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So if yesterday’s post contained good news, and the post before that contained bad news, this post contains some mixed news.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released reports yesterday (on Friday, a day you come out with stuff to bury it in the news—I learned that on The West Wing!) concluding that, among other already known facts, Iraq and Saddam Hussein had no connection to Al Qaeda. Okay, so duh. But considering Bush just used that excuse again defending himself (see yesterday’s post), it’s pretty helpful that official documentation came out concluding this.

Why is this mixed news? The good news is that Bush and his cadre of nasty little friends are, little-by-little, getting caught for their misdeeds. The bad news is that their misdeeds have pulled the wool over the eyes of most Americans, making them look stupid, and, worse, causing insane amounts of harm to America in the form of disastrous anti-American sentiment and tens of thousands of deaths through unnecessary war.

You can read about the Senate reports at Reuters [story no longer available] and, before they start charging for it in the archives, at the Los Angeles Times[story no longer available… at least for free]. The Times buries a very interesting and important fact in the last paragraphs of the article (another tactic to make sure most people don’t get the info):

The Senate report also offers new theories as to why Hussein’s regime was unable to convince U.N. inspectors before the U.S. invasion that it no longer had stocks of illegal weapons.

A recent CIA analysis concluded that Hussein was stunned by the aggressiveness of weapons inspections after the 1991 Gulf War, and ordered the covert destruction of undeclared weapons and documents.

In the process, Hussein destroyed the very records U.N. inspectors sought a decade later when putting pressure on Iraq to account for its illicit weapons.

“The result was that Iraq was unable to provide proof when it tried at a later time to establish compliance,” the report said, citing the CIA study.

Of course, Bush and friends knew that already, you can be sure of that, but how could we have possibly gone to war in Iraq without ignoring all the facts?

The Times story also has this fantastic comparison of senior administration officials statement and facts from the new report:


A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee found no evidence connecting Iraq to weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda:

* * * * * *

On connections between Iraq and terrorists

“We clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and members of Al Qaeda going back for actually quite a long time.”

Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 25, 2002

“We are especially concerned about Iraq because of the developments we see with respect to [Hussein’s] weapons of mass destruction, because he has in the past, for example, had a relationship with terrorist organizations, has provided sanctuary in Iraq for terrorist organizations of various kinds.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, Sept. 9, 2002

Committee finding:

“According to debriefs of multiple detainees—including Saddam Hussein and former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz—and captured documents, Saddam did not trust Al Qaeda or any other radical Islamist group and did not want to cooperate with them. Hussein reportedly believed, however, that Al Qaeda was an effective organization because of its ability to successfully attack U.S. interests.”

* * * * * *

On Iraq’s desire and ability to acquire nuclear weapons

“Saddam Hussein promised the U.N. that he would destroy and cease further development of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and that he would submit to unrestricted inspections. He has flatly broken these pledges, producing chemical and biological weapons, aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and working to develop long-range ballistic missiles.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, Sept. 27, 2002

Committee findings:

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Information obtained after the war supports the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s (INR) assessment in the NIE that the intelligence community lacked persuasive evidence that Baghdad had launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.”

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessment that ‘Iraq has biological weapons’ and that ‘All key aspects of Iraq’s offensive biological weapons (BW) program are larger and more advanced than before the Gulf War.'”

“The ISG [Iraq Survey Group] uncovered no evidence indicating that Iraq maintained a stockpile of chemical weapons or had been producing chemical weapons. Since the spring of 2003, coalition forces have discovered approximately 500 filled and unfilled degraded chemical munitions. All of the munitions appear to be pre-1991 CW [chemical weapons] and not part of an active weapons stockpile. Postwar inspections of the sites suspected of having a CW role revealed that they were likely used for the production of non-CW dual-use materials, and had a limited capability to restart the manufacture of CW.”

* * * * * *

On Iraq developing unmanned aerial vehicles for delivering weapons of mass destruction

“We know that he has been working hard on developing a means to disseminate those weapons. We have evidence that he has been looking at aerial vehicles.”

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sept. 8, 2002

Committee finding:

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessments that Iraq had a developmental program for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘probably intended to deliver biological agents’ or that an effort to procure U.S. mapping software ‘strongly suggests that Iraq is investigating the use of these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.’ Postwar findings support the view of the Air Force, joined by the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] and the Army, in an NIE published in January 2003, that Iraq’s UAVs were primarily intended for reconnaissance.”

In case you are keen to read the original reports, you can find them here:

Postwar Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments and The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress. (Warning: Big PDFs!)

This is all very interesting, if not at all surprising. This is absolutely the time when one half of the country can say to the other half, “We told you so!”

And we did tell you so! Over and over and over. We told you in 2000, when we could tell what an idiot and a sleaze Bush really was. We told you in 2001, after 9/11, when Bush’s actions began to turn to vengeance… financially-lucrative retribution. We told you in 2003 before Bush started the Iraq war. And we told you time and again as the war has dragged on. As each and every piece of Bush’s lie-spawned tale of terror and attack has been refuted and shown for the nonsense it is, we have told you.

Yet 43% of you, according to the Times article, STILL think Iraq had something to do with 9/11! Many, many of you still support the war, and still support this son of a bitch as our President.

What is wrong with you people?

The answer to that is easy, but multi-faceted. It has to do with laziness and weariness, I know. Oh, it’s so much easier to give a shit about Taylor Hicks than it is about the thousands of people who’ve been killed in the wars we’ve started after 9/11. I know, it’s so easy! But come friggin’ on, you louts! Really, what does it take to get any of you mad?

I know, abortion. Gay marriage. Stem cells. No, somehow, these are items to enrage and beg for calls of morality from God’s fat ‘n’ lazy couch brigade. But the killing of over 2,500 U.S. troops and wounding of almost 20,000 more in Iraq, the death of over 41,000 Iraqi civilians, these are not facts that enrage you.

George got all foamed at the mouth when he was talking about 3,000 of our citizens being killed in 9/11 (again, see yesterday’s post), and yet here we are killing so much more than that in a war that has no roots in 9/11, no roots in Al Qaeda, no roots in anything of any significance other than it makes some of us very, very rich.

Half of us know Bush and his jack-ass friends are horrible people. We could tell this from the get-go. I could cut the rest of you a little bit of slack for not being very good judges of character back in 2000, but not any more. You’ve all tried so very hard to keep George a good man in your minds, despite that the universe demonstrates otherwise. Your brains must be tired of the charade. Really. Come on. Enough of this ignorance and hollow patriotic support. You can have an American flag stuck to your car and still dislike Bush.

Come on, wake up. You can do it. Be brave. Have a spine. Let yourself be angry. You’ve been good about being angry at so much that doesn’t matter. Well, it’s time for you all to get angry about something that does. Because I don’t want to be back here in 2008 telling you that you all should have seen the tragedy in Iran coming…

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The Wren Forum » Ever Hear of the Four Boxes? Expounded Thusly:

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