Bush's Version of Iraq Ignores Facts | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Bush's Version of Iraq Ignores Facts

Mark Seibel, the head of international coverage for McClatchy news service, published a detailed piece this weekend dissecting how the Bush administration—especially Bush, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley—is playing fast and loose with the facts in their latest push to ramp up the war in Iraq:

President Bush and his aides, explaining their reasons for sending more American troops to Iraq, are offering an incomplete, oversimplified and possibly untrue version of events there that raises new questions about the accuracy of the administration's statements about Iraq. [...]

Much like the administration's prewar claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al Qaeda and purported nuclear-weapons program, the claims about the bombing of the Shiite mosque in Samarra ignore inconvenient facts and highlight questionable but politically useful assumptions.

See the piece for specifics.

Previous Comments

ID
90871
Comment

Very interesting piece. It does seem like we have consistently screwed up by being so indecisive with al Sadr. But I'm not seeing what speicific part of the new policy should be changed in light of this information.

Author
GLB
Date
2007-01-15T13:08:39-06:00
ID
90872
Comment

I'm sure you don't. ;-) It's about the bigger question of whether someone who has consistently lied to the American public to justify sending troops into war should be trusted with a new plan to send even more troops to war. Besides, the most compelling argument against his new plan is that it won't be enough troops to do what he is promising. The generals know this; people with common horse sense know this. He's sending more Americans to be slaughtered because he is too stubborn to listen to people who know what they're talking about (and because he's listening to the dumbass American Enterprise Institute still, which helped get us in this mess in the first place). You either need to start pulling out, or institute a draft to, uh, "win" this war. He won't do, either; thus, he will fail. This is quite the quandary at this point. It won't end well.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-15T13:15:38-06:00
ID
90873
Comment

Not all the generals are saying that. It is a complicated issue, and everyone has a different opinion on specifics. There is not an obvious solution, horse sense or not. As far as I know, General Petraeus ( the new commanding general in the field) is getting what he wants.

Author
GLB
Date
2007-01-15T13:30:35-06:00
ID
90874
Comment

There is not an obvious solution, horse sense or not. Ahhh, of course there's not. That's what horse sense tells one. However, this administration acts as if there is, and has from the beginning. It is very telling that the only way Bush would even admit any error was through political force (the booting of Congress by the American people). It's funny. What you're saying here flies directly in the fact of Bush's statement Saturday that no one should question him unless they have a better plan. What an irresponsible statement that shows his level of arrogance—and should be the first caution not to accept his so-called plan on face value, especially with his track record of failure. A real leader wants to be questioned constantly. A leader who sends soldiers into war needs to invite a barrage a questioning in order to be forced to think about his actions from all angles. From the beginning, Bush has surrounded himself with yes-people and run people off who dare to disagree and question. That is no way to run a country, or to wage wars. It's a recipe for disaster. Likewise, the word "new" can be very telling.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-15T14:05:21-06:00
ID
90875
Comment

Yes, a real leader whould invite questions. But leadership means that you must at some point choose a course of action. Leaders lead by taking action. So, criticism is good, but if anyone wants to lead, they must propose a course of action. I'm all for criticism, especially now that we are all struggling to find the best way forward. But if someone opposes the policy, and they are in a position of leadership, I think they should offer an alternate choice, and explain what the anticipated consequences of that choice are.

Author
GLB
Date
2007-01-15T15:08:32-06:00
ID
90876
Comment

Right, but Bush has never invited questions, GLB. That should be prerequisite for anyone trusting you to decide anything. Of course, so should not lying on a regular basis. Alternate choices are great, but it's highly illogical to say that you should only criticize a lying president who had put us on a road of disaster and in the middle of a quandary by saying one must have the answer to his mess before one criticizes. That's just silly.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-15T16:10:40-06:00
ID
90877
Comment

I agree criticism of policy by itself is good - if you are not putting yourself forward as a leader. But if the President is to execute his office, he must make decisions. So if you want him to do something different, then shouldn't you say what that is, and how it wil have a better result?Especially if you are also an elected leader (i.e. a Cogressman or Senator)?

