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View Full Version : Oct. Report Said Defeated Hussein Would Be Threat


zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 10:50 AM
link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A20698-2003Jul20?language=printer)


"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists," President Bush said in Cincinnati on Oct. 7. "Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

But declassified portions of a still-secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released Friday by the White House show that at the time of the president's speech the U.S. intelligence community judged that possibility to be unlikely. In fact, the NIE, which began circulating Oct. 2, shows the intelligence services were much more worried that Hussein might give weapons to al Qaeda terrorists if he were facing death or capture and his government was collapsing after a military attack by the United States.

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 11:20 AM
I heard someone on the news, who said they saw the entire NIE, say that the still-classified parts of it also contain statements that would point to an inflation of the threat by the Bush administration. It is full of the typically ambiguous language of intelligence reporting, and somehow that got translated into the forceful rhetoric we got in the build up to the war.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 12:05 PM
The rhetoric of an intelligence report is different from the rhetoric used to promote a policy. Always has been. The intelligence people give their best guess, and the elected leaders make policy decisions.

Incidently, the argument that Saddam might give weapons to al qeada if attacked was discussed publicly in the run up to war. The intelligence community doesn't make the decisions as to what the policy will be, and that same NEI gives plenty of cause for the policy that was adopted.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by macfan
that same NEI gives plenty of cause for the policy that was adopted.

how so?

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The rhetoric of an intelligence report is different from the rhetoric used to promote a policy. Always has been. The intelligence people give their best guess, and the elected leaders make policy decisions.

Incidently, the argument that Saddam might give weapons to al qeada if attacked was discussed publicly in the run up to war. The intelligence community doesn't make the decisions as to what the policy will be, and that same NEI gives plenty of cause for the policy that was adopted.

The point is that the NIE was ambiguous and the Bush administration was not. They dismissed any doubts as coming from those who would provide "aid and comfort" to the enemy, thereby implying that those raising doubts are treasonous, when they had the same doubts as the intelligence community.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 12:42 PM
Intelligence reports are almost always ambiguous, and presidents are almost never ambiguous. The purposes of the two rhetorics are different, and they should manifest themselves in differet rhetorical styles. It is ridiculous, IMO, to complain because the president didn't use the same kind of qualifying language as was used in intelligence reports. Presidents just don't do that, and shouldn't do that.

I would remind you that the Congress, who had access to the same intelligence with the same qualified language, voted to authorize the president to go to war with Iraq.

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Intelligence reports are almost always ambiguous, and presidents are almost never ambiguous. The purposes of the two rhetorics are different, and they should manifest themselves in differet rhetorical styles. It is ridiculous, IMO, to complain because the president didn't use the same kind of qualifying language as was used in intelligence reports. Presidents just don't do that, and shouldn't do that.

I would remind you that the Congress, who had access to the same intelligence with the same qualified language, voted to authorize the president to go to war with Iraq.

Not all of congress had access to everything. Only those on the Intelligence Commitees did. The rest had to go on what was told to them.

I'd also remind you that you are once again using the "well other people do it, so its ok for me to do it too" arguement.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 12:53 PM
the context of this thread is that the administration is being accused of exaggerating the iraqi threat and there are statements in the NIE report that support those accusations.

highlighting other parts of the report doesn't discount the damage the report represents.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Not all of congress had access to everything. Only those on the Intelligence Commitees did. The rest had to go on what was told to them.

I'd also remind you that you are once again using the "well other people do it, so its ok for me to do it too" arguement.

It is just appropriate for presidents to use different rhetorical stye than intelligence reports. It is not an "other people do it so it's ok" argument. It's an argument that says the rhetorical situation is different and the thus the rhetoric should be different as well.

Let me be more specific on the Congress. Senator Graham of Florida had access to to that intelligence, and he voted to authorize the president to go to war. Now, unable to get his campaign on track, he tried tossing around the idea of impeachment. I did see reports that Congress generally did have access to intelligence before their vote, not just the committees. In any event, it's an issue of partisan politics more than substance.

IJ Reilly
Jul 22, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Intelligence reports are almost always ambiguous, and presidents are almost never ambiguous. The purposes of the two rhetorics are different, and they should manifest themselves in differet rhetorical styles. It is ridiculous, IMO, to complain because the president didn't use the same kind of qualifying language as was used in intelligence reports. Presidents just don't do that, and shouldn't do that.

