Give Us Impeachment!

By Robert A. Hahn Posted in Comments (120) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The Press-Democrat in the United States has so far not seen fit to report on this, but Senator John Kerry (D-Cambodia) has apparently taken the first steps toward mainstreaming the impeachment hysteria now overtaking the left side of the Internet.

Speaking to the editorial board at the hugely-influential Standard Times of New Bedford, Mass (link), Senator Kerry said of the so-called "Downing Street Memo" at the heart of the hysteria...

"When I go back (to Washington) on Monday, I am going to raise the issue," he said of the memo, which has not been disputed by either the British or American governments. "I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."

It is not strictly true that the memo has escaped notice by the major media. The Boston Globe, for example, on May 31 carried an op-ed piece by well-known leftist moonbat Ralph Nader, who titled his piece "The 'I' Word."

That Senator Kerry now feels compelled to defend his honor and reputation as a leftist moonbat in his home state is understandable. But there's no reason that the rest of us shouldn't know about it as well.

I will not seek here to dissect this memo, or attempt to divine its meaning. Suffice to say that this memo has acquired legendary status amongst cave-dwelling moonbats, who believe that they have acquired a "smoking gun" with which to smite the object of their displeasure, George W. Bush, and replace him in office with one of their heroes, the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States.

In any subsequent comments, I would ask Red Staters to avoid being sucked into dialogs with itinerant blue meanies concerning whether this memo means what they say it means.

Let us instead concentrate on the political implications of a prominent Democratic Senator taking up this cudgel, and the prospect that he might be joined by other Democratic luminaries in taking their case to The People.

My own sense is that the public was pretty clear in their reaction to the Republicans' attempt to impeach William "Jefferson" Clinton. They didn't like it. The public views impeachment as a sort of political 'nuke' that is to be reserved for those once-in-a-century cases where we've caught somebody with his hand in the till. The Clinton case did not meet the public's high standard for an impeachment proceeding, and the notion that the Democrats have uncovered still more High Crimes and Misdemeanors in the very next Administration is going to go over like a lead balloon.

Since Republicans control the House by a fairly large margin, there is zero chance that we will see any Articles of Impeachment come out of this. Instead what we might get is a bunch of impotent Democrats, possibly assisted by the Press-Democrat itself, waving arms and howling at the Moon about how Bush needs to be impeached because a memo drafted by the British government uses the work "fixed."

It is potentially a Wonderful Thing that some loud and vociferous Democrats will jump off this cliff, drowning out whatever "message" the saner heads at Democrats Inc. are trying to get out, and positioning The Party as a bunch of silly, vindictive, moonbats.

So how can we assist them in this effort? What can we do to get John Conyers involved? How about Barbara Boxer? She seems like she would go for this. Heck, even Barney Frank might have to jump on the bandwagon just because he's from Massachusetts and needs to get his own moonbat ticket punched. Thoughts?

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The public views impeachment as a sort of political 'nuke' that is to be reserved for those once-in-a-century cases where we've caught somebody with his hand in the till.

If there are meeting minutes out there that unequivocally state that Bush was planning to fix the intelligence to go to war, isn't that "hand in the till" evidence the public wants?

It seems revealing to me that you would warn discussions away from the contents of the minutes themselves and instead focus on how to hurt the Democrats with this.  Aren't we supposed to be finding out the truth and working for the good of the country?  If any President falsifies a case for war, I want them out of office ASAP.

Help us as much as possible and encourage the left to push articles of impeachment.  I think there is nothing the left would like more than a full review of how the Administration built its case for the war with Iraq.  

Demand we commission an independent bipartisan investigation so we can raise it above "partisan politics".  How about Sam Nunn as the Democratic cochair?  He is respected by almost everyone.  

lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the McKinley manipulated the investigatoion of the Maine explosion to get the result he wanted for war with Spain. No one suggested imepachment in these cases. It's not a "high crime or misdemenaor".

The proper place to punish elected officials who lie to the public is at the polls.

Where did Kerry say anything about impeachment? He said he was going to raise the memo. It's a good subject for debate, obviously had a significant impact on the backlash against Blair.

Just because Ralph Nader -- who has nothing to do with the Democratic Party and everything to do with Bush's election in the first place -- links the memo to impeachment does not mean that every time someone mentions an interest in seeing the Downing Street memo discussed more they are talking about impeachment. The two have nothing to do with each other.

This is a classic Bush/Rove talking point: Avoid discussion of something by making it seem as if any discussion of X is actually a discussion of some far crazier Y.

Democrats know fully that impeachment is a nuclear option. They also know that its not a tool available to a congressional minority in any event, and that the dreadful misuse of it in 1998 made it seem like a cheap partisan tool, rather than the grave response to the abuse of office that it was in 1974.

    It seems revealing to me that you would warn discussions away from the contents of the minutes themselves

Been there, done that. It's been beaten to death here and every other place. Now I want to talk about the impact on the political process if the Democratic Party is stampeded by its Moonbat Caucus into taking some sort of case like this to The People.

You are of course free to start your own discussion concerning the contents of the memo, or join the one already in progress here.

    Aren't we supposed to be finding out the truth and working for the good of the country?

That's what you guys on the left do. What we do is hatch diabolically clever plans to bust your chops at the polls, and then carry those plans to fruition, thus busting your chops at the polls.

This "impeachment" hoo-hah sounds to me like opportunity knocking. I want to open the door, let it in, and see what we got. Maybe we can bust your chops again.

"There are grave dangers in implying that when you have a correlation you have a cause."

... Dr. Alan Leff

Although Dr. Leff's remark relates to lung cancer and airborne soot, they are as applicable to this matter as well.

It is dangerous to interpret a single memo, written in another language (British Official English :-), and strive to spin that into evidence of a crime.

'Nuff said.

...and even less about McKinley, this is about right now.  Did George W Bush fake intelligence to get us into war or didn't he?  The undisputed minutes of that meeting say he did.  So what do we do about it?

"The polls" is an odd place to decide Bush's fate, since a) he isn't going to be undergoing another election and b) this is a representative democracy.  Why can't our elected representatives take care of this for us right now, rather than having for the next election?

 An honest Southerner has at last spoken.

Hmm by Walt

I'm not clear on what the memo means by "fixed." It can't mean that the evidence was made up, i.e., that the pertinent governments didn't really believe there were WMD, because if you read later in the memo there's text indicating that they assumed Saddam did, in fact, have WMD.

Maybe folks are reading too much into this?

You can call the left "moonbat" as much as you want, it doesn't make Bush any less guilty of fixing the intelligence.  The only question is whether enough of the public can be unbrainwashed from Republican-controlled media talking points enough to do something about it.

The Moonbat Brigadiers who plan on pushing impeachment should probably consider some recent news out of that well-known right wing organ: the United Nations - who currently have a report on their desk stating that, among other things, WMD materials have gone missing in Iraq.

For those of you who have Fox-phobia, a virtually identical story from M$NBC is here.

Here's the lead to the AP story:

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.

Interesting, don't you think?  How could there be WMD material missing in Iraq when the latest line from Moonbat Central is that there were no WMD in Iraq?

By all means, read the whole story - and then please tell me how BUSH LIED!!!!!!! about Saddam's WMD again.

Pretty-please - with sugar on top.

As to having the likes of Kerry and Conyers push impeachment proceedings against GWB - I say "BRING IT ON!"

 And, well, that's what they did in this case.

 However, instead of telling the people that they THOUGHT they had it, they said they KNEW Iraq had it. Big difference. Not to mention Cheney's 'They have reconstituted their nuclear program' when NONE of the evidence agreed with it. Or Powell changing transcripts of audio in the UN speech.

