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Kucinich Introduces Articles of Impeachment of George W. Bush

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Balladeer
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25 posted 06-12-2008 07:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, that quote - and your comment -are the most intelligent things I've seen relating to this topic.
Huan Yi
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26 posted 06-12-2008 08:24 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
"The reality is that SSCI Democrats, among other Democrats, had access to the exact same intelligence about Iraq that Bush officials had. Indeed, many of them had it for years before there was a Bush administration. Like back in October 1998, when those selfsame Democrats were passing the Iraq Liberation Act, signed by none other than President Bill Clinton, which made regime change — the removal of Saddam Hussein from power — the official policy of the United States."


So even before he arrived
Bush was deceiving  . . .
Now that's talent you have
to admire . . .

.
Brad
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27 posted 06-12-2008 09:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.



For some reason, I keep remembering this scene.  
Bob K
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28 posted 06-12-2008 10:59 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



From Bad To Verse
POST NUMBER 29 BELOW IS A REVISION OF THIS ONE
—NUMBER 28—
WHICH FOR SOME REASON I CANNOT DELETE.  

THE NEXT VERSION
—NUMBER 29—
SAYS WHAT I WANT TO SAY BETTER.  

IF I KNEW HOW TO ELIMINATE THIS ONE,
I WOULD.  

SORRY FOR THE REPETITION.
SORRY FOR THE REPETITION.
SORRY FOR THE REPETITION.


_______________________________________________________________

Couldn't help myself above, but it's true enough.
Dear Brad,

          I do not know what the medium to long term concerns were that prompted President Bush to push the country into war with Iraq.  There was no war hysteria having anything to do with Iraq that I remember prior to 9/11.  Nobody liked Saddam Hussein, but he was fairly clearly contained.  Some of our allies believed him over-contained and there were human rights organizations that agreed with them for good reasons.

     Whatever the actual facts about the state of affairs due to the oil embargo and the suppression of Saddam's Military, there was little or no debate about the lack of friendship between the highly secularized Iraqi State and the Fundamentalist followers of Bin-Ladin.  The attempt to make that connection was absurd on the face of it.
While Bill Clinton Had his own problems with Saddam Hussein, he was very clear that an invasion of Iraq would only create more terrorists rather than serve to further a War on Terrorism.  His policy with Saddam Hussein was containment; that is what he believed in, and that is what he pursued when he was in office.  He knew better than to push for an invasion, as did George Bush, senior, whose views are also on record.

     Had either of them believed differently, they would have had the chance to demonstrate their beliefs while in office.  Clinton had very serious worries specifically about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which he passed on to the Bush administration when the change in administration took place.  Bush and his administration wanted as little to do with Clinton era concerns as they could get away with, and they back-burnered them.

     There is no such thing as the "genius of preventative war."  That is propaganda-speak for a war of aggression.

     If there had actually been something in Iraq that was a cause for war, why did President Bush not give the U.N. inspectors the additional time they asked for to find it.  They only asked for a few more months, if you remember.
Balance that against the the cost in lives we were risking; we know that we were not going with a plan that had anything like an end game planned in.  We knew that at the time.

     If that was the case, that there actually was a cause of war there, then why did we put aside the notion of needing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as reason for starting the war, and suddenly change and escalate our requirements for backing off at the last minute?  Suddenly proof that there were no weapons of mass destruction was not enough.  Even if there were no weapon s of mass destruction, the key requirement for us to back off became that Saddam Hussein and his family leave Iraq.  Maybe then we wouldn't invade.

     Certainly we had no U.N. validation for either of these positions, by the way, and were acting for reasons that are completely beyond my understanding.  Our actions made us look like bullies and therefore like cowards.  We never would have made demands like those on countries we thought capable of a robust response.  China, perhaps?  Russia, Maybe?  North Korea, even, with only a limited belief in their nuclear capability and with a leader who is quite possibly as ill-tempered and capricious as Saddam Hussein at his worst?

    In a pig's ear, my friends.

     The steely courage of our leadership was matched only by their resolve to risk the lives of the military they were willing to underfund.  An all volunteer army, it was, right up until the time when you'd had enough and wanted to un-volunteer.  We've already had discussions obout the VA and the attempts the administration has made to cut back on services there.  

     There is no question that the Administration has been lying from very close to the day it entered office.

     Do you want me to defend Democrats?

     Sorry.  Any mistakes the Democrats have made, they'll have to stand up for on their own.

     There have been attempts to make Democrats responsible for things I'm not clear that they are responsible for;  but if Hillary actually said and did the things others have claimed she said and did, and she did them in the way they said, then I don't like those things at all.

     On the other hand, given the kind of things Republicans have said about Max Cleland and other Democrats in recent years, I'm inclined to want to do a little extra research beyond what I hear in The National Review and like sources.  When I see what passes for standards of proof in the Party whose standard of believability is Curveball and Amed Chalabi, and who believes in firing military advisors who don't give advice that conforms to its own political conclusions, I am inclined to want to do a much higher proportion of my own digging.  Call me frivolous.  

[This message has been edited by Bob K (06-12-2008 11:35 PM).]

Bob K
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29 posted 06-12-2008 11:13 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

    

Dear Brad,

          I do not know what the medium to long term concerns were that prompted President Bush to push the country into war with Iraq.  There was no war hysteria having anything to do with Iraq that I remember prior to 9/11.  Nobody liked Saddam Hussein, but he was fairly clearly contained.  Some of our allies believed him over-contained and there were human rights organizations that agreed with them for good reasons.

     Whatever the actual facts about the state of affairs due to the oil embargo and the suppression of Saddam's Military, there was little or no debate about the lack of friendship between the highly secularized Iraqi State and the Fundamentalist followers of Bin-Ladin.  The attempt to make that connection was absurd on the face of it.
While Bill Clinton Had his own problems with Saddam Hussein, he was very clear that an invasion of Iraq would only create more terrorists rather than serve to further a War on Terrorism.  His policy with Saddam Hussein was containment; that is what he believed in, and that is what he pursued when he was in office.  He knew better than to push for an invasion, as did George Bush, senior, whose views are also on record.

     Had either of them believed differently, they would have had the chance to demonstrate their beliefs while in office.  Clinton had very serious worries specifically about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which he passed on to the Bush administration when the change in administration took place.  Bush and his administration wanted as little to do with Clinton era concerns as they could get away with, and they back-burnered them.

     There is no such thing as the "genius of preventative war."  That is propaganda-speak for a war of aggression.

     If there had actually been something in Iraq that was a cause for war, why did President Bush not give the U.N. inspectors the additional time they asked for to find it.  They only asked for a few more months, if you remember.
Balance that against the the cost in lives we were risking; we know that we were not going with a plan that had anything like an end game planned in.  We knew that at the time.

