"It was produced in a hurry."
March 19, 2015 4:02 PM   Subscribe

The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion
Thirteen years ago, the intelligence community concluded in a 93-page classified document used to justify the invasion of Iraq that it lacked "specific information" on "many key aspects" of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

But that's not what top Bush administration officials said during their campaign to sell the war to the American public. Those officials, citing the same classified document, asserted with no uncertainty that Iraq was actively pursuing nuclear weapons, concealing a vast chemical and biological weapons arsenal, and posing an immediate and grave threat to US national security.

Congress eventually concluded that the Bush administration had "overstated" its dire warnings about the Iraqi threat, and that the administration's claims about Iraq's WMD program were "not supported by the underlying intelligence reporting." But that underlying intelligence reporting — contained in the so-called National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that was used to justify the invasion — has remained shrouded in mystery until now.

The CIA released a copy of the NIE in 2004 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but redacted virtually all of it, citing a threat to national security. Then last year, John Greenewald, who operates The Black Vault, a clearinghouse for declassified government documents, asked the CIA to take another look at the October 2002 NIE to determine whether any additional portions of it could be declassified.

The agency responded to Greenwald this past January and provided him with a new version of the NIE, which he shared exclusively with VICE News, that restores the majority of the prewar Iraq intelligence that has eluded historians, journalists, and war critics for more than a decade. (Some previously redacted portions of the NIE had previously been disclosed in congressional reports.)

For the first time, the public can now read the hastily drafted CIA document [pdf below] that led Congress to pass a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, a costly war launched March 20, 2003 that was predicated on "disarming" Iraq of its (non-existent) WMD, overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and "freeing" the Iraqi people.
Direct link (PDF) to the scribd page at the bottom of the article with the declassified NIE.

Direct link (PDF) to "Blinders, Blunders, and Wars," a RAND Corporation report from last December cited in the article. The part about the invasion of Iraq begins on page 161.
posted by Rustic Etruscan (85 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
 
List of people surprised by this:
posted by hoskala at 4:04 PM on March 19, 2015 [27 favorites]


surely this, etc
posted by outlaw of averages at 4:06 PM on March 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


Here's a direct link to the actual PDF. I downloaded it from Scribd so you don't have to go that terrible site. (For future visitors; I may not host this forever.)

Please don't be cynical about this document release. It confirms what we know about the Bush Adminstration's false war, but it's important to have more confirmation in undenabie documentation. As we keep watching IS grow and murder thousands of people it's useful to have the primary documents that were the foundation of the lies that the Bush Adminstration told.
posted by Nelson at 4:16 PM on March 19, 2015 [59 favorites]


God, it's somewhat refreshing to remember listening to the news day after day in a rage.
posted by angrycat at 4:24 PM on March 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


According to the latest figures compiled by Iraq Body Count, to date more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, although other sources say the casualties are twice as high. More than 4,000 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and tens of thousands more have been injured and maimed. The war cost US taxpayers more than $800 billion.

Criminals.
posted by jaguar at 4:25 PM on March 19, 2015 [26 favorites]


This one may be politicized, it was before when there were reports Hillary didn't read it. Most members of Congress didn't, though.

NBC: The Washington Post also reported this back in 2004: "In the fall of 2002, as Congress debated waging war in Iraq, copies of a 92-page assessment of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction sat in two vaults on Capitol Hill, each protected by armed security guards and available to any member who showed up in person, without staff. But only a few ever did. No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary, according to several congressional aides responsible for safeguarding the classified material."

But even if Clinton wasn't alone in not reading the NIE, the question arises: Did she do everything possible to have the best information on Iraq WMD before casting her war authorization vote?

posted by Drinky Die at 4:25 PM on March 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


A report issued by the RAND Corporation last December titled "Blinders, Blunders and Wars" said the NIE "contained several qualifiers that were dropped…. As the draft NIE went up the intelligence chain of command, the conclusions were treated increasingly definitively."

Wow, I knew In The Loop was pitch-perfect but I didn't realize it was so historically accurate.
posted by dialetheia at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2015 [20 favorites]


Bush was really a secret Muslim and wanted to do his part to restart the Caliphate. Thanks to his war (and disbandment of the Iraqi army) the Islamic State could materialize.

Mission Accomplished!
posted by Abon Sapi at 4:39 PM on March 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


"USA, YOU JUST GOT... PUNK'D!"
posted by Sebmojo at 4:42 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bush was really a secret Muslim and wanted to do his part to restart the Caliphate. Thanks to his war (and disbandment of the Iraqi army) the Islamic State could materialize.

Mission Accomplished!


It started as a joke but really the only way any of this makes sense is if Cheney is a deep cover Iranian mole.
posted by The Whelk at 4:55 PM on March 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


God, it's somewhat refreshing to remember listening to the news day after day in a rage

Count yourself fortunate (or perhaps uninformed), if this isn't still a daily event.
posted by bitmage at 5:06 PM on March 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


Okay - does anyone remember what was occupying the news in the weeks before Bush started talking about Iraq?

Because I do - it was about how Cheney was claiming executive privilege and withholding some documents that would have disclosed connections between the Bush/Cheney administration and the energy companies.. Congress sought copies of the records, Cheney claimed executive privilege, it went to court, the court ruled Cheney had to turn them over....and that's exactly when suddenly Bush started talking about Iraq 24/7 instead, and everyone dropped that energy story and started arguing about Iraq.

