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Bushfire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:31 PM
Original message
Senator Prods Bush on Prewar Iraq Claims
By WILLIAM C. MANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) could make the controversy over the now-infamous 16 words of his State of the Union address go away by telling Americans whether the speech's justification for war was exaggerated, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday.

"It's just a question of was it right, or was it wrong?" Sen. Jay Rockefeller said.

He said the question is not whether Bush tried to mislead by using suspect British government information that Iraq (news - web sites) sought to buy uranium in Africa, and that Democrats should not personalize or politicize the argument.

"Intelligence is the basis now of war-fighting," Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said on "Fox News Sunday." Because of that, he said, "it's very important to intelligence to say that facts really do matter, they count, they have to be accurate."

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. But the question IS about misleading the people!
Why is JR pussyfooting around? The Shrub and his minions wanted this war before they were in power. They were out to take any intelligence they found and distort it to reach their ends. This goes way beyond politics. This involves the lives of thousands, and the shaking up of the structure of world government.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think Rockefeller
wants Bush to admit he was wrong. This admission would damage Bush.

But intelligence really involves collecting lots of information and then making a best guess about the preponderance and the accuracy of the information.

The Bush administration is at fault because it was not objective when it looked at intelligence.

It had already decided to go to war and just looked for intelligence to support that position. When reliable intelligence wasn't there, it pressured the CIA to say that the unreliable intelligence it had was trustworthy.

Long story short, Bush lied.

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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Right or wrong?
Bush can't say right. It wasn't. Bush can't say wrong. It was, but he never takes blame. Daddy pays someone to do that.

Bush can't say "it's a gray area." Too nuanced.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, this is just another move in a chess game.
If * admits the intelligence was wrong, JR and others will say that perhaps we should rethink our pre-emptive attack foreign policy until we can be sure the intelligence is correct, or else the Congress will be much less likely to accept such a policy. He's angling for more/better oversight.

It makes you wonder- the VERY FIRST time we invoke the so-called pre-emptive threat strategy, it turns out to be fucked up. But of course, they are trying hard to NOT admit that it was fucked up, so JR et al will keep chipping away at the foundations of that strategy until it starts to crumble.
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DrBB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yup. Would also require investigations
...into his other statements, further demands for admissions, etc. Which is why Rove is employing the (loser, IMO) strategy of stonewalling--he doesn't see anything good down this road. Which means that JR is only speaking in a way that looks ultra-reasonable while highlighting the fact that the other guys are unreasonably stonewalling. It's a good move, keeps the pressure on.
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diplomats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes
and there's no way Bush would ever accept blame/responsibility so this is a smart move by Rockefeller. Plus, he's right. Bush would kill the controversy if he simply said, "I screwed up." But that will never happen in a million years.
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Bushfire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. 9/11 intelligence is equally "dubious"
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 04:02 PM by Bushfire
no names of 19 hijackers on flight manifests

several hijackers still alive

Atta passport conveniently found near WTC rubble - plant?

flight training manuals conveniently found at Boston Logan airport parking structure - plant?

DNA evidence at Pentagon doesn't prove any Arabs on flight

no video of hijackers in any of the departing airports, Atta was filmed at Maine airport connection to Boston.

etc, etc.

on edit: grammer
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young_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. Quit talking about "intelligence"
The Cheney energy papers (released after how many months?) show that Iraq's oil fields occupied a lot of time and attention way before 9/11. The intelligence issue is a major charade.
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Just posted something in another thread. There was never any intel
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 05:10 PM by Tinoire
Just posted something about this in a thread about Madeleine Albright. There was never any intel justifying this war!

Clinton REFUSED to go to war against Iraq despite all the pressure put on him from many quarters. It was after his final refusal, based on lack of internationally legal justification and total lack of support in the US, that he was hounded over that ridiculous blow-job. Is this why the "foreign embassy" was bugging his phones? To blackmail him into going to war? Because it was immediately after his refusal that Clinton was trotted out in front of world TV and publicly humiliated (and punished for his refusal) over a ridiculous blow-job! WHAT A GREAT MAN! To have risked, braved, endured that, rather than pouncing on Iraq WITH NO JUSTIFICATION and bringing the eternal SHAME that George Bush (BOTH OF THEM!) have brought to this country! ((Blood pressure up several points right now! :) )

Some members of Congress put pressure on Clinton for the US to be even harsher with Iraq and support the opposition even more. Appropriating Iraq regardless of the cost or reason was these guys only concern! Look at this letter:

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

August 11, 1999

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As the principal proponents of last year's Iraq Liberation Art, we are writing to express our dismay over the continued drift in U.S. Policy toward Iraq.

