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Chew
09-27-05, 11:42 AM
An anti-war coalition of mostly liberal groups ran a newspaper ad quoting six alleged lies about Iraq by President Bush and others.

But, like movie blurbs, the quotes sometimes look different when read in full context.

And while much of what the ad calls lies was indeed wrong, there's evidence that the President and his advisers believed the falsehoods at the time.

Analysis

The ad carried a bold-faced headline saying "They Lied," and six brief quotes from Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Rice (now Secretary of State). It also carried a list of American military personnel killed in Iraq, along with the words "They Died."

The ad appeared Sept. 22 in USA Today and more than a dozen other newspapers. The sponsor, "Win Without Wars," is a coalition made up of groups including MoveOn.org Political Action, and using Fenton Communications, the same media consultant used by MoveOn.org.

The brief quotes all seem starkly false in hindsight. But some are a bit too stark – they look a bit different when read in full context. Furthermore, calling them lies suggests Bush and his advisers knew they were wrong at the time. And a bipartisan commission concluded earlier this year that what the Bush administration told the world about Iraqi weapons – while tragically mistaken – was based on faulty intelligence.

"We found the weapons"

Bush is quoted as saying “We found the weapons of mass destruction,” but that's not all he said. The quote is from an interview with Polish television given May 29, 2003 – weeks after the fall of Baghdad, as Bush was starting to face questions about why no Iraqi stores of such weapons had been found.

Reading all of what Bush said makes clear he was referring both to "weapons" and to "manufacturing facilities" and was still clinging to what intelligence officials had told him about Iraqi mobile laboratories that supposedly were used for manufacturing biological weapons.

The full quote:

Q: Weapons of mass destruction haven't been found. So what argument will you use now to justify this war?
Bush, May 29, 2003: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.

In the end, neither weapons nor manufacturing facilities were found. Bush was wrong about the mobile laboratories, of course. He was repeating a claim transmitted to him by the CIA, which based its intelligence reports on an Iraqi source, code-named "Curveball," whom it later determined to be a fabricator. But the CIA didn't formally recall Curveball's reporting until May 2004, according to the report of the bipartisan Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. That CIA reversal came roughly a year after Bush's interview with Polish television.

The intelligence commission, though appointed by Bush, included several Democrats including co-chair Charles Robb, a former senator and governor from Virginia. Lloyd Cutler, former White House counsel to Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, was "of counsel" to the commission. One of the Republican commissioners was Sen. John McCain, Bush's opponent in the 2000 Republican presidential primaries.

"Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties."

The ad quotes Bush as saying, "There's no question Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties." Bush said that September 17, 2003, after months of fruitless searching for evidence of WMD's in Iraq.

However, the full quote shows Bush also made clear that he was not claiming that Saddam had any connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In fact, he was knocking down a suggestion made four days earlier by Vice President Cheney, who said on NBC's Meet The Press that it is "not surprising that people make that connection" when asked why so many Americans believed Saddam was involved in the attacks.

Bush, Sept. 17, 2003: We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th . What the Vice President said was, is that he has been involved with al Qaeda. And al Sarawak, al Qaeda operative, was in Baghdad. He's the guy that ordered the killing of a U.S. diplomat. He's a man who is still running loose, involved with the poisons network, involved with Ansar al-Islam. There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.

Since the word "ties" can cover any connection, however weak, Bush was in fact stating the truth. The bipartisan 9/11 Commission later cited reports of several "friendly contacts" between Saddam and Osama bin Laden over the years, and cited one report that in 1999 Iraqi officials offered bin Laden a "safe haven," which bin Laden refused, preferring to remain in Afghanistan. But nothing substantial came of the contacts. The commission said: "The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides' hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship."

"We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators"

Cheney is quoted as saying, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, "We will in fact, be greeted as liberators... I think it will go relatively quickly... [in] weeks rather than months."

Those quotes are actually from two separate interviews, and they do give a rosy prediction that failed to include the bloody insurrection and resistance that continues to this day.

