is tenet the fall guy?
July 11, 2003 10:36 AM   Subscribe

is george george tenet the administrations fall guy on niger/uranium issue? should he be? and where does our vice president fit into the puzzle?
posted by specialk420 (87 comments total)
 
It blew my mind to see he CBS story last night. Does that mean that Rather or whoever actually said that on the air? Can't Ari Fleischer have him killled?

I see the admin. working its way through fall guys until it comes up with one who is acceptable, but make no mistake that they would love for Tenet to be the guy. I think this may have even been a goal of theirs right from the time that they saw that some amount of shit was bound to hit the fan.

Think about it: if the CIA loses credibility and influece, more intelligence and analysis will be needed from, oh I don't know, the DIA and the Office of Special Planning. So if this tactic is successful, our dependenace on the agency that actually told the Pres. that the Niger data was bullshit will be transfered to the agency that intentionally pooled tainted data and craftily concocted ways to dance around it dubiousness. It's brilliant, really, despite the horrible long-term implications for anyone within range of our arsenal of righteousness.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:50 AM on July 11, 2003


This just makes me... sad.

It would do nothing to make the War on Iraqui Freedom (or whatever its sweeps week name was) more palatable to me, but by simply sucking it in and saying, "Hey, I'm the fucking President, okay? I had some information, it turned out to not be right, but I made a decision, and now we're moving on," Bush would have at least retained some of the respect I naively still believe to be due his Office. Instead, we've got more finger-pointing and blame-mongering and not-responsible-for-our-own-actions soundbites than Blair Hornstine in the principal's office. I'm sorry, but a man so unable to accept responsibility for his actions is not fit to be the President of the United States.
posted by JollyWanker at 10:57 AM on July 11, 2003


I've heard that Tenet knows a little bit too much about the 9-11 fiasco to be sacrificed in this manner - if alienated, he could pose a considerable threat to the Bush Adminstration.

We'll see. I bet they'll can Condi Rice first.

I suspect that Cheney was the most direct culprit, and consider it somewhere between possible and likely that GW was kept in the dark. This doesn't mean that GW would be unaware, actually, but that - much as in the way mafiosos operate in the movies, the "Just do it. I don't need to know any more than that it's been taken care of" , wink wink, nudge nudge way, that is - GW could be well aware that the case concerning Iraq's WMD's and alleged Al Qaeda links was almost all hot air. But he might not be know about any of the details. That way, he can truthly state that he cited the Niger Uranium intelligence in good faith (sort of, anyway) or at least, without the explicit knowledge that it was false.
posted by troutfishing at 10:59 AM on July 11, 2003


Probably W. didn't know about it before he read Africa in the SOTU. Unless, of course, he needed some pronunciation help.

I seriously hope people don't decide 'well, that solves that' and forget about this. *sigh*
posted by graventy at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2003


troutfishing:
Good points. Joe Connason shares your view on the possible political fallout form leaving Tenet out in the cold.

So Tenet is being set up as the fall guy, the outcome expected in Washington from this fiasco's earliest beginning. Given what we now know about the information made available to the White House and the State Department concerning Iraq's supposed attempt to obtain Niger's yellowcake -- the lie getting the most play at the moment -- I have my doubts as to whether Tenet is really to blame. But he has played the good soldier and done little to defend himself or his agency on this issue. Yet somehow I doubt he will be fired -- and kicked out into the cold where he might tell the whole truth.

And my tin-foil hat logic center has also pooped out the following: What if Bush is the fall guy? With him out of the way, and an official neocon as President (Cheney now or after they win the election), Richard Perle/Wolfowitz, etc. would have no problems with ramping up their "total war."

It seemed like the unnamed source in CBS' article last night could have been a national security advisor. Was it Perle or Rice, perhaps?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2003


According to Oliver Sacks, we should have members of the Bush Administration testify about "UraniumGate" before a jury composed of one half aphasics, and one half agnosics

Then the truth would out.
posted by troutfishing at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2003


Microscopic differentiation between varieties of highway ditch pond-scum. Have a beer or three, look down, laugh, and do what comes naturally.

