November 11, 2005

"These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will."

I'm glad to see Bush is forcefully defending the Iraq war. He needs to do that more.

44 comments:

EddieP said...

It's past due. Of course he can't spend all of his time making speeches, but he needs to be more aggressive than he has been.

knoxgirl said...

I don't get how all these people who THEMSELVES voted to support going to war now say it's all bogus. They're basically admitting that they themselves are either 1. irresponsible or 2. a bunch of dumb*sses.

gj said...

or 3, spineless in the face of the 2002 midterm elections.

FWIW, I think John Edwards recently opted for 2, saying explicitly that his vote was a mistake.

chuck b. said...

Yes! He should also more frequently encourage Iraqis to put aside their differences for the sake of their country.

Fortunately, Secretary Rice just did that.

Harkonnendog said...

I think it will be painfully (to the dems) obvious by 2008 that liberating Iraq was a good thing. Whether the GOP benefits or not is the question. Winning the Cold War basically opened the door for a draft dodgin foreign affairs idiot to become President. And I have no doubt that 911 got Bush reelected.

k said...

911 got Bush elected... how? Because everyone liked what he did, or because they thought Kerry would have been disastrous at the helm?

The Mojician said...

k:
Both.

vbspurs said...

t's past due.

Amen, EddieP!

I have been out all day, but just before I left, I wrote on my blog that this was surely the most forceful speech he's ever given, save the post-9/11 (a masterpiece), and the recent foreign policy speech which was woefully underreported.

I will try to do a reverse-Fisk just as soon as I c/p the transcript.

P.S.: He mentioned Theo van Gogh, and "the Jews" (not the Israelis) as being the object of certain people's ire. FINALLY. Enough pussyfooting.

Cheers,
Victoria

WisJoe said...

First, the attacks on the administration are not baseless. President Bush's assertion that the Congress had the same amount of information the administration did is simply untrue. Congress was frankly sold the same bill of goods the U.N. was, and Colonel Powell now admits his U.N. speech is the most embarrassing moment in his career. As a side note, a grant of authority is not equivalent to asking that it be used indiscriminately.

Second, the intelligence and tactics used to sell the war were slanted at best and flat out false at worst (aluminum tubes? mushroom clouds?) If you disagree, read the speech by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (no shrinking violet and not a Democrat). (http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/Wilkerson%20Speech%20--%20WEB.htm)

The Democrats (and Rep moderates) are correct that the intelligence systems and method by which the Congress was informed with regard to same need to be investigated and changed to find out what went wrong. To say we should just forget about these problems and simply move on is ignorant.

On the other hand, we must stay in Iraq until they can handle themselves without posing a threat to their neighbors and us.

XWL said...

Let's fight the same battles over and over, yippee!

(for the record, FDR KNEW about Pearl Harbor in advance, he should be impeached!)

(and Lincoln let far more troops be slaughtered than necessary, someone should do something about him, maybe while he's enjoying a play)

(and Washington, nobody could be as good as he seemed, he was a land-owning, slave-owning white male, take him off the dollar bill!)

Also, the proper position regarding the President's defense of his Iraq policy is to say that it was highly unusual (and therefore suspect) for him to use a Veteran's Day speech to make a political point.

(at least that seems to be how the usual suspects are covering his speech, why engage in the substance when you can attack the venue)

and before I forget to all the Veteran's that read this blog, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, (on to infinity)

(and double goes to their families, sometimes it's even harder for them than on the enlisted)

PatCA said...

He hit it out of the park. Someone said his strategy was to wait long enough to let the opposition bury itself (it's kind of working) and didn't want to appear to be in a neverending argument.

Amen, Victoria.
He had mentioned Van Gogh in his last speech though. Isn't it ironic that he was the first public figure inside or out of Hollywood to do so?

Mark said...

