Democrats & Liberals Archives

West Wing Season 6: The NIE/NIC Report

According to published news reports (link) The National Intelligence Estimate released an assessment essentially saying that the strategy for winning the war on terror isn’t working.

My wife’s response: “All you have to do is open your eyes and you can see that.”

But this assessment, entitled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," by America’s 16 intelligence agencies, found that the war in Iraq, rather than reducing the growth of terrorism, actually increased its spread across the world at large. And what’s worse, the NIC, another group closely associated with the NIE, suggested, two months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, that if we invaded Iraq this is exactly what would happen.

Now I realize that the credibility of the NIE is suspect since the Bush administration used the NIE’s assessments as the cornerstone for the Iraq invasion but one has to question the motivation for the invasion. The article states the following:

The estimate’s judgments confirm some predictions of a National Intelligence Council report completed in January 2003, two months before the Iraq invasion. That report stated that the approaching war had the potential to increase support for political Islam worldwide and could increase support for some terrorist objectives.

For me, I can just imagine this executive briefing meeting with the President in 2003:


GWB: So what do you guys got fer me? When can we go into Iraq?

NIE: Well, we could say that Iraq is making nuclear weapons. But the CIA won’t sign that off.

GWB: Waddya mean not sign off?

NIE: Well you remember those unconfirmed reports about Iraq trying to by uranium.

GWB: Right! Got it! Iraq has uranium for nukes. Great! When can we go in?

NIE: Well, Mr. President, the CIA said they can’t confirm this.

GWB: Don’t worry. I’ll get them on board. I seem to remember them saying something about dunking and slamming.

NIE: Well Mr. President, there’s the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that they might have.

GWB: Great. They have stockpiles! I like it. Stockpiles of death. That’s what I’ll call it. Stockpiles of death. When can we go in and get him?

NIE: No. Mr. President they might have stockpiles.

GWB: might, schmite. You guys just confuse the message with the facts.

NIE: Well you see Mr. President; it is our assertion that if the chemicals that Iraq had used 20 years ago are still lying around, we would consider that amount to be a stockpile. But we can’t confirm.

GWB: Right. Got it. They have stockpiles of death and are building nukes. NIC.. how about you. Whatcha got?

NIC: Well Mr. President, we feel that if you invade Iraq this will probably embolden the terrorists and possibly make the threat of terrorism grow.

GWB: I can’t hear you.

NIC: I’m sorry (clearing their throat) Mr. President. I said that if you invade Iraq this will probably be a bad thing for fighting terrorism worldwide.

GWB: No. You don’t understand. I can’t hear you.

Yes this was a work of fiction (or if I worked for ABC it would be considered a docudrama). But just today Bush said this:

“Some people have guessed what's in the report and concluded that going into Iraq was a mistake. I strongly disagree.”

Strongly disagree with the conclusion or the facts?

The administration, who isn’t disputing the findings in the report, claims the leaked report doesn’t tell the complete story.

Right. You’ve got to love the machine. Spin the story away from actual report to the people that leaked the report. Oh boy, I can hear the rallying cry already:


"Mr. Speaker I’m presenting on this floor today a motion to punish those that leak classified information to the media and punish those who publish classified information. Mr. Speaker I would go as far to say that I will punish those who read the classified information."

Fade to black.

Posted by john trevisani at September 26, 2006 1:45 PM
Comments
Comment #184006

John
“The administration, who isn’t disputing the findings in the report, claims the leaked report doesn’t tell the complete story”

If there is more to the story, would it not be best to know the whole story before passing judgment?
Or is it ok to prematurely jump to conclusions and “spin the story away from the actual report” as long as it supports what you want?

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #184008

Yeah, this is no brainer stuff. Even Dubya’s dad warned his son and nation about the consequences of an invasion. The frequent claim you hear that the current disaster in Iraq was unforeseen simply is not true.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #184014
If there is more to the story, would it not be best to know the whole story before passing judgment?

Absolutely. I just hope Bush recants and decides to release the entire report, and not just “cherry pick” the parts he believes should be released. There will always be “more to the story” unless he releases everything.