The first Cheney quote comes from an NBC Meet the Press interview March 16, 2003. The full quote makes clear – as the ad's blurb does not – that Cheney is stating his own "belief." Thus, the statement would be true if that's what Cheney actually believed at the time.

Cheney, March 16, 2003: Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . .

Q: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.

The second quoted fragment is from another interview the same day on CBS's Face The Nation . The full quote shows Cheney qualified his prediction of quick victory, by saying the "really challenging part" may come in the "aftermath" of a quick military victory. That turned out to be quite accurate.

Cheney, March 16, 2003: I'm confident that our troops will be successful, and I think it'll go relatively quickly, but we can't...

Q: Weeks?

Cheney: ...we can't count on that.

Q: Months?

Cheney: Weeks rather than months. There's always the possibility of--of complications that you can't anticipate, but I'm--I have great confidence in our troops. The men and women who serve in our military today are superb. Our capabilities as a force are the finest the world has ever known. They're very ably led by General Tommy Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld. And so I have great confidence in the conduct of the military campaign. The really challenging part of it to some extent may come in the--in the aftermath once the military segment is over and we move to try and stand up a new government and--and turn over to the Iraqi people the responsibilities to their nation.

US, British and other coalition forces invaded Iraq March 20, and on May 1 the US declared an end to "major combat operations." At that time 139 US armed forces personnel had been killed. But 1773 more died after that, plus five civilian employees of the Defense Department, according to official Pentagon figures as of Sept. 26, 2005. By that measure the "aftermath" has been more than a dozen times deadlier to the US military than the initial combat phase.

"We know where [the WMDs] are."

The ad quotes Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as saying "We know where [the WMDs] are" on March 30, 2003 – at a time when US forces were within 65 miles of Baghdad.

This quote doesn't look much different even in full context. Rumsfeld was reacting to a question about why no weapons of mass destruction had been found, and he said US and coalition forces didn't yet control the areas where weapons "were dispersed."

Q: And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

Rumsfeld, May 30, 2003: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Subsequent events have proved Rumsfeld wrong. Whether his statement was a lie or a mistake depends on whether or not he knew at the time that the weapons weren't there.

"[Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon."

This quote is from Condoleezza Rice on September 8, 2002, months before the war began, in an interview with CNN. Rice was then Bush's National Security Adviser and later became Secretary of State.

Q: Based on what you know right now, how close is Saddam Hussein's government -- how close is that government to developing a nuclear capability?

Rice, September 8, 2002: You will get different estimates about precisely how close he is. We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance -- into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to -- high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.

We know that he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon. And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device than anybody thought, maybe six months from a crude nuclear device.

The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

What Rice said then is an accurate summation of what the US Intelligence community was saying at the time. Here's what the bipartisan Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction said last March, after a year-long study:

Commission on Intelligence Capabilities, March 31, 2005: On the brink of war, and in front of the whole world, the United States government asserted that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program, had biological weapons and mobile biological weapon production facilities, and had stockpiled and was producing chemical weapons. All of this was based on the assessments of the U.S. Intelligence Community. And not one bit of it could be confirmed when the war was over.

Looking back, it is now clear that much of what is quoted in this ad was, even in context, false or misleading. To say Bush and the others "lied," however, requires evidence that they knew the intelligence they were getting was wrong. The unanimous finding of the Intelligence Commission argues against that idea.
http://www.factcheck.org/article349.html

Mammal
09-27-05, 11:47 AM
So they didn't lie, they were consistently wrong. That doesn't inspire confidence.

Groucho
09-27-05, 11:48 AM
Hmm...I wonder if the same posters who in the past have blasted FactCheck.org for being "liberally biased" will object to this article as well? ;)

General Zod
09-27-05, 11:57 AM
So Michael Moore wrote the origional article?

Chew
09-27-05, 12:06 PM
Here's a .pdf of the newspaper ad: http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/they-lied-they-died.pdf

JasonF
09-27-05, 12:10 PM
Hmm...I wonder if the same posters who in the past have blasted FactCheck.org for being "liberally biased" will object to this article as well? ;)

"If even the extremely liberal FactCheck.org has to admit that Bush didn't lie, that means the people saying he did lie are really off the deep end!"