You've just made the perfect argument for the President taking responsibility for what he said instead of blaming it on the CIA.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by macfan
It is just appropriate for presidents to use different rhetorical stye than intelligence reports.

i don't think anyone's debating that. what's at issue is that the administration used the examples that supported its war case and ignored/supressed those that undermined it.

the "rhetorical style" goes towards the extent of any exaggeration. it doesn't excuse the pick-and-choose method of using the intelligence reports for political gain.

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Let me be more specific on the Congress. Senator Graham of Florida had access to to that intelligence, and he voted to authorize the president to go to war. Now, unable to get his campaign on track, he tried tossing around the idea of impeachment. I did see reports that Congress generally did have access to intelligence before their vote, not just the committees. In any event, it's an issue of partisan politics more than substance.

It's because democrats were chicken before the war, and afraid of anything they felt would leave them open to attack from republicans come election time. They were playing the safe bet, and I, for one, am not about to let them have a pass on that.

3rdpath
Jul 22, 2003, 01:43 PM
of course intelligence reports are ambiguous( literally: open to multiple interpretations) but that in no way excuses an administration of an incorrect interpretation that helps promote an agenda.

bush's administration was wrong in their assessment...that tends to happen when you start with the answer before actually knowing the question.

every day that passes with no chemical factories, no nuclear facilities, no 500 tons of biological stockpiles...no wmd at all....proves that bush and company were inept at best or intentionally lying at worst.

the post-invasion data is not ambiguous.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
of course intelligence reports are ambiguous( literally: open to multiple interpretations) but that in no way excuses an administration of an incorrect interpretation that helps promote an agenda.

bush's administration was wrong in their assessment...that tends to happen when you start with the answer before actually knowing the question.

every day that passes with no chemical factories, no nuclear facilities, no 500 tons of biological stockpiles...no wmd at all....proves that bush and company were inept at best or intentionally lying at worst.

the post-invasion data is not ambiguous.

The post-invasion data are not in yet on WMDs. The post-invastion data on whether it was a good thing to get rid of Saddam are in, and it was. The administration's assessemt was correct.

3rdpath
Jul 22, 2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The post-invasion data are not in yet on WMDs. The post-invastion data on whether it was a good thing to get rid of Saddam are in, and it was.

gotta love it!

somehow the data's not conclusive on wmd( though we can't find them).

and yet, the data is in and amazingly conclusive on saddam( though we can't find him).

meanwhile, there's no end in site to our occupation, no government in place and soldiers are dying daily...and somehow it's all a success...in fact, it's all so successful that we're asking for help from the u.n. who we dismissed before our march to easy victory.

priceless.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
gotta love it!

somehow the data's not conclusive on wmd( though we can't find them).

and yet, the data is in and amazingly conclusive on saddam( though we can't find him).

meanwhile, there's no end in site to our occupation, no government in place and soldiers are dying daily...and somehow it's all a success...in fact, it's all so successful that we're asking for help from the u.n. who we dismissed before our march to easy victory.

priceless.

Yes, the data are in on Saddam. Iraq, the region, and the world are better off today because he is no longer in power. If you want to make the argument that Iraq, the region, and the world are not better off, pleae do so. If you don't want to make that argument, then, indeed, the data are conclusive.

added:

Meanwhile, progress continues in Iraq with an executive council in place, most of the country is calm, services are coming back online, although not as fast as one would like, and, apparently, a couple of dead sons of Saddam to boot.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Yes, the data are in on Saddam. Iraq, the region, and the world are better off today because he is no longer in power.

that statement is at cross-purposes w/ the article i linked to at the start of this thread, that intelligence suggested hussein would be _more_ dangerous out of power.

3rdpath
Jul 22, 2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Yes, the data are in on Saddam. Iraq, the region, and the world are better off today because he is no longer in power.

so if forcing him underground solves our problems...why are we still worried about osama?

somehow you think all of the data is in and the game is over. maybe that helps your arguement but it really isn't a rational view of the long term realities.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
that statement is at cross-purposes w/ the article i linked to at the start of this thread, that intelligence suggested hussein would be _more_ dangerous out of power.

