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For the assholes who said it wasn't about oil a year ago

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
how can we justify an Iraq invasion... how can we justify an Iraq invasion...?

Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?
(CBS) A year ago, Paul O'Neill was fired from his job as George Bush's Treasury Secretary for disagreeing too many times with the president's policy on tax cuts.

Now, O'Neill - who is known for speaking his mind - talks for the first time about his two years inside the Bush administration. His story is the centerpiece of a new book being published this week about the way the Bush White House is run.

Entitled "The Price of Loyalty," the book by a former Wall Street Journal reporter draws on interviews with high-level officials who gave the author their personal accounts of meetings with the president, their notes and documents.

But the main source of the book was Paul O'Neill. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports. Paul O'Neill says he is going public because he thinks the Bush Administration has been too secretive about how decisions have been made.

Will this be seen as a “kiss-and-tell" book?

“I've come to believe that people will say damn near anything, so I'm sure somebody will say all of that and more,” says O’Neill, who was George Bush's top economic policy official.

In the book, O’Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate.

At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection," forcing top officials to act "on little more than hunches about what the president might think."

This is what O'Neill says happened at his first hour-long, one-on-one meeting with Mr. Bush: “I went in with a long list of things to talk about, and I thought to engage on and as the book says, I was surprised that it turned out me talking, and the president just listening … As I recall, it was mostly a monologue.”

He also says that President Bush was disengaged, at least on domestic issues, and that disturbed him. And he says that wasn't his experience when he worked as a top official under Presidents Nixon and Ford, or the way he ran things when he was chairman of Alcoa.

O'Neill readily agreed to tell his story to the book's author Ron Suskind – and he adds that he's taking no money for his part in the book.

Suskind says he interviewed hundreds of people for the book – including several cabinet members.

O'Neill is the only one who spoke on the record, but Suskind says that someone high up in the administration – Donald Rumsfeld - warned O’Neill not to do this book.

Was it a warning, or a threat?

“I don't think so. I think it was the White House concerned,” says Suskind. “Understandably, because O'Neill has spent extraordinary amounts of time with the president. They said, ‘This could really be the one moment where things are revealed.’"Not only did O'Neill give Suskind his time, he gave him 19,000 internal documents.

“Everything's there: Memoranda to the President, handwritten "thank you" notes, 100-page documents. Stuff that's sensitive,” says Suskind, adding that in some cases, it included transcripts of private, high-level National Security Council meetings. “You don’t get higher than that.”

And what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations.

“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”

As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.

"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’" says O’Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”

And that came up at this first meeting, says O’Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.

He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. “There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,’" adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001. Based on his interviews with O'Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth.

He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts," which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.

“It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions,” says Suskind. “On oil in Iraq.”

During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that."

“The thing that's most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said ‘X’ during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing ‘Y,’” says Suskind. “Not just saying ‘Y,’ but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election.”

The president had promised to cut taxes, and he did. Within six months of taking office, he pushed a trillion dollars worth of tax cuts through Congress.
But O'Neill thought it should have been the end. After 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, the budget deficit was growing. So at a meeting with the vice president after the mid-term elections in 2002, Suskind writes that O'Neill argued against a second round of tax cuts.

“Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand,” says Suskind. “He says, ‘You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.’ … O'Neill is speechless.”

”It was not just about not wanting the tax cut. It was about how to use the nation's resources to improve the condition of our society,” says O’Neill. “And I thought the weight of working on Social Security and fundamental tax reform was a lot more important than a tax reduction.”

Did he think it was irresponsible? “Well, it's for sure not what I would have done,” says O’Neill.

The former treasury secretary accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of not being an honest broker, but, with a handful of others, part of "a praetorian guard that encircled the president" to block out contrary views. "This is the way Dick likes it," says O’Neill. Meanwhile, the White House was losing patience with O'Neill. He was becoming known for a series of off-the-cuff remarks his critics called gaffes. One of them sent the dollar into a nosedive and required major damage control.

