David Gregory: Blame Congress, Not Media

Responding to Scott McClellan’s charge that “the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq,” NBC White House correspondent David Gregory defended his profession.

I think the questions were asked. I think we pushed. I think we prodded. I think we challenged the president. I think not only those of us in the White House press corps did that, but others in the rest of the landscape of the media did that.

If there wasn’t a debate in this country, then maybe the American people should think about, why not? Where was Congress? Where was the House? Where was the Senate? Where was public opinion about the war? What did the former president believe about the prewar intelligence? He agreed that — in fact, Bill Clinton agreed that Saddam had WMD.

The right questions were asked. I think there’s a lot of critics — and I guess we can count Scott McClellan as one — who thinks that if we did not debate the president, debate the policy in our role as journalists, if we did not stand up and say, “This is bogus,” and “You’re a liar,” and “Why are you doing this?” that we didn’t do our job. And I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role.

Gregory’s right here. Yes, the press dutifully passed on the claims about what classified intelligence reports said that were made by the president, administration officials, and others. But, certainly, they reported the counter-arguments with vigor. The views of Brent Scowcroft, Jim Baker, and other prominent Republican critics were given especial prominence.

It’s the job of the press to gather and present information, not to decide policy. We elect a president and 535 representatives, divided into two Houses of Congress, to do that. Ultimately, it’s Congress’ job to check and balance the president, not the media’s.

The gang at Media Matters apparently disagrees, noting that, “Of the 258 Democrats in Congress at the time, 147 voted against the resolution, while 110 voted for it. One Democrat did not vote.”

But the arguments of those 147 were most certainly heard. But the fact of the matter is that 43 percent of the Democrats, including such luminaries as John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, voted with the president along with almost all the Republicans. This after a debate that dragged on for more than a year.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Congress, Iraq War, Media, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. A pro journalist told me lots of his peers were angry at David Gregory for http://is.gd/g9Xb and I was being unfair by not mentioning th …




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  2. A pro journalist told me lots of his peers were angry at David Gregory for http://is.gd/g9Xb and I was being unfair by not mentioning that.




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  3. Bithead says:

    Ya know, that’s the second time Gregory has come down to the right of the usual anti-Bush mantra, in the last week or so. The other involving the success of the surge. One wonders what Damacus Road expereinces he’s been having of late, to cause so dramatic a turn.

    That point aside:

    Gregory’s right here. Yes, the press dutifully passed on the claims about what classified intelligence reports said that were made by the president, administration officials, and others. But, certainly, they reported the counter-arguments with vigor.

    And isn’t that unbiased reporting in a nutshell? They simply reported what both sides said.

    It must also be said that Congress wasn’t alone. The reason there was no debate in the country is becase there are some things aboutwhich there is simy no debate. Like the response to an attack for one.

    Until after the fact, of course, where despite their support for the war, they figure some political advantage might be had for now coming out of the shadows to speak against it, after they were for it.




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  4. Fence says:

    It is a free country. The “job” of the press is whatever they want it to be. That said, I’d certainly like to see more and deeper independent thought. The press still seems almost totally reactive when they could be more proactive in deciding what is newsworthy.




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  5. Fence says:

    It must also be said that Congress wasn’t alone. The reason there was no debate in the country is becase there are some things aboutwhich there is simy no debate.

    Maybe not in your circles, but lots of people opposed the war beforehand because you didn’t need an intel report to know that we were going into Iraq for oil and that WMD, democracy and 9-11 were excuses, and that the invasion of a Muslim country that was not the problem would only make it harder to address the real problems. But voters weren’t especially interested in complex analysis; I suppose they never are. The reason that so many Dems in Congress folded is that (1) after getting burned on security in the 2002 elections, and (2) since support for the first Gulf War was a litmus test for whether one could be elected President in 1992, they voted for the war rather than doing what they believed.




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  6. Michael says:

    The reason there was no debate in the country is becase there are some things aboutwhich there is simy no debate. Like the response to an attack for one.

    Hmmm, I must have missed the news stories about Iraq attacking us, I guess the press really weren’t doing their job.

    Oh wait, maybe it’s you that’s wrong.




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  7. Hal says:

    I think y’all are a bit whacked in thinking that the “other side” was even remotely talked about. In your fantasy world, there was a lively debate with equal time for both “sides”.

    This is, objectively, pure and utter bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.

    Geebus. There’s a reason why we were so easily led by the nose and will be again.




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  8. Hal says:

    Oh, and the McClatchy folks – you know, the ones who have literally been labeled as traitors by those who have such objective and open minds throughout this whole pile of crap – have a very good run down on the reality of the situation, not the looking backward, rewriting of the way things happened that y’all seem to prefer. Know you won’t even click the link, much less actually *read* the post by people who actually know what they’re talking about, but thought I’d at least post the comment so that future readers can at least have some context that is rational.




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  9. cian says:

    who thinks that if we did not debate the president, debate the policy in our role as journalists, if we did not stand up and say, “This is bogus,” and “You’re a liar,” and “Why are you doing this?” that we didn’t do our job. And I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role.

    No one is suggesting that the role of journalists is to debate (that’s what pundits do). But it is their job to challenge through vigorous investigation.

    Other than the journalists at McClatchy (then Knight Ridder) the record will show that the media deserted their posts in droves and ran with the administration. Who can forget the sickening sight of Gregory and his friends yucking it up with Bush as he joked about not finding WMD?

    And the rot goes on. Still no word from any of the major networks on their collusion with the pentagon’s propaganda programme.




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  10. Bithead says:

    Michael ;

    My but you DO seem fixated on the bproblem being contained to one set of borders, don’t you?




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  11. duckspeaker says:

    The problem with assigning blame to the press here is that no one “in the know” was able to vocalize the “other side” of the story. Since the intelligence that was contradicting the WMD claims was pushed aside by the administration, and since it’s clearly illegal to leak that information as an end run around an obstinate adminstration, the press was not able to get to “the other side.” Now, some would argue that they should have done investigative journalism to dig toward the truth, but really, national security intelligence-gathering can’t possibly be in the scope of the typical on-the-beat journalist, intrepid as they may be.

    If the media deserves any blame, I think it’s best directed at the ease with which dissenters were marginalized or, in the case of Fox News, labeled as traitorous or anti-American.




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  12. Hal says:

    Still no word from any of the major networks on their collusion with the pentagon’s propaganda programme.

    James seems to be of the opinion that there’s “nothing to see” in that. Which kind of fits into this whole world view that we live in the best of all possible worlds and that, well, shit happens, and no one is responsible for all the errors and crap.




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  13. M1EK says:

    Excellent McClatchy summary. I had almost forgotten those guys in the tide of revisionist nonsense from the other major media outlets since then.




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  14. Insidethebeltway says:

    I find Gregory’s assessment of McClellan’s charge regarding the media to be defensive. It’s true that he and a few other colleagues of his from the media did perform their duty to seek clarification and point out inconsistencies that the administration was putting out. However, he cannot defend every member of the media because while he was pushing, challenging most others were not doing their job. Why? It’s about maintaining access. Who wants to cut their throat by challenging administrative officials and henceforth not have their calls returned? Or, who wants to be stricken from the important “A” & “B” lists?
    Few do (did) and each should examine their actions. Also, I’m not interesting in “on-air” reporters asking each other whether McClellan’s assertions about the media are accurate. Let me be the judge of answering that question. My re-call of events in 2002 was that the media succumbed to the climate of fear and or being branded unpatriotic if they reported on what was going on or challenging it.




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  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol, the took 2 of some kind of pills call me in the Monday morning quarterback, all knowing all seeing better then you liberals, who new what was gonna happen and why and when and how, instead of putting a stop to the failed policies that they had foreseen used the opportunity to trap Bush in his own follies and then undermine every one of his actions to take power and stop this thing from happening anymore?

    But why in all your God like wisdom and nostradamical sight never achieve anything more then supporting our enemies, protecting the right to murder your own children and the advancement of societally soulless evolutionary doctrine that has been proved futile buy hundreds of millions of dead.

    And don’t give me that lump all that together donkey poop, all your poopoo’ is the same and from the same source, explain yourself and your actions or put on your green shirt and keep marching along.




