Virgil-style paean to his father, “41: A Portrait of My Father,” in which he arrogates to himself Aeneas-like filial devotion. (Friends more cynical than me suggest that 43’s panegyric should be construed as a benign pre-emptive move to prevent the father from blabbing to his biographer.)

In any event, Bush-43 includes the following sentences about informing his father about plans to attack Iraq:  ”We both knew that this was a decision that only the president can make. We did talk about the issue, however. Over Christmas 2002, at Camp David, I did give Dad an update on our strategy.”

By that time, the die had been cast. Frankly, it is as painful as it is instructive to review the flow of key events in the summer and early fall of 2002. But I believe it may be necessary, not only to outline what Bush senior was watching, but also to pre-empt the creation of false history. Here are some selected benchmarks:

July 23, 2002: Tony Blair and his principal national security advisers are briefed at 10 Downing Street by MI-6 chief Richard Dearlove, CIA Director George Tenet’s British counterpart, three days after Dearlove met with Tenet at CIA Headquarters. A participant in the July 23 briefing prepares minutes of the meeting that same day. They are eventually leaked and published in the London Times on May 1, 2005.

The minutes quote Dearlove, Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and Attorney-General Peter Goldsmith.  First Dearlove: “Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.” [Translation: Saddam Hussein will be accused of having weapons of mass destruction that he could give to terrorists.]

“But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. … The Foreign Secretary said the case [for war] was thin. … The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.”

August 2002: President George W. Bush spends from August 6 to 31 clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card sets up a White House Iraq Group (WHIG) to “educate the public” on the alleged threat from Iraq. The group includes heavy hitters like political adviser Karl Rove, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s communications director Karen Hughes, and two officials from Dick Cheney’s entourage Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and Mary Matalin. In his memoir, Cheney notes that both Matalin and Libby “wore two hats” serving as assistants to both Cheney and the President.

August 2002: With Bush in Crawford, there is trouble brewing for Cheney, Rumsfeld and others pushing for war on Iraq. Close associates of the elder Bush and other senior foreign policy mavens begin to speak out strongly against an attack on Iraq.

Brent Scowcroft leads off the campaign on Aug. 4 at CBS’s Face the Nation. Next up is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger with an Aug. 12 Washington Post op-ed titled “Unilateral Attack Will Set Dangerous Precedent.” On Aug. 15, Scowcroft publishes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with the non-subtle title: “Don’t Attack Saddam.”

Also on Aug. 15, Lawrence Eagleburger, who served the elder Bush briefly as secretary of state, tells ABC News that unless Saddam Hussein “has his hand on a trigger that is for a weapon of mass destruction, and our intelligence is clear, I don’t know why we have to do it [attack Iraq] now.”

Then on Aug. 25, in a New York Times op-ed, Bush-41’s Secretary of State James Baker adduces, in a lawyerly but compelling way, virtually all the reasons that what Bush-43, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. had already decided on regarding Iraq would bring disaster.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, also says openly in August that Secretary of State Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage had earlier advised President George W. Bush of their concerns about the risks and complexities of a military strike on Iraq.

More trouble for hawks like Cheney was brewing in the House. Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey publicly warned that an “unprovoked attack” on Iraq would be illegal, adding, “It would not be consistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation.”

(Armey later told Michael Isikoff, during an on-the-record interview for Isikoff’s book Hubris, that he had warned President George W. Bush that war on Iraq might result in a “quagmire.” He added that, while he found questionable the intelligence presented to him in support of such a war, he would give Bush the benefit of the doubt. According to Barton Gellman, author of Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, Cheney told Armey that Saddam Hussein’s family had direct ties to Al Qaeda and that Saddam was developing miniature nuclear weapons. Armey then voted for the war, but bitterly complained later that he had been “bullshitted” by Cheney.)

Stopping the Peace Juggernaut

With the President clearing brush and Andrew Card proceeding at what must have seemed to Cheney a dilatory pace, given the mounting opposition to war on Iraq, Cheney seized the bull by the horns, so to speak. Without a word to Secretary of State Powell or CIA Director Tenet, and not wanting to interrupt the President’s vacation, Cheney set the parameters for using “fixed” intelligence to reverse the alarming efforts toward peace.

With the apparent endorsement of Bush junior, when the President got back in town on Sept. 1, the juggernaut was redirected toward war. (One stands in awe of the unchallenged power Cheney was able to exert even if it was, technically speaking, ad referendum the President.)

Cheney chose to include in an Aug. 26 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nashville extreme, unsubstantiated charges about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that set the terms of reference for virtually all that was to follow, including, I regret to say, the National Intelligence Estimate that my former colleagues were suborned into “fixing” around the policy.

In his Aug. 26, 2002 speech, Cheney broadly warned that Saddam Hussein intends to “subject the United States to nuclear blackmail.” He continued:

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction [and] is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. What he wants is … more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons.

“Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action. The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago.

“Against that background, a person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of shoot and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with UN resolutions.”

Colin Powell, George Tenet and others had five days, before Bush got back in town, to regain their composure after being blindsided by Cheney time enough, apparently, to remind themselves about who it was that really had the President’s ear. There is no sign that either Powell or Tenet chose to make a federal case out of it, so to speak. Also choosing to remain silent was former the CENTCOM commander, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who was right there at the VFW convention.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Truth

Zinni later said he was shocked to hear Cheney’s depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew. Although Zinni had retired two years before, his role as consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings.

