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Old 09-15-2003, 10:10 PM   #181
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Here is the information on Saddam's military weapons and where they came from. This information comes from the International Institute for Strategic Studies "THE MILITARY BALANCE 1989-1990" Published by Brassey's for ISS. pp. 101-102 and index pp. 247-254. In addition, information from Frank Chadwick's "GULF WAR FACT BOOK" 1991 and Frank Chadwick's "DESERT SHIELD FACT BOOK" was used.

Except where noted the information below refers to Saddam's military as of June 1, 1989. 9 months after the Iran/Iraq war and 14 months prior to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and the start of an international weapons embargo and international sanctions against Saddam's regime.

Which country the equipment came from is denoted next to the equipment for example: 1,000 T-62 (SOVIET UNION) Quantity of type of equipment on hand is not available for all equipment.

ACTIVE: 1,000,000

RESERVES: People's Army 850,000

ARMY: 955,000
7 corps HQ.
7 Armored and Mechanized division
42 Infantry Divisions
6 Presidential Guard Force Divsions (this would increase to 8 by the time of the invasion of Kuwait)
20 Special Forces Brigades
2 Surface to Surface Missile Brigades.


MAIN BATTLE TANKS: some 6,500 (updated from June 1, 1989 to include around 1,000 more T-72 tanks that Iraq had during the 1991 Gulf War.)

2,500 T-54 (SOVIET UNION) T-55 (SOVIET UNION) M-77 (ROMANIA), 1,500 Type-59 (CHINA) Type-69 (CHINA), 1,000 T-62 (SOVIET UNION), 1,500 T-72 (SOVIET UNION).

Captured tanks from IRAN: Chieftain Mk 3/5 (UK), M-60 (USA), M-47 (USA). This equipment is mostly inoperable and numbers range from 50 to several hundred. The 3 types above are known to have been captured, but the total number probably includes other types as well.


RECONNAISSANCE Vehicles: incl BRDM-2 (SOVIET UNION), 300 AML-60 (FRANCE) AML-90 (FRANCE), FUG-70 (HUNGARY), ERC-90 (FRANCE), MOWAG Roland (FRANCE), EE-9 Cascavel (BRAZIL), 300 EE-3 Jararaca (BRAZIL)



Captured from IRAN: M-113A1 (USA)

TOWED ARTILLERY: some 3,000: 105mm: M-56 pack (INDIA and ITALY); 122mm: D-74 (SOVIET UNION), D-30 (SOVIET UNION), M-1938 (SOVIET UNION); 130mm: M-46 (SOVIET UNION), Type-59-1 (CHINA); 152mm: M-1937 (SOVIET UNION), M-1943 (SOVIET UNION); 155mm: 100 G-5 (SOUTH AFRICA), 200 GHN-45 (AUSTRIA)

Captured from IRAN: 155mm: M-114 (USA)

SELF-PROPELLED ARTILLERY: 500 : 122mm: 2S1 (SOVIET UNION); 152mm: 2S3 (SOVIET UNION); 155mm: 85 AUF-1 (GCT) (FRANCE)

Captured from IRAN: 155mm: M-109 (USA)

MULTIPLE ROCKET LAUNCHERS: 200: incl 122mm: BM-21 (SOVIET UNION) ; 127mm: 60 ASTROS II (BRAZIL); 128mm: Ababil (IRAQ); 132mm: BM-13 (SOVIET UNION) BM-16 (SOVIET UNION); 180mm: ASTROS SS-40 (BRAZIL); 300mm: ASTROS SS-60 (BRAZIL)

MORTARS: 81mm; 120mm; 160mm.




ANTI-TANK GUNS: 85mm; 100mm towed; 105mm: 100 JPz SK-105 SP (GERMANY)

HELICOPTERS: some 160 armed Helicopters.
ATTACK: 40 Mi-24 with AT-2 Swatter (SOVIET UNION); 20 SA-342 (FRANCE); 13 SA-321 some with Exocet ASM (FRANCE); some 30 SA-316B with AS-12 ASM (FRANCE); some 56 Bo-105 with AS-11 ATGW (GERMANY)
TRANSPORT: HY: 15 Mi-6 (SOVIET UNION) MED: 100 Mi-8 (SOVIET UNION) Mi-17 (SOVIET UNION); 6 AS-61 (ITALY) , 10 SA-330 (GERMANY), 20 Mi-4 (SOVIET UNION); LIGHT: 3 A-109 (ITALY) 5 AB-212 (ITALY), 40 BELL 214 ST (USA), 30 Hughes 300C (USA), 30 Hughes 500D (USA), 26 Hughes 530F (USA), 30 SA-342 (FRANCE)

AIR DEFENSE GUNS: 4,000: 23mm: ZSU-23-4 SP (SOVIET UNION); 37mm: M-1939 and twin (SOVIET UNION); 57mm: incl ZSU-57-2 SP (SOVIET UNION); 85mm; 100mm; 130mm.


NAVY: 5,000
Bases: Basra, Umm Qasr.


4 Hittin (It Lupo) with 1 AB-212 hel (ASW), 2 x 3 ASTT; plus 8 x Otomat SSM, 1 x 127mm gun (ITALY)

1 Khaldoum (trg) with 2 x ASTT (YUGOSLAVIA)


2 Hussa el Hussair (It Assad, hel version) 1 x AB-212 hel, 2 x Otomat SSM (ITALY)

2 Hussa el Hussair (It Assad) with 6 x Otomat, 2 x 3 ASTT. (ITALY)

MISSILE CRAFT: 8 Nisan 7 (Sov Osa) with 4 x SS-N-2 Styx SSM (SOVIET UNION)

TORPEDO CRAFT: 6 Sov P-6 ( with 2 x 533mm TT. (SOVIET UNION)

3 SO-1 (SOVIET UNION), 4 Nyryat II (IRAQ) , 13


3 Al Zahraa LST, capacity 250 tps, 20 tk, 1 hel. (IRAQ)
3 Sov Polnocny LSM, capacity 180 tps, 6 tk. (SOVIET UNION)

1 Agnadeen (It Stromboli) AOR (ITALY), 2 Presidential yachts.

AIR FORCE: 40,000 incl 10,000 AD personal; some 513 cbt aircraft, no armed hel.

BOMBERS: 2 sqn:
1 with 8 Tu-22 (SOVIET UNION); 1 with 8 Tu-16 (SOVIET UNION), 4 Ch H-6D (CHINA).

