Senate to have first closed-door meeting in 25 years



  • http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/01/senate.iraq/index.html

    WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democrats forced the Senate into a closed session Tuesday to pressure the Republican majority into completing an investigation of the intelligence underpinning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    Democrats demanded that Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts move forward on a promised investigation into how Bush administration officials handled prewar intelligence about Iraq’s suspected weapons programs.

    The probe would be a follow-up to the July 2004 Intelligence Committee report that blamed a “series of failures” by the CIA and other intelligence agencies for the mistaken belief among U.S. policymakers that Iraq had restarted its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. (Full story)

    The Senate reopened about two hours later, after members agreed to appoint a bipartisan group of senators to assess the progress of the “Phase 2” probe, the office of Majority Leader Bill Frist said. (See video on Democratic move – 3:05)

    The three Republicans and three Democrats are to report back to Senate leaders by November 14.

    Bombshell from the Dems on the way?


  • Moderator

    Nope, just a bunch of whining.



  • You whine in front of TV cameras.


  • Moderator

    @Yanny:

    You whine in front of TV cameras.

    I don’t get it.

    Oh, do you mean Frist? Yeah that was over doing it a bit.

    I guess the Dems broke protocol with this move shrugs

    It is just a bunch of posterioring.

    The Dems are mad that Fitzgerald didn’t indict Rove and speccifically said in his press conference that this has no bearing on the war.

    Plame WASN’T outted and they Indicted Libby for something else.

    Similar to what happen to Martha Stewart. She wasn’t busted for insider trading but for lying during the investigation or something.



  • This has nothing to do with Valerie Plame and Karl Rove. The Dems want answers for why we were misled into going to War with Iraq.

    Reminds me of the “Spot” act introduced into the House by Abraham Lincoln.

    Question is, will President Bush claim executive privelage if this move actually results in a serious investigation.

    This isn’t posturing. It’s a serious move by a lot of Senators on both sides of the isle (The Dems don’t have enough votes to call a motion of secrecy without Republican support).

    Not only that, but we won’t hear about what goes on. Since 1830, the Senate has only gone secret 3 times. All three were concerning highly sensitive cold-war era paramilitary interventions.

    This is serious stuff.


  • Moderator

    It is posturing.

    If it has been used so infrequently it just shows how desperate the Dems are.

    There was no lying or misleading.

    Why the heck did most of them vote for the war. They all had the same intel. If you are criticizing the CIA methods or how it was run in the 90’s, that is one thing, but to suggest info was made up by the Pres or that he delibrately lied, well that is way off in kookville or MoveOn Land.

    Not everything is a conspiracy theory.



  • @DarthMaximus:

    It is posturing.

    If it has been used so infrequently it just shows how desperate the Dems are.

    There was no lying or misleading.

    Why the heck did most of them vote for the war. They all had the same intel. If you are criticizing the CIA methods or how it was run in the 90’s, that is one thing, but to suggest info was made up by the Pres or that he delibrately lied, well that is way off in kookville or MoveOn Land.

    Not everything is a conspiracy theory.

    So it was all just an honest mistake?


  • Moderator

    I just don’t know where the misleading/lying come in.

    These were all laid out (among others):

    Saddam was in violation of UN resolutions.
    Saddam had shot at US planes.
    Attempted assaination of former US Pres.
    Supported suicide bombers (Hamas) in Israel
    WMD

    Now, I’ll grant you our intel was not great on the WMD but I think it is extremely nieve to think Saddam didn’t want nukes. Now there have been some minor weapons found, but I’m sure they won’t satisfy those opposed to war.

    I just really don’t understand why people have a problem with Saddam being removed.

    I have heard no one overtly defend him or his past actions, yet that is how it comes across.

    I do see people being more mad that the US organized its own “coalition of the willing” and actually removed him.

    Fine, we don’t play nice with the rest of the world. I get it. We are an Economic power, we are a military power, heck were the only superpower left and that leaves many countries on edge. I see that.