Posted by: bobo at September 26, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #184016

This is total BS.

One paragraph of a very long document reportedly says that the radicals are using the Iraq war as a recruiting tool. But duh. They also use the existence of homosexuals and rock music in the west as a recruiting tool. This isn’t news, and we didn’t need the intelligence community to tell us this.

Now, after an illegal politically motivated leak right before the election, the media tries to leave the impression that the entire NIE/NIC does nothing but talk about how the war in Iraq is a mistake, that it’s creating more terrorists, etc.

Honestly, the editors of the NY Times need to spend a little time chained to their “sources” in Guantanomo Bay along with the rest of the terrorists.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 26, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #184017

kctim:
i disagree with your conclusion. What i want is truth. What i want is an honest government. What i want is an open government that works for its citizens.

But, alas, what we have is not what i want. What we have is a creative marketing machine that can spin stories for THEIR wants.

It would be naive of me, after six long years of misinformation and slander, that this administration would, for this story alone, change their tone and be straight with the American people.

Posted by: john trevisani at September 26, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #184027

Nancy Pelosi tried:

“Democrats failed Tuesday to push the House into an unusual secret session to discuss a classified intelligence analysis on global terrorism that says the Iraq war is nourishing a new generation of extremist operatives.”

“The vote to reject Pelosi’s move was nearly straight party line. One Republican — Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut, who is in a tough race for re-election — voted with the Democratic effort”

So, just what are the Republicans hiding? Or afraid of seeing?

“National Intelligence Director John Negroponte acknowledged that U.S. analysts believe “the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”

From a historical POV I find it interesting that, “Such a session hasn’t happened in the House since July 1983, when the chamber went into a closed session to discuss the United States’ support for paramilitary operations in Nicaragua.”

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 26, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #184029

Oops, forgot my source:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060926/ap_on_go_co/terrorism_intelligence_19

KD

Posted by: KansasDem at September 26, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #184031

Bobo
I agree. As long as nothing in there could compromise anything, then the whole thing should be released.

John
My conclusion is just that we would be better off knowing all the facts before we passed judgment.
Whats wrong with that?

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #184032

someone wrote:
If there is more to the story, would it not be best to know the whole story before passing judgment?

Come on — just how far are you willing to stick your head in the sand????
John’s wife’s reaction is exactly right — the conclusion of the report should actually result in a response of
“Well Duhhhhhh” to anyone that is even remotely slightly aware of current events for the past 2 years.
NO REPORT IS NECESSARY — THE FACTS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE INDICATED WHAT IS GOING ON.

Consider this, the report has been out since April and all we get from this Administration is that things over there are “Hunky-Dory” and all we have to do is “Stay the Course — we are winning (???????) the war on terror”
So it appears that Bush is either STILL ignoring his intelligence information or cherry-picking it to match his pre-conceived notions — same as what got us into Iraq in the first place
“those who forget history are doomed to repeat it?”
In this case it is those who choose to Ignore History are bound to repeat it.

Posted by: Russ at September 26, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #184035

Russ, how could anyones reaction to the conclusion of the report be “duhhhh,” when you don’t know what the conclusion is?

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #184038

KCTim:

My conclusion is just that we would be better off knowing all the facts before we passed judgment.
Whats wrong with that?

No, that’s not what you said. Your conclusion was that ‘(i) was jumping to premature conclusions’ to suit my ‘wants’.

Posted by: john trevisani at September 26, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #184048

That report only confirms what is blantantly obvious.

The next leak will say that civil war has been waging in Iraq for the past several months, and even more troops deployed has failed to change the deteriorating conditions, which is already being reported by the embassies.

Lets see should we “stay the course”? HHMM, keep on doing the same things that have been failing for four years?

Posted by: mem beth at September 26, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #184049

“My conclusion is just that we would be better off knowing all the facts before we passed judgment.
Whats wrong with that?”

Well, kc, how bout I predict right now that no matter what the report says, you’ll find some way to support bush.
Lets see.