So now that we've gotten this, let's finally get those fucking energy documents of Cheney's because that's the real reason this fucking war was a smokescreen for in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:13 PM on March 19, 2015 [84 favorites]


It started as a joke but really the only way any of this makes sense is if Cheney is a deep cover Iranian mole.

Ahmed Chalabi being one seems reasonably likely.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:16 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love how it was originally called Operation Iraqi Liberation until someone figured out the acronym.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:17 PM on March 19, 2015 [45 favorites]


If it wasn't clear enough before, it should have been obvious to every person in the world that Bush wasn't interested in the truth when he told the weapons inspectors to leave Iraq so he could start bombing. That's when he lost any remaining shreds of credibility with me. If you think weapons are there, you'd let an impartial third party prove it and give you complete cover to go to war. But if you are pretty sure there aren't WMDs, you'd hurry the inspectors out before they could make their report.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:17 PM on March 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


But even if Clinton wasn't alone in not reading the NIE, the question arises: Did she do everything possible to have the best information on Iraq WMD before casting her war authorization vote?

Yes. Did Hillary do EVERYTHING possible to ensure that the people who were lying their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public weren't lying their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public, including flapping her arms hard enough to fly to Iraq under her own power and conduct her own personal investigation, and if she did not does that make her less qualified for the Presidency of the United States than the current candidates who are quite prepared to lie their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public to make a case for more warfare?

Is it irresponsible to ask? Or is it irresponsible NOT TO?
posted by delfin at 5:22 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was browsing Netflix yesterday and noticed Oliver Stone's "W" was available. I went to add it to my list and had the sudden thought "Do I really want to live through that all over again and get blood-boiling mad?". I'm having the same reaction to the report.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:22 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why aren't Bush and Cheney in jail?
Never mind.


Remember the fallacy that there would be government transparency?
posted by BlueHorse at 5:23 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Remember the fallacy that there would be government transparency?

Well, at least we can see through the lies.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:26 PM on March 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


And the same group of big brains and intellectual pundits are ready to do it all over again with Iran.
posted by Legomancer at 5:26 PM on March 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


An oldie, but a goodie:

Tomgram: Elizabeth de la Vega, Indicting Bush
Tom Engelhardt, November 29, 2006.

"Is there probable cause to believe that the defendants used deceit, craft, trickery, dishonest means -- including lies, false pretenses, misrepresentations, deliberate omissions, half-truths, false promises, and statements made with reckless indifference to their truth -- to obstruct, impede, or interfere with Congress' lawful government function of overseeing foreign affairs, relating to the invasion of Iraq?"
posted by mikelieman at 5:27 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Hillary question is important -- not just for Hillary but for anyone who cast the vote -- because in 2002 I could see this was a load of hooey and I was just some schmoe reading about it, not someone with a staff and responsibilities to make sure I had all the facts before authorizing a war. Anyone (including Clinton) who didn't read this thing and/or still thought there was a valid reason to go to war is not someone I'm ready to hand the keys of power to, because this was a big goddamn decision that affected millions of lives and they just winged it. I don't ask for a perfect candidate, but I do want one who is smarter than me and anyone who voted for that stupid war isn't clearing a very low bar.
posted by Legomancer at 5:32 PM on March 19, 2015 [50 favorites]


The Hillary question is important -- not just for Hillary but for anyone who cast the vote --

I don't blame Congress. The Tomgram link I posted goes into excruciating detail about how Congress was intentionally deceived.
posted by mikelieman at 5:45 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is useful to keep in mind for comparison purposes when conservatives are ranting about impeaching Obama for... um... well, they never seem to say. Presiding while black, maybe.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:50 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


What VICE quoted from the CIA report seems to be out of context: "Thirteen years ago, the intelligence community concluded in a 93-page classified document used to justify the invasion of Iraq that it lacked 'specific information' on 'many key aspects' of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs." The quote seems to imply that the CIA report stated it did not have enough information to render judgment.

But here's the full quote: "We judge that we are only seeing a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception (D&D) efforts. We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD programs. Revelations after the Gulf war starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information. The revelations also underscore the extent to which limited information fostered underestimates by the Intelligence Community of Saddam's capabilities at that time." Which seems to imply the opposite conclusion. And of course goes on to say quite plainly: "We judge that Saddam never abandoned his nuclear weapons program. "

The question seems to be whether this was a political failure or an intelligence failure, and maybe it's both; but it seems the biggest issue is the failure of the intelligence community, as reported in the Iraq commission report, to provide accurate intelligence with which congress and all could have made a decision.
posted by Dalby at 5:53 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


And the same group of big brains and intellectual pundits are ready to do it all over again with Iran.

That's where I'm a quarter-optimistic that the release of this document might have an actual contemporary effect, or at least lead to some rational discussion.

But it won't happen, due to a whole group of stupid, selfish, warnuzzling shit bucket hatefuckers that don't give a damn for anything except for their powerboners.
posted by barchan at 5:54 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


How shit happens.

In the Beginning was the plan.

And then came the assumptions.
And the assumptions were without form.
And the plan was completely without substance.

And the darkness was upon the face of the workers. And they spoke  
among themselves saying: "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

And the workers went unto their supervisors, and sayeth: "It is a  
pail of dung, and none can abide the odor Thereof"

And the supervisors went unto their managers and sayeth unto them,  
"It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, Such that  
none can abide it."

And the managers went unto the directors and sayeth, "It is a vessel  
of fertilizer, and none can abide its strength."

And the directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another:  
"It contains that which aids plant growth, and is very strong."

