Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

Via the New York Times, yet another report confirms the thesis of this blog: that the Bush Administration committed treason, the definition of which, is in Article Three of the US Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

From the above linked NYT story, a new Senate report adds more proof to the case against the Bush Administration, especially Donald Rumsfeld. They let Bin Laden go when they had him cornered in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in December, 2001.

The report, based in part on a little-noticed 2007 history of the Tora Bora episode by the military’s Special Operations Command, asserts that the consequences of not sending American troops in 2001 to block Mr. bin Laden’s escape into Pakistan are still being felt.

The report blames the lapse for “laying the foundation for today’s protracted Afghan insurgency and inflaming the internal strife now endangering Pakistan.”

George Bush stood on top of the rubble of the WTC and said we'd get those guys, but when it came time to actually get them, the order came down, from the Administration, to let our enemies get away. The Whitehouse ordered US troops not to finish the job.

I can think of many ways to aid our enemies. Short of actually plotting an attack with them, letting them get away with it, especially when you actually have them cornered and then let them go, is nothing short of treason. It would be hard to aid and comfort an enemy more than letting them walk away from justice.

In legal terms, this is known as accessory after the fact. Helping a mass murderer escape prosecution is, at the very least, a felony, and, without much effort at all, easy to define as treason.

Now that we know how the Bush administration worked, taking the politics of everything into account, is it such a leap to conclude that the Karl Rove mentality of making everything political, played a part in the decision to let our enemies walk away from Tora Bora? When people in top positions at the White House make decisions to let our enemies simply pack up and walk off through the mountains, doesn't that at least deserve investigation? Doesn't that at least deserve outrage from those who supposedly cherish our National Security above all else?

I can't wait to see the drivel from these Bush cheerleaders dismissing this story as politically motivated Bush bashing from the deranged left. It will be just another example of how these hacks put the well-being of the Republican party above the safety of US citizens, and above the ideal of justice for mass murderers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the Definition of Treason

I sometimes cross post what I write here at the Daily Kos, where I'm sure to get a few comments anytime I bring up the T word. I enjoy the smart comments there, as the dKos readers are some of the smartest on the net. It's why I'm a longtime member there.

Regarding my last post about why I call it Bush Treason, I got a response that laments the dilution of the term.

Because the Constitution, which I remember even if Dick Cheney tried to shred it, actually defines treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

That is a high standard to attain.

Did the Bush administration actually invade the United States? No. Did they actually help the terrorists in their plot? No.

No treason. There are a variety of reasons to consider the Bush administration the worst ever, but debasing the word treason does not help.

My response:

Did they actually help the terrorists with their plot? Well, could the plot have been carried out if they had done their job? Would the plot have been carried out if Bush had read the PDB and done something about it? Would the plot have been carried out if Ashcroft hadn't told people to stop telling him about terrorism?

...adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Is it that much of a stretch to say that we created Osama, and that the neo-cons (especially Cheney) funded him, supported him, and basically created him? Same with Saddam... These people were not exactly friendly to the US, but in the neo-con zeal to fight the USSR, Cheney et al certainly gave Aid and Comfort to future enemies.

But, say, OK, but they weren't our enemies at the time. Well, then when they got reports about imminent terror attacks and chose to ignore them, isn't that aid and comfort? When Ashcroft said he didn't want to hear anymore about terror, that's willful ignorance which led to our enemies operating without any kind of Justice Department effort to stop them.

But, again, I'll go with you and say, no, ignoring a threat is not the same as helping someone attack us. Even then, when you come out after the attack and lie about what you did to stop it... When you lie to make yourself look more heroic, when you cover up what went wrong, when you attack someone who had nothing to do with it thereby sucking resources away from the good fight, are you not helping the enemy get away with it? When you have the guy who did it cornered in Tora Bora and you let him get away, isn't that being an accessory after the fact?

I could go on and on. To me, I am not debasing the word treason because I don't limit it's definition. I'm trying to say that there's a whole series of actions by Dick Cheney et al which actually did give aid and comfort to our enemies. Just because Dick wasn't on a plane with a box cutter doesn't mean that he didn't do his damndest to make sure we got ourselves a Pearl Harbor Type Event. All he had to do was not do his job.

Further, I haven't even delved into a possible alternative explanation of the definition of enemies. Since the P and VP are sworn to protect and defend the constitution, and by extension US Law, then by torturing, wiretapping, and who knows what all, they actually became the enemy!

