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Investigation On Iraq Prewar Intelligence

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Guest Freetospeak   
Guest Freetospeak
I also like how the Republicans called the Democrats bluff. If they wanted to get out than they would have voted too. Who cares this is political on both sides and you all know it. Most people on here complaining about the war just hate Bush and will use anything even if they care or not to bash him. Now I am not a huge republican or democrat, I just try to back whatever decisions are made from the top. No matter who is in office.

Interesting I just want you to know that I am a Republican and I am very proud of the Party of Lincoln. But, I am not so happy with the Bush Administration's handling of this matter. It is not what what we veterans call a cluster**thank**.

 

But, your point that both sides need to accept the blame is correct. But, right now our party is in power. Therefore we need to accept responsibility. This is starting to happen. Senator Pat Roberts, our Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said one lesson of the faulty prewar intelligence on Iraq is that senators would take a hard look at intelligence before voting to go to war.

 

I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action.

 

We don't accept this intelligence at face value anymore," he added. We get into preemptive oversight and do digging in regards to our hard targets. - Senator Pat Roberts, Fox News, November 13

 

I just wish John McCain was our President. I know he is a straight shooter.

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Guest BlingBling   
Guest BlingBling
Now if you believe for one moment that Hussein didnt have WMB your a freak*** idiot. He had plenty of time to get them out of there before the evasion.

I am sorry, but you guys are to easy on this ignorant SOB. Interesting your ignorant rant shows a person with little more than a junior high school mentality.

 

News is the reporting of current events usually by local, regional or mass media in the form of newspapers, television and radio programs, or web sites like this one on the World Wide Web. If the content of news is significant enough, it eventually becomes history. Iraq is history in the making.

 

In my opinion, convincing Congress to go to war was President Bush’s clever manipulation of the emotions of the American people after September 11, 2001. It is a fact that we all agree that the Iraq war was sold as a war of necessity. It is a fact that the White House said, and publicly available intelligence seemed to corroborate, that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons and was on his way to attaining or building a nuclear bomb. It is a fact that after more than a year of searching, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

 

The major question remains about whether intelligence was 'cherry picked' to support the case for war while that which undermined the WMD threat was either overlooked, ignored or suppressed.

 

The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. - Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary Powell

 

It is a fact that in Febuary 2004, Colin Powell told The Washington Post that he doesn't know whether he would have recommended the invasion of Iraq if he had been told at the time that there were no stockpiles of banned weapons.

 

In my opinton, the GOP does not own patriotism, the flag or even God. More than 2,100 U.S. deaths, 15,000 injured and well more than $200 billion spent, and for what? Words have meaning. Lies kill.

 

I think Republicans are slowly breaking ranks to admit a mistake that should never have been made.

 

"I think you saw a manifestation of ... the frustration of the American public break out on the floor of the House and Senate. - Sen. Chuck Hagel, Republican, Nebraska

 

Interesting, if you think I am an idiot than prove me wrong? I am willing to bet you will not.

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Guest Dont have to   
Guest Dont have to

Nobody has to prove you wrong. You did not even prove me wrong. Show me enough proof that Iraq did not have any WMB. It is a breeding ground for terrorists and you know it.

 

The thing is you said Bush manipulated congress, damm he must be one smart man to fool so many educated ones right. Now for their being a high about 9/11 and that is why people were so easily fooled. We went into Afganistan after 9/11 not Iraq. Two seperated places, I Iraq was in 2003 so no there was no "lets do because of 9/11 attitude."

 

I am just saying what if Pres Bush was right. And we did nothing and than someone we do get hit by something. Than people would be complaining about that.

 

Jus because none were found does not mean they were never there. He had almost a year to get all the weapons out of Iraq. You dont think that happned. Scre** lets invade Syria and surrounding countries to find out. But let me guess you probaly dont got the balls to do it.

 

Oh well I guess that is forever why you will be a pencil pusher behind some desk, doggess** about any and everything you dont like. But yet lack the self fortitude to do something about it.

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Guest BlingBling   
Guest BlingBling

Interesting,

Let me put it in the most simple terms for you. This whole topic is about Iraq Prewar Intelligence. Do you understand the term Prewar. We are talking about the intelligence before the Iraq war. The administration began to make a case for a preemptive strike on Iraq shortly after Sept 11, 2001.

 

Your argument is that the Bush Administration was convinced that the Saddam government was building WMDs and would be willing to use them on the United States, and America’s allies in the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

 

During this time period Iraq was surrounded by neighbors that did not support Saddam government except Syria. My assumption is that you believe Iraqi WMD moved to Syria. There have have been rumor that this was done with the help of General Zoul-Himla Chalich. Our government created The Iraq Survey group to answer assumptions like your yours.

 

The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) was a fact-finding mission sent by the coalition after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs developed by Iraq under the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It consisted of a 1,400-member team organized by The Pentagon and CIA to hunt for Saddam's suspected stockpiles of WMD, such as chemical and biological agents, and any supporting research programs and infrastructure that could be used to develop WMD. The search failed to find stockpiles, which were the main stated reason for United States President George W. Bush ordering the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam.

 

Throughout the life of ISG, there were only two occasions where chemical weapons were found. The first was a sarin mortar shell which had been reworked into a roadside improvised explosive device by insurgents. The second was a handful of 122-millimeter rocket warheads filled with inert mustard gas that was recovered near Babylon. Both were thought to be remainders from the Iran-Iraq War and were useless as offensive weapons. Both were later destroyed by ISG personnel.

 

On January 23, 2004, the head of the ISG, David Kay, resigned his position, stating that he believed WMD stockpiles would not be found in Iraq. "I don't think they existed," commented Kay. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the nineties." Kay criticized the intelligence that led to the war in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), saying "we were all wrong and that is most disturbing." Kay's successor, named by CIA director George Tenet, is the former U.N. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer. Duelfer has stated that the chances of finding any WMD stockpiles in Iraq are "close to nil."

 

In addition, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) finds no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime transported WMD to Syria. In the aftermath of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, as it became clear that there was no obvious evidence of Iraq's alleged WMD stockpiles, some began to suggest that Iraq had covertly moved all of its stockpiles and equipment to Syria. The ISG report addendum rejects this theory: "It should be noted that no information from debriefing of Iraqis in custody supports this possibility. ISG found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD. Indeed, they uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that could have been secreted to Syria." The report concludes that "it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place."

 

ISG acquired information suggesting that after 1991 Iraq did not possess Scud or Scud-variant missiles. Interviews with several former high-level Iraqi officials, visits to locations where missiles were reportedly hidden, and documents reportedly never disclosed to the UN, all appear to confirm that Iraq expended or destroyed all of the 819 Scud missiles it acquired from the Soviet Union. - The Iraq Survey Group Report

 

Although the infrastructure and technical expertise were available, there is no evidence suggesting Iraq intended to design CBW warheads for either the Al Samud or the Al Samud II system. - The Iraq Survey Group Report

 

So there you have it interesting. Once again all you can do is cut down people that don't believe in your fantasy ideals. I actually have friends and family who are serving in Iraq and Afganistan. I was born in a low income area and the military was the best option for them. I chose the another path in which I am proud of. I wonder if you have to the balls to admit you are wrong and people are dying because of it. Strength of mind enables me to endure adversity and seek the truth. I would advise you to stop the insults and actually show some proof to your beliefs. Who knows you might even educate me on some facts. Although, I do doubt it.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Here is some interesting information that was sent to me about Isreal's Intelligence assessment of Iraq before the war was taken mostly from United States and British information sources. Note that I have put in bold Isreal's thoughts of intelligence failure and the possiblility that the WMD now exist in Syria.

 

Dr. Yuval Steinitz Chairman

Eli Yishai

Ehud Yatom

David Levy

Ilan Leibovitch

Haim Ramon

 

The IDF Intelligence Branch (hereinafter: Military Intelligence) and the Institution for Intelligence and Special Functions (hereinafter: Mossad) assessed just prior to the war, with a high probability approaching a certainty, that Iraq had —residual capability“ in the sphere of chemical weapons and biological weapons as well as scores of ground-to-ground missiles capable of reaching Israel that could be armed with chemical and biological warheads.

 

In the sphere of intentions Israeli intelligence assessed just prior to the war, with a generally low probability, that Saddam Hussein would attack the State of Israel with the non-conventional weapons in his possession; using either ground-to-ground missiles, fighter planes or unmanned aircraft that had been readied for this purpose.

 

In view of the intelligence assessments of capabilities and intentions, and in accordance with assessments of the situation, the Government of Israel decided to adopt a string of passive and active defensive measures, which included:

 

• A directive to the public to prepare sealed rooms against the penetration of chemical or biological agents.

 

• Full distribution of personal protective kits and a directive to the public to open them and keep them readily available.

 

• Preparation of vaccination doses against biological weapons and the inoculation of an initial group of some 17,000 security and medical staff (first responders) against the smallpox virus.

 

• Mobilization of thousands of reserve soldiers from the Home Front and preparations for non-conventional weapon injuries in Israel.

 

• Mobilization of reserve soldiers from the anti-aircraft units and the deployment of Arrow and Patriot missile batteries through the country, on stand-by to intercept enemy missiles and aircraft.

 

• Putting the planes of the Air Force on high alert, with air patrols to defend Israel‘s airspace and provide an assault response as necessary.

 

After the end of the war, when it became clear that the intelligence assessments regarding Iraqi capabilities were apparently inconsistent with the reality that came to light on the ground, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee of the Knesset, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, decided to set up a sub-committee to investigate the functioning of Israeli intelligence vis-à-vis Iraq in the period that preceded the war and to examine the decision making processes of the political echelon and the extent to which they were reasonable.

 

It was also decided to expand the canvas and include in the work of the sub-committee an examination of general aspects of the functioning of the intelligence services of Israel, and the state of the intelligence services in view of the new challenges that have taken shape in recent decades, mainlywith respect to non-conventional weapons and ground-to-ground missiles in the countries of the second and third tier and in general.

 

The Committee found that the place of Iraq in the order of priorities of the intelligence EEI since the first Gulf War in 1991 and until the date on which the UN inspection team (UNSCOM) left Iraq in 1998 was reasonable. This was in light of the gamut of security risks and threats facing Israel, and allowing for the restrictions on resources.

 

The reasonableness of the intelligence attitude to Iraq, in this period, also relied on the post factum results of the war but, to no lesser an extent, on the following three facts:

 

a. the existence of a regime of punctilious inspection by the UN in Iraq;

 

b. the open eye of other western intelligence services on Iraq;

 

c. the serious restrictions which the coalition countries imposed, with UN support, on Iraq's freedom of action.

 

At the same time, the Committee considers that the speed of reaction of Israeli intelligence to the changing circumstances following the departure of the UN inspectors from Iraq in 1998 was faulty. Despite the formal change in the position of non-conventional weapons and ground-to-ground missiles in Iraq in the order of priorities and in the EEI, neither Military Intelligence and the Mossad, nor the political echelon over them, internalized the meaning of the change and did not make operational preparations at the requisite pace to give a fitting intelligence-collection response to developments.

 

As a sharp expression of this, it can be noted that the Iraqi matter did not receive the appropriate amount of attention in the two years prior to the war on the agenda of the Committee of the Heads of the Intelligence Services. The Committee determines that the cessation of inspections did not lead to a renewed and in-depth discussion regarding the state of intelligence on Iraq, nor to a new, more operative, Israeli assessment that would permit proper cover of nonconventional weapon and ground-to-ground missile matters throughout Iraq.

