Tuesday, October 8, 2019

President Trump is a Choir Boy Compared to Other Recent Presidents



By Robert Wenzel

Put in the context of recent presidential history, the media's objurgating of President Trump, because of his phone call to Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky, shows a remarkable lack of knowledge of recent American history or dishonesty---or both.

Laid next to the evil activities of other recent presidents, the Trump-Zelensky phone call is a nothing burger. At most, he asked for Zelensky to investigate what appears to be shady dealings by Hunter Biden in Ukraine at the time his father Joe Biden was vice president.

Compare this activity to most recent presidents.

Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson lied about an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved material misrepresentation by LBJ to justify an escalation of the war against Vietnam.

The outcome of this false claim, along with another true claim, was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression". The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.

According to Raymond McGovern, a retired CIA officer (CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, and in the 1980s, chairman of the National Intelligence Estimates), the CIA, "not to mention President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy all knew full well that the evidence of any armed attack on the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the so-called 'second' Tonkin Gulf incident, was highly dubious. ... During the summer of 1964, President Johnson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to widen the war in Vietnam. They stepped up sabotage and hit-and-run attacks on the coast of North Vietnam."

Here is Johnson lying to the American people:

 


Ronald Reagan

One of the leading national issues during 1980 was the release of 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran since November 4, 1979. Many historians believe that representatives of Reagan's presidential campaign had conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election to thwart President Carter from pulling off an "October surprise".

Reagan won the election. On the day of his inauguration— 20 minutes after he concluded his inaugural address—the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of the hostages.

It is believed the Reagan Administration subsequently rewarded Iran for its participation in the plot by supplying Iran with weapons via Israel and by unblocking Iranian government monetary assets in U.S. banks.

Several high ranking officials support these allegations, most notably former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr, former naval intelligence officer and U.S. National Security Council member Gary Sick, and former Reagan/Bush campaign staffer and White House analyst Barbara Honegger

George H.W. Bush

Here is The New York Times explaining how the George H.W. Bush administration encouraged Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, which ultimately led to the first US attack on Iraq.
In the two weeks before Iraq's seizure of Kuwait, the Bush Administration on the advice of Arab leaders gave President Saddam Hussein little reason to fear a forceful American response if his troops invaded the country.
The Administration's message to Baghdad, articulated in public statements in Washington by senior policy makers and delivered directly to Mr. Hussein by the United States Ambassador, April C. Glaspie, was this: The United States was concerned about Iraq's military buildup on its border with Kuwait, but did not intend to take sides in what it perceived as a no-win border dispute between Arab neighbors.
In a meeting with Mr. Hussein in Baghdad on July 25, eight days before the invasion, Ms. Glaspie urged the Iraqi leader to settle his differences with Kuwait peacefully but added, ''We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait,'' according to an Iraqi document described as a transcript of their conversation.
This is viewed by scholars as the US giving Saddam a green light to attack Kuwait, which was then used as cover to attack Iraq.

Bill Clinton

On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered American cruise missile strikes on al-Qaeda bases in Khost, Afghanistan, and the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan.

The missiles were launched three days after Clinton testified on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and some countries, media outlets, protesters, and Republicans accused Clinton of ordering the attacks as a diversion from the Lewinsky scandal.

George W. Bush

Vox reports:
The best estimates available suggest that more than 250,000 people have died as a result of George W. Bush and Tony Blair's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. A newly released investigative report from the UK government suggests that intelligence officials knew ahead of time that the war would cause massive instability and societal collapse and make the problem of terrorism worse — and that Blair and Bush went ahead with the effort anyway...
The Bush administration on numerous occasions exaggerated or outright fabricated conclusions from intelligence in its public statements. Bush really did lie, and people really did die as a result of the war those lies were meant to build a case for. Those are the facts.
The failure of Iraq was not merely a case of well-meaning but incompetent policymakers rushing into what they should’ve known would be a disaster. It’s the story of those policymakers repeatedly misleading the public about why, exactly, the war started.

From Mother Jones:

  • In October 2002, Bush said that Saddam Hussein had a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons. But as CIA Director George Tenet noted in early 2004, the CIA had informed policymakers it had "no specific information on the types or quantities of weapons agent or stockpiles at Baghdad's disposal." The "massive stockpile" was just literally made up.
  • In December 2002, Bush declared, "We do not know whether or not [Iraq] has a nuclear weapon." That was not what the National Intelligence Estimate said. As Tenet would later testify, "We said that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon and probably would have been unable to make one until 2007 to 2009." Bush did know whether or not Iraq had a nuclear weapon — and lied and said he didn’t know to hype the threat.
  • On CNN in September 2002, Condoleezza Rice claimed that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs." This was precisely the opposite of what nuclear experts at the Energy Department were saying; they argue that not only was it very possible the tubes were for nonnuclear purposes but that it was very likely they were too. Even more dire assessments about the tubes from other agencies were exaggerated by administration officials — and in any case, the claim that they’re "only really suited" for nuclear weapons is just false.
  • On numerous occasions, Dick Cheney cited a report that 9/11 conspirator Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. He said this after the CIA and FBI concluded that this meeting never took place.
  • More generally on the question of Iraq and al-Qaeda, on September 18, 2001, Rice received a memo summarizing intelligence on the relationship, which concluded there was little evidence of links. Nonetheless Bush continued to claim that Hussein was "a threat because he’s dealing with al-Qaeda" more than a year later.
  • In August 2002, Dick Cheney declared, "Simply stated, there's no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." But as Corn notes, at that time there was "no confirmed intelligence at this point establishing that Saddam had revived a major WMD operation." Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had heard the same intelligence and attended Cheney’s speech, would later say in a documentary, "It was a total shock. I couldn't believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program."
In some cases, there were investigations into some of these activities but there was never an impeachment for these activities.

Yet, Trump is under an impeachment inquiry for asking a foreign leader to investigate possible wrongdoing that might have impacted the United States. How is this even a crime, even if he did gain personal benefit?

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff should be embarrassed for their hypocrisy in calling for an inquiry into Trump, knowing full well how his phone call stacks up against true pure evil. And mainstream media is revealing whose side they are playing on, and it is not the side of truth and justice.


Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.comand Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bankand most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.

4 comments:

  1. His real crime was against the deep state in not attacking Iran. That's why they are trying to take him out now.

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  2. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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  3. Pretty tame stuff on the Trump phone call when you consider LBJ once told the Greek ambassador "F*ck your parliament and constitution!" Makes Trump seem like Emily Post.

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    Replies
    1. When Trump is the pile one you know you've got a rough group.

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