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Old 01-13-2004, 07:37 PM   #31
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THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: DIPLOMACY:
Powell Admits No Hard Proof In Linking Iraq to Al Qaeda

The New York Times via Dow Jones

Publication Date: Friday January 09, 2004
Foreign Desk; Section A; Page 10; Column 1
c. 2004 New York Times Company

By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 -- Secretary of State Colin L. Powell conceded Thursday
that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no "smoking
gun" proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
and terrorists of Al Qaeda.


"I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection," Mr.
Powell said, in response to a question at a news conference. "But I think the
possibility of such connections did exist, and it was prudent to consider them
at the time that we did."

Mr. Powell's remarks on Thursday were a stark admission that there is no
definitive evidence to back up administration statements and insinuations that
Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda, the acknowledged authors of the Sept. 11
attacks. Although President Bush finally acknowledged in September that there
was no known connection between Mr. Hussein and the attacks, the impression of a
link in the public mind has become widely accepted -- and something
administration officials have done little to discourage.

Mr. Powell offered a vigorous defense of his Feb. 5 presentation before the
Security Council, in which he voiced the administration's most detailed case to
date for war with Iraq. After studying intelligence data, he said that a
"sinister nexus" existed "between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network, a
nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of
murder."

Without any additional qualifiers, Mr. Powell continued, "Iraq today harbors a
deadly terrorist network, headed by Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, an associate and
collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda lieutenants."

He added, "Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with Al Qaeda. These
denials are simply not credible."


On Thursday, Mr. Powell dismissed second-guessing and said that Mr. Bush had
acted after giving Mr. Hussein 12 years to come into compliance with the
international community.

"The president decided he had to act because he believed that whatever the
size of the stockpile, whatever one might think about it, he believed that the
region was in danger, America was in danger and he would act," he said. "And he
did act."

In a rare, wide-ranging meeting with reporters, Mr. Powell voiced some
optimism on several other issues that have bedeviled the administration,
including North Korea and Sudan, while expressing dismay about the Middle East
and Haiti.

But mostly, the secretary, appearing vigorous and in good spirits three weeks
after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, defended his justification for the
war in Iraq. He said he had been fully aware that "the whole world would be
watching," as he painstakingly made the case that the government of Saddam
Hussein presented an imminent threat to the United States and its interests.

The immediacy of the danger was at the core of debates in the United Nations
over how to proceed against Mr. Hussein. A report released Thursday by the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a nonpartisan Washington research
center, concluded that Iraq's weapons programs constituted a long-term threat
that should not have been ignored. But it also said the programs did not "pose
an immediate threat to the United States, to the region or to global security."


Mr. Powell's United Nations presentation -- complete with audiotapes and
satellite photographs -- asserted that "leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of
weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option."
The secretary said he had spent time with experts at the Central Intelligence
Agency studying reports. "Anything that we did not feel was solid and
multisourced, we did not use in that speech," he said Thursday.

He said that Mr. Hussein had used prohibited weapons in the past -- including
nerve gas attacks against Iran and Iraqi Kurds -- and said that even if there
were no actual weapons at hand, there was every indication he would reconstitute
them once the international community lost interest.

"In terms of intention, he always had it," Mr. Powell said. "What he was
waiting to do is see if he could break the will of the international community,
get rid of any potential future inspections, and get back to his intentions,
which were to have weapons of mass destruction."

The administration has quietly withdrawn a 400-member team of American weapons
inspectors who were charged with finding chemical or biological weapons
stockpiles or laboratories, officials said this week. The team was part of the
1,400-member Iraq Survey Group, which has not turned up such weapons or active
programs, the officials said.


The Carnegie report challenged the possibility that Mr. Hussein could have
destroyed the weapons, hidden them or shipped them out of the country. Officials
had alleged that Iraq held amounts so huge -- hundreds of tons of chemical and
biological weapons, dozens of Scud missiles -- that such moves would have been
detected by the United States, the report said.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:25 PM   #32
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Sharky,

Old news. Once again, the war was fought against Saddam because of his failure to Verifiably disarm. Democrats and others opposed to administration policy blow and make out more of administration information on Al Quada/Saddam links in an attempt to make it seem that is what the war was for.

