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addi Posted: Wed Jan 23 08:16:49 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Frankly, I'm shocked

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080123/ap_on_go_pr_wh/misinformation_study


 
ifihadahif Posted: Wed Jan 23 11:27:18 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  And I'm shocked that you bought that bullshit.


http://newsbusters.org/node/18662/print


 
~Just Imagine~ Posted: Wed Jan 23 12:26:56 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  And I'm shocked even more

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/actor-heath-ledger-is-found-dead/

He'll always be the boy with the greatest smile for me...

Byebye my one and only tvcrush...


 
addi Posted: Wed Jan 23 13:03:20 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>And I'm shocked that you bought that bullshit.


Well I'm NOT shocked you call it bullshit. Does that shock you?


 
ifihadahif Posted: Wed Jan 23 14:38:22 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  http://newsbusters.org/node/18669/print

Anything funded by George Soros is bullshit.


 
addi Posted: Wed Jan 23 16:25:17 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  and the basis of your 100% refutiation of 935 documented false reports from this administration comes from none other than that guardian of everything patriotic, red white and blue, God Bless America (BTW only America, the rest of you can go to hell), and the real Truth about left-wing baby raping pagens...

NewsBusters.org/Exposing Liberal News Bias

I'm not shocked, hif...how very very predictable.


 
Mesh Posted: Thu Jan 24 00:40:07 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  And newsbusters is funded by L. Brent Bozell III. So now what?


 
addi Posted: Thu Jan 24 05:53:27 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Wisenheimer said:
>And newsbusters is funded by L. Brent Bozell III. So now what?

We all hug?

: )


 
Silentmind Posted: Fri Jan 25 00:34:39 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Fact is, both "sides" made similar claims about how bad Iraq was and the whole WMD thing. Both sides are at fault for this mess. Your senate was complacent. However, who pushed for the war? Who ignored all contrary evidence presented to him? Who used information in speeches as justification, that has unequivocally been proven false? [See: Uranium from Niger, purchase of aluminum tubing for use in nuclear program, connections to Osama, claim that Iraq could use UAVs to attack the eastern seaboard, just to name a few] There are plenty of people from your country on both sides of this debate that were complacent and probably should be investigated, but, in : Start with the man who started it all.


 
Silentmind Posted: Fri Jan 25 00:35:47 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
> that has unequivocally been proven false?

That should read "that HAD unequivocally been proven false.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri Jan 25 06:51:11 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>Fact is, both "sides" made similar claims about how bad Iraq was and the whole WMD thing.
>
Facts are, the entire world made similar claims about how bad Iraq was and the whole WMD thing, including Canada.
None of the evidence you cite has "unequivocally" been proven false. There are lots of stories in print that claim to be factual but are not. For instance the Uranium for Niger story. Joe Wilson has been branded a liar by a bipartisan senate committe and British intelligence still stands by their original story that Saddam did indeed attempt to purchase yellowcake.

This stuff has been rehashed so many times it's ridiculous.

If all this stuff happened as you say, where are the investigations ? The dems hate Dubya so much that they would have him on trial in a nanosecond if they could. Don't give me "spare the country from the agony of it all" bullshit either. They've had the power to do this for awhile now and haven't even approached it.

Facts are: Saddam had WMD's after the first gulf war. The entire war knew this as they were documented before he expelled the investigators.

Facts are: There was no reason to suspect he no longer had them when we attacked him, and that's why the entire world thought he still had them.

Tell me, at the time did you think he still had them ?
If not, then why ?



 
addi Posted: Fri Jan 25 07:28:35 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Hif...were you a jury member on the OJ trial that looked over the evidence and acquitted him?
; )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri Jan 25 08:51:38 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>Hif...were you a jury member on the OJ trial that looked over the evidence and acquitted him?
>; )
>
No but Dr. Seuss was:

I would not, could not, kill my wife.
I did not do it with a knife.

:-)


 
Silentmind Posted: Fri Jan 25 16:50:36 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Fair enough hif. I'll provide some proof that these were false. I'll answer your other questions in my next point. I suggest you actually go and read all of the reports that have been released, but what follows [and sorry for the wall of text, but you wanted the information] represents the major conclusions pertaining to the points I made in my previous post. This source information comes courtesy of the US government.






First, pertaining to the yellowcake.

From the "Senate Intelligence Committee report's conclusions on pre-war intelligence failures in Iraq"

Conclusion 1. Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.(U) The major key judgments in the NIE, particularly that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program," "has chemical and biological weapons," was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents," and that "all key aspects - research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War," either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting provided to the Committee.

Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq's possible procurement attempts.


So, Bush used what amounted to overstated intelligence ie. BAD INTELLIGENCE. Oh, and this little tidbit from the Iraq Survey Group.

"The Iraq Survey Group also found no evidence that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991. With respect to the reports that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, ISG interviews with Ja'far Diya Ja'far, the head of Iraq's pre-1991 enrichment programs, indicated that Iraq had only two contacts with the Nigerien government after 1998--neither of which was related to uranium. One such contact was a visit to Niger by the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican Wissam Zahawie, the purpose of which Ja'far said was to invite the Nigerien President to visit Iraq (a story told publicly by Zahawie). The second contact was a visit to Iraq by a Nigerien minister to discuss Nigerien purchases of oil from Iraq--with no mention of "any kind of payment, quid pro quo, or offer to provide Iraq with uranium ore, other than cash in exchange for petroleum." The use of the last method of payment is supported by a crude oil contract, dated June 26, 2001, recovered by the ISG."

So, I think based on the source information, the yellowcake thing is false.

Ok, onto the aluminum tubes.


"Other entities took a different view, however. The Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. government's primary repository of expertise on nuclear matters, assessed that the tubes--although they "could be used to manufacture centrifuge rotors"--were "not well-suited for a centrifuge application" and were more likely intended for use in Iraq's Nasser 81 millimeter Multiple Rocket Launcher (MRL) program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed with DOE's assessment, concluding that the tubes were usable in a gas centrifuge application but that they were not directly suited to that use. Despite this disagreement, the CIA informed senior policymakers that it believed the tubes were destined for use in Iraqi gas centrifuges."

