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Some Sand In Which to Bury Your Head

If you're a rightwinger who wants to stay firmly entrenched in his objectively pro-Iran cocoon and believe that all is well in the Bush administration, you won't want to miss Dan Darling's tendentious summary of the SSCI Report over at Winds of Change. Any contrary information you've read in the press is bias, bias, bias, damnit. Read Dan, he'll give to to you straight. Why, he manages to go into a lengthy discussion of the interagency dispute over Qaeda-Saddam ties and not mention the part of the Report where they conclude that the skeptics were right. Good work! How to dismiss the part of the report where they say all efforts to build connections to terrorist groups had failed? Good question: "All the same, had the Iraqi efforts in this regard been successful Saddam Hussein would have put together quite a formidable terrorist coalition to aim at the US." That's a sharp one. And had Stalin's plan to boost agricultural production through the inheretance of acquired characteristics worked, we would have been in one tough jam in the Cold War. He joins Michael Ledeen in offering the bizarre theory that the report exonerates Doug Feith via a method which I myself should use. The press hasn't picked up on the fact that pages 411-67 of the report clearly states that unless you vote for John Kerry terrorists will kill your mother -- you can look it up for yourself.

July 12, 2004 | Permalink

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Report

521 pages in pdf, thanks to Josh Marshall

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jul 12, 2004 5:46:36 PM

Did that feel good?

I do join you in inviting the reader to follow your link to Darling's post and compare his style of exposition, to yours, of course.

Posted by: Blixa | Jul 12, 2004 5:48:47 PM

If MY had provided a link before, sorry.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jul 12, 2004 5:49:45 PM

Matt, I think you're going to have to do better than that.

Posted by: praktike | Jul 12, 2004 6:08:29 PM

The sophisticated national security case for war always came down to "He would if he could".

And the sophisticated reply was always "He would if he could, but he can't, so he won't".

Posted by: roublen vesseau | Jul 12, 2004 6:16:09 PM

Let me go one step further.

In order to disprove Dan's analysis, you also have to pretty much reject the CIA's conclusions in this area, all of which the committee said were reasonable.

Can you do that?

Posted by: praktike | Jul 12, 2004 6:20:10 PM

inheritance, not inheretance

sorry, it's a nitpick - but, as a practicing lawyer, I'm one of the highest-paid proofreaders in America !

Posted by: Greg Abbott | Jul 12, 2004 6:34:40 PM

And the sophisticated reply was always "He would if he could, but he can't, so he won't".

i disagree.

it's more like : "He would if he could, but he can't, and we've got better things to do while he's not."

Posted by: cleek | Jul 12, 2004 6:47:15 PM

was it "he can't" or "he didn't?"

Posted by: praktike | Jul 12, 2004 6:49:16 PM

praktike, notice I said "the national security case for war" rather than the humanitarian case.

Posted by: roublen vesseau | Jul 12, 2004 7:02:52 PM

I agree with Praktike here - even if all of Matt's "snark" above is true - which my personal bias is agree with Matt that its true - this post isn't responding as much as snarking.

Not that this is Matt's responsibility - also, Dan Darling gets paid for the output he's creating. Is there someone who agrees with Matt's points, but can lay it out in a much more factual context, point by point? (Matt probably is also stressed for time, Praktike.)


WFIW, I've downloaded the PDF document, and done some scanning - the report definitely seems to slam Joe Wilson - and hard. Daily Howler tends to agree with that surmise as well.

But the relevant points about any SIGIFICANT redaction, combined with elements left out of the report because of the Republican majority, combined with the putting off of the influence of the OSP, are a good starting point.

I hope someone has the time and patience to sort, from the democratic side, but truthfully - what in this report is true, misleading, a sin of omission, and simply false (given what we know now, etc), rathen than simply spin it back.

Posted by: JC | Jul 12, 2004 7:13:22 PM

Darling's "analysis" doesn't deserve much more than snarkiness.

The fact is this administration, from day one, was looking to attack Iraq. To pretend that the Intelligence Community is some alien presence divorced from the administration is ridiculous.

Essentially, every rationale for war in Iraq presented by this administration--and let's make no mistake: the decision to go to war was solely that of this administration--was false, exaggerated, or misleading.

Further, despite the Senate Intel Committee saying the rationale for invading Iraq was bogus--we still have Dick Cheney, to this day, telling us the WMD was there and that Saddam and Osama were in cahoots.

And let's not pretend this report represents complete and total bipartisan agreement. As Sen. Rockefeller noted, there exists deep and significant disagreements as to the pressure and influence of this administration on the intelligence community.

