Powered by TypePad

« We Salute The "Hebrew Hercules" | Main | Open Thread Wednesday »

April 03, 2007

Comments

dmh

I assume you reference to Roberts, Hatch, and Bond is to their Minority Report. It was not the findings of the full committee.

Other Tom

The only thing to do, at this point, is come to grips with the fact that on this topic, reason is a detour, now and forever. We are dealing with something close to a set of urban myths, and facts are of no avail. It is time, so to speak, to MoveOn.

clarice

Funny, you should mention it. My editor forwarded the Eisner piece to me this morning. When I return, I'll do a cut and paste primer on 16 words, not that this big lie will ever die.

I can only suppose newspapers get away with this stuff so often because they know we are all half asleep when we read them. But Eisner's piece is beyond simple error--it is deliberate falsehood.

davod

Reading Eisner's article was the first time I looked at the "Post's" comments. Most comments are no different than those found on liberal blogs.

Urban myth is correct.

Other Tom

I think that what Tom Maguire is referring to is identified as a set of "Additional Views." As I read it, those views are identified with Senators Roberts, Hatch and Bond, but appear to have been shared by all but the minority Democrats, although they are not described as either a Majority Report or a Minority Report. The pertinent material is as follows:

"Ambassador Wilson’s emergence was precipitated by a passage in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address which is now referred to as 'the sixteen words.' President Bush stated, '. . .the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' The details of the Committee’s findings and conclusions on this issue can be found in the Niger section of the report. What cannot be found, however, are two conclusions upon which the Committee’s Democrats would not agree.

While there was no dispute with the underlying facts, my Democrat colleagues refused to allow the following conclusions to appear in the report:

Conclusion: The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee. The former ambassador’s wife suggested her husband for the trip to Niger in February 2002. The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on behalf of the CIA, also at the suggestion of his wife, to look into another matter not related to Iraq. On February 12, 2002, the former ambassador’swife sent a memorandum to a Deputy Chief of a division in the CIA’SDirectorate of Operations which said, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.’ This was just one day before the same Directorate of Operations division sent a cable to one of its overseas stations requesting concurrence with the division’s idea to send the former ambassador to Niger.

"Conclusion: Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided. At the time the former ambassador traveled to Niger, the Intelligence Community did not have in its possession any actual documents on the alleged Niger-Iraq uranium deal, only second hand reporting of the deal. The former ambassador’s comments to reporters that the Niger-Iraq uranium documents 'may have been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong,”could not have been based on the forrner ambassador’s actual experiences because the Intelligence Community did not have the documents at the time of the ambassador’s trip. In addition, nothing in the report from the former ambassador’s trip said anything about documents having been forged or the names or dates in the reports having been incorrect. The former ambassador told Committee staff that he, in fact, did not have access to any of the names and dates in the CIA’s reports and said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct. Of note, the names and dates in the documents that the IAEA found to be incorrect were not names or dates included in the CIA reports."

Tom Maguire

I assume you reference to Roberts, Hatch, and Bond is to their Minority Report. It was not the findings of the full committee.

It was not the findings of the full committee, but those three were in the ostensible majority (i.e., Republicans - Roberts was chair). However, I *think* the committee is given an equal number of Dems and Reps, and the Dems would not agree to those specific findings.

dmh

As I understand it, those with additional views not endorsed by the Committee in the report were free to offer them, and all members free to endorse them, but they are not part of the findings of the Committee. As with other additional views, they only express the views of the members who sign on, just as other additional views are those of the members who put their name(s) on it.

In your example they are only the views of the three Senators named. Other members, Republican or Democrat, could have endorsed these views but did not.

hit and run

Well, as the Wilson's set up their new life in New Mexico, I for one hope vigorously that NO ONE confuses the fact that they may have sought a farm there, with the misperception that they have bought the farm.

Jim Miller

Tom - When I glanced this story this morning, I had this immediate reaction: Shouldn't the Post fire Eisner? (And perhaps the editor who approved it?)

It isn't, after all, the first time these mistakes have been made. Be interesting to see if they run a correction.

What do you think? Is this a firing offense?

topsecretk9

Plame sought a junket for Wilson that the CIA bought.

Lew Clark

All my life I have "sought" true love and eternal happiness. Never found it. None in my circle of friends have ever accused me of claiming I have found true love and happiness, based on having "sought' it.

Of course, my circle of friends do not wear tinfoil hats nor do they scream the sky is falling when an acorn hits their head. Maybe these great minds in the MSM need to find a more lucid circle of friends.

cathyf
I assume you reference to Roberts, Hatch, and Bond is to their Minority Report. It was not the findings of the full committee.
Why would you make such a silly assumption? Miriam and Webster are the resident experts on the matter.

sought

bought

Joe Gloor

Lew Clark All my life I have "sought" true love
For a minute there, I thought you were going to say that you "bought" it...

hit and run

Lew Clark:
All my life I have "sought" true love

True love is the greatest thing, in the world --- except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe ::smacks lips:: they're so perky, I love that.

Gabriel Sutherland

Aw man. I thought Josh "More on that later" Marshall was writing the book on the Niger forgeries.

I've been holding on for 743 days nows. "later" doesn't mean the same thing to different people.

hit and run

Over to Byron

John Conyers: The Coming Battle Over the Fifth [Byron York]


House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers has just sent a letter to John Dowd, the lawyer for Justice Department official Monica Goodling, questioning Goodling's basis for taking the Fifth in future questioning by the House and Senate judiciary committees.


