IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!! The Bulldog Manifesto The Republican Scandal Scorecard - The Bulldog Manifesto

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Republican Scandal Scorecard

Yesterday, it was revealed that Joseph Goebbels aka Karl Rove, was the person who allegedly leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent in order to politically spite a critic of the Iraq War. This latest republican scandal is only one of many scandals currently coming to light.

There have been so many scandals uncovered lately, that its hard to keep track of each one. Thus, we here at The Bulldog Manifesto decided it would perhaps be best to organize all the running scandals into one article. So lets begin:



1. Karl Rove commits treason

Yeah, we know, its not as bad as a blowjob, nevertheless, its not very often that the President's biggest adviser is revealed to have committed a major crime against the United States of America.

Pursuant to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 it is illegal to intentionally disclose the identity of a covert agent. On August 29, 2003, retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson alleged that Rove leaked the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative. After Wilson wrote a critically timed New York Times essay exposing George W. Bush's false claim that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger, Rove (and potentially other high officials in the White House) contacted several Washington reporters and leaked the news that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.

Initially, the White House denied the allegation (of course!). But according to many insiders, documents disclosed under court order this week will reveal that Karl Rove was, as alleged by Wilson, the culprit. This scandal is just about to explode....and we couldn't be any happier!

Frankly, we don't see how Rove and the White House are going to wiggle out of these charges. They cannot possibly argue that they were ambushed, after all, reporters had done everything within their power to keep their source for this story confidential, risking even jail time to protect Rove. It was only after a court order that the truth was exposed.

We look forward to seeing Rove's resignation, and hopefully, Rove eventually being hauled away in handcuffs. :-) It never ceases to amaze me how these bastards try to say they are supporting the troops and concerned with freedom when, time and time again, they exemplify the complete and utter disdain for the people who risk their lives on the actual frontlines.

But this scandal isn't the only White House scandal involving "military intelligence". Oh no, there are more....

2. The Downing Street Memo
So many smoking guns to be found. It turns out that a series of documents now known as the Downing Street Memos reveal that high level meetings took place between American and British defense and intelligence figures in July of 2002. In those meetings, it is has been disclosed that:
a. Contrary to contemporaneous White House public statements, the United States had already decided to go to war against Iraq way back in July of 2002.
b. The Americans and British were already aware that legal justification for the war was flimsy and that it would be necessary for the "facts and intelligencve to be fixed around the policy" of going to war.
c. Contrary to contemporaneous statements, the USA had "no patience" with the United Nations.
d. As of nine (9) months prior to the actual invasion of Iraq, the USA had already begun covert "spikes of activity" (e.g. bombing Iraq) in an attempt to lure Iraq into attacking the United States.
e. A timetable for invasion was set for thirty (30) days prior to the US Congressional elections (e.g. January of 2003).
f. The British and Americans were well aware that the "case was thin", that Saddam Hussein was "not threatening his neighbors", and that Iraq's "WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran

Although these documents have not been refuted, and although Tony Blair even admitted the validity of the documents, this scandal is proceeding slowly merely because the House and the Senate are controlled by Republicans who have never heard of the term "checks and balances". Nevertheless, Congressman John Conyers has spearheaded a campaign to press this issue, and to date, over 540,000 people, as well as over 100 congressmen, have signed a petition calling for further investigation on the matter.

Recently, a Zogby Poll concluded that 42% of Americans currently approve of impeachment if it can be proven that Bush knowingly lied about Iraq. We believe these numbers are only going to rise as the truth slowly comes out. And perhaps if the Democrats win the House in 2006, we could actually see an impeachment of George W. Bush.

3. The Tom Delay Scandals
Well, it turns out that Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay has been involved in scandals too (surprise, surprise, surprise). On May 26, 2005, a Texas judge ruled that a committee formed by Delay had violated state law by not disclosing over $600,000 worth of fundraising money. Some of the money was spent posting wanted posters on Federal Highways calling for the arrest of Democratic legislators with an 800 number to call if seen after the Democratic caucus left to Oklahoma in order to prevent redistricting legislation from passage.

Also, the Associated Press reported on April 7, 2005 that DeLay's political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of a skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn't have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time.

The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came just three weeks before DeLay accepted a trip to Europe including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St. Andrews course for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients.

Two months after the concert and trip, DeLay voted against gambling legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients."


4. Halliburton Scandals
We could make a whole scandal sheet just for the Vice President's alter ego, Halliburton. But why bother? After all, the guys at halliburtonwatch.org have already done it for us! Some of the scandals presently under investigation and grand jury review date back to the Dick Cheney days. (Can you imagine?)



5. Randy "Duke" Cunningham: Flag Lover and War Profiteer- A True Patriot!
In June 2005 it was uncovered that a defense contractor, Mitchell Wade, purchased the Duke's Del Mar home in 2003 for $700,000 more than it was worth. Cunningham is a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on defense. Soon after the purchase, Wade began to receive tens of millions of dollars worth of defense and intelligence contracts. It was also revealed that Cunningham also lives on a yacht owned by Wade whenever he is in Washington. The name of the yacht is "The Duke Stir". The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a preliminary investigation regarding the real estate transaction. Yesterday, the FBI searched the Duke's San Diego house and the yacht.

This scandal will likely lead to the end of Duke's political career. Honestly, this really doesn't look good for him. Its quite possible he could even end up in jail.

Please join the fight to rebuke the Duke.

These are just five (5) major scandals. There are over thirty (30) more that are considered substantial. Most of them involve war profiteering, campaign profiteering, gross conflicts of interest, and deceptions resulting in the deaths of countless individuals.

Sad thing is, there are even more scandals. Pat Tillman. The Senator Bill Frist "diagnosis" of Terry Schiavo (now being investigated). The White House Environmental Policy Papers edited by Exxon officials. It just goes on and on. Yet amazingly, these same bastards tried to impeach Clinton for an extra marital affair. Their hypocrisy has no bounds.

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Great scorecard. I'll check in for updates.

Whatever penalties Karl Rove ends up getting, the most fitting one would be: Joseph Wilson should get five minutes alone with him.

My other blog http://okcitykid.bravejournal.com/

Its strange how when you go a "blogger for Bush" each one of there articles are full of comments and ours might get one or two. Yet I know by the stats, lots of people read my blog - they just don't say nothing. On Bravenet, there might be 15 blogs for Bush, there are 120 against him. And ofcourse you have the recent polls. Always on the internet in all your forums you have a hundred to one poor guy trying to defend Bush. I asked one of them if they were getting paid for this, I never got a reply, makes me wonder.

All I can say, those who are for Bush are so full of it that they are unable to contain themselves.

excellent article. You do a service to your country.

Roger

Regarding #1, so far, we have only O'Donnell's word for it that Rove is the leaker. Newsweek, who O'Donnell predicted would publish an article naming Rove as the leaker has, as yet, done no such thing. The article that Newsweek did publish, says that Rove did an interview with Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper but does not say that Rove leaked the Plame's name as a CIA agent. In fact, the article says, "It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove." In short, there is no verified evidence whatsoever that Rove did anything wrong, let alone that he committed treason.

It may be that the communications turned over WILL name Rove as the leaker but do you really think a reporter from Time Magazine and one from New York Times would go to prison to protect Karl Rove? That seems unlikely to me but not outside of the realm of possibility. Furthermore, liberals have spent years proclaiming Rove an evil genius. How likely is it that a genius, evil or not, would leave a trail that would lead directly back to him? Doesn't THAT seem unlikely to anyone?

Craig,

Actually, the husband of the CIA operative accused Karl Rove of the same allegation a year ago. So there is more than simply one person's testimony.

Also, many others in the past two days have confirmed the same thing.

Whatever you're playing, your cheating at it. You can't play most, if any, of those cards yet. You manipulated your words a lot like some of your friends do to be accusing others of doing it, don't you think lol?

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Accused, yes. Then again Wilson has said a number of things that turned out to be *ahem* less than truthful like that his wife, Valerie, DIDN'T suggest him for the trip to Niger. Of course, she had done just that. So I wouldn't place a lot of credence in his accusation. Besides an accusation is just an accusation. I'm saying, let's see the evidence. Talk is cheap. Let's see the documents so that we can interpret them. Does anyone remember the 'Texas Air National Guard' documents or the Guantanamo reports that DIDN'T confirm that an interrogator flushed a Qur'an? Let's see the witnesses so we can gauge their credibility. Does anyone remember Dan Rather's 'unimpeachable' source, Bill Burkett or Newsweek's source who, even though he had no clear idea what he had read in some non-existent report nevertheless smeared the US military in charge of Guantanamo Bay detention facilities with total immunity since we still don't know the person's identity?

Who are these "many others" who have who have confirmed the story? Do you know? I don't. Do they know what the hell they are talking about? Are they hopelessly biased? Do they have a track record of truthfulness? Do they have good reason to hate Karl Rove? You see? This is what I'm talking about.

I freely admit that Rove is capable of doing such a thing. I just seriously question whether he would be so stupid as to leak the name himself during an interview with a reporter who's taking notes and/or recording the interview.

Green Eyed Lady,

To answer your question plainly...no!

In this article, for facts, I relied upon MAINSTREAM resources. Now, there will always be a certain amount of manipulation in writing, but I did not state anything that was not proper.

Where there are allegations, I stated as such. Where there was opinion, I think I made it clear to state that too.

The truth is, green eyed lady, the Bush Crime Family is starting to be revealed. I know it will hurt to recognize it at first, but once you see it for what it is, you will know what the 49% percent of us having been saying for the past 5 years.

Craig,

Fair enough. You certainly have the right to your position. And I suppose we will see what happens soon enough. Thank you for your posts!

Nice blog; well written opinions.
I will be linking to your post shortly.