 

As part of the cooperation between Israel's intelligence services and

fellow intelligence agencies and organizations, Military Intelligence and the Mossad exchanged information and intelligence evaluations with respect to Iraq with various services, particularly the intelligence services of the USA, with which cooperation became much closer prior to the war. I highlighted interesting intelligence points in bold.

 

The Committee is of the opinion that the uniform international intelligence evaluation in relation to Iraq took root to a certain extent through a sort of vicious circle and by way of repeated reciprocal feedback, which often caused more damage than benefit. It was not impossible for assessments conveyed by the Israeli intelligence organization or any other intelligence organization to a fellow

organization to do the rounds and play a central role in the formulation of the assessments of the foreign organization and, in the end, come back to the originating organization as an assessment of another intelligence service, to be immediately seized upon as reinforcement and encouragement from another reliable source for the original Israeli assessment. In this way, an inbuilt failure can take place, recalling somewhat Ephraim Kishon's story "The Chocolate

Box". This is likely to lead to exaggerated self-confidence and lack of doubts in intelligence communities throughout the western world in general, relying on intuitions that developed in parallel, and to a large extent jointly, in various intelligence services.

 

During the deliberations of the Committee, the conjecture was raised that intelligence services naturally tend to share with each other evaluations made by those heading them, while placing less emphasis on doubts and contrary arguments that have been rejected. It thus happens that the gamut of cooperation can generate a process of strengthening widely held evaluations and conceptions, while ignoring and pushing into a corner the skeptics and their misgivings.

 

This cooperation is vitally important for a small country such as Israel; and it is even more essential in the case of Iraq, where other western intelligence services,

particularly the American and the British, had advantages which are difficult to overstate, deriving from their physical presence on the borders of Iraq, their ability to work out of their bases in neighboring Arab countries such as Kuwait, and their ability to fly on a regular basis over the territory of Iraq in the service of the UN, virtually undisturbed.

 

At the end of the chapter on the findings in the intelligence sphere with regard to the operation in Iraq, it is essential to recall that the enigma of the existence or non-existence of non-conventional weapons and ground-to-ground missiles in Iraq has not yet been resolved.

 

The likelihood of the destruction or concealment of these means of warfare in the vast expanses of Iraq, as well as the possibility that they were moved to Syria on the eve of the war, still exists. The discovery of Iraqi military warplanes which had been buried in the sand and which popped up like 'sand birds' after the war, might testify as to how strange and unpredictable the regime of Saddam Hussein was, and how good it is that it no longer exists.

 

At the same time, even if one assumes, for the sake of the discussion, that Iraq was in possession of such weapons in the months prior to the war, it is certain that, contrary to the picture which was drawn, the non-conventional weapons and ground-to-ground missiles were not deployed in the units and were not readied for use at the time of the war.

 

If Iraq had prepared ahead of time a sophisticated mechanism for concealing and/or moving weapons of this sort, then the very existence of this mechanism and the preparations for concealment rather than for activation was not discovered by the intelligence services.

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Guest Bernard Weiner   
Guest Bernard Weiner

The Iraq/9/11 linkage was all B.S., of course, but most American leaders swallowed it -- including those of the supposed Democrat "opposition" -- while the rest of the world, more savvy about the reality and complexity of the situation, were not afraid to confront the Superpower bully and angrily denounced the Bush lies. More than 10,000,000 citizens demonstrated worldwide against the impending war. Maybe they were more willing to take on the U.S. because they remembered what happened in Europe when appeasement of a war-hungry Adolph Hitler led to World War II, in which 60 million were slaughtered.

 

Read more here

 

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_be..._to_play_be.htm

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Guest JPV   
Guest JPV
"Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases."

This claim was repeated several times in the run-up to the war, including in Colin Powell's speech to the U.N Security Council on 5 February 2003, which concluded with a long recitation of the information provided al-Libi. Powell's speech came less than a month after a then-classified CIA report concluding that the information provided by al-Libi was unreliable and about a year after a DIA report concluded the same thing.

if there was an al Qaeda (Islamic Jihad) presence in Iraq they would most likely have been harbored by the Kurds (our allies), who would have found a common enemy in Saddam. Cheney himself is quoted as saying that they were operating in the “North” of Iraq. This is where the Kurds are located.

 

It’s absurd to think that a Fundamantalist Islamic Regime would form a partnership with a Dictator that ran a secular Arab nation. In Islamic terms he would have been considered to be in a state of “Jahalia” by these Fundementalist. In other words a backlsider in the world of Islam. According to the ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood, members of which formed Islamic Jihad (al Qaeda), this would have meant that he should have been killed.

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Guest BE   
Guest BE

JPV you are totally on mark here. Just read the 9/11 commission's report and see that it discovered "no collaborative relationship" between the terrorist group and Saddam. What can Bush and Chaney be thinking? It's right there, in black and white.

 

Ah, yes. Zarqawi did flee to Iraq after the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, but he joined up with an anti-Saddam group in the north, Ansar al-Islam, radical Kurdish Islamists. In a rather delicious twist of irony that perhaps only the ancient Greeks could truly appreciate, the group, and Zarqawi, was protected by the U.S.-British no-fly, no-go zone.

 

And Yasin, who was involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, also fled to Iraq. Saddam imprisoned him.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

One of the most immediate threats is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups who have benefited from al-Qa`ida links. This includes al-Zarqawi network, the Ansar al-Islam in Iraq.

 

Ansar al-Islam came together as a group in September 2001, initially under the name of Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), but its constituent factions have existed for several years. Espousing an ultra-orthodox Islamic ideology reminiscent of Wahhabism, the group's leaders issued decrees imposing their strict interpretation of Islam on the local inhabitants and introducing harsh punishments for those who failed to comply with their decrees. Since its establishment, the group's armed fighters have engaged in intermittent clashes with the forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in whose stronghold Biyara and Tawela are located.

