Posted by Charity on January 30th, 2009

From the Anchoress, who is a brilliant blogger, by the way, and humble about it, which makes her all the more a pleasure to read.

We’ve watched the press pretend to beat their breasts for “not asking the tough questions of Bush” in the time leading up to the invasion of Iraq. That’s a distortion; they asked plenty of questions and made plenty of noise, and in the “rush to war” – which took so long any nation could have spirited their weapons somewhere else – the administration went to the UN twice, and the Democrat leadership, from Bill Clinton on down re-iterated what they’d said since 1998: Saddam had WMD, and in the face of 9/11, he could not be allowed to keep them.

You don’t have to agree with the invasion of Iraq or the reasoning behind it, but the constant revision of history that has become commonly accepted is a bit irritating.  It never ceases to amaze me that people can forget what actually happened just 6 years ago.

The link between Iraq and 9/11 was not that Iraq was involved in 9/11, but that in the aftermath of that terrorist attack, we needed to be proactive against our enemies.

Gee, for a party that prides itself on nuance, that finer point was sure lost in translation.

And now we’re stuck with the bumper sticker mentality that Bush lied, forgetting, of course, that the previous administration supported everything that President Bush thought about the potential threat of Iraq.  (Lots of Democratic quotes on the matter in the link contained in the block quote above.)

15 Responses to “A Brief History Refresher, For Those Who Have Forgotten”

  1. “they asked plenty of questions and made plenty of noise”

    No, they really didn’t. They were too busy coming up with silly phrases to show on TV…like “Showdown with Iraq” and whatnot.

    “which took so long any nation could have spirited their weapons somewhere else”

    That would require that they had those weapons in the first place, which they didn’t…just like plenty of people outside of the media circus said at the time.

    “and the Democrat leadership, from Bill Clinton on down re-iterated what they’d said since 1998: Saddam had WMD”

    Can you say they were lied to?? I can…

    Talk about revising history!

    “The link between Iraq and 9/11 was not that Iraq was involved in 9/11″

    …even thought the Bush Regime kept mentioning them in the same sentences over & over again at the time.

    Iraq was not our “enemy”…the Taliban & Al-Qaeda were, and we dropped the ball big-time by invading Iraq instead of dealing with them in Afghanistan & Pakistan once and for all.

    What a “surprise” that Charles Krauthammer & Peggy Noonan get it all wrong, again.

  2. “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” (October 7,2002)

    “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” (Jan 28, 2003)

    There were lies, Charity.

  3. “The link between Iraq and 9/11 was not that Iraq was involved in 9/11, but that in the aftermath of that terrorist attack, we needed to be proactive against our enemies.”

    Oh, gee, that’s funny. True as it may be, it was sold using the first part of that sentence, without the “not”.

    It’s gonna be a long 8 years for you people.

  4. Mister Guy

    Can you say they were lied to?? I can…

    But doesn’t that undercut the whole “Bush lied” meme? I mean who did the lying to Clinton? Clearly not Bush. Which means, at best, Bush was lied to. No?

    Haik Bedrosian

    I guess you didn’t hear that despite what he wrote in the NY Times, Ambassador Wilson did in fact find evidence that Saddam’s crew negotiated with Nigeria to buy “yellow cake” uranium. I’m wondering what they wanted it for? Hmmm. Maybe Uday’s birthday.

    JD Ryan

    It’s gonna be a long 8 years for you people.

    You’re being optimistic, but even if your assumption is correct, I think it may be a longer 8 years foryoupeople.

  5. I guess you didn’t hear that despite what he wrote in the NY Times, Ambassador Wilson did in fact find evidence that Saddam’s crew negotiated with Nigeria to buy “yellow cake” uranium. I’m wondering what they wanted it for? Hmmm. Maybe Uday’s birthday.

    First, no I didn’t hear that. Would you care to cite your source? Second, it doesn’t matter. Bush Didn’t say “Wilson has learned…” He said “the British Government has learned…” and that statement was false.

    Bush then went on to commit the crime of deliberately blowing Wilson’s wife’s cover.

    Bush lied us into the war in Iraq. That is a fact. It’s the most traitorous thing a president can do.

  6. Haik

    Bush Didn’t say “Wilson has learned…” He said “the British Government has learned…” and that statement was false.

    Well, it wasn’t actually a lie. He was referring to a document obtained by British intelligence that purported to show that Saddam had purchased Yellow Cake from Nigeria. It turned out this document was forged by two employees of the Nigerian Embassy in Rome.

    Bush then went on to commit the crime of deliberately blowing Wilson’s wife’s cover.

    Bush did no such thing. I guess you didn’t hear that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who inadvertently dropped the name to Robert Novak.

    Even knowing the name of the leaker, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald did not prosecute him for revealing the identity of a CIA operative because there was no evidence he did so with the intention of revealing the identity of an undercover operative.

    This is because a) he didn’t know and b) she wasn’t a covert operative at the time.

    And there was certainly no evidence that he did so under orders from anyone in the Bush Administration.

    Bush lied us into the war in Iraq. That is a fact.

    Given your track record, I would say you need to question the facts you think you know.

