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November 11, 2005

Comments

kim

You're not alone in that boat, crew.
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p.lukasiak

Don't you find it at all suspicious that this particular aluminum tube was:

Since I'm not an expert, my understanding of the technical issues really isn't relevant. And if you read my stuff on the Libby indictment, I'm more than willing to entertain "suspicions" if they have some rational basis.

What bothers me is the fact that we were told that Iraq had failed to provide a plausible explanation for these tubes, when in fact their explanation was quite plausible, while telling us that they were suitable for use in centrifuges, when in fact they weren't without extensive modification that we didn't even know that Iraq could do.

The message was "these are perfect for centrifuge use, and not useful for anything else." That simply wasn't true. We weren't told to suspect that the tubes might be for use in centrifuges, we were told that was their ONLY plausible use.


boris

Puking tags again I see

p.lukasiak

If these Democrats feel they were misled, lied to, snookered, or whatever else they claim--without evidence, none!--by Bush, then they are simply too weak-minded to hold the offices of trust their constituents handed to them.

well, the American people feel they were misled, lied to, snookered. or whatever --- so lets just dispense with this whole "democracy" thing, shall we. After all, as Bush the Infallible has said "a dictatorship would be so much easier."

Paul

Both Bush and the left have bet the farm on Iraq. Bush is gambling that by the time he leaves office Iraq will be secured by Iraqis, there will be a vastly reduced US military presence, and the democratic process and economy will be moving forward undeniably. The Iraqis will be pleased overall with the new Iraq, and the rest of the ME will notice this.

The left is gambling that they can break down Americas spirit with the complicity of the MSM's endless negative propaganda and the lies of the Democrat party machine which they control. This coupled with their own belief in America's military incompetence distorting their assessment of the actual progress in Iraq, leads them to actually believe that defeat is likely if not inevitable. In other words, they're drunk on their own koolaid and actually believe the quagmire meme.

We'll know within three years. My money's on Bush, and if he wins this gamble the left and it's quisling media cohorts will be seen for what they are. I imagine the polls will no longer be a source of much comfort to the defeat America crowd at that point.

Syl

p.luk.

The American people have been misled by the Democrats and when the realization sinks in in won't be pretty.

boris

the American people feel they were misled, lied to, snookered

Must be why they re-elected him huh. Your accuracy and credibility are pretty bad so you might want to say a few things that have the ring of truth for a change.

Truzenzuzex

p.lukasiak

The message was "these are perfect for centrifuge use, and not useful for anything else." That simply wasn't true. We weren't told to suspect that the tubes might be for use in centrifuges, we were told that was their ONLY plausible use.
Can you support this alleged administration "only plausible use" theory with something, anything?

Even though the ISG arrived at a conclusion that these were for 81mm rockets, and that they were essentially the result of bureaucratic overrreach on the part of the Iraqi military (certainly possible), why would we conclude such a relatively benign intention given what Iraq was doing contemporaneously?

It is hard to imagine why any rational person would have given Saddam the benefit of the doubt.

boris
The left is gambling that they can break down Americas spirit with the complicity of the MSM's endless negative propaganda and the lies of the Democrat party machine which they control.
Are you absolutely sure they're not also aware that the PR they provide to the enemy encourages them to persevere against impossible odds in their murderous campaign?

I'm not.

Paul

Syl;

"The American people have been misled by the Democrats and when the realization sinks in it won't be pretty."

I disagree. It will be a thing of beauty. :)

Paul

Boris;

"Are you absolutely sure they're not also aware that the PR they provide to the enemy encourages them to persevere against impossible odds in their murderous campaign?

I'm not."

I am, in fact, absolutely sure they are quite aware of this fact and exploit it in order to ascend to power, at the nation's expense.

It was an oversight on my part not to mention it.

p.lukasiak

But surely, this "senior leadership" could never have been part of a plot to obtain materials for "recreat[ing] Iraq's WMD program". Nah, too inconvinent - makes Bush look good, and we can't have that.

what a shock! Politicians supporting weapons systems that "some military leaders" think are unnecessary! Who ever heard of such a thing!

I think the bottom line here is that whether or not there was a decent reason to suspect that the tubes were for centrifuges, we weren't told they were "suspicious", we were told there wasn't a plausible use other than in centrifuges.

p.lukasiak

Can you support this alleged administration "only plausible use" theory with something, anything?

Sure.

"The tubes are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."

Condoleeza Rice, September 8, 2002

Pete

Syl - I am not a partisan Democrat and I will freely admit that the Democrats made mistakes too. But the ship was in the hands of Bush and not the Democrats. Had the Democrats been in control and made the same mistakes that Bush did I would have called them on it too. If there are mistakes in my post - point them out.

Boris - Tenet said in a statement July 11 2003 that Wilson's report got a wide distribution. Look it up. Wilson's report was one of the factors that I mentioned. The Bush administration should have been honest about all the pro and con viewpoints on the critical issues (nukes, al qaeda ties)

TexasToast

Tom

I feel like a kid wanting a gold star

From TPM

"In the president's new angle that his critics are trying to 'rewrite history', those critics might want to point out that his charge would be more timely after he stopped putting so much effort into obstructing any independent inquiry that could allow an accurate first draft of the history to be written."

No prince's yet! but hey!

kim

So, Pete, are you glad that Saddam is not in power, and that the Iraqi people are seizing control of their own destiny?
=========================================

Pete

kim said: [i]So, Pete, are you glad that Saddam is not in power, and that the Iraqi people are seizing control of their own destiny?[/i]

I am glad that Saddam is not in power. I am not glad that we spent hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars, we lost 2000 of our own in Iraq, and that tens of thousands of our own were seriously wounded in Iraq, and that thousands of innocent Iraqis died in a war that my taxdollars contributed to.

The talking point you raise is so cynical and misguided. Are YOU glad that 2000 of our own have died in Iraq?

kim

"only really suited" makes a lot of sense from the point of view that they were way overengineered for their ostensible use as artillery or rocket tubes or whatever you want to believe. But you have to be able to understand how smart Condi eeza.
================================================

kim

I'm not glad that 2,000 of our soldiers have died, and it is insulting of you to suggest it. Slap.

I have calculated that there are 5,000 Iraqi voters for every dead American, and 12,500 Iraqis not living under the threat of Saddam, and hundreds of thousands of Americans, and millions of people so living. That's millions, for one.

And at what price of gasoline would you consider shedding your blood for your oil, if you want to call me cynical?
==========================================

Syl

Petey

If there are mistakes in my post - point them out.

Your entire paragraph concerning Niger.

