Join 3,374 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
November 22, 2005 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
posted by y2karl (134 comments total)

 
Karl, thanks for bringing the truth here.
posted by wheelieman at 9:53 PM on November 22, 2005


Karl! I knew you were the one talking to Fitzgerald!
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 PM on November 22, 2005


Yeah, they're a buncha fucks, all right.
posted by interrobang at 10:00 PM on November 22, 2005


And here I thought this was old news. Anyone here read 'The Nation'?
posted by thecollegefear at 10:00 PM on November 22, 2005


This is getting to be absolutely disgusting. When do these guys get locked up? And +1 to the Nation.

And congrats on the blockquote! I get peeved when people just plagiarize.
posted by kjell at 10:03 PM on November 22, 2005


Some much for seeing the same intelligence:
Indeed, the existence of the September 21 PDB was not disclosed to the Intelligence Committee until the summer of 2004, according to congressional sources. Both Republicans and Democrats requested then that it be turned over. The administration has refused to provide it, even on a classified basis, and won't say anything more about it other than to acknowledge that it exists.
....
The conclusions drawn in the lengthier CIA assessment-which has also been denied to the committee-were strikingly similar to those provided to President Bush in the September 21 PDB, according to records and sources. In the four years since Bush received the briefing, according to highly placed government officials, little evidence has come to light to contradict the CIA's original conclusion that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
And this disclosure pretty much jibes with what Richard Clarke said:
"[President Bush] came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report."

Clarke continued, "It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, 'Will you sign this report?' They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. ... Do it again.'"
Also mentioned at MSNBC.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:36 PM on November 22, 2005


TPM Cafe on how this relates to the Plame affair.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:41 PM on November 22, 2005


*Burns flag*
posted by mullingitover at 10:43 PM on November 22, 2005


damn
posted by AllesKlar at 10:44 PM on November 22, 2005


I swear I read this a year ago...
posted by mildred-pitt at 11:07 PM on November 22, 2005


Y'know, I would have thought that the way that no evidence was brought forth showing any connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq would have been kind of a hint that maybe we didn't have any evidence linking the two.
posted by hattifattener at 11:47 PM on November 22, 2005


I am sorry for the personal insult and the swearing. I really am. But I have said over and over I don't like it when people bring up any people by name in threads where they have made no comment. I am so on the record about that. I just hate the paging X in aisle number whatever comments. They are so useless.

I am on a very short fuse of late. Apologies to all who have to read any of the immediate above. Apologies also for excessive use of first person pronouns. Carry on.
posted by y2karl at 1:02 AM on November 23, 2005


Apology accepted, and my apologies to you, y2karl. I was unaware of both your extreme sensitivity to "paging X in aisle number whatever comments" and your "very short fuse of late," but now I am.

And now, on with the campaign!
posted by fandango_matt at 1:12 AM on November 23, 2005


America when will you be beautiful again?
posted by srboisvert at 2:38 AM on November 23, 2005


New spectral analyses of Bush's brain during the "My Pet Goat" reading show that he not only considered a war with Iraq in those seven minutes, he realized that there was no real rationale and decided to lie about it.
posted by ScottMorris at 2:58 AM on November 23, 2005


... and people keep saying he's not quick on the uptake!
posted by uncle harold at 3:14 AM on November 23, 2005


When do these guys get locked up?

Is it actually a criminal act for the President/administration to knowingly lie like this?

(That's a genuine questions about US law, just in case anyone thought I was taking the piss in some way.)
posted by jack_mo at 4:02 AM on November 23, 2005


How is Nixon so vilified and Bush is getting away with murder (literally)? I just don't get it.
posted by sacrilicious at 4:40 AM on November 23, 2005


Reprehensible! Don't you know that this kind of journalism will only give comfort to the enemy? The American people can't handle the truth!
posted by Neologian at 4:46 AM on November 23, 2005


The Nation? I have an inkling that Bush is planning an airstrike on their offices.
posted by caddis at 4:50 AM on November 23, 2005


How is Nixon so vilified and Bush is getting away with murder (literally)?

Because he who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future.

It's cliché because it's true.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:54 AM on November 23, 2005


Is this honestly a surprise to anyone on the blue? Right after 9/11 when it was obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with it, nearly anyone I spoke to agreed that this will be connected in some way to Iraq as an excuse for invasion.

history repeats and In America it also rewrites itself.

Now, seriously, when do we get a chance to try George, Tony and their croneys for illegal invasion of a sovereign state and crimes against humanity (to kill up to 100,000 Iraqis and a couple of thousand Americans in a needless and illegal war is just so god damn shameful - and they call themselves Christians.)
posted by twistedonion at 5:01 AM on November 23, 2005


Monorail !
posted by Frasermoo at 5:11 AM on November 23, 2005


The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. — D.H. Lawrence

I just had to throw this in somewhere and this seemed be as appropriate a place as any
posted by donfactor at 5:16 AM on November 23, 2005


How is Nixon so vilified and Bush is getting away with murder (literally)?

No blowjob was involved.

Aside: Thank you, y2karl, for the apology. We've all had those days.
posted by eriko at 5:22 AM on November 23, 2005


Unbelievable. Is this story getting covered anywhere else?
posted by stinkycheese at 6:42 AM on November 23, 2005


Metafilter: I am on a very short fuse of late.

Please leave this comment in place.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:55 AM on November 23, 2005


10 days? I think that that is too soon to know much of anything. You need atleast a fortnight.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:59 AM on November 23, 2005


I think I'll go get "Told you So" tattooed on my forhead.
posted by Jon-o at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2005


*forehead
posted by Jon-o at 7:08 AM on November 23, 2005


It really looks like COTPD and Team B are having their chickens come home to roost.

The full-scale inter-elite conflict hasn't broken out yet, as happened during the Tet offensive.

And the Democrats are still locked into a Vichy-style passive agressive sulk.
posted by warbaby at 7:09 AM on November 23, 2005


Y2Karl? Why, I didn't recognize it without the small text.

For me, what's weird is the feeling that I did know this. Maybe it's just that this confirms prejudices that I already had. One thing I do wish is that the news wouldn't just trickle out like this, incrimentally. People lose focus, and assume that it is just the same story again. I know that I do.

And I worry about myself, feeling that since these people in the administration will never be punished by legal means, we need a Leon Czolgosz. And I know that's a dangerous road to go down...
posted by klangklangston at 7:11 AM on November 23, 2005


How is Nixon so vilified and Bush is getting away with murder (literally)? I just don't get it.

well, you likely weren't there. nixon did not "become" vilified overnight. even as he quavered, sobbed and blubbered to his staff on national tv and slouched toward marine one for his final incongruous victory salute there were millions of americans were angry and who could not beleive it was happening to thier president. today we call them republicans. like with bush now, things didn't really get "hot" for nixon until the second term. the press finally started to wake up after his re-election. we could still see bush grinding his teeth and thrusting his jaw and standing on the steps of marine one making "W" signs and longhorn salutes before he turns away to yank on the accidentally locked helicopter door and make the stupid face one last time.
posted by quonsar at 7:13 AM on November 23, 2005


Metafilter: Please remove this comment too.
posted by NewBornHippy at 7:18 AM on November 23, 2005


Bush will be punished. It's just going to take a while. I hope that I will live to see him be the most villified president in American history.

The tie to the Plame name blame game flame is very interesting.

Even more interesting is the still unexplored tie between the Iran-Contra / COPTD cowboy faction and the anthrax attacks. Even the FBI believes the powder came from an illegal US weapons program. That's what's stalled the investigation. But the story is so radioactive nobody will touch it with a barge pole. Scott Shane at the NYT (formerly of the Baltimore Sun) has most of the pieces of the puzzle, but the investigation was stalled by official interference with the FBI.

The key to understanding the anthrax is that the letters were fakes intended to frame Iraq. Get it?
posted by warbaby at 7:20 AM on November 23, 2005


Paging so-and-so to aisle x comments are far lamer than MetaFilter: Whatever comments and as the latter comments are lying in the operating room corridor on a gurney on a ventilator braindead ccomatose organ donor dumb, that is lame indeed. Furthermore. And that's enough more keystrokes wasted.

Oh, the carpal tunnel syndrome !
posted by y2karl at 7:22 AM on November 23, 2005


I'm a bit confused. Perhaps this is a question for the gray, but I don't see the comment for which you are apologizing karl.
posted by mania at 7:45 AM on November 23, 2005


I swear I read this a year ago...
posted by mildred-pitt at 11:07 PM PST on November 22 [!]