Click through for the rest...

Forbes

What is interesting about Other Tom's comment above is that the citation of "conclusions" from the report of "Additional Views" is that the information cited are not conclusions at all, but rather, facts or findings.

Such a process or procedure by the Senate enables politicians (and others, by extension) to be entitled to their own facts. This is extremely pernicious (though certainly not unprecedented).

Urban legend indeed.

Cecil Turner

I started debunking:

  • "How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War"
    Right. The 16 words aren't about the bogus letter, are based on a British report that predates the forgeries, and a subsequent independent review conclude they were "well founded".
  • "Nonetheless, the uranium claim would become a crucial justification for the invasion of Iraq . . ."
    Not hardly. It wasn't even proof of an Iraqi nuclear program:
    the NIE's Key Judgments cited six reasons for this assessment; the African uranium issue was not one of them.

  • "the Bush administration disregarded key information available at the time showing that the Iraq-Niger claim was highly questionable"
    Nonsense. Thanks to the Libby trial, we now know the CIA reported it repeatedly, including on Jan 24, 2003.
  • "How could the American president have mentioned a uranium sale from Africa?"
    Er, he didn't.
But at that point, I thought it a pointless exercise. He doesn't even mention British Intelligence. Firing offense? Oughta be.

Pofarmer

Well, this is interesting.

Testy Tribes Trash Taliban Tactics
April 3, 2007: An example of how development projects can defeat terrorism occurred in western Afghanistan recently. On March 24th, in Farah province, some Taliban gunmen attacked a group of Afghan and Indian engineers examining a dam, in preparation for work to be done on the facility. Hearing the gunfire, over a hundred armed men came from a nearby village and attacked the Taliban, killing three of them and driving the rest away. One villager was wounded. The villagers knew that the engineering team meant jobs, and economic progress for them. All the Taliban brought was bullets and threats.

The gun battle at the dam was not unique. Since late last year, when more villagers got angry at Taliban attacks on their new schools (which weren't religious schools, the only kind approved by the Taliban), and began meeting the Taliban with gunfire, there has been increasing armed resistance to Taliban gunmen. Groups of Taliban gunmen roam the countryside, demanding that villagers support them, and adopt conservative Islamic customs. The Taliban don't like to get into gun battles with the villagers, because the tribal code in Afghanistan calls for revenge if a villager is killed. Threats and coercion are the preferred Taliban tactic. But if the villagers grab their guns and resist, then the Taliban either have to lose face, back off, and abandon the area, or fight and risk a blood feud with this village, and their tribe (which may be a large one.)

T.J. King

The fact that this Meme lives on proves that the left still sees the global war on terror and foreign policy in general, in terms of a Criminal Justice, due process, habeas corpus perspective. The False impressions go like this : 911 is a crime with one suspect, not a movement. If miranda rights or exclusionary rule applies, then we can't even pull them over or it is harrassment. Weapons inspectors need warrants. Saddam is presumed innocent.

In the world of WMDs, intent is more important than possession. South Africa had Nuclear weapons, but not the intent to use them or to acquire more. In fact they gave them up. Qadafii had none, but was constantly working to acquire them.

Conspiracy to commit murder is worthy of punishment, so Conspiracy to commit mass murder, should get more than a slap on the wrist, especially if you have a lengthy rap sheet and your known associates just killed our family members

The Duelfer report was supposedly the definitive proof that Saddam is just an average Joe and was wrongfully accused. In the report though Tariq Aziz explained in detail the clever, if not devious plans to bribe our allies, wait out sanctions, and rearm.

"...On nuclear weapons, "Saddam did not abandon his nuclear ambitions. . . . Those around Saddam seemed quite convinced that once sanctions were ended, and all other things being equal, Saddam would renew his efforts in this field." Moreover, Duelfer concluded that Saddam in his missile program was developing missiles that exceeded the range limits set in U.N. Security Council Resolution 687.

Duelfer also reported that Saddam asked subordinates how long it would take to develop chemical weapons once sanctions ended. One Iraqi chemical weapons expert said it would require only a few days to develop mustard gas. Former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said that Iraq could have had a WMD capacity within two years after the end of sanctions...."

Duelfer was suspicious of his motives even in
2000
.

Sought or Bought? We warned Saddam, he sought it, he's dead. Justice done.

Karl

Regardless of the "Additional Views," Section II of the full report amply proivdes the factual premises for those views, as Wilson wilted under the questioning (whhich I would have called whithering, but it was just too much alliteration). The Dems chose to throw ol' Joe under the bus, but not back up over him.

MikeS

Today the WaPo published a muddle of disjointed particulars, some of which are true, others not so much, meant to suggest that the famous 16 words, uttered and retracted by the President, were untrue. Whatever may have been the author’s point, he didn’t make a coherent argument.

It seems clear that everyone, including the NYT and WaPo, agrees that Iraq sought to buy something from Niger. Since no one has discovered a purchase order for the illegal sale of yellow cake, executed in triplicate and signed by Saddam Hussein, some are going to insist(forever)that Iraq was interested in purchasing something else from Niger. No one has suggested just what that something else might be, but they are very certain about what it wasn’t.