It is so wrong that it's obvious you haven't been following the issue at all.

p.lukasiak

I'm not glad that 2,000 of our soldiers have died, and it is insulting of you to suggest it. Slap.

perhaps then you should consider how insulting it is to ask someone "are you glad that Saddam is not in power"

Don't go around taking offense when you are the one doing the offending.

coyote

kim: bush tried to "collect the pot" in '03. remember "mission accomplished"?

the plan is indeed in the iraqi's hands, but not really - until we leave. we're trying to put the plan in chalabi's hands. wanna buy a car from chalabi? better his than saddam's? what a sorry choice (if that's what it actually turns out to be).

can anyone say iran? we can't. our government won't let us speak to iran. it's a "criteria country". yet there's a very good chance iran will be the big dog in that neighborhood.

the dollar adjusts itself. wow! what a concept. greenspan managed to manage it the past twelve years but at a cost to the future of the greenback.

syl: i would never dare to be so presumptuous as to try to impress you with my bonafides. as i said, the things i mentioned were only anecdotal. and yes, i am only demonstrating what i believe. do you think you are doing anything more? do i have any understanding of democracy? do you have any understanding of diplomacy? do you have any understanding of how to carry on a rational discussion without reverting to such remarks as "so, go piss on someone else." do you feel pissed on?

boris

you should consider how insulting it is to ask someone "are you glad that Saddam is not in power"

Don't go around taking offense when you are the one doing the offending.

Pathetic sanctimonious drivel. Removing Saddam actually is something to be glad about. You blinkered nitwit.

boris

how to carry on a rational discussion

As if you would know.

owl

Pete.."But the ship was in the hands of Bush and not the Democrats. Had the Democrats been in control and made the same mistakes that Bush did I would have called them on it too."

Is it like a roulette wheel and when the little ball falls? That is not fair. Eight years Clinton sat and watched this thing build. Does that not count for more than 8 months when the Dems were dragging their feet even about office space and confirming any nominees during this period. The seats were not even filled before 9/11. Remember he really wasn't "our" President?

I repeat....the Democrats sold the war before Bush took office and we didn't see that many of them backing away from the vote. The same intel only now we were also looking at 9/11. Bush should have never let them get away with these lies this long.

SaddamHadNukes

Hey Anonymous (Coward) Liberal, you sanctimonius sack of crap:

"Going on to shoot down a widespread impression, Wilkerson informs us that even the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was convinced:

People say, well, INR dissented. That’s a bunch of bull. INR dissented that the nuclear program was up and running. That’s all INR dissented on. They were right there with the chems and the bios.

In explaining its dissent on Iraq’s nuclear program, the INR had, as stated in the NIE of 2002, expressed doubt about

Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes [which are] central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear-weapons program. . . . INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors . . . in Iraq’s nuclear-weapons program.

But, according to Wilkerson,

The French came in in the middle of my deliberations at the CIA and said, we have just spun aluminum tubes, and by God, we did it to this RPM, et cetera, et cetera, and it was all, you know, proof positive that the aluminum tubes were not for mortar casings or artillery casings, they were for centrifuges. Otherwise, why would you have such exquisite instruments?

In short, and whether or not it included the secret heart of Hans Blix, “the consensus of the intelligence community,” as Wilkerson puts it, “was overwhelming” in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam definitely had an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and that he was also in all probability well on the way to rebuilding the nuclear capability that the Israelis had damaged by bombing the Osirak reactor in 1981."

Eat it, buddy.

SaddamHadNukes

Hey "AL" - you sancitmonius blathering ignorantron:

"Additional confirmation of this latter point comes from Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under Clinton. “In the late spring of 2002,” Pollack has written,

I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes).

No wonder, then, that another conclusion the NIE of 2002 reached with “high confidence” was that

Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.1
"
1=1 Hard as it is to believe, let alone to reconcile with his general position, Joseph C. Wilson, IV, in a speech he delivered three months after the invasion at the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, offhandedly made the following remark: “I remain of the view that we will find biological and chemical weapons and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam’s regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons.”

Goshin do you suck.

SaddamHadNukes

To The Faithful: You must read Podhertz's article. It's THE AUTHORITATIVE take apart of everything. Quotes, footnotes, sources and all. Makes the Anoneeemouse Leeeeeberal just another tin-foil hatter. But worse, it proves the agenda, the deceit, and worst of all: Party Before Country. Traitorous.


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Production/files/podhoretz1205advance.html

GO NOW!

Sue

TT,

I tolerate that which is tolerable and doesn't harm me and my family. What did Bush and cartoons have to do with a pretentious blog? Or did you combine two of my posts into one response?

Tell me you do not wish to see Bush driven from the WH in shame, at any cost. Tell me you don't believe Bush lied. Your talking heads won't say it, will you? They dance around it, but when asked flat out they won't say it.

jukeboxgrad

truz: "not the best material suited for its alleged purpose of artillery rockets"

Right. I guess that's why SSCI said that "lightweight rockets ... typically use 7075-T6 aluminum for the motor casing because of its strength and weight."

"was way more expensive than tubes equally well suited to that purpose"

Right. I guess ten bucks per tube was going to bust Saddam's budget.

"was specifically controlled by reason of its suitability for centrifuges, whereas other less expensive alternatives equally well suited were not so controlled"

Saddam was able to get these tubes despite them being "controlled," so the "controlled" business is a red herring.

"were relatively easily machined using indiginous technology to make a centrifuge"

Right, except that the dimensions were dead wrong for any known existing centrifuge design, but exactly right for an existing rocket design. So your preposterous hypothesis is that Saddam was embarking on a program to build 100,000 centrifuges, using a design no one had ever seen before.

jukeboxgrad

smg: "In order to determine whether and how the Bush Administration fixed intelligence, we have to examine what they knew at the time, not we know now."

Fair enough. Read the citations I provided and you'll see that what they knew at the time is "misrepresented" (SSCI's word) in the marketing brochures they fed to Congress and the public (and the unclassified White Paper was essentially just that, a glossy marketing brochure).

"There's never unanimity"

It's not a question of expecting unaminity. It's a question of starting with a given belief, and then manipulating the process to make sure the system produces exactly the answer you find congruent with that belief, while all other answers are squelched. No company operating on that principle survives very long. Likewise for countries.

It's not that Bush honestly acknowledged dissent and made a management decision to reject it. It's that he did everything possible to hide the existence of dissent. This applies to the tubes, to the yellowcake, to Atta in Prague, to al-Libi, and to every other subplot of the whole miserable tale. This applies to presentations the administration made to Congress, to the public, and to the UN.

His credibility is gone, and it's not coming back. The country has figured that out.

