Middle East Failures Show Disastrous, Deceptive Bipartisan Policy

 

The U.S. foreign policy advocated by leaders of both major parties is experiencing serious setbacks in multiple nations, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Arlington National Cemetery Sebastian Fuss photo via flickrRecent military losses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen exemplify a joint Obama/Bush foreign policy disaster with no easy solutions.

Peace advocate Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who gave daily security briefings to two presidents, published a call to action this week in his column How to Honor Memorial Day, illustrated by the adjoining photo of Arlington National Cemetery (Sebastian Fuss photo via flickr).

Iraq deserves special attention because its rationale was controversial from the start. Authorities sold their policy to the public with doctored intelligence and other systematic deceptions, such as the claim that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) threatening the United States.

Of all the recent wars, Iraq created the greatest loss of both American lives and Iraqi civilian deaths. Additionally, the war has drained the U.S. treasury, destabilized the entire region, and has diminished U.S. and allied moral authority and other stature. President George W. Bush is shown in a file photo of his iconic "Mission Accomplished" photo shoot in 2003 aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln, a premature victory celebration.

George W. Bush U.S. Lincoln 2003Professor Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, last year published 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity. The former CBS 60 Minutes producer showed more than 900 deceptions used by the Bush administration to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq. In compelling fashion, he charted the war as part of a larger American decline that includes the foreign policy establishment and watchdog institutions.

As a political angle, Jeb Bush and other war-backers claim "mistakes were made" because of "faulty intelligence" and Democratic failures to send more U.S. fighting forces and arms to the region.

That's bogus and not just because war-mongers doctored the intelligence themselves to stifle the truth. Additionally, wars built on deception never should have been started or continued for so long, especially especially in league with despotic regimes with goals incompatible with America's ideals.

Yet thought-leaders in the nation's capital -- including both parties, academia, media and of course the "Beltway Bandits" that profit from war contracts -- are overwhelmingly in favor of interventions abroad and more arms supplies. Many seek also renewed deployment of troops and mercenaries recruited from former military personnel.

On the ground, a series of military disasters have unfolded, as illustrated by such Washington Post headlines as Fall of Ramadi raises new questions about U.S. strategy in Iraq and Militants storm upscale area in Kabul, describing an attack on Afghanistan's capital city as the latest chapter in the longest war in U.S. history, begun in 2001.

Obama's recently installed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made unusually harsh criticism Sunday of the Iraqis military, as reported in Defense chief: Iraqis showed ‘no will to fight, thereby creating animosity from the U.S.-installed puppet government there and illustrating the lack of policy options.

President Obama, Susan Rice, Joseph Dunford, Paul Selva, Ashton Carter, Joe Biden, May 5, 2015Carter is shown at center, at the left of President Obama, in the White House photo May 5. Others, left to right, are National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Gen. Paul J. Selva, and Vice President Joe Biden. They gathered in the Oval Office prior to the White House announcement of Dunford's nomination to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and that of Selva as deputy chief. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

The most dramatic setbacks for U.S. policy have been in Yemen, which Obama praised only last summer as a triumph of foreign policy because the U.S.-friendly government at the time permitted the United States to operate drone strikes throughout the region, including Yemen, Iraq and parts of Syria.

But rebel Houthis ousted the unelected leader of one of the world's poorest nations and have occupied an estimated third of the nation, including its capital and much of its most populous eastern areas.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda, enemies of the Houthis, have expanded their footprint to an estimated half of the country's land, including much of the desolate eastern.

A U.S.-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia then began in March a combined bombing campaign and United Nations-approved embargo. The embargo has cut off food and medical supplies for the most part, causing vast suffering, including civilian deaths and Americans trapped underneath horrendous bombing missions. But the Saudi bombers and their allies have gained few apparent military gains against the rebellious fighters, whose movement began in 2004 when a protest leader was killed. 

The Yemen situation has the makings of a political, military, humanitarian and public relations disaster, as illustrated by a recent column: With Saudi Arabia Faltering in Yemen, Power in the Region Has Begun To Swing East.

