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November 15, 2005

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p.lukasiak

Lets see. Levin says that Bush pushed a connection between ....well, between Saddam and Iraq!

Now obviously, what Levin said (or meant to say) was "bin Laden and Iraq" or "Saddam and al Qaeda". So what does the White House do? It quotes Levin about "terrorism" in general as it concerns Iraq.

But, as the White House quotes Levin saying....the issue is what the White House knew, and what it said about what it knew. Its not about Carl Levin, or anyone else in Congress, because Congress did not make the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003. What Congress did in October 2002 was authorize Bush to invade Iraq if necessary based on what was believed to be true in October 2002.

rob

All this does is remind us of these famous quotes:
Speaker: Bush, George - President

Date: 6/18/2004
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda: because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Date: 6/17/2004
"This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda.”

Date: 9/26/2002
"You can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam.”
Date: 9/17/2003
"There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.”

kim

Monk is happy to let us know that the grandjury was treated to open skepticism from Fitzpatrick, but fails to mention that the jury of Libby's peers will hear a little skepticism from his defense.
====================================================

epphan

Poor Carl Levin ...misunderstood...misquoted...taken out of context...That's not FAIR!

Rick Ballard

Sen. Levin needs to put legislation on the floor restoring things to the status quo ante. A 'Saddam Hussein Restoration Act' would at least allow full floor debate so that the Democratic Senators could make the argument that they lacked the necessary intelligence to make a proper decision in October 2002. While everyone knows that these particlular Senators lack the backbone to use force in any situation they should be allowed the opportunity to explain that they never will vote for any bill authorizing the use of force for the balance of thier careers. Unless, of course, it polls well.

A good debate on why the Democrats want to cut and run would be very healthy. Sure, it would encourage al Queada and the Baathist deadenders to continue terrorist attacks on innocents in Iraq and around the world but that is a very small price to pay for the minute and momentary advantage that the Democratic Party might garner at a year from the nest election.

After all, the the families of the American soldiers who will die as a result of the Demoratic Party's tactic and the soldiers themselves would never vote Democrat anyway.

The cost in human lives and suffering in the instance of Iraq would be minimal in comparison the cost borne by the South Vietnamese as a result of the last instance of Democratic legislators abandoning their promises. It's better that the Democrats stab the Iraqis in the back right now and in public than it is to wait any longer.

The American public needs a full debate on Democratic perifidy. It would be very helpful in determing just what level of sedition and cowardice is acceptable in elected officials.

kim

I'm afraid for the Democrats that no matter how they portray the Iraqi adventure, it's lead-up, it's aftermath, it's rationale, it's still just gonna look like sour grapes to the average cuppa Joe. And that's just not a great electoral energizer.
==================================

susan

Weird that the Democrat Party (once the pride of classical liberalism) today considers the Liberation of oppressed people to be a lie.

Ever since the Democrat Party allowed the progressive Stalinist Left into it's fold some thirty years ago then self-extermined when it was bought by moveon.org and George Soros, the party of FDR is no more. I look at Democrats as the party of Stalin which no longer believes in the goodwill of the American people and wishes to see America fail.

Harsh yes, but the progressive Left is vicious and if they take control, as a Russian friend who formerly lived under serfdom pointed out to me, there will be no place left in the world to escape such tyranny. Europe is almost lost itself to Socialism's decay, we cannot follow their path to extinction.

JayDee

It's difficult to imagine a whinier, weaker defense than the one this White House is trying to put up: Blame the Dems! They didn't contest the bogus intelligence we fed them!

I think the last election permanently warped these people into thinking that there is infinite opportunity in lying so aggressively that people end up believing the lies are truth. They are certainly giving fertile fields to anyone who wants to oppose them in coming elections by admitting their incompetence in obtaining accurate intelligence and by opening the floor to having more of their lies debated.

makes short shrift of the incredibly weak WH "pushback", an argument so transparently false one can only assume these politicos truly have no respect whatsoever for the intelligence of American citizens.

The president and his top advisers may very well have sincerely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they did not allow the American people, or even Congress, to have the information necessary to make reasoned judgments of their own. It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections.

That's the crux of this argument. That's the only way for the WH to push back, except they can't. If they wanted to make a case for war as a geopolitical adventure engineered by their elitist think tank intellectuals, then THAT was the case they should have made. That would have been honest behavior in an open, enlightened democracy. That they chose instead to mislead, lie and deceive instead is a mistake that will haunt their party, and unfortunately our entire country, for generations. The KNEW what the verdict of the people would be if they had been honest - exactly the one we are arriving at by leaps and bounds now.

p.lukasiak

Kim.... Nixon's "Silent Majority" schtick worked because, well, there was a silent majority out there that didn't hold Nixon responsible for Vietnam, and wanted to give his policies a chance.

But that kind of spin won't work in 2005. There is no "majority" that supports Bush's Iraq policies anymore -- and the Iraq debacle is owned by Bush, and Bush alone.

Dwilkers

"Weird that the Democrat Party (once the pride of classical liberalism) today considers the Liberation of oppressed people to be a lie."

These are weird times it seems. The two poles of political thought have come together in a weird sort of alignment, the ultra far left and the ultra far right say similar things about foreign policy nowadays, caused by some sort of political gravity disturbance of enormous force.

My personal opinion is that the left can't see the war in Iraq for the classic liberal war it is because they are blinded by Bush hate. I've been scratching my head over that one for a couple years now and that's the only logical answer I can come up with.

kim

Jay Dee, and p.l. why can't you understand what Susan and Dwilkers so clearly do?

Go read what Iraqis have to say about self-determination.
Go read what liberalism has had to say about self-determination.

Now wake up before BDS destroys our two party system.
=======================================

Sue

Jay Dee,

You are working off the wrong assumption. You assume Bush is hiding a 'BIG LIE'. He isn't placing blame on anyone, just reminding them of their own words. Bush believed at the time Saddam had WMDs. So did the democrats. He is merely reminding them.

