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Democrats Threaten Broadcast License of ABC Over Path to 9/11 Film

Posted by iusbvision on September 11, 2006

Democrats have issued a thinly veiled threat against ABC’s broadcast license over their 9/11 miniseries, The Path to 9/11, set to air last Saturday night, in a press release issued by the Office of the Senate Democratic Leader last Thursday. Bill Clinton contacted ABC CEO Robert Iger in an effort to yank the film. Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer and producer of the film, said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that political pressure from Democrats is causing edits to the film.

So partisan Democrats I have a question for you. Where is all the squawking about oppressing free speech now? Allow me to refresh your memory. When The Department of Defense issued a press release saying that they were hiring a public relations team to help counter enemy propaganda it was called an “assault on free speech.”

When the Justice Department investigated a series of classified leaks from the CIA to the New York Times it was called a “witch hunt” and a violation of the free speech rights of the Times. The leaker, Mary O’Neil, was appointed to Clinton’s National Security Council by former NSC Chief Sandy Berger, who later went to work for the Inspector General’s office in the CIA. Her job was to find leakers. Democrat talking heads in the media said that it would violate O’Neil’s free speech rights if she were prosecuted for leaking classified information….. no kidding. Let us not forget that Sandy Berger pleaded guilty to stealing and altering secret documents from the National Security Archive in preparation for the 9/11 Commission’s investigation.

The film compresses the nine years leading up to 9/11 in a five hour mini-series based on the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report and the Democrats are having a collective fit over it. The biggest complaint is that the conversations depicted in the film never actually happened say President Clinton and former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. The film was never designed to be an exact transcript of events.  Rather it is a dramatization to show that the government had multiple chances to capture or kill Osama bin-Laden, but the will to pull the trigger just wasn’t there. One such opportunity was given to President Clinton by former “friend of Bill” Mansoor Ijaz, who had arranged with the Sudanese Government to have bin-Laden delivered into US custody. The Clinton Administration rebuffed the offer.

The film was made in consultation with 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, “which praised the film’s ‘commitment to accuracy’ and ‘sincere respect for the subject’ ‘I worked closely with the filmmakers and the network to ensure the mini-series accurately reflects both the facts and the spirit of the Commission’s findings,’ wrote Kean” (http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060908-045948-7634r).

Clinton attorney Bruce R. Lindsey, who runs Clinton’s foundation, “wrote Kean last night that he was ‘shocked’ by the former New Jersey governor’s role, saying: ‘Your defense of the outright lies in this film is destroying the bipartisan aura of the 9/11 Commission and tarnishing the hard work of your fellow commissioners.'”

“Kean said the filmmakers have made changes — in one case, re-shooting an entire scene — based in part on his recommendations. ‘The suggestion that this is some right-wing group in Hollywood is absurd,’ he said” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/07/AR2006090701454.html).

So it boils down to this, who are we to believe: Bill Clinton, whose propensity to tell lies has not only been proven, but is renown in the American political lexicon; Sandy Berger, who stands convicted of stealing and altering documents from the National Security Archive to “prepare” for the 9/11 Commission investigation; or Thomas Kean, the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission? Even an NEA lobbyist knows the answer to this.

Now I know I am going to hear the following objection so I might as well deal with it in advance. What about the CBS mini-series, “The Reagans” that was made when President Reagan was near death and couldn’t defend himself: the one that was made by out of the closet partisans, the one that showed Ronald Reagan cussing at his wife when everyone around Reagan said that he never cussed at his wife, the one that CBS producer and broadcast legend, Merv Griffin, called a “hit piece”, the one that CBS pulled from its broadcast network and moved over to Showtime (unedited by the way) due to public pressure?

That’s right, I said public pressure, not Stalinistic government pressure. “CBS officials say they received virtually no inquiries from government officials about the program. FCC Chairman Michael Powell, said contacting the net[work] over the show is ‘absolutely not’ something he would have considered.” Senate Minority leader Tom Daschle [D-SD] later called the decision to pull the show ‘appalling.’ CBS ‘totally collapsed,’ he told National Public Radio”
(www.broadcastingcable.com/CA334711.html).

UPDATE:

The Path to Hysteria
My sin was to write a screenplay accurately depicting Bill Clinton’s record on terrorism. by CYRUS NOWRASTEH
Monday, September 18, 2006 12:01 A.M. EDT

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008958

Chuck Norton
News Analyst

19 Responses to “Democrats Threaten Broadcast License of ABC Over Path to 9/11 Film”

  1. Paul Roma said

    This is not a response to Chuck’s article, but a general letter to the editor

    Are we in a healthcare crisis? If you listen to
    radical rightwing, no, everything is fine. But for
    those of us in the real world, it is much different.
    Here’s a system in which we spend over twice what the
    next most expensive country spends on health care —
    that’s Switzerland. We spend roughly $4500 for every
    American, whether they have insurance or not.
    Switzerland spends $2500 for every citizen. Canada
    spends maybe $2,000. Great Britain spends $1,000 for
    every citizen. What do we get for that $4500? We have
    roughly 43 million people with no insurance.

    Our life expectancy is shorter. Our infant mortality
    is higher. Our childhood immunization rate is lower.
    We’re of the 25 richest countries in the world, we’re
    somewhere around 22-23 in terms of our health. Our
    health care system is based on the premise that health
    care is a commodity like VCRs or computers and that it
    should be distributed according to the ability to pay
    in the same way that consumer goods are. Health care
    is a need; it’s not a commodity, and it should be
    distributed according to need. If you’re very sick,
    you should have a lot of it. If you’re not sick, you
    shouldn’t have a lot of it. But this should be seen as
    a personal, individual need, not as a commodity to be
    distributed like other marketplace commodities. That
    is a fundamental mistake in the way this country, and
    only this country, looks at health care. And that
    market ideology is what has made the health care
    system so dreadful.

    Because this is a capitalistic country with few safety
    nets, as compared with Europe and Canada, we neglect
    our own citizens. It’s a cowboy country. And
    healthcare has been seen as just one more commodity
    the genius of the marketplace will take care of.
    Suppose you’re poor and you’re sick, what will the
    marketplace do for you. Nothing. If you want a VCR,
    for example, and you’re poor, you don’t get it. Are
    you really going to say that to someone that has
    cancer? Or you shop around and say “Well, I don’t
    want an excellent surgeon”, “ I want a mediocre
    surgeon. I want cheap surgery.” No. And you can’t say,
    ” I’ll wait until next year,”. This is a life and
    death thing and we ought to treat it that way. It’s
    something that a decent society supplies to everyone.

    The government could institute a single payer system
    to pay for health care. But I would rather see it
    come straight out of tax revenues. Now people say,
    “What? Our taxes would go up.” First of all, I’m not
    at all sure they would. I think if we got out all of
    the inefficiencies that the private sector introduces
    in the health care market, it’s very inefficient
    system. If we got out those inefficiencies, I’m not so
    sure that we would spend that much more from taxes
    than we now spend on Medicare and the other tax
    supported parts of our health care system. But people
    cringe at the “T” word. “we don’t want anymore income
    taxes.” And yet we pay for health care now. We pay for
    it out of our paychecks, out of the cost of goods and
    services, out of deductibles, co-payments, out of
    pocket for much of what we get now. It would be much
    more efficient and cheaper to pay for it out of taxes.
    We might get down to where the Swiss are. They have a
    very good system at 2500 a person. If we paid for it
    in an efficient way, out of taxes, we might get down
    to 2500 a person.

    If you look at Medicare, people say, “Government is
    inefficient.” That’s not true. The overhead of
    Medicare is one percent. The overhead of the private
    insurance industry is roughly 20 percent. That’s
    profits and administrative costs. So Medicare is
    extremely efficient, even given the fact that they
    have to use private carriers. But we could go in the
    direction of a single payer system, Medicare for
    everyone. Or we could, instead of being one country,
    we could decide that we’re going to be like the Third
    World. And the rich do fine and the almost rich do
    okay, and the poor, who cares about them?

    It’s said the Canadian system works only because it’s
    next to the United States, that if you need something
    and you can’t wait whatever the period of time the
    wait is, you can go to the United States and be
    treated.

    Some Canadians do come to the United States to get
    treatment. But it is greatly exaggerated, the number
    who do. Yes, on the border, in Cleveland, Buffalo,
    hospitals will cater to rich Canadians who come across
    the border for things that they want in a hurry. That
    underscores how terrible our system is because there
    are plenty of citizens of Buffalo and Cleveland,
    United States citizens, who can not get health care,
    but these hospitals and doctors will sell the health
    care like a commodity to rich Canadians who can come
    down and buy it.

    If you have an elective procedure in Canada, let’s say
    a knee replacement, you’re not going to wait that
    long. Yes, you might have to wait four months. That’s
    probably roughly the average for a knee replacement.
    If you’re an American with private insurance that
    covers a knee replacement, you might have to wait two
    days. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll wait
    forever. So which is better, four months or two days
    or never for your knee replacement?

    Paul Roma

  2. Talia Reed said

    This is not a response to your article but a general letter to the editor.

    In response to former Preface editor Jedediah Walls’ letter to the editor in the
    September 6 issue, I think his congratulatory remarks were rather empty to the IUSB
    Vision. He defends The Preface in regards to the new competing newspaper, as seeking to “represent student culture”, while the Vision, he warns is out to “disdain” the free thinkers, and serve as a “vehicle for Christian-Republicans”. I’m afraid that Mr. Walls must not be reading the Vision very carefully. It is much less political than The Preface. The Preface has failed to retain Chuck Norton, and would do good to find an adequate replacement to keep the “free thinkers” of the Preface from preaching to their own choir.

