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Shocking! They were lied to.
December 17, 2003 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. If this is true, is he in trouble for saying it?
posted by bas67 (32 comments total)

 
What are you a communist? Maybe they actually had weapons that could destroy us, or maybe they just wanted those weapons.

What's the difference?

From the Diane Sawyer interview:
SAWYER: Secretary Powell talked about mobile labs, again the intelligence, the inspectors have said they can’t confirm this, they can’t corroborate.

SAWYER: “Nuclear” suggested that he was on the way on an active nuclear program.

SAWYER: David Kay: “We have not discovered significant evidence of an active -- ”

BUSH: Yet. Yet.

SAWYER: Is it, “yet?”

BUSH: But what David Kay did discover was he had a weapons program. And had that knowledge --

SAWYER: Missiles.

BUSH: Let me finish for a second. No, it was more extensive than missiles.

Had that knowledge been, uh, examined by the United Nations, in other words, had David Kay’s report been placed in front of the United Nations, he, Saddam Hussein, would have been in breach of 1441, which meant it was a casus belli.

And, uh, look --

BUSH: -- There’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person. And there’s no doubt we had a body of evidence proving that.

And there is no doubt that the president must act, after 9/11, to make America a more secure country.

SAWYER: Um, again I’m just trying to ask -- and these are supporters, people who believed in the war --

BUSH: Heh-heh-heh.

SAWYER: -- who have asked the question.

BUSH: Well you can keep asking the question, and my answer is going to be the same. Saddam was a danger, and the world is better off because we got rid of him.

SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction, as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still --

BUSH: So what’s the difference?

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2003


If it's true, of course he's not in trouble.
posted by hammurderer at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2003


I guess the reason I ask is because it was told to the senators in an intelligence briefing. So could it be said that he was leaking classified information?
posted by bas67 at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2003


Answer = No
He is generally untouchable. The man is generally understood to be utterly stupid and so his statements are held to different standards of validity testing. Remember when he told a reporter several months ago that Iraq was attacked because Sadam refused to let inspectors in? (Which we all know to be utter bullshit) You probably don't, because it never made headlines since the press gave him the "he is probably just being a dumb ass again" benefit of the doubt.
posted by EmoChild at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2003


I had coffee at my favorite redneck rightwing spot this morning. The owner lady chatted. Said we got Saddam and all ok. I noted that no WMD. She said, so what? we had to stop him cause he was bad guy who killed lots of people. I said: what of China, N. Korea, Iran, Syria, etc etc? She said we have not lost many men in Iraq (her husband a basket case from Viet Nam war) as we did in Nam. She said we lost many there. I asked, what for? Said even guys who told Pres. it was a needed war later changed their minds. No answer...but she does have lots of flags up in windows of her store.
posted by Postroad at 12:03 PM on December 17, 2003


"The man is generally understood to be utterly stupid"
To whom does this statement refer?
posted by Outlawyr at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2003


You know... "THE MAN." He's the one that's keeping us down, dude. Fight the power, or something.
posted by Jart at 12:56 PM on December 17, 2003


"...She said we have not lost many men in Iraq (her husband a basket case from Viet Nam war) as we did in Nam" - Postroad, you know that's actually accurate, so far.

This WMD thing reminds me of Monty Python - not quite the "Cheese Shop" sketch but something like it :

"Saddam's got nuclear missiles that can destroy Los Angeles!.....Err - they might be able to reach LA and damage a warehouse.........Ummm - well they can hit Paris!......Well, maybe not Paris, but they could devastate Tel Aviv..........Ummmm"

You can see where the sketch goes, until Bush is saying "Well, Saddam had this REALLY BIG rock, and.........."
posted by troutfishing at 1:26 PM on December 17, 2003


"...She said we have not lost many men in Iraq (her husband a basket case from Viet Nam war) as we did in Nam" - Postroad, you know that's actually accurate, so far.

It's not the inaccuracy of the statement that matters, it's its irrelevance.
posted by jpoulos at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2003


EmoChild - I think Bush is actually quite smart - just not in that particular way. I think he tries to be a decent person also.

However, this doesn't keep me from thinking of him as the slime daemon spawn of Beelzebub vomited up from the sulpherous pit of fiery Hell.

But it's Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney I really don't like.
posted by troutfishing at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2003


jpoulos - I know. It was a good quote.
posted by troutfishing at 1:33 PM on December 17, 2003


"...She said we have not lost many men in Iraq (her husband a basket case from Viet Nam war) as we did in Nam" - Postroad, you know that's actually accurate, so far.

That depends on how you look at it. According to Max Cleland (former Senator and a Vietnam Vet): "We've lost more youngsters killed in Iraq in less than a year than we lost during the first three years of the Vietnam War. And people say there's no Vietnam analogy?"
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on December 17, 2003


homunculus - I'm just playing the devil's advocate because the soldiers in Iraq (at least the career soldiers if not the Guard people - who I hear have dramatically lower morale) are accustomed to expect that war=casualties and so the current level of casualties may not be considered as excessive. But what force levels did the US have in the first 3 years in Vietnam (depends on where you reckon the war started - Tonkin Gulf incident?) - I thought the were considerably lower than currently in Iraq. But if not......anyway, the ratio is what I'd think of as significant.

Meanwhile, I shouldn't have mentioned that in the first place - it's not really that relevant to the post.
posted by troutfishing at 2:08 PM on December 17, 2003


EmoChild - I think Bush is actually quite smart - just not in that particular way. I think he tries to be a decent person also.