We did read this a year ago, but a year ago it was just a tin foil beenie conspiricy theroy.
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 7:52 AM on November 23, 2005


There was a minor flame and both posters requested deletions. Carry on.
posted by warbaby at 7:52 AM on November 23, 2005


Thanks warbaby.
posted by mania at 7:56 AM on November 23, 2005


The National Journal article has a lot of information on the conflict between the CIA and the administration's "Iraqi intelligence cell" at the Pentagon, including Dick Cheney's glowing review of Feith-based inteligence:
"This is very good indeed...Encouraging...Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."
And I believe "shit for brains" take hyphens.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:01 AM on November 23, 2005


How is Nixon so vilified and Bush is getting away with murder (literally)?

I swear that this Administration makes me nostalgic for the Nixon Administration. Too bad we don't have him to kick around any more.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:09 AM on November 23, 2005


Cheney must have giant-sized balls to take on the CIA, the way this article suggests. And yes, I've seen the picture of his trouser shadows. Did he really think they'd sit back and take that?
posted by stinkycheese at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2005


Was Atta in Prague?
posted by loquax at 8:36 AM on November 23, 2005


There was a minor flame and both posters requested deletions [and Matt steadfastly refuses to institute any system of marking deletion points in a thread to avoid this kind of derailing.] Carry on.


Anyway, thanks for this link, y2. I too think I remember reading about this here, but probably indeed it was in the realm of "conspiracy theory" at the time.

But you know what? Just this morning I thought of something else about this whole "they saw the same intelligence we did" bullshit, and this Rumsfeld quote from the article kind of backs it up:

"We have what we consider to be credible evidence that Al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts with Iraq who could help them acquire … weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities."

Now, it's a given that "Congress saw the same intelligence we did" is at the very least an extreme stretching of the truth. But even if it were true, what I just remembered about the time in the run-up to the war was that we were constantly being assured that although the case presented to the public was astonishingly weak, there was more stuff that we didn't know yet that would prove the case. I know the argument was being made repeatedly by posters here and on other forums, I'm just trying to recall whether it was explicitly made by the administration. (Anybody?) If so, it would make the whole "saw the same intelligence" argument moot, because the assurance to us, and possibly to Congress as well, was that the intelligence being floated was just the tip of the iceberg.

Well, it was, of course, but the iceberg turned out to be upside-down.
posted by soyjoy at 8:45 AM on November 23, 2005


MeTa
posted by ijoshua at 8:47 AM on November 23, 2005


Regarding the D.H. Lawrence quote: yes, there seems to be a murderous streak in us, but Americans are also so damn friendly. Seriously, what is it about America? I don't get it. I do get the fact that fuckwits run the country, however, and I feel like I'm just sitting around, reading The Nation and not doing anything about it.
posted by kozad at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2005


For me, what's weird is the feeling that I did know this.

About the PDB? Kerry and Murtha said it a week ago.

And 2003-2004 Clarke harped about it quite a bit until he was buried by piles of Rove machine shit on the mainstream media outlets.

But really. Enough. We know all this. We seem to argue the same recognized facts over and over again. We KNOW Bush distorted facts. we KNOW he presented a one sided trumped up case for war. We KNOW why. All this "See. We were right. Again" chatter is only annoying noise to the Bush administration. If the past five years isn't enough evidence of that I don't what is.

What are you (we) gonna DO about it? Because what we have actually DONE so far has not worked. And if you think is has... or will... then forgive me when I tell you "I told you so" in three years when our troops are still in Iraq, Iraqi's are still dying, and the Administration skates away from office scott-free to their highly paid Oil Industry Lobby firms and Carlisle Group jobs. Possibly with the GOP lock on government still in place.

We should be talking about how we are gonna bring these unprincipled failures down. I'm serious.
posted by tkchrist at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2005


Was Atta in Prague?

No. There is absolutely no evidence that Atta left the US in Apr. of 2001. The FBI has followed his paper trail extensively. Atta was in the United States in April of 2001. The Czechs are either confused or lying.

Further, any contacts Hussein had with al Queda were considered by intelligence sources to be motivated by Iraq's fear of AQ. Saddam considered infiltrating AQ as he was afraid that they might attempt to hurt Saddam's secular government. AQ was an enemy, not an ally, to Saddam. AQ and Hussein's government had entirely antithetical goals.

Which is why any thinking person dismisses outlandish claims to the contrary (devoid of any evidence) as nonsense.
posted by teece at 9:28 AM on November 23, 2005


and I feel like I'm just sitting around, reading The Nation and not doing anything about it.

Oops. On preview. Ditto what Kozad said.
posted by tkchrist at 9:30 AM on November 23, 2005


Where are the frothing neocons to defend their dear leader now? Where is Dios? I think just last week he went on a talking point tirade about how Congress saw all the same information the Prez and his staff did.

I wonder if we'll ever see a newspaper headline in big huge font that simply says: Fucking Liars.
posted by aaronscool at 9:50 AM on November 23, 2005


Where are the frothing neocons to defend their dear leader now?

Hi!

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda,

What about from Sept. 21, 2001 to March, 2003? Was there any change in the CIA's assessment of the situation or the preponderance of evidence, circumstantial or otherwise? How does one define the words "scant", "credible" and "significant" in this context?

the agency reported that it had long since established that Iraq had previously supported the notorious Abu Nidal terrorist organization, and had provided tens of millions of dollars and logistical support to Palestinian groups, including payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

That's a pretty big precedent, and lends credibility or at least plausibility to even the flimsiest evidence of connections, at least in my books. See below for Hussein's support of terrorist organizations.

In arguing their case for war with Iraq, the president and vice president said after the September 11 attacks that Al Qaeda and Iraq had significant ties

I know Cheney did, did Bush? Honest question. I don't recall his wording ever being so explicit. Also, I don't recall that al Qaeda connections were ever a main focus of the justification for war, at least, not compared to the WMD arguement. I also don't recall any newspaper articles, opinion peices or credible political discourse asserting that Iraq was materially connected to either al Qaeda or 9/11, only vague associations (and potential associations) at best. Which it looks like was true, to some extent.

and they cited the possibility that Iraq might share chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons with Al Qaeda for a terrorist attack against the United States.

I have no trouble believing this to have been a possibility. Common enemies and all that, plus plausible deniability. Iran's been doing it for years. Why wouldn't Iraq give Al Qaeda a weapon to hurt the US with?

"You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror," President Bush said on September 25, 2002.


Misleading if it's asserting a direct and collaborative link, but I think it's true if not.

"We have what we consider to be credible evidence that Al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts with Iraq who could help them acquire … weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities."

Which would not be evidence of a collaborative relationship, as stated by the CIA report, only the seeking of contacts.

From whitehouse.gov:

2. Iraq shelters and supports terrorist organizations
# Iraq shelters and supports terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments.
# Al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.
# In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former U.S. President.


No claim of a direct relationship there.

Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism

From the state of the union speech.

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

No assertion of a connection with 9/11, and a vague comment at best. I don't see a lie or a misleading statement here.
posted by loquax at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2005


Where are the frothing neocons to defend their dear leader now? Where is Dios?

Yes. Where could they possibly be on the busiest travel day of the year?
posted by Cyrano at 10:28 AM on November 23, 2005


Our Thanksgiving was weeks ago, I'll be here all day!
posted by loquax at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2005


Even just two days ago, Cheney threw BinLadin's name into a speech--they're still doing it.

...Those who advocate a sudden withdraw from Iraq should answer a couple simple questions. Would the United States and other free nations be better off or worse off with Zarqawi, Bin Laden and Zawahiri in control of Iraq? ...
posted by amberglow at 10:37 AM on November 23, 2005


What's wrong with that statement amberglow? Bin Laden is certainly quite interested in being in charge of Iraq at the moment, as far as I know, and would stand a good chance of it should the US and their allies suddenly pull out.
posted by loquax at 10:42 AM on November 23, 2005


Too lazy to find the exact link at the moment, but let us not forget the minutes from a meeting with Herr Rumsfeld on the afternoon of 9/11 wherein he suggests that we (paraphrasing) "use this to sweep up the whole thing, OBL (bin Laden) and SH (Saddam Hussein)". These minutes were covered in the mainstream media, as I recall.

Ladies and gentleman, say what you will, but it seems incontrovertible to me that the administration came to power dead set on attacking Iraq (despite campaign pledges against nation-building) and is horrendously guilty of politicizing 9/11 to advance an agenda that was only peripherally related at best to the real and present dangers we were confronting. Did they lie to further advance this agenda? Why not? They also Osama bin Laden escape, so what's the big deal about telling a few whoppers?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2005


What's wrong with that statement amberglow? Bin Laden is certainly quite interested in being in charge of Iraq at the moment, as far as I know, and would stand a good chance of it should the US and their allies suddenly pull out.

Maybe what's wrong with it is that he wouldn't "stand a good chance of it" if the US and their allies hadn't gone in. It's analogous to the guy who kills his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2005


Loquax: No assertion of a connection with 9/11, and a vague comment at best. I don't see a lie or a misleading statement here.

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH
Can we stop kidding each other now? The 9-11 reference is explicitly stated right there in the notification to Congress that Bush decided to let slip the dogs of war upon Iraq, right over his signature.

Arguing they never explicity stated a connection between Iraq and al Queda, or Iraq and 9-11 is like picking nits over whether or not they ever said "imminent threat" with regards to Iraq. It's word parsing that is patently absurd.

No, they only said "looming threat", "new threat", "contemporary threat", "immediacy of today's threats", "imminent danger of attack", and "sufficient threat", and said things like this in the National Security Strategy which laid out the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption (which was the principle argument for invading Iraq):
Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat—most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies, and air forces preparing to attack.

We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction—weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning.

The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.
Bottom line, Loquax...they're flat busted. To claim otherwise is a disingenous insult to those who know better. What they have shown us is an utter disdain for the well-informed, and an absolutely spectacular ability to torture the English language.

The bird is not pining for the fjords...he's bleeding demised. He has ceased to be. He is....no more.

For God's sakes man...end the absurdity.
posted by edverb at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2005


"In arguing their case for war with Iraq, the president and vice president said after the September 11 attacks that Al Qaeda and Iraq had significant ties

I know Cheney did, did Bush? Honest question. I don't recall his wording ever being so explicit."

How about this? The first link off a google search for "bush quotes linking al qaeda to iraq". This information is out there but if you don't look for it, then of course you "won't recall".

2002

Bush, Oct. 7: "We know that Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al-Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade" and "we've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases."

2003

Bush, State of the Union address, Jan. 28: "And this Congress and the American people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda."

Bush, Feb. 6: "Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al-Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al-Qaeda" and "Iraq has also provided al-Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training."
posted by chowder at 10:58 AM on November 23, 2005


Loquax, it is not our job to educate you on why your thought patterns are broken and fundamentally pointless. Go outside, breath the beautiful fresh air and then think to yourself "Wow, isn't this just so much better than being a completely ignorant asshole on the internet who stamps his feet and asks the same fumbling, broken questions every other thread?". Now that's an "honest question" for you.

I do not want to hear any more of your absolutely hackish reasoning on what constitutes the "terrorists winning" because you'll pin that tail on any ass you see fit. I don't want to hear any more things like: "How does one define the words "scant", "credible" and "significant" in this context?" because they are pointlessly devisive and make me want to smash your face in with a sledgehammer.

People are dying every day and it's all to fill the coffers of a few already over-priveledged assholes born with silver spoons. You obviously can't see that, and I'll excuse that away as some personal defect - I dunno, maybe you were born with horse-blinders? I try not to discriminate. However, you still like to stand up and piss into the political thread pool so goddamn frequently. Why? Why do you insist on wasting your time and energy going around in circles defending these shitbags? Get a fucking grip.
posted by prostyle at 11:14 AM on November 23, 2005


Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

Given the truth of this statement, I would consider the administration to be "lying" if they stated that "the CIA has informed us in a briefing on Sept 21, 2001 that there is evidence linking the Iraqi regime to the attacks, and there is a preponderance of credible evidence that Iraq has significant collaborative ties with al Qaeda." Taking that particular report at that point in time and using it as conclusive proof that unrelated statements at other points in time were in fact conscious lies is not supportable. As I've said in threads about WMD, I fully acknowledge that the administration made decisions about what intelligence to believe and what should be discarded, but such a choice, even if it's wrong, should not automatically be considered a conspiracy, and failure to disclose every single piece of intelligence associated with Iraq over the last 15 years should not automatically be considered a "lie". None of the statements made by the administration are demonstrably false (as far as I know), and none, (again, as far as I know) were made with conclusive and complete evidence to the contrary. How, after all, can one prove that there was never substantial contact between al Qaeda and Iraq? Acknowledging the veracity of this memo, or other such documents does not eliminate the possibility of other intelligence that was followed, from other nations, from other agencies, and so on.

This information is out there but if you don't look for it, then of course you "won't recall".

Blah blah blah. I'm so sick of this kind of comment. Fine, I'm a dittohead you Bin Laden apologist.

(and by the way, those quotes all come after 2001, when the report linked to in the post was presented. Disprove Bush's comments if you can. Prove that Iraq did not train al Qaeda in making bombs. Prove that there was no connection. A disagreement about the significance or credibility of evidence does not equate a lie. Testimony from defectors was collected. Intelligence indicating a relationship was gathered. Was any of it a smoking gun? No. Was the connection between Iraq and al Qaeda and/or 9/11 the chief or even a main justification for going to war? No. Did the possibility exist that al Qaeda and the Baathists would join forces to opposed and attack the US at some point in the future as in Afghanistan? Definitely yes).

Prostyle: Thanks for the advice. Will take in under consideration. I appreciate your concern for my wellbeing.
posted by loquax at 11:16 AM on November 23, 2005


This administration owes a debt of gratitude to Bill Clinton for adding a useful tool to the presidential rhetorical toolbox. I can hear this now:

Mr. President, did you ever state that there is a significant tie between Al Qaeda and Iraq?

Well, that depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is?

Try it yourself!

Disprove Bush's comments if you can. Prove that Iraq did not train al Qaeda in making bombs. Prove that there was no connection.

Prove that Easter Bunnies didn't fly down from the sky and serve canapes to everyone! Go ahead! I dare you!
posted by Otis at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2005


I never called you a dittohead, but when you ask an "honest question" and then I provide an answer and instead of acknowledging it and commenting you get all defensive and then shift around and say unless it's a quote from 2001 it doesn't count. This debate in general is about intelligence information the Bush administration did or did not withhold during the run up to war. The 2003 Invasion of Iraq began on March 20. The three quotes I found are from before that date. For the argument you and I are having, you're right, the quotes are not from 2001 (there were a whole 3 and 1/3 months left in 2001 after September 11). For the argument everyone else is having, I'm pretty sure you're wrong.
posted by chowder at 11:39 AM on November 23, 2005


Loquax:

None of the statements made by the administration are demonstrably false (as far as I know), and none, (again, as far as I know) were made with conclusive and complete evidence to the contrary. How, after all, can one prove that there was never substantial contact between al Qaeda and Iraq?

and then you say

[...]Disprove Bush's comments if you can. Prove that Iraq did not train al Qaeda in making bombs. Prove that there was no connection.

After reading that...I'm sorry I spent so much time replying to you, in good faith as I did. Never mind.
posted by edverb at 11:40 AM on November 23, 2005


Disprove Bush's comments if you can. Prove that Iraq did not train al Qaeda in making bombs. Prove that there was no connection.

Hello, I'd like to return this frothing neocon for one that doesn't make the most rudimentary logical errors. Thanks.

Anyway, pursuant to my inquiry above, here's another near-hit from Atrios:Anybody else interested in finding more of these contemporary "they don't have the same information we do" quotes? If not, I'll drop it.
posted by soyjoy at 11:41 AM on November 23, 2005


Sorry, I meant "near-hit from Atrios:"
posted by soyjoy at 11:43 AM on November 23, 2005


...and failure to disclose every single piece of intelligence associated with Iraq over the last 15 years should not automatically be considered a "lie". None of the statements made by the administration are demonstrably false (as far as I know), and none, (again, as far as I know) were made with conclusive and complete evidence to the contrary

Actually the statements of the last week by Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld do not fit with this assertion. Since Cheney's was the only one I could find on short notice (though I heard the same thing from all of them) I'll include that:

“These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence, and were free to draw their own conclusions. They arrived at the same judgment about Iraq’s capabilities and intentions that was made by this administration and by the previous administration”

This is an outright lie at this point wouldn't you agree?
posted by aaronscool at 11:46 AM on November 23, 2005


Revision Thing: A History of the Iraq War, Told Entirely in Lies
posted by edverb at 11:49 AM on November 23, 2005


What about from Sept. 21, 2001 to March, 2003? Was there any change in the CIA's assessment of the situation or the preponderance of evidence, circumstantial or otherwise?

