Bush was right

No, the clapping hasn’t ended:

Right-wing media figures have seized on a Wired article about the classified Iraq war documents recently released by WikiLeaks.com to desperately claim ‘Bush was right’ that Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). In fact, the Wired article reported the documents did not ‘reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime,’ but rather remnants of the stockpiles largely destroyed during the Gulf War.

There are those who think that this will only go on for another few years, but the truth is, thirty years from now, Luke Brooks-Roberts will be solemnly telling tv viewers that there were in fact WMD in Iraq.

Update. I guess this post wasn’t very original.






107 replies
  1. 1
    Legalize says:

    Everyone knows all the WMD were all moved to Syria. Duh.

  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    David Brooks and John Roberts are going to have a baby?

  3. 3
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Mark S.:

    I was thinking of one of Cokie’s childen, but one of John’s children could do in a pinch.

  4. 4
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Wow, Saddam having two coke cans worth of 20 year old ‘WMD’s’ was sure worth all the death and the trillions of dollars spent. Better hope Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear bomb the size of a lunch box, or we might have to invade. Oh well, we all know that nothings sates Real Murikans like scores of dead brown people. Brown heathens at that.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    As a(n?) heuristic device, I am pretty much will to rely on saying, “No, No, he wasn’t,” on most topics.

  6. 6
    joe from Lowell says:

    The existence of old, degraded stockpiles from before 1991 has been known for years now. There was one famous episode in which some insurgents planted an old chemical weapons shell in an IED, apparently thinking it was high-explosive, an it went off when an American vehicle drove over it, spraying degraded gas all over the street.

  7. 7
    Cermet says:

    Remember, Hilter still has WMD (not all the weapons have broken down – that is, those dump in the sea in drums) so you see, we need to invade Germany, too. Once more the right is right about bush saving us from all those massive chemical weapons that the Repubs … I mean Nazi’s have.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Luke Brooks-Roberts. Heh.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    A fixed timeline is the product of librul traitors.

    Just because these WMD’s were destroyed and controlled in the past does not mean they weren’t also present when George W. Bush Jr. invaded.

    If you were serious about American security, you would understand this.

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    Did any of those WMD remnants still have labels on them that read “To Saddam with love, Ronald Reagan?”

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    Not only have we been through this routine before, but I’m pretty sure it was the exact same canisters of old mustard gas that caused us to do so.

  12. 12
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Vile. Vile. Vile. And smarmy. and smug. That video may represent the absolute nadir — I refuse to call it a ‘high point’ — of the foam-‘We’re #1’-finger-yay-my-team school of American politics, at least in my lifetime. Or so I hope.

    Six languages, and none of them with a word I can come up with that quite captures the degree of vileness involved. The contemptible singing paeans of praise to the unspeakable. “Abscheulich” comes close.

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    @El Cid:

    Just because these WMD’s were destroyed and controlled in the past does not mean they weren’t also present when George W. Bush Jr. invaded.

    Yes, because apparently Saddam Hussein had a hot tub time machine that he could use to magically whisk the WMDs from place to place without leaving any physical evidence of their movement, or even any evidence of their initial manufacture.

    And shouldn’t Ginni Thomas be calling somebody to ask for an apology about the WMDs?

  14. 14
    Cris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am pretty much will to rely on saying, “No, No, he wasn’t,” on most topics.

    You clearly still suffer from BDS.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Humbug. Dickens can be useful.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cris:

    You clearly still suffer from BDS.

    AKA empirical observation of reality?

  17. 17
    Capri Sun-Bagger says:

    Davis X. Machina: If more than three of those languages are Romance, it doesn’t count.

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    How many minutes will pass between this post going up and a winger blog triumphantly announcing that even the liberal John Cole now admits Bush was right?

  19. 19
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @MikeJ:

    Even the liberal Juan Cole, they might say.

  20. 20
    Davis X. Machina says:

    That video has torn it — I had repressed all knowledge of it. It’s — oh, I don’t know, like actually finding the real Eddie Haskell, but he’s fronting a bad cover band, that’s playing for Nazi frat parties in the Reicshkanzlei in April of ’45, out of tune — but worse.

    I’m going to get the whiskey….

  21. 21
    Joshua says:

    Rick Santorum*, I believe, tried this one a few years ago. It didn’t work, but it also doesn’t surprise me that they are still trying it. It’s kind of scary to think two-bit slimeballs like Slick Rick were in charge… and about to be voted in again.

    *I can’t type or read that name without chuckling. Thanks Dan Savage!