Impeach Micturate now!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2003


"I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services," the president said

Way to pass the buck George! I wish Truman would have left that buck stops here sign on the Oval Office desk.
posted by birdherder at 11:15 AM on July 11, 2003


Oh, and my money is on Tenet being the fall guy. I'm sure there is a great private sector job to keep him from spilling any 9/11 dirt.
posted by birdherder at 11:17 AM on July 11, 2003


Ignatius, read this to feed a little more your tin-foil hat logic center:

Beyond Bush, by Michael Ruppert
posted by samelborp at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2003


*from the inner reaches of the residential quarters of the white house an off key voice with a texan twang reverberates "do you really want to hurt me, do you really want to say goodbye..."*
posted by quonsar at 11:36 AM on July 11, 2003


“There was no effort or attempt on the part of the president or anyone else in the administration to mislead or to deceive the American people,” said Powell.

But eight days after the State of the Union, when Powell addressed the U.N., he deliberately left out any reference to Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa.

“I didn’t use the uranium at that point because I didn’t think that was sufficiently strong as evidence to present before the world,” Powell said.

That is exactly what CIA officials told the White House before the State of the Union.
And that is the rub.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2003


"If the CIA — the director of central intelligence — had said 'Take this out of the speech,' it would have been gone," Rice said.

Close. Replace the word "it" with the word "he".
posted by jpoulos at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2003


How cynical it would be for me to think that those same people who now cry out that "the president must have known" are the very same people who have derisively described him as a retarded chimp.
posted by clevershark at 11:48 AM on July 11, 2003


clevershark:
While I'm sure there are some who fit your description, it might be a good idea to discriminate between "the president must have known" and "someone in the executive must have known." It seems conceivable that said retarded chimp was such an attractive choice for the neoconservatives because he isn't exactly savvy or wise.

Personally, I doubt that Bush spends much time poring over individual pieces of intelligence, but I am pretty sure that Cheney, Perle and Wolfowitz do.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:52 AM on July 11, 2003


It doesn't matter if George Bush himself knew about the validity of the claim. By all accounts, quite a few members of his administration knew that it was bogus, and the speech went ahead anyway. This was the State of the Union, and for the President to spread lies through it--not just to the American people, but to the whole world--is extremely serious.
posted by jpoulos at 11:53 AM on July 11, 2003


In other (better) words, what IJR said.
posted by jpoulos at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2003


this is all that hornstine bitches fault.
posted by quonsar at 11:59 AM on July 11, 2003


"I want to usher in an era of personal responsibility, and that begins in the Oval Office." -- George W. Bush

The buck stops here at the CIA.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2003


by simply sucking it in and saying, "Hey, I'm the fucking President, okay? I had some information, it turned out to not be right, but I made a decision, and now we're moving on," Bush would have at least retained some of the respect I naively still believe to be due his Office.

Actually, that's basically what Bush said today. According to the front page post, Bush said: "I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services. And it was a speech that detailed to the American people that dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein regime. And my government took the appropriate response to those dangers. And as a result, the world is going to be more secure and more peaceful."

I'm not in a forgiving mood. Bush is saying: a) the buck stops with the CIA; b) the yellowcake information was incorrect; c) nevertheless, the false information "detailed to the American people (the) dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein regime"; d) waging unilateral, preemptive war was the appropriate response; and e) the world (why didn't he say the United States?) will be more secure and peaceful as a result of the unilateral, preemptive war based on incorrect intelligence.

If you think Bush is unbeatable next year, keep believing so. It's easier and more satisfying to defeat an overconfident foe.
posted by Holden at 12:24 PM on July 11, 2003


"There's no doubt in my mind, when it's all said and done, the facts will show the world the truth." -- George W. Bush, 7/9/03
posted by Silune at 12:38 PM on July 11, 2003


Administrations don't have a very good history of making the CIA a scapegoat for political mistakes. Most of the intelligence service is composed of apolitical professionals who take pride in their lack serving up responsible analysis-- after all, lives hinge on intel; a fact of which people who work in that field are keenly aware.

All I'm saying is, the CIA usually knows more than you think it does, is a closely-knit group, and has a history of vigorously defending its own. In effect, if not in public. Setting Tenet up as a fall guy will either fail utterly or have far-reaching consequences the Administration can't forsee, nor will like.
posted by Cerebus at 12:39 PM on July 11, 2003


Strike "lack" from the above. I need to review more closely. Sorry.
posted by Cerebus at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2003


Is Tenet being setup as a scapegoat for the mistakes of the administration, or was this the plan all along.