    But pick a better fight, then us going into Iraq. I mean Saddam was evil. And all these arguments against what we did, come across as you defending Saddam. That is not a side I’d want to be on.

    Here is an oppurtunity to help not only Iraq and Afghan, but the whole region and all we get is a daily death count and how evil we are.

    How is this supposed to encourage the US to make more substancial efforts (troops) to Sudan or some other grief stricken area, when all we get is grief and a death count.



  • So it was all just an honest mistake?

    The Iraq war was justified by more than just the (now seemingly wrong) WMD issue. But even with them aside, the mature response from the Democrats should be that yes we all had bad intel, but now that we are there we need to fix Iraq before we leave. Its Colin Powells Pottery Barn rule.

    Its ok, even admirable, to look into why the intel was wrong (if it was). But it appears to me that the Democrats are only trying to find a political tool out of this rather than really trying to fix anything. If I am correct then the Democrats won’t be getting my vote because this action does not help me. I’d rather they try to fix what (if anything) went wrong.



  • @DarthMaximus:

    I just don’t know where the misleading/lying come in.

    WMD

    Now, I’ll grant you our intel was not great on the WMD

    Well, let’s say, that’s where the misleading comes in.

    I just really don’t understand why people have a problem with Saddam being removed….
    Fine, we don’t play nice with the rest of the world.

    We don’t have a problem with saddam being removed, we have a problem with the way it was done. The only superpower left decided not play by any rules anymore. That is scaring the world. And with your gov’t thinking in black-or-white terms only, we either have to sneak up your butt or “face the consequences” … of the only superpower which doesn’t play by the rules anymore. Do you like to be blackmailed?

    But pick a better fight, then us going into Iraq.

    Why do i have to pick a fight at all? Why is that necessary?

    And all these arguments against what we did, come across as you defending Saddam. That is not a side I’d want to be on.

    But you know that we do not defend Saddam. There is more than black-or-white. We have a saying here that fits a bit: “to cast out Satan with the help of Beelzebub”

    How is this supposed to encourage the US to make more substancial efforts (troops) to Sudan or some other grief stricken area, when all we get is grief and a death count.

    No, we want you to play by the rules. If you go anywhere just because you think it is “good” doesn’t help.



  • Falk,

    We have a saying here that fits a bit: “to cast out Satan with the help of Beelzebub”

    I’d change your saying. This was the charge the Pharisees had against Jesus for casting out demons. Jesus’ response was “A house divided against itself cannot stand” clearly implying that he was God, not Satan. The implication I draw from your application of this saying is that the West is divided as to how to deal with Saddam and the terrorism threat and therefore will fail. I don’t think you mean that … or perhaps I am misunderstanding your application of this saying.



  • The latter … the saying, as sayings do, is not so closely related to its original meaning (whatever that was) in the bible.
    It is more … well, it usually is usable in conjunction with /as response to “the end justifies the means”:

    You say “well, Saddam was breaking the rules, that is why we took him out”, but in the process, you also broke the rules.



  • It is posturing.

    If it has been used so infrequently it just shows how desperate the Dems are.

    It wasn’t just the Democrats. The Dems couldn’t pass this motion alone.

    Why the heck did most of them vote for the war. They all had the same intel. If you are criticizing the CIA methods or how it was run in the 90’s, that is one thing, but to suggest info was made up by the Pres or that he delibrately lied, well that is way off in kookville or MoveOn Land.

    Why did most of them vote for the war? A) The intelligence presented to them by the President showed a radically different situation than reality B) The intelligence presented to their constituents presented an even more radically different situation from reality. The President used the bully pulpit to get what he wanted.

    Not everything is a conspiracy theory.

    This is beyond a normal conspiracy theory. It’s Congressional investigation territory.

    More on this after my class… or maybe really late tonight. I don’t know my schedule.


  • Moderator

    Well, let’s say, that’s where the misleading comes in.

    That is not misleading, that is bad intel. There is no intent.

