'Daily Show' Viewers More Informed than Fox, Local Viewers | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

'Daily Show' Viewers More Informed than Fox, Local Viewers

Interesting piece in the New York Times (thanks, Kate!), notes that the most informed news consumers also have the highest tendency to watch fake news shows.

But here's one big difference: the survey respondents who seemed to know the most about what's going on — who were able to identify major public figures, for example — were likely to be viewers of fake news programs like Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report"; those who knew the least watched network morning news programs, Fox News or local television news.

Previous Comments

ID
112260
Comment

I was reading an Eat The Press article about how the Daily Show's technique of montaging politicians' past contradictory statements is practically revolutionary, and actual news broadcasts fail to go through old footage and show these types of contradictions. Certainly if there is something that broadcast news can do that print news can't, it's the ability to SHOW viewers a record of taped lies by public figures.

Author
Darren Schwindaman
Date
2007-04-17T08:49:03-06:00
ID
112261
Comment

Limbaugh was doing that on his tv show back in mid 90's. nothing really new there, just no one hardly ever uses that technique.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-17T08:52:43-06:00
ID
112262
Comment

Certainly if there is something that broadcast news can do that print news can't, it's the ability to SHOW viewers a record of taped lies by public figures. To a certain extent the Sunday chat shows do this...in fact, it sometimes seems that the point of the shows is to put politicians "on the record" about certain quotes or criticisms that have made the news in the past week. I'm a little addicted to This Week every Sunday, and this last Sunday offered up a prime (and stupid) example of the "on the record" question...Stephanopolos was going after presidental candidate/governor Bill Richardson on his pull-out-of-Iraq plan by asking him repeatedly if "any retired generals had signed on" to Richardson's plan. Kinda seemed like a Washingtonian false-dilemma...if you don't have retired generals, you don't have a plan. ;-) But, yes, the Daily Show is high satire in the sense that it uses politicos own words against them. There's some Twain in them there montages. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T08:56:04-06:00
ID
112263
Comment

Also, it's interesting to note, Fish, that Limbaugh listeners are high up on the "informed" list along with Daily Show viewers. Which makes sense...Limbaugh certainly keeps headlines in people's minds and you have to follow politics somewhat to keep up with him. The study after all, only measures basics like whether you know who the vice president is and whether or not you know we have a trade deficit. It says nothing about whether you draw reasonable conclusions based on that awareness. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T09:01:21-06:00
ID
112264
Comment

I could't find it by googling it, but I remember a few years ago a study came out that most Americans got there news from the late night talk shows. (Letterman, Leno, etc.) This isn't that surprising. The shows that are referred to are very entertaining and thus people watch and remember. I do find it interesting that the article called out Fox News specifically, as if mocking or attacking it. It lumped all network morning programs (which garner huge ratings) together as well as local news, but then called out Fox news. Strange. And what about CNN? Deceiving first couple of paragraphs. Basically, it appears as they are saying the left leaning programs have a more intelligent audience than Fox. Not that big a deal, but it's an apparent biased jab at Fox.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-17T13:04:28-06:00
ID
112265
Comment

Actually, it's because Fox came in much lower than CNN, which ranked closer to daily newspaper readers. Daily Show/Colbert kinda blew all the traditional media out of the water. As mentioned, Limbaugh does pretty well, as does O'Reilly (LOL). Results Image

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T13:19:15-06:00
ID
112266
Comment

eagle1, other studies have found that FOX watchers are more likely to be misinformed than other voters. Wasn't there one that found that FOX viewers believe we actually found WMD in Iraq, or something like that?

Author
kate
Date
2007-04-17T13:29:50-06:00
ID
112267
Comment

actually we did if you count chemical weapons as WMD's, which many experts do.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-17T13:54:29-06:00
ID
112268
Comment

True, Kate, although one point worth making here is that it's actually This. Study. We're. Talking. About. that specifically shows Fox News lower than CNN, et. al. In other words, when eagle1 says... Deceiving first couple of paragraphs. Basically, it appears as they are saying the left leaning programs have a more intelligent audience than Fox. Not that big a deal, but it's an apparent biased jab at Fox. s/he's wrong. S/he's seeing bias where there's none. Fascinating. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T14:09:09-06:00
ID
112269
Comment

actually we did if you count chemical weapons as WMD's, which many experts do. You mean these?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T14:16:36-06:00
ID
112270
Comment

I just see them calling out Fox news as a jab. why did they group all morning shows together? They could have said, "including NBCs today show, etc...." They didn't even mention the names of the shows. I may have missed something though, I didn't see any rankings at all on that link, comparisons that is to CNN or other cable news programs. Like I said not a big deal. Just appears to be a little jab at Fox. Coming from the Times, that would not surprise me at all. As for WMDs, that's because Fox News may have been the only program that didn't write off the fact that some WMD's were found. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html http://www.mediaresearch.org/press/2006/press20060623.asp http://washingtontimes.com/national/20050427-121915-1667r.htm True, the weapons we actually found were old. Also, read that last link. "Speculation on WMDs in Syria was fueled by the fact that satellite images picked up long lines of trucks waiting to cross the border into Syria before the coalition launched the invasion." Hello, common sense anyone. This is the very reason you don't give a troop withdrawal deadline. Off topic, I know, but had to respond to Kate.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-17T14:35:18-06:00
ID
112271
Comment

eagle1...c'mon....in the link I posted, it's a survey, so it has little numbers. The numbers tell you things, such as, people who watch Fox did worse on the survey. CNN is higher than Fox. You can see that, right? C'mon...admin it. Admiiiit it. What's more, you're confusing criticism of the study of the Pew Research Center with criticism of the NYTimes. But, heck, it's just one big mush of librulism, eh, so why figure out the tawdry details, right? As for WMDs, that's because Fox News may have been the only program that didn't write off the fact that some WMD's were found. Write off? You've just posted Fox and two wingnut un-thinktank links farms to the story about WMD and wonder aloud why the rest of the world "wrote off" the fact that "some WMDs" were found. That's because...err...they weren't. Duelfer's Report BTW, that's 7 American soliders and $1 billion PER degraded chemical weapon. Hello...common sense anyone? We need a frickin' exit strategy.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-17T16:45:14-06:00
ID
112272
Comment

todd, but WMDs were found, no matter how old they were or how few. Are you on the Fox is rightwing badwagon? Do you think that was just rightwing propaganda? You posted a link to Media Matters, a liberal web site, am I supposed to believe that? And the Washington Post article you linked pre-dates the one I linked. Here's an interesting part of the Post story you linked, The team "uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 kilometers (250 to 621 miles), and for a 1,000-km-range (932-mile) cruise missile," the report says. It adds that none of the planned missiles was in production, and only one of them had progressed beyond the design phase. "The report concludes that Iraq "clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems," and maintains that the missiles, if built, could potentially have been combined with biological, chemical or nuclear warheads, if Hussein acquired them." Good thing we went in, like Bush said, we need to take care of this BEFORE they become an imminent threat. See North Korea. Here's the actual Pew Center link the Times is referring to: http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=319 Basically, it's charging that despite all the multiple news sources and 24 hour news sources available now that weren't available 20 years ago, people are somehow less informed today. Jeez, that's scary.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T07:45:06-06:00
ID
112273
Comment

I wonder why the "Times" didn't make this a story- Segment pulled from the Pew findings: "Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to be represented in the high-knowledge group. But significantly fewer Republicans (26%) than Democrats (31%) fall into the third of the public that knows the least." That is funny.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T07:49:32-06:00
ID
112274
Comment

Also, if Saddam had nothing to hide, why continually throw out weapons inspectors especially if the UN sanctions were set to expire in a matter of years? Why pretend you have stockpiles of weapons angering the most powerful country in the world? Then- "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998 You've seen these quotes a million times, I won't typed them all. Here's a recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle, good article: SFChron article

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T08:32:00-06:00
ID
112275
Comment

Sweet Jesus, I can't believe you guys are still trying to peddle your WMDs. The "weapons" they found are a pathetic, desperate connivance compared to the WMDs we were promised. Not exactly a mushroom cloud waiting to happen, ya know? Not exactly chemical weapons all over the Sunni triangle, which Rumsfled "knew" were there. And I don't know want to hear any bullshit about "intelligence," especially from you King, or I'll just ship you back to the long list of quotes I gave you the last time we discussed this that you ignored. The reason why journalists pick on Fox News is that it sucks. It's the only news source that people become less informed the more they watch it.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T09:04:36-06:00
ID
112276
Comment

