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Impeach Bush

Bush accepts responsibility for State of Union
Sign On San Diego
By George E. Condon Jr.
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
1:37 p.m., July 30, 2003

WASHINGTON – President Bush staunchly defended the intelligence he used to launch war in Iraq Wednesday, but for the first time he accepted responsibility for his controversial State of the Union statement on Iraq's nuclear program and vigorously praised the embattled national security adviser who has been blamed for the misstep.

"I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course," the president told reporters. Previously, when asked about his responsibility for the statement he had sidestepped the question.

In a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president also expressed confidence that Saddam Hussein will be apprehended, acknowledged that terrorist threats remain and conceded that his tax cuts did contribute to the return of federal budget deficits.

He signaled as well that he is considering a way for the federal government to legally support the traditional notion of marriage against an assault from proponents of gay unions.

It was Bush's first formal press conference since he declared the end to major combat operations in Iraq in May.

With 50 American troops killed since that announcement, the press conference was dominated by the aftermath of the war, including the failure so far to find either Saddam Hussein or the weapons of mass destruction that were cited as a major rationale for the war.

Repeatedly, the president counseled patience, suggesting that there has not been enough time to bring stability and democracy to war-torn Iraq, find the weapons of mass destruction and locate Hussein.

"In my line of work, it's always best to produce results, and I understand that," he said, expressing confidence that all those objectives will be achieved.

"In order to, you know, placate the critics and the cynics about intentions of the United States, we need to produce evidence," he said. "And I'm confident that our search will yield that which I strongly believe, that Saddam had a weapons program."

He praised the killings last week of Hussein's two sons as a critical event that weakened the resistance to American occupation within Iraq. And he said there has been progress in finding their father.

"I don't know how close we are to getting Saddam Hussein," he said, adding that American forces are "closer than we were yesterday, I guess. All I know is we're on the hunt."

He added, "We're making progress, bringing... those who terrorize their fellow citizens to justice and making progress about convincing the Iraqi people that freedom is real."

But he stressed that perils remain both for American troops patrolling Iraq and for average Americans as long as the war on terror is being waged.

The president confirmed that his administration is concerned about possible airplane hijackings this summer. "The threat is a real threat," he said, adding that U.S. intelligence agencies do not know anything specific but believe the terrorists would like to find security cracks in international flights.

"We don't know when, where, what," said Bush, who sought to reassure travelers, adding, "I'm confident we will thwart the attempts."

In response to several questions about his pre-war statements and pre-war intelligence assessments, the president was unyielding.

"That intelligence was good, sound intelligence on which I made a decision," he said.

Pressed again about his State of the Union contention that Iraq was pursuing nuclear materials in Africa, he said, "I analyzed a thorough body of intelligence – good solid, sound intelligence..."

He gave his strongest public endorsement yet for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who has faced tough criticism for not keeping those comments out of the presidential speech.

Rice, he said, "is an honest, fabulous person, and America is lucky to have her service. Period."

The president continued to resist pressure to make public a now-classified section of a congressional report on intelligence lapses prior to the Sept. 11 attacks. It is believed that the deleted section would embarrass Saudi Arabia, but both the government of Saudi Arabia and some key members of Congress have urged its declassification.

Bush stood firm, though, noting that there are other ongoing investigations that would be affected.

"It is important for us to hold this information close so that those who are being investigated aren't alerted," he said, adding, "If we were to reveal the content of the document ... it would reveal sources and methods... It would show people how we collect information and on whom we're collecting information, which ... would be harmful on the war against terror."

He held out the possibility of the information being made public "at some point in time." But, he stressed, "now is not the time to do so."

On other foreign policy matters, the president reported progress in dealing with North Korea's nuclear weapons program and voiced confidence that the parties in the Middle East will not be deterred from reaching the goal of an established Palestinian state by 2005. He also said that "all options remain on the table" in his dealings with Iran.

On the domestic front, he was asked his view on homosexuality and used his answer to signal a possible administration initiative on marriage.

"I am mindful that we're all sinners. And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own," he said. But he quickly added, "That does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on issues such as marriage."

He predicted the "definition of marriage" is a looming issue in Washington.

"I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. And I think we ought to codify that one way or the other. And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."

He also defended his economic record in general and his tax cuts in particular, calling them critical to taming the recession that hit during his first year in office.

For the first time, though, he acknowledged what some of his aides have grudgingly conceded – that the return of federal deficits was partially caused by his tax cuts.

Contending that the recession would have been prolonged without the tax cuts, he said, "I had a policy decision to make. And I made the decision to address the recession by a tax cut. And so, part of the deficit – no question – was caused by taxes."

