Facebook > Email > More Pinterest Print Twitter Play

Long Time Gone

Thirteen years after they were banned from country radio, it seems that Texas is ready to make nice with the Dixie Chicks. But it wasn’t easy.

By Comments

On July 6, 2003, the Dixie Chicks disembarked from a plane at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and climbed directly into police vehicles bound for the American Airlines Center. It had been nearly three months since Natalie Maines told a London crowd she was “ashamed” that President George W. Bush was from Texas, and the Chicks front woman received a threat that she would be shot dead on stage at her Dallas show.

The invasion of Iraq was still very fresh at that point. Guerrilla groups of Iraqi insurgents began attacking U.S. forces with improvised bombs, leading Bush to vow to continue the occupation despite declaring an end to combat a month prior. Violence in Iraq was high, the political climate in the U.S. was equally fraught—and Maines’s pronouncement from the stage was a powder keg that seemed like it would destroy the Dixie Chicks.

Maines publicly apologized to Bush, saying that her comments in London were “disrespectful,” but that didn’t do much to shut down the controversy. The death threat in Dallas, credible enough that the band was whisked directly back to the airport after the show by police, was a culmination of what could be the biggest controversy in country music.

In 2016, the Chicks returned to stages across the country in the DCX tour that kicked off its U.S. leg in Cincinnati in June. Tonight, the Chicks will appear in Dallas after thirteen years and one month away from the city where the band first got together, and it seems that they can expect a much warmer reception than their last Dallas gig. Tickets to the August 5 show at Gexa Energy Pavilion sold out in minutes, and can be found in the secondary market for upwards of $500 each. Dates in Austin and Houston are also sold out, indicating that Texas is ready to make nice with the former country darlings. But it wasn’t easy.

In the wake of the stage banter heard ’round the world, radio stations unceremoniously pulled the Dixie Chicks’ music from the airwaves. As morning show DJs across the country encouraged listeners to bring Chicks CDs to radio stations where they would be burned or crushed by a bulldozer in 2003, Eric Raines assumed people would would view Maines’s comment as “Natalie being Natalie.”

Raines, who was then a morning show host at Austin’s KASE FM, had apparently underestimated the country’s volatility. “The reason we fell in love with her was because she spoke her mind,” Raines says. “It made people upset, but it’s a thing she did her entire career. The exact reason we loved Natalie Maines was because she was this spunky blonde who did her thing and said what was on her mind, whether it was just to one person or in front of a crowd of thousands.”

At the time, KASE FM was playing almost a dozen different Dixie Chicks songs every single day. The decision to remove the Chicks’ catalog from the station came gradually, but it was final. “We dumped their music off the radio and never put it back on. If you played a Dixie Chicks song, you were going to get in trouble,” Raines says. “Even four and five years later, I was never allowed to put their music back on the radio. ”

Raines views country radio’s reaction as a betrayal to the Dixie Chicks. “This is a band that made a lot of people across the country really rich, that earned radio stations a lot of ratings, and we just turned on them,” he says. Nowhere was that sting more sharp than in Maines’s hometown of Lubbock. Born in nearby Levelland and a graduate of Lubbock High School, Maines is part of a West Texas musical dynasty. Her father, Lloyd Maines, is a legendary Texas musician and producer.

As Wes Nessman, host of “The Rock Show” on Lubbock’s Rock 94.5, remembers it, the uproar in Lubbock was swift and intense. His daughter, who was working as a receptionist at the station in 2003, was inundated with threats of murder and rape because the Dixie Chicks weren’t immediately removed from the rotation of Rock 94.5’s country sister-station. “I was on the morning show, so of course this was a little bit of fodder for us. We never realized that it was going to blow up and become this obsession,” Nessman says. “We didn’t remove it quick enough. It got that insane around here.”

1858985
Country radio personality K. C. Daniels tossed darts at a poster of the singing trio, the Dixie Chicks, taped to the studio door at radio station KRMD-FM March 19, 2003 in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

Prior to those comments in London, Natalie Maines was the biggest thing to hit Hub City since Buddy Holly, who the city didn’t always claim as its own. When Nessman first moved to Lubbock, the Buddy Holly memorial statue had not yet been erected. There were no murals at Lubbock International Airport honoring Holly, who was the city’s first real national celebrity. And before his untimely death in an airplane crash in 1959, Buddy Holly was ostracized in the city because, as Nessman believes, he was a white man who married a Hispanic woman.