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Capri Sun-Bagger: Romansch? No one speaks Romansch outside of about 100,000 people in the Swiss mountains.

  23. 23
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Capri Sun-Bagger: Three of them are, but two of the others are Greek — original Homeric, and new improved Attic!, now with with augments, vowel contraction, and high fructose corn syrup.

  24. 24
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Cris:

    You clearly still suffer from BDS.

    Hey, stop that guy! He’s crazy!

    Crazy? How crazy?

    He thinks George Bush was a lousy president!

    Wow. That is crazy.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    Neal Barofsky’s SIGTARP has issued its October 26 quarterly (and also 2 year anniversary) report to Congress on the TARP program, and it is highly critical of many of the results of the program as well as the methods and data used by Geithner and others to proclaim its successes. (It also repeats the basic successes of the program in short-term stabilization of the financial system, though warns that TARP as carried out has created incentives for further dangers.)

    It’s a secured PDF, so I can’t copy & paste, but for example, it seriously questions whether Treasury’s revised estimate for AIG losses being only $5 billion versus the earlier $45 billion was the result of a changed methodology of calculation; and points out that in any official audit, Treasury would be required to use the older methodology in its financial statements. Treasury then should have disclosed its changed methodology, and demonstrated side-by-side comparisons of estimates by both new and old.

    When Barofsky requested this information from Geithner, he said ‘no thanks, we’re sticking with it.’

    The report, however, uses data provided by Treasury, OMB, and CBO, rather than attempt some sort of alternative estimation on its own.

  26. 26
    Cris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: AKA empirical observation of reality?

    I’ll confess, my particular strain of BDS had an element of truth to it. Which is to say, while the man was president, I was one of the people who tended to be skeptical of anything he (or his administration) said, even if I didn’t have good reason to doubt it.

    I stopped assuming good faith in his statements very early on. I felt like that was justified, based on previous performance, but who am I to say?

    So when the assholes invented the “BDS” term, they were sort of talking about people like me.

  27. 27
    Capri Sun-Bagger says:

    Omnes Omnibus: I’m gonna give you 5 mins and Wikipedia to identify your error.

  28. 28
    Chyron HR says:

    Why does the Professional Right care, anyway? Bush was a just “fake conservative”, and they’ve soundly refudiated his Presidency.

  29. 29
    eemom says:

    wait a minute — didn’t I just read on the last thread that no one is talking about the actual Wikileaks docs because they’re all so busy talking about what an asshole Assange is?

  30. 30
    srv says:

    Do these people understand that GW and even Dick didn’t hug the last “WMD’s evahwhere” zombie a few years ago?

    If these wingnuts and teabaggers were just crawling out of their Y2K bunkers today, I’d at least understand why they were crazy.

    It’s like the right is taking every Talking Heads song literally.

  31. 31
    New Yorker says:

    Stuff like this reminds me of all the stories North Korean schoolkids are taught about how Kim Il-Sung invented the automobile and the airplane and such. It’s pretty much the same thing to claim that there were WMDs in Iraq.

  32. 32
    Warren Terra says:

    @Cermet:

    Remember, Hilter still has WMD (not all the weapons have broken down – that is, those dump in the sea in drums) so you see, we need to invade Germany, too.

    I’m pretty sure we still have troops stationed in Germany, so it appears your fears that we are not taking seriously the threat of WMD-fueled Werewolf Terrorist Aggression(1) are unfounded.

    Although, Belgium probably has WMD, because there must be a few unexploded mustard gas shells still buried in their fields. And we stand defenseless against them! Brussels, here we come!

    (1) Remember in 2003/2004 when the Rightbloggers would don their metaphorical leather-patched tweed jackets, stick a pipe in their manly jaw, and lecture us about how the current unpleasantness in Iraq was just like Hitler’s plan for so-called “Werewolf” detachments to sew violence and unrest in Occupied Germany, with the implication that Germany turned out OK and soon we’d be celebrating Oktoberfest on the Euphrates? Even though the so-called “werewolves” apparently never actually, you know, killed anyone? Good times, good times.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Capri Sun-Bagger: Approx. 61,000.

  34. 34
    John Bird says:

    “Saddam Hussein likely has up to ten cracked old mustard gas rounds from the Iran-Iraq War! We must invade!”

    Yeah, there’s a reason they lied up some WMD programs and stockpiles instead.

    A key point that’s been ignored is that we gave the Bush administration free rein to redefine terms and we’re now using those redefined, and inaccurate, terms.