    And as far as student culture goes, apparently there is a portion of the student body
    here at IUSB who was not being adequately represented in the Preface. So, with that in mind, congratulations to the IUSB Vision for rounding that out and filling in those holes for the IUSB student body. I think both publications are aligned for an interesting year, wish them both the best of luck, and I am looking forward to reading both of them.

    Talia Reed

  3. Chuck Norton said

    Paul Roma,

    While this weeks article is not on healthcare, if you are interested in debating the issue of socialized health care with me in the cafeteria in front of the student body, consider this your invitation. 80% of your content that you posted here is either outright wrong, and easily demonstrated so by the evidence, or an incomplete picture.

    While we do spend too much on healthcare in this country, it is not because of capitalism, but rather a lack of market pressures that can help keep prices down.

    I keep a data archive of reports, press accounts and journal articles of the performance of the notable worlds healthcare systems that I have maintained for the last 11 years, so lack of quality information is not a problem for me.

    In 2003 FRANCE lost 14,802 – thats FOURTEEN THOUSAND Eight Hundred and Two innocent people that died from a heat that is similar to what we see in the United States almost every summer. Vivala Franch health care.

    Prostate Cancer rates and mortality have been on the rise in England for YEARS –
    http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/images/excel/cs_pro_f2.3.xls

    Where US Prostate Cancer Deaths have been dropping to the “Lowest Rates Ever Reported”

    “Mortality rates (in 1998-99) are the lowest since 1950 in white men,” said Chu. And among black men, death rates in 1999 were “the lowest since 1969 when those rates were first recorded,” Chu explained. The record low rate for black men was seen in men age 50-69 years. – http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Prostate_Cancer_Deaths_Down_Possible_Link_To_PSA_Test.asp

    In the mean time, have you anything to say about free speech that is at least on topic?

  4. Paul Roma said

    In response to Chuck Nortons twisted lies and half truths, lets set the record straight about 9/11 that not even an right wing idealogue like you can deny. Here are the facts

    Terrorist Attacks Bill Clinton Stopped

    · CLINTON developed the nation’s first anti-terrorism policy,
    and appointed first national coordinator of anti-terrorist efforts.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold the Al Qaeda millennium hijacking and bombing plots.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to kill the Pope.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Boston airport.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.

    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.

    · Bill Clinton tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through
    preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).

    · Bill Clinton brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.

    · Bill Clinton did not blame the Bush I administration for first WTC bombing even though it
    occurred 38 days after Bush left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively – and successfully
    – to stop future terrorist attacks.

    · Bill Clinton named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats
    and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.

    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to tighten airport security. (Remember, this is before 911)
    The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.

    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to allow for better tracking of terrorist funding.
    It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.

    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for better tracking
    of explosives used by terrorists. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.

    · Bill Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I.

    · Bill Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.

    · Bill Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries.

    · Bill Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.

    · Of Clinton’s efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism:
    “Overall, I give them very high marks” and “The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama”.

    · Paul Bremer, current Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as
    he believed the Bill Clinton Administration had “correctly focused on bin Laden.

    · Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, “By any measure available, Bill Clinton left office
    having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him” and was the “first administration
    to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort”. Clinton tried to catch Bin Laden, but your party was too concerned with impeachment because he may or may not of had a extramarital affair, WHO CARES WHAT HE DOES IN HIS PRIVATE LIFE, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS JOB AS PRESIDENT. Your guy, Bush, COULDNT EVEN STOP ONE ATTACK, 9/11

    Paul Roma

  5. Bret Matrix said

    Paul,

    Where are your sources for everything you claim Bill Clinton did? I have to admit, I have not heard of almost all of them. Perhaps it is just that the left wing media did not see the need to support a Democrat. Secondly, President Bush has stopped terrorist plots. Last fall there was an attempt thwarted that was supposed to attack Los Angelos. Do you remember the shoe bomber, Richard Ried? Whose administration stopped him? While I admire your support of a former president, the current one has done a fine job protecting us, aside from 9/11 which shocked and surprised everyone.

  6. Chuck Norton said

    Paul, the millenium attack was stopped by a customs agent who was on the ball. This is easily proven. As for the rest of your rant. The 9/11 Commission Report tells us very well how the Clinton Administration treated the terror problem.

    You just picked the topic for my next column (unless a huge news story happens in the mean time that I cant avoid).

  7. Paul Roma said

    So, even as the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee finally acknowledge some of the many Iraq War falsehoods told by George W. Bush and his senior advisers, Bush’s misfeasance are obscured by Disney’s ABC-TV “docu-drama” pinning most of the blame for the 9/11 catastrophe not on Bush, but on Democrats.

    With Disney’s selection of a right-wing director and with the secrecy that surrounded the project – that gave Democrats little time to react – “The Path to 9/11” also had the sickening feel of a collaboration between a giant corporation and the Republican government in power.

    So, less than two months before a pivotal national election, with Americans increasingly wondering how the nation got into the mess it faces today, this joint project of Disney and pro-Bush operatives provides a narrative that focuses not on Bush blowing off CIA warnings of an impending attacks in 2001 but on events dating back to 1993.

    “The Path to 9/11,” which ABC touted as a public service shown “with no commercial interruptions,” makes some of its right-wing judgments with sneering asides from characters, such as wondering if Attorney General Janet Reno had “any balls,” and others by mixing real and fabricated events to put Democrats in the worst possible light.

    When the mysterious project finally was unveiled to mainstream media reviewers and when Democrats started complaining about fabricated scenes, the right-wing media responded with a counter-attack accusing the protesting Democrats of threatening the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

    In other words, at a time when Republicans control the White House, the Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and increasingly the American media, the Democrats still get transformed into the ones threatening free speech, for protesting their harsh and at times false depiction in events that led to the deaths of almost 3,000 people.

    Paul Roma

  8. Paul Roma said

    Chuck,

    Your reputation proceeds yourself, and I have no doubt that you are well versed in Republican talking points and propaganda. These are all points that I have heard before from right wing before, and I dont want to hear them again. You believe your right, and in your little world, that is fine. But a majority of Americans agree with me on social and economic issues, and if your party would ever stop using “wedge issues” that divide our country in stead of uniting it, your party would be out of power for a long time. I feel obligated to challenge your opinions, and to make sure that alternative voices are heard in every part of this campus. You may continue to preach to the choir, but not to me. If you would like to debate, my email is DEMOCRATPAUL@HOTMAIL.COM

    Paul Roma

  9. Chuck Norton said

    Paul,

    If you care to discuss the facts at hand please do, but if personal attacks and angry rants is all you have, than you are doing more damage to your cause than helping it. The more the left talks like this, the more they help their opponents.

    Instead of saying “its talking points” I dare you to at least attempt to show me some evidence that says that the facts I presented are not true. The simple truth is that you make broad based personal attacks because you know quite well that you cannot refute me fact per fact, argument per argument.

    In the mean time take a gander at this… http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008958

  10. For the first time in the history of our Republic, the
    coming election in November is nothing less than a
    national referendum, in which the American people will
    be voting whether to pursue, or prevent, the next dark
    and unalterable road to tragic and unwise war. For the
    first time in the history of our Republic, a
    Congressional election is nothing less than a national
    referendum on whether America will, or will not, be
    governed as a vibrant two-party nation, with three
    effective branches of government, as envisioned by our
    Founding Fathers. Peace loving Americans are up
    against mighty forces of power from a radical right
    wing Republican media machine that has been built for
    30 years. Not only the unprecedented apparatus of
    partisan Government media power, but a supplicant
    television network so extreme they use public owned
    airwaves, to promote a propaganda film weeks before a
    historic election.
    Those Americans who find the policies of the Bush
    Administration disastrous must all work to end this
    one party rule that has plagued our country. The
    President, his administration, and his party, have a
    war-fever mentality that is unprecedented in American
    history, and they are using the fear argument of World
    War III to seek to steal yet another election.
    Far too much attention is being given to the tactics,
    strategies and maneuverings of the election, and far
    too little attention to the enormous and potentially
    catastrophic stakes for America and the world, if
    Democrats loose.
    One of the most ominous and alarming statistics in the
    history of the American Democracy is that close to
    half of our people actually believe that Saddam
    Hussein was involved in 9/11. This is ghoulish proof
    of the power of the lie to overwhelm the truth.
    Stunning proof of the power of the right-wing media
    machine and the total failure of every form of the
    media to inform the public. If the Republicans
    maintain control of both houses of Congress, there
    will be more winds of war, more distortions of
    intelligence, more creations of fear, more push for
    new war, and either pre-emptive military attack in
    advance of the inevitable approval of the Republican
    Congress, or a force-fed resolution for war, given
    inevitable approval by the Republican Congress.
    Americans want a check and balance against unwise war,
    or Republicans will again plunge the dagger in the
    heart of Congressional oversight, and send us into
    another unwise war in the Middle East.

    The election that will determine war and peace, and
    the heart and soul of American democracy, is fast
    approaching.

    Alex Wilson

  11. Chuck Norton said

    Isn’t it odd that those who say that Iraq was a pre-emptive attack that should never have happened also say that we should pre-emptively attack in Sudan to stop the Genocide there….. even though Saddam killed many more people than the Sudanese government ever did? When liberal goddess Arianna Huffington was asked about how we saved the Kurds in Iraq from slaughter after slaughter her reaction was “so what”.