FGA: 17 sqn:
4 with 70 MiG-23BN (SOVIET UNION)
4 with 64 Mirage F-1EQ5 (FRANCE), EQ5-200 (FRANCE) (EQ5 with Exocet; 200 with in-flight refuelling)
2 with 30 Su-7 (SOVIET UNION)
3 with 50 Su-20 (SOVIET UNION)
2 with 30 Su-25 (SOVIET UNION)
2 with 40 CH J-6. (CHINA)

FIGHTER 16 sqn with some 25 Mig 25 (SOVIET UNION), some 80 Ch J-7 (CHINA), 70 MiG-21 (SOVIET UNION), 30 Mirage F-1EQ (FRANCE), 18 MiG-29 (SOVIET UNION)


TRANSPORT: 2 sqn: 10 An-2 (SOVIET UNION), 6 An-12 (SOVIET UNION), 6 An-24 (SOVIET UNION); 2 An-26 (SOVIET UNION), 19 Il-76 (SOVIET UNION), 19 Il-14 (SOVIET UNION)



AIR TO SURFACE MISSILES: AS-30 Laser (FRANCE), Armat (FRANCE), Exocet AM-39 (FRANCE), C-601, AS-4, AS-5.

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Old 09-15-2003, 11:17 PM   #182
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"What the Soviets supplied is not in question. Put it up if you must. Stalin has nothing to do with it. What he had in place has nothing to do with it. It also does not matter where their use of Chemical weapons was most devastating. They used them, and President Reagan took steps to keep him off the terror list as was detailed in my posts above."

It is true that Saddam was taking off the terror list by the Reagan Administration during the Iran/Iraq war so that some money and intelligence could be shared with Iraq. An Iraqi defeat in the war would have been a disaster for the region and the world at that time. In any event, the amount of aid given is a small fraction of what other Countries were already giving Saddam.

I bring up Stalin only to point out that its not the first time the USA has supported a brutal dictator because there was a GREATER interest involved. Saddam's behavior at the time is less important than what happens on the battlefield between Iran and Iraq.

"We removed hiim from the terror list. We provided him with helecopters that were used to disperse checmical weapons. We provided him with cluster bombs and other missle parts illegally.We provided him with the technology to increase the range of scuds (that did enable him to hit Israel and our Troops in Saudi Arabia in the Gulf War)."

It is alleged that the duel use technology that came from the USA allowed him to increase the range of his Scuds. Duel use Technology was coming in from other countries independent of what US policy was. Its true the USA provided Saddam with Transport Helicopters, but that does not make the USA guilty of Saddam's using them for the dispersal of chemical weapons. Thats not the purpose of those Transport Helicopters although, like just about anything, they can be converted to just about anything else. The Cluster Bombs which came from a manufacturer in Brazil were conventional weapons and were Cluster Bombs designed for use against Infantry. They were not some of the more advanced designs, most of which were still on the drawing board at that time. In any event, it appears they were actually rarely if ever used by the Iraqi's in the war.

"No matter how much shit the soviets gave him does not change the facts detailed in my prior posts. It does not change the fact that we had our hands dirty. I have read plenty on what the Soviets did and I have argued plenty on this board that the Soviets supplied plenty to Iraq. The fact is, we were trying to pull Iraq into our column during the cold war as well as stop Iran from moving towards our oil supplying nations."

It does matter because the amount of aid and equipment the USA gave to Iraq during the 1980s was a tiny fraction of the total given by other countries primarily the Soviet Union. The USA does not have its hands dirty in this regard. It was the right policy to contribute aid to prevent an Iraqi defeat in the war, even though the amount of aid and intelligence given is so marginal when one looks at the total of all aid. The USA never had a policy of trying to equip Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction. Duel Use technology sent there that may have aided their programs was simply a mistake, a mistake that has been repeated just as recently as 7 years ago with the transfer of certain technology to China, that had a duel use of improving the accuracy of Chinese Nuclear Weapons. It was a stupid mistake, but it definitely was not a sign that the Clinton administration had some desire to improve the accuracy of Chinese Nuclear Weapons. A stupid failure of those in the administration that have a responsibility to watch the sale of sensitive items, but not a sign that the Clinton administration "hands are dirty". The same holds true for duel use technology that was transfered to Iraq at the during the 1980s.

"Point is Soviet Guilt does not erase our responsibility for helping legally and illegally by giving him better technology to improve his weapons. It does not change the fact that we are the country that gave him the dual use medical samples at a time when he was using weapons on foreign soldiers and his own people. It does not change the fact that the UN inspectors in the 90's found the dual use technology being used to creat WMD."

The duel use technology that was given to Iraq was given to multiple other countries in the 1980s. Much of it was irrelevant to what Iraq did, while other things may have contributed. It was stupid that some things were not blocked, but one has to realize that Iraq was recieving a lot of the same duel use technology from dozens of other countries as well.

Fact of the matter is, virtually any thing can be converted into some type of a weapon or a platform to transport some type of a weapon. Unless the international sanctions of the 1990s had been imposed on Iraq in the 1980s, there would have been no way to prevent Iraq from obtaining most of this duel use technology. Such sanctions though would have led to an Iranian victory which would have been a disaster.

Certain types of duel use technology should have been stopped from being transfered to Iraq. But the fact that it was transfered does not indicate some policy to equip Iraq with all sorts of potential Chemical and biological Weapons, much of which had questionable battlefield utility. The USA did have an interest in seeing Iraq defeat Iran on the battlefield, something best accomplished with conventional weapons and good training already being provided by the Soviets. The USA was not interested in feeding Saddam's rather crazy and absurd idea's about various chemicals and biological materials, much of them not having any utility on the battlefield.

"Quick analogy.....

"Country A has weapons given by Country C. They do their job however, they are not as effective as the wepons that Country B has."

"Country A kills people with the weapons created with the help of items purchased from Country C."

"Country A has been condemned by the world for killing in this manner. But Country B refuses to condemn Country A because Country A is at war with a country not liked by country B"

"Country B gives Country A BETTER Technology to improve and make the weapons more effective. Country B improves the weapons they were condemned for using originally. Country A gives Country B better means to target and deliver the weapons."

"To say that Country A ( USA) is NOT GUILTY because Country C (Soviets) gave them the technology first does not take the reponsibility away from us. To be giving him better means to use these items and improve upon them when he was using them makes us AS guilty and makes us STUPID."