Yeah, let Bush repeat the same tired lines; his approval will probably drop to low 30s.
Senator Feingold is exactly right, we need to set a timetable and start withdrawing the troops.
And please, don't even start about the Democrats seeing the same intelligence. This is patently false as Democrats DID NOT see the whole intelligence.

Ross said...

Knoxgirl,

Most of us are not privy to the information distributed in closed-door intelligence committee meetings, but it's logically possible for senators to now believe they were irresponsibel dumb*sses for believing what they were told by the Administration during what was still considered a time of national emergency.

Mark said...

And this line about "sending the wrong signal to the troops" is amazing in itself. Isn't it very condescending, as if the troops are not being able to figure out what's going on?
Of course, it's in the Bush's interest to silence the critics by implying that they are unpatriotic for sending the wrong signals to the troops. But it is in the country's best interests to find out what really had happened; was the intell manipulated and if yes, why.
Whatever the benefits of this war to get rid of a tyrannt, they are far far outweighed by the negative consequences of the war.

Brent said...

Ann,

Amen to the President forcefully defending the war. The intelligence regarding WMD is remarkably clear and is only being muddied for Democratic partisan purposes. Reid, Kennedy and Kerry should hang their heads in shame at the outrageous claims that they make, showing no proof. These are shameful men, not worthy of holding any job that demands integrity, much less an honorable position as US Senator. What kind of decent human being, states that the President "exaggerated the intelligence"(Kennedy today on the Senate floor) and gives not one shred of supporting evidence to back up these treasonous charges? Why do Democrats get away with this?


Wisjoe-
You are playing in the same Democratic gutter - Making your statements with no hard evidence of lying (high standard to prove, so just go for confusing people), and quoting hack partisans like Steve Clemons and the (laughably lacking in integrity) Col Wilkerson is more of the same Democratic LACK of evidence - just throw eveything out, see if you can confuse enough people until it reaches critical mass and the public isn't certain which way is up.
If you had hard evidence, not just a purely partisan (that means thinking the worst of somebody's motives because you don't like them)motive, then you would present hard evidence - transcripts, videos, diaries, witnesses.


And by the way - here is an example of you muddying the water:

-"and Colonel Powell now admits his U.N. speech is the most embarrassing moment in his career"-

is not the same as Powell lying or "confessing" to exaggerations. But, you threw it out there as one more thing for the overloaded minds of people to question. Which is pretty disingenuous. Which means you must have gone to law school. . .


Mark -
Democrats saw the SAME INTELLIGENCE - get over it.
The intelligence was not completely right - that's the fault of the intelligence community, NOT the President (Clinton and Bush).
Your argument is with the war and not Bush.
If you make the charge that the Senate did not see the same intelligence - PROVE IT or sit down.

It's one thing to be like Mark and Wisjoe and not like the war for whatever reason - it is DISHONEST and contemptible to make charges about the integrity of another person that you can't prove just because it makes you feel better about your position.

Q. How do these Democrats sleep at night?
A. Very well, as they aren't bothered by petty things like scruples or conscience.

Mark said...

I hope I can quote what Matthew Rothschild said in reference to the line that Ann put in the title of this post:

This is the tattered old Ashcroft card. Bush’s first attorney general, when questioned about his civil liberties infringements, said that such criticisms “only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends.”

But this ploy didn’t work for Ashcroft, and it won’t work for Bush. And it is profoundly un-American.
As citizens, we are entitled to question our President’s policies—and, yes, his truthfulness.


Exactly. And about 57% of the people think that Bush is untrustworthy and lied to get us in the war. Count me among them.

Mark said...

Brent:

You said:
Mark -
Democrats saw the SAME INTELLIGENCE - get over it.
The intelligence was not completely right - that's the fault of the intelligence community, NOT the President (Clinton and Bush).
Your argument is with the war and not Bush.
If you make the charge that the Senate did not see the same intelligence - PROVE IT or sit down.


