Essential history to understand the present: Lie-started and illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war on Iran | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Essential history to understand the present: Lie-started and illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war on Iran

*hyperlinks/videos live at source*

The following is my first white paper on the US so-called War on Terror, prompted by the Bush-regime's lies becoming so numerous that I needed to document them because I could no longer remember all of them while teaching high school government and history classes. I began this paper in 2005, updated until 2009, and offer more recent but less extensive versions here and here.

Dennis Kucinich's staff circulated the paper to friendly Members of Congress. I deeply appreciate David Swanson's ongoing leadership to explain, document, and prove that US wars are Orwellian-illegal and all started on lies known to be false as they were told, and for publishing this paper. I also appreciate my wife for encouraging me to publish this paper (~100 publishing agents rejected the paper, and with the two caring to respond stating the paper is important, well-written, but they wouldn't be able to sell it to a corporate media publisher because I have no important name or title).

War on Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war on Iran

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell, preface to Animal Farm

Justifications for War with Iraq: The Bush administration asked the American public for their support for war with Iraq based on the primary claim that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that he would soon use against the US. The US government would have to invade to avoid the coming attack by Iraq or agents that Iraq would supply. The timing was urgent (1), pre-empting UN approval. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell and others made claims of known biological and chemical WMD, attempts to develop nuclear weapons through purchase of aluminum tubes for nuclear refinement, attempts to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger, and direct relations with Al Qaeda.

Advocates for the “War on Terror,” also claim the need for action against “Islamofascism,” an interpretation that Muslim fanatics are the majority force in the Middle East that requires US military response to crush and our direct intervention to rebuild their society (2). This position sees inevitable increase of Islamic fanaticism that will increase terrorism until their social evolution reaches a “Renaissance” that tolerates other religious and political views. The primary evidence for Islamofascism is the attacks of September 11, 2001. War advocates link this attack to all Muslim fanaticism, predicting further attacks from various sources until we destroy this philosophy. Advocates believe war is an effective strategy to help evolve religious fanaticism into tolerance despite rhetoric that fanaticism is an anomaly among Muslims (3).

Independent reporting, the US State Department, and the US National Intelligence Estimate from April 2006 report increasing terrorism in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 (4). This data sparks war advocates’ response for increased militarism rather than alternative strategy, perhaps best counter-argued by famous US historian Howard Zinn (5). They point to the US troop “surge” as a sign of success, as sectarian violence in Iraq decreased in late 2007 (6). The US Government Accountability Office reported ethnic violence might be decreasing only because killings have forced up to 100,000 people a month to abandon their homes when they are the ethnic minority (7). Reports from Iraq journalists, rather than US major media, claim that people will be killed if they cross US-constructed concrete walls (12 feet high) into hostile neighborhoods between Sunni and Shia, bombings are frequent, and living standards for clean water, sewage, electricity, and basic infrastructure have devolved to primitive levels (8).

In assessing the reasons for war with Iraq, we now know through declassified intelligence reports, congressional testimony, official documents such as the Senate Committee on Intelligence and the 9/11 Commission, and other documented and corroborated sources that the claims of WMD as an immediate threat to the US, aluminum tubes for use in making nuclear weapons, uranium yellowcake to produce nuclear weapons, and links to Al Qaeda were known by the Bush administration to be false at the time they were told to the American public (9). There are several best-selling books that document this information (10); you can also find accurate documentation of these public records on the Internet, along with supporting circumstantial evidence and testimony (11). I will document sources as we walk through these claims.

The WMD was chemical and biological weapons. Assuming that the US was concerned about these weapons that the US originally supplied Saddam during his invasion of Iran from 1980-1988 (12), the conservative first option should have been the UN Security Council voting for the UN WMD agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to directly request Saddam to submit to OPCW’s authority. The Director-general of OPCW, Jose Bustani, was in talks with Saddam to do so. Instead of supporting this reasonable alternative to war, the US promised to withhold its funding of the UN (22% of the UN’s budget) until Bustani was fired. The US called Bustani’s talks with Saddam an “ill-considered initiative.” The US request was honored; the US then paid its 2002 UN dues in April 2002; less than one year before the US invasion of Iraq. This was the first time in UN history where the Director of an international program was fired (13). By the way, the US does not cooperate with the OPCW to ensure US compliance with International Laws of chemical and biological WMD.

The US Congressional authorization for military force in Iraq relied heavily upon the Bush administration’s claims of Saddam’s WMD. On November 3, 2002, Iraq submitted to the UN an 11,800 page report of its history of WMD. The US requested that over 8,000 pages of the report be removed for US “national security.” The US media complied, but not the international media. What these redacted pages documented was US supplying Iraq with all elements of the WMD program in support of Saddam’s dictatorship and Iraq’s War of Aggression against Iran (14). The US was one of many countries supplying these materials.

CIA Director George Tenet explicitly stated that the October 2002 CIA National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) reported that Iraq was not an imminent threat to the US because any attack would cause war with the world’s most powerful military (15). This assessment was subsequently repeated in official reports from several agencies (16). However, the October NIE remained classified to Congress before their vote to authorize President Bush to use our military against Iraq. Instead, the Bush Administration declassified a “White Paper” that changed language to escalate the appearance of threat from Iraq and removed the language that Iraq was not an imminent threat to US security (17). The White Paper for Congress was titled, “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for WMD.” Again, because we know that all of the alleged evidence was known to be false at the time it was reported, the title of this “report” is misinformation. Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), understated this conclusion: "[T]oday we know these assessments were wrong. And, as our inquiry will show, they were also unreasonable and largely unsupported by the available evidence." (18)

Congress passed the “Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq” in October 2002 (the Iraq Resolution) (19) that authorized President Bush to act pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1973 (WPA) regarding military action in Iraq. This legal authorization, H.J. Resolution 114, states in Section 3 (c) (2): “Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.”

The WPA (20) states in Section 8 (d) (1): “Nothing in this joint resolution-- (1) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President, or the provision of existing treaties.” The applicable treaties are the UN Charter (21) and the Nuremburg Charter (22). As a consequence of humanity’s experience of two global wars, all country-initiated warfare was declared illegal except defensive wars when under direct attack. Iraq did not attack the US. The NIE found no evidence of imminent danger of attack upon the US. To date, President Bush has not presented such evidence. Therefore, the military campaign failed to meet the prima facie legal requirement of defensive war and is illegal under US and international law (23). Specifically, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are Wars of Aggression (24).

No evidence of WMD was found in Iraq either before the war with UN inspections from November 2002 to March 2003, or after the war (25). The Bush administration attacked Iraq even though weapons inspections were in full progress.

The Bush administration claim of aluminum tubes that could only be used as centrifuges to refine fissionable material for nuclear weapons (26) is directly refuted by the best expert witnesses available, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Their conclusion is that the tubes in question had diameters too small, the tubes were too thick, using aluminum as the material would be “a huge step backwards,” and the surface was anodized that made them impossible to serve this purpose (27). They also found that the tubes were easily explained for use of conventional weapon manufacturing, as the specifications perfectly matched tubing for that purpose.

This clear refutation by the agency best able to assess the technical data was then spun by the CIA in the 2002 NIE in the classified report and the white paper (28). The classified NIE:

“Most agencies believe that Saddam's personal interest in and Iraq's aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors - as well as Iraq's attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools - provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad's nuclear weapons program. (The Department of Energy (DOE) agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.)”

The white paper:

“Iraq's aggressive attempts to obtain proscribed high-strength aluminum tubes are of significant concern. All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use, but some believe that these tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs.”

I have not found whether DOE was asked for their technical assessment on the use of magnets, balancing machines and machine tools. The IAEA assessed the magnets were for telephones or other uses (29), and the postwar findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded these components were for other industries (30). The Senate Select Intelligence Committee in July 2004 concluded that this was one of many statements “not supported by the underlying intelligence reporting (31).” The NIE also chose to ignore the IAEA reports from 1992-2002, which documented their on-the-ground assessment that Iraq had no nuclear weapon program (32). The DOE representative the CIA accepted to discuss their findings at CIA headquarters for the 2002 NIE was a human resources bureaucrat who agreed to CIA Director Tenet framing DOE’s position as in agreement with CIA except “probably” not for the aluminum tubes (33).

The general public has no knowledge of the details of equipment for fissionable refinement. For the CIA to take a clear technical evaluation from the agency responsible for understanding that exact equipment and then publicly report any concern is a lie, a known falsehood. Apparently, President Bush disagreed; he awarded CIA Director Tenet with the Medal of Freedom in 2004 (34).

President Bush claimed in his January 2003 State of the Union Address that Saddam attempted to buy enriched uranium from Niger, implying the danger that this would be used to create nuclear weapons (35). However, the Niger documents were written in grammatically poor French, had a “childlike” forgery of the Niger President’s signature, and had a document signed by a foreign minister who had been out of office for 14 years prior to the date on the document (36). The forgeries showed-up shortly after the Niger embassy in Rome was robbed, with the only missing items being stationery and Niger government stamps (37). The same stationery and stamps were used for the forged documents. The CIA warned President Bush on at least three occasions to not make the claim due to the ridiculous evidence (38). In addition, if Saddam really was making an illegal uranium purchase, it’s likely that both Saddam and the Niger government officials would insist on not having a written record that would document the crime. Republican US Ambassador to Niger, Joseph Wilson, confirmed this information and reported in detail to Vice President Cheney’s office and the CIA.

When Wilson wrote his story for the New York Times (39) to end the ongoing disinformation (“What I Didn’t Find in Africa”) , the Bush administration leaked the identity of Wilson’s wife to the press, Valerie Plame, blowing her cover as a covert CIA agent, ending her career and threatening her life (40). Ironically, Plame’s spy work was in the area of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons (41).

The Justice Department ended its investigation into who leaked Plame’s name with the prosecution of Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, for Perjury, Obstruction of Justice, and False Statements to a Grand Jury. Because Mr. Libby obstructed the investigation through lies and non-cooperation, we still don’t know who authorized the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity to the press. President Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s prison sentence. Wilson and Plame are proceeding with a civil suit; President Bush is blocking any legal access to records of the Vice President’s actions concerning the leak (42). Although there is much disinformation as to the above facts, please verify them for yourself.