The USA gave Iraq intelligence to improve its ability to target Iranian forces with conventional weapons. Of course, because conventional weapons are used to deliver chemical weapons, that also meant that Chemical Weapons could be more accurately delivered. But that was not the reason or intent that the USA gave intelligence on Iranian military positions. The USA gave that intelligence so the Iraqi military had a better chance of winning on the battlefield, not as a test case for Saddam's experiments with Chemical weapons.

The analogy totally fails because nearly all of the Weapons Iraq were using were Soviet and were not improved in any way by the USA. The transfer of duel use technology although a mistake in some cases, is not evidence of a USA intent to improve Iraqi WMD capability. The USA had far better ways to do that if that was so desired. IRAQ are the only ones who have their hands dirty when it comes to using duel use technology for military means.

"If you think that these countries West German, British, Austrian, French, Italian, and the Swiss were supplying Iraq's non-conventional wepaons program without the blessings of the White House in the 80's then I do not know what to say. Our relationship with these nations was different in the 80's and getting our allies to supply him for us at that time does not excuse our responsibility."

These countries were already supplying Iraq with much of this duel use technology prior to Saddam even assuming the Presidency. France started to build Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1976 and NO the USA had nothing to do with it. These countries are independent democracies and often did things independent of the USA. They were not puppit countries or governments of the USA in any way, unlike the relationship between the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Ultimately, the USA made a few transfers of duel use technology in the 1980s that were a mistake, just as the US has made some similar mistakes along those lines in the 1990s. It was stupid yes, but not a sign that US hands were dirty. US interest in Iraq in the 1980s was helping prevent Iran from winning the war, although US efforts on this goal are very marginal at best. It was Not about supplying precusers for possible Chemical and Biological weapons that Iraq had already developed.

I think the Weapons table accurately shows who were the major supporters of Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s and the USA was not a major supporter despite its goals. US hands may have been stupid in some cases back in the 1980s in regards to Iraq, but they are not dirty.

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Old 09-16-2003, 01:11 AM   #183
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Saddam was required to comply with 17 UN resolutions passed under Chapter VII rules of the United Nations which allow for the use of force. Saddam never complied with any of these resolutions. That is a fact. Despite the fact Saddam had been given 12 years, an absurd amount of time to complete the task of disarmament, given what happened with the disarmament of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and South Africa.

The fact is that the disarmament process required that Saddam cooperate. He never fully did and only cooperated when it suited him. At the end of the day, a few hundred unarmed inspectors cannot disarm a dictator with a half a million man military.

When the inspectors were finally let back into Iraq in November 2002, Saddam could have rolled out all the documents, materials, and other WMD he had on to Baghdad international Airport for the inspectors to see and inspect.

Instead, Saddam claimed he had destroyed the WMD that he had in 1998 in the four years the inspectors had been gone, but then never showed ANY evidence to support this claim. Saddam is required by the resolutions and ceacefire agreement to VERIFIABLY destroy his WMD. Saddam is not in compliance with the resolutions until he in fact does so.

Its rather silly for Saddam to claim that he destroyed all 30,000 Bio/Chem capable shells and that there is no evidence left of this destruction. Thats one hell of a lot of metal, and there is going to be a ton of evidence. Saddam could have presented this to the inspectors when they arrived in November 2002 but he didn't. His failure to do so means one can only conclude that the shells are still intact and hidden somewhere. If Saddam really destroyed all this stuff, it would have been easy enough to show UN inspector this there by preventing any sort of an invasion. The mistake many in the media make is that when something is destroyed, there are no remains. Thats not true. This physical matter does not disapear into thin air, not matter what is done with it.

The US case for war against Saddam rested firmly on Saddam's failure to comply with any of the resolutions and the authorization given to member States to use military force in light of Saddams failures to comply with the resolutions.

The Countries that were against the coalition efforts of enforcement, were going against the original resolutions themselves, but more importantly, they were going against any reliable way of enforcing the resolutions especially given Saddam's prior games. Their solutions would never of disarmed Saddam and would simply of repeated the games played in the past. Saddam would still be in power attempting to get out from under all sanctions and continuing to manipulate the world into believing that he was suddenly MR. Clean despite not having any evidence to prove it.

Countries that believe Saddam did not pose any threat have forgotten history. A history which includes Saddam's invasion and attacks, unprovoked, on four different countries. Actions that killed hundreds of thousands of people and had the potential to threaten the worlds energy supply and set off a worldwide economic depression.

Saddam had to be disarmed and disarmed fully and quickly for security of the region and the world. This was not completed though for 12 years and a failure to enforce the original resolutions and ceacefire agreement would have been a serious threat to the region, USA, and the world. If that were not the case there would have been no reason to require Saddam to disarm fully back in 1991.

Rather than the USA abandoning the Germans and French to go it alone, if anything it was the Germans and French who decided to abandon the USA on policy with Iraq. They could have contributed troops to the effort, but decided not too.

History is on the side of the USA in this one. Saddam failed to comply with any of the resolutions and had done so for 12 years. The USA finally took the appropriate action necessary to bring about compliance. The other methods had been tried and failed. The fact of the matter is that only Military Force can disarm a dictator who does not want to be disarmed.

Iraqi's today have the opportunity for the brightest future they have ever had in their history. Saddam will never be able to threaten the worlds supply of energy again. One of the most brutal dictators ever in history, and one of the most difficult security problems for the region has been solved. But the Germans and French decided not to participate in any of this and in fact tried to obstruct the process to bring about the situation we see today.

As Iraq rebuilds and starts to grow into a democracy, people will remember the French and German resistence to removing Saddam. The French and Germans may have ultimately been on the wrong side when it came to the war, but they now have an opportunity to be on the right side when it comes to the peace and rebuilding of Iraq. France and Germany will be looked on much more favorably years from now, if they start to signifantly contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq.

Right now, the USA along with 29 other nations are involved in the rebuilding of Iraq and the building of a bright democratic future for Iraqi's. Germany and France continue to sit on the sidelines and do nothing. The coalition continues to be engaged in hard work in building Iraq. Germany and France have a decision to make. They must decide if punishing what they precieve as US unilateralism is more important than helping the Iraqi people, helping Iraqi's rebuild their country, helping Iraq form a stable, working, democratic government, helping Iraqi's stop those who would want to destroy the future of a democratic Iraq. Hopefully France and Germany will choose to be on the right side of History this time and choose to make an important contribution in helping to rebuild Iraq.
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Old 09-16-2003, 06:03 PM   #184
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Back to the LIES,00.html

Special investigation

The spies who pushed for war

Julian Borger reports on the shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force

Thursday July 17, 2003
The Guardian

As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small, well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.
It represents the Bush administration's second catastrophic intelligence failure. But the CIA and FBI's inability to prevent the September 11 attacks was largely due to internal institutional weaknesses.