     If that was the case, that there actually was a cause of war there, then why did we put aside the notion of needing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as reason for starting the war, and suddenly change and escalate our requirements for backing off at the last minute?  Suddenly proof that there were no weapons of mass destruction was not enough.  Even if there were no weapon s of mass destruction, the key requirement for us to back off became that Saddam Hussein and his family leave Iraq.  Maybe then we wouldn't invade.

     Certainly we had no U.N. validation for either of these positions, by the way, and were acting for reasons that are completely beyond my understanding.  Our actions made us look like bullies and therefore like cowards.  We never would have made demands like those on countries we thought capable of a robust response.  China, perhaps?  Russia, Maybe?  North Korea, even, with only a limited belief in their nuclear capability and with a leader who is quite possibly as ill-tempered and capricious as Saddam Hussein at his worst?

    In a pig's ear, my friends.

     The steely courage of our leadership was matched only by their resolve to risk the lives of the military they were willing to underfund.  An all volunteer army, it was, right up until the time when you'd had enough and wanted to un-volunteer.  We've already had discussions obout the VA and the attempts the administration has made to cut back on services there.  

     There is no question that the Administration has been lying from very close to the day it entered office.

     Do you want me to defend Democrats?

     Sorry.  Any mistakes the Democrats have made, they'll have to stand up for on their own.

     There have been attempts to make Democrats responsible for things I'm not clear that they are responsible for;  but if Hillary actually said and did the things others have claimed she said and did, and she did them in the way they said, then I don't like those things at all.

     On the other hand, given the kind of things Republicans have said about Max Cleland and other Democrats in recent years, I'm inclined to want to do a little extra research beyond what I hear in The National Review and like sources.  When I see what passes for standards of proof in the Party whose standard of believability is Curveball and Amed Chalabi, and who believes in firing military advisors who don't give advice that conforms to its own political conclusions, I am inclined to want to do a much higher proportion of my own digging.  Call me frivolous.  

     More particularly, Brad, I am against it now.  I was against it them, and I made a point of saying so.  Good for me.

     If we actually want to draw a line between the policy that has been responsible for for the loss of so many and so much, I believe it is too late to talk about impeachment
but it in not too late to talk about an idea recently advanced by Vincent Bugliosi, the former Los Angeles prosecutor who was responsible for the conviction of The Manson Family and who has written a number of other very interesting books since.  He's suggested we try George Bush for murder.  He details the case and its basis in his new book, The Prosecution of George Bush for Murder.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-bugliosi/the-prosecution-of-george_b_102427.html


     There is room for a number of co-conspirators.  Read the article in The Huffington Post or, better yet, read the book.  It seems like a wonderful idea to me.


     Cheerfully Yours,

     BobK.
Balladeer
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30 posted 06-13-2008 01:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Clinton had very serious worries specifically about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which he passed on to the Bush administration when the change in administration took place.

Yes, Bob, Clinton had such worries over bin-laden that he refused to take him into custody when he was offered to him. Makes sense to me...

but if Hillary actually said and did the things others have claimed she said and did, and she did them in the way they said, then I don't like those things at all.

Why the "if", Bob? They are a matter of record.

While Bill Clinton Had his own problems with Saddam Hussein, he was very clear that an invasion of Iraq would only create more terrorists rather than serve to further a War on Terrorism.  His policy with Saddam Hussein was containment; that is what he believed in, and that is what he pursued when he was in office.

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
    President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
    Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
    Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
    Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
    Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

All of that was pre-Bush, Bob, and all from people who have since screamed the loudest that Bush lied and deceived them, 5 to 6 years later. You may say that, even with this warlike rhetoric, we did not go to war with Iraq, at which point I would have to remind you about 9/11. Surely you remember that date. Let me ask you this. With all of those comments above, with Clinton so concerned about Hussein and his wmd-making capabilities and probabilities, if it had been 9/11/1998, do you really think clinton would not have invaded Iraq? He would have with the applause of everyone listed above, as i'm sure you know.

If there had been those wmd's that all the above people swore they had definite proof existed, dollars to doughnuts those same people would have been the first to stand up and scream that they had been telling the public about them since 1998! Since they weren't founf, they are the first to scream that the country bumpkin Bush lied to them and deceived them. If a man with a negative IQ (which they claim he has) can deceive them so easily, what does that have to say about their owm intelligence?

Brad's article hit it right on.
Balladeer
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31 posted 06-13-2008 01:15 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Taking this little comment out of Hillary's thread, listed above,

He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.

..it would appear Hillary disagrees with your assessment that Hussein had nothing to do with supporting terrorists. Dare you disagree with her?
Bob K
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32 posted 06-13-2008 05:04 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Balladeer,

quote:

BK writes:
Clinton had very serious worries specifically about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which he passed on to the Bush administration when the change in administration took place.

Balladeer responds:

Yes, Bob, Clinton had such worries over bin-laden that he refused to take him into custody when he was offered to him. Makes sense to me...




     Mike, I'm unclear here if you dispute my assertion that President Clinton and his administration passed on their concern that the single major security problem the United States faced over the period of the transition was Al-Qaeda or not.  It sounds as if you do.  If you do dispute this, please let me know, and I'll offer you some references for you to check out.  The evidence is quite clear on the matter.  You might consider checking out any of the three books Bob Woodward has written on the subject.  I find the third particularly interesting because it does a lot of talking about the cherry-picking of intelligence and the lead up to the war.  Thomas E. Ricks has also written a book called Fiasco on the military side of the enterprise with special  attention paid to the relationship of the political influence on the military action.  Any of the four books are enough to make somebody with any love for the military or for democratic process quite ill. All of them are extensively documented.
Any are enough to make a serious American patriot of any stripe burst into tears.

I would be interested to hear more about the circumstances in which you understand President Clinton did not take Bib Laden into custody.  Were they like the circumstances under which President Bush refused to allow Bin Laden to face trial in some neutral country when Afghanistan offered to surrender custody of Bib Laden at that time, or were the circumstances different in some fashion?

     The "Makes sense to me" tag was, I take it, simply some playful sarcasm.  The sarcasm was fun, but seems to have gotten in the way a bit.  As I said, I wasn't clear about whether you disagreed with a fairly easily confirmable part of what I was saying.

quote:

Bob says,
but if Hillary actually said and did the things others have claimed she said and did, and she did them in the way they said, then I don't like those things at all.

And Balladeer replies,
Why the "if", Bob? They are a matter of record.