So you think the GOP led impeachment of Bill Clinton was pure BS?  "Fixing the intelligence" is a much more serious charge.  In fact, if he did he committed a felony ignoring the "abuse of power" angle.  For one, he'd be in violation of 18 USC 1001 for making false statements when making a report to Congress which was required by law.  De facto perjury in order to go to war is certainly fitting "High Crimes and Misdemeanors."

... of the memo is that he did. But in fact the memo does not say that. In fact the "meaning" of the memo depends on your understanding and interpretation of: a) the circumstances on the meeting; b) the context of the meeting; c) the wording of the memo; d) the lanugage of "official" Britain; e) the political "bent" of the author; and a number of other factors.

For example, because this memo was written in the language of our English cousins, this may truly be a case of "it all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

Just as Dan wanted the Rathergate "memos" to be true so he stopped looking for truth, the left wants so deparately to find some dirt that they have stopped thinking and that will lead them to mischief.

The pursuit of truth is certainly important. But, as those of us on the right realize, the country is at war --- a fact which seems to escape the left. The potential damage to a country at war requires caution in the extreme before going down this path. I am not suggesting that we ought to ignore malfeasance, but we really need to think about the downside before we go down that path.

But, since the left does not see this as a war but rather some sort of grand bank robbery, there is little hope that calmer heads will prevail on that side of the aisle. Let the cames begin, the country can handle another 50 years of a marginalized Democratic Party --- the Republic will survive --- and prosper.

The lines I'm speaking of do not seem to imply any doubt by the two governments as to the existence of Iraqi WMD:

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

Really. When did this happen? Is there a audiotape or videotape?

Bush lied.

The U.N. fixed the intelligence, Hans Blix fixed the intelligence, the Russians fixed the intelligence, the French fixed the intelligence, every intelligence agency on the planet 'fixed' the intelligence. Oh, Iraq fixed the intelligence -- Iraq violated the ceasefire agreement as well.

And today we have the U.N. complaining that the WMDs that Iraq didn't have are missing.

Someone needs to get their intelligence fixed if they think this is going to fly.

will push for Impeachment.  It serves no purpose.  They aren't going to get much traction in a GOP controlled House.  They are going to look petty to many Americans who are largely ignorant or indifferent to the matter.  They would allow Bush to appear to be the defender of the faith beating back the backbiters.  It would be a lose-really lose approach.

OTOH, the should focus on this memo.  However, instead of making it a partisan attack on the President they should simply look to enlighten the public.  If it was me I would stand up and say "I do  not believe for a second that our President willfully deceived us.  However I believe that he was duped by underlings intent on bringing into this war.  It is time to find out who these people are that are responsible for the deaths of over 1500 Americans."

Let the story build itself intead of making it a partisan spitball fight.

So by jsteele

slipshod intelligence is now a "high crime or misdemeanor."

If it was an intel failure then Bush is guilty of not cleaning house at the CIA. This is not punishable by impeachment.

But believing this memo contains the smoking gun requires that one ignore the rest of the memo and ignore the fact that:

  • the Clinton administration believed Iraq had WMD;
  • the intelligence services of the UK, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, et al believed Iraq had WMD.

But let's not let pesky facts get in the way of a really juicy opportunity to further damage the country at war.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used a nuclear missile on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his nuclear missile on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

 See? And now we've conclusively proven that Saddam had a nuclear missile. Except, of course, that there was PLENTY of doubt in government about it. The key line is about the fixing, and not for the common reason. Not because they manufactured evidence, because they DID distort what they had to fit it, and then on top of it you've got guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell telling fibs on top of it.

 It was a failure of the Administration to use the intel properly, and it was a failure of the Administration to present it to the American people in it's proper light. However, had they done that, they would not have gotten support for an invasion, and Bush wanted an invasion.

    This is a classic Bush/Rove talking point: Avoid discussion of something by making it seem as if any discussion of X is actually a discussion of some far crazier Y.

I am flattered that you would even place me in the same league with Master Rove. However, I am merely a humble student of the craft. I hold only a Red Belt in diabolical cleverness.

But perhaps it is this that should worry you. If I, a mere diabolical red belt, could see ways to flip you on your heads and dump you upside-down with this, then what horrors await you should Master Rove get you in his clutches?

    Just because Ralph Nader... links the memo to impeachment does not mean that every time someone mentions an interest in seeing the Downing Street memo discussed more they are talking about impeachment.

Says you. Surely you are aware that the web is now teeming with leftist moonbattery conflating the two. It will be easy for us to carry out our diabolically clever plan to inundate the public with quotes from people who sound just like Democrats, joining the two in ways that you will never put asunder. Bwaaa ha ha.

    Democrats know fully that impeachment is a nuclear option. They also know that its not a tool available to a congressional minority in any event

Ah, but you are being sensible. I think the potential exists that your party could get rolled by its own moonbats into trying anyway. Should this occur, I want to have our chop-busters oiled, sharpened, and ready to go.

Those materials were dual use civilian/military and they were being monitored by UN weapons inspectors prior to the invasion to ensure that they were not being used to produce unauthorized weapons.  

Now after the invasion, the UN has not been allowed to go in and monitor those sites, materials are being looted from them by......?  Anyone with a truck.

If we went there to stop the spread of WMD materials, this is evidence of a significant failure.

These were dual use materials not WMDs:

He said the missing material can be used for legitimate purposes. "However, they can also be utilized for prohibited purposes if in a good state of repair."

Like the explosives at Al Qa Qa they were being monitored by the U.N. prior to the invasion.  As an occupying force it was our responsibility to watch over these materials.  Apparently we lost track of them.

the charge is that there are no WMD materials in Iraq - dual-use or otherwise - period.  As to your point, considering that there were no UN weapons inspectors in Iraq from 1998-2002 (isn't that why Clinton lobbed a few cruise missiles at Saddam over 4-days at the end of 1998?), it's more than a little disingenuous to suggest they were being "monitored" in any meaningful way - certainly no more than currently.

But then again, I'm certain Saddam was just planning on making aspirin with all those chemicals - and use the rockets to deliver them to remote regions of Kurdistan.  Sure, I believe that.

As to the failure to secure these materials after the invasion - you get little argument from me.  I don't traffic in defending the indefensible.

I read the article quite carefully, thank you.  

Perhaps you should to the same with the memo some would like to display as a "smoking gun" against GWB.

To avoid repeating myself, see here.  I will add only that while it is certainly our responsibility to watch-over these materials, it's a little bit of a stretch to in one breath say that the materials never existed (which is what the charge of BUSH LIED! infers) and in the next to blame our forces (and by extension the Administration) for not safeguarding them.

was no legal basis under international law for the U.S to go to war as it did.  What this memo would do is put the last nail in the coffin for the "self-defence" argument.  Whether the war was legal under U.S. law is less clear-cut and most likely was legal because of the joint resolution, although congress gave that approval with incomplete or false evidence.  

materials in iraq capable of creating wmd's, the real charge is that there was never any quantity large enough and no process developed enough to constitute a threat to the U.S., This article hardly disproves that charge.

does not imply 'fabrication' or 'falsification' at all. It is clearly fixed as in 'attaching one thing to another'. That reactionary lefties would confabulate an incorrect meaning from this memo is not surprising. That losers like Kerry would be attrracted to it like moths to a flame is not surprising, either.

"the charge is that there are no WMD materials in Iraq - dual-use or otherwise - period."

These materials were declared by Iraq and were known to the UN and the US and Iraq was permitted to keep them provided they allowed UNMOVIC to monitor their use and ensure that they were not being used for proscribed purposes.

