I'm not reading this. This is bullshit.
May 31, 2003 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Dissent in the ranks. US Secretary of State Colin Powell was under persistent pressure from the Pentagon and White House to include questionable intelligence in his report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction he delivered at the United Nations last February, source: US News and World Report Magazine. According to the report, the draft contained such questionable material that Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."
posted by CrazyJub (76 comments total)

 
Before anyone says this is a repost, it's not, I checked, yes even the comments from other threads.
posted by CrazyJub at 8:20 AM on May 31, 2003


That's amazing. I had exactly the same response as Powell's! We're like.. soulmates or something!
posted by tittergrrl at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2003


"This is bullshit." When do I get my next check for my job? Another guy with integrity who has been considered candidate for presidency. Perhaps if he had the job the bullshit would have become ok.--just taking orders from above. It is my job.
posted by Postroad at 8:48 AM on May 31, 2003


Lie after lie.
posted by Nelson at 8:51 AM on May 31, 2003


this seems to be getting more play in the UK than in the US - could this sink Tony Blair, and by association, GWB?
posted by charlesv at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2003


charlesv,

I think you're right about this getting more press in the UK...for the moment. However, I think that there is a potential storm on the horizon for the administration over this flack.

The war is over, so the President's groundswell is beginning to recede. I think that the press is going to start picking up on this very soon. I already can sense a great disturbance in the force...
posted by tgrundke at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2003


Go Team!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2003


this seems to be getting more play in the UK than in the US - could this sink Tony Blair, and by association, GWB?

Here in the US, it seems that GWB is almost untouchable, so I would venture to say no. I'm in Texas, so perhaps the situation is a little different from other parts of the country... but here in Texas, it seems that everyone just "loves George." Sure, there are lots of people who think he's Satan, but.... I had a discussion with my sister on the subject of GWB just the other day... the conversation went like this -
(me) "So, what do you think of GWB now?"
(my sister) " He's the greatest president we have ever had."
(me) "But..... look at what is going on in the media at the moment... and the Patriot Act, and all this-"
(my sister) " I don't care about any of that. It's all lies made up by those ridiculous liberals. George Bush prays, Brad. He believes in God. That's enough for me. As for the Patriot Act.... I'm not doing anything wrong, why should I care? The only people who are upset about all this Patriot stuff are the criminals."
(me) "......"
posted by bradth27 at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2003


Sloppy work by sloppy people with a sloppy agenda. Sadly, I don't think this will get near the coverage or investigation that it deserves.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:31 AM on May 31, 2003


I hope this sorry episode puts to rest the tired canard that "we have to trust them because they have more information than we do and they just can't tell us about it because it is secret." The truth is that most of CIA and NSA intelligence is just a collection of newspaper clippings, published academic papers, think-tank book excerpts and rumors distributed by political operatives with an ax to grind. The notion of hovering, all-seeing satellites and massive pattern detection computers is just a pile of Clancy bad fiction. Trust yourself to gather information and make decisions that are just as valid and informed as the so-called experts.

On another note, it is disappointing to see lack of spine and integrity demonstrated by Colin Powell. You would think he would get tired of carrying water for this corrupt administration, but it is not surprising considering his long history of doing whatever it takes to advance his career.
posted by JackFlash at 9:32 AM on May 31, 2003


Powell, a man who I still believes has integrity, passed up a serious opportunity to be one of the bravest people of our young century. He could have told the world the truth, instead of selling them a steaming pile of "bullshit."

Maybe the media is about to pounce all over this. Google News searches show that this is blowing up properly in the UK, but practically nothing stateside. The government lied so that they could murder thousands of people for the sake of covert political expediency, ideology, and oil. What the fuck is wrong with the American press that they are not freaking out about this. At least nobody got any blowjobs?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:52 AM on May 31, 2003


This is the first time that I have refuted myself:

Powell, a man who I still believes has integrity,

I take that back. What I mean is that I have always thought him smart and reasonable, two traits that really don't have to have anything to do with integrity. I have imagined the scene as a him making a conscious decision to stick around (realizing that he was in over his head with the neocons) instead of speaking his mind and getting the boot. The argument could be made that if some spineless hawk (great fucking phrase, that) were Sec. of State, Rumsfeld would be at war in Syria right now. He could have been more hardcore, yeah, but he is still the relative voice of reason in this administration.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2003


The U.S. media has concluded that it in its best interest to treat Bush kindly. Primarily, it doesn't want to alienate its audience by seeming to attack a president that most people think of as a good guy.

Believing that your president is a good guy must be a very comforting feeling. Why would you want someone to piss on that feeling unless he'd done something horrendous? Leave him alone; he prays, after all, and he's genial.

In the meantime, we can transfer all our feelings of dread to obsessive replays of Laci Peterson and Michael Jackson.
posted by argybarg at 10:24 AM on May 31, 2003


It's sad that a brutal dictator is more trustworthy than Bush.

The U.S. media has concluded that it in its best interest to treat Bush kindly.

Doesn't articles like this tend to show that the evil US media actually merely reports the news, good or bad? The media is from the US so it must be evil, unlike the pure mostly government run European media which editorializes like hell. But I know the US media is just plain evil and no amount of evidence can change that; get your troll out of here!
posted by Bag Man at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2003


Brad's sister: "George Bush prays, Brad. He believes in God. That's enough for me."

*shiver* It scares me how many people STILL think this way. Ignore common sense cuz traditional (arguably outdated) approaches to theology coupled with military might makes right.

Not fer nuthin, but.. Well, I pray to God too, I'm a God-fearin' American, and I wouldn't nominate or vote for myself for president; nor would I use my brother in Florida to break a tie, force a regurgitation of Reagan's Trickle Down Economics down the throats of Americans in the form of a multi-billion dollar tax break for the rich, blatantly use the deaths of thousands in a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to boost my popularity ("I hear you, America hears you, and the people who did this will hear all of us soon!") in the polls, claim there's weapons of mass destruction in a country that my Dad beat up on a decade before without sufficient evidence before attacking it, announce victory over that country without having sufficient proof that the dictator in power was dead or that I'd found those weapons of mass destruction, bomb another country already nothing but rubble into more rubble and claim victory over there too even though the organization I claimed to beat up was still in existence afterwards, tick off half the countries on the planet and then go over to Poland and shake hands, insist this is a war on Terrorism and then only attack muslim-oriented countries while attempting to ignore communist North Korea, tell people to suffocate themselves by lining the inside of their houses with duct tape, rename french fries "freedom fries"...

Greatest president that ever lived? If my sister said that to me I'd 1) wash her mouth out with soap, 2) check with her doctor about evidence of her having a frontal lobotomy, and 3) disown her. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm appaulled that Colin Powell hasn't quit his post. I'm appaulled that he's towed the line as long as he has. I expected more from him than that. I don't care what country you're from or whether you're liberal or conservative or whatever... I can't honestly see how anyone with grey matter in their heads could look at GWB's presidency and see success. Anywhere. It's unamerican to look at this audacity and claim it's a thing of beauty. Point at the Emperor and tell him he's naked, dammit. He looks stupid. He's makin' the rest of us look stupid. Shrub's makin' Bill look GOOD for Pete's sake! Sheesh!
posted by ZachsMind at 10:43 AM on May 31, 2003


it would have been so cool if powell would have said that while giving his remarks live to the u.n. and the world back in february. he could then just get up and walk out of the room.

i live in austin and most of the people i encounter think gwb is an idiotic ass clown. of course austin is a little different than the rest of the state.

what frightens me is that mr. bush does seem bulletproof untouchable in the eyes of the u.s. media. i think that many in the media are afraid to be given the silent treatment by the adminstration and end up like france and germany and not being "invited to the ranch".

and many many americans are letting the administration get away with it. but in a country where more people seemed concerned about the vote count in american idol, i wonder why i'm surprised.
posted by birdherder at 10:43 AM on May 31, 2003


mostly government run European media

Oh absolutely, like ditto dude.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:08 AM on May 31, 2003


Doesn't articles like this tend to show that the evil US media actually merely reports the news, good or bad?

A yahoo! news mirror of a story from a UK newspaper? No, that doesn't prove anything. Check this out. The two releant entries are British. Watch the TV news tonight, see this story, and I will appear out of nowhere to buy you a beer. Your TV news will also not tell you about Judith Miller's dishonest and lazy reporting. Hyperbole should be rightly pointed out as such, and those decrying the state of the American media are certainly wont to engage in hyperbole, but to suggest that all is rosy is waaaaaay off-base.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2003


Believing that your president is a good guy must be a very comforting feeling. Why would you want someone to piss on that feeling unless he'd done something horrendous?

You're absolutely right, or as moonbiter put it, "we are seeing is an example of mass cognitive dissonance."
posted by homunculus at 11:18 AM on May 31, 2003


Bag Man:

No, nothing is absolute. Some media outlets -- newspapers, mostly -- are starting to drop this issue onto page 15 and, in a few rare instances in left-leaning cities, on page 1. But most Americans get their news from TV and talk radio and there's nothing on the subject out there. As Ignatius pointed out, the fact that stories from European media reach the web doesn't exactly mean the media are pressing this issue.

