HNN Poll: Can Bush Make a Comeback?
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ABC News Poll: Bush approval at 39%
Quotes from Meet the Press, Sunday Oct. 30, 2005
- William Safire
The wonderful thing about American attention and media coverage, is the narrative has to change. It can't stay the same, or else it's not newsworthy. And so the story will be the comeback. And when you look at what's happened in the last few weeks, what we have overlooked is the fact that there was a constitution voted for in Iraq. Had it been voted against, it would have been a calamity. But it was good news, and it wasn't covered. Katrina was supposed to--and rising gas prices, that was supposed to clobber the economy, and turn things down, and ruin the stock market. Well, what happened? We just found out the other day that gross domestic product rose 3.8 percent, a huge jump. That the economy is, as it gets to 4 percent, booming. And that has to be reflected. But we don't cover it, because it's not in today's narrative.
- Ken Duberstein
I think the jury is well out in trying to figure it out. But I think he has about three months, between now and the State of the Union address, to start going on the offense, to start laying out some issues that mean something to the American people, to overcome the reaction on Katrina, to overcome the energy prices, the gas prices. I think you're going to start seeing it this week, with a Supreme Court nominee, that can get 65 or 70 votes, not somebody who pleads to the far right, but somebody more than a consensus candidate, somebody who, in fact, will be well-received by the American people and the Senate.
I think you're going to see Bush go abroad and be the foreign policy big-stroke leader, that, in fact, the-- that America looks for. I think you're going to see him on other issues, whether it's immigration or tax reform, and tax simplification and federal spending, start talking about the big items, the big agenda, as he rolls toward his State of the Union address next January.
I think this is not a Hail Mary pass. I think this is three yards and a cloud of dust. It's the old Vince Lombardi strategy. As Ronald Reagan did back in the aftermath of Iran Contra. You have to work on it day in and day out, to re-establish that presidential leadership that the whole country looks for.
- David Broder
I have to say that I thought the president had taken sensible steps to try to ward off second-term problems. He was well aware of this history. And he had, particularly in the terms of agenda, laid out a very ambitious second-term agenda that he thought would give a real focus and purpose to it. Turned out that he misjudged what the country was looking for in a second term. And the question that I think now confronts the president is:"Can I really rely as much as I have on my own sort of gut instincts to guide my policies? Can I trust the people whose advice has helped shape those policies? Or do I really have to reconsider the whole way in which I have governed?" If he's capable of raising that question for himself, he certainly has time to recover, Bill. But I don't know whether he has that capacity.
- Michael Beschloss
You know, Tim, what strikes me even more powerfully from what everyone is saying is almost why presidents aren't tempted to almost immediately say,"I've made a mistake and I'm going to change." But Ken was being very modest over here in talking about Ronald Reagan, but he was one of the ones who went to the president and said,"You can't keep on saying you did not trade arms for hostages; no one believes it." And when he gave that speech that we saw on the screen that you put up, Tim, saying that actually he did, although in his heart he felt he did not, his poll ratings went up 9 percent. That was something that helped. You know, Leon was talking about John Kennedy taking responsibility after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs, his poll ratings shot up to 81 percent, highest numbers of Kennedy's presidency. Kennedy joked to one of his friends, you know,"I should do this more. It seems the worse I do, the more popular I get."
- Hot Topics: Libby Indictment
- Hot Topics: 2nd Term Jinx
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Joseph Palacios - 12/19/2005
I think you bring up some very good points. This wouldn't happend to be the same Ryan Portillo that was in AP art at Lincoln would it?
can bush survive?
No a very definite No.
Thomas B. Albright - 11/9/2005
Our Constitution is our supreme law. We would have domestic Tranquility if Section 3 of Amendment 14 were observed. It was the nation's policy for over 20 years. It speaks for itself.
I can't figure out why everyone that I have contacted appear too scared.
J. Kent McGaughy - 11/7/2005
Just so you'll know and always remember, you're the one walking away from this debate. So you're the coward, not me.
I say there is no evidence because there is no evidence. The reason there is no evidence is because the people who convey the evidence ARE either hacks or untrustworthy. Lastly, I am not implying anything about Woolsey, everything I've said in regard to him comes directly from him, not me. I quote his own words. In fact, the one thing I've got to admire about him is that he's consistant, he's wrong, but he's consistantly wrong.
You say you submit evidence and I respond with either a flat denial or (apparently unsubstantiated) personal political commentary. Go back and check again. Everything point I've made was supported by the evidence you told my to look at.
It was Woolsey who said he got the idea of a Hussein-Al Qaeda link from Laurie Mylroie, not me. It was Woolsey who linked himself to the neoconservative group promoting a war with Iraq, not me.
It was Judge Baer who said the arguments presented at his hearing amounted to "unsubstantive evidence"; it was Judge Baer who said the plaintiffs "barely" proved their case. Not me.
You say I attack President Bush. By that I guess you mean I disagree with President Bush; that I question his policies; that I question his integrity. Yes, I do. But isn't that par for course in a democracy? I'm I to believe that you slavishly fell at President Clinton's feet and clung to all of his policy statements and goals simply because he was the President? Of course not.
As for offering a substantive alternative to taking out Hussein: Why? He was contained. He posed no threat to the United States or his neighbors. If he presented a problem, launching cruise missles on selected targets would have been sufficient. Launching an invasion of Iraq as Team Bush did was not only unnecessary but reckless. You cannot use a conventional army to fight an unconventional enemy. This is the fundamental flaw in the neo-con arguement that the United States, through a series of military offensives, can defeat terrorism. We are playing directly into the enemy's hands.
Perhaps, in your twisted view of the world, I'm on the wrong side of the war; but you're on the wrong side of history.
Bill Heuisler - 11/6/2005
I'm not interested in debating the war on terror with someone who defends Saddam Hussein's Iraq in order to score political points against President Bush. Someone who believes a proven liar like Wilson is beyond the reach of reason/
First you say there's no evidence. Then you say the people who convey the evidence are either hacks or are untrustworthy. Now you imply Woolsey has some agenda.
As I said, I'm tired of submitting evidence to someone who attacks every piece with flat unsupported denial and every person with personal or political commentary.
At the same time, you attack the President with nonsensical charges without offering any evidence at all.
Offer some substantive alternative to taking out Saddam and I might listen.
Otherwise you're on the wrong side of the war and beneeath my contempt.
Kent McGaughy - 11/6/2005
What's the matter? Are you ignoring me? I'm disappointed in you Bill. After so boldly stating that the Woolsey interview and Baer decision were unasailable proofs of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link, you do not even attempt to comment on my refutation.
Yet, you turn and pick on someone else and try to feed them the same old stuff.
Don't you see that you always cite from the same body of evidence and it all ties back to the same core of intelligence that had always been shallow at best?
You are also referring constantly to older, more dated material.
You ask us to read an editorial from the WSJ dated February 2003, before the war with Iraq began when we were all being swampped with the hyped intelligence that Team Bush was spewing across the news media. Why? Do you think editorials constitute researched information? Haven't you learned since the Valerie Plame affair started that editorialists often become pawns in the game?
You ask us to read an article from Woolsey written even before his interview on Frontline--two days after the 9/11 attacks. Why? (Note, however, I'm actually going to look that one up Bill. I'm curious to know if Woolsey was already pinning the 9/11 attacks on Iraq two days later, while were were still uncertain as to whether or not Al Qaeda was even the culprit).
Are we to assume that you still think that Woolsey is an unbiased source of information seeking to promote truth and clarity? Or are you finally prepared to acknowledge that Woolsey is not more than a neo-con hyping the intelligence to get us into an unnecessary and unjust war in Iraq?
You ask us to read something else from November 11, 2001 linking Iraq to Al Qaeda. Why?
Can you cite anything written in the last six months to a year that still holds there was an Iraq-Al Qaeda link that offers something new other than the same old tread referring to supposed meetings between Atta and Iraqi intelligence, which has been discredited; or Salman Pak which has also been dismissed as specious. You know, something that offers evidence that has not been discredited?
I'm waiting Bill.
Bill Heuisler - 11/6/2005
Your rebuttal was devastating and reflects your personal excellence and intelligence. Thanks for representing so well people who oppose the war on terror and who oppose President Bush.
FYI, Kent said on the 4th there was no evidence connecting Iraq and 9/11.
This discussion is about existance of that evidence. Educate yourself. Add something constructive.
Read "Saddam & the next 9/11"
Wall Street Journal 2/14/03
Read "Blood Baath"
James Woolsey 9/13/2001
Read the following:
ON THE LINE NUMBER=1-01024
TERRORISM - THE IRAQI CONNECTION
Host: Hello and welcome to On the Line.
"The role of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is well-documented. Indeed, bin Laden virtually claimed credit for the terrorist attacks in a videotape circulated to his al-Qaida followers. But did bin Laden’s terrorists have help from a state -- besides Taleban-ruled Afghanistan? There is evidence that Iraq may have been involved, evidence that U.S. officials are paying increasing attention to. Did the September 11th terrorists have help from Saddam Hussein? I’ll ask my guests, James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Laurie Mylroie, author of "Study of Revenge: The First World Trade Center Attack and Saddam Hussein’s War against America." Welcome.
