Ex-CIA envoy doubts Iraq-Africa connection

From Yahoo/AP

Not a random ex-general, not a retired agent working for a security company, but the man who actually went to Niger to investigate this false lead. Lies or bad intel, like Senator Rockefeller said, "In either case, it's not a happy outcome, and has to be fixed."

This is ""non-news"",

""If the British and Bush were referring to Niger, then ""that information was erroneous, and ... they knew about it well ahead of both the publication of the British White Paper and the president''s State of the Union address,"" Wilson said on NBC''s ""Meet the Press.""

Basically Wilson is saying, if they were referring to my report, then it''s not true, but I don''t know if they are referring to my report.

He said there are only two conclusions to draw: ""Either the administration has some information that it has not shared with the public, or, yes, they were using the selective use of facts and intelligence to bolster a decision in a case that had already been made, a decision that had been made to go to war.""

Those are two pretty big assumptions.

Joseph Wilson was a Clinton holdover and he''s out of the loop. He''s part of a ""think tank"".

http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wils...

He has no idea what intel the government has. He has no factual basis to support his contention that his findings were manipulated. He was never sourced. This is his editorial.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/op...

Further, he believes there were weapons of mass destruction and that war was justified.

He admits he never filed a report on his findings. His findings are primarily based on meetings and drinking ""sweet mint tea"" with dignitaries.

For anyone who believes there is no liberal media, what explanation can there be for this non-news story? It proves nothing and he admits he has no idea what intelligence the government had other than what he read in the newspapers. What a joke.

Actually, he''s a Bush 41 holdover, not a Clinton.

This also further confirms that the Niger report (which was directly cited in the British White Paper, I might add) was completely bogus. At least this could be enough for both Labour and Conservative to vote to throw Tony Blair out of office. But, if you think a document signed by an official dated ten years after he left office is genuine, don''t let me stop you.

Who cares about Blair? The idea is to discredit George Bush so a Democrat can get elected, right? So let''s stick to the issue.

This is another case of what did the President know and when did he know it. The administration acknowledges that the letters that the British White paper were based on were forged. Nobody is challenging that. They state that they didn''t know this until after the State of the Union address.

Even uberliberal Nicholas D. Kristof doesn''t believe the President was lying.

"" I don''t believe that the president deliberately lied to the public in an attempt to scare Americans into supporting his war. But it does look as if ideologues in the administration deceived themselves about Iraq''s nuclear programs "” and then deceived the American public as well.""

http://truthout.org/docs_03/061503G....

They can do all the reports they want and do all the investigations in the world. They will never be able to show that anyone manipulated or lied about anything regarding the war in Iraq. What the pundits are clamoring for is all the intelligence that was available to the President so they can second guess his decision to topple Saddam. However, the conclusion is preordained unless or until WMD are found.
Let''s just say for the sake of argument that the President was wrong, that they misinterpreted the data, or relied on bad data, or frankly, jumped to the wrong conclusion? It''s the responsibility of the President to make these difficult policy decisions, and the people will speak in 2004. That''s how the system works.

And I want the people to be well informed when they vote in 2004 and not have to base their votes on political spin one way or the other. The fact remains that the Iraqi WMD threat to America has been greatly exagerrated. They were not poised to hit US troops or cities at any time. If they were, they would''ve been used. Simple deductive reasoning based on Saddam Hussein''s past behavior. Unless you can find some explanation as to why he wouldn''t other than ""Saddam didn''t want to give us the satisfaction of letting us know he had them,"" I''m all ears.

Could we all snap out of the ''liberal-conservative'' thinking for a second?
What we know about the Nigerian report is that it was obviously, obviously forged. This is all there is to say:
The US administration based big parts of their justification for the second Gulf War on evidence that is in hindsight simply faulty. Trying to discredit this fact by claiming that it''s all just a PR scoop of the other big corrupt party is, sorry, not acceptable. We''re talking about one of the main justifications of a war here, after all.

Yes but don''t forget that a war can actually be a tool itself, war doesn''t necessarily have to be a goal, it can also serve as a means for something.

True. I was not so much trying to tackle the ''big agenda'' of the administration, but simply the way it led to this step in it. Wars are, I doubt that anyone will disagree here, by far the worst thing you can do to humans. Basing such an action - for whatever reasons it may have been taken - on evidence that wouldn''t hold water in front of any regular court is close to a crime itself: Fraud.

