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February 10, 2007

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» The NYTs cooked up editorial (UPDATED) from Sister Toldjah
First the editorial, on the now-debunked but widely talked about news reports from several news outlets about pre-war Iraq intelligence reports that were supposedly cooked up to fit the admins agenda of forcing a link betwee... [Read More]

Comments

windansea

pathetic...no wonder the Lied/Died meme prevails

Carol Herman

Where would we be without bloggers?

Lucianne's site is also headlining this with a link to HOT AIR. Exactly how do you now quote from an entirely different document, to cover up the original PURPOSEFUL lie. I ask.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

It seems "over there," the left has dead soldiers, that stay propped up. But this is no WaPo take-down of Nixon, anymore.

Nixon, "foolishly" fired Cox. To stop the "ain't he special, prosecutor" from continuing with this political operation. Where the dems wanted to "take back" the White House.

But the troop line up is different now. Our President did not fire the SP. Instead, he's letting the left have all the stage room it wants.

As to the FBI? Eckenrode is no Mark Felt.

As to the WaPo? Pincus is no Woodward. (As a matter of fact, that's probably why Woodward stuck out his foot, to stop Pincus' march up the stairs.)

Oh. And, on Monday, I am sure Judge Walton will let us watch Wells attempt to get at the truth, through his cross examination of Andrea Mitchell. When it's over? Just another Anna Nicole Smith bites the dust. What do I mean? Autopsy 'inconclusive.'

capitano
PILING ON: Yes, Walter Pincus is one of the WaPo's deans of intel, and has a role in the Libby trial

That probably explains why he didn't have time to proof the copy before the article was printed. But then that's what his readers are for, no?

Martin

When does Bush issue a correction for the war?

lurker

There is nothing that Bush needs to correct for the war against Iraq and Global Jihadism.

lurker

It was the right thing for Bush to do to invade Iraq as part of the war against Global Jihadism.

windansea

Mr Feith, who left the government in 2005, said he welcomed the finding that his activities were legal and authorized, but said it was "an absurd position" to say his activities were inappropriate.

"It, of course, varied from (the) consensus. It was a criticism of that consensus. That is why it was written," he said in a statement.

Sara (Squiggler)

I am convinced that Armitage was Pincus source, despite WH attribution.

Rick Ballard

I don't understand the fuss. All of the major MSM outlets are resorting to cost cutting measures to compensate for loss of subscribers. The WaPo is just experimenting with an innovation that is completely honest, IMO.

Why spend the money on rewriting Dem press releases in order to maintain a facade of impartiality? Let's applaud their honesty and laud Pincus for leading the way! The rejection of hypocrisy by the Post is refreshing and we should acknowledge their service to the party.

This is the most honest thing the Post has done in years and we should not ridicule them for coming clean.

lurker

The more honest thing for WaPo to do should have been to review it in depth and NOT publish it in the first place once they realized the plagiarizing of this report. Hope they learn better next time.

SteveMG

Wow, this appalling error (or errors) was done by Pincus and Smith, two of the most experienced and qualified reporters the Post has on national security and defense matters. These guys have 50+ years of reporting combined.

Pretty disheartening, really.

SMG

Menlo Bob

And all of the other papers that printed the lie remain uncorrected.

Foo Bar

That's a horrible, inexcusable mistake that Pincus and Smith made. They should be duly embarrassed, and the WaPo correction should receive a prominent placement.

If anyone is nonetheless interested in what the report actually said, I recommend reading the whole thing. It's quite short (10 pages of Powerpoint-style bullet points).

Now, did Feith's office produce an Iraq/Al Qaeda link that was much stronger than that assessed by the intelligence community and more in accord with administration policy? See question 9:

9) Did the OSD Policy briefing to the White House draw conclusions (or "findings") that were not supported by the available intelligence, such as "intelligence indicates cooperation in all categories; mature, symbiotic relationship" or that there were "multiple areas of cooperation," and shared interest and pursuit of WMD, and "some indications of possible Iraq coordination with al Qaida specifically related to 9/11" ?

Yes. The briefing did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence

Generally the defense of the White House going to war based on intelligence that turned out to be wrong has been that the administration passively accepted the intelligence and hence were victims of intelligence community incompetence. Yet here you have a clear admission from Feith that he was criticizing the community's conclusions (on Iraq/al Qaida links).

So were the policymakers and political appointees responsible for critiquing the intelligence, or weren't they? Or was that their job only when the intelligence didn't sufficiently support the case for war?

MII

Glorious.

Reminds of 'It's the End of the World as We Know It,' and 'Spirit in the Sky.'

clarice

I posted this yesterday--Among the things Feith's office found that our crack intel folks had overlooked is that in the pre-9/11 period OBL made 100 calls to Raq. Only 60 got thru. What was so important in Iraq that he spent hours trying to get thru?

I know, let's just leave this in the hands of the Pillar's and Mary whatshername and Plame. That'll do it.

boris

were the policymakers and political appointees responsible for critiquing the intelligence, or weren't they?

