December 10, 2007

Pity the poor paranoids and war mongers

Joe "Bomb Iran now" Lieberman and the rest of the witless boobs trying to pull the wool over American's eyes for a second time must be having a difficult time these days.

And where's the Chicken Little commenter who obsessed with arguing that I was absolutely NUTS to suggest that Iran wasn't as dire a threat as we were being told by the administration? I know you're out there. What's your story now? The laughable pretense being peddled by John Bolton that THIS National Intelligence Estimate is politically motivated and therefore suspect, but the proven politically influenced and doctored ones leading to the invasion of Iraq weren't? Good luck with that, though I suppose if anyone can spot a politically doctored intelligence assessment, it would be Bolton.

Or have people within the government finally decided to actually stick to facts, at the risk of severe punishment from those to whom reality is regarded as a threat to their lust for immensely lucrative war and control of mid-east oil?

Word is that some in the intelligence community were so thoroughly disgusted with the Bush administrations perversion of the intelligence function of government and efforts to bury data that showed Iran not to be the dire threat of World War III that Bush and minions were busy peddling that they threatened to personally leak this NIE themselves if its release continued to be blocked, even though doing so would risk imprisonment.

From Joe Conason in the NY Observer:
Even when George W. Bush tells the truth, he cannot quite bring himself to tell the whole truth. Although the White House released a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, indicating that the Iranians shut down their program more than four years ago, the president treated those conclusions as a vindication more than an embarrassment.

With the usual propagandists at Fox News Channel and elsewhere filtering the N.I.E. to cover up their mistakes, it is worth reproducing a few of the new report’s most salient quotes. “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program,” said the N.I.E. text, reflecting a strong consensus among the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies. “Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005 [when the intelligence community prepared its last N.I.E. on this subject]. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.”

It is encouraging to learn before, and not after, a military invasion that the weapons of mass destruction don’t exist, possibly avoiding unnecessary loss of life, treasure and national reputation. Considering that the Bush regime remains in charge, such a reversal of events can only be regarded as progress.
MORE

The NIE also contained this passage:
"Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs....."


In other words, Iran determined the cost of such an effort wasn't worth the benefits.
"Tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs," states the NIE. Asked if this meant the Iranian regime would be "deterrable" if it did obtain a weapon, a senior official responded, "That is the implication." He added: "Diplomacy works. That's the message."

Yet according to Bush and many Republicans, and the lemmings so eager to quake in their boots and believe them, the leadership of Iran were all completely insane, evil-doing madmen.

It would appear the government of Iran is more sane than our own administration and most of the Republican party.

If only THEY'D done a cost/benefit analysis without ignoring all evidence that couldn't be twisted into justification for their reckless actions, we'd now be MUCH better off, not to mention Iran wouldn't be sitting pretty as they are now. Iran has benefitted enormously from Bush's misguided Iraq invasion.

This of course doesn't even delve into the overwhelming evidence that Bush knew about what was contained in the NIE and continued to beat the drums for war with Iran, constantly following the tired old fear and doom playbook he's stuck to for so long, then denied knowing anything about it until last week. This doesn't even pass the laugh test for most of Washington, not to mention the country.

And of course, Bush then simply did what anyone would expect from such a person. He came out and said that this evidence doesn't change anything, that we still should be very afraid of Iran, etc. etc. After all, he reasoned, what's to say they might not start a nuclear weapon program someday?

Well, what's to say Burkina Faso might not too? We better be prepared to be VERY scared for ... well, forever. What if other countries get nuclear weapons? What about Russia, China, India, Pakistan (Home of bin Laden (r)), or North Korea? Oh wait. Nevermind.

Bush simply ignored the facts of a full 14 of the country's intelligence agencies and said nothing had changed.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief? Some people aren't too happy about it.

13 Comments:

At 12/10/2007 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The view is great from left field, isn't it?

After 9-11,the left cried about how the Administration did not do enough to prevent it from happening.

Now, the cry is that there is no threat and the Administration is doing too much to prevent, well, nothing?

