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We were not lying
April 28, 2003 11:44 PM   Subscribe

"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis." So are there WMDs in Iraq or not? ABC is running a story that says that the Bush administration was not primarily concerned with any threat from Iraq, but with making an example of them to other evildoers. Discuss.
posted by eateneye (76 comments total)

 
Cost of Bush tax cut, 2001, per taxpayer: $300

Cost of Bush War, 2003, per taxpayer: $1150

Bush radio address, 4.26.03: ""With a robust package of at least $550 billion in across- the-board tax relief, we will help create more than a million new jobs by the end of 2004. "

Will people continue to believe?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:07 AM on April 29, 2003


I actually thought they'd stop making up new excuses for the war after it had finished. Like, "hello! you need to start thinking of excuses for the next war now!"
posted by cell at 12:09 AM on April 29, 2003


TJH: Unfortunately, yes. That politicians consider us stupid makes me sick. That we largely are makes me sicker.
posted by cell at 12:11 AM on April 29, 2003


No one who supports the war cares why it was waged, and I think most people are glad the Bush administration doesn't sweat the parade of reasons too much or get too caught up in making sure they're consistent.

The war was waged because, what with the shitty economy and planes flying into buildings, it feels good to clobber evildoers. Who wants to spoil that?
posted by argybarg at 12:46 AM on April 29, 2003


And still, they want to "punish" France for trying to oppose war in favour of continuing inspections...
posted by XiBe at 2:04 AM on April 29, 2003


But it will be okay as long as they stop Belgium taking that GW1 guy for war crimes by declaring it 'politically motivated'.

*sigh*

When are you guys going to get a president anyway?
posted by twine42 at 2:46 AM on April 29, 2003


In the 60's the U.S. put men on the moon. 3 decades later the U.S. put men in Iraq. So much for the "New Frontier."
posted by newlydead at 4:38 AM on April 29, 2003


That no WMDs have yet been found shows just how bullshit those pre-war 'intelligence' reports were.
posted by mischief at 4:42 AM on April 29, 2003


Restoring honor and integrity to the White House one big lie at a time.

"We were not lying" is yet another lie.
posted by nofundy at 4:54 AM on April 29, 2003


When are you guys going to get a president anyway?

I think a more relevant question might be:
"When are you guys going to elect a president anyway?"
posted by spazzm at 5:40 AM on April 29, 2003


We'll find the WoMD once we plant them. Cause otherwise, it ain't going so well.
posted by gramcracker at 5:50 AM on April 29, 2003


didn't Clinton lie and almost get impeached? can't the same thing happen to this administration now? *paging a Ken Starr-type figure*
posted by amberglow at 5:55 AM on April 29, 2003


Spazzm: Apparently, the 2004 election Democrat candidate is gonna be a tie between Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton. There goes the fear.
But it doesn't matter, as you guys are stuck with GwB.
(both links from Polling Report)
posted by XiBe at 5:55 AM on April 29, 2003


It was almost exactly a year ago when Rumsfeld announced at a press conference that the U.S. "technically didn't have as much information on Osama bin Laden's wherabouts" to go after him in Afghanistan. So I guess my complete lack of suprise about the decision to make up an excuse to bomb a few thousand people is beacuse I've heard it all before.

What I find funny is how this latest statement about the "over-emphasis" of finding WMD would never have been given if, you know, some of them were actually found, in which case CNN would have a spinning bomb behind a flowng American flag with the title "Objective COMPLETED: the Weapons Discovered." In other words, even the bullshit is now bullshit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:56 AM on April 29, 2003


didn't Clinton lie and almost get impeached? can't the same thing happen to this administration now?

amberglow, you fail to grasp a fundamental reality: clinton put his genitals in a non-approved place and then lied about it. in the eyes of the most sexually repressed people on the planet, this is an impeachable offense. not the lie, the penis. bush, on the other hand, puts his armies where he damn well pleases and lies about it. armies are good, they consist of "our troops" who deserve "our support" and they saved the world from hitler and the nips, so, no foul there, and of course lies are the grease that make the business world go round, one cannot attack lying without being labelled a commie, so there ya have it.
posted by quonsar at 6:04 AM on April 29, 2003


didn't Clinton lie and almost get impeached? can't the same thing happen to this administration now?

