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Parry writes: "America's neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq's WMD and that they shouldn't be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo."

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003. (photo: White House/Consortium News)
President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003. (photo: White House/Consortium News)

Neocons to Americans: Trust Us Again

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

16 August 15


Marching in lockstep with Israeli hardliners, American neocons are aiming their heavy media artillery at the Iran nuclear deal as a necessary first step toward another “regime change” war in the Mideast – and they are furious when anyone mentions the Iraq War disaster and the deceptions that surrounded it, writes Robert Parry.

merica’s neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq’s WMD and that they shouldn’t be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo. That’s the point of view taken by Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as he whines about the unfairness of applying “a single-interest litmus test,” i.e., the Iraq War debacle, to judge him and his fellow war boosters.

After noting that many other important people were on the same pro-war bandwagon with him, Hiatt criticizes President Barack Obama for citing the Iraq War as an argument not to listen to many of the same neocons who now are trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement. Hiatt thinks it’s the height of unfairness for Obama or anyone else to suggest that people who want to kill the Iran deal — and thus keep alive the option to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran — “are lusting for another war.”

Hiatt also faults Obama for not issuing a serious war threat to Iran, a missing ultimatum that explains why the nuclear agreement falls “so far short.” Hiatt adds: “war is not always avoidable, and the judicious use of force early in a crisis, or even the threat of force, can sometimes forestall worse bloodshed later.”

But it should be noted that the neocons – and Hiatt in particular – did not simply make one mistake when they joined President George W. Bush’s rush to war in 2002-03. They continued with their warmongering in Iraq for years, often bashing the handful of brave souls in Official Washington who dared challenge the neocons’ pro-war enthusiasm. Hiatt and his fellow “opinion leaders” were, in effect, the enforcers of the Iraq War “group think” – and they have never sought to make amends for that bullying.

The Destruction of Joe Wilson

Take, for instance, the case of CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Hiatt’s editorial section waged a long vendetta against Wilson for challenging one particularly egregious lie, Bush’s nationally televised claim about Iraq seeking “yellowcake” uranium from Niger, a suggestion that Iraq was working on a secret nuclear bomb. The Post’s get-Wilson campaign included publishing a column that identified Plame as a CIA officer, thus destroying her undercover career.

At that point, you might have thought that Hiatt would have stepped forward and tried to ameliorate the harm that he and his editorial page had inflicted on this patriotic American family, whose offense was to point out a false claim that Bush had used to sell the Iraq War to the American people. But instead Hiatt simply piled on the abuse, essentially driving Wilson and Plame out of government circles and indeed out of Washington.

In effect, Hiatt applied a “a single-issue litmus test” to disqualify the Wilson family from the ranks of those Americans who should be listened to. Joe Wilson had failed the test by being right about the Iraq War, so he obviously needed to be drummed out of public life.

The fact that Hiatt remains the Post’s editorial-page editor and that Wilson ended up decamping his family to New Mexico speaks volumes about the upside-down world that Official Washington has become. Be conspicuously, obstinately and nastily wrong about possibly the biggest foreign-policy blunder in U.S. history and you should be cut some slack, but dare be right and off with your head.

And the Iraq War wasn’t just a minor error. In the dozen years since Bush launched his war of aggression in Iraq, the bloody folly has destabilized the entire Middle East, resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths (including nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers), wasted well over $1 trillion, spread the grotesque violence of Sunni terrorism across the region, and sent a flood of refugees into Europe threatening the Continent’s unity.

Yet, what is perhaps most remarkable is that almost no one who aided and abetted the catastrophic and illegal decision has been held accountable in any meaningful way. That applies to Bush and his senior advisers who haven’t spent a single day inside a jail cell; it applies to Official Washington’s well-funded think tanks where neoconservatives still dominate; and it applies to the national news media where almost no one who disseminated pro-war propaganda was fired (with the possible exception of Judith Miller who was dumped by The New York Times but landed on her feet as a Fox News “on-air personality” and an op-ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal).

The Plame-Gate Affair

While the overall performance of the Post’s editorial page during the Iraq War was one of the most shameful examples of journalistic malfeasance in modern U.S. history, arguably the ugliest part was the Post’s years-long assault on Wilson and Plame. The so-called “Plame-gate Affair” began in early 2002 when the CIA recruited ex-Ambassador Wilson to investigate what turned out to be a forged document indicating a possible Iraqi yellowcake purchase in Niger. The document had aroused Vice President Dick Cheney’s interest.

Having served in Africa, Wilson accepted the CIA’s assignment and returned with a conclusion that Iraq had almost surely not obtained any uranium from Niger, an assessment shared by other U.S. officials who checked out the story. However, the bogus allegation was not so easily quashed.

Wilson was stunned when Bush included the Niger allegations in his State of the Union Address in January 2003. Initially, Wilson began alerting a few journalists about the discredited claim while trying to keep his name out of the newspapers. However, in July 2003 – after the U.S. invasion in March 2003 had failed to turn up any WMD stockpiles – Wilson penned an op-ed article for The New York Times describing what he didn’t find in Africa and saying the White House had “twisted” pre-war intelligence.

