Powered by TypePad

« Do We Want The Truth? | Main | Serious Overshare »

June 11, 2005

Comments

Paul Zrimsek

Now that MI6 is credible once more, does that mean Bush's famous 16 Words are now OK?

jukeboxgrad

"I think there are very few who actually believe Bush was not determined to go to war in July 2002"

I guess that means that lots of people just don't mind that he repeatedly denied this.

" ... tell me that Bush or friends actually falsified intelligence (rather than just spun his case)"

Here are some things we were told: "There's overwhelming evidence there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government ... You can't distinguish between al-Qaida and Saddam ... There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties ... There was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda ... We found the weapons of mass destruction ... We found biological laboratories ... We know where the WMDs are ... Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa ... Saddam has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons ... Iraq has at least seven mobile factories for the production of biological agents - equipment mounted on trucks and rails to evade discovery ... I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there ... there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons ... [Saddam has] amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons ... He's amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons ... there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction ... The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons … the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes." (link)

These statements were made even though many people in the intelligence community were trying to point out they were simply not supported by the facts. Bush didn't listen. How can you claim this is anything other than "falsified intelligence?"

"So what is your point? That there are other definitions for the same word?"

You're obviously having trouble keeping track of what's been said here (including and especially your own statements), so let me help you get oriented. I never said "fix" _always_ means "cheat." However, it does _sometimes_ mean cheat, not just in the US, but also in the UK. You, however, denied this. You said "the word 'fix' in English, as opposed to American, is _always_ used to denote attaching, positioning, or orienting" (emphasis added). This is simply false, as I proved with a reference to a UK dictionary. If you had an ounce of intellectual honesty, you would admit your error. Instead, you're pretending to be confused. Nice.

"I have no problem at all with the word [but]. As I explained in painful, excruciating, detail."

Nowhere in this thread have you even attempted to explain how the word "but" makes any sense, given your interpretation of the word "fixed."

"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 don't think anyone is claiming that "even if Hans Blix told the Security Council Iraq was in full compliance then Bush was going to invade anyway." On the contrary. If Blix had been allowed to get to the point of reporting full compliance by Saddam, a US invasion would have been impossible (there would have been too much moral, political and legal resistance). This is stated explicitly in the memo I cited above: "However, failing that [Saddam refusing to cooperate with UN inspections] ... we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003" (link). That's why Bush had to (and did) prevent Blix from finishing the job he started.

"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?"

Of course not. Again, Bush was determined to have a war. He went to the UN not to avert war, but to "wrongfoot" Saddam and try to gain an excuse for war (pdf). Saddam surprised and foiled Bush by cooperating with the UN. That's why Bush had to pull the plug on Blix.

jukeboxgrad

"Now that MI6 is credible once more, does that mean Bush's famous 16 Words are now OK?"

No one's claiming that British intelligence didn't make lots of mistakes. They did, like ours. In both cases, trying to please civilian leaders (who knew exactly what they wanted to hear) had a lot to do with it. I realize you'd like to turn this into a basis for claiming that Dearlove's words in the DSM shouldn't be trusted. Nice try.

More on the "16 words" here.

MI5, by the way, not MI6.

moptop

"Niger-uranium claim was unfounded"

Excuse me, was "Niger" one of the 16 words?

jukeboxgrad

Sorry, my mistake. MI6 it is. MI5 is domestic security, MI6 is international.

flenser

It occurs to me that there may be people naive enough to accepts jukebox's characterisation of what is in his links at face value, without checking them.

That would be a serious mistake. Consider this example.

"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"


Assumimg you follow the link, this is what you find;

"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."

The "transformation" in question is the transformation of the US military from its Cold War emphasis on fighting a conventional military like the USSR, to one more suited to "low intensity" conflicts.

It would seem that PNAC has commited the cardinal sin of being correct in their assesments, and that our favorite moonbat's characterization of their emotional state as "wistfully" longing for a new Pearl Harbor is simply of a piece with his general MO of pretending to be able to read the minds of those he disagrees with, and there to discern their essential evil.

jukeboxgrad

Sorry you think "wistfully" is unfair. Too bad. I don't. By the way, if I didn't want people to follow the links I provide, I wouldn't provide them.

Say, aren't you the guy who said "some anonymous British staffer in the Labor government offers his take on the opinion of another anonymous member of the British government," when it's clear that Rycroft and Dearlove are anything but "anonymous?"

Given that you lack the integrity to take responsibility for this whopper, why would anyone take you seriously?

ed

Hmmm.

MediaMatters? You're using MediaMatters as a reference?

Why not use HowardDeanForPresident.com?

Ridiculous!

Here's a clue. You need to prove your case. So far you've done little of that.

ed

Hmmm.

"You're obviously having trouble keeping track of what's been said here (including and especially your own statements), so let me help you get oriented. I never said "fix" _always_ means "cheat." However, it does _sometimes_ mean cheat, not just in the US, but also in the UK."

And for all the volume of your arguments you've still not proven a damn thing. It's just noise, and frankly unimpressive noise at that.

