Monday, November 28, 2005

Bunch O' Bushes and Lies....Maureen Farrell

Tired of Being Lied to? Modern History You Can't Afford to Ignore

Part II -- 1990- 2000

by Maureen Farrell

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
~ Albert Einstein

"Be loyal to your country always, and to the government only when it deserves it."
~ Mark Twain


* In Sept.1990, five months after Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait, the White House claims that satellite images prove that Iraqi troops are gathering at the Saudi border. The St. Petersburg Times acquires two commercial Soviet satellite images from the same vicinity, during the same time period, and discovers miles of empty desert. "It was a pretty serious fib," journalist Jean Heller says. "That [Iraqi buildup] was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn't exist."
* After Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm with ties to George H.W. Bush, is hired by the Citizens for a Free Kuwait to sell the looming war in Iraq, the perfect pitch comes in the form of an attractive young woman who tells a Congressional committee that she saw Iraqi soldiers take 15 Kuwaiti babies out of incubators only to leave them "on the cold floor to die." The woman is later revealed to be the 15-year-old daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the U.S.-- and hospital employees contend that the incubator incident never happened. Even so, President George H. W. Bush repeats the story several times during the lead-up to war, convincing lawmakers to authorize the use of force against Iraq. In 2002, as America teeters on the brink of yet another Gulf war, experts question senior officials' claims. "These are all the same people who were running [the war propaganda] more than 10 years ago," author John MacArthur says. "They'll make up just about anything ... to get their way." In an assessment later confirmed by the Downing Street memo, former US Rep. Lee Hamilton tells the Christian Science Monitor, "My concern in these situations, always, is that the intelligence that you get is driven by the policy, rather than the policy being driven by the intelligence."


* Five days after Congress authorizes the use of force in Iraq, the Gulf War begins. On Feb. 28, a cease-fire is declared and the Bush administration decides on a containment strategy that includes sanctions, U.N. inspections and no-fly zones. Richard Perle, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and other neoconservatives are not happy about the decision to keep Saddam Hussein in power, however, and six years later, Kristol co-founds the Washington-basked think tank, Project for the New American Century. (PNAC) Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz are listed among PNAC's supporters.
* The Rendon Group is hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Previously paid $100,000 a month by the Citizens for a Free Kuwait to help market the war, by the time the Gulf War ends, "perception management" expert John Rendon becomes, as James Bamford puts it, "Washington's leading salesman for regime change." In time, Rendon assembles the Iraqi National Congress, helps install Ahmed Chalabi as its leader, and becomes the INC's lead advisor and media guru, with considerable help from New York Times journalist Judith Miller. Between 2000 and 2004, the Pentagon awards the Rendon Group at least thirty-five contracts worth millions -- including a hefty contract three weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.


* "The Wolfowitz Doctrine," written by Pentagon analysts Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby, is leaked to the New York Times, creating a stir with plans for preemptive strikes and a go-it-alone military strategy. The document's aggressive and controversial recommendations are later removed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.
* 1992's "Ruby Ridge" incident and the federal government's 1993 intervention against the Branch Dividians in Waco cause people on the political right to question if America is turning into a police state. By the time Elian Gonzalez makes headlines in 1999, many are convinced -- even though most Americans support the Clinton administration's decision to return Elian to his father in Cuba. When Congress and the president intervene in the Terry Schiavo case in 2005, however, the far right sanctions government intervention -- even though 80% of Americans say the federal government should not become involved in citizens' private lives.
* Mother Jones raises questions about George W. Bush's Harken stock sale and ties to the notorious Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).


* Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf explains why the U.S. didn't unseat Saddam during the first Gulf War. "From the brief time that we did spend occupying Iraqi territory after the war, I am certain that had we taken all of Iraq, we would have been like the dinosaur in the tar pit -- we would still be there, and we, not the United Nations, would be bearing the costs of the occupation," he writes in his autobiography. Other "realists" later make similar observations.
* The
* World Trade Center is bombed, six are killed. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the mastermind of the attack, is later tried, convicted, and sentenced to 240 years in prison. In 1995, during the course of the investigation, the FBI uncovers "Project Bojinka," a terrorist plot which includes plans to hijack commercial airplanes and crash them into buildings. President Bill Clinton bombs Iraqi intelligence centers, in retaliation, he says, for Saddam Hussein's attempted assassination of President George H. W. Bush. Iraq's involvement in the assassination attempt is later called into question.