This time the implications are far more damaging for the White House, which stands accused of politicising and contaminating its own source of intelligence.

According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.

The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a justification for war.

Mr Tenet has officially taken responsibility for the president's unsubstantiated claim in January that Saddam Hussein's regime had been trying to buy uranium in Africa, but he also said his agency was under pressure to justify a war that the administration had already decided on.

How much Mr Tenet reveals of where that pressure was coming from could have lasting political fallout for Mr Bush and his re-election prospects, which only a few weeks ago seemed impregnable. As more Americans die in Iraq and the reasons for the war are revealed, his victory in 2004 no longer looks like a foregone conclusion.

The White House counter-attacked yesterday when new chief spokesman, Scott McClellan, accused critics of "politicising the war" and trying to "rewrite history". But the Democratic leadership kept up its questions over the White House role.

The president's most trusted adviser, Mr Cheney, was at the shadow network's sharp end. He made several trips to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more "forward-leaning" interpretation of the threat posed by Saddam. When he was not there to make his influence felt, his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was. Such hands-on involvement in the processing of intelligence data was unprecedented for a vice-president in recent times, and it put pressure on CIA officials to come up with the appropriate results.

Another frequent visitor was Newt Gingrich, the former Republican party leader who resurfaced after September 11 as a Pentagon "consultant" and a member of its unpaid defence advisory board, with influence far beyond his official title.

An intelligence official confirmed Mr Gingrich made "a couple of visits" but said there was nothing unusual about that.

Rick Tyler, Mr Gingrich's spokesman, said: "If he was at the CIA he was there to listen and learn, not to persuade or influence."

Mr Gingrich visited Langley three times before the war, and according to accounts, the political veteran sought to browbeat analysts into toughening up their assessments of Saddam's menace.

Mr Gingrich gained access to the CIA headquarters and was listened to because he was seen as a personal emissary of the Pentagon and, in particular, of the OSP.

In the days after September 11, Mr Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, mounted an attempt to include Iraq in the war against terror. When the established agencies came up with nothing concrete to link Iraq and al-Qaida, the OSP was given the task of looking more carefully.

William Luti, a former navy officer and ex-aide to Mr Cheney, runs the day-to-day operations, answering to Douglas Feith, a defence undersecretary and a former Reagan official.

The OSP had access to a huge amount of raw intelligence. It came in part from "report officers" in the CIA's directorate of operations whose job is to sift through reports from agents around the world, filtering out the unsubstantiated and the incredible. Under pressure from the hawks such as Mr Cheney and Mr Gingrich, those officers became reluctant to discard anything, no matter how far-fetched. The OSP also sucked in countless tips from the Iraqi National Congress and other opposition groups, which were viewed with far more scepticism by the CIA and the state department.

There was a mountain of documentation to look through and not much time. The administration wanted to use the momentum gained in Afghanistan to deal with Iraq once and for all. The OSP itself had less than 10 full-time staff, so to help deal with the load, the office hired scores of temporary "consultants". They included lawyers, congressional staffers, and policy wonks from the numerous rightwing thinktanks in Washington. Few had experience in intelligence.

"Most of the people they had in that office were off the books, on personal services contracts. At one time, there were over 100 of them," said an intelligence source. The contracts allow a department to hire individuals, without specifying a job description.

As John Pike, a defence analyst at the thinktank, put it, the contracts "are basically a way they could pack the room with their little friends".

"They surveyed data and picked out what they liked," said Gregory Thielmann, a senior official in the state department's intelligence bureau until his retirement in September. "The whole thing was bizarre. The secretary of defence had this huge defence intelligence agency, and he went around it."

In fact, the OSP's activities were a com plete mystery to the DIA and the Pentagon.

"The iceberg analogy is a good one," said a senior officer who left the Pentagon during the planning of the Iraq war. "No one from the military staff heard, saw or discussed anything with them."

The civilian agencies had the same impression of the OSP sleuths. "They were a pretty shadowy presence," Mr Thielmann said. "Normally when you compile an intelligence document, all the agencies get together to discuss it. The OSP was never present at any of the meetings I attended."

Democratic congressman David Obey, who is investigating the OSP, said: "That office was charged with collecting, vetting and disseminating intelligence completely outside of the normal intelligence apparatus. In fact, it appears that information collected by this office was in some instances not even shared with established intelligence agencies and in numerous instances was passed on to the national security council and the president without having been vetted with anyone other than political appointees."

The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon's office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam's Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorise.

"None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels," said one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith's authority without having to fill in the usual forms.

The exchange of information continued a long-standing relationship Mr Feith and other Washington neo-conservatives had with Israel's Likud party.

In 1996, he and Richard Perle - now an influential Pentagon figure - served as advisers to the then Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. In a policy paper they wrote, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, the two advisers said that Saddam would have to be destroyed, and Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would have to be overthrown or destabilised, for Israel to be truly safe.

The Israeli influence was revealed most clearly by a story floated by unnamed senior US officials in the American press, suggesting the reason that no banned weapons had been found in Iraq was that they had been smuggled into Syria. Intelligence sources say that the story came from the office of the Israeli prime minister.

The OSP absorbed this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it a "product", a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice's deputy.

In turn, they leaked some of the claims to the press, and used others as a stick with which to beat the CIA and the state department analysts, demanding they investigate the OSP leads.

The big question looming over Congress as Mr Tenet walked into his closed-door session yesterday was whether this shadow intelligence operation would survive national scrutiny and who would pay the price for allowing it to help steer the country into war.

A former senior CIA official insisted yesterday that Mr Feith, at least, was "finished" - but that may be wishful thinking by a rival organisation.

As he prepares for re-election, Mr Bush may opt to tough it out, rather than acknowledge the severity of the problem by firing loyalists. But in that case, it will inevitably be harder to re-establish confidence in the intelligence on which the White House is basing its decisions, and the world's sole superpower risks stumbling onwards half-blind, unable to distinguish real threats from phantoms.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:18 PM   #185
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Bush: No Proof of Saddam Role in 9-11
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) said Wednesday there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) was involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — disputing an impression that critics say the administration tried to foster to justify the war against Iraq (news - web sites).

