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Walter Pincus weighs in on Bush's bullshit recollections on Iraq

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 03:16 PM
Original message
Walter Pincus weighs in on Bush's bullshit recollections on Iraq
Pincus was a bright light during the Bush years, and came out with any number of incredibly important reports on the Bush administration's bullshitting on the Iraq war, both pre- and post-invasion.

He's weighed in again.

===

Bush memoir makes selective use of Iraq data
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, November 15, 2010; 6:51 PM

In his memoir "Decision Points," former president George W. Bush passionately defends his 2003 decision to invade Iraq, citing, among other things, a Jan. 27, 2003, report to the U.N. Security Council by Hans Blix, the Swedish director of the U.N. inspectors who had spent two months looking for Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. But Bush makes selective use of Blix's January report, citing elements that support the idea that Hussein was not cooperating and leaving out parts that indicate his government was. More to the point, however, Bush fails to mention two subsequent Blix pre-invasion reports in February and early March, weeks before U.S. bombs struck Baghdad. Those show Iraq cooperating with inspectors and the inspectors finding no significant evidence that Hussein was hiding WMD programs.

A bit of context: In summer and fall 2002, Bush had to be talked into going to the United Nations for a new resolution that, when passed in November 2002, called on Iraq to submit a "currently accurate, full and complete declaration" of WMD. It also opened the way for Blix to begin inspections where, as Bush writes, "the burden of proof rested with Saddam. The inspectors did not have to prove that he had weapons. He had to prove he did not." Bush's goal for the U.N. inspections was described to Bob Woodward by Bush during an on-the-record interview on Dec. 10, 2003, in the residence portion of the White House. Bush told Woodward, according to a transcript, that he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair "have crafted a very intrusive inspection regime . . . which Blair and I were hoping would cause there to be a crumbling within the regime." That did not happen.

(snip)

In one of several passages in the book where he questions his decisions, Bush writes that he should have pushed harder on the intelligence, but adds, "at the time the evidence and logic pointed in the other direction." His most interesting personal reflection follows: "If Saddam doesn't actually have WMD, I asked myself, why on earth would he subject himself to a war he most certainly will lose?" Hussein did not have those weapons and the inspections were beginning to show it, but neither Bush nor most Americans at the time were prepared to accept the idea that it is almost impossible to prove a negative.

The rest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Well worth a read.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rehistorize.

I'm the rehistorizer.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Honesty is not a Republicon Family Value. Smirk." - xCommander AWOL
Edited on Tue Nov-16-10 03:29 PM by SpiralHawk
"About this little honesty thingy you Americans are all honked off about: you just need to get over it and start learning to luv the Republicon Way. Bwaaaa ha ha ha ha. Smirk."

- xCommander AWOL (R)
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Bush not prepared to accept the idea . . .
Oh, there were plenty of people (and Pincus was one of them) who were well aware that Bush was demanding that Saddam had to prove a negative, that he didn't have offensive weapons capability, a rank impossibility. We hollered at the leading lights in the media until we were blue in the face. We knew that it was going to be horribly expensive and wasteful, and that it would drag on for years. The only tempering thought I recall having was that maybe, just maybe, it would be a quick incursion, and we'd be in and out very quickly. Fool's gold, to be sure, but the best rationale I could come up with.

The leading "responsible" voices in the media? They couldn't shake their pom-poms hard enough. Everyone from the heads of the news divisions down to the lowliest stringer was preoccupied with making his or her professional credibility as a "war" correspondent, braving the dangers of combat with hard-hitting reports from the field of our star-spangled fightin' men and women makin' the world safe for freedom!

Seven and a half years later, we're at the bottom of a deep hole, still digging. But the Very Serious People all still have their phony baloney jobs, and by mutual agreement, nobody's being prosecuted for war crimes or crimes against humanity because Iran's better off with Saddam removed from power, the one and only allowable metric.
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BlueJac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. the world is better off without GW Bush too!
but the rest of the punks are still running the wars!
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. And,
there were plenty of US, braving brisk winds and a wind chill factor in the teens, marching in protest of this illegal invasion of a sovereign country.

Each and every time I hear someone call this travesty a 'war,' I assert that this was indeed an illegal invasion of a sovereign country.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-10 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. I Cannot Believe Bush Used ANY Data
That's far too "reality based" for him. It was either a lucky guess, or somebody else did the reading...
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dreamnightwind Donating Member (863 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Corroborative data only need apply
To people like Bush, data is something you use to support an already formulated action or opinion, not something you use for analysis.
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-10 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. Reporting by Richard Clark and Paul O'Neill tells us that Iraq was on the table as
a target on day one. Even before...apparently Cheney's energy task force had a map on the wall that divided up Iraq's oil fields.

I don't understand why obvious lies have to stand in mainstream public discourse. Where is the national news analysis? Where are the current and ex dem leaders that know the truth?
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