A Sign of the Times

Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank write a piece in the WaPo about the intelligence prior to the vote over Iraq, and come up with the following:

President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence.

Neither assertion is wholly accurate.

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…

In the same speech, Bush asserted that “more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence, voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.” Giving a preview of Bush’s speech, Hadley had said that “we all looked at the same intelligence.”

But Bush does not share his most sensitive intelligence, such as the President’s Daily Brief, with lawmakers. Also, the National Intelligence Estimate summarizing the intelligence community’s views about the threat from Iraq was given to Congress just days before the vote to authorize the use of force in that country.

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.

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.

Not surprisingly, the folks at DKos take this as proof positive of guilt, and call Bush a liar (Gee- that’s a new one!). The folks at the Powerline think this piece exonerates Bush.

A sign of the times. It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong. Not sure what the rest of the fuss is from those on the left, but there is no evidence that Bush ‘lied.’ Unless, of course, if lying is the same as being wrong. In that case, I am a ‘liar,’ too, because I thought he had WMD.

*** Update ***

Andrew actually has a remarkable good take on the whole ‘Bush lied’ bit (which I am posting in its totality because I want to make sure you read it):

LIE: I’m sympathetic to the president’s case that he was not the only one who supported war against Saddam because of the threat of WMDs. The consensus at the time – and it was shared by opponents and supporters of the war – was so overwhelming that Saddam’s WMDs were a premise of everyone’s case, pro and con. Maybe Scott Ritter and Baghdad Bob get a pass on this. But not many others. Nevertheless, all the rest of us were wrong.

Were we lied to? I see no reason yet to believe we were – in the strong sense that deliberate untruths were consciously uttered. Was the post-9/11 atmosphere sufficient to blind many people to the possibility that they might be wrong about this premise? Certainly, that’s the case for me. I wasn’t skeptical enough. I followed the groupthink. I shouldn’t have. It’s also true, I think, that in the effort to ensure that the CIA was doing its job, some around the veep’s office and elsewhere may have seized on materials of dubious, if not discredited, validity. In retrospect, they were not skeptical enough either – and they have a much higher responsibility in this respect than bloggers or even Democrats who do not have full access to the full intelligence.

HIS NO-WIN BOTTOM LINE: But what I’m describing here is a failing, not a sin. It may deserve criticism on the grounds of incompetence, but not, I think, moral condemnation on the grounds of duplicity. The “Bush Lied!” screams are as cheap as they are very hard to substantiate. Moreover, it’s easy to get lulled into the fact after four years of no further atrocities on the mainland that we do not face grave dangers. After 9/11, I give government officials a pass on over-estimating threats to the country. Moreover, I don’t doubt the sincerity of Bush and Cheney in making their case for war on the WMD grounds (although, again, it’s baloney to say that that was the only ground they based their argument on). I’m open to debate on the Niger stuff and the aluminum tubes, but these are not central to the broad WMD case. I’m also open to the argument that the administration could have been more careful in their rhetoric. Talk of mushroom clouds was not exactly conducive to calm debate.

But my bottom line is: These guys made a hard call in perilous times for good reasons. It turns out they were also wrong in one critical respect. That’s the judgment we have to grapple with – and it’s not very emotionally satisfying for either side. Above all, it’s not good for the president. In this debate, Bush has to choose between being called a liar or someone who made a profound, if forgivable, misjudgment in the gravest decision a president ever has to make. That’s no-win. “Hey, guys, I’m not a liar. I just got the intelligence completely wrong, and waged a pre-emptive war partly on the basis of that mistake. Sorry.” Not exactly a strong position.

Oddly enough, I think Bush would have been more easily forgiven by the public if he’d been less defensive about it at the moment the WMD argument collapsed after the invasion. But he refused to acknowledge the obvious, dismissed the embarrassment, tried to change the subject and then just went silent. Once again, he mistook brittleness for strength. These many small decisions not to trust the American people with the full, embarrassing truths about the war has, in the end, undermined trust in the president and therefore support for the war. For that lack of candor, the president is paying dearly. So is the war in Iraq.

I think Andrew hones into one aspect why the Bush lied bit is so pervasive and so satisfying to some- this has been an extremely arrogant administration, and even more so, and extremely arrognat period of Republican rule. Not only have they stripped the minority party of any power, they continue to actively rub their noses in things, ignore any efforts to work in a bi-partisan manner, have passed legislation with Democrats on board and then failed to follow through on the promises they made to get the Democrats aboard, and let jackasses like Rove run around suggesting liberals are traitors and the like. The anger I see, in many cases, is justified. The argument that Bush lied, however, is not.






355 replies
  1. 1
    Miller says:

    Stretching the truth is the same as lying. Much of the WMD evidence presented to the public and to the UN falls into this categor: aluminum tubes, yellowcake, mobile labs. President Bush probably did not understand the weakness of the case for the WMD threat in March 2003, so he may not have personally lied to us. But others did so on his behalf, and he must accept responsibility.

  2. 2
    rilkefan says:

    If I argue a case and just present the info that supports me while suppressing the info that doesn’t, all the while claiming my opponenets have all the info: that’s lying even by John Cole standards, isn’t it? If I use the term “WMD” to include lots of weapons b and c and some A, where b and c are negligible and A brings the end of the world, and I sell the case for the war on the basis of A (but really I have no evidence worth spitting at for that position) and then say, “But you thought there were non-zero amounts of b and c too”, and pretend A doesn’t matter – that’s surely lying even by John Cole standards. If I make a case that country i has weapons, and people go in to look for them and find squat, and as that occurs my support starts to fall, then I say “Sorry, time’s up, my case is so strong we can’t afford to wait, what those inspectors are showing isn’t relevant” – surely that’s lying even by John Cole standards. If, after the whole mess, I use my control of Washington to present a slanted oversight report and then lie about its results and area of inquiry – surely that’s lying even by John Cole standards.

  3. 3
    Mike S says:

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong. Not sure what the rest of the fuss is from those on the left, but there is no evidence that Bush ‘lied.’

    I guess if you over simplify it and completely ignore what we were told compared to what they knew, then you can claim to not understand what “the fuss” is. But let’s compare the classified NIE with the declassified one.

    The Los Angeles Times (7/10/04) reported, “[I]n the unclassified version of the NIE — the so-called white paper cited by the Bush administration in making its case for war — those carefully qualified conclusions [in the classified version] were turned into blunt assertions of fact.”

    Here’s what the Senate Intelligence Committee reported about the administration’s use of intelligence:

    The intelligence community’s elimination of the caveats from the unclassified white paper misrepresented their judgments to the public, which did not have access to the classified National Intelligence Estimate containing the more carefully worded assessments.

    Essentially, the Bush administration took the intelligence that was presented to them in the classified NIE and twisted it to present a stronger case for war in the public version of the NIE. Here are some examples:

    Classified NIE: “Although we have little specific information on Iraq’s CW stockpile, Saddam Hussein probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons” of such poisons.
    Unclassified NIE: The phrase “although we have little specific information” was deleted. Instead, the public report said, “Saddam probably has stocked a few hundred metric tons of CW agents.”
    [Senate Intel Cmte Report]

    Classified NIE: “Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW [biological weapons] agents and is capable of quickly producing … a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers and covert operatives.”
    Unclassified NIE: The words “potentially against the U.S. homeland” are inserted at the end of the statement.
    [Senate Intel Cmte Report]

    Classified NIE: Stated Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles “probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents.”
    Unclassified NIE: A footnote in the classified version from the Air Force stating its disagreement with this claim was eliminated. The Senate Committee report stated the public NIE missed “the fact that… [the] agency with primary responsibility for technological analysis on UAV programs did not agree with the assessment.”
    [Senate Intel Cmte Report]

    Classified NIE: Included a reference to State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view on whether Iraq would have a nuclear weapon this decade.
    Unclassified NIE: Did not contain any mention of INR’s dissent.
    [Senate Intel Cmte Report]

  4. 4
    norbizness says:

    Then I guess you had real-time access to unredacted National Intelligence Estimates.

  5. 5
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Why Bush Felt He Had To Give Yesterday’s “I Am Not A Liar” Speech

    When it comes to George W. Bush we really must be careful not to overthink things. To understand the motivations of this vastly underqualified and dangerously incompetent president you need to try and put yourself into his shoes and view things as he does.

    Presdient Bush gave yesterday’s “I Am Not A Liar” speech because of his growing awareness that most people in this country think he is a liar. Just as his recent “We Do Not Torture” speech was motivated by the fact that many believe his adminstration tortures prisoners in secret locations, Bush was responding to the growing belief that he is a dishonest man leading an ethically challenged administration.

    And the polls, which he says he does not read because he reads them on a daily basis, tell the story George W. Bush would rather people not know:
    _____________________________________________
    Poll: Most Americans Say Bush Not Honest

    WASHINGTON – Two crucial pillars of President Bush’s public support – perceptions of his honesty and faith in his ability to fight terrorism – have slipped to their lowest point in the AP-Ipsos poll.

    Almost six in 10 now say Bush is not honest, and a similar number say his administration does not have high ethical standards.

    Overall, 37 percent approve of the job Bush is doing as president.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....sh_ap_poll
    _______________________________________________

    Bush has repeatedly stated that we are making progress in Iraq, and by implication that we are winning the war. These statements, of course, are made because we are not winning the war. We might not be losing it, and the argument can be made that we’re in a stalemate (albeit a bloody, expensive and in the long run unsustainable stalemate), but hardly the glorious victory that this president and his handlers promised the country at the beginning of this nasty debacle.

    A president who takes this country to war and then proves himself to be incapable of winning it cannot seriously expect to be the recipient of unending love and respect. America hates losers, and because of Iraq Bush is quickly becoming just that very thing.

  6. 6
    Otto Man says:

    Not sure what the rest of the fuss is from those on the left, but there is no evidence that Bush ‘lied.’ Unless, of course, if lying is the same as being wrong. In that case, I am a ‘liar,’ too, because I thought he had WMD.

    Well, if you held back contradictory and contravening pieces of evidence and then framed the remaining evidence as a full and open accounting of all the facts at hand, then yes, you lied.

    Getting handed the slanted evidence from the administration and then taking that to the logical and pre-ordained conclusion isn’t “lying.” It’s called “being lied to.” Big difference.

  7. 7
    Jane Finch says:

    To paraphrase the Clenis, depends on what the meaning of “lied” is. Stretch the truth? Suppress evidence contrary to public assertions? Ensure that terms of reference of an investigative committee are so narrow as to preclude discussion of such?

    Bush himself may not have to go to confession, but surely you cannot contend that his Administration promulgated no misinformation, or offered the full story up to the political bodies that were asked to judge and endorse the case for war. The only problem is that in these days of instant news and almost as instant investigation, the Bush Administration officials responsible for such actions have been caught out far more quickly than in the past.

  8. 8
    Brad R. says:

    Like I’ve said before, even if there wasn’t specific lying involved, there was at the very least a willful disregard for facts and cavaets that would have weakened their case. And that in and of itself is terrible.

  9. 9
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    New Newsweek poll just came in. Bush has a 36% approval rating in this one, plus a large number of respondents doubt his honesty here as well. And that half of the polling was done AFTER Shrubbins gave his “I Am Not A Liar” speech does indicate just how ineffectual Bush’s public protestations have become as of late.

    But the most shocking thing about this article has to be the picture. Can it be Bush II is now getting his fashion swerve from Quentin Crisp?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10...../newsweek/

  10. 10
    Slide says:

    Bush lied. Sorry John if you don’t want to admit that but the evidence is clear to anyone that is part of the reality based universe and not a hack bush apologist. Lets try to look at just one case (there are many more I can cite) but for now lets just see if we can agree on one piece of information the administration was peddling to the American public and you tell me if you think it is a lie or not. This is a test John, lets see how “fair and balanced” you are:

    Is this a lie or not?

    Bush in a speech in Cincinnati on October 7, 2002:

    “We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.” In February 2003, the President said, “Iraq has provided al-Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”

    But as Senator Levin revealed:

    Those assertions were based on the claims of a detainee, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a long-time jihadist and senior military trainer for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, as revealed by this newly declassified information, the DIA did not believe al-Libi’s claims at the time the Administration was making its assertions. Specifically, the DIA concluded the following in February 2002, which has never previously been publicly disclosed:

    “This is the first report from Ibn al-Shaykh in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qaida’s CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear] efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqis involved, the CBRN materials associated with the assistance, and the location where training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers . Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.”

    So John if Bush is pushing a story that his own intelligence services disbelieve isn’t that a lie? Isn’t it John?

  11. 11
    stickler says:

    Our gracious host has also ignored the difference between “what everybody thought” in mid-2002, and “what many people believed” on the eve of war.

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong.

    No. Those “very few exceptions” included people like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter, among others. People who had been or still were on the ground in Iraq. The inspectors were going where we told them to go, and were coming up with bupkus. Blix said as much, publicly, repeatedly. For this he was vilified.

    Plus there are the public statements by Colin Powell in summer 2001 where he stated categorically that Saddam’s threat had been contained by sanctions and overflights.

    Finally, remember how Bush promised to go back to the UN and force all the members of the Security Council to vote on an authorization for war? Remember, we’d ask them all to “put their cards on the table?” When it became apparent that we’d lose that vote, Bush abandoned that promise and hit the “launch” button. His promise, thus, was a lie.

  12. 12
    Walt says:

    I guess the troops spent the first month in Iraq wearing all that chemical weapons gear because Bush lied.

  13. 13
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Screwed up the link for the AP/Ipsos poll above. It is important for all here to examine the findings there regarding the public’s (in my opinion accurate) perception on Bush’s lack of honesty and ethical balance.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....sh_ap_poll

  14. 14
    Brad R. says:

    Slide’s evidence is pretty damning, John.

  15. 15
    Brad R. says:

    I guess the troops spent the first month in Iraq wearing all that chemical weapons gear because Bush lied.

    Walt- this misses the point. Everyone believed Saddam was hiding chem or bio weapons. Where the administration really exaggerated was the links to al-Qaeda and the progress of Saddam’s nuclear program.

  16. 16
    Slide says:

    Let me clarify. I believe Bush believed Iraq had WMD. That is not the LIE. The lies were the statements that he made to convince the American people of the need to sacrifice their sons and daughters because Iraq was an imminent and gathering threat. The statements that over-hyped the evidence of WMD. The statements that completely ignored all the caveats and warnings that the intelligence was not conclusive.

    Just about everything Powell said in his UN speech was incorrect. but not only was it incorrect, but there was a lot of evidence at the time that it was incorrect. Once again to my above example regarding al-Libi, they knew at the time that the DIA didn’t believe al Libi and the CIA didn’t think he would have been in a position to know what he was saying. And yet this information was presented to the world. That is a LIE in my book.

  17. 17
    Rob says:

    I’d say John is getting quite a spankin’ on this one.

    PS. The airforce NEVER thought he had the means to deploy WMD to the US. Yet Bush pushed the drone story.

  18. 18
    BumperStickerist says:

    The problem with the airquote Reality /airquote – based is that you consider matters that are very much open to debate as closed.

    Regarding the ‘cooked intelligence’ wrt al Libi –
    Slow down, Seabiscuit

    There is no question that al Libi’s claims that Iraq trained al Qaeda on chemical and biological weapons were important. But one of the reasons that the CIA and Bush administration policymakers took them so seriously is because they fit a pattern of earlier reporting, albeit reporting from sources of “varying reliability.”

    These claims did not begin with the Bush administration. Senior Clinton administration officials repeatedly claimed that Iraq had provided chemical weapons expertise–at least–to al Qaeda in 1998. After al Qaeda terrorists struck two U.S. embassies in East Africa the Clinton administration retaliated by striking an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and the al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. In its defense of the al Shifa strikes, Clinton administration officials cited an al Qaeda presence at suspected chemical weapons facilities in Sudan.

    These facilities, according to both Clinton administration spokesmen and senior intelligence officials, were the result of a collaborative effort between Iraqi scientists, the Sudanese Military Industrial Corporation and al Qaeda terrorists. Clinton administration officials stand by those claims today.

    and so forth.

    Keeping the issue of Senate voting and the NIE in perspective – the issue is the Classified NIE report which had the same intel that the White House received.

    How did the Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee vote?

    .

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    I guess the troops spent the first month in Iraq wearing all that chemical weapons gear because Bush lied.

    I guess that baby was smothered in ketchup because Bush lied about wanting to eat it.

  20. 20
    kb says:

    Everyone believed Saddam was hiding chem or bio weapons

    Well the russians didn’t believe that.

    As Putin said in october of 2002 –
    “Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data which would support the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received from our partners such information as yet.”

  21. 21
    Otto Man says:

    I guess the troops spent the first month in Iraq wearing all that chemical weapons gear because Bush lied.

    What exactly is this supposed to prove? That US troops believed the claims of their commander in chief?

    Yeah, in retrospect that seems like a horrible idea. But you can’t blame the troops for thinking their CinC wouldn’t lie to them. Or do you hate America?

  22. 22
    DougJ says:

    Bumper Sticker — you’ll have to find a better Al-Scooter Libi apologist than Stephen Hayes if you want to make headway here. Hayes is a certified neocon wingnut.

  23. 23
    Slide says:

    Keeping the issue of Senate voting and the NIE in perspective – the issue is the Classified NIE report which had the same intel that the White House received.

    How did the Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee vote?

    let stick with the al-Libi thing for a moment. Did the Democrats get the CIA and DIA reports that cast doubt on the information Libi was giving us? According to Senator Levin the answer is no. So how in the world can anyone say that the Dems got the same intel as the President? All the intelligence agencies are in the Executive Branch. The Dems got what the administration wanted them to get.

  24. 24
    Doug says:

    1. Was Hussein’s Iraq actually a significant threat to the United States of America? 2. Was the consensus of the intelligence community that Iraq posed a significant threat to the USA? 3. Were Americans sold on the war on the premise that Iraq posed a significant threat to the USA?

    If all 3 are true, then we have no problem.

    If #3 is true and #2 is false, then the Bush administration lied us into a war.

    If #3 is true and #2 is true and #1 is false, then we went to war because of incompetence.

    If #3 is false, I’ve been getting my news from the wrong sources.

  25. 25
    Slide says:

    I guess the troops spent the first month in Iraq wearing all that chemical weapons gear because Bush lied.

    the dumbest argument yet.

  26. 26
    Brian says:

    I had always argued that Bush and co. fell prey to groupthink, but I now think they did lie. They consciously omitted any weaknesses of WMD intelligence and al-qaeda links in their presentations to Congress and the public. Given all the facts coming out about how weak much of the information was, and how little we heard about it, I can think of no other reason besides they lied.

  27. 27
    Kimmitt says:

    Bush said he gave the Senators the information they needed to reach their own conclusions, but held information back. That’s a lie.

  28. 28
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Honestly, what real difference does it make if Bush lied us into this war, or just rushed into it because he didn’t understand the true meaning of the intelligence?

    If the first is true he’s a goddamn liar (the opinion I hold), on the other he is a reckless and dangerous incompetent whose stupidity has killed a lot of good people and cost this country $100s of billions in borrowed treasure.

    Think about it, Bush apologists. Is this where you thought you’d be a few years back? Having to defend this president by claiming he is not responsible for this collosal blunder because he didn’t understand the information he was given?

    I can’t believe you’re evn going here with this weak crap. Either way he is has proven to be a disaster for this country.

  29. 29
    Jack Roy says:

    [Grr… internet cafe just crashed after I’d written a sublime rant. Ergh. Maybe it’s a sign I should get to work. Oh well, I’ll reproduce in brief.]

    Yes, you thought Saddam had WMDs, and so did I—I thought he had a few rusted cannisters of mustard gas. Although available evidence, even to the public, showed that the sanctions regime had been effective, I mistakenly lacked faith that it had been 100% effective in eliminating Saddam’s WMDs.

    What I want to know is, how is that relevant? If Bush had justified the war because Saddam had a trivial number of less-than-terrifying unconventional weapons, no one outside of Powerline and Fox News would have found it a compelling case. But the administration certainly did differently, arguing that he had a significant enough number of WMDs that posed a threat to the region and possibly to America (remember the story about drone planes that could deliver chemo weapons to American shores?), and possibly nukes in addition to non-nuclear WMDs (the critical distinction between which was cleverly elided in the “smoking gun, mushroom cloud” talking point). The administration argued that Saddam’s WMD program was significant enough to justify war; that was the dispositive dispute, that was what separated those who thought Saddam posed a threat from those who knew he didn’t.

    And let me just say this: Yes, Kossacks are furious at the president. And yes, the reason for their outrage is that they’re Kossacks and most will be furious no matter what. Way to pick your strawmen. More people than Kos and Armando are furious over this. I am, and the reason I’m furious isn’t entirely the war itself; what really pisses me off is the unending shifting-of-goalposts that conservatives who supported the war are doing. First the reason for going to war was that Saddam had a dangerous amount of chemo and bio weapons, possibly nuclear weapons, and had an ongoing collaborative relation with al Qaeda and may have played a role in 9/11. (And, not to bring up old stuff, but a lot of conservatives who believed thus called those of us who didn’t traitors.) Then it became that Saddam had a non-trivial number of WMDs and had cooperated with al Qaeda in the past. Then it was that he had some WMDs and Saddam’s number 12 guy had had lunch with Osama’s number 6 guy in Prague (although I’ve probably had a cab driver who did the same), and you never know what they were talking about…. Then it was that the administration had an objectively good-faith basis for thinking all these things, although ultimately in error. Then it became that liberal bloggers (without national security clearance, mind) can’t prove conclusively that the president intentionally lied about it.