As to the claim of a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, all US intelligence agencies reported that no such relationship existed (43).

Additional Evidence of Intent for War and not Disarmament: The Downing Street Memos are British government documents leaked to their press in May 2005 from the head of British Intelligence (equivalent to the US Director of the CIA) reporting in July 2002 that the Bush administration had already committed to war with Iraq:

“Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record.” (44)

The Manning Memo is a record of a meeting between President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on January 31, 2003 by Blair’s National Security Advisor, Tony Manning. The memo states that President Bush informed Blair that war with Iraq would begin in March whether or not WMD were found. Bush also discussed how to provoke Saddam into beginning the war (45).

In August 2008, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ron Suskind’s book became public: The Way of the World. Suskind interviewed the CIA’s former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations, Robert Richer, who in a taped interview said that the White House ordered Richer to forge a document that linked Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11 and work to create nuclear weapons (46). The document was leaked to the press in December 2003 for the purpose of creating public support for the war. The person’s signature on the letter in question is former Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, a CIA double agent who reported to the Bush and Blair administrations in January 2003 that Saddam had no WMD but was afraid for this to be known because of his fear of attack from Iran. Curiously, the US paid Habbush $5 million and resettled his family to Jordan. Suskind reports the reason for this act was to pay Habbush for his silence because his testimony would have both proven the letter as a forgery and informed world opinion that the US and UK invaded Iraq with all evidence that Saddam had no WMD (47).

In August 2008, Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps intelligence specialist and a chief weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, wrote that Iraq scientists and weapons technicians testified to him that they were being paid by the US military to keep silent about their knowledge that Iraq had no WMD prior to the war. These Iraqis also report that their lives are in danger for telling the truth on this issue (48).

The Democratic Party leadership have not clearly communicated the above to the American public.

Because US government “leaders” lied about their strongest arguments for a “defensive” war against Iraq, it would be reasonable that US government leaders have lied in the past concerning Iraq. Let’s look.

The US and Iraq: The History You Didn’t Know: Saddam Hussein was a vicious dictator who should have never ruled a nation. However, according to a dozen former US diplomats, US intelligence officials, and British scholars, Saddam was supported by the US beginning in 1959. The US CIA authorized Saddam to assassinate Iraq’s dictator, Abd al-Karim Qasim, who had recently withdrew from the pro-US Baghdad Pact and initiated friendly relations with the Soviet Union (49). The assassination failed, but another succeeded in 1963. Saddam rose in power, and became dictator in 1979. Saddam had US support to invade Iran in a War of Aggression from 1980 to 1988, including supplying him with biological and chemical weapons (50). When Saddam invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, US cooperation with him was suspended. The UN Security Council voted in favor of military action to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

US Congressional and public opinion to support any UN military force was divided. President George H.W. Bush spoke for US support of the war, emphasizing two areas of evidence. One was testimony from a 15-year-old girl named Nayirah to Congress in October, 1990. Nayirah claimed to be a refugee and hospital volunteer of the maternity ward of Al Adan hospital in Kuwait City; stating she witnessed Iraqi soldiers steal the incubators and leave 312 infants to die on the cold hospital floor (51). The second was that US satellite photos showed Iraqi forces massing for attack on the Saudi Arabian border in September, 1990 with 250,000 troops and 1,500 tanks. The President and those who supported war spoke publicly of Iraqi cruelty and the need to protect the innocent people of Saudi Arabia. Public opinion gradually shifted in favor for war. The Congressional vote passed by 52-47 in the Senate and 250-183 in the House on January 12, 1991 (52).

We now know that Nayirah lied about her identity; she was the daughter of Kuwait Ambassador to the United States and member of the Kuwait royal family, Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah. Nayirah had no connection to the hospital and was coached on how to give her testimony by the US public relations firm Hill and Knowlton (53). The only reasonable explanation I can see that the Bush Senior administration was not lying about this evidence for war is if it never occurred to anyone in leadership to verify the accuracy of this girl’s testimony. This is not likely. And remember, George H.W. Bush was the Director of the CIA, an agency responsible for working with accurate and contrived information.

When a reporter purchased commercially available satellite photos of the region at the time claimed to show massive Iraqi troop build-up and submitted them to experts for analysis, US troop presence was visible on the Saudi side of the border but there was no evidence of Iraqi troops. The Kuwaiti Air Base seemed deserted in the photos. When the reporter queried Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (now Vice President) about the satellite photos, she was told, “Trust us.” The alleged US satellite photos have never been released for reasons of “national security.” (54)

The US planning and execution of war in Iraq included the War Crime of targeting Iraq’s water system, which is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Convention for the protection of the civilian population. The documents proving the planning are from the US Defense Intelligence Agency, and state their understanding that destroying water sanitation would result in the deaths of thousands of civilians. After the US destroyed Iraq’s water purification plants, one of the documents planned propaganda to blame Saddam for not supplying clean water in Iraq (55). The UN reported that this US War Crime and preventing Iraq from importing essential supplies caused the deaths of over one million Iraqis, most of them children (56).

You may have heard criticism in the US mainstream media of UN officials in Iraq’s “Oil for Food” program (57). What isn’t discussed is that the agency of the UN managing this program that diverted funds to Saddam was the UN Security Council. A principle member of the Security Council is the US (58). Another guilty party was Chevron, who paid a $25 million fine in response to being charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (59).

Under the Clinton administration in 1998, the US demanded that weapons inspectors have complete access to Saddam Hussein’s presidential palaces while prominent US political leaders were calling for Saddam’s assassination (60). Hussein refused. Despite the US Chief Weapons Inspector declaring that Iraq was disarmed, Clinton removed weapons inspectors and bombed Iraq (61). This act of war was without authorization from the UN Security Council. Since then, Hillary Clinton has lied at every opportunity regarding this history, including in her presidential campaign, by saying that Saddam “threw out the inspectors.”

Additional useful history is the testimony of General Smedley Buter, who was the most decorated Marine in US History. Upon his retirement, General Butler wrote the book, War is a Racket, which powerfully communicates to the American public that political and media rhetoric for war often masks the real incentives: massive profits for our most powerful corporations. Follow the below link for a two-page summary in General Butler’s own words (62).

Bill Moyers, President Lyndon Johnson’s former Press Secretary and exemplary journalist with over thirty career Emmy awards, documented much of this evidence in his televised 1986 work, The Secret Government (63). Turner Broadcasting produced and aired a 1998 documentary, Secrets of the CIA, which highlights further evidence (64).

US Department of Defense complicity for war profit has strong evidence. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld publicly acknowledged that his department had “lost” over $2.3 trillion, extending back through the Clinton administration (65). To date, our government has not investigated. This is an astounding amount of money; equating to $23,000 “lost” per US household. If your household earns more than the national income, you can multiply that factor to know the particular cost for your household.

“The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.” – Harry Truman, as quoted in Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, p. 26.

Disinformation during the War in Iraq: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported in July, 2008 that because top military and White House “striking lack of recollection,” responsibility could not be determined for official misinformation on the death of Pat Tillman in 2004 and the circumstances for the recovery of Jessica Lynch (66). Pat Tillman was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Pro linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, breaking their single-season record for tackles. When Pat turned down a $3.6 million contract to join the US Army Rangers, he became a poster-boy for supporting the war.

Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother who served with him, wrote that they discovered that the “War on Terror” was an illegal invasion, subverted the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, included US torture of detainees, was all based on lies, and that American leadership had made a more dangerous world (67). One of Pat’s fellow soldiers reported Pat stating, “You know, this war is so f---ing illegal (68).” Pat’s mother, Mary Tillman, also says that Pat concluded the war was illegal (69), and that Pat arranged to meet with MIT Professor Noam Chomsky to discuss the illegality of the war (70). Given that Chomsky is one of the US’ strongest and most prolific spokespersons against the war, the probable result of such a meeting would be Chomsky and/or Tillman going public with their report. Mary Tillman would like to publicize Pat’s diary to confirm Pat’s exact impressions. However, the military informed her that his diary was “accidentally” completely burned, along with his uniform and body armor (perhaps these were destroyed to cover-up evidence that would have falsified the military’s report that Pat was killed by enemy fire to the chest). The official US story on Tillman’s death was that he died heroically engaging the enemy in a fierce firefight. After the public funeral and publicity, and five weeks after his death, the government acknowledged that Pat was killed by his own troops in “an accident.” Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act showed the medical examiners of Pat’s body reported that he was killed by three shots to the forehead in a tight pattern, concluding the shots came from 10 yards or so away (71). Military personnel familiar with firing the specific weapon report that to have such a tight pattern with three rounds would require being no more than ten feet away, or the result of three separate snipers firing simultaneously (72). Because of this strong physical evidence, Army doctors requested an investigation for murder (fratricide). Both of their requests were denied. In addition, there was zero evidence of any enemy fire at the scene (no other person or equipment was shot and no shell casings were found), Special Forces snipers were among the unit that fired on Pat, Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails in keeping information away from the public and securing non-criminal reprimands, and the three-star general who managed the disinformation responded to over 70 specific questions from the official investigation with the answer, “I don’t remember.” (73)

The US is using illegal WMD in Iraq that kills and damages US troops and Iraqi civilians: depleted uranium shells (DU) (74). The UN declared DU weapons in violation of several International Laws and UN conventions in August 2002. Independent medical research found increases in cancer and birth defects at 400% of previous rates in areas of DU use.

In 2004, the US military planned to spend $100 million to hire at least 100 people as covert counter-intelligence agents in Iraq to provoke terrorist groups to cause acts of terrorism against the Iraqi people. The stated purpose of this project was to expose terrorist groups for counterattack by US forces (75). This means that the US planned to incite terrorism that would injure and kill Iraqi civilians, making the US an accomplice to terrorism.

Among the provisions of US occupation of Iraq is that it is now illegal for Iraqi farmers to use their own seeds; this in the Fertile Crescent where much of agriculture began. Iraqi farmers must buy their seeds from US companies, and only use genetically modified seeds where farmers pay a licensing fee for each use (76). This act is done under US rhetoric for “freedom for the Iraqi people.”

