Bush’s surprise trip to Iraq offered him more surprise than expected. During a  press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, an angery Iraqi television journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi  stood up and shouted “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” as the first shoe hurled toward Bush then with his second shoe, which the president also managed to dodge, Mr Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki never changed expressions. Al-Baghdadiya’s bureau chief reportedly told the Associated Press that he had no idea what prompted Mr Zaidi to attack President Bush, although reports say he was once kidnapped by a militia and beaten up. 
Will this event represent a policy change in Iraq, a little “shoe and awe” if you will or is Bush just being shooed away days before he leaves office?

All jokes aside when you consider how our invasion has affected the people of Iraq and the recent bi-partisan report detailing our use of torture released by the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.). A shoe being thrown at Bush is the least of his worries. The report contained an executive summary and conclusions of the Committee’s report of its inquiry into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. In part;

A major focus of the Committee’s investigation was the influence of Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training techniques on the interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. SERE training is designed to teach our soldiers how to resist interrogation by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions and international law. During SERE training, U.S. troops — in a controlled environment with great protections and caution — are exposed to harsh techniques such as stress positions, forced nudity, use of fear, sleep deprivation, and until recently, the waterboard. The SERE techniques were never intended to be used against detainees in U.S. custody. The Committee’s investigation found, however, that senior officials in the U.S. government decided to use some of these harsh techniques against detainees based on deeply flawed interpretations of U.S. and international law.

The Committee concluded that the authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques by senior officials was both a direct cause of detainee abuse and conveyed the message that it was okay to mistreat and degrade detainees in U.S. custody.

Chairman Levin also said: “The abuses at Abu Ghraib, GTMO and elsewhere cannot be chalked up to the actions of a few bad apples. Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable. The message from top officials was clear; it was acceptable to use degrading and abusive techniques against detainees. Our investigation is an effort to set the record straight on this chapter in our history that has so damaged both America’s standing and our security. America needs to own up to its mistakes so that we can rebuild some of the good will that we have lost.”

In the course of its more than 18-month long investigation, the Committee reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents and conducted extensive interviews with more than 70 individuals.

Bush is so concerned about his legacy, I believe that can be  summed up with two words “War Criminal“.

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