I do see your point, but I don't understand why sticking to such a narrow definition of treason is so important. By sending this country into an illegal war based on bullshit and lies, they essentially declared war on the US. They helped those who are truly our enemies with recruiting, with milking us dry economically (think the trillion dollars we will spend on Iraq is going to help us economically?), and by taking our focus away from the people who really attacked us. To me, that's treason.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Do I Call It Bush Treason?

 


Maybe the better question is why don't more people call it treason. George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and most of the administration ignored warnings about Al Qaeda, were incompetent (My Pet Goat is just the tip of the iceberg) in the response to defend the nation, and then lied about it.

The following is from Jacob Heilbrunn's book review in today's NYT of John Farmer's The Ground Truth:

Preoccupied with building a costly missile defense system to counter a spurious menace from Russia and with maintaining “full spectrum dominance” over the rest of the globe, most Bush administration officials blithely ignored the danger emanating from the caves of Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his acolytes plotted against America. Confronted by a small group of mostly Saudi nationals armed with box cutters, the central nervous system of the country’s defense agencies went into a state of cataleptic shock. The only decisive action taken on 9/11 came not from the military, but from the courageous passengers who stormed the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93, leading the hijackers to crash the plane over Pennsylvania farmland before it could reach its intended target in Washington.

That's bad enough, of course, but then, like dirty little boys lying to their mother that they hadn't been playing in the mud, they claimed everything was just fine. I'm sure someone idiot will claim this lie was heroic, for stopping the spread of panic over their own incompetence, but to me, it's further evidence of treason. They knew they had fucked up, and they'd never get re-elected if everyone knew it, so they lied about it. Heilbrunn:

[...] Farmer superbly renders the knuckle-biting tension and confusion engendered by the hijackings, and says the leadership of the F.A.A. and the Defense Department “would remain largely irrelevant to the critical decision making and unaware of the evolving situation ‘on the ground’ until the attacks were completed” — thereby making it close to impossible for the military to inter­cept any aircraft.

Yet both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. By the time the Northeast Air Defense Sector had been informed of the hijacking, United 93 had already crashed. Farmer scrutinizes F.A.A. and Norad rec­ords to provide irrefragable evidence that a day after a Sept. 17 White House briefing, both agencies suddenly altered their chronologies to produce a coherent timeline and story that “fit together nicely with the account provided publicly by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney.”

Farmer further observes that the Bush administration wrongly asserted that the chain of command functioned on 9/11; that President Bush issued an authorization to shoot down hijacked commercial flights; and that top officials at F.A.A. headquarters coordinated their actions with the military. Farmer’s verdict: “History should record that whether through unprecedented administrative incompetence or orchestrated mendacity, the American people were misled about the nation’s response to the 9/11 attacks.”

Of course, misleading people after such a shocking event proved easy enough, so they just kept doing it. The lies just kept piling up. Pat Tillman comes to mind. So does Iraq (you know, the place Fox News doesn't seem to remember).

It's just too much. You don't have to be a genius to see why so many conspiracy theories have formed around the attacks. The picture that is becoming more and more clear is that the Bush Administration ignored repeated warnings and signs of attack, told officials to stop telling them about it (Ashcroft), spent all their time on other things (planning to invade Iraq, spend billions of missile defense boondoggles, and suck cash away from the poor with massive tax cuts to the rich while drowning non-rich-corporation-subsidization domestic programs in a bathtub), fucked up their response to the attack, and then lied about it to make themselves seem more heroic.

How can anyone possibly call that anything other than treason?

You Go, Girl!

From Wanda Sykes' new show:

I went to sleep, and when I woke up people were mad at Obama. And I thought, 'Did I miss something? Did Obama start an illegal war? Did he fly over a flood zone and just wave? Did he torture detainees in a secret prison? Did he start illegally tapping phones? Did he alienate the world and squander a surplus? Because if he did any of that, we need to impeach that jackass.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bush Administration Officials Cashing In On Iraq

I'm shocked. Shocked to hear that former Bush administration officials are profiteering in Iraq.
In 2008, Tim Shorrock reported for Salon that while “working inside America’s ’shadow’ spy industry, George Tenet, Richard Armitage, Cofer Black and others are cashing in big on Iraq and the war on terror.” Now, the Financial Times reports today that even more Bush administration officials are eyeing profits in Iraq:

[...]
Senior Bush administration figures including Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Baghdad, and Jay Garner, the retired general who led reconstruction efforts immediately after the war, are leading a new business push into Iraq.

Seth and Amy should have done this, instead of the Goldman Sachs thing. Because rich people getting better health care than the rest of us isn't really that much of a really, but starting a war to make your buddies rich, well, that only happens every now and then in America.