Why the Downing S M isn't news

Because the people who want to do something about it and are in the position to do something about it are absolutely bonkers. Here's an article in the Post about a mock trial chaired by Rep. Conyers. Here's the bonkers part:

"The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his "candid answer."

At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks."

I'm supposed to trust these people over the President? Ummm. No.

Comments

That's No Reason

The fact that some kook commented on the memo doesn't have any bearing on it as news. I heard some crazy the other night saying we had dropped the atomic bomb on Tokyo at the bidding of the Jews. That doesn't change anything about the real history.

We have a document that seems to show the presedent was commited to war and willing to mislead the American people to achive this end. That is news. The story of why it took the US press so long to cover it is news. Some group of fringe loonies does not change these facts.

Re:That's No Reason

"Some group of fringe loonies does not change these facts"

That group of fringe loonies is the Democratic Party. So no matter what you think the DSM says about the President, it pales in comparison to what we know about the President's opposition.

Shooting the messenger won't work

I'm disappointed by your ad-homineum attacks. Is this a sign that you cannot refute the claims in the memo? If it were so easy to refute its claims, you wouldn't need to attack a small slice of the people calling for an investigation.Perhaps if there had been an investigation as to whether the Administration cherry-picked intelligence to lead us into war, you'd have something solid to fend off these accusations.If only the President hadn't insisted that neither the WMD Commission nor the Senate Intelligence Committee look into how the Administration used the intelligence it was given, you might have documentation to fight administration critics. But President Bush didn't want that, so we need that investigation now.We rightly impeached Bill Clinton for lying about turning the White House into the Playboy Mansion (tm). But those lies and misrepresentations didn't kill anybody.Our war in Iraq has now killed about half the Americans killed on 9/11, injured thousands more Americans than were injured on 9/11; plus tens of thousands dead and injured Iraqis. Plus we have spent more than $200 Billion on a war that had NOTHING to do with al-Qaeda.According to the Downing Street Memo, the highest officials of our closest ally believed:1) That President Bush had decided on war before going to Congress or the American people.2) That the case for war was extremely weak and that therefore the UN had to be used to try and provoke Iraq.3) That the push to invade Iraq would be timed with the November 2002 election cycle.If these are perceptions true, then President Bush lied about his intentions on a number of occasions, including this statement in October 2002:

Later this week, the United States Congress will vote on this matter. I have asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves necessary, to enforce U.N. Security Council demands. Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable. The resolution will tell the United Nations, and all nations, that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something. Congress will also be sending a message to the dictator in Iraq: that his only chance -- his only choice is full compliance, and the time remaining for that choice is limited.

If Dearlove and Straw are correct, the President lied about a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars; while not even accomplishing the miminal goal of making Iraq safer than it was in April 2003.For that kind of conduct, some kind of accountability is in order. But first let's have the investigation.Unlike you, I'll be able to live with the results if it turns out the Downing Street Memo was a simple misunderstanding between allies and that President Bush really was wringing his hands in October 2002 and beyond.But to find out if that was the case, we need to put Dearlove and Straw under oath, find out which American officials they talked to and then put those officials under oath.

Re:Shooting the messenger won't work

Its a big fat red herring Daniel. Military action wasn't imminent or unavoidable. You are deliberatly giving everyone else involved in this a pass including Saddam Hussein.

I don't consider it an ad homineum attack. If the Democrats are going to tolerate this kind of talk then the hell with them.

Re:That's No Reason

. . . it pales in comparison to what we know about the President's opposition.

And what you "know" about the president's opponents pales in comparison to the undeniable facts about Bush. He is a draft dodger and deserter. He is an unrecovered drunk. He lied about the presence of biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, the bin Laden/Hussein connection, that Iraq was involved in the WTC attack, and that Hussein was looking for fissionables in Niger. He is personally, ethically, legally, and morally responsible for American military misadventurism in Iraq, the death of as many as 100,000 Iraqi innocents, and that the American fatality count is now up to 1,700 and still climbing, while surviving casualties continue to be shit upon by the same Department of Veterans Affairs that has been fucking over Viet Nam vets for over thirty years. He is personally, ethically, legally, and morally responsible for the total cluster-fuck perpetated by the FBI in their failure to even address Al-Qaeda activity within the U.S. He personally, along with his administration, refused to address the issue of international terrorism from the day he took office up until the Towers came down.

I could go on, but I'd only be preaching to the choir, since people like you prefer to live in denial instead of facing up to anything as inconvenient as incontrovertible facts.

Re:Shooting the messenger won't work

I don't consider it an ad homineum attack. If the Democrats are going to tolerate this kind of talk then the hell with them.

