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October 03, 2004

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Comments

Brian

As I asked in another thread, do John Edwards and the other SSIC members take an active part in the intelligence gathering and presentation, like the CIA and other agencies do, or do they take more of a backseat role?

abb1

Here's the whole September 12, 2002 speech by Sen. Edwards: IRAQI DICTATOR MUST GO. Judge for yourself.

J Mann

In a similar vein, here's Edwards comparing Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, on Larry King, February 24, 2002.

But I do think that the more serious question going forward is, what are we going to do? I mean, we have three different countries that, while they all present serious problems for the United States -- they're dictatorships, they're involved in the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- you know, the most imminent, clear and present threat to our country is not the same from those three countries. I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country.

And I think they -- as a result, we have to, as we go forward and as we develop policies about how we're going to deal with each of these countries and what action, if any, we're going to take with respect to them, I think each of them have to be dealt with on their own merits.

And they do, in my judgment, present different threats. And I think Iraq and Saddam Hussein present the most serious and most imminent threat.

Another Thought

I agree...I hope Cheney nails Edwards with his own rhetoric regarding Saddam's threat.

I also hope that Cheney points out Kerry's opposition to the first Gulf War...this needs to be hammered home, especially in light of Kerry's new "global test" doctrine...I think not enough has been made out of Kerry's opposition to the first Gulf War, especially since it represented the type of coalition that Kerry now calls for...


TM

I think not enough has been made out of Kerry's opposition to the first Gulf War, especially since it represented the type of coalition that Kerry now calls for.

Great moments in the debate that never were - after Kerry quotes the elder Bush on the perils of occupying Iraq, Younger Bush says "Great book - did you read the bit about the fifty nation coalition including the French and Germans and backed by a UN resolution, which entered into a war still opposed by Sen. Kerry?"

abb1

I think not enough has been made out of Kerry's opposition to the first Gulf War, especially since it represented the type of coalition that Kerry now calls for.

If I remember correctly, all he asked for is to give a bit more time for the sanctions to work. What do you want to make of it?

Seems like a perfectly reasonable position to take (even if you disagree with it), unless you're some kind of a bloodthirsty monster.

Mithras

Don't forget that Cheney said about why Bush 41 didn't go into Baghdad to take down Saddam:

And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many.

Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq.

Two can play this game.

jeanneb

As far as debate prep goes, both Bush and Cheney should settle down the night before their debate and watch all the major speeches from the GOP convention. Those speeches said it all and knitted together a compelling case that the American people liked.

susan

Sanctions in Iraq worked perfectly well for the bloodthirsty, money grubbing, genocidal supporting United Nations

Meg

Didn't Sen. John Edwards go on Larry King Live soon after 9/11 and say that we had to make buildings stronger so that when the planes flew into them, the buildings wouldn't fall down??

I spent half an hour checking out the CNN transcripts but couldn't find this one. Does anyone recall this, or even better, can anyone find a link? Thanks.

TM

Hmm, this speech has a flavor:

There are 500 skyscrapers that usually have at least 5,000 people in them, and 250 major arenas and stadiums that can hold many times more. Unsecured and unfiltered ventilation systems provide a ready-for-use distribution system for airborne poisons. Old buildings lack fire retardants and blast-resistant materials that can save hundreds of lives in a disaster. And entrance security at major stadiums is often mediocre, as turnstile jumpers will tell you.

We need to speed up studies that will show us how to make skyscrapers safer, and the national labs should lead new R&D into improving blast- and fire-resistant designs. The administration should establish voluntary national standards for security and construction of the tallest buildings and largest arenas, including fire safety guidelines based on the advanced practices used in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. We should provide funds for states that put those standards in their building codes, and we should encourage terrorism insurers, especially after the reinsurance bill, to give owners breaks on premiums only when they make the right improvements.

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/edwards/edw121802sp.html

Korla Pundit

I think this is all Dick Cheney needs to say to Lionel Hutz:

http://korlapundit.blogspot.com/index.html#cheney

Brian

Okay, so we were led to believe one thing, and know we know another. Edwards didn't collect and sort through intelligence in the same way that the CIA did. He just analyzed it, as did the other members of the committee*. I'm not entirely sure what the problem is.

Does anyone have a link to his speeches around the time of the vote?

*This goes on the assumption that what I said was right: that the CIA and the SSCI don't have the same roles.

Brian

Actually, this is really going to come down to a 90-minute smear campaign and bitching match, Cheney better watch his back. There must be ten flatly dishonest statements he's made about Saddams non-existant terrorist connections in the last month alone.

Robert Speirs

Yeah, sure Brian. Saddam never had any connections with terrorists. Abu Nidal just happened to land in Baghdad by mistake. Saddam just happened to find the right people to give millions of dollars to families of suicide murderer Palestinians. And Ansar-al-Islam just happened to survive in northern Iraq with continuous ties to al-Qaeda by pure dumb luck. That plane south of Baghdad where terrorists practiced hijackings was just a misinterpretation of aerial photographs. Saddam didn't know nothing about no terrorists. And he loved the USA and all us Americans. Right.