Not the issue. Muddy the water. Obfuscation. Red Herring.

Straw Dummy: "passively accepted the intelligence and hence were victims"

False premise. Logical fallacy. Whiney mumbo jumbo.

Cecil Turner

Generally the defense of the White House going to war based on intelligence that turned out to be wrong has been that the administration passively accepted the intelligence and hence were victims of intelligence community incompetence.

Last I checked, Congress declares war, not the White House. And the "offense" is that the Administration lied about the intelligence, which a simple glance at the available summary shows to be nonsense. And the fact that Feith, a noted hawk, focused his critique on the intel that tended to minimize the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq isn't exactly Earth-shattering.

windansea

LOL...new article in todays WaPo by Pincus

An article in yesterday's Washington Post misattributed to the inspector general's report critical comments about the Pentagon operation made by committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). In a statement he released Thursday, Levin, not the inspector general, said the Pentagon effort used intelligence reporting of "dubious quality or reliability." [See correction, A2.]

note the disembodied "article" attribution

You wrote the article Pincus!

Ranger

And remember, just because DCI Tenant said the case against Iraq on WMDs was a "Slam Dunk" that didn't mean he mislead the president and congress. Nope, it was all Bush, Cheney, and Feith. No career intel officials ever gave them the idea that the case was strong. If congress had just listened to Tenant... oh wait, that's exactly what they did... never mind.

clarice

In the meantime the lie has spread. How much attention do you think they'll be to the pullback?
But I can predict the FNC Newswatch take--these things happen, innocent mistake, WaPo did right thing and corrected immediately, cannot expect the Post's premier intel guy to have caught this. Aren't we in the media wonderful and blameless?

That show writes itself.

Cecil Turner

I think it's also worth noting Pincus's July 6, 2003 article (his second on the Wilson saga):

Joseph C. Wilson, the retired United States ambassador . . .

While his family prepared for a Fourth of July dinner, he proudly showed a reporter photos of himself with Bush's parents.

With that, and Pincus's known contacts in the CIA's DO, the idea that he wasn't aware of Plame's employment prior to July is implausible.

clarice

Laughable really, Cecil and he, too, got presidential treatment--answered a few written depo questions in the office of his lawyer son. (Any pre-calls by Eckenrode beforehand?)

topsecretkk9

--Nope, it was all Bush, Cheney, and Feith. No career intel officials ever gave them the idea that the case was strong.--

I am convinced all the selective leaks and then running behind the democrats backs has been survival - the CIA is full of a bunch of V.Plames. - not the best and the brightest.

Foo Bar

the fact that Feith, a noted hawk, focused his critique on the intel that tended to minimize the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq isn't exactly Earth-shattering

Certainly wasn't earth-shattering, but do you agree that it was inappropriate? If policymakers are free to criticize only those intelligence conclusions that don't support the policies they want and then present those critiques to the White House, isn't that going to tend to give the White House a distorted picture of the intelligence?

corvan

Clarice are you planning on posting anything over at the American Thinker on the Russert-Eckenrode-lost notes thing? I don't see that anyone in the media has confronted this angle. Specifically, whether it's credible to believe that Russert burned a source to a complete stranger without so much as ever seeing a badge. Then the stranger in question happens to lose the notes of the conversation.

clarice

Yes--it's at the editor and I will post it here as soon as it's up. I wanted to get it out early and it is perhaps less polished than it would be if I worked on it more, but that's life.

corvan

Thanks, Clarice.

boris

If policymakers are free to criticize only those intelligence conclusions that don't support the policies

What totalitarian mindset is this? It is a free country.

owl

(Any pre-calls by Eckenrode beforehand?)

Of course not, silly rabbitt.

clarice

Foo Bar, on the one hand the critics complain the Administration was too credible of the intel reports of the nomenklatura and on the other they complain it wasn't credulous enough?
Give me a break.
If you were the Pentagon exactly what part of the now declassified NIE would you consider "actionable intelligence"? The whole thing--sloppy and incomplete--reads like a sixth grade term paper.

richard mcenroe

As sent to the WAPO this morning...

Gee,the professional journalists of the Washington Post misrepresented a two-year-old press release as a new report and a Democratic Senator as an unnamed Administration official. Quite the little faux pas for professional journalists with their layers of fact checkers and editors. And where was Bad Billy Rankin when we needed him? Youd think a veteran intelligence profession and expert journalistic security expert would have picked up on this... If there was the slightest shred of honesty and professional integrity at the Washington Post...

clarice

It has everything in it but the pics clipped surruptiously from the out of date home copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

clarice

rm, And they are still letting Pincus cover the story. Is he reporting from the Alzheimer's Clinic? Isn't it time for the gold watch already?

Sara (Squiggler)

There are two worlds in America. Not the two worlds of John Edwards, based on money, but two worlds based on CVs and degrees, etc. There is what I call the "country club Republican/limousine or ivory tower liberal world" and those with "street cred" or the blue collar world, or the world of the enlisted man in the military, or the self-made man, etc.

