We Wuz Wrong


From today's Washington Post:

The Bush administration acknowledged for the first time yesterday that President Bush should not have alleged in his State of the Union address in January that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Africa to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.

Whole story is here, with a link to the paper's archive of weapons of mass destruction articles.

NEXT: Strange Loops

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  1. Lefty – unlike monetary capital, political capital cannot be “saved” – it must be spent before it vanishes.

    That GW realized this fact and acted in accordance with it is the only positive thing I could say about the action.

  2. Maybe.

    Fact is, every piece of intelligence about North Korea, Iran, Syria or Al Quaeda will get the microscope more than ever now. This, together with us running out of ground troops, a growing fiscal problem, an upcoming election and alienated allies makes the possibility of moving militarily on a REAL threat a near impossibility.

  3. It may have been passed on by Italy, but the early word was that it was created by France. Somebody sure as hell made it up. I don’t know why the Italians would, but I do know why the French would.

    See the past paragraph of http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0403/ignatius041003.asp

  4. Lefty: we can’t fight North Korea, Iran or Syria? I am sure the anti-war crowd is thrilled!

  5. T. Hartin,

    Sure. 🙂 All along I’ve read that it was the Italians who passed this info onto the US/UK; in fact, this is the first time I have ever seen a report that the intelligence came from France (which it didn’t). Your undying irrational hatred of France is telling. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your bigotry.

  6. maybe frenchhaters and frenchlickers could provide links for their claims

  7. T. Hartin,

    In fact, the rumor presented in the URL you posted sounds a lot like all the bogus stories about France selling passports, and the like to Iraqi officials. None of these have been confirmed by anyone outside of Murdoch paper or news outlet, and at least a few have been denied by various organs of the US government.

  8. fyi, you should make clear that the link is from the WaPo and not leftist opinion (spare the jokes, it is a paper w/good reporting).

    mr. frenchhater, your turn…

  9. commondreams.com is scarcely more valid or less biased than any murdoch outlet. so thats simply not credible. (unless the web adress is misleading as the poster above seems to imply and its really a Post story?)

  10. jacob: the link is misleading, it is a post story

  11. still if it’s from common dreams it can’t be good, i.e. it cannot not help but suffer from liberal bias.

  12. I wonder how many of those willing to excuse this president for lying about why he ordered the death of thousands, wanted the last one rebuked for lying about where he put his penis.

  13. “ordered the death of thousands”

    Pul-lease. They went willingly and gladly.

  14. “ordered the death of thousands”

    such as whom? please cite evidence of this death warrant. were the victims executed by hanging, lethel injection, gas? or were you just being a typical idiotarian and confusing war with “ordering death.”

  15. Here’s a French link with a WMD tie-in. If you ask me, and you didn’t, this is proof enough they were developing WMD, unless you think Saddam was concerned about an oil shortage.


    Warren, I’m against prosecuting sexual predators in the workplace too. Their past sexual history is “none of our business”, so they may as well lie in court (and try to smear the victim outside of court)if its “just about sex”. Then again, the marketplace can control dispicable behavior too (Libertarian side of the brain kicking in). Maybe I’m not being sarcastic afterall…

  16. Hey, the story that the Niger documents were passed on by the Italians never indicates who committed the actual forgery. I’ve always thought the French angle was as good as any on that front – if you have any other published information on who actually forged the documents, let us know. The Post story never says. It is certainly consistent with the French government’s vehement opposition to the war, and in line with their well-known penchant for dirty tricks (cf, bombing the Rainbow Warrior).

    I just think the French are as likely as anyone to put forgeries into the intelligence data stream, and I think the irony of these forgeries now biting the French in the ass because of the damage they are doing to Blair is worth chuckling over.

  17. T. Hartin,

    “It is certainly consistent with the French government’s vehement opposition to the war, and in line with their well-known penchant for dirty tricks (cf, bombing the Rainbow Warrior).”

    Along with Germany’s, Russia’s, etc. opposition as well. What, as opposed to the dirty tricks perpetrated by the US government on a daily basis? Let me ask you – how dirty is it for Bush to blame Europe for blocking agricultural trade via the CAP, when his own government sucks so hard on the US cotton barons cocks that hos administration is unwilling to stop subsidies to that industry, which in turn significantly harms numerous sub-saharan African countries? You are a bigot – if you said similar things about a “race” you would rightly be called a racist.

