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June 11, 2005

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» Frank Rich Takes a Good Fisking from Brainster's Blog
You could read similar stuff over at the Daily Kos diaries any time. The press is in the back pocket of the Republicans, nobody ever asks the president about the Downing Street Memo.... [Read More]

» Operation Get Rich Quick! from Classical Values
A few days ago, I was quite amused to see Sidney Blumenthal's comparison of Bush to Nixon. The problem, though, with recycling the same canned comparison with the same characters is that it's as unoriginal as it is boring. And... [Read More]

» DOES FRANK RICH READ JUST ONE MINUTE? from Pejmanesque
If not, he should. Perhaps if he does, then future columns will be more accurate.... [Read More]

» Has Frank Rich Ever Left New York? from Decision '08
Or even the Upper West Side of Manhattan? Can anyone truly be as out of touch as Rich is? And can there be any doubt that the editorial page of the New York Times is now as credible as Michael Jackson's defense team? Rich's latest tiresome screed is ... [Read More]

» Richly Deserved from Shot In The Dark
Tom Maguire works Frank Rich over. It ends with:My suggestion to Mr. Rich and his many admirers - here is an opportunity to conform the lefty talking points a bit more closely with reality.The beginning? Well, just read it.... [Read More]

» Frank Rich falsehoods from New Medi@
It is truly embarrassing that a newspaper with the gravitas of The New York Times can have a columnist so biased and inaccurate. [Read More]

» Morning Blend - Monday, June 13, 2005 from Citizen Journal Blog
Ronald Reagan, Remembered - J. James Estrada, American Thinker Bull Market Innuendo - George Will Canada's Health Care Iniquity - WSJ WMD "Not Missing: Moved" - Jed Babbin, American Spectator "Worth the Fight" - Major E. Reports from Baghdad -... [Read More]

» Two Different Perspectives from CommonSenseDesk
Frank Rich. [Read More]

» A Half-Hearted Correction from Lying in Ponds
Everyone makes mistakes, so I’m always happy when a pundit is willing to just take responsibility for a simple error and issue a straightforward correction. Tom Maguire pointed out a Frank Rich error — he had claimed that the Pentagon re... [Read More]

» testanchor25 from testanchor804
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Comments

gt

really Tom, your ability to nitpick is astounding. So he got the weekend wrong? But the core point, that the information was sent out late Friday so it would have less press coverage remains perfectly true.

Same with the Newsweek article. We know allegations of Koran flushing have been made for years, and reported by many different news organizations. We know the US has acknowledged that US military desecrated the Koran, but they claim there is no proof of this very specific desecration (flushing). We know that when Newsweek first ran with the story the US military categorically denied that it had anything to do with the riots and they only changed their mind when Newsweek retracted (funny timing, huh?).

Plus you'll note that the Koran reference is but a samll part of the article. Much more space is dedicated to how nobody interviewing Colson today seems to remember to mention that he's a convicted felon. How any other criminals get the chance to offer their opinions on TV with no disclosure of their past activities, specially when they are commenting on the events that led them to jail?

Another big part of the article is how the MSM totally missed reporting the Downing Memo. At least today's WP http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/11/AR2005061100723.html>seems to be making up for that. Better late than never.

Paul Zrimsek

Well, this is just like old times! How long has it been since we've heard anyone Question The Timing? God, how I've missed that.

All I want now to make my happiness complete is for DHS to issue an orange alert to distract us from all this.

TM

your ability to nitpick is astounding. So he got the weekend wrong?

Since that was about the last point I made in a longish post, I thank you for illustrating the concept of "nitpicking".

moneyrunner

Actually, Tom, you were being kind to the hysterical fulminations of Ms. Rich. For example: Referring to Watergate: …

“It is once again being covered up. “

“…the long national nightmare it actually was, it would dampen all the Felt fun by casting harsh light on our own present nightmare.”

"The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before"

“The current administration, a second-term imperial presidency that outstrips Nixon's in hubris by the day, leads the attack, trying to intimidate and snuff out any Woodwards or Bernsteins that might challenge “

“…This is the kind of lapdog news media the Nixon White House cherished. …”

Rich even credits the Bush administration for creating bloggers who challenge the God Given Right of the MSM to spoon feed us the “truth” and interpret the facts:

“sound like the founding father of today's blogging lynch mobs.”

And here: “Such is the equivalently supine state of much of the news media today that Mr. Colson was repeatedly trotted out, without irony, to pass moral judgment on Mr. Felt “

Of course the MSM when it fawns over our former leader William Jefferson Blithe Clinton fails to mention that he was disbarred, impeached, and paid off Paula Jones in a sexual harassment suit, is credibly accused of rape and in his final days in office pardoned tax dodger and Mac Rich. Perhaps we should instate the “Frank Rich rule” and provide a summary of the Bill Clinton’s sins before we get to the fawning part.

I could go on but Fisking Ms. Rich is breaking a butterfly on a wheel. I will leave it to others who have the stomach for it.

DG

" Another big part of the article is how the MSM totally missed reporting the Downing Memo."

If you ask me, what the MSM totally missed reporting is President Clinton's Iraq Liberation Act. How many times has Frank Rich mentioned it since the most recent conflict with Iraq began? I'd be curious to know. Or does he pretend that our history with Saddam began in August of 2002 like so many others in the MSM?

Brainster

GT, now hopefully the MSM can get on the really important stories, like Jeff Gannon, and what was in that box under Bush's jacket at the first debate.

A Different NJ Tom

moneyrunner - Ms. Rich, that is teh Heh! 1 problem with your post, you forgot to mention how Komrade Klinton's Kpenis caused 9/11, that's a double Heh!

SteveMG

This is a pretty damning indictment by a NY Times columnist of the er, NY Times. Guess he has the inside skinny on how the Times is tanking for the Bush Administration. Maybe in a future column he'll name names?

Although Sullivan got fired (allegedly) for criticizing the Times on his blog. Watch your back there Frank.

But I still can't quite figure out how one conducts a coverup in the open.

Again, another potential column. Rich can milk this for another three years. Even a book. Or, a Broadway play? Or did Tim Robbins do that already?

The possibilities are endless in cloud cuckoo land, er the reality based land.

SMG

Cadwalj

Let's close Guantanamo the day after Newsweek publishes its final edition. Neither will have any effect fanatical sensibility. The prison will move elsewhere, and free speech has no franchise.

McCarroll

The Koran flushing just won't wash. I tried to flush one this weekend. Had to break it in two before it finally went to paradise.

jimhanavan

I am not so sure references to Colson "omit" mention of his felony conviction (indeed, his life's work over the past 30 years has been the prison ministry resulting from that felony conviction), but I have seen little mention of John Dean's felony activities in connection with Watergate, or W. Mark Felt's conviction for conducting "black bag" activities as an FBI official.

Cecil Turner

". . . but I have seen little mention of John Dean's felony activities in connection with Watergate, or W. Mark Felt's conviction . . ."

Not sure about Dean, but Media Matters had a fairly effective rejoinder to the Felt news blackout charge.

BTW TM, "nitpicking" might not be a fair charge, but "barrel-fisking" surely is. You probably ought to've followed up with a Fezzik (Andre the Giant) quote from Princess Bride: "My way is not very sportsmanlike."

creepy dude

Turns out it's Bush's approval ratings that went down the toilet.

SteveMG

"Turns out it's Bush's approval ratings that went down the toilet."

How is that possible since, according to Rich, the press has been in the tank for the Administration covering up (or not reporting) on it's mis- mal- and non-feasance? Especially mis and mal, the new Bush twins.

I guess one could argue with a less supine press that Bush's approval numbers would be even lower.

That's the fallback position.

And can someone in the reality based community explain to me how releasing a report late on a Friday to minimize negative coverage is in ANY WAY comparable to Watergate?

Moynihan called it "defining deviancy down"; but I guess this is "defining skullduggery up"? Yeah, needs work but my editor is currently unavailable.

SMG

big dirigible

Frank Rich didn't mention "Stepford Wives" in his short list of Goldman screenplays. Perhaps for the Times editorial offices, that one hits too close to home.

Nine

The Left has put forth a number of interesting political memes of late: Bush as Nixon, Bush as "power mad," Gitmo as a Soviet-style gulag, Gitmo as worse than the Holocaust, etc, etc.

To what end? It appears to me, my friends, that there is a simple answer. They are ramping up the propaganda for a big political move.

And what will that be? Why, it will be the impeachment of Bush.

jukeboxgrad

TM, you seem to have an interest in promoting the idea that the Newsweek item caused riots (as if the real cause is not the behavior of our government). The implication is that Newsweek should have been able to anticipate the result of what they wrote. Simple question: if what they wrote is so obviously and dangerously inflammatory, why is it that it took the Pentagon more than two weeks (after the item first appeared) to publicly assert that the item was false and shouldn't have been published? Why is it that it took more than ten days (as far as I can tell) before any righty blogger spoke up to complain about the item? In other words, the chorus of complaint against Newsweek is entirely post-riot, and based on 20/20 hindsight.

Speaking of timing, it's interesting to notice that the administration pushback against Newsweek (in the form of Di Rita's angry phone call to Isikoff) started on exactly the day that Newsweek's corporate parent (WaPo) published its first real article about the Downing Street Memo.

But the idea that BushCo would deliberately intimidate the media is unthinkable, right? Likewise for the idea that the administration would attempt to create a distraction (now that color-coded terror alerts are widely seen as absurd).

"unthinkable"

The gist of adminstration statements was (paraphrase) "we don't do that sort of thing." That's a reasonable synonym for "unthinkable." You're making a giant leap to claim this is a "falsehood." Then again, you have a history of making libelous statements and then refusing to be held accountable.

"did anyone on the US side actually flush a Koran down a toilet, as Newsweek alleged"

It's interesting to note how you and lots of other folks consider the DoD denial as proof-positive it never happened. Given the way they blatantly lied about Tillman's death, it's hard to understand why you think they would never lie about a Koran in a toilet. Your attitude is sort of like asking a drunk driver how many times he's ever done it, and treating his answer as entirely true and the entire truth, as if there's no difference between doing it, versus getting caught doing it. As Rummy famously said, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Then again, I realize your standards of evidence are highly situational.