But he said the tax cuts only caused about 25 percent of the deficits, which replaced the surpluses at the time of his inauguration. He said reduced revenues from the recession caused another 50 percent and the final 25 percent came from increased spending on the war against terror.

He promised that the deficit will be "cut in half over the next five years."

This was only the eighth time in his 29 months in office that Bush has held a formal press conference. In contrast, according to Associated Press tallies, Bill Clinton held 33 formal news conferences by a comparable point in his first term. And President George H.W. Bush had held 61.

© Copyright 2003 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

Commentary:
Let's start by fixing the lies in this story and many others: "With 50 American troops killed since that announcement..." The actual dead since the end of combat is around 112. Some die from suicide, others from accidents but dead is dead in my book no matter how they die.

Second, Bush didn't take responsibility for the mistakes in his State of the Union. In fact, he still thinks he's right. What he did say is he's responsible for what he says. The media (almost across the board) attempts to hype something that simply isn't there.

I like this line: "That intelligence was good, sound intelligence on which I made a decision." 'Good and sound' in that none of it was true, accurate, or proven.

The article forgets one of Bush's now famous lies: "And so, given the -- I mean, there would be deficits. So given the fact that we're in a recession, which had it gone on longer than it did could have caused even more revenues to be lost to the treasury, I had a policy decision to make." The problem is he proposed the tax cut long before anyone knew we were in recession. In fact, when he proposed his cut (this boy likes to rewrite history) he was projecting record surpluses for as far as the eye can see and no recessions.

It's clear Bush doesn't bother himself with the facts, he simply makes up what he thinks a gullable public will believe.


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Wolfowitz: Murky Intelligence
Toronto Star
TIM HARPER
Jul. 28, 2003. 01:00 AM

WASHINGTON—Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has directly linked the war on Iraq to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, signalling another shift in Washington's defence of a conflict that continues to claim American lives.

Wolfowitz, in a series of interviews on U.S. television networks yesterday, appeared to ignore intelligence reports, which have discredited links between Iraq and Al Qaeda and the war on terrorism.

He sought to defend President George W. Bush's administration against charges that it had misled Americans on the threat posed by deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, saying the government cannot wait for "murky" intelligence to crystallize because it may be too late.

"The battle to secure the peace in Iraq is now the central battle on the war on terrorism," Wolfowitz said on Meet the Press.

"Stop and think, if in 2001, or in 2000, or in 1999, we had gone to war in Afghanistan to deal with Osama bin Laden, and we had tried to say it's because he's planning to kill 3,000 people in New York, people would have said, you don't have any proof of that," he said.

"I think the lesson of Sept. 11 is that you can't wait until proof after the fact.

``It surprises me sometimes that people have forgotten so soon what Sept. 11, I think, should have taught us about terrorism," he added.

"And that's what this is all about," he said.

Wolfowitz would put no timetable on the capture or death of Saddam. He said there was no reason to be confident that would put an end to guerrilla attacks against American troops, but added it "would have more effect than any single thing we can do."

Wolfowitz said an American priority now is to have Iraqis performing guard duties in front of hospitals, banks or power plants.

At least 10 U.S. soldiers have been killed while performing guard duty and the American command in Iraq have trained 8,700 local civilians to take over their duties.

Still, hundreds of Americans are stationed outside key installations and are increasingly becoming targets.

One U.S. Marine was killed and another wounded early yesterday in a grenade attack south of Baghdad, after one of the bloodiest weeks in the guerrilla war against U.S. forces since Bush declared major combat in Iraq was over on May 1.

The military said the attack occurred at 2:35 a.m. in the region controlled by the Marines south of the capital.

On Saturday, four American soldiers were killed in two separate attacks.

Three of them died when a grenade was tossed into their midst while they were playing cards and doing their laundry outside a children's hospital northeast of Baghdad.

The other soldier was killed later in the afternoon when a convoy came under attack west of the capital, bringing to 14 the number of U.S. deaths in Iraq in the past week, most of them following the Tuesday killings of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay.

The deaths brought to 48 the number of U.S. forces killed in combat in Iraq since May 1 when Bush said the major combat phase of the Iraq war had ended. So far 163 U.S. soldiers have died in the war.

Wolfowitz, who just returned from Iraq, said the deaths of Saddam's sons, has increased the amount of information being brought to U.S. officials.

"This is a war that's going to be won not by smothering the country with individual guard posts, it's going to be won by better and better intelligence, and the intelligence was improving even before the killings, and I think it's improved since then," Wolfowitz told Fox News Sunday

Wolfowitz did not respond directly when asked if he was specifically linking the Iraqi invasion to the war against Al Qaeda.