"With respect to Iraq's interest in procuring high-strength aluminum tubes, the ISG concluded that the Iraqi attempt to procure the tubes is best explained by Iraq's efforts to produce effective 81 millimeter rockets; the ISG uncovered no evidence that the tubes were intended for use in a gas centrifuge. 93 The ISG arrived at this conclusion only after investigating the key indicators that suggested a possible centrifuge end-use for the tubes--for example, the tubes' dimensions and tight manufacturing tolerances--and found no evidence of a program to design or develop an 81 millimeter aluminum rotor centrifuge. 94

What the ISG found instead was that, with respect to the dimensions of the tubes, Iraqi nuclear scientists thought it was at best impractical for Iraq to have made a centrifuge with 81 millimeter rotors. For example, Ja'far Diya Ja'far, the head of Iraq's pre-1991 uranium enrichment program, stated in post-war debriefings that, while it was possible to make a rotor from the tubes, he thought it would be impractical to do so. 95 He also said that using 81 millimeter rockets as a "cover story" for a centrifuge project would not have been very useful, because Iraq had difficulty importing any goods. 96 Ja'far similarly did not consider it reasonable that Iraq could have pursued a centrifuge program based on 81 millimeter aluminum tubes, judging the technical challenges to doing so were too great. 97 "


So, again, the claim that the tubes were going to be used for a nuclear program has been proven false, and the CIA and the administration ignored the fact that the DOE, the main experts in the field of nuclear energy felt that they were not well suited to the usage claimed by the CIA. So, once again, proven false.


Ok, now onto the connections with Osama. Again, YOU stated that this hasn't been proven false. I just want that out there.

Also from the comprehensive Senate Report.


Conclusion 1: The CIA's assessment that Iraq and al-Qaeda were "two independent actors trying to exploit each other" was accurate only about al-Qaeda. "Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa'ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qa'ida to provide material or operational support."


Conclusion 2: Postwar findings have indicated that there was only one meeting between representatives of Saddam Hussein and representatives of al-Qaeda. These findings also identified two occasions "not reported prior to the war, in which Saddam Hussein rebuffed meeting requests from an al-Qa'ida operative. The Intelligence Community has not found any other evidence of meetings between al-Qa'ida and Iraq."

Conclusion 3: "Prewar Intelligence Community assessments were inconsistent regarding the likelihood that Saddam Hussein provided chemical and biological weapons (CBW) training to al-Qa'ida. Postwar findings support the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) February 2002 assessment that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was likely intentionally misleading his debriefers when he said that Iraq provided two al-Qa'ida associates with chemical and biological weapons (CBW) training in 2000.... No postwar information has been found that indicates CBW training occurred and the detainee who provided the key prewar reporting about this training recanted his claims after the war."
Conclusion 7: "Postwar information supports prewar Intelligence Community assessments that there was no credible information that Iraq was complicit in or had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qa'ida strike..... Postwar findings support CIA's January 2003 assessment, which judged that 'the most reliable reporting casts doubt' on one of the leads, an alleged meeting between Muhammad Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague, and confirm that no such meeting occurred. Prewar intelligence reporting cast doubt on the other lead as well."

Conclusion 8: "No postwar information indicates that Iraq intended to use al-Qa'ida or any other terrorist group to strike the United States homeland before or during Operation Iraqi Freedom."

So, as for Iraq and Osama? False.



And as for my last point, about the UAV's.

Delivery Systems Summary Finding 1

The Intelligence Community incorrectly assessed that Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles for the purpose of delivering biological weapons strikes against U.S. interests.


Speaks for itself.


 
Silentmind Posted: Fri Jan 25 17:00:32 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Silentmind said:
>>

>
>If all this stuff happened as you say, where are the investigations ? The dems hate Dubya so much that they would have him on trial in a nanosecond if they could. Don't give me "spare the country from the agony of it all" bullshit either. They've had the power to do this for awhile now and haven't even approached it.


In regards to this point, I already have said why this probably won't happen. The congress was complacent. Both sides are at fault for this. My bet would be that Bush doesn't have any sort of charges brought against him. Because if he did, both major parties would be brought into a huge maelstrom of shit. No political party would willingly shoot itself in the foot. That being said, just because this won't happen, doesn't mean it shoudln't. I'd contend that numerous people should at least be brought up on charges and investigated. My original point is start with the man [ie bush] that started the mess. Then work your way down. However, as it would involve both parties, and people within both parties would be affected, its not going to happen, as per the above statement that a party won't shoot itself in the foot. IMHO, both parties are fucking screwed up and too like one another. Perhaps if there was an system set up outside of the Congress/Senate/White House......

>Tell me, at the time did you think he still had them ?
>If not, then why ?


The intelligence was dubious at best. Even if he did, he had no way of actually attacking the US. Iraq was being contained effectively and his regime was weakening. The threat against the US was manufactured. The reason has morphed over the years. Bush now says it was to free the Iraqis. But he didn't say that when he made the case for war. He said it was WMD and the threat to America. He lied.


 
Silentmind Posted: Fri Jan 25 17:06:02 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I forgot to make one point about Osama/Hussein. Anyone with even rudimentary knowledge would know that if the two of them were put in a room together one of them would end up dead. Osama envisions a fundamentalist muslim state in the middle east, including Iraq. Saddam would have never gone for it. One, it would have meant reliquishing control of the state he controlled, and he was pretty much the most secular leader in the middle east. Osama doesn't like secular. He thinks the Saudis are secular.


 
addi Posted: Sat Jan 26 07:38:39 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Nice job, Silentmind, but I don't think introducing the truth is going to make a dent of any kind on Hif's defense of Dubya's innocence.
I've been down that road before.

: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat Jan 26 10:33:08 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Silentmind said:
>>>
>
>>
>>If all this stuff happened as you say, where are the investigations ? The dems hate Dubya so much that they would have him on trial in a nanosecond if they could. Don't give me "spare the country from the agony of it all" bullshit either. They've had the power to do this for awhile now and haven't even approached it.
>
>
>In regards to this point, I already have said why this probably won't happen. The congress was complacent. Both sides are at fault for this. My bet would be that Bush doesn't have any sort of charges brought against him. Because if he did, both major parties would be brought into a huge maelstrom of shit. No political party would willingly shoot itself in the foot. That being said, just because this won't happen, doesn't mean it shoudln't. I'd contend that numerous people should at least be brought up on charges and investigated. My original point is start with the man [ie bush] that started the mess. Then work your way down. However, as it would involve both parties, and people within both parties would be affected, its not going to happen, as per the above statement that a party won't shoot itself in the foot. IMHO, both parties are fucking screwed up and too like one another. Perhaps if there was an system set up outside of the Congress/Senate/White House......
>
What a croc, if the dems had anything other than spin to offer as evidence, they would burn Bush at the stake and you know it !

