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Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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Southern Abstentia


100 posted 03-18-2007 03:55 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Just start with the first paragraph Denise -- here's a reprint of his NYT article that started the onslaught;

quote:

Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?

Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.

For 23 years, from 1976 to 1998, I was a career foreign service officer and ambassador. In 1990, as chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, I was the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein. (I was also a forceful advocate for his removal from Kuwait.) After Iraq, I was President George H. W. Bush's ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe; under President Bill Clinton, I helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council.

It was my experience in Africa that led me to play a small role in the effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs. Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? That's me.

In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government.
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm



Where is the lie Denise? Jack says:

quote:

Anyone who has followed the Scooter Libby trial closely knows that Patrick Fitzgerald tried the wrong man. Among other things, Wilson has lied conspicuously about who sent him to Niger, who did not send him, what he found, what he did not find, and how he reported his findings.




from the indictment;

quote:

e. Joseph Wilson ("Wilson") was a former career State Department official who had held a variety of posts, including United States Ambassador. In 2002, after an inquiry to the CIA by the Vice President concerning certain intelligence reporting, the CIA decided on its own initiative to send Wilson to the country of Niger to investigate allegations involving Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake, a processed form of uranium ore. Wilson orally reported his findings to the CIA upon his return.

f. Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson ("Valerie Wilson"). At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.

[edit] Events Leading up to July 2003
2. On or about January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union address which included sixteen words asserting that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

3. On May 6, 2003, the New York Times published a column by Nicholas Kristof which disputed the accuracy of the "sixteen words" in the State of the Union address. The column reported that, following a request from the Vice President's office for an investigation of allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger, an unnamed former ambassador was sent on a trip to Niger in 2002 to investigate the allegations. According to the column, the ambassador reported back to the CIA and State Department in early 2002 that the allegations were unequivocally wrong and based on forged documents. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/USDOJ_OSC_Federal_indictment_of_Lewis_Libby



quote:

And would it unsettle you to learn that those who disagree with your veiwpoints were not Republicans?



Why would it Denise?
Balladeer
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101 posted 03-18-2007 04:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Let's see if I've got this right, Mike. Your contention is that good Americans, duly elected to represent the majority of good Americans in their geographical area, hate one man so much they are willing to destroy the country they serve? So, basically, what you're saying is that in spite of all his promises in both elections, Bush's greatest claim to fame is that he has polarized this nation as no other President before him?

Wow...applause!! Chubby Checker only invented the twist....you have perfected it!

Sigh. Sadly, adversarial systems, such as we have in the courts and in our government, stop working when people hate each other more than they love the goals they pursue.

I agree totally, Ron, and that's exactly where we have been for several years, thanks to the Democratic leadership. That's why you don't see the hundreds of good things that are happening in Iraq. That's why soldiers are shocked when they return home to read what the papers have to say. That's why, when the economy has reached it's highest peak in many years, when unemployment is at a record low, you won't hear one Democrat (those of the "It's the economy, stupid" generation), have one good thing to say about it. Sadly, the Democrats HAVE reached that level you describe. What good has happened under a Republican administration is to be ignored and whatever they can dig up or create to cast a disfavorable stone is to be exploited. Look at the fiasco they tried to make of the Dubai port purchase. can you honestly tell me you believe they did that in good faith....or was it to stir up the populace? What about the surveillance program they got so much mileage out of? Most claimed they weren't saying anything was illegal and they weren't saying it was something they would not have approved but but but.....front page stuff. Impeach Bush!  Kick out Rice!  Boot Hastert!  Crucify Gonzales!  It goes on and on.......No, they cannot destroy the country. They only want it to look as pathetic as possible under Republican control......therefore the only thing to do is to get the Democrats in there to save the day. Would they be happy to see it wounded if it meant some kind of victory for them? In a hearbeat. Exactly what goals do the Democrats pursue that you refer to? I've seen no goals with the exception of their "Get Bush" policy. That is certainly all that is occupying their time and energy. Hillary is gung-ho on health care and the liberal press won't even remind her she was in charge of it for eight years and did nothing. Yes, I state that their ambition is much more important to them than the good of the country.

You mean, in your expectations, I've beaten Ron?  Thanks Mike!

Yes, you SHOULD feel  honored, LR. That is not an easy accomplishment.  

There has been a 'Democrat' investigation of gitmo?  I must have missed that -- could you show it to me please?

That must have been happening when you were watching tv or playing with the kids. I'll be happy to when I have more time. For your information, it lost it's steam when Kennedy went down as part of this investigation you never heard of and could find nothing to report.

  It unsettles you that someone who tries as hard as I do to be unbiased finds fault in things Republicans do.

No, to be truthful, it unsettle me when these are the only times you show up......there are three or four of you with that trait. You claim unbias but mysteriously have other things to do when threads concerning Democratic shenanigans show up. There was a thread on Hillary and her past, including the missing FBI files, travel office, stealing the silverware upon her departure from the White House, among other things....where were you? I can point out several threads involving Democrats where your input, along with the Wizard's, would have added to the discussion, but they all must have occured during your "busy" times. No problem there. No one is required to respond anywhere they don't want to........it's curious, though, that when something like Libby shows up, there you are, initiating the discussion and talking now about how hard you try to be unbiased. Your actions belie that statement, good sir. Others must have your same schedule also because those are the only times THEY show up.  Funny how that works.....   THAT is the only thing I take issue with....but that's my problem, not yours.
Local Rebel
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102 posted 03-18-2007 05:13 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well Mike -- if you're referring to the Senate Armed Services committee investigation of Gitmo; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302380.html

these all occured under Republican control of the House and Senate -- so, one of us may be confused about the 'Decomcrat investigation' and about whether or not they 'found' anything.

quote:

it's curious, though, that when something like Libby shows up, there you are, initiating the discussion and talking now about how hard you try to be unbiased. Your actions belie that statement, good sir.