TexasToast

Seems to me that all of this "push back" is blaming the customer who bought the swampland rather than blaming the salesman. GWB won the best Producer prize (a trip to WallyWorld in Iraq) by trumpeting the beach access and hiding the fact that building a vacation home would require 20 foot piles and that there was no flood insurance available. Now that the water is rising, he is blaming the customer for buying the sales pitch. "It is highly irresponsible to rewrite history by actually reading the prospectus that we never provided. You can only talk about the brochure! The brochure clearly says you have beach access!"

Remember the scene in Animal House?
"You bleeped up. You trusted us!"

kim

There is an extremely small minority of Iraqis who are not ecstatic over their new beach house, TT, and they didn't invite you over to snipe.
======================================

Gary Maxwell

Hey you dense pointy headed liberals ( you know who you are)

Bush is not trying to convince you morons, he knows you are hopeless cases who drink whatever far left lib koolAid Soros stirs up and puts in front of you.

No he is speaking to independents and folks who dont ever visit the DUmp and could care less what Media Matters thinks about anything. And he is reaching them and they will listen and read the Dems prior quotes and reach their own conclusion.

Since consevatives start out as a larger % of the population that lib, if they get 1/2 od independents they have a strong majority.

What really chaps you is that Bush has started to use his bully pulpit effectively. Your MSM lackeys and watercarriers can only do so much, and his meesage is getting out and will continue to get out.

Go find me some more Repub quotes that I wont read. Neither will the Independents BTW as you little pissants dont have the President ability to command the stage and get the message out.

Kinda sucks to be a lib dont it?

JayDee

I'm not familiar with "classic liberal wars" that have been fought in the past....like, ever. Can you give some examples, Dwilkers? If we're looking for oppressed people to free and uplift, seems we might have started in Africa to better effect. Not that we really give a hoot about "oppressed" people in non-oilrich nations, though.

We're watching a split screen in DC politics right now. While Bush is taking potshots at his fellow Americans from our common military base, right before embarking on an Asian trip, saying in effect "I didn't mislead, they misfollowed! Wah!"...back in Congress, the the Repubs are signing onto Dem IDEAS right and left...Not only are they stealing the Dem plans for timed withdrawals, but little Lindsay Graham has caved on pub efforts to further Sovietize Gitmo and is backing McCain's anti-torture policies.

Some pushback. Bush looks lonelier, and weaker, every day.

The Unbeliever

Mistaken analogy, TT. Bush is saying that he bought the same swampland, sight unseen, based on the same brochure the Dems had. Now Bush is simply pointing out that everyone involved bought the same land based on the same brochure, so it's silly for half the purchasers to complain.

And naturally, I'd object to the likening of Iraq as an inescapable swampland, given the progress that we've been making, but that's an oft-fought argument for another time.

p.lukasiak

My personal opinion is that the left can't see the war in Iraq for the classic liberal war it is because they are blinded by Bush hate. I've been scratching my head over that one for a couple years now and that's the only logical answer I can come up with.

The only "blindness" here is your own -- like most righties, you can't even comprehend the view of the left, and have to ascribe it to "Bush hatred".

"The left" recognized this war for what it was: Not some 'war of liberation', but a war of conquest---call it imperialism, or colonialism, or whatever. One need only look at what the US tried to do initially with the Iraqi economy (basically, sell the whole thing off to the highest bidders) and the Iraqi political system (appoint a bunch of emigres with extremely close ties to the American neo-con establishment to run things, and resist all efforts to hold representative elections) to see that the left's perception of this war was accurate.

JayDee

Except it isn't true, Unbeliever, that everyone saw the same brochure. Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of central intelligence, said in 2003 that there was "significant pressure on the intelligence community to find evidence that supported a connection" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The C.I.A. ombudsman told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the administration's "hammering" on Iraq intelligence was harder than he had seen in his 32 years at the agency Dissenting opinions were sanitized. Rumors were augmented into facts. It was truly shameful, and Bush isn't going to succeed pulling the wool over people's eyes this time. People have some pride after all. It was embarassing enough the way we all ran around like scared ninnies after 9/11 and let these amoral power grubbers run roughshod over our democracy. It's bad enough that we're destroying Iraq in order to save it. I don't think we're going to get a national consensus that we should also destroy our own democracy in order to "spread" it elsewhere.

p.lukasiak

Go read what Iraqis have to say about self-determination.

Kim, I've been reading what the Iraqis have been saying about self-determination for years

And I have followed the US efforts to prevent the Iraqi people from holding elections -- until Bush's hand was forced.

And I've seen the US try to sell off Iraq to the highest bidder and impose a far-right wing inspired economic system that would have eliminated any hope of economic self-determination for the Iraqi people.

Unlike you, and Sue, and Dwilkers, and the rest of your wingnut cabal, I don't just base my opinions on GOP talking points. I watch what HAPPENS.

p.lukasiak

Mistaken analogy, TT. Bush is saying that he bought the same swampland, sight unseen, based on the same brochure the Dems had. Now Bush is simply pointing out that everyone involved bought the same land based on the same brochure, so it's silly for half the purchasers to complain.

this "swampland" analogy is actually not bad. Bush's efforts to sell this war had all the hallmarks of a real estate scam. But Bush wasn't "just another duped investor", he was the lead investor who went around and sold the project to other gullible investors.

cathyf

So, to take a little break for some Blog Triumphalism -- you think somebody in the white house is taking advantage of their broadband connection to get some ammunition?

cathy :-)

kim

The left's perception of this war is inaccurate. They still think of the terrorists as a legitimate insurgency rather than criminals they are, and they still buy the Moorian vision that Bush is only in this for the oil.

And look what the indigenous political process has done, it's put an expatriot with ties to neocons in a position of great power. Against the wishes of at least one dunce in Washington who'd had his home invaded.
==================================================

Patrick R. Sullivan

The argument Monk is making about Libby is a perfect 'perjury trap' defense.