These items were where they were supposed to be until after the invasion.  We let them get away.  Fortunately most was sold as scrap, but who knows what got away.

...the real charge is that there was never any quantity large enough and no process developed enough to constitute a threat to the U.S.

What quantity of WMD materials would be sufficient to convince those on your side that such a threat existed?  Does such a quantification even exist?

Is it fair to say that, while your side may charge that Bush was predisposed to taking out Saddam militarily, your side was predisposed against military action regardless of the actual level of threat?

What what, if anything, does this have to do with the Downing Street "memo"?

claim ever made:

the charge is that there are no WMD materials in Iraq - dual-use or otherwise - period.

That is absolutely false.  If you have a municipal water treatment plant you have "dual use" materials (chlorine gas).  If you have a commercial fertilizer or pesticide plant that is a "dual use" facility for nerve agents (after all the two most deadly agents, GB and VX are derivatives of chemicals initially developed as insecticides).  I could come over to your house and using chemicals under your sink in your  laundry room and bathroom could up some chemical weapons that were used in World War I, and if the damn EPA hadn't banned phosphates in detergents might even be able to manage a batch of Sarin.  And there is absolutely no difference between a lab that produces vaccines and antibiotics, other than will, and one that produces bioweapons.  

Iraq to inflict damage to our interests before we could stop them.  Name one.

This ties in with the memo because the memo takes away the only justification for action that was halfway reasonable, self defence.  Unless you don't believe the U.S. should honor its international treaties, in which case the point is moot.

The word fixed in this context means "Focused".

al Qaqaa was throroughly debunked before the election.

Let's read between the lines. The intelligence community is made up of Democrats and Republicans. Does the president get a liberal or conservative briefing on WMD. If he "fixed" the intelligence it was to appoint a conservative to prepare the report. Politics and the word "fixed" is not and impeachable offense.

Now let's take the left.

They are calling for our President's impeachment during a time of war over circumstantial evidence on a memo from a foreign country.

They continue to say the war in Iraq is illegal because the United Nations Security Council did not approve it. Since when do we take orders from the United Nations and why would they approve since they were on Saddam's payroll.

The Democratic minority party continues to block Senators from voting on the President's judicial nominations. You heard it right! Democrats won't let the Senators vote because they know the majority would vote yes.

Continued support for forged memos used to try and influence the presidential election. Fake but accurate even though the forgery was reproduced in word identical in every detail to the forgery.

Democrats refuse to back a picture I.D. voting requirement yet want us to believe the Republicans committed election fraud. I believe they like the current system requiring little or no ID.

Don't tell America that this third party memo is an impeachable offense. It's called circumstantial evidence. You will have to do better.

In the mean time Kerry received three purple hearts in 4 months. He sure does heal fast! I heard a rumor that he signed the form 180 did he? I wonder if he will send it in?

Enough of the moonbats, ignore them and let's kick their ass again in 2006!

Looking at your quotebox that says:  ... material that could be used to make...

I would say that there were no WMD.  This is equipment that could be used to make them, not that it was used that way, or that they had been used that way.

There is a difference between WMD stockpiles and materials that could be used to make WMD.  To claim otherwise is being dishonest even to yourself.

These materials were being monitered.  They couldn't have been used to make WMD.  To claim otherwise would be a lie, I think.

Do you really think there were WMD in Iraq?  Pretty please show any proof - with sugar on top.

I don't think that the minutes of a British meeting are enough to prove anything.  If they were, the media would be all over it (although that may give the media too much credit).  But I think it does raise a question worthy of discussion.  What did he know, and when did he know it?

I know, I know.  That sounds familiar.  But really, what are we talking about?  We are talking about the possability that our leaders conspired (harsh word, I know) to push this country to go to war without justification.  Basically, on a whim.  Because they knew (or thought) that they could do it.  And because of that, some of the best Americans - those brave enough and willing to represent our country in uniform - have died.

Now, I don't think anybody should be raked over the coals, but don't you think that that deserves a little investigation?  Don't you think that our president, who was given the honor of holding this country's future in trust, should be a little more open about the motivations that went into bringing us to war?  Surely he should have more than enough information to make the case now as to how Iraq was an imminent threat.  Don't you think that our soldiers deserve something along those lines?

I'll cheerfully sell them a whole boxcar full of my specially treated tinfoil.

But there is a great deal of difference between "ignoring" them and taking them seriously.  And while I don't want to damage their precious self-esteem by ignoring them, I am completely incapable of taking them seriously.

Your comments end up being more amusing than insulting.  Can we keep him around as an unofficial redstate jester?

If Bush lied, the whole world lied -- get over it.

BUT: If you take the missing WMD stockpiles in context with the Oil for WMD scam and bribery parade, even the densest moonbat can figure out where the WMDs were. Let's play follow the money, it bought the machines, it bought the feed stocks, it built the WMD factories, it bought the illegal long range missiles to deliver them, and it bribed the Security Council to lift sanctions -- instant WMD stockpile.

You gotta do better dear moonbats, this ain't your watergate media anymore. The salad days of the MSM being able to produce the lie, promote the lie, it's gone. Ask Dan Rather, the fake but accurate guy.

Do you really think there were WMD in Iraq?  Pretty please show any proof - with sugar on top.

Apparently you forgot about that sarin gas shell they found.  Plus, you totally ignore the obvious fact that chemical and biological weapons usually aren't made in quantity then stored forever (cause that's awfully dangerous); the process is followed to just short of completion, then put together not long before use.  That's what the whole 'dual use' thing is about; if you can come up with a precursor that you can claim has another use, then you claim that 'these stockpiles of chemicals are really for spraying crops' (in the desert, yeah right).

Here's a quote:

At Karbala, U.S. troops stumbled upon 55-gallon drums of pesticides at what appeared to be a very large "agricultural supply" area, Hanson says. Some of the drums were stored in a "camouflaged bunker complex" that was shown to reporters - with unpleasant results. "More than a dozen soldiers, a Knight-Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman, and two Iraqi POWs came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent," Hanson says. "But later ISG tests resulted in a proclamation of negative, end of story, nothing to see here, etc., and the earlier findings and injuries dissolved into nonexistence. Left unexplained is the small matter of the obvious pains taken to disguise the cache of ostensibly legitimate pesticides. One wonders about the advantage an agricultural-commodities business gains by securing drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers 6 feet underground. The 'agricultural site' was also colocated with a military ammunition dump - evidently nothing more than a coincidence in the eyes of the ISG."

I gotcher sugar RIGHT HERE.

... do you explain:

  • the Clinton administration believed Iraq had WMD;
  • the intelligence services of the UK, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, et al believed Iraq had WMD.

I'm not sure how it is a failure of the administration to present the intel to the American people in its proper light when they told us that our, and other intelligence services, said Saddam had WMD when the fact is that's what they said.

The official policy of this government was for regime change in Iraq --- it became so under that paragon of virtue, William Jefferson Clinton.

You are not allowed to walk away from facts that don't suit your conclusions.

Like the explosives at Al Qa Qa they were being monitored by the U.N. prior to the invasion.  As an occupying force it was our responsibility to watch over these materials.  Apparently we lost track of them.

You mean the UN monitoring that stopped in 1998 when Saddam kicked the UN weapons inspectors out of the country?  That (non-)monitoring?

Four years is a long time to develop and conceal new weaponry.

and "coincidences", but not so much in the way of proof there.  If the Bush admin controls the wmd search and can't even get a positive reading on a drum of pesticides I think that is all the evidence we need.

Bull.