1.) The administration admits to misstatement. (why would they freely admit to such a thing?)
2.) Public and partisan furor grows. (expected?)
3.) Furor is redirected by pointing at the CIA director.

Looks like a game-plan. Not sure why the administration would have a beef with the CIA director, though.

or (removes tin-foil)

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
posted by jsonic at 12:46 PM on July 11, 2003


But I think the administration will like the consequences of alienating the CIA: it will give their little pet intell. services more creedence and power. OF course, the CIA probably knows enough to crush just about anybody, a sitting president included.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:46 PM on July 11, 2003


Not sure why the administration would have a beef with the CIA director, though.

That they are apolitical non-ideologues, perhaps?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2003


If WMD are found tomorrow, this all goes away...




However, if no serious WMD evidence is found, and the situation in Iraq continues to degenerate, then this could have some very serious consequences.

As for
"If the CIA — the director of central intelligence — had said 'Take this out of the speech,' it would have been gone," Rice said.


Would the director of the CIA ever say "take this out of the speech?" Wouldn't he say something more like: we cannot substantiate this claim?
posted by cell divide at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2003


Well speak your mind, there is a poll on CNN about who is to blame on right now.
posted by CrazyJub at 1:14 PM on July 11, 2003


cheney knew.
posted by specialk420 at 1:15 PM on July 11, 2003


Not sure why the administration would have a beef with the CIA director

"This is the man what stole mah daddy's job."
posted by quonsar at 1:17 PM on July 11, 2003


holden: Actually, that's basically what Bush said today.

No, holden, he did not - and that's precisely my problem with him. He's not saying "This whole thing was wrong because the information I used to make the decision was wrong" - he's saying, "The information the CIA - who should have known better - was wrong and they caused this whole unfortunate mess even though I'm the C-in-C and had to order the armed forces to move, but what the hell, I still think we did the right thing 'cause Sadaam Hussein's a nutjob."

specialk420: cheney knew.

Oh, hell, I knew, fer cryin' out loud - anybody with half a functioning human brain could deduce that Hussein couldn't possibly have even a fraction of the capabilities Bush and Co. were proclaiming. That the majority of the American public "believed" those proclamations says nothing about the general quality of the information provided by the American intelligence community and everything about the general level of intelligence of the American community.
posted by JollyWanker at 1:24 PM on July 11, 2003


Thanks, CrazyJub - I know it's not scientific or anything, but that CNN poll is currently running 96% for "President Bush" bearing the blame for the screw-up. I don't think it can all be ascribed to MeFi. But we'll see how it goes once it's been up a while and word gets around.
posted by soyjoy at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2003


Bush team united Iraq front unravels

Use of flawed intelligence opens a Pandora’s box

July 11 — The familiar drip, drip, drip of a brewing political scandal echoes through the power centers of Washington and London these days as the Bush administration and the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair are pelted daily with increasingly pointed questions about the case they made for going to war against Iraq. The admission that the president made an apparently false allegation against Iraq in his State of the Union address was supposed to help put the issue to rest. Instead, it reopened fissures inside the administration and in Blair’s government over the validity of their case for war....As it became clear that yet another piece of prewar evidence had been discredited — and that many intelligence and diplomatic officials had already concluded the charge was false even before the president’s speech — efforts to control the damage took center stage....Of particular damage have been accusations from Blair’s former foreign secretary, Robin Cook, who has characterized the Iraq war as a Bush family vendetta.
“This was a war made in Washington, pushed by a handful of neoconservatives and pursued for reasons of U.S. foreign strategy and domestic politics,” Cook wrote in the London daily The Independent on Friday. Cook’s broadside coincided with new statements from anonymous British Cabinet members saying they now had very little expectation that any banned weapons would ever be found in Iraq.


Hard times for habitual liars and their supporters. Nasty news stories a daily basis, reporters finally emboldened. The anticipation of looking into more and more questioning, grieving faces of the families of American soldiers killed for the Right's cowardly little war. The coverups, the fallguys, the frantic backpedalling, the changes in the story to spin and sell (the dishonesty of selling is what these types do best)....having to listen as true heroes and statesmen, like Nelson Mandela, rip Georgie, Tony, and their toadies brand new orifices.

Hard times, indeed.

