April 30, 2007

"A Loser's History: George Tenet's Sniveling Self-Justifying New Book Is a Disgrace."

Harsh words, from Christopher Hitchens:
[T]he only really interesting question is why the president did not fire this vain and useless person on the very first day of the war.... [W]ho cares whether his "slam dunk" vulgarity was misquoted or not? We have better evidence than that. Here is what Tenet told the relevant Senate committee in February 2002:
Iraq … has also had contacts with al-Qaida. Their ties may be limited by divergent ideologies, but the two sides' mutual antipathy toward the United States and the Saudi royal family suggests that tactical cooperation between them is possible, even though Saddam is well aware that such activity would carry serious consequences.
.... As for his bawling and sobbing claim that faced with crisis in Iraq, "the administration's message was: Don't blame us. George Tenet and the CIA got us into this mess," I can say, as one who has attended about a thousand postmortems on Iraq in Washington, that I have never, ever, not once heard a single partisan of the administration say anything of the kind....

59 comments:

XWL said...

As they saying goes, if you don't have anything nice to say . . . ,


leave it up to Christopher Hitchens to say it for you.

downtownlad said...

He's right. Tenet got a Medal of Freedom after all - even when it was pretty obvious that the Iraq War was a failure.

hdhouse said...

as much as i love to watch Bushies twist slowly in the wind, this guy is anotehr McNamara selling a book.

The ballless wonder was no where to be found when he could have effect either a change or added to the debate.

Now he wants $30 for a book that has snot and tears on the cover.
As much as i dislike Hitchens, I have to think he is right (perhaps not for the reasons I would select).

AlphaLiberal said...

I think Tenet should donate all of his book proceeds to returning veterans. Arianna Huffington was right, if he was so unhappy with what was happening, he should have resigned, not gone along.

William "the bloody" Kristol is back peddling for Richard Perle, saying he never said what Tenet alleges. CNN, however, has it on tape.

(They did say on 60 Minutes the Medal of Freedom wa sfor Afghanistan.)

PatCA said...

That's a stretch, Alpha Liberal. I'm sure you will never change your mind but, once again, Tenet did NOT say he heard Perle make a statement on CNN on 9/16 about ties (that possibly could never be proven) existing between Iraq and OBL; he said Perle told him the day after 9/11 at the White House that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and would pay. Two totally different statements, times, and conversations.

David Frum said he was talking to Perle on the phone from Paris that day; is he lying too?

Amazing that Tenet could disgust both the right and the left with this book. Hitchens had it exactly right, as always.

Mark Daniels said...

I agree that Tenet seems to be engaging in revisionism regarding his role in the decision to go to war in Iraq.

But as to Hitchens' assertion that the former CIA director should have been fired because he was "vain and useless," one must say that on those grounds, many more should be fired in Washington.

Mark Daniels

dave said...

Why am I not suprised that Little Miss Wine-in-a-Box is slobbering all over the biggest fucking drunk around?

Revenant said...

The only rational explanation I've been able to come up with for why nobody lost their jobs over 9/11 -- not even Clinton employees like Mineta or Tenet -- is that a mutual agreement was reached between Democrats and Republicans to not look too deeply into the endless parade of screw-ups that preceeded it.

Revenant said...

William "the bloody" Kristol is back peddling for Richard Perle, saying he never said what Tenet alleges.

Tenet claimed he met Perle on his way to brief the President the day after 9/11. This claim of Tenet's has now been shown to be a lie.

CNN, however, has it on tape.

They have Perle on tape saying "Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden" -- which was, of course, completely true, although it is doubtful you echo-chamber moonbats will ever accept it no matter how much evidence piles up.

What Tenet *claims* Perle said during their fictitious encounter was "Iraq has to bear a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility". But of course the Bush administration didn't hold Iraq to blame for 9/11.

Eli Blake said...

He absolutely should have stood up back then and expressed his disagreement when he had it.

At least Colin Powell was man enough to admit that his U.N. speech was 'a blot on my record' that he is ashamed of-- even though he could have hid behind the claim that the intel he got was, as his former chief of staff described it, 'like a chinese menu,' cherry picked to only include some of the evidence and exclude anything contrary to the view he was to represent.

Another man who looks real good right now-- Jacques Chirac. He openly questioned our intel before the war and in the end made a decision in the face of intense U.S. diplomatic and economic pressure that he would not take his country to war. I am sure that there are those who will continue to excoriate Chirac, but the man was a Leader and had the courage to make a stand and spare his country what, for example, the British have gone through over the past four years.

johnstodder said...

Another man who looks real good right now-- Jacques Chirac. He openly questioned our intel before the war and in the end made a decision in the face of intense U.S. diplomatic and economic pressure that he would not take his country to war. I am sure that there are those who will continue to excoriate Chirac...

Chirac's support for Hussein was so patently corrupt, it had the opposite effect on a lot of thinking people who had no interest in war, but were concerned that Hussein was using his oil wealth to corrupt the UN, France and Russia, and that this corruption would eventually intensify Hussein's danger to the world.

What Chirac should have done was resign and confess to his crooked relationship with Hussein. His successors could have made a principled case against the war, and maybe people like me would have listened to it.

(By the way, I'm not blaming anyone for my support for the war. Chirac's corruption was just one of many factors I considered.)

hdhouse said...

Ok Revenant...calling you out on this one. Cite the 'evidence" of the link between Saddama and OBL.

No one else has been able to find it so, like so much of what you write, is just pulled out of your ass.

XWL said...

Abdul Hadi al Iraqi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

People from Iraq were in Al Qaeda and people prominent in Al Qaeda were in Iraq before the US lead and UN sanctioned invasion.

Compare their treatment by Saddam with Abu Nidal. Saddam had no trouble killing foreign terrorists within his country if he felt they posed a threat to him personally.

It's hard to believe much went on in Iraq (outside of the Kurdish region defended by the Peshmerga and the no-fly zone) that didn't have Saddam's fingerprints all over.

Saddam created a Stalinist state with an active and brutal secret police and military and had been in control for decades. Terrorists foreign and domestic that Saddam felt were dangerous to him would not survive long in his country. Terrorists with which he felt he had common cause had at least a blind eye turned toward their activity, if not tacit cooperation.

There's no direct evidence that these people worked with Saddam, but given the nature of his dictatorship, if it happened in Iraq, it happened with his approval.

So even if it can't be proven without a shadow of a doubt, and nobody is claiming they coordinated operationally, there is substantial circumstantial evidence that Al Qaeda and Saddam had a truce, if not some sort of non-agression agreement.

It wouldn't be the first time a couple of thugs had a secret pact with each other.

Too many jims said...

Hitchens wrote . . . "As for his bawling and sobbing claim that faced with crisis in Iraq, "the administration's message was: Don't blame us. George Tenet and the CIA got us into this mess," I can say, as one who has attended about a thousand postmortems on Iraq in Washington, that I have never, ever, not once heard a single partisan of the administration say anything of the kind."

This is mainly because the administration does not see it as a "mess". That said, if you look at what the administration has said and done, specifically about the WMD issue, I think Tenet's take is largely correct. The administration has gone to some lengths to pin the WMD intelligence failure squarely on the CIA.

Pete the Streak said...

Too many jims: "The administration has gone to some lengths to pin the WMD intelligence failure squarely on the CIA."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if we can't blame the Central Intelligence Agency for intelligence failures, who exactly DO we hold responsible? The National Park Service?

Hoosier Daddy said...

The only rational explanation I've been able to come up with for why nobody lost their jobs over 9/11 -- not even Clinton employees like Mineta or Tenet -- is that a mutual agreement was reached between Democrats and Republicans to not look too deeply into the endless parade of screw-ups that preceeded it.

Interetsing and quite plausible conclusion, considering that Clinton has never really been pressed (save for his hissyfit with Wallace) over how AQ progressed on his watch.

I have given up even arguing with the whole 'It was all a lie!' mantra considering that the previous administration was making the same exact claims and which also was Clinton's justifcation of Operation Desert Fox. Whether one agrees with the invasion or not, to claim the basis was all due to a lie is simply intellectual dishonesty unless you are prepared to say that Clinton was lying too.

Too many jims: "The administration has gone to some lengths to pin the WMD intelligence failure squarely on the CIA."

Well lets see, that is kinda their ballywick isn't it?

Monkeyboy said...