I agree Brian about the weapons, regardless, some were found. It is a false statement to say none were found. And journalists pick on Fox news because MOST journalist lean left. Here's a story. http://atmizzou.missouri.edu/feb05/liberalmedia.htm and the general public believe it also- http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=9430 Rumsfield? Try Kerry, Albright, Sen. Clinton,. Speaker Pelosi and various others who also believed they were there. This, before Bush was ever president or Rumsfield was Defense Secretary.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T09:31:25-06:00
ID
112277
Comment

Again, Eagle, journalists attack Fox not because they are left leaning but because Fox is a horrible media source. The Wall Street Journal is pretty much universally respected by journalists (not the editorial page, but that's another issue). It is respected because they do very solid reporting, by and large. Journalists don't care that it's conservative. Fox, by contrast, is more infotainment than it is journalism.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T09:40:59-06:00
ID
112278
Comment

todd, but WMDs were found, no matter how old they were or how few. It's not a zero-sum game. And, by definition, weapons of mass destruction must be capable of massively destroying, which isn't evident here. We found degraded 20-year-old chemical munitions from the Iraq-Iran war (when, incidentally, we were selling weapons to Iraq, lest you forget). That doesn't justify this war. Are you on the Fox is rightwing badwagon? Do you think that was just rightwing propaganda? You posted a link to Media Matters, a liberal web site, am I supposed to believe that? OK, so you proclaim the Times and Media Matters are "liberal" (and, presumably, completely untrustworthy) and yet you ask me "Are you on the Fox is rightwing badwagon (sic)?" So the first two questions cancel out. ;-) The answer to your third question is, yes. You should believe well-reported analysis that uses original sourcing to draw conclusions. Fox often finds it lucrative and useful to give a less than fully considered story, for whatever reason. While some of their commentators are clearly "conservative," whatever that means in today's parlance, I'd guess that the motive is more that they've found a certain jingoistic infotainment approach makes them money. Generally their "reporting" relies overwhelmingly on administration sources and right-leaning think tanks. They put fewer resources on the ground than CNN or the New York Times, for instance, in order to learn for themselves what is going on -- or at least to take a stab at it. The Times is often "liberal" in its editorials, tends to takes a broader world view in its analysis, but is held back somewhat by its institutional nature in much if its reporting...see most of its pre-war and embed reporting on Iraq. The Times was wrong on the war, they're wrong to not have cut Judy Miller loose a long time ago and they can absolutely screw the pooch on their "hinterland" reporting, including a great deal of what I've seen them do in Mississippi in recent years.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T09:44:16-06:00
ID
112279
Comment

"The report concludes that Iraq "clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems," and maintains that the missiles, if built, could potentially have been combined with biological, chemical or nuclear warheads, if Hussein acquired them." Which he wasn't going to do, and hadn't had any luck doing, for the past 10 years of sanctions. Inspections prior to the war were uncovering any progress on the nascient missile programs that he had, and we knew he at least that capacity and interest, because we watched him fire scuds at Isreal 15 years ago. Whether he had anything to deliver on those missles was the questions, and had the administration more seriously considered "intelligence" an important factor in the war-decision arsenal, they might have rightly concluded that he didn't have much in the way of payloads to deliver. That's not to say the world isn't a better place without Saddam. But it's a worse place for the way in which the Bush administration implemented his regime change. Neocons were completely wrong about the "New American Century," they were completely taken in by Chalabi and the INC, and they were extraordinarily stupid and naive in their willingness go into Iraq without anything resembling Powell Doctrine thinking. If we ever throw another war, I vote for the Manhattan Institute and the American Enterprise Institute being asked to sit it out. Good thing we went in, like Bush said, we need to take care of this BEFORE they become an imminent threat. See North Korea. Yes, see North Korea. No (or few) Americans have died in our current "conflict" with North Korea, since's it's been a diplomatic one. We're having productive multilateral talks and we're developing some important relationships in the region which may preclude a massive expenditure in life and treasure. Not to mention that we *couldn't* invade North Korea right now if we wanted to because we're mired in an ill-conceived war in Iraq that has seriously degraded our defense capabilities.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T09:44:59-06:00
ID
112280
Comment

I wouldn't say the Times is completely untrustworty, the reporting that is. I'd say their editorials are sometimes down right traitorous as well as their revealing of US intelligence. I don't presume Media Matters is liberal, they state it on their website. As far as CNN is concerned, you say they have more people on the ground( as well as others)? That's pathetic for an organization who refused to report Iraq atrocities leading up to the war for fear they'd be thrown out. That's despicable. Not sure if Fox has less or more people on the ground, but they are a very young news organization at this point. Does this paper have more reporters than the Clarion Ledger? I doubt it, but one day..... As far as justifying the war, it was called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was it not? Don't recall it being named "Operation I'm lying about WMDs so I can go to war with Iraq and then later be named a liar and lose credibility." I know WMDs was a major argument but it was an argument that most all intelligence agencies in the world agreed with and the former admistration believed. To say Bush lied is ridiculous. Had Saddam not consistantly thrown UN weapons inspectors out, we wouldn't be having this conversation. WHY PRETEND TO HIDE SOMETHING YOU DON"T HAVE? It makes no sense. As far as I'm concerned, Saddam is the dumbest man on earth. Had he just let weapons inspectors in, not violating dozens of UN sanctions over a decade (yeah, diplomacy really works on the insane) he would still be in power today, bathing in gold, killing families, watching his sons rape women and torture people. Yeah, what an idiot, all he had to do was allow a group of people through his front door, search for something he didn't have and life would still be grand for him. Why oh why did he throw them out, he was probably saying that to himself before he was hung or hanged, whichever it is.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T10:22:07-06:00
ID
112281
Comment

Go, eagle 1!

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-04-18T10:31:08-06:00
ID
112282
Comment

There was six months of failed diplomacy regarding Iraq leading up to the war, this not including the entire decade prior. The reason we are having diplomatic (bribe)discussions with North Korea, is not because of Iraq, but because North Korea already has weapons capabilities. It's too late for anything else. We nipped it in Iraq. Didn't Clinton already bride North Korea into not creating weapons? Given the information we had at the time and in the context of 911, what choice did we have? Diplomacy had failed and we had just witnessed what happens when terror or agents of it go ignored. The right thing was done in going to Iraq. There wasn't any huge cache of weapons found, true. It doesn't say that the Prez lied, because if he intentionally lied, then virtually every major intelligence agency was in on it, the Clinton administration was in on it and the U.N.(believed he had them) was in on it. Read that article from the San Fran Chronicle I posted. Speaks volumes.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T10:36:47-06:00
ID
112283
Comment

Anybody see Bruce Bartlett on Tavis last night? It's funny to watch those guys scramble now to talk about how Bush clearly didn't have an economic strategy way back when. They just don't want to admit they should have known, even as they now try to distance themselves from a president who has failed on every front. Sigh. The fact that strong conservatives are now against Bush now makes the whole liberal-conservative media obsession a bit dated. The question is, as others say above, is the media fact-based, or too scared to report the truth because it might offend rich advertisers? It didn't matter which side of the spectrum du jour the truth falls on. Give us the facts. People of all political persuasions, save the most ignorant and partisan, have learned that now after the media parrotted the Bush administration lies and cover-ups about the war and other matters. Just give us the truth. It doesn't matter if a bunch of whiny-butts on talk radio think it's "liberal" or "conservative." Just give us the truth, context and in-depth reporting, ideology be damned. Our country has learned the hard way. It is funny to watch FOX turn into the ideologues without someone to support, though, as less ideologically inclined media scramble to get their reporting in order again after the games of late. ;-) It was so much easier for them in the old days. Now they are becoming as caricaturish as Karl Rove, and that's rather delicious to watch.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-18T10:40:09-06:00
ID
112284
Comment

eagle1, I don't know if you've noticed, but the world has moved on past your arguments at this point. Hell, even conservatives have. Keep up, dude.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-18T10:42:26-06:00
ID
112285
Comment