Were it not for the fact that these lying, miserable scum caused thousands of needless deaths (with thousands more on tap), one could almost bear the bumbling as pure comedy.

Instead, most will muster only contempt.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2003


I don't suppose this will make any friends here, but I'm lost past trying to make friends with ideologues. Nonetheless, I feel it bears considering, if you're going to look at this issue logically, that all this sound and fury is being raised over essentially one sentence -- a sentenced based on information that we had obtained from British intelligence.

Britain is a long-respected, trusted ally of ours with an intelligence service that is the equal of ours, and our intelligence and political communities both treat what they say with due consideration. This whole tempest in a teapot is about the fact that British intelligence said, "We think the Iraqis are trying to source uranium from Africa", and the CIA didn't say, "No, we have reason to doubt that" in time to save the President from making a public blunder. Do not attribute to malice, etc...

I also find it highly amusing that the bulk of the loyal opposition was raising great hue and cry prior to the war about how there was a "different reason every week" about why we should invade Iraq. Now that, amongst all those many reasons, and all the vast intelligence that was used, there is one possibly-verifiable falsehood that was used, you would think that this was the main thrust behind the argument in favor of the war. Which, um, isn't the case.

So, please try to consider, in your haste to hoist the administration you hate so very much by petards that do not yet exist, that those of us who refuse to buy it don't necessarily do so because we're all stupid dupes. Ok?
posted by jammer at 1:59 PM on July 11, 2003


You know, if this is anything, it's just a check in the administration's march forward with it's own agenda. And who exactly could blame them? Drunk with power, facing as much opposition from without as within, Bush's camp must belly-laugh at the thought of a tough election next year. Even if this nags away at people, it seems like the only time the piper gets paid is after the (a) president gets re-elected, galvanizing the opposition into realizing that they're shooting spitballs at each other with their pants down.

Of course, by then, will it be too late?
posted by Busithoth at 2:00 PM on July 11, 2003


we now know that overstatements, embellishments and outright lies were/are being told to the citizens of the US and world in general about the threat saddam hussein posed ....

what about the threat of the "evil doers" and terrorist threat in general? has the administration equally overblown - and bent to fit their needs (politically and otherwise) this "threat" as well ...?
posted by specialk420 at 2:07 PM on July 11, 2003


jammer, what is there not to buy? I don't quite get your syntax. You mean you don't buy that the Bush administration cherry-picked dubious bits of intelligence in order to launch the US into a pre-ordained war? Fine, don't buy it. But it's still gonna sit right there on the shelf, plain as day.

And sorry, but it's not about "one sentence." This is just one of many, er, "misstatements" made in the rush to war. (Ever hear the phrase "aluminum tubes"?) Techgnollogic tried that angle on the last thread, and it didn't make any more sense then than it does now.
posted by soyjoy at 2:22 PM on July 11, 2003


petards that do not yet exist, that those of us who refuse to buy it don't necessarily do so because we're all stupid dupes. Ok?

jammer.

when you are done chasing your tail with your ari fleischerisms - check the facts ... none - NONE - of the reasons bush and his team of cronies force fed the american public prior to the war in iraq that pertained to a threat or "clear and present danger to US and its allies" has materialized ...

thousands of american and iraqis have died for the removal of a despot that Reagan and Bush's father armed helped entrench in power - calling "bring 'em on" on his lies is every americans responsibility as it is we who have iraqi blood on our hands - coming and going.
posted by specialk420 at 2:29 PM on July 11, 2003


jammer: Now that, amongst all those many reasons, and all the vast intelligence that was used, there is one possibly-verifiable falsehood that was used, you would think that this was the main thrust behind the argument in favor of the war.

No, jammer, the main thrust behind the argument in favor of the war was the supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction that Hussein had sitting out in the desert, pointed at innocent Americans. WsMD, by the way, that despite their awesome proliference and heart-stopping power were so skillfully hidden that thousands of American servicemen and intelligence operatives cannot find a single shred of evidence to indicate they ever existed at all. That we have an opportunity, afforded us by the disclosure of the "African nuclear fuel purchasing" untruths, to being a public debate on all the purported evidence used to justify the Iraqi campaign is the only reason that one "possibly verfiable falsehood" is important to us today.
posted by JollyWanker at 2:34 PM on July 11, 2003


I like jammer's attempt to keep us honest. In our glee, we're starting to sound a bit LGF.

when you are done chasing your tail with your ari fleischerisms

I'm not an Ari fan, but that phrase is what I'm talking about (in LGF-like and worst of MeFi-like statements)....specialk, your argument would have stood just as well without it.