     I go into some of my difficulties with neoconservative reports of record in the contribution to the thread from which you have taken many of my comments.  I am surprised you missed the comments and will, reluctantly, reprint them here:

    "On the other hand, given the kind of things Republicans have said about Max Cleland and other Democrats in recent years, I'm inclined to want to do a little extra research beyond what I hear in The National Review and like sources.  When I see what passes for standards of proof in the Party whose standard of believability is Curveball and Amed Chalabi, and who believes in firing military advisors who don't give advice that conforms to its own political conclusions, I am inclined to want to do a much higher proportion of my own digging.  Call me frivolous."

     There is enough neoconservative misinformation floating about that my preference is to do some checking on my own as well.  I like to provide references when I can when I'm talking about points in some dispute to allow others to do the same for me.  It seems fair.  

quote:


Bob writes,

While Bill Clinton Had his own problems with Saddam Hussein, he was very clear that an invasion of Iraq would only create more terrorists rather than serve to further a War on Terrorism.  His policy with Saddam Hussein was containment; that is what he believed in, and that is what he pursued when he was in office.

Balladeer responds,

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
    President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
    Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.




     Balladeer has not ended his series of quotes here.  The separation at this point is one that I have decided to make.  Quotations Balladeer cites after this point date from the Bush administration and I believe that Balladeer has made a mistake when he states at that point

"All of that was pre-Bush, Bob, and all from people who have since screamed the loudest that Bush lied and deceived them, 5 to 6 years later."

     In fact, only the material that I have quoted up to the point was pre-Bush material.  Mr. Bush took office in 2000, I believe, and not in December of 2001, when the next set of quotations begin.

     I must certainly acknowledge that the quotations from Democrats above are bellicose and crusty to say the least. I will further state that I believe that they exceed the mandate given the United States and its allies by the United Nations following the Gulf War and that President Clinton has a lot to answer to for that in humanitarian terms.  There may well have been many hundreds of thousands of deaths that were a result of the oil embargo, and I think that our attempts to shuffle them off on the corrupt administration of Saddam Hussein were only partially justified.  The Democrats especially were not faultless about this, though this may be one of the few times that I suspect I might hear Balladeer coming to the defense of the Democratic Party.

     However one of the things you do not see in any of the bellicose statements quoted is the suggestion that the United States should invade Iraq.

     Not matter how bellicose the Democrats were feeling, most of them knew that such an adventure would be ill advised in the extreme for the same reasons that George Herbert Walker Bush thought in 1998 that they would be ill advised.  They all knew darned well the whole area was very poorly held together and that the major fault lines ran right through the middle of Iraq.  Persians on the one side, Arabs on the other.  Let's not even begin to try to take the Turks and Egyptians into consideration.  Out of the masses of different cultures, different variations of cultures threatened to shear apart into different states at the least incident.

     It would take somebody of monumental hubris to believe they could actually make a successful intervention.

     In fact, everybody was wrong.  It didn't take somebody of monumental hubris to think they could make a successful intervention.  What it took was somebody who didn't think about how they wanted it to end at all.  Who refused to imagine what the end-game would be.

     That, by the way, is the difference between the foreign policies of The first President Bush and President Clinton, and our current President Bush.  The First President Bush and President Clinton actually tried to think the consequences of their policies through, and planned not only for a desired outcome but for alternate courses of action.

     So what we have till the year 2000 is a United States foreign policy that is certainly loudmouthed and unpleasant, certainly wrong about many important things, but has not confused Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin and understands that by containing Saddam Hussein, it really doesn't need to go further with Iraq.  Occasional bombing and blustering has more than done the job.  Some of us think (include me in on that, by the way) too well.


     When The Clinton Team left Washington they were very clear with the New Administration what they felt was the most dangerous foreign enemy faced by the United States.
They could have said Saddam Hussein, Balladeer, couldn't they.  They could have said all sorts of things about the terrible dictator of Iraq and—had they believed it—his buddy Osama.  They didn't believe it.  They had no reason to believe it.

     They'd been dealing with Saddam Hussein since 1992 and they knew pretty darn well exactly how dangerous he was and exactly how dangerous he wasn't, and when it came time to tell the next guys in the office who to worry about they didn't even think that Ol' Saddam was that big a deal.  Annoying, sure, but well in hand.  Osama was something else, and they said so, and nobody from team neocon wanted to listen.  They'd all gotten to the point where they believed their own propaganda about how smart they were and about how well they understood everything and how silly Clinton was.

     They'd forgotten that Clinton wasn't an idiot.  They'd forgotten that anything that Condaleeza Rice had learned, she'd probably learned from Madeline Albright.  And that the whole team wasn't big on making serious policy mistakes.   It's simply that the folks on team neocon wanted them to be clowns.  It made the whole job of governing the United States with George Bush look so...so... doable. Imagine that!

     All the above quotations were pre Bush.
    The quotations listed below are all pretty nasty quotations, and they're all from Democrats who you'd think should have known better.  You'd think they would have known better, but I guess you'd have to ask yourself How?

     All the quotations below begin at about the time the drumbeat for war got very loud in the Senate, the House and in the Country as a whole.  I'll let the statements speak for themselves, and then address them afterward.




    

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
    Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
    Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
    Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
———————————————————————————
Bob Responds:
     Within a week of 9/11 Richard Clarke, who was not only Clinton's counterterrorism advisor (much has been made of this fact by Bush apologists) but also The Counterterrorism advisor for the first President Bush (little or nothing has been made of this by Bush apologists) and who was for many years a registered Republican, was told to get to work on finding the terrorists responsible.  He pointed out to the President and to others (because he had been a Clinton advisor, he had been shuffled aside to some extent, of course.  Of course, he was the Counterterrorism Advisor, so he was shuffled aside as well, because Counterterrorism was a Clinton priority) that there was little doubt that Al-Qaeda had had a hand in this, as had been predicted in the early August intelligence reports.  He was told somewhat roughly to find the connection with Iraq.  Apparently the answer was available before they were entirely sure what the question was.  Certainly without bothering to read the CIA briefing reports.

     The word was out, without confirmatory intelligence, within days that Iraq was to be held responsible.  

     A great deal of rumor and innuendo was circulated from the administration.  It is not surprising that some of it came back from the Senate as more or less convinced reports when there were reports from The New York Times that were confirming some of these fabrications appearing under the by-line of Judith Miller, a well-respected journalist.

     It turned out that the source that Judith Miller was getting much of her information from was Amed Chababi, a CIA informant who had hopes of fomenting a revolution in Iraq and taking over the leadership from Saddam Hussein.  The sources turned out to be largely fabricated.
The large army of followers that Chalabi claimed to have at his disposal that would rise and sweep him into office when the army invaded Iraq never materialized and, for a time, Chalabi was a wanted man by U.S. forces in Iraq until he emerged as the leader of a Shi'a splinter group.
The CIA and the administration and the New York times were bamboozled by an unctuous Iraqi con man.