 

Scores of Iraqi Kurds affiliated to Ansar al-Islam, including key leaders, consider themselves veterans of the Afghan war. They had spent time in Afghanistan, initially fighting against Soviet forces during the 1980s. Representatives of other Iraqi Kurdish Islamist groups who maintain links with Ansar al-Islam told Human Rights Watch that a small number of Iraqi Kurds affiliated to the group had also fought alongside the Taliban, and that they then returned to Iraqi Kurdistan following the latter's defeat.

 

There are also other indications of possible Ansar al-Islam connections with al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. Documents discovered in an al-Qaeda guest house in Afghanistan by the New York Times discuss the creation of an "Iraqi Kurdistan Islamic Brigade" just weeks prior to the formation of Ansar al-Islam in December 2001, and some Ansar al-Islam members in PUK custody have described in credible detail training in al-Qa'ida camps in Afghanistan. The existence of any ongoing links between al-Qa'ida and Ansar al-Islam is unknown.

 

In the summer of 2002, Zarqawi was reported to have settled in northern Iraq, where he joined the Islamist Ansar al-Islam group that fought against Kurdish-nationalist forces in the region. [7] He reportedly became a leader in the group, although his leadership role has not been established.

 

According to some reports, Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) have received $600,000 from al-Qaeda, and a delivery of weapons and Toyota Land Cruisers. There are also reports stating that Ansar al-Islam received $35,000 from the Mukhabarat branch of Iraqi Intelligence Service, in addition to a considerable quantity of arms. The leader of Ansar al-Islam, Mullah Krekar has been captured in September of 2002.

 

Here is a inciteful report done by The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

http://www.odci.gov/nic/articles_after_al_qaeda.htm

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Guest John Prados   
Guest John Prados

Last week, speaking to Brit Hume of Fox News, President George W. Bush finally acknowledged that it never mattered what the intelligence said. When Hume asked if his decision to invade Iraq would have been the same “if the weapons had been out of the equation,” the president answered, “Absolutely.” Coming from the same man who declared, as U.S. troops crossed the border to start the war, that America’s clear purpose was to rid Iraq of Saddam’s “weapons of mass murder,” this affirmation lifts the veil of Bush’s real motives another little bit. Soon enough there will be nothing left to cloak the administration’s blind ambition.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

Media Matters for America reported that Chris Matthews allowed Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) to falsely claim that the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Robb-Silberman commission exonerated the Bush administration of charges of misusing intelligence on Iraq or misleading the American public prior to the start of the Iraq war.

 

In fact, as Media Matters for America previously noted, neither the Senate Intelligence Committee's "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq" nor the Robb-Silberman commission's report to the president addressed the question of whether the Bush administration "massag[ed]" the intelligence it received or misled the American public.

 

Read More Here

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Guest Senate Republican Policy Committ   
Guest Senate Republican Policy Committ

Following is an executive summary of a Senate Republican Policy Committee Paper titled "Examining the Continuing Iraq Pre-war Intelligence Myths," released Feb. 8.:

 

Executive Summary

 

Critics of the Iraq war continue to reissue their assertions/charges that the President "manufactured" or "misused" intelligence to justify the war.

 

In the most egregious cases, they continue to promulgate misleading critiques involving:

 

-- Iraq's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes;

 

-- the source code-named "Curveball";

 

-- claims that Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress ("INC") tricked the United States into war; and

 

-- the State Department "dissent" holding that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program.

 

When the facts surrounding these issues are examined, it becomes clear that it is not the President who is misrepresenting information; rather, it is the critics.

 

The Department of Energy's intelligence agency was in the minority when it assessed that the aluminum tubes were not destined for a nuclear program, and DOE still concluded, overall, that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program.

 

Policymakers did not deliberately misuse Curveball's information; they were never even made aware of hints that Curveball might be unreliable.

 

Intelligence professionals concluded that the program by which they obtained access to information about Iraq through the INC was a valuable program. Moreover, the INC's information was essentially irrelevant to the intelligence community's pre-war assessments.

 

The "alternative view" of the State Department's intelligence agency, INR, was no alternative. It still concluded that Iraq was "pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities."

 

------

 

Copies of this paper are also available at http://www.rpc.senate.gov.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

Here is the latest White House Response on Iraq WMD.

 

*********************************************

 

Q When did the President know -- after that intelligence was vetted and debated, when did he know --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, as I held out a short time ago, the intelligence assessment was provided by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency on May 28, 2003. The President was asked a question on the very next day, and the President's statements were based on the joint assessment of the CIA and DIA that was publicly released the day before. So this was publicly provided to the American people, it's what the White House had. That was the assessment of the intelligence community. So I think it's important to keep that in mind.

 

And the suggestion, or impression that was left by some of the reporting was that the President was saying something he knew not to be true. No, the President was saying what the intelligence community assessed to be right, based on their intelligence-gathering. And so that was the very next day; it was in response to a question. I saw some reporting saying he had gone out and given a speech about it, and that's not true. In fact, the very day that he was talking about it, numerous papers were reporting on the briefing by the intelligence community. The intelligence community said that they were "highly confident" that they had discovered a "mobile biological production plant."

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Here is an excerpt of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) explains his decision to support the war in Iraq at The New School commencement address in New York City. I think no one can argue this man is a patriot.

 

I supported the decision to go to war in Iraq. Many Americans did not. My patriotism and my conscience required me to support it and to engage in the debate over whether and how to fight it. I stand that ground not to chase vainglorious dreams of empire; not for a noxious sense of racial superiority over a subject people; not for cheap oil; -- we could have purchased oil from the former dictator at a price far less expensive than the blood and treasure we’ve paid to secure those resources for the people of that nation; not for the allure of chauvinism, to wreak destruction in the world in order to feel superior to it; not for a foolishly romantic conception of war. I stand that ground because I believed, rightly or wrongly, that my country’s interests and values required it.

