Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do Your Job: Stop Ignoring Scheunemann's Past

By Josh Marshall

As you can see, the McCain campaign is moving ahead with a new stab-in-the-back style attack on Obama over Iraq. But as Team McCain is raising the volume on these slash-and-burn style attacks, it's time for some coverage of the guy who's McCain's brain on Iraq. Remember, McCain's pitch on Iraq is that he was a critic of Bush, not a supporter, on the poor decisions and lies that got us into the current mess. In the McCain paradigm, he starts fresh with the 'surge'. That's where he takes ownership, as it were, of Iraq.

But look who's advising him on Iraq, who's crafting Iraq policy. That would be Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top foreign policy advisor. And he's the guy who today accused Barack Obama of wanting to lead America to defeat in Iraq for political gain.

Scheunemann was a core participant in the lobbying, plotting and organized campaigns of deception that led America to war in Iraq. He was a close collaborator with Ahmad Chalabi through the 1990s. He helped draft the Iraq Liberation Act, which created the new funding stream for Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. At the start of the Bush administration he signed on as Don Rumsfeld's 'consultant' on Iraq at the Pentagon. And then when the administration started cranking up the machinery for the propaganda campaign in favor of war he went back on the outside to form and lead the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, to lead the press and lobbying campaign to make sure the war got started on schedule.

Remember, US intelligence later found evidence that Chalabi, in addition to foisting a bunch of bogus intelligence and lying informers on the US and pocketing a lot of US taxpayer dollars, had provided highly classified US intelligence to Iran. Scheunemann worked closely with Chalabi for years in his efforts to get the US into war with Iraq. He was also a go-between between Chalabi and McCain. Now that he's taking such a high-profile role on the Iraq issue in the 2008, Scheunemann's history with Chalabi and the use of bogus intelligence to get the nation into war is unquestionably highly newsworthy...[Open in new window]

Here's an exception to the really lousy reporting on McCrazy from Peter Slevin at the WaPo. TV keeps talking about 'low-information voters'. Go figure. TV offers low-information. 'Liberal media', my ass.

Randy Scheunemann: McCain Adviser Campaigned for War

By Peter Slevin
CHICAGO -- Randy Scheunemann, the foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain who today accused Sen. Barack Obama of a "policy of delusion" toward terrorism, was a prominent advocate of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the lead-up to the war.

In late 2002, Scheunemann helped create The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and became the group's executive director. Its mission, pursued with the Bush administration's blessing, was to build public support for the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

McCain (R-Ariz.) was on the committee, along with Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), former Secretary of State George Shultz, retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing and former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), who described the project at the time as "a group of people who will talk to Americans about why the liberation of Iraq is something the United States ought to do."

Scheunemann is a longtime GOP foreign policy specialist who has also worked on the staffs of former Senate Republican leaders Bob Dole (Kan.) and Trent Lott (Miss.) He was a board member of the neoconservative think tank, the Project for the New American Century, which often reflected the views of Bush administration hardliners. In recent years, Scheunemann has registered as a lobbyist for several foreign governments, including Georgia, Macedonia and Taiwan, according to published reports. His firm has also lobbied for the National Rife Association and defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

A Washington Post article in November 2002 reported that The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq was being created as the Bush administration was preparing the nation for a likely war that was ultimately launched in March 2003.

The committee's founding coincided with what administration officials called a "new phase" of briefings for foreign policy leaders, Iraq specialists and other opinion makers.

One goal was to reverse a decline in support for possible military action...[Open in new window]


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