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All original content on RickSpeak is the intellectual property of Rickspeak.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bush Lied?

I'm wondering how many Democrats, after reading the following researched facts, can end their demogouery and at least support our President, our Troops, and our Country during these trying times in engaged conflict. Because, since 9/11, our policies on the War on Terror is not about politics, or at least it shouldn't be, it is about the survival of the Western Civilization.

The passage of time normally brings historical events into perspective. For the cynic, hindsight is 20/20. For the historian, distance provides clarity.

From today's NY Times:

Naji Sabri, Iraq's foreign minister from 2001 until the America-led invasion began in 2003, told French intelligence officers that Iraq had stockpiled chemical weapons and might use them against invading troops or Israel, according to (then CIA director) George Tenet.

From the New York Post

February 16, 2006 -- Top-secret tapes of Saddam Hussein capture him talking with his son-in-law in the 1990s about how well Iraq hid its weapons of mass destruction.

The tapes also reveal Saddam's top deputy telling him how easy it would be to create a biological weapon, "drop it into a water tower and kill 100,000."

The disclosures, aired by ABC News last night, come from 12 hours of tape recordings of Saddam and his top aides provided by a former member of a U.N. inspection team.

In one of the most dramatic tapes, Saddam talks with Hussein Kamel, whom he put in charge of Iraq's heavily guarded WMD effort after he married Saddam's daughter Raghad.

Kamel, who later defected and died in a shootout with Saddam's gunmen, is heard boasting how he misled U.N. weapons inspectors about the size of Iraq's biological-weapons program.

"We did not reveal all that we have," Kamel said in the 1995 tape.
"Not the type of weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use," Kamel added. "None of this was correct."
The tapes, apparently recorded in the mid-1990s in the Iraqi version of the Oval Office, have been authenticated by the House Intelligence Committee, ABC said.

Bill Tierney, a former member of the inspection team who was translating the tapes for the FBI, gave them to ABC and plans to make them public this weekend at a non-government "intelligence summit" that could revive speculation about an Iraqi WMD arsenal.

San Antonio Express-News
Jonathan Gurwitz:
In 2003, WMD threat was clear
The media and the public are only now gaining access to a trove of official U.S. and Iraqi documents and tapes, much of it seized during the early days of the invasion. These sources make clear the reasons most major intelligence services came to the conclusion that Saddam continued to possess proscribed weapons of mass destruction and why U.N. weapons inspectors would never be able to locate them. They should finally put to rest the hysterical distortion that Bush lied to push the United States into war.

The U.S. military's Joint Forces Command engaged in a two-year project to analyze hundreds of thousands of documents and the transcripts of interviews with dozens of Iraq's political and military leaders. The USJFC partially declassified its study last month.

"Saddam's Delusions: The View from the Inside" makes abundantly clear why the Bush administration believed Saddam had WMD and could use them again — because Saddam's own regime believed it had WMD and could use them again.

Up high, the researchers draw the following conclusion:

"When it came to weapons of mass destruction, Saddam attempted to convince one audience that they were gone while simultaneously convincing another that Iraq still had them. Coming clean about WMD and using full compliance with inspections to escape from sanctions would have been his best course of action for the long run. Saddam, however, found it impossible to abandon the illusion of having WMD."

Fearful of the consequences of delivering bad news to Saddam, Baathist leaders gave false assessments to their dictator and to one another about weapons programs. A footnote to "Saddam's Delusions" suggests that in the months following the fall of Baghdad, senior Iraqi officials in coalition custody continued to believe that Iraq still possessed a WMD capability.

While these dissonant messages confused Iraqi leaders, they confirmed to intelligence analysts the continuation of a decade of deception. In 2002, U.S. intelligence intercepted an order to remove the words "nerve agents" from "the wireless instructions." Another revealed instructions to "search the area surrounding the headquarters camp and for any chemical agents, make sure the area is free of chemical containers."

Three years ago, these orders were reasonably interpreted as evidence of Saddam's shell game with weapons inspectors. The consensus belief now is that they were intended to remove any residue left over from WMD programs abandoned years earlier.

Bush did not lie. American intelligence was mistaken, with good reason. And it's even more clear today than it was three years ago that the blame for the tragedy in Iraq falls on a single person: the homicidal dictator who used WMD in the past and wanted the world to believe that he could do so again.


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