Twice during stock market meltdowns, O'Neill was not available to the president: He was out of the country - one time on a trip to Africa with the Irish rock star Bono.

“Africa made an enormous splash. It was like a road show,” says Suskind. “He comes back and the president says to him at a meeting, ‘You know, you're getting quite a cult following.’ And it clearly was not a joke. And it was not said in jest.”

Suskind writes that the relationship grew tenser and that the president even took a jab at O'Neill in public, at an economic forum in Texas.

The two men were never close. And O'Neill was not amused when Mr. Bush began calling him "The Big O." He thought the president's habit of giving people nicknames was a form of bullying. Everything came to a head for O'Neill at a November 2002 meeting at the White House of the economic team.

“It's a huge meeting. You got Dick Cheney from the, you know, secure location on the video. The President is there,” says Suskind, who was given a nearly verbatim transcript by someone who attended the meeting.

He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

“He asks, ‘Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again,’” says Suskind.

“He says, ‘Didn’t we already, why are we doing it again?’ Now, his advisers, they say, ‘Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response.’ And the president kind of goes, ‘OK.’ That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. ‘Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, ‘You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?’"

But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

“Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. ‘Stick to principle. Stick to principle.’ He says it over and over again,” says Suskind. “Don’t waver.”

In the end, the president didn't. And nine days after that meeting in which O'Neill made it clear he could not publicly support another tax cut, the vice president called and asked him to resign.

With the deficit now climbing towards $400 billion, O'Neill maintains he was in the right.

But look at the economy today.

“Yes, well, in the last quarter the growth rate was 8.2 percent. It was terrific,” says O’Neill. “I think the tax cut made a difference. But without the tax cut, we would have had 6 percent real growth, and the prospect of dealing with transformation of Social Security and fundamentally fixing the tax system. And to me, those were compelling competitors for, against more tax cuts.” While in the book O'Neill comes off as constantly appalled at Mr. Bush, he was surprised when Stahl told him she found his portrait of the president unflattering.

“Hmmm, you really think so,” asks O’Neill, who says he isn’t joking. “Well, I’ll be darned.”

“You're giving me the impression that you're just going to be stunned if they attack you for this book,” says Stahl to O’Neill. “And they're going to say, I predict, you know, it's sour grapes. He's getting back because he was fired.”
“I will be really disappointed if they react that way because I think they'll be hard put to,” says O’Neill.

Is he prepared for it?

“Well, I don't think I need to be because I can't imagine that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth,” says O’Neill. “Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about the book on Friday and said "The president is someone that leads and acts decisively on our biggest priorities and that is exactly what he'll continue to do."

© MMIII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml
 

exheres

TRIBE Member
how about the assholes that said it was about the need to breed? I mean the world is in serious need of more people of less colour. I think this Iraq thing is working to bring about this positive social change. we get to kill a few more dark people and get some oil to boot. i mean where is the harm in that? and we got the nukes so if anybody whats to fuck wit us let emm....cause you all remember how we fucked up japan. blamo!:D

have a nice day!:) and smile more often when you fill up. 1,000, 000 liters pumped.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
I read about this yesterday! Great post Boss Hog. I hope this helps some of those on the right realize how they have been duped by their commander and thief.

At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection," forcing top officials to act "on little more than hunches about what the president might think."
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
I'm glad Paul O'Neill is getting as much press as he is for his book. Although it's too little too late, it will be more fuel for the democratic fire to burn the bush.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
From Counter Punch:

January 12, 2004

O'Neill's Revenge
The Curse of the Irish
By MIKE WHITNEY

Former Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O' Neill's appearance turned out to be significantly more illuminating than anyone could possibly have expected. Notwithstanding, his description of the President as a "disengaged" simpleton with the attention span of a preschooler, he provided a great deal of new information that could suggest future indictments. Take for example, the fact that O'Neill can produce documents to substantiate that the Administration had concrete plans to rebuild Iraq even prior to 9-11. With revelations like this, who can still cling to the sorry fable that Iraq posed a real threat to America's national security or, worse, that the invasion was a necessary component in the war on terror?