Though Wilson’s article focused on his own investigation, it represented the first time a Washington insider had gone public with evidence regarding the Bush administration’s fraudulent case for war. Thus, Wilson became a major target for retribution from the White House and particularly Cheney’s office.

As part of the campaign to destroy Wilson’s credibility, senior Bush administration officials leaked to journalists that Wilson’s wife worked in the CIA office that had dispatched him to Niger, a suggestion that the trip might have been some kind of junket. When right-wing columnist Robert Novak published Plame’s covert identity in The Washington Post’s op-ed section, Plame’s CIA career was destroyed.

Accusations of Lying

However, instead of showing any remorse for the harm his editorial section had done, Hiatt simply enlisted in the Bush administration’s war against Wilson, promoting every anti-Wilson talking point that the White House could dream up. The Post’s assault on Wilson went on for years.

For instance, in a Sept. 1, 2006, editorial, Hiatt accused Wilson of lying when he had claimed the White House had leaked his wife’s name. The context of Hiatt’s broadside was the disclosure that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the first administration official to tell Novak that Plame was a CIA officer and had played a small role in Wilson’s Niger trip.

Because Armitage was considered a reluctant supporter of the Iraq War, the Post editorial jumped to the conclusion that “it follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House – that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity – is untrue.”

But Hiatt’s logic was faulty for several reasons. First, Armitage may have been cozier with some senior officials in Bush’s White House than was generally understood. And, just because Armitage may have been the first to share the classified information with Novak didn’t mean that there was no parallel White House operation to peddle Plame’s identity to reporters.

In fact, evidence uncovered by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who examined the Plame leak, supported a conclusion that White House officials, under the direction of Vice President Cheney and including Cheney aide Lewis Libby and Bush political adviser Karl Rove, approached a number of reporters with this information.

Indeed, Rove appears to have confirmed Plame’s identity for Novak and also leaked the information to Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper. Meanwhile, Libby, who was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges in the case, had pitched the information to The New York Times’ Judith Miller. The Post’s editorial acknowledged that Libby and other White House officials were not “blameless,” since they allegedly released Plame’s identity while “trying to discredit Mr. Wilson.” But the Post reserved its harshest condemnation for Wilson.

“It now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson,” the editorial said. “Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming – falsely, as it turned out – that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials.

“He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.”

A Smear or a Lie

The Post’s editorial, however, was at best an argumentative smear and most likely a willful lie. By then, the evidence was clear that Wilson, along with other government investigators, had debunked the reports of Iraq acquiring yellowcake in Niger and that those findings did circulate to senior levels, explaining why CIA Director George Tenet struck the yellowcake claims from other Bush speeches.

The Post’s accusation about Wilson “falsely” claiming to have debunked the yellowcake reports apparently was based on Wilson’s inclusion in his report of speculation from one Niger official who suspected that Iraq might have been interested in buying yellowcake, although the Iraqi officials never mentioned yellowcake and made no effort to buy any. This irrelevant point had become a centerpiece of Republican attacks on Wilson and was recycled by the Post.

Plus, contrary to the Post’s assertion that Wilson “ought to have expected” that the White House and Novak would zero in on Wilson’s wife, a reasonable expectation in a normal world would have been just the opposite. Even amid the ugly partisanship of modern Washington, it was shocking to many longtime observers of government that any administration official or an experienced journalist would disclose the name of a covert CIA officer for such a flimsy reason as trying to discredit her husband.

Hiatt also bought into the Republican argument that Plame really wasn’t “covert” at all – and thus there was nothing wrong in exposing her counter-proliferation work for the CIA. The Post was among the U.S. media outlets that gave a podium for right-wing lawyer Victoria Toensing to make this bogus argument in defense of Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby.

On Feb. 18, 2007, as jurors were about to begin deliberations in Libby’s obstruction case, the Post ran a prominent Outlook article by Toensing, who had been buzzing around the TV pundit shows decrying Libby’s prosecution. In the Post article, she wrote that “Plame was not covert. She worked at CIA headquarters and had not been stationed abroad within five years of the date of Novak’s column.”

A Tendentious Argument

Though it might not have been clear to a reader, Toensing was hanging her claim about Plame not being “covert” on a contention that Plame didn’t meet the coverage standards of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Toensing’s claim was legalistic at best since it obscured the larger point that Plame was working undercover in a classified CIA position and was running agents abroad whose safety would be put at risk by an unauthorized disclosure of Plame’s identity.

But Toensing, who promoted herself as an author of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, wasn’t even right about the legal details. The law doesn’t require that a CIA officer be “stationed” abroad in the preceding five years; it simply refers to an officer who “has served within the last five years outside the United States.”

That would cover someone who – while based in the United States – went abroad on official CIA business, as Plame testified under oath in a congressional hearing that she had done within the five-year period. Toensing, who appeared as a Republican witness at the same congressional hearing on March 16, 2007, was asked about her bald assertion that “Plame was not covert.”