No. Read the article.
In the four years since Bush received the briefing, according to highly placed government officials, little evidence has come to light to contradict the CIA's original conclusion that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Did the possibility exist that al Qaeda and the Baathists would join forces to opposed and attack the US at some point in the future as in Afghanistan? Definitely yes.

Probably no. In fact, Hussein considered Al Qaeda to be a threat (from the same article):
One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.
Testimony from defectors was collected

And discredited, selectively quoted, or retracted:
In February 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency questioned the reliability of a captured top al Qaeda operative whose allegations became the basis of Bush administration claims that terrorists had been trained in the use of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, according to declassified material released by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.).

Referring to the first interrogation report on al Qaeda senior military trainer Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the DIA took note that the Libyan terrorist could not name any Iraqis involved, any chemical or biological material used or where the training occurred. As a result, "it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers," a DIA report concluded.

In fact, in January 2004 al-Libi recanted his claims, and in February 2004 the CIA withdrew all intelligence reports based on his information. By then, the United States and its coalition partners had invaded Iraq.
...
Levin noted in a prepared statement that, beginning in September 2002, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet, and then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell used the alleged chemical and biological training by Baghdad as valid intelligence in speeches and public appearances to gather support for the Iraq war.
They continued to make these claims after the allegations had been discredited. What about other defectors? How about Hussein Kamel, who told the CIA in 1995 that Iraq had "destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them." How about Curveball, the major source for the mobile weapons claims, who was also discredited before the war?

let us not forget the minutes from a meeting with Herr Rumsfeld on the afternoon of 9/11

Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11:
With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.

Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld.

"Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:52 AM on November 23, 2005


loquax, I used to think you were a level-headed person I disagreed with. Your statements in this thread are making it hard for me to stick to that belief.
posted by teece at 11:59 AM on November 23, 2005


The neocons's brains are all becoming unhinged as Dear Leader's Aura of Leadership(tm) flies apart like an unlubricated aluminum block engine.

Their fundamental thought process, governed by the example of their worship object Daddy Figures, is disintegrating. We see the evidence here every day.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:04 PM on November 23, 2005


This is an outright lie at this point wouldn't you agree?

“These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence, and were free to draw their own conclusions. They arrived at the same judgment about Iraq’s capabilities and intentions that was made by this administration and by the previous administration”

In terms of the access to the information, in particular the CIA report of Sept. 21 2001? Maybe. Although many conclusions were drawn by elected officials about Iraq before 9/11 and before Bush, and I think that quote is in reference to WMD, not al Qaeda.

In the four years since Bush received the briefing, according to highly placed government officials, little evidence has come to light to contradict the CIA's original conclusion that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

What about intel from other countries and other agencies? Who are these highly placed government officials? How little is little? There is so little confirmation or proof of anything that it's impossible to make a blanket judgement consisting of "the administration was spouting bald-faced lies".

Probably no. In fact, Hussein considered Al Qaeda to be a threat (from the same article):

Well, that may be so, but strange times make for strange bedfellows. Hussein had been steadily drifting towards Islamic fundamentalism since 1991 (or at least, making pretension towards doing so). Is it not likely that, had things been left alone, the sharing of a common enemy would fertilize the grounds for direct collaboration, secret or otherwise? If Bin Laden had come to Hussein asking for a briefcase nuke to plant in Chicago, would Hussein have refused him? I highly doubt it. (Of course, whether or not Hussein was in a position to help al Qaeda much at the time is another story, but what about the future?)

In February 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency questioned the reliability of a captured top al Qaeda operative whose allegations became the basis of Bush administration claims that terrorists

Assuming this is true, it conclusively proves that the DIA questioned the reliability of a captured top al Qaeda operative. His recantation in 2004 does not make administration claims in 2003 a lie.

How about Hussein Kamel, who told the CIA in 1995 that Iraq had "destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them." How about Curveball, the major source for the mobile weapons claims, who was also discredited before the war?

This is a separate discussion about WMD, and it relates to a whole whack of other intelligence.

"Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

I agree with that 100%. Note that he didn't blame Iraq for 9/11, just that it was time to take action against Iraq, related or not.

I don't understand the problems with my logic. As far as I see it, there are those who believe the administration is lying, and are hinging that claim on the basis of selective quotes, reports and assertions by various people and agencies. My point is that while the administration could very well be lying, what has been disclosed here is not conclusive proof of lying, and as such, is detrimental to the discussion of whether or not the administration is competant and whether or not the war in Iraq was/is justified.

Again, I have no problem with the claim that Bush is incompetent because he believed and acted on intelligence that was "doubtful" over intelligence that was "solid", even if correct, but I do have a problem with the assertion that anything said about Iraq was essentially a pack of lies, which I believe is being made on the strength of far too little proof, and way too much extrapolaton and conjecture. Which is essentially what you accuse the Bush administration of doing.
posted by loquax at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2005


None of the statements made by the administration are demonstrably false (as far as I know), and none, (again, as far as I know) were made with conclusive and complete evidence to the contrary. How, after all, can one prove that there was never substantial contact between al Qaeda and Iraq?

[...]

Disprove Bush's comments if you can. Prove that Iraq did not train al Qaeda in making bombs. Prove that there was no connection.



Dear Mr. loquax,

we have been avidly following your latest ramblings and would be thrilled to have your brilliant logical tracts help our cause as well. Please let us know if we can hire you as a speaker.

Sincerely,
The Kansas School Board
posted by uncle harold at 12:14 PM on November 23, 2005


Y'know, Canada is about to throw out its government.

Tomorrow the opposition parties are going to hold a non-confidence vote, which will very likely pass, forcing a Federal election.

There is nothing our minority government can do to prevent this from happening: they had their chance to work cooperatively with the opposition parties.

Checks and balances, man.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:16 PM on November 23, 2005


Dear Kansas School Board:

My pleasure! My usual fee is 4 babies to be consumed during my appearance, and an additional 2 babies for my return trip. As you are an educational institution, I can reduce that to a total of 3 babies and 6 puppies.

Yours in Christ,

Loquax.
posted by loquax at 12:18 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't understand the problems with my logic.

Well, no, you wouldn't. If you understood them, you wouldn't have the problems.
posted by soyjoy at 12:18 PM on November 23, 2005


Er, I should finish that thought:

Is there not any way for the USA to remove a government from power, short of outright revolt?

I understand that it probably can't happen this time around, because your House and Senate are both majority-ruled. If they were minority-ruled, would they have the power to remove the President and/or force a Fed election?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:21 PM on November 23, 2005


As far as I see it, there are those who believe the administration is lying, and are hinging that claim on the basis of selective quotes, reports and assertions by various people and agencies. My point is that while the administration could very well be lying

Right. We will never find conclusive proof that Bush was lying. However, given all the available evidence, the preponderance of opinion is that he probably was. The case for Bush's dishonesty is very strong. The case for an honest mistake, very weak.

This issue here is particularly damaging -- as it most definitely proves (yet again) that Bush's White House is lying about Democrats in congress having access the same intelligence as he did.

There is a pattern of behavior by Bush over the last few years that is absolutely damning. Only the most Pollyanna-ish of the Pollyannas will deny that. The prosecution's case is very strong, the defense's is very weak.

You just seem to be playing a rear-guard game at this point, loquax. You demand conclusive proof that Bush was lying (and conclusive proof that all of Bush's unsubstantiated claims about Saddams' phantom AQ link were wrong *), yet obviously seem to think he wasn't lying, based upon the scantiest of proof. Given the pattern of deception and misdirection Bush has employed for his entire presidency, and the fact that we now know objectively that all the claims he made about Iraq were dead wrong, it seems damn silly to give the man the benefit of the doubt.