Yeah, but I personally think that the war was intended to serve two purposes:

1. To send a clear signal to the rest of the hostile governments in the world that they really don''t want to mess with us. Syria and Iran will think twice about supporting efforts against the US with the threat of being cast out of power looming in the form of a standing army next door. Plus, there is no way that North Korea could look at the effectiveness of the US military and think ''yeah, we can take em''. And sure enough, North Korea came back to the table right after the war started.

2. To begin, through reconstruction of Iraq, the gradual reformation of the entire Middle Eastern region. This is, by far, the most important step in building a lasting peace and minimizing Islamic terrorism. If we succeed in Iraq, it could start a much-needed wave of democratic reform in the surrounding countries. It is a lot harder to decide to kill yourself when you and your family actually have something to live for other than just pain and hunger.

And Iraq was the only viable target for this action. No one in the world liked Saddam. No one disagreed that he had WMD, only on whether the UN should be given more time. Iraq is a grand experiment, and I for one hope that now we are on the path, we see it through and see it successful.

Granted, that explanation still has me largely convinced, but the margin is getting smaller and smaller.


It is a lot harder to decide to kill yourself when you and your family actually have something to live for other than just pain and hunger.

While this makes logical sense to you and me. I''ve heard many experts on NPR say that it doesnt work in the Terrorist mindset. I wish I could quote or send links but sadly I dont remember the programs and people interviewed. There has been at least 3-4 experts between PBS and NPR. I''m sure somebody (erhm Rat Boy) could help find sources.

"fangblackbone" wrote:

It is a lot harder to decide to kill yourself when you and your family actually have something to live for other than just pain and hunger.

While this makes logical sense to you and me. I''ve heard many experts on NPR say that it doesnt work in the Terrorist mindset. I wish I could quote or send links but sadly I dont remember the programs and people interviewed. There has been at least 3-4 experts between PBS and NPR. I''m sure somebody (erhm Rat Boy) could help find sources.

While I was at GW, I had the pleasure to attend a few classes with one of the world''s terrorist experts (at least around 9 years ago, and then he thought the world''s biggest threat would come from the splintered Soviet states) but he said improving living conditions wouldn''t effect the die-hards, but what it does, is make them look like idiots in front of everyone else. It destroys recruitment for terrorism but takes time. I''ll never forget one of his quotes, and I''ve used it here before: ""It''s much harder to hate on a full belly.""

And if you open up enough al-McDonald''s in Riyadh, Tehran, and Damascus, they''ll be too fat to fight. Assuming the restaurants don''t get fire-bombed like they usually do.

"Rat Boy" wrote:
And if you open up enough al-McDonald''s in Riyadh, Tehran, and Damascus, they''ll be too fat to fight. Assuming the restaurants don''t get fire-bombed like they usually do.

Hmm, well.....if thats as close as I''ll ever get to you agreeing with me, then I''ll take it.

But, if this was your attempt to be sarcastic and just to further piss in the pot to strike up more flame, then I''ll have to offer my once stand-by that has lost much of its effect.....

Well, the solution other than war offered by a lot of conservatives is to ""export America"" to these regions to promote the growth of democracy and the death of jihadism. However, recent events, including the war in Iraq, have sparked more general hatred of America. I just saw this piece on CNN where people in the African countries slated for a visit by the president view him as a war monger and hate him as equally as they hate bin Ladin. While you may say that hating a leader does not equal hating the people, imagine if he was reelected by a wide margin in 2004. Many people overseas view him as illegitimate; that the US people did not vote for him and the overseas folk are willing to give the American public the benefit of the doubt.

All right, so went off on a tangent, but the core idea is that America is so hated right now that you couldn''t sell it even with the wrestling Miller Lite girls.

Don''t confuse ''Americia'' with ''Western Culture''.

Hollywood movies, Levis jeans, fast food, Coke/Pepsi are LOVED around the world.

I read (not on line, so can''t provide links) that US TV syndicated programs are in large demand including the middle east.

People may hate US politics, but they are still people who love junk food, fashion, entertainment, and they aren''t so selective as to boycott it all just because its made in the USA (or made in the middle east by a US company).

Now, I would agree that the zealots hate the US for that exact same reason, but as we all agree, the zealots are in the minority.

I would love to invade a country economically. Allow muslim women education and a Nordstrom''s, then let''s see what happens.

"Yomm" wrote:
Don''t confuse ''Americia'' with ''Western Culture''.

Don''t tell me, tell the overseas folks.