In the first, violate social convention and you are ostracized and severely limited in your quest for position and power. In the second world, you live to fight another day and the gloves are off.

The problem with our government today, which really began with the Yuppie movement of the eighties is that those who make it to power have no idea how to operate on the operations level. Growing up in the protected environments of World One and the protected environments of elite universities might prepare one to handle complicated issues on an academic level, but those who grew up in the "survival of the fittest" world know how to make things happen. They don't have the academic credentials we now require to get the really top jobs, but that does not mean that within their ranks there aren't exceptionally bright people far better to orchestrate large organizations and operations. They never get the chance.

Those of World One are clueless really. They get it on paper, but like we saw with the chase for OBL in the recent movie, they do not have the guts to go for the throat. It just isn't the way World One people handle things. Remember their way is to ostracize.

We need tough "survival of the fittest" people running our intelligence and as our agents. Forget all the fancy degrees and hire based on basic smarts and then give them their rules and parameters and set them loose. You cannot win any war, whether the war on terror or the war on drugs or any other, using debutantes and their beaus.

centralcal

The Alzheimer's Clinic - would that be located in the left wing of the hospital?

Martin

Here's a great (in the piss you off sense) clip of Cheney lying right to your face about pre-warr intelligence he cited on his go to guy-Russert's MTP.

Why you people get more outraged by the WAPO than Cheney is an eternal mystery.

Foo Bar

Foo Bar, on the one hand the critics complain the Administration was too credible of the intel reports of the nomenklatura and on the other they complain it wasn't credulous enough?

Yes, too credulous when the intel supported the case for war, and not skeptical enough when it didn't.

E.g. you had them running with the aluminum tubes stuff on the basis of what the CIA said even though the real experts (DOE) thought it was unlikely they were for centrifuges. So the CIA is distrusted on Iraq/al Qaida and trusted on nuclear technology. Which of these 2 areas more naturally falls under the CIA's purview: (1) the possibility of a shadowy alliance between 2 of our enemies or (2) the suitability of a piece of equipment for a highly complex piece of nuclear machinery?

clarice

Interesting point, Sara..I have often thought myself that if we replaced the DoS's Mideast operation personnel with rug merchants we'd be in much better shape.

clarice

Interesting point, Sara..I have often thought myself that if we replaced the DoS's Mideast operation personnel with rug merchants we'd be in much better shape.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Shhh! You want him replaced with a more competent party shill?

I think Walter Pincus is a great journalist and should remain in harness at the Post until Big Brother finally gathers him home to his warm reward.

topsecretkk9

Rich

Excellent. Again I missed the detail of attribution. Was not Judy Miller raked over the coals for agreeing to "former Hill Staffer" == I should think going down, not UP is a bit better.

clarice

What foolishness, foo bar and martin.
Three damn commissions confirmed that the intel was never manipulated. And as for things like the aluminum tubes--there has been ample reason for suspicion--they were so finely milled (and expensively so) no one would order them that way except (a) for nuclear weapons or (b) to make us think they were for (a). And if (b) that should be a lesson don't try to bluff a Texas poker player.He'll raise and call you everytime.

Foo Bar

Me:

and not skeptical enough when it didn't.

Sorry, I meant "too skeptical", obviously.

boris

unlikely they were for centrifuges

Misses the point. They were contraband because they could be used for centrifuges.

Want our side to always fairly present both sides, pro and con, of every issue? Fine, just have your side go first.

Other Tom

"If policymakers are free to criticize only those intelligence conclusions that don't support the policies they want and then present those critiques to the White House, isn't that going to tend to give the White House a distorted picture of the intelligence?"

C'mon, FooBar, give us a break--you're better than that. You are talking about one "policymaker" here, and there is no suggestion anywhere that either he or any of his colleagues were not free to criticize any conclusions they wished to. It is in the very nature of intelligence that people draw differing conclusions from what are necessarily shaky bits of evidence, often conflicting evidence. If that weren't so we wouldn't need intelligence agencies--and God knows we have them in abundance. It was the job of the then-DCI, George Tenet, to develop the consensus and present it to the president. He did, and the president chose to invade Iraq because of it--with the support of a number of Democratic senators, including Jay Rockefeller of the SSCI.

Now that things aren't going so well on the ground, we are witnessing the disgusting spectacle of politicians seeking to excuse what is now an unpopular vote by doing what politicians always do--blaming someone else. It makes one's skin crawl.

Martin

Clarice-I have video linked of Cheney emphatically denying he said exactly what he said, supra.

I'm thinking Wells could use that clip to establish how bad and unreliable the memory is!

