Category Archives: George Bush

Bush signed-off on stinging insect interrogation method at Gitmo

New reports coming out show that former President Bush approved the use of insects to be placed in a confinement box during the interrogation of Al Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah. The secrets the CIA wanted to be buried are now out for public display.
The rules that Bush’s administration approved from CIA interrogation are the stuff of nightmares; being thrown against a wall 30 times was allowed as was denying prisoners sleep for more than a week.

The legal memorandum for the CIA was prepared by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee. It reviewed 10 techniques that could have been used to interrogate Zubaydah and determined they were not torture under U.S. criminal law.

Those techniques included attention grasp, walling (hitting a detainee against a flexible wall), facial hold, facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, insects placed in a confinement box, and water-boarding. The memorandum was written on Aug. 1, 2002.

According to reports, Bybee says the approved torture techniques would not prove to have lasting effects on the prisoners. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

“In the absence of prolonged mental harm, no severe mental pain or suffering would have been inflicted, and the use of these procedures would not constitute torture within the meaning of the statute,” Mr. Bybee wrote.

On Thursday as President Obama absolved CIA officers Thursday he in effect tied his hands to the torture used on the prisoners at Gitmo.

The CIA wanted the memos kept secret. Obama however wants the United States to be able to move beyond “a dark and painful chapter in our history.” Unleashing the cruel skeletons from the political closet is one way of doing so.

Time quotes the memorandum on the use of insects.

“You [the CIA] would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us [the Department of Justice] that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect into the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box. You have orally informed us that you would in fact place a harmless insect such as a caterpillar in the box with him.”

The CIA is said to have never used the above method according to another declassified memo also released on Thursday. It has been verified that water-boarding was used to interrogate Zubaydah.

The legal rules that Bybee had written out are no longer used by the United States. President Obama signed under an executive order his first week that all CIA interrogators must follow the Army Field Manual’s rules.

Kansas City Star quotes CIA director Leon Panetta:

He said: “The fact remains that CIA’s detention and interrogation effort was authorized and approved by our government. For that reason, as I have continued to make clear, I will strongly oppose any effort to investigate or punish those who followed the guidance of the Department of Justice.”

Human Rights Watch wants more to be done though now that the secret documents have been released.

UPI reports:

“President Obama said there was nothing to gain ‘by laying blame for the past,'” said Stacy Sullivan, counterterrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch. “But prosecuting those responsible for torture is really about ensuring that such crimes don’t happen in the future.”

The US announces CIA secret prisons to be closed

Agency employees were sent an e-mail today telling them that the CIA is no longer in the secret prison business and that there are plans underway to permanently shutter them. the e-mail was sent by CIA Director Leon Panetta.
CIA Director Leon Panetta has told Congress no new prisoners have been taken in since he took the reins of the agency in February. Panetta also informed Congress that the CIA has stopped all contracts with private companies that were used for security at secret overseas CIA prisons. Those contracts were costing up to $4 million a year.

BBC reports:

“CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” Mr Panetta said in a letter to staff. Remaining sites would be decommissioned, he said.

President Obama had vowed during his campaign to shut down the secret prisons that former President Bush’s administration had allowed the CIA to operate. During his first week in office, Obama ordered the closure of black sites and the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. President Obama has also ordered a review of the detention and interrogation policies on terror suspects.

BBC reports that there is a true change in the new White House administration on terms of detainees.

In his letter, Mr Panetta also stressed that the CIA no longer employed controversial “harsh interrogation techniques”, like “waterboarding”, or simulated drowning, which have been widely condemned.

“CIA officers do not tolerate, and will continue to promptly report, any inappropriate behaviour or allegations of abuse,” he said.

That said the CIA has the right to hold prisoners temporarily according to Panetta is they are taken. Those detainees would be only interrogated though by agency employees before being returned to their home country or the county that has a legal claim in a quick manner.

In 2005 it was revealed that the United States was running secret CIA prisons overseas. That revelation prompted world-wide outrage tainting the image of President George Bush.

Nearly 75 % Of Bush’s Staff Are Jobless

The unemployment lines are filling up with nearly 3,000 former members of the Bush administration out of work. It appears working for the former president is a sure ticket to unemployment benefits.
Nearly 75 percent of the Bush staff have yet to find a new job since their man left the Oval Office.

Raw Story reports:

“That ‘is much, much worse’ than when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton left the White House,” Carlos M. Gutierrez, who served as Bush’s commerce secretary, told the paper.

With the Democrats in power in the Congress and the White House high-profile Republicans have little chance in gets a job with the standard think tanks.