I thought it was that Clinton lied under oath?
posted by gramcracker at 6:08 AM on April 29, 2003


didn't Clinton lie and almost get impeached? can't the same thing happen to this administration now? *paging a Ken Starr-type figure*

$30 million was spent to investigate President Clinton's choice of real estate and another $40 million to investigate his penis. We spent $12 million to investigate September 11th.

So, no. We're not putting as much effort into this one because obviously it's not as important...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:12 AM on April 29, 2003


You don't have to be an Under Oath type liar to be impeached. Look at Nixon, a common, run of the mill liar. Bush falls under that heading.
Impeachment? Sounds good to me, as long as you take Cheney with him. I don't relish the thought of a Cheney presidency.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:16 AM on April 29, 2003


I thought it was that Clinton lied under oath?

I think, actually, he mis-emphasized under oath.
posted by alms at 6:17 AM on April 29, 2003


hmmm, quonsar, then how about....can't we just see all the missiles and guns as the penises they are? and maybe the troops are the sperm? maybe iraq is really monica's dress?

how's that then?
posted by amberglow at 6:17 AM on April 29, 2003


(rereading that makes me see i should finish my coffee before posting) ; >

but honestly, aren't the same principles involved, and to a deadlier extent? it certainly was about lust and power, and doing what you wanted whether there was a real reason to or not (much like sex in some people's minds)
posted by amberglow at 6:22 AM on April 29, 2003


If anyone is going to be the sperm, it can't be the airmen and the soilders. Just the seamen.
posted by twine42 at 6:36 AM on April 29, 2003


There's a difference; what Clinton did was lie about his personal life (because it was his personal life, after all) under oath. Our holier-than-thou conservatives then smeared the crap out of him by saying that, if he was willing to lie about this, what else has he done?

Bush, on the other hand, has not only lied about his personal life, but also his professional life, his criminal record, his military record, and even his Presidency. He has perpetrated a hostile act on the flimsiest of evidence, whipping up much of the American public into a hate frenzy ("The French suck! Towelheads suck! Islam sucks! The Germans suck! The United Nations suck!") while surreptiously pushing forward legislation to rip off the very people who make up the majority of his supporters. He's redefined the justification for this occupation several times ("It's to back Resolution 1441! It's to disarm Saddam! It's to kill Saddam! It's to liberate the Iraqi people! It's to find weapons of mass destruction! It's to show the world we're tough & ready!") to follow the winds of opinion. In short, Bush makes Clinton look like a friggin' role model (hell, Bush makes Nixon look like a friggin' role model) by comparison.

Clinton was nearly impeached for lying under oath. What are we going to do about Bush?
posted by FormlessOne at 6:39 AM on April 29, 2003


For me, this is pretty simple.

GWB used the U.S. army, without a declaration of war from the Congress as provided for by the U.S. Constitution, to invade a sovereign nation under the following justifications:

1)Iraq has WMD capable of striking both his neighbors and the U.S. and its interests.

2) Iraq(or at least Saddam Hussein's regime) has important links to Osama Bin Laden/Al Qaeda.

To date, we have learned(or are learning) that there is very little reliable evidence of cooperation between Hussein and Bin Laden, and that not only did he probably not have WMD, but that even if he did, he did not have quantities large enough, or delivery methods reliable enough, to strike even his neighbors, let alone the U.S. or its interests.

Should that continue to be the case, I think that misleading the American people about our reasons for invading and occupying a sovereign nation definitely qualifies as a "high crime or misdemeanor". That would be grounds for impeachment, and for criminal charges for most of the cabinet.

For the record, I supported the war, even if tenuously.
posted by spirit72 at 6:44 AM on April 29, 2003


Excuse me folks, but Clinton was in fact impeached.
posted by archimago at 6:47 AM on April 29, 2003


Just to clear a couple of things up:

(1) Clinton was impeached -- not almost impeached. (Upon preview: What archimago said.)
(2) Nixon was not impeached. He got out before any such action could proceed.
(3) GWB will not be impeached. It would take too much money and not really do much for the Democratic Party(tm).