However, this doesn't keep me from thinking of him as the slime daemon spawn of Beelzebub vomited up from the sulpherous pit of fiery Hell.

But it's Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney I really don't like.


amen, brother. or sister, if that's what you are. :-)
posted by lord_wolf at 2:17 PM on December 17, 2003


I think Bush is actually quite smart - just not in that particular way. I think he tries to be a decent person also.

I disagree, on both counts. But I do agree with the person who said above that he gets cut a lot of slack by people who feel compelled to give him the benefit of the doubt on these things.
posted by rushmc at 2:20 PM on December 17, 2003


What you all are forgetting is that we found the WMDs.

Don't you remember? The president told us so himself: "We've found the weapons of mass destruction!" So stop worrying.

Heh. Wonder how many Year-in-Review segments that quote's gonna show up on.
posted by soyjoy at 2:38 PM on December 17, 2003


I had coffee at my favorite redneck rightwing spot this morning.

Haha... yea, I hear that. I was downtown the other day chillin' at my bestest liberal nigger bar and had almost the exact same conversation. Small world I guess.
posted by Witty at 2:46 PM on December 17, 2003


1. Tell politicians lies.
2. ???
2. Profit!

(Hint: raw egaw.)
posted by Blue Stone at 2:49 PM on December 17, 2003


"BUSH: So what’s the difference?"

Lying.

Bush is coming straight out here and saying that the ends justify the means. These are his words here, and we can read them in context. His logical progression works like this: Saddam was a danger to the US because he had WMDs, but even if he didn't have WMDs we had to take him out because he was a danger to the US.

And so far Americans seem to be buying that. The end justifies the means.

It doesn't matter to them that this is a concept they would never allow in their own lives, or that "the end" is highly improbable at this point, or that "the means" are being made up pretty much on the spot.

It's tough talk, and we kicked Saddam's ass, so it's good. God Bless Ameica.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:32 PM on December 17, 2003


Just about anyone can purchase a mechanism that can deliver a WMD to any one of the coastal cities on the American east coast. West coast, too. They're called fishing boats.

There's also the container ship scenario. And the cargo aircraft scenario.

Rockets is fer folks with money. For everyone else, there's cargo.
posted by Captain Ligntning at 4:16 PM on December 17, 2003


And exactly who is going to vote to investigate Bush's 9/11 lies? The GOP majority? That's why he's untouchable.
posted by skallas at 4:37 PM on December 17, 2003


And exactly who is going to vote to investigate Bush's 9/11 lies? The GOP majority? That's why he's untouchable.

That thought makes me salivate for a US Attorney General Spitzer in 2004.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:46 PM on December 17, 2003


And therein lies the biggest of all the many problems: ideology (and loyalty to those you "owe" due to the dealmaking you've done in compromising yourself) has been allowed to supercede duty to country and the electorate. It's disgusting.
posted by rushmc at 4:49 PM on December 17, 2003


Saddam was a danger to the US because he had WMDs, but even if he didn't have WMDs we had to take him out because he was a danger to the US.

Best summary of the justifications coming out of the whitehouse I've seen.

There may have been other good reasons to invade Iraq or not but those were the ones given.
posted by namespan at 6:01 PM on December 17, 2003


here is an excerpt from an interview with a reporter with Hemann Goering during the Nuremberg Trials period:

Interviewer " We got around to the subject of war again, and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

Goering "... But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Interviewer "'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States, only Congress can declare wars.'

Goering "'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

sound familiar.
posted by Hopoch at 6:01 PM on December 17, 2003


Another way to look at the casualty ratio for Iraq and Vietnam is to look at technology. Body armor or Kevlar vests were not available in Vietnam. In Iraq we are getting a lot of casualties involving arms and legs being blown off. These soldiers are alive and it's probably due in no small part to the body armor. Your torso is protected and your helmet protects part of your head. Take away the Kevlar and how may fatalities would there be?

These folks are disabled for life. Is the VA healthcare system going to be able to give them the lifelong care they deserve?
posted by whatever at 6:36 PM on December 17, 2003


an interview with a reporter with Hemann Goering

*cues 'oh-oh' music from Sealab 2021*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:37 PM on December 17, 2003


aaannyyywaaay..... Back to the original question of whether or not Nelson is in trouble for telling the press information he received in an intelligence briefing.

I think that this is (if true) explosive. Why haven't I seen this on the evening news, CNN, MSNBC, or Fox (yeah, right!)? Wouldn't the fact that US Senators were lied to (or at least given a very stretched version of the truth), just before an extremely important vote that essentially gave the president war powers, be a very important story?
posted by bas67 at 7:41 PM on December 17, 2003


Mr. stavovros, please explain what is this sealab lingy - the 2021 version therefof
posted by Hopoch at 8:54 PM on December 17, 2003


a very important story? - yes.

But one likely to get mainstream US media publicity? - probably not...unless the story is first propelled from below via the internet.
posted by troutfishing at 11:13 PM on December 17, 2003


So, did I miss the memo explaining why we should all just ignore what Witty said?

And Hopoch, that quote was interesting the first 15,000 times I heard/read it.

Back to the post, the Bush administration told Senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. That is astonishing only in that the story is not being picked up. Par for the course for this lying pack of theives.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:47 AM on December 18, 2003


So, did I miss the memo explaining why we should all just ignore what Witty said?

Because there was a memo saying we might want to cut down on mentioning when a comment figuratively makes us spew beverage on the monitor.

(Witty, most of the time I disagree with you thoroughly, but at that moment, you definitely lived up to your psuedonym. :)
posted by namespan at 6:35 PM on December 19, 2003


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