If there is a story here, it is that some are always going to reject facts that run counter the the narrative they are advocating.

Terrye

This is so stupid. Why do these people think that anyone even cares about all this anymore? I mean really, try to talk to average people about this stuff and their eyes glaze over.

I am sure Saddam put feelers out there to see who and was not supplying guys like him the stuff they needed. In fact hundreds of tons of the stuff was found in Iraq so obviously he was successful in buying it from someone.

All Bush said was that according to British Intelligence Saddam had tried to buy yellowcake from Africa. big deal. Saddam was a serial abuser of rules, it was not as if they needed to make up things to accuse him of.

How could anyone write a book on something like this?

Joe Gloor

Apparently it's the contention of the left that if Mr. Bush hadn't said those famous "Sixteen Words" in the State of the Union adress, the American public would never have agreed to go to war against Saddam.
As if those were the fighting words that got us red-blooded American's red blood boiling.

Joe Gloor

** address **

Enlightened

On a lighter note - Madame Speaker, wearing a kerchief on her head, performs the Sign of the Cross in a Syrian Mosque.

Smart.Tough.Priceless.

Paul Zrimsek

I don't care too much for money;
Money can't seek me love.

Javani

Joe Wilson and the Niger Documents have become an article of faith, and identity, for many loons.

Try telling them Joe thought Iraq had WMDs, they call you a liar.

Tell them Valerie was behind the aluminum tubes "lie," you'll get blank stares.

The "sixteen words" are a "gotcha",

Ironically of all of Bush's lies,

He didn't "lie" about WMDs,

Yet that is what the "left" is obsessed upon.

sylvia

Yes according to the "Still More" writings on the Waxman thread, it seems that there was evidence by the CIA that Iraq "sought" the ore from Africa. I don't know, I'm still confused. What was the final conclusion on this - did the CIA say it at the time or not? And what about the aluminum tubes - were they def ruled out for nuclear use, and who determined that (was it Valerie?), and what else were they for then if not that?

And, conspriracy theory of the day - how do we know Valerie is not a double agent for say France, and she caused all of this flap on purpose somehow? Hey just thought I'd throw this out there.

Neo

If the SSCI says:
Conclusion: The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee.

Are Joe and Val going to sue the SSCI too ?

Neo

There still is this offer of $5 to the first person who can name one thing, anything, that Wilson found on his 2002 trip to Niger that proved “false” President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union statement, “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

It has been waiting for someone to claim it for over 11 months now, but it appears to be the safest five-dollar bill in America.

Your first hurtle, this statement from a letter by Joe Wilson to the Senate Intelligence Committee: "I never claimed to have "debunked" the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. I claimed only that the transaction described in the documents that turned out to be forgeries could not have occurred and did not occur."

He later told the Senate Intelligence Committee when asked how he knew the documents were forgeries (considering the CIA did not have the documents when he went on the trip to Niger) that he had "mispoken."

I believe that this puts this offer in the same category as trying to lick your elbow .. 80% of people who know elbow licking can't be done still try to do it.

lurker
In response, attorney Dowd has just given a statement to National Review Online that suggests Goodling does not intend to go along with Conyers' request:

I think our earlier letter suffices and is very complete. Threats of public humiliation for exercising her Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights are not well taken and are frowned upon by the courts and the bar committee on ethics. Subjecting a person to public obloquy and humiliation makes the exercise of her basic rights more expensive. In a free country, every citizen should have the liberty to exercise their rights without threats or coercion.

Hit and run, whoa! What a great response! Is he implying a threat to Conyers? Let Conyers take this up with the court system!

lurker

Hostage-taking redux by VDH

Some other tired talking points:

“There is no military solution.” Who denies that? But such reductionism means nothing when no Iraqi politician can craft any meaningful compromise until Anbar province is first secure.

“It’s time the Iraqis step up.” Of course, they should. But it’s difficult for 25 million to do so when under daily assault by a few thousand killers in their midst who kidnap, behead, and now employ poison gas. How odd that liberals are the most vehement illiberal critics of liberal Iraqis.

“George Bush did …” Of course, as President he is responsible for the war. But he went to war only after seeking approval from Congress, and not only got it, but also as dessert impassioned speeches from the Democratic Congress on why he should. His policy was approved in two national elections, and when it wasn’t in the third, he changed personnel and tactics.

“We are in the middle of a civil war.” It would be wise, then, to cite a civil war akin to Iraq. We are in the middle of gang fighting, sectarian violence, the killing by a few against the many, but not two antithetical and organized factions and forces that offer different futures for Iraq, not when Sunnis are in the government, some Sunni tribes are fighting al Qaida, who in turn is fighting against Shiite militias, who themselves are at odds with each other. Better to call it a modern Corycra, a bellum omnium contra omnes. The latest poll showed that Iraqis who are dying did not think they are in a civil war. It is not the Civil War of Lee versus Grant, but something more akin to the Kansas bloodletting, as modern-day bushwackers do their dirty business.

“We took our eye off the real war in Afghanistan.” Would some Democrat explain exactly how to invade nuclear Islamic Pakistan and kill the al Qaeda leadership responsible for 9/11? Anything less is more of the same hot air. And we seem to think that a country of 300 million cannot fight in Afghanistan and Iraq simultaneously, when just 60 years ago, a country not much more than a third of our size defeated Germany, Japan, and Italy all at once, and then mobilized to face off its former ally, the Soviet Union.