Let me prove it. It is not even asserted by the White House that the Senate saw the same intelligence. It did not. For example, none of the dissent among the CIA and other intelligence agencies was made available to the Senate. Please check the facts before you state that the Senate saw the same intelligence.
The leading Senators, such as Daschle, Reid, Rockefeller have said that they DID NOT see the same intelligence.

Again, Bush SELECTIVELY shared some of the intelligence with the Senate, but it is precisely the point that ALL of the intelligence was not shared. And the intelligence that was not shared is the one that questioned the accuracy of the claims that Bush made.

Mark said...

Here's more proof that Democrats did not see the same intelligence:

ROCKEFELLER: I mean, one of things that they -- that Chairman Roberts likes to do is to try to point out that there were a lot of Democrats who voted for the -- going to the United Nations, and if that didn't work, going to the war. And then people say, "Well, you know, you all had the same intelligence that the White House had." And I'm here to tell you that is nowhere near the truth. We not only don't have, nor probably should we have, the Presidential Daily Brief, we don't have the constant people who are working on intelligence who are very close to him. They don't release their -- an administration which tends not to release -- not just the White House, but the CIA, DOD [Department of Defense], others -- they control information. There's a lot of intelligence that we don't get that they have.

[...]

FEINSTEIN: As was said, the president gets intelligence that we do not get. The president is the -- White House is the owner of intelligence. We do not see the Presidential Daily Brief. Therefore, it is conceivable that the president would have had information that was not available to the Senate or to the Congress.
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), who served as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also made this point during an appearance on the October 8, 2004, edition of CNN's American Morning:

KERREY: The president has much more access to intelligence than members of Congress does [sic]. Ask any member of Congress. Ask a Republican member of Congress, do you get the same access to intelligence that the president does? Look at these aluminum tube stories that came out the president delivered to the Congress -- "We believe these would be used for centrifuges." -- didn't deliver to Congress the full range of objections from the Department of Energy experts, nuclear weapons experts, that said it's unlikely they were for centrifuges, more likely that they were for rockets, which was a pre-existing use. The president has much more access to intelligence than any member of Congress.

Performing Bear said...

Good politics but bad war.

I never believed the claim that Sadaam --why do we call him by his first name or am I being culturally naive?-- had WMD and I don't think the administration ever believed it nor did the scoundrels in Congress who voted to use force.

After September 11, we needed to kick somebody's ass and as Wolfowitz said at the time: "We can do Iraq" or words to that effect.

The war is a disaster. We're doing more harm than good. We need to spend whatever it takes to shore up the Iraqi government (since we destabilized the country) but our troops should leave.

Goesh said...

-and I still remember Bill Clinton telling Larry King, "we knew he had them (WMD) in 98'" - the real fun begins when Iran has nuclear weapons. The US will have a presence in Iraq for many, many years simply as a means of containment. It will be interesting to see how the Dems justify that.

Mark said...

It's enough to say that Clinton didn't take us into this incredibly disastrous war. Bush did. And he weakened the USA, now noone will have any credibility regarding US intelligence on Iran. And Iran is a much bigger threat to the USA than Iraq ever was.

CharleyCarp said...

When I was 6, I believed in santa Claus. So did everyone else I knew who was 6. Not long after, we all learned that there was no Santa Claus. Now if I had continued writing letters to the North Pole after that, I would have been subject to some ridicule. Would it have been any answer for me to say, but you believed in Santa Claus too?

I understand why the President and his supporters want to keep talking about everyone's state of knowledge in October 2002. Although not exactly equal, it was within a ballpark.

But what was thought to be true in October 2002 was known to be seriously questionable on March 1, 2003. The inspectors had proven that our intelligence was massively flawed -- and while absence of evidence may not always be evidence of absense, if someone tells you that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, and you go there, and there's neither a house nor any sign of a house, surely everything that person has said to you must be called into question.