In many ways, the parallels between what happened to Natalie Maines and Buddy Holly are too stark to ignore. “It’s the exact same thing that this town did to Buddy Holly,” he says. “They attacked this girl like she was a cancer. When I first moved here, there was no recognition for Buddy Holly in this town. It was very gradually that things started to come around, and it took a really long time.”

But this time, reconciliation may not come as easily. “This town still has a huge—huge—simmering anger with this young lady. It’s not that much different now than it was back then,” Nessman says. “If I put up a poll asking if we should forgive the Dixie Chicks, I think nine out of ten people would say ‘no’ even now. People are still pissed off about it. It’s just something we do around here. We eat barbecue and we hate the Dixie Chicks.”

Two years after the peak of the furor, Lubbock would be ranked the second most conservative city in the country, just behind Provo, Utah. The city has since dropped out of the top ten, but it remains fiercely conservative. In 2012, Lubbock County judge Tom Head made headlines for claiming that President Obama would send United Nations troops into the city to quell any “uprising” against his presidency.

The irony isn’t lost on Nessman. “What’s funny is that it’s the same people who say things a hundred times worse about President Obama now,” he says. “It’s very, very embarrassing if you ask me, but that’s the political climate today. We just saw a preview of it back when Natalie made her initial statement.”  

Despite the lingering anger, there are some in Lubbock who are ready to make amends. Last September, Maines was honored on the West Texas Walk of Fame alongside Holly and brief Littlefield resident Waylon Jennings. “Inducting Natalie was an apology, but I believe that ship has sailed in terms of Lubbock and Natalie Maines ever being partners in each other’s futures,” Nessman says. “I don’t think Natalie is ever going to forget what Lubbock has done to her and the way she has treated her, but she does forgive. How do you come back to a place, and do them a favor, after people in that place said that they were going to kill you?”

Outside of West Texas, though, it’s clear that the anger has, for the most part, blown over. Now, just over half of the country agrees that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were a mistake. The Dixie Chicks are selling out arenas across the globe, and that likely doesn’t have much to do with country music fans who were angered after Maines’s comments having a change of heart or forgetting about what happened. Instead, it’s fans who have always loved the Chicks for making some of the best country music of the past two decades, politics be damned.

But even today, both Raines and Nessman agree that playing the Dixie Chicks is a surefire way to light up social media and the phone lines. “Everyone still has a take on it. If you want to have a passionate conversation, bring up the Dixie Chicks,” Raines says. “Some of the biggest arguments I’ve ever gotten in on the radio have been over the Dixie Chicks. People are mad about it, and they don’t really know why they’re mad. They just have this response to it. Here’s the funny thing about that, though. If I just play their songs and don’t mention the Dixie Chicks, my phone doesn’t ring and I don’t see anything on Facebook or Twitter. It’s when you bring that name up, that’s when people react.”

That inevitability of a massive backlash still keeps the Dixie Chicks off the radio. No major country stations have added them back into the rotation, and as a result, left-leaning country artists have by and large stayed out of the political fray ever since. Even Toby Keith, who famously fanned the flames at the height of the controversy by projecting an image of Natalie Maines cozying up Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his live show, has taken heat from conservatives on issues ranging from his support of marriage equality to a decision to ban weapons from his restaurant in Virginia.

But even as the Chicks’ songs about domestic violence and the Vietnam War were replaced on the radio airwaves with audience friendly party anthems about trucks, beer, and girls, the past two or three years have revealed a shift. East Texan Kacey Musgraves’s songs about LGBT rights and pot and Little Big Town’s semi-controversial “Girl Crush” enjoyed commercial success.

It seems that the lineage of outside-the-box female artists now finding success in country music can be traced directly back to the Dixie Chicks, even if they’re not welcome back on the airwaves. “Country radio is a whole lot less conservative now than it was,” Raines says. “They pushed the envelope and busted it open for a lot of people who say what they think.”

Related Content

  • Pamela

    Nice press piece.
    As far as this writer stating that the “majority” of Americans now think liberating Iraq and Afghanistan was a mistake, there are also “surveys” stating that a majority of Americans think we created a murderous vacuum by cutting and running too soon, along with constantly announcing our intent to do so way in advance.