“There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD. I heard a case being made to go to war,” Zinni told “Meet the Press” 3 ½ years later.

The question lingers: why did Zinni not go public when he first heard Cheney lie? After all, he was one of the very few credible senior officials who might have prevented a war he knew was unnecessary. A tough, widely respected Marine intimidated by a Vice President with five draft deferments? It happens.  It happened.

Secretary of State Powell was also blindsided, but there is no sign he summoned the courage to voice any objections directly to the President about Cheney’s version of the threat from Iraq and what had to be done about it.

CIA Director Tenet has written that he, too, was taken completely by surprise by what Cheney said. In his memoir, Tenet added, “I had the impression that the president wasn’t any more aware than we were of what his number-two was going to say to the VFW until he said it.” But Tenet, as noted above, knew only too well that the intelligence was being “fixed,” because he was in charge of fixing it.

So for Tenet the surprise was simply one of timing that Cheney would go out on so long a limb before Bush got back from vacation.

From Cheney’s perspective the timing was perfect. With Bush out of town, it was even easier to avoid messy fights with what Cheney considered a troublesome, unnecessary bureaucracy (he had built up his own). And with UK Prime Minister Blair coming to Camp David six days after Bush got back, it would be cumbersome enough to fine-tune and coordinate the appropriate talking points for Bush to use with Blair on Sept. 7.

And so, with the month of August seeing a phalanx of senior Bush foreign policy advisers and other experts, as well as key Congressional leaders, speaking out in a troubling way against the war, an ever decisive Cheney decided he could not abide by the proverbial maxim that Andrew Card actually let drop publicly in early September: ”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” Just to be clear, the White House chief of staff was talking about marketing war.

By the time George W. Bush got back to the Oval Office, the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) had gotten its instructions from Cheney on the strategy with which to approach Tony Blair to keep him harnessed onto the commander’s Jeep for war with particular attention to the joint U.S.-U.K. “marketing” campaign to be launched, big time, the day after the Bush and Blair met at Camp David.

The media did a little warm-up, with the BBC reporting that President Bush had shared with Prime Minister Blair satellite photographs released by a UN agency that allegedly showed clear evidence that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction.  “I don’t know what more evidence we need,” said Mr. Bush. (There were no such photos.)

On Sunday, Sept. 8, came the opening salvo of the marketing campaign a major propaganda blitz with all hands on deck. The WHIG had been doing its homework and was working with very accommodating media. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Meyers fanned out to the talk shows right after Bush gave Blair the word at Camp David.

The hot topic was new information, apparently made available by the administration to the New York Times a day or two before, concerning “aluminum tubes,” sought by Iraq, supposedly for use in refining uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Rice claimed that the tubes were “really are only suited to — high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” Rice acknowledged that “there will always be some uncertainty” in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but warned, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (It turned out the tubes were actually for artillery known to be in Iraq’s inventory.)

Upon her return to the White House from CNN, she must have been awarded WHIG’s first Oscar. Cheney should have been runner-up for his Meet the Press performance accusing Saddam Hussein of moving aggressively to develop nuclear weapons to add to his stockpile of chemical and biological arms. The Vice President actually let slip the White House strategy, expressing hope that Congress would vote for war before it recessed in October (mid-term elections coming the following month).

With members fearing accusations of “softness” if they resisted President Bush’s authorization to use force, Congress voted for war. The war was on.

Also, on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002, Rumsfeld on Face the Nation warned that inspections in Iraq would have to be intrusive enough to ensure that Saddam Hussein is disarmed. Powell told Fox News that the Bush administration believes that the best way to disarm Iraq “is with a regime change.” And Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Myers on ABC’s This Week added, “We have the forces, we have the readiness. U.S. armed forces will prevail, if called upon to strike Iraq.”

Six Months Later

A half-year later on Feb. 15, 2003, as the elder Bush watched 30 million demonstrators in 800 cities around the world marching against the war for which Bush-43 was so keen, I suspect there may have been a tinge of regret at having pulled strings to ensure young George would not have to experience war by serving in Vietnam.

Unlike his father, George W. had not the foggiest notion of what war is like, and Bush-41 can be thought to have been painfully aware of that. It may have occurred to him to belatedly apply some tough-love to 43 or to even go public in a last-ditch effort to prevent the coming catastrophe. He probably knew that it was unrealistic to expect that the likes of Scowcroft and Baker could influence 43 to change course.

But George H. W. Bush continued to say and do nothing, waiting until now more than a dozen years after the catastrophic Iraq War was launched to voice his objections. An unhappy ending for the patriarch of a would-be dynasty.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He worked for George H. W. Bush when he was director of the CIA and again during the first Reagan administration when he briefed him mornings, one-on-one, with the President’s Daily Brief.


49 comments for “Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War

  1. November 10, 2015 at 11:08

    Dr. Ibrahem…the last of the decent American Presidents died with Lincoln in 1863…the rest are merely Muppets and Muslims, with ego’s bigger than their brains…

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      November 10, 2015 at 13:27

      “Muslims”??!! REALLY?! I know, I know, You are just kidding…..right?!

  2. DianeNoland
    November 9, 2015 at 23:59

    I will sum up my thinking on GHW Bush’s memoir with an old saying: “Too little, too late.”
    ….WAY too late.

