Carol Platt Liebau: If a surge succeeds in the desert and nobody reports it...

Monday, August 13, 2007

If a surge succeeds in the desert and nobody reports it...

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

Here us a lengthy piece on Iraq from a German magazine. The article praises the US military and recounts both Surge successes and failures.

On balance, the article appears hopeful, I think. The article also implies a political compromise that liberals might be able to live with: win the war, but give somebody other than Bush the credit.

UPDATE: Wile E.: links again. Those long links bump Carol's picture down to the bottom and that upsets my aesthetic sensibilities. Ruth Anne :)

15 Comments:

Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Yes, it's a good piece, and it's important because it represents the independent assessment of an outside observer, rather than the claims of the Army and the Administration. I think the author really hit the nail on the head with his comments about "Old Lies Breed Skepticism". Like the boy who cried wolf, the Administration has lied so many times, painted an overly optimistic picture of the situation on so many occasions, that most outsiders are unwilling to afford any credence to current claims. If indeed we're seeing substantial progress in Iraq (and we really won't know for some time), then it will be a sad irony that past bad faith makes it harder to recognize truth when it finally comes out.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Chepe,

"Like the boy who cried wolf, the Administration has lied so many times,..."

What are the many lies this Administration has told?

6:03 AM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

I wouldn't risk a single US soldier's life or limb based on an assessment of Ulrich Fichtner or other journalists and/or think tankers.

Let's wait and see what Patraeus has to say. It is obvious that he is unable to make an assessment at this time, while journalists are just selling a story.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

What are the many lies this Administration has told?

Where to begin? I won't attempt to offer a complete list. Here are a few off the top of my head:

1. Statements regarding WMD in Iraq prior to the invasion.

2. Campaign promises that reduction of carbon emissions would be an important task in the Bush Administration.

3. Statements of the cost for the prescription drugs bill.

4. Mr. Gonzalez.

5. Promises that the Bush Administration would do "whatever it takes" to repair the damage after Katrina.

How's that for starters?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Again Chepe, you don't adhere to the standards you set for others. Simply saying someone lied about a topic does not identify the lie.

What, exactly, did the President lie about concerning WMD in Iraq? Was everyone else lying if/when they said the same things?

Where, exactly, is the lie concerning carbon emission reductions being an "important task"?

Point out, exactly, the lie concerning the prescription drug plan.

Where has the administration failed to do its part concerning hurricane Katrina?

It's not that I blindly support the president on any of these issues. But you've accused him of lying. It seems the burden of proof is on you.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Gee, Greg, I thought all this stuff was common knowledge, but since you are unaware of it, I'll be happy to supply a few quotes:

But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.
George W. Bush, President
Interview with TVP Poland
5/30/2003

How the United States should react if Iraq acquired WMD. "The first line of defense...should be a clear and classical statement of deterrence--if they do acquire WMD, their weapons will be unusable because any attempt to use them will bring national obliteration."
Condoleeza Rice, US National Security Advisor
January/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs
2/1/2000

* Maccabee's diary :: ::
*

We are greatly concerned about any possible linkup between terrorists and regimes that have or seek weapons of mass destruction...In the case of Saddam Hussein, we've got a dictator who is clearly pursuing and already possesses some of these weapons.. A regime that hates America and everything we stand for must never be permitted to threaten America with weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Detroit, Fund-Raiser
6/20/2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Speech to VFW National Convention
8/26/2002

There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From Press
9/6/2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush, President
Speech to UN General Assembly
9/12/2002

Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have
George W. Bush, President
Radio Address
10/5/2002

The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand.
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
Speech to the Hudson Institute
11/1/2002

We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material -- whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability -- it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year. It has rebuilt its civilian chemical infrastructure and renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard, sarin, and VX. It actively maintains all key aspects of its offensive BW [biological weapons] program.
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
Speech to the Hudson Institute
11/1/2002