News is a product and, like any other product, it is tailored to what focus groups and marketing surveys say consumers want. At the moment, the public will react with disgust to any attempt to make Iraq seem like much less than a glorious American victory. People just don't want to know.

That may change; I doubt it. Now that the war has been "won," people are all for it and they don't want to hear otherwise. What will break through that wish, short of a mass revolt in Baghdad followed by either wholesale slaughter of civilians or ousing of U.S. forces? Probably nothing.
posted by argybarg at 11:33 AM on May 31, 2003


"COULTER: Look, Burke made a mistake. Still, there's no reason to call him a 'rat fuck son-of-a-bitch,' like Hudson just did. Hudson, who's gone through about seventeen diapers since this mission began. Burke, however, has been a picture of calm."
posted by kaibutsu at 11:36 AM on May 31, 2003


Ignatius J. Reilly,

So evidence to the contrary proves your point? The fact the Yahoo! News (a US media outlet) is reporting unfavorable news about Bush is evidence the US media loves Bush? IJR, you're sounding like Bush now.

News is a product and, like any other product, it is tailored to what focus groups and marketing surveys say consumers want.

I know that, please don't insult my intelligence, I can say form being an armature journalist.

At the moment, the public will react with disgust to any attempt to make Iraq seem like much less than a glorious American victory.

So that's why the media has been flooded with no WMD stories lately. But this fact merely proof of this point according to IJR.

The real question is:
Than why don't people around here criticize European outlets that merely pander to anti-US feelings? Why is that departure from media ethics and objectivity ok? What's that called? Hypocrisy, right...got it.

I don't support Bush, but I also don't support troll of any kind. It's sad that so many MEFIs are total and compete hypocrites...most of you would do just what Bush is doing if it suited your views and prove all the time (amble evidence of your lies and hat can be found in this tread a lone). Well, fair is fair, I will join the cry of "rights for those who I agree with and not for those I don't." Before you criticize Bush you fools should stop acting like him so much. Look I don't like Bush or what the US had done lately or the media, but I won't criticize just because it is fashionable. Sham on you all.
posted by Bag Man at 12:07 PM on May 31, 2003


Than why don't people around here criticize European outlets that merely pander to anti-US feelings?

Because I don't read or watch those outlets regularly. If I did, I probably would criticize them. As it is, I just assume that they make their own greivous errors and leave it at that.

Troll? Huh?

most of you would do just what Bush is doing if it suited your views and prove all the time (amble evidence of your lies and hat can be found in this tread a lone)

I honestly can't make any sense of this -- I don't wear hats. But I do know I can't be responsible for what you are convinced I "would" do in some situation or another. I suggest that if we confine ourselves to what we have said about the world as it is we'll get farther.

I don't see any trolling in what I've written. What I've said is that Bush is getting a relatively easy time in the press, probably because the press is afraid of alienating their readers. This same phenomenon has happened at different times with different presidents, Reagan and Clinton included. At other times the press has piled on when it felt it could make hay and please readers that way.

Where is the troll in that? Do you disagree with that?

As for calling me out on what you think I think about European media or what you think I would do in unspecified hypothetical situations -- well, what's the point? And what are you getting at generally?
posted by argybarg at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2003


Look, here's some facts:

Government will lie to you, so they can do what they want.

They will make empty promises, and avoid any real legal responsibility for their election promises (or verbal contracts.)

They want power, they're rarely interested in representation; they don't want to be your employee or servant. The democratic election is a game of what bullshit will you swallow, so they can get their hands on the big buttons and levers.

"I love you, let's make love," is how it goes, and then you're fucked, royally, up the ass, probably with a 20 dollar bill thrown on the bedside table, - and lots of people seem grateful for it!

News at Ten: BONG - Government not really honest; BONG - democracy doesn't work as intended; BONG - Corrupt self-serving two faced bastards take us all for suckers and we ask for seconds; BONG.

There is little real political accountability. And the mainstream US media news is so poor, because it is risk-averse.
posted by Blue Stone at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2003


Is there anything left that matters?
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on May 31, 2003


Whole lot of something about nothing. Of course they made errors. They went with gut feelings and rumors. Why? Because the events of 9-11 proved there was no room for error. There is no proof of anyone made up lies. When your in a position of authority and you hear a rumor that is even potentially damaging, if you don't do something, you are then responsible for what happens.