Why not ask Blair about the definition eh?

Here's a better clue for you. I don't have to prove Bush innocent, I'm not alleging anything. You are the one alleging and thus YOU must PROVE your case.

Bah! You're hopeless.

Cecil Turner

"These statements were made even though many people in the intelligence community were trying to point out they were simply not supported by the facts. Bush didn't listen. How can you claim this is anything other than "falsified intelligence?""

Whether "many people in the intelligence community" were trying to point something out or not, the bottom line is that they couldn't convince their compatriots . . . the intelligence assessments supported the statements made. (The stupidest of which by far was the Brit 45-minute claim.)

And for all the whining about intelligence and "no WMD," it's now obvious Saddam had no intention of getting rid of his WMD programs, only reducing them to a concealable level and restarting production once sanctions were lifted. How that invalidates WMD as a casus belli is beyond me.

creepy dude

Many things are beyond you, my friend.

creepy dude

It was a joke.

jukeboxgrad

"You're using MediaMatters as a reference?"

I realize that making a substantive argument against that citation I offered (or any others, for that matter) is too much work for you, so you resort to a blanket dismissal. Impressive.

"you've still not proven a damn thing."

I realize that making a substantive argument against what I've said is too much work for you, so you resort to a blanket dismissal. Impressive.

"Why not ask Blair about the definition eh?"

Because Blair didn't show up on this thread and make the absurd and false assertion that "the word 'fix' in English, as opposed to American, is _always_ used to denote attaching, positioning, or orienting" (emphasis added). You did. And the fact that you're still running away from your own words is pretty remarkable. You, Bush and flenser have something important in common: taking responsibility for your mistakes is a foreign concept.

"Saddam had no intention of getting rid of his WMD programs, only reducing them to a concealable level and restarting production once sanctions were lifted."

Thanks for confirming what's long been obvious to anyone with a clue: sanctions were working.

The trouble with your argument is that Bush didn't promote the war by telling us that if sanctions ever ended, Saddam intended to use that opportunity to produce WMD. Bush promoted the war by suggesting, as if it were a proven and incontrovertible fact, that Saddam already had the imminent ability to place a mushroom cloud over Manhattan (and that was a lie). I realize you can't tell the difference between these two perspectives. That's your problem.

By the way, you're suggesting Saddam didn't get rid of WMD, but only reduced them to a "concealable level." How is it that they're still concealed? Does he have them in a hollowed-out tooth? The "insurgents" are throwing everything they can at us. How is it that even they can't find Saddam's "concealable" WMD?

"the intelligence assessments supported the statements made."

Really?

On 3/16/03, Cheney told Tim Russert "we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

This was a fallacious exaggeration of something that itself was false: the statement that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program." This latter statement appeared in the 10/02 National Intelligence Estimate, and is quoted in the Senate report (link).

According to the Senate report:

"The assessment that Iraq 'is reconstituting its nuclear program' was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee. The intelligence reporting did show that Iraq was procuring dual-use equipment that had potential nuclear applications, but all of the equipment had conventional military or industrial applications. In addition, none of the intelligence reporting indicated that the equipment was being procured for suspect nuclear facilities. Intelligence reporting also showed that former Iraqi nuclear scientists continued to work at former nuclear facilities and organizations, but the reporting did not show that this cadre of nuclear personnel had recently been regrouped or enhanced as stated in the NIE, nor did it suggest that they were engaged in work related to a nuclear weapons program."

In other words, the actual underlying intelligence did not even indicate that Saddam was even trying to build nukes.

By the way, the Senate committee concluded that "Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting." (link)

But even this highly flawed NIE did not say, as Cheney did, that Saddam has "reconstituted nuclear weapons." The NIE made a statement that while also false, was much less alarming: that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program." Because you seem to find simple concepts challenging, let me point out that trying to build something (let alone merely having an intention to try to build something) is materially different from having already built it. (These distinctions are particularly material when the "something" is a nuclear weapon.)

So please explain how your assertion "the intelligence assessments supported the statements made" applies to Cheney's statement "we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

By the way, note that the NIE is prepared by senior officials in the intelligence community. Thanks to lots of news about Bolton, we now have a glimmer of understanding of how political appointees (like Bolton) pressure career intelligence analysts and officials to make sure that they only say what the big boss wants to hear.

creepy dude

Hey Ed-just for you pal:

Quoting Kevin Drum; "The Washington Post has an online conversation today with Michael Smith, the London Times reporter who originally published the leaked Downing Street Memos. Here, he responds to a questioner who wants to know if there's any ambiguity about the meaing of "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy":

"This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that said this was one British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of MI6. How much authority do you want the man to have? He has just been to Washington, he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq. Fixed means the same here as it does there."

Forbes

CD: That's your best argument--a reporter who's claim to fame is the first to report on the DSM? That makes him the authority on word usage and meaning, the tenor and tone?

Doesn't even pass the smell test.

But when you're grasping at straws, apparently you'll believe anything.

Americans and Brits, two peoples seperated by a common language.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame