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A Life in slow decay?

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


50 posted 09-25-2004 05:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

And you didn't answer the question.

Why blame?

Are you saying that cutting taxes and going to war were not Bush's call?
Denise
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since 08-22-99
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51 posted 09-25-2004 06:13 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks, Michael, that's sweet of you! Say, shouldn't you be evacuating by now? Get a move on and stay safe.

Brad, blame, as in a synonym for criticize...nothing more, nothing less, as in "Bush is being criticized by some for his policies".

The heart of my criticism is not about the health care issue, deficits, tax reductions, or tax increases. My criticism is about a lack of transparancy, a lack clarity, by Kerry.

Kerry is trying to have it both ways, in my view...denouncing Bush's policies and yet at the same time not honestly saying how he would do things any differently. He either has to raise taxes or he has to pass along a huge deficit to future generations, or he has to not implement the health care plan he envisions. He's denying that he will raise taxes, (I didn't read between the lines [and should people have to?] as you did...preventive care = increasing the already rediculously high taxes on alcohol and cigarettes...I still doubt that would raise enough to close the gap), so either he will have to do the same thing for which Bush is being criticized (passing along a huge deficit), or he will not be able to implement his health care plan. So I don't see how he can be considered as a viable alternative to Bush, for those who are seeking an alternative on these issues.

As I said before, how terrorism is going to be dealt with is the primary issue for me this election. From what I've heard from Kerry, I don't trust him on the issue.  
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


52 posted 09-26-2004 03:11 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

In deference to the thread's author I'm going to avoid out of scope aspects of the campaigns that deal with issues not related directly to the Iraq war or the war with Al Quada and other Islamist Terrorists.

A few Facts and Analysis:

The Bush administration all but ignored Richard Clark's plans to deal with striking at Al Quada before 9/11 and was focused on Saddam Hussein and SDI from the time of incept.

Analysis: Incompetence on terror.  

The administration stutter-stepped on warnings issued to the Taliban by the Clinton administration because they didn't pay attention to the briefings during the transition period.

Analysis: Incompetence on terror.

For 9 months after 9/11 the Bush administration fought against the creation of the Homeland Security Department.  It is still under-funded and resides in a postage stamp-sized building.  Tom Ridge is quitting.

Analysis: Incompetence on terror.

The Bush administration opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission.

Analysis: Incompetence on terror.  If you were the CEO of a major corporation and something went as badly wrong as 9/11 -- wouldn't the first thing you'd do be to send a crack team to find out how it happened and fix the problem so it doesn't happen again?

The Bush administration orchestrated the effective removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

Analysis: Competence on Terror -- with a caveat -- it was a conventional war between State-Based governments that the USA is hegemonic in competency anyway.

The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to show they had WMD's where there were none and issued the rationalization of imminent threat to justify immediate action.

The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to link Saddam Hussein to Osama Bin Laden (who are natural enemies since Saddam is a secularist Sunni) while missing the real 9/11 trail through Iran and suppressing the evidence of the trail through Saudi Arabia.

The Bush administration declared mission accomplished in Iraq when it wasn't.

The Bush administration failed to provide even enough security to prevent massive looting.

The Bush administration failed for a year to install Iraqi-based governance, provide jobs for the Iraqi people, instead giving jobs to US and other coalition contractors (who's employees are losing their heads over it.)

The Bush administration succeeded in capturing Saddam Hussein.

Analysis:  Catastrophic successful incompetence on terror.


John Kerry sponsored a bill before 9/11 that would intercept money laundering of terrorists which was copied nearly verbatim and plugged into the Patriot act.  Assistant Treasury Secretary Juan Zarate said of it: "The USA PATRIOT Act and the power of Section 311 represent some of the key resources in Treasury’s arsenal to protect the U.S. financial system and combat terrorist financing and financial crimes."

Analysis: Competence on terror.

John Kerry's proposal is:

secure nuclear weapons and materials worldwide
increase the active forces by 40,000 troops
re-deploy the National Guard to meet Homeland Security needs
double the Special Forces capability
add a Special Ops Helicopter Squadron to the Air-Force
500 more PSYOP group active duty members
a Military Family Bill of Rights
Modernize the military to fight the digital war
rebuild our alliances around the globe
100% immediate implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations
Secure the borders and shores
Harden vulnerable targets
Keep 100,000 cops on the job that Bush let go
Protect our civil liberties while doing it all -- since giving them up for security is after all -- losing what we're fighting for to begin with.

Analysis: Competence on terror

You can say that he keeps changing position -- but he doesn't -- this speech from February is clearly identical to what he's putting up on the stump now
http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2004_0227.html

If there is a perception that Kerry is equivocating -- might that be the 'liberal' media focusing on sound bites that make it seem that way?  How many times did they play the Dean scream?  The 'I was for it before I was against it' clip?  The 'shove it' clip.  

The liberal media that's owned by General Electric, Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdock... ???

Kerry's problem is one that's always faced by a Senator -- he's a Senator.  The Senate is the body of compromise and sagacious speech.  It is a mode he will have to disengage from as a candidate and a Commander In Chief.

(Stay safe Deer... )


Denise
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53 posted 09-26-2004 11:08 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm short of time at the moment, but these particular lines stood out:

quote:
The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to show they had WMD's where there were none and issued the rationalization of imminent threat to justify immediate action.


quote:
The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to show they had WMD's where there were none and issued the rationalization of imminent threat to justify immediate action.

The facts are that the entire world thought Iraq had WMDs. It was nothing that the Bush administration had to cook the books about, and Bush did not present a rationalization of imminent threat. He said we could not afford to wait until the threat was imminent.

And this:

quote:
The administration stutter-stepped on warnings issued to the Taliban by the Clinton administration because they didn't pay attention to the briefings during the transition period.


If true, which I doubt highly, perhaps they were distracted by having to rewire all the phone lines and computer lines that were sabatoged by the outgoing administration?


If the rest of your 'facts' are as blatantly biased as these, they won't hold up under scrutiny.

And as to that that 9/11 Report that you previously mentioned: Kerry "accepted" its findings and called on Bush to immediately implement all of them before even reading it (unless he can read faster than Evelyn Wood), while Bush on the other hand preferred to read it and study it first before calling for its implementation.

Ah, yes the media. And who owns Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, I wonder? Viacom certainly doesn't share their view on who the next President should be.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


54 posted 09-26-2004 06:22 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I just don't understand what bias has to do with most of this:

quote:
A few Facts and Analysis:

The Bush administration all but ignored Richard Clark's plans to deal with striking at Al Quada before 9/11 and was focused on Saddam Hussein and SDI from the time of incept.

  
This is what Richard Clark says.

quote:
The administration stutter-stepped on warnings issued to the Taliban by the Clinton administration because they didn't pay attention to the briefings during the transition period.


Remember the Taliban, even as they destroyed and were destroying valuable Buddhist landmarks, the Bush administration gave them aid for destroying poppy fields as well.

quote:
For 9 months after 9/11 the Bush administration fought against the creation of the Homeland Security Department.  It is still under-funded and resides in a postage stamp-sized building.  Tom Ridge is quitting.


This can be checked.

quote:
The Bush administration opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission.


This can be checked.

quote:
The Bush administration orchestrated the effective removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.


Why did we go to war in Afghanistan? We wanted Bin Laden or have you forgotten the ultimatum? Did this happen?

quote:
The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to show they had WMD's where there were none and issued the rationalization of imminent threat to justify immediate action.


