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July 18, 2004

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» WELL, AT LEAST IT'S SOME OF THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT from Pejmanesque
The New York Times finally appears (remarkably) to be acknowledging the credibility problems of Joseph Wilson: Were those infamous 16 words correct after all? It has been a year and a half since President Bush's 2003 State of the Union... [Read More]

» WELL, AT LEAST IT'S SOME OF THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT from Pejmanesque
The New York Times finally appears (remarkably) to be acknowledging the credibility problems of Joseph Wilson: Were those infamous 16 words correct after all? It has been a year and a half since President Bush's 2003 State of the Union... [Read More]

» WELL, AT LEAST IT'S SOME OF THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT from Pejmanesque
The New York Times finally appears (remarkably) to be acknowledging the credibility problems of Joseph Wilson: Were those infamous 16 words correct after all? It has been a year and a half since President Bush's 2003 State of the Union... [Read More]

» Two Peas In A Pod from Ipse Dixit
Wilson and Cleland have rather a lot in common, actually. [Read More]

Comments

The Kid

Er, Tom, are you still writing about this “sadly incomplete report”? The NYT has stepped up to the plate today to whack at the unanimous report as a whitewash that certainly does not clear the president “of charges that he or his aides prodded the Central Intelligence Agency into hyping the Iraqi weapons programs, and purposefully misrepresented the threat from Saddam Hussein.”

We will simply have to suspend judgment, to wait until after the election, to find out how guilty Bush is. You see, the Senate’s report focused on the National Intelligence Estimate “which came out in October 2002, months and months after the administration had already set its face toward war.” Bush's role in misusing this information will be the focus of another report that won't be out until after the election.

Why is this important?
Three versions of the [NIE] report on Iraq were prepared, all of them concluding that Saddam Hussein was a major threat. But the first, long, classified one was peppered with reservations. A declassified version that was given to Congress erased most of the doubts. The even shorter public version had no caveats at all.

What we need to know now is how the report came up so positive. The Senate committee said its staff "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." Republican members in particular have repeatedly assured the public that no one reported any direct arm-twisting. But that is a lot less meaningful than it sounds.

You see, Bush lied:
So it's not exactly true, as Mr. Bush said on Wednesday, that "the United States Congress, including members of both political parties, looked at the same intelligence" that he had. And we have still not seen the intelligence reports Mr. Bush got. We do not even know what Mr. Bush was told about the intelligence estimate. The C.I.A. gave him his own, one-page summary, which the White House will not show to the Senate.

So just ignore this report and the Brit report for the time being.
The British report on the intelligence debacle, also released last week, made it plain that the push for war was political, not based on new urgency about a threat from Iraq. Even with fears justifiably heightened after the 9/11 attacks, it said, "there was no recent intelligence that would itself have given rise to a conclusion that Iraq was of more immediate concern than the activities of some other countries."

Move along, nothing to see here folks. Move along.

Chappie

What I've never found in the new York Times, or anywhere else in the media, is any reporters asking just how much was Joe Wilson paid for his mission to Niger?

Since the CIA get even less scrutiny than other government departments I presume it is even worse when it comes to nepotism & self dealing. You know, the usual - friends paid a $1000 a page for 'analysis' that's just a summary of what's been in the New York Times lately, and grants to consulting groups started by family members of CIA personnel.


Say, do you think that Joe Wilson's consulting company has ever done any analysis work for the CIA?

I'm also waiting to see in the New York Times that one of the biggest intel failures of all is the cronyism and corruption that the Wilson afair brings to light.

Great work on this issue, Tom. Thanks.

TM

Thanks very much, gents. I noticed the new piece on the Senatereport, which did not exactly balance the "How Powerful Were 16 Words?" piece from a year ago.

The Kid

Chappie –

I can’t find a precise reference right now, but I believe that Wilson’s said that he was only reimbursed for his expenses (airfare, per diem, hotel, and sweet green tea) and received no salary, consulting fee, or whatever.

Joe

"You see, Bush lied:
So it's not exactly true, as Mr. Bush said on Wednesday, that "the United States Congress, including members of both political parties, looked at the same intelligence" that he had. And we have still not seen the intelligence reports Mr. Bush got. We do not even know what Mr. Bush was told about the intelligence estimate. " (emphasis mine)

So you know Bush lied how, exactly ? When you don't even know what his briefings, or the Congressional briefings, said ? By your own admission you're absolutely wrong, Kid; you have no way to know if Bush is lying or not. It's pretty easy to see who is doing the lying here, though.

TM

Regular readers know when The Kid is, uhh, kidding. But it can get a bit tricky - I had to polish my glasses my self. Sorry, Joe.

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