    Peace loving Americans are up against a Republican machine that has been built up for 30 years you say…. that has had a slight majority in Congress since 1994.

    Are those the same peace loving Americans who opposed the war in Afghanistan, who opposed us finishing the job in Vietnam so that when the communists invaded after violating the Paris Peace Accords the communists murdered 1 million Vietnamese and 2 million Cambodians? Isn’t it interesting that when the communists went on this mass slaughter that communist sympathizing peace freaks had no problem with it?

    Are those the same peace loving Americans who wanted to appease the Soviets during the cold war and opposed Ronald Reagan winning that Cold War?

    Are those the same peace loving Americans who wanted a peace deal in the Korean War? So instead of finishing the war we now have a nuclear North Korean one man psycho state?

    Are these the same peaceful Americans who marched to oppose our involvement in world war one using the exact same silly talking points that War Protestors are using today?

    Are these the same peaceful Americans who said that Germany didn’t attack us and said how dare FDR invoke Pearl Harbor when talking about defeating the Germans, because after all, doesnt he know that we were attacked by the Japanese so why on earth are we losing all these soldiers on Normandy for?

    No one who is serious thinks that Saddam was directly involved in 9/11, but Saddam supported terrorism all over the place and this is easily proven. Those who will fight for Jihad or for anti-westernism or anti-semitism are those with the same militant mentality as those who attacked us on 9/11. They must be defeated wherever they are found.

    The simple fact is that peace freaks CAUSE more war and more death later because they routinely appease and/or side with evil that must be confronted eventually, usually after a great human catastrophe.

    This Alex Wilson fears “more distortions of intelligence” …. in spite of the fact that the 9/11 Commission, the US Senate Committee on the pre-war intelligence, the Robb-Silberman commission, two independent British Commissions and countless Clinton Officials who said that same thing before Bush was elected all say the same thing today; that there was no political twisting of the pre-war intelligence.

    The “force fed resolution for war” that was approved by the Republican Congress he says….. doesn’t he know that almost every Democrat voted for that resolution and for the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998?

    Why is it that I can find almost NO people on the far left that are capable of fielding an honest argument? God knows I am looking for such people every single day.

    The alleged propaganda film by ABC, was true and the absolute proof of that will be the subject of my next column. By the way lefties, why no condemnation of the Stalinistic attempt to censor ABC by threatening their FCC license? I am beginning to think that the lefts alleged commitment to free speech is in reality nothing more than partisan hypocrisy. only to be used when convenient.

  12. Here here for Alex. Chuck, not every peace loving person is a peace nic. I have no problem with fighting if U.S interests or lives are at stake. That is not the case in the current war in Iraq. As for Sudan, yes, we should send troops there and help, because WORLD INTERESTS are at stake, and by default they become ours.

    As for all the wars that we have fought in the 20th century, lets take a look down memory lane, shall we. After the Spanish American war, a war with a suspect cause as well, we took over the Phillipines and Cuba. Later we also took Hawaii. Where did the Japanese attack us on December 7, 1941? Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The point is, U.S imperialists policies of the 19 and 20th centuries pulled us into conflicts when our interests were not threatened. Germany did not attack the U.S, so why did we go there. Because German was an ally of Japan, and by treaty had to declare war on the U.S. Lets look at Korea and Vietnam. Was the U.S attacked (except for the phony Gulf of Tonkin)? NO Both of those were civil wars, and did not theaten us at all. Here is the problem. Conservatives always need an enemy to fight, because their domestic policies are incompetent. If Korea and Vietnam had fallen to the communists, so what. Would that of effected how we lived our lives here in America? No. But because conservatives always need a boogey man, they made the communists out to be far more evil than they were. They do the same thing with Castro and Chavez, and yet, all their people get FREE EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, something the U.S has failed to do so far.

    Next, your revisionists history on the cold war needs some tuning. The Soviet Union was on the skids long before Reagan took office. Why?, because they tried to maintain colonies and satelites, just like we did. Except with them, that is what bankrupted them. Gorbachev was a reformer, and he knew that the old system had to be fixed. Reagans insane buildup of the military did nothing to help end the cold war, it wasnt until he stopped that insaneness in the late 80’s that Gorbachev and Reagan began to talk and negotiate, and that is what ended the cold war.

    Lastly, your assertion that Saddam Hussein killed Kurds is suspect as well. heres why:

    Actually, Bush may hold the all-time record, once we take a sober look at the facts.

    First, most deaths cited in the “mass graves” are from two wars, the war with Iran and the civil war in the late ’80s.
    The US lost a few hundred thousand people during its own civil war, but we don’t hold Grant responsible.

    If this dynamic isn’t clear to you Chuck, your more than welcome to try this exercise: start an armed insurgency
    against the government and see how long it goes before the feds deal an armed response.
    People die in wars, and lots of people die in civil wars.

    As for the Kurds who were killed by gas, those who’ve looked past the Bush administration’s revisionism have
    noted that the people who died in Halabja weren’t killed by chemical agents Saddam had at the time, but by
    cyanide or similar compound known to have been deployed by Iran:

    The best evidence is a 1990 report by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.
    It concluded that Iran, not Iraq, was the culprit in Halabja. Lead author Stephen Pelletiere, who was the
    CIA’s senior political analyst on Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq war, has described his group’s findings:

    “The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their
    extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen
    cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them.
    Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds.”

    So the bottom line is this

    Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him,
    a bad guy when Bush 41 declared war on him,
    a good guy when Cheney did business with him,
    and a bad guy when Dubya needed a diversion
    from the fact that Osama got away unpunished.

    Rusty Sharpe

  13. Chuck Norton said

    Rusty,

    Almost every “fact” you have stated here is in fact, 180 degrees from the truth, and is typical of the hyper left conspiracy sites.

    I hereby challenge you to a public debate in the cafeteria and the debate topics will be the “facts” that you have presented here. There are many people who are fooled by these lies and I would like the opportunity to rhetorically take you apart as you try to defend them.

    So what do you say Rusty, are you prepared to put your reputation where your mouth is?

    You say that Korea and the Vietnam War civil wars…. hmmmm I guess someone forgot to tell the Chinese and Russians that.

    I also find it interesting that you do not condemn the communists for murdering 3 million people after the 1975 Paris Peace accords, yet maintain the same old tired George McGovern blame America first propaganda from the neo-marxist left. You have, unknowingly, shown that much of my statement is quite correct.

    Conservative domestic policies are incompetent… I would love to debate you publicly just based on this. I have the economic numbers of both Reagan and Bush43 Administrations in my data archive and the numbers speak for themselves. If you believe otherwise, it will be my pleasure to bury you with easily verifiable facts including the Treasury Reports from the last 3 years….. but I want to do it in front of the student body. In the coming months I will be doing a column on this subject.

    Ahh yes, Castro and Chavez, the heroes of the left, I have some pictures of Cuban hospitals, I can’t wait to put them on the overhead viewer when we debate. As far as Chavez and Castro, have you bothered to examine the Human Rights Watch reports on these two butchers? I have the reports stored in my data archive and it will be my pleasure to show the Student Body just who it is that you, and those like you, idolize.

    You want to debate the cold war with me? Thats fine, many former KGB and Communist Party officials said that it was Reagan and SDI that helped push them over the edge, all the while I have COUNTLESS statements from leftist academia and Media figures saying that Russia was a model economy in the months before it collapsed. So it seems that the “Russia was on the skids” revision is just that, because there is this little thing called Lexis/Nexis that allows us to see exactly what hyper partisans like you were saying exactly in that time.

    As far as your Saddam didn’t kill the Khurds and the mass graves weren’t because of Saddam ….. /a great deal of that mass murder was because of the regime. While I have no doubt that a particular grave site or particular incident were the cause of others, the vast majority of the thousands of mass grave sites were caused by the regime. I would LOVE to have the opportunity to have you repeat these statements in front of the student body so I can publicly bury you in the evidence that says otherwise.

    Since you picked Halabja, let us examine that incident. You were half right and half wrong. You were right that the Strategic Studies Institute does indeed have a report on chemical weapons use, but the report says exactly the OPPOSITE of what you are claiming. I will quote the report:

    QUOTE –
    Although both Iran and Iraq used CW aggressively against one another, Iraq used CW most effectively in breaking up Irani mass assaults, and in targetting Irani border villages. In its suppression of Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq unwittingly provided the
    single most compelling impetus to the CWC negotiations. On March
    17, 1988, Iraq attacked the Kurdish village of Halabja with
    suspected nerve agents, killing hundreds of civilian refugees.
    News reports of the attack, with graphic pictures of the victims,
    caused universal revulsion and generated a worldwide demand for
    elimination of chemical warfare.
    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?PubID=322

    – END QUOTE

    According the Stockholm Convention, Iraq got less than 1% of its weapons from the United States. Iraq got most of its weapons from Russia and France etc etc. I am curious how it is that Iraq got all of those Russian tanks….. from Ronald Reagan.

    Not only do you have most of the facts backwards, but when you go so far as to become an defense attorney apologist for Saddam Hussein, just because of your deep and highly irrational hated of George Bush, it goes far beyond hyper partisanship and enters the realm of self delusion and/or mental illness.

    Are you SO sure that you are correct? Put your reputation on the line and let us debate for 2 hours in the cafeteria. After the pasting I gave to the last professor who took me up on debate last time, this could prove to be even more entertaining.