O' Neill's description of Bush give us the first real glimpse of how the President is coddled and manipulated by his two closest advisors, Cheney and Rove. His anecdote of how Bush resisted the second round of tax cuts, but was cajoled into "signing on" to accommodate his White House frat brothers, further amplifies the grim situation at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Bush emerges looking like a well-intended moron who is completely out of his depth, incapable of grasping the issues and unable to fend-off the menacing influences that surround him. Far from being the stalwart, decisive leader who operates on "gut instinct" ( a myth that pandering Bob Woodward tried to invent) Bush is appearing more and more like the empty suit that was predicted before the election.

The documentation that O' Neill provides is serious business. It verifies that at least 60 oil companies were colluding with government officials on the dividing up of Iraqi oil reserves even prior to 9-11. As many suspected, America's energy giants have been directly involved in writing policy from the very beginning. (Can anyone still doubt that the Calif. energy crisis was not manufactured in Cheney's office?) Once the decision to invade Iraq was made in America's board rooms, it probably took little effort enlist politicians to the cause. Undoubtedly, it took even less to enroll our cheerleading media, always "at-the- ready" to serve their corporate benefactors. (In the latest edition of Z Magazine, the details of how Iraqi oil revenues are being illegally diverted from the Central Bank of Iraq into the Federal Reserve, infers that the Fed was also involved in endorsing the plan to remove Saddam. The fact that the Fed is keeping interest rates artificially low indicates their tacit support of the policies of aggression)

All in all, the O'Neill appearance on 60 Minutes provided a fair amount of damning testimony against the current administration. It looks as though the number of groups and people that were either directly involved in the planning for the war, or privy to the plot to remove Saddam by force is truly staggering. It suggests that what took place among America's conservative elite may have been tantamount to "a vast right wing conspiracy".

Now, how foolish is that?

Mike Whitney can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com
http://www.counterpunch.com/whitney01122004.html
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Any war in a country that has large deposits of oil is about oil. Any war in a country that has diamonds is about diamonds and any war in a country that has gold is about gold.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
I know it's stating the obvious ditto, but the subtest here is the obvious has a funny way of making it's way to the mainstream media only after the war has beeen allowed to take place. We're just paying attention to how they pay attention.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
I remember this gung-ho republican at work I used to debate with told me that he read in Bush's autobiography that Bush likes to surround himself with advisors with differing views and that Bush wants to hear opposing views then makes his decisions from there. He doesn't like to read briefings and wants short concise advice from his advisors.

This could work if the decision maker was intelligent but an idiot like Bush with his C- average isn't someone I'd trust with these decisions. Plus it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Cheney pretty much ran the show and bullied Bush into whatever executive decisions he saw fit.

*c*
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Fair enough,


I just find it funny that if it wasn't turned into a logo or a banner ad at the bottom of the screen nobody thinks it happened. PBS was very honest in its coverage of the war, many of the same things we talked about they did inffact debate. In fact many of the things we are talking about did get on CNN as being from the mouth of the opposition to the war.

Much as I can't deny that people held anti war protests around the world neither can you. Obviously the message did get out to people, obviously the message was clear to people. Now if only 1/10th of the population believe us or act upon it maybe the media did represent the opinions of the Americans.


Let me point out a couple of other obvious factors.

1) Major military bases in Saudi Arabia were becoming a serious political liability after sept 11th.

- with so many of the hijackers coming from Saudi Arabia and so much of the argument being centered on the presence of American troupes in Saudi Arabia a new base was needed. Qatar was only a partial solution and Afghanistan is completely land locked. The US military needed a base of operations that they controlled much more directly and that they could control for a long period of time.

2) The 1991 embargo was going to come to an end.

- Regardless of WMD sooner or later the US was not going to be able to keep an entire fleet in the Persian Gulf. The UN resolution was not going to remain in effect like it had with Libya and the US couldn't enforce the restrictions themselves. Add to this the fact that they were really hurting the population and not causing the regime change that was wanted.