  3. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    November 9, 2015 at 14:44

    The article and the comments are useful BUT the question that I think about is this. The elder Bush, out of all people, should be the best person to know the REAL strengths and weaknesses of his own son. If Bush the elder really cared about this country, wouldn’t you think that he should do everything possible to make sure that his own spoiled incoherent son does NOT become the president of the united states?! The fact is that , YES, Cheney and Rumsfeld are Iron-Asses BUT George W. Bush is a real two legged ASS himself. Elder Bush cared about making a DYNASTY for himself and compensating for his humiliating defeat from Clinton MORE THAN he cared about America and the world for that matter. To come out now and talk about Cheney and Dumsfeld is, to me, a very clear sign that elder Bush is NOT really the decent person many would like me to believe……

    • Carl-Einar Häckner
      November 11, 2015 at 04:11

      I basically agree, except for the minor quibble that 41 probably preferred Jeb as his successor, as evidenced by a video clip in which he breaks down crying at some convention or other while announcing that the no-goodnik son has received prominence over his chosen dauphin.

      To see a grown man crying: https://youtu.be/-lkPXVnZAis

  4. November 9, 2015 at 11:51

    Bush, Sr. to me was a kingpin on the initiation and transition of a shadow U.S. post atomic bomb government through the 1963 Kennedy assassination coup d’etat up to today. I am thankful He thinks the madmen have gone too far for the good of all, yet his shadows and actions remain for the corruption to continue its cover-ups of crimes against humanity overseas and at home.. https://flybynews.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/jfk-coup-detat-50-fed-100/

  5. dribble
    November 9, 2015 at 09:32

    “Unlike his father, George W. had not the foggiest notion of what war is like, and Bush-41 can be thought to have been painfully aware of that. It may have occurred to him to belatedly apply some tough-love to 43 or to even go public in a last-ditch effort to prevent the coming catastrophe.”

    What sort of garbled version of reality is Mr McGovern trying to sell? Bush-41 not keen on a war?? Are we supposed to forget that Bush-41 was extremely keen to invade Iraq in the preceding Gulf War. What about the non-existent troops on the border, the fake incubator scandal, the ludicrous response by Glaspie, the Kuwaiti’s provocation of Saddam by drilling into Iraqi oil under the border. You’d have to be brain dead not to figure out that Bush-41 set up the whole thing from the beginning. Cold war over, need to get some American boots on the ground in the Middle East? The history is not difficult to interpret.

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 9, 2015 at 11:52

      Thanks for “dribbling” out a little truth…after all, I believe it was HW who gleefully exclaimed, “We’ve finally kicked the Vietnam syndrome”. Why would that really matter unless for the underlying intent to lay the groundwork for more war. This family deserves no sympathy. I would hope both HW and W live long enough to face justice. If it’s OK to drag a 95 year old woman who worked as a telephone operator at Auschwitz before a war crimes tribunal, its never too late for these SOBs.

      • Bob Van Noy
        November 9, 2015 at 13:26

        I’ll second that. This is great thread that has been years in the making. Isn’t it ironic that good old poppy would have set it off?

  6. November 9, 2015 at 03:06

    It was no secret even when all of this was going on. How was I, in my armchair in my own home, completely aware if all these big-wigs were not. Ha! Lies!

    When George W. Bush said to Tenet a couple of days after Christmas in 2002, “This isn’t good enough to convince Joe Public,” it was utterly clear what Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld were after, a case for going to war that would indeed convince Joe Public.

    Not the truth. Certainly not the truth. A casus belli for the people of the country.

    When the Downing Street Memo was on the front page of the London Times on May 1, 2005, there was no real news in it. It was obvious that Bush and Blair (and Cheney-Rumsfeld and the others) had been lying all along to “fix the intelligence around the policy” of going to war in Iraq.

    And the U.S. media did absolutely NO reporting of the Downing Street Memo for weeks after that. Documentary evidence of their lies, an actual memo, the minutes of a high-up meeting, paper proof! Yet the American press made no move to get this information to the public.

    Lies, lies, lies, all of it, and all of it transparent even at the time. Why is it that I remember clearly actually yelling at my television before the run-up to the war? Why is it that many millions of people all over the world MARCHED to plead with the U.S. not to invade? Because we all knew. Millions of us knew.

    “Joe Public” had not been convinced. And we have never been convinced. All lies.

    Bob Locke
    Sacramento CA

  7. Douglas Baker
    November 9, 2015 at 00:08

    Apples don’t fall far from the tree that nurtured their growth. In many ways it’s father like son. Our Forty first President still has to come clean on what he knew and did when in Dallas, November 22, 1963. The striking event in Dallas that day was not laid to rest by President Johnson’s Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy that might have been better branded the Allen Dulles report.

