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The 9/11 notes of Ari Fleischer

(Lawrence) Ari Fleischer is the former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, from January 2001 to July 2003. 13 years on from 9/11, Ari is tweeting the events of that day from his notes (start). [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 11, 2014 - 81 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

That’s when I lost my country

Three days late, The War Nerd looks back on 9/11 and mourns.
posted by clarknova on Sep 14, 2011 - 79 comments

If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.

"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 9, 2010 - 101 comments

Oral History of the Bush White House

Farewell to All That An illuminating and depressing Oral History of the Bush White House from Vanity Fair
posted by CunningLinguist on Dec 30, 2008 - 88 comments

The Downward Spiral

What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2008 - 29 comments

The Chain of Command in Coercive Interrogations

“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2008 - 76 comments

Bush's War

In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
posted by auralcoral on Mar 26, 2008 - 100 comments

Iraq was just the beginning.

Iraq was just the beginning. According to retired General Wesley Clark, a top-secret memo detailed a plan for “taking out” seven countries in five years, ending with Iran. [more inside]
posted by FeldBum on Oct 14, 2007 - 129 comments

The Illustrated Guide to GOP Scandals

The Illustrated Guide to GOP Scandals
posted by trinarian on May 14, 2007 - 44 comments

That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know.

Donald Rumsfeld, Revealed - Parts 1 and 2. A nice, brief historical roundup of the man who - in the words of John McCain - is "one of the worst secretaries of defense in history."
posted by nevercalm on Feb 20, 2007 - 40 comments

So if he sells weapons to Moqtada al-Sadr, will we have to call it "Gates-gate"?

Who is Robert M. Gates? At first glance, he seems a pretty good candidate for Donald Rumsfeld's replacement as Secretary of Defense. As a former director of the CIA, his experience and contacts in the State Department may help heal the bureaucratic rifts between State and the DoD that erupted in the wake of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. However, there was that small matter of the Iran-Contra affair . . .
posted by xthlc on Nov 8, 2006 - 51 comments

Partitioning Democracy

The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq. [NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
posted by digaman on Aug 9, 2006 - 63 comments

"Let him stay one second."

Newsfilter: Rumsfeld squirms (via).
posted by bardic on May 4, 2006 - 104 comments

Downgrading the Fourth Estate

Rollback. Media critic Jay Rosen rises above the McClellan/"shake-up" foofaraw to put several pieces of the puzzle together and show how the Bush administration has significantly altered the long-standing relationship of the press to the White House. (More from Rosen here.) Another piece that fits: Donald Rumsfeld's bold, frequent, and rarely-challenged assertions that the American press is being expertly "manipulated" by Al Qaeda "media committees" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by digaman on Apr 20, 2006 - 19 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Your Hosts, Lynndie and Charles, Welcome You to the New Interrogation Facility

Adieu, Abu Ghraib -- we hardly knew ye (classified, ya know.) In the wake of a damning Amnesty International report, military spokesperson Keir-Kevin Curry says the infamous Baghdad prison will be closed within three months, its occupants transferred to other facilities in Iraq, including Camp Cropper (and don't ask what's happening there , or the terrorists win.) Or is Curry's statement premature? And would the closing of Abu Ghraib represent a change of policy, or merely rebranding the same old same old to avoid bad associations?
posted by digaman on Mar 9, 2006 - 51 comments

A Presidency in Shadow

Notice: henceforth, the Minister of War shall address the people only through the Ministry of Truth. The story-behind-the-story of the Vice President's hunting mishap is the denigration of the MSMTM as the traditional proxy of the public interest, says NYU journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen. "It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is," Cheney told cherry-picked Fox "News" correspondent Brit Hume yesterday. GOP spokesperson Mary Matalin underlined the point by saying that Cheney considered holding a news conference, but that "would have meant a lot of grandstanding" by reporters; Donald Rumsfeld often goes even farther, claiming that terrorist organizations manipulate the American press directly through "media committees." Judging by the administration's contempt for the Fourth Estate, says Rosen, "The public visibility of the presidency itself is under revision. More of it lies in shadow all the time. Non-communication has become the standard procedure, not a breakdown in practice but the essence of it." Even arch-conservative pundits like George Will are starting to get nervous about the lack of check and balances under the current regime. There's no doubt that the White House press corps seems angrier these days -- but are they missing the bigger stories by focusing their wrath on Scott McClellan's birdshot spin?
posted by digaman on Feb 16, 2006 - 34 comments

Sticker Shock and Awe

Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
posted by digaman on Feb 3, 2006 - 112 comments

The moderate, conservative, and neoconservative estimates of the cost of the war on Iraq

What is the cost of the war on Iraq? [more inside]
posted by edverb on Jan 8, 2006 - 48 comments

Insulation in High Places

Bush in the Bubble. Newsweek's analysis of the man who is possibly "the most isolated president in modern history."
posted by digaman on Dec 13, 2005 - 47 comments

What kind of an idiot would call for an attack on our ally Qatar?

