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Diane Sawyer grills Bush over the lack of WMD.
December 18, 2003 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Diane Sawyer grills President Bush over the lack of WMD.
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 skallas (73 comments total)

 
"So what's the difference?" Now that's a campaign slogan for 2004!
posted by skallas at 5:39 PM on December 18, 2003


Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:47 PM on December 18, 2003


Don't like it? Ignore it.
posted by skallas at 5:49 PM on December 18, 2003


Next year I have the possibility of paying my taxes
or actually sending in the check.

Do you think "So what's the difference?" would work for me?
posted by milovoo at 5:49 PM on December 18, 2003


Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world....
The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

-- President William J. Clinton, December 16, 1998
posted by Durwood at 5:50 PM on December 18, 2003


Durwood, 230 days and no WMD found. Facts speak louder than speeches.
posted by skallas at 5:52 PM on December 18, 2003


What I find annoying is not that Bush said there were WMD--he may have truly believed this--but that, once he found out that the intelligence people had fed him bad info or wrong info (assuming that to be the case), no one--no one--got fired! Now Bush in fact is saying or implying that well, I was wrong and there are none and I got congress to go along for a war on that basis but it was wrong. So what? Truman: the buck stops here. Fire the heads of various intelligence agencies and restore, we hope, some trust in better guys in charge who might bring changes clearly needed.
posted by Postroad at 5:53 PM on December 18, 2003


Also posted yesterday by Ignatius J.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:54 PM on December 18, 2003



posted by shepd at 5:56 PM on December 18, 2003


"Also posted yesterday by Ignatius J."

Hey, eddydamascene, if you don't like it, ignore it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:58 PM on December 18, 2003


Liberal Oasis? Good God.
posted by Satapher at 5:58 PM on December 18, 2003


So answer the question: what *is* the difference between having hidden real nuclear weapons and having not only the money, brains, guile, strategic partners, and ruthlessness not only to *get* them, but to USE them, as well?

Say what you will about the nuclear powers. They have proven themselves smart enough, or sane enough to NOT use their weapons. Can you say the same about Saddam?

C'mon. It's not hard. Say that you prefer to live under the threat of nuclear terrorism. That's what you're saying, isn't it?
posted by kablam at 5:59 PM on December 18, 2003


>Can you say the same about Saddam?

The past couple of decades say "YES".
posted by shepd at 6:01 PM on December 18, 2003


Say that you prefer to live under the threat of nuclear terrorism. That's what you're saying, isn't it?

I prefer to live under the threat of nuclear terrorism

how's that? (btw: deterrence worked--we're all still here.)
posted by amberglow at 6:03 PM on December 18, 2003


also, we are living under that threat right now--don't north korea and iran have nukes now, along with the countries and former countries that had them in the past?
posted by amberglow at 6:04 PM on December 18, 2003


also, we are living under that threat right now--don't north korea and iran have nukes now

Well, 'we' in the sense of 'we who live in Korea' and possible Japan, too. Maybe Alaska at the outside.

I think nukefear, which in my teens molded my personality and dominated my thinking, even though I lived so far from places where any bombs might conceivably have fallen, may have something to do with my current anger and resentment at the path America is being led down. I'll need to think about that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:09 PM on December 18, 2003


I can't wait to see Bush in the next presidential debates.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:11 PM on December 18, 2003


what *is* the difference between having hidden real nuclear weapons and having not only the money, brains, guile, strategic partners, and ruthlessness not only to *get* them, but to USE them, as well?

OK, if we accept those as the requirements -
What countries should the US not preemptively attack?
posted by milovoo at 6:37 PM on December 18, 2003


Metafilter is so amazing in that people get deeply resentful and hurt by posts, in a way I have never seen before anywhere.
posted by inksyndicate at 6:38 PM on December 18, 2003


i didn't know the president was on TV last night. i don't watch TV and i wasn't home anyway. i didn't see this story anywhere else today. i appreciate the link.

it's good to see the mainstream media asking some pointed question about possible pre-war deceptions by the administration. i don't expect it to continue, however, nor have much effect on the president's popularity.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:41 PM on December 18, 2003


First it was: Iraq is dangerous because they had weapons of mass destruction.

