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March 11, 2005

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postit

Ahh, would that be the same http://www.tnr.com/blog/iraqd?pid=2588>Senate Intelligence Committee still running the puff piece on WMD?

Mikey

It could be an act of sheer desperation, now that Chimpy McBushaliburton appears to have been right about that democracy thing in the middle-east. You know, quickly change the subject back to the good old days when all the cool kids knew that Smirky ShrubHitler Lied! Lied! Lied! about WMD and Niger.

postit

Chimpy McBushaliburton appears to have been right about that democracy thing in the middle-east

Well all the cool kids also knew that Bushco's plan to democratize Iraq was to install a government of exiles led by Chalabi. 'Free' elections were never part of the plan to 'democratize' Iraq until Sistani demanded and got them.

Sistani doesn't get credit for the elections because he doesn't command the propaganda machine that Bushco does, we will have to wait for historians to correct the situation.

Carl F

Before the moonbattery drifts too far afield, Chalabi was not Bush's choice. The Bush Administration was required by law to deal with and finance Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress. That has been the case since President Clinton designated the INC, along with other groups you'll be interested to read about, as stipulated in section 5 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (PDF).

creepy irish dude

What section of the law required that he sit next to Laura at the SOTU?

Forbes

What wrong came of SOTU seating arrangements? Or should I say who cares?

Come on dude, there's a conspiracy theory here somewhere. Just tell us what it is, and show us how you prevented the evil doings of Chimpy McBushitler and the neo-cons. Curious minds eagerly await.

;)

postit

Curious minds eagerly await.

Read Seymour Hersh and satisfy that curiosity.

Carl F. - was it also enscribed into law that the administration shall eschew established intelligence agencies and channels in favour of stovepiping intel. info direct to political descision makers via a newly created Feith based intel. office?

Cecil Turner

"Read Seymour Hersh and satisfy that curiosity."

Ah, the old "stovepipe" thesis. Unfortunately for that particular tinfoil-sales-generating theory, subsequent investigation has shown the intelligence estimates coming from CIA (i.e., "established intelligence agencies and channels") got it every bit as wrong, and in fact, had precisely the same bottom line. Even the much ballyhooed minority (INR) caveat included a stunningly wrong (and dire) assessment:

The Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) believes that Saddam continues to want nuclear weapons and that available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities.

postit

subsequent investigation?

Saddam continues to want nuclear weapons

Hey, I want to win the lottery.

available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities.

means just about whatever you want it to mean.

Cecil, must try harder. Write it out a thousand times.

Cecil Turner

"means just about whatever you want it to mean."

Try again, postit.

The most benign assessment, from your vaunted "established intelligence agencies and channels" said "Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities." And, of course, the first bullet of the main assessment said the intelligence folks had "high confidence" that:

  • Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
Now, want to explain to me why the Administration should have interpreted that as inconclusive? And pretending for a moment the Administration was stovepiping (rather than listening to the professionals), what possible difference would it have made?

postit

nuclear weapons-related capabilities

Means what exactly?

Cecil Turner

"Means what exactly?"

That he was cheating and working on his nuke program? (Which, by the way, everyone knew wasn't capable of producing a weapon.) And again, that's the dissent, and it's only pertaining to the nuke program. There's no argument on the main points, like:

  • "Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles."
What could the "stovepipe" have possibly reported that would have been worse than that? Maybe "Iraq is expanding its WMD programs . . . and they're eeeevil"? How about "Iraq is really really expanding its WMD progams"? "Did we mention they're eeeevvill?"

It is frankly hilarious to watch the moonbats fail to reexamine their articles of faith as new evidence emerges. The "stovepipe" has been nonsensical ever since the NIE was released, and it was obvious the regular intel channels supported the case for war. The TNR article linked above is a case in point, with breathless insinuations about how the Administration may have "[mis]represented the intelligence it possessed." A quick look at the intelligence and the Administration statements show the two are perfectly consistent. It was the intelligence that was faulty (at least where it was, they got the fact Saddam was cheating correct), not the representation. That's almost two years on, folks. Try to keep up.

TM

Means it was all about oil, of course.

Here is a modestly pro-Hersh post I put up a while back that tracked the influence of the angry neocons. Emphasis on "modestly".

