The Emp...er...White House Strikes Back

From MSNBC

"You have failed me for the last time, Ambassador. Oh, and by the way, your wife is a spy. Have a nice day."

""They were just 16 words in the State of the Union address "” words that we now know were misleading.""

So far, that is...

""They were just 16 words in the State of the Union address "” words that we now know were misleading.""

We know no such thing. Let''s see anyone on these threads prove that British Intelligence is lying today when they say they still have sources beyond ours which support the claim that Saddam was trying to obtain uranium in Africa. They claim they are not using our sources and not relying on forged documents.

Open challenge to anyone claiming the administration is lying:
Disprove British claims that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa. If you cannot, please admit that the administation made a claim that it trusted in the SOTU.

Rat, you''ve dodged this about a half dozen times. Care to answer?

You can''t, thats the problem.

But there always are various ways to present a question. You ask ""Disprove British claims that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa. If you cannot, please admit that the administation made a claim that it trusted in the SOTU."". A logical answer could be: But there isn''t any real certainty, the facts on this matter are still up for debate. Why did an assertion based on uncertainties make it into the presidents SOTU, arguably one of the most important presentations of intended government policies? Of course, presenting it this way would make me exactly what you accuse the media of, liberally biased. Not that it matters that I fully back the decisions made on the war Iraq against. Or that I''m only baffled by the stupidity how some situations have been handled and the danger that this has a direct negative influence on the succes of the sustaining war on terrorism. Anyway, everyone can twist a statement through and through and eventually they''ll all settle in their explanation of the facts. Example:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa

""The British government didn''t recently learn that Saddam tried to obtain so the Bush statement is factually wrong... blablabla""

It really is a moot point so further discussion on the question whether Bush was lying or not might indeed not be of great interest. There still resides are problem though. In my opinion this thing can and maybe will damage the president''s and the administration''s credibility. Such damage has an immediate effect on domestic and foreign policy, so wasn''t the uranium statement best to be avoided? No arguments about alledgedly liberal media, faulty British intelligence or whatnot, just a simple question: should Bush have avoided making the statement just to avoid the apparent PR problem he has now?

"Koesj" wrote:

should Bush have avoided making the statement just to avoid the apparent PR problem he has now?

Not if he was trying to drum up national and international support for the war, and he believed it was true. If he had any uncertainty due to his own intelligence services'' inability to corroborate the report, he would explicitly cite the claim to the service that generated the report. And he did all of that. I still think that if there was significant doubt regarding the veracity of that report, someone in the administration would have nixed the line.

Why did an assertion based on uncertainties make it into the presidents SOTU, arguably one of the most important presentations of intended government policies?

There''s the rub. The false allegation is that this assertion is based on uncertainty. It isn''t, and has never been shown to be based on uncertainty. The adminitstration trusted British intelligence when they made their claim, and that claim has never been refuted.

The point seems to be the US intelligence had doubts, therefore this information was suspect. But all US intelligence ever said before the
SOTU was that they couldn''t verify their own reports. To this day, US intelligence has no concrete evidence either way. The Brits claim they have good sources which they trust.

This is intelligence, not scientific research. Almost all intelligence is based on an interpretation of secondhand witness accounts, not concrete physical evidence. We heard about the Niger deal because someone told us. We weren''t there, we don''t have photographs, and this is true of most intelligence work. It is uncertain business, in that you never actually know whether most of what you believe is true. However, the idea that this is manipulation or lying is simply untrue.

should Bush have avoided making the statement just to avoid the apparent PR problem he has now?

Probably. If the administration had known that the media and their partisan enemies would ignore their explanation, they might have avoided this charge. But half the US population thinks the administration inflated the charges against Saddam. The only evidence of this is the failure to find weapons (we have found WMD programs, it just goes underreported) after 90 days. This is mostly because the media refuses to let go of a story that is being reported blatantly inaccurately.

Put your question differently:

If the British are telling the truth, isn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa a compelling reason to deal with the threat of Iraq? Shouldn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa be presented to the American people so they can decide whether to support war against Iraq?

"ralcydan" wrote:

Shouldn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa be presented to the American people so they can decide whether to support war against Iraq?

You assume that the American people had a choice in this matter.

"Rat Boy" wrote:
"ralcydan" wrote:

Shouldn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa be presented to the American people so they can decide whether to support war against Iraq?

You assume that the American people had a choice in this matter.

That''s constructive. Even though I''m not a member of Congress, I appreciate the fact that they don''t do everything behind closed doors. This is the way a system of elected officials works. I vote, they do things, I decide what I think about those things, and I vote again. I''m not personally casting a vote in the Senate or the House, and yet, call me crazy, I do appreciate it when I''m told at least something about what they''re voting on and what the salient facts are.

You assume that the American people had a choice in this matter.

You assume they didn''t. As Lawyeron posted on a different thread, 70% of the American public supported the war in August of 2002. Congress, representing their constituencies, authorized force against Iraq before the midterm elections. The support for the war grew steadily all the way up to it''s beginning.