“Not under the law,” Toensing responded. “I’m giving you the legal interpretation under the law and I helped draft the law. The person is supposed to reside outside the United States.” But that’s not what the law says, either. It says “served” abroad, not “reside.”

At the hearing, Toensing was reduced to looking like a quibbling kook who missed the forest of damage – done to U.S. national security, to Plame and possibly to the lives of foreign agents – for the trees of how a definition in a law was phrased, and then getting that wrong, too.

After watching Toensing’s bizarre testimony, one had to wonder why the Post would have granted her space on the widely read Outlook section’s front page to issue what she called “indictments” of Joe Wilson, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and others who had played a role in exposing the White House hand behind the Plame leak.

Despite Toensing’s high-profile smear of Wilson and Fitzgerald, Libby still was convicted of four felony counts. In response to the conviction, the Post reacted with another dose of its false history of the Plame case and a final insult directed at Wilson, declaring that he “will be remembered as a blowhard.”

With Plame’s CIA career destroyed and Wilson’s reputation battered by Hiatt and his Post colleagues, the Wilsons moved away from Washington. Their ordeal was later recounted in the 2010 movie, “Fair Game,” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Though Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison, his sentence was commuted by President Bush to eliminate any jail time.

A Pattern of Dishonesty

While perhaps Hiatt’s vendetta against Joe Wilson was the meanest personal attack in the Post’s multi-year pro-war advocacy, it was just part of a larger picture of complicity and intimidation. Post readers often learned about voices of dissent only by reading Post columnists denouncing the dissenters, a scene reminiscent of a totalitarian society where dissidents never get space to express their opinions but are still excoriated in the official media.

For instance, on Sept. 23, 2002, when former Vice President Al Gore gave a speech criticizing Bush’s “preemptive war” doctrine and Bush’s push for the Iraq invasion, Gore’s talk got scant media coverage, but still elicited a round of Gore-bashing on the TV talk shows and on the Post’s op-ed page.

Post columnist Michael Kelly called Gore’s speech “dishonest, cheap, low” before labeling it “wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible.” [Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2002] Post columnist Charles Krauthammer added that the speech was “a series of cheap shots strung together without logic or coherence.” [Washington Post, Sept. 27, 2002]

While the Post’s wrongheadedness on the Iraq War extended into its news pages – with the rare skeptical article either buried or spiked – Hiatt’s editorial section was like a chorus with virtually every columnist singing from the same pro-invasion song book and Hiatt’s editorials serving as lead vocalist. A study by Columbia University journalism professor Todd Gitlin noted, “The [Post] editorials during December [2002] and January [2003] numbered nine, and all were hawkish.” [American Prospect, April 1, 2003]

The Post’s martial harmony reached its crescendo after Secretary of State Colin Powell made his bogus presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, accusing Iraq of hiding vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. The next day, Hiatt’s lead editorial hailed Powell’s evidence as “irrefutable” and chastised any remaining skeptics.

“It is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction,” the editorial said. Hiatt’s judgment was echoed across the Post’s op-ed page, with Post columnists from Right to Left singing the same note of misguided consensus.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq on March 19-20, 2003, and months of fruitless searching for the promised WMD caches, Hiatt finally acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD.

“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Concealing the Truth

But Hiatt’s supposed remorse didn’t stop him and the Post editorial page from continuing its single-minded support for the Iraq War. Hiatt was especially hostile when evidence emerged that revealed how thoroughly he and his colleagues had been gulled.

In June 2005, for instance, The Washington Post decided to ignore the leak of the “Downing Street Memo” in the British press. The “memo” – actually minutes of a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his national security team on July 23, 2002 – recounted the words of MI6 chief Richard Dearlove who had just returned from discussions with his intelligence counterparts in Washington.

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” Dearlove said.

Though the Downing Street Memo amounted to a smoking gun regarding how Bush had set his goal first – overthrowing Saddam Hussein – and then searched for a sellable rationalization, the Post’s senior editors deemed the document unworthy to share with their readers.

Only after thousands of Post readers complained did the newspaper deign to give its reasoning. On June 15, 2005, the Post’s lead editorial asserted that “the memos add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration’s prewar deliberations. Not only that: They add nothing to what was publicly known in July 2002.”

But Hiatt was simply wrong in that assertion. Looking back to 2002 and early 2003, it would be hard to find any commentary in the Post or any other mainstream U.S. news outlet calling Bush’s actions fraudulent, which is what the “Downing Street Memo” and other British evidence revealed Bush’s actions to be.

The British documents also proved that much of the pre-war debate inside the U.S. and British governments was how best to manipulate public opinion by playing games with the intelligence.

Further, official documents of this nature are almost always regarded as front-page news, even if they confirm long-held suspicions. By Hiatt’s and the Post’s reasoning, the Pentagon Papers wouldn’t have been news since some people had previously alleged that U.S. officials had lied about the Vietnam War.