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 9, 2015 at 13:21

      Wow, Douglas Baker, so right. In my mind the chain leads right back to Dealey Plaza. Thanks for that.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 9, 2015 at 14:30

        On Oil Connections
        There is one other intriguing aspect to the Texas connection. It turns out that in March 1974, as the effort to oust Nixon continued to mount, Congress and the Nixon administration were making things very uncomfortable for the Bush crowd. There were news reports that federal officials and members of Congress were looking into possible antitrust violations by people who sat simultaneously on multiple oil company boards. In a December 1973 letter responding to members of Congress, an assistant attorney general had confirmed that the Nixon Justice Department was looking at these so-called interlocking directorates. Most striking about the long list of violators is this: a significant majority of them had been friends of, fund-raisers for, or major donors to Poppy Bush. Many had also been employers or sponsors of George de Mohrenschildt. The list included the son of oil depletion king Clint Murchison Sr.; Admiral Arleigh Burke Jr., who had allied himself with Allen Dulles in post–Bay of Pigs inquiries into the disaster and criticized Kennedy’s handling of the invasion; George Brown of Brown and Root, backer of LBJ and Poppy and employer of de Mohrenschildt; Dean McGee, former business partner of the late oil depletion backer Senator Robert Kerr; Toddie Lee Wynne, whose family provided lodging to Marina Oswald after Kennedy’s assassination; military intelligence man Jack Crichton; and Neil Mallon, Poppy’s well-connected “uncle.” Who had been investigating these men? Nixon’s Justice Department. It was almost a perfect echo of what was going on in JFK’s final year in office—and in life. Jack Kennedy had been fighting with the same group of independent oilmen over the oil depletion allowance, and Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department had sent grudging FBI agents into oil company offices to examine their books. Nixon and his old nemesis JFK had both angered the same people, and both had been removed from the presidency.

        Taken from; Russ Baker’s – Family of Secrets

  8. Bruce
    November 8, 2015 at 22:56

    Jest ANOTHER Poppycock, Justice- or Exile-avoiding alibis from the (CIA) Company man ‘n thief!

  9. Regina Schulte
    November 8, 2015 at 22:37

    Thank you, Ray, for providing us with your transparent account of who and what
    manufactured the initial tragedy that continues to destroy the Middle East. I am
    also grateful that you call the elder President Bush to task for his part in allowing
    it to happen.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    November 8, 2015 at 22:29

    So, when will the war crimes trials begin?

  11. Abe
    November 8, 2015 at 20:47

    And yes, the latest wars still aim at CONTROLLING Eurasian energy resources.

  12. Abe
    November 8, 2015 at 20:07

    Lest we forget, the Bush-41 (1991) and Bush-43 (2003) wars on Iraq were about
    CONTROLLING Iraqi oil.

    As reported in “How Bush won the war in Iraq – really!” by investigative journalist Greg Palast:

    the US oil industry was using its full political mojo to prevent their being handed ownership of Iraq’s oil fields. That’s right: The oil companies did NOT want to own the oil fields – and they sure as hell did not want the oil. Just the opposite. They wanted to make sure there would be a limit on the amount of oil that would come out of Iraq.

    There was no way in hell that Baker’s clients, from Exxon to Abdullah, were going to let a gaggle of neo-con freaks smash up Iraq’s oil industry, break OPEC production quotas, flood the market with six million barrels of Iraqi oil a day and thereby knock its price back down to $13 a barrel where it was in 1998.

    Big Oil simply could not allow Iraq’s oil fields to be privatized and taken from state control. That would make it impossible to keep Iraq within OPEC (an avowed goal of the neo-cons) as the state could no longer limit production in accordance with the cartel’s quota system..

    The problem with Saddam was not the threat that he’d stop the flow of oil – he was trying to sell more. The price of oil had been boosted 300 percent by sanctions and an embargo cutting Iraq’s sales to two million barrels a day from four. With Saddam gone, the only way to keep the damn oil in the ground was to leave it locked up inside the busted state oil company which would remain under OPEC (i.e. Saudi) quotas.

    The James Baker Institute quickly and secretly started in on drafting the 323-page plan for the State Department. In May 2003, w ith authority granted from the top (i.e. Dick Cheney), ex-Shell Oil USA CEO Phil Carroll was rushed to Baghdad to take charge of Iraq’s oil. He told Bremer, “There will be no privatization of oil – END OF STATEMENT.” Carroll then passed off control of Iraq’s oil to Bob McKee of Halliburton, Cheney’s old oil-services company, who implemented the Baker “enhance OPEC” option anchored in state ownership.

    Some oil could be released, mainly to China, through limited, but lucrative, “production sharing agreements”.

    And that’s how George Bush won the war in Iraq. The invasion was not about “blood for oil”, but something far more sinister: blood for no oil. War to keep supply tight and send prices skyward.

    Oil men, whether James Baker or George Bush or Dick Cheney, are not in the business of producing oil. They are in the business of producing profits.

    See “The Secret History of the War Over Oil in Iraq” in Palast’s Armed Madhouse (New York, NY: Dutton. 2006)

    • Abe
      November 8, 2015 at 20:42

      A gaggle of neo-con freaks remain firmly ensconced in the marrow of Obama-nation, and they’re still plenty busy smashing up Iraq, Syria and Eastern Europe.

      Witness their latest projects: the Al Qaeda / al Nusra/ ISIS surge brought to us ass-kissing little chickenshit General and former CIA Director David Petraeus, not to mention Frau Kagan’s Nulandistan on the border of Russia.

    • Abe
      November 8, 2015 at 21:41

      Petraeus has teamed up with neo-con nutjob Dennis Ross, former Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under Poppy Bush, special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and pecial adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      In a notorious August 25, 2015 Washington Post op ed, “How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran”, Petraeus and Ross proposed providing Israel the so-called Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP).

      The idea came from retired Air Force General David Deptula, the first Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at Air Force Headquarters, and was involved in shaping and managing military use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).

