As the United States engages in another war, this time in Iraq and Syria, the majority of Americans are skeptical of potential military action. While many are questioning President Obama’s handling of the newest crisis in the Middle East, former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura is pointing the finger of blame at the previous administration.
Known as the Islamic State, or ISIS or ISIL, the extremist of the extreme branched off from al-Qaeda are now the top terrorist group targeted by the United States and its allies. President Obama has authorized the use of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to combat ISIS. Earlier this month in a rare sign of bipartisanship communication, the House and Senate approved Obama’s proposal to spend $500 million in taxpayer money to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria.
On Friday’s episode of “Off the Grid” on Ora.TV, host Jesse Ventura gave his take on the newest battle in the region. Ventura took it a step further, giving five reasons why former president and vice president, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, should be prosecuted.
The first reason Ventura listed points to what Marcy Wheeler of Salon.com refers to as the “gloves come off” finding, which then President George W. Bush issued to the intelligence committees in Congress, informing them about future military actions that will occur in foreign countries. Former CIA counter terrorism Center Director Cofer Black described the finding as a wide range of covert actives to combat al-Qaeda. Journalist Bob Woodward spoke about the finding in his book Bush at War, stating that it,”authorized heavily subsidizing key intelligence services, like Egypt and Jordan – so they would do our bidding; working with Libya and Syria – countries we even then considered pariahs; running paramilitary squads in 80 countries; and using predator drones to take out top al-Qaeda figures. Oh. And torture.”
While Congress was told about the “gloves come off” finding, they weren’t told of the torture used until two years later. Torture and the use of drones, both reasons Ventura believes Bush and Cheney should be held accountable.
The second reason listed to prosecute Bush and Cheney is for the “authorization for use of military force against terrorists.” Signed into law on September 17, 2001, Public law 107-40 gave President Bush unprecedented power to fight terrorism all over the world, with little restrictions. The law states that “the president is authorized to use all and necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”
Jesse Ventura points out that the law gives too much power to the president by leaving it in his hands to determine what force is needed. “What this is doing is simply giving him carte blanche anywhere he wants to, regardless of the country” Ventura states. “How do we know someone is a terrorist? How do we know? Because he says so?”
Ventura’s third reason listed was “the authorization for use of military force 2: The Iraq War resolution.” Of the 19 hijackers on 9/11, and those tied back to the attacks, none were from Iraq. Even the official story given by the 9/11 Commission confirms this information. One of the key pieces of authorization that lead to the Unites States invasion into Iraq in 2003 was that “members of al Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 are known to be in Iraq.” This reason was highlighted by Ventura, along with the false or misleading information that Iraq also had “large stock piles of chemical weapons” and a “large scale biological weapons” program. Though President Bush used the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction as the primary reason to invade Iraq, none were ever found.
Ventura also listed the signing of The Patriot Act as reason four for prosecuting Bush and Cheney, which has since violated many constitutional rights, all under the disguise of “protecting American Freedoms.” Ventura referred to the Patriot Act as the “Act of Treason,” noting bulk collection data and warrant-less wiretapping by the NSA as examples to back up his statement. The fifth and final reason to prosecute Bush and Cheney, according to Jesse Ventura, was the financial collapse of 2008. Ventura pointed out the Bush tax cuts, mortgage failures and the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which could cost up to $9 trillion, as prime examples.
In closing, Jesse Ventura didn’t hold back, saying that George Bush “did not care” about the ramifications for the Iraq War, stating that “he just needed something to sell the American people on.” When also speaking about Dick Cheney, who Ventura called “the real president,” he said that “their main job is to feed the industrial war machine. Keep the money flowing to it and keep us at perennial war. They knew what was going to happen over there.”