Alex's first post

You ask and you will receive; here are the facts specific to this war. READ IT CAREFULLY. I will go through this war from beginning to end using nothing but quotes from politicians, political experts, and news organizations and end with a conclusion to sum it up.
Here we go?

Firstly What Bush said before the war:
-"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
Radio Address
October 5, 2002

-?We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas?

-"The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors.?
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
October 7, 2002

?Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
-"where they are; they're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad."
When asked about the location of the WMD.
?Then after the war
- ?Secretary Rumsfeld himself has now called for a Defense Department investigation into what went wrong with the pre-war intelligence? ?John W. Dean

Now what the experts say?

An article from findlaw by John W. Dean that was reprinted in salon (salon is a independent premium news corp. with over 65,000 subscribing readers):
?Even before formally declaring war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the President had dispatched American military special forces into Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction, which he knew would provide the primary justification for Operation Freedom. None were found.

Throughout Operation Freedom's penetration of Iraq and drive toward Baghdad, the search for WMDs continued. None were found.

As the coalition forces gained control of Iraqi cities and countryside, special search teams were dispatched to look for WMDs. None were found.

During the past two and a half months, according to reliable news reports, military patrols have visited over 300 suspected WMD sites throughout Iraq. None of the prohibited weapons were found there.?

?Congressional committees are also looking into the pre-war intelligence collection and evaluation. Senator John Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee would jointly investigate the situation. And the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence plans an investigation. ?

New York Times article by Paul Krugman:
"Long past time for this administration to be held accountable. The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history -- worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."

The Marine general in charge of the search for WMD as quoted in Time Magazine:
"[w]e've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad," and remarked flatly, "They're simply not there."

From BBC World News:
?Last week former Cabinet ministers Robin Cook and Clare Short told the inquiry UK ministers had exaggerated the evidence coming from the intelligence agencies in the run- up to the war.?

From Newsweek Magazine:
"If America has entered a new age of pre-emption -- when it must strike first because it cannot afford to find out later if terrorists possess nuclear or biological weapons -- exact intelligence is critical. How will the United States take out a mad despot or a nuclear bomb hidden in a cave if the CIA can't say for sure where they are? And how will Bush be able to maintain support at home and abroad?"

Former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Bob Graham on CNN:
"One is that [the WMDs] were spirited out of Iraq, which maybe is the worst of all possibilities, because now the very thing that we were trying to avoid, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, could be in the hands of dozens of groups. Second, that we had bad intelligence. Or third, that the intelligence was satisfactory but that it was manipulated, so as just to present to the American people and to the world those things that made the case for the necessity of war against Iraq."
He then added?
"There?s been a pattern of manipulation by this administration."

Finally back to the article from findlaw by John W. Dean that was reprinted in salon:
?Bush narrowly escaped being dragged into Enron, it was not, in any event, his doing. But the war in Iraq is all Bush's doing, and it is appropriate that he be held accountable.
To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be "a high crime" under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."
It's important to recall that when Richard Nixon resigned, he was about to be impeached by the House of Representatives for misusing the CIA and FBI. After Watergate, all presidents are on notice that manipulating or misusing any agency of the executive branch improperly is a serious abuse of presidential power.
Nixon claimed that his misuses of the federal agencies for his political purposes were in the interest of national security. The same kind of thinking might lead a President to manipulate and misuse national security agencies or their intelligence to create a phony reason to lead the nation into a politically desirable war.?

So what does all of this mean? Firstly, we have the president saying several times on record before the war began that Iraq had a large surplus of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Then we have Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld going even further saying that some of these weapons were in the capital of Iraq. At the same time covert military commandos were sent on recon missions to help the president back up his claims in front of the international community, but they find nothing. Then as quickly as the war started it ended (well the combat phase that is). At the end of the war this large surplus of weapons turns out to be not so large after all. Political analysts and journalists start wondering what happened. Then people on the inside, senators and even Donald Rumsfeld himself, start saying that the intelligence wasn?t so accurate after all. In the U.K this missing WMD thing turns into a national scandal with Tony Blair?s popularity falling to an all time low, and even people in his chamber start to resign admitting that information was twisted to help sell this war. Back on the homefront a congressional investigation commences. It seems that Bush may have twisted the truth to help sell the war on Iraq as well. This offense is so horrendous that not only is it an impeachable offense, it is what many political experts say has the potential to turn into the biggest political scandal in U.S history. Things are starting to look grim. It seems that just like so many times in the past, a war was started based a false information. Now we begin to reach the climax of our story, but whether it will be resolved remains to be seen.

-Alex Shnayder

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