The IAEA came out before the war and stated, flatly, that Iraq's nuclear program was non-existent. the VP went on Russert's show and said, essentially, 'no, it's there, and we know it.' I'm not saying that the VP was intentionally lying. I am saying that he cannot claim that everyone thought what he thought at that time.

You know, if the Pres and his supporters don't want to keep having this argument, maybe they shouldn't go around restarting it.

Does it matter? I don't know, but I think we're all better off if our public officials acknowledge mistakes, at the least. It may not change what is the best route forward, but, well, if the Pres wants people like me to support his efforts going forward, maybe he ought to admit that a mistake was made. Instead of attacking us.

Brent said...

Mark -
quoting Democrats that have nothing but partisan reasons to say what they say is not proof.

The Presidential daily briefings are not necessarily filled with different - get that - different information. In other (smaller) words - just because the President gets more information on overall intelligence than anyone else in the country DOES NOT MEAN that he received any information contradicting whatever information the Senate got. Get it?

In other words, not ONE shred of information has come forth to say that the President got ANYTHING different in his information than the Senate got in theirs. And, unless he says so, or (fat chance) someone can produce a written, factual statement showing otherwise - there is no proof.


Mark - wishing it doesn't make it so.


The Democrats and their apologists cannot, and let me repeat this - CANNOT - prove that the White House had intelligence telling them anything different about Iraq
(there's that word again - different - that is trouble for lying Democrats) than what the Senate intelligence Committee had.



So, you and the partisans are left with no proof of your shameful allegations. You cannot convince the American public on just the facts, so you must resort to muddying the water with maybe's and, in the case of Kennedy and Reed, going so far as to state that the President "exaggerated and manipulated" - when they have NO PROOF.

People that do this are described in the Old Testament as false witnesses - ones who, while not necessarily "lying", are willing to leave people a false and unprovable impression of someone else. They are despicable human beings that pollute our social fabric.

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness . . .

aidan maconachy said...

Who said this ...?

"Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons."

Clinton back in the 90's.

These daily attacks on Bush on the basis of what was known or not known prior to the Iraq invasion is complete hypocrisy on the part of the Democrats. I could could cite Ted Kennedy and others voicing concerns about WMD and the threat to America posed by Saddam, but that's not my primary object in this post.

My main object is to point out that everything that America stands for is at stake. If the U.S. is forced into a retreat by the tactics of a fascist scumbag like Musab al Zawqari, this would be beyond disastrous, not simply for the future of Iraq and the Middle East ... but it would be a mortal defeat the U.S. would never be able to live down or possibly recover from. This is a critical fight.

Did the Bush people hype the dangers - yes they did - Wolfowitz tacitly admits this by saying that WMD was made the number on bureaucratic priority.

Personally I think they went too far with some of their characterizations of Saddam's capabilities, but at this stage of the game ... with everything that is at stake here ... to try and pull the rug out from under the President and in the process demoralize the troops is beyond disgraceful.

Mistakes have been made. Abhu Ghraib was an appalling mess. Intelligence was flawed. Few honest and objective Republicans would try and whitewash these truths. These mistakes need to be addressed, but for Democrats to try and use these issues to weaken the Presidency at a time of war and weaken the resolve of the troops is the worst type of treachery. Moreover, they are inadvertently empowering Zawqari and co who doubtless check the opinion polls with the eagerness of any American. Al Qaeda in Iraq can see this freefall and it encourages them to kill more American marines in order to quicken the breakdown of the American will.

When I listen to people like Kennedy using the word "quagmire" in his offensive stentorian tones, it frankly makes me sick. If this war is in danger of being lost, the people responsible won't be Zarqawi and associates, it will be politicians in Washington who have shown no honor in their rush to use the above issues for purely partisan purposes.

Brent said...

WOW!

Hard to believe that the following is in tomorrow's (Sat., Nov. 12) Washington Post, but it makes my point for me beautifully.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2005/11/11/AR2005111101832.html

- - - Even harder to believe is that this was written by Dana "always put the article in the most anti-Bush-inference possible" Milbank:

"The administration's overarching point is true: Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements."