James Woolsey, let me ask you first. Is there any direct evidence of a connection between the September Eleventh hijackers and Iraq?
Woolsey: It depends on what you mean by direct. Much of intelligence is hearsay, and would not be admissible for example in a court. There’s some very suggestive evidence. For example, there are at least five individual witnesses -- two American inspectors and three Iraqi defectors -- who tell us about Iraqi government training of non-Iraqi Arabs at Salman Pak, on the southern edge of Baghdad, on an old Boeing 707 [aircraft], in hijacking techniques, including hijacking with knives. Now is that direct evidence? It strikes me that it’s pretty darn suggestive evidence. Would it alone convict Saddam in a court before a jury beyond a reasonable doubt? Probably not. But there’s more.
Host: Laurie Mylroie, how credible are the sources that are defectors from Iraq as to the training camp at Salman Pak?
Mylroie: Well, several of them provided a coherent, detailed account, which very interestingly was backed up by the U-N weapons inspectors. And the U-N weapons inspectors have satellite imagery of Salman Pak, including that plane sitting in the middle of the terrorist training camp.
Host: Now is there also evidence, James Woolsey, of actual contact between Iraqi agents and any of the hijackers that we know were involved in the September Eleventh attacks?
Woolsey: Certainly. We know through the Czech Republic government, a formal statement, that in one of his trips to Prague, Mohamed Atta, the lead bomber on September Eleventh. . .
Host: How many trips to Prague did Atta take?
Woolsey: Well, there are indications of at least three: two in which he got inside Prague, and one in which he got inside the airport and had to go back. The Czech government has stated there were two in which he got into Prague, and on one of those he met with a Mr. [Colonel Muhammed Khalil Ibrahim] al-Ani, who is a senior Iraqi intelligence officer.
Host: What evidence is there for him having been an intelligence officer?
Woolsey: He was declared persona non grata, a few weeks after his meetings with Mr. Mohamed Atta, by the Czech government, for conduct unbecoming a diplomat, which is intelligence-ese for being caught as a spy. And I don’t know any disagreement about al-Ani being an Iraqi intelligence officer. Now perhaps they were meeting to discuss the beautiful medieval architecture of Prague, but it seems unlikely. It seems far more likely that something very important was taking place between Iraqi intelligence and the lead bomber. And we have the Czech government’s statement that they did in fact meet.
Host: Laurie Mylroie, do we know what they talked about? Do we have any idea what they talked about?
Mylroie: Well, the two trips that Atta made to Prague, the two successful trips, were in June 2000 and April 2001. In June 2000, he first tried to get into the Czech Republic by air, but he didn’t have a proper visa, so he was turned back at the airport and returned to Germany where he was based, got his visa for the Czech Republic, and came by land. He stayed less than twenty-four hours in Prague, then afterwards flew to the United States. It was his first trip to the United States. He stayed for six months. He got his flight training. In that period of time he received a hundred-thousand dollar wire transfer.
Host: Do we know where that hundred-thousand dollar wire transfer came from?
Mylroie: It came from the United Arab Emirates, but I personally don’t know more than that. But that’s an awful lot of money. See, the point is that at that point, the operation enters a new, more intense phase of activity. And Atta doesn’t come to the States until he’s made that trip to Prague. And I don’t think the Czechs observed a meeting between Atta and al-Ani on that trip, but they did on the second trip. And still, it’s less than twenty-four hours. You know, it’s not a tourist coming to see the medieval castles; it’s a business trip. And the surmise is that he in fact met with Iraqi intelligence on that first trip, which then is followed by this new, more intense phase of activity. On the second trip, where the Czechs observed a meeting between Atta and al-Ani, it was again very brief, in April 2001, and it’s possible that on that trip the final go-ahead for the operation was given.
Host: Now is the meeting, James Woolsey, in Prague, is that in and of itself evidence enough for you, as a former intelligence official, to draw any particular conclusions?
Woolsey: Intelligence isn’t like that -- at least it’s not very often, unless you wiretap a conversation in which a direct order is given, or something like that. Usually it builds up by associations, and things that you know part of but not all of. But I would say the combination of the training at Salman Pak and the al-Ani/Atta meeting or meetings is very strongly suggestive. The way I would put it [is], in the United States there’s a different standard for civil proof than criminal conviction. In a civil litigation, preponderance of the evidence, more likely than not, is what will win the case. In criminal cases you have to convict someone beyond a reasonable doubt. I’d say, based on what we know so far, we have a preponderance of evidence that there was Iraqi involvement of some sort in what happened September Eleventh.
Host: James Woolsey, let me ask you a little bit more about Salman Pak. Who are the former Iraqi officers who have testified about what was going on there?
Woolsey: One I’ve met, and was an instructor.
Host: An instructor at the camp?
Woolsey: At the camp, yes. His name is [Sabah Khalifa] Khodada [Alami]. He lives in the United States. He’s a refugee who lives here, and has spoken to the press -- he’s been reported in the Washington Post and the like. The second, I don’t know his name. But he escaped from northern Iraq some weeks ago -- from Iraq into northern Iraq, and then from northern Iraq into Turkey, [and] made his way to Ankara -- and made contact with the Iraqi National Congress, and they put him in touch with the United States government. And he was also mentioned, I think, publicly for the first time by Jim Hoagland in the Washington Post. The third, I’ve only seen press accounts of. But there apparently are at least three Iraqi defectors who identify and give details of one kind or another about this terrorist hijacking-with-knives training at Salman Pak, including training of non-Iraqis. And you also have the former U-N weapons inspectors -- at least two of them I know, and there may be others -- who have seen the camp and seen at least some aspect of what was taking place there.
Host: Laurie Mylroie, what have they testified to about who was being trained at Salman Pak?
Mylroie: What the defectors said was that there were Islamic types who were not Iraqis who were being trained there, and these Islamic types were kept separate from the Iraqis, although there were. . .
Host: How did they know they were Islamic types if they were kept separate from the. . .
Mylroie: Well, there were from time to time interactions. Like one fellow told about his car breaking down and his needing it to be fixed or towed or whatever, and one of the vans carrying people from the training stopped by to help them out, so he saw them. Another, I think, the instructor explained what it was like to be not very religious, as the Iraqi instructors were not, training people who were very extreme in their religion, and how they’d always want to break to pray -- not always, I mean, just to do it regularly, but you know, religiously so to speak, to pray regularly -- but the Iraqi instructors resented that, because it meant that the training would take longer [and] they’d come home later.
Host: I’d to take a moment to remind our audience that this is On the Line, and I’m Eric Felten. This week we’re talking about "Terrorism - What is the Iraqi Connection?" with former C-I-A Director James Woolsey and publisher of Iraq News, Laurie Mylroie.
Let’s turn to the first World Trade Center attack, which you’ve written about extensively, Laurie Mylroie. And perhaps you can tell us, what role did Ramzi Youssef have in the first World Trade Center attack?
Mylroie: Ramzi Youssef was the mastermind of that bomb. He entered the United States in September of 1992; befriended local Muslim extremists in the New York area; built the bomb; fled the night of the bombing, February 26th, 1993; and essentially left those people behind to be arrested.
Host: Now you’ve argued that he is an Iraqi agent. What evidence do you have for that?
Mylroie: Well, the first thing is, people should understand the general context. New York F-B-I, particularly its director, Jim Fox, believed that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an Iraqi intelligence operation. There are Iraqis all around the fringe of the plot, including one who is an indicted fugitive who came from Baghdad before the bombing [and] returned to Baghdad afterwards. But I think the key piece of evidence is the identity of Ramzi Youssef. He came on an Iraqi passport in the name of Ramzi Youssef, which is how he’s known, and fled the night of the bombing on a Pakistani passport in the name of Abdul Basit Karim. There really was an individual, Abdul Basit Karim, born and raised in Kuwait. He graduated from high school in Kuwait at the age of eighteen; studied for three years in Britain; got his degree in the summer of 1989; returned to Kuwait, where he got a job in the planning ministry; and was in Kuwait when Iraq invaded.
Host: And you’ve argued that Iraqi intelligence assumed that man’s identity and gave it to their agent, Ramzi Youssef.
Mylroie: Iraqi intelligence doctored the file of Abdul Basit Karim to create a false identity for Ramzi Youssef.
Host: Now, do you have hard evidence of that, or is this your best surmise from the evidence you’ve looked at?
Mylroie: The file in Kuwait was doctored with. There should have been copies of the passport of Abdul Basit Karim, with the information on the first page -- the picture, the signature -- those were taken out. Information was put in that should not be there: above all, the information that Abdul Basit and his family left Kuwait on August 26th, 1990, traveling from Kuwait to Iraq, crossing from Iraq to Iran at Salamchah which was the border-crossing point, on the way to Pakistani Baluchistan where they live now.
Host: Well, I was going to ask, James Woolsey, actually, where was Ramzi Youssef captured?
Woolsey: He was captured in Pakistan after having had his operation to blow up twelve American airliners, and perhaps one of the twelve be flown into the C-I-A headquarters -- there’s some dispute about that. That whole operation was thwarted because some chemicals blew up in his apartment in the Philippines, and Philippine police came and got his computer. And by getting into the computer, enough information was obtained on him that the Pakistanis helped us catch him, in -- when was it Laurie? -- early 1995, around January of 1995.
Host: Well, let me just play devil’s advocate and ask both James Woolsey and Laurie Mylroie: David Plotz in Slate magazine has said that evidence shows that, quote, "Ramzi Youssef worked not for Iraq, but for Osama bin Laden. Youssef’s co-conspirator in the Philippines airliner plot was Wali Khan Amin Shah, a big buddy of Osama’s, according to C-N-N’s Peter Bergen, author of Holy War Inc. Bin Laden said in an interview that he was friends with Wali Khan, and did not deny that he was Wali Khan’s boss." Is there more clear evidence for an Osama bin Laden connection with Ramzi Youssef than there is with an Iraqi connection?
Woolsey: Before Laurie answers, let me make one point. She knows the facts on this one better than I. But the key thing is that a very fundamental misunderstanding takes place in exactly this statement, which is to assume that if someone is a terrorist he’s a sole-source contractor, that he works either with al-Qaida or with Iraq. That is, if I may say so, a particularly stupid and false assumption. There is absolutely nothing to keep these terrorists from working with al-Qaida and to have Iraqi government support for one or more aspects of the operation. So any argument, such as this statement, that begins with the proposition [that] he was not close to Iraq because he was close to al-Qaida is, I think from its initial underlying assumption, a really particularly stupid statement.
Host: Would you agree with that?
Mylroie: That’s true, but one can go much further. That statement is Osama bin Laden’s statement. Now why would anyone believe Osama bin Laden? There is no credible information to link Wali Khan Amin Shah to Osama bin Laden. Wali Khan Amin Shah was not a Muslim extremist. In the Philippines -- because these people are caught by surprise -- he had a girlfriend. She’s described in his trial. [She wore] very nice-fitting clothes; they rode around on a motorcycle; when the police came into the apartment and did the search, they found condoms there. These people, Wali Khan and Ramzi Youssef, they went to bars in the Philippines. These people are not Islamic extremists at all.
Host: Although we did find in the activities of Osama bin Laden’s hijackers in the U.S., leading up to the second World Trade Center attack on September Eleventh, that there was an effort to fit in by behaving like Westerners.
Mylroie: Well, there are reports of their going to [a nightclub] in Florida on the night before the hijacking. It’s very strange because this is not what these people believe in, and for the most part they tend to do what they believe in. But I really want to emphasize how irresponsible David Plotz’s statement is, and Peter Bergen’s before. This is not credible evidence, the statement of Osama bin Laden. You have asked us, what is the evidence of Iraqi involvement with September Eleven. We have not provided statements by Iraqis or statements by bin Laden which may be wrong or made up. We have provided evidence that can be checked out, can be documented.
Woolsey: There may be a particular way in which statements by Osama bin Laden are an excellent indicator of the truth. Sort of like a weathervane put on backwards: they always point the opposite direction from what’s accurate. That’s one way it may be an indicator.
Host: Let’s move to talk a little bit about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Just recently, John Bolton, [U.S.] Under Secretary [of State] for Arms Control said, quote, "The United States strongly suspects that Iraq has taken advantage of three years of no U-N inspections to improve all phases of its offensive biological weapons program. The existence of Iraq’s program is beyond dispute."
Woolsey: I think that’s clear.
Host: Do you think there’s any reason to think that Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program is in any way related to the anthrax attacks in the United States?
Woolsey: Well, there were three countries that weaponized anthrax in a sophisticated manner: grinding the spores to a very small, one to three micron size, so they would be inhaled properly; developing various coatings, silicon and others, so that they would not stick together. And that was the United States, before 1969, but we destroyed our stocks when we actually abided by the 1969 agreement, which the Soviet Union did not; they carried their program on. And the Soviets had a very sophisticated anthrax program as part of their biological weapons program. And it’s not absolutely impossible that some dissident Soviet scientists somewhere, with some understanding and expertise, and perhaps even some anthrax, have somehow gotten linked up with terrorists. But the third country that had, that has still, a very sophisticated anthrax and biological weapons program -- and anthrax is part of it -- is Iraq. So although it is not absolutely impossible that some crazed American Nazi biochemist P-H-D is sitting in a tunnel underneath Trenton, New Jersey, sending off these letters of anthrax, it seems to me that one would at least look very, very closely at the country that has a sophisticated program, as Iraq does. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the anthrax itself was provided by Iraq. It could well have been technology; it could well have been understanding; it could well have been training; it could well have been any number of different types of association.
Host: What would count as proof in this case?
Woolsey: Well, it would be, I think, very useful -- and now that we have another letter like the letter to Senator [Tom] Daschle, we have another highly weaponized anthrax letter that’s just been discovered within the last couple of days -- it may be possible through analyzing the coatings or something else, to come up with some more clear-cut forensic evidence than they were able to with the first letter, which left them only a very little bit of material to analyze. And I think we need to look at that. But this, because of Iraq’s program, this is to my mind yet another indicator -- circumstantial, yes -- but yet another important indicator, that when you add it with everything else, begins to make the Baath regime in Iraq look to me as if it has had some kind of involvement in September Eleventh and after, as well. Clearly it had involvement before September Eleventh, we know that.
Host: Let me ask you very quickly, after the September Eleventh attacks, U.S. officials, including Vice President [Dick] Cheney, downplayed the notion that Iraq might be involved. But recently we’ve been hearing statements from [National Security Advisor] Condoleeza Rice, from Secretary of State Colin Powell, suggesting that there’s more concern about Iraq. Do you believe that the evidence is mounting and that it’s being taken more seriously by government officials?
Woolsey: Absolutely. I think all that Vice President Cheney said in the first day or two was that at that point they had no evidence of Iraqi government involvement. But as the evidence has built up, I think your assumption is exactly right. All public officials in the United States have started to leave, at the very least, leave open this possibility -- and in some cases imply that Iraq may well have been involved.
Host: I’m afraid that‘s all the time we have for today. I’d like to thank my guests, former C-I-A Director James Woolsey and publisher of Iraq News, Laurie Mylroie. This is Eric Felten for On the Line."
Sorry for the length.
But those who say there's no evidence when there's plenty may possibly have another agenda, right?. Lacking an alternative against terror is a clue.
My opinion? They want to undermine the war on terror. Question is: Why?
Dave Colson - 11/6/2005
Wake up americans. The popularity of baby bush is indicative of the downturn of 'white ruling men'. We are witnessing the fall of a spent, corrupt, morally bankrupt elite. The dogs of war that threatens anyone who disagrees with the current most fascist regime in the USA will soon pass. (fascism=corporate control of the government) Armageddon is not around the corner as these pseudo christians believe.
If it were not for the desperate stealing of the last two elections and polluting the vaulted democratic right of one man one vote in the eyes of the desperate masses of people around the world. They see the change in America as it sinks into the morass of corruption that is oh so visible. It's not the end of the world, its the end of a morally, ethically corrupt system run by white rich men. Communism fell in the 90's now its Capitalism that is slipping. Not to worry its just a turn of the page in history, remember those who fail to understand what went before a destined to fail in the future. Social Humanism is the wave sweeping the world but of course americans are so xenophobic they don't listen to what the rest of the world is saying. The wave of the future is in South America (Brazil) and in Asia (China) hopefully they will reach the Pax Earth that most humans on earth yearn for. This is the 21st Century after all. The tide is coming in america and that is both figuratively and actually.
Gee didn't baby bush say global warming is not a reality. Is this man out of touch and imcompetent too! He is turning out to be the worst president in history! Worst than reagan, how can this be!
Kent McGaughy - 11/6/2005
Sounds like you're the one that's about to go and hide!
I'm responding not to satisfy you, but just in case some other lost soul who happens to buy into your line of BS is reading this discussion.
Okay,let's play in your yard. I did read the October 2001 interview with James Woolsey on "FRONTLINE." In that interview, Woolsey said that he became aware of a possible link between only AFTER reading material published by Laurie Mylroie. So his conclusions were not drawn from disinterested, dispassionate evidence he might have seen as Director of the CIA, but from a right-wing hack whose conspiracy theories get wilder every day.
In the interview, he was asked about Ramzi Yousef, the one responsible for bombing the World Trade Center in 1993, and Woolsey was asked "Who is Ramzi Yousef?" Here's his answer:
"Don't know. He may be Ramzi Yousef. He may be Abdul Basit, a Pakistani. One thing does seem reasonably clear to me, which is that he's a sophisticated man. He's a subtle man, and he's the sort of man who might well have a tie to an intelligence organization. I don't think he is some member of a pick-up basketball team who just sort of decided to put some chemicals together and blow something up. I think he's someone's agent, and my best guess would be Iraq. But I can't prove that."
"My best guess"? "But I can't prove that"? Note the qualifiers Bill, Woolsey is not speaking from a position based on fact. It's all speculation and supposition.
He goes on in the course of the interview to repeat stories of Mohammad Atta's supposed meetings with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague and he also mentions Salman Pak.
Here is what he had to say about Salman Pak:
"UNSCOM was there once, and I believe there has been material about work there on biological weapons taking place. But there have been two defectors in the last few weeks who have come forward with stories about training there of non-Iraqis, as well as Iraqis, hijacking aircraft on either a mock-up or a model or perhaps a shell of a large passenger aircraft, including training not only with guns and explosives, but with knives or with just physical intimidation as ways to hijack an airplane."
His conclusions about Salman Pak are based on the information provided by two Iraqi defectors, the same one's provided by Chalabi--sources that have all since proven to be unreliable. Oh yeah, did you count all of the qualifiers in this quote?
Woolsey clearly identifies his alignment with the pro-war neoconservatives is this interview when he chastises former President Bush for not taking Baghdad in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He said:
"I think that our policy toward Iraq, beginning with first President Bush's decision not to support the Shiites in the south and the rebels in the north after the Gulf War when they rebelled against Saddam, and continuing through the eight years of the Clinton administration, has been remarkably flaccid and feckless. It sets some kind of a record, I think, for fecklessness."
Later in the interview, Woolsey wiggles when asked about the nature of the available evidence and the standard of proof. He thinks that a standard of "conclusive evidence" is too high of a standard. He said:
"Well, it depends what you mean by conclusive evidence. Conclusive evidence is a phrase that most people think of in a law enforcement context, beyond a reasonable doubt. That's not the kind of evidence that you get in intelligence. You get indications. I think that if one sets the standard at conclusive evidence, one will always be disappointed in virtually any intelligence assessment."
He goes on and adds:
"What you get is material that enables you to make a judgment. Most of this is about judgments, and it's not the kind of evidence that will convict people in a court of law of a crime. It's a different thing altogether. And so whenever I hear a phrase like "no conclusive evidence," I immediately say, "If you're talking about intelligence, you're using the wrong standard."
Yet, don't you think that before a nation takes on the task of going to war and invading a country that the standard of evidence should be pretty high? Can you think of any time in our nation's history when we went to war on such specious information?
Oh yeah, Vietnam--and look at what that got us.
Woolsey at the time of this interview and since was clearly identified with the Neo-Con push for the war with Iraq and all of his public appearances and publications were geared toward that end. In a 2004 editorial that was printed in an Irish newspaper justifying the Iraq war saying we had no other choice, Woolsey was identified at the end with the following:
"James Woolsey was Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1993-1995. He has been a leading neoconservative promoting the war in Iraq."
As for Laurie Mylroie, she's bent not only on proving that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks, but that Iraq was also responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing, AND that Iraq was responsible for the 2001 Anthrax attack targeting Tom Brokaw, et al.
She was also interviewed by Frontline in October 2001. Read what she had to say when asked to substantiate her claims about Iraq's connection to the Anthrax attack:
"We can't prove it. We don't have any evidence whatsoever. If we had, or if more particularly, the U.N. weapons inspectors had Iraq's biological agents; if Iraq had turned over those stockpiles, then we might well be able to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq."
Let me repeat her words, not mine:
"WE CAN'T PROVE IT" "WE DON'T HAVE ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER." But yet that didn't stop her from making the charge now did it. If Mylroie will and able to make a baseless claim such as this concerning this matter, then all of her charges must be scrutinized as well.
Now, on to the Judge Harold Baer mess. After reading the 33-page transcript, I found myself asking whether or not you'd actually read it.
First the context. The suit was initially filed in November 2001 and did not at that time involve Hussein and Iraq, it only concerned bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
On 10 June 2002 the law suit was amended to include Hussein and Iraq. As for the plaintiffs two expert witnesses to lend credence to the charge that Iraq and Al Qaeda were linked, James Woolsey and Laurie Mylroie. Hmmm, imagine that.
During the hearing, Mylroie said the following:
"Iraq, I believe, did provide support and resources for the September 11 attacks. I agree with Captain Khodada when he said that it took a state like Iraq to carry out an attack as really sophisticated, massive, and deadly as what happened on September 11."
Where's the evidence Bill? It's all supposition. Detailed analytical overviews of events leading toward the 9/11 attacks reveal that they were in fact carried out by Al Qaeda without any state sponsorship whatsoever.
When Judge Baer issued his opinion on the matter, he wrote the following:
"I conclude that plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory to the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al Qaeda. As noted above, a very substantial portion of plaintiffs evidence is classically hearsay (and often multiple hearsay), and without meeting any expectations is inadmissable as substantive evidence."
So Bill, this wasn't a trial that had some kind of evidentiary standard, it was a hearing that allowed the plaintiffs to use hearsay evidence from so-called expert witnesses who were dedicated full-time to the task of justifying the war with Iraq. And Judge Baer himself said they proved their case barely.
Additionally, the case here involved civil litigation about damages owed families who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks. This was not a hearing to justify a war in Iraq that is now costing us $6 billion a month and 1 or 2 men every day on average.
Soon I'll be turning on the news and find out how many American soldiers died in Iraq today.
How do you sleep at night Bill?
You better pull your skirt down, your slip's showing.
Now it's you who can hide.
Richard Fell - 11/6/2005
Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States and Heuisler typifies the kind of hand-to-hand fight on the old frontier called a "knock-down-drag-out".
Here is how ignorance works: First, the fear of God has to be instilled so if he doesn’t believe in the literal word of the Bible, he’ll burn in hell. And the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so he must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. And what is one of many end results? A Bushie who has put all his eggs into the ignorance basket and who makes statements like: "the above references are for others on HNN who have an interest in truth and a capacity to understand it." (This coming from a shrill ideologue with classic neo-Republican feelings of superiority)
Then the classical tactic: "Don't bother answering, I don't care what you think either." So he pouts and stomps off to hide somewhere because he knows he can’t win the argument.
I’m sure a lot of posters on HNN don’t care what you think either Heuisler.
Bill Heuisler - 11/5/2005
Interesting how you avoid mention of the sources I give you. Woolsey was the Director of the CIA. If you are really interested in his views on this subject and Salman Pak go to:
Judge Baer's civil case is another source you didn't bother with. There are witnesses you can source also.
Kent, your determined ignorance and clumsy thought processes are wasting my time:(if it comes from the "wrong" source you attack the source; if a man is in the "wrong" part of Iraq then Saddam doesn't know about him).
You don't win arguments, you make a fool of yourself and don't realize.
Read the Woolsey interview on PBS and learn something from a man in a good position to know and no axe to grind.
Read just a few minute entries or a news story about the Baer decision.
But you don't want to know the truth;
you're apparently just an ideologue.
The above references are for others on HNN who have an interest in truth and a capacity to understand it.
Don't bother answering, I don't care what you think.
Kent McGaughy - 11/5/2005
In my previous post the question I meant to pose was "Why AREN'T we attacking Israel?" NOT "Why ARE we attacking Isreal?"
Kent McGaughy - 11/5/2005
First of all, I am not anti-Bush, I am anti-bad government; I am anti-wasteful governemnt; and I am anti-idiotic government. It's just that all of the above have come into play since Team Bush has taken the helm.
Now that that is out of the way, let's turn to your latest round of BS:
Salman Pak is and will remain nothing more than neo-con propaganda to build support for the war in Iraq by insinuating that there was a link between Hussein and Al Qaeda.
Tell me Bill, was that an old Russian-made Tupolev, or was it a fusalage of a Boeing 707 at Salman Pak? The Iraqi defector who spoke to the CIA about Salman Pak said it was one in one interview and then said it was the other in a different interview. That means the defector either didn't know what he was talking about, or he changed his story to the version that would best serve his interests.
Now, who was it who provided the defector to U.S. Intelligence? Ahmed Chalabi, that's who. Chalabi has been thoroughly discredited--even by the Bush administration as a source of useful information. Yet, you are still so transfixed by Chalabi's BS, that you continue to weave it into your own BS.
Here's some more information for you to mull over in that pea-sized mass you call a brain:
"A former Bush Administration intelligence official recalled a case in which Chalabi’s group, working with the Pentagon, produced a defector from Iraq who was interviewed overseas by an agent from the D.I.A. The agent relied on an interpreter supplied by Chalabi’s people. Last summer, the D.I.A. report, which was classified, was leaked. In a detailed account, the London Times described how the defector had trained with Al Qaeda terrorists in the late nineteen-nineties at secret camps in Iraq, how the Iraqis received instructions in the use of chemical and biological weapons, and how the defector was given a new identity and relocated. A month later, however, a team of C.I.A. agents went to interview the man with their own interpreter. “He says, ‘No, that’s not what I said,’” the former intelligence official told me. “He said, ‘I worked at a fedayeen camp; it wasn’t Al Qaeda.’ He never saw any chemical or biological training.” Afterward, the former official said, “the C.I.A. sent out a piece of paper saying that this information was incorrect. They put it in writing.” But the C.I.A. rebuttal, like the original report, was classified. “I remember wondering whether this one would leak and correct the earlier, invalid leak. Of course, it didn’t."
I find it interesting that only the most strident right-wing media outlets and right-wing nuts such as yourself are still committed to site Salman Pak as something more than it was--a BW development facility that was established by the United States--that's right US--in the 1980s when Hussein was still our "little buddy" in the region that was effectively shut down in the aftermath of Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The story of the Al Qaeda Lt. is equally specious. The Al Qaeda Lt. was not brought into Iraq by Hussein, he was brought into Iraq by an anti-Hussein group of dissidents that HAD genuine ties to Al Qaeda that remained holed up in an isolated corner of Iraq along the Iranian border.
What proof do you have that Hussein had personal knowledge of his presence. Any communication between Hussein and the Lt.? Any pictures of the two of them drinking coffee?
As for celebrating the destruction of the two towers, so what. It's unfortunate, but so what? Palestinians did the same; Egyptians did the same; Jordanians did the same; Syrans did the same. I guess we should have gone to war with them as well?
What do you expect given was the degree of anti-Americanism in Iraq and the Middle East at the time of the 9/11 attacks? Yes, as noted above, it's unfortunate that it occurred, it does not, however, justify the kind of large-scale military action launched by Team Bush in March 2003.
As for the violations of UN sanctions, again let's go for consistancy. If this sort of thing represents a just provocation for war, why are we attacking Israel? How many times has Israel openly defied the UN? Yet, we say nothing. BTW, Bill, where do you stand on the sanctity of the UN when it speaks out against the United States?
As for the smaller incidentals that you mention, yes all of them are affronts toward the United States, involvement or association with an attempt to assassinate a president (former or otherwise) is unacceptable. But the appropriate reaction to these matters was limited military action against selected targets. (Note, however, HAD the assassination attempt of former President Bush been successful, I would have to reassess my position).
As for the difficulty in fighting a war in Afghanistan, I agree with you both in terms of your assessment of its difficulty and our reliance on Pakistan and Afghan warlords. Had we done so there is every reason to believe that our experience would have been the same as the British and the Soviets. My point was, however, when you go to war, you attack your enemy, and our enemy in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, not Hussein in Iraq.
Yet, Team Bush dropped the ball in Afghanistan, then led the nation into an unnecessary war in Iraq that threatens not only to bust our budget but to wipe out the American armed forces as well. Have you checked out the recruiment figures for the military recently, Bill? You can't have an all-volunteer army if people don't volunteer, now can you Bill?
And why don't they volunteer? Because they don't want to die in Iraq while riding in an ill-equipped Hummer when a IED goes off.
I am truly amazed that you can still find so much to praise in this president.
I'll never hide from nutcases such as yourself, I'll only try to tune you out when your screeching gets too loud.
Tom Hosmer - 11/5/2005
Right. Nothing like a pandemic to divert attention from our real troubles. Tamiflu was developed and patented in 96 by a California biotech firm, Gilead Sciences Inc. NASDAQ (GILD) They prefer to maintain a low profile in the mass rush to get Tamiflu because of who is connected to it. Yes, Rumsfeld. He’s one of the largest stockholders today. $18 million. He stands to make a fortune if the world panics and the population scrambles to buy what I think is worthless for cure avian flu.
Ryan Portillo - 11/5/2005
The WHIG operated unknown until somewhere around January 2004 I believe. They were trying to convince the American public in 2003 and it was done by a CIA analyst called "Joe" and I believe, as the article is titled in the Washington Post, the "threat outgrew the evidence". It’s all about the Niger forgeries isn’t it and two former Cheney aides had a hand in getting information about Wilson and they shared it with Libby after he’d personally requested it.
I also wonder if the avian flu thing isn’t being whipped up too much. Another hoax?
Tom Hosmer - 11/5/2005
The "heart of the matter" may be a bit too profound (although it isn’t) for some to grasp about a country deep in trouble. Mr. Portillo, your post is hardly factual but then I know it doesn’t need to be for someone with any sense of what’s going on. No analysis here or a literary exegesis but I take your point well. And I deal in numbers every day in the financial market. The rich, both Democrats, Republicans and other rich political ideologues are always the winners. That’s a given. Anyone who has had the slightest introduction to political and cultural history knows this. But there are those who have consumed history with hard-wired brains oriented to a party line, or something else, and for them awaits the day when it all comes home to roost. Fitzgerald was picked by this administration to do a job and it’s interesting how the orchestration works in today’s political carnival. It’s a Machiavellian stage-play were one day you can be in and the next out, loyal or not. It’s always been that way. And now Fitzgerald may probe further if it fits the agenda of those who have allowed the special prosecutor this freedom to uncover lies.
When the subject of lying in this administration comes up it’s a no-brainer. The Special Prosecutor, secured a five-count criminal indictment against Mr. Libby for lying to a grand jury about what he knew and when he knew it in regard to the outing of a covert CIA agent. This paints a broader picture of the people in charge. Too bad there aren’t more Fitzgerald’s to get to more "matters" of importance. Fitzgerald’s investigation has led to the discovery that Cheney played a key role in the leak, the idea being that it was imperative to guard the fact that the White House knowingly used false intelligence, specifically the Niger documents, to build a case for war against Iraq and to bring attention to a once low-keyed group called the White House Iraq Group.
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
Don't like to defend your positions?
One as dogmatic, as anti-Bush, needs exposure to reality - to examine, not just his political prejudices, but his tendency to closed-mindedness. I'm not going to waste too much more of my time on you; one more try.
A legitimate link between Iraq and 9/11? That's easy. Start with one:
Research Salman Pak, 15 miles from Baghdad. Look up DCIA Woolsey's testimony to the Senate Intel Committee on its purpose.Google Judge Harold Baer's $104,000,000. civil judgement against Hussein and OBL. (Phila Enquirer May 2003; also PBS in October 2001, Woolsey interview).
Neither the DCIA nor Judge Baer can be dismissed, nor their findings.
Do some homework. Learn the truth.
The WWII analogy;
Saddam publicly applauded 9/11 and had monuments emplaced throughout Iraq with the burning towers. He gave sanctuary to OBL's Lieutenant when he fled from Afganistan to Baghdad. He was in defiance of a cease-fire in a declared, UN sponsored war, firing daily at US planes, plotting attacks on US military and diplomatic targets and he attempted to assassinate a US President. All the above are acts of war in the real world.
BTW 140,000 troops in some of the worst mountain terrain of the world is idiotic. We don't have that many trained mountain troops and they would merely become targets. Problem? We trusted Pakistan and some local war lords. We allowed OBL to escape by agreeing to a cease fire at Tora Bora (sp). More troops in Afganistan?
Ignorant Democrat talking point.
Regrets? Refute my examples or hide.
Kent McGaughy - 11/4/2005
Where to begin?
Your analogy to WWII is flawed (to say the least). First of all, after we declared war on Japan, Germany declared war on the United States. Japan provoked our declaration of war by attacking Pearl Harbor and Hitler invited us to attack his army where ever it happened to be--and it happened to be in North Africa, so attacking it there was fine.
Do not misconstrue my previous contents. Sometimes a nation has no other choice than to attack its enemy on its own turf, and if that's the case then that nation must do so.
For example, had Team Bush sent 140,000 men into Afghanistan after bin Laden that would've made sense, because bin Laden and Al Qaeda attacked the U.S.; the Taliban was providing bin Laden with safe haven; once it was clear that they were not going to turn bin Laden over to the U.S., then it's back to the Stone Age for Afghanistan.
If that scenario had played out in Afghanistan, and now we'd lost up to 2000 lives fighting there, I'd be saying, well that's the cost of doing business. War's bloody. Soldiers die.
And that reminds me: as for your continued insistance on linking Iraq to 9/11, what can I say? You're hopeless. I regard people such as yourself who insist on this Iraq-9/11 link as being of the same caliber of those conspiracy nuts who think it was the U.S. knocked the World Trade Center down.
Name one credible source that provides a legitimate link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks that isn't by some religious fundamentalist fanatic preaching armeggedon, that isn't by the Neo-Con propaganda machine such as that book THE CONNECTION by some reporter from the WASHINGTON TIMES.
Bill, you're a master at calling the kettle black. Can't you see it's your dogma that prevents you from seeing past your convictions? It's your slavish acceptance of every comment that is uttered by Team Bush that clouds your judgement. You're living in a fog.
I knew I'd regret chiming in on this discussion.
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
Interesting post. Lots of passion, but no specifics. Rich? The richest Senators are Dems. Gates is a Kerry supporter, Soros spends millions to defeat Bush and Hollywood is a den of wealthy Leftists. Kennedy, Kerry, Corzine, Metzenbaum, Boxer and Clinton - to name only a few - are worth mega-millions. There are wealthy Republicans also, but what's your point?
Iraq war con? Where? Where's the social contract being abandoned? Annually, we're spending 30% more (inflation adjusted) on entitlements than we spent during any Clinton year.
Finally, just what exactly is "the heart of the matter"?
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
Evidence connecting Iraq to 9/11 has been discussed at length on this site.
For you to say there's none is silly, presumptuous and repetitive.
The Left's campaign against Bush depends on disconnecting Iraq from the War on Terror and pretending the US is in Iraq for oil/imperialism. No serious person accepts this argument without yards of caveats and cavils. When you assert it as gospel more is revealed about you than about the disagreements being discussed.
On 12/7/41 we were attacked in Hawaii by the Japanese. A year later we landed in Morocco and Algeria where we defeated French troops, defeated Germans in Egypt prepared an invasion of Sicily and Italy.
"But wait!" you whine. "Vichy French didn't bomb Pearl and Hitler had nothing to do with attacking us."
You pause to gather indignance and then add, "Those poor Italians were living in peace and harmony when we invaded their country...for the oil."
According to you, we should've landed Marines on Kyushu, dropped the 82nd Airborne on Saipan or Manchukuo in response to Pearl Harbor. Right?
Well 9/11 was far worse and far more damaging to our country. What would you have done? We responded in a way that has prevented more 9/11s and your armchair generalship with no alternatives is ludicrous.
Ryan Portillo - 11/4/2005
The rich always win while the lessor become the fodder. This country is drifting toward a police state while a faith-based gang controls the media, the courts and the congress and the citizens of America continue to tolerate their civil rights being shredded and will continue to tolerate a lot more and Team Bush knows this and they’ll milk it to the last drop. A great number of heavily programmed citizens buy into the Iraq war and will needlessly die for it, for the great con, and it will not profit them as they think it will. Those who survive will live and will go on to become meaningless consumers of things while the globalization of poverty spreads deeper. Talk about stuck on stupid. This ultimate nightmare, which began in 2000, will someday be regretted even by those hard-core Bushies because now we only have a shadow of a democracy with terror laws beginning to resemble Nazi Germany and a ‘social contract’ that’s being abandoned.
Unfortunately, Bush and leaders like him will come back because there are people out there who don’t seem to care these things are taking place in our country. They are jingoes who pretend everything is going according to mission, people with little regard for the heart of the matter.
J. Spence - 11/4/2005
"We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda co-operated on attacks against the United States.
Nature of the Enemy, Staff Statement No. 15, (9/11 Commission Report)
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society."
Propaganda by Edward Bernays
- an informative book more people on both sides of the aisle should read.
J. Kent McGaughy - 11/4/2005
There you go again!
What do the 9/11 attacks have to do with the war in Iraq? The connection between Al Qaeda and Hussein is pure fiction; any link, hint, or suggestion that Hussein was in any way shape or form connected to the 9/11 attacks is pure fantasy.
If this war in Iraq is part of a larger attempt to fight the terrorists on their own ground, then that was a stupid move on the Bush administration's part and they should be castigated for it.
I gather you were once a Marine from you other postings. Think about it Bill, when you're fighting your enemy, do you want to fight on their turf? On the terrain that they know best, where they have the advantage and can just blend in with so many others? Is that a winning strategy?
Think to another HNN report you've commented on recently regarding comparisons between the war in Iraq and the War for American Independence. According to Team Bush's logic, Washington should have given up on an army, built and navy and have attacked the British on the high seas.
If you think it is, then you're not nearly as smart as you think you are.
The war in Iraq was a manufactured war. Team Bush knows what I've stated above is consistant with the facts, but they wanted a war with Hussein, NOT Osama bin Laden so they manipulated the public in order to get their wish.
I'm "ideologically constipated"? That's rich. Take a look in the mirror buddy if you want to see someone who's ideologically constipated.
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
The name, Spence, was just another lie in order to kill innocent Iraqis. I can't help myself.
Sorry Mr. Becker, but there will surely be a Special Prosecutor assigned to my deliberate attempt to out Mr. Spence. Maybe I should turn myself in to save time.
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
Did your mommy say you were the only little boy in step? I'll bet you've never gotten over it. Bush lied, Brits lied, those "two guys" lied, French lied and I'm lying. Or none of us have the "real" intelligence to make decisions. You and Spence are deluding yourselves and don't realize how inane you appear to others.
In complete denial, you say Clinton didn't react to all the lies. Earth to Kent: Clinton did not do his major job as Commander of Chief. 9/11 happened. Bush is doing his major job as Commander in Chief by killing terrorists. We have not been attacked in the US. Think that's an accident?
Actually it's becoming clearer, as more information comes to light, that Clinton allowed OBL to move freely even after he'd been indicted by the DOJ in 1998. The Able Danger reports also showed how Atta was ignored. Imagine if Clinton had acted on both when he had the chance. But he didn't. And you think he was correct?
What's it like to think you know more than everyone else? Exhilarating? Or is there a chance you and Spence are just ideologically constipated?
Bill Heuisler - 11/4/2005
Right, Carl, nobody knew anything, but Bush lied, right?
The Left is really stuck on stupid.
J. Kent McGaughy - 11/4/2005
Unfortunately, I concur with Becker's assessment of the value of the "Senate Bipartisan 9/11 Commission Report." Senators on both sides of the asile are now having to cover their rears. It represents little more than political whitewash.
As for the Brits, what do you expect them to say at a time when Blair's government was in a downward spiral?
You and others like you need to get away from this notion that somehow it matters that U.S. intelligence, British intelligence, and French intelligence drew the same conclusions. To do so is "bassackwards." You have to examine the sources of information; you cannot simply accept the conclusions drawn from the sources.
What if the same two guys who lied to the Americans, also lied to the British and French? Does that turn the lie into truth?
That being said, let me go back to a point I made in my initial posting. The same flawed intelligence was gathered by the Clinton administration. The crucial difference is that Clinton's people acknowledged the flaws and determined that limited military action was warranted on the off-chance there was something to the reports.
Bush inherited the same intelligence that Clinton had, but decided that it did warrant large-scale military action, which has gotten us into the current mess we're in.
So, where does the BS come from? I'd say the Bipartisan Senate Report, Team Bush, and you.
bluebird - 11/4/2005
I believe very little of what our federal government tells American citizens.
The "bipartisan Senate intelligence committee"? Again, YGTBSM. You know as well as I what a bunch of spineless cusses Democratic politicians have become. They end up agreeing and voting with everything the Republicans say. As Mr. Spencer commented, we don’t know anything. Unless you personally have got the correct top secret clearance and belong inside the circle, that is. And barring that you are relying too much on one source and busting caps too soon at what may be the wrong target. Wait the story plays out more, then we’ll see and I’ll owe up to my misjudgment if I was wrong. But until that time if you want to take the 9/11 commission report as The Word then the discussion ends here.
Bill Heuisler - 11/3/2005
Thanks for the kind words.
Is the 9/11 report BS? Read my post to Becker and let me know where you think the BS really comes from.
Bill Heuisler - 11/3/2005
The bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report on 9/11 concluded Joe Wilson has been telling lies.
Read the report (particularly pages 36 to 72 that deal with Niger)
In spite of the denial in his book, the Commission found his wife was the one who got him the Niger assignment and found her memos to that effect.
Also, we now know Wilson lied about President Bush's 16-word statement on Iraq's search for uranium in Africa.
First, Brits stand by the 16-words. September 03, Parliament called their intelligence claim "reasonable". Brit spies stand by their claim and French intelligence also reported an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger. The Butler report, another British inquiry, concluded intelligence was correct that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger.
Ironically, Commission investigators found Wilson told his CIA briefer of a Niger-Iraq link he later denied.
A former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, told Wilson that in June 1999, a businessman approached him to meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations." Mayaki, knowing few commodities were produced by Niger, interpreted that Saddam could only be seeking uranium.
Another former government official told Wilson that Iran had tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998 - the year Saddam forced weapons inspectors out of Iraq - and the 9/11 Commission was concerned that the CIA never
"investigated possible efforts by Iraq to buy uranium from Niger destined for Iraq and stored in a warehouse in Benin."
But your distinguished Ambassador from Gabon wasn't concerned, was he?
The 9/11 report: "Wilson provided misleading information to the Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on a document that had clearly been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.'"
The problem? Wilson "had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports." Mr. Becker, the documents Wilson commented on — purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq — were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip. Your precious Ambassador lied about documents that didn't exist when he supposedly saw them. So he's not only a liar, but a stupid liar as well.
The 9/11 Commission is a far better source than Buzzflash, Mr. Becker.
I'm probably going to regret chiming in here, but you are truly amazing with your abililty to dazzle readers with your invective and BS(mostly BS).
