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> Was Bush misled by the Intelligence?, An analysis of the Intelligence
Kuni
post Dec 11 2005, 08:09 PM
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The SIC Report contains this little tidbit about an Intelligence Report that the Administration got in the summer of 2002.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/libra...chapter12-c.htm
(U) The Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) directed that Iraq and al-Qaida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship be published on June 21, 2002, although it did not reflect the NESA's views. CTC's explanation of its approach to this study and the analysts' differing views were contained in the paper's Scope Note, which stated:

(U) This intelligence assessment responds to senior policymaker interest in a comprehensive assessment of Iraqi regime links to al-Qa'ida. Our approach is purposefully aggressive in seeking to draw connections, on the assumption that any indication of a relationship between these two hostile elements could carry great dangers to the United States.

(U) We reviewed intelligence reporting over the past decade to determine whether Iraq had a relationship with al-Qa'ida and, if so, the dimensions of the relationship.

[BLACKED OUT] Our knowledge of Iraqi links to al-Qa'ida still contains many critical gaps [DELETED]



Now this tells us a couple of things. First that Bush was told that they were throwing in everything including the kitchen sink, with the ‘purposefully aggressive’ statement, into the report. Secondly, that they didn’t really know what the &$%# they were talking about with their ‘many critical gaps’ disclaimer.

So how do we know Bush was misled? Let’s look at some of his statements, but first, let’s look at a portion of the “Interpreting a Murky Relationship” from June 21, 2002 that the SIC Report failed to mention.

June 21, 2002 CIA report, “Iraq and al-Qa'ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship,” starts with: “In the past several years, Iraq reportedly has provided specialized training to al-Qa’ida in explosives and assistance to the group’s chemical and biological weapons programs, although the level and extent of this training assistance is not clear.


And it shows us what part the [BLACKED OUT] and [DELETED] parts from the above extract from the SIC Report contained.

Our knowledge of Iraqi links to al-Qa'ida still contains many critical gaps because of limited reporting [BLACKED OUT] and the questionable reliability of many of our sources."

And finishes with:

“The CBRN Angle. The most ominous indications of Iraq-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Laden’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) ambitions. Although Iraq historically has tended to hold closely its strategic weapons experts and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support that fell well short of its most closely held secrets. [BLACKED OUT] of Iraq or Iraqi nationals in al-Qa’ida CBRN efforts, but we cannot determine which, if any of these Iraqi nationals Baghdad directed.


And now for the parts of the October 2001 NIE that Bush got to see.

The October 2, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing WMD Programs, states:
As with much of the information on the overall relationship, details on training and support are second-hand or from sources of varying reliability. The most conspicuous pattern in the reporting is of al-Qa’ida enduring interest in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) expertise from Iraq. [BLACKED OUT] suggest the involvement of Iraq or Iraqi nationals in al-Qa’ida’s CBW efforts. We cannot determine however, how many of these Iraqi nationals were directed by Baghdad or how many of the reported plans for CBW training or support were actually realized.

None of the hundreds of al-Qa’ida members captured during Operation Enduring Freedom report having been trained in Iraq or by Iraqi trainers elsewhere, but given interest over the years in training and expertise from outside sources, we cannot discount reports of such training entirely.



Entirely? They could not discount the claims 100%. Interesting comment. And let’s not forget the “We cannot determine however, how many of these Iraqi nationals were directed by Baghdad or how many of the reported plans for CBW training or support were actually realized.” comment; they could not determine even One. Interesting.

Now let’s see what Bush did with the “We don’t know” and “we can’t be 100% sure that there is nothing there” comments. But first I should mention another Document that has just had portions declassified.

[URL=levin.senate.gov/newsroom/ supporting/2005/DIAletter.102605.pdf]Ditsum No. 044-02[/URL]:
In February 2002, when al-Libi’s claims about chemical and biological weapons training were first reported in the Intelligence Community, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) issued DITSUM # 044-02 containing al-Libi’s claims and the following comment:

“This is the first report from Ibnal-Shaykh in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qaida’s CBRN efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqi’s involved, the CBRN material associated with the assistance, and the location where training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.

Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.”


So now we have: “We don’t know”, “we’re not sure, but were almost 100% sure nothing is there”, and “the one guy we tortured some info out of, is lying about the training”.

Now let’s go look at what Bush said? Not yet, we still have to deal with the 1998 “Indictment” that many are claiming proves that Clinton must also have lied.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...004Jun16_2.html
. . . Patrick J. Fitzgerald, now a U.S. attorney in Illinois, who oversaw the African bombing case, told the commission that reference was dropped in a superseding indictment because investigators could not confirm al Qaeda's relationship with Iraq as they had done with its ties to Iran, Sudan and Hezbollah. The original material came from an al Qaeda defector who told prosecutors that what he had heard was secondhand. . .


So now we have: “We don’t know”, “we’re not sure, but were almost 100% sure nothing is there”, “the one guy we tortured some info out of, is lying about the training”, and “Clinton’s Justice Department didn’t confirm it either”.

Now let’s look at what Bush said.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0030206-17.html
“Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network, headed by a senior al Qaeda terrorist planner.” Source: President Bush: World Can Rise to This Moment", White House (2/6/2003)


Notice the “Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training” comment? The Intelligence obviously did not say that; it said that it can’t prove that comment and we’re almost 100% sure it’s not true.


And let’s not forget the January 29, 2003 CIA report, the one that came out about a week before Bush’s comment in question, called; “Iraqi Support for Terrorism”

January 29, 2003 CIA report, "Iraqi Support for Terrorism"

Iraq-al-Qa’ida Training:

After contacts the [BLACKED OUT] reporting touches most frequently on the topic of Iraqi training of al-Qa’ida. Details on training range from good reports {BLACKED OUT] varying reliability, often the result of long and opaque reporting chains or discussions of future intentions rather than evidence of completed training. The general pattern that emerges is of al-Qa’ida enduring interest in acquiring CBW expertise from Iraq.

There have been fewer reports of al-Qa’ida receiving conventional terrorist training from Iraq after Bin Laden relocated to Afghanistan in 1996, possibly because Bin Ladin’s needs were less in this area. [BLACKED OUT]

Some of the most ominous suggestions of possible Iraqi-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Ladin’s CBW ambitions. Although Iraq historically has guarded closely its strategic weapons information, experts, and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support to al-Qa’ida. [BLACKED OUT]

Most of the reports do not make clear whether training initiatives offered by Iraqi’s or discussed by the two sides remained in the planning stages or were actually implemented.

In about half of the reports, we cannot determine if the Iraqi nationals mentioned had any relationship with the Baghdad government or were expatriate or free-lance scientists or engineers.

At least [BLACKED OUT] of the reports appear based on hearsay:

[BLACKED OUT] of the reports are simple declarative accusations of Iraqi-al-Qa’ida complicity with no substantiating detail or other information that might help us corroborate them.



So we have Bush saying that “Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training”; yet a week before, the Intelligence was still saying, we can prove that claim.


