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This isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.
April 22, 2006 1:19 PM   Subscribe

CIA warned White House -- no WMD programs in Iraq. A retired senior CIA official interviewed by 60 Minutes claims that the White House ignored intelligence from Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri in the run-up to the invasion. CIA Director George Tenet delivered the information to President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other high-ranking officials in September 2002, according to the CIA official. A few days later the administration said it was no longer interested. "...we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' " The interview airs on CBS, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
posted by insomnia_lj (59 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Surely this will be the thing that brings down the Bush administration!
posted by keswick at 1:32 PM on April 22, 2006


Surely this will be the smartass comment that kills newsfilter once and for all!
posted by deadfather at 1:34 PM on April 22, 2006


Surely this is real butter!
posted by Krrrlson at 1:36 PM on April 22, 2006


I think that guy has the Weapons of Mass Destruction hidden in his chin.
posted by flarbuse at 1:37 PM on April 22, 2006


Surely you can't be serious!
posted by keswick at 1:37 PM on April 22, 2006


Surely this comes as a shock and surprise to us all!
posted by antifreez_ at 1:38 PM on April 22, 2006


Don't call me Shirley.
posted by Zozo at 1:39 PM on April 22, 2006


What's the Vegas line on this "CIA official" being another plant to embarrass CBS news some more?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2006


Alright, if someone in the CIA should have leaked something to the press, surely THIS should have been it. And not, you know, after you've retired.
posted by Dasein at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2006


"Fuck Saddam; we're taking him out!"
-- George W Bush, March 2002.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:46 PM on April 22, 2006


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
posted by loquacious at 1:47 PM on April 22, 2006


If we found out that he personally ass-raped child detainees in guantanamo, I don't think the responses would be any different. The republicans would applaud him for personally contributing the war on terror and the democrats would offer very cautious statements along the lines of, "While we're not convinced that raping children is illegal if the president does it, we think that there should be some sort of investigations if the Republican leadership doesn't mind."

The news about the White House is pretty much superfluous at this point. Anybody who gives a shit wants them out, and the rest are either stupid or bat-shit insane.
posted by empath at 1:48 PM on April 22, 2006


Ah so, then the administration has succeeded in their plans: Regime change has been accomplished.
posted by semmi at 1:54 PM on April 22, 2006


Regime Change: Shit man, that honky mus' be messin' my old lady... got to be runnin' cold upside down his head. You know?
posted by three blind mice at 1:55 PM on April 22, 2006


"if someone in the CIA should have leaked something to the press, surely THIS should have been it. And not, you know, after you've retired."

Perhaps after a long and distinguished career in public service, he thought that retiring first would be a wise choice, unless he wanted to live in a trailer down by the river.

The Bush administration recently resolved the troubling constitutional issues of overseas jails, with their indefinite detentions without charges or basic adherence to human rights.

It was easy to do. All they had to do was fire the whistleblower. Voila... problem fixed!
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:59 PM on April 22, 2006


Dasein - If the CIA knew that the Bush administration was going to blame 'faulty intel' for the current situation, certain members would not have hesitated to preemptively stab him in the back politically. But they did their jobs, and got blamed anyway.

Too bad there's no 'Deep Throat' this time around.
posted by attackthetaxi at 2:01 PM on April 22, 2006


"Anybody who gives a shit wants them out, and the rest are either stupid or bat-shit insane."

Yeah, but even the stupid ones are starting to come around. 34% of registered Republicans disapprove of the Bush administration, as compared to just 16% a year ago.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2006


Perhaps after a long and distinguished career in public service, he thought that retiring first would be a wise choice, unless he wanted to live in a trailer down by the river.

Witness the head of Justice statistics, who just before retirement was ousted for insisting that they not omit embarassing results from a report, and only managed to keep any kind of employment (now head of Corrections statistics) because of a technical HR rule in his favour.
posted by dreamsign at 2:22 PM on April 22, 2006


Storm clouds keep building on this whole issue of WMDs and weather we were lied to going into this war.
If that is the case it's a big, serious deal, Republican or Democrat.
The growing body of evidence suggests this guy is telling the truth.
posted by sameasthem at 2:22 PM on April 22, 2006


Sorry, I realize that was a tad crypic in retrospect. The report was on racial profiling, not WMD, but another in a long line of example of what happens to you when you speak truth to this particular power.
posted by dreamsign at 2:23 PM on April 22, 2006


We wanted the MSM to pay attention to Bush's treson; now they are. We're not winning yet, but this will help.
posted by Richard Daly at 2:26 PM on April 22, 2006


The growing body of evidence suggests this guy is telling the truth.

