Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.
September 25, 2007 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link.

PB. Me parece muy bien. Chirac conoce perfectamente la realidad. Sus servicios de inteligencia se lo han explicado. Los árabes le están transmitiendo a Chirac un mensaje muy claro: Sadam Hussein debe irse. El problema es que Chirac se cree Mister Arab

y en realidad les está haciendo la vida imposible. Pero yo no quiero tener ninguna rivalidad con Chirac.


(Bush: Chirac knows the reality perfectly. Your intelligence services have told it. The Arabs are sending a very clear message to Chirac--Saddam must go. The problem is that Chirac thinks he's Mister Arab and the reality is that he's in a dream world(?). But i don't want to have any rivalry with Chirac. )
posted by amberglow (46 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
PB. Yo prefiero el 10. Esto es como el juego de policía malo y policía bueno. A mí no me importa ser el policía malo y que Blair sea el bueno.

PA. ¿Es cierto que existe alguna posibilidad de que Sadam Hussein se exilie?

PB. Sí, existe esa posibilidad. Incluso de que sea asesinado.


Bush: I prefer the 10th. This is like good cop, bad cop. To me, it doesn't matter who is the bad cop and that Blair be the good cop.

Aznar: Is it true that there's a possibility for Saddam to be exiled?

Bush: Yes, it's a possbility. Also that he be assassinated.
posted by amberglow at 7:55 PM on September 25, 2007


Feb. 24, 2003--
The U.S., Britain, and Spain submit a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council that states that "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it in Resolution 1441," and that it is now time to authorize use of military force against the country.

France, Germany, and Russia submit an informal counter-resolution to the UN Security Council that states that inspections should be intensified and extended to ensure that there is "a real chance to the peaceful settlement of this crisis," and that "the military option should only be a last resort."

posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on September 25, 2007


This isn't really news, is it? Anyone paying attention after 9/11 knew we were headed to Iraq.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 PM on September 25, 2007


Seguramente esto...
posted by Poolio at 8:00 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Bush: Yes, it's a possbility. Also that he be assassinated.

If true, that would seem to be an admission of violating federal law:

On December 4, 1981, President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 on “United States Intelligence Activities.” Section 2.11 of the order provides: “Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” Section 2.12 of the order prohibits indirect participation in activities prohibited by the order, stating: “Indirect participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.” E.O. 12333 is still in force.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:03 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush: Esto es como la tortura china del agua. Tenemos que poner fin a ello.

Aznar: Estoy de acuerdo, pero sería bueno contar con el máximo número de gente posible. Ten un poco de paciencia.


Bush: This is like Chinese water torture. We have to be rid of him.

Aznar: I agree, but it will be better with the most people possible. Have a little patience.
posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on September 25, 2007


Blazecock - I'm almost positive that Bush issued an Executive Order that superseded the one you cited, although I don't know if that would've happened prior to this conversation taking place.
posted by Poolio at 8:08 PM on September 25, 2007


This isn't really news, is it? Anyone paying attention after 9/11 knew we were headed to Iraq.
It's not news, but it's their "behind closed doors" private conversations about how they would do it, and that they would do it with or without the UN, etc. Important for our future, i'd say, and for future court cases.

This kind of thing is usually not ever revealed, and certainly not by this administration. Call it evidence, call it source documents, call it evil ...
posted by amberglow at 8:09 PM on September 25, 2007


I'm almost positive that Bush issued an Executive Order that superseded the one you cited

That sounds about right. This asshole really is above the law.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:11 PM on September 25, 2007


and speaking of History, here's Bush: PB. A mí me guía un sentido histórico de la responsabilidad igual que a ti. Cuando dentro de unos años la Historia nos juzgue no quiero que la gente se pregunte por qué Bush, o Aznar, o Blair no hicieron frente a sus responsabilidades. Al final, lo que la gente quiere es gozar de libertad. Hace poco, en Rumania me recordaban el ejemplo de Ceausescu: bastó con que una mujer le llamara mentiroso para que todo el edificio represivo se viniera abajo. Es el poder incontenible de la libertad. Estoy convencido de que conseguiré la resolución.
Bush: I have a historical sense of the responsibility equal to yours. When History judges us I do not want people to wonder why Bush, or Aznar, or Blair did not face their responsibilities. In the end, people want to enjoy freedom. Recently, i was reminded in Rumania of Ceausescu: It was enough that a woman called him liar and the whole repressive structure came down. (???) It is the uncontrollable power of freedom. I am convinced that I will get the resolution.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


right after the assasination comment comes this: PB. Ninguna garantía. Es un ladrón, un terrorista, un criminal de guerra. Comparado con Sadam, Milosevic sería una Madre Teresa. Cuando entremos vamos a descubrir muchos más crímenes y le llevaremos al Tribunal Internacional de Justicia de La Haya. Sadam Hussein cree que ya se ha escapado. Cree que Francia y Alemania han detenido el proceso de sus responsabilidades.