Anyway, I agree. Let's not just jump on the yellow-cake uranium intel. Let's make a list of all claims the Bush Admin made and ask how they've held up.
posted by namespan at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2003


This MSNBC article seems like the best news I've read in years. I was acting like Cornholio for a minute there. If their facade starts to crack, the whole ugly mess of lies and deceit might start coming down. I can't remember ever hearing anything but lies from Bush, so once people start poking around publicly, he's fcuked. The sooner the better.
posted by muckster at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2003


This whole tempest in a teapot is about the fact that British intelligence said, "We think the Iraqis are trying to source uranium from Africa", and the CIA didn't say, "No, we have reason to doubt that" in time to save the President from making a public blunder.

Uh, no.
"The CIA tried unsuccessfully in early September 2002 to persuade the British government to drop from an official intelligence paper a reference to Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Africa that President Bush included in his State of the Union address four months later, senior Bush administration officials said yesterday." -- Washington Post
So the CIA told the US government the story was bogus, and told the British government the story was bogus.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2003


jammer's clever, soft-spoken sleight of hand post would have one think the topic under discussion is , oh, say a particularly wasteful presidential junket to some tropical isle under the guise of fact-finding, rather than A FUCKING WAR THAT RESULTED IN A WHOLE SHITLOAD OF DEAD PEOPLE. HELLO?!?!?!?!
posted by quonsar at 3:05 PM on July 11, 2003


back to the topic at hand ... if my memory serves me right it was the CIA that urged caution - and tenet himself who reasonably stated that a war in a iraq would produce more terrorism during congressional hearings. i have serious questions about the CIA and what they are doing ... never the less ... it was the CIA who engineered the recruitment of the Northern Alliance in the ouster of the Taliban. does Tenet deserve to be hung out to dry? I still dunno.
posted by specialk420 at 3:18 PM on July 11, 2003


I could just as easily say A FUCKING WAR THAT RESULTED IN A WHOLE SHITLOAD OF DEAD PEOPLE. but less than would have died if the war had not gone on.

This is the story of the boy who cried wolf. The majority of americans don't care anymore. The opponets of the administration have hoisted issue after issue and each has fallen by the wayside of public opinion.
posted by Mick at 3:21 PM on July 11, 2003


Tenet is taking the bullet:

APNewsAlert
WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Director Tenet says his agency made a mistake in letting Bush make Iraq nuclear allegations.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:23 PM on July 11, 2003


looks like the republicans in congress are already building the gangplank [via tpm]
posted by specialk420 at 3:24 PM on July 11, 2003


but less than would have died if the war had not gone on

what are you basing this statement on? fair and balanced editorials?
posted by specialk420 at 3:26 PM on July 11, 2003


kirkaracha, the CBS Story says this:
CIA officials warned members of the President's National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: "Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that's how it was delivered.
In other words, the CIA said, "We can't be sure of this", and our administration said, "Well, the Brits say it's good, that's good enough for us right now." Cherrypicking? Maybe. But why would we doubt something our allies were affirming so strongly? On vague objections from the CIA?
posted by jammer at 3:29 PM on July 11, 2003


"Well, the Brits say it's good, that's good enough for us right now."

More like "that's good enough for them." Them being, of course, we suckers in the public. They did not have their minds reassured during the sequence you cite, jammer, they came up with a clever way to phrase things. There is a lot of difference, though I am sure that your reaction/defense were the exact outcome they were looking for. Look, I understand that you supported the war for your own reasons, and I don't care to knock them, but to deny that the administration lied in building their case is just silly.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:37 PM on July 11, 2003


all this sound and fury is being raised over essentially one sentence

No, actually, it's over one war.

If I've ever been tempted to call someone a name on this site, it's right now.
posted by scarabic at 3:39 PM on July 11, 2003


The Bush Administration is digging itself a deeper and deeper hole. Tenet's falling-on-his-sword statement of today does not address the problems that will blow up for Bush:
  1. Joseph Wilson has clearly stated that his report reached Cheney in 2002
  2. Powell received a memo that this intel was bogus in 2002
Bush has put himself in a position where all it takes to expose him as a liar is a single guy in CIA or State whose integrity can't be questioned coming forward and saying, "This is the memo, this is who received it, this is the date they received it, Q.E.D."

