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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jeb Bush Stumbles on the Iraq War

The following are the full references to quotations found in George W. Bush: War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes: “I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.” — George W. Bush, September 11, 2001, quoted in Clarke, Against All Enemies (2004), p. 24 “I want justice. . . [T]here’s an old poster out West . . . I recall, that said, ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive’.” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001, White House press conference* “We have a choice–either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live, and we have–we chose the latter.” — Donald Rumsfeld, September 18, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing “The President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.” — memo written by John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, September 25, 2001 “You are now the property of the U.S. Marine Corps.” — Guantánamo guards, on greeting second batch of prisoners, January 14, 2002, quoted in Margulies, Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power (2006), p. 64 “We can do anything we want.” — Guantánamo guards, on greeting second batch of prisoners, January 14, 2002, quoted in Human Rights Watch, The Road to Abu Ghraib (2004) “In my judgment, this new paradigm [the "war on terror"] renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions . . . ” — Alberto Gonzales, memo, January 25, 2002 “I . . .determine that none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al-Qaida in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world because, among other reasons, al-Qaida is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva. . . . I have the authority under the Constitution to suspend Geneva as between the United States and Afghanistan. . . . Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either al-Qaida or Taliban detainees, because, among other reasons, the relevant conflicts are international in scope and common Article 3 applies only to ‘armed conflict not of an international character.’ . . .I determine that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al-Qaida, al-Qaida detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war. . . . As a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.” — George W. Bush, February 7, 2002, Executive Order “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” — The Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002 “I’m the commander . . . see, I don’t need to explain. I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” — George W. Bush, August 20, 2002, quoted in Woodward, Bush at War (2003), pp. 145-146 “If you don’t violate someone’s human rights some of the time, you probably aren’t doing your job.” — unidentified CIA official, Bagram Air Force Base, late December 2002, quoted in Priest & Gelman, “U.S. Decries Abuse But Defends Interrogations,” Washington Post, December 26, 2002 “We don’t kick the shit out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the shit out of them.” — unidentified official, referring to the practice of extraordinary rendition, late December 2002, quoted in Priest & Gelman, “U.S. Decries Abuse But Defends Interrogations,” Washington Post, December 26, 2002 “Stuff happens.” — Donald Rumsfeld, press conference comment on the unimportance of looting to American authorities in Baghdad, April 11, 2003 “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” — George W. Bush while on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln at San Diego, May 1, 2003, flanked by a “Mission Accomplished” sign* “God told me to strike at Al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.” — George W. Bush, quoted in Ha’aretz, June 24, 2003 “Bring ‘em on.” — George W. Bush, July 2, 2003, press conference, disparaging the significance of the rise of insurgency violence in Iraq* “I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians.” — Major General Walter Wodjakowski, quoted in “US held youngsters at Abu Ghraib,” BBC News, March 11, 2005, responding to complaints that innocent prisoners were being held at Abu Ghraib, summer 2003 “I don’t give a fuck what you do to him.” — Army Criminal Investigation Command agent Romero, giving orders to prison guards at Abu Ghraib, November 2003, quoted in Gourevitch & Morris, “Exposure,” The New Yorker, March 24, 2008 “I am the law.” — J. Paul Bremer III, summer 2003, quoted in “Blood in Basra and Beyond,” The Economist, April 17, 2008 “I don’t give a shit about international law. I made a commitment to the president that I’d privatize Iraq’s businesses.” — Thomas Foley, aide to CPA Administrator J. Paul Bremer III, 2003, quoted in Chadrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City (2006), p. 143 “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly.” — Colin Powell, after four Marines were dragged through the streets of Falluja, April 6, 2004, quoted in Sanchez, Wiser in Battle (2008), pp. 349-350 “Kick ass! . . . If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them!” — George W. Bush, after four Marines were dragged through the streets of Falluja, April 6, 2004, quoted in Sanchez, Wiser in Battle (2008), pp. 349-350 “God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” — George W. Bush, quoted in Lancaster New Era, July 16, 2004 “The only thing I know for certain is that these are bad people.” — George W. Bush, July 17, 2004, White House press conference comment on reports that prisoners at Guantánamo were receiving justice “The prisoners were nothing short of a damn animal that can’t be trusted.” — Colonel Mike Baumgartner, June 2006, commenting on those under his command at Guantánamo, quoted in Margulies, Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power (2007), p. 254 “[Geneva Convention] standards are so vague that our professionals won’t be able to carry forward the [interrogation] program, because they don’t want to be tried as war criminals.” — George W. Bush, press conference, September 14, 2006 “[I]nternational law does not matter here. Geneva Conventions does not matter here. . . . I don’t care about international law. I don’t want to hear the words ‘international law’ again. We are not concerned with international law.” — unidentifed Air Force colonel, President, Combatant Status Review Tribunal, Guantánamo, October 7, 2004, quoted in Reynold, “Guantanamo: Anatomy of a Hearing,” BBC News, March 4, 2006 “We can’t fully control what that country might do.” — Alberto Gonzales, referring to the practice of extraordinary rendition to countries that practice torture, March 7, 2005, quoted in “Gonzales: U.S. Has Little Control Over Foreign Prisoner Torture,” Foxnews.com, March 7, 2005 “We can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals. We’ve got to have convictions.” — William Haynes II, General Counsel, Department of Defense, referring to forthcoming trials at Guantánamo, August 2005, q;uoted in Tuttle, “Rigged Trials at Gitmo,” The Nation, February 20, 2008 “The Geneva Convention . . . says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It’s very vague. What does that mean, ‘outrages upon human dignity’?” — George W. Bush, press conference, September 16, 2006 “I would not want a U.S. citizen to go through the process.” — National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, referring to interrogation methods authorized by Bush, July 22, 2007, quoted in Feller, “Spy Chief McConnell Defends Tactics,” Washington Post, July 22, 2007 “American-run prisons in Iraq [are] not subject to international human rights law because of the armed conflict.” — paraphrase of a statement by a U.S. State Department official, March 11, 2008, denying access to Manfred Novak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, quoted in “U.N. Official Denied Acess to Iraq Prisons,” Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2008 *“I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said . . . . Like ‘dead or alive’ and ‘bring ‘em on.’ . . . The [U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln] had a sign that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’ It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge. To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn’t think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message.” — George W. Bush, November 11, 2008, quoted in Mooney, “Bush: ‘I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said’.” cnn.com, November 11, 2008

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