Let me assure you, we aren''t hated around the world. Oh sure, jealous leaders in other countries don''t like us, tyrants fear us and blame the problems they cause their people on us, and ivory tower morons who just turned 50 and have yet to hold a real job can wax philosophical about ""American imperialism"".

But the reality is we''ve won. The average person on the planet has had a taste of, seen, or at least heard of the things we take for granted (and often invented) and THEY WANT THEM. We have the richest, most free, most tolerant society in history. Our current leaders are honest and dedicated to making the world more peaceful and stable for everyone - even the ungrateful fools who think America is the cause of their own problems.

There will always be sheep who are fooled by their leaders. I tend to discount the opinions of the second and third worlds. There are plenty of cultures which are still characterized by being savages and backwards barbarians, under the thumb of despots who lie to them. Their media is non-existent or state controlled. Literacy is a noodle dish served with fish.

And Europe is a has-been mishmash of countries who traded colonialism and constant war for early retirement and 4 day work weeks. They are the grumpy, tired old man of the world who contributes nothing and grouses constantly about the arrogance of the younger, stronger America. Europe has nothing against arrogance, they just can''t afford the guns it requires anymore.

Frankly, we need to export more of our ideals and culture. I''ll take democracy and public education over rivers full of feces and female clitoral removal any day.

So don''t believe everything you read in forums or the New York Times (I assume Jayson Blair posts here - it sure would fit). Papers are designed to sell, not report truth. A thousand screaming, bloody haired Muslim fanatics yelling at us to leave is news, while the fact that the Silent majority of Iraqis would vote GW Bush president of Iraq goes without comment.

Enjoy.

------------------------------
""And remember Mr. Gore, you don''t ask for a recount unless you lose first...""

Two angry rhetoric laden rants are about my limit. I sure hope there''s not a third, or if there is that it manages to have a point without being condescending or intentionally insulting.

"Lawyeron" wrote:
Who cares about Blair?

Hopefully the Bush Administration does, since he was the US''s staunchest ally while putting his career in jeopardy. I''d hope they''d reward such support rather than watch him get thrown out of office and replaced with an anti-Bush Labour PM.

Speaking of which, the Parliament committee investigating the intelligence has issued a report on their findings. Read about it here.

I''ve read the article, and the report clears Blair and his cabinet of any deliberate misrepresentation of the intelligence. The whole report is just a ""why haven''t you found anything yet when you promised you would?"" They are in the same position that the ""envoy"" was. They don''t know what intelligence Blair has so they can''t say he made a wrong decision. We may never know the full story because most of it will be classified.
As for as the reprocussions for Blair, he''s a grown man and made his decision fully aware of the consequences. His polls were favorable prior to the war and he had everything to lose. His country is certainly closer to the European Union than ours, and his policy certainly strained ties with countries like France and Germany (who have been conspicuously quiet about this whole issue). He is not a lap dog to America as claimed and has disagreed with this country on many contentious issues such as the World Court and our previous handling of the Israel-Palestine situation. He was obviously convinced by the intelligence that a threat existed and, if you saw his speeches, he was very passionate about the issue and was ready to put his job on the line.

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/ira...

In a nutshell, they can''t prove Blair lied and they won''t be able to prove Bush lied. If they didn''t lie than at worst they were just wrong. So what''s your point?

As to why they didn''t use any chemical weapons, who knows? They certainly had plenty of chemical suits. What were those for? They didn''t even blow up bridges to stop our assault, even though the bridges were wired. The most likely scenario is Hussein high tailed it out of there early on in the war. Using biochemical weapons would have resulted in a heavy reprisal from this country and was not likely an order a general or any other military leader would make without permission from above. But again, who knows, I have a ""western mind"" and I couldn''t even begin to understand a man like Saddam Hussein. Maybe he thought he could win the war or get back into power even if he lost if weapons were not found, and simply disposed of them and any paper trail in the six months we played paddy cake with the UN.
Answer this question. There is no question that Iraq had bioweapons as they used them on their people and they used them on the Iranians. There is no record of there disposal. So where did they go? Iraq wouldn''t say despite Blix''s consistant inquiries.
And I know his name is like a curse word on this forum but I''m going to say it anyway. If Clinton had the spine to properly deal with Iraq back in 1998 when Hussein first kicked the inspectors out, we would have been able to trace the weapons and avoid this war. Bush was forced to deal with a situation that should have been handled prior, but wasn''t, and America knows that. Much like North Korea and the Isreal-Palestine situation wasn''t dealt with effectively in the prior administration.