    My question is, when does this stop? At what point does an honest conservative say, “(A) was the reason for going to war, and I’m not changing (A), and if not (A) then the war was a mistake, no matter how much I hate Kos and am reluctant to admit he was right about something.” Because I haven’t had to change my calculus one bit: the number of American casualties was going to be (and then was) too high to justify the trivial gains for American security. 2,000 dead and the terrorists haven’t gone away; al Qaeda isn’t measurably weaker than they would have been if we’d just concentrated on Afghanistan like we should have (and probably has metastasized into multiple independent cells, if the news reports I’ve read are correct).

    And frankly, I’m furious that conservatives will continue to stand behind remarks that those who doubt the process that led us into war are “send[ing] the wrong signal to our troops” or encouraging “an enemy that is questioning America’s will” or that we don’t therefore stand behind our troops. I’m disgusted with Instapundit accusing me of being unpatriotic—not just questioning it, but saying I don’t have it.

    So, yeah, get outraged over Kos. We all shake our heads from time to time over Kos. But it’s fundamentally dishonest, intellectually and more plainly, to pretend that it’s only Kos who’s furious over this, or who has reason to be.

  30. 30
    Darrell says:

    Brad R. Says:

    Slide’s evidence is pretty damning, John.

    Slide’s ‘evidence’ was blown out of the water by Bumpersticker’s post pointing out that the claims of Al queda working with Saddam originated from the Clinton administration, who had good reason to believe it. Al-Zawahri, Al queda’s #2 man, made trips to Baghdad for high level meetings during the 1990’s. He probably only wanted to exchange hummus recipes, right kooks?

  31. 31
    KC says:

    I watched a CNN video a while ago that showed a bunch of news appearances of the President, Secretary Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., making the argument for war. In seeing that, it reminded me of just how much of a PR campaign the American people were subjected to in the run up to war. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, all wars involve propoganda to some extent. This is especially so if one is trying to sell any iffy war with an iffy outcome to people. That said, I don’t think there is anyway people can say that the administration and its allies did not embellish or omit facts to fit preconceived, maybe even popular ideas about the enemy, Iraq in this case. I think Kevin Drum sums up the case decently:

    Lots of people did believe that Iraq had WMD before the war. The problem Podhoretz doesn’t bother wrestling with, however, is that after the war concluded we discovered that there were also a fair number of people who had been skeptical about Iraqi WMD. INR, for example, thought the African uranium was bogus. DIA thought our prime witness for Iraqi-al-Qaeda WMD collaboration was lying. The Air Force found the evidence on drones to be laughable. DOE didn’t believe in the aluminum tubes. None of these dissents was acknowledged by the Bush administration.

    On the other hand, today Andrew Sullivan makes a down-to-earth point about why there has been so much of a fuss about the WMD issue and the administration:

    In this debate, Bush has to choose between being called a liar or someone who made a profound, if forgivable, misjudgment in the gravest decision a president ever has to make. That’s no-win. “Hey, guys, I’m not a liar. I just got the intelligence completely wrong, and waged a pre-emptive war partly on the basis of that mistake. Sorry.” Not exactly a strong position. Oddly enough, I think Bush would have been more easily forgiven by the public if he’d been less defensive about it at the moment the WMD argument collapsed after the invasion. But he refused to acknowledge the obvious, dismissed the embarrassment, tried to change the subject and then just went silent. Once again, he mistook brittleness for strength. These many small decisions not to trust the American people with the full, embarrassing truths about the war has, in the end, undermined trust in the president and therefore support for the war. For that lack of candor, the president is paying dearly. So is the war in Iraq.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    Bumpersticker’s post about Al-Scooter was by neocon whack job Stephen Hayes.

  33. 33
    Darrell says:

    Yes, you thought Saddam had WMDs, and so did I—-I thought he had a few rusted cannisters of mustard gas. Although available evidence, even to the public, showed that the sanctions regime had been effective

    Back in 1998 when Saddam ejected weapons inspectors from Iraq, there were 3.9 tons of KNOWN unnaccounted for Vx and 100 of tons of KNOWN unaccounted for weaponized chems. Even when Saddam allowed inspectors back into the country, those inspections did not “prove” sanctions had been effective you dumbass. Saddam NEVER accounted for his known WMDs, which is why the leaders of every western country with a credible intelligence agency believed Saddam had them

    B-B-B-B-Bush lied!!

  34. 34
    Mike S says:

    right kooks?

    From the biggest talking point bukkake recipient on line that’s quite funny.

  35. 35
    Barry D says:

    Slide Says:

    “Let me clarify. I believe Bush believed Iraq had WMD. That is not the LIE. ”

    The books were cooked, questionable analyses were presented as certainties, and critical activities (such as rapidly securing all suspected sites) were conspicuously not performed.

    This leads to two conclusions – Bush is incompetant and unwilling to listen to his advisors and interferes with the plans of competant subordinates, or he’s lying.

    Or both, of course.

  36. 36
    Darrell says:

    Bumpersticker’s post about Al-Scooter was by neocon whack job Stephen Hayes

    But the Clinton administration DID most definitely believe there was a link between Al Queda and Saddam, no matter what you think of Stephen Hayes’ credibility

  37. 37
    KC says:

    Wow. Wha’duh yuh know? Josh Marshall just posted a quick and dirty rundown of the administration’s pre-war claims.

  38. 38
    Mike S says:

    Even when Saddam allowed inspectors back into the country, those inspections did not “prove” sanctions had been effective you dumbass.

    That’s why Bush pulled them out before they had chance to finish their work. Every single place they sent them, saying we are sure there are weapons there, turned up empty.

  39. 39
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Darrell: Let’s say (for laughs) that you are right. Do you honestly believe that Bush taking us to war over a mistake makes him a great president? In the eyes of most people leading America to war is pretty serious business. Don’t you think he had an obligation to makes sure that he had his facts straight before putting our people at risk?

    And that since he so obviously didn’t, as president shouldn’t he be held responsible?

  40. 40
    Slide says:

    Slide’s ‘evidence’ was blown out of the water by Bumpersticker’s post pointing out that the claims of Al queda working with Saddam originated from the Clinton administration,

    Bullshit. They were using the discredited al-Libby lies to make their case:

    Mr. Powell relied heavily on accounts provided by Mr. Libi for his speech to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, saying that he was tracing “the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al Qaeda.”

    “This senior Al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of Al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan,” he continued. “His information comes first hand from his personal involvement at senior levels of Al Qaeda.” Powell then said that Osama bin Laden and one of his deputies-the since deceased Mohammed Atef-did not believe Al Qaeda had the capability to make chemical or biological weapons in Afghanistan on their own. “They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.”

    Powell then continued, citing the unidentified operative’s story (from al-Libi) that Iraq offered chemical or biological weapons training to two Al Qaeda associates starting in December 2000. A militant identified as Abu Adula al-Iraqi had also been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases and that the relationship forged with Iraq officials was characterized by al-Iraqi as “successful,” according to Powell’s remarks. (Although it is not entirely clear from Powell’s speech, two U.S. counter-terrorism officials told NEWSWEEK they believe the information about al-Iraqi came exclusively from al-Libi.)

    Powell concluded this portion of the speech by saying that “the nexus of poisons and gases is new” and the combination of the two “is lethal.” In light of “this track record,” Powell said this about Iraqi denials of support for terrorism:

    LIARS

  41. 41
    Darrell says:

    INR, for example, thought the African uranium was bogus

    Here is why Drum is a hack. We know, in part because of Joseph Wilson himself, that Iraqi’s DID try to obtain uranium from Niger

    The Air Force found the evidence on drones to be laughable

    From the Duelfer report key findings

    If the entire case for war rested on whether or not Iraq had high tech drones, that might be a valid point
    Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability-in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks-but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

  42. 42
    KC says:

    Look. Bush has nothing to hide or be embarrassed about. He should inform the Congress that he’s willing to work with a bipartisan independent committee to clear his name on the pre-war intelligence issues. I don’t see why he’s been so reluctant about this matter in the first place. Do you?

  43. 43
    Darrell says:

    Bullshit. They were using the discredited al-Libby lies to make their case:

    Yes, al-Libby lies are why the Clinton administration believed so fervently in the Al Queda – Saddam connection.

  44. 44
    Slide says:

    I don’t see why he’s been so reluctant about this matter in the first place. Do you?

    Yeah, because he is a LIAR.

  45. 45
    rilkefan says:

    “Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability”

    And I wanted a three-way with Kiera Knightly and Uma Thurman (until I met my wife.) I aspire to win the Nobel Prizes in Literature and Physics: but I intend to focus on cleaning the kitchen and paying the bills this weekend.

  46. 46
    Mike S says:

    If the entire case for war rested on whether or not Iraq had high tech drones, that might be a valid point
    Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability-in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks-but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

    A hell of a lot different than “we Know he has,” “can only be used,” “they are around Takrit.”

  47. 47
    searp says:

    Although I care about whether Bush lied, the bigger issue is that he made the biggest mistake a president can make and has never admitted it.

    It is clear that the country went to war on the basis of Saddam’s possession of WMDs. This wasn’t a decision made by the Congress. One man made that decision, G. W. Bush.

    He didn’t have to go to war. There were inspectors in there, not finding much. There was pressure from allies to let the inspections continue. The country would have mostly gone along with waiting.

    He didn’t wait, he went to war, and he was wrong about the basis for the war. He should have resigned, but, in an incredible act of chutzpah, he instead attempts to re-write history and suggests that “everyone” (especially his political enemies in the Congress) is equally responsible.

    So where does the buck stop, George? He made the decision, he was wrong, and he should resign.

    On another note, he seems to feel that only making speeches to soldiers will be his salvation. If I see him make another major speech surrounded by soldiers, I am really going to start wondering. Soldiers are not supposed to be props for unpopular, incompetent presidents.

  48. 48
    Slide says:

    We know, in part because of Joseph Wilson himself, that Iraqi’s DID try to obtain uranium from Niger

    thats a LIE

  49. 49
    rilkefan says:

    “the Clinton administration believed so fervently in the Al Queda – Saddam connection.”

    This is based on what? You have cites from Clinton, Gore, Albright on this? Why would they believe this despite what the intelligence community thought about how ludicrous any cooperation between OBL and Saddam was?

  50. 50
    ppGaz says:

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD,

    Spin is everything.

    First of all, not everyone thought so. Second, those who did were assuming that he had them, based on …. whatever they based their assumptions on. The assumptions were unproven, and could have been easily tested by inspection.

    The inspections were carried out …. after we invaded.

    But even if most people made a reasonable assumption, there was nothing reasonable about assuming any proximate threat to the security of this country. There was nothing reasonable about assuming that if WMDs had been there, there’d have been a delivery system or a plan for using them. There was nothing reasonable about assuming any particular motive for using such weapons outside of the boundaries of Iraq. There was nothing reasonable about assuming that Iraq, any more than some other constructs, had any particular involvement in 9-11. There was nothing reasonable about assuming that the famous aluminum tubes were intended to be used in a nuclear program … or that even if they were, that Iraq was anywhere near the casting of a viable nuclear weapons program.

    The WMDs that “everybody thought” were there were part of a very fuzzy picture, and a picture that told no particular story of threat to the United States … and a picture that could easily have been cleared up by more extensive inspection … as proven later by the more extensive inspection that we did once we got in there.

    So what was the point, again? That Bush did not lie?

    After all this time, this is where you are going to come down on this topic, John? That you, and Bush, made the right decision vis-a-vis weapons and a threat to this country?

    So, it’s the Darrell position, after all.

    The CIA leak case, the WHIG revelations, the Downing Street insights, the hahaha where are the darned WMDs movie … it all comes down to the Darrell position, after all.

    Do you watch tv, John? Did you see Matthews yesterday, with the video of Cheney lying through his teeth? Cheney claiming with certainty a connection between Iraq and 9-11 and then denying it later, both on camera?

    Was there a connection? If not, why did we find it out after the invasion, instead of before?

    Why am I asking you? Darrell is in charge now.

    The president and vice president had decided to redirect their war on terror to Baghdad. So, with the help of the newly-formed White House Iraq group, which consisted of top officials and strategists, the selling of a war on Iraq began and the administration’s rhetoric about Saddam changed.

    On September 8, 2002, not only did White House hawks tell The New York Times for a front page exclusive that Saddam was building a nuclear weapon, five administration officials also went on the Sunday television shows that day to repeat the charge.

    “He is, in fact actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons,” Cheney told Tim Russert on “Meet The Press”.

    But the White House started claiming that Iraq and the group responsible for 9/11 were one in the same.

    “The war on terror, you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror,” said Bush on September 25, 2002.

    “We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases,” said Bush a few days later on October 7. “He’s a threat because he is dealing with Al-Qaeda.”

    In pushing the Saddam-Iraq-9/11 connection, both the president and the vice president made two crucial claims. First, they alleged there had been a 1994 meeting in the Sudan between Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi intelligence official.

    After the Iraq war began, however, the 9/11 Commission was formed and reported that while Osama bin Laden may have requested Iraqi help, “Iraq apparently never responded.”

    The other crucial pre-war White House claim was that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech republic in April 2001.

    Cheney stated, “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a Senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service.”

    Confirmed or unconfirmed by Vice President Cheney the 9/11 Commission said, “We do not believe such a meeting occurred.” Why? Because cell phone records from the time show Atta in the United States.

    None the less, the White House strategy worked. In March of 2003, one poll found 45 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11.

    Hardball, MSNBC Nov 11

    Why did they think this, Darrell-Cole? Because they had been TOLD THE TRUTH?

  51. 51
    Darrell says:

    In 1998, the Clinton Justice Dept. indicted Osama bin Laden

    The indictment noted that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden’s international terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front inSudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group Hezballah to “work together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.”

    Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.

    Well that settles it, BushLiedPeopleDied(TM)

  52. 52
    Slide says:

    Darrell is putting forth the old Saddam did try to buy uranium from Niger idiocy again. My question is rather simple. Why? Saddam had NO NUKE PROGRAM. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. What the fuck would he want uranium for if he didn’t have a NUKE PROGRAM. Jesus, how dumb is the right? Will they say ANYTHING? Apparently so.

  53. 53
    Darrell says:

    I screwed up the block quote earlier. From the Duelfer report’s Key findings:

    Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability-in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks-but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

    But Bush lied, right?

  54. 54
    ppGaz says:

    Saddam aspired

    We have a war because something thinks he “aspired?”

    You should be ashamed.

    Seriously. That is beyond pathetic.

    Wonder why this administration and support for this phony war are tanking? That’s why, Darrell. In a nutshell.

  55. 55
    Otto Man says:

    In 1998, the Clinton Justice Dept. indicted Osama bin Laden

    No, a U.S. Grand Jury for the Southern District of New York indicted Bin Laden. Big difference. Any conclusions made in that indictment were the conclusions of the grand jury and the U.S. Attorney directing them.

    By your logic, the Bush Justice Department just indicted Scooter Libby.

  56. 56
    Slide says:

    Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.

    ahhhh… so its in a Prosecutor’s indictment then it must be true. So then Darrell you believe that everything in the Libby indictment is true as well right?

  57. 57
    rilkefan says:

    Darrell – that’s pretty pathetic evidence for “fervent belief on the part of the Clinton admin”. By that standard the Bush admin fervently believes Libby should be doing 30 years.

  58. 58
    Otto Man says:

    We have a war because something thinks he “aspired?”

    You should be ashamed.

    Well, that would require a conscience.

  59. 59
    Darrell says:

    Saddam had NO NUKE PROGRAM. NONE. ZERO. ZIP.

    From the Duelfer report

    In the wake of Desert Storm, Iraq took steps to conceal key elements of its program and to preservewhat it could of the professional capabilities of its nuclear scientific community.
    • Baghdad undertook a variety of measures to conceal key elements of its nuclear program from successive
    UN inspectors, including specific direction by Saddam Husayn to hide and preserve documentation associ-ated
    with Iraq’s nuclear program.
    • ISG, for example, uncovered two specific instances in which scientists involved in uranium enrichment kept
    documents and technology. Although apparently acting on their own, they did so with the belief and anticipa-tion
    of resuming uranium enrichment efforts in the future.
    • Starting around 1992, in a bid to retain the intellectual core of the former weapons program, Baghdad transferred many nuclear scientists to related jobs in the Military Industrial Commission (MIC). The work undertaken by these scientists at the MIC helped them maintain their weapons knowledge base.

    ISG found a limited number of post-1995 activities that would have aided the reconstitution of the nuclear weapons program once sanctions were lifted.

  60. 60
    Slide says:

    Darrell points to a belief that perhaps Saddam aspired to acquire WMD in the future as vindication of Bush’s statements prior to the war? lol… wow. yikes. mama. whew. I’m out of responses. lol.

  61. 61
    KC says:

    Otto Man, that’s just too logical.

  62. 62
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    There is a difference between chem and bio weapons and nukes. We think, as a matter of spin, Bush wildly oversold nukes. Go back and read some of the libs who supported war – a lot reference mushroom clouds.

    That is not, however, to say that they weren’t nearly as moronic as the Republicans. The only sane people, the only people who responded correctly, were the anti-war Dems (Atrios, etc.) and the anti-war Republicans (HW Bush, etc.). If we were seriously concerned about accountability and improving our foreign policy, everyone else would STFU and let those two groups sort out what to do next.

  63. 63
    Steve says:

    Saddam had plenty of yellowcake and absolutely no enrichment program. Why would he be out there trying to buy even more yellowcake? There is a lot of cutting and pasting of talking points and very little logic here.

    I don’t expect John to become a complete convert but I’d like to see that he at least understands the argument being made, because I think a lot of people are backing it up in a very articulate manner. Of course most everyone believed that Saddam had WMDs. The point is that, unbeknownst to “most everyone,” there was a lot of evidence casting doubt on that belief. And the administration either ignored that evidence or intentionally covered it up.

    Also, the whole business about Saddam’s nuclear program, the aluminum tubes, the mushroom cloud, and so forth, I’ve never even seen a decent rebuttal to suggest it wasn’t total bullshit.

  64. 64
    Darrell says:

    Saddam had NO NUKE PROGRAM. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. What the fuck would he want uranium for if he didn’t have a NUKE PROGRAM.

    CNN

    (CNN) — The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology — parts needed to develop a bomb program — that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad

    ..U.S. officials emphasized this was not evidence Iraq had a nuclear weapon — but it was evidence the Iraqis concealed plans to reconstitute their nuclear program as soon as the world was no longer looking.

    ..Obeidi told CNN the parts of a gas centrifuge system for enriching uranium were part of a highly sophisticated system he was ordered to hide to be ready to rebuild the bomb program.

  65. 65
    ppGaz says:

    In the wake of Desert Storm, Iraq took steps to conceal key elements of its program and to preservewhat it could of the professional capabilities of its nuclear scientific community

    .

    “Took steps?” That is not a threat.

    • Baghdad undertook a variety of measures to conceal key elements of its nuclear program from successive
    UN inspectors, including specific direction by Saddam Husayn to hide and preserve documentation associ-ated
    with Iraq’s nuclear program.

    “Undertook … to conceal?” Not a threat.

    ISG, for example, uncovered two specific instances in which scientists involved in uranium enrichment kept
    documents and technology. Although apparently acting on their own, they did so with the belief and anticipa-tion
    of resuming uranium enrichment efforts in the future.

    “Kept documents?” That is not a threat.

    Starting around 1992, in a bid to retain the intellectual core of the former weapons program, Baghdad transferred many nuclear scientists to related jobs in the Military Industrial Commission (MIC). The work undertaken by these scientists at the MIC helped them maintain their weapons knowledge base.

    Found other jobs for scientists? That is not a threat.

    ISG found a limited number of post-1995 activities that would have aided the reconstitution of the nuclear weapons program once sanctions were lifted.

    Unnamed “activities” “would have aided?” Not a threat.

    Separately, not a real threat on the list. All together, not any particular or real threat.

    We went to war over crap like this? The people who did that to us should be in fucking jail, Darrell. Jail.

  66. 66
    Perry Como says:

    Al-Zawahri, Al queda’s #2 man, made trips to Baghdad for high level meetings during the 1990’s.

    Which #2 man was this? #2 revision 1 or #2 revision 34? With the number of al Qaeda #2 men we’ve caught or killed, al Qaeda sounds like a dotcom company. Everyone is manager.

  67. 67
    Darrell says:

    the whole business about Saddam’s nuclear program, the aluminum tubes, the mushroom cloud, and so forth, I’ve never even seen a decent rebuttal to suggest it wasn’t total bullshit.

    Saddam had put his nuclear program on hold, that’s true. It’s also true that he had taken extraordinary measures (burying nuclear centrifuge parts under rose bushes) to preserve his nuclear technology. Is there any leftist honest enough to admit that Saddam was doing everything in his power to set the stage to reconstitute his nuclear program?

  68. 68
    Mike S says:

    that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad

    HOLY SHIT! It would only take a matter of weeks, months at the most, to dig up the parts and make a bomb to set off in one of our cities.

  69. 69
    Steve says:

    al-Zawahiri has always been the #2 guy, ever since his Egyptian Islamic Jihad merged with al-Qaeda. It’s the ever-changing #3 guy who is always falling into our hands.