So given the above: Was Bush misled by the Intelligence?
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Wertz
post Apr 29 2006, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Apr 29 2006, 09:22 AM)
And never mind I can't find one shred of evidence that Bush told the country we were going to war whether or not Saddam had WMD because of course, that would be a crime.
*

Point of information: Even if Hussein did have WMD, it would still be a crime. Wars of aggression are criminal - and the mere possession of WMD does not automatically consitute a threat that demands offensive action.
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Dingo
post Apr 30 2006, 03:05 AM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Apr 28 2006, 10:58 PM)
Without knowing all the factors leading to the decision, it is highly premature to categorize it as poor.

I'd say the reporting has been pretty thorough. If one wants to throw in the term ALL then I guess one can say no decision to go to war should ever be criticized because one can never know ALL the factors that went into it.

QUOTE
As I pointed out numerous times in the various threads on this topic, all of the other available alternatives were very 'poor' as well.  When you choose from among a set of poor alternatives, that doesn't mean it was a poor decision.

Let me go out on a limb here. I would say not attacking and occupying a country that is not a threat to you or your allies is better than attacking and occupying a country that is not a threat to you or your allies. I would go further. Opening the door to Al Qaeda type insurgents and suicide bombers and incurring sectarian civil war is worse than sitting tight and keeping Hussein boxed in and well inspected.

I know Mark Twain used to like posit the notion that rolling our of bed on one side and rolling out of bed on the other would cause an entirely different chain of events to follow which of course you couldn't predict. But relying on the kind of argument in politics can only lead to a kind of "who cares" nihilism. Why even enter the argument if it doesn't make any difference anyway?

QUOTE
I don't think the message is what gave it legs.  That is ruling out the possibility that any other message wouldn't have done the same.  I don't think there's evidence that's the case.

Once again all I can really do is restate my above point. It is impossible to prove that any other message wouldn't have the same persuasive value so I guess we're all here just blowing smoke to no purpose. hmmm.gif


This post has been edited by Dingo: Apr 30 2006, 03:06 AM
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Ted
post May 1 2006, 01:05 PM
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QUOTE
Kuni
There have been fewer reports of al-Qa’ida receiving conventional terrorist training from Iraq after Bin Laden relocated to Afghanistan in 1996, possibly because Bin Ladin’s needs were less in this area. [BLACKED OUT]

Some of the most ominous suggestions of possible Iraqi-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Ladin’s CBW ambitions. Although Iraq historically has guarded closely its strategic weapons information, experts, and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support to al-Qa’ida. [BLACKED OUT]

I guess I don’t see how you conclude Iraq was no threat or was not involved with terrorists based on the above. “fewer” is not 0. How many CBW attack would you tolerate in the US?

And over and above all of this is the simple fact that the intel of 1998-2003 still pegged Iraq as having massive amounts of WMD. FORGET what Bush said and READ the intel. Read the testimony of Butler, Blix and even Ritter (1998 testimony before Congress).

The intel clearly showed Iraq as a threat to the US and our interests.
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Vladimir
post May 2 2006, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 1 2006, 01:05 PM)
QUOTE
Kuni
There have been fewer reports of al-Qa’ida receiving conventional terrorist training from Iraq after Bin Laden relocated to Afghanistan in 1996, possibly because Bin Ladin’s needs were less in this area. [BLACKED OUT]

Some of the most ominous suggestions of possible Iraqi-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Ladin’s CBW ambitions. Although Iraq historically has guarded closely its strategic weapons information, experts, and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support to al-Qa’ida. [BLACKED OUT]

I guess I don’t see how you conclude Iraq was no threat or was not involved with terrorists based on the above. “fewer” is not 0. How many CBW attack would you tolerate in the US?

And over and above all of this is the simple fact that the intel of 1998-2003 still pegged Iraq as having massive amounts of WMD. FORGET what Bush said and READ the intel. Read the testimony of Butler, Blix and even Ritter (1998 testimony before Congress).

The intel clearly showed Iraq as a threat to the US and our interests.
*



It really is a matter of degree. I am sure that almost every government in the world is "involved with" terrorists ways similar to the Iraqi regime's "involvement" with Al Qaeda. And for that matter, it is highly likely that the governments of some of our allies in the middle East are thus "involved with" Bin Laden's forces. This does not necessarily warrant war.

Secondly, it really is preposterous to spin theories out of the many muddled and contradictory reports that came out of Iraq in the years and months leading up to the war. The big picture has already been painted by intelligence specialists far more capable of evaluating this kind of information than anyone on this thread, and that is, Iraq was not substantially involved with al Qaeda. That, I would point out, only makes sense in view of the particular aims of the Ba'athist regime, by far the most important of which was to keep control of Iraq.

So we have, on the one hand, the more or less unanimous view of top-level intelligence analysts and a growing national consensus; we have on the other, torturous interpretations of confusing and uncertain sources by a few right wing ideologues bent on retroactive justification of the invasion of Iraq. Not being an expert oneself, one is nevertheless forced to conclude that the conjectured Iraqi-al Qaeda alliance is but one example the bizarre conspiracy theories that capture the imaginations of some people these days. We might as well debate whether Castro killed Kennedy as continue to hash this over.

Good grief, is anyone actually maintaining that Iraq was obtaining enriched uranium from Niger? And doesn't the Administration's willingness to tell that big lie suggest that they were willing to lie on this point, also?
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Hobbes
post May 2 2006, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Apr 29 2006, 09:22 AM)
Given this, debating this subject with Hobbes is a complete waste of time because not only was Bush not mislead by intelligence, he knew all along the illegal act of regime change in the absence of self defense was the plan all along.

His argument is completely devoid of common sense and why I stopped my portion of the debate. But watch what is said when a democrat is elected president and has a policy of invading countries that haven't attacked us, leaks classified info for political purposes, and allows the administration staff to assume any CIA agent that drives to Langley isn't a NOC and thus, "fair game".

Bush could pull out a gun, yell 9/11, and put a bullet in Cindy Sheehan's head, and some of these Bush apologists would be there to defend him. In my opinion, this thread is evidence of that.
*



My, my, my....the leaps of logic which liberals go to constantly amazes me. We could have all sorts of valid reasons for being in Iraq, but Bush critics will be there to deny them, and seek out any excuse to avoid debating them. Perhaps that's because they're worried they might actually be wrong? But, never mind, no one cares, they'd rather avoid the debate, thereby increasing the chances of the issue being repeated. And, to top it all off, to then have the temerity of accusing the other of being completely devoid of common sense? Baffling.....especially considering that I have repeatedly asked for, and repeatedly received no response, of ANY war, ANY time, from ANY country, from ANY administration in which full disclosure to the public was given regarding the reasons for the war prior to engaging in it. I think that absence speaks volumes about who's argument is lacking common sense, and, as you state, this thread is strong evidence of that.