(I, of course, reserve the right to be mistaken about any of this.)
posted by *burp* at 6:48 AM on April 29, 2003


[elwoodblues]It wasn't a lie... it was just bullshit.[/elwoodblues]
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:01 AM on April 29, 2003


Isn't this how Captain Kirk short-circuited the fembots? "Everything I say is a lie...I'm lying."

spirit72: I got your declaration of war right here. Congress rolled over in October 2002 and gave Bush the green light. Maybe they will be outraged that they did it under false pretenses and impeach him. Isn't it pretty to think so?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:03 AM on April 29, 2003


*blink*
[shrugs shoulders, changes the channel]
posted by dilettanti at 7:04 AM on April 29, 2003


"You guys thought we were serious about that WoMD stuff? Come on! We thought you knew we were kidding about all that stuff! Our bad!"
posted by vraxoin at 7:05 AM on April 29, 2003


The war was waged because, what with the shitty economy and planes flying into buildings, it feels good to clobber evildoers.

The simplest, shortest, sweetest, truest explanation of the war yet. Thank you, argybarg!
posted by PigAlien at 7:06 AM on April 29, 2003


If anyone can find any pro-war bloggers commenting on this, please link them here. I can't believe this story hasn't gotten more attention.
posted by lbergstr at 7:16 AM on April 29, 2003


Thanks, XiBe. That was informative.
posted by spazzm at 7:18 AM on April 29, 2003


Excerpts from the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002:
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq ;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Most of the rationale for the war is based on statements that, well, have yet to be proven true.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:21 AM on April 29, 2003


the Bush administration was not primarily concerned with any threat from Iraq, but with making an example of them to other evildoers.

Umm.... ABC News is only just now figuring this out? Here at Metafilter we've known that for most of a year. Where do these folks get their news, anyway?
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:42 AM on April 29, 2003


*blink*
[shrugs shoulders, changes the channel]


a poignant illustration of the depth of middle-class american thinking on today's issues.
posted by quonsar at 7:48 AM on April 29, 2003


The politicians lie to us, steal from us and laugh behind our backs that we let it happen. Normally I'd say that this will be resolved at the ballot box, but given the Florida fiasco I'm afraid to say this can only be resolved with uprising and revolt.
posted by skylar at 8:03 AM on April 29, 2003


Oooh! Ooooh! Let me say it, let me say it!

"While the US-Osama comparison hasn't been mentioned in this particular discussion (though I suspect a large number of MeFi's fine members will be more than happy to make the claim in question), there has been a lot of talk here that sounds a lot like 'the US is no better than Saddam.'"

Wheee!

Actually, you know, the experience was kind of disappointing. It's not nearly as thrilling as one might expect.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:24 AM on April 29, 2003


If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted.

But let's wait a bit before concluding this, and not have that conclusion drawn by the paranoid, cultic Left. Much of the premise of WMDs is their portability/stealthyness.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM on April 29, 2003 [24 favorites]


a poignant illustration of the depth of middle-class american thinking on today's issues.

Tell me, whose country's middle class is not guilty of this?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:01 AM on April 29, 2003


It is obvious that Bush & co are in-your-face liars (DUI, trifecta, GAO and a long etc comes to mind), but you gotta wonder what Blair's line will be ...

(Wondering too what is so paranoid about not believing heads of state who resort to patently fake intelligence? And figuring who is being cultic apart from those who resort to references to "God" and "Homeland" instead of public accountability?)
posted by magullo at 9:08 AM on April 29, 2003


Exhibit "ZA," supra.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:10 AM on April 29, 2003


Tell me, whose country's middle class is not guilty of this?

oh, come on freedomparamus, you can do better than "Billy picks his nose and eats it too!"
posted by quonsar at 9:37 AM on April 29, 2003


If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted.

Paris, I'd be very happy if you held Bush to this standard later. The (objective evidence) phrase worries me a bit though... I mean, objective evidence like plagiarised papers from over a decade ago, and "secret sources" that are never validated? I hope you won't count those...
posted by zekinskia at 10:08 AM on April 29, 2003


No. I want something more than documents. By the way, I've never voted Republican in a Presidential election.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2003


So the administration is basically admitting that their entire war was based upon utter fabrication? I mean I believed this from the beginning, but they're just coming out and SAYING it? I have never been so determined to get somebody out of office as I am today. George W, you're going down in 2004.
posted by jcruelty at 11:11 AM on April 29, 2003


No, the administration is admitting that the entire war was based on a complex mix of rationale, but that one reason, WMD, was spoken of more often during the lead-in, primarily because of the role that had to be played by the United Nations.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:15 AM on April 29, 2003


But let's wait a bit before concluding this, and not have that conclusion drawn by the paranoid, cultic Left. Much of the premise of WMDs is their portability/stealthyness.

