Bush före detta pressekreterare – Lögner sålde kriget till media

När nu Irak konferensen pågår i Stockholm kan det vara värt att påminna om inledningen till kriget och den mycket agressiva kampanj som fördes för att sälja kriget. Eller som George Bush före detta presssekreterare Scott McClellan skriver om i en ny bok. En marknadsföringskampanj baserade på lögner och desinformation som placerade i media. Irak invasionen var ett medvetet val eller som George Bush den äldre’s säkerhetspolititiska rådgivare Richard Haass kallade det "war of choice".

Likadant kan det vara värt att påminnna om Condoleezza Rice ingick i WHIG den grupp av ledare inom Vita huset vars arbete det var att koordinera information för att sälja irak invasionen till den amerikanska allmänheten och media. Eller att Vita Husets lögner i media även spreds vidare av svensk media. Eller att det ’framgångsrika’  kriget användes i den amerikanska valrörelsen för att sälja krigspresidenten George Bush.

Att även Carl Bildt hade en roll i marknadsföringskampajen för Irak kriget som medlem i den internationella kommitten för att befria irak har också kommit bort i svenska media. Att Carl Bildt deltog i en neo-konservativ grupp med band både till den yttersta amerikanska och israeliska högern får i alla fall mig att ifrågasätta hans omdöme.

The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) was described as a "non-governmental organization" which described itself as a "distinguished group of Americans" who wanted to free Iraq from Saddam Hussein. In a news release announcing its formation, the group said its goal was to "promote regional peace, political freedom and international security through replacement of the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the community of nations." It had close links to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), important shapers of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

The Washington Post reported in November 2002 that "the organization is modeled on a successful lobbying campaign to expand the NATO alliance. Members include former secretary of state George P. Shultz, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.). … While the Iraq committee is an independent entity, committee officers said they expect to work closely with the administration. They already have met with Hadley and Bush political adviser Karl Rove. Committee officers and a White House spokesman said Rice, Hadley and Cheney will soon meet with the group." [1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_the_Liberation_of_Iraq

Eller som expressen ’avslöjade’ och Carl Bildt ivrigt förnekade. CLI hade bara ett uppdrag. Sälja Irak invasionen internationellt och inte minst till tveksamma Europeiska länder både inom och utom NATO.

– Vi rekryterade Carl Bildt för att han skulle verka för en intervention i Irak och undanröjandet av Saddam Hussein. Det var ingen "internationell rådgivande grupp som skulle diskutera Irak efter regimen Saddam Hussein" som Carl Bildt påstår, sade Randy Scheunemann i natt till Expressen.

Expressen avslöjade i onsdags att Carl Bildt rekryterades till den amerikanska krigslobbygruppen Kommittén för Iraks befrielse (CLI), som bestod av idel konservativa "hökar" med kopplingar till vapenindustrin. Samma dag avfärdar Carl Bildt påståendena på sin blogg. Gruppens syfte, och hans engagemang, var att "diskutera Irak efter regimen Saddam Hussein", skriver Carl Bildt. Men det påståendet stämmer inte alls, säger CLI:s högste chef, Randy Scheunemann, som var den som rekryterade Bildt till CLI. – Vi rekryterade Carl Bildt hösten 2002 för att han skulle verka för en intervention i Irak och undanröjandet av Saddam Hussein. Det var ingen "diskussionsgrupp" som Carl Bildt påstår, säger Randy Scheunemann i natt till Expressen.

Såg chans till toppjobb

– Jag diskuterade saken med Carl Bildt och han var helt på det klara med att CLI:s syfte var att vända opinionen i USA och internationellt, till förmån för en militär intervention i Irak. Carl Bildt skrev åtminstone ett par artiklar med just detta syfte, säger Randy Scheunemann. Scheunemann berättar att framemot mars, när det stod klart att det kunde bli en invasion, började man diskutera situationen i Irak efter en eventuell invasion. Personer nära kärnan av CLI har berättat att Carl Bildt såg CLI som en möjlighet till ett nytt internationellt toppjobb. – Jag vet inte vilket syfte Carl Bildt hade, det får du fråga honom om, säger Scheunemann. CLI:s ordförande Bruce P Jackson hade dock önskemål om ett sådant jobb för Bildt. – Han var absolut inte otänkbar för ett toppjobb i Irak, med de erfarenheter han har från Balkan. Jag hade gärna sett honom på ett sådant jobb, säger Bruce Jackson.
Chefen: Därför värvade vi Bildt – Nyheter – Expressen.se

Irak kriget var även inrikespolitik i Sverige. Vilka sade detta i en rikdsdagsdebatt 2003?