As far as justifying the war, it was called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was it not? Don't recall it being named "Operation I'm lying about WMDs so I can go to war with Iraq and then later be named a liar and lose credibility." I know WMDs was a major argument but it was an argument that most all intelligence agencies in the world agreed with and the former admistration believed. To say Bush lied is ridiculous. Had Saddam not consistantly thrown UN weapons inspectors out, we wouldn't be having this conversation. WHY PRETEND TO HIDE SOMETHING YOU DON"T HAVE? It makes no sense. I don't recall saying that Bush lied. That's a strawman that you've put up. What I believe is that some less-than-savvy partisans stovepiped intelligence without due diligence and worked it so that it fit a particular worldview, one that has turned out to be incredibly naive and utterly lacking in nuance required to understand global politics. My criticisms are that (a.) the war was preordained by neo-cons and therefore became a solution that didn't fit the problem post 9-11 and (b.) once implemented, it was done with little to no understanding that the war could become a huge albatross for the U.S. if poorly planned. Many of these problems were anticipated ahead of time. However, much of the press and the country gave the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt. That, in hindsight, was a mistake. Yeah, what an idiot, all he had to do was allow a group of people through his front door, search for something he didn't have and life would still be grand for him. Why oh why did he throw them out, he was probably saying that to himself before he was hung or hanged, whichever it is. No doubt Saddam was evil...I'm not sure how stupid he was (at least is a sort of Stalineque way he was able to retain power for years)...but morally bankrupt, a coward, a dictator. Absolutely. But, you're re-writing history, here. Please recall that weapons inspectors were *in Iraq* when Bush decided to invade anyway. Saying Saddam "threw them out" at that point simply isn't true. It may *feel* good to say it, but it ain't fact. (I assume that facts should be some sort of basis for this discussion.) After failing to secure U.N. authorization to use force to disarm Iraq, President Bush gave Saddam 48 hours to step down or face war in a speech Monday night. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/17/iraq/main544280.shtml Saddam throwing out inspectors is *not* what got Bush to pull the trigger. It was not a valid justification for the war to begin when it did. Next?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T11:36:45-06:00
ID
112286
Comment

Ladd, Kate started the argument with her comment, not me. And yes, I have gotten past it, but still get irritated with the "bush lied" bullshit.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T11:55:09-06:00
ID
112287
Comment

He did lie, eagle1. That is established fact at this point, whether you get tired of hearing it or not. Even conservatives will tell you that. Like I said, catch up. You sound circa 2002. BTW, Clinton lied, too. I don't give a damn what party someone is, a liar is a liar.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-18T12:33:53-06:00
ID
112288
Comment

yeah, they all lied. Never mind the CIA said for years he had them. They all lied. Never mind that Saddam managed to make it look like he had them. they all lied. Never mind that intel rarely has a smoking gun but instead is an attempt to formulate a judgement based on collecting a bunch of incomplete pieces of data. They all lied. You'd be better off claiming that Perle, Wolfie, and the rest of the neocons all worked for Israel at one time or another and foiseted upon us ISRAEL's anti-terrorism plan which DID include Iraq as Hussein was supporting and funding Palestinian bombers. claimgin that this was really done to help Sharon is much more credible.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T12:57:41-06:00
ID
112289
Comment

Saddam had tossed the inspectors 4 years prior and only let them back in because of the threat of war and he was still not cooperating. The inspectors were led to facilities they had already inspected, it was a joke. It was too late and Bush called his bluff. What worldview are you talking about? The one that allows a dictator to kill 200,000 families without consequence. The UN is a joke, just look to see what countries are on what committees, priceless. "less than savvy partisons?" Do I need to quote all the Democrats again to remind you that the previous administration also believed Iraq had weapons or do you just dismiss that fact. And "due diligence??????" How many years of breaking UN sanctions would you consider due diligence a failed diplomacy. I suppose Bush's limit was about 12. Mine would have been about 2. If you seriously believe this war was preordained no matter what happened, then there's certainly no amount of argument that would persuade you otherwise and this is a lost cause. and to your other point, I believe we fully understood (see Vietnam) what the consequences could be invading Iraq. It was still the right thing to do at the time. I can't count how many times I heard Bush say this would be a long process. In the wake of 911 (where nothing was done of a rogue regime hiding in caves in Afghanistan) we could not afford to do nothing. Doing NOTHING is what caused 911. The failed UN authorization to disarm Iraq was led by France, Germany and Russia, all of whom were to lose huge amounts of cash in the deal. I guess you disregard that bit of non-newsworthy material. As far as poor planning. We took down a regime and a country in record time, the likes never seen in history. There is simply no way to plan for or anticipate people strapping bombs to themselves and walking into a restaurant. Or for that matter, onto the campus of Virginia Tech. No amount of planning can prepare you for that.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T13:04:47-06:00
ID
112290
Comment

That is hardly an established fact that he lied or intentionally lied. He received intelligence and acted on it. It appears the intelligence was flawed to say the least. That does not translate into him being a liar. You sound ridiculous.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T13:22:56-06:00
ID
112291
Comment

"you sound ridiculous". Eagle1, we do not engage in ad hominem attacks here. We debate and make points without engaging in attacking people personally. Please read the user agreement.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T13:27:50-06:00
ID
112292
Comment

Ladd said I sounded "circa 2002." Oh, but I just had to respond.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T13:32:38-06:00
ID
112293
Comment

Eagle-someone saying that you "sounded" circa 2002 isn't an attack. Now if ladd had said that you WERE 2002, that would be an attack.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-04-18T13:54:04-06:00
ID
112294
Comment

And Ladd, to one of your other points. I agree, it was easier for the major media back in the day. Nobody EVER questioned their authenticity. Now they are challenged daily. And thanks to that, CNN was exposed before the Iraq war, that photographer for the LA Times who doctored a Iraq war photo would have never been exposed and Dan Rather's hit piece on Bush would have gone unchallenged. To say that liberal bias is outdated doesn't exempt it from being true or worth discussing. I'd like to know why Sandy Berger stealing and destroying classified information gets a mere community service sentence and not a ton of headlines, but Scooter Libby (by all accounts is a good person) may actually get jail time for not remembering something about a situation that was completely legal to begin with. Being unprecedented, Clinton fires all US attorneys, but the press doesn't get overly excited, but Bush fires a handful and the press goes crazy. Note, some of the US attorney's Clinton fired were investigating Democrat's voting fraud. One man was convicted and Clinton pardoned him. Why did Kitty Kelly get, not one, not two but three mornings on the Today show during the campaign for her smear book about the Bush's while top selling book written by Vietnam Vets smearing John Kerry doesn't get one second. Disagree with them, but these were veterans for god sake. Note, she was treated much friendlier than the way Coulter was treated. You can say it's tired and old, but it is "established fact" so to speak. I'm not sure what "economic plan" you are referring to. So I can't comment to specifically other than from 2003 to now, the economy created over 5 million jobs. Payrolls expanded for 30 straight months. Following Bush's 2003 tax cuts, federal tax revenues grew from $1.9 trillion in 2004 to $2.1 trillion in 2005. The monthly inflation rate for February 2006 stood at .20 percent. And 68.6 percent of Americans own their homes, a historical high. The stock market continues to break record highs and the unemployment rate is lower than of the best of the Clinton years. Yet, thanks to the media, it's doom and gloom. If it wasn't for the war, see post 911 and pre war ratings, this would be the most popular president in quite some time. The economy is doing great.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T14:08:26-06:00
ID
112295
Comment

On the lie that everyone had the same intelligence regarding Iraq (and I would just link to this but it's collected from different pages). Quotes from some of the important players, as interviewed by Frontline. Paul Piller, national intelligence officer 2000-05, and the man who directed the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that was the key piece of intelligence presented to Congree just before the authorization: A lot of intelligence analysts were caught up in several things: a previous consensus against which there just wasn't enough intelligence to challenge it; the consensus being that yes, there were programs. The atmosphere in which they were working, in which a policy decision clearly had already been made, in which intelligence was being looked to to support that decision rather to inform decisions yet to be made, was a very important part of the atmosphere. ... If you're looking at things that I didn't feel good about doing, I would refer to the unclassified "[white] paper" that was laid out. In retrospect, although people who worked on it, including myself, didn't have substantive problems with it at the time, it was clearly requested and published for policy advocacy purposes. This was not informing [a] decision. What was the purpose of it? The purpose was to strengthen the case of going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers for that purpose? I don't think so, and I regret having had a role in that. ... Sen. Bob Graham, who requested the NIE: Well, let's distinguish between two stages. The first stage was the classified version, which was tilted towards weapons of mass destruction but contained a number of areas of disagreement with that conclusion. We asked that that classified version be scrubbed; that is, any security-related information be redacted and then the rest of it be made available to the American people. Well, what we got three days later was not a redacted version of the original classified report but a wholly new report, which had eliminated all of the conditions and doubts and was a full-scale argument for weapons of mass destruction: imminent threat; we don't get Saddam Hussein now, you're responsible for putting the American people at risk. I was incensed at that point that the American people were being told one thing, and we, in a classified situation, [who] were prohibited from saying anything about it, were being told a significantly different assessment of how sure we were of Saddam Hussein's capabilities, and particularly his intentions. … Well, The Washington Post reported subsequent to all of this that in the late spring of 2002, the White House had called down a number of CIA professionals and told them that they wanted a document which could be used to convince the American people that the threat from Iraq was sufficiently serious that that should be our first priority. So beginning in April or May, the CIA started to put together such a document. ... Well, it says to me that the decision had been made that we're going to go to war with Iraq; all of this other [talk] was just window dressing, and that the intelligence community was being used as almost a public relations operation to validate the war against Saddam Hussein. ...