Not a One-Off

In other words, Hiatt’s Iraq War failure wasn’t a one-off affair. It was a long-running campaign to keep the truth from the American people and to silence and even destroy critics of the war. The overall impact of this strategy was to ensure that war was the only option.

And, in that sense, Hiatt’s history as a neocon war propagandist belies his current defense of fellow neocon pundits who are rallying opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. While Hiatt claims that his colleagues shouldn’t be accused of “lusting for another war,” that could well be the consequence if their obstructionism succeeds.

It has long been part of the neocon playbook to pretend that, of course, they don’t want war but then put the United States on a path that leads inevitably to war. Before the Iraq War, for instance, neocons argued that U.S. troops should be deployed to the region to compel Saddam Hussein to let in United Nations weapons inspectors – yet once the soldiers got there and the inspectors inside Iraq were finding no WMD, the neocons argued that the invasion had to proceed because the troops couldn’t just sit there indefinitely while the inspectors raced around futilely searching for the WMD.

Similarly, you could expect that if the neocons succeed in torpedoing the Iran deal, the next move would be to demand that the United States deliver an ultimatum to Iran: capitulate or get bombed. Then, if Iran balked at surrender, the neocons would say that war and “regime change” were the only options to maintain American “credibility.” The neocons are experts at leading the U.S. media, politicians and public by the nose – to precisely the war outcome that the neocons wanted from the beginning. Hiatt is doing his part.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here. your social media marketing partner


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+46 # Billy Bob 2015-08-16 13:39
Compared to Jeb Bush, Donald Trump looks sane and reasonable.
+17 # Joe Bob 2015-08-17 00:13
Especially if you've seen the Lalo cartoon with Trump standing on the upside down GOP elephant with Xs for it's eyes (dead)
Maybe he will really kill the GOP.
+19 # Billy Bob 2015-08-17 00:29
We can only hope.
-1 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 11:57
Look at the man's Pedigree...

Brother of the man who ended civil rights in America.

Son of the man who made the famous "New World Order Speech" and has been implicated in the assassination or attempted assassination of 4 Presidents or Potential Presidents.

Grandson of the man who ran Union Bank for the Nazi's in WW2 and co founder of the CIA with Allan Dullas and Walter Harriman.

This alone should make you never ever ever allow this man to be President. He WILL start a war. He WILL kill millions.
+54 # Dongi 2015-08-16 14:23
It's like deja vu or happening all over again. The dark force, alias the Republican Party, seeks to cancel out the Iran agreement and quite possibly, quite probably bring a war with that country. And the Washington Post's Fred Hiatt is arguing that certain neocons are being picked on unfairly just because that made a slight mistake on Iraq. Oh. and the neocons put the blocks to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson because Mr. Wilson exposed Bush's lie that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake (a nuclear bomb material) from Niger.

The Republicans are up to their old tricks again. They don't like the deal with Iran and are willing to go to any lengths to break it up. They are unleashing their dogs of war. (Washington Post, New York Times, Fox News) Only this time they don't control the White House and, hopefully, we have learned something from that massive screw up called the Iraq War. Peace is better than war in the Mideast, the Republicans are missing a brain and a consscience, it is time to limit nuclear arms in that part of the world. Hear that Israel!

So Obama keep the pressure on the neocon creeps. We have had enough conflicts in the Mideast. It is time for a new policy there.
+44 # indian weaver 2015-08-16 17:42
I am somewhat surprised and disappointed that no courageous patriot has yet tracked down these war criminals. I guess justice does not exist, and that karma is just plain too slow for me.
+15 # lewagner 2015-08-16 23:07
Rahm Emanuel, and Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry and ilk??
That's the kind of "change" we got. They're ALL neo-cons, and the US is at war in several more countries than it was 8 years ago.
America is the next country to be attacked -- and it will be blamed on Muslims, again, no doubt.
+30 # Joe Bob 2015-08-17 00:08
Hillary, the first woman president ? I'm leery about her, she has too many cohorts that are questionable.
And that photo, above, of Bush, Cheney etc. with their smarmy, smirking mugs, it's enough to make me puke.
+1 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 11:59
She is a criminal and war criminal. I think that alone disqualifies her to be in any way a world leader.
0 # ericlipps 2015-08-19 04:48
Quoting lewagner:
Rahm Emanuel, and Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry and ilk??
That's the kind of "change" we got. They're ALL neo-cons, and the US is at war in several more countries than it was 8 years ago.

"They're ALL neo-cons"?

Not according to recognized neoconservative s, who condemn these people, "ilk" and all, for not jumping on board to support the neos.
+39 # Activista 2015-08-16 19:45
exactly - anti-Iran propaganda sources and tactics are the same as the neocon propaganda that led to Iraq War - the result is ISIS dominated civil war in Iraq and Syria today.
USrael oligarchs (money) rule - this is a critical time for the USA survival.
+22 # Radscal 2015-08-16 20:10
"Hiatt also faults Obama for not issuing a serious war threat to Iran..."