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties," the president said. But he also said, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."

The president's comment was the administration's firmest assertion that there is no proven link between Saddam and Sept. 11. It came after Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) on Sunday clouded the issue by saying, "It's not surprising people make that connection" between Saddam and the attacks.

Cheney, on NBC's "Meet the Press," also repeated an allegation — doubted by many in the intelligence community — that Mohamed Atta, the lead Sept. 11 attacker, met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague five months before Sept. 11.

"We've never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it," Cheney said Sunday. However, other U.S. authorities have said information gathered on Atta's movement show he was on the U.S. East Coast when that meeting supposedly took place.

Critics of the Bush administration have pointed to statements like Cheney's as evidence that the administration was exaggerating al-Qaida's prewar links with Saddam to help justify the U.S.-led war against Iraq.

A recent poll indicated that nearly 70 percent of Americans believed the Iraqi leader probably was personally involved. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that."

The administration has argued that Saddam's government had close links to al-Qaida, the terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) that masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks.

On Sunday, for example, Cheney said that success in stabilizing and democratizing Iraq would strike a major blow at the "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11."

Bush himself has taken to referring to Iraq as the central front in the war against terror.

And Tuesday, in an interview on ABC's "Nightline," White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) said that one of the reasons Bush went to war against Saddam was because he posed a threat in "a region from which the 9-11 threat emerged."

Cheney on Sunday was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in a Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.

Rice, asked about the same poll numbers, said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11."

Bush said there was no attempt by the administration to try to confuse people about any link between Saddam and Sept. 11.

"No, we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th," Bush said. "What the vice president said was is that he (Saddam) has been involved with al-Qaida.

"And al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida operative, was in Baghdad. He's the guy that ordered the killing of a U.S. diplomat. ... There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties."

Most of the administration's public assertions have focused on the man Bush mentioned, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a senior bin Laden associate who officials have accused of trying to train terrorists in the use of poison for possible attacks in Europe, running a terrorist haven in northern Iraq — an area outside Saddam's control before the war — and organizing an attack that killed an American aid executive in Jordan last year.

*edited for format
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:31 AM   #186
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Originally posted by theSoulfulMofo

Cheney on Sunday was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in a Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.
That's my favorite part of the article. No, I don't suppose he'd not find that surprising.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:54 PM   #187
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Now they're lying to get out of the lies they told before.

Truth / Too little of it on Iraq

Published September 17, 2003 ED17

Dick Cheney is not a public relations man for the Bush administration, not a spinmeister nor a political operative. He's the vice president of the United States, and when he speaks in public, which he rarely does, he owes the American public the truth.

In his appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday, Cheney fell woefully short of truth. On the subject of Iraq, the same can be said for President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz. But Cheney is the latest example of administration mendacity, and therefore a good place to start in holding the administration accountable. The list:

• Cheney repeated the mantra that the nation ignored the terrorism threat before Sept. 11. In fact, President Bill Clinton and his counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, took the threat very seriously, especially after the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000. By December, Clarke had prepared plans for a military operation to attack Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, go after terrorist financing and work with police officials around the world to take down the terrorist network.

Because Clinton was to leave office in a few weeks, he decided against handing Bush a war in progress as he worked to put a new administration together.

Instead, Clarke briefed national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Cheney and others. He emphasized that time was short and action was urgent. The Bush administration sat on the report for months and months. The first high-level discussion took place on Sept. 4, 2001, just a week before the attacks. The actions taken by the Bush administration following Sept. 11 closely parallel actions recommended in Clarke's nine-month-old plan. Who ignored the threat?

• Cheney said that "we don't know" if there is a connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. He's right only in the sense that "we don't know" if the sun will come up tomorrow. But all the evidence available says it will -- and that Iraq was not involved in Sept. 11.

Cheney offered stuff, but it wasn't evidence. He said that one of those involved in planning the attack, an Iraqi-American, had returned to Iraq after the attack and had been protected, perhaps even supported, by Saddam Hussein. That proves exactly nothing about Iraq's links to the attack itself.

Cheney also cited a supposed meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohamed Atta and a senior Iraqi intelligence officer -- but the FBI concluded that Atta was in Florida at the time of the supposed meeting. The CIA always doubted the story. And according to a New York Times article on Oct. 21, 2002, Czech President Vaclav Havel "quietly told the White House he has concluded that there is no evidence to confirm earlier reports" of such a meeting.

Moreover, the United States now has in custody the agent accused of meeting with Atta. Even though he must know how much he would benefit by simply saying, "Yes, I met Atta in Prague," there has been no announcement by the administration trumpeting that vindication of its belief in an Iraq-Sept. 11 link.

• In trying to make that link, Cheney baldly asserted that Iraq is the "geographic base" for those who struck the United States on Sept. 11. No, that would be Afghanistan.

• On weapons of mass destruction, Cheney made a number of statements that were misleading or simply false. For example, he said the United States knew Iraq had "500 tons of uranium." Well, yes, and so did the U.N. inspectors. What Cheney didn't say is that the uranium was low-grade waste from nuclear energy plants, and could not have been useful for weapons without sophisticated processing that Iraq was incapable of performing.

Cheney also said, "To suggest that there is no evidence [in Iraq] that [Saddam] had aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons, I don't think is valid." It's probably not valid; Saddam wanted nuclear weapons. But Cheney is changing the subject: The argument before the war wasn't Saddam's aspirations; it was Saddam's active program to build nuclear weapons.

Cheney also said "a gentleman" has come forward "with full designs for a process centrifuge system to enrich uranium and the key parts that you need to build such a system." That would be scientist Mahdi Obeidi, who had buried the centrifuge pieces in his back yard -- in 1991. Obeidi insisted that Iraq hadn't restarted its nuclear weapons program after the end of the first Gulf War. The centrifuge pieces might have signaled a potential future threat, but they actually disprove Cheney's prewar assertion that Iraq had, indeed, "reconstituted" its nuclear-weapons program.

Cheney also said he put great store in the ongoing search for Saddam's WMD program: "We've got a very good man now in charge of the operation, David Kay, who used to run UNSCOM [the U.N. inspection effort]." In fact, Kay did not run UNSCOM; for one year he was the chief inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency's team in Iraq.