"how did they 'suppress' it"

One exceedingly clear example: by producing a White Paper that was nominally a summary of the classified NIE, but in fact "misrepresented" (SSCI's word) the NIE.

jukeboxgrad

Patrick: "the Robb-Silberman Report could find no evidence of that [political pressure]"

SR found no evidence of political pressure, except for the evidence that it found of political pressure, such as this: "WINPAC ... Employee Opinion Survey ... 7 percent of WINPAC analysts had 'personally experienced or observed an instance within WINPAC where [sic] an analytic judgment was changed to suit a customer's preference.' " More details here.

"The political pressure would have been BEFORE whatever use was made of the intelligence."

Indeed. SR found signs of such political pressure (although it did the best it could gloss over those signs). And SR and SSCI acknowledge that they made no attempt to look at how the intelligence was further distorted and manipulated after it was delivered to policymakers.

jukeboxgrad

money: "It's about not getting stoned to death for adultery or having your brothers kill you to avenge the family's honor if you date an infidel."

Since you are purportedly concerned about human rights, I wonder if you noticed that in Afghanistan they just sentenced someone to jail (the prosecutor asked for a death sentence) for saying something about Islam that was considered politically incorrect (link).

Safia Taleb al-Souhail was invited to sit next to Laura Bush at the SOTU this year. Now Souhail seems to be having second thoughts: "When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women. But look what has happened: we have lost all the gains we made over the past 30 years. It's a big disappointment."

Your florid rhetoric is very impressive. Let us know if you think the results we're achieving are as impressive as your rhetoric.

Oh yeah, speaking of "infidels." Here's some information about how the government of Saudi Arabia sees us "infidels." Doesn't seem to bother this guy.

jukeboxgrad

TM: "Section IX of the SSCI report is devoted to the question of whether intel analysts were pressured."

Section IX of the SSCI report is devoted to glossing over various signs of pressure that are evident if you look closely elsewhere in the report. For example, there is the matter of Richard Kerr, as I described here.

"This is from the unclassified Dec 2000 CIA country reports. I am guessing that Dec 2000 preceded the balefaul Bush-Cheney influence"

Here are some other famous statements that indeed preceded the baleful Bush-Cheney influence: "He [Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." (Powell, 2/24/01)

"the focus is over here on al-Qaida and the most recent events in New York. Saddam Hussein's bottled up, at this point" (Cheney, 9/16/01)

Jim: "Rasmussen has the President's approval number at 46%. I'll take his poll numbers over Newsweek ... "

Rasmussen uses a different methodology and gets different results. This is discussed here.

jukeboxgrad

west: "I’m being ripped to shreds."

Please don't take it personally.

"you may be right ... you may be right again ... You might have this one right again"

Thanks.

"I guess, if you stretch really hard, you could believe that Saddam was so concerned about a few yards difference in accuracy ... "

It's only necessary to believe that an engineer writing a spec felt that maybe Saddam wouldn't boil him in oil this year if he found a way to make the rockets a little more accurate.

Then again, if you stretch really hard, you could believe the preposterous hypothesis that Saddam was embarking on a program to build 100,000 centrifuges, using a design no one had ever seen before.

"If the tubes were test spun without the subsequent O.D. (read easy) machining to bring the cylindricity to specifications, I would be amazed if the tubes could take 90,000 RPM."

You're making a good point about the proper way to do a spin test. According to SSCI, the tubes were not balanced before attempting the first spin tests. I believe that test only reached 60,000 RPM, far below what's required for a centrifuge. Most of the tests failed. Then apparently a later test used a balanced tube, and reached 90,000 RPM. Multiple reports from the CIA on this subject created the impression that they were having a hard time sticking to one story. The bottom line about the CIA spin tests is that they were a joke, and apparently intended to mislead. Read all the gruesome details in SSCI, p. 108.

It appears that the CIA people managing the spin tests were the same people in charge of checking to make sure the Niger documents were authentic. (I'm joking.)

"If you know of any place I can buy these tubes for $10 each, let me know"

With all due respect, it would be better if you looked at SSCI yourself (in particular the price detail on p. 105), instead of counting on me to recite it for you. According to SSCI, Saddam was typically paying $15-16, but as low as $10. DOE got a a quote from a US supplier who asked for about $20, but it's clear Saddam was paying less. Needless to say he was getting a volume discount.

" ... would bring the cost to at least 5 times the raw material cost (and I’m being very conservative)."

You're claiming the tube should cost at least $50. You should let SSCI and the DOE know that the SSCI report should be recalled, since you have better expertise and data than they do.

"Point six concerning the tolerances being “common” and used “even for aluminum cans”. – The only way you can get information this crazy is to read the NYTimes."

Funny thing, the New York Times I'm looking at right now has about 524 pages, and it has this funny heading on the front: "Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq."

And here's the peculiar statement that appears on p. 102 of my New York Times: "DOE noted that many standard industrial items, such as bicycle seat posts or aluminum cans are of the same or better tolerances than the tubes sought by Iraq."

Why do you insist on making a fool of yourself?

"If you want to examine the same rockets manufactured by at least 5 other countries, you will find the U.S. is only one using the 7075T6."

Right. I guess that's why SSCI said that "lightweight rockets ... typically use 7075-T6 aluminum for the motor casing because of its strength and weight."

Let me guess: are you getting your information from the New York Times?

"Why would you go to the trouble of machining something to those tolerances for a motor and then connect a warhead in a separate operation to throw the mass off center."

Simple. Because to the extent that the motor section of the missile was perfectly balanced, there is more room for error in the warhead section. There is also more room to create a single motor design which can be coupled with multiple different warheads. There are also many, many other factors you're potentially glossing over, such as whether mass is concentrated close to the center or closer to the edge, and also the ratio of motor mass to warhead mass.

Why do you insist on making a fool of yourself?

"engineers who suggest building products clandestinely to replace items easily and cheaply available legally are usually taken out back and shot."

Tell it to Duelfer: "ISG believes that bureaucratic momentum made it difficult to abandon the perceived need for high-specification tubes from abroad. These foreign pursuits probably also were affected by a lack of sufficient indigenous manufacturing capabilities—an effort Iraq reportedly began only in mid-2002—the high cost of that production, and pressure of the impending war."

"I’ll stick with a president that uses common sense"

Given your willingness to stick your neck out when you seem to lack even a rudimentary grasp of the basic facts, you have an odd concept of "common sense."

"I guess he just wrote this yellowcake off to concentrate on that pesky accuracy problem with his MRLS."

I think you're hinting Saddam was actually doing something with his existing piles of yellowcake. I suppose this speculation is as well-founded as the rest of your assertions.

jukeboxgrad

Paul: "There was no quick painless way to do this."

What a short memory you have. Don't you remember hearing that the conflict would last "weeks rather than months?" That the Baathists would "step aside?" Collapse like a "house of cards?" That we would be "greeted as liberators?" That "it could last, you know, six days, six weeks, I doubt six months?" (link)

You're right. There was no quick painless way to do this. But why were we briefed otherwise? And why are you seemingly forgetting that we were briefed otherwise?