There are other such situations: Libya. The Ukraine’s civil war. And last year’s Israeli-Palestinian death tolls. These tragedies contradict official U.S. claims to performing peacekeeping protecting of human rights and democracy.

The oil-rich Gulf monarchies, most notably Saudi Arabia, are taking the lead increasingly in U.S. supported military actions. Saudi Arabia is Yemen’s neighbor to the north.

But the United States is the Dr. Frankenstein for the monstrous attacks on Yemen because the United States has for years trained and supplied the Saudi military. Americans current provide military support for the bombing and embargo, and political muscle at the United Nations.   

Beyond the humanitarian suffering, Al Qaeda now controls over half of Yemen’s land area according to most analysts, while the U.S. provides logistical support to a Saudi Arabian-led bombing of areas controlled by the Houthis, who are Yemen’s leading opponents of Al Qaeda.

The unprovoked war of aggressive would have been considered the most serious war crime of all, far beyond post-World War II Nuremberg standards.

The U.S.-designated chief prosecutor Robert Jackson, a Supreme Court justice and former U.S. attorney general, eloquently voiced that statement of principles as an enduring legacy that appears to have no applicability any longer, at least in relation to conduct by the United States and such allies as the Saudis.

Beyond such humanitarian and legal principles, the Yemen war highlights a seemingly ad hoc foreign policy whereby the United States picks sides in far-flung civil wars and governments based on seemingly short-term, selfish principles and not neutral principles in keeping with democratic ideals.

Yemen, in particular, suggests that the United States is guided primarily by loyalty to the Saudi regime because of its oligarchs’ wealth and not because they share any core values with Americans in terms of democracy and human rights.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders prepare to have a group photo with the President outside of the Laurel Cabin at the conclusion of a summit meeting at Camp David, Md., May 14, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)In particular, it is high time the United States public began to reexamine the full dimensions of its relationships with the Gulf monarchies, whose oil wealth has encouraged United States policy makers to embark on many wrongheaded decisions.

In the May 14 White House photo at left, President Barack Obama shakes hands with Kuwait Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah. The scene  was ceremonial photos with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders outside of Laurel Cabin at the conclusion of a summit meeting at Camp David, Maryland.

Who Is To Blame?

Most Washington commentary on these developments is mere partisan finger-pointing.

The Obama administration has argued that it has made the best of problems it inherited from the Bush administration’s wars created against Afghanistan in 2001 and against Iraq in 2003. Bush defenders argue that the military and political situations in both nations are far worse than when Bush left office in 2009 and that Obama has neglected to send enough military forces and supplies to crush governments of Syria and rebellious provinces of the Ukraine.

That partisan back-and-forth is a pointless distraction for the most part. Obama is a creature of the establishment who has relied for the most part on the same war-mongering experts as the Bush administration, albeit with less commitment of troops and more emphasis on drones.

Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters documents how his hidden roots were in the intelligence/banking/foundation world before he was presented to the world as a new kind of politician committed to the ideals of community organizing, constitutional law, and progressive principles.

Nonsense.

Led by Wall Street, the centrist Democratic establishment recruited and promoted Obama president in 2008, knowing that they needed a loyal servant in the White House after the public inevitably reacted against the excesses of President George W. Bush’s administration, particularly the wars and their economic toll.

President Obama with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Martin DempseyDespite his campaign for "change," Obama picked as first-term defense secretary longtime Republican loyalist Robert Gates, for example, a clear sign of who little would changes despite the transition of administrations and the partisan bickering that dominates the conventional news media, which are themselves owned by controller's of the nation's permanent government.

Democrat Leon Panetta succeeded Gates for two years, and then was followed by Republican Chuck Hagel (shown with the president and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey in a 2014 photo). Taking office this spring was Ashton Carter, a non-veteran career military wonk with wide support in both parties. 

Obama’s first CIA Director was Panetta, who was succeeded in the post by David Petraeus, the former Iraq “surge” commander and the hero of Republicans especially within the bipartisan pro-war foreign policy establishment dominating politics and commentary in the nation’s capital.