Well, lets see... where is the Walter Reed Thread I started Mike?  The FBI abused the Patriot Act thread?  The Justice Department/US Attorney firing scandal thread
? The Gays in the Military/General Pace thread?  The Mark Foley thread?  Conrad Burns? Duke Cunningham?

It seems like I've missed a lot of opportunities Mike.  But, thanks again for calling me a liar.  


quote:

(hmmm...maybe that wasn't an error at all, maybe he meant subsequent coverage of it after the initial article)



Is this your own personal equivocation on Jack's behalf Denise?  

Either way -- the follow-ups were of the critical variety
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/09/iraq/main628378.shtml
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35404-2004Jul7.html

iliana
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Posts 13488
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103 posted 03-18-2007 06:07 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

quote:

The CIA can reveal that she was covert, but they can't reveal that she was covert as defined under the Identities Act? That makes no sense at all Iliana.



Libby was convicted on two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of making false statements to federal investigators. These charges were not made under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. So why, Denise, do you believe it is necessary for the CIA to divulge any more than it already has?  I think the material you must be using for your sourcing is older than the current facts to the case.  To further that presumption on my part, I refer to your belief that Armitage alone outted Plame.  If you watched the YouTube video links I posted earlier, you will see that there were charts made and used as evidence based on evidence used at Libby's trial which were used in the hearings that indicated several tiers of how the leak(s) occurred, traveled and origins...Armitage was only one of them. It is known that it was a highly coordinated effort involving many people.  What is not known is who ordered Cheney and Rove, if anyone, to let the leak out.  

[This message has been edited by iliana (03-18-2007 06:47 PM).]

Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


104 posted 03-18-2007 06:14 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

quote:
It unsettles you that someone who tries as hard as I do to be unbiased finds fault in things Republicans do.

OMG, I must have somehow missed that little winkie-smilie thingy after that statement. Man, I sure hope lightning doesn't strike in your area even.

iliana
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105 posted 03-18-2007 06:27 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Denise -- here's the chart:   http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4283
Balladeer
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106 posted 03-18-2007 08:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'd never call you a liar, LR, believe me. I said something like Libby shows up and you're there initiating a thread. I did not say that you covered every one....you DID cover Libby, which validates the point. You also did NOT respond to many dealing with Democrats, which further validates it. You may not be or consider yourself biased against the administration but, believe me, that is not the impression you give others, based on the selectivity and direction of your responses. No biggie...I was just responding to you "sensitivity' comment.

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday he intends to subpoena White House officials involved in ousting federal prosecutors and is dismissing anything short of their testimony in public.


"I want testimony under oath. I am sick and tired of getting half-truths on this," Leahy said. "I do not believe in this, we'll have a private briefing for you where we'll tell you everything, and they don't.


Ok, here we go again....
Local Rebel
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107 posted 03-18-2007 08:57 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Mike!

I'm completely biased against this administration.  It wasn't always so though was it?  Prior to the war the Bush Administration had my support -- didn't it?  Wasn't I the guy who kept saying that we don't have access to the intelligence that the administration does and that we had to give them the benefit of the doubt?  Wasn't that me on percussion when the drums of war were beating?  My bias is a learned bias.  Prior to that I hated everybody equally.

What I am completely deviod of though -- is partisan bias.  I do have opinions, but I form them as much as possible based on objective evidence -- that I share freely for everyone to review as well.

I notice that no one will answer my question though -- doesn't anyone want to give it a shot?
Denise
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108 posted 03-19-2007 08:59 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I never said it was Armitage alone, Iliana. I said Armitage was the one who 'leaked' to Novak.  But your chart is interesting. I assume that most of those people were subject to the investigation, at least, if not brought before the grand jury. Why were none of them, especially the primary 'leakers' in the CIA and State Department, without whom no subsequent
'leak' could have happend in the first place, not charged with anything if Plame were covert under the Identities Act or even given her classified status?

L.R., Jack said to google "1.77 tons" and see how woefully lacking follow-up coverage was by the MSM.

And I believe his point was that by comparing Wilson's first op-ed piece with his latest is where you will find the measure of the man.

Moral politicians?! Isn't that an oxymoron?!   

Well truth be told, I was aware of one but he was voted out this past election. A great loss to the Senate.        

iliana
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109 posted 03-19-2007 10:11 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Denise, I really don't know the answer to your question, but maybe it is because they did not commit perjury or try to obstruct justice.???  Just a thought.
iliana
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110 posted 03-19-2007 11:22 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Denise, also, I do not know the sequence of the leaks.  This chart was based on Libby's testimony in his criminal trial.  Who knows, there may be further prosecution.  Does anyone know about that yet?

Oh, and please...it is not my chart; just a reference.  
Local Rebel
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111 posted 03-20-2007 07:06 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

[quote]
L.R., Jack said to google "1.77 tons" and see how woefully lacking follow-up coverage was by the MSM.



So then he admits that he's both a liar and not a very good researcher.  

Tell him to google "iraq+uranium+radioactive+materials", assuming that he hasn't -- he might be surprised --however his opinion "woefully inadequate" is quite different from his published 'fact' -- "Not a word was heard of it from the major networks."  Of course -- if he's willing to begin his column with an entire paragraph of bald-faced lies then -- why not equivocate over the rest of it?

My guess is, that he's perfectly aware of the coverage and found that it didn't support his unique position as a conspiracy theorist (aka propagandist).

quote:

May 19, 2003 issue - From the very start, one of the top U.S. priorities in Iraq has been the search for weapons of mass destruction. Weren¡¯t WMDs supposed to be what the war was about? Even so, no one has yet produced conclusive evidence that Iraq was maintaining a nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) arsenal.