As to the White House memory refreshers, it's great, but they have to sustain it. Day after day after day.... Until it's background noise for the American people.

And, they ought to do the same thing to Mary Mapes who is currently getting a respectful hearing on numerous TV shows and in newspapers about the Nat'l Guard memoes.

Gary Maxwell

No actually its a good thing that Mapes is out there. Its so easy to know that the memos are forgeries that she can get any traction. But by sticking to her story she reminds people why they should not trust the media, and her performance is strangely similar to several national Democrats. Since the media and the Dems are so colosely aligned perhaps that is to be expected.

But in keeping with me prior point, the Independents are getting a good dose of what they need to make an informed decision.

Really really really sucks to be a Dem.

susan

Example of a classical liberal wars would be World War II and Korea, neither of which were oil rich nations. Of course, Vietnam is the prime example of what happens when totalitarian Stalinists allowed tyranny to win.


The only act of Imperialism to come out of America are the Eco-Imperialists who force and bully through international legislation the eco-imperialist idea that third world countries must never be permitted to partake of revolutionary technology. Eco-imperialists have colonized the world to remain in a primative state of helplessness, despair, poverty, misery and all things under serfdom.

JayDee

Day after day after day.... Until it's background noise for the American people.

I love it when Pubs come out in the open with their admiration for "catapulting the propaganda". It's not a free, open democracy of educated citizens they seek to build, but a nation of dumbfounded sheep, looking for leaders to protect them from irrational fears.

They aren't looking for a national dialogue or debate. They fear that, which is why they have the President attacking his fellow Americans from a US Army base, before hightailing off to China. But if you want to see where the AMerican people still have power - look at what's happening in the Senate, with Pubs "borrowing" ideas from the supposedly idea-free Dems, and agreeing to their demands that our anti terrorism policies not be allowed to turn us into a mockery of American principles. These guys have constituencies to answer to, unlike Bush, and it is most instructive to see how they are breaking with him now. No to drilling in Anwar. No to indefinite suspension of habeas corpus. No to breaking the backs of the poor even further to give more taxcuts to the top 1%. And yes to a timed withdrawal. There may be hope for us yet, with all these pubs starting to see the light.

Syl

What the desparate Dems here do not understand is that the intelligence was wrong.

It doesn't matter if each and every Democrat in America looked at each and every piece of intel, the intel was still wrong, and they would have had to come to the same conclusion that Bush did.

That doesn't mean they all would vote for war, it just means that the intel would still show what it did. And they would have no way of knowing the intel was wrong unless we went to war.

Syl

JayDee

You could learn a lot from Hitchens. Give reading him a try some time.

Rick Ballard

I think we all remember Howlin' Howies illustrious start as DNC chair. He promised that his amazing internet fund raising (actually Joe Trippi's) would replace the union money that the CFR eliminated. In order to justify his claim he spent the first five months making irresponsible statements that played well with the delusional left but pushed the center away. He raised a little dough but nothing like what the unions could have provided through their legal extortion racket. Finally, elected officials told Howie to put a sock in it because he was causing more damage than the money he raised was worth. Plus his net return was (and still is) really lousy. The party is now very low on dough and things aren't getting better. The Democrat rent seeking constituency has never provided any money - they have to be paid to even vote. The union members are still being extorted by the unions and have never been in the habit of making contributions and the centrists don't much care for the direction the party is taking so they are sitting on their wallets.

Which leaves the loony left as the only obvious source of funds - and they demand their pound of flesh prior to writing checks.

If you look at what the Dems are doing as performing unnatural acts for money it is much more understandable than it is as a political tactic. They know that a drawdown is coming and they know that looking backwards and focusing on the past is not a smart political move.

But, at heart, they're prostitutes in need of money and the only paying customer that they can attract at the moment demands an antiwar stance. They'll drop this by March and try and pretend that they never heard of it. If the Republicans let them.

kim

So, p.l., if you are watching what happens then you know that Sistani, despite betrayal by a coalition in 1991, gauged our intention correctly this time, at least after Summer, '04, and in concert with other Shia and with Kurds, and now increasingly with the Sunni, is leading his country to a future they and we, and even you, can applaud.

You also know that against lengthening odds, the Master of the Bazaar is running a masterful race for the roses. And those are what is coming up in Iraq.

I'm reminded of the story of the queen who daily fed bread to the poor against the wishes of the king. One day he caught her with an apronful on the way to the back gate. He demanded to know what was in her apron. She replied 'roses'. He insisted on looking, and lo, there were roses.

These so called progressives want to starve the Iraqis need for nourishing their own destiny; and they can't believe it's coming up roses for Bush, and the Iraqis. God, it must gall.
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Tulsan

The White House made the decision to invade Iraq LONG BEFORE it had the so-called evidence about: aluminum tubes, yellowcake, mobile labs, drones, and connections between Saddam and al-Queda ... the only purpose of presenting this "evidence" was to get support for a decision that had already been made - support in the form of a resolution from Congress, a UN resolution and public approval.

So the question is not how this "intelligence" was used in the decision to go to war, as it played no role in that decision ... but instead how this information was packaged and presented. This has never been formally investigated ... but of course the White House pretends that it has been investigated ... and wants this entire embarrassing discussion to just go away.

Dwilkers

I had no idea the concept would be so upsetting to you two - have you guys been up all night or something? It really isn't complicated, and it certainly wasn't intended to be insulting. I suppose the underlying philosophical point wasn't clear.

* Liberal -- (having or demonstrating belief in the essential goodness of man and the autonomy of the individual; favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority)

* Liberate -- release, unloose, unloosen, loose -- (grant freedom to; free from confinement) set free -- (grant freedom to)

Bush believes that this is a war of cultures. The culture of Western Liberal Secular Democracy vs. the culture of Despotism Islamofacism. Liberalism is the underlying rational for this war. Bush believes that by introducing secular liberal democracy into the ME the US will kill the roots of terrorism. I wouldn't have thought that basic point was in dispute among people that observe this at the level of depth of people posting here.