>>Tell me, at the time did you think he still had them ?
>>If not, then why ?
>
>
>The intelligence was dubious at best. Even if he did, he had no way of actually attacking the US. Iraq was being contained effectively and his regime was weakening. The threat against the US was manufactured. The reason has morphed over the years. Bush now says it was to free the Iraqis. But he didn't say that when he made the case for war. He said it was WMD and the threat to America. He lied.
>
You didn't answer my question. I asked if you thought Iraq had WMD's prior to our attacking them, and if not, then why did you doubt it, because the whole world thought so.

Bush never denied the WMD scenario and freeing the Iraqis was always part of the deal, it's not as if he flip flopped on the reasons for attacking.
There were 28 listed reasons in our posted declaration of war that I have posted on GT more than once.


 
addi Posted: Sat Jan 26 12:50:29 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  See?
It's like I'm psychic or something
: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat Jan 26 14:40:20 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>See?
>It's like I'm psycho or something
>: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat Jan 26 15:16:09 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  From an article by Stephen F. Hayes, June 7 2004:

THERE WAS A TIME not long ago when the conventional wisdom skewed heavily toward a Saddam-al Qaeda links. In 1998 and early 1999, the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was widely reported in the American and international media. Former intelligence officers and government officials speculated about the relationship and its dangerous implications for the world. The information in the news reports came from foreign and domestic intelligence services. It was featured in mainstream media outlets including international wire services, prominent newsweeklies, and network radio and television broadcasts.

Newsweek magazine ran an article in its January 11, 1999, issue headed "Saddam + Bin Laden?" "Here's what is known so far," it read:

Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas--assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer.

Four days later, on January 15, 1999, ABC News reported that three intelligence agencies believed that Saddam had offered asylum to bin Laden:

Intelligence sources say bin Laden's long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan's fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. . . . ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad.

NPR reporter Mike Shuster interviewed Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, and offered this report:

Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one U.S. government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan. According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. . . . Some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA Director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.

By mid-February 1999, journalists did not even feel the need to qualify these claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship. An Associated Press dispatch that ran in the Washington Post ended this way: "The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against Western powers."

Where did journalists get the idea that Saddam and bin Laden might be coordinating efforts? Among other places, from high-ranking Clinton administration officials.

In the spring of 1998--well before the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa--the Clinton administration indicted Osama bin Laden. The indictment, unsealed a few months later, prominently cited al Qaeda's agreement to collaborate with Iraq on weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton Justice Department had been concerned about negative public reaction to its potentially capturing bin Laden without "a vehicle for extradition," official paperwork charging him with a crime. It was "not an afterthought" to include the al Qaeda-Iraq connection in the indictment, says an official familiar with the deliberations. "It couldn't have gotten into the indictment unless someone was willing to testify to it under oath." The Clinton administration's indictment read unequivocally:

Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

On August 7, 1998, al Qaeda terrorists struck almost simultaneously at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The blasts killed 257 people--including 12 Americans--and wounded nearly 5,000. The Clinton administration determined within five days that al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks and moved swiftly to retaliate. One of the targets would be in Afghanistan. But the Clinton national security team wanted to strike hard simultaneously, much as the terrorists had. "The decision to go to [Sudan] was an add-on," says a senior intelligence officer involved in the targeting. "They wanted a dual strike."

A small group of Clinton administration officials, led by CIA director George Tenet and national security adviser Sandy Berger, reviewed a number of al Qaeda-linked targets in Sudan. Although bin Laden had left the African nation two years earlier, U.S. officials believed that he was still deeply involved in the Sudanese government-run Military Industrial Corporation (MIC).

The United States retaliated on August 20, 1998, striking al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant outside Khartoum. "Let me be very clear about this," said President Bill Clinton, addressing the nation after the strikes. "There is no question in my mind that the Sudanese factory was producing chemicals that are used--and can be used--in VX gas. This was a plant that was producing chemical warfare-related weapons, and we have physical evidence of that."

The physical evidence was a soil sample containing EMPTA, a precursor for VX nerve gas. Almost immediately, the decision to strike at al Shifa aroused controversy. U.S. officials expressed skepticism that the plant produced pharmaceuticals at all, but reporters on the ground in Sudan found aspirin bottles and a variety of other indications that the plant had, in fact, manufactured drugs. For journalists and many at the CIA, the case was hardly clear-cut. For one thing, the soil sample was collected from outside the plant's front gate, not within the grounds, and an internal CIA memo issued a month before the attacks had recommended gathering additional soil samples from the site before reaching any conclusions. "It caused a lot of heartburn at the agency," recalls a former top intelligence official.

The Clinton administration sought to dispel doubts about the targeting and, on August 24, 1998, made available a "senior intelligence official" to brief reporters on background. The briefer cited "strong ties between the plant and Iraq" as one of the justifications for attacking it. The next day, undersecretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering briefed reporters at the National Press Club. Pickering explained that the intelligence community had been monitoring the plant for "at least two years," and that the evidence was "quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq." In all, at least six top Clinton administration officials have defended on the record the strikes in Sudan by citing a link to Iraq.

The Iraqis, of course, denied any involvement. "The Clinton government has fabricated yet another lie to the effect that Iraq had helped Sudan produce this chemical weapon," declared the political editor of Radio Iraq. Still, even as Iraq denied helping Sudan and al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction, the regime lauded Osama bin Laden. On August 27, 1998, 20 days after al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Africa, Babel, the government newspaper run by Saddam's son Uday Hussein, published an editorial proclaiming bin Laden "an Arab and Islamic hero."

Five months later, the same Richard Clarke who would one day claim that there was "absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever," told the Washington Post that the U.S. government was "sure" that Iraq was behind the production of the chemical weapons precursor at the al Shifa plant. "Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at al Shifa or what happened to it," wrote Post reporter Vernon Loeb, in an article published January 23, 1999. "But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to al Shifa's current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts, and the National Islamic Front in Sudan."

Later in 1999, the Congressional Research Service published a report on the psychology of terrorism. The report created a stir in May 2002 when critics of President Bush cited it to suggest that his administration should have given more thought to suicide hijackings. On page 7 of the 178-page document was a passage about a possible al Qaeda attack on Washington, D.C., that "could take several forms." In one scenario, "suicide bombers belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, or the White House."

A network anchor wondered if it was possible that the White House had somehow missed the report. A senator cited it in calling for an investigation into the 9/11 attacks. A journalist read excerpts to the secretary of defense and raised a familiar question: "What did you know and when did you know it?"

