There Can Be No Compromise
With White House Lawlessness
by Nancy Spannaus
Upon news of the "compromise" between leading military-connected Senators and the White House on legislation which would regulate the interrogation and trial of so-called terrorists, Lyndon LaRouche insisted that there shouldn't be a bill on this issue at all. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Bush Administration has to abide by the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, LaRouche said, and that spells out what is required in clear language. The only reason Cheney and Bush want a bill is in order to try to again sanction torture and get immunity for their past crimes. There should be no bill at all.
While there is no agreed-upon compromise text as a result of negotiations among Senators John Warner, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, there is every indication that the Senators were compromising on the torture issue, against which they had made such correct, and eloquent, arguments only days before. On Sept. 21, the Republican Senate leadership was holed up in the Senate office of Vice President Cheney, the leading advocate for torture, from morning until about 2:00 in the afternoon. Informed sources consulted by EIR agreed that the "compromise," which was announced after that torture session, involved the White House giving up its demand that secret evidence be used in trials, and that the adherence to the Geneva Conventions be upheld, but holding on to its right to torture.
Add to this the fact that the law proposed by McCain, Warner, and Graham additionally denies prisoners the right to habeas corpus, and it's clear that the Constitution is best protected by no law whatsoever. New York Congressman Jerold Nadler hit the nail on the head, in fact, when he said during his opening statement for the Democrats to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20, that the reason the administration wants a law is because they are worried they will be found liable under the War Crimes Act. They want to change the law, "so that the President doesn't have to issue pardons to himself and half of the administration," Nadler said. "That's what this debate is really about."
Clear and Present Danger
The panic of the administration to protect itself from being brought to justice, especially if the November mid-term elections are won by the Democrats, is more than matched by its insanity in the strategic arena, specifically its determination to launch a military confrontation against Iran in the run-up to the November election. Over the period of Sept. 19-22, a number of high-level military experts in Washington have spoken out and expressed tremendous alarm about this danger.
Lyndon LaRouche has consistently warned about this threat. He argues that, if it is not prevented by decisive political action, the Bush Administration will move against Iran "without warning," without going to Congress, or the United States, or its "allies." The most likely scenario is that Bush gives an order for strikes against Iran from Offutt Airforce Base in Nebraska.
A lengthy article in the Sept. 21 issue of The Nation, called "War Signals," reports that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have issued orders for a major 'strike group' of ships ... to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's Western coast." The strike group includes the aircraft carrier Eisenhower, as well as a submarine escort. The Nation quotes retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner and a number of other military and intelligence officials, saying "This is very serious."
Gardiner has also written a 25-page report, called "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy,' " for The Century Foundation, which contains similar warnings. Gardiner says that some in the Bush Administration are undeterred by the concerns of active duty military leaders, who have drawn the lessons of the utter disaster in Iraq, and are pushing forward for air strikes, not only against Iran's nuclear program, but also against the government itself, to "decapitate" the regime.
The American Conservative, which issued a warning in the summer of 2005 about Cheney's push for war against Iran, has also featured another article by former CIA official Phil Giraldi, in which he quotes a number of active military and policy sources as warning that the White House is pushing hard for war against Iran.
The official line of the Bush Administration, of course, has been that it is currently pursuing "diplomacy" with Iran. There is clearly no prospect for pushing through sanctions, much less military action, through the United Nations Security Council. The opposition to launching military action comes not only from Russia and China, but from Europe, and even from Israel. EIR has access to sources within the U.S. military that it has also weighed in unequivocally against expanding the war by hitting Iran.
"There is no military option against Iran" is the uniform argument of competent military personnel, ranging from retired Gen. Barry MacCaffrey to a multitude of others.
Cheney on the Warpath
But, just as the Bush Administration pushed through the Iraq war over the objections of competent military opposition, so Vice President Cheney, in particular, on behalf of his Synarchist controllers, is determined to do so again. As shown once again by his recent performance on "Face the Nation," Cheney cares neither for the facts or the law. In that vintage lying performance, Cheney dispensed with the torture question by simply saying that he "disagreed" with the Supreme Court. On the matter of the false intelligence, and the disastrous results of the strategy in Iraq, Cheney simply insisted that the current course had to be maintained, no matter how bloody the "progress" might appear.
While Cheney just doesn't care about the hideous reality his policies are creating, his puppet G.W. Bush doesn't really appear to notice. The President's lunacy has been increasingly flagrant recently, in both press conferences and speeches. Exemplary was a press interview he gave a couple weeks ago in which he burbled on about how he "felt" the world was in the midst of a new "Great Awakening," as shown by the fact that people want to pray for him. "I can feel it," he repeated. Nor was he any saner at his United Nations presentation on Sept. 19, where he took the occasion to lecture every nation in Southwest Asia on how they should move toward "democracy."
Cheney's performance is more calculating, but telling. For example, speaking Sept. 19 to the National Auto Dealers Association in WAshington, D.C., Cheney closed by comparing the current situation to the Cold War. He said he had the "honor" of being the Secretary of Defense at the time the Cold War ended. "I worked for or with a nubmer of Cold War Presidents," he said, "and I am a great admirer of the man who lived in the White House when that struggle began, Harry Truman." Cheney then cited Truman's calling the "Cold War" a "war of nerves," and said that he thought that an apt description of the Bush Administration's own "war on terror."
Where Are the Democrats?
The institutional stumbling blocks to Cheney and Bush going ahead with their full program—war and dictatorship—have, up until this point, been primarily members of what Lyndon LaRouche has called the institution of the Presidency, including the uniformed military, current and retired intelligence and diplomatic personnel, former Presidents, and the Supreme Court itself. Recently, former President Bill Clinton appears to have joined the fray, with straightforward and outspoken attacks on Bush Administration policy, including on torture, and the threatened war against Iran.
It is no exaggeration to say that this institutional fight has depended crucially, upon the input of Lyndon LaRouche and his political movement, particularly the LaRouche Youth Movement. It is also no exaggeration to say that the actions taken so far are woefully insufficient. Without the weighing-in of a U.S. electorate, energized to force the Democratic Party back into the principled policy commitment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and toward getting rid of both Bush and Cheney immediately, there is little doubt that the worst will happen.
Despite crucial exceptions, one can say that the silence of the Democratic Party leadership on the crucial issues is almost deafening. Where is the mobilization to condemn a Cheney-Bush duo openly embracing the torture tactics of Stalin and Hitler against prisoners? Where is the mobilization to defend the machine-tool capacity of the United States, and the hundreds of thousands of skilled industrial workers, centered in the auto industry, who are losing their jobs through "downsizing?" True, there has been increased sharpness among Democrats on the gross failure, and obscene crimes, committed through the war in Iraq—but all too often, this hard-hitting message is corrupted by a sophistic appeal to go after the "real enemy," Iran.
What needs to be said is what Lyndon LaRouche has said: The President is nuts and his sociopathic controller is worse. Every informed person in the world knows that, and by looking at Iraq, has an idea of the horrors which will result by letting the United States continue to be ruled by such a creature. If political leaders have the guts to tell the truth, and to fight for a return to FDR's policies on the fundamental issues of economic and foreign policy, Bush and Cheney and their henchmen can be smashed. No "compromise" with this evil is acceptable.