Foo Bar

Three damn commissions confirmed that the intel was never manipulated

None have addressed whether administration public statements were consistent with the underlying intel. That's coming later this year.

clarice

Too bad polls don't have this (****) so they could use it as I do to correct a misspoken word before the nutcases ride off in the sunset with it.

windansea

It makes one's skin crawl.

enough to make me move to Mexico

oops, already did that :)

weather update: it's currently about 75 degrees with a warm tropical breeze and the dolphins and whales are frolicking in the Bay

clarice

Foo Bar, I fully expect that Levin will take out his bifocals and search for any minor disputes in the NIE, but I warn you he's looking for flyspecks not serious contradictions.(Because there are none. No matter what grandpa Walter Pincus and his friends report.)

clarice

**Too bad pols don't have this (****) so they could use it as ***LOL

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

From me? I go and shrug, ho-hum. As far as I'm concerned, the WaPo became the Compost. Sure, in DC it has subscribers. But it's no longer anything most people even bother to look at. Since all the news I need to see, for instance, shows up on Drudge, first.

As to this particular weekend, however. While Saturday is the slowest news day of all; I am sure, "to take her mind off things," Andrea Mitchell gets the paper. And, reads the paper. And, so, too, does her husband.

Good enough for me.

Let them see that the WaPo, one of their standard bearers, is suffering from retractions this morning. So, that on Monday, they won't be able to labor out a great review for "how Mitchell beat the crap out of Wells,with her honest-to-goodness sharp minded answers."

In other words? Andrea Mitchell, in this Kabuki dance, just got her toes stepped upon. By her "leading man." Unless her husband can knock some sense into her head.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Why you people get more outraged by the WAPO than Cheney is an eternal mystery.'

Your inability to understand anything isn't news to us.

Ranger

None have addressed whether administration public statements were consistent with the underlying intel. That's coming later this year.

Posted by: Foo Bar | February 10, 2007 at 09:03 AM

Hmmm... You mean Tenant's "Slam Dunk" overstated the evidence?

Ranger

Foo Bar,

In case you missed my point, if anyone was "cherry picking" it was Tenant.

Rick Ballard

"He did, and the president chose to invade Iraq because of it"

I would prefer to think that Iraq was invaded because there are people smart enough to answer the question "If we want to discourage muslim tyrants from supporting exporting islamic terrorism, who would provide the best example and what level of negative consequence would achieve the best long lasting result?"

In the sixth year since the last islamic attempt at influence by terror on US territory or possessions (aside from that inflicted upon the military engaged in the suppression of the islamic terrorists) I would say the decision taken was correct.

Foo Bar

the disgusting spectacle of politicians seeking to excuse what is now an unpopular vote by doing what politicians always do--blaming someone else

Levin pushed for this report, and he did not vote for the war.

It was the job of the then-DCI, George Tenet, to develop the consensus and present it to the president

A fine point. Feith went around Tenet in this case and made sure Tenet didn't even know about the presentation. See question 7 of the report (bold is mine):

Did the staff of the OUSDP present a briefing on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship to the White House in September 2002 unbeknownst to the Director of Central Intelligence, not vetted by the Intelligence Community, and that was not supported by the available intelligence (for example, concerning the alleged Atta meeting), without providing the IC notice of the briefing or an opportunity to comment?

Yes


Sara (Squiggler)

Clarice -- I grew up in the World One life and through circumstance found myself ostracized and plopped into the "survival of the fittest" world totally unprepared. Over educated, but completely naive. It took me years to adjust. Now, some call me a "reverse snob" but that is just another form of ostracism.

George Bush grew up in World One, but his Texas roots and back to basics personality equipped him to be a great poker player.

Unfortunately, the World One people feel betrayed by GWB and they use the put down about his speech patterns or use of terms like "wanted dead or alive" to smear him. The SOTF world doesn't trust him either because of his elite background. I love him because I think he gets it and uses the "it" to great advantage. Never misunderestimate someone who has made the crossover, from either direction.

clarice

Martin: I have Foo Bars:

"and not skeptical enough when it didn't." on tape, wanna see it?

Other Tom

FooBar, I am aware that Levin didn't vote for the war, and I didn't suggest that he did. And what does it matter, assuming it's true, that Tenet wasn't allowed to see Feith's presentation? That seems to reinforce my point, which is that Tenet was unequivocally in support of invading Iraq, regardless of whatever Feith may have said or done. And Tenet is the man on whom the past two presidents relied.

Off topic: interesting quote from the excellent reporter John Burns, the NYTimes's man in Iraq, in an interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday:

"So yes, I do believe, number one, that most Iraqis still believe that for all of the price they have paid, amidst all of this chaos, that the possibility of a different kind of future for the country that was opened by the arrival of American troops was net an advantage."

azaghal

From the other thread (my editing of these posts):

Did Agent Eckenrode accurately tell Russert about Libby's version of the story, or did Agent Eckenrode tell Russert an untrue or modified" version of Libby's statement to see what Russert's reaction would be? No one but Eckenrode knows whether what he said was true and accurate.

Posted by: Jim | February 10, 2007 at 06:39 AM

I guess I am really naive. In this day and age, especially, I would have thought that when Eckenrode called Russert (or anyone else about this investigation) that the FBI would have recorded the call, not just used handwritten notes.

Posted by: centralcal | February 10, 2007 at 06:44 AM

Centracal, apparently the FBI has yet to learn that we are and have been for at last 20 years, in the electronic age. It boggles the mind that they use neither tape recorders nor video tape.