Now it is: Iraq was dangerous even though they had no weapons of mass destruction.

That's the problem.
posted by weston at 6:42 PM on December 18, 2003


Seth has posted no links 40 comments to MetaFilter.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:46 PM on December 18, 2003


I wish there was some way of knowing whether or not Seth will like a post before you make it.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:47 PM on December 18, 2003


i didn't know the president was on TV last night. i don't watch TV and i wasn't home anyway. i didn't see this story anywhere else today. i appreciate the link.

If you didn't watch tv, don't watch tv, were not home anyway, and somehow avoided the fact that bush was going to be interviewed even though I heard it from tv, the internet, the radio and friends, why would you really care?

it's good to see the mainstream media asking some pointed question about possible pre-war deceptions by the administration. i don't expect it to continue, however, nor have much effect on the president's popularity.

How do you know the mainstream media hasn't been asking 'pointed' questions? You don't watch tv, remember? And of course, you won't be around to see if it continues right?

Yet you don't expect it to continue to effect bush's popularity without giving any reasons.

OOOk.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 6:50 PM on December 18, 2003


If you didn't watch tv, don't watch tv, were not home anyway, and somehow avoided the fact that bush was going to be interviewed even though I heard it from tv, the internet, the radio and friends, why would you really care?

disclaimer: i do watch some TV, but not any TV news. my quick post was misleading.

i honestly didn't hear anything about Bush's interview until this afternoon when i saw skallas' link. (you'd think i couldn't avoid news of the interview with all the accusations of MeFi's obsession with the Prez, but i (unintentionally) missed any references to it nonetheless.)

why would i care? b/c i think that the Bush administration has been lying or at least deliberately misleading the public about the war on Iraq, and i'd like someone to ask him and his staff better questions about it.

i didn't expect it from Diane Sawyer, but (especially as a Kentucky native) it's good to see her stand up to the president and ask good questions.

How do you know the mainstream media hasn't been asking 'pointed' questions? You don't watch tv, remember?

i'd expect it to be posted here, of course. or Google News or some other Web news service. maybe i'm wrong, but analysis of TV coverage on the Web seems to be fairly thorough. i don't think i miss much by not watching TV news. it's mostly rehashed on the Net anyway.

Yet you don't expect it to continue to effect bush's popularity without giving any reasons.

you mean "affect." the reasons are that Americans are very uneducated about current events, among other things.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:02 PM on December 18, 2003


I think nukefear, which in my teens molded my personality and dominated my thinking, even though I lived so far from places where any bombs might conceivably have fallen, may have something to do with my current anger and resentment at the path America is being led down.

You alluded to this in the ask.mefi thread on dreams, stavros, and I thought it was an interesting point. I was afraid of nuclear war throughout my childhood; I remember drawing elaborate scenes of war between the U.S. and Russia, involving tanks, rockets, and giant atom bombs, and playing "let's try to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where all the adults are dead" with other kids. When the Cold War ended, I was glad that the next generation would not have to grow up with that fear. In a way, though, it does seem like we have lost a certain sense of restraint now that the stakes are lower.

Say what you will about the nuclear powers. They have proven themselves smart enough, or sane enough to NOT use their weapons. Can you say the same about Saddam?

Say what you will about the nuclear powers, they have proven themselves rich enough and well-connected enough to actually acquire nuclear weapons. Can you say the same about Iraq? No, you can't, because not only did they never develop a nuclear weapon, they never even got close to developing a nuclear weapon. What's more, we knew this long before the war began; years of U.N. inspections never turned up anything remotely close to a functioning nuclear weapons program, much less any actual bombs. The only evidence for an Iraqi bomb program were a bunch of fake documents which just happen to turn up when the administration went looking for them.

I had no idea that the President was on TV last night. I would never have known that, but for your tremendous post.

