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March 03, 2008

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Neo
Graham was the chairman in 2002

Say what ?

In 2002, during the vote for the Iraq War, the Senate was run by the Democrats (remember Jeffords Idiot-VT) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller was the chaiman of the Intelligence committee.

Neo

Senator Lindsey Graham vs Senator Bob Graham

clarice

In 2004 (now scrubbed from the IT) Obama was for a preemptive strike on Iran (and against gay marriage)
Sweetness & Light

Elliott

Great post, TM. I cannot say enough how much I enjoy your blogging and how appreciative I am that I can comment here.

ben

The most ludicrous of all this is of course for Obama to think that as President his decisions whether to go to war or not will be based "reading a report".....the shallowness is mindboggling....

ben

make that "on reading a report"

bgates

I don't think the lefties would have any problem with Graham's argument. Some of them sincerely view Iraq as a distraction from Afghanistan (they believe in a variant of the 'flypaper' strategy, in which the terrorists are literally physically adhered to the Pakistani border and are unable to travel to Baghdad.) Others are happy to say that x is a distraction from the real war, for all values of x.

I have to agree with Jennifer Psaki here.

Sue

Why didn't anyone bother to read the report? That is $64k question. One they want to avoid at all costs. Though why Obama wants to avoid it is also a mystery. It leads right back to Clinton and it is a plus for him. Or maybe it isn't a plus for anyone who wants to blame Bush for the intelligence fiasco that went through 2 presidents, one of them the husband of his rival. No one put forth much effort because for 8 years under a democrat the same intelligence had been used. Edwards even made the point that he went to Clinton's people to see what they knew and was told the intelligence was sound. Go figure.

MayBee

I don't think the lefties would have any problem with Graham's argument.

The only problem was the Obama was talking about Jay Rockefeller.

Other Tom

Maybe I'm missing something. Isn't it the case that all Obama did was say "Rockefeller" when he should have said "Graham?" (Not that his argument is very persuasive in any event, but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.)

I like the analysis over at Powerline: these folks are hot to pursue Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but heaven forbid that we do so in Iraq, even though they are there and are being defeated there. Abandoning Iraq has simply become an article of faith, and has nothing to do with the question of how best to confront an enemy.

MayBee

Joseph Wilson weighs in at Huffington Post:

I was in the middle of the debate in Washington.[he was?] Obama wasn't there. I remember what was said and done. In fact, the administration lied in order to secure support for its war of choice, including cooking the intelligence and misleading Congress about the intent of the authorization.

Which is a problematic argument if Hillary didn't bother to read the intelligence lies that led her to vote for the war.
With defenders like these....

Other Tom

For the record, Graham was chairman of the SSCI 2001-03, which included the October 2002 vote on the AUMF. Graham was preceded by Richard Shelby of Alabama and succeeded by Pat Roberts of Kansas, who in turn was succeeded by Rockefeller.

clarice

The thing about the Afghanistan argument, promoted originally by Kerry--is like all the "over there" arguments by the opposition it ignores a lot of facts. Among the most critical fact it ignores are these(a) Afghanistan has a number of porous, impossible to control borders which means we'd be playing round and round the mulberry bush for decades with no real results;(b) to fight there we'd have to give up the tactical advantage of our technology in exchange for rushing up and down thousands of no name wadis where every old coot with an ancient musket and thorough knowledge of the territory would be on at least equal if not superior footing to our troops, (c) to be effective would take such a large contingent of troops that the Afghans would surely regard it as an effort to occupy them and we'd meet with the kind of general resistance that forced out the Brits and Russians.

Strategy is not something I'd look to Kerry for.

MayBee

Other Tom- the AP made it sound as though he was talking about Rockefeller (who has endorsed him), but gave him the bio of Graham (who has not).
We'd have to see a transcript or a tape of the speech to know.

MayBee

OT, but this is delightful live blogging of the Rezko trial: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rezko-court-story,1,81976.story>Chicago Tribune

Topsecretk9

"I don't think the people in the audience care who Jay Rockefeller is," she [Obama spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki] said.

Double dutch HEH. Hands over face. Laughing. Laughing for soooo many reasons.

Great Banana

Let's assume for the moment that Bush lied and stated something different from the intelligence reports (i.e., assume for this hypo that President Bush claimed that Saddam had or was trying to obtain WMDs but that in reality, the intelligence said the opposite).