I have Powells entire speach to the UN on video and no, and he spends most of the time talking about NON-AL QUADA related things. I don't believe Bush even mentioned Al Quada in his speech to the UN in September of 2002 when he laid out his case to resolve Saddam's failure to disarm.

This has always been about Saddam and his failure to disarm. The USA has been engaged constantly with sanctions, embargo and inspections or some sort of military force against Saddam ever since March 1991. It was an ongoing problem that had to be resolved.

Before anyone forgets who Saddam was and what he did, let me remind you this a man who invaded and attacked unprovoked 4 independent countries over the past 20 years. Invested a higher percentage of his countries resources and wealth in the development of WMD than any country in history. Threaten the planets global energy supply with theft or destruction. Murdered or killed over 1.7 million people.

The USA and other member states of the UN voted up and set up several resolutions for dealing with Saddam and enforcing requirments and conditions against him after the Gulf War. The administration achieved what the USA and UN had been demanding since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, insuring the disarament of Saddam Hussien.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:02 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


Before anyone forgets who Saddam was and what he did, let me remind you this a man who invaded and attacked unprovoked 4 independent countries over the past 20 years. Invested a higher percentage of his countries resources and wealth in the development of WMD than any country in history. Threaten the planets global energy supply with theft or destruction. Murdered or killed over 1.7 million people.
I nor anyone else needs to be "reminded" of what Saddam has done. We know! We dont need you to tell us in every post.

We all agree he is evil.

We all agree the world is better without him.

What we dont agree with is the means in which it occured!


Look you can tell me about the resolutions till your blue in the face. But what glares to me is that there has been no WMD found, yet. If Bush and the admin came out and said we need to get rid of a evil dictator because of his horrible record of killing people then i'd say 90% of us would be supportive but this whole war was stipulated on WMD, and they werent found.

I realy dont care about the UN, as the bush admin doesnt either, but i cant get past the no WMD.

Sting, put aside how horrible Saddam and how better off the people of Iraq are, just for a second, is this war a success without finding any WMD?
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonoman
Sting, put aside how horrible Saddam and how better off the people of Iraq are, just for a second, is this war a success without finding any WMD?
I will answer this to the best of my ability (pain/stoned haze)

The war is a success for a number of reasons. Check the Spies and LIES thread in War.

It is a FAILURE because the administration did not communicate effectively other reasons for going to War. If a more effective case had been made, and this not the center of the case for war, we might be arguing about all of this.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:23 PM   #35
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I guess its not as much the fact that we have to be reminded of what Saddam has done. Its that we aren't reminded about what bin Laden has done. You can't find a connection to al qaeda so you don't mention al qaeda hoping we'll forget about it. Its great we got Saddam but where is bin Laden? Frankly, I don't care if we find WMDs or not. I just want to get bin Laden. I'm more afraid of bin Laden than Saddam and I'm not going to rest easy until that guy is caught. I understand that this Iraq war was planned before Sept. 11. I just think that 1) we should have refocused on Afghanistan and KEEP that focus there and 2) using 9/11 as a way to rally Americans wasn't right. When 49% of Americans before the Iraq was thought most of the 9/11 terrorists were Iraqis, something is wrong. And its not just with ignorance in this country. Its with the message the government was putting out.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:04 AM   #36
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bonoman,

"But what glares to me is that there has been no WMD found, yet. If Bush and the admin came out and said we need to get rid of a evil dictator because of his horrible record of killing people then i'd say 90% of us would be supportive but this whole war was stipulated on WMD, and they werent found."

The Bush administration went before the UN in September 2002 and stated what was a fact, that Saddam had failed to VERIFIABLY DISARM of all WMD.

It was never incumbent upon any member state of the UN to prove that Saddam "HAD" WMD X or Y, it was incumbent upon SADDAM to VERIFIABLY DISARM! Saddam was the violator and the aggressor and he was sentenced to VERIFIABLE DISARMAMENT. Anything short of that would be a risk to international security. Saddam fell way short of complete Verifiable disarmament and the coalition responded to this and corrected the threat created by the failure of Saddam to Verifiably Disarm.