Oddly, I had no idea the President was on TV last night, and never would have known if skallas hadn't posted this. Not that I really care...
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:13 PM on December 18, 2003


Don't like it? Ignore it.

Thankfully we have you to lead us out of the darkness, o wise one.

Omniscience must be a terrible burden, skallas, how do you bear it?
posted by jonmc at 7:13 PM on December 18, 2003


You know what, never mind that last comment. Not worth letting this crap get to me.
posted by jonmc at 7:16 PM on December 18, 2003


The only thing that is worse than this post is that I can't bring myself to agree with the little slugs who really only want to shut themselves off from criticism of their dear leader.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:21 PM on December 18, 2003


Space Coyote, you may find this hard to believe, but not everybody who's tired of the unending Bush/Iraqfilter posts is a Bush supporter. Or is that merely the defense people use when some of us say we're getting tired of people using MeFi as their personal soapbox.

I agree, the war is wrong and Bush is a lousy President. But that dosen't mean I wanna hear about it 24 hours a day. Just because somethings a good idea dosent mean it's a good idea to beat people over the head with it. Nor do I want to preached to or condescended to when I question the left party line. All political affiliations are capable of the same bullshit tactics like scarlet letter routines (ie deviating from a strict anti-war POV makes you a "neo-con" or "Bush worshipper.")
posted by jonmc at 7:30 PM on December 18, 2003


I'm with Seth on one thing at leasty, I didn't know that you needed to link something before you were allowed to comment, Gee I guess us second class comment posters should shut the F**K up and just let the self appointed adults comment.
posted by Elim at 7:31 PM on December 18, 2003


And If I didn't want to read about it why the hell would I waste time posting in the thread about how I didn't want to waste my time?

Color me confused by the adults?
posted by Elim at 7:33 PM on December 18, 2003


Elim - you'd better be careful - every time you post, you increase your 'right' to do so........watch out, or you could become like me

The Sawyer interview is telling - Bush is impatient with her questions because he is convinced, above all else, that he is right.

According to David Frum, Bush has God on his side.

" "Most Presidents have high hopes. Some have grandiose visions of what they will achieve, and he was firmly in that camp," Woodward writes. Bush told him, "I will seize the opportunity to achieve big goals," adding, "There is nothing bigger than to achieve world peace."

And the way to achieve that, he believes, is often through war. "As we think through Iraq, we may or may not attack. I have no idea, yet. But it will be for the objective of making the world more peaceful," "


This is neither a critique nor a non-critique. OK?
posted by troutfishing at 7:39 PM on December 18, 2003


I should have been more pointed:

I would have gladly piled on derriding this post were it not for Seth opening his yap again.

I just wish I could have been as quick as crash.

Honestly, skallas, you can do beter, and you know better.

Butg that doesn't let you weasely GW arselickers score any points off of this, either.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:49 PM on December 18, 2003


Postroad, good point. I was also struck that Sawyer didn't seem to pick up on Bush's repeated insinuation of a link between Saddam and 9-11. Before the war I was figuring that Bush/Cheney were using 9-11 as an excuse for a war with Saddam; now they have Saddam, I figure it's the reverse, and that they really needed to capture Saddam as an excuse for not getting OBL, and appearing to have brought closure to 9-11. If you see what I mean.
posted by carter at 8:02 PM on December 18, 2003


Bush has God on his side.

"It is remarkable how closely Bush's discourse coincides with that of the false prophets of the Old Testament."
posted by homunculus at 8:04 PM on December 18, 2003


Paris Hilton actually got better ratings than the Bush interview. In the interview, the president made headlines by saying the recently captured ex-Iraqi leader should be executed -- the "ultimate penalty" -- for his iron-fisted rule in Iraq.
But Hilton won more viewers with her performance baking pies and working the town fair's kissing booth in a mini skirt.

What does that say about us?

and re: Nukefear:all of us over 30 (or 35?) have it, but I'd rather have the cold war back than this endless war against everyone for any reason or no reason at all stuff.
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on December 18, 2003


Say what you will about the nuclear powers. They have proven themselves smart enough, or sane enough to NOT use their weapons.