Fine. Everybody thought they had WMD's. The Bush administration followed everybody else -- and was wrong. Or, the Bush administration took the lead on this issue -- and was wrong. Imminent versus potential (again?)? Getting rid of Hussein was a good idea. Why then? The argument for potential threat gives you know explanation for the timing.  

quote:
The Bush administration cooked the books on Iraq intel to link Saddam Hussein to Osama Bin Laden (who are natural enemies since Saddam is a secularist Sunni) while missing the real 9/11 trail through Iran and suppressing the evidence of the trail through Saudi Arabia.


True or false?

quote:
The Bush administration declared mission accomplished in Iraq when it wasn't.


True or false?

quote:
The Bush administration failed to provide even enough security to prevent massive looting.


True or false?

quote:
The Bush administration failed for a year to install Iraqi-based governance, provide jobs for the Iraqi people, instead giving jobs to US and other coalition contractors (who's employees are losing their heads over it.)


True or false?

quote:
The Bush administration succeeded in capturing Saddam Hussein.


True.  But in the war on Terror, why is Hussein more important than bin Laden?

If Terrorists are what you are worried about, Kerry has proven both substantive and determined. Bush has proven that he is both incompetent and corrupt.


Denise
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55 posted 09-26-2004 09:11 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Being wrong on WMDs (if that is the case...I still believe that some of what they did have was shipped to Syria just prior to and during the beginning phases of the war...and some were found along with evidence of chemical weapsons manufacturing capabilities) is entirely different than "cooking the books" or deliberately deceiving people about it.

As for Richard Clarke's testimony, it's a case of "he said, she said". Some believe Richard Clarke's version, some believe Condoleeza Rice's version.

Saddam is not more important than bin Laden. We just haven't gotten him yet. We will. The war on terror, from the beginning, was clearly described as a war that would be on many fronts, that we were fighting an enemy with no national boundaries.

It takes time to stabilize and install a new government (and the pre-determined time table was met) and to rebuild the necessary infrastructures, and jobs were being provided to the Iraqi people as soon as it became feasible. I think the outside contractors were brought in because of the desire to get things back up and running as quickly as possible. It probably would have taken more time to ascertain the skill level for what was needed for particular jobs from the scattered and war-torn locals (and not being sure of who or who wasn't sympathetic to Saddam and the possiblity of sabbotage)than by bringing in proven outside contractors until things stabilized.

As for the timing, maybe deposing Saddam and stabilizing Iraq is a pre-requisite for positioning ourselves to deal with Iran. And as far as I know, Saudi Arabia is still cooperating with us in the war on terror. If they stop, then I guess we'll have to deal with them at that time.

Bush hasn't proven imcompetent to me. There  has never been a war fought where all of the decisions made were always the right decisions in hindsight. Tactical readjustments are part and parcel of war, I would think. You never know what you are going to run into from one moment to the next. Monday-morning-quarterbacking is easy.

I think one of our biggest handicaps in this war is that we value innocent life, the main reason for the pull-back from Fallujah. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If too many civilians are killed, we're blood thirsty heartless killers; if we pull back and use caution, the enemy fortifies its position and we're incompetent.  

And Kerry still hasn't proven anything to me, other than that he is a great Monday-morning-quarterback, and he hasn't gained my trust.


Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


56 posted 09-26-2004 11:15 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

All excerpts from the 9/11 Commission Final Report

By 2001 the government still needed a decision at the highest level as to
whether al Qaeda was or was not “a first order threat,” Richard Clarke wrote
in his first memo to Condoleezza Rice on January 25, 2001. In his blistering
protest about foot-dragging in the Pentagon and at the CIA, sent to Rice just
a week before 9/11, he repeated that the “real question” for the principals was
“are we serious about dealing with the al Qida threat? . . . Is al Qida a big deal?”

One school of thought, Clarke wrote in this September 4 note, implicitly
argued that the terrorist network was a nuisance that killed a score of Ameri-
cans every 18–24 months.If that view was credited, then current policies might
be proportionate. Another school saw al Qaeda as the “point of the spear of
radical Islam.” But no one forced the argument into the open by calling for a
national estimate or a broader discussion of the threat. The issue was never
joined as a collective debate by the U.S. government, including the Congress,
before 9/11.

We return to the issue of proportion—and imagination. Even Clarke’s note
challenging Rice to imagine the day after an attack posits a strike that kills
“hundreds” of Americans. He did not write “thousands.”

Ch 11 pp 343, 344

Clarke had been concerned about the danger posed by aircraft since at least
the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. There he had tried to create an air defense plan
using assets from the Treasury Department, after the Defense Department
declined to contribute resources.The Secret Service continued to work on the
problem of airborne threats to the Washington region. In 1998, Clarke chaired
an exercise designed to highlight the inadequacy of the solution. This paper
exercise involved a scenario in which a group of terrorists commandeered a
Learjet on the ground in Atlanta, loaded it with explosives, and flew it toward
a target in Washington, D.C. Clarke asked officials from the Pentagon, Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), and Secret Service what they could do about
the situation. Officials from the Pentagon said they could scramble aircraft from
Langley Air Force Base, but they would need to go to the President for rules
of engagement, and there was no mechanism to do so.There was no clear res-olution
of the problem at the exercise.

In late 1999, a great deal of discussion took place in the media about the
crash off the coast of Massachusetts of EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767.The
most plausible explanation that emerged was that one of the pilots had gone
berserk, seized the controls, and flown the aircraft into the sea. After the
1999–2000 millennium alerts, when the nation had relaxed, Clarke held a
meeting of his Counterterrorism Security Group devoted largely to the pos-sibility
of a possible airplane hijacking by al Qaeda.

In his testimony, Clarke commented that he thought that warning about the
possibility of a suicide hijacking would have been just one more speculative
theory among many, hard to spot since the volume of warnings of “al Qaeda
threats and other terrorist threats, was in the tens of thousands—probably hun-dreds
of thousands.”
18
Yet the possibility was imaginable, and imagined. In early
August 1999, the FAA’s Civil Aviation Security intelligence office summarized
the Bin Ladin hijacking threat. After a solid recitation of all the information
available on this topic, the paper identified a few principal scenarios, one of
which was a “suicide hijacking operation.”

Ch 11 pg 345

In chapte rs 3 and 4 we described how the U.S.government adjusted its
existing agencies and capacities to address the emerging threat from Usama Bin
Ladin and his associates.After the August 1998 bombings of the American
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,President Bill Clinton and his chief aides
explored ways of getting Bin Ladin expelled from Afghanistan or possibly cap=
turing or even killing him.Although disruption efforts around the world had
achieved some successes,the core of Bin Ladin ’s organization remained intact.

President Clinton was deeply concerned about Bin Ladin.He and his
national security advisor,Samuel “Sandy ”Berger,ensured they had a special
daily pipeline of reports feeding them the latest updates on Bin Ladin ’s
reported location.1 In public,President Clinton spoke repeatedly about the
threat of terrorism,referring to terrorist training camps but saying little about
Bin Ladin and nothing about al Qaeda.He explained to us that this was delib=
erate —intended to avoid enhancing Bin Ladin ’s stature by giving him unnec=
essary publicity.His speeches focused especially on the danger of nonstate actors
and of chemical and biological weapons.2

As the millennium approached,the most publicized worries were not
about terrorism but about computer breakdowns —theY2K scare.Some gov=
ernment officials were concerned that terrorists would take advantage of such
breakdowns.3

Ch 6 pg 174

On December 4,as news came in about the discoveries in Jordan,National
Security Council (NSC)Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke
wrote Berger,“If George ’s [Tenet ’s ] story about a planned series of UBL attacks
at the Millennium is true,we will need to make some decisions NOW.”He
told us he held several conversations with President Clinton during the crisis.
He suggested threatening reprisals against the Taliban in Afghanistan in the
event of any attacks on U.S.interests,anywhere,by Bin Ladin.He further
proposed to Berger that a strike be made during the last week of 1999 against
al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan —a proposal not adopted.11

Warned by the CIA that the disrupted Jordanian plot was probably part of
a larger series of attacks intended for the millennium,some possibly involving
chemical weapons,the Principals Committee met on the night of Decem=
ber 8 and decided to task Clarke ’s Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG)to
develop plans to deter and disrupt al Qaeda plots.12

Michael Sheehan,the State Department member of the CSG,communi=
cated warnings to the Taliban that they would be held responsible for future
al Qaeda attacks.“Mike was not diplomatic,”Clarke reported to Berger.

Ch 6 pg 176

Clarke ’s staff warned,“Foreign terrorist sleeper cells are present in the US and attacks
in the US are likely .”34 Clarke asked Berger to try to make sure that the domes-
tic agencies remained alert.“Is there a threat to civilian aircraft?”he wrote.Clarke
also asked the principals in late December to discuss a foreign security service
report about a Bin Ladin plan to put bombs on transatlantic flights.35
Ch 6 pg 179

After the millennium alert,elements of the U.S.government reviewed their
performance.The CIA ’s leadership was told that while a number of plots had
been disrupted,the millennium might be only the “kick-off ”for a period of
extended attacks.55 Clarke wrote Berger on January 11,2000,that the CIA,the
FBI,Justice,and the NSC staff had come to two main conclusions.First,U.S.
disruption efforts thus far had “not put too much of a dent ”in Bin Ladin ’s net-
work.If the United States wanted to “roll back ”the threat,disruption would
have to proceed at “a markedly different tempo.”Second,“sleeper cells ”and “a
variety of terrorist groups ”had turned up at home.56 As one of Clarke ’s staff
noted,only a “chance discovery ”by U.S.Customs had prevented a possible
attack.57 Berger gave his approval for the NSC staff to commence an “after-
action review,”anticipating new budget requests.He also asked DCI Tenet to
review the CIA ’s counterterrorism strategy and come up with a plan for “where
we go from here.”58

The NSC staff advised Berger that the United States had only been “nib=
bling at the edges ”of Bin Ladin ’s network and that more terror attacks were a
question not of “if ”but rather of “when ”and “where.”59 The Principals Com=
mittee met on March 10,2000,to review possible new moves.The principals
ended up agreeing that the government should take three major steps.First,
more money should go to the CIA to accelerate its efforts to “seriously attrit ”
al Qaeda.Second,there should be a crackdown on foreign terrorist organiza=
tions in the United States.Third,immigration law enforcement should be
strengthened,and the INS should tighten controls on the Canadian border
(including stepping up U.S.-Canada cooperation).The principals endorsed the
proposed programs;some,like expanding the number of Joint Terrorism Task
Forces,moved forward,and others,like creating a centralized translation unit
for domestic intelligence intercepts in Arabic and other languages,did not.60

Ch 6 pg 182

In early March 2000,when President Clinton received an update on U.S.covert
action efforts against Bin Ladin,he wrote in the memo ’s margin that the United
States could surely do better.Military officers in the Joint Staff told us that they
shared this sense of frustration.Clarke used the President ’s comment to push
the CSG to brainstorm new ideas,including aid to the Northern Alliance.

In 2000,plans continued to be developed for potential military operations
in Afghanistan.Navy vessels that could launch missiles into Afghanistan were
still on call in the north Arabian Sea.106 In the summer,the military refined its
list of strikes and Special Operations possibilities to a set of 13 options within
the Operation Infinite Resolve plan.107 Yet planning efforts continued to be
limited by the same operational and policy concerns encountered in 1998 and
1999.Although the intelligence community sometimes knew where Bin Ladin
was,it had been unable to provide intelligence considered sufficiently reliable
to launch a strike.Above all,the United States did not have American eyes on
the target.As one military officer put it,we had our hand on the door,but we
couldn ’t open the door and walk in.108

Ch 6 pp 187, 188

The CIA noted that theYemenis claimed that Khallad helped direct the operation [attack on USS Cole] from Afghanistan or Pakistan,possibly as Bin Ladin ’s intermediary,but that it had
not seen the Yemeni evidence.However,the CIA knew from both human
sources and signals intelligence that Khallad was tied to al Qaeda.The prepared
briefing concluded that while some reporting about al Qaeda ’s role might have
merit,those reports offered few specifics.Intelligence gave some ambiguous
indicators of al Qaeda direction of the attack.145

This,President Clinton and Berger told us,was not the conclusion they
needed in order to go to war or deliver an ultimatum to the Taliban threaten=
ing war.The election and change of power was not the issue,President Clin=
ton added.There was enough time.If the agencies had given him a definitive
answer,he said,he would have sought a UN Security Council ultimatum and
given the Taliban one,two,or three days before taking further action against
both al Qaeda and the Taliban.But he did not think it would be responsible
for a president to launch an invasion of another country just based on a “pre=
liminary judgment.”146

Other advisers have echoed this concern.Some of Secretary Albright ’s
advisers warned her at the time to be sure the evidence conclusively linked Bin
Ladin to the Cole before considering any response,especially a military one,
because such action might inflame the Islamic world and increase support for
the Taliban.Defense Secretary Cohen told us it would not have been prudent
to risk killing civilians based only on an assumption that al Qaeda was respon=
sible.General Shelton added that there was an outstanding question as to who
was responsible and what the targets were.147

Ch 6 pg 195

As the Clinton administration drew to a close,Clarke and his staff devel=
oped a policy paper of their own,the first such comprehensive effort since the
Delenda plan of 1998.The resulting paper,entitled “Strategy for Eliminating
the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al Qida:Status and Prospects,”
reviewed the threat and the record to date,incorporated the CIA ’s new ideas
from the Blue Sky memo,and posed several near-term policy options.

Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to “roll back ”al Qaeda over a period
of three to five years.Over time,the policy should try to weaken and elimi=
nate the network ’s infrastructure in order to reduce it to a “rump group ”like
other formerly feared but now largely defunct terrorist organizations of the
1980s.“Continued anti-al Qida operations at the current level will prevent
some attacks,”Clarke ’s office wrote,“but will not seriously attrit their ability
to plan and conduct attacks.”The paper backed covert aid to the Northern
Alliance,covert aid to Uzbekistan,and renewed Predator flights in March
2001.A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command-and-
control targets and infrastructure andTaliban military and command assets.The
paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the
United States.155

Ch 6 pg 197

In December,Bush met with Clinton for a two-hour,one-on-one discus=
sion of national security and foreign policy challenges.Clinton recalled saying
to Bush,“I think you will find that by far your biggest threat is Bin Ladin and
the al Qaeda.”Clinton told us that he also said,“One of the great regrets of my
presidency is that I didn ’t get him [Bin Ladin ] for you,,because I tried to.”159
Bush told the Commission that he felt sure President Clinton had mentioned
terrorism,but did not remember much being said about al Qaeda.Bush recalled
that Clinton had emphasized other issues such as North Korea and the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process.160