Posted by: Observer at September 26, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #184052

Pilsner,

The NY Times would never be allowed to enjoy the freedoms of the press that have now, if they were run by an islamic terrorist organization. If your ashamed of the truth, you might try rebuttal, which you did, without the accusing the NY Times of terrorism by practicing an U.S. Constitutional Protected right.

The islamic terrorists would try to control the press, like you wish to! So who would be more like a terrorist then?

The NY Times should be commended for their reporting and Patriotism. Blind faith in bad leaders is not Patriotism.

Posted by: mem beth at September 26, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #184055

Ah, my bad John.

Observer
Predict away my friend, I too can make predictions: No matter what the reports says, the left will find a way to say Bush lied or whatever else they think will stick and help them get votes.

But, I do have a question. What makes you believe I am a Bush supporter? What have I said that make you think I am?
Asking for facts shouldn’t make a person automatically on the other side should it?

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #184060

Bush will release those portions which, if you read them through his rose-colored glasses, will possibly support what he is saying; as long as you believe what he is telling us. This is predictable, based on everything he and his admin has done so far.
As was stated earlier, we did not need this report to know that Iraq has created a breeding ground for terrorists. Not only does this report state this, but our own military and other high-placed government sources have stated the same thing. Our own eyes and ears are telling us the same thing. It really is a no-brainer.
When I heard this news, I thought, “so what?” I knew it already.

Off-topic: I just read that Bush is saying that Clinton is just “finger-pointing”, and he has no time for that. I guess he’s used up all of his time doing his own finger-pointing every chance he got. “What a maroon” (to quote Popeye; who, by the way, would make a better president than Bush.)

Posted by: Cole at September 26, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #184073

sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites. all I want is the truth…

I love how the cons are labelling this as a “politically motivated leak”, as if they had never done the same thing.

Posted by: David S at September 26, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #184079

BUSH TAKES HIGH ROAD AS USUAL OVER DEMOCRATIC NAME CALLING!
By Matt Spetalnick 1 hour, 2 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Tuesday dismissed as “finger-pointing” criticism from his predecessor Bill Clinton of his counter-terrorism efforts in the months leading up to the September 11 attacks.
BUSH TAKES HIGH ROAD!

Clinton, angrily defending his own administration’s attempts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, had accused the Bush administration of doing far less to stop the al Qaeda leader before the 2001 hijack plane attacks.
Bush, who is trying to stave off a Democratic takeover of Congress in November, seemed to bristle when asked about Clinton, only to sidestep his assertions.
“We’ll let history judge all the different finger-pointing and all that business. I don’t have enough time to finger-point,” he said at a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“I’ve got to do my job,” he added, “and that is to protect the American people from further attacks.”

Posted by: Joe at September 26, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #184083

No time to finger point, so he lets Rove do it for him. No time to finger point, too busy clearing brush.

Posted by: David S at September 26, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #184085

Mem Beth,
The N.Y Times should be charged and put on trial for treason. The whole purpose of their reporting is to bring down the Republican government, it has nothing to do with being patriotic or doing a service for our citizens. OPEN YOUR EYES AND STOP BEING SO BLIND TO THE TRUTH. If there were a Democratic President, ninety percent of the items they have reported on would never have been published. When Clinton went into Bosnia without U.N approval, they never questioned this move at all, when Bush went into Iraq without U.N backing, they crucified him. Let’s all face it, postings on these blog sites will always be geared to make others see your own point of view [myself included], and that’s all it is. No one’s mind is going to be changed by a bunch of people sitting in front of their computers spewing politcal rhetoric. The VOTE is what counts…oh, that’s right, Bush beat Kerry by millions of votes last election.

Posted by: Joe at September 26, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #184093

The main stream media is nothing more than a 527.

Posted by: Thomas at September 26, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #184096

“My conclusion is just that we would be better off knowing all the facts before we passed judgment.
Whats wrong with that?”

The fact is that “America’s 16 intelligence agencies, found that the war in Iraq, rather than reducing the growth of terrorism, actually increased its spread across the world at large.”