What kind of an idiot would call for an attack on our ally Qatar? Frank Gaffney Jr. did. He served as Reagan's former Undersecretary for Defense, is the President of the influential neocon Center for Security Policy, was a fellow member of the Project for the New American Century (along with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, etc.), and apparently serves an advisor to the Pentagon. He called for al-Jazeera to "be taken off the air, one way or another" six months before Bush's meeting with Blair, and clearly had the connections needed to put policy into action within the Bush administration.
posted by insomnia_lj on Nov 29, 2005 - 47 comments

Gulags, American-Style

The administration's latest innovation in its effort to export democracy: Soviet-style gulags, a network of secret C.I.A. prisons known as "black sites." [From the Washington Post]. Meanwhile, SecDef Rumsfeld says no thanks to the idea of U.N. inspectors talking to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2005 - 369 comments

"Mom, you're not going to like this."

"Mom, you're not going to like this." A mother of a U.S. soldier tells her son about the latest Iraq torture admissions, only to be told that his unit routinely beat and abused Iraqis. "...suppose you visit an Imam and you want him to call off IED attacks in his neighborhood. If you just go in and ask him politely, he'll tell you he'll try to help; but, he won't . . . But, if you go to that same guy and beat him up thoroughly, then ask him to knock off the attacks, he'll respect you and he'll try to help. . . ." The mother reports that her son was "under the impression that the conduct was in line with military policy."
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 6, 2005 - 172 comments

Bread and Circuses, 9/11 Style

You can't make this stuff up: Rumsfeld announces that the Bush administration is planning to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with an "America Supports You freedom walk" from the Pentagon saluting the troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by a show by "country music superstar" Clint Black at the National Mall. (Not to imply that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or anything...)
posted by digaman on Aug 10, 2005 - 136 comments

Judge orders Abu Ghraib videos, pictures released.

Judge orders Abu Ghraib videos, pictures released.... and all hell's gonna break loose.

To quote Sy Hersh:
"The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
posted by insomnia_lj on Jun 3, 2005 - 203 comments

Feith-Based Judgement

"Expertise is a very good thing, but it is not the same thing as sound judgment regarding strategy and policy. George W. Bush has more insight, because of his knowledge of human beings and his sense of history, about the motive force, the craving for freedom and participation in self-rule, than do many of the language experts and history experts and culture experts." -- From a fascinating profile of Douglas Feith, undersecretary of Defense, and one of the main architects of the war in Iraq. From the New Yorker.
posted by digaman on May 8, 2005 - 64 comments

ACLU seeks Sanchez perjury investigation.

ACLU seeks Sanchez perjury investigation. As a followup to yesterday's post, the ACLU has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Gonzales, requesting an investigation of Gen. Ricardo Sanchez for perjury before Congress. Sanchez is accused of lying about approving guidelines for the use of abusive interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib prison. Now, many of you might think that Gonzales might refuse this request and be done with it. However, the ACLU has the right to request a writ of mandamus, which would compel Gonzales to initiate an investigation. If Sanchez is investigated, will he be pressured to reveal the identity of those in the Pentagon / Bush administration (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Cheney, Cambone?!) who knew about and possibly ordered these policies?
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 31, 2005 - 28 comments

The Scandal's Growing Stain

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

The Not SO Willing And The Not So Able Plus Postwar Window Closing in Iraq

Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace The Bush administration planned well and won the war with minimal allied casualties. Now, according to interviews with dozens of administration officials, military leaders and independent analysts, missteps in the planning for the subsequent peace could threaten the lives of soldiers and drain U.S. resources indefinitely and cloud the victory itself. Lonely At The Top Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that he hoped to enlist as many as 30,000 troops from 49 nations. The problem, however, is that many of the recruits the Pentagon has tried to line up so far appear to fall into two categories: the not so willing and the not that able. Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty - The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel. Turning and turning in the widening gyre...
posted by y2karl on Jul 18, 2003 - 52 comments

Reporters vs. Bush administration vs. Saddam's regime

"Journalists" vs. The White House - MSNBC's Tom Curry reports on the Bush administration's frustration with the war coverage. Rumsfeld: “Fortunately... the American people have a very good center of gravity and can absorb and balance what they see and hear.”
posted by cinematique on Mar 28, 2003 - 9 comments

“President Bush’s case against Saddam Hussein ... relied on a slanted and sometimes entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government officials and analysts claimed yesterday.” Another article on the same subject says, “Rumsfeld’s recent remark that the United States has ‘bulletproof’ evidence of links between Al Qaeda and Hussein struck many in the intelligence community as an exaggerated assessment of the available evidence.” One paper explains the differences this way, “The C.I.A. has to maintain its credibility for objective estimates. The White House is mobilizing the public and preparing foreign nations for a potential American invasion of Iraq.”
posted by raaka on Oct 12, 2002 - 44 comments

I had trouble sleeping Saturday night because of a CNN story suggesting that "increased level of chatter and activity" indicated that "another al Qaeda terrorist operation could be in the works." The "warnings" have been coming ever since: Cheney said Sunday that future attacks were "almost a certainty" and FBI director Robert Mueller stated "we will not be able to stop it", with Ridge and Rumsfeld spinning similar tales today. Is there a new threat? Ridge hasn't changed the nation's security alert from "yellow," and AP reported today that "a top White House aide said last week's criticism prompted a two-pronged political response: Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue as his advisers reminded voters that America is still a target."
posted by tranquileye on May 21, 2002 - 57 comments

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