And then there was the timing. Democrats the last two years called for Rumsfeld’s head, for more troops to be deployed, for a change of military leadership in Iraq—and now got all three. But no sooner has Dr. Petraeus arrived and inaugurated his radically different way of doing things, than the Democrats wish to cut off his funds before the verdict is in.

Heh, sound familiar, huh???

Other Tom

In other news, you just know this had to cause extreme pain for the folks at Reuters:

"Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to carry out major attacks on U.S. . . .

"Even as al Qaeda tries to rebuild operations in Pakistan, experts including current and former intelligence officials believe the group would have a hard time staging another September 11 because of U.S. success at killing or capturing senior members whose skills and experience have not been replaced."

Other Tom

While DMH notes that others could have endorsed the Additional Views of the three Senators but didn't do so, he inadvertently (I suppose) ignored the following:

"While there was no dispute with the underlying facts, my Democrat colleagues refused to allow the following conclusions to appear in the report..."

Those Democrat colleagues could have responded at any time right down to today that they did, indeed, dispute some or all of the "underlying facts," but they didn't do so.

Enlightened

And rumor has the "Surge" is indeed working...

BUT

The US may be emboldened to stay longer than needed, thereby creating more bloodshed "down the line".

Per Lara Logan/CBS. (Paraphrasing)

Cue....Twilight Theme

lurker

Our Man in Anbar by R. Miniter.

This guy's implying that the tribes of Al Anbar is planning something that may happen in a few weeks.

He suggests reading Eli Lake's recent article.

lurker

Exporting Iran's Hate

Jim Miller

Here's an entertaining detail on Conyers. He was rebuked by the House ethics committee last December 29th. They accused him of abusing his staff, breaking House rules, and, perhaps, breaking several federal laws.

I hope a few Republican congressmen are partisan enough to mention these facts from time to time. Especially if he starts pontificating about how everyone should obey the law.

Syl

Javani

Ironically of all of Bush's lies,

He didn't "lie" about WMDs,

Yet that is what the "left" is obsessed upon.

This is very interesting. Assuming for the moment Bush DID lie (which I don't believe) about everything except WMD, your statement would tend to give me hope that the Left isn't really suicidal.

The one thing they chose to lay on him is easily refutable so in the end his policies (which they only disagree with politically not in reality) will be vindicated.

IOW, the Left is assuring his success.

Looking_for_a_way_out

Hi Guys!

If Saddam had purchased the Uranium from anybody, what would he have used it for? Didn't Iraq still have a bunch of Uranium under IAEA seal? Wouldn't it have been easier to access that Uranium if they really wanted it?

You're arguing that the 16 words might not have been inaccurate without looking at the big picture. No WMD, no WMD related programs, no reason to buy Uranium, from anybody. Go to it.

PeterUK

Conyers caught in ethics scandal.

lurker

And didn't Conyers plead guilty to these counts?

Jeff Goldstein has a link about Islam:

When is a Muslim not a “Muslim”?

But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological “rootlets” of Islamism, the main tap root has a name—Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

and further,

Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria—which happened in the last few decades—or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.

The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Plus response from tman. Check the photo of the Muslims burying a woman alive.

What he's saying is that we in the west need to wake the hell up. These radical Islamists don't care how much you hate Bush. They don't care whether you're pro-life or pro-satan- you are the enemy because of the liberal values all those of us in the west have come to expect as a human right, things like personal liberty and equal rights. And our constant internal bickering is only further reinforcing the idea that we in the West are too weak to face up to these bullies.

Wake the hell up!!

And tmam also says:

Over at Tennessee Guerilla Women, an uber-feminist blog, I've been reading their take on the trip to the middle east to visit Syria and others by Nancy Pelosi and some other congressfolks. This trip is not exactly what one would consider a wise move on our part if we are trying to isolate state sponsors of terrorism. Oh and uh, by the way- the Syrian regime is currently under investigation for the murder of Rafik Harriri, the former PM of Lebanon. How anyone can justify negotiating with assassins and dictators is beyond comprehension, but the Tennesse Guerilla Women have it rationalized somehow-here is what passes for rational discourse on the left-

"President Pissypants Disapproves of Pelosi's Trip to Syria" The neat part is I tried to argue in the comments to this thread and was accused of being racist and stating "KKK material, at least". Good times.


lurker
Hi Guys!

If Saddam had purchased the Uranium from anybody, what would he have used it for? Didn't Iraq still have a bunch of Uranium under IAEA seal? Wouldn't it have been easier to access that Uranium if they really wanted it?

You're arguing that the 16 words might not have been inaccurate without looking at the big picture. No WMD, no WMD related programs, no reason to buy Uranium, from anybody. Go to it.

Heh, Saddam went out of his way to hide his uranium when those UN inspectors came out to inspect Saddam's WMD programs. He'd have used it for his WMDs.

Our US troops did indeed find 500 tons of enriched uranium. There was an article published in UK about this discovery and that this story was squashed for American Public viewing.


cathyf
The US may be emboldened to stay longer than needed, thereby creating more bloodshed "down the line".
Yep, just like all those other times -- Germany, Kosevo, Japan, Korea, Bosnia, Virginia. Blood running in the streets for decades...
PeterUK

"what would he have used it for? Didn't Iraq still have a bunch of Uranium under IAEA seal? Wouldn't it have been easier to access that Uranium if they really wanted it?"