I do not know what is right or wrong, however, I find it convenient when those of you who cry 'foul' at everything the Administration does - when you know a fraction of what they do - and when you have the ability to diminish anything they do.

I can just see it...a terrorist attacks the United States and you are going to say something like - "see, they were wating their time in Iraq, when they should have been __________."

 
At 12/10/2007 6:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Just as I thought. Nothing for you to do but sit there and gnash your teeth. Too bad for you.

But the fact of the matter is, as you well know, but pretend not to, is that this gang in charge hasn't done anything to protect us whatsoever, unless you count handing over BILLIONS to their cronies and big business to do an utterly inept and ineffective job of pretending to keep us safe, actually keeping us safe.

Bomb components are routinely walked past security at major airports as part of security tests, shipping containers aren't even looked at, and on and on. We're squandering billions to get the illusion of safety.

And yes, when a president and his national security adviser utterly ignore an intelligence memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike within the U.S.", yeah, maybe some might have a problem with that.

But how in the hell do you equate trying to start a war with Iran with "keeping us safe"? Are you daft?

Is there ANYTHING you wouldn't support in the name of "keeping us safe"??? Spying on citizens? Torture? ANYTHING? Or would you endorse literally ANYTHING, even things that are criminal and counterproductive or even unconstitutional, if Bush said it was necessary to "keep us safe".

What would you object to? Anything at all?

 
At 12/10/2007 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, based on your 'BinLaden' memo, I expect that you throw Bill Clinton and his Administration into your "Inept and Responsible" leadership catagory?

Clearly, far more knowledge of BinLaden and ability to do something tangible was at the foot of Clinton than Bush, who only had an 8-month window to do something, when Bill Clinton had YEARS.

Gotta believe that your partisan heart will have a hard time accepting this reality, no? Or will you show yourself as something more than a near-sighted partisan hack?

 
At 12/10/2007 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...the NIE reports WMD (with confirmation from every credible Intelligence agency in the world) and they are a bunch of liars.

Now they say something that you like - with no confirmation from anyone else, only confusion, and they are accurate.

Which is it?

 
At 12/11/2007 12:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 2:10

By each and every account, the Clinton Administration had created a massive effort to focus on and address the threat posed by bin Laden and al Queda. There were special units detailed and enormous resources devoted to the effort.

Of course, when Clinton DID attempt to take out bin Laden, what did you and your ilk do?

They mocked him for it and screamed and howled bloody murder that he only did it to "wag the dog" and try to deflect attention from their attempts to drag him down.

Pat yourself on the back for that.
You thought Clinton's effort to take out bin Laden was a FAULT that you loudly condemned him for.

And if you've read any of the books written by participants in the intelligence community, you'd know that these career people briefed Rice, Bush, Ashcroft and others about the urgent need to deal with al Queda.

Ashcroft famously said at one point that he didn't want to hear one more word about it. They'd tried to get his attention so much that he just got pissed and said he didn't want to hear about it anymore. The day before 9-11, Ashcroft had CUT the budget of a unit devoted to anti-terror measures.

The people involved in the transition from the Clinton administration to the Bush did everything within their power to convince the new administration of the eminent threat posed by bin Laden and appraise them of all their efforts. It was all but ignored.

Them's the facts. Sorry.

Bush, Rice, et. al. simply dropped the ball. Big time. They were more concerned with important matters like pushing for a multi-billion dollar "star wars" anti-missle system. (sure wish we'd have had that on 9-11. I'm sure it could take out a box knife.)

And please do your own homework. You're aware of the FBI agents who repeatedly tried to warn about al queda suspects taking flying lessons and telling instructors they weren't really interested in learning how to take off or land. One female agent tried over and over again to get her warning heeded, and they simply blew it off completely.

There were other clear warnings as well that were relagated to low status. This wouldn't be likely in the Clinton administration as Clinton and the entire national security team were very much focused on al queda.

I'm sure you'll dismiss all of these facts, but it's all contained in first hand accounts and the news at the time they occured.