Does Bush's "lie" excuse the Senators from reading intelligence reports that were provided to them and their staffs?

Great Banana

I've never really understood what Bush's "lie" regarding invading Iraq is meant to be by the left.

Is the left claiming that one of the following is the "lie"

. - that Saddam had WMDs;

. - that saddam sought WMDs;

. - that saddam sought yellowcake from Africa?

It seems to me that the first and second are easy to disprove as lies, as that was pretty the intelligence consensus for many years.

If it is the third thing, even if it were an acual lie by Bush (i.e., a false statement knowingly made) it is hard to see how that one claim can be argued was the sole basis for the Iraq war. Or even that we would not have invaded Iraq if that "lie" was not used.

I can never fully understand what the left's claims are regarding the alleged "lie(s)" told by Bush to get us into Iraq.

clarice

What do you expect from Psaki--She cut her teeth working for that genius Kerry.

anduril

WOW! Just WOW!

Yesterday I tried to generate some interest in potential problems for McCain among Catholic voters--a key "demographic" as we like to say in Wonkish. Response was distinctly desultory (doesn't that roll of the tongue well?). Not to put too fine a point on it, my thesis was largely pooh-poohed and consigned to "campaign ephemera." Let's see if there's more response to this story from Politico:

Obama Slow to gain among Catholics

Key grafs:

Barack Obama’s 11 straight Democratic primary and caucus victories have been marked by continued and impressive gains among women, lower-income workers, Hispanics and virtually every other demographic group.

Yet one potentially critical set of voters remains stubbornly resistant to his appeal—Catholics.

In state after state, with only a few exceptions, exit polling shows Hillary Rodham Clinton is the choice of Catholic voters. Clinton even defeated Obama among Catholics in his home state of Illinois. It seems the more Catholic the state, the more likely she is to have won it.

While Obama has closed the once-gaping gap during his post-Super Tuesday string of wins, even in victory he has underperformed among Catholics. In Virginia, where he won the state 64 percent to 35 percent, he won only 52 percent among Catholics. In Maryland, where he won 60 percent to 37 percent, he nevertheless lost the Catholic vote, 48 percent to 45 percent.

In Wisconsin, where Obama posted his most recent victory of consequence, the Illinois senator carried the state with 58 percent but tied Clinton with 50 percent of the Catholic vote.

Clinton’s strength with Catholics is in part driven by her popularity with Hispanics, many of whom are Catholic. In California, where Latinos made up roughly one-third of the primary vote, she won 70 percent among churchgoing Catholics, compared to Obama’s 26 percent. [Comment: what are the demographics among churchgoing Catholics?]

Analysts and Catholic politicians interviewed for this story say there’s no singular event or reason that explains Obama’s softness among Catholics. Rather, they agree that it’s more likely a reflection of stylistic differences between the two candidates.

John Green, a political science professor at the University of Akron and a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, said that while Clinton’s and Obama’s policy proposals are similar, her personal religious background gives her an advantage.

“Hillary Clinton, probably because of her Methodism and her liberalism, holds teachings that are very closely tied to the Catholic Church. That fits very well with Catholic sensibilities,” Green said. “I think she talks in ways that Catholics can understand. He speaks in the cadences of the black church, with a real Protestant approach.”

Comments:

The Hispanic factor doesn't account for the difference in all these states--I don't think.

The resistance to "a real Protestant approach" is equally a warning sign to McCain re embracing the likes of Hagee.

If Obama can't do MUCH better in the general (assuming he's the nominee) he could be toast. The Catholic vote is too big a factor in Blue States to do that poorly and still win.

We could have some key indicators of how this will work out, coming up soon:

Obama’s inability to seal the deal with Catholic voters could prove troublesome in the next round of primaries on March 4. Rhode Island, one of four states voting that day, is by far the most Catholic state in the nation with more than half the population identifying as Catholic, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

Delegate-rich Ohio and Texas, the two states that are central to Clinton’s “firewall” strategy, are roughly 20 percent Catholic.

If the race continues past March 4, the outlook gets even worse for what would likely be a final big-state showdown April 22 in Pennsylvania—a state that is just under one-third Catholic.

“The Catholic vote is absolutely critical in some of the major markets like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In Pittsburgh it can be as much as 50 percent of the [primary] vote,” said Jon Delano, adjunct professor of Public Policy and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “The question is how much does the religious part play in how they cast their ballot.”