Sominex
09-27-05, 12:45 PM
[Looking back, it is now clear that much of what is quoted in this ad was, even in context, false or misleading. To say Bush and the others "lied," however, requires evidence that they knew the intelligence they were getting was wrong. The unanimous finding of the Intelligence Commission argues against that idea.


Since factcheck says that Bush did NOT lie... why is this thread saying the OPPOSITE?

nemein
09-27-05, 12:51 PM
:hscratch: Because that's the name of the original ad..., although I guess technically it's They Lied ;)

Myster X
09-27-05, 01:00 PM
It must be an affiliate of Moveon.

Chew
09-27-05, 01:01 PM
Since factcheck says that Bush did NOT lie... why is this thread saying the OPPOSITE?

Thus the quotes around the words on the thread title?

I was really trying to use the words that most people seem to be familiar with and have been used most often instead of what the article specifically says. :shrug:

uberjoe
09-27-05, 01:05 PM
Chew doesn't care about Bush-related "facts."

Groucho
09-27-05, 01:06 PM
New Chew thread: ""Bush lied""

Chew
09-27-05, 01:10 PM
I suck at non-TV forum thread titles. :sad:

sracer
09-27-05, 01:12 PM
Q: Weapons of mass destruction haven't been found. So what argument will you use now to justify this war?
Bush, May 29, 2003: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal...
Oh please... gimme a break.
Bush clearly said that we found weapons of mass destruction, and then twisted the meaning to include biological laboratories. That's NOT what he ment when he used the term "WMD".

Playing Clinton-esque word games is NOT going to dispel the perception that Bush lied.

VinVega
09-27-05, 01:21 PM
With everyone trying to be ironical in this thread, you've confused me. :(

Can someone please just tell me what to think here?

Ranger
09-27-05, 01:23 PM
With everyone trying to be ironical in this thread, you've confused me. :(

Can someone please just tell me what to think here?
Bush didn't lie, but he didn't tell the truth either.

Understand now?

B.A.
09-27-05, 01:24 PM
Can someone please just tell me what to think here?All politicians are liars.

sracer
09-27-05, 01:24 PM
Bush didn't lie, but he didn't tell the truth either.

Understand now?
:lol: 9/10

VinVega
09-27-05, 01:31 PM
All politicians are liars.
Ok, clarity. Thank you.

Now we have no need for the poitics forum, right? :D

B.A.
09-27-05, 01:36 PM
Ok, clarity. Thank you.

Now we have no need for the poitics forum, right? :DNo problem - I do my damnedest to be honest w/ people.

Correct - we need a History Forum.

;)

VinVega
09-27-05, 01:37 PM
Correct - we need a History Forum.

;)
Don't tease me. :sad:

nemein
09-27-05, 01:39 PM
Bush clearly said that we found weapons of mass destruction, and then twisted the meaning to include biological laboratories. That's NOT what he ment when he used the term "WMD".

Playing Clinton-esque word games is NOT going to dispel the perception that Bush lied.

:confused: I thought WMD = NBC nuclear/bio/chem

Or are you trying to be sarcastic :hscratch:

B.A.
09-27-05, 01:43 PM
Don't tease me. :sad:Maybe we could moderate it and everything!

Tracer Bullet
09-27-05, 01:43 PM
Correct - we need a History Forum.

;)

We do- Book Talk has been the least busy forum for too long.

uberjoe
09-27-05, 01:44 PM
:confused: I thought WMD = NBC nuclear/bio/chem

Or are you trying to be sarcastic :hscratch:

While I understand that's what it's used as now, before the past few years of fun I always thought of WMDs solely as nuclear weapons.

wendersfan
09-27-05, 01:46 PM
Correct - we need a History Forum.I'm so there, dude.

Oh, wait...

