Rove’s Book is About the Wrong Person

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This is a guest post by Lawrence B. Wilkerson exclusive to The Washington Note. Wilkerson is the former Chief of Staff at the Department of State during the tenure of Secretary of State Colin Powell, for whom Wilkerson was a 16 year aide. Wilkerson is a member of the Director’s Council of the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program.
David Corn (in Mother Jones, “Rove Protects the Rear“) has already responded to Karl Rove’s comments reported this week in several places and coming from his new book, Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. Corn takes Rove to task, as well he should.
The taking-to-task is over Rove’s cavalier contention that President Bush likely would not have gone to war in Iraq if he had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“Would the Iraq War have occurred without W.M.D.? I doubt it”, Rove writes. Rove then goes on to say that “Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the W.M.D. threat.”
According to Karl Rove, then, the intelligence about Iraq’s WMD that was cherry-picked, manipulated -“fixed around the policy”, as the Downing Street Memo recorded – and otherwise tampered with was thus treated so that Congress would support the war.
Yet I agree with Rove that the President did not lie outright. He, like the vast majority of the members of the U.S. intelligence community led by the cock-sure Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, actually believed Iraq had WMD. As a result, any cherry-picking of, manipulation of, or tampering with the evidence (as Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s office did daily), was acceptable because once the invasion occurred, WMD would be found. There was simply no doubt about that among this majority or among the President’s team.
In fact, there was no doubt about it among the several intelligence communities around the world with whom the U.S. regularly did business, including those of Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, and Britain. This, as in the case with France, despite the contrarian rumblings of certain of their political authorities.
I was at the CIA’s headquarters at Langley, Virginia, for five days and nights sequestered with Mr. Tenet and his gang of analysts and had an earful of these different but unanimous intelligence entities around the globe, as well as Mr. Tenet himself and his “WMD experts”. After these deliberations, I too believed that Saddam Hussein had WMD.
So the administration – led by Cheney and Rumsfeld – had worldwide support in twisting the truth, exaggerating the findings, and pushing bits and pieces of them without any context.
Today I am even quite certain that, under Vice President Cheney’s expert guidance, certain members of agencies of the US Government, or contractors working therefor, tortured people at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere in an attempt to reinforce the already twisted intelligence message with the smoking gun of high-level al-Qai’da testimony that connected Baghdad and the tragedy of 9/11.
And the torture worked – in the only way torture ever works. They got confessions. They got their smoking gun. Of course, like the confessions that torture produces for draconian regimes all over the world, it was all false information.
But it didn’t matter then because everyone knew that Saddam Hussein had WMD – Rumsfeld told us that several times and Cheney was utterly dogmatic about it – so what did it matter if the intelligence were manipulated a bit because, in the end, we would invade and find the WMD and all would be right with the world.
It was the same with al-Qa’ida: there just had to be a connection with Baghdad. The expert Cheney knew it. The fact that for the moment the administration had, through torture and otherwise, largely invented such a connection was thus irrelevant; the real connection would be discovered after the invasion.
There are, of course, several problems with this sort of leadership from Washington.
First, as a soldier, I have to object to the cavalier manner in which Mr. Rove dismisses the fact that we went to war for a purpose that was false, whether his boss intentionally made it so or not.
How do we relay this message to the families of the 4,380 dead Americans and the more than 31,000 wounded Americans, some of them horribly scarred for life? How do we convey this message to the families of the allied soldiers who have met similar fates? How do we square this with the deaths of a quarter million Iraqis who have perished and the millions of Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere?
How to couch that message? “You would not have lost your son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, husband – if the intelligence had been right.” How terribly comforting!
“You would not be in Jordan now, having expended your life’s savings and with no place to go – and be destabilizing Jordan by your presence – if the intelligence had been right.”
Mr. Tenet, wherever he is hiding, must feel the burden of nearly all the evil done in the world in the last decade resting upon his shoulders. Mr. Rove has indirectly characterized it so.
This is what happens when the President, and the men and women who advise him, are utterly disconnected from the realities accompanying their fateful decisions to send young men and young women into harm’s way for state purposes.
And Mr. Rove wants to burnish his former boss’s legacy on such a note?
Second, how do we reconcile Mr. Rove’s message with the certain knowledge that the critical national security decisions in the first Bush administration were not being made by the President but by the Vice President?
Cheney’s reason for invading Iraq was oil, plain and simple. Yes, he believed there were WMD. Yes, he believed it was time for Saddam to go. But he had believed that for years without advocating an invasion of Iraq by US armed forces.
Cheney changed his mind because of his work with the President’s Energy Task Force early-on in the administration. Cheney knew where the price of oil was headed; he knew the growing doubts about Saudi Arabia’s ability to continue to do America’s work with regard to these oil prices; and Cheney knew how much oil was in Iraq – in proven reserves and in potential. It was oil, and all its many manifestations – to include the many political and financial supporters of Bush and Cheney in the oil community – that drove Cheney to reverse himself and push for Baghdad.
It is clear from just the excerpts of Rove’s book that have been revealed that Mr. Rove believes he put Bush in the Oval Office in the election of 2000. And indeed he did – for superficial purposes.
Because the man who was really making the decisions that counted was Cheney.
And it is quite clear that Cheney lied. Not about WMD. Not about connections with al-Qa’ida. These things he only cherry-picked, twisted and manipulated, fully expecting to be vindicated after the invasion, not in the particulars but in the overall picture. Cheney actually believed these things to be true.
What Cheney did lie about was the real reason he decided to invade: oil.
To this day no national security decision document that records President Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq has been found.
That’s because there isn’t one. He did not make the decision.
— Lawrence Wilkerson

Comments

106 comments on “Rove’s Book is About the Wrong Person

  1. David says:

    Gotta love Frank Rich.

    Reply

  2. DonS says:

    Some quotes from this Digby piece on the right wingers makes me remember why I respect her analysis and willingness to stake out a position forcefully. It’s in relation to the Rich piece I linked to above, and it makes the point that we in this contrary, and particularly the media, have succumbed too far to the conservative tropes. Particularly, Digby reflects on Rich’s reference to Kenneth Starr and Lindsey Graham criticism to validate that Liz Cheney goes ‘over the line’:
    “To repeat. Starr is an extremist. That doesn’t make him an expert on extremism who knows when others have gone “too far.”
    “Let me put it another way: If you think the reason Kenneth Starr spoke out against Cheney/Kristol is because he shares your disgust of McCarthyite smears, you need to read Conason’s and Lyon’s book. Starr demonstrated again and again that he has neither the slightest respect for boundaries and nor the slightest problem with McCarthyism. None. In objecting to Keep America Safe, he’s just working the angles
    “It’s as if somehow an extremist’s condemnation proves that there’s some mythical further-out-there-beyond-the-pale extremism. It doesn’t. It means nothing besides this: liberal – ie. reasonable- voices are not taken seriously when objecting to the madness of the rightwing. In the
    mainstream media, only the rightwing are empowered to judge when they’ve gone too far.
    “This has got to stop. Kenneth Starr and his fellow creeps have nothing constructive to add to the national discourse on any subject whatsoever.
    “As for the trope, “Well, even staunch movement conservatives like FILL IN THE BLANK think Cheney and Kristol have gone too far” that is a worthless construction. Reasonable people, not a roundup of exclusively movement conservatives, need to be heard from when movement conservatives go too far. They themselves are not intellectually or morally equipped to know when that has happened.
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/op-ed-columnist-new-rove-cheney-assault.html
    This sort of self referential reasoning that dignifies extremism is dangerous, and it is pernicious. It’s what happens here at TWN when we take the arguments of a Nadine seriously. No matter how ‘entitled to her views she is, they are beyond the pale of reasonable debate. They are indeed fringe despite her haughty protestations and polls that it is the rest of us who are out of sync. They do not rise to the level of respectful consideration. Any more than Joe McCarthy deserves to be rehabilitated as Nadine and her fringe haters and fearmongerers would have occur.

    Reply

  3. DonS says:

    Frank Rich highlight’s the Rove book in his piece on the historical revisionism being pimped by Rove, Kristol, and the whole Cheney, senior and junior show.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/opinion/14rich.html?hp
    An interesting excerpt take from the story relates the sheer hypocrisy of the whole right wing neocon enterprise: “The Iran piece of the back story doesn’t end there. As The Times reported last weekend, Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, kept doing business with Tehran through foreign subsidies until 2007 . . .” But of course Cheney didn’t work for Halliburton his defenders will say. But we have learned that his defenders will say anything and that truthfulness is not one of their guidelines.

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    “POA, there is a poison in her brain that kills any chance of humanity. Cold, deadly poison. ” (DonS)
    Lol, that would be a working memory and a distrust of political hacks who flip their stories 180 degrees without any new evidence whatsoever, then expect us to forget their previous story ever existed!

    Reply

  5. DonS says:

    POA, there is a poison in her brain that kills any chance of humanity. Cold, deadly poison.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blahblah….then kicking UN inspectors out of the country entirely,…blahblahblah….”
    Then, inviting them back in, and going so far as to suggest the teams be accompanied by CIA observers. That is the FACTS, Nadine, and YOU are a lying revisionist clown. I really don’t understand what you hope to gain by lying to people that know they are being lied to. You are truly one sick puppy.

    Reply

  7. SW says:

    Thank you Lawrence for speaking the truth. I wonder why this
    isn’t being investigated. Sorry, I guess that is obvious. Probably
    the illustration that drives the point home is the notion of the
    swing producer. That is what Saudi Arabia currently is. They
    have the excess capacity. That is why every American President
    if forced to kiss Saudi Royal ass. Now just imagine if the Saudis
    were to lose that position and it were to have been occupied by
    Saddam Hussein? The man who in little George Bush’s words
    ‘Tried to kill my Daddy?’. Can you see George and Saddam
    strolling through the rose garden hand in hand? I didn’t think
    so. That vision my friend is what was keeping Uncle Dick awake
    at night after what he learned from Matt Simmons during the
    Energy Task Force. And that is why, after 9/11, Dick decided to
    take advantage of the opportunity and take the bastard out.
    They all thought that they would find some sort of bullshit left
    over from his program. That nobody could have done a 100%
    disposal job and that if they found anything at all, since they
    controled the information, it would be spin-able. But Saddam
    had the las laugh because there was nothing. Nadda. Nothing
    that even they could pretend was threatening.

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  8. nadine says:

    urban legend, in the light of a) a track record of having and using WMDs, and b) non-cooperation with inspection, then kicking UN inspectors out of the country entirely, the entire world naturally believed Saddam still had WMDs. So did his own generals, for that matter.
    Shall I play you the Youtubes of 60 Democrats stating their deep belief in Saddam’s WMDs?
    You are the revisionist.

    Reply

  9. urban legend says:

    And yet you knew for a fact that virtually every piece of alleged evidence used to prove the existence of WMDs — yellowcake, aluminum tubes, mobile laboratories and the like– had been debunked. And you therefore knew for a fact that there was strong basis for doubting that belief, and you knew for a fact that the UN team would develop more information that was likely to help in drawing a better conclusion. You knew for a fact, every single one of you, that your “knowledge” was highly uncertain. Accordingly, there was no justification whatsoever for launching a war before that investigation had been completed.
    Sorry, but the excuses of belief do not fly. You did not “believe” it, and they did not, under those circumstances. That is self-justifying revisionist history.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    “Yes, Germany and France refused to support the resolution, and the French president did make a comment about intelligence agencies seeing things that weren’t there, basically saying other dynamics besides cold-eyed objectivity happens, but no one stepped up and said This intelligence is invalid except people like Scott Ritter, and France and Germany also had other agenda they were pursuing.”
    Surely if France and Germany were against the Iraq War yet admitted that Saddam had WMDs, this should count as an admission against interest, yes?
    Did you notice how, in the years after he was fired as an inspector, Scott Ritter warned darkly about the danger of Saddam’s WMDs (even warning Saddam could revive his biological weapons program in 6 months), then in the runup to the Iraq War he flipped his story completely and said Saddam didn’t have WMDs at all? When Ritter flipped, there weren’t any inspectors in Iraq and there hadn’t been for years, so he had no new information. Ritter never explained why he flipped his story, except once he said something about how he was working to stop the war, which makes you think his position was chosen for political purposes only.

    Reply

  11. David says:

    Wilkerson is not covering anyone’s ass. And if he says Dick Cheney actually believed Saddam had WMDs, you have to pay attention to that comment. Cheney is a strange creature, part rational, part dark zealot. He made a comment about wanting to study the Bible more after leaving the OVP. He’s likely talking Texas fundie religiosity, which can be quite dark.
    Wilkerson has absolutely nothing to gain personally by speaking out. What is at work is intellectual honesty, however late it might be.
    Yes, Germany and France refused to support the resolution, and the French president did make a comment about intelligence agencies seeing things that weren’t there, basically saying other dynamics besides cold-eyed objectivity happens, but no one stepped up and said This intelligence is invalid except people like Scott Ritter, and France and Germany also had other agenda they were pursuing. Tony Blair has a religious zealotry defect, best I can tell. Certainly something is intellectually wrong with what I thought was a laudable PM before the invasion.
    Skewer the bastards when they have it coming, but don’t forget to pay attention to other possibilities. How do you think we got from racist LBJ to weak pro-civil rights LBJ to civil rights LBJ?
    Biden, Obama, and Hillary have finally come down hard on Netanyahu. It is way late, long overdue, and Netanyahu had to become over-the-top arrogant and insulting for it to be possible, but pro-Israel Obama, pro-Israel Biden, and pro-Israel Hillary finally have the political space and the motivation to come down hard. J-Street has an interesting take on this. And all of this does matter.
    There is no constructive choice but to look for the window or the moment of opportunity, whenever, wherever, and from whomever, even though such windows open too seldom and are too easily and too often slammed shut.
    It is a mistake to dismiss Wilkerson’s commentary, and I think wrong to suggest that he is lying. He can be wrong, but he is not lying, and this is not a Karl Rove cover-my-ass-and-vindicate-the-abhorrent piece. This is a call-that-bastard-Rove-out piece, and a damned good one.

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    “The only reason 70% of the American people supported the war
    was that the WH was telling them that Saddam was involved in
    9/11 and with AQ. This was false and they it was false.” (Sweetness)
    As I recall, Bush and Cheney were quite careful never to say that Saddam had a hand in 9/11. They had suspicions, but no proof. Instead, they talked up the danger of Saddam’s WMDs and connections they did find between Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda, such as the Iraqi who trained Al Qaeda in the use of poison gas (we found the videos in Afghanistan in 2001).
    As for the Iraq War ‘coming out of the blue’, Bush didn’t need to make Iraqi regime change a US policy. Clinton had already done that in 1998, at the same time he bombed Iraq. Another Democratic policy that has dropped down the memory hole.

    Reply

  13. Sweetness says:

    Well, they did hose us.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    The “White Hose”?
    Well…in any case, why I mentioned the commenters from those
    days, is of course that many of them are still regular commenters
    here today.

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Everyone who read or participated on the comment sections on
    this blog while Bush/Cheney were in the White Hose, remember
    well that 95% of the commenters who were against the war also
    frequently blamed the democrats and the media for their role in
    enabling it. Go visit the archives if you don’t believe me.
    No one pretended that the Dems had no role in it. This is a non-
    issue, and in the context of the topic of this thread: a partisan
    diversion.

    Reply

  16. Sweetness says:

    Kotz/Nadine…
    The only reason 70% of the American people supported the war
    was that the WH was telling them that Saddam was involved in
    9/11 and with AQ. This was false and they it was false.
    I remember when I first read a news report that there was talk of
    invading Iraq. I said, “Huh?!” For 99% of the American people,
    I’m sure, this came out of left field. But once the WH pointed out
    “the enemy,” they were eager to get their revenge on the perps.
    Minus this WH drumbeat, no American (almost) would have been
    calling for an invasion of Iraq. And long after even the WH had
    to pull back from these claims, a large percentage of the people
    believed them, not because they had seen the intelligence, but
    because they had been told it over and over again and they were
    afraid of the enemy.
    Congress doesn’t get a pass, but there’s no question that this
    was a WH effort. Was there a Congressperson who CALLED for
    war before the WH built the case for it? I can’t think of a one.
    But sure, they need to accept responsibility for what they did.

    Reply

  17. kotzabasis says:

    Sweetness you are splitting hairs between the words “recommend” and “support.” It was not a matter for the Democrats of recommending the invasion when already 70% of Americans supported the war but of supporting it too. And you contradict your own argument by your own words when you say, “He asked for war, and they gave it to him.” Ergo, the Democrats were in favour and supported the invasion. And stop making a fool out of you by saying that it was Bush’s war and “not theirs,” when for 70% of Americans was THEIR war. What nebulous constituency were the Democrats representing?

    Reply

  18. Mr.Murder says:

    We started *two days ahead* of the coalition.

    Reply

  19. Mr.Murder says:

    Perhaps nobvody dared pen something Dubya could just sign into place for the war.
    Contingencies were there, but we started two days of the coalition.
    Not like we really had a choice, Saddam set fire to some oil wells Halliburton and Bechtel were liable for.

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    “They should have stood up to him–but it was his war. Not theirs.”
    It was theirs once they voted for it, Sweetness. Nobody should buy the “we were helpless chumps and idiots” argument from leading politician who, in the next breath, proclaim that they alone are fit to exercise foreign policy judgment.
    People should also especially mistrust politicians who not only change their story, but claim their former story never existed.

    Reply

  21. Sweetness says:

    Nadine: “But Sweetness, Senators Kerry, Edwards and Clinton voted for the authorization of force for Bush to go war in Iraq.”
    I remember the period well. The Democrats were hardly a profile in courage. But the fact remains that they acquiesced in Bush’s drumbeat to war. It wasn’t THEIR war; it was Bush’s war.
    They weren’t PUSHING Bush to go to war; they were following his lead. It wasn’t THEIR idea. He asked for war, and they gave it to him.
    The problem is, the president has the bully pulpit on this matter and people tend to follow his lead. Don’t forget: The country was traumatized by 9/11. Much less was known about the threat in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. A lot of people were scared, and politicians don’t want to be seen as making the country “unsafe.”
    And Bush was eager to use that political tool to get his way and keep people in line.
    Remember all that nonsense about whether Saddam had a hand in 9/11 or relations with AQ? Or whether he ever said that Saddam was an “imminent” threat? Long after Bush was backing away from those charges a lot of people believed those assertions. And the reason why is clear: Bush used the bully pulpit to tell them it was so. People tend to believe (because they want to believe) the president. And they did.
    They should have stood up to him–but it was his war. Not theirs.

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    “But NONE of them recommended we invade Iraq, even after 9/11, and I think that is the principal point.”
    But Sweetness, Senators Kerry, Edwards and Clinton voted for the authorization of force for Bush to go war in Iraq. They made speeches in favor of it. Remember that the war in Iraq had 70% popular support at that time. You might think they weren’t sincere, but they certainly did recommend it.
    Paul, you seem to have a tough time following certain logical trains of thought, so let me explain:
    First, President Bush looks at CIA evidence and declares “Saddam has WMDs”. At the same time, Declare Senators (esp. those on the Intelligence Committee, such as Kerry and Clinton, whose job it is to appropriate funds for the CIA and oversee its operations) look at the SAME evidence and likewise declare, with speeches on the floor, “Saddam has WMDs”.
    Second, Bush invades Iraq. No stockpiles of WMD are found.
    Third, those same Democratic Senators declare in unision, “Bush KNEW there were no WMDs. Bush lied to us!” ignoring the fact that they didn’t get WMD intelligence from Bush, but from the CIA, and that they too had believed in WMDs.
    Instead, their former strongly pro-Saddam-has-WMD positions dropped into the memory hole.
    Get it now?

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Would you like me to play you the clips of Senators Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton and Edwards repeating those very same “WMD LIES” as you put it?”
    Who gives a fuck? What, you’re saying it musta been the “truth” because the left was feeding us the same lies? Nadine, you are so full of shit, so obnoxiously prolific with your line of crap, that I am amazed someone can be so lacking in self respect. You are utterly and completely despicable. Its astounding.
    Why don’t you rebut the sourced examples of blkatant lies that this thread contains, or just have enough brains and self respect to shut the eff up. Enough, already.

