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April 06, 2007

Iraq and Al-Qaeda

Not to shock folks before they've mainlined their morning coffee, but it turns out that declassified documents, the interrogation of Saddam Hussein, and interviews with his senior aides have all confirmed that Iraq had no direct relationship with al-Qaeda in the pre-war period. I know! And it turns out that the pre-war intelligence report alleging operational links between bin-Laden and Hussein, which was written by the "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the planet" -- I'm sorry, I mean Doug Feith -- was a pack of lies. This was actually recognized before the war, when a senior intelligence analyst in the counterterrorism task force rebutted 15 of its 26 conclusions and judged Feith's document "of no intelligence value," but the administration relied on Feith's work anyway. And we relied on the administration's honesty, and now we're...here. Confirmation of their mendacity may be validating, but it's cold comfort indeed.

April 6, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Somebody should tell Dick Cheney about this. Maybe he'll stop claiming there was an Iraq/al-Qaeda link. He might even go on TV and apologize for being wrong all this time.

Oh shit. Sorry. More coffee...

Posted by: Toast | Apr 6, 2007 10:03:19 AM

I'll never wonder why the administration doesn't stop lying. That's easy.

What I do wonder is how the companies that own our media expect to maintain their profits pushing the lies these people dispense? It's clear a diminishingly small group of fools accept this information. So what's in it for the networks to keep pushing this crap?

Whether or not the fred joneses of the world will ever clue in doesn't interest me in the least. I know they won't. But as more and more Americans start to see the sham that's been put forth by the media it's interesting to see how they are absolutely failing to respond. What's more, it's not adapting a version of the truth to suit the populace, it's about accepting reality. Nothing more complicated than that.

Posted by: ice weasel | Apr 6, 2007 10:42:29 AM

And we relied on the administration's honesty...

There are two possibilities why all those senators including Clinton, Kerry, Dodd, Edwards, Feinstein, Hagel, Reid and many, many others voted for the authorization to go to war with Iraq.

1) They saw the intelligence coming not only from our sources, but also from our foreign allies and thought it was a good idea as did Great Britian and many other countries.

2) They were simply bamboozled by Bush, a man the left has repeatedly described as 'dumb' and 'stupid' and they should have done more research than vote for war because someone told them to.

Which is it?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 10:58:28 AM

Are you saying that Bush is that smart and cunning that he pulled the wool over all those Democrat senators and, indeed, the whole world? Wouldn't that make him the smartest man in the Western Hemisphere?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 11:00:29 AM

Fred, no one was bamboozled by Bush personally. It was his Administration that was writing the intelligence reports and so on. I suspect that Bush was bamboozled himself, as Cheney and some others were feeding him information that was false but that suited their goals. The whole bunch of them were way too willing to credit whatever suited their goals. The senators were caught up in the post-September 11th paranoia, swept along by public perceptions and fears, so they were willing to credit the Administration's baloney.

Posted by: Sanpete | Apr 6, 2007 11:34:58 AM

Fred -

You miss explanation (3) - they saw the intelligence, didn't think it was very good, and voted for the war authorization anyway because it was viewed as the right move politically. Edwards has recently come out and said that his gut instinct was to vote against the war but his advisors convinced him that it would be political suicide to do so.

I myself have never claimed that Bush and his crew weren't politically savvy - merely that they aren't to bright about their applications of power once they leverage the political machine to get it. Bush and his crew leveraged the war platform very well - convincing many centrist Dems that voting against this war would be like voting against the first Gulf War back in '89, and that it would be in their best political interests to do so.

Was that a cynical move on the part of those politicians? Yes, and one that I'd consider amoral, if not immoral. But I don't buy into the idea that politicians aren't cynical bastards who look out for their best interests. Believing that leads one to do things like vote for Nader to teach the establishment a lesson, rather than figuring out ways to turn your position into one that even the most cynical of the establishment crowd has to back in order to keep power.

Posted by: NonyNony | Apr 6, 2007 11:43:18 AM

A question looms for those who aren't dedicated conservatives of the variety that will tell any lie, pay any price to secure for themselves political power.

The question is: How to respond to the deliberate use of lies by politicians, politcal operatives and the media to attain political goals, not just occasionally, but as a consistent instrument of power?

We in the progressive left have not found a way to overcome lies by the power-consolidating right. Media Matters, Think Progress and the left blogs are very helpful but well less than effective. New internet techniques (like YouTube, and blogs) are certainly within the grasp of the information-controllers and could happen at any time.

