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CIA Boss: Iraq Not Called Imminent Threat
Yahoo ^ | February, 5, 2004 | KATHERINE PFLEGER Associated Press writer

Posted on 02/05/2004 7:34:29 AM PST by Kaslin

WASHINGTON - In his first public defense of prewar intelligence, CIA (news - web sites) Director George Tenet said Thursday U.S. analysts never claimed before the war that Iraq (news - web sites) posed an imminent threat.

Tenet said analysts had varying opinions on the state of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and those differences were spelled out in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate given to the White House. That report summarized intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs.

Analysts "painted an objective assessment for our policy makers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests, " he said in a speech at Georgetown University.

"No one told us what to say or how to say it," Tenet said.

He said that "in the intelligence business, you are never completely wrong or completely right ... When the facts of Iraq are all in, we will neither be completely right nor completely wrong."

He also noted that the search for banned weapons is continuing and "despite some public statements, we are nowhere near 85 percent finished. " That was a direct rebuttal to claims made by David Kay, Tenet's former top adviser in the weapons search.

Since Kay resigned two weeks ago, his statements that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s purported weapons didn't exist at the time of the U.S. invasion have sparked an intense debate over the prewar intelligence the Bush administration used to justify the war.

The failure to find weapons of mass destruction is turning into a major political issue ahead of the presidential election, calling into question the justification for the war as U.S. casualties mount. Republicans in Congress have increasingly been blaming poor intelligence and Tenet, who was originally appointed by President Clinton (news - web sites).

Democrats have said intelligence agencies deserved only part of the blame and have accused the White House of showcasing intelligence that bolstered the case for war, while ignoring dissenting opinions.

Bush was expected to announce another commission this week to review the intelligence community. At least five other inquiries into prewar intelligence are already under way.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., scheduled a meeting Thursday to study a 200-plus-page report compiled by committee staff on the prewar intelligence.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cia; georgetenet; imminentthreat; prewarintelligence; tenet
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Neither did the president ever call it an imminent threat
1 posted on 02/05/2004 7:34:31 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
CIA Boss: Iraq Not Called Imminent Threat


Well, NOT ANYMORE!
2 posted on 02/05/2004 7:37:20 AM PST by JustPlainJoe
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To: Kaslin
And so the media spin begins.
3 posted on 02/05/2004 7:37:29 AM PST by rintense
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To: Kaslin
George Tenet memo to self:

CYA, ASAP

4 posted on 02/05/2004 7:37:39 AM PST by FBD (...Please press 2 for English...for Espanol, please stay on the line...)
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To: FBD
It was an excellent speech!
5 posted on 02/05/2004 7:38:41 AM PST by ConservativeMan55 (You...You sit down! You've had your say and now I'll have mine!!!!)
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To: Kaslin
I notice they only focus on a very small part of the speech.
6 posted on 02/05/2004 7:39:20 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: Kaslin
The former administration thought it was an imminent threat:

The Democrats' Case Against Saddam Hussein (Dems nailed, yet again)

Headline Rundown and links on Iraq - Things the democrats have conviently forgot...

Saddam Abused His Last Chance, Clinton -clear and present danger to safety of people everywhere 1998

Gore repeats that Saddam MUST GO - June 2000

What the democrats want you to forget

Iraq is a Regional Threat, capable of as much as 200 tons of VX nerve agent (1999 Clinton report)

Czech military reports say iraq has smallpox virus in weapons stockpile (and camelpox)

2/7/1998 : Arab media: Clinton will strike due to sex scandal (&links to tons of arab news on clinton)

Iraqi chemical weapons buildup reported (Sept 2001 Report)

Clinton, Gore rally domestic support for strike at Iraq, "unholy axis" (1998 Must read)

statement President Clinton from 1998 on the air strikes

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 - Full Text, Sense of Congress - Remove Saddam

7 posted on 02/05/2004 7:41:17 AM PST by chance33_98 (Check out profile page for banners, if you need one freepmail me and I will make one for you)
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To: Kaslin
Exactly, that has alsways been a figment of the Goebbelesque democrat party big lie.
8 posted on 02/05/2004 7:42:12 AM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: FBD
I didn't think it sounded like CYA at all. You must have listened to another speech.
9 posted on 02/05/2004 7:45:19 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Kaslin
The former Director,on Fox ,Stanfield Turner(anti Bush) said we were told the weapons could be deployed in 45 minutes.That was a British claim and was an estimate of weapons in the field of operations,which,of course, they did not have,despite the belief by Iraqi Generals that the other Generals did.

