Is all the Sea obedient to you?

BudFieldsand family .jpg
A Photo Essay on the Great Depression, the thumbnail is Bud Fields and his family. Alabama. 1935 or 1936. Photographer: Walker Evans

I'm surprised, but I'm not that some Bush supporters are still using the "UN" argument to justify invading Iraq. We know from various sources including three Bitish memos that the UN was just a prop in a play. It didn't work out completely like Bush wanted it to since ultimately Iraq allowed inspectors in, but since Saddam didn't shower the inspectors with roses and kisses Bush decided that Saddam wasn't being cooperative enough and kicked them out.

“A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law Officers advice, none currently exists.”

“The NSC (National Security Council) had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record.”

And someone at the Whitehouse was reading too many bad political thrillers, Bush 'plotted to lure Saddam into war with fake UN plane'

The two leaders were worried by the lack of hard evidence that Saddam Hussein had broken UN resolutions, though privately they were convinced that he had. According to the memorandum, Mr Bush said: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

The Evelyn Draper.. I mean the Michelle Malkin school of Death Threats has done its daily dirty deed dirt cheap. More here.

For those that have not sent in for your secret decoder ring, when conservatives say they are pro U.S. military what they really mean is that they are pro military as long as you tow the ideological line. It doesn't matter if you're a seaman second class, a master sargeant, or a general utter one word that deviates from the Annals of Wingnuttia and you will incur the rath of the Swiftboat, Right Wing Swiftboats Generals Who Called on Rumsfeld to Resign

I wonder if Deborah Howell and her little wing of the WaPo has read Faust, Post ombudsman defended editorial's falsehoods as a difference in "views"

State Department Memo: '16 Words' Were False

Eleven days before President Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address in which he said that the US learned from British intelligence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Africa – an explosive claim that helped pave the way to war – the State Department told the CIA that the intelligence the uranium claims were based upon were forgeries, according to a newly declassified State Department memo.

The revelation of the warning from the closely guarded State Department memo is the first piece of hard evidence and the strongest to date that the Bush administration manipulated and ignored intelligence information in their zeal to win public support for invading Iraq.

On January 12, 2003, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) "expressed concerns to the CIA that the documents pertaining to the Iraq-Niger deal were forgeries," the memo dated July 7, 2003, says.

Moreover, the memo says that the State Department's doubts about the veracity of the uranium claims may have been expressed to the intelligence community even earlier.

Those concerns, according to the memo, are the reasons that former Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to cite the uranium claims when he appeared before the United Nations in February 5, 2003, – one week after Bush's State of the Union address – to try and win support for a possible strike against Iraq.

"After considerable back and forth between the CIA, the (State) Department, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association), and the British, Secretary Powell's briefing to the U.N. Security Council did not mention attempted Iraqi procurement of uranium due to CIA concerns raised during the coordination regarding the veracity of the information on the alleged Iraq-Niger agreement," the memo further states.

Iraq's interest in the yellowcake caught the attention of Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Association. ElBaradei had read a copy of the National Intelligence Estimate and had personally contacted the State Department and the National Security Council in hopes of obtaining evidence so his agency could look into it.

ElBaradei sent a letter to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) in December 2002, warning senior officials he thought the documents were forgeries and should not be cited by the administration as evidence that Iraq was actively trying to obtain WMDs.

ElBaradei said he never received a written response to his letter, despite repeated follow-up calls he made to the White House, the NSC and the State Department.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who made the rounds on the cable news shows that month, tried to discredit ElBaradei's conclusion that the documents were forged.

"I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong," Cheney said. "[The IAEA] has consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past."

As it turns out, ElBaradei was correct, the declassified State Department memo now shows.

For those that are losing track because of the flood of details, here's a good round up of all the events that lead up to the 16 words ( which Christopher Hitchens and fans refuse to read for fear their pointed heads burst), Uranium from Africa and the Valerie Plame expose (Treasongate): A Synopsis

'Is all the Sea obedient to you?'

'No,' said the Man. 'Once a day and once a night the Sea runs up the Perak river and drives the sweet-water back into the forest, so that my house is made wet; once a day and once a night it runs down the river and draws all the water after it, so that there is nothing left but mud, and my canoe is upset. Is that the play you told it to play?'

from the story The Crab that Played with the Sea by Rudyard Kipling