  70. 70
    ppGaz says:

    The world is unfortunately awash with nukes, Darrell.

    Here’s an article from early 2002 before you ever heard of any impending war with Iraq.

    Actual nuclear threats

    Yeah, that’s what real concern about nukes looks like.

    How’s your buddy Rumsfeld doing with the abatement of the Al Qaeda nuclear threat as indicated in that article, Darrell? You and he deserve each other, lying sons of bitches.

    If you are pimping war with Iraq on the basis of a “nuclear threat” then your ass should be in jail.

  71. 71
    Caroline says:

    Geez, the “everbody thought” argument is so weak. It works with the idiots here in SC who think that John McCain really did have a child with a black prostitute and that Theresa Heinz Kerry really was CEO of Heinz.

    It brings up a couple of interesting thoughts:
    1. Republicans are 100% stupid since they all agreed with bush?
    2. Teddy Kennedy is now smarter and more qualified than Bush to run the country since he wasn’t fooled by the intelligence.

  72. 72
    Mike S says:

    set the stage to reconstitute his nuclear program?

    If you had an honest bone in your body you would admit that the argument wasn’t that “he set the stage to reconstitute” but that he had ACTUAL weapons.

  73. 73
    Jack Roy says:

    Hi Darrell,

    did not “prove” sanctions had been effective you dumbass

    Well, first, I think I said showed to be effective or suggested or somesuch.

    Second, please, get this through your head: Geopolitics doesn’t work on the same psychological level as three-year-olds. Every intelligence agency in the world understood what you do not, which was that Saddam had an incentive to mislead his neighbors into believing he had more and deadlier weapons than he did. Our intelligence agencies certainly understood that.

    And don’t call me a dumbass.

  74. 74
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    But the Clinton administration DID most definitely believe there was a link between Al Queda and Saddam, no matter what you think of Stephen Hayes’ credibility

    B-b-b-b-but, you wingnuts said Clinton is b-b-b-b-b-bad. This is the delicious self-destructive irony of wingnuttery. They savage and trash all around them while enriching shills to glorify them. When the whole affair falls apart, they say, “b-b-b-b-but he did it too.” Then, they expect us to forget that “he” is “crap” and by comparison so are the wingnuts. You idiot wingnuts fought tooth and nail to set yourselves up on the tallest pedestal. Enjoy your Aspens. ROFLMAO.

  75. 75
    Slide says:

    since Darrell wants to quote the Duelfer report, lets look at that report a little more closely shall we?

    Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq’s weapons programs, said Hussein’s ability to produce nuclear weapons had “progressively decayed” since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of “concerted efforts to restart the program.

    Duelfer also found no information to support allegations that Iraq sought uranium from Africa or any other country after 1991, as Bush once asserted in a major speech before the invasion. The only two contacts with Niger that were discovered were an invitation to the president of Niger to visit Baghdad, and a visit to Baghdad by a Niger minister in 2001 seeking petroleum products for cash. There was one offer to Iraq of “yellowcake” uranium, and that was from a Ugandan businessman offering uranium from Congo. The deal was turned down, and the Ugandan was told that Baghdad was not interested because of the sanctions.

    Duelfer concluded that his team “uncovered no indication that Iraq had resumed fissile material or nuclear weapons research and development activities since 1991.”

    .

    Dick Cheney before the war:

    “And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

  76. 76
    Darrell says:

    Which #2 man was this? #2 revision 1 or #2 revision 34? With the number of al Qaeda #2 men we’ve caught or killed, al Qaeda sounds like a dotcom company. Everyone is manager.

    By all means, let’s split hairs, because that distinction will make all the difference, right?al-Zawahiri was a senior member of Al Queda:

    he has worked in the al-Qaida organization since its inception and was a senior member of the group’s shura council. He is often described as a “lieutenant” to the head of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden

  77. 77

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD

    Rhhhhhhhheally?

    Colin Powell – February 2001

    “[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.”

    Condoleezza Rice – July 2001

    “We are able to keep arms from [Saddam]. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

    Seriously, how many times do I have to show these quotes until people start admitting that the Bush administration lied about how much of a threat Saddam was?

  78. 78
    Darrell says:

    Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq’s weapons programs, said Hussein’s ability to produce nuclear weapons had “progressively decayed” since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of “concerted efforts to restart the program.“

    He had not yet restarted the program. That point is not in dispute. Saddam DID take extraordinary measures to be able to reconstitute his nuclear program once sanctions had eroded. Saddam’s intentions were clear

  79. 79
    Mark Wilson says:

    When did liberals/left-wingers/Democrats become so completely unable to contemplate a world in which the United States, to defend its national security, might fight a war? Was it 2000, when Bush won (or, in their view, stole) the presidency? It seems to me that, by any objective and fair-minded measure, we had at least as much cause to go to war in Iraq as we did in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, the Persian Gulf war and Kosovo (wars started under Democratic, Democratic, Republican, Republican and Democratic administrations respectively). I personally supported all 4 of the last 4 wars (and thought we went into the Balkans years later than we should have). I would have supported a war in Rwanda, and thought that we should have had one. Not once did I consider my political views of the then president in forming my views on the justness of those wars. We are in a war against Islamo-Facism — do Bush’s liberal/left-wing/Democratic critics not believe we are in such war? If they do believe we are in such a war, how would they fight and win such war? Will the answers change in 2008 during the first term of a Clinton administration? Will there be a 2008 Clinton administration if the Democrats don’t start getting serious about winning this war?

  80. 80
    Slide says:

    Wait a minute. I’m debating Darrell? ugh. Adios.

  81. 81
    Darrell says:

    If you had an honest bone in your body you would admit that the argument wasn’t that “he set the stage to reconstitute” but that he had ACTUAL weapons

    Who claimed Saddam for sure had nukes? No one. The argument was that he was a threat and he needed to be taken out. An overwhelming bi-partisan majority in Congress agreed. But BushLied(TM)

  82. 82
    Perry Como says:

    It’s all very simple. Saddam had a very complex WMD program that was being run by mole people. The mole people had a series of tunnels that ran between the yards of former regime scientists. The mole people were able to change the molecular structure of aluminum tubes so the tubes could be used to enrich yellowcake that was obtained from Joe Wilson.

    If President Bush had not stopped Saddam’s sinister mole people program, eventually they would have developed a nuclear Voltron. Nuclear Voltron would have then been used to attack the United States, right after it picked up the last component for its flaming sword: Cindy Sheehan.

    We are fighting the nuclear Voltron related program activities over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. Do you really want the smoking gun to be a nuclear Voltron?

  83. 83
    Darrell says:

    Perry Como = DougJ

    No question about it

  84. 84
    Otto Man says:

    When did liberals/left-wingers/Democrats become so completely unable to contemplate a world in which the United States, to defend its national security, might fight a war?

    The key there is “to defend its national security.” I fully supported the war in Afghanistan and wish the administration had actually accomplished the mission there in full before traipsing off to Iraq.

    And with Iraq, again, the key is “to defend its national security.” In order to commit the country to war there, the administration gave us tons of lies about how Iraq threatened our national security — from allusions to a Saddam-alQaeda connection that never existed, to fear-mongering about “mushroom clouds” over American cities and drones with WMDs that could bombard us from the air. They knew all of that was bullshit and peddled it anyway.

    Hi there. I’m a liberal. I’m not anti-war. I’m anti-incompetence and anti-dishonesty.

  85. 85
    Mike S says:

    He had not yet restarted the program. That point is not in dispute. Saddam DID take extraordinary measures to be able to reconstitute his nuclear program once sanctions had eroded. Saddam’s intentions were clear

    What was the case for war?

  86. 86
    Otto Man says:

    We are fighting the nuclear Voltron related program activities over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. Do you really want the smoking gun to be a nuclear Voltron?

    Actually, that sounds closer to Darrell than DougJ. Should’ve thrown in a “you kooks” comment to make it complete, though.

  87. 87

    Can’t explain Powell or Rice’s statement can ya Darrell?

    You guys are delusional. Both their quotes speak for themselves. They knew Saddam wasn’t the threat we were making him out out be.

    I guarantee the number of people who think the Bush Administration deliberately misled us into war will only go up and that history will judge it that way as well. Seriously, get help–you guys need it.

    You only make yourselves look like complete idiots when you deny what most Americans have come to the realization of. We were lied to. This is a war of choice.

  88. 88
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Mark Wilson: Getting serious about winning this war is pretty much what has been missing in Field Marshall Georgie’s plans all along. If he had won this war and subdued the population there to the point where we would have been able to declare victory and get our troops out, Bush would have been credited for all sorts of exciting things by the right and have gone on to be the hero they always dreamed he would be.

    But alas, he had no such success on the battlefield. Rather he led us into a bloody unwinnable quagmire (at best), one that appears will go on for years. And because of this failure George W. Bush is now being subjected to all sorts of nasty criticism, to the point where (if the polls are to be believed) a clear majority of Americans now think he is not only a dishonest man, but a failed leader as well.

    Now there are a lot of issues here, and don’t you know they’ve been discussed ad naseum. But if there is one thing Americans truly hate, it is leaders who lose wars.

    Bush is rapidly morphing from War Presdient to War Loser. The criticism, accusations and rotten poll numbers are all consequences of this.

  89. 89
    Otto Man says:

    If we’re justified in going to war because Saddam Hussein really, really, really wanted nuclear weapons and was going to hold his breath until he got them, then why haven’t we declared war on all the other loony dictators with dreams of world domination and the means nowhere to match?

    Kim Jong-Il is batshit crazy. He not only wants to rule the world but he’s actually on his way to doing it, much further than Saddam Hussein, who was about as close to getting his nukes as a teenage girl writing “Mrs. Brad Pitt” on her Trapper Keeper is to making that happen. So why haven’t we taken him out?

  90. 90
    Steve S says:

    A sign of the times. It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong. Not sure what the rest of the fuss is from those on the left, but there is no evidence that Bush ‘lied.’ Unless, of course, if lying is the same as being wrong. In that case, I am a ‘liar,’ too, because I thought he had WMD.

    There’s only one problem with this line of argumentation.

    We had weapons inspectors back in Iraq. They were starting to do their jobs again when Bush ordered an invasion.

    So you really can’t claim that you thought they had WMDS, because you weren’t willing to wait for confirmation.

    No, I think the justifications for this war were based largely on fear. Fear and cowardice. Those who thought it was justified at the time were scared and wanted to lash out at something or somebody.

    I think if you admit that, you’ll do a lot to restore your own credibility on the issue.

  91. 91
    Otto Man says:

    “doing it” = getting nukes

    Kim Jong-Il has as much chance of ruling the world as Darrell does of winning a logic contest.

  92. 92
    Perry Como says:

    Perry Como = DougJ

    Perry Como != DougJ

    Unless DougJ sang “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’round the Ole Oak Tree”. If he did, then there are some royalty issues that need to be worked out.

  93. 93
    Mein Crank says:

    The definitive moment for me was when General Powerpoint got up at the UN (in front of a draped “Guernica”) and showed a picture of a “mobile laboratory” that was a friggin’ cartoon I could have drawn with illustrator in about 3 minutes. Then it dawned on me, “They. Got. Nothing.”

    Bush was finding reasons for war the way a 15 year old who found the key to the liquor cabinet finds reasons for his parents to go out of town for the weekend.

    Yale, TANG, Harvard MBA, driving drunk with underage relatives in Maine, Arbusto, Spectrum 7, Harken, the Rangers stadium deal, gubbernor of Texxxis (all that unspent CHIP money given back to the feds, anyone?), the shitting of McCain in South Carolina, Bush v. Gore (now with mini-riots), the August 6, 2001 PDB, the Medicare-big pharma gravy train, Plamegate, Hell-a-burpin’ etc…

    George W. Bush: 8 pounds of shit in a 5 lb. bag.

  94. 94
    Mike S says:

    Who claimed Saddam for sure had nukes? No one. The argument was that he was a threat and he needed to be taken out. An overwhelming bi-partisan majority in Congress agreed. But BushLied™

    Nope, not an honest bone. The argument was that he had WMD’s, we knew where they were and they were ready for use.

    I don’t say he lied, I say he misled. There was ample evidence that the points they made had contradictory evidence. As I show in the third post on this thread they actively attempted to hide contradictory evidence and make the evidence they did have seem much more solid and frightening than it was.

    Why do you not have a problem with them changing the NIE to fit their needs?

  95. 95
    Steve S says:

    Flowers and candy.

    That’s what we were going to be met with when we liberated Iraq.

    Just a reminder. That little gem was based off intelligence fed to Dick Cheney by Ahmed Chalabi.

    In retrospect, I really do believe that this whole invasion was the result of our country being used by Iranian counter-intelligence. It was payback for our support of Husein during the Iran-Iraq war.

    That is probably the most damning piece of the puzzle. It’s not that Bush lied… It’s that he was so wanting to believe Iranian intelligence that he just ate it up.

    Any other President would have demanded better proof. Certainly Clinton never invaded, even though they laid out plans for this in 1998 as noted by General Zinni who wrote the plans.

  96. 96
    jobiuspublius says:

    “B-b-b-b-but the opposition party believed it too.”
    LOL, so fuking lame and they wonder why the Putz in Chief has no ratings, assholes. Lol.

  97. 97
    Darrell says:

    We had weapons inspectors back in Iraq. They were starting to do their jobs again when Bush ordered an invasion.

    He allowed inspectors back in the country only after a gun was pointed at his head in the form of 150,000 troops on his border. That was a situation which could not continue for any significant period of time. Do we bring over 150,000 troops each time Saddam otherwise refuses inspections?

  98. 98
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    Who claimed Saddam for sure had nukes? No one. The argument was that he was a threat and he needed to be taken out. An overwhelming bi-partisan majority in Congress agreed. But BushLied™

    He had nothing. So, how was he a threat and needing to be taken out? Dumbass, that is the lie.

  99. 99
    ppGaz says:

    Unless DougJ sang “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘round the Ole Oak Tree”. If he did, then there are some royalty issues that need to be worked out.

    You are right, Doug. You are not Tony Orlando.

  100. 100
    searp says:

    I changed my mind after reading the posts. They definitely lied (er, inflated, misrepresented, twisted, whatever your favorite adjective is).

    Lied AND got it wrong. Bush 43 will be the subject of some interesting historical analysis, I just hope I live long enough.

    It is one thing to be Warren Harding, and be corrupt and incompetent in peacetime. Yet another to be corrupt and incompetent and hope to cover it up by starting a war based on a tissue of lies.

  101. 101
    Mike S says:

    That was a situation which could not continue for any significant period of time.

    Especially when they were showing that the case for war was falling apart. Better to send them in to kill and be killed than to wait another month so that the inspecters could disprove even more.

  102. 102
    Steve says:

    “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”

  103. 103
    Darrell says:

    Nope, not an honest bone. The argument was that he had WMD’s, we knew where they were and they were ready for use.

    Talk about dishonest Mike. Here were the reasons we went to war in Iraq, reasons which were publicly debated for a YEAR before the war. Threat of WMDs (everyone believed Saddam had them)was but one among many reasons

  104. 104
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    That was a situation which could not continue for any significant period of time.

    But we can occupy Iraq for 8, 10, 12, … years?

    Do we bring over 150,000 troops each time Saddam otherwise refuses inspections?

    It would probably be safer and cheaper.

    Are you even trying or are you DougJ, or John Cole? If you are DougJ, dam, your talent is superb for it’s multifacetness.

  105. 105
    ppGaz says:

    everyone believed Saddam had them

    That meme is going to rank in history right up there with “peace with honor”.

    Try to keep up. I posted the resolution a couple days ago, and highlighted the passages about how Iraq had caused 9-11. Not exactly convincing.

    The resolution gave the president permission to use force if necessary. Nobody made him use it. It wasn’t necessary.

  106. 106
    Darrell says:

    So, how was he a threat and needing to be taken out?

    Reality based community? From the Duelfer report key findings:

    Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability-in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks-but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

    Networks of “dual-use” labs, Saddam’s history of producing and using them. Yeah, Saddam could be trusted, right?

  107. 107
    Mike S says:

    Ask the average American why we went to war.

    And again, why do you not have a problem with the admin changing the NIE report?

  108. 108
    Darrell says:

    Flowers and candy.

    That’s what we were going to be met with when we liberated Iraq.

    Kurds did greet us with flowers. The Shia were glad to be out from underneath Saddam’s jackboot. That’s 80% of the country

  109. 109
    Mike S says:

    Reality based community? From the Duelfer report key findings:

    I love the way you use that graf regardless of how many times it’s shown to be a joke. You must “aspire” to be a member of this administration.

  110. 110
    Darrell says:

    In order to commit the country to war there, the administration gave us tons of lies about how Iraq threatened our national security—from allusions to a Saddam-alQaeda connection that never existed

    A well documented, well established Saddam – Al Queda connection did exist. God the left is ignorant

  111. 111
    John S. says:

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong.

    I find it hard to believe that I am so damn special that I number in the ‘very few exceptions’ category, but I’ll take your word for it.

  112. 112
    jobiuspublius says:

    I aspire to have a Harem should I be jailed before having acquired my second wife?

    Exactly who in the world can we trust? Time for WWIII, I guess.

  113. 113

    A well documented, well established Saddam – Al Queda connection did exist. God the left is ignorant

    No, your just bat-shit insane. Like I said, get help.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Stormy70 says:

    Democrats can’t be trusted with national security, period. No one here has given their solutions, just no Bush, no “torture” or detaining anyone because America deserves everything it gets because we are bad, bad, bad. The troops suck, and are bogged down in Iraq. They are kicking the terrorists’ asses right as we speak, but it would behoove anyone here to actually look up something not posted on a lefty blog. Whatever, I’m bored and Chamberlain’s Kobe Filet awaits me tonight.

    Tim, I am still curious about your views on the national security questions I raised a while back.

  116. 116
    ppGaz says:

    A well documented, well established Saddam – Al Queda connection did exist.

    Nope. Not true, not even close. Even Dick Cheney now tries to assert that he never said any such thing.

    Of course, he’s on tape saying such things, and he’s a liar, but the point is, he denies saying them now because he knows it’s horseshit. He knew it then, too.

  117. 117
    Andrei says:

    As expected, a thread goes to hell because of Darrell. And John Cole has yet to answer his critics. I predict that the day John Cole bans Darrell, we might have a decent shot at aggressive leftwing v rightwing debate around here even though many of us wouldn’t switch our main political affiliations.

    When I watched the Bush speech, I thought to myself, “That has to be the stupidest political move I have ever seen.” There is going to be a feeding frenzy now by the press and so many in the blogosphere to make the President eat his words. He’s begging for a fight and he’s about to get it. No sympathy from me on that part.

    Even if Bush didn’t lie in his own mind and only suppressed certain bits of intel based on what they thought was important, the overwhleming evidence of incompetence run amok from prior to and following March 2003 is the kind of thing you don’t beg for a fight to defend politically. Especially not with the mood of the country and the low support you have in the general polls.

    Bush has been described by many to be an incredibly stubborn man, and we’ve seen that characteristic time and again with his refusal to admit mistakes. Combine stubborn with the kind of reality-distortion like field of living at the White House and I think we see the results, and they simply are not good.

    If Bush didn’t lie, that just makes him a true incompetent. I don’t care which is the reailty here. All I care about is having peope who are real leaders in position of authority and people who understand how to parse all the intricacies of the issues at the highest level of governance, not someone who was voted in because he was “an average guy you could relate to” and whom is so obviously unqualified for the job like this man.

  118. 118
    Andrei says:

    Democrats can’t be trusted with national security, period.

    That’s like believing women can’t be trusted running a company at the CEO level. It’s just asinine to think that 50% of a population is incapable of doing something for whatever petty reason you think are legitimate but have no basis in reality. FDR presided over World War II, remember?

  119. 119
    ppGaz says:

    No one here has given their solutions

    Solutions? To a bunch of lying sons of bitches?

    Just what solutions do you think are on the table?

    Stick with the scotch, stormy. This conversation is for the grownups.

  120. 120
    jobiuspublius says:

    Well, Stormy70, if the opposition party can’t be trusted on national security issues, what does it mean that they and the dominant party believed all that pre-war intelligance bullshit?

  121. 121
    jobiuspublius says:

    Solution: The Hague.

  122. 122
    Darrell says:

    Even Dick Cheney now tries to assert that he never said any such thing.

    Of course, he’s on tape saying such things

    Where and when did Dick Cheney ever assert that there were no ties between Saddam and Al Queda? Show us the links where Cheney said that or admit that you made it up

  123. 123
    GTinMN says:

    Look, if there was ANY credible evidence dug up after the invasion that actually justified the WMD scare tactics the BA used, we all know damned well that Rove would’ve toured it around the country as a prominent part of the 2004 election campaign. Bush ‘pioneers’ would’ve gotten plaques with pieces of WMD attached. Shit, there would be a new Smithsonian exhibit and a permanent touring exhibition devoted to Iraq’s WMD trove. The BA are nothing if not shameless marketing whores. It’s the ONLY thing they do well.

    In short, you right-wing tools have NOTHING of substance to say regarding WMDs. You can only keep trying to fool yourselves, which is sadly all too easy.

  124. 124
    ppGaz says:

    predict that the day John Cole bans Darrell

    Snort. Why would he? Darrell is his lawyer in this thread.

    No wonder John was having trouble sleeping last summer. He’s got Darrell carrying the water for him on this topic.

    That’s Darrell, the well known nuclear threat analyst.