    I’m all for fixing the CIA, which I think is starting to be done, but the suggestion of delibrately lying or misleading is too far out there.

    What would be the point of that?

    Everyone knows you can’t keep a secret in Wash, what would Bush gain by trying to fabricate a war?

    Okay, assume no lying or misleading for a second. That means Bush’s gets reelcted in a close election (3% which was no gimmie leading up to it) and approval now is at 40% for a complete legit war.

    Now assume he faked it.

    How does having a 40% approval help? If a legit war pres is at 40% how low would a fake war pres be? How does being at war help someone? It certainly hasn’t help Bush (and that assumes he thought he was doing the right thing)

    Plus if you are going to fake it, why not just plant a couple of make shift dirty bombs in Baghdad?

    Why fake some baloney build up? Just fake some elementary dirty bombs (in the months after the war) and get your approval up to 90%. Have your troops kill Saddam in his rat hole (eliminate witness). Forge some old Saddam documents from the 90’s saying he aquired stuff to make dirty bombs and planning to hit Israel and give to people to hit US.
    I mean people made documents that foold Dan Rather. I think the US could forge some really great stuff.

    I mean go all the way with it.

    It just doesn’t make sense to fake such a stupid part. Plus why would all these people put their butts on the line so late in the careers (Rummy Cheney, not to mention the entire Bush family name - good bye Jeb’s future, any of their children, the Bush 41, etc.), as well as Colin Powell. Why the heck would he go along with knowingly fake stuff?

    It makes no sense. These aren’t stupid people.

    We don’t have a problem with saddam being removed, we have a problem with the way it was done. The only superpower left decided not play by any rules anymore. That is scaring the world.

    But why was the UN so unwilling to back up its resolutions? Oil-for-Food perhaps.
    I think if we had full UN support, Iran, NK and Syria would have all caved by now. Because then what the UN says it means. Now it appears as if we play good cop bad cop, with the UN being the good cop and of course the US being the bad cop. Might not be so bad that way, but I think the UN lost a chance to really step up and show some authority. I’m actually glad the UN didn’t support the war, but that is another thread.

    About the scaring the world, I guess I can see that, but it shouldn’t.

    You shouldn’t get worried until we invade Canada or Mex. As it is, it seems like Mexico is invading the US.

    And with your gov’t thinking in black-or-white terms only, we either have to sneak up your butt or “face the consequences” … of the only superpower which doesn’t play by the rules anymore. Do you like to be blackmailed?

    I think that may be a bit harsh, but it goes both ways, as Dubya owes Blair bigtime. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Welcome to the world of diplomacy.

    Why do i have to pick a fight at all? Why is that necessary?

    Fight was a bad choice of words.

    No, we want you to play by the rules. If you go anywhere just because you think it is “good” doesn’t help.

    But we are always right. 😄


  • Moderator

    Why did most of them vote for the war? A) The intelligence presented to them by the President showed a radically different situation than reality B) The intelligence presented to their constituents presented an even more radically different situation from reality. The President used the bully pulpit to get what he wanted.

    Um, yes. Information by the CIA and other spy organizations. I wasn’t aware Dubya was a spy and actually aquired the information himself then presented it to the Senate.

    I’m for changes in the CIA, btw.

    This is beyond a normal conspiracy theory. It’s Congressional investigation territory

    No, it is based on some conspiracy theory that Bush doctored info on the lead up to war. Or that this Joe Wilson guy is some sort of hero. The guy is a liar sent to Afr by his wife to try and discredit the Pres.
    His lies are document by many Senators including Dems. His testimony is full of holes. He could not disprove the British Intel. That Saddam sought info from Niger. There may have been no sale of nuke material, but there was an inquiry by the Saddam regime.

    That is why there is no Indictement for “outting a CIA Agent”, or why the Prosecutor said this has nothing to do witht he lead up to war.

    Libby was indicted for lying during the process.

    This crushed the Dems, thus lead directly to their posturing yesterday.