    The only things usually called “WMD” before 9/11 were nuclear weapons. This makes perfect sense, because you can usually cause more destruction with conventional weapons than you can with chemical or biological weapons.

    Nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are known as “NBC” weapons, set apart to identify their status in international arms agreements.

  35. 35
    John Bird says:

    Okay, my comment’s been flagged for moderation twice, so, key point:

    WMDs are nuclear weapons. NBCs are nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, set apart because of their status under international treaties. The Bush administration redefined all NBCs as WMDs. 1) this is silly and shouldn’t stand, 2) cracked mustard gas shells from the last war don’t even qualify as an NBC find.

  36. 36
    Steve V says:

    I feel like I remember reading stories a while back about how US forces had discovered some old stockpiles that still had UN seals on them that were placed there after the first Gulf War. Those seals have stuck in my memory. I.e., they clearly were not part of any WMD program Saddam Hussein had going after the Gulf War. Wouldn’t that most likely be the stuff that the insurgents were using?

  37. 37
    Amir_Khalid says:

    Most days, George Walker Bush reminds me of one character from literature: Gilderoy Lockhart, a superficially appealing bullshitter with no real backbone. Sometimes, though, he also reminds me of Zaphod Beeblebrox, a reckless and amoral hedonist. I think both these aspects of his personality went into the decision to go to war in Iraq (and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan too).

    As for the WMD “evidence” that showed up in post-invasion Iraq, this phrase came to my mind at the time: weapons of mass destruction program activity-related wishful thinking. Iraq’s WMD development capability was at the point where they were really just dreaming, sometimes nostalgically, about it. Remember the scientist who had a random collection of centrifuge parts buried in his garden?

  38. 38
    Zifnab says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Sometimes, though, he also reminds me of Zaphod Beeblebrox, a reckless and amoral hedonist.

    I liked Zaphod Bebblebrox. He was the type of guy willing to risk his neck on the off chance he’d get laid. He’s the kind of guy I’d actually want to have a beer with.

  39. 39
    John Bird says:

    Can I ask why ALL my comments are being flagged? They don’t contain any banned terms.

  40. 40
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I just can’t wrap my brain around what you’d have to be like to admire that as some kind of world-historical figure…..

    It beggars the imagination.

  41. 41
    joe from Lowell says:

    Yes, Amir, I remember.

    Literally buried in his garden. Under a shrub. That is what passes for an ongoing program among American wingnuts.

  42. 42
    Cris says:

    @Zifnab: He was the type of guy willing to risk his neck on the off chance he’d get laid.

    He could afford to risk his neck; he had two.

  43. 43
    John Bird says:

    NBCs aren’t WMDs. Mustard gas shells were never, and are not, weapons of mass destruction.

    Why are we still allowing the Bush-era redefinition of “WMD” to mean “banned weapon under treaty”? It makes the term useless.

  44. 44
    Citizen_X says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The contemptible singing paeans of praise to the unspeakable.

    Good description of that….thing. The smugness, the factual wrongness, the idiotically juvenile “NAH-NAH-NAH-NAH-NAAAA-NAH!” guitar line. This is what political songs have devolved to? Somewhere, Joe Strummer is weeping. Hell, Ian Stuart (Skrewdriver) is weeping.

    And are those two puds the Right Brothers? Those faces…I would never stop punching them.

  45. 45
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Cris: If I recall correctly, the TV Zaphod had each head on its own neck, whereas the movie Zaphod had one head at a time showing on top of a single neck.

  46. 46
    joe from Lowell says:

    @John Bird: Was there ever a real definition of WMD?

  47. 47
    Tom M says:

    Luke Brooks-Roberts will be solemnly telling tv viewers that there were in fact WMD in Iraq.

    Bet your ass that’s what the BushBook will say. That and a bunch of other lies.

  48. 48

    So I listened to the boys’ little video. Good drumming.

    Question: Since it is obvious that these guys live in an alternate universe, where might that universe be?

  49. 49
    John Bird says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Not really. The best definition I heard (from a former weapons inspector defending the NBC distinction) was that “weapons of mass destruction” could conceivably cover:

    1) Nuclear weapons, of the fission/fusion, not ‘dirty bomb’, variety,
    2) Single conventional explosive devices with the power to level a city (e.g., MOAB),
    3) Weapons that haven’t been invented yet that could level a city.

    That is, the possessors of weapons capable of mass destruction have always been states up to this point.

    Furthermore, no terrorist group existing today is likely to have the resources to acquire such a weapon.

    The big dirty secret about the NBC hunt is that a non-state group is more likely to cause death, injury, and property destruction with a conventional bomb or a bunch of automatic rifles than with NBC weapons.