It appears that the Obama campaign is aware of this:

How the sausage gets made

At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Politico’s story about Barack Obama’s problems winning Catholic voters went live.

Within minutes, editor Charlie Mahtesian’s phone started ringing.

The heated interaction between Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign and Politico's national political editor Saturday afternoon and evening was in many ways routine. But it was also a window into aspects of the political process outsiders do not usually see or understand.

narciso

Graham's argument seems to be persuasive, until one consider what would be the likely
point of entry. Lebanon, again. That along
with proximity to Saudi Arabia, was one of the main reasons for intervening in Iraq.
And the push back trough Abu Ghadeyeh,s Abu
Yaalon and elements of the late Mugniyeh's
Hezbollah network were the results.

Sue

anduril,

Do you have your own blog?

anduril

Yes: anduril's cave. Why do you ask?

Topsecretk9

National Command Authority!!!

I was in the middle of the debate in Washington.[he was?] Obama wasn't there. I remember what was said and done. In fact, the administration lied in order to secure support for its war of choice, including cooking the intelligence and misleading Congress about the intent of the authorization.

Maybee

If he was there and in the middle of the debate why didn't he tell Hillary that the intelligence was cooked so she wouldn't vote to authorize?

MayBee

Oh, I love you Tops.

PeterUK

Obama and the Constitution The man is just as dangerous as Hillary

Sue

anduril,

The link comes back to JOM. I was just curious.

anduril

I guess that confirms my copying and pasting skills.

Pofarmer

Just heard that Barack Hussein Obama now doesn't want any further questions about his religion. It ain't like he fielded a ton of em.

How about Rezko questions?

The guy has kinda got a Chavez complex going or something.

Is there anything that he CAN be questioned on???

anduril

actually, there's a guy who uses my name at meaning in history, but he rarely posts.

pagar

Here's what one needs to remember about Sen Rockefeller and Iraq

"ROCKEFELLER: No. 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."

The questions that need to be asked are:
(a) Why Sen Rockefeller was giving our intelligence to the Syrians?
(b) Why Sen Rockefeller is not in jail for giving our intelligence to the Syrians?

ben

Obama WAS talking about Rockerfeller...but the press would like to lend a helping hand and report to the public WHAT THEY THINK HE MEANT to say....it's a new and innovative approach to journalism, but lest lesser office seekers get excited, it's only applied to Messianic candidates.

Enlightened

"If he was there and in the middle of the debate why didn't he tell Hillary that the intelligence was cooked so she wouldn't vote to authorize?"

Wouldn't this apply to everyone that signed the authorization? Joe must be running low on $$$$

PeterUK

"''By those two standards, Iraq does not make it very high on the list of a terrorist state,'' Mr. Graham said.

He said the antiterrorism effort should focus on countries that had a significant Qaeda presence or terrorist training camps. ''Those are primarily in Syria, in the Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon and in Iran,'' the senator said."

Where,exactly,would Mr Graham attack these targets from?
Saudi Arabia wanted US troops out,Lebanon is a little inhospitable,Israel is out of the question,Turkey likewise.Afghanistan is landlocked,Pakistan would not allow large troop concentrations.
Iraq would be ideal,but Mr Graham has ruled that out.How do these people get to sit on sensitive committees?

ben


Senator Clinton, responding to a question on whether Senator Obama was a Muslim, responded that that he was not ...AS FAR AS SHE KNEW.

Thank you Hillary, for putting that issue to rest once and for all...

GMax

Here is a Heh! worthy comment.

"If Obama can't handle a goody two shoes country like Canada how the heck is he going to deal with Iran, Syria, China, Russia, France and other countries that have a somewhat higher level of difficulty? . . . This is like watching someone get bucked off one of the coin op kiddies horses they have at the supermarket."

The writer obviously does not understand it about: Change We Can Believe in.

PeterUK

Obama,Sermon on the Mount OKs same sex marriages

GMax

ooops.

anduril

Pete, that's interesting. That position is HUGELY unpopular among blacks.

Enlightened

How do we know for sure Rockefeller privately went on that trip and told those countries that the US was planning for war? Who has corroborated his claim?

What if he went because he was told to? Who else did he tell before he went? Why did he vote to authorize after claiming he went to privately warn them about US intentions? What if he, like Amb Wilson, is lying about his trip?

