by Michael W. Stowell – March 25, 2002
In an earnest effort to cloak the nakedness of both justice and law, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has covered two twelve foot statues in the atrium of a Justice Department building. The female figure, Spirit of Justice, is bare-breasted and her partner, Majesty of Law, is short on toga. In Ashcroft’s mind, both are indecent and unchristian.
THE BUILD-UP TO THE IRAQ WAR, INVASION AND OCCUPATION
More to unfold »»
Most Palestinians believe the United States conspired with Israel, withholding ‘peace envoy’ General Zinni until Israel completed its raids. Yasir Abed Rabbo, the Palestinian minister of information asks, “Was it an American-Israeli deal in order to give the Israelis the chance for a few days to occupy Ramallah?”
Palestinians also suspect that the Bush administration was again appearing to intervene in this conflict only to build support for an invasion of Iraq, just as it did before the invasion of Afghanistan. Tony Blair and George Bush are to hold a specially convened summit in April to finalize details of military action to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
But America’s thinking is flawed on two counts.
- Iraq has sought to embrace the Western model of economics and society.
- Hussein and Osama bin Laden are complete opposites in terms of ideology and motivation. They are natural enemies as opposed to secret allies.
When George Bush recently told Iraq to let in UN weapons inspectors or ‘suffer the consequences,’ Chalabi conveniently produced another ‘defector’. He alleged that Saddam planned to hide biological and chemical weapons.
I spent more than six years investigating the organizations the defector claimed to work for. Elements of his story ring true, but the details used to embellish his tale of weapons of mass destruction are either impossible to pin down or just plain wrong. The UN stopped using Chalabi’s information as the tenuous nature of his sources and his dubious motivations became clear. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the US.
If humanity continues to wage war to end all war, as in the Armageddon story, it will eventually doom itself to extinction and may extinguish all life on this Earth, our home.
WASHINGTON (WaPo) Nov. 20 — In February 2002, after a briefing on the status of the war in Afghanistan, the commanding officer Gen. Tommy Franks, told me the war was being compromised, as specialized personnel and equipment were being shifted from Afghanistan to prepare for the war in Iraq — a war more than a year away.
Most of the alleged intelligence came from Iraqi exiles or third countries [place a bet third countries are U.K. and Israel – Oui], all of which had an interest in the United States’ removing Hussein, by force if necessary.
The American people needed to know these reservations, and I requested that an unclassified, public version of the NIE be prepared. On Oct. 4, Tenet presented a 25-page document titled “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs“. It represented an unqualified case that Hussein possessed them, avoided a discussion of whether he had the will to use them and omitted the dissenting opinions contained in the classified version.
Its conclusions, such as “If Baghdad acquired sufficient weapons-grade fissile material from abroad, it could make a nuclear weapon within a year,” underscored the White House’s claim that exactly such material was being provided from Africa to Iraq.
From my advantaged position, I had earlier concluded that a war with Iraq would be a distraction from the successful and expeditious completion of our aims in Afghanistan. Now I had come to question whether the White House was telling the truth — or even had an interest in knowing the truth.
On Oct. 11, I voted no on the resolution to give the president authority to go to war against Iraq. I was able to apply caveat emptor. Most of my colleagues could not.
The writer is a former Democratic senator from Florida. He is currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Today’s News That’s Fit to Print
While the House wastes its and the American people’s time, let’s go deeper. Here’s some news that’s fit to print:
The best op-eds today are not so much about last night’s embarrassing shouting and parliamentary trickery in the House (WaPo and NYT), but about the deeper issues behind Bush’s maniacal rush into the Iraq war, the administration’s countless lies and manipulation of both intelligence and the CIA, and Bush’s utter incompetence in administering a war.
Today’s best include “White House plays chicken with a war hero,” written by the Boston Globe‘s Derrick Z. Jackson and Prof. Juan Cole’s “Straw Man Resolution in Congress: Joking around with the Lives of the Troops,” posted at his blog.
And tomorrow’s WaPo carries a must-read op-ed by former Florida senator Bob Graham who was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence “during the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the run-up to the Iraq war.”
Most of my colleagues voted “Yes” to stay in office and not be voted out by their constituents in November. Sacrificing more than 2,000 American lives and 16,000 diasabled men and women returning from the war of choice.
“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
1. Conspiracy Indictment Next?! – Josh Marshall TPM Agrees ¶ DoJ Press Release
2. Mr. X Is David Wurmser ME Advisor to VP Cheney ¶ Link to ISA John Bolton
3. White House Awaits Grand Jury News ¶ It’s Rove … Lawrence O’Donnell
4. DeLay :: Gotcha – Fingerprints et al! ¶ Abramoff & Bob Ney
5. Prosecutor Fitzgerald Zeroes In :: Cheney – CIA Feud!
6. CIRCLE CLOSED :: Neocons – AIPAC – Shill Reporter ¶ Laurie Mylroie – Benador Associates
7. As Time Evolves :: Neocon Think – A DEEP THROAT?
8. THIS IS MAJOR! ¶ Our Reichstag’s Fire
9. Israel and AIPAC Accused in Spy Case of Franklin, Pentagon Analyst
10. U.S. District Court Indictment Larry Franklin & AIPAC Directors
11. Judith Miller :: A Need To Know Basis
12. Judith Miller :: Libya – Gaddafi – Poindexter