Skip to comments.Backstory: The push for war - Faulty intelligence in the run-up to invation (Here we go...)
Posted on 10/29/2005 6:54:33 PM PDT by Libloather
INDICTMENT THE HISTORY: ANALYSIS
Backstory: The push for war
Faulty intelligence in the run-up to invation
BY CRAIG GORDON
October 29, 2005
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's administration did all it could Friday to close the book on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Don't have any contact with Libby about his indictment, staffers were warned. His security clearance - gone. And no goodbye meeting with the president. Libby "has left the White House, and I do not expect him to return," spokesman Scott McClellan said.
If only it were that easy.
Far from a clean end to the CIA leak investigation, Libby's indictment is just the start of a potentially drawn-out legal process and does nothing to halt an ongoing investigation of the president's top political adviser, Karl Rove.
It is that legal never-never land that worries some Republicans who fear the uncertainty will limit Bush's ability to put the case behind him and try to regain momentum for a presidency in free fall.
Libby's indictment "is bad. Nobody can spin it otherwise, but the real bad part is the lack of closure," said Rich Bond, a former Republican national chairman. "You've got the trial potentially coming up. You've got the vice president potentially appearing as a prosecution witness. And you've got a grand jury still going on and looking at Rove."
A trial or further indictments could lay bare some of the White House's most politically embarrassing secrets: How did they come to use such flawed intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war? How did they deal with political enemies like war critic Joseph Wilson? And did Vice President Dick Cheney or even the president himself know anything about Libby's activities?
(Excerpt) Read more at nynewsday.com ...
Big Media gets so orgasmic they misspell invasion?
During the impeached *Crinton years, this meant innocent. And what, exactly, is a nonindictment?
(Please notice that the words "assumed" and "alleged" have disappeared during any reporting on Libby.)
Another friend of the mass-murdering Saddam Hussein speaks up.
NY Newsday lies about their circulation.
Thank God for the internet however. Some history Mark R. Levine:
n December 16, 1998, Bill Clinton informed the nation that he had ordered military action against Iraq. No less than three times Clinton referred to Iraq's nuclear arms or nuclear program.
Example 1: "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors."
Example 2: "Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons."
Example 3: "And so we had to act and act now. Let me explain why. First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years."
Notice that in the first example, Clinton speaks of attacking Iraq's nuclear program, which obviously requires the known existence indeed, the location of such a program. And in the third example, Clinton warns of an imminent threat Iraq could reconstitute, among other things, its nuclear-weapons program, thereby alleging its existence.
Now, on what basis did Clinton conclude that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapon, a nuclear-weapons program, or the ability to reconstitute such a program in months? Well, let's look at certain key public statements and representations by Clinton himself and his top people.
Fact 1: On September 3, 1998, Clinton reported to Congress on "Iraq's non-compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions." In the section of the report labeled "Nuclear Weapons," Clinton's report stated:
In an interim report to the UNSC July 29, the IAEA ["International Atomic Energy Agency"] said that Iraq had provided no new information regarding outstanding issues and concerns. The IAEA said while it has a 'technically coherent picture' of Iraq's nuclear program, Iraq has never been fully transparent and its lack of transparency compounds remaining uncertainties. The IAEA noted Iraq claims to have no further documentation on such issues as weapons design engineering drawings, experimental data, and drawings received from foreign sources in connection with Iraq's centrifuge enrichment program. The IAEA also reported that Iraq was 'unsuccessful' in its efforts to locate verifiable documentation of the abandonment of the nuclear program....
Thus, Clinton's own report to Congress, during the lead up to military action against Iraq, contained no substantive information about Iraq's "nuclear arms" or "nuclear weapons program." Instead, it emphasized the near total lack of insight into such matters.
Fact 2: On September 9, 1998, in response to the United Nations Security Council's vote to suspend Iraqi sanction reviews, Clinton issued a short statement which said, in part:
... The Security Council has made crystal clear that the burden remains on Iraq to declare and destroy all its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
But Iraq did not "declare" its "nuclear weapons." In fact, there's no evidence Iraq actually had "nuclear weapons," per se, as opposed to certain materials or parts that might be used to build such weapons. Clinton's statement regarding Iraq's "nuclear weapons" was utterly false.
Fact 3: During Mike McCurry's September 30, 1998, press briefing, McCurry contradicted Clinton's September 9 statement. McCurry stated, in part:
... [W]e are aware of the allegations that Iraq retained weapons-related components, but we can't confirm the specific allegation that they have acquired those devices. There's little doubt that they have sought nuclear capability. That's been one of our long-standing concerns and one of the reasons why we have insisted on support for the international efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor and to investigate suspected activities in Iraq. It's why we've supported UNSCOM, as well, for similar and related issues.
Iraq's current refusal to allow inspections by both the IAEA and UNSCOM ... is totally unacceptable. We continue to believe that there is a lot more to know about Iraq's nuclear program. We've sought clarification before we're willing to consider what kind of final punctuation mark you can place on efforts by Iraq to acquire nuclear related technology.
So, McCurry made clear that the Clinton administration could not confirm that Iraq had actually acquired "devices" for producing nuclear weapons, or even the extent to which Iraq was attempting to acquire "nuclear-related technology."
Fact 4: At a September 30, 1998, State Department press briefing, Secretary of State Madeline Albright's spokesman, James Foley, was asked about Iraq's nuclear capabilities.
Question: "I was just asking about the Iraqi progress towards nuclear weapons. There [are] two reports in the past two years, apparently, that the United States has been told that Iraq is building atomic bombs, at least the nuclear shells, the nuclear weapons without the atomic cores. Can you comment on that?
Mr. Foley: "Well, I'm not aware that the United States has been told any such thing. But what I can say in response to your question and the articles is that we are aware of allegations that Iraq retained weapons-related components, but we cannot confirm these allegations. ...
... In terms of the allegation itself, again, it's not something we can confirm; it's important, though, to understand the potential ramifications. Having several components of a warhead does not mean that one necessarily has a usable nuclear weapon. In this regard the IAEA, we're told, feels confident, that Iraq does not have sufficient fissile material or the ability to produce that material for a weapon.
Again, this really underscores our concern about the lack of intrusive UNSCOM and IAEA inspections. The limited ongoing monitoring program can help deter obvious Iraqi attempts to rebuild the WMD capability during this period, but we are very concerned, obviously, about the longer run."
Foley, therefore, could not even confirm that Iraq retained nuclear weapons-related components. And Foley emphasized that without U.N. inspections, the Clinton administration did not and would not have insight into nuclear-related issues involving Iraq.
Consequently, on December 16, 1998, when Clinton told the nation that he ordered military strikes against Iraq to, among other things, attack its nuclear program, to prevent Saddam Hussein from threatening the world with nuclear arms, and to stop Hussein from rebuilding his nuclear weapons program in a matter of months, he had no basis for these assertions. They were utterly false. Moreover, I could find no statements from Secretary of State Albright endorsing Clinton's characterization of Iraq's nuclear capabilities.
When you contrast Clinton's unequivocal yet insupportable arguments about Iraq's nuclear program with the qualified yet accurate 16-words President George Bush used in his January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address to describe Iraq's effort to secure uranium, the liberal bias of the mainstream media in giving a continuing voice to Democratic charges becomes obvious. The Democrats are, and will remain, unsatisfied with any response provided by the Bush administration. Such is their political strategy. As if to highlight the point, Democratic-party advertisements accusing the president of lying already began appearing on television last week.
And President Bush's chief accuser is a long-serving, little-known liberal partisan from Michigan, Senator Carl Levin. Levin charges that "[t]he uranium issue is not just about sixteen words. It is about the conscious decisions that were made, apparently by the NSC and concurred in by the CIA, to create a false impression" to help President Bush justify war with Iraq. Although Levin is chairman of no committee, he's now conducting his own "investigation."
But Levin never questioned Clinton's assertions about Iraq's nuclear arms, nuclear program, or imminent nuclear threat. He didn't accuse Clinton of manipulating intelligence as a cover to attack Iraq. He didn't demand hearings and investigations. In fact, back then, Levin himself played fast and loose with the facts.
