A chronicle: Media question honesty of Bush administration

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Several Op-Ed pieces identify some of the distortions and misinformation used to justify the war, start questioning Bush's honesty and the way it may affect America and the world. Here are short excerpts; read the whole pieces if you want something to think about:

From the L.A. Times, Are We Dumb or Just Numb?
Forget truth. That is the message from our government and its apologists in the media who insist that the Iraq invasion is a great success story even though it was based on a lie.

In the statement broadcast to the Iraqi people after the invasion was launched, President Bush stated: "The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world." To which Tony Blair added: "We did not want this war. But in refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam gave us no choice but to act."

That claim of urgency - requiring us to short-circuit the U.N. weapons inspectors - has proved to be a whopper of a falsehood.
[ ... ]
From the Miami Herald, Did our leaders lie to us? Do we even care?
[ ... ]
Just a few weeks ago, any statement from me that Bush's case for war was riddled with inconsistencies and illogic would have brought swift and fierce condemnation from this fellow.

Now, basking in the glow of military conquest -- and confronted by a thus-far futile search for chemical and biological weapons -- this hawk breezily conceded the point while also waving it away as inconsequential.

Have we become a country that wears its hypocrisy openly and proudly?
[ ... ]
From the NY Times (thanks, Moonie), Matters of Emphasis
We were not lying," a Bush administration official told ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis." The official was referring to the way the administration hyped the threat that Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. According to the ABC report, the real reason for the war was that the administration "wanted to make a statement." And why Iraq? "Officials acknowledge that Saddam had all the requirements to make him, from their standpoint, the perfect target."

A British newspaper, The Independent, reports that "intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war." One "high-level source" told the paper that "they ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat."
[ ... ]

I find the Bush and Blair quotes in the L.A.Times article especially damning. YMMV.

-----------
Edit: here are two more:
From The Nation, Weapons of Mass Delusion?
Perhaps Saddam did have lots of WMDs, and perhaps the United States will find them. Not a day goes by, it seems, without a front-page announcement of their discovery that is retracted, on page B18, the next morning. Meanwhile, as David Corn reports on page 11, the hunt for WMDs is hardly proceeding with the seriousness and singlemindedness one might expect, given how impatient Bush was with poor Hans Blix. After all, if they are out there and we don't find them quick, then someone else--a Baath party loyalist, a renegade scientist, Al Qaeda--might get hold of them. Oh, but I'm forgetting--they're in Syria.

[ ... ]
From the New York Times, Missing in Action: Truth
Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons. As Seymour Hersh noted in The New Yorker, the claims were based on documents that had been forged so amateurishly that they should never have been taken seriously.

Another example is the abuse of intelligence from Hussein Kamel, a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein and head of Iraq's biological weapons program until his defection in 1995. Top British and American officials kept citing information from Mr. Kamel as evidence of a huge secret Iraqi program, even though Mr. Kamel had actually emphasized that Iraq had mostly given up its W.M.D. program in the early 1990's. Glen Rangwala, a British Iraq expert, says the transcript of Mr. Kamel's debriefing was leaked because insiders resented the way politicians were misleading the public.

[ ... ]

-----------
Edit: and another in a similar vein:
From the L.A. Times, Karl Rove: Counting Votes While the Bombs Drop
Karl Rove led the nation to war to improve the political prospects of George W. Bush. I know how surreal that sounds. But I also know it is true.
[ ... ]
The cause of the war in Iraq was not just about Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda links to Iraq. Those may have been the stated causes, but every good lie should have a germ of truth. No, this was mostly a product of Rove's usual prescience. He looked around and saw that the economy was anemic and people were complaining about the president's inability to find Osama bin Laden. In another corner, the neoconservatives in the Cabinet were itching to launch ships and planes to the Mideast and take control of Iraq. Rove converged the dynamics of the times. He convinced the president to connect Hussein to Bin Laden, even if the CIA could not.
[ ... ]
Rove puts the "master" in puppetmaster.

----------
Edit: OK, here are two more articles. Thought I'd try to keep them all together instead of splitting off another thread. Unlike the earlier articles, these focus on more than Bush's dishonesty about Iraq. Both are Op-Ed pieces, of course. As before, excerpts below, read the article if you're interested.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, Bush will say anything -- no lie
"Bill Clinton lies about big things and does it very well; Al Gore lies about little things and does it very badly. None of his fibs really amount to much, but they remind voters of what they don't like about Clinton. With Bush, voters see a decent, likable and truthful candidate, but they're not sure he's up to the job." -- Charlie Cook, National Journal, Oct. 28, 2000 .

AS THIS quotation from one of America's best nonpartisan political analysts demonstrates, George W. Bush's 2000 campaign for the presidency was based in large part on the idea that Bush was honest while Clinton and Gore were liars. The phrase "little lies" stuck to Gore early, and he never shook it.

All of which makes it surprising that the media do not pay more attention to the ways in which Bush and his White House say whatever is necessary, even if they have to admit later that what they said the first time wasn't exactly true.

[ ... ]

Then there's the president's claim that his dividend tax cut is about creating jobs in a sluggish American economy. If you take the president's statements at face value, each new job created by his tax cut would cost the government $550,000 in lost revenues -- about 17 times the salary of the average American worker.

Since there have to be cheaper ways to create jobs, should we really believe that the president believes that his latest tax cut is about employment? Isn't it clear by now that he'll say anything to win support for a new tax cut?

From the L.A. Times, A Nuclear Road of No Return
On Sunday, the Washington Post wrote the obituary for the United States' effort to find Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. "Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq," read the headline, confirming what has become an embarrassing truth ? that the central rationale for the invasion and occupation of oil-rich Iraq was in fact one of history's great frauds.

The arms inspectors "are winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms," reported the Post, putting the lie to Colin Powell's Feb. 6 claim at the United Nations that Iraq possessed a functioning program to build nuclear bombs and had hoarded hundreds of tons of chemical and biological materials.

[ ... ]

What's going on here? Having failed to stop a gang of marauders armed with nothing more intimidating than box cutters, the U.S. is now using the "war on terror" to pursue a long-held hawkish Republican dream of a "winnable nuclear war," as the president's father memorably described it to me in a 1980 Times interview. In such a scenario, nukes can be preemptively used against a much weaker enemy ? millions of dead civilians, widespread environmental devastation and centuries of political blowback be damned.

------------
Edit: Since this continues to come up in other threads, here are a few more columns. The thread is dead, but can serve as a reference for people who are tired of hashing through the same claims over and over.

From U.S. News & World Report, Truth and consequences
On the evening of February 1, two dozen American officials gathered in a spacious conference room at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va. The time had come to make the public case for war against Iraq. For six hours that Saturday, the men and women of the Bush administration argued about what Secretary of State Colin Powell should--and should not--say at the United Nations Security Council four days later. Not all the secret intelligence about Saddam Hussein's misdeeds, they found, stood up to close scrutiny. At one point during the rehearsal, Powell tossed several pages in the air. "I'm not reading this," he declared. "This is bulls- - -."

[ ... ]

Veteran intelligence officers were dismayed. "The policy decisions weren't matching the reports we were reading every day," says an intelligence official. In September 2002, U.S. News has learned, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a classified assessment of Iraq's chemical weapons. It concluded: "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons . . . ." At about the same time, Rumsfeld told Congress that Saddam's "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas." Rumsfeld's critics say that the secretary tended to assert things as fact even when intelligence was murky.

[ ... ]
From the New York Times, Standard Operating Procedure
The mystery of Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction has become a lot less mysterious. Recent reports in major British newspapers and three major American news magazines, based on leaks from angry intelligence officials, back up the sources who told my colleague Nicholas Kristof that the Bush administration "grossly manipulated intelligence" about W.M.D.'s.

And anyone who talks about an "intelligence failure" is missing the point. The problem lay not with intelligence professionals, but with the Bush and Blair administrations. They wanted a war, so they demanded reports supporting their case, while dismissing contrary evidence.

[ ... ]

Am I exaggerating? Even as George Bush stunned reporters by declaring that we have "found the weapons of mass destruction," the Republican National Committee declared that the latest tax cut benefits "everyone who pays taxes." That is simply a lie. You've heard about those eight million children denied any tax break by a last-minute switcheroo. In total, 50 million American households ? including a majority of those with members over 65 ? get nothing; another 20 million receive less than $100 each. And a great majority of those left behind do pay taxes.

[ ... ]
From The Nation, Where's The Outrage?
[ Bush ] has gotten away with much. He sold his original tax cuts package with several whopping lies. He asserted it would effectively stimulate the economy. Yet the White House noted that in the first year it would create 400,000 jobs--and cost about $200 billion. That's $500,000 a job. (Why not just hand out money?) My favorite lie was Bush's claim that 92 million Americans on average would receive $1100 due to his tax cuts. This was a phony number. Most middle-income earners could expect to get a couple hundred dollars from Bush's tax cuts. The average was only higher because wealthy taxpayers would be pocketing large amounts of so-called "tax relief." It was as if Bush had said that if nine unemployed people and one person earning $1,000,000 a year live on the same street, the average household income for the block is $100,000. That "average" would be of little use to the nine individuals out of work.

More recently, after Congress crafted a thoroughly dishonest tax bill--which only fits the budget because of blatant gimmicks--Bush gave it his blessing. What the Republicans pieced together is the most deceptive measure Washington has produced in years. It masquerades as a $350 billion, ten-year tax cut. But many of its central provisions expire within a few years, not ten. Since no one expects a future Congress and president to let these tax cuts expire, the real cost of the bill--which, to start with, is severely tilted toward the wealthy--will top $800 billion and possibly reach $1 trillion. In an era of deficits, tax cuts of that size will place enormous pressure on the federal budget and force either massive borrowing or widespread cuts in programs that tend to help low- and middle-income Americans. (Remember, Bush, when campaigning for president, promised he would not use deficits to fund his tax cuts, and he made the same pledge in 2001 when pushing his first round of supersized, wealthy-favoring tax cuts.)

[ ... ]
From the Baltimore Sun, Bush shines in the time of the lie
Lying has traditionally been seen as an inevitable part of politics. A recent study by political scientists in Britain said, "Politics should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing truthful statements and more like a poker game" in which deception is understood.

This cynical view appears to be implicitly endorsed by the current administration, which has so inundated us with lies that most of them pass unnoticed. Unlike the lies about sex that are the legacy of our previous president, the ones being perpetrated by Bush & Co. appear more consequential.

[ ... ]

On the home front, President Bush proclaimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2003 if his tax cut proposals were adopted. No such report exists.

To explain why he has turned a $236 billion budget surplus into a projected $307 billion deficit in 2004, the president claimed that he had said during the campaign that he would allow the federal budget to go into deficit in times of war, recession or national emergency but never imagined he would have a "trifecta." Actually, Mr. Bush never made such a campaign statement. These three caveats on deficits were promulgated by Al Gore.


[ ... ]

Listen to President Bush in December 2001 explaining publicly how he learned about the terrorist attacks three months before: "I was in Florida. And ... I was sitting outside [an elementary school] classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on, and I used to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.'"

This account is obviously false since network cameras were not trained on the towers at the time the first airliner hit; it was only later that amateur video of this event was broadcast.

[ ... ]
From The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Still searching for integrity in the Oval Office
If,by restoring honesty and integrity to the Oval Office, Bush meant he would not have an affair with an intern, he has no doubt kept his word. On the other hand, one could quibble with the honesty and integrity of pre-emptively attacking another nation, Iraq, on the spurious claim that it harbored 100 metric tons or more of weapons of mass destruction.

One might also question the sincerity of a president, who as a candidate in 2000, promised to use only a portion of the projected $4.6 trillion government surplus over the next 10 years to cut taxes, then slashed taxes despite a burgeoning deficit.

To quote candidate Bush on Oct. 3, 2000, a month before the election, "I want to take one-half of the surplus and dedicate it to Social Security, one-quarter of the surplus for important projects, and I want to send one-quarter of the surplus back to the people who pay the bills. I want everybody who pays taxes to have their tax rates cut."

[ ... ]
-----------
Edit: One more

Here is an interesting analysis by John Dean of Bush's possible dishonesty and the potential consequences. Unlike the many editorials on this topic, this is quite detailed with more thoughtful analysis than raw opinion. I imagine Bush supporters won't like the article anyway, but it is a good read. Food for thought.
From Findlaw, Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?

President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a Joint Resolution authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake - acts of war against another nation.

Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet, and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) go away - unless, perhaps, they start another war.

That seems unlikely. Until the questions surrounding the Iraqi war are answered, Congress and the public may strongly resist more of President Bush's warmaking.

Presidential statements, particularly on matters of national security, are held to an expectation of the highest standard of truthfulness. A president cannot stretch, twist or distort facts and get away with it. President Lyndon Johnson's distortions of the truth about Vietnam forced him to stand down from reelection. President Richard Nixon's false statements about Watergate forced his resignation.

[ ... ]

--------
Edit: A new one, more depth than most

The L.A. Times just published a detailed examination of many of the claims leading to war. It includes plenty of specific examples. Thanks to CaptnKirk for posting the link.
From the L.A.Times, Ample Evidence of Abuses, Little of Illegal Weapons
Last October in Cincinnati, President Bush delivered what could stand as the most concise summary of why the United States might go to war against Iraq. Saddam Hussein's regime, he said, "possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people."

[ ... ]

Since the war, the administration has subtly shifted its rhetoric against Hussein's fallen government, with Bush even moving away from the claim -- made repeatedly and vehemently -- that Iraq was actively producing and stockpiling chemical and biological weapons, saying instead that it "had a weapons program."

[ ... ]

"Simply stated," Vice President Dick Cheney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars last August, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us."

"We know they have weapons of mass destruction," Rumsfeld told reporters a month later. "There isn't any debate about it." In fact, he said, it was "beyond anyone's imagination" that U.N. inspectors would fail to find such weapons if they were given the opportunity.

And Blair said that the Iraqi military needed only 45 minutes' notice to deploy some chemical and biological weapons.


[ ... ]
CaptnKirk posted the complete text of the editorial in this thread: Link

----------
Edit - In contrast to the early op-ed pieces, some of the news and magazine organizations are now putting significant effort into reviewing the sales pitch for the Iraq invasion. Here is another good article with exceptional depth to add to the chronicle:

From The New Republic, The First Casualty - The sellijng of the Iraq War

Foreign policy is always difficult in a democracy. Democracy requires openness. Yet foreign policy requires a level of secrecy that frees it from oversight and exposes it to abuse. As a result, Republicans and Democrats have long held that the intelligence agencies--the most clandestine of foreign policy institutions--should be insulated from political interference in much the same way as the higher reaches of the judiciary. As the Tower Commission, established to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, warned in November 1987, "The democratic processes ... are subverted when intelligence is manipulated to affect decisions by elected officials and the public."

If anything, this principle has grown even more important since September 11, 2001. The Iraq war presented the United States with a new defense paradigm: preemptive war, waged in response to a prediction of a forthcoming attack against the United States or its allies. This kind of security policy requires the public to base its support or opposition on expert intelligence to which it has no direct access. It is up to the president and his administration--with a deep interest in a given policy outcome--nonetheless to portray the intelligence community's findings honestly. If an administration represents the intelligence unfairly, it effectively forecloses an informed choice about the most important question a nation faces: whether or not to go to war. That is exactly what the Bush administration did when it sought to convince the public and Congress that the United States should go to war with Iraq.

From late August 2002 to mid-March of this year, the Bush administration made its case for war by focusing on the threat posed to the United States by Saddam Hussein's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and by his purported links to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Officials conjured up images of Iraqi mushroom clouds over U.S. cities and of Saddam transferring to Osama bin Laden chemical and biological weapons that could be used to create new and more lethal September elevenths. In Nashville on August 26, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney warned of a Saddam "armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror" who could "directly threaten America's friends throughout the region and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail." In Washington on September 26, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed he had "bulletproof" evidence of ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda. And, in Cincinnati on October 7, President George W. Bush warned, "The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons." Citing Saddam's association with Al Qaeda, the president added that this "alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

Yet there was no consensus within the American intelligence community that Saddam represented such a grave and imminent threat. Rather, interviews with current and former intelligence officials and other experts reveal that the Bush administration culled from U.S. intelligence those assessments that supported its position and omitted those that did not. The administration ignored, and even suppressed, disagreement within the intelligence agencies and pressured the CIA to reaffirm its preferred version of the Iraqi threat. Similarly, it stonewalled, and sought to discredit, international weapons inspectors when their findings threatened to undermine the case for war.

[ ... ]
Long article, lots of examples and analysis.

--------
Edit: more related articles, copied from another thread. These were all published before the war:

From The Mirror (UK), July 7, 2003: Iraq: The Lying Game
[ ... ]
While Blair has claimed that Iraq has rebuilt its arsenal of "weapons of mass destruction", those who advise him know full well this is nonsense. And if Blair himself is not aware of this, this begs the question: what kind of prime minister is he?
[ ... ]
[ Quoting Scott Ritter: ] "The UN weapons inspectors enjoyed tremendous success in Iraq. By the end of our job, we ascertained a 90-95 per cent level of disarmament. Not because we took at face value what the Iraqis said. We went to Europe and scoured the countries that sold technology to Iraq until we found the company that had an invoice signed by an Iraqi official. We cross-checked every piece of equipment with serial numbers. That's why I can say that Iraq was 90-95 per cent disarmed. We confirmed that 96 per cent of Iraq's 98 missiles were destroyed.

"As for chemical weapons, even if Iraq had succeeded in hiding stocks of sarin and tabun nerve agents, these chemicals have a shelf life of five years; after that they deteriorate and become useless gunk."

Ritter does not deny that Iraq could have begun to reconstitute its weapons programmes. "But they would have to start from scratch because they don't have the factories any more, because we destroyed them (including the research and development plant). If they tried that, the evidence is readily detectable. The technology is available; if Iraq was producing chemical weapons today on any meaningful scale, we would have definitive proof to show, plain and simple; and there is none."
[ ... ]

From The Guardian (UK), Sept 19, 2002,
'Even if Iraq managed to hide these weapons, what they are now hiding is harmless goo'
UN weapons inspectors are poised to return to Iraq, but does Saddam Hussein have any weapons of mass destruction for them to find? The Bush administration insists he still has chemical and biological stockpiles and is well on the way to building a nuclear bomb. Scott Ritter, a former marine officer who spent seven years hunting and destroying Saddam's arsenal, is better placed than most to know the truth. Here, in an exclusive extract from his new book, he tells William Rivers Pitt why he believes the threat posed by the Iraqi dictator has been overstated.
[ ... ]
That said, we have no evidence that Iraq retains either the capability or material. In fact, a considerable amount of evidence suggests Iraq doesn't retain the necessary material.

I believe the primary problem at this point is one of accounting. Iraq has destroyed 90 to 95% of its weapons of mass destruction. Okay. We have to remember that this missing 5 to 10% doesn't necessarily constitute a threat. It doesn't even constitute a weapons programme. It constitutes bits and pieces of a weapons programme which, in its totality, doesn't amount to much, but which is still prohibited. Likewise, just because we can't account for it, doesn't mean Iraq retains it. There is no evidence that Iraq retains this material.
[ ... ]
[Re. nuclear weapons: ] When I left Iraq in 1998, when the UN inspection programme ended, the infrastructure and facilities had been 100% eliminated. There's no debate about that. All of their instruments and facilities had been destroyed. The weapons design facility had been destroyed. The production equipment had been hunted down and destroyed. And we had in place means to monitor - both from vehicles and from the air - the gamma rays that accompany attempts to enrich uranium or plutonium. We never found anything. We can say unequivocally that the industrial infrastructure needed by Iraq to produce nuclear weapons had been eliminated.
[ ... ]
Chemical weapons were produced in the Muthanna state establishment: a massive chemical weapons factory. It was bombed during the Gulf war, and then weapons inspectors came and completed the task of eliminating the facility. That means Iraq lost its sarin and tabun manufacturing base.

We destroyed thousands of tons of chemical agent. It is not as though we said, "Oh we destroyed a factory, now we are going to wait for everything else to expire." We had an incineration plant operating full-time for years, burning tons of the stuff every day. We went out and blew up bombs, missiles and warheads filled with this agent. We emptied Scud missile warheads filled with this agent. We hunted down this stuff and destroyed it.
[ ... ]
There's much more in the article. It's a good, balanced piece from a man with plenty of first=hand information.

From The San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 12, 2002,
Bush's evidence of threat disputed - Findings often ambiguous, contradict CIA
With a resounding congressional endorsement behind him, President Bush confronts Iraq bolstered by the near-universal consensus that Saddam Hussein poses a security menace to his neighbors and the United States.

But while the political debate appears to be all but over, nagging questions remain about the evidence the administration has put forth to support its stance. In some cases, the evidence is at best insubstantial. In others, ambiguous intelligence data have given rise to interpretations that are highly subjective or just plain wrong.

In some instances, administration statements appear to run directly counter to assessments made by intelligence agencies.
[ ... ]
The administration has also asserted as a given -- and few critics have questioned -- that the Baghdad regime has stockpiled and continues to develop vast quantities of biological and chemical weapons. But a comprehensive British government report, based on its own intelligence agency findings, noted that most estimates were based on guesswork. "Without U.N. weapons inspectors, it is very difficult therefore to be sure about the true nature of many of Iraq's facilities," the British report stated.
[ ... ]
"As a guesstimate, Iraq's present holdings of delivery systems and chemical and biological weapons seem most likely to be so limited in technology and operational lethality that they do not constrain U.S. freedom of action or do much to intimidate Iraq's neighbors," said Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

From The Independent, Feb 9, 2003,
MI6 and CIA: The new enemy within
Tony Blair and George Bush are encountering an unexpected obstacle in their campaign for war against Iraq - their own intelligence agencies.

Britain and America's spies believe that they are being politicised: that the intelligence they provide is being selectively applied to lead to the opposite conclusion from the one they have drawn, which is that Iraq is much less of a threat than their political masters claim. Worse, when the intelligence agencies fail to do the job, the politicians will not stop at plagiarism to make their case, even "tweaking" the plagiarised material to ensure a better fit.

"You cannot just cherry-pick evidence that suits your case and ignore the rest. It is a cardinal rule of intelligence," said one aggrieved officer. "Yet that is what the PM is doing." Not since Harold Wilson has a Prime Minister been so unpopular with his top spies.
[ ... ]

From The Toronto Star, Feb 15, 2003, Major powers rebuff Bush
[ ... ]
"More than 200 chemical and more than 100 biological samples have been collected at different (Iraqi) sites," Blix reported. "Three-quarters of these have been screened using our own laboratory ... the results to date have been consistent with Iraq's declarations."

Noting Iraqi co-operation has improved since his interim report last month, but is still not as complete as the Security Council has demanded, Blix told the council "access to sites has so far been without problems, including those that had never been declared (by Iraq) or inspected, as well as presidential sites and private residences."

Blix said some Iraqi weapons are not accounted for, but that doesn't mean they exist. He said inspectors need more time, a view the majority of U.N. Security Council member nations agreed with.
[ ... ]
After Blix's report, de Villepin, France's foreign minister, said it was clear inspections were working and there wasn't any evidence yet to attack Iraq. "Inspections are producing results ... The option of inspections has not been taken to the end," he said.

"The conditions are there. The inspectors must continue their inspections," said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. "And this is a position shared by the overwhelming majority of states in the world, including within the Security Council."
[ ... ]

Finally,
From The Free Press, March 9, 2003,
Has Bush suckered the UN and Iraq?
Has the Bush Administration suckered the United Nations into weakening Iraq prior to a mass murderous attack that was pre-ordained years ago?

The facts are these:

· Bush's original official stance was that the United Nations must force Iraq to disarm, in keeping with treaties signed after Iraq's 1991 defeat after invading Kuwait. His charges that Iraq had failed to honor these promises led the United Nations to force it to further disarm;

· According to the official report of UN weapons inspectors, as delivered Friday, March 7 by Hans Blix, Iraq has made "significant" steps toward disarming, among other things destroying many of its missiles;

· According to additional reports, Iraq may have destroyed most or all of its chemical and biological weapons early in the 1990s;

· According to most credible reports, Iraq does not have the near-term ability to build nuclear weapons;

In short, by all internationally accepted standards, Iraq has moved toward significant compliance with the formal demands of the United Nations, and cannot be considered a credible threat to the United States.
[ ... ]

There you go. A bunch of articles from before the invasion. Different sources, different angles, but all refer to uncertainties about whether Iraq still had WMDs, the accuracy of intelligence reports as presented by Bush and Blair, or related topics re. the credibility of the justification for war.

----------
Edit:

Another interesting article by John Dean on FindLaw. In this one, he makes a case for why we need a Special Prosecutor investigation. He reviews eight specific "facts" from the State of the Onion, examining each for origin and accuracy. He also explains that presenting false information to Congress is a felony, and offers a historical perspective on this law. Great article, worth a read.
From FindLaw, Why A Special Prosecutor's Investigation Is Needed To Sort Out the Niger Uranium And Related WMDs Mess
The heart of President Bush's January 28 State of the Union address was his case for going to war against Saddam Hussein. In making his case, the President laid out fact after fact about Saddam's alleged unconventional weapons. Indeed, the claim that these WMDs posed an imminent threat was his primary argument in favor of war.

Now, as more and more time passes with WMDs still not found, it seems that some of those facts may not have been true. In particular, recent controversy has focused on the President's citations to British intelligence purportedly showing that Saddam was seeking "significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

In this column, I will examine the publicly available evidence relating to this and other statements in the State of the Union concerning Saddam's WMDs. Obviously, I do not have access to the classified information the President doubtless relied upon. But much of the relevant information he drew from appears to have been declassified, and made available for inquiring minds.

[ ... ]

So egregious and serious are Bush's misrepresentations that they appear to be a deliberate effort to mislead Congress and the public. So arrogant and secretive is the Bush White House that only a special prosecutor can effectively answer and address these troubling matters. Since the Independent Counsel statute has expired, the burden is on President Bush to appoint a special prosecutor - and if he fails to do so, he should be held accountable by Congress and the public.

In making this observation, I realize that some Republicans will pound the patriotism drum, claiming that anyone who questions Bush's call to arms is politicizing the Iraqi war. But I have no interest in partisan politics, only good government - which is in serious trouble when we stop debating these issues, or absurdly accuse those who do of treason.