3) Without forces on the ground regime change was not likely

- Clinton bombed and fired missiles, it did nothing but strengthen them. Bush sr, tried embargoes and diplomacy and it didn't work to well either. To cause the government to change you needed to cause damage to the infrastructure that kept it in place, this was never going to be a short task.

4) Iran was a bigger problem than Iraq.

- The US felt it could create a justification for Iraq, but I argue that the military presence in Iraq is meant to have a bigger effect on Iran than anyone else. Its more than just an idle threat. Would Iran and Libya be as forth coming as they are being without seeing 100,000 troupes sitting in the region.


I'm not arguing that they didn't use the big stick approach. And inherently oil provides the revenue to recouped some of the losses. But from a military strategy point of view Iraq is a big gold mine. Airfields, a port in Kuwait and a direct land link for moving equipment and troupes. The ability to pull out of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ability to see an end to needing to keep a very large fleet in the Persian gulf. Major pressure on almost every middle eastern government, display of weapons for the sake of future sales.

I think the ass kicking that they intended to give had the beauty of bringing oil. But I would be shocked if Clinton didn't have a similar plan. And I would be shocked if Iran and Turkey don't have plans for the invasion of Iraq. I fully expect that the US and Britain have invasion plans for every single nation with oil, they have to. I would also expect that the invasions of Panama and Egypt are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
 
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AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by KickIT
Plus it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Cheney pretty much ran the show and bullied Bush into whatever executive decisions he saw fit.
So would the situation have been different under a Gore presidency? Gore's running mate in 2000, Joseph Lieberman, is a big hawk on Iraq and supported Bush's decision to invade.
 

fleaflo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AdRiaN
So would the situation have been different under a Gore presidency? Gore's running mate in 2000, Joseph Lieberman, is a big hawk on Iraq and supported Bush's decision to invade.
Are you suggesting a theory of conspiracy?:eek:

P.S. Great title boss!
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Any war in a country that has large deposits of oil is about oil. Any war in a country that has diamonds is about diamonds and any war in a country that has gold is about gold.


 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Fair enough,


I just find it funny that if it wasn't turned into a logo or a banner ad at the bottom of the screen nobody thinks it happened. PBS was very honest in its coverage of the war, many of the same things we talked about they did inffact debate. In fact many of the things we are talking about did get on CNN as being from the mouth of the opposition to the war.

Much as I can't deny that people held anti war protests around the world neither can you. Obviously the message did get out to people, obviously the message was clear to people. Now if only 1/10th of the population believe us or act upon it maybe the media did represent the opinions of the Americans.


Let me point out a couple of other obvious factors.

1) Major military bases in Saudi Arabia were becoming a serious political liability after sept 11th.

- with so many of the hijackers coming from Saudi Arabia and so much of the argument being centered on the presence of American troupes in Saudi Arabia a new base was needed. Qatar was only a partial solution and Afghanistan is completely land locked. The US military needed a base of operations that they controlled much more directly and that they could control for a long period of time.

2) The 1991 embargo was going to come to an end.

- Regardless of WMD sooner or later the US was not going to be able to keep an entire fleet in the Persian Gulf. The UN resolution was not going to remain in effect like it had with Libya and the US couldn't enforce the restrictions themselves. Add to this the fact that they were really hurting the population and not causing the regime change that was wanted.

3) Without forces on the ground regime change was not likely

- Clinton bombed and fired missiles, it did nothing but strengthen them. Bush sr, tried embargoes and diplomacy and it didn't work to well either. To cause the government to change you needed to cause damage to the infrastructure that kept it in place, this was never going to be a short task.

4) Iran was a bigger problem than Iraq.

- The US felt it could create a justification for Iraq, but I argue that the military presence in Iraq is meant to have a bigger effect on Iran than anyone else. Its more than just an idle threat. Would Iran and Libya be as forth coming as they are being without seeing 100,000 troupes sitting in the region.