JorgXMcKie

If asked about his statement about Bush 41 and not taking Baghdad, Cheney should look right at Edwards and say, "Yeah, we tried it your way, and it didn't work. Why do you now insist that we go back to what is proven not to work?"

And only idiotarians still try to conflate "no provable ties to 9/11" and "no links between Iraq and al-Qaida." Kinda pathetic, really.

Assuming Kerry gets elected and pulls out of Iraq and the predictable bad things happen, what say we look back at all the comment logs on various blogs, identify those who were in favor, round them up, and send them to Iraq or wherever so they can prove how well they can fix their mistakes?

Kool-Aid Drinker

This goes on the assumption that what I said was right: that the CIA and the SSCI don't have the same roles.

Any idiot knows that. Why is it an issue?

Watcher

The personal attacks and "if you think that you're stupid" arguments don't further legitimate debate.

"Any idiot knows that"!!

As for the Cheney-Edwards debate, based on relative experience alone, Cheney will crush Edwards. Bush had it right when he said Cheney could be president. Edwards could not.

Brian

Rob,

Your post leaves out critical facts and ends up being little more than a National Review/Weekly Standard-like fantasy.

Brian

"Why is it an issue?"

Well, if I am right, and it seems like like I am, it makes it hard to say that Edwards knew exactly what was going on. He wasn't directly involved with matters of intelligence like the CIA, so we cannot say that he is responsible (along with others) for the misrepresentations and screw ups.

Bill Arnold

Jorg, re "Assuming Kerry gets elected and pulls out of Iraq and the predictable bad things happen", I'm confused, has Kerry stated that he will pull out of Iraq as a campaign promise? All I remember is a statement that if everything went swimmingly in the elections and spring of 2005, we would be able to start reducing force levels as early as summer 2005. If it's not a campaign promise, what makes anyone think he'll pull troops out prematurely?

Bill Arnold

Watcher, re "Bush had it right when he said Cheney could be president. Edwards could not." What evidence do you have for this? What would make Edwards a worse president/less qualified than Dan Quayle, or for that matter GW Bush in 2000? I'd be very surprised if the Edwards hasn't spent the last few months studying foreign affairs, hard. At any rate, the VP debate will be telling. Don't get too confident. :-)

TM

Uhh, Brian, the SSCI is an oversight committee for the CIA. When the CIA makes a presentation on Saddam's nuclear capability, people like Edwards are expected to ask probing questions like "Are there other, conflicting assessments of this information in the intelligence community?"

Doesn't sound hard, but apparently it was too hard for Edwards.

Brian

Well, see, TM, this is where the confusion sets in.

It is an oversight commitee - I already knew that. The thing is, it doesn't control the information that is being presented. It merely looks at it, or so it seems. So I'm not sure how the reply, "Edwards was on the intelligence commiteee!" really applies, since he wasn't controlling it and was under the assumpton, as most were, that it was solid, unadulterated intelligence.

And please try to refrain from smearing Edwards. I've seen remarks from him months before 9/11 saying that terrorism will be a big problem in the coming years. He apparently had insight that others did not have. That sounds like someone I want in government.

DrSteve

Brian:

(1) Re: Hussein and terrorism. See also Shakir, Hikmat and Yasin, Abdul-Rahman. Thank you for playing.
(2) If Edwards didn't know jack, his membership on the oversight committee notwithstanding, why didn't he keep his mouth shut instead of making such incautious declarative statements? We know he knew not of what he spoke when he spouted off about Section 215. Is this a pattern?

TM

From Brian:

So I'm not sure how the reply, "Edwards was on the intelligence commiteee!" really applies, since he wasn't controlling it and was under the assumpton, as most were, that it was solid, unadulterated intelligence.

This will be my last waste of some pixels on this, Brian. You say "he wasn't controlling it and was under the assumpton..."; I say, he is allowed to ask questions, and attempt to validate his "assumptions". Sort of the job of an oversight group, actually.

So, do we agree that Edwards is allowed to ask questions (The Times reporters seemed to think so)?

Do we agree that it does not take a James Bond to say "I am interested in these aluminum tubes. Because I am often awake during these presentations, I am aware that other parts of the US intelligence community, such as in the Energy Dept., have special expertise on nuclear matters. What is their view on this?"

Does that really seem like an unreasonable question for Edwards to have asked?

Or, if the tubes were not important enough for him to have asked about them at the time, how can people later argue that they were an essential part of the case against Saddam?

Brian

DrSteve,

There's been scant to no evidence that Hussein had serious connections to terrorists, Bush administration claims notwithstanding. See, well, pretty much everything that's not from the Bush administration.