Speaking of common sense, doesn't it strike anyone else here as a bit odd that Bush is simultaneously being accused of lying while also using his statements as the only evidence of what the reasons for going to war were? Either his statements are lies, or they are not, using your definition of lies. So, either stop using them to support further arguments, or stop accusing the administration of lying. You can't have it both ways...doing so would be, well, completely devoid of common sense.

While we're discussing unanswered questions, I had asked:

QUOTE
DR, are you really stating that you truly believe that statements from a press secretary should be considered the full and unabridged story on a subject?


Which naturally went unaswered. Typical response, avoid the question, but throw out unsubstantiated innuendo...how very, well, liberal. I repeat that there are those out there who might actually believe that statements issued by politicians constitute the full and unabridged story on any issue...quite frankly, though, such a view is naive in the extreme, and leaves little room for debating any actual issues. This is probably particularly true in the ultimate issue of going to war, which is why I reiterate the question above regarding past history. Any here who do feel the political mill yields the true and unabridged story of the issue (any issue, really), please continue on. As I stated, clearly the nuances of foreign policy are beyond this group. Those who care to dabble in reality, however, might consider tackling the problem from a far more constructive framework.



This post has been edited by Hobbes: May 2 2006, 10:12 PM
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moif
post May 2 2006, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Apr 29 2006, 09:50 PM)
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Apr 29 2006, 09:22 AM)
And never mind I can't find one shred of evidence that Bush told the country we were going to war whether or not Saddam had WMD because of course, that would be a crime.
*

Point of information: Even if Hussein did have WMD, it would still be a crime. Wars of aggression are criminal - and the mere possession of WMD does not automatically consitute a threat that demands offensive action.
*



This is an odd turn of logic that defies my best attempts to reconcile it with my otherwise easy to understand perception of you Wertz. Are you actually in favour of arming your society? After all, guns don't kill people, right? People do.

If a tyrant with a WMD is not a threat then what is? Would you care to live beside a known bully, safe in the knowledge that he owned a machine gun?

What good is a law that can't protect you? What possible difference does it make to a victim, dead, that the criminal, may, or may not face charges after the fact? When confronted with a credible threat, it is surely the best course of action to remove the threat. Even if it means breaking the law.

If wars of aggression are a crime, then the history of the human race dictates that all societies yet created by humanity are criminal for there are precious few nations on this planet which were not founded through warfare and invasion.

If we argue that the past should not dictate the present, then we must, as the human race, draw a line in the sand and say from this point forth no further nations may be created, save by democratic means. If that, ever so unlikely event were to happen, then just imagine what it would mean. People's like the Basque, the Kurds and the Palestinians would lose their claims to fight for statehood, whilst nations like Spain, Turkey and Israel would inevitably lose territory once their minorities began the process of democratic devalution. That might sound like a democratic paradise to some who despise the world for what it is, but in truth it would never work. It is a dystopian nightmare where established nations would be subject to the subversive elements of ethnic minorities and war would be the natural outcome.

Warfare as we've known it will always be with us. One way or another, groups of people will use what ever means they can to dominate others and what your refering to as 'criminal' is nothing so much as the human condition.

With regards to the current question at hand, GW Bush was most probably not misled by the intelligence. I doubt he even bothered to read it. He most likely based his decisions on the advice of those who surround him, coupled with a personal need to deal with Saddam Hussein.

And why should we spend so much time lamenting that? The job is done and there is nothing can be done by whining about it now. So what if the intel was cooked? Either impeach your President (not you personally Wertz) or support him until the next election.

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Cube Jockey
post May 2 2006, 11:55 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 2 2006, 03:01 PM)
My, my, my....the leaps of logic which liberals go to constantly amazes me.
*


Hobbes I think you must have missed the fact that it was DaytonRocker that made these statements - you know with the moderate and republican tags next to his name?

The real problem is exactly summed up by this sentence. You hear something that conflicts with your world view and you tune it out and blame it on "liberals". I could turn almost everything you just wrote in your post back on you. The funny part about this is that it wasn't a liberal that said this, not by any stretch of the imagination. I am liberal and I can assure you DR and I disagree on more than a few issues.

You have been stepping all over yourself this entire debate. You keep saying there were multiple reasons to go to war and we are all missing the point yet you haven't ever stopped to illuminate us and tell us what these reasons were.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
We could have all sorts of valid reasons for being in Iraq

Really? Then what are they Hobbes? Name three and let's discuss "valid".

There is a reason that the President now has a 32 percent approval rating and his numbers amongst Republicans are dropping every month and you are looking at it with DaytonRocker. He's clearly republican on almost every other issue. On this issue the layer of lies is so thick that all but the most devoted have a hard time believing them and still looking at their faces in the mirror each day.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
Speaking of common sense, doesn't it strike anyone else here as a bit odd that Bush is simultaneously being accused of lying while also using his statements as the only evidence of what the reasons for going to war were?

What? It's pretty simple Hobbes, let me break it down for you.

Bush and his administration repeatedly stated to the American public and to the UN the reasons for going to war. This wasn't once or twice in a speech here and there it was every communication for months. Along with those reasons he revealed some proof that supported them.

We later discovered that proof was bogus and the situation was completely different. Further we later discovered that many parts of his own government completely disagreed with him, including organizations he said supported his reasons.

People aren't suggesting he lied about the reasons we went to war (except maybe you because you keep suggesting there were "other reasons" that you haven't shared with us) they are saying that he lied to support those reasons.

I really don't see what is so hard to comprehend there.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
Which naturally went unaswered. Typical response, avoid the question, but throw out unsubstantiated innuendo...how very, well, liberal. I repeat that there are those out there who might actually believe that statements issued by politicians constitute the full and unabridged story on any issue...quite frankly, though, such a view is naive in the extreme, and leaves little room for debating any actual issues.

Once again slandering liberals. Might that mean that you don't have a decent argument so you have to resort to that? Oh and then there is the fact that DaytonRocker is not liberal.

So on to your question... I say what does it matter. Of course what the press secretary says is only one version of the story, but it is an important version of the story. It is the version of the story the White House wants to tell the American public. When we find out that is all based on lies then that means that the President lied to the American people. Pretty simple Hobbes.

Some people thought that the President lying about getting oral sex from an intern was a bad thing, I'd say that lying the American people into supporting a war that has killed tens of thousands is infinitely worse.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
As I stated, clearly the nuances of foreign policy are beyond this group. Those who care to dabble in reality, however, might consider tackling the problem from a far more constructive framework.

Gee Hobbes, I sure hope you aren't calling all of us stupid, equating us to the kids at the Thanksgiving table - because that would be against the rules you know.

I have an idea, why don't you start a topic on that subject so we can all be enlightened as to this "more constructive framework" and do our best to stay in it. It may be beyond us but we'll sure try.
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Hobbes
post May 3 2006, 12:53 AM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ May 2 2006, 06:55 PM)
You have been stepping all over yourself this entire debate.  You keep saying there were multiple reasons to go to war and we are all missing the point yet you haven't ever stopped to illuminate us and tell us what these reasons were.