And the directors went unto the vice presidents and sayeth to them,  
"It promotes growth, and is very powerful."

And the vice presidents went unto the president, and sayeth unto him,  
"This new plan will actively promote growth and efficiency of this  
company, and certain areas in particular."

And the president looked upon the plan, and saw that it was good.
And the plan became policy.
And this is how shit happens.
posted by lalochezia at 6:04 PM on March 19, 2015 [46 favorites]


because in 2002 I could see this was a load of hooey and I was just some schmoe reading about it, not someone with a staff and responsibilities to make sure I had all the facts before authorizing a war.

I remember falling for it, not because I believed in W's administration, but because of the media's failures. I remember a terrible, uncomfortable feeling about everything, too, and thinking that everything on the Daily Show calling out the bullshit was sensible and reasonable and probably true, but that's a comedy show, right? Fox's cheerleading was obvious, but this was also the point where I decided CNN was just an intolerable shitshow, too, so I didn't know where to turn to for good reporting on all this. But I remember thinking, overall, that the media sure wasn't coming up with a lot of evidence to show that Bush & Co. were lying.

And yet I also specifically remember writing to my Senators begging them not to vote in favor of that authorization. And I remember thinking and saying, over and over again, that I'd love to see Saddam gone, but I had no faith in Bush & Co.'s ability to pick up the pieces when it was all over.

That leaves me with the sense that I was confused, and uncertain, and didn't know who to believe, but surely whom I SHOULDN'T believe...and I wonder how many people were in that same boat but who don't want to admit to that now. 'cuz the polls of the time suggest that an awful lot of people were fooled just like me.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:05 PM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


I thought Obama picked Kentucky over the 'powerboners'.

I'm not surprised not suprised at all that Chalibi is an agent of Iran.
posted by clavdivs at 6:06 PM on March 19, 2015


It'd be interesting to compare the redacted version with this one. After a brief look I'm thinking 'wasn't all this stuff already out there?' I guess it does have the "details".
How does this stuff get written? That's what I want to know, do they just tell some lawyers, we need X. And they get going?
posted by PHINC at 6:08 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like I'm reading a different CIA document than a lot of people. From the source:

High Confidence:
- Iraq is continuing, and in some cases expanding, it's chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
- We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs.
- Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles.
- Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.

Moderate Confidence
- Iraq does not yet have a nuclear weapon or sufficient material to make one but is likely to have a weapon by 2007 to 2009.
______________________________

I actively opposed the war then, and today believe that it was an unmitigated disaster. But in all fairness: this report is pretty fucking scary and seems to support Bush's actions.
posted by kanewai at 6:20 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not surprised not suprised at all that Chalibi is an agent of Iran.

There have been theories going around since at least mid-2004 that the entire Iraq war was a successful Iranian counterintelligence operation. A serious investigation into that possibility was started, and was promptly shut down, in2008, because I guess that's the sort of question you don't want to dig too far into.
posted by mhoye at 6:40 PM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


"That's what I want to know, do they just tell some lawyers, we need X. And they get going?"

This is a National Intelligence Estimate.

Still, an estimate can be fluffed up.

"Before a NIE is drafted, the relevant National Intelligence Officer (NIO) produces a concept paper or ‘terms of reference’ (TOR) and circulates it throughout the IC for comment...

See, if the resolution would have made this WMD issue a minor "oh and Saddam might have this or that, not sure but it could get hairy if"... and then someone orders another NIE.

mhoye
There are some many conspiracy theories... How's that theory working for Iran now Better yet, later.
Naw, a lot of shinola came from Chalibi and Baer was on to him, just ask Sandy Berger.
posted by clavdivs at 6:50 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I fell for it too, it pains me to admit. It was Hitchens and his golden tongue.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:00 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


What struck me about the original redacted one (I haven't read this one yet) is how there was disagreement among the agencies about metal tubes yes/no nuclear centrifuge material.

And the one strong "no" was the agency that actually designs nuclear weapons, but was idk given equal weight (if even that) among all the others.

That seemed like a load of hooey.
posted by zippy at 7:01 PM on March 19, 2015


Something I don't understand: If the CIA was as bullish on Iraq as this memorandum suggests, why did Cheney feel the need to 'stovepipe' intelligence to get the analysis he wanted? I thought he and the CIA were at odds on this?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:09 PM on March 19, 2015


The Hillary question is important -- not just for Hillary but for anyone who cast the vote -- because in 2002 I could see this was a load of hooey and I was just some schmoe reading about it, not someone with a staff and responsibilities to make sure I had all the facts before authorizing a war.

This sums up my feelings, particularly when people who voted for the war then run for president. (Hillary Clinton or not. Remember 2004 when the Democrats were all trying to backpedal their way out of it and looked like hypocrites (save Dean who had the luxury of not being in Congress and presumably Kucinich voted no)?) You can distance yourselves from it all you want, but I was 15 and could figure out it was bullshit from reading the Guardian, so if you'd got access to classified information and a staff, I think it's reasonable to expect you could figure it out.
posted by hoyland at 7:30 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


The question seems to be whether this was a political failure or an intelligence failure, and maybe it's both; but it seems the biggest issue is the failure of the intelligence community, as reported in the Iraq commission report, to provide accurate intelligence with which congress and all could have made a decision.

It was political.

The Senate Intelligence committee studied this question and came to the conclusion that many statements made about Iraq were unsupported by the available intelligence and even directly contradicted by it. Some statements were true. So, basically the White House (in conjunction with the Pentagon) cherry picked what they wanted and the rest was simple bullshit.