     One of Chalabi's relative was the CIA source called Curveball.  He was developed by the Germans, who always rated him as of low-grade reliability.  Many of the stories which The President was only too happy to endorse such as the disease spreading pilotless drones were apparently products of his imagination.  The Germans though the information was silly, but by golly it was exactly what our President thought our public needed to hear.

     The documents that were released to the Senate select committee on Intelligence were classified, and were not allowed to be shared with people not on the committee.  It's not entirely clear exactly how many of the people actually on the committee were allowed to see the Top Secret versions of the documents either, truth be told.  We do know, however, that Bob Graham, the then chair of that committee made loud protests that the versions of the document that were allowed to be released omitted VERY IMPORTANT parts of the text.

     In the Top Secret parts of the text, for example, footnotes including disagreements about the plausability of the drone airplanes and aluminum tubes were included;
In the unclassified version, no no.  The government didn't want you getting any ideas that going to war wouldn't be the only and greatest option in the world.

     At least if you looked you could tell that the people with the most expertise in understanding these things
(the Air Force intelligence review team on the one hand and the atomic energy commission on the other) thought the conclusions were unlikely.

     The information was not equally available to everybody.  The current Neocon folk would Luuuv you to think so, but  near as I can tell, that wasn't the case at all.  

     In case you've forgotten, The administration demanded that a decision be made before midterm elections, when they could either say that the Democrats were being soft on Terrorism or weren't having the courage of their convictions.  It takes a real political sense of straight dealing to put a guy into that sort of bind, doesn't it?  

     Do you feel any sort of real puzzlement about these statements now?  I don't.


quote:


All of that was pre-Bush, Bob, and all from people who have since screamed the loudest that Bush lied and deceived them, 5 to 6 years later. You may say that, even with this warlike rhetoric, we did not go to war with Iraq, at which point I would have to remind you about 9/11. Surely you remember that date. Let me ask you this. With all of those comments above, with Clinton so concerned about Hussein and his wmd-making capabilities and probabilities, if it had been 9/11/1998, do you really think clinton would not have invaded Iraq? He would have with the applause of everyone listed above, as i'm sure you know.




Oh goodness!

          I've never been in the army, Balladeer, and never gotten that sort of combat training.  But my understanding is that if somebody hits you, it generally makes more sense to respond to them than it does to somebody  in the next room doing something else entirely.

     I like to think that Bill Clinton may have mastered this somewhat arcane rule of combat, even without serving in the Texas Air National Guard on the much dreaded Electioneering duty.  So horrible was that duty, I am told, that almost everyone who was forced to accept it came down with a case of traumatic amnesia, and their records spontaneously burst into flame in sympathy shortly after their fathers were elected President of the United States.

     You see, when somebody attacks you, and you attack somebody else, all sorts of confusions arise.  You may even say of the person who originally attacked you something absurd as "I don't even think about him any more," as soon as six months or a year after he's murdered 3000 of your people.  Wouldn't that be stupid beyond belief?  It's like dropping your car keys in an alley and looking for them under a street light because it's so dark back there you'd never find them.

  
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33 posted 06-13-2008 03:43 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

I remember the argument for ending the sanctions against
Saddam was that by then they had cost the lives of half a million
Iraqi children, (simply because Saddam was spending the money
that was coming in on himself and his friends rather than on
medical supplies for his people).  I don’t remember anyone
saying he’d stopped trying to develop weapons.  So instead
of invading Iraq we should have continued with the sanctions
killing more children, (that’s a moral high ground
Iraqi parents might have trouble understanding), or ended the
sanctions and hope Saddam would then see the light, (that makes
sense too).

The idea of waiting to be attacked first really isn’t a good one any more . . .
(and Saddam would never have done it directly).


.
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Dear Huan Yi,

          I remember the argument the same way.  It's a heck of a thing when the only area of agreement that you can find with your enemy is a willingness to kill children and then blame each other for doing so, isn't it?  I don't believe it speaks well for either of us, Hussein's Iraq or Clinton's United States (or the little bit of it that overlapped into Bush's United States, either).  The fact that we're only a little less responsible than a loathsome dictator in the deaths of half a million kids doesn't encourage me a great deal.  Much of the world doesn't agree with the suggestion that we're less to blame that Saddam Hussein, by the way; they think we're more to blame and I don't know of any iron clad response to them that would firmly convince them (or me) otherwise, during my more morose moments.

     Not remembering anyone saying that he'd stopped trying to develop weapons of mass destruction doesn't mean it's not the truth.  It seems that we weren't Saddam's highest worry at the time.  The Iranians were.  It was important to him that they think he was more dangerous than he was because he saw them as more of a threat to his power than he saw us.  He was afraid they would invade him because they'd already tried (back and forth, actually).  His relationship with them was unstable.

     His relationship with us, he thought, was stable.

     He did what any right thinking inhumane wretched dictator would do and fended off what he saw to be the greater threat.  Actually, it's not a bad strategy for anybody in a similar situation.

     Given the information we had at the time, yes, we should have continued the sanctions.  Negotiations might have been helpful as well, you know.  Diplomacy is frequently a useful course; and it is often preferable to outright war, or at least I have it on good authority.  Many military men have a decided preference for diplomacy because they have first hand experience with what happens when diplomacy fails...  You being a former marine would certainly be able to give me instruction in that, I presume.

     As for your comment about the idea of waiting to be attacked first not really being a good one any more, I would put it to you that it's one of those ideas that really sounds like a rhetorical winner but is utterly illogical.  It does not permit a test of  falsification.  All that waiting five hundred years or even ten thousand years without being attacked means is that you haven't been attacked yet, so the proposition is not testable.  Yet people keep stating it as though it were.  And not only as it it were testable, but that it had been tested.  And then, not only that it had been tested, but that it had been proven correct.  None of that it true.

     Beyond that, as a piece of reasoning, its nature is psychotic.  By which I mean that its points of contact with reality are probably pretty much random.  And that the nature of the psychosis is fairly specific, and the specific psychosis is paranoia.  Paranoia in this case meaning a set of beliefs positing a set of enemies in league against you where no such league of enemies may clearly be shown to exist and characterized by the frequent use of the mechanism of projection.  Saddam Hussein in this case seems to fit that definition in this case to a T, when one attempts to place him in league with with Osama Bin Ladin.  All attempts to have shown a connection have basically flopped.

     In fact, when we accuse Saddam Hussein of being likely to attack us first, the reality has proved exactly the opposite, hasn't it?