On October 9, 1998, in a speech on the Senate floor, Levin stated, in part:
With respect to Iraq's history, the Security Council noted Iraq's threat during the Gulf War to use chemical weapons in violation of its treaty obligations, Iraq's prior use of chemical weapons, Iraq's use of ballistic missiles in unprovoked attacks, and reports that Iraq attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear weapons program contrary to its treaty obligations.
But as described above, in 1998 the U.N.'s IAEA, McCurry, and Foley had no evidence that Iraq was attempting to acquire materials for nuclear weapons, which is why they all decried the lack of U.N. inspectors in Iraq. Clinton's report to Congress, which Levin would have seen, provided no evidence. In other words, Levin, like Clinton, and many other Democrats, did, in fact, mislead the American people.
Don't expect the mainstream media to notice, however. They're too busy regurgitating the Democrats' talking points.
ZFunny, I thought Clinton initially called for Saddam's removal. Even funnier, didn't the Senate Intelligence Committee have the same intelligence W had? Funniest, hadn't the Senate Intelligence Committe been saying Saddam had WMD, even BEFORE W was elected? I love how Clinton bombs Iraq, and somehow that is not a pre-emptive strike, but Bush follows through, and Bush=Hitler.
I read somewhere on FR that per UN laws, if any country was in violation of the kind or number (I can't remember which) or sanctions Iraq was, any permanent member of the Security Council could take military action without UN approval. Do you know if this is true?
Why would Saddam have underground ammo depots the size of three football fields if he wasn't going to put anything in them? (or didn't keep anything in them prior to our invasion?)
"Faulty intelligence in the run-up to invation"
Actually, this give the motive for the whole mess. Who screwed up the intelligence? Was it the White House who depended on the CIA's George Tenet's "slam dunk?" Or was it the CIA who missed 9/11 and provided ALL the faulty intelligence since the 1990s? Who had for years...even under CLinton...said Hussein had WMD?
Enter Joe Wilson and his wife and others in the CIA who didn't want to take the blame and you had the whole sorry mess of an editorial full of Wilson's lies with a WH having a hard time defending themselves FROM those lies.
I'm with Joe DeGenova....this was a CIA undermining of Bush.
Which is why I sometimes think it might be better for the country to have a pro-WOT democrat president. They only oppose the war because their 'guy' isn't in charge. It certainly would go a long ways towards getting everybody on board.
Funny, the left doesn't remember their support for Clinton when he signed the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998:
Weapons of Mass Destruction
"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 [here], 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
"[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 missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) 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 reinvigorated 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 a licit 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, Dec, 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 has ignored the mandated 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 underestimated 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
Print some factual information, Newsday, not this fantasy stuff. It's time for people who believe in this war to go on the attack. In fact, it's way, way past time.
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Suggestions for invation:
Very true. What is even more interesting- was Clinton's bombing of Iraq not pre-emptive? If they are truly against War, why the outcry when Bush does it, but not Clinton. Oh yeah, I forgot, leftists are allowed to be hypocrites.
I think I have a "nonindictment" this year too!
The very reason I listed this on FR as editorial. Wishful thinking isn't really news - yet...
IMO that is not a good enough reason to elect ANY democrat.
The Republicans are bad enough. The democrat party will always take America down the wrong path.
I hate to admit, knowing Fitgerald.........this investigation is probably far from over. I hope I am wrong.
Agreed. The question now is.........what they gonna do about it?
Pray for W and Our Troops
Nope. Testimony in grand jury proceedings is secret up until the witness spews. After that, they can say whatever they want to in public. If Timmy lied, we'll know about it later - in court...
Good grief! They can't even spell "invation" (invasion) correctly .. and they want me to believe they have a brain ..??
I just checked. They haven't made any correction. They sure could use a good spell checker - and story writer...
Pray for W and Our Trops
Could get interesting. Apparently, neither Plame nor Wilson were called as witnesses in front of the grand jury. That should change during the trial. Hold on tight.
Looks like the DU bloggers are at it again.