  125. 125
    jaime says:

    DARRELL:

    Who claimed Saddam for sure had nukes

    “And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons”
    -Dick Cheney

    Want to ask that question again? You sure Darrell? Man, I wish we could make the right wing small enough to drown in a bathtub.

  126. 126
    Robert Wallis says:

    ppGatz
    “Stick with the scotch, stormy. This conversation is for the grownups.”
    have not read any lucid comments by the left on this thread,

  127. 127
    ppGaz says:

    have not read any lucid comments by the left on this thread,

    Try reading them while under water.

  128. 128
    Robert Wallis says:

    pp you just proved my point

  129. 129
    Stormy70 says:

    50% of the population are definitely not Democrats. I know you guys have no solutions, just flailing around and gnashing of teeth. It is transparent by the way no one here has ever answered that question. Just back to Iraq, which we are winning, by the way. I know, because I ask the soldiers who are there. Not some Metro-sexual Times or Post reporter sitting on their asses in New York or Washington.

  130. 130
    Darrell says:

    what does it mean that they and the dominant party believed all that pre-war intelligance bullshit?

    I guess you didn’t know that many/most Dems believed the same “bullshit”, which is why Bush was given overwhelming congressional approval to go to war in Iraq. Oh, and in case you kooks forgot:

    “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.”
    – President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” S
    – Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. 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.”
    – Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

    Want more Dem quotes calling for war in Iraq over WMDs? I have many more

  131. 131
    blackfrancis says:

    darrel, I have a clip you may want to see

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/.....html#a5796

  132. 132
    rilkefan says:

    “No, you’re just bat-shit insane. Like I said, get help.”

    Obligatory objection to the psychiatrization of argument.

  133. 133
    ppGaz says:

    Where and when did Dick Cheney ever assert that there were no ties between Saddam and Al Queda? Show us the links where Cheney said that or admit that you made it up

    You’re such a funny, yet reprehensible, little squirt.

    Cheney is on video, MSNBC, saying that he “never said any such thing” when in fact, MSNBC also has on video saying exactly that very thing.

    I don’t have to show you anything, you preposterous twit. Do your own research.

  134. 134
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell, your arguments will come in handy the next time Bill Clinton runs for president.

    But right now, we have the lying cocksucker Bush to deal with, so go away until you can get caught up.

  135. 135
    Otto Man says:

    Democrats can’t be trusted with national security, period.

    They can’t be trusted to live up to the Republican Gold Standard of mishandling the evidence, misstating the case, destroying our alliances, ending the careers of civilian and military experts who knew what they were talking about, outing CIA agents and all the rest. On that, we’re agreed.

    No one here has given their solutions

    Yeah, I haven’t figured out a way to unshit the bed. Personally, I argued that it was a bad idea to shit the bed in the first place. You all didn’t listen then, and I realize I-told-you-so isn’t going to cut it now. But it’s a start. Maybe it’ll keep you from shitting the next bed too.

    just no Bush, no “torture” or detaining anyone because America deserves everything it gets because we are bad, bad, bad.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re saying. This administration is incompetent, and pointing it out means that we hate all Americans including ourselves. Do you honestly believe this bullshit?

    You apparently have love for your country that’s akin to a four-year-old’s love for her Mommy. Everything Mommy does is good, and anyone who says anything mean about Mommy is a mean ol’ doodyhead. I, however, love my country like a grown-up loves a family member. I’ll love it no matter what, but if I think it’s doing something wrong or self-destructive, I’ll speak up about it precisely because I love it so.

    This is the original meaning of “my country, right or wrong” as espoused by Carl Schurz in the U.S. Senate: “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

  136. 136
    Anderson says:

    How does Cole read a thread like this & come away going “yeah, Bush was acting on the best intel available”?

    Very mysterious.

  137. 137
    Darrell says:

    I know, because I ask the soldiers who are there. Not some Metro-sexual Times or Post reporter sitting on their asses in New York or Washington.

    Stormy, I think you’ll enjoy reading this

    According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like “Are we losing in Iraq” on TV and the print media.

    I read pretty much the same thing from Iraqi war veterans on just about every military blog. But the important thing to remember is that BushLiedPeopleDied

  138. 138
    ppGaz says:

    Obligatory objection to the psychiatrization of argument.

    Sadly, our time today is just about up, though. Let’s wrap up.

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1

    And this is benefitting me how?

    Please post your references to show that global terrorism is on the decline, or else admit that you are full of shit.

  140. 140
    Darrell says:

    rilkefan Says:

    “No, you’re just bat-shit insane. Like I said, get help.”

    When you have no brains and no argument, this is what’s left

  141. 141
    Frank says:

    Anderson- I think it is pretty clear that John isn’t reading this thread. He felt the need to write down his version of the current talking points, but just doesn’t have the stomach to defend them.

    If he were reading any of this he would notice how hard his case is to defend and how easy examples of Bush’s lying are to come by.

  142. 142
    Andrei says:

    50% of the population are definitely not Democrats.

    I guess that’s why Bush won the popular vote back in 2000, right? And barely won the popular vote in 2004 after waging such a successful war in Iraq? Makes you wonder why the Democrats ever bother in the first place since the country is so overwhleminngly GOP. And way to not answer the original point. Nice try.

    FWIW, I’ve mention on a few occasions what I thought the proper thing to do back in 2001 was. You never commented on it. You keep equating what many of us say here as “no solution” when in fact many times there have been solutions offered up. Just because you disagree with solution does not equate to “no solution.”

    Finally, if we are winning the war in Iraq, why has violence escalated and not decreased in Baghdad. Why has the situation on the ground not improved dramatically since Shock and Awe, when we decimated Saddam’s army in record time? Why does the “most dangerous highway” still exist in Iraq? And if this is winning, how long does winninng take?

  143. 143
    Stormy70 says:

    Good link, Darrell. I saw 7 soldiers yesterday at the airport, and they were in great spirits. Could be the beer money I gave them. Made my time at the airport worth it, since the business portion of my day kinda sucked.

    My filet awaits.

  144. 144
    Darrell says:

    blackfrancis Says:

    darrel, I have a clip you may want to see

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/.....html#a5796

    That clip is only in regards to a very specific instance of “senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service” meeting in Czechoslovakia. Again, ppgaz where does Cheney admit there were no ties between Iraq under Saddam and Al Queda?? Admit you just made it the fuck up. Those ties are WELL ESTABLISHED, yet so many of you kooks on the left are too ignorant to know they exist, or you’re too dishonest to acknowledge them. Either way, you’re idiots for holding that position

  145. 145
    John Cole says:

    Look- I haven’t read this whole thread, but if you want to know why Democrats are so forceful with this Bush lied stuff, it isn;t all partisan considerations, as I note in the update. And statements that ‘Democrats can’t be trusted with national security’ just fuel the anger, so knock it off.

    Some Democrats probably can’t be trusted with intel, and Rockefeller’s memo still pisses me off. But, I will remind you, some Republicans can’t be trusted, either:

    Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to sources familiar with the probe.

    Specifically, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron confirmed to FBI investigators that Shelby verbally divulged the information to him during a June 19, 2002, interview, minutes after Shelby’s committee had been given the information in a classified briefing, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the case.

    Se let’s all take a deep breath, and knock off the bad faith assumptions and the sweeping assertions.

  146. 146
    rilkefan says:

    Darrell, that’s the worst misuse of attribution I can remember.

    Over at Obsidian Wings hilzoy is making my head explode and reexplode.

  147. 147
    blackfrancis says:

    darrell, darrell, darrell.

    my point in linking that clip was simple.

    cheney lied. right on video. juxtaposed for all to see.

    point made.

    thank you and have a nice day.

  148. 148
    John Cole says:

    Anderson- I think it is pretty clear that John isn’t reading this thread. He felt the need to write down his version of the current talking points, but just doesn’t have the stomach to defend them

    .

    Frank- That would be Exhibit A in the bad faith assumptions showcase.

    I wonder what exactly it is about me that makes me nothing more, in the eyes of some of you, as nothing more than someone who regurgitates GOP talking points.

    It certainly is not the pointed attacks I make on half to three quarters of the current GOP agenda. I wonder if some of you even read this site, and just stop by to do a drive-by insult every now and then. I mean, really- if I am the enemy, and my views are so far out of the mainstream in your opinion that l;aunching pointless ad hominems at me is necessary, I would suggest that YOU are the one who is out of the mainstream in this country.

  149. 149
    rilkefan says:

    Was referring to Darrell‘s comment here in my last.

  150. 150
    Darrell says:

    how easy examples of Bush’s lying are to come by

    Bush was told by CIA head Tenet that it was a “slam dunk” case that Saddam had WMDs. Saddam had ejected inspectors from Iraq in 1998 with 100’s of tons of known, unaccounted for WMDs. So tell us, how did Bush “lie”?

  151. 151
    Stormy70 says:

    Oh, ok. Is this the “most dangerous highway” you are talking about, or is it another one.

    Then, two months ago, the killings stopped. In October, one person was wounded on the road and no one was killed, according to the U.S. Army, which also calculated the April deaths. The turnaround was owed to simple, boots-on-the-ground military tactics, Army officials said.

    Our guys get it done. Enemies have gone north, and our operations are reflecting that fact.

  152. 152
    d. b. cooper says:

    It is pretty clear that everyone (with very few exceptions) thought Saddam had WMD, and that everyone was wrong.

    I’m not sure what “very few exceptions” means. I do know that all my friends on the “loony left” did not believe this. This view admittedly was marginalized in that anyone who held it was labeled as crazy and was generally left out of news reports in the MSM. There was, however, a significant segment of the population that did not believe, with very good reason, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

    I know the exact argument that those of us on the “loony left” most made was that while Saddam was an evil dictator that should be weakened in any way possible (short of war) he did not have WMD and was not a threat to the united States. You didn’t hear that argument?

  153. 153
    rilkefan says:

    John, we’re busy having a 95% one-sided filleting of your post. If some people are unhappy that there’s nobody holding the other sabre, shouldn’t you be pleased?

    I think Frank should pack in the bad faith stuff, but otoh this is the most important single issue before the American people, at least as far as judging the Bush admin is concerned (I’d put health care, the deficit, govt. performance, energy policy, loose nuclear material, probably other things as issues more important than the failed Iraq policy). If you’re going to be responsive to any debate on this blog, let it be this one.

  154. 154

    When you have no brains and no argument, this is what’s left

    Actually, that comment was by me and I did present an argument; You just refused to address it because you–and I’m sure John–as well, can’t.

    It clearly demonstrates that the Administration deliberately misled us into the Iraq War.

  155. 155

    Well I sure screwed up that use of the –. Oh well, you get the point.

  156. 156
    rilkefan says:

    Stormy, heard about that on NPR the other night – excellent news. Though I wonder if the number of troops devoted to the task is justifiable and supportable, given the broad goals and limited resources of the admin in Iraq. And why the decision to put those troops in place couldn’t have been made a year or more ago.

  157. 157
    Darrell says:

    And statements that ‘Democrats can’t be trusted with national security’ just fuel the anger, so knock it off.

    When Dems, many of whom called for war in Iraq over WMDs in the past and voted for authorization to go to war in Iraq, when they now dishonestly attempt to re-write history (“Bush lied!”, “War over lies!”) which undermines our efforts in Iraq for pure partisan gain.. that does show an utter lack of seriousness over matters of national security, a lack of honesty and a lack of patriotism. Absolutely there are many, many on the left who fit that profile. No exaggeration to say they shouldn’t be trusted in matters of national security after pulling that kind of dishonest crap

  158. 158
    Mike S says:

    I think Andrew hones into one aspect why the Bush lied bit is so pervasive and so satisfying to some- this has been an extremely arrogant administration, and even more so, and extremely arrognat period of Republican rule. Not only have they stripped the minority party of any power, they continue to actively rub their noses in things, ignore any efforts to work in a bi-partisan manner, have passed legislation with Democrats on board and then failed to follow through on the promises they made to get the Democrats aboard, and let jackasses like Rove run around suggesting liberals are traitors and the like. The anger I see, in many cases, is justified. The argument that Bush lied, however, is not.

    I agree with every aspect of this comment/update. Including the part about Bush lying. To be a lie he would have to have KNOWN that there were no WMD’s.

    However he did mislead us. As I have shown in this and other threads. The debate was the most important debate in many people’s lifetimes. It is the obligation of the people in the debate to disclose every aspect of it. This administration intentionally left information out and changed what the information they did release said. Read this comment and it’s link and try to say different.

    As far as the people saying dems can’t protect this country, want us to lose or the evr popular hate America crap. Go fuck yourselves.

  159. 159
    DougJ says:

    Darrell, your arguments will come in handy the next time Bill Clinton runs for president.

    Excellent comment.

  160. 160
    Slide says:

    Just back to Iraq, which we are winning, by the way. I know, because I ask the soldiers who are there

    I’m old enough to remember the Viet Nam war. We were winning that one too. Never lost a battle we were told. They had a weekly body count. Saw it every Friday on Cronkite. We usually killed them at a much higher ratio than 20 to 1 I’ll guarantee you. Every fuckin week we were “winning”.

    But we lost.

    Why? well, because this is not about winning battles. Not about body count. The insurgency is stronger today than six months ago, stronger than a year ago, stronger than 18 months ago. The weapons they are using are more sophisticated, more lethal. They are so comfortable that they were even able to do a little side mission out of country, into Jordan. We are winning Stormy? Yeah, just like in Viet Nam.

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    Again, ppgaz where does Cheney admit there were no ties between Iraq under Saddam and Al Queda?? Admit you just made it the fuck up. Those ties are WELL ESTABLISHED, yet so many of you kooks on the left are too ignorant to know they exist, or you’re too dishonest to acknowledge them. Either way, you’re idiots for holding that position

    Bite me, Darrell. We’ll go over this Monday when the Hardball transcript for Nov 11 goes up on their site. Their transcript lady apparently only works M-F.

    Cheney says, on tape, on MSNBC air, “We know with certainty …” Couple years later, he is asked, “Did you say you know with certainty …” He answers, “I never said that.” But, he did. And the thing he claimed to “know with certainty” was an Al Qaeda or 911 connection to Hussein. Now he claims he never said it. He is provably lying the second time, and almost certainly lying the first time. Both clips broadcast on Hardball yesterday, at 7 and 9 EST (repeated for West Coast).

    This is not exactly news. I’ve seen the same clips before on MSNBC, it’s one of Matthews’ favorites. It’s just a knee-slapping example of the Vp lying through his teeth.

    The administration claims and has claimed repeatedly that they did not claim a connection between Iraq and 9-11.

    This is pretty old fucking news Darrell

    As recently as Monday, Cheney said in a speech that Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.”

    I’m pretty sure on Monday you’ll see the transcript of Cheney claiming he never said any such thing.

    In late 2001, Cheney said it was “pretty well confirmed” that Sept. 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official before the attacks, in April 2000 in Prague; Cheney later said the meeting could not be proved or disproved.

    IIANM, Atta was later shown by phone records to have been in Florida at the time of the putative meeting.

    Patrick J. Fitzgerald, now a U.S. attorney in Illinois, who oversaw the African bombing case, told the commission that reference was dropped in a superceding indictment because investigators could not confirm al Qaeda’s relationship with Iraq as they had done with its ties to Iran, Sudan and Hezbollah. The original material came from an al Qaeda defector who told prosecutors that what he had heard was secondhand.

    “When interviewed by Tim Russert, Vice President Cheney asserted that Iraq was “the heart of the base” for the 9/11 terrorists and went on from there with a series of half-truths and outright deceptions about almost every topic broached, including his supposed lack of current “financial interest in Halliburton .” Mr. Cheney, a master of the above-reproach dead pan, just kept going, effortlessly mowing right through any objections by the host. The vice president was banking, as Dr. Dean did on “This Week,” on a cultural environment in which fiction and nonfiction have become so scrambled  and can be so easily manipulated by politicians and show-biz impresarios alike  that credibility itself has become a devalued, if not archaic, news value. This is why the big national mystery of the moment  why do almost 70 percent of Americans believe in Mr. Cheney’s fictional insinuation that Saddam Hussein had some hand in 9/11?  is not so hard to crack. As low as the administration’s credibility may be, it is still trusted more than the media trying to correct the fictions the White House plants in the national consciousness.” –Frank Rich, NYT, 09.28.03

    Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials have often asserted that there were extensive ties between Hussein’s government and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network. Earlier this year, Cheney said evidence of a link was “overwhelming.”

  162. 162
    DougJ says:

    Darrell and ppgaz: you guys should have your own show on CNN. It would be better than Crossfire. When I first came here, I felt like all you guys did was tell each other to eff off all the time. Now, your back-and-forth is really quite witty and entertaining.

  163. 163
    Brad R. says:

    ppGaz- here’s the video at Crooks & Liars.

  164. 164
    Otto Man says:

    I wonder what exactly it is about me that makes me nothing more, in the eyes of some of you, as nothing more than someone who regurgitates GOP talking points.

    For what it’s worth, count me as one liberal here who admires John for his independent streak. I can’t think of a single issue on which I’ve seen him parrot the GOP talking points, and many on which he’s bucked them. We may disagree on a lot of issues, but I have little doubt that John comes to his conclusions honestly.

    That said, there are commenters here who seem to be parroting the GOP talking points with a consistency that would make Fox News envious. But John’s not one of them.

  165. 165
    ppGaz says:

    I saw 7 soldiers yesterday at the airport, and they were in great spirits. Could be the beer money I gave them

    Only in America. Foreign policy advice from a lady who hangs around the airport buying beer for soldiers.

    Gotta love it.

    “Hey, sailor ….”

  166. 166
    Perry Como says:

    Our guys get it done.

    In spades. This is being reflected by the rush of new recruits. Just last month the Army exceeded its recruiting goal. The Army is doing so well in fact, that it slashed its October recruiting goal by 1/3rd from last year. Huzzah!

    As to accusations of BushLied™, CheneyLied™, etc., it is nothing but biterness from the CommiePinkoMoveOnTraitorLeft (that would be trademarked, but the Left hates the free market and would do away with intellectual property). The CommiePinkoMoveOnTraitorLeft is upset that President Bush has waged a highly successful war that has brought peace and stability to the Middle East.

    President Bush’s brilliant vision of spreading Democracy has made the world a safer and more free place. We are spreading Democracy over there so we don’t have to spread it over here.

    p.s. – Does anyone happen to know how to get a food product produced? I think a tasty Democracy Spread would be a huge hit with Americans. Well, a hit with the 43% of non-terrorist loving Americans.

  167. 167
    ppGaz says:

    pp you just proved my point

    You had no point.

  168. 168
    Matt says:

    I’m not sure I’m prepared to call Bush a liar, but I do think he is guilty, at the very least, of misleading congress and the American public about the threat posed by Saddam.

    I mean, the war was pushed with the premise that Saddam had or would soon have significant quantities of WMD, a willingness to strike the US with them, and a means of delivery, either developed internally or in collaboration with Al Qaeda. The actual existence of the WMD? Debateable. But does anyone really believe Saddam would have used them against us, or provided them to Al Qeada? It’s ridiculous.

    (One of the reasons I was against the war was that I thought a direct attack on Iraq, aimed at removing Saddam from power, was the only thing that would actually cause what we were ostensibly trying to prevent–the use of WMD against the US by Iraq, or the passage of WMD into the hands of Islamic terrorists. Saddam cared about staying in power in Iraq, and not a whole lot else. He knew that if he directly attacked the US with WMD, or if a WMD attack was traced back to him, he’d be done for. Ergo, the only time he’d actually use WMD against us is if was clear he was about to be overthrown by us. As for Iraq’s WMD falling into the hands of Al Qeada or the like–it’s quite possible that in the lead-up to, or course of, the war, those in possession of Iraq’s WMD bought passage out of the country with them [which is a scenario various right-wing bloggers and talking heads have used to justify the lack of WMD presently–though I’m not sure how exactly that’s supposed to reassure anyone about the wisdom of this war].)

    I actually agree with a lot of those on the right who are calling bullshit on the Dems backpedalling on their support for the war. I think the Democratic Party at the time didn’t have the political balls to stand up and say no to what was clearly–clearly–a dreadful mistake. Now that their pants are filling out a little, I think they’re quite eager to nail Bush on any technicality they can. And I think Republicans are going to get in on it too, because a lot of them assuredly thought the war, in and of itself, was stupid, but realized that, short-term, a solid victory over the anti-war left would be political gold. They’re just starting the feel the long-term effects, though, and you can bet that as they look to 2006 and 2008, they’re going to put some distance between themselves and this president, this war.

    The thing is, the whole debate over whether Bush was technically accurate on a given point completely misses what’s going on in the public mind. The way they see it (and I’m inclined to agree with them), if the war was mistake, and it certainly seems to be, then the responsibility for that mistake ultimately lies with Bush, because it was his pet. You can argue that it’s Congress’s fault for authorizing the war in the first place (and I’m inclined to agree with that, too), which is what many on the right are dancing around, but that still presupposes that the war is a mistake, which will benefit the Dems who reluctantly went along with it far more than it will benefit the Repubs who cheerleaded it.

  169. 169
    Darrell says:

    ppgaz, Czech intelligence stands by their account that Iraqi intelligence officers met with Atta, US intelligence is not so sure. Let’s assume that Czech intelligence is dead wrong over that meeting, how does that disprove the well established connections between Al Queda and Saddam.

    I earlier stated:

    A well documented, well established Saddam – Al Queda connection did exist.