Posted by: Sara (Squiggler) | February 10, 2007 at 07:25 AM


1. Jim, I think it is naive to assume that Eckenrode was alone when he made the call to Russert. The Russert interview would have been equally important as the Libby interviews, and would have been tightly scripted--what to say, what to ask, what to avoid, etc., would all have been scripted during extensive discussions between agents and attorneys. I mean, do you really think Fitz told Eckenrode, hey Jack, sometime between now and when we close up shop give Russert a buzz and see whether he wants to talk about whatever? Eckenrode assuredly is not the only one who knows what Russert said because, even if the other person(s) present didn't catch everything that was said, there would have been lengthy rehashes immediately after the call terminated and probably contemporaneous note taking while he spoke. For example, Eckenrode could repeat what Russert said (OK, so what you said was...) and some other person(s) is/are scribbling away. But only Eckenrode's official notes would be preserved for the record--well, for a while, anyway. This is not directed at you, Jim. We all need to use our imaginations here.

And speaking of imagination,

2. Can anyone imagine the ungodly hullabaloo that would have resulted if Eckenrode had recorded Russert? "Civil rights" activists from coast to coast would have been up in arms. Not to mention, would any reporter ever talk to the FBI again? I think not. There is plenty of reason to criticize the way this whole investigation was run, but we need to look at it from several points of view. The FBI has to live in the real world, too, and when this is over they'll also have to live with the press corps. Pissing them off will not make the FBI's life easier and, for better or worse, every agency needs to take press reaction into account.

clarice

Thanks, azaghal, when I post my article I'll add your comment on others being present at the call


(OT) Steve Gilbert sent me this howler which I'd title Lincoln:A Uniter, Not a Divider:
"Sen. Obama Launches White House Run

By NEDRA PICKLER

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Democrat Barack Obama declared himself a candidate Saturday for the White House in 2008, evoking Abraham Lincoln’s ability to unite a nation and promising to lead a new generation as the country’s first black president.")

Other Tom

Just for record purposes, a list of Democratic senators who voted to invade Iraq:

Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND) Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR) Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Schumer (D-NY)

And of course, don't forget the "courageous Republican maverick, possible presidential candidate" chuck Hagel.

owl

the disgusting spectacle of politicians seeking to excuse what is now an unpopular vote by doing what politicians always do--blaming someone else

And Foo Bar answered:

Levin pushed for this report, and he did not vote for the war
.

So let me tell you what Levin wanted. Watched someone on FOX pull it out of him. He hemmed/hawwed but finally stuttered it out......he wanted the UN to be The Decider.

Yeah....that comforts me.


SteveMG

Foo Bar:
too credulous when the intel supported the case for war, and not skeptical enough when it didn't.

Sure, at the margins.

But the overwhelming evidence was that Iraq under Saddam continued to hold biological and chemical weapons and appeared to be trying to put together his nuclear program.

I'm quite sure that if we spend time going over every claim and every piece of evidence that buttressed that claim, that we can find instances where White House officials under Bush (note: under Bush) gave a worst case scenario re Iraqi capabilities.

But I've yet to see a single piece of evidence that Bush himself knew that what he was stating was not true. As we know, Presidents see the finished intelligence product. They do not have the time or ability to work through how that product is created or molded (e.g., "Are you sure?")

The claims that Bush himself* lied about Iraqi WMDs have no basis, it seems to me.

[*for others: insert Bush is an idiot response below]

SMG

azaghal
"It, of course, varied from (the) consensus. It was a criticism of that consensus. That is why it was written," he said in a statement.

Posted by: windansea | February 10, 2007 at 07:37 AM


We don't need no stinkin' criticism of the consensus. Blinders on, full speed ahead! Anyone recall the cold war consensus? We are doomed, the USSR will bury us, best accomodate to "reality" and sell out allies? Need an intel consensus? Round up the usual consensus makers--we already know what they'll say!

Barney Frank

--Which of these 2 areas more naturally falls under the CIA's purview: (1) the possibility of a shadowy alliance between 2 of our enemies or (2) the suitability of a piece of equipment for a highly complex piece of nuclear machinery?--

Is one of my choices "none of the above"?

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Yes, Clarice, so far, indeed, the lies have spread. Most Americans, however, aren't "convinced," as they are just plain puzzled.

hitler's also buried in a parking lot. So a lot of good Goebbel's propaganda did for germany. See? It eventually worked out.

ANd, even though the WaPo seems to continue its existence, as subscriber rates dropped; there comes a time in every tottering empire, that collapse occurs. You just can't rescue everybody from this building, with ladders built out of bull shit.

Barney Frank

--If policymakers are free to criticize only those intelligence conclusions that don't support the policies they want and then present those critiques to the White House, isn't that going to tend to give the White House a distorted picture of the intelligence?--

Considering the quality of the intelligence the the CIA has been delivering for the last thirty or forty years it would seem any distortion of it would only be an improvement.

azaghal

Cecil quoted:

While his family prepared for a Fourth of July dinner, he proudly showed a reporter photos of himself with Bush's parents.