 

War is an awful business. The lives of the nation’s finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer. Commerce is disrupted, economies damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of statecraft are endangered as the demands of war and diplomacy conflict. Whether the cause was necessary or not, whether it was just or not, we should all shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us. However just or false the cause, how ever proud and noble the service, it is loss – the loss of friends, the loss of innocent life, the loss of innocence -- that the veteran feels most keenly forever more. Only a fool or a fraud sentimentalizes war.

 

Americans should argue about this war. It has cost the lives of nearly 2500 of the best of us. It has taken innocent life. It has imposed an enormous financial burden on our economy. At a minimum, it has complicated our ability to respond to other looming threats. Should we lose this war, our defeat will further destabilize an already volatile and dangerous region, strengthen the threat of terrorism, and unleash furies that will assail us for a very long time. I believe the benefits of success will justify the costs and risks we have incurred. But if an American feels the decision was unwise, then they should state their opposition, and argue for another course. It is your right and your obligation. I respect you for it. I would not respect you if you chose to ignore such an important responsibility. But I ask that you consider the possibility that I, too, am trying to meet my responsibilities, to follow my conscience, to do my duty as best as I can, as God has given me light to see that duty.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

Here is what I have transcribed so far from the Senate's Postwar findings about Iraq's links to terrorism and how they compare with Prewar assessments.

 

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is leading the exploitation effort of documents (DocEx) uncovered in Iraq, told Committee staff that 120 million plus pages of documents that were recovered in Iraq have received an initial review for intelligence information. As of January 2006, 34 million pages have been translated and summarized to some extent and are available to analysts in an Intelligence Community database.

 

The initial DocEx review focused on searching for WMD related documents, but the DIA also examined the documents for material related to Iraq's link to terrorism. DIA officials explicitly stated that they did not believe that the initial review process missed any docuements of major significance regarding Iraq's links to terrorism. During an interview with Committee staff, the lead DIA analyst who follows the issue of possible connections between the Iraqi government and al-Qa'ida noted that DIA "continues to maintain there was no partnership between the two organizations.

 

One key aspect of prewar analysis focused on the intentions and motivatin for a potential Iraq-al-Qa'ida partnership. In prewar assessments, the Intelligence Community had little specific intelligence reporting that revealed Saddam Hussein's personal opinion about dealing with al-Qa'ida. Instead, analysts looked at Saddam's record of support for secular terrorist organizations like the Palestinian Liberation Front. At the same time, analysts noted that "Saddam has viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat, and his regime since its inception has arrested and executed members of both Shia and Sunni groups to disrupt their organizations and limit their influence. The CIA noted that "our assessment of al-Qa'ida's ties to Iraq rests on a body of fragmented, conflicting reporting from sources of varying reliability.

 

In June 2002, the CIA characterized the relationship between Saddam and bin Ladin:

 

In contrast to the traditional patron-client relationship Iraq enjoys with secular Palestinian groups, the ties between Saddam and bin Ladin appear much like those between rival intelligence services, with each trying to exploit the other for its own benefit.

 

In January 2003, the CIA stated that "Saddam Husayn and Usama bin Ladin are far from being natural partners. Prior to the war, the CIA pointed to reports of contacts, claims of training, and discussions of Iraqi safehaven for Usama bin Ladin and his organization dating from the early 1990s. The CIA noted a lack of specific intelligence reporting on Saddam's personal attitude toward dealing with al-Qa'ida, but stated that "his record suggests that any such ties would be rooted in deep suspicion."

 

The Intelligence Community also had limited intelligence reporting on the al-Qa'ida leadership's decisions regarding a relationship with Iraq. The Intelligence Community relied, in large part, on information from al-Qa'ida detainees to judge bin Ladin's attitude toward a relationship with Saddam Hussein. This information proved contradictory, with some reports indicating a desire to seek assistance from Saddam Hussein and others indicating al-Qa'ida leaders were opposed to any association with the secular Iraqi regime. Information received from detainees noted an internal struggle within al-Qa'ida leaders were opposed to any association with the secular Iraqi regime. Information received from detainees noted an internal struggle within al-Qa'ida over the wisdom of working with the Iraqis. The CIA explained this in Iraqi Support for Terrorism, noting:

 

Detainee information from high-ranking al-Qa'ida officials and associates suggests there was an intense debate within the al-Qa'ida leadership in Afganistan over the risks and benefits of working with Baghdad, and that bin Ladin generally opposed collaboration.

 

Based on the limited information available about the relationship, Iraqi Support to Terrorism concluded that:

 

Iraq's interaction with al-Qa'ida is impelled by mutual antipathy toward the United States and the Saudi royal family and by bin Ladin's interest in unconventional weapons and relocation sites. In contrast to the patron-client pattern between Iraq and its Palestinian surrogates, the relationship between Saddam and bin Ladin appears to more closely resemble that of two independent actors trying to exploit each other - their mutual suspicion suborned by al-Qa'ida's interest in Iraqi assistance, and Bagdad's interest in al-Qa'ida's anti-U.S. attacks.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

During his testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in September 2002, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet stated that, "The intelligence indicates that the two sides at various points have discussed safehaven, training and reciprocal non-aggression. There are several reported suggestions by al-Qa'ida to Iraq about joint terrorist ventures, but in no case can we establish that Iraq accepted or followed up on these suggestions.

 

In a July 2002 assessment, the DIA stated that "compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and al-Qa'ida has not been established, despite a large body of anecdotal information. An earlier DIA assessment noted that "the nature of the regime's relationship with al-Qa'ida is unclear.