After the committee released the phase II report on Iraq prewar intelligence they organized a press conference which held (for me) a very telling and disheartening moment. Reporters listened to the list of inaccuracies and lies that had been fed to the public, and asked a fairly obvious question of, are further criminal investigations or proceedings going to be undertaken based on the seemingly overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing. Senator Rockefeller seemed confused by the question, hummed and hawed a bit, before saying that wasn't something he would push for, for two reasons; one, that the press would enjoy it too much (ha ha ha) and number two was because nothing else would get done and they had a lot of "important work!".

Then the surprise happened, Rockefeller continued to answer by asking himself and the room a hypothetical question; what should or would be the proper thing to do? He paused within himself and looked to past eras and then into the future, and then quite stridently suggested that historically speaking, yes, impeachment would unequivocally be the right path to take, but he quickly caught himself and backtracked almost instantly into a ... but see reasons previously given.

(I am probably not remembering it exactly, as it was quite a while ago, but that was my take away.)
posted by phoque at 7:39 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why aren't Bush and Cheney in jail?
Never mind.


Maybe every person in the country could sue them in small claims court.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:40 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was browsing Netflix yesterday and noticed Oliver Stone's "W" was available...

I thought that Stone was pulling his punches with this film when it came out. I think perhaps future generations might view this unusual psychological project in a more objective light?

(Back when that whole War first started, anyone outside of the USA thought that the entire nation was suffering from some insane post-9/11 blood-lust fever. Except for the million Americans demonstrating against the war, which wasn't really covered in the media very much).
posted by ovvl at 7:49 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I actively opposed the war then, and today believe that it was an unmitigated disaster. But in all fairness: this report is pretty fucking scary and seems to support Bush's actions.

The report absolutely supports Bush's actions.

The problem is that the report is actively trying to do so while willfully putting blinders on to any information contrary to their findings. The entire document is worth a good read--you'll notice wayyyyyy down in the details the CIA graciously includes the "Alternative View" of the INR (Bureau of Intelligence and Research), which completely blasts the conclusion that Iraq was actively pursuing centrifuges or that they had pursued yellow cake uranium from Africa (calling it, in fact, "highly dubious").

Additionally, there's an absolute bucketload of qualifiers in the CIA's conclusions, even on their "highest confidence" assertions on chemical and biological weapons capabilities in the body of the document.

So what the release of this document does is to very clearly frame two things: A) there was dissent in the intelligence community at the time which was not disclosed to the public and not pursued by the media, and B) the intelligence itself presented pretty startling bullet points up front, but buried in the full report are much less firm conclusions that have been, over time, disproven to be remotely accurate.

And for extra discomfort, this entire report reads exactly like what we currently are stating about Iran: they could get "nukes in a year", might "share it with terrorists", etc. etc. All of this is almost certainly on firmer ground than it was with Iraq, and yet we're negotiating with them.
posted by Room 101 at 7:51 PM on March 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Anyone (including Clinton) who didn't read this thing and/or still thought there was a valid reason to go to war is not someone I'm ready to hand the keys of power to, because this was a big goddamn decision that affected millions of lives and they just winged it.

This precisely. Anyone who voted for that resolution did so out of incompetence, political cowardice, or cynical miscalculation, and any of those mark that person as unfit for office in my opinion. I've been dreading not voting for Hillary for eight years, but the time is finally here.


I don't blame Congress. The Tomgram link I posted goes into excruciating detail about how Congress was intentionally deceived.

The bottom line, as Legomancer pointed out, anyone with half a brain could tell it was all bullshit. I was a dumb 23 year old and I knew it was a sham every step of the way. I wasn't smarter than anybody else or even better informed (though I made an effort to read as much as I could on the history and politics of the region), but I could tell I was being sold a dead cow.
posted by echocollate at 7:51 PM on March 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Bush Administration took all the triumphal glee out of the words "I told you so".
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:01 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Anyone who voted for that resolution did so out of incompetence, political cowardice, or cynical miscalculation

Or because they wanted the war to happen.
posted by junco at 8:06 PM on March 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was browsing Netflix yesterday and noticed Oliver Stone's "W" was available. I went to add it to my list and had the sudden thought "Do I really want to live through that all over again and get blood-boiling mad?"

Actually, Stone's "W" is quite a sympathetic portrayal of George W. Bush.
posted by Nevin at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I'm old and in a nursing home, I'm going to have a really hard time explaining to my decades-younger nurse how it felt to live through all of this.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The nurse will most likely have empathy software by then.
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


The question seems to be whether this was a political failure or an intelligence failure, and maybe it's both; but it seems the biggest issue is the failure of the intelligence community, as reported in the Iraq commission report, to provide accurate intelligence with which congress and all could have made a decision.

Political. Those NIEs are always political documents first.
posted by notyou at 8:54 PM on March 19, 2015


When I'm old and in a nursing home, I'm going to have a really hard time explaining to my decades-younger nurse how it felt to live through all of this.

Because in your oldsterdom you will have surely forgotten how it felt? Or because the brightness of the shine coming off the decades younger nurse will blind you to the frustration and anger you once felt?
posted by notyou at 9:02 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Considering that Cheney was part of the Project For A New American Century, which had a war with Iraq as their top priority from the time Bush I backed out of fully invading, I'm kind of surprised that we're talking about stuff like this as if it had anything to do with the decision.