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  16. Michael says:

    My but you DO seem fixated on the bproblem being contained to one set of borders, don’t you?

    I understand that Al Qaeda isn’t a nation, and therefore has no borders. What I have a problem with is choosing seemingly arbitrary borders to cross in our war against them. Iraq had no more Al Qaeda operatives than Britain in 2003, and significantly less than Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    If you’re going to cross borders to fight Al Qaeda, at least make sure that they are on the other side of those borders.




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  17. Hal says:

    And don’t give me that lump all that together donkey poop, all your poopoo’ is the same and from the same source, explain yourself and your actions or put on your green shirt and keep marching along.

    Incoherence, wrapped in the ungrammatical, inside insanity.

    You are quite the piece of work, G.A.




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  18. Bithead says:

    I understand that Al Qaeda isn’t a nation, and therefore has no borders. What I have a problem with is choosing seemingly arbitrary borders to cross in our war against them

    Hardly arbitrary, as the lack of AQ attacks outside of Iraq would seem to indicate. Funny how that point gets so invariably ignored by those trying to poke holes in our response in Iraq.




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  19. Michael says:

    Hardly arbitrary, as the lack of AQ attacks outside of Iraq would seem to indicate.

    Britain and Spain would disagree.




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  20. Mike says:

    It seems odd that people are still debating the merits of this war. Newsflash – that issue was decided years ago, the war is a pile of steaming dog poop. It is a complete waste of money and lives and had no more to do with fewer Al Qaeda attacks than me scratching my testicles.

    Congress were complete cowards in the months preceding the war and the media were cheerleaders for it. I was astonished at the time. I could not believe we were falling for the line of garbage that came out of the White House.




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  21. Dantheman says:

    “But the arguments of those 147 were most certainly heard.” Therefore, since the media is allegedly so liberal, when a leading liberal gave a speech oppposing the Iraq invasion, one would expect this would generate major headlines.

    Oops. Maybe not.




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  22. Hal says:

    Britain and Spain would disagree.

    No doubt Pakistan has a point or two to add. Afghanistan, as well.




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  23. anjin-san says:

    Like the response to an attack for one.

    Well, in this case, Bush’s response was to attack a nation that had not attacked us and did not threaten us. And to let Bin Laden slip away in Tora Bora.

    Funny how the right does not seem to be upset that Bin Laden has still not answered for the murder of thousands of Americans.




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  24. Carol Williams says:

    Now we know why the media took down Dean in 2004
    (remember the scream?). Without being an insider, he was saying things that we’re now hearing McClellan admit. It was much safer for the Dems to ram Kerry down our throats – he voted for the IWR. Guess Dean was not such a crazy guy after all.




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  25. Our Paul says:

    Three separate issues:

    (1) Media reporting in run up to the war… Here are the facts, how we chose to present them, and this is information we suppressed. Including, of course the Administration “line”.

    (2) Administration interpretation of intelligence and decision to go to war. This is a judgment issue. Judgment = ability to view and balance the gains and adverse effects of a course of action. Judgment = ability to identify mistakes, and thus not repeat them. Judgment = intellectual honesty.

    (3) Media bias, support for or against the war, as found in editorial sections, commentary, interviews, etc.

    Slice it, dice it, mash it, or spin it. As we focus on (1) and (3) above, the critical issue (2) will get the short shrift.

    Example:

    In the past couple of days Secretary Rice commented that all Foreign Intelligence Agency believed Sadam had weapons of mass destruction. This was widely reported under (1), above. No evidence was presented to the contrary, despite the fact this categorical statement is just simply not true.

    To my knowledge, no media questioned in its Editorial section Ms. Rice’s assertion, nor featured commentary that pointed out the it is was not true. The myth was proper gated under (3) above.

    And (2), the utter failure in judgment of this administration is not emphasized, hidden under the rock of everybody else had the same “bad” intelligence…

    Press failure, you bet. But it ain’t (1) or (3), any discerning person could have come to independent judgment. The failure lies in (2). The failure to emphasize that Iraq is not a failure of intelligence, it is a failure of judgment.




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  26. legion says:

    And isn’t that unbiased reporting in a nutshell? They simply reported what both sides said.