In case you forgot, there were 17 resolutions approved by the UN Security Council that Saddam Hussein violated.  Failure to pass an 18th because France and Russia were getting paid off by Saddam via oil-for-food does not constitute an international law violation on the US's part.

Technically, there was a crime committed.  Saddam Hussein committed it.  He had to prove to the world that he had destroyed his weapons (see those pesky 17 resolutions again), and he refused to do so.  Case closed.

And if you want to get even more technical, Gulf War I and II was one war with a 12-year cease fire in the middle.  You can't say Gulf War II was in violation of international law without also claiming that the 1991 Gulf War I was as well, and I haven't even seen the moonbats claiming that one.

I had a great long exposition in the works, but I've scrapped it in favor of "I interpret it differently."

of what you can prove if you take words people don't say and claim that they said them. Which, of course, is what you guys are really, really good at.

Re-read Walt's post. He speaks English as a first language.

A sarin gas shell is 'circumstantial evidence'?

Until you can explain where that shell came from, your words are meaningless.

What about so-called dual-use chemicals, being stored 6 feet underground, camouflaged, co-located with military ammunition, and causing nerve gas reactions amongst all those that visited the site?

Is that close enough?

Go check out my post #43.

    really, what are we talking about? We are talking about the possability that our leaders conspired to push this country to go to war without justification. Basically, on a whim. Because they knew (or thought) that they could do it. And because of that, some of the best Americans - those brave enough and willing to represent our country in uniform - have died.


    don't you think that that deserves a little investigation?

No. In fact I don't think it deserves five seconds of serious consideration. The leaders of the United States behaving like comic book villains, starting a war on a whim, because they can — Bwaaaa ha ha! — in order to watch people die.

You expect people to take that seriously? They won't. And there's a very good reason they won't: it's nuts. Moonbat, wacko, nuts.

If that sounds sane to you; if you think that Bush, Cheney, Rice, et.al. are just like The Joker or The Riddler from the Batman comic books, then you have been spending too much time in the moonbat echo chamber.

Really.

example.  I took it for granted that one aging shell did not constitute the ability to spread mass destruction of any sort.  Nobody has ever denied that Iraq was involved with chemical weapons, only that at the time we went to war they had no ability to cause and mass destruction with any weapons that they held.

at Al Qaqa were reinventoried in January 2003 and the seals reinspected shortly befored the inspectors left in March, just before the invasion Except for some explosives that the Iraqis claimed they used for mining they were all still there shortly before the invasion.

Iraq had a lot of dual use facilities and chemicals, any country with a chemical and military industry does.  After the first Gulf War, Iraq was severely limited in the types and quantities of certain chemicals it could possess and a laundry list dual-use chemicals and production equipment was subject to U.N. monitoring.  Chlorine Gas is a perfect example.  If you go down to your local water treatment plant you will find thousands of pounds of chlorine gas.  The first modern use of chemical weapons was when the Germans took chlorine gas cylinders and opened them up on the British trenches in 1915.  The Iraqis use Chlorine against both the Iranians and the Kurds.  

GB and VX, the most deadly nerve agents, are organophosphates.  They are improved versions of Sarin and Tabun which were developed by the Germans before World War II, not as chemical weapons, but as insecticides.  Chemically, they are similar to dozens of commercial fertilzers, pesticides, and herbicides (in fact they are very hard to detect in soil because agricultural chemicals will mask them).  So if you have the capability to commercially produce those it is not hard to switch to the production of nerve agents.

When we invaded and occupied Iraq we were supposed to secure and take responsibility for all these dual use items.  That is what the U.N. is asking about, not actual W.M.D.

Plus, you totally ignore the obvious fact that chemical and biological weapons usually aren't made in quantity then stored forever (cause that's awfully dangerous); the process is followed to just short of completion, then put together not long before use.

I think you are referring to so-called binary weapons.  As far as I know the U.S. is the only country that ever came up with a successful binary weapon design (where two less dangerous chemicals mix just before they are released) and that was a very recent development (early '90s I believe) and I'm not even sure we actually deployed any weapons.

If stored properly, chemical weapons are fairly stable.  In fact the French and Belgians are still digging them up from World War I.  We are currently going through the expensive, slow, cotroversial, and dangerous process of disposing of our stockpile of chemical weapons, many of them in land mines, artillery shells, and rockets.  All of which have to be carefully emptied remotely (50 mg of VX--it has the consistency of mineral oil--on the skin can kill you) and the contents burned.  Some of these weapons have been stored since the early '50s.  They are also stored in bulk tanks of up to a couple thousand gallons.

You are either ill-informed or being deliberately deceptive because this is only a tiny bit of the story.

the explosives at Al Qaqa were reinventoried in January 2003 and the seals reinspected shortly befored the inspectors left in March, just before the invasion Except for some explosives that the Iraqis claimed they used for mining they were all still there shortly before the invasion.

According to ABC News:

But the confidential IAEA documents obtained by ABC News show that on Jan. 14, 2003, the agency's inspectors recorded that just over three tons of RDX were stored at the facility -- a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported.

The IAEA documents could mean that 138 tons of explosives were removed from the facility long before the United States launched "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in March 2003.[...]

 The IAEA documents from January 2003 found no discrepancy in the amount of the more dangerous HMX explosives thought to be stored at Al-Qaqaa, but they do raise another disturbing possibility.

The documents show IAEA inspectors looked at nine bunkers containing more than 194 tons of HMX at the facility. Although these bunkers were still under IAEA seal, the inspectors said the seals may be potentially ineffective because they had ventilation slats on the sides. These slats could be easily removed to remove the materials inside the bunkers without breaking the seals, the inspectors noted.

In the Okinawan form of karate I have studied in the past, Red Belt is the highest rank.

not the U.S., and the security council had to decide upon what actions to take based on their resolutions.  You can't have it both ways by using the resolutions as proof and then saying the U.S. doesn't need to work within the framework of the security council.  

As for the 12 year war with cease-fire, once again that was a security council decision, not a U.S. one

Ultimately, I think we both love this country.  I am saddened that you think that that bomb was worth killing some of our bravest citizens.

By the way, we gave them that bomb during their 1980-1988 war with Iran.  Ask Rumsfeld.  He was there.

In your 1st post you wrote Aren't we supposed to be finding out the truth and working for the good of the country?

Then you wrote: it doesn't make Bush any less guilty of fixing the intelligence.

These statements tell us you don't want the truth you want a hanging.  

Then you wrote:The only question is whether enough of the public can be unbrainwashed from Republican-controlled media talking points enough to do something about it.  

So anyone that doesn't see it your way is weak minded enough to be brainwashed?  Have you ever thought it possible you are the one that is brainwashed???  Why do I ask this question?  You have already tried and convicted President Bush.  Just as Howard Dean has tried and convicted Tom Delay.  Both of your assumptions are only based on  here-say.  What about exculpatory evidence? From what I hear, Tony Blair has denied the memos assertion.  What about ALL the Democratic Pols that have made statements which agreed with Bush and voted for the war in Iraq?  

No, Truth you don't want no stinking Truth!

But I can't make sense of it.  I don't understand your point.  I think you are saying that those lives were justified because you think that Saddam was getting ready to get the upper hand, through whatever means, while we controlled the sky over most of Iraq, and inspecters were (albeit slowly) crawling around the country?

It sounds like you are saying that it doesn't matter whether or not Bush lied.  You are willing to let him get away with it no matter how many American soldiers die?  Do you support our troops?  You think this is good for America because...?

here's the deal.

There is nothing in your link that supports your assertion.