Regarding #4, Vice-President Cheney had left Haliburton before the contracts were rewarded, by which I mean, whatever he has been paid after leaving Haliburton, he earned before he left. That is to say, Cheney has not and will not profit from the earnings resulting from the Iraq contracts.

On the other hand, I agree that it smells fishy that Haliburton, which Cheney once headed, got bid-free contracts worth Billions of dollars. The justification profered, namely that Haliburton was the only company that could handle the contracts, could, at best, be characterized as 'convenient' and I can't fault anyone for thinking that this was a dishonest act. All that I can say is that I can't disprove that the proffered explanation isn't the truth.

Whatever scandals Haliburton has gotten themselves involved in are theirs to defend or to pay for. I have neither the desire or the inclination to defend them. On the other hand, Cheney is no longer in a position to either profit from nor to control the Corporation's activities, honest or otherwise.

As for #3, Tom Delay is on his own. All that I will say is that Democrats do not sqeak when they walk, as more than one have, with Abramoff. Delay's dealings should be investigated fairly and he should take what he deserves. As for indictments, if the Texas prosecutor thinks he can make them stick, he should indict Tom for whatever improprieties can be proved against Mr. DeLay. I'll wait until such time as he is indicted of actual wrongdoing before convicting him in my mind. Simply dealing with a wrongdoer such as Abramoff doesn't rise to that level--yet, anyway.

As to # 2, a. as far as I know, what those documents show is that it was considered inevitable that, since Saddam had consistently thumbed his nose at the UN and the international community by refusing to allow inspectors unfettered access to whatever sites the inspectors thought might hold illegal weapons, the use of force would ultimately be necessary in Iraq. That is not quite the same thing as saying that Bush had decided, nine months before the invasion, to attack Iraq. Both Bush and Blaire have said that the decision to attack was not definitively made until shortly before they actuall did so. From what I have read of these documents, they do not contradict that.

b. At the time of the meeting, of course, the case was not as robust as the Brits wanted. The Brit's demanded that the UN be addressed again in an attempt to gain another in a series of 17 toothless and useless resolutions and to gain support from, what we know now were bribed, Security Council nations, nations with veto power, that were economically heavily involved with Saddam Hussein. We wasted months with the UN that gave Saddam ample time to pre-plan the insurgency.

This was, I think, a separate issue from that of 'fixed' evidence. As I understand, in British usage, 'fixing evidence around policy' simply means that evidence that supported the policy of an attack that was seen as inevitable, Saddam being Saddam, was being gathered and put in order. This sounds logical to me. If one regards force as likely to be a necessity in order to get Saddam to comply with the world's demands, whatever evidence that might exist that would be useful for building support for such an attack should be gathered and placed in order for that purpose.

One thing that we know that 'fixing the evidence' did not mean is lying about Iraq's WMD. All of the documents that you reference take it as a given that there were biological and chemical weapons stockpiled in Iraq. As the WMD commission's report makes plain, the intelligence agencies of the US and numerous other countries, believed that Iraq had an active WMD program right up to the time of the attack. In the Commission's words, "...they were simply wrong."

c. If the US had no patience with the UN, they certainly had a damn funny way of showing it, namely by spending months trying to gain their support. In short, they did what the Brits demanded before they would give Bush backing for the attack.

d. Lure Saddam into attacking the US? I assume that you mean the near daily firing upon US jets enforcing the UN established 'no fly zone'.

e. This cannot be worded correctly. There were no elections, Congressional or otherwise, set for either January 30, 2003 or 30 days before that. The Congressional elections took place in November of 2002. What happened at the end of January was that the newly elected Congresspersons took office. Whatever time table might have been set at the meeting, the timetable was changed. We didn't invade Iraq until March or April, I forget which, of 2003, after the newly elected Congresspersons were in office.

f. No Iraq was not about to attack his neighbors, in the sense that he attacked Kuwait a decade before or in the sense that he attacked Iran before that but I don't believe that anyone actually claimed that he was.

It is true that they knew that Iraq's WMD capability was "no greater" than that of Lybia, Iran, or North Korea. The decision to attack Iraq was based, I believe, upon a number of calculations. From my understanding, Lybia was not attacked because there were already negotiations with Lybia that, it was hoped, would result in Lybia giving up it's WMD. In fact, that did not occur until after the Iraq invasion. Arguably, it was the invasion of Iraq that convinced Lybia to do just that. Invading North Korea, whose standing army is like the largest in the world and whose weapons are no slouch or Iran, whose people are very nationalistic were both more dangerous than Iraq.

While no one has questioned that these documents are valid, as you say, that simply means that they are not bogus. That does not mean that their meaning is not in serious dispute, as is most certainly the case. I welcome investigations since, as I read these documents, there is nothing impeachable in them. If Bush get's impeached and convicted, I believe that it will be a shame as I believe that, while any number of mistakes have been and are being made in Iraq, the decision to depose Saddam and install a democratically elected, Constitutional representative government in Iraq was the right one.

Regarding whether Rove is the one who named Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, it has been stated here that Wilson, Valerie's husband, had accused Rove of being the culprit. Now I read at Journalists Against Bush's B.S. that "After the Novak column, Wilson initially accused Rove of being behind the leak, then retracted that statement." If this is correct information, then even Wilsons accusation no longer stands.

Craig,

#4, actually, you aren't correct. There are presently many scandals involving Halliburton. And on at least one of them, Cheney may very well be quite involved.

From: Salon.com ( http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/01/18/scandal/index1.html )

"This may not surprise you, but an international consortium of companies, including Halliburton, is alleged to have paid more than $100 million in bribes to Nigerian officials, from 1995 to 2002, to facilitate a natural-gas-plant deal. (Cheney was Halliburton's CEO from 1995 to 2000.)

The problem: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials.

The outcome: A veritable coalition of the willing is investigating the deal, including the Justice Department, the SEC, the Nigerian government and a French magistrate."

#3. I find it funny that you say that you will wait until "such time as [Delay] is indicted of actual wrongdoing before convicting him in [your] mind."

I wonder, did you always wait for people to get indicted before you convicting them in your mind? If so, I give you kudos. If not, well than...thats another story.

I wonder if you were taking the same wait and see approach when they had the Bill Clinton witchhunt.

I wonder if you would need an indictment if it had alleged against Teddy Kennedy. Hmmm.....

If you have read the Downing Street Memos and you have not come to conclusion that the White House had already decided to go to war , then I believe you are really bending over backwards to ignore other evidence which taken as a whole, makes the case nearly obvious.

Take, the letter prepared by the PNAC in 1998. Take the statements made by Bush's terrorist chief immediately after 9/11 (Richard Clarke), take the book by Bob Woodward, take the fact that military bases and airfields were being constructed in Kuwait as early as 2002...the same bases bases and airfields that were used as a jumping point for the invasion of Kuwait.

Take the statements made by George W. Bush before he was president relating to Iraq and what he would have done differently. Put it all into the context of the Downing Street Memos...now also add the subsequent lies that we are presently hearing from the administration a la "last throes" and the veritable week to week spin doctoring for the reasons we went to war (WMDs, NO.....Terrorism, NO....Ties to al Qaeda, NO..... Freedom, NO....) and also consider this administration's resistance to the actual formation of the 9/11 Commission, the fact that they didnt want to fund it, and tried to stonewall it, and made sure that the commission was eventually prohibited from dealing with Iraq, except to say that Iraq never had any ties to Al-Qaeda.

I think you are using selective hearing and seeing, my friend.

As for the "spikes of activity" if you dont believe the Memo, perhaps you will beleive Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley who admitted it publically. See this LINK

And certainly, this administration never had any respect for the UN, unless the UN could be used for its own purpose. Do you remember seeing Colin Powell dangling faux-anthrax in his hands, knowing damn good and well that the only anthrax that ever was used for terrorism came from an American army base and was used against two liberal senators and various liberal journalists! And now, they want to add Bolton as the UN guy, the same guy who has never had a good thing to say about the UN. Give me a break.

As for Wilson's accusation, depends on who you trust, Wikipedia or Journalists against Bush's B.S.

LEt me ask you, if it does come out with certainty that Rove made the statement and disclosed a CIA operative's identity, what do you think should happen to him?

#4, as you say, "Cheney may very well be quite involved". If he is found to be criminally involved, he's toast--period. Waiting to see.

#3, Yes, at least that long. I try very much to wait until proven guilty. Suspicion is another thing. I don't chide anyone for suspicions. Actually, with regard to Clinton, I thought that the whole thing was rather silly and a waste of time. Teddy Kennedy? Chappequidic? There's no doubt that he got out of the car and she didn't. I don't, however, suspect him of foul play in the incident, as though he'd killed her deliberately. I don't care for Kennedy's politics on most issues--no surprise there--but, yes, I try to put the best possible construction on everything. This is a part of my religious upbringing.

I may very well not be aware of all of the evidence. I am not, for example, familiar with the PNAC letter of 1998. I may or may not be familiar with Richard Clarke's statements. Which statements do you mean? I've not read Woodward's book. There may be other explanations for building bases in Kuwait besides preparing for an Iraqi attack, but even if that was the reason, the memos make it clear that the administration considered that the use of force would probably be necessary to bring Iraq into compliance with UN resolutions. Why would you wait to the last minute to set up bases from which to invade Iraq if indeed Saddam refused to comply with UN resolutions. I guess it depends upon what you mean by "decided to go to war". I admitted that Bush wanted to remove Saddam, probably from before he became President. I happen to think that he was right to want to do so. I also agree with most of the reasons given for going to war with Iraq.