Two very suspicious trailer rigs turned up last week in Mosul. The Pentagon called them mobile bio-labs. Maybe, but although they ¡°looked like a duck and walked like a duck,¡± as one U.S. officer put it, they didn¡¯t quack. The first of the huge, truck-drawn labs, intercepted at a roadblock, had been swabbed clean. The other, discovered Friday, was stripped by looters before U.S. troops found it. So far there¡¯s a lot more belli than casus.

Looters outran the WMD hunters almost every time. ¡°Once a site has been hit with a 2,000-pound bomb, then looted, there¡¯s not a lot left,¡± says Maj. Paul Haldeman, the 101st Airborne Division¡¯s top NBC officer. In the rush to Baghdad, Coalition forces raced past most suspected WMD sites, and looters took over. After Saddam¡¯s fall, there were too few U.S. troops to secure the facilities. Roughly 900 possible WMD sites appeared on the initial target lists. So far, V Corps officers say, fewer than 150 have been searched. ¡°There aren¡¯t enough troops in the whole Army,¡± says Col. Tim Madere, the overseer of V Corps¡¯s sensitive-site teams. ¡°There just aren¡¯t enough experts to do everything.¡±

¡®THIS SITE IS OUT OF CONTROL¡¯

Some of the lapses are frightening. The well-known Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, about 12 miles south of Baghdad, had nearly two tons of partially enriched uranium, along with significant quantities of highly radioactive medical and industrial isotopes, when International Atomic Energy Agency officials made their last visit in January. By the time U.S. troops arrived in early April, armed guards were holding off looters¡ªbut the Americans only disarmed the guards, Al Tuwaitha department heads told NEWSWEEK. ¡°We told them, ¡®This site is out of control. You have to take care of it¡¯,¡± says Munther Ibrahim, Al Tuwaitha¡¯s head of plasma physics. ¡°The soldiers said, ¡®We are a small group. We cannot take control of this site¡¯.¡± As soon as the Americans left, looters broke in. The staff fled; when they returned, the containment vaults¡¯ seals had been broken, and radioactive material was everywhere.

U.S. officers say the center had already been ransacked before their troops arrived. They didn¡¯t try to stop the looting, says Colonel Madere, because ¡°there was no directive that said do not allow anyone in and out of this place.¡± Last week American troops finally went back to secure the site. Al Tuwaitha¡¯s scientists still can¡¯t fully assess the damage; some areas are too badly contaminated to inspect. ¡°I saw empty uranium-oxide barrels lying around, and children playing with them,¡± says Fadil Mohsen Abed, head of the medical-isotopes department. Stainless-steel uranium canisters had been stolen. Some were later found in local markets and in villagers¡¯ homes. ¡°We saw people using them for milking cows and carrying drinking water,¡± says Ibrahim. The looted materials could not make a nuclear bomb, but IAEA officials worry that terrorists could build plenty of dirty bombs with some of the isotopes that may have gone missing. Last week NEWSWEEK visited a total of eight sites on U.N. weapons-inspection lists. Two were guarded by U.S. troops. Armed looters were swarming through two others. Another was evidently destroyed many years ago. American forces had not yet searched the remaining three.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3068560/



quote:

BAGHDAD, 21 September 2004 (IRIN) - While the Coalition has not found any weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has lots of radioactive pollution, especially at a known nuclear research site, a new survey conducted by the Ministry of Environment shows.

Tuwaitha, some 18 km south of the capital, Baghdad, is a site of previous nuclear weapons research and experiments. It appears to have the highest ambient radiation in the country, Bushra Ali Ahmed, author of the radiation survey, told IRIN.

Residents of the area looted containers holding radioactive materials in the days immediately following the US-led invasion of Iraq in April 2003. They dumped the radioactive contents on the ground at the site and used the containers to carry water, milk and other household materials and foodstuffs.

US troops and nuclear organisation workers paid about 4,500 dinars (US $3) per container to buy them back in May. Officials at the time said they were not sure they had managed to get all of the containers back.

"This site was polluted by looting and destroying research materials," Ahmed wrote in the survey. "We found a number of containers which had traces of radiation. We also found it in houses and villages nearby."

At least four surrounding villages are contaminated, the report said. Ministry officials took 190 samples at Tuwaitha: 70 for soil, 50 for water, 50 for dairy milk and 20 for other environmental items.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=23936



quote:

Dr. Al-Bahli: "I have been working at the Nuclear Authority since 1968, when the doors opened to the use of atomic [energy] for peaceful purposes in Iraq. We activated the first atomic reactor in Iraq in 1968, and within four days we transferred radioactive isotopes to hospitals to treat various illnesses. Since then, and up to 1990, we continued this type of work which was absolutely for peaceful and humanitarian purposes..."

"As for nuclear weapons, Al-Tawitha, the main area that we will be talking about, is free of weapons of mass destruction and as far as I know, nothing was done there in this respect..."

"What happened in Iraq did not happen before anywhere else in the whole world, and I hope will never happen again; there was anarchy. After hearing that radioactive components were stolen, the employees of the Nuclear Authority started informing people that the materials that were stolen were indeed radioactive and should be returned. A person who has dirty radioactive components is in danger. How is he going to behave? He may behave in a way that would harm Iraq¡¯s ecology and even [cause harm] outside Iraq..."

"Tons of uranium known as yellow cakes were stored in barrels. This was a phase in the production of uranium from crude components. There were also other by-products from processing these materials. There were tens of tons of radioactive waste. They were stored in barrels and their radioactivity was not high as long as they were under supervision."

"When order was disrupted, simple citizens - sorry to say - did not have containers to store drinking water, so they stole those barrels, each one containing 400 kilos of radioactive uranium. Some of them dumped the powder on the ground in very large quantities, and others took the contaminated barrels to their homes, and the barrels appeared in various areas. They stored water in them, and had every intention of drinking from them or [using] the barrels to sell milk."