But another passage of the same report has gone largely unnoticed. Two paragraphs before, also on page 7, is this: "If Iraq's Saddam Hussein decide[s] to use terrorists to attack the continental United States [he] would likely turn to bin Laden's al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is among the Islamic groups recruiting increasingly skilled professionals," including "Iraqi chemical weapons experts and others capable of helping to develop WMD. Al Qaeda poses the most serious terrorist threat to U.S. security interests, for al Qaeda's well-trained terrorists are engaged in a terrorist jihad against U.S. interests worldwide."

CIA director George Tenet echoed these sentiments in a letter to Congress on October 7, 2002:

--Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.

--We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade.

--Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression.

--Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

--We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.

--Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

Tenet has never backed away from these assessments. Senator Mark Dayton, a Democrat from Minnesota, challenged him on the Iraq-al Qaeda connection in an exchange before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9, 2004. Tenet reiterated his judgment that there had been numerous "contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and that in the days before the war the Iraqi regime had provided "training and safe haven" to al Qaeda associates, including Abu Musab al Zarqawi. What the U.S. intelligence community could not claim was that the Iraqi regime had "command and control" over al Qaeda terrorists. Still, said Tenet, "it was inconceivable to me that Zarqawi and two dozen [Egyptian Islamic Jihad] operatives could be operating in Baghdad without Iraq knowing."

SO WHAT should Washington do now? The first thing the Bush administration should do is create a team of intelligence experts--or preferably competing teams, each composed of terrorism experts and forensic investigators--to explore the connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. For more than a year, the 1,400-member Iraq Survey Group has investigated the nature and scope of Iraq's program to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. At various times in its brief history, a small subgroup of ISG investigators (never more than 15 people) has looked into Iraqi connections with al Qaeda. This is not enough.

Despite the lack of resources devoted to Iraq-al Qaeda connections, the Iraq Survey Group has obtained some interesting new information. In the spring of 1992, according to Iraqi Intelligence documents obtained by the ISG after the war, Osama bin Laden met with Iraqi Intelligence officials in Syria. A second document, this one captured by the Iraqi National Congress and authenticated by the Defense Intelligence Agency, then listed bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence "asset" who "is in good relationship with our section in Syria." A third Iraqi Intelligence document, this one an undated internal memo, discusses strategy for an upcoming meeting between Iraqi Intelligence, bin Laden, and a representative of the Taliban. On the agenda: "attacking American targets." This seems significant.

A second critical step would be to declassify as much of the Iraq-al Qaeda intelligence as possible. Those skeptical of any connection claim that any evidence of a relationship must have been "cherry picked" from much larger piles of existing intelligence that makes these Iraq-al Qaeda links less compelling. Let's see it all, or as much of it as can be disclosed without compromising sources and methods.

Among the most important items to be declassified: the Iraq Survey Group documents discussed above; any and all reporting and documentation--including photographs--pertaining to Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, the Iraqi and alleged Saddam Fedayeen officer present at the September 11 planning meeting; interview transcripts with top Iraqi intelligence officers, al Qaeda terrorists, and leaders of al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Islam; documents recovered in postwar Iraq indicating that Abdul Rahman Yasin, the Iraqi who has admitted mixing the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was given safe haven and financial support by the Iraqi regime upon returning to Baghdad two weeks after the attack; any and all reporting and documentation--including photographs--related to Mohammed Atta's visits to Prague; portions of the debriefings of Faruq Hijazi, former deputy director of Iraqi intelligence, who met personally with bin Laden at least twice, and an evaluation of his credibility.

It is of course important for the Bush administration and CIA director George Tenet to back up their assertions of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection. Similarly, declassifying intelligence from the 1990s might shed light on why top Clinton officials were adamant about an Iraq-al Qaeda connection in Sudan and why the Clinton Justice Department included the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship in its 1998 indictment of Osama bin Laden. More specifically, what intelligence did Richard Clarke see that allowed him to tell the Washington Post that the U.S. government was "sure" Iraq had provided a chemical weapons precursor to the al Qaeda-linked al Shifa facility in Sudan? What would compel former secretary of defense William Cohen to tell the September 11 Commission, under oath, that an executive from the al Qaeda-linked plant "traveled to Baghdad to meet with the father of the VX [nerve gas] program"? And why did Thomas Pickering, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, tell reporters, "We see evidence that we think is quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq. In fact, al Shifa officials, early in the company's history, we believe were in touch with Iraqi individuals associated with Iraq's VX program"? Other Clinton administration figures, including a "senior intelligence official" who briefed reporters on background, cited telephone intercepts between a plant manager and Emad al Ani, the father of Iraq's chemical weapons program.

We have seen important elements of the pre-September 11 intelligence available to the Bush administration; it's time for the American public to see more of the intelligence on Iraq and al Qaeda from the 1990s, especially the reporting about the August 1998 attacks in Kenya and Tanzania and the U.S. counterstrikes two weeks later.

Until this material is declassified, there will be gaps in our knowledge. Indeed, even after the full record is made public, some uncertainties will no doubt remain.

The connection between Saddam and al Qaeda isn't one of them.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat Jan 26 15:23:59 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
 

Exporting Saddam's WMDs

By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | 6/18/2004

The assertion that Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction prior to last year’s liberation has been rendered absurd – by United Nations weapons inspectors.

Demetrius Perricos, acting chairman of UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), recently disclosed that his inspectors have been busily tracking shipments of illicit Iraqi WMD components around the world.

The Associated Press announced that UNMOVIC inspectors have found dozens of engines from banned al-Samoud 2 (SA2) missiles, which were shipped out of Iraq as “scrap metal.” Most recently, UNMOVIC agents found 20 SA-2 engines in Jordan, along with a great deal of other WMD materials. Officials discovered an identical engine in a Rotterdam port in the Netherlands and believe as many as a dozen extra SA-2 missile engines alone have been transported out of Iraq and remain unaccounted for. Inspectors believe at least some of these engines have also reached Turkey and hope to search Turkish ports in the near future.



UNMOVIC estimates as much as 1,000 tons of scrap metal a day are leaving Iraq bound for foreign shores.



Besides the SA-2 engines, inspectors also found Iraqi “dual use” technology in Jordan, items purportedly employed in civilian affairs that can be used to create or enhance deadly weapons systems. The New York Times noted that among those items were “fermenters, a freeze drier, distillation columns, parts of missiles and a reactor vessel - all tools suitable for making biological or chemical weapons.”



