We Used To Impeach Liars

  1. By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Tuesday 03 June 2003
    In September of 2002, fully six months before George W. Bush attacked Iraq, I published a small book entitled "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know." The essential premise of the book was that the threats surrounding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were wildly overblown by the Bush administration for purely political reasons. In the opening paragraphs, I framed the argument as follows:
    According to Bush and the men who are pushing him towards this war-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle.The United States will institute a "regime change" in Iraq, and bring forth the birth of a new democracy in the region. Along the way, we will remove Saddam Hussein, a man who absolutely, positively has weapons of mass destruction, a man who will use these weapons against his neighbors because he has done so in the past, a man who will give these terrible weapons to Osama bin Laden for use against America.
    A fairly cut-and-dried case, no? America is more than prepared to listen to these pleasing arguments about evil in black and white, particularly after the horrors of September 11th. Few can contemplate in comfort the existence of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in the hands of a madman like Saddam Hussein. The merest whisper that he might give these weapons to Qaeda terrorists is enough to rob any rational American of sleep. Saddam has been so demonized in the American media-ever since the first President Bush compared him to Hitler-that they believe the case has been fully and completely made for his immediate removal.
    Yet facts are stubborn things, as John Adams once claimed while successfully defending British redcoats on trial for the Boston Massacre. We may hate someone with passion, and we may fear them in our souls, but if the facts cannot establish a clear and concise basis for our fear and hatred, if the facts do not defend the actions we would take against them, then we must look elsewhere for the basis of that fear. Simultaneously, we must take stock of those stubborn facts, and understand the manner in which they define the reality-not the rhetoric-of our world.
    The case for war against Iraq has not been made. This is a fact. It is doubtful in the extreme that Saddam Hussein has retained any functional aspect of the chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs so thoroughly dismantled by the United Nations weapons inspectors who worked tirelessly in Iraq for seven years. This is also a fact.
    This was a straightforward argument, set against stern and unrelenting prophesies of doom from Bush administration officials, and from Bush himself. I can tell you, as the writer, that it was a tough sell. The facts contained in the book were absolutely accurate, as has been proven in the aftermath of war, but Americans are funny. They fall for Hitler's maxim on lies over and over again: "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." Over and over and over and over and over again, the American people were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction practically falling out of his ears. The American people were told that Hussein was giving away these weapons to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda the way you and I might give away birthday presents.
    Feast for a moment, on this brief timeline:
    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
    - Dick Cheney, August 26 2002
    "If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
    - Ari Fleischer, December 2 2002
    "We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
    - Ari Fleischer, January 9 2003
    "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
    - Colin Powell, February 5 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, March 21 2003
    "There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."
    - Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22 2003
    "We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad."
    - Donald Rumsfeld, March 30 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, April 10 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, April 25 2003
    "I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction."
    - Colin Powell, May 4 2003
    These are the words of administration officials who were following orders and the party line. It has been axiomatic for quite a while now that the people behind the scenes, and not the Main Man Himself, are running the ways and means of this administration. Harken back to the campaign in 2000, when the glaring deficiencies in ability and experience displayed by George W. Bush were salved by the fact that a number of heavy hitters would be backstopping him. Yet a Democrat named Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here." What did the man in receipt of said stopped buck have to say on the matter?
    "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
    - George W. Bush, September 12 2002
    "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, State of the Union address, January 28 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 Bush, February 8 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 Bush, March 17 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 Bush, April 24 2003
    "We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
    - George Bush, May 3 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, May 6 2003
    It has become all too clear in the last several days that the horrid descriptions of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were nothing more than the Big Lie which Hitler described. The American people, being the trusting TV-stoned folks they are, bought this WMD lie bag and baggage. Imagine the shock within the administration when Lieutenant General James Conway, top US Marine Commander in Iraq, said that American intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was "Simply wrong." Conway went on to state about the WMDs that, "We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there."
    Imagine the consternation within the administration when Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said on May 28 that, "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." A short translation of that comment is as straightforward as one can get - There was no real threat of WMDs, but everyone who wanted the war for whatever reasons decided to settle on that concept because it was an easy sell to Americans still traumatized by September 11.
    Imagine the teeth-gnashing within the administration when Patrick Lang, former head of worldwide human intelligence gathering for the Defense Intelligence Agency, accused Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld's personal intelligence team of having "cherry-picked the intelligence stream" to make it seem like the WMD threat in Iraq was real. Lang went on to say that the DIA was "exploited and abused and bypassed in the process of making the case for war in Iraq based on the presence of WMD." Vince Cannistraro, former chief of the CIA counterterrorist operations, described serving intelligence officers who blame the Pentagon for proffering "fraudulent" intelligence, "a lot of it sourced from the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi."
    Ahmad Chalabi, it should be noted, is the hand-picked-by-Don-Rumsfeld successor to power in Iraq. Chalabi was convicted in 1992 of 31 counts of bank fraud and embezzlement in Jordan and sentenced to 22 years hard labor in absentia. Even the most optimistic of intelligence observers take what he has to say with a massive grain of salt. Certainly, as the chosen leader of Iraq - a position he has enjoyed thanks to Rumsfeld and his cabal since 1997 - Chalabi had no reason whatsoever to exaggerate or lie about Iraq's weapons program. Of course.
    The process of proving the presence of Iraqi WMDs has been tortured, to say the least. Bush at one point described recent Iraqi efforts to purchase "significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Greg Thielmann, recently resigned from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, was appalled by these claims. "When I saw that, I was really blown away," said Thielmann. His Bureau of Intelligence and Research had absolutely debunked this claim. The documents used to support the accusation were crude forgeries - the name on the letterhead of the main evidentiary document was that of a Nigerian minister who had been out of office for ten years. When he saw that Bush was using the fraudulent documentation to back up his claims, he thought to himself, "Not that stupid piece of garbage," according to Newsweek.
    And then, of course, there was the famous presentation by Colin Powell to the UN on February 5th. Powell held aloft a British Intelligence dossier on the current status of Iraqi weapons, praised it lavishly, and used it as the central underpinnings of his argument that Iraq was a clear and present danger. It came to light some days later that vast swaths of the dossier he praised had been plagiarized from a magazine article penned five months earlier by a California graduate student from California whose focus had been Iraq circa 1991. You can read more on this aspect of the mess in my article from that time entitled Blair, Powell UN Report Written By Student. Last week, Powell described this profoundly flawed UN presentation as "the best analytic product that we could have put up."
    The aggravation within the administration, after all these statements, caused George W. Bush to exclaim on May 30, "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." He was referring to an alleged Iraqi mobile chemical laboratory, one of the "Winnebagos of Death" described by Colin Powell. Said mobile facility contained exactly zero evidence of having been used to produce weapons of any kind, and was in fact most likely used as a mobile food testing platform in the service of Saddam Hussein, who was always paranoid about assassination.
    Over 170 American soldiers died in the second war in Iraq. The Iraqi populace is deeply angered by the American presence in their country, and they are armed to the teeth. More soldiers will die in the impossible police action that has become victory's inheritance. Thousands of Iraqi civilians have died, along with untold scores of Iraqi soldiers. The Middle East has been inflamed by the war; bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca provide a bleak preview of what is to come. According to Mr. Bush, the entire thing was aimed at that one mobile lab. The thousands of tons of WMDs we were promised do not exist, so that empty mobile lab is what we must settle for if we are to justify this war in our hearts and minds.
    Once upon a time, we impeached a sitting President for lying under oath about sexual trysts. No one died, no one had their legs or arms or face or genitals blown off because of the lies of a President who had been caught with his pants down. Today in America, we endure a sitting President who lied for months about the threat posed by a sovereign nation. That nation was invaded and attacked, and thousands died because of it. The aftereffects of this action will be felt for generations to come. The very democracy which gives us meaning as a country has been put in peril by these deeds. When the smoke cleared, every reason for that war was proven to be a lie.
    Of course, there will be no impeachment with a Republican Congress. This must not dissuade us from demanding satisfaction. Let the House be brought to order. Gavel the members to attention, and let the evidence be brought forth. Let there be justice for the living and the dead. Let this man Bush be impeached and cleansed from office for the lies he has told. These are not innocent lies. The dead remember.
    •  
  2. 106 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Brief timeline:
    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
    - Dick Cheney, August 26 2002
    "If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
    - Ari Fleischer, December 2 2002
    "We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
    - Ari Fleischer, January 9 2003
    "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
    - Colin Powell, February 5 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, March 21 2003
    "There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."
    - Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22 2003
    "We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad."
    - Donald Rumsfeld, March 30 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, April 10 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, April 25 2003
    "I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction."
    - Colin Powell, May 4 2003
    These are the words of administration officials who were following orders and the party line. It has been axiomatic for quite a while now that the people behind the scenes, and not the Main Man Himself, are running the ways and means of this administration. Harken back to the campaign in 2000, when the glaring deficiencies in ability and experience displayed by George W. Bush were salved by the fact that a number of heavy hitters would be backstopping him. Yet a Democrat named Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here." What did the man in receipt of said stopped buck have to say on the matter?
    "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
    - George W. Bush, September 12 2002
    "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, State of the Union address, January 28 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 Bush, February 8 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 Bush, March 17 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 Bush, April 24 2003
    "We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
    - George Bush, May 3 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, May 6 2003
    It has become all too clear in the last several days that the horrid descriptions of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were nothing more than the Big Lie."
  4. by   Ted
    Again. . .

    All the more reason to have the United Nation's weapons inspectors come to verify any alledged WMD found from this point on. (Actually, they should have never left in the first place.)

    Our government's credibility to its citizens and the world is at stake. (I certainly don't trust anything information coming out of the current regime governing our country at present. But that really is another topic.)

    However, if none are found. . . heads should roll.
    Last edit by Ted on Jun 3, '03
  5. by   Mkue
    Oh come on you guys/gals ! it's still early

    If WMD aren't found in say a year, I will eat crow.. or cake But I'll still be with Team Bush
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    What about the fabricated evidence?
    Please read above, the State of the Union, and Secretary of State address to the UN. The following article claims he was not for using the "evidence". I am not for impeachment. Just the truth!
    The President said HE was tired of waiting for the UN inspectors to find what was there (in his opinion)
    ---------------------------------------
    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/0...ws/9intell.htm
    Nation & World 6/9/03
    Truth and consequences
    New questions about U.S. intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass terror
    By Bruce B. Auster, Mark Mazzetti and Edward T. Pound
    On the evening of February 1, two dozen American officials gathered in a spacious conference room at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va. The time had come to make the public case for war against Iraq. For six hours that Saturday, the men and women of the Bush administration argued about what Secretary of State Colin Powell should--and should not--say at the United Nations Security Council four days later. Not all the secret intelligence about Saddam Hussein's misdeeds, they found, stood up to close scrutiny. At one point during the rehearsal, Powell tossed several pages in the air. "I'm not reading this," he declared. "This is bulls- - -."
    Just how good was America's intelligence on Iraq? Seven weeks after the end of the war, no hard evidence has been turned up on the ground to support the charge that Iraq posed an imminent threat to U.S. national security--no chemical weapons in the field, no Scud missiles in the western desert, no biological agents. At least not yet. As a result, questions are being raised about whether the Bush administration overstated the case against Saddam Hussein. History shows that the Iraqi regime used weapons of mass terror against Iraqi Kurds and during the war against Iran in the 1980s. But it now appears that American intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs was sometimes sketchy, occasionally politicized, and frequently the subject of passionate disputes inside the government. Today, the CIA is conducting a review of its prewar intelligence, at the request of the House Intelligence Committee, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has conceded that Iraq may have destroyed its chemical weapons months before the war.
    The dossier. The question remains: What did the Bush administration know-- or think it knew--on the eve of war? In the six days before Powell went to the U.N., an intense, closed-door battle raged over the U.S. intelligence dossier that had been compiled on Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction and its links to terrorists. Holed up at the CIA night and day, a team of officials vetted volumes of intelligence purporting to show that Iraq posed a grave threat. Powell, CIA Director George Tenet, and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, were among those who participated in some sessions. What follows is an account of the struggle to find common ground on a bill of particulars against Saddam. Interviews with more than a dozen officials reveal that many pieces of intelligence--including information the administration had already cited publicly--did not stand up to scrutiny and had to be dropped from the text of Powell's U.N. speech.
    Vice President Cheney's office played a major role in the secret debates and pressed for the toughest critique of Saddam's regime, administration officials say. The first draft of Powell's speech was written by Cheney's staff and the National Security Council. Days before the team first gathered at the CIA, a group of officials assembled in the White House Situation Room to hear Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, lay out an indictment of the Iraqi regime--"a Chinese menu" of charges, one participant recalls, that Powell might use in his U.N. speech. Not everyone in the administration was impressed, however. "It was over the top and ran the gamut from al Qaeda to human rights to weapons of mass destruction," says a senior official. "They were unsubstantiated assertions, in my view."
    Powell, apparently, agreed. So one week before he was to address the U.N. Security Council, he created a team, which set up shop at the CIA, and directed it to provide him with an intelligence report based on more solid information. "Powell was acutely aware of the need to be completely accurate," says the senior official, "and that our national reputation was on the line."
    The team, at first, tried to follow a 45-page White House script, taken from Libby's earlier presentation. But there were too many problems--some assertions, for instance, were not supported by solid or adequate sourcing, several officials say. Indeed, some of the damning information simply could not be proved.
    One example, included in the script, focused on intelligence indicating that an Iraqi official had approved the acquisition of sensitive software from an Australian company. The concern was that the software would allow the regime to understand the topography of the United States. That knowledge, coupled with unmanned aerial vehicles, might one day enable Iraq to attack America with biological or chemical weapons. That was the allegation. Tenet had briefed Cheney and others. Cheney, says a senior official, embraced the intelligence.
    The White House instructed Powell to include the charge in his presentation. When the Powell team at the CIA examined the matter, however, it became clear that the information was not ironclad. CIA analysts, it turns out, couldn't determine after further review whether the software had, in fact, been delivered to Iraq or whether the Iraqis intended to use it for nefarious purposes. One senior official, briefed on the allegation, says the software wasn't sophisticated enough to pose a threat to the United States. Powell omitted the allegation from his U.N. speech.
    It had taken just one day for the team assembled at the CIA to trip over the fault line dividing the Bush administration. For months, the vice president's office and the Pentagon had been more aggressive than either State or the CIA when it came to making the case against Iraq.
    Veteran intelligence officers were dismayed. "The policy decisions weren't matching the reports we were reading every day," says an intelligence official. In September 2002, U.S. News has learned, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a classified assessment of Iraq's chemical weapons. It concluded: "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons . . . ." At about the same time, Rumsfeld told Congress that Saddam's "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas." Rumsfeld's critics say that the secretary tended to assert things as fact even when intelligence was murky. "What we have here is advocacy, not intelligence work," says Patrick Lang, a former top DIA and CIA analyst on Iraq. "I don't think [administration officials] were lying; I just think they did a poor job. It's not the intelligence community. It's these guys in the Office of the Secretary of Defense who were playing the intelligence community."
    Douglas Feith, Rumsfeld's top policy adviser, defended the intelligence analysis used in making the case for war and says it was inevitable that the "least developed" intelligence would be dropped from Powell's speech. "With intelligence, you get a snippet of information here, a glimpse of something there," he said. "It is inherently sketchy in most cases."
    In a written statement provided to U.S. News, the CIA's Tenet says: "Our role is to call it like we see it--to tell policymakers what we know, what we don't know, what we think, and what we base it on. . . . The integrity of our process was maintained throughout, and any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong."
    In those first days of February, the disputed material was put under the microscope. The marathon meetings, which included five rehearsals of the Powell presentation, lasted six days. According to a senior official, Powell would read an item. Then he would ask CIA officers there--including Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin--for the source of the information. "The secretary of state insisted that every piece of evidence be solid. Some others felt you could put circumstantial evidence in, and what matters is the totality of it," says one participant. "So you had material that ended up on the cutting-room floor."
    And plenty was cut. Sometimes it was because information wasn't credible, sometimes because Powell didn't want his speech to get too long, sometimes because Tenet insisted on protecting sources and methods. At the last minute, for instance, the officials agreed to drop an electronic intercept of Iraqis describing the torture of a donkey. On the tape, the men laughed as they described what happened when a drop of a lethal substance touched the animal's skin.
    Thin gruel. The back and forth between the team at the CIA and the White House intensified. The script from the White House was whittled down, then discarded. Finally, according to several participants, the National Security Council offered up three more papers: one on Iraq's ties to terrorism, one on weapons of mass destruction, one on human-rights violations. The document on terrorism was 38 pages, double spaced. By the time the team at the CIA was done with it, half a dozen pages remained. Powell was so unimpressed with the information on al Qaeda that he decided to bury it at the end of his speech, according to officials. Even so, NSC officials kept pushing for Powell to include the charge that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague. He refused.
    By Monday night, February 3, the presentation was taking final shape. Powell wanted no doubts that the CIA stood behind the intelligence, so, according to one official, he told Tenet: "George, you're coming with me." On Tuesday, some members of the team decamped to New York, where Powell took a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. Participants ran two full dress rehearsals complete with place cards indicating where other members of the Security Council would be sitting. The next morning, Powell delivered his speech, as scheduled. Tenet was sitting right behind him.
    Today, the mystery is what happened to Iraq's terror weapons. "Everyone believed they would find it," says a senior official. "I have never seen intelligence agencies in this government and other governments so united on one subject."
    Mirages. Were they right? Powell and Tenet were convinced that chemical agents had been deployed to field units. None have been found. War planners used the intelligence when targeting suspected weapons of mass destruction sites. Yet bomb-damage assessments found that none of the targets contained chemical or biological weapons. "What we don't know at this point," says an Air Force war planner, "is what was bad intelligence, what was bad timing, what was bad luck."
    As for the al Qaeda tie, defense officials told U.S. News last week they had learned of a potentially significant link between Saddam's regime and Osama bin Laden's organization. A captured senior member of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's intelligence service, has told interrogators about meetings between Iraqi intelligence officials and top members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a group that merged with al Qaeda in the 1990s. The prisoner also described $300,000 in Iraqi transfers to the organization to pay for attacks in Egypt. The transfers were said to have been authorized by Saddam Hussein. "It's a single-source report," says one defense official. "But is this the first time anyone has told us something like this? Yeah."
    Senior administration of-ficials say they remain convinced that weapons of mass destruction will turn up. The CIA and the Pentagon reported last week that two trucks seized in Iraq were apparently used as mobile biological weapons labs, though no biological agents were found. A senior counterterrorism official says the administration also believes that biological and chemical weapons have been hidden in vast underground complexes. "You can find it out in the open, but if you put this stuff underground or underwater," he says, "there is no signature and it doesn't show up." He added that the Pentagon is using small robots, outfitted with sensors and night-vision equipment, to get into and explore "heavily booby-trapped" underground complexes, some larger than football fields. "People are getting discouraged that they haven't found it," he says. "They are looking for a master source, a person who can say where the stuff is located."
    Some 300 sites have been inspected so far; there are an additional 600 to go, and the list is growing, as captured Iraqis provide new leads. But what if those leads turn up nothing? "It would be," says a senior administration official, "a colossal intelligence failure."
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 3, '03
  7. by   2ndCareerRN
    I would take anything written by William Rivers Pitt the same as you would of anything writen by Ann Coulter.

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/a.../archive.shtml

    For some people their agendas are much more important than presenting a balanced view of facts.

    I would not read either one with out a very open mind, and then look up everything they tout as fact.

    bob
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story...968603,00.html

    Transcripts raise alarm across Nato

    Dan Plesch and Richard Norton-Taylor
    Monday June 2, 2003
    The Guardian

    Transcripts of a private conversation between Jack Straw and Colin Powell expressing serious doubts about the reliability of intelligence on Iraq's banned weapons programme are being circulated in western government circles where there is a growing feeling that officials were deceived into supporting the Iraq war...

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/...968599,00.html

    Short: Blair lied to cabinet and made secret war pact with US

    Tory threat to break ranks on Iraq

    Nicholas Watt and Michael White in Evian
    Monday June 2, 2003
    The Guardian

    Tony Blair is facing mounting pressure from across the House of Commons to hold an independent inquiry into the Iraq war after Clare Short levelled the incendiary allegation at the prime minister that he had lied to the cabinet.

    As an increasingly exasperated prime minister once again swept aside calls for a public inquiry into the failure to uncover banned Iraqi weapons, the former international development secretary accused Mr Blair of bypassing the cabinet to agree a "secret" pact with George Bush to go to war...
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by 2ndCareerRN
    I would take anything written by William Rivers Pitt the same as you would of anything writen by Ann Coulter.

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/a.../archive.shtml

    For some people their agendas are much more important than presenting a balanced view of facts.

    I would not read either one with out a very open mind, and then look up everything they tout as fact.

    bob
    To assist busy nurses who don't have time to look up everything.
    I did try to choose paragraphs regarding WMD. If you don't trust me these are from this administrations web sites. You can just read for yourself to get the context or if you think I am not truthful.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...030128-19.html




    President Delivers "State of the Union"
    The U.S. Capitol
    9:01 P.M. EST
    THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead. ..
    In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild their society, and educate all their children -- boys and girls...
    We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of American justice. (Applause.) ...
    Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.
    Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.
    With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.
    The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured.
    The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    From the State Department:
    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/17300.htm
    Remarks to the United Nations Security Council

    Secretary Colin L. Powell
    New York City
    February 5, 2003

    I cannot tell you everything that we know, but what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling. What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts and Iraqis' behavior, Iraq's behavior, demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort, no effort, to disarm, as required by the international community.
    Indeed, the facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.
    My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.
    Numerous human sources tell us that the Iraqis are moving not just documents and hard drives, but weapons of mass destruction, to keep them from being found by inspectors. While we were here in this Council chamber debating Resolution 1441 last fall, we know, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations, distributing them to various locations in western Iraq.
    Most of the launchers and warheads had been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be moved every one to four weeks to escape detection.
    Here you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers.
    How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one of the four chemical bunkers. The two arrows indicate the presence of sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions. The arrow at the top that says "security" points to a facility that is a signature item for this kind of bunker. Inside that facility are special guards and special equipment to monitor any leakage that might come out of the bunker. The truck you also see is a signature item. It's a decontamination vehicle in case something goes wrong. This is characteristic of those four bunkers. The special security facility and the decontamination vehicle will be in the area, if not at any one of them or one of the other, it is moving around those four and it moves as needed to move as people are working in the different bunkers.
    I would call my colleagues' attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities. I believe that Iraq is now in further material breach of its obligations. I believe this conclusion is irrefutable and undeniable.
    The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real and present dangers to the region and to the world.
    First, biological weapons. We have talked frequently here about biological weapons. UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoonful of this deadly material. And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had.
    They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as their R-400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well documented. It should come as no shock then that since Saddam Hussein forced out the last inspectors in 1998, we have amassed much intelligence indicating that Iraq is continuing to make these weapons. Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulinum toxin. In fact, they can produce enough dry, biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. A dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.
    Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share with you what we know from eyewitness accounts. We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disperse lethal biological agents widely, indiscriminately into the water supply, into the air.
    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.
    Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents.
    If we consider just one category of missing weaponry, 6500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq War, UNMOVIC says the amount of chemical agent in them would be on the order of a thousand tons.
    These quantities of chemical weapons are now unaccounted for. Dr. Blix has quipped that, "Mustard gas is not marmalade. You are supposed to know what you did with it." We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with it and he has not come clean with the international community.
    We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry. Any inspections at such facilities, would be unlikely to turn up anything prohibited, especially if there is any warning that the inspections are coming.
    Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again -- against his neighbors and against his own people. And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them. He wouldn't be passing out the orders if he didn't have the weapons or the intent to use them. Saddam Hussein's use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 was one of the 20th century's most horrible atrocities. Five thousand men, women and children died. His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to '89 included mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing and ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of some 2,000 villages.
    The United States will not and cannot run that risk for the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 by the Inter Press Service

    Credibility Gap, Anyone?
    by Jim Lobe

    WASHINGTON - When all three major U.S. newsweeklies--Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report--run major features on the same day on possible government lying, you can bet you have the makings of a major scandal.
    And when the two most important outlets of neo-conservative opinion--The Weekly Standard and The Wall Street Journal--come out on the same day with lead editorials spluttering outrage about suggestions of government lying, you can bet that things are going to get very hot as summer approaches in Washington.
    The controversy over whether the administration of President George W. Bush either exaggerated or lied about evidence that it said it had about the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion has mushroomed over the past week.
    "This is potentially very serious," said one Congressional aide. "If it's shown we went to war because of intelligence that was 'cooked' by the administration, heads will have to roll--and not just little heads, big ones."
    The administration was already on the defensive last week as the controversy took off in Europe, particularly in Britain where Prime Minister Tony Blair found himself assailed from all directions for either wilfully exaggerating the intelligence himself or being "suckered," as his former foreign minister Robin Cook called it this weekend, by Washington's neo-conservative hawks, who started agitating for war even before the dust settled in lower Manhattan after the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
    Matters took a turn for the worse when the London Guardian reported Saturday about the existence of a transcript, obviously leaked from a senior British official, of an exchange at the Waldorf Hotel in New York between U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw just before Powell's presentation of the evidence against Iraq before the United Nations Security Council Feb. 5.
    It quotes Powell, whose forceful case to the Council was decisive in persuading U.S. public opinion that Baghdad represented a serious threat, as being "apprehensive" about the evidence presented to him by the intelligence agencies. He reportedly expressed the hope that the actual facts, when they came out, would not "explode in their faces." (At a Rome press conference Monday, Powell insisted that he considered the evidence "overwhelming" when he spoke before the Council.)
    But it appears that Powell's musing was accurate, as, after almost two months in uncontested control of Iraq, U.S. troops and investigators have failed to come up with concrete evidence of an Iraqi WMD program, let alone an actual weapon.
    The scenario of an uneasy Powell received a major boost in the accounts of the three newsweeklies. U.S. News reported, for example, that, during a rehearsal of Powell's presentation at CIA headquarters Feb. 1, the normally mild-mannered retired general at one point ''tossed several pages in the air. 'I'm not reading this,' he declared. 'This is bull----'."
    The same magazine also reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) formally concluded that, "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons" in September 2002, just as Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld was telling Congress that the Baghdad "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas."
    The accounts by Newsweek and Time were similarly damning. One "informed military source" told Newsweek that when the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) asked the CIA for specific WMD targets that should be destroyed in the first stages of the invasion, the agency only complied reluctantly.
    But what it provided "was crap," a CENTCOM planner told the magazine, consisting mainly of buildings that were bombed in the first Gulf War in 1991. And agency experts reportedly could not tell the war-planners what agents were located where.
    If true, that contradicts a series of bald assertions by administration officials and their supporters over the last nine months. "Simply stated," Vice President Dick Cheney declared in the first call to arms last August, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
    "We know where (the WMD) are," declared Rumsfeld in a television interview Mar. 30, well into the first week of the war. "They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
    He has since retreated from that certainty, suggesting last week that the Iraqis "may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."
    There is also growing doubt about the evidence that Bush himself touted this weekend as proof--two truck trailers described by officials as mobile weapons-productions labs.
    According to a CIA report noted in the 'Slate' Internet magazine, key equipment for growing, sterilizing and drying bacteria was not present in either trailer. Iraqi officials have said the trailers were used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons.
    Matthew Meselson, a Harvard University expert on biological weapons who 20 years ago single-handedly debunked reports by senior Reagan administration officials--several of whom hold relevant positions in the Bush government--about the use by Soviet allies of mycotoxins against rebels in Laos and Afghanistan, has also expressed doubts about the trailers' purpose, and called for the CIA to hand over the evidence to independent scientists to make an assessment.
    Retired intelligence officials from both the CIA and the DIA are also coming out with ever-stronger statements accusing the intelligence community of twisting and exaggerating the evidence to justify war.
    They say both agencies were intimidated by the political pressure exerted in particular by neo-conservative hawks under Cheney and Rumsfeld, who even established a special unit in the defense secretary's office to determine what intelligence was "missing."
    Much of the evidence on which the WMD case was based came from defectors supplied by the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group headed by Ahmed Chalabi that has been championed by the neo-conservatives--including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis Libby and Defense Policy Board members Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, and James Woolsey--for more than a decade.
    Retired senior CIA, DIA and State Department intelligence officers, including the CIA's former counter-terrorism chief Vince Cannistraro and the DIA's former chief of Middle East intelligence W. Patrick Lang, have also spoken bluntly to reporters about what they call the administration's corruption of the intelligence process to justify war.
    Both the CIA and State have long distrusted the INC and Chalabi, in particular, although Chalabi remains the Pentagon's favorite for leading an interim government in Baghdad.
    All of this has outraged the administration, which insists the intelligence community was united in its assessment about the existence of WMD, and its neo-conservative defenders. The Wall Street Journal on Monday accused the "French and the European left" of trying to tarnish the U.S. victory and charged that discontent among CIA analysts was spurred by resentment of Rumsfeld.
    But even the Journal appeared to be moving away from its previous position that Iraq's alleged WMD constituted a threat to the United States and its allies. "Whether or not WMD is found takes nothing away from the Iraq war victory," it said, citing the gains made in human rights by Saddam Hussein's demise.
    Nonetheless, what the administration knew about WMD and when it knew it --to paraphrase the famous Watergate questions--are now claiming the limelight, to the administration's clear discomfort.
    On Sunday, the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he hoped to begin hearings--with the Select Committee on Intelligence--before the Jul. 4 recess, while the ranking member of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has asked the CIA to produce a report by Jul. 1 reconciling its pre-war assessments with actual findings on the ground.
  12. by   Mkue
    Still no proof that WMD aren't there.
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    You are correct.
    It is difficult to prove a negative.
    The administration told us they had proof, see above.
    That was the reason for dropping thousands of bombs.
    There was no time.

    Now the administration who knew that SH had them in the 1980s because he got them from the USA is saying they may not be there.

    What if they are there? Will children find them?

    I am stating this again as I did on this BB in the first 5 months of this year, "IF OUR TROOPS FIND WMD I WILL BELIEVE IT. IF IT IS THE UN INSPECTORS, PROBABLY. ANYONE ELSE? i WILL ALWAYS DOUBT!"

    Tell us what YOU think.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 3, '03
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by 2ndCareerRN
    I would take anything written by William Rivers Pitt the same as you would of anything writen by Ann Coulter.

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/a.../archive.shtml

    For some people their agendas are much more important than presenting a balanced view of facts.

    I would not read either one with out a very open mind, and then look up everything they tout as fact.

    bob
    Hey! We are both Libra.
    I think we Libras don't believe in astrology.

close