      In a 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Deptula and Michael Makovsky, CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neo-con group that promotes hardline U.S. policies in the Middle East, suggested improving Israel’s deterrent capability by transferring B-52s to the air force of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

  13. Skip edwards
    November 8, 2015 at 19:45

    This article and it’s following comments are grim reminders of the war crimes committed by Bush 43 and many in his administration. Reading Robert Parry’s triology on the Bush Dynasty brings Bush 41 into the realm of mastermind of his own war crimes. There is more than ample evidence to bring all of these people to trial, Ala Nuremberg; Obama too, but that is its own chapter. Until this happens the US has no chance of ever being a government of, by and for the people; and we will continue the slide back toward that from which we escaped – a nation ruled by royalty. I was at the march in DC with over 350,000 trying to stop the 2003 invasion of Iraq ordered by Bush 43. We should have taken our country back at that time and chased that little draft dodger back to his Texas hide out.

  14. Paul Sorrells
    November 8, 2015 at 19:19

    Top military officials at the U.S. Army War College (in late 2002?) issued a report detailing the probable consequences of any invasion of Iraq and removal from power of Saddam Hussein (I don’t think they predicted that the neo-cons would also throw all the Sunni Baathists out of their jobs, too, setting off a sectarian civil war). The top military officials were correct in their predictions, but they were ignored like all other anti-war folks by the neo-cons. However, I’ve wondered who asked for this report in the first place, or did these top military officials just do it on their own?

  15. Abe
    November 8, 2015 at 18:56

    The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank focused on United States foreign policy, was founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in 1987. Its stated goal was “to promote American global leadership”.

    Of the twenty-five people who signed the PNAC’s founding statement of principles, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz had served under Poppy Bush.

    Ten PNAC founding signatories, including Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, went on to serve in the administration of George W. Bush.

    Wolfowitz is now a foreign-policy adviser to Jeb Bush.

    From 1989 to 1993, during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Wolfowitz’s team co-ordinated and reviewed military strategy, raising $50 billion in allied financial support for Poppy Bush’s war operation.


    After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Wolfowitz and his then-assistant Scooter Libby wrote the “Defense Planning Guidance of 1992,” which came to be known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, to “set the nation’s direction for the next century.” As military strategist Andrew Bacevich described the doctrine:

    “Before this classified document was fully vetted by the White House, it was leaked to The New York Times, which made it front-page news. The draft DPG announced that it had become the “first objective” of U.S. policy “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival.” With an eye toward “deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role,” the United States would maintain unquestioned military superiority and, if necessary, employ force unilaterally. As window dressing, allies might be nice, but the United States no longer considered them necessary.”

    At that time the official administration line was “containment”, and the contents of Wolfowitz’s plan calling for “preemption” and “unilateralism” which was opposed by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and President Bush. Defense Secretary Cheney produced a revised plan released in 1992. Many of the ideas in the Wolfowitz Doctrine later became part of the Bush Doctrine under George W. Bush.

    From 2001 to 2005, during the George W. Bush administration, Wolfowitz served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense reporting to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    The PNAC document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, released in September of 2000, included a section of Rebuilding America’s Defenses entitled “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force” became the subject of considerable controversy. The passage suggested that the transformation of American armed forces through “new technologies and operational concepts” was likely to be a long one, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

    The September 11 attacks in 2001 provided such a catalyzing event.

    Wolfowitz ecouraged the administration to “take proper advantage of this opportunity to prevent the future terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction” adding: “if we say our only problem was to respond to 9/11, and we wait until somebody hits us with nuclear weapons before we take that kind of threat seriously, we will have made a very big mistake.”

    In the first emergency meeting of the National Security Council on the day of the attacks, Rumsfeld asked, “Why shouldn’t we go against Iraq, not just al-Qaeda?” with Wolfowitz adding that Iraq was a “brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily—it was doable,” and, according to John Kampfner, “from that moment on, he and Wolfowitz used every available opportunity to press the case.” The idea was initially rejected, at the behest of Secretary of State Colin Powell, but, according to Kampfner, “Undeterred Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz held secret meetings about opening up a second front—against Saddam. Powell was excluded.” In such meetings they created a policy that would later be dubbed the Bush Doctrine, centering on “pre-emption” and the war on Iraq, which the PNAC had advocated in their earlier letters.

    After the September 11 attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to fight Al-Qaeda, which orchestrated the attack. The invasion of Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. And, although victory was declared on March 6, 2002, fighting continued. On October 10, 2001, George Robertson, then Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, went to the Pentagon to offer NATO troops, planes and ships to assist. Wolfowitz rebuffed the offer, saying: “We can do everything we need to.” Wolfowitz later announced publicly, according to Kampfner, “that ‘allies, coalitions and diplomacy’ were of little immediate concern.”

    Following the declaration of victory in Afghanistan the Bush administration had started to plan for the next stage of the War on Terror. According to John Kampfner, “Emboldened by their experience in Afghanistan, they saw the opportunity to root out hostile regimes in the Middle East and to implant very American interpretations of democracy and free markets, from Iraq to Iran and Saudi Arabia. Wolfowitz epitomised this view.” Wolfowitz “saw a liberated Iraq as both paradigm and linchpin for future interventions.” The 2003 invasion of Iraq began on March 19.

    Prior to the invasion, Wolfowitz actively championed it, as he later stated: “For reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason”.