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists,...The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Denver, Address To Air National Guard
12/1/2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
12/2/2002

The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From Press
12/4/2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
1/9/2003

I am absolutely convinced, based on the information that's been given to me, that the weapon of mass destruction which can kill more people than an atomic bomb -- that is, biological weapons -- is in the hands of the leadership of Iraq.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
MSNBC Interview
1/10/2003

What is unique about Iraq compared to, I would argue, any other country in the world, in this juncture, is the exhaustion of diplomacy thus far, and, No. 2, this intersection of weapons of mass destruction.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
NewsHour Interview
1/22/2003

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.
George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to UN Security Council
2/5/2003

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Addresses the U.N. Security Council
2/5/2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
George W. Bush, President
Radio Address
2/8/2003

In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it.
George W. Bush, President
Speech to the American Enterprise Institute
2/26/2003

If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Interview with Radio France International
2/28/2003

I am not eager to send young Americans into harm's way in Iraq, or to see innocent people killed or hurt in military operations. Given all of the facts and circumstances known to us, however, I am convinced that if we wait, a threat will continue to materialize in Iraq that could cause incalculable damage to world peace in general, and to the United States in particular.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
Letter to Future of Freedom Foundation
3/1/2003

Iraq is a grave threat to this nation. It desires to acquire and use weapons of mass terror and is run by a despot with a proven record of willingness to use them. Iraq has had 12 years to comply with UN requirements for disarmament and has failed to do so. The president is right to say it's time has run out.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
Senate Speech
3/7/2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to UN Security Council
3/7/2003

Getting rid of Saddam Hussein's regime is our best inoculation. Destroying once and for all his weapons of disease and death is a vaccination for the world.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
Washington Post op-ed
3/16/2003

Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that [Saddam] has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Meet The Press
3/16/2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
George W. Bush, President
Address to the Nation
3/17/2003

The United States . . . is now at war "so we will not ever see" what terrorists could do "if supplied with weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein."
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
Senate Debate
3/20/2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
3/21/2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
General Tommy Franks, Commander in Chief Central Command
Press Conference
3/22/2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman
Press Briefing
3/22/2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board member
Washington Post, p. A27
3/23/2003

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
ABC Interview
3/30/2003

We simply cannot live in fear of a ruthless dictator, aggressor and terrorist such as Saddam Hussein, who possesses the world's most deadly weapons.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader
Speech to American Israel Political Action Committee
3/31/2003

We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference
4/9/2003

You bet we're concerned [concerned that those weapons might have been shipped out of the country]about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction ... and terrorist groups -- networks -- is a critical link. And the thought that ... some of those materials could leave the country and [get] in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference
4/9/2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty. Robert Kagan, Neocon scholar
Washington Post op-ed
4/9/2003

I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
4/10/2003

But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
4/10/2003

Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Meet the Press
4/13/2003

I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country. Whether we will turn out, at the end of the day, to find them in one of the 2,000 or 3,000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us, ``Oh, well, there's actually another site,'' and we'll find it there, I'm not sure. General Tommy Franks, Commander in Chief Central Command
Fox New
4/13/2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
George W. Bush, President
NBC Interview
4/24/2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Briefing
4/25/2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters
5/3/2003

I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to Reporters
5/4/2003

We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Fox News Interview
5/4/2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program. George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters
5/6/2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
Condoleeza Rice, US National Security Advisor
Reuters Interview
5/12/2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne
Press Briefing
5/13/2003

We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you.
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Interview with Australian Broadcasting
5/13/2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Interview with Reporters
5/21/2003

It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction.
George W. Bush, President
Speech at a weapons factory in Ohio
5/25/2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
NBC Today Show interview
5/26/2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Remarks to Council on Foreign Relations
5/27/2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Vanity Fair interview
5/28/2003

The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
5/29/2003

We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Infinity Radio Interview
5/30/2003