John Brennan, the current CIA director, is a career CIA officer who was station chief in Saudi Arabia during the Clinton administration and held high-ranking positions in the George W. Bush CIA before becoming Deputy National Security Advisor to Obama during the first term. Panetta, Hagel, the president, and Brennan are shown, left to right, in a 2013 White House photo portraying Obama's announcement of the Hagel and Brennan nominations.

Hagel, Brennan nomination

Obama has even relied upon Victoria Nuland, current U.S. ambassador to the United Nation’s and a member of the Kagan family that has been at the forefront of pro-invasion discourse for nearly two decades.

Nuland held ambassador rank during the Bush administration, later served as Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson at the Department of State. Nuland is famous for her “F___ the E.U.” comment caught on tape in February 2014 as she and a colleague discussed who should run the Ukraine after a U.S.-backed forthcoming coup against the elected government. 

Nuland’s husband is Robert Kagan, an author, Washington Post columnist and military interventionist who co-founded with National Review editor the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century.

Nuland’s brother-in-law is Frederick Kagan, another advocate for military interventions. The family business also includes the latter's wife, Kimberly Kagan, leader of a so-called "think tank" similarly arguing non-stop for more war and war spending. The family patriarch is retired Yale history professor Donald Kagan, father of Robert and Frederick.

In 1998, Robert Kagan, PNAC and such other war advocates as Donald Rumsfeld and Jeb Bush advocated in a Statement of Principles and a letter to President Clinton for removal of Iraq leader Saddam Hussein on the grounds that he threatened world peace.

In such ways, Obama’s administration is filled with “neo-liberals” and "neo-cons" groomed at the Petraeus-founded think tank for military affairs, The Center for a New American Security, and from the Hamilton Project, a unit of the Brookings Institution whose 2006 founding was led by Citigroup Chairman Robert Rubin.

Strobe TalbottThe public image is that the Brookings Institution, led by Strobe Talbot, a former roommate of Bill Clinton at Oxford University, is a “liberal’ alternative to the relentless militarist and free market advocacy by other major think tanks. It's really a question of degree, however.

On core advocacy for more war spending and less spending on domestic budgets, Talbot (shown in a file photo from his post in the Clinton administration State Department) has taken a lead among all think tank leaders in advocating for greater U.S. military involved in the Ukraine's civil war.

Similarly, its Rubin-fostered Hamilton Project has been a powerful force in seeking more austerity for the American public to help pay the bills for war and otherwise reduce the deficit.  

Business As Usual?

Almost totally lost in recent news and opinion coverage is that a vigorous debate once existed in the U.S. media over whether Osama bin Laden, who required kidney dialysis not possible for a cave-dweller or fugitive, died in late 2001, as reported by a number of foreign and U.S. media and intelligence analysts.

Thus, commentators freely opined (at least until the run-up of the war in Iraq) that videos were fabrications when they purported to show "bin Laden" assuming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Author David Ray Griffin made the case for bin Laden's death in 2001 in Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive? The 2009 book analyzed major news accounts and videos.

The potential motives for a propaganda campaign coordinated between British and U.S. authorities? First, the Bush administration used bin Laden's purported guilt and fugitive status to justify wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Obama administration, heavily dominated by neo-liberals and embedded neo-conservatives, continued that practice and then upped the ante to claim credit for killing "bin Laden" in 2011.

More currently, Washington and its craven media have presented a disgraceful sideshow whereby long-ago advocates of the Iraq war are trying to shift the blame either onto "mistaken" intelligence or onto those who advocated phasing down war operations that have made so much money for the powerful "defense" lobby. GOP presidential contenders Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have been in the forefront of those partisan claims, easily debunked by such columns as David Corn's Jeb Bush says his brother was misled into war by faulty intelligence. That’s not what happened.

More subtle is the approach by Michael Morell, a 33-year career CIA officer whose responsibilities included the daily national security briefing to President George W. Bush, including a period before the Iraq war. The Justice Integrity Project had an opportunity to question and photograph him (as shown at right) during his news conference at the National Press Club May 18, 2015.

