Saturday, July 25, 2009

How the Bush Administration Tried to Cover Up Everything Including Mass Murder (Bush Family Triumphs)

Ever since the Bushes assumed the position (of power), the rules have been different for them. And they are a sure bet. From NPR's Fresh Air we learn about the massacre of hundreds (or thousands) of prisoners in Afghanistan in 2001. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Dr. Jennifer Leaning, Nathaniel Raymond and Dr. Nizam Peerwani of Physicians for Human Rights discuss with Terry Gross their investigation of the alleged massacre of hundreds or possibly thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners at Dasht-i-Leili in Afghanistan in December 2001. Nathaniel Raymond [Physicians for Human Rights]: Our consuming fear from day one, Terry, was that any evidence there was going to be removed and/or destroyed. We were also deeply concerned about witnesses who had spoken to journalists such as Newsweek, to the United Nations and to others and now sadly we know two things: One, we know that there is clear evidence — our forensic team documented [this] in 2008 — of tampering at the site. And we also have satellite imagery which shows that in 2006, less than a month approximately after we filed a Freedom of Information Act request in US federal court, there is one large hole present at the site and what appears to be a hydrolic excavator and a truck digging what becomes the second large trench that our forensic team found in 2008. But for me, and I want to make this very clear, the great tragedy in this case has been the loss of the witnesses. We now know through State Department documents we received through Freedom of Information Act request that at least four witnesses — innocent men who were bulldozer drivers and truck drivers — have been tortured, killed and disappeared.

Terry Gross: Nathaniel, your Freedom of Information Act files related to the mass grave — your request was made in June of 2006 — and I know you had a lot of trouble getting the Freedom of Information files, although you finally got them. What kind of trouble did you have?

NR: Well, the trouble that Physicians for Human Rights had was the Bush administration did not want to release any documents and so with the help of Ropes and Gray, a law firm in Washington, we were able to pressure them to release the documents and we started receiving them in 2008 and what we found was frankly jaw dropping.

In a November 2002 State Department intelligence report there was a body count and it was from a three-letter redacted intelligence source, which means we couldn’t see who was reporting it, but whoever was reporting it was identified by three letters [editor’s wild guess: possibly a combination of the letters “C”, “I” and “A”]. And this three-letter source said at least 1,500 to as many as 2,000 had died as part of the massacre.

And what we also learned, which was very hard for us at Physicians for Human Rights to see, is that the US government had confirmation that at least four witnesses had been tortured, killed and/or disappeared.

TG: What does it say to you that within these Freedom of Information Act files there was a source, whose name was redacted, who actually gave an estimated body count in this mass grave?

NR: Speaking with former Bush administration officials, that source was an agency. And we still do not have confirmation about what US intelligence agency that was, but it was absolutely outrageous. The fact that the US government would be saying there was no grounds for a US investigation, no grounds for security of the site, no grounds for protection of witnesses, but they had a body count for years, and they had clear evidence that people — innocent bystanders in this case — were being killed and they did nothing. [continued…]

To delve a little bit further back in "Bush History," we learn from Russ Baker's Family of Secrets that they mostly kept the secret wealth creation activities "all in the family." (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
It seemed there was always room at the table for contributors and friends. It wasn't just the occasional Billy Carter or Roger Clinton who regarded the White House as a winning lottery ticket. It was an entire clan that had built its political rhetoric around the need to curb government spending.
As if.

The dossier is thick. Back in 1985, while Poppy (GHWB) was Vice President, third son Neil Mallon Bush had become a director of the Silverado Savings and Loan. Soon he was embroiled in one of the biggest financial scandals in U.S. history - one that cost taxpayers about one billion dollars. In February 1993, a month after Poppy Bush left office, the World Trade Center was bombed. In the wake of that, an American firm with Kuwaiti backing got a contract to provide security to the buildings, and Poppy's fourth son, Marvin, joined the board, remaining until 2000. W.'s brother Jeb, the one Poppy and Barbara thought would rise highest, set up shop in Miami and established strong ties to the right-wing Cuban exile community. He was quickly brought under the wing of Armando Codina, a real estate developer and longtime political supporter of the family and its staunch backing of the Cuba embargo; Jeb got a 40-percent share of the real estate company's profits without investing in the firm. The duo were bailed out for a loan default with taxpayers footing the bill, in excess of $3 million.

Chump change (obviously).

