Before George Bush was even elected, he wanted to invade Iraq. The evidence for that is in this video of Blitzer interviewing Candidate Bush. (at 1:40)
Multiple sources have said that Bush’s response to the tragedy of 9/11 was to try to find a way to blame his fathers undefeated nemesis, Saddam Hussein. Richard Clarke, in his book Against All Enemies, provides this quote.
“…see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred…”
“Absolutely [Mr. President], we will look…again.” I was trying to be more respectful, more responsive. “But, you know, we have looked several times for state sponsorship of al Qaeda, and not found any real linkages to Iraq. Iran plays a little, as does Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, Yemen.”
“Look into Iraq, Saddam,” the President said testily, and left us…
That conversation reportedly took place on September 12, 2001.
Why was Bush fixated on Iraq?
It is surely significant that before the troops went into Iraq in 2003, the President justified the invasion by saying it would be impossible to negotitate with Saddam because, “after all, this is the guy who tried to kill my Dad” – a reference to a plot in 1993 linked with Iraq, to blow up the Bush family on a visit to Kuwait.
“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it…..
As the whole world now knows, there was NO reason to invade Iraq.
There were no WMDs, there was no operational connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, Iraq was in no way a concrete, demonstrable threat to the United States.
George Bush….for whatever reason….decided, as The Decider to invade Iraq.
The well documented operation to manufacture evidence to fulfill his desire then swung into action, culminating with Colin Powell prostituting his integrity and betraying the respect and trust that the American people had for him in front of the United Nations and selling the illegal invasion to the world.
In the meantime, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld went to great lengths to obtain or manufacture supporting evidence by whatever means possible.
From starting a whole new Intel bureau in the Pentagon, to seizing on Sadaam trying to obtain Yellow Cake Uranium and aluminum tubes….to establishing, authorizing, and providing nearly delusional legal justification……for a vast, organized, and formal Program of Torture.
In the process, as political revenge for Joe Wilson shooting down the Yellow Cake fraud, the Bush administration exposed Valerie Plame’s CIA covert identity. Also exposing in the process a major CIA nuclear counter terrorism network.
All of this was done not in the interest of National Security, not in the interest of “keeping America safe,” not in the interest of “protecting the Homeland,” … But in the interest of finding justification for George Bush’s apparently personal need to invade Iraq. That of course will always be open to dispute. No one can ever fully ascertain what is in any persons mind to any degree of certainty.
But this IS certain.
America did NOT torture for “National Security” reasons. America tortured for political reasons, to support the political decision to invade Iraq.
That political decision was not based on the facts now at our disposal. Or, indeed, even the facts at the time. The reasons to invade Iraq even then were non-existent. Thus they had to be manufactured. Part of that process was the unsuccessful attempt to use torture to produce a justification for that invasion. And even using torture, they were unable to come up with a justification.
Yet they invaded anyway.
And we STILL have no good reason ….why.
Republicans (and a few Democrats)are STILL arguing that the invasion of Iraq was somehow justified. They have to. Republicans (and a few Democrats) are still arguing that torture ‘worked.’ They have to. Because they have to justify their deplorable and extremely misguided actions. Their War Crimes.
Actions that have cost the lives of over 4000 American soldiers, literally uncounted Iraqi deaths, trillions of dollars when all the costs are counted, significantly contributed to the economic collapse because of those costs, and destroyed America’s reputation as a fair actor in the world and as the champion of Human Rights.
All because George Bush WANTED to invade Iraq….before he even took office. For what can only, as we look back now, be considered to be personal reasons.