Neo
Among the most critical fact it ignores are these(a) Afghanistan has a number of porous, impossible to control borders which means we'd be playing round and round the mulberry bush for decades with no real results

This scenario sounds real familiar. If I could remember what, maybe there is a simple solution.

Now I remember .. perhaps we could invite al Qaeda and the Taliban to become US citizens after they pay some back taxes plus a fee or fine, or whatever. I can see them fitting under the umbrella of the Democratic Party just fine.

sao

Canadians. They like to see things with their eyes closed and hear voices. They like to export accidents and shootings and disease. The terrorists are Canadians. They do this to Americans everyday and laugh. So, we have to deny what is done and it's not a problem. Americans are idiots. Bill wants another check.

Don't talk to the thing. It's decided to be Canadian.

Enlightened

Did Obama know Rockefeller was going to those countries in advance of the vote?

It might be a Fruedian slip that he said "Rockefeller" simply because Rockefeller had privately told him - something.

ben

"I think that the bottom line is that in the end, I think women, in consultation with their pastors, and their doctors, and their family, are in a better position to make these decisions than some bureaucrat in Washington. That's my view," Obama said about abortion.

Wow, we could have been wrong about Obamamessiah...he thinks people can make better decisions than bureaucrats in Washington...where have we heard that before?

So if people, in consultation with their pastors, doctors, and family decide to vote for strict state immigration laws, or against gay marriage, for example, Obama is on their side....

Neo
WALLACE: ...in October of 2002 in which you authorized the use of force, you went further than the president ever did. Let's watch:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROCKEFELLER: I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11th that question is increasingly outdated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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?

ROCKEFELLER: No. 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.
Now, the intelligence that they had and the intelligence that we had were probably different. We didn't get the presidential daily briefs. We got only a finished product, a finished product, a consensual view of the intelligence community, which does not allow for agencies — like in the case of the aluminum tubes, the Department of Energy said these aren't thick enough to handle nuclear power.
They left that out and went ahead with, "They have aluminum tubes and they're going to develop nuclear power."

WALLACE: Senator, you're quite right. You didn't get the presidential daily brief or the senior executive intelligence brief. You got the national intelligence estimate.
But the Silberman commission, a presidential commission that looked into this, did get copies of those briefs, and they say that they were, if anything, even more alarmist, even less nuanced, than the intelligence you saw...

GMax

Well Belo has the Texas Democrat race a deadheat. And Rasmussen is showing movement in Hillary's direction all week with her down by 1. Did he get enough early votes to hang on? And can I bring myself to vote strategically, cuz that would mean a vote for Hill. I am not sure I can do that, there are a lot mirrors in my house.

ben

I vote in Texas too, but absentee, and I didn't get a primary ballot...knowing the latest polls, I don't know if I would vote for Hillary...I don't want her to win big, just get enough votes to keep fueling those convention circus fires....

clarice

ben, Actually on that question, I'm with Hill. It is stupid to be expected to answer what your opponent's religious affiliation/beliefs are. She might have said, "I cannot get into his heart to winkle out what his beliefs may be.He says he's a Christian and I see no reason to question that."

TexasToast

off topic, but

How many of the Texans on this board are "voting strategically",as GMAX is ?

And for who?

Enlightened

Hmmm. Even to this day it's quite easy to see that Rockefeller was lying out his ass. Well, Obama's staff thinks he's a nobody anyway - so no harm no foul.

Jane

Well they just said Hill is coming back. So tomorrow could be fun fun fun.

Barack has had a bad week. And I suspect it's just starting.

GMax

BTW I am no Jay Cost but I find this analysis very interesting. The Belo poll breaks down their results in many demographic categories. The sample is shown for how many will be voting in the Democrat primary and how many in the Republican primary. Then items show how folks categorize themselves by Party.

Here is the breakdown. 730 in the Democrat primary and 470 in the Republican primary. The breakdown of self given designations:
446 democrat, 321 Independent and 359 Republican. So the huge difference in the Texas turnout - if this poll turns out to match what happens tomorrow - is a whole bunch of independents and some Republicans voting in the Democrat primary.

Now listening to pundits talk, this portends something and it aint good they intone.

So who do you think the same sample above indicates is the winner of Texas in the general election? Wrong.

In head to head match ups - McCain wins both against Hill and against Barry whats his name.