Bush: Nothing's guaranteed. He's a thief, a terrorist, a war criminal. Compared to Saddam, Milosevic was Mother Teresa. When we go in, we'll discover many more crimes and we'll take him to The Hague (he's even lying to Aznar!!!). Saddam thinks he's already escaped. I think that France and Germany have evaded(?) their responsibilities.
posted by amberglow at 8:19 PM on September 25, 2007


Bush: Y si mi problema todavía no se ha solucionado, entonces nos moveremos en Irán en alrededor de otros cuatro años.

Aznar: ¿usted está dispuesto a ir eso lejos?

Bush: estoy dispuesto incluso a efectuar otro acontecimiento como 9/11 si tengo que.

Aznar: Soy seguro que ayudará a cubrirlo para arriba. ¿Pero cuánto del uniforme público realmente sabe que usted tiene un pene tan pequeño?


Bush: And if my problem has still not been solved by then, we will go into Iran in another four years.

Aznar: You are willing to go that far?

Bush: I am willing to stage another 9/11 event if I have to.

Aznar: I am sure that it will help to cover up your problem. But how much of the public even really knows you have such a small penis?
posted by flarbuse at 8:20 PM on September 25, 2007 [18 favorites]


flarbuse! stop! : >

PA. Lo único que me preocupa de ti es tu optimismo.

PB. Estoy optimista porque creo que estoy en lo cierto. Estoy en paz conmigo mismo.


Aznar: The only thing that worries me is your optimism.

Bush: I'm optimistic because i know that i'm in the right. I'm at peace with myself.
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


here's Babelfish if anyone wants to translate more (altho they do it weirdly and all stilted)
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on September 25, 2007


Bush: this sure is some mighty good, what do you folks call it . . . ?

Aznar: Flan.
posted by Mid at 8:39 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nice Flarbuse.

Who made these recordings and how were they made public?
posted by Skygazer at 8:47 PM on September 25, 2007


Bush and Aznar Joint Press Conference, February 22, 2003. (With nice ironic "Iraq: Denial and Deception" graphic.)

President Bush, March 16, 2003: "Tomorrow is the day that we will determine whether or not diplomacy can work...And it's been [Saddam Hussein's decision] to make all along as to whether or not there's the use of the military."

Washington Post, October 28, 2001, CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions:
Drawing on two classified legal memoranda, one written for President Bill Clinton in 1998 and one since the attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration has concluded that executive orders banning assassination do not prevent the president from lawfully singling out a terrorist for death by covert action.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:52 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who made these recordings and how were they made public?

el embajador de España en Washington, Javier Rupérez. Bush y Aznar mantuvieron, como parte del encuentro, una conversación telefónica a cuatro bandas con el primer ministro británico, Tony Blair, y el presidente del Gobierno italiano, Silvio Berlusconi.

El embajador Rupérez tradujo del inglés para Aznar y también del italiano para Condoleezza Rice; otras dos intérpretes hicieron su trabajo para Bush y sus colaboradores. Fue Rupérez quien se encargó de elaborar el acta-resumen de la conversación en un memorándum que ha permanecido secreto hasta hoy.


The Spanish Ambassador in DC, Rupérez.

...It was Rupérez that was in charge to transcribe(?) the conversation in a memorandum that has remained secret until today.
posted by amberglow at 8:53 PM on September 25, 2007


could The Hague get Aznar and the others over this?
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on September 25, 2007


Bush: ¿Usted encontró algo?
Aznar: Sí, mi señor.
Bush: (estudiando la imagen en la pantalla de la consola) que es él. Los rebeldes están allí.
Aznar: Mi señor, hay tan muchos uncharted establecimientos. Podía ser contrabandistas, él podía ser...
Bush: Ése es el sistema. Y soy seguro que Skywalker está con ellos. Fije su curso para el sistema de Hoth. General le vira, prepara los hombres.


BUSH: You found something?

AZNAR: Yes, my lord.

BUSH: (studying the image on the console screen) That's it. The Rebels are there.

AZNAR: My lord, there are so many uncharted settlements. It could be smugglers, it could be...

BUSH: That is the system. And I'm sure Skywalker is with them. Set your course for the Hoth system. General Veers, prepare you men.
posted by pompomtom at 9:02 PM on September 25, 2007 [12 favorites]


What a fucking savant! How come Bush is ten times as articulate in Spanish as he is in Texan? I keep expecting the transcript to continue:

PB: *no puede ayudarse* Tu madre tan gorda ...
posted by rob511 at 9:03 PM on September 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Actually, these news are bigger for the spanish than for americans, I expect.