"I think the lesson of 9/11 is that if you're not prepared to act on the basis of murky intelligence, then you're going to have to act after the fact, and after the fact now means after horrendous things have happened to this country," he said

Copyright 1996-2003. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved. Distribution, transmission or republication of any material from www.thestar.com is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.

Commentary:
Ok so here's the deal. Bush says he had "good and sound" intelligence, but Wolfowitz says the intelligence was murky. Who do we believe? Adding to the mix, Rusmfeld said we didn't have any new intelligence, but instead looked at old intelligence in a new light after 9/11. So, which is it, we had good and sound intell, which was all wrong, or Bush guessed based on murky and old intelligence, or we didn't have any new evidence? Either way, this crew is not ready for prime time.


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Senator: Tenet Said White House Wanted Unverified Intel
WBAL Channel.com
POSTED: 12:17 p.m. EDT July 17, 2003
UPDATED: 12:53 p.m. EDT July 17, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The White House on Thursday disputed a Democratic senator's account of congressional testimony of CIA Director George Tenet regarding the furor over President George W. Bush's now-discredited assertion that Iraq sought uranium in Africa

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee that a White House official insisted that President George W. Bush's State of the Union address include an assertion about Saddam Hussein's nuclear intentions that had not been verified. Durbin is a member of the Senate panel.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan called Durbin's account "nonsense" from a lawmaker who voted against authorizing the Iraq war.

Key documents behind the Bush claim turned out to be forgeries. The claim was made in Bush's Jan. 28 State of the Union address.

The White House has admitted Bush shouldn't have uttered the notorious 16 words, and Tenet has taken the blame for not warning speechwriters to omit the claim on grounds the intelligence was shaky.

Asked repeatedly if Bush is responsible for what is in his speech, McClellan insisted the issue has been "fully addressed."

But Durban repeated his version on the Senate floor Thursday and demanded Bush give a full accounting to Congress on the issue.

© 2003, Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc.

Commentary:
Look how the media once again tries to mislead the reader by suggesting only the 16 words in the SOTU were a lie. How about the aluminum tube lie, or the "he can arm in 45 minutes lie" or the "he's arming his missiles with nuclear and biological warheads" lie, etc. Bush, the liar-in-chief didn't utter a single word in his SOTU about Iraq that was true. So let's get to it. Bush lied to Congress and that's a felony. Those who continue to support him in the congress are not fit to govern.


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US troops in Iraq 'are terrorist magnet'
Guardian (UK)
Monday July 28, 2003

The commander of US ground forces in Iraq today said that his soldiers had become a "magnet" for foreign terrorists who wanted to strike at America.
Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said the sophistication of the guerilla attacks, which Washington customarily blames on the former regime's loyalists, had increased over the last month.

"We have to understand that we have a multiple-faceted conflict going on here in Iraq. We've got terrorist activity, we've got former regime leadership, we have criminals, and we have some hired assassins that are attacking our soldiers on a daily basis," he told CNN.

Shortly after he spoke, two US soldiers in Baghdad were seriously injured when a man dropped a grenade from a road bridge onto their canvas-top Humvee as it passed below along Palestine Street.

Guerrilla-style attacks on US forces have killed 49 soldiers in Iraq since the US president, George Bush, declared major combat over on May 1.

Lt Gen Sanchez did not elaborate on the nationalities of the individuals behind such attacks but said there was no evidence any country was sponsoring the fighters.

"[There] is what I would call a terrorist magnet where America, being present here in Iraq, creates a target of opportunity if you will," he explained.

Aside from a group linked to al-Qaida claiming responsibility for some attacks, gunmen who describe themselves as members of the Fedayeen militia have said they will avenge the deaths of Uday and Qusay Saddam Hussein on US forces and Iraqis who collaborate with them.

Washington meanwhile hopes to end the attacks by capturing or killing Saddam Hussein and his senior aides. US officials believe Iraqis will be more willing to cooperate with the occupation armies if they can be certain their former leader will not return and take revenge.

General Richard Myers, the chairman of US joint chiefs of staff, today said the day when Saddam was in US hands was drawing closer and it was "just a matter of time" before he was found.

"There's been a big rise in the numbers [of informers] coming forward, providing evidence of weapons caches and of where people are," he told reporters in Baghdad.

But the operation to snare Saddam is not without casualties. Five civilians were last night reportedly killed in a raid on a house in Baghdad's al-Mansour district that its owner claimed the US believed was sheltering Saddam.

Rabeeah Amin, a tribal leader, said the soldiers had broken down the door and ransacked his villa.

"I was told they had been tipped off that Saddam was hiding in my house, that he was in fact my guest," he told Reuters. "But I know nothing about this."