"I visited some homes and measured radioactivity; I saw with my own eyes in one of the homes a contaminated barrel used to store tomatoes for eating. In other barrels they stored cooking utensils and other household utensils for everyday use, not knowing that some of them were contaminated. When they realized that these components were radioactive, they dumped some of them in the river or the sewer system. We found radioactive materials in homes, in beds, and in clothing. I saw a ten-year old girl, who had a yellow cake [disc] hanging from the button of her shirt."
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3275.htm



quote:

U.S. transferred uranium from Iraq without U.N. authorization
UNITED NATIONS (AP) ¡ª The United States didn't have authorization from the U.N. nuclear watchdog when it secretly shipped from Iraq uranium and highly radioactive material that could be used in so-called "dirty bombs," U.N. officials said Wednesday.
The nearly 2 tons of low-enriched uranium and approximately 1,000 highly radioactive items transferred from Iraq to the United States last month had been placed under seal by the International Atomic Energy Agency at the sprawling Tuwaitha nuclear complex, 12 miles south of Baghdad, the officials said.

"The American authorities just informed us of their intention to remove the materials, but they never sought authorization from us," said Gustavo Zlauvinen, head of the IAEA's New York office.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham disclosed the secret airlift from Iraq on Tuesday as "a major achievement" in an attempt to "keep potentially dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists." The material was taken to an undisclosed U.S. Energy Department laboratory for further analysis.

The airlift ended on June 23, five days before the United States transferred sovereignty to Iraq's new interim government.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a letter to the Security Council circulated Wednesday that Washington informed the agency on June 19 that "due to security concerns" it intended to transfer some nuclear material stored at Tuwaitha to the United States.

The agency took note of the U.S. intention to remove the nuclear material "from agency verification," he said.

According to the letter, the United States informed the IAEA on June 30 that approximately 1.8 tons of uranium, enriched to a level of 2.6%, another 6.6 pounds of low-enriched uranium, and approximately 1,000 highly radioactive sources had been transferred on June 23.

A U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was some concern about the legality of the U.S. transfer because the nuclear material belonged to Iraq and was under the control and supervision of the IAEA.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-07-07-iraq-uranium_x.htm



quote:

What happened to looted Iraqi nuclear material?
By Brett Wagner
The release Thursday of chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay's report detailing America's six-month search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has reinflamed the debate over whether anyone will ever uncover that country's alleged stockpiles of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
A great irony, however, seems to have gotten lost in that debate: As a direct result of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq without sufficient forces to secure and protect its nuclear research and storage facilities from rampant looting, enough radioactive material to build scores of dirty bombs now is missing and may be on its way to the international black market.

It didn't have to turn out this way. In the weeks before the invasion, the U.S. military repeatedly warned the White House that its war plans did not include sufficient ground forces, air and naval operations and logistical support to guarantee a successful mission. Those warnings were discounted ¡ª even mocked ¡ª by administration officials who professed to know more about war fighting than the war fighters themselves
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-10-05-wagner_x.htm



quote:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A small team of U.N. nuclear experts returned to Baghdad to check the safety of Iraq's largest nuclear site, which was looted by villagers after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The team of scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was allowed to travel to the badly damaged Al Tuwaitha nuclear plant by the United States Friday.

But the experts' operation is limited to the nuclear site and does not include work on the search for weapons of mass destruction. The Pentagon has also limited the team to seven members and given it only two weeks to carry out its work.

Thousands of villagers raided the nuclear site, which contains low-grade or natural uranium, immediately after the fall of Saddam's regime.

Local scientists warn the site, outside Baghdad, is badly damaged, with looters having spilled radioactive material and leaving behind piles of uranium, The Associated Press said.

The uranium was concreted over to prevent leakage or further exposure to people living in the area.

Team leader Brian Rens told AP the IAEA's mission is to "determine what has been lost and any other material which is in an unsafe condition, to repack it to the extent possible, secure it, verify it and seal the building."

Villagers were able to raid the plant after it was left unguarded by U.S. troops following its abandonment by Iraqi guards in the early days of the war.

No reports have been recorded of anyone falling ill after being exposed to the material, which is highly toxic if ingested but gives off only low levels of radioactivity.

Washington tried to keep the IAEA out of post-war Iraq despite pressure from the arms-control community. But after three months on the ground, U.S. military commanders acknowledged they were unequipped to handle the nuclear site.

Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, told AP: "I know the Tuwaitha facility is larger than the assets we have in the country now to deal with it."

CNN's Jane Arraf said the materials in the plant, although radioactive, were not enough to make a bomb. But experts say it could make a "dirty bomb." The locals wanted the barrels to store water in, she added.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/06/06/iaea.iraq.tuwaitha/index.html



quote:

On the broad question of WMDs in Iraq, one need go no further than the Administration¡¯s own more recent comments. On 10/7/2004, President Bush said ¡°Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there.¡± (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/10/20041007-6.html) Bush has affirmed the findings of both the Kay and Duelfer reports that Saddam did not have an active WMD program at the time of the invasion.

As to some of the specific questions, basically, it sounds as if this guy basically read the misleading, right-wing book ¡°Disinformation¡± and sent these reports to Ford asking him to dispute them. Well, OK!

From Amazon.com Review of David Miniter¡¯s Book ¡®Disinformation¡¯: OK book, but major correction is necessary, December 14, 2005

This wasn¡¯t a bad book by any means, and parts concerning the history of Bin Laden were quite informative.

However, I was surprised Miniter mentioned that WMD¡¯s had actually been found in Iraq, and had largely gone unreported. In fact, he is quite incorrect, and is (hopefully unintentionally) being quite misleading. Since I know a bit about this, I thought I¡¯d clear this up for Mr. Miniter, and anyone reading this who would be otherwise quite misinformed.