In early January,Clarke briefed Rice on terrorism.He gave similar presen=
tations —describing al Qaeda as both an adaptable global network of jihadist
organizations and a lethal core terrorist organization —toVice President –elect
Cheney,Hadley,and Secretary of State –designate Powell.One line in the brief=
ing slides said that al Qaeda had sleeper cells in more than 40 countries,includ=
ing the United States.161 Berger told us that he made a point of dropping in
on Clarke ’s briefing of Rice to emphasize the importance of the issue.Later
the same day,Berger met with Rice.He says that he told her the Bush admin=
istration would spend more time on terrorism in general and al Qaeda in par=
ticular than on anything else.Rice ’s recollection was that Berger told her she
would be surprised at how much more time she was going to spend on ter=
rorism than she expected,but that the bulk of their conversation dealt with the
faltering Middle East peace process and North Korea.Clarke said that the new
team,having been out of government for eight years,had a steep learning curve
to understand al Qaeda and the new transnational terrorist threat.162

Ch 6 pg 199

Directive 62 of the Clinton administration had said specifically that
Clarke ’s Counterterrorism Security Group should report through the Deputies
Committee or,at Berger ’s discretion,directly to the principals.Berger had in
practice allowed Clarke ’s group to function as a parallel deputies committee,
reporting directly to those members of the Principals Committee who sat on
the special Small Group.There,Clarke himself sat as a de facto principal.

Rice decided to change the special structure that had been built to coordi=
nate counterterrorism policy.It was important to sound policymaking,she felt,
that Clarke ’s interagency committee —like all others —report to the principals
through the deputies.167

Rice made an initial decision to hold over both Clarke and his entire coun=
terterrorism staff,a decision that she called rare for a new administration.She
decided also that Clarke should retain the title of national counterterrorism
coordinator,although he would no longer be a de facto member of the Prin=
cipals Committee on his issues.The decision to keep Clarke,Rice said,was “not
uncontroversial,”since he was known as someone who “broke china,”but she
and Hadley wanted an experienced crisis manager.No one else from Berger ’s
staff had Clarke ’s detailed knowledge of the levers of government.168

Within the first few days after Bush ’s inauguration,Clarke approached Rice in
an effort to get her —and the new President —to give terrorism very high pri=
ority and to act on the agenda that he had pushed during the last few months
of the previous administration.After Rice requested that all senior staff iden=
tify desirable major policy reviews or initiatives,Clarke submitted an elaborate
memorandum on January 25,2001.He attached to it his 1998 Delenda Plan
and the December 2000 strategy paper.“We urgently need ...a Principals level
review on the al Qida network,”Clarke wrote.172

He wanted the Principals Committee to decide whether al Qaeda was “a
first order threat ”or a more modest worry being overblown by “chicken lit=
tle ”alarmists.Alluding to the transition briefing that he had prepared for Rice,
Clarke wrote that al Qaeda “is not some narrow,little terrorist issue that needs
to be included in broader regional policy.”Two key decisions that had been
deferred,he noted,concerned covert aid to keep the Northern Alliance alive
when fighting began again in Afghanistan in the spring,and covert aid to the
Uzbeks.Clarke also suggested that decisions should be made soon on messages
to the Taliban and Pakistan over the al Qaeda sanctuary in Afghanistan,on pos=
sible new money for CIA operations,and on “when and how ...to respond
to the attack on the USS Cole.”173

The national security advisor did not respond directly to Clarke ’s memo=
randum.No Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda was held until Sep=
tember 4,2001 (although the Principals Committee met frequently on other
subjects,such as the Middle East peace process,Russia,and the Persian
Gulf ).174 But Rice and Hadley began to address the issues Clarke had listed.
What to do or say about the Cole had been an obvious question since inaugu=
ration day.When the attack occurred,25 days before the election,candidate
Bush had said to CNN,“I hope that we can gather enough intelligence to fig=
ure out who did the act and take the necessary action.There must be a conse=
quence.”175 Since the Clinton administration had not responded militarily,
what was the Bush administration to do?

On January 25,Tenet briefed the President on the Cole investigation.The writ-
ten briefing repeated for top officials of the new administration what the CIA
had told the ClintonWhite House in November.This included the “preliminary
judgment ”that al Qaeda was responsible,with the caveat that no evidence had
yet been found that Bin Ladin himself ordered the attack.Tenet told us he had
no recollection of a conversation with the President about this briefing.176

In his January 25 memo,Clarke had advised Rice that the government
should respond to the Cole attack,but “should take advantage of the policy that
‘we will respond at a time,place and manner of our own choosing ’and not be
forced into knee-jerk responses.”177 BeforeVice President Cheney visited the
CIA in mid-February,Clarke sent him a memo —outside the usual White
House document-management system —suggesting that he ask CIA officials
“what additional information is needed before CIA can definitively conclude
that al-Qida was responsible ”for the Cole .178 In March 2001,the CIA ’s brief=
ing slides for Rice were still describing the CIA ’s “preliminary judgment ”that
a “strong circumstantial case ”could be made against al Qaeda but noting that
the CIA continued to lack “conclusive information on external command and
control ”of the attack.179 Clarke and his aides continued to provide Rice and
Hadley with evidence reinforcing the case against al Qaeda and urging action.180

The President explained to us that he had been concerned lest an ineffec=
tual air strike just serve to give Bin Ladin a propaganda advantage.He said he
had not been told about Clinton administration warnings to the Taliban.The
President told us that he had concluded that the United States must use ground
forces for a job like this.181

Rice told us that there was never a formal,recorded decision not to retali=
ate specifically for the Cole attack.Exchanges with the President,between the
President and Tenet,and between herself and Powell and Rumsfeld had pro=
duced a consensus that “tit-for-tat ”responses were likely to be counterproduc=
tive.This had been the case,she thought,with the cruise missile strikes of
August 1998.The new team at the Pentagon did not push for action.On the
contrary,Rumsfeld thought that too much time had passed and his deputy,Paul
Wolfowitz,thought that the Cole attack was “stale.”Hadley said that in the end,
the administration ’s real response to the Cole would be a new,more aggressive
strategy against al Qaeda.182

Ch 6 pp 200 - 202

Clarke would later express irritation about the deputies ’insistence that a
strategy for coping with al Qaeda be framed within the context of a regional
policy.He doubted that the benefits would compensate for the time lost.The
administration had in fact proceeded with Principals Committee meetings on
topics including Iraq and Sudan without prior contextual review,and Clarke
favored moving ahead similarly with a narrow counterterrorism agenda.189 But
the President ’s senior advisers saw the al Qaeda problem as part of a puzzle that
could not be assembled without filling in the pieces for Afghanistan and Pak=
istan.Rice deferred a Principals Committee meeting on al Qaeda until the
deputies had developed a new policy for their consideration.

The Bush administration in its first months faced many problems other than
terrorism.They included the collapse of the Middle East peace process and,in
April,a crisis over a U.S.“spy plane ”brought down in Chinese territory.The
new administration also focused heavily on Russia,a new nuclear strategy that
allowed missile defenses,Europe,Mexico,and the Persian Gulf.