  14. [Rusty, this is not “presenting facts”. This is scouring the net to find a piece that isn’t yours to cut and paste a wall of text and that few will read. Please do not paste whole articles in comments. – Editor]

    Chuck,

    You are not the only one who can recite facts, I too am well versed in defending my position againist ignorant people like you. I accept your debate challenge, lets compare the Reagan Bush economy to the Clinton economy shall we, or perhaps you would rather compare Bush 43 to Clinton, would that suit your ego. Your promises to “bury” me will come up on deaf ears, my friend. In addition, if my history is correct, didnt the British consider coming in on the side of the South during our civil war, just like the Soviets and Chinese? The massive military buildup of the United States and irrational fear of communism after WWII forced the Soviets and the communists to arm themselves too, it was the U.S that started the cold war and perpetuated it. The KGB agents that you mention were probably tortured by people like Bush to get them to say what they wanted it to. The Soviets knew that Star Wars was bull, and it didnt work anyway, it was just a threat from a madman named Ronald Reagan. I think that if you point the finger at communists for killing people, maybe you should look at American history first. Who was it that had SLAVERY WRITTEN IN THEIR CONSITITUTION, not the communists, the Americans. Who was it that killed thousands of Indians as they took their land, THE AMERICANS. Who was it that took land away from Mexico in expansionists policies in a fake war, THE AMERICANS. Who are we to tell someone that they are wrong at anything, we have a very dismal history, dont you think.

    Lastly, I anticipated your response about the Saddam Hussein point, so I did even more research. The following is a report that I found, complete with references, for your entertainment.

    Is it really true that Saddam Hussein “gassed his own people” while committing genocide against Iraqi Kurds, images that have become woven into the fabric of the American perception of Iraq?

    Human Rights Watch, the respected New York City NGO, has long championed these claims. According to its reports, “at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 persons, many of them women and children, were killed out of hand between February and September 1988,” the victims being Iraqi Kurds “systematically put to death in large numbers on the orders of the central government in Baghdad.” Iraq allegedly used chemical weapons in “forty separate attacks on Kurdish targets” during a campaign that HRW characterizes as genocide. The most prominent of these purported attacks was the March 1988 “chemical assault” on the town of Halabja, in which the number of dead, according to Human Rights Watch, was “in excess of 3,200,” or perhaps “up to 5,000,” or even “as many as 7,000.”[1]

    Horrifying claims, these, but how much of this is true?

    We know that both Iran and Iraq used chemical weapons against one another in their eight-year-long war, which ended with an August 20, 1988, cease-fire. Most of Iraq’s alleged assaults on the Kurds took place while this war was raging, although Human Rights Watch claims the attacks extended into September. Iraq has acknowledged using mustard gas against Iranian troops but has consistently denied using chemical weapons against civilians.

    We also know that Iraq, for what it called security reasons, forcibly relocated–within Iraqi Kurdistan–Kurds living in certain areas, much as Israel has done with the Palestinians and the U.S. did in Vietnam.

    What Happened at Halabja?

    The only verified Kurdish civilian deaths from chemical weapons occurred in the Iraqi village of Halabja, near the Iran border, where at least several hundred people died from gas poisoning in mid-March, 1988. We know that Iran overran the village and its small garrison of Iraqi troops; what is contested is who was responsible for the deaths–Iran or Iraq–and how large the death toll was.

    The best evidence is a 1990 report by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.[2] It concluded that Iran, not Iraq, was the culprit in Halabja. Lead author Stephen Pelletiere, who was the CIA’s senior political analyst on Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq war, has described his group’s findings:

    “The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds.”[3]

    Pelletiere says the number of dead was in the hundreds, not the thousands claimed by Human Rights Watch and the U.S. administration. To this day, the CIA concurs.[4]

    While the War College report acknowledges that Iraq used mustard gas during the Halabja hostilities, it notes that mustard gas is an incapacitating, rather than a killing, agent, with a fatality rate of only two percent, so that it could not have killed the hundreds of known dead, much less the thousands of dead claimed by Human Rights Watch.[5]

    According to the War College reconstruction of events, Iran struck first, taking control of the town. The Iraqis counterattacked using mustard gas. The Iranians then attacked again, this time using a “blood agent”–cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide–and re-took the town, which Iran then held for several months. Having control of the village and its grisly dead, Iran blamed the gas deaths on the Iraqis, and the allegations of Iraqi genocide took root via a credulous international press and, a little later, cynical promotion of the allegations for political purposes by the U.S. State Department and Senate.[5a]

    Pelletiere described his credentials in a recent New York Times op-ed:

    “I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair.”[6]

    Was There an Ongoing Campaign of Genocide?

    Pelletiere also rejects the larger claim that, aside from whatever happened at Halabja, Saddam Hussein engaged in a months-long campaign of genocide against Iraqi Kurds that killed 50,000, 100,000, or more. Calling this is a “hoax, a non-event,”[7] he explains that:

    “This one is extremely problematical since no gassing victims were ever produced. The only evidence that gas was used is the eye-witness testimony of the Kurds who fled to Turkey, collected by staffers of the U.S. Senate. We showed this testimony to experts in the military who told us it was worthless. The symptoms described by the Kurds do not conform to any known chemical or combination of chemicals.”[8]

    Pelletiere also says that international relief organizations who examined the Kurdish refugees in Turkey failed to discover any gassing victims.[9]

    Another skeptic is Milton Viorst, long-time Middle East correspondent for the New Yorker and author of a dozen books. He visited Kurdish areas in Iraq when the gassing allegations surfaced in 1988 and reported that:

    “From what I saw, I would conclude that if lethal gas was used, it was not used genocidally–that is, for mass killing. The Kurds compose a fifth of the Iraqi population, and they are a tightly knit community. If there had been large-scale killing, it is likely they would know and tell the world. But neither I nor any Westerner I encountered heard such allegations.

    Nor did Kurdish society show discernible signs of tension. The northern cities, where the men wear Kurdish turbans and baggy pants, were as bustling as I had ever seen them.”

    Crucially, Viorst reported that:

    “Journalists visiting the Turkish camps saw refugees with blistered skin and irritated eyes, symptoms of gassing. But doctors sent by France, the United Nations and the Red Cross have said these symptoms could have been produced by a powerful, but non-lethal tear gas.”[10]

    In his 1994 book “Sandcastles,” Viorst added to his account:

    “On returning home, I interviewed academic experts; none unequivocally ruled out the use of gas, but the most reliable among them were doubtful. It was only Washington, and particularly Congress–although, conspicuously, not the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which was in the best position to know–that stuck stubbornly to the original story, and this persistence bewildered the Iraqis.”[11]

    In “Sandcastles,” Viorst also described Iraq’s Kurdish resettlement program:

    “Saddam, after the cease-fire, sent in his army to stamp out Kurdish insurgency once and for all. He ordered his troops to go as far as the Iranian border and depopulate a swath of territory eight or ten miles deep, neutralizing for all time an area that had served the rebels as sanctuary.

    Saddam’s objectives were understandable; his tactics were characteristically brutal. The army dynamited dozens of villages into rubble and dispatched thousands of inhabitants from their ancestral homes to newly built “resettlement villages” far in the interior. In the process, sixty thousand Kurds crossed the border into Turkey, where they told journalists they were fleeing from attacks of gas. The Iraqis angrily denied the charge, but Secretary of State Shultz claimed it was true, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, without investigating, proposed a bill to impose heavy sanctions on Iraq. With the pro-Israeli lobby fanning the fire, the bill nearly passed. But in the Turkish refugee camps, international teams of doctors were more skeptical of the refugees’ claims, saying their examinations did not confirm the use of gas at all.”

    (Both Pelletiere and Viorst primarily address claims of Iraq’s gassing of the Kurds because this was the original formulation of the genocide allegations. Only later did these allegations evolve into claims that Iraq’s killing methods had included gassing, bombing and mass executions. [11a])

    A third dissenting voice, oddly enough, is the CIA. Its October 2002 dossier, “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs,” identifies only 10 instances of reported Iraqi use of chemical weapons, and none of these were directed specifically at the Kurds. All occurred during the Iran-Iraq war; seven were directed only against Iranians, and in three cases, including Halabja, the victims included both Iranians and Kurds, thus supporting Iraq’s contention that it used mustard gas only in military operations against Iran.[12]

    Significantly, the CIA claims only 20,000 casualties–dead and wounded combined–in Iraq’s alleged campaign against the Kurds, as opposed to Human Rights Watch’s assertion of 50,000 to 100,000 deaths. Given the tendency of the U.S. government to magnify claims of Saddam’s criminality, the CIA’s estimates should be interpreted as maximum possible figures.

    Dissecting the Genocide Reports

    Several reports issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) form the backbone of the gassing and genocide claims, the principal report being “Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds.”[12a] (Physicians for Human Rights, another prominent American NGO, collaborated with HRW.) But the reports’ evidentiary basis is remarkably thin, consisting entirely of (1) interviews of 350 Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1992 and 1993, four and five years after the events; (2) exhumations of grave sites in three villages; and (3) examination of documents taken by Kurdish rebels from captured Iraqi government offices.[13]

    According to Human Rights Watch, these years-after-the-fact interviews were sufficient to allow the detailed reconstruction of a two-year period (from mid-1987 to mid-1989) of alleged continuous repression of the Kurds. Yet all reports–and in particular atrocity reports–of refugees and their political supporters must be viewed with caution. In the absence of corroborating physical evidence, it’s folly to speak with the certainty exuded in the HRW reports.

