The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 8, 2013

Happy talk about George W. Bush all bunk

(Continued)

Nobody mentioned Bush’s disappearing WMD or his disastrous economic policies at the dedication, nor the Bush administration’s assault on civil liberties and the whitewashing of torture under the euphemism of “enhanced interrogation.”

A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation programs after 9/11 concluded that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture,” a finding supported by a new Guardian/BBC documentary which reveals that the U.S. funded dozens of previously secret “torture centers” around Iraq. It also provides a 22-page analysis of the dozens of legal cases where the U.S. employed methods it had itself prosecuted or denounced as torture. By U.S. standards, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would be classified as war criminals. Human Rights Watch added further evidence of torture, confirming that the Bush administration waterboarded more people than acknowledged.

Jeremy Scahill (Dirty Wars) has described the Bush administration’s mistreatment and torture of thousands of people at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, at “black sites” around the globe, and most egregiously, at NAMA — “Nasty-ass Military Area.” His special ops sources told Scahill that the U.S. has carried out kidnapping and executions in more than 20 countries and assassinated thousands of people in its war on terror.

The writer Mark Bowden has written that “the most dangerous people in the world are the righteous.” Bush demonstrated the point. He famously “consulted” his heavenly father about Iraq, and concluded he had a divine mandate to invade. He subsequently told the Palestinian foreign minister that his invasion of Iraq was "a mission from God,” and told former French President Jacques Chirac that "Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East," adding that biblical prophecies were being fulfilled in Iraq.

Chirac has confirmed the story to journalist Jean Claude Maurice, who said Chirac expressed wonder at Bush’s fanaticism. To true believers, religious delusions trump facts or reason; to Bush the holy warrior, they apparently justified lying the country into war.

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