In his speech of September 6, addressing the administration's response to the Supreme Court's decision in July rendering illegal the military commissions that he had wanted to use to try terrorists, Mr. Bush used a lie early on in order to establish credibility. He claimed that no one had been sent to Guantanamo before they had been shown to be heavily involved in anti-American terrorist activities. Mr. Bush wouldn't be expected to read Mother Jones, but if he had, he would have known about Muhibullo Abulkarim Umarov from Tajikistan, who was abducted in the middle of the night, and spent the next two years being held in four prisons in three countries, ending up in Guantanamo, from which he was eventually released having nothing but a document declaring that he posed no threat to the U.S. or its interests, and had no charges pending against him. Mr. Bush also apparently forgot the several British prisoners whom, after considerable diplomatic pressure on the U.S by Tony Blair's government were released from Guantanamo into British custody. After investigation, British authorities determined that no charges should be brought against them and they were released to return to their homes.
This lie was just a warm-up. It wasn't long before he added another, realizing how much subterfuge that it takes to continue to pull off his incredible?? scam of unitary executive war-mongering.
First, let us review the pertinent facts to the issue. On the same day as his speech, the Pentagon revealed its revised guidelines for permissible interrogation techniques. No longer would military personnel be allowed to follow Donald Rumsfeld's preferred methods of using dogs on prisoners, conducting mock drownings with waterboards, or applying electric shock to them, among other changes. These were all techniques that had been condemned worldwide as inhumane, illegal and ineffective, and they are being discontinued by the military out of fear of possible future prosecution for war crimes.
The President carefully explained that when a terrorist suspect resisted interrogation, (as outlined in the old rules) special interrogators questioned him with "different" methods. These methods proved to be effective in getting the suspect to talk after all. This, if not palatable, is at least plausible. But Mr. Bush insisted on prefacing his explanation with the impossible lie that all interrogations of terrorist suspects were conducted in ways that did not violate American law, the Geneva Conventions or American treaty obligations.
These lies are no small thing. Without them, Mr. Bush does not even have a façade of legitimacy for his policies.
Then of course, there are also the half-truths. Mr. Bush, whining and peeved at being hampered by the rule of law, the Constitution and the separation of powers, claimed that these special interrogation methods had yielded intelligence that had saved American lives. How many more American lives have been put at risk by the outrage and revenge that each wrongfully captured, tortured, then released prisoner must harbor against the country that so ill treated him? How many new Jihadists have been inspired and fueled by our hypocritical and damnable attacks on Islam and its adherents?
Not content with trotting out new lies to justify his war on terror, Mr. Bush has once again been trying to tie Osama Bin-Laden to the war in Iraq. On September 5, Bush said that we must take Bin-Laden's historical threats against our country seriously. He likened him to Hitler and said that we must not appease evil. He then cited the war in Iraq as proof that he was not going to be an appeaser (he's a decider remember), and trusted the still mostly somnambulant media to be impressed with his toughness against the wrong country and to not notice that Osama, if not appeased, is at least safe to continue his nefarious activities, most likely from within one of the regions in Pakistan where President Mushareef has declared a truce with Taliban fighters who are fighting to take back Afghanistan.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney's policies have aided and comforted the enemy. They have been valuable recruiting tools for Al-Quaeda, and have made erstwhile enemies band together to do battle against us. They have lied to us and tens of thousands are dead as a result. They have stolen from our treasury to finance a lie, and their friends at Halliburton, and Blackwater have largely been the beneficiaries.
Treason is a serious charge, indeed the blackest mark that could be laid against any American. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be tried for nothing less.