(*)[one can't prove a negative, which is what you were demanding]
posted by teece at 12:36 PM on November 23, 2005


Is there not any way for the USA to remove a government from power, short of outright revolt?
Not until the next election, although under the 25th Amendment the president can be replaced if he's "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

If they were minority-ruled, would they have the power to remove the President and/or force a Fed election?
Congress could remove the president by impeaching him (in the House of Representatives) and convicting him (in the Senate). Ideally the political composion of Congress wouldn't matter and they would only impeach him for legitimate reasons. (Isn't it pretty to think so?) Nixon, for example, finally decided to resign when Republican senators told him he would lose the impeachment vote in the Senate. They can't force a federal election.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:37 PM on November 23, 2005


My point is that while the administration could very well be lying, what has been disclosed here is not conclusive proof of lying

What does your 'gut' tell you? That these are honorable public servants whose default position is telling the truth for the good of the people? Perhaps first you should spend some time looking over the long and distinguished career of Dick Cheney, his financial dealings (the types of companies he is associated with) and his general character description by those who know him. Clearly a person whose will do 'what it takes' to get what he wants.

I don't think anyone in the admimistration 'lied'.

I do think they decided that the American people were stupid, racist, and angry enough to conflate Iraq and Al Qaeda based on mere suggestions which cannot really be called lies. And they decided the American people were scared enough to believe, just through carefully repeated suggestions, that their safety was at risk. And they were right.

You can blame them for being so cynical, but you can't blame them for being wrong about the populace, and I don't think you can catch them in any outright lies.
posted by cell divide at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2005


After reading that...I'm sorry I spent so much time replying to you, in good faith as I did. Never mind.

One might as well be Charlie Brown in Peanuts kicking field goals with Lucy as center. The ball is always going to be moved. Move the ball. Move the ball. Dodge and weave--never answer a point made, change the topic, shout I can't hear you ! Assert over and over according to the Golden Because I Said So ! Rule. Introduce a new topic, play innocent--Who, me ? Why, I represent that remark ! When faced with a seemingly total disregard for the rules of logic or principled debate, blatant intellectul dishonesty--nay, flat out plain unvarnished dishonesty if one counts Pinnochio nose sized lies of omission and embedded implicit nyah nyah nyah's !, don't waste a keystroke. It's like playing one long croquet game with the the Queen of Hearts in Alice In Wonderland--flamingo mallets, hedgehog balls and the Queen rewriting the rules at every step all along the way. Definitely not a Klingon. You might as well talk to Dick Cheney's hand. Consider the source and move along. If you waste your time, the terrorists have won.
posted by y2karl at 12:41 PM on November 23, 2005


Well, no, you wouldn't. If you understood them, you wouldn't have the problems.

I agree. In theory.

Perhaps I misspoke somewhere and confused my logic. If so, I apologize. The essence of what I am trying to say is this:

1. In order to claim that a statement is a lie, you must be able to prove on the preponderance of evidence that the statement is demonstrably false AND that it was made by someone who knew it to be false at the time it was made.

2. The intelligence that we are privy to is selective. The entire volumes of Iraqi and al Qaeda intelligence reports that have been collected have not been released to the general public, and it is impossible for a layperson to conclusive claim knowledge of all of that collected intelligence. Instead, we are provided with bits and pieces. A vague CIA report from 2001, "High up administration official" comments from 2003, DIA analysis from 2004, and so on.

3. The Bush administration (and many others) have made a number of statements, some vague, some concrete, about Iraq and al Qaeda, some that have turned out to be incorrect, some that other people *believed* to be incorrect at the time, and some that were based on intelligence that others believed to be *less credible* than other conflicting information.

4. Since we do not have all of the information required to make a judgement as to what Bush and other officials *knew* or didn't know (we cannot prove or disprove what al , only things that they might have known or conflicting information that they discounted without *knowing* that it was true or false, we cannot claim that the administration was lying - making false statements while knowing they were false.

Perhaps you can claim that they made lies of omission, but I would argue that is true of every government, at all times. There will always be conflicting intelligence, there will always be those that disagree. I don't believe that a government put in the position that the Bush administration was in in 2003 has a duty to release all evidence so that the media or the general public or even all of congress (aside from the intelligence committees) can decide on a course of action.

Perhaps you can argue that the Bush administration should have known that they statements they were making were false. Even so, it's not a lie, but negligence.

Incidently, the wiki article on "Lie" would claim that Bush is not a liar, but a "bullshitter"

Is there not any way for the USA to remove a government from power, short of outright revolt?

Impeachment, on the basis of negligence. I would say give it a try! Or elect more democrats to the house and the senate in 2006 and stymie the executive branch.

(*)[one can't prove a negative, which is what you were demanding]


Apologies, I was not doing so intentionally, but rhetorically to make that very point. I'm not saying "prove anything", I'm saying "don't say anything you can't prove".
posted by loquax at 12:43 PM on November 23, 2005


I cannot "prove" that I exist, yet everything I do hinges on that assumption. Perhaps I am a man dreaming of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming of being a man.
But once I become omnipotent, I'll get back to you with all of that "proof."
We cannot "prove" anything. We can make reasoned assumptions, and if you can look at the data we have and believe that it is a reasonable assumption that the administration did not lie to the American public and their elected officials...well, I guess I doubt the validity of your reasoning.
posted by 235w103 at 12:57 PM on November 23, 2005


Amen, y2karl.

Anyone who has seen enough of these threads knows the patterns of when and how these stooges roll in. I'm not going to speak for Karl here, but I found his little outburst earlier in the thread particularly indicative of a response to what's lacking in the population today. Somehow, somewhere, intelligence and reasoning were put aside and replaced with labels, containers and divisive logical fallacies repeated ad infinitum.

Seeing someone make a callout for a particularly oriented member is so trite and infurating (to me) because you don't even have to ask for it to happen, and glibly making such a statement is disengenous to an honest debate. At the same time, it's completely inevitable. You know who these people are, and they make a very honest effort to stick out - I don't need to name names here, obviously. All of these asshats stroll in after 30-50 comments and drop a steaming pile of ignorant garbage from their mental composters, troll the living shit out of any honest debate and obviously sit back and revel in their sophistry.

It's insatiable, the beast cannot be fed. They are not interested in discourse, they are merely interested in becoming the center of attention so they can cherry pick comments and feel... I don't know. I honestly don't know what kind of high they ride on, because if I were them I'd probably have ended my pathetic, soulless life a long, long time ago. Instead you see them stopping in and taking a dump in every thread like this, constantly. How many comments is it going to take before they are satisfied? 1000? 10,000? Pointless, every single one of them.

I won't deny that in a particular sense this post is entirely self-defeating, (If you waste your time, the terrorists have won) but I'm just so goddamn sick of it. Fuck you, loquax and all of your kind.
posted by prostyle at 1:08 PM on November 23, 2005


Chill. No need to get in a tizzy.

Remember the poster on Agent Mulder's wall. I Want To Believe. There are UFOS, the War in Iraq wiil go well, the War in Iraq is going well, Water does flow uphill.

Ideologician =| Logician.

Believers wish, Unbelievers lie.
posted by y2karl at 1:20 PM on November 23, 2005


I flagged your post, prostyle. Metafilter needs less of that garbage. Try to grow up a little before posting public messages.
posted by loquax at 1:33 PM on November 23, 2005


I for one appreciate loquax's point of view. I don't agree with it and I think he's pinning his hopes on the good intentions of the administration.

I certainly think that the current administration tactic of saying folks had all the information they did at the time is a patent lie. You can't separate the WMD intelligence from the Al Qaeda intelligence when you make that distinction because this war was sold to the public on both.

I'm further disheartened by the fact that the very same folks we had the very same discussions about whether or not we should invade Iraq at that time suggested the administration had far better and more convincing evidence of WMD's/Al Qaeda than they could share publicly now suggest that we made a decision on evidence we all shared. What an utter load of BS.

The evidence was flimsy at the time and is even more so today, otherwise I guarantee the UN would be there with us. I charge it is the administration who is attempting to rewrite history.
posted by aaronscool at 1:36 PM on November 23, 2005


Being in possession of contrary evidence and withholding it is considered deceptive by any rational person. Deleting caveats and cautionary statements from intelligence reports is decptive. Presenting these uncertain assumptions as concrete fact to advance your agenda is called lying.

I say this all the time...this isn't a debate between us and the neocons...it will be a debate between the neocons and their maker. Bearing false witness is a mortal sin, one over which they appear utterly unrepentant. I wish them luck with that.
posted by edverb at 1:45 PM on November 23, 2005


Metafilter needs less of that garbage.

Agreed. Fortunately we have posts like this to counter it.
posted by juiceCake at 1:47 PM on November 23, 2005


Metafilter: needs less of that garbage.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Comedy gold.
posted by prostyle at 2:22 PM on November 23, 2005


Metafilter: You might as well talk to Dick Cheney's hand
posted by zaelic at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2005


The ball is always going to be moved. Move the ball. Move the ball. Dodge and weave--never answer a point made

AKA rotating the goalposts when they can be moved back no more.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:43 PM on November 23, 2005


If I may be indulged to explain why I think the distinction between a lie and negligence is important...