    The political environment in which the interviews took place–interviewers from the U.S., a country strongly supporting the Kurdish movement, working hand-in-hand with representatives of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee–particularly undermines the credibility of these refugee accounts.[13a] The interviewees had every reason to attempt to please Human Rights Watch, which was in a position to help the Kurdish cause through publication of these atrocity reports.

    And, incredibly, Human Rights Watch makes assertions of genocide despite the extreme paucity of physical evidence. Of the three exhumed grave sites, one yielded 26 bodies of men and boys executed by firing squad.[14] Certainly this was an atrocity, but this leaves 99,974 bodies unaccounted for. The other two grave sites–revealing only five separately-buried individuals who had died from unknown causes–supplied no evidence supporting allegations of genocide.[15]

    Human Rights Watch’s explanation is that the other 99,974 people were “trucked to remote areas and machine-gunned to death, their bodies bulldozed into mass graves” that have never been found.[16] HRW also claims that “the Iranian forces in Halabja had managed to bury an estimated 3,000 victims of the March 16 chemical attack in mass graves under a thin layer of dirt in the complex of Anab. Four years later, the corpses were still there, and they were beginning to pollute the local groundwater.” How do they know this? We have no idea, as no evidence whatsoever is provided.[17]

    And this brings us back to CIA analyst Stephen Pelletiere’s question: If 100,000 people were slaughtered, where are the bodies?

    There are several other reasons to doubt the accuracy of the Human Rights Watch reports:

    1. Others who have investigated the situation have not reached similar conclusions. Only two American groups (HRW and Physicians for Human Rights), working with Saddam Hussein’s two sworn enemies, the Kurdish opposition and the U.S. government, have.[18]

    2. The reports do not even mention the existence, much less consider the weight, of contrary evidence. Although the 90-page War College report had been in the public domain for three years when HRW published “Genocide in Iraq” in 1993, the earlier assessment goes unmentioned. Nor is there any consideration of Milton Viorst’s nearly contemporaneous, firsthand observations. No serious assessment of any question–much less of claims of genocide–wholly ignores contrary evidence.

    3. The reports, and HRW’s handling of them, reveal an unmistakable political bias in favor of Iraq’s Kurdish movement. “Genocide in Iraq” describes offices of the Iraqi national government–the country’s internationally-recognized sovereign–as a “puppet administration,” while HRW worked closely with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the main opposition groups.[19]

    And, in an astonishingly revealing decision, Human Rights Watch released its newest report on Iraq–“The Iraqi Government Assault on the Marsh Arabs,” purporting to detail “a fifteen-year campaign by the central government to eliminate” the Marsh Arabs–on January 25, at a time when its release could only have inflamed public opinion against Iraq’s central government.[20]

    4. There simply is no proof of what agent–a legal chemical agent such as tear gas, an illegal chemical agent, or a nonchemical agent–caused the symptoms described in the Human Rights Watch reports. The most that HRW can say is that the injuries reported by the Kurds were “consistent with” exposure to mustard gas. But this fails to eliminate other possible causes. Moreover, we know from Stephen Pelletiere that mustard gas simply doesn’t kill large numbers of people. And, in any event, Iran also used mustard gas.[21]

    An example of conclusions reached without convincing evidence–or even any significant evidence–of causation can be found in the Human Rights Watch report “The Destruction of Koreme During The Anfal Campaign.” This report describes the exhumation of the bodies of two persons allegedly killed by a “chemical weapons attack” in the Kurdish village of Birjinni. Yet all HRW can say is that “forensic examination of the two skeletons was limited to determining whether there was any sign of trauma or perimortem violence that might contradict the account of the villagers that the two decedents were overcome by chemical weapons. No indications contrary to death by chemical agents were found.” In fact, there is absolutely no indication of how these two persons died. To use this as conclusive evidence of a “chemical weapons attack” is preposterous.[22]

    5. The various HRW statements exhibit both “claim creep”–the tendency, over time, to assert ever-larger numbers of victims–and fundamental change in the nature of the claim. In its 1993 report, “Genocide in Iraq,” HRW claimed that the number of victims was “at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 persons.” By 2003, that number had grown to a firm 100,000. The gender breakdown of the victims also changed. In 1993 “many” of the victims were women and children; by 2003 all 100,000 victims were men and boys. Or maybe by 2003 it was only the men and boys who were “trucked to remote areas and machine-gunned to death, their bodies bulldozed into mass graves,” while the women and girls were killed on site. HRW doesn’t tell us; but, in any event, there are still no bodies, whether male or female, to corroborate any of this.[23]

    6. On several occasions, Human Rights Watch reports explicitly invoke the Holocaust. Readers are told that “like Nazi Germany, the Iraqi regime concealed its actions in euphemisms”;[24] that “the parallels [between the Holocaust and the alleged campaign against the Kurds] are apt, and often chillingly close”;[25] and that “until [Lidice], there were supposedly only two possible attitudes for a conqueror toward a village that was considered rebellious.”[26] Resort to this deep well of emotionality is necessary only when the facts themselves are insufficient to convince.

    Captured Iraqi Documents

    Human Rights Watch also relies heavily on Iraqi government documents captured by the Kurdish opposition. These documents have made their way to the Iraq Research and Documentation Project within the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The IRDP–which, like Human Rights Watch, has collaborated with the U.S. State Department–has posted a few of the documents on its website. After appointing the documents with suitably provocative names like “Bureaucratic Beheading” and “A Professional Rapist,” the website makes wild claims about the significance of some of them. Consider the document titled “Admission of Chemical Use,” which provides in its entirety:[27]

    “We have been informed of the following:

    1- The Iranian enemy has supplied the saboteurs’ families in the villages and rural areas along the border with pharmaceutical drugs, especially anti-chemical medicaments; and they [the Iranian enemy] are training them to use syringes for this purpose and to wear protective head masks.

    2- There exist approximately 100 saboteurs from various gangs of saboteurs in the Werta region, al-Sadiq district. They are along the Khanqawa route in order to stop the force accompanying the Village Deportation Committees, albeit most of the families in this region have left to Iran.

    Please verify information and notify us within 24 hours.”

    The IRDP interpretation is:

    “This document is very important because it vitiates any claim by the government of Saddam Husayn that it did not use chemical weapons against its Kurdish population. The date, provenance and text of the document lend undeniable proof to the regime’s genocide campaign, known as Anfal, against the Kurds. The Iraq regime’s use of chemical weapons as part of the Anfal campaign was so widespread, the Iranians had to supply the Kurds with anti-chemical protectives.”

    While this is one possible interpretation, the document could also be either (1) a simple statement of fact, or (2) a warning that the Iranians, who also used gasses (blood agents and mustard gas), had issued medical supplies and protective clothing to their supporters and might be themselves preparing to launch a chemical attack. We just don’t know. It’s ludicrous to anoint this short document an “Admission of Chemical Use” by Iraq.

    Nerve Gas Allegations

    Physicians for Human Rights, which collaborated with Human Rights Watch, has also issued a number of reports. Most make claims similar to those in the HRW reports and are subject to the same objections.[28] One of its reports, though, is sufficiently important to require separate examination. This is “Nerve Gas Used in Northern Iraq on Kurds,” released on April 29, 1993. According to this report, a PHR team collected soil samples on June 10, 1992, from bomb craters near the Kurdish village of Birjinni in northern Iraq. The Iraqi military is claimed to have bombed Birjinni on August 25, 1988.[29]

    The samples were then analyzed by a British laboratory, which reported “unequivocal” residues of methylphosphonic acid (MPA) and isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (iPMPA) as well as “degradation products of mustard gas.” MPA is a product of the hydrolysis (reaction with water) of any of several nerve agents, and iPMPA (which the report incorrectly calls “isipropyl” methylphosphonic acid) is a product of the hydrolysis of sarin.[30]

    Assuming the samples were authentic and the proper conditions (if any) for hydrolysis of sarin were present, this finding is significant. Sarin, then, may have been a factor in the deaths of four Birjinni villagers reported that day. However, sarin is odorless,[31] and, according to Human Rights Watch, the villagers reported various distinctive odors from the bombs: “pleasant, at first. It smelled of apples and something sweet”; it smelled like “pesticides in the fields”; “it became bitter.” To accept this account, it also must be possible for Iraq to have combined sarin and mustard gas either with each other or with a third substance, as the villagers reported three waves of four bombs, all apparently identical.[32]

    Other sources also claim that Iraq has used nerve gas. The CIA says that Iraq used nerve agents six times: five times against only Iranian troops, and at Halabja against both Iranians and Kurds. Four of the six instances involve the cruder tabun, rather than sarin, and the agents allegedly used on the other two occasions are unspecified.[33] Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer who was a liaison to the Iraqi military, puts the figure at four times in 1988.[34]

    Other Advocates of the Genocide Claims

    There are other champions of the genocide claim. One is Jeffrey Goldberg, whose 18,000-word story, “The Great Terror,” in the March 25, 2002, issue of the New Yorker [35] forms the basis of the U.S. State Department’s website on alleged Iraqi genocide.[36] Goldberg’s story is long on lurid details; we are told, for instance, that one woman, Hamida Mahmoud, died while nursing her two-year-old daughter. Goldberg also follows the Human Rights Watch formula in invoking the Nazis: “Saddam Hussein’s attacks on his own citizens mark the only time since the Holocaust that poison gas has been used to exterminate women and children.”