What and give the game away.

Uranium is fungible,lots of people want it.

SlimGuy

Iraq had 550 tons of yellow cake under IAEA seal.

However there was other stuff found after the invasion including some enriched uranium.

Looking_for_a_way_out

"Our US troops did indeed find 500 tons of enriched uranium. There was an article published in UK about this discovery and that this story was squashed for American Public viewing."

This sounds like one of my conspiracy theories. Okay, he had 500 tons of highly enriched Uranium. Why was he trying to buy more?

lurker

To build more WMDs and sell them to other terrorists.

Enlightened

Maybe Saddam wanted uranium to sell to his terrorist compatriots that could not secure any on their own.

After all, he was getting to retirement age, all that genocide might have wore him down. Easier for him to just broker the deals.

Maybe, Saddam was asked by the Khan network to help them out when things started getting a little hot around the HEU black market collar.

Maybe, Saddam, being a known psycho, wanted to teach the upstarts in Iran and Pakistan and India that enough money could get him in the nuclear arms race right along side the big boys.

Maybe it was smarter to just not let the tyrannical despot a chance to find out.


MikeS

Looking,
'Depending on its scale, Iraq could have re—established an elementary BW program within a few weeks to a few months of a decision to do so...' excerpted from the Duelfer Report.

You should read the 16 page summary of the Final Report from the ISG.

or try this link for some excerpts.
WMD in Iraq

lurker

Link to full wsj article about "Trouble with Islam"


The Trouble With Islam
subtitle: Sadly, mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence.

Also, Looking for a way out, Saddam also had every intent in establish a worldwide caliph with him as a "Imam".

Patton

It was 3 a.m. in Italy on Jan. 29, 2003, when President Bush ...........Like most Europeans, Elisabetta Burba, an investigative reporter for the Italian newsweekly Panorama, waited until the next day to read the newspaper accounts of Bush's remarks. """

Just goes to show journalists, she waited until the 30th? A full two days after the state of the union to read about it?? Odd.

these so called journalists couldn't even get their first two paragraphs accurate.
If it was the 29th in Italy, and she waited until the NEXT day, then it was the 30th, as-holes.

Let's put it this way, there was MORE evidence that Iraq had sought Uranium then there is on:

1. Libby lying.
2. Global warming.
3. Florida being flooded by 20 feet of water (per Al Gore)

Enlightened

Oh, we forget - the left does not think Saddam was a bad boy.

He was just a little eccentric - ya know. Nothing to see here. Move along and let me be with my money and ambitions.

Looking_for_a_way_out

"Looking,
'Depending on its scale, Iraq could have re—established an elementary BW program within a few weeks to a few months of a decision to do so...' excerpted from the Duelfer Report.

You should read the 16 page summary of the Final Report from the ISG."

Is Uranium a precursor to a BW program? Couldn't anbody with an ability to pasteurize milk and develop bacterial cultures in a healthcare environment, quickly convert those resources to produce BW?

MayBee

This sounds like one of my conspiracy theories. Okay, he had 500 tons of highly enriched Uranium. Why was he trying to buy more?

Perhaps because the IAEA had catalogued and 'sealed' his 500 tons? How can you hide your program if you take from your known stockpile to build it?
Or...maybe US spy satellites would have seen the movement of any of his uranium out of the storage facility. He had money, it was less risky to just buy more. Or pay someone to do it for him (Libya).

Syl

Other Tom (6:36)

I think Reuters rationale for printing that is not so much to grudgingly commend what Bush has accomplished as it is to pretend that all is safe now, we can go home, nothing to see here, it's okay to let Democrats have power.

I've been hearing quite a different take on the new leadership emerging in al Qaeda. Though we are much more focused than pre-9/11 the threat is far from over.

Though with my limited knowledge I will say this. Al Qaeda will never again operate in structurally the same manner it did pre 9/11. That is with cells answerable only to the top leadership and not communicating with other cells.

Instead cells will be more autonomous with their own leaders responsible for the majority of logistics and planning. This makes them a bit harder to detect (because of lack of communication with the higher ups), but also makes them more likely to make mistakes that cost them.

MayBee

You know what would be great? If candidates had to pay taxes on their campaign donations.

SlimGuy

LFAWO

The 550 tons of yellow cake was under seal, it was known after the first gulf war. It is not highly enriched, it is a form of raw material for the enrichment process.

He had a couple of tons of LOW enrichment stuff that indicated he was buying it or had his own enrichment program.

High enrichment is another whole different animal.

lurker

SlimGuy, and they are traceable? Uranium is far different than pasteurizing milk and creating bacteria cultures.

There's also a vast difference between the American labs developing bacteria cultures versus the Iraqi labs. It depends on the government.

Looking, do you have a problem with USA having its own nuclear weapons or programs? What about Israel? What about Libya?

MikeS

At the time President Bush spoke the 16 words about British intelligence, He (the President) had the support of over 70% of the U.S. population, 73% of the U.S. Senate, and over 2/3 of the U.S. Congress. Why would he need to mislead anyone?

Looking_for_a_way_out

"Oh, we forget - the left does not think Saddam was a bad boy."