I knew, from the moment Bush was appointed president by the Republican Justices on the Supreme Court, that there'd be a war in Iraq. Practically his entire Cabinet was made of PNAC members and supporters, and he had that creepy line about how Saddam Hussein tried to kill his "daddy". The boy had a hard on for invading Iraq long before he was elected.

This memo was irrelevant to the decision making, it's only point was in justifying a decision made by the PNAC over a decade before Bush took office.

Yes, it's kind of nice to see that the CIA knew the justification for war was bullshit. But if the report had declared in plain and blunt language that Iraq as no threat to the USA, Bush still would have invaded.
posted by sotonohito at 9:03 PM on March 19, 2015 [32 favorites]


sotonohito: "he had that creepy line about how Saddam Hussein tried to kill his "daddy". The boy had a hard on for invading Iraq long before he was elected."

That's been my take all along as well. It seemed really obvious to me. I'm glad to see someone else mention it.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:52 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Back when that whole War first started, anyone outside of the USA thought that the entire nation was suffering from some insane post-9/11 blood-lust fever. Except for the million Americans demonstrating against the war, which wasn't really covered in the media very much

It did. Most of the country absolutely did have some kind of "Blood-lust fever". People forget just how much support there was for both the war and the Bush administration. I remember being told I was "Un-American" for being skeptical of what the government was saying, or encouraging people, mostly other college students, to check out articles in the foreign press. It felt like I was on another planet. And to echo what several people have said, I was just some dumb college kid. I couldn't even drink yet.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:12 PM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


I remember the French being vilified as "cheese eating surrender monkeys" for not sending troops into Iraq.
posted by Narrative_Historian at 12:24 AM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


In an interview with VICE founder Shane Smith, Obama said the rise of the Islamic State was a direct result of the disastrous invasion.

"ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion," Obama said. "Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot."


I hadn't realized that Obama had said this. That seems unusually frank.
posted by gt2 at 1:03 AM on March 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


mhoye: reading a different report

High Confidence:
- Iraq is continuing, and in some cases expanding, it's chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
- We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs.
- Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles.
- Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.

All proved to be incorrect. Maybe the accurate information from the UN weapons inspector should have been considered.

Iraq was bombed almost daily by the US/UK from 1992 to 2003 while they enforced the no fly zones, described as illegal by Boutros Boutros-Gali, UN Secretary-General at the time. Crippling sanctions were enforced by the joint military efforts of the UK and US
Citing official sources, Geoff Simons documented the list of items that Britain and America banned from entering Iraq from 1990 to 2003: angina medicine; baby food; children’s toys (one British woman was even threatened with legal action for sending her Iraqi relative a teddy-bear); cobalt (for x-ray machines); epilepsy medicine; equipment for dialysis; medical swabs; morphine; medical journals; pencils; pencil sharpeners; powdered milk; sanitary towels; shampoo; shoelaces; shroud materials; soap; surgical gloves; syringes; water purification chemicals (a need predicted by the US Defense Intelligence Agency); toilet paper; and toothbrushes, to name just some of the items.
These sanctions
"had a disproportionate impact on women and girls. For example, the gender gap in school enrollment (and subsequently female illiteracy) increased dramatically as families facing financial stress elected to keep their girls at home. During the sanctions years, the mortality rate for children and pregnant women jumped; between 1989 and 2002, the number of women who died during childbirth almost tripled. The poor economic situation, coupled with a population imbalance as a result of male casualties from combat [in the Gulf War and Iran-Iraq War], created conditions whereby families wanted to give up girls quickly, fueling child marriages and trafficking in women and girls. During this time poorer families were more inclined to send their girls abroad in arranged marriages with few preconditions in the hopes that the girls would lead better lives and send money home."
The UK and US public may have been shielded from this information, but the intelligence community was not. Neither was anyone who was paying attention, this was common knowledge in the activist set. The idea that the Iraqi government was on the brink of developing nuclear weaponry was absurd.
The PNAC aim of establishing permanent military bases in Iraq has unsurprisingly created local support for Da'esh. Who would want a constant reminder of the genocidal war criminals that destroyed their country?
posted by asok at 4:09 AM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Is this the same sort of document they referenced in the film In the Loop?

Talk about life imitating art imitating life...
posted by Renoroc at 5:10 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most of the country absolutely did have some kind of "Blood-lust fever".

I'd hesitate to call it bloodlust, although certainly the word fits, and there was indeed bloodlust about Afghanistan. I recall friends saying "fuckers gotta die" in the days/weeks after 9/11.

For Iraq, rather than bloodlust, I would characterize it more as, "Job ain't finished, there's WMDs to find and there's still long lines at airport security, so let's get to it, tally-ho."

And then there was Colin Powell, having his Adlai Stevenson moment. We trusted him.

Fools, we were, taken in by barely-competent con artists.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:02 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


This sums up my feelings, particularly when people who voted for the war then run for president.

Well, I attribute a lot of that to political calculus, however cynically that should be framed. The House force authorization was never in doubt, and the Senate was nearly evenly split at that time (50+1 D/I, 49 R). That 50+1 included such luminaries as Joe Lieberman, Zell Miller, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Fritz Hollings and Dianne Feinstein whose "yes" votes were inevitable, so the Senate force authorization was also a gimme.

So, then. If you were a senator interested in upward mobility, as Clinton, Kerry, Biden and Edwards clearly were, what do you do? The vote became not so much a case of "can I help this pass / can I stop it from passing" but rather how it could be framed.