That is because that was done, ad nausem, on multiple threads previously.

QUOTE
There is a reason that the President now has a 32 percent approval rating and his numbers amongst Republicans are dropping every month and you are looking at it with DaytonRocker.  He's clearly republican on almost every other issue.  On this issue the layer of lies is so thick that all but the most devoted have a hard time believing them and still looking at their faces in the mirror each day.


Yes, this is indeed a symptom of the message. However, that is a separate discussion from one involving any of the actual reasons for going to war.

QUOTE
QUOTE(Hobbes)
Speaking of common sense, doesn't it strike anyone else here as a bit odd that Bush is simultaneously being accused of lying while also using his statements as the only evidence of what the reasons for going to war were?

What? It's pretty simple Hobbes, let me break it down for you.

People aren't suggesting he lied about the reasons we went to war (except maybe you because you keep suggesting there were "other reasons" that you haven't shared with us) they are saying that he lied to support those reasons.


Then they're not paying attention, as this has been documented.

QUOTE
So on to your question... I say what does it matter.  Of course what the press secretary says is only one version of the story, but it is an important version of the story.  It is the version of the story the White House wants to tell the American public.  When we find out that is all based on lies then that means that the President lied to the American people.  Pretty simple Hobbes.


Again, this is discussing the message, as opposed to the decision. The discussion on whether or not these constitute 'lies' has also been addressed ad nauseum. However, that discussion is also focused on the message as opposed to the decision. Am I the only one here concerned with why we might actually have gone to war? Apparently so, in which case, by all means, simply carry on. It strikes me, though, as something most of us should be interested in.

QUOTE
QUOTE(Hobbes)
As I stated, clearly the nuances of foreign policy are beyond this group. Those who care to dabble in reality, however, might consider tackling the problem from a far more constructive framework.

Gee Hobbes, I sure hope you aren't calling all of us stupid, equating us to the kids at the Thanksgiving table - because that would be against the rules you know.


No, I am trying to point out that in the world of politics, and especially in the world of foreign relations, and most especially in foreign relations in an area with as many complex intertwined issues as the Middle East, statements are made all the time which are designed to achieve policy goals. Taking any of them at face value without trying to determine the motivations and desired end goal is indeed foolish. Is there really a disagreement on this?

As for calling anyone anything, note that my statement asks a question, and gives any responder the chance to include themselves in that group or not. Its intent was merely to point out the fallacy of taking political statements as the 'be all and end all' defintions of complex policy decisions, when all of human history points to the fallacy of that viewpoint.

QUOTE
I have an idea, why don't you start a topic on that subject so we can all be enlightened as to this "more constructive framework" and do our best to stay in it.  It may be beyond us but we'll sure try.


If you look at the title, this thread is on that subject. All that I'm trying to do is point out that it appears that it is missing what I would think would be the major issues relating to it, focusing exclusively on the message as opposed to the decision. How can we know if Bush was misled by the Intelligence without discussing what the intelligence really was, how it was used, what decisions were made, why they were made, what the alternatives were, etc? Focusing on the message put forth as a result of those decisions bypasses the entire issue, IMHO. But the only response I get to pointing this out is that it is void of all common sense, when in fact both common sense and all of human history would indicate that my point is quite valid.

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Cube Jockey
post May 3 2006, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 2 2006, 05:53 PM)
If you look at the title, this thread is on that subject.  All that I'm trying to do is point out that it appears that it is missing what I would think would be the major issues relating to it, focusing exclusively on the message as opposed to the decision.  How can we know if Bush was misled by the Intelligence without discussing what the intelligence was, how it was used, what decisions were made, and why they were made?  Focusing on the message put forth as a result of those decisions bypasses the entire issue, IMHO.
*


I think the answer to this question given the facts presented here can be pretty well summed up by saying that Bush wasn't misled by the intelligence, he took the parts of the intelligence that supported his policy and misled the American people.

And I'm not talking about a lone voice of dissent amongst the intelligence agencies, I'm talking about at least half of them saying these claims were bogus, that has all been presented thus far and has been confirmed at the highest levels by senior people in MI-6 and by the CIA head honcho in Europe. I'm talking about this very administration contradicting itself not two years before the war.

Furthermore, whether you like it or not the "message" is related to the intellligence debate because the people delivering the message were claiming things that simply weren't true - these things were according to the people that said them - based on the intelligence. Before a lot of the information we have today came out the only solid position you could hold is that our intelligence agencies simply got it wrong and Bush was making decisions based on what information he had. Now that we have the benefit of more information it comes back to what I said above and of course the famous quote from the Downing Street Memo - "the facts were being fixed around the policy." In other words he knew exactly what he was doing and it was deliberate.

Now what this debate isn't about Hobbes, is whether we are better off today without Hussein, whether pre-emptive attacks are a valid foreign policy, etc. If you are pleading with us to discuss that there are other active topics or you can always start your own.
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Hobbes
post May 3 2006, 07:01 AM
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QUOTE
Now what this debate isn't about Hobbes, is whether we are better off today without Hussein, whether pre-emptive attacks are a valid foreign policy, etc. If you are pleading with us to discuss that there are other active topics or you can always start your own.


Nor am I trying to debate those topics, unless such matters entered into the decision made in a significant way.

QUOTE
I think the answer to this question given the facts presented here can be pretty well summed up by saying that Bush wasn't misled by the intelligence, he took the parts of the intelligence that supported his policy and misled the American people.


Without knowing exactly how and why the decision is made, it is difficult to make inferences on whether any particular piece of intelligence was given due weight, or not. It is almost always the case that those whose intelligence or input seems to have been disregarded would claim that theirs wasn't given sufficient value. Sometimes such claims are valid, other times they're not.

QUOTE
Before a lot of the information we have today came out the only solid position you could hold is that our intelligence agencies simply got it wrong and Bush was making decisions based on what information he had. Now that we have the benefit of more information it comes back to what I said above and of course the famous quote from the Downing Street Memo - "the facts were being fixed around the policy." In other words he knew exactly what he was doing and it was deliberate.


Again, without knowing more about the decision itself, it's difficult to draw such inferences. For example, there is another initial position...that there were a variety of factors involved, and that the intelligence or lack thereof on, for example, WMD, might have only played a minor role in the decision, thereby rendering counter opinions on that intelligence somewhat insignificant. Or, maybe more to the point...if they were fixed around the policy...why was that policy arrived at? Although there's plenty of speculation on that particular question, I don't think any of us knows.

If it's of any value, personally I think that much of the intelligence countering the WMD claims did come after the decision had likely been made. I don't think it was disregarded, but that it was simply not sufficient to change the decision, as that decision was based on other factors as well which were still valid, and also due to the fact that that path, once proceeded down, is difficult to reverse without other negative implications.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 3 2006, 11:15 AM
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Was Bush misled by the intelligence?