I'm not arguing that they didn't use the big stick approach. And inherently oil provides the revenue to recouped some of the losses. But from a military strategy point of view Iraq is a big gold mine. Airfields, a port in Kuwait and a direct land link for moving equipment and troupes. The ability to pull out of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ability to see an end to needing to keep a very large fleet in the Persian gulf. Major pressure on almost every middle eastern government, display of weapons for the sake of future sales.

I think the ass kicking that they intended to give had the beauty of bringing oil. But I would be shocked if Clinton didn't have a similar plan. And I would be shocked if Iran and Turkey don't have plans for the invasion of Iraq. I fully expect that the US and Britain have invasion plans for every single nation with oil, they have to. I would also expect that the invasions of Panama and Egypt are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.



There are too many geo-strategic & geo-political nuances of that region to list as reasons. The region known to foreign policy theorists as the 'middle east Balkans' has for centuries been the coveted prize of all empires & nations.. this latest jaunt is just the US taking advantage of their place in the world, and making a run for it. I'd also like to add the region's role as a major shipping bottleneck of the world -one of the catalyst's for the 6 day war in 67 which is a real grievance for Arab/US hostilities.

All the points of concern you list you list Ditto, are tied almost directly to western intervention in the region. So at what point do we realize that placing band-aids atop of band-aids will only eventually lead to a rupture of the wound. Big deal is Clinton had the same plan for the region, it just shows the western short sightedness in their plan implementation. It's as if their 8 year stretch is the absolute limit for the plan to created & then executed.

Your points..

1) Major military bases in Saudi Arabia were becoming a serious political liability after sept 11th.

- Why were there military bases in Saudi Arabia? Because the U.S. had little genuine allies in the region. Iran used to be a major ally but only as long as they kept The Shaw propped up. Turkey is kept alive as an ally with military aid despite the majority of their population as being anti-American. If Saudi Arabia was a real ally (not just one kept friendly with the arms/oil money cycle) then there would be no hostility, and no 9/11. After 9/11 don't you think the smarter move would be to create genuine allies in the region instead of switching to an escalated plan of control? Band-Aid #1 that will come back to bite them in the ass.

2) The 1991 embargo was going to come to an end.

- The 1991 sanctions could have come to an end without resorting to war. The US & UK had many opportunities to do so without losing face. The problem is they didn't and wouldn't because they considered Iraq not as a threat, but as a wild card, as a 'Cuba' of the region that would present an example of an oil rich nation that would begin to detach itself from US control changing international oil sale currencies to something other than USD, and looking towards Asian industrialization, Eurasian development as a source of future oil sale. Of course, like any good imperial power, the US has to halt the development of underdeveloped regions in order to keep it's own asset's & interests valuable, Iraq has a key, yet secondary role to play in the development of that story so the sanctions stayed. Band-Aid #2 that will come back to bite them in the ass.

3) Without forces on the ground regime change was not likely

- Yea, we all saw how the US encouraged the overthrow of Saddam then stood by while he slaughtered his own people who rose up. The deal is though they could have succeeded with support. It was likely, just like the US can make it likely in a thousand other places where they 'changed regimes from within'. I'm not saying that's the perfect solution, but it was certainly better than the can of worms opened up now innit? For once they had a chance to apply their signature style of 'foreign policy' to benefit the people of a country, but they realized that they would rather have an iron fisted junta ruling Iraq than have 4 or 5 different secular groups essentially resuming the national determination of their people and tearing apart the border defined by the British after WW1. Letting go of Iraq to it's people was too risky in the sense that any nationalized country in that region could possibly revolt against the west and isolate themselves from it, but another possibility and actual probability would have been that the US would have ended up in a much better & much needed diplomatic position with the secular groups and the region as a whole, and could have begun a process which would have mended relations between the US & Arab nationalists. But they chose the way of greed, and essentially picked the first route so they could keep the country dormant until they could find a way to seize control of it -a plan finalized earlier this year. Band-Aid #3 and lost opportunity that will come back to bite them in the ass.

5) Iran was a bigger problem than Iraq.