    There was already an investigation going on, they pulled this move for show.

    They got some deal that a Bi-Partisen committee will report back before the close of the year (or this session). Whoopeee!

    Why you need a closed door for that…

    Just for show.

    EDIT:

    It wasn’t just the Democrats. The Dems couldn’t pass this motion alone.

    Actually it was. According to the AP, there is no vote when a member asks for a secret session.

    Harry Reid invoke rule 21 (or something) and the room was immediately cleared. no vote.

    The session came to order and about 2 hrs later that deal was reached.

    _When Reid made his move at mid-afternoon, the public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, the TV cameras were turned off and the doors were closed.

    Under Senate rules, no vote is required when a member demands a secret session._

    Furthermore, the investigation was already happening and it was just about this phase 2 report or something.

    Roberts’ committee produced a 511-page report in 2004 on flaws in an Iraq intelligence estimate assembled by the country’s top analysts in October 2002, and he promised a second phase would look at issues that couldn’t be finished in the first year of work.

    It was all for show (due to lack of indictments and failing Dem platform).
    The report was out in 2004, and there is supposed to be a follow-up, phase 2.

    Which they will now report on Nov. 14 (I guess), I think that was the “deal” that was reached.

    Why this needed a secret session… shrugs



  • First, a quick response. Bush didn’t back Blair, and that has led to talk of an early UK withdrawal, and two months later, talk of an US withdrawal next year. Remember, during the G8 summit, Blair wanted to shift the focus solidly towards debt relief for Africa and environmental issues. He believed that his support for the US would persuade Bush to support initiatives which kind of went against US policy (especially the environmental stuff). When the White House made the announcement that they would not buy into the agenda, that same day the newspapers reported a UK commander in Iraq talking about withdrawal. The interesting question is why doesn’t Bush play by the diplomatic game? I tend to think it’s because he’s driven by a particular vision that sees participation in Iraq not as assistance, but as a necessity.

    Anyway, the Democrats are posturing to an extent. Bush is weak, and this action forces the political agenda, and the political momentum, on a principle source of that weakness. However, I am nevertheless glad that some action is being taken on this front. Part of cleaning up politics is acknowledging mistakes and preventing them from happening again. In this instance, while I don’t think Bush felt his was deceiving the US public, his famous trust for close advisors certainly blinded him to the genuine picture of US intelligence on Iraq. That, to my mind, is equally as disastrous a situation as deliberate misrepresentation, and indeed, here it has the exact same effect. In the absence of a truly independent investigation into this (and the Bush administration has never trusted independent investigations - see the Plame case), the Democrats have a pretty strong justification for taking this route, regardless of political motivation. I don’t believe that the political aspect negates the need for reform in this instance.

    Also, I tend to think this IS the best step that Democrats, or better, anti-war leaders, could take. A genuine disengagement from Iraq will require international support, and that won’t occur until a thorough house cleaning is put into effect. Also, it’ll likely involve firing some top officials, like Rumsfeld. Even the Economist, which was a famously pro-war British publication, wants Rumsfeld gone in the wake of Abu Ghraib and the opportunity presented to Bush at this juncture to clean up. To do that, there needs to be a comprehensive investigation of the process leading up to war, and the many failures along the way. Whether this is a first step, or just a one-off showcase, remains to be seen, but in any event, I think on balance this will help the war effort. After all, insurgents aren’t invigorated, and they don’t recruit from, those individuals who watch US news programs and think that the protests in the US display a sign of military weakness. Instead, they recruit from those individuals who decry the hypocrisy of US actions, and reform, no, democratic reform, is vital in defusing that source of criticism and recruitment.

    Darth - I find problems with a number of the claims you’re making. First off, you made a comment that attacking the execution of the Iraq war makes it seem like one is defending Saddam, and that’s not a side to be on. While I think you’re point does show a problem with how the political debate is going, I don’t think it’s right to fault a critique of the Iraq war for how other people - notably pro-war individuals - perceive him. That implies a problem on the part of the pro-war individuals, in that they cannot treat the critic’s arguments fairly.

