George W. Bush gave Charles Gibson an interview recently in which he said that among his regrets was that "the intelligence had not been better on WMD in Iraq."
Blaming the intelligence people is a standard ploy of failed politicians and flag officers. In every country and in every clime…. In this case Bush’s White House set out to fabricate a case for war with Iraq. They bullied weak and self-serving leaders in the intelligence community into accepting a case built on raw information reports that had been rejected by the very agencies that had collected them.
"Slam Dunk!" George Tenet cried out in the Oval Office. What he meant was that it would be a "slam dunk" to sell the dross of those reports to Congress and the boobs.
I mean you…
Paul Wolfowitz gave away the game when he said after the fact that the administration took up the issue of Iraqi WMD because they knew it would sell, but millions of you still believed the BS. You don’t deserve the right to vote.
There are still millions of sheople who think that there really were nuclear weapons (the only things that mattered) in Iraq. Feel good now? Your "leader" has abandoned you. pl
The Brits were right when they reported that ‘The facts are being fixed around the policies’ or some such.
Bush might be forgiven the poor intelligence, except it was his team that insisted that the accurate intelligence be suppressed, and that known garbage be recycled, and washed until it could be presented as cold facts. Maybe he really didn’t know better. But he put together the team that did the dirty work, looked away when it counted, and then pushed for all they were worth until they could get the invasion they wanted.
Which is worse: not knowing; or willfully being part of a monstrous deception? Either way he loses.
I hope his Dad is proud of this capstone to the family legacy. In the future, they will be spoken of as one does with the Borgias. Except with less expertise, accomplishment and finesse.
I knew the whole thing was hooey from the git-go. My brother and I laughed about the sheeple. I don’t watch FAUX News and was trying to find different sources of news at the time of the propaganda being catapulted.
When I think back on how hard Bush was pushing for war on Iraq, I find his Gibson interview baloney.
There are still millions of sheople who think that there really were nuclear weapons (the only things that mattered) in Iraq.
And one other uniting factor among those millions is that none of them has any idea what technologies are required to create a functioning nuclear weapons program, so their clueless collective belief in the presence of WMD is matched by an equally widespread cluelessness about the entire subject. Thus they have no idea how wrong they are.
Unfortunately, those who did know for certain that the weak evidence for an Iraqi WMD program was indeed weak were prohibited by law from acting as good citizens and informing the general public of their knowledge. So the GOP electoral base stayed stupid about these important topics, and they haven’t budged since.
One problem is that secrecy laws involving nuclear WMD are incredibly stringent (especially since so-called reforms were passed after the Wen Ho Lee debacle), with draconian penalties for revealing relevant technical information of any kind. So those NNSA experts who knew that (for example) the infamous “aluminum tubes” were not part of an advanced centrifuge design were prohibited by law from letting anyone else know of their findings.
In short, those experts had to choose between their lives (literally and figuratively) and their duties as citizens, which is one heck of a choice to force on a federal servant.
The leadership team of the Bush administration knew darned well that there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq, because their best-qualified experts told them that in no uncertain terms. So then Bush, et. al. found less-qualified experts who told them what they wanted to hear, and the rest is unfortunate history.
Thanks for this post, Colonel. You’re exactly right.
How do you explain that so few Senators voting for the war failed to even read the flaky Intel report on Iraq? This includes Hillary Clinton so I understand! What else kept them from their rounds–oh–I guess fund raising. Better to live and fight another day?
I was shocked too when I read about this interview. I believed that “steely” Mr. War President would not flinch. Revisionism will now run at full speed. How long before we have Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Rummy et al claim that they actually opposed the invasion but they were forced to act post 9/11 due to the intel they received?
Will there be any demands we get to the bottom of the decision making that led to the debacle? No. It will all be swept under the rug so that the next “errors” of judgment can be made with impunity.
The folks you are asking don’t partake here.
Col, you need to figure out how to get a mass audience and by looking at the Obomba “Change you can Believe In” appointments, it prolly won’t make a helluva lot of difference in who you talk to.
The scales will NEVER fall from the eyes of the true believers.
This does not mean that full and complete accounting, and the attendant accountability, should not be obtained. As Cieran points out, there were many, many, many dedicated public servants deceived and muzzled by this crew of criminals.
Truth and reconciliation? I simply want truth and RECOMPENSE. Jail time would do nicely as a repayment.
Much mayhem has been done in our collective name. I think we deserve the chance to clear it.
And I read where W’m. Kristol is recommending awards up to and including the Medal of Freedom to some of the people who made the war, eavesdropping, torture, etc, happen.
“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue – weapons of mass destruction – because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.” Paul Wolfowitz, Vanity Fair, May 2003
Well, you have hit square upon the chief reason I will never willingly go back to teaching.
