with knowledge of Rove’s role in the Plame leak and talked with attorneys of other potential witnesses,” writes Murray Waas in the National Journal.
Condoleezza Rice, 11/11/05:
I think that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction programs were fully expected to be there by everyone who knew anything about the program or knew anything about his history of having used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, his insatiable appetite for them, the UN sanctions against him. And it was not just this Administration that thought that he had weapons of mass destruction and that talked about those weapons of mass destruction. Nobody was willing to give Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt.
In fact, Condoleezza Rice was willing to “give Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt” in 2001.
Well, in fact, John, we have made progress on the sanctions. “¦ But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let’s remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt. [CNN, Late Edition, 7/29/01]
In his speech today, President Bush claimed that members of Congress who voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution “had access to the same intelligence” as his administration. This is patently false.
Nevermind that much of the intelligence offered to the public and to Congress was inaccurate and misleading, or that according to the Downing Street memo and other documents, such intelligence was likely intentionally “fixed.” It is simply not true to state that Congress received the “same intelligence” as the White House:
FACT — Dissent From White House Claims on Iraq Nuclear Program Consistently Withheld from Congress:
[S]everal Congressional and intelligence officials with access to the 15 assessments [of intel suggesting aluminum tubes showed Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program] said not one of them informed senior policy makers of the Energy Department’s dissent. They described a series of reports, some with ominous titles, that failed to convey either the existence or the substance of the intensifying debate.” [NYT, 10/3/04]
FACT — Sen. Kerrey: Bush “Has Much More Access” to Intel Than Congress:
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), ex-Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman: “The president has much more access to intelligence than members of Congress does. Ask any member of Congress. Ask a Republican member of Congress, do you get the same access to intelligence that the president does? Look at these aluminum tube stories that came out the president delivered to the Congress — ‘We believe these would be used for centrifuges.’ — didn’t deliver to Congress the full range of objections from the Department of Energy experts, nuclear weapons experts, that said it’s unlikely they were for centrifuges, more likely that they were for rockets, which was a pre-existing use. The president has much more access to intelligence than any member of Congress.” [10/7/04]
Today, President Bush attempted to defend his manipulation of pre-war Iraq intelligence by citing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report.
BUSH: These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs.
What the Senate Intelligence Committee did report, however, is that there was plenty of evidence demonstrating that the intelligence assessments made by intel officials WERE changed.
The Los Angeles Times (7/10/04) reported, “[I]n the unclassified version of the NIE — the so-called white paper cited by the Bush administration in making its case for war — those carefully qualified conclusions [in the classified version] were turned into blunt assertions of fact.”
Here’s what the Senate Intelligence Committee reported about the administration’s use of intelligence:
The intelligence community’s elimination of the caveats from the unclassified white paper misrepresented their judgments to the public, which did not have access to the classified National Intelligence Estimate containing the more carefully worded assessments.
Essentially, the Bush administration took the intelligence that was presented to them in the classified NIE and twisted it to present a stronger case for war in the public version of the NIE. Here are some examples:
on delaying investigation into debunked Iraq intel: “This has been frustrating.” Hagel said, “There are very legitimate and critical questions that need to be answered. [...] That is the responsibility of governance. That’s part of leadership. And we don’t have answers for all those things.” [sub req'd]
The Los Angeles Times announced a major shake-up of its op-ed page today. Gone are cartoonist Michael Ramirez and liberal columnist Robert Scheer.
In their place, you won’t find any committed progressives like Scheer. Instead, L.A. Times editors chose National Review contributing editor and “Liberal Fascism” author Jonah Goldberg. Below, some of our favorite Jonah jems, coming to a “liberal media” near you:
What makes McCarthyism so hard to discuss is that McCarthy behaved like a jerk, but he was also right.
Now, I’m not in favor of pulling Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn from libraries, but let’s at least give a small nod to the fact that some material actually can be banned from libraries without the sky falling.
ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS – I think it’s time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you’re working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he’s not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen.
More: Read more
to Main and Central, a new group blog by progressive U.S. vets.
“If you want to ban military recruiting [in public schools], fine. But I’m not going to give you another nickel of federal money,” O’Reilly said. “If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, ‘look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.” (Via C&L)
A new poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found that just 26 percent of Americans believe that the country is “headed in the right direction.”
It’s an astoundingly low number. Iraqis – who are battling a deadly insurgency and live in a country on the brink of a civil war – are far more content with the direction of their country:
A recent poll by the International Republican Institute, a conservative group that promotes democracy, showed that only 47 percent of Iraqis surveyed in early October said the country was moving in the right direction.
Note: 47 percent confidence was considered “low.”
according to a new AP-Ipsos poll.