  7. Well, it wasn’t actually a lie. He was referring to a document obtained by British intelligence that purported to show that Saddam had purchased Yellow Cake from Nigeria.

    And the document was an obvious fake, which the CIA was aware of before the speech. It was a lie.

    Bush did no such thing. I guess you didn’t hear that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who inadvertently dropped the name to Robert Novak.

    I believe Scott McCLellan when he says Bush told him personally that he himself gave the authorization to leak Plame’s name.

    Given your track record, I would say you need to question the facts you think you know.

    My track record is fine. Bush lied is into the war in Iraq. But at least he didn’t keep the heat in the oval office too high.

  8. Haik

    And the document was an obvious fake, which the CIA was aware of before the speech.

    That would be George Tenet (who was also CIA chief under President Clinton) who reviewed the speech for accuracy? Well what did he have to say on the matter (source New York Times 12 July 2003?

    Legitimate questions have arisen about how remarks on alleged Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa made it into the president’s State of the Union speech. Let me be clear about several things right up front. First, C.I.A. approved the president’s State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president.

    Oh, and while we’re here, I note that he mentions Wilson, though not by name

    In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, C.I.A.’s counterproliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn.

    He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales.

    And the “counterproliferation expert” who recommended Wilson was none other than Valerie Plame.

    Moving on

    I believe Scott McCLellan when he says Bush told him personally that he himself gave the authorization to leak Plame’s name.

    Now that’s funny because I distinctly remember McClellan testify before Congress and say he didn’t think the President knew. Am I wrong?

    Well, no I’m not

    Asked early on in the hearing about President Bush’s involvement in the Plame leak, McClellan said, “I do not think the president in any way had knowledge of it.”

    For the record, he made that statement under oath, to Congress, in July of 2008.

  9. None of this proves anything. Tenet’s the fall guy. Of course he said the lie was his fault, not Bush’s.

    And that quote that supposedly references Plame- who cares? That has nothing to do with anything.

    And so McClellan said Bush didn’t have knowledge of the leak itself. That doesn’t mean Bush didn’t authorize the leak. The two statements aren’t mutually exclusive.

    So what’s the bottom line here, Frank? Are you trying to say Bush did not lie us into war in Iraq? Really? That’s your position?

  10. Haik

    So what’s the bottom line here, Frank?

    The bottom line is that it appears to me you are a True Believer.

    Any evidence presented that is contrary to your beliefs gets papered over. You don’t need evidence and evidence doesn’t convince you.

    Are you trying to say Bush did not lie us into war in Iraq

    No. I’m saying that there is no evidence to support the assertion that he lied us into War. Even Woodward’s books don’t suggest such a thing.

    You believe he lied us into to war because that is what you choose to believe. It’s religion, not science.

    And that’s fine. You can believe what you want. You can choose to have as little or as much evidence to support your belief system as you want. That’s up to you.

    But don’t say that you have proof for your beliefs, because you don’t.

    And that’s because none exists.

    Tenet may be the fall guy. But if he is, he’s the fall guy for Clinton as well as Bush. Both Presidents signed Congressional resolutions for regime change in Iraq for the very same reasons.

    Only Bush acted. Clinton didn’t.

    As a result, Bush freed millions of people from a murderous dictator and Clinton didn’t.

    Bush gave the chance for Democracy to a once oppressed people and Clinton didn’t.

    Not saying Clinton was wrong or that Bush was right in what they did.

    But to say that Clinton, via Tenet, wasn’t saying the exact same things as Bush regarding WMDs is not accurate. That goes for the overwhelming majority in Congress as well. The fact that they took it back later doesn’t mean anything.

    Because once you pull the trigger, there is no taking it back. You just have to live with the consequences.

  11. I believe Bush lied us into war. Do you agree or disagree with my belief?

  12. I believe Bush lied us into war. Do you agree or disagree with my belief?

    My belief is that he did not lie.

    If there was evidence to the contrary, however, I would change my mind. But no such evidence has been presented this far.

  13. “I mean who did the lying to Clinton? Clearly not Bush. Which means, at best, Bush was lied to. No?”

    What you are intentionally confusing is the fact that the U.N. located & destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMD throughout the early to mid-1990s. The USA withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998 because they had basically run out of things to do, and they were caught trying to spy on Saddam (I believe Scott Ritter on this…he was there). There was a lot of hot air being spewed in the late 1990s about Iraq from the USA due to this “embarrassment”.

    Further inspections by the U.N. from November 2002 until March 2003 didn’t turn up any evidence of actual WMDs in Iraq…because there were none left to be found.

    The Center for Public Integrity has asserted that the Bush Regime made a total of 935 false statements between 2001 and 2003 about Iraq’s alleged “threat” to the USA. Most weapons inspectors now believe that Iraq’s chemical weapons program ceased production after 1991. You either use chemical & biological weapons are you lose them. They have a shelf life…just like milk does. Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of five years, VX lasts a bit longer, and botulinum toxin & liquid anthrax last only about three years.