    The job of finding WMD and providing justification for the attack would fall to the intelligence services, but, according to Kampfner, “Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz believed that, while the established security services had a role, they were too bureaucratic and too traditional in their thinking.” As a result “they set up what came to be known as the ‘cabal’, a cell of eight or nine analysts in a new Office of Special Plans (OSP) based in the U.S. Defense Department.” According to an unnamed Pentagon source quoted by Hersh, the OSP “was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States.”

    Within months of being set up, the OSP “rivaled both the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda.” Hersh explains that the OSP “relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi.” According to Kampfner, the CIA had ended its funding of the I.N.C. “in the mid-1990s when doubts were cast about Chalabi’s reliability.” Nevertheless “as the administration geared up for conflict with Saddam, Chalabi was welcomed in the inner sanctum of the Pentagon” under the auspices of the OSP, and “Wolfowitz did not see fit to challenge any of Chalabi’s information.” The actions of the OSP have led to accusation of the Bush administration “fixing intelligence to support policy” with the aim of influencing Congress in its use of the War Powers Act.

    Kampfner outlined Wolfowitz’s strategy for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which “envisaged the use of air support and the occupation of southern Iraq with ground troops, to install a new government run by Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress.” Wolfowitz believed that the operation would require minimal troop deployment, Hersh explains, because “any show of force would immediately trigger a revolt against Saddam within Iraq, and that it would quickly expand.” The financial expenditure would be kept low, Kampfner observes, if “under the plan American troops would seize the oil fields around Basra, in the South, and sell the oil to finance the opposition.”

    On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told the House Appropriations Committee that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq’s reconstruction after the Iraq war; he testified his “rough recollection” was: “The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but … We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

    By October of that year, “Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said ‘prewar estimates that may be borne out in fact are likelier to be more lucky than smart.’ [He] added that earlier estimates and statements by Mr. Wolfowitz and others ‘oozed with uncertainty.'” Di Rita’s comments came as a much less optimistic secret Pentagon study—which had been complete at the time of Wolfowitz’s testimony—was coming to public light, and when actual production results in Iraq were coinciding with those projected in the less optimistic Pentagon study.

    During Wolfowitz’s pre-war testimony before Congress, he dismissed General Eric K. Shinseki’s estimates of the size of the post war occupation force and estimated that fewer than 100,000 troops would be necessary in the war. Two days after Shinseki testified, Wolfowitz said to the House Budget Committee on February 27, 2003:

    “There has been a good deal of comment—some of it quite outlandish—about what our postwar requirements might be in Iraq. Some of the higher end predictions we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army—hard to imagine.”

    • Ray McGovern
      November 8, 2015 at 21:38

      Thanks, “Abe,”

      A very nice, accurate wrap-up; good supplement to my article.

      Always appreciate your comments.


    • Eddie
      November 9, 2015 at 00:47

      Thanks Abe — good historical summary of this debacle.
      In retrospect, I have to admit I still wonder why Cheney/Rumsfeld/et al didn’t find a way to plant some sort of biological or chemical weapons in Iraq shortly after the invasion began. After all, to people who are actively plotting an unprovoked invasion of another nation on the other side of the world, planting a few vials of stuff in a few labs in that country wouldn’t seem to be anything that would’ve presented any moral qualms to them. All I can think of is that logistically it was too dangerous… that the fear of exposure prevented them…

      • Ray McGovern
        November 9, 2015 at 02:13

        Thanks, Eddie.

        We VIPS did try to anticipate (and warn of) the possible “planting” of WMD. We certainly could not rule it out, so one of our most experienced colleagues, David MacMichael, did a paper that became VIPS Memo #5, dated April 24, 2003: “The Stakes in the Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

        As David indicated, we felt the odds less than even, but wanted to remind that there would have been ample precedent for such an operation.

        The VIPS memo can be retrieved at warisacrime.org/vips, which lists, with live links, all 38 such memos done since our first, on Feb. 5, 2003, the day of Powell’s speech at the UN.


      • Abe
        November 9, 2015 at 12:19

        Call it neo-con hubris, Ray.

        “A Clean Break”, if you will.

        They won’t allow their “New Strategy for Securing the Realm” to get waylaid by ein kleiner Punkt.

        “WMD? We ain’t got no WMD. We don’t need no WMD. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ WMD!”

        And as far as the Nulandistan project is concerned, “I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ satellite photos!”

        • ray
          November 9, 2015 at 12:29

          Thanks, Abe, for the highly interesting 8-minute LINK; I can’t tell which iron-ass is under the costume, though. :)) ray

  16. Abe
    November 8, 2015 at 18:18

    Lest we forget, Poppy’s American Odyssey included much of the same pack of white-collar thugs and pathological liars, including then U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney

    The U.S. and the U.N. gave several public justifications for involvement in the First Gulf War, the most prominent being the Iraqi violation of Kuwaiti territorial integrity.

    However, shortly before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, April Glaspie, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, had personally communicated to Saddam Hussein that America “took no position on these Arab affairs”.

    In addition, the U.S. justified its military actions as support for Saudi Arabia, a key supplier of oil.

    Shortly after the Iraqi invasion, Defense Secretary Cheney made the first of several visits to Saudi Arabia where King Fahd requested U.S. military assistance. During a speech in a special joint session of the U.S. Congress given on 11 September 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush summed up the reasons with the following remarks: “Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression.”