”Det är fel att tvärsäkert hävda att de insatser som nu görs för att avväpna den irakiska regimens massförstörelsevapen strider mot folkrätten”. och ”Vi anser också att det är att gå för långt att säga att USA och dess allierade bryter mot folkrätten”.

Det var Bo Lundgren  och Lars Leijonborg. Irakkriget handlar alltså om mer än att hetsa om USAs förflutna. Europeiska och svenska politiker gav många moraliskt eller praktiskt stöd till invasionen.

Att personer inom CLI även hade djupa band till den amerikanska balkan politiken på 90-talet och inte minst planerna på att omvandla NATO tilll en global militär allians kan vara av intresse för en del att veta. Och naturligtvis till den amerikanska vapenindustri som tjänat miljarder på irak invasionen.

Mer bloggar om Rice, Bildt och dagens möte:

Condoleezza – kvinnornas alibi eller illusion Condoleezza ”Condi” Rice välkomnas i Sverige Ställ Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld och Rice inför en – krig…  Condo och grabbarna till Upplands Väsby Demonstrera mot USA-s krig Maj 28, 2008- LUF välkomnar imperialismen personifierad 

The "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq" is setting up offices on Capitol Hill this week, according to its president, Randy Scheunemann, Lott’s former chief national-security adviser who last year worked in Rumsfeld’s office as a consultant on Iraq policy. The chairman of the new Committee, Bruce P. Jackson, is a former vice president of Lockheed Martin who chaired the Republican Party Platform’s subcommittee for National Security and Foreign Policy when Bush ran for president in 2000.

Jackson, who also served as chairman of the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO, which spearheaded a "citizen’s" campaign to persuade Congress to ratify NATO’s eastward expansion in 1998, resigned from Lockheed earlier this year to, in his words, "pursue democracy building projects full-time."

He, Scheunemann, and a prominent Republican fund-raiser who worked with Jackson on the NATO Committee, Julie Finley, founded the Project on Transitional Democracies, for which he is now president. He also leads the U.S. Committee on NATO, a successor to the expansion effort, in which both Scheunemann and Finley are officers.

The new Committee on Iraq appears to be a spin-off from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a front group consisting mainly of neoconservative Jews and heavy-hitters from the Christian Right whose public recommendations on fighting President George W. Bush’s "war against terrorism" and alignment with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the second intifada have anticipated to a remarkable degree the administration’s policy course.

Both Scheunemann and Jackson have signed a number of PNAC’s open letters to Bush, including one sent just eight days after the September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, calling for Washington to carry the anti-terrorist campaign beyond al Qaeda to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Palestine Authority and, of course, Iraq.

Other signers included Richard Perle, chairman of Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board (DPB), Frank Gaffney, a Perle protege who now heads the Center for Security Policy (CSP), and several of Perle’s colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), including former UN Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Michael Ledeen, and Marc Reuel Gerecht.

Gary Schmitt, PNAC’s executive director, has agreed to join Jackson, Finley, and Scheunemann, as an officer in the new Iraq group.

Scheunemann told FPIF that they are still recruiting members for the Committee’s board of directors. So far, however, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, and ret. General Wayne Downing, a former lobbyist for the Iraqi National Congress (INC) who worked as Bush’s top counter-terrorism official on his National Security Council staff until he unexpectedly resigned last summer, have all signed on.

Like Downing, Scheunemann has long-standing links to the INC, a very loose coalition of Iraqi dissidents and opposition groups headed by the controversial Ahmed Chalabi. Chalabi and the INC have long been championed by the neoconservatives around Rumsfeld and Cheney but disdained as ineffectual and possibly corrupt by regional specialists at the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the uniformed brass, including ret. General Anthony Zinni, who served as commander of the Pentagon’s Central Command in the late 1990s.

In 1998, Scheunemann, who was then working for Lott, drafted the "Iraq Liberation Act" that authorized 98 million dollars for the INC, only a fraction of which was spent by the Clinton administration, largely due to opposition from State, the CIA, and Zinni. The Pentagon recently took control of the bulk of the unspent funds to begin training various INC factions.

