Saturday, August 14, 2004

Kerry on Iraq

Here's Bob Dreyfuss on Kerry's position on Iraq:

"Kerry's failure to articulate a coherent policy on Iraq has now reached the status of a three-alarm fire. It seems almost unbelievable: On one hand, here's a president who invaded a sovereign nation illegally, without the support of the United Nations or U.S. allies, lied about the reasons for the war, failed utterly to find WMD or terrorism ties in Baghdad, misjudged post-invasion Iraq so badly that it is still engaging in nearly full-scale war against the people of Iraq, and apparently has no plan at all about what to do.

And yet it's Kerry on the defensive?"


It is unbelievable. Kerry has managed to take his strongest weapon against Bush - an illegal war which is turning into a disaster, is disliked by the majority of Americans, and was sold to Congress and the American people based on a long series of lies told by the Bush Administration - and completely mangled it. It is so bad that Bush can use Kerry's own words as an endorsement of Bush's Presidency. Kerry has taken what he should have been able to play like Vince Carter in the slam dunk competition, and played it like Vince Carter during the regular season. Kerry voted as he did because he was lied to, and he should be emphasizing that he shares the status of being lied to with all Americans. Here is what Senator Bill Nelson of Florida had to say about it (my italics and bold type):

"I, along with nearly every Senator in this Chamber, in that secure
room of this Capitol complex, was not only told there were weapons of
mass destruction - specifically chemical and biological - but I was
looked at straight in the face and told that Saddam Hussein had the
means of delivering those biological and chemical weapons of mass
destruction by unmanned drones, called UAVs
, unmanned aerial vehicles.
Further, I was looked at straight in the face and told that UAVs could
be launched from ships off the Atlantic coast to attack eastern
seaboard cities of the United States
.

Is it any wonder that I concluded there was an imminent peril to the
United States?
The first public disclosure of that information occurred
perhaps a couple of weeks later, when the information was told to us.
It was prior to the vote on the resolution and it was in a highly
classified setting in a secure room. But the first public disclosure of
that information was when the President addressed the Nation on TV. He
said that Saddam Hussein possessed UAVs.

Later, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his presentation to
the United Nations, in a very dramatic and effective presentation,
expanded that and suggested the possibility that UAVs could be launched
against the homeland, having been transported out of Iraq. The
information was made public, but it was made public after we had
already voted on the resolution, and at the time there was nothing to
contradict that.

We now know, after the fact and on the basis of Dr. Kay's testimony
today in the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the information was
false; and not only that there were not weapons of mass destruction -
chemical and biological - but there was no fleet of UAVs, unmanned
aerial vehicles, nor was there any capability of putting UAVs on ships
and transporting them to the Atlantic coast and launching them at U.S.
cities on the eastern seaboard.


I am upset that the degree of specificity I was given a year and a
half ago, prior to my vote, was not only inaccurate; it was patently
false. I want some further explanations.

Now, what I have found after the fact - and I presented this to Dr.
Kay this morning in the Senate Armed Services Committee - is there was a
vigorous dispute within the intelligence community as to what the CIA
had concluded was accurate about those UAVs and about their ability to
be used elsewhere outside of Iraq. Not only was it in vigorous dispute,
there was an outright denial that the information was accurate. That
was all within the intelligence community.


But I didn't find that out before my vote. I wasn't told that. I
wasn't told that there was a vigorous debate going on as to whether or
not that was accurate information. I was given that information as if
it were fact, and any reasonable person then would logically conclude
that the interests of the United States and its people were in
immediate jeopardy and peril. That has turned out not to be true.
"

and:

"I don't want to be voting on war resolutions in the future based on information that is patently false when
everybody is telling me, looking me eyeball to eyeball, that it is
true.
"


Senators, many of whom were very skeptical about the attack on Iraq, were given a special briefing on why Saddam was supposedly a threat to the United States, focusing particularly on drones which were allegedly capable of attacking the eastern seaboard with chemical and biological weapons. This was completely untrue - actually, laughably untrue - and the Bush Administration knew it was untrue. Any vote, including Kerry's, was tainted by these Bush Administration lies. Faced with uncontradicted claims that Saddam could actually attack the United States, who would want to be responsible for failing to defend the country against that threat? The Republicans have successfully turned this whole issue into an 'intelligence failure', when it is clear that the intelligence was essentially irrelevant, as the Bush Administration would have made up any lies, including ridiculous stories about killer drones, to force through a war they wanted for other reasons. This is one of the great scandals in American history. Why is Kerry campaigning in such a way as to completely remove from debate the Iraq war and the lies told which led to it? He and his handlers have apparently decided that it is too dangerous an issue, as Rove and his army of talk-show hosts can misstate his position to make Kerry look unpatriotic. Kerry has thus decided to put all his eggs in the basket of the failing American economy. The problem with that strategy is that the current statistical economic malaise is based entirely on the price of oil. As all conspiracy theorists know, the price of oil is completely manipulated, and Bush is in cahoots with the market makers. All Bush has to do is have them reduce the price for September and October (with the promise that they can make it all back and then some after the election), the stock markets will pop back up and the disgusting American press will start to crow that happy days are here again, and Kerry's economic issue will blow up in his face. Despite what Democrats are saying, Kerry is not in a strong position. He got very little help from the convention, and Bush will no doubt receive significant help from his upcoming convention. Bush still has the option of a terrorist or war October Surprise, rigged computer voting machines and voting lists, and five pocketed Supreme Court 'Justices'. It may turn out that all Bush needs as an October Surprise is two months of lowered gas prices.

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