- And:
"The lawmakers are partly to blame for their ignorance. Congress was entitled to view the 92-page National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq before the October 2002 vote. But, as The Washington Post reported last year, no more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page executive summary."

Mark said...

Brent,

"In other words, not ONE shred of information has come forth to say that the President got ANYTHING different in his information than the Senate got in theirs. And, unless he says so, or (fat chance) someone can produce a written, factual statement showing otherwise - there is no proof."

RIGHT. By your standard, we would not ever be able to prove that the President gets more information than Congress. It is patently absurd. No matter how many times you repeat false statements, they will not become true. Why would not President than share his PDBs if they completely corroborated his rush to war? Why was he willing to wait till 2004 to get UK on board if that was needed, as was recently reported?


It is beyond belief that anyone would dispute that the President has more access to classified information than members of Congress. President only gave Congressmen what he wanted to give them; they were not privy to all the disputes in the intelligence community and could not possibly have gotten all the information.
Congress does not, DOES NOT, have its own intelligence service. Even if the intelligence analysts were not pressured (although there is substantial evidence that they were despite the Senate's findings; the pressure is not that easy to prove, you know); only the Executive had and has access to the full intelligence.

Now, I am not totally absolving Democrats from their share of blame: a lot of them were way too timid and complicit with the White House. However, it is BUSH who took us to war, the war of choice, of a terrible, terrible choice.

And I am not absolving the press either. Far from the mythical "liberal bias", the press has demonstrated almost absolute complicity and allowed the hyped claims go unchallenged.

But again, the person who is ultimately responsible for taking the USA to war of choice is Bush.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

First, the attacks on the administration are not baseless.

This isn't going to come to a good end.

President Bush's assertion that the Congress had the same amount of information the administration did is simply untrue.

And you know this how? Or rather, and you imagine this why? As people point out, over and over, Congress, the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration, Al Gore, Hans Blix, and on and on, spoke consistently of the same things Bush actually said --- as opposed to the fever dreams that are sometimes ascribed to him now.

Congress was frankly sold the same bill of goods the U.N. was, --- in 1998 when regime change in Iraq became official US policy --- and Colonel Powell --- would that be Secretary Powell, GEN Powell, first black Secretary of State, highest ranking black soldier in history, very nearly the only man ever to serve two terms as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs? why the demotion? --- now admits his U.N. speech is the most embarrassing moment in his career.

Well, I guess I think 9/11 should have been worse, but he's entitled to his opinion.

As a side note, a grant of authority is not equivalent to asking that it be used indiscriminately.

No, but a grant of authority does mean that the authority has been granted. If you don't like it, vote Bush out. ... oh, wait, tried that and it didn't work.

Mark said...

Brent,

You conveniently omitted the next paragraph from the same article. Here it is:

But Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions.

And also:

In addition, there were doubts within the intelligence community not included in the NIE. And even the doubts expressed in the NIE could not be used publicly by members of Congress because the classified information had not been cleared for release. For example, the NIE view that Hussein would not use weapons of mass destruction against the United States or turn them over to terrorists unless backed into a corner was cleared for public use only a day before the Senate vote.


So, while Democrats who voted for the resolution authorizing the use of force certainly have their share of blame, it is not nearly comparable to Bush's share of blame. And the only person in command of ALL intelligence and ALL information was Bush. So, please stop your partisan attacks and deal with the facts.

As someone said long ago, we are each entitled to our own opinion, but not to our own facts.

Mark said...

Some more evidence that the intelligence was manipulated:

As The American Prospect documented in its November 23 edition, W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of the Middle East office of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), cast doubt on the conclusion that intelligence analysts felt no pressure. The Prospect quoted Lang as follows: "The senior guys [Senate investigators] got together and said, 'You guys weren't pressured, right? Right?' " The Prospect also noted that, according to Richard Kerr, a onetime acting CIA director who "led an internal investigation of the agency's failure to correctly analyze Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities," intelligence analysts "were pressured, and heavily so."