    Another more viable option is a commandeered vehicle of large size, while we’re discussing relevant examples.

  50. 50
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @joe from Lowell: I’m sure you also remember the “Iraqi drone” that was really just a remote-controlled model airplane. I found that one especially delightful.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Bird: Depending on the type and size, I would say the biological and chemical weapons can qualify as WMDs. Your larger point is correct though. A few expired mustard gas shells really don’t qualify.

  52. 52
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ain’t that the truth.

    The Wired article doesn’t make any claim that Bush or his minions were remotely correct about WMD in the lead up to the Iraq war and none of the documents cited say anything that a reasonable person could construe to say that either.
    But reality never stopped those people so what the fuck, right?

  53. 53
    Svensker says:

    The thing that really irks me (OK, one of the things) is that even if Saddam DID have WMD, he wouldn’t have used them against us. He may have been a depraved evil bastard, but he wasn’t nuts and he wanted to finish out his days in comfy dictator-of-his-country mode.

    Iraq — the starved, the bombed, the exhausted — was never a threat to the mighty US of A. The whole goddamn thing was a big fat lie, with or without “WMD”.

  54. 54
    soonergrunt says:

    @John Bird:

    It makes the term useless.

    DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

  55. 55
    soonergrunt says:

    @Svensker:

    Iraq—the starved, the bombed, the exhausted—was never a threat to the mighty US of A. The whole goddamn thing was a big fat lie, with or without “WMD”.

    That was always my issue.

  56. 56
    Mark S. says:

    K-thug is really cheery today:

    The resurgent Republicans have learned nothing from the economic crisis, except that doing everything they can to undermine Mr. Obama is a winning political strategy. Tax cuts and deregulation are still the alpha and omega of their economic vision. And if they take one or both houses of Congress, complete policy paralysis — which will mean, among other things, a cutoff of desperately needed aid to the unemployed and a freeze on further help for state and local governments — is a given.

    I really think if state and local governments start laying off tons of people we will go from recession to full-on depression. We will be fucked.

  57. 57
    R-Jud says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Question: Since it is obvious that these guys live in an alternate universe, where might that universe be?

    The Rectumverse.

  58. 58
    John Bird says:

    It can’t be reiterated enough: these documents don’t give us any new evidence or information that wasn’t present during the official investigations that we’ve been referring to for the last five years or so.

    That is, there’s no more evidence for biological and chemical weapons in this release than there was in those previous investigators read and reviewed.

    A few cracked mustard shells and a few laboratories of undetermined use don’t add up to an NBC threat or an NBC program or even a plan to begin an NBC program.

    They add up to the well-known, undisputed fact that Iraq, at one point, had a small but working chemical weapon program for domestic use against Iran and the Kurds. Who disputes this? No one. It’s irrelevant.

    For a working NBC program or even a planned one, you would need the wide-ranging and operating apparatus that was identified, falsely and wrongly, by the Bush administration.

  59. 59
    John Bird says:

    @Mark S.:

    What do you mean, “if” local and state governments start mass layoffs? What state do you live in?

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    @John Bird: No shit. California is laying off teachers in the 10s of thousands. You can only imagine what’s happening at the DMV and the county and city records offices.

  61. 61
    Paula says:

    @Svensker:

    For some reason, one of my strongest memories of high school was seeing my junior year English teacher talking about the first Gulf war, drawing a makeshift map of the globe and sarcastically talking about how Iraq’s missile system was going to totally reach all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. This was probably about 1998.

    Sometime in 2002, I had a conversation with a co-worker asking whether our gov’t really was planning to go back. She shrugged it off as being too stupid and pointless even for us.

    People iz dum.

  62. 62

    @soonergrunt:

    Hey Sooner! How is life back on the job? Feeling good?

  63. 63
    Cat Lady says:

    Here’s Colin Powell and Condi Rice admitting in 2001 (before 9/11) there wasn’t a WMD program, but since it’s narrated by a longhaired Brit who gets soshulist healthcare, it can safely be ignored and dismissed. 9/11 changed everything, doncha know. Also.

  64. 64
    John Bird says:

    @Svensker:

    This is also true, and very relevant to the current debate over Iran.

    In the mainstream media, no one is allowed to question whether a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to the United States.

    That’s because the answer is, not really, and if you take away that imminent threat, people begin to question an Israel-centric consensus in Middle Eastern foreign policy that comprises most of the political class.