Yes and no. Collecting intelligence inside any authoritarian regime is not easy, and Saddam’s was one of the most secretive in the world at the time. The only reason Unmovic was even let into Iraq for the first time in its (at the time) three-year existence was because of Anglo-American threats of regime change and the military build-up in Kuwait, which continued to report pretty much up to the last minute that Iraq was still not complying fully with the pile of UNSC resolutions by which it had already agreed to. So, there was a basis to believe that Saddam was hording weapons because he had a history of severe obfuscation, and weapons collection. It was up to the president to make that call, and he did so (IMO) because he believed it was in our security interest. It seems that Congress agreed with him as well, in spite of the fact that many are crying crocodile tears now.

And of course, UNSC resolution 1441 passed unanimously. The resolution stating that Iraq had failed to comply with the stack of resolutions requiring it to demonstrate that it had divested itself of WMD, stockpiles, delivery systems and development progams, and that it had one last chance to co-operate "immediately, unconditionally and actively" with Unmovic and IAEA or be confronted with "serious consequences." And I really don't think anyone believed that "serious consequences" meant more scientists in white coats coming in for still more inspections.

Everything is of course crystal clear with hindsight 20/20. Hindsight 20/20 indicates that Bush should have disregarded much of the reams of intelligence on Iraq but paid meticulous attention to a paragraph in one of his morning security briefings regarding Osama bin Laden one morning in 2001. No weapons were found. The fact that they were prepared for and searched for exhaustively would indicate that they were expected. The fact that Resolution 1441 passed unanymously would indicate the same. The history and pattern of collecting them and obfuscating inspectors would indicte the same. Remember that after the first Gulf war, when the inspectors went into Iraq, they discovered an extensive and sophisticated nuclear program that had not been declared to the IAEA, though they made inspections, it had been developed right under their nose. Saddam was about 6 months away from having a nuclear weapon. The outcome of his invasion might have been significantly different if he had just waited those few short months to start trying to take over the middle east. ph34r.gif

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Cube Jockey
post May 3 2006, 05:47 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 3 2006, 12:01 AM)
QUOTE
I think the answer to this question given the facts presented here can be pretty well summed up by saying that Bush wasn't misled by the intelligence, he took the parts of the intelligence that supported his policy and misled the American people.


Without knowing exactly how and why the decision is made, it is difficult to make inferences on whether any particular piece of intelligence was given due weight, or not. It is almost always the case that those whose intelligence or input seems to have been disregarded would claim that theirs wasn't given sufficient value. Sometimes such claims are valid, other times they're not.
*


Ok I think I'm about done with this game wacko.gif

You are essentially asking us to debate the reasons why the decision was made yet just a few sentences earlier you said you don't want to talk about things like whether we are better off without Hussein and the concept of pre-emptive strikes. So essentially you are asking us to read Bush's mind which is clearly impossible.

The reports are here in this thread Hobbes, as much of the information as the public will probably ever see anyway, and they clearly state that this was not a "slam dunk" nor were even a majority of the intelligence outlets convinced that Hussein was a threat. We have statements from people who were in the thick of this saying that "the facts were being fixed around the policy."

What that means is that for whatever reason Bush wanted to invade Iraq and he was just looking for an excuse to do so. That means he wasn't misled by the intelligence, it means he used the intelligence to mislead people.

Furthermore, the message communicated to the American public and to the UN was that Iraq was a threat due to WMD. This was clearly false and much of the intelligence showed this, ergo Bush lied to the American people as well.
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Dingo
post May 4 2006, 03:52 AM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ May 3 2006, 04:15 AM)
Was Bush misled by the intelligence?

Yes and no. Collecting intelligence inside any authoritarian regime is not easy, and Saddam’s was one of the most secretive in the world at the time. The only reason Unmovic was even let into Iraq for the first time in its (at the time) three-year existence was because of Anglo-American threats of regime change and the military build-up in Kuwait, which continued to report pretty much up to the last minute that Iraq was still not complying fully with the pile of UNSC resolutions by which it had already agreed to. So, there was a basis to believe that Saddam was hording weapons because he had a history of severe obfuscation, and weapons collection. It was up to the president to make that call, and he did so (IMO) because he believed it was in our security interest. It seems that Congress agreed with him as well, in spite of the fact that many are crying crocodile tears now.

Just a note, according to Scott Ritter the reason inspections broke down in 1998 was because our intelligence was using inspectors to supply bombing targets for the US air force. As far as Saddam not living up to UN resolutions that is hardly justification for an invasion. If it were we would have invaded Israel long ago. The important point is that Blix had a free hand in being able to Inspect Iraq for WMDs and had overflights and human intelligence to point to possible places of hiding for the inspectors. As far as the congress caving on giving him war powers a lot of democrats opposed that bill including a majority of democrats in the House. Many who voted for it felt they had been misled in their understanding of the provisions that would trigger an invasion and certainly there was later evidence that key intelligence had been withheld.

QUOTE
Everything is of course crystal clear with hindsight 20/20. Hindsight 20/20 indicates that Bush should have disregarded much of the reams of intelligence on Iraq but paid meticulous attention to a paragraph in one of his morning security briefings regarding Osama bin Laden one morning in 2001. No weapons were found. The fact that they were prepared for and searched for exhaustively would indicate that they were expected.

Hindsight wasn't needed. Foresight would have told him curveball, the aluminum tubing and other bogus intelligence that he seized on were of no value. A little objectivity would have gone a long way. Instead the intelligence was "fixed" to pursue a preexisting invasion agenda. That seems pretty clear at this point. We now have a former CIA agent saying he received information from the Iraqi Foreign Minister that there was no on going WMD program and being told by a representative of the BA that WMDs were no longer the issue. Regime change was.

We have reports from very early in this administration (O'neill, Clarke) that the removal of Saddam was the focus and yet admissions from both Powell and Rice that Hussein was not a present threat to the US. 911 seems to have thrown the "get Saddam" engine into high gear and he was going to be out of there WMDs or no WMDs, terrorist cooperation or no terrorist cooperation. As to dividing up the pie of reasons my guess is probably not much better than anyone elses. I would guess principally PNAC, a need for ports in that strategic region, direct access to oil resources and no doubt we had some unfinished business from Gulf 1 along with a lot of misplaced irrational fears engendered by 911.

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Wertz
post May 4 2006, 06:51 AM
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QUOTE(moif @ May 2 2006, 06:54 PM)
QUOTE(Wertz @ Apr 29 2006, 09:50 PM)
Point of information: Even if Hussein did have WMD, it would still be a crime. Wars of aggression are criminal - and the mere possession of WMD does not automatically consitute a threat that demands offensive action.
*


This is an odd turn of logic that defies my best attempts to reconcile it with my otherwise easy to understand perception of you Wertz. Are you actually in favour of arming your society? After all, guns don't kill people, right? People do.

In fact, I am in favor of the right to bear arms and have previously argued that the Second Amendment should itself be amended to make the individual right to bear arms explicit.