In December, 2004, the US announced a military siege of the Iraq city of Fallujah, home to 300,000 Iraqis (please compare to the population of your city). The US gave the city residents the ultimatum of abandoning their homes or being attacked as terrorists. 250,000 left the city, becoming refugees with no provisions for their care. The US military estimated that Fallujah contained a “few thousand” terrorists; but all remaining 50,000 residents were targeted as the enemy. When the US attacked Falujah, their structural targets included the four water purification plants, destroying three and severely damaging the fourth. Again, this is a War Crime (77).

Beginning in November, 2005, US war strategy increased the use of air strikes against Iraqi urban areas to nearly 1,000 sorties a month, deploying 500 and 1,000 pound bombs. The most respected medical journal in the UK, The Lancet, reported that the US and coalition forces cause 85% of all violent deaths in Iraq, with 95% of those coming from aerial attacks (78).

The Bush administration has repeatedly assured the American public that our stay in Iraq is temporary, just until the Iraqi people can manage themselves. However, the US has built four military “super-bases,” each housing tens of thousands of personnel that appear permanent (79). The new US Embassy in prime-area Baghdad on the Tigris River is over 100 acres and will house over 8,000 people (100 acres is about 70 soccer fields), also appearing to manage greater responsibility than diplomacy in someone else’s country (80).

Some people argue that the US should stay to repair the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the aid that is allocated seems to be subject to corrupt practices of over-priced items of poor quality. The mark-up is called “phantom aid” because the money transfers directly from aid agencies to the bank accountants of the “reconstruction” companies. Estimates of how much aid is phantom range from 20% to 86% (81).

No timetable for US troop withdrawal has been set by the President or Congress, despite the facts that 70% of Iraqis want the US out immediately, Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki has called for the US to leave, and 60% of the American public want the US out within a year (82). I also note significant similarities to both parties’ policies toward the Vietnam War and the media’s support of the war. As with the Vietnam War, Democrats have become more vocal against the war, but their party leadership continues its funding.

War Crimes and War of Aggression in Iraq: A War of Aggression is defined as a non-defensive war for territorial gain and unauthorized by the UN Security Council. The US legal argument that the “War on Terror” is not a War of Aggression is that the US actions against Iraq and Afghanistan were defensive. Saddam was in the process of executing an attack against the US, and Osama bin Laden was being protected by the Afghan government, which made them co-terrorists. This legal opinion of “defensive action” supersedes the opinion of the UN Security Council.

Because we now know that the principle claims of Saddam’s threat to the US were known to be false at the time they were told to the American public, as documented in the first part of this paper, there is no legal defense for the war in Iraq that I see except the following: the US attacked Iraq legally because when we’re afraid that somehow, someday, they might decide to commit suicide by attacking the most powerful military country in the world, it is self-defense to lie about reasons they might attack us and then attack them even though we know we fabricated claims of their aggression. Unless you find this argument of defense compelling, the US war in Iraq is a War of Aggression (83).

An analogy might help: someone shoots and kills a person. The defendant claims self-defense because the victim was about to use a lethal weapon against the defendant. No lethal weapon was found on the victim’s body (you could add that the victim was being searched at the time he was shot). The defendant claims that he had “good intelligence” that the victim was about to attack with deadly force. After these claims are made, investigation shows that the defendant’s information was not credible. The defendant still claims innocence because the world is a better place without the victim.

Sometimes people discuss that the US invasion of Iraq was legal due to UN Security Council Resolution 1441 that demanded Saddam’s full cooperation to account for any WMD or face “serious consequences.” (84) This claim is legal nonsense because the US does not speak and act for the UN Security Council. The US only has authority for military force when they have the votes from the Security Council. In this instance, the US specifically chose not to call for a vote authorizing force because they didn’t have the votes. As a revealing sidelight, US leadership used the NSA (National Security Agency) to spy on Security Council diplomats to gain information that might have been helpful to influence their votes in favor of invading Iraq (85). The purpose of the NSA is to access secret information.

UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, asserted, “I have indicated it (the invasion of Iraq) was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.” (86)

War Crimes and War of Aggression in Afghanistan: Let’s review the history of the US invasion of Afghanistan. After the attacks of 9/11, the US government requested the cooperation of the Afghanistan government for extradition of Osama bid Laden to be charged with the 9/11 attacks. The Afghan government agreed, as per usual cooperative international law, as soon as the US government provided evidence of bin Laden’s involvement (87). The US government refused to provide any evidence. The Afghan government refused US troops entering their country and extradition until evidence was provided, and made their argument to the world press for the rule of law to apply to the US extradition request. The US invaded Afghanistan without providing evidence and without UN Security Council approval. President Bush stated, “There’s no need to discuss evidence of innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.”(88) Seven years later, despite promises to do so, the US has not provided any evidence that bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, the FBI does not seek bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, stating “there is no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” (89) Some of you might have heard of a bin Laden “confession video.” The Pentagon’s “official translation” seems to indicate foreknowledge of the attacks, but independent translations show that the “official” version is a manipulation and an accurate translation shows no evidence of involvement (90). Apparently, the FBI is in agreement with the independent translations. Indeed, Princeton professor of International Law Richard Falk articulates doubts concerning many aspects of the government’s explanation of 9/11 (91). This view of a counter-government explanation is now shared by over 1,000 reputable scholars and professionals with academic training and professional experience that qualify them as experts in their testimonies (92).

War Crimes: Torture: Wikipedia has increased their listing of impeachable evidence in its main article of the Iraq War (93). When I first wrote this paper in March 2007, buried at the end, after “references” in the section “external articles” under the “anti-war” section were a few links, but only one was hard-hitting: a David Shuster MSNBC piece titled, Road to War (94). Wikipedia does have an article specifically listing arguments for impeachment for your consideration (95), including the War Crimes of torture and that this is a “War of Aggression,” the most egregious international crime.

My point is that the information in this paper, mostly documented from our own government’s disclosures, is a few steps ahead of most people’s understanding. It’s natural for a gap between what most people know and the actual facts to elicit cognitive dissonance in the reader: discomfort from closing that gap. Cognitive dissonance usually produces one of two results. One is intellectual integrity and moral courage to embrace the facts, stand apart from the crowd, and act in leadership for education and societal virtue. Two is to become a liar and coward. A liar intentionally misrepresents the facts, through omission or commission. After reading this documented evidence, one is lying if one has not embraced these facts and uncomfortably concluded these wars to be what they are: illegal Wars of Aggression, unless one can refute the prima facie case before you. And one is a moral coward to justify the facts under any pretense. Intellectual integrity and moral courage are choices.

Unless one can refute documented evidence, the classical and conservative response should be tentative agreement until such evidence is refuted. Policy should move forward on our best current evidence. And moral courage only exists when one has a degree of fear. If “courage” was comfortable, we’d call it something else with more of a ho-hum, routine-response kind of flavor.

Ethical treatment of prisoners is a legal requirement under US and International law. In the so-called “War on Terror,” the Bush Administration, with Democratic leadership agreement, invented the unique legal distinction of “unlawful enemy combatant.” An enemy combatant would not be covered by US or international law. From the passage of the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA), it is now legal for the government to declare anyone, including US citizens, as unlawful enemy combatants (96). We know it’s the government’s intent to apply MCA to American citizens because they have declared American citizens as illegal enemy combatants without legal protection from US law or the US Constitution. For example, the Bush Administration, without complaint by Democratic leadership, argued for MCA application to American citizen Jose Padilla all the way to the Supreme Court. Unlawful enemy combatants can be detained forever, be denied legal representation and contact with family, have any testimony obtained from “harsh interrogation techniques” used against them if the government brings charges (“harsh interrogation” is the exact term used by the Nazis (97)), be denied the right to examine evidence against them for “national security” reasons but to only receive a summary of the evidence (for example, the government could claim they have video of you killing American children as an Al Qaeda terrorist, deny the court the right to see the video, but present a written summary of what’s on the video that the court would have to accept as valid evidence), and finally the same government that accused you would also appoint a three-person military tribunal to decide your verdict, which includes the death penalty (98). Please do not believe me; look up the MCA for yourself. While a recent Supreme Court decision reestablished Habeas Corpus only to Guantanamo detainees, the rest of MCA has so far been upheld in Federal Courts (99).

The US treatment of detainees has a deliberate history to circumvent previously established US and International Law (100). The US has applied interrogation techniques to “enemy combatants” that previous case law found were torture (these have also been applied by our government to American citizens). For example, President Bush admitted to authorizing “waterboarding,” found by courts to be torture in all previous case law in the US and internationally (101). This authorization was explicitly stated in memos from the White House (102). When previous courts are unanimous in their findings, that means the legal definition of an act is absolutely certain. In this case, waterboarding, or more accurately termed “controlled drowning,” is torture. Curiously, despite this clear legal definition, former US Attorney General John Ashcroft testified to the House Judiciary Committee that waterboarding had been consistently defined as not torture. He did not present any case law history in his defense or elaborate (103). However, other released documents suggest the legal opinion supporting these “harsh interrogation techniques” were based partly on the argument that it’s not torture if you don’t say it’s torture (104).

John Yoo, the principle author of legal memos for the White House that supported torture, also testified to Congress. In apparent support of the strategy that it’s not torture unless you admit it, Yoo refused to answer the direct question whether the President could legally order detainees to be buried alive and have that not be considered torture (105). Yoo’s legal memo said that interrogation only became torture if it was "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." Even then, for national security such pain and injury might be justified. Also, it’s only torture if causing severe pain and injury was the "specific intent" of the interrogator rather than obtaining information for the public good (106). There also seems to be no restraint on applying these interrogation methods to children. Over 2,500 children have been declared as unlawful enemy combatants and detained without being charged with a crime (107). Yoo testified that it would be legal to take a detainee’s male child and crush the boy’s testicles in front of the parent to obtain information from the detainee (108). Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh reported that interrogators have raped children, and video-taped the rapes for their viewing pleasure (109).

In International Law, torture is a War Crime. The US Constitution expressly forbids torture. The US has refused for over a year the UN’s request to inspect the US prison at Guantanamo Bay to evaluate claims of torture (110). The US has refused to release to the press the International Red Cross’ findings of the treatment of detainees (111). Jane Mayer’s new book, The Dark Side, presents the Red Cross reports that she obtained. The Red Cross concluded the US interrogation techniques were “categorically torture.” (112) Torture was the topic of the 2008 Academy Award for Documentaries for the film, Taxi to the Dark Side (113). The specific case study in the film is a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver who was beaten to death by US interrogators. His death certificate from the US military was leaked: cause of death was marked as “homicide” from blunt force trauma. He was never charged with a crime.

