On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of a problem with Donald Trump selecting Ed Feulner as somebody to include in his transition team headed up by Chris Christie.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) August 24, 2016
Feulner is the former president of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, an organization he founded with Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors. Heritage was influential during the Reagan administration and specialized in cranking out white papers for Congress.
However, during the reign of Bush and the neocons, Feulner became an avid supporter of the invasion of Iraq and the manufactured war on terror.
Despite the fact Saddam Hussein was secular and opposed to radical jihadists, Feulner described the invasion as “one theater of the greater war against Islamic terrorism, just as Europe in 1944 was simply a theater of World War II.”
CIA Director George J. Tenet concluded Iraq posed no threat to the United States and so did Bush’s Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and his national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
But like the neocons Feulner pushed on, citing the thoroughly debunked claim Saddam was in cahoots with a-Qaeda. In 2004 he wrote, “whether or not [Saddam Hussein] was formally allied with al-Qaida, there can be no doubt that Mr. Hussein was a staunch terrorist supporter.”
And yet according to Trump Saddam Hussein was an opponent of terrorism. “He killed terrorists. He did that so good,” Trump said during a campaign stop in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Feulner misjudged the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. “Soon, American troops will pull out of both [Iraq and Afghanistan], leaving freedom and democracy where before there was only tyranny,” he declared in his Baltimore Sun op-ed.
He is also a supporter of torture. After Osama bin Laden’s supposed death at the hands of the US military in Pakistan, Feulner praised “the strategic and lawful interrogation of detainees” at Guantanamo Bay.
Bush declared an amorphous war on terror but decided to suspend the rules. His neocons insisted the detainees at Gitmo were “unlawful combatants” and thus not subject to international law on the treatment of prisoners of war.
So what were they, then? Civilians?
If so, they were covered under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Not a problem. On March 11, 2003, the US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia decided in Al Odah and Others that detaining indefinitely and torturing prisoners wasn’t a problem because it was not happening in the United States but Cuba.
It was a Cuban matter, never mind Cuba has repeatedly said the US is violating its national sovereignty and will it please get the hell off its island.
But I digress.
The fact Trump has invited a war on terror advocate to work with his team is not a good sign. He has other neocons working with him as well, including Joe Schmidt and Walid Phares.
If you think President Trump will put an end to the war on terror and bring home the troops illegally occupying Iraq and Afghanistan—and also working to take down Syria—you might want to consider a reappraisal.