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IRAQ: Powell Defends Information He Used to Justify Iraq War
The New York Times International ^ | May 31, 2003 | JAMES DAO and THOM SHANKER

Posted on 05/30/2003 11:45:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

The New York Times Sponsored by Starbucks

May 31, 2003

Powell Defends Information He Used to Justify Iraq War

By JAMES DAO and THOM SHANKER

WASHINGTON, May 30 — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today fiercely defended the intelligence used by the Bush administration to justify war against Iraq, saying he spent several late nights poring over the Central Intelligence Agency's reports because he knew the credibility of the country and the president were at stake.

The C.I.A.'s prewar assessments have been sharply questioned by some intelligence officials and lawmakers in recent days, as American forces have uncovered only limited evidence of unconventional weapons programs and Iraqi ties to terrorists.

After complaints from intelligence officials that they felt Defense Department pressure to support the administration on Iraq, the C.I.A. has started a review to determine whether its prewar assessments of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs were accurate.

Another top official, George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, insisted today that his agency's work had not been compromised by politics.

"I'm enormously proud of the work of our analysts," he said in a statement. "The integrity of our process has been maintained throughout, and any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong."

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has also asked the agency to report on its Iraq intelligence, and may hold closed-door hearings on the issue, House officials said.

Mr. Powell used those assessments — along with satellite photographs and intercepted conversations between Iraqi military officers — in a dramatic presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, when he argued that Iraq's weapons programs and links to Al Qaeda made it an imminent threat to the world.

Asked today if he thought those assessments had been politicized to bolster the administration's call to arms, Mr. Powell said no, calling it "solid information" based on multiple sources presented to him by unbiased analysts.

"I went out to the C.I.A., and I spent four days and four nights going over everything that they had," Mr. Powell told reporters traveling on Air Force One to Poland. For three consecutive nights, the chore kept him at the agency until midnight, he said. "I knew that it was the credibility of the United States that was going to be on the line on the fifth of February. The credibility of the president of the United States and my credibility."

At the time, Mr. Powell was widely viewed as the most cautious member of President Bush's national security team on Iraq, and his urgent presentation to the United Nations in February was intended to provide an extra layer of credibility to the administration's case for war.

Mr. Powell argued today that the accuracy of the prewar assessments was proven by the discovery of two Iraqi trailers that the C.I.A. and Pentagon have concluded were designed to produce deadly germs. Mr. Powell presented drawings of suspected mobile biological labs to the United Nations in February.

"You should have seen the smile on my face when one day the intelligence community came in and gave me a photo, and said, `Look,' " Mr. Powell said today. "And it was almost identical to the cartoon that I had put up in New York on the Fifth of February."

But doubts about the accuracy of the prewar intelligence have spread in Congress. In a letter sent last week to George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, the House Intelligence Committee said it intended "to re-evaluate" American intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs and links to terrorists.

"The committee wants to ensure that the intelligence analysis relayed to our policymakers from the intelligence community was accurate, unbiased and timely," said the letter, signed by the committee's Republican chairman, Representative Porter J. Goss of Florida, and ranking Democrat, Representative Jane Harman of California.

A senior military commander on the ground in Iraq also told reporters today that he was surprised that Iraq never fired chemical or biological weapons as American forces drove for Baghdad, and was equally surprised that none of these weapons had yet been found.

"It was a surprise to me then, it remains a surprise to me now, that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites," said Lt. Gen. James Conway, commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force. "Again, believe me, it's not for lack of trying."

Speaking to Pentagon reporters in a video teleconference from Iraq, General Conway said, "What the regime was intending to do in terms of its use of the weapons, we thought we understood."

He added, "We were simply wrong."



TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; cia; colinpowell; conway; iraq; jamesconway; labs; mediafraud; medialies; mobilelabs; newyorktimes; nyt; powell; thenewyorktimes; warlist; wmd
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1 posted on 05/30/2003 11:45:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Earlier article from the UK Guardian:

Straw, Powell had serious doubts over their Iraqi weapons claims ^

2 posted on 05/30/2003 11:48:39 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
AWRIIIIIGHT!

The "Big Guy" is pissed!

Media watching is soon to become an "event".

3 posted on 05/30/2003 11:49:44 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Never have so many, been so wrong, about so much.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I can't wait for all the silence coming from these leftist had wringers when the WMD's are found. That is iof they havn't been found already and this administration is just waiting for the right time to release a comprehensive report on the WMD's and all the details on where they came from.

But anyone who believes that Iraq didn't have these weapons and thia war was some kind of sinister plot by Bush & Blair, I have a bridge over a desert I want to sell you

4 posted on 05/30/2003 11:55:31 PM PDT by MJY1288 ("4" more in "04")
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To: All
Other articles:

TR>

 
Public was misled, claim ex-CIA men  ^

Wolfowitz says Saudi troop withdrawal was 'huge' reason for war with Iraq ^

US Intel 'Simply Wrong' on Chemical Attack-General ^

Sending a Serious Message to Syria ^

Iraq weapons questions dog allies - U.S. downplays issues; Blair faces criticism ^

The Case For War Is Blown Apart ^

2 trailers deemed biological arms labs  ^

CIA convinced truck-trailers held bioweapons labs ^

Blair Warns Iran, Syria Not to Back 'Terrorists' ^

Survey shows Iraqi people support US Presence ^

Bush case on defense plan cites N. Korea ^

Ledeen: The Moment of Truth? U.S. policy could determine Iran’s destiny. ^

Turkey's Military Chief Warns Pro-Islamic Government Of Possible Coup ^

Bremer: Coalition Has 'Established Control' ^


5 posted on 05/31/2003 12:07:13 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: MJY1288
I try not to be a Bush-bot as I disagree with his stance on the assualt weapon ban bill and am pretty upset with the so-called "roadmap" for Middle East peace, but this is a true story.

One of my two best friends (they're twins) works for the United States State Department. He was assigned to Kuwait for the past five months and was there during the war. He e-mailed me in early May that he his boss (also in the State Department) told him that coalition forces found and captured Iraqi WMDs even before the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. He said that the coalition would release this information and present the evidence at a proper time. When this time would be, his boss did not have any knowledge.

Also, my friend is a Bush-hater. College did that to him, so he's not a Bush-bot, but a Democrat supporter. Heck, he works for the United States State Department.

6 posted on 05/31/2003 12:07:20 AM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: *Bush Doctrine Unfold; *war_list; W.O.T.; seamole; Lion's Cub; Libertarianize the GOP; ...
I have included a fair number of links to other articles that mostly relate to this hot topic. If I have missed some please throw a link on here!

Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
  click here >>> Bush Doctrine Unfold <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



7 posted on 05/31/2003 12:11:43 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: LdSentinal
Had you posted that on another thread? If not you are the second one to say they had personal contacts with someone in the State Dept that had stated WMD's had been found!
8 posted on 05/31/2003 12:14:51 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: LdSentinal
My Brother works for the State Department and is in Iraq right now. Your friend is telling a simular story to what my brother has shared with me
10 posted on 05/31/2003 12:19:34 AM PDT by MJY1288 ("4" more in "04")
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Ummm, no, I did not post that story on another thread. Which thread would that be? Thanks in advance.
11 posted on 05/31/2003 12:20:30 AM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
President Bush will be on Fox News live from Poland in 2 hours
12 posted on 05/31/2003 12:22:05 AM PDT by MJY1288 ("4" more in "04")
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To: MJY1288
My Brother works for the State Department and is in Iraq right now. Your friend is telling a simular story to what my brother has shared with me

That's very interesting. I should have known -- considering my friend called Bush a coke addict -- that he would even share this information with me. If this is true, I wonder why the coalition is holding back this information.

13 posted on 05/31/2003 12:24:16 AM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
They really should just ignore the democrat talking points. They hate to be ignored, and they don't need to dignify the attacks with answers in my opinion. Just blow them off.
14 posted on 05/31/2003 12:26:06 AM PDT by ladyinred
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To: MJY1288
I don't think I will be up, I am about ready to shutdown.

Other links of interest:

Forget WMDs - they're not the real reason we went to war

Where Are the WMDs? Why we may not find them

Interview: Victor Davis Hanson

[Hanson] Postbellum Thoughts: Ideas from war's aftermath.

Michael Ledeen: The Unknown Hawk - Neoconservative Guru Sets Sights on Iran

The Restoration of American Awe

Bush's Bold Policy

Iraq War's Impact Spreads in Arab World

15 posted on 05/31/2003 12:36:21 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: LdSentinal
I believe the reason is because of international politics. From what I can gather, we compromised their computer systems and established quite a few contacts with Iraqi Generals. Spec. Ops were sent in early to secure some of these weapons and due to our early strikes on their command and control, there was no central command or co-ordinated communications for the Iraqi forces in the battle field.