From Webster's Online Dictionary:Main Entry: 1ad ho·mi·nemPronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&mFunction: adjectiveEtymology: New Latin, literally, to the person1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions madeQuote from your journal entry:

Because the people who want to do something about it and are in the position to do something about it are absolutely bonkers.

And quote from your response to dbigwood:

That group of fringe loonies is the Democratic Party. So no matter what you think the DSM says about the President, it pales in comparison to what we know about the President's opposition.

Using the Webster definition, or one from some other source, please show me why your statements above are not textbook cases of ad hominem attack?FWIW, Fang's response was pretty pure ad hominem attack as well. I find this style of argument repugnant no matter what part of the ideological spectrum I find it. It never gets us any closer to the truth, but does contribute to the poisioning of dialog.

Military action wasn't imminent or unavoidable.

The statement above appears to contradict what you told me on June 12, 2005 (Scroll down to "Oboy"):

The premise of that statement implies that my side ever thought there would be a peaceful resolution to Iraq. We weren't that naive.

As I've mentioned before, the President's October 2002 statement of:

Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.

Along with many other comments about how the President saw war was a true last resort, or wasn't inevitable clearly contradicts the reported statements of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove in July 2002.It's indicated they came to their conclusions by talking to American officials. Which ones? What made those officials believe that "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided?" Only an independent investigation that puts Straw, Dearlove and the people they talked to under oath can establish the truth.We need the truth, because IF what is contained in the DSM is an accurate reflection of reality, America was manipulated into a waging a war that had nothing to do with fighting terrorism that has cost all sides greatly in blood and treasure. It has also given us an occupation which Donald Rumsfeld himself admits has not significantly reduced the level of violence in two solid year of concerted American activity. There should be accountability for this.

Re:Shooting the messenger won't work

Don't talk to me about appealing to intellect until you admit that Saddam could have stopped the invasion by his own actions. You are deliberately ignoring a large chunk of history.

I don't consider my posting an appeal to emotions. The bottom line is you want to put Bush on trial and you want those people to be the jury. I consider that a pretty straightforward summation of your argument and the only reasonable and intellectual response to such an arguement is to call it what it is, silly.

FYI you may think bad publicity is good publicity but if all this does is rehash why we went to war to begin with then that's only going to reinvigorate my side. Here's a good article by Victor Hanson.

O, Canada Re:That's No Reason

Slashgirl was nice enough to write in her journal recently about the marriage of 2 military men. An excellent example of why Canada will never have to worry about word parsers and little headaches like the DSM because they will never have a military that is capable of accomplishing anything other then maybe marching in parades

Ad hom

Hope you're feeling better from last night and thanks for checking out my Alaska's checks and balances article.Fang's ad hominem was an appeal to the emotions. If you go back and read your comments, I don't see how you deny that they fulfill the other definition of ad hominem:"marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made."You can argue that ad hominem attacks are justifiable, but you can't get away with saying you do not make them. When Tomeboy uses ad hominem attacks, he proudly proclaims it instead of trying to say he didn't. While I still don't agree with him, I appreciate his straightforwardness.

Don't talk to me about appealing to intellect until you admit that Saddam could have stopped the invasion by his own actions.

If the charges in the Downing Street Memo and its supporting documents are true, then the decision was already made and the UN was simply a tool to garner extra support for an invasion we were going to carry out anyway.

The bottom line is you want to put Bush on trial and you want those people to be the jury. I consider that a pretty straightforward summation of your argument and the only reasonable and intellectual response to such an arguement is to call it what it is, silly.

At this point, I don't want to put the President on trial. I have called for an investigation of the claims made in the Downing Street Memo, including:

  • Had the president made up his mind on Iraq while publicly professing indecision?
  • Did the Administration selectively present intelligence to Congress and the American People?
  • Was there a deliberate plan as early as July 2002 to time the Iraq buildup with the November 2002 elections?
  • I believe the answers to these questions are important because I believe that Congress and the American people might well have made different decisions if:

    • The President had been straightforward in asking for an invasion instead of pretending to give diplomacy and inspections a chance.
    • Congressional Democrats had known in advance that their vote was going to initiate an invasion.
    • Congress and the American public had known about the level of doubt contained in our Iraq intelligence regarding WMDs and links to al-Qaeda.
    • Known prior to the vote that an invasion would be done without UN authorization.

