“Why are We Talking About This in the White House?”

Many of us knew that this truth would eventually be revealed. The following quote is from Dan Froomkin’s White House Watch blog on the Washington Post (4/10/08):

Top Bush aides, including Vice President Cheney, micromanaged the torture of terrorist suspects from the White House basement, according to an ABC News report aired last night.

Discussions were so detailed, ABC’s sources said, that some interrogation sessions were virtually choreographed by a White House advisory group. In addition to Cheney, the group included then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then-secretary of state Colin Powell, then-CIA director George Tenet and then-attorney general John Ashcroft.

At least one member of the club had some qualms. ABC reports that Ashcroft “was troubled by the discussions. He agreed with the general policy decision to allow aggressive tactics and had repeatedly advised that they were legal. But he argued that senior White House advisers should not be involved in the grim details of interrogations, sources said.

“According to a top official, Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: ‘Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.'”

Those at the highest levels in the administration, minus the president who was probably fishing, if only in his mind, were the core enablers of the interrogation decline into torture, the darkest side of humanity. Centuries and cultures throughout time have been called “dark ages” because of the acts of human against human. We talk, we read, but do we understand? Are we talking, reading and understanding now? These people, who should be of the highest calibre of our society have pulled us to the lowest moral point where the human being becomes an object to which we can do whatever we want. This should be a front page, screamingly huge headline on every paper, on every news channel. We should all be ashamed that these people continue in their decision-making and leadership roles. There are people recently who have been asking that Condoleeza Rice be the Vice Presidential candidate. She was there. She called the meetings as National Security Adviser. This is the kind of person you want as Vice President? There are many who call for impeachment. Why aren’t there more? Yes, George, “the buck stops here” sign was in the President’s office ! Oh yes, and as Mr. Rumsfeld so astutely put it, that was “a different time, . . . a different era . . . a different place . . . .”

Rumsfeld vs. Himself!

From the American Progress Action Fund's Progress Report:  347 Days and Counting:

DAILY GRILL

"QUESTION: You said you knew where they were.
RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were."
— Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 5/4/06, publicly confronted by a former CIA analyst over his Iraq WMD claims

VERSUS

"We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
— Rumsfeld, 3/30/03, on Iraq WMD

Bad Things Come in Threes

                                       danger.jpg

Wonder how we got into this mess?  You may have heard your grandmother say something like "bad things come in threes."  Well, Granny wasn't kidding.  Call them what you will, the threesome of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, but check out this article, "U.S. endorsed Iranian plans to build massive nuclear energy industry, Cheney Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz behind Iran Nuclear Program initiated during Ford Administration" on Global Research.Ca (Center for Research on Globalization) by Ed Haas. 

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford signed a directive that granted Iran the opportunity to purchase U.S. built reprocessing equipment and facilities designed to extract plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel.

When Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency in August 1974, the current Vice President of the United States, Richard B Cheney served on the transition team and later as Deputy Assistant to the President. In November 1975, he was named Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, a position he held throughout the remainder of the Ford Administration.[1]

In August 1974, the current Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld served as Chairman of the transition to the Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. He then became Chief of Staff of the White House and a member of the President's Cabinet (1974-1975)[2] and was the Ford Administration’s Secretary of Defense from 1975–1977.

The current President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under President Gerald Ford.[3] Wolfowitz is considered as a prominent architect of the Bush Doctrine, which has come to be identified with a policy that permits pre-emptive war against potential aggressors before they are capable of mounting attacks against the United States.

[1] The White House, Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/, [Accessed March 4, 2006]

[2] United States Department of Defense, Biography – Donald H. Rumsfeld, http://www.defenselink.mil/bios/rumsfeld.html, [Accessed March 4, 2006]

[3] Washington Post, Realism, Rewarded, George F. Will, May 12, 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/11/AR2005051101815.html, [Accessed March 4, 2006]

 And there we thought Gerald Ford's administration was dull!  Little did we realize that the boys were already setting things up.  They just needed a front man!  It would be interesting to count the "threes" we've had to deal with since the 2000 election.

 This is a lot like the Rumsfeld/Saddam connection that Julian Borger wrote about on Tuesday December 31, 2002 in The Guardian, titled "Rumsfeld 'offered help to Saddam'", "Declassified papers leave the White House hawk exposed over his role during the Iran-Iraq war." 

I could state the obvious, that here are two glaring examples of geopolitical hypocrisy, but I'm sure you are already there. 

Oh what a tangled web we weave,  when first we practise to deceive! 

–Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.   Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832)

Trying to Forget?

I watched “Chernobyl Legacy”, a photo essay, on Slate last week and was so disturbed that itnuclear-plant.jpg took a few days before I could deal with it enough to even send the link to my usual list. Posted on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, everyone should watch it; everyone should think about the direction our world is headed. Do we want to live and raise our children in a world where this is a continually increasing possibility for all of us? It doesn’t have to be this way. We can and must change the direction.

In Chernobyl where government and industrial corruption were the root causes of the poor construction, maintenance and operation of the nuclear plant that had the accident, the people will live with this for thousands of years. The length of time for which we have a recorded (written) history of our existence on the Earth would be only the first chapter in the book. We are all facing the possibility of this happening in our very own back yards. The next time it happens, however, may again be the result of a plant malfunction, it may come as a terrorist attack or it may be some government’s decision to use a tactical nuclear strike. In our world today either of the last two will probably result in retaliatory action which would also be nuclear in nature. Can you see it in your mind? Can you see how quickly we can destroy the world? One man’s decision can kill, maim and forever taint this world (as far as we in our current form are concerned).

There’s nothing I can do, you say, I certainly don’t have any nuclear weapons and wouldn’t use them if I did. True, but do you elect people who do and would? Think about it! What kind of people are you voting for? They have records and stated opinions as well as policy, check them out! We have a president in the United States right now that does have access to nuclear weapons and has put people in positions of power who will use them! There are people in the world who don’t care how many people they kill in their attempt to impose one ideology over another. If we create more nuclear venues on which terrorists can wreak havoc in unsecure environments we are simply inching closer and closer to the fire. I realize that engineering mushroom-cloud.gifand technology have progressed significantly since the Chernobyl incident. Is quality control in every part of the world at all phases of nuclear energy development at a high enough level to prevent another accident? What will your children and grandchildren look like? Will they be able to run, play, think and grow as you envision them or will they look like the children in the photo essay? Are we willing to take that chance? We are the only ones who can make this decision and deal with this problem. There are many questions that we must ask in the process.

More Generals

The President's reaffirmation of his full support of Donald Rumsfeld is to be expected from someone who regards loyalty more highly than qualifications.  Besides, it has been Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld who have been pulling Bush's strings and if he loses one of his handlers what would the puppet do?  The increasing number of statements by retired generals will hopefully alert at least some of the American public who admire the military to Rumsfeld's incompetence.  Maybe they'll figure out that the commander-in-chief has an arrogant twit for a Secretary of Defense who doesn't know jack about the real military.