Trump and Code Pink: Perfect Together

Politics makes strange bedfellows, as the saying goes, but maybe it’s not so strange that the anti-war loony left group Code Pink praised Donald Trump’s embrace of their “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra in the South Carolina debate. Trump’s comments that President George W. Bush deliberately sent Americans to their deaths based on a lie and knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing fits Code Pink’s alternate universe. Trump’s character assassination of the last Republican President should disqualify him from being the next one.

As Sam Stein observed in the Huffington Post:

The morning after he called the Iraq War a huge misstep and argued that President George W. Bush lied to get the country into it, Donald Trump has earned praise from, of all places, Code Pink, the group best known for protesting the Iraq War and subsequent military interventions.

“I watched the debate last night and LOVED IT,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin said in an email. “It felt surreal to hear Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender for President, saying what we at CODEPINK have been shouting to the winds for 14 years now: that Bush and his cronies lied about WMDs, that the Iraq war was catastrophic, and that Bush never 'kept us safe' because 9/11 happened on his watch.”

9/11 Truther Trump, who once said we should let the Islamic State alone in Syria and let others handle it, ignores the fact that every intelligence agency in the Free World believed Saddam had WMD, not the least because he had used them against his own people and in his war with Iran. If the CIA was fooled, so were the British, the French, the Russians, Bill Clinton, and just about every intelligence agency on the planet. 

Trump also ignores U.N. Security Council Res. 1441 which gave Saddam Hussein a “final opportunity” to account for the stockpiles of WMD the U.N., not the CIA, had documented he had, or there would be “serious consequences”. He didn’t and there were. It was never our job to prove Saddam Hussein still possessed the weapons of mass destruction he used against his neighbors and against his own people, but his job to prove he didn’t.

That’s why we went to war and that’s why the war was justified.

We forget that in 1981 Israel preemptively bombed a French-built Iraqi facility, to the loud condemnation of many nations and editorial boards, but without that Iraqi strike the outcome of both Gulf Wars would have been tragically different.

Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son Casey in Iraq, would certainly agree with Donald Trump and vote for him. The anti-Bush mainstream media fawned over her when she camped outside the Bush family ranch outside Crawford, Texas spouting the same kind of “Bush Lied, People Died” rhetoric as Donald Trump:

“You know Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean they’re not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9/11, Iraq was not a terrorist state. But now that we have decimated the country the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in and they (America) have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country. The terrorism is growing and people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country.”

This assertion flies in the face of documented history, not to mention numerous unanimous U.N. resolutions. In its official report, the Robb-Silberman Commission examined the “Bush Lied” claim and found conclusively that he did not.

Judge Lawrence Silberman was a senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. From 2004 to 2005, Silberman served with former Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb of Virginia as cochairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. As Forbes reported in its September 25, 2009 article:

“Bush lied, people died.” In certain quarters, the charge has by now achieved the status of a settled question. Judge Laurence Silberman intends to unsettle it.

The notion that Bush lied about intelligence to get [us] into war,” Silberman says, “is an absurd and outrageous libel…”

“Even people at the highest level of the Iraqi regime believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction,” Silberman explains. “Saddam was running a bluff. He was bluffing his own people, and he was bluffing Iran. It would have been impossible for any intelligence agency in the world… to have determined that Saddam had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction.”

Even if the intelligence agencies had performed flawlessly, they would therefore have found themselves advising the president of grave dangers. “A first-class [intelligence] opinion would have said, ‘We [the intelligence agencies] know Saddam once had weapons of mass destruction, we know that he proved capable of using them, and we have no evidence that he has destroyed them. Although we cannot prove that Saddam still has weapons of mass destruction, we think it highly likely that he has.’”

So Trump’s and Sheehan’s conspiracy theory on Iraq is bogus. As is Trump’s claim that there was actionable intelligence that the 9/11 attack was coming and Bush did nothing. Politifact rated that claim “completely false” last October:

"His (Jeb Bush’s) brother could have made some mistakes with respect to the actual hit because they did know it was coming and George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told them it was coming," Trump said on CNN’s New Day. "So they did have advanced notice and they didn’t really work on it."….

Trump claims that the CIA told the Bush administration that a domestic terror attack was coming. The report assembled over a span of three years after Sept. 11, 2001, found no specific alert. The potential for a domestic attack was discussed in early August, but it was mentioned only in broad terms and was not brought back up. Investigative reports in the years since found that the CIA warnings emphasized possible targets overseas….

There’s no support that Bush and top White House officials had, as Trump said, "advanced notice" of an attack on New York City or any other place in America.

Trump has lied that Bush lied us into war and that Bush had warnings about 9/11 and let it happen. Does Trump also think, as some conspiracy theorists insist, that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor and let the Japanese attack happen? One wishes Trump luck as he helps Captain Queeg search for the missing strawberries. He is no more qualified to be president than Cindy Sheehan.  