Let me give an example. This is true it happened to me recently, I'm the board of a company. An employee calls me at home on a Saturday and "secretly" tells me the CEO is doing illegal things to harm the company. I have no proof of this other than what the employee tells me and really no way to find out for sure. What do I do? I go and talk to a lawyer and other board members and we all decide how to act. Because if it's true and the stock holders find out, I'm going to get personally sued since I was made aware of this, I am just as guilty for not acting I am a coconspirator. I didn't just wait and see how events unfold or sit back and ignore because I didn't have %100 proof. There was no room to play around I acted immediately on the limited information at hand. This is the real world, not a perfect world.
posted by stbalbach at 1:21 PM on May 31, 2003


So evidence to the contrary proves your point? The fact the Yahoo! News (a US media outlet) is reporting unfavorable news about Bush is evidence the US media loves Bush? IJR, you're sounding like Bush now.

So one occurence is a trend? WTF? Is there, then, no way to distinguish between the amounts of coverage that different stories get. If teh average American gets their news from yahoo! news exclusively, then I'm a fucking monkey's uncle. No one is saying that thei story has been banned or censored.

Whatever, man. I stand behind the facts. The Secretary of State essentially said that he read a statement full of lies, and there is one fucking story in the American media. If that is fine with you, then you and I are not going to communicate pretty well. I've got a real hard-on for subtlety and nuance, ya know.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:36 PM on May 31, 2003


Of course they made errors

why?

Because the events of 9-11 proved there was no room for error.

Crystal clear.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:37 PM on May 31, 2003


stbalbach:

But your action consisted of, as you say, consulting with others and reaching a decision. I assume you went and looked for evidence to confirm or deny the tip you had gotten, then acted in a responsible manner.

That's all anyone was asking for.

I assume you didn't amplify your tip with some trumped-up charges and circumstantial evidence and ambiguous phone logs, and make it clear that you were going to accept nothing less than firing and suing the CEO, now, you're running out of patience.
posted by argybarg at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2003


Google lists 142 different stories on the questions being raised about the quality of CIA intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. I haven't read all of the articles, but the first screenful of links includes such obscure publications as the San Jose Mercury News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times.
posted by kewms at 2:12 PM on May 31, 2003


FWIW I was talking specifically about the Powell story, which I think is qualitatively different than any other story in which someone who was not a prime member of the team that pushed for war comes up with something. The list of google articles includes many stories about WMD-related shit. In all honesty, there is an impressive haul buried in there, even >7 articles from the mainstream American press. But take a gander at kewms' list itself, and note the ratio of foreign articles to American ones. I wonder why it is that other countries are concerned about the transparency of our democracy than we are.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong. I am not a religious viewer of TV news, but Bill Moyers is the only person on television that I have seen raise real questions about this shit. If, in reality, we are seeing the major news media start to ask tough questions, then I will be proudly wrong.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:32 PM on May 31, 2003


It's even more sad that if I want to see someone asking serious questions of the Bush administration, I have to watch The Daily Show.
posted by CrazyJub at 2:40 PM on May 31, 2003


argybarg, I think that stbalbach's scenario would play out something a bit more like this :

I'm the board of a company. An employee calls me at home on a Saturday and "secretly" tells me the CEO is doing illegal things to harm the company. I have no proof of this other than what the employee tells me and really no way to find out for sure. What do I do? I go and talk to a lawyer and other board members and we all decide how to act. Because if it's true and the stock holders find out, I'm going to get personally sued since I was made aware of this, I am just as guilty for not acting I am a coconspirator. I didn't just wait and see how events unfold or sit back and ignore because I didn't have %100 proof.


so I rustled up the boys and went out and shot him. also, I shot his wife, kids, the next door neighbor, his wife and kids, the milkman, the aquarium store down the block, and burned down the town jail, letting the convicts loose. then the best part : we got the deeds to thar gold mine!
posted by badzen at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2003


As the fog of war lifts we find that the PNACABAL is losing control. The stories coming out from everywhere are beginning to spin dangerously fast for them. There are too many of us in the world who can communicate with each other instataneously. They seem to be, as of today, naked and unflatteringly exposed to the whole world like never before. They'll try more war/terrorism/lie manuevers but I don't think it'll work again. A doctrine of nothing-but-lies-and-fear can only last so long. Chin up. I think we're witnessing the beginning of the end. Keep up the pressure. They're cracking! Woot.
posted by crasspastor at 3:08 PM on May 31, 2003


Whole lot of something about nothing. Of course they made errors. They went with gut feelings and rumors. Why? Because the events of 9-11 proved there was no room for error.

stbalback: With all due respect, horseshit.

Josh Marshall, today, hits the nail on the head (so instead of having my own thoughts, I'll steal his):

The problem is that there was never any way you were going to get the American people to go to war for a longterm plan to democratize and institutionalize a cultural revolution in the Middle East on the theory it might arguably further US interests in the region. It was only the imminent or near-term threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction -- and the possibility that Saddam might hand them off to al-qaida-like terrorists -- that built public support for the war.

That's it. Nothing else.