 

 

SSC1 July 2004 Report Conclusion- The Relationship Between Iraq and al-Qa'ida

 

The Senate Intelligence Committee's July 2004 report concluded that the CIA's methodological approach for assessing a possible Iraq al-Qa'ida relationship was reasonable and objective. The Committee noted that the CIA acknowledged the lact of specific information on bin Ladin's and Saddam Hussein's view of a relationship and that the CIA based assessments of Iraq;s links to al-Qa'ida on circumstantial evidence. The Committee reported stated that CIA appropriately noted in the Scope Note of Iraqi Support for Terrorism that the Agency's understanding of a relationship continued to evolve, and relied on foru indicators: contacts, training, safehaven, and operational cooperation. The analysis was detailed; did not make definitive statements, and left the issue open for the consumer to decide what constituted a "relationship."

 

According to debriefs of multiple detainees-including Saddam Hussein and former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz - and captured documents, Saddam did not trust al-Qa'ida or any other radical Isamist group and did not want to cooperate with them. Hussein reportedly believed, however, that al-Qa'ida was an effective organization because of its ability to successfully attack U.S. interests.

 

The FBI provided two summaries of statements made by Saddam Hussein regarding his regime's relationship with al-Qa'ida. The summary said that when told there was clear evidence that the Iraqi government had previously met with bin Ladin, Saddam repsponded, "yes." Saddam then specified that Iraq did cooperate with bin Ladin. In response to the suggestion that he might cooperate with al-Qa'ida because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," Saddam answered that the United States was not Iraq's enemy. He claimed that Iraq only opposed U.S. policies. He specified that if he wanted to cooperate with the enemies of the U.S., he would have allied with North Korea or China.

 

According to Tariq Aziz, "Saddam only expressed negative sentiments about bin Ladin." Aziz told the FBI that "when the Taliban was in power, the Iraq government deliberately avoided opening an embassy in Kabul." Aziz underscored Saddam's distrust of Islamic extremists like bin Ladin, stating that when the Iraqi regime started to see evidence that Wahabists had come to Iraq, "the Iraqi regime issued a decree aggressively outlawing Wahabism in Iraq and threatening offenders with execution."

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Guest John Kerry   
Guest John Kerry

I remember when I was back home from Vietnam and veterans were speaking out against the Vietnam war policy, someone yelled at the vets: "You should support the troops." One of those veterans said simply: "Lady, we are the troops."

 

With a war in Iraq gone horribly wrong and a Republican attack machine determined to smear those who speak out, there's nothing more important this fall than electing veterans to Congress who can speak out about Iraq with a special moral authority.

 

And man, do we need them. Recently, John "Randy" Kuhl, a Republican incumbent House member from New York, returned from a visit to Iraq. He reported that things were going well. In fact, he says he almost forgot he was in a war zone.

 

I can't tell you whether that hard-to-believe comment reflects his disconnect with reality or his refusal to level with the people he represents. But, I can tell you this: No one who knows what it really means to be in a war zone would talk like that.

 

If you act now to support Eric Massa, the 24-year Navy veteran running against Kuhl, there will be one less Congressman in Washington next year who blindly supports the failed Republican policy in Iraq.

 

Eric served in Desert Storm, Bosnia and Beirut. And he's telling people the truth about Iraq -- that there is no purely military solution to the problems there. He, three other proud veterans I'll tell you about in a moment, and VoteVets.org, a political action committee founded to support candidates like them, need your help right now.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Kerry

 

P.S. There's one other critical way you can help veterans running for office. Support VoteVets.org, a political action committee formed by Iraq veterans to support Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are running for Congress. VoteVets.org is providing campaigns with training and support and running TV ads critical of candidates who support the failed "stay the course" policy of the Bush administration.

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Guest Congressman Jim Moran   
Guest Congressman Jim Moran

In a televised address to the nation Monday night, President Bush once again tried to justify the decision to invade Iraq by drawing non-existent links between 9/11 and Iraq.

 

Now that a majority of Americans no longer support our open-ended occupation of Iraq, the President is trying desperately to convince the public that "staying the course" is our only option. He recently said that the decision whether or not to continue occupying Iraq is one for future Presidents to make. With the information coming out of Iraq regarding the growing civil war there, this is a position of great concern.

 

Three years into the Vietnam War, 3,000 U.S. soldiers had been killed in action. At that point in the conflict, the U.S. government was issuing statements declaring that the Viet Cong were losing and our troops should be able to come home soon. Eight more years of battle followed, claiming the lives of 55,000 more American servicemen before Congress and the White House finally withdrew our troops.

 

As the esteemed novelist and philosopher Santayana said, “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

 

We cannot allow that to happen in Iraq. We must learn from our previous mistakes in past conflicts. America needs a new direction on Iraq, one that the current Congress and White House can't seem to find.

 

This morning I delivered a floor speech on this topic.

 

Transcript of Remarks by Congressman Jim Moran on the Iraq conflict September 13, 2006 (House of Representatives)

 

Mr. Moran VA:

 

Mr. Speaker, in his speech on Monday night, President Bush continued to try to justify the invasion of Iraq by drawing nonexistent links to the 9/11 attacks. The president's misuse of the fifth anniversary of the attacks shows that he will go to any length to divert our attention from his failures in Iraq which has diverted focus from America's real national security concerns.

 

President Bush and most Republicans here in Congress refuse to admit that things are not going well in Iraq. They only have to look at the report that we requested from the president's own Pentagon showing the situation has greatly worsened. The number of attacks against Americans and Iraqis has climbed to its highest level since the war began. And in the month of July alone, 100 Iraqis a day were being killed and U.S. troops continue to pay too high a price. To date, more than 2,600 brave American soldiers have lost their lives, an additional 19,000 have been wounded, and we've now spent over $320 billion in Iraq.

 

Do we really need to lose 58,000 soldiers before we stop staying the same course in Iraq? It's time for a new strategy in Iraq, one where the Iraqis themselves, not foreign occupiers, are responsible for their nation's future.