    What Goldberg doesn’t tell his readers is that he has dual Israeli/American citizenship and served in the Israeli defense forces a few years back.[37] Or that he purposefully ignored the War College report, which, of course, reached quite different conclusions.[38]

    In a curious detail, Goldberg, following the Human Rights Watch narrative concerning Halabja, asserts that the Iraqis dropped wave after wave of gas bombs on the city after Iranian troops had taken it, yet the Iranians never reported any gas casualties.

    Another piece of Goldberg’s narrative that doesn’t fit–and this is true of the accounts of all of the genocide advocates–is that mustard gas generally doesn’t have any immediate effects, yet the Kurds in these stories are portrayed as experiencing blistering, and sometimes falling dead, almost immediately. According to a December 2002 fact sheet from the British Health Department, “mustard gas does not usually cause pain at the time of exposure; symptoms may be delayed for 4 to 6 hours”; only “occasionally” are “nausea, retching, vomiting and eye smarting” reported immediately.[39] Similarly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control explains that “mustard gas burns your skin and causes blisters within a few days.”[40] Other sources agree.[41]

    Interestingly, Goldberg’s piece was immediately incorporated into the Bush administration’s propaganda efforts.[42] Goldberg’s article–placed in the “Fact” section of the New Yorker–can easily be interpreted as part of the joint U.S./Israeli campaign against Saddam Hussein. Goldberg himself vehemently supports the “removal” of Saddam.[43]

    Another purveyor of the genocide claim is Christine Gosden, a professor of medical genetics at the University of Liverpool medical school. Although a convert to the cause only after her 1998 visit to Halabja, she’s a true believer.[44] In these few years she has made herself into a terrorism expert who has testified before Congress [45] and co-authored a recent virulent commentary with the executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute.[46]

    Gosden hasn’t added any new evidence to our understanding of events, although she’s upped the ante of total alleged deaths to 200,000 [47] while adding “possibly biological and radiological weapons” to the list of agents allegedly used by Iraq against the Kurds. [48]

    One expert who’s been particularly scathing about Gosden’s claims is Dr. Gordon Prather, a nuclear physicist who was assistant secretary of the U.S. Army for science and technology in the Reagan years and informed himself on chemical agents because of his oversight responsibilities in that realm. Responding to Gosden’s genocide claims, Prather is emphatic:[49]

    “Your lady doctor’s assertion that Iraq bombed 280 villages with poison gas is a joke you should have seen without a fact-checker. There were hundreds of villages cleared by Baghdad on the Iraqi border, but the residents were moved to new villages built for them in the interior. Western journalists were invited in to observe the process, including Karen Eliot House of the Wall Street Journal, now the president of Dow Jones International.”

    Finally, there’s Gwynne Roberts, a British television reporter who visited Kurdish refugee camps in 1988. He also entered Iraqi territory and brought back shell fragments on which a British laboratory reportedly found traces of mustard gas.[50] But Roberts never identified where the fragments came from, [51] and both Iran and Iraq are known to have used mustard gas.

    Roberts’ most startling report was an alleged massacre at Bassay Gorge, in northern Iraq, on August 29, 1988, in which between 1,500 and 4,000 people, mainly women and children, were supposedly killed by a mixture of various nerve gasses. The absence of bodies was explained by their having been burned by Iraqi troops wearing gas masks.[52]

    Stephen Pelletiere, the CIA analyst, says that the U.S. military closely studied these reports but found them groundless.[53]

    The Ultimate Assessment

    So what, then, does all this evidence tell us?

    We know Saddam is a bad guy. We know he has killed people. But those aren’t the questions. The allegations at issue are vastly more serious: that he purposefully murdered at least 50,000 (or 100,000, or 200,000, depending on the speaker’s fervor) in an attempt to decimate Iraqi Kurds as a people, and that he used chemical weapons on 40 occasions during this campaign.

    What hard evidence is there? One grave with 26 (or 27) bodies of people killed by bullets, not chemicals, and traces of two gasses at one location where four people died. That’s it.

    Only someone who wanted to be deceived would consider this adequate proof of genocide.[54]

    Notes:

    1. Human Rights Watch’s reports on Iraq can be accessed here. These reports were originally issued by Middle East Watch, which later merged with other organizations to form Human Rights Watch. return to text

    A recent op-ed claims 6800 chemical deaths at Halabja. See Joost R. Hiltermann, “America Didn’t Seem to Mind Poison Gas,” International Herald Tribune, January 17, 2003. Hiltermann was through 1994 the director of the Kurds’ Project of Middle East Watch. As he’s currently writing a book on chemical weapons use during the Iran-Iraq war, this book will presumably seek to further canonize the Human Rights Watch perspective.

    2. This report–Stephen C. Pelletiere, Douglas V. Johnson II, and Leif R. Rosenberger, “Iraqi Power and US Security in the Middle East,” Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College–was released to the public in 1990. Much of the material in this report also appears in Marine Corps document FMFRP 3-203, “Lessons Learned: Iran-Iraq War,” dated December 10, 1990. return to text

    In 2001 Praeger Publishers published a book, “Iraq and the International Oil System: Why America Went to War in the Gulf,” by the report’s lead author, Stephen Pelletiere. It has sold 30,000 copies at a pricey $70 and ranks 818 in sales at Amazon.com.

    3. This summary of the report’s findings is taken from a column by British freelance writer Kevin Dowling , “Top US Intel Expert Brands Tony Blair A Liar Over Iraq,” Globe-Intel, October 10, 2002. The column was originally circulated on Irish author Gordon Thomas’ Globe-Intel mailing list. return to text

    For other commentary by Stephen Pelletiere, see:

    Stephen Pelletiere, “A War Crime or an Act of War?,” New York Times, January 31, 2003.

    Roger Trilling, “Fighting Words: The Administration Builds Up Its Pretext for Attacking Iraq,” Village Voice, May 1-7, 2002.

    Douglas V. Johnson and Stephen C. Pelletiere, “Iraq’s Chemical Warfare,” The New York Review of Books, November 22, 1990.

    4. Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, October 2002. return to text

    5. “Appendix B: Chemical Weapons,” from “Lessons Learned: Iran-Iraq War,” referenced in footnote 2, states:

    “For comparison, during WWI, the U. S. Army suffered some 70,552 gas casualties requiring hospitalization.

    Of these, 1,221 died. Deaths on the battlefield attributed to gas are recorded as 200, but on WWI battlefields, cause of death was often difficult to ascertain.” return to text

    5a. For a description of the role of the U.S. State Department and Senate in promoting the genocide allegations, see “Saddam Hussein: From Ally to Enemy” (April 9, 2002) return to text

    6. Stephen Pelletiere, “A War Crime or an Act of War?,” New York Times, January 31, 2003. return to text

    7. Jude Wanniski, “What Happened at Halabja?,” April 23, 2002 (quoting Pelletiere’s 2001 book “Iraq and the International Oil System: Why America Went to War in the Gulf”). return to text

    Economist and activist Jude Wanniski is the writer most responsible for keeping alive questions about the veracity of the genocide claims. His other contributions include:

    “Saddam Did Not Commit Genocide!” (February 3, 2003)

    “The CIA Reports on Saddam’s Gassings” (October 8, 2002)

    “Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, V.I.P. (September 18, 2002)

    “100,000 Men and Boys, Machine-Gunned to Death!!” (August 14, 2002)

    “Iraq & The Christian Science Monitor” (May 22, 2002)

    “Pure Propaganda on ’60 Minutes'” (May 14, 2002)

    “Saddam Hussein: From Ally to Enemy” (April 9, 2002)

    “Letters From an Iraqi Expatriate” (March 26, 2002)

    “Bush & Cheney Are Misinformed” (March 25, 2002)

    “In Defense of Saddam Hussein” (December 14, 2000)

    “Did Saddam Hussein Gas His Own People?” (November 18, 1998)

    For his efforts, Wanniski has been charged with denying genocide. See Timothy Noah, “Jude Wanniski’s Genocide Denial; Wherein the Supply-Side Guru Disputes, against All Evidence, Saddam’s Gassing of the Kurds,” Slate, April 1, 2002. return to text

    8. Douglas V. Johnson and Stephen C. Pelletiere, “Iraq’s Chemical Warfare,” The New York Review of Books, November 22, 1990. return to text

    9. See Jude Wanniski, “Did Saddam Hussein Gas His Own People?,” November 18, 1998. This cites Chapter 5 of “Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East,” referenced in footnote 2. return to text

    10. Viorst’s article was published on page six of the October 7, 1998, edition of the International Herald Tribune under the title “Iraq and the Kurds: Where Is the Proof of Poison Gas?” Portions of it are online here and here. return to text

    11. This is an excerpt from Sandcastles beginning on page 50. return to text

    11a. For a recounting of Human Rights Watch’s change of position, see Jude Wanniski, “Iraq & The Christian Science Monitor” (May 22, 2002). return to text

    12. “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs,” October 2002. return to text

    12a. Human Rights Watch’s reports on Iraq can be accessed here. These reports were originally issued by Middle East Watch, which later merged with other organizations to become Human Rights Watch. return to text

    13. These evidentiary sources are described in “A Note on Methodology” from HRW’s principal report, “Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds.” return to text