Aznar: "Necesitamos que nos ayudéis con nuestra opinión pública. Lo que estamos haciendo es un cambio muy profundo para España y para los españoles. Estamos cambiando la política que el país había seguido en los últimos 200 años".

Aznar: "We need your help with our public opinion. What we are doing is a deep change for Spain and for the spanish people. We are changing the policy the country has been following for the past 200 years."

Considering the way the elections went after the invasion of Iraq and that anti-war Zapatero got elected as Spain's PM, I guess that help to manipulate the spanish public opinion was crappy. Or were the spin doctors too busy helping to get Bush elected a second time?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 9:05 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, these news are bigger for the spanish than for americans, I expect.

Sadly, for us, it can only serve as warning. They took impeachment "off the table", the fools.

I really wonder if The Hague can do anything--are there any cases about it all pending?
posted by amberglow at 9:11 PM on September 25, 2007


Babelfish??

Google translate's version. (Google translate)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:42 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]



Bush: I have a historical sense of the responsibility equal to yours. When History judges us I do not want people to wonder why Bush, or Aznar, or Blair did not face their responsibilities. In the end, people want to enjoy freedom. Recently, i was reminded in Rumania of Ceausescu: It was enough that a woman called him liar and the whole repressive structure came down. (???) It is the uncontrollable power of freedom. I am convinced that I will get the resolution.


This is actually pretty fundamental stuff. It's interesting that Bush had as much of an obsession as Clinton did with securing his place in history, even two years into his reign.
posted by nasreddin at 9:54 PM on September 25, 2007


"I like to to tell people when the final history is written on Iran Iraq, it will look like just a comma."
posted by Poolio at 10:01 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aznar: How is Tony?

Bush: Fine. He is worrying about his autobiography. He does not know what to call it.

Aznar: He should call it "I, Blair".

Bush: I will suggest it to him next time I see him.

posted by stammer at 10:13 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Did anyone listen to the audio clips? One of them was just of Aznar, and the other wouldn't load.
posted by strangeguitars at 10:58 PM on September 25, 2007


Bush: I'm optimistic because i know that i'm in the right.

And this sums up the entirety of the American political landscape over the last seven years.

"We know that we're right."

Thats it. No nuance, no careful consideration, no rethinking, no double checking..... just this gut-level "Uh, well, we're right. We've got this feeling, so we're gonna do it."

It makes so much sense now. You know, maybe the whole War-for-Oil thing really is wrong. Maybe its not a conspiracy. Maybe there was just some unthinking drive to "do whats right" which happened to include invading Iraq, and so they did it. Maybe it really is as simple as that.

Remember, folks: Guts are for digesting, not thinking.
posted by Avenger at 11:22 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Remember, folks: Guts are for digesting, not thinking.

Uh, ok. I feel it to be right. You know, in my cardiac muscle.
wait no that's my angina acting up again
posted by dreamsign at 11:39 PM on September 25, 2007


I'm neither an Aznar nor a Bush fanboy, but this leak stinks, because of its timing, its content and its medium.
Guys, the Spanish election campaign has already begun, and the Zapatero government is itself spinning like mad, dishing large amounts of pork and releasing damaging information about the conservatives. This whole transcript can only come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and its leak (to a rather Zapatero-friendly newspaper) is clearly calculated to cause maximum harm. However, the damage done to Spanish foreign relations is also going to be substantial: what foreign leader is going to speak confidentially to a Spanish government, if they'll have to fear that the next government will release the tapes for political gain?

You know who else leaked classified information in order to damage his political enemies?
posted by Skeptic at 12:10 AM on September 26, 2007


And actually, I hate to say this, but the transcript makes Bush look rather good. Horrendously deluded, but well-intentioned nonetheless. Aznar, on the other hand, seems simply out of his depth...
posted by Skeptic at 12:57 AM on September 26, 2007


what foreign leader is going to speak confidentially to a Spanish government, if they'll have to fear that the next government will release the tapes for political gain?

What if the tapes contain evidence of conspiracy to commit crimes? This is why we have whistleblower laws, for example.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:28 AM on September 26, 2007


What if the tapes contain evidence of conspiracy to commit crimes?

Then the government should have brought it to the courts right after having access to it, not leaked it to friendly media a few months before the next elections. Besides, I see no proof of a conspiracy to commit a crime in that transcript: on the contrary, it seems like Bush genuinely believed that Saddam had WMDs.
posted by Skeptic at 1:50 AM on September 26, 2007


Sometimes I wonder if the war in Iraq is just Jerry Bruckheimer redoing Don Quixote.