    Hence Goldberg’s articles in the Atlantic Monthly and Blair’s pronouncements that Israel is about to bomb Iran if America doesn’t, and then Goldberg’s pieces where he points to Blair and says, “See! I was right!”

    This is the goal that I saw behind Iraq. Not a conspiracy, nothing much to do with lowering the price of oil, but a group of people with a previously conservative view of what they could achieve in the Middle East (see PNAC’s original report, which is pretty tepid) who saw 9/11 as an opportunity they could not pass up.

    The idea I have is that we have really expansive goals to remake political systems in Iraq, in Iran, and elsewhere. Iraq and Afghanistan showed us that since Vietnam, we haven’t developed the tools (if they exist) to carry out our plans. But the same people are still in charge of the apparatus, both military and civilian, and they are determined to show us all that they were right and capable.

  65. 65
    jwb says:

    @Mark S.: Those layoffs are already in the cards no matter what happens in the election, since the Dems won’t have the votes to pass a new stimulus even under the most optimistic scenario, the states don’t have any money or the will to raise taxes (not that raising taxes at this moment is exactly a good idea any way), and a new stimulus is really the only solution to the problem. 2011 is looking like a truly, truly horrible year.

  66. 66
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Amir_Khalid: The one that could reach our shores in 45 minutes?

    Oh, yeah. That one was a classic.

  67. 67

    @Legalize: With the help of Russia. And maybe Iran.

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    @Martin: Data.

    Local governments are cutting jobs at the fastest rate in almost 30 years.
    __
    They cut 76,000 jobs last month and over the last three months have cut 143,000 jobs, many in education, according to today’s jobs report. That’s 1 percent of total local-government employment across the country. Since the Labor Department began keeping records in the 1950s, the only other time that the cuts were so steep was in the harsh 1981-2 recession.

    4% per year decline in public sector jobs. That’s against a growing demand for public services above the general population growth.

  69. 69

    @R-Jud:

    The Rectumverse.

    Ah. I didn’t look there. :-)

  70. 70
    John Bird says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    It’s a nice example to me of how many people are unable to take their own rational viewpoint and turn it around so it applies to someone else.

    Why was the Iraqi drone idea terrifying? Because then our enemy could deliver a payload without personal risk, to anywhere, and never face consequences for the results even if they got sloppy. Terror from the skies, guided from an office.

    What is the number one propaganda tool we’re giving the Taliban? Drone attacks.

    Mass civilian deaths are bad enough. But there is something simply terrifying about the idea that the enemy is killing you with robots, that if there was a ‘mistake’ made, it was made, from planning to actually pressing the ‘bomb the fuck out of you’ button, long ago and far away.

  71. 71
    Cris says:

    Now I’m engaging in masochistic nostalgia. Remember when Baghdad fell, and the warmongers reacted with triumphalism? I remember the conversation being sort of like this.

    Warblogger: We defeated Saddam! See, liberal? You were wrong!
    __
    Liberal: I never said we wouldn’t easily defeat the Iraqi army if we invaded. I said we shouldn’t invade.
    __
    Warblogger: YOU WERE WRONG! HOO HOO HOO

    I even remember a T-shirt that said “Turns out war was the answer after all.” Bush was right, indeed.

  72. 72
    Svensker says:

    @John Bird:

    Total agreement. Absolute and total agreement.

  73. 73
    shecky says:

    ISTR that this was not unknown a few years back, and got some play, mostly in the conservative press. But even for the wingnuttiest of wingnuts, it was too little too late, and the revelation withered on the vine, clearly too anemic to salvage the war cause at the time.

    You know, the only thing that really surprised me, as a skeptic from the very beginning about the WMD claims, is that the Bush administration never really tried to falsify the existence of those WMDs after the invasion went south. Sure, they went on for a pretty long time saying, “We know they’re here somewhere…”, and plenty of folks *ahemjohncole* were more then willing to follow along. But as that huge war boner shriveled up without more than a drop to show for it, I was truly surprised. I thought for sure we’d have some significant phantom WMD canisters to tide over the masses, even if the details were sketchy. Dog knows the faithful would have smugly lined up to thumb their noses and shout down skeptics, the same way they did at the outset of the war. Who cares if the story wouldn’t add up over the long run, as long as they could be victorious in the news cycle.

  74. 74
    joe from Lowell says:

    @shecky:

    I thought for sure we’d have some significant phantom WMD canisters to tide over the masses, even if the details were sketchy.

    Ditto. I expected we’d find a warehouse full of old, degraded chemical shells from the 1980s, and the administration would stage a full court press that we’d found the WMDs.