I'm not defending Saddam. I'm just pointing out that in our post invasion world we now know that there were no WMD and no WMD related programs in Iraq. Which to me, raises the question of what he would have done with 500 tons of Uranium, he never purchased from Africa. People spend a lot of time arguing over whether he really wanted or attempted to buy that Uranium because of its use by GWB to generate support for the war. We do know that some documentation purporting such a sale was forged, but the argument persists. Can the fact he had no use for such a quantity of Uranium safely put the bed the discussion of his desire to acquire it?

Syl

Looking

Okay, he had 500 tons of highly enriched Uranium. Why was he trying to buy more?

Are you really this dense? It was UNDER SEAL. He couldn't touch it.

Other Tom

I think one reason to buy more yellowcake is to enable oneself to build more atomic bombs. It is facile to say, after the fact, that he must not have been seeking yellowcake because he had no WMD. Everyone in the world, including Bill Clinton, Hans Blix and a cast of thousands, thought he did. The retro-scope is a precise but useless instrument.

lurker

Ah, but Saddam could have acquired something elsewhere.

The statement:

he never purchased from Africa.

How do you prove that he never did at any time? You cannot prove the absence of evidence meaning that Saddam had no WMDs.

He had every intent to resume his WMD programs. He was seeking to buy some while bribing France, Germany, China, Russian to get those sanctions lifted.

lurker

And what is the life cycle of uranium?

topsecretk9

He later told the Senate Intelligence Committee when asked how he knew the documents were forgeries (considering the CIA did not have the documents when he went on the trip to Niger) that he had "mispoken."

Didn't we learn from the Libby trial that the CIA DID have copies of them afterall? (I think the implication was they had them and never bothered to analyze them either because of incompetence or design - because WE handed them over to IAEA unanalyzed -HEY? Maybe it was Valerie's job to have analyzed them and she didn't?

Was this the information kept from the SSCI or was it something to do with Cheney asking what the CIA knew about Iraqi Africa inquiries on Feb. 13th AFTER Plame wrote her recommendation memo? I know Byron wrote a story, just off the top can't remember.

SlimGuy

Also he thought the sanctions were going to collapse and he was looking for more yellow cake to feed the enrichment process he was hoping to redo.

SlimGuy

WMD was just a small part of the reason we went in. It is just that with all the attention paid to it after the Wilson/Plame fiasco everyone seems to think that was the only reason and have forgotten about all the other ones.

Syl

Looking

Can the fact he had no use for such a quantity of Uranium safely put the bed the discussion of his desire to acquire it?

He certainly has no use for it NOW. But THEN is an entirely different matter. Did he have a use for that centrifuge buried in the backyard of one of his scientists?

Saddam was accumulating whatever he could get, mainly dual use materials--and more than he needed for normal everyday use--in anticipation of the sanctions being lifted.

You know this. So why do you keep on asking the same dumb questions over and over?


SlimGuy

Russia was the main provider of his biological/chemical technology and had 2 years to strip it dry of all physical stuff and clean out any files and documents they could to cover their tracks.

MikeS

Looking,
Last night my son bought an airline ticket so he could visit me. I really can't understand why he bought it though because he doesn't have any time off for the next 3 weeks?

Hmmm...

lurker

Saddam was using the money from "Oil for Food" program to buy things for his WMD programs and bribe France, Germany, China, and Russia to get those sanctions lifted.

Not much of the money from the "Oil for Food" program went to help the Iraqi children. What's worse is the quality of food and medicine delivered to those kids was so deplorable that they were useless and ineffective.

bubarooni

looking for an ounce of intelligence:

if he were kinda secretly working with uranium it would kinda take the secrecy away from the project if he kinda barged in, kinda bullied the guards out of the way, kinda jimmied the locks and kinda left with the stuff.

did you really even bother to think that thru?

Looking_for_a_way_out

Looking, do you have a problem with USA having its own nuclear weapons or programs? What about Israel? What about Libya?

Posted by: lurker

The country with a known nuclear weapons capability that causes me the greatest loss of sleep is Pakistan. I also think we (the U.S.) should focus on making sure all former soviet nukes have been accounted for. The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction still applies in most other cases and would have with Iraq. Libya gave up its nuclear ambitions and its better that way. North Korea now has nukes, and its worse that way. We negotiated with Qaddafi, but not with Kim.... You got me on that one.

My point is that Iraq didn't have the program to use that Uranium. The only "hard evidence" we know about supporting Saddam's desire to obtain that Uranium is known to be a forgery. But because of its critical use in the case for war against Iraq, people are still clinging to the belief that Iraq was really trying to obtain that Uranium from Africa. We should be clamouring for the release of any source information that would back up the Uranium from Africa claims. And, we should look skeptically at excuses for not providing it.

PeterUK

"he never purchased from Africa. "

But Saddam Hussein did,that was where his "official " yellow cake came from.
Iraq also had had a reactor,courtesy France.
Saddam stated that he wanted to build the first "Arab Bomb".
But Looking is being disingenuous,the fact was that Saddam was required by the UN terms and the Gulf War ceasefire to renounce all thoughts of acquiring WMD,not simply refraining from acquisition.Hans Blix stated that Saddam Hussein had not demonstrated this.
It is analogous to being on parole and having mysterious contacts with gun dealers and criminals,Saddam was busted.

Pofarmer

We negotiated with Qaddafi,

We did?

What did Khaddafi get?