The mission statement of the new Committee, whose website is at www.liberationiraq.org, describes its purpose as "promot[ing] regional peace, political freedom and international security by replacing the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the community of nations."

It says the current government in Baghdad "poses a clear and present danger to its neighbors, to the United States, and to free peoples throughout the world."

"The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq will engage in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny," it goes on. It "is committed to work beyond the liberation of Iraq to the reconstruction of its economy and the establishment of political pluralism, democratic institutions, and the rule of law."

Scheunemann told FPIF the group will concentrate its efforts on the media "both in the U.S. and in Europe."

The new committee appears to be the latest organization used by neoconservatives and other right-wingers in a long line of similar front groups stretching back over a quarter of a century, first to the Coalition for a Democratic Majority and then to the more bipartisan Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), which campaigned against détente and arms control treaties during the James Earl Carter, Jr. administration.

During the 1980s, they spawned new groups–consisting mostly of the same people–such as the Committee for the Free World; Prodemca (Friends of the Democratic Center in Central America), which supported Reagan administration policies in Central America; and the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD), which campaigned against the overseas work of mainstream Protestant churches and liberation theology of the Roman Catholic Church; among others.

Many of the activists in these groups were associated with AEI, the leading neoconservative think tank in Washington and one whose foreign-policy positions have never enjoyed as much influence as now.

In the lead-up to the Gulf War 11 years ago, many of the same individuals launched the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), co-chaired by Perle along with former New York Democratic Rep. Stephen Solarz. It worked closely with both the Bush Sr. administration/George Herbert Walker Bush in mobilizing support for the war, particularly in Congress, and with a second group financed by the Kuwaiti monarchy called Citizens for a Free Kuwait. CPSG also received a sizable grant from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a major funder of both PNAC and AEI.

As recently as 1998, the CPSG called in an open letter to William Jefferson Clinton for Washington to adopt a "comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime" centered on support for the INC and U.S. air power. More recently, it lobbied Congress to give Bush authority to wage war against Iraq.

The 1998 letter was signed by many of the charter members of PNAC, which had been launched the year before, who are now the leading Iraq hawks inside the administration. They include Rumsfeld and four of his top deputies at the Pentagon, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Dov Zakheim, and Peter W. Rodman; the arch-unilateralist undersecretary of state for arms control and international strategy, John R. Bolton; Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky; and senior National Security Council staffers Elliott Abrams and Zalmay Khalilzad.

PNAC’s Schmitt and its two co-founders, Bill Kristol/William Kristol and Robert Kagan; CSP’s Gaffney; as well as several AEI associates, including Perle, Jeffrey Gedmin, Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, and David Wurmser also signed.

PNAC published its own letter urging stronger action against Iraq in January, 1998. It stressed that "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council" before taking unilateral military action. That letter was signed by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rodman, Bolton, Dobriansky, Abrams, Khalilzad, Kagan, Kristol, and Perle, as well as half a dozen other leading neocon and right-wing lights.

One year later, many of the same figures helped create the Balkan Action Committee (BAC) in support of NATO’s campaign against Serbia. Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Perle all served on BAC’s executive committee, which, like the Prodemoca and the CPSG, for example, published open letters to the president and took out ads in major newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Talk:Committee for the Liberation of Iraq – SourceWatch

The White House Iraq Group (aka, White House Information Group or WHIG) was the marketing arm of the White House whose purpose was to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the public. The task force was set up in August 2002 by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and chaired by Karl Rove to coordinate all the executive branch elements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. One example of the WHIG’s functions and influence is the "escalation of rhetoric about the danger that Iraq posed to the U.S., including the introduction of the term ’mushroom cloud’"[1].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Iraq_Group

 

 

 

In the book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception," McClellan says he retains great admiration for Bush but portrays the president as stubborn and isolated. Calling the Iraq war "unnecessary" and a "strategic blunder," McClellan alleges that senior administration officials began a campaign in 2002 to "aggressively sell the war," even as he and other officials insisted that all options were on the table.

He also accuses Rove of misleading him about the leak of a CIA officer’s name, and he suggests that Rove and former vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby may have improperly met to discuss the case. Perino and other officials sharply criticized that assertion yesterday.

Ex-Colleagues Ask, ’What Happened?’ – washingtonpost.com

 

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Om Claes

A blogger and general internet nerd from Sweden. I write about politics, internet, technology, the world around me and whatever else interest me. I write mostly in swedish but some english.
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