Risky Business: Jeb Bush, The Echo Chamber, And Revisionist History

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Brother knows best. Jeb Bush wants to me the new Decider-in-Chief using George's advisors

Jeb Bush was asked by Megyn Kelly from Fox News, in reference to Iraq, ”Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?”

Jeb Bush replied, "I would have , and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got…" He added, "Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they're trying to find places where there's big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those."

He was of course referring to the former President George W. Bush.

This is a very troubling if not alarming answer in 2015 for any American, let alone one who is asking other Americans to entrust him with their vote for President of the United States and the position of Commander-In-Chief of the American military. 

The philosopher George Santayana said, “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

Jeb’s obvious failure to have learned and retained the experiences of his bother's monumental mistakes would only subject us to greater catastrophic failures. 

In a failed attempt to “walk back” his answer to Megan Kelly, Jeb told Sean Hannity, “I interpreted the question wrong, I guess. I was talking about, 'Given what people knew then, would you have done it?'"

He continues by taking us into the neo-conservative echo chamber and their constant attempts to rewrite history.  Bush went on to say, "Knowing what we know now, clearly there were mistakes as it related to faulty intelligence in the lead-up to the war and the lack of focus on security.”

There are number of holes in this “faulty intelligence” plea but the neocons stay on message.  First, the neo-conservative think tank PNAC sent a letter to President Clinton on January, 26, 1998 asking him to articulate a strategy that would focus on “the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.” 

That letter was signed by none other than the likes of Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, John Bolton, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and others.  Do these names sound familiar?

It’s difficult to understand the basis for the argument that President Bush’s mistakes were based upon faulty intelligence when members of his administration such as Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith created the Office of Special Plans. 

That was the special unit in the Pentagon that operated from September 2002 to June 2003 and charged by Rumsfeld with the administration with “un-vetted intelligence”.  It’s difficult to argue that you operated on “faulty intelligence” when your administration created the organization that provided you with the un-vetted intelligence.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Bush invaded Iraq with “faulty intelligence" and added "but with intelligence the entire world believed.”  Not so fast Senator Graham.  There were a number of people who knew that the Bush narrative was a lie.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Graham should have been one of them.

On September 18, 2001 Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) voted against The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).  On October 11, 2002, the United States Senate voted 77-23 in favor of Joint Resolution 114 – the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.  In the House of Representatives it passed by a vote of 296 to 133.  My math tells me that there were 156 members of Congress that did not believe what, according to Senator Graham, “the entire world” believed.

I understand Graham’s play.  I believe he is trying to position himself to be Jeb Bush’s running mate should Bush receive the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.  But what’s Marco Rubio’s excuse? 

Why is he still backing the lie and why is he having such a difficult time defending it?

According to the Huffington Post: “Last week, Rubio was asked whether he would have still authorized a war, knowing what is known now about Iraq and its lack of weapons of mass destruction. He unequivocally said no… On Sunday, however, Rubio rejected the rationale behind host Chris Wallace's question about whether the senator and 2016 presidential contender had flip-flopped on the issue, since he had said in March that it was not a mistake to invade the country.”I suggest Jeb Bush, Senator Graham and Rubio read former Congressman Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) Iraq in the Record: The Bush Administrations Statements on Iraq. It states in part: “This report… is a comprehensive examination of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. It finds that the five officials made misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq in 125 public appearances. The report and an accompanying database identify 237 specific misleading statements by the five officials.” 

The conclusion that I draw from this report; they lied.

Jeb Bush is sadly mistaken.  Reporters asking him about his brother’s blunders is not an attempt “to find places where there's big space between me and my brother…” 

It’s an effort to understand how he can be “his own man” if so many of his key foreign policy advisors, people such as Paul Wolfowitz, John Negroponte, Peter Goss and Stephen Hadley are the same people who so poorly advised his brother.

This echo chamber is deafening and the revisionist history is dangerous.  When experience is not retained, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

 

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the Sirius/XM Satellite radio channel 126 call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email:wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com  (c) 2015 InfoWave Communications, LLC

 

 

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