Also:
According to an April 19, 2004, Washington Post report by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward, Stuart A. Cohen, acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the time the NIE was being prepared, admitted seeking to "avoid equivocation" in the document wherever possible so it would not amount to "pablum."

Chum said...

Surprised to see this response in the Washingtion post to Bush's speech.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/11/AR2005111101832.html

Charlie (Colorado) said...

it's enough to say that Clinton didn't take us into this incredibly disastrous war.

So what you're saying is

(a) that you believe Clinton, who has consistently said, before and after the war, that he believed Saddam had WMD too, and signed the Iraqi Liberation Act, is therefore a better president because he believed in the threat and didn't act;

(b) that you so lack knowledge of history that you imagine roughly 2500 fatalities in three years of combat, while bringing about the collapse of two enemy governments, enabling fledgling democracies for something like 50 million people, breaking up the lines of supply and communications of our primary adversary, getting at least two major WMD problems to be resolved with no war at all, constitutes an "incredibly disastrous" war; and,

(c) that people can't see the political expediency --- hell, crass opportunism and frank sedition --- of now claiming that Bush was being misleading when he said the same things that Clinton had, and believed the Clinton-appointed DCI when he said it was a "slam dunk"?

Man, is it stupid night tonight or what?

Mark said...

"So what you're saying is

(a) that you believe Clinton, who has consistently said, before and after the war, that he believed Saddam had WMD too, and signed the Iraqi Liberation Act, is therefore a better president because he believed in the threat and didn't act;"

No. I am saying that Clinton, as well as then-General Powell, as well as everyone else prior to Bush's decision to take us into war, believed that the regime of sanctions was the best out of the all policies and that it was working. Hell, it was working much better than the war, as the absence of WMD demonstrated. Again, you are spinning the facts.
(b) that you so lack knowledge of history that you imagine roughly 2500 fatalities in three years of combat, while bringing about the collapse of two enemy governments, enabling fledgling democracies for something like 50 million people, breaking up the lines of supply and communications of our primary adversary, getting at least two major WMD problems to be resolved with no war at all, constitutes an "incredibly disastrous" war;"

No, again. You have a talent for spin, I must admit. First, what is the second "enemy government" that we defeated in the war on Iraq. And please don't equate the war in Afghanistan (totally legitimate) with the war of choice in Iraq. Second, it's great that people of Iraq now have a democracy; it's not so great that the very very limited democracy is only possible due to hundreds of thousands of US troops stationed in Iraq; it's also not great that radical Islam is much more influential in Iraq than it has ever been; it's not so great that Iraq is under a real threat of disintegrating and a civil war; it's not so great that
the USA is almost universally hated in the muslim world. Nobody ever doubted that the USA far superior military will have no problem defeating Iraq which was weakened by the sanctions.
Also, I love the false choice that you present: either a war as it was conducted by Bush or status quo. If Bush was not so stubborn and so intent on his rush to war, all the positive achievements that you listed could have been achieved without disastrous consequences which we have now.

That you can't see despite overwhelming evidence and Chief of Staff Card's admission ("from the marketing point of view, you don't sell war in August" )that Bush used this war for political reasons from the beginning is evidence that it is really a night of stupidity or at least extreme willful blindness.

Mark said...

And you used the term "sedition". If anyone betrayed this country, it is Bush who took the country to war through false pretenses and, most likely, lying. I don't like accusing anyone of treason, but so many of Bush apologetics are willing to equate dissent with "sedition" that it is sickening.

Brent said...

Mark,

I agree wholeheartedly with your earlier point:
"the person who is ultimately responsible for taking the USA to war of choice is Bush." And, Mark, I believe that he was upfront in his reasons for doing so, not at all lying to the American people.