    “I just think the French are as likely as anyone to put forgeries into the intelligence data stream, and I think the irony of these forgeries now biting the French in the ass because of the damage they are doing to Blair is worth chuckling over.”

    So you go from a hoped for wish, that France created the documents, to an established fact France actually created them. To be frank, being as “likely as anyone” isn’t much to hang your hat on – though it is a great excuse to spout bigoted statements.

  18. If people are confused by the link, its simply because they are too damn lazy to paste it to their browser.

  19. T. Hartin,

    “I’ve always thought the French angle was as good as any on that front…”

    You really are the king of tenuous speculation based on your own irrational prejudices.

  20. Here’s a question for people on both sides:

    What would it take to change your mind about whether we should have invaded Iraq? The discussion on this forum doesn’t seem to feature many pro-war people changing their minds based on this revelation. That’s fine, if the recanted evidence wasn’t your reason for supporting the invasion. What would change your mind?

    By the same token, what would it take to persuade the anti-war camp that they were wrong in their opposition to the war? It seems that in any discussion of the war on Reason’s forums, it soon degenerates into “See, the war was right!” vs. “No it wasn’t!” or “The new evidence proves we shouldn’t have invaded!” vs. “No it doesn’t!”

    In the interests of full disclosure, my answer:

    I opposed the war. I would change my mind if I learned that Iraq had plans to use WMD against the United States (either directly or through intermediaries, e.g. Al Qaeda), and that these plans were not contingent on a US invasion (i.e. if the plan was “We only use these if the US invades” then the prescribed course of action would be to not invade). I also would have changed my mind if I saw convincing evidence linking Iraq to 9/11 or any other terrorist attack against the United States.

    You can think my threshold for “opinion change” is too high, but all I’m doing is laying my cards on the table. I’d like to hear what other people’s thresholds for “opinion change” are.

  21. thoreau,

    Hmm, what about those of who don’t give a shit either way? 🙂

  22. Croesus-

    We’ll just put you in the “I’d change my mind but I don’t have a spare” category 😉

  23. Well, this is not a surprise. I can only hope that this confession results in some meaningful changes, though I am skeptical. This administration is too savvy to admit wrongdoing when unnecessary; this is probably a strategic move to prevent exposure of other dissembling. At least there can be no more assertions by kneejerk conservatives that criticism of the GWB administration are a liberal plot (although I’m sure Coulter will find a way to blame it all on those poor hippies).

    Administration heads should roll for deceiving the US public.

  24. bush should just come out and say he was bullshitting a little and that he is sorry about it, but the war was still justified for humanitarian reasons, regional security, to stick it to the twofaced saudis, to go around buying oil from pro-terrorist states, to scare the shit out of the arabs (and north koreans and iranians), start a democratic state in the middle east, have armies closer to syria to bring pressure on them during the isreal/palistinian negotiations, to get a base in Kurdistan away from wahhabist crazies, to stop genocide, to free a people and finally to kill a bunch of terrorists who were bound to join the showdown.

  25. Frenk,

    And liberals whose argument against war was never based on the WMD issue in the first place should themselves refrain from “kneejerk criticism” of Bush.

  26. Obviously, Bush thought what he was saying was true (it would be willing political suicide to risk it otherwise, and noone as politically canny as GWB would do that). Thus, we as citizens should expect some a response to this stretch.

    Anyway, I want some answers.

  27. What answers? We all know Iraq has been a thorn in the U.S. side for a decade -an embarassment that stood as a constant reminder to every Jihadist that you CAN stand up to U.S. might and survive.

    9/11 gave Bush Jr. the necessary political captial. Instead of wasting the political capital on altruistic platitudes and ‘bringing the world together for a great big group hug” – he spent it on getting rid of Saddam.

    Of course there were lies. Of course there was misdirection. The whole thing was about the “greater” good of getting a foothold in the region by toppling the 1 country that was most A) politically expedient B) Economically viable (yes oil) C) Justifiable in its own right (broken UN Resolutions).