Huan Yi
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35 posted 06-13-2008 06:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

So economic sanctions were wrong,
military action was wrong, which pretty
much just leaves we should have left Saddam
alone to be Saddam.

.
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36 posted 06-13-2008 07:40 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Huan Yi,

     You sound truly upset, simply because the two most stress relieving and action oriented options are going to make things worse.  I know not beating somebody up can be a terrible disappointment sometimes, after a hard day's work busting broncos and all; but there are times when a guy's simply got to think about things a little bit more.  Maybe the two of us could go out and beat somebody else up.  That way we'd both feel better, and it'd take our minds off the terrible let down we're having to deal with here.  Grrr, Grr, Grr,  Grr, I say, quoting Robert Browning.

     Cheerfully yours, Bob K.


(Really, John, you do sound so darn dejected!)
Huan Yi
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37 posted 06-13-2008 08:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Bob

So what would have been
your solution?


.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (06-13-2008 08:54 PM).]

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38 posted 06-14-2008 03:37 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

          To start off with, I would examine the facts before telling the investigators what the results were that they were supposed to discover.  Because it is late, I would have to think at greater to length to give you a more in depth answer.

     To illustrate in more detail what I mean by that last paragraph, I offer you this very interesting time line of the events of the days after 9/11.  I suspect the parts you'll find most useful here are over the first page or two, and the rest will be more useful for reference, but the choice is yours.
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeperiod=11:55pm%2011%20Sept%202001%20-%202001&timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=100

     I hope you find it as illuminating as I have.

     Sincerely yours,

      Bob
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39 posted 06-14-2008 05:25 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I read all of the statements at length and agree that, even though the inflammatory statements I pointed out were in their statements, they went further on to explain that they were not advocating war declaration at that time. i did not see an answer  by you concerning my closing question..

With all of those comments above, with Clinton so concerned about Hussein and his wmd-making capabilities and probabilities, if it had been 9/11/1998, do you really think clinton would not have invaded Iraq?
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40 posted 06-14-2008 06:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

On March 3, 1996, U.S. ambassador to Sudan, Tim Carney, Director of East African Affairs at the State Department, David Shinn, and a member of the CIA's directorate of operations' Africa division met with Sudan's then-Minister of State for Defense Elfatih Erwa in a Rosslyn, Virginia hotel room. Item number two on the CIA's list of demands was to provide information about Osama bin Laden. Five days later, Erwa met with the CIA officer and offered more than information. He offered to arrest and turn over bin Laden himself. Two years earlier, the Sudan had turned over the infamous terrorist, Carlos the Jackal to the French. He now sits in a French prison. Sudan wanted to repeat that scenario with bin Laden in the starring role.

Clinton administration officials have offered various explanations for not taking the Sudanese offer. One argument is that an offer was never made. But the same officials are on the record as saying the offer was "not serious." Even a supposedly non-serious offer is an offer. Another argument is that the Sudanese had not come through on a prior request so this offer could not be trusted. But, as Ambassador Tim Carney had argued at the time, even if you believe that, why not call their bluff and ask for bin Laden?

The Clinton administration simply did not want the responsibility of taking Osama bin Laden into custody. Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger is on the record as saying: "The FBI did not believe we had enough evidence to indict bin Laden at that time and therefore opposed bringing him to the United States." Even if that was true — and it wasn't — the U.S. could have turned bin Laden over to Yemen or Libya, both of which had valid warrants for his arrest stemming from terrorist activities in those countries. Given the legal systems of those two countries, Osama would have soon ceased to be a threat to anyone.

After months of debating how to respond to the Sudanese offer, the Clinton administration simply asked Sudan to deport him. Where to? Ambassador Carney told me what he told the Sudanese: "Anywhere but Somalia."

In May 1996 bin Laden was welcomed into Afghanistan by the Taliban. It could not have been a better haven for Osama bin Laden.

http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/interrogatory091103b.asp

Never once in his two-year tenure did CIA director James Woolsey ever have a one-on-one meeting with Clinton. Even semiprivate meetings were rare. They only happened twice. Woolsey told me: "It wasn't that I had a bad relationship with the president. It just didn't exist."

One of the little scoops in the book is the revelation that Clinton froze Woolsey out because the CIA director refused to put a friend of Bill on the agency's payroll. This account was confirmed by both Woolsey and the Clinton's consigliore Bruce Lindsey.

Considering the Justice Department's experience with Webster Hubbell, another Friend of Bill, Woolsey's decision may have done the CIA a great deal of good. But Clinton's pique did not make America any safer from bin Laden.

Another Clinton intelligence failure involved a refusal to help the CIA hire more Arabic language translators. In 1993, Woolsey learned that the agency was able to translate only 10 percent of its Arabic intercepts and badly wanted more translators. But Sen. Dennis DeConcini refused to approve the funds unless Clinton phoned him and said it was a presidential priority. Despite entreaties, Clinton never phoned the Democratic senator and the CIA didn't get those translators for years.


For someone who was "extremely concerned" about Bin Laden...

The Clinton administration:

1. Did not follow-up on the attempted bombing of Aden marines in Yemen.

2. Shut the CIA out of the 1993 WTC bombing investigation, hamstringing their effort to capture bin Laden.

3. Had Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key bin Laden lieutenant, slip through their fingers in Qatar.

4. Did not militarily react to the al Qaeda bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5. Did not accept the Sudanese offer to turn bin Laden.

6. Did not follow-up on another offer from Sudan through a private back channel.

7. Objected to Northern Alliance efforts to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

8. Decided against using special forces to take down bin Laden in Afghanistan.

9. Did not take an opportunity to take into custody two al Qaeda operatives involved in the East African embassy bombings. In another little scoop, I am able to show that Sudan arrested these two terrorists and offered them to the FBI. The Clinton administration declined to pick them up and they were later allowed to return to Pakistan.

10. Ordered an ineffectual, token missile strike against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory.

11. Clumsily tipped off Pakistani officials sympathetic to bin Laden before a planned missile strike against bin Laden on August 20, 1998. Bin Laden left the camp with only minutes to spare.

12-14. Three times, Clinton hesitated or deferred in ordering missile strikes against bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

15. When they finally launched and armed the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Laden, the Clinton administration no longer had military assets in place to strike the archterrorist.

16. Did not order a retaliatory strike on bin Laden for the murderous attack on the USS Cole.


Now, before you hold your nose and say "Ugh..the National Review", there are other sources, also.