But of course, President Obama has made it quite clear time and time again that even after Congress ratifies this agreement, both he and any future President will still have "all options on the table."

Perhaps his threats are not as bellicose as many Republicans (and some Democrats), but Iranians hear him loud and clear.

Anyone who supported this invasion of Iraq was either so gullible as to believe obvious falsehoods, or willing to deliberately start a war of aggression. Either way, no one who values human life and truth should ever trust such a person again. Not by being swayed by their rhetoric, and certainly not by rewarding them with our votes.

The Statute of Limitations has run out on many of the war crimes, but that doesn't mean we still shouldn't demand an independent investigation of everything leading up to, and resulting from 9/11.

Speaking of which, if you read Peter Lance's book, "Triple Cross: How bin Laden's Master Spy Infiltrated the CIA, Green Berets and FBI," you'll see that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's hands are far from clean, too.
+51 # danireland46 2015-08-16 21:40
Don't ever forget that Hillary Clinton reflected the Neocon philosophy and wishes as both Senator and Secretary of State.
I'd love a woman President, but that woman is Elizabeth Warren. Her friend. Bernie Sanders will do until she's ready.
+33 # reiverpacific 2015-08-16 21:48
Neocons should be name "NeoCowards" or "NeoConmen" -or both.
Just to be pragmatically honest for all to see and hear.
+22 # LtDan65 2015-08-17 00:31
Also, chicken hawks. Or just plain cowards will also do - as they always push for war but never serve. They are old frustrated eunuchs, who get their jollies by watching young men die and be maimed physically and psychically. And since they promoted the mayhem, it makes them feel like real men instead of the psuedo-macho cowards they truly are - from ex president and war criminal cheeeney and assistant dubya on down.
+53 # Vegan_Girl 2015-08-16 22:32
When are we going to acknowledge that the USA has de-stabilized the Middle East so badly that there are an unprecedented number of refugees fleeing the region to Europe, overwhelming Southern-Europe an countries?

When are we going to acknowledge that the gravest danger to the world is the USA?

I hope that we the American people are fed up with wars enough to show our elite that we will not tolerate another war of aggression.

It is just an insult to injury that the war criminals who lied us into war are also petty and vindictive enough to go after the brave people who expose their murderous lies.
+40 # MainStreetMentor 2015-08-16 22:35
In my opinion, until George W. Bush and Richard "Dick" Cheney are brought before a criminal court and tried for their actions during their political tenure in Washington, D.C., America will never again hold the prestigious status it had prior to their holding those offices. Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, had the chance to initiate the necessary investigation, and she refused.
+26 # bingers 2015-08-16 22:38
Really? Can anyone tell me one thing the neo cons were right about?
+31 # bingers 2015-08-16 22:41
"The Statute of Limitations has run out on many of the war crimes, but that doesn't mean we still shouldn't demand an independent investigation of everything leading up to, and resulting from 9/11."

I don't believe there is a statute of limitations on war crimes.
+1 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 12:03
There is not. Currently the list of places where Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and GWB can go decreases by the week.

From my rough estimates there are countries on every continent except Antarctica which where they would be arrested should they go there. Which they rightfully deserve as they have been found guilty in absentia in several courts around the world.

There crimes are documented for the record.
0 # Questions, questions 2015-08-19 13:40
Quoting bingers:
I don't believe there is a statute of limitations on war crimes.

Nor is there a statute of limitations on mass murder. Isn't it odd that 14 years later now, NO ONE from ANY quarter has been convicted of 9/11 crimes? The administration seems content to just "take out" (aka "extra-judicial ly assassinate") Bin Laden on no evidence (according to the FBI), and let the rest rot in Gitmo without trial. Should make you wonder who's really behind this, and how thoroughly the NeoConmen have taken over the "free" world.
+16 # Thomas Martin 2015-08-17 00:18
This review by Parry of some of our recent past is powerful … it’s a past that can only sicken us, even more so because it seems to be continuing to this day – as Santayana said (and probably others before him), “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” … this article is a good reminder of just how repulsive the neocon agenda is, and how opposite it is to what many of us think our country’s principles are, or should be
+20 # LtDan65 2015-08-17 00:20
It looks like the wapo has gone the way of other progressive press. - that is sold out like the NYT, which now has little credibility.

As far as neo-con chicken hawks they have actual FAULTY INTELLIGENCE and lack of morality and should never be in any ed position at any newspaper let alone the editor.

As a Nam war PH veteran, these neo concowards make me sick.
+11 # Carol R 2015-08-17 04:29
I get headline news from the New York Times. As far as I know, they haven't printed what Bernie Sanders stands for but they vigorously print information about Trump. He comes up with some idea and it gets into the news. It gets to be a joke.

Here is today's headline:

Donald Trump Releases Plan to Combat Illegal Immigration
A position paper that appeared on Donald J. Trump's website centered on three principles: a wall on the Mexican border, law enforcement and economic improvement.
-5 # nice2bgreat 2015-08-17 11:41
Quoting Carol R:
I get headline news from the New York Times. As far as I know, they haven't printed what Bernie Sanders stands for but they vigorously print information about Trump. He comes up with some idea and it gets into the news. It gets to be a joke.