Imminent threat and 45 minute deployment were not said by our administration.The dems lie.

It was a powerful speech..He says Kay is wrong .We are not 85% finished looking for WMD.
10 posted on 02/05/2004 7:45:52 AM PST by MEG33 (BUSH/CHENEY '04)
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To: Kaslin
Quotable Quotes

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

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass >destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda >members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

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

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

11 posted on 02/05/2004 7:47:09 AM PST by Attillathehon (Just got this story in my email.)
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To: Kaslin
Neither did the president ever call it an imminent threat.

I think the President used words like "clear and gathering danger". Does anyone have the exact quote?

Do you think Russet, in his interview with President Bush on Sunday, will point that fact out? No!

12 posted on 02/05/2004 7:50:13 AM PST by CedarDave (Waiting too long to bail the boat greatly increases the chance of sinking [Bush campaign silence])
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To: Kaslin
"Imminent threat" is merely the pre-9/11 threshold for military action. It's just not relevant anymore.
13 posted on 02/05/2004 7:50:47 AM PST by Physicist (Sophie Rhiannon Sterner, born 1/19/2004: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1061267/posts)
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To: Kaslin
"Neither did the president ever call it an imminent threat"

I get so mad when the media keeps saying President Bush said Saddam was an imminent threat.

If I recall correctly he said something to the effect are we to wait until Saddam becomes an imminent threat.

14 posted on 02/05/2004 7:53:02 AM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: Attillathehon
for the Democrats, never let yesterday's facts get in the way of today's claims.
15 posted on 02/05/2004 7:55:31 AM PST by CedarDave (Waiting too long to bail the boat greatly increases the chance of sinking [Bush campaign silence])
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To: Kaslin
The phrase the president used was GATHERING THREAT!

But then definitions aren't the liberal strong point.

16 posted on 02/05/2004 7:56:08 AM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: Kaslin
Funny how the spin doctors here don't mention things he said in his speech like:

- The infrastructure and programs to make WMD.

- The missile program that they found the entire program complete with illegal missiles and the dealings with North Korea for missile technology.

- The techniques used to evaluate intel received from a hostile country.

If anyone gives me a single bit of lip about Tenant's speech, I'm going to tell them that if they didn't actually see the speech then they don't know what they are talking about.
17 posted on 02/05/2004 7:56:32 AM PST by CougarGA7 (It's only funny until someone gets hurt....then it's hilarious!)
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To: JustPlainJoe
No one EVER called IRAQ an imminent THREAT .......NO ONE!!!! In fact..GW stated EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE!!

Has anyone found it amazing that the SAME people who are critizing the POTUS/ADMINISTRATION for stating WITH NEAR CERTAINTY that there were WMD in IRAQ are NOW STATING with the SAME CERTAINTY that there are NOT WMD????

Amazing considering the hunt is still on and the according to DCI is NOT yet nearly complete!!

18 posted on 02/05/2004 7:58:26 AM PST by PISANO (God Bless our Troops........They will not TIRE - They will not FALTER - They will not FAIL!!!!!)
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To: JustPlainJoe; gubamyster; Pro-Bush; FairOpinion; FITZ; moehoward; Nea Wood; Joe Hadenuf; sangoo; ...
Bush should 'never' have kept Tenet on! Too many things have gone wrong including 911 under his watch! Then the leaked memo! Now this. And on this one just with this title alone he is kicking the President in his heinie and leaving him out to dry.
19 posted on 02/05/2004 8:11:22 AM PST by JustPiper (D A M N I T O L Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours)
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To: MEG33
That was a British claim

Ah, the British, the ones that plagiarized part of their dossier from a grad student's paper?
20 posted on 02/05/2004 8:14:41 AM PST by lelio
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To: Peach; FBD
Peaches, I think FBD meant CYA in general, I know that is what I've been saying since Bush became President, why he kept Tenet after him being a Clintonite I'll never understand. I feel that Tenet would look for the right screw and turn it and make our President look bad.
21 posted on 02/05/2004 8:14:54 AM PST by JustPiper (D A M N I T O L Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours)
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To: OldFriend
The phrase the president used was GATHERING THREAT!

I'm waiting for someone to say "depends on the definition of 'threat' is" -- aren't you just splitting hairs here?
22 posted on 02/05/2004 8:16:46 AM PST by lelio
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To: Kaslin
Neither did the president ever call it an imminent threat

And we were advised by the administration to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape for exactly what reason then?

We may not be at the point of debating the meaning of 'is' but I think a lot of people had the impression of a pretty imminient domestic threat even if the word 'imminent' can't be found by a Lexus/Nexus search.
23 posted on 02/05/2004 8:17:47 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: All; Kaslin
State of the Union Address 2002

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.  The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.  This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children.  This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.  By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger.  They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred.  They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States.  In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

24 posted on 02/05/2004 8:19:23 AM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: Peach; ConservativeMan55
"I didn't think it sounded like CYA at all. You must have listened to another speech."
"It was an excellant speech!"

Ok you guys convinced me. I guess I got sucked in by the media.

I just turned on FOX, and caught snippets, after I read this article.
Having said that, I'm still ticked that the CIA was so far off on their assessment of WMD developement.

A far more convincing reason to go to war with Iraq was the terrorists that clearly are there, rather than WMD's which don't appear to be.

But the CIA was focused on WMD's and now that is the focus, rather than the terrorists. Misdirected focus, imo.

Maybe I've read too many Clancy novels, but I thought the CIA had better intel than this.

Regards.

25 posted on 02/05/2004 8:20:32 AM PST by FBD (...Please press 2 for English...for Espanol, please stay on the line...)
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To: Spunky
Thank you for your post.
26 posted on 02/05/2004 8:21:17 AM PST by MEG33 (BUSH/CHENEY '04)
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To: JustPlainJoe
Well, NOT ANYMORE!

Sorry, Joe. That just ain't correct.

27 posted on 02/05/2004 8:23:09 AM PST by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Kaslin
heard parts of this speech on Laura Ingrahm this morning... She said exactly what's going to happen.. and it's started...

only thing that will make the news soundbites is this "no imminent threat" business....
28 posted on 02/05/2004 8:25:59 AM PST by Chuzzlewit (music, music and more music)
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To: Kaslin
The President said that the time to act was BEFORE Iraq became an imminent threat. The media's collective memory has forgotten that.

Michael

29 posted on 02/05/2004 8:29:12 AM PST by Wright is right! (Never get excited about ANYTHING by the way it looks from behind.)
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To: Spunky
Wrong one. It was his SOTU 2003 speech:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

30 posted on 02/05/2004 8:29:14 AM PST by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: George W. Bush
"And we were advised by the administration to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape for exactly what reason then?"

You are mixing two different things together to make one.
Stocking up on plastic sheeting had nothing to do with Iraq itself, but rather terrorists that may try to attack us. It had nothing to do with the war in Iraq, and everything to do with terror cells. How can you not see the difference?
31 posted on 02/05/2004 8:30:23 AM PST by jempet
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To: lelio; OldFriend
I'm waiting for someone to say "depends on the definition of 'threat' is" -- aren't you just splitting hairs here?

Doesn't apply. See above post and this link.

32 posted on 02/05/2004 8:30:40 AM PST by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: JustPiper
Bump.
33 posted on 02/05/2004 8:31:32 AM PST by Missouri
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To: Wright is right!
The President said that the time to act was BEFORE Iraq became an imminent threat. The media's collective memory has forgotten that.

Yes, but fortunately we have transcripts. And campaign commercials. :-)

34 posted on 02/05/2004 8:31:32 AM PST by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: All; Kaslin
State of the Union 2003

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.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.) Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

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. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)

35 posted on 02/05/2004 8:34:10 AM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: Coop
"Wrong one. It was his SOTU 2003 speech:"

I know and just posted it at #35. I was trying to find all his words in regards to Iraq.

36 posted on 02/05/2004 8:37:10 AM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: FBD
It's easy to get sucked into the media misdirection and the easy answers in novels. (I love spy novels too although they lost some of their allure after the end of the Cold War, much the same way the CIA lost funding!)
37 posted on 02/05/2004 8:40:23 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Coop
Jonah Goldberg had a great column about this, a while ago.
38 posted on 02/05/2004 8:43:29 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Kaslin
There was a clearly orchestrated propaganda campaign over a course of many months to frighten the pure bejesus out of the American people, thereby setting the stage for war with Iraq.

It ain't just what the President says, folks, it's the way he says it, and tone of his voice, the inflections, the statements of his staff and the media which his staff so greatly influences.

His intent was to sell this war to the American people based on the inference that Saddam was a clear and present danger, and he did so.

Now the WMDs don't show up, and the whole thing is being parsed worse than what is.. is.

Give me a break.

40 posted on 02/05/2004 8:50:53 AM PST by Beenliedto (A Free Stater getting ready to pack my bags!)
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To: jempet
You are mixing two different things together to make one. Stocking up on plastic sheeting had nothing to do with Iraq itself, but rather terrorists that may try to attack us. It had nothing to do with the war in Iraq, and everything to do with terror cells. How can you not see the difference?

I'm not mixing any things together.

You are trying to separate the Iraq war from the War On Terror.

The War On Terror was the toughening of our domestic defenses against terrorism, attacking al-Qaeda/Taliban in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and then the invasion of Iraq and deposing of the Hussein regime.

Or are you saying that the toppling of Iraq was not part of the War On Terror? If it wasn't, then what was it exactly?

Which is it?
41 posted on 02/05/2004 8:52:10 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: Kaslin
ABC and Albawaba Middle East News use the same title on their website. Here's a more 'fair and balanced' title from USA Today of the same article:

CIA director defends intel officials' prewar efforts

42 posted on 02/05/2004 8:55:17 AM PST by demlosers (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com">Miserable Failure</a>)
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To: FBD
A far more convincing reason to go to war with Iraq was the terrorists that clearly are there, rather than WMD's which don't appear to be.

The rocket launchers don't appear to be there either,at least we can't seem to find them. The terrorists seem to have no problem shooting rockets, I wonder how they do it? They also seem to have plenty of explosive materials that we just can't seem to find. It obviously isn't that easy to find small caches of weapons in a country the size of Iraq. We can't even find the source of Anthrax in our own country.

The real problem I have is the democrats will play up this alleged intellegence failure as President Bush lied. They are trying to affect public opinion against the war in Iraq. This is treasonous to me. I'm not sure why the rest of the American population doen't see this

43 posted on 02/05/2004 8:56:47 AM PST by stig
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To: Kaslin
The whole problem here is that we (The United States) never should have implicitly accepted the burden of proof wrt to WMD or anything else. The issue should have been put as a simple binary question: Has Saddam complied with U.N. Resolution 1441? Yes = continue inspections, No = War.
44 posted on 02/05/2004 9:00:31 AM PST by Stultis
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To: George W. Bush
Excellent point. Per the Administration all along, the invasion of Iraq is part of the Global War on Terror.

True, the president never said the WMD threat from Iraq was "imminent" and in fact he said that we should not wait until it became imminent. But it is also true that a danger that is "gathering" has to be more "imminent" than if it was not gathering. And a threat that is grave and growing has to be nearer in time to materializing than one which is neither. Perhaps, this does not rise to "imminence" but the American people were clearly given the impression that action was needed right away.