    Secondly, I don’t necessarily think your depiction of how a deliberate deception would run is all that illuminating. However, I, like you, don’t think that Bush was deliberately misleading people. It’s another problem, but still, I think we agree there. To state it quickly, some of the things you propose the US could do just wouldn’t be believed, and others, well, the US probably doesn’t have the capability to do it. For example, the UN inspection program had lots of evidence about the Iraq NBC weapons programs and their delivery systems. Could the US manufacture a Scud missile that UNSCOM didn’t have records of? It’s unlikely, given both the manufacturing capability (you’d have to have a plant that actually could build one), the possibility of leaks (any sort of operation along that lines would involve a lot of people, one of whom would raise doubts), and runs up against international norms (like, say, the deliberate misuse of nuclear material, which is monitored by the IAEA).

    Finally, don’t forget that this was fundamentally a war of choice. Bush is dead wrong when he calls the war a pre-emptive one. Outside of the debunked British report, there really wasn’t evidence that Iraq had an imminent capability. Rather, this was preventive war, which runs against many traditions of appropriate military engagement (just war, for example), and other countries certainly picked up on that.


  • Moderator

    Chengora,

    But I find it equally disaterous that the UN was so willing to go along with “no invasion” when the Oil-for-Food program was such a good scam for them.

    People can question Bush’s motives for war all you want.

    But likewise I will question the motives of those who sit in powerful seats in the UN who didn’t.

    That implies a problem on the part of the pro-war individuals, in that they cannot treat the critic’s arguments fairly.

    No they fail to realize there was MORE THAN one reason for the war.

    Finally, don’t forget that this was fundamentally a war of choice. Bush is dead wrong when he calls the war a pre-emptive one. Outside of the debunked British report, there really wasn’t evidence that Iraq had an imminent capability. Rather, this was preventive war, which runs against many traditions of appropriate military engagement (just war, for example), and other countries certainly picked up on that.

    Bush always said “we can’t wait until Saddam has these capabilities”. He never said he had nukes. He said we can’t wait until he gets them. Too many people gloss over this.

    Why is it so hard to think he wanted nukes. Why does Iran or NK want them. Deterence. We must prevent regimes like this from getting them.

    I think (a nuclear) Saddam probably posed more of a threat to Israel, like Iran. For me that is enough of a justification. Israel is our friend and we should do whatever it takes to help them (assuming they want our help).



  • No they fail to realize there was MORE THAN one reason for the war.

    WMD’s were a necessary and sufficient reason for Congress to approve the Use of Force resolution. Everything else was window dressing. Necessary, because Congress never would have given bush the power to invade a country that had no weapons to attack us with. Sufficient, because after 9/11, people were terrified of the idea of another nation with A) the desire to attack us B) links to Al Qeuda, and C) had stockpiles of chemical/biological weapons and were close to getting nuclear weapons. Remember Bush talking about not waiting for “the smoking gun to turn into a mushroom cloud”? If Iraq had A,B, and C, then we had to take them out before they could attack us.

    That was the theory, at least 😉


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes good post Mary… and because of the current “modern” international policy of giving the enemy a million chances for redemption. Id say this “lie” is an excellent method to perform the task that was necessary. Yes i believe it was a Lie, but its a good method to trick the masses of ignorants who are against war for any reason any time. They should never be allowed to shape public policy and as such the enlightened few that understand the reality must make the decisions on our behalf. In this case we accept a certian degree of “propaganda” in order to forward American interests in spite of ourselves which are largely ignorant hysterical masses living paycheck to paycheck without the proper tools for reflection and study coming up with solutions that only fit their shallow daily needs. We cant rely on their imparted “wisdom”.



  • Thanks for the responses. I don’t think I’ve written this much in one day for this forum.