Cieran, the sheeple didn’t need in-depth technical information to figure out they were being conned. Hell, they’d already lived through the “enlightenment” themselves, most of them.
We looked down a real nuclear shotgun, loaded with tens of thousands of deliverable and tested nuclear weapons, for 40 years. Not only did we end those 40 years undestroyed, but the other side fell to pieces.
And we were supposed to hide under our beds because Iraq might have had the odd first-generation nuclear weapon, without any practical means of delivery?
Well, yeah. That was precisely what we were supposed to do. Judging from the results, tens of millions of us did so. And are still doing so. If the continuing hysteria about Iran and North Korea is any indication.
Dear sir, at this very instant there are functionaries planning for the election of Gov.Palin to the White House in 2012. And here is the hard part, they believe they are doing the right thing for the Republic.
As with so many things George W. Bush, the thought is half-formed, leaving one to gasp at the implications.
I agree that this is a window dressing excuse for a colossal failure of judgment and prudence, but Bush can’t bring himself to the logical conclusion from his “regrets”: that the war was a huge mistake. Instead, we are treated to the spectacle of Bush mourning the fact that his reckless bet did not pay off, and the dross that he “liberated millions.”
Much better to mourn the ten of thousands dead or horrible maimed in a trumped-up war of choice that has only harmed rather than advanced American interests.
A secular robust (quasi-Protestant reformation?) Irak had to die to make it safe for Israeli settlements to continue in the West Bank and at the time Gaza.
This is what neocon Wolfwitz means by there were “many reasons” b/ WMD was the easiest to sell. Fellow neocon traveler Zelikow (sp?) the executive director of the 9.11 commission says about the same thing.
Now Olmert, the lameduck Israeli PM, finally acknowledges that hanging on to the West Bank and all of Jerusalem will spell the demise of a Jewish Israel. When the Palestinian demographic bomb goes off, the world will be faced w/ another South Africa situation in Palestine. A Gaza which is a giant steel cage w/ Gazans imprisoned inside & Bantustans in the West Bank. Enclaves of poor Palestinians surrounded by fat cat settlers with their own roads and infrastructure.
When Israel-Palestine devolves from an issue of Israel Security to one of human rights and one person one vote per South Africa then the emergence of a binational majority Palestinian state will become inevitable.
The only other alternative would be ethnic cleansing and expulsion.
You have it exactly right. The sheep are terrified of the possibility of small numbers of hard-to-deliver nuclear weapons, while conveniently forgetting that there are thousands of thermonuclear weapons out there now sitting on very-functional ballistic missiles.
But while the Soviet Union fell apart, Russian WMD programs didn’t, so while we can stop worrying about Iraqi WMD, we ought to start thinking more clearly about needlessly offending the Russians. Their weapons are an infinitely larger threat to us, and there’s really no good reason for anybody to be restarting the cold war.
The place where intelligence was most greviously lacking was the space between his ears.
Sorry for that outburst.
Jasmine: 🙂 Succinct. Dead on. Not a problem, with BO, I think.
As someone who proudly carried a sign in Feb. 2003 that read, “Bigger Liar: Bush or Saddam?” I have always been dismayed by the jingoist wave that sweeps the country everytime the dear leader stamps his feet against some trumped up threat.
Bush’s claim that he was “not prepared for war” got me the most. In fact, war with Iraq was one of his top priorities from his first day in office. More BS from the man whose primary mode of communiation is BS.
Back in 2003, when the Bush Administration was making their case for Iraq and citing Saddam’s imaginary nukes, I frequently pointed out that Pakistan already had testable, deployable nukes, and that we should maintain our focus on that region.
Well, gosh, here we are five years later, Iraq looks like something we stepped in and tracked all over Mom’s white carpet, and Pakistan is the next big front in the War on Terror.
What. A. Surprise.
From the interview:
“this administration will do everything we can to safeguard the financial system” except provide oversight during the preceeding eight years.
“You know, I’m the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President. ”
It’s not my fault, Bill Clinton did it!
“I called President-Elect Obama with the Citigroup decision. I wanted him to know what we were doing. And he was very appreciative of the phone call.”
President elect Obama has no legal authority to make executive decisions. This is foreshodowing of campaigns to come where it is not the conservatives fault, ‘we told Obama’.
Somewhere between 28-34% of the electorate still believes that Saddam was behind 9/11. How could this be in the information age? How could so many still believe that there were WMD’s in Iraq?
Corporate owned Media with their own agenda.
That the DOE Intelligence Office failed to push harder against Langley and the infamous Mr. T. on the aluminum tubes issue will remain a black mark on its record — a sad contrast to State/INR, who did push back in spite of having much less technical expertise upon which to draw.