Surely you've heard: "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

jukeboxgrad

Truz: "So some in here would have us believe that Saddam wanted to buy forbidden material to improve a conventional weapons program he didn't need. Why? It's a puzzle - but only to the libs."

Here's another little puzzle for you: "The large number of centrifuges required in the CIA estimate highlighted the lack of detection of other centrifuge components. Because Iraq’s procurement of tubes was not particularly clandestine, other procurements of sensitive centrifuge components or materials would have been expected. No such procurements, however, were detected. In addition, the IAEA inspections in 2002 and 2003 and the post-war US investigations have not uncovered any indication of the procurement of large numbers of other centrifuge components or materials." (pdf)

"why would we conclude such a relatively benign intention given what Iraq was doing contemporaneously?"

Because many, many facts point decisively to that "relatively benign intention." Those facts are on clear display in SSCI, Duelfer and elsewhere. The fact that you prefer to deny these facts is highly revealing.

"It is hard to imagine why any rational person would have given Saddam the benefit of the doubt."

It's not a question of giving "Saddam the benefit of the doubt." It's a question of being in touch with reality.

jukeboxgrad

kim: "they were way overengineered for their ostensible use as artillery or rocket tubes or whatever you want to believe"

SSCI, p. 102: "When asked if they could think of a reason why a country might request tubes with such tight tolerances for a rocket program, one of the engineers said, 'Sure. If a person is a relatively inexperienced engineer and they don’t have 40 years of rocket manufacture like we have . . . you would tend to err on the conservative side.' Another engineer said, ' If you were starting from scratch, you would tend to go for a straighter, more tightly-tolermced product.' "

Maybe years from now our engineers will be schooled in Intelligent Design, and they won't offer such politically incorrect answers.

Syl

coyote

do you have any understanding of diplomacy?

Certainly. Those that speak out of both sides of their mouths and usually take the POV of the country in which the embassy sits rather than the home country.

They are terribly PC, prim, and proper. So much more couth than everyone else.

BTW, this ain't no embassy.

But I noticed you had no answer to my points.

And, no, I don't feel pissed on. You were pissing on the Iraqis.

Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable chatting it up with Joe Wilson.

Syl

juke

Waste of time. Sorry you went to all the trouble.

But pointing out where people may have disagreed is only cherry picking. I'm not going to fall for that crap any more.

Join the goddamn CIA yourself to learn how intel is evaluated

Here's a clue: it's not done on blogs.

boris

Hey Syl .... Juke's a chickenspook !!!

TM

For SaddamHadNukes - you may not be familiar with some of the quirks of this comments section. One general theme is that the righties try to rely on superior content (which you seem capable of doing) and leave the name-calling to those who lack an argument.

Another quirk is that roughly 40% of the total comments will be written by Jukeboxgrad. FYI, not everyone hangs on his/her every word.

Rick Ballard

Syl,

Perhaps we should start a campaign to garner contributions for taking another Dem Senate seat based upon comments from Stuck on Stupid diehards?

Michael Steele in Maryland would be a perfect choice. If all the regular readers here made a pledge to contribute .25 for every comment made by one of the SoS community to Steele it could turn into a tidy sum rather quickly. Perhaps enough to guarantee Steele pulling the seat into the Rep column.

The Kossacks are going to elect a number of Reps in '06 but it would be nice to be able to specifically identify their efforts as having helped Michael Steele over the top.

The only tedious part would be to count the stupid comments but if one started at the bottom and did a slow scroll one wouldn't be forced to even glance at the drivel posted. I think I'll try it on this one and see how long it takes.

jukeboxgrad

saddam: "You must read Podhertz's article"

Yes. And pay close attention to how he repeatedly mentions the NIE, without bothering to even hint that there were two distinctly different versions (as I described here). In particular notice how he quotes this passage: "INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors." Pod describes this as "stated in the NIE of 2002."

True, that passage was in the classified NIE, but it was not in the unclassified White Paper which was supposedly a faithful summary of the classified NIE. In other words, most of Congress and the public never saw that passage (and other similar passages) until months after the war started. Pod implies otherwise. Not impressive.

In my opinion, Pod is intentionally encouraging people to be confused about the important matter of the two NIEs.

Pod attempts various other bits of trickery. Here's an example. He quotes Butler saying "the fact of the forgery does not undermine [that assessment]." Trouble is, he doesn't bother mentioning that this is directly at odds with Silberman-Robb, which says: "the NIE ... did note that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake' from Africa. This statement was based largely on reporting from a foreign government intelligence service that Niger planned to send up to 500 tons of yellowcake uranium to Iraq. ... For reasons discussed at length below, several months after the NIE, the reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger was judged to be based on forged documents and was recalled ... In addition to recalling the reporting, CIA briefed the congressional intelligence committees in June 2003 that, given the recall of the earlier reporting, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Iraq had recently sought uranium from Africa."

In other words, according to SR, the idea of yellowcake from Africa was "based largely" on the forged documents. And without those documents, "there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Iraq had recently sought uranium from Africa." So Butler notwithstanding, the fact of the forgery did indeed undermine the assessment that Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Africa.

Given his highly selective omissions such as this, Pod needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. Someone should tell him: "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began."

SteveMG

Juke:
Okay, I'm carefully reading (as opposed to skimming) the SSCI report, specifically the section on the aluminum tubes.

Throughout that section, it's reported that both the CIA and DIA for myriad reasons believed that the tubes were intended to be used for gas centrifuge applications. The DOE believed that while it was possible to use the tubes for gas centrifuge applications, that it was more likely that they were acquired for conventional rocket applications.

I think that's a fair synopsis of this admittedly complex affair.

You're the president, what do you decide? Let's use, as they say in constitutional law, the reasonable person standard. Was it not reasonable for the W.H. or the intelligence community as a whole to conclude that the tubes were intended for centrifuge applications?

As you know, throughout the rest of the document, the Committee reports in some detail - not surprisingly - on the various other disagreements or disputes or different conclusions (however one wishes to word it) among the various agencies and departments over intelligence matters.

Again, this is not surprising because they were analyzing complex and difficult issues where the consensus view reigns, even if dissenting opinions exist.

Yet at the end of the day - and this is what puzzles those of us on the right on this topic - you wish to zero in on those agencies or departments that had dissenting views, even if that dissenting view was the minority. Evidence that supports Bush's contentions is ignored, even if it is the dominant view.

It seems to me that you have substance in accusing the W.H. of terrible judgments and of making horrific decisions. Fair enough. But there is no substance, it seems to me, to the charge that they fixed intelligence or falsified material.

One can find dissenting views; one cannot find fictitious ones.