It is SADDAM's responsibility to VERIFIABLY disarm, it is not the responsibility of the UN to have its inspecters play a never ending game of "hide and go seek" with members of Saddam's security services.

Failure by Saddam to verifiably disarm was viewed as a threat that could require the "use of all means necessary" to insure disarmament.


What gets old is this false notion that members of the coalition had to find factory X or Chemical round C or Bio Vial A. The Coalition members were not required to find ANYTHING! It was SADDAM's job to prove to coaltion members that there was indeed NOTHING! Saddam was already found guiltly of having multiple stockpiles of WMD. Verifiable disarmament involves the dismantlement of these stockpiles by SADDAM in the presense of UN inspectors. He never completed is obligations to this matter!


If your realize what Saddam's actions are and his threats to global security and his failure to abide by his agreements, then I think you will understand that any discussion on WMD's and where there are should be focused on Saddam and not Bush. Its been Saddam's responsiblity to account for such things for nearly 13 years now.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:12 AM   #37
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However, inspectors were in IRAQ. The UN was conducting inspections under Resolution 1441 and it is clear that there was no URGENT reason to NOT allow that inspection process to continue as it was.

The US decided that there was an IMMEDIATE threat. The inspectors were sent home and we invaded.

Now, and I am still hoping that something will be found, but there now WAS NO IMMEDIATE THREAT, and we invaded when the inspection process was apparently working.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:20 AM   #38
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sharky,

"just think that 1) we should have refocused on Afghanistan and KEEP that focus there and 2) using 9/11 as a way to rally Americans wasn't right. When 49% of Americans before the Iraq was thought most of the 9/11 terrorists were Iraqis, something is wrong. And its not just with ignorance in this country. Its with the message the government was putting out."


Its been over two years since 9/11, and Al Quada has failed to successfully launch a single attack on the USA. There are 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan along with thousands of troops from Canada, Germany and other countries. Its a mistake to say that because the USA is in Iraq that it has lost its focus on Afghanistan or Al Quada. Saddam and Al Quada were two different types of problems that required different resources to combat.

Do you think the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad should be in the high mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan with its 70 ton M1 Tanks, or that the Airforce should send several wings of high performance fighters to help find a group of guys in rags, sleeping in caves, and on horseback?
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:23 AM   #39
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STING, you never answered my question.

is it a success without finding WMD, yes or no?
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:42 AM   #40
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Yes, because Saddam no longer has any access to such weapons or for that matter access to anything except what the coalition gives him.

The issue was never simply WMD, but Saddam and WMD and Saddams failure to VERIFIABLY disarm of such weapons.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:31 PM   #41
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verified by who? it was never verified by the UN inspectors because they were evacuated before we got an answer from them.

and yes, sting, the US has done a good job keeping al qaeda at bay. no one will dispute that. but when was the last time we saw Bush on TV talking about Afghanistan and the military efforts there?
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:42 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Do you have any evidence that the administration did not have any plans to deal with Al Quada? At worst, the administration continued operations that were ongoing against Al Quada from the Clinton administration. The administration that has done the most to remove Al Quada from the planet is the Bush administration.
Here's a link to a TIME magazine article. It shows, in an actual worst case-scenario, that the Bush administration did not "[continue] operations that were ongoing against Al Quada from the Clinton administration." Rather they ignored intelligence briefings specifically focused on the al-Qaeda threat from outgoing Clinton administration officials. Plans to deal with al-Qaeda languished for months, while plans to invade Iraq and remove Saddam commenced planning days after Bush's inauguration.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

I remind you that Saddam Hussein fought a full scale war with the United States and international community in 1991 and was required to verifiably disarm of all WMD as a condition of the ceacefire that stopped the 1991 war.
And I remind you that at the time Bush took office al-Qaeda was a greater immediate threat to US targets. I'm not saying Saddam wasn't a bad man that wanted to hurt us, I'm just saying that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat, having already committed (and attempted to commit) actual attacks against US targets on US soil. Yet which one got more attention from the administration?
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Old 01-14-2004, 07:43 PM   #43
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sharky,

"verified by who? it was never verified by the UN inspectors because they were evacuated before we got an answer from them."