    Everything else – WMD / Liberation / Definance of the UN – all sugar-coating designed to buy support for the U.S. finally getting hold of some tangible control of the 3 ring circus of despots we call the Middle-East.

  28. This outfit and its right wing buddy’s rub-your-nose-in-it, sack dancing, dishonest, arrogant style makes it very unlikely I would stop challenging them. It’s sad, but they could invent cold fusion and I wouldn’t support them.

    Is that their fault or mine?

  29. Frenk:

    No doubt Bush believed what he was saying was true. I’m sure Rummy and Scummy go out of their way to guarantee Dummy has plausible deniability.

  30. “Dummy” hah hah hah, you’re killing me.

  31. so let me get this straight kevin, were you for the war soley because of WMD?

    if not, why is this suddenly a concern?

    if so, if we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that WMDs exist in Iran and N. Korea, should we go to war?

  32. Back atcha Question Mark – Are you so happy that our soldiers and marines had to go to war that you aren’t at all bothered by the fact that the president lied about a mortal threat to our country in order to get them there?

  33. “9/11 gave Bush Jr. the necessary political captial”

    And, like our revenue surpluses, it’s all gone now.

  34. ious = revenue surpluses

  35. repeating false information is not lying and iraq was just one of many threats from the ME. one down, more to go…

  36. Of course, the whole Nigerian uranium deal was a French intelligence op in the first place – the frogs planted the story in intelligence channels for the purpose of having it embarrass Bush and Blair. They undoubtedly hoped it would blow up in time to derail the war.

    Now, ironically, it is blowing up in England just in time to weaken Tony Blair as he tries to get the Brits into the EU. Since the French badly want the English in the EU, their little cutesy-pie disinformation campaign has had one and only one real impact – to undermine their central foreign policy objective.

    You don’t know whethere to laugh or cry.

  37. T. Hartin,

    “One Bush administration official said British and U.S. intelligence agencies got their Niger documents from the intelligence service of one country that he refused to name, but that others have identified as Italy.”

    According to the article it was Itally, NOT France, which provided the US/UK with the Niger information.

  38. thoreau:

    You about described my threshold, too. That is, a serious danger to the U.S. I’d add that being a danger to U.S. “interests” abroad doesn’t qualify. We need to be more officially “disinterested” in any case. (There’s our real sprawl problem.)

  39. thoreau,

    From another anti-, ditto. But there is one other thing that would change my mind:

    Success. Iraq actually becoming a peaceful, prosperous democracy. American military not being stuck in a bloody quagmire for years and years. A Palestinian peace plan that takes. The Iranian, Saudi and Syrian governments moving towards democracy. All the wonderful things our PNAC buddies promised would happen if only we’d sacrifice a few hundred Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis. If this undertaking actually works, I will have to rethink a great deal of my political belief system. I deeply hope that I find myself in the embarrassing position of seeing the Iraqi people living in a free, prosperous Republic, and Bill Kristol being hailed as a visionary genius.

    I was not a hard core anti-American, ANSWER type protestor. Saddam sucks, there are times that war is appropriate, and not everything that benefits our country is by definition evil. I thought this war was a fairly close call, even given the obvious bullshit emanating from DC about terrorist connections and an imminent threat from Iraqi WMDs. The New Republic/Christopher Hitchens argument, that Saddam’s government was so evil that overthrowing it would have a lower human cost than allowing it to remain, always seemed reasonable to me, even when the people making it didn’t. But that argument always assumed a golden post-war tommorrow that I didn’t believe in.

    Greeted as liberators. Iraqi National Congress. Being taught how to occupy by the Brits. Democratic model for the other Middle Eastern countries. A string of jokes that aren’t funny.

  40. Kev:

    You’re right on the mark about U.S. “interests.” If you’ll pardon the expression, the national security state has a vested interest in finding new interests in every corner of the world. That’s how they justify funnelling hundreds of billions of dollars into heavy industry and high-tech: the commanding heights of the corporate economy.

    As Muhammad Ali said, I ain’t got nothing against them Congs.

  41. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/21/2004 03:15:04
    The important thing isn’t doing, but knowing how you do it.

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