    To which ppgaz replied:

    Nope. Not true, not even close. Even Dick Cheney now tries to assert that he never said any such thing.

    complete bullshit, but so many of you kooks believe there were “no connections”

  170. 170
    ppGaz says:

    surely that’s lying even by John Cole standards.

    Maybe, but we are applying the much more rigorous Darrell Test.

    If you can fool Darrell for five minutes, then you aren’t lying. Or something like that. Darrell can give you the details.

  171. 171
    Frank says:

    John- :) I don’t agree that the assumption of bad faith was pointless or unnecessary. It was the only thing that could have gotten you to respond to the thread, other than obcenities directed at your person, and I don’t like to start things like that.

    Sometimes I post to agree or amplify something when you make a post I agree with, but I usually only comment when you are saying something crazy like “there is no evidence that Bush ‘lied.’”

    I never said I saw you “as nothing more than someone who regurgitates GOP talking points.” I can’t even really look down on you too much for doing it occasionally. I still catch myself repeating some of the GOP’s all time greatest hits. But when you are saying something as downright loony tunes as what you are claiming now, I feel an obligation to point it out to you; you sir are unhinged. Bush is an all time champion fibber. He is a blue ribbon tall tale teller. He is a liar.

    Save yourself continued humiliation and admit it so that you can get on with your life.

  172. 172
    DougJ says:

    Here’s what sometime commenter Don Surber says about Bush’s Friday speech

    He calls it Bush’s Gettysburg, I shit you not.

    Darrell and Stormy: I apologize if I ever lumped you in with this lunatic.

  173. 173
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    Want more Dem quotes calling for war in Iraq over WMDs? I have many more

    But, aren’t they a bunch of losers? Your favorite pols keep company with losers? I guess your favorite pols are losers too, not the hot shots they pretend to be. Oh, no! Free Markets, Ownership Society, and Tax Cuts must be bullshit too! We’re fuked!

    …They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1…

    Is the WoT really that simple? Isn’t there this little thing called recruitment?

  174. 174
    Otto Man says:

    He calls it Bush’s Gettysburg, I shit you not.

    In the sense of George Pickett’s experiences that day?

  175. 175
    Darrell says:

    But does anyone really believe Saddam would have used them against us, or provided them to Al Qeada? It’s ridiculous.

    yes, absurd!
    From Clinton Justice Dept. indictment of OBL in 1998:

    The indictment noted that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden’s international terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in Sudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group Hezballah to “work together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.”

    Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.

    There have been quite a number of documented meetings between top Al Queda leaders and Iraqi officials in the 1990’s. Do you lefties really think you have a point when asserting the “ridiculousness” of a mass murdering sociopath like Saddam with proven terrorists connections.. the ridiculousness that he would pass along WMDs to such terrorists? Incredible the stupidity of so many on the left

  176. 176
    Otto Man says:

    Darrell, one more time: That indictment came from a grand jury in the Southern District of New York State. Not from the Clinton Justice Department.

    As with everything you believe, simply repeating it does not make it so.

  177. 177
    DougJ says:

    I love the idea that comparing this war to the Civil War is a good way to get people behind it. I have a feeling the American public won’t be willing to accept 600,000 casualities this time around.

  178. 178
    Otto Man says:

    I love the idea that comparing this war to the Civil War is a good way to get people behind it. I have a feeling the American public won’t be willing to accept 600,000 casualities this time around.

    Well, this is the same crowd that keeps trotting out casualty numbers from other wars or, in their more insane moments, California highway deaths and insisting that as long as we haven’t hit those levels, everything is fine.

    Call it the soft bigotry of high expectations.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Darrell says:

    But, aren’t they a bunch of losers? Your favorite pols keep company with losers?

    Losers? Clinton was elected twice, he was wildly popular with Democrats. He was our country’s first black President

  181. 181
    DougJ says:

    Solid post, Darrell.

    It is true, though, that (1) Clinton isn’t running for president again and (2) he wasn’t known for his honesty.

    If Bush comes to be seen as all the competence of Carter with all the honesty of Clinton, I don’t think that will help his approval rating. I could be wrong.

  182. 182
    Darrell says:

    Darrell, one more time: That indictment came from a grand jury in the Southern District of New York State. Not from the Clinton Justice Department.

    Clinton Justice dept. investigated, sought, and obtained an indictment against OBL. I know you’re stupid OM, but are you really that stupid?

  183. 183
    Darrell says:

    Oh Otto Man, did it ever occur to you why the indictment read: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – V- USAMA BIN LADEN rather than Grand Jury Southern New York -V- UBL, or Ronny Earle -V- UBL?

  184. 184
    Perry Como says:

    Clinton Justice dept. investigated, sought, and obtained an indictment against OBL. I know you’re stupid OM, but are you really that stupid?

    What they didn’t point out in the indictment is that al Qaeda was the Blue Lion.

  185. 185
    KC says:

    Darrell, what if the indictment was wrong? I mean, given the evidence I’ve seen, it sure seems like it was. Furthermore, I haven’t seen it pushed in any other mainstream conservative outlets.

  186. 186
    Jackie says:

    Bush, Cheney concede Saddam had no WMD

    “US President George W. Bush and his Vice-President conceded on Thursday in the clearest terms yet that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, even as they tried to shift the Iraq war debate to a new issue – whether the invasion was justified because Saddam was abusing a UN oil-for-food programme…

    … For his part, Mr Cheney dismissed the significance of Mr Duelfer’s central findings, telling supporters in Miami they already knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Baghdad.”
    http://english.people.com.cn/2.....59297.html

    Sorry, I’m a first-time poster and have no idea how to post links here, so you’ll have to copy/paste.

    I did a simple search on Google using “Cheney admits no WMD” and actually came up with several hits.

  187. 187
    ppGaz says:

    He was our country’s first black President

    You said something funny.

  188. 188
    Otto Man says:

    Oh Otto Man, did it ever occur to you why the indictment read: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – V- USAMA BIN LADEN rather than Grand Jury Southern New York V UBL, or Ronny Earle V UBL?

    Because that’s the way all legal indictments read whenever the precipitating agent is a representative of the federal government? Just a thought.

    I know you’re stupid OM, but are you really that stupid?

    Called stupid by Darrell. I’ll wear that as a badge of honor.

  189. 189
    Matt says:

    Darrell, the text in that indictment is almost meaningless insofar as this discussion is concerned. I’m quite sure that Saddam did at some point provide Al Qaeda assistance in some form. My assertion was that he did not, and would not, provide them WMD, especially after 9/11. You’ve not contradicted that.

    Additionally, I’m sure that if the intel were declassified, we’d find that every government in that region, even our allies (except Israel, and even there, who knows), have, at some point, given aide to Al Qaeda in exchange for protection from their attacks.

  190. 190
    ppGaz says:

    I’m quite sure that Saddam did at some point provide Al Qaeda assistance in some form.

    I wonder who provided more assistance … Iraq, or the Saudis? That would be the BushSaudis, of course.

    Who has the facts? Darrell, please have your staff work up an overview of Saudi connections to Al Qaeda and 911.

    Remember that the Saudis are Honorary Bushes, and vice versa. So be careful.

  191. 191
    Darrell says:

    Oh and the ’93 World Trade Center bombers entered the US with Iraqi passports and Yasin, who was a fugitive from that bombing was being sheltered by Saddam in Baghdad.. along with terrorist ringleader Abu Nidal.

    So yes, how ‘ridiculous’ to assert that Saddam would do anything to harm us. Haha, I can’t believe all the right wing-nuts who think that [/leftist whackjob]

  192. 192
    ppGaz says:

    So yes, how ‘ridiculous’ to assert that Saddam would do anything to harm us.

    Cut the crap, Darrell. Hussein was no proximate threat to this country, which is now and was then the only legitimate basis for having a war. He couldn’t meet that test, and the war was unneccessary.

    Those are the facts, that is the basis for the collapse of this corrupt government, it is not going to turn around, and the party is over. Go ahead and play your tuba on the deck of the doomed ship. Just try not to take this blog down with you.

  193. 193
    KC says:

    This one’s for Darrell. From Lexix-Nexis:

    Copyright 1998 The Buffalo News
    Buffalo News (New York)

    November 5, 1998, Thursday, CITY EDITION

    Osama bin Laden, the radical Islamic multimillionaire, was formally charged Wednesday with orchestrating the Aug. 7 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and with leading a wider conspiracy to kill Americans around the world.

    A federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a massive indictment against bin Laden and Muhammed Atef, his top military commander, as the State Department announced a $ 5 million reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

    The two men are believed to be hiding in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan with the approval of the Taliban, the Muslim militia that controls that country.

    Although the capture of bin Laden does not seem imminent, terrorism experts said the indictment on murder and conspiracy charges was a precursor to any effort to extract bin Laden from Afghanistan, either as the result of a deal with the Taliban or a risky military operation.

    But Wakil Ahmed, a Taliban spokesman, said today that bin Laden was its guest and vowed not to extradite him.

    He said the United States has made accusations without offering any proof of bin Laden’s involvement in terrorism.

    “The path the United States has adopted is not the proper way of solving this problem,” he said. “After failing to provide evidence against bin Laden, the United States had offered $ 5 million as a reward. . . . This is like adopting the path of terrorism.”

    An Islamic militant group in Pakistan threatened today to retaliate if bin Laden is arrested, describing him as a hero to Muslims.

    “If anything happens to him, America will be responsible,” said Omar Warsi, a leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba, Pakistan’s militant Sunni Muslim group.

    Since the embassy bombings, the U.S. government has pursued bin Laden on several tracks, using military strikes and diplomacy as well as the most extensive overseas law enforcement investigation in American history. Missile attacks on sites in Afghanistan and Sudan Aug. 20 failed to roust him.

    Prosecutors now have charged five people with murder and conspiracy in the embassy bombings, which killed 224 people and injured more than 5,500.

    They also have brought conspiracy charges against four others, described as members of al Qaida, bin Laden’s far-flung organization.

    Wednesday’s indictment repeats earlier allegations that al Qaida forged alliances with Iran and Sudan, supported extremists in more than 20 nations, tried to procure chemical and nuclear weapons, trained Somalis who killed 18 American soldiers in Mogadishu in 1993 and carried out the embassy bombings.

    The new indictment superseded a sealed conspiracy indictment filed against bin Laden two months before the embassy blasts.

    “Osama bin Laden and Muhammad Atef are charged with the most heinous acts of violence ever committed against American diplomatic posts,” said Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. “All those responsible for these brutal and cowardly acts will be brought to justice.”

    But the 238-count indictment also leaves many questions unanswered. Whether prosecutors have evidence that bin Laden directly ordered the East Africa bombings remains unclear.

  194. 194
    Jack Roy says:

    Otto Man: Exactly. Ditto your thanks to John.

  195. 195
    Steve says:

    If Democrats all wanted to go to war with Iraq in 1998 over WMDs, who stopped them, and why? I’m curious.

  196. 196
    CaseyL says:

    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.” – President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” S – Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. 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.” – Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

    Want more Dem quotes calling for war in Iraq over WMDs? I have many more.

    Yes, Darrell, please trot out more of your quotes. Because in the ones you’ve listed, I don’t see word one about invading Iraq.

    The closest anyone comes is the letter, where Levin et al. say “including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites.”

    “Air and missle strikes on suspect sites” is not an advocacy of invasion, and it sure as hell isn’t an advocacy of occupation, and it double-damned sure isn’t an advocacy of keeping US troops in Iraq for 10-20 years.

  197. 197
    Otto Man says:

    If Democrats all wanted to go to war with Iraq in 1998 over WMDs, who stopped them, and why? I’m curious.

    Good question. Probably those lily-livered Democrats, that’s who.

  198. 198
    Darrell says:

    KC Says:

    Darrell, what if the indictment was wrong?

    KC, are you suggesting that indictment is the only, or primary evidence of top Al Queda leaders meeting with Iraqi leaders and intelligence? please educate yourself.

    Mani abd-al-Rashid, Iqaqi intelligence chief met with OBL and other top AQ leaders starting in the mid-1990’s. Al-Zawahri, OBL’s right hand man and #2 in Al Queda went to Baghdad in 1998 for meetings. 1998 OBL makes speech in support of Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi Intelligence leaders meet with Al Queda’s Mohammed Abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim..In 1999, Saddam sends Faruq al-Hijazi to Afghanistan in order to meet with OBL.. and on, and on. Ever hear of the saying: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’?

  199. 199
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    Losers? Clinton was elected twice, he was wildly popular with Democrats. He was our country’s first black President

    Awww, I didn’t know you cared. BTW, he was wildy popular in general too, unlike your dumbass in the oval.

  200. 200
    Darrell says:

    Matt wrote:

    My assertion was that he did not, and would not, provide them WMD, especially after 9/11.

    No, your assertion was that the very idea that Saddam might give Al Queda WMD assistance was itself “ridiculous”. Your exact words:

    The actual existence of the WMD? Debateable. But does anyone really believe Saddam would have used them against us, or provided them to Al Qeada? It’s ridiculous.

  201. 201
    Darrell says:

    Is there even one leftist on this site honest enought to admit that Saddam had ties to Al Queda and other terrorist organizations?

  202. 202
    Otto Man says:

    Ever hear of the saying: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’?

    Yeah. That was the philosophy that led the Reagan administration to cozy up to Saddam (enemy of Iran) and Osama bin Laden (enemy of the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan). It sure worked out well then!

  203. 203
    Otto Man says:

    Is there even one leftist on this site honest enought to admit that Saddam had ties to Al Queda and other terrorist organizations?

    Al Qaeda, no. Was Saddam offering rewards to suicide bombers in Palestine? Of course.

    Does that mean that the administration’s claims about mushroom clouds over American cities and drones dropping chemical agents on the East Coast true? Only if you’re Darrell.

  204. 204
    Darrell says:

    Al Qaeda, no

    There you have it. no connections with Al Queda. See the trend? The more ignorant you are, the more likely for you to be a leftist

  205. 205
    Darrell says:

    p.s. – Does anyone happen to know how to get a food product produced? I think a tasty Democracy Spread would be a huge hit with Americans. Well, a hit with the 43% of non-terrorist loving Americans

    Brilliant snark Doug.. ok, not all of you lefties are stupid

  206. 206
    Matt says:

    Darrell, meetings don’t prove much. As I said, I’m sure every government in the region, and plenty of others elsewhere, have had meetings with Al Qeada. I mean, I may be wrong, maybe Saddam was behind 9/11, and maybe he was working to provide OBL with the means to nuke DC, but nothing I’ve seen suggests anything more than a very, very limited and practical arrangement to buy off Al Qaeda with some minor help. Do you have any evidence that Saddam ever provided WMD to Al Qaeda?

  207. 207
    Otto Man says:

    The more ignorant you are, the more likely for you to be a leftist

    Wait, I thought all those eggheaded intellectuals and academics were leftist. How’s this work again?

    Ignorance has its standards set by Darrell. Yeah, that sounds about right.

  208. 208
    Perry Como says:

    A federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a massive indictment against bin Laden and Muhammed Atef

    You can indict a ham sandwich.

  209. 209
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    …Mani abd-al-Rashid, Iqaqi intelligence chief met with OBL and other top AQ leaders starting in the mid-1990’s….

    Holy shit, Rummy shook Saddam’s hand. Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!

  210. 210
    p.lukasiak says:

    John…

    Bush lied.

    If he had been under oath while telling those lies, he probably could not be convicted of perjury.

    But he lied just the same.

  211. 211
    ppGaz says:

    Is there even one leftist on this site honest enought to admit that Saddam had ties to Al Queda and other terrorist organizations?

    Sure, on the day that you admit that there was, in retrospect, no justification for this war that stands up to any reasonable test. That is isn’t making us safer. That it didn’t go after the perpetrators of 911. That it was sold on the basis of assuptions now known to be not true. That the administration cherry picked the data, spun the stories, stifled dissent, and politicized the war and continues to do so to this day. When you admit that Karl Rove used it as a political tool. That decisions were taken to go to war before the American people had even been offered the “choice” they were given. That the White House pressured the intelligence community to provide approved information that supported the policy. When you admit that Bush pulled out a mushroom cloud in the SOTU address fully aware that the evidence for it was questionable at best. That others in the administration knew even better how questionable it was and said nothing. That an orchestrated campaign in the White House known as WHIG used the press and deliberately spread a web of half-baked intelligence and rebuttable opinion as if it were all certain and unrefutable and sat back and let a grotesque misconception — Iraqi involvement in 911 — go unchallenged into the public sphere, and then came along later and pretended that it was shocked — shocked! — that such a thing were out there. Oh, we never said that.

    Fuck you Darrell. You gotta big ladder to climb before you can ask me for shit.

  212. 212
    Darrell says:

    KC Says:

    Darrell, what if the indictment was wrong? I mean, given the evidence I’ve seen, it sure seems like it was.

    Can you provide contradictory evidence which undermines that Federal indictment of OBL? Because everything I’ve seen, from the 1993 WTC bombers entering on Iraqi passports then sheltered in Iraq and on from there, demonstrate that such ties between Saddam and Al Queda exist. And if you can’t provide contradictory evidence, will you come back and acknowledge that you’re probably wrong?

  213. 213
    ppGaz says:

    You can indict a ham sandwich

    .

    True, Doug, but the corned beef is better.

  214. 214
    Steve says:

    I’ll go so far as to say that bin Laden is guiltier than a ham sandwich.

    The question of whether there were “ties” between al-Qaeda and Iraq is totally meaningless since anything can be a “tie.” Over the last decade, al-Qaeda surely had “ties” to virtually every government in the Middle East.

  215. 215
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    Is there even one leftist on this site honest enought to admit that Saddam had ties to Al Queda and other terrorist organizations?

    Yawn. You histerical fool. Tell me something significant, like, oh I don’t know, Taliban?

  216. 216
    Darrell says:

    Sure, on the day that you admit that there was, in retrospect, no justification for this war that stands up to any reasonable test. That is isn’t making us safer.

    We are safer with Saddam out of power, no question.

    That it didn’t go after the perpetrators of 911

    Yes we did. See Afghanistan

    That the White House pressured the intelligence community to provide approved information that supported the policy

    The Senate intelligence committee findings say the exact opposite

  217. 217
    Matt says:

    Yes, Darrell, I think it’s ridiculous. Or, at the very least, doesn’t rise to a level credible enough to go to war over.

    Again, at the time, there were probably a dozen governments out there with “ties” to Al Qaeda just as well-established, if not more-so. How is it that the least potent, most scrutinized, and most secular of those governments is the one that posed the greatest threat to us?

  218. 218
    Darrell says:

    Did you know that in 1999, Newsweek ran a big story: “Saddam + Bin Laden? America’s two enemies are courting”?

  219. 219
    KC says:

    Darrell, here’s a short story from Lexis-Nexis that puts things in perspective, I think:

    Copyright 2005 Times Publishing Company
    St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

    June 30, 2005 Thursday 0 South Pinellas Edition

    In his presentation to the U.N. Security Council six weeks before the war, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Iraq “harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida lieutenants.”

    Powell’s case was weakened by the fact that Zarqawi’s camp was in an area of northern Iraq controlled by the Kurds, not Hussein’s government. Moreover, it was part of the no-fly zone patrolled by U.S. fighter jets. If the camp was such a threat, critics wondered, why didn’t the United States simply bomb it into oblivion?

    As further evidence of links between al-Qaida and the Iraqi regime, Powell said Zarqawi had undergone medical treatment in Baghdad, where – according to U.S. intelligence – he had a leg amputated. When photos later showed him walking normally on two feet, Newsweek commented: “The fact is, we don’t even know for sure how many legs Musab al-Zarqawi has.”

    Even more intriguing, at least initially, was Atta’s purported visit to the Czech Republic.

    Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, New York Times columnist William Safire reported that Atta met with the Iraqi consul in Prague on April 8, 2001. The Weekly Standard expanded on Safire’s account, saying there were even photos of the meeting.

    But the story soon unraveled. In its report, the 9/11 Commission said the FBI had evidence that Atta was in the United States in April 2001: On April 4, a bank surveillance camera in Virginia showed him withdrawing $8,000 from his account, and by April 11, he was in Florida, judging from cellular phone calls.

    “Based on the evidence available – including investigations by Czech and U.S. authorities plus detainees’ reporting – we do not believe that such a meeting occurred,” the commission said.

    The panel did find evidence of contacts between al-Qaida and Iraqi intelligence agents in the early and mid ’90s, including bin Laden’s purported request to establish training camps in Iraq. However, the contacts “do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship,” the commission said.

    Indeed, many experts found it implausible that a secular dictator like Hussein would have anything to do with unpredictable Islamic radicals.

    Hussein was unlikely to share weapons of mass destruction with “terrorists who would use them for their own purposes . . . and open him and his entire regime to a devastating response by the U.S.,” Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to the first President Bush, wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2002.

    Even Kenneth Pollack, author of a bestseller that made the case for war, discounted claims that Hussein had ties to terrorists, much less the 9/11 hijackers.

    “If the only problem the United States had with Saddam Hussein’s regime were its involvement with terrorism, our problems would be relatively mild,” Pollack said in his 2002 book.

    “On the grand list of state sponsors of terrorism, Iraq is pretty far down – well below Iran, Syria, Pakistan and others.”