    Politics kills more of our soldiers than IEDs.

    And Monday morning quarterbacking about historic occurrences always seems the favorite sport of people who were using crayons at the time of the event, with no skin in the game.

    If you want to voice your opinion onstage, Darlin’,
    then be prepared for the blowback that includes the fringe stalkers. At least the Chicks know what it is like now to truly put your money where your mouth is. Since they seem hell bent on proselytizing to country western fans, I predict their audiences are those who just transitioned from crayons to smart phones, wearing cowboy hats like tourists.

    In Texas, the Chicks will be relying on the “all hat, no cattle” crowds. Be sure to let us know when they book outside the Texas tri-city venues.

    • Kansan

      “Liberating” Iraq? Be serious. I enlisted in 1957 and spent two years in Viet Nam. Crayons, sonny? When did you put yours away?

    • DavidD

      I’m a vet and your comments are disrespectful..When did you serve and what sacrifices have you made? Not your relatives but you .

      • Pamela

        Disrespectful exactly how?
        Read all my comments and try to be specific.

        You’re the one jumping in here, so you tell ME your time, place, rank. I don’t owe you a comment and I’m not addressing you.
        Unless a commenter states rank, time served and unit, which I can check with Army Locater Services for accuracy, when opening a response to me saying, “I am a vet,” keep your BS to yourself.

        • Paul Superunknown

          Your comments on this thread show how truly stubborn you are. You’ve stuck to a failed argument, as a by-the-book military officer might stick to a failed plan, just because they were ordered to do so. I would suggest that your intransigence is genetic. Were your so-called hero relatives “fragged” by their own troops? (It wouldn’t surprise me.)
          You needn’t answer back, as I will not respond to you. As I said, you’re intransigent, and as such, my efforts to educate you would be futile. Good day to you, Madam!

    • Christina Anthony

      Wow… just gotta say, you really are a bwitch, aren’t you… must be pretty lonely at your house. Really into other people you apparently can’t identify with, owning crayons too… lol… What’s the matter, your crayons broken? Poor baby.

    • space2k

      “there are also “surveys” stating that a majority of Americans think we created a murderous vacuum by cutting and running too soon”
      Link please.

    • Sharon Brucks

      “Darlin'” ? You dating one of them?

    • Doc2222

      Texas…where men are men and cattle run scared. Sheep, too.

  • David

    Wes Nessman and his opinions are not, in any way, representative of what people in Lubbock think or feel. He’s a fringe, minor “celebrity” in town who is known for bashing people on social network sites when their opinion is different than his. TM made a bad decision by including his thoughts about Lubbock in this article.

    • Kansan

      Fringe to you, mainstream to others.

      His opinions have been very illuminating.

  • Kansan

    The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq wasn’t a “mistake,” any more than Hitler’s concentration camps or Pol Pot’s “Killing Fields” were “mistakes.” It was genocide and Maines was guilty of no more than being better informed than 99% of Americans and not being afraid to confront that lunacy.

    • Pamela

      So glad our military dies defending your blathering. I have already challenged this commenter and asked for his status when supposedly serving in Vietnam in 1957 as he has stated. How was the 17th Parallel created? What was his assignment in 1957 considering that Kennedy didn’t start sending “advisors” until 1961, after the NLF formed? Two years in Nam? That’s your claim to expertise? My family did multiple tours and retired as career officers. They are buried in Arlington.
      We continue to respect your First Amendment rights and we continue to go where our Commander in Chief sends us. We can only hope that you and the Chicks continue to prove that our lifelong service to our country gives the minimally or totally nonserving population the right to blather radical platitudes from Alinsky’s writings.

      • Kansan

        You can’t think and you can’t read, Pammy.

        I enlisted in 1957. I didn’t get to Viet Nam until June 1967.

        Eisenhower first sent advisers there in the mid-’50s, after the French had capitulated and contrary to the Geneva accords, we had installed Ngo Dinh Diem as South Vietnam’s prime minister. He boosted their numbers from about 750 to 1,500 or so by 1960. Kennedy raised that to 3,200 in 1961 and ten times that many in 1963 in response to the coup d’ etat that ousted our puppet government, and the subsequent unrest. Because the corrupt government was losing the civil war badly, Johnson sent 500,000 troops there in 1965. By late 1967, the war was going very badly for the U.S., and domestic opposition rightly increased. At the end of January, 1968, the “Tet Offensive” was launched, followed by a second offensive in May. That’s when the bulk of U.S. casualties occurred.

