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OfflineLearyfan
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CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat
    #2307021 - 02/05/04 11:55 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)



Yahoo News

By KATHERINE PFLEGER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Intelligence analysts never told President Bush (news - web sites) before the invasion of Iraq (news - web sites) that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)?s rule posed an imminent threat, CIA (news - web sites) Director George Tenet said Thursday in a heated defense of agency findings central to the decision to go to war.

The urgency of the Iraqi threat was Bush?s main argument for the war. But the president said Thursday he still would have invaded Iraq if he?d known no weapons stockpiles existed ? adding a new element to the much-debated question of whether the United States went to war based on faulty assumptions.

Tenet, addressing such questions for the first time after weeks of silence, acknowledged that analysts believed before the war that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons, although none have been found. He said he believes some of what U.S. intelligence predicted about Iraq will turn out to have been right ? and some wrong ? as is often the case in such matters.

He made clear that analysts differed among themselves all along on important aspects of Saddam?s chemical, biological and nuclear programs and spelled out those disputes in an October 2002 intelligence estimate given to the White House.

"They never said there was an imminent threat," Tenet said in a speech at Georgetown University. "Rather, they painted an objective assessment for our policy-makers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests."

Tenet?s remarks hit back at his former special adviser on Iraqi weapons, David Kay, who said last month "we were almost all wrong" about Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction.

The comments also seemed designed to inoculate the CIA from becoming a scapegoat in the fight over whether the war was justified.

Speaking in Charleston, S.C., Bush acknowledged that the weapons have not been found, although investigators have discovered evidence of possible programs. He said the war was still justified.

"Knowing what I knew then and knowing what I know today, America did the right thing in Iraq," Bush said.

Tenet, in his 40-minute defense, never said in detail how the Bush administration, citing U.S. intelligence, might have painted an inaccurate picture of Iraq?s weapons arsenal. He insisted that the intelligence analysts had not tailored their findings for any political purpose.

That leaves the door open for Democrats to demand more investigation and explanation, and for many to question the basis of the administration?s pre-emptive strike doctrine.

"It goes to the core of why a nation went to war," said Democratic presidential front-runner, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites).

Before the war, Bush and his senior advisers made clear they viewed the threat from Saddam as urgent.

In October 2002, Bush told an audience in Ohio that "the danger is already significant and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today ? and we do ? does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?"

On Sept. 13 of that year, Bush said of Saddam, "He?s a threat we must deal with as quickly as possible."

White House aides have pointed out that Bush, while he cited the urgency of Saddam?s threat, never called the threat "imminent."

In his State of the Union address in January 2003, Bush said: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late."



In general, the Bush administration before the war cited three main justifications for military action: preventing Iraq from using weapons of mass destruction, protecting America from terrorists and liberating Iraqis from a repressive regime.

Tenet?s speech came at a sensitive time.

Bush was expected to announce Friday a nine-member panel to look at the Iraq intelligence and weapons proliferation issues worldwide. An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would be a member. Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Pat Roberts of Kansas, are also completing work on a report detailing intelligence mistakes. They shared it with members in a closed session Thursday.

Democrats want to focus on whether analysts were pressured by the White House to justify an invasion. At the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Thursday, Kay said he doesn?t believe analysts? arms were twisted, but he said the president?s commission should look into whether political leaders manipulated the intelligence data given them. "I think that is an important question that needs to be understood," he said.

Tenet, who was appointed by President Clinton (news - web sites), made his own pre-emptive strike: "No one told us what to say or how to say it."

Like Bush and other administration officials, Tenet wouldn?t rule out that weapons still may be found. "Despite some public statements, we are nowhere near 85 percent finished," he said rebutting Kay?s figure.

As chief of the CIA and 13 other agencies that make up the intelligence community, Tenet conceded that there were mistakes. Analysts, for instance, overlooked a notice that one source providing information on Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction was unreliable, he said.

On chemical and biological weapons, Tenet said analysts believed before the war that Saddam had programs and perhaps stockpiles, but investigators have found no evidence of such production. He said two sources with high-level access told the CIA in fall 2002, shortly before the war, that Iraq was producing biological and chemical weapons.

While Tenet conceded that U.S. intelligence agencies never penetrated Saddam?s inner circle, those sources solidified his personal view that Saddam was a danger, he said. "Could I have dismissed such reports at the time? Absolutely not," he said.

Going into more detail than intelligence chiefs normally do, Tenet also claimed agency successes, including:

_ The U.S. penetration of Libya?s network of foreign suppliers for its weapons of mass destruction. That led the agency into developments indicating Libya?s programs were no longer on a back burner, Tenet said.