Miniter claims that in Iraq we:

- Found: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium
- Found: 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons
- Found: Roadside bomb loaded with sarin gas
- Found: 1,000 radioactive materials¨Cideal for radioactive dirty bombs
- Found: 17 chemical warheads¨Csome containing cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin

Now for the facts:

The 1.77 Tons of Enriched Uranium
The Energy Department announced in July 2004 that it had removed from Iraq ¡°radiological and nuclear materials that could potentially be used in a radiological dispersal device or diverted to support a nuclear weapons program.¡± This included the ¡°1.77 metric tons of LOW-enriched uranium.¡± The reason the Administration is not now touting this as evidence of WMD is because they would be laughed at by anyone with more expertise than David Miniter. Low-enriched uranium cannot be used in an atomic weapon-only as reactor fuel, a purpose which Iraq was entirely free to pursue under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN-imposed WMD restrictions.

The 1000 Radioactive Materials
Pointing to the applicability of nuclear materials in a ¡°radiological dispersal device¡± is utterly disingenuous-these materials exist, legally, in nearly every country on earth. One might as well point to cutlery in someone¡¯s kitchen to ¡°prove¡± he is plotting murder. In fact, the hideous irony is that in the chaos of the 2003 invasion, nuclear facilities were plundered and much nuclear material was indiscriminately released-resulting in a real radiological hazard for local Iraqis (as we reported at the time). Leave it to Bush to actually create the very danger he uses to justify his military adventure.

The 1500 Gallons of Chemical Weapons
Then, there¡¯s the supposed ¡°chemical weapons.¡± Oops! Turns out when you actually read the original source (Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2005) it wasn¡¯t ¡°1,500 gallons of chemical weapons,¡± but just ¡°1,500 gallons of chemicals.¡± These were potential ¡°precursor agents¡± for chemical weapons, the Pentagon boasted upon the discovery-but the fact that the Administration is no longer touting these claims is evidence the supposed weapons program didn¡¯t get very far, if it existed at all.

The Roadside Sarin Bomb
The two roadside sarin shells were of an ancient vintage, dating from the 1980¡¯s, prior to the first Gulf War. It is of particular note that other than the two isolated shells found, no more have turned up, leading to the obvious conclusion that these two stragglers were simply the last rusting vestiges of a long-abandoned program. We KNOW that Saddam had a chemical program prior to the first Gulf War, but we can also safely conclude that he had nothing after the Gulf War. This was confirmed by the Bush-appointed Duelfer Report.

The 17 Chemical Warheads
Even Fox News had to admit that the cyclosarin warheads found by Polish troops in July 2004 ¡°date back to Saddam Hussein¡¯s war with Iran in the 1980s.¡± The BBC added that ¡°the US military said the agent was so deteriorated it posed no threat.¡±

I hope that Mr. Miniter corrects future editions of this book so as not to mislead his readers. I assume that his misunderstanding of these issues was merely ignorance, and not willful disinformation.

As to the assertion that ¡°vast quantities of WMDs that the coalition was ¡®expecting¡¯ to find had been moved to Syria in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom¡±, that is just an editorialist assertion given by a single Iraqi war general. Even Bush won¡¯t touch that one ¨C there¡¯s no facts to back it up, no sources, nothing.

May 2004 ¨C Roadside bomb containing sarin found in Iraq
Even the Fox News story admits that this ¡°bomb¡± (filled with gas that had been noted by a weapons search team to be ¡°ineffective¡±) pre-dated the 1991 Gulf War, therefore not lending any credence to the Administration¡¯s justification for going to war based on Saddam¡¯s supposed stockpile of WMDs. Also, two former weapons inspectors ¡ª Hans Blix and David Kay ¡ª said the shell was likely a stray weapon that had been scavenged by militants and did not signify that Iraq had large stockpiles of such weapons (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4997808/).

1.77 Tons of uranium removed from Iraq
Richard Miniter claims that the U.S. ¡°discovered¡± 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium in Iraq. Richard Miniter is wrong. Those things were already tagged and under seal by UN inspectors.

See:

¡°A joint Pentagon-Energy Department operation has removed 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium from a former nuclear research site in Iraq. The material had been sealed off after the Gulf War.¡± ¨C CBS NEWS 7/7/04

¡°Several tons of uranium have been under seal at al-Tuwaitha since the previous round of inspections ended in 1998.¡± - U.N. inspects new Iraqi military factory CNN 12/12/02

¡°A second diplomatic official expressed puzzlement as to why the United States was considering moving the material, after the material has been presumably secured and resealed. Except for the incident immediately after the invasion, the official said, ¡°this stuff has been there, secure, quiet, not a problem to anyone, since 1991.¡± - U.S. Announces It Intends to Move Tons of Uranium From Baghdad NYT 5/22/04 (from http://www.americandaughter.com/index.html?http://frontpage.americandaughter.com/?p=42)

The Energy Department announced in July 2004 that it had removed from Iraq ¡°radiological and nuclear materials that could potentially be used in a radiological dispersal device or diverted to support a nuclear weapons program.‿ This included the ¡°1.77 metric tons of LOW-enriched uranium.‿ The reason the Administration never touted this as evidence of WMD is because they would be laughed at by anyone with a passing expertise. Low-enriched uranium cannot be used in an atomic weapon-only as reactor fuel, a purpose which Iraq was entirely free to pursue under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN-imposed WMD restrictions.

Further, ¡°The International Atomic Energy Agency kept Iraq¡¯s uranium under seal in storage facilities for more than a decade before the U.S. invasion in March, 2003.‿ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35404-2004Jul7.html)

It¡¯s been locked and monitored since 1991, and it was largely useless anyway.
That 1.77 tons of enriched uranium ¡°had been under IAEA seal since 1991. It was last visited by IAEA inspectors in February 2003¡å.