I will admit that I have no idea why Bush was pushing so hard for this.  I know it wasn't just to see people die.  I know that it had nothing to do with WMD.  I think that is pretty clear.  That was definitely an excuse.  If that was the real reason, I think that North Korea would have been the first place to invade.  They have nukes, and are lead by a desperate madman.

If I had to speculate I would say oil.  I know that has been hashed over and over, but it makes sense.  Bush/Cheney are both oil men.  I don't think they are evil villians.  Just greedy.  I honestly think that Bush wanted to do this even before 9/11.  Well, maybe not something as dramatic as what this turned out to be, but something along these lines.  I have no proof.  It is just a feeling.  One I was able to come up with all on my own (you should be proud!).

And Americans are dying side by side with Iraqis in what is looking more and more like a civil war.

I take it you support the war.  What is your reason that you think that it was a good idea?  Because the Prez said it was?  I was against us going in, but now that we are there we need to finish.  And fast.  We need to get allies involved, or we are going to need a draft.  I believe that.  Or are you willing to enlist?

But back to the point.  I don't think it is too much to ask to show a little more of the justification for war.  What are you afraid of?  Having a discussion?  Or are you just afraid you might have to stop resorting to the term moonbat?

Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.-Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions.

The story of U.S. involvement with Saddam Hussein in the years before his 1990 attack on Kuwait -- which included large-scale intelligence sharing, supply of cluster bombs through a Chilean front company, and facilitating Iraq's acquisition of chemical and biological precursors...

emphasis mine

and all I see is absolute moonbattery.

I re-offer my challenge. Show me something that says the US provide Saddam with chemical weapons. I'm not going to let this slide.

How about if I modify my premise and say the the US not only allowed them to get chemical and biological weapons, they helped them do it.

You are absolutely right.  I can't prove that the US gave them the weapons, and I appologize for making such a wild accusation.

I didn't want to get off into the Al Qaqa track because it has little to do with WMDs and I didn't want to be accused of hijacking the thread so I didn't check my facts and worked from memory but I knew the inspectors had last been there in 2003, not 1998 as you originally claimed.

I will say this but Streiff is right.  For all the bad things we did in supporting Saddam in the '80s we didn't actually give him chemical weapons.  He was quite capable of producing them all by himself and we didn't object too loudly to his use of chemical weapons against the Iranians.  Whether or not we deliberately gave him anthrax and smallpox strains that could be weaponized is still an open question.

 I can state I believe the earth is flat, and I can tell you that my buddy Larry says the earth could possibly be flat, as well. That does not make it true that the Earth is flat. Nor does it make it Larry's fault that I said the Earth was flat.

 Same difference. No one told this administration 'We know where the weapons are. Between Baghdad and Tikrit' or 'We know he has reconstituted his nuclear programs'. Clinton never stated so. Nor did the intelligence services.

 And if the Bush administration really believed Saddam was a danger, why did Colin Powell say this?

http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/2001/933.htm

We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.

 But then again, it's hardly surprising we got to Iraq: As Rumsfeld said:

 

"best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. at same time. Not only UBL"

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/04/september11/main520830.shtml

I went a little over the top, and I admitted that.  The article says that we facilitated Iraq's aquisition of precursors.  Whether the article is right, who can tell these days.  But we surely had a roll in their aquistion, even if it is limited to looking the other way.

The point is that one bomb (in my book) doesn't represent a stockpile or convincing justification for the loss of brave Americans.  And that was all I was asking for.  Justification.  I think that the country needs it.  It isn't about being right or being wrong.  It is about doing the right thing for the right reasons.  And being able to talk about that.  Not for calling names.

To me, that is what the Downing Street Minutes are about.  Not impeachment.  I will ask again, to whomever would like to answer it.  Was the one bomb worth it?  Do you really believe we did the right thing by invading Iraq?  If so, why?  And doesn't the Downing Street Minutes raise any questions in your mind that you would like answers to?  Besides what the meaning of 'is' is?

Why did we go to war in March of 2003?  Certainly, there was no crisis at that particular moment.  Saddam Hussein was cooperating with the inspectors, giving in to every demand that we made of him.  Yet we were finding nothing.  We claimed to "know" where the WMDs were and that we "knew" he had them, yet when we told the inspectors where to look, they weren't there.

And can you please finally admit, that there were no WMDs?  Even the administration admits that Saddam destroyed all his stockpiles (yes, apparently he missed a sarin artillery shell or two), probably shortly after the first Gulf War.

 Even Duelfer said so. So if you say something is true before gathering evidence that it's true, it's an ASSUMPTION. In this case, a wrong one.

I don't know what it was.  Maybe you just don't agree with me.

I was trying to discuss this.  That is what I thought this diary was about.  The war, justifaction for the war.  I am not calling for Impeachment, I am not addressing the contents of the minutes or "fixing."  I am just asking for information.

Sorry if I came off as an ass.

debriefing of Hussein Kamel:

General Hussein Kamel - they put it in bombs during last days of Iran-Iraq war.  They were not used and the programme was terminated.  During the Gulf War, there was no intention to use chemical weapons as the Allied force was overwhelming.  They finished work on binary that had a long shelf life.  In the old days, chemical weapons facilities were underground but this was a mistake and we put them above ground.

At the beginning, they worked with one Egyptian scientist to make mustard gas.  Then they proceeded to sarin, then VX, then binary.  Sarin had a short life, mustard gas has longer effect but is not as potent as sarin.  We know that Austria did some testing on VX.  The man responsible for the programme was General Faise.  Imad Al-Ani also worked on VX.  Now he is with the civilian sector.  General Nazar was the Director of Muthanna.  There was another person who worked at Muthanna but now he is a director of a glass factory but I could not remember his name.  VX was a purely Iraqi problem.

Amb. Ekeus - did they succeed in stabilizing VX?

General Hussein Kamel - they were able to do it by splitting VX into binary....

It was "binary" in the sense that two constituent chemicals were combined to form the desired agent but not "binary" since it was a 1-canister design(devulged to UNSCOM after GW1 so already known) that had to be mixed manually.  If the definition is the latter then you'd be right that the U.S. is the only successful binary developer.

You can read the entire notes from the Kamel interview here

The 19 page key findings report that was largely disseminated as sound bites and portrayed as the authoritative source on Saddam's WMD programs does not prove that WMD's and extensive WMD programs did not exist.  Quite the contrary.

While it does say that we were unable to find 'large stockpiles' of WMD's, it also documents extensive WMD programs centered around dual use facilities, elaborate sanction avoiding schemes, hints at the OFF fraud, identifies extensive procurement network sources, identifies foreign sources of technical assistance and confesses that they were unable to get very many of the Iraqi scientists to speak on the record.

A rational person may logically conclude from the report that Saddam maintained an overwhelming desire for nuclear weapons, extensive WMD programs were hidden within dual use facilities, foreign sources ignored existing sanctions by providing materials and technical assistance for WMD programs and Saddam was smart enough to keep his WMD programs well hidden until he could get the sanctions against his regime lifted.  By the way, those sanctions were treading on thin ice following the 1998 expulsion of the UN inspectors.

An illogical person or an agenda driven person with an irrational hatred for President Bush may come to a different conclusion.

    I will admit that I have no idea why Bush was pushing so hard for this.... I know that it had nothing to do with WMD.

I don't know that. I have my own tin-foil-hat theory about why they invaded Iraq — that I arrived at all by myself — and it does have to do with WMDs.

See, I do not assume bad faith on the part of any of these actors; not even Clinton. Sure, it's funny that Clinton blew up an aspirin factory, but I have no doubt that when they picked that target, they thought they were nailing a chemical weapons facility. Unlike some people, I do not expect 100% accuracy from human beings.