Back in September, Our spy satellites detected convoys of trucks moving into Syria with suspected WMD's and they have evidence that dozens of trucks had their payloads buried in Syria, just over the border from Iraq. There was mention of this in the news back then but as usual these kind of FACTS never seem to register on the radar screens of the leftist lemmings in the press.

16 posted on 05/31/2003 12:42:54 AM PDT by MJY1288 ("4" more in "04")
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To: All
One more Link:

What Wolfowitz Really Said: The truth behind the Vanity Fair "scoop."

17 posted on 05/31/2003 12:49:33 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: All
And this just in:

Pentagon challenges Vanity Fair report (CNN reports Wolfowitz misquote)

18 posted on 05/31/2003 12:53:16 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Forgot these:

IRAQ: So, Where Are Those Iraqi Weapons? (Helen Thomas Alert )

PROOF of Iraq's WMD (Flashback Clinton speech 1998)

19 posted on 05/31/2003 1:16:14 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.

Attention New York Times:
You f--- with the best, you get smacked down like the rest!


20 posted on 05/31/2003 1:29:39 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Great read...

But what I don't get is why we conservatives are actually discussing the whole weapons of mass distruction issue. Bush said it himself. The Iraq war was not only to prevent Saddam from using his weapons. But this was also the next step in the war against terrorism. And if any liberal jackass tries to contradict you, just mention Saddams funding of the sucide bomber families... If that's not supporting terrorism... I don't know what is?
21 posted on 05/31/2003 2:32:30 AM PDT by StringTheory
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To: LdSentinal
So the news breaks here on Free Republic. That's big. The media and Demonrats can just continue discrediting themselves. It just goes to show you with the way they twisted Wolfowitz's words to their story on how Powell had 'serious doubts' just shows how much they are willing to lie and make up. It's the NY Times all over again and it's all the liberal organizations that have such a problem with the truth. Notice how the media doesn't care how they've already released info on the two mobile biological labs, like it's nothing! Now if this turns out to be true, which it likely because there's no doubt Iraq had weapons of mass destruction-they all know it. The only thing I worried about is that we gave the Iraqi regime so much time to move them to Syria, etc. or get rid of them prior to us actually taking action.
22 posted on 05/31/2003 5:47:21 AM PDT by bushfamfan
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To: MJY1288
I can't wait for all the silence coming from these leftist had wringers when the WMD's are found

The reality is that if they're found this late, after all of the media questioning about their existance, there will be accusations of them being planted.

Maybe the powers-that-be should look at the sources of their information. Just to make sure none of it came from parties that had an axe to grind against the Iraqui government.

23 posted on 05/31/2003 5:57:21 AM PDT by grania ("Won't get fooled again")
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To: MJY1288; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Howlin
I maintain they have been found. Mustard gas and other poisons in the Tigris River, rolling chemical labs (weather balloons my foot), chem suits and atropine injector stockpiles--what do people think all of that was for? Why isn't the administration harping on these finds, instead of just sitting back and taking all this criticism?

Iraq had the weapons, some were dumped into the Tigris (and who knows where else), some are hidden away in the desert somewhere, some were doubtless moved across the Iranian and Syrian borders. But they had them, they threatened to use them, and they planned to use them. Otherwise, they wouldn't have gone to the trouble of providing chem suits and atropine injectors.

24 posted on 05/31/2003 7:26:02 AM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: grania
I just cannot help but think that the stupid diplomatic dance we performed with the UN resolutions, was a perfect time for Saddam to get his house in order, and to either transport the weapons to Syria, or something else like that.
Colin Powell insisted that we get the international community behind us, which was as slow as molasses. All those weeks of delay were a gift to Saddam.
Think back to Bush's appearance throughout that stupid UN fiasco. I remember thinking he was fighting an unbelievable amount of rage within. Now we know why.
25 posted on 05/31/2003 7:29:01 AM PDT by Galtoid
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To: MizSterious
"Why isn't the administration harping on these finds, instead of just sitting back and taking all this criticism?"

Bush has been skilled at the "rope-a-dope" strategy whereby he allows the opposition just enough rope to hang themselves. Could this just be another round of it?

IMHO, if and when they release the information that they have the WMDs in their posession the left and the media will, of course, make accusations of plants, politicizing, etc. However, once again, it won't stick (just as nothing else has) and will actually have the opposite effect (just as so many other things have). Just speculation, of course.
26 posted on 05/31/2003 7:41:41 AM PDT by wolf24
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To: Galtoid
I suspect your explanation is valid. I'm wondering if the delay wasn't time to win over a few more Iraqui military leaders.

The problem with that is, if they no longer existed, it negated the reason given to be there in the first place. And, the next thing, liberating the Iraquis...well, I doubt letting a Shiite majority vote for their government was on the screen.

This incursion and the one in Afghanistan will be up to history to judge. But, it'll be hard. You can't evaluate what didn't happen. I suspect that disrupting the flow of things in these Mideast hotbeds stopped at least some terrorist acts.

Meanwhile, something has to be done to stabilize the region. I'm glad GWB is now bringing up the Palestinian issue and insisting the Israelis come along for the ride.

27 posted on 05/31/2003 8:29:41 AM PDT by grania ("Won't get fooled again")
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To: bushfamfan
Well I actually got a clue from Drudge!
28 posted on 05/31/2003 9:12:26 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: grania
The problem with that is, if they no longer existed, it negated the reason given to be there in the first place.

So you are buying into the Leftists argument that finding the WMD was the only reason to be there?

29 posted on 05/31/2003 9:17:50 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
So you are buying into the Leftists argument that finding the WMD was the only reason to be there?

I'm stating that the Weapons of Mass Destruction are the persuasive argument that Colin Powell used to support going into Iraq.

30 posted on 05/31/2003 10:05:53 AM PDT by grania ("Won't get fooled again")
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To: StringTheory
Very true. The fact is, the anti war crowd are jumping all over this WMD issue because that is their only meal ticket now. The anti war crowd became very silent once they realized that the war effort went relatively smoothly, and now that the major fighting is over they are now jumping on the WMD bandwagon to 'save face.'

I have been debating this war on Iraq issue on another message board since last year, and all the anti war posters on the other site never mentioned WMD or lack of evidence thereof for their anti war stance. They protested the war mainly because it was an illegal "imperialistic" and aggresive action against an innocent Iraqi people. In fact, these anti war people were the very ones blathering about how the U.N. inspections were working and for Bush and company to give them more time.

The war on Iraq wasn't only about WMD, it was also about human rights violations in Iraq (one of the worst in the world) and the ongoing war against terrorism.

I'm sure the anti war crowd are going to be all over this new round of "evidence proving" that Powell and others had serious doubts about the WMD evidence. Of course these same hypocrites were the first ones to decry new found evidence of mobile weapons labs and whatnot, whining about not jumping to conclusions and so darned eager to discredit the source of the information.

It's a lose lose situation in my book.
31 posted on 05/31/2003 12:54:43 PM PDT by Stuckathome
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To: wolf24; MizSterious; Ernest_at_the_Beach
Bush has been skilled at the "rope-a-dope" strategy whereby he allows the opposition just enough rope to hang themselves. Could this just be another round of it?

All in due time, my friends, all in due time. They'll let the leftist shouting get shrill enough and loud enough, then the WMD's will start to appear. We may even go into Syria and the Bekaa valley to get some more of them and do a little house cleaning at the same time.

Hezbollah and Hamas have been asking for a party for a long time and we might just give 'em one. Wouldn't hurt the "Road Map" plans either.

my penny's worth of thoughts.

32 posted on 05/31/2003 2:15:23 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, we're ridding the world of vermin. RATs are next!!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Re;the road map

They didn't notice that the Bush Expressway went by way of
Afghanastan,Iraq, Iran, and Syria, with a lot of demolition
and paving work yet to do.
33 posted on 05/31/2003 2:19:10 PM PDT by tet68 (Jeremiah 51:24 ..."..Before your eyes I will repay Babylon for all the wrong they have done in Zion")
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To: tet68
They didn't notice that the Bush Expressway went by way of Afghanastan,Iraq, Iran, and Syria, with a lot of demolition and paving work yet to do.

By the time they DO notice, the landscape over there will be quite different.

34 posted on 05/31/2003 3:30:08 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, we're ridding the world of vermin. RATs are next!!)
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To: grania; MizSterious; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Grampa Dave; tet68; wolf24
Blair publicly made that assertion as he argued Saddam had to be tackled. But he was unrepentant on Sunday.

"Those people who are sitting there saying 'Oh it is all going to be proved to be a great big fib got out by the security services, there will be no weapons of mass destruction', just wait and have a little patience," he said.

"I certainly do know some of the stuff that has already been accumulated...which is not yet public but what we are going to do is assemble that evidence and present it properly."

This is an exceprt from a Drudge article quoting Tony Blair. Proof positive that evidence will be forthcoming, much to the chagrin of the whining RATs and those who buy their lies.

Won't be long before the "I Told You So's" can commence. The RATs fall for it every time. Pinging Sen. KKK Byrd

35 posted on 05/31/2003 7:53:26 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, we're ridding the world of vermin. RATs are next!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Forged documents that USA used to build its case against Iraq tied to Niger Embassy in Rome
36 posted on 05/31/2003 9:21:36 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Thanks for the link. and of course neither the US nor Britain were involved in the Forgery as the article states!
37 posted on 05/31/2003 9:42:43 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: Destro; grania; MizSterious; Grampa Dave; tet68; wolf24; BOBTHENAILER; Stuckathome; StringTheory
And this just in:

Blair Says Iraq Weapons Secrets Will Be Publicized - Insists Announcment Will Be Made Soon

38 posted on 05/31/2003 9:50:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I hope they don't plagiarize it like the last British report.
39 posted on 05/31/2003 10:16:59 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: All
And from U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT:

Truth and consequences - Colin Powell on Saddam's Misdeed Speech to U.N. - "This is Bulls---"

40 posted on 05/31/2003 10:23:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Older article :

Rumsfeld Denies 'False Pretext' for Iraq War

41 posted on 05/31/2003 11:15:55 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: MJY1288
Let me first say I do in general favor the fall of Saddam's regime to be replaced by an elected by the Iraqi people someone who can lead instead or dictate over them. That being said, one of two lies is being given by Bush and Co. Either the WMD arguement was a lie or they are lying in your scenario when they say no WMD's have been found to date. Holding back the information while claiming their is none is......well a lie. Going into Iraq without support for the WMD claims that were made are a lie. Which lie do you support?
42 posted on 06/01/2003 3:37:14 AM PDT by joesbucks
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To: joesbucks
From:

Tony Blair: The price of my conviction
The Observer (U.K.) ^ | 02/16/03 | Tony Blair

Posted on 02/15/2003 4:51 PM PST by Pokey78

Tony Blair tells critics of war that leaving Saddam in power has a 'blood cost'

I continue to want to solve the issue of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction through the UN. Dr Blix reported to the UN yesterday and there will be more time given to inspections. But let no one forget two things. To anyone familiar with Saddam's tactics of deception and evasion, there is a weary sense of déjà vu. As ever, at the last minute, concessions are made. And, as ever, it is the long finger that is directing them. The concessions are suspect; unfortunately, the weapons are real.

The time needed is not the time it takes the inspectors to discover the weapons. They are not a detective agency. We played that game for years in the 1990s. The time is the time necessary to make a judgment: is Saddam prepared to co-operate fully or not? If he is, the inspectors can take as much time as they want. If he is not, if this is a repeat of the 1990s - and I believe it is - then let us be under no doubt what is at stake.

By going down the UN route, we gave the UN an extraordinary opportunity and a heavy responsibility. The opportunity is to show that we can meet the menace to our world today together, collectively and as a united international commu nity. What a mighty achievement that would be. The responsibility, however, is indeed to deal with it.

Remember: the UN inspectors would not be within 1,000 miles of Baghdad without the threat of force. Saddam would not be making a single concession without the knowledge that forces were gathering against him. I hope, even now, Iraq can be disarmed peacefully, with or without Saddam. But if we show weakness now, if we allow the plea for more time to become just an excuse for prevarication until the moment for action passes, it will not only be Saddam who is repeating history. The menace will grow, the authority of the UN will be lost and the conflict when it comes will be more bloody.

11 September did not just kill thousands of innocent people. It was meant to bring down the Western economy. It did not do so, but we live with the effects of it even today. It was meant to divide Muslim and Christian, Arab and Western nations, and to provoke us to hate each other. It didn't succeed, but that is what it was trying to do.

States developing weapons of mass destruction, proliferating them, importing or exporting the scientific expertise, the ballistic missile technology, the companies and individuals helping them don't operate within any international treaties. They don't conform to any rules.

And with terrorist groups already using chemical and biological agents with money to spend, do we really believe that if al-Qaeda could get a dirty bomb they wouldn't use it? Think of the consequences. Think of a nation using a nuclear device, no matter how small, no matter how distant the land. That is why Saddam and weapons of mass destruction are important.

At every stage, we should seek to avoid war. But if the threat cannot be removed peacefully, please let us not fall for the delusion that it can be safely ignored.

Al-Qaeda attacked the US, not the other way round. Were the people of Bali in the forefront of the anti-terror campaign? Did Indonesia 'make itself a target'? The terrorists won't be nice to us if we're nice to them. When Saddam drew us into the Gulf war, he was not provoked. He invaded Kuwait.