"I Know Who I Am, and Who I May Be, If I Choose"
posted by furtive at 5:30 AM on September 26, 2007


Besides, I see no proof of a conspiracy to commit a crime in that transcript: on the contrary, it seems like Bush genuinely believed that Saddam had WMDs.
There are already multiple other pieces of evidence that many people--including those who would know--told him and others that Saddam didn't--and clear evidence that they went with WMDs as a reason to invade because they thought that was the only thing that was scary enough to sell it successfully. Bush won't ever be on trial, and if this was calculated to destroy Aznar's party, too bad for them--they were onboard with this, and the lies about the Madrid bombing too, no? You participate in screwing over the whole world and destroying a country and killing so many, you should pay somehow. Maybe someday we'll actually punish those who committed this monstrous crime too?

I hope they have brought this to court.
posted by amberglow at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2007


"We know that we're right."

Thats it. No nuance, no careful consideration, no rethinking, no double checking..... just this gut-level "Uh, well, we're right. We've got this feeling, so we're gonna do it."


But note how Bush was even lying to Aznar about taking Saddam to The Hague--something he had no intention of ever ever ever doing. Aznar knew the case was weak--him and Blair and all the others knew that their people weren't buying it. And Bush needed the "cobertura política europea" desperately. This was a sales and strategy meeting.

Bush era consciente de las dificultades internas de Blair y no desconocía las de Aznar. ... "Necesitamos que nos ayudéis con nuestra opinión pública", pide Aznar. ... Aznar, pues, se ofrece a dar cobertura política europea a Bush, en unión con Blair.
posted by amberglow at 8:45 AM on September 26, 2007


Aznar, on the second audio clip from the first link:

"El régimen iraquí tiene armas de destrucción masiva. Pueden estar seguros todos de que estoy diciendo la verdad"

"The Iraq regime has weapons of mass destruction. You all can be sure I am telling the truth"

.
posted by radiobishop at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2007


I echo Skeptic's scepticism actually, saw Zapatero on TVE last week suggesting that public support for the PP would be severely dented soon.... didn't think he had this in the armoury though. Also Aznar was not the brightest of Spanish politicians, (but then who was? ((exclude Carrero Blanco from that)) They both come across ibetter in the transcripts thn I would ever have expected.
posted by Wilder at 12:11 PM on September 26, 2007


.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on September 26, 2007


I think we have more than enough evidence to launch a real investigation into Bush's lies to our country.

This is the latest of many exhibits to add to the pile.
posted by rougy at 10:02 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


and Pelosi only the other day again reaffirmed no impeachment--Pelosi: Democrats will hold Bush 'accountable,' despite inability to end war, unwillingness to impeach

it's bull, and they're not at all holding anyone accountable.
posted by amberglow at 9:58 AM on September 27, 2007


It finally was reported on CNN just now, but only about the exile thing.
posted by amberglow at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2007


and it came up at the WH Briefing too, without any kind of answer and more lies--calling it rumors, when it's Bush and Aznar themselves talking: ... Q If I can change topics, there's a -- about the history of the Iraq war here. There's a transcript in the Spanish newspaper, El País, that was said to be from a meeting between the President and the Spanish Prime Minister back in February 2003, in which, according to the tapes of this transcript of the conversations, Saddam Hussein offered to step down and go into exile one month before the invasion, and the President seemed to think that that was a realistic possibility at that time. Do you believe that this is an accurate transcript?

MS. PERINO: Well, without commenting on the details or talking about a private conversation between two world leaders and whether or not that happened, if you think back to that time, there were a lot of rumors. There were a lot of people floating ideas around about what may or may not happen. Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein decided to defy the international community. All diplomatic measures ran their course. And what we are focused on now is making sure that Iraq can be a government that can sustain and defend itself and make sure it's an ally in the war on terror for that region.

Q And one more thing on this. The President is quoted in this transcript saying, "No matter what happens, we'll be in Baghdad by the end of March." Three days after that meeting, Ari Fleischer was at a podium in this room, saying, "The President has not come to the conclusion that the inspections have reached a dead end." I'm wondering if you can --

MS. PERINO: I wasn't there for the private meeting that the President had with President Aznar. I don't know what Ari said. I do know where we are now, which is in a position of trying to make sure that the Iraqis have what they need in order to be a democratic force in the Middle East region. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2007


Slate: Learning From Bush's Mistakes: How a prewar conversation can help us pick the next president.
posted by amberglow at 10:44 PM on September 28, 2007


Chile confirms US trade threat in run-up to Iraq war
posted by amberglow at 11:01 PM on September 28, 2007


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