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The MAIN Iraq thread (current: Bush says no timetable)

Old 02-09-07, 02:51 PM
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The MAIN Iraq thread (current: Bush v. congress)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...vUY&refer=home

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Defense Department officials prepared pre-war intelligence reports that may have exaggerated links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the Pentagon inspector general said today.

Two offices set up under then-Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith before the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq produced reports that formed the basis for the administration's key pre- war claim that Saddam Hussein might provide weapons of mass destruction to the terrorist group.

``While such actions were not illegal or unauthorized, the actions in our opinion were inappropriate'' because they didn't ``clearly show the variance with the consensus of the intelligence community,'' Inspector General Thomas Gimble told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Feith's operation produced what amounted to ``an alternative analysis,'' prepared ``without the knowledge of the intelligence community,'' that was used ``to back a decision to go to war,'' said committee chairman Carl Levin. ``This is devastating.''

The committee today released only the two-page executive summary of Gimble's review, which was prepared at the request of Levin, Democrat of Michigan, and Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Relationship

Levin and other critics contend that assessments produced by the Pentagon office were skewed to portray an active pre-war relationship between Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, while the intelligence community saw virtually none. Following the U.S.-led invasion, al-Qaeda operatives did become active in Iraq, targeting U.S. forces and helping to foment sectarian violence.

``The Feith office is the one that produced the key alternative analysis which provided that material,'' Levin said in an interview. ``It was key, it was vital, it was what the White House used to make the linkage to terrorist groups.''

The summary said that, in future, the Pentagon's closer relationship with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, set up in 2005, will ``significantly reduce the opportunity for inappropriate conduct of intelligence activities outside of intelligence channels.''

One finding, Levin said, was that Feith's office in September 2002 presented a briefing without Central Intelligence Agency approval to the White House purporting a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that ``was not supported by the available intelligence.''

Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz

Levin said Gimble's report said the ``inappropriate'' activities were authorized by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.

Gimble's report said the policy office ``developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the of the intelligence community.''

As a result, the Pentagon's policy office ``did not provide the most accurate analysis of intelligence to senior policy makers,'' according to the report's summary.

``This condition occurred because of an expanded role and mission'' of the policy office from ``policy formulation to alternative intelligence analysis and dissemination,'' it said.

Feith, now a professor of national security policy at Georgetown University in Washington who's writing a book on the Iraq war, said the report shows ``everything we did was lawful and authorized and we did not mislead Congress.''

Feith's Defense

``The issue of the appropriate process for policy people to use to criticize intelligence work is minor compared to the key conclusions,'' Feith said in a written statement.

Levin said he hasn't decided whether to call Feith to testify before his committee.

Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri, the committee's senior Republican, rejected the inspector general's conclusions.

``I strongly disagree,'' Bond said in a statement issued early today. ``How can something that is `authorized' and `legal' also be `inappropriate.' That doesn't pass the common sense test.''

White House spokesman Dana Perino told reporters today she couldn't describe the relationship between Feith and President George W. Bush but that Bush ``has long acknowledged that the intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq was inaccurate.''

Pentagon officials had no immediate comment on the report, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Finn, a spokeswoman.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in his confirmation hearing in December, responded ``I have a problem with that,'' when Levin asked his views on the Feith operation.

Levin said the report is valuable because it casts new light on the material the administration used to justify the war.

``If we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past, there has got to be accountability,'' Levin said. ``You just repeat mistakes if there is no looking back and trying to find out what the facts were and holding people accountable the best way we can.''

----

Doesn't surprise me. But notice the bold. So, Bush acknowledges bad intel, but then says, "Well shit boyz, since we're in Iraq and'all, we mightuhz well do sumtin' for dah freedom of Iraqis! If yah don't support me, yah gonna git terroristses in dah US of Amen!"
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Old 02-09-07, 02:59 PM
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Well there's certainly a connection now. Unfortunately it is one we caused.
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Old 02-09-07, 03:04 PM
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True.
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Old 02-09-07, 03:51 PM
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In other news the sky is blue.
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Old 02-09-07, 04:07 PM
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We invaded Iraq because of OIL.
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Old 02-09-07, 05:38 PM
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Connection WEAKER? It was never there in the first place. Good Lord.
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Old 02-09-07, 05:39 PM
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This news is so old. Even bhk will probably admit there's no link between Iraq-AQ.