    Reply

  24. DonS says:

    Paul, what I find curious is how Nadine hurls the word ‘liberal’ as an epithet, as if that is the worst thing you can associate with someone. Must be hasbarist research has shown that ‘liberal’ is the negative of choice to influence mouth breathers and potential mouth breathers.

    Reply

  25. Paul Norheim says:

    DonS,
    after posting my comment, I saw that you had already pointed it
    out. At the time when I actually debated with Nadine, I
    experienced this absurd theater dozens of times: sudden attacks
    on positions and argument I had never expressed or even
    thought of before she attacked them.
    That was one of the reasons why I stopped talking to Nadine.

    Reply

  26. Paul Norheim says:

    What “Orwellian” argument?
    Am I overlooking something here?
    Where did Kathleen express anything related to previous positions
    of “all these Democrats”? Where did she even mention Kennedy,
    Edwards, Kerry, and their former or current positions, or hint to
    any “expectations”?
    Isn’t this 200% hallucination, straw?

    Reply

  27. DonS says:

    Sweetness, the attempted deflection from the lies and abomination that the Cheney/neocon regime foisted on virtually everyone to pointing out what a bunch of hypocrites the dems are, is a favorite Nadine tactic. If you can seem to implicate everyone in some way, even tangential, somehow it absolves the perpetrators of the formulation and advancement of the enterprise.
    The coup de grace is supposed to be how Obama is following Bush’s playbook, but nobody believes it because its all a fake. We need genuine warmongers, not fake ones. Only Karl Rove , and presumably Dick Cheney are honest men because they are disastrous warmongers, proud of it, and continue to sell their snake oil hoping for the next terror attack to cement their fabricated case, covering up and justifying, in their twisted logic (sincere or naive, twisted just the same) huge crimes and misbegotten policies.

    Reply

  28. Sweetness says:

    Nadine writes: “That is the Orwellian quality of your argument. You expect me to just forget the previous positions of all these Democrats after they make a coordinated 180 degree change in their claims. They reversed themselves on WMD in June 2003. Suddenly their previous statements on the certainty of Saddam’s WMDs vanished, to be replaced by “Bush’s Lies”.”
    Let’s grant you this point…
    But NONE of them recommended we invade Iraq, even after 9/11, and I think that is the principal point.
    I’m sure there were varying estimates of what Saddam had or didn’t have over time. But I don’t recall those people you list demanding that we invade. And between saying or thinking “Saddam has WMD” and “Let’s invade Iraq” spreads a yawning gulf that makes all the difference in the world for millions of people.
    You can’t possibly be saying that there’s no difference between thinking X and acting on X, can you? If so, it’s not very Jewish of you.

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    “Repeating endless clips of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rove etc repeating the WMD LIES.”
    You listen to FOX like Khruschev listened to Macy commercials in the 1950s. He too was convinced it was all lies. He thought Macy’s was a Potemkin village setup, a fake store display of goods no one could buy, like the ones the USSR had in Moscow.
    Would you like me to play you the clips of Senators Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton and Edwards repeating those very same “WMD LIES” as you put it? I can add Al Gore and Bill Clinton too.
    That is the Orwellian quality of your argument. You expect me to just forget the previous positions of all these Democrats after they make a coordinated 180 degree change in their claims. They reversed themselves on WMD in June 2003. Suddenly their previous statements on the certainty of Saddam’s WMDs vanished, to be replaced by “Bush’s Lies”.
    They did it again on the Iraq war in July 2008 – they all changed direction together, like a school of fish, from “The surge has failed. The war is lost” to the “The surge worked. The war is being won. Now let’s not talk about it.”
    And we’re supposed to forget their previous positions ever existed. We’re supposed to trust the judgment of “statesmen” like Harry Reid, Joe Biden and Barack Obama!
    What is most amazing to me is that they do this in the age of Youtube, when anybody can see the video of what they said then, and compare it to what they are saying now. One really has to be a True Believer to manage the cognitive dissonance.
    Say what you like about Karl Rove, he does not switch positions like this, or deny his previous positions existed.

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  30. Kathleen says:

    Nadine I left what you refer to as the “bubble” every day and every night by watching Fox, MSNBC, CNN etc. It was not difficult to hear the same unsubstantiated claims being repeated by the Bush administration. The air waves were filled with their false claims. Repeating endless clips of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rove etc repeating the WMD LIES. And let’s not forget reading the bloody claims by Judy “I was fucking right” in the very bloody New York Times almost every day. Very few were asking questions in the MSM with the exception of Chris Matthews. And his efforts were minimal.
    Let’s not forget Jonathan landay’s and Warren Strobels efforts to dig into the sources for the questionable pre war intelligence.
    Diane Rehm and Neil Conan were some where in the middle with guest from both sides of this issue (invade or not invade). And yes daily I go read articles by Ledeen, Kristol and the rest of the warmongers over at Weekly Standard, and National Review. I have been reading over there for a solid 10 years. Even though it often turns my stomach.
    The Bush administration lied and lied and lied about WMD’s in Iraq and the alleged threats.
    Hundreds of thousands (Lancet report) of Iraqi people are dead, injured and millions are displaced based on a “pack of lies” Period. No way around it.

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  31. DonS says:

    How did you know I demonstrated against the fabricated, ginned up, stove piped, cherry picked, fear mongered, patriotism questioning, civil rights denying crime against humanity brought to you by the ‘coalition of the willing’, Nadine? And you? Swallowed the ‘evidence’ did you? Or didn’t you care? All the UN resolutions defied (as opposed to Israel’s defiance); all those Iraqi children dying from sanctions. Yeah Iraq was a real threat to the US. Better mount up and send in the cavalry. Then build the biggest hardened embassy in the world. Flood the place with money that goes missing while we pinch pennies at home. What a victory, capped off by that brilliant surge that ensured Iraq would be one, forever. BS from start to finish.

    Reply

  32. Mr.Murder says:

    Actually Germany wouldn’t let us talk to terror suspects in jail because they knew we’d twist whatever was said.

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  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Oh yes, I am. And you prove it every time you open your potty mouth”
    Nadine, you are failing to note that anyone reading your comment obviously knows how to read, and has undoubtedly read the full body of comments on this thread. I leave it up to them to determine for themselves who the “idiot” here is.
    Nice rebuttal though. Its just as substantive as the rest of the shit you’re deposited on this thread is.

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    “Oh horseshit. You aren’t debating with uninformed idiots. ” (POS)
    Oh yes, I am. And you prove it every time you open your potty mouth.

    Reply

  35. nadine says:

    Yes, DonS, we know the story: “moral authority” is when YOU toss legalisms around — when you declare the Iraq war against “international law” or condemn Israel for “war crimes”, or call any war you don’t like a “massacre”.
    “Legalism”, on the other hand, is when somebody else points out your misuse of terms, logical contradictions and the general shoddiness of the arguments you are using and abusing.
    “Don’t waste my time with weasel words like “lie””
    Case in point: When YOU use the rallying cry “Bush Lied People Died” THEN it’s not a weasel word, but a beacon of righteous outrage. Let anybody else point out to you 100s of Democrats agreeing with Bush before they changed their line for partisan advantage, suddenly “lie” is not a rallying cry but a “weasel word”. You were all over “Bush’s lies” a few posts ago; now you don’t want to talk about it anymore.
    Too funny. And predictable. And quite frankly pathetic.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “We were not arguing about whether the Iraq War was a good policy decision, but whether Bush lied in order to get it”
    Then take each linked and sourced example of a lie, upthread, and rebut it, and disprove it. Short that, Nadine, you’re just making an ass of yourself. You’re in good company, however, for Wilkerson’s essay served Wilkerson to the same end your comments serve you.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The WMD consensus was not an American fabrication. International consensus by even our detractors (e.g., Germany) affirmed the presence of WMDs in Iraq”
    Oh horseshit. You aren’t debating with uninformed idiots. And thats the only kind of asshole that would buy into that argument.
    EVERY country had the propagandists on one side, who wanted war, and the skeptics on the other side, who wanted evidence. We never got the evidence, but we got the war.

    Reply

  38. DonS says:

    Nadine:
    1) I asked drew
    2) Don’t waste my time with weasel words like “lie”

    Reply

  39. DonS says:

    “Dave, you forget a small matter called the First Gulf War. It didn’t end with a treaty. There was a conditional cease-fire, whose conditions Saddam broke over and over, as laid out in 17 UN resolutions against him.”
    Blah blah blah. Ooooh Nadine I get all tingly when you put on your legalistic hat and lecture us.
    All your legalisms can’t wash away the blood of the Iraq massacre. Maybe it makes you feel better to follow your own twisted logic down the rabbit hole. But it doesn’t bring back any of those thousands of wasted lives.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    “Are you willing to let us know where you are as a bottom line: should the Iraq Invasion have taken place?” (DonS)
    DonS, you are moving the goalposts. We were not arguing about whether the Iraq War was a good policy decision, but whether Bush lied in order to get it. Are you abandoning the argument that Bush intentionally lied about Saddam having WMD?

    Reply

  41. Mr.Murder says:

    …the Liberian freighter bringing armageddon threat, wasn’t that an Indian Jones movie?

    Reply

  42. nadine says:

    Dave, you forget a small matter called the First Gulf War. It didn’t end with a treaty. There was a conditional cease-fire, whose conditions Saddam broke over and over, as laid out in 17 UN resolutions against him. We remained in a state of war with Saddam. We maintained no-fly zones over Iraq (without UN mandate, btw). We maintained sanctions against Iraq. They were breaking down. Remember Colin Powell’s attempt at “smart sanctions” before 9/11?
    Therefore the Iraq War is not comparable to ANY case of one country that had previously been at peace with a second country, invading that country. Because there was no peace.
    Just for starters.
    Watching progressives argue international law is like watching the Democrats in Congress ‘observe’ Congressional rules. Their only rule is that rules are made to be broken, as long as you’re a Democrat. Only chumps and Republicans observe any rules. Progressives are strictly goal oriented: the law says whatever they want it to say to get their way.

    Reply

  43. Maw of America says:

    drew – Your assessment is laughable. To describe a credible first strike by a sovereign power as “You need a container on a Liberian freighter,
    a Greyhound bus, a Padilla.” is flippant. Why didn’t we invade Libya after Lockerbie and overthrow Qaddafi? What you describe is terrorism, plain and simple. To call it something else is disingenuous at best and outright wishful thinking.
    And while the other countries you cite may have been correct in their desire to avoid “entangling alliances,” we were still the only ones willing to put blood and treasure on the line for a damnable lie. Bush and his entire criminal enterprise knew full well that there weren’t any weapons and used the thin consensus as instigation.