¡°It was Low-enriched uranium¡± and uranium¡¯s, ¡°extremely low radioactivity is harmless compared with high-radiation materials¡±. Peter Zimmerman, ¡°co-author of an expert analysis of dirty bombs for the U.S. National Defense University¡± said ¡°you cannot make a radiological dispersal device with uranium. There is just no significant radiation hazard.¡± (from http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=2955)
http://www.startribune.com/blogs/bigquestion/?page_id=38



quote:

And I believe his point was that by comparing Wilson's first op-ed piece with his latest is where you will find the measure of the man.



I'd like to read Wilson's first column -- he's quite proud of it and says that he sent copies to Bush Sr. and Scowcroft when it came out and they agreed with him.  

quote:

Mr. Wilson said he so respects the former president's international approach to foreign policy that when he wrote his first article questioning the current administration's developing Iraq strategy, which was published in The San Jose Mercury News in October 2002, he sent a copy to the former president. The senior Mr. Bush wrote him a brief reply, Mr. Wilson said. He refused to share the contents but said Mr. Bush's note had been "very positive."
http://www.nytimes.com/2 003/10/05/national/05WILS.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5007&ex=1380686400&en=508c529421889625&partner=USERLAND



He certainly doesn't seem to find any shame in that article -- nor see it as anything that impeaches his statements.  And, frankly, from what Cashill gives us -- it doesn't -- it's perfectly logical to assume that Wilson was under the same impression as everyone (who didn't have access to all the intelligence) that Saddam did, indeed, have WMD's -- but Wilson's trip only failed to verify that Saddam had sought Uranium recently from Niger -- but somehow that bit of faulty intelligence made it into a State of the Union speech.

This is, however, all a red herring Denise -- because the issue isn't Joseph Wilson -- but Valerie Wilson.  

Let's just assume that Joe is a bald-faced liar.  That is not liscnce to disclose classified information or expose a CIA operative.
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112 posted 03-23-2007 10:09 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Maybe I should have phrased my question differently, Iliana. If Valerie Plame was indeed a covert agent as defined under the Identities Protection Act, then why were none of the people on that chart, or anyone else who was questioned during the investigation who admitted to disclosing her name & occupation to anyone else, charged with that crime, disclosing her identity nor charged with revealing classified information?

L.R., I don't think that those pieces qualify as substantive investigative reports on the uranium that was found. They are articles merely attempting to downplay the find, in my opinion.

No, it is no red herring. Joe Wilson is probably the main issue in this whole affair. His contention that the White House outed his wife, in retalition for his op-ed piece (in which he himself revealed still-classified information), or for any other reason, has not been proven. I believe that it was his attempt (along with Valerie Plame and others in the CIA, assisted by some left wing media types) to create a scandal for the administration and to put himself in the spotlight, just as the Democrats are now trying to do with the Federal Prosecutor firings. Joe Wilson is the one whom I would love to see put under oath. I'd love to see how many versions of events he can recall and keep straight. Maybe he could start with whether or not he revealed to anyone that his wife worked at the CIA prior to Novak reporting it. I don't think that he would evade a perjury charge himself.
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113 posted 03-23-2007 11:17 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Denise, perhaps you did not read the first part of my earlier response....it was, "I really don't know..."  Sorry, I cannot give you the answer you want.
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114 posted 03-23-2007 11:36 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Denise, perhaps the below and the article in which it is contained will be an answer for you:
quote:
... a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged ... from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.


I don't know the timetable for grand jury investigations or bringing criminal action, but perhaps, Fitzgerald just plain ran out of time before he had enough evidence.  You can read the whole article here:   http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/10/02/120347.php

As far as I know, retaliation alone is not a criminal charge.  I believe that is why Reb asked you whether you believed it was morally wrong.
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115 posted 03-24-2007 10:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The Democrat congress is filled with "not criminal" charges and no one who supported Clinton or did not call for his head can believe anything is "morally wrong".
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116 posted 03-24-2007 11:51 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Mike, what?  If you will check every thread in the Alley, you will find I have never supported Clinton.  I think what he did was totally stupid and deplorable.  That is an old story, Mike.  This is the current one (sort of, anyway).  

The difference here was the manner in which someone was screwed.  
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117 posted 03-24-2007 01:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

hehe...nice choice of words, Iliana , but I wasn't referring to Billy's sexual escapades. Nor was I referring to you. My little Clinton quip had to do with the 900 missing FBI files, the White House Travel Bureau scandal, the 19 convicted because of the 1996 Clinton-Gore fundraising scandals, the President with  greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions and the greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad, the fifty times Hillary Clinton said "I don't recall" or its equivalent in a statement to a House investigating committee,  the 271  times Bill Clinton said "I don't recall" or its equivalent in the released portions of the his testimony on Paula Jones, the 10 journalists covering Whitewater who have been fired, transferred off the beat, resigned or otherwise gotten into trouble because of their work on the scandals, etc etc.  Heard anyone willing to discuss the "morality" of these issues or any Democrat congressman eaising a fussover them or demanding investigation after investigation?

Wanna talk about attorney generals and how they relate to the Gonzales case?  How about Janet Reno and Reno's unprecedented decision to fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys? How about Reno stopping the FBI from asking White House and DNC officials, including Clinton and Gore, about their roles in the fundraising scandals? How about the fact that Reno reportedly told Senators in a closed-door meeting she was unaware of Los Angeles businessman Ted Sioeng's contributions to the DNC and his possible links to China when in fact, she knew about them? http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/1997/fax19971203.asp

Face it, people. This is all nothing more than another ridiculous attempt by Democrats to go after the administration wherever they can. The following article says it all....

The March 13 Washington Post erupted on the front page with the revelation that the White House played a role in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. “Firings Had Genesis In White House,” screamed the headline. Documents showed that back in 2005, White House counsel Harriet Miers recommended the idea to the Justice Department that all 93 U.S. Attorneys be replaced. Instead, the Bush team dismissed only eight.