    As for who should do the investigating, my preference would be a non or quad-party (R's D's Greens & Libertarian) commission. If that could not be arranged, than perhaps joint inquiries by joint House-Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees. Failing that, I'd accept a special prosecuter.Ironically, the President had the chance to already put these allegations behind him if he had but dropped his insistance that the WMD Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee NOT investigate the use of intelligence once it had been submitted by the Intelligence Community.Because the investigations weren't done then and because documents have come to light from the highest circles of our closest allies that suggest that the President lied to Congress and the American people about his intentions and that he MAY have selectively used intelligence, the investigations must be done now. The blood of the dead, the cries of the wounded and the exhaustion of our treasury demand no less from a country that rightly sanctioned our previous President for lying about his conduct.I don't have much to say about the Hanson article since he doesn't address either the Downing Street Memo or the President's intentions. I think it does make a strong case that we ignored and embraced the Saudi financiers of al-Qaeda while wasting blood, resources, time and what little good will we had in attacking Iraq. Now there's something that isn't news.

Re:Ad hom

"The President had been straightforward in asking for an invasion instead of pretending to give diplomacy and inspections a chance.

Congressional Democrats had known in advance that their vote was going to initiate an invasion.

Congress and the American public had known about the level of doubt contained in our Iraq intelligence regarding WMDs and links to al-Qaeda.

Known prior to the vote that an invasion would be done without UN authorization."

1. Whenever he said that war was a last option he made it clear that it was in fact an option. You can't pretend to give diplomacy a chance when you put the entire decision in the hands of one person, Saddam Hussein.

2. They voted to give the President the right to go to war. If they voted that way with any other intention other then giving the President the right to go to war then they are the ones who lied to the American people and they are the ones who should be investigated.

3. It wasn't about Al Quaeida or *active* WMDs. It was about a pre-emption philosophy created from the devastation of 9/11. A philosophy that applies to every nation in the world regardless of direct physical connections to 9/11.

4. Come on Daniel. One of the reasons Kerry lost is because he could not come out and say flatly that he would invade Iraq without UN approveful. The majority of Americans will never submit to a 'global test'. Its not happening. The entire premise of such an idea (and yes I am going to say this, it does apply here) is in fact unpatriotic and unAmerican. The interests of the United States trump the interest of the United Nations.

Interesting how you're still not dealing with ...

The key questions raised by the Downing Street Memo.For a supporter of an Administration who lives by the motto "The innocent have nothing to hide", you seem nervous about the Administration's claims of indecision being investigated. If the investigative board is selected for its impartiality and Jack Straw and Sir Richard Dearlove really were mistaken in their recorded claims that:

  • That President Bush had decided on war before going to Congress or the American people.
  • That the case for war was extremely weak and that therefore the UN had to be used to try and provoke Iraq.
  • That the push to invade Iraq would be timed with the November 2002 election cycle.

Then the President will come out vindicated. It would be a big hit to the antiwar party. If the President didn't mislead Congress and the American people about his intentions, and didn't cherry pick his intelligence, then neither he nor you have anything to fear.One claim from your post that does bear responding to is:

3. It wasn't about Al Quaeida or *active* WMDs.

I'm afraid that the President disagreed with you back in October 2002:

Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

AND

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

AND

The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

As some intelligence analysts believed at the time, as did Hans Blix and the IAEA, none of the above claims were true and there was doubt about all of these claims within the administration at the time, as discovered by both the WMD Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee.You can't run away from the historical record and say that the Iraq War wasn't originally and primarily justified by weapons of mass destruction that could be given to al Qaeda or other terror groups.According to the Downing Street Memo these justifications based on weak evidence were all part of a plan of premediated invasion:

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

Congress and the American people deserve to know whether this is true. If it's not, the President should welcome the vindication from an independent commission, that he refused to allow from either the Senate Intelligence Committee or the WMD Commission. He could have done so with either by allowing them to investigate how the intelligence on Iraq was used once it got to the policymakers.

Re:O, Canada Re:That's No Reason

As opposed to the American military which will never be capable of accomplishing anything beyond baby killing in defenseless countries and still losing the war to guerilla fighters anyway?

1,700 down -- 56,300 to go.

Speaking of which, when you are going to sign up to take your turn at baby killing, Greg? Don't tell me that you are an unAmerican, unpatriotic, bleeding heart liberal type who won't sign up? Or are you simply waiting for the next Rethuglican administration to reinstate the draft?

Is it, do you suppose, because of slackers such as yourself that the almighty American military isn't meeting its recruitment quotas?

Re:Interesting how you're still not dealing with .

I'm not going to put the President on trial based on the *opinions* of a *politician* from the other side of the *ocean*. The memo is nothing more then impressions, he wasn't quoting anyone but giving his own view on where things stood.

You can't run away from the historical record and say that the Iraq War wasn't originally and primarily justified by weapons of mass destruction that could be given to al Qaeda or other terror groups.