You can sit there in your vast ignorance, your head full of disinformation and blatant lies from FOX news, and try gamely to blame Clinton and pretend that Bush was somehow on the ball when it came to terror, but that dog don't hunt.

 
At 12/11/2007 12:09 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 4:15

What the hell are you talking about? Seriously, what NIE reported the presense of WMDs?

What in the hell?

Please provide more evidence of this and tell me what you're talking about.

I think you're dreaming stuff up.

If you're talking about Iraq pre-invasion, you're simply not too well informed on the matter.

UN inspectors were in country and doing a very thorough job of hunting down every possible site where WMDs or the means to produce them could be. They'd been working for years and had found nothing.

They said as much. They were simply honest. They said that they'd found NO evidence that anything remotely like WMD was currently in Iraq, and that the likelihood that they were there was very small.

Bush kicked them out of the country to get his war on.

They were right, Bush was wrong.

End of story.

The weapons inspectors were on the ground, something no other agency was. The CIA infiltrated the group and Iraq then banned them, some say rightly so.

But I'll put my trust in the two top figures involved in that effort who have never been shown to have been mistaken in their estimations and who had no stake in whether we invaded or not, and therefore no need to "doctor" the results, before I'll believe proven liars like this administration.

 
At 12/11/2007 10:41 PM, Anonymous JackDaniels said...

U don't no what u r taken bout! You are stuped!

 
At 12/12/2007 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, you always talk about 'Bush's War'.

Can you tell me why you believe that any individual would want to start a war, why he would 'lie' to start a war.

Is their profit in it for him?

I know, it must be that he is gaining such great standing around the world?

No, maybe his legacy will be so much better because of the war?

Maybe it is because his approval ratings are so high?

Likely none of the above.

So...

He is either an absolute deranged and mentally ill individual (because there seems to be no logical reason for starting a war), or

Maybe there is a logical and rational reason for the war?


Please, I know that this is difficult for you, but can you please try to be logical and reasonable in explaining your thoughts. Please try to stay away from name calling and lunitic rants.

Where is Bush's benefit in starting this war?

I appreciate your time in responding.

 
At 12/13/2007 1:33 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 4:19

Surely you don't need any help in this, or you're just not trying.

In my view, Bush is somewhat deranged, and that view is gaining currency both here and around the world, but that's too easy.

It was due to a combination of factors I'd imagine.

Cheney was pushing him like mad, the neocons, all of which would do anything to protet Isreal were pushing him. His religious beliefs may have enabled him to truly view this as some sort of holy war, "good vs. evil" situation (again, deranged).

And it doesn't matter a damn bit if he makes a dime or not, when thousands of his billionaire patrons are making an ENORMOUS windfall, raking in more billions from the war, phoney "Homeland" security, and on and on.

A multi-thousand dollar investment in Bush's campaign was probably the world's most lucrative investment, and has paid off in spades.

And it's about power. Remember him swaggering around the flight deck with a sock stuffed down his flightsuit? The "Mission Accomplished" embarassment? That's another reason he went to war.

Ego. Recall that he described himself as "the wartime preznit".

And yes, his legacy factored into things as well, more than likely. Tragically, he wasn't aware of how massively ill-conceived his grand adventure would be.

At the time they had convinced him it would be a "cakewalk", remember. It would all be over in a matter of hours, America would have control of all the oil, they could start creating a country straight from the Bush conservative handbook, complete with wide open no-bid contracts to rebuild what you and I paid to destroy, pushing Christianity, free-market capitalism, no taxes, and exclusive legal protection to anyone working there.

It was going to be a cool little play ground where everyone got rich, and Bush would be hailed as the savior by the eternally grateful Iraqi's he'd "liberated".

Then there was the psychological factor of Bush trying to outdo his dear old Dad, as well as avenge the fact that Sadaam tried to take George Sr. out at one point.

George the Lesser was going to go back and finish the job his Daddy should have done, have Sadaam's head delivered to him on a platter, and, again, be hailed universally (except by the Muslims that don't count) as a great hero-warrior.

Plus, Bush likes to kill people. Almost enjoys it. I think it really gives him a massive ego boost.