_ A CIA spy who led the U.S. to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

_ Human sources that led to the arrest of Nashiri, al-Qaida?s operational chief in the Persian Gulf who planned the USS Cole (news - web sites) attack, and to the capture of Hambali, a chief terrorist in South Asia.

"A blanket indictment of our human intelligence around the world is dead wrong," Tenet said. "We have spent the last seven years rebuilding our clandestine service."





I guess the CIA isn?t going to fall on their swords after all. Mr. Bush, you?ve got some ?spainin? to do.




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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Learyfan]
    #2308258 - 02/06/04 12:41 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)



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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Learyfan]
    #2308388 - 02/06/04 01:41 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

well Bush never actually said Iraq was an imminent threat. we've already been through this. but everyone knows that through various warnings and ominous language, the Bush administration was essentially making the case of an imminent threat.

looks like Bush is between a rock and a hard place.
but it seems like he really doesn't care about the evidence..

"the president said Thursday he still would have invaded Iraq if he'd known no weapons stockpiles existed"
:shake:


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Learyfan]
    #2308797 - 02/06/04 03:42 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

And lo..the silence from the neocons was deafening..


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Anonymous

Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Xlea321]
    #2308882 - 02/06/04 04:10 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

you've been referring to the neocons here on a daily basis now. i'm curious as to whom you have be referring... who are the "neocons" here?


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: ]
    #2308959 - 02/06/04 04:36 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

oh, don't pretend like you don't know!!!



:smirk:


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Anonymous

Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: afoaf]
    #2308994 - 02/06/04 04:44 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

i've got a feeling that it's anyone who votes libertarian or republican, embraces free market capitalism, or is opposed to gun control... who the hell knows.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Learyfan]
    #2309010 - 02/06/04 04:48 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Tenet, addressing such questions for the first time after weeks of silence, acknowledged that analysts believed before the war that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons, although none have been found. He said he believes some of what U.S. intelligence predicted about Iraq will turn out to have been right ? and some wrong ? as is often the case in such matters.




So they believed there were weapons, but were wrong. What's to explain?

Or have you never been wrong?


Perhaps these people should explain as well......
On Iraq and WMD: Did the president lie?
Larry Elder (archive)


February 5, 2004 | Print | Send


Can one make the case that President George W. Bush "lied" or "misled" or intentionally "mischaracterized" the intelligence on Iraq and WMD in order to lead us to war? Sure, if one possesses a visceral anti-Bush mindset coupled with a willingness to ignore powerful arguments in favor of the war:

-- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, during a press conference last week, said "Many months before (the) Iraqi action, I met (the) predecessor of (chief U.N. weapons inspector) Hans Blix in Warsaw. . . . He told me (a) very important thing: that Saddam had these weapons or is ready to produce these weapons. Because to have such (an) impression that he has mass destruction weapons is a part of his doctrine, to keep . . . power in Iraq and to be strong in the region. So I think it's very difficult today to judge how it was when he . . . decided to continue this project of mass destruction weapons. . . . Absolutely, Iraq is ready to produce if it's necessary to keep the power of and dictatorship of Saddam and to play such (an) important role in the region."

-- In October 2003, months after the Iraq war began, former President Bill Clinton visited Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. Durao Barroso said, "When Clinton was here recently he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime."

-- French President Jacques Chirac, in February 2003, spoke about "the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq," noting "the international community is right . . . in having decided that Iraq should be disarmed."

-- Former Clinton CIA director R. James Woolsey, in a Wall Street Journal article, made several points -- that Saddam possibly intentionally misled the world into thinking he still possessed WMD to keep his status as a power player in the region; that stockpiles of WMD possibly remained only to be destroyed at the last minute; that WMD-related material "probably" entered Syria months before the war; that Iraq admitted making 8,500 liters (8.5 tons) of anthrax, which if reduced to powder, could fill a dozen easily portable suitcases; and that "Iraq's ties with terrorist groups in the '90s are clear," with a decade worth of connections between Iraq and al Qaeda, "including training in poisons, gases, and explosives."

-- Weapons hunter David Kay, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that based on the pre-war intelligence, Saddam Hussein posed "a gathering, serious threat to the world." Hussein's scientists possibly misled the former dictator into believing Iraq possessed WMD, with the scientists possibly misappropriating funds. Kay also said that, based on his investigation, Iraq posed an even greater danger than previously thought.