A US soldier at a nearby hospital said five bodies and at least eight wounded had been brought in from the scene of the raid. An Iraqi policeman said all the dead had been in cars fired on by troops as they drove through the area.

In another series of raids intended to capture the leaders of the former regime troops of the 4th Infantry Division yesterday moved in on three farms around Tikrit, Saddam's hometown.

Hundreds of soldiers, backed by Bradley fighting vehicles, surrounded the farms as Apache attack helicopters hovered above. No shots were fired as about 25 men emerged from the houses peacefully.

The raid was prompted the capture last week of a group of men in Tikrit believed to include as many as 10 of Saddam's bodyguards. Soldiers learned from them that Saddam's new security chief - and possibly the dictator himself - were staying at one of the farms.

"The noose is tightening around these guys," said Colonel James Hickey, a brigade commander. "They're running out of places to hide, and it's becoming difficult for them to move because we're everywhere. Any day now we're going to knock on their door, or kick in their door, and they know it."

© Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Commentary:
Some people hate the US because of Iraq, others because of our support of Israel's killing machine, others because we impose our will on countries without their consent, but does anyone think the US can stay in Iraq and NOT be hit over and over again?

Rumsfeld and the nuts in his defense dept. don't understand human nature. The US is vulnerable in Iraq and it's easy to hit (so-called terrorists) don't have to fly to the US anymore). So, why didn't they plan for something that seems so obvious. Any plan is better than no plan and they clearly have no plan.


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Futures Market on Terror
FORTUNE
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
By Jeremy Kahn

The Defense Department announced yesterday that it is canceling a controversial program to develop a futures market that would allow traders to bet on wars, assassinations and terrorism in the Middle East.

The plan, which FORTUNE first reported on in its March 3rd issue (Place Your Bets—On War), was abandoned after Democratic senators assailed it as ghoulish, immoral, and absurd. Senator Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota claimed the program would provide a monetary incentive to those wishing to commit acts of terror. Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said the plan would have created "a futures market in death."

While the Pentagon program may sound outlandish, there is strong evidence that futures exchanges can predict events better than other forms of analysis. Betting pools on election results have proven more accurate than polls, and options markets are better predictors of future stock prices than the price targets set by individual equity research analysts. The reason, economists say, is that markets are extremely efficient at aggregating information from all investors—including inside information.

It's the ability of markets to make accurate predictions and reveal otherwise hidden information that attracted the Pentagon to futures exchanges. Earlier this year, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) gave a $1 million grant to startup Net Exchange to establish a futures market for political events in the Middle East. Net Exchange was founded by a group of CalTech economists who have been leading proponents of using markets as information gathering tools. The Policy Analysis Market, which would have been run jointly by Net Exchange and The Economist Intelligence Unit, was to start registering traders this week, and was supposed to be fully operational by October 1. It would have allowed traders to place bets on events including whether Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would be assassinated, or Jordan's King Abdullah II would be overthrown. Market participants could have remained anonymous, a fact that some senators critical of the program said raised the possibility that a terrorist could use the market to profit off his own attack.

The Pentagon had asked for an additional $8 million to fund the project next year, but yesterday Democratic Senators Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Ron Wyden of Oregon held a press conference to attack the plan. Their criticisms were quickly echoed by other Democrats, and by the end of Tuesday, by leading Republicans as well. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Iraq, said the futures exchange program would be terminated immediately. Robin Hanson, professor of economics at George Mason University, and affiliated with Net Exchange, says he's disappointed the Pentagon has decided to eliminate funding for the futures market. He says criticism that terrorists could have profited from the market are overblown, since the architects of the exchange were not planning on allowing any wagers greater than about $100.

The Policy Analysis Market was part of a larger Pentagon project called FutureMap (an acronym that stands for Futures Markets Applied to Prediction) that is run out of DARPA's Office of Terrorism Information Awareness. (This department was previously called the Office of Total Information Awareness but the Pentagon decided that that just sounded too Orwellian). The office is run by John Poindexter, who served as former President Reagan's national security advisor, and was a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal. Earlier this year, Poindexter was forced to abandon a controversial plan to use the Internet to spy on average citizens in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks after civil rights groups and federal legislators objected.