You seem to think that liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam's repressive regime was a rational arrived at and touted only after it became obvious that there were no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. This is demonstrably not so. The very documents that you refer to under the Downing Street Memos mention that, at the time of the 2002 meeting, Bush was advancing regime change as the reason for invading Iraq. You've read the memos, you know this to be true. If you want to know why Bush emphasized WMD and you heard little about liberation and democracy in Iraq before the invasion, the memos make it plain that the Brits would not go along with an Iraq invasion based only upon regime change. It was their opinion that WMD must be emphasized if sufficient legal cause were to be given. However, aside from the Memos, Liberation and Democratization of Iraq WERE advanced by the President on a number of occasions months before the invasion. He raised it before the General Assembly of the UN as early as September 12, 2002 as he attempted to gain UN support. I quote:

" If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis -- a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty, and internationally supervised elections.

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq. "


He also made this theme the centerpiece of a speech he gave before the American Enterprise Institute on February 26, 2003. This is the theme of the entire speech but I quote this:

"The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat. Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East. A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq."

Then there is the resolution from Congress that authorized the use of force in Iraq. From this I quote:

"Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;"

No one who read or heard these things, least of all Congress members who voted for this resolution can say that Bush never advanced the liberation and democratization of Iraq before the Invasion.

As for the "last throes" comment, that was his opinion. It is not an opinion shared by the whole administration. It is not my opinion.

As for the 9/11 commission and ties to Al Qaeda, I believe that there were indications of ties to Al Qaeda. What the commission determined was that there were no "operational ties" to the attack on 9/11. That I do believe. However,

Usama bin Ladin planned and executed the attack on 9/11. Al Zarqawi fought for Al Qaeda against the US in Afghanistan. He was wounded there. Zarqawi went to Iraq for medical treatment and safe harbor both of which he received in Iraq. He remains in Iraq today as the chief of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Ties to Al Qaeda? I say yes.

Al Zarqawi was not the only bona fide terrorist being given safe harbor in Iraq before the invasion.

Saddam was a supporter of terrorism through $10,000-$25,000 payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers against Israel.

Saddam had attempted an assassination against former US President G. H. W. Bush.

President G. W. Bush, shortly after 9/11 made it plain that it would be the policy of the US that we would be engaging in a war not only against those who attacked us on 9/11 but also terrorists of all stripes and the states that harbor/support them. Based upon these, I believe that Saddam's Iraq more than qualified.

I accept that there was a spike in activity. In point of fact, Iraqis fired repeatedly upon US jets enforcing the UN established no-fly zone. Whether these were only in response to the spike mentioned, I cannot say for sure but, as I recall, such incidents of Iraqi fire upon US jets were occurring pretty much as long as the no-fly zone was established, i. e., almost a decade.

If it be proved that Rove was the leak, he should face whatever punishment the legal system provides for such actions. From what I've read and heard, there is some question as to whether any crime was committed at all. However, not being a lawyer, I couldn't say what crime was committed by whoever named Valerie Plame as a CIA agent or what the apropriate punishment might be for such a crime. Whatever that might be, however, if Rove is the one who did this, that is what he should face.

And by the way, I've read some B.S. in Wikipedia too. I mean, it's not like the Encyclopedia Britanica, written by experts in each article's field of knowlege. I don't know that I believe Journalists against Bush's B.S. either. I mentioned it because I happened to come across it while surfing BlogExplosion. The fact that it is a liberal, anti-Bush site meant that I would have no one complaining that the source was biased toward Bush or Conservatives. As I said, "If this is correct information, then even Wilsons accusation no longer stands." I don't see why a blatantly anti-Bush site would falsely claim that Wilson retracted his allegation. I mean, anyone can be wrong, even I, but it just seems to me that that's not the sort of thing a liberal anti-Bush site would be wrong about.

I used to rag on liberals all the time for their diatribes, I am still a Republican but I am begining to think you liberals may get somewhere with your endless rants.

If Bush doesn't do something quick, the DNC may very well sweep '06 and us Republicans will be back on the sidelines. Bush is the worse thing that has ever happened to the Republican Party.

It's good to have blogs so that all of the scandals can be exposed, whether they are on the right or the left.

The framers of the Constitution had it right when they built a system of checks and balances to avoid the inevitable corruption that comes when any one party is in power for too long.

The 90s showed all the Democrat scandals. The 2000s are showing the Republicans on the national level.

At my local level, we are discovering what 30+ years of one party rule has wrought with indictments of bunches of local officials for putting their hands into the taxpayer funds (and a carpenter union's pension fund). All of the ideas were "for the children or other good causes" but ended up enriching the pols and their cronies.

The solution to the problem is to vote the old pols out every so often.

Too bad we can trust the elections. (Our state Supreme Court overturned a corrupt election in a local municipality run by a "political machine" not too long ago).

Checking IDs at the polls was an idea that the legislature just approved to try to safeguard our elections. Our local newspaper reported that there are 606,000 people with IDs (drivers' licenses and state IDs).

That's one ID for every man, woman and child in our area, plus 130,000 additional IDs. One can be sure that the "vote early, vote often" crowd will have multiple IDs and registrations at a variety of polling places, so the same old faces will still be in power despite property tax increases that threaten to throw politically active seniors (who happen to be riled up and pushing for political change) on the street when they can't pay their property taxes.

Deliberate Chaos

Chris, you sound like your talking about Chicago, IL. No one runs a machine like a Daley.

Craig,

Here is the PNAC letter I mentioned earlier.

For Richard Clarke, I suggest you read this. Also, try this.

Chris,

I agree with you. The best thing for this country is having everything out in the open. Slowly and slowly, each presidency over the past 50 years has hidden itself behind a wall of secrecy.

This current president is by far the worst at nsulating himself from real questioning. He went as far as planting his own "journalist" to ask soft ball questions at press conferences. Its shameful.

And tyhe town hall meetings that dont even include members of the town! Unreal! Its just propoganda, cue cards, and talking points. The good truth needs no selling. The good truth needs no spin. The good truth needs no artistry.

#1) It has NOT been revealed that Rove leaked anything (keep hopin boys).

#2)The Downing Street Memo has been explained by the people that wrote it (sorry, "fixed" does not mean "to rig or invent" in England, it means "to secure").

#3)DeLay's "scandals" are the same "scandals" that over 100 Congressmen have committed - many of them Democrats. Guess how many are going to be convicted of anything? (I'll give you a hint, the number starts with the letter Z).

#4)Halliburton - Big F*n Deal. What have they got to do with the U.S. - Oh, thats right. The eeevil Dick Cheney still controls Halliburton, and EVERYTHING the U.S. is doing is to enrich Halliburton and Cheney (didn't I tell you to keep taking your medication).

#5)Who the hell is Duke Cunningham? Well, if his "scandal" results in a conviction of something and also results in your happiness - then go for it. Guess you moonbats have to have a win or two somewhere.

#6)Exxon, Terry Schiavo, and Pat Tilman - keep focusing on these real important stories (plus the 30 others I didn't bother to look at), and then in 2006 when you lose 3-5 more Senate seats, you can scratch your heads and repeat the Democratic mantra "the voters are stooopid."

Dennis K,

Thanks for being the first condascending ahole to visit the site. We've had vists from a bunch of people on the right, but everybody has been cool.

When you have to insult, you know that you really have nothing to say and cant truly discuss an issue. You regurgitated your talking points quite well though! BRAVO!

Congrats on being the first jerk.

Bulldog, the three links simply take me to a copy of this comment page. I don't know what to tell you.

Craig,

Lemme try again. I dont know what happened. Here are the three pages. Cut and paste them into your toolbar.

The first one shows you that Richard Clarke was an advisor for Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. Here it is.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Clarke

Also, read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_All_Enemies

Also,

www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

Bulldog,

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out later. I gotta get to bed.

'Nite!

First of all, the truth will not "hurt me". Im not afraid of it. But you are right, a large group of you have been waiting and looking for "this" or anything for four and a half years. My consern is merely the motivation behind it. It isn't necesarily to get the "truth". This "Bush crime family" (lol) is a antidote for the Republicans total "Right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons for eight yrs, including White Water, and of course His affairs and the "victory" of republicans when Clinton fumbled and lied while under oath at the Grand Jury. The right-wing had a field day calling for the impeachment they so wanted (Which GW pardoned). Then the election (2000) turned you all into animals.
All this, every rumour, every memo (though unsubstaintiated) brings your group closer to getting that revenge. If truth be known, it would not have mattered who was the rebublican nominee in the '02 election, he had a bullseye on his forehead.
The sad thing is, when will it end? It seems not to matter to hardline "Blue" or "red" bullies what this is doing to our country, the progress of our government, the future of our children, and no matter how anyone thinks about the reasoning or lake thereof of this war, our childish division in the midst of it is going to make us laughing stocks, more than George being president ever will.
People so busy counting scorecareds can't see all this though, there is too much BS in their eyes. In three and a half yrs, we will have our pick of two brand new candidates. I hope it is a unbias centrist, democrat that will pacify you people yet not keep this shit going. Hopefully the Republicans won't keep the vicious cycle running. If I had my way, there wouldn't be either one, we are too out of control for a two party system. We need someone Independent, no labels, no blue or red. Actually maybe we just need a Dictator.

Since G. W. Bush was not a signatory to the PNAC letter, tell me what bearing that letter has on Bush's predilections or determination to go to war with Iraq at that time?

Okay, I see that both Bolton and Rumsfeld WERE signatories but, again, that simply is testimony concerning Bolton's and Rumsfeld's predilections, not Bush's.

Okay Bush chose Rumsfeld and Bolton for various duties in the government. This does not necessarely mean that Bush agreed with them on every opinion they have ever expressed and it certainly does not prove what Bush thought at the time the letter was written.

Concerning the PNAC letter, it's pretty hard to deny that Clinton was pretty ineffectual in his handling of Saddam Hussein or the Terrorist threat in general so I pretty much agree with the PNAC letter.

As for Clarke, he should know what he's talking about on things like terrorism and national security. That doesn't mean that he's right in his every opinion on the matter. Since I haven't read the book, I must depend upon Wikipedia's descriptions of it. I must say that he seems to think that he, alone, has the key to a) having stopped 9/11 and b) ridding the world of terrorists. I have to agree with some of his critics, that sounds pretty damned hubristic to me. My impression at the time of his testimony was that it was basically a part of his book promotion tour as much as it was anything else. I think he believed everything he said there and wrote in his book, that's not my point.