Ch 6 pg 203

Clarke and Black were asked to develop a range of options for attacking Bin Ladin ’s
organization,from the least to most ambitious.199 [which Clarke had given to Rice
already]

Rice and Hadley asked Clarke and his staff to draw up the new presiden=
tial directive.On June 7,Hadley circulated the first draft,describing it as “an
admittedly ambitious ”program for confronting al Qaeda.200 The draft
NSPD ’s goal was to “eliminate the al Qida network of terrorist groups as a
threat to the United States and to friendly governments.”It called for a multi-
year effort involving diplomacy,covert action,economic measures,law
enforcement,public diplomacy,and if necessary military efforts.The State
Department was to work with other governments to end all al Qaeda sanctu=
aries,and also to work with the Treasury Department to disrupt terrorist
financing.The CIA was to develop an expanded covert action program includ=
ing significant additional funding and aid to anti-Taliban groups.The draft also
tasked OMB with ensuring that sufficient funds to support this program were
found in U.S.budgets from fiscal years 2002 to 2006.201

Rice viewed this draft directive as the embodiment of a comprehensive new
strategy employing all instruments of national power to eliminate the al Qaeda
threat.Clarke,however,regarded the new draft as essentially similar to the pro=
posal he had developed in December 2000 and put forward to the new admin=
istration in January 2001.202 In May or June,Clarke asked to be moved from
his counterterrorism portfolio to a new set of responsibilities for cybersecu=
rity.He told us that he was frustrated with his role and with an administration
that he considered not “serious about al Qaeda.”203 If Clarke was frustrated,he
never expressed it to her,Rice told us.204

The new administration had already begun exploring possible
diplomatic options,retracing many of the paths traveled by its predecessors.U.S.
envoys again pressed the Taliban to turn Bin Ladin “over to a country where
he could face justice ”and repeated,yet again,the warning that the Taliban
would be held responsible for any al Qaeda attacks on U.S.interests.205 The
Taliban ’s representatives repeated their old arguments.Deputy Secretary of
State Richard Armitage told us that while U.S.diplomats were becoming more
active on Afghanistan through the spring and summer of 2001,“it would be
wrong for anyone to characterize this as a dramatic shift from the previous
administration.”206

In deputies meetings at the end of June,Tenet was tasked to assess the prospects
for Taliban cooperation with the United States on al Qaeda.The NSC staff was
tasked to flesh out options for dealing with the Taliban.Revisiting these issues
tried the patience of some of the officials who felt they had already been down
these roads and who found the NSC ’s procedures slow.“We weren ’t going fast
enough,”Armitage told us.Clarke kept arguing that moves against the Taliban
and al Qaeda should not have to wait months for a larger review of U.S.pol-
icy in South Asia.“For the government,”Hadley said to us,“we moved it along
as fast as we could move it along.”207

As all hope in moving the Taliban faded,debate revived about giving covert
assistance to the regime ’s opponents.Clarke and the CIA ’s Cofer Black
renewed the push to aid the Northern Alliance.Clarke suggested starting with
modest aid,just enough to keep the Northern Alliance in the fight and tie
down al Qaeda terrorists,without aiming to overthrow the Taliban.
----
Arguments in the summer brought to the surface the more fundamental
issue of whether the U.S.covert action program should seek to overthrow the
regime,intervening decisively in the civil war in order to change Afghanistan ’s
government.By the end of a deputies meeting on September 10,officials for=
mally agreed on a three-phase strategy.First an envoy would give the Taliban a
last chance.If this failed,continuing diplomatic pressure would be combined
with the planned covert action program encouraging anti-Taliban Afghans of
all major ethnic groups to stalemate the Taliban in the civil war and attack al
Qaeda bases,while the United States developed an international coalition to
undermine the regime.In phase three,if the Taliban ’s policy still did not change,
the deputies agreed that the United States would try covert action to topple
the Taliban ’s leadership from within.212

Ch 6 pp 204, 206
Local Rebel
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57 posted 09-27-2004 12:25 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

From the notoriously conservative Washington Times September 3, 2003: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030903-120317-9393r.htm

quote:

A secret report for the Joint Chiefs of Staff lays the blame for setbacks in Iraq on a flawed and rushed war-planning process that "limited the focus" for preparing for post-Saddam Hussein operations.
---
The report also shows that President Bush approved the overall war strategy for Iraq in August last year. That was eight months before the first bomb was dropped and six months before he asked the U.N. Security Council for a war mandate that he never received.

Senior U.S. officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, conceded in recent weeks that the Bush administration failed to predict the guerrilla war against American troops in Iraq. Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters have killed more than 60 soldiers since May 1, mostly with roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.
---
On the weapons search — the prime reason Mr. Bush cited for going to war — the Joint Chiefs report states: "Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) elimination and exploitation planning efforts did not occur early enough in the process to allow CentCom to effectively execute the mission. The extent of the planning required was underestimated. Insufficient U.S. government assets existed to accomplish the mission."
    The initial search by military teams found no weapons at sites identified by the CIA and other intelligence agencies before the war. The Pentagon then replaced those teams with an overarching "Iraq Survey Group," which received additional expert personnel and new intelligence assets. Former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay is leading the search for weapons of mass destruction.
[which he has since reported were never there 'we were almost all wrong' Kay Testimony 1/28/04]
---
On planning for the post-Saddam period, the interagency process, such as between the Pentagon and State Department, "was not fully integrated prior to hostilities." Before the war, "Phase IV objectives were identified but the scope of the effort required to continually refine operational plans for defeat of Iraqi military limited the focus on Phase IV."



Quotes that would be funny if they weren't tragic;

“What is, I think, reasonably certain is the idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far from the mark.” – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 2/27/03

“The notion that it would take several hundred thousand American troops just seems outlandish.” Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, 3/4/03

The war “could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 2/7/03

“We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly... (in) weeks rather than months.” – Vice President Cheney  3/16/03

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” – President Bush, 5/1/03

“I think has been fairly significant success in terms of putting Iraq back together again…and certainly wouldn't lead me to suggest or think that the strategy is flawed or needs to be changed.” – Vice President Cheney, 9/14/03

[see above Washington Times article]

“The oil revenues of Iraq could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” – Paul Wolfowitz, [Congressional Testimony, 3/27/03]

“Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is a rather wealthy country. Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.” – White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer, 2/18/03

“Costs of any such intervention would be very small.” - Top White House Economist Glen Hubbard [CNBC, 10/4/02]

Iraq will be “ an affordable endeavor ” that “ will not require sustained aid ” and will “be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion .” – Budget Director Mitch Daniels [Forbes 4/11/03, W. Post 3/28/03, NY Times 1/2/03, respectively]

“His regime has large, unaccounted-for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons -- including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas; anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox -- and he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons.” – Don Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.” –President Bush, 1/28/03

“The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons…And according to the British government, the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes.” –President Bush, 9/26/02

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” –Vice President Cheney, 8/26/02

“[Saddam has] amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including Anthrax, botulism, toxins and possibly smallpox. He's amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas.” --Don Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

“There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more…Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.” – Colin Powell, 2/5/03

“Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled chemical weapons program after 1991… Iraq's large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new chemical weapon munitions was reduced - if not entirely destroyed - during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox, 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections.”

- Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03
---

“We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.”
-President Bush, on locating the mobile biological weapons labs, 5/29/03

“We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile biological weapons production effort…Technical limitations would prevent any of these processes from being ideally suited to these trailers.”
- Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03

---
“We know where the [WMD] are.” - Don Rumsfeld, 3/30/03

“Iraq has at least seven mobile factories for the production of biological agents - equipment mounted on trucks and rails to evade discovery.” –President Bush, 2/8/03

“Evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program…Iraq could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year.” - President Bush, 10/7/02

“[Saddam] is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time.”- VP Cheney, 3/24/02

“We believe Saddam has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” - VP Cheney, 3/16/03

“We do know that [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.”- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 9/10/02

“Iraqis were actively trying to pursue a nuclear weapons program.” - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 7/11/03

“We have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material.”
- Bush Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, 10/2/03
---

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” – President Bush State of Union Adress 1/28/03

George Tenet has stated that he tried to have that statement removed...

“I think we ought to declare [the containment policy] a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in his box.” He then said on , “[Saddam] is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors” -- Colin Powell 2/24/01

“There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.” – President Bush, 9/17/03

“You can't distinguish between al-Qaida and Saddam.” – President Bush, 9/25/02

“Iraq [is] the central front in the war on terror.” – President Bush's UN speech, 9/23/03

“There was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda.” – Vice President Cheney   http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3080244/

Vice President Cheney said on 9/14/03 “I think it's not surprising that people make that connection” between Saddam and 9/11- with no evidence to back up his claim.

“We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein ... had either direction or control of 9/11.” – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 9/16/03

There's overwhelming evidence there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government. I am very confident that there was an established relationship there." - Vice President Cheney, 1/22/04

"Sec. of State Colin Powell conceded Thursday that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no 'smoking gun' proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and terrorists of al-Qaeda.'I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection,' Powell said." [NY Times, 1/9/04]

“Three former Bush Administration officials who worked on intelligence and national security issues said the prewar evidence tying Al Qaeda was tenuous, exaggerated and often at odds with the conclusions of key intelligence agencies.” [National Journal, 8/9/03]

"We're in deep trouble in Iraq. We need more regionalization. We need more help from our allies...to say, 'Well, we just must stay the course and any of you who are questioning are just hand-wringers,' is not very responsible."
- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 9/19/04


"We made serious mistakes...allowing those sanctuaries [for insurgents] has contributed significantly to the difficulties that we're facing, which are very, very significant."
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 9/19/04

"[The administration has done a] poor job of implementing and adjusting at times [in Iraq]...we do not need to paint a rosy scenario for the American people."
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 9/19/04

"We've got to get the reconstruction money out there... $18 billion is appropriated a year ago and only $1 billion has been spent...this is incompetence in the administration."
- Sen. Richard Lugar, 9/19/04

"[Iraq is] on the path to lasting democracy and liberty"
- President George W. Bush, Aug. 5

"I think Iraq's got a real crack at becoming a successful free system. And of course, they have a great deal going for them... they're making solid progress."
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Aug. 6

"It's going well [in Iraq]."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Aug. 23

"We're moving in the right direction [in Iraq]."
- Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 24

"I'm very encouraged about [the situation in Iraq]."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Sept. 14
Craw
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58 posted 09-27-2004 04:56 AM       View Profile for Craw   Email Craw   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craw



The basic fault in the Bush/Blair decision to launch a war on Iraq is the confusion between Saddam and terrorism. Saddam was a vicious dictator but he was a secular ruler who kept islamic fundamentalism under control. We have been perfectly content to co-operate with dodgy dictators before and, in fact, we continue to do so in our diplomacy all over the world. By deposing Saddam we have created a vacuum in which Islamic Terrorism can thrive. In other words in the name of curbing terrorism we have given it a huge boost. The fatuous logic behind the decision to wage war is breathtaking and I am absolutely gobsmacked that Bush and Blair are still in power, never mind still churning ouit their feeble justifications for de-stabilising the middle east yet further.
Denise
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59 posted 09-28-2004 12:55 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The world is full of Monday-morning quarterbacks, isn't it?

And there is nothing in Kerry's "plan" on Iraq that George Bush is not already doing, with the exception of getting help from Kerry's favorite "allies". It doesn't look like Kerry will actually get that help either, at least from France who said yesterday that they are not changing their policy on involvement in Iraq. But maybe he'll have better luck with Germany, and he and Germany can solve all the problems themselves, since he doesn't think much of the help of the countries (42 countries I think it is) who have been with us all along...you know, the ones he calls the "coalition of the bribed".

And before he insinuated on national television that Prime Minister Allawi was being dishonest about conditions in Iraq, maybe Kerry should actually have gone there to ascertain the actual conditions. Otherwise how can he credibly dispute that 15 out of the 18 provinces are secure and stable enough to hold elections "tomorrow". Is it realistic to frame one's assessment on the viability of the whole of the country on the news accounts of the 2 or 3 hot spots?  

Or maybe Kerry can just visit the Afghan/Pakistan hillside (in no official capacity of course, just as a concerned citizen against war, or maybe just a chance meeting with the enemy on a second honeymoon adventure) a couple of times, meet with bin Laden and his assorted cohorts, come home and hold a news conference (again, just as a concerned citizen against war) outlining the enemy's 7 point plan for our surrender and convince us that it would be much better for people to live under the tyranny of oppressors than to live in freedom. War is such a nasty business, after all. (sounds similar to the world would be much better with Saddam still in power than the 'chaos' that we are now witnessing, doesn't it?)

But I don't think he'd be able to pull that one off a second time.

The more that I learn of his past the more I distrust him. His role with regard to Viet Nam is outrageous. I don't see how anyone can trust the security of our nation to a man with his history of collaborating with and being a mouthpiece for the enemy. I now don't only see him as not being suitable presidential material, I actually think the guy should have been thrown in jail for treason.  

The real JFK, the one who uttered these words, is probably turning over in his grave:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
Ron
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60 posted 09-28-2004 03:39 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty safety."


As amended by the Patriot Act …

Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


61 posted 09-28-2004 08:50 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Denise,

Stop trying to be Ann. It is neither entertaining nor informative. Oh wait, she's neither entertaining nor informative.

Treason's a big word. But reading worldnetdaily and the rest, the best definition I can come up with is:

You disagree with me.

I'm pretty sure I know what you're alluding too. I'm also pretty sure that the reason your alluding and not documenting is that you know you're being rhetorical, not substantive.

Hey, just like your buddy in the White House.


Denise
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62 posted 09-28-2004 10:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm not trying to be anybody, Brad, just speaking my convictions as everyone else here seems to be doing. And I didn't know the goal here was to be entertaining. My bad. I'll try to work on that. But here is some substantive information in the meantime:

quote:
April 22, 1971 -- John Kerry testifies on behalf of the VVAW before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs. He claims that American soldiers had "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan..." and that these acts were "not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." Kerry also accuses the U.S. military of "rampant" racism and of being "more guilty than any other body" of violating the Geneva Conventions, supports "Madame Binh's points" when asked to recommend a peace proposal, and states that any reprisals against the South Vietnamese after an American withdrawal would be "far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America."

http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Timeline
quote:
o The VVAW signed the People's Peace Treaty during Kerry's tenure -- the VVAW even sent a delegation to Hanoi. The document was a laundry list of North Vietnamese bargaining points, including the key concession that the United States must agree to withdraw all troops before any negotiations could take place for the return of American prisoners.

o The VVAW was at the heart of the propaganda effort that so effectively smeared American servicemen in Vietnam as murderous, drug-addled psychotics that returning veterans were cursed and spat upon in the streets. In fact, as shown in B.G. Burkett's book "Stolen Valor," Vietnam veterans are more psychologically stable and successful than their civilian counterparts.