    The Pentagon stated that satellite photos showing a buildup of Iraqi forces along the border were this information’s source, but this was later alleged to be false. A reporter for the St. Petersburg Times acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images made at the time in question, which showed nothing but empty desert.

    Other justifications for foreign involvement included Iraq’s history of human rights abuses under Saddam. Iraq was also known to possess biological weapons and chemical weapons, which Saddam had used against Iranian troops during the Iran–Iraq War and against his own country’s Kurdish population in the Al-Anfal Campaign. Iraq was also known to have a nuclear weapons program, but the report about it from January 1991 was partially declassified by the CIA on 26 May 2001.

    Although there were human rights abuses committed in Kuwait by the invading Iraqi military, the alleged incidents which received most publicity in the U.S. were inventions of the public relations firm hired by the government of Kuwait to influence U.S. opinion in favor of military intervention. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the organization Citizens for a Free Kuwait was formed in the U.S. It hired the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for about $11 million, paid by Kuwait’s government.

    Among many other means of influencing U.S. opinion (distributing books on Iraqi atrocities to U.S. soldiers deployed in the region, ‘Free Kuwait’ T-shirts and speakers to college campuses, and dozens of video news releases to television stations), the firm arranged for an appearance before a group of members of the U.S. Congress in which a woman identifying herself as a nurse working in the Kuwait City hospital described Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of incubators and letting them die on the floor.

    The story was an influence in tipping both the public and Congress towards a war with Iraq: six Congressmen said the testimony was enough for them to support military action against Iraq and seven Senators referenced the testimony in debate. The Senate supported the military actions in a 52–47 vote. A year after the war, however, this allegation was revealed to be a fabrication. The woman who had testified was found to be a member of Kuwait’s Royal Family, in fact the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the U.S.[95] She hadn’t lived in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion.

    The details of the Hill & Knowlton public relations campaign, including the incubator testimony, were published in John R. MacArthur’s Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992), and came to wide public attention when an Op-ed by MacArthur was published in The New York Times. This prompted a reexamination by Amnesty International, which had originally promoted an account alleging even greater numbers of babies torn from incubators than the original fake testimony. After finding no evidence to support it, the organization issued a retraction. President Bush then repeated the incubator allegations on television.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    November 8, 2015 at 17:48

    What now comes to mind is that small violin,
    The one that’s so small that the head of a pin
    Might host an entire ensemble symphonic
    Complete with a Steinway and double-bass fiddle
    A metaphor tailored to paeans sardonic
    If I could remember that melody’s lyric,
    I’m sure “Hearts and Flowers” would answer the riddle.

    To say I’m bewildered may seem like sarcasm
    Credulity stretched may abridge quite a chasm
    But the Saints preserve sympathy for the untarnished
    By venal pursuits, the wanton and greedy need not apply.
    Seven are thought to be abomination
    Solomon listed both pride and deception-
    Plotting and sowing belong to the craft of a spy.

    Some may remember the Rodney King beating
    The details have faded but merit repeating.
    “Our system is just, and it works” he proclaimed,
    Poor Rodney was left with his brains fully scrambled.
    But this was not nearly the foulest transgression
    Murder and mayhem forged moral regression-
    The deeds of the son were first by the father preambled.

    There may be incredulous jaw-dropping gazes
    And many may doubt any redeeming praises
    Unauthorized texts do not seem panegyric,
    The crimes of the son are with irony fraught.
    A family legacy tainted with guile
    Can hardly pretend that the sons are less vile,
    When all that redeems is a father who never got caught.

  18. jaycee
    November 8, 2015 at 16:47

    Peter Dale Scott has established that Cheney and Rumsfeld played key roles in developing Continuity of Government policies through the 1990s, and then were in position to implement those policies on the morning of Sept 11, 2001. That was the death of the republic, and the precise birth of the empire after a decade or so of gestation. The Iraq War was the first big international play by the empire. It’s no surprise there was a Bush involved, as the senior Bush was there for the inception. Deep State forces were active trying to place senior Bush in the Presidency back in the Nixon era, and he played a Cheney-like role during the Reagan era (absent the overt thuggery). The Iraq War had establishment support across the board – Congress, media, Wall Street. Cheney and Rumsfeld played roles not unlike CEOs who are brought in to a company to oversee layoffs and asset stripping. They were the hatchet men for the Iraq War, but they didn’t deceive anyone in positions of power as everyone already knew what was going on.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 9, 2015 at 02:06

      Today’s comments are wise, smart, blunt, and poetically charming, but jaycee I latched on to yours being that you brought up that not often heard about program called, Continually of Government program. I believe H.W. had a hand in that, along with Cheney and Rumsfeld. Now, 41 has a problem with his governmental ex-associates. Is this the time and place to bring up Lee Atwater, and Carl Rove. H.W. himself was shocked to see who’s hands he was shaking, under the direction of Atwater/Rove, and their bringing in all the crazies they could. So, recently Herbert Walker was caught complaining about all the crazies there are now in the Grand Old Party. Does H.W. Read his own diary, or what ? He was part of the A team who pushed all this crap on yo the world.

      I have sometimes wondered what when through old Joe Kennedy’s head, as he had to resign to just being a spectator. Maybe, an out of office Truman or any other out of office president, is a worthwhile study. So, we will all need to pay special attention to these old buggers, as they grow older. Some say, that when Nixon used the term ‘that Bay of Pigs thing’, that he was referring to what happened in Dallas….hmmm! Do you think old Bush will tell us where all the missing trillions went from the Pentagon? I think the old guy, just feels bad for Jeb’s chances to get in the WH, and he believes some iron ass others took advantage of poor misguided George. At least the Bush’s will have something to talk about, at their family Thanksgiving dinner.