It's hard to argue that the government, including Bush, were effective in protecting us from 9/11. I'm not convinced that 9/11 could have realistically been prevented. Okay, FBI people could have done a better job of connecting dots of information that they did have. I'm not saying that it couldn't have been prevented, I'm saying that, given the screw-ups in the intel agencies, I doubt even Clarke could have stopped it. That's the trouble with hypotheticals--what ifs--they're so damned hypothetical that proving anything by them is iffy at best.

I'd really have to read his book to give my opinion on his argument so I'll leave Clarke there.

Green Eyed Lady (part 2),

I just read your longer message. Its funny, because I dont even consider myself a democrat. I've never voted for a democrat until this past election. I agree with you about the nonsense between the republicans and the democrats, it has gone on far too long.

However, as it relates to George W. Bush, my intention at unmasking this administration is purely because of the way I feel about the administration. I do not represent the DNC, nor any other interest.

I've seen enough, read enough, and put it all into historical context. I had no beef to grind with W before he became president. I never expected him to be so harmful to this country.

As for your last comment regarding a dictator...its funny because George W. said it himself early on in his presidency, that it sure 'would be easier to be a dictator'. I would assert that he has done everything in his power to make that happen.

The only way you will be able to view this presidency fairly is to pull yourself out of your own personal affiliation with the republican party for five minutes and truly view this presidency for what it is.

As for me, I guess my carriage is presently tied to the democratic horse, but not because I believe in the party, per se, but because presently the DNC is our only hope for taking Bush out.

This presidency scares the hell out of me.

Craig,

C'mon my friend. You cannot possibly belittle the relevance of the PNAC letter simply because W. didnt sign the letter.

Nearly everyone of W's immediate staff signed that letter, including Armitage, Bolton, Pearle, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and even the president's brother Jeb.

They smartly kept W. from signing it knowing darn well and good that he would be making a run for the presidency in 2000. This was W's coterie of advisers! This is W, for all intents and purposes.

As for the detractors of Clarke, they were all politically motivated. Look at what happens to people who speak out against this admnistration. They are immediately whacked with a heavy hand.

Craig,

One more thing...here are the list of founders of the PNAC.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

G. W. Bush doesn't even appear to belong to PNAC. I can't imagine why not. There is nothing objectionable in stating one's belief that current foreign policy is not working and, therefore, another foreign policy should be implemented. After all, you believe that the current foreign policy is not working and, therefore, another foreign policy should be implemented. Such a statement could even be a boon to someone intending to run for President in the next election, especially in an election against the then vice president whose policies might be percieved to continue Clinton's.

The facts expressed in the letter, namely the erosion of containment as a policy with regard to Saddam Hussein's regime, were accurate. Saddam had never given the weapons inspectors free access to suspected weapons cites and so the world could not know the status of Iraq's WMD. Yes, we know that now but not thanks to weapons inspections.

We now know the folly of relying upon many of our old allies and upon Saddam's cooperation. We know now the Billions of dollars Saddam was scooping off of the oil for food program and about the kickbacks to nations on the UN Security Council. If anything, in this regard, the actions taken since this letter was written have proven this aspect to be more true than we knew then. The folly of depending upon unanimity in the Security Council was prescient.

Notice that the letter calls for "a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts", not just war. The signatories are calling for a tougher, more engaged policy directed toward what Clinton had already agreed was the goal: removing Saddam from power.

Clinton, himself and Congress during his tenure had made removing Saddam the policy of the USA, not by direct military intervention, that's true, but the policy of removing Saddam was already there and approved of by Clinton. The argument was over means, not goal.

All in all, I can't see the downside connected with G. W. Bush signing this letter.

His detractors were politically motivated. Okay. So what. That doesn't make them wrong or Clarke right.

By the way, I like your, um, 'gravitar' do they call it? Very cool. Did you make it yourself?

The downside to the president signing the letter would have been, IMO, It would have painted Bush into a definite and agressive position relating to Iraq. A presidential hopeful does not want to paint himself so certainly into such an agressive position, especially if he does IN FACT have his mind already set on invading Iraq years before he takes office without real provocation.

This president tried to pretend like 9/11 was the impetus for re-evaluating Iraq. He used the scare of WMD's, ties to al-Qaeda, and the whole "mushroom cloud" threat.

Those threats require "fear" to work properly, and they could not have been taken seriously if you knew that Bush already had intentions to take out Saddam back in 1998. And those threats would have certainly been scoffed at prior to 9/11. After 9/11, this country was (and still is) ripe for fear mongering.

Remember, prior to 9/11, there was plenty of talk about lifting the sanctions against Iraq. Then 9/11 comes around, and BOOM, not only are sanctions not working but suddenly they are trumpeting the Saddam=Hitler propoganda lines again.

9/11 made the Iraqi War possible. And still, to this day, the president tries to call upon all of our feelings re: 9/11 to summon support for the Iraqi conflict. But in truth, Iraq had no relation to al-Qaeda, and after the first Gulf War, Saddam and Iraq were simply impotent on all fronts. They were completely contained.

More than that, Saddam was an enemy to the religious jihadists who actually do want to hurt the USA. He was a secularist. Albeit, a rutheless secularist who was not a friend to freedom, but Iraq is certainly not the frontline of the war against terrorists.

Now, however, after the US invasion, they call Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism. I wonder how that happened?

Without real provocation? What about 12 years of defiance of UN resolutions? Do you seriously wonder why Bush had no patience left for the UN?

What about years of refusing weapons inspections? Remember that, at that time there was no question in anyone's mind, and that included Clinton, that Iraq had an active WMD program so it is anachronistic to say that because we know today that there were no WMDs (although the brain trust and facilities were there to start them up again on short order) that therefore the threat of WMD and a delivery system in Saddam's hands was something other than a genuine and mounting danger and, yes, one to fear, even at the time of the PNAC letter, let alone after 9/11.

What about a decade of firing upon US Jets enforcing the UN ordered no-fly zone? Sounds like justification to me.

Actually, 9/11 WAS the impetus to not only reevaluate Iraq, but the US policy toward the entire Middle East. One thing that I think that you misunderstand about Iraq is that it IS an integral part of the greater war on terror, not only because Saddam DID welcome terrorists into Iraq and had a nifty little training camp of his own at Salman Pac, Jumbo Jet fuselage and all, but because he was a material supporter of Palestinian terrorism against our ally, Israel...oh, and don't forget the attempted assassination of then former US President G. H. W. Bush.

But aside from harboring and abetting and committing acts of terror, Bush sees liberty and Democracy as one of the most important weapons against terrorism and terrorists. He may well be wrong on that account--time will tell--but there have been a number of encouraging signs regarding the spread of democracy in the ME. Yes, it has a long way to go in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and elsewhere, there are encouraging signs in each of these countries.

Actually, I think that Saddam = Stalin is the more apt analogy.

As for Iraq not now being the front line in the war on terror, you're joking, right? Iraq probably has the largest concentration of militant jihadists in the world. Where is the front line in that war, if not in Iraq? Or did you mean to say that, prior to our invasion, Iraq was not the front line in the war on terror? With that, I would have to agree. However, today, Iraq is drawing jihad-minded Islamists from throughout the ME. I rather think that, instead of creating jihadis, Iraq is drawing people already of a mind to jihad. In short, they're coming to us and, on the whole, they're getting stomped. No the insurgency is not on its last legs, but they are certainly not winning this war. Not in my opinion anyway.

If defiance of UN resolutions were, per se, reasons to consider military action against the violater, then Israel is long overdue for a military invasion.

Like the ACLU and Amnesty International, the Right only uses the United Nations as justification if it first, meets with the Right's own interests. It does not work the other way around.

We invaded Iraq, not because of UN resolutions, but because it was Bush's intention all along. The UN resolutions, the WMD scare, and the terrorism scare were all merely packaging to sell the underlying product. Its funny how the Right belittles the UN when the UN happens to disagree with the Right's agenda, but relies upon the UN when it serves the Rght's interest. The same goes for Amnesty International, the Right relied upon their records of human rights violations in Iraq in justifying the removal of Saddam, but as soon as AI discussed our own human rights violations, AI was discredited. Same for the ACLU. Its funny how Rush Limbaugh accepted the ACLU's help in his Vicodin case, yet time and time again lambastes the organization for its willingness to represent those whose civil liberties are being attacked.

(Sorry about the tangent I'm off on....back to the issue we are discussing....)

You talk about the decade of firing on our jets. Please provide me with evidence of a jet being shot down during those years. This claim has been largely exaggerated (of course).

Considering that we were illegally bombing Iraq as part of the "spikes of activity", who the heck knows who was provoking whom anymore? Consider this in light of prior administrations who have carried out covert bombings in foreign lands, its certainly not out of the question to imagine that we may have very well been trying to coax Iraq into a War for over a decade.

And yes, I was simply saying that Iraq was not the frontline of the war against terrorism prior to the invasion. The prior regime had the borders sealed between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It was only after the American invasion that the swarms of wahhabiists (sp?) entered into Iraq in order to fight the US.

And you can hardly say that these people were terrorists all along. A person cannot be a terrorist without committing or attemtpting to commit an act of terror first (just as a person cannot be a murderer or rapist until committing or attempting to commit a murder or rape). Its merely political opportunism to say that the people who came into Iraq to fight America were terrorists all along. There is no evidence of that.

I think it makes more sense to say that the Iraq War solidified in the minds of many Arabs and Muslims that America was out to fight and destroy Arabs and Muslims. After all, if the USA was willing to destroy a secular Arab, there is no end to the American campaign in the middle east.