Michael Morell, former deputy CIA director, Andrew Kreig Photo May 18, 2015Rather remarkably, Morell conceded in another interview last week with Corn, George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public, that he had failed to correct President Bush and others at the White House when he recognized that their public statements about Iraq contradicted the CIA's information.

Let's amend that: It would be "remarkable" in most other jobs if such dereliction would lead to promotion and other career "success" for all of those involved.

Not in the nation's capital, which has a different set of rules whereby lying, deference, and loyalty are rewarded.

Morell was promoted within the CIA to become deputy director. During the Obama administration, Morell twice served as acting director before retirement in 2013 after he  unsuccessfully contended with John Brennan to run the CIA during Obama's second term. Morell became a senior counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, started by Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Philippe Reines, and an intelligence analyst for CBS News.

The major news networks, all cheerleaders for the Iraq war and related disasters, are helping to showcase Morell as an intelligence expert as he proceeds through the revolving door into the defense-intelligence complex and promotes his gung-ho memoir: The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism from Al Qa'ida to ISIS.

The spirits of at least a million dead ask how such horrific performances and their practitioners could be so continually rewarded.

 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

Public Appearances

28pages.org, Rand Paul, Ron Wyden to Introduce 28 Pages Resolution in Senate, Brian McGlinchey, May 28, 2015. The growing, nonpartisan drive to declassify a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers is about to take an enormous step forward with the introduction of a Senate resolution urging the president to release the material to the public. Dramatically compounding the issue’s visibility, the resolution is being introduced by high-profile Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul of Kentucky. A spokesperson for Senator Paul told 28Pages.org that Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden will cosponsor the resolution, which will serve as the upper chamber’s companion to House Resolution 14. Paul will unveil the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims Act at an outdoor Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, June 2 at 10 am, joined by Representatives Walter Jones (R,NC), Stephen Lynch (D, MA), Thomas Massie (R, KY) and former Democratic Senator Bob Graham.

 

Related News Coverage

Updates

Washington Post, Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut, Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung June 12, 2015. Key lawmakers have moved to slash funding of a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria, a Adam Schiffmove that U.S. officials said reflects rising skepticism of the effectiveness of the agency program and the Obama administration’s strategy in the Middle East. The House Intelligence Committee recently voted unanimously to cut as much as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program that U.S. officials said has become one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year. “There is a great deal of concern on a very bipartisan basis with our strategy in Syria,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the intelligence panel. Shown in a file photo, he declined to comment on specific provisions of the committee’s bill but cited growing pessimism that the United States will be in a position “to help shape the aftermath” of Syria’s civil war.

Washington Post, ISIS presents main threat in Libya’s civil war, Hassan Morajea and Erin Cunningham, June 6, 2015. As the Islamic State scores new victories in Syria and Iraq, its affiliate in Libya is also on the offensive, consolidating control of Moammar Gaddafi’s former home town and staging a bomb attack on a major city, Misurata. The Islamic State’s growth could further destabilize a country already suffering from a devastating civil war. And Libya could offer the extremists a new base from which to launch attacks elsewhere in North Africa.

Consortium News, How to Honor Memorial Day, Ray McGovern, May 24, 2015. Of all the world’s holidays commemorating wars, Memorial Day should be one of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, surely not a Ray McGovernmoment to glorify warfare or lust for more wars. But many pols and pundits can’t resist the opportunity, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

Huffington Post, Rand Paul: ISIS 'Exists And Grows Stronger' Because Of GOP Hawks, Sam Levine, May 27, 2015. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday blamed the rise of ISIS on hawkish Rand Paulmembers of the GOP who he said were too eager to intervene abroad.  Paul, who is running for president, has worked to push back against the characterization that he is an isolationist and weak on foreign policy. On Wednesday, Paul said that those who said his kind of foreign policy was responsible for the rise of ISIS were wrong.

