The Myth That Bush Tried to Avoid War Takes Another Hit

U.S. Pushed Allies on Iraq, Diplomat Writes

UNITED NATIONS — In the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threatened trade reprisals against friendly countries who withheld their support, spied on its allies, and pressed for the recall of U.N. envoys that resisted U.S. pressure to endorse the war, according to an upcoming book by a top Chilean diplomat.

The rough-and-tumble diplomatic strategy has generated lasting “bitterness” and “deep mistrust” in Washington’s relations with allies in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, Heraldo Munoz, Chile’s ambassador to the United Nations, writes in his book “A Solitary War: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of the Iraq War and Its Lessons,” set for publication next month.

“In the aftermath of the invasion, allies loyal to the United States were rejected, mocked and even punished” for their refusal to back a U.N. resolution authorizing military action against Saddam Hussein’s government, Munoz writes.

The evidence that Bush was lying when he said on 3/08/03, “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq”  just keeps piling up. What he was actually doing was preparing for the occupation of Iraq regardless and was all too willing to act like a weasel to get as many nations as possible to surrender their sovereign conscience to the U.S. Obviously a tactic we Americans would resent were the tables turned. As early as 2002 Bush knew that Iraq’s WMD were more myth then reality, Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction

On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam’s inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.

That NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) was supposed to according to CIA policy, a non-political document. In fact it did not suggest any political or military actions per se, but because it lacked any input from those that dissent from the views that the Whitehouse wanted to hear it ended up being one of the most politically partisan documents of our time. It wasn’t a national security document as much as justification for shoving a partisan political agenda down America’s throat in the name of boogie man politics. Were there any footnotes in the Iraq NIE?

In one, the State Department’s INR bureau dissented from the intelligence community’s majority view that Baghdad was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, saying there was not enough evidence to reach that conclusion. In particular, it raised doubts about whether a large shipment of aluminum tubes sought by Iraq was intended for centrifuges to enrich nuclear fuel, as asserted by other agencies. In another footnote, the U.S. Air Force’s director for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance questioned whether the unmanned aerial vehicles being developed by Iraq were “probably” intended to deliver biological agents. Instead, he said that would be an unlikely mission for such aircraft. This footnote was left out of the declassified version.

[ ]…some Senate Democrats say there was pressure. John D. Rockefeller (W. Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, said July 9 that while policy-makers did not appear to have directly intervened in the NIE writing process, the NIE was assembled in a general “environment of intense pressure” that encouraged caveat-free assertions about Iraq’s WMD. By October 2002, when the NIE was released, “the most senior officials in the Bush administration had already forcefully and repeatedly stated their conclusions [that Iraq had WMD] publicly,” Rockefeller said. In August 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, said, “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

“No doubt”? UNMOVIC and the IAEA – accurately assessed the state of Iraq’s weapons programmes in 2002-2003

IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei told the United Nations in March 2003 that his teams did not find evidence that Iraq had resumed nuclear activity or attempted to import uranium or centrifuge parts, and that in general Iraq’s nuclear infrastructure had deteriorated. Kay’s latest statements confirm the IAEA’s assessment. UN inspections and sanctions, together with US airstrikes, had effectively destroyed most of Iraq’s programmes after 1991. In addition, UN inspectors appear to have provided the bulk of US on-the-ground intelligence prior to 1998.

You still see this in forums across the net, Bush relied on the same intelligence that Bill Clinton did. This claim is always made with out the slightest bit of embarrassment by the commenter. Partly true, Bush issued to the public, in the form of the unclassified summary of the NIE stale leftover intelligence from prior to 1998 to make his case for putting our troops in the line of fire in 2003. So much for Republicans as the Grand Mullahs of National Security. The administration made the claim, successfully linked in the publics mind to this day that Saddam was going to had off nukes or sarin filled missiles to terrorists groups, yet never produced – let me repeat that – never produced any intelligence to back up that egregiously wild claim.

I was a John Edwards supporter, but have since tried to stay out of the fray. There are several posts in which I’ve defended Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama against unfair attacks, but that is not the same as an endorsement. It is disheartening to see some of the back and forth between Clinton and Obama supporters. Especially the crazy declaration that if HC or BO doesn’t win the nomination they’re voting for McCain. Josh Marshall sums things up as regards that attitude very well, Goodbye, Cruel Ballot Box

Clearly though there are some people who really do mean it. A very small fraction I think, but there nonetheless. And there’s really no better example of emotional infantilism that some people bring to the political process . One can see it in a case like 1968 perhaps or other years where real and important differences separated the candidates — or in cases where the differences between the parties on key issues were not so great. But that simply is not the case this year. As much as the two campaign have sought to highlight the differences, the two candidates’ positions on almost every issue is extremely close. And the differences that do exist pale into insignificance when compared to Sen. McCain’s.

That’s not to say that these small differences are reasons to choose one of the candidates over the other. But to threaten either to sit the election or vote for McCain or vote for Nader if your candidate doesn’t win the nomination shows as clearly as anything that one’s ego-investment in one’s candidate far outstrips one’s interest in public policy and governance. If this really is one’s position after calm second-thought, I see no other way to describe it.

In my own words, grow the f**k up. Instead of saying that’ll you’ll vote for McCain why not just say screw America, if I don’t get what I want I’m taking my ball and bat and going home. I sympathize up to a point. Ideals are great and each side is damn sure their’s are better, truer and have more nutritional value per serving, but this is the real world of real choices and the always inevitable compromise. Related to the current mini-crisis between candidates, Why am I so afraid that the Democratic Party is shooting itself in the foot?

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