This whole tempest in a teapot is about the fact that British intelligence said...

No, the idea that this particular piece of B.S. intelligence originated not with the U.S. with our British friends has long since been refuted.
posted by Zurishaddai at 3:56 PM on July 11, 2003




I'm actually afraid this is a huge win for Shrub. 9/11? CIA's fault. Can't find Bin Laden? CIA screwed up again. Where's Saddam? Well, if the CIA wasn't so incompetent, we'd have him by now. Attacks against our soldiers? If the CIA had been on the ball, we'd have known how effective the Iraqi resistance would be. Nuclear weapons in Korea? If the CIA had been paying attention, we'd have known well before it got out of hand. Iran? CIA, again, why do we even pay these idiots. Watch. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to pin the economy on the CIA. And, of course, the "liberal" media will go right along with it. Tenet will be vilified, the CIA will be gutted, and the 'thugs will beat thier way into the White House.

Never mind that the CIA's been on all of these. Tenet just gave the administration the "Get out of our entire foreign policy free" card. I'm wondering what the payout is -- or what Rove has on Tenet.
posted by eriko at 4:36 PM on July 11, 2003


Bush lied Americans Died

This will be the prevailing meme of the 2004 election. You heard it hear first folks.
posted by EmoChild at 4:42 PM on July 11, 2003


"But why would we doubt something our allies were affirming so strongly? On vague objections from the CIA?"

Another play of the card. "Obviously, we can't trust our own main foreign intelligence agency -- we had to listen to the British. God, those CIA idiots! What else have they done to us!"

Never mind that Colin Power, 8 months before the SOTU, said this about the Nigerian Yellowcake connection.

"After further analysis, looking at other estimates we had and other information that was coming in, it turned out that the basis upon which that statement was made didn't hold up, and we said so, and we've acknowledged it, and we've moved on."

Doesn't matter. It's the CIA's fault. All of it. Hell, the CIA was the reason Clinton was elected, and why the impeachment failed. Heck, the CIA probably created Satan, Hitler, Fluoride and Cheeze Whiz.
posted by eriko at 4:45 PM on July 11, 2003


Tenet will be vilified, the CIA will be gutted, and the 'thugs will beat thier way into the White House.

Let's see how this next couple of weeks play out. I feel pretty certain that the CIA could leak some clear documentation on what they said, and when and who in the White House heard it. I think the paper trail could be damning for the Bush Administration, if they wanted to fight it out in the media.
posted by Dirjy at 4:53 PM on July 11, 2003


but less than would have died if the war had not gone on.


Only none would have been American. Or US dollars.
posted by LouReedsSon at 5:27 PM on July 11, 2003


Well I guess now that nuclear WMD is gone in the wind there will be some more pressure to find some chemical WMD. Ops..no chemical WMD ? Depends I guess on which will get the most from finding a couple or two hidden under some "rose garden"
posted by elpapacito at 5:39 PM on July 11, 2003


but less than would have died if the war had not gone on.

hey! i've seen your infomercials on late night tv!
posted by quonsar at 5:40 PM on July 11, 2003


Well, CNN is running a story saying that Tenet is taking responsibility. TPM has commentary.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:45 PM on July 11, 2003


One might buy the whole thing about it being a mistake--if the administration had not waited to correct the error until after it had been leaked elsewhere. They certainly didn't find out it was error just this week. Particularly given that it was a part of their package to convince us to go to war in the first place, why not come clean as soon as the "error" was discovered?
posted by troybob at 5:50 PM on July 11, 2003


But U.S. officials told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell that Tenet himself advised Rice’s top deputy, Steven Hadley, to remove a reference to the uranium report from a speech Bush delivered Oct. 7 in Cincinnati, establishing that the nation’s top intelligence officials suspected that the allegation was false more than three months before they approved Bush’s repeating it in his nationally televised address on Jan. 28.

...excerpt from tonight's MSNBC story Tenet takes blame for uranium claim
posted by madamjujujive at 6:07 PM on July 11, 2003


That the majority of the American public "believed" those proclamations says ...everything about the general level of intelligence of the American community.