Here is today's headline:

Donald Trump Releases Plan to Combat Illegal Immigration
A position paper that appeared on Donald J. Trump's website centered on three principles: a wall on the Mexican border, law enforcement and economic improvement.

Everyone will be content by simply implementing Trump's #3 Principle: Economic Improvement.

Sounds good.
+6 # Carol R 2015-08-17 06:27
I also get daily headlines from the Washington Post. They also are not spelling out what Bernie Sanders stands for but are busy covering Trump. Everyday there is news about Trump.

Here is today's headline:

Donald Trump: Undocumented immigrants ‘have to go’
By Sean Sullivan
This post has been updated Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that undocumented immigrants "have to go," and he has vowed to undo President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
+23 # futhark 2015-08-17 02:02
The neocons made no "boo boos". Everything has proceeded according to the plan: "Rebuilding America's Defenses". This includes the "new Pearl Harbor" for which they so ardently hoped and which was miraculously delivered to them on 9/11, thanks to concerted action by Cheney, George W., Jeb, and Marvin Bush, Rumsfelt, Wolfowitz, and their other cohorts. They plan the future and, by golly, they stick to their plan and don't let little things like conscience, truth, and justice get in the way of reaping maximum political power and profits.
+3 # reiverpacific 2015-08-18 16:16
Quoting futhark:
The neocons made no "boo boos". Everything has proceeded according to the plan: "Rebuilding America's Defenses". This includes the "new Pearl Harbor" for which they so ardently hoped and which was miraculously delivered to them on 9/11, thanks to concerted action by Cheney, George W., Jeb, and Marvin Bush, Rumsfelt, Wolfowitz, and their other cohorts. They plan the future and, by golly, they stick to their plan and don't let little things like conscience, truth, and justice get in the way of reaping maximum political power and profits.

This is exactly Michael Parenti's take on the whole thing.
0 # Questions, questions 2015-08-19 13:49
Parenti is a "9/11 truther" now? That would be a first for a leading lefty thinker/writer, when so many (Chomsky, Goodman, Taibbi, etc.) don't seem to want to touch the subject, or actively denigrate those who do. Unless they all just believe in "miracles" for neocons... So much evidence - so little progress!
+8 # Art947 2015-08-17 04:48
Is it any wonder that the 1st Amendment, and its protections for the "Press" has lost prestige and the 2nd Amendment has become the raison d'etre of the citizenry to arm themselves becomes more apparent.

A pox on the Washington Post, The New York Times, Faux News and the other bastions of the MSM that continue to beat the drums of war.
+14 # jdd 2015-08-17 05:02
While the Bush neo-cons should rightly be blamed for the criminal invasion of Iraq, the combination of left-overs in the Obama administration, such as Victoria Nuland, as the liberal bombers around Susan Rice,Samantha Powers and Hillary Clinton have proved to be just a dangerous. The Obama administrations continuing threats and provocations toward Russia have put the world in its most precarious position since the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a far more capable president, having a far better rapport with the Kremlin, occupied the White House. The Afghan "surge", drone warfare, regime change in Libya, and attempted regime change in Syria are bad enough. But regime change in Ukraine, combined with continuing provocations by the US/NATO on the very borders of Russia, have brought the world to the brink of the unthinkable.
+1 # John Escher 2015-08-18 21:03
Where are the answers to this? I mean the
ATTEMPTED answers to this. And why would this paragraph only get 12 upvotes compared to some of the other posts?

The true significance of Parry's piece is in its implicit connection to the other Parry pieces on the Ukraine, as jdd understands.

Clinton, Nuland and Powers must be forced to answer. Or Clinton could speak for Nuland and Powers since they are covert and she supposedly isn't.

Clinton needs to answer. Did her people start the Ukraine War or not? And isn't this issue 10,000 times as big as "Benghazi" or emails or anything else.

People like this awful Fred Hiatt character can have their way with the American people if the American people are going to so quiescent that they get away with it again and again and again no matter who is in the White House.

We are all neocons, it would appear. How discouraging. Please, folks, start by giving the most upvotes to the most important letter in a given thread-- at least!
+18 # walt 2015-08-17 05:58
The neocons' rants continue because they successfully duped the entire country in 2003. Had we done the right thing, all those who lied the USA into the Iraq invasion would have been tried for war crimes.