Intel by is nature is never perfect, the sea change after 911 was that we realized that waiting around until you have a 90% solution carried a price perhaps greater than going with a less clear picture.

Tenet appears to be changing his "misstatement" on Perele, although how he would mix up a Perle saying "yesterday" and move an event off of his first post 911 breifing to the president is a little strange.

Too many jims said...

Pete,

The CIA being wrong about Iraq having WMD was a failure on their part. They should be held to account for that. I hope changes are being made to correct that.

Was it 100% their fault? There are intelligence operations and other operations in the government that failed also (no, not to my knowledge, the National Park Service).

I think there is evidence out there that others outside the CIA contibuted to the failure. It is fairly well reported that, for example, the CIA did not believe most of the information being fed to the Administration on the WMD issue by Chalabi. Also, it is pretty clear that Tenet and the CIA did not agree with the inclusion of the language in the SOTU relating to uranium from Niger.

Pogo said...

Hitch's piece was a scream!

Tenet just couldn't leave well enough alone, and couldn't abide the lack of attention inherent in private life. What a bonehead.

But it remains worthless arguing with hdhouse, alphaliberal and other Democrats about Saddam's ties to terrorism, including al Qaeda. They have a mental block on the topic, and are incapable of grasping the meaning behind their many connections.

Instapundit points today to a photo of Obama in front of a huge sign saying "Investigate 9/11". The left is seriously nuts. How can they ever be trusted to defend ths country?

Monkeyboy said...

Also, it is pretty clear that Tenet and the CIA did not agree with the inclusion of the language in the SOTU relating to uranium from Niger.

Actual statement referenced intel from the British relating to Africa.

I'd be careful about saying "failure" when it comes to intel (pet peeve). You can do everything right, but analysis is an art, and you can still get the wrong answer.

Roger said...

Someone up thread commented favorably on Colin Powell--IMO Colin Powell turns out to be an ass covering, lying POS who couldnt control his own bureaucracy, who knew that Armitage leaked the info on Plame, and never said a word. I spent 25 years in the army and Powell was chairman while I was on duty: IMO he's nothing more than an empty, ass covering suit who disgraced the four stars he wore.. He's a lying, Washington insider piece of shit. He was fortunate to have good field commanders. But hey--thats just my opinion.

MadisonMan said...

I don't have time to read George Tenet's book -- I'm too busy re-reading Jessica Valenti's.

Like revenant, I'm mystified that no one in management lost their intel job post 9/11.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't have time to read George Tenet's book -- I'm too busy re-reading Jessica Valenti's.

Same. I'm pulling out Battlefield Earth again.

Like revenant, I'm mystified that no one in management lost their intel job post 9/11.

Has Bush ever fired anyone?

SteveR said...

Oddly these books are written to set the record straight (on behalf of the book's "writer") and other than making them money it mostly just confirms that keeping your mouth shut is often the best course of action.

The partisan moderate said...

Look 9/11 and the Khobar Towers bombing happened on his watch. Many Senators wanted Tenet fired after 9/11. Bush chose to keep him and he rewards Bush by writing a tell-all book. What's next Al Gonzales claiming he was bullied by Karl Rove into firing U.S. Attorneys? Tenet was the head of the CIA with direct access to the President. The buck stopped with him.

If Tenet really believed what he now claims, he should have resigned. Instead, as Hitchens points out, he appeared to like to leak this and generate favorable press.

Tenet, may very well be telling the truth but it all just seems a little convenient.

Robert Cook said...

To the poster who suggested Chirac should have resigned so his successors could have made a principled case against the war, I point out that there was no need for France or for anyone else to make a "principled case against the war," as a principled case FOR the war was never made to begin with. The burden of proof was with the Bush administration, and they never came close to meeting that burden of proof. To anyone with the slightest sense, Li'l Butch's war was a criminal folly from the moment they began proselytizing for it. Anyone who says they believed the case made at the time is either a fool or a liar, and this includes the Dems who shamefully voted to cede their Constitutional authority to declare war to the infantile and ignorant bully-boy in the White House.

