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September 05, 2007


The question is, if the al-Sabri information had been fully briefed to Congress, Powell, even the people at large, would anyone have given it enough weight to overcome the prevailing opinion? In legal terms, evience is guaged often by a two prong test; veracity and weight. First, does it have veracity - is it credible; if yes, what weight does it have on the situation or issue at hand? The administration response/attack on this information will follow that line. First they will say that there was no reason at the time to believe al-Sabri's information; and, even if there was no factors that sufficiently contradicted his information, it would have been foolish to have it outweigh "all the other evidence that everybody in the world believed". If we, the Democrats, anybody, are to use this as a seminal turning point; we must be ready to contradict those arguments.

I'm sorry I don't remember the timing, but Bob Graham's departure struck me as if in anger about something he knew but couldn't talk about. I got the impression he found he was being lied to while on the SIC and was so disgusted he just walked away.

The type of guy he was, finding that he helped promote a lie would have been enough.

I was hoping he would just wait awhile and come clean, but I've never heard of him discussing ANYTHING about it since. I still suspect getting him to talk could answer a whole lot of questions about what was going on in 2002-2003.

Sounds an awful lot like the Big Dick may have had something on him.

Blumenthal is writing an apology for the Senators who didn't read the full classified NIE. I was strongly against the Iraq War and even I would have taken the Iraqi FM's word as suspect. If the Iraqi FM's report got included in any intelligence reports to Congress it would have been buried in the full NIE. The excellent and reliable Dana Priest reported only six Senators took the time to read the full NIE in the secure reading room (none named Clinton, Edwards, Dodd or Biden), ignoring then Senate Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham's pleas to do so.

I'm can't go "Ah-HA!" over the Iraqi FM's remarks if Congress didn't consider the Department of Energy's dissent on aluminum tubes or Air Force intelligence's dissent on UAV's to be credible. If our elected officials don't listen to US government bureaucrats they sure as hell aren't going to listen to Iraqi bureaucrats on the eve of war with Iraq.

Bush LIED US and every Congressperson into a disasterous War of his Choice. Sidney has it in black and white.

Bush and Cheney pimped Judy Chalabi's former-Iraqi-taxi-driver-turned-make-shit-up-storyteller Curveball (while suppressing Sabri) as the evidence of 'clear and present danger' to the World.

Curveball - perfect overlay for Bush/Cheney's Sell-the-War talking points - wrong on every point.

Sabri - complete refutation of the Bush/Cheney WMD rationale for War - right in every detail.

This is the crack in the door that EVERYONE, Dems and Goopers alike, should run through, right away, to repeal the AUMF.

Hillary and all the Dem candidates should lead the charge! And Fuck the Republicans if they don't join us!

Otherwise, with impeachment off the table, Bush will likely attack Iran - for no good reason - using the Congress-blessed-but-tainted AUMF as his 'advice and consent,' and saying God told him to do it, again.

Speak-up, America! There's a Talking-to-God Pathological Liar in the Oval Office and he wants more War.

joejoejoe - Yeah. Exactly, and add to that Blumenthal's connection to Hillary and walla it can be stated to just be cover for Clinton and her vote on AUMF. Also, this is, although the most coherent, best and latest stating of this information; this story, both in rumor form and a little more solid than that, has been around for a while. I think this is a huge story, but it is going to have to be told right to get any real traction. What would be perfect in this regard is if Powell would step up and enter the fray right here with forcefull indignation as to what Bush/Cheney did.

bmaz - Powell could do a lot of good by coming out blaming himself for being so credulous, instead of blaming Bush for spouting so much bullshit. If Powell were to say he failed his country by not being more diligent I think his remarks would quickly sweep up all in Congress who don't make the same mea culpa.

I find the vote explanations by '02 vintage pro-Iraq War Democrats to be the biggest obstacle to changing Iraq policy. "The incompetence dodge" (Bush didn't do the war right) and the "Bush lied, people died" (like Bush was EVER credible) both excuse the credulous dupes who bought this disaster in the first place. All the people who kiss Robert Byrd's ass for being the sage of the Senate completely ignored him when he said the body was about to turn the Constitution on it's head.

The State Department footnote in the NIE may have been classified but even as a Joe Citizen reading the papers I could see the aluminum tubes story was bullshit. Like somebody smart says at Crooked Timber, sound policy does not require lies to be told to advance the policy. If BushCo. was lying about the aluminum tubes (which was clear to me from public reports in real time) then they were lying about the entire endeavor and should have been opposed.

Sept. 13, 2002 - Judy Frackin' Miller in the NYT, "Although the C.I.A. position appears to be the dominant view, officials said some experts had questioned whether Iraq might not be seeking the tubes for other purposes, specifically, to build multiple-launch rocket systems. Specifically, Washington officials said, some experts in the State Department and the Energy Department were said to have raised that question."