While betting on assassinations or the probability of terrorism may sound morbid, these kinds of betting pools have actually been in existence for centuries. In the Middle Ages, European nobles often bet on the outcome of wars. More recently Internet "ghoul pools" have become popular. Generally, these sites allow people to bet on the day an elderly celebrity will die. At least one of these allows users to bet on the month and year India and Pakistan will have a nuclear exchange. And several sites allowed people to wager on when a war with Iraq would start. One of these sites, Tradesports.com, was extremely prescient in predicting the date Saddam Hussein would be removed from power. In fact, the idea of using futures exchanges to predict political events is so intriguing that it may surface again in another form. But for now, the Defense Department's Policy Analysis Market is defunct, and the hottest wager over at the Pentagon may be whether John Poindexter still has his job in a week

© Copyright 2003 Time Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Commentary:
Poindexter is from Iran/Contra fame and the media made no fuss about a convicted criminal working in the Bush White House. We learn a few things. First, crime pays--as long as you're a conservative republican (ask Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy). Second, criminal minds are morally corrupt. Poindexter shouldn't have ever been hired and there are rumor's he's going to resign. To which I can only say, good riddance to bad rubbish.

The Christian crowd, who once learned Nancy Reagan used the stars to guide Reagan, now learns US tax payers help gamblers wager on US foreign policy. The bible crowd thinks gays shouldn't be allowed to marry based on obscure words in the bible, but forgives gambling and astrology, with are both clearly forbidden in the Bible. It must be nice to have absolutely no standards.

Has it ever occurred to these amoral people that going to war using manufactured intelligence is more wrong than anything any president has done in our history? Once again, it can't be stressed enough–don't look to this crowd for moral guidance on any issue, they have none. An truth-telling, well, let's just say they have too much hubris to believe they've made horrible mistakes.


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WMDs: Did Iraq ever have them?
CNN
By Wolf Blitzer
Monday, July 14, 2003 Posted: 6:00 PM EDT (2200 GMT)

Washington (CNN) -- In the weeks and months leading up to the war with Iraq, President Bush and his top advisers were categorical in warning of a threat.

"The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin; enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it," outlined the president in his State of the Union address.

Top U.N. weapons inspectors, in contrast, were much more nuanced in their bottom line assessments.

In January, Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix told reporters at the United Nations, "In the course of these inspections, we have not found any smoking gun."

"No prohibited nuclear activities have been identified during these inspections," International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told the U.N. Security Council on January 29.

On the eve of the war, Saddam Hussein and his loyalists insisted they had no weapons of mass destruction -- period.

Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammed Aldouri insisted in January, "The bottom line ... is: One, you can accuse as much as you like, but you cannot provide one piece of evidence."

Now, nearly four months after the start of the war, even some previous supporters are openly expressing their doubts.

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition," "It's clear that they weren't armed with these weapons. They didn't use them. We defeated their army in the field. We have control over their arsenals. We haven't found them."

Brzezinski had been a hawk on the war but now dismisses the notion the Iraqis hid the weapons -- calling that comical.

"If they had them, and they were armed to the teeth with them, why didn't they use them?" Brzezinski went on to say. "If they didn't use them and hid them, that means they were deterred. And how do you hide all of these hundreds and hundreds of weapons with which they're armed?"

No sign the White House is backing away at all from Mr. Bush's pre-war warnings about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Today the president told reporters, "The larger point is and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful."

The best way for the White House to resolve the matter once and for all -- of course -- is for the Bush administration actually to locate weapons of mass destruction. Short of that, the debate will not only continue but is likely to intensify in the weeks and months to come.

© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

Commentary:
Wolf is an idiot. In order to resolve the matter once and for all, Bush has to find "HIS" evidence, which he claimed to have before the war but didn't have (ie: he lied). Only a complete moron would allow Bush to look (plant) for evidence months after the war is over.

Bush made clear and absolute statements about WMD-he had absolute proof--but we all know he had no proof at all. Every word Bush said was a lie and no amount of rewriting of history will make Bush's lies into truth.

Wolf went on TV every day for months and dutifully repeated every Bush lie. Now he sits back and tells us Bush needs to find some weapons. Why didn't Wolf demand proof before we went to war? Because Wolf is as amoral as Bush.


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WH to Improve Clearance Process for Bush Speeches
UN Embassy
By Charles Hays Burchfield
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Improvements will be made in the process that is used to clear presidential speeches, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters July 14, when he was asked again about a statement in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union Address to Congress.

Bush administration officials have recently acknowledged that a sentence in the speech referring to a British intelligence report that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa should not have been included in that address.

"I think it's safe to say that everybody involved in the vetting process already knows that this process has to be improved," Fleischer said. "I think what's going to happen in every future speech is people are going to make certain that they do their due diligence with each and every sentence of every presidential address so that everything is made sure it is as accurate as is possible."

The sentence that administration officials are saying should never have made it into the president's 2003 State of the Union Address is: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

In a July 11 statement, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet took responsibility for not removing the questionable sentence.

"These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," the statement said.

