Apparently jealous that Hillary Clinton is hogging all the embarrassing headlines, Jeb Bush decided to go on a neocon diatribe while campaigning in Iowa.
Just in case there’s any doubt about how anti-freedom he is, Jeb! decided to make things crystal clear. From him calling the Iraq War a “good deal,” to expressing support for torture and unconstitutional NSA spying, the man is a dyed in the wool authoritarian. Which is precisely why establishment Republican oligarchs love him.
Let’s tackle the torture angle first. The New York Times reported the following:
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the U.S. government.
“I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.
A candidate for President of the United States won’t rule out torture. Yeah, no big deal.
The CIA used waterboarding, slapping, nudity, sleep deprivation, humiliation and other methods to coerce al-Qaida detainees — methods the military would be prohibited from using on prisoners of war.
A Senate report released last year cited CIA records in concluding that the techniques were more brutal than previously disclosed, that the CIA lied about them, and that they failed to produce unique, life-saving intelligence. The CIA and its defenders take issue with the report.
Jeb Bush said he believed that the techniques were effective in producing intelligence, but that “now we’re in a different environment.”
We’re in a different environment because you got caught.
More importantly, your claim that torture techniques were “effective in producing intelligence,” is flat out untrue according to the Senate Intelligence report. Recall the following from CNN:
The CIA’s harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees during the Bush era didn’t work, were more brutal than previously revealed and delivered no “ticking time bomb” information that prevented an attack, according to an explosive Senate report released Tuesday.
The majority report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee is a damning condemnation of the tactics — branded by critics as torture — the George W. Bush administration deployed in the fear-laden days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The techniques, according to the report, were “deeply flawed,” poorly managed and often resulted in “fabricated” information.
Now back to the Bush story…
Later Thursday in Iowa, Bush said there is a difference between enhanced interrogation techniques and torture, but declined to be specific. “I don’t know. I’m just saying if I’m going to be president of the United States, you take this threat seriously.”
That’s right, you “don’t know,” so why don’t you STFU and go sit on a beach in Florida for the rest of your life and leave the rest of us alone.
Bush blames the rise of the Islamic State group on what he said was Obama’s failure to negotiate an agreement to leave U.S. troops there in 2011. Asked if it was true that there would be no IS absent a U.S. invasion of Iraq, he said there was no way to know.
Bush spoke at a foreign policy forum sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security, a group chaired by Mike Rogers, a former Republican congressman from Michigan who chaired the House Intelligence Committee.
Of course, there is nothing peaceful about the Orwellian-named “Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security.” As Lee Fang points out at the Intercept:
The APPS is advised by Raytheon’s Stephen Hadley, BAE Systems’ Rich Ashooh, former SAIC chief executive Walt Havenstein, among other defense contractors and defense industry lobbyists. APPS was formed earlier this year as a pressure group to “help elect a president who supports American engagement and a strong foreign policy.”
APPS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, does not disclose its donor information. The chairman of the group, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., a hawkish politician who has called for greater U.S. military involvement in a number of conflicts around the world, now works for a number of private interests, though he has refused to disclose them.
The article also highlights some other horrifying tidbits from Jeb!, such as:
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said today that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein was a “pretty good deal.”
Bush was speaking at an event sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security (APPS), a group formed and backed by a number of people associated with major defense contractors.
According to journalist Alan He, Bush also criticized efforts to reform the National Security Agency’s dragnet metadata surveillance program, telling the audience, that it was a “mistake to repeal the metadata provisions of the Patriot Act.”