Clinton's floor speech regarding the authorization was an example of careful framing:

Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people.
...
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.


So, publicly at least, she bought it... based on evidence provided.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

Also true at face value, though a far cry from "mushroom cloud in Times Square" FUD.

While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.

i.e. "We all know how this is going to end so let's pretend that it's legally justifiable."

President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.


THERE it is. "I am voting YES and quickly passing this to the President, and if he fucks it up and acts unilaterally don't blame ME."

Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

"You other Democratic bastards had better give me political cover."

So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed.


"See these hands? I'm washing them. No blood on them, see?"
posted by delfin at 8:02 AM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Actually, Stone's "W" is quite a sympathetic portrayal of George W. Bush.

There's that. I saw W as a pathetic figure in that movie. My sympathy quotient, though, was just above the body count resulting from the things done under his watch, which he authorized. So, when the Cosmic Muffin comes to take him away, I hope he'll be deposited at one of the lower rungs of hell, perhaps the rung where he's up to his nose in boiling shit.

I'm in the crew who believe that he was a front-man, and the evil string pullers manipulated his personal grandiose fantasies to fuel their own wet dreams. I thought the Chalabi connection was significant then, and still do. The no-bid contract battalions were the soldiers in Cheney's war. Rumsfeld clearly was psychotic. Powell, still being a half-general/half political candidate, tried to straddle the issues and failed. He ended up as a lap dog. Too bad, because I liked him. Embedding the media was a brilliant ploy--who could pass up the chance to see machine guns firing and air-strikes striking? This was better than when Blitzer and his crew filmed the bombing of Baghdad during B-41's war. Plumes rising from impact areas obviate the need to actually figure out what's going on, and the reporter gets to seem, um, competent for being where the action is. All the bad guys won--the ones in the Middle East, and the ones here at home.

The very fishy WMD factor is pretty much the bait that sold this war. Fishy in the sense that WMDs were a Red Herring. In any case the temptation to "blame" the war on bad intel is always one of the trump cards played when those who stood downrange ask why this trip was necessary. In this case, the movers and shakers don't even have to put forth an "ooops." Our Congress is culpable to the extent that they let war hysteria take charge of their common sense: it was unpopular to question any of the warmongers. If the Dixie Chicks can lose their fan base for making a single up-current comment, then what chance does a mere congressional rep have of retaining his voter base if he utters even the mildest WTF? At the very least he will kiss any committee appointments goodbye.

Now that our existentialist angst has been reformed around another doom-bringer from "over there," it's popular for our reps in government to whine about having been betrayed, either by bad intelligence or the lies of the other party. Business as usual? Pretty much. We don't need to account for the past, so let's just move forward.

Bah!
posted by mule98J at 8:09 AM on March 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


So I guess I'll say it: Even if Saddam *had* had chemical weapons and was building a nuclear program, that doesn't give the USA the right to a pre-emptive strike. I'm sorry, but I am still just as mad about this as I was back in 2003. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and if we attacked every country that has super problematic militaristic government issues or human rights abuses, we'd be attacking Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, etc. and would have full trade embargoes with China, Israel, and a long list of others. But that isn't feasible and is a huge overreach of the stated goals of our supposed democracy.

I was as mad as anyone else about the twin towers but I didn't get the Iraq thing then and I don't get in now. Voting for Hilary over whatever crazypants Republican gets the nomination is going to be a real drag. "Whelp, I did my duty. Whatever. Sigh."
posted by freecellwizard at 8:26 AM on March 20, 2015


Bush and Cheney really should be tried as war criminals.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 8:41 AM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most of the country absolutely did have some kind of "Blood-lust fever".

I know I certainly did. I remember the night of 9/11 talking about how, even though I had voted for Gore, I was glad that Bush was president because he wasn't going to have any kind of half-assed reaction, we were going to war over this. While we were gearing up to invade Afghanistan I walked passed the military recruitment offices in the mall every day and there were days when it was hard to just keep on walking and not at least stop in to ask a few questions.

When I first heard that we were maybe going to invade Iraq I thought, "Wait, what?! WHY?!"

I was pretty dumb in my early 20's but I wasn't quite that dumb.
posted by VTX at 8:46 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wired.com: I Tried to Make the Intelligence Behind the Iraq War Less Bogus
On Sunday, March 16, 2003, I watched Cheney on “Meet The Press” contradict our assessment publicly. “We know that he [Saddam] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups,” Cheney said, “including the al-Qaeda organization.” I was basically watching Cheney field-test arguments that we would have to anticipate — and rebut — at CIA. Except instead of asking us questions behind closed doors, Cheney was asserting to the public as fact something that we found to be anything but. I found myself yelling at the TV like I was contesting a ref’s blown call in a football game.

[...]

After leaving the CIA, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this sorry absurd role in intelligence history, and my bit role in it. No intelligence analyst should have to deal with policymakers delving into intelligence work. It sounds bureaucratic and boring, but the distinction matters: CIA doesn’t have a policy agenda, it seeks to inform those agendas. Politicians and appointees have ideas for shaping the world. Mingling the two is a recipe for self-delusion and, as we saw in Iraq, failure.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:53 AM on March 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


hoskala: List of people surprised by this:
Only because the GOP faithful won't read it, and won't believe it.

Some of them actually remember President Reagan punching Saddam Hussein in the jaw.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:56 AM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


delfin: But even if Clinton wasn't alone in not reading the NIE, the question arises: Did she do everything possible to have the best information on Iraq WMD before casting her war authorization vote?