I wish Jay would come and do his normal bang up job on analysis. To me even with number stacked like that, it portends nothing more than the desire to participate in a contest, with the Republican being assumed to already have been chosen.

clarice

And everyone thinks Jane is so sweeeeeeeeeeeet.See, how evil she is..evil evil.

GMax

How inconvenient it was for the Canadians at the counselate to have been taking notes? So the No Name Campaign is down to "well yeah the notes got this right and that right but man its just flat wrong that we winked and told them that Obama was just telling Ohioans what they wanted to hear, so pay no attention." We were horribly misunderstood and did I mention he was not representing the Campaign, no, well he wasn't despite being paid staff...

ben

Clarice
I don't think Hillary had a bad answer, but certainly it was not designed to put a stop to speculation. And why should she, anyway, nobody really knows what Obama is about, if you come down to it...

Sue

Texas,

Not me. I voted Friday in the republican primary. I didn't have the luxury of my vote not mattering this year. The local people who remain democrats are on their own.

Sue

I meant the local politicians. YOu have to get into my head sometimes.

ben

Sue
You are right, let the Democrats sort it out...and besides, if Republicans keep voting in the Dem primary, you run the risk of the talkings heads repeating "oh my gosh, the Dem base is soooooooo excited this year, look how many more Dems voted in the primary"...

Jane

I demand another democrat debate.

ben

Personally, I will settle for a nasty, bitter, drag-down convention fight with lots of lawyers issuing opinions and findings, surrogate fights, delegate fights, food fights, you name it and having it all boil down to all the Hillary voters swearing they won't vote for Obama, and all the Obama voters sweraring they won't vote for Hillary.

hit and run

Jane:
Well they just said Hill is coming back. So tomorrow could be fun fun fun.

Clarice:
And everyone thinks Jane is so sweeeeeeeeeeeet.See, how evil she is..evil
evil.

Might as well carry over some B-Day Best of Jane fun here...

----------

I hope the Clinton demise is as drawn out and painful as possible.

Gonna take me a few days to come down from this high...

I'm gonna have a lot of fun company in Hell.
Posted by: Jane | January 04, 2008 at 01:56 PM

ben

Stop the presses...did Hillary endorse McCain this morning?

But before leaving, to insert herself into the day's news coverage, she held a quick media availability at the Hilton and provided this unusually concise capsule comment for reporters, including The Times' Louise Roug:

"I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Sen. John McCain has a lifetime of experience that he'd bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/03/hillary-clinton.html

centralcal

Because this is all about Obama and misunderstandings, I thought you could use a really good laugh.

Click the link in my name.

Cecil Turner

Okay, I want to know what Mr Judgment found in the NIE that he thinks might've made Hillary vote against the war. Was it the main finding?

We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade.
Don't see how. Because it seems to me that unless you ignore the Key Judgments and go with the alternative views (or, better yet, ignore the estimate altogether), reading the NIE would make one more likely to vote for war, not less. And Senator Hussein Obama's point only makes sense if you haven't read the thing and buy into the Joe Wilson fantasyland meme that it didn't say Saddam had WMDs. And since the meme is an article of faith amongst most Dems, Hillary will have a hard time calling him on it. If Jennifer Psaki is really looking for something "intentionally misleading," she might want to start there.

Other Tom

Did anyone notice that Obama now says he prays to Jesus every day? So far as I am aware, there has been total silence on that statement from the Left, whereas if any Republican said it the ridicule bombs would be flying fast and furious.

Tomorrow night should be quite fascinating--buyer's remorse may be setting in amongst the Dems, but it may be too late. Good God--these fools may actually blow this chance at the White House!

Ranger

Funny, but my recollection of Joe Wilson's contribution to the debate on the war before it actually happened was to write an Op-Ed that said that the reason Saddam had WMDs was because he was afraid we would attack, and threatening him just made him want to keeep them more, and that we shouldn't attack Iraq because he had WMDs and would use them on our troops.

hit and run

Other Tom:
So far as I am aware, there has been total silence on that statement from the Left, whereas if any Republican said it the ridicule bombs would be flying fast and furious.