    Anyway, it’s certainly fair to question the UN’s motives, although as I have stated elsewhere, it’s not exactly accurate to view the Security Council as a monolithic body. After all, China would almost definitely have vetoed action, but not because they were necessarily part of oil for food. In addition, I don’t think that Security Council members opposed US action based purely on the kickback they were getting. There are a bunch of other issues that come into play there. Like, wouldn’t you get more money if you were on the US side and raking in the contracting projects? Or, who really had direct oversight into the money-making scheme? Notice that companies made the majority of money from oil for food, but the connection between that and direct political influence is tenuous, or at least, it hasn’t been fully established.

    And I stand by my assertion about pro-war individuals not treating the critic’s arguments fairly. Whether there are additional reasons that haven’t been addressed by a critic doesn’t have any bearing on the power or accuracy of a particular criticism. You can claim that they haven’t taken enough factors into account, yes. But don’t make the methodological mistake in saying that because A makes X statement, A appears to support Y position, as perceived by B. Because Y position is a bad one, X contention is therefore not good. That engages the perception resulting from criticism, not the criticism itself, which is not fair nor logical to the critic and, in fact, displays a weakness of analysis on the part of B.

    Now, you’re correct, there were additional reasons for Bush’s decision to go to war. But that wasn’t the one that was touted at the UN or as the main reason in the run-up to the war. And it is insufficient in my mind to switch between reasoning that appears suited for the moment, especially when what you are doing is waging a war. Is this a war to remove Saddam? Is it because he has weapons of mass destruction? Is it to improve the lives of the Iraqi people? These all imply fundamentally different strategic objectives, economically, politically, and militarily, and to switch between them pell mell creates enormous difficulties in selling an action to international actors (look at Powell), as well as those closer to home.

    Even in your own post you have some difficulties to disaggregate. You argue that Saddam wanted nukes. I agree, although I disagree that he was going to get them anytime soon. However, you go further in stating that the US “must prevent regimes like this from getting them.” Moreover, you appear to add an additional qualifier, in that if an ally is threatened by a potential change in the regional balance of power, then the US has a prerogative to address that issue. The issue at hand is much larger than you acknowledge however. Why for example should India and Pakistan be allowed to go nuclear, and more problematic, why should overtures be made to India to allow it to join the legal club of nuclear powers? What makes them special necessarily? Whereas most Americans see Saddam as an immediate security issue, other states saw him as a nuclear non-proliferation issue, if that. The question comes down to a semi-bastardization of humanitarian intervention: what gives the US the right to decide when something is a security risk, endanger the international community, etc., etc.? Much more complex issues from that perspective.

    And, to turn to the question of prevention v. pre-emption. Bush was always vague about Saddam’s capabilities: he had to because he didn’t really know (although he believed in certain things, but that’s another issue). The international norm is that war should be a (near) last resort. However, in the absence of an imminent capability, and in the absence of any diplomatic moves to verify that, then US action is preventive, not pre-emptive, which opens the door to all sorts of measures short of war that could have been attempted. Walzer talks about beefing up the inspections regime, really putting US backing to it and calling out offending nations, like France, etc. In the absence of this sort of measure, US action just seems paranoid. Does this prerogative mean the US can intervene anywhere on such a thin pretext? These are the questions that make people scared and upset, and short of any concrete measure to embed power within international institutions, it’s no wonder that many people don’t trust US motives. After all, I gather from your posts that you feel America’s actions and motives are generally trustworthy. But give me a good reason for any non-American to think that. To use a metaphor (and I really don’t like doing that), when the wolves watch themselves, it’s the sheep who lose.



  • Just gotta respond to IL’s last post.

    1. Lies to appeal to a domestic audience might hurt you in an international one, making this a bad policy.

    2. Who determines who the enlightened few are?

    3. What happens when the enlightened few disagree about the nature of US interests?

    4. Whose relatives are affected or even die for the vision of the enlightened few, and why should they then not get a say in what’s happening, or to know the truth of what’s going on?