Those employees that do find a spot are going the academic route. Henry Paulson is now a fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Along with her huge book deal the one who appears to come out ahead is Condoleezza Rice. She has her old job back at Stanford as a political-science professor and senior fellow at its Hoover Institution.

George W Bush Turns Down Job Offer

George Bush went to a local Dallas hardware store which offered him a job as a greeter. The hardware store placed an offer in a letter published in a Dallas newspaper.
Bush and his posse, the Secret Service, went on down to the local retailer of nails and chains to take them up on the offer. After spending an hour chatting and doing a bit of shopping the former president declined the gig, even though it came with free parking and a nifty yellow vest.

The BBC reports:

“We’re confident that your experience working in your own family business, as well as your people skills developed throughout years of meeting with foreign dignitaries would make you an excellent candidate for the position,” read the job offer, signed by Kyle Walters, president and CEO of Elliott’s Hardware.

“Furthermore, like you, many of our greeters are retired from the corporate world, so we’re sure you’ll have no trouble making new friends.”

The job would have been part-time leaving Bush plenty of time working on his presidential library. He also is said to be writing about the eight years he spent in the White House.

The Bush’s moved into their new home on Friday in a pricey Preston Hollow. They also have their ranch in Crawford, Texas.

After declining the job offer Bush returned home where he and wife Laura greeted the local Boy Scout troop looking for donations door to door.

Opinion: The Falling Down Of A Puppet On A String

Right after the 9/11 attacks George Bush could do no wrong. Americans praised his actions in the days that followed the attacks that took the lives of 2,974. What happened?

A leader is only as good as his help. In Bush’s case he didn’t have the best help around. Think Progress listed the top 43 appointees that turned what could have been one of the best presidents of the United States into the worst. Here are some of those trophy case losers.

The right hand man: Dick Cheney. Before Cheney VP’s were in the dark public wise. Nice guys that were patted on the head and pretty much only on call if the Big Cheese died. Cheney changed all that. He liked the power and making his ideas known. His side gigs got feature play, we have all heard of Halliburton.

Plus this guy shot one of his best friends and got away with it.

With friends like that it’s best never to turn your back or hand over your arms.

The man of scandal Karl Rove comes in next with how to be a cruddy president. Name a scandal during the Bush terms and you can bet good ole Karl had a part of it. The deputy chief of staff helped get the federal finger in almost every agency of the federal government, leaving sticky crumbs that will take years to brush away.

With a Attorney General like Alberto Gonzales you better make sure to hide your phones. Gonzales is the ‘nice’ guy who went to former Attorney General Ashcroft’s hospital bed to get him to sign off on that fun little wiretapping program.

That lovely wiretapping program as we all know now was and is illegal.

Aren’t lawyers expected to know the law?

Speaking of John Ashcroft he’s not in the clear either. The Attorney General at the beginning of the slippery slope, Ashcroft gave the okay to use waterboarding to get detainees to shout out the ‘truth’ in the early days. He is also one of the architects of the Patriot Act. You know that little act that has taken away basic rights from the American people.

Donald Rumsfeld. Let’s see where to begin with this cabinet prize. There’s the weapons of mass destruction, that was a lie. There’s the ‘come on George, let’s play war in Iraq too!” Gee, that one went over so well. We’re still there, we’re still bringing coffins home and there’s still no real changes. Oh, yes there’s one. There’s a larger sentiment of dirty Americans worldwide.

Thanks Donald.

FEMA’s Michael Brown helped slide the Puppet down the slope in 2003. That year there was a little storm called Katrina. The former commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association showed just how little knowledge he had in coping with a crisis. Five and a half years later New Orleans is still in trouble, people are still living in toxic FEMA housing and celebs are holding funding drives for the area just like the 1980’s drives for Africa.

Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2001 until 2005. He is one of the guys that pushed for Iraq to be invaded. He started that drive on September 15, 2001. He helped make the term weapons of mass destruction something that was on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

Wolfowitz eventually admitted that “for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction,” as a justification for war, “because it was the one reason everyone [in the administration] could agree on.”

Have you heard of David Addington? He’s the leader of Bush’s legal team and Cheney’s cheif of staff. He backed good ole George on any illegal activity he could; wiretapping, waterboarding, warrantless surveillance.

Remember OJ’s dream team? He’s the opposite.

The EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson helped turn the United States over to big business when it came to environmental issues. He suppressed staff recommendations on global warming, mercury poisoning, lead paint, smog, pesticides and the like all in the name of the dollar sign.

We can’t forget the pretty girl in the mix, Condoleezza Rice. She is Bush’s national security adviser. She’s always loved that term WMD, so much so that she spouted it out to the media over and over without proof.

“we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Oh and the attacks on 9/11? She had been warned about them by the CIA but thought it was best to ignore those warnings.

There are more names that can be held responsible for part of Bush’s slide down. The thing is a man can’t hold others accountable for their own actions. George Bush will soon be leaving the Oval Office but his unwise choices will haunt the United States for decades.

In the end the toppling of this man lays in his own hands. He hand picked those who made horrible choices. He allowed for illegal acts to take place within his administration. He allowed the American public not to be informed of what was really going on.

George Bush can’t hide behind the men and women who sullied the name of the United States worldwide. And that is why Bush is the worst president to govern the United States of America in history.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush In Hospital

Former First Lady Barbara Bush was taken to hospital after complaining of a ‘little bit of pain.’ The 83-year-old went to Methodist Hospital in Houston as a precaution.

Former President George Bush, father of President George W. Bush was with his wife. Mrs. Bush has been having stomach pains for several days. She has Graves’ Disease which was diagnosed while her husband was the President.

The Associated Press reports:

Current first lady Laura Bush, Barbara Bush’s daughter-in-law, said Wednesday: “She’s doing great. George and I talked to both President Bush and Barbara Bush last night while they were in the hospital and they were both doing very well then.”

All of the testing has had negative results. Bush is expected to be released from hospital on Wednesday.

President George Bush Pardons 14

It’s that time again, when the outgoing Prez decides to let some of their buddies get away with misdeeds that the rest of us would be sitting in a cell for years for. The President can give pardons away whenever they feel like it .

George Bush is getting ready to head back down to his Texan ranch come January 20th but he has a bit of housecleaning to do before hand. Right now 16 individuals are glad they are in his cleaning up jobs.

Now mind you Bush doesn’t just give clemency to anyone. He’s actually rather stingy when it comes to turning the other cheek compared to Clinton or Reagan. During his eight years as Commander of the United States he’s only granted 171 pardons and eight commutations.

The lucky winners are:

Leslie Owen Collier, killer of three bald eagles by improper use of pesticide in hamburger meat. Collier had aimed to off some coyotes but instead ended up killing three of the national birds.

Milton Kirk Cordes who conspired to violate the Lacey Act.

Richard Michael Culpepper who lied to the federal government.

Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer concealed information that dealt with her doctor father accused of medical insurance fraud.

Andrew Foster Harley a drug dude at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was convicted of using and distributing pot and coke at the school.

Obie Gene Helton who defrauded his way into food stamps.

Carey C. Hice, Sr. who evaded income tax.

Geneva Yvonne Hogg who embezzled money from a bank.

William Hoyle McCright, Jr. who frauded a bank.

Paul Julian McCurdy who was convicted of misapplication of bank funds.

Robert Earl Mohon Jr. who planned on distributing reefer.

Ronald Alan Mohrhoff a narc felony who used the telephone unlawfully.

Daniel Figh Pue III who didn’t have the proper permit to treat, store and dispose of hazardous waste.

Orion Lynn Vick who aided and abetted the theft of government property.

John Edward Forte and James Russell Harris, both busted for coke had their sentences commuted.

When the Prez gives out a pardon it is absolute and will not be overruled according to the Constitution.

There are still quite a few who are hoping that Bush will give them a break before he leaves office. They have less than two months but who knows, Bush may just let a bunch of baddies have a ‘get out of trouble’ card ready for Christmas gifts this year.

Bush Says Iraq War Was Worth it

Five years ago the United States was a different country. Five years ago a war was waged against a dictator who had weapons of mass destruction. President George Bush says that he has no doubts that the Iraqi War has been worth it.

Since the beginning of the war in Iraq 3,900 military members from the United States have died. Tax payers have shelled out $500 billion and climbing to fund the effort. Joseph E. Stiglizt, Nobel Prize winning economist and finance expert Linda Bilmes estimate that the war cost total will even out at $3 trillion.

“The successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable, yet some in Washington still call for retreat,” the president said. “War critics can no longer credibly argue that we are losing in Iraq, so now they argue the war costs too much. In recent months, we have heard exaggerated estimates of the costs of this war.

“No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure, but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq,” Bush said.

Since 2003 at least 82,240 Iraqi civilians have perished. 7% of the adult male Iraqi population have been killed. On average a thousand Iraqis died on every single day of the first half of 2006.

Out of such chaos in Iraq, the terrorist movement could emerge emboldened with new recruits … new resources … and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America,” Bush said in his remarks. “An emboldened al-Qaida with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations. Iran could be emboldened as well with a renewed determination to develop nuclear weapons and impose its brand of hegemony across the broader Middle East. And our enemies would see an American failure in Iraq as evidence of weakness and lack of resolve.”

Badr Brigade is the largest known active terrorist group in Iraq. They are led by Grand Ayotollah al-Sistani.

A $7 million dollar contract was awarded to KBR, a part of Halliburton, to construct and run military bases. KBR was tasked to plan oil well firefighting in 2002 within Iraq. In February, 2008, a hard disk and two computers containing classified information were stolen from Petrobras while in Halliburton’s custody. Allegedly, the content inside the stolen material, was data on the recently discovered Tupi oil field. The former President Bush and Dick Cheney have both been affiliated with Halliburton.

Looking back, Bush said, “Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting … whether the fight is worth winning … and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and this is a fight America can and must win.”

The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad want to murder the innocent in the streets of American cities. Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home,” Bush said.

U.S. strikes have killed an estimated 40,000 Iraqi civilians in the five years of war. From March 2003 to April 2004 30,000 bombs rained down on the mostly urbanized country. 240,000 cluster bombs were used.

The other half of the deaths have happened from bombings and uprising with militants that use the guise of the war to terrorize the people.

In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network. And the significance of this development cannot be overstated ,” the president said.

“The challenge in the period ahead is to consolidate the gains we have made and seal the extremists’ defeat. We have learned through hard experience what happens when we pull our forces back too fast — the terrorists and extremists step in, fill the vacuum, establish safe havens and use them to spread chaos and carnage.”

In war torn Iraq there are no safe havens. The people are worse off today than they were 5 years ago. Humanitarian groups describe the country as being a crisis of huge proportions with little reason for hope. The Red Cross filed a report stating that civilians continue to be killed in the armed hostilities. That medical care is inadequate for those wounded. Water and sewage are of poor quality. Women are victimized if they are not attired in Islamic dress.

It’s been said that war is Hell. Hell has a new address, Iraq.

Bush Vetoes Waterboarding Bill

President George Bush just vetoed a bill that would have banned waterboarding. The torture interrogation method stimulates drowning. Bush claims that not allowing for such inhumane methods puts the country in danger.

“The bill would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror, the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives,” deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday.

Had the bill passed the C.I.A. would have to use only the 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual.

The bill would have banned tortures such as waterboarding, sensory deprivation and other methods to get detained prisoners to “break.” Waterboarding earned a “bad” name during the Vietnam War when it was used on military personnel captured by the Vietnamese army.

Waterboarding was banned in 2006 by the Army.

The vetoed bill had already passed both the House and the Senate last month.

op-ed: Timing Is Of The Essense

Questions of why now have been coming out over the decision about charging and bringing to trial six of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The answer is simple, it’s all about timing.

As Bush prepares to leave office another President could make changes that differ from his administration dealing with the controversial military prison in Cuba. Water-boarding and conspiracy theories may play out for years even after the Iraq War is a distant memory.

The secrets and criminal crimes that have happened during this present war could in the end prove disastrous for the government. Is there any better way to get rid of some of the
evidence than by having military trials where documents can be silenced? Death sentences have a way of shutting up those involved with actions that would better be left quiet.

Members of the defense team for Salim Ahmed Hamdan have been forbidden to speak to other detainees because of risks to national security. Even with two members of the team holding security clearances authorizing them to the highest levels of classified information.

Last week Michael Mukasey, the attorney general of the United States announced to the Senate judiciary committee that he would not investigate criminal wrongdoing that may have happened during the interrogation of certain detainees at the military prison. The reasoning behind this was that interrogators had acted on orders that they believed to be lawful. Within a week the government announced that the six involved in this decision would be put on trial for war crimes dealing with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

When the government put the issue of water-boarding away it was setting in motion the possible trial of this century. There will be no need to discuss the possible tortures of these detainees during their criminal trials as those tortures are not what is being called into question.

The defense attorneys will have their work cut out for them. Evidence has been lost or erased. Interviews are classified and under wraps by use of the Military Commissions Act.

While the lawyers for the defense will have tightly bound wrists during these trials their clients will finally have their speedy trials. Because of the MCA any appeals can be completed within 120 days. If they are sentenced to death only one person has to personally approve it. Any guesses who that would be? George Bush.

If any of the accused decide to admit guilt and opt for the death penalty then all George Bush has to do is sign on the dotted line. Silence is golden.

If the trials go on into the next President’s watch then that office will be faced with the sticky wicket of appearing to approve of Gitmo policies by signing the death slip or by appearing unpatriotic by allowing those who were part of the most vile murders of American civilians to live out their lives in prison.

In the end there is only one winner in whatever outcome of these trials.

George Bush.