Only in the world of the unimaginably naive was the invasion of Iraq necessary so we could get him before he got us.


posted by kgasmart at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2003


Yep, George Bush prays.

But when he dies, he'll find when he first shows up, he'll wonder why heaven is a little warmer than he thought it would be.
posted by benjh at 4:59 PM on May 31, 2003


There is no proof of anyone made up lies.

so where did they come from?
posted by mcsweetie at 5:26 PM on May 31, 2003


Metafilter: I'm not reading this. This is bullshit.
posted by mazola at 5:30 PM on May 31, 2003


Revealed: How Blair used discredited WMD 'evidence'

Blair: I have secret proof of weapons
posted by homunculus at 6:13 PM on May 31, 2003


Bush prays, and therefore he's a good man?

I'm sure somebody can think of a genuinely evil man who prayed, Goodwin's law be darned.
posted by spazzm at 6:20 PM on May 31, 2003


But take a gander at kewms' list itself, and note the ratio of foreign articles to American ones. I wonder why it is that other countries are concerned about the transparency of our democracy than we are.

Well, there are quite a few more non-American than American people in the world. I would expect that there would be more stories in the international press simply because there are more international press outlets. Also, remember that newspapers write their stories based on deadlines in whatever time zone they're physically located, not based on internet time. The original post appeared at 8:16 am PST. Many of the us print media wouldn't have released their stories to the web at that point, even assuming the story appeared in today's paper. Stories for tomorrow's paper (US) haven't even been written yet. Once a story has been released, it takes finite time for Google to find it and include it in its search, too. The same search (original link doesn't work, try Google news) now finds 154 articles, and the broadcast media are starting to pick it up.
posted by kewms at 6:25 PM on May 31, 2003


I assume you went and looked for evidence to confirm or deny the tip you had gotten

Of course, but it's a subjective call, there is no real clear answer and we don't have time to do a full audit. Sometimes, that is just how it is and you have to act and make a decision with the best information you have. We may be wrong. It's called leadership.
posted by stbalbach at 6:32 PM on May 31, 2003


kgasmart -- that quote is a strawman. It implies that the US went into Iraq solely for self-serving interests, which if true, would be a clear criminal action.

Like I said, show me someone intentionally lied then we have something to talk about. So far it just looks like well-meaning but overzealous people with political views you don't agree with doing the best they can with limited information. Nothing criminal about that.
posted by stbalbach at 6:38 PM on May 31, 2003


homunculus, thanks for the link, it always amazes and scares me when i start wholeheartedly agreeing with persons i doubted i would.
posted by NGnerd at 6:47 PM on May 31, 2003


show me someone intentionally lied

How about these for a start?

It never ceases to amaze me how wilfully people will continue to lick clean the flapping sphincters of the politicians who unceasingly crap all over them and their country, ignoring the brown rain all the while.

Bush lied. People died. Impeach the murderous fuck, now.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:03 PM on May 31, 2003


Here's a few more lies for you...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:17 PM on May 31, 2003


Golly, here's some more lying! Imagine that!

Bush, May 30 2003 : "You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons," Bush said in an interview before leaving today on a seven-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. "They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.

"And we'll find more weapons as time goes on," Bush said. "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them."

CIA/DIA, May 29 2003 : A report by the CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency yesterday concluded that two trucks found in northern Iraq with laboratory equipment represented the "strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare programme", but it conceded that no traces of biological agents had been found, nor was there any indication that the trucks had been used for that purpose.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:27 PM on May 31, 2003


"George Bush prays, Brad. He believes in God."

I expect it's a fair assumption that the nineteen hijackers on 9/11 prayed and believed in God, too.
posted by swerve at 7:37 PM on May 31, 2003


That's exactly what I was going to point to stav.

Today has been a good day. These cracks, I'm tellin' ya, these cracks forming in the Greatest Fucking Hoodwink of All Time (GFHOAT) are almost, at long last, palpable. Just a gut feeling, but they're forming everywhere. We need to pounce and keep pawing. The ball is completely out of their court.

Just an easy going example of this is the word LIE and LIAR being said all kinds of places. Then it's off to the Hague. Woot. We have everything that those opressed by tyrannies which succeeded (for a time) in the past did not. And that is instantaneous, free, global communication. These fucks are techno dinosaurs, their antiquated plan was totally unprepared for the libertarian conceived and implemented global networks. Idiots.

I know I'll be yet again crestfallen, by the end of the week though, because they will have to murder many more as the losers have to daily witness the masses of planet Earth uniting against them as could never have been done before. The writing on the wall you see. Yep that was written for you. You know who you are. If you're a liar you just might not want to admit that to yourself though.
posted by crasspastor at 7:39 PM on May 31, 2003


While the specific "this is bullshit" story is still not getting a lot of press stateside, the broader story here is breaking like a motherfucker everywhere on the web/radio/tv/print right now. Whoo-fucking-hoo!