"Have the neo-Colson's swept the board? ... that may just prove that the neo-Colsons are everywhere."

Yes, as is also indicated by how the so-called liberal media has largely ignored the Downing Street Memo.

"Since that was about the last point I made in a longish post, I thank you for illustrating the concept of 'nitpicking.'"

True, it wasn't your only point, but it was your only point that is firmly based in fact. Too bad it's a nit.

"what the MSM totally missed reporting is President Clinton's Iraq Liberation Act"

It's true that many before Bush called for regime change. However, nice job ignoring the fact that it was hoped to be done peacefully, with invasion as a last resort. There are numerous indications (some old, some newly revealed) that for Bush, invasion was the first choice, not a last resort.

"does he pretend that our history with Saddam began in August of 2002 like so many others in the MSM?"

I have a funny feeling your account of "our history with Saddam" somehow overlooks the famous handshake, not to mention Cheney's deals with Saddam.

"explain to me how releasing a report late on a Friday to minimize negative coverage is in ANY WAY comparable to Watergate?"

If that was the only example of this administration trying to run away from the truth, I don't think anyone would be terribly concerned.

"Gitmo as worse than the Holocaust"

Citation, please.

ed

Hmmm.

"The implication is that Newsweek should have been able to anticipate the result of what they wrote."

The implication is that they should have at least made the effort of finding out the truth before reporting utter bullshit.

Subsunk

Looks to me like jukeboxgrad doesn't believe men have landed on the moon, Al Capone was a horrible gangster and killer, and that the press is not infallible. Just another moonbat in the belfry.

Subsunk

SteveMG

"If that was the only example of this administration trying to run away from the truth, I don't think anyone would be terribly concerned."

Again, how is holding the release of a report to mitigate negative coverage comparable to the CRIMES of Watergate?

Rich didn't say that the W.H. is simply running away from the truth. He cited the incident as being analogous to what the Nixon W.H. did during WATERGATE.

Using the term Watergate carries with it a whole host of connotations, all of them criminal. Y'know, illegal break-ins, obstruction of justice, hush money, wiretaps.

As I said, this is standing Moynihan's defining deviancy down on its head. It's defining dirty tricks up in such a reckless manner that it, dare I say, flushes Rich's credibility down a porta-potty.

Small toilet, little credibility.

SMG


TM

"The implication is that Newsweek ...

Ed has me covered.

Cecil Turner

"Then again, you have a history of making libelous statements and then refusing to be held accountable."

Looking back at that thread and then this one, that statement appears to be a particularly unattractive case of projection.

jukeboxgrad

"The implication is that they should have at least made the effort of finding out the truth before reporting utter bullshit."

I guess you must mean the kind of effort Bush made when a "a crucial part of the White House case for war" was largely based on someone who turned out to be an "out-and-out fabricator" (free registration required, try bugmenot.com, or this). Too bad Colin Powell's statement to the UN about "Winnebagos of Death" turned out to be "utter bullshit."

I guess you also must mean the kind of effort the media made before they reported that Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire, which also turned out to be "utter bullshit."

By the way, Newsweek checked their report with the Pentagon, who made no objection to the toilet-claim. I've already pointed out that the Pentagon still made no objection for the first two weeks after the report appeared. I notice you can't be bothered to try to address this.

By the way, printing a report based on an anonymous government source is a practice encouraged and condoned by the White House (aside from the fact that Bush was willing to base the "Winnebago" claim on the words of a single anonymous liar). It's the height of hypocrisy to single out this instance as objectionable.

kennymac

“The current administration, a second-term imperial presidency that outstrips Nixon's in hubris by the day, leads the attack, trying to intimidate and snuff out any Woodwards or Bernsteins that might challenge “

Didn't President Bush grant Bob Woodward a 4 hour interview during the last campaign? That was something his opponent refused to do.


Jor

Is Pincus next on the fact-check bandwagon? Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan.

jukeboxgrad

"Looking back at that thread and then this one, that statement appears to be a particularly unattractive case of projection."

If you had any facts to back that up, I think you would mention them.

Carrick

Jukeboxgrad: t's interesting to note how you and lots of other folks consider the DoD denial as proof-positive it never happened. Given the way they blatantly lied about Tillman's death, it's hard to understand why you think they would never lie about a Koran in a toilet.

I think you have forgotten the original point. The part of the Newsweek story that was called into question was the claim that a U.S. military investigation had found that interrogators had flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet. There now absolutely no question that this investigation made no such finding, and that the original Newsweek report was wrong.

True, it may turn out interrogators did flush a a copy of the Koran down the toilet. We don’t know for a fact that they didn’t. All we have to go on is the word of a group of likely terrorists whose known modus operandi includes making exaggerated claims of being tortured, and of desecration of their religion.

[Disclaimer: This is based on a comment I made originally on SayAnythingBlog]

Jor

So google can not find anything about about downing street but newsweek's story comes up several times. You're not alone, Glenn came up with similiar results. Seriously, you're guys ability to nit pick is unparralleled. Is there criteria besides this works for me politically, in terms of what stories to cover? With all this blogger focus on MSM, surely someones made some set of criteria for bloggers to follow?

Jor

If I wasn't soo lazy, I would take 20 blogs on the left, 20 blogs on the right -- try to find top 10 most politically charged stories each side thought occured that year -- and then see how much cross talk there is (i.e how many times sites on the left talk about top 10 stories the right mentions and vice versa). I'm almost certain the results would prove hilarious. Especially the right side of the blogosphere's #1 goal is nit-picking the MSM.

Jor

Since I'm on a role on this tangent, before you guys start whining about the whoa is me, underdog, can't do it all, must fight big media. Here are #'s on how conservatives are killing liberals on marketing (big surprise there)

jukeboxgrad

"There now absolutely no question that this investigation made no such finding, and that the original Newsweek report was wrong."

Elegant hair-splitting there. It's true that Newsweek didn't just claim we put a Koran in a toilet; it claimed there was a military report acknowledging this. It's also true that this report (which may or may not have ever existed) is now nowhere to be found. So it's true that in this sense the Newsweek report overreached. But that's different from claiming there's no reason to believe we ever intentionally desecrated Korans (later on the Pentagon admitted we did), and no reason to believe we might have even intentionally tossed a Koran in a latrine. Trouble is, when ordinary people see a headline like "Newsweek retracts Quran story," that's the impression that's created.

"All we have to go on"

It's not all we have to go on. We have our own Pentagon admitting that there have been at least several cases of intentional Koran-abuse by us (and we have a lot of gullible people who have absolute trust, in the face of a great deal of contrary evidence, in the DoD's willingness to incriminate itself, and who therefore believe the picture conveyed by DoD is complete and the gospel truth). We have a government coroner saying we beat one guy so badly his legs were "pulpified ... I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus." This guy was beaten to death even though "most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent." In this kind of atmosphere, it's hard for me to believe (even if I completely discount claims by various detaines) that we didn't also toss a Koran in a latrine every now and then. Why wouldn't we, since we were willing to do lots of things that are infinitely worse?

"a group of likely terrorists whose known modus operandi includes making exaggerated claims"

What a relief to know that our side would never do anything like that (I think someone mentioned the idea of projection). Our Pentagon has admittedly used lying as a strategic tool, and the aforementioned Tillman fiasco is far from the only example.

"You're not alone, Glenn came up with similiar results."

Exactly. I've checked, and there's virtually a blackout, with regard to the large righty blogs mentioning DSM (obviously there are a handful of exceptions, especially in the last couple of days). They hope it's just going to fade away, even though more than half-a-million people have now signed a petitition. Keep your heads buried in the sand.

BumperStickerist

fwiw - picking nits is a fundamental part of cleanliness. And cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Further proof of the hold the Religious Well-Groomed Right has on public discourse.

flenser

According to Jor's link, if conservatives are kiling liberals in the ideas's market, it must be because they have better ideas. It is certainly not because the liberals are being outspent.

"The 15 largest foundations are spending more than $100 million a year on public policy institutes, and these are not conservative foundations supporting conservative think tanks. These are large, mainline
foundations often led and staffed by progressively minded people that do not share the agenda of reducing the role of government. In the 1990s, their endowments grew, and their interest in supporting groups in Washington grew as well. As Table 1 (p. 21) illustrates,
in 2002 these foundations spent $136 million supporting public policy institutes that are mostly in Washington producing policy-relevant work."

SteveMG

"least several cases of intentional Koran-abuse by us "

Intentional Koran abuse by 4 guards AGAINST regulations and the actions were corrected. The abuse was NOT authorized or approved or part of any policy.

See, this is the nonsense you guys on the left keep disseminating. That these isolated actions by a few soldiers are indicative of a larger Bush plan or part of a larger policy by the Pentagon.

The press reports on an alleged incident and you gleefully jump on it and shout, "See Bush and the neocons are doing these terrible things!!"

It's exactly like Rich comparing the delay of a report to the Watergate policies of Nixon. That's an absurd comparison.

You want to beat Bush more than you want to beat the terrorists and so you glom onto a report and run wild with it before it's verified. And when the report turns out to be wrong, you dejectedly move on to another report.

Amazing really. We read a report about contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq and you'll quickly dismiss it. But a report alleging a wrongdoing by the Bush Administration is swallowed whole.

SMG

SMG

flenser

jukeboxgrad

What exactly is it about the DSM that you imagine merits such attention?

Some anonymous British staffer in the Labor government offers his take on the opinion of another anonymous member of the British government, who in turn expresses his own unsupported opinion about what Bush and the American government are thinking?

I did not realize that things had gotten quite so bad in the "reality based community" that you people had to grasp at a wisp of smoke in the hope that it may be a straw.

Paul Zrimsek

I agree with this much: if you want to understand why people like Rich and Stalingrad are carrying on the way they do, it's essential to read the DSM.

flenser

jukeboxgrad

"In this kind of atmosphere, it's hard for me to believe (even if I completely discount claims by various detaines) that we didn't also toss a Koran in a latrine every now and then."
What kind of atmosphere are you refering to to?