        Because you allegedly have had relatives buried in Arlington, you think you know something about the war. But you can’t even read a simple paragraph, so you’re obviously self-delusional.

        • Pamela

          Great, you can Google and be sarcastic. Again, Kansan, whatever that handle means, try to answer my specific questions about your unit, rank and location since now it wasn’t 1957 but 1967 that you were in Vietnam.
          You are a troll.

          • Kansan

            You still can’t read, you nitwit. I wrote that I enlisted in 1957 (after Eisenhower had first sent advisers to Viet Nam), and went there a decade later. How dumb can you be to not understand that? What were the names and approximate dates of service of your alleged relatives, and their alleged dates of internment in Arlington National Cemetery? How are you related to those supposed relatives? What’s your Social Security #?

          • Pamela

            You bore me.

            Providing your unit, rank and location in 1967 is hardly exposing yourself in a forum. You know as well as I do that this information will either expose you or support your claim. And my cavalry officer father was buried in the old section near the Meigs tomb with full military honors including the riderless black horse in 2009. Like you would even know what that means.

            Only the weak minded resort to pejoratives.

            You are a waste of my time, but go ahead, your compulsive personality will require you to “get the last word.” Be my guest.

          • Kansan

            Only the weak minded resort to pejoratives.

            You are a waste of my time, but go ahead, your compulsive personality will require you to “get the last word.” Be my guest.

            You describe yourself so eloquently.

          • space2k

            Hey now! You should know that you don’t get to hold that opinion unless provide an anonymous internet troll with your military record, complete with verifiable references.

            Personally I won’t believe that “Pamela” is a female until we have a birth certificate and SSN. I guess “she” was right about one thing, though: “our country gives the minimally or totally nonserving population the right to blather radical platitudes” – yep.

          • Kansan

            My only “opinion” was a quoted tribute to “her” eloquence.

            I’ve clarified in an edit.

            Personally, I believe Pamela’s a hermaphrodite.

          • Sharon Brucks

            Tell us YOUR unit, rank, and location Pamela.

          • Doc2222

            LMAO! HE’S a troll???? You are the Queen of Trolls! Good grief!

        • John Romero

          Thank you for your service Kansan. I’m a vet as well. My father was a vet. My 18 year old son is in bootcamp now. Your editorial is spot on and I appreciate your candor. I thought GB#41 and Desert Shield was spot on. GB#43 listened to the wrong advisors and the planet paid an awful price (and is still paying).

          • Kansan

            And thank you for your service.

      • James

        I have a military background. I respect the sacrifices our military makes. But to use those sacrifices to somehow justify poor leadership is wrong. And a huge disservice to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. So please do not fail to accept responsibility for our mistakes – and not hold those leaders accountable. Do not take this as an attack on our military. As stated above, they go where they are commanded. The question is – do we always use them to do the ‘right thing’?
        Can anyone get the facts straight. Eisenhower (he was republican wasn’t he?) very, very reluctantly sent the first US advisors (advisors meaning CIA and US military trainers) into Vietnam (1950 & more in 1955) – so learn your history please. Ike did NOT want to do it – he warned us and we didn’t listen. Instead we love our jingoism and in the process killed thousands of young American – and 10 times that of innocent Vietnamese. Remember, all these people wanted was their own country – not French, not US, not Chinese.

        As to Iran, Natalie was/is 100% correct. If you have any common sense, you would remember the FACTS. Saddam’s greatest enemy was Islamists fundamentalists. Hence his war with Iran. He was part of a minority Muslim sect within his own country. Kept power over the majority with force. So the idea that he had anything to do with 9/11 defies all logic. It was purely a war about making money for the military industrial complex (do you remember Eisenhower’s warning?). And in the process murdered 4,000 young Americans and 200,000+ innocent Iraqis. These chicken-hawk, greedy bastards used our fear and hate following 9/11 to make it happen. And now we have the chaos and killing that this fomented in the region.
        The lesson? If we continue our love affair with phony patriotism and shout about our great principles of government – preening while we beat our chests – then WALK THE WALK. Treat others and their governments with respect for rights. And when we do foment regime change – do not walk away when conflicts end. We could have brought Afghanistan into the 21st century – but no, since we weren’t shipping weapons to them anymore – there was no profit. And we left them to their own devices – just walked away. Now we are paying the price for our greed.
        I hope that the wonderful Dixie Chicks return to our air waves. Great lyrics and even better execution.