Yet. Bush wants to change that, you know.
posted by rushmc at 8:34 PM on December 18, 2003


Say what you will about the nuclear powers. They have proven themselves smart enough, or sane enough to NOT use their weapons. Can you say the same about Saddam?

Who am *I* to say 'Saddam is not that insane'? Now, various people claiming Ex CIA/NSA/spook bonafies have stated that 'Saddam likes being alive and in power. The use of WMD would remove Saddam's life and power' Such statements by ex CIA strike me as DUH. But then again the CIA/NSA/spooks said "There WERE ACTUAL STOCKPILES OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION." - or at least that is what 'the leaders' have said.

C'mon. It's not hard. Say that you prefer to live under the threat of nuclear terrorism. That's what you're saying, isn't it?

Points to the dissolved Soviet Union. Asks "Gee, and isn't the loose weapons and radioactive sources in the now gone SU going to be the source of Atomic Terrorism"?

Points to a 'small company' that just made a man-made virus in 14 days AND the knowledge about the human genome and asks "Concerned about terrorism? A modified ebola(or whatever)/man made virus/thawed dead-from-smallpox body reintroduced seems to be a bigger problem. Cheaper to make, simpler to deploy, AND makes you fear your fellow man."

Points to invasion of soverign nation and international law and asks "Live by rule of law or was it worth removing 'a bad man'?"
posted by rough ashlar at 8:38 PM on December 18, 2003


look, this is by no stretch a horrible post. did anyone catch that thread about the talkin' dubya flash thingie before it got axed? there's no need to storm the keep here...is it really so hard to not read a post? I had no trouble glossing over all 3 of the car-related posts today.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:50 PM on December 18, 2003


But then again the CIA/NSA/spooks said "There WERE ACTUAL STOCKPILES OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION."

No they didn't. They repeatedly debunked such claims, and that's why the Pentagon felt the need to make their own Chalabified intelligence shop (which has, of course, proven uniformly wrong about everything).

The way that this issue has been reframed is disgusting. It is now accepted as fact by most that the CIA failed to get the right intelligence, whereas the facts on the ground constantly confirm the les radical version of things peddled by the CIA and State.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2003


im suprised there were no comments about bush's man on the job - david kay ... packing up his bags and going home ... empty handed.
posted by specialk420 at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2003


[Intermission for brief interlude on the gravitasless topic of GW Bush's priorities, terrorists, and WMDs (which as I vaguely recall, had something to do with this particular MetaFilter front page post before the patriotic correctness patrol appeared]:

In April, as Baghdad fell and American soldiers began searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, federal officials uncovered a cache of deadly chemicals much closer to home — in the eastern Texas town of Noonday. The stockpile included a fully functional sodium cyanide bomb capable of killing hundreds, as well as neo-Nazi and antigovernment literature, illegal weapons, half a million rounds of ammunition, and more than 100 explosives, including bombs disguised as suitcases.

William Krar, a 62-year-old manufacturer of gun parts and a right-wing extremist who had rented the storage locker in which the cache was found, has pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing a chemical weapon and faces a possible life sentence. Two others — Judith L. Bruey, Mr. Krar's companion, and Edward Feltus, a member of a parmilitary group called the New Jersey Militia — are awaiting sentencing.

An isolated incident involving a few Americans on the far-right fringe? Most people probably assume so, but federal authorities served more than 150 subpeonas in the case, and are still searching for others who may have been involved.

The Noonday case shows just how serious a threat we face from domestic terrorists. Consider this year's other high-profile incident involving rightist causes: the arrest of Eric Rudolph, accused of bombing abortion clinics and the 1996 Olympics. During his five years in the wilderness, he was often viewed by the public and press as a lone fugitive. But law enforcement officials have linked him to two national movements: the Army of God, a biblically inspired underground network of anti-abortion extremists; and the Christian Identity movement, whose members believe that Jews are the literal children of Satan, nonwhites are sub-human, and that Anglo-Saxon Christians are the true descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.