As for whether the war criminals in the White House lied to make their case for war, of course they did. Did they know Hussein did NOT have ANY WMD? No, I don't think so. I'm sure they believed he had SOMETHING, if only remnants of his former weapons stockpiles, which they could point to as "proof" Hussein had truly been a "threat" to America. But they are certainly guilty of lying about the degree of their certainty. They asserted they had iron-clad,"bullet-proof" evidence that Hussein had WMD and they asserted they knew where the WMD were. They were so avid to attack Hussein that they convinced themselves the trace circumstantial evidence they had was sufficient proof, and they assumed they would never have to answer for the negligible nature of their intelligence.

It was obvious from the beginning the war was trumped up to suit a pre-existing agenda, even though the exact nature of their agenda remains somewhat amorphous. (Was it ideological? Was it political? Was it purely mercenary, i.e., for the oil? I'd say the truth is it was a blend of these and perhaps other reasons. What's certain, and what was apparent at the time, was that the case made FOR the war was not principled or made in good faith, and they evidence they actually had never lived up to their confident assertions or supported their hysterical war-mongering.)

In the end, we committed a war crime in attacking Iraq, and we continue to commit war crimes as we illegally occupy the country and kill and imprison its inhabitants.

SteveR said...

Robert: Thanks for clearing that up.

hdhouse said...

I caught that comment POGO...so tell me again what the connection is or was? Don't play that "too numerous to mention" game.

And go kiss Revenant's butt as you are two in the same.

Fen said...

hdhouse: so tell me again what the connection is or was? Don't play that "too numerous to mention" game.

Cover your eyes Moonbat, or your head might explode - some examples already provided here [starting at 4:09]

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/crow-was-insistent-poking-rove-in-chest.html#comments

1998 request by Iraq to Al Queda to have UBL moved to Iraq for his protection.... Iraqi embassies around the world caught making frequent calls to Al Queda affiliate/branch groups...Iraqi list of IIS agents who are described as "collaborators." On page 14, the report states that among the collaborators is "the Saudi Osama bin Laden."...request from bin Laden that Iraq begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia... Iraqi document itself states that "cooperation between the two organizations should be allowed to develop freely through discussion and agreement... former director of operations for Iraqi intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19, 1995... Tenet reported, "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." He added that Iraq and al Qaeda "have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."... Tenet went on to warn, "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities... The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."...Iraqi intelligence agents met with [Usama] bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda in Sudan."... Saddam gave safe haven to Al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.... Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al-Qaida would no longer support activities against Baghdad... bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service... Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaida members on document forgery... bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif, did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq... Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaida associates beginning in December 2000... Abdallah al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gasses... LtCol in the Saddam Fedayeen, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, attended the key planning meeting of the Sept. 11 plotters... Saddam dispatched one of his top intelligence operatives, Faruq Hijazi, to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden... intelligence tying Saddam's VX nerve gas program to a suspected al Qaeda front company in Sudan.

Revenant said...

Cite the 'evidence" of the link between Saddama and OBL.

No.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: In the end, we committed a war crime in attacking Iraq, and we continue to commit war crimes as we illegally occupy the country and kill and imprison its inhabitants.

What a bunch of crap.

johnstodder said...

*It was obvious from the beginning the war was trumped up to suit a pre-existing agenda, even though the exact nature of their agenda remains somewhat amorphous.*

Trumped-up?

Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait. There is not a shred of doubt that this was illegal as well as highly provocative, potentially leading to wider warfare in the Persian Gulf. The UN coalition intervened on Kuwait's behalf, and beat Hussein's forces back. Hussein signed a treaty and agreed to abide by certain conditions. He violated many of those conditions repeatedly, including those concerning inspections for WMDs, which he did, in fact have. The UN passed more than a dozen resolutions demanding Hussein's compliance. He ignored all of them. Meanwhile, Hussein was personally profiting from the sale of oil that was supposed to pay for food and medicine for his people, and using the oil contracts to corrupt officials in countries on the UN Security Council; France, Russia and China. And, of course, there were the genocidal attacks on the Kurds and the marsh-dwellers, the Stalinist-style regime of informants, kidnapping, torture and rape, including forcing parents to watch the rape of their children. Oh, and Hussein also had strong ties with many terrorist organizations. His ties to Hamas are not in dispute. His personal ties to Al-Queda are not documented, but Al-Queda operatives did undergo training in Iraq with the knowledge of high government officials. Al-Queda and Hussein's regime weren't strangers and they weren't foes.