T.J. King

The significance of the Yellowcake story regarding the decision to go to war is a meme that no longer bears any resemblense to its original events. It is a hyperreal event in american media culture.

Jean Baudrillard defined the term Simulcrum as "a copy of a copy which has been so dissipated in its relation to the original that it can no longer be said to be a copy. The simulacrum, therefore, stands on its own as a copy without a model." If the forgery documents had not surfaced just before the war and if not for Joe Wilson and the subsequent Plame Kerfuffle, which was then pumped full of steroids during the 2004 campaign, then the predictions of frogmarchers and the Libby trial, these 16 words would be nothing more than a footnote.

The false Liberal meme is that the intelligence community was convinced there was no WMD program . That in the run up to the war Italian forgeries were used by Cheney to convey the 16 words to deceive and compensate for the CIA pleas to go slow. Wilson and VIPS claim to have known there were no WMDs. War started and within weeks Wilson began a campaign to prove that the "sale" mentioned in the 16 words never took place. Other than the war starting, all of that is false, yet the story lives on.

Actually the intelligence community was providing plenty of intel that supported the WMD story. Ironically, Plame's Winpac, which Wikipedia describes only as the CIA department that was responsible for much of the false intelligence leading to the Iraq war, was responsible for three convulated intelligence snafus. One, they were the one of the prime conduits for the Italian forgeries. Two, they claimed that Saddam did not seek Yellowcake, later by way of wilson claimed he did and later argued against Bush saying so and in the end it turned out that not only he did seek the 500 tons of Yellow cake, We found 500 tons of yellow cake at Al-Tawaithia (maybe someone can help me with its origin).Third, Plame herself was responsible for the Aluminum tubes. The forgeries have nothing to do with the fact that Saddam sought the Yellowcake. Prior to the war, Wilson and VIPS warned that Bush was not taking the massive threat of WMDs seriously because too many soldiers would be killed by them. When Ray McGovern confronted Rumsfeld in a celebrated public screaming match, he claimed to have known there were no WMDs. The truth bears no resemblence to the reality. When Wilson planted the original story and then the struts began to fall out from under it, you realize that there is no there there. The Yellowcake was a minor consideration in prewar planning, read Kerry's speech prior to the war, he claimed even without WMD, war would still be justified.

The term "Yellowcake" should become a catch phrase for a political lie that after being picked apart of its supporting components remains in the lexicon of the MSM because the story is too good to let go of. It is a simulcrum, a copy of a copy of a copy that has been replicated so many times that it no longer has any resmblence to the original.

Patton

Wilsons little report was foolish to begin with. Perhaps Wilsons didn't know it, but Pakistan obtained yellowcake uranium ILLEGALLY for their nuclear program.

And just where did Pakistan get the Uranium?
From a place that Wilsons claimed was IMPOSSIBLE to get it out of..it was just too controlled. frenchy was on the case.

THAT'S RIGHT. PAKISTAN GOT THEIR ILLEGAL URANIUM FROM NIGER...NIGER..NIGER..NIGER!

lurker

Before we invaded Iraq, how do you know that Saddam did NOT have any programs to use any uranium? Unless you went in and found out yourself?

And before we invaded Iraq, how do you know that Saddam was seeking or not seeking to buy uranium and actually bought uranium? Unless you went in and found out yourself?

Today Iran and North Korea pose greater nuclear threat to the entire world. Pakistan currently does not. Pakistan government has not used nuclear threat to anyone yet.

These arguments that you pose, looking, are post-Iraqi invasion.

As SlimGuy said, Saddam's WMDs wasn't the main reason why we invaded Iraq. Saddam's efforts to buy uranium wasn't the main reason why we invaded Iraq either.

You seem to think that those are the only two reasons why we invaded Iraq and you continue to tell us that we made a mistake going to Iraq when, in reality, we did NOT make a mistake invading Iraq.

MayBee

The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction still applies in most other cases and would have with Iraq. Libya gave up its nuclear ambitions and its better that way.

It would have with Iraq? Between whom? Iraq and Israel? Iraq and Iran? Iraq and Saudi Arabia? Iraq and Kuwait? Iraq and the target of whomever they might have supplied?

Libya gave up as a result of the invasion of Iraq. What MAD would have applied to them? Quaddify had already demonstrated a willingness to support seemingly non-state actors.

We ARE negotiating with Kim. But hey, if he gets nukes it will still be MAD, right?

Looking_for_a_way_out

if he were kinda secretly working with uranium it would kinda take the secrecy away from the project if he kinda barged in, kinda bullied the guards out of the way, kinda jimmied the locks and kinda left with the stuff.

did you really even bother to think that thru?

Posted by: bubarooni

Hey bub,

I did think about it. So trying to buy Uranium from a tightly monitored cartel in Africa was an effective means to not tip anybody off?

Pofarmer

that there were no WMD and no WMD related programs in Iraq.

Not true. Even David Kay says there were programs, or programs that could have been easily restarted. Why else all the destroyed computers and equipment in govt buildings?

lurker

T.J. King,

How does this poem describe the lefties?

Enlightened

Looking. Tell me please. Why do you and others continue to insist that based on the forgeries, which referred only to Niger, that Saddam was not seeking uranium from AFRICA?

Why do you and others feel comfortable saying that Niger is the lynchpin to Saddam/Iraq and Uranium, and thereby the 16 words?