You know, as in 1) Western: the western hemisphere; Liberal: Freedom; Secular: unrelated to religion; democracy: the will of the governed.

Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong, but that's what he thinks. I wouldn't have thought the definition of liberal was in dispute - although the application is today's times might be.

It a perfect example of a war fought to liberate an opressed people.

Syl

Tulsan

Of the list you presented:

Yellowcake: 1999
Saddam and al Qaeda connections? read the indictment against bin laden: 1998

Aluminum tubes, mobile labs, drones, were just icing.

9/11- 78% of Americans believed Saddam had something to do with it on 9/13.

richard mcenroe

Now there's a Visual Aid

kim

Oh boy, do I hope they try to rehabilitate Mapes and hang as much hope on her as they did on Wilson. Johnson's little superimposition trick is susceptible to mass distribution, easy comprenhension, and the advantage that a picture has over a thousand words.

Flicker on, my little bit of shimmer.
Flashin' beacon, Burkett's shit is stinkin'.
For the willfully blind it's only a glimmer.
=================================================

susan

So Jaydee
You've spoken of the Bush term as having pulled the wool over our eyes. Ok, got your point that you believe Bush lied.

Now, can you give a reasonable explaination for all the events which occurred over the past decade which led to the reason why Bush's had no choice but to remove Saddam?

How do you explain the no-fly zones? Or, the billions it cost the US to help the UN caontain Saddam? How do you explain the oil-for-food theif? How do you explain the starvation of the Iraqi people? How do you explain the torture, the rape-rooms, the genocide?

How do you explain a decade of UN inspectors being unable to inspect Iraq's weapons program without intrusion from Saddam? How do you explain that every nation involved in containing Saddam over the last decade all believed Saddam was a threat to the free world?

How do you explain the validity of George Galloway and Joe Wilson?

Telling a Liberated people their lives were just a lie is a pathetic way of showing your humanity.

Florence Schmieg

Do some of you ever read anything but the blogs? There is a biography of Tony Blair that came out last year by a respected British journalist. In it are reports of conversations between Blair and Bill Clinton. They discussed the imperative need to get Saddam Hussein out of power!! Years before George Bush became president. This was American policy under a Democratic administration and after 9-11 needed to be acted upon. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

kim

Dwilkers: Liberals, progressives, Democrats, they all have a tremendous paradox to deal with and you've outlined it well. So far they are dealing with it by refusing to accept the reality that is a free Iraq. They have also fallen prey to that greedy Palestinian's victimazation ploy.

It's all deliciously delusional. I do hope, for the sake of all of us, that they pull out of this unconscious power dive before they crash their vehicle into our monumental two-party system and fireball it into the ground.
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Gary Maxwell

Florence

Of course you are correct. The stated policy of the Clinton administration was "Regime Change." They did not mean change as in personality transformation either.

kim

Arafat, that's him, roasting in Hell as we speak, thank God. Even Allah is pissed at his thievery.
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Marcel

Syl, Yesterday you were criticizing polling methodology, today you are quoting poll numbers.

Syl

Marcel

The number could be off by a few points (what I was criticizing the polls for) but that's not the point.

The point is that the American people already believed Saddam had something to do with 9/11.

Marcel

And now the American believe they have been lied to, if you accept the polls.

Syl

I wonder who the Democrats are going to fire over pushing a 'Bush Lied' meme. This is going to turn into the biggest fiasco their party has seen in a long long time.

I wonder who it is they'll torch.

Marcel

Fiasco for whom?

Syl

Marcel

Hang on to those polls that show Americans think 'Bush lied'. Frame them. Put them on your wall.

The polls they be a changin' soon.

kim

Yes, Syl, and less so as the run-up to the war progressed. Even more delusionary these latter day soothsayers memory. The American people were less convinced of a connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, but still sure that Saddam needed dealing with. Truly, Bill just teased us all through the '90's.
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JayDee

Susan, I'm an American. I care about THIS country, MY country. I care about the subversion of OUR democracy. When we become a perfect nation, with unlimited financial resources, then maybe we can put it to a VOTE if the American people would like to take on the mission of perfecting the rest of the world. And we can ask them where they'd like to start - maybe in Africa, where the oppression and suffering makes the lot of the Iraqi people under Saddam look like a piece of cake.

I know it's a cute little argument to pretend that the Republican base is interested in the welfare of the Iraqi people, which is quite a jarring contrast to the virulent anti-Muslim bigotry so often encountered in real life conversations with Bushies. But it's really only one of your revolving door rationales. Sometimes it's our national defense, sometimes it's our energy needs, sometimes it's liberation of oppressed people, sometimes it's not backing down, sometimes it's kicking ass.

Arianna Huffington had a little Dinner with Ahmad, who had this to say about our "liberation": "American soldiers," he said, "are breaking into people's homes and are arresting and detaining Iraqi citizens without charges. Even if they run over an Iraqi and kill him they will not be charged with a crime, because they are above Iraqi law." He also is rooting for the Dems to investigate the misuse of Iraqi funds and basically would like to sign our Armed Forces up as his country's personal police force.

The simple, undeniable FACT is that if Bush TRULY invaded Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people then he had the obligation to make that case to the American people and their representtives. He did not. He tacked that on to his mushroom cloud nightmares and his 9/11 fearmongering. That is how he perverted our democracy and that is how history will report it.

kim

Marcel, something you and apparently way to many Democratic strategists imply is that Saddam should not have been dealt with. Joe Average understands that that is lunacy. So bay on. You'll quit when you get lonely, or the moon sets, whichever comes first.

I expect renewed yapping before the Blue Moon.
=================================================

Syl

JayDee

if the American people would like to take on the mission of perfecting the rest of the world

Oh ye of little faith and much blindness. The American people already voted to affect change in the arab world through democracy to secure our future.