UN spokesman Ewen Buchanan put the threat of “dual use” technology into perspective. “You can make all kinds of pharmaceutical and medicinal products with a fermenter,” Buchanan said. “You can also use it to breed anthrax.”



Before the war, Saddam’s regime cast its possession of “dual use” materials in the most innocent light, a ruse familiar to students of the Cold War. UNMOVIC wisely rejected his sunny assessment.



Today, UNMOVIC inspectors are deeply concerned about the possibility of WMD proliferation. A Reuters news story captures their distress:



‘A number of sites which contained dual-use equipment that was previously monitored by UN inspectors has [sic.] been systematically taken apart,’ said Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the New York-based inspectors. ‘The question this raises is what happened to equipment known to have been there.

‘Where is it now? It's a concern,’ Buchanan asked.



‘The existence of missile engines originating in Iraq among scrap in Europe may affect the accounting of proscribed engines known to have been in Iraq's possession,’ UNMOVIC said.

The report said the U.N. inspectors also found papers showing illegal contracts by Iraq for a missile guidance system, laser ring gyroscopes and a variety of production and testing equipment not previously disclosed.



Many of the “dual use” components UNMOVIC found in foreign ports had been previous tagged by UN inspectors in Iraq before the war. And transfers are taking place rapidly. During his presentation, Perricos showed the Security Council a picture of a fully developed missile site in May 2003 that had been entirely torn down by February of this year.



Perricos’ June 9 testimony is made all the more credible by the fact that he is hardly a neo-con stalwart. USA Today described his mindset just three months ago: “Demetrius Perricos, acting head of the United Nations weapons inspection program, can't disguise his satisfaction that almost a year after the invasion of Iraq, U.S. inspectors have found the same thing that their much-maligned UN counterparts did before the war: no banned weapons.” Today, Perricos’ smile has disappeared.



(It should be noted that Perricos was honest enough to say the Iraqis were dragging their feet in destroying banned missiles just a month before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. He said at the time that Saddam viewed a partial and halting disarmament as a “way by which the possibility of war is being further avoided.” He added: “I cannot tell whether he genuinely believes in the inspection process or not.” Evidently, the fact that Saddam expelled all UN inspectors during the Clinton administration wasn’t a clue to the UN’s Sherlock Holmes.)



These revelations came during a closed meeting of the UN Security Council held last Wednesday, June 9. However, the investigations are not new. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched its own probe into Iraqi WMD transfers a full six months ago, when a Dutch scrap metal company discovered five pounds of yellowcake uranium ore in Rotterdam. The sample was shipped from Jordan but Jordanian officials said the metal originated in Iraq. (Perhaps this is the yellowcake that atomic sleuth Amb. Joe Wilson insisted Iraq never purchased from Niger.) IAEA Director Mohammed El Baradei warned two months ago that evidence of Saddam’s WMDs is being shipped abroad.



Jordan has been the recipient of Iraqi WMDs in the past. Most recently, Jordan seized 20 tons of chemical weapons while foiling an al-Qaeda plot to kill 80,000 people. The stockpile they uncovered contained 70 different kinds of chemical agents, including Sarin and VX gas. (Remember, last month Iraqi insurgents lobbed two chemical weapons at U.S. troops armed with Sarin and mustard gas.)



On April 17, Jordanian King Abdallah claimed these poisons came from Syria – but experts say Syria only has the capacity to produce small amounts of these weapons, not the 20 tons al-Qaeda possessed. Significantly, David Kay and others have said Syria acted as a depository for Saddam’s WMDs. Former Justice Department official John Loftus has made a compelling case that even more WMDs are presently buried in Syria. And these are merely the latest in a long line of WMD discoveries, inside Iraq and out.



You may be forgiven if this is news to you: The mainstream media have chosen to ignore or downplay the significance of the UN’s vindication of President Bush’s policies. In fact, the predictably left-leaning Reuters news service blamed these WMD shipments…on America. Reuters wrote that “the U.S.-led occupation force” had not adequately “protected sites or items that inspectors tagged before the war because of their potential use in weapons of mass destruction.”



Apparently, one must live in Australia to get the truth. The Sunday Times’ headline? “UN uncovers banned weapons.”


The discovery of banned WMD engines should forever silence those who believe Saddam had no stockpile of weapons, or that all such stockpiles were destroyed before the war. Saddam gassed his own people. He had WMDs that miraculously ended up in the hands of Jordanian al-Qaeda terrorists. And now we find his pre-war armory of chemical and biological weapons, including anthrax agents, is being shipped around the world. The fact that these transfers have taken place in an independent Iraq should only reinforce the righteousness of toppling Saddam. In a post-Saddam Iraq, these weapons are being found in shipyards in the Netherlands and Jordan; had Saddam stayed in power, more and more of them may have ended up in the hands of Osama bin Laden. UNMOVIC’s finding is simply further evidence that Operation Iraqi Freedom was justified – and the opposition was willfully ignorant of the threat Saddam Hussein posed to American security.


 
addi Posted: Sat Jan 26 17:58:00 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>addi said:
>>See?
>>It's like I'm psycho or something
>>: )

Amazing. I honestly thought you were going to do that little word change. I am psychic!

: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat Jan 26 23:33:20 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>addi said:
>>>See?
>>>It's like I'm psycho or something
>>>: )
>
>Amazing. I honestly thought you were going to do that little word change. I am psychic!
>
>: )
>
Or something . . .
:-)


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun Jan 27 01:53:15 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  hif, I noticed something, both of your articles are from 2004. Now, I posted source material, not a journalistic article, from 2006 when the ISG report was released in full. Perhaps you have some source material you'd like to post to back up your claims?

To talk a little about your Osama/Iraq connection, as you posted that guys article from 2004. The first, and most important conclusion of the ISG was, and I hate to quote it again:
[I'm going to add little !!!! points to let you know where you should read.]


"Conclusion 1: The CIA's assessment that Iraq and al-Qaeda were "two independent actors trying to exploit each other" was accurate only about al-Qaeda. "Postwar findings indicate that

!!!!!!!Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa'ida!!!!!!!!!

and viewed
!!!!!!!Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime!!!!!!!!!
,

!!!!!!!!!!!refusing all requests from al-Qa'ida to provide material or operational support." "!!!!!!!!!!





Now that was from 2006. Going back to your guy from 2004. He talks about the information the ISG had uncovered up to that point. Fine. However, the conclusions of the ISG had yet to be released. They have been now. And #1 on the list: Iraq refused all requests to provide material or operational support.



