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wrote:

An entirely false argument. We're discussing intent here, not risk.
Any number of _old_ shells would still fail to worry me at a political level (obviously they're a hazard for those dealing with them). A small indication of an _ongoing_ program is much more serious, even if it hadn't yet achieved much.
If I go within walking distance of my own house, I can excavate more evidence of abandoned chemical weapons than have so far been found in Iraq. And I don't even live in New Jersey, or Hanford, or Nancekuke.
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I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent reason to have something that could kill 1000 or 2000 people. I'm also sure that, should that shell have been used as designed, those who died would have been pleased to know with their last thought that it wasn't intended and that their deaths were OK because it's just a risk.

OK, so there can be as many old ones as we find and it's OK, but if we find, say, mobile labs buried in a desert for making more WMD, then that's a problem? Or, are _those_ OK because there aren't any WMD in them, just the equipment made for making them, right?
Oh wait, that's not an _ongoing_ program, that's a mothballed piece of equipment to _continue_ an inactive program, so it's OK then, is that it?

How is that relevant to the situation in Iraq? Are you claiming that this statement (which I have a hard time believing, by the way) is typical, or are you saying you live in an abandoned chem weapons facility, or what's your point?
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Dave, you and I both know that at this point, we could find a whole warehouse full of Sarin, anthrax, plague, and mustard gas and it wouldn't matter to the left. They have so much invested in there being no WMDs, that they can't afford to acknowledge anything. If they did, Kerry might as well shut down his campaign.
todd
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Todd Fatheree wrote:

I guess that's a fair statement, foolish as it may be.
The Right has been following transparent and well known lies for a couple years now and they aren't any closer to accepting the truth.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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...

Well, I don't know if I classify as being on the "left" or not (I'm somewhere between Jesse Helms and Paul Wellstone, so maybe I'm center).
However, it seems to me that actual facts and findings of actual WMDs would be of great difference to the majority of the people. The people and Congress have given the President a great deal of latitude and trust that he had privy to information that the rest of us did not. Now it appears to be inescapable that the information he had was erroneous or exaggerated.
Now, even the best leaders will make mistakes. Its how they deal with their mistakes that matters. Sometimes when the existing approach is failing, the best thing to do is to admit that a new approach is needed. The reality is that the American people have now been committed to Iraq, and that much depends on success in establishing a stable and peaceful Iraq. So the question is whether the voting public thinks that our current policies will succeed in this regard ... and whether our current leaders have the intelligence to adequately assess the situation, or the flexibility to admit their mistakes and change their policies.
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wouldn't
that
well
Just one correction. Congress had access to the same information that the President had. The difference between then and now is that it is politically expedient to pretend that they were totally dependent upon what the President told them. It's possible that the President relied too heavily on Tenet's statement that WMDs in Iraq was a "slam dunk". Frankly, I don't know what happened to the WMDs. It's not even debateable that Saddam had them. The only question is, where are they now? Keep in mind that this whole mess could have been avoided in Saddam had just complied fully with the Security Council resolutions and allowed unfettered inspections. By not doing so, he left us to make the only conclusion possible, which is that he had them and was protecting them. The sum total of all of our recent experience with Saddam was that he was a liar and a manipulator. So, when we go analyzing intelligence data that can never be fully complete (this isn't like flying over Cuba and snapping pictures of missle launchers), intelligence that on its face might fall in a gray area ends up being judged as evidence of WMDs. For the people who believe Bush made all of this up, I'd like to know the motivation. Wait, I know...it's so Haliburton can get $700 million in Iraq contracts. Look, I don't think even Bill Clinton would sacrafice 700+ soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars just to get some political advantage, and that's saying a lot. No, wait...I know...we went there because of oil. Well, no shit! Do you think we'd give the middle east a second look if we didn't get a large percentage of our oil from there? Frankly, it would suit me fine if we all had alternative-fuel cars so we could cut off the middle east. Then they could go back to having wars with each other instead of with us.
todd
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No, this isn't true. The NSA, NSC, CIA briefs etc are all classified for national security purposes, and only portions of them are released to Congress in certain committees such as the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and Select Intelligence Committees. It is true that Congress did have access to some of the information that the administration had, but certainly not all. Many in Congress and in the general public took the President at his word (understandably) when he said that the threat was imminent. For example:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

I think this is a little exaggerated. I don't think anyone has claimed that they were totally dependent on what the President told them. But I think that many of us (reasonably) deferred to the President when he claimed that he had ironclad intelligence of a compelling threat. I agree that the Democrats were very weak on the Iraq matter, largely for political reasons. Congress basically relinquished its obligation to declare war, because it was too weak to take a stand that may prove false. Plenty of blame to go around, but when you are the President the Buck Stops with you.