SMG

boris

SMG

The left likes to forget that hindsight is only 20/20 when it's hindsight. It's so easy to cherry pick AFTER THE FACT.

p.lukasiak

Steve....

What is striking to me is that various agencies made FACTUAL assertions that contradicted each other--- yet there was no effort to resolve these contradictions.

Another notable thing was that the CIA produced NINE special reports on their tubes theory (without actually advancing their knowledge), some on the request of the President --- but these were not distributed to other agencies. Nor is there any evidence that Bush asked for more information from DOE....

Do you find this at all odd?

Rick Ballard

OK,

About 10 minutes to scroll through - there are about 110 Kossack comments so Michael Steele could take in $27.50 from those who pledged .25 per Kossack Komment. I notice that the Kossacks seem to be working shifts. Interesting. They probably share a database, too. I wonder what Soros pays? It's mostly cut and paste with little thought involved so he's probably not paying much more than minimum. This blog appears to be getting 16 hour coverage so the total daily cost probably would'nt exceed $120.

If ten commenters signed up for the .25 pledge then Soros would spend $120 to raise $275 for a Republican candidate. Seems reasonable. I'll do it.

clarice

I'd venture to say that among our intel agencies, youwill never find all analysts in perfect agreement on a single thing nor will you find a situation where every shred of evidence they have on a particular issue is 100% one way. Which is a fancy way of saying for every finding there's some shred of intel that doesn't quit fit..That's why we have the NIE--the idea being that the best thing to do under these circumstances is to present a consensus view that everyone of the agencies can and do sign off on.

And that's what happened here.

Peopl who argue that Bush should have known the NIE--the consensus view of all the agencies was in some respects in error should offer another way they think to handle this.

In any event, WMD's--and bits of the NIE like aluminum tubes and the seeking or uranium in Africa are side issues to me>
The most persuasive argument then and now was we had a dangerous leader, unscrupulous and uncontainable by any internationally acceptable form of sanction and control in a critical area of the world, and he was a threat to us and his neighbors.

boris

yet there was no effort to resolve these contradictions.

This kind of argument seeks to impose some standard of proof for going to war. The war started on 911.

After the shooting starts the standard isn't innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt ... the standard is comply or die. Saddam trusted in his bribes to save him so he refused to comply.

boris

leave the name-calling to those who lack an argument

I follow this rule religously. I never EVER combine a valid argument and namecalling in the same post.

clarice

I find it interesting that when Pincus finally got around to correcting his initial report of Wilson's sensational claims,Milbanks was his co-author. And this piece, with its startling admission (all right they wait til the 3d graph , but it's there) that the Administration based its arguments on something everyone believed, also has Milbanks as co-author.

The first time I saw Milbanks jump the anti-Bush bus was his marvelous Conyer's Playhouse Hearings. Interestingly , that was to my knwledge the first time the viciously anti-Israel (and to my mind, anti-semitic cast)of the Wilsonites Johnson et al and the anti-war left was brought front and center in the msm.

Is the WaPo sitting on Pincus by assigning Milbanks to co-author these things with him. Is Milbanks supposed to add some balance to Pincus' stuff?

Jame H

It seems to me that the prewar intelligence was actually pretty good. What we usually ask of a spy agency is information on a potential adversary's capabilities and intentions. It turns out with 20/20 hindsight that Iraq had only small quantities of nerve gas instead of the expected large stockpiles. Given that prewar Iraq was a police state I wouldn't expect perfect intel. Occan's razor suggests the reasons for their noncompliance with inspections was they had something to hide. It turns out what they were hiding was a program to resume production of WMD rather than stockpiles of actual WMDs.

On the intentions front, captured Iraqi generals told their interrogators that they were sure Iraq had nerve gas and would use it.

Jame H

It seems to me that the prewar intelligence was actually pretty good. What we usually ask of a spy agency is information on a potential adversary's capabilities and intentions. It turns out with 20/20 hindsight that Iraq had only small quantities of nerve gas instead of the expected large stockpiles. Given that prewar Iraq was a police state I wouldn't expect perfect intel. Occam's razor suggests the reasons for their noncompliance with inspections was they had something to hide. It turns out what they were hiding was a program to resume production of WMD rather than stockpiles of actual WMDs.

On the intentions front, captured Iraqi generals told their interrogators that they were sure Iraq had nerve gas and would use it.

Clarice

Well, after they missed the boat in 1991, they were naturally more suspicious.

As for no stockpiles we found lots of precursors stacked in places where they'd be if they were ntended to be quickly mixed and used for nefarious WMD purposes.

Today I saw some wag somewhere comparing it to finding hugh quantites of cold medicine and chemical equipment in the basement of a suspected meth lab and arguing you were just preparing for a flu epidemic.

boris

wag huh ... oh well

Syl

JBG

'was seeking ... from Africa .... based on forged documents'

This is what I mean by your cherry picking. Any seeking which led to a sales agreement (which the forged documents were) could be discounted. They were.

However there was separate, specific, intel about an instance where Saddam indeed was seeking uranium. That was not addressed by the forge documents.

And Brits had info that tracked attempts as well.

Just because you discount it doesn't mean it wasn't part of an entire package.

Syl

boris

I follow this rule religously. I never EVER combine a valid argument and namecalling in the same post.

LOL

Well, neither do I! Except sometimes I forget to hit 'Post' between the two. :)

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Iraq just got a good deal on insecticide so they layed in a 200 year supply. Just looking ahead.

clarice

Yeah..and found neat places to put it to keep it away from the kids..

As for the uranium, I find it hard to believe that corrupt governments in Africa under the oversight of the French couldn't have found a way to sell the stuff without sales receipts..Which is another reason why the forged documents are so preposterous..

Syl

Clarice

Interesting bit re Milbanks. I hadn't clicked on the basement charade.

Syl

Rick

Iraq just got a good deal on insecticide

See, it all worke out in the end. Iraq is now a jihadi roach motel.

Thank you, Saddam!

Clarice

And why do you suppose such a number of Iraqi nuclear scientists were assasssinated in a short time after we invaded? And who do you think was behind that and why?

Syl

Right, Clarice!

That was horrible.

At least uncle Hamza was safe in the West. Whatever happened to him? Was he really the former head of Saddam's nuclear program? He was lying through his teeth, but he seemed so nice! LOL

clarice

In the 1980's I had to work with documents captured from the Germans in WWII--they were sitting in file after file in the National Archives still untranslated. I understand the same situation might be true in Iraq..we oved that stuff to Qatar and, being shorthanded, the translators assigned to the task of finding out what we had, were pulled off for other tasks.

And last, there were those truckloads of stuff shipped to Syria ..Remember the chem attack on Amman that was thwarted at the last minte--and the reports that the chemicals were brought into Jordan from Syria?