  75. 75
    Cris says:

    @shecky: You know, the only thing that really surprised me, as a skeptic from the very beginning about the WMD claims, is that the Bush administration never really tried to falsify the existence of those WMDs after the invasion went south.

    I agree with this 100% and more (marketing has rendered me innumerate). It always amazed me, as willing as the Bush Admin was to do anything they damned well wanted, how they kept trying to dress their plans with a veil of legitimacy. Why should they care if the public believed there was a pretext for their actions? They would just do it anyway.

    It’s as though they had a social conscience, in spite of themselves. Or as though they believed the public or Congress might meaningfully oppose them, in spite of the evidence. Probably some other explanation.

  76. 76
    soonergrunt says:

    @Linda Featheringill: It’s the same old job. I’m even right back at my desk. They got new computers so now I’m not using a six-year-old computer to admin a network. Now I just gotta steal a chair from the developers’ office when they’re at lunch, and then it’ll start to be a decent work environment.

    The teabagger two cubes over will be a problem sooner or later. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about him just yet.

  77. 77
    Menzies says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    It’s what happens when you suffer from rectal-cranial inversion.

  78. 78
    joe from Lowell says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The teabagger two cubes over will be a problem sooner or later. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about him just yet.

    This one time only: don’t let the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud.

    Better liberate his cube, just to be safe.

  79. 79
    soonergrunt says:

    @Cris: I think they kept saying it often enough that they believed it themselves. Most likely this effect was amplified by the rest of the country no longer believed it any more so they just had to double down on the idea. I know people around these parts for whom it is still gospel truth that we found WMD’s in Iraq.

  80. 80
    Menzies says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Do what I do – play as much annoying Eurotechno as you can stand/are allowed to.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The teabagger two cubes over will be a problem sooner or later. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about him just yet.

    Didn’t they teach you people anything at Benning? You must have some idea.

  82. 82
    El Cid says:

    @Cris: There are times when I think that even Bush Jr. was surprised at how the shit he listened to from Cheney et al turned out to be even more fraudulent than even he imagined. I always imagine that Bush Jr. was really pissed off that the whole Iraq thing turned into a giant mess and that this proved to be politically troublesome back home.

    I think he figured he’d just go in there, swing his cosmically destructive pen1s around, come back a hero, and then it would basically be left to simmer and no one would pay much attention.

    I think the fact that he had to work so hard on this Iraq mess and deal with all kinds of political flack on it, particularly after his re-election, partly explains why he stopped listening to the Cheney types after 2006 or whenever.

  83. 83
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Question: Since it is obvious that these guys live in an alternate universe, where might that universe be?

    The best rejoinder I’ve heard for that is “So… in your world, does Spock have a goatee?”

  84. 84
    Citizen_X says:

    The teabagger two cubes over will be a problem sooner or later. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about him just yet.

    Wait till a week from tomorrow. If it goes badly for the ‘baggers, I suggest taking the advice of a friend of mine, talking about an angry wingut colleague: “If I see him coming to work carrying a gym bag, I don’t care if I am on the second floor, I’m jumping out the window.”

  85. 85
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: His section of the base is adjacent to mine. If I go the route you imply, satisfying as it might be, that will make more work. I never attended the school at Fort Bragg, but that’s probably the better course of action. Otherwise, I’ll only have more work.

  86. 86
    soonergrunt says:

    @Citizen_X: Your friend needs to have a talk with management. If that’s a concern and not just joking around on your friend’s part, it’s entirely valid to go to management with it.
    Every time one of those events happens, the survivors all say afterwards how the perpetrator was angry and crazy but nobody thought he’d kill the entire office.

  87. 87
    El Cid says:

    @soonergrunt: A number of leaders of Mexican narco-paramilitary gangs (including the leadership of the most murderous, the Zetas) apparently took their military counter-insurgency and anti-drugs training at Ft Bragg to more profitable endeavors.

  88. 88
    El Cid says:

    @Citizen_X: Well, at least they can’t say “He was a quiet man.”

  89. 89
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Eh. That’s overdone. I prefer asking whether Sulu had a scar on his face.

  90. 90
    General Stuck says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The teabagger two cubes over will be a problem sooner or later. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about him just yet.

    Hold up a blank IQ test like you would a garlic clove and cross for a vampire, and watch him run away like a scalded chicken little

    And a dash or two of Holy Water from Kenya wouldn’t hurt.