    Reply

  44. Stagger Lee says:

    Great comments here by POA and others.
    I suspect Nadine will be off to a TeaBag meeting shortly.
    She does know her talking points doesn’t she. Wonder how much they pay her?

    Reply

  45. JohnH says:

    “Official dogma: Iraq war a success”…declare victory and leave.
    Then they rewrite the official history (Karl Rove), so that the public forgets about all the lies and deceit. (just failures of selective intelligence!)
    Then the militants hope to face fewer constraints in squandering our Social Security on more war. Of course, they would say they’re “just borrowing” from the Social Security Trust Fund–as if they ever plan to pay it back…

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    Drew, most here are willing to place blame, at least in the general sense, in regard to large questions, even while acknowledging that there is usually enough blame to be widely shared. You are quite skilled at drawing out the techno information, the ‘buts’ and ‘what ifs’. Are you willing to let us know where you are as a bottom line: should the Iraq Invasion have taken place? You already have a good idea as to where many of us stand or are willing to be counted. A few prefer the perennial haughty remove, disdain or intellectual equivocation. You?

    Reply

  47. Mr.Murder says:

    Hill and Knowlton had an office in Prague where the false Atta meeting was drummed up by Cheney.
    Same company that spewed the baby incubators lies.
    Hill & Knowlton’s HQ as one of the worlds’ largest PR firms happens to be London. Home of the Iraqi National Congress also…

    Reply

  48. drew says:

    Maw, you don’t need an ICBM to deliver a nuclear or chemical
    weapon anymore. You need a container on a LIberian freighter,
    a Greyhound bus, a Padilla.
    The WMD consensus was not an American fabrication.
    International consensus by even our detractors (e.g., Germany)
    affirmed the presence of WMDs in Iraq.
    Fact is, the analysis was wrong: here, in Paris, Bonn, everywhere.
    It’s a strong argument for avoiding ‘entangling alliances’
    (Jefferson was right). Being wrong, and 80% of affected
    leadership *was* wrong in this case, does not equal deceit.
    A dirty bomb or an anthrax vial thrown into a feed lot or random
    suicide bombers or an acquired suitcase bomb: these are not
    the same as a 155 mm artillery shell wired to a cellphone
    receiver. That is a misunderstanding of munitions if you believe
    so.
    Al Qaeda had already bombed the USA, had already deployed
    first strike technology, and Saddam had been blustering for 12
    years about incinerating Americans. Sure, you could ignore that,
    if you want to.
    Dave, the difference between a car bomb and a dirty bomb is
    several orders of magnitude, in regard to casualties, and of
    course, the real cost is the destruction of a civil economy that
    occurs when people no longer believe they can fly to Boston for
    a meeting safely. So I have no clue what you’re talking about,
    unless it’s the utopian idea that we can will a friendly world by
    pretending it’s not unfriendly.
    –drew

    Reply

  49. Exceptionalism r US says:

    “Official dogma: Iraq war a success”
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

    Reply

  50. Dave Newman says:

    I think we’re still missing the crux of the matter:
    Even if Saddam had WMD, this still would have not
    been any reason at all to invade his country and
    kill thousands of people. Any bomb in my book is a
    WMD – anything that kills more than a couple of
    people at a time. Every country has WMD! What’s the
    definition of WMD as compared to “normal” bombs?
    It’s just a buzz word, a euphemism meant to be
    inflammatory and accusatory. Oh, WMD are chemical
    weapons. I don’t think dead people care how they
    were killed…

    Reply

  51. Maw of America says:

    drew – Please educate me on something. You wrote:
    “Here’s an alternative scenario. You’re the president. The CIA tells you that it’s a “slam dunk” that a country has WMDs that it is preparing to use against your country on a first strike basis.
    WMDs comprise an existential threat.”
    I’m with you on the first point, but who said that Tenet told the president that Iraq was preparing a WMD first strike against the U.S.? They certainly didn’t have the capability to reach U.S. soil with these phantom weapons.
    I haven’t read the Woodward book, so I defer to someone who has, but I would think this little tidbit received more press if it was there.
    Again, why was this evidence so much more convincing to us than it was to any other countries? W’s coalition was a weak substitute for his daddy’s in 1991, perhaps for good reason.
    Because even Clinton decided it didn’t rise to the level of a preemptive attack (during his administration, when it mattered).

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    It becomes unseemly to dignify even by comment the war of aggression that the US undertook on Iraq. With the backdrop of 911 as the ruling cabal’s motive force history will draw the appropriate conclusions. And it will have nothing to do with splitting hairs as to whether Cheney, the neocons, and all the enabling politicos really believed, pretended to believe, or constructed reality around the presumption of WMD’s. Vaunted checks an balances of so called democratic societies were rendered irrelevant or window dressing. The trail of evidence shows the intention to foreclose any course but invasion. The fact that the conspiracy, tacit or intentional, had a public face, a script, a coverup in plain view should be a cautionary tale regarding the current demonization of Iran. That is the crime, every bit as calculated and irrational, save for the hope of securing all the oil, as 911 itself was calculated and irrational, and brings the cabal and the nation it’s disgraced by its actions down to the level of some of the most depraved actors in history.

    Reply

  53. JohnH says:

    There was no intelligence failure. Much of the US intelligence community disagreed with the selective intelligence that Cheney and Tenet were promoting. The IAEA found no WMDs but needed a little more time to finalize their investigation. Bush and Cheney obviously did not want to wait for the final, definitive conclusions from the IAEA, for obvious reasons.
    The whole “intelligence failure” meme is just a red herring to exonerate people who wanted to engage in an illegal, preemptive war and seize control of Iraq’s energy assets.
    The fact that so many Democratic Senators voted in favor proves nothing about the validity of WMD claims, only that they were happy to be cowed, duped or participate in the scam. Dick Durbin, for example, found the CIA’s NIE to be woefully unconvincing but held his nose and shut his mouth, becoming complicit in the crime.

    Reply

  54. John Bredehoft says:

    Dear Mr. or Ms. Braying Dolt:
    While the Japanese expansion into Manchuria and eventually other parts of China was driven by a search for non-petroleum raw materials (and a residual fear of Russian aggression), Mr. King is absolutely correct that the Japanese decisions leading to war in December 1941 — both at the Cabinet level and in the military (particularly the Imperial Japanese Navy) were motivated first and foremost by the perceived desire to “Move South” and secure a source of petroleum by occupying the Netherlands East Indies and other areas. The US embargo on oil exports to Japan, in retaliation for Japanese occupation of Indochina during 1941, was the proximate cause (in a very real sense) of Pearl Harbor.
    This is not to gainsay the enormous differences between the methods, tactics, and ultimate war aims of the United States in Iraq (or in Japan) and Japan in the Indies. I agree that the Japanese treatment of, for example, Bose’s “Free India” army, or the Burmese Independence Party, was atrocious. But please check your facts before denegrating a valid historical parallel.

    Reply

  55. Braying Dolt says:

    Michael King: “crime of waging aggressive war, how is Cheney’s
    war for oil launched in March 2003 any different from Japan’s
    war for oil launched in December 1941?”
    I can’t read Cheney’s mind so I guess I will not comment on his
    motivations and objectives. I can think of two ways the
    Japanese in 1941 (actually, you want to go back a few years, I
    should think, since they launched their invasion of Manchuria in
    1931) and the Americans their invasion of Iraq in 2003:
    a. We won. They lost. This is good, because Iraq may turn out
    to be Obama’s greatest accomplishment, as the vice president
    suggests.
    b. After we won, we created a democratic government and
    began leaving. They generally just rounded up any independent
    sorts and killed them.
    I didn’t realize China was an oil-rich, oil-producing country in
    1931 so thanks for clearing that up.

    Reply

  56. Mr.Murder says:

    *than you are (at) governing.

    Reply

  57. Michael King, Seattle says:

    I agree that Dick Cheney, not George Bush, truly made the decision of the Bush Administration to go to war against Iraq. I also believe he had decided on that as the policy for any Bush-Cheney administration before it was inaugurated in January 2001. And I agree with the conclusion that the principal reason for that war, in Cheney’s mind, was oil. Cheney was convinced that it was vital to the security interests of the United States for America to gain control of the oil of Iraq, and he was prepared to use war to achieve that end. All he was lacking was an excuse, and 911 provided it to him. Tie Saddam to Al Qaeda, invoke the fear of the mushroom cloud, and off we go.
    From the standpoint of international law, and above all the crime of waging aggressive war, how is Cheney’s war for oil launched in March 2003 any different from Japan’s war for oil launched in December 1941? I submit we know the answer: There is no difference.
    Draw your own conclusions.

    Reply

  58. Mr.Murder says:

    You do understand the difference between ‘had’ and ‘has’ don’t you, nadine?
    One would be a diplomatic lever for pressure or policy, the other would be an action enabler.
    Better at winning elections or bombing children that you are governing.
    You seem elated that Democrats aren’t far from the same policy either….

    Reply

  59. BigB says:

    I need to make a correction on my earlier comment with regard to the Nigerian connection. I had said that there was a similar instance mentioned in Patrick Tyler’s book, “A World of Trouble.” It is not in that book it is in Patrick Seal’s book, “Asad” page 361.

    Reply

  60. nadine says:

    “Nadine, people like Kerry and H. Clinton voted to go to war because … because … because they were just doing what Bush told them to do? ” (drew)
    Apparently so, drew. And here I thought that the Senate Intelligence Committee was supposed to provide independent oversight on the intelligence provided by the CIA. Who knew they just did whatever Bush told them to do?

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    It always cracks me up to see the formerly rational Democratic Party sink into the fever swamps with potty-mouthed morons like POS. I can only hope the coming electoral catastrophe that is heading their way will make them return to their senses. If the post-Jimmy Carter Democratic party is any precedent, they will spend a long time in the wilderness.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It always cracks me up seeing these jackasses come up with a partisan argument to argue with a bunch of commenters who have shown themselves to be largely unconcerned and unhindered by a partisan mindset.
    Note the long list of deceptions, sourced and outlined on this thread, and the best these braying dolts can come up with is “Well, the Democrats did it too”.
    Amazing. Its like they WANT to be percieved as ignorant jackasses.