No one seriously believes Saddam is yet co-operating fully. In all honesty, most people don't really believe he ever will. So what holds people back? What brings thousands of people out in protests across the world? And let's not pretend that in March or April or May or June people will feel different. It's not really an issue of timing or 200 inspectors versus 100. It is a right and entirely understandable hatred of war. It is moral purpose, and I respect that.

But the moral case against war has a moral answer: it is the moral case for removing Saddam. It is not the reason we act. That must be according to the UN mandate on weapons of mass destruction. But it is the reason, frankly, why if we do have to act, we should do so with a clear conscience.

Yes, there are consequences of war. If we remove Saddam by force, people will die, and some will be innocent. And we must live with the consequences of our actions, even the unintended ones.

But there are also consequences of 'stop the war'. There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left in power, will remain in being.

I rejoice that we live in a country where peaceful protest is a natural part of our democratic process. But I ask the marchers to understand this.

I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership and the cost of conviction.

If there are 500,000 on the [Stop the War] march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for. If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started.

So if the result of peace is Saddam staying in power, not disarmed, then I tell you there are consequences paid in blood for that decision too. But these victims will never be seen, never feature on our TV screens or inspire millions to take to the streets. But they will exist none the less.

I want us to be a Government which has the intelligence, the vision and the foresight to see that there is nothing inconsistent in saying that we will increase our aid to development and give hope to Africa, yet be prepared if necessary to fight to defend the values we believe in.

This is the testing time, the difficult, the tough time, but if we come through it the prize is not just a Government able to carry on; it is far more important than that: it is a signal that we will have changed politics for good.

This is an edited extract of the Prime Minister's speech to delegates at the Labour Party's spring conference in Glasgow yesterday.


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1 posted on 02/15/2003 4:51 PM PST by Pokey78
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Posted here

43 posted on 06/01/2003 6:26:48 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: grania
See the Blair speech posted just above at post #43!
44 posted on 06/01/2003 6:28:52 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Some here still have a problem with the overall picture of why we went into IRAQ.
45 posted on 06/01/2003 6:32:37 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: joesbucks
Holding back the information while claiming their is none is......well a lie. Going into Iraq without support for the WMD claims that were made are a lie. Which lie do you support?



****

Which administration official has claimed that "there is none?"

I think you may be jumping to a conclusion based on which media outlets you are relying on.
46 posted on 06/01/2003 7:29:10 AM PDT by maica (Don't believe everything you read in the papers- Jayson Blair)
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To: joesbucks
I believe they are holding back the information they have on WMD's and I don't blame Bush for doing so. With all the attacks Bush has had to endure from the left and the hangwringers on the right, I am all for him using this issue as a political sledge hammer. Not releasing information is not a lie. I say let everyone whine about this situation for a while and drop the hammer on them.

Anybody who Saddam didn't have these weapons has been listening to Michael Moore and Sean Penn too long

47 posted on 06/01/2003 7:37:51 AM PDT by MJY1288 ("4" more in "04")
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To: joesbucks; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER
"Holding back the information while claiming their is none is......well a lie."

Um, last time I checked, the people who were claiming there are no WMDs are the media. Bush et al has been carefully wording his statements, and has said several times that there are weapons and that he can prove it. There could well be strategic reasons not to lay them out for a photo op just yet. Certainly, we'll soon find out. The drumbeat to put his cards on the table is reaching a crescendo. However, and I've said this before, it's my opinion that much of it has already been revealed, not that the media cares to cover it.

48 posted on 06/01/2003 8:22:17 AM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Another related Thread:

Blair: I have secret proof of weapons

49 posted on 06/01/2003 8:28:41 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: joesbucks; Ernest_at_the_Beach; MizSterious
Some here still have a problem with the overall picture of why we went into IRAQ.

Perhaps they prefer the justification used to initiate the Kosovo operation under the esteemed Clinton administration. Holding back information is NO LIE (mobile labs anyone?).

Whether or not WMD was the primary motive for regime change is a ridiculous argument posited by those opposed to the Administration. Ask the tongueless Iraqis, the raped mothers, the residents of the numerous mass graves, the graduates of the torture chambers, the exploded, shot, hanged, shredded and acid bathed corpses if they feel the LIES of the Bush Administration should be trumpeted across the pages of FReeRepublic.

50 posted on 06/01/2003 8:42:58 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, we're ridding the world of vermin. RATs are next!!)
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