    In June, 1999, Ritter responded to an interviewer, saying: “When you ask the question, ‘Does Iraq possess militarily viable biological or chemical weapons?’ the answer is no! It is a resounding NO. Can Iraq produce today chemical weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Can Iraq produce biological weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Ballistic missiles? No! It is ‘no’ across the board. So from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has been disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction capability.”

    In January 2003, U.N. weapons inspectors reported that they had found NO indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program, period.

    “I guess you didn’t hear that despite what he wrote in the NY Times, Ambassador Wilson did in fact find evidence that Saddam’s crew negotiated with Nigeria to buy ‘yellow cake’ uranium.”

    No, he really DIDN’T find anything like that.

    “He was referring to a document obtained by British intelligence that purported to show that Saddam had purchased Yellow Cake from Nigeria. It turned out this document was forged by two employees of the Nigerian Embassy in Rome”

    …and U.S. officials knew that at the time and tried to have that wording taken out of Bush’s State of the Union speech several times!

    “That would be George Tenet (who was also CIA chief under President Clinton) who reviewed the speech for accuracy?”

    No, it was not that idiot Tenet…who should have been fired after 9/11 IMO.

    “Both Presidents signed Congressional resolutions for regime change in Iraq for the very same reasons.”

    Nonsense.

    “As a result, Bush freed millions of people from a murderous dictator”

    …and invaded a country for no good reason that ended up with roughly a million of the people in that country losing their lives…for no good reason.

  14. Mister Guy

    I’m glad you brought up Scott Ritter. And I think you have your dates wrong. For instance you say.

    In June, 1999, Ritter responded to an interviewer, saying: “When you ask the question, ‘Does Iraq possess militarily viable biological or chemical weapons?’ the answer is no! It is a resounding NO. Can Iraq produce today chemical weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Can Iraq produce biological weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Ballistic missiles? No! It is ‘no’ across the board. So from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has been disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction capability.”

    But in Sept of 1998

    several days after his resignation, Ritter testified before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and said that he resigned his position “out of frustration that the United Nations Security Council, and .”

    and in 1999

    Ritter wrote Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem – Once and For All in which he reiterated his claim that Iraq had obstructed the work of inspectors and attempted to hide and preserve essential elements for restarting WMD programs at a later date….In the book’s conclusion, Ritter criticized the current U.S. policy of containment in the absence of inspections as inadequate to prevent Iraq’s re-acquisition of WMD’s in the long term.

    Clearly during the runup to the war, a strict inspection regime was attempted by the Bush Administration through the UN most notably via Security Council Resolution 1441.

    The results of these inspections were mixed, with the inspectors discovering no WMD programs but concluding that Iraqi declarations failed to prove that all such weapons had been properly destroyed.

    It is clear that Iraq was acting as if it had something to hide.

    And October 2002 letter from the CIA to the Senate clearly indicated that they thought he had and would use chemical and biological weapons if attacked.

    Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or C.B.W. chemical and biological weapons against the United States.

    Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions. Such terrorism might involve conventional means, as with Iraq’s unsuccessful attempt at a terrorist offensive in 1991, or C.B.W.

    Saddam might decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamist terrorists in conducting a W.M.D. attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.

    Then of course there is the conversation related by Bob Woodward

    “George, how confident are you?” the president asked Tenet, in an exchange depicted in Bob Woodward’s book “Plan of Attack.”

    “Don’t worry, it’s a slam-dunk,” Tenet said.

    You can say what you want and think what you want, but it is pretty clear from the evidence that Bush did indeed think that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons and that he was threat to the US.

    And after 9/11/2001, he wasn’t going to take any chances.

    You can disagree with his decision. But there is no evidence to say he lied.

  15. “And I think you have your dates wrong.”

    No, I really don’t, and I’ve seen Ritter speak in person in VT twice. His basic message is pretty clear…Iraq posed no significant threat to anyone, and this is a message delivered by an ex-Marine, not some Left-wing “looney”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I....._1998-2002

    “It is clear that Iraq was acting as if it had something to hide.”

    LOL…they declared that they had no WMD, and, in fact, they had no WMD. Saddam wasn’t even a threat to roughly two-thirds of his own country, which was protected by “no-fly” zones.

    “And October 2002 letter from the CIA to the Senate clearly indicated that they thought he had and would use chemical and biological weapons if attacked.”

    You’re really funny Frank…you act as if the CIA speaks with one, lone voice. There were MANY in the CIA (as well as former CIA analyists) that were speaking the truth about Iraq at the time…Iraq posed no threat to anyone and they had NO links to Al-Qaeda, period.

    Let me say this again for the apparent reading imparied, in 1991, Iraq had WMDs…after the first war and the subsequent U.N. inspection program, Iraq had NO WMDs. Specifically speaking, any chemical weapons that were “leftover” from the 1991 timeframe were totally inert by the 2002-2003 timeframe. Some of these inert former-chemical artillery shells were even found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but they posed NO WMD threat to anyone…because they were inert!

    As far as the “slam dunk” quote, I will direct you here:

    “Tenet: Bush administration twisted ’slam dunk’ quote”
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/w.....view_N.htm

    “But there is no evidence to say he lied”

    …to those that are clearly blinded by their partisan “beliefs”…what a joke…