Yet, we must lack the spine to do so. Now those same swine are back at it again luring us into more war, and not for the USA but for Israel. And even worse, the Israel lobby now has bought even more support of our spineless representatives .
+18 # danireland46 2015-08-17 07:27
"Now those same swine are back at it again luring us into more war, and not for the USA but for Israel. And even worse, the Israel lobby now has bought even more support of our spineless representatives."
Glad to see someone is exposing Senator Schumer for who he is. HE"S DEFINITELY NOT A DEMOCRAT!
+1 # Saberoff 2015-08-17 09:49
On the day Bernie Sanders announced his bid for the presidency I did not know who Chuck Schumer was. Moments after Bernie's announcement I received an email fundraiser for Bernie's campaign. Of course, I was thrilled, and posted a small contribution. I was then informed that a portion of my contribution would go to Chuck Schumer! I "clicked" around, trying to opt out of the Schumer portion, but that was not an option.
I often wonder what that was all about, especially now that Chucky is making so much news/noise.
And I'm curious: Did you (anyone else) get an email like that?
+6 # jdd 2015-08-17 09:56
Who would try them? Obama, who not only pardoned all the torturers, but has covered up the Saudi role in 911?.The neo-cons are a scourge, but they have been left in positions of power Moreover, it has been the "liberal" "humanitarian bombers," particularly Rice, Power and Clinton, who's warmongering has led tonew wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. More important, it has been a combination of State Dept.neo-cons, (Victoria Nuland, et al.), and liberals (Kerry, et al.) who have provided Obama the rationale for the Kiev coup and far more dangerous and continuing provocation of Russia on its Western Border.
+1 # tswhiskers 2015-08-17 07:20
To misquote GW Bush: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I can't remember just how he garbled it.
0 # Questions, questions 2015-08-19 13:58
Quoting tswhiskers:
To misquote GW Bush: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I can't remember just how he garbled it.

I believe the end of the actual GW quote was (instead of "shame on me") "uhhh... don't get fooled again!" Which of course is exactly the point of the above article. From the mouths of idiots... - thanks again Dubya!
+9 # RMDC 2015-08-17 07:32
The neo-cons are America's war party. They call for war at every chance they get. They are the political wing of the military industrial complex. They see war and spending on weapons of war as the chief function of government. Their really idiotic manifesto "Rebuilding Ameria's Defenses" published in 1999 just before Bush took office called for totally converting the US to a wartime economy and society.

Obama has plenty of neo-cons in his regime. He's a neo-con fellow traveller. He has carried out their agenda in the middle east. Just because he has not been hell bent for war against Iran does not mean he's not 100% with them.

Many professional military people in the Pentagon also are against a war with Iran for Israel's benefit. Iran is a big nation -- some 85 million people. Iraq with its 22 million did not go well at all. A war against Iran would be a huge undertaking that would last for decades. But that is just what the neo-cons want. My bet is that the neo-cons will get their war against Iran later on. It may take a republican president.

The war party never sleeps. They dream of war wide awake.
+7 # Robbee 2015-08-17 07:54
bush 3 stumbles his way to a bush's only defensible position - bush 2's decision to invade iraq was brilliant, obama's decision to surge was brilliant, only obama ended his surge too quick! ergo isis

neocons have maintained this permanent-war-f ooting position ever since obama ended the surge

neocons count on folks to forget that in 2008 bush 2 promised to leave iraq by end of 2011

neocons count on folks to forget that during the last 2 years before the end of 2011 obama begged iraq to let us stay there - so, continually, for years, begging to stay represented obama's set foreign policy toward iraq - but iraq would have none of it (how could they mind blackwater killing 17 civilians at a traffic check-point?)

neocons count on folks to forget that iraq's 2nd election, during bush 2's years, came out wrong for majority shiites, so they disregarded it and stopped holding elections - democracy over!

neocons count on folks to forget that isis is the baathist sunni military that bush 2 retired, armed, after declaring victory, that the shites never had any use for

neocons aren't thrilled that bush 3, running for prez, continually reminds folks of his disastrous, not just in foreign wars, brother

but bush 2 all good, obama all bad, is the course that EVERY zombie candidate but trump MUST TAKE!
+6 # progressiveguy 2015-08-17 08:37
Just as the CIA controls the white house, they also control the news media. The American public makes it easy for neo-cons to control the CIA. When Wilson reported the truth about the lack of yellow cake he pissed them all off, the CIA, The neo-cons, and the Bush administration. The CIA hung Wilson out to dry and also his wife. Thus members of the right wing element oh the main stream media were at least permitted if not encouraged to spread the lies about Wilson and his wife. The lesson here is that honest, truthful persons do not belong in an organization that is dishonest and deceitful. Neo-cons dictate the policy and the CIA enforces it while controlling the white house and the media.
+6 # jdd 2015-08-17 11:00
CIA controls the White House? Not so simple. But who controls the Obama presidency? The real power is in Lower Manhattan, not Langley.
0 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 12:06
lol ... Damn that's funny.

Yes Obama is totally legit... Have you ever looked at some of the fishiness about his life? Just yourself, take some time, go look at it.

If nothing else you end up with some very interesting questions.
+3 # MidwestTom 2015-08-17 08:52
The whole US war machine is mad about this deal, fighting it is probably costing AIPAC at least $10 million in donations.