The testimony pointing to torture is mounting, despite a lack of comprehensive coverage in the mainstream media. For example, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, the military’s chief investigator and report author of the torture at Abu Ghraib reported in June, 2008:

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account…The commander-in-chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture." (114)

The US military acknowledged that they “segregate” some detainees in “humane” sealed crates measuring 3-feet square and 6-feet high for up to 12 hours (115). There was no mention if the crates are stored outside, where the average daily temperature in Baghdad from June to August is 110 degrees.

According to Seton Hall’s Law Center for Policy and Research, over 24,000 US interrogations of enemy combatants were video-recorded at Guantanamo Prison. These might reveal extensive torture (116). Indeed, the organization Physicians for Human Rights concluded in their medical examination of released enemy combatants that each person had been subjected to multiple torture techniques over a period of years (117). These medical findings support the testimony of the released detainees that they were repeatedly tortured.

A recent poll reported that 44% of Americans approve of torture for terrorist suspects (118). Perhaps they trust their government to not break the law, are unclear of the facts you’ve just read, or believe torture is a necessary evil to “protect America.” History has shown that torture is not an effective interrogation technique to get accurate information, as the victims will say what they believe the torturer wants to hear in order to make the torture stop (119).

"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause... for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."
- General George Washington, letter to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

Cost in money and lives: Current war expenditures are now ~$15 billion/month (120). According to Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard professor, Linda Bilmes, the long-term costs of the Iraq war as of Spring, 2008, are conservatively figured at over $3 trillion, ~$30,000 each for the ~100 million American households (121). Adjusted for inflation, this is now the second most costly war in US history (122). And remember, in the prelude to war when the American public began wondering how much this war would cost if the US acted without the UN sharing the bill, President Bush’s lead economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey, reported to the Wall Street Journal that costs could exceed $200 billion to the American taxpayers. The Bush administration quickly refuted his professional estimate, promising that the war would cost no more than $60 billion, but providing no evidence for this claim (123). Mr. Lindsey resigned shortly thereafter.

The war has fraudulently allowed at least tens of billions of US taxpayer money to disappear without effective oversight or prosecution (124). While this information is generally suppressed by mainstream media, the good news is that it’s still legal to communicate. In contrast, Americans who spoke against World War I in any way were prosecuted. This included US Senator Richard Pettigrew, who wrote extensively of the war profiteering of US companies at the expense of the US taxpayers (125).

According to the John Hopkins School of Public Health published in the esteemed Lancet Medical Journal using the best academic and professional methodology, as of October, 2006, over 650,000 more Iraqis have been killed since the US invasion than would be expected in pre-war conditions (126). Despite this being the only peer-reviewed study, the US government dismisses this study without giving reason, saying that less than 100,000 Iraqis have died (127). In December 2007, the number of violent Iraqi deaths is probably over 1.2 million (about 20,000 per month) (128). From these deaths, the Iraqi government reports that five million children have become orphans; horrific even if overestimated by a factor of two (129).

A 2008 UN report documents over 800,000 displaced children, most of whom are so impoverished that they don’t have access to clean water (130). There are now about 2.8 million displaced Iraqis within the country, having fled from their homes to escape sectarian violence (131). In addition, the war has caused over 2 million Iraqis to flee their country, 7.7% of their population (132), with many of the most desperate families using their young girls and women for prostitution (133). The unemployment rate in Iraq is 60-70% (134). Getting clean water is a daily struggle, and sanitation is a nightmare with 250 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the water system daily (135).

Iraq has a population of 26 million. Those percentages translated to the US population of 300 million would be as if another country came to “liberate” us, built 48 permanent military bases over four years, causing the violent deaths of over 12,000,000 Americans, forcing 23 million Americans to leave the US, and creating over 30 million Americans to become homeless.

A comparison to California’s 34 million population: Indonesia liberated us, but the ensuing violence is killing 30,000 Californians each month, a total of 1.6 million in the last four years. To translate to a my hometown city population of 20,000 (La Cañada): the city of Riverside “rescued” us with "regime change." Riverside’s government promised to stay until they restore order, but the violence claims 15 La Cañada lives a month, with over 50 wounded (conservatively assuming ~5 wounded for every kill in Iraq; half the US troop ratio of over 10:1). Since 2003, close to 1,000 residents have died in car bombs, drive-by-shootings, and general violence, with 5,000 wounded. Four thousand of us have fled our homes, about half leaving LC, and about 2,000 homeless.

Finally, on a scale at La Canada High School: after being taken over by the LAPD, intra-school wars kill 1-2 students a month, wounding ~15. The class of 2009 will have seen just under 100 of their LCHS classmates killed since their 8th grade year, with one quarter wounded. The new principal elected under the supervision of the invading power assures us that their “surge” of troops and Blackwater’s private military company is working, LCHS is now safer, and they’ll stay until they defeat our “terrorists.” One in every 20 LCHS students has been killed since “liberation.” Thirty-five percent of LCHS students have had a parent killed, over 600. Any of us can be labeled a “terrorist suspect,” detained indefinitely without habeas corpus or communication to friends and family, and be tortured (136) (controlled drowning, naked in 45° F. cells for days, sleep and food deprivation for days, shackled in painful positions for days, threats to sexually assault and torture your family members, and if Abu Ghraib tactics are included: sodomizing with broom handles and lights, forced homosexual acts, rape, pouring on phosphoric acid, smearing faces and bodies in feces, etc.). The mayor of Los Angeles tells the public (with decreasing credibility) that LAPD needs to stay for the safety of the students because LCHS would become more violent if they left, and that expanding their “War on Terror” to Crescenta Valley HS is “on the table” because their “terrorists” are also attacking LAPD.

Over 4,100 American troops have been killed in the War on Terror, with over 30,000 wounded, as of mid-July, 2008 according to official government statistics (137). CBS News commissioned an extensive study to measure how many US military veterans are committing suicide. Their report: over 6,000 a year (138). Among active duty soldiers, over 580 have committed suicide since the war began (139). The Veterans Affairs Department received over 22,000 calls from desperate veterans in its first year of opening a suicide hotline (140). Over 10,000 active American troops are diagnosed with the most severe classification of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (141), with one in eight returning troops reporting symptoms (142). There are increasing reports that returning veterans are not receiving proper care for PTSD and other ailments, as the suicide numbers of CBS suggest (143).

The endgame for US occupation of Iraq was legislated by the Iraqi Parliament on November 27, 2008. Under the Status of Forces Agreement, all 150,000 US troops will withdraw from all cities, towns, and villages by June 30, 2009 and remain upon their bases unless authorized to leave by Iraq’s government. All US troops shall withdraw from Iraq by December 31, 2011. Blackwater and other US security firms shall be subject to Iraq law rather than legal immunity after the end of 2008 (144).

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” - Mohandas Gandhi, “Non-violence in Peace and War”

“This business of making people conscious of what is happening outside their own small circle is one of the major problems of our time, and a new literary technique will have to be evolved to meet it. Considering that the people of this country are not having a very comfortable time, you can't perhaps, blame them for being somewhat callous about suffering elsewhere, but the remarkable thing is the extent to which they manage to be unaware of it. Tales of starvation, ruined cities, concentration camps, mass deportations, homeless refugees, persecuted Jews — all this is received with a sort of incurious surprise, as though such things had never been heard of but at the same time were not particularly interesting. The now-familiar photographs of skeleton-like children make very little impression. As time goes on and the horrors pile up, the mind seems to secrete a sort of self-protecting ignorance which needs a harder and harder shock to pierce it, just as the body will become immunised to a drug and require bigger and bigger doses.”
- George Orwell, "As I Please," The Tribune (1947-01-17)

Iran’s “Nuclear Program”: The Bush administration has prepared the US military and the American public for war with Iran. President Bush ordered three aircraft carrier strike groups into the region (145) and Israel and the US are engaged in military strategic planning for war (146). In early August of 2008, unprecedented numbers of war ships are headed toward Iran (147). The Bush Administration, along with Senators McCain, Obama and Clinton, continue heated rhetoric regarding Iran’s “nuclear program” and alleging that Iran wants to destroy Israel, to “wipe Israel off the map.” (148) Let’s examine the factual bases for both claims.

Some necessary history in three brief paragraphs: first, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (149) was designed to limit nuclear weapon development, facilitate availability of nuclear energy, and lead to global nuclear disarmament. The treaty allows any country to develop nuclear material for energy, receive the assistance of the nuclear countries to do so (US, UK, France, Russia, and China), and then be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify they do not refine fissionable material beyond energy-grade (3-5%) to weapons-grade (over 85%). To date, no NPT country with a nuclear energy program has developed nuclear weapons. Iran and the US are signatories of NPT. Therefore, the legal and Constitutional US response is to help Iran develop nuclear energy. However, the Bush administration rejects Iran’s proposal and threatens war. The Bush administration doesn’t disclose Iran’s treaty-right to nuclear energy under NPT and obfuscates the issue with rhetoric of Iran’s “nuclear program” to link energy with weapons (150). Ironically, the US is in additional violation of NPT by developing new nuclear weapons and threatening to use them rather than work for global disarmament as per treaty terms (151).

In 1953, the United States CIA led by one of President Theodore Roosevelt’s grandsons, initiated a coup in Iran (Operation Ajax) (152) to remove the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. The Iranian government was understandably dissatisfied with the terms of its contract with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company that allowed British interests to claim 85% of the oil profit from Iran (153). Iran voted to nationalize the oil industry in 1951 after the British declined to renegotiate the terms. The US-led coup was successful, and the royal monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (154), became virtual dictator. Fearing popular reprisal, Pahlavi’s government was supported by the CIA in creating the Iranian SAVAK, a vicious secret police for the Shah’s dictatorial government (155). We can only assume that the oil revenue sharing agreement with the Shah was acceptable to the US and UK.