45 posted on 02/05/2004 9:01:06 AM PST by Stingray51
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To: CedarDave
Does this help clear the cobwebs?







For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary September 12, 2002

President's Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly New York, New York

10:39 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, and ladies and gentlemen: We meet one year and one day after a terrorist attack brought grief to my country, and brought grief to many citizens of our world. Yesterday, we remembered the innocent lives taken that terrible morning. Today, we turn to the urgent duty of protecting other lives, without illusion and without fear.

We've accomplished much in the last year -- in Afghanistan and beyond. We have much yet to do -- in Afghanistan and beyond. Many nations represented here have joined in the fight against global terror, and the people of the United States are grateful.

The United Nations was born in the hope that survived a world war -- the hope of a world moving toward justice, escaping old patterns of conflict and fear. The founding members resolved that the peace of the world must never again be destroyed by the will and wickedness of any man. We created the United Nations Security Council, so that, unlike the League of Nations, our deliberations would be more than talk, our resolutions would be more than wishes. After generations of deceitful dictators and broken treaties and squandered lives, we dedicated ourselves to standards of human dignity shared by all, and to a system of security defended by all.

Today, these standards, and this security, are challenged. Our commitment to human dignity is challenged by persistent poverty and raging disease. The suffering is great, and our responsibilities are clear. The United States is joining with the world to supply aid where it reaches people and lifts up lives, to extend trade and the prosperity it brings, and to bring medical care where it is desperately needed.

As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. (Applause.) This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.

Our common security is challenged by regional conflicts -- ethnic and religious strife that is ancient, but not inevitable. In the Middle East, there can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices. My nation will continue to encourage all parties to step up to their responsibilities as we seek a just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict.

Above all, our principles and our security are challenged today by outlaw groups and regimes that accept no law of morality and have no limit to their violent ambitions. In the attacks on America a year ago, we saw the destructive intentions of our enemies. This threat hides within many nations, including my own. In cells and camps, terrorists are plotting further destruction, and building new bases for their war against civilization. And our greatest fear is that terrorists will find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw regime supplies them with the technologies to kill on a massive scale.

In one place -- in one regime -- we find all these dangers, in their most lethal and aggressive forms, exactly the kind of aggressive threat the United Nations was born to confront.

Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation. And the regime's forces were poised to continue their march to seize other countries and their resources. Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have endangered the peace and stability of the world. Yet this aggression was stopped -- by the might of coalition forces and the will of the United Nations.

To suspend hostilities, to spare himself, Iraq's dictator accepted a series of commitments. The terms were clear, to him and to all. And he agreed to prove he is complying with every one of those obligations.

He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations, and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge -- by his deceptions, and by his cruelties -- Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.

In 1991, Security Council Resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the systematic repression of minorities -- which the Council said, threatened international peace and security in the region. This demand goes ignored.

Last year, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights, and that the regime's repression is all pervasive. Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution, and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape. Wives are tortured in front of their husbands, children in the presence of their parents -- and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council, through Resolutions 686 and 687, demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke its promise. Last year the Secretary General's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwait, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini, and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for -- more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council, through Resolution 687, demanded that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism, and permit no terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise. In violation of Security Council Resolution 1373, Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments. Iraqi dissidents abroad are targeted for murder. In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former American President. Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of September the 11th. And al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.

In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge.

From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

United Nations' inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

And in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War. We know now, were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993.

Today, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program -- weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, an accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance. Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. And Iraq's state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons.

Iraq also possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long-range missiles that it can inflict mass death throughout the region.

In 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the world imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Those sanctions were maintained after the war to compel the regime's compliance with Security Council resolutions. In time, Iraq was allowed to use oil revenues to buy food. Saddam Hussein has subverted this program, working around the sanctions to buy missile technology and military materials. He blames the suffering of Iraq's people on the United Nations, even as he uses his oil wealth to build lavish palaces for himself, and to buy arms for his country. By refusing to comply with his own agreements, he bears full guilt for the hunger and misery of innocent Iraqi citizens.