    If the links between Iraq and 9/11 are extremely shaky, President Bush was right on one point Tuesday: Iraq is a haven for terrorists today. Since the United State occupied it in 2003, the country has become a magnet for Islamic militants who are honing their deadly skills in an urban environment, according to a classified CIA report revealed last week. And once Iraq returns to normalcy, battle-hardened extremists are apt to move on to other countries – including the United States.

  220. 220
    Darrell says:

    Over the last decade, al-Qaeda surely had “ties” to virtually every government in the Middle East

    The ones who sponsor terrorism, sure

  221. 221
    Matt says:

    Good grief. I’m new here, Darrell, but I’m starting to see why nobody else takes you seriously.

  222. 222
    Steve S says:

    More inability to comprehend on John’s part… Sigh…

    Essentially what you are saying, is that we can’t accuse Bush of lying, because he really really believed he was telling the truth.

    I did not believe it. I’m a skeptic by nature, and I found nothing that they were saying was at all compelling. I didn’t believe dick Cheney’s line about being greeted with flowers and candy. I didn’t believe Bush’s line about an imminent threat. They just didn’t have the evidence to back it up. [Oh and before you lilly bellied yellow cowards tell me Bush never said imminent… that doesn’t help your case. Yeah, basically he was saying we need to attack before they become an imminent threat. That’s definately not a valid rationale for war.]

    Now at the time, I recognized that I could be wrong. Sure. There’s always that chance.

    The pro-war chickenshits, however, would not acknowledge that. I personally was told that if I didn’t support this war and Hussein dropped a bomb on us, that I would be personally responsible for the thousands dead. That’s the arguments you idiots were making two years ago. Yes, I’m talking you. The pro-war yellow bellied coward contingent.

    So I’m personally a bit reluctant to give you guys, or most notably Bush, the benefit of the doubt.

    Given your lack of skepticism, and the arguments you made towards us doubters… I believe you guys did lie. Purposefully and maliciously. Why? It had nothing to do with the war. You were trying to silence dissent for your own corrupted Power trip.

    So quit trying to find excuses you whiner.

  223. 223
    Darrell says:

    KC, I readily stipulate that the links between Saddam and 9/11 are shaky. However, that doesn’t mean that there were not numerous high level meetings between Al Queda and top Iraqi leaders and intelligence chiefs in the past 10 years, including several meetings with OBL himself.

    Let’s recap what you said:

    KC Says:

    Darrell, what if the indictment was wrong? I mean, given the evidence I’ve seen, it sure seems like it was.

    That you cast doubt on the Atta meeting with Iraqi intelligence (Czech officials still stand by it) or that you correctly point out that there are no solid links between Saddam and 9/11.. that in no way invalidates the numerous high level meetings between Al Queda and Iraq in the recent past.

  224. 224
    ppGaz says:

    As support for the war and for the Spud Goverment sinks into oblivion, the idiots in the White House can sleep well tonight, knowing that Darrell has their backs.

    You are a piece of work, Darrell. No doubt about it.

    You will become the G. Gordon Liddy of the Bush era.

  225. 225
    Darrell says:

    Matt Says:

    Good grief. I’m new here, Darrell, but I’m starting to see why nobody else takes you seriously.

    You know Matt, you made some really dumb comments. You got called on it. No big deal. I guess this is where you start making personal insults rather than substantive arguments. Hey, blather on

  226. 226
    Darrell says:

    You will become the G. Gordon Liddy of the Bush era.

    Hey, neither you nor I am not worthy of carrying G. Gordon Liddy’s boots.. when he’s not walking on water

  227. 227
    KC says:

    Darrell, you’re right. When I wrote that, I was more or less thinking about the primary cases upon which the administration based its claim that Iraq had ties to Al Qaida, not the specifics of the indictment itself. Stupid mistake, I admit I was wrong. That said though, as the first article I posted notes:

    But the 238-count indictment also leaves many questions unanswered. Whether prosecutors have evidence that bin Laden directly ordered the East Africa bombings remains unclear.

    You have to admit, it would be interesting to know exactly how solid the evidence is for the 1990s Al Qaida-Iraq connection.

  228. 228
    Matt says:

    Darrell, I’m stilling waiting for you to answer my questions.

  229. 229
    ppGaz says:

    Hey, neither you nor I am not worthy of carrying G. Gordon Liddy’s boots.

    ?

  230. 230
    Pb says:

    Bush claimed that Al Gore said he invented the internet. That’s a lie. Ergo, Bush lied. QED.

  231. 231
    Darrell says:

    You have to admit, it would be interesting to know exactly how solid the evidence is for the 1990s Al Qaida-Iraq connection

    The reason I cited the 1998 Federal indictment against OBL is because at that time, it was not such a partisan issue. Hence, credibility in the charges. I provided other names and dates. Here is more.

    Bottom line, I know Saddam to be a crazed lunatic with a big-time axe to grind against us, so much so that he tried to assasinate a US President. I have zero doubts that he assisted Al queda and would continue to assist them and other terrorist organizations if he was still in power, providing them any assistance that he thought he could get away with.

  232. 232
    ppGaz says:

    Al Qaeda did not cause 911

    Sorry, Darrell. People even nuttier than you are will take this matter into their own hands now.

    Thanks for playing. Apparently, Dick Cheney himself brought down the Twin Towers. That is, unless the Republican Attack on Science is going to try to shoot down this irrefutable theory?

  233. 233
    Darrell says:

    How is it that the least potent, most scrutinized, and most secular of those governments is the one that posed the greatest threat to us?

    Well, I think Iran posed an equal threat, but Iraq was more doable from a legal standpoint, as they had repeatedly violated their 1991 terms of surrender. And violation of terms of surrender = Full justification to resume hostilities. Furthermore, although Iraq, Syria and other nations in the region were/are threats, their leadership was so crazed as to invade their neighbors as Saddam had done.

    Iran is on the verge of obtaining nukes and has recently announced their intent to destroy Israel. What is the left proposing we do about Iran?.. other than scream “Bush lied” that is. A little snark there, but a serious question

  234. 234
    Darrell says:

    oops, I meant to type: Furthermore, although Iran (not Iraq), Syria..

    and another typo: their leadership was NOT so crazed.

    Gotta check preview before posting

  235. 235
    Darrell says:

    Doug, if you’re still reading, did you make up that ‘Democracy Spread’ idea yourself? I gotta admit, that is one of the funniest damn things I’ve read in a while. Kudos

  236. 236
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Do you think that Newsweek article proves anything? I sure don’t.

    The idea of an alliance between Iraq and bin Laden is alarming to the West

    That’s about as far as it goes.

    Incidentally, here’s a more recent article, by the same journalist. Enjoy.

  237. 237
    Slide says:

    Kool-aid Darrell:

    I have zero doubts that he assisted Al queda and would continue to assist them and other terrorist organizations if he was still in power, providing them any assistance that he thought he could get away with.

    Thats just shows everyone what a complete moron you are. Saddam a secular leader would want to help the fundamentalist Islamic Bin Laden that would be a threat to his very rule? Not very bright are you Darrell? I’ll go with the non-partisan 911 Commission, chaired by a Republican that investigated this matter thoroughly having access to all kinds of classified information.

    The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.

    The staff report said that bin Laden “explored possible cooperation with Iraq” while in Sudan through 1996, but that “Iraq apparently never responded” to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, “but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.”

    have another glass of Kool-aid Darrell.

  238. 238
    Slide says:

    I applaud Senator Edwards for admitting he was wrong:

    I was wrong.

    Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told — and what many of us believed and argued — was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

    It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn’t make a mistake — the men and women of our armed forces and their families — have performed heroically and paid a dear price.

    Classy

  239. 239
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    Hey, neither you nor I am not worthy of carrying G. Gordon Liddy’s boots.. when he’s not walking on water

    ROFLMAO, Darrel channels DougJ.

    Darrell Says:
    We are safer with Saddam out of power, no question.

    ROFLMAO. Hysterical bullshit. It’s official, Darrel is another DougJ creation.

  240. 240
    Darrell says:

    Nice try Slide, but on Meet the Press, 9/11 Commission members John Lehman and Dem hack Richard Ben-Veniste BOTH clarified that the sentence in the staff report about the lack of “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and Al Qaeda. They were referring to collaboration in planning specific terrorist attacks against the United States, not a general overall cooperation in terrorism. Lehman specifically said that there is substantial evidence that Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda members DID collaborate on weapons development.

  241. 241
    Ahmed Chalabi says:

    Reminder:

    “I am America’s best friend in Iraq”! (apparently Iran’s best friend in Iraq too).

    “When American troops liberate Iraq they will be greeted with flowers and dancing”! (I must have missed that part. I did see the statue of Saddam torn down…which turned out to be an Army PsyOps stunt).

  242. 242
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    …has recently announced their intent to destroy Israel…

    I thought that was their Ayatola’s morning prayer.

  243. 243
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    …Lehman specifically said that there is substantial evidence that Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda members DID collaborate on weapons development.

    Did they reinvent the crossbow yet?

  244. 244
    rkrider says:

    If Bush really believed Iraq had WMD, wouldn’t the intelligent thing to do, is keep the inspectors on the ground? Push for more inspectors and more inspections, use the people that are paid and trained for that very purpose? Why would you send a bunch of troops right into clouds of poisonous gas? I know one lie Bush told for sure.

    “[W]e gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region.”

    President Bush, in a Q and A with reporters after an Oval Office meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, July 14.

    I saw the inspectors right there on my TV bulldozing Al-Samod missles.

  245. 245
    Mark Wilson says:

    The Syrian Baath party is at least as secular as the Iraqi Baath party was. The Syrians suppressed a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim revolt led by the Muslim Brotherhood. And yet, Syria has a strong relationship with Hezbollah, a fundamentalist Shia terrorist group.

  246. 246
    Darrell says:

    Meet the Press transcript

    There’s really very little difference between what our staff found, what the administration is saying today and what the Clinton administration said. The Clinton administration portrayed the relationship between al- Qaeda and Saddam’s intelligence services as one of cooperating in weapons development. There’s abundant evidence of that.

    ..And now there’s new intelligence, and this has come since our staff report has been written because, as you know, new intelligence is coming in steadily from the interrogations in Guantanamo and in Iraq and from captured documents. And some of these documents indicate that there is at least one officer of Saddam’s Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al-Qaeda.

  247. 247
    Slide says:

    More selective “cherry picked” info from Kool-Aid Darrell:

    Nice try Slide, but on Meet the Press, 9/11 Commission members John Lehman and Dem hack Richard Ben-Veniste BOTH clarified that the sentence in the staff report about the lack of “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and Al Qaeda. They were referring to collaboration in planning specific terrorist attacks against the United States, not a general overall cooperation in terrorism. Lehman specifically said that there is substantial evidence that Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda members DID collaborate on weapons development.

    Nice try Darrell but alas once again you are wrong.

    This is what Lehman said:

    And now there’s new intelligence, and this has come since our staff report has been written because, as you know, new intelligence is coming in steadily from the interrogations in Guantanamo and in Iraq and from captured documents. And some of these documents indicate that there is at least one officer of Saddam’s Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al-Qaeda. That still has to be confirmed.

    But guess what Darrell?

    Lehman was referring to a Wall Street Journal editorial from May 27 (long before the staff statement was issued, actually) saying captured documents list someone named Ahmed Hikmat Shakir as a senior officer in Saddam’s Fedayeen paramilitary forces, and that someone also named Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was present at a January 2000 al-Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur at which the September 11 attacks were planned. What remains to be confirmed, of course, is whether they’re the same person or not, and if so whether that shows Saddam played any role in the September 11 attacks.

    not the same person it turns out

    Commission Report: Mihdhar was met at the Kuala Lumpur airport by Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national. Reports that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Fedayeen have turned out to be incorrect. They were based on a confusion of Shakir’s identity with that of an Iraqi Fedayeen colonel with a similar name, who was later (in September 2001) in Iraq at the same time Shakir was in police custody in Qatar.)

    Amazing how these things turn out don’t they?

  248. 248
    ppGaz says:

    the relationship between al- Qaeda and Saddam’s intelligence services as one of cooperating in weapons development. There’s abundant evidence of that.

    Q: Were there weapons?

    A: No.

    Your honor, the defense rests.

  249. 249
    Darrell says:

    If you want to argue that sanctions/inspections were working, you have to tell us how that game would play out. And that was the problem with the inspections/sanctions route – there WAS no end game.

    Are you going to maintain UN inspectors in Iraq forever? Are you going to maintain th 150,000 plus troops on his borders to get the cooperation the inspectors needed? If not, what happens when the troops go home and sanctions are removed? Saddam rebuilds his stockpiles in months. What do we do then rkrider? Re-ship the troops back? Has any of this ever occurred to you leftists? Do you have any coherent response to these obvious questions?

    If anything, the Duelfer and Kay reports proved how Saddam was willfully deceiving his weapons programs.. everything from ‘dual use’ facilities to burying nuclear parts underneath rose bushes and the papers and testimonies of scientists that worked under him confirm this. Clearly, Saddam intended to reconstitute these programs

  250. 250
    KC says:

    Hey Darrell, any thoughts on this?

  251. 251
    Slide says:

    one false piece of informtion begets another false piece of information. al-Liby saying that Iraq helped Al Qaeda with weapons training takes a life of its own. But, lets all remember that al Liby was LYING. LYING. LYING. got it. Not true. False. Fake.

    give me the “abundant evidence” that al-Qaeda and Saddam’s intelligence services were cooperating on weapons development. To use a famous right wing ploy, PROVE IT. Show me. Its ALL based on the FALSE torture produced LIES of al-Libi.

  252. 252
    Darrell says:

    Slide, the following stands unrefuted:

    There’s really very little difference between what our staff found, what the administration is saying today and what the Clinton administration said. The Clinton administration portrayed the relationship between al- Qaeda and Saddam’s intelligence services as one of cooperating in weapons development. There’s abundant evidence of that.

  253. 253
    Slide says:

    show me the abundant evidence. Prove it

  254. 254
    Darrell says:

    one false piece of informtion begets another false piece of information

    and liars like you taking one ‘false’ statement, prefaced by the words “some of these documents indicate” to discredit all the “abundant evidence” that Al Queda and Iraq did work together.

  255. 255
    Slide says:

    if there was ANY credible proof that Saddam’s intelligence services were assisting al-Qaeda with weapons training don’t you think they would show us? lol He is under attack for being a liar on this and he won’t show us all the proof? Darrell were you always this naive? Do you still believe in the tooth fairy? Santa Clause? The big Easter bunny? Or, are you just more likely a complete partisan that doesn/t care about the truth at all, you will just put forward any nonsense to just try to throw up a smoke screen?

    oh, and you can save quoting someone that is quoting Clinton quoting someone on what Iraq had or did not have. Bush went to war. Don’t think he went to war because of something Clinton said. Be a man Darrell and show me where what Bush told us was accurate regarding Iraq. Anything? Anything at all?

  256. 256
    ppGaz says:

    Fat Lady Sings for Darrell’s Beloved Potatohead

    29% think that Dick Cheney is honest and ethical.

    29% Darrell. Not 29% of Democrats.

    65% disapprove of the handling of Iraq. That’s pretty much everybody except for you, Rick Moran, and Tunch.

    Take yourself off the grill, Darrell. You’re done.

  257. 257
    Darrell says:

    Slide Says:

    show me the abundant evidence. Prove it

    Already provided with names and dates:

    Mani abd-al-Rashid, Iqaqi intelligence chief met with OBL and other top AQ leaders starting in the mid-1990’s. Al-Zawahri, OBL’s right hand man and #2 in Al Queda went to Baghdad in 1998 for meetings. 1998 OBL makes speech in support of Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi Intelligence leaders meet with Al Queda’s Mohammed Abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim..In 1999, Saddam sends Faruq al-Hijazi to Afghanistan in order to meet with OBL

    1998 Federal indictment against OBL

    Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.

    More, not that any amount of facts and evidence could ever change the closed mind of a hack like yourself

    * Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.

    * Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq’s Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam’s son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam’s mukhabarat, its external intelligence service, according to intelligence made public by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003.

    * Sudanese intelligence officials told me that their agents had observed meetings between Iraqi intelligence agents and bin Laden starting in 1994, when bin Laden lived in Khartoum.

    * Bin Laden met the director of the Iraqi mukhabarat in 1996 in Khartoum, according to Mr. Powell.

    * An al Qaeda operative now held by the U.S. confessed that in the mid-1990s, bin Laden had forged an agreement with Saddam’s men to cease all terrorist activities against the Iraqi dictator, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

    * In 1999 the Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Farouk Hijazi, a senior officer in Iraq’s mukhabarat, had journeyed deep into the icy mountains near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1998 to meet with al Qaeda men. Mr. Hijazi is “thought to have offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq,” the Guardian reported.

    * In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane’s Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane’s reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman al Zawahiri, now al Qaeda’s No. 2 man.

  258. 258
    Slide says:

    hey, I’ll not convince Darrell that Bush is a liar but about 58% of Americans believe bush is a lying sack of shit so I’m not too concerned. That number will grow and grow and grow just like Pinnochio’s nose grew the more this issue is explored. Poor Bush, his legacy will be of a disaster of a war that he lied to get us involved with, torture, reduced American prestige and credibility around the world and a huge deficit for our children. how sad.

  259. 259
    Matt says:

    Are you going to maintain th 150,000 plus troops on his borders

    As opposed to, what, maintaining them indefinitely within his borders?

  260. 260
    ppGaz says:

    amount of facts and evidence could ever ch

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..

  261. 261
    Darrell says:

    The left’s plan on how to deal with a nuclear armed Iran is to cite popularity polls and scream “Bush lied”. Keep it up guys, because that is exactly what will cause Dems to keep losing elections

  262. 262
    Slide says:

    Darrell links to a right wing blog by a Regency Publication author that is OVER TWO YEARS OLD. All that shit has been debunked. Oh… yeah.. and Darrell did you hear that Hillary had Vince Foster killed? yep… and Clinton had dozens of people killed to protect his drug activity. Damn… amazing what one learns reading these right wing blogs. lol

    Thank you for your assistance Darrell, but I’ll stick with the 911 Commission conclusions that there was NO COLLABERATIVE relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.

  263. 263
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    …the “abundant evidence” that Al Queda and Iraq did work together.

    But, what exctly did they do? Circle jerk?

  264. 264
    Matt says:

    The left’s plan on how to deal with a nuclear armed Iran is to cite popularity polls and scream “Bush lied”.

    Uhm. Okay.

  265. 265
    Darrell says:

    Not only have they stripped the minority party of any power, they continue to actively rub their noses in things, ignore any efforts to work in a bi-partisan manner, have passed legislation with Democrats on board and then failed to follow through on the promises they made to get the Democrats aboard

    WTF? How have they “stripped” the Dems of power? Unless losing elections = stripped of power. And as for rubbing noses in things, it’s Dems doing most of the rubbing of noses that I see. Dem Senators and Congressmen calling the President and VP “chickenhawks” on the Senate floor while accusing the President of having ‘known’ in advance that 9/11 would happen, while elevating Michael Moore to Presidential Box status with personal welcome from Jimmah Carter during the Dem convention.

    and let jackasses like Rove run around suggesting liberals are traitors and the like.

    Many are. And I would further point out that if patriotism at a minimum, means giving your country the benefit of the doubt. Tell me John, honestly, especially after the white phosphorous issue, what percentage of the left do you believe gives the US or the US military the benefit of doubt?

  266. 266
    DougJ says:

    But, what exctly did they do? Circle jerk?

    If you knew anything about Islamofascism, which you clearly do not, you would know that circle jerks are a common bonding ritual among those ready to engage in America-hating activity. I hope this doesn’t find anyone who has just eaten or is about to eat, but you should be aware that the circle jerks of Michael Moore, Osama bin Laden, Richard Clarke, and Mohammed Otta are the stuff of legend.

  267. 267
    DougJ says:

    Many are.

    Agreed. Many jackasses like Rove are running around suggesting liberals are traitors.

  268. 268
    Darrell says:

    All that shit has been debunked.

    which have been debunked slide? Did bin Laden really not meet personally with Iraqi intelligence on numerous occassions? Seriously, list for us the ‘debunkings’ since you’ve made the claim. Back it up

  269. 269
    whatsleft says:

    Darrell, perhaps you will find this transcript useful:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6187803/

    I particularly found it interesting when the VP said “I have not suggested there‘s a connection between Iraq and 9/11…”

  270. 270
    Slide says:

    Just read Frank Rich’s op-ed in the NY Times. He is worth the price of Times Select all by himself. Another brilliant column eviscerating the lying President. Here is just a taste:

    So when you watch the president stand there with a straight face and say, “We do not torture” – a full year and a half after the first photos from Abu Ghraib – you have to wonder how we arrived at this ludicrous moment. The answer is not complicated. When people in power get away with telling bigger and bigger lies, they naturally think they can keep getting away with it. And for a long time, Mr. Bush and his cronies did. Not anymore.

    The fallout from the Scooter Libby indictment reveals that the administration’s credibility, having passed the tipping point with Katrina, is flat-lining. For two weeks, the White House’s talking-point monkeys in the press and Congress had been dismissing Patrick Fitzgerald’s leak investigation as much ado about nothing except politics and as an exoneration of everyone except Mr. Libby. Now the American people have rendered their verdict: they’re not buying it. Last week two major polls came up with the identical finding, that roughly 8 in 10 Americans regard the leak case as a serious matter. One of the polls (The Wall Street Journal/NBC News) also found that 57 percent of Americans believe that Mr. Bush deliberately misled the country into war in Iraq and that only 33 percent now find him “honest and straightforward,” down from 50 percent in January.

    talking-point monkeys. I like that. Darrell, you will now be referred to as Balloon Juice’s very own talking-point monkey – or monkey for short.