Paris: that last sentence was the main reason why I, despite my more basic oppositions to the war, could not even believe that it would be effective. How do you create a secure environemnt via war? Imagine if you worked retail, and your boss dropped cluster bombs all over the store right before inventory each month.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:31 AM on April 29, 2003


Paging Scott Ritter...
posted by BentPenguin at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2003


I'm hoping this will have the same effect as the "read my lips" comment. We'll see.

Ooo! And maybe then the libertarians will blindly pull a Perot/Nader, fragmenting the base! Or maybe he'll just be reelected and remembered as a great (shudder) leader.
posted by jragon at 12:03 PM on April 29, 2003


no weapons of mass destruction.
no osama bin laden.
no mullah omar.
no ayman al zawahiri.
no trials of anyone directly connected to 9-11.
no revival of the economy after the first tax cut.
no prosecution of enron cronies.
no budget surplus.


NO MORE BUSH/CHENEY?

the world prays.
posted by specialk420 at 12:18 PM on April 29, 2003


and what about that anthrax business? not a word.
posted by specialk420 at 12:21 PM on April 29, 2003


No, the administration is admitting that the entire war was based on a complex mix of rationale, but that one reason, WMD, was spoken of more often during the lead-in, primarily because of the role that had to be played by the United Nations.

Oooooohhhhhhhhh. I understand now.

So they were lying.
posted by soyjoy at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2003


here's some anthrax business.
posted by David Dark at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2003


Can't share your optimism that the "rah-rah USA, USA, let's nuke the Dixie Chicks" crowd will suddenly grow a brain and a conscience and say, "Oh my, this war was baaad and our Prez lied."

Think of the US as one big dysfunctional family. Too many members of the family want to continue along pretending that dad isn't a smirky, abusive little dry-drunk who got them to fall for a dirty trick.

They have to maintain the illusion that he's a fabulous role model (a Believer!). And unlike that namby-pamby, whore-mongering, black-sheep cousin, Billy Clinton, our new dad knows how to kick ass.
posted by NorthernLite at 1:01 PM on April 29, 2003


here's some anthrax business.

Whoa!
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM on April 29, 2003


Too many members of the family want to continue along pretending that dad isn't a smirky, abusive little dry-drunk who got them to fall for a dirty trick.

'a' dirty trick? hmmm. Patriot act, homeland security, the 'family flexibility act' (killing overtime pay), Patriot act part deux, hell, this guy isn't just pulling off a few dirty tricks on the family, he's climbing into little suzie's bed at night and raping her. yeah, that's some family flexibility for ya.
posted by quonsar at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2003


So, duping the UN was to help make the UN not irrelevant? What?
posted by mblandi at 1:29 PM on April 29, 2003


OMG, David Dark, it's the smoking gun! Huh? Whazzat? Egypt? Brazil? Don't you see, Egypt's in the Middle East, just like Iraq! And Brazil's right across the border from Argentina, where all those old Nazis live - Hitler was a Nazi - Saddam is worse than Hitler - Boom! Case closed.

Makes as much sense as any of the arguments that got us into the war.
posted by soyjoy at 1:32 PM on April 29, 2003


But a democracy's decisions, right or wrong, are supposed to take place with the informed consent of its citizens. That didn't happen this time. And we are a democracy — aren't we?
posted by specialk420 at 2:19 PM on April 29, 2003


You know, I have a sinking feeling that Metafilter would have not backed the US's defeat Germany first policy during WWII, after all, they didn't directly attack us, did they?

And FDR definitely should have been impeached. I mean, he ran on a platform in 1940 saying that there was no way he was going to commit US boys to a foreign war, all the while, GASP, documents reveal he was planning to do just that!
posted by pjgulliver at 2:22 PM on April 29, 2003


I'm sorry, soyjoy, I don't follow. I think you're reaching.
posted by David Dark at 2:27 PM on April 29, 2003


pjgulliver's reaching too
posted by amberglow at 2:47 PM on April 29, 2003


of course I reaching, but no more so than everyone else in this thread...David posted a real comment about a developing news story that has real implications on the reason this war was fought...and it was ignored and ridiculed.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:50 PM on April 29, 2003


I mean, equating the actions of the President in this war, a war which many of us passionately believed was necessary if not regrettable, to underage rape, is just sick and serves no purpose here, I find it deeply insulting, as should all of you. But I make a sarcastic (trying to be humorous) remark and am immediately called out for it.