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T14:09:17-06:00
ID
112296
Comment

And ... Melvin Goodman, CIA 1966-86: The fact of the matter is, the CIA didn't want to produce (the NIE). The White House didn't want one because they didn't want to allow any venting of whatever opposition there was to what they wanted to be the conventional wisdom on weapons of mass destruction. But Graham got his way, and the CIA produced this estimate in three or four weeks. They didn't produce it very well, but basically they produced the case that the administration wanted. This was comparable to sort of judge shopping in the courthouse: If you want a certain verdict on a decision, you usually know which judge you can go to. ... George Tenet and John McLaughlin picked the very people in the National Intelligence Council ... who had a very hard line on all of these issues. So three or four key people were picked to write this estimate that was a fraud; I don't know how else to describe that National Intelligence Estimate. ... The methodology, obviously, was a disgrace. ... Finally, Michael Scheuer, who was chief of the CIA's Bin Laden Desk from 1995 to 1999, on Cheney's meddling with the CIA: Mr. Cheney came out (to Langeley) repeatedly. I have to say I was not in the meetings, but I knew people who were, and he seemed to be very hard over trying to draw more out of the intelligence information that was available than most of the analysts were willing to draw. Whether it was the connection of Al Qaeda to Iraq -- the supposed connection -- or WMD [weapons of mass destruction] or Saddam's involvement [with] the Palestinian terrorists groups, for example, there was just a feeling that he had his mind made up and was looking for us to support that. ...

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T14:16:27-06:00
ID
112297
Comment

LoriG, I said she "sounded" ridiculous.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T14:17:06-06:00
ID
112298
Comment

If you want to use Sheurer, go ahead. you might want to check out his background though as well as his views. Hint: swastika. Also, he also claims that Clinton rejected the chance to nab Bin Laden. You prepared to accept that claim of his also?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T14:26:43-06:00
ID
112299
Comment

That's the best you can do, King? Will you explictly acknowledge, here and forever more, that Congress did NOT have the same intelligence as the president? That the Bush administration DID put pressure on intelligence agencies?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T14:28:51-06:00
ID
112300
Comment

Brian- "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998. "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998. "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998 "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998. "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998. "Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999. "There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001. "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002. "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002. "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002. "He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do." Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T14:28:56-06:00
ID
112301
Comment

no. am walking out the door right now and will be in a car for several hours. I plan on writing more tonight, just felt like throwing that tidbit out there. explore the neocon/AIPAC angle. Its rather interesting. will you acnkowledge by the way that Scheurer is questionable as a source?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T14:44:43-06:00
ID
112302
Comment

I'm not answering anything from you until you address the issue at hand, King, which you've avoided in the past.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T14:51:08-06:00
ID
112303
Comment

Snopes piece that puts into CONTEXT many of the quotes that eagle1 is cutting-and-pasting from whence he found it on one of the tubes of the Internets... http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp [i">Origins: All of the quotes listed above are substantially correct reproductions of statements made by various Democratic leaders regarding Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's acquisition or possession of weapons of mass destruction. However, some of the quotes are truncated, and context is provided for none of them — several of these quotes were offered in the course of statements that clearly indicated the speaker was decidedly against unilateral military intervention in Iraq by the U.S. Moreover, several of the quotes offered antedate the four nights of airstrikes unleashed against Iraq by U.S. and British forces during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, after which Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and Gen. Henry H. Shelton (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) announced the action had been successful in "degrad[ing] Saddam Hussein's ability to deliver chemical, biological and nuclear weapons."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T14:52:34-06:00
ID
112304
Comment

Yes, Eagle, and Clinton did use force. He launched air strikes. He did not launch a massive invasion with no real planning for securing the peace. We would be welcomed with flowers (Chaney). The war would pay for itself (Wolfowitz). He also did not strong-arm the intelligence agencies into producing a politicized NIE, which is the basis for many of the congressional comments you posted. I accept that most intelligence agencies believed Hussein had a covert program. I accept that most political leaders believed the same. The difference between them and Bush is that they did not throw around inflammatory talk of mushroom clouds. They did not deliberately use intelligence they knew was false, like the yellowcake story, or the damned Mohammed Atta red herring Chaney just won't give up. If the inspectors had stayed in Iraq and continued to search for WMDs, what dire result would have followed? The inspectors would have found nothing beyond the rusting warheads you seem to think prove Bush's case. If the U.S. had continued to contain Iraq instead of invading it, what would have resulted? We wouldn't have created an Iranian proxy state, that's what. We wouldn't be bleeding our military dry, that's what.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T14:59:59-06:00
ID
112305
Comment

As always, the iTodd cuts through the crap and tells it like it is.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-18T15:02:22-06:00
ID
112306
Comment

Saddam had tossed the inspectors 4 years prior and only let them back in because of the threat of war and he was still not cooperating. The inspectors were led to facilities they had already inspected, it was a joke. It was too late and Bush called his bluff. The threat of war is exactly the power that Congress gave to Bush in order to exert that influence on Saddam. It was, despite your baseless protestations, working. Perfectly? No. Somewhat? Yes. That's diplomacy. Bush then misused that power and took us to war too early without enough international support and without an excellent plan for rebuilding Iraq quickly and efficiently in order to limit the social and political ramifications of the U.S. acting as an occupying power in that region. What worldview are you talking about? The one that allows a dictator to kill 200,000 families without consequence. No, not that one. The other one. The UN is a joke, just look to see what countries are on what committees, priceless. Well then, let's just go it alone. We're doing swimmingly so far. "less than savvy partisons?" Do I need to quote all the Democrats again to remind you that the previous administration also believed Iraq had weapons or do you just dismiss that fact. You could certainly quote them in context. Shall I quote all the Republicans who opposed our involvement in Kosovo? I can find that one on the Internet for a quick cut-and-paste, too. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/18/161016/461 Have we accomplished anything yet? And "due diligence??????" How many years of breaking UN sanctions would you consider due diligence a failed diplomacy. I suppose Bush's limit was about 12. Mine would have been about 2. I would have gone 12.5 years. If you seriously believe this war was preordained no matter what happened, then there's certainly no amount of argument that would persuade you otherwise and this is a lost cause. Please...what better to do in Mississippi on a warm spring afternoon but fight lost causes? ;-) Frankly, if you explored conversation instead of bald assertion, you might get conversation in return. and to your other point, I believe we fully understood (see Vietnam) what the consequences could be invading Iraq. It was still the right thing to do at the time. I can't count how many times I heard Bush say this would be a long process. In the wake of 911 (where nothing was done of a rogue regime hiding in caves in Afghanistan) we could not afford to do nothing. Doing NOTHING is what caused 911. Maybe you fully understood the Vietnam-esque consequences of invading Iraq and, if so, I applaud you. I don't think Dick Chaney, Don Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz did. The failed UN authorization to disarm Iraq was led by France, Germany and Russia, all of whom were to lose huge amounts of cash in the deal. I guess you disregard that bit of non-newsworthy material. Which "failed" UN authorization? As you may recall, Iraq was actually effective disarmed...that's how this discussion started. That's what's troubling about this...remember? As far as poor planning. We took down a regime and a country in record time, the likes never seen in history. There is simply no way to plan for or anticipate people strapping bombs to themselves and walking into a restaurant. Or for that matter, onto the campus of Virginia Tech. No amount of planning can prepare you for that. Really? You didn't anticipate that people would suicide bomb if we invaded and held Baghdad? You're able to divine that the UN is worthless, the Democrats utterly out of touch and you've learned the lessons of Vietnam as they apply to Iraq...but you didn't think there would be suicide bombers?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T15:13:50-06:00
ID
112307
Comment

In the wake of 911 (where nothing was done of a rogue regime hiding in caves in Afghanistan) we could not afford to do nothing. Doing NOTHING is what caused 911. I didn't completely see this one until I re-read the post. This, class, is the one that should take our breath away. Doing SOMETHING, even if it's the WRONG THING, is preferable to DeadEnders(tm) than doing NOTHING at all. Or, perhaps, casting about for a RIGHT THING to do. Like, dunno, secure Afghanistan? Capture Bin Laden? I'm crazy, right?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T15:17:34-06:00
ID
112308
Comment

Brian, Clinton mistakenly bombed an aspirin factory. All this in the wake of the Monica scandal of which many believe this is the reason he bombed to begin with, to deflect the Monica criticism. Again, Great Britain still stands by the yellowcake story and there is some proof to it thanks to the contradictory and lying statements of Wilson. Besides, that wasn't a factor in going to war. Three months prior to that claim in Bush's speech, Congress had already seen enough evidence to authorize the war. So to say that was used to go to war is wrong. War was already voted on by the time Bush first made that comment. Sure, capturing Bin Laden will make it all better won't it. We could capture Bin Laden tomorrow, find WMDs in Syria and you'd still be pissed we invaded Iraq. Again, we'll forever disagree on this. In that time frame, given what had just happened and all the evidence (at the time) that Saddam was engaged in weapons creation we could not afford to do nothing. You think it was wrong to go into Iraq, I think it was absolutely without question the correct thing to do. The world is better for Saddam being gone, period. The aftermath will take time. We are so impatient, the "I won't it now" generation is quite ridiculous. And the answer is NO, I would not anticipate that suicide bombers would continually blow up themselves killing their own people and US soldiers, no more than I could anticipate a student taking two handguns on VT campus and blasting 32 innocent people. Of course, these are insurgents we are talking about, not necessarily Iraqis. Initially, we forget, they did welcome us. I remember the day we toppled the statue and several Iraqis were holding signs that read, "thank you Mr. Bush." Of course, we forget about that stuff now that suicide bombers are blasting the innocent.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T15:44:58-06:00
ID
112309
Comment

Again, Great Britain still stands by the yellowcake story and there is some proof to it thanks to the contradictory and lying statements of Wilson. Besides, that wasn't a factor in going to war. Three months prior to that claim in Bush's speech, Congress had already seen enough evidence to authorize the war. So to say that was used to go to war is wrong. War was already voted on by the time Bush first made that comment. Oh, I hate this argument. For one thing, Bush himself said that he had not made up his mind about going to war as late as March 2003. (Now, I, for one, don't believe him. I think he made up his mind at a bachelor party in New Jersey on Sept 3, 1994 when somebody called his dad a "wussie." But I can't prove it. ;-) So the notion that Congress *had* "seen enough evidence" to make up their minds and "authorized the war" doesn't quite hold water. Secondly, SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE. This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq". SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to-- (a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and (b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions. SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES. (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq. (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION. In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. Congress did not vote to "authorize the war." It voted to give the President the power to use the military to enforce UN resolutions (which, incidentally, is "a joke") if he found that diplomatic or peaceful means alone could not bring about compliance. IMHO, that was naive of them (Clinton, Kerry, et al) but that's what they did. Also IMHO, Bush jumped the gun and made this decision prematurely and poorly based, perhaps, on intelligence and information that was colored by his administration's ideology.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T16:09:15-06:00
ID
112310
Comment

Sure, capturing Bin Laden will make it all better won't it. We could capture Bin Laden tomorrow, find WMDs in Syria and you'd still be pissed we invaded Iraq. Absolutely. At the time we did it in the way we did it with the lack of international support, I would still be pissed. I'm going to stay pissed about the way George Bush fought this war. Even *if* we found Bin Laden and those secret WMD that were ferreted off to Syria, then I'd be pissed. Why? Because we're still 3,300 soliders, thousands of life-altering wounds, tens of thousands of stretched-and-stressed troops and families...and $500 billion short. And we don't have enough to show for it. Again, we'll forever disagree on this. In that time frame, given what had just happened and all the evidence (at the time) that Saddam was engaged in weapons creation we could not afford to do nothing. I agree. But doing the WRONG thing is a feeble substitute. You think it was wrong to go into Iraq, I think it was absolutely without question the correct thing to do. The world is better for Saddam being gone, period. Well, that's the $64,000 question, isn't it. Yes, the world may well be better off with Saddam gone. It's this notion of "period." that I have a problem with. What you seem to be saying is the loss of life and treasure is worth what we've accomplished in Iraq. I disagree. Life in Iraq Understand...I'm not saying Saddam was better than the lack of Saddam. I'm saying that all evidence suggests that the way the Bush administration handled the removal of Saddam -- and the subsequent "improvements" they've facilitated for the people of Iraq -- were poorly done. Expensive, poorly planned, poorly executed, deadly and something not to be repeated. And the answer is NO, I would not anticipate that suicide bombers would continually blow up themselves killing their own people and US soldiers, no more than I could anticipate a student taking two handguns on VT campus and blasting 32 innocent people. Well, then, it's good that you weren't instrumental in planning the war. Unfortunately, I think some of the people who were had this same lack of awareness for what was likely to take place in the aftermath of the initial operations. Of course, these are insurgents we are talking about, not necessarily Iraqis. Initially, we forget, they did welcome us. I remember the day we toppled the statue and several Iraqis were holding signs that read, "thank you Mr. Bush." Of course, we forget about that stuff now that suicide bombers are blasting the innocent. No, we don't forget. We hold that memory in context of the stories of continued bloodshed, civil war, torture, bad PR and the overwhelming infrastructure and leadership challenges that we took on when we crashed our Hummers into their Pottery Barn. We then hopefully try to learn something from this so it doesn't happen again.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T16:36:52-06:00
ID
112311
Comment

Todd, Not sure if your kidding yourself, but common sense should tell you that what congress voted on was the authorization of military force, I guess your interpretation of "military force" differs from mine. Did you not see any of the debates in the 2004 race, this entire argument was framed, "did you vote yes or no to the war." You can call it what you want if it makes you feel better. http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/bliraqreshouse.htm and to quote Kerry, he considered it military "force": "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Diplomacy had failed for years, so I'm not sure why you think in a matter of a few months that this lying murdering dictator was going to change his mind and all of the sudden reveal his secrets, or lack thereof. that my friend is incredibly niave, to put it nicely. you said "So the notion that Congress *had* "seen enough evidence" to make up their minds and "authorized the war" doesn't quite hold water." Then why did they vote for it? For the hell of it. The point is, Congress had already voted FOR THE WAR. (rephrase that if you like, still means the same thing). Bush already had authorization from Congress when that yellowcake statement was made. Anywhere from 2 to 6 thousand allied soldiers died on D-day alone. True, we've lost lives, terrible. This is called war for a reason. Nothing is totally predictable, nor is victory neatly wrapped in a package. You could go and critique all wars and find plenty of flaws. It's the end result that matters most and I certainly believe it's too soon to be judging Iraq as defeat. Yeah, that's real helpful to the cause or to the lives of our soldiers. I guess my point is, had you been around for D-day or the raising of the American Flag at Iwo Jima (of which I can proudly say my grandfather was there, marine), would you have been sitting next to the radio thinking, we need to get out of this war?

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T18:53:23-06:00
ID
112312
Comment

Also, no matter how much rhetoric and bullshit we endure, I'll never forget that Iraqi woman standing up at Bush's state of the union with her inked finger representing the Iraq vote. Although I wish the Iraqis would stand up to these insurgents more often, the way they came out in droves in the face of death to vote was, not only unbelievable, but inspiring. That alone spoke volumns and reinforced our cause.