But John Q Public from Smalltown, America is going to reach a more valid conclusion after careful review of the whole document.

Posted by: Larry at September 26, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #184101

The NIE summary has been released and the NYT had it right…. the Iraq war has made the world more dangerous and our security more precarious….

AND there’s a second NIE which Bush is sitting on with the intention of not releasing it until after the election… there are efforts underway to get it released post haste….. Come on, Dubya, can’t you stand the truth? He can’t and wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him over the head. What a wimp!

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #184102

If you listen to the NEO-CONS I now belive you really can fool some of the people all of the time.

Posted by: Jeff at September 26, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #184108

I’m all for holding our leaders’ feet to the fire and holding them responsible for their mistakes.

The problem is that considering the state of our media, it’s impossible to tell which are actual failings of the administration and which are phony trumped up political hit-jobs.

Plamegate, forged TANG memos, Al Qaqa, politically motivated leaks which may or may not be correct, and on and on and on.

Bush might just be the luckiest president in history because if he was actually responsible for something, there’s been so much complete BS thrown at him that you can’t tell what’s real and what’s just another left-wing conspiracy theory from the land of make-believe.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 26, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #184116

Joe, Again we see the neo-con nationalists would rather remove the free press than deal with issues that paint a bad picture for themselves. No one was really surprised by that report, and it doesn’t effect my vote, I was already aware of these issues.

So you say, Bush won the election, so everything he does is good and just? I’m not buying that. The Bush team are unethical, immoral politicians, Bush is a phony who as strayed from established warfare doctrine and foriegn policies, and his multiple failures with Bin Laden and Iraq are the result of this.

BTW, I am a conservative libertarian.

Posted by: mem beth at September 26, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #184127

Pilsner, let me get this straight, Bush had all this stuff thrown at him by his own intel and people but it was all BS from the left, therefore it is not his fault for getting us into Iraq on information he knew was wrong.
Talk about wagging the dog.

Pilsner I think you have had to many pilsners.

Posted by: KT at September 26, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #184176

Stephen,

If Clinton had done what he should have and left office never to darken our doorstep again, I would agree that we shouldn’t be discussing much about his failures in the area of terrorism (or other areas, but that’s besides the point).

Unfortunately, he’s been out there, for some time, tooting his own horn and defending his record, long before the past few weeks. He’s quite fair game, so let’s leave the ‘whining about Clinton’ out of the arguments since it is a political reality NOW because Clinton is making it a reality NOW.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #184177
Rove and Libby did leak, with the approval of those higher up, sensitive information about an agent’s identity.

I feel like somebody just told me that the world is flat and that there’s such thing as dragons. How can anybody accuse another of being so wrapped up in politics that they can’t see facts and also utter a sentence that absurd?

Fact: you can’t “leak” something if it’s not a secret anymore and you didn’t know it was as secret to begin with.

Fact: a three year investigation was unable to prove what you so blithely assume—that any leak was authorized. In fact, we know that Richard Armitage was shooting his mouth off to reporters and anybody else who’d listen this very info.

Give it up. Fitzmas ain’t coming and there is no such thing as Santa.

Clarke was NOT demoted. He wasn’t promoted and then asked for a transfer. Another lie.

If Clinton had a so-called 52 page plan to “get Bin Laden,” then why was he handing it to anybody instead of acting on it? What nonsense.

I don’t think nor have I ever asserted that I think that Bush is blameless and pure. I don’t think that for a second. And I don’t hold Clinton OR Bush responsible for 9-11.

What I’m saying is that it’s nearly impossible for anybody actually interested in the truth to actually learn it considering the number of anti-Bush stories out there which dissolve at the slightest exposure to the sunlight of truth.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 26, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #184184

As for a ‘52 page report’, even Clinton’s aides reject that assertion.

Remember, there was very little time for administration handover because Al Gore was fighting the results of the election for an extended period of time. Had it gone on longer (we already know he would have still lost after the recounts he asked for would have happened) there would have been even less time for the handover of appropriate documents and information.