Funny how you support Hans Blix when he speaks out against the President but not when he spoke out against Saddam. Its also funny how you have to pull together dribs and drabs of quotes and memos to make your case while completely ignoring 12 *years* of resolutions, flyovers, and bombings. Who's really cherry picking here?

You have no interest in taking responsibility for the world we now live in, and there's nothing I can do to help you with that.

Perhaps it would forward our conversation if...

we tried to move from the specific to the general.Do you believe that invesigations (AS DISTINCT FROM impeachment hearings) of a sitting President are ever justified?If so, please provide examples of justifiable investigations and why they were justified. If not, please explain why Presidents should never face investigations from Congress or independent prosecutors.

Re:Perhaps it would forward our conversation if...

Both Nixon and Clinton were investigated for legitimate reasons. I don't know if Iran-Contra counts as a Presidential investigation but I agree with it, though I side with Reagan.

The problem is that all those cases involved actual illegal activity. What your trying to pin on Bush is nothing more then that he didn't follow your philosophy on how things should have taken place.

Re:Perhaps it would forward our conversation if...

"Both Nixon and Clinton were investigated for legitimate reasons. I don't know if Iran-Contra counts as a Presidential investigation but I agree with it.."

In lockstep agreement with you there.

The problem is that all those cases involved actual illegal activity. What your trying to pin on Bush is nothing more then that he didn't follow your philosophy on how things should have taken place.

I agree with you that the cases we agree on all involved illegal activity and that suspected illegal activity should be the standard for investigating a sitting president. Pure policy differences SHOULD NOT be a basis for a formal investigation.So, I think our spirited disagreement on President Bush on this issue hinges on two factors:

  1. Is the suspected activity that the President engaged in actually illegal?
  2. If the alleged activity is illegal, did the President engage in it?For the first question the illegal activity I believe that the DSM IMPLIES on the part of the President, is providing false information in his certification to Congress upon his invasion of Iraq. I'm reproducing the entire letter here:
    March 18, 2003Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.Sincerely,GEORGE W. BUSH

The reasons I believe these claims COULD be false are:a) The President had enough information on hand to know Iraq had no hand in 9/11, and thus provision two is false. This perception is repeated several times in the DSM documents.b) IF the President had his mind up to invade Iraq prior to July 2002, he was not planning to make a good faith effort to evaluate diplomacy mandated after October 2002.c) IF going to the UN was a deliberate choice made prior July 2002 to make war more palatable to the US and UK publics, then the President's "certification" that diplomacy would not work was simply proforma and contrary to the intent of Public Law 107-243. This too, is strongly implied by several of the DSM documents.IF President Bush provided knowningly false information on his certification under Public Law 107-243, then I believe that constitutes a violation of Federal Law that has led to unacceptable costs to the United States. For these reasons, there should be an independent or Congressional investigation (NOT "a trial). Depending on the investigation results, we can see what further action is needed.As far as I'm concerned, the answer to question 2 is unknown at present. That is why I am NOT advocating impeachment hearings at this time, but wishing for an independent commission that would start be deposing Straw and Dearlove on what led them to their conclusions.As far as I remember, what Clinton was investigated for wasn't adultery, but providing false testimony. I believe that providing a knowingly false war certification is similar.

Re:Ad hom

Well, not EVERY nation in the world. I can think of one nation our current administration exempts.

Re:Perhaps it would forward our conversation if...

The statement says "including" it does not say "exclusive to". And you keep talking about stuff like "making it more palatable". Either you believe something is right or you don't. If getting the UN involved somehow makes it more right for you then thats just sad.

Your letter is from after the Iraq Resolution was passed. Here is the Resolution. There is more then enough there to hang Saddam, and I'll say again: if there are Senators and Representatives who voted for it and now oppose Bush's actions, then they need to justify why their vote wasn't in good faith. Everything was laid on the table. Everyone knew the stakes. There's a lot more there then just WMDs and Al Queada.

Did you ever read The Lord of the Rings? If so do you remember the Ents? The Tree Herders? They lived so long, they had such long memories and were so slow moving that conversations between them took weeks. Introductions alone took days. You are trying to parse every document, every word, and in effect, becoming an Ent. Drawing out minute bits into long debate all in an effort to avoid action.

Re:Perhaps it would forward our conversation if...

While I knew that my answer would be unacceptable to you, I still thank for you for helping to clarify my thinking and figure out why IF the claims in the DSM are true, the Presidents actions weren't simply immoral (i.e. lying), but illegal. Having said that, the DSM and its supporting materials are NOT proof in and of themselves, but offer a starting point for an investigation.

Re:Ad hom

Saudi Arabia? Good point.

Syndicate content