    Answer that satisfactorily, and maybe I’ll consider letting people in a democratic society abrogate their responsibilities as citizens to be engaged politically. 🙂


  • Moderator

    This is why this is posturing.

    I just wanted to post this: These are all Dems, and I bolded those from the 90’s before Bush was ever in office. Were all of these people lying as well. Well, some of them are from the Clinton admin…

    **October 9th, 1999 Letter to President Clinton Signed by Senators Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski, Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry – all Democrats

    “We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”**

    **Bill Clinton, February 17th, 1998

    “If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”**

    John Kerry, January 23rd, 2003

    “Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator leading an impressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he’s miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. His consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction.”

    **Sandy Berger February 18th, 1998

    “He’'ll use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has 10 times since 1983.”**

    **Madeleine Albright, February 1st, 1998

    “We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”**

    Senator Carl Levin September 19th, 2002

    “We begin with a common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”

    **Nancy Pelosi December 16th, 1998

    “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”**

    Senator Carl Levin September 19th, 2002

    “We begin with a common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”

    Al Gore September 23rd, 2002

    “We know that he has stored nuclear supplies, secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”

    Senator Hillary Clinton, October 10th of 2002

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock. His missile delivery capability, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including Al-Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

    John Kerry October 9th, 2002

    “I will be voting to give the president of the US the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”

    Ted Kennedy September 27th, 2002

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”

    **Madeleine Albright November 10th, 1999

    “Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”**

    Robert Byrd October 3rd, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of '98. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.”

    Jay Rockefeller October 10th, 2002

    “There was unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember that we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”

    Al Gore, September 23rd, 2002

    “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

    Senator Bob Graham December 2002

    “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has and has had for a number of years a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”


  • Moderator

    Exerpts from the Silberman Report: (March 2005)

    _Below are excerpts from the Report to the President by The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction – also known as the Silberman-Robb Report – which make it clear that allegations that intelligence was warped or manipulated are false. Below are some specific findings from the report which came out in March 2005:

    (i) “Many observers of the Intelligence Community have expressed concern that Intelligence Community judgments concerning Iraq’s purported WMD programs may have been warped by inappropriate political pressure… The Commission has found no evidence of ‘politicization’ of the Intelligence Community’s assessments concerning Iraq’s reported WMD programs. No analytical judgments were changed in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion.” – Intelligence Capabilities Commission Report, pages 187-188.

    (ii) “We looked very closely at that question [Administration pressuring intelligence analysts]. Every member of the commission was sensitive to the number of questions that have been raised with respect to the, what we’ll call politicization, or however you want to describe it. And we examined every single instance that had been referred to, in print or otherwise, to see if there was any occasion where a member of the administration or anyone else had asked an analyst or anybody else associated with the intelligence community to change a position that they were taking or whether they felt there was any undo influence, and we found absolutely no instance.” – Charles S. Robb, Co-Chairman, The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, March 31 press conference.

    (iii) “The Intelligence Community’s Iraq assessments were … riddled with errors. Contrary to what some defenders of the Intelligence Community have since asserted, these errors were not the result of a few harried months in 2002. Most of the fundamental errors were made and communicated to policymakers well before the now-infamous NIE of October 2002, and were not corrected in the months between the NIE and the start of the war. They were not isolated or random failings. Iraq had been an intelligence challenge at the forefront of U.S. attention for over a decade. It was a known adversary that had already fought one war with the United States and seemed increasingly likely to fight another. But, after ten years of effort, the Intelligence Community still had no good intelligence on the status of Iraq’s weapons programs.” – Intelligence Capabilities Commission Report Overview, page 9.

    (iv) “Post-war investigations concluded that Curveball’s [the code-name of an Iraqisource] was not influenced by, controlled by, or connected to, the INC [Iraqi National Congress]. In fact, over all, CIA’s post-war investigations revealed that INC-related sources had a minimal impact on pre-war assessments.” – Intelligence Capabilities Commission Report Overview, page 108.