I think our government was terrified, and rightly so, by the going-away present that Mohammad Atta sent us. Another ten pounds of that stuff would have brought the U.S. Mail, and the U.S. economy, to a screeching halt in about ten days.

I know the FBI is running around out there with their usual 'lone gunman' hypothesis, but I've never believed it. It is just the kind of story that a government would tell its people if it didn't have the slightest idea where that stuff came from. "Some foreign government made the anthrax, and we don't know which one, and there might be tons of it someplace" was a message the American people did not need to hear in September of 2001.

The material sent to Tom Daschle's office was the most advanced form of weaponized anthrax we had ever seen. It wasn't ours. We've seen the Russians' stuff, and it wasn't theirs either. Whoever it was has been working on it for a while, and has gotten really good at it.

Who would have given such a thing to Mohammad Atta? Saddam Hussein would have made anybody's short list of where that stuff might have come from. He had the programs, he had the scientists, and he had the money. Given the size of the threat to the United States at that moment, what would you expect a responsible leadership to do? Wait and see? My hunch is that they did what Spock did in one of those Star Trek movies. They turned to the captain and they said, "Mr. Scott cannot give me exact figures, Admiral. Therefore... I will make a guess."

I have no proof of that. There are 10,000 conspiracy-theory web sites out there about where that anthrax came from. I don't think anybody knows. But I know if I were President of the United States, and that threat arrived on my desk, I'd have done something. I'd have gone to war on a guess before I subjected the United States to the threat that anthrax represented... and still represents.

    are you willing to enlist?

I am 57 years old. You wouldn't even want me in a foxhole with you. I am 6-foot-3 and most of that is legs. For most of my life, I am not a guy that you wanted to try to keep up with while walking along. Now I am regularly passed up on the sidewalks by 22-year-old women carrying grocery bags. And I think I'm walking just as fast as before. This sucks. I did my stint when it made sense to do it: U.S. Army, 1968 to 1970.

A rational person may logically conclude from the report that Saddam maintained an overwhelming desire for nuclear weapons, extensive WMD programs were hidden within dual use facilities, foreign sources ignored existing sanctions by providing materials and technical assistance for WMD programs and Saddam was smart enough to keep his WMD programs well hidden until he could get the sanctions against his regime lifted.  By the way, those sanctions were treading on thin ice following the 1998 expulsion of the UN inspectors.

 So, what you've proven here is that sanctions worked, because he did not have WMD, even in small quantities. Which, of course, was the overriding reason we were going in, you know, to prevent 'the horror of a mushroom cloud'. By the way, remind me how many Al Samoud missiles Saddam was able to fire because of those 'thin ice' sanctions again?

I keep hearing from the "grapevine" that the anthrax incident involved stuff right out of our own labs. My guess is: "probably so."

For me -- for many -- this "administration" has gone so far over the edge that it's outa sight. You know that I come from "the other side." So what!!!

How much more of their insanity will you try to pull around? For me, this "Downing Street Minutes" incident was just one more straw.

I was there, at a "liberal" church when Scott Ritter laid out the whole "Downing Street" plot about three years before now. The guy sure looked like the Republican Conservative he said he was -- yet he had already had his fill.

I was completely overwhealmed by his sense of assurance that the whole "WMD scam" was 100% bogus. It even took me (-- a progressive guy) months to really believe it all.

You think I don't believe it now? (Didn't think so...)

How many lies does it take, Nick?

    I keep hearing from the "grapevine" that the anthrax incident involved stuff right out of our own labs

There's a vine for every grape. You pick yours, I'll pick mine. Mine says that the size of the particles and the uniformity of the coating on them was a Big Surprise.

    For me -- for many -- this "administration" has gone so far over the edge that it's outa sight.

I understand that. They just won re-election however, so you'll just have to grin and bear it. Your views are simply not those of a majority of your fellow citizens. Get over it, and try again next time.

    How much more of their insanity will you try to pull around?

I don't see anything insane happening. Perhaps I am just not insane.

    Scott Ritter

A paid agent of Saddam Hussein. And a guy who lures underage girls to Burger Kings to meet with him. Build a church to him for all I care.

to Gen. Kamel, he was obviously trying to impress his interrogators but he also obviously doesn't know much about chemical weapons.  I am not an expert on a whole lot but I do know a little about chemical weapons, their stability, and VX in particular.  I worked at the Pentagon developing plans for the destruction of the disposal of our stockpiles.

First of all there is absolutely nothing magical about mustard gas that would require the special expertise of an Egyptian Scientist as it was first synthesised in 1860 and first used as a chemical warfare agent in 1917.  There is no logical progressin from mustard to Sarin.  And the idea that Austria, a neutral country, that has no chemical warfare program and the legacy of World War II to live down, would have done testing on VX is patently absurd.  Stability of VX in storage is not a problem.  Binary weapons were developed to reduce the risks of exposure, not to improve stability.

against Saddam were working, might I direct your attention to the OFF Hearings that are currently underway in the Senate Committee on Investigations.  France, Germany and Russia were freely violating the sanctions after the 1998 expulsion and covertly before.

Republican conservative or not, Scott Ritter deserves better than that. Nobody would really believe that he did all that just for some handouts from Saddam, or to lure underage girls to Burger Kings. Even when I was a Young Turk, I never tried to lure any young girl to any Burger King. Some nondescript pizza place where they served beer, sure.

OK, so it wasn't an underage girl. It was an undercover cop who could pass for 16. Unfortunately for him.

during the period just before the invasion confirms heavy truck traffic at the complex.

The presence of an IAEA seal tends not to have much standing in my view.

Though admittedly our jesters seem to commit suicide with some regularity...

He'd just defected with Saddam's daughter.  But if you're going to try to invalidate Kamel based on one obscure reference in contemporaneous notes you should probably start by revising history.  His testimony brought about a flood of disclosures from Iraq from everything about spies to inaccurate former disclosures to destruction sites.  Ekeus and Blix both vouched for the guy's credibility.  Hell, even Ritter did.  And UNSCOM used his defection as a demarcation line in the inspections regime:

...Commission's disarmament work must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. General Hussein Kamal.

And the notes don't say "required an Egyptian scientist" they say "worked with" on mustard gas, then sarin, then VX, then binary.

Strange, googling both "stabilized VX" and "unstabilized VX" turns up quite a bit.  And since the question was put by the head of UNSCOM and apparently no explanation was required for Kamel I'm going to go ahead and assume that both know more than you.

And that one binary sarin shell found in Iraq dated from the late 80's.  So I don't think anyone questions whether they succeeded at weaponizing binary agents.

Are techniques for large-scale mustard production widely known? I'd think that might require industrial expertise.

This UNSCOM factsheet says that the Iraqis had problems with impurities in their organophosphates, which apparently catalyzed decomposition, and they developed binary storage to work around this. (It was a pretty crude binary system—IIRC, some lucky person suited up, poured the second component into the shell, and capped it quickly—so it probably made it less safe, if anything. I realize that sophisticated binary designs elsewhere have usually been aimed at safe handling.)

The business about Austria sounded like complete nutjobbery to me, too, but surprisingly enough, I found this report, which mentions that "In February 1976, police in Vienna and Berlin arrested members of a gang involved in the manufacture of nerve gas. A quantity of the toxin was seized. According to various reports, the gang was attempting to sell the gas to bank robbers or terrorists." It looks like the substance was diisopropyl fluorophosphate, not VX, but the accounts seem rather at variance, so I don't think it's crazy that Gen. Kamel would have said this. (And it did seem bizarre until I found this.)

pedophile or not, Scott Ritter was right about the WMDs, everybody else was wrong.