QUOTE(moif @ May 2 2006, 06:54 PM)
If a tyrant with a WMD is not a threat then what is? Would you care to live beside a known bully, safe in the knowledge that he owned a machine gun?

Ideally, no. But if I did happen to live beside a known bully that owned a machine gun, I would not consider it my inherent right to march next door and preemptively blow his or her brains out. Apparently, you would - and the Bush administration obviously does. Though, I hasten to add, the bully in this case didn't have a machine gun. It doesn't look like he even had a squirt gun. And I'm fairly certain that we knew it. That's what this thread is about.

QUOTE(moif @ May 2 2006, 06:54 PM)
What good is a law that can't protect you? What possible difference does it make to a victim, dead, that the criminal, may, or may not face charges after the fact? When confronted with a credible threat, it is surely the best course of action to remove the threat. Even if it means breaking the law.

There was never substantial evidence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat. There wasn't even substantial intelligence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat. ("This is the best that we've got?") Three years after the invasion, there is still no substantial evidence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat - and overwhelming evidence that he was not.

QUOTE(moif @ May 2 2006, 06:54 PM)
If wars of aggression are a crime, then the history of the human race dictates that all societies yet created by humanity are criminal for there are precious few nations on this planet which were not founded through warfare and invasion.
*

I'm not discussing human nature here, I'm citing international law. There's no "if" about wars of aggression being criminal. Wars of aggression are criminal. Never mind the charges of torture and suborning torture through rendition, a war of aggression is itself a criminal act as defined by the UN War Crimes Tribunal. It is also a violation of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, of the Constitution of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg, and of the UN Charter. Invading Iraq specifically is a violation of Security Council Resolutions 687 and 1441. I'm not describing wars of aggression as crimes on some moral or theoretical basis, I am accurately defining them as crimes on a legal basis.

You can argue territorial imperatives, historical inevitability, and the human condition until you're blue in the face. Some of us believe that humankind can aim higher. Some of us believe that this is the reason we make laws. I could as easily argue that murder, rape, and child molestation will always be with us as you do that warfare will always be with us. Should we assume that the only course of action is to abandon law altogether and dismiss the rape and murder of a child as part of "the human condition"? Not in my world, moif - and it defies my best attempts to reconcile it with my otherwise easy to understand perception of you.

QUOTE(moif @ May 2 2006, 06:54 PM)
With regards to the current question at hand, GW Bush was most probably not misled by the intelligence. I doubt he even bothered to read it. He most likely based his decisions on the advice of those who surround him, coupled with a personal need to deal with Saddam Hussein.
*

You are no doubt right. This means, of course, that the US didn't even rape and murder that child because we thought it was a threat, but simply because we wanted to. That's what you think we should "support until the next election"? No, thanks.

Waging aggressive warfare may be the human condition, but letting that happen - with or without cooked intelligence - is the human tragedy.


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Hobbes
post May 4 2006, 07:21 AM
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QUOTE
You are essentially asking us to debate the reasons why the decision was made yet just a few sentences earlier you said you don't want to talk about things like whether we are better off without Hussein and the concept of pre-emptive strikes. So essentially you are asking us to read Bush's mind which is clearly impossible.


No, if you recall, I said...

QUOTE(Hobbes)
Nor am I trying to debate those topics, unless such matters entered into the decision made in a significant way.


Interestingly, you had stated previously....

QUOTE
Now what this debate isn't about Hobbes, is whether we are better off today without Hussein, whether pre-emptive attacks are a valid foreign policy, etc. If you are pleading with us to discuss that there are other active topics or you can always start your own.


I'm curious, exactly why would those issues be off the table, if they were indeed (as they certainly were) related to the decision to go to war? You can't answer the question of this debate, namely Was Bush Misled by the Intelligence?, without examing ALL of the intelligence, on ALL of the factors leading up to the decision. Restricting this to one aspect, then, would be refusing to allow any input that might contradict with a certain, preconceived notion. Wasn't this pretty much what I had been accused of here?:

QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Might that mean that you don't have a decent argument so you have to resort to that?


So, what this all boils down, which is also what I have been trying to point out since before the war even started, is that the decision to invade Iraq almost certainly involved a variety of factors. Pointing out flaws in one of them and then drawing any definitive conclusions about the decision simply isn't logically possible. If anyone wants to know whether or not Bush was misled by the intelligence, the only possible way to evaluate that is to look at all the intelligence on all the aspects that entered into that decision. Without that, one can't answer the question: Were there good reasons not to change the decision, given any of the intelligence on WMD indicated in this thread? If one can't answer that, then one can't answer whether or not Bush was misled by the intelligence.

To draw an example, if factors w, x, y, and z were used to arrive at a decision, and somewhere down the line, information indicating that perhaps factor w wasn't as strong a factor as initially thought, does that mean the decision should be changed? How can that be answered without knowing what x, y, and z were, how strong of a factor they were in the decision, and how strong the evidence on them was? The answer is, it can't. Claiming that it could would be, well, being misled by the intelligence.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 4 2006, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ May 3 2006, 11:52 PM)
Hindsight wasn't needed. Foresight would have told him curveball, the aluminum tubing and other bogus intelligence that he seized on were of no value. A little objectivity would have gone a long way. Instead the intelligence was "fixed" to pursue a preexisting invasion agenda. That seems pretty clear at this point. We now have a former CIA agent saying he received information from the Iraqi Foreign Minister that there was no on going WMD program and being told by a representative of the BA that WMDs were no longer the issue. Regime change was.


Curveball, aluminum tubing and Nigerian yellow cake were far from the only pieces of intelligence. This is a common bromide, and an erroneous one. Repeat it three times and it's true! The analysis of prewar intelligence alone is over 200 pages long. If you look at the chronologies attached in the link I supplied earlier, you will see a list of sanctioned procurements during this time.

There seems to be some egregious and irreconcilable collective amnesia on this issue. Saddam had been considered a threat for over a decade. After 911, no politician wanted to appear “soft”, to included Congress which gave Bush approval to the invasion.

Anti-aircraft SAMs had gained technological accuracy through imports during a time in which Saddam was under strict sanction. One could conclude from this that Saddam decided to put all of his energy and funds into anti-aircraft SAM technology rather than WMD. But, then, he built new palaces too during this time. So, one would have to conclude that Saddam placed all of his energy and funds into palaces and anti-aircraft technology, but not WMD, though no inspectors had set a foot into Iraq for years, and though he had made use of WMD in the past and had a history of surreptitious development of such weapons.

Now, would I have made the same decision? Probably not. But, I wouldn't have had us patrolling no fly zones over Iraq for ten years either, nor would I have agreed with a host of other military policies. That doesn't mean I think the former president was lying about the perceived threat, or "fixing" intelligence. And I am certain there were conflicting intelligence reports during that time as well, as the intel under such conditions is very hard to gather. It's a judgement call, like I said before.