Author
eagle1
Date
2007-04-18T18:57:54-06:00
ID
112313
Comment

I guess my point is, had you been around for D-day or the raising of the American Flag at Iwo Jima (of which I can proudly say my grandfather was there, marine), would you have been sitting next to the radio thinking, we need to get out of this war? Clever, there, eagle1. You almost had me with the old "if you've got problems with the Iraq War, then you must have been against World War II, as well." Well played. I'm completely speechless with regret, as my record of anti-war activity during WWII can only but speak for itself. And it speaks ill of me. Oh, my wretched past! Puh-leeze. eagle1...if that's your REAL call-sign...it's clear you're a TrueBeliever(tm), so there really isn't much discussion that's going to happen here. I've enjoyed the banter. Let's just agree that you're disagreeable. For anyone else curious, though, I'd encourage them to read two different speeches. 1. Here's George Bush on October 7, 2002, in the speech that "outlined the Iraqi Threat" and that preceded the passage of the Iraq resolution. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html 2. Here's Senator John Kerry on October 9. 2002, giving his speech in support or the Iraq resolution, as well as his reservations: http://www.archive-news.net/Articles/IR021009.html And here's a more full and contextualized version of eagle's quote above: Kerry: When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein. As the President made clear earlier this week, "Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable." It means "America speaks with one voice." Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out. If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize "imminent"--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-04-18T19:40:27-06:00
ID
112314
Comment

eagle:Although I wish the Iraqis would stand up to these insurgents more often... Philip: This is Exhibit A of "Ideas that sound GREAT in theory, but run aground on the HARD ROCKS of reality"!!! Unless they develop a kevlar suit that covers 100% of the body - one which allows a reasonable degree of upright mobility AND if those suits are easily obtainable by..oh.. I don't know...maybe a couple million Iraqi civilians and their children -- then that's going to be pretty unrealistic! The various "rights" movements in our lifetimes enjoy advantages present Iraq does not (a) Very little, if any, large scale insurgency. in the 60s, the Birmingham Church bombing, the Philadelphia (MS) murders, the Ole Miss Riots of '62, KKK kidnappings and such were the closest thing to it during our civil rights movements. Horrible as they were, they did not come anywhere NEAR insurgent warfare. For example, U.S. Army or MS Nat. Guard columns did NOT get ripped pieces by black guerillas or the KKK back in 1961. (b) A lack of extreme hatred and mistrust between various groups - Granted, the 1960s South did not lack people who hated members of other races. Even so, as tense and antagonistic as it was, it did not even come close to boiling over into an outright race war that I'm aware of (Donna, Ray, etc. help me if you know more). Iraq does not benefit from such relatively low levels of hatred and mistrust. (c) Combatants (or potential combatants thereof) who prove strongly hesitant about killing innocent protesters. Example - Eastern Europe in 1989. Neither the people of the then-Soviet Bloc nor the people of that said bloc were fearful, hateful, and fanatical to the point where they started shooting at each other (barring Romania). Ditto for the Soviet Union. Iraqi insurgents obviously DO NOT have any qualms about blowing up 50 to 100 of their own people every day. Result: The Risk-to-Benefit ratio when it comes to protesting is VERY MUCH higherfor the ordinary "Ahmed al-Iraqi" than it was for, say, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or the African National Congress. There is simply NO COMPARISION between present Iraq and the 60s South/70s-80s South Africa.

Author
Philip
Date
2007-04-18T21:35:16-06:00
ID
112315
Comment

BTW, eagle, I don't think you brought up the various street protests from other times and places. Nevertheless, I did bring them up because this is what I think you had in mind when you made the comment Although I wish the Iraqis would stand up to these insurgents more often.... Hence, I thought it apporpriate to bring in up these other such movements that were largely lead by unarmed civilians - namely for the purposes of comparison. If I misinterpreted you, I sincerely apologize.

Author
Philip
Date
2007-04-18T21:39:05-06:00
ID
112316
Comment

It came the closest to a all-out race war in southwest Mississippi, in and around Natchez, Philip. But your point is taken.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-18T21:45:27-06:00
ID
112317
Comment

OK, I'll start answering Brian: First of all, Your beloved Washington Post which you claim said that Cheney was pressuring the CIA into falsely stating that Saddam had WMD's. Here is a story from January 31, 2004: CIA Congressional and CIA investigations into the prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons and links to terrorism have found no evidence that CIA analysts colored their judgment because of perceived or actual political pressure from White House officials, according to intelligence officials and congressional officials from both parties. Richard J. Kerr, a former deputy CIA director who is leading the CIA's review of its prewar Iraq assessment, said an examination of the secret analytical work done by CIA analysts showed that it remained consistent over many years. "There was pressure and a lot of debate, and people should have a lot of debate, that's quite legitimate," Kerr said. "But the bottom line is, over a period of several years," the analysts' assessments "were very consistent. They didn't change their views." Kerr's findings mirror those of two probes being conducted separately by the House and Senate intelligence committees, which have interviewed, under oath, every analyst involved in assessing Iraq's weapons programs and terrorist ties. that is from the Washington Post, hardly a bastion of right wing propoganda. In fact, you have quoted that paper in support of your claims more than once. What does it say? There was no pressure? lets look at some of your other sources. YOu are claiming for a source a former CIA employee who left in 1986. That is 15 years before 9/11 and 5 years before the first Gulf War. Lets take what some guy who has been out of the agency for over a decade, has no clearance, and no access to classified info says as gospel because it supports our theory that Bush lied. Then there is Michael Scheuerer. Lets break out the Swastikas, Sing Duetchesland Uber Alles, recite the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and talk about how Jews run the media and control this country. There is this GREAT quote from him: Laughter] QUESTIONER: I'm curious—Gary Rosen from Commentary magazine. If you could just elaborate a little bit on the clandestine ways in which Israel and presumably Jews have managed to so control debate over this fundamental foreign policy question. UNKNOWN: All you have to do is look at this landscape of American politics and see how many people who have raised this issue of the Israeli relationship. SCHEUER: Well, the clandestine aspect is that, clearly, the ability to influence the Congress—that's a clandestine activity, a covert activity. You know to some extent, the idea that the Holocaust Museum here in our country is another great ability to somehow make people feel guilty about being the people who did the most to try to end the Holocaust. I find—I just find the whole debate in the United States unbearably restricted with the inability to factually discuss what goes on between our two countries.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T23:35:49-06:00
ID
112318
Comment

QUESTIONER: Your scenario of hit them hardest where we can find them leaves us pretty much alone in the rest of the world. Its all a Jewish Conspiracy to control the US That is from the CFR's publication, hardly a right wing rag either (actually the most hated enemy of the John Birch Society). Scheuer also states that Clinton could've bagged Bin Laden several times. Once again, are you prepared to accept that claim by him as well? While you state that he was head of hte Bin Laden section, he was the head of it until 1999, which would be Clinton's term. Mr Pillar. You should ask why he did not point out while he worked at the CIA that he thought they were making a mistake. He was in a position to disagree and make the case against the war. He could have drafted his own NIE or other memos that would've laid out the case for not invading Iraq or that some of the intel on Iraq was wrong. He was in a position to do so, in fact, it is expected of someone in his position if they have serious questions supported by good reaons and/or evidence. There is no record of him doing so, so he is not credible when he suddenly claims after he leaves the government that he really didn't mean what he said at the time he was at the CIA. As for your assertion that Congress didn't have the same intel as the president, very rarely does Congress have the raw intel/data, for VERY good reasons (Senators Leahy and Hatch immediately come to mind, they should both be stripped of their offices for their leaks). I assume you are making this claim because of the following report by Congressional Research SErvice: Washington Post story However, if you read the actual story itself and not the headline, it states the following:

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T23:47:57-06:00
ID
112319
Comment

The report does not cite examples of intelligence Bush reviewed that differed from what Congress saw. If such information is available, the report's authors do not have access to it. The Bush administration has routinely denied Congress access to documents, saying it would have a chilling effect on deliberations. The report, however, concludes that the Bush administration has been more restrictive than its predecessors in sharing intelligence with Congress. The report has no examples. The authors have no access to information to even prove whether or not Bush had access to more intelligence and denied congress access to it. But even though it can't prove it, its going to say it anyway. Very credible. This reminds me of the Clarion Ledger. If I were Donna and had her gift for skewering the CL, I am sure I would make a really biting remark about this inconsistency but alas, I am not favored by fortune as she has been in that regard. Here is a link that says both sides are not telling the whole story: fact check I suspect that what this site says is probably most accurate. The administration gave Congress a NIE, which it turned out to be completely wrong but the NIE was something the NIE thought was true. As I said, Congress is not going to have access to all the raw intel and data. having said all this, let me reiterate. I don't think we should've gone into Iraq. I didn't vote for Bush. I think they tried to fight the war on the cheap, didn't use enough troops, and totally screwed up the post war period. We completely botched it by appointing a proconsul to run Iraq instead of having the Iraqis go ahead and form a government and disbanding the Iraqi army completely. The CIA had stated in writing for years that Saddam was a threat and had either WMD's or had programs intent on creating them. I don't think Clinton and Bush were lying. I think they were going off of their intel estimates and lets face it, Saddam was a convenient whipping boy for everyone. Soft on China? Soft on terrorism? Well, there is always Saddam to use as a tackling dummy if you want to show how tough you really are. I think the Israelis were also feeding them alot of intel and keep in mind in 2002 that it was Isreal that was directly threatened by Saddams' state sponsored terrorism. Its no secret that many leading neocons worked for Israel and its sponsored groups at one time or another. I don't think this angle has been explored enough. Did Bush really lie about Iraq and WMD's, which I don't think happened, or did he allow Israel to successfully lobby him to invade Iraq? I don't have an opinion one way or the other on that but I think its a question that should be asked when you start looking at all the Israeli ties among the neocon leaders. By the way, notice how I have quoted no "right wing rags" or so called conservative media outlets. fire away.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T23:52:06-06:00
ID
112320
Comment

I think you will find a few names you recognize on this. interesting. neocons NOW would I think the Israelis might doctor some intel or mislead us intentionally? what do you think?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-18T23:58:32-06:00
ID
112321
Comment

This is kind of away from the main discussion, but The Daily Show actually did a peice about Mississippi a few years ago. At that time, a guy who happened to be named Rick James was running for city council in Hattiesburg. Daily Show regular Ed Helms did a very good satire of the way national media tries to portray all of Mississippi as a big KKK chapter. The coup de grace of the piece was a bit where Helms had been spinning James as a racist on no foundation whatsoever, when James, who is white, introduced his African-American wife.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2007-04-19T08:42:09-06:00
ID
112322
Comment

youtube clip?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-19T08:53:11-06:00
ID
112323
Comment

Sorry, my computer has trouble with YouTube (it's really old) so I haven't gone looking for it. I'd love to know if anyone else can find it there, though.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2007-04-19T09:11:35-06:00
ID
112324
Comment

King, Where am I supposed to see evidence that Scheuer is a Nazi? That he expresses some skepticism about the Holocaust Museum? That is nowhere near enough evidence. Or is it this? Well, you know, the idea of the Jewish conspiracy is in your mouth, not mine. Is it this? I would certainly try to rearrange the relationship with Israel so it looked like we were the great power and they were the insignificant power, rather than the other way around. I have said that several times, and saying so doesn't make you an anti-Semite. Is it this? I always have thought that there's nothing too dangerous to talk about in America, that there shouldn't be anything. And it happens that Israel is the one thing that seems to be too dangerous to talk about. Is it this? What I did was compliment Israel on its ability to control debate in the United States. I don't quite know how they do it, but clearly the reaction of most of our media, electronic and print, to anyone who says, "Geez, you know, maybe the Israelis shouldn't have the lead on all these things," is generally negative. King, if you don't have anything more than these kinds of comments, your statement about Scheuer and swastikas is truly horrifying.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T12:00:25-06:00
ID
112325
Comment

There is an ongoing debate about AIPAC and the influence it exerts over American foreign policy. The fact that Sheuer shares that concern does not make him a Nazi or an anti-Semite. However, any time someone talks about AIPAC, there is an instant chorus from neocons and the like that said person is an anti-Semite. It seems that you are parroting them. Please tell me you have something more.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T12:03:26-06:00
ID
112326
Comment

Regarding your other points, no one ever claimed that Clinton did a great job on terrorism, so why do you keep bringing it up? Clinton did come very, very close to killing bin Laden in 1998, as described in "The Looming Tower." But what does Clinton have to do with anything? As for intelligence, it's not a question of Congress not getting the raw intelligence. It's that the NIE white paper was deliberately misleading, not about the content of the intelligence itself but about the confidence the agencies had in that intelligence. So insiders knew that the intel wasn't very good. Congress and the public got a report that took out most of the very serious doubts expressed by the intelligence agencies. That was a political distortion of the intelligence process. The question is not: Did the intelligence agencies believe Hussein had WMDs? Clearly they did. The question is: Did the intelligence agencies have sufficient confidence in their intel to justify launching a pre-emptive war? They had deep, deep misgivings and admitted that they had almost no one on the ground in Iraq. Bush and his cronies white-washed those misgivings so they could stampede the country into war. That's not even up for debate.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T12:08:44-06:00
ID
112327
Comment

Here is an excellent article from the New York Review of Books describing the AIPAC problem, "The Storm Over the Israel Lobby".

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T12:21:46-06:00
ID
112328
Comment

And to sorta return to the subject, I was thinking earlier of Fox's coverage of the U.S. attorneys scandal. I watched some of it earlier in the scandal, and it provides a perfect example of why Fox makes people more ignorant rather than better informed. Over and over and over again, commentators on Fox said that the mainstream media was being biased because they weren't reporting on the fact that Clinton fired 93 prosecutors. Why not a peep about that, they kept asking? They never mentioned the elementary and crucial fact that any time a new president takes power, all U.S. attorneys automatically resign. So the issue is that these firings came in Bush's second term, and that is NOT something Clinton did. Therefore, Fox's whole point is, er, utterly pointless. Still, if all you watched was Fox, you would think they really nailed it. They also kept talking about how Clinton "fired" the prosecutor who was investigating Dan Rostenkowski and the prosecutor who was investigating Whitewater. They never mentioned that the prosecutor Clinton hired to continue the investigation of Rostenkowski went ahead and indicted him, winning a conviction that was deeply embarrassing to Democrats and probably contributed to their defeats in 1994. They also never mentioned that Clinton soon appointed a special prosecutor, Starr, who could never build a case on whitewater. All he could come up with was the Lewinsky business, which really had nothing to do with why he was appointed. In both cases, Fox commentators deliberately stripped the news of vital context. (I write "deliberately" because I can't believe Fox commentators are that stupid, particularly with regard to the difference between replacing prosecutors in a president's fire and second terms.) The result is that Fox viewers who don't consume other news have an incredibly distorted view of what's going on. The mainstream media hasn't ignored the Clinton comparison because they have a liberal bias. They've ignored the comparison because it's a false comparison. And that's just one example of why Fox is such crappy news.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T15:02:35-06:00
ID
112329
Comment

addressing this last post first, to clarify, Starr did successfully prosecute several people over Whitewater. The governor immediately comes to mind. He just didn't nail Clinton. However, there was enough conduct by Clinton as governor to warrant suspicion. In Whitewater though, people did go to jail over it. As for the firing of the US Attorneys, it was unprecedented. Jay Stephens was fired as the US Attorny and was retained by the RTC corp as its prosecutor. Stephanopulus then tried to intervene and block that hiring. Clinton did not appoint Starr. Fiske was first appointed by him and if I am not mistaken, and if I am, my apologies, but I think he was replaced by Starr by the court, not Clinton. You are mistaken about the firings. That was completely unprecedented. No president had ever done that before and no, they do not turn in their resignations when he assumes office from what I understand. they already serve at his pleasure. There is no way to whitewash Clinton's mass firing of the attorneys so no, the Fox commentators were not spinning this one. The custom has been for the attorneys to stay in office until their replacements are nominated and confirmed by Congress. My point about Scheuer is that if he wants to talk about AIPAC and the Israeli lobby influencing American foreign policy, that is perfectly ok. However, when he starts spouting the Jews control the media line and ridiculing the holocaust museum or saying it is used to make us feel guilty, then I am going to make cracks about Nazis and swastikas. If anything, the media gives alot of influence to CAIR. Although The ADL is a mossad front (see by way of deception), however, I'm not going to buy the Jews control the media line either. will write more later.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-19T15:41:52-06:00
ID
112330
Comment

King, abbreviating Scheuer's very nuanced arguments into the charge that he said "the Jews control media" is dastardly. He did not "ridicule" the Holocaust Museum. And you saying that he is a Nazi for his remarks is exactly the sort of crap he was complaining about. Remember that your original point was that we should ignore Scheuer because of his views, "hint: swastika." That is bull shit, plain and simple. I am really beginning to question your intellectual integrity, King. You seem to have learned all your tricks in argument from the right-wing smear machine.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T16:41:19-06:00
ID
112331
Comment