Gotta luv it. Subtext: what a patriot this guy is!

Other Tom

For further record purposes, of the Democratic senators listed above for voting for the war, Bayh, Feinstein and Rockefeller are on the SSCI.

The entire debate of whether the "real" intelligence supported the conclusion that Saddam had WMD is a thoroughly dishonest one. The Clinton administration believed it as well, and said so often, as did any number of congressional Democrats. Just for fun, let's pick two of them:

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002 (Member, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence)

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

Patton

FireDogLake jumped on this report, as usually, having multiple polictial orgasm.

Of course noone could tell them how stupid they were being because they shut out any opposing voices.

Just goes to show, not everyone is a troll, sometimes they are just much smarter and much more invormed then the publishers of FireDogLake.

owl

OT...but as a media watcher (who trys to watch the worst), I want to mention ABC as a contender. And it is coming from strange sources over there.

Everyone knows about the Rosie/Trump thing coming from The View. Correct name since only One View gets through but forget Rosie...it's someone that fakes being a comedian and spouts daily political vile (Joy).

But Good Morning America takes my top prize for slickest lies. It comes from Diane Sawyer and I will put her up against a Chris Matthews. Her best to date? She traveled to Syria and strolled through their markets, eating their delicious foods to show us they are really just like us. Topper? She does a segment of their First Lady of Peace.

You can't buy this type of Democratic paid ads. Free and repeated over and over. Money can't buy it and many good people will believe it.

This is exactly how we arrived with Fitz. MSNBC was the server of 'Bush Lied' that the others just quoted enough that it became established as 'known fact'.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

I did not know Pincus memorialized his 4th of July (2003) invite to the Wilson's. Since I think he's claiming he didn't know much about the wife of the ambassador, my question is, "can he describe Plame's disquise?" Or is it one of those "recognition things?" "I met her at the party, was introduced. But you know "I'm just not good at recalling names? And, her face wasn't familiar, either."

How complicated is it, that Russert, Andrea Mitchell, the Wilson's, and the Kerry's; were all known to each other way in advance? While the silence remains deafening.

Patton

Once again the left showed how easily they make the same mistakes the CIA made on Iraq.

They know Cheney and the cabal of 'neocons' (read Jews to people like Chris Mathews)
are guilty therefore the fall for every false report dished out by the Wapo.

Its just like they claim Bush fell for everything Chalabi said.

Now they are falling for Democrat Congressmens words, passed off as the IG. What dupes...but willing dupes.

centralcal

Azaghal: thank you for the response to my question about taping the phone call. What prompted me to ask is that in any qiven week, I may call a customer service department, or yes, a government agency, and when the god's smile on me and I get to talk to a real live human (with or without a heavy accent) there is an immediate message: "your call may be recorded for (i.e., quality control) purposes ..."

So, it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility that after such a message, Eckenrode spoke to Russert.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: CECIL TURNER

At 8:09, above, you report the following:
"Last I checked, Congress declares war, not the White House."

Please chedk your copy of the US Constitution, again. In it, the President is not called "the Commander In Chief" for nothing.

The President, after responding TO beligerent attacks, can exercise a mighty swift military response on his own. THEN he has 90 days to approach Congress, to ask for a declaration to continue hostilities.

You'll notice, even Kerry VOTED FOR THE WAR, before he voted against it.

And, President Bush did get the votes to proceed, as you can see from Other Tom's post, above.

Is it possible the senators were worried about their own re-elections, ahead? So they only voted FOR the war, because it would have been detrimental to their careers? That's not a compliment to congress critters at all. Most Americans don't give them high integrity ratings, either. Quite an old story, that.

Patton

Foo Bar,

Please educate yourself. The Director of CIA, isn't just the ehad of the CIA, he runs the intelligence across the government, to INCLUDE those experts in tubes you allude to. The Director of CIA sets the budgets and areas each of the intel organizations work on. In addition, all that intel is funnelled up through the CIA that has the final say on the intelligence estimate.

The DOE position on the tubes is NOT inconsistent with the CIAs if you really think about it. If Saddam Hussein was pursuing reconstituting his Nuclear program, he may very well have had to order tubes that weren't of the best quality, they may have even been substrandard or unsuitable for the job. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THAT WASN'T THE INTENT OF SADDAM.

So while the DOE may say the tubes were not suitable, the CIA may have information from inside the regime that says that the purpose was to acquire suitable tubes, they just couldn't get their hands on them.
The CIA sees all the intel, whereas the DOE may not be aware of some human/signals intelligence that DOE didn't have for its technical assessment.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: OWL

Those dames on TV really don't get the audience that does much but sit on the couch, preferring their soaps. And, Oprah.

And, most audiences are quite plastic in their views. The die hards? They're among the elites. And, funny thing is I don't think they watch Rosie. But they do go to Trump's parties! (Which is where you get real clout among the cognicenti.) Of course, that's just my opinion.