If you bothered to read your own link, you would know that this story came to light, not due to the crack investigative reporting of the MSM, but as part of an Army criminal investigation. Admittedly you have to read down past the sensational details before the "reporter" mentions this fact.

Your constant insinuations that the US Army is engaging in torture as a routine official practice has no basis in any objective facts. Why don't you back up the charge or withdraw it?

Gekkobear

Hey, they put it out on Friday; there must be a conspiracy.

By the way, I've just noticed 20% of the news that the 40 hour a week staffer puts out is on Friday.

And another 20% seems to be put out on Monday (and we know people pay less atention on Mondays...)

I think he's trying to bury almost half of the news so we don't see it.

Sometimes a Friday is just a weekday. :-p

Stan

The crux of the left's argument flowing from the DSM relies on the definition of "fix" as in having to (paraphrase) "fix the intelligence surrounding the assessment of Saddam's possesion of WMD's". Now in British use of the word fix it seems to mean: "To make firm or secure, to settle or decide definitely". This is different from American usage: "to arrange or put in order, to adjust or repair as in clothing or hair - or even to prearrange or influence with a bribe or collusion". Since the memo originated, oh, from Downing Street and authored by Brits - Occam directs us to apply their usage.

I would think that intelligent, culturally aware and properly nuanced minds would understand this. Perhaps like Kerry their ability is ove - .

Jor

flesner if you read the entire article, you'll realize its not the total amount of dollars being spent thats the difference but how the money is being spent. Conservatives spend way more on marketing to the public and policy makers than the liberal organizations do. That was the point of the article. Hence, its not conservatives have better ideas, but like Coke, they have significantly superior advertising.

Flesner, I didn't say that conservative websites should be lingering over the Downing Street Memo -- its just amusing that its a virtual black out. Follow my google links. NOTHING. Do the reverse on atrios or kevin drum. Both talk about newsweek fiasco (or at least mention it). Zero mentions here, on glenn, and on powerline (although I dont regularly read powerline, so take that with a grain of salt). And this is mostly from google. If you cant see the difference in magnitude thats fine, but i think its pretty clear -- since conservatives continually get riled up about motivations for the war. And the number of memos out aren't exactly insignificant anymore -- tehy are by or quote high ranking british officials (in 2002) as concluding the same damn thing the left has been claiming forever.

Jor

Stan -- forget about the specifics of the Memo for a second -- I'm talking about the virtual black out. I can't even find an opinion on the right from most places because they refuse to mention it. Yet they perpetually whine about bias. Its almost comical. What standards are we using? I'm not even talking about magnitudes. Glenn = 0, HEre = 0, etc. etc. etc. (AT least from my cursory google searches).

Jor

Stan, to futher clarify -- I think its non-controversial to suggest that the memo is a significant enough of a story to deserve at least one remark from prominent pro-war right wing blogs. I don't think thats too much to ask. Especially if you want to complain about bias all the live long day.

SteveMG

Jor:
The allegations (such as they are) in the memo have been vetted already. We've gone through this with the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation and the President's commission on intelligence.

In addition, we clearly had elements of the CIA in semi-open revolt against the Bush Administration willing to leak to the press incriminating information re cooking the intelligence books.

After all this, not ONE single person in any of the intelligence agencies has come forward openly or leaked anonymously to the media that intelligence was "fixed" in any way. No one was pressured, nothing was falsified, no material was made up.

Despite all these investigations, despite all this evidence the left wants to, wishes to, hopes for this memo to be the smoking gun to get Bush. They seem to ignore all of the previous investigations, they seem to ignore all contradictory evidence because they just want to get Bush.

The people manipulating intelligence on this issue, it seems to me, are those who wish to get Bush more than they wish to get the terrorists.

SMG

ed

Hmmmm.

"I guess you must mean the kind of effort Bush made when a "a crucial part of the White House case for war" was largely based on"

Pointing a finger at President Bush and making allegations is not a defense. It's not even up to the level of an excuse.

Jor

Steve, I can assure you are incorrect. The allgeations are new, and they are conclusions by extremely high ranking british officials in '02. The Senate and the Comission investigated whether intelligence was flawed -- they specificially did NOT investigate how the president dealt with the intelligence. I wish I had a link on the right I could refer you to, but I dont, not even Drezner has talked about it. So you can take my word, or wander down to Kevin Drum, who is usually moderate (i.e. not too far left) enough for most righties to tolerate. He has several p osts on the front page clarifying these misconceptions.

ed

Hmmmm.

"By the way, I've just noticed 20% of the news that the 40 hour a week staffer puts out is on Friday."

I've been screaming about this for years now! Finally someone else gets it! And on top of this the 6 O'clock news is at such an inconvenient time. Many people are still stuck in traffic, just sitting down to a meal or trying to unwind after work. Nobody could possibly be interested in serious news.

It's a conspiracy between the Mormons, Scientologist and the Shriners!

heh. :)

ed

Hmmm.

"So you can take my word, or wander down to Kevin Drum, who is usually moderate"

Unless it involves gay porn uncut Gannon penises.

BTW whatever happened with that scandal? Last I heard someone was tracing Gannon to a gay sex ring in the White House with hot hot hot lesbian action between Condi Rice, in dominatrix leathers, and the Bush twins.

I sure hope the right-wing blogs haven't conspired to suppress that. I'd pay a lot for that video.

lol.

SteveMG

Jor:
Sorry Jor, I'm going to need a more objective source than Drum.

Second: You didn't respond to my main point. No Mark Felt has come forward to state openly or anonymously that intelligence was cooked or manipulated.

We had the Senate Intelligence Committee interview openly and behind closed doors the intelligence analysts. Senator Rockefeller and Roberts have both stated, albeit Rockefeller with gritted teeth, that no intelligence officer or analyst was pressured to change his or her reports.

None.

You know Washington, Jor, it's a sieve. People leak all the time. And yet not ONE single person in ANY of the intelligence agencies has come forward to state that intelligence was "fixed". "Fixed" is the key word here.

None. Nada.

Let's argue backwards, then. Assume the memo is true. Where's the evidence of its accuracy? If intelligence was fixed, then someone fixed it. If intelligence was manipulated, then someone manipulated it.

Where's the evidence that this occurred? Someone must have seen it, a la Felt, or heard about it, a la Felt, or was told about it, a la Felt.

There is no Mark Felt. He's a ninety year old man retired living in California.

SMG

Doug

>>Jor: take 20 blogs on the left, 20 blogs on the right -- try to find top 10 most politically charged stories each side thought occured that year -- and then see how much cross talk there is.<<

I think the paper (PDF) at:
http://blogpulse.com/papers/2005/AdamicGlanceBlogWWW.pdf
does something of the sort.

It's entitled, "The Political Blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: Divided they Blog".

The Abstract:
In this paper, we study the linking patterns and discussion topics of political bloggers. Our aim is to measure the degree of interaction between liberal and conservative blogs, and to uncover any differences in the structure of the two communities. Specifically, we analyze the posts of 40 “A-list” blogs over the period of two months preceding the U.S. Presidential Election of 2004, to study how often they referred to one another and to quantify the overlap in the topics they discussed, both within the liberal and conservative communities, and also across communities. We also study a single day snapshot of over 1,000 political blogs. This snapshot captures blogrolls (the list of links to other blogs frequently found in sidebars), and presents a more static picture of a broader blogosphere. Most significantly, we find differences in the behavior of liberal and conservative blogs, with conservative blogs linking to each other more frequently and in a denser pattern.

Carrick

Jukeboxgrad says: Elegant hair-splitting there. It's true that Newsweek didn't just claim we put a Koran in a toilet; it claimed there was a military report acknowledging this If you think this is splitting hairs, then you really are clueless. Whose word do you think has more impact: Self-serving statements made by terrorists or an apparent direct admission of guilt by the US government? The answer is obvious in the Arab reaction to the Newsweek report. This was by no means the first time the story was reported, just the first time the US government apparently confirmed it.

15+ dead doesn't equal splitting hairs, elegant or otherwise.

By the way, there is one confirmed case of intentional abuse listed in the Pentagon report. This is not several. You can't even get your facts right.

ed

Hmmm.

"15+ dead doesn't equal splitting hairs, elegant or otherwise."

What's even more amusing, if that's at all possible, is that there's no actual confirmation of those deaths either. I.e. it's been reported widely that people died in the protest, but there's no actual direct evidence of it.

So the Newsweek report is based on no evidence, and the report of deaths during a protest is also based on no evidence.

It's almost zen.

Robert Crawford

SMG: It does not matter what the past investigations have concluded. It does not matter what the analysts themselves have said. The left has turned "Bush lied" into a matter of religious truth. Without that article of faith, they'd be forced to question their own positions; that's simply unacceptable to fanatics.

flenser

Jor

The point of the article, as I read it, was to lament that the detached, disinterested, impartial university researchers were being supplanted by the partisan think tanks. The last tme I checked, even the university professors were not bothering to pretend to be impartial any more. Their current line is that all intelligent people are, of course, liberal.

Has it occured to you that the conservatives spend more on advertising because they cannot depend on a compliant media to transmit their message for them? Quick, who does the media go to for a quote on "womens issues"? NOW or the Concerned Women for America? When the WaPo is looking for an "expert" take on some economic matter, who are they more likely to ask, Brookings or Heritage?


As for Downing; the nice thing about blanket statements is that they are so easy to disprove.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/4698

You keep saying the right "refuse to mention it". But there is no "it" there for them to refuse to mention.

Yes, the left has deen claiming "the same damm thing forever". Bush lied, people died, yada yada. But there has never been a shred of evidence to support this, and your anonymous memos do not provide any either. The indisputable fact is that the claims in Bush's SOU were based on, among others things, the actual UN reports on Iraq's non-compliance with assorted resolutions. The indisputable fact is that the various claims which the left have made have been disproven. Remember how Joe Wilson lied about his investigation of yellowcake in Niger? The thinking seems to be that your side can make as many absurd charges as it likes, and we should all just politely ignore all the ones which have blown up in your faces.