Everybody knows that the Baathists and al Qaeda are "bad guys". Nobody seriously questions that the world would be a better place without them (leaving alternatives aside for a moment). Given that, and given the fact that the average person, or US voter in particular couldn't care less about the minutiae of the distinction between them, or the details of why and how they are bad, to say that Bush is "lying" with respect to ostensibly "dealing" with those threats is a losing proposition for his opponents.

The average person (who watches FoxNews, who doesn't read stuff on the Internet, who doesn't flip through intelligence assessments) will ultimately reject this claim of lying on its face, a) because it's difficult to conclusively prove, b) because most people don't care as long as the baddies are dealt with, c) because it contradicts about a decade and a half of conventional wisdom, d) you have to present plausible motives for intentional deceit, which I haven't really seen beyond vague claims of oil theft and haliburton stuff.

At that point, the ones making the claims of lying are the ones who bare the brunt of voter anger, especially considering the Republican party ability to spin information and control perceptions. The maneuvering by Bush and Cheney this week, calling that congressman a patriot while he disagreed with them is a perfect example of this. People who accuse the administration of lying without having them dead to rights, like was the case in Watergate, will look like fools, shrill and petty, looking to undermine a War President.

On the other hand, incompetence and negligence is something everyone can understand. Calling Bush stupid is infinitely more effective than calling him a liar, if you ask me: a) it makes you look smarter, b) you don't have to prove stupidity, just indicate it, c) countering claims of stupidity is almost impossible without making yourself seem more stupid or making yourself look defensive. It's not a stretch for the average voter to believe an administration incompetent or stupid, I think it is to believe them as a nefarious cabal, plotting to go to war for personal reasons while lying to the public at every turn.

So go on and call Bush a liar, but if you do, I bet you're playing right into his hands as the mid-term elections approach. My two cents.

(Let me add that by American standards, I'm a non-religious, social extreme liberal, economic liberal, and that I would likely vote for a Democrat president in 2008 if I could vote, assuming the nominee isn't Hilary Clinton, Al Sharpton, Denis Kucinich or another wacko)
posted by loquax at 3:05 PM on November 23, 2005


The other thing everybody is coming to know is that we were likely better off with Saddam in power and contained than with us trying to fix everything he broke in Iraq.

Saddam was a bad person but it was the Iraqi's who bore the brunt of his badness not the US.

To this day I don't know exactly why Bush and Co. wanted to go to war and what they were expecting as a result. The cynic in me believes that after the 2000 election he believed that only a war would get him re-elected legitimately and Iraq met all the criteria for a good war (precedent, brand recognition, and a weak defense we could easily rain smart bombs down on).

The optimist in me hopes he was at least under the misguided belief that we could establish a true democracy in the Middle East to show those heathens the way.

The realist in me knows that at this point the ends do not justify the means and that the true motives for this war were not what this war was sold to us on. Call that what you will deception, negligence, or lying.
posted by aaronscool at 3:16 PM on November 23, 2005


To this day I don't know exactly why Bush and Co. wanted to go to war and what they were expecting as a result.

[Church Lady] Oooh.... Well, aren't we confused !

Let me, think.... Could it be Petroleum ? [/Church Lady]
Largely overlooked were [Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence ]Wilkerson’s frank admissions about the importance of oil in justifying a long-term U.S. military intervention in Iraq...

We had a discussion in (the State Department’s Office of) Policy Planning about actually mounting an operation to take the oilfields of the Middle East, internationalize them, put them under some sort of U.N. trusteeship and administer the revenues and the oil accordingly,” Wilkerson said. “That’s how serious we thought about it.”
And hat was at State--the peaceniks of the crew. Think of what a raging success that would have been, all things considered. Leaving the inevitable carnage aside, just think of the infrastructure. Hello Mr. Pipeline, meet Mr. Truck Bomb, and Mr. Truck Bomb Jr. and Uncle Truck Bomb, and there are The Truck Bomb Cousins and don't forget the inlaws ! And here come the party guests and, oh, look ! a parade !
From May 2002 until February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. This seizure of the reins of U.S. Middle East policy was directly visible to many of us working in the Near East South Asia policy office, and yet there seemed to be little any of us could do about it.

I saw a narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in the Pentagon used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship between policymakers in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.

I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.

While this commandeering of a narrow segment of both intelligence production and American foreign policy matched closely with the well-published desires of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of us in the Pentagon, conservatives and liberals alike, felt that this agenda, whatever its flaws or merits, had never been openly presented to the American people. Instead, the public story line was a fear-peddling and confusing set of messages, designed to take Congress and the country into a war of executive choice, a war based on false pretenses, and a war one year later Americans do not really understand. That is why I have gone public with my account.
The New Pentagon Papers
posted by y2karl at 4:22 PM on November 23, 2005


“We KNOW Bush distorted facts. we KNOW he presented a one sided trumped up case for war. We KNOW why”
posted by tkchrist

In some particulars I agree with loquax we don’t have conclusive proof of lies or motives. In some I agree with teece (et. al) that the preponderance of opinion is that he probably was lying and that it does damage the country.

I feel like a schumuck for opposing Clinton going after Slobodon Milosevic, when in fact that was rather tidy business compared to the fiasco in Iraq, which I at first blush, supported.
I still dislike the idea of engaging in war for reasons that do not directly impact the country - even in the instance of genocide and Milosevic torturing people.
I question however why that engagement was less justified on those grounds - as it was opposed by myself and many of my fellow conservatives - than this one in Iraq.

It is fairly apparent now that we had no interests in Iraq that were to be served by invasion, no larger strategic plan for weening ourselves off oil while stablizing anything that could externally affect policies.
Clearly, we are more beholden to foreign powers than ever under this administration.

That said we certainly don’t KNOW (caps) anything. We might think it. We might be right. We might even know (regular), but be unable to prove it. This is all that matters. Hard proof that would stand up in a court of law, not a court of opinion.
Do we have that? Not that I’ve seen.

Do we have evidence that the administration lied? Certainly. And that is certainly a crime. It is the kind of “soft crime” however that is often overlooked by one’s political fellows.
So I would pose a question similar to the one I posed to conservatives above to those on the left, or Democrats, what have you - why was it justified to ignore the “soft crimes” of Clinton? - and I’m not speaking of the blowjob debacle, but the actual instances where he was lying and people were killed and things happened on his watch (waco, ruby ridge come to mind, but there are others).
Most of us here aren’t fanatics of either stripe, so I’m not addressing Mefites directly, but offering this as a glimpse of the political realities. And I’m not saying that one cancels out the other or they are equal crimes in some way or anything so trite. Mearly that the business of politics is likely to suffer such maneuvers more easily than a less forgiving art or science.
All the more need for substantive, provable, legal charges. I am not sure whether folks are arguing a case or think Bush might return next election...I know tkchrist’s position. I’m 3/4ths of the way there myself.
I would think though the objective would be -if there is evidence of a crime - justice for it. Now or under whatever administration holds the reigns next term.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on November 23, 2005


Well smedlyman. I think we are in the history making process now, that is to say what will history say about the war in Iraq?

I also think that the next administration (either Dem or GOP) will have to deal with the many costs and consequences of this war. I think it's likely that at that point whomever is in power will want a full investigation to be able to distance themselves as much as possible from the responsibility of the giant turd they've been passed to take care of.

Unlike many other Liberals/Democrats I don't think a hasty pullout will serve our national interests at all. Now that we have broken down the stability of Iraq under Saddam we need an equally stabile Iraq under new leadership. Without that Bush's worst terrorism fears will become realized and we will have been the ones to make it true: Iraq will become the next Afghanistan, torn by inner conflict without strong centralized control and fostering Islamic extremism to an economically and socially debilitated population.
posted by aaronscool at 4:34 PM on November 23, 2005


waco

April 19, 1993

ruby ridge

August 21, 1992
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:37 PM on November 23, 2005


A sensible take on the question of "what do we do now?"

Moving Forward in Iraq, address of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (11/22/05)
posted by edverb at 4:39 PM on November 23, 2005


I don't know exactly why Bush and Co. wanted to go to war and what they were expecting as a result.

It would have been one helluva of a hostile takeover. A CEO president would saliver at that going every night going to bed.