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Take a look here and read the caption. Then look at this map and consider that 500 tons of ore is ten of the big Mercedes trucks worth. Take a look at where Niamey (you know, where Amb. Munchausen sipped mint tea) is in relation to Arlit, the Algerian border and the Libyan border just beyond.

Oh yeah, absolutely no way that ten trucks could have been smuggled out of there. Right. Of course, the other way to do it is to overweight 100 loads by 5 tons but that could never happen either. According to some. Idiots.

Syl

Oh my. How did we miss this. An editorial from the Washington Post!

They've read my mind! I bring up that Zawahiri letter a lot and point out where AQ is turning muslims against them.

Oops. The link

clarice

Zarqawi is a psychopath--out of control and doing AQ more damage than we are.Last week 150,000 Moroccans marched against him and in solidarity with the Iraqis; Now it's Jordan who wants his hide.

And BTW OBL has not been heard from in over 10 months, his lifetime record for radio silence..

Clarice

Yeah, Rick. BTW was there a sales agreement and recipet for Libya's uranium?

Syl

I agreed with most of the reasons for Iraq, but two main reasons I supported were to concentrate al Qaeda's attention to a place of our choosing, and to give the Iraqi people democracy.

I believed very very strongly that if people were leading free and productive lives, they would no longer tolerate the likes of al Qaeda and would marginalize them. And, eventually, with no support from the masses the movement would die.

But I was thinking too linearly...that Iraq would take a while, and we couldn't expect any kind of results for many years.

I didn't take into account the ripples that moved through the muslim world just because we had invaded Iraq. I was pretty sure there would be widespread anger about it. But positive results would take much longer.

But less than two years after the invasion the Iraqi's held their first election and the ripple of that started something much bigger.

Other events that occur in the region merge their ripples with the huge Iraqi one and the ensuing effect is much different than if Iraq had never happened.

Movements and hopes towards democracy and against Islamic violence. It will be a while before a tipping point is reached, but it will come. I don't now what horrors occur before then, but I'm confident that we will win in the end.

coyote

syl,

o.k., lets just throw diplomacy on the trash heap and do it all with military force or threat of same.

only one problem: we don't have enough manpower or money. guess we could nuke 'em all. that would take care of it.

can't see for the life of me where i belittled the iraqi people. i do believe that iraq is in a very vulnerable situation and may very well break into three pieces if we do get out, even with a strategic withdrawal (the drawdown somebody mentioned in the posts today).
with the way that this whole operation was bollocks from the beginning (by the administration, not the military) i think that i have every right to be skeptical about what happens next. iraq in three pieces will make it more likely that the whole region will go to hell in a hand basket.
now, you can play slime the other party all you want (and i'm not saying that one is better than the other. that's part of the stupidity that i see a lot of in this blog) and that doesn't get at dealing with the things that need to be talked about or done.
some of you bloggers are just whistling past the graveyard if you think that things are assured if we just keep the faith. we may in fact come through this mess with something worthwhile but it's still a very long shot.

clarice

Me, too, Syl..

Syl

clarice

I think it was 11 months for the record. I posted over at YARGB that I predict a message from him soon...for Zarqawi's ears.

kim

p.l., you note that there were contradictory factual claims about the aluminiunum tubes, and still are, I note. So when you say that no effort was made to reconcile those claims, I'd point to the removal of Saddam as a resolution by erring on the side of caution.

Now, it no longer matters whether he intended them for rockets or for centrifuges. Aren't you glad?
=====================================

Syl

coyote

There will be no civil war in Iraq. The sunnis will get their share of the oil revenues. The Kurds would love to be separate but they won't push it. And Sistani will keep the shi'a under control.

Each time the iraqi people have faced a crisis point so far, they've come through. I get very defensive for them. I should let them speak for themselves. But they've proven, to me at least, that their will is strong and they want a unified Iraq.

Syl

coyote

I'll tell you what gets my goat and makes me angry. People who complain about our policies and Bush and what he's doing in Iraq. Then worry about what the other M.E. countries think.

All those arguments leave out the elephant in the room which is the Iraqi people (except to predict, wait for it, civil war!). As if their actions and responses and desires have no meaning, no effect at all on our progress. As if the 'arab street' doesn't even see them and what they are accomplishing.

As if the entire Iraq adventure is our military, some terrorist, a lot of insurgents, and dead bodies.

There's something missing.

The Iraqi people are just as much a player in this drama as everyone else.

Without them the place would, indeed, be a disaster. But it's not. Yet we can't win without them.

And they're coming through for us.

kim

Coyote, it's a very long shot that the Iraqi people don't come out of this in a lot better shape than they were in under Saddam.

And who's throwing diplomacy out the window? Condi is a lot more capable than many of her predecessors.

I, too, once thought that it was inevitable that Iraq end up in three parts; it has only been held together forcibly in the past. However, Kurdistan lives, and they have adequate autonomy for now. The Shia are finally assured of their rightful voice in their own fate, and the Sunni would do well to strike a bargain as a buffer state.
============================================

clarice

If Sistani were Christian , they'd be building shrines to him..he's a genius and a saint..

And Chalabi, much maligned byt the CIA and the media, is no slouch either--It was his idea to use the Alaska model and share the country's oil revenues with its citizens.

Those two have done more to pull together the disparate parts of Iraq which all the bien pensants said could not ever be pulled together.

kim

The Kurdish north is virtually a functioning independent state already. The only instability they will provide in the mideast is to encourage Kurds in Iran, Turkey, and the old Soviet Union to join them in a greater Kurdistan. This, of course, would upset Iran, Turkey, and Putin. The Shia in Iraq are too different culturally from the Iranian ones for their to be much risk of a strong, or destabilizing alliance in that quarter, or half. The Sunni independent do pose a problem. They have been, and will be, buffer with Syria and Saudi Arabia. Just how their role works out in the Mideast I am less sure of than that of the Kurds and the Iraqi Shia.

I'm not sure of this but I believe that the bulk of the oil-producing lands in Saudi Arabia are primarily inhabitaed by Shia, not by the dominant Sunni tribe. And it's clear that the oil in Iraq belongs to the Kurds and the Shia. To keep the peace(yes, soon), they will share with the Sunni.

Feed the wolf, he's tamed
=======================================
====================================

kim

Syl, I agree with you about both of them. Sistani is a saint if he could come to trust the Americans after our betrayal after Gulf 1. I've read that he studied Voltaire, and Jefferson to learn about democracy, because it is not mentioned in the Koran. He is also a fine exemplar of the old Iraq Shia tradition of separation of church and state.

Chalabi is simply the Master of the Bazaar. I wonder what dim bulb decided to invade his house?
===================================================

TexasToast

Am I imagining things, or has the bile quotient on this blog increased exponentially? Rightees, you are in charge, govern. Unless you want to give up democracy, stop complaining about dissent. It is possible to disagree with you without being stupid, craven, cowardly, unpatriotic or seditious. You guys sound like the driver of a car with the wheels about to come off. Is it that scary to be wrong?