- Wha happen! Iran used to be one of the US's strongest ally, and now they are the biggest threat in the region? Could it be their value as a real ally was a sham created by them overthrowing a democratically elected leader in the early 50's? Look at Iran now, part of the 'Axis of evil', and official thorn in the US's geostrategic side. Who's the foreign policy genius that came up with this plan.. oh yea.. Eisenhower, then LBJ, then Nixon, then Carter.. the only one that approached Iran with any real sense of pragmatism was Kennedy, who urged that the Shaw implement social reforms & political freedoms if it was to expect aid from the US. The Shaw grudgingly began to comply, then to the delight of The Saw and probably many others, Jack was assassinated. So much for implementing a real long term strategic policy. The only reason that Iran is ruled by an Iron fisted anti-western clerical oligarchy is because they were given credibility by the anti-US sentiment created by the installation of the Shaw and his brutal repression of political freedoms. It was a stupid opportunity missed by the Iranian people, but one that can be attributed to the rule of choosing the lesser of two evils. The US is still continuing this as the policy of choice for the region. I don’t know who’s advising them (well yea I do) but they are fucking morons for keeping with this status-quo. Band-Aid #5 that is now biting them in the ass.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
So how long do you think it'll be before the Whitehouse launches its credibility assault on O'Neill? I'm sure they're digging high and low for dirt to discredit his statements. Politicing at its finest.

*c*
 
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OTIS

TRIBE Member
Yeap, but he's already recognized the Whitehouse's disposition to dig up dirt rather than face charges and he argued he couldn't give a shit cuz simply put, he's Rich.

hahah.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Bush admits seeking regime change


TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - George W. Bush has acknowledged he came to power seeking "regime change" in Iraq, as a burgeoning controversy over a series of tell-all revelations by his former treasury secretary followed him to Mexico.

Bush and his officials sought over three days to discredit Paul O'Neill, and the treasury department yesterday announced it was seeking a probe of how he got what they called a classified national security document, used as a prop when O'Neill was interviewed on the CBS program 60 Minutes.

O'Neill described Bush at cabinet meetings as "a blind man in a room full of deaf people."

Bush got a boost at home yesterday when the Supreme Court backed his administration in an important anti-terrorism case that pitted secret anti-terrorism operations against the public's right to know.

The top court, in declining to review a lower-court ruling, agreed that the federal justice department was within its rights when it refused to release the names of more than 700 people — most of them Arabs or Muslims — arrested for immigration violations in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

Speaking to reporters yesterday at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, Bush said his policy on Saddam Hussein was clear from the start and represented only a continuation of the policy set by Congress and his predecessor, president Bill Clinton.

But his response to the interviews by O'Neill and today's publication of a book based largely on O'Neill's recollections indicates the White House has been unsuccessful in putting out the fire created by a man turfed by Bush in 2002.

O'Neill has said Bush was telling his inner circle to find a way to oust Saddam long before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the former treasury secretary said he never saw any credible intelligence indicating the Iraqi leader had weapons of mass destruction.

Bush and his officials sought over the weekend to discredit O'Neill, but instead, the ousted treasury secretary seems to have successfully restarted the national debate over the tactics of the Bush administration in marketing the war to the American electorate in late 2002 and early 2003.

"The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear. Like the previous administration, we were for regime change," Bush said during a joint press conference with Mexican President Vicente Fox in Monterrey.

When he came to power, Bush said, the government was already enforcing "no-fly zones" over Iraq instituted by the Clinton administration.

"So we were fashioning policy along those lines," he said.

"And then, all of a sudden, Sept. 11 hit. And as the president of the United States, my most solemn obligation is to protect the security of the American people. To me that's the most solemn thing an American president, or any president, must do. And I took that duty very seriously."

The White House has not denied the central contention made by O'Neill: That the administration was already planning ways to invade Iraq and oust Saddam and the Sept. 11 attacks gave them that cover.

Bush has since conceded there was no link between Saddam and the Sept. 11 attacks and there has been no proven ties between the deposed Iraqi leader and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

Two other claims the Bush administration used to justify the war, that Saddam was hiding weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat to the United States, have also never been proven.

