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Old 24-07-2004, 01:02 PM
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Default Bush much worse than Hussein

"Nomen Nescio" wrote in message
Jun 23 2004

Memo To: Attorney General John Ashcroft From: Jude Wanniski

Why is He Being Held at All?

I see in the papers, John, that our government has decided that we

will maintain physical custody of Saddam Hussein even after the June 30
transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi interim government. An anonymous
official told Associated Press the reason is the Iraqis do not have a
prison safe enough to hold Saddam, and I suppose there may be some
concern that if the Iraqi interim government got their hands on him
there may be no need for a ?trial.? They might sooner have him ?die of
natural causes? in his cell rather than have him answer the charges of
war crimes, which have yet to be brought against him. But I now wonder
why he is being held at all?

If you think about it, 18 months ago Saddam Hussein was sitting in his

office, the duly constituted president and prime minister of Iraq,
minding his own business. The United States did not have diplomatic
relations with Iraq and so did not formally recognize him as head of
state. But most of the rest of the world did, and Iraq had a seat at the
United Nations and in its proper rotation could even take a seat on the
Security Council. It was at this point that President Bush decided
Saddam had weapons of destruction and was conspiring with Al Qaeda to
menace peace-loving nations like the United States. He took his
assertions to the UN Security Council and the Council agreed by a
15-to-0 vote to demand Saddam permit UN inspectors back into Iraq to
search for the WMD. If you followed the U.N. proceedings over the
following months, you will find that Baghdad fully complied with every
demand made upon it by the Security Council.

Even if you missed the TV coverage, if you read the papers carefully

you would find no instance where Saddam thumbed his nose at the Council.
When he read of accounts from President Bush, Vice President Cheney and
Secretary of State Powell that he was still hiding stuff from the
inspectors that our CIA knew about, he said he would invite the CIA to
come and look in every nook and cranny. Remember? And when the UN
inspectors were given tips by the CIA on places to search for WMD, they
did so and found no traces of WMD. Not a teensy weensy bit of evidence.
So when President Bush asked the Security Council for a resolution
backing a war with Iraq, the Council turned him down. The other members
pointed out that U.N. diplomacy had indeed worked and that the
inspectors could clean up the last bits and pieces in a few months and
certify that Iraq was absolutely clean.

President Bush did have authorization from the U.S. Congress to go to

war with Iraq to get his WMD, but the resolution required that before he
committed troops he had to certify in letters to the House and Senate
that diplomacy had failed. Mr. Bush sent such letters to the House and
Senate two days before our generals led coalition troops into Iraq from
Kuwait. Some members of Congress objected, but what could they do but
sit back and wait for our troops to defeat the Iraqi army and then
locate the hidden WMD?

As we now know, Saddam Hussein was telling the truth. He had no WMD,

had in fact gotten rid of them in 1991 when the U.N. passed a resolution
demanding that he do so. Well, the administration of which you are the
chief legal officer then insisted the war was justified because of Al
Qaeda connections to Saddam?s regime. We don?t need a permission slip
from the UNSC if we see there is a potential threat from a government
somewhere, anywhere, that might develop WMD and give them to Al Qaeda,
who would then sneak them into the United States and cause catastrophic
loss of life. But now we find Saddam was absolutely telling the truth
that he had no contact with Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden and that the one
overture that came from Al Qaeda to an Iraqi official several years ago,
asking assistance from Baghdad, was rebuffed. Apparently our
intelligence agencies knew all this, as the 9-11 Commission has since
discovered, but the administration you serve chose to believe otherwise.
The war went

Saddam Hussein was eventually located in his spider hole and whisked

away, put under lock and key in a secure prison, with the idea that he
would eventually be turned over to a duly constituted court of law and
tried as a war criminal. President Bush on many occasions has pointed
out that Iraq is better off without Saddam because his regime was known
to have used ?torture and rape rooms? at Abu Ghraib prison. Now you
know President Bush did not order our military people to use those same
rooms to rape and torture Iraqi ?detainees.? He says so and I believe
him. But I wonder if you have evidence that Saddam ordered the Iraqi
state or local police to ?torture and rape,? or might he also insist as
Mr. Bush has that he was at the tippy top of the national government and
if he had known what excesses were committed by local cops, he would
have put a stop to it.

To tell you the truth, John, as far as I can recall, there have been

no assertions of the ?brutality? of Saddam?s regime from anyone but the
Iraqi exiles associated with Ahmed Chalabi or those Kurds who fought on
the Iranian side in the Iran/Iraq war. There are all kinds of anecdotes
about Saddam doing dreadful things, entire books written about them, but
the source of all of them is the same pool of people who have been
feeding faked ?evidence? of WMD and Al Qaeda connections to our
government. Can it be that there is nothing that Saddam has done all
these years that cannot be justified as the permissible acts of a head
of state acting in defense of his people. Yes, he invaded Kuwait in
1990, but in retrospect that was a really easy war to justify, given the
economic warfare being conducted against Iraq by the Emir of Kuwait. I
mean easy in relation to now having to justify this American invasion
and destruction of good chunks of Iraq, on false premises.

President Bush still has it in his head that Saddam tried to

assassinate his father in 1993, but if you did the smallest bit of
digging you would find this was a hoax perpetrated by the neo-cons. The
President also has it in his head that Saddam committed genocide against
the Kurds in 1988, killing tens of thousands of them with poison gas
and/or machine guns. If you lifted a little pinky to get to the bottom
of this story, you will find it is also made of neo-con whole cloth. I?m
not making wild assertions, John, because I have spent countless hours
on this subject and find no loopholes left. Just call Human Rights Watch
and ask if they have yet found the mass graves of those tens of
thousands of Kurds and they will sheepishly admit they are still

I?ll have to admit there is no easy way out for the Bush

administration in explaining how it could have been snookered from first
to last about Saddam Hussein. I?m not suggesting you ask to meet with
the President and tell him he should go on TV and tell the American
people he made a Bigtime Boo-Boo. I?m only suggesting you go back to
your law books and, for your own good, get a good grip on why Saddam
Hussein is behind bars when it now turns out he doesn?t seem to have
done anything wrong. You might then be in a better position to advise
the President on how to proceed in the best way to avoid further Bigtime

Jude Wanniski is a prominent economist, writer and former associate

editor of The Wall Street Journal. He is the chairman of Polyconomics,

I go along with most of what you have written. The war was about seizure
of oil wells, and also about "The American Dream"- i.e. to develop an
American worldwide Empire bigger than ours ever was.
That said, - I want to ask you a simple question.
Which of the three aforementioned people, i.e, Saddam, Bush, yourself or
Ashcroft do any gardening??.