Say Rick, is there a web site where I can sigh up to get the Soros gravy? I bet it would sure beat practicing law!

coyote

may it all happen that way. my fingers are crossed.

coyote

(my last post intented as a comment to syl, etc.)

Pete

Kim - It is interesting that you felt insulted by my question (which really was a rehtorical response to your question), and yet are oblivious to the fact that your question was equally insulting.

And if you are really sincere about the oil question you raise - "And at what price of gasoline would you consider shedding your blood for your oil, if you want to call me cynical?" There is no need for me to shed either my blood or someone else's blood for a commodity like oil.

kim

Not insulting, Pete, ironic; I'n not sure you can be insulted.

Oh my, how naive. I suppose you just go get that 'commodity' on your credit card. I'm reminded of the sheltered naif who pointed his channel changer at muggers.
==================================

Pete

Syl - you say that my entire paragraph on Niger is wrong. Yet even Hadley has admitted to his lapses on the Niger nuke information. And the SSCI report mentions how he was twice contacted and told that the Niger information was weak (one in the form of a fax and one verbally from DCI.

SteveMG

bile quotient on this blog increased exponentially?

Yep, it's getting pretty bad.

Let's be honest though. The latest lefty arrivals haven't exactly been quoting from the League of Women Voters handbook.

Still...

SMG

kim

Just look at yourself, Pete. You pretend to be surprised that I'm insulted(is that an apology?), then claim my question was as insulting as yours. Yours was if I am glad that 2,000 soldiers have died, mine was at what price of gasoline would you fight for it. Now you may consider those equally insulting, but I scoff.
=======================

jukeboxgrad

Hi Tom, I thought you were taking the weekend off. You should be resting up to prepare for a busy week, since Bush's hired hands will be working overtime telling us not to rewrite the history that hasn't yet been written (because he's been trying hard to make sure it doesn't get written). But once it does get written we're supposed to make sure it doesn't get rewritten unless it's being rewritten in a manner that's consistent with the way Bush is now rewriting it.

"leave the name-calling"

I think that's the first time I've noticed you object to name-calling traveling from right to left. Better late than never.

"roughly 40% of the total comments"

Speaking of excess, you're obviously throwing in some artistic padding. That's OK. But since you raised the subject, you might find it interesting to know that in this thread I'm behind 7% of the comments and 16% of the words. Maybe you meant to say "40% of the total comments, after one puts aside all the miserable drivel which is totally devoid of any substantive or factual content whatsoever."

"not everyone hangs on his/her every word."

Hell, I don't even hang on my every word, so I can't imagine why anyone else would. However, I realize you notice that most of my posts are conveniently grouped. This means anyone who can't handle too much cognitive dissonance can simply tap the space bar a few times and quickly be back in the safe, comforting echo chamber that often prevails around these parts when me and my betters aren't around.

jukeboxgrad

smg: " CIA ... DIA ... DOE"

Don't forget INR. They sided with DOE, in saying the tubes were probably not intended for use in a nuclear program (p. 86). Likewise for IAEA.

Also, don't forget that SSCI says there was "an intense debate" within the IC over these tubes. The heart of the matter is that Bush/Cheney/WHIG did the best they could to pretend this debate didn't exist. Here's a pretty clear smoking gun (p. 94): "A September 13, 2002 New York Times article which discussed the IC debate about the aluminum tubes, noted that an administration official said, “. . .the best technical experts and nuclear scientists at laboratories like Oak Ridge supported the CIA assessments.” ... DOE officials, including the Director of the Oak Ridge Field Intelligence Element, told Committee staff that the vast majority of scientists and nuclear experts at the DOE and the National Labs did not agree with the CIA’S analysis."

This is all explained clearly, in more detail, in the NYT here. The NYT article SSCI is talking about (9/13/02) can be found on a list here. And guess who co-wrote it? Miller, of course. And the unnamed AO who was apparently telling a blatant lie about Oak Ridge? My money is on Libby. (By the way, a very comprehensive timeline on the tubes is here.)

"Was it not reasonable for the W.H. or the intelligence community as a whole to conclude that the tubes were intended for centrifuge applications?"

No.

This is what David Albright said (6/13/03): "The CIA has concluded that these tubes were specifically manufactured for use in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium ... Many in the expert community both inside and outside government, however, do not agree with this conclusion. The vast majority of gas centrifuge experts in this country and abroad who are knowledgeable about this case reject the CIA's case and do not believe that the tubes are specifically designed for gas centrifuges. ... After months of investigation, the administration has failed to prove its claim that the tubes are intended for use in an Iraqi gas centrifuge program ... Despite being presented with evidence countering this claim, the administration persists in making misleading comments about the significance of the tubes ... I first learned of this case a year and a half ago when I was asked for information about past Iraqi procurements. My reaction at the time was that the disagreement reflected the typical in-fighting between US experts that often afflicts the intelligence community. I was frankly surprised when the administration latched onto one side of this debate in September 2002. I was told that this dispute had not been mediated by a competent, impartial technical committee, as it should have been, according to accepted practice ... I became dismayed when a knowledgeable government scientist told me that the administration could say anything it wanted about the tubes while government scientists who disagreed were expected to remain quiet."

This is what Rice said to Blitzer on 9/8/02: "We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance—into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to—high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs ... We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Note that she said this virtually on the anniversary of 9/11. Note that she also said this just a few days before Judith Miller was helping Libby lie about Oak Ridge.

Bush said essentially the same thing in Ohio a few weeks later: "The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program ... Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons."

Rice's statement that the tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs" is simply, unmistakably false. And since SSCI reports that there was an "intense debate" on this subject in the IC, it is simply not plausible to suggest the Rice didn't know, as Albright put it, that "the vast majority of gas centrifuge experts in this country and abroad who are knowledgeable about this case reject the CIA's case and do not believe that the tubes are specifically designed for gas centrifuges."

One more time: Rice didn't say "they could be used for nukes." Rice said "they are only really suited for nukes." The former statement is true. The latter statement is simply false, and appears to be an intentional lie.

One more time: Bush didn't say "they could be used for nukes." He said the tubes "are for gas centrifuges." He didn't know that to be a fact, but he spoke as if it were a fact. That's not honest.

It would be a different story if our government had said "we're going to war and we're not going to tell you why; just trust us." Then at least we would know that democracy is dead, and we could give it a nice funeral. Instead, our government shoveled out reasons, and this gave the appearance of a democratic process. Trouble is, the reasons were concocted.

"the consensus view reigns, even if dissenting opinions exist."

