- The Bush legacy is based on lies, deceit, crimes of war
and against humanity, and complicity in criminal fraud, a disgusting record
deserving denunciation and prison, not shameless feting.
- Yet his new book, "Decision Points," attempts
the impossible, a brazen scheme to reinvent a war criminal, one of history's
greatest, his legacy marked by:
- -- neocon hellishness;
- -- duplicity and public betrayal;
- -- a disdain for human rights and civil liberties;
- -- lawlessness;
- -- racist hatemongering;
- -- usurping unconstitutional "Unitary Executive"
authority, what Chalmers Johnson called "a ball-faced assertion of
presidential supremacy....dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo;"
- -- imperial wars called liberating ones;
- -- mass murder;
- -- extrajudicially establishing coup d'etat "continuity
of government" authority to abolish constitutional freedoms unilaterally;
- -- color revolutions against democracy;
- -- reveling in being a "wartime president;"
- -- making torture official US policy;
- -- establishing a global torture prison gulag;
- -- abolishing the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse
Comitatus protections against using US military forces for domestic law
enforcement, except as constitutionally authorized or in cases of internal
- -- militarizing state and local law enforcement agencies,
establishing a martial law apparatus throughout all levels of government
without congressional approval;
- -- supporting the worst of Israeli crimes;
- -- deposing Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide, its first
democratic leader since liberation from France in 1803, turning slaves
- -- staging a failed coup to depose Venezuela's Hugo Chavez;
- -- failing to establish a militarized North American
Union (NAU) merger of Canada and Mexico with America, headquartered in
- -- transferring unprecedented wealth to the rich, exceeded
only by his successor;
- -- unabashedly favoring business over beneficial social
- -- designating everything for privatization, including
public education as another commodity;
- -- waging war on working Americans;
- -- unprecedented levels of secrecy;
- -- endangering public welfare and safety by regulatory
- -- creating the grimmest economic conditions since the
- -- destroying civil liberties;
- -- silencing dissent;
- -- criminalizing First Amendment activities advocating
for environmental and animal rights;
- -- institutionalizing illegal spying and police state
- -- turning elections into shams;
- -- hiring journalist as paid propagandists;
- -- failing to privatize Social Security and end Medicare;
- -- opposing Net Neutrality;
- -- waging war on Muslims, Latinos, and other political
targets; persecuting them; denying them due process and judicial fairness;
incarcerating and/or deporting them;
- -- fostering social decay; and
- -- much more, a legacy from hell, a disgusting betrayal
of every norm of civilized decency, engendering global contempt and outrage.
- Yet there he was discussing his record publicly on the
hustings, promoting his new book, 477 pages of ghostwritten rubbish - fiction,
- The writer: Christopher Michel, aged 28, a fellow Yale
graduate, working with Bush preparing it since January 2009. The Daily
Beast's Bryan Curtis said, in 2003, he was an unpaid intern, then rose
to become deputy assistant to the president and deputy speechwriting director.
Both positions involved close regular contact, including traveling the
world on Air Force One.
- Treating his former boss reverentially, he said Bush
was fully in charge, "writ(ing) a first draft of a lot of things,
(then) email(ing it) to" him. "My role (was) to help put together
different scenes. (He wrote) the scenes, and (I) stitch(ed) things together."
Or so he claimed, wanting Bush to get full credit, a man who couldn't complete
a full sentence, got through Yale and Harvard Business School on his pedigree,
not intellect, and likely didn't write his own term papers, let alone a
- Curtis concluded saying "the best way to read the
Bush memoir is as the elusive piece de resistance of the most loyal Bush
scrivener. In (a) 2009 email to friends, Michel wrote, 'I owe more than
I can repay to the 43rd president of the United States, a man of courage
who will fare well in history.' " Perhaps what's taught in Texas schools
or featured in "managed news." Never by legitimate chroniclers,
exposing one of history's greatest war criminals, a mass murderer, a contemptible
human being, so far unaccountable.
- Feting a World Class Rogue
- Bombastically back on the world stage, Bush began a whirlwind
tour on prime time NBC TV, promoting his book, defending his illegal wars,
rationalizing his abandonment of New Orleans post-Katrina, and more, trying
to reinvent himself.
- Soft media hosts, including Matt Lauer, Oprah Winfrey,
Rush Limbaugh and three Fox News regulars (Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly
and Greta Van Susteren in that order) provided venues. Print interviews
will follow, one announced with AARP The Magazine. More interviews as well
on CBS Sunday Morning, prime time CNN, The Tonight Show, and other programs,
part of the carefully planned scheme to rewrite history, reinvent the man,
and sell books, corporate media hosts always cooperative.
- New York Times writer Brian Stelter called it part of
a well-orchestrated campaign, NBC getting first crack having outbid other
network proposals. One reason perhaps is because Bush's daughter, Jena,
is a part-time Today show correspondent.
- In his November 7 article titled, "With Book, Bush
Is Back in Spotlight," Stelter said:
- Late last month, NBC taped the interview "over the
course of two days in Texas," calling it "a major coup."
But anyone expecting "to see a televised confrontation over issues
like the Iraq war may come away disappointed. The tone of the prime-time
special (and other scheduled interviews) is conversational, not prosecutorial,
and for that reason, 'Lauer/Bush' is not likely to join 'Frost/Nixon' in
the public imagination."
- Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino said tone was
an important consideration for the tour, a combination image-building/book-selling
effort, already a non-fiction best seller.
- Without trying to embarrass or pressure Bush, Lauer asked,
"Let's talk about waterboarding." He flatly denied it was torture
because he legal staff said so. In fact, they followed orders, devising
legal opinions to justify lawlessness, what they clearly understood.
- Yet with no substantiating evidence, Bush claimed it
"saved lives" by providing advance warning. In fact, experts
know that that torture is both ineffective and counterproductive, accomplishing
nothing but vengeance.
- One of many torture techniques used, waterboarding inflicts
severe pain from 40-second applications in two hour sessions, multiple
ones daily, forcing water in detainees' mouths and noses for 12 minutes,
repeated daily, sometimes for weeks.
- Merriam Webster online calls it "an interrogation
technique in which water is forced into a detainee's mouth and nose so
as to induce the sensation of drowning."
- Wikipedia calls it:
- "a form of torture that consists of immobilizing
the subject on his/her back with the head inclined downwards; water is
then poured over the face into breathing passages, thus triggering (a sensation)
of drowning. In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water,
waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex (causing) extreme
pain, dry drowning, damage to (the) lungs (and) brain....from oxygen deprivation
(as well as) other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling
against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted,
- By any standard, it's barbaric torture, omitted from
media interviews. They focused mainly on Bush's book, reinvented history,
airbrushed truth, the same "managed news" featured daily in corporate
media reports, censoring or sanitizing hard topics too sensitive to discuss.
- Instead, soft-ball hosts doted on Bush calling the world
"better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million (Iraqis)
who now have a chance to live in freedom." The millions dead, suffering,
and immiserated perhaps feel otherwise. Their country (like Afghanistan)
is occupied, destroyed, corrupted, tryannized, and contaminated, the undiscussed
Bush legacy Obama continues seamlessly, his memoirs ahead in a future volume,
no less disgusting than "Decision Points."
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and
Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.