* A memo leaked from the Director of Resource Management for the Department of the Army discusses plans to "establish civilian prison camps on [military] installations," with Rep. Henry Gonzalez later admitting that there are "standby provisions" and "statutory emergency plans. . . whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism, apprehend, invoke the military, and arrest Americans and hold them in detention camps." Following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Sydney Morning Herald investigates these plans and author James Mann discloses a top secret program which could circumvent the Constitution in case of a national crisis. A Washington state county commissioner later says he has copy of documents indicating that his county has been pegged as a potential "concentration camp" location.
* During the "Republican Revolution," the GOP wins back control of Congress after 40 years. Predicated upon a promise to fight against "government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money," the movement fails to deliver. By 2005, true conservatives rail against the Bush administration's "big government" policies.

1995: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is bombed, 168 people are killed. Timothy McVeigh is later found guilty and executed. In April, 2005, in response to persistent rumors that Iraq was behind the Oklahoma City bombing, FOX News anchor John Gibson speculates that McVeigh was wrongly executed, and that Bush invaded Iraq because he realized "that Iraq was behind a lot of the attacks on the U.S. and it was time for it to stop." Aside from mentioning a book by Jayna Davis and a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma bombing victims' family members, Gibson offers no proof that Iraq was behind "a lot of the attacks." Others on FOX also cover this story, but when Stanley Hilton, a former aid to Sen. Bob Dole, files a $7 billion class action suit against top government officials on behalf of Sept 11 family members, he and his "ridiculous lawsuit" are attacked on FOX's Hannity and Colmes.


* In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress passes the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the first of three pieces of controversial anti-terrorism pieces of legislation which trouble civil libertarians. In response to this legislation, the Nation calls President Bill Clinton a "serial violator of the Bill of Rights."
* Pakistani terrorist Abdul Hakim Murad tells U.S. federal agents that he was learning to fly a plane so that he could crash into CIA headquarters.
* The Pentagon releases training manuals from the U.S. Army School of Americas (SOA) located in Fort Benning, Georgia. SOA alumni (including Manuel Noriega) are schooled in execution and torture, and participate in some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. Though the name of the school is later changed, the "terrorist training" remains the same -- with SOA graduates reportedly fighting in the "dirty war" in Colombia.
* The cover of the Dec. 1 edition of Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard declares, "Saddam Must Go: A How-to Guide" and contains articles written by Zalmay M. Khalilzad (who later becomes White House envoy to the Iraqi opposition) and Paul Wolfowitz.


* Power Geyser, a secret counterterrorism program using Special Operation commandos inside the U.S. is created. Such "extra-legal missions" call into question the future of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from being used to police U.S. citizens.
* Members of Afghanistan's Taliban travel to Texas to meet with Unocal officials to discuss plans to construct a gas pipeline across Afghanistan. Two months later, a Unocal official testifies before Congress, saying that construction of their proposed pipeline cannot begin "until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place." Following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, President Harmid Karzai (who previously worked for Unocal) signs a deal to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.
* The Florida legislature passes a reform law designed to eliminate registration of ineligible voters. In 1998, Florida's secretary of state hires lone bidder Database Technologies (DBT) to remove ineligible voters, paying $4.3 million for a task that cost $5,700 beforehand. Between May 1999 and Nov. 2000, Secretary of State Katherine Harris and her predecessor (who are both proteges of Governor Jeb Bush) order 57,700 "ex-felons" to be removed from voter rolls. An inordinate number of those "scrubbed" are not actually felons.


* PNAC writes a letter to President Bill Clinton and Republican leaders in Congress asking for "the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power." Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, William Kristol, Zalmay Khalilzad, Richard Armitage and eleven others sign the memo.
* President Clinton contemplates action against Iraq, but Republican Senator Arlen Specter reminds him to respect the Constitution. "Bomber and missile strikes constitute acts of war," he writes in a letter to the president. "Only Congress has the constitutional prerogative to authorize war." In 2002, White House lawyers contend that President Bush can preemptively attack Iraq without Congressional approval.
* Paul Wolfowitz testifies before Congress, urging it to pass the Iraqi Liberation Act. Help the Iraqi people "remove him [Saddam Hussein] from power," Wolfowitz says, denying that the use of American force would be necessary. "The estimate that it would take a major invasion with U.S. ground forced seriously overestimates Saddam Hussein," he says. Later that year, President Bill Clinton signs the Act into law.
* U.S. intelligence reports that Osama bin Laden's "next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. airport and detonating it" with a second report explicitly warning against attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
* At a gathering at the Cato Institute, Dick Cheney underscores his distaste for sanctions against Iraq, Iran, Libya and other oil-rich countries. "The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States," he says. Though Cheney later calls Iran "the worlds' leading exporter of terror," as CEO and chairman of Halliburton, he lobbies to have economic sanctions against Tehran lifted.
* "George H.W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft co-author A World Transformed -- portions of which appear in Time under the heading, "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam." Saying that a "march into Baghdad" would force soldiers "to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war," which "could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater instability," Bush also says that if coalition forces had unseated Saddam, "the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."
* President Clinton orders a strike against Iraq, saying that "Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons." Scott Ritter later tells Buzzflash that by 1996-1997, "Iraq had been fundamentally disarmed, meaning that there was no chance of viable weapons of mass destruction existing in Iraq."