Adopting a consensus view is a healthy thing, if the consensus view is supported by factual reality. But in a healthy process, consensus does not deny the existence of dissent. Sweeping dissent under the rug is not a healthy thing, if the word democracy has any meaning (and even if you don't give a shit about democracy, squelching dissent is also organizationally self-destructive). When Rice made her false statement, she was trampling on democracy. Likewise for when Libby (I assume it was him) told Miller a blatant lie about Oak Ridge.

"you wish to zero in on those agencies or departments that had dissenting views, even if that dissenting view was the minority."

The minority in this case was one guy in the CIA named Joe. You have no basis for claiming that DOE, INR and IAEA were merely a "dissenting" or "minority" view. The fact that Joe had very powerful friends doesn't mean the truth was on his side. That's the problem.

"Evidence that supports Bush's contentions is ignored, even if it is the dominant view."

No. No one is ignoring the "evidence that supports Bush's contentions." Bush is the one who did the ignoring, of evidence that was politically inconvenient to him. And it's not that he simply claimed that this contrary evidence was wrong. It's that he acted as if it simply didn't exist, and did his best to convince us that it didn't exist. This distinction is crucial.

"there is no substance, it seems to me, to the charge that they fixed intelligence or falsified material."

Please explain Rice's statement as something other than "falsified material." Likewise for Bush's statement about the tubes. Likewise for the White Paper which "misrepresented" (SSCI's word) the underlying data. Likewise for the anonymous AO who lied about Oak Ridge, with the help of the NYT. Likewise for 16 words which, according to Silberman-Robb, were "based largely" on forged documents, which for some odd reason we didn't manage to notice were forged even though the errors were glaring.

"One can find dissenting views"

We can find them now. Trouble is, prior to the war, they were carefully hidden from sight. One example is the way WHIG scrubbed various statements out of the glossy marketing brochure known as the White Paper. Another example is the way "government scientists who disagreed were expected to remain quiet."

Making claims about nukes was a key part of the marketing strategy for the war. It's clear that a decision was made to strongly roll out nuke-related claims starting around the time of the 9/11 anniversary. At that time, a coordinated effort began, to make claims regarding yellowcake and regarding aluminum tubes. As Silberman-Robb reported, the yellowcake claims were "based largely" on forged documents. And the aluminum-tube claims were based largely on the work of one CIA analyst named Joe, who adopted a belief that was at odds with "the vast majority of gas centrifuge experts in this country and abroad."

No matter what you think about any other aspect of what's going on, it's simply not OK to look the other way when our government fails to level with us, about matters of such dire significance. Totalitarianism is the obvious and inevitable result of that kind of apathy. And in the end it really doesn't make a bit of difference if the totalitarians have Ds or Rs next to their names.

jukeboxgrad

Rick: "Oh yeah, absolutely no way that ten trucks could have been smuggled out of there"

Please explain why Saddam needed another 500 tons, when he already had 550 tons that were useless to him. Also let us know how you feel about the fact that we let those 550 tons be looted.

syl: "However there was separate, specific, intel about an instance where Saddam indeed was seeking uranium. That was not addressed by the forge documents."

You're obviously entitled to your opinion, but you've failed to explain why you know more than Silberman-Robb. They state that the idea of yellowcake from Africa was indeeed "based largely" on the forged documents. And without those documents, "there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Iraq had recently sought uranium from Africa." So Butler notwithstanding, the fact of the forgery did indeed undermine the assessment that Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Africa.

So your fantasy about "separate, specific, intel" is something Butler dreamed up (without a shred of substantiation) to cover Blair's ass, and you find the concept appealing for highly congruent reasons. Trouble is, the fact that you find the concept appealing doesn't make it real. When you have some proof, let us know. We can get SR to correct their report.

"they're [the Iraqi people] coming through for us."

Right. That's why a British survey recently found that "forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified." (link)

Pete

Wrong Kim. Your question was am I glad that Saddam is gone and my response was are you glad that 2000 Americans have died in Iraq. Unfortunately things are not so black and white that some make it out to be. If you find my response insulting then you should find your own question to be the same. I have no apologies to make, my surprise is that you can see one as insulting but not the other.

The question about oil is not insulting and I stand by what I responded earlier. Ironically I even remember some arguments from the war proponents (pre-war) about how the war would bring down the price of oil.

jukeboxgrad

Minor typo. This sentence:

He said the tubes "are for gas centrifuges."

Should be this:

He said the tubes are "for gas centrifuges."

Pesky punctuation.

kim

So those two questions are equally insulting? I scoff.

And in case you haven't noticed I'm at least partly making fun of some of your fellow idealogues' Moorian 'No blood for oil' meme. This business is Janus like. Sustenance is worth fighting for; is that what we were fighting for in Iraq?
==============================

Pete

jukeboxgrad said: "The heart of the matter is that Bush/Cheney/WHIG did the best they could to pretend this debate didn't exist."

This is EXACTLY the point that I have been raising. Had the Bush administration laid everything (pro + con) out in the open and had an honest debate at that time, we (and they) would have been much better served.

topsecretk9

So Juke can savor his consistent Dem approval over Repub POLL numbers (of which I agreed!)

I think he approve of this ballsy and confident move by his HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/11/AR2005111101833_pf.html">Party Leader that seems to be raising so much money from all those fired up Dem and Repub. deflector voters!

"DNC CHAIRMAN HOWARD DEAN REFUSES TO APPEAR ON SET WITH RNC CHAIR DURING TOMORROW 'MEET THE PRESS', SOURCES TELL DRUDGE... DEAN ONLY AGREED TO BACK-TO-BACK INTERVIEWS ON NBC WITH RIVAL... DEVELOPING..."

topsecretk9

Here is a better link to the bloodbath!

kim

JBG, there were competent experts arguing both sides of the aluminium tube question. It is still not known what the intended use was. Hey, let's ask Saddam. Maybe they satisfied, or he was told that they would, his urge to WMD. Someone you don't trust holds something your experts can't tell you isn't for enriching uranium. You'd be foolish to assume his innocent intent. But there are a lot of foolish assumptions built into the anti-war belief structure.
=====================================

topsecretk9

Kim...Hey, let's ask Saddam? Before, after or during his lunch with Blix? Priorities. One must break bread before getting down to the nitty gritty.

topsecretk9

"The heart of the matter is that Bush/Cheney/WHIG did the best they could to pretend this debate didn't exist."--

NO Clinton did his best to placate as best he could so inevitable was on someone else's watch. This was a cancer for some time...

This how the WAPO put in January 2001 with the admonition that

[o]f all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous—or more urgent—than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade’s efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf [where] intelligence photos . . . show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons."

My. How we forget, Or...REWRITE...which ever you prefer.

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Wilson/Plame