The Senate Intelligence Comittee investigation into the question of whether anyone was pressured to "cook the books" came to the bipartisan answer, No. Is it your contention that they lied, and engaged in a cover-up? If not, why don't you accept their conclusions? If so, what evidence do you have for a cover up?

Their are still people out there who think the CIA killed JFK, so I have no illusions that the conspiracy nuts are moved by fact and reason. I'd just like them to admit that they are not, so we can abandon a pointless exercise.

Forbes

"forget about the specifics of the memo..."

LOL! The left's definition of the "news" is about the hype and spin, the jumping and screeming--forget about the content or the context.

The lack of reporting MUST be due to nefarious influences, rather than there's no substance to the story. (Well, let's make sure nobody in the VRWC leaks the secret e-mail list to Jor, otherwise the game is over.)

That's the "reality-based" community we've all come to know and love. It's getting harder to make a parody of all this--as it comes pre-scripted.

Carrick

Jukeboxgrad shows his poor analytic skills: "a group of likely terrorists whose known modus operandi includes making exaggerated claims"

What a relief to know that our side would never do anything like that (I think someone mentioned the idea of projection). Our Pentagon has admittedly used lying as a strategic tool, and the aforementioned Tillman fiasco is far from the only example.

I think you need to spend a bit more time thinking about the points being made, and spend a little less effort trying to score points. Given that the terrorist's training manual contains specific instructions on tactics to use when captured, which include lying about their treatment, claims by the prisoners of abuse should and generally do carry little weight. In the absence of an admission by the US government or testimony by guards or others, all you have are uncorroborated claims by a few prisoners who are apparently trained to make such claims. It speaks volumes that you are so willing to accept these people at their word.

Tillman's death was tragic. but the "coverup" involved wrongful behavior by individuals associated with the original friendly fire incident and not the entire US Army. In fact, evidence of false reporting wrongdoing was uncovered by Army investigators within days of the incident. They then launched a full investigation of the report months before the media became aware of any problems. The fact that you gleefully exploit the tragic death of any person and use a few individuals misconduct to smear the US Army and the Pentagon should tell anybody all they really need to know about you.

Cecil Turner

"Stan -- forget about the specifics of the Memo for a second -- I'm talking about the virtual black out."

In the first place, the memo isn't particularly newsworthy. Those excited about it make the mistake Stan cites above, misinterpreting "fixed" as "made-up," when actually in idiomatic UK English it means "centered on." The line is a standard (and impractical) complaint by intel types that intelligence should drive operations, rather than vice versa. A casual glance at the rest of the memo shows they aren't suggesting Saddam had no WMDs--in fact they fret about him using them on an invasion force down toward the end.

In the second place, the story is hardly "blacked out." The WaPo ran one that said it warned of war, and another saying it won't die. Fox and the CS Monitor say it's mostly ignored, and a "dud," respectively. I'm not sure why you think right-wing blogs are obligated to give air time to lefty propaganda stories without legs, but the fact is, it isn't very interesting.

creepy dude

Oh who gives a damn. I have it from the highest authority that the insurgency is in its last throes anyway-so this will all be moot in a few...well sometime.

Knemon

"moderate (i.e. not too far left)"

Thanks for decoding that. Words past two syllables cause my brain to freeze up.

jukeboxgrad

"a group of likely terrorists"

(I meant to mention this before.) I realize you think that adopting a policy of guilty until proven innocent is a great way to comvince the world that Americans believe in freedom and justice.

"The abuse was NOT authorized or approved or part of any policy."

I realize you think that the administration using words like "quaint" and "obsolete" in connection with the Geneva Conventions has nothing to do with the fact that some of our guys have been beating people to death: "with President Bush's final determination in February 2002 that the Conventions did not apply to the conflict with Al Qaeda and that Taliban fighters would not be accorded the rights of prisoners of war, the interrogators believed they 'could deviate slightly from the rules,' said one of the Utah reservists, Sgt. James A. Leahy." Remarkable understatement.

"What exactly is it about the DSM that you imagine merits such attention?"

It's true that we already knew that Bush was lying when he told us repeatedly that he hadn't yet made up his mind to invade. And we also already knew that intelligence was being manipulated, and that politically-incorrect intelligence was being squelched and ignored (link, link, link, link, and lots more where that came from). In fact we already knew that many lies were told on the road to war.

What's interesting about the DSM is that all this that we already knew is corroborated by the head of intelligence of our closest ally, who had just met with senior Bush officials. The usual BushCo strategy for dealing with difficult truths is to discredit the messenger. Trouble is, Bush is hardly in a position to discredit Dearlove, MI5, and the UK.

"Some anonymous British staffer in the Labor government offers his take on the opinion of another anonymous member of the British government, who in turn expresses his own unsupported opinion about what Bush and the American government are thinking?"

Nice job regurgitating some talking points you saw somewhere. Too bad they're false.

"Some anonymous British staffer"

Let me help you understand some of the big words you're using. Anonymous means "whose name is not known." The "British staffer" is Matthew Rycroft, a Downing St. foreign policy aide. (Shh, don't tell anyone I revealed his name.)

"offers his take"

No. These are official minutes of a high-level meeting. Rycroft is officially documenting the meeting, not offering "his take."

"the opinion of another anonymous member"

More trouble with that big word. Dearlove, head of MI5, is not "anonymous." (Don't let anyone know I revealed his name to you.) By the way, he's not offering his "opinion." He's making an official and dead-serious report of what he learned talking with senior Bush officials.

"expresses his own unsupported opinion"

"Unsupported" only if you insist on failing to notice that what Dearlove said is highly consistent with what we already knew from numerous other sources (which I've cited above).

"If you bothered to read your own link, you would know that this story came to light, not due to the crack investigative reporting of the MSM, but as part of an Army criminal investigation."

It's true that there is "an Army criminal investigation," and that's a wonderful thing. What's not so wonderful is that even though the Army determined "there was probable cause to charge 27 officers and enlisted personnel with criminal offenses in the Dilawar case ranging from dereliction of duty to maiming and involuntary manslaughter," there has still not been a single conviction, even though the crimes occurred more than two years ago. If this is OK with you, your standards are much too low.

"Your constant insinuations that the US Army is engaging in torture as a routine official practice has no basis in any objective facts."

I thought you read the whole article. Maybe you missed this: "the Bagram file includes ample testimony that harsh treatment by some interrogators was routine." If you don't think that "some" is too many, your standards are too low.

"By the way, I've just noticed 20% of the news that the 40 hour a week staffer puts out is on Friday."

Really? At 7:15 pm?

"Now in British use of the word fix it seems to mean ..."

Let us know why the sentence begins with the word "but" ("But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"). Anyday now Power Line will be telling us "but" was inserted with a different typewriter.

"We've gone through this with the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation and the President's commission on intelligence."

Another talking point that is unfortunately divorced from reality. It's true that the Senate report said it found no evidence that the administration tried to "coerce" analysts. But pressure comes in many forms, are there are numerous indications that intelligence that didn't fit the script was ignored and squelched (I provided links above).

By the way, the Senate report "does not examine how Bush and his senior aides handled and represented the flawed intelligence. Senator Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the committee, has delayed that portion of the investigation and other aspects of the inquiry (including the role played by Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress and the controversial actions of the office of Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy). The results of the committee's work on these fronts are not expected to appear until next year--that is, after the election." (link)

Anyone seen "the results of the committee's work on these fronts?" Maybe I missed it somewhere along the way.

"No one was pressured, nothing was falsified, no material was made up."

You can hang on to this belief only as long as you ignore the citations I've provided. If you only have time for one, this is a good place to start.

"Pointing a finger at President Bush and making allegations is not a defense."

I realize you expect a higher standard of perfection from Newsweek's Periscope column, than you do from our Secretary of State telling the world why we intend to go to war. The only mystery is why.

"By the way, there is one confirmed case of intentional abuse listed in the Pentagon report."

Really? Here's what I see looking at the official pdf:

"a detainee complained that guards at Camp X-ray kicked the Koran ... we consider this a confirmed incident."

"a contract interrogator apologized to a detainee for stepping on the detainee’s Koran in an earlier interrogation ... The interrogator was later terminated for a pattern of unacceptable behavior, an inability to follow direct guidance and poor leadership. We consider this a confirmed incident."

"On 28 NOV 02, during an interrogation, a detainee requested that a Koran on top of a TV set in the interrogation room be removed ... When a second interrogator learned of the detainee’s request, he returned to the interrogation room and placed two Korans on top of the TV. This act highly agitated the detainee. This incident was recorded in a memorandum"

Do you have trouble counting to three? Also, this same report admits that a variety of other complaints were never investigated. So much for the claim that we take this sort of thing seriously. Also, nice job not bothering to explain why you trust a Pentagon report about itself, given a variety of indications that the Pentagon lies when it sees fit.

"This is not several. You can't even get your facts right."

Heh.

"Given that the terrorist's training manual contains specific instructions on tactics to use ... which include lying ... claims by the prisoners ... should and generally do carry little weight."

Given that the Pentagon has a track of record of blatantly lying as a strategic tool, claims by the Pentagon should and generally do carry little weight.

"Tillman's death was tragic. but the 'coverup' involved wrongful behavior by individuals associated with the original friendly fire incident and not the entire US Army."

Nice job trying to invoke the typical BushCo strategy of trying to push blame down the chain. Too bad you're just making stuff up: "The Army's public release made no mention of friendly fire, even though at the time it was issued, investigators in Afghanistan had already taken at least 14 sworn statements from Tillman's platoon members that made clear the true causes of his death ... The Army's April 30 news release was just one episode in a broader Army effort to manage the uncomfortable facts of Pat Tillman's death, according to internal records and interviews. During several weeks of memorials and commemorations that followed Tillman's death, commanders at his 75th Ranger Regiment and their superiors hid the truth about friendly fire from Tillman's brother Kevin, who had fought with Pat in the same platoon, but was not involved in the firing incident and did not know the cause of his brother's death. Commanders also withheld the facts from Tillman's widow, his parents, national politicians and the public, according to records and interviews with sources involved in the case. (link)

I suppose you think "the Army's public release" was written by "individuals associated with the original friendly fire incident."

