Senator: Bush misled nation in run-up to Iraq war

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Senator: Bush misled nation in run-up to Iraq war

Post by . » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:42 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee released new information on Thursday that he claims is evidence that the Bush administration misled the nation in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

In a speech on the Senate floor, retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., outlined a 2003 CIA cable that warns George W. Bush administration officials against making references to claims that Mohammad Atta — the man who led the 9/11 hijackers — met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in the Czech Republic before the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks. Levin claims Bush officials used the unconfirmed meeting to link Iraq to 9/11 to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

"There was a concerted campaign on the part of the Bush administration to connect Iraq in the public mind with the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks. That campaign succeeded," said Levin, who cited opinion polls from that time showing many Americans believed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks. "Of course, connections between Saddam and 9/11 or al-Qaida were fiction."

He referenced a Dec. 9, 2001, appearance by Vice President dck Cheney on "Meet the Press." Cheney said: "It's been pretty well confirmed that he (Atta) did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack."

"Far from 'pretty well confirmed,' there was almost no evidence that such a meeting took place," Levin said. "Just a single, unsubstantiated report, from a single source, and a mountain of information indicating there was no such meeting. ... Travel and other records indicated that Atta was almost certainly in the United States at the time of the purported meeting in Prague."

Levin released a letter he received earlier this year from CIA Director John Brennan. In the letter, Brennan offered this statement from the cable: "(T)here is not one USG (U.S. government counterterrorism) or FBI expert that . has said they have evidence or 'know' that (Atta) was indeed (in Prague). In fact, the analysis has been quite the opposite."

Levin has asked previous CIA directors to declassify the entire March 13, 2003, cable to no avail and has called on Brennan to fully declassify it too.

Levin also shared a translated excerpt from a memoir released earlier this year by Jiri Ruzek, a former head of Czech counterintelligence. The book describes how U.S. officials pressured Czech intelligence to confirm that the meeting had taken place.

"It was becoming more and more clear that we had not met expectations and did not provide the 'right' intelligence output," Ruzek wrote.

"Without any regard to us, they used our intelligence information for propaganda press leaks," Ruzek continued. "They wanted to mine certainty from unconfirmed suspicion and use it as an excuse for military action." ... n-iraq-war

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Re: Senator: Bush misled nation in run-up to Iraq war

Post by Alert » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:14 pm

Levin claims Bush officials used the unconfirmed meeting to link Iraq to 9/11 to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Wasn't the whole "Saddam Hussein was manufacturing WMDs" fiction the official party line for the pretext to invading Iraq?

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Re: Senator: Bush misled nation in run-up to Iraq war

Post by John Clees » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:52 am

kinda old news... but it's the same as this article from 2011

'Avoiding the Handcuffs': George Bush Cancels Swiss Trip, After Human Rights Groups Seek Arrest on Torture Charges ... ek-arrest-
George Bush has done a pretty good job of positioning himself as an “elder statesman” in the United States—at least by comparison with dck Cheney—but the rest of the world has not forgotten the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush-Cheney interregnum.

So the forty-third president will not be jetting off to Switzerland next week, as had been expected.

Bush was supposed to be the star attraction at a fund-raising gala in Geneva February 12. But the news that the former president would be in Switzerland set off a flurry of legal filings—and calls by members of the Swiss parliament—that sought to have Bush arrested upon arrival on torture charges.

Bush has defended the use of waterboarding and other outlawed interrogation techniques in his autobiography, Decision Points, and public statements, effectively admitting that he and his aides approved acts that are banned by the Convention on Torture, the 1987 international pact prohibiting cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment to which the United States and Switzerland are signatories.

The New York–based Center for Constitutional Rights and European human rights groups had planned to submit a 2,500-page complaint against Bush to legal authorities in Geneva Monday. The complaint details mistreatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and was to be brought under the Convention Against Torture on behalf of two men who have been held by the United States—Majid Khan, who remains at Guantánamo, and Sami al-Hajj, a former Al Jazeera cameraman, who was released in 2008.

In addition, a conservative Swiss parliamentarian, Dominique Baettig, had requested that the Swiss federal government arrest of Bush on war crimes charges.

Organizers of the gala event claimed that Bush cancelled his trip in order to avoid protests that might turn violent. But the organizers of the protests, well-known activists on human rights and global justice issues, had actually proposed a symbolic protest that involved nothing more than tossing shoes at the hotel where Bush was scheduled to appear.

Geneva, home to numerous international agencies and tribunals, is arguably more experienced with managing protests than most cities on the planet. The notion that a Bush visit would have been anything more than an annoyance for the gendarmes, and for the broader community, is comic.

Bush decided not to make the trip because, in the words of Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch: “He’s avoiding the handcuffs.”

“President Bush has admitted he ordered waterboarding which everyone considers to be a form of torture under international law. Under the Convention against Torture, authorities would have been obliged to open an investigation and either prosecute or extradite George Bush,” explained Brody, a leading international human rights lawyer who has pursued some of the world’s most brutal war criminals and torturers.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which still plans to issue its 2,500-page complaint to the media Monday, declared: “Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he canceled his trip to avoid our case. The message from civil society is clear: If you’re a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It’s a slow process for accountability, but we keep going.”

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