QUOTE
We have reports from very early in this administration (O'neill, Clarke) that the removal of Saddam was the focus and yet admissions from both Powell and Rice that Hussein was not a present threat to the US. 911 seems to have thrown the "get Saddam" engine into high gear and he was going to be out of there WMDs or no WMDs, terrorist cooperation or no terrorist cooperation. As to dividing up the pie of reasons my guess is probably not much better than anyone elses. I would guess principally PNAC, a need for ports in that strategic region, direct access to oil resources and no doubt we had some unfinished business from Gulf 1 along with a lot of misplaced irrational fears engendered by 911.
*



Powell and Rice are taken out of context (can you provide a quote AND original source to back this?). I did find something Powell said in February 2001 :
QUOTE
SECRETARY POWELL: The message I plan to give all the leaders I speak to and to the Arab public is that the cause of this problem that we have is in Baghdad. It is Saddam Hussein who refuses to abandon his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations has an obligation and, as part of the United Nations, the United States has an obligation to do everything we can to cause him to come into compliance with the agreements he made at the end of the Gulf War. He threatens not the United States. He threatens this region. He threatens Arab people. He threatens the children of Egypt, the children of Saudi Arabia, the children of Kuwait with these weapons. He has used them before, so I think we all have a solemn obligation to keep him in check.
As part of that obligation, the United States and the United Kingdom patrol over the no-fly zone. We do so to protect the people within those no-fly zones and, from time to time, Iraq has challenged our presence; and when they do challenge our presence, we have to respond in order to protect our pilots who are protecting the people who live within those zones.


It doesn't sound like he thinks Saddam doesn't have WMD, and it certainly doesn't sound like he doesn't view Saddam to be a threat. Now, taken completely out of context he says Saddam doesn't threaten the US, true. Need I supply the Carter quote that has been American policy since the 1970s? Threats to the Gulf are considered threats to the US.

Remember that when this speech (as well as others quoted out of context) was given, in early 2001, there was a push to end sanctions. It was Powell's job to push for sanctions and explain that they were working. If there were a push to cut police forces down in California, and the chief of police made a press statement saying that the police were necessary and doing their jobs, would this mean he is a liar if there is any crime on the streets?

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Ted
post May 4 2006, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE
Vladimir
It really is a matter of degree. I am sure that almost every government in the world is "involved with" terrorists ways similar to the Iraqi regime's "involvement" with Al Qaeda. And for that matter, it is highly likely that the governments of some of our allies in the middle East are thus "involved with" Bin Laden's forces. This does not necessarily warrant war.

Secondly, it really is preposterous to spin theories out of the many muddled and contradictory reports that came out of Iraq in the years and months leading up to the war.


Again there is evidence Iraq had connections with terrorists including AQ. IMO he hated the US enough to support anyone who hated us as well – the well known “Enemy of my Enemy ……. Theory holds here in spades.

I have no clue what you mean by “muddled reports” out of Iraq before the war. I have posted the sworn testimony of UN inspectors. If you disagree please say WHY they were all wrong. And since Iraq admitted to most of what was alleged I fail to see how you conclude this was “muddled”. 12,000 pages details their WMD programs. EVERY single inspector in Iraq up to 2003 said they retained massive stockpiles of WMD so if you have new data please post it here. Tell us what for example the statement below by Butler, who headed the group that uncovered most of Iraq’s WMD program was wrong. CLEARLY in 2003 this was the intel that indicated that Iraq, under UN sanction for over 10 years and having developed and used WMD as well as invading a neighbor was a danger to the US, or interests, and the region.

As Butler said in 1998:

Iraq's record on biological weapons is "pathetic," Butler said. "For
four and a half years Iraq flatly denied having any. When we
confronted them with compelling evidence to the contrary they then
admitted that they had a program, but sought to minimize its nature
and extent."

"The fact is that Iraq created a quantity and quality of weapons of
mass destruction that, when one thinks of the size of the industrial
base, etc., was virtually unique, breathtaking in its scope and its
danger to its region and population beyond," Butler said.


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post May 4 2006, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz)
In fact, I am in favor of the right to bear arms and have previously argued that the Second Amendment should itself be amended to make the individual right to bear arms explicit.
Fair enough.


QUOTE(Wertz)
Ideally, no. But if I did happen to live beside a known bully that owned a machine gun, I would not consider it my inherent right to march next door and preemptively blow his or her brains out. Apparently, you would - and the Bush administration obviously does. Though, I hasten to add, the bully in this case didn't have a machine gun. It doesn't look like he even had a squirt gun. And I'm fairly certain that we knew it. That's what this thread is about.
Indeed it is, and as yet no one here has managed to point to anything conclusive in this regard.

In point of fact, whilst there is no evidence to prove Saddam Hussein had WMD's neither is there evidence to prove he didn't. What there is however is plenty of circumstantial evidence that Iraq moved its most deadly weapons, weapons which were never accounted for, to Syria prior to the attack. Usually this observation is countered with the question; "If Saddam had WMD's, then why didn't he use them on US troops?"

The obvious answer is, because he would not gain anything from doing that. His WMD's were never intended for use against the USA. They were to defend him against his regional enemies. By not using his WMD's Saddam Hussein was playing his last card and his continued survival to date demonstrates how cool his game really is.

You can tell me he didn't have WMD's until you are blue in the face, but you can't tell me that based on any evidence. Only on a lack of evidence which to you is apparently enough. For me, when dealing with a man like Hussein, I require more than just a lack of evidence because I've been watching him kill innocent people for as long as I can remember.

Remember Halabja? Weighing Saddam Hussein's carreer against the lack of evidence tips the balance against Saddam Hussein. Whether or not he had WMD's at the moment of inspection means nothing. It only means nothing was found at that point in time.

The same is now true for Iran and GW Bush must make a new decision with regards to that country's nuclear ambitions. Does Iran intend to build nuclear weapons?
Of course it does... but we can't prove that.

Does this lack of proof mean we shouldn't act? Why? What is more important? Our survival, or international laws our enemies do not even follow?

Was GW Bush misled by the intelligence? No he wasn't. But he was compelled to act to get rid of the threat Saddam Hussein would continue to pose for every single day he remained in power. In order to do that I believe GW Bush chose what to believe.

Like you I was appalled by that but since then I've come to realise that he had no other choice if the world was to be rid of Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed... indeed, still poses and will continue to pose for as long as he is still alive.


QUOTE(Wertz)
There was never substantial evidence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat.
Tell that to the people of Halabja. Tell them that International Law can protect them.

There is no substantial evidence that Iran poses a threat to Israel, or to Europe, or to the USA either. There's just a whole load of crazy people making threatening noises at us with the resources of an oil rich country behind them.

You have the right to defend yourself, but International Law forbids you to attack first, so how will you defend yourself? Its easy. Rule Nr 1 of the human race. You ignore the law and use the first and best excuse to kill them first!

Given the right motivation, I guarantee you would pull the trigger first because thats human nature.