I thought Obama began his prayers, "Dear Me" and ended them, "In my name, Amen"?

narciso

Rockefeller's family contribution to the state of affairs is never effectively commented upon. Ordinarily, one wouldn't hold the sins of the grandfather against
the son; but then I think too many invocations of Prescott Bush's but not the Harriman clans dealings in pre war Germany
cured of that reticense. International Petroleum was the subsidiary involved in Iraq and to a lesser extent Syria. The West Coast Subsidiary; Socal/Chevron along with Texaco, formed the core of the ARAMCO concession; brokered by none other than future Defense Secretary James Forrestal and future arms control guru Paul Nitze while at Dillon, Read

LogicalSC

The big lie that the MSM will never highlight about the "Messiah" is that his reasons for voting against the authorization shows him to be a utter lighweight boob who has no business in Congress must less as President.

Go back and look at Obama's pronouncements and you will see that his vote wasn't because he didn't think Saddam was evil, a threat or didn't have WMD.

His opposition was simply based on wanting to use the funds to "fight" global warming, more social welfare programs, and other idiotic boilerplate liberal causes.

Of course, the MSM tries to paint him as a knowing heroic prophet. Clueless boob!

ben

LogicalSC

It's worse than that...Obama did not vote on the resolution at all..he was not even in the Senate! The Illinois Senators were Durbin (Nay) and Fitzgerald (Yea)

In a nutshell here is Obama's pitch:

"I was a private citizen when the Iraq war was voted, and I had a personal opinion: I was against it. I wasn't privy to any confidential information or briefings, I knew what every other private citizen or State elected official knew, or anyone who watched TV.

Thus, I am qualified to be President, and my foreign policy credentials are above reproach."

PeterUK

Pleas would somebody explain Barack ******* Obama.?

Foo Bar

Okay, I want to know what Mr Judgment found in the NIE that he thinks might've made Hillary vote against the war.

How about the section regarding scenarios in which Saddam would and would not be inclined to use his WMDs against us? The gist of it was basically that if we were perceived to be on the verge of invading or if we actually invaded, he'd be much more likely to use them. E.g.,


Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger cause for making war.

Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the US Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge. Such attacks - more likely with biological than chemical agents - probably would be carried out by special forces or intelligence operatives.

And I guess you'd want to say "why take a chance?" given that the NIE said


We have low confidence in our ability to assess when Saddam would use WMD.

Some may have found the "low confidence" statement surprising given what Cheney told us a few months earlier, though:


Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us


PeterUK

Obama conflicting stories Who does he think he is Bill Clinton?

PeterUK

Conflicting stories by Obama

Ann

Seems Obama can't take the heat; I hope there is video:

"It’s only the first day of the Tony Rezko trial, testimony has yet to be heard, and already the press has gotten to Barack Obama. Faced with a new focus on his ties to the defendant in a corruption case and exposed missteps in his NAFTA dance, Obama stalked out of a press conference with questions ringing in his ears (via Instapundit):"

More at Hotair.

Other Tom

Foo Bar, you're coming up a bit short of straightforward here.

To say that we have low confidence in "when" Saddam would use WMD is in no way inconsistent with saying that there is no doubt that he is ammassing them with the intention of using them. Bush made it very clear that in order to answer the question of "when," he did not intend to wait until they were used. Remember his saying that we couldn't wait until their use was "imminent?"

If Obama wants to say that had Hillary read the NIE, she should have voted against the AUMF out of concern that Saddam would use his WMD, let him say so. He has said no such thing. That's what Joe Wilson said at the time--but he sure as hell expressed no doubt that Saddam had them.

And if that's what Mr. Judgment wants to invoke as his reason for opposing the AUMF, let him do so as well. Your attempt to do it for him is unpersuasive.

RichatUF

Ann-

The B♥O done in by a Chicago fixer and a smelly real estate deal-won't believe it until I see the floor fight in Denver [complete with tear gas and snow].

RW and Bubba the Hut must be smiling. It's worth renting out a booth in Denver selling pitchforks and torches-

boris

FuBar logic: If Saddam Hussein has WMD then invasion is too risky. If Saddam Hussein has no WMD then invading would be unnecessary.

Other Tom

RichardUF, I'm tempted to hire out a suite high up in the Brown Palace, load the place up with Stoli, Glenmorangie and ice, and sit at the window with high-powered Zeisses at one hand and a 30-'06 at the other (for self-defense). Let the games begin!

Rick Ballard

Ann,

What do you think RW will give to Fitz if he can flip Rezko against BHO? AG? A shot at BHO's seat (unlikely)?