When will all these people besotted with red-white-and-blue wake up and realize they've got a billion-dollar a week hangover, blood on their hands, and that they really don't know the Boy King they've been in bed with?

To coin more bad metaphors, Duhbya took the wave of 9/11 patriotism and turned it into a tsunami of military actions.
Right now, the script called for a lull in the storm, while SuperGeorge took off his cape/flight suit and basked in the sun of another successful victory. A brief intermission, and then it would be on to Act Three in Super George's Endless Evil-Doer War.

But now appear a couple of unscripted plot points. Is the little show falling apart? Will the SuperGeorge Show be cancelled in 04?

It hinges on the character development of certain other players:

1) Have the Dems regrown their stones? Can they put forth a cohesive, convincing campaign so that there will be no going back to the comforts of this star-spangled illusion?

2) Will the media, particularly the Sound-Bite TV beloved by Americans of short attention span, also continue its spinal regeneration?

Stay tuned.
I am intrigued to know what the prevalent mood of the country will be when Candidate Bush is paraded around at the Ground Zero Convention in September 04.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:05 PM on July 11, 2003


ha - had to post this hilarious comment I read in a thread on Eschaton:

So apparently Clinton's mistake was that he didn't get his blowjob from the British???
posted by madamjujujive at 7:15 PM on July 11, 2003


It's obivous Bush is refusing to stand up and say, "I am the President, I am responsible for the things that I said and did, whether they were right or wrong." More than anything, the majority of people look to their leaders to give the actions of their country moral justifications. By not assuming that role he is making it look like there is no justification for what he did.

The least anyone could have expected from the Personal Responsibility President was to take responsibility for mistakes that came out of his mouth.
posted by raaka at 7:25 PM on July 11, 2003


Interesting piece from Newsweek:
Bush’s insecurities are at the heart of it. Haunted by his father’s defeat and the accidental nature of his own presidency, Bush never wants to hand his enemies ammunition. He can’t let cracks appear or the whole edifice could crumble. The moment Bush landed on the USS Lincoln, he was caught in his own net of hubris. The juvenile taunt—”Bring ‘em on”—diminishes the seriousness of sending men and women into an urban guerilla battle that nobody prepared them for. American soldiers in Iraq are going on the record with reporters to say how unhappy they are, and how vulnerable they feel. You don’t do that in the military unless the conditions are dire.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:11 PM on July 11, 2003


What about the rest of the lies? The mysterious poison factory, the mobile labs, the stores and stores of chemical weapons, the active nuclear program, etc?

The Bush admin can only blame others for so much, they chose to make a poor case for a poor war. I hope this is their final undoing.

Powell was handed a pack of lies from the Bush administration and had to have his own meetings with Tenet.

To quote Colin Powel :

"I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."

Also, Howard Dean is taking the moral and intellectual high ground by claiming he didn't vote for the Iraq war because the case for war wasn't made. Now his non-vote for the war has suddenly turned from a potential liability to a massive asset.

I think this is big. Watergate big.
posted by skallas at 8:12 PM on July 11, 2003


>claiming he didn't vote for the Iraq war

Err, scratch that. That's wasn't Dean.
posted by skallas at 9:02 PM on July 11, 2003


The mysterious poison factory, the mobile labs, the stores and stores of chemical weapons, the active nuclear program

...and the mysterious freighters
posted by madamjujujive at 9:02 PM on July 11, 2003


Maybe I am showing my ignorrance, but in way could Dean have "voted" for the war? No one voted for the war, as it was waged, not even Congress. They shied away from their responsibilities as civillian stewards of our armed services almost two years ago.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:04 PM on July 11, 2003


oops.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:04 PM on July 11, 2003


less than would have died if the war had not gone on

you assume that the only choices were war, or to do nothing.

Of course, given the lack of political courage and ideas on the left, perhaps this was the only choice. But outside of the 1.5 party system in Washington, there were other solutions.
posted by chaz at 10:13 PM on July 11, 2003


Look out for terror code red or polka dotted or mauve. Whatever the hell the highest threat level is these days.

Junior will just send this terror code alert out, and we'll all forget about this little misstatement, mishap, miswhatever.

Don't anyone think for a second that this will cause any damage at all to Georgie.

The American public by and large just doesn't care. They're too busy eating fritos and drinking from their huge ass gallon jugs of Mountain Dew and shopping for stretch pants that will fit their fat asses.

George Uber Alles!
posted by damnitkage at 10:46 PM on July 11, 2003


cyn·i·cal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sn-kl)
adj.
Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others
posted by specialk420 at 12:21 AM on July 12, 2003




So, please try to consider, in your haste to hoist the administration you hate so very much by petards that do not yet exist, that those of us who refuse to buy it don't necessarily do so because we're all stupid dupes. Ok?


You're obviously not a dupe Jammer. Now could you justify to the famously altruistic US public why a dead soldier a day and 1 billion a week is a price worth paying for a war that failed to meet any of it's (vague) objectives. The public will need to be dupes to buy that one.
posted by niceness at 4:52 AM on July 12, 2003


is a price worth paying for a war that failed to meet any of it's (vague) objectives.

A brutal, unelected dictator is out of power, and the inhabitants of Iraq have a chance of forming a government of their choosing. The cost/worth of achieving this is debatable, but saying that the war met none of its objectives is disingenuous.
posted by jsonic at 7:58 AM on July 12, 2003


Condoleeza Rice on Meet the Press, June 8, 2003:
We did not know at the time--no one knew at the time, in our circles--maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.
However:
U.S. officials told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell that Tenet himself advised Rice’s top deputy, Steven Hadley, to remove a reference to the uranium report from a speech Bush delivered Oct. 7 in Cincinnati, establishing that the nation’s top intelligence officials suspected that the allegation was false more than three months before they approved Bush’s repeating it in his nationally televised address on Jan. 28.
"Bush says uranium controversy closed," MSNBC, July 12, 2003

Busted, yo.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:30 AM on July 12, 2003


A brutal, unelected dictator is out of power, and the inhabitants of Iraq have a chance of forming a government of their choosing. The cost/worth of achieving this is debatable, but saying that the war met none of its objectives is disingenuous.

Is that really the case? According to the US, the guerilla fighters that are killing our soldiers are Saddam loyalists, and just yesterday the CIA confirmed that the latest Saddam tape is real.

So, the WMD have now disappeared, as has Saddam. What a brilliant job of killing him and taking his weapons we have done!

As to whether the people Iraq have any more power now: to say you know that for sure is disingenuous. Anarchy hardly has a rich history of producing social justice.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:51 AM on July 12, 2003


kirkaracha - that's a great bust of yours (see one comment up). Busted indeed.

Yup, "mistakes were made"........um, except that, is it accurate to describe the Bush Adminstration's hubris-crazed behavior - it's contemptuous dismissal of world opinion and it's pathetically clumsly, fabricated WMD 'evidence' as 'mistakes'?

I think this amounts to an administration drunk on power to the point of near-insanity. Except for Colin Powell, that is. He's just trying to make the best of an absurd situation.
posted by troutfishing at 9:12 AM on July 12, 2003


Is that really the case?

Yes, it is really the case. Saddam is currently out of power (ie. control of the country). Are you really arguing against that?

to say you know that for sure is disingenuous.

What part of my comment said anything about the outcome of the situation being "for sure". I said the Iraqi people now have a chance of forming their own government.

In case you misread again, I'm stating that the war did achieve some of its goals. Whether these achievements were worth the cost is an entirely different argument.
posted by jsonic at 9:24 AM on July 12, 2003


A brutal, unelected dictator is out of power, and the inhabitants of Iraq have a chance of forming a government of their choosing. The cost/worth of achieving this is debatable, but saying that the war met none of its objectives is disingenuous.

Yeah. We did get the oil after all.
posted by velacroix at 11:42 AM on July 12, 2003


jsonic:
it sounds more like you're saying it might have achieved some of its goals. removing him from power, even if he is cut into a million tiny pieces, would hardly be a 'victory' of any sort if he was replaced by werewolves or evil aliens that eat people (I use absurd possibilities so as to avoid quibbling over logistics or something. My real point is that we have replaced one kind of illiberal military rule with another. To call that a step forward is either chauvanistic, patronizing, impeialistic, or naive. If more adjectives evelop, I'll keep you informed).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:07 PM on July 12, 2003


imperrrrrrrrrialistic, i says.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:08 PM on July 12, 2003




look what's still up on the White House's site.
posted by amberglow at 5:01 PM on July 12, 2003


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