We were greatly encouraged by your decision last October to sign the Iraq Liberation Act, which established as an objective of U.S . foreign policy the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime, and we welcomed your pledge last November 15th to work with Congress to implement the Act. We were also pleased with the execution of Operation Desert Fox last December, and the continued commitment of your Administration following the conclusion of that Operation to fully enforce the no- fly zones over northern and southern Iraq.

Since the beginning of this year, however, we have noted signs of a reduced priority in U.S. policy toward Iraq. The last six months have been notable more for what has not happened rather than for what has been achieved. In particular, we are dismayed by the following:

International inspections no longer constrain Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs. Up to and during Operation Desert Fox, Administration officials expended considerable energy explaining to the international community, Congress, and the American people why it was necessary to use force to compel Saddam to submit to comprehensive international inspections. Without inspections, we were told, Saddam could begin to reconstitute his WMD capability within a matter of weeks. Operation Desert Fox was necessary to compel him to stop obstructing inspections. Since Operation Desert Fox, however, there have been no inspections at all. Now, rather than emphasize the danger that Iraq's WMD programs may be reconstituted, Administration officials apparently claim that they have "no evidence" that Saddam is reconstituting his capabilities. (((OMG SO GLAD I FOUND THIS LETTER!))) In fact, there is considerable evidence that Iraq continues to seek to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction. The whole point of Operation Desert Fox was that we could not afford to wait until Saddam reconstituted his WMD capabilities. If international security could be assured by waiting until we find evidence that Saddam- has developed weapons of mass destruction and responding to the threat at that time, there would have been no need for Operation Desert Fox.
The President
August 11, 1999
Page Two

The Administration is not giving the Iraqi opposition the political support it needs to seriously challenge Saddam. While Administration spokesmen sometimes have expressed support for the Iraq Liberation Act, all too often they distanced themselves from, if not ridiculed, the policy you endorsed last November 15th. In this regard, the views of General Zinni, Commander-in-Chief of the Central Command, are well-known. More recently, a senior State Department official was quoted in the Washington Post saying of the opposition "these are the day-after guys. These are not the guys who are going to put a bullet in the head of Saddam Hussein." In fact, the members of the democratic opposition need to be supported as the "today" guys -- unless it is the intention of the Clinton Administration to send U.S. ground troops in to achieve the U.S. policy objective of removing the Saddam Hussein regime from power. Instead of permitting senior officials to denigrate the opposition, the Administration should be seeking to enhance the opposition's political legitimacy by receiving its officials at the highest level and supporting its efforts to convene meetings inside Iraq, in the United States and elsewhere. The Administration is not giving the Iraqi opposition the material support it needs to seriously challenge Saddam. To achieve the objective of removing Saddam, the opposition will require not only more political support from the United States than it has received so far, but also more material support. To date, of the $8 million appropriated in last year's omnibus appropriations act to assist the opposition, less than $500,000 has been used to support activities carried out by the opposition. Most of the rest of this money is being spent on such things as academic conferences, community outreach projects, and conflict management programs that will do little or nothing to expedite the demise of Saddam's regime. Notwithstanding these expenditures, we understand that as much as $1 million of this aid may be returned to the Treasury at the end of this fiscal year. Further, the opposition has received no assistance whatsoever from the $97 million in military assistance made available under the Iraq Liberation Act. The Administration has begun to plan an initial drawdown under the Iraq Liberation Act, but has signaled Saddam that he has nothing to fear by emphasizing that the drawdown will be "nonlethal" in nature. Reportedly it will include photocopiers, computers, and fax machines, as well as training in such areas as accounting and flood management. In providing authority for military drawdown, it was our intention to train and equip a force dedicated to bringing democracy to Iraq.
The Administration is not willing to deliver assistance to the opposition inside Iraq. In addition to withholding from the Opposition the most useful forms of assistance, the Administration has ruled out delivering assistance to the opposition inside Iraq. Delivering such assistance inside Iraq might violate U.N. sanctions, we are told. U.N. sanctions cannot present a legal problem under U.S. law, inasmuch as the Iraq Liberation Act authorizes the provision of assistance under the act "notwithstanding any other
The President
August 11, 1999
Page Three

provision of law." To find a legal problem under international law, it is necessary to overlook the fact that the purpose of U.N. sanctions is to weaken Saddam. It is further necessary to ignore the U.N. Security Council resolutions, including 688 and 949, that authorize action to protect the Kurdish and other minorities in Iraq and provide the foundation under international law for our continued enforcement of no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq. If it does not violate U.N. sanctions for coalition aircraft to bomb targets inside Iraq, it should not violate UN. sanctions to deliver munitions and other assistance to the opposition for use against targets inside Iraq. And certainly the delivery of non-lethal forms of assistance inside Iraq, especially humanitarian assistance, should not violate U.N. sanctions.