    (v) “The NIE simply didn’t communicate how weak the underlying intelligence was. This was, moreover, a problem that was not limited to the NIE. Our review found that after the publication of the October 2002 NIE but before Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 2003 address to the United Nations, intelligence officials within the CIA failed to convey to policymakers new information casting serious doubt on the reliability of a human intelligence source known as ‘Curveball.’ This occurred despite the pivotal role Curveball’s information played in the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Iraq’s biological weapons programs, and in spite of Secretary Powell’s efforts to strip every dubious piece of information out of his proposed speech. In this instance, once again, the Intelligence Community failed to give policymakers a full understanding of the frailties of the intelligence on which they were relying.” – Intelligence Capabilities Commission Report Overview, pages 10-11._

    Download Report here:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/wmd/


  • Moderator

    Chengora,

    And I stand by my assertion about pro-war individuals not treating the critic’s arguments fairly.

    Because they are cherry picking.
    As I posted above, Dems believed the same thing all the way back to 98.

    Why the sudden change?

    Because Bush is in office and the anti war kooks have hi-jacked the Dem party.
    Heck, Cindy Shehan has even called out Hillary. Not smart.

    Now, you’re correct, there were additional reasons for Bush’s decision to go to war. But that wasn’t the one that was touted at the UN or as the main reason in the run-up to the war. And it is insufficient in my mind to switch between reasoning that appears suited for the moment, especially when what you are doing is waging a war. Is this a war to remove Saddam? Is it because he has weapons of mass destruction? Is it to improve the lives of the Iraqi people? These all imply fundamentally different strategic objectives, economically, politically, and militarily, and to switch between them pell mell creates enormous difficulties in selling an action to international actors (look at Powell), as well as those closer to home.

    Selling it, is not an issue.
    If there are 10 reasons and 1000 people believe Reason 1 is the most important and you believe reason 7 is, it doesn’t diminsh anything.

    Al Capone was arrested for Taxes, not for all teh killing he did. It doesn’t make his arrest any less.

    Getting Saddam for UN violations doesn’t diminsh the failure to find an armed nuke pointed at the US.

    That is why you list multiple reasons. Happens all teh time in law enforcement.

    Heck we can get so and so for murder but we can get him on….

    what gives the US the right to decide when something is a security risk, endanger the international community, etc., etc.?

    The US has every right to defend itself as it sees fit. As does any other country. And in the US’s case it take congressional approval to “declare war” and the Pres got a blank check from Congress post 9-11.

    As I’ve said before, if Democrats have issues they should take it up with their Senators who voted for it. Don’t be mad at Bush when he uses the authority that they gave him.

    But give me a good reason for any non-American to think that.

    Cause if you don’t we’ll invade!!! Muhuahahhahahaha! 😄

    That’s a joke.



  • @Imperious:

    Yes good post Mary… and because of the current “modern” international policy of giving the enemy a million chances for redemption. Id say this “lie” is an excellent method to perform the task that was necessary. Yes i believe it was a Lie, but its a good method to trick the masses of ignorants who are against war for any reason any time. They should never be allowed to shape public policy and as such the enlightened few that understand the reality must make the decisions on our behalf.

    this is another BS straw man argument. There are many people around the world who did not have nearly as serious a problem with Gulf I and Afghanistan.
    You are really reaching, so you generate BS arguments that you can “conquer”. Congratulations - i too can beat up on a 5 year old and pretend that it’s Mike Tyson. It amounts to the same thing.

    In this case we accept a certian degree of “propaganda” in order to forward American interests in spite of ourselves which are largely ignorant hysterical masses living paycheck to paycheck without the proper tools for reflection and study coming up with solutions that only fit their shallow daily needs. We cant rely on their imparted “wisdom”.

    the problem is you try to suck other countries into the vortex of violent stupidity with you. I think most of the rest of the world who did NOT answer Bush’s plea to help him is pretty relieved that they did not waste the precious lives of their citizens for your propaganda. It’s too bad about Spain, Britain, Australia tho’.


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