Author
GLB
Date
2007-01-15T17:19:06-06:00
ID
90878
Comment

specially if you are also an elected leader (i.e. a Cogressman or Senator)? GLB, you're working hard to push Bush's meme for him. But get your head out of the sand and realize one thing: Many. have. The whole-pretending-noone-has-offered-an-alternative is really tired at this point. As for the first part of your statement: It still doesn't make sense. Part of a leader's job (or a follower's) is to criticize bad policy and stupid decisions. This is Bush's war, done his way, it has created a quandary, and it sucks. Not having a foolproof way to help him get out of his little disaster in no way indicates that is "irresponsible" for anyone to criticize this idiocy. Saying otherwise is absurd, apoligist crap. Besides, if someone had a foolproof suggestion that his think-tanks didn't come up with, he wouldn't take it, and then he'd keep saying ad nauseum that no one was offering a solution because the man ignores anything he doesn't want to hear. And then his most blind apologists and FOX would keep saying it over and over again trying to make people think it was true. See the pattern here?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-15T17:24:26-06:00
ID
90879
Comment

Geez. I agree that, for example, the Democrats have an alternate proposal. I said so earlier (maybe in another thread?), and I think it is good that they did. That's what we need more of. I just don't understand why you think that's such an unreasonable thing to want more of that, and less of just criticism. I said when the democrats got elected that I hoped it would help things in Iraq. To be honest, I am happy that their election stirred the pot, and things got shaken up. I am very hopeful that their influence can help move things forward. When I read between the lines in the Presidents speech, I see their influence, even though he doesn't spell it out. For example, the whole push for letting the Iraqis know we aren't going to be around forever and forcing them to stand on their own is a Democrat idea. So, I know you and I both hope this succeeds. I know you are convinced that it won't, but both of us hope that it will. So I guess we both hope you are wrong.

Author
GLB
Date
2007-01-15T17:52:08-06:00
ID
90880
Comment

It's not unreasonable to ask for more ideas. What is stupid is to call critics "irresponsible" because they don't offer the plan you want to fix your own problem. That's just ... dumb as a post. Par for Bush, I guess. Well, clearly, had Dems not been elected, Rumseld would still be there, and Bush would still be defending his strategy. He's nothing but a political animal, of the worst kind. Yeah, I hoped I was wrong when we tried to warn people about the Iraqi war (remember our WAR cover?) and electing Melton ("Jackson, we have a problem")—even as we were willing to state the unpopular view because telling the truth is always the right thing to do. Unfortunately, we were right on. I wish we hadn't been.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-15T18:33:09-06:00
ID
90881
Comment

It is so interesting that we are allowing this man (bush) to send 22,000+ to join other young men and women in this illegal, unethical and hypocritical war. I say this because bush lied to get into Iraq: Congress and the world-at-large knows that he lied. He (bush) is doing and saying things that one would expect to hear from a King. Isn't it strang to hear a president say, "I have made MY MIND up and I'm not going to change." He went on to make it crystal clear that he does not give a dang about what the American people think or how many lives have been and will continue to be loss. All of these Barbaric acts of hanging with heads popping off is truly an example of DEMOCRACY and a civilized America. There is only one thing that can calm the world, in my opinion, and that is an initiation on impeachment proceedings againt george w. If Bill Cliton could be brough up on charges of lying about what "IS IS" and a semen stain on a woman's dress, I know that this one meets the criteria. This is jsut another chapter in our book of explortation and the bottom line is who controls the OIL. What a mess. What a shame!!

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-16T11:39:03-06:00
ID
90882
Comment

You are way off base. Congress had access to the same intel and did authorize Bush to invade Iraq. The CIA said the same thing he said about WMD's before Bush took office and Iraq was on the state department's list of terrorist nations during Clinton's whole time in office. Throwing Bush in jail and executing him will not stop Iran from getting nukes nor stop the Israelis from nuking them when or before they get them. How will impeaching Bush stop that by the way? World won't be more peaceful, will it?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-16T11:44:17-06:00
ID
90883
Comment

Kingfish I might be off base but bush is off his rocker. He was not "authorized to invade Iraq." His invasion of Iraq was based on the theory of WMD. I agree that he was give a carte blanche but no idiot in his right mind would use it in that way. Striking Iraq was a last resort: Only if WMDs were discovered. The inspectors were in Iraq and their report evidenced just the opposite. This is the reason that Colin Powell is out of that Adm. He was given the false/altered document to present to Congress and to the American people. Bush and Co. made the argument to fit their intent and that was/is an invasion of that country and a big sign on the oil fields. If Iraq had no oil, this would be a moot issue. It is not about democracy. If this were true, why Iraq? They are not the only country without a democratic gov. If Bush is in jail and our young men and women are out of harms way, I'm all for it. I just can't see the fairness in the sacrifice of 3,000+ and counting for one president who is operating as a dictator. This number is just a drop in the bucket when it is paired with the 300,000+ and counting of women, children and men who were not worriors. Well, bush started this level of madness. We had santions against Saddam. Maybe the next president will be one to deal in diplomacy rather than killing fields. President Ford warned bush about going into Iraq. His father told him not to invade Iraq. Kingfish, I think that the world would be more peaceful without george w.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-16T14:02:49-06:00
ID
90884
Comment