You are correct in noting that there was widespread belief that Hussein was developing chemical and biological weapons in the 1990s and officials in the Clinton adminstration said as much. But, as you note, just saying it doesn't make it so. That holds true for Clinton as well as for Bush.
Both administrations were working from the same body of intelligence. The key difference is that Clinton did NOT regard the intelligence as "actionable"--in other words the evidence did not warrant large-scale military action.
Team Bush, on the other hand, shifted all of the intelligence into the "actionable intelligence" column and used the information to justify an unnecessary war in Iraq that has now cost the lives of more than 2,000 American soldiers.
Hussein did not represent the kind of threat that warrant U.S. military action on this scale; he did not represent the kind of threat that warrants expenditures on this scale. Team Bush knew this as did previous administrations.
Team Bush also mislead the American public by suggesting Hussein had planes that could disperse chemical and biological agents over American cities; Team Bush mislead the American public by hyping a false link between Al Qaeda and Hussein.
I know you will counter and say that Hussein was a threat, but just saying it doesn't make it so.
J. Spence - 11/3/2005
This is part of a much bigger cover-up no one will ever fully know about. But maybe Mr. Fitzgerald will manage to get to the truth. At the moment, for those of us who don't have the proper top secret clearances and need to know, it's all speculation and partisan noise.
J. Spence - 11/3/2005
This is part of a much bigger cover-up no one will ever fully know about. But maybe Mr. Fitzgerald will manage to get to the truth. At the moment, for those of us who don't have the proper top secret clearances and need to know, it's all speculation and partisan noise.
Carl Becker - 11/3/2005
Heuisler’s quote: "The panel's report found that, far from discrediting the Iraq-Niger uranium link, Wilson actually provided fresh details about a 1999 meeting between Niger's prime minister and an Iraqi delegation. Beyond that, he had not supplied new information."
But according to an interview by Buzzflash
http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/04/04/int04023.html this versions differs. Here J. Wilson IV says, in reference to selling the yellow paste, "I urged the government to come clean with this story that was patently not true." (Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV).
"The facts surrounding my trip remain the same. I traveled to Niger and found it unlikely that Iraq had attempted to purchase several hundred tons of yellowcake uranium."
This can go on and on but I’d rather believe the main source, former Amb. J. Wilson.
Bill Heuisler - 11/2/2005
You must be lazy. I provided two excellent references that you ignored.
However, today's LA Times has a piece by Max Boot (with references, dates, times and sources) that lays out the argument we're having here and puts it in proper perspective. Read it.
But, since you're too lazy to bother, here are the last paragraphs:
"The panel's report found that, far from discrediting the Iraq-Niger uranium link, Wilson actually provided fresh details about a 1999 meeting between Niger's prime minister and an Iraqi delegation. Beyond that, he had not supplied new information. According to the panel, intelligence analysts "did not think" that his findings "clarified the story on the reported Iraq-Niger uranium deal." In other words, Wilson had hardly exposed as fraudulent the "16 words" included in the 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, the British government, in its own post-invasion review of intelligence, found that this claim was "well founded."
"This is not an isolated example. Pretty much all of the claims that the administration doctored evidence about Iraq have been euthanized, not only by the Senate committee but also by the equally bipartisan Robb-Silberman commission. The latest proof that intelligence was not "politicized" comes from an unlikely source — Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, who has been denouncing the hawkish "cabal" supposedly leading us toward "disaster." Yet, in between bouts of trashing the administration, Wilkerson said on Oct. 19 that "the consensus of the intelligence community was overwhelming" that Hussein was building illicit weapons. This view was endorsed by "the French, the Germans, the Brits." The French, of all people, even offered "proof positive" that Hussein was buying aluminum tubes "for centrifuges." Wilkerson also recalled seeing satellite photos "that would lead me to believe that Saddam Hussein, at least on occasion, was … giving us disinformation."
"So much for the lies that led to war. What we're left with is the lies that led to the antiwar movement. Good thing for Wilson and his pals that deceiving the press and the public isn't a crime."
Still deceived, Mr. Murphy? Well, some people value their prejudices more than reality.
Bill Heuisler - 11/2/2005
My prayers and good wishes for your son. My son recently returned from Afganistan and looks forward to his unit's upcoming posting near Najaf.
Other members of my family and many friends (mostly Marines) serve as we write - and are proud to do so.
You may think this debate is useless, but when so-called scholars say the President lied to get us into this war, the implication is that our sons are putting their lives on the line for nothing. I resent this dismissal.
Marines I communicate with not only resent the attacks on the President, but they wonder how some of their fellow Americans can cheapen their efforts and insult their intelligence.
The lie accusation is baseless on its face due to the hundreds of American and world leaders who acknowleged the presence of WMDs in Iraq and said, as Hillary Clinton said in October 2002, Saddam must be stopped before he uses his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
Mr. Murphy ignores my references to Clinton's DOJ indictment in 1998 and the Joint Congressional Resolution in October 2002 - both replete with WMD references - but offers no references for his accusations.
"Clearly, from the facts stated, and from clear CIA evidence in 2003, Iraq was not pursuing a nuclear program, and they did not have any credible signs of a WMD program. Bush had to know this before giving his State of the Union address..."
Clearly, DCIA Tenet said WMDs were "a slam dunk" in 2002. That makes Mr. Murphy careless with truth, at best.
Sorry you don't think this matter is important on a history site. Nothing could be more important to me, my Country, my Marine brothers, or to my son...and yours.
Michael Bennett - 11/2/2005
'...what strikes me even more powerfully from what everyone is saying is almost why presidents aren't tempted to almost immediately say, "I've made a mistake and I'm going to change."'
But, in the case of Katrina, Bush said he HAD made a mistake-- he took the responsibility on his shoulders-- and we didn't see much of an approval boost for him at all.
Heuisler: "B and C weapons, anthrax, ricin and VX precursors have been found in Iraq along with various delivery systems." This is true ONLY UP TO A POINT as to actually being effective weaponery according to a report by CIA (Statement by David Kay on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group in 2003).
bluebird - 11/2/2005
"Most Americans see the indictment of Dick Cheney's chief of staff as a sign of broader ethical wrongdoing within the Bush administration." That’s what this poll is about.
The integrity of our present government. Does our government steadfastly adhere to a strict moral or ethical code? That’s depends which side your are on. But most Americans feel this government is hiding something.
It’s also why the Plaime-Valley case is important and that the American people know the truth.
This in reference to some earlier posts above:
Saddam’s WMD’s were nothing but aspirations and intentions
Heuisler: "B and C weapons, anthrax, ricin and VX precursors have been found in Iraq along with various delivery systems." This is not true according to a report by CIA (Statement by David Kay on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group in 2003).
Heuisler: "Iraq was trying to purchase Uranium ore in Niger." Not proven either way.
"a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's" Joseph C. Wilson 4th (on assignment by CIA)
"she knew about the allegations of uranium sales to Iraq — and that she felt she had already debunked them in her reports to Washington." Wilson reciting Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick’s views.
John Murphy - 11/1/2005
How cute! You have turned my poor wording against me! I'll give you that one - very well done. I cower at your superior intellect. But you fall prey to the same thing you fight against - just stating something doesn't make it true.
"B and C weapons, anthrax, ricin and VX precursors have been found in Iraq along with various delivery systems."
Umm, why don't you provide the documentary evidence - it's not that I'm lazy, but since you brought it up, and you seem to have all the answers at your fingertips...
Tenet, Tony Blair, the 9/11 Commission - if you believe that all of these people are "clear sources, untainted by politics", then you are truly naive and I must be paranoid. If these are the sources you are relying on to prove your point, I have a bunch of counterpoint sources from the left-wing side of the political spectrum that back-up what I say. Probably as reliable as your unbiased, right-wing sources.
Democrat talking points! Hah! I'm not even a Democrat, and I don't even live in the US! Actually, I can't stand the Democrats. But I'll give them a little credit - sometimes their inability to do anything can be a good thing every century or so. Anyhow, I'll get my own facts, thank you, as long as you stop using Republican facts. Saying that you can prove things doesn't mean you can prove it relying on your "facts". In this way, Fred Tilose is right - we could argue forever.
And for your sake Fred, and for your son's sake, I do hope he comes home alive. This bickering probably doesn't help, but I want you to know that I consider your son to be one of the bravest men alive.
Fred Tilose - 11/1/2005
Murphy and Heuisler,
We could sit here and argue the facts all day long, examining sources and CIA information while questioning their credibility, looking at the underlying politics of the reports, their authors, the 9/11 Commission mandate, international politics, and so on. The examination of all that information would take weeks, if not months, and would require security clearance higher than both of you have, despite what you may think of your information. And it has probably been done by people more knowledgeable and unbiased than the two of you. Either way, we would get lost in the sea of information and counter-information and the questioning of sources, politics, and spin. That is what the Democrats and the Republicans would have us do.
Nothing will change either of your minds - one of you is pro-war and anti-war. That much is CLEAR. Ultimately, politics and the public's perception - not facts, not sources, and not secret intelligence documents - will determine how people judge this war.