But it's funny Cheney should mention Kay. Last summer, the leader of the 1,400-person team searching for WMD expressed great confidence that they would find what they were looking for. He said he wouldn't publicize discoveries piecemeal but would submit a comprehensive report in mid-September. Apparently he has submitted the report to George Tenet at the CIA. The question now is whether it will ever be made public; several reports in the press have suggested that Kay has come up way short. In five months, 1,400 experts haven't found the WMD locations that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said before the war were well-known to the United States.

Cheney also said that an investigation by the British had "revalidated the British claim that Saddam was, in fact, trying to acquire uranium in Africa -- what was in the State of the Union speech." The British investigation did nothing of the kind. A parliamentary investigative committee said the documents on the uranium are being reinvestigated, but that, based on the existence of those documents, the Blair government made a "reasonable" assertion and had not tried to deliberately mislead the British people.

To explore every phony statement in the vice president's "Meet the Press" interview would take far more space than is available. This merely points out some of the most egregious examples. Opponents of the war are fond of saying that "Bush lied and our soldiers died." In fact, they'd have reason to assert that "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz lied and our soldiers died." It's past time the principals behind this mismanaged war were called to account for their deliberate misstatements.
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Old 09-18-2003, 05:59 PM   #188
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Lie - to make a statement that one knows is false.

Allege - to assert or declare without proof

None of the articles you have posted have shown that the President or anyone in the administration "lied". Certainly they have made "allegations" in certain cases based on the latest intelligence which is always changing, but nothing in any of your articles fits the definition of a "lie".

At the same time, can you name a single UN resolution or requirement of the 1991 UN Ceacefire Agreement that Saddam complied with and the UN approved?

Do you realize that Kazakstan, Ukraine, Belarus, South Africa all disarmed their arsenals of WMD in less than 2 years, but after 12 years Saddam had failed to fullfill the requirments of the resolutions and ceacefire agreement?

Do your realize that that all UN resolutions passed against Saddam were passed under Chapter VII rules of the UN allowing for the use of force and that resolutions 678, 687, and 1443 authorized member states to "use all means necessary" to bring about compliance with all the resolutions that Saddam never complied with?
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Old 09-21-2003, 02:13 PM   #189
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Tres. Sec. Snow just praised the appointed Iraqi council for approving a law allowing foreign companies to own Iraq’s oil fields and oil production.

Chilabi, Cheney’s pick for leading Iraq is at the head of the Iraqi council at this time.
These actions will only add credibility to the accusations that this whole Iraq war was about taking control of their oil.
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Old 09-21-2003, 02:16 PM   #190
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I agree with you, especially when we remember that the reason why the Baath Party was supported in Iraq was because they promissed to stop that only the government owns the Oilfields.

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Old 09-21-2003, 06:14 PM   #191
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Originally posted by deep
Tres. Sec. Snow just praised the appointed Iraqi council for approving a law allowing foreign companies to own Iraq’s oil fields and oil production.

Well, another radio report just said they approved foreign ownerships,

- except for real estate and the oil industry.
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:02 AM   #192
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Originally posted by deep

Well, another radio report just said they approved foreign ownerships,

- except for real estate and the oil industry.
sounds much better
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:28 PM   #193
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There has been no restoration of integrity. Bush's promise was a lie. The future of the United States remains in the hands of a dishonest man.
The Other Lies of George Bush

[from the October 13, 2003 issue]

This article was adapted from the new book, The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers).

George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small, directly and by omission. His Iraq lies have loomed largest. In the run-up to the invasion, Bush based his case for war on a variety of unfounded claims that extended far beyond his controversial uranium-from-Niger assertion. He maintained that Saddam Hussein possessed "a massive stockpile" of unconventional weapons and was directly "dealing" with Al Qaeda--two suppositions unsupported then (or now) by the available evidence. He said the International Atomic Energy Agency had produced a report in 1998 noting that Iraq was six months from developing a nuclear weapon; no such report existed (and the IAEA had actually reported then that there was no indication Iraq had the ability to produce weapons-grade material). Bush asserted that Iraq was "harboring a terrorist network, headed by a senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner"; US intelligence officials told reporters this terrorist was operating ouside of Al Qaeda control. And two days before launching the war, Bush said, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." Yet former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr, who is conducting a review of the prewar intelligence, has said that intelligence was full of qualifiers and caveats, and based on circumstantial and inferential evidence. That is, it was not no-doubt stuff. And after the major fighting was done, Bush declared, "We found the weapons of mass destruction." But he could only point to two tractor-trailers that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency had concluded were mobile bioweapons labs. Other experts--including the DIA's own engineering experts--disagreed with this finding.

But Bush's truth-defying crusade for war did not mark a shift for him. Throughout his campaign for the presidency and his years in the White House, Bush has mugged the truth in many other areas to advance his agenda. Lying has been one of the essential tools of his presidency. To call the forty-third President of the United States a prevaricator is not an exercise of opinion, not an inflammatory talk-radio device. Rather, it is backed up by an all-too-extensive record of self-serving falsifications. While politicians are often derided as liars, this charge should be particularly stinging for Bush. During the campaign of 2000, he pitched himself as a candidate who could "restore" honor and integrity to an Oval Office stained by the misdeeds and falsehoods of his predecessor. To brand Bush a liar is to negate what he and his supporters declared was his most basic and most important qualification for the job.

His claims about the war in Iraq have led more of his foes and more pundits to accuse him of lying to the public. The list of his misrepresentations, though, is far longer than the lengthy list of dubious statements Bush employed--and keeps on employing--to justify his invasion and occupation of Iraq. Here then is a partial--a quite partial--account of the other lies of George W. Bush.

Tax Cuts

Bush's crusade for tax cuts is the domestic policy matter that has spawned the most misrepresentations from his camp. On the 2000 campaign trail, he sold his success as a "tax-cutting person" by hailing cuts he passed in Texas while governor. But Bush did not tell the full story of his 1997 tax plan. His proposal called for cutting property taxes. But what he didn't mention is that it also included an attempt to boost the sales tax and to implement a new business tax. Nor did he note that his full package had not been accepted by the state legislature. Instead, the lawmakers passed a $1 billion reduction in property taxes. And these tax cuts turned out to be a sham. After they kicked in, school districts across the state boosted local tax rates to compensate for the loss of revenue. A 1999 Dallas Morning News analysis found that "many [taxpayers] are still paying as much as they did in 1997, or more." Republican Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry called the cuts "rather illusory."