And again, I don't think the Dems will do anything about it, regardless of the evidence presented. Because before any formal charges could be brought up against Bush, each and every member of congress and the senate that voted for the war would have to commit political suicide. They would have to stand up and say "We were duped" or "We were complacent" or "We blindly followed the lead of the president" which would be brought up against them in an election. And Bush will always have the excuse "I got bad intelligence" or "Congress let me do it." Its wrong that nothing is going to happen, and frankly morally reprehensible. Doesn't change the fact that its not going to happen.


Oh, and do I think Saddam had WMD's? No, I don't. He was too closely watched, it didn't make sense for him to have them anymore, and even if he did, he couldn't have used them, and he most certainly couldn't have gotten them out of the country.


 
addi Posted: Sun Jan 27 05:51:58 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>hif, I noticed something, both of your articles are from 2004. Now, I posted source material, not a journalistic article, from 2006 when the ISG report was released in full. Perhaps you have some source material you'd like to post to back up your claims?

or perhaps there isn't any to produce
: )



>each and every member of congress and the senate that voted for the war would have to commit political suicide. They would have to stand up and say "We were duped" or "We were complacent" or "We blindly followed the lead of the president" which would be brought up against them in an election.

Which is why I haven't been able to support either Edwards or Hillary this election.
After the SC results yesterday I'd say Ms. Clinton had better win big and win soon. Edwards is now toast.


 
FN Posted: Sun Jan 27 06:55:45 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  So what's the latest news on clinton/the black guy?

When will you know the candidate


 
addi Posted: Sun Jan 27 08:20:46 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>So what's the latest news on clinton/the black guy?

Big win yesterday for "the black guy" (Obama)in South Carolina. But's it's still too early to predict with certainty who'll be the democratic party nominee.

>When will you know the candidate
Should be all cleared up by the end of February with so many large states having primaries that month.

*that bunny is just so darn cute : )


 
Mesh Posted: Sun Jan 27 08:26:03 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  So what the hell is the Super Delegate nonsense? Seems rather.....opposite of a supposedly democratic selection process.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun Jan 27 08:26:13 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:

>To talk a little about your Osama/Iraq connection, as you posted that guys article from 2004. The first, and most important conclusion of the ISG was, and I hate to quote it again:
>[I'm going to add little !!!! points to let you know where you should read.]
>

>And again, I don't think the Dems will do anything about it, regardless of the evidence presented. Because before any formal charges could be brought up against Bush, each and every member of congress and the senate that voted for the war would have to commit political suicide. They would have to stand up and say "We were duped" or "We were complacent" or "We blindly followed the lead of the president" which would be brought up against them in an election. And Bush will always have the excuse "I got bad intelligence" or "Congress let me do it." Its wrong that nothing is going to happen, and frankly morally reprehensible. Doesn't change the fact that its not going to happen.
>
So, if Bush lied then virtually every member of our govt and most heads of state around the world lied as well when they said Saddam had WMD's ?

>Oh, and do I think Saddam had WMD's? No, I don't. He was too closely watched, it didn't make sense for him to have them anymore, and even if he did, he couldn't have used them, and he most certainly couldn't have gotten them out of the country.
>
Oh well hindsight is 20/20 eh ?
Virtually the whole world believed he had them and didn't ?

What do you think happened to the ones that were documented after the first gulf war ?
He had plenty of bio weapons then and just how hard do think it would be for him to ship anthrax out of Iraq ?


 
Mesh Posted: Sun Jan 27 08:28:12 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Good morning hif. Rather early to be up on a Sunday, no?


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun Jan 27 08:53:40 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Wisenheimer said:
>Good morning hif. Rather early to be up on a Sunday, no?
>
And a fine good morning to you sir.
I'm usually up around six every morning, it's my favorite time of the day.



 
addi Posted: Sun Jan 27 09:25:17 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>Oh well hindsight is 20/20 eh ?
>Virtually the whole world believed he had them and didn't ?

Well dang. Usually I realize the futility of disagreeing with you on anything political, and therefore generally try to avoid responding directly, but I just can't on this one, hiffer 'ol pal.
"Virtually the whole world"?
Right before the Iraq invasion (after all that's the time period in question) I didn't believe Saddam had them. Some top inspectors didn't believe he had them. I dare say millions of people across the globe didn't think he possessed them anymore.
So there's no justification for your statement.

*and I was up at 5:20 am this morning, ya lazyheads!
: )


 
FN Posted: Sun Jan 27 10:04:45 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Also as far as I remember quite a few european nations weren't too keen about invading either before full reports were out.

Also, I woke up around 11:45. +1 for team slacker.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun Jan 27 10:40:39 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  My point wasn't about whether the invasion was a good idea or not, I agree that was/is debateable though I supported the idea.
My point was the most people were in agreement that he did in fact have WMD's at the time.
Still no one has addressed the fact that he did in fact have WMD's stockpiled at the end of the first gulf war that have yet to be accounted for.


 
FN Posted: Sun Jan 27 10:45:43 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I've turned from being fully against it to comprehending an invasion, but not on the basis of what it was launched on back then and now still, and I also do not believe that the invasion was brought along by good intentions. There are and were other regimes out there who are far more in need of being cut short than saddam was at the time.




 
FN Posted: Sun Jan 27 10:49:06 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>My point was the most people were in agreement that he did in fact have WMD's at the time.

Actually not really, a lot of especially american politicians who had to gain by it for whatever reason were convinced, and so was the propaganda machine.

Correct me if I'm wrong here but other than that most people were still waiting for final reports before wanting to jump the gun.

>Still no one has addressed the fact that he did in fact have WMD's stockpiled at the end of the first gulf war that have yet to be accounted for.

If that was the case then one of the many questions you should be asking as well is why he wasn't taken down in the first gulf war, and how those reasons and than plan changed into a good idea all of a sudden, I'd say that's weirder.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun Jan 27 13:10:30 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>My point was the most people were in agreement that he did in fact have WMD's at the time.
>
>Actually not really, a lot of especially american politicians who had to gain by it for whatever reason were convinced, and so was the propaganda machine.
>
>Correct me if I'm wrong here but other than that most people were still waiting for final reports before wanting to jump the gun.
>
>>Still no one has addressed the fact that he did in fact have WMD's stockpiled at the end of the first gulf war that have yet to be accounted for.
>
>If that was the case then one of the many questions you should be asking as well is why he wasn't taken down in the first gulf war, and how those reasons and than plan changed into a good idea all of a sudden, I'd say that's weirder.
>
The WMD's were not documented until after the war was over and the inspectors went in.

