Thursday, June 12, 2008

Democrat Complicity

In the interest of keeping the debate honest, and my own party in check, I feel compelled to point out that - despite his one sided rendition of the intentions of the Senate Committee reporting on public misstatements in the build up to war - NRO's Andrew McCarthy has a point.

All one really needs to know about this exercise in legerdemain is revealed by SSCI Chairman Jay Rockefeller’s diktat — over Republican protest and adopted without a vote — that the Committee would focus myopically on prewar statements made by administration officials. That is, the SSCI opted to overlook the overflowing stream of bellicose commentary, often less restrained, by Democrats.

[...]The reality is that SSCI Democrats, among other Democrats, had access to the exact same intelligence about Iraq that Bush officials had. Indeed, many of them had it for years before there was a Bush administration. Like back in October 1998, when those selfsame Democrats were passing the Iraq Liberation Act, signed by none other than President Bill Clinton, which made regime change — the removal of Saddam Hussein from power — the official policy of the United States.

As a result, the SSCI report does not consider, for example, the public statements made by one Jay Rockefeller on the Senate floor on October 10, 2002, explaining his vote in favor of using force in Iraq: “Saddam Hussein represents a grave threat to the United States, and I have concluded we must use force to deal with him if all other means fail.” (And how curious that the Chairman’s speech, for some reason, is no longer available on the Senate website.)
Democrats who supported the invasion will always have the fall-back argument that they weren't spewing the misinformation themselves, but if our quest here is for accountability it is important to remember those who bought it willingly, when many others were willing to risk unpopularity, and even attacks on their patriotism in order to ask the tough questions we all should have been asking.

8 comments:

  1. So much for Bush Lied...

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  2. Ah, no Cameron, Bush still lied. Often.

    Where have you been the last few years?

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  3. Also, it's one thing to say that you were given faulty intelligence and got lost in the suburbs. Another matter altogether to say you got bad information and started a war.

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  4. You write,

    "Democrats who supported the invasion will always have the fall-back argument that they weren't spewing the misinformation themselves"

    But that's not what your link says at all. In fact, it says that Democratic leaders had access to all the same information that the administration did. And then these leaders went out and made the same declarative statements the administration did. The same statements the previous administration did for that matter.

    And what does the committee report say about that information? Here's another link for you:

    On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

    On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

    On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

    On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

    statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information."

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  5. In your fervor to attack my argument, you have completely missed the point, Cameron.

    That is exactly what I am saying. I didn't not say their "fall-back" was justified, just that they will be able to use it.

    Democrats who supporter the President are just as complicit in furthering the false pretense for war as the President himself.

    Regardless, Bush did indeed lie.

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  6. Well, ya, some if it was generally substantiated, by intelligence that turned out to be wrong. But also, that wasn't the whole case for the war (go figure, when you link to Fred Hiatt you don't get the whole story, I was shocked too). So here's a link for you, consider it link exchange, or something like that.

    The committee found that the administration's warnings that former dictator Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama bin Laden, a highly inflammatory assertion in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaida attacks, weren't substantiated by U.S. intelligence reports. In fact, it said, U.S. intelligence agencies were telling the White House that while there'd been sporadic contacts over a decade, there was no operational cooperation between Iraq and al Qaida, the report said.

    The administration's repeated statements "suggesting that Iraq and al Qaida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al Qaida with weapons training, were not substantiated by intelligence," it said.

    Contentions by Bush and Cheney that Saddam had to be removed because he could give terrorists weapons of mass destruction to strike the United States were "contradicted by available intelligence information" that found that the late Iraqi dictator was unlikely to make such transfers, the report said.

    Cheney's assertions that Mohammad Atta, the chief Sept. 11 hijacker, had met months before the attack with an Iraqi intelligence officer in the Czech capital, Prague, were also unsubstantiated, the inquiry found.


    Congress at large didn't have access to the intelligence, some did, and they dropped the ball to (others, I'm looking towards Utah's 3rd district here, didn't think they could keep it seceret, so they chose not to hear it, or anything else classified).

    I don't think anyone here wants to go to bat for Rockefeller (not exactly a FISA hero), but he also wasn't the one making the case to invade a country, he just dumbly went along with it (as did a lot of dems, kinda the point of this post, in case you'd forgotten). Those making the case (Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Scooter, Wolfowitz, Feith, among others) spun the available intelligence and where the intelligence didn't match their case, they lied.

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  7. "the administration's warnings.."
    "The administration's repeated statements"

    "I don't think anyone here wants to go to bat for Rockefeller (not exactly a FISA hero), but he also wasn't the one making the case to invade a country"

    "There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."
    -Sen. Rockefeller, October 2002

    So let's get this straight. Bush Administration leaders, Clinton administration leaders, and Senate Committee leaders all had the intelligence information. And all made very forceful statements about the danger Iraq posed. All linked Iraq to September 11 and al Queda.

    But all we get are Bush Lied coffee mugs and bumper stickers?

    Meanwhile those Democratic leaders are also the leading contenders for their party's presidential nomination, one of whom got the nomination in 2004 and another was barely beaten this year.

    I realize Jason posted this link as a way to make reparations and single out his party leaders for their support of the war. I have just two comments to make about that.

    First, where have you been for the past 5 years? Where are the "Clinton (both of them), Kerry, Rockefeller etc Lied" T-Shirts?

    Second, Jason's 'bush still lied' and 41's 'Rockefeller only went along with it' lines flush the credibility of this post down the toilet.

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  8. Cameron, what is not credible about saying Bush lied? He did.

    And hand wringing over a few Democrats who failed as leaders, compared to the complete and utter failure of the Neo-Con leadership is not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Bush lied. Rockafeller capitulated. The credibility here is that both are facts.

    And as for where we have been the last 5 years, well, if you had been paying attention yourself, many of us have been here saying these same things, over and over and over.

    The intention of this post is to put it in perspective for Democrats. We have our own complicity to atone for as well.

    You objections are desperate.

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