The latest on pre-war intelligence.

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Mariner, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    The New York Times' Frank Rich has been keeping careful track of the ongoing revelations about the Bush administration's use of pre-war intelligence to justify the war. From his latest column, summarizing the latest evidence:

    FRANK RICH
    Published: November 27, 2005

    ...each day brings slam-dunk evidence that the doomsday threats marshaled by the administration to sell the war weren't, in Cheney-speak, just dishonest and reprehensible but also corrupt and shameless. The more the president and vice president tell us that their mistakes were merely innocent byproducts of the same bad intelligence seen by everyone else in the world, the more we learn that this was not so. The web of half-truths and falsehoods used to sell the war did not happen by accident; it was woven by design and then foisted on the public by a P.R. operation built expressly for that purpose in the White House. The real point of the Bush-Cheney verbal fisticuffs this month, like the earlier campaign to take down Joseph Wilson, is less to smite Democrats than to cover up wrongdoing in the executive branch between 9/11 and shock and awe.

    The cover-up is failing, however. No matter how much the president and vice president raise their decibel levels, the truth keeps roaring out. A nearly 7,000-word investigation in last Sunday's Los Angeles Times found that Mr. Bush and his aides had "issued increasingly dire warnings" about Iraq's mobile biological weapons labs long after U.S. intelligence authorities were told by Germany's Federal Intelligence Service that the principal source for these warnings, an Iraqi defector in German custody code-named Curveball, "never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so." The five senior German intelligence officials who spoke to The Times said they were aghast that such long-discredited misinformation from a suspected fabricator turned up in Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations and in the president's 2003 State of the Union address (where it shared billing with the equally bogus 16 words about Saddam's fictitious African uranium).

    Right after the L.A. Times scoop, Murray Waas filled in another piece of the prewar propaganda puzzle. He reported in the nonpartisan National Journal that 10 days after 9/11, "President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda."

    The information was delivered in the President's Daily Brief, a C.I.A. assessment also given to the vice president and other top administration officials. Nonetheless Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney repeatedly pounded in an implicit (and at times specific) link between Saddam and Al Qaeda until Americans even started to believe that the 9/11 attacks had been carried out by Iraqis. More damning still, Mr. Waas finds that the "few credible reports" of Iraq-Al Qaeda contacts actually involved efforts by Saddam to monitor or infiltrate Islamic terrorist groups, which he regarded as adversaries of his secular regime. Thus Saddam's antipathy to Islamic radicals was the same in 2001 as it had been in 1983, when Donald Rumsfeld, then a Reagan administration emissary, embraced the dictator as a secular fascist ally in the American struggle against the theocratic fascist rulers in Iran.

    ...What these revelations also tell us is that Mr. Bush was wrong when he said in his Veterans Day speech that more than 100 Congressional Democrats who voted for the Iraqi war resolution "had access to the same intelligence" he did. They didn't have access to the President's Daily Brief that Mr. Waas uncovered. They didn't have access to the information that German intelligence officials spoke about to The Los Angeles Times. Nor did they have access to material from a Defense Intelligence Agency report, released by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan this month, which as early as February 2002 demolished the reliability of another major source that the administration had persistently used for its false claims about Iraqi-Al Qaeda collaboration.

    * * *

    If Bush wants to clear his name in all of this, the path is simple--release the vast amount of information he refuses to divulge, e.g. every one of his daily intelligence briefs, and cooperate with Congress in finishing its probe of pre-war intelligence, which he and the Republicans have avoided fro two years. Why is all this still important? Because, as Frank Rich points out later in his piece, Bush and Cheney continue to conflate Iraqi terrorism with Al Qaeda terrorism, even when on-the-ground estimates are that 90% of the insurgents are "home-grown," simply people defending their country against occupation--just as we would, in my opinion, if someone occupied us.

    Mariner
     
  2. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Lmao…The left is having a fit about a “supposed” outing of a CIA agent and you suggest
    exposing how many by releasing such information? Yes, that’s exactly what you’re asking, because if the information would ever be released, and it all won’t be, the next thing demanded would be the sources, i.e. NAMES.



    You statement should read: “If Bush wants to put the final nail in the coffin of intelligence community, the path is simple--release the vast amount of information he refuses to divulge, e.g. every one of his daily intelligence briefs, including named sources”.

    That's just WAAAAYYYYY DUMB!!!
     
  3. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Bull. Why on Earth should Bush cooperate with Dems attempting to beat a dead horse some more? This is just typical, left-wing, after-the-fact reorganization/omission of the facts.

    Frank Rich fails to mention al Zarqawi is an AQ lieutenant. He isn't defending his country or he'd be in a different one.

    And any home-grown insurgent battling occupation would be targetting the occupying force, not hsi own people. Targetting noncombatants over ideoligical differences is unjustified murder for the purpose of instilling fear in the populace.

    It's called terrorism. When are you left-wingnuts going to quit trying to whitewash it?
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Exactly. If Mariner were to check out Saudi Arabia's Most Wanted list, of those 'captured or killed' a sizeable number have been in Iraq. More politics of destruction, from those that usually bring it on.
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Mariner is just typical of the left. They'll continue attempting to retry this in the media as they have every other controversial issue they can dredge up until they have completely distorted the facts and/or truth into some out-of-context BS.

    A lengthy not to mention costly bipartisan investigation was already done on this issue and I have a BIG problem with wasting even more tax dollars to beat the proverbial dead horse. Congress has accomplished pretty much of nothing and been sidetracked from REAL issues that need to be addressed for petty, partisan politics.
     
  6. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    Part 1 of an investigation was completed--the part which covered the slip-ups in gathering actual intelligence.

    Don't tell me these are small issues--the Bush administration just 2 weeks ago finally admitted "We were wrong" about WMD's in Iraq. The cost of the war in Iraq is currently over $1000 per person in this country--and it's all borrowed money that weakens our economic standing. The view of the U.S. around the world, which peaked right after 9/11, has plummeted since we invaded Iraq. This makes us less safe, not more. It's certainly worth finding out how we got there. A lot more important than, say, the Whitewater investigation, which zealous Republicans pursued forever, with nothing to show for it. Here, it's clear there will be lots to show for it.

    Part 2 of the investigation, which is how the President used the data he had at hand and presented it to the public, has been left unfinished for two years. That suggests only one thing--there's lots to hide. And as the dribs and drabs come out, each new fact only makes Bush look worse. Staunch Republicans like many folk on this forum may not think this is important, but obviously most Americans do, as Bush's poll ratings for honesty have fallen far below Clinton's, and Cheney's have fallen so low that he's all but in hiding.

    As for Al-Zarqari. sure he's Al Qaeda, but as we have now learned, Bush was told clearly that AQ had ZILCH to do with 9/11 on 9/21, yet he continued to say they did--to the point that by the time the war began fully 50% of people thought so too. If he hadn't lied we'd have avoided this war. Al-Zarqari is in Iraq now because we invaded. Saddam wanted nothing to do with Al Qaeda--he was a secularist. Hello, people, Osama bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia, and had his own reasons to hate the U.S.?

    If someone invaded us "for our own good," set up prisons like Abu Ghraib, couldn't speak our language yet attempted to police us, killed vast numbers of innocent civilians, including our children, refused even to count our dead, ignored the Geneva conventions in regard to the rights of our people taken hostage... it's pretty clear to me that a lot of us would become insurgents, ready to do anything to take down the occupier. I know I would.

    There was a great book out earlier this year which analyzed suicide bombings. Turns out religious differences, e.g. Muslim vs. Christian, don't explain the majority of suicide bombings. 70% are due to occupation. That's where you get serious military thinkers like Murtha calling for a timetable to get out. Polls in Iraq show the general public there wants us out too.

    Even the Republican Congress has had it with Bush's management of the war, so don't make me sound like an outlier. Frist asked for quarterly report cards on its progress--in particular progress in getting other nations to join us. What could be more embarrasing to the president?! Obviously, they've realized they were toyed with, and don't like it at all--especially as they eye the '06 elections.

    Too bad it isn't working. The "coalition of the willing" is down to 27 mostly tiny countries, with a couple more countries ready to pull their troops out soon. 90% of the troops still there are ours. This whole mess was Bush's war. We have every right to know if we were duped into it. That's called Democracy, where no one is above the law. I realize Bush wants an imperial presidency where he can break whatever treaties he wants (against the clear word of the U.S. Constitution) and keep whatever secrets he wants ("executive privilege" is a "right" created by the Supreme Court in the 1960's, and also cannot be found in the U.S. Constitution--so much for Bush being an "originalist"). Bush has used executive privilege far more than any other president--he won't even let new info about the start of the Vietnam war be released, because he's afraid it will look just like the start of the Iraq war--a total sham.

    Mariner.

    PS I may be a fairly typical liberal in terms of ideals, but I am also fiscally conservative--considerably more so than your current "Borrow from China and spend like there's no tomorrow" President and Congress. We're currently paying more per year in interest on our debt than the entire cost of the Iraq war or the clean up of Hurricane Katrina. That's good leadership?
     
  7. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Sorry, but you sound like a typical snow-job left-winger to me with all of the appropriate BS accusations to go with it.
     
  8. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    In response to a few large pieces of bullcrap.

    If another country invaded the U.S. "for our own good" as is, yes, I would object. However, if Jeb Bush tortured our Olympic team half to death because they lost, and they lost becuase of the torture, I'd probably be pissed off. If Bush regularly hung my mother and sister upside-down, in the nude, in front of the D.C. reflecting pool during their periods, I'd be pretty pissed. If the invading country shot at the people that worked for them and trained me how to shoot at them, too, I would take a bullet for them.

    There's already been a thread about how the 'insurgent' and Iraqi defense force casualties have been counted as civilians. The actual number of civilians killed has been less than 1,000.

    Less than half the troops there are ours. About 40-45% are ours, 50% are Iraqi, and the remaining 5-10% are primarily elite troops from other countries. Numbers aren't the whole game. Britain sent the SAS, and Australia and Poland sent their special forces, as well.
     
  9. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    These are indeed important issues. I don't suspect you will find many here in USMB that will suscribe to the importance of them. I've certainly found that many here are quite fond of their own brand of innuendo, name-calling, personal denial, victims of recognitive dissonance and other mental issues while accusing their detractors of exactly the same. They need help but they don't want it. They need to read the post and refute it if they can. But, they don't want too. It's much easier to ridicule you than to intelligently refute or debate your information.

    Most here do not remember that Frank Rich was a great supporter of the Administration for this war in Iraq or realize that he desires to be corrected by additional forth-coming information. Based on information received and the refusal of the Administration to be more forth-coming, FR is now just another reporter/journalist that seeks the truth. FR continues to sometimes be a shill for the Right-Wing but for now, he's in deep doo doo for even asking the questions or for clarification of old answers already given.

    I knew before the invasion that the Bush information and claims were bullshit. I've always been relatively successful in reading and comprehending fairly technical and complicated reports. I've also been fairly successful in interrogation and fact finding when compelled to do so. I never thought for a moment that we, The United States Of America, would go to WAR on such flimsy and otherwise false information. Goodness, did GWB prove me wrong!!!!! Coming from a strong military and political background, I considered all the Administration press releases and statements concerning the impending invasion of Iraq to be sabre rattling.

    I knew that the support of Tony Blair was a HUGE mistake on his part and I saw the very weak and minimal support by other nations as political pandering for profit as is common when addressing American ideals by many small countries attempting to do business with the USA. Even Japan will not commit combat troops and they threaten almost daily to pull their troops out of the theatre if they are not afforded some additional leverage in our own political and financial affairs.

    I think GWB and the United States Of America have been played like a piano to the vast detriment of ourselves (everyday Americans) and to the reputation of American ideology. A few more billionaires in the USA, Japan and England does not and will not equate any kind of solution to the problems of the world and in this case the middle east.

    I am tired of seeing our (the collective world's) soldiers and our citizens being played as pawns for personal power and financial greed. We need to recognize who the very real enemies are and exercise our talents and rights to protect ourselves against them. This can be done righteously and non-violently. As human beings, we are fully capable of this.

    Psychoblues






     
  10. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    I salute you--I certainly mean no disrespect to our troops when I criticize their leadership. As a physician I did some of my training in Navy and VA hospitals, and have the highest respect for our armed forces.

    WMD's--an administration spokesperson quietly admitted two or three weeks ago that there were none, using the phrase "We were wrong." This is public record, and was reported by both conservative and liberal leaning newspapers. I'm no ostrich, pretending something real wasn't there.

    I read that 53% of the population believed that Saddam was behind 9/11 by the time of the invasion, up from only 6% immediately after the invasion. The increase was due to a concerted public relations campaign by Bush. I was constantly puzzled during that time--Osama bin Laden attacks us, due to Wahhabi fundamentalist beliefs, and we retaliate by hitting a non-Wahhabi regime? It didn't make sense then, and it still doesn't. Bush repeatedly claimed that he had secret evidence. Yet every major piece of that evidence has now been shown to be outdated and/or false, and it's increasingly clear that the administration removed qualifying or doubtful phrases from the intelligence before presenting it to Congress:

    aluminum tubes--false
    uranium from Niger--false
    contact between Atta and Hussein's people--false
    meaning financial support to Al Qaida from Saddam--false
    active WMD program--false (Chalabi, recently wined and dined at the White House, was the major liar who promoted this idea)

    Most damning of all is the intelligence brief presented only 10 days after 9/11 firmly concluding that Saddam had nothing to do with it. Bush needs to explain to us why he ignored that brief, and why didn't tell us about it at the time. He's already admitted that the famous 16 words about uranium in his State of the Union address were false. It's time to come clean--or the continuing leaks will continue to lower his approval ratings.

    After so much disinformation from Bush et al, I can certainly see why it will take a while for his supporters to absorb the extent to which they've been fooled. It's like being deprogrammed after brainwashing.

    You said "typical liberal witch hunt." I don't think so. Distorting intelligence to promote a war is about as serious a business as a president can engage in. Bush's decision to engage in this war could well end up killing more Americans than Osama bin Laden did. Republicans have engaged in far more frivolous witch hunts (impeaching Clinton because of sex and chasing Hilary on Whitewater) and have no right to criticize.

    Hobbit, Saddam's crimes, which you refer to, largely took place 10 years before the invasion. Many of them took place when he was our ally, in the Iran/Iraq war. (Have you seen the pictures of Donald Rumsfled shaking his hand?) Our ignoring of his crimes during Reagan/Bush I gave him every reason to believe we didn't care what he did to his own people. If despicable behavior is our criterion for invading another country, I can only say one word: Darfur.

    On troop number, Hobbit--an on-the-ground military official was recently quoted as estimating that perhaps 10,000 Iraqi troops are actually battle-ready. We have 160,000 troops there now. In any case, I was referring to coalition troops, not Iraqi troops.

    I'd never defend Saddam Hussein or his regime--he is a despicable human being, and I'm happy he's gone. Yet human rights abuses of similar magnitude occur all 'round the world, and we ignore them. Consider China, which we can barely speak a word to, because they own a trillion dollars of our debt, and therefore have us by the balls. Same for Saudi Arabia, the real origin of Al Qaida and 9/11--they own more than a trillion dollars of our ridiculous, mostly Republican-made, foreign debt; therefore we can't bother them on human rights or even push them to help us with rooting out Al Qaida. We picked on their easy target neighbor instead.

    As for Iraqis being the target of most bombers--yes, Shiite Iraqis who are seen as the collaborators with the occupier, and who are therefore the ones to try to convince to turn against the occupation. The Sunnis rightly fear they will be marginalized in a new Iraq, since they are a minority. By convincing us to purge Baathists from the power structure, Ahmed Chalabi only worsened this situation and fueled the insurgency.

    GunnyL, you don't care what others think of us?? I think that is a naive and dangerous attitude. Let's imagine that 1 our of a million Muslim people with an unfavorable view of the U.S. is potentially susceptible to becoming a terrorist. If we increase the amount of anti-Americanism, we directly increase the number of such people. Who protects us against terrorism? Clearly, it is the moderate Muslims, the family members of potential extremists, etc.

    9/11, the London bombings, Madrid, the endless violence in Israel--they all show how hopeless the job of trying to eliminate terrorism by police action is. The right way to eliminate it is by reducing its source--which is hatred of us. If we are seen as a fair, just, multicultural society which helps others, then terrorism will fall. For example, we got a big boost when our military helped out after the tsunami last year. If we're seen as a self-righteous Christian nation invading Muslim countries unilaterally, then we'll set ourselves up for further attacks.

    Finally, don't tell me the Republicans aren't looking to '06, and are starting to fear identifying themselves with Bush. This has been a frequent subject of discussion recently in both liberal and conservative publications and websites. The party is splintering as a result of Bush's incompetence in managing the war and Katrina, all these questions about how he started it, and his inability to hold together its various factions (Christian moralists, war hawks, fiscal conservatives), what to say of his complete inabilty to work in a bipartisan manner. DeLay's ethical troubles, Frist's stock double-dealing, and the ongoing Plame investigation haven't helped. They know they are vulnerable. Republicans could easily lose the Senate in '06. After 50 straight victories in the House, they lost a big one a couple of weeks ago, and they didn't have the guts to push through their tax cuts before Thanksgiving. Bush's social security plan is dead. It looks to me like Republican Congresspeople are running scared.

    Mariner.
     

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