Kingfish, I really wish you would stop repeating this blatant distortion: Congress had access to the same intel and did authorize Bush to invade Iraq. That is patently false, for reasons we have gone over many times. Much of Congress had no more information than the American public, and even the intelligence committees had only the intelligence the administration presented to them. Even if the administration was only reporting to Congress what the CIA told it, the CIA is still part of the executive. Its administrators are chosen by the president and answer to him. Furthermore, the evidence that the administration manipulated intelligence--sometimes over strenuous objections from the CIA--is now exhaustively established. Stop saying this ridiculous crap about Congress and the administration being on par with access to intelligence. It is false on more than one level. Stop playing this game, too: Throwing Bush in jail and executing him will not stop Iran from getting nukes nor stop the Israelis from nuking them when or before they get them. How will impeaching Bush stop that by the way? World won't be more peaceful, will it? Talk about a non sequiter. No one is talking about executing Bush, and this thread has not been about impeachment. It is about the president re-writing history in order to make his failed strategy appear as if it made sense up until 2005, when it clearly went off the tracks long before. You waste our time with these irrevelent spasms.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-17T15:19:21-06:00
ID
90885
Comment

We all know that King never lets facts get in the way of rhetoric and spin.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-17T15:36:30-06:00
ID
90886
Comment

Senators are drafting an anti-bush buildup resolution as reported by MSNBC. Senators include Democrats and republicans. What do you make of this King? I hope it not "why is everybody always picking on me" and Bush?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-17T15:44:00-06:00
ID
90887
Comment

My first question Ray about a buildup is did Bush and his think tanks come up with the idea or did the Generals and Colonels actually running the war think of it? If its coming from the field I"m more inclined to think its a good idea than if it comes from the ivory tower. Having said that, I think in a theater it is the President's duties to carry out the war as he and the military see fit. If they determine they need more troops, then they have the right and duty to send in those troops. Congress has no right at all to limit its sending more troops in. That is meddling at the worst level and gives the enemy the idea that it can manipulate our politics to its benefit. Yes, trying to kill American soldiers not with the idea of defeating them on the battlefield but creating political havoc for the administration so it will be forced to withdraw them is a strategy pursued by the enemy. Its a smart one, I don't blame them. Having said that, we should recognize that tactic and act accordingly. IF Congress feels that strongly, there is a remedy available for its use. It can withdraw its resolutions authorizing the President to invade Iraq or cut off funding. Micromanaging a war effort from the legislative branch is never a good idea. Such a resolution tells the enemy that a large part of Congress will make sure not enough troops are sent over to fight it. I'd rather them just withdraw authorization and stand up for its real principles than this penny ant form of protest. Congress has no business dictating troop levels and tactical deployments. period. I didn't like going into Bosnia for several reason, the main one being that the KLA was considered to be a terrorist organization by our own State Department. However, once Clinton was given the authority to engage in that area, I thought it was his right to carry out that war with whatever assets he deemed necessary. As for what Congress knew when, I submit this: http://www.factcheck.org/article358.html Nice to know Ladd accuses me of lying or Bryan me of distorting when I do no such thing deliberately.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-17T23:17:23-06:00
ID
90888
Comment

justjess: bush is a dictator? Anyone making such a comment is really out of touch with reality.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-17T23:20:43-06:00
ID
90889
Comment

Tom: damn. a conservative sounds almost like you, especially at the end. http://www.theamericanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=10888

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-18T08:55:02-06:00
ID
90890
Comment

King, It's Brian, not Bryan. I find it funny that the rather obtuse analysis you linked to makes its case that Congress was informed based principally on the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. I'll respond with some quotes from some of the important players, as interviewed by Frontline. Paul Piller, national intelligence officer 2000-05, and the man who directed the NIE: 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. ... 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. ...

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-18T11:15:04-06:00
ID
90891
Comment

I also find this chart instructive. It shows how Cheney placed key allies in important national security organs. Note that Douglas Feith ran the Office of Special Plans, the sole purpose of which was to bypass established intelligence agencies so that junk intel like Curveball could make it to the president.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-18T11:23:53-06:00
ID
90892
Comment

I didn't say you lie "deliberately," King; rather, I think you're overly suspectible to spin. It sounds like you listen to too much talk radio (or FOX), where they do lie constantly, hoping that people pick up their distortions and repeat them as if they're the truth.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-18T11:41:06-06:00
ID
90893
Comment

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
2007-01-18T11:41:11-06:00
ID
90894
Comment

Considering I don't watch tv and rarely listen to the radio that is an interesting hypothesis.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-18T18:42:31-06:00
ID
90895
Comment

American Spectator slams Plan by Kagan of American Enterprise Institute http://www.theamericanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=10975

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-06T00:08:04-06:00

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