The final reports you speak of were not going to happen because Saddam had expelled the inspectors. And while the inspectors were in country, there were several sites they wanted access to, but were not allowed.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun Jan 27 13:37:35 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>He had plenty of bio weapons then and just how hard do think it would be for him to ship anthrax out of Iraq ?

Incredibly difficult. What was he going to do? Call up FedEx? Express overnight delivery? It would have been too risky for him to ship them out of country. He was too closely watched. The US may have not known what was going on internally, but they certainly watched the borders very closely. And why would he in the first place? Who was he going to send it too? The US?

If anything, -if- he even had them he would have used the weapons on the people he actually hated, Iran and Israel.

The risks of being caught were too great. And had he been caught trying to ship biological weapons out of Iraq, the most certainly would have brought military action against his country. He wasn't that stupid.


And hif, I'm still wondering. You didn't address the Osama/Iraq connection. What do you think of the ISG's conclusion? Were they wrong?


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun Jan 27 21:01:18 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>ifihadahif said:
>
>>He had plenty of bio weapons then and just how hard do think it would be for him to ship anthrax out of Iraq ?
>
>Incredibly difficult. What was he going to do? Call up FedEx? Express overnight delivery? It would have been too risky for him to ship them out of country. He was too closely watched. The US may have not known what was going on internally, but they certainly watched the borders very closely. And why would he in the first place? Who was he going to send it too? The US?
>
>If anything, -if- he even had them he would have used the weapons on the people he actually hated, Iran and Israel.
>
He didn't hate Iran as much as you'd like to think. Where exactly do you think the Iraqi air force hid their planes during the gulf war ?

>The risks of being caught were too great. And had he been caught trying to ship biological weapons out of Iraq, the most certainly would have brought military action against his country. He wasn't that stupid.
>
He wasn't that stupid ? Sure. . .

Also you've been watching too many movies. You're talking about the middle east here, not the border between the US and Canada. It's pretty well known the border between Iraq and Syria was very porous. Don't you remember how much black market stuff was getting through during the supposed UN sanctions ?
>
>And hif, I'm still wondering. You didn't address the Osama/Iraq connection. What do you think of the ISG's conclusion? Were they wrong?
>
I didn't put a lot of stock in the conclusions of the ISG. Their recommendations were pretty much buffoonish and they were also pretty well stacked against the war from the beginning anyway.
See the following article from Charles Krauthammer:

Be Grateful for the ISG
Do something new and bold, President Bush.

By Charles Krauthammer

As a result of the Iraq Study Group, President Bush has been given one last chance to alter course on Iraq. This did not, however, come about the way James Baker intended. It came about because the long-anticipated report turned out to be such a widely agreed-upon farce. From its wildly hyped, multiple magazine-cover rollout (Annie Leibovitz in Men’’s Vogue, no less) to its mishmash of 79 (no less) recommendations, the report has fallen so flat that the field is now clear for the president to recommend to a war-weary country something new and bold.

The ISG has not just been attacked by Left and Right, Democrat and Republican. It has invited ridicule. Seventy-nine recommendations. Interdependent, insists Baker. They should be taken as a whole. “I hope we don'’t treat this like a fruit salad and say, ‘‘I like this but I don'’t like that.’’” On the basis of what grand unifying vision? On the authority of what superior wisdom? A ten-person commission including such Middle East experts as Sandra Day O'’Connor, Alan Simpson, and Vernon Jordan?

This kind of bipartisan elder-statesmen commission is perfectly appropriate as a consensus-building exercise for, say, a long-range problem such as Social Security. It is a ludicrous mechanism for devising strategic changes in the middle of a war.

Its major recommendation of gradual retreat is unremarkable — exactly what you’d expect from a committee whose objective is consensus. It reflects a certain conventional wisdom in Washington that the war is already lost. And if that is true, we should indeed be retreating. And the sooner the better, even more quickly than the ISG recommends.

But having told us that the price of leaving Iraq to chaos is unacceptably high, the commission never attempts to come up with a plan for actually succeeding. Its only new initiative is to go regional, and involve neighboring Syria and Iran.

Syria should stop infiltration, declares the report. And Iran “should stem the flow of equipment, technology, and training to any group resorting to violence in Iraq.” Yes, and obesity should be eradicated, bird flu cured, and traffic fatalities, particularly the multi-car variety, abolished. Such fatuous King Canute pronouncements give the report its air of detachment from reality.

This holding back of the tides is to be accomplished by negotiations with the likes of Iran. Baker admits that Iranian representatives told the commission that they are unlikely to cooperate. But we must press on, Baker insists, because we will thus expose Iran as “a rejectionist nation” that is “not ... willing to help try and stabilize Iraq.”

Now there’s a diplomatic achievement: undermining our hard-earned agreement with the Europeans to make any future approach to Iran dependent on the suspension of uranium enrichment in order to . . . demonstrate to the world that a country providing sophisticated weapons, roadside bombs, and financial support to both sides of the civil war does not support stability there. Is there a sentient adult outside this commission who does not know that already?

A major objective of the New Diplomatic Offensive (as if pompous capitalization makes for substance) is to bring Arab-Israeli peace. Baker thinks that if only the Israelis would surrender to Arab demands, all would be well in the Middle East.

O.K. Imagine that there is peace between Israel and the Arabs. No, imagine an even better solution from the Arab point of view — an earthquake that tomorrow swallows Israel whole and sinks it (like Santorini, 1650 B.C.) into the Mediterranean. Does anyone imagine that the Shiites stop killing Sunnis? That al Qaeda stops killing Americans? That Iran and Syria work any less assiduously to destabilize post-Saddam Iraq? It’s these obvious absurdities that make the report so dismissible.

Now that these ten establishment sages have labored mightily to produce a mouse, the president has one last chance to come forward with a new strategy.

He must do two things. First, as I’ve been agitating, establish a new governing coalition in Baghdad that excludes Moqtada al-Sadr, a cancer that undermines the Maliki government’s ability to work with us. It is encouraging that the president has already begun such a maneuver by meeting with rival Shiite and Sunni parliamentary leaders. If we help produce a cross-sectarian government that would be an ally rather than a paralyzed semi-adversary of coalition forces, we should then undertake part two: “double down” our military effort. This means a surge in American troops with a specific mission: to secure Baghdad and (together with the support of the Baghdad government — a sine qua non) suppress Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

It is our last chance for success. Bush can thank the ISG and its instant irrelevance for making it possible.