Wait, do I really believe that?
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Old 02-09-07, 06:48 PM
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In other news: Iraq didn't have WMDs!
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Old 02-09-07, 08:10 PM
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The MAIN Iraq thread pt2

Cont from here http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=485767

If at all possible please keep the majority of the Iraq discussion here.

thx
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Old 02-09-07, 08:28 PM
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My take is that it's not like there wasn't ANY AQ connection to Iraq--it's just that you look hard enough you could make a connection between AQ and pretty much every single country in the Muslim world. I would have to think that by any estimation, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan both were guilty of much more substantial support to AQ than Iraq was. And really, if you define support as "harborining or providing safe havens" for AQ, you could probably put the UK right near the top of the list.

As I've said numerous times though, the Iraq war had little to do with AQ or WMD's--it was all about a philosophy of using military force as a catalyst for a region-wide political and social renaissance--to liberalize and modernize the region. Iraq was the country where Bush and crew thought they would have a good chance of success, and where they could come up with the most "acceptable" reasons for invading---because they couldn't just come out and say "we're invading in order to change the whole landscape of the Middle East into something more closely resembling the liberal, modern West." But that WAS the real reason, IMO.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Iraq was the country where Bush and crew thought they would have a good chance of success, and where they could come up with the most "acceptable" reasons for invading---because they couldn't just come out and say "we're invading in order to change the whole landscape of the Middle East into something more closely resembling the liberal, modern West." But that WAS the real reason, IMO.
If they can't be truthful with the American public about the reasons for war, they do not stand a great chance of keeping long term support for their own efforts. If the cause is so just and right, the American public will be behind them. I think in this case their world shaping dreams were incredibly fool hearty. Another major flaw is the belief that military action alone can solve world problems. It's a tool in the foreign policy arsenal, but so is diplomacy, and the administration's complete disdain for the diplomatic process has cost them and the country as a whole very deeply.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
If they can't be truthful with the American public about the reasons for war, they do not stand a great chance of keeping long term support for their own efforts. If the cause is so just and right, the American public will be behind them. I think in this case their world shaping dreams were incredibly fool hearty. Another major flaw is the belief that military action alone can solve world problems. It's a tool in the foreign policy arsenal, but so is diplomacy, and the administration's complete disdain for the diplomatic process has cost them and the country as a whole very deeply.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with you completely.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:14 PM
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I think a lot of the Bush doctrines will be reversed once 2008 rolls around, no matter who's in the White House.
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Old 02-09-07, 11:26 PM
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We should also remember if we had more US troops dead, we would have been out of there a lot sooner. Unfortunately, since the death count is compared to Vietnam, Iraq was minimized. But once historians take a closer look and write their books (which are already happening), I suspect the Bush Years will be the most corrupt, misguided, and zealous administration ever to be functional on US shores.

There was so much abuse of power, I am still overwhelmed with Shock and Awe.
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Old 02-10-07, 08:40 AM
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I don't know if Bush is going to ask for one last chance after the failure of the surge policy. If he listens to Cheney - the policy will not change as long as this administration is in office.

We should also remember if we had more US troops dead, we would have been out of there a lot sooner.
Of if a draft had been in place, we would have been out of there a lot sooner.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:29 AM
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I hate to seem cynical (and I hope I'm wrong), but I have doubts that there would be as much opposition to this war as there is if there wasn't such a 'heavy' national guard and reserve involvement in the war.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:58 AM
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Well, that is a good reason to be opposed to the war. The reserves are for protecting the US on US soil--not abroad. I'm sure our founders of this country would feel the same.
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Old 02-10-07, 02:52 PM
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Well, that is a good reason to be opposed to the war. The reserves are for protecting the US on US soil--not abroad. I'm sure our founders of this country would feel the same.
Where did you get that idea from? Maybe that argument could be made w/ the National Guard, but I've never heard anyone forward such a notion about the reserves. Considering also the reserve component wasn't formed until the 20th century I'm not sure what the founding fathers would have to say about it either way.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve..._United_States
According to 10 U.S.C. § 10102, the purpose of each reserve component is to provide trained units and qualified persons available for active duty in the armed forces, in time of war or national emergency, and at such other times as the national security may require, to fill the needs of the armed forces whenever, during and after the period needed to procure and train additional units and qualified persons to achieve the planned mobilization, more units and persons are needed than are in the regular components.