As Ohio's Republican Senator Robert A. Taft, a man whose patriotism cannot be questioned, remarked less than two weeks after Pearl Harbor, "[C]riticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government.... [T]he maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country ... more good than it will do the enemy [who might draw comfort from it], and it will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur." (Emphasis added.)

[ ... ]

There is an unsavory stench about Bush's claims to the Congress, and nation, about Saddam Hussein's WMD threat. The deceptions are too apparent. There are simply too many unanswered questions, which have been growing daily. If the Independent Counsel law were still in existence, this situation would justify the appointment of an Independent Counsel.

Because that law has expired, if President Bush truly has nothing to hide, he should appoint a special prosecutor. After all, Presidents Nixon and Clinton, when not subject to the Independent Counsel law, appointed special prosecutors to investigate matters much less serious. If President Bush is truly the square shooter he portrays himself to be, he should appoint a special prosecutor to undertake an investigation.

Ideally, the investigation ought to be concluded - and the issue cleared up - well before the 2004 election, so voters know the character of the men (and women) they may or may not be re-electing.

Family, loved ones, and friends of those who have died, and continue to die, in Iraq deserve no less.
An informative and thoughtful article from a man who knows what he's talking about.
 

mastertech01

Moderator Emeritus Elite Member
Nov 13, 1999
11,875
282
126
And by what measure will they guage their ethics and honesty... the Clinton Administration? Rant on!
 

flavio

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,823
1
76
Bush lies to invade countries? Just mumble something about Clinton's sex life and it will all go away.
 

mastertech01

Moderator Emeritus Elite Member
Nov 13, 1999
11,875
282
126
Originally posted by: flavio
Bush lies to invade countries? Just mumble something about Clinton's sex life and it will all go away.

Oh it figures someone would bring Clintons sex life into this... get over it!

 

HappyPuppy

Lifer
Apr 5, 2001
16,997
2
71
I don't care when politicians lie, because I expect them to. It's when they start transitioning from one lie to another that I become wary of their motives.

Take it for what it's worth.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
I find the Bush and Blair quotes in the L.A.Times article especially damning. YMMV.

How so?

The way I read it - they are both in step with what the UN has said. Saddam admitted having WMD - he didn't provide proof that he disposed of the weapons. So the only logical conclusion is that he still has them (or is providing them to others) which seems in-step with both of those quotes.

CkG
 

mastertech01

Moderator Emeritus Elite Member
Nov 13, 1999
11,875
282
126
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: flavio
I think the UN was into those inspections?

Maybe the UN needs some inspections to see where the oil for food moneys went.

Im sure the UN will come up with a cover your ass explanation for everything they have done. If they dont it will just be a US conspiracy to discredit them.

On the flip side, I think its very appearant that Iraq was selling a lot more oil than they were legally allowed..just for example that direct pipeline to Syria that was pumping 24/7 totally unaccounted for.

 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
I still wonder, did poeple actually feel some huge, immediate threat from saddam, or was the "running out of time" argument just their impatience to see some bombs go off?
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,942
10
81
Originally posted by: flavio
Bush lies to invade countries? Just mumble something about Clinton's sex life and it will all go away.

Do not be so hypocritical to compare apples and oranges.

Clinton's actions never killed anyone. They barely hurt anyone either: Hillary was gettin' some beaver on the side. lol If anything, he damaged himself more than any other thing.

Bush's actions kill. He pathetically killed Americans who served, and countless Iraqi civilians and officials all for his lies.

 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,942
10
81
It's about time the media questions all thats been goin' on with this SHAM. Bush is never gonna get past this in Election 2004, no matter how pitifull it is that he's once again playin' the old 9-11 card by kickin' off his campaign at that time.
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,022
17
81
Countless Iraqi civilians!
rolleye.gif


We lost more on 9-11 than Iraq lost in that war!


Hussein had over 10 years to get his sh|t together. He called our bluff and lost. Simple, no?


You left wing whiners are going to have to find something else to bitch about, because day by day it's becoming more and more apparent this action was long overdue. Just as apparent that the UN is as fvcking useless as a tit on a bull.
 

Vadatajs

Diamond Member
Aug 28, 2001
3,475
0
0
[ i]Originally posted by: flavio[/i]
Bush lies to invade countries? Just mumble something about Clinton's sex life and it will all go away.

clinton's sex life has nothing to do with national policy. He didn't jeopardize the safety of millions of americans by comitting perjury.
 

flavio

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,823
1
76
Originally posted by: Vadatajs
[ i]Originally posted by: flavio[/i]
Bush lies to invade countries? Just mumble something about Clinton's sex life and it will all go away.

clinton's sex life has nothing to do with national policy. He didn't jeopardize the safety of millions of americans by comitting perjury.