And, you may believe that the quote from Andy Card means that the President wanted to go into Iraq for a long time before he actually did and that he did for political reasons.

Fine. That's fair. But Mark, Im afraid that you are not serving yourself well with your choice of quotes as proof texts that the President lied. Nothing you have used thus far supports in any FACTUAL way the notion that the President lied or exaggerated before going into Iraq.



Please read the quotes thoroughly - nothing in the Washington Post quotes that you cited states that the intelligence community thought that there were NO weapons, only that some intelligence reports disagreed on what KIND of weapons, and what their potential uses might be. Again, the third paragraph in the article said it all:

". . . Intelligence agencies OVERWHELMINGLY BELIEVED that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,. . ."



Stringing together bits and pieces of opinions from partisans doesn't substantiate proof. It merely leads one down the road to conspiracy theories:

--- basing everything on the initial belief that the guy I disagree with is "evil" or "bad", anything is possible from that because the bad guy's motives must be suspect. Then the novice conspiracy theorist begins to connect dots that can't logically or reasonably be connected at all. But that doesn't matter, because, well, I just "know it's true" . . . remember Vince Foster? . . .)



The point I am making is that if you want to oppose the war, or anything that President Bush does, knock yourself out, but please do it honestly, with facts and figures and not in the company of our national embarrassments such as Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy.



These ARE the facts:

1)The Senate had the same intelligence that the President had. Why do we know this? Because:

--- the President said so - why should we not believe him, and instead believe Ted Kennedy (he would never lie?) or Harry Reid (he would never lie?) or John Kerry (he would never lie?) or Steve Clemons (he would never lie?) or anyone that was not in the White House, and cannot give us FACTS otherwise.

--- several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee said that they saw all of the intelligence relating to Iraq.

--- the fact that the President receives more intelligence overall DOES NOT equal DIFFERENT intelligence than what the Seante received. There is no proof that there was any DIFFERENT intelligence.

--- faulty intelligence is not "manipulted intelligence".

--- for every claim of "pressure" on the intelligence community, 3x as many verifications of "no pressure" will come forth. Who gets to judge who is right? Only those that agree with your viewpoint?

2)Senate Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated that they are looking for cover on their votes to support the President's use of force against Iraq, and will do so even unconscionably, without any shame, and seek for partisan advantage to hurt the President, even dishonestly.

Come away from the DARK SIDE, Mark; you're better than that.

EddieP said...

Saddam lied, people died.

Brent said...

Mark,

2 more things . .

just reread a few comments; can't believe I missed your thoughts re: all of these things in Iraq (fledgling Democracy, etc.) could have been achieved without the war. (Am I getting your intent right?), and

You've got to get away from MediaMatters for a little while ... David's easy to tear into for misrepresenting quotes and twisting words - even several liberals I know
don't trust his site to be accurate in it's partial presentations or for Brock to give enough of the full story. One of my liberal friends was completely embarrassed in a friendly debate in her college poli sci class because she had come prepared using info she had taken from Brock's site . . . only to be demolished by a conservative counterpointer who came with the full quotes in context and pointed out that what was said in the quotes she used from the site were wildly out of context. Lot of tears - even though I'm conservative, I felt bad for her.

knoxgirl said...

So here's the way I understand it from the "Bush Lied" crowd:

Democrats are asserting that Bush was privvy to information and intelligence that no one else saw. They are guessing that this information Bush saw said that there were in fact no WMDs.

Even though, by their own admission, they haven't seen this intelligence, and are therefore GUESSING, they are still able to state with certainty that "Bush Lied." ???????

Other than the obvious problems with this point-of-view, what about every other world leader who also believed Saddam had WMDs? Were they all lying? What about Clinton? (And saying "Yeah but Clinton didn't go to war" doesn't answer the question.)

Jeff said...