In 1991, Iraq promised U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq's commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles. Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading, and harassing U.N. inspectors before ceasing cooperation entirely. Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the Security Council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors, condemning Iraq's serious violations of its obligations. The Security Council again renewed that demand in 1994, and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq's clear violations of its obligations. The Security Council renewed its demand three more times in 1997, citing flagrant violations; and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq's behavior totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again.

As we meet today, it's been almost four years since the last U.N. inspectors set foot in Iraq, four years for the Iraqi regime to plan, and to build, and to test behind the cloak of secrecy.

We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime's good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.

Delegates to the General Assembly, we have been more than patient. We've tried sanctions. We've tried the carrot of oil for food, and the stick of coalition military strikes. But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. The first time we may be completely certain he has a -- nuclear weapons is when, God forbids, he uses one. We owe it to all our citizens to do everything in our power to prevent that day from coming.

The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?

The United States helped found the United Nations. We want the United Nations to be effective, and respectful, and successful. We want the resolutions of the world's most important multilateral body to be enforced. And right now those resolutions are being unilaterally subverted by the Iraqi regime. Our partnership of nations can meet the test before us, by making clear what we now expect of the Iraqi regime.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis -- a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty, and internationally supervised elections.

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.

We can harbor no illusions -- and that's important today to remember. Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He's fired ballistic missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel. His regime once ordered the killing of every person between the ages of 15 and 70 in certain Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. He has gassed many Iranians, and 40 Iraqi villages.

My nation will work with the U.N. Security Council to meet our common challenge. If Iraq's regime defies us again, the world must move deliberately, decisively to hold Iraq to account. We will work with the U.N. Security Council for the necessary resolutions. But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced -- the just demands of peace and security will be met -- or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.

Events can turn in one of two ways: If we fail to act in the face of danger, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission. The regime will have new power to bully and dominate and conquer its neighbors, condemning the Middle East to more years of bloodshed and fear. The regime will remain unstable -- the region will remain unstable, with little hope of freedom, and isolated from the progress of our times. With every step the Iraqi regime takes toward gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow. And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September the 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors.

If we meet our responsibilities, if we overcome this danger, we can arrive at a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can show by their example that honest government, and respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond. And we will show that the promise of the United Nations can be fulfilled in our time.

Neither of these outcomes is certain. Both have been set before us. We must choose between a world of fear and a world of progress. We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather. We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and the hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America will make that stand. And, delegates to the United Nations, you have the power to make that stand, as well.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 11:04 A.M. EDT
46 posted on 02/05/2004 9:01:06 AM PST by TheDon (Have a Happy Valentine's Day!)
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To: jempet
You are correct, of course. Some people are just a bit sloppy with their facts.
47 posted on 02/05/2004 9:03:56 AM PST by TheDon (Have a Happy Valentine's Day!)
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To: lelio
aren't you just splitting hairs here?

Do you mean splitting hairs about the difference between "imminent" and "gathering"?

If that's what you mean, no, that is absolutely not splitting hairs. Two totally different definitions:

Imminent: About to occur; impending: in imminent danger; Full of danger; threatening; menacing; perilous.

Gathering: accumulating and becoming more intense; "the gathering darkness"; To accumulate (something) gradually; amass; To grow or increase by degrees.

48 posted on 02/05/2004 9:05:25 AM PST by BagCamAddict (Tell the Troops: DO NOT TRUST ANY IRAQI WHO IS 40 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT !!)
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To: Beenliedto
It ain't just what the President says, folks, it's the way he says it, and tone of his voice, the inflections, the statements of his staff and the media which his staff so greatly influences.

A Demorat couldn't have said it better. It's not what the President says, it's how he says it that counts.

49 posted on 02/05/2004 9:09:19 AM PST by TheDon (Have a Happy Valentine's Day!)
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To: Kaslin
He was not imminent threat, he was a present and real threat. How could he not be when he fired daily on US and UK aircraft enforcing the No-Fly zones?
50 posted on 02/05/2004 9:14:58 AM PST by Natural Law
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