o The VVAW was a radical and potentially violent organization that formally considered assassinating prominent supporters of the war. As reported in the New York Sun by Thomas Lipscomb, during a November 1971 meeting in Kansas City the VVAW leadership and chapter coordinators voted down a plan to murder several U.S. Senators, including John Tower, John Stennis, and Strom Thurmond. Two VVAW members who were present, Randy Barnes and Terry Du-Bose, place John Kerry at that meeting, as do the meeting minutes and FBI records. Kerry claims to have resigned from the VVAW at the meeting or shortly thereafter, but there is no evidence that he ever informed authorities about the conspiracy. Kerry continued to publicly represent the VVAW until at least April of 1972.

http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Keys
quote:
Senator Kerry may argue today that his anti-war protests did not render support to the enemy in time of war and that his activities did not violate the definition of treason given in Article III, Section 3, of the US Constitution. This exhibit paying tribute to Kerry in the War Protestors Hall of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City tells a very different story. The Vietnamese communists clearly feel that the American anti-war protestors were a very important force in undermining support in the United States for American war efforts, a force that contributed materially to ultimate communist victory in 1975.

http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=20040531140357545


quote:
Free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, and .50 caliber weapons all sound most unpleasant. Indeed to the average civilian they probably sound so horrible that they would be accepted as war crimes without question. But in reality all of these are within the Geneva Conventions and the LOAC.

The above may sound like inconsequential minutia but I find it relevant for two reasons. First of all, I am disappointed but certainly not shocked to find that a junior officer was confused concerning the above. However, to think that a commander would lead men in to battle under such ignorance is appalling. That he professed such ignorance as enlightenment before the Senate and on national television is exponentially more appalling.

Secondly, most of us were not in Vietnam. But for a few, Americans did not see the courageous or cowardly actions of Kerry. Therefore, regarding most of the accolades and accusations delivered, it becomes a question of who are we to believe. Concerning some matters we have documented facts, such as Kerry’s recorded testimony and actual military documents. The fact that Kerry is wrong concerning that of which I have first hand knowledge is sufficient to, in my mind, divest him of the benefit of doubt, and shift the burden onto him to prove that which is unknown.

http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=Genelin


quote:
Normally to side with the enemy in wartime is considered an act of treason. But it was one of the many bizarre features of the Vietnam War that Americans were able to side with the enemy with complete impunity. Demonstrators marched under Vietcong flags, organizations urged soldiers to throw down their arms and desert, and Americans even visited North Vietnam and made broadcasts from there endorsing enemy propaganda -- all without being subjected to any legal penalty or even much public censure. On the contrary, in the intellectual community the people who did these things were often treated as heroes and even patriots, while those who criticized them were excoriated and ridiculed.

-- Norman Podhoretz, "Why We Were in Vietnam"


And yeah, I'd call it treason.

Local Rebel
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63 posted 09-28-2004 10:51 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

The world is full of Monday-morning quarterbacks, isn't it?



Tacit admission (finally) that the Bush administration has fumbled.  

It's not exactly out of the playbook though -- the words are supposed to be 'the language of defeat and retreat' ad nauseum.  If this was Friday night high school football this kind of sophistry might be legitimate but there are real people dying in real time.

George Bush works for me.  It is performance review time.  Everyone who has a vote not only has the right but the obligation to evaluate the facts as best they are available.  Comparing which candidate can come up with the best zinger in a debate or make the best out-of-context attack ad aren't sufficient for this voter.

quote:

And there is nothing in Kerry's "plan" on Iraq that George Bush is not already doing



This is partially true -- but there are a couple of points to consider -- many of the things the Bush administration is doing now it is doing because the Kerry campaign has pushed them into it.  The other point is that it was Bush's 'miscalculations' that spilled the milk all over the floor to begin with.  There are only so many ways to clean it up -- the question is -- can we trust the guy that spilled it to clean it up?   (and not make another big mess along the way?)

quote:

with the exception of getting help from Kerry's favorite "allies". It doesn't look like Kerry will actually get that help either, at least from France who said yesterday that they are not changing their policy on involvement in Iraq. But maybe he'll have better luck with Germany, and he and Germany can solve all the problems themselves, since he doesn't think much of the help of the countries (42 countries I think it is) who have been with us all along...you know, the ones he calls the "coalition of the bribed".



What you, and about half of the country, just don't get is that America has gone from being leader of the free world in the eyes of our Western European Allies to being seen as a THREAT to world peace.  If you even care to understand why they feel that way try reading the history of Europe -- and start with the early Twentieth Century.

Bush has very little credibility -- a changing of the guard is about the only card we have to play in that hand.

If you want to talk about treason -- try starting with your information source Col. North -- who would, by his own testimony had he not been granted immunity in exchange for it -- been convicted of treason.  And, no, he never spent any time in prison -- his sentence for tax fraud, obstructing Congress and for lying to Congress was suspended. I just don't understand why conservatives like this guy -- he was a rank opportunist who was ready to roll on Reagan.  He in fact did -- which I still don't think was convincingly factual.  You have to assume that either Reagan was negotiating with terrorists -- in which case if North was the Boy Scout he makes himself out to be he would have taken the bullet -- or he was just out to further his own interests.

On the other hand, discussing the release of POW's is not treason.  Ask John McCain.

What I don't understand is why liberals have to make Bush out to be a devil and conservatives have to make Kerry out to be a devil.  If you don't like Kerry's ideas -- don't vote for him.  If you don't like Bush's PERFORMANCE -- don't re-hire him.
Denise
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64 posted 09-28-2004 11:59 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

There's no reason that we can't work on improving relations with Europe. Nothing wrong with that. But that doesn't mean that we will always be in agreement. And it doesn't mean that we have to acquiesce to their wishes if there is disagreement. And it doesn't automatically mean that we are wrong if France, Germany and Russia do not agree with us. And doing something to gain their favor does not necessarily make it the right thing to do.

Yes, real people are dying in real time. And because of their sacrifice, thousands are not dying any more under the regime of Saddam Hussein. And despite Kerry's attempts to equate Iraq with Viet Nam in describing it as a 'quagmire' for political gain, just as he did in the Viet Nam era, it's not.  Schools and hospitals have reopened, clean drinking water, medicine and electricity are available, the locals are being trained for police and military positions so that they can protect their own country, and free elections are just around the corner. With the exception of the terrorist insurgents, the average Iraqi citizen thinks George Bush did something right. Very, very right. And if Kerry thinks Prime Minister Allawi is 'painting a rosy picture', maybe he should visit and see for himself.    

Bush has lots of credibility with the majority of Americans. In fact that is one of his strongest suits, according to the latest polls.

Oliver North isn't running for President. If he were then his actions would warrant consideration in a comparison of candidates.

Kerry did much more than attempt the release of POWs. And he ain't no John McCain.


And a small stab at entertainment:



I know, I know, it needs work.

[This message has been edited by Denise (09-29-2004 12:01 AM).]

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


65 posted 09-29-2004 01:42 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Now those links are entertaining. The conclusion, of course, is that, not just Kerry, but anyone who protested the Vietnam war is a traitor (and a communist).

For anyone who's actually read the Daily World, the amount of concern for such a rag (even among my leftist friends, it's considered a joke), is little short of paranoid.

You've traded your allusions for other's allusions. Don't suppose you can supply evidence that Kerry supplied State secrets to the Vietnamese government?

Podhertz has simply got his history wrong. Mark Twain protested the occupation of the Philipines and he wasn't tried for treason.  