With a Bush back in the White House, the process required a bit more subtlety. Neil Bush, brother of the "education president," backed by money from Kuwait and elsewhere, was busy selling educational software to the Saudis. William "Bucky" Bush, Poppy's younger brother and W.'s uncle, sat on the board of ESSI, a St. Louis-based firm that received multiple nobid contracts from the Pentagon. One was for equipment to help search for - and protect soldiers from - what turned out to be Iraq's nonexistent store of chemical and biological weapons. Friends of the family also got a piece of the taxpayer's dollar. Ernie Ladd, W.'s faithful buddy since his days supervising Bush's community service at Project PULL in inner-city Houston, started getting military contracts for spray-on plastic coating.

And then of course there was Poppy. After leaving the White House, he began accepting handouts from grateful past beneficiaries of one generation of Bushes and those hopeful for largesse from the next. In 1998, Poppy addressed an audience in Tokyo on behalf of telecom company Global Crossing and accepted stock in the soon-to-go-public corporation in lieu of his normal $100,000 overseas speaking fee. Within a year, that stock was worth $14.4 million.

Poppy also became an adviser to, and speechmaker for, the Carlyle Group, a secretive private equity firm that made its name buying low-valued defense contractors, using connections to secure government contracts, then selling the firms at huge profits. Poppy joined Carlyle in 1995 and earns between $80,000 and $100,000 per speech on its behalf. As a former president with access to CIA briefings, Poppy is an indispensable asset to Carlyle. "Imagine what a global enterprise, that does large amounts of business with arms contractors and foreign governments, could do with weekly CIA briefings," wrote business journalist Dan Briody, author of a book on the Carlyle Group.

Whether or not Carlyle was a direct beneficiary of inside information, the company's investors have made more than $6.6 billion of the Iraq War. Referring to the beginning of the war, Carlyle's chief investment officer said: "It's the best eighteen months we ever had. We made money and we made it fast."

Now, imagine Eisenhower going to work for one of the defense contractors from the World War II connections he had. Or even Reagan - publicly. Read Russ Baker's further account of the psychotic men (well paid psychotics) W. put at the top of FEMA before Katrina and how that inevitably led to the disastrous response to the worst natural catastrophe in New Orleans' history. And, yes, everything you were told about Brownie before was a lie (and not told about the Continuation of Government plan).

Why did Joe Allbaugh even want to run FEMA? In the first days of the Clinton-Bush transition . . . Allbaugh's name was bandied about in connection with a few positions, among them White House chief of staff. No one mentioned FEMA, but then another factor came into play: Allbaugh's close relationship with Dick Cheney, who saw FEMA's principal role less as helping Americans during an emergency than as maintaining White House control during one.

Few people realize that Joe Allbaugh even played a role in Dick Cheney's advance to the Vice Presidency. In 2000, while Allbaugh was W.'s presidential campaign manager, Cheney was brought in to help research the backgrounds of prospective running mates. When Cheney concluded that he himself was the ideal choice, the job of vetting Cheney's qualifications went to Allbaugh. . . . When the Cheneys moved into the Vice Presidential residence in 2001, the Allbaughs bought Cheney's town house in McLean, Virginia, for $690,000. And Cheney put Allbaugh onto his secretive energy task force.

. . . From the beginning, FEMA was seen as a vehicle of White House command and control, in times of war more than natural disasters.

. . . The Bush-Cheney view of FEMA was an almost pure expression of their underlying philosophy. For all their talk of limited government, Bush-Cheney did everything they could to expand the power and reach of the Presidency. Often, this took the form of curtailing basic rights long considered the people's last line of defense against tyranny. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the case of detainees, the abrogation of the Geneva Conventions on the rights of combatants, the illegal wiretapping, all supposedly instituted in response to 9/11, had in fact been discussed long before that attack. Natural disasters were a minor concern.

If you are thinking like I do from time to time, don't you start to wonder what else we might need to know about the people around Obama? Ignorance is not bliss. Suzan _______________


Dave Dubya said...

Ignorance is not bliss. Not for sentient beings, but it sure is comfortable when wrapped in right wing arrogance.

Suzan said...

You rock, Dave.

And after a tough day, I'm smiling for no reason at all except for you.

Thanks for your thoughts!


Beach Bum said...

Sentient beings? Can't remember the last time I met a sentient republican. They must all be hanging out with Bigfoot.

Suzan said...

You've nailed it again, BB.

Can't remember the last time I met a sentient republican.

It's been aeons.

Love ya,