November 8, 2008
The Independent (UK)

Obama Has to Pay for Eight Years of Bush's Delusions

He will have to get out of Iraq, and he will have to tell Israel a few home truths

by Robert Fisk

American lawyers defending six Algerians before a habeas corpus hearing in Washington this week learned some very odd things about US intelligence after 9/11. From among the millions of "raw" reports from American spies and their "assets" around the world came a CIA Middle East warning about a possible kamikaze-style air attack on a US navy base at a south Pacific island location. The only problem was that no such navy base existed on the island and no US Seventh Fleet warship had ever been there. In all seriousness, a US military investigation earlier reported that Osama bin Laden had been spotted shopping at a post office on a US military base in east Asia.

That this nonsense was disseminated around the world by those tasked to defend the United States in the "war on terror" shows the fantasy environment in which the Bush regime has existed these past eight years. If you can believe that bin Laden drops by a shopping mall on an American military base, then you can believe that everyone you arrest is a "terrorist", that Arabs are "terrorists", that they can be executed, that living "terrorists" must be tortured, that everything a tortured man says can be believed, that it is legitimate to invade sovereign states, to grab the telephone records of everyone in America. As Bob Herbert put it in The New York Times a couple of years ago, the Bush administration wanted these records "which contain crucial documentation of calls for a Chinese takeout in Terre Haute, Indiana, and birthday greetings to Grandma in Talladega, Alabama, to help in the search for Osama bin Laden". There was no stopping Bush when it came to trampling on the US Constitution. All that was new was that he was now applying the same disrespect for liberty in America that he had shown in the rest of the world.

But how is Barack Obama going to repair the titanic damage which his vicious, lying predecessor has perpetrated around the globe and within the US itself? John F Kennedy once said that "the United States, as the world knows, will never start a war". After Bush's fear-mongering and Rumsfeld's "shock and awe" and Abu Ghraib and Bagram and Guantanamo and secret renditions, how does Obama pedal his country all the way back to Camelot? . . .


Enver Masud, "FBI: Bin Laden Not Wanted for 9/11," The Wisdom Fund, June 8, 2006

Mohsin Ali, "Obama's Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges," The Wisdom Fund, November 4, 2008

back button