If you feel bad about that, if the USA feels bad about that, then I suggest you all abdicate your position as global super power and leave the subsequent vacancy for the Chinese, the Iranians, and the Russians to fill.


QUOTE(Wertz)
There wasn't even substantial intelligence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat. ("This is the best that we've got?") Three years after the invasion, there is still no substantial evidence that Saddam Hussein was a credible threat - and overwhelming evidence that he was not.
If there is such overwhelming evidence that Saddam Hussein was not a threat, then I'd love to see it. As far as I am concerned, the man is still a threat.
To date, I've not seen anything to prove either argument, for or against, and my opinion is therefore based on Saddam Hussein's entire carreer and the simple observation that that career has almost been ended.


QUOTE(Wertz)
I'm not discussing human nature here, I'm citing international law. There's no "if" about wars of aggression being criminal. Wars of aggression are criminal. Never mind the charges of torture and suborning torture through rendition, a war of aggression is itself a criminal act as defined by the UN War Crimes Tribunal. It is also a violation of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, of the Constitution of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg, and of the UN Charter. Invading Iraq specifically is a violation of Security Council Resolutions 687 and 1441. I'm not describing wars of aggression as crimes on some moral or theoretical basis, I am accurately defining them as crimes on a legal basis.

You can argue territorial imperatives, historical inevitability, and the human condition until you're blue in the face. Some of us believe that humankind can aim higher. Some of us believe that this is the reason we make laws. I could as easily argue that murder, rape, and child molestation will always be with us as you do that warfare will always be with us. Should we assume that the only course of action is to abandon law altogether and dismiss the rape and murder of a child as part of "the human condition"? Not in my world, moif - and it defies my best attempts to reconcile it with my otherwise easy to understand perception of you.
So, all pre-emptive war, regardless of cause, context or circumstances is equal to raping a child?

Thats ridiculous. Thats like saying we can never defend ourselves until we are attacked. That we must sit and wait until a threat has been carried out before we react to it.
That I must sit and wait for the maniac with a machine gun to open fire before I retaliate.

I'll ask again, what good is the UN War Crimes Tribunal to us here and now? By its very nature it is a body designed to deal with the aftermath of warfare.

What good is Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions if our enemies don't honour it?

What good is the UN Charter if its decisions are easily circumvented by tyrants with oil money?

What good is the Security Council if it can't protect us?




QUOTE(Wertz)
You are no doubt right. This means, of course, that the US didn't even rape and murder that child because we thought it was a threat, but simply because we wanted to. That's what you think we should "support until the next election"? No, thanks.

Waging aggressive warfare may be the human condition, but letting that happen - with or without cooked intelligence - is the human tragedy.
And how are you going to stop it?

With the law? What law? How is the law going to stop a rogue nation from bringing a nuclear weapon into Denmark, or the USA? Do you know how easy it is to do that? People have been smuggling thousands of tons of drugs into the USA for decades already. No one inspects the multitude of trucks which enter Denmark. The EU did away with our border patrols. We are wide open to attack.

How many nuclear weapons do you think are already buried under privately owned houses in the major cities of the USA?

Is that paranoia? Am I wrong in thinking the best way to hit the USA is not by direct military attack but by sneaking WMD's through the back door. Osama Bin Laden has already given an advance warning that two major attacks on US soil are imminent!

Is there substantial evidence that Osama Bin Laden is a credible threat?


So...

There you are. You have a range of enemy's and options. What do you do? Do you play by the rules and get hit with WMD's? or do you abandon your principles and do what ever it takes to survive?

If your going to fight an enemy who doesn't play by the rules, then why follow them yourself? To do so is to handicap yourself.
Is it to prove to yourself that your the better person? If so, why do you need to prove that to yourself?

You say your in favour of bearing arms Wertz. May I ask you, whats the point if, when the need arises, your not prepared to fire first?

There is no such thing as international law when your dead.
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Trouble
post May 5 2006, 03:09 AM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
We later discovered that proof was bogus and the situation was completely different. Further we later discovered that many parts of his own government completely disagreed with him, including organizations he said supported his reasons.


You do realize this train of thought will repeat itself in a few weeks when the security council gets handed the referral from the IAEA?

Also note as the idea of pre-emtively striking becomes more accepted and mainstream we might see further uses (abuses?) of justification to warrant the means.

I think what makes Mr. Bush dangerous is that he knows he is on a finite timeframe to get this war going. Six months from now, we will be debating why George ignored John Negroponte's assessment and reframe the the same thread. Was Bush mislead once again? It is sad really. I think the evidence of premeditated intent is obvious enough. I feel our efforts would be best used to construct a war crimes case against the entire cabinet once they have left power.

This post has been edited by Trouble: May 5 2006, 03:10 AM
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Dingo
post May 5 2006, 09:12 AM
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With regard to Powell and Rice expressing confidence in Saddam's lack of danger to the US before 911 MPP asked this:
QUOTE
Powell and Rice are taken out of context (can you provide a quote AND original source to back this?


Powell Feb. 24, 2001
Powells Iraq remarks in Egypt
QUOTE
We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.


Comments from Rice and Powell about Iraq before 911
Rice July 29, 2001
QUOTE
But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."


And Powell from the same link in May 15 2001
QUOTE
Powell: The sanctions, as they are called, have succeeded over the last 10 years, not in deterring him from moving in that direction, but from actually being able to move in that direction. The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained. And even though we have no doubt in our mind that the Iraqi regime is pursuing programs to develop weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological, and nuclear—I think the best intelligence estimates suggest that they have not been terribly successful.


QUOTE
MPP. Curveball, aluminum tubing and Nigerian yellow cake were far from the only pieces of intelligence. This is a common bromide, and an erroneous one. Repeat it three times and it's true! The analysis of prewar intelligence alone is over 200 pages long. If you look at the chronologies attached in the link I supplied earlier, you will see a list of sanctioned procurements during this time.


I'm no longer willing to pour through long pdfs that people throw at me as an answer. If you have specific examples of evidence that was so credible and so suggestive of imminent danger that it warranted an invasion rather than a continuation of the on going inspections then I would be interested in seeing it. But only specifics examples, not broad sweeping sources. I'm not a professional academic. I don't think there are any examples and I think that leaves us with the strongly believable hypothesis that invasion was the pre-existing agenda, wmds or no wmds. I base this on:
1. People like O'neil and Clarke who gave testimony that a strong focus on Iraq and an invasion agenda preceded 911.

2. The overwhelming presence of the invasion supporting PNAC contingent in positions of power, starting with Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz.

3. The cherry picking (fixing) of questionable evidence and sources and giving it an agenda supporting interpretation.

4. Both off the record and on the record comments that the intelligence process was being hijacked to reach a forgone conclusion.

5. The hostility to the inspection process evinced by both Cheney and Rumsfeld.

6. Frank admission from a BA representative, when confronted with contrary evidence, that it was not about WMDs but about regime change.

This post has been edited by Dingo: May 5 2006, 09:24 AM
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