"Had we been able to roll up bin Laden then, it would have made a significant difference," said a U.S. government official with responsibilities, then and now, in counterterrorism. "We probably never would have seen a September 11th. We would still have had networks of Sunni Islamic extremists of the sort we're dealing with here, and there would still have been terrorist attacks fomented by those folks. But there would not have been as many resources devoted to their activities, and there would not have been a single voice that so effectively articulated grievances and won support for violence." http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A61251-2001Oct2

Consider a seemingly small event in 1996 to which future historians may devote volumes as a turning point that set the world on a course toward war.

That year the government of Sudan offered to arrest bin Laden, then living in its capital city, and turn him over to American authorities, the Washington Post and several British newspapers reported last week. This prompts two questions: If President Clinton could have taken bin Laden into custody, prosecuted him for murderous attacks on Americans in Somalia and spared the lives of thousands who were killed or wounded in future attacks, why didn't he do it? And can we believe the Sudanese government is telling us the truth about its plan to arrest bin Laden?

The answers to those two questions are tightly intertwined in a disturbing tale of deliberately missed opportunities that defines the Clinton legacy.


Pick up from this point in the article and read what it says...http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/rminiter/?id=95001289

Sunday, Aug. 11, 2002 12:05 a.m. EDT

Mansour Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman who says he was rebuffed by the Clinton White House after negotiating a deal for the extradition of Osama bin Laden to the U.S. in 1996, has gained an important new witness who backs his story - none other than ex-President Clinton himself.

Former Clinton administration officials such as senior National Security Council aide Nancy Soderberg have described Ijaz as an unreliable witness. Former Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri recently slammed him as "a liar" and "a crackpot."

But a tape recording obtained exclusively by NewsMax.com shows Clinton himself confirming all the key points of Ijaz's story.

In never-before-reported comments to a New York business group last February, the ex-president never mentioned Ijaz by name. But the events he related paralleled the freelance diplomat's story exactly.

"Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan," Clinton explained to a Feb. 15 Long Island Association luncheon.

"He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start meeting with them again.

"They released him," the ex-president confirmed.

"At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.

"So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have," Clinton explained. "But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan
." http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/clintASSon.htm


pparently, under Bill Clinton, the gun wasn’t loaded. Liberals have screamed themselves hoarse over President Bush’s failure to capture Osama bin Laden. Nary a word; however, has been said about Bill Clinton’s rejection of bin Laden not once, not twice, but three times. Time after time Clinton had perfect opportunities presented which would have handed him the most dangerous terrorist in the world. And time after time, Bill Clinton, the man to whom terrorism was “the highest priority” turned him down. What say you, Richard Clarke?
http://www.americandaily.com/article/1002

Ex-president Clinton's decision to ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for a high-dollar donation to his presidential library came just months after Saudi leaders rebuffed his request to take custody of Osama bin Laden - when officials in Sudan, where the al Qaeda chief was then living, offered him to the U.S.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh revealed on Thursday that Clinton personally put the touch on Abdullah after failing to get the Saudi leader's cooperation in the probe into the June 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which - according to the 9/11 Commission - was a joint al Qaida-Hezbollah operation.

The 9/11 Commission Report also notes that Sudanese officials testified they tried to offer bin Laden to the U.S. just three months earlier, in March 1996.
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/10/8/101411.shtml

As far as Rice learning from Madeliene Albright,  Madeiliene couldn't teach a fish to swim and will be regarded as bad at her position as Janet Reno was at hers.
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41 posted 06-14-2008 07:08 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

          I'm sorry, I thought I'd made that clear.  I think Clinton would have checked to see who was responsible and would have responded to them.  Not to people who were doing other things.  If Sam punches you in the face, you don't turn around and belt Sally, do you?  Especially if Sam and Sally don't like each other and have nothing to do with each other.

     You would be better off to sue Sam.  

     My preference is to keep the violence to a minimum where possible.  

     Dragging Sally into things is asking for extra problems.
When Clinton was asked about his thoughts about invading Iraq, if I recall correctly, before the invasion, he said that he thought Saddam Hussein wasn't a terrific leader, but invading Iraq would only create a source of new enemies and do nothing to reduce the supply of old ones.  I'd have to look it up to give you the details, but I believe I have the gist right.  I think he was right.

     I don't want to say he was prophetic, because there were a lot of other people saying the same thing at the time, and it didn't require any particular gift to predict the outcome.  Sorry to say so, though, for the sake of our country, Balladeer.  BobK.
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42 posted 06-15-2008 09:23 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/06/hbc-90003070
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43 posted 06-15-2008 10:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

For the dwindling but stout-hearted band of Bush loyalists, the creation of concentration camps and introduction of torture techniques never presented much of a problem—morally or legally.

That's the first sentence in your link, Jennifer. I never bothered reading the second. When I want trash, I'll read Toerag's poetry

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“That's the first sentence in your link, Jennifer. I never bothered reading the second.”

Not a problem, Balladeer. I can understand that opening sentence might be a turn off for you. The rest of the article was really rather interesting and informative. Sorry to learn you didn’t read it.

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45 posted 06-16-2008 01:55 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Balladeer,

     I took some time reading the two major references to your response (#40  to this link) and thinking about them.

     You were correct about my reservations about treating material from The National Review as trustworthy.  It provides no space for alternate points of view to be heard either as news or editorial content and makes no pretense of being other than a partisan magazine.  The material in this particular piece is an interview that is a puff piece for a book presenting a partisan point of view and makes no claim to be otherwise.  You present the material as though it were straight news reportage, which seems somewhat misleading to me, and present a list of criticisms of Clinton foreign policy without actually explaining what these actually may be or understanding if they were in fact possible.

     I’m sure that you omitted some of the quotations from later in the article because you noticed that they repeated charges that have since been exposed as outright falsehoods, and you perhaps did not wish your name linked with the spread of such falsehoods.  That speaks well for you, but not so well for the quality of the thinking of the article overall.  You repeat these charges because somebody else has stated them, but offer no substantiation for their truth at all.  Short of offering some sort of truth or reasoning in support of these charges, it seems you are merely repeating hearsay and gossip.

     Nor, actually, have to shown what relevance these charges about Bill Clinton’s foreign policy have to do with the articles of Impeachment that Congressman Kucinich has drawn up against President Bush.  

     If President Clinton has committed crimes for which he should be liable, charge him in a court of law and hold him responsible.

     This doesn’t mean that President Bush is not to be held responsible for the actions he has sanctioned and ordered or forbidden while President Bush has been in Power.  These have not been President Clinton’s third and fourth terms.  These administrations have been Bush’s and have been Neoconservative, and it is no more appropriate for Mr. Bush to Blame Mr. Clinton than is is for Mr. Clinton to Blame Mr. Bush or Mr. Reagan; regardless the fact that any policy has roots, the guy who started the mess is out of power when it comes time to clean the mess up, isn’t it?

     History will make its judgments about who’s responsible with somewhat more objectivity than we can.