Let's try to see some balance, and some respect...ie, I find jokes about underage rape deeply offensive, no matter who the target.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2003


it wasn't a joke. it was an analogy. and i find the man's behavior to be as repugnant as that of a child rapist. the fucker is evil. boo hoo, your feelings are offended.
posted by quonsar at 3:37 PM on April 29, 2003


I'm tired of the WW2 comparison. Hilter and Saddam (in Gulf War One) both attacked others, then America became involved.

This time, we did the pre-emptive attacking, and that's not lost on everyone.
posted by jragon at 5:30 PM on April 29, 2003


Paris: that last sentence was the main reason why I, despite my more basic oppositions to the war, could not even believe that it would be effective. How do you create a secure environment via war?

Fairly simple. Iraq, like Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, etc. are terrorism incubators because they contain (1) poor primitive looney types who are the principals of terrorism; and (2) government-supplied money and access to arms. Cut off, or eliminate (2), and (1) is largely neutralized. Or, how did we create a secure environment via WWII? Via the Cold War? Via military action in ex-Yugoslavia? Via bombing Libya? And where's the wave of terrorism provoked by military intervention in Afghanistan? In Iraq? In all these cases, the post-war environment is, at the very least, significantly more secure than it was before. The "every reaction has a comparable reaction." Assumes a level of rationality on the part of terrorists and enemies, and a two-dimensional universe of reactions. Well, guess what? As a result of the war in Iraq, and similarly, IDF actions in the Territories, some would-be terrorists will get scared and/or decide that terrorism is a dead-end.

I think your question also assumes that the terrorists are far smarter and far more autonomous than they are, and that their cause has some kind of moral cohesion to it. Well, criminality doesn't have such.

Next question: will the new Palestinian Prime Minister be assasinated by Hamas?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:09 PM on April 29, 2003


"Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence."
--Gandhi
posted by specialk420 at 6:49 PM on April 29, 2003


Is Might Right?
posted by divrsional at 6:58 PM on April 29, 2003


ParisParamus:

So we had a war, and now, where are the fucking weapons? Syria? Black market? Nowhere? Bueno. That's secure.

I think your question also assumes that the terrorists are far smarter and far more autonomous than they are, and that their cause has some kind of moral cohesion to it. Well, criminality doesn't have such.

My question was not about terrorists; it was about weapons, specifically the massively destructive kind. They are not smart or dumb. They are, however, very valuable, and kept in place, securely, only because of order. Ask the Soviets about teh combination of anarchy and bio, chem, and nuclear weapons.

Mmmmm... counterproductive.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:32 PM on April 29, 2003


You can't compare 9-11 and terrorists with Pearl Harbor and Japan. With Japan, we had a country who was an identifiable enemy, and we, quite rightly, declared war the day after the attack. We still don't know the country to which the terrorists pledged their allegiance...they're dead. The only thing we know is that most were of Saudi origin -- not Iraqi.
posted by Beansidhe at 6:47 AM on April 30, 2003


No quonsar, you are just being an asshole. Some of us passionately believe that the war in Iraq was necessary and justified. Does that make us the moral equivilants of child rapists as well? I am really offended. I come here to learn and discuss, not insult and be insulted.

If you can't argue rationally, don't argue at all man. And go have a drink or something. You need to chill.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:37 AM on April 30, 2003


pjgulliver: David posted a real comment about a developing news story that has real implications on the reason this war was fought

Um, perhaps you could expand a bit on why you think David's comment, nominally about anthrax, has something to do with the war? Especially since, if you read all the way to the end of the article, it mentions that "The cause of death of the sailor [...] is not known but anthrax has been ruled out, a medical expert said after a second examination".
posted by hattifattener at 10:07 PM on April 30, 2003


I get the impression that pjgulliver and DavidDark haveno answer because... er, they haven't answered.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2003


Umm, dash-slot, I don't think I ever replied because the fpp just died a natural death. But thank's for bring back this wonderful post with its beautiful imagery of child rape.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2003


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