Syl

JayDee

if the American people would like to take on the mission of perfecting the rest of the world

Oh ye of little faith and much blindness. The American people already voted to affect change in the arab world through democracy to secure our future.

Syl

JayDee

You are the one rewriting history. Liberating the Iraqi people was the corollary to getting rid of Saddam. Bush told us all about that.

Just because you weren't listening doesn't mean the rest of us didn't hear him.

Marcel

It will be hard for the President to regain the trust of the public. Maybe he can do it. In his first term, most people trusted him even if they diagreed with some his policies. Currently he is not trusted by over half of all Americans. That is not a good position to be in with 3 years to go in his term. Maybe after he has stopped blaming Democrats and the media, the President will address the underlying trust issues.

Creepy Dude

"Cheney's war is swallowing Bush's presidency," said a conservative leader who is an ally of the Vice President's. "The cost of Iraq is everything else Bush wanted to do."

Exactly right. Without Iraq, e.g., that profoundly stupid Social Security Plan might have gone somewhere.

So it's a two-fer: Free the Iraqi people and destroy the rest of Bush's presidency. What's not to like? (Except for all the dead people that is-R.I.P.)

Syl

Anybody have any links to blogs where the Dems are flailing crazily during their meltdown? I wanna watch.

Gary Maxwell

Bill Bennett on Jay Rock excellent adventure:

November 14, 2005, 3:41 p.m.
Rockefeller’s Confession
What was the West Virginia Democrat doing as a freelancing prewar diplomat?

By William J. Bennett

Yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, the following exchange took place between Chris Wallace and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

WALLACE: Now, the President never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. The — I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq — that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.


While Democrats in Washington are berating the White House for having prewar intelligence wrong, a high-profile U.S. senator, member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, who has a name more internationally recognizable than Richard Cheney's, tells two putative allies (Saudi Arabia and Jordan) and an enemy who is allied with Saddam Hussein (Syria) that the United States was going to war with Iraq. This is not a prewar intelligence mistake, it is a prewar intelligence giveaway.

Syria is not only on the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the country many speculate is where Hussein has secreted weapons, it is also the country from which terrorists are flowing into Iraq to fight our troops and allies. Jordan and Saudi Arabia have had, over the years, conflicted loyalties. What was Senator Rockefeller doing? What was he thinking? And all this before President Bush even made a public speech about Iraq — to the U.N. or anyone else.

We can have our umpteenth investigation into what the White House knew and when it knew it about Iraqi weapons — we will find the same answer: It knew what President Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright, and William Cohen knew when they made speeches about the dangers of Iraq in the late 1990s and when President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act. How about an investigation, now, into what exactly Senator Jay Rockefeller told Syria and just what Syria might have done with the information made available to them presumably before it was made available to the U.N., the Senate, or the American people.

Senators and congressmen don't have to agree with their president's policies, and they should make the president robustly defend his policies — but they should not be acting as if they are the president or secretary of state; they should not be tipping off sometimes friends and definitive enemies about war plans that not even the president has yet made as policy. This is the true mockery of prewar intelligence, and Senator Rockefeller should fully explain his actions.

If Syria — or elements in Saudi Arabia — began acting on this information before we even went to war in Iraq (more than a year later), then Senator Rockefeller may have seriously harmed, impeded, and hindered our war efforts, our troops, and the entire operation in the Middle East. This should be investigated immediately; and perhaps Senator Rockefeller should step down from the Intelligence Committee until an investigation is complete.

Syl

The Bush Lied About Saddam-9/11 Connection Meme just hit the dust and will be buried by sundown.

Glenn just posted a link to the WaPo poll!

kim

Hey Threadbare 'n, something about having a hurricane pounce on you teaches you about dealing with adversity, right? I appreciate that you keep me grinning, and it's not because I find your points ridiculous, like so many of your fellow idealogues. I'll never forget your memorable post just after Katrina, which stopped some of my grinning at Etienne.
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boris

Glenn just posted a link to the WaPo poll!

LOL, wonder who the mysterious reader Sylvia Lutnes is ?

Syl

boris

LOL, wonder who the mysterious reader Sylvia Lutnes is ?

::blinking innocently::

:)

kim

Oh my god, I just came back. I can't STAND it.

High-heeled sparks. Hit me again.
==========================================

JayDee

where the Dems are flailing crazily during their meltdown?

Though I've been accused of overgeneralizing about you pubs, it is statements like this that make me wonder what it's like to just create an alternate reality the way you do and then just nestle down in there for the duration.

Dems are feeling thoroughly emboldened these days. The things they're saying are the things American people are saying. What's more, they are bringing Pub Senators over to their agenda...though laughably, not one of you has been able to even acknowledge, let alone discuss, this stark fact. You guys OWN the government, and by extension, this crap (for the middle class) economy and this WAR. Yet Dems are WINNING the legislative war - they shot down the Social Security boondoggle, they killed the "rape the poor" budget cuts post-Katrina, they blocked the pubs from further destroying our democracy by indefinite suspension of habeas corpus, they are getting the anti-torture measure through (and putting President Cheney on the spot over it), they even blocked Anwar drilling. Even with almost total control of the government, Pubs are losing on every front. But I guess it's easier when you just put your fingers in your ears and go la-la-la, Dems are traitors!

kim

The Traffic collision the Dems are having is head on with themselves.
==============================================

Syl

JayDee

Who cares? Nobody cares about that today. Maybe next week, or next month, or next year. But today the American people are beginning to see that the Dems have been lying to them about Bush lying about the war.

And all you can do is change the subject?

JayDee

But today the American people are beginning to see that the Dems have been lying to them about Bush lying about the war.