And here is what one Senator had to say about Bush's lies. Snazzy title - "I Ignored Bush's Lies (But Supported the War Anyway)". (Pardon my hyperbole, but we are having fun on Saturday morning).

On the of chance that anyone cares - misoverestimating the nuclear threat was a small part of the story.

postit

Cecil - the aluminum tubes and Niger uranium are a case in point.

The intelligence 'agencies' had information that the tubes were meant for centrifuges and that Saddam was purchasing uranium from Niger. At the same time the 'agencies' had information that the tubes were NOT suitable for centrifuge production of uranium and that the Niger information was unreliable. 'Stovepiping' ensured that the information which supported the administrations case for war reached the decision makers without the qualification of contradicary information. In other words it was a selective use of intelligence information for political purposes, a modern day Tonkin Gulf!

postit

On the of chance that anyone cares - misoverestimating the nuclear threat was a small part of the story.

If you are talking about mobilizing support for the war with the US electorate then the nuclear threat together with links to AQ were THE mobilizing force.

Let's not forget that support for war was marginal up until the tipping point of having US troops actually engaged in-theater. Or that a sizeable portion of the US electorate still believe to this day that Saddam had links to AQ.

Saddam's chemical and biological weapons whatever their status were no direct threat to US security, tho they could threaten Israel. It was the potential nuclear threat and the concept of links to the terrorists who attacked on 9/11 that motivated a significant number of people who trusted what their government told them.

ed

Hmmm.

It's funny but if you apply the same standard the liberals required of Iraq, absolute proof of nuclear stockpiles, then we'd all have to conclude that Iran is being inappropriately maligned on the same subject.

Curious that.

postit

ed - the word you are looking for is 'capacity', as in did Iraq have the capacity to construct a nuclear weapon which it clearly didn't unlike Iran which clearly does.

Cecil Turner

"'Stovepiping' ensured that the information which supported the administrations case for war reached the decision makers without the qualification of contradicary information."

The "qualification of contradictory information" was weak, and on tangential points. The aluminum tubes are in fact a good case in point: nobody suggested Saddam was in a position to make nukes, only that the tubes were evidence he was cheating. Turns out the tubes weren't evidence, but he was cheating. Bit of poetic justice, eh?

"In other words it was a selective use of intelligence information for political purposes . . ."

The "selective use" turns out to be precisely in line with the rest of the intelligence information, which (with minimal qualification) supported the case for war. Which is why, to your and TNR's dismay, even the most partisan Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee decline to put their reputation on the line to try and make some political hay on the issue. They know it's a loser.

"Saddam's chemical and biological weapons whatever their status were no direct threat to US security . . ."

Nonsense. What if they'd provided a hundred kilos of weaponized anthrax spores to Al Qaeda?

postit

Nonsense. What if they'd provided a hundred kilos of weaponized anthrax spores to Al Qaeda?

Or, just as likely, some right wing supremicist or anti-abortion group?

Cecil Turner

"Or, just as likely, some right wing supremicist or anti-abortion group?"

Well, I was going to give you a pass on that ". . . electorate still believe . . . Saddam had links to AQ," but not if you're going to extrapolate it to further nonsense. The reason people believe Saddam had links to AQ is because he did. There are some gaps in the picture, but there's little doubt of "links." For example, from the 9/11 Commmission Report:

In March 1998,after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. . . .

Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship.

Note "no collaborative operational relationship" is not the same as "no links." It should also be obvious the theory that Al Zarqawi was in Iraq without Saddam's permission or support does not square well with subsequent events.

postit

It should also be obvious the theory that Al Zarqawi was in Iraq without Saddam's permission or support does not square well with subsequent events.

Or reality!

Cecil Turner

Ah, so you admit the connection? Wise, I'm sure.

postit

Ah, so you admit the connection? Wise, I'm sure.

Yeah, mangled it, repost follows,

It should also be obvious the theory that Al Zarqawi was in Iraq with Saddam's permission or support does not square well with subsequent events.

Or reality!

Cecil Turner

As amusing as it is to watch you play "did so," "did not," with yourself, I think I've had enough. Cheers.

Kim

You make it sound, postit, like the case for war shouldn't have been made.
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capt joe

Well, Iraq was a kite flying paradise (http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2005/03/how_to_spot_a_d.html)

It was really mean to pick on them.

And how do we know what Iran has. I certainly remember all the same arguments against Iraq. Look how that turned out.

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