     My understanding is that the practice, for all but the very best of rulers, is that, “It’s The Other Guy, Stupid.”  Perhaps you disagree.

     As I presume you understand, because you did quote the article from The Washington Post, President Clinton could not extradite Osama Bin Ladin in 1996 because he was not under indictment for any crime in the United States in 1996.  Unlike the current administration, the Clinton administration did make an attempt here to behave legally, though you are witnessing The National Review criticize them for not breaking the law in 1996.  There was certainly deep and solid suspicion, but not enough to win an indictment in an American court, and at that time the concept of American justice was something that almost all Americans could pride themselves upon.  That is hardly something that can be agreed upon today by both Americans and the majority of the rest of the world, is it?

     Not being able to extradite Osama Bin Ladin to The United States, it seems a bit disingenuous to suggest it might be possible for us to hold him against his right of habeus corpus for some other country to arrest him, and then extradite him for purposes of torture or execution, does it?  That’s what asylum laws were written to prevent, even in the United States of 1996, not to mention many European countries.

     Even the suggestion that such a possibility might be considered is about the most anti-American statement I think I may ever recall having heard in my life.  The Constitution was designed with safeguards to protect us against aristocrats and kings with the idea that they should be able to do things like that to people without due process.  To think that a President of this country would be criticized for refusing to act like a 14th century absolute monarch on a particularly self-righteous day makes every sphincter in my body twitch.

     Beyond that, lets try to take some of these criticisms one at a time:    

The Clinton administration:

1. Did not follow-up on the attempted bombing of Aden marines in Yemen.

a)  I really don’t know.  Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure that you do either.  Simply because somebody is trying to sell a book in The National Review doesn’t make something so.  Do you have any actual data from a reasonably objective source?  

     What information would a follow up of the attempted bombing give us that we needed to know?  That is, did we have enough information already for our purposes at the time, or were there other purposes that required a much more thorough investigation?

2. Shut the CIA out of the 1993 WTC bombing investigation, hamstringing their effort to capture bin Laden.

b)  Since the formation of the CIA a very clear line was drawn ON PURPOSE between foreign and domestic intelligence gathering.  The charter for the CIA was very specifically limited to Foreign Intelligence only.  This was done on purpose.  The FBI was given jurisdiction of domestic intelligence and some consular intelligence operations.  Their portfolio was in the main to be considered domestic intelligence with some exceptions.

     The CIA was supposed to be shut out of domestic intelligence operations for a number of reasons.  We had seem what happened in Russia and Germany when Domestic and foreign intelligence services got entwined, and the result was very far from pretty.  We had failed to maintain the separation during the Korean War as closely as we might have, and once again during the Vietnam War.  In both occasions civil liberties and citizen rights have been early casualties, and the government had come very close to imposing police-state type powers, at least in the minds of a great many of both the voters and legislators and the judiciary.

     Maintaining that separation was considered a more important goal.  The goal could not have been, by the way, “capturing Bin Ladin,” as the text says.  This is typical T N R hyperbole.  One captures another person only when they are a fugitive, and, since there were no outstanding charges against the man in the United States at that time, perhaps the magazine may have been  trying to talk about developing a case or some such more accurate description.

3. Had Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key bin Laden lieutenant, slip through their fingers in Qatar.

c)  And when exactly was this?  Before there were charges against him?  What were the details here, Balladeer?  When you look at T N R, their timetables tend to get maddening vague, as though the when of things didn’t matter and a person might reasonably be charged before considering a crime.  Not in the real world.


4. Did not militarily react to the al Qaeda bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

d)  And what, militarily, was the Clinton administration supposed to do?  This is the point of asymmetrical warfare, Balladeer.  Was the United States supposed to bomb Detroit?  Riyadh itself.  The Saudis for allowing  the Bin Ladin family to prosper.  The Turks, for allowing their empire to collapse and allowing the allies to win World War I.  The Russians, for pulling out of Afghanistan and allowing the Talliban to take over.  Osama himself?  How? you’ve got to find him first.  And when, because you can’t allow too much time to go by?

5. Did not accept the Sudanese offer to turn bin Laden.

e)  We already spoke about this.

6. Did not follow-up on another offer from Sudan through a private back channel.

f) Second verse, same as the first.

7. Objected to Northern Alliance efforts to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

g)  When was this?  I didn’t know there was a Northern Alliance until after 9/11 and we began putting special forces and funds into Afghanistan in 2002.

8. Decided against using special forces to take down bin Laden in Afghanistan.

h)  This was a decision taken by the Bush administration in 2002 in Tora Bora as far as I understand it, unless there’s some sort of mix-up about this and the last point that I simply don’t follow.

9. Did not take an opportunity to take into custody two al Qaeda operatives involved in the East African embassy bombings. In another little scoop, I am able to show that Sudan arrested these two terrorists and offered them to the FBI. The Clinton administration declined to pick them up and they were later allowed to return to Pakistan.

i)  I know nothing about this at all.  I need all sorts of detail about this to be able to respond.  Please give me the detail and I’ll respond as well as I’m able, but unless I can identify the incident you’re speaking about, I’m afraid I can’t help you here.

10. Ordered an ineffectual, token missile strike against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory.

j)  I think that was bad intelligence.  I do not think there was any evidence of chemical weapons activity at the Sudanese Pharma Factory because the whole notion of weapons of mass destruction held by the Iraqis and distributed by Al Qaeda was your basic science fiction.  Unfortunately the missile strike was not token as the fools at T N R  report, nor was it ineffectual, except in the sense that it failed to destroy the fever dream fantasy of wmd that the neocons had been working themselves and everybody else up with as studiously as they could.  The factory was destroyed.  I'm uncertain in some of the workers there were killed or not or even whether the plant was functioning at that time or not.

11. Clumsily tipped off Pakistani officials sympathetic to bin Laden before a planned missile strike against bin Laden on August 20, 1998. Bin Laden left the camp with only minutes to spare.

k)  Apparently not clumsily enough.

12-14. Three times, Clinton hesitated or deferred in ordering missile strikes against bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

L)  Is there some reason why he might have done so?  Or is no reason sufficient?  I’m open to be filled in, and would be happy to respond when I have enough detail to do so.  Since you haven’t specified yourself, you indicate that you agree that there are no reasons you would believe sufficient to avoid lobbing some cruise Missiles after the man, such as he and the Pope were have lunch in downtown Washington, D.C.  Or the guy that phoned in the report turned out to be calling from the nut ward in a hospital in Tampa.

     Either case, for example, would have certainly slowed down a decision of mine.  What were the reasons for Mr. Clinton's delays?  Or do they matter to The National Review at All?  And since they don't seem to matter to The National Review and you quote them uncritically, do you want us to think they matter to you?

