the squirming has begun

  1. 5,144 Posts.
    The squirming of the "leaders" has now begun in earnest. Doubts and accusations echo in the halls of power from one end of the planet to the other:

    MoveOn Bulletin
    Friday, July 4, 2003
    Noah T. Winer, Editor
    [email protected]

    Subscribe online at:

    "[U.S. Secretary of State Colin] Powell's team removed dozens of pages of alleged evidence about Iraq's banned weapons and ties to terrorists from a draft of his speech, U.S. News and World Report says today. At one point, he became so angry at the lack of adequate sourcing to intelligence claims that he declared: 'I'm not reading this. This is bullsh it,' according to the magazine.",2763,968581,00.html

    UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, who retired on Monday: "It is sort of fascinating that you can have 100 percent certainty about weapons of mass destruction and zero certainty of about where they are."

    U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman (Democrat-California) has long supported crucial health and environmental protection initiatives, including universal health insurance and the 1990 Clean Air Act. Since 2001, he has opposed efforts by the Bush administration to block congressional oversight and roll back health and environmental laws. Active in investigations of White House ties to Enron, Waxman fought for disclosure of the energy industry lobbyists who shaped the Bush-Cheney energy plan.

    Rep. Waxman is in an interesting position: he voted for the Iraq war resolution in an effort to force a consensus in the United Nations, and has since become sharply critical of the intelligence the Bush administration relied upon in making its case for war. His letter to President Bush on this matter is included in this week's bulletin.

    Rep. Waxman will respond to five of the top questions posed by MoveOn members. Post your questions by Tuesday, July 8 at:

    Arguing for the necessity of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush and other administration officials cited intelligence that Saddam Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

    Not only had Iraq manufactured chemical and biological weapons, the administration contended, they had attempted to obtain materials for nuclear weaponry. In one address, Bush said: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

    Yet more than two months after Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, no WMDs have been found. While he still insists such weapons will be discovered, evidence mounts that his administration's drive for war was based on forged, inaccurate, and deliberately misconstrued intelligence.

    No time for more? Read the New York Times' Paul Krugman on the Bush administration's "denial and deception" to justify war in Iraq and why Congress won't confront these distortions.

    During the build-up to war, British and U.S. officials cited letters indicating Iraq had attempted to obtain nuclear material from the central African country of Niger. On March 7, shortly before the war began, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, declared the documents had proven to be forgeries.

    The C.I.A. had debunked the Niger documents long before Bush began using them as evidence. The agency urged the State Department not to cite the forged letters when challenging Iraq's weapons declaration in December.

    In a March 17 letter to President Bush, U.S. Representative Henry Waxman called upon the President to explain the situation. As he said, "The two most obvious explanations -- knowing deception or unfathomable incompetence -- both have immediate and serious implications."

    Rep. Waxman has prepared two excellent factsheets: "The Bush Administration's Use of the Forged Iraq Nuclear Evidence" and "What Intelligence Officials Knew about the Forged Iraq Nuclear Evidence."

    The Observer reports that the two vehicles Bush and Blair claim are mobile biological weapons labs are probably used to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons.

    A memo from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity to President Bush: "What is at play here is a policy and intelligence fiasco of monumental proportions."

    From the Washington Post:
    "A still-classified national intelligence report circulating within the Bush administration...portrayed a far less clear picture about the link between Iraq and al Qaeda than the one presented by the president...."

    "In this report we present the publicly available data that U.S. and UK leaders chose to ignore in the pre-war debate.... The reason those now searching for weapons are finding only traces, remnants, and precursors is that previous policies of sanctions and UN weapons inspection and destruction actually worked."

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on Rumsfeld's new Office of Special Plans. Populated with associates of the Project for the New American Century, "the operation rivalled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence President Bush's main source of intelligence regarding Iraq's possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda."

    From The New Republic:
    A former staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee admitted, "People [kept] telling you first that things weren't right, weird things going on, different people saying, 'There's so much pressure, you know, they keep telling us, go back and find the right answer,' things like that."

    John Dean, President Nixon's White House counsel, says the case for impeachment would be easy legally, but impossible politically:
    "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.'"

    A superb interview with Dean from BuzzFlash:
    "Impeachment is a political proceeding, of quasi-legal nature. Republicans are not going to impeach their president. To the contrary, it is very clear they would defend him."

    In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Tony Blair is under fire for his dossier alleging Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. An inquiry underway in the Parliament has heard devastating testimony from former foreign secretary Robin Cook and former international development secretary Clare Short, both of whom resigned over Blair's claim that Iraq was a "clear and serious threat.",12956,987816,00.html

    An Associated Press report on the Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of pre-war intelligence.

    From the Village Voice:
    "New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman shrugged off WMD hype as a necessary selling technique for Bush, arguing that we hit Hussein 'because we could' and that what matters is whether we succeed at building a 'progressive Arab regime.' In other words, the ends justify the means."

    As regular Bulletin readers may know, the Bulletin topics aren't necessarily part of current MoveOn campaigns. The issue of Iraq war intelligence, however, is the focus of MoveOn's "Misleader" advertising campaign. Sign the petition to demand that Congress establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate and hold the President and his officials accountable if they manipulated or fabricated intelligence to justify taking the country to war.


    Research team:
    Leah Appet, Russ Juskalian, Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, Janelle Miau, Sarah Parady, Kim Plofker, and Jesse Rhodes.

    Editing team:
    David Taub Bancroft, Nancy Evans, Judy Green, and Rita Weinstein.


    The MoveOn Bulletin is a free email bulletin providing information, resources, news, and action ideas on important political issues. The full text of the MoveOn Bulletin is online at moveonbulletin/; you can subscribe to it at that address. The MoveOn Bulletin is a project of is an issue-oriented, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that gives people a voice in shaping the laws that affect their lives. engages people in the civic process, using the Internet to democratically determine a non-partisan agenda, raising public awareness of pressing issues, and coordinating grassroots advocacy campaigns to encourage sound public policies.
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