But the real regret I have is not so much the wrong call on WMDs — most of us in the IC thought it likely that Iraq had some chemical weapon stocks and some half-baked R&D programs — but the collective unwillingness to challenge the administration on the linkage of those mythical WMDs with a clear and present threat to the US and its Mideast partners. Iraq was militarily contained, inspections were in progress, why the sudden urgency to invade?
What’s that old joke about why does a dog lick its balls?
Its a shame that mrs. Clinton seems to not want to make any serious investigations into the rampant corruption and torture during the last 8 years. The Sassamans of the universe should be purged.
“Mr.Bush….a Mr.Hans Blix is on line two and he sounds angry”
So what happened to the self-serving leaders in the intelligence community?
Many are still drinking out of the Federal trough,
others are standing in line to join the new government. Until accountability returns to our society I have little hope.
Mea culpa. I had no faith in Bush’s judgment, but I was somewhat reassured by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Powell, who seemed like smart, experienced people (at first look). I recall commenting to someone that they must be convinced that Iraq had WMD, since if that turned out to be false, Bush would never be re-elected in 2004.
take a look at this one:
is the commission on the prevention of wmds proliferation and terrorism report based on real data, or are they more of the same ‘full of manure fear mongering nonsense’ milieu we have been witnessing these past 7 years?
keep in mind that when it is all said and done -it- [fear mongering] is all about garnering BIG $$$s govt. security contracts.
By the fall of 2002 there was ample evidence (buried in the news) that Iraq was no actual threat to the U.S., that they likely had no WMD, and if the U.S. tried to occupy it there would be a guerrilla war. It was enough particular evidence to convince me. In spite of the popular opinion that usually if not frowned upon it, then outright laughed at it. Now some of those same people think I must know something (special), and they’d be wrong again.
Until people start reflecting upon what and why they believe in something, we’ll probably stay on this vicious circular racetrack forever.
Anyopne who believes the intelligence community can be bullied hasn’t served there. State and CIA leak all the time and are not nests of neocons. Their leadership is full of people who place their own spin on intelligence.
Bush’s mistake wasn’t simply stating that the Iraqis continued to violate the terms of the cease fire. Or don’t you recall them firing on US aircraft and invading the Kurdish zone? Pretext for war? Sounds more like saomething from the debate at Cambridge refusing to serve king and country.
…millions of you still believed the BS. You don’t deserve the right to vote.
Sure they do. This is one of those cases where the head must overrule the heart.
It ain’t easy.
i wish that the presidential intelligence inside the white house had been better.
I’m with you there, anna missed. It was quite clear that Iraq had no nuclear weapons yet, and that they wouldn’t have them for a while. Powell’s talk at the U.N. convinced me they didn’t have anything else, either. The only thing missing from that presentation was Wiley Coyote.
There were many ways people should have been able to figure out that there was no imminent threat, including looking at a map of the world.
The entire Iraq debacle is an indictment of the lack of transparency and accountability in the US government from the top on down. The USA has become a democracy in name only.
But our esteemed fellow citizens also believe in a lot of other things that are comforting but false such as the veryvery rich being smarter/thriftier/better than the rest of us and that you can easily become so yourself if only you take your own lunch every day, that “the poor are lazy” – apparently a favorite neoBushism, “trickle down economics”, that being “strong” means being a bellicose, suicidal nitwit – a favorite on the streets of Mumbai right now, and so on.
Such boobisms are by no means limited to our friends in the United States but US support can grotesquely magnify such piffle. I have heard allegedly serious people justify patently ludicrous, evidence bereft government policies in Australia along the lines of “well, the US Government has looked into it carefully so it must be so”.
These are not men but lemmings and are lacking the qualities needed to be a good dog catcher or town drunk.
Am I alone in utter dismay that Obama has not one war opponent in his cabinent and circle of advisors? Why not former Sen Bob Graham (he’s a man who could look at intelligence and make a rational conclusion); Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, and others, etc.?
I think Obama is afraid that if anything goes wrong security- wise during his term and he hasn’t been following the neocon-AIPAC script, it will be hung around his neck like a gasoline-soaked Goodyear in Soweto. And there are plenty of civil servants hired during the last eight years and members of the shadow govt who are willing to see to it that something does go wrong. That’s why he’s keeping Gates on, etc.
Are you familiar with the process in which “civil servants” are hired as opposed to political apointees?
I used to participate in that process. Unless you are talking about something like a “presidential management intern,” the hiring and promotion process is vulnerable to internal agency politics but not national politics. pl
Not really Colonel. I am but a lowly techno-academician, barely fit to wipe the noses or other body parts of my tenured betters. But they do need wiping, so I remain employed. And Obama can only be better for future funding than the Johnny Walnuts and Yukon Barbie, so that’s good.
But when I was a daily reader of the lefty moonbat blogs (which compulsion seems to have left me for good sometime around 11 pm on Election Night), I used to read a lot about political appointees burrowing into civil service positions.