None of this is disputed by the left or the anti-war movement. I've probably left out a few other important facts; this is just off the top of my head.

Now, intelligent people can disagree whether all of this constituted a good rationale for the US going to war to effect regime change. Practicers of realpolitik thought it wouldn't serve US interests. Others forecast a quagmire and feared Husseins' WMDs might be used against us. Most liberals ain't-a-gonna study war no more; that's a given.

But to say the case for war was "trumped-up" is historical illiteracy. The case for regime change was overwhelming. The issue was, should the US actually go through with it? Why now? Why us? And the reason why public and elite opinion evolved from 1998 when Clinton considered an invasion but walked away from it, to 2003 when Bush actually pulled the trigger was, of course, 9/11. 9/11 changed the burden of proof. Before 9/11, a leader like Hussein, with terrorist ties, flouting UN resolutions on WMDs, was barely tolerable. After 9/11, not tolerable.

That's why we went to war. It might have been a mistake, in hindsight; although my belief is, it was not a mistake, but it was badly bungled. Rumsfeld was arrogant, sclerotic and in love with his own jejune military strategies, and Bush was too weak to challenge him until the electorate did it for him. That's why things went so wrong.

But the agenda leading up to the war? Not mysterious at all, and quite reasonable.

Revenant said...

we continue to commit war crimes as we illegally occupy the country and kill and imprison its inhabitants

We have the Iraqi government's permission to be in that country. Even if you're dippy enough to view the invasion itself as a war crime, the subsequent occupation obviously isn't.

Robert Cook said...

Our invasion of Iraq violated the UN Charter, given that Bush failed to obtain the required UN Security Charter approval to mount an invasion, and thus we are in violation of international law. More gravely, our invasion of Iraq violated the Nuremberg Principles which determine what acts constitute war crimes. I should point out that the United States was among those nations that drafted and ratified the Nuremberg Princples.

http://www.wagingpeace.org/menu/issues/international-law/start/un-nuremberg-principles.htm

and

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2006/0825bushstandtrial.htm

And yes, deny it though many may, our illegal invasion of Iraq was a trumped up fraud, grounded purely in expert fear-mongering by a deceptive administration that did its best to associate Iraq with 9/11 in the minds of the public--without ever specifically saying "Hussein planned 9/11," for all the pedants who grasp onto that for dear life as their one shred of "evidence" to shore up their shabby contentions that this administration "never implicated Hussein in 9/11"(sic)--and to encourage us to believe that Hussein had nuclear bombs ready to roll off the assembly lines TOMORROW, if not LATER TODAY, and to be off-loaded onto remote-controlled drones that would deliver the bombs to England and America within hours, too swiftly, presumably, for our military might to fend off.

I'd say "trumped up" is the most polite way of putting it.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: Our invasion of Iraq violated the UN Charter, given that Bush failed to obtain the required UN Security Charter approval to mount an invasion, and thus we are in violation of international law.

For starters, our national security is not dependent on the will of the UN, we are allowed to operate without their approval.

Even then, UN Resolution 1441 stated [via Wiki]:

1) "Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991."

2) "That this represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements [including destruction of WMDs Saddam had admitted to having]. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.

3) That "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations

The only reason the "or face serious consequences" [diplospeak for military action] portion of the resolution was contested was because counties like France had a poltical/financial interest in keeping Saddam in power - they were corrupt. If thats your standard for international "law", you can go pound sand. We're not going to be held hostage by the corruption of the Euroweasel diplomats.

invasion of Iraq was a trumped up fraud, grounded purely in expert fear-mongering by a deceptive administration

Please explain the 500+ chemical munitions [sarin & mustard gas] that we found? Sure, some were degraded, but other were not.

Also explain the number of Iraqi scientists discovered working in the Lybian nuclear program.

Also explain why Iraq was seeking yellowcake from Africa [don't obsess over the forged intel, British Intel stills stand by seperate sources that confirm this]

The bottom line is that Saddam had a WMD program. You want to quibble over whether he had a stockpile when we went in, completely oblivious that a covert WMD program is about learning how to develop and weaponize WMDs. And you still can't excuse the fact that Saddam refused to confirm the destruction of WMDs he had admitted to possessing.