This War in Iraq is creating terrorists faster than we can kill them. Its strikes me as very similar to Vietnam. To us, its a war for our interests, for them its a war of independence against an imperial force. In my view, and the view of many who study history, its a war we are destined to lose. These types of insurgencies are never defeated.

Our present policy is simply ignorant of the reality of the campaign.

Okay, the UN is fair to good at many things--things like disaster aid--and it is deplorable at many things--things like peace-keeping, standing by while genocide occurs under their very noses, failing to check delivery of food for freshness and medicine for not being out of date, forcing women and children into sexual slavery and on and on and on. It has high ideals and sometimes it even lives up to those ideals but often it is the cause of or willingly permits the worst of abuses. It is no surprise that the the right sometimes uses and praises the UN and at other times vilifies it. What is surprising is that so many on the left are like the three monkeys--see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil--when it comes to the UN. If pressed, they are forced to admit that, yes, it needs reformed but if I waited for a liberal to volunteer the slightest negative comment about the UN, I'd be waiting for life. What you call a bug with reference to the right I call a feature.

The ACLU is an important organization. I am not of the Stop the ACLU crowd. I do not think everything that they do is wonderful but I'm glad they're around.

Amnesty International does fine work. They are right to scrutinize the US as they do other countries. Sometimes people in that organization make patently absurd statements like calling Guantanamo the "Gulag of our time". They deserve all of the praise they get when they do good. They deserve all of the derision that they get when they make asinine and indefensible comments.

As far as I'm concerned, we invaded Iraq for all of the dozens of reasons enumerated in the resolution authorizing the President to use force in Iraq. We are simply not going to agree about these things because we interpret the same evidence differently and we're not making much progress on closing that gap.

No jet was shot down. I never said any such thing. Firing on US military personnel as they are carrying out their duties according to the authorization of the international community (UN) is an act of agression in clear contradiction of numerous UN resolutions and, as far as I am concerned constitutes an act of war. You have credible evidence that the claims of repeated firings upon our pilots have been overblown?

I didn't call these people coming from other countries into Iraq terrorists before they came to fight, although certainly Al Zarqawi was and I have no reason to think that there aren't any number of others who were. What I said about them is that jihad-minded people were being drawn to Iraq. The people who are coming here, certainly the Wahabbists that you referenced were jihad-minded, they are among the most radical Islamists in existence. What I'm saying is that the predilection is in these people's hearts before we ever invaded Iraq. These people festered with hatred for most of their lives. The Iraq invasion provided the opportunity for them to act out the violent hatred that was in their minds from their youth.

There's not much point, I think, in continuing this line of discussion. We both know where the other stands on these issues. I hope to God that you are wrong about our not being able to win this war. I hope to God that you hope we win this war. Loosing is not an option.

Craig,

I've enjoyed the discussion. I do agree, we likely wont bridge any gaps between our differences here though.

I welcome your opinion on this blog and I hope you keep visiting.

The Bulldog Manifesto

Bulldog,

Count on it.

Great scorecard. I'll check in for updates.

Whatever penalties Karl Rove ends up getting, the most fitting one would be: Joseph Wilson should get five minutes alone with him.

My other blog http://okcitykid.bravejournal.com/

Its strange how when you go a "blogger for Bush" each one of there articles are full of comments and ours might get one or two. Yet I know by the stats, lots of people read my blog - they just don't say nothing. On Bravenet, there might be 15 blogs for Bush, there are 120 against him. And ofcourse you have the recent polls. Always on the internet in all your forums you have a hundred to one poor guy trying to defend Bush. I asked one of them if they were getting paid for this, I never got a reply, makes me wonder.

All I can say, those who are for Bush are so full of it that they are unable to contain themselves.

excellent article. You do a service to your country.

Roger

Regarding #1, so far, we have only O'Donnell's word for it that Rove is the leaker. Newsweek, who O'Donnell predicted would publish an article naming Rove as the leaker has, as yet, done no such thing. The article that Newsweek did publish, says that Rove did an interview with Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper but does not say that Rove leaked the Plame's name as a CIA agent. In fact, the article says, "It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove." In short, there is no verified evidence whatsoever that Rove did anything wrong, let alone that he committed treason.

It may be that the communications turned over WILL name Rove as the leaker but do you really think a reporter from Time Magazine and one from New York Times would go to prison to protect Karl Rove? That seems unlikely to me but not outside of the realm of possibility. Furthermore, liberals have spent years proclaiming Rove an evil genius. How likely is it that a genius, evil or not, would leave a trail that would lead directly back to him? Doesn't THAT seem unlikely to anyone?

Craig,

Actually, the husband of the CIA operative accused Karl Rove of the same allegation a year ago. So there is more than simply one person's testimony.

Also, many others in the past two days have confirmed the same thing.

Whatever you're playing, your cheating at it. You can't play most, if any, of those cards yet. You manipulated your words a lot like some of your friends do to be accusing others of doing it, don't you think lol?

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Accused, yes. Then again Wilson has said a number of things that turned out to be *ahem* less than truthful like that his wife, Valerie, DIDN'T suggest him for the trip to Niger. Of course, she had done just that. So I wouldn't place a lot of credence in his accusation. Besides an accusation is just an accusation. I'm saying, let's see the evidence. Talk is cheap. Let's see the documents so that we can interpret them. Does anyone remember the 'Texas Air National Guard' documents or the Guantanamo reports that DIDN'T confirm that an interrogator flushed a Qur'an? Let's see the witnesses so we can gauge their credibility. Does anyone remember Dan Rather's 'unimpeachable' source, Bill Burkett or Newsweek's source who, even though he had no clear idea what he had read in some non-existent report nevertheless smeared the US military in charge of Guantanamo Bay detention facilities with total immunity since we still don't know the person's identity?

Who are these "many others" who have who have confirmed the story? Do you know? I don't. Do they know what the hell they are talking about? Are they hopelessly biased? Do they have a track record of truthfulness? Do they have good reason to hate Karl Rove? You see? This is what I'm talking about.

I freely admit that Rove is capable of doing such a thing. I just seriously question whether he would be so stupid as to leak the name himself during an interview with a reporter who's taking notes and/or recording the interview.

Green Eyed Lady,

To answer your question plainly...no!

In this article, for facts, I relied upon MAINSTREAM resources. Now, there will always be a certain amount of manipulation in writing, but I did not state anything that was not proper.

Where there are allegations, I stated as such. Where there was opinion, I think I made it clear to state that too.

The truth is, green eyed lady, the Bush Crime Family is starting to be revealed. I know it will hurt to recognize it at first, but once you see it for what it is, you will know what the 49% percent of us having been saying for the past 5 years.

Craig,

Fair enough. You certainly have the right to your position. And I suppose we will see what happens soon enough. Thank you for your posts!

Nice blog; well written opinions.
I will be linking to your post shortly.

Regarding #4, Vice-President Cheney had left Haliburton before the contracts were rewarded, by which I mean, whatever he has been paid after leaving Haliburton, he earned before he left. That is to say, Cheney has not and will not profit from the earnings resulting from the Iraq contracts.

On the other hand, I agree that it smells fishy that Haliburton, which Cheney once headed, got bid-free contracts worth Billions of dollars. The justification profered, namely that Haliburton was the only company that could handle the contracts, could, at best, be characterized as 'convenient' and I can't fault anyone for thinking that this was a dishonest act. All that I can say is that I can't disprove that the proffered explanation isn't the truth.

Whatever scandals Haliburton has gotten themselves involved in are theirs to defend or to pay for. I have neither the desire or the inclination to defend them. On the other hand, Cheney is no longer in a position to either profit from nor to control the Corporation's activities, honest or otherwise.

As for #3, Tom Delay is on his own. All that I will say is that Democrats do not sqeak when they walk, as more than one have, with Abramoff. Delay's dealings should be investigated fairly and he should take what he deserves. As for indictments, if the Texas prosecutor thinks he can make them stick, he should indict Tom for whatever improprieties can be proved against Mr. DeLay. I'll wait until such time as he is indicted of actual wrongdoing before convicting him in my mind. Simply dealing with a wrongdoer such as Abramoff doesn't rise to that level--yet, anyway.

As to # 2, a. as far as I know, what those documents show is that it was considered inevitable that, since Saddam had consistently thumbed his nose at the UN and the international community by refusing to allow inspectors unfettered access to whatever sites the inspectors thought might hold illegal weapons, the use of force would ultimately be necessary in Iraq. That is not quite the same thing as saying that Bush had decided, nine months before the invasion, to attack Iraq. Both Bush and Blaire have said that the decision to attack was not definitively made until shortly before they actuall did so. From what I have read of these documents, they do not contradict that.

b. At the time of the meeting, of course, the case was not as robust as the Brits wanted. The Brit's demanded that the UN be addressed again in an attempt to gain another in a series of 17 toothless and useless resolutions and to gain support from, what we know now were bribed, Security Council nations, nations with veto power, that were economically heavily involved with Saddam Hussein. We wasted months with the UN that gave Saddam ample time to pre-plan the insurgency.

This was, I think, a separate issue from that of 'fixed' evidence. As I understand, in British usage, 'fixing evidence around policy' simply means that evidence that supported the policy of an attack that was seen as inevitable, Saddam being Saddam, was being gathered and put in order. This sounds logical to me. If one regards force as likely to be a necessity in order to get Saddam to comply with the world's demands, whatever evidence that might exist that would be useful for building support for such an attack should be gathered and placed in order for that purpose.