He put more people to death in Texas than any governor in the history of the United States. He even childishly mocked a woman who had asked that her life be spared (as had the Pope and Billy Graham, among others.), saying in a mock female voice to interviewer Tucker Calson, "Oh pleeeeze don't kill me!" Then he let her be executed.

He wasn't even interested in reading the condemned legal briefs, and by his staff's own admission, rarely took more than 15 minutes to hear about a case before routinely allowing the execution to proceed.

He seems to positively relish it when he gets to talk about taking someone out or killing them. It's like a kid playing Army. Only it's deadly real.

And anyone that denies that oil was, and is, a prime factor in this is sincerely delusional.

While they may have known that American interests couldn't just take over the Iraqi oil and never sought to blatantly steal it, they don't care. When it comes to oil, no one cares what country you're from. As long as you'll happily make your billions selling to America, you're fine.

The idea is profit, and profit beyond dreams. The control, with vast military installations established to protect it, of Iraqi oil, was probably the prime motivation and strategic goal hidden behind all the happy horseshit about "democracy" and "freedom" and "liberation" for the Iraqi citizen, who after all, is in much worse shape now than he was under Sadaam in nearly all cases.

Those are all plausible factors behind Bush's zeal to do whatever it took to invade Iraq and take over the country. His sheer inability to admit mistakes, again a symptom of an abnormal ego run amok, is likely why he now exhibits the obsessive desire to continue the carnage literally forever.

Those are a few answers to your question, in my view.

I'll let you know in advance that you asked a question and I answered it. If you disagree, that's your opinion. But unless you can provide a better rebuttal than simply saying you think I'm wrong... with nothing to suggest why, then don't bother.

I also do not intend to spend the next month or so endlessly arguing the same points with you, over, and over, and over, and over again.

I suspect you're my obsessive pal who insists on "debating" vast issues with no clear answers, and I am done engaging in such frustrating and fruitless wastes of time.

You asked for my opinion on the matter. I gave it. Feel free to offer your opinion, but don't expect an endless back and forth when all you can do is restate your opinions. That leads exactly nowhere.

 
At 12/13/2007 1:36 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Oh, and I forgot. You're an asshole and the only "lunatic rants" here are the ones that you disagree with or those that expose the error of your logic.

If you think I'm a lunatic, and have no respect for my views,then WHY do you constantly ask me for my opinion?

Just curious.

 
At 12/15/2007 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, you need to read the article by JC Watts, I am certain that I bright young fella like you can find it.

He points out that the NEI that you quote is a, 'National Intelligence ESTIMATE', not a National Intelligence FACT.

It is what some talking heads came up with whenthey could not agree on the facts.

It may be correct, it may not be.

 
At 12/15/2007 5:46 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

hee hee hee....!!

Oh that's rich. Now you're trying to dismiss the NIE because it's not proven facts. Qibbling over what the meaning of "is" is, I see.

What a hoot. You endorse sending thousands to their deaths and many more thousands to be maimed and scarred for life based on "estimates", but now you try to dismiss what 16 separate intelligence agencies assert they believe with "a great deal of confidence" to be true.

No one can state what a country is doing or is not doing to 100% certainty, which is why ALL intelligence reports are in essense "estimates".

Less bozo please.

Don't embarass yourself with such ridiculous stretches to try to defend the indefensible.

 
At 12/15/2007 6:01 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 2:35,

Here's a helpful suggestion.

Why don't you astually read the NIE yourself?

All it takes is one click on the link in the post above, and you can actually have an informed opinion, rather than parroting the pretty lame arguments of others?

Within the first couple of pages it explains exactly what the NIE is, shows a scale illustrating their use of terms from "remote" to "almost certainly", and explains the scope of the findings.

For instance, they state with "high confidence" that Iraq discontinued their efforts to enrich uranium for weapons purposes years ago.

Read the thing. It might prevent you from appearing foolish in the future.

That's that I provide links for in the first place. So readers can look at the material and come to their own conclusions, not to just throw out some crap just to be a pain in the ass.

 

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