    Dead wrong, Bithead. That is stenography. Both sides could have achieved that with a mimeograph machine without involving the middleman of so-called “journalists”.

    I’d like to expand on what cian said – It’s one thing to report both sides of a story and let the readers develop their own opinions, but when two sides are saying incompatibly different things, then it’s the press’ job to ask hard questions of both sides (not simply decide to ignore the entire existence of one side), and if one side is right and the other side is wrong (or blatantly lying) report those facts. Even if it looks bad for the side that is pressuring your network’s executives. That is unbiased reporting.




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  27. M1EK says:

    Exactly, legion. What we’ve devolved to in this country is a system where lies are treated equivalently to truth – they’re both just ‘opinions’.

    No. No, they’re not. They were lies then, and they’re lies now. We didn’t “know he has them and know where they are”. Foreign intelligence agencies were NOT reporting the same crap our administration was selling. Lies, lies, lies.




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  28. Bithead says:

    that issue was decided years ago

    Oh? Like man-made global warming was ‘decided?”

    Britain and Spain would disagree.

    Editing error. I had intended to specify US targets. That said, clearly, they were forced to smaller easier targets.

    Dead wrong, Bithead. That is stenography. Both sides could have achieved that with a mimeograph machine without involving the middleman of so-called “journalists”.

    So, it’s only “reporting” if it leans left.
    Got it.
    Yep. Glad you stopped by, legion.




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  29. Bithead says:

    In the past couple of days Secretary Rice commented that all Foreign Intelligence Agency believed Sadam had weapons of mass destruction. This was widely reported under (1), above. No evidence was presented to the contrary, despite the fact this categorical statement is just simply not true.

    OK, who said otherwise?
    (Iran doesn’t qualify)




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  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    Incoherence, wrapped in the ungrammatical, inside insanity.

    so this means I’m wrong, another classically weak insult?




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  31. Michael says:

    Editing error. I had intended to specify US targets. That said, clearly, they were forced to smaller easier targets.

    Forced, or provided with?

    Making it easier for Al Qaeda to kill US soldiers in Iraq than to kill US civilian in NYC may have prevented new attacks on NYC, but I doubt you’ll want to use that claim as a justification for attacking Iraq.

    I certainly wouldn’t recommend you say it in front of any current or former soldiers.




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  32. Michael says:

    so this means I’m wrong, another classically weak insult?

    I think he was saying that your comment was so incoherent that it couldn’t even be measured as right or wrong.




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  33. Barry says:

    Hal:

    “James seems to be of the opinion that there’s “nothing to see” in that. Which kind of fits into this whole world view that we live in the best of all possible worlds and that, well, shit happens, and no one is responsible for all the errors and crap.”

    James should perhaps talk to some political scientists at a university; they could fill him in on things like mutually-reinforcing institutions.




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  34. anjin-san says:

    Oh? Like man-made global warming was ‘decided?”

    Even Bush now concedes that global warming is real. Are you calling your president a liar?




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  35. legion says:

    So, it’s only “reporting” if it leans left.
    Got it.

    Jeezus effing Christ, Bit. Try reading the rest of the freaking comment.

    I’ll type it again, s-l-o-w-l-y. It’s “reporting” if you actually seek out facts, even if they’re not the facts your bosses (or even you as a reporter) would prefer to hear. That doesn’t have a left or right bias, and I never implied that in my comment. What we’ve got now is “repeating”. It’s a difference of 2 letters, but they’re very important.




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  36. davod says:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the simplemindedness of people still suggesting that th Administration lied to the American people about why the US and its allies went to war with Saddam Hussein. Read the congressional resolution, something the Demonrats should be required to do before they open their traps. Read the UN resolutions.

    Your world’s are going to come to a grinding halt on January 21, 2009. The void filled with endless visits to counseling sessions alternating between group therapy and a padded room.




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  37. davod says:

    Now that I have blown off steam, I would like to address Scott McClellan’s book.

    A Washington Post article contains the essential elements of the truth when it quotes editor Osnos as saying “First we had to ascertain what kind of book he wanted to write,” said Osnos, a former Washington Post reporter and editor. “We are journalists, independent-minded publishers. We weren’t interested in a book that was just a defense of the Bush administration. It had to pass our test of independence, integrity and candor.”