There is always risk, but getting rid of Saddam was a good thing and makes the situation in the region and in the world better rather than worse. In short it has worked well so far. Some thought that Saddam might try to attack Israel, but the risk/reward came down on the side of action.

3rdpath,
I didn't say it solves all of the problems. I said that it improves the situation.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by macfan
There is always risk, but getting rid of Saddam was a good thing and makes the situation in the region and in the world better rather than worse. In short it has worked well so far.

"short term." when considering the subject of the article (saddam in power, he would keep WMD near | saddam out of power, he may freely give them away), i think it's too soon to know if the worst case has happened.

i'm thinking of homer crawling out of the simpson basement in the eye of the hurricane and declaring all well.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 06:28 PM
The implications of the article are chilling yet we are reduced to arguing about rhetoric in Bush's speech. W - T - F?

Doesn't anyone see the significance if such a report turns out to be what happened? Why are we discussing whether or not the report should have been presented to us instead of talking about the report itself?

Saddam was more likely to give WoMD to terrorists if we invaded than if we didn't.

If this is what happened, we caused rather than prevented terrorists to come into possession of WoMD they otherwise wouldn't have had.

IOW, Bush put Americans' lives at huge risk for little national gain (occupied territory in Iraq).

Ironically, this would explain where the WoMD that we are so sure were there went.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 06:30 PM
and if the deposed hussein weren't mad enough to give away WMD, what about now that his sons are dead?

that man may have no reason to live now, other than to kill as many americans as possible. before the invasion, he had a lot to lose.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
and if the deposed hussein weren't mad enough to give away WMD, what about now that his sons are dead?

that man may have no reason to live now, other than to kill as many americans as possible. before the invasion, he had a lot to lose.

And though he may be deposed, he's still not contained. IOW, he has power as long as he's free.

And that power, unlike before, comes with no responsibilities. He doesn't have to maintain an image of proper statesmanship. He's no longer the leader of a nation.

Everyone expects the worst from him, why would he disappoint if he could?

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
The implications of the article are chilling yet we are reduced to arguing about rhetoric in Bush's speech. W - T - F?

Doesn't anyone see the significance if such a report turns out to be what happened? Why are we discussing whether or not the report should have been presented to us instead of talking about the report itself?

Saddam was more likely to give WoMD to terrorists if we invaded than if we didn't.

If this is what happened, we caused rather than prevented terrorists to come into possession of WoMD they otherwise wouldn't have had.

IOW, Bush put Americans' lives at huge risk for little national gain (occupied territory in Iraq).

Ironically, this would explain where the WoMD that we are so sure were there went.

The benefit is that when you destroy him and he hasn't managed to pass of WMDs, you have ended his threat. The upside in the region of removing Saddam is huge, much greater than occupation of Iraq, which is more of a headache than any national gain for the US.

You know, it's not real likely that Saddam has control over those WMDs any longer, what with the 101st looking for him under various rocks.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The benefit is that when you destroy him and he hasn't managed to pass of WMDs, you have ended his threat. The upside in the region of removing Saddam is huge, much greater than occupation of Iraq, which is more of a headache than any national gain for the US.

Okay, so now we have the headache of occupation and higher risk of Saddam giving WoMD to terrorists. Who wins other than Israel?

You know, it's not real likely that Saddam has control over those WMDs any longer, what with the 101st looking for him under various rocks.

Especially if he already gave them away!

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Okay, so now we have the headache of occupation and higher risk of Saddam giving WoMD to terrorists. Who wins other than Israel?



Especially if he already gave them away!

We have a lower risk of Saddam giving weapons to terrorist because he is more concerned right now about keeping his body and soul together. Who wins with Saddam out of power? Iraq, the US, countries in the region. Who loses? Saddam, and France.

zimv20
Jul 23, 2003, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by macfan
We have a lower risk of Saddam giving weapons to terrorist because he is more concerned right now about keeping his body and soul together.

your statement runs counter to an intelligence report. why should anyone believe you?

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 12:55 AM
That part of the intelligence report was just a worst case analysis that didn't happen.

zimv20
Jul 23, 2003, 12:58 AM
"that we know of" or "yet"

pseudobrit
Jul 23, 2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by macfan
That part of the intelligence report was just a worst case analysis that didn't happen.

And how do you know?