Briian

"This will be my last waste of some pixels on this, Brian."

Ah, the cheap way out.

" say, he is allowed to ask questions, and attempt to validate his "assumptions". Sort of the job of an oversight group, actually."

You don't know all of what he did or did not ask. Hell, none of us probably know anything significant.

"Does that really seem like an unreasonable question for Edwards to have asked?"

I keep agreeing that has the right to ask these questions and that he should have asked these questions. You keep implying that I don't agree with this.

The point is, if he doesn't control the intelligence operation - and we all agree that the SSCI doesn't - he's not in the same position as those who do. Thus, no matter what questions he asks, there's still a strong possibility for funny business to occur under his nose. Does this mean he's incompetent? No.

I can't imagine that I am the only one who asked these sort of questions. Yet I can imagine that people are allowed to say something like, "Oh, well, he was on the SSCI. Case closed." And that's awful.

TheUsualResponseToTheUsualTrolls

"I've seen remarks from him months before 9/11 saying that terrorism will be a big problem in the coming years." No shit, he said that? Brilliant!

reliapundit

Edwards' record as a greedy trial lawyuer who did REAL DAMAGE to healthcare in NC - while enriching himself - should come up in the debate, as well...

for more info, SEE:

from:

"As lawyer, greedy Edwards did more harm than good"

http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2004/10/as-lawyer-greedy-edwards-did-more-harm.html

EXCERPT:

Exploiting junk science John Edwards charmed juries into awarding verdicts that earned him between 50 and 100 million dollars, while forcing many good and decent obstetricians out of North Carolina and even out of practice.

The rise in cesarean deliveries, to about 26 percent today from 6 percent in 1970, has failed to decrease the rate of cerebral palsy, scientists say. Studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins.

MaybeHeShouldGetHisOwnBlog

When it comes to Bush, Brian says
"There's been scant to no evidence that Hussein had serious connections to terrorists, Bush administration claims notwithstanding."

But when it comes to Edwards, Brian says
"Thus, no matter what questions he asks, there's still a strong possibility for funny business to occur under his nose. Does this mean he's incompetent? No."


When it comes to Bush, hold 'em accountable. When it comes to Edwards, it's not his fault.

Does he act like a troll on every post about Bush?

I'veHeardWhyIShouldVoteAgainstBushButNotWhyIShouldVoteForKerry

"""This will be my last waste of some pixels on this, Brian."

Ah, the cheap way out."


Ah, big talk from the guy not paying for this site.

Brian

"Does he act like a troll on every post about Bush?"

You are completely distorting what I am saying.

Judith

No one is discussing what Kerry took out of his pocket, unfolded, and laid on the lectern. All the other blogs are talking about it. Go to www.littlegreenfootballs.com for a great video. Kerry is not only a flip-flopper, but a liar and a cheat--but then he is a liberal personafied.

WhiskeyMan

Abb1 says:

"If I remember correctly, all he asked for is to give a bit more time for the sanctions to work. What do you want to make of it?

Seems like a perfectly reasonable position to take (even if you disagree with it), unless you're some kind of a bloodthirsty monster."

A perfectly reasonable position would be that 12 years of sanctions and the like were going no where. Edwards is a weasel and totally clueless about defense/security operations, just like Kerry (and their major adherent here, Abb1).

DrSteve

Brian, I found your response completely inadequate. I mentioned two specific individuals representing links between Iraq and very specific acts of terror perpetrated on U.S. soil, including one individual with known links to al-Qaeda.

Scoff all you want, but don't imagine for a second that you've done your position any credit.

Brian

"Scoff all you want, but don't imagine for a second that you've done your position any credit."

There have never been any serious connections* of Saddam with terrorists that would be against us. That's why the administration has had to spin so much; the facts just aren't there.

*Saddam had about as much connection with Al Qaeda, for instance, as I have with Dick Cheney. I see him on television and read about him, but I've never met him or worked with him. You get the idea.

DrSteve

Who is Hikmat Shakir? Who is Abdul-Rahman Yasin? Let's start there, shall we? Do you even know who those men are? Are you even curious? And yet the assertions of "no connection" continue.

I do believe you're losing this argument.

Brian

DrSteve,

I don't remember hearing that Saddam was behind the 1993 WTC attack as a reason to go to war.

Wren

Mr. Vice President. In the unfortunate event that you should die or become otherwise incapacitated in the next four years, can you assure us that George W Bush will be ready to step into your shoes?

DrSteve

Brian, in case you've forgotten what got me on this kick, it was:

"Saddams [sic] non-existant [sic] terrorist connections"

Is Yasin a terrorist or isn't he?

And, once again, who is Hikmat Shakir?

This is getting tiresome. I think at this point I'll just leave my existing posts up, in witness to your almost supernaturally strong clue-resistance.

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