Maybe crasspastor is right.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:50 PM on May 31, 2003


Whole lot of something about nothing. Of course they made errors. They went with gut feelings and rumors. Why? Because the events of 9-11 proved there was no room for error. There is no proof of anyone made up lies. When your in a position of authority and you hear a rumor that is even potentially damaging, if you don't do something, you are then responsible for what happens.

I think the stakes are a bit higher when you are making life and death decisions about the people you are commander in chief of. However, this is a bit aside from the point. If all you have is gut feelings and rumors, you should not be making appearances on television claiming mounds and mounds of intelligence that you just don't have.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:11 PM on May 31, 2003


stbalbach, it's not a straw man at all if you read Marshall's Practice to Deceive, which explicitly makes the point that this was never, ever about WMD or freeing the poor oppressed Iraqi people at any point. Really, read it; disagree with it if you like; but understand that there was a case to be made for this war, but instead the administration fell back on the gut punches of the poor Iraqis and the imminent threat of WMD attack.
posted by kgasmart at 8:24 PM on May 31, 2003


And crasspastor, you're right - this is starting to spin out of the administration's control, at exactly the moment that the right is beginning to beat the drums for an attack on Iraq because - ta da!!! - they, too, have big piles of WMDs sitting about.

Methinks the bullshit detector is headed into the red.
posted by kgasmart at 8:26 PM on May 31, 2003


I'd like to cheer along with y'all, but I've been burned so many times by thinking "Aha! Finally the average person has truth staring them point blank in the face! There's no way to ignore this!"

And then they do. Because some other terror-related story has suddenly, coincidentally, captured the front pages. Remember, it's the weekend. We'll see what kind of legs this has on Monday and Tuesday, and I'll cross my fingers, but I won't hold my breath.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, I'll bet I'm not the only one here for whom that UN presentation was the point we took a hit to the gut and silently said... "bye bye, Colin." While this doesn't make that any better - I mean, I never idolized him, he had plenty of flaws, but come on - it does at least make some sense of it. If only, if only, if only when the time came, the man had, as he'd seemed to have, balls.
posted by soyjoy at 9:32 PM on May 31, 2003


Is there anything left that matters?

See also: How Much More Brazen Can It Get?
posted by LeLiLo at 10:01 PM on May 31, 2003


While this doesn't make that any better - I mean, I never idolized him, he had plenty of flaws, but come on - it does at least make some sense of it. If only, if only, if only when the time came, the man had, as he'd seemed to have, balls.

Exactly. He can have one ball if he writes a wicked nasty tell-all after they fire him.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:08 PM on May 31, 2003


I'm leery of this whole story. Who would leak this sort of thing? Call me cynical, but it sounds like a concerted effort to set up a defense dep't=bad cop, state=good cop scenario. Letting the pentagon take the fall while Powell lines up foreign peacekeepers? It's all speculative, I know, but I've come to be very suspicious these days.
posted by Gilbert at 12:15 AM on June 1, 2003


Blair claims to have evidence of Iraqi WMD that hasn't been made public yet, but is being assembled to be presented properly (whatever that means.) As skeptical as I am, I'll withold judgement until we see it. But even if the evidence is solid, it doesn't explain why we weren't told more before the war started. That's bad policy for any representative government.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 AM on June 1, 2003


Here's a thought to take to bed with you:

Democracy is like Schrodinger's Cat. At the very moment it was implemented it was endowed with the power to always, when fucked with, come to life yet again and never be merely observed in a mausoleum state. To say the word democracy is to also believe in it. It can never be observed or applied. It can only be lived.

This is going to be the best and most meaningful Fourth of July I've ever experienced. Don't know about you.
posted by crasspastor at 3:02 AM on June 1, 2003


homunculus, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, as spin control, they suddenly "discover" evidence of WMDs. And five minutes later, there's an article appearing somewhere debunking the discovery.