As it has for the past three years. Anyone willing to look at the evidence has known that Bush didn't care about the weapons ever since he kicked the inspectors out. These stories may affect how history views Bush, but they have no political relevence. There will be no straw that breaks the camel's back, because there is no camel. Eagerly desiring war, to the point of lying about your justifications, isn't that big of a deal to many (if not most) Americans.
posted by gsteff at 2:30 PM on April 22, 2006


This is just getting ludicrious.

If you use baking as a metaphor:

We went to war with Iraq because we they once had some cakes and may have/might could have been seen in a Safeway in Niger poking around the flour aisle.

Meanwhile, Iran is leaning out their kitchen window and waving a bowl around screaming "HEY LOOK! I MADE BATTER!! AND I'M PREHEATING THE OVEN!!!" And what we doing about it? Issuing a clandestine report about hitting their house with bunker-busting danishes. Otherwise, nothing.

Oh, excuse me. Roses of Mohammed.

Excuse me, I need to go make me some biscuits, while that's still legal.
posted by dw at 2:40 PM on April 22, 2006


Here's why I find this interesting -

All along when asked about the fact that we've found no WMD in Iraq Bush has said, "Look, every country, every intelligence agency in the world thought he had WMD." But......... Now we find out the CIA told him *they* didn't think he had WMD. So basically the U.S. is the only country in the world who thought he didn't have them.

One of these lies has to stick. Seriously. Isn't there a point where even Bill O'Reilly will say, "You know what? Enough is enough. Bush is such a huge liar that I just have to pull my support for him. As far as I can tell he's never told the truth about anything."
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:45 PM on April 22, 2006


Eagerly desiring war, to the point of lying about your justifications, isn't that big of a deal to many (if not most) Americans.

I haven't seen any polling on this, but I suspect, it's true. I wonder if many Americans would still feel that way if they had any sense or knowledge of war as anything other than a distant, abstract concept. Few of us here have ever had the experience of lying, with both legs crushed, beneath several tons of rubble that, until a moment ago was their home. For all the people who cheered the initial "shock and awe" explosions in Iraq on the teevee (there were a few in my office), the mental image of that trapped and batter person is the one that prevails in my mind today, and makes me deeply ashamed of my government, my press and my countrymen of how we rushed to war in Iraq.
posted by psmealey at 2:54 PM on April 22, 2006


One of these lies has to stick. Seriously. Isn't there a point where even Bill O'Reilly will say, "You know what? Enough is enough. Bush is such a huge liar that I just have to pull my support for him. As far as I can tell he's never told the truth about anything."
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:45 PM PST on April 22 [!]


Hahahahaha...Sorry, y6y6y6... that wouldn't be good showbiz. It was a great day for fascism when the television was invented. (iPods too, but that's just icing.)

Seriously though --- forget about O'RLY, talk radio, the "independent" media, and all the rest. It's a lost cause.

PLEASE please just write and call your elected representatives. Its not much better, but... well, drowning men will grasp at straws.
posted by diocletian at 2:55 PM on April 22, 2006


"This is a punishment for those who start misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam," he said.

But others were less convinced.

"I just want the sweet pastries. I have nothing to do with the name," shopper Zohreh Masoumi said.


Nice link dw.
posted by odinsdream at 2:56 PM on April 22, 2006


If you use baking as a metaphor:

Best metaphor ever.
posted by 40 Watt at 2:57 PM on April 22, 2006


Isn't there a point where even Bill O'Reilly will say...

No, the tail never wags the dog.
posted by psmealey at 3:00 PM on April 22, 2006


Isn't there a point where even Bill O'Reilly

"if the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again." -- March 2003

vs.

"I don't think President Bush lied about WMDs, but he should be stronger in fixing U.S. intelligence. That's the bottom line here. My mistake was not being skeptical enough about the CIA's reporting on WMDs. But the left-wing press, which is so happy about all this, has made dozens of mistakes itself and continues to deny that the world is a better place because Saddam is gone." -- Feb 2004

Some interesting mental jijutsu there.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:15 PM on April 22, 2006


This is not about whether or not Saddam is a good guy or a bad guy. This is about our democracy being manipulated by lies. If Bush had run on the platform of "I will lie to you about everything!" would Republicans have voted for him?

If the US Prresident can lie so easily about the reasons for invading another country, what else would he feel comfortable lying about? What lies has he told Americans about September 11? Does anybody remember the Anthrax attacks of fall 2001 anymore? Did Bush lie about his election in 2001?

Democracies are not built on lies, and moral government can not be based on the idea that the voting citizens are not worthy of truth. The cynicism is very deep. Outside of America, the world is pretty well stunned by the fact that the most powerful nation in the world has a compulsive prevaricator in the White House. Everbody expected better - they have to expect better, because the USA can not be ignored in the world. What they got instead is a lying frat boy and his neocon advisors willing to sacrifice American soldiers for his oil crony friends.