Washington Post, Militants storm upscale area in Kabul, Tim Craig, May 26, 2015. An Afghan official said the four attackers, who may have targeted a small hotel frequented by foreigners, were killed.

Washington Post, Fall of Ramadi raises new questions about U.S. strategy in Iraq, Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan, May 19, 2015. The fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State has raised new questions about the Obama administration’s Iraq strategy, including its efforts to resurrect Iraqi security forces and the focus of U.S. and Iraqi attention on retaking the city of Mosul by the end of this year.

Foreign Policy, In Search of the Real Barack Obama, David Rothkopf, June 1, 2015. A conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg on why he thinks “the most Jewish president we’ve ever had” is having such a tough time in the Middle East. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most incisive, respected foreign policy journalists around, recently conducted an in-depth interview with U.S. President Barack Obama covering many dimensions of his administration’s Mideast policy. (Here is a link to the interview, well worth your time if you haven’t read it yet.) Later the same week in late May, Goldberg was in attendance when the commander in chief visited Washington, D.C.’s Adas Israel synagogue, again to help make the case for his Mideast policies and to discuss in depth his sometimes troubled relationship with Israel’s leadership.

David Rothkopf: I re-read your most recent interview with Obama. It is the first interview with the president in which you seemed to really express your discomfort with some of his views. In fact, in my view, it is one of the most candid and direct interviews I have ever seen done with him. What was your takeaway?

Jeffrey Goldberg: For me, it’s a mix — the main frustration, of course, is technical — there’s never enough time, and this president talks in perfectly formed paragraphs, and he’s given to filibustering on occasion, and it is, of course, hard to interrupt any president in the Oval Office. So most of the time I’m just worrying about getting in the questions I want answered. (Actually, by the way, it’s something deeper and more interesting than filibustering — I think he takes pride in deducing the next three questions in an interview, and so he answers these imagined questions before you get a chance to ask. The flummoxing part of this is that he’s very often right about the questions. Maybe it’s a lawyer trick, I don’t know.)

Washington Post, Defense chief: Iraqis showed ‘no will to fight,’  Vanessa Williams, May 24, 2015. Ashton Carter, in an interview with CNN, rejected calls for sending U.S. ground troops into Iraq to fight Islamic State militants. Shown in a file photo, he also said Ashton CarterWashington Post, Militants storm upscale area in Kabul, Tim Craig, May 26, 2015. An Afghan official said the four attackers, who may have targeted a small hotel frequented by foreigners, were killed.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia with his entourage prepare to greet President and Mrs. Obama in Riyadh Jan. 27, 2015 (White House photo)

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

Consortium News, Playing with the Fire of Terrorism, Joe Lauria, May 31, 2015. By pandering to Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-controlled Gulf states, the U.S. government is playing with fire, allowing the spread of Sunni radicalism to destabilize targeted governments like Syria but unable to control the resulting terrorism, writes Joe Lauria.

Consortium News, Obama's Strategic Shift, Robert Parry, May 21, 2015. It's finally dawning on President Barack Obama the grave dangers that have been created for the American Republic by Robert Parrydecades of neo-conservative dominance of U.S. foreign policy, but his moves in response to this dire threat remain hesitant and indecisive. The only game-saving play open to Obama now -- in response to recent Saudi-backed escalation of Sunni extremism in Syria and Iraq as well the new right-wing racist government in Israel -- may be to forge an alliance with Iran and Russia as a counter-force in the Middle East that could save Syria's relatively secular regime and reverse gains by the Islamic State inside Iraq.That, however, would require Obama finally taking control of his foreign policy and throwing out or at least sidelining many of the neocons and "liberal interventionists" whom he has tolerated and promoted. It's difficult to see how the likes of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power would fall in line behind the necessary moves to build such a pragmatic alliance.

Saudi Arabia's recently installed king, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, is shown in a 2013 file photo.