"misinterpreting 'fixed' as 'made-up,' when actually in idiomatic UK English it means 'centered on.'"

Someone else who can't be bothered to notice that pesky "but" at the beginning of the sentence.

"A casual glance at the rest of the memo shows they aren't suggesting Saddam had no WMDs--in fact they fret about him using them on an invasion force down toward the end."

The memo makes clear it was the UK military that raised this question. They needed to consider every contingency. And they weren't saying (as BushCo did) that finding WMD was a "slam-dunk." They were only acknowledging it was possible. Also, it's likely they were taken in by false statements made by their civilian leaders, just as many in this country were (there is ample indication that Blair "sexed-up" the intelligence, just as Bush did). Also, believing that Saddam had the capacity to use WMD in or near Iraq is very different from believing that he was ready, willing and able to project that capacity into Manhattan (which is what Bush was trying to convince us).

"the story is hardly 'blacked out.'"

I guess that's why for the first month there was virtually no network coverage. Sure heard a lot about the runaway bride, though. That darn liberal media.

Paul Zrimsek

In the future, everyone will be Joseph Wilson for 15 minutes.

flenser

Dear God!!!

Our soldiers actually placed two Korans on a TV set?

Why was I not informed of this earlier? This changes everything! EVERYTHING!

jukebox, let me ask you a serious question. Where you ever dropped on your head as a child? Because if this is what you consider "abuse", then you have suffered severe brain damage somewhere and somehow.


"If you don't think that "some" is too many, your standards are too low."

As it happens, I do not think that "some", a term which can only imply some number greater than one, is in fact too many. I also do not quite understand why you imagine that it is your place to set "standards" for anyone. There's that old liberal arrogance again.


"He's making an official and dead-serious report of what he learned talking with senior Bush officials."

Perhaps after burning massive amounts of bandwidth, you will at some point convey to us who these senior Bush officials were? And also what exactly was learned from them? Then we could move on to discssing the merits of your argument, if there are any.


So, you seem to be conceding that there was no "fixing" of intelligence. At least that seems to be what you say here;

"It's true that the Senate report said it found no evidence that the administration tried to "coerce" analysts."

Of course, you follow this up with this little gem; "But pressure comes in many forms ..".

Really? Can you name some of these many forms? This kind of sly insinuation seems to be your preferred mode of expression. You don't actually come right out and say that there was pressure, but then again, you manage to suggest it, and leave the notion sitting out there, like something the dog threw up.

The sweeping assertions you like to make are not supported by the links you provide. I wonder if you even read them.

"It's true that we already knew that Bush was lying when he told us repeatedly that he hadn't yet made up his mind to invade."

Again, can you explain how you "know" that? The link you provide does not support your contention. It says that; "President Bush has decided to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and ordered the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies to devise a combination of military, diplomatic and covert steps to achieve that goal, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday."

Considering that ousting Saddam was official US policy since 1998, this hardly seems like an earth shattering revelation. Note that it does not say he had decided to invade. Note also that had Saddam and his governmant stepped down as late as December 2002, there would have been no invasion. Events were always in the hands of Saddam and his accomplices.


It's worth bearing in mind that Bush had no need to "lie" the country to war, as moonbats like yourself suggest. The country supported the idea from the beginning. Nor did Bush somehow implant the notion of an Iraqi connection to 9/11 in peoples mind. Polls taken on 9/13 showed that most Americans even then believed in an Iraq/Al Queda connection. They did so because the media had been telling them for years that such a connection existed.


ed

Hmmm.

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/010382.php

sigh. I'd spank you but my resevoir of sarcasm is all tapped out today. Here's a clue:

Not everyone refers to the memo as "downing street memo".

Might help if you actually, you know, looked at the archives. I'd go and find the references on the other blogs, but I'm not going to waste my time. That's your job.

flenser

ed

That is CQ and Powerline. I'm sure Jor will promptly apologize and abase himself for being wrong.

It might help matters if either Tweedledum or Tweedledee could manage to say what the point of their precious memos is supposed to be.

Dum (jukebox) seems to be shifting tack and suggesting that the "smoking gun" is the idea that Bush had decided on an invasion even before he said he had. Can you even imagine such a thing??

Dee (Jor) doesn't know quite what he's saying, but is dang sure that it's good, whatever it is.

Jor

Ed I stand corrected, even though I several times stated its just from google. Either way, reading the powerline remarks, he completely ignores the content and focuses on Cole's remarks on the post. He then mistakes what the senate committee concluded. It's mildly amusing. Then we get Clinton-esque language parsing. A new favorite conservative past time. Cecil gave us a tatse of that above, by saying "fixed" doesnt mean "fixed". Or it depends on your definition of "is" I guess.

flenser

You are mildly amusing yourself, Jor.

Powerline actually quotes from the Senate Committe;

("The Committee 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 capabilities.")

And also from the British memo, which you have not done anywhere in this thread;

"The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD...
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary."

jukeboxgrad

Ed said "http://powerlineblog.com/archives/010382.php"

On account of relying on "downing" as a search term, I missed that. My mistake. Thanks for the tip.

Jor said "let me just add why none of you know nothing about it"

Jor, you're right, but you're understating the case. It's not just that they "know nothing about it." It's that the little that they know is wrong. Example: one of the few righty bloggers who has written about this is dishonest enough to refer to Dearlove, UK's top intelligence officer, as "an anonymous analyst." Hence we see folks like Flenser telling the same lie.

Flenser said "Dear God!!! Our soldiers actually placed two Korans on a TV set? ... if this is what you consider 'abuse', then you have suffered severe brain damage somewhere and somehow."

If that was the worst thing we did obviously there wouldn't be much to talk about here. Anyway, I realize you'd rather focus on the TV incident than on the fact that innocent people have been beaten to death (with no convictions over two years later).

By the way, since you obviously have a short attention span, let me remind you I mentioned this because Carrick has difficulty telling the difference between "one" and "three." Our Pentagon correctly counts the TV incident as a case of intentional Koran-abuse.

"Perhaps ... you will at some point convey to us who these senior Bush officials were?"

I know they were people at the appropriate level to be meeting with the head of UK intelligence. I also know they were people who Dearlove would consider a credible basis for him making very serious statements in a very serious meeting.

"And also what exactly was learned from them?"

That "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." I have a funny feeling you could have figured this out on your own.

"Can you name some of these many forms?" [that intelligence analysts were pressured]

I said that politically-incorrect intelligence was ignored and squelched. I provided links leading to many examples, such as this one: "This war's going to happen regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn't say, and . . . the Powers That Be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he's talking about."

Let me know if you really are click-impaired, and I'll spoon-feed you many similar examples, like this one: "Some people higher up the food chain made the leap from suspicion to conviction."

"You don't actually come right out and say that there was pressure"

Let me make it easy for you. There was pressure. Here's someone else who thinks so, Sen. Rockefeller: "there was a lot of pressure."

"The sweeping assertions you like to make are not supported by the links you provide."

Speaking of "sweeping assertions," that's a pretty good one right there. I realize you can't be bothered to be specific.

"Considering that ousting Saddam was official US policy since 1998, this hardly seems like an earth shattering revelation."

Nice job ignoring what I said earlier, that for Bush's predecessors who talked about ousting Saddam, war was the last resort, not the first resort.

"Note that it does not say he had decided to invade."

Really? Here's one of many passages (in this article and others) that you seem determined to ignore: "one foreign leader who met Bush recently came away 'with the feeling that a decision has been made to strike Iraq.'"

"Note also that had Saddam and his governmant stepped down as late as December 2002, there would have been no invasion. Events were always in the hands of Saddam and his accomplices."

Bush told us over and over again that the most important thing was for Saddam to disarm. Funny thing, some credible folks thought Saddam was doing exactly that.

"The country supported the idea from the beginning."

Yes, because they didn't know they were being lied to. Now they know, and they're pissed, because they realize we went to war with "no justification."

"Nor did Bush somehow implant the notion of an Iraqi connection to 9/11 in peoples mind."

I question your assertion that "the media had been telling them for years that such a connection existed." Anyway, that's beside the point. Bush hammered on this angle, even though it was false.

"Powerline actually quotes from the Senate Committe"

Nice job continuing to ignore the fact that's now been mentioned multiple times, that the Senate report didn't attempt to look at the way the administration used the intelligence it was given. For some reason, a Republican-led Senate decided that portion could wait until after the election. As far as I know, we're still waiting.

"what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one"

Speaking of ignoring what's already been covered, you're dredging up something I already addressed (at 7:31).

By the way, I notice you can't be bothered to take responsibility for your foolish and dishonest use of the word "anonymous."

Joe Mealyus

If anyone needs a respite....

From David Thomson's _Biographical Dictionary of Film_:

"...one could claim that [Goldman's] adapted screenplay saved *All the President's Men* from plot labyrinth, gave it the necessary melodrama, and enshrined the fallacy of indefatigible news hounds. The clarity of the movie was only made possible by Goldman - think of the book, think of the real events, and marvel how the picture *works*. Deep Throat seems to have written it, and so screenwriting and the paranoia about conspiracy become interdependent."

flenser

"Bush told us over and over again that the most important thing was for Saddam to disarm. Funny thing, some credible folks thought Saddam was doing exactly that."

Do you consider Hans Blix and the UN credible? Are you familiar with their final report on Saddams lack of compliance, where they list all the WMD still unaccounted for?

http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/Bx27.htm

"for Bush's predecessors who talked about ousting Saddam, war was the last resort, not the first resort."

What evidence do you have that war was the first resort for Bush? Any at all? Surely the process of getting yet another UN resolution, which Saddam yet again brushed off, indicates an attempt to avert a war?

Saddam had been violating the terms of the ceasefire for many years. This led to the imposition of sanctions. To suggest that, given all the diplomatic and economic pressure which we brought to bear over a decade, that war was a "first resort", or that there was a rush to war, is simply bizarre.


"I also know they were people who Dearlove would consider a credible basis for him making very serious statements in a very serious meeting."