OHHHH! It's only the frackin' Department of Energy who thinks these tubes are for something else. God knows Karl Rove's direct mail experience and George W. Bush's 35 years of beer bong construction supercedes the engineers at DoE when it comes to refining uranium. You could tease out the truth in even Judy Miller's writing if you had the good sense to be skeptical of anonymous Bush administration sources. Unfortunately, few in Congress have even that minimal level of good sense.

ISIS, the INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, pretty much destroyed the aluminum tubes argument in a point by point takedown that I remember reading in contemporary press reports (I can only find The Independent's story at the moment).


My point in rehashing this is only to highlight the amount of open source credible information that refuted the arguments of Iraq War supporters. You had to have blinders on or just flat poor judgement to believe the Iraq War was a good idea on October 11, 2002.


I could not agree with you more.

Not only the aluminum tube story that was out there for anyone that wanted to know. But remember that the IAEA had state emphatically that Saddam hadn't any weapons.

Hell I was just an ignorant housewife with access to high-speed internet and I knew that much.

So this is some type of bs excuse for the senate members who acted in a treasonous manner???

Dust it off, put some lipstick on it if you wish. However, I was paying attention for the entire (you don't introduce new products in August) sales pitch. I never bought any of it. However, I must say after Powell's presentation to the UN; I wavered momentarily. I was brought back to reality way before March of 03.

History revisionists in action. Take a good look.

So what to expect?

That we are all saved and safe now?

I doubt it.

Let's not forget the 1% doctrine.

If there was a 99% chance that contradicing intel was true, well...

But if there was a 1% chance that Saddam had WMD, that's it - war!

It's hard to argue agains such a doctine once it's sold.

Intersting that the same argument doesn't apply to global warming.

With no press and no dem backbone we can demonstrate that they lied eight ways to Sunday, and to what end?

I'm really starting to think we're going to have to suffer through till the election with little salve, and I think we better roll out big time dem incumbant or two in the primaries if we want to see any real change.

Time to see rolling heads on both sides of the aisle.

In honor of Jodi's impertinence below, I bring my response, or at least one of them, up here:

Jodi, you got a point there; but if you were to wear a giant hat, you could cover most of it up.

Men , Women , and Children -
Senators , Congress people , Administrators
Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My !
Which admits to being duped and being dead wrong more readily ?
They've got my vote
Ha ha just kidding
He he he

Blumenthal's piece is a good one, but I am skeptical of his use of the word "know" or "knew". The administration is guilty of rejecting and burying al-Sabri's intelligence, promoting curveball's bogus crap, but that is not the same as "knowing" that Iraq had no WMD. I don't think Blumenthal's piece speaks to what the Admin. actually knew (nor does it have to--his piece simply provides yet another example of cherry-picking and intentional bias).

Re: Petraeus' upcoming report, I like the advice given by GAO's director to congress yesterday: Listen carefully to the report, remember that Petraeus is not independent--in that his is in the executive's chain of command--and give serious consideration to the other two reports landing in congress this week. I was encouraged to see several members looking beyond this squabble about whether the surge is working or not, and actually looking at the bigger picture, asking what our strategic goals in Iraq actually are, as well as what our goals in the larger region are. It's almost as if they're trying to remember what it is to be in a leadership position, and to make decisions on things like "strategy", "national interest", and "policy".

Key observation by EW is that Petraeus should be expected to say things that are already known to be false--much as the Powell speech contained falsehoods.

Does anyone know if Dem staffers read this board or FDL or TPM? You would think they would.

The "Petraeus is lying just like Powell did" response needs to be teed up and ready to go next week when the White House Iraq PR campaign comes to Congress.

I'll nth the need to invoke the sad legacy of Colin Powell. The media full-court press in the leadup to the grand committee moment has shown that Betrayus is the preznit's man, and that the strategy he endorses is 'leaving is losing'/

In advance of the testimony, another thing's worth preparing for: the GOPpers who, doubtless, will have been briefed and fed nice kwestins for the general. The nature of those softballs and leading questions will make it clear, I think, whether or not Bush wants to go Iran.

"That is, on the eve of a debate about whether or not we should continue this godforsaken war, this article sure seems to support the argument of those who claim they had no fucking clue that the whole justification for the war was a lie, and therefore whatever decision they make is one made, once again, with a clear head."

Not true! On the eve of war, I knew there were no WMD. I read it in Newsweek.

See: Followup Needed After Newsweek Story On Iraqi Weapons (2/27/03) By Norman Solomon; Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed: Bombshell revelation from a defector cited by White House and press (2/27/03); Where Did All the Weapons Go?: Before the war, media overlooked a key story (May/June 2003) By Seth Ackerman.

No fucking clue? No way.

I'd say: No. Fucking. Excuse.

Thanks for letting us know Blumenthal's relation to Hillary, will keep that in mind.

casual observer - great comment!

Yes, Bush and Cheney were told, from multiple sources, that there were no WMDs in Iraq.

And, you are right, that alone doesn't prove BushCo 'knew' there were no WMDs.

