The anniversary of the start of the Iraq invasion has generated quite a bit of retrospection. We now know, without a doubt, the Bush admin lied to the public, and lied repeatedly, about the need to go to war with Iraq. Cheney said "we know Iraq has WMD's." So did Rumsfeld. They lied. Shrub went in front of the country during the SOTU address and said Iraq had sought yellowcake from Niger. The CIA had already told the admin that was not true. Bush lied anyway. Rice said the aluminum tubes sent to Iraq were for a centrifuge to make weapons grade nuclear materials for a nuke. Experts from the D. of Energy had already said those tubes were not suited for the purpose the admin claimed they were.
Information is still coming out. Like the meeting Cheney had w/ #$%$ Armey who was Speaker of the House. Armey was against giving Bush authorization to invade. Cheney told him a series of lies about Saddam's WMD capabilities and convinced Armey to change his mind. Many House Dems, had they been given cover by an Armey no vote, would not have voted for authorization.
We have been talking about Iraq for a very long time. When that happens we get desensitized by it. So take a moment and let it sink in that every top level member of the Bush admin lied to us.........and none of them are going to be held accountable for it. That is a travesty of justice of unparalleled scope.
Published on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 by the Washington Post
Bush Clings To Dubious Allegations About Iraq
by Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank
As the Bush administration prepares to attack Iraq this week, it is doing so on the basis of a number of allegations against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that have been challenged -- and in some cases disproved -- by the United Nations, European governments and even U.S. intelligence reports.
For months, President Bush and his top lieutenants have produced a long list of Iraqi offenses, culminating Sunday with Vice President Cheney's assertion that Iraq has "reconstituted nuclear weapons." Previously, administration officials have tied Hussein to al Qaeda, to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and to an aggressive production of biological and chemical weapons. Bush reiterated many of these charges in his address to the nation last night.
But these assertions are hotly disputed. Some of the administration's evidence -- such as Bush's assertion that Iraq sought to purchase uranium -- has been refuted by subsequent discoveries. Other claims have been questioned, though their validity can be known only after U.S. forces occupy Iraq.
In outlining his case for war on Sunday, Cheney focused on how much more damage al Qaeda could have done on Sept. 11 "if they'd had a nuclear weapon and detonated it in the middle of one of our cities, or if they had unleashed . . . biological weapons of some kind, smallpox or anthrax." He then tied that to evidence found in Afghanistan of how al Qaeda leaders "have done everything they could to acquire those capabilities over the years."
But in October CIA Director George J. Tenet told Congress that Hussein would not give such weapons to terrorists unless he decided helping "terrorists in conducting a WMD [weapons of mass destruction] attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."
In his appearance Sunday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," the vice president argued that "we believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." But Cheney contradicted that assertion moments later, saying it was "only a matter of time before he acquires nuclear weapons." Both assertions were contradicted earlier by Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who reported that "there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities."
ElBaradei also contradicted Bush and other officials who argued that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The IAEA determined that Iraq did not plan to use imported aluminum tubes for enriching uranium and generating nuclear weapons. ElBaradei argued that the tubes were for conventional weapons and "it was highly unlikely" that the tubes could have been used to produce nuclear material.
Cheney on Sunday said ElBaradei was "wrong" about Iraq's nuclear program and questioned the IAEA's credibility.
Earlier this month, ElBaradei said information about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium were based on fabricated documents. Further investigation has found that top CIA officials had significant doubts about the veracity of the evidence, linking Iraq to efforts to purchase uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger, but the information ended up as fact in Bush's State of the Union address.
In another embarrassing episode for the administration, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell cited evidence about Iraq's weapons efforts that originally appeared in a British intelligence document. But it later emerged that the British report's evidence was based in part on academic papers and trade publications.
Sometimes information offered by Bush and his top officials is questioned by administration aides. In his March 6 news conference, Bush dismissed Iraq's destruction of its Al Samoud-2 missiles, saying they were being dismantled "even as [Hussein] has ordered the continued production of the very same type of missiles." But the only intelligence was electronic intercepts that had individuals talking about being able to build missiles in the future, according to a senior intelligence analyst.
Last month, Bush spoke about a liberated Iraq showing "the power of freedom to transform that vital region" and said "a new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region." But a classified State Department report put together by the department's intelligence and research staff and delivered to Powell the same day as Bush's speech questioned that theory, arguing that history runs counter to it.
In his first major speech solely on the Iraqi threat, last October, Bush said, "Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work."
Inspectors have found that the Al Samoud-2 missiles can travel less than 200 miles -- not far enough to hit the targets Bush named. Iraq has not accounted for 14 medium-range Scud missiles from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but the administration has not presented any evidence that they still exist.
They lied about Vietnam only that time they drafted your butt into service by lottery. I remember because I was in it (the lottery). Had to register A1 ready for service. Do you see me posting about how bad Kennedy and Johnson were? If Bush went into Iraq knowingly under false pretenses for some sort of personal reason or hawkish strategy then he deserves his place in history for it. Don't worry. We don't need you to copy at length about it. Especially since you are an unabashed o'a lover.
On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.
On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.
That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.
But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.
And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.
Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.
That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound.
On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history. In response, the C.I.A. set to work on the Aug. 6 brief.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.
Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.
Hey golf- stop confusing me with the *wrong* facts! I need facts that fit what Rushbo tells me to believe:
Bush = Good = Hero = Great President who belongs on Mt. Rushmore.
Obama = BAAD = Muslim terrorist communist = BLAAACK.
Now- give me some better facts!
I remember a report by an FBI (I think) agent who ended up quitting after 9/11 because of the grief she suffered by having her field reports and investigations of suspicious terrorist activity ignored or dismissed by the upper echelons, some during the Clinton admin as well. The fact that Clinton was shooting cruise missles at (worthless) targets intending to kill Bin Laden tells you we knew he was a serious threat. So why not be on high alert as well?? Why wait for Bush to do it??
As Hillary would/did say " What difference does it make now ?"
Old news. What does it matter now? See El Tigre's new love? Same as the old love except younger and in better shape. You know Obama has to be envious. Young black super rich sports star cavorting with all the white women he wants to anywhere anytime in public.
Any reasonable examination of the facts of what was known and not known at the time the Bush admin was selling the war to the American public leads us to the conclusion that Cheney and Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice, Feith and Wolfowitz, Tenet, Addington, Lui, and Libby should all be in jail for the rest of their lives.