  271. 271
    Darrell says:

    If you knew anything about Islamofascism, which you clearly do not, you would know that circle jerks are a common bonding ritual among those ready to engage in America-hating activity.

    Doug is on fire today

  272. 272
    Darrell says:

    whatsleft Says:

    Darrell, perhaps you will find this transcript useful:

    whatsleft, perhaps you will find my earlier comments useful

    I readily stipulate that the links between Saddam and 9/11 are shaky. However, that doesn’t mean that there were not numerous high level meetings between Al Queda and top Iraqi leaders and intelligence chiefs in the past 10 years, including several meetings with OBL himself.

    I note that you truncated Cheney’s quote, leaving out this part:

    but there‘s clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror.

  273. 273
    Matt says:

    And I would further point out that if patriotism at a minimum, means giving your country the benefit of the doubt.

    Let me make this perfectly clear–

    The country is not the government.

  274. 274
    Slide says:

    Talk about being un-patriotic, get a load of this report on a secret Republican memo saying that a terror attack could reverse the fortunes of their floundering president. What scumbags:

    A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and “restore his image as a leader of the American people.”

    The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”

  275. 275
    Darrell says:

    Let me make this perfectly clear—
    The country is not the government.

    The left screamed that military torture was “systematic” well BEFORE any significant evidence was brought forth. Just in the past week, they have claimed our military “targeted civilians” with White Phosphorous artillery rounds. I’d say most lefties on this and other blogs promoted and defended the ‘systematic torture’ before evidence came forth, and in the past week, I’d say approx 1/2 of them defended the assertion that the military was ‘targeting civilians’ or similar language suggesting (without basis) that the militar was using WP irresponsibly and recklessly in civilian areas.

  276. 276
    KC says:

    I’ll give Darrell a hand on this one. Capitol Hill Blue is not a very credible website. Until I see a little more about that memo, I’m going to be skeptical.

  277. 277
    Slide says:

    Cheney is fighting an amendment to prohibit torture. Cheney is for torture, the left is against torture. I’m ok with that, are you Darrell?

  278. 278
    whatsleft says:

    Yes Darrell, there WAS a clearly established track record of supporting terror – Palestinian terror. But, like a good Kool-Aid drinker, just keep moving those goalposts. Did or did not Mr. Cheney unequivocally state prior to that debate that there was a direct link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks? Well, according to that noted pinko organization Factcheck.org – “Vice President Cheney said Iraq was the heart of “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.””

    Maybe if you squint really hard and only look at every 7th word or whatever the Da Conjob code is…. Mr. Cheney wasn’t REALLY lying. But I do give you points for looking at the transcript and finding the one instance where Cheney WAS telling the truth – even if it was stated in such a way and inserted in a sentence meant to imply something completely different – lol.

  279. 279
    Darrell says:

    Talk about being un-patriotic, get a load of this report on a secret Republican memo saying that a terror attack could reverse the fortunes of their floundering president

    Yeah, slide cites some rumor site which does not tell the origin/source of said memo.. talk about a credibility problem. Let us know if a real news site has anything

  280. 280
    DougJ says:

    Darrell, you make plenty of good points here. Why not stop short of calling people “traitors”?

  281. 281
    DougJ says:

    Also: why call Darell a “talking point monkey”? Aside form the traitor thing, he isn’t really reciting many talking points here.

  282. 282
    Slide says:

    Yeah, slide cites some rumor site which does not tell the origin/source of said memo.. talk about a credibility problem. Let us know if a real news site has anything

    Ok. lets wait and see if the memo surfaces but in the meantime would you denounce it? Tell us what you think Darrell of a political party that would be hoping for a terrorist attack so that their poll numbers would go up. that would be…. unpatriotic right? I want you on record here and now as to what you would think of someone that wrote a memo like that. Can you do that for me Darrell?

  283. 283
    Darrell says:

    Slide Says:

    Cheney is fighting an amendment to prohibit torture. Cheney is for torture, the left is against torture. I’m ok with that, are you Darrell?

    I am the first to admit that I’m no expert on whether torture works or not. Clearly, a number experts with experience think toruture does value in gathering life-saving intelligence in some cases. I hate the way the administration is trying to back-door this issue. I wish they would come out with a clear-cut definition on torture, with clearly defined rules on when it can be applied if they’re going to do it. Because if they have reasonable guidelines, and apply it only in certain well defined extreme cases, well that’s another matter. I’m not against torture per se, it depends. But the Bush admin is not being upfront about it, so I say stop their efforts until they are

  284. 284
    Slide says:

    But the Bush admin is not being upfront about it, so I say stop their efforts until they are

    well, Darrell, very impressive. Splitting with the administration on torture, sorta. Ok, well on that optimistic note I must leave you all, I have a wife that is waiting and giving me dirty looks. Oh, and lets all see if that memo surfaces in the MSM, that would be….. err….. interesting to say the least

  285. 285
    Darrell says:

    Ok. lets wait and see if the memo surfaces but in the meantime would you denounce it?

    yes, IF true, and at this point it’s all unsubstantiated rumor, but if true, I would denounce it and call for the firing of the dumbass(es) who wrote it. But at this point, it looks to be all rumor

  286. 286
    Steve S says:

    I’ll give Darrell a hand on this one. Capitol Hill Blue is not a very credible website. Until I see a little more about that memo, I’m going to be skeptical.

    I don’t know the validity of the story. However, considering we are talking about the same people who wrote a memo claiming using Terri Schiavo would be politically advantageous for them.

    Not to mention, that launching a war in Iraq would be a good thing for them politically.

    It’s not much of a leap to believe that they’d write a similar memo suggesting another terror attack here would be a good thing for the party.

  287. 287
    ppGaz says:

    that is exactly what will cause Dems to keep losing elections

    That’s right, Darrell … fear of Iraqi nukes will keep Republicans in power for decades.

    Wait about nine months and see how many Republicans won’t be seen in public with George Bush. Then we’ll know.

  288. 288
    ppGaz says:

    I have a wife that is waiting and giving me dirty looks.

    Whose wife is it?

    Sorry, couldn’t pass up the straight line.

  289. 289
    Darrell says:

    Why not stop short of calling people “traitors”?

    Ok, few on the left are traitors. Many on the left are unpatriotic. If you doubt me, re-read the threads on white phosphorous.. not just on this blog, but on Kos and others. Claim after claim without basis that our military ‘targeted civilians’, recklessly used WP in civilian areas, ‘illegally’ used WP as a “chemical weapon” etc. The first knee-jerk reaction of many, perhaps most on the left, is to blame the US, and to blame the military, well before the facts are known. Can we agree that patriotism, at a minimum, should mean giving your country, and especially your military in time of war, the benefit of the doubt absent the facts? It’s been fun, but I gotta go

  290. 290
    KC says:

    Steve S, I’ve just seen some stuff on that website that looked to be less than credible. It’s definitely not the first place I turn when I’m looking for solid investigative reporting.

  291. 291
    ppGaz says:

    It’s been fun, but I gotta go

    Oh great. Now whose ass are we going to kick all night?

  292. 292
    ppGaz says:

    I am the first to admit that I’m no expert on whether torture works or not.

    If it did, we’d all be righties after a day of arguing with you.

  293. 293
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell, you will now be referred to as Balloon Juice’s very own talking-point monkey – or monkey for short.

    Uh, no. I have been calling these guys the Bushmonkeys for a long time. I will contact you with information about where to send my royalty checks.

  294. 294
    Matt says:

    Can we agree that patriotism, at a minimum, should mean giving your country, and especially your military in time of war, the benefit of the doubt absent the facts?

    Again, the government is not the country.

    I would add, too, that the facts have an annoying tendancy of remaining absent when we approach these issues with the blind faith that our president and our military can do no wrong.

  295. 295
    ppGaz says:

    Can we agree

    No. People who call their detractors traitors, who refer to dissent as treason or unpatriotic, don’t get agreement from me on anything. Go fuck yourself.

    Even Republicans are running away from the nonsense you are spouting now, Darrell. On what grounds do you ask anyone to agree with you about anything?

  296. 296
    Anderson says:

    Were we lied to? I see no reason yet to believe we were – in the strong sense that deliberate untruths were consciously uttered.

    We don’t know (yet) whether this was or wasn’t the case. Maybe not.

    But what we do know is this: Cheney et al. didn’t care what the truth was. They decided on their objective, and then collected whatever supported it and ignored what didn’t. In short, the exact OPPOSITE of what our leaders should have been doing. The evidence for this is just too strong to ignore–it’s the only explanation that makes sense of the whole sorry Iraq debacle.

    I guess it’s a mistake to call “a complete lack of interest in the truth or falsity of the evidence” mere “lying.” It’s really “bullshit,” in the Harry Frankfurt sense of the word.

    And “Bush bullshitted” is every bit as objectionable as “Bush lied.” Just not as family-friendly.

    So anyone who’s still clinging to “Bush didn’t actually LIE” is clinging to the frayed end of the rope. Whatever. Take what comfort you can.

  297. 297
    Jcricket says:

    Thanks for adding Andrew Sullivan’s take. I do think he makes good points, and it’s a nuanced reading of the situation. I would, however, be more forceful with my condemnation of Bush given where we ended up. It’s not like he was simply optimistic with the predictions for increased tax revenue due to a tax cut (a la Reagan). Worst case scenario with that we end up with a deficit.

    When you’re “optimistic” and turn a “blind eye” to any dissent around your case for war, innocent people die. This is one of the most grevious mistakes anyone can make, and since Bush shows no signs of even admitting responsibility for the most obvious of “fuck-ups”, he deserves every piece of criticism directed at him. I don’t feel bad for him at all.

    Bush’s penchant for cronyism, his inability to brook dissent, support of destructive wedge politics, and above all, prizing fealty over honesty has led us down this path (not just in Iraq). And he should pay the price, electorally and personally, for that.

    Every one of his decisions is and should be questioned inside out. Anything he says from now on is suspect, and it should be. Investigations into how we ended up in this mess are justified. And, most of all, any responsible adults (McCain? Hagel?) left in the Republican party need to start working with the Democrats to fix this mess.

  298. 298
    aop says:

    Wow, almost 300 comments. I haven’t read them, but I assume everyone reached an agreement?

  299. 299

    Can we just start ignoring Darrell guys? Isn’t that the best way to get rid of a troll such as he?

    The guy is clearly delusional and brainwashed. Why bother?

  300. 300
    a guy called larry says:

    where to send my royalty checks

    These guys may want to wet their beak on that…

  301. 301
    aop says:

    Wouldn’t everyone just be standing around and agreeing with each other if it weren’t for Darrell? Where’s the fun in that?

  302. 302
    Mac Buckets says:

    Wow, almost 300 comments. I haven’t read them, but I assume everyone reached an agreement?

    Yeah, when I saw 300 posts, I thought this must’ve been another Plame Game thread, where we’d try to get consensus on what really happened. Instead, it’s just common, hardcore-partisan rhetoric, with assumptions, half-truths and talking points carrying the bulk of the weight. To read it is to yawn.

  303. 303
    Beej says:

    Herein a list of terms that will cause me to vomit if I have to read them one more time in what is supposed to pass for serious argument:

    1. quagmire
    2. Bush apologist
    3. Bush lied
    4. traitors
    5. loony left

    And just a word to whoever it was that said “the government is not the people”: Oh yes it is. The people elected that government and they were very conscious of what that government stood for when they elected it. You may not like that government, you may think it’s wrong, you may even think it’s immoral and incompetent. That’s your right and if you think that way, then it’s your responsibility to say so, but don’t ever lose sight of the fact that the majority of voters elected this government and that’s the way this country works, whether you like it or not.

  304. 304
    Mac Buckets says:

    Herein a list of terms that will cause me to vomit if I have to read them one more time in what is supposed to pass for serious argument:

    1. quagmire
    2. Bush apologist
    3. Bush lied
    4. traitors
    5. loony left

    6. Any quote from any opinion poll.

    Polls don’t tell you the truth. Polls tell you whose propaganda is better. The same people who told us that the American people must be retarded in 2002-2004 (they voted for Bush, they thought Saddam did 9/11, etc.) are now telling us that the American people must be geniuses (they think Bush and/or Cheney lied).

  305. 305
    DougJ says:

    Cheney lied
    You could see it in his eyes
    But imagine my surprise
    When I saw you

  306. 306
    srv says:

    Can we agree that patriotism, at a minimum, should mean giving your country, and especially your military in time of war, the benefit of the doubt absent the facts?

    Given that gov’t is habitually lying or incorrect more often than not, I’m sure your definition will rile many. Wrap yourself in your jingoism, I’ll keep believing the opposite.
    Given that Dick and George call this our “generational” war now, you’re patriotism will be much appreciated (and expected) under Billary.

    It really comes down to which you believe:
    1) America is great because of the government
    2) America is great because of the people

    Until more Americans believe the latter, the Gulf of Tonkin, Grenada, Panama, War on Drugs, Iraq will be the norm. May it keep your heart warm and night and your children afraid until the next boogeyman can be found.

  307. 307
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    The left screamed that military torture was “systematic” well BEFORE any significant evidence was brought forth.

    Excuse me if I don’t trust you to characterize the evidence correctly, but I will agree with you on one point–the left has been consistenly ahead of the game on this one. They were out there talking about how it would be a mistake to invade Iraq way before the invasion, back when it wasn’t popular to do so. And they were right. They’ve been consistently proven right in their conclusions lately. It might be enough to make you wonder if they were looking at a different set of evidence than the right was all along, or if they just had an inherent distrust of what the right was pushing as evidence that turned out to be… well, entirely justified.

    In any case, there’s nothing wrong with being right ahead of time, unless you’re Darrell, who apparently would much rather be consistently wrong. Tell me Darrell, are we winning that war on terror yet? Did you find the WMDs yet? Have we caught Osama yet–or was Saddam really behind 9/11? (please ignore the Saudi nationals behind the curtain) Is America safer now that the Middle East has been destabilized? Do you understand yet why I don’t trust your judgements on “the left” and what constitutes “significant evidence”?

    Cheers.

  308. 308
    zzzz says:

    I never thought there were any WMDs, or at least I thought there no one making a decent case that WMDs still existed after Clinton wagged the dog. All the yakking about aluminum tubes and gliders of death that could somehow cross the Atlantic made me pretty skeptical.

    I guess I’m smarter than most Americans and I guess that makes me one of those “elites” that always are ignored by the knuckle-dragging mouth breathers that seem to think someone died and left them in charge.

    Cro-Magnons may be extinct in name only. I guess I should just move to France, or maybe Belgium. Better chocolate and less competent rioters. Peugeoticide is not very high on my list of things to worry about. Mind you, I could learn to like Hummericide.

    How did we get here? Willies used to rule, then they became Jeeps. No harm was done for a couple decades, but then Jeeps became something only an asshole would drive and boy, do they drive like assholes. Real assholes drive Hummers, which also got wimped out so badly that they shriek “poseur” at frequencies inaudible to the compensaters who think they feel the urge to drive them. “Small” consolation for them, there is now an “H3” built on a chevy “eunuch” frame.

    Yes, if you think there are diminishing returns, then you are still too cognizant to “buy American”. If your knuckles feel raw, there is still hope for you, assuming you have eyes.

  309. 309
    scs says:

    It doesn’t matter whether Iraq had WMD or even was planning on making WMD. Bush and company, after 911 (hence the psychological connection) were in the frame of mind to take care of business, and so was most of the country. If Saddam didn’t have them now, he or his cretinous sons, would have had them one day. They are not getting any harder to make people! Especially as the sanctions seemed to be eroding. Bush said it was a “growing and gathering threat” – and that was true, it was. Some of the details of what Bush said were wrong or dramatized, but the bigger picture was correct, Saddam was a threat. There were no “lies” here. So let’s stop piddling around and griping about whether this word or that word was uttered, and focus on where we’ve come from and what we can do next to help spread democracy in the Middle East.

  310. 310
    scs says:

    To answer for Darrell:

    1.)are we winning that war on terror yet? Well elections in Lebanon, a very good success in Afganistan (read a NYT article on it last week), talk of democracy in Egypt, Libya bowing down, Iraq holding elections. Al Quaeda approval level sinking in Arab polls Hmmm. Sounds pretty good to me in three years. As to Zarqawi, do you think he would have been a peace corp volunteer if we hadn’t invaded Iraq? He would have surfaced somewhere anyway, the guy enjoys killing too much.
    2.)Did you find the WMDs yet? No. But the fact that we did a regime change in Iraq means hopefully they will never be there. You gotta get them BEFORE they are developed – that’s the trick.

    3.)Have we caught Osama yet—or was Saddam really behind 9/11? There were said to have been ‘contacts’ between Iraq and Al Quaeda, which in fact were true. Just what were these contacts, who knows. Obviously there was no ‘operational’ connection between Saddam and 911 and no one ever said there was. Would we have caught Bin Laden even if we had sent every troop we had to run around the Hindu Kush for years? We could do that and he might be in Northern Iran at the time, who knows. Or should we send massive troops into the tribal region of Pakistan to look for him and risk destablizing nuclear armed Pakistan?
    4.)Is America safer now that the Middle East has been destabilized? Well you gotta start somewhere. No pain no gain. Afganistan sure is. Maybe Iraq will follow.

  311. 311
    searp says:

    SCS –

    I am sure Al Qaeda approval spiked sometime after our invasion of Iraq. I’d say their approval ratings have less to do with killing us and more to do with killing Arabs. I suppose it is a tactic to give AQ plenty of American targets in the Middle East and then let the collateral damage take care of the opinion polls.

    The problem with anticipatory invasions is that they are based on certitude about future events. You seem to think that it is a foregone conclusion that Saddam would have developed nukes absent our invasion. What is the basis for this prediction?

    I’d say recent events in the Middle East have a long way to run before we can claim success. Further, it isn’t clear to me that they are directly tied to our invasion of Iraq, with the exception of the Iraqi elections. The real change here is that we dedicated our foreign policy to nurturing democracy in the Middle East. I am the first to applaud.

    The Afghan war seemed to work. Great! To me, there is no evidence that the Iraq war was necessary, and there is compelling evidence that it has been very incompetently managed. It would have never started without the WMD argument, which was false.

    I am left wondering, really wondering, why we are there. The rhetoric simply doesn’t define a mission, it defines a quagmire. Maybe you can better tell me when we’re done in Iraq.

  312. 312
    ppGaz says:

    Polls tell you whose propaganda is better

    Get out of my country.

    The judgment of the people cannot be dismissed by calling it a reaction to “propaganda.” That kind of disrespect for democracy is what got us into this shitpile in the first place …. had the lying scum in government trusted the people, presented an unfiltered and unspun view of the facts in 2002, we might not be having this argument today. The polls might not show a loss of trust and confidence in governent now.

    You and TallDave! He thinks the people are “too stupid” to know how to vote. You think they are just dupes of “propaganda.” People like you who hate Americans and democracy should go live somewhere else. Get out of my country.

  313. 313
    ATS says:

    Re: WMD: “Everyone was wrong. Not sure what the rest of the fuss is from those on the left,”

    C’mon. First. not everyone was wrong (INR, UN inspectors etc), but braket that for the moment. Many of those who DID think there were WMDs did not think Iraq posed an existential threat to the US, nor did they think there was any hurry to go it alone in getting SH.

    Ken Adelman and his crowd hoped to get in and out so quickly that critics of the inititial reasons would look like nit-pickers.

    The “fuss” is over $400b, 2000+ dead and counting.

  314. 314
    Otto Man says:

    2.)Did you find the WMDs yet? No. But the fact that we did a regime change in Iraq means hopefully they will never be there. You gotta get them BEFORE they are developed – that’s the trick.

    No, the trick is convincing Americans that the WMDs are currently there and pose an imminent threat to America, and therefore we should start a pre-emptive war to get rid of them.

    Seriously, this has to be the lamest excuse ever. We went to war now to prevent Saddam from getting WMDs in the future? Great.

  315. 315
    Sojourner says:

    Stormy gives a little beer money to a few soldiers and that clears her conscience. Which needs clearing since she finds arguments over a misbegotten war that may very well kill those same soldiers to be boring and certainly cannot match the need to satisfy her creature comforts.

    How pathetic.

    Whatever, I’m bored and Chamberlain’s Kobe Filet awaits me tonight.

  316. 316
    scs says:

    We went to war now to prevent Saddam from getting WMDs in the future? Great
    ……….
    You seem to think that it is a foregone conclusion that Saddam would have developed nukes absent our invasion.

    I agree I don’t think it was a foregone conclusion Saddam would get them necessarily as lots of things could happen, a coup, perhaps, a family car accident that kills him and his sons. But it’s kind of doubtful. It just wasn’t worth the risk to wait and see what happens. Then we’d be in the same situation we are in now with Iran, trying to beg and please and coddle them. I am sad that so many soldiers had to die of course, half of them from IED’s. I wish we had had some tactics to prevent that. But the overall goal was a good one.

  317. 317
    Darrell says:

    You seem to think that it is a foregone conclusion that Saddam would have developed nukes absent our invasion. What is the basis for this prediction?

    No ‘prediction’ necessary. The facts are clear on this matter. Nuclear centrifuge parts buried in rose gardens coupled with testimony of Saddam’s scientists working on his nuke program

    Oh, and the Duelfer report too:

    Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability-which was essentially destroyed in 1991-after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability-in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks-but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

    Any other questions?