You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ...They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two...And we'll find more weapons as time goes on.
George W. Bush, President
Press Briefing
5/30/2003

It was a surprise to me then -- it remains a surprise to me now -- that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there.
Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Press Interview
5/30/2003

Do I think we're going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do, because I think there's a lot of information out there.
Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Defense Intelligence Agency
Press Conference
5/30/2003

Q: The fact that there hasn't been substantial cache of weapons of mass destruction -- is that an embarrassment? Wolfowitz: No. Is it an embarrassment to people on the other side that we've discovered these biological production vans, which the defector told us about?
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
CNN Interview
5/31/2003

This wasn't material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Press Briefing
6/2/2003

We know that some of them, especially the biological weapons, were being destroyed," Hastert said, adding that it would "take a little while to find weapons of mass destruction... and we're going to continue to do it.
Dennis Hastert, House Speaker R-IL
Press Briefing
6/4/2003

We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth
George W. Bush, President
CAMP SAYLIYA, Qatar
6/5/2003

I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, "Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?" Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment. Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Fox News Interview
6/8/2003

No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored
Condoleeza Rice, US National Security Advisor
Meet the Press
6/8/2003

What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions...And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From Press
6/9/2003

Iraq had a weapons program...Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program.
George W. Bush, President
Comment to Reporters
6/9/2003

The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Associated Press Interview
6/12/2003

Those documents were only one piece of evidence in a larger body of evidence suggesting that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Africa ... The issue of Iraq's pursuit of uranium in Africa is supported by multiple sources of intelligence. The other sources of evidence did and do support the president's statement.
Sean McCormack, National Security Council Spokesman
Statement to press
6/13/2003

My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen.
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Briefing
6/18/2003

I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time...It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Pentagon media briefing.
6/24/2003

MS. BLOCK: There were no toxins found in those trailers. SECRETARY POWELL: Which could mean one of several things: one, they hadn't been used yet to develop toxins; or, secondly, they had been sterilized so thoroughly that there is no residual left. It may well be that they hadn't been used yet.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
All Things Considered, Interview
6/27/2003

That was the concern we had with Saddam Hussein. Not only did he have weapons -- and we'll uncover not only his weapons but all of his weapons programs -- he never lost the intent to have these kinds of weapons.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
All Things Considered, Interview
6/27/2003

I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are.
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
7/9/2003

8:16 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

An exhaustive list of quotes, Chepe. Unless I overlooked something in reading them, though, the only subject I see addressed is the issue of WMD. Is that a concession that Bush DID NOT lie about the other subjects of which you accuse him of lying?

Also, nearly every quote listed is a quote based on pre-war intelligence that apparently turned out to be incorrect. After your extensive research on this subject you failed to present quotes from anyone outside (or pre-dating) the administration on this issue. Was that on purpose? After all, I did ask you if you would consider anyone else who expressed similar points of view to be liars, too. I will provide a short list for your consideration at the end of this post.

The weakness of your accusation is evident by the quote you list first. Typically, the strogest evidence is listed first. This quote is taken (out of context, of course) from President Bush talking about two "mobile biological labs" being found in Iraq. It's hardly a strong case to claim that Bush was "lying" about this. Even as late as 10-12-2003 (nearly 5 moths AFTER President Bush's comment), David Kay of the Iraqi Survey Group testified before Congress that those trailers could have been used for biological weapons production. It wasn't until 01-28-2004 (fully 8 months AFTER Bush's comments) that the same David Kay testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that "we were all wrong" about those mobile labs.

If that is your strongest case, Chepe, I encourage you to stop calling the President a liar!


Rather than being ignorant of "common knowledge" as you claim me to be, Chepe, I am well aware that the vast majority of intelligence agencies throughout the world thought - as President Bush did - that Sadaam Hussein had stockpiles of WMD and was in the process of restoring his nuclear weapons production capabilities prior to our invasion of Iraq.