* President William Jefferson Clinton, after being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives is acquitted by the Senate of perjury and obstruction of justice. At the height of the impeachment, only 33 percent of Americans polled say they think Clinton should resign, while in 2005, 50 percent of those polled say that Bush should be impeached if he lied about Iraq. In addition to questions about American democracy, Clinton's impeachment shines a spotlight on the secretive Richard Mellon Scaife and the anti-Clinton Arkansas Project.
* Candidate George W. Bush makes his rumored "king-making" speech before the Council of National Policy, fueling speculation that, if elected, he will appoint anti-abortion-rights judges to the Supreme Court and take measures against gays and lesbians. Bush also meets with the Committee to Restore American Values, chaired by Left Behind co-author Timothy LaHaye -- foretelling a time when high-ranking government officials will consult Christian fundamentalists before setting policy and selecting Supreme Court nominees. "Whatever else it achieves, the presidential campaign of 2000 will be remembered as the time in American politics when the wall separating church and state began to collapse," the New York Times Magazine later asserts.
* The Library of Congress publishes a report saying that Al Qaeda "could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives. . . into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, or the White House."
* NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) begins running drills, simulating hijacked airliners crashing into buildings.
* Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, co chairs of the United States Commission on National Security, report that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers" as the result of a terrorist attack.


* British intelligence warns U.S. intelligence agencies of a plot to hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings.
* The 2000 GOP platform calls for "the removal of Saddam Hussein" as a way to promote "peace and stability in the Persian Gulf," and wags a finger at the Clinton administration for failing to coddle Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. In time, Chalabi's disinformation worms its way into the New York Times and into the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. Though Chalabi supplies false intelligence to the U.S. and is later accused of passing off top secret information to Iran, he is welcomed with open arms by Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and other Bush administration officials in 2005.
* Candidate George W. Bush makes a speech at Bob Jones University -- raising questions concerning just how "compassionate" he truly is; Questions regarding George W. Bush's National Guard's service arise and persist.
* During the 2000 presidential campaign, Cheney admits that though Halliburton conducted business with Iran and Libya, he held a "firm policy" against dealing with Iraq. In June, 2001, however, the Washington Post reports that "Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company."
* PNAC publishes "Rebuilding America's Defenses," outlining several "core missions" for the U.S. military, including to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars." This aggressive foreign policy will take years to come to fruition, unless, as the reports states, there is "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor." Thomas Freeman later explores how the neconservatives used 9/11 to advance their agenda. "Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. . .I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened," he says. Former Middle East envoy General Anthony Zinni tells 60 Minutes that "everybody I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do."
* The USS Cole is bombed in Yemen, in an attack masterminded by Osama bin Laden. Seventeen sailors are killed.
* After George W. Bush's brother assures him he's won Florida and his cousin declares him the winner on national TV, the 2000 presidential election raises serious questions about the health of our republic. The election is marked by scrubbed voter rolls, millions of lost votes and out-and-out thuggery.
* The Washington Post reports that "Something very strange happened on election night" in Volusia County, FL. Al Gore, it seems, was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000 at one point, but a half hour later, "Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters." America gets its first whiff of e-voting election fraud.
* Journalist Greg Palast uncovers the shameful Database Technologies voter roll purge in Florida, but the New York Times refuses to carry the story. A little more than three years later, when it's too late to do anything about it, the paper admits that something's rotten in the state of Florida. "In 2000, the American public saw in Katherine Harris's massive purge eligible voters in Florida, how easy it is for registered voters to lose their rights by bureaucratic fiat," the Times reports.
* The U.S. government publishes a 90 page study regarding Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness and "concludes that stress is likely a primary cause of illness in at least some Gulf War veterans." Veteran groups suspect a cover-up, with many experts believing that depleted uranium, which is used in US munitions, is the culprit. Dr. Doug Rokke, who headed the DU clean-up program for the U.S. Army in Iraq, speaks out against its use, despite repeated warnings by US military officials and subsequent threats and harassment.
* Al Gore concedes the presidential election after the Supreme Court installs George W. Bush President of the United States. Unsettling questions regarding the future of American democracy arise. "The people have not been heard. They will not be heard. And each of those uncounted ballots is a cry of reproach against the act of judicial arrogance that has now forever silenced them," laments.

End of Part II of a 3-Part Series.


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