"Lawyeron" wrote:
Much like North Korea and the Isreal-Palestine situation wasn''t dealt with effectively in the prior administration.

How so? North Korea signed a treaty and then lied; sounds like it was more their fault. Israel and Palestine had unprescedented years of peace after the treaty signing on the White House lawn. That started to go awry when Rabin was assassinated, followed by alternating ineffective liberal PMs and hawkish conservative PMs. Note that the intifadah didn''t begin anew until Ariel Sharon made the now-infamous trip in Jerusalem in 2001. Please explain how both calamities in both regions weren''t ""dealt with effectively in the prior administration.""

Because the treaty with korea was b*llsh*t. Can I say B*ll?

In a nutshell, in 1993 North Korea was violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty. Clinton enters into a treaty with North Korea where we agree to provide two nuclear reactors if they promise not to build any nuclear weapons. This is a country we are still officially at war with mind you. I won''t begin to describe the implications of giving a madman like Pingyong two state of the art nuclear reactors. If you need more of a description of this debacle, although admittedly biased, read further:

http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Con...

Clinton screwed up on Isreal because he ""humored"" Arafat and did not negotiate from a position of strength. He was desparate for a quick legacy deal and ended up with nothing.

http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/me...

I will concede the deal Clinton offered was brilliant. However, he insisted on dealing with Arafat who would refuse to negotiate. Clinton, a student of history, should have known this. Read this article as it details the famous exchange between Clinton and Arafat, where Clinton admits he''s a failure.

http://www.hasbara.net/clips/clinton...

Clinton insisted on dealing with Arafat and the disappointment of a failed deal that should have been led to the election of the ""hawkish"" Sharon. By the way, Sharon made the ""now-infamous"" trip on September 28, 2000, well before Bush stole the election.

Bush handled it in a different way. I must concede (and the Webmasters say I''m supposed to concede stuff) that Bush had the benefit of Clinton''s failed foreign policy to guide him. Bush refused to deal with Arafat and insisted on new leadership before he would even give out the details of his road map.

What do we have to show for it? Isreal has pulled out of Bethlehem and has agreed to release prisoners. This is more than a handshake and a smile on the White House lawn, this is real tangible progress. Will the roadmap be completed? Who knows, there certainly are groups that don''t want peace, thus the killing continues. Fortunately the ""hawkish"" Sharon and Abbas continue to negotiate. Meanwhile, Arafat, who misjudged Abbas and thought he would be his puppet, is assisting the road map in an effort to remain relevant and give the appearance he is still in power.

Clinton was an ineffectual foreign leader because he refused to walk away from a bad deal or an untenable situation in these two situations. Therefore, leaders like Hussein, Pinyong and Arafat refused to take him seriously.

I know this is off the main topic, but you asked to be educated about Clinton''s foreign policy foibles; consider yourself schooled.

I am not convinced that the ''93 treaty was failed; it averted a war in the early 90s (which many former officials said was a heart-beat from happening) which would have been devastating to both Koreas and the American military. What you have offered is one interpretation from a source that sees things through a bias. Your source claims that the ""engagement"" strategy failed. Did it? It appears that once the Bush Administration took power, the engagement ended. Then came the recent arms escalation. Too well-timed to be a coincidence. Many scholars will tell you that all the DPRK wants is to be recognized and respected. Fine, we can do that, as long as they drop the nuclear rhetoric and stop exporting weapons. China seems amiable to this solution as well, since the new government in Beijing seems to have had enough with the North''s rhetoric.

How would Clinton negotiate with Arafat from a position of strength? Last time I checked, the peace process was in between the Israelis and Palestinians. I don''t see how Clinton''s admission that Arafat caused the breakdown of the talks is an admission of Clinton''s fumbling of the process. The full quote is ""I'm a colossal failure, and you made me one."" Big difference. And as some conservatives pointed out, the first agreement was reached with little help from the US. The current deal seems to be progressing by itself save for the road-map outline. And cynics, many of which are staunch Bush supporters, don''t believe that the deal will work anyway, since the Palestinians follow Arafat, not Abbas.

I don''t consider myself schooled; all you have offered is one possible interpretation of the facts interpreted through red-colored lenses (red as in Republican red on election night, not communists).


In a nutshell, in 1993 North Korea was violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty. Clinton enters into a treaty with North Korea where we agree to provide two nuclear reactors if they promise not to build any nuclear weapons. This is a country we are still officially at war with mind you. I won''t begin to describe the implications of giving a madman like Pingyong two state of the art nuclear reactors.