(c) 2006, The Washington Post Writers Group



 
Silentmind Posted: Sun Jan 27 22:31:10 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Silentmind said:
>>ifihadahif said:
>>
>>>He had plenty of bio weapons then and just how hard do think it would be for him to ship anthrax out of Iraq ?
>>
>>Incredibly difficult. What was he going to do? Call up FedEx? Express overnight delivery? It would have been too risky for him to ship them out of country. He was too closely watched. The US may have not known what was going on internally, but they certainly watched the borders very closely. And why would he in the first place? Who was he going to send it too? The US?
>>
>>If anything, -if- he even had them he would have used the weapons on the people he actually hated, Iran and Israel.
>>
>He didn't hate Iran as much as you'd like to think. Where exactly do you think the Iraqi air force hid their planes during the gulf war ?
>


Iran. Same place that kept the planes. And refused to return their aircrews for years after the conflict. Oh ya, and there was that other little eight year conflict. But, really, they loved one another.


 
casper Posted: Mon Jan 28 03:35:20 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>ifihadahif said:
>
>>He had plenty of bio weapons then and just how hard do think it would be for him to ship anthrax out of Iraq ?
>
>Incredibly difficult. What was he going to do? Call up FedEx? Express overnight delivery? It would have been too risky for him to ship them out of country. He was too closely watched. The US may have not known what was going on internally, but they certainly watched the borders very closely. And why would he in the first place? Who was he going to send it too? The US?
>
>If anything, -if- he even had them he would have used the weapons on the people he actually hated, Iran and Israel.
>
>The risks of being caught were too great. And had he been caught trying to ship biological weapons out of Iraq, the most certainly would have brought military action against his country. He wasn't that stupid.
>
>
>And hif, I'm still wondering. You didn't address the Osama/Iraq connection. What do you think of the ISG's conclusion? Were they wrong?

I think you grossly overestimate our abilities :) If we could watch the borders so well then how are all these terrorists still getting in country? The majority of terrorists here are not Iraqis they are syrian, iranian, egyptian etc etc. If we can't keep tabs on these borders with us INSIDE them how do you think we could have when we had no foothold besides kuwait in the region?

by the way i'm leaving this shithole in a month! woohoo!


 
addi Posted: Mon Jan 28 06:28:19 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  casper said:

>by the way i'm leaving this shithole in a month! woohoo!

In one piece we all hope. Hang in there, Casper.


 
casper Posted: Mon Jan 28 07:57:26 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>casper said:
>
>>by the way i'm leaving this shithole in a month! woohoo!
>
>In one piece we all hope. Hang in there, Casper.

oh yeah...this place isn't really all that bad anymore. actually i'm halfway convinced i'm in Juarez.


 
addi Posted: Mon Jan 28 11:30:58 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  casper said:

>oh yeah...this place isn't really all that bad anymore. actually i'm halfway convinced i'm in Juarez.

Juarez is a shithole : )

you must be stationed in that one tiny section of Iraq then..I believe locals call it the The Iraqi Riviera.


 
Silentmind Posted: Tue Jan 29 00:59:45 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  casper, I'm not talking about how porous the border is today. I'm talking about it prior to the Iraq War. When you only had to watch the borders, as opposed to now.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Tue Jan 29 07:33:58 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Prior to the war we didn't have any troops there to guard the borders. The borders that were being watched, were being watched by UN officials. How tight do you think that security was ?

Especially along the Syrian border, it was very porous.


 
casper Posted: Wed Jan 30 05:20:49 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>casper said:
>
>>oh yeah...this place isn't really all that bad anymore. actually i'm halfway convinced i'm in Juarez.
>
>Juarez is a shithole : )
>
>you must be stationed in that one tiny section of Iraq then..I believe locals call it the The Iraqi Riviera.

Actually I'm in Baghdad :) But it IS like juarez in a lotta ways...it's dirty, ghetto, and there's a bunch of people who don't speak english who want you to buy stupid crap. the only real differences are lack of alcohol and donkey shows. oh and the occasional shelling :)


 
addi Posted: Wed Jan 30 06:51:23 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  casper said:

>Actually I'm in Baghdad :) But it IS like juarez in a lotta ways...it's dirty, ghetto, and there's a bunch of people who don't speak english who want you to buy stupid crap. the only real differences are lack of alcohol and donkey shows. oh and the occasional shelling :)

No donkey shows?!! my god, I just can't imagine what you poor guys have to endure!
Saddening to think about a city SO rich in history, and so magnificent and proud at one time...being reduced to ghetto and rubble because of stupidity and war.

Just lay low in the green zone for the next few weeks so you come home in one piece.
oh yeah...if you find a good deal from a street vendor on a nice persian rug let me know.
: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri Feb 1 13:03:07 2008 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:

>Oh, and do I think Saddam had WMD's? No, I don't. He was too closely watched, it didn't make sense for him to have them anymore, and even if he did, he couldn't have used them, and he most certainly couldn't have gotten them out of the country.
>
So, would I be correct in assuming that you believe all the following to have lied about WMD's as well ?

These statements were made just weeks before we attacked:

* John Kerry, noting that “Saddam Hussein [could] not account for all the Weapons of Mass Destruction which UNSCOM identified,” stated: “People have forgotten that for seven and a half years, we found weapons of mass destruction. We were destroying weapons of mass destruction.” “The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real,” added Kerry, “…[and] he has continued to build those weapons.”

* Hillary Clinton declared unequivocally: “In the four years since the inspectors left [Iraq], 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…that if left unchecked, [he] will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” These claims constituted a seamless transition from the claims made by Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton, during the latter years of his presidency in 1998 and 1999.

* According to former Vice President Al Gore, “We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country…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.”

* Senator Ted Kennedy concurred: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction…There is no doubt that [his] regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.”

* In John Edwards’ estimation, “Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies…We know that he has chemical and biological weapons…We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal.”

* Senator Robert Byrd professed, “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....”

* Senator Jay Rockefeller was among the most passionate of all believers: “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…Saddam’s government has contact with many international terrorist organizations that likely have cells here in the United States ... Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now…And he could make those weapons available to many terrorist groups which … could…unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly…I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk…September 11 changed America. It made us realize we must deal differently with the very real threat of terrorism…There has been some debate over how ‘imminent’ a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated…To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot! The President has rightly called Saddam Hussein’s efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction a grave and gathering threat to Americans. The global community has tried but failed to address that threat over the past decade. I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks…we must authorize the President to take the necessary steps to deal with that threat.”




 



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