If you cant see how he is belittling the Holocaust Museum, I'm sorry. Tell you what, let someone say that Blacks want to establish a Civil Rights museum so they can make whites feel guilty in order for them to get what they want and see what your response is. But saying the Holocaust Museum is used to make AMericans feel guilty to support Israel is in pretty poor taste if you ask me and hints at anti Semitism. He then states that the Jews through clandestine and covert means control Congress. um yeah, ok. Just dressed up the old charges of the Jews run our government. I tool a little bit of literary license, no more so than other posters on this site, but I found his comments in very poor taste to say the least and very similar to what more crude anti-Semites have said over the years. I'm not smearing anyone. I'm putting his comments out there for everyone to see and let them be the judge. Study anti-Semitism if you have not done so and see if some of those comments don't look familiar. I'm also wary of Arabists who tend to see Israel as the threat to mid east peace when the different sects of Islam have done a great job of warring upon each other for centuries. I'm sure you have studied it so some of your reply baffles me.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-19T16:58:56-06:00
ID
112332
Comment

Methinks you protest too much, King. This statement from you goes way past "a little bit of literary license": Then there is Michael Scheuerer. Lets break out the Swastikas, Sing Duetchesland Uber Alles, recite the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and talk about how Jews run the media and control this country. That is, as I said before, bull shit, and you ought to just admit that you went way too far in how you characterized him. He did not say that Jews "control" Congress. He said that Israel "has the ability to influence" Congress. That is a well-documented fact described at some length in the article from the NYRB I posted above--which, by the way, is all about how anyone who criticizes Israel gets labeled a Nazi by people like yourself. There is a very important difference between saying that "Jews" do something and making an assertion about "Israeli" foreign policy. Neocons and Likkudniks try to erase that distinction, but none of the rest of us have to have any patience with it. The obvious truth is that Scheuer is a foreign policy realist. Like me, he is deeply frustrated by the fact that the U.S. sacrifices its own strategic interests to prop up some Likkudnik/neocon/evangelical fantasy about "Greater Israel" rather than forcing Israel to get serious about peace negotiations, which would do more than any other action we could take to cut the legs out from under al-Qaeda. Reasonable people can disagree about our foreign policy with regard to Israel. What reasonable people can not do is call anyone who criticizes our relationship with Israel an anti-Semite, which is precisely what you've done here. And that's the main point he's making above: I find—I just find the whole debate in the United States unbearably restricted with the inability to factually discuss what goes on between our two countries. ... I always have thought that there's nothing too dangerous to talk about in America, that there shouldn't be anything. And it happens that Israel is the one thing that seems to be too dangerous to talk about. But tell me, King. Does saying these things make me an anti-Semite?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T19:51:14-06:00
ID
112333
Comment

And my real frustration here is that by lurching into this inflammatory B.S., you are successfully shifting the subject from the use and misuse of American intelligence to a dishonest debate whether or not Michael Scheuer is a Nazi. This is precisely the reason why people run out of patience in trying to have real discussions with you, King, and I am damned near out of patience myself.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-19T19:54:07-06:00
ID
112334
Comment

Never thought for one second you are one and you should know by now I don't think any such thing about you. WHen I hear remarks like what he said about the Holocaust Museum, it does make me wonder about his motivations and true feelings. For me, it is like what Senator Allen's macaca comment or having a noose in his office is to you and other posters on this site. I strongly suspect him of anti-Semitism. because of his Holocaust Museum comments along with some other comments of his. However, back to the debate because that is really a tangent neither one of us probably wants to go on. Sheurer wrote his book while a CIA employee. Once again, this shows how screwed up the CIA has been for quite some time. While Bush admin is relying on CIA for intelligence, the superiors of Scheuer are allowing him to write a book blasting the admin. I'm sorry but you don't do that if you are in the military or for that matter, any other corporation. If you wrote a letter to the editor at the CL or a guest column for them slamming the JFP and Donna's editorial policies, I'm sure you would be canned at the JFP as you should be. It makes you wonder how sincere or competent the CIA has been by allowing one of their top officials to write an anonymous book as he did and then not prosecuting him for it when his identity became known, which I am sure they knew for quite a while before it was made public. He also tends to be all over the map. At one point in that CFR discussion, he states we are not prosecuting the war on terror and in Iraq as aggressively as we should be doing. However, he also has stated that we should withdraw from the Middle East as well. This also goes back to what I said about one of your sources for Bush being wrong about intel. You have Mr. Pillar not acting in his capacity to write an opposing Intel Estimate, which he was able to do on his own authority, and Mr Scheuer not opposing the policy but writing anonymous books attacking the administration's policy. Do you see a problem here? Also, you have cited stories that say Cheney pressured the CIA into manipulating its intel. How do you explain the Washington Post story I linked and quoted that says 3 different groups have concluded there was no such pressure by the administration on the CIA? Back to Israel, I'm not opposed to criticizing Israel. I did post a story outlining ties between the neocons and the Israelis. I don't think Bush lied about WMD's. I really don't. I am starting to think, and I think this is a discussion worth having here on this site if not this thread, if the Israelis were feeding people like Perle and Wolfie who did work with or for them at one time or another that were able to shape administration policy. Once again, you don't think the Israelis would manipulate intel do you if it meant they could get rid of the biggest supporter of the Palestinian terrorists? It is rather interesting that the neocons that pushed war with Iraq all had ties to Israel for the most part while people like Powell who were not in favor of the invasion did not fall into that category. Keep in mind that if the Israelis were feeding them intel, they would have to keep it a secret if it was being used to support invading Iraq as the Arab world would see it as Israeli interference and generate much more hostility towards us. However, I think the question should be asked.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-19T22:38:31-06:00
ID
112335
Comment

King, I will grant that Scheuer's comments on the Holocaust Museum are, at the very least, very crass. I know that some of the commissions that have investigated use and misuse of intelligence have been political bodies that were clearly designed to exonerate the administration regardless. I don't have time yet to go through the link you posted, but I promise I'll do so this weekend. I agree with you that Scheuer credibility (apart from your original attack) is suspect for some of the reasons you describe above. What bothered me about your response is that instead of addressing what these players said, you just found one you could smear and had at it. I think you are right that Pillar had a duty to live up to what he said when he actually did the NIE, and if you actually watch the Frontline special from which these quotes are taken, he looks like a broken man. Clearly, he deeply regrets his important role in producing that NIE, which was irregular in so many ways. (Throwing together an NIE in mere weeks is unheard of.) I want to register, one more time, that what Sen. Graham and others have said about "the white paper" version of the NIE completely scuttles any argument that Congress and the president acted on the same intelligence. That simply isn't true. I also think it's important to stress that we're not playing a zero-sum game. I think that the intelligence agencies completely blew it on Iraq. Just take Tenet's "slam-dunk nonsense," for instance. He knew it wasn't a slam dunk, and it turned out to be an air ball! At the same time, it's abundantly clear that the administration also distorted the intelligence process. The mere existence of the Office of Special Plans is plain evidence for that, since its only purpose was to stovepipe intelligence and bypass analysts. Politically, it's important for conservatives to posit Bush as a reasonable leader who just responded to what the intel folks put before him. In other words, it was an honest mistake. The evidence, however, is overwhelming that Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney were all eager, eager, eager to invade Iraq, regardless of the intel and despite Bush's public disavowals. We can see that WMDs were ultimately only an excuse for invasion because when they didn't appear, Bush just slid right over into fighting for Iraqi freedom. That's a noble cause, but the American people would never have supported a rushed invasion for that. Bush had to rush the invasion or he would have lost momentum politically, and WMDs--the dire threat--was the most effective way to do so. Even if you don't believe it's true, do you see why people believe that he did lie? He had so much to gain by doing so.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-20T08:56:21-06:00
ID
112336
Comment

On the lighter side of the news, I gotta post these comments from our leader this Thursday, courtesy of Salon. These were comments Bush made at a high school in Ohio. "My job is a job to make decisions. I'm a decision -- if the job description were, 'What do you do?' -- it's decision-maker. And I make a lot of big ones, and I make a lot of little ones. Interestingly enough, the first decision I made happened right before I got sworn in as president. I was at the Blair House, which is across the street from the White House, getting ready to give my inaugural address. And the phone rang, and the head usher at the White House said, 'President-elect Bush.' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'What color rug do you want in the Oval Office?' I said, 'This is going to be a decision-making experience.' "The first lesson about decision-making is, if you're short on a subject, ask for help. So if you're a student listening and you're not very good at math, ask for help. Don't be afraid to admit that you need help when it comes to life. I wasn't afraid to admit I wasn't sure how to design a rug, so I called Laura. I said, 'They've asked me to design a rug in the Oval Office; I don't know anything about rug designing; will you help me?' She said, 'Of course.' But I said, 'I want it to say something' -- the president has got to be a strategic thinker -- and I said to her, 'Make sure the rug says 'optimistic person comes to work.' Because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow."

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-21T10:00:33-06:00

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