It's like pulling teeth getting this out of you, Dum.

What ... very ... serious ... statements?


"one foreign leader who met Bush recently came away 'with the feeling that a decision has been made to strike Iraq.'"

So, once again, you are back to citing an anonymous source, giving us his feelings. This seems to be a pattern with you. Incidentally, so what if Bush had already decided to strike Iraq.

Let's cut to the chase here, shall we? If you have any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Bush administration, why don't you present it? Stop trying to act as if you speak for the American people. You are stating your own opinions. It's quite presumpteous of you to announce that the American people were lied to and that they are now pissed. These are not statements you can simply assert. These are the arguments you are (supposedly) attempting to make. No amount of links to other people who feel the way you do can make what you say seem compelling. The problem is the complete lack of any factual basis for what you say.

Please note that your dissatisfaction with the fact that we invaded Iraq does not constitute wrongdoing. The fact that somebody on our side kicked a Koran, or even killed a prisoner, does not constitute such wrongdoing either. Some unknown persons feelings about what Bush had decided at some point also does not make the grade.


You have hijacked this thread in your seeming desire to talk about these memos, which have these "very serious statements" in them. And yet you have stll not gotten around to laying out your case. I'm starting to think you don't have one. Time to put up or shut up.

Jor

A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.

Joe Mealyus

Frank Rich probably makes a pretty good point that the media didn't do (and hasn't done) a very good job of reminding people what Watergate was all about. I thought the following link from Kaus (making a similar point) was amazing:

http://www.mysterypollster.com/deepmotive/2005/06/felt_colson_bre.html

But then Frank Rich says this:

"Only once during the Deep Throat rollout did I see a palpable, if perhaps unconscious, effort to link the White House of 1972 with that of 2005."

Frank Rich actually seems to be suggesting that this would have been an appropriate *news* angle on the story. As JOM points out, his characterization of the 2005 White House is ridiculous. But even if you accepted his characterization as accurate, for the media to then initiate a discussion of the "parallels" between the White Houses of 1972 and 2005, who in his right mind would find that fair? Exactly how many of Bush's aides are in prison? Frank doesn't even suggest they should be. I have to think Dan Rather, on his most Bush-hating day, would blush at this idea.

Am I missing something?

Fire!Fire!Fire!

I used to line the bird cage with Frank Rich's column, Now I use the koran. I use Franks column to line the litter box.

2BrixShy

Hey, Jukebox:

"Bush told us over and over again that the most important thing was for Saddam to disarm. Funny thing, some credible folks thought Saddam was doing exactly that."

Funny thing, the article you cite was dated roughly a decade after Hussein's original deadline for disarming or disclosing as per the ceasefire agreement with the UN. He only "needed more time". 6 months, 10 years, c'mon- he was gonna disarm, he just hadn't had the time- bribing UN officials, building palaces- so much to do in a despot's day, yeah?

Also interesting- by citing an article about Hussein disarming, it appears that you believe he still had weaponry that was in clear violation of not only his original ceasefire agreement but of the 17 subsequent resolutions dealing with his violation of said agreement. Thanks for clearing that up, jukebox. Can we now move on to discussing important stuff like Hillary's hairstyle?

But before that- say, where did those korans at gitmo come from? Also, would you be cool with an exhibit at a museum in Brooklyn that had a koran in a jar of urine, or a picture of ole' whatshisname, the pederast guy- alvin or allah or whatever... would you be cool with a picture of him smeared with elephant crap? A bit off topic I know, but you seem to be some kind of worked up about this whole laughable koran abuse nonsense. Get a grip pal- it's a freakin' book, and a poorly written one at that. And if "disrespecting" this inanimate object is so horrifying for you, how come you aren't up in arms at the reports of 15 instances of koran abuse by the prisoners themselves? Oh, but wait- that doesn't work in the whole "down with Bushco" mindset, now does it?

ed

Hmmm.

"even though I several times stated its just from google."

If YOU use a reference as justification for an allegation, which YOU did, then YOU do not get a free pass because it turns out to be a crap reference.

Cecil Turner

Well, most of those points appear to be handily refuted. A couple hangers:

"Someone else who can't be bothered to notice that pesky "but" at the beginning of the sentence."

The word "but" does not change the meaning of the word "fixed." And since they specifically address each of these points later in the memo, it's not hard to get the sense of it. On the validity of the casus belli (the "thin" case):

Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.
(Which, other than being wrong, misses the point that we're not worried about threats to Saddam's neighbors, but threats to the US.) The WMD threat is listed in several places (not merely by the military), and nowhere is it claimed to be nonexistent.

"I realize you'd rather focus on the TV incident than on the fact that innocent people have been beaten to death"

Not at Gitmo, they haven't.

"commanders at his 75th Ranger Regiment and their superiors hid the truth"

It ought to be fairly obvious that if the guys in the field (75th RR) "hid the truth," then everyone senior to them was relying on their information. There's a rather understandable tendency among low-level commanders not to want to pen a letter to someone's mother telling her he was killed by mistake. (And this isn't the first, tenth, or even hundredth case in point.)

ed

Hmmm.

While I'm sure TM doesn't mind the traffic, you should really consider doing this stuff on your own blog. Having to rehash the same stuff endlessly each time a new liberal discovers this, and other, blogs is getting tiresome. I visit a bunch of blogs each day and it seems each one in turn gets hijacked over the same issue.

With this rotation I figure Kerry's records will come up again sometime in early July.

TexasToast

“I can't guess how Mr. Rich got from "the Department of Defense is looking into it" to "unthinkable".”

He didn’t. He got from the US govt and military have “great respect” for the Koran and “we would take something like that very seriously” to “unthinkable.” That’s not a real big jump.

“neo-Colsons”

Rich uses it as a rhetorical shorthand for press intimidation – based on Mr. Colson’s activities in the Nixon administration. Regardless of the “cause” of the Koran riots, there is little doubt that the administration and its spokesmen tried to use the story to intimidate Newsweek and the press. That seems Colson-like to me.

Friday afternoon release.

Woops. Wrong Friday afternoon. That changes everything!


Alexandra Konstantinos

It's hard to take the NYT seriously, as long as it runs Rich and Ivans, without countervailing Coulters.

tree hugging sister

Michael Kinsley covered the Downing Street Memo and I used Google to find the link.
Someone's not gonna like this, tho.

Jor

Ed, I'm not sure about what part of nit-picking with out any set of criteria you don't understand. TM perpetually complains about bias in the media, and nit-picks a limmited format forum (op-ed columns). He doesn't provide examples of op-ed columnists who do it better. At the same time he complains about bias continually, but ignores it himself.

From salon, on Downing Street:

Yet despite the news peg, the mainstream media demonstrated a breathtaking lack of interest. According to TVEyes, an around-the-clock monitoring service, between May 1 and June 6 the story received approximately 20 mentions on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS combined. (With Blair's arrival in Washington Tuesday, there was a slight spike in mentions but still very little reporting of substance.) By contrast, during the same five-week period, the same outlets found time to mention 263 times the tabloid controversy that erupted when a photograph showing Saddam Hussein in his underwear was leaked to the British press.

If you don't care about feigning any sense of standards, and just about some idiotic political idealogoy -- thats fine, thats your perogative. But if you actually care about media criticism, bias, etc. -- then it should be quite clear that something is wrong.

Jor

THS, besides the fact that Orwell would be impressed with Kinsley's doublespeak, and that he some how completely ignored the main issue in the memo -- which I think atrios sums up right with

Look, this is just bullshit. There are two sets of people here. One consists of inside the beltways types and assorted news junkies and the other consists of The Amerkin Public. The former knew the Iraq war was a foregone conclusion by early 2002, but didn't bother to tell the Amerkin Public. They still haven't. I knew the dance with the UN was bullshit and I tried to point it out, but my blog is not all powerful. The American press did not bother to tell people. And, now, they still don't want to bother to tell people.

If you are confused about what the merits are for a scandal -- I suggest we use Clinton standards TravelGate -- FileGate . I think this easily passes those bars.

ed

Hmmm.

"Ed, I'm not sure about what part of nit-picking with out any set of criteria you don't understand."

The one possibility that you have yet to include in your enormous dissertation is the one where this is all just complete hogwash. If there were anything to this, then perhaps you might have a point. But there isn't anything there, so what do you have?

You're railing about the non-coverage of a non-story.

I'm willing to be charitable, but I'm clearly unimpressed. Sorry.

ed

Hmmmm.

"If you are confused about what the merits are for a scandal -- I suggest we use Clinton standards TravelGate -- FileGate . I think this easily passes those bars."

TravelGate was about the abuse of authority inside the Clinton White House to reward cronies with choice jobs.

FileGate was about the abuse of authority inside the Clinton White House to illegally acquire over 1,200 confidential FBI files on critics and opponents of the Clintons.

Trying to draw an equivalence only deserves mocking laughter.

Jor

Ed, 263 mentions of underwear -- vs 20 mentions of the head of intelligence of our largest ally saying we going to war no matter what, and intelligence was going to be fixed around policy. Hmm, that is a non-story. Of course the fact that Kinsely spends about 2 paragraphs discussing the content of the memo, and hides it in a column about left-wing lunacy has the rhetorical skill of high school op-ed writer.


Of course, if "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," rather than vice versa, that is pretty good evidence of Bush's intentions, as well as a scandal in its own right. And we know now that this was true and a half. Fixing intelligence and facts to fit a desired policy is the Bush II governing style, especially concerning the war in Iraq. But C offered no specifics, or none that made it into the memo. Nor does the memo assert that actual decision makers had told him they were fixing the facts

Forget that C is The head of intelligence of our largest ally. no matter. "we all already knew this". Hilarious. No shit there are no specifics, no ones looked into it cause FileGate, TravelGate, etc. are waaaaay more important than this. Obviously you concur.

ed

Hmmm.

"263 mentions of underwear"

That is a rather bizzare segue.

"was going to be fixed around policy"

I'd be more impressed if it weren't for the fact that I've read a great deal of English literature. The word "fix" in English, as opposed to American, is always used to denote attaching, positioning, or orienting. "Fix", as in "the fix is in", is an American term.