I should have researched further last night on what he meant when he said "binary".  As a chemist who worked on these issues from the environmental and safety end of business, it was inconceivable to me that people would be completing the final reaction inside the shells as they filled them.

As for industrial production of mustard gas.  It is not a very complicated chemical or process.  I would think that any Chemical Engineer could design a plant to produce it.

    Agent of Saddam Hussein or not... Scott Ritter was right

Science often produces disturbing results. Here we have evidence that only a paid salesman can be trusted to tell us the truth. Stop here if you must; I shall continue my quest.

I am pleased to report that, as expected, Rep. John Conyers (D-Alpha Centauri) has boarded the impeachment train. Here is his tip line.

 Were his WMD capabilities enhanced or degraded since the application of sanctions?

 These are the questions. They have been answered. You may not like the answers, because they do not match the rationale given for the beginning of this invasion, but that's not the data's fault.

    the rationale given for the beginning of this invasion,

This is becoming tiresome, and you are becoming a troll. Your repeated assertion that the presence of WMDs in Iraq was the rationale, or even the main rationale, for using force against Iraq is demonstrably false.

I refer you to the Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. You may read it in its entirety here.

This document has no fewer than 23 "Whereas" clauses delineating the reasons for using force against Iraq. WMDs certainly appear among the Whereases, and are the main feature of about four of them. But many other reasons are cited, and given no less prominence.

Please cease reciting your demonstrably false talking point.

From a British perspective, I am pleased that there was a memo at all! Blair is notorious for having informal meetings of key advisers in which no notes or minutes are ever taken - he just makes decisions and goes from there.

Also, re an impeachment process, this memo receieved much less attention in the UK than the Attorney General's memo which was leaked just before the election. That suggested the war may have been illegal, but the the AG changed his mind; otherwise, this would have been a resignation issue for Blair. But this memo, although by all accounts accurate, seems to be of little threat to Blair's position as Prime Minister.

jsteele said:

Let the cames [sic] begin, the country can handle another 50 years of a marginalized Democratic Party --- the Republic will survive --- and prosper.

Democrats have actually held the majority of power in the last 50 years. They have won on civil rights (are you against that?), women's rights, consumer rights, decentralization of monopoly power, violations of environmental laws, even for the most part have remained powerful on civic welfare.  As much as the right chips away, they are chipping away at a Democratic system that has remained predominant since he New Deal... It's not the other way around... It's our system you are trying to destroy.  Democratic ideals still hold power, and Bush's attempt to destroy (yes, destroy) Social Security, is failing. You, for some bizarre reason (you hate poor people, gays and blacks? sorry, but that's what it seems like when you fight Dem ideals... I welcome you to argue that's not what it is.) keep trying to attack these policies.

...all you have done is to strip power from legislatures and hand it to courts. You all have become rather authoritarian in a smarmy, self-righteous way.

I guess with all the recent excitement about the filibuster and good ol' Robert C. "Memorial" Byrd, "Conscience of the Senate," he forgot that the Democrats lost the attempt to block the 1964 Civil Rights Act by filibuster. Or do you suppose he was thinking of something else?

The so-called Downing Street "Memo" is deconstructed @ NRO today.

A sample:

Ralph Nader is calling for impeachment (again), and John Kerry has vowed to bring the matter to the Senate floor. Of course, the memo simply contains the impressions of an aide of the impressions of British-cabinet officials of the impressions of unnamed people they spoke to in the United States about what they thought the president was thinking. It is sad when hearsay thrice-removed raises this kind of ruckus, especially since a version had been reported three years ago. As smoking guns go, it is not high caliber.

Impeachment?  Bring it on!

Unless you don't believe the U.S. should honor its international treaties, in which case the point is moot.

Precisely which "international treaties" did we not honor by invading Iraq?

Does the fact the Iraq was, almost before the ink was dry on the agreement, in material breach of the cease-fire agreement that ended hostilities in 1991 not matter at all?

So, being that a suitcase full of anthrax could wipe out thousands of people (with US citizens and interests being the most logical target of such an attack), it seems by your logic that the existence of nearly any quantity of WMD - known (incorrectly, it turns out) by nearly everyone to exist in Iraq at the time the "memo" was written - could be considered a threat.  As such, the tie to the memo is as flimsy as the content of the memo itself - awful thin brew with which to have supposedly serious people calling for impeachment.

 of the 23 listed, the phrase 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' are listed in nine, not four. Furthermore, several of the whereases are not relevant to anything, such as the one stating that there are members of Al-Qaeda there. They were in the Kurdish controlled zone for one, and for two many of our 'coalition' had Al-Qaeda in their borders, and we did not threaten to invade them.

 Your arguments are watery. Come back when you have something.

I'm willing to admit Bush and company exaggerated Saddam's threat, but whatever the REAL reasons for going to war were, I think it's likely they had a good reason for not telling us.

What I CAN'T understand is why they refused to pay attention to all the people who were telling them what kind of a situation they were getting into.  With more men, a better plan and greater sensitivity to the needs of the Iraqis themselves, we might have avoided this quagmire (which Dick Cheney himself warned of as Sec of Def in explaining why we didn't push on to Baghdad in '91).

Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune about the failure of the Pentagon to heed calls for basic changes in our military machine to meet the realities of modern warfare, in Iraq or anywhere else: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0506060166jun06,1,185106
6.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Sure, there was just the one shell.  But unless you think that Saddam decided 'let's just make one of these', and that one just happened to get confused with a conventional shell and used in an IED, then even you have to admit that there have to be more of them somewhere.  WMDs are like cockroaches and ants: if you can find one, there are a lot more around somewhere nearby.

And as for the second example, if you can read that and try to say with a straight face that it doesn't scream 'chemical weapons ammo dump', then I think you have a fine career ahead of you as either an actor, a lawyer, or a politician.

So, you're trying to tell me with a straight face that Saddam, once he had the technology to make a shell like that, would have only made the one, and not hundreds or thousands of 'em.

As I said on up the thread, WMDs are like cockroaches and ants.  When you find one, there are sure to be others.

And I believe that prevention of weapons of that type from falling into the wrong hands and being detonated in US cities is more than enough justification for war.  That to my mind is 'doing the right thing for the right reasons'.  You can believe whatever you want, I don't care.

To me, the Downing Street memo simply shows that liberals don't know how to read the Queen's English, and are busily engaged in trying to make a mountain out of an anthill.

bomb was left over from the stock piles of chemical weapons Saddam had prior to the 1991 gulf war.  Those stockpiles were destroyed.  This one got left behind, are there others?  Possibly.  Are there stockpiles of them?  Let us hope that there are not because look whose hands this one fell  into as the result of our good intentioned "invasion to prevent WMD from falling into the wrong hands".

And by Finrod

The 17th resolution promised 'serious consequences' if Saddam did not abide by the security council's resolutions.

The US brought those consequences to pass.  Period.

You seem to be under the misconception that the US needs approval of the security council to act.  They provided the framework, the US took it from there.  The only reason an 18th resolution was attempted was to try to make it easier to accumulate allies.

If you want to actually prove that the US violated anything, it might help if you cite chapter and verse where the violation occurred.  To date, you haven't.  All you have is bloviating, like usual.

In the link, they conclusively determine that it could have not been left over, because the ones Saddam had prior to 1991, the two-part chemical had to be mixed externally by hand (the Iraqi army equivalent of KP duty).  In this shell, the two parts were sealed inside and were mixed by the rotating motion of the shell when fired.

Next argument?

http://www.overpressure.com/archives/week_2004_05_16.html#000819

The one that agrees that this shell probably comes from an old binary program in existence prior to 1991?