The Administration is, not willing to give appropriate security assurances to anti-Saddam Iraqis, including the Kurds and Shi'a. The Kurdish and Shi'a population of Iraq has paid a horrible price for resisting Saddam's rule. To provide a measure of protection to these groups, the northern and southern no-fly zones were established in 1991 and 1992. More recently, Secretary Albright extended U.S. security assurances to the Kurds last September in order to facilitate the reconciliation agreement between Kurdish groups. On July 7th of this year, the Executive Council of the Iraqi National Congress asked the Administration for additional security assurances in order to make possible an Iraqi National Assembly meeting in northern Iraq. The opposition did not ask for a commitment of U.S. ground forces or other specific guarantees. Nevertheless, in a letter dated July 29th, Acting Secretary of State Strobe Talbott rejected this request. We believe this decision should be reconsidered. The United States already is committed to providing security for the Kurds and Shi'a of Iraq. To specifically deny a request from the opposition for assurances that would, in their words, "show that the United States is committed to a change of government in Iraq, " sends a dangerous signal. This sign of irresolution can only tempt Saddam to once again move against the Kurds and Shia.
We are dismayed by these developments. We do not believe, however, that it is too late to reverse the drift in U.S. policy and regain the momentum that our nation had last year. We respectfully propose an action plan consisting of the following four key elements:

1. Set a deadline for the reinstitution of meaningful international inspections of Saddam's WMD programs in the near future, while ensuring that Saddam is not rewarded for complying with his international obligations. Make clear that serious consequences will ensue if the deadline is not met. This could mean, among other things, further military action against WMD-related facilities and other targets central to Saddam's hold on power, or expansion of the existing no-fly zones into no-drive zones.

The President
August 11, 1999
Page Four

2. Provide enhanced security assurances to anti-Saddam Iraqis along the lines proposed in the letter of July 7, 1999, from the Executive Council of the Iraqi National Congress. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will reverse the dangerous signal that was sent by the Administration's initial response to the July 7th letter from the opposition.

3. Support the effort of the Iraqi National Congress to hold a National Assembly meeting in the near future at the location of their choice, including northern Iraq or Washington, D.C. Urge other countries to send observers as a sign of support, and facilitate their attendance.

4. Immediately begin a program of meaningful assistance to the designated opposition groups. This must include both material assistance and training under the Iraq Liberation Act. The opposition has an immediate need for such items as communications equipment, uniforms, boots, and bivouac gear. In addition, the necessary equipment should be provided for direct broadcasting into Baghdad of FM radio and television signals from opposition-controlled sites in northern Iraq. Training may best be provided outside Iraq, but there is no reason not to deliver material assistance inside Iraq. Over time, we must be prepared to deliver both lethal military training and lethal material assistance.

With these steps, we believe that our nation can begin to recover the ground that has been lost since last year. We stand prepared to offer whatever legislative support you require in order to achieve our shared objective of promoting the emergence of a peaceful, democratic government in Iraq.


Trent Lott

Joseph I. Lieberman

Jesse Helms

J. Robert Kerrey

Richard C. Shelby

Sam Brownback

Benjamin A. Gilman

Howard L. Berman

Some lawmakers insist Clinton set war date

WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain said it's time for President Clinton to set a deadline for Saddam Hussein to back down or face U.S. military might. Other lawmakers insisted Sunday the president not act without a vote of support from Congress, which is on vacation next week.


He said on ''Fox News Sunday'' that the current standoff - threats by the United States to use force unless Hussein gives unconditional access to U.N. weapons inspectors - gives Iraqi President Hussein an ''equal place in the world forum'' and ''continues to erode our credibility.''


Further, it was during his term (Clinton's) that Saddam's son-in-law, the highest-ranking defector ever, revealed to the UN, the CIA and MI6 that he himself had been in charge of the Iraqi weapons program, and had personally overseen the destruction of the bulk of their chemical and biological and all of their nuclear weapons capacity after the first Gulf slaughter. His testimony on the size of the program, which was larger than the west had known, was considered credible enough to trot it out on innumerable occasions for the next eight years under both Clinton and Bush; his testimony that he had overseen the destruction (so that no commander would be tempted to use the weapons, which he and Saddam knew would result in the nuking of Iraq, under Clinton as well as Bush I and II) was fit only for the ears of his interlocutors, and effectively covered up by both presidents. (He was executed when he returned to Iraq the following year.