Last edited by nemein; 02-10-07 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 02-10-07, 03:23 PM
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http://hotair.com/archives/2007/02/0...-iraqaq-intel/
They’re calling it a “correction,” but is it really a correction if you’re quoting from an entirely different document than the one you thought you were? And your story kinda sorta hinges on which one it was?
This is a “correction” in the same way Crocodile Dundee’s knife was a knife:
Correction to This Article
A Feb. 9 front-page article about the Pentagon inspector general’s report regarding the office of former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith incorrectly attributed quotations to that report. References to Feith’s office producing “reporting of dubious quality or reliability” and that the office “was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda” were from a report issued by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Combover.) in Oct. 2004. Similarly, the quotes stating that Feith’s office drew on “both reliable and unreliable reporting” to produce a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq “that was much stronger than that assessed by the IC [Intelligence Community] and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the Administration” were also from Levin’s report. The article also stated that the intelligence provided by Feith’s office supported the political views of senior administration officials, a conclusion that the inspector general’s report did not draw.The two reports employ similar language to characterize the activities of Feith’s office: Levin’s report refers to an “alternative intelligence assessment process” developed in that office, while the inspector general’s report states that the office “developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.” The inspector general’s report further states that Feith’s briefing to the White House in 2002 “undercuts the Intelligence Community” and “did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence.”

Got that? The big scoop was that the Pentagon itself had concluded that Feith floated bogus intel on the links between Iraq and AQ and suggested that he’d done so at Bush/Cheney’s behest. Except the Pentagon didn’t conclude that. Anti-war Democrat Carl Levin did. The only damning quote from the IG report that doesn’t appear to have been retracted is this:
It stated that the office produced intelligence assessments “inconsistent” with the U.S. intelligence community consensus, calling those actions “inappropriate” because the assessments purported to be “intelligence products” but were far more conclusive than the consensus view…
The policy office, the summary stated, “was inappropriately performing Intelligence Activities . . . that should be performed by the Intelligence Community.”

And yet, per the Times: “According to Congressional officials [who’d read the report], Mr. Feith’s statement and the policy office’s rebuttal, the report concluded that none of the Pentagon’s activities were illegal and that they did not violate Defense Department directives.” In which case … whence the impropriety? He conducted his own investigation and came to a different conclusion than the CIA. Like Captain Ed says, I thought the left liked dissent.
So how’d they blow it so bigtime? Blame Levin. Says the Times:
Working under Douglas J. Feith, who at the time was under secretary of defense for policy, the group “developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and Al Qaeda relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers,” the report concluded. Excerpts were quoted by Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who has long been critical of Mr. Feith and other Pentagon officials.
He must have held a conference call and inadvertently read to them out of his own office’s report, not the IG’s. Sweet, sweet justice for the leakhive.
Spruiell says Chris Matthews was talking about the bogus WaPo article on “Hardball” as though it were accurate as late as 5 p.m. ET. Exit question: How vigorous should we expect news networks’ corrections to be once word gets out? Will they be a knife? Or a knife?
It must really suck to be a liberal reporter. You have to always compromise your ethical and professional standards because your personal hatred and bias is so overwhelmingly strong that you can't control yourself.

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Old 02-10-07, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Where did you get that idea from? Maybe that argument could be made w/ the National Guard, but I've never heard anyone forward such a notion about the reserves. Considering also the reserve component wasn't formed until the 20th century I'm not sure what the founding fathers would have to say about it either way.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve..._United_States
I thought I was talking about National Guard forces. When the US Army refers to "reserve components" and many refer to them as "reserves", it is referring to BOTH Army National Guard and Army Reserve. So, I guess I should have prefaced a few things.

Vietnam was an example of when reserves were not used, and maybe this is why Bush has used Reserves--just like his father did with Kuwait back in '90-'91.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I thought I was talking about National Guard forces. When the US Army refers to "reserve components" and many refer to them as "reserves", it is referring to BOTH Army National Guard and Army Reserve. So, I guess I should have prefaced a few things.

Vietnam was an example of when reserves were not used, and maybe this is why Bush has used Reserves--just like his father did with Kuwait back in '90-'91.



20,000 Reservist and National Guard troops were called up in 1968 and 12,500 served in Vietnam
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Old 02-10-07, 07:11 PM
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I would to see a breakdown of how many of those reserve and national guard troops were engaged in combat in Vietnam.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I would to see a breakdown of how many of those reserve and national guard troops were engaged in combat in Vietnam.
Check out this site which gives casualty lists from the Vietnam War based on different data sets.

Service Component Number of Records
Military Reserves 5,760
National Guard 97
Regular Military 34,475
Selective Service 17,672
Unknown, Not Reported 189
Total 58,193

*edit I suck at the code for lists/tables...any help?
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Old 02-10-07, 07:30 PM
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Yeah, and if you look further, even less actually went overseas. Johnson was not a fan of calling up Reserves. And even by that table you posted, we have 97 NG in Vietnam and in Iraq currently, we have about 40% National Guard. Big difference. We have a HUGE increase in reserve components versus Vietnam. That really shouldn't be debated because it is known.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:32 PM
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actually the list is a list of casualties.
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