RichatUF
Certainly wasn't earth-shattering, but do you agree that it was inappropriate? If policymakers are free to criticize only those intelligence conclusions that don't support the policies they want and then present those critiques to the White House, isn't that going to tend to give the White House a distorted picture of the intelligence?

Like the distorted picture that was presented duing the Clinton years. The Iraq-alQeada connection was shopped by current VIPS members back in the day (remember al-Shifia). I have an idea, why not release all the DocEx papers, every piece of paper that was captured from IIS headquarters, name all their assets and agents...not a sample here or there, release them all-let the evidence decide.

RichatUF

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: PATTON

And, it also doesn't mean that Saddam bought shitty merchandise, where the crap wouldn't have worked at all.

Even at the height of the Cold War, the Soviets built a lot of crap, they used in their parades. But when they got into Afghanistan that crap broke down. And, the Russian dead and wounded piled up. To the point where the russian peasants revolved. And, the kremlin, with all it's tools and might, had to pull out.

THis thing about "arsenal?" In my book it's one of the reasons Chechnyans are fighting Moscow back; and putin hasn't got the where-with-all to do much about this "elephant in his living room." Again, it's just my opinion.

Old Dad

It would be refreshing to see some proportionality between the seriousness of the error, and attempts to correct both the error and its "unintended" consequences.

Alas, Hell hasn't frozen over yet.

azaghal

Here's a link to an interview with NYT reporter John Burns, discussing Iraq with Hugh Hewitt. Burns has been there for 5 years.

transcript

RichatUF

The Clinton administration believed it as well...

It was behind his 'stratigic crime' thesis (from Nov. 1997, Time)-

RichatUF

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: OLD DAD

Alas, Old Dad, hell can't freeze over when you're sitting on the hot seats, all the "players" on the left found. When the music stopped. And, those that sat down found out why Dan Rather, who had been in the musical chairs business for quite some time; rose up like a zit being squeezed out of his almost-40-year-perch.

By the way, Russert's a top dog. Who wants David Broder's chair. What do you think his chances are now, of getting it? And, what happens if Immelt sells NBC? (Andrea Mitchell might not know the answers. But Alan Greenspan knows how to read those "financial reports." I think he's rated, as a matter of fact, as an expert. When it comes to the field of "markets.")

azaghal

centralcal, I don't think Russert would want a tape of himself being interviewed by the FBI in existence under any circumstances--nor would his bosses.

Abad man

Sherman would you set the way back machine?

Just like there are few atheists in a foxhole, everyone I encountered waiting at the border of Iraq in the spring of 2003 wanted their protective mask, and nerve agent antidote, including members of the press and intel services. It is easy to be sure about what was and was not good intelligence now, but no one was willing to bet their life on it then.

kaz

Going back to the aluminum tubes thing for a minute, I'll toss in one bit of speculation I heard at the time from an engineering type who works in a defense related industry. He suggested that the tubes may have been a "dry run" of sorts to deterrmine if the supplier had the requisite technical capabilities to produce centrifuge grade stuff without making the spec so obvious to the casual observer. Rocket tubes were allowable, so call them "rocket tubes" and up the tolerances to the nth degree. One or two shipments go through, the physical dimensions / composition changes a little, and suddenly you have centrifuge tubes coming in without those nosy UN types getting all upset.

Patton

The more you think about it, the more you see what a complete and utter weasel Russert was. He claimed to be standing tall on the first amendment while all those smaller journalists were caving in to the big bad government.

Meanwhile he was all hot and bothered rubbing backsides with the FBI and telling them all they wanted to know.

Then he has the nerve to go before a court and swear he couldn't possible talk to the government being a top notch journalist and all, knowing all the while he had gotten down in the mud and rolled around in it with Agent Echenrode.

Novak should send him a note: Yeah, I talked to the FBI, but at least I was straight up about it, and I did get in bed with them and them claim I'm the virgin while all others were sullying themselves.

Russert really showed his true Democrat colors.

clarice

He doesn't look good, but on the other hand who in the press will let people know that? Immunity of the Fourth Estate. (Pincus is still writing on intel on the front page of the Washington Post.)

Foo Bar

Alright, a few peace offerings:

  • I acknowledge that the NIE produced by the CIA expressed a good deal of confidence that Iraq had WMDs and was developing a nuclear program. (You should thank Bob Graham and Carl Levin, by the way for the existence of that NIE- which did not exist until they pushed for it in Sept. '02).
  • I do not subscribe to the theory that Bush, Cheney, etc. never believed that there were WMDs, and therefore I do not believe that they were flat-out lying in that sense. If you read "Hubris", by Isikoff and Corn (proprietor of Bushlies.com, no less), they tell a story about Cheney and Libby suggesting that those searching for WMD shortly post-invasion try a particular pair of latitude/longitude coordinates (that ended up being in Lebanon). So that's indicative of incompetence, but sincere incompetence.
  • In my opinion, the Iraq invasion was an unnecessary gamble, but in the long run it is still somewhat possible that on the balance it will work out for the better.