Do you or any others have any proof whatsoever that Saddam/Iraq did not seek uranium from The Congo? How about Somalia? Those reports came from CIA intel - never debunked- ever.

Note:

"At this point the CIA also had received "several intelligence reports" alleging that Iraq wanted to buy uranium from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and from Somalia, as well as from Niger. The Intelligence Committee concluded that "it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency reporting and other available intelligence."

Pofarmer

Hey dood

They just busted a huge uranium smuggling ring in the Congo, which happens to be in Africa.

Where did Libya get it's yellowcake?

MikeS

But because of its critical use in the case for war against Iraq, people are still clinging to the belief that Iraq was really trying to obtain that Uranium from Africa.

Well spoken but wrong. Yes Iraq's nuclear program was part of the case for war against Iraq. The issue now is related to the "Bush Lied" myth.

You see even though Iraq apparently had no immediate need for yellow cake, it does not follow that the President lied or exaggerated the case. In fact we now know that the yellow cake purchase theme came up repeatedly in the NIE.

Patton

"""What did Khaddafi get?"""

He got to keep breathing.

We should cut the same deal wtih Akmedinijad.

Give up you illegal WMD programs and you can live.


ALL THE LEFTIES KEEP CLAIMING THAT IRAN AND OTHERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RIGHT AS US TO PURSUE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. They fail to point out that these countries signed the Non-proliferation Treaty. You know the one the left constantly harps that we must follow to the letter. But Iran , sure they can cheat, so what.

lurker
Hey bub,

I did think about it. So trying to buy Uranium from a tightly monitored cartel in Africa was an effective means to not tip anybody off?

It was an attempt to not tip anyone off. Even CIA, state, et al, did not even detect it very well.

PeterUK

"The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction still applies in most other cases and would have with Iraq. Libya gave up its nuclear ambitions and its better that way. North Korea now has nukes, and its worse that way. We negotiated with Qaddafi, but not with Kim..., but not with Kim..."


Mutually assured destruction applies with Iran.HA HA HA Ha Ha Ha haha...
Since several countries are already capable of annihilating Iran's major cities,Iran continues to develop the bomb,that rings very hollow.

Frankly dragging Saddam Hussein out of a latrine, incarcerating him and putting him on trial had more effect on Qaddafi.The fact that a very large army was just down the road probably jogged his mind also.
Didn't Clinton negotiate with Kim,gave him some nuclear stuff?

Enlightened

Seen: Looking googlng feverishly-

Uranium.Iraq.Congo.Somalia.Sought.Bought.

vnjagvet

Looking is not really looking very hard, it seems to me.

This is not hard.

The evidence that Iraq was shopping was not just the forged documents. Indeed, the British intelligence service was not relying on those documents.

In addition, our hero, the valiant Joe Wilson orally reported that Iraq may have made overtures to get yellowcake from Niger.

As Neo notes in his 6:29 comment, no one has claimed his $5 bet, because there is simply no evidence that the Bush statement in his SOU address was false.

Sought does not equate to bought. One letter difference, but why conflate if the words are the same.

Neo

Consider a like case .. I understand that the US Secret Service handles many currency forgeries every year. Of course, using the logic of Joe et al, this means that all money is tainted, since if one dollar bill is tainted, all the others must be tainted too.

As a public service, I will be collecting all of this "tainted currency" .. just open up your wallet and put it all in an envelope and send it to me.

So you don't forget, mail by midnight tonight.

lurker

PUK, looking was referring to Iraq when he referred to the doctrine. And, no, it wouldn't work with Iraq.

Lew Clark

Those people in Niger knew better than try that stuff with 00 Joe Wilson on the case. Why that would be like the folks in the hills above Mayberry trying to make moonshine with Barney Fife on the prowl.

lurker

I read that CIA defined a very limited scope of Joe's trip that he did not meet with all or most of the VIPs in Niger. Or that the government people in Niger did not want to meet with Joe.

bubarooni

looking:

would that by any chance be part of this 'tightly monitored cartel in Africa':

http://www.guardian.co.uk/congo/story/0,,2029842,00.html

that's not yellowcake, but low grade enriched uranium.

nonetheless, 'tightly monitored' is relative.
gem and gold production are also 'tightly controlled' in africa. draw your own conclusions.

the french firms that control yellowcake production in niger are in charge of monitoring. that should make us all sleep better.

MayBee

Yeah, and Libya and Iran managed to develop nuclear weapons programs under the tight monitoring of the IAEA.
Tight monitoring is infallible! No one gets past tight monitoring.

Looking_for_a_way_out

We ARE negotiating with Kim. But hey, if he gets nukes it will still be MAD, right?

Posted by: MayBee

Don't know why it wouldn't or doesn't. And, yeah, now we're negotiating with Kim. Do you think Kim could use a nuke on somebody else without paying any price?

Do you honestly think Saddam would have supplied a nuclear weapon to someone outside of his direct control? This is why I worry about Pakistan. Saddam was a despot, but as a result he was healthily paranoid (yeah now everybody's going to think I'm a big Saddam fan). Pakistan had their nukes before Musharraf took over via coup. How stable is that government? They apparently can't keep the Taliban out of their Northwestern frontier. Now nobody wants the Taliban to have nukes. Right? Those guys are religous whack jobs, and I am afraid of them trying to speed their or somebody else's ascent to heaven with a nuke.

MayBee

sorry

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame