Saturday, February 18, 2006

America's Presidential Crisis

Americans cherish the greatness of our homeland, but many do not realize how extensive and profound are the transformations that are now taking place in our nation's basic moral values, public discourse, and political philosophy ~ Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values (Introduction).

I regularly visit conservative blogs just to see how messed up the other side's way of thinking is. It was shortly after the president's State of the Union Address and I was reading some wing-nut comments concerning how great it was... One of the posts included a link to C-Span where you can find all of the State of the Union transcripts going back to Harry Truman's 1945 speech. Having recently finished listening to the audio book version of Jimmy Carter's "Our Endangerd Values: America's Moral Crisis", I decided to take a look at the transcript from Mr. Carter's last SOTU address in 1980.

I was a little surprised by what I found. Near the beginning there is what may as well be a direct reference to the bush Administration's illegal preventative war in Iraq. I've excerpted a few key passages and added some comments:

Comparing Jimmy Carter's 1980 and George W. Bush's 2006 SOTU addresses

Jimmy Carter: I'm determined that the United States will remain the strongest of all nations, but our power will never be used to initiate a threat to the security of any nation or to the rights of any human being.

George W. Bush: Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal - we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction.

SWTD Commentary: The United States, under President George W. Bush, launched it's illegal preventive war against Iraq on March 20th 2003, breaking President Carter's pledge to never use our power to threaten the security of another nation. Mr. Carter also promised to protect human rights - another pledge that our current president has broken. Whether it be torture of terrorist suspects, or spying on American Citizens, human rights obviously mean very little to Mr. bush. (The length of bush's speech is 0:51:04. September 11th reference made at 0:03:31.)


Jimmy Carter: Three basic developments have helped to shape our challenges: the steady growth and increased projection of Soviet military power beyond its own borders; the overwhelming dependence of the Western democracies on oil supplies from the Middle East; and the press of social and religious and economic and political change in the many nations of the developing world, exemplified by the revolution in Iran.

George W. Bush: Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

SWTD Commentary: Lip service from a former Texas Oilman. Vice President Richard B. Cheney is a former Wyoming Oilman for whom the first order of business as Vice President was HUGE giveaways to the energy industry (oil companies in particular). Only 9 days after assuming office, Cheney, as chairman of the newly created National Energy Policy Development Group, invited energy company executives to help him develop National Energy policy. The result? Billions of taxpayer dollars given away in the form "subsidies" for the oil industry.


Jimmy Carter: Our excessive dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to our Nation's security. The need has never been more urgent. At long last, we must have a clear, comprehensive energy policy for the United States.

George W. Bush: Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

Article Excerpt: One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally. What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025. (Knight Ridder Newspapers: Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports, 2/2/2006).

SWTD Commentary: I guess that line was total BS. It was added because it sounded good. If it was really true I'd say GREAT. But I honestly don't believe it given the fact that bush and the Republican congress are obviously in the pocket of Big Oil. In a time of RECORD PROFITS for oil companies, bushco is still ripping off taxpayers though subsidies, royalty relief, and other tax breaks - at the same time the Republican congress is slashing things like home heating assistance for the poor from the budget!

How about ending corporate welfare? How about a windfall profits tax? How can you believe anything bush says given the constant lying? Does anyone else find this man's hypocrisy astounding?


Jimmy Carter: The American people are making progress in energy conservation. Last year we reduced overall petroleum consumption by 8 percent and gasoline consumption by 5 percent below what it was the year before. Now we must do more. After consultation with the Governors, we will set gasoline conservation goals for each of the 50 States, and I will make them mandatory if these goals are not met.

George W. Bush: (Doesn't mention conservation).

Article Excerpt: Our fuel economy standards in 2005 are 21 miles a gallon for all cars and SUVs. In 1987, they were 22.1 miles a gallon. We've been going in reverse. And when the energy bill was up last year, Republicans in Congress not only voted down Democratic amendments to increase fuel-efficiency standards, they actually made it more difficult to raise those standards in the future. (The Progressive: "More Dishonesty from Bush in State of Union", 2/1/2006).

Article Excerpt: ...this president has never been interested in changing consumer behavior. On the contrary, when asked at a 2001 news conference whether Americans needed to do anything about their high energy consumption, his then-spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said, "The president believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policymakers to protect the American way of life". (The Washington Post: Feeding the Oil Addiction, 2/3/2006).

SWTD Commentary: Does anyone else find this type of thinking as WRONG as I do? Just say no to conservation? Ironic, considering the dictionary definition of conservative says, "Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources".


Jimmy Carter: The decade ahead will be a time of rapid change, as nations everywhere seek to deal with new problems and age-old tensions.

SWTD Commentary: Age old tensions which bush has only made worse...

For months after the terrible terrorist attack in 2001, the American people were inundated almost daily with claims from top government officials that we faced a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, or from large and well organized cadres of terrorists hiding in our country. But as was emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and key members of our own intelligence services, there was never any existing danger to the United States from Baghdad. It was obvious that, with the United Nations sanctions, intense weapons inspections, and overwhelming American military superiority, any belligerent move by Saddam Hussein against a neighbor, an overt display of a weapon of mass destruction, or sharing of such technology with terrorist organizations would have been suicidal for Iraq. Iraq's weapons programs had already been reduced to impotence before the war was launched to eliminate them.

If Saddam Hussein had actually possessed a large nuclear, biological, or chemical arsenal, then the American invasion would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties. Many of them US troops. There is no evidence that British or American leaders really expected or prepared for this eventuality.

We cannot ignore the development of such weapons in any potential enemy nation or organization. But unilateral military action based on erroneous or deliberately distorted intelligence is not the answer ~ Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values (Chapter 14: Worshiping the Prince of Peace or Preemptive War).

Further Reading
[1] U.S. Has Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies. The Washington Post, 2/14/2006.
[2] Feeding the Oil Addiction. The Washington Post, 2/3/2006.
[3] Addicted to Lies. Is Bush the Antichrist (blog), 2/1/2006.
[4] More Dishonesty from Bush in State of Union. The Progressive, 2/1/2006.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

Iraqi General's Book Recycles Old Lies

People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it ~ Joseph Goebbels

How many people out there are as sick of wing-nut lies as I am? Just when you think EVERYONE has moved on, including our liar-in-chief, a new book resurrecting the bush administration's pre-invasion falsehoods is published. I'm talking about "Saddam's Secrets" by Georges Sada, a former Iraqi general.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - they were just moved to Syria! Iraq was involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. And... Iraq trained al-Qaeda terrorists. All three of these initially dubious claims have since been proven to be definitively false. The question then is - who is this Iraqi General, and why has he released this book now? It's been over 5 years since Iraq was "liberated", and even the president said recently "It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong".

This obvious work of fiction was recently brought to my attention by a Right-winger who calls his blog "The Better Wing". According to his post (titled "It's Truth Time"), he seems to think that the information contained in this novel completely exonerates the bush administration - because every one of the claims made above are 100 percent accurate! Of course he completely ignores all the evidence that has come out since the search for Iraq's WMDs was called off early in 2005. Evidence that makes it clear most of the Administration's claims were "wishful thinking" at best. At worst they allowed themselves to be deceived, lied to the US senate, and lied to the American people.

Liars and Fabricators

We now know that Dick Cheney pressured CIA Analysts into delivering some "creative" reports - stressing weak intelligence that made their case and dismissing information that ran counter to what the bush administration wanted to hear. Much of bushco's most damning "evidence" came from "questionable" sources...

The intelligence concerning Iraq's biological weapons program and the mobile biological weapons labs Colin Powell discussed in depth during his UN presentation (2/6/2003) came from a dubious source codenamed Curveball. Curveball, an Iraqi defector and supposed "Iraqi chemical engineer" who was never directly interviewed by US intelligence - was categorized as a liar and a fabricator by the German federal intelligence service (they forwarded the Curveball intelligence to the US Defense Intelligence Agency).

And yet the preznit, in his 2002 State of the Union Address, stated "we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world" - a direct reference to the Curveball intelligence. Ultimately, Curveball's claims that Iraq was creating biological agents in mobile weapons laboratories to elude inspectors appeared in more than 100 United States government reports between January 2000 and September 2001.


Ahmed Chalabi, the informant who will be among those judged most responsible for the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, also provided information which was later proved to be false. Mr. Chalabi, who led a group of Iraqi exiles known as the Iraqi National Congress (INC), hoped to be installed as Iraq's president after Washington achieved it's goal of toppling Saddam. The INC, funded by, and considered a creation of the CIA, reported to the Office of Special Plans (OSP) - a Pentagon unit created by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Mr. Chalabi informed the OSP that "Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists" and that "Saddam's regime has weapons of mass destruction". (Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 232). During a Defense Policy Board meeting in Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon conference room on September 19 and 20 Mr. Chalabi also claimed "there'd be no resistance, no guerrilla warfare from the Baathists, and [it would be] a quick matter of establishing a government".

The following two quotes make it clear that both the INC and OSP were only concerned with furthering their respected agendas, the truth be damned...

From the Sunday Herald: Former CIA officer Larry Johnson told the Sunday Herald the OSP was "dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace", adding that it "lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam". He added: "It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary".

Johnson said that to describe Saddam as an "imminent threat" to the West was "laughable and idiotic". He said many CIA officers were in great distress over the way intelligence had been treated. "We've entered the world of George Orwell", Johnson added. "I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war". (June 8, 2003).

From The Center for Media and Democracy, Publishers of "PR Watch": "According to multiple sources, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress sent a steady stream of misleading and often faked intelligence reports into U.S. intelligence channels", Mother Jones investigators wrote. Former senior CIA official and counterterrorism expert Vincent Cannistraro called INC intelligence "propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, [creating] cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice presidential speeches". (April 2004).

What are Ahmed Chalabi's motivations for lying? You would think that the obvious answer is greed, considering that the current Bush Administration paid Chalabi's group at least thirty-nine million dollars for their "services". Or was Chalabi simply an Iraqi expatriate determined to see Saddam removed from power? Perhaps the lying and fabricating he did to achieve that goal can be excused, since he did it for the good of the Iraqi people. Or was it?

In May of 2005 Mr. Chalabi's villa was raided by Iraqi police. Several INC members were named in an arrest warrant for possible fraud charges. Other misdeeds the INC is suspected of include embezzlement, theft, and kidnapping. According to rumors circulating in Washington, Mr. Chalabi himself is suspected of passing classified US intelligence to the Iranian government. According to a CBS news story Chalabi is alleged to have met in Baghdad with a top Iranian agent and disclosed to him that the U.S. had cracked Iran's secret codes and was eavesdropping on all Iranian intelligence messages. According to The Washington Monthly, "Chalabi personally handed the information to the Iranians, the information could get Americans killed, and the evidence against Chalabi is rock solid".

(Also according to The Washington Monthly, "Curveball is actually the brother of one of Ahmed Chalabi's top aides and had probably been coached to provide false information").


Claims that Iraq was training al-Qaeda terrorists originated with Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi - an al-Qaeda official in American custody. An intelligence report from February 2002 said it was probable that Mr. Libi "was intentionally misleading the debriefers". So why did bush and other administration officials continue to cite Mr. Libi's information as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training al-Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons for months after the report? (The New York Times, 10/6/2005).

The Sept. 11 commission found there was no "collaborative relationship" between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Furthermore, the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda but no cooperation.

I don't know if Georges Sada's book also claims that Iraq had ties to al-Qaeda, or if the only lie he's selling is that Saddam moved his WMDs to Syria. However, "The Better Wing" nut I mentioned above does - which is why I'm including the debunk of that lie in this article.

Connecting the Dots

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 quite possibly could have been prevented if not for the bush Administration's inability to "connect the dots". The bush Administration was briefed by the outgoing Clinton Administration concerning the growing terrorism threat. The recently completed $10 Million Hart-Rudman Report, commissioned by outgoing President Bill Clinton's Secretary of defense, William Cohen (a Republican), was delivered just after Bush and Cheney's inauguration.

Alarming Excerpts from the Hart-Rudman Report: "It is unlikely that we will continue to be the blessed country we've been all these years", Rudman said, referring to the possibility of an attack by a foreign power. "The threat is asymmetric and we're not prepared for it".

"A direct attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the next quarter century". ("Overhaul of National Security Apparatus Urged. Commission Cites U.S. Vulnerability" by Steven Mufson, The Washington Post, 2/1/2001).

Unfortunately, Cheney closed down the Rudman-Hart commission and shelved the report. Instead, Cheney decided he would develop his own plan for dealing with terrorism. It wasn't until after September 11th that the report and its recommendations were reexamined. (See the article Commission warned Bush, and "Worse than Watergate" by John W. Dean, Hardcover edition p.108-109).

From the 9-11 Commission, Staff Statement Number 8, "National Policy Coordination", pp 9-10: (National Security Advisor) Richard Clarke asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings on these issues (outlined in his January 25, 2001 memo) and was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled. He wanted principals to accept that al-Qaeda was a "first order threat" and not a routine problem being exaggerated by "chicken little" alarmists.

No Principals Committee meetings on al-Qaeda were held until September 4, 2001. Rice and Hadley said this was because the Deputies Committee needed to work through the many issues related to new policy on al-Qaeda. The Principals Committee did meet frequently before 9/11 on other subjects, Rice told us, including Russia, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East peace process". (The Wrong Priorities: Before 9/11, Bush Administration was Focused on the Wrong Threats to America).


Even though, given the evidence, it is obvious that the bush Administration should be held accountable, Republicans still have the audacity to blame former President Clinton for what happened on 9/11?! Even worse, the bush Administration didn't view their inability to stop the attacks on 9/11 as a colossal failure on their part, but saw it as a unique opportunity to rewite the end of the first Gulf war...

From "The Lie Factory", a Mother Jones News Special Report: In the very first meeting of the Bush national-security team, one day after preznit bush took the oath of office in January 2001, the issue of invading Iraq was raised, according to one of the participants in the meeting - and officials all the way down the line started to get the message, long before 9/11. (January/February 2004 Issue).

After 9/11 bush was more determined than ever that we should wage war with Iraq...

From "Woodward Shares War Secrets", a CBS News/60 Minutes Report: Bob Woodward reports that just five days after Sept. 11, preznit bush indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.

There's some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, "This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it". And the preznit says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, "We won't do Iraq now". But it is a question we're gonna have to return to, says Woodward.

And there's this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, "What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret". Woodward says immediately after that, Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to develop a war plan to invade Iraq and remove Saddam - and that Rumsfeld gave Franks a blank check. ("Woodward Shares War Secrets" by Rebecca Leung, 60 Minutes, 4/18/2004).


bushco was unable to "connect the dots" and prevent 9/11. Then they used 9/11 as a pretext to start a illegal preventive war with Iraq by relying on "evidence" from known liars and fabricators! We're supposed to believe that after 9/11 the bush Administration WAS able to connect the dots, but the dots they connected coincidentally led them to their predetermined conclusion that regime change was necessary in Iraq?! I find that highly unlikely, to put it mildly.

Why were Ahmed Chalabi (possibly working for the Iranian government), and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda official, feeding false information to the US? Is it possible that the war with Iraq was orchestrated by our enemies?

From The Guardian: Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq. According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr. Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

"It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner", said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. "Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi".

Larry Johnson, a former senior counter terrorist official at the state department, said: "When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy". ("US Intelligence Fears Iran Duped Hawks Into Iraq War" by Julian Borger, The Guardian, 5/25/2004).

As for the motivation of al-Qaeda in feeding false information to the United States with the goal of encouraging the bush Administration to carry though with their "Regime Change" plans - consider the following:

From The New Yorker: The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group claiming affiliation with al-Qaeda, also claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings. The group sent a bombastic message to the London newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, avowing responsibility for the train bombings. "Whose turn will it be next?" the authors taunt. "Is it Japan, America, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, or Australia?"

The message also addressed the speculation that the terrorists would try to replicate their political success in Spain by disrupting the November U.S. elections. "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections", the authors write. Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" are useful, the authors contend, for they stir the Islamic world to action". (8/2/2004, p. 40. Article not available online - excerpt courtesy of "News Hounds").

Peter Bergen, author of the book "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al-Qaeda's Leader" was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the January 11th 2006 episode of "The Daily Show". When Mr. Stewart asked him, "Has Iraq hurt/helped al-Qaeda in your opinion", Mr. Bergen responded, "Oh, it's helped them immensely... If Osama believed in Christmas, which obviously he doesn't, Iraq would be his Christmas gift".

The New York Times: As bad as the situation inside Iraq may be, the effect that the war has had on terrorist recruitment around the globe may be even more worrisome. Even before the coalition troops invaded, a senior United States counterterrorism official told reporters that "an American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by al-Qaeda and other groups". Intelligence officials in the United States, Europe and Africa say that the recruits they are seeing now are younger than in the past. Television images of American soldiers and tanks in Baghdad are deeply humiliating to Muslims, even those who didn't like Saddam Hussein, explained Saad al-Faqih, head of Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a Saudi dissident group in London. He told me that some 3,000 young Saudis have entered Iraq in recent months, and called the war "a gift to Osama bin Laden". ("How America Created a Terrorist Haven" by Jessica Stern, The New York Times, 8/20/2003).

Zero Evidence

My reason for discussing, at length, the lies and fabrications of the bush Administration's primary informants is because their claims regarding Saddam's WMD program and ties to al-Qaeda are the EXACT SAME claims that former Iraqi General Georges Sada is currently making in his recently published book. These claims were false before (which my exhaustive research above proves), so it boggles my mind how anyone can claim they are true now. According to the Daily Kos, "None of the claims made by Mr. Sada survives close scrutiny. He provides no physical evidence, names no eyewitnesses, has little first-hand knowledge, and bases a lot of his claims on "anonymous sources".

When I pointed out that Mr. Sada's claims are completed unsubstantiated, the wing-nut asked "Why would Georges Sada lie? He has no reason to". How should I know? There is precious little information regarding Mr. Sada to be found on the Internet. Maybe he saw an opportunity to make some money telling gullible Republicans what they wanted to hear. Perhaps there was some sort of quid pro quo arrangement which earned Mr. Sada his position in the new Iraqi government. He was Air Vice Marshal in Saddam Hussein's military, and now he's Iraq's National Security Advisor. How did he convince the Coalition Provisional Authority he was trustworthy?

Eight Insiders Who Speak the Truth (Individuals & Entities)

To counter Mr. Sada's claims - which, as I just pointed out, are virtually IDENTICAL to those made by Ahmed Chalabi, Curveball and al-Qaeda Operative Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi - I present you with the following people (or groups) whose stories contrast sharply with what Mr. Sada is saying. All these people are in a position to know what they are talking about.

1. Iraqi weapons Scientists: According to James Risen, the New York Times Reporter who broke the story about the Government's use of illegal wiretapping and author of the new book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, The CIA was almost positive that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction before the war. Mr. Risen's book makes note of a CIA operation in which relatives of Iraqi weapons scientists (Iraqi expatriates living in the United States), were sent back to Iraq to ask their relatives if Iraq had an active WMD program. This program yielded ZERO evidence of an active WMD program. Also, when debriefed after bush declared "Mission Accomplished", Iraq's scientists still insisted that all work on WMDs had halted over 10 years prior. (1/9/2006).

Regarding the Debriefings: The Iraq survey Group (see below) reported that the Iraqi scientists had been "cooperative", and that they "had no more information to share".

2. Former Director General of the IAEA, Hans Blix: According to the book "Disarming Iraq" by Hans Blix, "Containment had worked"... and "It has also become clear that national intelligence organizations and government hawks, but not the inspectors, had been wrong in their assessments". In his book Blix blames "monumental" intelligence failures on the part of the U.S. and Great Britain for most of these errors.

The Council on Foreign Relations Website, Foreign Affairs: The greatest success of the UN disarmament mission was in the nuclear realm. IAEA inspectors found an alarmingly extensive nuclear weapons program when they entered Iraq in 1991, and they set out to destroy all known facilities related to the nuclear program and to account for Iraq's entire inventory of nuclear fuel.

In 1997, the IAEA and UNSCOM concluded that there were no "indications that any weapon-useable nuclear material remain[ed] in Iraq" or "evidence in Iraq of prohibited materials, equipment or activities". After four months of resumed inspections in 2002-3, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that, according to all evidence, Iraq had no nuclear weapons and no program to redevelop them. He reported to the UN Security Council in March 2003 that inspectors had found "no indication of resumed nuclear activities... nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites".

3. United States diplomat and ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson: Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger in February of 2002 (on behalf of the CIA), to investigate the authenticity of documents which appeared to verify an attempt by Saddam Hussein regime to purchase yellowcake uranium, in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Previous to Mr. Wilson's trip the CIA had strong suspicions that the documents were fraudulent.

Mr. Wilson observes, "given the structure of the consortiums that operated the mines, it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq. Niger's uranium business consists of two mines, Somair and Cominak, which are run by French, Spanish, Japanese, German and Nigerian interests. If the government wanted to remove uranium from a mine, it would have to notify the consortium, which in turn is strictly monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Moreover, because the two mines are closely regulated, quasi-governmental entities, selling uranium would require the approval of the minister of mines, the prime minister and probably the president. In short, there's simply too much oversight over too small an industry for a sale to have transpired".

"As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors - they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government - and were probably forged. And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges".

After the bush administration continued to cite the documents as evidence that Iraq was attempting to reconstitute their WMD program Mr. Wilson wrote an article for the New York Times, titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in which he asked the question, "Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?". His conclusion was, "that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat".

(Read the Wikipedia entry: Yellowcake forgery, "Origin" section, for some interesting theories regarding who authored the forged documents).

4. Former aide to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson: In reference to his role in helping Colin Powell prepare for his February 2003 presentation at the UN Security Council, Wilkerson says, "I participated in a hoax".

The Raw Story: In an interview that aired on PBS on Friday, Feb. 3, Colin Powell's former chief of staff claimed that the speech Powell made before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, laying out a case for war with Iraq, included falsehoods of which Powell had never been made aware. He said, "My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council".

Wilkerson also agreed with the interviewer that Vice President Cheney's frequent trips to the CIA would inevitably have brought "undue influence" on the agency. When asked if Cheney was "the kind of guy who could lean on somebody" he responded, "Absolutely. And be just as quiet and taciturn about it as - he - as he leaned on 'em. As he leaned on the Congress recently - in the - torture issue". (February 5, 2006. PBS Interview transcript).

5. Ex CIA Official, Paul R. Pillar: Prior to his leaving he agency in 2005, 28-year CIA veteran, Paul Pillar was considered to be agency's lead analyst in counter terrorism.

The Washington Post: "Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war", Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting - and evidently without being influenced by - any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq". "The intelligence community never offered any analysis that supported the notion of an alliance between Saddam and Al-Qaeda". This is the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence. (2/10/2006).

6. Former Bush Administration counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke: Mr. Clarke provided national security advice to four U.S. presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, consulting on issues of intelligence and terrorism, from 1973 to 2003. Clarke's specialties are computer security, counter terrorism and homeland security. He was the counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council when the September 11 attacks occurred.

The Editorial Review of Against All Enemies: During the week of the initial publication of Against All Enemies, Clarke was featured on 60 Minutes, testified before the 9/11 commission, and touched off a raging controversy over how the presidential administration handled the threat of terrorism and the post-9/11 geopolitical landscape.

Clarke, a veteran Washington insider who had advised presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, dissects each man's approach to terrorism but levels the harshest criticism at the latter Bush and his advisors who, Clarke asserts, failed to take terrorism and Al-Qaeda seriously.

Clarke details how, in light of mounting intelligence of the danger Al-Qaeda presented, his urgent requests to move terrorism up the list of priorities in the early days of the administration were met with apathy and procrastination and how, after the attacks took place, Bush and key figures such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney turned their attention almost immediately to Iraq, a nation not involved in the attacks.

7. The Iraq Survey Group: a 1,400-member international team headed by David Kay (and later by Charles Duelfer). ISG, which was organized by The Pentagon and the CIA to search for any evidence of an Iraqi weapons program, concluded that it is unlikely Iraq shipped banned weapons material into Syria before the 2003 U.S. invasion. "ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place", the report said. The report said that 12 years of international sanctions against Baghdad after the Gulf War had left Iraq's scientific community decimated and these experts' skills in a state of "natural decay".

The group added it was unlikely that scientists were capable of re-creating the destroyed weapons programs, meaning Iraq would have possessed little, if anything, to transfer.

From the Wikipedia entry on David Kay: ISG research determined that the Iraqi unconventional weapons programs had mostly been held in check, with only small amounts of banned material uncovered (this included a number of vials containing biological agents stored in the home refrigerators of Iraqi scientists, for example). However, none of these substances had been "weaponized" - no such agents were found in missiles or artillery, and none could be easily installed.

From David Kay told the House and Senate intelligence committees, "We have not yet found stocks of weapons... We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile BW (biological weapons) production effort... Multiple sources (say) that Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled CW (chemical warfare) program after 1991.... [and] to date we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material.... [and] no detainee has admitted any actual knowledge of plans for unconventional warheads for any current or planned ballistic missile".

...detainees interviewed by the group "uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that could have been secreted to Syria". Charles Duelfer recommended that many of the detained scientists could be released because they had been cooperative, were no longer a security risk and had no more information to share. (1/21/2004. What Bush Left Unsaid in State of the Union Address).

8. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: On July 7, 2004 this committee published their findings in the report titled "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq".

Please note the following relevant findings...

The major key judgments in the NIE, particularly that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program", "has chemical and biological weapons", was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents", and that "all key aspects - research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War", either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting provided to the Committee.

The assessment that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program" was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee. The intelligence reporting did show that Iraq was procuring dual-use equipment that had potential nuclear applications, but all of the equipment had conventional military or industrial applications. In addition, none of the intelligence reporting indicated that the equipment was being procured for suspect nuclear facilities. (Excerpted from MSNBC).


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me - Benjamin Franklin

Prior to the invasion I was convinced by what Colin Powell said (Was Mr. Powell USED, or did he know his UN speech contained lies?). I believed that they would find SOMETHING after Saddam was overthrown and the US military had free run of the country with the ability to look EVERYWHERE. As you well know NOTHING was found. Nobody has come forward with any verifiable evidence.

Colin Powell had this to say regarding the transfer of Iraqi WMDs to Syria: That is always a possibility, but I have seen no hard evidence to suggest that is the case, that suddenly there were no weapons found in Iraq because they were all in Syria. I don't know why the Syrians would do that, frankly; why it would be in their interest. They didn't have that kind of relationship with Iraq, but it is an open question, but I've seen no hard evidence to suggest that's what happened. (January 21, 2004. From an interview of Colin Powell conducted by Michael Smerconish of WPHT Radio, Philadelphia. Transcript available on the US Department of State Website).

As our troops advanced toward Baghdad there were fears of a chemical attack which never came. The reason Iraq didn't attack US troops with it's WMDs is because it had no WMDs! Why would they move them? Wouldn't they have USED them?


There you have it - MORE than enough evidence to cast serious doubt on Mr. Sada's claims that Saddam moved Iraq's WMDs to Syria. More than enough evidence to prove virtually all the bush Administration's prewar claims were bogus. Democrats and Liberals demand verifiable evidence before proclaiming something to be truthful. However, given the constant drumbeat of lies coming from the Right-Wing Propaganda Machine, I am the least bit surprised that deluded Right-wingers like "The Better Wing-nut" would label anyone who challenges our liar-in-chief's fables "liemongers".

I believe that it is true that Saddam was a brutal dictator, and that the Iraqi people are much better off without him. I believe that it was Saddam's intention to restart his WMD program if ever given the chance. However, I believe Hans Blix when he said that containment had worked. Launching an illegal preventive war was not the answer and is not worth the cost. What this war will ultimately cost is still unknown, but, so far, over 2000 US soldiers have been killed, and thousands more maimed or disabled. Our government isn't even keeping track of Iraqi deaths, so that shows you how much an Iraqi's life means to bush (nothing).

The bush Administration's warmongering and fiscal irresponsibility could very well be the death knell for our great nation.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mission Statement & Blog Commenting Guidelines

This post was last revised on 8/18/2016.

My mission statement was originally written when my blog was new and George W. bush was preznit, so my "mission" at the time was not the same as it is today. Simply discussing politics is the mission today; as opposed to slamming the ex-preznit. Don't get me wrong, I still have, and plan on, posting commentaries in which I bash bush, but they will be infrequent seeing as he is no longer in office. Be aware that I am a Progressive Democrat. All political posts on this blog will be written from that POV.

Comment moderation is now permanently enabled. For the first 7 years of this blog I never used moderation but, due to issues with blog trolls (TOM, Steve and Luke), I have reluctantly adopted a moderation policy.

Current Blog Commenting Guidelines

[1] I reserve the right to publish or not publish any comment. This includes publishing comments from people who are banned. If I ban you, then publish one of your comments later, this does not mean you aren't banned! Banned individuals will remain banned (which means most of your comments will likely NOT be published) until/unless I lift the ban. Comments being published (if the banned individual decides to keep submitting comments) do NOT mean the ban has been lifted. It ONLY means I've decided to let that particular comment through.

In regards to me publishing or not publishing at my discretion, all other rules are subordinate to this rule. This is the only actual "rule". The rest are only guidelines. Meaning, if I say a comment will not be published (in any subsequent guideline) I may publish it. That doesn't mean that the guideline should be ignored. Or, that I'll always publish and disregard the guideline. It ONLY means that I reserve the right to publish or not publish any comment.

[2] Comments from people with Blogger accounts that are set to not display their profiles will be deleted or not published. If I look at your profile and see a page that says "Profile not available" your comment will not be published. It appears as though certain individuals have been playing games and changing their profiles to impersonate others.

[3] In regards to the impersonation of others, or ID Spoofing... any comment that has (in my estimation) been submitted by a spoofer will be removed. Any complaint from the actual account holder (as best I can determine) is grounds for the removal of a comment and the banning of the person making the comment.

[4] Personal attacks are discouraged. I'll allow some pushing of the envelope so long as nobody goes to far. Excessive vulgarities and insults based on things the commenter would have no way of knowing about the person they are insulting are strongly discouraged, including racial epithets. Some leeway will be given but if you go to far your comment might not be published or it may be removed. I think that where the line is can be determined by rational thinking people.

[5] I would PREFER that anyone commenting to my post indicate that they have actually read it. This is the entire point, after all. I write, you read and share your opinion. Going off topic is OK if AT LEAST your first comment addresses the content of my post. One sentence, then you can respond to things others have written or go off topic. But please be aware that if you comment and make it clear that you didn't even read the title of my post... it is possible I could delete what you wrote. Agree or disagree, either is acceptable. BTW, if you say something like "this post sucks", I have no idea if you read what I wrote. You can say the post sucks, but you should say WHY you think so. This is, however, only a request and will probably be ignored by some.

[6] No publishing of the same diatribe to multiple posts, even if the topic is the same/similar. Multiples will be deleted (I'll leave the one left in response to the the newest post). Also, Comments should be original, or at least modified to mention my post (indicate that you read it). Comments (or entire posts) found elsewhere on the internet (cut & past jobs) will be deleted. I might miss that what you published has been duplicated elsewhere, however. I'm not going to be checking every comment published.

[7] No deleting of comments! If you hit the publish button be aware that your comment was sent to me via email. If you want to revise a comment once it has been published to fix spelling errors, or even if you've decided "I shouldn't have said that"... then fine; delete your comment. But it MUST be replaced with another. If you do not replace it I will repost the comment I received via email. I'll allow a reasonable amount of time for revisions.

[8] Any Spam that makes it past Blogger's filter will be deleted by me. I monitor comments, so really, why waste your time? We all know what Spam looks like, so no need to try and be clever with a generic comment and a link to your webpage. I suspect that much (if not all) this Spam is automated however, so this rule is likely useless. Bots don't follow rules.

[9] Anonymous commenting is no longer allowed thanks to the antics of the blog attacking shithead Steve.

[10] "Dead horse" topics may come up from time to time that I might decide to end discussion on. If, in my estimation, the dead horse has been beaten long enough I may decide to cut off discussion. So far this has happened exactly once and I do not see it happening again. The one dead horse topic I am banning discussion on is any discussion regarding the blogger known as Rational Nation (RN) and certain objectionable comments he made, with the sole exception of comments concerning RN that are submitted in response to the post I authored on the incident that triggered the controversy surrounding RN (see here if you want to know what I'm talking about.

[11] I reserve the right to rewrite or revise these rules at any time.

Old Mission Statement & Blog Commenting Rules

The purpose of this blog is to discuss Politics, The current state of the world, and, in particular the evil and corrupt Administration of George W. bush. George W. bush is by far the worst president our nation has ever seen, and, it is my belief that he may very well bring about the destruction of our great nation, the world's first constitutional and democratic federal republic. Since Mr. Bush assumed office in 2001 he has pursued a reckless course of illegal preventive war. Instead of protecting us, the Bush Administration's policies have increased worldwide animosity for the United States, which has increased terrorism.

As you may have guessed, I am a liberal Democrat. Like-minded individuals are welcome to join in the discussion. Republicans are also welcome, but should be prepared to be ridiculed and insulted. I want to be up front about the fact that I don't like Republicans in general - although I reserve my full animosity for the fools who call themselves Republicans but voted for and support our current leader. How can real conservatives support the fiscal irresponsibility of the Liar and Thief George W. Bush?

I encourage any wing-nuts who might be reading this to take it as a challenge - post here if you dare. There are few rules for posting here. First of all, excessive profanity won't be tolerated. I may delete a post is if it is by someone whose SOLE purpose is to be annoying and disrupt discussion. Other posts which I may delete include any which are COMPLETELY off topic or make no sense. Also, please don't post if your ONLY purpose is to promote another blog or sell something.

Finally, I ask anyone reading this to please post! My goal here isn't only to get people to read my rantings - I look forwarded to some spirited discussions. I'll give it some time, but if nobody joins in the discussion this blog probably won't last long. Also, please check out the links in the sidebar. I believe these Liberal blogs are well written and highly informative. If you agree with my assessment of the Bush Administration, I think you will find these blogs very interesting.