  318. 318
    Darrell says:

    4.)Is America safer now that the Middle East has been destabilized? Well you gotta start somewhere. No pain no gain. Afganistan sure is.

    So is Lebanon after Syrian troop withdrawal. But that had nothing to do with our actions in Iraq, right? And we are safer now that Libya has discontinued their WMD program.. a program which was further along than our intelligence services had estimated.

  319. 319
    Sojourner says:

    If Saddam didn’t have them now, he or his cretinous sons, would have had them one day. They are not getting any harder to make people! Especially as the sanctions seemed to be eroding. Bush said it was a “growing and gathering threat” – and that was true, it was. Some of the details of what Bush said were wrong or dramatized, but the bigger picture was correct, Saddam was a threat.

    If this is such a strong argument, why wasn’t it used? The bottom line is the Bush Administration leveraged the fear of another attack that followed 9/11 into an indefensible war. Whether they lied or were incompetent ultimately doesn’t matter. The American people deserved the right to decide if they wanted to transition the fight from Afghanistan to Iraq and to risk the lives of their soldiers for a war against a threat that may or may not ever occur.

    After-the-fact defenses of this war reflect your belief that Americans did not have that right. Sorry, you’re wrong.

  320. 320
    Darrell says:

    The American people deserved the right to decide if they wanted to transition the fight from Afghanistan to Iraq and to risk the lives of their soldiers for a war against a threat that may or may not ever occur.

    We had a YEAR LONG debate before the war. An overwhelming bi-partisan majority in congress gave authorization to President Bush to go to war in Iraq.

  321. 321
    Mac Buckets says:

    Get out of my country.

    The judgment of the people cannot be dismissed by calling it a reaction to “propaganda.” That kind of disrespect for democracy is what got us into this shitpile in the first place

    Could someone with greater patience for idiocy please explain the difference between opinion polls and elections to Ppgaz? Obviously, since his side can’t win the latter, he has duped himself into thinking the former is Constitutionally guaranteed and crucial to democracy.

  322. 322
    Sojourner says:

    We had a YEAR LONG debate before the war. An overwhelming bi-partisan majority in congress gave authorization to President Bush to go to war in Iraq.

    Based on misleading and incomplete intelligence. It’s now clear beyond challenge that the Bushies were not forthcoming with ALL available intelligence. They only shared the stuff they thought supported their case.

    Perhaps you have no problem making decisions that way but, as polls clearly demonstrate, the majority of Americans do have a problem with it.

  323. 323
    Sojourner says:

    Could someone with greater patience for idiocy please explain the difference between opinion polls and elections to Ppgaz?

    Opinion polls occur much more frequently than elections and, therefore, serve as a more accurate reflection of how Americans feel now, as opposed to a year ago when the last national election occurred.

    Does that help?

  324. 324
    ppGaz says:

    Could someone with greater patience for idiocy please explain the difference between opinion polls and elections to Ppgaz?

    Somebody better explain it to you. The election is long over. The crashing polls are just starting. Your party is over. The people, the ones you think are just dupes of “propaganda”, are speaking, and believe me, the people in DC are listening. You’re not, but they are.

    Bend over and kiss your political ass goodbye, buddy.

  325. 325
    ppGaz says:

    We had a YEAR LONG debate before the war

    LIAR.

    There was no “debate” and what passed for one did not last a year. Debate, which requires free dissent, was stifled and ridiculed. Information was cherry picked, and the WHIG was formed solely for the purpose of manipulating the country to war.

    Fuck you, Darrell. Stop you insane daily litany of lies. You suck.

  326. 326
    srv says:

    Otto Man and others,

    A nit about calling Iraq pre-emptive. The correct term is preventive. There’s quite a difference in the traditional meaning:

    Preventtive War? a Violation of Just War Doctrine

    That said, this administration has written about re-defining these terms and others like imminent. But these are not consistent with Just War Theory:

    Preemption and Just War

  327. 327
    Mac Buckets says:

    Opinion polls occur much more frequently than elections and, therefore, serve as a more accurate reflection of how Americans feel now, as opposed to a year ago when the last national election occurred.

    Then why are we having a discussion of the rationale for war at all? The People wanted the war by a two-to-one margin, and The People are never wrong, and polls are always accurate and produce the God’s Honest Truth.

    Sorry, I can’t even pretend to be that naive for long.

    So I guess Saddam did do 9/11 after all! The people have spoken, and they are never wrong.

  328. 328
    scs says:

    There was no “debate” and what passed for one did not last a year.

    Well we can debate on whether we had a debate at the beginning of the war, and you can say we were”scared” into war then. But we certainly had a pretty good idea about no WMD at the last election. If the people were so outraged, why did they re-elect Bush?

  329. 329
    Darrell says:

    Based on misleading and incomplete intelligence. It’s now clear beyond challenge that the Bushies were not forthcoming with ALL available intelligence.

    This is an important point. It is an ugly lie parrotted by the left. List for us Sojourner the intelligence, the kind of intelligence which would have changed minds, that was held back from Congress. EVERYONE thought Saddam had WMDs, so tell us, which intelligence was held from congress that would have made a difference.

  330. 330
    ppGaz says:

    Then why are we having a discussion of the rationale for war at all? The People wanted the war by a two-to-one margin, and The People are never wrong, and polls are always accurate and produce the God’s Honest Truth.

    Where did you learn how to be an American? Watching cartoons?

    The people govern, and they are right sometimes and wrong sometimes. The thing is, they have a RIGHT to be WRONG. When politicians and officials start deciding that they are above the people, that the people need to be fucked with and lied to and manipulated … and called traitors … in order to get their way, then later there is a price to be paid. That time has now arrived. The people don’t like to be disrespected. The price will be paid. The polls are just the beginning. This is not a little bump in the road. It’s a meltdown.

    If I actually cared about the fate of the Republican party, I wouldn’t be wasting my time here sparring with Dems over word games. I’d be trying to figure out how to save my party from what might be the biggest collapse, the biggest snatch of defeat from the jaws of victory, in history. Because that is what is staring you in the face right now.

  331. 331
    srv says:

    We had a YEAR LONG debate before the war

    When you are the one protesting in Billary’s Free Speech Zone cage, and nothing you say is accurately reported in the MSM, you’ll understand what the “debate” before the war was like.

  332. 332
    ppGaz says:

    But we certainly had a pretty good idea about no WMD at the last election. If the people were so outraged, why did they re-elect Bush?

    Gee, do you READ the papers?

    They didn’t yet realize that it wasn’t just an honest mistake for a good cause. Now they know it was dishonest, and they no longer think it was for a good cause.

    They also hadn’t yet figured out that the “values” politics of the right was a scam. The Schiavo disaster exposed that. That was a tipping point. “Brownie, you’re doin a heckuva job” was a tipping point. Libby is a tipping point. How many tipping points do you think these idiots can weather?

    It’s those little details that get you, eh?

  333. 333
    ppGaz says:

    List for us Sojourner the intelligence, the kind of intelligence which would have changed minds, that was held back from Congress.

    Pretty much whatever they wanted to hold back. These assholes imposed the tightest restrictions on information available to Congress in history.

    THE WHITE HOUSE
    WASHINGTON
    October 5, 2001

    MEMORANDUM FOR:

    THE SECRETARY OF STATE
    THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
    THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
    THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
    THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
    THE DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

    SUBJECT: Disclosures to the Congress

    As we wage our campaign to respond to the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, and to protect us from further acts of terrorism, I intend to continue to work closely with the Congress. Consistent with the longstanding executive branch practice, this Administration will continue to work to inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of, and important developments in, our critical military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations. At the same time, we have an obligation to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations. Accordingly, your departments should adhere to the following procedures when providing briefings to the Congress relating to the information we have or the actions we plan to take:

    i) Only you or officers expressly designated by you may brief Members of Congress regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information; and

    (ii) The only Members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.

    This approach will best serve our shared goals of protecting American lives, maintaining the proper level of confidentiality for the success of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations, and keeping the leadership of the Congress appropriately informed about important developments. This morning, I informed the House and Senate leadership of this policy which shall remain in effect until you receive further notice from me.

    [signed:] George W. Bush

  334. 334
    a guy called larry says:

    had the lying scum in government trusted the people, presented an unfiltered and unspun view of the facts in 2002, we might not be having this argument today

    ppGaz, he’s a little bit right on the propaganda point. We didn’t get unfiltered, unspun facts; we got propaganda, admitted by Andy Card as it was being rolled out. It was very effective in both persuading Americans that Hussein was a threat to America, and instilling enough fear to not want to chance that he wasn’t. That was the only way to garner enough support of the people to go to war; facts sure as Hell weren’t going to do it.

    The run-up to the war looked like the supplimentary video to this textbook. Every point was made in turn, with the substitution of “fear of Jihadis” for “anti-communism”. From the media taking dictation from the White House, to Judy Miller’s blockbuster exposés on Saddam’s WMD, to marginalization of dissenting voices, the administration knew exactly what they were doing. I don’t believe they were dupes to faulty intel, any more than I believe the media has a liberal bias; we couldn’t have gone to war any other way.

    If I had a liberal medium, all the comparisons of what “Cheney said then, what he said later” and shifting reasons for going to war, not to mention the parts you’d have to be insane to believe (UAV launched from a vessel off the American coast could reach hundreds of miles inland), would have been brought out as they happened, like it was, well, news.

    Hey, Darrell, you’re pretty good at digging up quotes from politicians (and I really mean that), whan did Reagan and his VP have to say about Saddam when he was in the process of gassing people? In other words, when did he go insane?

  335. 335
    Darrell says:

    ppgaz, that doesn’t answer the question. I guess when you’re dishonest as hell and you have no good answers, obfuscation is your ‘answer’

  336. 336
    Darrell says:

    Even after the invasion of Iraq Clinton Secretary of Defense, a person who definitely would be in a position to know, insisted:

    “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — William Cohen, April 2003

    But Bush lied people died!! Keep it up kooks

  337. 337
    ppGaz says:

    ppgaz, that doesn’t answer the question.

    Yes it does.

  338. 338
    ppGaz says:

    But Bush lied people died!! Keep it up kooks

    You suck, Darrell.

  339. 339
    Mac Buckets says:

    Somebody better explain it to you. The election is long over. The crashing polls are just starting. Your party is over. The people, the ones you think are just dupes of “propaganda”, are speaking, and believe me, the people in DC are listening. You’re not, but they are.

    Yes, I know what the polls say. I’m not arguing that the poll numbers for Bush aren’t low right now. I’m just holding out the hope that The People, when confronted with history and facts (finally, after months of one-sided battery), will realize that they are being duped by the half-truths and revision regarding Iraq coming from those on the left who would like to pretend that history started in 2003.

    The polls, by the by, also suggest that the top Republicans will clean the Democrats’ collective clock in November 2008, so forgive me if I fail to understand your point about “kissing my political ass goodbye,” whatever that inelegant rubbish was supposed to mean.

  340. 340
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Here’s some more info about your alleged nuke program–the one that wasn’t a threat, and hadn’t been for at least 12 years before we invaded.

    On June 2, Obeidi led investigators to his rose garden. There they dug up a cache he had buried 12 years before and kept from U.N. inspectors: about 200 blueprints of gas centrifuge components, 180 documents describing their use and samples of a few sensitive parts. The parts amounted to far less than one complete centrifuge, and nothing like the thousands required for a cascade of the spinning devices to enrich uranium, but the material showed what nearly all outside experts believed — that Iraq had preserved its nuclear knowledge base.

    In the future, to save your time and mine, I’ll only reply when you get at least one thing right.

  341. 341
    ppGaz says:

    I’m just holding out the hope that The People, when confronted with history and facts (finally, after months of one-sided battery), will realize that they are being duped

    Jesus. Talk about being completely out of touch.

    Okay, just keep diggin that hole you’re in. Whatever you do, don’t consider the idea that the shovel isn’t your friend right now.

  342. 342
    ppGaz says:

    kissing my political ass goodbye,” whatever that inelegant rubbish was supposed to mean.

    Your president can’t govern. He can’t sell a bottle of water to a many dying of thirst. Nobody is listening to him. Republicans are running away from him. You are in danger of losing control of Congress. The White House itself is in complete meltdown. Every time the Man makes a speech his approval rating goes lower. Your House majority leader is in legal trouble, and that’s only started. The Abramoff scandal is going to burn a bunch of Republicans, and we’re talking third degree burns. The CIA leak investigation is ongoing and it’s pretty likely that you haven’t seen the biggest impact of it yet. Your government’s fiscal policies are about the equivalent of a bunch of kids playing with gasoline and cigarette lighters. The Medicare scam is going to unfold in the next few years and injure, and then piss off, large numbers of older voters. Black voters wouldn’t touch the GOP with a ten foot pole right now. A flu crisis threatens to paralyze the country sometime in the next two years. Energy costs and inflation are going to smack the wallets of every middle class family. There is the danger of a burst housing bubble and the nuclear bomb effect it could have on the economy. You have a vice president who appears to have one foot in the grave and the other in his mouth …. the guy Bush’s dad wanted in there to stabilize his ne’er-do-well alcholic son now is a giant albatross around his neck. 29% of polled Americans think that the VP is ethical and honest.

    Besides a big mouth, what do you think you have going for you at this point? But by all means, keep the cocky attitude.

  343. 343
    Mac Buckets says:

    Besides a big mouth, what do you think you have going for you at this point?

    Mainly the fact that, despite all the crystal-ball doom and gloom that you and your black-cloaked psychic friends are predicting (aren’t you a bit old for Goth?), the two favorites to win the White House in ’08 are Republicans, McCain and Giuliani — two candidates who I greatly prefer to Bush (who, the Democrats should be reminded, can’t run again). So I’m pleased at the prospects for “my political ass” in ’08. How about you? What do you think the Democrats have going for them? I mean, Bush could probably win a third term against their slate!

  344. 344
    ppGaz says:

    Right, got it. Your scam government is imploding, but let’s start bloviating about the 2008 election.

    Great.

    Sorry, I don’t have time for that nonsense. There’s a game on, and I’m cooking dinner for company.

    Rock on, blind and deaf one.

  345. 345
    Slide says:

    Bucket Boy:

    the two favorites to win the White House in ‘08 are Republicans, McCain and Giuliani—two candidates who I greatly prefer to Bush (who, the Democrats should be reminded, can’t run again).

    that may be so but unfortunately for the Republican party neither will be able to get nominated. The right wing lunatic religious zealot crazy intelligent design believing terry shiavo interfering nutbags are way too powerful in republican primaries. Too bad heh buckets? And as far as congress this doesn’t look so good does it?

    Preference for Congress Rep/Dem/unsure/spread
    (most recent polls first)

    Newsweek RV 36/53/11/-17
    ABC/Washington Post RV 37/52/12/-15
    CNN/USA Today/Gallup RV 43/50/7/-7
    Democracy Corps (D) LV 39/48/12/-9
    Diageo/Hotline RV 31/40/29/-9

    Damn buckets, I like my chances, do you?

  346. 346
    Rob says:

    Long-time reader, almost first-time poster, but… can we please start ignoring Darrell? He’s like a Yankees fan who can’t believe what happened with the Red Sox in 2004.
    Thanks to Google, I can find a million Web sites and columns and sports opinion pieces that support the ideas of curses and bad management and unruly players, all of which support the position that the Red Sox are incapable of winning a World Series. And I could use those articles to sound convincing over the concept that the Sox are forever doomed… provided I’m willing to utterly ignore that the Red Sox won the 2004 series.

    Whenever he gets your temper rising, just remember this quote: “I see dead people. All the time. They don’t know they’re dead. They only see what they want to see…”

  347. 347
    Slide says:

    Bucket boy:

    I mean, Bush could probably win a third term against their slate!

    ROFLOL

  348. 348
    mathrapper says:

    John is right I think about the source of the vehemence (alright, mouth frothing) on the left, but wrong that the accusation that Bush lied is just misdirected vehemence, Of course he is right that Bush’s assertion that Sadaam had WMD was not a lie: Surely the administration thought this, and so did the CIA and many other intelligence services, and lots of observers (yes, if you did not think it you get an “I told you so”). If that is all Bush did wrong, we should let him off with a “listen to the CIA more critically next time.” But on at least two points his deception reaches a point where I would call it a lie.

    First, the nuclear program. In contrast to WMD, it is not true that most people thought he was close to a nuclear capability, and there is no reading of the evidence we have seen that could be called a case that he did. The evidence that was portrayed in public had such a flimsy basis that it is very hard to believe anyone using it believed that it was really evidence. In fact the UN inspectors seemed convinced there was a case for the opposite. You can argue that nuclear versus chemical is not a big enough difference to have swayed the public on the war, but that is not what the administration thought: Nuclear was their biggest talking point, and evidence for a nuclear program always got top billing.

    Second, and more important, the Bush team lied about what they knew. When Rumsfeld said “We know where Iraq’s WMDs are. They’re around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat” he was lying. He may have believed they were someplace like that, but he was lying when he said he KNEW. It, and hundreds more like it, were a big lie, because he had access to secret intelligence. When he says he KNOWS something, you just have to believe him. If a man who sees every satellite picture, here’s every double agents report, sees every captured document knows that, he knows it, and there is nothing you can do to argue it, because you are not going to see those things. If John Cole had said then “Rumsfeld’s just blowing smoke because his intelligence can’t find any evidence that Sadaam DOESN’T have WMDs, he would have been calling Rumsfeld (and everyone else in the administration) a bald lier. And he would have been right. That even a few Congressmen were willing to do that is remarkable.

    Now, when Bush says that the Congress knew everything that he knew, he is really lying. If he told 600 uncleared individuals all the intellegence he had access to on Iraq, it is not Scooter Libby who should be on trial! When the President’s men calim on the basis of secret intelligence that they know something, you have to believe them. If it turns out they only hoped it might have been true, they were lying, plain and simple.

    If they had told the truth about what they knew, I cannot believe that America would have let him pull out the inspectors that were our only source of knowledge and invade. Maybe I am wrong about that, but it seems to me it is the liar’s responsibility to make that case…

    Personally, I did not believe the stuff about muclear weapons, but I did believe they knew about the WMD. Not because I had seen a convincing case, but because my President had said it unequivocally, and though I did not like him, I did not believe he and those around him would give out such a shameless lie under such circumstances. I was wrong. I am not playing some mean-spirited political game when I say I am ashamed of my President.

  349. 349
    DougJ says:

    Why aren’t we hearing the good news about the misuse of prewar intelligence?

  350. 350
    Mac Buckets says:

    that may be so but unfortunately for the Republican party neither will be able to get nominated. The right wing lunatic religious zealot crazy intelligent design believing terry shiavo interfering nutbags are way too powerful in republican primaries.

    Wishful thinking. Put away your crystal ball and get back to me in January 2008, and we’ll see how it’s going.

    Damn buckets, I like my chances, do you?

    I’m not running, and I don’t care much either way about Congress these days, so yeah, I’m fine. However, a caviat: Put names next to the ( R) or (D) and you’ll likely get what you usually get in Congressional races…incumbents rule. It’s always the Other Guy’s Congressman who’s the problem.

  351. 351
    Mac Buckets says:

    Nuclear was their biggest talking point, and evidence for a nuclear program always got top billing.

    I see no evidence to support this assertion. I just looked at six major pre-war speeches, and nuclear programs were never mentioned before bio or chem weapons. In fact, most of the time, Bush simply noted that UN Resolution 1441 was breached and Saddam must be disarmed, without mentioning the specific types of banned weapons. Perhaps you could provide some evidence of the “top billing” given to the nuclear program?

    Second, and more important, the Bush team lied about what they knew. When Rumsfeld said “We know where Iraq’s WMDs are. They’re around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat” he was lying. He may have believed they were someplace like that, but he was lying when he said he KNEW.

    As Rumsfeld himself said later, he was speaking off the cuff at the time, and he admits he should’ve said “I believe…” or “We have reports…” rather than “We know…” which is never true in intelligence gathering.

    Regardless, I’m not sure why you say “more importantly,” before the Rumsfeld quote. That quote is a footnote to the footnotes of the Iraq War. It was virtually insignificant. If he hadn’t said it, we’d be in exactly the same place we are today. It changed nothing. Even if we want to call it a “lie” rather than a misstatement, it certainly wasn’t a lie in the run-up to war, or a lie in building the case for war, or a lie to try and gain public support before the war…seeing as how Rumsfeld made his statement after the war had already started. That ship had sailed already.

  352. 352

    Enh, I think I’ll end the thread with this post since I have yet to see anyone explain the apparent discrepancy of these quotes with the rethoric we recieved in the lead up to war:

    Colin Powell – February 2001

    “[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.”

    Condoleezza Rice – July 2001

    “We are able to keep arms from [Saddam]. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

    Someone? Anyone?

  353. 353
    Slide says:

    I’ll end the thread with this. BUSH LIED. Try as you may to justify and parse his words (the meaning of is is) the fact is that an ever growing majority of Americans have concluded they were lied to by the guy that famously said, “We’er going to restore honor and integrity to the White House”. Yeah.

  354. 354
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’ll end the thread by saying this: You whining over and over that “Bush lied” doesn’t make it so. People answering opinion polls don’t make it so, either.

  355. 355
    Pb says:

    I’ll add to the end of the thread with this: wishing that America didn’t know by now that Bush lied doesn’t make it so, either.

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