Blix said he is now lending greater credence to assertions by senior Iraqi officials and a prominent defector, Gen. Hussein Kamel, that Iraq had destroyed its weapons -- and the bulk agents from which to manufacture them -- in the early 1990s but had preserved the program, hoping to restart production once sanctions were lifted and inspectors left the country.

"The destruction of weapons was largely finished in 1994," Blix said. "Thereafter, destroyed a number of facilities and installations because they had concluded that these had been active in the production of weapons . . . but weapons, no."

Kamel, the former head of Iraq's weapons program who defected in 1994, told U.N. inspectors and U.S. intelligence officials in Amman, Jordan, in August 1995 that he had ordered the destruction of all Iraq's biological and chemical weapons and components of its nuclear weapons program in the early 1990s. But Kamel, a brother-in-law of Hussein who was assassinated when he returned from exile to Iraq in 1996, said Baghdad sought to conceal documents, computer disks, equipment and blueprints that could be used to restart a weapons program.


Blix said it would not be "prudent" to reach a judgment on the basis of one defector's account. But he added that Kamel's claims have been echoed by several Iraqi scientists -- including Hussein's former science adviser, Amir Saadi -- who have surrendered to U.S. authorities and, Blix said, have no reason to lie.


From the Washington Post
Blix Downgrades Prewar Assessment of Iraqi Weapons
By Colum Lynch

Sunday 22 June 2003 reprinted at
Here's another article: ((You should read this one in its entirety))

Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed
Bombshell revelation from a defector cited by White House and press
February 27, 2003

On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.

Until now, Gen. Hussein Kamel, who was killed shortly after returning to Iraq in 1996, was best known for his role in exposing Iraq's deceptions about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs had advanced. But Newsweek's John Barry-- who has covered Iraqi weapons inspections for more than a decade-- obtained the transcript of Kamel's 1995 debriefing by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. inspections team known as UNSCOM.

Inspectors were told "that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them," Barry wrote. All that remained ere "hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches" and production molds. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Barry reported, and "a military aide who defected with Kamel... backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks."

But on Wednesday (2/26/03), a complete copy of the Kamel transcript-- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive"-- was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence dossier" was plagiarized from a student thesis. This transcript can be seen at .

In the transcript (p. 13), Kamel says bluntly: "All weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed."


Then enter Bush who sets up the OSP with his good buddies and manufactures the intelligence

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Your link to another thread did not execute
The thread about Albright
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thank you! Just fixed it! n/t
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Tinoire holy crapola!!!...i forgot about this letter...great post/find!!!!
thank you :toast: and :kick:
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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hastert - it's all Clinton's fault - CBS
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 05:25 PM by dArKeR
Speaking up for the Bush administration, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said on the same program that the decision to include the sentence "was made by the speechwriters and by the folks in the White House" using various intelligence sources that were thought reliable. If it wasn't, he said, much of the blame falls on former President Clinton.

"You know, intelligence is not an exact science," said Hastert, R-Ill. Before the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "we had a hard time just figuring out what was going, because our foreign intelligence was decimated. The human intelligence was decimated in 10 years before" by Clinton's proclivity not to use human rights violators and other shady individuals as intelligence operatives.

"We've spent the last four years, or 3 years, trying to build up credible intelligence sources so we can get people to get the human intelligence that we need," Hastert said. /

This really pisses me off. The sucking spineless Dems. Rockefeller should have got up and slapped Hastert in the face. We're all a buch of spineless wimps. And until we start standing up we don't even deserve to be Americans.

My Road Map to Peace.
1. Slap every Repuke you're near in the face.
2. Slap every Media Whore you're near in the face.
3. Slap the Supreme Monkey Court 5 in the face.
4. Slap the Repuke leadership into Guantanamo Bay Prison
5. Slap Dean into the White House.

TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, q&,,, / /,,,,,,, district of CO.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, -To Dr. Nile Gardiner - To Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.,,,,,,,, /
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. Article implies only ONE Senator is on Bush's A** ...
... What about the rest of them ??

Byrd ?
Graham ?
Daschle ?

Why aren't their doubts and shouts getting any substantial press ??
(rhetorical question)


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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. btt
Very thread - excellent article
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I AM SPARTACUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
16. ...that dog CAN hunt...

name: Two-bit Woodrow
occupation: treeing varmints
availability: immediate
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