It looks like they've got the dents pounded out of Broom One. She may lose TX tomorrow but there's no way she'll quit before this trial is over.

hit and run

I was planning on crashing at Charlie's.
(shhhhh, don't tell him -- he doesn't know it yet.)

But if Other Tom has a suite loaded with Stoli....

Ann

Rich,
Now RW can bring up Hillary's real estate deals and corruption and everyone will call the Chicago media racists and.............OH What Fun! And then their is Fitz, stil more fun!

As far as, losing in Ohio, conservative, big time donor friends of mine are voting for the RW tomorrow in Ohio. They want to join Other Tom and Hit and the Stoli (so do I). They will probably bring Dewars or some aged scotch, however. :)

I still don't think I can vote for her. No matter, something has happened in the last two days here. She is smiling and looks confident. Let the games begin!

JM Hanes

OT:

I'm in! What a hoot. Do you play poker?

JM Hanes

Ann:

"She is smiling and looks confident" .... and blonde!.

Anybody up for liveblogging Clinton on the Daily Show?

Ann

JM Hanes,

Doesn't the audience behind her look excited! NO! And she really should take Jane's advice on the brown suit. :) I would suggest navy blue with gold buttons, maybe a "St. John" suit. :)

JM Hanes

Sorry! I just discovered the JaneDay celebration, got completely caught up, and kept tuning out on Hill. She looked a little chipmunkey tonight, didn't she?

What a wrap: Red faced, hands clinched, Bill says, "The country is groaning and moaning and sceaming for change." Now that was intense!

Fen

FuBar logic: If Saddam Hussein has WMD then invasion is too risky. If Saddam Hussein has no WMD then invading would be unnecessary.

The Official Appeasement Memo reads:

[Today] We should not attack our enemies while they gather in strength.

[Tomorrow] Our enemies have grown too strong to attack.

Ann

It really wasn't hard to tune her out, hence, my style commentary. :) Was she really complaining about how long this election cycle is? Oh, right, it was supposed to be over already and she was inevitable. NOT. What a piece of work. At least, Jon Stewart commented on the dull people behind her. With all her contributions, you would think she could pay for a better audience.

JM Hanes

I like your style commentary! The arrow on my JMeter came to rest between "didn't hurt herself" and "looked like she was up till 3:00am last night."

Joe Schmo

Clearly, we are too dumb to understand a man of sheer brilliance.

docweasel

Ok, color me dense, but I don't get the Casey Stengel reference. Its about one of his quotes about winning or something, but I don't quite get it. Help, anyone?

Sara

You have had some very witty posts in the years I've been reading this blog, but Tom, I really think this is the very best ever and wins the Lifetime Achievement Award of posts. I laughed so loud I scared the dog at "That was easy!"

How long will the people put up with Obama blaming them for his mistakes and his own misguidedness? And he is beginning to look really dense with lines like "we didn't give diplomacy a chance." Did I imagine 12 years and what was it, 17 UN Resolutions? Obama is so in love with the sound of his own voice, he thinks everyone wants to be "talked" to into infinity. When is it time to say "enough is enough." On the 18th Resolution, the 25th, the 100th?

And wasn't it a Clinton sitting in the WH during a good portion of those 12 years? Does anyone think that had there been a Republican in the WH, we would have waited 12 years after Saddam tried to kill a former president of the U.S.? Where were all the bleeding hearts when Saddam was gassing people and slaughtering them left and right? Where was the diplomacy on that? 12 YEARS!!!!

Sorry, this argument drives me batty.

Topsecretk9

Posted by: Ranger | March 03, 2008 at 07:31 PM


Roger that Ranger.

Foo Bar

To say that we have low confidence in "when" Saddam would use WMD is in no way inconsistent with saying that there is no doubt that he is ammassing them with the intention of using them

Sure. Can you come up with a cite demonstrating that the intelligence community assessed that although we didn't know when Saddam would use them against us, it was almost a sure thing that at some point he would use them against us? If so, I'll concede that Cheney's statement was justified. Got anything for me?

Here's what I have:


Senator Levin: . . . If (Saddam) didn't feel threatened, did not feel threatened, is it likely that he would initiate an attack using a weapon of mass destruction?
Senior Intelligence Witness: . . . My judgment would be that the probability of him initiating an attack--let me put a time frame on it--in the foreseeable future, given the conditions we understand now, the likelihood I think would be low.