I'm glad Hussein's out of business and nobody has to worry about being forced to watch while their kids are tortured, but this Administration sure is sloppy about making sure their petticoats ain't showing.
posted by alumshubby at 3:56 AM on June 1, 2003


I'm glad Hussein's out of business and nobody has to worry about being forced to watch while their kids are tortured

I would hope that everyone is, apart from Ba'athists. That was a particularly worthwhile side-effect of this war, which was nevertheless conducted under a fog of lies for entirely the wrong reasons. I personally feel that it will be extremely bad for our supposed democracies if we don't oust our respective leaders over this, but the cynical side of me says that Clinton established a precedent that it's ok for the head of state of a western democracy to lie to his electorate and that Bush will play that card to full advantage. He's pretty much made it clear that he knows better than all of the rest of us. I did it for the children!
posted by walrus at 5:02 AM on June 1, 2003


Couple of things: Isn't it possible Bush & Co. wanted to believe and actually did believe that Iraq really had WMD's? Then the cognitive dissonance argument kicks in and they just disregarded any evidence to the contrary? This doesn't make them liars, just makes them like the rest of us. They just happen to be in power. We expect them to behave responsibly, but they are kind of like parents selling the Santa story. Parents aren't any better than the kids, they just happen to have been around longer and know how to spin the Santa story for their own purposes. And, in a sense, they are also caught up in it. Perhaps that's what happened here and now the kids have found out Santa is a sham. But hey, the presents just keep coming in. So, everybody ends up with something. (Except the poor Iraqis, of course. Democracy, after all, is untidy.)

Then there's Blair who keeps asking people to have a little patience, that he's in the know with information that the rest of us don't have. This is the same story that was peddled to instigate the war. What can he possibly be waiting for? The war is over. Let's get this information out. On the other hand, substitute UFO for WMD and you can begin to understand the problem. Trust me, the truth is out there.

Finally, and this is the one that worries me most--is the administration waiting to sucker punch the second-guessers by withholding information on the discovery of WMD's. That would give them a HUGE boost in credibility while neutralizing the critics for the next election and beyond. Or is this too much paranoia?
posted by newlydead at 6:46 AM on June 1, 2003


newlydead - well, like the old joke sez, sometimes you're being paranoid, and sometimes "they" really are out to get you.

I'm glad crasspastor is so happy. For one thing, I find it depressing that so many people *were* fooled in the first place.

For another, I still don't think that the many Americans who are wrapped up in their cocoon of Feel-Good "Patriotism," thanking God we have a real Believer in the White House, are anxious to come out into the real world.

And the many masses still getting their "news" from Fox, Rush, and dreadful small-town papers are not educated about the New Century manifesto, about the many alternate reasons this Admin had for attempting (once again) to establish empire in the Mideast. Many of them are lacking the broad view of history.

I was quite disheartened last night to read the chilling words of a young guy in the Off-Topic section of a sports-related message board. He said, in effect, that 3000 Americans died 9/11, and he's upset that people are making a big deal over the deaths of "a few hundered" Iraqis, because all of them together didn't have "as much knowledge" as one person who died at the WTC.

How easy it would be to raise a generation of "Hitler Youth" in the U.S. Mix equal parts racism, nationalism, militarism, and ultra-conservative Christianity, delete free speech in schools and the media, cook for several years, and serve.

We certainly seem to have many of the ingredients for that little pie. But then again, those ingredients have always been in the U.S. Let's hope there are enough people who are willing to spoil this latest attempt to make it.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:36 AM on June 1, 2003


So, has the story about the lies made it in the Sunday papers? Nothing in the Sunday print San Francisco Chronicle. The big Iraq article is a heartbreaking one about Iraqis buying $3 CDs of video of Saddam torturing people.

The New York Times has an article whose focus is Powell defending the intelligence.
posted by Nelson at 9:34 AM on June 1, 2003


Don't underestimate Bush. Yeah, he looks like an idiot, but he's not. He uses that misconception to his advantage. The hype engine is in full gear now, there are no WMD, Bush was a liar. He'll let it build, then come out in a few weeks or months on some Wednesday evening with overwhelming proof of some sort a smoking gun. It will make him look good. Until he has presented his findings, do well to stay cool and collected before pointing fingers because if he is right.. you don't want to look like the rabid unpatriotic bleeding liberal he is setting you up to be. Bush is running to win the next election and may very well win if his opponents keep playing him for the fool.
posted by stbalbach at 10:08 AM on June 1, 2003


stbalbach - and with the US preventing UN arms inspectors from entering Iraq, it'll be that much easier for us to "find" some weapons.
posted by Nelson at 10:18 AM on June 1, 2003


stbalbach:
I too imagine that this will end with some sort of smoking gun, planted or otherwise. I still feel, as I have for a long time, that the only way to really put an end to the bullshit is if someone from the inside turns on the cabal, and I can only imagine that person being Powell. Also, Bush, while he may be smart, is a horrible communicator, and it is possible that one well-timed Helen Thomas bomb could set him off into a "you can't handle the truth"-style freakout.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:22 AM on June 1, 2003


stbalbach - I'm afraid you're probably right. The same scam was perpetrated with the early days of the war. Those of us who were trying to stay on topic about the overall illegitimatcacy of the war were distracted by the possibility that the whole operation might be a bust, because Rumsfeld's arrogance had left the military under-prepared for a significant opposition. Then they rolled into Baghdad, did their Saddam-statue photo-op, and said "See? You were wrong!"