O'Neill said Iraq was discussed at the first National Security Council meeting after Bush was inaugurated in January, 2001.

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," O'Neill told 60 Minutes.

The only discussion, O'Neill said, was "finding a way to do it."

O'Neill has given the interviews to promote The Price of Loyalty, by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind, to be published today.

O'Neill, fired in December, 2002, in a shakeup of the Bush economic team, provided the author 19,000 documents from his two years as treasury secretary. He says he is receiving no money from the book sales.

The treasury department has asked the Office of the Inspector General to look into how O'Neill got a document shown during the show, treasury spokesman Rob Nichols said yesterday.

"They showed a document that had a classification term on it, so we referred this today to the Office of Inspector General," Nichols said. "I'll be even more clear — the document as shown on 60 Minutes that said `secret.'"

On 60 Minutes, CBS journalist Lesley Stahl said O'Neill had acquired briefing materials involving Iraq. Suskind said: "There are memos. One of them, marked secret, says, `Plan for post-Saddam Iraq.'" A spokesman for 60 Minutes said a cover sheet of the briefing materials was shown.

"We don't have a secret document. We didn't show a secret document. We merely showed a cover sheet that alluded to such a document," CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco told Associated Press yesterday.

O'Neill said he wasn't worried about reprisals from the White House because he had lots of money and was at the stage of life where he could say what he wanted. "I can't imagine I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth," he said.

Additional articles by Tim Harper

http://www.torontostar.com/NASApp/c...804&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154


What a fucking joke. His most solemn duty is to protect the American people??? Why did he continue to sit in the classroom and go for a photo op while planes were hijacked? Why were no military planes ordered to intercept?

Fuck his lies become more and more transparent.

I want to see the August 6 memo.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
The only discussion, O'Neill said, was "finding a way to do it."


This comment right here should fuel the conspiracy fire for a while.

Personally, all this really is, is a field day for the press as they finally found an 'official source' they consider credible enough to attack the president with. I do remember that during the campaign for 2000 Bush was asked a few times about Saddam & Iraq to which he made it clear he wanted him out, or there was at least going to be a very hard line agaisnt him if elected. We all know how American media is effected by short-term & long term memory loss so reporting that with momentum is out of the question. Having this kind of guy come forward with this book was gold. He has basically given the press a urgently needed green light to shit all over the President without looking intentionally biased. It's sad that this is the way the press works, but that's 'professional' reporting in the U.S. for ya.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Mr Record says that by lumping together a host of threats - from the destruction of the al-Qaeda network to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction - the administration has set goals in the war which are unsustainable.

See and this is my biggest gripe! Bush should never have set clear objectives, as soon as he did this he left himself open to being measured and called a liar. It was political sucide.

If Bush had done this instead....


"Terrorism is born in nations where government is repressive, terrorism is born in nations where the police are used to terrorize its people, and where the schools are used to teach hate. Terrorism is born in the nations that allow them to train and fund them to act. Terrorism is the killing of politicians, its the hijacking of civilian airliners, its the undeclared acts of war aimed at civilian and military targets. And we will fight it on every front"

The US didn';t have to justify this to the world, when they realized they couldn't I think they should have ignored the world. The invasion of IRaq didn't require a coalition of the willing. The invasion of afghanistan didn't require NATO. By trying to find international acceptance of his actions all he did was made his country look like hypocrits and liars.

Give your reasons and excuses after the attack never justify in advance.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
It's the memo from August 6, 2001 when Bush was told of imminent terrorist attacks. What exactly the details of the memo are have not been disclosed, but it's quite possible he had details about Sept. 11 before it happened. They refuse to say anything about it.

At the very least, he WAS warned about terrorist attacks that day according to Condoleeza Rice, but only in a "very general sense".

Well, even a "very general" warning is still a warning. They said they never imagined aircraft being used as weapons, which is a complete lie because it has been documented that terrorists wanted to do this. They're hiding something.

So why the events of 9/11 played out the way they did is largely open to scrutiny, a scrutiny that hasn't been given yet.
 
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