Robert Cook said...

As long as we're members of the United Nations and are signatories to its charter, we're bound to abide by its rules. If we wish to declare ourselves free of any international laws, of any external check on our power, then we should do so forthrightly, sever ourselves from the United Nations and from all other international treaties to which we're signatories, and stand revealed explicity as what we have shown we are implicitly: a rogue nation, a pariah.

As for the persistent contention by a dwindling few that Hussein maintained a WMD program or held stockpiles of bio/chem weapons at the time we invaded Iraq, there's nothting to be gained by belaboring a discredited belief or in arguing against those who cannot be shaken from it.

johnstodder said...

And yes, deny it though many may, our illegal invasion of Iraq was a trumped up fraud, grounded purely in expert fear-mongering by a deceptive administration...

Robert, if you want to be taken seriously, don't say things like this after someone like me has posted the numerous rationales for regime change that, at least til 2002, were accepted on a bipartisan basis, by foreign policy experts in both camps, by a broad spectrum of the media, by both men on the Democratic tickets in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

"Bushco" didn't exist until January 2001. He did not invent these rationales. Iraq was hardly an issue in the 2000 campaign because there was agreement on both sides that Iraq was going to have to be dealt with.

To repeat: The only difference between the rationale for regime change that Clinton/Gore accepted and promulgated in 1998 and the rationale for regime change that Bush/Cheney promulgated in 2002 is the change in our country's strategic mindset after 9/11. After that horrible event, the broad spectrum of American politics became much more risk averse when considering the reality of terrorist attacks. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John Kerry and Joe Biden, among many other Democratic politicians who supported the war resolution are lying to you when they say their vote was somehow based on "trumped-up" evidence from Bush/Cheney. They voted in what they believed was the best interests of the country as they saw it, and have only tried to swim away from that vote because the war has become unpopular.

I'm sorry you've fallen for the new party line. It's sad to know how many millions of American voters will go to the polls with the same deliberate disinformation planted in their minds. Since you're obviously smart enough to put words together well, I hope you'll apply that intelligence to a more unbiased look at recent history. Because this crap about how Bush lied, and Bush tricked the poor, poor Democrats is just this side of Rosie's 9/11 conspiracy theories and the belief the moon landings were faked.

johnstodder said...

As long as we're members of the United Nations and are signatories to its charter, we're bound to abide by its rules.

So, when we elect a president to serve as commander-in-chief, and a Congress with the constitutional authority to declare war, they are subservient to the UN Security Council in performance of these duties? That would be news to most voters.

I suspect Clinton, Obama and Edwards aren't going to campaign in support of that particular interpretation of the UN Charter. But it might be interesting to see what they'd say if asked by the press.

I realize you're relying on the language of Article 42; but what if (as in this case), the members of the Security Council are being systematically bought off by one of the world's wealthiest countries? Do we just go "oh well?" Maybe you're suggesting we should engage in a bidding war. After all, the US is pretty rich, too.

Your interpretation is obviously unworkable, failing as it does to reflect the opportunity for bribery, blackmail and other illegal forms of coercion to affect the decisions of the Security Council. Maybe you're right; maybe we ought to declare that part of the treaty null and void.

Again, a good question for Brian Williams next time he wants to run a candidate debate.

Fen said...

Robert: As for the persistent contention by a dwindling few that Hussein maintained a WMD program

Thank you for ignoring the 500 arty shells containing sarin and mustard gas. Thank you for ignoring Saddam's attempt to purchase yellowcake. Thank you for ignoring Saddam's repeated violations of your sacred international law, and his refusal to provide evidence of the destruction of WMD stocks he had admitted to. Thank you for ignoring the presence of Iraqi scientists working nuke research in Libya.

My paper on Leftist Cognitive Dissonance is almost wrapped up.

Roger said...

Robert Cook's point about the US violating the UN Charter overlooks one important issue: Article 51 permits nation states to engage in individual or collective self defense; however, under the so-called "Bush doctrine," preemption can be considered self defense and thus consistent with Article 51.