The examples keep coming. James Kopp, who was found guilty earlier this year in the 1998 shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Buffalo was also affiliated with the Army of God. Matthew Hale, leader of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group, was arrested in January in Chicago on charges of soliciting the murder of a federal judge. In February, federal officials arrested Rafael Davila, a former Army National Guard intelligence officer from Washington State; they say Mr. Davila and his former wife planned to distribute highly classified documents to white supremacists and antigovernment groups in North Carolina, Texas and Georgia.

Americans should question whether the Justice Department is making America's far-right fanatics a serious priority.


[Oh, for fuck's sake. Sorry about that last paragraph there, folks...that sentence suggesting Americans "question" something the government wishes to do. What say we just take the intellectually and morally lazy way out: we'll label any loony-lefty proposal that we dare actually question/criticize our leaders as just more "BushHate", and move on, eh? Cool...I'm getting the hang of this....]

And now, turning to the thread commentary, a gentle MetaFilter reader (one of the ones actually engaging in "frutiful discussion") asks:

Say what you will about the nuclear powers. They have proven themselves smart enough, or sane enough to NOT use their weapons. Can you say the same about Saddam?

Shit. I always wondered why no statues of the otherwise popular and winsome Saddam Hussein were to be found in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now I know.

And now, "fruitful discussion" aside, back to your regularly scheduled MetaFilter crybabies:

Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:47 PM PST on December 18


Maybe whining or more little tantrums will help. It could work. Or maybe we just need someone obsessed enough to monitor MetaFilter's ideological purity and patriotic correctness so closely that they jump in almost immediately, repeatedly, with a link to one of the more asinine MetaTalk threads.

Know anybody like that?

'Course, I'm on your side. I've never understood commie mathowie's well-known brutal deletion of every attempt at a pro-Bush viewpoint front page post, nor the angry left's cowardly and relentless efforts to try to manipulate the content of MetaFilter's front page through endless complaints (in place of rebuttal) by the same silly cabal in the threads themselves, and in MetaTalk.

~exaggerated-wink-cum-tic~

This ought to be a fruitful discussion.
/sarcasm off
This is f-ing pathetic, skallas.
posted by Seth at 6:15 PM PST on December 18


My. Seth, ya sure helped the "fruitful discussion" with a reasoned, carefully thought-out discussion of Bush's priorities in the "war on terror."

"Fruitful discussion". Orchards do need fertilizer -- thanks to our Seth for providing brimming wheelbarrows full once again.

Seth, since you insist on carting this dumb organic horseshit of yours again and again into the blue, maybe you could give us a count of your total "fruitful" comments to date on MetaFilter, and from that total count give us the percentage that have been lately devoted to discourse on the issues, rather than you just trying to mold front page posts to coincide with your own political leanings. Using those numbers and perhaps even excerpts from your own comments (I'll keep the manure shovel handy for ya), rank your contributions in terms of "fruitful discussion", will you?

You might want to keep your phrase "f-ing pathetic" handy. You're gonna need it again.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:14 PM on December 18, 2003


anyone who DOESN'T think that the bush administration in the very least exaggerated that iraq had WMD must be deluding themselves. that said, why is this news? because abc's diane sawyer interveiwed him? does this interview add any real insight into the possibilty that the administration lied other than the fact that bush seemed nervous and defensive (i'm taking their word for it because i didn't watch it on tv)? this doesn't really mean anything other than the fact that he seemed defensive, but of course people will come to their own conclusions as to why he's defensive. i would suspect the reason why it's hard to find any legitimate news sites out there running this story is because... well, it's not really a story.
posted by poopy at 9:40 PM on December 18, 2003


you mean "affect." the reasons are that Americans are very uneducated about current events, among other things.

1. That's not a reason. That's rhetoric that you backed up with nothing but a stereotype (something american's are often accused).

2. Thank you for the spelling correction, though it would have been better spent on a response that wasn't such complete nonsense. Surely you you have the time without the waste of television.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:41 PM on December 18, 2003


Oh for gods sake Seth!