This is why I keep saying that we should stay on-message: If it turns out there are no WMDs whatsoever, great; that's gravy; but the point we were making, and must continue to make, is that the threat of those WMDs to our national security was not made before the war started, so no matter what happens now, the war remains illegitimate.

I was somewhat disturbed that rabble-rouser Harry Shearer didn't mention the Powell thing on today's "Le Show," but it may have broken too late for him. We'll still have to watch Monday's and Tuesday's papers to see if this gets any traction.
posted by soyjoy at 6:19 PM on June 1, 2003


Even if the "bullshit" story continues to be ignored by the mainstream press, they may pick up on the impending Senate inquiry.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:23 PM on June 1, 2003


USA Today already has.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:25 PM on June 1, 2003


I can't believe the luck this guy (Bush) has! Just as the rest of the world is exploding with questions about the WMD's and the US press is tentatively starting to report on it, BAM-- WE FOUND ERIC ROBERT RUDOLPH!! And yes there are more stories in today's papers about Iraq questions (233), there are 1400 about Rudolph.

Although I love conspiracy theories, I really don't have one (I could make one if pressed). They just have some incredible fucking luck!
posted by bas67 at 9:34 PM on June 1, 2003


Well, as of 10:30 a.m. EST Monday, a Google News search of Powell "I'm not reading this" brings up only the Guardian story, the Infoshop version and three middle eastern papers. On the other hand, it also doesn't bring up the original US News & World Report story this all came from. (Howcum?) Still, it looks as though this is getting thrown out with the proverbial bathwater. I'd like to say "incredible," but at this point nothing's surprising...
posted by soyjoy at 7:47 AM on June 2, 2003


Just as the rest of the world is exploding with questions about the WMD's and the US press is tentatively starting to report on it, BAM-- WE FOUND ERIC ROBERT RUDOLPH!!

And did you catch the expected, typical quote from Ashcroft about the Rudolph apprehension. Something to the effect of "the US government's diligence brought him to justice. "

Er no, John-Boy, a local rookie cop who was just a kid when the Olympic bombing occured caught Rudolph scrounging around some trash. *eyes*

Oh well, I don't care if it was three grandmothers who nabbed him - I *am* glad the right-wing wacko bastard is in custody. (Insert joke about other right-wing wacko bastards from the Bush Admin whom I'd also like to see behind bars.)
posted by NorthernLite at 8:11 AM on June 2, 2003


Yeah, yeah, yeah, no one cares. Other than a rather impotent discussion on Talk of the Nation today -- nothing! On NPR they had Kit Bond, who will be part of the Senate inquiry into the intelligence, and all he did was repeat pro-war cliches and spin. I'm sure that this investigation will have some real teeth. Is there anyone else here who feels especially dirty when they are lied to with a southern accent?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:55 PM on June 2, 2003


Indeed bas67, they just caught themselves a Christian terrorist didn't they? They'll hem and haw and come up with excuses. But we simply have to not let it be forgotten that terrorism is terrorism. It's time we returned the definition of terrorism back to its rightful place. No, we do not smear Christians with this fact that Rudolph is Christian. In fact he hasn't even been tried. Therefore, in the eyes of American Judicial Beneficence, he is still innocent. Funny how lies, hatred, religious zeal, fear and violence all get tied up together and bite the rightwing flock of sheeple on the ass in due time. To assume absolute morality is one thing, but when it's built on a fraud as hollow as theirs, it has got to be a tiresome labor of perpetual damage control for the elite who benefit from a largely uneducated and misled public.

Cognitive dissonance's very meaning lies in the words "Christian Terrorist". But what's fair is fair. You wanna lump me in with communist, America hating, terrorist-aiding, needs-to-know-when-to-keep-his-mouth-shut traitors (whatever the fuck that is)? You wanna lump all Muslims (or anybody with Middle Eastern phenotypes) in with 9-11 terrorists? You wanna lump Mexicans all in as stupid, lazy, illegal alien criminals looking to make a living on six bucks an hour? This climate is of the rabid Christian Right's making and now it's gonna bite you on your fascist asses.

(and no this rant is not directed at anybody in particular -- people don't like it when I throw the word fascist around)
posted by crasspastor at 3:41 PM on June 2, 2003


Wednesday morning update: Google News now has 22 hits on this story, still mostly arab, British and alternative sites. But at least Maureen Dowd picked it up.
posted by soyjoy at 10:17 AM on June 4, 2003


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