You know, it's interesting to discuss the Vietnam war precisely because so many seem to pin the problems there, not on flawed politicians, but on those that protested those flawed politicians. Why?

Why indeed do so many Americans support the Bush administration?

It's a question many of us ask ourselves over here.

We really can't fathom why except perhaps that Bush is seen as one of your own and you protect your own right or wrong.

I don't know, I keep looking at Bush's record, I keep seeing the Right wing press avoid the record (It's really a shame too, the Nation Review used to be quite interesting and innovative.)

There is really no reason that we shouldn't have a world wide integrated strategy to fight Al Quaeda and other Muslim extremist groups.

That we don't is a failure of leadership, not a sign of strength.

Denise
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since 08-22-99
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66 posted 09-29-2004 11:21 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Great way to avoid honestly discussing an issue, Brad...malign any and all sources that don't validate your view of the world.

No, no one said all protestors were traitors. There's protest and then there's crossing the line. Kerry crossed the line when he and members of the group that he was involved in met with the enemy in a time of war and became their mouthpiece in an attempt to undermine troop morale and the will of the people to win the war. They falsely portrayed the troops as savages, worse than criminals, to achieve their goals. They funded operatives like Jane Fonda to encourage troops to lay down their arms and desert their companies. They lied to the troops about our views here at home and they lied to us here at home about the conduct of the troops. They chipped away and chipped away relentlessly with their propaganda until they ripped the country in half and had the politicians running scared. And they won. They did more than protest. They orchestrated our defeat. Congress defunded the military efforts, our troops were withdrawn, and shortly afterwards Saigon fell.

Do you remember watching our last minute efforts to evacuate as many of the South Vietnamese as we could on T.V.? Floods of people trying to scramble to safety, out of the country before the onslaught that they knew was coming. We could only take a fraction. Do you remember the horror that we felt as we lifted off watching those on the ground that we had to leave behind, knowing their probable fate?

I didn't know until recently that Kerry was one of the main movers and shakers in all of this. He didn't merely protest flawed politicians. He did the bidding of the enemy at the expense of truth, at the expense of the POWs, at the expense of those who served their country honorably, and at the expense of those left behind to die at the hands of the Viet Cong.

Selling State secrets to the enemy is not the only form of treason. His actions certainly, at the very least, gave aid and comfort to the enemy, so much so that his picture hangs in that war museum in Hanoi.

And the man has the gall to run for President.

Maybe most Americans see in Bush, despite his flaws, something entirely lacking in Kerry...a basic integrity and honor. And yes, maybe most of us do see Bush as one of our own, and don't see that as a bad thing. I doubt many see Kerry that way. They probably see him more as the "internationalist" that he described himself as those many years ago, and maybe really don't trust that he would put America's best interests at the top of his list, or maybe they wonder if he would even be able to discern what is or is not in America's best interest.

Not everything can be blamed on a failure of leadership. There's nothing stopping those not already participating in the fight against terrorism from rolling up their sleeves and jumping in to help out (it's not like they haven't been asked)...other than their hatred of Bush, perhaps. Maybe they should just get over themselves. And if they can't, then maybe they should set about to produce a strategy amongst themselves, more to their liking, to fight terrorism in their own way, the way they think it should best be handled. Maybe those leaders should start showing some leadership. At least they would be doing something constructive instead of criticizing those who are already doing something about the problem. The enemy that we are facing requires as much opposition as possible.
    

  

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


67 posted 09-30-2004 01:33 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

[sigh]

Well, at least you've come out and said it.

America didn't lose Vietnam, it was bamboozled by those hippy types.

Do you know how many times this argument has been used to comfort bruised egos?

How could Vietnam have been won?

But, you see, here's the problem with your 'aid and comfort the enemy' line:

It can be used against anybody you disagree with. You're against the war, you're helping the enemy. In a certain sense, this is true, but if that's the definition of treason, then the half of that split nation you mentioned were all traitors.

Conclusion: dissent is not allowed.

This is the same problem with potential threat. You see, as long as you stay, general enough, you can use it to argue that any country, someday, will be a potential threat.  This is, again, true enough, but it's not an explanation or a justification for going to war because it can always be used.

These are some of the problems. I'm sorry if I've maligned your sources, but I really don't see a substantive discussion there. That is, I don't see any real justification for calling Kerry a traitor or for going to war with Iraq.

As far as France and Germany fighting terrorism: they are.

Nevertheless, there is no coordinated effort against Al Queda right now because Bush has no credibility as a world leader.  Right now, he seems to have simply lost touch with reality.

Can Kerry get it back? Honestly, I don't know, but I think he deserves a shot.  

Denise
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68 posted 10-01-2004 10:05 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad, I've underlined below where Kerry, in my opinion, committed treason:

There's protest and then there's crossing the line. Kerry crossed the line when he and members of the group that he was involved in met with the enemy in a time of war and became their mouthpiece in an attempt to undermine troop morale and the will of the people to win the war. They falsely portrayed the troops as savages, worse than criminals, to achieve their goals. They funded operatives like Jane Fonda to encourage troops to lay down their arms and desert their companies. They lied to the troops about our views here at home and they lied to us here at home about the conduct of the troops. They chipped away and chipped away relentlessly with their propaganda until they ripped the country in half and had the politicians running scared. And they won. They did more than protest. They orchestrated our defeat. Congress defunded the military efforts, our troops were withdrawn, and shortly afterwards Saigon fell.

Dissent is a protected right. Merely being accused of treason for using your right of dissent is something that would be a hard charge to make stick, at least in this country, because it is a clearly defined right in the Constitution.

And the fact that some could attempt to use "aid and comfort to the enemy" to define mere protest as treason does not change the fact that that is not what happened in this case.

Kerry and his group did more than protest. They met with the enemy in a time of war, in no official State capacity (such as diplomats or ambassadors), came back to America and not only advocated the enemy's 'plan', as if that weren't bad enough, but deliberately fomented unrest and dissent by lying, lying to us about troop conduct, and lying to the troops about our view of the war and of them. And those 'hippy types' were as much pawns in this scheme as we all were. Kerry and his group created, by their lies and relentless propaganda, the very reality that they wished to create, the end of the war. But at what price?

There are no guarantees that Vietnam could have been won, but you sure can't win when you give up and surrender. The shame is that we'll never know now. The shame is that people who could have had a chance to live lives out from under the oppresive domination and abusiveness of communism, aren't.

If Kerry has demonstrated his inability to discern where the line is when it comes to something so basic as loyalty to one's country, especially in a time of war, how can he be trusted to use proper judgment in leading that country in these complicated and perilous times? How can we be sure that he wouldn't advocate the 'talking points' of the terrorists, and attempt to persuade people to make concessions to them for the sake of 'peace'.

I'd like to have peace as much as the next person, and I'm not saying that Bush has done everything right, but when it comes to a leader, I think it's most important to have one that you know won't cave in to the enemy and sell you down the river for a false peace that comes at too high a price.

We can debate Iraq until the cows come home. Was it right, was it wrong, was it a diversion from the war on terror, or an integral part of the wider war on terror, not only freeing people from a brutal dictator, a terrorist himself, but also ensuring a viable staging area for positioning our forces to deal with Iran and Syria. Honest and decent people hold opposing views. But we're there now and we have to finish what we started and ensure the stabilization of the area. I trust Bush to see it through. I'm not so sure that Kerry would.

  
 
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