So, why aren’t we blaming Gore for 9/11 if the lack of handover is the ‘cause’?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #184187
Former Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger: “Now, the second question you asked - which comes off the Time Magazine story, I think, was there a plan that we turned over to the Bush administration during the transition. If I could address that. The transition, as you will recall, was condensed by virtue of the election in November. I was very focused on using the time that we had - I had been on the other side of a transition with General Scowcroft in 1992. But we used that time very efficiently to convey to my successor the most important information - what was going on and what situations they faced. Number one among those was terrorism and Al-Qaeda, and I told that to my successor. She has acknowledged that publicly so I’m not violating any pr ivate conversation. We briefed them fully on what we were doing - on what else was under consideration and what the threat was. I personally attended part of that briefing to emphasize how important that was. But there was no war plan that we turned over to the Bush administration during the transition. And the reports of that are just incorrect.” (Sandy Berger, Select Committees On Intelligence, U.S. Senate And U.S. House Of Representatives Hearing, 9/18/02)
Richard Clarke In 2002: “[T]here was no plan on al-Qaida that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.” (Richard Tomkins, “WH Throws Own Words Back At Clarke,” United Press International, 3/24/04)
Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #184188

KT: Bush did not have “this” thrown at him by his own people or by the intelligence community.

That’s just the point. He had a twisted, largely fabricated version of it thrown at him by the New York Times who had recieved partial and second-hand info from politically motivated leakers.

Now that we can actually look at the document, we see that most of what’s been in the media the last few days is utter nonsense. It doesn’t say that “America is less safe as a result of Iraq” or that “the terrorists are winning,” both things that I heard NPR commentators yesterday say.

In fact, one of its key findings is this, and I quote; “United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations.”

And also, “Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”

It also says, and this is what got so warped, that “The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.”

But this is something we already knew. That the jihadis use Iraq as a recruiting tool along with the existence in the west of homosexuals, cartoons depicting Mohammed, and the comments of the Pope.

They use the war in Afghanistan as a recruiting tool as well, but that doesn’t mean that the intelligence community en masse believes either of these wars to be either (a) unwinnable or (b) eventual strategic setbacks for the forces of jihad.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 26, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #184228

Interesting article about the NIE report, even though it was written before we got a look at it today.

Quote from the article:

It’s important to remember that the NIE, begun in 2004, took two years before it was published, in its current classified version. It went through several iterations, pushed and pulled by Bush administration politicos. The Times, in breaking the story, reported that “some government officials were unhappy with the structure and focus of earlier versions of the document.” According to my sources, those unhappy with the document were mostly at the Pentagon, and centered around the neoconservatives, who undoubtedly used their influence with the White House, Vice President Cheney, and intelligence czar John Negroponte—who approved the final version of the NIE—to make changes they wanted. It’s not as if an NIE is a pristine, values-free report. Instead (remember the bogus NIE on Iraq’s WMD in 2002) it is often a highly politicized document, especially in the Bush administration.

I found myself a not too dazzled by the lack of depth in that released report. What did others here think?
Let’s face it, these Neocons are such dirty tricksters, we should always remain on alert. Especially right now.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 26, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #184232

Well, Adrienne, what was released was a 3 page summary of the report, not the actual report.

As for the NIE, only 3 times has this report been released, twice by Bush. Yet he’s the one who is hiding things? Dems don’t have a gaggle of ‘dirty tricksters’ on their payroll?

*shrug* you can bring your bias to the issue all you like, I’ll go with looking at facts.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #184262

Rhinehold:
“Well, Adrienne, what was released was a 3 page summary of the report, not the actual report.”

Yes, this is obvious. I was just surprised, because when they said it was going to be released, I thought it was going to be a bit more than just that.

“As for the NIE, only 3 times has this report been released, twice by Bush.”

Yet another reason to wonder about it.

“Yet he’s the one who is hiding things?”

Yeah. Hiding things. Lying about things. Covering things up. Spinning things. Building stuff up. Diminishing others. Leaking info. Stuff like that. They’re furtive, secretive — even “Worse Than Watergate,” you might say.