      • Sharon Brucks

        Funny how you fawn and wet yourself over Trump saying what he thinks, but boy howdy if someone else does, Katie bar the door, right? Typical.

        • Pamela

          Your parents must be so proud of how you express yourself, little girl.
          Now be sure to make yet your fourth irrelevant comment in reference to my conversation with someone else. Your personality insists you must always get the last word, even if off topic and in gutter language.
          C’mon, missy, you have my permission.

          • Sharon Brucks

            Hey Pammy! Maybe you just don’t QUITE get how a message board works versus sending private email. See, YOU make a comment that EVERYONE can read and comment on! And, get this part, we can do it WITHOUT asking OR getting your permission! It’s great! Hell, it’s Amercan! LOL

          • Pamela

            You are a true mistress of irony. Try sticking to topics being discussed. And thanks for proving me right. C’mon: answer in ALL CAPS next time. People like you think that adds importance to your non sequiturs. I’m enjoying this.

      • wessexmom

        Over 4,000 military servicemen and women were sent to die in Iraq for absolutely NO REASON AT ALL–by a president who went AWOL and a VP who received 5 deferments from Vietnam. How is sending OPC (OTHER People’s Children) off to fight and die after these leaders dodged the war of THEIR generation at all respectful of your life or your rights or ours? My husband served for many years on active duty and I along with him, so get off your sanctimonious high horse!

        • Pamela

          You are brilliant! I defer to your outrage! Please post more! I am humbled by your logic!

    • d1k

      Saddam was not such a bad guy, right? Glad genicide doesnt bother you…sleep well tonite.

      • Kansan

        Saddam and Bush/Cheney were all genocidal. Only two of the three paid for it with my tax money.

        • Sharon Brucks

          Truth Kansan!

  • The Dixie Chicks’ blacklisting is the primary reason why I almost never listen to country music. Not because I don’t like the music itself. Because of the reaction. I still remember.

  • Steve B

    The Dixie Chicks sucked even before they were blacklisted. I could care less that they’re back.

    • Sky Mirror

      Hey, we get it. You are intimidated by strong women. Don’t buy a ticket to their show. They are sold out without you.

      • Steve B

        Strong women? I don’t think so, darlin’. I saw them in Plano TX long before they were popular. They were fat and ugly. They were so strong they had to get plastic surgery to overcome their deficiencies. Oh, and by the way, they won’t continue selling out. They are a thing of the past.

        • Crosstimbers

          Hmm. The Dixie Chicks have always spoken very highly of you, er, uh, Steve B is it?

        • Don Alexander

          I also saw them at that time, in Frisco. “Fat and ugly?” Bwahahahaha! I suppose you’re referencing Robin Macy and Laura Lynch, the original members of the band, but they were neither fat nor ugly. Your comment, on the other hand, is indeed ugly.

          • Kansan

            “Steve B” is a regular wanker. I don’t recall ever seeing Laura Lynch, but I’ve been seeing Robin since the Walnut Festival in Winfield, KS, in the late ’90s and began talking to her a few years later after she’d saved the Bartlett Arboretum, in Belle Plaine, KS and started holding small concerts there. I haven’t seen her in a few years but for a woman in her early 50s, she looked damn good to me. http://www.bartlettarboretum.com/about/history

      • Sharon Brucks

        He uses “Darlin'” no g, as a way to patronize. Just ignore. Thank God his kind are dying out.

        • Sky Mirror

          Since I am 6’6″ and built like an football lineman, I’m wondering where he’s going with that.

          • Sharon Brucks

            He has great affection for you. Really. True affection, though he knows nothing about you. LOL.

        • Madrigalian

          I use “darlin” with affection. Doesn’t mean “nuthin”.
          So, don’t let it fly up yer skirt.

          • Sharon Brucks

            Who says I wear a skirt?

    • Sharon Brucks

      You COULD care less than you do, right?

      • acmeopinionfactory

        He’s not gonna get it. Much too subtle.