The article 51 issue is not quite the bright line issue that some assert (and I don't know what Mr. Cook's assertion will be); in fact, there is a body of legal opinion that suggests the FAILURE of the UN to provide the collective security it promises in the charter--and there can be NO doubt the UN has failed miserably in providing collective security for the member states since its inception--suggests Article 51 should be broadly, rather than narrowly interpreted. (Google Delahunty Article 51 for the citations).

I dont plan to comment any more on this because as Mr. Cook himself notes peoples minds are made up, and an interchange will be futile. Like most complex events, there are almost always more than one interpretation to what some assert are incontrovertible "facts," when, those facts are nothing more than one's opinion.

One final point re the Rogue US: Ask the Indonesian government about its treatment at the hands of the US, after the Tsunami. They may not regard us quite as critically as does Mr. Cook.

reader_iam said...

Richard Perle.

February 19, 1998 letter

reader_iam said...

Team B (especially the corollary question)


Team B thumbnail.

reader_iam said...

Troubled CIA Part I

Troubled CIA Part II

Seeking Spies: Why the CIA is having such a hard time keeping its best

reader_iam said...

The serial ass-kisser Tenet lacks credibility in key areas.

But it really doesn't matter.

AJ Lynch said...

Roger:

So tell us how you really feel....
IMHO, blogs are meant for your kind of honesty and candor. Too bad, we do not have more political leaders who were as honest and as passionate in what thye believe.

Revenant said...

Our invasion of Iraq violated the UN Charter, given that Bush failed to obtain the required UN Security Charter approval to mount an invasion, and thus we are in violation of international law.

Even if it were true that laws lacking UN sanction are de facto illegal -- which is, of course, a ridiculous notion -- the fact is that we'd legally been at war with Iraq since 1991, and therefore didn't need anyone's permission to renew hostilities. Particularly since the UN was nice enough to put it in writing that Iraq had violated the conditions of the cease-fire.

a deceptive administration that did its best to associate Iraq with 9/11 in the minds of the public--without ever specifically saying "Hussein planned 9/11,"

What I find most amusing about you paranoid conspiracy theorists is that you believe the administration was willing to "lie" about Iraqi WMDs, "lie" about Iraqi-AQ connections, "lie" about their reasons for wanting to invade... but, for some bizarre reason, *unwilling* to come out and directly blame Hussein for 9/11, despite the fact that most Americans thought he had something to do with it. Why, they even took the daring step of flat-out denying, on multiple occasions, that Hussein was involved in 9/11 -- all, apparently, in furtherance of their evil schemes. Maybe they made those statements on Backwards Day, so people would interpret them as saying "Hussein WAS involved in 9/11".

A more rational and intelligent person would conclude that the reason the administration never blamed Hussein for 9/11 is that they weren't convinced he was involved in it.

Robert Cook said...

The reason the Bush administration didn't explicitly assert that Hussein was complicit in 9/11 is because, as badly as they wished for Americans to believe he was involved--and thus their tortured rhetoric meant to create the impression Hussein was involved, without precisely saying so--is because they knew there was no evidence to support the assertion. It wasn't that they weren't convinced he was involved, they KNEW he wasn't involved, yet they took every opportunity to create the appearance of a connection in order to sell their war to Americans, who merely wanted revenge for 9/11, and who were fearful its perpetrators would strike again.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: took every opportunity to create the appearance of a connection [b/e Saddam and 9-11]

Thats simply a lie, they did no such thing.

johnstodder said...

Robert, you don't get to make up history as you go along to suit your argument. I know you believe the things you're saying, but the people who've told you these things are dishonest political spinners.

If the American public decided on its own that Hussein had something to do with 9/11, it might be because Hussein had, by this time, attempted to kill a former president, shot down American aircraft, and violated treaty terms so repeatedly that CLINTON (not spelled B-U-S-H) made a national TV address to threaten war. He was the most prominent Arab threat to America, the most famous and recognizable. It's a natural conclusion to draw for people who don't watch the news closely.

What I recall is the Administration was rightly cautious in assigning blame for the event until they felt they had a handle on it. When they did, they said, clearly and repeatedly, Bin Laden, Al Queda. Then they went to war against Afghanistan to attack AlQueda bases.