Democratic voters already believe that Bush is a compulsive liar. It was the family-oriented, "moralist" red-state majority that Bush is lying to. He's really laughing at the people that voted for him - they took the bait, and he's ready to keep prevaricating to the masses for more oil-rich regime change in the future.
posted by zaelic at 3:56 PM on April 22, 2006


It was evident in mid-2002 that an American invasion of Iraq would occur the next spring. Air strikes were being delivered at a huge rate to destroy every bit of anti-aircraft capability that Saddam had. This was being done on the pretext of "enforcing the no-fly zone." In fact, it was all about achieving air supremacy for the invasion in a plausibly deniable manner. (Sounds rather Rovian, no?)

The attack had to occur in the spring of 2003 because of climatic conditions: Iraq is hellish in winter and summer, and even spring can be a challenge (as the invasion force experienced in the event.) And then there were the thousands of troops and aircraft being assembled; for reasons of pure logistics, they could not be made to wait till the spring of-- election year-- 2004.

Once the forces were concentrated, war was a damnable certainty. Of course the CIA was brushed off: Bush, Cheney, and the crew were not about to stop "Shock and Awe." It mattered nothing that the CIA source was a high-ranking Iraqi official: it was time to show the Wogs that the USA was ready to kick ass, take names, and make money on it. It was the weakness of iraq, not its strength, that made the neocons fixate on "regime change" for Saddam. They saw a "low hanging fruit", tantalizingly easy to pick. Wolfowitz did not lie when he told Congress that Saddam's weapons program was the agreed upon bureaucratic explanation for attacking Iraq: it sold well with the rubes.

And did I mention the oil?
posted by rdone at 4:04 PM on April 22, 2006


If you use baking as a metaphor:

dw, you slay me!
posted by annieb at 4:11 PM on April 22, 2006


Notice that Bush stopped saying the world is a better place because Saddam is gone? He's running out of reasons to justify his actions.
posted by sacrilicious at 4:13 PM on April 22, 2006


Heywood: Can you source those comments? Particularly the one where he said he'd apologize? I am friends with a few O'Reily fans (who, despite said affliction, are otherwise intelligent people). I'd like to be able to bring that one up to them.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:19 PM on April 22, 2006


I am friends with a few O'Reily fans (who, despite said affliction, are otherwise intelligent people)
I doubt that, but I will trust your word for it. Apparently O'Reilly spewed that line on - Good Morning America - 3-18-03 . Still looking around.
posted by elpapacito at 4:35 PM on April 22, 2006


scaryblackdeath: Here are a few sources of the O'Reily quotes, just from googling.
posted by banished at 4:42 PM on April 22, 2006


Still-Won't-Make-Much-Difference-filter
posted by scatman at 4:42 PM on April 22, 2006


"Anybody who gives a shit wants them out, and the rest are either stupid or bat-shit insane."

As much as it pains me to mock our dear American cousins... are there really people out there who still believe the whole WMD story. For most of the world it was really REALLY clear it was a smokescreen from day one.

I suppose on the upside the regime change all went smoothly

MORRIS: Shut it, Alan, I want you to stop. All programmes on all channels have now been suspended to allow the broadcast of this film, held in reserve for times of crisis.

"Everything is Alright"
posted by doogyrev at 5:01 PM on April 22, 2006


But, what that guy on American Idol said...." using Idol for a stepping stone? What a jerk, I think he should be voted off now, don't you?
posted by GreyFoxVT at 5:16 PM on April 22, 2006


I also don't think that stupid is the right word. I think it is merely ignorance (sometimes willful ignorance). Imagine that you get all of your "news" by watching Fox. Your world view is going to be completely skewed. Unless outside information pierces the carefully constructed Fox/Republican simulacrum of reality why wouldn't you support the president? That's why simply talking with people is so important (and why support continues to drop as more and more outside sources of information seep through).
posted by dopeypanda at 5:22 PM on April 22, 2006


Interview with Scott Ritter.
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on April 22, 2006


Does the edducation system in the US not teach people to think anymore ?

"The enterprise of civil society depends on educating young people to become responsible, thoughtful and enterprising citizens. This is an intricate, challenging task requiring deep understanding of ethical principles, moral values, political theory, aesthetics, and economics"
posted by doogyrev at 5:43 PM on April 22, 2006


Malcompetence
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 6:34 PM on April 22, 2006


Bush is a lying, evil war criminal; anyone with an IQ greater than 70 knew that from day one, America is so far up its fat, insular, greedy, self-obsessed capitalistic arse that it really doesn't care.