  91. 91
    soonergrunt says:

    @El Cid: and?
    You know, some military officers who attended US sponsored training at the NATO language school in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the 1990s on the role of military forces in a democracy, and civil-government-military relations in NATO countries went back to their countries and engaged in things that nobody really wanted them to engage in. The instructors were German, Dutch, Canadian, American, and British.
    This morning, a licensed driver was in a DUI accident. I trust you’ll tell us all about how the drivers-ed teacher is responsible.
    A lot more drugs were smuggled into the US by people who never went to a US military school than by people who did.

    Unless you have some proof that the training they received at Fort Bragg was directly responsible for them making the decision to break the law, it’s utterly fucking irrelevant, except as a curiosity that they had any training there. You know, they were selected for that training by the Mexican government. Maybe this says something about Mexico’s vetting process.
    Guess what all of those people, the Mexican drug dealers, the Belorussian arms dealers and human trafficers, and the DUI all had in common?
    None of them are American Soldiers, and neither I nor anyone who is one is remotely responsible for their behavior you stupid bastard.

  92. 92
    Origuy says:

    @soonergrunt:
    A more practical suggestion that helped me with the guy in the next cubicle over is noise-reduction headphones and a large iTunes library.

  93. 93
    Mike in NC says:

    @El Cid:

    There are times when I think that even Bush Jr. was surprised at how the shit he listened to from Cheney et al turned out to be even more fraudulent than even he imagined.

    Dubya was completely taken in by the neocon’s Plan A:

    Invade Iraq with a force all of the generals knew was inadequate, “decapitate” the top leadership but leave the rest of the infrastructure intact, then install Ahmed Chalabi as our new friendly lackey of a dictator. Nobody could possibly object, and we’d be welcomed with candy and flowers by a grateful people. The troops would all be home within three months and the oil would flow!

    Per the order of SECDEF Von Rumsfeld, planners were prohibited from coming up with a Plan B.

  94. 94
    John Bird says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Ditto. I expected we’d find a warehouse full of old, degraded chemical shells from the 1980s, and the administration would stage a full court press that we’d found the WMDs.

    This is the best argument against the “THESE MUSTARD GAS SHELLS PROVE WMDs” idea, even if it’s not the best-sounding argument rhetorically:

    Not even the Bush administration had the balls to really claim that what we found was significant.

    They tried this, briefly (Bush saying “we found the weapons of mass destruction”) and found that the political capital necessary for this sort of hard sell was way more than they had.

    They could not get people to believe something that was false in any relevant sense by claiming the truth of something accidental that wasn’t relevant or disputed at all.

    And, of course, none of the Wikileaks documents present new evidence that wasn’t available all along to the Bush administration and to Republicans on the relevant committees.

    It’s just information that wasn’t easily available to everyone before now, and what it does is confirm everything we’ve been told.

    So we’re left with the bizarre idea that the Bush administration was somehow forced to (or conspired to) lie to the media and attack their own justification for war, and now a bunch of right-wing pundits are going to rescue them from themselves based on documents containing information that Congress and the White House already saw.

    It’s literally unbelievable unless you’re a conspiracy theorist.

  95. 95
    John Bird says:

    @Cris:

    To me, the situation is exactly parallel to this “we found the WMDs” business.

    Most arguments I heard in 2003 against the invasion of Iraq looked like this (including my own):

    1) xxxxxxxx
    2) also, xxxxxxxx
    3) and Iraq’s military may put up more of a fight than we’ve bargained for during the invasion itself,
    4) and xxxxxxxx
    5) and xxxxxxxx. . . .

    Then, when the invasion happened, the exchange looked like:

    Pro-War Person: Hey, that thing you guys said about their military being tougher than we thought wasn’t true! Iraq is a success!
    Anti-War Person: But that was one problem that we MIGHT have faced, and it’s not causally linked to any of the other objections like how our military might get stuck there for a decade, or how the former government might help found a violent resistance movement, or…
    Pro-War Person: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  96. 96
    James E. Powell says:

    Given how easily the right-wing militarists completely turned American opinion around on the Viet Nam War, I fully expect them not only to say there were WMDs in Iraq, they will say that there were plan to use them in a terrorist attack on the United States, that there was clear evidence of Saddam Hussein’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and a secret plot to assassinate George W. Bush at the 2002 Olympics.

    They will also say that Democrats had knowledge of all this, but covered it up out of political correctness.

  97. 97
    soonergrunt says:

    @Origuy: I was thinking about pinning my CIB to the wall of my cubicle at the top of my HOPE poster. That’s the psyop (read that: head-fuck) I was going to start with.