It wasn't just Tenet. The way it appears to me, the White House team (Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Tenet) had the notion that Saddam was an immediate threat, and they chose only those parts of the intelligence that supported that position. They took questionable characters like Chalabi into their confidence. And when people urged caution (Powell, O'Neill, Clarke, Blix, El-Baradi) they were overridden. Understandably, the Administration did not want to miss a threat in the wake of 9/11 ... however, a leading quality of a President is to be able to distinguish credibility among various inputs.

It's true that he had them in 1994 (UNSCOM scrapped a huge pile of them then), but it's not at all clear that he had them anytime after 1996. All of the other claims of compelling evidence (aluminum tubes, yellow cake, drones, mobile labs, etc etc) are all pretty much discredited now. I don't think any knowledgeable sources claim any recent evidence.

At the end, the UN inspectors were going into anywhere (palaces included) with 10 minutes notice. But at the end there was basically nothing he could have done that would have been satisfactory. Wouldn't you agree that we were pretty much decided that we were going to invade, regardless of what Saddam or our allies in NATO or the UN said?

Nobody (and I mean nobody) liked Saddam, but I think you are grasping at straws to justify what we did. Saddam was contained, he had no WMDs, and our statements to the contrary were all wrong. Now we need to evaluate whether our current policies there are working in rebuilding and democratizing the country. Part of the mark of good leadership is to use judicious judgement in evaluating a situation and in exhibiting flexibility when the plan goes awry.

I'm a scientist. I know that the hallmarks of a large WMD program are in fact readily visible from the air and with modern satellites. When you look at the size of our own plutonium enrichment facilities, the size of our own chemical plants, and the size of our own pharmaceutical plants this becomes clear. It's just credulous to assume that these things can be done from the back of a tractor trailer.

Wow. I don't think so. I think Bush was genuinely and understandably spooked by 9/11, and he was determined to make sure that it did not repeat. I think he could not easily track down Al Qaeda, so he turned to what he thought was an immediate, identifiable, and addressable threat. I think he intentionally exaggerated the evidence, thinking that this was the only way to enlist the support of the public. With honorable motivation and for our own good, but misled nonetheless.
If he had been right, he would be a hero now. The problem is that he was wrong. His assessment of the immediacy of the threat was wrong, and his assessment of the ease of democratizing Iraq was likewise wrong. I think his judgement was incredibly poor. Someday I will probably vote Republican again (I used to), but this year I will likely not vote for someone who has demonstrated poor judgement and failed policy.

All right! Agreed! Energy independence is a good investment for the US in the long run.
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 07:48:43 -0500, "Todd Fatheree"

But you _haven't_, that's rather the point.
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wrote:

Right now, it's a moot point. It wouldn't matter how much was found. Three shells found - those were just sloppy bookkeeping. Ten shells? Probably came from somewhere else. A hundred? Those must have been planted by the CIA or Haliburton. I tell you what...you tell me where the WMDs are right now. *Everybody* (Clinton administration, Bush administration, Hans Blix, UN, David Kay, US Congressmen on both sides of the aisle) knows he had them. The whole reason we went down this path is that Saddam didn't want to allow weapons *inspectors* (not weapon *finders*) complete access and couldn't provide proof that they had been destroyed. So, where are they now? Hell, I hope everybody was wrong and Saddam never had anything. It sure beats the alternative that they're just someplace else.
todd
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Slight correction... They *believe/d* he had them. And, they likely believed it to the point of stating it as fact - though it doesn't so much appear as fact today.
The questions to ask are: why did was the intelligence apparently so incorrect (so far, anyway); and, who was supplying the insider info to the intelligence sources and for what purpose?
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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snipped-for-privacy@NOcomcastSPAM.net says...