Please keep on trying. If you keep flailing around sooner or later you might get somewhere.

Cecil Turner

"Of course the fact that Kinsely spends about 2 paragraphs discussing the content of the memo, and hides it in a column about left-wing lunacy has the rhetorical skill of high school op-ed writer. "

Jor, when you can't even get "From the left, I'm Mike Kinsley" on board with an issue, that's a fairly sure bet it's a loser. Or are you suggesting he's succumbed to Rove's mind beams?

Jor

Ed, uh, are we resorting to the it depends on what the definition of "is" is? I've a lotta experience in biology and cs, I could easily bullshit (assuming you are in some other field) you into believing whatever I wanted about genetics or computer operating systems by leaving out very important facts (selectively constructing my argument). I would be "fixing" my arguments around some idiotic idealogy. This is what happened with intelligence. It's called rationalization.

sf

Gentlemen: If Juke and Jor are in any way representative of the quality of Leftist argument, we might as well let 90 percent of the VRWC disband and go home, just leaving a few on watch to call bullshit any time the Left starts up again.

Such whiny, confused, disconnected, disaffected boys.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Ed, uh, are we resorting to the it depends on what the definition of "is" is?"

Heh. Nice try but there are significant differences. First of all Clinton is an American, in an American court, interrogated by an American lawyer for an American audience. The basic supposition that there wouldn't be language differences is correct.

Here we're discussing a British memo, written by a British person, concerning a British meeting.

And yes there are significant differences in how words are used between American english and English english.

2. "I've a lotta experience in biology and cs, I could easily bullshit (assuming you are in some other field) you into believing whatever I wanted about genetics or computer operating systems by leaving out very important facts (selectively constructing my argument)."

Thank you for making my point. Colloquialisms and jargon are rife in all walks of life. For a computer programmer the word "compile" means to use a computer program to create a binary instruction file from a set of source files. For most other people the word "compile" is used to denote assembling, ordering of facts and data.

Since I've been a professional programmer for the past 28+ years the word "compile" means something to me that it wouldn't mean to someone who didn't have a CS backgorund.

For this lovely victory, I thank you. My mother thanks you. My cat thanks you. My best friend's dog, a wonderful sheltie, thanks you.

Appalled Moderate

To the left wing commentators:

The Dowling Street Memo is not registering because it does not give proof. It merely states an informed opinion that Bush, in 7/2002 was determined to go to war in Iraq, and that he was working up his case to do that. Um...I'm sorry, but my reaction to that is "Well, duh guys!" None of this really is news. You are going to need a pretty direct "intelligence was falsified" from somebody a little more credible than Joseph Wilson.

To the right wing commentators:

If you believe Bush did not intend to go to war in Iraq in July, 2002, you need a serious reality check. Everything that happened from July 2002 to March 2003 were actions to persuade the public to support the war and other nations to join the battle.

Jor

AM, I agree with you, accept I think atrios's point that this is only the narrative of news junkies and the punditocracy and not the public's perception of the war is spot on. In that sense, this memo, should be the final nail in the coffin about the perpetual shifting-rational/timeline/everything the right blogosphere has continued to do with this war. However, the powerline link above doesn't concede defeat, and I have yet to see something from Glenn or TM to that effect.

Ed -- I'm not sure your clinton-esque parsing of rules and who they exactly apply to is helping your case. Principles generally don't care about technicalities. I thought that was a cornerstone of conservative justice.

In terms of the meaning of "fix" -- I am saying, the meaning of fix you suggested is the PROBLEM. That meaning alone is damning. For example, suppose I was preaching to a completely computer illiterate friend that DOS is a superior OS to Windows 95/98/etc. I tell him, DOS never crashes, and can be installed very quickly. He has never used a computer and accepts that i am presenting the relevant facts of the matter. Obviously I've left out important things like user interface and multi-tasking. Anyone who was going to do some comparison of OSes knows you have to mention those. But I fixed the evidence around my belief.

Is this not the definition of fix you are espousing? Is this not what happened in the war?


Cecil, the opinion Kinsely is staking out only has a constituency in the punditocracy. I was under the false impression that reason, Buchanon, and the American conservative would matter in the '04 election -- obviously they didn't. Like them, Kinsely is talking to news junkies.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Ed -- I'm not sure your clinton-esque parsing of rules and who they exactly apply to is helping your case. Principles generally don't care about technicalities. I thought that was a cornerstone of conservative justice."

Principles rely heavily upon a base of accuracy.

2. "In terms of the meaning of "fix" -- I am saying, the meaning of fix you suggested is the PROBLEM. That meaning alone is damning."

Completely incorrect. The phrasing of the memo clearly doesn't support your argument.

And quite frankly if the entirety of your position is dependent upon the exact phrasing of a memo written after a meeting and using second-hand references, then your position is completely untenable to begin with.

3. "If you believe Bush did not intend to go to war in Iraq in July, 2002, you need a serious reality check. Everything that happened from July 2002 to March 2003 were actions to persuade the public to support the war and other nations to join the battle."

And your point is what?

We went to war in March of 2003. It takes months of planning, positioning of equipment and movement of troops before any invasion. The entirety of your damnation is that they took the necessary time to plan the invasion and acquire political support for it?

Those dastardly beasts! How dare they do the necessary planning for an invasion before invading!

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that planning is going on here.

Appalled Moderate

Jor:

I'm a little too bloggy and news junkie to count as average. I'd guess, though, the American public is just as aware as we are that Bush intended war, and was just making his case. Where the public and you (both you and me, for that matter) ended up diverging was on whether to reelect the guy, despite this fact.

Jor

Uh Ed, you didn't say how I'm misinterpretting the meaning of fix -- after wasting all that time saying I was misinterpretting you basically conceded I'm right and then go on to say (in true idealogical form) "well, I don't care anyway". No one is talking about plannning -- there is a difference between planning and having things be foregone conclusions. If anything, its clear there was not enough planning (c.f. Washington Post, front page, yesterday).

TexasToast

"The Dowling Street Memo is not registering because it does not give proof."

AM

Proof of what? It is consistant with the earlier testimony of Dick Clarke, and statements of Rumsfeld and others that support the contention that the US decided to go to war in Iraq very soon after 9/11 (even though there was no connection between Saddam and AQ) for reasons that had little to do with 9/11. The administration then proceeded to oversell faulty intelligence in support of a decision already made.

I'm not suggesting they "falsified" intelligence, just hyped it almost beyond recognition. Bush wanted to get rid of Saddam (IMHO because he thought Dad didn't "accomplish the mission"), the GWOT was the perfect excuse, and the intelligence and casis belli were "fixed" around a policy that had already been decided.

What more "proof" do we need?

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Uh Ed, you didn't say how I'm misinterpretting the meaning of fix"

Then you haven't read the last 6 posts of mine that directly refute you.

2. "No one is talking about plannning -- there is a difference between planning and having things be foregone conclusions."

Again, and again, and again, and again, we went to war in March of 2003. It takes *months* of planning, positioning of equipment and soldiers before any invasion can take place. From July of 2002 to March of 2003, it's 8 months.

GOT THAT? 8 months.

For an invasion involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers, tanks, APCs, ships, aircraft and a million tosn of supplies, in co-ordination with dozens of allied commands.

AM I CLEAR TO YOU NOW?

Frankly I'm still completely unimpressed.

jukeboxgrad

"Are you familiar with [Blix's] final report on Saddams lack of compliance, where they list all the WMD still unaccounted for?"

Yes. This report indicates that Iraq was being cooperative with regard to providing open access to the inspectors (who were able to go where they wanted, when they wanted), but there were unresolved issues with regard to Iraq showing positive evidence that all old WMD had been destroyed.

In other words, even though the UN was being allowed to see for itself that Iraq had no WMD, Iraq was also being asked to show better proof that it had destroyed all old WMD. This is an understandable request, but there are obvious difficulties with proving a negative. In other words, we imposed a catch-22: for Saddam to "disarm" meant surrendering his WMDs, which didn't exist. So Saddam's failure to present WMD, and the UN's failure to find any, was used by Bush as "proof" that Saddam had WMD which were simply well-hidden.

Anyone taking a close look at this report by Blix can see that a thorough and serious effort was underway to make sure Iraq had no WMD. It's also clear that although as of 1/27/03 there were still unresolved issues, that Saddam was largely cooperative ("The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt."). What's also now increasingly clear is that Bush (despite his fallacious public statements on this point) didn't want disarmament; Bush wanted war. In other words, a successful UN inspections process was not what Bush expected, and not what Bush wanted. Bush didn't go to the UN to try to avoid war; Bush went to the UN to create an excuse for war.

(By the way, Bush's war plans dated back to at least 1998, when his pals urged Clinton to invade Iraq. It's interesting to note that this letter says nothing whatsover about spreading freedom or democracy. If focuses completely on Saddam's ostensible WMD as a security threat. Of course this was right around the time Cheney was happily doing business with Saddam [link, link].)

More and more proof of this is emerging. "There had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors" (pdf). "Renwed refused [sic] by Saddam to accept unfettered inspections would be a powerful argument" (pdf).

" ... little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action ... the need to set military plans within a realistic political strategy ... includes ... creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq ... it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action ... It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003." (link)

In other words, the goal wasn't disarmament. The goal was "building support for military action against Saddam." The assumption was that Saddam would never cooperate with the UN, and this would help the US build the moral and legal justification for war. Trouble is, Saddam did cooperate with the UN. That's why Bush was in such a hurry to chase the UN out of Iraq. The longer they stayed, the clearer it would have become that the US strategy to "wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors" had failed.

"What evidence do you have that war was the first resort for Bush? Any at all?"

The fact that his pals were urging "military action" against Saddam in 1998 is a pretty good clue. Dearlove saying "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action" is another pretty good clue. Statements by Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke and Bob Woodward are clues, along with the fact that Bush illegally took Afghanistan money to start Iraq-war preparations (link). I've mentioned various other clues, which I realize you're determined to ignore. More can be found here.

"Surely the process of getting yet another UN resolution, which Saddam yet again brushed off, indicates an attempt to avert a war?"