I totally agree....that was SARCASM relating to the post right before mine where mastertech made a pathetic attempt to skirt the topic.

 

jahawkin

Golden Member
Aug 24, 2000
1,355
0
0
Originally posted by: Ornery
Countless Iraqi civilians!
rolleye.gif


We lost more on 9-11 than Iraq lost in that war!


Hussein had over 10 years to get his sh|t together. He called our bluff and lost. Simple, no?


You left wing whiners are going to have to find something else to bitch about, because day by day it's becoming more and more apparent this action was long overdue. Just as apparent that the UN is as fvcking useless as a tit on a bull.

Long overdue?? How so? Compare your justification for the war now with the justification you were using in January. Are they the same?
 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
2,700
1
91
Originally posted by: Ornery
Countless Iraqi civilians!
rolleye.gif


We lost more on 9-11 than Iraq lost in that war!

Regardless of your viewpoint - please could you show me where you get your numbers from?

Cheers,

Andy
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Hey folks this is Dubya we are talking about. He says what he is told to say. If there turns out that there is no WMD that only mean that he was either given the wrong info or he was lied to by his subordinates. No way is Bush that smart to be that devious and get a way with it.

Now if any lying was done (and I'm not saying there was..at least now) it was done by the Neo Conservatives like Rumsfield and Wolfowitz who would probably look at it as a way to achieve a means. Of course that's yet to be determined though it is probably more likely than Bush being the brains behind any conspiracy.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,131
5,985
126
One of the articles asks:

"Have we become a country that wears its hypocrisy openly and proudly?"
-----------------------
I don't think there is any question that America has dies is a spiritual and moral sense. Nobody cares about injustice at all any more. It's all about fill my tank and don't tax my wallet. people are emotionally dead. They have seen too much killing on TV. Their hearts are dead. Everything is a joke. Lives are just numbers. Political lies aren't worth the trouble of even noticing. I got to make breakfast, get the kids to school, meet a deadline, get my hair cut and mow the lawn. America is rotting from within from apathy, political attachment, and patriotism. Bush killed American soldiers and Iraqi citizens with a lie. He led the chumps in this country by manipulating their fear. Everybody's so use to their nose rings they no longer notice. You are all powerless. You can do nothing. It's hopeless. Can't stand the pain. Join the stampeding herd. In the herd is safety, security, the feeling of belonging of being effective, of counting for something. We have gone to war because we are a nation of sheep. We have become killers in acquiescence. Have a wonderful sleep.
 

Corn

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
6,389
29
91
We have become killers in acquiescence.

Yes yes, our consciences would be clear if we simply continued to allow Saddam to torture and murder his people, while at the same time we allow France and Russia to arm Saddam with conventional weapons and lavish palaces with money that was meant to feed his starving people.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,131
5,985
126
Red, how can we have an eminent threat from WMD to the US from Iraq just because they exist, and then attack them and beat them into the dirt in three weeks without so much as a chemical or germ or nuclear release, and turn around and still say they were an immediate and imminent threat to us. If I'm dangerous, surely it's when I'm attacked that you're going to find out. Iraq was not a threat. It was a lie. The objective was other than claimed. Now all that's left is for Americans to readjust and realize they don't care it was a lie. We freed the Iraqis, that's what matters. We don't mind being used, we see the wisdom of it now. Gosh, if they told me the truth I might have stupidly got in the way. Lucky for me my leaders are so smart. Some people died, but yeah, it's OK. Saddam would have killed them anyway. I'm glad to kill them for him so the killing can stop. Lets kill some Iranians or Syrians so we can stop some more killing. Kill the killers. War is peace.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Red, how can we have...
Sorry Moonie, since most of your posts are nonsense I'm not going to take the time to read this one all the way through. If it was a serious post then I apologize.
 

flavio

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,823
1
76
Originally posted by: Ornery
Hussein dicked the UN around for ten years. We should have crushed his sorry ass at least five years earlier. Disarming him was reason enough, but from funding terrorists to direct Iraq-Al Qaida Links this POS was allowed to live years longer than he should have been.


2600 is a conservative estimate from what I hear. If it is accurate your still not counting the Iraqi soldiers.

As if comparing body counts would justify the war in the first place.