However, had public opinion turned against the war, it may well have never happened. Of course, this would have been a horrible result, as removing Saddam by force was both justified and necessary, regardless of public opinion...

Bush didn''t make a false statement. The British say it is true and I think we should support them because they sure have supported us.

"Ulairi" wrote:

Bush didn''t make a false statement.

""Factually accurate"" is politco bullsh*t for ""it might be true but we don''t know.""

If it wasn''t a false statement, why does the Administration say that it shouldn''t have been in there?

The British say it is true

That intelligence report is in question.

and I think we should support them because they sure have supported us.

And as Tony Blair''s reward for supporting the US, his own party will most likely hand him his walking papers.

""Factually accurate"" is politco bullsh*t for ""it might be true but we don''t know.""

Which is Rat Boy bullsh*t for ""I can''t prove my allegations, but I''ll keep making them.

If it wasn''t a false statement, why does the Administration say that it shouldn''t have been in there

Beacause it was from a foreign source that we couldn''t independently verify. Doesn''t mean it was untrue.

That intelligence report is in question.

Yes...now. This report is being questioned by democrats and anti-war members of Parliament in the UK. Huge surprise. Even if the report turns out to be false, that means that Tony Blair and British intelligence are liars, not the US administration.

by the way, your signature is a bit of a misquote. You seem to be implying that Cheney thought we would be bad guys by targeting Saddam. This is a half-truth. He was stating that we would lose support in the court of world opinion if we went after Saddam immediately after 9/11. Cheney supported taking out Saddam when Clinton wanted to do it in 1998, and his opinion never changed.

I thought you were against using fabrications to make a case... Guess not.

If the British are telling the truth, isn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa a compelling reason to deal with the threat of Iraq? Shouldn''t the fact that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa be presented to the American people so they can decide whether to support war against Iraq?

Of course, but NOT in the SOTU! IMO that''s exactly the place where EVERY tiny bit of information should be right in order to avoid mess-ups like these in the future. Sure you blame it on the liberal media and I agree to a certain extent, but why the hell would the administration give the liberal media fuel to keep their ''case'' against Bush going? It should have been avoided, that''s something I''d like to establish here.

"ralcydan" wrote:

Beacause it was from a foreign source that we couldn''t independently verify. Doesn''t mean it was untrue.

But it shouldn''t have been in the SotU. Why was it?

You keep dodging that fundamental question. You are clearly incapable of acknowledging the Administration''s admission that it shouldn''t have been in there in the first place.

But it shouldn''t have been in the SotU. Why was it?

You keep dodging that fundamental question.

No I don''t. I answered it in the very quote you used. It shouldn''t have been in the SOTU because it was from a foreign source that we couldn''t independently verify.

If that had ever been your case, we wouldn''t be arguing. You, I, and the administration can all agree that Allied intel, without an independent US source shouldn''t be the source of major claims in the SOTU.

BUT THAT''S NOT WHAT YOU KEEP SAYING...

You instead claim that the administration used information it knew to be untrustworthy. UNTRUE. You say the claim is false. UNTRUE. You say the President knowingly exaggerated his case for war. UNTRUE. You have no backup for your claims, BUT KEEP REPEATING THEM.

Ignoring the administration''s explanation isn''t the same as refuting it. They claim their source was British intelligence. British intelligence stands by their claim. THIS IS UNREFUTED.

Speaking of ignoring, why do you insist on saying the administration uses false evidence, when your quote from Cheney is a misquote taken out of context? A tad hypocritical if you ask me...

"ralcydan" wrote:

No I don''t. I answered it in the very quote you used.

No, you didn''t answer why was it in the SotU to begin with. Why?

Because the administration has no reason to doubt British Intelligence''s claims. Again, unless Tony Blair and the British intelligence services are lying, they have sources that claim Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa. The SOTU was partially aimed at demonstrating Saddam''s malfeasance, and this piece of intelligence is direct evidence of that.

""they have sources that claim"" <- inherently too much uncertainty to include this sort of things in the SotU.

Yeah, you guys rip the media for citing ""sources that claim."" Shouldn''t you hold the Administration to a higher standard.

Not really. Most intelligence is based on ""sources that claim"". Much more intelligence is based on stoolpigeon than stakeout. If anything, the big complaint after 9/11 was that the US relied too much on technology - satellite photography, monitoring phone conversations - and too little on human intelligence, which basically amounts to ""sources that claim"". We need more not less.

And what has this to do with the fact that ANY uncertainty should be avoided in such an important speech like the SotU?

And what has this to do with the fact that ANY uncertainty should be avoided in such an important speech like the SotU?

Then we will never act as a country again, because all intelligence has uncertainty. Personally, I think that there are a lot of liberals and Europeans who would prefer this to happen, but they should get used to disappointment...

They started getting disappointed with the un-PATRIOT act, the rest has been MOTS...