Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

Osama bin Laden attacked the United States on 9/11/01 with the intent of taking lives and wrecking our economy. At the time he probably wasn’t counting on President Bush being an unwitting accomplice.Al Qaeda’s probably elated over the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It has killed over 570 U.S. soldiers, wounded more than 3,200, and to date has cost our treasury over $100 billion. A recent (March 15) ABC poll found the majority of Iraqi Arabs oppose the presence of the U.S. led “coalition” on their soil, think the invasion was wrong and humiliated them. Thanks to Bush, U.S. citizens can now be killed on Arab soil, and with the help of Halliburton. Our treasury emptied at the same time. Where there was no Iraq connection to al Qaeda, there likely is now.

In Bush, al Qaeda found a coward who disappeared for three days after the 9/11 attacks. (As a young man Bush also disappeared in Alabama when he was supposed to report for military duty.) In Bush, they also found a swaggering, arrogant, lying, greedy, impatient bully surrounded by others just like him.

Using a Machiavellian technique, Bush quit referring to Osama bin Laden as the most evil man alive and replaced him with the fake national threat of Saddam Hussein. In his haste to go to war in Iraq, Bush lied, bullied and belittled allies.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill reported that within Bush’s first 10 days in office, the White House had plans for Iraq and that nearly six months before 9/11 there were plans for a “preemptive war” that included “disposition of Iraq’s oil fields.” A day after O’Neill’s appearance on “60 Minutes,” the White House reported it was investigating him for possible breaches in national security. Of course, when CIA operative Valerie Plame was criminally ousted by a vindictive Bush White House, because her husband exposed the lie that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger, it took months to get an investigation started, and the culprit(s) still remains unknown.

Bush’s White House can be compared to the evil characters Saraman and Sauron in “The Lord of The Rings” who’d squash anyone in their path who’d dare upset their agenda with something as insignificant as a quest for truth. With thousands of Arabs held for years by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, uncharged for any crime and denied true legal representation, and the efforts to limit the privacy rights of U.S. citizens, the actions of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft can be compared to the evil eye of Sauron, and few seem to give a hoot.

Although the Iraq war was planned early in his term, Bush, nonetheless, sent our soldiers to battle in Iraq when most lacked protective vests, and military vehicles lacked armor absorbing blankets to protect their vulnerable undersides from road side bombs.

There were, however, funds to give Halliburton a no bid contract for Iraq. Convicted bank embezzler Ahmed Chalabi who’s been on our country’s payroll (and still is) was sent back to Baghdad with the hopes he’d take over Iraq. (Iraqis don’t want him.) And the nation’s richest are given huge tax breaks. Citizens for Tax Justice reports the average cut for the wealthiest one percent of Americans was $938,000.

On March 18, it was reported the Pentagon plans to withhold about $300 million from Halliburton due to overcharges for meals served to troops in Iraq. Kellogg Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, was also accused of overcharging $61 million for gasoline. Annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, since the mid-90s when Dick Cheney was CEO, show Halliburton subsidiaries have incorporated in the Cayman Islands, Trinidad, Liechtenstein, Vanuatu, Tobago etc. to avoid paying taxes. Recently, “60 Minutes” aired a feature on the fake facade of Halliburton headquarters in such places. For the year 2002 Halliburton paid $15 million to the I.R.S. which amounts to coins in a penny jar for them. Despite lucrative no bid contracts Halliburton doesn’t even have the decency to pay their true share of taxes.

Something is grievously wrong with U.S. media coverage when the majority of citizens at one time thought, and perhaps still do, that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq and thus justified war. The lies of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld should not go unchallenged.

After Bush thumbed his nose at the United Nations and belittled nations who would not join the “U.S. coalition” his administration is now begging for their aid. And, two-and-a-half years after 9/11 the hunt for Osama bin Laden begins again in earnest his capture would be a big reelection boost for Bush.

September 11 occurred on Bush’s watch. His administration was forewarned that planes might be used as bombs. Seems the White House was too busy planning an invasion of Iraq to pay attention. I guess lying Republicans in this administration, who are mostly chicken hawks, can preach tough love and taking responsibility for one’s actions, but can’t practice it. Taking responsibility for one’s conduct, as far as they’re concerned, only applies to welfare moms and obese people who eat at fast food restaurants.

Our armed forces are stretched so thin that little consideration is given to the real nuclear threat of North Korea or Iran. And Saudi Arabia, whose citizens provided 15 of 19 hijackers (none were Iraqi), is protected by Bush who refused citing “national security” concerns to declassify 28 pages of Saudi connections to 9/11. Also, what “homeland” security do we really have when the National Guard is in Iraq?

My father was a World War II veteran. My spouse served in the military during the Vietnam War. My sons served as well all of which leaves me especially outraged that Bush attempted during the war in Iraq to cut combat pay for troops by reducing “imminent danger pay” by $75 a month and “family separation allowances” by $150 a month.

The “Shock and Awe” fireworks in Iraq destroyed their country, killed over 10,000 Iraqis, injured countless others, left thousands unemployed, the nation without clean water and electricity where temperatures soar over 100 degrees and the justification for this unwarranted war was based on lies. Who does this make a terrorist of? Our invasion was the Iraqi citizens’ 9/11.

President Clinton was nearly impeached for a lie regarding sexual misconduct but Bush gets away with murder based on a lie, yet there is no mention of any attempt to impeach him and no foreign nation dares charge the president of the all-mighty United States with war crimes.

Despite nearly 3,000 deaths on 9/11, the originally allotted pittance for the investigating commission was $3 million. The total for investigating Clinton was $70 million and all the goods got on him was consensual sex, and a lie about it. Seems the media has a very short attention span unless sex is involved. Or it has a huge double standard.

There is nothing Bush can do to heal the self-inflicted wounds he gave this nation and the loss of U.S. status in world opinion. I fear the wounds will become mortal ones for out nation unless the media starts doing its job

Al Qaeda grows like a caner as do the lies and deceit of the bush administration.

The lack of serious media coverage is an ominous sign. It leaves me wondering if the overall media faliure to thoroughly cover and expose White House lies, corruption and cover ups occurs because reporters and/or the companies they work for hold Halliburton stock and find profits, or perhhaps, being Republican, fat more important than being patriotic. it appears freedom, honor, justice, integrity, the survival of out nation and the lives of our soldiers are secondary to some. And, that yielding to the powerful and their out of control greed comes first.

I’m hoping the conscience of the media will awaken from its slumber and like Tolkien’s heros Legolas,Gimli and Aragorn, work to uncover the corruption, greed and lies of the Bush White House so we can live in a safe, honorable, peaceful nation where truth and honesty are cherished and war is the very last resort.

Chris Niebrydowski

Guest Column

of U.S. status in world opinion. I fear the wounds will become mor-tal ones for our nation unless the media starts doing its job.

Al Qaeda grows like a cancer as do the lies and deceit of the Bush administration.

The lack of serious media coverage is an ominous sign. It leaves me wondering if the over-all media failure to thoroughly cover and expose White House lies, corruption and cover ups oc-curs because reporters and/or the companies they work for hold Halliburton stock and find profits, or perhaps, being Republican, far more important than being patri-otic. It appears freedom, honor, justice, integrity, the survival of our nation and the lives of our soldiers are secondary to some. And, that yielding to the power-ful and their out of control greed comes first.

Iø•m hoping the conscience of the media will awaken from its slumber and like Tolkienø•s heros Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, work to uncover the corruption, greed and lies of the Bush White House so we can live in a safe, honorable, peaceful nation where truth and honesty are cherished and war is the very last resort.

Chris Niebrzydowski is a Pittsburgh resident.

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