As for me, I don't give a damn which side is right - I just want my son to get back home alive.
Bill Heuisler - 11/1/2005
Your premise is not only wrong, but blatantly, provably wrong. As I told Mr. Wolf, your stating something as fact does not make it so. Basing the rest of your post on a falsity is a waste of time. Stop reading Democrat talking points and go get your own information before looking foolish.
Tenet, DCIA said, "Slam dunk" when asked about WMDs in 2003. Tony Blair and his intelligence people still stand behind the report President Bush cited in his State of the Union speech about Iraq's attempts to buy yellowcake in Africa. The 9/11 commission asserted Wilson's first report that Iraq was trying to purchase Uranium ore in Niger.
B and C weapons,anthrax, ricin and VX precursors have been found in Iraq along with various delivery systems.
There's plenty more, but look those up for starters if you care for truth.
Your words clear and clearly in a sentence conveying provably false information are a clumsy device to affirm facts without documentation.
Clearly, sir, you need to find some clear sources, untainted by politics.
John Murphy - 11/1/2005
Let's stay on topic here - the issue is Bush's integrity, not what the Dems knew in 1998 or 2002. Clearly, from the facts stated, and from clear CIA evidence in 2003, Iraq was not pursuing a nuclear program, and they did not have any credible signs of a WMD program. Bush had to know this before giving his State of the Union address, and Powell must have known this before speaking at the UN.
Maybe in Bush's mind Iraq possibly had a remote chance of having WMDs or nulcear weapons - if the CIA message was re-worked the way that Bush needed it to be. In this way, Bush didn't lie - he twisted the truth about Iraq in horrible ways so that nary a grain of fact was left in the CIA reports in order to justify a war on the brutal dictatorship of Iraq. Either way, by lying or twisting the truth to fit a fallacy, Bush does lack integrity, honesty, and character.
If Bush was honest, he would have told the American people the unfiltered and unbiased truth about the CIA intelligence findings about Iraq (without obviously "outing" any covert agents). Then, he would have said the real reasons why he wished to remove Saddam from Iraq. If his reasons were so compelling, and so convincing to Americans, the UN, international law, and the rest of the world, there would be no need to obfuscate the truth (and maybe even lie) to everyone about WMDs. Remember, the Dems never launched a full scale invasion of Iraq - Bush did.
But what is done is done, and now, well, someone has to pay the price. This is bigger than Bush, bigger than the Republican party, bigger than the U.S. This is about war - brutal, violent, and merciless - and resorting to such violence should require a convincing, truthful argument before sending in the soldiers to die. I expect at least that much from a democratic country that is committed to freedom and liberty.
Bill Heuisler - 11/1/2005
Your assertion does not make it so. History generally means facts - or apparent facts - in the past that we can reference and discuss. Please outline where you think our President was dishonest before you accuse him of lacking integrity.
To save time, I'll anticipate your answer: Bush lied about WMDs in order to invade the peaceful nation of Iraq.
This silly anti-war talking-point ignores a decade of speeches and articles by prominent Democrats and members of the Clinton Administration who were certain Saddam was acquiring and making ABC weapons; ignores the Clinton DOJ indictment of OBL in 1998 and ignores the Joint Resolution of Congress in October 2002 where the Democrat leadership voted their belief Saddam possessed WMDs and planned to use them.
Who lacks integrity here, Mr. Wolf?
Ken Wolf - 11/1/2005
Real Conservatives, like real liberals, libertarians or whatever, must have integrity or democractic discourse is essentially impossible.
Bush lacks integrity. Perhaps more seriously, he is apparently unable (personally or politically) to admit when he is wrong, a key weakness in any leader.
If we had a real (i.e. effective and savvy) opposition party in this country, its leaders would find a way to call Bush's lack of integrity to the many so-called "values voters" who returned him to office in 2004.
Oscar - 10/31/2005
Most political conservative Christianiy in the United States has a strong Old Testament component. That may seem to contradict what Jesus said, but early Christianity, unlike either Judaism or Islam, never attempted to tackle the question of how to govern. Indeed, Jesus seems supremely disinterested in the whole affair.
That disinterest has had consequences. If one wishes to be a devout Christian but also to find guidance for Christian government, one is stuck with looking back toward Judaism or outward toward foreign models. Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox Church formed by looking outward to Greece and Rome. Protestants, including the Puritans and Pilgrims, looked back to the Old Testament Covenants.
personal - 10/31/2005
I don't understand how a born again Christian condones a war? Even though government is government. If you are truly born again, according to scripture your life is God. Under the law, according to biblical scripture, it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Under grace, which is where we live today, after Jesus died there was to be no killing at all. Christ already died for our sins. If you are truly born again, this is something that should already be known. I don't think God is pleased today with what's going on in the world. My suggestion...repent, turn it around now before he comes back to judge the world.
dave murphy - 10/31/2005
If Reagan could survive by admitting he broke the law and was a liar, just not in his heart, then I am sure Bush can do something similar.
Juan Antonio Hervada Gim?nez - 10/31/2005
Short memory seems to be a sine-qua-nec trait of post-modern social commentators...
G.W. Bush was indeed the first contemporary president to be reelected with the overwhelming majority of the Media against him and the Michael Moore of this world frentically demonizing him. Remember the "Bush is the Anti-Christ"?
Everybody agreed that Kerry had won all the debates. Bute people voted for Bush. My feeling is that it has a lot to do with what people in communication call "overkill".
Remember the Katrina hysteria, cannibalism included. And it all was the man's fault, of course. Overkill is very near again.
To the story belongs that I wanted Kerry to win the day but can't stand the sort of techniques that the s.c. progressive forces are using, now that Negri and Hardt have recovered Carl Schmitt against the Empire they want to incarnate in that Texan baby kisser turned war leader or whatever.
He'll come back again and I'm increasingly certain that he'll have a Republican successor. Well...
Chris Osborne - 10/31/2005
Bush has ample time remaining in his second term and might well make a comeback within its' balance. How attractive a President he can be substantially relies upon how many Americans indeed identify with his base on the hard core Right. Perhaps more do than liberals would care to think, as he was reelected despite an established hardline conservative record; and the largest bloc in his reelection coalition which put him over the top were the so-called "values voters" who make up more than one-fifth of the total population.
My own home paper, the Los Angeles Times, is predicting that the Democrats won't be able to capitalize on Bush's 2005 woes because of the social issues, which "absolutely destroy the Left" at the ballot box. Indeed we might expect that Republican candidates in the 2006 midterms may emphasize the social issues to the exclusion of all others, as these turn out the highest right-wing votes.
Judge Robert Bork in "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" quite freely admits that social issues are what kills the Left rather than economic ones, although he wishes the contrary was the case. This is because many ordinary workers may be willing in principle to be downright socialistic on economic matters but are nonetheless held fast by the Right because of the classical "three G's": Guns, God, and (no)Gays.
The newly pending Supreme Court fight over the confirmation of Judge Alito may be Bush's chance to energize that fiercely loyal fundamentalist base. Indeed Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation states that it's fine with him if a Supreme Court nomination leads to an Armageddon with the Left--which he believes is coming in any case and which he thinks is long overdue.
Patrick - 10/31/2005
Presidents in the past have all had approval ratings drop and rise. It can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride throughout there terms. Yet, as Michael has stated, they all seemed to take responsiblity for there pitfalls. From Regan, to Bush the Older to Clinton, all have had mistakes that had some people give reason to tilt there head like a dog and wonder "what the hell are you doing?" Yet, Bush the Dumber has managed to claim no responsiblity for any action he has performed. He just walks around with his smile on his face just like any other mongoloid would do. Sorry, Republicans, I didn't mean to insult you. If Bush wants to claim his terms, if not a victory, but a draw and not go down in the record books as one of the lowest rated Presidents of our time, he needs 'fess up. This event may not be the most current, but when he discovered that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, his claim for war was to protect the Iraqi people from Tyranny and the American people from attack. Saddam, llke Bush, doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, so there would be no fear of attack. Saddam would hop in his Pinto take a drive 2 miles outside of Iraq and think that he was in New York City. "Durr, which way did he go George, which way did he go?" My feeling, just as with any other type of totalitarian leader, is that they control out of fear. Fear that, with out having an army behind them they would discover there inadequacies, along the lines of the little mans disease. I feel the same way about the Missing Link (Dubya). He attacks and causes conflict with others to take away any news of mistakes he, himself would make in office. Anyway Georgey Boy, even though it may not be your fault directly, America is still here trying to look up to you as a leader, and as a leader you should never pass blame or cover up your mistakes with someone elses faults.
Earl Edmondson - 10/31/2005
Sure, Bush can and indeed may make a substantial comeback (time is on his side, one would think), but that's not likely if he insists on being lackey of the radical Right of America instead of president of the United States of America. By appointing Alito to the Supreme Court, Bush is kowtowing to his base (contrary to Duberstein's prediction)--not a constructive step for the country and its future, and not a good omen for his own long-term recovery.
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