One thing that we know that 'fixing the evidence' did not mean is lying about Iraq's WMD. All of the documents that you reference take it as a given that there were biological and chemical weapons stockpiled in Iraq. As the WMD commission's report makes plain, the intelligence agencies of the US and numerous other countries, believed that Iraq had an active WMD program right up to the time of the attack. In the Commission's words, "...they were simply wrong."

c. If the US had no patience with the UN, they certainly had a damn funny way of showing it, namely by spending months trying to gain their support. In short, they did what the Brits demanded before they would give Bush backing for the attack.

d. Lure Saddam into attacking the US? I assume that you mean the near daily firing upon US jets enforcing the UN established 'no fly zone'.

e. This cannot be worded correctly. There were no elections, Congressional or otherwise, set for either January 30, 2003 or 30 days before that. The Congressional elections took place in November of 2002. What happened at the end of January was that the newly elected Congresspersons took office. Whatever time table might have been set at the meeting, the timetable was changed. We didn't invade Iraq until March or April, I forget which, of 2003, after the newly elected Congresspersons were in office.

f. No Iraq was not about to attack his neighbors, in the sense that he attacked Kuwait a decade before or in the sense that he attacked Iran before that but I don't believe that anyone actually claimed that he was.

It is true that they knew that Iraq's WMD capability was "no greater" than that of Lybia, Iran, or North Korea. The decision to attack Iraq was based, I believe, upon a number of calculations. From my understanding, Lybia was not attacked because there were already negotiations with Lybia that, it was hoped, would result in Lybia giving up it's WMD. In fact, that did not occur until after the Iraq invasion. Arguably, it was the invasion of Iraq that convinced Lybia to do just that. Invading North Korea, whose standing army is like the largest in the world and whose weapons are no slouch or Iran, whose people are very nationalistic were both more dangerous than Iraq.

While no one has questioned that these documents are valid, as you say, that simply means that they are not bogus. That does not mean that their meaning is not in serious dispute, as is most certainly the case. I welcome investigations since, as I read these documents, there is nothing impeachable in them. If Bush get's impeached and convicted, I believe that it will be a shame as I believe that, while any number of mistakes have been and are being made in Iraq, the decision to depose Saddam and install a democratically elected, Constitutional representative government in Iraq was the right one.

Regarding whether Rove is the one who named Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, it has been stated here that Wilson, Valerie's husband, had accused Rove of being the culprit. Now I read at Journalists Against Bush's B.S. that "After the Novak column, Wilson initially accused Rove of being behind the leak, then retracted that statement." If this is correct information, then even Wilsons accusation no longer stands.

Craig,

#4, actually, you aren't correct. There are presently many scandals involving Halliburton. And on at least one of them, Cheney may very well be quite involved.

From: Salon.com ( http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/01/18/scandal/index1.html )

"This may not surprise you, but an international consortium of companies, including Halliburton, is alleged to have paid more than $100 million in bribes to Nigerian officials, from 1995 to 2002, to facilitate a natural-gas-plant deal. (Cheney was Halliburton's CEO from 1995 to 2000.)

The problem: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials.

The outcome: A veritable coalition of the willing is investigating the deal, including the Justice Department, the SEC, the Nigerian government and a French magistrate."

#3. I find it funny that you say that you will wait until "such time as [Delay] is indicted of actual wrongdoing before convicting him in [your] mind."

I wonder, did you always wait for people to get indicted before you convicting them in your mind? If so, I give you kudos. If not, well than...thats another story.

I wonder if you were taking the same wait and see approach when they had the Bill Clinton witchhunt.

I wonder if you would need an indictment if it had alleged against Teddy Kennedy. Hmmm.....

If you have read the Downing Street Memos and you have not come to conclusion that the White House had already decided to go to war , then I believe you are really bending over backwards to ignore other evidence which taken as a whole, makes the case nearly obvious.

Take, the letter prepared by the PNAC in 1998. Take the statements made by Bush's terrorist chief immediately after 9/11 (Richard Clarke), take the book by Bob Woodward, take the fact that military bases and airfields were being constructed in Kuwait as early as 2002...the same bases bases and airfields that were used as a jumping point for the invasion of Kuwait.

Take the statements made by George W. Bush before he was president relating to Iraq and what he would have done differently. Put it all into the context of the Downing Street Memos...now also add the subsequent lies that we are presently hearing from the administration a la "last throes" and the veritable week to week spin doctoring for the reasons we went to war (WMDs, NO.....Terrorism, NO....Ties to al Qaeda, NO..... Freedom, NO....) and also consider this administration's resistance to the actual formation of the 9/11 Commission, the fact that they didnt want to fund it, and tried to stonewall it, and made sure that the commission was eventually prohibited from dealing with Iraq, except to say that Iraq never had any ties to Al-Qaeda.

I think you are using selective hearing and seeing, my friend.

As for the "spikes of activity" if you dont believe the Memo, perhaps you will beleive Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley who admitted it publically. See this LINK

And certainly, this administration never had any respect for the UN, unless the UN could be used for its own purpose. Do you remember seeing Colin Powell dangling faux-anthrax in his hands, knowing damn good and well that the only anthrax that ever was used for terrorism came from an American army base and was used against two liberal senators and various liberal journalists! And now, they want to add Bolton as the UN guy, the same guy who has never had a good thing to say about the UN. Give me a break.

As for Wilson's accusation, depends on who you trust, Wikipedia or Journalists against Bush's B.S.

LEt me ask you, if it does come out with certainty that Rove made the statement and disclosed a CIA operative's identity, what do you think should happen to him?

#4, as you say, "Cheney may very well be quite involved". If he is found to be criminally involved, he's toast--period. Waiting to see.

#3, Yes, at least that long. I try very much to wait until proven guilty. Suspicion is another thing. I don't chide anyone for suspicions. Actually, with regard to Clinton, I thought that the whole thing was rather silly and a waste of time. Teddy Kennedy? Chappequidic? There's no doubt that he got out of the car and she didn't. I don't, however, suspect him of foul play in the incident, as though he'd killed her deliberately. I don't care for Kennedy's politics on most issues--no surprise there--but, yes, I try to put the best possible construction on everything. This is a part of my religious upbringing.

I may very well not be aware of all of the evidence. I am not, for example, familiar with the PNAC letter of 1998. I may or may not be familiar with Richard Clarke's statements. Which statements do you mean? I've not read Woodward's book. There may be other explanations for building bases in Kuwait besides preparing for an Iraqi attack, but even if that was the reason, the memos make it clear that the administration considered that the use of force would probably be necessary to bring Iraq into compliance with UN resolutions. Why would you wait to the last minute to set up bases from which to invade Iraq if indeed Saddam refused to comply with UN resolutions. I guess it depends upon what you mean by "decided to go to war". I admitted that Bush wanted to remove Saddam, probably from before he became President. I happen to think that he was right to want to do so. I also agree with most of the reasons given for going to war with Iraq.

You seem to think that liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam's repressive regime was a rational arrived at and touted only after it became obvious that there were no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. This is demonstrably not so. The very documents that you refer to under the Downing Street Memos mention that, at the time of the 2002 meeting, Bush was advancing regime change as the reason for invading Iraq. You've read the memos, you know this to be true. If you want to know why Bush emphasized WMD and you heard little about liberation and democracy in Iraq before the invasion, the memos make it plain that the Brits would not go along with an Iraq invasion based only upon regime change. It was their opinion that WMD must be emphasized if sufficient legal cause were to be given. However, aside from the Memos, Liberation and Democratization of Iraq WERE advanced by the President on a number of occasions months before the invasion. He raised it before the General Assembly of the UN as early as September 12, 2002 as he attempted to gain UN support. I quote:

" If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis -- a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty, and internationally supervised elections.

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq. "


He also made this theme the centerpiece of a speech he gave before the American Enterprise Institute on February 26, 2003. This is the theme of the entire speech but I quote this:

"The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat. Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East. A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq."

Then there is the resolution from Congress that authorized the use of force in Iraq. From this I quote:

"Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;"

No one who read or heard these things, least of all Congress members who voted for this resolution can say that Bush never advanced the liberation and democratization of Iraq before the Invasion.

As for the "last throes" comment, that was his opinion. It is not an opinion shared by the whole administration. It is not my opinion.

As for the 9/11 commission and ties to Al Qaeda, I believe that there were indications of ties to Al Qaeda. What the commission determined was that there were no "operational ties" to the attack on 9/11. That I do believe. However,

Usama bin Ladin planned and executed the attack on 9/11. Al Zarqawi fought for Al Qaeda against the US in Afghanistan. He was wounded there. Zarqawi went to Iraq for medical treatment and safe harbor both of which he received in Iraq. He remains in Iraq today as the chief of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Ties to Al Qaeda? I say yes.

Al Zarqawi was not the only bona fide terrorist being given safe harbor in Iraq before the invasion.

Saddam was a supporter of terrorism through $10,000-$25,000 payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers against Israel.

Saddam had attempted an assassination against former US President G. H. W. Bush.

President G. W. Bush, shortly after 9/11 made it plain that it would be the policy of the US that we would be engaging in a war not only against those who attacked us on 9/11 but also terrorists of all stripes and the states that harbor/support them. Based upon these, I believe that Saddam's Iraq more than qualified.

I accept that there was a spike in activity. In point of fact, Iraqis fired repeatedly upon US jets enforcing the UN established no-fly zone. Whether these were only in response to the spike mentioned, I cannot say for sure but, as I recall, such incidents of Iraqi fire upon US jets were occurring pretty much as long as the no-fly zone was established, i. e., almost a decade.

If it be proved that Rove was the leak, he should face whatever punishment the legal system provides for such actions. From what I've read and heard, there is some question as to whether any crime was committed at all. However, not being a lawyer, I couldn't say what crime was committed by whoever named Valerie Plame as a CIA agent or what the apropriate punishment might be for such a crime. Whatever that might be, however, if Rove is the one who did this, that is what he should face.