Under the Eisenhower administration, the US cooperated with the Shah’s government for the development of Iranian nuclear energy through the “Atoms for Peace” program (156). President Ford agreed to US full cooperation to help Iran build about two dozen nuclear energy plants. When the Iranian people overthrew the Shah’s government in 1979, the US stopped cooperating. The US backed Iraq in their invasion of Iran in 1980 and throughout the war until 1988, seeking a more US-friendly Iranian government. The US provided Saddam Hussein with the chemical and biological weapons the W. Bush administration later used as justification for invading Iraq (157). Since 1979, the US has worked to prevent Iran having a nuclear energy program, even under the legal provisions of the NPT, and reneged on a multi-billion dollar contract to deliver nuclear fuel to Iran without refunding Iran’s money (158).

The previous three paragraphs are plain vanilla history in conservatively-known content. Neither our government’s political leaders from either party or our major media give the US public the context of history to evaluate the Bush administration’s statements advocating war with Iran. The Bush administration, Democratic leadership and media’s use of the term “nuclear program” is misleading. We could also call it fraud, as it deliberately misinforms (159). Objectively, the US actions are in violation of NPT and the UN Charter in threatening war (160). Again, Democratic Party leadership has not communicated these facts to the public.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, has reported since 2005 that government insiders have disclosed to him that the CIA is presently engaged in covert operations similar to 1953 to overthrow the Iranian government (161). Hersh, claiming inside White House sources, reported one idea from Vice President Dick Cheney was for the US Navy to build four or five boats that looked like Iranian Naval PT boats, man and arm them with US Navy Seals, then have the Navy Seals attack a US Navy ship off Iran’s coast. The incident would be filmed and used as propaganda to enflame US public opinion for war with Iran (162). Hersh is the reporter who insiders trusted to report the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up in the Vietnam War, and the Abu Ghraib Torture Scandal in the current Iraq war. Scott Ritter, US former weapons inspector and officer for US Marine Intelligence calls any covert planning and actions by their correct legal name: Acts of War. Ritter states the obvious: the US would never allow Iran to take these actions without calling them Acts of War (163).

Most recently and disturbingly, was the US Air Force admission that they “mistakenly” transported six live nuclear warheads attached to ready-to-launch cruise missiles to the US military base that is the jump-off for US supplies to Middle East Operations. This could be a veiled threat of nuclear war against Iran rather than explained by the long chain of continuous “mistakes” required for such an event to occur (164). Nuclear weapons are protected by detailed protocol and lethal force; they go nowhere by mistake and had a 50 year perfect record for their handling.

We properly wonder why the Bush administration and Democratic leadership is using Iran’s “nuclear program” as rhetoric linking Iran with atomic weapons, and the call for US war against Iran. In academic analysis, “why” is a subjective question that cannot be answered in full objective confidence. All we can do is discuss related facts to build broad-scale constructions of circumstances, and then construct hypotheses that match those facts. Let’s examine one more Iran war-related piece of propaganda before we attempt an analysis of why our government and major media use this misleading language in support of war.

“Wiping Israel off the Map”: Wikipedia admits to “controversy” over the interpretation of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s meaning of an October, 2005 speech (165). However, Wikipedia doesn’t mention the context within which it was spoken to help our understanding. In his speech, Ahmadinejad was discussing how people once thought it was impossible to remove the Shah as Iran’s dictator, but it was done. He then said that people thought the Soviet government and Saddam’s government would never fall. He then quoted Ayatollah Khomeini’s words from speeches he gave encouraging Iran’s persistence to oppose the Shah’s government that translate awkwardly into English as, “erase from the page of time.” Unless Khomeini and Ahmadinejad were advocating for the destruction of their own country, the speech’s meaning is to encourage the Iranian people to persist for change in Israel’s government (166). Again, please don’t believe me. Look at the evidence; read the speech. If you have Persian friends as I do, talk with them to gain their perspective of the discrepancy between our government and major media reporting of the meaning of the speech and what Ahmadinejad actually said. My Persian friends are understandably outraged by US threats to attack Iran, and frightened that what has happened in Iraq will happen to their friends and families in Iran.

Political leadership from both parties have not corrected this contrivance; rather they use it as an argument to demonize Iran. The US House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the UN Security Council to charge President Ahmadinejad with the War Crime of inciting genocide (167). John McCain has twice made public “jokes” about killing Iranians, escalating concern (168). Senator McCain stated his position on Iran that includes this lie of President Ahmadinejad’s speech:

“The leadership of Iran has repeatedly used violence to undermine Israel and the Middle East peace process. It has trained, financed, and equipped extremists in Iraq who have killed American soldiers fighting to bring freedom to that country. It remains the world's chief sponsor of terrorism and threatens to destabilize the entire Middle East, from Basra to Beirut…It's hard to see what… a summit with President Ahmadinejad would actually gain, except an earful of anti-Semitic rants, and a worldwide audience for a man who denies one Holocaust and talks before frenzied crowds about starting another." (169)

Senator Obama spoke in Israel and seems to endorse this lie, stating that Iran “sponsors terrorism, pursues nuclear weapons and threatens Israel’s existence.” (170) One of President Bush’s advisors and the author of the idea for the troop “surge” in 2007, Fred Kagan, stated on MSNBC on July 23, 2008:

“Well, there’s nothing we can do short of an attack to force Iran to give up its nuclear program. … At the end of the day, the only way that you can make for sure that [a nuclear arm’s race] doesn’t happen is with an attack.” (171)

In apparent complicity in this deliberate misinformation, and perhaps working for war against Iran, the UK’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, stated in his speech to the Israeli Legislature, the Knesset, on July 21, 2008, "It is totally abhorrent for the President of Iran to call for Israel to be wiped from the map of the world." (172)
Mike Wallace of the famed television show 60 Minutes won an Emmy for a contrived interview with President Ahmadinejad in 2006, where Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments encouraging democracy for Palestinians was edited to appear that he was hostile to Israel. You can verify this by watching the brief 5-minute clip for yourself: .
One scenario for initiating war with Iran came from Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor and the National Security Advisor to Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. Brzezinski testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 1, 2007:

“A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a ‘defensive’ U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” (173)

This strategy was echoed by retired CIA Analyst, Ray McGovern, who served under seven US Presidents. McGovern’s comprehensive understanding of intelligence work qualified him as one of the few analysts chosen to present the President’s Daily Brief in morning meetings to Presidents (174). McGovern states that Israel and/or the CIA have numerous possibilities to attack US interests (known as a false-flag attack), blame Iran, then use the media to stoke public opinion in favor of war (175).

In history, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously approved of a US-initiated false-flag operation in 1962, named Operation Northwoods. The plan included killing American citizens and/or US military personnel, blaming Cuba, and then riding public anger for a military operation to invade Cuba (176). False-flag operations have been used extensively in history to rally public opinion for an offensive war (177).

US atrocities have also occurred under Democratic presidents. Vietnam is a similar story of an illegal invasion; that time in support of a dictatorship in South Vietnam after the US rejected an election for the people of Vietnam to choose their own leadership. Most recently, President Clinton violated the UN Genocide Convention by taking no action during the Rwanda genocide of 1994 that killed between 500,000 and 800,000 human beings. In fact, Secretary of State Madeline Albright blocked UN Security Council action to prevent the slaughter: a simple proposal to increase UN troop presence from 2,000 to 5,000 from the request of Canadian Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, the Commander of the UN troops in Rwanda (178).

In addition, it’s useful to know that US refusal of International Laws and Treaties is common. The US is currently in violation of nine (179):

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),
The Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines,
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),
A protocol to create a compliance regime for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC),
The Kyoto Protocol on global warming,
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM),
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
The Chemical Weapons Commission (CWC),
The UN framework Convention on Climate Change.
“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government… We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence,” 1967. Text and audio: .

Cui Bono? An economic motivation for the US invasions of Iraq and Iran is those countries’ shifts from selling oil exclusively in dollars to including Euros and Yen. The drop in demand for dollars would decrease the US government’s ability to fund programs by selling government securities. Saddam became the first OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) member to sell oil for Euros in November, 2000. President Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, wrote that the President began discussing removing Saddam as soon as he moved into the White House in January, 2001 (180). As soon as the US was prepared to export oil from Iraq, the currency was reestablished for dollars only (181). Iran began accepting Euros in 2003; US rhetoric for attacking Iran began shortly thereafter. Iran increased their market for Euros in 2006 (182).

If another attack occurs against the US, false-flag or real, President Bush has the legal authority to declare himself the sole authority of US government, bypassing any authority of Congress and the Federal Court System. Under National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51) (183), issued May 9, 2007, if the President declares a “national emergency,” all government authority is “coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches.” This means that the President is the legal dictator of the United States, with only his discretion allowing influence by Congress and/or the Courts. Details of this plan are secret for “national security,” even to the members in Congress on the Committee for Homeland Security (184). Just after passing the MCA, Congress also repealed the Posse Comitatus Act, and gave the President legal authority to command the state’s National Guard without consulting with state governors for the purpose of “suppressing public disorder.” (185)

If the President invoked NSPD-51 and the states’ National Guards to suppress public protest, Americans would have to be arrested and detained in large facilities. For the past several years, FEMA has been constructing and renovating such “camps” with Congressional funding (186). The existence of detention camps for Americans was originally disclosed to the public in Congressional Hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 under the name REX-84 (187).

Information Operations Roadmap is a program approved by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in 2003, and surprisingly released to George Washington University’s National Security Archive in a Freedom of Information Act request (188). Wikipedia acknowledges its existence, but fails to inform of its content for government influence of American public opinion for support of US military operations. The existence of this document confirms governmental planning to replace fact with spin for the American public’s consumption (189).

In 2000, CNN reluctantly acknowledged that they employ military PSYOPS (Psychological Operations Group) personnel at their news station (190). The express purpose of US military PSYOPS is propaganda; to manipulate public opinion in favor of government military policy.

The Pentagon complied with Freedom of Information requests and released over 8,000 pages that confirmed beginning in January 2002, they recruited over 75 former military “experts” to be what they termed as their “surrogates” and “message force multiplies” to appear in major media to advocate for the War on Terror under the disguise of independent analysts (191). They collectively appeared over 4,500 times to reinforce the government’s military positions while the media called them “military experts.” (192) The program was managed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Victoria Clark, funded by our tax dollars, and again had the express purpose of propaganda. The title for this episode that stuck was “PSYOPS on steroids.” The Pentagon claims to have discontinued the program.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan confirmed that the Bush administration directly sent “talking points” to Fox News for their communication to the American public (193).