Our paper Sunday said that Assad is continuing to lose ground, then in another article it is reported that we are planning on imbedding US troops with Iraqi fighting forces. The whole Washington establishment from the Pentagon to the White House is desparate to get more involved in a war that means nothing to us.
+1 # Billy Bob 2015-08-17 13:04
It's all being driven by the oil industry, Tom.
+2 # jdd 2015-08-17 14:43
It is not, oil plays some role, in that the Saudis are now integrated into the Anglo-American financial oligarchy. US Policy in the Mid-East is primarily a commitment to back the Saudi and related reactionary kingdoms in their fanatical war against all non-Sunni governments and/or secular regimes. This has been US policy since it adopted the British imperial tactic of spitting the Muslim Brotherhood against Arab nationalists. It really came into play in the 70's with US support for the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, which is not an oil rich nation. As such it usually finds itself on the same side as Israel and usually on the other from Russia. Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran are major oil producers, but because of their political/relig ious nature have been subject to destruction or embargo.The key question for US/British imperrial policy makers under Bush/Obama is how to prevent those nations from using their oil revenue to becoming modern states.
0 # Billy Bob 2015-08-17 17:00
The neo-cons couldn't care less about the Middle-East for any reason other than oil (unless it's other mineral resources). The world is filled with "evildoers", and "bad guys", that the U.S. NEVER do, or say anything about. Some of them are in oil-rich countries, either too powerful to do anything about, or ruled by "bad guys" willing to play ball. We never seem to hear much about them, UNLESS they happen to be sitting on a river of oil.

The role oil plays in this is enough that, without the existence of oil, there'd be no invasion or occupation of the Middle-East. And, in fact, many of those countries would be Western-styled democracies (like Iran was becoming before we ended it in the '50s).
0 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 12:08
In 1870 the Middle East was considered the greatest imperial prize in history according the US Generals.

They are not going to throw that away are they? Read up on Noam Chomsky regarding Middle East poltiics
0 # Billy Bob 2015-08-19 22:21
And, in 1870 it was about oil.

Topically, there's another article in RSN right now about "Islamic countries" calling for an end to fossil fuel use.


Maybe it's because they want to be left alone.
+9 # Polisage 2015-08-17 13:05
Perhaps the Post could arrange to have the Iraqi Army embed Hiatt for a few months up north so he could get a first-hand taste of his favorite sport.

I assume he has at least one son in the military? Nothing like a little skin in the game to clarify your thinking.
-1 # Robbee 2015-08-17 17:35
i'm about stopping private money from corrupting our government - when commenters write that the cia controls media, they are saying that the cia licks the boots of global corporations that want us to control other governments for private benefit - when commenters write that lower manhattan controls the media, they are saying that global corporations want us to control other governments for private benefit

the media, we don't want to control it ourselves - that's totalitarian - we only want to keep it free to criticize government - about global corporations we only want their money to stop corrupting our government

to rid us of corruption, here's my 3 point plan for constitutional amendments to get all private money out of our politics, where it corrupts our government:
+1 # Robbee 2015-08-17 17:36
i propose : a con-am that 1) publicly funds federal, state and local elections - no private money allowed! - none can spend private funds to advertise anything but non-political services they provide or products they make; 2) obliges public officeholders and appointees, their spouses, children and staff to spend only public money for travel, accommodations, dining and drinking - within a period one-year before, during and one-year after holding office - while they hold office, give or take a year, none but the government where they work can pay, or give, elected or appointed officeholders anything - during the year before or after holding office, they can work at another job paid for by the public, like teaching at a public university, whatever public employment that involves no decision-making regarding government contracting or regulating; 3) obliges media and all others to pay former public officeholders nothing for speaking engagements, in other words, audio and/or visual, recorded and/or live, literally “free” speech forever after holding office

so far bernie also proposes item #1 - don't know his position on the rest - go bernie!
+4 # Jadhu 2015-08-17 20:04
The CON in NEO-CON is very appropriate. It's like the shell game and the con men trying to get you to play again and again. There are only a few people telling the truth. The U.S. has, ironically, ceased to be a force for good. Carter is dying. Gorbachev is Russian. Moyers keeps on repeating the truth, but a whole generation has been raised on lies.

What are we going to do about the what undelies the real "American dream?" American values meant something at some point. Now, Gorbachev has more credibility. And people like us are called unpatriotic. The "leader of the free world" is a rudderless ship(and ISIS looms on the horizon). I don't want to sound bleak, but if we take into consideration environmental damage (including global warming), we squandered an incredible opportunity to really be a force for good. Did I mention the NSA?
+7 # danireland46 2015-08-17 20:06
The picture accompanying this article from the 2003 State of the Union Address showing left to right Dick Cheney, GW Bush, and Dennis Hastert, is a story in itself.

GW was number one, Cheney was number two, and Hastert was third. The three most powerful men in America in succession to the throne. Cheney was a soul-less psychopath, GW was a moron, and Hastert was a pedophile - GOP's best and brightest!
0 # Krackonis 2015-08-19 12:09
I'll be at the Hague making sure the noose's are good. You just get them there...
0 # Depressionborn 2015-08-19 23:08
We don't need a wall at the border, we need one around DC so they can't get out.

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