President Bush's administration was hardly a lone voice on this issue. You've either conveniently or ignorantly left out the following quotes. Are these people ALL liars, too?


"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998


"Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."
President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998


"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeleine Albright, Feb 18, 1998


He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998


"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998


"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998


"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999


"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001


"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002


"We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002


"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002


"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002


"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002


"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002


"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002


"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002


"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. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. 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."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002


"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.
Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002


"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

12:57 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Is that a concession that Bush DID NOT lie about the other subjects of which you accuse him of lying?

Not at all. I thought I would demonstrate the absurdity of your claim that the Bush Administration never lied by offering an avalanche of quotes to the contrary. Similar avalanches are available for the other items, but there really is no point in presenting them; I very much doubt that you'll give them any credence anyway.

After your extensive research on this subject you failed to present quotes from anyone outside (or pre-dating) the administration on this issue. Was that on purpose?

You asked me about lies from the Bush Administration. Had I included the quotes you provide, you would likely have accused me of deception by slipping in quotes from outside the Bush Administration. I just can't win either way, can I? ;-)

the vast majority of intelligence agencies throughout the world thought - as President Bush did

This is not true. There were plenty of questions raised within the American intelligence community regarding WMD in Iraq. The Bush Administration suppressed those reports and emphasized the reports that supported its policy. In one case, Mr. Cheney tried to fire one analyst who dared to offer contradictory information. And I hope you recall the infamous "the evidence will follow the policy" memo.

The long list of quotes you offer fall into two groups. The first group consists of quotes from the Clinton Administration and mostly date from 1998 -- fully five years before the invasion of Iraq. Five years is a long time in the intelligence business. Whatever intelligence Mr. Clinton had was of little relevance by 2003.

The second group of quotes come from Democrats after 2000. They were certain that Mr. Hussein had WMD. And where, pray tell, did they discover this? Did each one personally go to Iraq and snoop around looking for WMD? No, they were relying on the intelligence provided to them by the Bush Administration. Being Democrats, they naively believed that the President of the United States would never lie to them on crucial matters of national security.

To use the fact that the Democrats were taken in by Mr. Bush's lies as evidence that he did NOT lie takes a lot of chutzpah! ;-)

3:38 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

So your saying the Clinton Administration's decision to actually make Iraqi regime change our national policy is irrelevant, right? Then you say the Democrats are either too incompetent to perform the function they've been elected to do, or were fooled by the man you and others have basically called an idiot.

I don't know whether to call that "chutzpah" or not. But it certainly isn't convincing. And it certainly isn't flattering to the Democrats!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

So your saying the Clinton Administration's decision to actually make Iraqi regime change our national policy is irrelevant, right?

You'll need to walk through the logic that led you to that conclusion. It strikes me as quite a non sequitur.

Then you say the Democrats are either too incompetent to perform the function they've been elected to do, or were fooled by the man you and others have basically called an idiot.

Yes, they were taken in by Mr. Bush's lies. But it doesn't take any intelligence at all to get away with a lie when everybody trusts you because you're the President. Why, any idiot could get away with that -- and some have!

And it certainly isn't flattering to the Democrats!

Yes, the Democrats are such trusting chumps, always trying to make nice. Not at all like Republicans -- right? ;-)

11:10 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Concerning WMD in Iraq, Bush lied EXACTLY to the extent the Clinton Administration - and the vast majority of intelligence agencies in the world - lied.

You say that Clinton's comments and actions were 5 years prior to Bush's comments and actions and, therefore, are not relevent.

Why? What changed in those 5 years? Did Hussein not continue to stonewall and eventually expell weapons inspectors? Wouldn't it have been highly negligent to assume Hussein was playing nice all that time? Are you suggesting that is the proper attitude for foreign policy and national security?

The truth is, the only thing different from the time of Clinton Administration to the Bush Administration is that Sadaam Hussein was likely considered MORE dangerous.