    13a. In “Preface & Acknowledgements” in “Genocide in Iraq,” Human Rights Watch offers its appreciation to “Peter Galbraith, then senior advisor to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Ambassador Charles Dunbar, formerly of the U.S. Department of State.” For a description of the role of the U.S. State Department and Senate in promoting the genocide allegations, see “Saddam Hussein: From Ally to Enemy” (April 9, 2002). Peter Galbraith, who took a leading role in these promotional activities, was a senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1979 to 1993, then becoming the first U.S. ambassador to Croatia. See the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. From 1962 until 1993, Charles Dunbar was a State Department Officer, including postings as Ambassador to Yemen and Qatar. return to text

    14. HRW reports are inconsistent on the number of people killed at this site (the Kurdish village of Koreme). “A Note on Methodology,” referenced in footnote 13 just above, states that 26 bodies were recovered, but the separate report, “The Anfal Campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan: The Destruction of Koreme,” says that 27 men and boys were executed. return to text

    15. One of the two other exhumations was of three children’s graves near the village of Erbil. Since these graves were within the “graveyard of a complex where survivors of the Anfal [Iraq’s alleged campaign against the Kurds] were taken,” it is unclear what Human Rights Watch believes is established by evidence that people who weren’t killed in the alleged campaign later died of other causes. See “A Note on Methodology.” return to text

    The other exhumation site was near the village of Birjinni; two bodies were exhumed, with results that, objectively speaking, were wholly inconclusive. The HRW report states:

    “Exhumations of chemical weapons victims: Under the direction of the forensic team’s scientific head and chief anthropologist, the skeletal remains of two of the four apparent victims of the chemical attack were exhumed. The forensic team was told that these two skeletons were those of the grandfather and the small boy who had died in the attack. The skeletons of the other two victims, buried in the cave, were not exhumed.

    Exhumation of the two skeletons confirmed that one was that of an old man, approximately sixty years old. Relatives identified him as the grandfather on the basis of artifacts and clothing found with the skeleton in the grave. The second skeleton was that of a young boy, approximately five years old. He was identified as the grandson on the basis of clothing. Forensic examination of the two skeletons was limited to determining whether there was any sign of trauma or perimortem violence that might contradict the account of the villagers that the two decedents were overcome by chemical weapons. No indications contrary to death by chemical agents were found. The skeletons were then reburied in new graves in accordance with Islamic ritual.

    Conclusions concerning the chemical weapons attack: The forensic team found nothing in the evidence of the exhumation and the archaeological investigation that was inconsistent with the account of the chemical weapons attack given by village witnesses. On the contrary, the lack of trauma to either skeleton supports the villagers’ account.”

    See “The Destruction of Koreme During The Anfal Campaign.” return to text

    16. See the Letter to the editor from Hanny Megally published in the New York Times on August 13, 2002. (Scroll down to the third letter.) Megally is identified as the executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. return to text

    17. Amazingly, this allegation is placed only in a footnote, accompanied by no supporting evidence. See footnote 32 in “The March 16 Chemical Attack on Halabja” within “Genocide in Iraq.” return to text

    18. Accounts by the U.S. State Department and Kurdish opposition groups are obviously corrupted by self-interest. United Nations documents should be checked, however. return to text

    19. See “Preface & Acknowledgements” in “Genocide in Iraq.” return to text

    20. “Iraq: Devastation of Marsh Arabs,” January 25, 2003. return to text

    Human Rights Watch entered the Iraqi fray again on February 6 with its publication of “Ansar al-Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

    21. According to Stephen Pelletiere, Iran employed a non-persistent form of mustard gas while Iraq developed a heavier, more persistent form of the gas, and much of the mustard gas that was used at Halabja carried the Iranian signature. See British freelance writer Kevin Dowling , “Top US Intel Expert Brands Tony Blair A Liar Over Iraq,” Globe-Intel, October 10, 2002. The column was originally circulated on Irish author Gordon Thomas’ Globe-Intel mailing list. return to text

    22. Online here. return to text

    23. The 1993 statements are in “Preface & Acknowledgements” in “Genocide in Iraq”; the 2003 statements are from Hanny Megally’s letter to the New York Times referenced in footnote 16. (Scroll down to the third letter.) return to text

    24. The complete passage, from “Preface & Acknowledgements” in “Genocide in Iraq” is as follows:

    “The phenomenon of the Anfal, the official military codename used by the government in its public pronouncements and internal memoranda, was well known inside Iraq, especially in the Kurdish region. As all the horrific details have emerged, this name has seared itself into popular consciousness — much as the Nazi German Holocaust did with its survivors. The parallels are apt, and often chillingly close.” return to text

    25. The complete passage, from “Introduction” in “Genocide in Iraq,” is as follows:

    “Like Nazi Germany, the Iraqi regime concealed its actions in euphemisms. Where Nazi officials spoke of “executive measures,” “special actions” and “resettlement in the east,” Ba’athist bureaucrats spoke of “collective measures,” “return to the national ranks” and “resettlement in the south.” But beneath the euphemisms, Iraq’s crimes against the Kurds amount to genocide, the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” return to text

    26. The complete paragraph, a quotation from Albert Camus’ The Rebel, appears at the beginning of “The Destruction of Koreme During The Anfal Campaign” and is as follows:

    “Until [Lidice], there were supposedly only two possible attitudes for a conqueror toward a village that was considered rebellious. Either calculated repression and cold-blooded execution of hostages, or a savage and necessarily brief sack by enraged soldiers. Lidice was destroyed by both methods simultaneously … Not only were all the houses burned to the ground, the hundred and seventy-four men of the village shot, the two hundred and three women deported, and the three hundred children transferred elsewhere to be educated in the religion of the Fuhrer, but special teams spent months at work leveling the terrain with dynamite, destroying the very stones, filling in the village pond, and finally diverting the course of the river. After that, Lidice was really nothing more than a mere possibility … To make assurance doubly sure, the cemetery was emptied of its dead, who might have been a perpetual reminder that once something existed in this place.” return to text

    27. The IRDP is online here. The cited documents are all available under “Selected Documents.” return to text

    28. Physicians for Human Rights’ reports on Iraq can be accessed here. Its first interviews with Kurdish refugees took place in October 1988, still some six weeks after the reported attacks. return to text

    29. Online here. This information was re-released on March 21, 1995, two days after the sarin incident in the Tokyo subways. See “Nerve Agent Sarin Identified in 1993 as Chemical Weapon Used Earlier by Iraq Against Kurdish Population.” return to text

    30. The results of this analysis were published in a scientific journal. See Robin M. Black, Raymond J. Clarke, Robert W. Read and Michael T.J. Reid, “Application of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry to the Analysis of Chemical Warfare Samples, Found to Contain Residues of the Nerve Agent Sarin, Sulphur Mustard and Their Degradation Products,” Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 662, Issue 2, 25 February 1994, Pages 301-321. The abstract provides as follows:

    “Samples of clothing, grave debris, soil and munition fragments, collected from the Kurdish village of Birjinni, were analysed by GC-MS with selected ion monitoring (SIM) for traces of chemical warfare agents and their degradation products. Positive analyses were confirmed, where possible, by full scan mass spectra, or at low concentrations by additional GC-MS-SIM analysis using chemical ionisation, by higher resolution GC-MS-SIM, and by GC-tandem mass spectrometry using multiple reaction monitoring. Sulphur mustard and/or thiodiglycol were detected in six soil samples; isopropyl methylphosphonic acid and methylphosphonic acid, the hydrolysis products of the nerve agent sarin, were detected in six different soil samples. Trace amounts of intact sarin were detected on a painted metal fragment associated with one of these soil samples. The results demonstrate the application of different GC-MS and GC-MS-MS techniques to the unequivocal identification of chemical warfare agent residues in the environment at concentrations ranging from low ppb to ppm (w/w). They also provide the first documented unequivocal identification of nerve agent residues in environmental samples collected after a chemical attack.”

    The article may be purchased for $30 here. return to text

    31. See this document. return to text

    32. For villagers’ accounts of the attack on Birjinni, see “The Chemical Weapons Attack on Birjinni” in “The Destruction of Koreme During The Anfal Campaign” (Human Rights Watch, January 1993), and “‘Apples and Something Sweet’: The Chemical Attacks of August 25, 1988” in “Genocide in Iraq” (Human Rights Watch, July 1993). return to text

    The Physicians for Human Rights report on the soil samples (see footnote 29) states that (1) researchers took three samples from each of four bomb craters, (2) all six samples from two of the craters showed breakdown products of sarin, and (3) all six samples from the other two craters showed breakdown products of mustard gas. No sample revealed either no gas traces or traces of both gases. It could therefore be the case that sarin and mustard gas were not mixed together, but rather were each mixed with whatever substance produced the “plume of black, then yellowish smoke” reported by villagers.