Say, why don't you go and make Sethafilter?
posted by Tuatara at 9:43 PM on December 18, 2003


OH YEAH! SURE! FALL APART! THATS JUST WHAT THEY WANT!
posted by Satapher at 9:51 PM on December 18, 2003


why is this news? because abc's diane sawyer interveiwed him?

I'd say it's news because a member of the media appears to be developing what may very well be the beginning stages of a spine. I'm sure the mefi community will correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell, this is the first time a major American media outlet has criticized Bush directly regarding the WMD/war thing.
posted by fatbobsmith at 10:09 PM on December 18, 2003


Foldy, I hate Bush more than anyone here, but I don't post a link to CNN every time he breaks wind.

Get a fucking grip.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:15 PM on December 18, 2003


-- President William J. Clinton, December 16, 1998

Durwood, I lost count, sorry. Do you like using Clinton quotes from six years ago more than pointless trolling in your attempt to derail threads or is it the other way around? I understand you get tired a lot, but you probably know how often you piss on these discussions more than I would. If you can stay awake long enough to clarify your obsession with talking about how you don't want to talk about things, that would be great. Or, you know, you could just grow up and stop it. Thanks, dearie.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:31 PM on December 18, 2003


-- President William J. Clinton, December 16, 1998

Yeah, and it wasn't justified then either.
Whats your point?
posted by Espoo2 at 10:54 PM on December 18, 2003


fatbobsmith - this isn't the first time the media has raised questions about the administration's handling of WMD evidence. it might be the first time someone in the media has interviewed the president about it, but unless something significant was gleaned from it then what is the big deal? the comments in this thread speak volumes on the quality of this post. this issue has been discussed plenty of times before and i don't really see how this post adds anything worthwhile except to stroke people's already preheld assumptions.
posted by poopy at 11:14 PM on December 18, 2003


For god's sake. Metafilter isn't an american forum, its an international forum. We don't get US tv in the rest of the world and yet US politics and particularly US foreign policy impact on all of us. I wouldn't have seen anything about this interview if it hadn't been posted to Mefi. Whiners have to make a distinction between all posts about Iraq/Bush (I agree many are just crap) and posts that actually offer something new. An interview with a President who has been notorious for hiding from any questioning on his policy is clearly interesting. It's not about hating Bush or being bored of Iraq, its about trying to remain well informed.
posted by biffa at 2:00 AM on December 19, 2003


so i take it biffa that you're more educated today than you were yesterday? i also assume that you were unaware of the accusations of the US lying about iraq's WMD?
posted by poopy at 2:58 AM on December 19, 2003


Well I do know more about the line that President Bush is taking on WMDs and his reasons for invading Iraq, something which he hasn't really been questioned on before; about his possible vulnerabilities to future questioning as well as having some perspectives on same from the other members of this community. So yes to question 1. As to Question 2, being aware of an issue means keeping up to date on how that issue develops, otherwise your viewpoint is history and not current affairs. I hope that's not too complex for you, you obviously prefer to keep things simple.
posted by biffa at 3:21 AM on December 19, 2003


amberglow - how's that? (btw: deterrence worked--we're all still here.)

That would be a rather cute response if it were true - but I suppose you're not counting the people who aren't here because of terrorists attacks ... Sept. 11, USS Cole, etc. etc.

I think the more accurate response (and I would assume rational as well, but I know I'm asking a lot) would be to acknowledge that at least 3 administrations thought Sadaam had WMDs, that the U.N. thought he had WMDs - passed resolutions to that effect which were ignored for a decade or so -, that Sadaam documented only some of WMDs he had and has never shown evidence that he 'got rid' of them, and that WMDs were NOT the only reason for going to war with Iraq.

Now after that - we can quibble over what the inspectors knew or how intelligence gathering was flawed or things like that. But first I think we must agree on the shared beliefs of the distinctive entities involved. And that shared belief was thought to be true over a number of years and was not a fabrication of this administration. But of course, I'm asking a lot.
posted by alethe at 4:09 AM on December 19, 2003


alethe, if those attacks involved nukes then they would count--my response was to the threat of nuclear terrorism....Saddam and Iraq were not at all in any way involved in any of those attacks you mentioned, even the "etc. etc."