"From what we know now, [Central Intelligence] Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct -- i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa," Tenet said in his statement. "This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed."

President Bush told reporters August 14, after meeting in the Oval Office with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, that this one sentence does not affect the fact that Saddam Hussein had a weapons program and posed a threat to the United States.

"The larger point is, and the fundamental question is: Did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is: Absolutely," Bush said.

"And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful."

Fleischer said this one issue does not undermine the president's argument for war against Iraq.

"We went to war because Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons, had biological weapons, and was indeed seeking to reconstitute a nuclear program, whether it did or did not involve uranium coming from Africa," Fleischer said. "That's, in the scheme of things, a minor element in the judgment that was made in the events that led up to war."

Fleischer gave the following as evidence that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program:

"In addition to the long-standing ambitions that Iraq had to procure nuclear weapons, in addition to the fact that they had a nuclear facility that had to be destroyed by Israel before it was actually able to come onto line, in addition to the fact that the international community concluded that Iraq was much closer to possessing nuclear weapons during the Gulf War, in addition to the fact that we underestimated -- not overestimated but underestimated -- how close they were in the early 1990s, we have seen, since the sanctions were imposed on Iraq, Iraq do the following events:

"They had an indigenous production -- overt and covert procurement of uranium compounds; they had development of multiple indigenous uranium capabilities; they had the intent to divert research reactor fuel in a crash program to produce a nuclear weapon; they had limited production and separation of plutonium for weapons research at their facilities; they had weaponization research and development at dedicated facilities aimed at producing a missile-deliverable weapon; and of course, we all saw it on TV, how many meetings did Saddam Hussein have with his nuclear scientists? Why did he retain the group that he called the 'Nuclear Mujahideen' if he did not have an intention of working on a nuclear program?"

Commentary:
A few weeks ago the CIA pulled the plug on testimony Wolfowitz was about to give congress because it was "murky." I can't wait for the WH to start having the CIA stop them from lying. It'll be a welcomed change for all of us.

Oh, and btw, do you know why Tenet at the CIA still has a job? Word has it there was a deal--he'd take responsibility for Bush lying in the State of the Union in exchange for Tenet keeping his job.

Neither man is fit for their jobs and the sooner we get rid of both, the better.


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Bush lie: Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in
The White House
GWB
July 2003

Commentary:Note: This quote is found at the bottom of the page

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful.

Commentary:
We still wait for the CIA to stop Bush from lying. The UN inspectors had unfettered access to all sites in Iraq before Gulf War 2 (the sequel). Either Bush doesn't have a clue what the facts are (most likely) or he simply makes things up. The sad part is handlers don't seem to mind. Lying on a daily basis works for them so well because the media lets them get away with it.


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Iraq Flap Shakes Rice's Image
By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 27, 2003; Page A01

Just weeks ago, Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, made a trip to the Middle East that was widely seen as advancing the peace process. There was speculation that she would be a likely choice for secretary of state, and hopes among Republicans that she could become governor of California and even, someday, president.

But she has since become enmeshed in the controversy over the administration's use of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to war. She has been made to appear out of the loop by colleagues' claims that she did not read or recall vital pieces of intelligence. And she has made statements about U.S. intelligence on Iraq that have been contradicted by facts that later emerged.

The remarks by Rice and her associates raise two uncomfortable possibilities for the national security adviser. Either she missed or overlooked numerous warnings from intelligence agencies seeking to put caveats on claims about Iraq's nuclear weapons program, or she made public claims that she knew to be false.

Most prominent is her claim that the White House had not heard about CIA doubts about an allegation that Iraq sought uranium in Africa before the charge landed in Bush's State of the Union address on Jan. 28; in fact, her National Security Council staff received two memos doubting the claim and a phone call from CIA Director George J. Tenet months before the speech. Various other of Rice's public characterizations of intelligence documents and agencies' positions have been similarly cast into doubt.

"If Condi didn't know the exact state of intel on Saddam's nuclear programs . . . she wasn't doing her job," said Brookings Institution foreign policy specialist Michael E. O'Hanlon. "This was foreign policy priority number one for the administration last summer, so the claim that someone else should have done her homework for her is unconvincing."

Rice declined to be interviewed for this article. NSC officials said each of Rice's public statements is accurate. "It was and is the judgment of the intelligence community that Saddam Hussein was attempting to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program," said Michael Anton, an NSC spokesman.

Still, a person close to Rice said that she has been dismayed by the effect on Bush. "She knows she did badly by him, and he knows that she knows it," this person said.