Is it now necessary for the left to put in place (through new media institutions, acquisitions of existing media, and advertising within hostile media) a sustained truth-telling set of center-left institutions?

Political lies are not new, but the wide and deep extent of reliance on mis-truth at the highest levels of governance - with impunity - is a challenge worth considering as democracy-threatening. We have truly reached the threshhold or entry-way to the house of '1984' information control.

The writing is on the wall. Will it be ignored?

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 6, 2007 12:56:50 PM

I knew someone years ago who thought Bill Clinton was the filthiest liar the world had ever seen. Too bad the man died not long after I met him; I'd just LOVE to ask his opinion of the Chimp and His holy cabal.

Posted by: Reg | Apr 6, 2007 1:48:45 PM

If you wade thru the transcripts of the recent "enemy combatant" hearings/convictions at Guantanamo (www.defenselink.mil/news/Combatant_Tribunals.html), one thing stands out: no references to Iraq connections or involvement. And we can be sure that if there were any connections they would have been trumpted loud and wide.

Posted by: HBinBoston | Apr 6, 2007 3:18:45 PM

Was that a cynical move on the part of those politicians? Yes, and one that I'd consider amoral, if not immoral.

We are speaking of DEMOCRAT senators, are we not? Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, John Edwards, et al. and yet you will have no problem voting for someone you consider amoral.

I believe you are worse than they are.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 3:20:40 PM

As always, the issue isn't for fools such as fred to explain their own actions, no, it's about deflecting them and asking why others did such and such.

The real question is, why did fred support the war and now that he knows it was all based on lies, how does he feel about it? How does he feel about the people that manufactured those lies?

Instead, we get another big helping of, "but some democrats did this". That's not an aswer, it's a sad and flaccid rhetorical technique. This is the 30% base bush relies. These are the sad drunks we, however reluctantly, allowed to take the car. And guess what, it's our fault for not being able to stop them from driving into a schoolbus.

How evil of us.

Posted by: ice weasel | Apr 6, 2007 4:06:12 PM

Why don't you try asking me, moron?

The cold hard reality here is that all of those Democrats did the right thing. They based their judgement on the best intelligence they had....so did Great Britian, so did Poland, Canada, etc. Even the Security Council in Res. 1441 unanimously agreed that the intelligence from all (Worldwide) sources indicated that Saddam, indeed, had WMD.

I just like ragging you and the other hard left wack-0s because you have now held up this litmus test for all of your candidates as to whether they voted for the war or not. It's a stupid standard. They did the right thing.

I might also remind you when you showcase the few that didn't vote for the war that just because you fill an inside straight, it doesn't mean that it was a good bet.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 4:44:55 PM

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

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

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


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

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.


Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 4:50:26 PM

Once again, it's not about how fred feels, what fred has done. No, it's about what others have done. Such an impotent offense is hardly a relevant or even interesting defense of a position but so it goes with now completely discredited war hawks (on any side).

I'm thinking fred gets paid per post. Keep those checks rolling in fred. Cheetos aren't getting any cheaper and maybe someday, just maybe, you can move out of mom's house.

Posted by: ice weasel | Apr 6, 2007 5:37:26 PM

I think you're on drugs. Here's what I said:

They based their judgement on the best intelligence they had....

I think these Dems did the right thing. You don't, and that's the fun part because I get to show you how all the frontrunners for the presidency don't hold your views. Yours views are nowhere to be found in mainstream politics.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 6, 2007 9:18:47 PM

The real question is, why did fred support the war and now that he knows it was all based on lies, how does he feel about it? How does he feel about the people that manufactured those lies?

You assume Fred cares. The term 'clinical sociopath' comes to mind.

Posted by: Doug H. | Apr 6, 2007 9:36:05 PM

fuck off, fred. or join the army and fuck off and die.

Posted by: gsalln | Apr 7, 2007 9:40:09 AM

fuck off, fred.

Now *THAT'S* how I like my liberals...... all pissy!!

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 7, 2007 10:04:40 AM

Fred's quotes demonstrate the crucial difference between him and the sundry Democrats: most of them learned after the dates of those quotes that they'd been misinformed, and they learned from it. Fred, of course, learns nothing.

Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Apr 8, 2007 5:21:38 PM

So....they were all hoodwinked?.....by Bush? The same guy that the left says is stupid? He hoodwinked the entire Security Council on Res 1441? Hoodwinked Great Britian? Canada? Australia? Poland and the other 30 or so countries?

Same Bush????

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 8, 2007 11:17:35 PM

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