Do you really believe this? I mean, maybe you do, but the American people don't move as a bloc all that easily. They just recently started to understand in their bones just how they were deceived into this war that is becoming more universally loathed each day. Do you really think that all it takes is a little whining from our Comedian in Chief to make them say, uh, never mind? The problem Bush has now is people have lost respect and TRUST in him. By raising these questions, he has only ensured that the kind of people who look into these issues will discover he is lying AGAIN. And the kind of people who don't look into issues don't even realize he's been whining about the Dems in front of our supposedly nonpartisan military.

susan

Gee JayDee
Can you please explain The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998? Have you even read it? And, if you have how can you possibly come to the conclusion that Bush lied?

Everything the Democrat Party said and did during the 1990's supported the fact that Saddam was a threat to the free world so why are you insisting that it was Buish who made it all up and pulled the wool over our eyes?

Do you not think your attempt to rewrite history is in itself a subversive act against Democracy? Do you not realize that your own arguments against Bush are also arguments against the Democrat Party?

Obviously the Democrat leaders cannot accept the fact that they are arguing against the very platform they created in the first place. It is ridiculous to hear Democrats argue against their own statements. Between 1998-2000 the NY Times editors insisted that Saddam be removed, today they argue against his removal. Can you please explain why?

The only explaination I can think of for such irrational behavior is that the Democrat leaders and the Media thought they could continue to control their Big Brother influence over information. They believe that Americans are too stupid to notice such distorted manipulation of reality. Well, they are WRONG!

Americans have never been hip to submitting themselves under Big Brother totalitarian tyranny which is one of the reason why the blogsphere came to a revolutionary American invention. People got tired of Big Brother media controlling access to information.

Syl

JayDee

I think you'd better think twice before you talk about deception. The Iraq war has had some excellent results.

Not the least of which is the Arab world beginning to reject terrorism.

How far do you think al Qaeda can take their agenda if their own people reject them?

This rejection would not have happened so early in the WoT if we hadn't invaded Iraq, if the Iraqi's weren't showing their desire for freedom, and if Zarqawi weren't blowing up so many innocent Arab muslims.

Think about it. Seriously. Think about it.

JayDee

No one denies that Hussein was a danger, especially regionally. Yes, Clinton came to that assessment and wanted to effect regime change. But show me where he - or anyone, before these perverted neocons came on the scene - recommended invasion and occupation as the best course of action. I'm not going to go through all the options we had that were discarded. I've done it before here, it's boring. Suffice to say, Bush chose the WORST possible way of defeating Hussein, especially at a time when goodwill towards the US was at the highest point in 50 years and we could have created a truly powerful multilateral approach.

The plan was to make Bush into a War President, relying on that deep well of aggressiveness that fuels the Repub base, in order to get re-elected and build that "permanent majority", the very concept of which spits in the face of democratic principle. He wasn't going to enable a peaceful or less bloody outcome, because he preferred to ride a wave of rightwing bloodlust to reelection. He got his wish, but turns out you really DO need to be careful what you wish for.

Syl

especially at a time when goodwill towards the US was at the highest point in 50 years

You must be joking!

ROTF!!!!!

susan

Jaydee

Does Clinton's bombing Iraq with a few missles mean he's a 'neocon'. The gist I get from you is that you have no problem in spitting upon the Iraqi people simply because you hate, in your words, the 'perverted neocons' (the wrod 'neocon' by the way is another PC word for Jew)

Gary Maxwell

Syl

You asking Jay Dee to think twice made me spit out my coffee with a snort.

Would you settle for him even thinking once? The cutting and pasting of the Moveon talking points really is long past being simply tiresome.

kim

I'm truly sorry, but the expression spoken true is 'Ever Again'. I've long been irritated by 'Never Again'.

And I'm also sorry, that if hadn't been for the delay in accomplishing the mission in Iraq, at least partly facilitated by the anti-war crowd and the UN, then we might be there. Powell almost went anyway, and Bush is both stretched thin and perhaps a little timid about intervening between two Islamic parties. Where are the voices of the intellectual and spiritual giants of Islam in this matter? There is shame here to spread around.
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Jeff

I think you might be in over your head taking on Darfur here. There's no question it can be related to Bush and Iraq. Anything can be related to anything. But I'd like to hear how you think the situation in Darfur can be related to Bush and Iraq. Darfur is an urgent humanitarian disaster and crime, and the Bush administration has punted. There is no threat to the U.S. evident or claimed. Iraq was not a humanitarian intervention, and though human rights played a secondary role in the justification of the war, its principal justification had to do with the threat Iraq presented because of WMD and ties actual and possible with terrorists of global reach. It's true that threat turned out to be non-existent. But I don't see that that makes it particularly relatable to Darfur.

JayDee

No, Clinton's bombing campaign in 1998 was the actual effective action that, according to David Kay, destroyed the final infrastructure allowing Saddam to build chemical weapons. Between Clinton, Gulf War I and UN inspections, guess what?...Saddam had been disarmed! Actual pragmatic, prudent, EFFECTIVE results.

And no, neocon is not a code word for Jew. That's another little orwellian trick the rightwing is trying to pull, in order to imply that opposing their agenda makes one an anti-semite (or racist or traitor, take your pick.) Neo con is a NEW CONSERVATIVE, one who doesn't care about conservative principles, like fiscal responsibility or limited government, but who is instead bent on use of the US military to carry out the geopolitical fantasies of their think tank elitists.

kim

That there was watcha call a roundup. They got herded into feedlots, and slaughterhouses. Buffalo gunners took them down, not even for their hides. for liebensraum, a place in the sun, a room with a view. Ever again.
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susan

Bombing an empty building, I believe it was an aspirin factory was effective? Oh yeah sure.

Do you know the history of the 'neocon' from which tyranny they lived under and why they escaped to America? Listen, it is not New Conservative ok.

susan

Further jaydee, George Galloway often makes references to the 'neocons' when he squeals like an Orwellian pig about how the Jews are running the white house.

susan

I help you out with the 'neocon' thing, someone like Nathan Sharansky is one of those noecons who was freed under the Regan adminstration.

susan

Oops that's Reagan (description of a real conservative)

kim

Neocon is a misnomer. They are liberal, and progressive. Leftists and many Democrats have become repressive and regressive.

