Guess who’s contritely telling al-Jazeera he should have resigned from his senior State Department post when he and Colin Powell lost their battle with Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Rumsfeld over observing the Geneva Conventions in America’s two wars, one illegal and the other totally botched?
Yup, it is that ol’ neo-con himself, Richard Armitage. He’s suddenly saying he “could-a, would-a, should-a” quit over inconsequential trivialities such as Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, torture, waterboarding, denial of due process, and the litany of Bush era crimes. Poor Dick forgets that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Armitage’s sudden bout of the regrets comes just past the two-minute mark of the interview.
Did you notice how Armitage rationalizes his way around his decision to stay in office, echoing boss Colin Powell’s own, not-quite-fully-remorseful, statements about Iraq and torture. He, and Powell, use the same defense as Dr. Ernst Janning in Judgement at Nuremberg: They hung on for fear of how bad policy might get if they were not there to fight other battles.
The argument is no more than disingenuous truth fudging.
The problem is, there were no other “battles” worth fighting because Cheney always won, wiping the floor with Powell and Armitage as he did. Uhm, hold on there Dickie A: Do you remember Powell’s speech to the UN about Iraq’s WMDs? Didn’t win that one either, did you, yet you stuck around for another two-plus years to work your magic on the world.
In actuality, Armitage is just another loyal Bushie hack trying to rewrite history – like all of his fellow friends formerly in high places.
Armitage doggedly refuses to call for prosecuting war criminals, actually having the audacity to say he agrees with President Obama, that the nation should look forward rather than going after “retribution” for past misdeeds. Whenever Dick Armitage is nodding in agreement with Barack Obama, it’s time for the president to re-think his position. Quickly and seriously.
Worse, Armitage tries ducking blame for his role in torture by lumping the US Senate in with the other Bush Administration war criminals, calling its members “AWOL” on the issue. They were, but someone should remind Armitage and other senior people in Bushland that two wrongs do not make a right.
Anyway, Juan Cole and I agree that Armitage is treading a narrow line, implying at least some Democratic leaders in the House and Senate knew about waterboarding and other medieval torture techniques inflicted on prisoners of war by The White House. So, Armitage seems to be saying, they won’t launch a war crimes prosecution because their hands are almost as dirty as The Gang of Ten inside the administration.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget a few facts about Richard Armitage.
He was heavily involved in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan Administration. Along with Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, he was one of three administration officials who outed Valerie Plame’s to reporters, vindictively punishing her because her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, was the first to publicly pull the rug out from under Bush’s Iraq war justification. And he’s the same man who warned Pakistan in 2001 that it would be “bombed back into the Stone Age” if it didn’t cooperate with the US invasion of Afghanistan.