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

Politics makes strange bedfellows, as the saying goes, but maybe it’s not so strange that the anti-war loony left group Code Pink praised Donald Trump’s embrace of their “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra in the South Carolina debate. Trump’s comments that President George W. Bush deliberately sent Americans to their deaths based on a lie and knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing fits Code Pink’s alternate universe. Trump’s character assassination of the last Republican President should disqualify him from being the next one.

As Sam Stein observed in the Huffington Post:

The morning after he called the Iraq War a huge misstep and argued that President George W. Bush lied to get the country into it, Donald Trump has earned praise from, of all places, Code Pink, the group best known for protesting the Iraq War and subsequent military interventions.

“I watched the debate last night and LOVED IT,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin said in an email. “It felt surreal to hear Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender for President, saying what we at CODEPINK have been shouting to the winds for 14 years now: that Bush and his cronies lied about WMDs, that the Iraq war was catastrophic, and that Bush never 'kept us safe' because 9/11 happened on his watch.”

9/11 Truther Trump, who once said we should let the Islamic State alone in Syria and let others handle it, ignores the fact that every intelligence agency in the Free World believed Saddam had WMD, not the least because he had used them against his own people and in his war with Iran. If the CIA was fooled, so were the British, the French, the Russians, Bill Clinton, and just about every intelligence agency on the planet. 

Trump also ignores U.N. Security Council Res. 1441 which gave Saddam Hussein a “final opportunity” to account for the stockpiles of WMD the U.N., not the CIA, had documented he had, or there would be “serious consequences”. He didn’t and there were. It was never our job to prove Saddam Hussein still possessed the weapons of mass destruction he used against his neighbors and against his own people, but his job to prove he didn’t.

That’s why we went to war and that’s why the war was justified.

We forget that in 1981 Israel preemptively bombed a French-built Iraqi facility, to the loud condemnation of many nations and editorial boards, but without that Iraqi strike the outcome of both Gulf Wars would have been tragically different.

Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son Casey in Iraq, would certainly agree with Donald Trump and vote for him. The anti-Bush mainstream media fawned over her when she camped outside the Bush family ranch outside Crawford, Texas spouting the same kind of “Bush Lied, People Died” rhetoric as Donald Trump:

“You know Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean they’re not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9/11, Iraq was not a terrorist state. But now that we have decimated the country the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in and they (America) have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country. The terrorism is growing and people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country.”

This assertion flies in the face of documented history, not to mention numerous unanimous U.N. resolutions. In its official report, the Robb-Silberman Commission examined the “Bush Lied” claim and found conclusively that he did not.

Judge Lawrence Silberman was a senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. From 2004 to 2005, Silberman served with former Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb of Virginia as cochairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. As Forbes reported in its September 25, 2009 article:

“Bush lied, people died.” In certain quarters, the charge has by now achieved the status of a settled question. Judge Laurence Silberman intends to unsettle it.

The notion that Bush lied about intelligence to get [us] into war,” Silberman says, “is an absurd and outrageous libel…”

“Even people at the highest level of the Iraqi regime believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction,” Silberman explains. “Saddam was running a bluff. He was bluffing his own people, and he was bluffing Iran. It would have been impossible for any intelligence agency in the world… to have determined that Saddam had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction.”

Even if the intelligence agencies had performed flawlessly, they would therefore have found themselves advising the president of grave dangers. “A first-class [intelligence] opinion would have said, ‘We [the intelligence agencies] know Saddam once had weapons of mass destruction, we know that he proved capable of using them, and we have no evidence that he has destroyed them. Although we cannot prove that Saddam still has weapons of mass destruction, we think it highly likely that he has.’”

So Trump’s and Sheehan’s conspiracy theory on Iraq is bogus. As is Trump’s claim that there was actionable intelligence that the 9/11 attack was coming and Bush did nothing. Politifact rated that claim “completely false” last October:

"His (Jeb Bush’s) brother could have made some mistakes with respect to the actual hit because they did know it was coming and George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told them it was coming," Trump said on CNN’s New Day. "So they did have advanced notice and they didn’t really work on it."….

Trump claims that the CIA told the Bush administration that a domestic terror attack was coming. The report assembled over a span of three years after Sept. 11, 2001, found no specific alert. The potential for a domestic attack was discussed in early August, but it was mentioned only in broad terms and was not brought back up. Investigative reports in the years since found that the CIA warnings emphasized possible targets overseas….

There’s no support that Bush and top White House officials had, as Trump said, "advanced notice" of an attack on New York City or any other place in America.

Trump has lied that Bush lied us into war and that Bush had warnings about 9/11 and let it happen. Does Trump also think, as some conspiracy theorists insist, that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor and let the Japanese attack happen? One wishes Trump luck as he helps Captain Queeg search for the missing strawberries. He is no more qualified to be president than Cindy Sheehan.  

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.