This is totally incorrect because SADDAM never showed where the unaccounted for WMD was or the remains of the unaccounted for WMD despite the fact that the UN inspectors had been on the ground for months. It was Saddam's responsibility to show where the WMD was or where the remains of its destruction was. Then inspectors would verify this. But Saddam did not do anything. Saddam had 12 years to Verifiably disarm, 10 times as long as what would have been required to complete that task.

I don't think how often the President has gone on TV to talk about issue x or y, is important. What is important is what the President is actually doing about issue x or y.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:57 PM   #44
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ThatGuy,

"It shows, in an actual worst case-scenario, that the Bush administration did not "[continue] operations that were ongoing against Al Quada from the Clinton administration." Rather they ignored intelligence briefings specifically focused on the al-Qaeda threat from outgoing Clinton administration officials. Plans to deal with al-Qaeda languished for months, while plans to invade Iraq and remove Saddam commenced planning days after Bush's inauguration."

Which administration had 8 years to deal with Al Quada prior to 9/11? The Clinton administrations plans to "get tough" with Al Quada would have failed. The plan according to the article would have cost less than a Billion dollars. In contrast the Bush administration developed plans to try and ELIMINATE Al Quada rather than simply roll them back.

The Bush administration spent BILLIONS of dollars defeating the Taliban and killing or capturing thousands of members of Al Quada in Afghanistan. The Bush administration did more to destroy and disrupt Al Quada in a few weeks than the Clinton adminstration had done in 8 YEARS!

By the time the Bush administration was in office, the 9/11 plan was already a go. It would be a wonderful if Democrats and their supporters could convince people that Bush himself could have prevented 9/11, but that is simply not the case regardless of the speculative theories TIME wants to conjure up.

The administration developed plans that were far larger than anything the Clinton administration had planned to do prior to 9/11. They implemented those plans and did far more in weeks and months to destroy Al Quada than the previous administration had done in 8 years.


"And I remind you that at the time Bush took office al-Qaeda was a greater immediate threat to US targets. I'm not saying Saddam wasn't a bad man that wanted to hurt us, I'm just saying that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat, having already committed (and attempted to commit) actual attacks against US targets on US soil. Yet which one got more attention from the administration?"

Saddam had a military of over 400,000 with unknown and uncounted for stocks of deadly weapons in easy range and reach of Turkey(NATO ALLY) and nearly 75% of the worlds oil supply in Southwest Iran, Kuwait and Northeastern Saudi Arabia.

The theft and destruction of such oil supply's by Saddam would decimate the worlds energy supply and throw the entire planet into a depression far worse than the one in the 1930s. The effects would easily dwarf those of 9/11.

Al Quada had not successfully attacked the USA in the USA until 9/11. Unless of course you lump the first World Trade Center Attack in as a rank and file Al Quada attack. Saddam on the other hand had fought a full scale war against the United States with a Million man army and over 15,000 Tanks and other armored vehicles. He had attacked and invaded 4 different countries in the VITAL energy resource region of the Persian Gulf, vital to the Global Economy. He had killed 1.7 million people. 1.7 MILLION! He had unaccounted for stocks of 500 pounds of mustard Gas, 10,000 Liters of Anthrax, and 20,000 Bio/Chem Capable Artillery shells, just to name a few things.

Compare that to 20 men with box cutters. What allowed 20 men with box cutters to do so much damage was the holes created or that were not covered up in US Homeland Security by the Clinton administration which had 8 years to deal with these matters.

Another question would be, which organization or group, Saddam's regime or Al Quada, had cost the USA more over the prior 10 years to 9/11!

SADDAM by a factor of over 20 to 1!

Cost of 1991 Gulf War, 60 Billion. Cost of inspections, maintaining sanctions, and an increased military presence in the Gulf Region, At least another 50 Billion dollars. Total cost of dealing with Saddam in the 10 years prior to 2001, at least over 110 Billion dollars.