    Reply

  63. drew says:

    Nadine, people like Kerry and H. Clinton voted to go to war
    because … because … because they were just doing what Bush
    told them to do?
    That’s what Howard Dean explained this week, in a debate with
    Rove: that the Democratic senators who voted in favor of war
    did so because, like children at the dinner table, they were
    instructed by Father Bush to raise their hands. Obviously this is
    the only rational explanation; otherwise, one would have to say
    “John Kerry Lied, Men Died”.
    It was an extraordinary intelligence failure, and in the very
    curious Wilkerson piece I think it’s notable that Powell, who
    didn’t get where he is by being either a fool or a pussy,
    delegated him to vouchsafe the intelligence. So Wilkerson spent
    5 days vetting the CIA’s case before Powell was willing to entrust
    his career to it. (Doesn’t this mean George “It’s a slam dunk”
    Tenet lied?) Perhaps the strange tone and animus of this essay
    is due to his assertion that the Dark Knight managed to covertly
    manipulate not just the CIA’s intelligence, but that of all trusted
    allies. This is just potboiler nonsense, the idea that a Cheney
    could manipulate his own intelligence bureaucracy, much less
    that of other nations. It’s simply a loopy idea.
    Here’s an alternative scenario. You’re the president. The CIA
    tells you that it’s a “slam dunk” that a country has WMDs that it
    is preparing to use against your country on a first strike basis.
    WMDs comprise an existential threat. You have three choices:
    a. confront and eliminate the WMDs;
    b. fire the Director, CIA, because your intuition or some other
    influence causes you to disbelieve him; you can’t have a Director
    of Intelligence you don’t believe.
    c. roll over and hope the WMDs don’t work.
    Obviously JFK and Bush chose option a). JFK had better
    intelligence, however.
    ***
    It’s pretty easy to identify other enormous intelligence failures.
    There was the recent consensus paper declaring that Iran had no
    nuclear program; I believe we have yet to hear how that crew
    “lied.” There was 9/11 itself: 15 of the 19 hijackers were
    identified in federal databases, but because the government is
    solving intelligence analysis problems from the 1980’s, they
    don’t have the analytic infrastructure to detect illicit networks of
    that sort. Did the FBI “lie”?
    I would certainly consider Pearl Harbor an intelligence failure;
    the Chinese crossing the Yalu in the Korean War: did Truman
    lie?
    ***
    Rove had nothing to do with outing Plame, as Fitzgerald has
    noted. Armitage did so. The elevation of Plame to covert ops
    actor, from her actual job as a civil service bureaucrat with a
    clearance, makes for a better story. But you can imagine
    Armitage and Novak discussing this story, and it’s amazing that
    metastasized as it did:
    Novak: “How the heck did Wilson get the Nigeria gig?”
    Armitage: “Oh, his wife is a GS-13 or something over at
    Langely, so she threw him the job.”
    Novak: “Oh. Well, that makes sense. I guess.”
    Why Armitage decided to watch while Fitzgerald spooled up and
    Libby had his life destroyed and the country tore at itself over a
    phony issue, is beyond me. All he and/or Powell had to do is
    disclose the truth.
    By not doing anything, did Powell and Armitage lie?

    Reply

  64. nadine says:

    60 Democrats stood on the floor of Congress and said that Saddam had WMD, before the party decided on a different Party Line. Were they all liars?
    Talking to Democrats these days is like working for the Ministry of Truth, watching documents being dropped down the memory hole.

    Reply

  65. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And taking this whole “lie” thing in yet another direction, isn’t it somewhat disconcerting that the Bush Administration made such a point of connecting (falsely, on purpose,(lying))Iraq to 9/11 through innuendo, yet, (while KNOWING that a Pakistani General in the ISI was a financier of Mohammed Atta), declared Pakistan as an ally?
    So, we ally ourselves with a country whose military intelligence, at least through one General, was complicit in the 9/11 attack, (false flag, or otherwise). In addition, we never pursue or indict the Pakistani General. Yet they LIED, hinted, insinuated, and postured to implicate Saddam, whom they KNEW had no part in 9/11.
    Are we to believe Wilkerson is ignorant of these facts? Yeah, right.
    Congratulations Steve, you have now joined the Fourth Estate, and you now have a real live “message force multiplier” on your team. You’ve hit the big time.

    Reply

  66. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “DonS, what I care about are facts and the historical record, and not rewriting it whenever political winds make it expedient”
    Yet the ignorant wretch does not rebut one single “fact” or “historical record” posted on this thread to repudiate her feckless attempt to feign “debate”.
    All she can do is vomit forth with an endless litany of long ago disproven talking points. I have never seen someone so willing to devote such a volume of horseshit to making a jackass of themself. It is truly an amazing, and somewhat alarming, spectacle. Do her handlers REALLY require such a sacrifice of self esteem and dignity from their mouthpieces?

    Reply

  67. Mr.Murder says:

    On 9-11, Colin Powell was in South America meeting OPEC leaders(petroleum world.com) Most noted in the meeting was the presence of Afghanistan’s former King in exile.
    Powell was there to villify Chavez, in the hopes of styming the emerging trend of nationalization for the energy secotr. The venture capital of OPEC’s old guard could buy up the emerging sector from the start. They needed to form around union busting Columbia and set a strategic track.
    It’s clear the peak energy meant a major shift for source suppliers and the big money was lining out its wares.
    Certainly the former King of Afghanistan was aware of certain opportunites in his former land. Perhaps Powell’s awareness of opportunities was peaked as well. Maybe some fact was being shaped around policy at the time. Bet there were some egg on face moments during that meeting…

    Reply

  68. Kathleen says:

    Boycott Rove’s lies. Don’t buy that book. If you have to read it. Go to one of those socialist libraries and borrow it.

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….and the “Bush Lied” meme is thoroughly dishonest”
    As she ignores all the evidence to the contrary.
    Fantastic, Wilkerson, you’ve got Nadine in your tent. Trust me, you deserve her.

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    “I was a soccer mom at that point listening to the Diane Rehm show, Talk of the nation, Democracy Now and watching the MSM T.V. news programs in the evening. Diane Rehm, Neil Conan, Amy goodman had one expert, historian, policy analyst former Cia analyst after another questioning the validity of the pre war intelligence. Including, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, former Cia analyst Ray McGovern, Zbigniew Bryzinski, General Zinni, Former President Jimmy Carter, British Clair Ball and many more questioning the validity of the intelligence before the invasion.” (Kathleen)
    That’s a good run down of media from the Left to far, far, far Left. Do you ever leave the left-wing media bubble, Kathleeen? If there is one advantage conservatives derive from the leftward tilt of the media, it’s that conservatives hear far more left-tilted reports than liberals ever hear conservative-titled reports.
    BTW, you do know that Richard Armitage, Colin Powell’s sidekick and an opponent of the Iraq War, confessed to “outing” Plame? He couldn’t really “out” her because she was already “out” to dozens, if not hundreds of Beltway insiders. Andrea Mitchell, for example, said on CNN that Plame’s CIA status was known to her and most reporters who worked on intelligence stories in DC. But Armitage was the one who told reporters like Novak about Valerie Plame the day that Joe Wilson’s op-ed appeared in the NYT. Inquiring minds wanted to know how a former ambassador who was working for the Kerry campaign had gotten the gig to go to Niger to search for yellowcake transactions with Iraq.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Enough???? Theres plenty more, God knows.
    The above was gleaned from….
    http://www.politicalstrategy.org/archives/000181.php
    The truth is, Wilkerson owes everyone that has read this self serving and fictitious essay a sincere apology. But that debt pales before what he owes the Iraqi people, and the citizens of the United States who were betrayed by the Bush Administration, INCLUDING Lawrence Wilkerson.
    The debt he owes to the Iraqi people can NEVER be paid, although it would go far towards repayment if he stood trial, with many others, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    The debt he owes to the American people could be paid in small part if he would come clean, and use his knowledge to assure that the criminals George Bush, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and many others were held accountable. But the self serving nature and utter dishonesty of Wilkerson’s essay portrays a man devoid of the kind of character that demands one’s debts be paid.

    Reply

  72. Kathleen says:

    They lied and lied and lied. They knew they were lying. They knew
    WMD quotes by the Bush administration
    http://www.realnews247.com/wmd_quote_before_after_the_invasion.htm

    Reply

  73. nadine says:

    “Nadine, why you insist on finding justification for the worst foreign policy blunder in US history, and providing excuses for a criminal gang is beyond me. …
    And bringing up Bill Clinton? WTF. Who cares?” (DonS)
    DonS, what I care about are facts and the historical record, and not rewriting it whenever political winds make it expedient.
    Why shouldn’t I bring up Bill Clinton? Clinton completely undercuts your argument that Bush was deliberately lying about Saddam and WMDs, for Clinton said the same himself, without Bush’s motive to “manipulate” or “cherry pick” evidence. Was Clinton lying too? For what motive?
    Look, I do not protest at arguments that the Iraq War was a mistaken policy, or that it wasn’t worth the cost. I may disagree, but those are honestly differing opinions. But I do demand a modicum of intellectual honesty in arguments, and the “Bush Lied” meme is thoroughly dishonest. It is a deliberate lie, poll-tested and orchestrated by the leading Democrats in Congress, and perpetuated by a willing media.
    The idea that YOUR lies are kosher because you’re doing the Lord’s work is very dangerous in politics. It may work for the short-term, but corrosively destroys your credibility in the long-term.