America Inc. has a pretty good detente with OPEC, all things considered. But Saddam was the "ethnic-slur in the woodpile" and had he escaped the US-UK sanctions box he had the power to cause us all kinds of grief, like only selling his oil in euros and excluding the US & UK from Iraq's trade.

Plus the Russians and French had dibs on billions of dollars of oil thanks to their support of Saddam in the 1980s against Iran.

I expect they believed they could mount a sufficiently crisp transition to put the secular Shiites like Chalabi in control, kinda run a Marcos/Thieu/Pinochet-style corporate-client state, eject the French & Russians, and reopen the country back in business with America Inc. The free money from this enterprise would trickle all throughout the Republican power-base, so the "Iraqi Peese & Freefdom" line being sold to the public would also be nicely backed up by a shedload of Benjamins.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:51 PM on November 23, 2005


Friday's hastily staged congressional vote on withdrawal from Iraq may have been designed to embarrass John Murtha, but the raucous session offered valuable insight into the various rationales for war and the tactics used to attack Democrats who oppose Bush's Iraq policy. A parade of House Republicans went after the Dems and laid out a surprisingly weak case for the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq. Here, in my view, are ten of the leading pro-war fallacies...  

1. Virtually everyone who saw the intelligence believed Saddam
    had WMD, and therefore Bush is unfarily singled out for
   criticism
2. After 9/11, we can't wait for the threat to materialize before
    taking action
3. Democrats 'voted' for and 'supported' the war
4. Talk of withdrawal 'sends the wrong message' and
   ' 'emboldens the enemy'
5. A withdrawal from Iraq would have disastrous consequences.
6. Withdrawing ffom Iraq is tantamount to 'cutting and running'
7. We're fighting them 'there' so we don't have to fight them here
8. Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq, they're just attacking
    Bush to score political points
9. History will vindicate Bush
10. Isn't it a good thing that Saddam is gone ?
The Straw Men of Itaq: Ten Pro-War Fallacies posted by y2karl at 4:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Err, Iraq
D'oh!
posted by y2karl at 4:56 PM on November 23, 2005


incompetence and negligence is something everyone can understand. Calling Bush stupid is infinitely more effective than calling him a liar

while I truly appreciate you manning your side of the court in this exchange, I prefer speaking about the truth rather than engaging in political dances.

Moving into Iraq was not necessarily a stupid move. It could have been a beautiful play, resulting in a happier & grateful Iraqi polity, a business environment crying out for capital investment (the petri dish for putting Heritage Foundation corpo-archy into practice), removing a nasty existential threat to Israel, securing a future base of operations against Iran, etc.

And as of May 1, 2003, it looked like the gamble had paid off.

But the fact is the public was sold a bill of goods so that Bush could get his war on. I knew it at the time.

If you want to inhabit cloud-cuckoo land that's your prerogative, but out here in the real world a massive policy bluder and fait stupide was committed, and the "reality-based community" could only stand by and watch it go down.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:09 PM on November 23, 2005


Unlike many other Liberals/Democrats I don't think a hasty pullout will serve our national interests at all.

I'd like you to show some sort of proof that this, at the Representative/Senatorial level, is true. As far as I've been able to tell, the Democrat politicians do not want a hasty pullout: while they feel that the USA should not have invaded in the first place, they sure understand that they can't pull out and let Iraq collapse in chaos.

In short, it sounds to my ears like you're spreading lies.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:10 PM on November 23, 2005


Er... reading your other posts in this thread, I am now very puzzled as to why you would make such a grand and erroneous claim. How on earth did you conclude "most Democrats" want the US out post-haste?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:12 PM on November 23, 2005


The "Most Democrats" stuff comes from what I've heard from Gore, Kerry, Mutha and many others who want to plan a phased withdrawal starting soon.

I don't see how that actually will help stabilize Iraq at all and at this point a stabile Iraq is the goal.
posted by aaronscool at 5:28 PM on November 23, 2005


Huh. I didn't interpret "phased withdrawal" as a "hasty exit." I figured it'd be a reasonable, rationale plan that ensured Iraq wouldn't collapse.

You're sure "phased withdrawal" == "hasty exit"?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:48 PM on November 23, 2005


Well...Yes,pretty sure it means committing to a withdrawal plan that precludes Iraqi stability, otherwise they're saying the same thing Bush is just differently no?
posted by aaronscool at 5:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Now wait a minute. Maybe the politics are clouding this for some people. Suppose the following exchange:

Mom: Give it to me straight, Doc. I need to know everything.

Doc: Okay, here it is. The tests show your son's cancer is very bad. Terminal, and it could kill him at any minute. There's no time to wait for more tests or further evaluation. We MUST operate immediately, using an experimental technique, or he will die. Perhaps not tonight, perhaps not this week, but very soon.

Mom: Oh my God! What are the chances of success with the surgery?

Doc: I remind you, he has zero chance if we don't operate. If we operate, we're all sure that it will go well. Here is my write-up of the results of the tests.

Mom: Well, from your write-up, it does appear things are pretty bad. Okay, I'll trust you. You have my permission to operate. *signs waiver*

***later, after surgery***

Doc: I'm sorry, but your son didn't make it.

Mom: Wh...what!?

--------

Now, imagine that it later comes to light that:

1) the boy, in fact, never had cancer at all,

2) there were tests that the Doc had seen that indicated there was no cancer but these weren't shared with the parent,

3) the Doc owns stock in the company that devised the equipment used in the new experimental procedure,

4) a number of other prominent physicians had also viewed the original test results and had come to different diagnoses, strongly suggesting that there was, in fact, no cancer,

5) one well-respected radiologist involved in the tests came forth and claimed that the set of xrays that showed "possible" signs of cancer were actually forged, and

6) a number of other prominent physicians had already discredited the theory upon which the new surgical procedure was based and furthermore suggesting that it was extremely dangerous and unneeded.

Now, would the Doc have merely been simply "bullshitting" or "negligent" in his use of data? Or would he have been downright misleading (i.e., lying) to the parent?

It really does seem to be a pretty straightforward ethical question. At least, for those who don't have a vested interest in being willfully obtuse or equivocating.
posted by darkstar at 5:57 PM on November 23, 2005


I agree. Your question is very straightforward.
posted by loquax at 6:01 PM on November 23, 2005


Your response, however, seems somewhat veiled...
posted by darkstar at 7:01 PM on November 23, 2005


What can I say? I don't think your scenario is analogous to the scenario in Iraq.

I tried to write up a response, but there are too many items you list that simply don't fit with a government making the decision to go to war. Suffice it to say that if the Doctor knew he was lying when he made his statements, and knew that others were right when they disagreed, then he lied. If he didn't know he was lying, but in fact believed he was telling the truth, no matter the circumstances, then he was professionally negligent. Of course, he should be held accountable for that negligence, if it can be proven, and have his license to practice stripped, and a fine imposed, or whatever, but he shouldn't go to jail for murder.
posted by loquax at 7:13 PM on November 23, 2005


loquax, in all seriousness, you do see how Clintonian your whole argument (such as it is) is, right? It may be impossible to prove exactly what Bush and his folks absolutely knew was a lie without reconstructing their brain patterns from four years ago. But the intentional deception is clear and documented.

(And not that it's a huge deal, but contrary to someone above who said we'd never catch them in an outright lie, there's at least one incontrovertible whopper on this particular subject - Cheney claiming "never said it" about it having been "well established" that Atta met with those folks in Prague, when he's on tape saying it.)
posted by soyjoy at 7:30 PM on November 23, 2005


Cheney claiming "never said it" about it having been "well established" that Atta met with those folks in Prague, when he's on tape saying it.)

Speaking of word parsing and Clintonian argument and moving goalposts...this comment you just made reminds me something said by a friend of mine before the VP debates last October.

We were discussing the "pre-game", keys to victory for Edwards vs Cheney, and whatnot...and he asked rhetorically:

"How do you debate a pathological liar like Cheney? It's like playing soccer with someone who just picks up the ball and throws it in your goal."
posted by edverb at 7:47 PM on November 23, 2005


loquax, in all seriousness, you do see how Clintonian your whole argument (such as it is) is, right?

I do and I don't. Some of it is semantics, and clearly there was manipulation and some playing of fast and loose with the truth. At the same time, I don't think it's fair or productive to accuse the administration of widespread lying regarding these topics, actions and their communication to the public, for the reasons I mention above. Just like I don't think that Clinton deserved to be accused of some of the things that he was accused of, even though he did do "wrong".