Next.
posted by Decani at 6:55 PM on April 22, 2006


Does the education system in the US not teach people to think anymore?

doogyrev, of course it doesn't. It never has, nor has it ever been intended to. Here is my take on it. (Scroll down 2 headings to "Schooling")
posted by LooseFilter at 7:37 PM on April 22, 2006


Drumheller, who retired last year, says the White House ignored crucial information from a high and credible source. The source was Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, with whom U.S. spies had made a deal.


Well of course they ignored him. He was high!
posted by ninjew at 9:01 PM on April 22, 2006


The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H. L. Mencken
posted by Ynoxas at 9:47 PM on April 22, 2006


Isn't there a point where even Bill O'Reilly will say, "You know what? Enough is enough.

As if O'Reilly would take the falafel for just anyone.
posted by dhartung at 10:01 PM on April 22, 2006


Too bad there's no 'Deep Throat' this time around.

Yeah, Dubya's very own Lewinsky might get that stick out of his ass.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:40 AM on April 23, 2006


Too bad there's no 'Deep Throat' this time around.
posted by attackthetaxi at 2:01 PM PST on April 22 [!]


Naw, there are 'deep throats' about. They are on the web.

Why would any media outlet want to screw themselves out of access, revenue, and all kinds of government rule enforcement by questioning what goes on?

Too bad that there are many strep throats and a few of the deep throats have strep also.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:34 AM on April 23, 2006


...If Bush had run on the platform of "I will lie to you about everything!" would Republicans have voted for him?...

Everbody expected better - they have to expect better...

...and he's ready to keep prevaricating to the masses for more oil-rich regime change in the future.
posted by zaelic at 4:56 PM MST on April 22 [!]


I'm sorry to say this: Yes, they would have voted for Bush if he had explicitly stated that he would lie about everything.

I'm happy to menton that two of my favorite Iraqi bloggers posted over the weekend. It worries me when they don't post for a long time. River's family has taken in an elder relative who lived in the A'adhamiya district of Baghdad where the violence has been so much worse lately. I was struck by this:
"For the first time in many years, I fear death." She said last night to no one in particular, as we sat around after dinner, sipping tea. We all objected, wishing her a longer life, telling her she had many years ahead of her, God willing. She shook her head at us like we didn't understand- couldn't possibly understand. "All people die eventually and I've had a longer life than most Iraqis- today children and young people are dying. I only fear death because I was born under a foreign occupation… I never dreamed I would die under one."
Baghdad Burning
For at least all of my adult life, the American Fascisti have been working to overthrow the Repulic. I only wish I'd caught on sooner.
posted by taosbat at 11:04 AM on April 23, 2006


PS

Republic

...and...

Purported bin Laden tape links stoppage of Palestinian aid to anti-Islamic war
Updated 4/23/2006 11:37 AM ET

CAIRO (AP) — Osama bin Laden issued ominous new threats in an audiotape broadcast Sunday, purportedly saying the West was at war with Islam and calling on his followers to go to Sudan to fight a proposed U.N. force...


"D'oh!"
posted by taosbat at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2006


More from TPM.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on April 23, 2006


Yeah, but even the stupid ones are starting to come around.

Hell, Merle Haggard is writing protest music. We've reached a tipping point.
posted by EarBucket at 4:49 AM on April 24, 2006


When I read the title of this post in my RSS feed, I thought it was going to be an Intel vs AMD post. It took me a few sentences to re-orient my brain and figure out wtf was going on. :)
posted by antifuse at 6:33 AM on April 24, 2006


Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall interviewed Drumheller. Naji Sabri, Iraq's Foreign Minister, told the CIA in September 2002 that Iraq didn't have any active weapons programs. NBC News corroborated this in a report last month.

Marshall also makes the excellent point that Sabri isn't mentioned in the reports on prewar intelligence from either the Robb-Silbermann Commission or the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which raises doubts about the credibility of those reports. Both committees interviewed Drumheller.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:55 AM on April 24, 2006


on Cheney (who pushed these lies for far longer than others), and Bush: ...Cheney is Bush's albatross. He hangs from his neck and Bush, in need of daddy and mommy figures, keeps these people around, even when they ensure his legacy will be between Grant and Buchanan.
... Bush, who has been shielded from failure and it's consequences, his entire life, cannot handle it. Which is why he has his mommies. I think Josh Bolten is going to get a rather nasty surprise when he tries to dump Harriet Miers.
Bush came in shady and will go out ugly and it won't be in January,2009 unless he's luckier than he's ever been in his life. Bush has never finished anything he started. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:22 PM on April 24, 2006


Meanwhile, in Iraq now: Shiite Militias Move Into Oil-Rich Kirkuk, Even as Kurds Dig In
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on April 24, 2006


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