    Reply

  74. Kathleen says:

    Tenet pushed to have those 16 words taken out of Bush’s Cinci speech taken out
    “Perhaps sensing that Joseph wasn’t sufficiently high up to be a satisfactory fall guy, the Bushies earlier this week served up the NSC deputy, Stephen Hadley, who received two memos and at least one phone call from George Tenet in early October warning him off a reference to the yellowcake story in a speech the president was to give in Cincinnati, but somehow forgot about the warning when it was inserted into the State of the Union three and a half months later. In a July 22 press briefing, Bartlett introduced Hadley as “the most senior person in the White House that is in charge of vetting for substantive purposes the President’s State of the Union address” (a formulation that, at the very least, is a profound insult to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice), and offered Hadley up to reporters for questioning. Bartlett had earlier claimed that Tenet’s only objection to the Cincinnati speech was its specific reference to “550 tons” of yellowcake, but Hadley now retracted that caveat. He said the “550 tons” reference was removed from an early draft at Tenet’s request, but that Tenet objected more broadly to a yellowcake reference in a later draft:
    [H]e asked that any reference [italics Chatterbox’s] to Iraq’s attempt to purchase uranium from sources from Africa to be deleted from the speech. The language he was referring to when he made that call was language that said the following—and I’ll just quote it—”And the regime has been caught attempting to purchase substantial amounts of uranium oxide from sources in Africa, and a central ingredient in the enrichment process.”
    Hadley also described an Oct. 6 memo from Tenet, after Hadley had removed the yellowcake reference, explaining why it was important to keep the yellowcake reference out:”
    http://slate.msn.com/id/2086029/

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Bush, in his speech to the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 12, 2002, said Iraq had made:
    “several attempts to buy-high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59403-2003Mar7.html
    In his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, 2003, Bush said Iraq had
    “attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”
    By early January, the IAEA had reached a preliminary conclusion:
    “The 81mm tubes sought by Iraq were ‘not directly suitable’ for centrifuges, but appeared intended for use as conventional artillery rockets, as Iraq had claimed. The Bush administration, meanwhile, stuck to its original position while acknowledging disagreement among U.S. officials who had reviewed the evidence.”
    In February of 2003, Powell likewise dismissed the IAEA’s conclusions, telling U.N. leaders that Iraq would not have ordered tubes at such high prices and with such exacting performance ratings if intended for use as ordinary rockets. Powell specifically noted that Iraq had sought tubes that had been “anodized,” or coated with a thin outer film — a procedure that Powell said was required if the tubes were to be used in centrifuges.
    “A number of independent experts on uranium enrichment have sided with IAEA’s conclusion that the tubes were at best ill suited for centrifuges. Several have said that the “anodized” features mentioned by Powell are actually a strong argument for use in rockets, not centrifuges, contrary to the administration’s statement.”
    “[An IAEA] report yesterday all but ruled out the use of the tubes in a nuclear program. The IAEA chief said investigators had unearthed extensive records that backed up Iraq’s explanation. The documents, which included blueprints, invoices and notes from meetings, detailed a 14-year struggle by Iraq to make 81mm conventional rockets that would perform well and resist corrosion. Successive failures led Iraqi officials to revise their standards and request increasingly higher and more expensive metals.”

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blix touted a discrepancy in reported Chemical weapons as potential proof that Iraq has 1000 tons of chemical weapons stashed away. He reported that a document given to UN inspectors by the Iraqis:
    “…gives an account of the expenditure of bombs, including chemical bombs by Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War… The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi air force between 1983 and 1998; while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1000 tons.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-blixtext28jan28,0,3438068.story?coll=la-headlines-world
    The implication was clear: There are probably 1000 tons of chemical agents hidden from us, waiting to be used.
    But Scott Ritter, former top UN weapons inspector, points out that the viable existence of these agents is impossible:
    “Through its inspection activities, UNSCOM [the precursor to the current weapons inspection body UNIMOVIC] obtained reasonable information concerning Iraq’s chemical weapons (CW) activities from 1981 to 1987, with the exception of data on the use of CW against Iran. Iraq consistently refused to provide details to UNSCOM regarding such use, probably because of the political fallout that such an admission would cause.”
    and….
    “While this refusal prevented a full accounting of Iraqi CW, Iraq could not still have viable CW from that period because the chemical agent would have long since deteriorated… As an internal UNSCOM working paper noted, an Iraqi declaration of CW use during the war with Iran was not required for any meaningful verification: ‘Taking into consideration the conditions and the quality of CW-agents and munitions produced by Iraq at that time, there is no possibility of weapons remaining from the mid-1980s’.”
    and….
    “What was overlooked in 1998 [when UNSCOM inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq] was the extent to which UNSCOM had actually eliminated Iraq’s CW capability. The Muthanna State Establishment and most of Iraq’s associated production equipment had been destroyed, either through aerial bombardment during Operation Desert Storm [the US military’s operational designation for the 1991 Gulf War] or under the supervision of UNSCOM inspectors. Iraq’s stockpiles of CW agent had either been destroyed in the same manner or could be assumed to have deteriorated.”
    http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2000_06/iraqjun.asp
    Blix made no mention of this in either his December 19, 2002 or January 27, 2003 report.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Administration latched onto the idea that Ramzi Yousef, who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, escaped from New York on a false passport provided by Iraqi intelligence.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,62115,00.html
    The reasoning for this speculation is so far-fetched as to be laughable.
    http://slate.msn.com/id/116232/

    Reply

  78. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Bush Administration insisted that Iraq was developing an 800-mile-plus range missile. A prior UN resolution made it illegal for Iraq to build missiles that had a range in excess of 93 miles.
    In fact, The al-Samoud 2, the missile to which the administration refers, had indeed been flying too far in tests… by about 15 miles and that is because it isn’t yet loaded down with its guidance system.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/18/iraq/printable537096.shtml
    The administration claimed they had satellite photographs that showed new research buildings at Iraqi nuclear sites. However, when the U.N. went into the new buildings they found “nothing”.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/18/iraq/printable537096.shtml

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  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hans Blix states, PRIOR to the invasion….
    “he had seen no persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, which Mr. Bush also mentioned in his speech.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/01/31/1043804520548.html
    Condi Rice…..
    “There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented.”
    She did not document them and a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated the evidence for linkage is tenuous, based on sources of varying reliability.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/efriend/eprint.cfm?eprint=/local/wnews/28iraqfacts_a4.html

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  80. PissedOffAmerican says:

    PRIOR to the invasion…..
    “analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said.”
    “At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration’s insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s network. “We’ve been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don’t think it’s there,” a government official said.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/02/international/middleeast/02INTE.html
    “They are politicizing intelligence, no question about it,” said Vincent M. Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief. “And they are undertaking a campaign to get George Tenet [the director of central intelligence] fired because they can’t get him to say what they want on Iraq.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14056-2002Oct24.html

    Reply

  81. Kathleen says:

    And Karl trying to re-spin the spin by placing the Plame outing on Novak (someone dead). Rove came real close to having his lilly white ass hauled up on the stand to testify under oath and in public. Could never figure out why Fitzgerald let the pathological liar Rove off the hook for his part in outing an undercover CIA agent who had put her own life on the line for her country?
    Senator Harkins congressional letter on file about the Plame outing
    “Sadly, Republicans are still at it. They are fixated on Mr. Wilson.
    They are intent upon destroying his credibility. In columns and
    editorials and floor statements, the smear campaign continues. Their
    reason is they want to deflect and distract from the fact someone in
    the White House–high ranking–appears to have committed a crime, a
    treacherous crime.
    I am not here to defend or criticize Joe Wilson. I have tried to
    follow the debate over his findings and statements and all that.
    Obviously, we are all concerned about finding out the facts about
    whether Saddam Hussein’s government did try to obtain yellow cake
    uranium ore from Africa, the country of Niger, in the 1990s. That is a
    question of importance. But none of that has anything to do with the
    way we judge an illegal White House action that was used to undermine
    and endanger human intelligence resources, and was done only to
    disparage Mr. Wilson.
    Here is the statute, and it is clear, 50 U.S.C., section 421. It
    says:
    Any person who has access to classified information that
    identifies a covert agent and intentionally discloses that
    information to an unauthorized person, knowing that the
    Government is seeking to keep the agent’s identity concealed,
    shall be fined under Title 18 or imprisoned not more than 10
    years, or both.”
    Rove is still able to plague our airwaves with his lies instead of being put in prison for being part of the thugs who outed Plame. Sicko
    http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/s071604.html

    Reply

  82. DonS says:

    Nadine, why you insist on finding justification for the worst foreign policy blunder in US history, and providing excuses for a criminal gang is beyond me. And trying to set up a joust that doesn’t exist by throwing off accusations on so-called ‘liberals’ is a hollow tactic. Iraq went beyond liberal or conservative; it had nothing to do with decent, honest policy. It went all the way to neocon, a disease you are well familiar with having contracted it some unknown time ago.
    And bringing up Bill Clinton? WTF. Who cares? All of the Iraq cake was baked under the Cheney/Bush regime. That’s the discussion here. Not Bill Clinton, the all purpose diversionary excuse for everything boy Bush fucked up.

    Reply

  83. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “We have also discovered through intelligence
    that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas”
    State of the Union Address ? 1/28/2003
    “Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida.”
    State of the Union Address ? 1/28/2003
    (To date, not a shred of evidence connecting Hussein with Al Qaida or any other known terrorist organizations have been revealed.
    (besides certain Palestinian groups who represent no direct threat to the US))
    “Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”
    State of the Union Address ? 1/28/2003
    (The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as dozens of leading scientists declared said tubes unsuitable for nuclear weapons production — months before the war)
    “Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [past nuclear] sites.”
    Bush speech to the nation 10/7/2002
    (Two months of inspections at these former Iraqi nuclear sites found zero evidence of prohibited nuclear activities there. IAEA report to UN Security Council 1/27/2003)
    “We know he’s been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
    VP Dick Cheney Meet the Press 3/16/2003
    (The IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. IAEA report to UN Security Council 3/7/2003)
    “We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”
    (A BLATANT lie)
    Bush Press Conference 7/14/2003
    Need I continue? Its ironic that Wilkerson would lower himself to lie about the liars. In my book, it makes him even more despicable. And, as I noted previously, desperate in his attempts to rewrite history. Its a shame the NAF has allowed Wilkerson this forum with which to distort the facts. It would break my heart to see TWN turn into the Fox News of the blogosphere, but it appears, judging by this essay, that they might be headed in that direction if they aren’t careful. Perhaps they should hire Nadine to moderate.

    Reply

  84. JohnH says:

    Nadine never fails to dazzle with her impeccable logic! Clinton and Bush both signed onto the program. It was a bipartisan scam. Ergo, two wrongs make a right! Brilliant, simply brilliant!