“Dems don’t have a gaggle of ‘dirty tricksters’ on their payroll?”

Like creepy Uncle Karl? Not a chance.

“*shrug* you can bring your bias to the issue all you like, I’ll go with looking at facts.”

How do we know they’re not cherry picked “facts”, or part of the October surprise to come? Hey, what if it’s even WORSE than they’ve made out here?
You see, you just can’t trust a liar and a sneak.
Ooops, wait. You’re not actually there yet, are you? You’re implying that you still trust them to give you the facts.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 27, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #184282
You’re implying that you still trust them to give you the facts.

No, I never trust a politician to give me the facts, that’s why I investigate then or wait to make up my mind until I hear more.

I don’t make up my mind before the fact and then look to each statement or bit of information to see how it fits with my preconceived view…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 27, 2006 1:15 AM
Comment #184284

I never trusted Clinton, I don’t trust Bush. Until a politician can prove to me they aren’t just interested in gaining and retaining power, I take nothing they say at fact value.

Which is why I looked up what Clinton said the other day and found out he was full of shit on the topic of him and his ‘legacy’. Bush is full of shit a whole variety of topics. But Clinton is also right on some things and Bush is right on some things.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 27, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #184305

This article reminds me of one I wrote in April of 2004 here at WB, Two Wrongs Will Not Make A Right.
It was obvious then, without this NIE report, to predict that the Iraq invasion was the biggest fiasco our country has ventured into since Viet Nam.

Then too, in my article of May 24, 2004, The President’s Quicksand, I reported Gen. Zinni’s remarks that Iraq was a powerkeg about to spilt into warring factions. Didn’t need an NIE report to know that more than 2 years ago. The NIE report simply confirms from unimpeachable sources, what many of us have been saying for years. Iraq was a grand canyon of a mistake, and holding Iraq together and preventing the growth of ever greater hostile forces toward America would be extremely difficult, if possible at all.

Now, years later, all the predictions have come true. We have become the poster child for recruiting Fundamentalist terrorists the world round. We have not vanquished the enemy, we have grown it to many many times its original size and complexity. And Iraq is now in the throes of civil war with its Army members and police engaging in it along with the civilians.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #184306

Rhinehold said: “I don’t make up my mind before the fact and then look to each statement or bit of information to see how it fits with my preconceived view…”

Sure you do, Rhinehold. We all do, to varying degrees on varying topics of information assimilation. Unless you are savant without the capacity to make judgements. Every decision and judgement ever made is preconceived relative to future information not yet assimilated.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2006 2:22 AM
Comment #184307

There is another NIE report exclusively about Iraq which one Senator is calling for Congressional Review, Harmon. Will Congressional oversight committees get to see it? Not before the elections, if ever, I bet, while Republicans are in charge.

The truth is what Republicans spend all their time acquiring and burying. That’s why little else gets done in their government like border security, immigration control, deficit reductions, health care cost reductions, Soc. Sec or Medicare reform, and on and on…. Just no time for such menial tasks when there is so much fact and truth to bury and so little space in the Rose Garden.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #184322

mem beth,
I did not mean to imply that just because Bush won the election, that everything he does is just and good. I am imlpying that most people in the country are moderates, and the left will never take the White House. Every administration is immoral and unethical to a point, I will not waste your time by listing unethical policies of every administration over the last 60 years, but I am sure you know what they are, if not, let me know, i will send you the list. As far as straying from established warefare and policy proceedures…..every administration is different in how they handle these matters. That is why we have elections, it gives citizens [future Presidents] a chance to try THEIR policies as they see fit, if it does not work, we vote them out. Personally, I would like to close the borders, stop policing the world, and become isolationist, we could place a high tax on all products that come into our country and become the richest most powerful in the history of mankind, everyone would have healthcare, retirement security and only have war if we were attacked on our own soil, imagine how tight our borders could be if every soldier fighting overseas were here gaurding our own borders.

So you say, Bush won the election, so everything he does is good and just? I’m not buying that. The Bush team are unethical, immoral politicians, Bush is a phony who as strayed from established warfare doctrine and foriegn policies, and his multiple failures with Bin Laden and Iraq are the result of this.

