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Old 02-21-2003, 08:27 AM   #1
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Cia Vets: No War In Iraq

Feature: CIA veterans' warning on Iraq war
By Anwar Iqbal
From the International Desk
Published 2/9/2003 3:10 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- CIA veterans have warned the Bush administration not to go to war against Iraq, saying that doing so would further widen the divide between the Western and Islamic worlds and increase the incidence of terrorism.

In a statement sent to media organizations earlier this week, the retired CIA officials also referred to an agency assessment report last fall, which, they said, opposed a military offensive against Iraq.

They urged the Bush administration to "re-read" the CIA report that pointed out: "The forces fueling hatred of the United States and fueling al Qaida recruiting are not being addressed" and that "the underlying causes that drive terrorists will persist."

That CIA report cited a Gallup poll last year of almost 10,000 Muslims in nine countries, in which respondents described the United States as "ruthless, aggressive, conceited, arrogant, easily provoked and biased."

Terrorism, the CIA veterans said, is like malaria. "You don't eliminate malaria by killing the flies. Rather you must drain the swamp. With an invasion of Iraq, the world can expect to be swamped with swamps breeding terrorists. In human terms, your daughters are unlikely to be able to travel abroad in future years without a phalanx of security personnel."

Referring to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation at the U.N. last week, the veterans said: "We give him an 'A' for assembling and listing the charges against Iraq, but only a 'C-' in providing context and perspective."

Powell, they said, effectively showed that Iraq is not cooperating fully with U.N. Security Council Res. 1441 but "the narrow focus on (the resolution) has diverted attention from the wider picture."

The key question, they said, is whether Iraq's flouting of a U.N. resolution justifies war. "Secretary Powell's presentation does not come close to answering it," they observed.

The veterans argued that there were other U.N. resolutions that had never been implemented and asked if the United States would be willing to go to war to implement those resolutions as well.

They observed that the Arab-Israel conflict was among "the root causes not only of terrorism" but also provided Saddam Hussein with an excuse to arm himself.

Challenging the perception that Iraq is a grave threat to the United States, the veterans urged the administration to reconsider its Iraq policy, as presenting Iraq as a threat to the world's only superpower did not sound very convincing.

The veterans refer to an Oct. 7, 2002 letter the CIA sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee in which the agency said that the probability is low that Iraq would initiate an attack with weapons of mass destruction or give them to terrorists. That was so unless: "Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would be come much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions."

For now, continued the CIA letter: "Baghdad appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or chemical/biological warfare against the United States."

With his back against the wall, "Saddam might decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamist terrorists in conducting a weapons-of-mass-destruction attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."

They added: "It is our view that an invasion of Iraq would ensure overflowing recruitment centers for terrorists into the indefinite future. Far from eliminating the threat, it would enhance it exponentially."

Discussing the possibility of the Iraqi use of chemical weapons, the veterans said it has been the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community for over 12 years that the likelihood of such use would greatly increase during an offensive aimed at getting rid of Saddam.

Referring to Powell's claim that Saddam had recently authorized his field commanders to use chemical weapons, the CIA veterans said: "We find this truly alarming. We do not share the Defense Department's optimism that radio broadcasts and leaflets would induce Iraqi commanders not to obey orders to use such weapons, or that Iraqi generals would remove Saddam Hussein as soon as the first U.S. soldier sets foot in Iraq."

They said the last time the United States sent more than 600,000 troops to the Gulf, one of three came back ill -- many with unexplained disorders of the nervous system.

"Today's battlefield is likely to be even more sodden with chemicals and is altogether likely to yield tens of thousands more casualties," they added.

Copyright 2001-2003 United Press International
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:07 AM   #2
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That is EXACTLY how I feel about this war.
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:09 AM   #3
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What is scary is the CIA has also said AIDS is one of the most pressing issues for our security as well. I didn't think they thought this way!
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Old 02-21-2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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*bump*

I vote for this thread being marked Important or whatever so it stays at the top of the page.

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Old 02-21-2003, 01:23 PM   #5
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Any comments, STING2?

Just asking, really, if you would rethink your position knowing the C.I.A. is against the war for the some of the same reasons like me (fuelling terrorism f.e.)! (Hi there Agency... sorry Im not an American citizen, if I was, I would think of applying for a job).
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Old 02-21-2003, 01:24 PM   #6
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Wonderful article. I agree with them 100%.
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Old 02-21-2003, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Cia Vets: No War In Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Referring to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation at the U.N. last week, the veterans said: "We give him an 'A' for assembling and listing the charges against Iraq, but only a 'C-' in providing context and perspective."