    Reply

  85. nadine says:

    “Ah, Nadine. Your pithy insipidness never fails to inspire. You write, “In other words, President Bush did not lie – he said what he believed, what the evidence pointed to” By that standard, the evidence is equally strong that the earth is flat and Adam and Eve actually started the human race. (Maw)
    In that case, you must count President Bill Clinton as a flat-earther, for he also said on-the-record that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. (To Clinton’s credit, he is only leading Democrat not to reverse his previous position in support of the ‘Bush Lied’ meme) It was Clinton who made regime change for Iraq official US policy, another fact that liberals have dropped down the memory hole.
    What you have fallen for, Maw, is a campaign orchestrated by the CIA and the Democrats to rewrite history. The motives of each are obvious: for the CIA, to shift the blame for an intelligence failure of historic proportions, which rightly should have fallen on them; for the Democrats, to destroy the Presidency of George Bush at any cost.

    Reply

  86. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So who gave this fuckin’ monkey George Bush the script on quoting an IAEA report that didn’t even exist? If its not a lie to create something out of nothing, than I’d be honest in stating that Nadine has an ounce of character, and that this Wilkerson criminal knows what “truth” is.
    The DOD didn’t lie about Lynch? Tillman? Fallujah??? What, the lies just started AFTER these sacks of shit “believed” us into this deadly and criminal clusterfuck? Note how Nadine cites Saddam’s use of WMDs, while failing to note Cheney and Rumsfeld’s role in making sure Saddam was able to procur these chemical weapons. Apparentlty these despicable bigots like Nadine think its only OK to gas people if you are gassing the right people. If we, (or Israel), gassed a few thousand Palestinians tomorrow, Nadine would be in orgasmic throes, and overflowing with justifications.
    As far as TWN goes, it might just be the place to come for fine fiction, if essays like Wilkerson’s become the norm.

    Reply

  87. Kathleen says:

    Chris matthews nails Rove
    “Matthews U.S. went to war for unknown reasons”
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/#35715687http:

    Reply

  88. Maw of America says:

    Ah, Nadine. Your pithy insipidness never fails to inspire. You write, “In other words, President Bush did not lie – he said what he believed, what the evidence pointed to” By that standard, the evidence is equally strong that the earth is flat and Adam and Eve actually started the human race.
    As I’ve said before (and others have said, too), we were the only ones dumb enough to fire the first shot in Iraq. Only then did countries like Britain and Cameroon join the fight and buck up little Georgie in his baseless war, in the process costing thousands of soldiers their lives and robbing thousands of families of their loved ones. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed.

    Reply

  89. samuelburke says:

    “What I found telling was MoDo’s more recent column in which
    she came up with the following brilliant formulation that reflects
    on the pro-Israel voices so over-represented in the MSM
    punditariat:
    Obama created an obstacle for himself by demanding that Israel
    stop expanding settlements when it was not going to do so —
    even though it should — and when that wasn’t the most
    important condition to Arabs.
    Got that? Now I have no idea what Maureen means when she
    says that a settlement freeze “wasn’t the most important
    condition to Arabs.” Much that I’ve read seemed to suggest that
    the various Sunni Arab regimes were looking for precisely a
    freezing of further Israeli colonization of the West Bank as proof
    that Obama really was going to break from the whatever-Israel-
    wants policy of the previous eight years.
    But notice that it is Obama’s fault for asking an alleged ally
    merely to freeze – not reverse – construction settlement as a
    good faith gesture to the peace process and as a favor to the US
    in trying to recapture the role of an honest broker in the region.
    It is not Israel’s fault – even though Maureen thinks Israel should
    have done it.
    Nothing illustrates better the total bizarreness of the US-Israel
    relationship. No one in Washington – apart from a few Likudniks
    and Palinite end-timers – actually supports more settlements or
    any settlements i the West Bank. At the same time, Washington
    exercizes a UN veto to protect Israel from international law,
    funnels a vast amount of foreign and military aid to the country,
    helped finance the pulverization of Gaza last year, provides
    absurd international cover for Israel’s 150 nukes, has worked
    tirelessly to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capacity, and on
    and on.
    In return? Fuck you, Obama. To which the overwhelming
    response in Washington is: Obama screwed up.
    There is something completely awry here and it has rarely been
    more evident than in the last twelve months.”
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/03/t
    he-fundamentalists-of-israel.html#more

    Reply

  90. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Whoa, guys, the trouble with drinking your own kool-aid is that you not only try to make yourselves stupid, you succeed”
    STFU. Why anyone would buy into your crap is beyond me.
    Your hasbarist/RW/zionist garbage only underscores what a despicable bunch of crap this criminal fiasco was founded upon.

    Reply

  91. Kathleen says:

    Lawrence Wilkerson “Yet I agree with Rove that the President did not lie outright. He, like the vast majority of the members of the U.S. intelligence community led by the cock-sure Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, actually believed Iraq had WMD. As a result, any cherry-picking of, manipulation of, or tampering with the evidence (as Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s office did daily), was acceptable because once the invasion occurred, WMD would be found. There was simply no doubt about that among this majority or among the President’s team.”
    ————————————-
    This is complete bullshit. I was a soccer mom at that point listening to the Diane Rehm show, Talk of the nation, Democracy Now and watching the MSM T.V. news programs in the evening. Diane Rehm, Neil Conan, Amy goodman had one expert, historian, policy analyst former Cia analyst after another questioning the validity of the pre war intelligence. Including, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, former Cia analyst Ray McGovern, Zbigniew Bryzinski, General Zinni, Former President Jimmy Carter, British Clair Ball and many more questioning the validity of the intelligence before the invasion. I was a soccer mom in southeastern Ohio and I could turn on the radio hear these people questioning with well founded questions BEFORE THE INVASION? Hell I heard Robert McNamara questioning.
    How many Senators voted against the Iraq war resolution that was pushed just before a mid term election. 22? Hell some of those with access to more intelligence SENATOR DURBIN voted NO. That was a clear sign that the majority of the intelligence being created, cherry picked and disseminated by the Office of Special plans and the White House Iraq Group, Office of net Assessments was BULLSHIT.
    Now I could turn on the MSM T.V. News programs at night and hear Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld, along with Bill Kristol, David Frum, Micheal Ledeen, Frank Gaffney, Ruel Marc Gerecht etc endlessly repeat the unsubstantiated claims about Iraq ad nauseum. The ONLY MSMer that I heard question the warmongers was Chris Matthews and he did not go very far but he did try.
    This claim by Wilkerson is complete hogwash. His boss Colin Powell was questioning the validity of that intelligence. Instead of digging deeper Powell went in front of the UN and the world and handed us a “pack of lies” Wilkerson is trying to cover his own ass and his bosses ass. The Bush administration new they were lying. They knew. Feith, Cheney, Wurmser, Rhode, Ledeen, Cheney supplied the false intelligence around the drive to invade Iraq. A soccer mom could see it. Rove knew it and promoted and sold the public the lies. He designed that Iraq war resolution vote coming right before the mid term election.
    Then in early March of 2003 Iaea El baradei came out and said the Niger Documents were forgeries and “bad ones” at that. Kofi Anan came out in support of that statement. I thought the drive to go to illegally invade Iraq would come to a halt. But El Baradei’s statement barely received any MSM coverage. The MSM went along with the administrations drive to invade.
    Before the illegal invasion across the U.S. millions of working and middle class Americans marched (I was there) against that invasion in New York, D.C. L.A. etc. based on the serious questions about the validity of that intelligence. Those crowds were diverse. WWII (I pushed a 92 year old Vet in a Wheelchair in New York), Korean, Vietnam, Desert Strom Vets, families pushing babies in strollers and seniors in wheel chairs. Students, plumbers, teachers etc marched. Millions marched against the invasion world wide. Our MSM basically ignored those marches. If they did show any clips it would be of the 20 people at the march with hoods over the heads. Never saw an interview with who was really protesting. The media played a huge role in promoting that illegal invasion.
    The Bush administration knew that the pre war intelligence was false. They knew.
    Now not one person or persons has been held accountable for this intelligence snowjob. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people are dead (according to the Lancet Report) injured and millions displaced all based on the Bush administrations “pack of lies”
    The least our Reps could do for those who have needlessly lost their lives or are injured for life is hold these fucking warmongers responsible.
    But as history has shown they need lies about blowjobs to investigate. Demonstrates the priorities of our leaders .
    Rove (Judy “I was fucking right” Miller as well as the rest of the Bush administration are drowning in the Iraqi people and American soldiers blood and there is no way around it. The question is will they be held accountable?

    Reply

  92. erichwwk says:

    Agreed. what’s the point. When one has their mind made up, facts are irrelevant.
    “When a pickpocket meets a saint all she sees are his pockets”

    Reply

  93. JohnH says:

    If anyone can appreciate Rove’s point, it’s Nadine. She’s an expert at picking up one set of evidence and ignoring the bigger picture…

    Reply

  94. DonS says:

    Nadine, the whole run up exercise was ginned up to support a pre-made decision. Some of the ginning involved stovepiped information; some involved concocted information; some involved misleading information and analysis. Rove might not say the evidence was manipulated as you assert. But is was.
    Is that so hard to comprehend? The fact that there were multiple contours and levels of deniability doesn’t shield the whole enterprise from being unraveled and pierced.

    Reply

  95. nadine says:

    Whoa, guys, the trouble with drinking your own kool-aid is that you not only try to make yourselves stupid, you succeed.
    “”Would the Iraq War have occurred without W.M.D.? I doubt it”, Rove writes. Rove then goes on to say that “Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the W.M.D. threat.”
    According to Karl Rove, then, the intelligence about Iraq’s WMD that was cherry-picked, manipulated -“fixed around the policy”, as the Downing Street Memo recorded – and otherwise tampered with was thus treated so that Congress would support the war.”
    Can anybody else here spot the huge logical disconnect between paragraph 1 and 2?
    Talking up one set of evidence is not the same as making it up. Karl Rove does not say – I am listening to him being interviewed now – that the evidence was “manipulated”. He says that WMD was chosen because it was a point of consensus: Clinton and Gore and Kerry believed and supported it, France and Germany and Britain also believed it, though France and Germany were against the Iraq war.
    “Yet I agree with Rove that the President did not lie outright. He, like the vast majority of the members of the U.S. intelligence community led by the cock-sure Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, actually believed Iraq had WMD. As a result, any cherry-picking of, manipulation of, or tampering with the evidence … was acceptable because once the invasion occurred, WMD would be found. There was simply no doubt about that among this majority or among the President’s team.”
    In other words, President Bush did not lie – he said what he believed, what the evidence pointed to; he said the exact same thing that Clinton had said before him. Not only did Bush not “lie outright” he did not lie at all. It is an enormous exercise in intellectual dishonesty, to say Bush did not “lie outright” but imply he still lied. Will Mr. Wilkerson be content to be called a liar, if anything he believes and says now turns out to be incorrect?
    Just as a point of history, Saddam Hussein not only had a track record of having WMDs, he had a track record of using WMDs on the Iranians and the Kurds. Every major intelligence agency, not just the CIA, said he had WMDs based on the same evidence Bush saw.
    One thing Karl Rove does in his book is date the birthdate of the “Bush Lied” meme: June 15, 2003. On that date, Teddy Kennedy gave a big speech saying Bush lied about WMD, and within two days, Tom Dashle and several other Democratic leaders also gave speeches hitting the same theme. It was obviously pre-planned and coordinated, in a breathtakingly cynical move. Kennedy lied. Kennedy lied deliberately and with malice aforethought for cynical political motives. Kennedy did not care that he was working for the defeat of an America army in the field.
    Senators on the Intelligence Committee, like Senator Kerry, were forced to say essentially, “We saw the same evidence as President Bush and came to the same on-the-record conclusions as he did, but turns out we were total chumps, idiots.” They said it and the press never called them on it.
    Rove also says that not hitting back hard against this deliberate, coordinated campaign of lies was one of the greatest mistakes of the Bush administration.

    Reply

  96. DonS says:

    The matter of failing to allow inspectors to go in to continue the search remains perhaps the critical most telling flaw , and that which makes clear the case for a war crimes procedure. It is all smoke and mirrors of course — the bald faced lie uttered by most that “Saddam wouldn’t allow inspectors in” has attained the status of faith-based narrative. It doesn’t matter — even if Wilkerson’s assertions about oil are right, and who didn’t cynically know this was the case and that WMD was the emotional hook — what the supposed causa belli were. The refusal to follow up on inspections becomes monstrous when one considers the price paid. It was criminal from the outset, though the smarts guys who think in terms of pulling the levers of geopolitics could never remove those particular blinders from their eyes. All’s fair in love and war, and the gigantic whorehouse we call the military industrial complex. We’ve got the biggest stick; we write the rules.
    “They” spread the responsibility around sufficiently so that no one or two people can be singled out. And “no one could have predicted” still remains their pathetic bleat.
    Yeah, one day, some one of these ‘responsibles’ need to get honest; war crimes needs to continue to be the only satisfactory label. Even South Africa could must a truth and reconciliation commission.

    Reply

  97. BigB says:

    there has to be some credibility to Wilkerson’s claim because he was prepared to resign after the whole UN affair. With tha in mind, it seems that he at least knew that this whole thing was bogus.
    POA, there is an interesting connection – or trend – that follows your claim on the Nigerian link. Look into Israel’s actions on this and also on their past use of planting false documents. I am in no way saying that Israel is behind this, but there is an interesting similarity to an event that is described in Patrick Tyler’s book, “A World of Trouble.”

    Reply

  98. erichwwk says:

    One more note. Until Lawrence Wilkerson is willing to lead an effort to prosecute Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes, it seems to me he is not showing true remorse as much as trying “to divert our attention from his own complicity in the deception.”
    So Mr. Wilkerson, where do you stand on the prosecution of U.S. war criminals? Are you willing to do something of SUBSTANCE to stop this endless cycle of US lies and wanton murders?
    eg even if you really believed Saddam had WMD, why did you not extend the UN Weapon inspectors search? And to assert that yellowcake was being enriched to weapons grade material, given the electricity required to power ANY enrichment is not believable to anyone that has a rudimentary understanding of enrichment. Ditto for the “centrifuge tubes”. While consensus among “experts” may indeed have been “split”, the real split was between PR types and centrifuge engineers.
    The only plausible explanation is that weapons would NEVER be found, and you could not risk that UN determination. And all this ignores how we got involved in ME oil in the first place, overthrew Mossadegh, how Saddam came into power, and how we manipulated him to oppose Iran. What I have heard so far from Wilkerson is all stuff many of us knew BEFORE the invasion, and shows NO REMORSE for all the events that lead up to Gulf War II.
    And that includes the Vietnam War, which I also view as a resource war, and one on which we fought on the wrong side. Any remorse for that?

    Reply

  99. Charles Ward says:

    Yes, one has to wonder just whose rear Mr Wilkerson is covering?
    If Robin Cook, the British cabinet minister who resigned over the war could do so because he didn’t believe that Saddam had any WMD (having been briefed by MI6) then I’m sure those making the decisions in Washington knew exactly the same (and then some, as you say).
    Ray McGovern made the best counter-arguement against Mr Wilkerson’s case in an article called “Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Powell” which can be read here:
    http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=13312
    Here’s a couple of money graphs:
    “In brief, with the help of Allied intelligence services, the CIA recruited your [Powell’s] Iraqi counterpart, Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri, and Tahir Jalil Habbush, the chief of Iraqi intelligence. They were cajoled into remaining in place while giving us critical intelligence well before the war – actually, well before your speech laying the groundwork for war.
    In other words, at a time when Saddam Hussein believed that Sabri and Habbush were working for him, we had ‘turned’ them. They were working for us, and much of the information they provided had been evaluated and verified. Most important, each independently affirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, information that should have prevented you from making a fool of yourself before the U.N. Security Council.”

    Reply

  100. erichwwk says:

    POA, I agree with your assessment. While Colin Powell “may” have been fooled into doing his UN presentation, he was at least suspicious enough to have George Tenet sit directly behind him. And let’s not forget the role that Colin Powell Dick Cheney played in the Gulf War I war hoax, to present the public with phony satellite photographs of a previous Saudi war exercise. So while Powell may not have deliberately lied in the UN presentation, he clearly lied in the first Gulf war. And surely you and Powell must have known that Adlai Stevenson was set up in a similar way over the Bay of Pigs during the Kennedy administration.
    And if not, the lies of the cold war are starting to come out, and the degree to which much of US foreign policy is based on lies and deceit. Surely you are aware of the Nitze/Jackson/Pipes scam “Team B”, the prototype for the office of special plans? And the role that Cheney and Rumsfeld played in that?
    http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/views04/1207-26.htm
    And please, Mr. Wilkerson, do not paint the French and the Germans with the same liars brush. The ones I worked with were well aware of the lies, and hence NEITHER country was willing to vote for the SECOND UN Resolution, the necessary condition required to get them to vote for the First UN Resolution.
    While I commend you for speaking out now, that does not wash the blood of over a million innocents from your hands.
    I just now see your latest post. I also commend Wilkerson for showing remorse. But as long as we have the atom bomb and a fractional banking system outside of any public influence, we essentially have a de facto military dictatorship, and talk is cheap and just pissing in the wind.
    Just go to a NNSA briefing sometime to get a sense of how arrogant our military industrial complex is.

    Reply

  101. JohnH says:

    “Do you really think folks have any say into when, where and how the U.S. goes to?”
    Not if everyone stays silent. Silence will only guarantee that the same thing happens in Iran.
    Yes, Wilkerson was complicit. But unlike the vast majority of Washington “experts,” Wilkerson has the decency to show some remorse.

    Reply

  102. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If Cheney “believed”, as Wilkerson falsely claims, (knowingly), then why did they need the forged Nigerian connection, or the fictitious “meet” between Al Qaeda and Saddam operatives? Or why weren’t the inspection teams allowed to go back in, (with CIA observors), as Saddam offered????
    No. Wilkerson is still trying to separate himself from a crime he abetted and was complicit in. To deny the crime took place is self serving and a complete departure from reality. Bush even went so far as to cite an IAEA report that DIDN’T EVEN EXIST. And if we need FURTHER evidence of how this whole criminal enterprise was founded on lies, and sustained by lies, one only needs to look at the whole sordid history of our narrative in regards to Iraq. Babies pulled out of incubators. Jessica Lynch. Tillman. Tuwaitha. The list goes ON AND ON. To say that lies were not used is a lie in itself.
    Wilkerson is getting desperate. Perhaps the inquiries and revelations coming from the UK are making him a bit nervous. Good. Perhaps he’ll come clean and stop feeding us these self serving fictions. Or better yet, maybe he’ll go have a beer with Powell, (another co-conspirator in the crime of the century), and the two of them can fade into the sunset together. For good.

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  103. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Wilkerson is playing loose with the truth, I suspect to divert our attention from his own complicity in the deception.
    There were many in the “intelligence community”, and the UN teams, who doubted Iraq had WMDs. Not the least, we can remember Scott Ritter as one such truthteller.
    Me thinks Wilkerson seeks to rewrite history to his own favor.
    Too late, Wilkerson, the blood of a million Iraqi non-combatants doesn’t wash off just by virtue of a few self serving essays. The whole lot of you should hang for what you did.

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  104. erichwwk says:

    C’mon John H. Countries have gone to war over oil rather consistently, since WWI, and lied to their people about it.
    Those who understood this did talk about this as it was happening. The result? It merely sped up the invasion of Iraq. Do you really think folks have any say into when, where and how the U.S. goes to ?
    i myself gave up on the US rather early, finding it more productive to work with the French and the Germans, to make sure the second UN resolution was not passed, to ensure that if the US did invade, it would at least be clear that this was a war crime.

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  105. David says:

    Remember when Charley Rose said regarding the invasion of Iraq to the interviewee whose name I cannot at the moment for the life of me remember: “And don’t tell me it’s about oil.” My respect for Charley Rose as a journalist never recovered.
    Thank you, Mr. Wilkerson, for bringing knowledgeable intellectual honesty to the table.

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  106. JohnH says:

    “So the administration – led by Cheney and Rumsfeld – had worldwide support in twisting the truth, exaggerating the findings, and pushing bits and pieces of them without any context…What Cheney did lie about was the real reason he decided to invade: oil.”
    Amazing how few “experts” were willing to speculate about these simple observations as they were happening.
    Worse, it is tragic how few “experts” have learned anything from the experience and how eager they are to ignore the similarities in fixing a similar case against Iran.

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