One of Bush's biggest tax-cut whoppers came when he stated, during the presidential campaign, "The vast majority of my [proposed] tax cuts go to the bottom end of the spectrum." That estimate was wildly at odds with analyses of where the money would really go. A report by Citizens for Tax Justice, a liberal outfit that specializes in distribution analysis, figured that 42.6 percent of Bush's $1.6 trillion tax package would end up in the pockets of the top 1 percent of earners. The lowest 60 percent would net 12.6 percent. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and NBC News all reported that Bush's package produced the results CTJ calculated.

To deal with the criticism that his plan was a boon for millionaires, Bush devised an imaginary friend--a mythical single waitress who was supporting two children on an income of $22,000, and he talked about her often. He said he wanted to remove the tax-code barriers that kept this waitress from reaching the middle class, and he insisted that if his tax cuts were passed, "she will pay no income taxes at all." But when Time asked the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche to analyze precisely how Bush's waitress-mom would be affected by his tax package, the firm reported that she would not see any benefit because she already had no income-tax liability.

As he sold his tax cuts from the White House, Bush maintained in 2001 that with his plan, "the greatest percentage of tax relief goes to the people at the bottom end of the ladder." This was trickery--technically true only because low-income earners pay so little income tax to begin with. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put it, "a two-parent family of four with income of $26,000 would indeed have its income taxes eliminated under the Bush plan, which is being portrayed as a 100 percent reduction in taxes." But here was the punch line: The family owed only $20 in income taxes under the existing law. Its overall tax bill (including payroll and excise taxes), though, was $2,500. So that twenty bucks represented less than 1 percent of its tax burden. Bush's "greatest percentage" line was meaningless in the real world, where people paid their bills with money, not percentages.

Bush also claimed his tax plan--by eliminating the estate tax, at a cost of $300 billion--would "keep family farms in the family." But, as the New York Times reported, farm-industry experts could not point to a single case of a family losing a farm because of estate taxes. Asked about this, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said, "If you abolish the death tax, people won't have to hire all those planners to help them keep the land that's rightfully theirs." Caught in a $300 billion lie, the White House was now saying the reason to abolish the tax--a move that would be a blessing to the richest 2 percent of Americans--was to spare farmers the pain in the ass of estate planning. Bush's lies did not hinder him. They helped him win the first tax-cut fight--and, then, the tax-cut battle of 2003. When his second set of supersized tax cuts was assailed for being tilted toward the rich, he claimed, "Ninety-two million Americans will keep an average of $1,083 more of their own money." The Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute found that, contrary to Bush's assertion, nearly 80 percent of tax filers would receive less than $1,083, and almost half would pocket less than $100. The truly average taxpayers--those in the middle of the income range--would receive $265. Bush was using the word "average" in a flimflam fashion. To concoct the misleading $1,083 figure, the Administration took the large dollar amounts high-income taxpayers would receive and added that to the modest, small or nonexistent reductions other taxpayers would get--and then used this total to calculate an average gain. His claim was akin to saying that if a street had nine households led by unemployed individuals but one with an earner making a million dollars, the average income of the families on the block would be $100,000. The radical Wall Street Journal reported, "Overall, the gains from the taxes are weighted toward upper-income taxpayers."

The Environment

One of Bush's first PR slip-ups as President came when his EPA announced that it would withdraw a new standard for arsenic in drinking water that had been developed during the Clinton years. Bush defended this move by claiming that the new standard had been irresponsibly rushed through: "At the very last minute my predecessor made a decision, and we pulled back his decision so that we can make a decision based upon sound science and what's realistic." And his EPA administrator, Christine Todd Whitman, said the standard had not been based on the "best available science." This was a harsh charge. And untrue.

The new arsenic standard was no quickie job unattached to reasonable scientific findings. The EPA had worked for a decade on establishing the new, 10-parts-per-billion standard. Congress had directed the agency to establish a new standard, and it had authorized $2.5 million a year for studies from 1997 through 2000. A 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) had concluded that the existing 50-ppb standard "could easily" result in a 1-in-100 cancer risk and had recommended that acceptable levels be lowered "as promptly as possible." EPA policy-makers had thought that a 3-ppb standard would have been justified by the science, yet they took cost considerations into account and went for the less stringent 10 ppb.

Bush's arsenic move appeared to have been based upon a political calculation--even though Bush, as a candidate, had said he would not decide key policy matters on the basis of politics. But in his book The Right Man, David Frum, a former Bush economic speechwriter, reported that Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, had "pressed for reversal" of the arsenic standard in an attempt to win votes in New Mexico, one of a few states that have high naturally occurring levels of arsenic and that would face higher costs in meeting the new standard.

Several months after the EPA suspended the standard, a new NAS study concluded that the 10-ppb standard was indeed scientifically justified and possibly not tight enough. After that, the Administration decided that the original 10 ppb was exactly the right level for a workable rule, even though the latest in "best available science" now suggested that the 10-ppb level might not adequately safeguard water drinkers.

The arsenic screw-up was one of the few lies for which Bush took a hit. On the matter of global warming, he managed to lie his way through a controversy more deftly. Months into his presidency, Bush declared that he was opposed to the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 global warming accord. To defend his retreat from the treaty, he cited "the incomplete state of scientific knowledge." This was a misleading argument, for the scientific consensus was rather firm. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body of thousands of scientists assembled by the UN and the World Meteorological Organization, held that global temperatures were dramatically on the rise and that this increase was, to an unspecified degree, a result of human-induced emissions.

In early June 2001 the NAS released a report Bush had requested, and it concluded global warming was under way and "most likely due to human activities." Rather than accept the analysis it had commissioned, the Bush White House countered with duplicity. Press secretary Fleischer maintained that the report "concludes that the Earth is warming. But it is inconclusive on why--whether it's man-made causes or whether it's natural causes." That was not spinning. That was prevaricating. The study blamed "human activities" while noting that "natural variability" might be a contributing factor too.

Still, the Bush White House wanted to make it seem as if Bush did take the issue seriously. So on June 11, he delivered a speech on global warming and pledged to craft an alternative to Kyoto that would "reduce" emissions. The following February he unveiled his plan. "Our immediate goal," Bush said, "is to reduce America's greenhouse-gas emissions relative to the size of our economy."

Relative to the size of our economy? This was a ruse. Since the US economy is generally growing, this meant emissions could continue to rise, as long as the rate of increase was below the rate of economic growth. The other industrialized nations, with the Kyoto accord, were calling for reductions below 1990 levels. Bush was pushing for slower increases above 2000 levels. Bush's promise to lower emissions had turned out to be no more than hot air.