Powell, they said, effectively showed that Iraq is not cooperating fully with U.N. Security Council Res. 1441 but "the narrow focus on (the resolution) has diverted attention from the wider picture."

The key question, they said, is whether Iraq's flouting of a U.N. resolution justifies war. "Secretary Powell's presentation does not come close to answering it," they observed.

I do not think it is debatable, that the only person who has made even close to a respectable case for our government's position is Powell. Yet, still this is how I feel. Powell has only reaffirmed what Blix has said. They are not "fully" cooperating. This implies that they are partially "cooperating".

The case has still not been made, nor has it been made clearly to the world or the citizens of this country.
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Old 02-21-2003, 03:01 PM   #8
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I can't wait till next week when I'll be flooded with calls and letters.
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Old 02-21-2003, 04:46 PM   #9
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Nothing new presented in this article. I've seen the same arguments before and disagree with them. This is not the official position of the CIA. This is a small group of veterns from the CIA. They do not speek for everyone who works at the CIA or has worked at the CIA. Another glaring fact the article does not comment on is what to do about the possibility that Hussien will have a Nuclear Weapon by next year. It primarily deals with an unproven theory of what will be the result of a US invasion of Iraq. I heard this same theory about a thousand times back in 1990 in regards to the first Gulf War only to see it be proven false. Terrorism went down in the five years after the Gulf War as opposed to the 5 years before it. It completely ignores the cost of not invading. Tell people in Iran or in Kurdistan that Saddam is unlikely to use Chemical or Biological weapons. Its a difficult task judging future behavior. Lets not forget that the majority of the CIA said Saddam would not invade Kuwait back in July of 1990. Only Kenneth Pollack and a couple of other good analyst predicted he would. Thats not to dismiss the considerable strength and knowledge of the CIA but simply emphasizes the fact that Saddam is a loose cannon whose actions in the future cannot be predicted with any accuracy. We've been wrong on multipe occasions in regards to Saddam's behavior in the past. Can we afford to be wrong with a Nuclear Armed Saddam? The article offers only the risk and cost of an invasion without offering an alternative solution to the problem or fully explaining the potential cost of not invading.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Terrorism went down in the five years after the Gulf War as opposed to the 5 years before it.
Terrorism went DOWN??? Cmon, let's stick to the facts, OK? 5 years is not a reasonable time period to gauge the effects of a war. Let's try 10.

From my perspective, terrorism against American and allied interests and targets both military and civilian INCREASED. Do I have to list them all out? They tried the WTC less than 2 years after the war!

And to top it all off, it all culminated in 9/11, which we know took years of careful planning and 'sleeping' by the participants.

I'd challenge you to produce some hard facts soon STING.

I don't have them at my finger tips because I don't research these things, but I would like you to prove to me that in the period 1981 to 1991 more people died of officially labelled (note not your definition of everything related to Hussein) TERRORISM than from 1991 to 2001. I can think of 3000 at least. Not to mention those poor souls who died at the hands of a true blue American terrorist in Oklahoma.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Nothing new presented in this article. I've seen the same arguments before and disagree with them. This is not the official position of the CIA. This is a small group of veterns from the CIA. They do not speek for everyone who works at the CIA or has worked at the CIA.
No one is saying that they speak for the CIA. It does not in any way shape or form diminish the fact that they are people who have had access and more experience in this realm, than any of us here on this board. It certainly does not invalidate their concerns over the situation.


Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Another glaring fact the article does not comment on is what to do about the possibility that Hussien will have a Nuclear Weapon by next year. It primarily deals with an unproven theory of what will be the result of a US invasion of Iraq. I heard this same theory about a thousand times back in 1990 in regards to the first Gulf War only to see it be proven false. Terrorism went down in the five years after the Gulf War as opposed to the 5 years before it. It completely ignores the cost of not invading.
There is a very glaring difference here. I agree, Saddam with a Nuclear Weapon is bad and I am dismayed at the lack of concern by the international community over this issue. German Intelligence and American Intelligence place him with weapons at the earlies 2004 and the latest 2009. This is a MAJOR concern.

