Posted by Curt on 9 June, 2008 at 9:55 am. 22 comments already!


The WaPo takes a jab at the recent Rockefeller report on Bush and Iraq that Scott wrote about a few days ago. It’s not a terrorist jab, more like a uppercut, but either way he tears it apart.

Rockefeller asserts:

“In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent,”

But his own report contradicts this assertion:

On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” The report is left to complain about “implications” and statements that “left the impression” that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

The report may complain about those statements that “left the impression” that there was a 9/11 Saddam tie but at no time did Bush nor Cheney ever say Saddam was in cahoots with AQ in regards to 9/11. Early on Cheney had said they don’t know, but as time went on intelligence showed Saddam was not behind AQ & 9/11 so that is what they told reporters when asked.

Fred Hiatt writes that Rockefeller complains about Bush doom and gloom statements on what Saddam could be capable of if left in power. But….

It’s also worth pointing out that the Jay Rockefeller who today accuses the Bush administration of inventing the threat posed by Iraq-al Qaeda collaboration once saw “a substantial connection” between the two and warned about the consequences of leaving Iraq to pass its WMD to Osama bin Laden. On February 5, 2003, Rockefeller said: “The fact that Zarqawi certainly is related to the death of the U.S. aid officer and that he is very close to bin Laden puts at rest, in fairly dramatic terms, that there is at least a substantial connection between Saddam and al Qaeda.”

Oh, theres lots more. President Clinton:

If he refuses or continues to evade his obligations through more tactics of delay and deception, he and he alone will be to blame for the consequences. … Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction…? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who’s really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too.

Vice President Al Gore:

If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He’s already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people. So this is a way to save lives and to save the stability and peace of a region of the world that is important to the peace and security of the entire world.

And Mr. Rockefeller himself:

I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!

My, how times have changed huh?

Here is some more gems:

  • “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.” – Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
  • “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” – Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sense. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998
  • “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998
  • “Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.” – Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
  • “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
  • “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
  • “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002
  • “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force– if necessary– to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” – Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

Surprising what a short memory Democrats have when it comes to Iraq huh?

For more check out this fantastic NY Sun article today:

“Our evidence suggests that Baghdad is strengthening a relationship with al-Qaeda that dates back to the mid-1990s, when senior Iraqi intelligence officers established contact with the network in several countries.”

“We have some evidence that Iraqi Intelligence has been in contact with elements in the northeastern area. And the al-Qaeda operatives there are in regular contact with other operatives located in Baghdad. The Iraqi government has also received information from other sources alerting it to the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in Baghdad.”

“We have hard evidence that al-Qaeda is operating in several locations in Iraq with the knowledge and acquiescence of Saddam’s regime.”

Guess who wrote that? If you have been following the Democratic Party’s narrative on Iraq, you might guess Ahmad Chalabi, Douglas Feith, Vice President Cheney or some neoconservatives hell bent on twisting intelligence to overstate the connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. But those words are from Carl Ford, assistant state secretary for intelligence and research, whose bureau was singled out for praise after the war for its dissenting assessment of Iraq’s nuclear program


Fred Hiatt also notes in his article how convenient it was that Rockefeller did not allow the minority party to file a dissent to the report.

The dissenters assert that they were cut out of the report’s preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, “the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers’ statements were substantiated by the intelligence.”

So what does this report accomplish? Nothing. Instead of trying to point out the deficiencies in our intelligence and how to fix it the Democrats instead continue on with their Bush lied crap. None of it substantiated.

The simple fact remains that Iraq was a threat, and after 9/11 he could not be allowed to thumb his nose at the world. Here’s Scott with many of the reasons we went in, and we’re justified in doing so:

Why invade Iraq? Here’s the reasons:

Primary reason:

  • Tto prevent a Nexus of Evil situation
  • Tto prevent UBL from setting up headquarters in Iraq as Saddam had annually and bi-annually requested for 5 yrs. UBL had turned down each offer based on the idea that he was safer in Afghanistan, but driven from Afghanistan in 2001/2…the possibility of UBL moving AQ HQ to Iraq was much more likely and easily a worst case scenario for the war on terror (see also 911 Comm report and SIC 911 report and SIC Iraq investigation report for details OR multiple RR threads on “AQ’s ties to Iraq per _____”)

Secondary reason:

  • To remove/resolve the hundreds unresolved WMD issues (any one of which could kill thousands in the hands of an Iraqi trained terrorist-like Abu Musab Al Zarqawi)
  • To get the hundreds of AQ terrorist who fled Afghanistan to Iraq
  • To end Iraqi support for terrorists in general

Tertiary reasons:

  • To create a battlefield against terrorists made of America’s choosing-not the terrorists preference (UBL’s preference was Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires where he felt he had already destroyed one superpower)
  • To create a bastion of democracy in the middle of a region plagued by tyranny and oppression…things that spawn terrorism
  • To drain the swamp of terrorists in the region; ie, to draw terrorists into a fight against the US military and not the Springfield, Ohio police Department
  • To offer the Iraqi people a chance at restoring their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-rights that some Americans believe are endowed to all men by the creator
  • To end the 4000-5000 Iraqis per month who were dying because of UN sanctions per the UN’s claims
  • To prevent Saddam from continuing to terrorize the Iraqi people and his neighbors (all but one of which he had attacked)
  • To support a legitimate government in Iraq
  • To position US forces in a more threatening/deterring position to Iran, Syria, etc.
  • With Al Queda’s #1 and #2 leaders pinned in Waziristan/Pakistan, as a means of going after the Al Queda’s #3 man, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who had already attempted to kill hundreds of thousands in London, Rome, Paris, and Jordan using chemical and biological weapons via training he had been given from Saddam
  • To end the funding of Palestinian terrorists by Saddam and thus help deter bi-weekly suicide bus bombings that had completely derailed the peace process
  • To prevent the funding of Al Queda by Iraq through the mega-corrupt UN Oil-for-Food program
  • To shift American oil dependence (and funding) from terrorist-breeding-ground of Saudi Arabia to a Democratic and representative govt in Iraq

and so on…

….and if anyone believes that Saddam could have been contained forever, I suggest reading the Iraqi Perspectives report on Saddam’s ties to terrorist groups-including groups in the Al Queda network as well as Egyptian Islamic Jihad which made up 2/3 of Al Queda’s leadership.

So in the end we have a partisan report that alleges that Bush lied, but offering no evidence of this. Its partisan baloney put out during a election year for one reason, and one reason only… keep the Bush lied mantra alive long enough till November.

More here.

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