You have not pointed out lies, Chepe. You've pointed out policy disagreements and labelled them as lies.

Your arguments are unconvincing, yet revealing. You've made claims of lies and been unable to prove those claims. Yet you have revealed the depths of your disdain for the Bush Administration and your unwillingness to accept basic truths if they don't agree with your opinion.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Bush lied EXACTLY to the extent the Clinton Administration - and the vast majority of intelligence agencies in the world - lied.

I disagree. In the first place, the Clinton Administration's discussion of Iraqi WMDs never approached the fever pitch of the Bush Administration's, and Mr. Clinton never ever suggested that the issue justified military action. "When Clinton lied, nobody died."

You dismiss the five years' time lag between the two Administration's claims as irrelevant, arguing that nothing changed. I can only repeat my statement that, in the intelligence community, five years is a very long time. Using evidence from 1998 to justify a war in 2003 is not logical.

I'd also like to take you to task for the claim that all the world's intelligence agencies thought that Iraq had WMD. This is one of those urban myths that is taken for granted but never substantiated. I don't recall ANY such statements from other countries (except Britain). Indeed, I recall other countries publicly declaring that there wasn't intelligence to justify a war. And don't forget the Blix Commission, which flatly contradicted the Bush Administration's claims. As I recall, the rest of the world was not at all supportive of the Administration's claims. Have you any evidence to the contrary?

you have revealed... your unwillingness to accept basic truths if they don't agree with your opinion.

Tut, tut, my man. Let's keep our civility. We can disagree without getting personal.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I wasn't going to post on this thread any more because I thought we'd beaten it into the ground. However, Chepe says:

"I disagree. In the first place, the Clinton Administration's discussion of Iraqi WMDs never approached the fever pitch of the Bush Administration's, ..."

I'll waive the temptation to follow your pattern of arguing semantics and ask you to substantiate terms like "fever pitch". Instead I'll just point out that, again, you reveal the weakness of the left in general and Democrats in particular when it comes to national security issues. What you're apparently saying here is that Clinton was all talk but never really intended to actually do anything - most people consider that to be lying. Bush, on the other hand, meant every word he said and backed up his words with action - most people consider that to be honesty.

You then go on with this laugher:

"... and Mr. Clinton never ever suggested that the issue justified military action."

You are flatly wrong here, Chepe.

Here are the opening paragraphs of an address by Bill Clinton. I think it was on 12-16-1998:

"Good evening.

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

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish. "

That's more than a "suggestion that military action is justified", Chepe. It's an actual announcement of military action having been ordered.


Then there's this:

"You dismiss the five years' time lag between the two Administration's claims as irrelevant, arguing that nothing changed. I can only repeat my statement that, in the intelligence community, five years is a very long time. Using evidence from 1998 to justify a war in 2003 is not logical."

At best, Chepe, you've grossly misunderstood my arguments. More likely, you've grossly misrepresented them.

I'm not the one who claimed anything was irrelevant. To the contrary, that was you. You are the one who claimed comments from Clinton Administration and other leading Democrats were irrelevant. My claim is that they are very relevant.

And I certainly did not claim that nothing had changed from 1998 to 2003. Rather, I pointed out that Hussein had further thumbed his nose at the world even to the point of evicting the weapons inspectors that were there as part of a cease fire agreement from the first Gulf War.

Also, I never used any "evidence" from 1998 to justify a war in 2003. I simply used quotes from 1998 to show that Bush was not the only one saying Sadamm Hussein had to be stopped. Many others felt the same way. Therefore, Bush could not possibly have lied about Iraq and fooled these people into believing bad intelligence.

It's not complicated, Chepe. It's really very simple. They said it before he said it.