Posted by: Jadegold | Jul 12, 2004 7:36:19 PM

This misses the forest for the trees:

1. It is now about why Bush has not used his executive powers to throw Bob Novak in jail until he reveals who damaged national security in his administration by making it harder to find WMD's (hint: they ain't in Iraq). I've read the parts of the report that pertain to the Niger yellowcake. It is impossible to make defintive conclusions based on them because so much is redacted, as I suppose is expected in an intelligence report. Which brings me to my second point:

2. The Committee's charge was to point fingers at the CIA and not the administration. In an investigation with that charge, in a report so heavily redacted, don't expect to find the petard on which to hoist Bush. However, this again misses the forest: After 9/11 Bush blamed bad or inadequate intelligence for allowing 9/11 to occur on his watch. Nobody in the CIA got fired. He is not entitled to use the same excuse again. If the CIA was not up to snuff two years later, it is Bush's fault. These kinds of things cannot be fixed in public for obvious reasons. Bush blamed the intelligence community for 9/11 (warnings not explicit enough), it was his job to fix it. To allow another intelligence blunder on his watch speaks of his lack of leadership of the CIA over which HE clearly has authority. As Bush likes to try to say:

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 12, 2004 7:48:05 PM

Jadegold is right:

This administration IS the security apparatus of the US. Who the hell do you think is in charge of the CIA, the SCOTUS? Bush blamed the intelligence community for not being specific enough to allow him to do something about 9/11. He can't now blame them for Iraq, he is their boss, and remember: 9/11 changed everything.

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 12, 2004 7:52:21 PM

Jadegold writes:

"the decision to go to war was solely that of this administration"

One wonders which administration Jadegold thinks should have made the decision to go to war. *boggle*

Posted by: Blixa | Jul 12, 2004 8:01:58 PM

If the CIA was uniformly asserting the unproved, which I do not take to be the case, in particular light of why wasn't the president's response to demand proof? Instead, he readily accepts the CIA information as confirmation of his prejudices, ones given voice by Condoleeza Rice in January of 2000. Iraq doesn't fit in to the international order and must be destroyed. Note that the other nations we approached for help, the ones that questioned the danger that Saddam truly posed, were considerably more skeptical of the intelligence information we presented. As Fischer chided Rumsfeld, in English to catch his attention at a NATO meeting, "We are not convinced!" It's as though a doctor mentione to surgeon Bush that a patient might be a bit jaundiced and turns around to find that George has launched a liver transplant. Precipitous action is warranted only if the danger was potentially immediate. And not even Bush wants to be near that argument, anymore.

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Jul 12, 2004 8:07:16 PM

First sentence, above:

"If the CIA was uniformly asserting the unproved, why wasn't the president's response to demand proof?"

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Jul 12, 2004 8:09:54 PM

Epistomology:
You really think that the president has the authority to summarily and indefinately jail journalists? And that using that power would be a good thing?

Posted by: Jeff R. | Jul 12, 2004 8:29:45 PM

One wonders which administration Jadegold thinks should have made the decision to go to war.

Obtuseness doesn't become you, Blixa.

As I noted, from the first days of this administration (read: pre-9/11), Bush and his handlers were looking to go to war with Iraq. They needed/wanted an excuse.

And they thought they had one with 9/11. But those pesky UNSCOM inspectors weren't being cooperative.

BTW, one of the conclusions of the SSCI report was that this administration didn't share info with UNSCOM as to the suspected whereabouts of WMD--as this administration had asserted. Why?

Posted by: Jadegold | Jul 12, 2004 8:37:31 PM

You really think that the president has the authority to summarily and indefinately jail journalists? And that using that power would be a good thing?

And the difference between that and summarily declaring a US citizen an "enemy combatant" is?

Posted by: Jadegold | Jul 12, 2004 8:40:26 PM

"And the difference between that and summarily declaring a US citizen an "enemy combatant" is?"

Not a great deal, (Novak certainly did more damage than most of the people who rot said detention.) actually. Wrong in both cases. Novak should be subpoeanaed, questioned under oath, and THEN legally thrown in jail for not answering. Since, the press's conviction that the First amendment makes it unconstitutional to ticket them for speeding aside, he's got no more right to refuse to answer questions under oath than anybody else. But he DOES have a right to due process.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Jul 12, 2004 9:16:51 PM

Again:

"and let's make no mistake: the decision to go to war was solely that of this administration"

Call me obtuse if you will Jadegold, you may have a point, but nevertheless I've read this statement ten times and still cannot see what is supposed to be scandalous about it. It's like saying "and let's make no mistake: the decision to pass this law was solely that of this Congress". (???)

Just exactly what is it you think you were saying by this? What were you *trying* to say - the "they wanted to invade Iraq from day one and were looking for an excuse" stuff? Ok... very well... but can you at least admit that the above clause was a *very* nonsensical way to put it? ;-)

Posted by: Blixa | Jul 12, 2004 9:29:53 PM

But he DOES have a right to due process.

I agree; I was being facetious.

However, Bush could pressure those in his administration very easily to come forward.

Posted by: Jadegold | Jul 12, 2004 9:39:33 PM

I notice that Matt avoided discussing the fact that Joe Wilson is now proven a complete liar.

Matt, do you really think that Saddam had just decided to stop seeking Uranium and to stop seeking ties to terrorist groups? That's like saying Saddam was going to just stop killing and torturing his people if the US had not invaded.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 12, 2004 10:56:19 PM

I notice that Matt avoided discussing the fact that Joe Wilson is now proven a complete liar.

I notice that Dave has problems with English. Or at least with hyperbole. And also avoided discussing the whole 'outing a covert operative' criminal thing, which has nothing to do with whether Valerie Plame spent three minutes in a briefing room. Quel fuckin' surprise.

Posted by: ahem | Jul 12, 2004 11:26:59 PM

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