In the White House briefing room on July 18, a senior administration official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, said Rice did not read October's National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, the definitive prewar assessment of Iraq's weapons programs by U.S. intelligence agencies. "We have experts who work for the national security adviser who would know this information," the official said when asked if Rice had read the NIE. Referring to an annex raising doubts about Iraq's nuclear program, the official said Bush and Rice "did not read footnotes in a 90-page document. . . . The national security adviser has people that do that." The annex was boxed and in regular type.

Four days later, Rice's deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, said in a second White House briefing that he did not mention doubts raised by the CIA about an African uranium claim Bush planned to make in an October speech (the accusation, cut from that speech, reemerged in Bush's State of the Union address). Hadley said he did not mention the objections to Rice because "there was no need." Hadley said he does not recall ever discussing the matter with Rice, suggesting she was not aware that the sentence had been removed.

Hadley said he could not recall discussing the CIA's concerns about the uranium claim, which was based largely on British intelligence. He said a second memo from the CIA protesting the claim was sent to Rice, but "I can't tell you she read it. I can't tell you she received it." Rice herself used the allegation in a January op-ed article.

One person who has worked with Rice describes as "inconceivable" the claims that she was not more actively involved. Indeed, subsequent to the July 18 briefing, another senior administration official said Rice had been briefed immediately on the NIE -- including the doubts about Iraq's nuclear program -- and had "skimmed" the document. The official said that within a couple of weeks, Rice "read it all."

Bush aides have made clear that Rice's stature is undiminished in the president's eyes. The fault is one of a process in which speech vetting was not systematic enough, they said. "You cannot have a clearance process that depends on the memory of people who are bombarded with as much information, as much paperwork, as many meetings, as many phone calls," one official said. "You have to make sure everybody, each time, actually reads the documents. And if it's a presidential speech, it has to be done at the highest levels."

Democrats, however, see a larger problem with Rice and her operation. "If the national security adviser didn't understand the repeated State Department and CIA warnings about the uranium allegation, that's a frightening level of incompetence," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), who as the ranking Democrat on the Government Reform Committee has led the charge on the intelligence issue. "It's even more serious if she knew and ignored the intelligence warnings and has deliberately misled our nation. . . . In any case it's hard to see why the president or the public will have confidence in her office."

Rice, a former Stanford University provost who developed a close bond with Bush during the campaign, was one of the most outspoken administration voices arguing that Saddam Hussein posed a nuclear danger to the world. As administration hard-liners worked to build support for war throughout the fall and winter, Rice often mentioned the fear that Hussein would develop a nuclear weapon, saying on CNN on Sept. 8: "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Now that U.S. forces have not turned up evidence of an active nuclear program in Iraq, the White House is being barraged with allegations from abroad, and from Democrats on Capitol Hill and on the presidential trail, that Bush and his aides exaggerated their evidence. Rice, who is responsible for the White House's foreign policy apparatus, is the official responsible for how the president and his aides present intelligence to the public.

When the controversy intensified earlier this month with a White House admission of error, Rice was the first administration official to place responsibility on CIA Director Tenet for the inclusion in Bush's State of the Union address of the Africa uranium charge. The White House now concedes that pinning responsibility on Tenet was a costly mistake. CIA officials have since made clear to the White House and to Congress that intelligence agencies had repeatedly tried to wave the White House off the allegation.

The main issue is whether Rice knew that U.S. intelligence agencies had significant doubts about a claim made by British intelligence that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa. "The intelligence community did not know at that time or at levels that got to us that this, that there was serious questions about this report," she said on ABC's "This Week" on June 8. A month later, on CBS's "Face the Nation," she stood by the claim. "What I knew at the time is that no one had told us that there were concerns about the British reporting. Apparently, there were. They were apparently communicated to the British."

As it turns out, the CIA did warn the British, but it also raised objections in the two memos sent to the White House and a phone call to Hadley. Hadley last Monday blamed himself for failing to remember these warnings and allowing the claim to be revived in the State of the Union address in January. Hadley said Rice, who was traveling, "wants it clearly understood that she feels a personal responsibility for not recognizing the potential problem presented by those 16 words."

In a broader matter, Rice claimed publicly that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or INR, did not take issue with other intelligence agencies' view that Iraq was rebuilding its nuclear program. "[W]hat INR did not take a footnote to is the consensus view that the Iraqis were actively trying to pursue a nuclear weapons program, reconstituting and so forth," she said on July 11, referring to the National Intelligence Estimate. Speaking broadly about the nuclear allegations in the NIE, she said: "Now, if there were doubts about the underlying intelligence to that NIE, those doubts were not communicated to the president, to the vice president, or to me."

In fact, the INR objected strongly. In a section referred to in the first paragraph of the NIE's key judgments, the INR said there was not "a compelling case" and said the government was "lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program."