But something quite amazing was omitted by those hard-charging Post reporters Dan Eggen and John Solomon digging through White House E-mails for their scandalized front-page bombshell. Didn’t Bill Clinton’s brand new Attorney General Janet Reno demand resignations from all 93 U.S. attorneys on March 24, 1993? Wouldn’t that fact be relevant to the story? Wouldn’t it have the effect of lessening the oh-my-God hyperbole on the front page if the reader was shown that what Bush did was one-tenth as dramatic as what Team Clinton did? Yes, and yes.

Bush’s attorney general fired eight. Clinton’s fired 93. The media think the eight dismissals were a scandal so massive some have begun calling on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. But they thought the 93 Clinton firings were not worth investigating for the length of a cigarette break. Can a liberal double standard be any more obvious?

The Washington Post was by no means alone. The March 13 New York Times also hyped the story of the White House looking into dismissing U.S. attorneys on page one – and reporters David Johnston and Eric Lipton also completely skipped the fact of Janet Reno’s “March Massacre.” ABC’s “Good Morning America” on March 13 carried a story from Justice Department correspondent Pierre Thomas, and he also completely skipped the Clinton-Reno firings. Worse yet, in the middle of this episode of amnesia, ABC brought on George Stephanopoulos – who defended the Clinton firings as the White House spokesman in 1993 – to describe this as an urgent matter putting pressure on Karl Rove to testify before Congress and for Gonzales to resign!

But surely the media gave the Reno order equal, if not ten-fold coverage back in ‘93, right? Think again. ABC never reported it. The New York Times front-page headline yawned: “Attorney General Seeks Resignations from Prosecutors.” (At least an editorial the next day blasted Reno’s move as “an odd first step in the wrong direction.”)

The Washington Post demonstrated a much richer double standard. While the Post has filed six heavy-breathing front-page stories on their newest Bush scandal, back in 1993, the story was over within a day or two. They reported Janet Reno’s purge on the front page, utterly without suspicion: “The Clinton administration yesterday requested that the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys submit their resignations, a move that likely will mean the quick departure of two figures who have played prominent roles in the politics of the District and Virginia.”

The headline was simply “Washington Area to Lose 2 High-Profile Prosecutors; All U.S. Attorneys Told to Tender Resignations.” They then added helpfully that Reno said it was routine.

http://www.mediaresearch.org/BozellColumns/newscolumn/2007/col20070314.asp

Where was the Democrat indignation and "moral" issues there?  They are payasos.
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118 posted 03-24-2007 04:00 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

No question about it, Mike.  Clinton did change out the Justice Department and line it up with his politics.  Not an usual thing to do either.  That was early on in his administration, wasn't it?  What is unusual about this ... and I think this all should be a separate thread if you want to talk about the Gonzalez issue ... is that it occurred during the middle of Bush's second term, a very unusual precedent, which draws attention and suspicion in and of itself.   Additionally, Pres. Bush, himself admitted mistakes were made in this instance.  


"[Gonzales is] right; mistakes were made, and I'm frankly not happy about them because there is a lot of confusion over what really has been a customary practice by the president," Bush said.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/14/fired.attorneys/index.html
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119 posted 03-24-2007 04:36 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

OMG, how deep must one reach into the political sewer to find some lame excuse making this firing of 8 so much more dastardly than the previous firing of 93. Oh wait, I forgot, that's old history. Oh wait again, I also forgot, that was a democrat. Give us all a break.

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120 posted 03-24-2007 05:09 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Not A Poet, I have no idea what sewer you are talking about, nor do I follow your logic at all.  I was not the one who did the dredging...that was Mike.  You just throw out an attack with no basis.  I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

Citizens need to pay attention to the actions of their civil servants, including the White House, whether they are Democratic, Republican, Independent, Green or whatever.  Everyone is entitled to observe and have their own feelings and write their congresspeople and senators to express their views.  This is OUR government.  Why do some of you only want to see down party lines and then change the argument rather than address the real issue?  
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121 posted 03-24-2007 05:39 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Actually, there are some pretty significant differences between what past President's have done and what the current administration has recently done.

Yes, other Presidents, including Clinton, have removed U.S. Attorneys en masse. They've also traditionally appointed their own Cabinets. I think it's a shame that politicians get help in elections by promising jobs in return for favors, but that's the way it is.

Gonzales didn't clean house. His firings were very selective, very targeted, which raises obvious questions as to WHY these individual were selected. Job performance? The evidence seems to suggest otherwise. The questions, so far, remain unanswered.

We obviously can't have a situation where the Executive branch can tell the Justice Department to aggressively go after one political party and passively ignore the other party. Democrat, Republican, it makes no difference. Some parts of the government must remain nonpartisan. While not yet quite on a par with the Nixon administration, the Bush people have a history of political retribution. I think that makes this a fair question to explore.

If people were fired because they refused to follow a partisan mandate, either spoken or unspoken, then we've got a huge problem. When Justice plays favorites there can be no justice. Personally, it doesn't matter to me in the least whether this is just political maneuvering (which it well may be). I don't care their motivations as long as the hard questions continue to get asked. That's our adversarial system at work, this is exactly where it works very well.


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122 posted 03-24-2007 07:27 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I've chosen to keep quiet on this particular issue until more details were revealed, but I have to say one thing, and that is I'm not surprised many want several White House aides under oath when Alberto Gonsales can't even keep his own story straight:

Here's what Alberto Gonzales said almost two weeks ago...

Transcript of Media Availability with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales: March 13, 2007 - 2:20 P.M.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: What I know is that there began a process of evaluating strong performers, not-as-strong performers, and weak performers. And so far as I knew my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers. Where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district, and that's what I knew. But again, with respect to this whole process, like every CEO, I am ultimately accountable and responsible for what happens within the department. But that is in essence what I knew about the process; was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That's basically what I knew as the Attorney General.