    What test: The sort of test where you go back and rethink everything you did and come up with something not favorable to the Administration.

    I draw` your attention to part of McClellan’s introduction in the book.

    “Writing it wasn’t easy. Some of the best advice I received as I began came from a senior editor at a publishing house that expressed interest in my book. He said the hardest challenge for me would be to keep questioning my own beliefs and perceptions throughout the writing process. His advice was prescient. I’ve found myself continually questioning my own thinking, my assumptions, my interpretations of events. Many of the conclusions I’ve reached are quite different from those I would have embraced at the start of the process. The quest for truth has been a struggle for me, but a rewarding one. I don’t claim a monopoly on truth. But after wrestling with my experiences over the past several months, I’ve come much closer to my truth than ever before. (p. xi)”

    The past several months may well have meant the editing phase.

    So the book boils down to not what he thought and did at the time but what he thinks now. My, if all first person history books were written like this we would never know what happened.

    You have got your heart rates roaring because of what he writes?




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  38. anjin-san says:

    Read the congressional resolution

    I don’t think anyone is disputing that Democrats in Congress cravenly voted for the war resolution, knowing that Bush’s arguments for war were crap.

    In a post 9-11 political environment, the lacked the courage to cast a vote that could seem to be weak on a national security issue.




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  39. davod says:

    “Even Bush now concedes that global warming is real. Are you calling your president a liar?”
    He is being counseled by fools.

    Next week’s Lieberman-Warner legislation will lower the standard of living and reduce economic competitiveness.




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  40. anjin-san says:

    Are you calling your president a liar?
    He is being counseled by fools.

    It’s a yes/no question. Are you calling your president a liar?

    Don’t wimp out davod. Answer the question.




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  41. G.A.Phillips says:

    I think he was saying that your comment was so incoherent that it couldn’t even be measured as right or wrong.

    OK I thought he was saying I was wrong.

    And Thanks for deciphering that liberal thought for me, it was a classically weak insult, I get it now.




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  42. Hal says:

    And Thanks for deciphering that liberal thought for me, it was a classically weak insult, I get it now.

    Dude, it isn’t liberal or conservative. It’s simply incoherent ranting – ungrammatical incoherent ranting.

    Oh wait. That’s “elitist” of me to require some minimum bar. So I guess it is liberal of me.




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  43. legion says:

    He is being counseled by fools.

    At some point, one comes to the inescapable conclusion that a man who surrounds himself with fools is also, himself, a fool.




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  44. G.A.Phillips says:

    At some point, one comes to the inescapable conclusion that a man who surrounds himself with fools is also, himself, a fool.

    Is this your bar Hal?




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  45. Hal says:

    Is this your bar Hal?

    It’s not a rambling, incoherent, ungrammatical rant, is it?




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  46. Bithead says:

    Forced, or provided with?

    Which suggests you are working under the idea that those targets were not available prior to say, 9/11? Are you serious?




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  47. Bithead says:

    Even Bush now concedes that global warming is real. Are you calling your president a liar?

    He’s playing politics. It’s what centrists do.




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  48. Hal says:

    It’s what centrists do.

    Ha!




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  49. Michael says:

    Which suggests you are working under the idea that those targets were not available prior to say, 9/11? Are you serious?

    Those targets (US soldiers in Iraq) were indeed not available until 2003.

    And Thanks for deciphering that liberal thought for me, it was a classically weak insult, I get it now.

    Go back and read what you wrote:

    lol, the took 2 of some kind of pills call me in the Monday morning quarterback, all knowing all seeing better then you liberals

    And tell me what the hell that was supposed to mean.




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  50. anjin-san says:

    It’s what centrists do.

    So where is Bush as a centrist… Somewhere between Stalin and bozo the clown?




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  51. Hal says:

    Somewhere between Stalin and bozo the clown?

    A circle has no beginning and no end.




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  52. Our Paul says:

    Bithead:

    In reply to your May 30, 2008 | 02:17 pm | post, where you ask: OK, who said otherwise?

    First of all, there is a fair amount of intelligence sharing between Western Nations, with such information being passed on, even if individual nations analysis indicated the information to be bogus. That is the way the game is played.