Nice to see that the know-nothing isolationist wing of the Democratic Party has such vocal proponents on the net.

whit said...

The latest Democrat smear campaign is the same one they tried two years ago - "BUSH LIED." Evidently, their Fitzmas was a huge disappointment and their fall back strategy is to dig up the Al Gore rant, "He betrayed this country." The "venerial old man" of the party, Jimmy (Held Hostage for 400 days) Carter said that the Bush administration's prewar claims of Iraqi WMD were "manipulated, at least."

As far back as 1998 under the Clinton Adminstration, every politician including Clinton, Gore, Albright, Kerry, and Kennedy were saying that Saddam had WMD and was a threat. But George W. Bush, using the same intelligence and after 14 futile months of working with the U.N. and Saddam Hussein, manipulated the intelligence and "lied" to lead the U.S. into war. These people are pathologically deranged. No amount of reason and rationale will work with them. You may as well debate Iraq with a rock. They will readily admit and are quick to point out that our prewar intelligence was flawed but in their dementia, Bush somehow must have gotten "good intelligence" and concealed it so that he could invade Iraq. The Democratic leadership has truly come unhinged and are playing morally despicable, political games in order to destroy the Bush administration.

whit said...

This man would certainly have had access to the same intelligence as George W. Bush and this is what he said:

"We Have To Defend Our Future From These Predators Of The 21st Century. They Feed On The Free Flow Of Information And Technology. They Actually Take Advantage Of The Freer Movement Of People, Information And Ideas. And They Will Be All The More Lethal If We Allow Them To Build Arsenals Of Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons And The Missiles To Deliver Them. We Simply Cannot Allow That To Happen. There Is No More Clear Example Of This Threat Than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His Regime Threatens The Safety Of His People, The Stability Of His Region And The Security Of All The Rest Of Us." (President Clinton, Remarks To Joint Chiefs Of Staff And Pentagon Staff, 2 /17/98)

PatCA said...

"And this line about 'sending the wrong signal to the troops' is amazing in itself. Isn't it very condescending, as if the troops are not being able to figure out what's going on?"

No, it's not condescending, because they know what happened in the Vietnam War. Congress cut off all funding for the war, and the SV regime collapsed immediately. They do not want to fight in a war that Congress will summarily end one day for political purposes.

Yes, knoxgirl, how do they know now what they did not know then, as Rumsfeld might ask. And if they KNOW the president has intelligence they don't, why didn't they ask to see it in the last 12 years of war talk and throwing Tomahawks at Baghdad?

Ross said...

What's with folks on the right so frequently quoting Bill Clinton on the subject of Iraq's WMD? Isn't this the president we impeached on perjury charges? Funny source to lean on their.

I'm hardly in the anti-Bush camp, and I thought at the time that the Iraq was was a good idea. It is also plain in hindsight that it was a mistake provoked by paranoia (justified after 9/11) and incompetence.

I'm not much interested in revisiting history, but I'm amazed at the folks who still serve up all the many reasons why the war was still fully justified, WMD or no. Any sentient American, I think, would agree that we would never have invaded Iraq in March of 2003, knowing even what we knew by July of 2003. The Army and Marine Corps have spent the two and a half years since cleaning up the administration's mistakes.

wildaboutharrie said...

Ross, well said.

Abraham said...

Isn't this the president we impeached on perjury charges? Funny source to lean on their.
The point is to demonstrate that the belief that Saddam possessed WMD was not extraordinary, nor confined to Bush personally, nor even controversial.

Any sentient American, I think, would agree that we would never have invaded Iraq in March of 2003, knowing even what we knew by July of 2003.
Irrelevant. It is not possible, when making difficult decisions, to see into the future and know what the consequences will be. Therefore, judgement as to the merits of the decision cannot rely on information that only later came to be known. You also have to weight the fact that we only have this knowledge because we did go to war. Consider: would we be in a better situation if we did not go to war, but still believed that Saddam had WMD?