Some who have worked in top national security jobs in Republican and Democratic administrations support Rice aides' contention that the workload is overwhelming. "The amount of information that's trying to force itself in front of your attention is almost inhuman," one former official said. Another former NSC official said national security advisers often do not read all of the dozens of NIEs they get each year.

Still, these former officials said they would expect a national security adviser to give top priority to major presidential foreign policy speeches and an NIE about an enemy on the eve of a war. "It's implausible that the national security adviser would be too busy to pay attention to something that's going to come out of the president's mouth," said one. Another official called it highly unlikely that Rice did not read a memo addressed to her from the CIA. "I don't buy the bit that she didn't see it," said this person, who is generally sympathetic to Rice.

In Rice's July 11 briefing, on Air Force One between South Africa and Uganda, she said the CIA and the White House had "some discussion" on the Africa uranium sentence in Bush's State of the Union address. "Some specifics about amount and place were taken out," she said. Asked about how the language was changed, she replied: "I'm going to be very clear, all right? The president's speech -- that sentence was changed, right? And with the change in that sentence, the speech was cleared. Now, again, if the agency had wanted that sentence out, it would have gone. And the agency did not say that they wanted that speech out -- that sentence out of the speech. They cleared the speech. Now, the State of the Union is a big speech, a lot of things happen. I'm really not blaming anybody for what happened."

Three days later, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Rice told him she was not referring to the State of the Union address, as she had indicated, but to Bush's October speech. That explanation, however, had a flaw: The sentence was removed from the October speech, not cleared.

In addition, testimony by a CIA official before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence two days after Fleischer's clarification was consistent with the first account Rice had given. The CIA official, Alan Foley, said he told a member of Rice's staff, Robert Joseph, that the CIA objected to mentioning a specific African country -- Niger -- and a specific amount of uranium in Bush's State of the Union address. Foley testified that he told Joseph of the CIA's problems with the British report and that Joseph proposed changing the claim to refer generally to uranium in Africa.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett last Monday called that a "conspiracy theory" and said Joseph did not recall being told of any concerns.

Staff writer Walter Pincus contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
There's some heavy-duty crap in this article. First, it says Rice didn't read the 90 page NIE report. We're led to believe she only had access to the written words on that report, but couldn't she pick up the phone and ask the CIA about the fake evidence the White House was pushing?

The sad part about the current regime is that for the first time in my lifetime, we have an administration that doesn't have a single moral person working for it. Imagine, all these right wing nuts and not one who gives a damn what the fact and truth.

Personally, I can see how a person can screw up a single line in a speech. What I can't see is someone screwing up every line about Iraq in every speech for over a year and a half. It's not the 16 words that troubles me the most, it's the fact that no one in this administration seems to have a clue what the facts are even though they sounded absolutely sure before the war.


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Niger hits back over uranium claim
BBC
Sunday, 27 July, 2003, 04:25 GMT 05:25 UK

The prime minister of the west African state of Niger has challenged Tony Blair to produce evidence for his controversial claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium there. "If Britain has evidence to support its claim then it has only to produce it for everybody to see," said Prime Minister Hama Hamadou in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Blair has stuck by the claim, first made public in a British Government dossier, that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger, even though the allegation has been widely discredited.

The Bush administration has said it was a mistake for the claim to have been included in the key presidential State of the Union address in January.

The head of the CIA and a senior national security adviser have taken the blame for allowing the allegation to be included in the address, despite the CIA's long-held doubts about its credibility.

The UN has said that the claim was based on forged documents but the UK says it has a different source which substantiates the claim.

'Powerful politics'

"We were the first African country to send soldiers to fight against Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait in 1991," Mr Hamadou said.

"Would we really send material to somebody whom we had fought against and who could destroy half the world with a nuclear bomb? It's unthinkable".

He told the newspaper his government had not received any formal accusation of involvement with Saddam, saying that the row had its roots in the battle for public opinion in the UK and the US.

"We cannot get involved in the politics of the world's most powerful nations. We are a poor country. Our uranium is tightly controlled and our priorities are to produce enough food to feed our people and provide education for all of our children," he said.

But he said the row would not affect Niger's reputation.

"Everybody know s that the claims are untrue," he told the paper.

"We have survived famine in Niger. We can survive this".

© BBC 2003

Commentary:
Blair and Bush need to apologize to Niger and all African countries for sliming them in order to create the illusion that Saddam was creating nukes with their uranium. But, knowing Bush, we can bet our bottom dollar he won't do the right thing because it's beyond his abilities--just like governing or telling the truth or knowing the truth, or giving a damn.


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