    In regard to the yellow cake matter, which of course was part of the great mushroom cloud in the sky, there is clear evidence that the Italian Intelligence Agency felt this was nonsense and the British felt it was bogus. That Iraq was seeking yellow cake to develop nuclear weapons was enunciated by the President, and never retracted.

    In regard to biological WMD, the Germans passed on the allegations of “Curveball”, with a strong warning that the man was a fabricator. The administration pressured Collin Powell to include this information in his presentation to the UN.

    It is accepted by all, except the most dense ideological minds, that the International Atomic Energy Agency and Hans Blix, the United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector, had access to all pertinent information from our, and foreign countries Intelligence Services. Both indicated that there was no evidence of an active nuclear or biological program in Iraq right up to the day Mr. Bush pulled the lever to the greatest light show since “Strange Encounters of a Third Kind”. Played out on CNN, I believe it was titled “Shock and Awe”…

    Now then, a fertile and inquiring mind expands its horizon by testing its preferred and seductive proposition. In your case, “All foreign countries Intelligence Services agreed that Sadam had Weapons of Mass Destruction”. I have presented evidence to the contrary, above.

    Your task sir, is simple. You can come in through a different door. Show me one instance where any country’s leader stood up and said (I paraphrase): “Our Intelligence indicates that Sadam has Weapons of Mass Destruction “ .

    Until you can disprove my formulation, or present the information I have requested, I stand by my post. To wit: Ms. Rice’s statement is totally inaccurate, the press is unwilling to report it as such…




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  53. anjin-san says:

    A circle has no beginning and no end

    Sounds like Asimov to me…




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  54. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol= me laughing with concern about what you guys are up to.

    the took 2 of some kind of pills= I think all you liberals are on drugs cause when I thought in this type of crazy I was.

    call me in the Monday morning quarterback=that you guys are sure good at whining and acting like you new better before hand but mostly you just starting to believe in the reasons you made up to aggravate the situation as the cause of the situation but I dint give you the drugs I’m not your Doctor or some one who cares to here you bullshit for the billionth time.

    all knowing all seeing better then you liberals=what you all believe yourselves to be.

    a rambling, incoherent, ungrammatical rant!




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  55. davod says:

    I do not believe some of the crap you people are coming up with:

    To this day the Brits stand by their yellow cake, if thats what it was, warning. By the way, Wilson’s report to the CIA tended to confirm the suggestion that Saddam was trying to get materials (See the 9/11 report).

    WRT Curveball. I know we have to take what author’s write with with a grain of salt but the recent book on Curveball shows that the Germans made no attempt to warn the US about Curvball. However, the fact that the Germas would not let any of the US Intelligence agencies speak to Curveball should have been a warning.

    As far as the IAEA is concerned, much like now, the hierarchy seems to believe their role is to prevent, or delay, action against nations not meting their obligations.

    Nothing disproves the previous comments that most international intelligence agencies agreed that Saddam had WMD and would use them if attacked.

    Indeed, intercepted communications show that Saddam’s generals were asking when they would get the WMD so they could defend Baghdad.




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  56. Michael says:

    Thanks for clearing that up G.A.Phillips, now at least we know you’re wrong.




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  57. anjin-san says:

    From the Christian Science Monitor:

    World>Terrorism & Security
    posted November 21, 2005 at 11:00 a.m.

    GERMANY: CIA KNEW ‘CURVEBALL’ WAS NOT TRUSTWORTHY
    German intelligence alleges Bush administration repeatedly ‘exaggerated’ informant’s claims in run-up to war.
    By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

    Five top German intelligence officers say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly ignored warnings about the veracity of the information that an Iraqi informant named ‘Curveball’ was giving about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The Los Angeles Times, in a massive report published Sunday, reports that “the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims during the run-up to the war in Iraq.” They also say that ‘Curveball,’ whom the Germans described as “not a psychologically stable guy,” never claimed that he had produced germ weapons, nor had he ever seen anyone do it.