(Oh and I have no doubt that individually, many administration officials are, in fact, liars in general. It is a job prerequisite (in many cases, a solemn duty) if you want to be in politics, like it or not)
posted by loquax at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2005



The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are. - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Soyjoy: loquax, in all seriousness, you do see how Clintonian your whole argument (such as it is) is, right?

Loquax: I do and I don't.

Traded in the Clinton impersonation for a spot-on John Kerry. Damn Loquax, you're good.
posted by edverb at 8:10 PM on November 23, 2005


I do a great Teddy Kennedy too!
posted by loquax at 8:16 PM on November 23, 2005


(Oh and I have no doubt that individually, many administration officials are, in fact, liars in general. It is a job prerequisite (in many cases, a solemn duty)

well that explains it!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:50 PM on November 23, 2005


This is the biggest strawman in the history of the world.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:55 PM on November 23, 2005


Scenes From A Bush Thanksgiving
posted by homunculus at 11:20 PM on November 23, 2005


I think we're at about 1973 right now.
posted by amberglow at 11:29 PM on November 23, 2005



This is the biggest strawman in the history of the world.


nope, this is:


posted by Hat Maui at 1:06 AM on November 24, 2005


It's just strange, seeing the words "Bush" and "intelligence" sitting side by side like that. Unnatural.

Hat Maui: That was my immediate thought when I read that, then I scrolled down and saw the picture. Perhaps we can find one of those for PP.
posted by Grangousier at 2:49 AM on November 24, 2005


loquax: Some of it is semantics, and clearly there was manipulation and some playing of fast and loose with the truth.

This admission is at least a step forward in the discussion!

But it's a Brave New World, indeed, when manipulation of the facts and "playing fast and loose with the truth" somehow no longer qualify as lying.

Why is that, I wonder? Are we all so postmodernist that truth carries such little meaning or importance anymore? Or is our sense of ethics now subjugated so deeply to our sociopolitical identity that members of our own subculture are pretty much given a free pass on moral lapses if there is any hint that holding them accountable will result in political opponents gaining credibility?

Manipulation of the truth with the intent to mislead, by giving only part of the data so that others will more favorably view your assertions and decide in your favor, when you are in possession of strongly countervailing information and do not share that, is surely deceit.

Call it whatever else you will, it is wrong, it is grotesque and, when it involves taking a country to war, it ought to be roundly condemned by everyone in our beautiful country, including folks who otherwise support the President.

Semantics, after all, can used for evil, as well as good. It is incumbent upon men and women of honor, whatever their politics, to eschew such lapses of integrity and to hold their leaders accountable on it, too.

There's MY take on Teddy Roosevelt for you...
posted by darkstar at 3:21 AM on November 24, 2005


Straw? PP is just
a blathering idiot
I guess. Make sense, man!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:38 AM on November 24, 2005


Wait. We invaded Iraq, not because there was a direct connection between the Iraqi government and Saddam, but because there was an indirect connection. No one sane has ever suggested otherwise. The invasion wasn't intended to bring about revenge or punishment-- it was intended to make the region more stable as a whole.

Sure, there's no direct connection between the Saddam regime and Al-Qaeda. But anyone who doesn't see the indirect connection hasn't really thought about mideast geopolitics. People like Saddam are the reason that terrorists exist; if there wasn't so much bloody carnage and destruction in the middle east, terrorism wouldn't be such a popular vocation. These people spend their entire lives under the shadow of people like Saddam and Khomeini and such believing that the west simply doesn't give a damn, and that the west's major power, the United States, wouldn't step in and do something to make their lives better in a million years. Insofar as that's the goal of the invasion, I support it. We've been propping up dictators around the world for too long; it's about time we did something different.

posted by koeselitz at 5:26 AM on November 25, 2005



koeselitz, I happen to agree with your position as to the percieved intentions to make the region more stable. I would and have supported that goal.
I will also concede there are some indirect connections to Saddam and Al-Qaeda, the problem is those connections have a multitude of forms, some, perhaps most, were adversarial. Al-Qaeda is a diverse, headless organization that uses a cell format, certainly there was some cooperation, and certainly there are some relations. One could however make the same assertions about the Coca-Cola and Pepsico corporations.
This administration, and their operational bedfellows, have proven they do not have a good grasp of middle eastern politics much less custom since before Ollie North brought a chocolate cake as a peace offering during Ramadan. Nor are they apparently willing to learn or listen to those who do have a grasp of the situation.
I do also agree we too often prop up oppressive regimes. Mostly, apparently, because of natural reasources.

I do disagree with you on principle that invasion is an option for stepping in and making people’s lives better. There are better methods. This was proven by Reagan when he destablized the Soviet’s hold on Poland by supporting the labor unions.

I might concede that point however if we were creating stability. It does not appear we are. What’s more, the objective for creating stability in the middle east is ultimately to benefit us (U.S.) and eliminate our dependance on unstable foreign powers for oil. I do not see any evidence that we have changed our energy policies, nor do I see any real change other than profiteering in the region.
I am heartily in favor of capitalism. I could care less how much of a profit oil companies make (usual exceptions in cases of illegalities, immoral methods, etc.) but the preponderance of the evidence before me suggests that either there is something fraudulent going on or there is a great deal of incompetance.

Therefore while I do not speculate as to the motives of this administration or their ultimate goals, I do not see evidence that the goals I supported in the case for war are being achieved much less even targeted.
I see no methodology or ultimate plan in place to achieve those goals nor do I see conditions for victory.
That there may be some condition or goal behind the scene that justifies the actions by the administration is irrelevent. They must make the case to the American public. They must appear - like Caeser’s wife - not only avoiding impropriety, but even the appearance of impropriety most particularly when they are sending young men and women into danger.
I would pick up a weapon and fight myself if I believed in this particular engagement. As it is, I don’t. They have done nothing to convince me the cause is just. And the burden is on them to convince me, not upon me to give them the benefit of the doubt when it’s my life that is going to be endangered. A soldier cannot choose when and where or under what cause to fight. A man can choose whether to be a soldier however. And, in this one, I refuse.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:04 AM on November 25, 2005


In January 2004 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace produced an extensive report, WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications, with "side-by-side comparisons of pre-war intelligence, the official presentation of that intelligence, and what is now known about Iraq's programs." They concluded that:
Administration officials systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon programs and ballistic missile programs.
The transcript [PDF] and slides [PDF] from their presentation of the report have a brief overview of how the descriptions of the threat posed by Iraq changed as the administration was making its case for the war.

The report's lead author recently said:
We don't use the word 'lie' because it is hard to prove intent or the knowledge of the individual at the time, but it is clear that senior administration officials systematically misled the Congress and the American public about the nature and the immediacy of the threat.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on November 25, 2005


Wait. We invaded Iraq, not because there was a direct connection between the Iraqi government and Saddam, but because there was an indirect connection. No one sane has ever suggested otherwise. The invasion wasn't intended to bring about revenge or punishment-- it was intended to make the region more stable as a whole.

Huh. I thought we invaded Iraq because Saddam had or was very close to having nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and would likely use them on us, and because he wouldn't let us prove that he didn't have them.

Oh, and the constant conflation of Saddam and Osama by key folks in the Admin.

I seem to remember a speech or something to that effect, as well as a dozen or so news briefings and interviews in which these points were drilled into the public psyche so hard that some folks STILL believe them.

But I'm all for the whole region stabilization thing. I'm hoping that's where we end up, too. But my genuine concern is that there are two far more likely outcomes to the Iraq war.

1) A civil war which will kill a hundred thousand or more, many of whom are civilians, over the next decade while Iraq tries to sort through things, OR

2) A stable nation dominated by Shiites, who cozy up to Iran, effectively becoming an Iranian satellite when they sign a regional cooperation and mutual defense treaty, yielding an ugly, nuke-defended beast in the Middle East far more powerful and dangerous to world peace than Saddam ever was.

But I'm still crossing my fingers.
posted by darkstar at 1:28 PM on November 25, 2005


All of which puts me in mind of this interesting op-ed by Kinsley.
posted by darkstar at 1:52 PM on November 25, 2005


Oh, jeez, for a second there, I thought it said "Kate Bush intelligence briefing." That would have explained the twelve-year absence...
posted by mykescipark at 6:49 AM on November 27, 2005


« Older Congotronics!...  |  Own an iPod/Nano? These uber-k... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments