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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

And just a few months after, after we had murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians:

Bush Faced Dwindling Data on Iraq Nuclear Bid

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 16, 2003; Page A01


In recent days, as the Bush administration has defended its assertion in the president's State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to buy African uranium, officials have said it was only one bit of intelligence that indicated former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program.

But a review of speeches and reports, plus interviews with present and former administration officials and intelligence analysts, suggests that between Oct. 7, when President Bush made a speech laying out the case for military action against Hussein, and Jan. 28, when he gave his State of the Union address, almost all the other evidence had either been undercut or disproved by U.N. inspectors in Iraq.


In a speech making a case for military action against Iraq, President Bush cited Iraq's attempts to buy aluminum tubes for centrifuges used to enrich uranium. (State Department Photo Via AP)
By Jan. 28, in fact, the intelligence report concerning Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa -- although now almost entirely disproved -- was the only publicly unchallenged element of the administration's case that Iraq had restarted its nuclear program. That may explain why the administration strived to keep the information in the speech and attribute it to the British, even though the CIA had challenged it earlier.

For example, in his Oct. 7 speech, Bush said that "satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [past nuclear] sites." He also cited Hussein's "numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists" as further evidence that the program was being reconstituted, along with Iraq's attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes "needed" for centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

But on Jan. 27 -- the day before the State of the Union address -- the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported to the U.N. Security Council that two months of inspections in Iraq had found that no prohibited nuclear activities had taken place at former Iraqi nuclear sites. As for Iraqi nuclear scientists, Mohamed ElBaradei told the Security Council, U.N. inspectors had "useful" interviews with some of them, though not in private. And preliminary analysis, he said, suggested that the aluminum tubes, "unless modified, would not be suitable for manufacturing centrifuges."

The next night, Bush delivered his speech, including the now-controversial 16-word sentence, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Of his October examples, only the aluminum tubes charge remained in January, but that allegation had a subtle caveat -- he described the tubes as merely "suitable" for nuclear weapons production. Without the statement on uranium, the allegation concerning aluminum tubes would have been the only nuclear-related action ascribed to Hussein since the early 1990s.

And the tubes had already been questioned not only by IAEA, but also by analysts in U.S. and British intelligence agencies.

The idea that Iraq was acquiring tubes for a nuclear program became public in September, shortly after the Bush administration began a campaign to marshal public, congressional and U.N. support for authority to attack Iraq if it did not disarm.

On Aug. 26, Vice President Cheney, the official most publicly vocal about Iraq as a nuclear threat, began the campaign when he told a Veterans of Foreign Wars audience: "Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon. Just how soon we cannot gauge."

On Sept. 8, the New York Times disclosed that intelligence showed that Iraq had "embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb" by trying to purchase "specially designed aluminum tubes" that unidentified administration sources believed were for centrifuges to enrich uranium.

The story referred to Bush "hardliners" who argued that action should be taken because if they waited for proof that Hussein had a nuclear weapon, "the first sign of a smoking gun may be a mushroom cloud."

That day, Bush national security adviser Condoleezza Rice appeared on CNN's "Late Edition" and confirmed the Times story. She said the tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs." She also said, "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Cheney also confirmed the Times story that day, on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying that "we don't have all the evidence," but enough of a picture "that tells us that he [Hussein] is in fact actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons."

What neither Rice nor Cheney said at the time was that Baghdad's first attempts to purchase the aluminum tubes, more than a year earlier, had by Sept. 8 led to a fairly open disagreement in the U.S. intelligence community on whether the tubes were for centrifuges or for artillery rockets in Iraq's military program.

Analysts from the State and Energy departments said the tubes were too long and too thick for centrifuges; CIA and Pentagon analysts said they could be cut down and reamed out. Their debate was continuing as the agencies were putting together the still-classified national intelligence estimate on Hussein's weapons program.

In July, the United States had intercepted one shipment and obtained a tube; it was coated with a protective chemical that would have had to be removed if it were to be put to a nuclear purpose.

The intelligence estimate, completed in mid-September, reflected the different views, but the final judgment said that "most" analysts leaned toward the view that the tubes had a nuclear purpose. When the British dossier on Iraq's weapons program was published on Sept. 24, it referred to the tubes, but noted that "there is no definitive intelligence that it is destined for a nuclear program."

In his State of the Union address, Bush did not indicate any disagreement over the use of the tubes. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, however, outlined the arguments involved when he spoke eight days later before the Security Council, where inspectors already had challenged the U.S. position on them.

On March 7, ElBaradei gave his final report to the Security Council before his inspectors were removed from Iraq on March 18. His conclusion was that "the IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq." He also said the documents that gave rise to the allegation that Iraq had tried to buy African uranium were forged.

On March 16, Cheney appeared again on "Meet the Press" and reiterated his views of the previous August about Hussein's nuclear program. "We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." The war began three days later.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 11:28 PM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

Didn't the previous presidential adminisration have similar concerns about Saddam and his weapons program?

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983" Sandy Berger (Burglar), Clinton national security advisor, Feb. 18, 1998

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


"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the developement of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA.), Dec. 16 1998

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

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

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

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

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intellegence 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 give aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develope nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002

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



I think, if anything, President Bush was as wrong as everyone else with power and authority in the govt. If we were failed it was by the lot of them.






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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:54 AM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

The point on Clinton is well made, and I personally would have had no problem if Bush had kept it to the problem at hand, which was making sure that Saddam was not a threat. What is missing from your quotes is where anyone advocated pouring vast sums of money into making Iraq a paradise for oil firms. Since about April of 2003, this is been the stupidest thing we have ever done.
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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:55 AM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

Posted by azimuth: Didn't the previous presidential adminisration have similar concerns about Saddam and his weapons program?

----------------------------------------------------

Yes, they did. The difference is this: The Clinton administration did not invade Iraq.

Joe B.
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 10:16 AM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

One must also think the Clintonistas would have done a UN thing as well. I cannot help but think the "original sin" in this fiasco was in not using the UN as a vehicle for world conquest, as was our usual habit. The political cover is worth whatever bribes must be paid.
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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 10:30 AM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

Quote:
Joe Bauers - 7/13/2005 8:55 AM

Posted by azimuth: Didn't the previous presidential adminisration have similar concerns about Saddam and his weapons program?

----------------------------------------------------

Yes, they did. The difference is this: The Clinton administration did not invade Iraq.

Joe B.
Exactly -- concerns are one thing -- unilateral action is another. Whatever state the imagined Iraqi weapons program was in, it was clearly a much more substantial threat in the ME and Europe, and virtually no threat to us. If they didn't care, why the hell would we?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 10:37 AM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

I cannot help but think the entire thing was an attempt to remodel Iraq's decrepit oil infrastructure. Saddam and sanctions stood in the way of oil flow from Iraq. The plan was simply to insure low prices for the duration of the Bush terms, resulting in Republican wins in Congress as well. It was a very,very badly thought-out plan. If you ever want to read up on how badly this was botched form the beginning, by a fairly objective writer, the book "Squandered Victory" is an excellent read, written by an assistant to Bremer. The words "stupid" and "incompetent" don't even begin to describe this. It is unfortunate that those who wave yellow ribbons about don't look into the actual history of this, and see what the unfettered jingoism they have been brainwashed with is hiding from them. This war has always been a fiasco.
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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 02:11 PM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

Quote:
Joe Bauers - 7/13/2005 11:55 AM

Posted by azimuth: Didn't the previous presidential adminisration have similar concerns about Saddam and his weapons program?

----------------------------------------------------

Yes, they did. The difference is this: The Clinton administration did not invade Iraq.

Joe B.
well Joe, let's analyize this. If general knowlege or opinion were that Saddam was a chemical/bological/nuclear threat as stated above, and also believed to be conspiring with Al Queada (per the quotes above), wouldn't it be irresponsible to ignore the threat or show passive interest in light of the events of 9/11/01?

Remember, I'm not copasetic with the hasty invasion either. I would have preferred a covert invasion to discover first hand the level of actual threat.

The Clinton admistration could have potentially stopped or even prevented the actions of Osama by being a real tiger instead of posing as a paper one. I forget the source but read an article that stated Osama was conviced he could defeat us after witnessing our behaviour in Mogadishu. We cut and ran. We apparently are considering the same actions here.

I am not here to convince anyone of the polemics of the Iraq conflict. My point was to state that while the Bush administration gets the heat, the givers of the heat were convinced of the accuracy of the intellegence available also. What gives me gas is that the men and women of the military are caught in life and death circumstances while thier actions are being scrutinized by politically motivated and powerful individuals whose interests, while belied by thier pledges of support for the troops, appear to achieve the opposite affect.

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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

It's not the "heat" - its the policy of "pre-emptive invasion", another phrase for premeditated, unprovoked attack. It was the engineered propaganda blitz. Once we did that, we entered the same class as the Nazis and the Shinto Japanese.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 02:31 PM
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RE: How could we have been SO WRONG?

Quote:
kvining - 7/13/2005 3:27 PM

It's not the "heat" - its the policy of "pre-emptive invasion", another phrase for premeditated, unprovoked attack. It was the engineered propaganda blitz. Once we did that, we entered the same class as the Nazis and the Shinto Japanese.
At least your incorporating the Nips with the Krauts. Id rather be called Tokugawa than Hitler anyday.

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