Well, to be fair, the witness may have foreseen that in the portion of the future that is unforeseeable, it was a sure thing that Saddam was going to attack us.

And I guess some will want to emphasize this from that same link:


the likelihood of Saddam using WMD for blackmail, deterrence, or otherwise grows as his arsenal builds.

.. but that's "blackmail, deterrence, or otherwise" whereas Cheney is talking about Saddam "using" them against us in the same context in which he referred to Saddam using them against Iran and his own people, i.e. actually deploying them.

If Obama wants to say that had Hillary read the NIE, she should have voted against the AUMF out of concern that Saddam would use his WMD, let him say so. He has said no such thing

Well, the NIE's indication that Saddam wasn't particularly inclined to use WMD against us if he were not provoked is consistent with Obama's belief back in '02 that Saddam could be contained.

George

I think what Obama's making two distinct points: 1, that Jay Rockefeller (who introduced him at this particular speech, which I think is why he's being mentioned) read the NIE, and 2, that the then chairman, Bob Graham, voted against the AUMF. I don't think this means that Obama's confusing the two men.

kim

What amazes me is that Obama considers opposition to the war a winning issue.

Look, folks, it was a long hard slog, but we've functionally won and made a big difference.

Hillary isn't pushing this. She's smart enough to know that she dare not move left here, or McCain can clean her clock.

Obama's campaign is developing Peter Principle notes. They've been successful enough to rise to the level where incompetence is telling.

Hot air balloons rise, until they don't.

Oh, God, I still have to fear Hillary. She could consolidate power such that we'd never escape the chains of the progs and the bootheels of the transnasties. Obama would just be hilarious in the attempt.

Go Obama! Keep flapping that golden mouth of yours. It's all you've got.
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kim

And I love the way Joe Wilson is left out in the cold. What he is saying undercuts Hillary's tactic. I still say he and Val were Richardson's Trojan Horse to the Clintonista's, but the metaphor breaks down on too many levels. There are loose cannons on all the decks of the Good Ship Plame.
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Cecil Turner

How about the section regarding scenarios in which Saddam would and would not be inclined to use his WMDs against us?

Oh, that makes sense. Because having Saddam violating the Gulf War cease fire (and what, 17 UNSC resolutions?) is of course irrelevant. Because the CIA is admitting it has no clue when he might use them, and thus he's no threat:

We have low confidence in our ability to assess when Saddam would use WMD.
Yeah, that makes sense. So, if we're essentially supposed to ignore all the high-confidence findings, why bother reading the thing?

The gist of it was basically that if we were perceived to be on the verge of invading . . .

Err, no. The gist is: "we really have no clue." The rest are guesses, and clearly labeled as such (i.e., "could," "might"--the strongest statement is "probably would" in the event he "irretrievably had lost control of the military and security situation"--weak tea indeed). And, as usual, you make a converse argument about what the document actually says (that the "probably would" in the case of [irretrievably] "lost control" imples a "wasn't particularly inclined" in other cases; no such implication is stated, nor is such an interpretation warranted).

There is no doubt he is amassing them to use . . .
I'd say the "no doubt" bit was fairly obviously a modifier for "amassing." And when he was going to use them is rather less compelling than the bit claiming he was amassing them. Unless you're positing we're supposed to conclude he was building a collection?

If so, I'll concede that Cheney's statement was justified.

Sure. No chance you'd dig through another long statement looking for another clause you could claim was a lie (and use that as a red herring to distract from the fact that a plain reading of the NIE supports a casus belli, rather than the other way 'round). Color me skeptical.

Lamb Cannon

I luvved the comments above about why we have to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq, cuz, like they're there, man. Never mind why they are there or how they got there.

For the love of Jeebis, why don't the "neocons" grow a pair (or 2) and admit:

(1) You despise the Iraqis and other muslims and non-English speakers (which is fine by me, i have no use for them either);

(2) Continual carpet bombing or nuking is the best way to kill all of them;

(3) If dumbass Bush et al had just been honest and done that, problem solved, money saved.

This is what you really wanted. Admit it and let's get on with culling the horde. My only request is that all religious kooks get snuffed tidily so the rest of us can get on with our lives.

kim

Lamb, it sounds like you lay down with Lyin' dogs.
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Wilson/Plame