And by the way, I've read some B.S. in Wikipedia too. I mean, it's not like the Encyclopedia Britanica, written by experts in each article's field of knowlege. I don't know that I believe Journalists against Bush's B.S. either. I mentioned it because I happened to come across it while surfing BlogExplosion. The fact that it is a liberal, anti-Bush site meant that I would have no one complaining that the source was biased toward Bush or Conservatives. As I said, "If this is correct information, then even Wilsons accusation no longer stands." I don't see why a blatantly anti-Bush site would falsely claim that Wilson retracted his allegation. I mean, anyone can be wrong, even I, but it just seems to me that that's not the sort of thing a liberal anti-Bush site would be wrong about.

I used to rag on liberals all the time for their diatribes, I am still a Republican but I am begining to think you liberals may get somewhere with your endless rants.

If Bush doesn't do something quick, the DNC may very well sweep '06 and us Republicans will be back on the sidelines. Bush is the worse thing that has ever happened to the Republican Party.

It's good to have blogs so that all of the scandals can be exposed, whether they are on the right or the left.

The framers of the Constitution had it right when they built a system of checks and balances to avoid the inevitable corruption that comes when any one party is in power for too long.

The 90s showed all the Democrat scandals. The 2000s are showing the Republicans on the national level.

At my local level, we are discovering what 30+ years of one party rule has wrought with indictments of bunches of local officials for putting their hands into the taxpayer funds (and a carpenter union's pension fund). All of the ideas were "for the children or other good causes" but ended up enriching the pols and their cronies.

The solution to the problem is to vote the old pols out every so often.

Too bad we can trust the elections. (Our state Supreme Court overturned a corrupt election in a local municipality run by a "political machine" not too long ago).

Checking IDs at the polls was an idea that the legislature just approved to try to safeguard our elections. Our local newspaper reported that there are 606,000 people with IDs (drivers' licenses and state IDs).

That's one ID for every man, woman and child in our area, plus 130,000 additional IDs. One can be sure that the "vote early, vote often" crowd will have multiple IDs and registrations at a variety of polling places, so the same old faces will still be in power despite property tax increases that threaten to throw politically active seniors (who happen to be riled up and pushing for political change) on the street when they can't pay their property taxes.

Deliberate Chaos

Chris, you sound like your talking about Chicago, IL. No one runs a machine like a Daley.

Craig,

Here is the PNAC letter I mentioned earlier.

For Richard Clarke, I suggest you read this. Also, try this.

Chris,

I agree with you. The best thing for this country is having everything out in the open. Slowly and slowly, each presidency over the past 50 years has hidden itself behind a wall of secrecy.

This current president is by far the worst at nsulating himself from real questioning. He went as far as planting his own "journalist" to ask soft ball questions at press conferences. Its shameful.

And tyhe town hall meetings that dont even include members of the town! Unreal! Its just propoganda, cue cards, and talking points. The good truth needs no selling. The good truth needs no spin. The good truth needs no artistry.

#1) It has NOT been revealed that Rove leaked anything (keep hopin boys).

#2)The Downing Street Memo has been explained by the people that wrote it (sorry, "fixed" does not mean "to rig or invent" in England, it means "to secure").

#3)DeLay's "scandals" are the same "scandals" that over 100 Congressmen have committed - many of them Democrats. Guess how many are going to be convicted of anything? (I'll give you a hint, the number starts with the letter Z).

#4)Halliburton - Big F*n Deal. What have they got to do with the U.S. - Oh, thats right. The eeevil Dick Cheney still controls Halliburton, and EVERYTHING the U.S. is doing is to enrich Halliburton and Cheney (didn't I tell you to keep taking your medication).

#5)Who the hell is Duke Cunningham? Well, if his "scandal" results in a conviction of something and also results in your happiness - then go for it. Guess you moonbats have to have a win or two somewhere.

#6)Exxon, Terry Schiavo, and Pat Tilman - keep focusing on these real important stories (plus the 30 others I didn't bother to look at), and then in 2006 when you lose 3-5 more Senate seats, you can scratch your heads and repeat the Democratic mantra "the voters are stooopid."

Dennis K,

Thanks for being the first condascending ahole to visit the site. We've had vists from a bunch of people on the right, but everybody has been cool.

When you have to insult, you know that you really have nothing to say and cant truly discuss an issue. You regurgitated your talking points quite well though! BRAVO!

Congrats on being the first jerk.

Bulldog, the three links simply take me to a copy of this comment page. I don't know what to tell you.

Craig,

Lemme try again. I dont know what happened. Here are the three pages. Cut and paste them into your toolbar.

The first one shows you that Richard Clarke was an advisor for Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. Here it is.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Clarke

Also, read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_All_Enemies

Also,

www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

Bulldog,

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out later. I gotta get to bed.

'Nite!

First of all, the truth will not "hurt me". Im not afraid of it. But you are right, a large group of you have been waiting and looking for "this" or anything for four and a half years. My consern is merely the motivation behind it. It isn't necesarily to get the "truth". This "Bush crime family" (lol) is a antidote for the Republicans total "Right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons for eight yrs, including White Water, and of course His affairs and the "victory" of republicans when Clinton fumbled and lied while under oath at the Grand Jury. The right-wing had a field day calling for the impeachment they so wanted (Which GW pardoned). Then the election (2000) turned you all into animals.
All this, every rumour, every memo (though unsubstaintiated) brings your group closer to getting that revenge. If truth be known, it would not have mattered who was the rebublican nominee in the '02 election, he had a bullseye on his forehead.
The sad thing is, when will it end? It seems not to matter to hardline "Blue" or "red" bullies what this is doing to our country, the progress of our government, the future of our children, and no matter how anyone thinks about the reasoning or lake thereof of this war, our childish division in the midst of it is going to make us laughing stocks, more than George being president ever will.
People so busy counting scorecareds can't see all this though, there is too much BS in their eyes. In three and a half yrs, we will have our pick of two brand new candidates. I hope it is a unbias centrist, democrat that will pacify you people yet not keep this shit going. Hopefully the Republicans won't keep the vicious cycle running. If I had my way, there wouldn't be either one, we are too out of control for a two party system. We need someone Independent, no labels, no blue or red. Actually maybe we just need a Dictator.

Since G. W. Bush was not a signatory to the PNAC letter, tell me what bearing that letter has on Bush's predilections or determination to go to war with Iraq at that time?

Okay, I see that both Bolton and Rumsfeld WERE signatories but, again, that simply is testimony concerning Bolton's and Rumsfeld's predilections, not Bush's.

Okay Bush chose Rumsfeld and Bolton for various duties in the government. This does not necessarely mean that Bush agreed with them on every opinion they have ever expressed and it certainly does not prove what Bush thought at the time the letter was written.

Concerning the PNAC letter, it's pretty hard to deny that Clinton was pretty ineffectual in his handling of Saddam Hussein or the Terrorist threat in general so I pretty much agree with the PNAC letter.

As for Clarke, he should know what he's talking about on things like terrorism and national security. That doesn't mean that he's right in his every opinion on the matter. Since I haven't read the book, I must depend upon Wikipedia's descriptions of it. I must say that he seems to think that he, alone, has the key to a) having stopped 9/11 and b) ridding the world of terrorists. I have to agree with some of his critics, that sounds pretty damned hubristic to me. My impression at the time of his testimony was that it was basically a part of his book promotion tour as much as it was anything else. I think he believed everything he said there and wrote in his book, that's not my point.

It's hard to argue that the government, including Bush, were effective in protecting us from 9/11. I'm not convinced that 9/11 could have realistically been prevented. Okay, FBI people could have done a better job of connecting dots of information that they did have. I'm not saying that it couldn't have been prevented, I'm saying that, given the screw-ups in the intel agencies, I doubt even Clarke could have stopped it. That's the trouble with hypotheticals--what ifs--they're so damned hypothetical that proving anything by them is iffy at best.

I'd really have to read his book to give my opinion on his argument so I'll leave Clarke there.

Green Eyed Lady (part 2),

I just read your longer message. Its funny, because I dont even consider myself a democrat. I've never voted for a democrat until this past election. I agree with you about the nonsense between the republicans and the democrats, it has gone on far too long.

However, as it relates to George W. Bush, my intention at unmasking this administration is purely because of the way I feel about the administration. I do not represent the DNC, nor any other interest.

I've seen enough, read enough, and put it all into historical context. I had no beef to grind with W before he became president. I never expected him to be so harmful to this country.

As for your last comment regarding a dictator...its funny because George W. said it himself early on in his presidency, that it sure 'would be easier to be a dictator'. I would assert that he has done everything in his power to make that happen.

The only way you will be able to view this presidency fairly is to pull yourself out of your own personal affiliation with the republican party for five minutes and truly view this presidency for what it is.

As for me, I guess my carriage is presently tied to the democratic horse, but not because I believe in the party, per se, but because presently the DNC is our only hope for taking Bush out.

This presidency scares the hell out of me.

Craig,

C'mon my friend. You cannot possibly belittle the relevance of the PNAC letter simply because W. didnt sign the letter.

Nearly everyone of W's immediate staff signed that letter, including Armitage, Bolton, Pearle, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and even the president's brother Jeb.

They smartly kept W. from signing it knowing darn well and good that he would be making a run for the presidency in 2000. This was W's coterie of advisers! This is W, for all intents and purposes.

As for the detractors of Clarke, they were all politically motivated. Look at what happens to people who speak out against this admnistration. They are immediately whacked with a heavy hand.

Craig,

One more thing...here are the list of founders of the PNAC.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

G. W. Bush doesn't even appear to belong to PNAC. I can't imagine why not. There is nothing objectionable in stating one's belief that current foreign policy is not working and, therefore, another foreign policy should be implemented. After all, you believe that the current foreign policy is not working and, therefore, another foreign policy should be implemented. Such a statement could even be a boon to someone intending to run for President in the next election, especially in an election against the then vice president whose policies might be percieved to continue Clinton's.

The facts expressed in the letter, namely the erosion of containment as a policy with regard to Saddam Hussein's regime, were accurate. Saddam had never given the weapons inspectors free access to suspected weapons cites and so the world could not know the status of Iraq's WMD. Yes, we know that now but not thanks to weapons inspections.