-- Former President Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998, stated, "Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. . . . I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again. . . . "

-- Former President Clinton, in an appearance on "Larry King Live" on July 22, 2003, said, " . . . (I)t is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons. We might have destroyed them in '98. We tried to, but we sure as heck didn't know it because we never got to go back there."

The near pathological contempt so many hold for President Bush clouds their ability to put themselves in the commander-in-chief's shoes. On Sept. 11, in America, over 3,000 people lost their lives. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein continued to defy United Nations Security Council resolutions to come clean. He flouted the U.N.-sponsored Oil-for-Food program, diverting the money from its intended purpose.

Critics quite properly accuse the U.S. intelligence community for failing to connect the dots and thus prevent 9/11. After the first Gulf War in 1991, the advanced nature of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program shocked intelligence analysts. Nuclear bomb testing in India and Pakistan came as a surprise, as did the advanced nature of Iran's and Libya's WMD programs. By all means, the U.S. intelligence failures call for serious soul-searching, and possibly housekeeping to improve accuracy.

But, in the case of pre-war Iraq, the president's critics suggest the following: Cross your fingers, hope for the best, and run the risk of another attack on American soil, this time possibly with chemical or biological weapons. No, the president acted upon the best available information and properly discharged his responsibility as commander-in-chief.

Link





On October 9, 1998 some members of the U.S. Senate sent a letter to Bill Clinton expressing their concerns about Saddam and his weapons program. That letter contained this paragraph:

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction program."

That letter was signed by Tom Daschle, Carl Levin and John Kerry .. three Senators, one a probable Democratic nominee for president, who are now slamming George Bush for acting on the very intelligence they relied on for their 1998 letter to their president, Bill Clinton.

Carl Levin is particularly obnoxious. I saw him on some talking head show earlier this week pressing the idea that Bush should have known that the intelligence information he was relying on was faulty. In September of 2002 Levin said "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." Levin, it seems, believed the exact same intelligence information that Bush relied on ... and now he's faulting Bush.

How about some other names of people who believed that Saddam had a weapons program and a stockpile of WMDs? Let's put Nancy Pelosi on that list, and there's Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Al Gore said "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." Ted Kennedy said "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." How about some more from John Kerry? On October 9th of last year Kerry said "I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real grave threat to our security." In January of this year Kerry said "So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real."

Link


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2309091 - 02/06/04 05:10 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

alright here's the deal:

so what if all those people were also fooled?
they did not make the decision to go to war, Bush did.
even if Bush himself was misled by someone else,
doesn't accountability fall on the decision maker?

it's really tacky to say "ok so I was fooled, but look at all these other people! they were fooled too! so it's not my fault!"

whatever happened to "the buck stops here"?


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2309157 - 02/06/04 05:28 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

so what if all those people were also fooled?




So what? It shows that those who claim Bush lied are speaking from their asses.


Quote:

they did not make the decision to go to war, Bush did.



True.


Quote:

even if Bush himself was misled by someone else,
doesn't accountability fall on the decision maker?



For the most part, yes.


Quote:

it's really tacky to say "ok so I was fooled, but look at all these other people! they were fooled too! so it's not my fault!"



Not when they all get their info from the same place. And most definitely not when those doing the squealing had the same beliefs.


Quote:

whatever happened to "the buck stops here"?



Sadly, no-one wants to be held accountable any more.


The fact is, Bush is an asshole. But those who scream "Bush lied" conveniently seem to forget that many others held the same beliefs. Are they liars as well?


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2309302 - 02/06/04 06:20 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

The point of that article was that Tenet said that Iraq was not an imminent threat.






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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: Learyfan]
    #2309328 - 02/06/04 06:34 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Neither did Bush. So what?


Quote:

Tenet, addressing such questions for the first time after weeks of silence, acknowledged that analysts believed before the war that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons, although none have been found. 


And how does this fit in with your "Bush lied" claims?


Perhaps another reading will show several "points" in that article.


And.............
Quote:

"It goes to the core of why a nation went to war," said Democratic presidential front-runner, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites).



"In January of this year Kerry said "So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real."
This is the guy you say    From now until 2005 I will be on the side of John Kerry.  :lol:


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2309454 - 02/06/04 07:21 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I guess we both have our opinions about what is important in that article.

I know Kerry was pro-war, but I want Bush out of office so bad that i'm rooting for him.




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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: CIA chief: Iraq wasn't imminent threat [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2310719 - 02/07/04 03:45 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

it's really tacky to say "ok so I was fooled, but look at all these other people! they were fooled too! so it's not my fault!"

Depends if you buy that anyone was fooled or whether they knew it was bullshit from the very beginning.


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