      Liked your comment

      • November 9, 2015 at 09:24

        Joe Tedesky…’pay attention to the old buggers’, you say?…yes, good advice- but watching Bill Clinton perched under the desk of Hillary’s Oral Office is NOT a pretty picture)…

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 9, 2015 at 09:59

          Like Poppy Bush, Bill and Hillary, can rewrite history, so they can place the blame for all their failures onto someone else. Please, no more visuals like you posted. Now, I’m having a nightmare while I’m awake.

        • dahoit
          November 9, 2015 at 15:37

          Nixon was most likely referring to the mob,the mafia or whatever its called.Cosa Nostra.
          Who ,of all the exiled by Communism people from Cuba,lost the most?Da mob.Lanski and whomever.Jack Rub(y)enstein was connected to that mob.

        • truth
          November 13, 2015 at 01:11

          – speaking of petty minds whose platform is the gutter ..

      • Carl-Einar Häckner
        November 11, 2015 at 03:12

        Have you heard about the Op-Ed Harry S. Truman wrote a few days after the shooting in Dallas?
        In it, he was critical of the operative powers the CIA had wrestled into its hands, as opposed, Truman argues, to its original charter, by which it would simply coordinate intelligence gathered from the NSA and DIA, among others.
        The retired, so they say, Allen Dulles visited Truman, trying to get him to retract the Op-Ed.

  19. Helen Marshall
    November 8, 2015 at 16:17

    Given that Bush 41 presided gleefully over the slaughter of Iraqi soldiers on the “Highway of Death” as they withdrew from Kuwait, he is not exactly an admirable character in our Middle East capers either.

  20. Hillary
    November 8, 2015 at 15:03

    Thank you Ray McGovern for a really excellent piece.

    President G.W.Bush said “you are either with us or against us” & the US Administration & M.S.M. shamed anyone that came out against it & basically called them unpatriotic.

    Can we imagine how petrified the innocent citizens of Iraq were on the night of “Shock & Awe” & nobody is held accountable

    • Truth
      November 13, 2015 at 01:05

      .. so true, so sickening.

  21. Gunther
    November 8, 2015 at 14:35

    The others “made” George W. invade a sovereign nation complete with torture as US policy. GHW Bush shows his utter sociopathic self right here, right now, justifying the sociopathy of little Georgie, all Bushes incapable of accepting responsibility for their actons. That’s a luxury all decent people have. The Bushes are not decent people.

  22. bfearn
    November 8, 2015 at 14:23

    Was the needless war in Iraq any more needless or based on more lies than the war in Vietnam?
    Have any more Americans been charged with Iraq war crimes than were charged with Vietnam war crimes?
    Is America a country that believes in the rule of law?

    • Dato
      November 8, 2015 at 15:01

      No, no, no.

      But certain Americans got Nobel Peace Prizes out of these wars.

      And now the wars of aggression go into Yemen, Syria – and maybe soon beyond.

  23. Pablo Diablo
    November 8, 2015 at 14:20

    Am I expected to believe that George H.W. had NO influence in Cheney being selected as Vice President? SERIOUSLY? Now that Jeb can’t seem to take his foot out of his own mouth regarding Iraq War, H.W. steps in to blame Cheney and Rumsfeld for controlling W. What bullshit. H.W. should be in prison (for Iran/Contra and many more atrocities) for war crimes. H.W. and Reagan set off the National Endowment for Democracy, appointed Bill Casey at CIA and he wants to forgive W. for being manipulated by the Neoconservatives? Iraq War served its purpose of driving oil prices through the roof, thus enriching H.W.’s friends in the oil industry and allowing the Saudi’s to greatly increase their purchases of USA weapons. Gotta keep the war machine well fed. A few people make money off of war (lots of money) whether they win or lose. WAKE UP AMERICA.

    • Bart
      November 8, 2015 at 15:00

      Your first sentence causes me to recall that Cheney was put in charge of recommending a VP candidate to Bush, and eventually concluded that his own name merited being at the top of the list.

  24. November 8, 2015 at 14:15

    “The clear and present danger of getting sucked into yet another quagmire or quicksand pool on false pretenses persists.” — this time, though, it might be a beastly mix of war and the triumph of multinational corporations through adoption of the troika of treaties masquerading as trade pacts which national sovereignty, local law, and even free speech: TPP, TTIP, and TISA.

    • Dato
      November 8, 2015 at 14:49

      I hear TTIP is only half as bad as feared now that the text has been leaked:


      We will see.

      Far more dangerous that a Russian-US-Turkey-Israeli shooting war starts over Syria or that Hillary blows up CVNs while showing off her “Tank Gurrrrlllll” credentials against China.

      • November 9, 2015 at 09:13

        Dato…A shooting war under Obama’s reign? Well one thing we can rely on …Barry Soetoro will find a reason not to engage…and will be too busy campaigning for Hillary, playing golf and preparing his legacy- as the ‘Presidential decay’ that rotted America…

        • Leo Kezo
          November 11, 2015 at 00:42

          yes, because there was no “decay” until he took office, as evidenced by the article that you obviously neglected to read.

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