    33. See “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs,” October 2002. return to text

    34. Steve Duin, “An Eyewitness to Iraq’s Way of Waging War,” The Oregonian, August 25, 2002 (reviewing Francona’s 1999 book “Ally to Adversary”). Francona’s website is here while Duin’s review is here. return to text

    35. Online here. return to text

    36. “The Lessons of Halabja: An Ominous Warning.” return to text

    37. Jude Wanniski, “What Happened at Halabja?,” April 23, 2002. return to text

    38. Village Voice reporter Roger Trilling (see footnote 42) asked Goldberg about this omission:

    “In a telephone interview with the Voice, Goldberg explained why he had chosen to elide the position of the military and intelligence communities from his piece. ‘I didn’t give it much thought, because it was dismissed by so many people I consider to be experts,’ he told me. ‘Very quickly into this story, I decided that I support the mainstream view–of Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, the State Department, the UN, and various Kurdish group–that the Iraqis were responsible for Halabja. In the same way, I didn’t give any merit to the Iraqi denials.'” return to text

    39. See this document. return to text

    40. See this document. return to text

    41. See also this document (symptoms appear 4-24 hours later) and this document (symptoms appear 1-6 or more hours later). return to text

    42. Roger Trilling, “Fighting Words: The Administration Builds Up Its Pretext for Attacking Iraq,” Village Voice, May 1-7, 2002. return to text

    43. See Goldberg’s comments posted on Slate:

    “I will end what could quickly devolve into a rant by posing this question to you: Does it in fact even matter if Saddam is connected to al-Qaida? In other words, why look for a smoking gun when a dozen already exist? This is a man who has attacked, unprovoked, four of his country’s neighbors; a man who has committed genocide and used chemical weapons on civilians; a man who is clearly obsessed with the development of weapons of mass destruction; and a man who uses homicide and rape as a tool of governance. Isn’t he worthy, by these deeds alone, of removal?” return to text

    44. See Christine Gosden, “Why I Went, What I Saw,” The Washington Post, March 11, 1998, page A19. return to text

    45. See “Testimony of Dr. Christine M. Gosden Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Chemical and Biological Weapons Threats to America: Are We Prepared?; Wednesday, April 22nd 1998 at 2:30 pm.” return to text

    46. Christine Gosden and Mike Amitay, “Lesson of Iraq’s Mass Murder,” The Washington Post, June 2, 2002, page B7. return to text

    47. She told Jeffrey Goldberg this; see his “The Great Terror” discussed earlier. return to text

    48. See “Lesson of Iraq’s Mass Murder” cited in footnote 46. return to text

    49. Dr. Prather’s statements are reported in Jude Wanniski, “Pure Propaganda on ’60 Minutes,’ May 14, 2002. return to text

    50. See “Reply by Edward Mortimer” in “Iraq’s Chemical Warfare,” The New York Review of Books, November 22, 1990. return to text

    51. British freelance writer Kevin Dowling , “Top US Intel Expert Brands Tony Blair A Liar Over Iraq,” Globe-Intel, October 10, 2002. The column was originally circulated on Irish author Gordon Thomas’ Globe-Intel mailing list. return to text

    54. And why should we even be concerned about the veracity of these allegations? Not in any attempt–doomed to be futile–to rehabilitate Saddam Hussein, but because the search for truth is its own justification, because the word “genocide” must not be cheapened, and because the U.S. government must not be handed another pretext to attack Iraq.

    go ahead and set up the debate time and place, and I will work it into my schedule. Please feel free to invite some friends and ditto heads, as I will take alot of pleasure in embarrassing you in front of them.

    Rusty Sharpe

  15. Chuck Norton said

    Rusty, I am thrilled that you accepted. We should do Lincoln Douglas style debate on the points mentioned in your first article.

    While I have no doubt that you can find press reports and conspiracy books etc etc to assert your claims, I think that upon cross examination you are going to be in for a shock. You are going to find the Mr. Pelletiere has almost as much credibility as Scott Ritter.

    I will see if we can get a professor to moderate and we can set a date for about two weeks from now.

    I am looking forward to meeting you.

  16. IUSB Vision said

    The IUSB Vision would like to present this debate. We can market it in the Vision and hold it in the Grille. I can get everything set up if you would like us to take care of the preperations. I will leave it up to the two of you to establish whatever rules and order you would like, but we can take care of securing the time and place.

    Jarrod Brigham, editor, IUSB Vision

  17. Chuck,

    Sorry my ill informed opponent, because of the lousy Bush economy, I had to pick up extra shifts at my place of employment for the next month. I dont know if I will have time for child childish endeavors as debating you and making a fool out of you.

    Rusty

  18. [Notice the wholesale attempt to change the subject, misinform, and distract from the facts in the article. When that fails please notice the attempt to make it about “Balance” and about trashing the author. Notice that they do not write the elite media demanding balance, nor do they demand balance from their neo-marxist professors – Editor]

    Dear Editor of Vision,

    I thought this was supposed to be a “balanced” newspaper to the “liberal biased” Preface. I think not. Where is the balance for Chuck Norton. Every week he is allowed to spout off his vile hatefull rhetoric with no one to counter what he says. I think the commentary which stated that your paper “preaches to the choir” is dead on. You claim to be above bias, but you are just as guilty as the Preface. It is really obvious Dittoheads are sending messages to this page and blaming the ills of the current
    administration on someone who left office over 2 years ago.

    If conservatives want to know who gave Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction, look no further
    than the receipts in Dubya’s daddy’s files…if you can find them.

    Bill Clinton dug us out of the horrendous Reagan-Bush dictatorship of bad government, continually giving to
    the hypperrich at the expense of the working class, sky high unemployment, starting wars in every corner of
    the planet (their specialty being defenseless Third World countries), giving Middle Eastern dictators their pick
    of US military arsenal and THEN turn around and say we have to wipe them out because they’re “evil,” ad nauseaum.

    From 1993-2001, seven million jobs were CREATED, the national debt was almost completely wiped out,
    there was a budget SURPLUS of $5 billion, and less government. Keeping this in mind, it’s rather pathetic
    that all the conservative yahoos could come up with on Clinton was that he had consensual sex with someone
    other than his wife (and Ken Starr even admitted he never had anything on Clinton from the door).

    This whole Iraq situation is wag the dog, all the way. To cover up Bush’s complete and utter incompetency. Even his own intelligence agencies have now said yesterday (9/24/06) that Iraq has not made us safer, and has increased terrorism.
    performing the job he was handed (only Hitler would have told people to “get over” someone thinking they
    are above the law and actually raising tens of millions of dollars in a few days to fight the voice of the people
    in court), he issues fake terror warnings to keep us in our places, keeping us fearful so we won’t dare question
    why he and Assistant Furher Ashcroft plan to completely cancel out the Bill of Rights with the so-called
    “Patriot Act,” why big business is the recipient of a gross amount of corporate welfare, etc.

    The economy tanks in 6 months flat, after he takes office, millions of jobs are lost, the actions of Enron CEO Kenneth Lay (you can
    call him Ken) costs tens of thousands of people their life’s savings and retirement money (some men and women
    who worked at Enron were so desperate to pay their bills that they posed in Playboy and Playgirl) and Lay
    doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist because he was Bush’s biggest campaign contributor and close friend
    (shoot, they have yet to find the guy!). In fact, for doing such a good job, the Bush administration gives them a tax cut. And the handful of right wingers, so out of touch with reality and the American people, use screen names and post
    numerous messages on the various message boards, just like yours, mean to
    tell people that’s all Clinton’s fault?

    Let’s not even get into the 9/11 brouhaha and how Bush did nothing to try to prevent it (the FBI and the CIA
    did their jobs. Bush was determined to take his hundredth vacation in the 6-7 months since his coronation,
    the working people in the World Trade Center towers be damned). Let’s talk about how the FBI and CIA
    warned him of young men wanting to steer airplanes, not fly them, in flight schools and how he continued to
    shovel dirt on his ranch rather than deal with it. Let’s talk about how he continued to (attempt to) read
    to those Florida school kids when a Secret Service agent whispered in his ear what was happening. In the
    time he finished that story, the other plane hit the second tower, it was an hour before he even got on TV and
    commented on the situation, THEN instead of being a man and going to the White House (like Queen Elizabeth
    the Queen Mother did, staying at Buckingham Palace in London during the worst bombing of WW2), he hid
    like the little boy that he is while the rest of us were biting our nails, hoping and praying we wouldn’t be next.

    And let’s not get into how this country trained Osama bin Laden during the 1980s Russia-Afghantistan war
    (Bush Sr. again) and how daddy CONTINUES to work for the Carlyle Group, owned by bin Laden’s family.

    And these conservative yahoos say all of that is Bill Clinton’s fault?

    I read this somewhere and it is worth repeating: Conservatives embody the very idea of treason. They don’t
    like America. They actively work everyday to destroy America from within by attempting to squash any kind
    of debate or criticism of Dubya (who has no respect for working people or our opinions). This coming from the
    people who had no problem disrespecting the Office of the President from January 20, 1993-January 20, 2001
    with childish name-calling, lies, and innuendos, all of which were unfounded. Everyone is NOT entitled to their
    point of view.

    Also, there is evidence, if your brave enough to watch it, of a mass coverup by the Bush Administration of 9/11. There is even hard evidence to prove that this administration CARRIED OUT 9/11 because they wanted a pretext to go to war in Iraq. I am trying to persuade the College Democrats to pass some out to students and people on campus before the elections this fall( free of charge) so we can inform people. The movie is titled, “LOOSE CHANGE” and can be found at youtube.com (make sure it is the second edition).

    Rusty Sharpe

  19. Chuck Norton said

    Lousy Bush Economy Rusty…. lol… I think I will have to do a column soon that is filled with evidence that you are going to find to be most inconvenient.

    So by all means, please keep reading and thanks for supporting your fellow Democrats who are trying to wield the club of censorship with government threats.

    You have done exactly what I hoped you would do and you have demonstrated exactly what I had hoped that you would demonstrate; that the far left only supports freedom of speech for themselves and is happy to see the government make threats against those who speak the truth.

    You have taken hyper partisanship to a whole new level.

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