    According to the Germans, President Bush mischaracterized Curveball’s information when he warned before the war that Iraq had at least seven mobile factories brewing biological poisons. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell also misstated Curveball’s accounts in his prewar presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, the Germans said.
    Curveball’s German handlers for the last six years said his information was often vague, mostly secondhand and impossible to confirm. “This was not substantial evidence,” said a senior German intelligence official. “We made clear we could not verify the things he said.”

    Complete story at:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1121/dailyUpdate.html




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  58. davod says:

    Read the book about Curve Ball. The CIA guy responsible for handling Curve Ball came out with his own book basically white washing his role and blaming everything on the White House.




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  59. anjin-san says:

    Sure davod. We know in Bushland the buck stops absolutely anywhere on the planet except on the president’s desk….




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  60. Our Paul says:

    A dying thread, but my thanks to anjin-san for providing the “Curveball” link.

    The reality is not whether the intelligence about WMD was correct or not, the issue is President Bush’s judgement.

    A simple example will suffice. Faced with clear evidence of missals in Cuba, President Kennedy had a multitude of options. He rejected Curtis LeMay’s recommendation to nuke the Island, turned down the recommendation of the Pentegan to invade, and opted for a blockade.

    President Bush in similar circumstances opted for war. I stand by my May 30, 2008 | 01:14 pm post




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  61. davod says:

    “The reality is not whether the intelligence about WMD was correct or not, the issue is President Bush’s judgment.”

    So if the WMD was found, or indeed used on our troops, Bush’s judgment would still be in doubt.

    The simple fact is that the Administration, and the Congress, argued that leaving Saddam in power was an unacceptable risk.

    The Duelfer report (Comprehensive Report of the Special Adviser to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD _ Central Intelligence Agency) and Kaye’s testimony, confirmed that Saddam retained the capability to produce WMD, including nuclear. Indeed small scale Chem-Bio facilities were found.

    For a brief summary of the report you may wish to read HAVE WAR CRITICS EVEN READ THE DUELFER REPORT?
    by Richard O. Spertzel,Wall two Street Journal,
    October 14, 2004
    .

    Mr. Spertzel, head of the biological-weapons section of Unscom from 1994-99, just returned from Iraq [at the time the article was written], where he has been a member of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG).




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  62. G.A.Phillips says:

    Ya U.N. resolutions still mean nothing to liberals I think to them they are like time out escape routes, it’s from all that poop talking they did when they were younger mostly from within running distance of the front door.

    You need to understand the mindset of the person your are trying convey a message to, if it’s full of hatred and concocted reasons for this hatred its a hard thing to get a point past.

    President Bush in similar circumstances opted for war.

    how similar, we were still at war with Iraq, thats what a cease fire means, multiple resolutions saying or else, shooting daily at our jets was violation enough to restore hostilities and should have been years before Iraqi Freedom.




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  63. Our Paul says:

    This post by Mr. Joiner centered on the press, miss-information, and responsibility for the Iraq fiasco. I presented three separate issues: (1) accuracy of press information and how it is presented, (2) judgment of President Bush in the deciding to go to war, and (3) Editorial (corporate) support for the war.

    To point fingers in a circular fashion at the press, or Congress for this fiasco is delusional. The decision to go to war was solely Mr. Bush’s. He had a variety of different options and he chose war…

    Today the press, and indeed segments of the blogosphere such as Mr. Joiner keep obfuscating this simple fact: Mr. Bush chose to go to war.

    That the press failed to adequately report, there is no doubt. That Mr. Bush received editorial and corporate support when he initiated the war is irrefutable. That the press is continuing to blandly report distortion or lies by the administration cannot be argued. See my above comments on Ms. Rice’s recent statements.

    Thus, when davod presents “reasons” why Mr. Bush took us to war, he is excusing poor judgment because Mr. Bush had alternatives. When davod links to Bender Associates (a Public Relations firm), who are fluffing Richard O. Spertzel, he truly has drank liberally from the dark sides brew…

    From 1994 to 1998 Spertzel served as the Senior Biologist for the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq. His strongly misleading Congressional testimonial about the WMD capabilities of Iraq[2] helped to justify the subsequent US invasion of Iraq. After the invasion, Spertzel was a member of the Iraq Survey Group, which found that Iraq was not producing nor planning to produce WMD at the time of the invasion.

    Why is this important? Think Iran…




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