:sad:

DVD Polizei
09-27-05, 01:47 PM
I never lie. I'm just consistently wrong.

nemein
09-27-05, 01:48 PM
While I understand that's what it's used as now, before the past few years of fun I always thought of WMDs solely as nuclear weapons.

That's news to me. Atleast the way I originally heard it (long before this most recent Iraq thing) WMD referred to the whole gambit whereas if you were just talking about nuclear you would say nuclear (or radiological if you wanted to include dirty bombs).

uberjoe
09-27-05, 01:51 PM
That's news to me. Atleast the way I originally heard it (long before this most recent Iraq thing) WMD referred to the whole gambit whereas if you were just talking about nuclear you would say nuclear (or radiological if you wanted to include dirty bombs).

Just saying what I've always thought and been taught (damn public school education!). The "destruction" part has in my mind always been linked not just to loss of life, but destruction of property (land and whatnot). It would never have occured to me to think of a terrible, untreatable flu strain as a WMD.

nemein
09-27-05, 01:57 PM
Gotta love the I'net ;)

http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.iraq.speech/

<b>December 16, 1998
Web posted at: 8:51 p.m. EST (0151 GMT)</b>

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

"Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces," Clinton said.

"Their mission is to attack Iraq's <b>nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs </b>and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors," said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had <b>weapons of mass destruction,</b>, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.
...



Transcript of Clinton the above article was based on
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html

...
First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its <b>chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs</b> in months, not years.
...
[The air strikes] are designed to degrade Saddam's capacity to develop and deliver <b>weapons of mass destruction</b>, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors.
...

uberjoe
09-27-05, 02:04 PM
Dude, I said "public school." You're lucky I'm not raping and murdering right now.

bhk
09-27-05, 02:11 PM
Clinton also said Tuesday night that at the end of his term, there was "a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for " in Iraq.

Clinton told King: "People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."


http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/23/clinton.iraq.sotu/
From July 23, 2003

Sominex
09-27-05, 03:08 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/23/clinton.iraq.sotu/
From July 23, 2003


You won't hear that on the liberal media very often (if at all) That is a very good quote too.


A conservative commentator does that a lot, except he leaves out the names of WHO said it. He will tell the quote verbatim to a liberal (and/or democrat) and ask them if they agree with it. 9.9 times out of 10 they will say it's outright lies and lying to the American people and he/she would never support that.

Then he tells them it was Clinton, Kennedy (the fat one) or Kerry, and the liberal immediately changes the subject even though the conservative keeps pressing him/her to justify their answer. They never do....


I wonder why so many of the tree huggers were 'OK' with Clinton launching military operations, but when Bush does it he is a 'Nazi', 'War Monger' or ' War Criminal'

nemein
09-27-05, 03:14 PM
I wonder why so many of the tree huggers were 'OK' with Clinton launching military operations, but when Bush does it he is a 'Nazi', 'War Monger' or ' War Criminal'

Because Clinton was just dropping a couple of bombs and bringing everyone home at the end of the day (w/o much overall effect/change in the situation). Bush actually wanted to wrap the situation up and eliminate the perceived threat.

Mammal
09-27-05, 03:40 PM
Bush certainly has a talent for screwing things up, doesn't he?

Draven
09-27-05, 06:15 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/23/clinton.iraq.sotu/
From July 23, 2003

Why are we talking about Clinton?

Oh wait, the OP was about Bush. Nevermind.

nemein
09-27-05, 06:56 PM
Why are we talking about Clinton?

It's my fault. Someone questioned when the term WMD started meaning things beyond nuclear, the first reference I was able to find w/ a date (and I admit I used Clinton in the search since that helped establish a time line) was a quote by Clinton.

sracer
09-27-05, 08:35 PM
:confused: I thought WMD = NBC nuclear/bio/chem

Or are you trying to be sarcastic :hscratch:
I'm not trying to be sarcastic. A biological laboratory is NOT what people think of when they hear "Weapons of Mass Destruction". It wasn't clear what the nature of these biological labs were. But even if they were used for creating WMDs, they are NOT WMDs themselves. By Bush's logic, the terrorists and insurgents are WMDs too.


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