If the Hussein connection persisted, I still think it's a case of people telling pollsters the name they recognize the most. It's a stupid allegation that Bush/Cheney "allowed" people to think what they already thought. In fact, they didn't argue for the war on the basis that Hussein had anything to do with 9/11. You think they did, and you're misinformed. Go back and check for yourself (i.e. don't ask another left-wing blogger to regurgitate the conventional wisdom.)

Revenant said...

they knew there was no evidence to support the assertion

Obviously there is; we heard some of it pre-invasion, and it currently stands unrefuted. It just isn't solid evidence, which (as I noted earlier) is why it wasn't used. We instead used Hussein's WMD history, terrorist ties, and the unacceptable risk they posed as arguments.

But the interesting thing here is this: if lacking solid evidence is what caused Bush et al to refrain from blaming 9/11 on Hussein, why DID they claim Hussein had WMDs, and terrorist ties, and posed a threat to America? Obviously they must have had solid evidence of it. So there's no basis for claiming they lied about it -- the worst you can accuse them of is being mistaken.

they took every opportunity to create the appearance of a connection

Yeah, those occasions when they went on national TV and flat-out denied Hussein was involved in 9/11 definitely qualify as "taking every opportunity to blame Hussein for 9/11". In the Bizarro World, at least.

Methadras said...

hdhouse said...

Ok Revenant...calling you out on this one. Cite the 'evidence" of the link between Saddama and OBL.

No one else has been able to find it so, like so much of what you write, is just pulled out of your ass.


Why are conservatives constantly on the defensive about this issue of the link between Saddam and OBL? It's because nutty leftist/liberal cognitively dissonant shallow thinkers like you are willing to believe any contrarian/anti-establishment lie you are spoon fed. The memo in question is called the Feith Memo and it details in fairly factual language the connections between Saddam and AQ. Two opposing groups, but willing to operationally set aside their austere notions of Islam to fight a common enemy, the US.

Here, read it if you want and understand the nature of the lies you've believed.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp

reader_iam said...

We instead used Hussein's WMD history, terrorist ties, and the unacceptable risk they posed as arguments.

?

Methadras said...

Hmm, let's try that again.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public
/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp

Methadras said...

Again, why is the sloganeered cannard of "bush lied, people died" still echoing in the empty craniums of liberals and leftist nutjobs everywhere? Because if they actually shed their preconceived notions of what an inarticulate chimp (according to them anyway) the president was, then they would actually see the fallacy of their infantile statements. The whole WMD or rather the anti-WMD debate is nonsense. He had them, they have been listen. Did people forget that Al-Sammoud II missiles that were found by Hans Blix' people and showcased in the media? Any of you nutjobs forget how they were destroyed because Saddam violated the agreement as to their range via modification? Anyone forget that they were also modified to encapsulate chemical or biological tips? and that's just one instance?

How about greenpeace finding massive amounts nuclear waste and yellow-cake in actual containers in the Al-Tuwaitha facility and handing them over to coalition forces. Guess that didn't get reported now did it. Nearly 2 tons of yellow-cake was moved out of Iraq to US holding facilities. Why did the IAEA allow iraq to retain possession of such materials prior to any invasion when they were supposed to be the nuclear watchdog against saddams wmd program through the UN and it's passed resolutions against him? Shocked? I'm not, but then again, I'm not a crazy, nutter leftists freakbat either who has based his entire way of thinking on wishes, desires, dreams and intentions rather than results.

reader_iam said...

My "?" refers specifically to the use of "we" in that particular sentence.

Methadras said...

Amazing. The silence in here is now deafening.

Robert Cook said...

What more is there to say?

hdhouse said...

You boys lost all credibility when you asserted that Perle was telling the truth thru Kristol and that Tenet was lying. Perle has credibility how? Because Feife says so? And he has credibility how?

Now you've invented this fool of all fools Methadras so you three or four can do the GOPBOT echochamber in the attempt to re-write history before what? the next election?

just some words of wisdom to you all (or 1 in the same...darn those IP addresses...give you guys away every time they do!!!):

no one cares what you think.
people laugh at you.
the more strident you are the more people laugh at you.
i laugh at you.

Fen said...

You boys lost all credibility when you asserted that Perle was telling the truth thru Kristol and that Tenet was lying. Perle has credibility how?

He has an airline ticket and a paper trail that proves he was in France at the time of Tenet's hallucination.