Americans seem to be taking notice of at least some of this information. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, the majority of the American public see the US major media news organizations as politically biased, inaccurate, and uncaring. Among those who use the Internet, two-thirds report that major media news do not care about the people they report on, 59% say the news is inaccurate, 64% see bias, and 53% summarize their view on major media news as, “failing to stand up for America.” (194)

A hypothesis to explain our government’s motivation to disinform the public in favor of Middle East wars that seems to be supported by the facts is to dominate the Middle East’s oil supply. Indeed, the Bush administration first named the Iraq war, “Operation Iraqi Liberation.” (195) Wikipedia used to have an article explaining that the project name was changed due to people wondering if its acronym, O.I.L., was the war’s real purpose. Regarding war with Iran, 90% of their oil and gas reserves are in the province that borders Iraq, most of which is right on the border, a tempting and nearby target should the control of oil be the objective (196).

For those who cling to the notion that the purpose of the war was to remove a vicious dictator for the good of the Iraqi people and the safety of the world rather than for oil, consider that the US supports vicious dictators in Africa who cooperate with their oil exports to the US. The second and third largest oil producers of Africa are Angola and Gabon; neither belong to OPEC. In addition, Equatorial Guinea is a significant exporter of oil. All three countries have dictators at least as bad as Saddam. All three are on favorable terms with the US and welcome to meet with President Bush (197).

Also consider the CIA program, “Operation Mockingbird,” (198) disclosed to the public in the Church Senate Committee hearings in 1976, then reported in detail by Woodward and Bernstein in the Washington Post (199). This was a fully implemented CIA program to spread disinformation throughout American media. CIA Director William Colby testified to the Church Committee that over 400 CIA agents were active in the US media to control what was reported through American mainstream television, newspapers, and magazines. President Ford fired Colby after his testimony, replacing him with George H. W. Bush. Bush Sr. ended the CIA’s testimony, stating that there were no other programs of concern to disclose and promising that the CIA would no longer influence the media.

An historical precedent of US government manipulation of the media that may have encouraged such a program was the successful cover-up of the destructive effects of the US use of nuclear weapons against Japan. After the US used the world’s most destructive WMD in history, General MacArthur closed southern Japan to reporters. The War Department hired NY Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, William Laurence, to report to the American public on the accomplishment of the US nuclear weapons program. Part of Laurence’s instruction was to specifically state that nuclear weapons had no danger of radiation. Laurence did so, discounting Japanese reports of radiation fallout poisoning as “propaganda.” Laurence was rewarded for his “reporting” with a second Pulitzer (200).

I can’t answer with certainty why the Bush Jr. administration, Democratic leadership, and our major media have lied about Iraq’s WMD, Iran’s right to nuclear energy, and “wiping Israel off the map.” The Constitutional response of impeachment hearings to consider if “high crimes and misdemeanors” have occurred is not seriously considered by leadership of either party. Democrat and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, stated she’d support impeachment “if anyone knew of a crime” that had been committed (201), but admitted that she had not read the Articles of Impeachment introduced by Congressman Kucinich and heard in the House Judiciary Committee (202). I do observe that many historical governments have considered manipulating people toward their policy preferences as more important than objective reporting of the facts, civil conversation, and democratic vote. As you know, there is strong historical precedent for leaders of government preferring dictatorial powers rather than serving the will of the public. Indeed, President Bush has joked on at least three occasions that a dictatorship in America would be easier than democracy as long as he were the dictator (203). President Bush was also quoted by three White House sources of exploding in a meeting with Republican leadership over the Constitutionality of the Patriot Act, shouting, “I don't give a goddamn. I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddamned piece of paper!” (204)

If this information is new to you, you’re welcome to be shocked and skeptical. Please confirm these facts for yourself. You are not welcome to disbelieve it. Disbelief means that you’re using your personal belief system to evaluate these claims rather than the factual evidence. I know that you have historical information of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. I also know that if this is your first time feeling the magnitude of these scandals you might be shocked. This process of fighting your way to the essential history and facts of policy, considering its economic costs and benefits, and determining your voice and vote is what US citizenry is all about.

Competent citizenry requires your ongoing personal growth, academic excellence, and being a leader in service to humanity.