I suggest you read this link:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0521/p09s01-coop.html

mentioned in your link.

Obviously if this shell were evidence of a renewed WMD program in Iraq the administration would be shouting it from the roof-tops, or at least the sunday talk shows.  They aren't.  It isn't.

Any real evidence?

Quoting directly from the link, down a bit:

Could this be an Iranian dud from the Iran-Iraq War?

According to this source, Iran did use chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War. However, they are not suspected of production of G-nerve agent (sarin or tabun) until 1993, and not suspected of binary chemical capability until 1995.

So this is definitely not an Iranian dud. It has to be a post Iran-Iraq War, post Desert Storm product.

It references this link from nti.org (cochaired by Ted Turner, so you know they're not looking to do Bush any favors) which puts the earliest that this kind of shell could have been made in Iraq in the 1993-1995 range.  In other words, not from before 1991.

Your link is from Scott Ritter, and given his political inclinations (not to mention indirect ties to oil-for-food), I wouldn't trust directions to the nearest McDonald's from him.

Hm, I seem to have confused Iran and Iraq in my previous post.  The logic still stands, however, and Scott Ritter is still full of more spin than a pulsar.

Actually, to qualify myself a little, I think Iraq did go on to develop more or less "proper" binary devices. I think their rockets were mix-in-flight, and IIRC, part of the hubbub when that sarin-containing shell was found in an IED was that it was also mix-in-flight, whereas according to the UNSCOM final declaration (?) they only had the dump-and-cap type I described. (And how my skin crawls thinking about that procedure.)

I guess you're probably right about the mustard gas; I suppose in retrospect it isn't really any harder to handle than many other industrial chemicals, organophosphates being another level of nasty.

(Six Degrees of Separation: I got to tour part of Chambers Works a number of years ago. Pretty impressive for guys like me who think half a kilogram is "large scale".)

The quote you cite is from earlier on.  The blogger you cite later learned that there was a declared binary sarin weapon system developed in the 80s in Iraq.  It is referenced in UNMOVIC documents and they found evidence of these binary shells fired at test ranges during UN weapons inspections.

You dont like scott ritner, fine, I dont like ted turner.  Go to the UNMOVIC documents.

Iraq has declared that it carried out experiments on true binary weapons systems using artillery

shells and rockets between 1983 and 1990. These binary weapons systems involved the

precursors MPF and alcohol being kept separate in the munition. The physical forces associated

with the firing of the weapon cause the precursors to mix and react with one another during

flight. This work was carried out at Muthana State Establishment (MSE) and the Technical

Research Centre (TRC). Iraq further declared that, while in 1989 and 1990 it had obtained some

encouraging results, they were not reliable enough to warrant a move to the production stage.

Iraq has provided documentary evidence that details the successful testing of a binary munition

for Sarin in 1989, in a report of the TRC "On the progress of research into Binary Chemical

Weapons", in conjunction with MSE.

http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/documents/cluster6mar.pdf

If you continue to persist that their is evidence of WMD in Iraq I will just let you go ahead.  I make it a point not to argue with people about "matters of faith" in which logic, reason, and evidence play little role in shaping people's beliefs.

IF Bush like about the war

THEN he should be impeached

ELSE . . . what?

What happens if Bush DID lie about the war and he does not get impeached?  Would you be okay with that?  If the non-WMD reasons justified the war in and of themselves, Iraq turns out wonderfully, and world peace ensues, would just the fact that he lied to get us to that point be forgiven?

My instincts tell me that the Right feels that would be just fine.  The ends justify the means, right?  This, however, is the philosophy of fascism in a nutshell.  

Anyone who has even a shred of moral fiber knows that a leader that lies is an evil leader, and is one that is not fit to lead the country -- it doesn't matter if it was for good or bad intentions, either.  Lying is not like keeping secrets from the public; it displays a complete disregard for our way of life as a democracy: the leader is accountable to the led, and honesty is the foundation of that relationship.  I don't know if Clinton necessarily should have been impeached for lying about his history of sexual deviance in the workplace (ya think?  It doesn't matter to me that Monica consented, a boss doesn't do that), but he was lying to the public, and I suppose he got what he deserved (which doesn't let the opportunistic GOP off the hook, by the way).

So let's scale up "what Clinton did" and follow through with this.  Don't think that the "American Public" is behind Bush on this, because a full HALF the population has a visceral reaction of disgust toward the man, as displayed on Nov. 2, 2004.  No "war president" can squeak by like that with any dignity, and his falling approval ratings ratify the deal: most Americans do not think Bush should be president anymore.  But Congress doesn't reflect the public on this note, so I don't see anything happening other than a few Democrats trying to make an honest showing of themselves on the topic -- at least until we get the legislature back next year.

On a less important note, it would also make our country safer if we did impeach Bush; remember, outside of the United States it is pretty much universally understood that Bush lied about the war, so our ditching him would show the world that we mean what we say about democracy working.  But this issue of security is not so relevant as the moral issues concerened, which dwarf mere issues of national security.  After all, all the security in the world is worthless if we are not free, and we are not free if we have a leader who is willing to lie to us about war.

Video from 2001 of Colin Powell and Condi Rice talking about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.  Is it really likely the intelligence picture changed so dramatically in the course of a year?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6456.htm

(You've got to love the sarcastic voice-over by the British commentator doing the report, though -- the clips speak for themselves, but objective journalism this ain't.)

A couple of other 2001 quotes:

On 24 February 2001 during Powell's visit to Cairo, Egypt he said, "...the fact that the sanctions exist, for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq..."

Condi Rice said On 29 July 2001, on CNN Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer, when guest host John King asked her about the sanctions against Iraq, "But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

You believe the UN and Iraq.  I believe my government.  You believe Iraq's claim that they never started producing these kinds of weapons, despite the fact that a working one was found on the field of battle.

You're right that it's a matter of faith.  You're taking on faith that Iraq is telling the truth, despite them rarely telling the truth on anything.  Logic, reason, and evidence doesn't have a thing to do with it.

The roles of the dems and republicans changed over time, but critically so around 1960.  Republicans used to win in the north, and dems in the south.  Now its the other way around.

This role-switching ties into fight for civil rights just as you'd expect.

A look at the electoral map from 1860 (civil war era) and 2004 is striking.  Dems and republicans switched roles in the 100 years after the civil war.

As a brief history review:

Republicans opposed the enslavement of blacks, and even went to war to defend their right to freedom.

Republicans in higher percentages voted for the civil rights acts in the 1960s.

Democrat governors across the South called in state militias to oppose forced integration and busing.

Republicans opposed the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. day on the basis that there were already enough friggin' federal holidays.

So, I can see how you, as an objective and thoughtful observer, think that we're the anti-civil rights party.

Thank you for trolling with us today.

...just a bit conservative on the issue.

Your arguments are all consistent with the premise that the 1960's were the era where the main 'switch' happened.   There were holdovers from both sides in the 1960s.  There were still dems holding on to the past, and still republicans looking to the future civil-rightswise.  And visa-versa.  It took a while for everyone to catch on to the new direction that each party headed.

Here's the 1860 electoral map:  Dems win the south.  Republicans win the north.

http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail189.html

Here's 1960, the last election where the dems won the south.  From here on out, the south is all republican territory (for national elections).

http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail433.html

Here's 2004:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:United_States_Elections_2004_Electoral_C
ollege_map.png

You can argue party philosophy, but electoral history is pretty set-in-stone.  For whatever reason(s), the two parties switched roles over the past 100-140 years.  Either that or we have to believe that dozens of the original states changed socio-political philosophy very uniformly along north-south boundaries.  

 
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