We now know the folly of relying upon many of our old allies and upon Saddam's cooperation. We know now the Billions of dollars Saddam was scooping off of the oil for food program and about the kickbacks to nations on the UN Security Council. If anything, in this regard, the actions taken since this letter was written have proven this aspect to be more true than we knew then. The folly of depending upon unanimity in the Security Council was prescient.

Notice that the letter calls for "a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts", not just war. The signatories are calling for a tougher, more engaged policy directed toward what Clinton had already agreed was the goal: removing Saddam from power.

Clinton, himself and Congress during his tenure had made removing Saddam the policy of the USA, not by direct military intervention, that's true, but the policy of removing Saddam was already there and approved of by Clinton. The argument was over means, not goal.

All in all, I can't see the downside connected with G. W. Bush signing this letter.

His detractors were politically motivated. Okay. So what. That doesn't make them wrong or Clarke right.

By the way, I like your, um, 'gravitar' do they call it? Very cool. Did you make it yourself?

The downside to the president signing the letter would have been, IMO, It would have painted Bush into a definite and agressive position relating to Iraq. A presidential hopeful does not want to paint himself so certainly into such an agressive position, especially if he does IN FACT have his mind already set on invading Iraq years before he takes office without real provocation.

This president tried to pretend like 9/11 was the impetus for re-evaluating Iraq. He used the scare of WMD's, ties to al-Qaeda, and the whole "mushroom cloud" threat.

Those threats require "fear" to work properly, and they could not have been taken seriously if you knew that Bush already had intentions to take out Saddam back in 1998. And those threats would have certainly been scoffed at prior to 9/11. After 9/11, this country was (and still is) ripe for fear mongering.

Remember, prior to 9/11, there was plenty of talk about lifting the sanctions against Iraq. Then 9/11 comes around, and BOOM, not only are sanctions not working but suddenly they are trumpeting the Saddam=Hitler propoganda lines again.

9/11 made the Iraqi War possible. And still, to this day, the president tries to call upon all of our feelings re: 9/11 to summon support for the Iraqi conflict. But in truth, Iraq had no relation to al-Qaeda, and after the first Gulf War, Saddam and Iraq were simply impotent on all fronts. They were completely contained.

More than that, Saddam was an enemy to the religious jihadists who actually do want to hurt the USA. He was a secularist. Albeit, a rutheless secularist who was not a friend to freedom, but Iraq is certainly not the frontline of the war against terrorists.

Now, however, after the US invasion, they call Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism. I wonder how that happened?

Without real provocation? What about 12 years of defiance of UN resolutions? Do you seriously wonder why Bush had no patience left for the UN?

What about years of refusing weapons inspections? Remember that, at that time there was no question in anyone's mind, and that included Clinton, that Iraq had an active WMD program so it is anachronistic to say that because we know today that there were no WMDs (although the brain trust and facilities were there to start them up again on short order) that therefore the threat of WMD and a delivery system in Saddam's hands was something other than a genuine and mounting danger and, yes, one to fear, even at the time of the PNAC letter, let alone after 9/11.

What about a decade of firing upon US Jets enforcing the UN ordered no-fly zone? Sounds like justification to me.

Actually, 9/11 WAS the impetus to not only reevaluate Iraq, but the US policy toward the entire Middle East. One thing that I think that you misunderstand about Iraq is that it IS an integral part of the greater war on terror, not only because Saddam DID welcome terrorists into Iraq and had a nifty little training camp of his own at Salman Pac, Jumbo Jet fuselage and all, but because he was a material supporter of Palestinian terrorism against our ally, Israel...oh, and don't forget the attempted assassination of then former US President G. H. W. Bush.

But aside from harboring and abetting and committing acts of terror, Bush sees liberty and Democracy as one of the most important weapons against terrorism and terrorists. He may well be wrong on that account--time will tell--but there have been a number of encouraging signs regarding the spread of democracy in the ME. Yes, it has a long way to go in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and elsewhere, there are encouraging signs in each of these countries.

Actually, I think that Saddam = Stalin is the more apt analogy.

As for Iraq not now being the front line in the war on terror, you're joking, right? Iraq probably has the largest concentration of militant jihadists in the world. Where is the front line in that war, if not in Iraq? Or did you mean to say that, prior to our invasion, Iraq was not the front line in the war on terror? With that, I would have to agree. However, today, Iraq is drawing jihad-minded Islamists from throughout the ME. I rather think that, instead of creating jihadis, Iraq is drawing people already of a mind to jihad. In short, they're coming to us and, on the whole, they're getting stomped. No the insurgency is not on its last legs, but they are certainly not winning this war. Not in my opinion anyway.

If defiance of UN resolutions were, per se, reasons to consider military action against the violater, then Israel is long overdue for a military invasion.

Like the ACLU and Amnesty International, the Right only uses the United Nations as justification if it first, meets with the Right's own interests. It does not work the other way around.

We invaded Iraq, not because of UN resolutions, but because it was Bush's intention all along. The UN resolutions, the WMD scare, and the terrorism scare were all merely packaging to sell the underlying product. Its funny how the Right belittles the UN when the UN happens to disagree with the Right's agenda, but relies upon the UN when it serves the Rght's interest. The same goes for Amnesty International, the Right relied upon their records of human rights violations in Iraq in justifying the removal of Saddam, but as soon as AI discussed our own human rights violations, AI was discredited. Same for the ACLU. Its funny how Rush Limbaugh accepted the ACLU's help in his Vicodin case, yet time and time again lambastes the organization for its willingness to represent those whose civil liberties are being attacked.

(Sorry about the tangent I'm off on....back to the issue we are discussing....)

You talk about the decade of firing on our jets. Please provide me with evidence of a jet being shot down during those years. This claim has been largely exaggerated (of course).

Considering that we were illegally bombing Iraq as part of the "spikes of activity", who the heck knows who was provoking whom anymore? Consider this in light of prior administrations who have carried out covert bombings in foreign lands, its certainly not out of the question to imagine that we may have very well been trying to coax Iraq into a War for over a decade.

And yes, I was simply saying that Iraq was not the frontline of the war against terrorism prior to the invasion. The prior regime had the borders sealed between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It was only after the American invasion that the swarms of wahhabiists (sp?) entered into Iraq in order to fight the US.

And you can hardly say that these people were terrorists all along. A person cannot be a terrorist without committing or attemtpting to commit an act of terror first (just as a person cannot be a murderer or rapist until committing or attempting to commit a murder or rape). Its merely political opportunism to say that the people who came into Iraq to fight America were terrorists all along. There is no evidence of that.

I think it makes more sense to say that the Iraq War solidified in the minds of many Arabs and Muslims that America was out to fight and destroy Arabs and Muslims. After all, if the USA was willing to destroy a secular Arab, there is no end to the American campaign in the middle east.

This War in Iraq is creating terrorists faster than we can kill them. Its strikes me as very similar to Vietnam. To us, its a war for our interests, for them its a war of independence against an imperial force. In my view, and the view of many who study history, its a war we are destined to lose. These types of insurgencies are never defeated.

Our present policy is simply ignorant of the reality of the campaign.

Okay, the UN is fair to good at many things--things like disaster aid--and it is deplorable at many things--things like peace-keeping, standing by while genocide occurs under their very noses, failing to check delivery of food for freshness and medicine for not being out of date, forcing women and children into sexual slavery and on and on and on. It has high ideals and sometimes it even lives up to those ideals but often it is the cause of or willingly permits the worst of abuses. It is no surprise that the the right sometimes uses and praises the UN and at other times vilifies it. What is surprising is that so many on the left are like the three monkeys--see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil--when it comes to the UN. If pressed, they are forced to admit that, yes, it needs reformed but if I waited for a liberal to volunteer the slightest negative comment about the UN, I'd be waiting for life. What you call a bug with reference to the right I call a feature.

The ACLU is an important organization. I am not of the Stop the ACLU crowd. I do not think everything that they do is wonderful but I'm glad they're around.

Amnesty International does fine work. They are right to scrutinize the US as they do other countries. Sometimes people in that organization make patently absurd statements like calling Guantanamo the "Gulag of our time". They deserve all of the praise they get when they do good. They deserve all of the derision that they get when they make asinine and indefensible comments.

As far as I'm concerned, we invaded Iraq for all of the dozens of reasons enumerated in the resolution authorizing the President to use force in Iraq. We are simply not going to agree about these things because we interpret the same evidence differently and we're not making much progress on closing that gap.

No jet was shot down. I never said any such thing. Firing on US military personnel as they are carrying out their duties according to the authorization of the international community (UN) is an act of agression in clear contradiction of numerous UN resolutions and, as far as I am concerned constitutes an act of war. You have credible evidence that the claims of repeated firings upon our pilots have been overblown?

I didn't call these people coming from other countries into Iraq terrorists before they came to fight, although certainly Al Zarqawi was and I have no reason to think that there aren't any number of others who were. What I said about them is that jihad-minded people were being drawn to Iraq. The people who are coming here, certainly the Wahabbists that you referenced were jihad-minded, they are among the most radical Islamists in existence. What I'm saying is that the predilection is in these people's hearts before we ever invaded Iraq. These people festered with hatred for most of their lives. The Iraq invasion provided the opportunity for them to act out the violent hatred that was in their minds from their youth.

There's not much point, I think, in continuing this line of discussion. We both know where the other stands on these issues. I hope to God that you are wrong about our not being able to win this war. I hope to God that you hope we win this war. Loosing is not an option.

Craig,

I've enjoyed the discussion. I do agree, we likely wont bridge any gaps between our differences here though.

I welcome your opinion on this blog and I hope you keep visiting.

The Bulldog Manifesto

Bulldog,

Count on it.

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All Bark. No Bite.
The Bulldog Manifesto


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