Posted by: Joe at September 27, 2006 6:04 AM
Comment #184328

Rhinehold,

No, I never trust a politician to give me the facts, that’s why I investigate then or wait to make up my mind until I hear more.

Good.

I don’t make up my mind before the fact and then look to each statement or bit of information to see how it fits with my preconceived view…

And meanwhile you’ve elected a politician who made what it takes to hide or twist the facts available so your mind at vote time was not yet against him.

Until I could trust politicians again, if ever, I give them no doubt’s benefit and make my mind *before* election with both the facts available, if any, and the feelings I got.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2006 6:31 AM
Comment #184329

John, very nice docudrama post. Love it.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2006 6:33 AM
Comment #184357

Joe,

Well that wasn’t very sporting of you, I can’t disagree with most of your points.

As far as becoming isolationists, I don’t think that would be very wise in our global economy, but using Dept of DEFENSE for defensive purposes and HOMELAND Security to protect the homeland would be a wise move of this administration, and the Iraq occupation has done the complete opposite of that, it was not a defensive move and has not made our homeland safer. This was predicted before the War was initiated, and that intel was correct. Now that its been failing, and deteroirating at more rapid pace in the last year, “stay the course” makes no sense at all. We must change the strategy and we must start now to correct this enormous blunder.

Posted by: mem beth at September 27, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #184371

Perhaps what we need is not a president who can define “torture” (any human with a conscience can do that), but a president who can define “winning”, you know, as “winning the War on Terror” or “winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis”…

Posted by: Lynne at September 27, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #184393

Shoot Lynne, I’d be happy with just having a President willing to work for the American people to win our hearts and minds.
Lord knows the last two Presidents haven’t even come close to that.

Posted by: kctim at September 27, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #184410

Rhinehold-
Clarke’s assertion, if it addressed the 52 page document, was wrong. Simple as that. It’s existence was reported by NBC news yesterday in reviewing the facts of the controversy.

Clarke was demoted, his cabinet level position made staff level. That’s a significant reduction in authority and power, similar to that which undercut FEMA during Katrina. Access is important in a critical situation. If you have to fight through three or four bosses above you to get word to the president and feedback from him, response slows, and becomes less efficient.

Pilsner-
They leaked. They called reporters and leaked them the information. The information was not publically known at the time. It was Classified no matter how much Richard Armitage blabbed about it.

Bush denied the leaker was one of his. Your people pegged the Wilsons as the leakers. Neither turned out to be true. He promised to fire anybody who leaked information. He never did.

Go back and look at the Libby indictment yourself. You will see that Fitzgerald’s allegations back me on each point above. The information was not public knowledge before this administration leaked it. That’s whats important. What’s also important was that both Libby and Rove were deliberately trying to get this information out, as confirmed by the stories of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper.

The leaker was a White House subordinate. There was an effort to get this information out. This information was considered a national secret, and the Wilsons kept up their side of the deal. They didn’t release sensitive information. The trip, by nature, was not secret. People saw him there, so you couldn’t classify it. He kept secret how the arrangements were made, though, as well he should have.

These are the facts. Your light of truth is merely tortured rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #184416

Shoot, kctim, I’d love to have a president who has enough of a conscience that he wouldn’t be so disingenuous as to have to ask to have torture defined (you don’t need it defined if you’re not doing it!), who actually knew real facts about “nucular” anything (and could speak standard English), who didn’t hide behide daddy Cheney and have to sit on his lap to testify in front of a committee (and who refused to raise his right hand and swear to tell the truth)…

A mature normal person, in other words…

Posted by: Lynne at September 27, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #184431

“raise his right hand and swear to tell the truth”

I’ve been asking for that for about 11 years now Lynne.
I think we’re up the creek on ever getting it though.

Posted by: kctim at September 27, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #184464

Pilsner:

Fact: you can’t “leak” something if it’s not a secret anymore and you didn’t know it was as secret to begin with.

