Saddam: Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness


Richard Moore

Original source URL:
Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness
By Robert Parry
December 30, 2006

Like a blue-blood version of a Mob family with global reach, the Bushes have 
eliminated one more key witness to the important historical events that led the 
U.S. military into a bloody stalemate in Iraq and pushed the Middle East to the 
brink of calamity.

The hanging of Saddam Hussein was supposed to be ­ as the New York Times 
observed ­ the ³triumphal bookend² to George W. Bush¹s invasion of Iraq. If all 
had gone as planned, Bush might have staged another celebration as he did after 
the end of ³major combat,² posing under the ³Mission Accomplished² banner on May
1, 2003.

But now with nearly 3,000 American soldiers killed and the Iraqi death toll 
exceeding 600,000 by some estimates, Bush may be forced to savor the image of 
Hussein dangling at the end of a rope a little more privately.

Still, Bush has done his family¹s legacy a great service while also protecting 
secrets that could have embarrassed other senior U.S. government officials.

He has silenced a unique witness to crucial chapters of the secret history that 
stretched from Iran¹s Islamic revolution in 1979 to the alleged American-Saudi 
³green light² for Hussein to attack Iran in 1980, through the eight years of the
Iran-Iraq War during which high-ranking U.S. intermediaries, such as Donald 
Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, allegedly helped broker supplies of war materiel for 

Hussein now won¹t be around to give troublesome testimony about how he obtained 
the chemical and biological agents that his scientists used to produce the 
unconventional weapons that were deployed against Iranian forces and Iraqi 
civilians. He can¹t give his perspective on who got the money and who 
facilitated the deals.

Nor will Hussein be available to give his account of the mixed messages 
delivered by George H.W. Bush¹s ambassador April Glaspie before Hussein¹s 1990 
invasion of Kuwait. Was there another American ³green light² or did Hussein just
hear what he wanted to hear?

Like the climactic scene from the Mafia movie ³Casino² in which nervous Mob 
bosses eliminate everyone who knows too much, George W. Bush has now guaranteed 
that there will be no public tribunal where Hussein gives testimony on these 
potentially devastating historical scandals, which could threaten the Bush 
Family legacy.

That could have happened if Hussein had been turned over to an international 
tribunal at the Hague as was done with other tyrants, such as Yugoslavia¹s late 
dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Instead Bush insisted that Hussein be tried in Iraq
despite the obvious fact that the Iraqi dictator would receive nothing close to 
a fair trial before being put to death.

Hussein's hanging followed his trial for executing 148 men and boys from the 
town of Dujail in 1982 after a foiled assassination attempt on Hussein and his 
entourage. Hussein's death effectively moots other cases that were supposed to 
deal with his alleged use of chemical weapons to kill Iraqi civilians and other 
crimes that might have exposed the U.S. role.

[For details on what Hussein might have revealed, see Robert Parry¹s Secrecy & 
Privilege or Consortiumnews.com¹s ³Missing U.S.-Iraq History² or ³The Secret 
World of Robert Gates.²]

Thrill of the Kill

Some observers think that Bush simply wanted the personal satisfaction of seeing
Hussein hanged, which would not have happened if he had been sent to the Hague. 
As Texas governor, Bush sometimes took what appeared to be perverse pleasure at 
his power to execute prisoners.

In a 1999 interview with conservative writer Tucker Carlson for Talk magazine, 
Bush ridiculed convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker and her unsuccessful plea to
Bush to spare her life.

Asked about Karla Faye Tucker¹s clemency appeal, Bush mimicked what he claimed 
was the condemned woman¹s message to him. ³With pursed lips in mock desperation,
[Bush said]: ŒPlease don¹t kill me.¹²

But a more powerful motive was always Hussein¹s potential threat to the Bush 
Family legacy if he ever had a forum where he could offer detailed testimony 
about the historic events of the past several decades.

Since stepping into the White House on Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush has made it
a top priority to conceal the history of his father¹s 12 years as Vice President
and President and to wrap his own presidency in a thick cloak of secrecy.

One of Bush¹s first acts as President was to sign an executive order that 
blocked the scheduled release of historic records from his father¹s years. After
the 9/11 attacks, Bush expanded his secrecy mandate to grant his family the 
power to withhold those documents from the American public in perpetuity, 
passing down the authority to keep the secrets to future Bush generations.

So, even after George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are dead, those noted 
historians Jenna and Barbara Bush will control key government documents covering
a 20-year swath of U.S. history.

Already, every document at the George H.W. Bush presidential library must not 
only be cleared for release by specialists at the National Archives and ­ if 
classified ­ by the affected agencies, but also by the personal representatives 
of both the senior and junior George Bush.

With their backgrounds in secret societies like Skull and Bones ­ and with 
George H.W. Bush¹s work at the CIA ­ the Bushes are keenly aware of the power 
that comes from controlling information. By keeping crucial facts from the 
American people, the Bushes feel they can turn the voters into easily 
manipulated children.

When there is a potential rupture of valuable information, the Bushes intervene,
turning to influential friends to discredit some witness or relying on the U.S. 
military to make the threat go away. The Bushes have been helped immeasurably, 
too, by the credulity and cowardice of the modern U.S. news media and the 
Democratic Party.

What Can Be Done

Still, even with Hussein¹s execution, there are actions that the American people
can take to finally recover the lost history of the 1980s.

The U.S. military is now sitting on a treasure trove of documents seized during 
the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration exploited these documents 
to discredit the United Nations over the ³oil for food² scandal of the 1990s, 
ironically when Hussein wasn¹t building weapons of mass destruction. But the 
Bush administration has withheld the records from the 1980s when Hussein was 
producing chemical and biological weapons.

In 2004, for instance the CIA released the so-called Duelfer report, which 
acknowledged that the administration¹s pre-invasion assertions about Hussein 
hiding WMD stockpiles were ³almost all wrong.² But a curious feature of the 
report was that it included a long section about Hussein¹s abuse of the U.N.¹s 
³oil for food² program, although the report acknowledged that the diverted funds
had not gone to build illegal weapons.

Meanwhile, the report noted the existence of a robust WMD program in the 1980s 
but offered no documentary perspective on how that operation had occurred and 
who was responsible for the delivery of crucial equipment and precursor 
chemicals. In other words, the CIA¹s WMD report didn¹t identify the non-Iraqis 
who made Iraq¹s WMD arsenal possible.

One source who has seen the evidence told me that it contains information about 
the role of Chilean arms dealer Carlos Cardoen, who has been identified as a key
link between the CIA and Iraq for the procurement of dangerous weapons in the 
1980s. But that evidence has remained locked away.

With the Democrats taking control of Congress on Jan. 4, 2007, there could 
finally be an opportunity to force out more of the full story, assuming the 
Democrats don¹t opt for their usual course of putting ³bipartisanship² ahead of 
oversight and truth.

The American people also could demand that the surviving members of Hussein¹s 
regime be fully debriefed on their historical knowledge before their voices also
fall silent either from natural causes or additional executions.

But the singular figure who could have put the era in its fullest perspective ­ 
and provided the most damning evidence about the Bush Family¹s role ­ has been 
silenced for good, dropped through a trap door of a gallows and made to twitch 
at the end of a noose fashioned from hemp.

The White House announced that George W. Bush didn¹t wait up for the happy news 
of Hussein¹s hanging. After the U.S. military turned Hussein over to his Iraqi 
executioners, Bush went to bed at his Crawford, Texas, ranch and slept through 
the night.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the 
Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the
Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at 
It's also available at, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, 
Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

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