You say 3 administrations thought he had WMDs (i'd say 3 thought so, and 1 didn't care)--is that because Reagan and Bush1 actually sold them to him? Of course Clinton would think he still had them. Letting the inspectors do their job in Iraq would have shown that there weren't any there and that Iraq was never a threat to the US, nor even a potential one, but this administration wanted to invade and depose Saddam from the start, as has been proven already without a doubt. They used the threat of Saddam's existing WMDs (without knowing for sure that he had any anymore, and not wanting to know)

Deterrence worked during the cold war, and it worked for Saddam throughout the recent years incredibly well (but not well for the Iraqi people)--he had nothing; had not attacked anyone since Kuwait; and just went about his tinhorn dictator status, like so many others in the world--he wasn't developing weapons of mass destruction, nor was he anywhere near doing that, as Hans Blix said, and yet again recently. From aluminum tubes, to trailers in the desert, to grainy photos held up by Powell at the UN, to yellowcake, they were trying to justify and sell a war they had already decided to wage.
posted by amberglow at 5:06 AM on December 19, 2003


Have we completely finished hunting for WMDs? Are we going to shoot Saddam full of sodium pentathol or something and interrogate him?
posted by alumshubby at 5:10 AM on December 19, 2003


According to recent polls, Americans (largely) are buying Bush's rhetorical twists; the reasons for which he really claimed war was necessary are being forgotten.

So what's the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy full of irresponsible people with incredibly short attention spans?

alumshubby, apparently the hunt is over: David Kay is quitting.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:58 AM on December 19, 2003


Have we completely finished hunting for WMDs?

I suspect we never will be. Or at least not while we have the current administration.
posted by biffa at 7:00 AM on December 19, 2003


Where were all the Bush Administration apologists in this thread?

I thought that people would be at least curious that a member of the Senate was saying that the administration lied to them about WMD's right before the October 2002 vote, would be of more concern.
posted by bas67 at 7:02 AM on December 19, 2003


Deterrence worked during the cold war, and it worked for Saddam throughout the recent years incredibly well (but not well for the Iraqi people)--he had nothing; had not attacked anyone since Kuwait

Amber may I suggest You get a book on saddam. I love an inquiring mind and you have a great one but please inform yourself of some facts...if you do not 'buy' these facts then posit a position on what you disagree with or do not believe. "deterrence' worked for the cold war?
ask the koreans, the Tibetans, the Cheks', rumanians, cubans, the vietnamese. This deterrence cost the world to damn much. It did not work for saddam, do you know how many people he killed between 91' and 03'. He had nothing huh, we stole one quarter of a trillion $'s from iraq since 1981.

But what steams my goat is that GW used iffy and later false info to add another reason to attack. I don't like it.
please note that germany sold iraq many chemicals and lets not talk about russia. Of course, our nasty shopping bag made to saddams table many times. So, at least our country and a few others has the ability to remove him.

WMD did and most likely do exist.
what you perhaps may not have thought of was saddams destruction of WMD so as to deny the U.S. a chance to hold these up and say "See, he had them". Classic Sun-Tzu tactic: deny your enemy what he desires.
posted by clavdivs at 7:07 AM on December 19, 2003


foldy, why don't you post you complaints in metatalk not not the Blue? Post all the "facts" you want but your just a shrill in this one and i should know...tell you what, I won't post for a month if you will? Oh, Am I trying to silence you? Are you threatened?

and from that total count give us the percentage that have been lately devoted to discourse on the issues, rather than you just trying to mold front page posts to coincide with your own political leanings.

"paging mr. Kettle, Mr. Black, Mr. Kettle"
posted by clavdivs at 7:14 AM on December 19, 2003


Am I missing something? Where are seth's posts that are referred to above?
posted by item at 8:55 AM on December 19, 2003


So what's the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy full of irresponsible people with incredibly short attention spans?