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Guest Get your message straight   
Guest Get your message straight

Its funny how Democrats change their tune just to get votes. Here is what your fearless leader Clinton had to say about Iraq when he was President:

 

President Clinton: "We Have To Defend Our Future From These Predators Of The 21st Century. They Feed On The Free Flow Of Information And Technology. They Actually Take Advantage Of The Freer Movement Of People, Information And Ideas. And They Will Be All The More Lethal If We Allow Them To Build Arsenals Of Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons And The Missiles To Deliver Them. We Simply Cannot Allow That To Happen. There Is No More Clear Example Of This Threat Than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His Regime Threatens The Safety Of His People, The Stability Of His Region And The Security Of All The Rest Of Us." (President Clinton, Remarks To Joint Chiefs Of Staff And Pentagon Staff, 2/17/98)

 

President Clinton: "Earlier Today I Ordered America's Armed Forces To Strike Military And Security Targets In Iraq… Their Mission Is To Attack Iraq's Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons Programs And Its Military Capacity To Threaten Its Neighbors …" ("Text Of Clinton Statement On Iraq Attack," Agence France Presse, 12/17/98)

 

President Clinton: "Saddam Hussein Must Not Be Allowed To Threaten His Neighbors Or The World With Nuclear Arms, Poison Gas Or Biological Weapons." (President Clintion, Address To The Nation Announcing Military Strikes On Iraq, Washington, D.C., 12/16/98)

 

Here is what your fearfull leader is saying now:

 

President Clinton: "In Iraq, We Should Have Let The U.N. Inspectors Finish Their Job." (Tom Murphy, "Clinton Slams Bush Administration's 'Unilateral' Foreign Policy," The Associated Press, 5/22/04)

 

President Clinton: "I Have A Different World View [From That Of The Bush Administration]" (Tom Murphy, "Clinton Slams Bush Administration's 'Unilateral' Foreign Policy," The Associated Press, 5/22/04)

 

President Clinton: "Rather Than Taking A Unilateral Path, We Need To Strengthen International Organizations." (Tom Murphy, "Clinton Slams Bush Administration's 'Unilateral' Foreign Policy," The Associated Press, 5/22/04)

 

President Clinton: "We Need More International Partners." (Tom Murphy, "Clinton Slams Bush Administration's 'Unilateral' Foreign Policy," The Associated Press, 5/22/04)

 

President Clinton: "Saddam Is Gone. It's A Good Thing, But I Don't Agree With What Was Done …" (Lara Sukhtian, "Bill Clinton Says U.S. Made 'Big Mistake' When It Invaded Iraq," The Associated Press, 11/16/05)

 

Democrats are a joke.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

I wish that politics could be removed from this issue. It is quite apparent that members of both political parties were at fault about Iraqi pre-war intelligence. It will be the voters choice whether or not to replace the individuals involved. But, lets not play the blame game on the past and look to the future.

 

Iraq is economically critical to our country. In addition, we owe both the Iraqi people and our troops that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to stabilize the region. Finally, our government owes American taxpayers $314,432,883,931 at this point to come up with a successful plan to get the job done. If you have a good idea on how to fix this problem please share it. If it is a good idea I will help spread the word.

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Guest human_*   
Guest human_*

What base is your friend located at?? All I need is the base name. I will send them some thing that only took me 3 years to find online.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wish that politics could be removed from this issue. It is quite apparent that members of both political parties were at fault about Iraqi pre-war intelligence. It will be the voters choice whether or not to replace the individuals involved. But, lets not play the blame game on the past and look to the future.

 

Iraq is economically critical to our country. In addition, we owe both the Iraqi people and our troops that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to stabilize the region. Finally, our government owes American taxpayers $314,432,883,931 at this point to come up with a successful plan to get the job done. If you have a good idea on how to fix this problem please share it. If it is a good idea I will help spread the word.

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BlingBling    0

Luke,

My respects to your friend Robert. I pray that he makes it home safe. But, if we had not invaded Iraq we would have more resources on the war with terror.

 

Here part of John Kerry's Speech about the truth about Iraq. I think he is right on the mark.

 

In order to change course, we must level with the American people about the magnitude of the challenge: we must face reality so we can change it.

 

This starts by leveling with the American people about Iraq's true position in the overall fight against jihadism. The President pretends Iraq is the central front on the war on terror. It is not now, and never has been. The truth is, his disastrous decisions have made Iraq a fuel depot for terror - fanning the flames of conflict around the world.

 

There is simply no way to overstate how Iraq has subverted our efforts to free the world from global terror. It has overstretched our military. It has served as an essential recruitment tool for terrorists. It has divided and pushed away our traditional allies. It has diverted critical billions of dollars from the real front lines against terrorism and from homeland security. It has unleashed dangerous, pent-up forces of radical religious extremism. It has weakened moderate leaders in the Middle East. It has strengthened and played into Iran's hand. It has diminished our moral authority in the world.

 

The demagogic drumbeat about fighting terrorists over there instead of here -- even though they weren't in Iraq until we went in, and it's now a civil war we're fighting -- has compromised America's real interests and made us less safe than we ought to be five years after 9/11. The true measure of that is the stark fact that worldwide terrorist attacks are at an all-time high and there are now more terrorists in the world who want to kill Americans than there were at the time of 9/11.

 

We have an Iraqi Prime Minister sustained in power by our forces, who will not speak against the Hezbollah terrorists, who will not say that Israel has a right to exist, and who will not condemn the Iranian nuclear program. No American soldier should be asked to stand up for an Iraqi government that won't stand up for freedom and against fear.

 

Here at home, too many things have not changed in the last five years. We learned on 9/11 painful lessons about the costs of a dysfunctional intelligence system marred by bureaucratic infighting, inadequate resources, and faulty analysis. Yet the 9/11 commission recently gave our own government a failing grade on implementing intelligence reforms.