Yes. Did Hillary do EVERYTHING possible to ensure that the people who were lying their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public weren't lying their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public, including flapping her arms hard enough to fly to Iraq under her own power and conduct her own personal investigation, and if she did not does that make her less qualified for the Presidency of the United States than the current candidates who are quite prepared to lie their fucking balls off to Congress and the American public to make a case for more warfare?

Is it irresponsible to ask? Or is it irresponsible NOT TO?
She's a pile of shit, but she's a smaller pile of shit than anything the GOP have to offer up.

It's not like we ever get to choose the best-qualified. Ever.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:59 AM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


sotonohito: [Bush] had that creepy line about how Saddam Hussein tried to kill his "daddy". The boy had a hard on for invading Iraq long before he was elected.
THANK YOU! I thought I was the only one in the world who heard that. It wasn't a constructed memory, after all...
posted by IAmBroom at 9:04 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Video clip: After all this is the guy who tried to kill my dad at one time.

I think it's a mistake to overread this as Bush's personal motivation for going to war in Iraq. I mean I'm sure it helped and Bush's comment was meant to be a folksie way of getting Americans behind him. But the agenda to go to war in Iraq ran much deeper and older; it was on the agenda well before 2003, well before the entirely unrelated 9/11/2001 attacks for that matter. It came out of the neocon idea that conquering Iraq would be America's way to once and for all establish a stable influence in the Middle East that was not Israel. The US suffered very badly with the revolution in Iran, we lost a lot of valuable influence, and Iraq was seen as a way to reestablish power in the region. That backfired magnificently and now we're paying the consequences with the rise of Iranian influence, the rise of IS, and the failure of the US to support the Arab Spring in any useful way.

If you want creepy personal motivations, the relationship of Rumsfeld and Hussein is much more telling. And the eventual loss of that relationship, particularly when Hussein went off-script and invaded Kuwait.
posted by Nelson at 9:14 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not like we ever get to choose the best-qualified. Ever.

We actually do - it's just that we don't seem to feel like making the effort.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:35 AM on March 20, 2015


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: "
It did. Most of the country absolutely did have some kind of "Blood-lust fever". People forget just how much support there was for both the war and the Bush administration. I remember being told I was "Un-American" for....
"


I talked at the time about how I had to sell my house because the rednecks kept planting flags on my lawn, and the rhetoric about being "An Ayrab" got scary. Sikhs were getting killed because they wore turbans. When one neighborhood mom saw a copy of the Qumran in my house, suddenly no kids within 5 houses were allowed to come to my house...and my son was like 3 at the time. Try explaining to your 3 year old that no other kids will play with him because his great-grandparents had beachfront property in the Levant.

Seriously, this country went bug-fuck insane.
posted by dejah420 at 11:29 AM on March 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Sometime on the September 14th 2001, my then-schmoopie and I had a conversation in a diner near the East Village about how we were already getting uneasy at the "America Fuck Yeah" sentiment starting to grow; at some point I said, "I'm afraid that waving the flag is going to turn into waving the flag AT someone."

I actually forgave Osama Bin Laden a month after the WTC attacks (I still wanted him brought to judgement, ideally in some kind of Nurmenberg-type thing, but I didn't want to kill him).

However, I STILL haven't forgiven some of the politicians in this country, or some of my own fellow Americans, for how they have responded to those attacks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:07 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


FAIR linked to this piece of theirs from 2007 on their Twitter feed today:
It's hardly controversial to suggest that the mainstream media's performance in the lead-up to the Iraq War was a disaster. In retrospect, many journalists and pundits wish they had been more skeptical of the White House's claims about Iraq, particularly its allegations about weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, though, media apologists suggest that the press could not have done much better, since "everyone" was in agreement on the intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons threat. This was never the case. Critical journalists and analysts raised serious questions at the time about what the White House was saying. Often, however, their warnings were ignored by the bulk of the corporate press.

This timeline is an attempt to recall some of the worst moments in journalism, from the fall of 2002 and into the early weeks of the Iraq War. It is not an exhaustive catalog, but a useful reference point for understanding the media's performance. The timeline also points to missed opportunities, when courageous journalists—working inside the mainstream and the alternative media—uncovered stories that should have made the front pages of daily newspapers, or provided fodder for TV talk shows. By reading mainstream media critically and tuning into the alternative press, citizens can see that the notion that "everyone" was wrong about Iraq was—and is—just another deception.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:16 PM on March 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I remember, as a high-school student, being impressed just how good Colin Powell was at turning a total lack of information into a 2 hour long speech to the UN. As a slacker and a public school student, I had practice with turning minimal research into a presentation on short notice. But, I thought, here I was in the presence of a true master.


It also was eerily reminescent of 1984's "We've always been at war with East Asia" when about 3 days into the way, all the media suddenly went from talking about "finding WMDs" to "liberating the Iraqi people." It was seriously like, bam, one day people were giving one reason, and the next giving a different one, the WMD thing totally forgotten.
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:38 PM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Abon Sapi: "Bush was really a secret Muslim and wanted to do his part to restart the Caliphate. Thanks to his war (and disbandment of the Iraqi army) the Islamic State could materialize.

Mission Accomplished!
"

George Bush is an Islamic Fundamentalist, obviously...
posted by symbioid at 1:12 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


lalochezia: "How shit happens.

In the Beginning was the plan.

And then came the assumptions.
And the assumptions were without form.
And the plan was completely without substance.