The hope for a revolution is more futile in the latter. Alas.
posted by beth at 9:11 AM on December 19, 2003


Dennis, it's amazing to me to get "called out" on one of my most inoffensive comments ever, but whatever. i was just saying i appreciate the post, and the discussion isn't even that bad.

anyway,

1. That's not a reason. That's rhetoric that you backed up with nothing but a stereotype (something american's are often accused).

the question was whether this perhaps budding trend of investigative journalism would continue, and if it did, would it negatively affect the president's popularity.

i'll elaborate: the hard questions will remain on the fringes of the mainstream news, but they won't be lead stories, b/c the american public doesn't care much about it. we care about Lord of the Rings, Michael Jackson, Unreal Tournament 2004, the Super Bowl, etc.

negativity is not popular, and TV news is all about advertiser satisfaction. thus, while i think there's plenty of as-yet-unsubstianted "evidence" to question the president about, i don't think the TV news is going to be leading the investigation.

2. Thank you for the spelling correction, though it would have been better spent on a response that wasn't such complete nonsense. Surely you you have the time without the waste of television.

imo, the spelling/usage correct was time better spent (unless it was a typo and then i'm just a prick).

i do have the time, but i only have a computer at work. i composed that last message quickly on my way out of the office.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:18 AM on December 19, 2003


I think the more accurate response (and I would assume rational as well, but I know I'm asking a lot) would be to acknowledge that at least 3 administrations thought Sadaam had WMDs

Possibly, but only one administration lied about that possibility constituting an imminent threat and tried to carry us to war. If anything, the fact that previous administrations had the same info. and did not push for an immediate and unadvisable war probably goes to show that the intell. isn't as damning as the neocons claimed.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2003


I don't even know what to say to this. I'm over here in Iraq fighting for a President who can't tell the difference between "he might have" and "he does have?"
posted by JJBotter at 1:16 PM on December 19, 2003


That was a "grilling?" Gee, I'm so glad she pulled out the big guns.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:57 PM on December 19, 2003


Amber may I suggest You get a book on saddam. I love an inquiring mind and you have a great one but please inform yourself of some facts...if you do not 'buy' these facts then posit a position on what you disagree with or do not believe. "deterrence' worked for the cold war?
ask the koreans, the Tibetans, the Cheks', rumanians, cubans, the vietnamese. This deterrence cost the world to damn much.

Recommend one for me clav--i'll read it. And the alternative to deterrence was the end of the world, so of course it worked, no matter how high the price. You and I and billions of others are still here because no one pushed a button. This is pretty good, I think.

JJBotter, are you really over there? Be careful! and I wish you were home...
posted by amberglow at 3:17 PM on December 19, 2003


I think the more accurate response (and I would assume rational as well, but I know I'm asking a lot) would be to acknowledge that at least 3 administrations thought Sadaam had WMDs

Three of my friends think that you have my missing CDs in your home. We'll be coming over to search for them later this evening. Sorry if we trash the place in the process, but c'est la vie. Oh, and we'll take the savings you keep in the wall safe behind the picture to repair any damage we do. Well, to be honest, we might keep some of it for ourselves, too, in compensation for the trouble you'll have put us to.

Please don't interfere, or we will shoot you. Have a nice day.
posted by rushmc at 6:00 PM on December 19, 2003


I botched the grammar of those countries, sorry. I have a hard time refuting your end of the world alternitive to deterrance, nothing but hindsight can explain why i do not think it was a good policy.
I read this book on saddam. Some of the sources are private interviews which is the teeter-totter of citations but most seem to flesh out. Matteo called Con Coughlin a Richard Perleite or fan or something. I made up my own mind. I think it is somewhat balanced. Yeah, your link is good. happy holidays AG.
posted by clavdivs at 8:16 AM on December 20, 2003


you too clav! I'll look for that book. (and you know I realize he was a bad guy, but that's not enough reason to invade--opens up horrendous can of worms)
posted by amberglow at 8:42 AM on December 20, 2003


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