It's not just BDS, they've become anemic from the loss of intellectual vigor.
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Jeff

susan - You have no idea what you're talking about, do you? We're talking about bombing Iraq, my friend, Iraq.

As for what you say about neocons, I can't quite parse that sentence. What are you trying to say?

Sue

https://www.benadorassociates.com/article/180>Neocon

TM

But I'd like to hear how you think the situation in Darfur can be related to Bush and Iraq.

As I recall, Hitch was big on liberating Iraq for humanitarian reasons, so I picked up on that theme from his recemdnt column. In fact, I will go so far as to say thay *he* was certainly thinking of Iraq when he wrote this:

By the use of sanctions, it kept Sudan "in its box." And it has got exactly what anyone might have predicted for such a strategy. Perhaps that's why there is so little protest. After all, we know that "war is not the answer."

...It is a certainty that at some stage, American troops would have had to open fire on the "Hutu Power" mobs and militias, actually killing people and very probably getting killed in return. Body bags would have been involved. It is not an absolute certainty that all detained members of those militias would have been treated with unfailing tenderness. It is probable that some of the military contractors would have overcharged, and that some locals would have engaged in profiteering and even in tribal politics. It is impossible that any child of any member of the Clinton administration would have been an enlisted soldier. But we never had to suffer any of these wrenching experiences, so that we can continue to wish, in some parallel Utopian universe, that we had done something instead of nothing.

Saddam in a box was repeated endlessly; many of Hitch's "objections" to an intervention in Rwanda look like current objections to circumstances in Iraq (torture, profiteering, Bush girls not in the military).

Maybe I am just reading into it, or maybe it is there.

kim

What are you talking about, Jeff? We're not bombing Iraq. Not anymore. We did at first. But I dunno why you wanta be second. We could round smartly for third. Then we'd just need a fourth. For your bridge to reality. Look up, kites flying in no-fly zones. Oh, to be young and Iraqi.
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kim

Imagine the box we'd be in in Darfur, between two races, between vicious co-religionists. Bush and Powell were right to call for international and panIslamic involvement, particularly since we were hamstrung in Iraq. Where was the Global Disapproval. Shame, shame, shame.

Ever Again.
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kim

And yes, do you see any critics rushing to Darfur to help the helpless?
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Jeff

TM - Okay, so we're talking Hitch and Rwanda and Iraq, not Bush and Iraq. Two points: 1)I've always taken it that a humanitarian intervention has an element of rescue in it, in the face of an immediate, urgent and/or even incipient genocide or other massive crime. The fact that Saddam committed some of his atrocities while he was our ally, and others in the more recent past but still not the present, doesn't mean it's any less horrible. It just means it's different from Darfur, and more like any number of other situations in the world - and we need to understand why Iraq and not those other places (not saying there's no answer). The comparison between Darfur and Rwanda seems more apt. 2) Hitch may have been big on human rights reasons for the war in Iraq. Fine, as I said, we can have that argument. I would have been pleased if the Bush administration had made that argument, and then we could have more or less democratically debated it. But that was not the principal justification offered for the war, so that has no place in a debate now about American democracy then (as distinct from the Iraq War now and into the future, however much entangled those two debates are).

Jeff

What are you talking about, Jeff?

In the post to which susan is responding, JayDee is referring to the bombing of Iraqi facilities initiated by the Clinton administration in 1998, which David Kay -- you remember him, right? -- was reported in January 2004 to have said destroyed what was left of Iraq's infrastructure for building chemical weapons. Iraq, not Sudan.

Jeff

kim- In fact there is widespread disapproval of the Bush administration's conduct with regard to Darfur, on both right and left, and there is an effort to do something about Darfur. Start with the Campaign for Darfur.

chris

Dear Lukasiak, JayDee, and others:

I know you feel passionate about "Bush lied/misled/ etc." theme. But watch your leaders: they're dropping it and moving on the next thing. The facts on this are overwhelmingly against you, but you just keep chugging on,kind of like Mary Mapes with her documents. Go ahead, knock yourselves out.

Oh, Dean and others will continue to push this theme with the base and Soros and Hollywood moneybags, but it will be below the radar screen because the public won't buy it. (Is that what Kos calls the dogwhistle?)

Your leaders have already moved on to the next thing, which is the current conduct of the war. (Iraq = Vietnam) Did you see the resolution they're introducing to force timetable for withdrawal?

The "Bush lied about WMD" theme may be more psychologically satisfying to you but it's over.

Next up is "Bush is incompetent and got us into another Vietnam". Maybe also "Bush atrocities in Iraq", but the latter probably won't fly with the public.

kim

Four hundred thousand dead in Darfur? That's getting to be on the order of magnitude with Saddam's atrocities.
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sonicfrog

JD said:

"It's difficult to imagine a whinier, weaker defense than the one this White House is trying to put up: Blame the Dems! They didn't contest the bogus intelligence we fed them!"

Once again I ask; what evidence do you have that the Bush team knowingly passed to congress intel that they KNEW to be false.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.

Keep in mind that evidence that is later found to be inaccurate or wrong does not qualify as a lie. For example, if you do something and then you deny you did it (...I did not have sexual relations with that woman...), that is a lie. If someone tell you they didn't do something, and you echo that statement (hey, he didn't have sex with that woman), but that person, as it turns out, lied to you, then, even though you passed a lie to others, you didn't know it was a lie, so therefore, you are not a liar.

Sure you can pick out a piece of intel here or there that didn't smell quite right, but the preponderance of evidence, the intel gathered not just by our intel services, but by foreign intel services from France, Germany, Russia, and even China, all of whom opposed the war, echoed the same thing; that Saddam was pushing to get back into the WMD game.