September 11

As many Americans and others yearned to make sense of the evil attacks of September 11, Bush elected to share with the public a deceptively simplistic explanation of this catastrophe. Repeatedly, he said that the United States had been struck because of its love of freedom. "America was targeted for attack," he maintained, "because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." This was shallow analysis, a comic-book interpretation of the event that covered up complexities and denied Americans information crucial for developing a full understanding of the attacks. In the view Bush furnished, Osama bin Laden was a would-be conqueror of the world, a man motivated solely by irrational evil, who killed for the purpose of destroying freedom.

But as the State Department's own terrorism experts--as well as nongovernment experts--noted, bin Laden was motivated by a specific geostrategic and theological aim: to chase the United States out of the Middle East in order to ease the way for a fundamentalist takeover of the region. Peter Bergen, a former CNN producer and the first journalist to arrange a television interview with bin Laden, observes in his book Holy War, Inc., "What [bin Laden] condemns the United States for is simple: its policies in the Middle East." Rather than acknowledge the realities of bin Laden's war on America, Bush attempted to create and perpetuate a war-on-freedom myth.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush was disingenuous on other fronts. Days after the attack, he asserted, "No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft--fly US aircraft--into buildings full of innocent people." His aides echoed this sentiment for months. They were wrong. Such a scenario had been imagined and feared by terrorism experts. And plots of this sort had previously been uncovered and thwarted by security services in other nations--in operations known to US officials. According to the 9/11 inquiry conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees, the US intelligence establishment had received numerous reports that bin Laden and other terrorists were interested in mounting 9/11-like strikes against the United States.

Fourteen months after the attack, Bush said, "We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th." But his actions belied this rhetoric. His White House refused to turn over information to the intelligence committees about a pre-9/11 intelligence briefing he had had seen, and the Bush Administration would not allow the committees to tell the public what intelligence warnings Bush had received before September 11. More famously, Bush would not declassify the twenty-seven-page portion of the committees' final report that concerned connections between the 9/11 hijackers and Saudi Arabia. And following September 11, Bush repeatedly maintained that his Administration was doing everything possible to secure the nation. But that was not true. The Administration did not move--and has not moved--quickly to address gaping security concerns, including vulnerabilities at chemical plants and ports and a huge shortfall in resources for first responders [see Corn, "Homeland Insecurity," September 22].

It did not start with Iraq. Bush has been lying throughout the presidency. He claimed he had not gotten to know disgraced Enron chief Ken Lay until after the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. But Lay had been one of Bush's larger contributors during that election and had--according to Lay himself--been friends with Bush for years before it. In June 2001, Bush said, "We're not going to deploy a [missile defense] system that doesn't work." But then he ordered the deployment of a system that was not yet operational. (A June 2003 General Accounting Office study noted, "Testing to date has provided only limited data for determining whether the system will work as intended.") His White House claimed that it was necessary to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to "secure America's energy needs." But the US Geological Survey noted that the amount of oil that might be found there would cover up to slightly more than two years' worth of oil consumption. Such a supply would hardly "secure" the nation's needs.

Speaking for his boss, Fleischer in 2002 said, "the President does, of course, believe that younger workers...are going to receive no money for their Social Security taxes." No money? That was not so. A projected crunch will hit in four decades or so. But even when this happens, the system will be able to pay an estimated 70 percent of benefits--which is somewhat more than "no money." When Bush in August 2001 announced he would permit federal funding of stem-cell research only for projects that used existing stem-cell lines--in a move to placate social conservatives, who opposed this sort of research--he said that there were sixty existing lines, and he asserted that his decision "allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem-cell research." Yet at the time--according to scientific experts in the field and various media reports--there were closer to ten available lines, not nearly enough to support a promising research effort.

Does Bush believe his own untruths? Did he truly consider a WMD-loaded Saddam Hussein an imminent threat to the United States? Or was he knowingly employing dramatic license because he wanted war for other reasons? Did he really think the average middle-class taxpayer would receive $1,083 from his second tax-cut plan? Or did he realize this was a fuzzy number cooked up to make the package seem a better deal than it was for middle- and low-income workers? Did he believe there were enough stem-cell lines to support robust research? Or did he know he had exaggerated the number of lines in order to avoid a politically tough decision?

It's hard to tell. Bush's public statements do suggest he is a binary thinker who views the world in black-and-white terms. You're either for freedom or against it. With the United States or not. Tax cuts are good--always. The more tax cuts the better--always. He's impatient with nuances. Asked in 1999 to name something he wasn't good at, Bush replied, "Sitting down and reading a 500-page book on public policy or philosophy or something." Bush likes life to be clear-cut. And perhaps that causes him to either bend the truth or see (and promote) a bent version of reality. Observers can debate whether Bush considers his embellishments and misrepresentations to be the honest-to-God truth or whether he cynically hurls falsehoods to con the public. But believer or deceiver--the result is the same.

With his misrepresentations and false assertions, Bush has dramatically changed the nation and the world. Relying on deceptions, he turned the United States into an occupying power. Using lies, he pushed through tax cuts that will profoundly reshape the US budget for years to come, most likely insuring a long stretch of deficits that will make it difficult, perhaps impossible, for the federal government to fund existing programs or contemplate new ones.

Does Bush lie more than his predecessors, more than his political opponents? That's irrelevant. He's guiding the nation during difficult and perhaps perilous times, in which a credible President is much in need. Prosperity or economic decline? War or peace? Security or fear? This country has a lot to deal with. Lies from the White House poison the debates that must occur if Americans are going to confront and overcome the challenges of this century at home and abroad.

Presidential lying, in fact, threatens the country. To render informed and wise choices about the crucial and complicated controversies of the day, people need truthful information. The President is generally in a position to define and dominate a debate more than other political players. And a lie from the White House--or a fib or a misrepresentation or a fudged number--can go a long way toward distorting the national discussion.

Bush campaigned for the presidency as the fellow who would bring honesty back to the White House. During his first full day on the job, while swearing in his White House staff, he reminded his cadre, "On a mantelpiece in this great house is inscribed the prayer of John Adams, that only the wise and honest may rule under this roof." But Adams's prayer would once more go unanswered. There has been no restoration of integrity. Bush's promise was a lie. The future of the United States remains in the hands of a dishonest man.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:39 PM   #194
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I guess if you keep repeating it to yourself, you will believe it.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:45 PM   #195
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It would be nice if some journalist looked up what the definition of a "lie" is.

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