And the darkness was upon the face of the workers. And they spoke  
among themselves saying: "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

And the workers went unto their supervisors, and sayeth: "It is a  
pail of dung, and none can abide the odor Thereof"
"

In computer programming there is a phrase "Pattern" which means, well, a pattern. A specific practice that happens over and over. In the computing sense a Pattern is a Good Practice to put in place. An Anti-Pattern is a pattern that happens often, but leads to "code smell".

Looking at how things happened in the Soviet Union and with Mao, and seeing how, over and over, the bureaucrats get told what they want to hear (for fear of punishment) until it's all good when it reaches the top, exactly like they want (until, of course, it isn't). It seems the people put ideology about truth, and when they are the ones at the top, their ideology rules those below, making those whose duty it is to provide the truth slowly fudge the data on the way up.

Percolating shit. Filtering out truth in honor of ideological lies. And at the same time, the ideologists will say THEY are the ones with the truth, the REAL truth, and they are just working to make the world bend to their will.

Witness that infamous statement about the Reality Based Community. And what it is really saying (as opposed to what you want to hear):
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]
Sure - to some degree, it's hubris. They're not taking into account the reality on the ground and haha, aren't they so stupid, and look - ISIS! It proves the point.

But does it? This assumes that what they wanted aligns with what we want.

Nah - there's antipatterns that happen in history - continual imitations of processes that seem to occur in systems that end up causing failure (if one deems it failure, of course - to others it might just be a success until the other team gets in there, THEN it's a failure). It'd be interesting to see how the bureaucratic systems that exist in a given governance protocol exist and what safeguards they have in place to prevent noise in the signal, or conversely, the use of excessive filters to shape the data to fit the conclusions.
posted by symbioid at 1:26 PM on March 20, 2015


"We see that dog shit can fertilize the fields and man’s can feed the dog. And dogmas? They can’t fertilize the fields, nor can they feed a dog."

-Mao
posted by clavdivs at 3:15 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bush lied, hundreds of thousands died. We have the proof in our hands. Why are we not prosecuting the war criminals?
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:56 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because it turns out you're only a war criminal if you're on the side which loses.
posted by Justinian at 5:36 PM on March 20, 2015


Not true, for example; Lord HA-HA.
posted by clavdivs at 5:50 PM on March 20, 2015


When I'm old and in a nursing home, I'm going to have a really hard time explaining to my decades-younger nurse how it felt to live through all of this.

I'd place a strong bet that similar worse stuff is about to happen, compounded by and parallel to conflicts over land as the seas rise and resources dry up in the next 50 or so years.

Honestly i think it's going to be a lot more "those were the good old days, back when a six pack of decent beer was $8!" than it seems right now.

I might just be a cynical pessimist though.
posted by emptythought at 6:07 PM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Australia's then PM, John Howard, blamed "bad intelligence" for our soldiers entering this war. It is not known if he meant his own or what he was given.
posted by emf at 8:12 PM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


AGITPROP!
posted by clavdivs at 9:45 PM on March 20, 2015


Why are we not prosecuting the war criminals?

Why bother with War Crimes when there's sufficient evidence to indict under US law, specifically 18 USC 371 and 18 USC 1001?
posted by mikelieman at 6:29 AM on March 21, 2015


Ah, no.
posted by clavdivs at 8:39 AM on March 21, 2015


I think it's a mistake to overread this as Bush's personal motivation for going to war in Iraq.

I watched B-41's war with skepticism amply fueled by his remark: "Now we are vindicated for Vietnam." The Gulf War campaign was a work of logistical genius, a classic, masterful diversionary tactic followed by a perfectly executed blitz. Our armed forces performed so impeccably that the boots on the ground could hardly believe it was over. They were so attuned and prepared that many of them suffered from a disorienting period of decompression, all that training and preparation for a stroll in the desert. Iraqi armor evaporated before our guys, and we wiped their air force out of the sky. Okay, well, there was, you know, the thousands upon thousands of dead guys, and the pitiful spectacle of all those ill-trained Iraqi draftees running from the carpets laid down by the B-52s, and Saddam's finest brigades melting back into the sand--no gunfight at High Noon here, but then grunts are happy enough to avoid bayonet charges when they can. No palpable victory, but we had the Highway of Doom to account for the horrors done to the Kuwaitis, and we did split the country in half and patrol it with deadly force. Bush lost the election but left another legacy--remember the dead Rangers being dragged through the street in Somalia? (I almost cried here: Bush invokes the memory of Vietnam while recreating the nightmare he oversaw while he was CIA chief.) All those dead guys.

It was like watching a sleek and powerful carnivore chewing off its own toes while thinking it was having a fine meal. Sometimes remembering is not as comforting as it's cracked up to be. It's not as wearing, to believe this shit doesn't just keep on keeping on.

B-43 was dealing with daddy issues.

Anyhow, after that it was Orwell, all the way down. "Saving" Kuwait seemed marginally defensible, except when you remembered what else was going on in North Africa at the time, all those civilians dead by machete, rape as a tool of war, ignored because there was no spokesman for the tribes to point out that their oil wells will repay us for the killings.

Now, as it turns out, we are dancing bears.
posted by mule98J at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Check out Errol Morris' documentary on Rumsfeld -- "The Unknown Known." Rumsfeld is completely upbeat, extremely intelligent, and a very engaging subject. Period videotape shows him extremely at ease with the press corp. Fascinating watch.

http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Unknown-Known/70292939
posted by shavenwarthog at 1:30 PM on March 22, 2015


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