QUESTION: Were there any discussions between you and the White House regarding you stepping down or Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty stepping down, and with regard to the Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, is he still here at the Justice Department working?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Kyle Sampson has resigned. I accepted his resignation yesterday as chief of staff. As a technical matter he is still at the department as he transitions out and looks for other employment.

With respect to the first part of your question, I work for the American people. I serve with the pleasure of the President of the United States. I will say in doing my job it is easier to have the confidence of members of the Congress and I will continue to do the very best that I can to maintain that confidence and that's what I intend to do: continue to do my job on behalf of the American people, ascertain what happened here, and assess accountability and take corrective actions.

Obviously I am concerned about the fact that information, incomplete information, was communicated or may have been communicated to the Congress. I believe very strongly in our obligation to ensure that when we provide information to the Congress, it is accurate and that it is complete and I am very dismayed that that may not have occurred here.

QUESTION: How could your chief of staff be working closely with the President on which U.S. attorneys to be let go and you not know the specifics?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, again, as -- I accept responsibility for everything that happens here within this department. But when you have 110,000 people working in the department obviously there are going to be decisions that I'm not aware of in real time. Many decisions are delegated. We have people who were confirmed by the Senate who, by statute, have been delegated authority to make decisions.

Mr. Sampson was charged with directing the process to ascertain who were weak performers, where we could do better in districts around the country. That is a responsibility that he had during the transition. We worked with respect to U.S. attorneys and presidential personnel at the White House. That was the role that he had when he was in the counsel's office. That was the role that he had when he was at the Department of Justice under General Ashcroft and so naturally when questions came up with respect to the evaluation of performances of U.S. Attorneys it would be Kyle Sampson who would drive that effort.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: With all due respect, your -- the sense of being a CEO sounds a little bit like Ken Lay, that he was so detached from the day to day operations. How can you make that statement given the fact that you spend an enormous time at the White House and your chief of staff reports to you and spends, you know, all day with you?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Again, I accept responsibility for what happened here and I regret the fact that information was inadequately shared with individuals within the department of Justice and that consequently information was shared with the Congress that was incomplete. But the charge for the chief of staff here was to drive this process and the mistake that occurred here was that information that he had was not shared with individuals within the department who was then going to be providing testimony and information to the Congress.

QUESTION: (Off mic.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: I just described for Pete the extent of my -- of the knowledge that I had about the process. I never saw documents. We never had a discussion about where things stood. What I knew was that there was ongoing effort that was led by Mr. Sampson, vetted through the Department of Justice, to ascertain where we could make improvements in U.S. attorney performances around the country."


*

Yet, we learn today of the following:

*

MSNBC: March 24, 2007

"President Bush is standing firmly behind his embattled attorney general despite Justice Department documents that show Alberto Gonzales was more involved in the decisions to fire U.S. attorneys than he previously indicated.

Gonzales said last week he was not involved in any discussions about the impending dismissals of federal prosecutors. On Friday night, however, the department disclosed Gonzales’ participation in a Nov. 27 meeting where such plans were discussed."


*

"At that session, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was crafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. Sampson resigned last week."


*

So what I will say for the time being is with seeming contradictions such as this, it shouldn't surprise the White House why many want these particular individuals under oath, as we've already seen several times before differing results when an official speaks under oath comapred to when one doesn't speak under oath.

No one is arguing here that other presidents have resorted to wide, abrupt firings of attorney generals. But I admit it's curious to me why, in contrast to many firings traditionally being done so at the very beginning of a presidential term, here we have far more meticulous, random firings conducted in the middle of a presidential term, especially when some of them shared some of the highest job performance grades.

I believe the central issues of this inquiry are: 1) whether any of the eight fired U.S. attorneys were asked to step down for political intents; 2) if political aides in the White House played some role in the firings or were connected somehow, 3) whether replacing independent-minded prosecutors was a way of influencing ongoing or future investigations for whatever reason, and in the more generic sense, 4) whether this adminsitration has illegitimately politicized the justice system.

In regards to the latter point, it certainly appears a strong majority of Americans believe the firings were politically-motivated, as the polls reflect, and I think regardless of whoever from whichever party is in power, the public is rightfully concerned about this sort of thing.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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quote:
So what I will say for the time being is with seeming contradictions such as this, it shouldn't surprise the White House why many want these particular individuals under oath ...

And neither Congress nor the American people should be surprised when the President fights that and ultimately, I believe, wins the fight.

You cannot get honest advice from people when everything they say is said in public. And that's exactly what a Congressional subpoena does -- it potentially opens everything you've ever said or done to public scrutiny. There is a fine line between secrecy and confidentiality. Presidential (and legislative!) aides need to be guaranteed the latter if they are to be effective.


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124 posted 03-24-2007 08:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Iliana, I think Pete was referring to your pointing out that the Clinton firings occurred during the beginning of his administration while Bush's occured during his second term and things like that that came across as some small justification for taking one seriously and ignoring the other.

Ron, yes, bi-partisonship is a must somewhere in the government but you are too intelligent of a man not to believe that it is exactly that causing this assault by the Democrats in congress. As far as selective firings are concerned, it was on the news somewhere that at least two of the firings occurred due to the attorneys targeting Democrats. What, then, would that do to the argument? Can you honestly tell me that the Democrats are conducting this witch hunt out of sincere concern for the country...or would you say that the motive was not important but rather the results of the investigation?....but, oh no, you would then be saying that the ends justify the means, wouldn't you?

Noah, since you want to key in on the Attorney General, I refer you to my previous points concerning Janet Reno. Please spend as much of your time on her as you did on Gonzales. You may be surprised at all you find out. Yes, you may call it simple finger-pointing to get away from the current topic but they actually relate to the same subject......the witch hunt going on. Then ask yourself why the Democrats and liberal press would be content to give her free passes with no publicity while making Gonzales Freddy Kreuger's brother, at the least.

I am now firmly convinced that certain key Democrats are all direct descendants of Salem residents.
 
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