Total cost of dealing with Al Quada prior to 9/11, less than 10 Billion. Maybe even less than 5 Billion. The Clinton administrations last "get tough" policy with Al Quada according to time would have been under a Billion dollars.
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:15 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Which administration had 8 years to deal with Al Quada prior to 9/11? The Clinton administrations plans to "get tough" with Al Quada would have failed. The plan according to the article would have cost less than a Billion dollars. In contrast the Bush administration developed plans to try and ELIMINATE Al Quada rather than simply roll them back.

The Bush administration spent BILLIONS of dollars defeating the Taliban and killing or capturing thousands of members of Al Quada in Afghanistan. The Bush administration did more to destroy and disrupt Al Quada in a few weeks than the Clinton adminstration had done in 8 YEARS!

By the time the Bush administration was in office, the 9/11 plan was already a go. It would be a wonderful if Democrats and their supporters could convince people that Bush himself could have prevented 9/11, but that is simply not the case regardless of the speculative theories TIME wants to conjure up.

The administration developed plans that were far larger than anything the Clinton administration had planned to do prior to 9/11. They implemented those plans and did far more in weeks and months to destroy Al Quada than the previous administration had done in 8 years.
STING, before 9/11 al-Qaeda wasn't even on the Bush administration's radar. It is unfortunate that it took the death of 3,000 people to make them take notice.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Saddam had a military of over 400,000 with unknown and uncounted for stocks of deadly weapons in easy range and reach of Turkey(NATO ALLY) and nearly 75% of the worlds oil supply in Southwest Iran, Kuwait and Northeastern Saudi Arabia.

The theft and destruction of such oil supply's by Saddam would decimate the worlds energy supply and throw the entire planet into a depression far worse than the one in the 1930s. The effects would easily dwarf those of 9/11.
Was this in the works, STING? Do you have some sort of intelligence that wasn't reported to the UN, NATO or the US? Total speculation.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Al Quada had not successfully attacked the USA in the USA until 9/11. Unless of course you lump the first World Trade Center Attack in as a rank and file Al Quada attack. Saddam on the other hand had fought a full scale war against the United States with a Million man army and over 15,000 Tanks and other armored vehicles. He had attacked and invaded 4 different countries in the VITAL energy resource region of the Persian Gulf, vital to the Global Economy. He had killed 1.7 million people. 1.7 MILLION! He had unaccounted for stocks of 500 pounds of mustard Gas, 10,000 Liters of Anthrax, and 20,000 Bio/Chem Capable Artillery shells, just to name a few things.
Again, I'm not disputing Saddam was a very bad man. And if you want to play the numbers game, how many Americans has Saddam killed? Over 3,000?

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Compare that to 20 men with box cutters. What allowed 20 men with box cutters to do so much damage was the holes created or that were not covered up in US Homeland Security by the Clinton administration which had 8 years to deal with these matters.
You're right, those 20 men were able to slip through because of lax security regulations. However the outgoing Clinton administration proposed creating a department of homeland security in the briefings it gave to the Bush national security team. I'll admit that Clinton dropped the ball, but Bush never even tried to pick it up.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Another question would be, which organization or group, Saddam's regime or Al Quada, had cost the USA more over the prior 10 years to 9/11!

SADDAM by a factor of over 20 to 1!

Cost of 1991 Gulf War, 60 Billion. Cost of inspections, maintaining sanctions, and an increased military presence in the Gulf Region, At least another 50 Billion dollars. Total cost of dealing with Saddam in the 10 years prior to 2001, at least over 110 Billion dollars.

Total cost of dealing with Al Quada prior to 9/11, less than 10 Billion. Maybe even less than 5 Billion. The Clinton administrations last "get tough" policy with Al Quada according to time would have been under a Billion dollars.
Are you saying that the Clinton administration didn't spend enough money to deal with the al-Qaeda threat, or that they spent too much money dealing with Saddam, or ...? In any event, I'd like to know how much the Bush administration had earmarked to spend on the al-Qaeda threat prior to 9/11. And no, you can't count the $43,000,000,000 the Bush administration gave to the Taliban in May 2001 to reward them for ending poppy farming.
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