        • Sharon Brucks

          LOL. Just one of those grammar things that irk me. Like using terms of affection on people you do not know.

  • Justin Mayes

    I think the only think Natalie Maines is guilty of is not knowing the temperature of the room. Was it a bad idea to say that on stage? Yes. Is it worthy of the criticism the band has received? Not really. Many artists (music, painters, comedians, etc) often tend to lean left. But who cares? Going to a music concert for political insight is like going to the AVN awards for thoughts on abstinence.

  • Erik Baran

    Just another example of the hypocrisy of the right, especially the hard right.

  • MO

    Good article, I heard it was a great show at COTA last night. Despite the propaganda, truth & talent usually emerge victorious, but not always. Always liked how KGSR & KUTX never enforced that ban.

  • John Kyle

    Never listened to them really, but for one song, mostly not my kind of music…..Say what they want, ok, but then people are allowed to respond as they want.

    • Doc2222

      Except when that response becomes retaliatory, speech isn’t really free anymore, is it?

      • John Kyle

        Retaliatory? Not playing their records, not buying concert tickets? Shall people be forced to do so?

        • Doc2222

          They were banned from country radio. That’s pretty retaliatory.

          • John Kyle

            Free speech is you say what you want, not say what you want and force others to listen to it, or pay for it.

          • Doc2222

            Banning them from country radio pretty much took that choice away from those who may have agreed with them. It was punishment, plain and simple. Cowardly and unAmerican to say the least. But then that’s conservatives for ya.

          • John Kyle

            DC had a choice, radio stations have a choice, radio station listeners have a choice on voicing their opinions to the radio station and the stations advertisers……..maybe we should have had government step in and force stations to play their music?

          • Doc2222

            They are publicly owned airwaves. If right wing fascists are going to abuse the public’s trust that way, maybe so. I mean, when you destroy someone’s ability to make a living because you don’t like what they say, that’s about as fascist and unAmerican as you can get. Right wing scum are ALWAYS on the wrong side of what this country is all about.

          • John Kyle

            Just what I thought

          • Sharon Brucks

            Well, some would call it consequence. It’s semantics.

      • Madrigalian

        The left has absolutely no ground to stand on when it comes to chastising anyone for retaliating against someone for what they say or believe.

        It is standard operating procedure.

      • Sharon Brucks

        I think it is. Anyone can say their opinion and anyone can respond to that opinion. But, Pammy does think you should get her permission first!

  • Matt Moorhead

    Screw the DITZY chicks and anyone who agrees with them. That’s my opinion and i’m allowed to have it just like they are allowed to believe the way they choose. I don’t have to agree or like their ideas. That’s what makes this country GREAT!

    • Sharon Brucks

      Wait…I thought your klan thought we aren’t great anymore.

    • Kansan

      :Goodbye, Earl.

  • PaulOlly

    Apparently a lot of immature and ignorant people in Lubbock.

  • JRSCline

    Free speech, we’re told, has consequences. So long as you’re ready for that, you can say whatever you like.

    Only seems fair to apply it equally on both ends of the political spectrum.

  • crescentfang

    Freedom of speech is the first right listed in the Bill of Rights because all of the rest depend on it. Unfortunately, everyone seems to want to silence anyone that disagrees with them. The best definition of it was a statement made in the first Congress: “I may disagree with what the man said but I will defend to the death his right to say it!” If you can’t support that, you had best learn to keep your mouth shut because someone will be along to silence you eventually. The only “rights” that exist are the ones you won’t deny your enemies. Everything else is a “privilege” maintained by political power and can be taken away after the next election.

    • fmpoe

      Actually, Freedom of and from religion is first, The famous “establishment” clause. Speech leads off the four enumerated in the second clause of the First Amendment.

  • In hindsight the DC were right. Without Bush we wouldn’t have ISIS.

  • Pamela

    Please don’t stop. I am fascinated by your completely disconnected comments. You should sue your high school. Please, everyone is waiting.

  • Zombee

    Maines decision to politicize and disrespect a president from foreign soil instead of entertaining was a poor choice. She got what she deserved. The President and Congress approved the invasion based on the same intelegence available at the time. It was as if she condoned Saddam Hussein’s severe violations of human rights,  secret police, torture, mass murder, rape, deportations, forced disappearances,assassinations, chemical warfare. She is still blacklisted to millions of Americans.