Bush Vowed US Would “Kill” Anyone Who Interfered in Iraq, Book Claims

President Bush reacted to the deaths of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004 by proclaiming in a hastily arranged video conference with officials that the United States would “kill” anyone who threatened to derail the “march to Democracy” in Iraq, according to a new book released last month by the former commander of US soldiers in Iraq.

In the book Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story, Lt. Gen Ricardo Sanchez writes that after the bodies of the four Blackwater contractors were dragged through the streets of Fallujah in 2004 and hung off a bridge Bush became unhinged.

In a video conference with national security and military officials Sanchez writes that Bush said, “If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal.”

“There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”

Sanchez is highly critical of Bush’s policies in his book, which he first laid out during a speech last September at a veterans summit sponsored Congressman Solomon Ortiz, a Corpus Christi Democrat.

“My assessment is that we have a crisis in national political leadership,” Sanchez said. “When will America recognize the danger we face? When will the corrosive partisanship of American politics end and allow for a bipartisan solution to arguably the most dangerous threat our nation has faced in over 60 years?”

Sanchez received a standing ovation following his remarks.

But Sanchez also played a role in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, which has come to symbolize the U.S. as a nation that authorized torture.

Sanchez has said he was simply acting on orders by Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Specifically, Sanchez said an action memorandum, dated Feb. 7, 2002, and signed by President Bush, that stated that the Geneva Convention did not apply to members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban led him to institute a “dozen interrogation methods beyond” the Army’s standard practice under the convention, according to a 2004 report on the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prepared by a panel headed by James Schlesinger.

Sanchez said he based his decision on “the President’s Memorandum,” which he said had justified “additional, tougher measures” against detainees, the Schlesigner report said.

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter and a two-time winner of the Project Censored award. He is the author of the National Bestseller, News Junkie, a memoir, and he has launched a new online investigative news magazine, The Public Record. Read other articles by Jason, or visit Jason's website.

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  1. joed said on June 5th, 2008 at 8:46am #

    it’s moral scum like sanchez that make nazi sound “quaint”.
    the only honorable way out for this puke it a steaming hot cup of hemlock or … .

  2. hp said on June 5th, 2008 at 9:14am #

    He could become friends with Bill and Hillary. That should do it.

  3. sk said on June 5th, 2008 at 3:11pm #

    “My assessment is that we have a crisis in national political leadership…When will America recognize the danger we face? When will the corrosive partisanship of American politics end and allow for a bipartisan solution to arguably the most dangerous threat our nation has faced in over 60 years?”

    Now that the ruling Brahmans of the East Coast–whose patriotism and loyalty were beyond reproach–have lost their exclusive hold on levers of power and some folks from previously powerless ethnic minorities are “working toward whiteness” (which has increasingly little to do with one’s skin pigment), we can expect more instances of eager beavers from a minority community attempting to “out-Herod Herod” with such sentiments.

    Mention of Corpus Christi reminded me of a constant factor in politics of South Texas since the days of the Felix Longoria affair which is adoption of a superpatriot mantle by some in the minority community who are trying to hustle their way past unmarked power-lines. John Sayles’s Lone Star has a revealing take on this phenomenon in South Texas, including the psychic costs that go with it.

    Sad to see, though, descendants of those who once took pride in Zapata and Villa are now willing spear carriers of what Hannah Arendt once called “the most evil forces of our time”, i.e. “imperialistic interests”. This applies to Neoconservatives as well, whose parents’ generation–mostly working class–was rock-solid in opposition to Imperialism, even if other strands of politics in that milieu were less than ideal.

    Going forward, it may increasingly be the case that a dissident scion from a secure, long-established ruling class family such as Gore Vidal will come across as a refreshing bearer of truth while a product of the “embourgeoisment” of ethnic minorities such as Sanchez (with others in tow, including some from minorities many haven’t even heard of) will be perfectly happy to mouth–and enforce–verities of the Washington Consensus du jour with a convert’s zeal.

  4. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 6th, 2008 at 7:40pm #

    Your mention of Corpus Christi, sk, I just talked with my sister in San Antonio, and she says McCain is considering Kay Baily Hutchinson for veep.

    Meanwhile, on the BBC ticker:

    Israeli minister threatens Iran:
    If Iran continues its nuclear weapons program, we will attack it, says
    Shaul Mofaz,
    Israeli transport minister.

    And: Crude in NY hits 139/barrel. Biggest one-day rise in history. The system is working!!

    Although I’m increasing less sanguine about Obama picking Elizabeth Holtzman for veep, even if she stops calling for his impeachment, if elected.

  5. sk said on June 6th, 2008 at 9:41pm #

    Maybe McCain’s hopeful that Kay Bailey can work her magic the way “Landslide Lyndon” did it for JFK:

    In Texas, Kennedy’s 46,000-vote margin was the closest statewide race there since 1948, when Kennedy’s running mate, Lyndon B. Johnson, won a Senate seat by 87 votes (the origin of the nickname “Landslide Lyndon”). Morton’s operatives, aided by local Republicans, uncovered plenty of political chicanery. For instance: In Fannin County, which had 4,895 registered voters, 6,138 votes were cast, three-quarters of them for Kennedy. In one precinct of Angelia County, 86 people voted and the final tally was 147 for Kennedy, 24 for Nixon.

    On and on it went. The Republicans demanded a recount, claiming that it would give them 100,000 votes and victory. John Connally, the state Democratic chairman, said the Republicans were just “haggling for headlines” and predicted that a recount would give Kennedy another 50,000 votes.

    But there was no recount. The Texas Election Board, composed entirely of Democrats, had already certified Kennedy as the winner.

  6. hp said on June 7th, 2008 at 8:23am #

    And LBJ (Golda Meir in drag) proved to be the best friend the Zionists ever had. (wink wink)

  7. hp said on June 7th, 2008 at 12:14pm #

    In fact, tomorrow, June 8th, is the 41st anniversary of the Israeli criminal sneak attack on the USS Liberty.
    LBJ not only ordered the rescue planes back to their ship, TWICE, he also ordered these criminal war crimes to be classified as an “accident.” (wink wink)


  8. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 8th, 2008 at 4:53pm #

    Post Gulf-of-Tonkin, pre-attack on the Mayaguez. Who could imagine anything happening in the Persian Gulf?

  9. hp said on June 8th, 2008 at 6:40pm #

    One thing we know for sure is that Israel, our very special friend, would never ever do anything to harm America or its citizens.
    After all, who is a better friend, a better ally, the most generous and compassionate friend to Israel?
    Uncle Sam, that’s who.
    And Uncle Sam will tell you as much, soon as he pulls the knife out of his back.