Huffington Post, With Saudi Arabia Faltering in Yemen, Power in the Region Has Begun To Swing East, Alastair Crooke, April 29, 2015. Saudi Arabia has announced the end to its campaign in Yemen, but nevertheless air attacks against Ansar Allah and former President Saleh-allied components of the Yemeni army still continue -- albeit on a lesser scale. A Saudi newspaper (without any trace of irony) has announced "mission accomplished." So what is afoot, here? We do not know the full story, but already it is plain that a major diplomatic effort has induced Saudi Arabia to cut its immediate losses in Yemen. These immediate losses include the images of civilian bomb casualties widely broadcast in the region and the erosion of any residual support for former President Hadi in Yemen, the failure to put together the much-touted Sunni intervention force and the glaring evidence that while Saudi Arabia may have had an objective (restoration to power of the former President), it had no plan for accomplishing it. As a consequence, Saudi Arabia has found itself isolated. While Iran, Oman and Russia have been busy working on a political initiative (while also seeking to restrain Ansar Allah on the ground), the U.S. has been quietly discouraging the Saudis from continuing the Saudi aerial campaign. The campaign has had little impact on the Ansar Allah-Saleh military effectiveness but has made life hell for most urban Yemenis, with estimates of 1,000+ dead and thousands more injured.

Mother Jones, Jeb Bush says his brother was misled into war by faulty intelligence. That’s not what happened, David Corn, May 19, 2015. It is very important that the Bush cabal not be allowed to continue fooling the American public.  "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Co. were not misled by lousy intelligence; they used lousy intelligence to mislead the public."

Mother Jones, George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public, David Corn, May 19, 2015. On "Hardball," Michael Morell concedes the Bush administration misled the nation into the Iraq War. For a dozen years, the Bush-Cheney crowd have been trying to escape — or cover up — an essential fact of the W. years: President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and their lieutenants misled the American public about the WMD threat supposedly posed by Saddam Hussein in order to grease the way to the invasion of Iraq. For Bush, Cheney, and the rest, this endeavor is fundamental; it is necessary to protect the legitimacy of the Bush II presidency. But now there's a new witness who will make the Bush apologists' mission even more impossible: Michael Morell, a longtime CIA official who eventually became the agency's deputy director and acting director. During the pre-invasion period, he served as Bush's intelligence briefer. Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Tuesday night, Morell made it clear: The Bush-Cheney administration publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq's supposed WMD program and Saddam's alleged links to Al Qaeda. Host Chris Matthews asked Morell about a statement Cheney made in 2003: "We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Here's the conversation that followed:

MATTHEWS: Was that true?

MORELL: That's not true.

There's the indictment, issued by the intelligence officer who briefed Bush and Cheney: The Bush White House made a "false presentation" on "some aspects" of the case for war. "That's a big deal," Matthews exclaimed. Morell replied, "It's a big deal." And there's more. Referring to the claims made by Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, Morell noted, "What they were saying about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda publicly was not what the intelligence community" had concluded. He added, "I think they were trying to make a stronger case for the war." That is, stronger than the truth would allow.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

Fox News, Former Sen. Graham says Saudis funded 9/11 and FBI knows and is covering it up, Shepard Smith, May 17, 2015. Editor's note: Former Sen. Bob Graham (shown in an official photo from his time as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman) says Saudis funded 9/11 and FBI knows and is covering it up. He says it's in 28 pages of the 9/11 Report Bob Grahamwithheld by Presidents Bush and Obama. Seymour Hersh says Saudis funded bin Laden from 2003 in Pakistan. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in memo leaked by Wikileaks that Saudis fund terrorists in the region. Is a pattern starting to emerge?

OpEdNews, Snowden's Brilliant Answer to Those Who Say They Don't Need Privacy Right Because They Have Nothing To Hide, Rob Kall, May 24, 2015. Next time someone tells you they don't care about privacy rights because they don't have anything to hide, use this response from American hero Edward Snowden, which he gave in a recent interview with the Guardian. "People who say they don't care about privacy because they have got nothing to hide have not thought too deeply about these issues. What they are really saying is I do not care about this right. When you say I don't care about the right to privacy because I have nothing to hide, that is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write."