1. The Administration’s use of the word “imminent.”
2. Consider review discussion of Norman Podhoretz, World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism: , and for a summary: Wikipedia: .
3. (President Bush and) Naming the enemy. New York Sun. Aug. 17, 2004: .
4. Washington Post. Glasser, S. US Figures Show Sharp Global Rise in Terrorism. . New York Times. Mazzetti, M. Spy Agencies Says Iraq War Worsens Terrorism: , Foreign Terrorism Index. September/October, 2007: .
5. Boston Globe. Zinn, H. .
6. CNN. Pentagon: Violence down in Iraq since ‘surge.’ June 23, 2008: .
7. The Australian. Surge hasn’t curbed violence in Iraq. Sept. 5, 2007.,25197,22366787-2703,00.html , and Alternet. Cole, J. Forget the Surge – violence is down in Iraq because ethnic cleansing was brutally effective. July 29, 2008: .
8. Alternet. Heller, Z.P. Baghdad 5 years on: city of walls. Aug. 7, 2008: .
9. Center for Public Integrity. Iraq: The War Card. Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War: , and What Really Happened. Iraq WMD Lies: Words of Mass Deception: . Lies began immidiately after 9/11: Bush Caught Lying About September 11th: .
10. I recommend the four I’ve read: Elizabeth de la Vega’s U.S. V. Bush, Dave Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky’s The Case for Impeachment, Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips’ edited essays Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney .
11. Try Common Dreams. Perry, S. The Bush Administration's Top 40 Lies about War and Terrorism Bring 'em On! July 30, 2003: , Impeach Bush homepage: , Impeach Bush/Vote to Impeach homepage: , and Seymour Hersh’s article from The New Yorker, “The Stovepipe,” Oct. 27, 2003: .
12. US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs: Second Staff Report on U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and The Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the War. May 25, 1994: , DemocracyRising.US. Arming of Iraq and the Iraq-Iran War: , National Security Archive. Battle, J. Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein. Feb. 25, 2003: , and Wikipedia background summary: .
13. Burks, F. Key move made quietly in 2002 set the stage for war with Iraq: .
14. Project Censored. Lough, T. & Brage, L. #3 in top 25 censored stories for 2004: US illegally removes pages from Iraq UN report: .
15. Information Clearing House. Bugliosi, V. The prosecution of George W. Bush for murder. May 10, 2008: and Democracy Now! CIA’s Tenet: Iraq posed no imminent threat: .
16. Center for American Progress. Neglecting intelligence, ignoring warnings. Jan. 29, 2004: .
17. Information Clearing House. Bugliosi, V. Ibid. Levin, C. Opening statement of Senator Carl Levin at the Senate Armed Services Committee with DCI Tenet and DIA Director Jacoby. March 9, 2004. , and excerpts from Vincent Bugliosi’s book, The prosecution of George W. Bush for murder. Indictment for dummies: .
18. The National Security Archive. CIA whites out controversial estimate on Iraq weapons. July 9, 2008: .
19. THOMAS (Library of Congress): .
20. Avalon Project. The War Powers Act: .
21. United Nations: ; Articles 2, 33, 39, and 51.
22. ICRC. International Humanitarian Law: Principles Nuremburg Tribunal 1950: .
23. The Modern Tribune. Young, D. L. Accountability for an illegal war. Jan. 14, 2005: .
24. For commentary, consider Wikipedia: .
25. BBC. Report Concludes no WMD in Iraq. Oct. 7, 2004: , GWU. Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction. National Security Archive Briefing Book #80. Updated Feb. 11, 2004: , Wikipedia: .
26. ImpeachBush. Bush lied about aluminum tubes in Iraq. .
27. Tomgram. De La Vega: Bush’s War: A Case of Presidential War? Oct. 29, 2005: and Left Coaster. Eriposte. WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy – The Aluminum Tubes, Part 2A-3. Nov. 19, 2005: .
28. Report on the US intelligence community’s prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq. .
29. Judis, J. & Ackerman, S. The Selling of the Iraq War: the first casualty. New Republic. June 30, 2003: .
30. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II investigation.
31. ibid: .
32. Prather, G. Justifying the Iraq war: why the NIE is wrong. Dec. 22, 2007: .
33. WorldNetDaily. Energy rep at Iraq meeting lacked intelligence savvy. Aug. 6, 2003: .
34. George Tenet. .
35. ImpeachBush. False claims about uranium from Niger: .
36. CNN. Ensor, D. Fake Iraq Documents “Embarrassing” for US. March 14, 2003: .
37. Counterpunch. Lindorff, D. Forging the case for war. Aug. 16, 2008: .
38. US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Dec. 18, 2008. The President’s claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger: .
39. Wilson, J. What I Didn’t Find in Africa. July 6, 2003: .
40. Think Progress. 23 Administration Officials Involved in Plame Leak: , Wikipedia: .
41. The Raw Story. Kane, M., Edwards, D. CBS confirms Raw Story scoop: Plame’s job was to keep nukes from Iran. Oct. 20, 2007: .
42. Wilson’s Statement on Bush’s Invocation of Executive Privilege to Protect Cheney. July 16, 2008: .
43. Washington Post. Pincus, W & Milbank, D. Al Qaeda-Hussein Link is Dismissed. June 17, 2004: , MSNBC. AP report. No Saddam, al-Qaida Link Found. Sept. 8, 2007: , Wikipedia: .
44. Downing Street Memo homepage: , After Downing Street. Text of Downing Street Memo. May 26, 2005: , and Wikipedia:
45. Alternet. Prados, J. Bush’s Paper Trail Grows. April 4, 2006: .
46. The Raw Story. Byrne, J. Tape: top CIA official confesses order to forge Iraq-9/11 letter came on White House stationery. Aug. 8, 2008: .
47. 9/11 Blogger. Suskind, R. Smoking gun? Or smoking mushroom cloud? Aug. 7, 2008: . For an interview of Suskind by John Stewart on the Daily Show from Aug. 11, 2008: .
48. Truthdig. Ritter, S. “Where are the weapons of mass destruction?” Aug. 11, 2008: .
49. Information Clearing House. Sale, R. Exclusive: Sadda Was Key in Early CIA Plot. April 11, 2003: .
50. Project Censored. Nouveaux, D. & Steiner, J. 5: U.S. Weapons mass Destruction Linked to the Deaths of a Half-Million Children. Top 25 Censored Stories for 1999: .
51. Video of her testimony: Barry Zweiker: Gulf War lies – conspiracy to gain support. Feb. 24, 2006: .
52. BBC on this day. 1991: US Congress votes for war in Iraq. .
53. The Christian Science Monitor. Peterson, S. In war, some facts less factual. Sept. 6, 2002: .
54. Project Censored. #6 1991 top 25 censored stories. No evidence of Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia: , and Utley, J.B. Questions about the supposed Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia in 1990 – aerial photos were never released! .
55. Project Censored. Nagy, J. #5 in top 25 censored stories for 2003: U.S. intentionally destroyed Iraq’s water system: .
56. CNN. Iraq condemns embargo on 9th anniversary. Aug. 6, 1999: .
57. Such as, FOX News. Unraveling the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal. Sept. 25, 2004:,2933,133484,00.html .
58. Project Censored. McNamara, R. & Murrell, D. #6 in top 25 censored stories for 2006: The real oil for food scam: .
59. News Sophisticate. Chevron’s treasonous oil for food scandal. Nov. 15, 2007: .
60. CommonDreams. Zunes, S. Hillary Clinton again lies about Iraq. Feb. 2, 2008: .
61. CommonDreams. Ritter, S. See Hillary run (from her husband’s past on Iraq). March 3, 2007: .
62. Butler, S. War is a Racket. 1935. Two-page summary from .
63. Summary and links from .
64. Summary and links from .
65. Summary of mainstream news reports at .
66. Common Dreams. AP Report. Probe of Tillman Misinformation Goes Nowhere: .
67. After Pat’s Birthday. Oct. 19, 2006: .
68. SFGate. Collier, R. Family Demands the Truth. Sept. 25, 2005: .
69. Crooks and Liars. Silent Patriot. Mary Tillman Demands Answers. March 28, 2007: .
70. Common Dreams. Zirin, D. The meeting that never was: Pat Tillman and Noam Chomsky. Oct. 7, 2005: .
71. Was Tillman Murdered? AP Gets New Information. July 26, 2007: and Kevin’s testimony to Congress. Hearing on Tillman, Lynch Incidents. Kevin Tillman’s Opening: .
72. Mail Online. Laurence, C. Was the pin-up boy of Bush’s war on terror assassinated? Aug. 3, 2007: .
73. USA Today. Mendoza, M. New Details on Tillman’s Death. July 27, 2007: .
74. Project Censored. Williams, R., Jacks, S., Spencer, J. #8 in top 25 censored stories for 2004: US/British forces continue use of depleted uranium weapons despite negative health effects. .
75. Project Censored. Nelson, C., Storino, M., Scanlan, J. #4 in top 25 censored stories for 2004: Rumsfeld’s plan to provoke terrorists. .
76. Project Censored. Wingard, J., Barker, C. #8 in top 25 censored stories for 2006: Iraqi farmers threatened by Bremer’s mandates. .
77. Project Censored. Crowley, B., Jaffe, S., Lanphear, B. #2 in top 25 censored stories for 2006: Media coverage fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the civilian deathtoll. .
78. Project Censored. Manning, R., Fuchs, B. #10 in top 25 censored stories for 2007: Expanded air war in Iraq kills more civilians.
79. See Information Clearing House. Lando, B. Total Withdrawal? Who Are You Kidding? March 12, 2007: and Alternet. Von Hoffman, N. Finally, the US Mega-Bases in Iraq are Under Debate. June 15, 2008: .
80. The Nation. Von Hoffman, N. Bush’s Baghdad Palace. June 20, 2006: and Wikipedia: , and Daniel Pipes Blog. “The Largest Embassy Ever Run by Any Country.” March 9, 2004: .
81. Project Censored. Hall, M., Bickel, J., Dean, J. #11 in top 25 censored stories for 2008: The scam of “reconstruction” in Afghanistan. .
82. ABC News Commentary. Sam Donaldson. Sam Dissects “Myth” Behind American Troop Presence. July 8, 2008: .
83. Peterson, E.A. Sept. 17, 2004. Was The Iraq War Legal, Or Illegal, Under International Law? .
84. One of many: Disarming Saddam – a chronology of Iraq and UN weapons inspections from 2002-2003. July, 2003: .
85. Huffington Post. Solomon, N. NSA spied on U.N. diplomats in push for invasion of Iraq. Dec. 27, 2005: .
86. Guardian. MacAskill, E., Borger, J. Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan. Sept. 16, 2004: .
87. Global Research. Rudmin, F. Military oaths confront the Constitution: the Omar Khadr case. Nov. 11, 2008: .
88. The Guardian: Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand bin Laden Over. Oct. 14, 2001: .
89. Project Censored. Top 25 Censored Stories for 2008. #16: No Hard Evidence Connecting bin Laden to 9/11: .
90. 911 Bin Laden Confession: and Lederman, R. German Media: bin Laden 'Smoking Gun' Tape Translation Inaccurate. Jan. 1, 2002: .
91. The Journal. Falk, R. 9/11: more than meets the eye. Nov. 9, 2008: and
92. Patriots for 9/11 Truth: .
93. Wikipedia: .
94. MSNBC. Shuster, D. Road to War: How the Bush Administration Sold the Iraq War to the American Public. Nov. 8, 2005: .
95. Wikipedia: .
96. Markon, J. U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules. Sept. 10, 2005: .
97. Andrew Sullivan: The Daily Dish. “Verschärfte Vernehmung.” May 29, 2007: .
98. Prison Planet. Watson, P.J. & Jone, A. Military Commissions Act Does Affect US Citizens. Oct. 22, 2006: , Repeal the Military Commissions Act and Restore the Most American Human Right. Thom Hartman, Feb. 12, 2007: , and The Day Habeas Corpus Died: Keith Olberrmann: .
99. Imprisonment by Executive Order. Ann Shibler, JBS, July 18, 2008. .
100. Lendman, S. Torture as Official US Policy. July 18, 2008: , and Burghardt, T. Bush Adminstration Post-Constitutional Order: "It Was Real 'Manchurian Candidate' Stuff." June 19, 2008: .
101. ABC News.Greenburg, J.C., Rosenberg, H.L., de Vogue, A. Sources: Top Bush Officials Approved “Enhanced Interrogation.” April 9, 2008: and Rall, T. Arrest Bush. Bush Confesses to Waterboarding. Call the DC Cops! April 30, 2008: .
102. The Washington Post. Warrick, J. Oct. 15, 2008: .
103. Think Progress. Ryan. July 17, 2008: Ashcroft: Waterboarding ‘Consistently’ Seen As Legal, Refuses To Say Use On U.S. Troops Is ‘Unacceptable’: .
104. Warrick, J. CIA Played Larger Role In Advising Pentagon: Harsh Interrogation Methods Defended. June 18, 2008: .
105. July 1, 2008. Way Beyond Waterboarding: .