 

The Dubai port deal reminded us only a small percentage of cargoes entering U.S. ports are even inspected. Surely if we can inspect cargoes at the Baghdad airport, we can inspect cargoes at the airports in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and right here in Washington DC.

 

This is the reality of the world today - a world more dangerous because of the Bush blunders and a challenge far more complicated than the gruff Cheney sound bites. America deserves - our safety depends-on a winning strategy to reverse this dangerous course and make our country more secure.

 

There are five principal priorities that demand immediate action: (1) redeploy from Iraq, (2) re-commit to Afghanistan, (3) reduce our dependence on foreign oil, (4) reinforce our homeland defense, and (5) restore America's moral leadership in the world. These "5 R's"-if you want to call them that-- are bold steps Democrats will take to strengthen our national security, and that the Republicans who have set the agenda today resist to our national peril.

 

We must refocus our military efforts from the failed occupation of Iraq to what we should have been doing all along: tracking down and killing members of al Qaeda and their clones wherever they are. We must redeploy troops from Iraq - maintain enough residual force to complete the training and deter foreign intervention, so we can free up resources to fight the global war on terror.

 

Republicans want to wrap this strategy in slogans because they're afraid to debate what it really is: it's a redeploy-to-succeed strategy - to succeed in defeating world wide terror, and to succeed in making Iraqis themselves responsible for Iraq.

 

This is the opposite of the administration's stand-still-and-lose strategy - - it's a clear alternative from a broken policy of "more of the same." Every time President Bush tells the Iraqis we will "stay as long as it takes," he is giving squabbling politicians there an excuse to take as long as they want. All of us want democracy in Iraq but Iraqis must want it for themselves as much as we want it for them. It's long overdue for the president to realize that no American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi factions refuse to resolve their ethnic rivalries and their competing grasp for oil revenues.

 

At each step along the way, the Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines-a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, a deadline to write a Constitution, a deadline to hold three elections. So we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet-- a clear deadline of July, 2007 to redeploy our combat troops. Make Iraqis stand up for Iraq - and bring our heroes home.

 

We also desperately need something else this administration disdains: diplomacy. Real diplomacy -- a Dayton-like summit of Iraq and the countries bordering it, the Arab League, NATO, and the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council. Our own generals have said Iraq can not be solved militarily. Only through negotiation and diplomacy can you stem the growing civil war, and only by setting a deadline to get out can we force Iraq and its neighbors to take diplomacy seriously.

 

"Staying the course" isn't far-sighted; it's blind. Leaving our troops in the middle of a civil war isn't resolute; it's reckless. Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion.

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: “This is not Afghanistan…When we approach the question of Iraq, we realize here is a country which has a resource. And it’s obvious, it’s oil. And it can bring in and does bring in a certain amount of revenue each year…$10, $15, even $18 billion…this is not a broke country.” [source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03]

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

On January 26, 1998, The Project for the New American Century letter (PNAC) to President Bill Clinton advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein. The Project for the New American Century an influential neoconservative think tank. The group believes Saddam Hussein is a “hazard” to “a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil.” In a foretaste of what eventually happens, the letter calls for the US to go to war alone, attacks the United Nations, and says the US should not be “crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.”

 

The letter is signed by many who will later lead the 2003 Iraq war. 10 of the 18 signatories later join the Bush Administration, including (future) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, presidential adviser for the Middle East Elliott Abrams, and Bush’s special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. [sunday Herald (Glasgow), 3/16/2003; Project for the New American Century, 1/26/1998] Clinton does heavily bomb Iraq in late 1998, but the bombing doesn’t last long and its long term effect is the break off of United Nations weapons inspections. [New York Times, 3/23/2003]

 

After the terrorists attacks of 9-11, on September 15, 2001 at Camp David, Wolfowitz argued for attacking Iraq, with THE LONDON TIMES (August 29, 2002) reporting that Wolfowitz "argued that September 11 provided a perfect pretext to hit Baghdad."

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Established in the spring of 1997, the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership.

 

Both administrations assessed the threat in similar terms. For example, in September 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asked CBS News viewers to “imagine a September eleventh with weapons of mass destruction. It’s not three thousand—it’s tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children.” Similarly, Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Cohen stated in a televised Pentagon press briefing that the “UN believes that Saddam may have produced as much as 200 tons of VX, and this would, of course, be theoretically enough to kill every man, woman and child on the face of the earth....We face a clear and present danger today....

 

The one possible exception to this basic continuity concerns the nuclear threat posed by Iraq. On this issue the Bush administration did go a bit further than the Clinton administration in emphasizing the potential threat posed by an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Vice President Cheney, for example, stated in August, 2002 that “many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.”

 

Kenneth Pollack, former CIA analyst and Clinton NSC official has written: “The U.S. Intelligence Community’s belief toward the end of the Clinton Administration [was] that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program and was close to acquiring nuclear weapons.” And, indeed, President

Clinton, in the midst of one of a series of crises dealing with Iraq, painted a bleak future if nations did not cooperate against “organized forces of destruction,” telling the audience that only a small amount of “nuclear cake put in a bomb would do ten times as much damage as the Oklahoma City bomb did.” Effectively dealing with proliferation and not letting weapons “fall into the wrong hands” is “fundamentally what is stake in the standoff we’re having in Iraq today.”

 

January 26, 1998

 

The Honorable William J. Clinton

President of the United States

Washington, DC

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

 

The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.

 

Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.

 

Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

 

We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.

 

We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.

 

Sincerely,

 

Elliott Abrams

Richard L. Armitage

William J. Bennett

Jeffrey Bergner

John Bolton

Paula Dobriansky

Francis Fukuyama

Robert Kagan

Zalmay Khalilzad

William Kristol

Richard Perle

Peter W. Rodman

Donald Rumsfeld

William Schneider, Jr.

Vin Weber

Paul Wolfowitz

R. James Woolsey

Robert B. Zoellick

 

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

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