Fact: If he didn’t know it was a secret to begin with, he has no business having a clearance. That’s the stupidest excuse I have yet seen.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 27, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #184628

Stephen, your reading of Fitzgerald’s report (about perjury, not leaks) and your counter-factual insistence on now completely discredited left wing talking points about this case (that it was ordered from above, nobody knew any of this already, that Miller and Cooper were trying to get this out on Rove’s behest, that the White House instead of the State Department was responsible) is so imaginary that we’ve sailed right past any disagreements about policy and landed in a realm where not even basic literacy will save us.

Honestly, wake up.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 27, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #184699

Califrep
I tried to explain that, but since it doesn’t cast Bush and the Republicans in a bad light, its “disingenuous” babble and dodging the question.

Posted by: kctim at September 28, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #184702

califrep:

Do you honestly not know what acts of yours would be considered torture as you were carrying them out? That’s the disingenuous part…only people without a conscience wouldn’t know what constitutes torture…it says a lot about our president and our “citizens” that they are so empty-headed as to have to even ask the question…and, second, why do you need to know what constitutes a legal definition of torture (of course, so you don’t get arrested or jailed for carrying it out!) unless you intend to use torture??

Heck, beheading someone is quite quick…so why would that be torture? Maybe waterboarding is “worse” torture because it takes longer…

Oh, come on…doesn’t your thought process work better than that??

Posted by: Lynne at September 28, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #184902

I think anyone who thinks torture needs to be defined can now hark back to what the meaning of “is” is…

Both are so disingenuous…if you would be tortured, you could depend on know what it is…

This is just a play with semantics in order to defer responsibility for harming another person…it won’t work…

Posted by: Lynne at September 28, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #185319

How can anyone with a conscience NOT know what torture is???

You know if you’re hurting your own child…how can you not know when you’re physically abusing another person???

“Defining torture” is a disingenuous and dishonest way for people to deny their own humanity and become just like the terrorists whom they detest…

Please, what is the definition of “is”???

Posted by: Lynne at September 30, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #185460

Califrep,
Some one posted recently (and I paraphrase) ” we try to justify torture because we believe our cause is just. The terrorists justify their removing heads because they believe that their cause is just”.

So you COULD beat someone to get the info to “save your own” It just wouldn’t be legal, or right.

The neocons and their followers, right on down to, well, to you, keep telling us that we’re fighting for FREEDOM. It’s hypocrisy to say we stand for freedom while we turn into monsters to do it. What a childish rationale. “Well THEY did it!!” I often tell my seven year old, when he gets into a first grade pissing contest, SOMEBODY has to be bigger here, if you want this to stop.

I have seen this argument explained here far, far better than I ever could. You do not get it; that part about principles and morals not just being for good times, but being necessary to maintain our freedoms. You don’t WANT to get it. My fervent hope is that you don’t ever say to yourself some day, what have we done!? Where did liberty and freedom go?

Posted by: Steve Miller at September 30, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #185603

I guess all i would like to have understood is that we will be much more successful in the long run if we are able to keep using the priniple which have saved our bacon for centuries. Do you think terrorists pose more of a threat that the Japanese and Germany in WW11? I don’t. Remember, there are a limited number of hard-core terrorists. I honestly doubt that those guys will give us much in the way of good information any which way we go about it.

Much better to go about our lives, FOCUSING ON KILLING THE ACTUAL TERRORISTS, making sure that our country is secure, and not stretching our military out through adventurism.

You make a great point about the essential (and literal) inhumanity of war. But civilized people even have rules for that. If we don’t follow those rules, we lose our claim to being proponents of human rights. We would begin the descent into barbaric, and not “civilized” warfare. Sounds kind of silly, I know. But after all is said and done, I’m SURE we could find a couple of thousand murderous assholes wherever it is that they are hiding, and solve our problem. At least the immediate problem. But it just ain’t gonna happen if we’re bogged down in someone else’s civil war. A civil war that’s happening BECAUSE we’re there. An ELECTIVE action that is a rallying point for terrorism.

Posted by: Steve Miller at October 1, 2006 8:03 PM
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