What's a President to do? You can rely on what the vast body of intel says and take Saddam out, there by making certain that the worst won't happen. Or he can wait, and wait, and wait, until even more evidence confirms what already appears certain based on the intel you already have. The gamble here is that, in the mean time, if the intel is correct, then Saddam will have developed more WMD's. And if he does, he will almost certainly sell it to those who would use it against the US and other countries. And even if he doesn't hang out with Bin Laden on a daily basis, do you really think that Saddam couldn't or wouldn't sell the stuff to him. And remember, this would not be a transaction at a swap meet where everyone could see what was going on. This would be very, very under the table. If I were President I would go for the option most likely to keep the WMD's from spreading in the first place.

And before you say "that couldn't happen, Saddam didn't have WMD's, was secular and wouldn't deal with OBL, and we would know about it and stop it", let me remind you of some past intelligence failures:

A) Didn't know the Jap's were going to bomb Pearl Harbor.
B) Didn't know the Russians were capable of launching Sputnik.
C) Didn't know WTC would be attacked in 92.
D) Didn't know that Pakistan was working on the A bomb.
E) Didn't know about 9/11 attacks.

and finally

F) Didn't know Saddam was taking money under the table via the Oil for Food debacle.

Getting back to the "Bush Lied" falsehood. I want proof, with the kind of certainty you now demand from the intelligence community.

PS. I saw you linked to the NYT editorial page. With all the problems the Times editorial staff has had concerning not telling the truth, why would you link to them to try and prove someone else is not telling you the truth???

JayDee

Chris, the facts are WITH the Dems, that's why I can't understand Bush re-opening this can of worms. The facts bury him.

And, yes, thankfully, the Dems are also moving on to current conduct of war, and have already forced Pubs to come along with the idea of a timed withdrawal and regular public briefings of the status of our situation. We also need to proclaim openly that we have no intention of remaining in Iraq and we need a LOUD affirmation against torture. All good things. Repubs being dragged along with all of them.

The Unbeliever

You know, that Kerry quote in the update doesn't even mention WMDs at all. In fact, his quote sounds eerily identical to Bush's rationales for going into Iraq which JayDee and others conveniently ignore while screeching about nefarious plans to falsify bad CIA data.

It seems that Kerry was planning for war on Iraq no matter what the intel said! How immoral of him! If we pair that with a Kerry scare quote citing Sadaam's WMD capabilities, can we start a "Kerry lied, people died" meme?

JayDee

I linked to the NYT editorial because I thought he made good points. You're right the Times has been damaged, but mainly by printing neocon Judy's spoonfed lies about WMDs. That's what has killed their cred. You know, because they led the WH plant fake stories, then use the Times (where they'd planted the fakes!) as proof they were telling the truth- all timed for Sunday morning talkshows. Gotta give these guys credit for shamelessness, if nothing else.

Syl

Tell me, JayDee, exactly how Judith Miller could have debunked the wmd's? Did she have a direct connection to Saddam so she could ask him? After all, it seems even Saddam didn't know exactly what he had.

This insistence on blaming messengers (like Bush and Judy) is frankly sick.

sonicfrog

"You're right the Times has been damaged, but mainly by printing neocon Judy's spoonfed lies about WMDs".

Again the word "lies". You still have not demonstrated that the Bush admin "KNEW" there were no WMD's and fabricated the evidence. They were wrong. Clinton was apparently wrong. Kerry was wrong Rockerfeller was wrong. Levin was wrong. George Tenet was wrong. France was wrong. Germany was wrong. Russia was wrong. etc. etc. Again: being wrong is NOT the same thing as lying.

PS. Judith Miller is the least of the NYT problems (oh, and she doesn't even work there anymore). Try Paul Krugman, MoDo, Jason Blair (though he doesn't work there anymore either). I seem to recall just last week, a story at the NYT that took the contents of a letter written by a soldier who has perrished in Iraq, and twisted them to make it look like the soldier was against the war, when in fact, when the whole letter clearly expresses support for the war effort.

THAT is a great example of lying!!!!

PS. And yes, you can come back with the Pat Tilman fiasco. They were IDIOTS for doing that.

Everyone apparently lies, but the congressional intel shared between Bush and the Congress is not one of them.

sonicfrog

"You're right the Times has been damaged, but mainly by printing neocon Judy's spoonfed lies about WMDs".

Again the word "lies". You still have not demonstrated that the Bush admin "KNEW" there were no WMD's and fabricated the evidence. They were wrong. Clinton was apparently wrong. Kerry was wrong Rockerfeller was wrong. Levin was wrong. George Tenet was wrong. France was wrong. Germany was wrong. Russia was wrong. etc. etc. Again: being wrong is NOT the same thing as lying.

PS. Judith Miller is the least of the NYT problems (oh, and she doesn't even work there anymore). Try Paul Krugman, MoDo, Jason Blair (though he doesn't work there anymore either). I seem to recall just last week, a story at the NYT that took the contents of a letter written by a soldier who has perrished in Iraq, and twisted them to make it look like the soldier was against the war, when in fact, when the whole letter clearly expresses support for the war effort.

THAT is a great example of lying!!!!

PS. And yes, you can come back with the Pat Tilman fiasco. They were IDIOTS for doing that.

Everyone apparently lies, but the congressional intel shared between Bush and the Congress is not one of them.

Dwilkers

kim-

"So far they are dealing with it by refusing to accept the reality that is a free Iraq."

And Afghanistan as well.

Here we are 4 years after 9/11 and the US has freed 50 million people from despotic regimes. It is amazing that 'liberals' wouldn't at least give grudging respect to that accomplishment.

History will, of course. But I also think history will take Bush to task for poor leadership in this war. I don't think he has done an effective job communicating what is at stake, why we are doing what we're doing, etc. Yes, the media, blah blah, but Bush took this on knowing he'd have to get past the media filter. If he wasn't ready to work that angle of it he shouldn't have taken this path.

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Wilson/Plame