Clinton went on with the treaty after the DPRK had threatened to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. He (or should I rather say: the US administration as there are probably are some rabid Clinton haters here :?) wasn''t rewarding them for violating it in any way. I would rather say he was IMO trying to keep Kim il Sung and his heir Kim Jong Il under control with a good bargain: providing them with 2 light water reactors (link) not suited in any way to support the production of nuclear weapons and related material.

This is a futile exercise, but what the hey, nothings on TV tonight;

Korea

So are we closer to a war with Korea now than we were when Clinton was President? If so we''d better give North Korea what it wants to avoid bloodshed. If not, why not? Is it because we are dealing with strength rather than weakness?
You are right Koesj, the ""good bargain"" was to provide North Korea with Nuclear Reactors in an effort to appease them from building further weapons. This very deal led us to the situation we are in now. North Korea previously agreed to the nonproliferation treaty. They should have gotten NOTHING for trying to withdraw from it which is more than what they''ll get for their current shenanigans. The North Koreans again want something for another empty promise to refrain from building weapons. But this tactic won''t work with this administration. They continue to threaten and we are nonplussed. The only thing Clinton accomplished is that he bought himself some time without solving the problem. You argue as if it was this deal or war, which I don''t buy.

Now I''m not a nuclear engineer like Jimmy Carter, wink wink, but my research reveals that it is possible to create weapons grade nuclear material from light water reactors such as those to be provided to North Korea. Please consider this link, which states that the process would be difficult, but not impossible.

http://www.isis-online.org/publicati...

Another bonehead maneuver: Why were the fuel rods stored in North Korea? They should have been taken away. Now the fuel rods are being used to make weapons. If they were removed it wouldn''t be an issue. Hopefully under a new agreement they will be. Instead we relied on the UN to guard them. Whoopeee....

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/ne...

I hate to put a little reality in the situation, but this current crisis did not begin with the Bush administration. In 1997 Kim Jong whatever his name of North Korea purchased centrifuges from Pakistan.

http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/nu...

Centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium and make weapons grade uranium. This is similar to the centrifuges found in the WMD free Iraq that were hidden from weapon inspectors.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...

In July of 2000, nearly four months before Bush stole the election, North Korea threatened to restart their nuclear program if they weren''t paid $1 billion dollars. Thankfully Clinton didn''t pay.

http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2...

Now they have a full scale nuclear program.

Isreal-Palestine

Gee, besides Bush''s road map, Palestine and Isreal are doing it all on their own. Maybe that''s the way it should have been done. Instead of trying to create a legacy, give the countries a guide and let them do the work. But don''t think for a minute we didn''t lean on Israel to comply.

Foreign policy requires finesse, some people got it and some people don''t. Fortunately, we got it now.

But if you seriously consider the above two examples to be political successes, there is no way I will ever be able to convince you otherwise about this or frankly anything else.

By the way, I wanted to concede that Clinton was successful in his Irish Peace Deal he keeps crowing about, but that deal is dead too.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...

It isn''t appeasement when they''re bluffing. Many people who backed the war in Iraq over confronting North Korea said that Kim Jong Il is merely rattling his sabres to get attention. After all, a nuclear strike by the DPRK is suicide.

I did not say either was a diplomatic success; I merely refuted your claim that the failure lied squarely at the hands of William Jefferson Clinton. North Korea broke the treaty by themselves. Israel and Palestine started fighting again by themselves (some of the more hawkish neo-cons would say that Israel needs to keep fighting). Their actions are why the old peace deals failed.

^^

I''m with stoopid


In July of 2000, nearly four months before Bush stole the election...

I really don''t think people should resort to trolling here

They certainly had plenty of chemical suits. What were those for?

Well, I can''t dig up any quotes or find an official report but I remember from way back in the day during my basic training''s NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) protective classes that one of my instructors who served during Gulf War I told us that Iraqi soldiers were surprized we didn''t use nuclear or chemical weapons on them. Apparently, their leadership told them that the US was notorious for using WMD''s against their enemies.

To quote George Costanza, ""AAAAAAAH-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!""

Reaper, if your unsupported argument was true (that Iraqis believed that ""the US was notorious for using WMD''s against their enemies"") than why were we wearing chemical suits and the Iraqi suits were left unused in a hospital?
The more logical explanation is, that the suits are used for when biological weapons are to be deployed, and they choose not or could not deploy them.