Well, I'm not going to spend a lot of time looking for stuff that's been on the news for all to see, but here's a quick reference to Powell. He's probably got more crrdibility left than most of the administration.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/02/05/iraq/main598147.shtml
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Quite the backpedal there, Larry.
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creek.net says...

And you ignored the Powell article :-). If you're too lazy to do a Google on "Bush bad intelligence" and the like, why should I do your work for you?
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Because you're the one asserting that the three of them said they were wrong and it's been "all over the news". I havn't seen it anywhere, let alone "all over the news" so I'm asking you to explain your statement.
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So let's go back to early '03 when the Admin was building its case for invading Iraq. If one of these people had said, "It'll take 15 months, 810 US military lives, thousands (10s of thousands?) of Iraqi lives and over $100 billion but we're certain we'll find at least 3 WMDs." Would you have been supportive? How many months, years, lives, dollars are you willing to expend looking for things that might not have been there 15 months ago let alone today?
Let's suppose Hussein *did* have stockpiles in January '03 but they were subsequently spirited away to other countries after Saddam's government and military fell. Is the USA and the world more or less safe than when Hussein controlled them?
BTW, did you hear about the US government freeing and returning a terrorist to his home country of Syria? #27 on the wanted list was freed because the govt doesn't want to reveal any security methods or secrets that may be aired during a trial. I guess #28's feeling pretty releaved about now. Think this'll be the last the world hears of #27?
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Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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<snip>

Reference:
http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/dailystar/24668.php
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Thanks for the link Tom - I just wasn't feeling industrious enough to locate one.
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Change of subject noted.

You seem to be unable to understand that the most likely reason that we're not finding all of the WMDs is that he was given way too much time to hide them and/or move them out of country.

I guess that depends on who has them. Thought you said there weren't any.

Gee, almost like they know certain things that they're not willing to tell the world. You know, protecting one's sources, not divulging that we are able to gather certain types of intelligence, that sort of thing? I know it's complicated but it may be that they know more about it than you do.

And of course, you'll be up there waving your "I told you so" flag when it does, because you'll never know (or acknowledge) the reasons that the US didn't want to show all of it's cards to get a small fish.
So, are you going to keep moving the subject around whenever I point out fatal flaws in your argument? I'm just asking so I can keep score.
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I hope there is no woodworking related subject that has RNC in its header.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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Not so much a change of subject; rather an attempt at a different tack since you don't seem able to see my point of view. (I believe I do see yours however - the 3 "WMDs" found are justification enough to have spent and sacrificed to date.)

You, likewise, seem to be having a difficult time answering my questions:
* Is everything spent and lives lost to date justified by the 3 wmds found so far? * You obviously believe there are more, how much longer would you propose spending money and losing lives looking for things which may or may not be there? *If Saddam shipped them to his neighbors or sympathizers, why didn't US Intelligence *know* that prior to '03?

Reading comprehension 101: "suppose." And which country/entity do you believe would want to be on the receiving end of Saddam's illegal weapons that wouldn't be a greater threat to the US than Saddam himself? Remember we had him contained, with no effective military might. *If* they existed in the last few years or so, I'd much rather that he had them than to have them spread out around the region and world under the control of much less centralized and monitor-able entities. It appears to me the US has no idea how long ago they existed, where they might be or who might have control of them - certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

So what's with the rhetoric about bringing terrorists to justice? It's an exercise in Catch-22.

Are you saying that when #27 does commit a terrorist act you'll be waving your "I supported the Administration in releasing this guy back to the world" flag? (My response will be similar to today - "What in the world were these people thinking?")

I'll do my best to keep my rebuttals plain and simple for you - in that light, you don't need to feel obligated in responding to any of the above. I'd appreciate replies to the following: * Please tell me how you *know* that Saddam had wmds. * Please tell me how long ago that you *know* Saddam had them under his control. * Please tell me how long you *know* it will take to find what is to be found and the quantities.
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