However, when you couple the coordinated lies and disinformation promoted by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to convince us otherwise, then you are down to only two possibilities - either they did know (and chose to ignore it,) or they didn't want to know (and chose to believe their own fabricated spin.)

Two sides of the same coin.

Bush wanted More War. And nothing, especially the truth, was going to stop him.

Hillary advisor: She had no clue.

I will once again forcefully state that there was enough evidence on the Internet (and other media) about the whole WMD LIE, that any semi-interested individual should have known we were being lied to. It didn't take national security clearance or Senatorial status to access the relevant info and oftentimes even the source documents.

If the writer of this article is going to imply that Hillary, et.al (everyone) should/could have known the admin was lying, that will be an easy task. Quick review here: Some anonymous foreign source named Curveball is offered up by Chalabi, an unscrupulous and vested operator for years. At the very same time, Scott Ritter, (an American who enlisted as a private in the Army in 1980 , got his officer's commission a mere FOUR years later, and by the time of Desert Storm was acting as a ballistic missile to Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf*) was saying something exactly the opposite.


Remember how it all played out. In the beginning the only WMD's under discussion seemed to be the those of a type we had sold Saddam and allowed him to use in his war with Iran! (The very same Iran Bushco now seems willing to NUKE, so why would a little mustard gas tossed that direction be a provocation for invasion?!) Then, there's the whole "19 Saudi's on 9-11" magically transformed into an attack on Iraq. I was on the air back then doing my best Al Franken imitation, acting as a liberal foil to a local Jackson rightwing Rushwanabe (Kim Wade WJNT 1180 am). Tapes of the show may exist in posterity to prove how vocal I was about this misdirection AT THE TIME IT WAS HAPPENING. Don't be fooled by the 'sincere' apologies of corporate media and enabling politicians. They knew or should have known.

There is so much more. You all know that. The question is what exactly DOES it take to move for impeachment? Wasn't the bar for that crime lowered lately? Impeachment is starting to look like it would be a slap on the wrist compared to the consequences a war crimes tribunal could inflict. Good thing they excluded themselves from those types of loathesome laws at the outset isn't it (Gonzo 'legal' ruling or 'presidential writ)?

This 'nobody knew' crap is "wide-stance" lingo for nobody except France, Germany and the initial 20 percent (10?) of Americans who saw thru the propaganda in spite of it's breadth and width!. On a final note, I was at the time, and remain decidedly aggressive towards those who attacked us on 9-11 and those individual religious nutjobs of all persuasions who attempt to undermine our secular society.

Osama been forgotten?


"Petraeus will present information that is, even now, known to be false."

When you marry-up the book-cookers (corporate industry) with the weapons (the military) you get Generals who cook the books...

It happened in Viet Nam, and it is happening again.

The latest round of Generals are fixing the intelligence around the profiteers. And they have gone through a lot of Generals to fins one who will act the part they want him to, instead of telloing the truth.

Excpet the Generals who all resigned because no one would listen to them. And this new batch of many-starred, starry-eyed career-advancers apparently doesn't care to promote truth, they are promoting the lie.

History repeats itself. Hitler made his own generals so afraid to tell him the truth, they told him the lie they knew he wanted to hear, even as Berlin burned.

I would guess that Cheney has reached this point, he's made it clear to all the surviving brass that the spin is reality and the truth is an adversary.

Patreus is just the latest face they put on that spin.

Sorry, had to vent..

One more log on the "everybody with a brain already knew that the WMD evidence was bogus" fire is the picture of the alleged mobile bioweapons lab.

The thing has flange joints.

You don't brew up a batch of hot pathogens with that poor containment. Even if you intend a suicide mission you probably won't live long enough to finish the job.

It takes a special kind of lie to be self-refuting.

Over at Larry Johnson's place NoQuarter, brent Budowsky has a pretty good list of questions Congress needs to ask General Petreus. The comment thread of the nuclear missile shipment is pretty enlightening too.

Again, EW thanks for all you do. And great tip about Blumenthal working for Hillary, BTW, that's good to know.

There is one aspect no one emphasized: After Tenet told Bush there were no WMD, neither pursued it further. Tenet sat on the info because Bush dismissed it.

That is a big deal.

Bush had already made up his mind. It had NOTHING to do with intelligence, Bush wanted regime change, period. He spoke about it publicly several times. Maybe more surprising is that he did so -- even though it was not at the thrust of his "justifications" -- since it is against international law to wage war based on regime change.

Bob is correct there was ample evidence on the internet for anyone to read. So the idea Congress was not told -- maybe they weren't -- is still no excuse. Notwithstanding the country was vulnerable, still reeling from 911. The WH constant fear mongering after 911 kept the public off-balance. Lawmakers are people, too... susceptible to the WH spin and fear mongering... nevertheless they should have been skeptical ... they could have asked their aids to fully research all avenues of information including the internet.

That is why they are sent to Washington ... we ought to expect more from the people who supposedly "represent" us.

Even today a handful of dems remain fearful of the republican spin. Basically they are paralyzed by fear .... fear renders people impotent thus ineffective.

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