Your take on terrorism may very well be accurate. I am not challenging your fact. What I am challenging is that this may not be the case if we invade Iraq without the full backing of the United Nations and the International Community. In 1990 we were acting with the blessings of virtually almost every nation in the world. You cannot say that this time. You cannot make the same prediction unless we act with the UN.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Tell people in Iran or in Kurdistan that Saddam is unlikely to use Chemical or Biological weapons. Its a difficult task judging future behavior. Lets not forget that the majority of the CIA said Saddam would not invade Kuwait back in July of 1990. Only Kenneth Pollack and a couple of other good analyst predicted he would. Thats not to dismiss the considerable strength and knowledge of the CIA but simply emphasizes the fact that Saddam is a loose cannon whose actions in the future cannot be predicted with any accuracy. We've been wrong on multipe occasions in regards to Saddam's behavior in the past. Can we afford to be wrong with a Nuclear Armed Saddam? The article offers only the risk and cost of an invasion without offering an alternative solution to the problem or fully explaining the potential cost of not invading.
I agree with your point here 100%. It is one of the reasons I am not fully comfortable for no action. It is still not a reason for dismissing all of the concerns expressed in the letter.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:47 PM   #12
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Yes, Pollack was one of the few who predicted what Saddam would do. In his book, where he makes a very clear case for invading Iraq, he consistently throughout the book points to the need for coalition building. He points to the need for a new UN Resolution. He points to the dangers of going it alone.

In the Chapter "The Case for an Invasion" He has a section titled THE DIPLOMATIC REQUIREMENTS. This is what that section says.


Many on the far right of the American political spectrum argue that the United States can and should overthrow Iraq entirely on its own. They are wrong. We can't and we shouldn't....Moreover, the United States is not some rogue superpower determined to do what it wants regardless of who it threatens or angers. If we behave in this manner we will alienate our allies and convince much of the rest of the world to band together against us to try to keep us under control. Rather than increasing our security and posterity, such a development would drastically undermine it. For these reasons, an invasion of Iraq would require a new coalition to support it-one that could be as small as just the GCC states, Turkey, and Egypt but that would preferably be as large as we could make it.

This is the smallest coalition that Pollack reccomends. We do NOT have the GCC states and clearly based on the news, we do not have Turkey. We are heading down a path which even POLLACK a BIG supporter of invasion, cautions against taking.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:54 PM   #13
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Dreadsox,

I'm not dismissing their concerns, but I am just expressing the fact that I have seen them made before and have not been convinced that they are accurate. I reject the Idea that Arabs will suddenly become obsessed with killing Americans because of the overthrow of someone like Saddam.

Gabrielvox,

The Oklahoma City attack was in retaliation not for the Gulf War but for the FBI/ATF assault on the Branch Dividian Complex in Waco texas in April 1993. Thats from the Bomber's words himself and the attack coincided with the anniversy of the action 2 years later in 1995.

I really believe 5 years before and after is very comparitive. But I'll take up to 10 years, but I'm going to use number of terrorist attacks as the parameter because I think this is more indicitive of overall terrorist activity. Since the USA is the subject, I'll only focus on terrorist attacks against US citizens, soldiers or civilians.
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Old 02-21-2003, 06:10 PM   #14
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STING -

I am quite aware that the bomber in Oklahoma had motives other than the Gulf War. Who wouldnt?

Your 'statistic' didnt state speficically terrorist attacks directly related to the Gulf War, and any statistic in that regard we could debate as being related or not related until we are blue in the face.

I am, and I assumed you were as well by your original statement, referring to total terrorism on a world wide scale.

But let me know, now that your going to do number of attacks on American/Allied interests I'm almost positive the total number was greater in the 90s.

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Old 02-21-2003, 06:19 PM   #15
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Dreadsox,

I have never argued that the USA should try to do things unilaterally. Any invasion of Iraq will have the support of many Arab allies. Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, all support the USA and have allowed extensive numbers of US soldiers to be stationed on their soil for an invasion of Iraq. Turkey will come around for the right price. If not, it will not preclude an invasion to disarm Saddam.

Kenneth Pollack also states in his book that the GCC supports an invasion over the policy of containment, but does not believe the USA is going to invade and overthrow Saddam in Iraq ever. Once they become convinced that it is indeed going to happen, they will support it.

One has to remember that the greatest concern in this is not how large the coalition to disarm Saddam is, but Saddam himself.
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