Concerning the five years from 1998 to 2003, you've mentioned a couple of times that 5 years is a very long time in the intelligence field. With this, you seem to be suggesting that something was different and what was justified by Democrats in 1998 was no longer justifiable by Republicans in 2003. That's your claim, Chepe. The burden of proof is on you. What was so different from 1998 to 2003 that would cause the U.S. to change it's Clinton-era policy concerning Iraq?

I can think of at least one thing. But that one thing tends to bolster the argument that the U.S. must be more proactive in its defence.


You have leveled perhaps the most serious accusation you could at a sitting President, that he lied us into an unnecessary war. You have failed miserably to prove such an outrageous claim. Now you claim it's an "urban legend" that other serious intelligence agencies agreed with the U.S. concerning Sadaam Hussein.

I submit to you, Chepe, that the "Bush lied, people died" mantra is the urban legend here.

Give it up. It cannot be substantiated. You still believe in substantian of assertions don't you?

7:51 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Here is a link to a July 15, 2004 Austrailia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council article that discusses the U.S. Senate findings on Pre-War Intelligence.

I'm not familiar with the AIJAC, so I cannot vouch for them. But there is an interesting section in this report where the Wall Street Journal claims that the Senate vindicates George Bush regarding the claims that he lied about Iraq.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Greg, you misunderstand my main point. I am arguing that Mr. Clinton was aware of intelligence suggesting the existence of WMD in Iraq but did not consider such intelligence solid enough to justify a full-scale invasion. Mr. Bush used similar intelligence to justify a full-scale invasion. That's a profound difference in approaches.

Let me step back here and explain a fundamental logical error many people make -- one that mars your reasoning. I call it "boolean blindness". It is a reduction of a complex situation to simple black and white terms, ignoring that some quantities are arithmetic, not boolean.

You're doing this when you discuss the evaluation of intelligence by Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton. You treat their approaches in boolean terms -- "they both thought that Iraq had WMD". The failure here is the notion that the verb "thought" is a black and white notion, ignoring the fact that there are degrees of certainty. Mr. Clinton looked at the intelligence and concluded that there might well be WMD in Iraq, but he was not certain enough to justify, in his mind, an invasion. Mr. Bush looked at the intelligence and felt certain enough to justify an invasion.

That's the difference: the degree of certainty. You're waving that all away, saying that they both believed the same thing. Yes, they both believed that Iraq had WMD -- but Mr. Clinton held doubts (quite rightly, it turns out) while Mr. Bush did not have doubts (quite incorrectly, it now turns out). Mr. Clinton chose not to invade because of his doubts -- a prudent course of action. Mr. Bush chose to invade because of his lack of doubt -- a horrible mistake, we now know.

BTW, you're right on pointing out my error on the use of the term "military action". I should have used the term "invasion" instead. Sorry.

You have leveled perhaps the most serious accusation you could at a sitting President, that he lied us into an unnecessary war. You have failed miserably to prove such an outrageous claim.

Yes, it's a serious accusation, and I think that Mr. Bush deserves to be impeached and convicted for his actions. You acknowledge that he was incorrect in his justification of the invasion, but claim that his confidence in the intelligence was justified. However, Mr. Bush had an excellent source of intelligence in the Blix Commission reports, which stated that there was no evidence of WMD in Iraq. He chose to ignore those reports, which we now know to have been correct. Mr. Bush therefore knowingly lied when he assured the American people that there certainly were WMD in Iraq.

Now you claim it's an "urban legend" that other serious intelligence agencies agreed with the U.S. concerning Sadaam Hussein.

Indeed I do. Have you any evidence that other intelligence agencies agreed with the US concerning Iraqi WMD? I'll concede you the British (even though their reports expressed considerably more doubt than the US reports). Do you have any evidence of reports from any other countries that support your claim?

You do offer a link, but your link is to an Australian report describing the Republican-dominated Senate report on the pre-war intelligence. If that's your standard of proof, why don't you just use White House press releases?

Lastly, I'll implore you to turn down the temperature of your posts and keep them polite.

10:25 AM  

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