106. Redefining Torture. PBS. Oct. 18, 2005: .
107. George Washington’s Blog. May 21, 2008. Congratulations, America…Children are being Tortured in Your Name:
108. Arnold, C. The Ticking Time Bomb Thought Experiment. Feb. 7, 2008: .
109. Jardin, X. Hersh: Children Raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has Videos. July 15, 2004: .
110. US Faces Prison Ship Allegations. June 28, 2005: .
111. ICRC Raises Guantanamo Conditions. Feb. 15, 2005: .
112. Shane, S. July 11, 2008: Book Cites Secret Red Cross Report of C.I.A. Torture of Qaeda Captives: . For commentary, consider Constitutional Law Scholar, Jonathan Turley: Countdown: Rachel Maddow and Jon Turley discuss Bushco war crimes, possible prosecution: .
113. Taxi to the Dark Side: .
114. Empire Burlesque. Floyd, C. Torturegate: Truth but no Consequences. June 20, 2008: .
115. CNN. Starr, B. U.S. segregates violent Iraqi prisoners in crates. Aug. 7, 2008: .
116. Cohn, M. Feb. 15, 2008: Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence and the Military Commissions Act: .
117. CNN. Report: Exams Reveal Abuse, Torture of Detainees. June 18, 2008: , and Spratley, S. Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Review of Physicians for Human Rights’ Report. June 20, 2008: .
118. Raw Story. Juliano, N. June 24, 2008: .
119. Human Rights First. Top Interrogators Declare Torture Ineffective in Intelligence Gathering. June 24, 2008: and George Washington’s Blog. Forget Morality, Humanity or Legality: Torture Doesn’t Work. July 15, 2008: .
120. Pincus, W. War Costs $15 Billion a Month, GOP Senator Says. Dec. 27, 2007: .
121. For more background, Stiglitz homepage: .
122. SF Chronicle. Coile, Z. Only World War II was Costlier than Iraq War. March 18, 2008. .
123. Raw Story. Byrne, J. Price of Iraq War Now Outpaces Vietnam. March 18, 2008: , Wikipedia: , and Iraq Foundation. Bumiller, E. White House Cuts Estimate of Cost of War with Iraq. Jan. 2, 2003: .
124. Project Censored. Top 25 censored stories for 2009: #13: tracking billions of dollars lost in Iraq. , AP. Iraq corruption whistleblowers vilified. Aug. 25, 2007: , and Glanz, J. Premier of Iraq is quietly firing fraud monitors. Nov. 17, 2008: .
125. Follow the link to read pages 373-387 of Pettigrew’s Triumphant Plutocracy: .
126. Infowars. Watson, S. Government Dismissed Iraq Death Toll Report In Full Knowledge It Was Likely Accurate. March 27, 2007: .
127. See Bush press conference. YouTube. Bush Admits: “A lot of innocent people have died in Iraq.” : .
128. Antiwar homepage: .
129. Gorilla’s Guides. Ibn Hussein, K. 5 Million Orphans. Dec. 15, 2007: .
130. Silent Victims of the Iraq War. June 20, 2008: .
131. Displaced Iraqis Struggle for Food, Services: IOM. July 18, 2008: .
132. Der Spiegel. Putz, U. Fleeing from Baghdad to Damascus: Refugees on the Highway from Hell. March 27, 2007:,1518,474205,00.html .
133. Zoepf, K. Desperate Iraqi Refugees Turn to Sex Trade. May 29, 2007: .
134. Ali, A., Jamail, D. Iraq: Unemployment too becomes an epidemic. Feb. 21, 2008: .
135. Reuters. Ryan, M., Rahim, S. After 5 years of war, Iraqis desperate for water. Aug. 24, 2008: .
136. What Really Happened. Torture of Iraqi POWs. May 10, 2004: , ABC News. Ross, B & Esposito, R. CIA’s Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described. Nov. 18, 2005: , Hersh, S. Torture at Abu Ghraib. New Yorker, May 10, 2004: .
137. homepage: .
138. CBS News. Nov. 13, 2007: Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans:
139. Suicides Clime Among US Soldiers. June 12, 2008: .
140. Yahoo News. Euphrat, K. Suicide hot line got 22,000 calls from veterans. July 28, 2008: .
141. Wood, D. Suicides in Army Increase by 13%. June 27, 2008. .
142. MSNBC. AP Report: June 30, 2004. 1 in 8 Returning Soldiers Suffers from PTSD: .
143. Among many: KPFA 94.1. The War Comes Home. The Crisis in Veterans’ Health Care. Broadcast April 22, 2008: , ZDNet. Blankenhorn, D. Is Congress Looking at the Right VA Scandal? April 24, 2008: , and Hull, A & Priest D. It is Just not Walter Reed. March 5, 2007: .
144. Cockburn, P. It’s official: total defeat for U.S. in Iraq. Dec. 15, 2008.
145. See SpaceWar. US Dismisses Iranian Offer as Warships Arrive. Feb. 21, 2007: , Scoop. Sedov, D. Strike on Iran Would Signify Epoch of Nuclear War. Feb, 2007: , and Global Research. Nazemroaya, M.D. The March to War: Naval Build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean. Oct. 1, 2006: .
146. The Coming Catastrophe? David DeBatto, June 23, 2008. .
147. Global Research. Earl of Stirling. Massive US naval armada heads for Iran. Aug. 11, 2008: .
148. CNN interview. Bush takes Iran “seriously.” Sept. 20, 2006: , Raw Story. Bush Warns of World War III if Iran Goes Nuclear. Oct. 17, 2007: and White House Press Conference. Dana Pushes Bush’s Big Lie. Reporters Sit on their Asses. Oct. 18, 2007: . Transcript from the White House: .
149. United Nations. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: , and Wikipedia: .
150. Heard, L. Iran is not the Belligerent Party. June 23, 2008: .
151. Alternet. Berrigan, F. March 8, 2007. The United States Nuclear Hypocrisy: and United States United States Violating International Treaties: , Wikipedia:
152. Future of Freedom. Hornberger, J.G. An Anti-democracy Foreign Policy: Iran. Jan. 31, 2005: , Wikipedia: .
153. Democracy Now: , Wikipedia: .
154. New York Times. Risen, J. April 16, 2000. The CIA in Iran: , Wikipedia: .
155. Federation of American Scientists. Pike J. Ministry of Security: SAVAK. Jan. 16, 2000: ,Wikipedia: .
156. World Nuclear University. President Eisenhower’s speech to the UN General Assembly. Dec. 8, 1953: , Wikipedia: .
157. Iran Chamber Society. King, J. Arming Iraq: A Chronology of US Involvement. March, 2003: , Wikipedia: .
158. Antiwar. Prather, G. ElBaradei Isn’t Perfect. Dec. 27, 2005: , and background: Wikipedia: .
159. Legal Dictionary: , Wikipedia: .
160. Foley, B. “Limiting War by Process: Congress, the UN and Iran. Jurist Legal News and Research. May 25, 2006. .
161. Hersh, S. Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration Steps up its Secret Moves Against Iran. July 7, 2008: and interviews on Preparing the Battlefield: , .
162. Prison Planet. Watson, S. Media blackout on Cheney Iran false flag story. Aug. 2, 2008: .
163. Ritter, S. Acts of war. July 29, 2008: .
164. Analyses: Project Camelot. Carter, J. What Really Happened at Minot AFB. : , Information Liberation. Lindorff, D. The Air Force Report on the Minot-Barksdale Nuclear Missile Flight. Nov. 2, 2007: , and Rense. Twietmeyer, T. Missteps in the Bunker: Damage Control? Sept. 25, 2007: ..
165. Wikipedia: .
166. Among many: Information Clearing House. Does Iran’s President Want Israel Wiped Off the Map? Does He Deny the Holocaust? : , Prison Planet. Watson, P.J. The “Wipe Israel Off the Map Hoax.” Jan. 26, 2007: , AntiWar. Norouzi, A. “Wiped Off the Map:” the Rumor of the Century. May 26, 2007: , and The Guardian. Steele, J. Lost in Translations: Experts Confirm that Iran’s President did not Call for Israel to be “Wiped Off the Map.” June 14, 2006: .
167. Project Censored. Bazell, B., Phillips, P. #24 in top 25 censored stories for 2008: Media misquotes threat from Iran’s president. .
168. Prison Planet. Watson, P.J. McCain Jokes About Killing Iranians Again. July 9, 2008: .
169. Washington Shear, M. McCain Calls Iran “Foremost” Middle East Enemy. June 2, 2008: .
170. New York Times. Obama’s Speech in Sderot, Israel. July 23, 2008: .
171. Think Progress. “The Only Way” to “Force” Iran to Halt its Nuclear Program is an “Attack.” July 23, 2008: .
172. Yahoo News. Weizman, S. British Premier Vows to Thrwart Iranian Atomic Arms. July 21, 2008: , Mathaba News Agency. Brown Criticized for Misquoting Iranian President on Israel. July 23, 2008: and on video: SkyNews. Brown’s Warning to Pro-Nuclear Iran. July 21, 2008: .
173. Further context: , and So What Really Happened in the Gulf? .
174. McGovern, R. Israel Planning a September/October Surprise? July 17, 2008: .
175. Ray McGovern’s False Flag Warning – June 24, 2008: .
176. Wikipedia for background: and Operation Northwoods. Bamford, J from his book Body of Secrets, pg. 82. US Planned Fake Terror Attacks on Citizens to Create Support for Cuban War: .
177. George Washington’s Blog. If We Don’t Learn our History, We’re Doomed to Repeat it. April 10, 2008: .
178. Project Censored. Phillips, P., Sullens, A., Runas, M. #6 in top 25 censored stories for 2001: International report blames U.S. and others for genocide in Rwanda. .
179. Project Censored. Cominsky, L., et al. #7 in top 25 censored stories for 2004: Treaty busting by the United States. .
180. CBS News. Bush sought “way” to invade Iraq? Jan. 11, 2004: .
181. Project Censored. Liddell, W., et al. #19 in top 25 censored stories for 2004: U.S. dollar vs. the Euro: another reason for the invasion of Iraq: .
182. Project Censored. Beard, P., Miller, B. #9 in top 25 censored stories for 2006: Iran’s new oil trade system challenges U.S. currency. .
183. NSPD-51 and the Potential for a Coup d'état by National Emergency. William H. White . March 4, 2008: .
184. YouTube. Continuity of the US Government…Top Secret: .
185. Project Censored. Top 25 Censored Stories for 2008. #2. Bush Moves Towards Martial Law: .
186. The Village Voice. General Ashcroft’s Detention Camps. Sept. 4, 2002: , Truthout. Parry, N. Bush’s Mysterious “New Programs.” February 21, 2006. , Above Top Secret. US Concentration Camps: , and video: Prison Planet. High Quality video of FEMA Detention Camp: .
187. Global Research. Roland, A. REX-84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America. Aug. 20, 2006: .
188. National Security Archive: , Wikipedia: .
189. Try these: The National Security Archive. Rumsfeld’s Roadmap to Propaganda. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book #177: , and BBC. Brookes, A. US Plans to “Fight the Net” Revealed. Jan. 27, 2006: .
190. Cockburn, A. The military and CNN. March 23, 2000: .
191. New York Times. Barstow, D. Behind TV analysts, Pentagon’s hidden hand. April 20, 2008: .
192. Media Matters. Military analysts named by Times expose appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR. May 13, 2008: .
193. Scott McClellan: White House fed “talking points” to Fox News. July 27, 2008. .
194. In From the Cold. And they wonder why we despise them. Aug. 10, 2007: .
195. White House Press Briefing of March 24, 2003: , Wikipedia:
196. For additional background: Westminster Committee on Iran. Iran After the NIE Report: Exploring the Issues, Exploding the Myths. Dec. 20, 2007: and map of Iran’s Petroleum Facilities, 2004: .
197. There are many updated articles you can research. For foundation: Energy Bulletin. Beinart, P. Rigged. June 9, 2004: .
198. What Really Happened. Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA: , Prison Planet. Louise, M. Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation: , Brandt, D. Journalism and the CIA: the Mighty Wurlitzer. April-June, 1997: , Wikipedia: .
199. Bernstein, C. The CIA and the Media. Oct. 20, 1977: .
200. Cover-up of Original Atomic Bomb Effects in New York Times Rings True Today: .
201. After Downing Swanson, D. $1,000 to ask Pelosi a question. July 29, 2008: .
202. Crooks and Liars. Bluegal. Pelosi says she “hasn’t read” articles of impeachment. Aug. 10, 2008: .
203. Conspiracy Planet. If I were a Dictator: , and video. President Bush – As Long as I am the Dictator: .
204. Capital Hill Blue. Thompson, D. The Rant. Bush on the Constitution: a Goddamned Piece of Paper. Dec. 5, 2005: .
I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History (also credentialed in Mathematics), with all economic factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences (and here). I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.
Carl Herman worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at

Note: My work from 2012 to October, 2017 is on Washington’s Blog. Work back to 2009 is blocked by (and from other whistleblowers), so some links to those essays are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive (blocked author pages: here, here).