15. When they finally launched and armed the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Laden, the Clinton administration no longer had military assets in place to strike the arch terrorist.

M)  Come on, Balladeer, does this magazine think that because the readership is conservative that you have to be idiots as well?  I can’t believe they’re treating you this way; and I would resent it.

     How can it be that they “no longer had military assets in place to strike the arch terrorist” and yet, at the same time have finally launched AND ARMED the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Ladin..”

     Is there something that prevents the drones from using a Hellfire missile or two of the armament that T N R tells you the drone has?  Unless the Drone is perhaps armed with spitballs and rubber bands to match the quality of its amazing video images.

16. Did not order a retaliatory strike on bin Laden for the
murderous attack on the USS Cole.

n)  And once again, Where?

     I’ve tried to give you a pretty close response to your National Review Piece.  I’ve responded to the mention you’ve made about 1996 and why I think Clinton left him where he was.

     I happen to think that in a country of laws, he did the right thing.
I do not like what’s happened to American in the time since.

     And what was Jennifer Maxwell doing that was so wrong, Balladeer?  She didn't insult you, you know, and I know darn well that you're not entirely thrilled with everything that Bush has done.  You think too much for yourself to get stuck that way.  You just don't particularly like group think and people who don't have a decent amount of respect for traditional values.  

     Jennifer Maxwell couldn't have insulted you with only one sentence of somebody else's prose.  And if you've been following her writing, you'll know she's worth listening to and disagreeing with at length, just to get the chance to know her.  Don't cut off your nose to spite your face, Professor Grouch.  You've got some interesting stuff to say to each other.

     Obnoxiously yours, Your Pal, Mr Bob.
JenniferMaxwell
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46 posted 06-16-2008 07:23 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I try to keep an open mind and read articles by writers with different points of view. Here’s one I read this morning on the same topic as the one you wouldn’t read. It’s by one of the boys from Benador so I think you’ll find it more to your liking, Balladeer.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGEwMTY5YTU3NGRiOWUyMzkxZTU3MDE1ZWUwMDYxOTM=
JenniferMaxwell
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47 posted 06-16-2008 08:15 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/38775.html
Bob K
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48 posted 06-16-2008 10:32 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Balladeer,

          In looking over my comments from last evening, I notice I left some of the Nation Review's gripes unaddressed.  Let's have a look at them now, shall we:

quote:
  
Never once in his two-year tenure did CIA director James Woolsey ever have a one-on-one meeting with Clinton. Even semiprivate meetings were rare. They only happened twice. Woolsey told me: "It wasn't that I had a bad relationship with the president. It just didn't exist."



     DCI is an extraordinarily important job within any administration.  It is generally not handed out to people a President does not trust to do a good professional job.  If it is given to somebody like that, they generally do not stay in that position for any length of time.  Exactly what the job entails will be up to the President and not up to the office holder, won't it?  It's not the President's job to satisfy the Office Holder's expectation of how they are to be used, at least within certain limits.  If The President wishes to be Briefed by somebody other than the DCI on a daily basis, it would be the DCI's job to find out why if he were curious or if the DCI felt that it compromised his performance at the CIA, or most assuredly if he felt that the quality of the information the President was getting was suffering.

     To do less would make him unworthy of the office of DCI.  Evidently Mr. Woolsey felt that the job was getting done and that a more personal relationship wasn't necessary on his side, either.

quote:

One of the little scoops in the book is the revelation that Clinton froze Woolsey out because the CIA director refused to put a friend of Bill on the agency's payroll. This account was confirmed by both Woolsey and the Clinton's consigliore Bruce Lindsey.



     I notice that no collaborating evidence is noted or quoted.  There is no office of consigliore in the Federal government; what was the office Mr. Lindsey held?  And serving as DCI for two years hardly seems to be "frozen out."  Who was the person Mr. Clinton thought would be a good hire for which job in the CIA and why did Woolsey assume it was a patronage placement as the TNR implies here?  (It may well have been one, by the way; I don't know, but I don't like the way that The National Review implies without stating that this is so.  Were they to state it straightforwardly in a fashion that might put them on the hook for libel were the statement proven to be untrue and knowingly passed on as an untruth, I might feel that they were passing on what they knew to be the facts of the matter.

quote:

Considering the Justice Department's experience with Webster Hubbell, another Friend of Bill, Woolsey's decision may have done the CIA a great deal of good. But Clinton's pique did not make America any safer from bin Laden.





     I have seen no evidence of Clinton's "pique."  I have seen no evidence that Mr. Woolsey felt his job performance was compromised or that he did less than an excellent job as a DCI.  Counterterrorism was specifically Mr. Clarke's purview, and Mr. Clarke did have access.  Perhaps my timing is off and you can correct me by informing me of details that would remind me otherwise.

quote:

Another Clinton intelligence failure involved a refusal to help the CIA hire more Arabic language translators. In 1993, Woolsey learned that the agency was able to translate only 10 percent of its Arabic intercepts and badly wanted more translators. But Sen. Dennis DeConcini refused to approve the funds unless Clinton phoned him and said it was a presidential priority. Despite entreaties, Clinton never phoned the Democratic senator and the CIA didn't get those translators for years.




     Perhaps so.  I'd need more information about this.  If so, it was a serious mistake on Mr. Clinton's part and he should be asked about it and should have to explain himself, don't you think?

Sincerely, Bob K.

Bob K
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49 posted 06-16-2008 06:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


And now, Balladeer, that you have given me yet another T N R reference to read, digest, think about and respond to, I think it may be time for me to ask your indulgence and return the favor.  Here is a reference from a straightforwardly Liberal publication talking about the assertion that President Bush has made that everybody believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to 9/11 and that he was therefore justified in taking the country to war.  

     I'd be grateful if you'd find it in your heart to give it a reading and tell me what you think.  What are the parts that seem to fit with what you've understood and what parts don't, so we might be able to extend our dialogue a bit in this direction too.  

     I read over what Jennifer Maxwell posted and thought the National Review article was one that I'd enjoy hearing your response to as well.  There are some other conservative voices on the site that seem to be allowing you to do all their talking for them.  I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say as well.

     There is probably a mid-range of agreement that many of us have simply as Americans that stands apart from the whole Liberal and conservative Democratic and Republican divides.  The lions share of us are probably independants and have unique and interesting points of view that are bound to provide perspective that I for one am too stuck in my current thinking to accesss with any ease.  

     If you've got thoughts opinions or articles, why not share those too?  And what about Impeaching George Bush?  Or putting him on trial after he leaves office?

     Sincerely, Bob K.
 
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