  98. 98
    James E. Powell says:

    @El Cid:

    There are times when I think that even Bush Jr. was surprised at how the shit he listened to from Cheney et al turned out to be even more fraudulent than even he imagined. I always imagine that Bush Jr. was really pissed off that the whole Iraq thing turned into a giant mess and that this proved to be politically troublesome back home.

    Not a chance. I have never seen any public figure care so little about the consequences of his acts. He is a patrician asshole who only cares about himself.

  99. 99
    El Cid says:

    @soonergrunt: I didn’t fucking blame the American trainers, dumbass. Read what I fucking wrote. I specifically differentiated the case of the GAFE turned narco-paramilitaries from the traditional U.S. support for and training of death squad leaders. The main actors — in this case, unlike the earlier 1980s Central Americas wars cases — were the Mexican military members themselves. Jesus fucking Christ.

  100. 100
    El Cid says:

    @James E. Powell: I didn’t say he cared about the consequences of his actions in any way having to do with the real world. Rather, my imaginings was based upon Bush Jr. being a pissy and lazy man who thought all this shit would go easier and that he’d be loved for it, and that he got pissy when it didn’t and he had to deal with this mess and being bothered politically over it and eventually he stopped listening to Cheney et al.

  101. 101
    John Bird says:

    My favorite part (not really) was when they found a roadside bomb that was partly constructed from a hollowed out Iran-Iraq-War-era shell with trace elements that showed it once contained mustard gas, and the SAME PEOPLE said the SAME THINGS.

    Is there a blacker joke about the supposed justification for war than that, whatever decades-old NBC remnants terrorists could turn up, they were unidentifiable, useless, and safe enough to handle that they were built into a crappy low-range conventional explosive for use against American soldiers?

    For God’s sake, they’re talking about cracked artillery shells as a ‘stockpile’. If there was anything to this story, wouldn’t it have changed the game when it came up, oh, the LAST THREE TIMES?

  102. 102
    John Bird says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Agreed.

    People in America have a vested emotional interest in refusing to learn any lesson that limits their belief in America’s foreign policy capabilities. Iraq will be no exception without a sea change in our self image (the sort of national conversion, sadly, that would be prompted by accepting our mistakes permanently).

    We have been led to believe by revisionists that the Vietnam war would have been won if it hadn’t been for the protest movement, civilian restraint on the military, and without some sort of ephemeral willpower to kill indiscriminately.

    That is, we are led to believe that victory was thwarted by the elements of our country that kept us from engaging in all-out ethnic cleansing or nuclear warfare as advised by military strategists.

    This was only possible some time out from the war itself, when memory grew dim. You will hear people saying now that the Tet Offensive shouldn’t have been considered relevant to our war policy. No one was saying that then, including defenders of the war, because it would have been an incredibly stupid thing to say.

    Future talk on Iraq will be the same, and it will include many, if not all, of the lies you’ve identified.

    The threat to our country from the mere inaccuracy of this revisionism is less than the threat to our country from the tongues of those who would have us believe it is true.

  103. 103
    Mike G says:

    The Right Brothers

    Anyone want to guess how many dildos, wetsuits, male escorts, recreational pharmacology and airport bathrooms are in these guys’ closets.

    Something tells me that none of them have any military service.

  104. 104
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Mike in NC:

    then install Ahmed Chalabi as our new friendly lackey of a dictator.

    I have to admit, I expected this to work, too. How many times did we do exactly that in Latin America?

    Note to self – Iraq: Not Latin America.

  105. 105
    joe from Lowell says:

    @John Bird:

    So we’re left with the bizarre idea that the Bush administration was somehow forced to (or conspired to) lie to the media and attack their own justification for war, and now a bunch of right-wing pundits are going to rescue them from themselves based on documents containing information that Congress and the White House already saw.

    I swear I’ve seen conservative web sites argue that Bush knew we’d found the WMDs, but he refused to defend himself, because he’s just so gosh-darned polite, and unwilling to have a confrontation with the Democrats or the media.

  106. 106
    James E. Powell says:

    @El Cid:

    Okay, then I agree with you.

    Bush is an asshole who always blames other people for his problems. Remember in the debate with Kerry when Bush was asked if he had made any mistakes? He replied that he may have hired the wrong person, or words to that effect.

    If I thought for a moment that Bush cared what anyone outside of his tiny circle thinks of him, I’d be certain that in retirement he is stewing bitterly over all the people he trusted who led him into disgrace and ridicule.

  107. 107
    Jack Roy says:

    Re: the update: Am I the only one who remembers this list going around some time ago?

    Q. How many liberal bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: One to do it, and one to point out that Atrios did it first.

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