Keep drinking the kool-aid. Keep ignoring the statements that indicate that the hope was not to "avert a war," but to find legal, political and moral justification for a war that had already been planned ("It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject"). Keep ignoring the Blix report, which you cited, indicating substantial progress and cooperation by Saddam.

"Saddam had been violating the terms of the ceasefire for many years. This led to the imposition of sanctions. To suggest that, given all the diplomatic and economic pressure which we brought to bear over a decade ..."

And we now know that the sanctions and "diplomatic and economic pressure" had worked: Saddam had no WMD. And this is what the UN was in the process of proving. But for Bush it was important to not let that process continue, because that would undermine a BushCo plan for war that had been developed over many years. By the way, it's too bad Cheney thought trading with Saddam was more important than maintaining "economic pressure."

"It's like pulling teeth getting this out of you, Dum."

Your resorting to peurile name-calling is a sure sign that the facts are against you (as if that wasn't already obvious).

"What ... very ... serious ... statements?"

My point is that minutes of a high-level UK war-planning meeting are likely to contain nothing but "very ... serious ... statements." If you can't see that, that's your problem.

"so what if Bush had already decided to strike Iraq."

He repeatedly claimed otherwise. If you don't mind when your president lies to you, that's your problem.

"It's quite presumpteous of you to announce that the American people were lied to and that they are now pissed."

I realize you'd like to ignore the fact that Republican Congressman Walter "freedom fries" Jones has now said we went to war "with no justification," and that we may have been "given misinformation intentionally." I also realize you'd like to ignore the fact that most people think the casualties are unacceptable, that we're bogged down there, and that the war was not worth fighting (link).

"Some unknown persons feelings about what Bush had decided at some point"

Nice. Instead of acknowledging your error (or lie) in stating that Rycroft and Dearlove are "anonymous," you simply repeat the false statement.

"You have hijacked this thread"

We've already seen signs that you're click-impaired. I guess you're also scroll-impaired.

"the article you cite was dated roughly a decade after Hussein's original deadline for disarming or disclosing as per the ceasefire agreement with the UN."

Better late then never. Claiming he did it too slowly is not the same as claiming he didn't do it at all, and it is not an excuse for war. Maybe he would have taken international pressure more seriously if folks like Cheney weren't doing millions of dollars of business with him.

"by citing an article about Hussein disarming, it appears that you believe he still had [WMD]"

Really? That's a complete non sequitur. The Blix report makes clear that the process at this point largely consisted of Saddam coming up with proof that he had already destroyed what he said he had destroyed. That doesn't mean Blix (or I) believed "he still had" WMD. It means it was reasonable to proceed with a process to peacefully develop proof, one way or another. Too bad Bush pulled the plug on that process, because he had an interest in making sure it didn't have time to succeed.

"where did those korans at gitmo come from?"

It's nice that we hand out Korans. I realize you think Rumsfeld should get a big gold star for that, and also a free pass for the various innocent people who have been beaten to death. I guess you forgot that we're supposed to be the good guys.

"would you be cool with an exhibit at a museum ... "

I think it's a good idea to let artists do whatever they like.

"A bit off topic"

Yes.

"you seem to be some kind of worked up about this whole laughable koran abuse nonsense."

I realize you're determined to ignore what I've already said several times. If all we ever did was intentionally desecrate Korans, for the purpose of intimidating prisoners, I don't think anyone would be terribly upset. Unfortunately, we've done far worse than that. Also, as far as I can tell, no one in this country was making a big deal about Koran abuse until our government decided it was primarily the media's fault that lots of Muslims hate us, which sometimes leads to deadly riots. Never mind that our government has done numerous things to unnecessarily incite hate against us (interesting example: Bush ineptly using the word "crusade" on multiple occasions). I think that fits in pretty well in the "laughable ... nonsense" category.

"The word 'but' does not change the meaning of the word 'fixed.'"

I notice you're not bothering to explain why the sentence starts with the word "but." Given your interpretation of "fixed," "but" makes no sense.

"The WMD threat is listed in several places (not merely by the military)"

Wrong. The passage in the DSM that indicates imminent concern about WMD ("For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one ... Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel") is immediately preceded by this sentence: "The military were continuing to ask lots of questions." WMD is mentioned elsewhere in the memo, but only in the context of political and legal justification (e.g., "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD").

"nowhere is it claimed to be nonexistent."

I don't have to believe that WMD was "nonexistent" to see that BushCo hysteria about imminent "mushroom clouds" were highly exaggerated, at best. Incidentally, DSM is not being used to show that WMD were "nonexistent." DSM is being used to show (among other things) that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

I said "innocent people have been beaten to death." You said "Not at Gitmo, they haven't" (as if you have some way of being sure of that). Wow, I guess that means everything is just fine, then.

"It ought to be fairly obvious that if the guys in the field (75th RR) 'hid the truth,' then everyone senior to them was relying on their information."

Nice job ignoring the facts, which I've already cited: "The Army's public release made no mention of friendly fire, even though at the time it was issued, investigators in Afghanistan had already taken at least 14 sworn statements from Tillman's platoon members that made clear the true causes of his death" (link).

"this isn't the first, tenth, or even hundredth case in point."

It's obviously not the first case of fratricide, which is occasionally inevitable (although in this case there seem to be fairly dramatic indications of negligence at various levels). However, it's the only case I know where the fratricide was covered up at a high level, apparently so the death could be used as a highly public recruiting tool. As far as I can tell, you have no problem with this.

"The word 'fix' in English, as opposed to American, is always used to denote attaching, positioning, or orienting ... there are significant differences in how words are used between American english and English english."

I guess that's why this British dictionary includes "cheat" as one of the definitions of "fix." (Aren't you the same guy who said "Principles rely heavily upon a base of accuracy?" Heh.)

But let's ignore that for a moment, and try your definitions:

But the intelligence and facts were being attached around the policy.
But the intelligence and facts were being positioned around the policy.
But the intelligence and facts were being oriented around the policy.

You still have a small problem with the word "but." Nice job ignoring that.

"You are going to need a pretty direct 'intelligence was falsified'"

I've cited numerous examples of politically-incorrect intelligence being squelched, ignored and discouraged.

"If you believe Bush did not intend to go to war in Iraq in July, 2002, you need a serious reality check."

Exactly. But there's a small problem with the fact that he made repeated public statements contrary to this. It's not the sex, it's the lying.

"We went to war in March of 2003"

That's only true if you think several hundred tons of bombs don't constitute "war."

"The entirety of your damnation is that they took the necessary time to plan the invasion"

There's a big difference between having a contigency plan, as compared with proceeding in a certain direction as if the result is a foregone conclusion (and publicly pretending otherwise as you do so). If you don't understand the difference, that's your problem.

"the GWOT was the perfect excuse"

Exactly. A year before 9/11, PNAC (Bush's pals who had been urging Clinton to invade Iraq) was talking wistfully about how its goals would be easier if there was only a "new Pearl Harbor" (pdf).

Appalled Moderate

Toast:

I'd recommend something that's at least 100 proof, bcause strong drink is what it's going to take to get through the news coverage of the next few years of Iraq.

Seriously, though, I think there are very few who actually believe Bush was not determined to go to war in July 2002 and that he overstated the availbale intelligence. This is why the DSM is just no big deal (which puts me, I now realize, squarely in the Kinsey/Sullivan camp). It's just a top secret recitation of the bloody obvious. If you tell me that Bush or friends actually falsified intelligence (rather than just spun his case), you get to something that has not heretofore been in evidence, and you therefore have a story.

I'd suggest that the left keep focusing on the now (Guantanamo) and forget the then. They'll have better luck.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "I guess that's why this British dictionary includes "cheat" as one of the definitions of "fix." (Aren't you the same guy who said "Principles rely heavily upon a base of accuracy?" Heh.)"

And they also list:

REPAIR)
- fix (FASTEN)
- fix (ARRANGE)
- fix (PREPARE FOOD)
- fix (KEEP)
- fix (CHEAT)
- fix (PUNISH)
- fix (DRUG)
- fix (PRESERVE COLOURS)
- fix (SIGHT)
- fix (STOP REPRODUCTION)
- fixed assets
- fixed star
- fix sth up (ARRANGE)
- fix sth up (REPAIR)
- fix sb up (PROVIDE)
- fix sb up (PERSON)

So what is your point? That there are other definitions for the same word? The use of "fix" is still not in accordance with what jor is trying to push.

And frankly next time you reply to so many different people in the same post, please identify whom you're replying to. I only saw that quotation in passing as I had no intention of reading it all.

2. "You still have a small problem with the word "but." Nice job ignoring that."

I have no problem at all with the word. As I explained in painful, excruciating, detail. If you have to rely on the exact wording of a memo written after a meeting, and with second-hand references, involving a foreign government then you've got far more problems than could be covered here.

3. "There's a big difference between having a contigency plan, as compared with proceeding in a certain direction as if the result is a foregone conclusion (and publicly pretending otherwise as you do so). If you don't understand the difference, that's your problem."

A contingency plan? You're expecting the military to come up with an INVASION OF IRAQ as a CONTINGENCY? I'd laugh mockingly at you but it would be rude.

Shall I point out, again and again and again and again, the necessary mass of soldiers, equipment and supplies required for this invasion? How much sea lift, air lift and general transport required? The months of training and prep work needed?

Contingency? Henceforth I think you should avoid this subject.

Sweetie

Maybe if the Dems could win an election from time to time they wouldn't sound so desperate.

AM - It seems to me a key supporting plank to your 'Bush was going to war and that's that' is that even if Hans Blix told the Security Council Iraq was in full compliance then Bush was going to invade anyway. Do you have evidence that this is the case or is the basis just conjecture? I'm in the camp of you might be right and you might be wrong but as a matter of fact this is absolutely unknowable (even by Bush). However, do you really think that a country was fairly evenly split behind the war would have remained evenly split if there was a credible Hans Blix saying that Saddam was in compliance?

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Amazon

  • Lee Child, Kindle short story
  • Lee Child
  • Gary Taubes

Traffic

Wilson/Plame