Other Tom:

That seems to reinforce my point, which is that Tenet was unequivocally in support of invading Iraq, regardless of whatever Feith may have said or done

Are you or are you not defending Feith's actions? I'm not sure, but I think I'm reading an implicit defense along the lines of "the intelligence Tenet stood by (existence of WMD programs) justified war, therefore it is OK to exaggerate the extent of other intelligence (Iraq/Al Qaeda links) for the sake of selling the war"? Or (a weaker version): "the CIA's intelligence justified the war, so who cares what Feith did" ? Is that what you're saying?

You said:

It is in the very nature of intelligence that people draw differing conclusions from what are necessarily shaky bits of evidence, often conflicting evidence. If that weren't so we wouldn't need intelligence agencies

Yes, that's why we need intelligence agencies- not policymakers like Feith digging into the agencies' raw data and reinterpreting it inappropriately.

Patton:

they may have even been substrandard or unsuitable for the job. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THAT WASN'T THE INTENT OF SADDAM.

So while the DOE may say the tubes were not suitable, the CIA may have information from inside the regime that says that the purpose was to acquire suitable tubes, they just couldn't get their hands on them.

Fine. That's not the claim the administration made. They didn't say "they acquired some tubes that happened to be unsuitable for centrifuges, which makes us think their intent was to get tubes that would be suitable". The claim made by the administration was that the tubes that were in fact acquired were in fact suitable.

In any event, you're skipping over the fact that the tubes were a perfect fit for rockets that Iraq had been using since the 1980s.

Fla

Hell, atheists, democrats. Well, what is a biggot that stares through someone's eyes and trades his diseases and a painer when he does it? Lucifer was just a psychopath and coward. So, are all his little pals.

Dems want who to be President? I don't want a stroke or pain.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Before it falls totally under the radar screen, I remember a guy named BULL. AMERICAN.

He designed super guns.

Saddam wasn't looking to deliver his "package" through air power. He wanted an on-the-ground device.

Do you know what happened to BULL? No? Go ask the Mossad.

owl

And the answer is: No one clarice because they can flood the market with their facts and then everyone 'knows', after that.

BTW...does anyone think the public ever realized that Russert put out the best Liar segment on TV over Katrina? Broussard. Watched it and said 'wow...that's the best liar I have ever seen since the crying preacher, Jimmy Swaggert'.

SteveMG

Alright, a few peace offerings:

Classy response.

Remember, the gravamen is that Bush knew that what he was saying was untrue.

No evidence of that at all.

I'm all for impeachment. Let's get everything on the table; for I am fully confident that it - and only impeachment hearings - will clear Bush.

Lord only know, though, how it would be reported by the press.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Sometimes, I feel like an Israeli in Sderot, who can count Kassams coming in. While the Israeli government, herself, thinks they are so inaccurate, defense money can be spent better, in other places.

WE ARE AT WAR, HERE! The left is out to pulverize American opinion! No. They don't have the military on their side. And, no, they're not all that popular, with most Americans, either.

If during the Nixon administration, the WaPo was "hot" and got the president to resign, from where I sit (not on a hot seat). I see that Eckenrode is no Mark Felt. And, Pincus got tripped, coming out of the box on the "plame, name, game" story, as "being no big deal to Woodward." Heck, Woodward forced Armitage out into the open.) His own "scout!" October 3, 2003.

So what the WaPo and others have done, by sending out Kassams, is that we can catalogue them. But they're not doing damage to our house. And, the President is not being forced to resign. (While in Iraq, I think the reports are GOOD. Quiet? True. But you don't need to hear firecrackers, coming out of the "surgical suite," while the surgeon has the patient wide open.)

From where I sit? I'd bet there are more people OPENNING THIS PAGE; especially because Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit keeps linking to us, here.

Do you know what that means? Andrea Mitchell, reading the WaPo this morning, has nothing much to celebrate. When it comes to the kinds of "cover" she wants to receive, on Monday.

And, I'll even go further out on a limb, here,too. Russert's chances of landing into David Broder's chair have diminished, considerably.

A man who gets a HOT SEAT, Can't eject himself into David Broder's soft cushions. Russert ain't got no parachute good enough.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

This is what today's InstaPundit link looks like: (He hat tips Tom McQuire).
THE MOTHER OF ALL CORRECTIONS.
posted at 10:43 AM by Glenn Reynolds

Cecil Turner

In any event, you're skipping over the fact that the tubes were a perfect fit for rockets that Iraq had been using since the 1980s.

Hopefully you see the irony in using the WaPo as a technical source on this thread (and note Pincus's contribution at the end). And in any event, the "perfect fit" argument ignores the fact that they were overengineered for rocket casings (though admittedly not well suited to centrifuges, either).

Other Tom

I'm neither defending Feith nor attacking him. I haven't yet read the account of what he has done, nor his version of events, although I expect to do so in the next day or so. What I am saying is that the case for going to war was made, and made quite persuasively, entirely without Feith's participation. It had indeed been persuasively made before Bush took office, and 9/11 added to its urgency.

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