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Obama, Bush join Biden war on 'disinformation' after pushing debunked collusion, Iraq WMD narratives

Two former chief executives plan to host conferences about the threats to democracy from allegedly false information.

Published: November 15, 2022 5:43pm

Updated: November 16, 2022 12:07am

George W. Bush's presidency was derailed by revelations his administration used bad intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq war. Barack Obama allowed the false narrative of Russia collusion to persist even after being warned by his CIA director that it was a dirty trick by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

But now they are reportedly aligning with President Joe Biden in a new war to fight what they consider to be "disinformation."

Bush, America's 43rd president, will hold a "Struggle for Freedom" conference Wednesday in Dallas, while Obama, his successor, will host a similar conference on Thursday in New York City. The conference comes just hours after Donald Trump announced his plan to run for the White House again on Tuesday night.

Obama's conference opens with a panel discussion entitled "Tackling Disinformation, Protecting Democracy." Bush's event has a panel called "Pushing Back Against the Authoritarian Threat." The media outlet Axios quoted officials for both former presidents saying the events will be "highlighting rising threats from authoritarianism and disinformation — and how to combat them globally and at home."

"I actually think it's terrific that we will have these back-to-back conferences," David J. Kramer, executive director of the Bush Institute, told Axios.

Ironically, Kramer was directly involved in spreading the infamous Steele dossier, which included now--discredited allegations that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election. That theory was summarily refuted by multiple investigations.

Kramer, a longtime associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, testified in a deposition he helped distribute the dossier to multiple news organizations while McCain gave it to the FBI. He acknowledged he knew the dossier had not been verified when he sent it around to reporters.

"I stressed to every person I met the sensitivity of the document, the need to verify or refute it, and not to publish it," he said. "Unless or until that would be done. And if it was refuted, it was obviously no reason to publish it."

BuzzFeed, one of the news organization Kramer sent the dossier to, did publish it in January 2017 without corroborating its allegations.

Organizers of the Obama and Bush conferences say that they were not planned together but will focus on similar things.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a former lawyer for Trump, slammed Obama and Bush. He told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Tuesday that their conferences were "a direct assault on one of our most precious freedoms that he has no right to assault, because it comes from God."

Giuliani noted elitists in Washington and Democrats have repeatedly dismissed as disinformation stories that later turned out to be true, like the Hunter Biden laptop story that he helped uncover.

"So far, every bit of disinformation that these completely dishonest, unpatriotic crooks have located has turned out to be totally true," Giuliani argued. "The most famous of all that the Hunter Biden hard drive was Russian disinformation. There was nothing suggesting it was Russian disinformation. Fifty-one former intelligence officers of their administrations completely lied."

Giuliani once strongly supported Bush, but said he was disappointed with the 43rd president for holding the conference.

"It disgusts me and it frightens me," Giuliani said. "I am so disappointed in President Bush. I really am. And I worked very hard to get him elected." 

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