Author Topic: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?  (Read 803 times)

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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2019, 12:23:04 PM »
John, Im not talking about Tenet. I actually agree with your take on the value of his accounts.
Im talking about giving Bush and Cheney the benefit of the doubt in terms of ignoring the state of the intelligence at the time and what they said publicly to make the war happen. I think when you look at the likelyhood of that vs the much more simple answer that they lied and are war criminals, its unreasonable to have such a generous interpretation.
They didn’t just ignore the intelligence. They wanted intelligence they could use to link Iraq with 911 and show Iraq was developing WMDs and discredit the ability of inspection teams.

Tenet provided all of that. And he was silent before Congress, the media and the rest of the government about all the intelligence that contradicted the story the White House wanted to hear and tell.

In return Bush have him the highest honor the government gives civilians.

Tenet was the enabler in chief of the Iraq war.

He was the guy who said WMDs in Iraq were a “slam dunk case”

The intelligence he provided was weak, unreliable, biased and self serving.

There is no reason not to suspect that his account isn’t the same.

If you really want to learn about the role of the faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq war I’d suggest Robert Woodward’s book.




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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2019, 01:11:36 PM »
When examining history it is important to compare and contrast multiple first hand accounts with the assumption that no account is the complete picture and that people will occasionally lie.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2019, 03:02:14 PM »
When examining history it is important to compare and contrast multiple first hand accounts with the assumption that no account is the complete picture and that people will occasionally lie.


First, look at the comments I made.

Are you disputing that Tenet may not be the most reliable witness?

Or that the Iraq war was justified to Congress, the UN and the American people based almost exclusively on the intelligence Tenet provided?

Or that Tenet did nothing to correct the record in time to stop the war?

Or that JA was presenting this unreliable account as historical fact in several long posts with numerous  and only agreed that it may be unreliable after he was called on it and even then with fallacious caveats?

Sure you want to get first hand information about the bank robbery, but don’t just take Clyde’s word for it, ask Bonnie too and their whole gang.

Don’t just ask the cop involved in the shooting, ask his partner and the other cops nearby.

Don’t just get Trump’s word on collusion and obstruction ask Kellyanne and Bannon and Manefort

It’s the same thing here   Because this is all secret intelligence and the only people with first hand knowledge have a stake in it.




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Offline Sawyer

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2019, 05:56:39 PM »
Im not sure why people are so willing to give the benefit of the doubt regarding confirmation bias to Cheney and Bush?
The number of things they would have needed to overlook and ignore is staggering to the point of criminal negligence anyway and when you look at other areas where parties have engaged in outright dishonest manipulation of policy at more mundane levels (gerrymandering, legislation in favour of donors, restricting research into gun violence, admission of climate change, curtailing citizens abilities to gain redress through civil courts by capping settlements for certain cases and on and on)....
It really seems like mental gymnastics to give the benefit of the doubt there instead of leaning towards the idea that they are selfish and callous people who felt justified in using their powers to benefit themselves, their cronies and their donors.

I think this inclination generally misunderstands what the principle of charity actually exists to achieve.

I probably shouldn't have used the phrase "benefit of the doubt" in my previous post, because I absolutely do not want to grant a shred of legitimacy to anything they did.  My only point here is that when the primary focus of the critique is on the lies to the public, it can downplay the level of internal miscommunication and self-deception going on at the time.  I don't think anyone in this forum is currently ignoring those factors, but I've seen other discussions where they get glossed over in favor of presenting the Bush team as more competent warmongers.  They were not competent.  I want people to know that Dick Cheney did not just become continuously more evil person over 30 years in government, but became progressively stupider as well.  The fact that these people will start to buy into their own bullshit given enough time is worth pointing out, as evidenced by the current president and many of his sycophants.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2019, 06:11:17 PM »
I think thats fair. But they were also liars and should be prosecuted for lying to the american people on such an important matter.

Offline CarbShark

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Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2019, 07:31:27 PM »
Im not sure why people are so willing to give the benefit of the doubt regarding confirmation bias to Cheney and Bush?
The number of things they would have needed to overlook and ignore is staggering to the point of criminal negligence anyway and when you look at other areas where parties have engaged in outright dishonest manipulation of policy at more mundane levels (gerrymandering, legislation in favour of donors, restricting research into gun violence, admission of climate change, curtailing citizens abilities to gain redress through civil courts by capping settlements for certain cases and on and on)....
It really seems like mental gymnastics to give the benefit of the doubt there instead of leaning towards the idea that they are selfish and callous people who felt justified in using their powers to benefit themselves, their cronies and their donors.

I think this inclination generally misunderstands what the principle of charity actually exists to achieve.

I probably shouldn't have used the phrase "benefit of the doubt" in my previous post, because I absolutely do not want to grant a shred of legitimacy to anything they did.  My only point here is that when the primary focus of the critique is on the lies to the public, it can downplay the level of internal miscommunication and self-deception going on at the time.  I don't think anyone in this forum is currently ignoring those factors, but I've seen other discussions where they get glossed over in favor of presenting the Bush team as more competent warmongers.  They were not competent.  I want people to know that Dick Cheney did not just become continuously more evil person over 30 years in government, but became progressively stupider as well.  The fact that these people will start to buy into their own bullshit given enough time is worth pointing out, as evidenced by the current president and many of his sycophants.


The reason I don’t give them any benefit of the doubt is that this wasn’t a hasty decision made under the fog of war before all the facts were known.

This was a long and deliberate process where there were ample opportunities to dig further and when new facts actually came to light, correct the record.

They knew full well Saddam had no connection to 911, long before they stopped pushing that and in plenty of time to take that issue off the table in the public’s mind before the war. 

They also knew the yellow cake evidence was extremely unreliable and even outed a CIA-operative to keep that secret.

They also knew even as he was speaking before the UN that the anthrax evidence Powell was giving even weaker and had never been confirmed. And they knew the rest of what he said was false.

If any of these had been the result of miscommunication or innocent mistakes, then they would have corrected them as soon as they knew it. And they didn’t. Starting with Tenet and throughout the administration.




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Offline John Albert

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2019, 06:38:49 AM »
They didn’t just ignore the intelligence. They wanted intelligence they could use to link Iraq with 911 and show Iraq was developing WMDs and discredit the ability of inspection teams.

Tenet provided all of that.

Since you purport to know so much about the role of US intelligence in the Iraq War:

What were the specific contents of the intelligence reports that Tenet provided to the Bush administration? When the Bush administration made their public rationale for going to war, did they present that information faithfully, or did they alter it in any way?

What specific information did the CIA provide, that allegedly linked Iraq with the 9/11 attacks?

In what way did Tenet and the CIA "discredit" the inspection teams?

Do you believe George Tenet played some role in the Valerie Plame outing?

What was the context of the phrase "slam dunk," as used by Tenet in a White House meeting? How was it misrepresented in testimony before Congress? 


If you really want to learn about the role of the faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq war I’d suggest Robert Woodward’s book.

I've read that one too. But Tenet is a primary source whereas Woodward is not.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 07:46:13 AM by John Albert »

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2019, 02:22:01 PM »
They didn’t just ignore the intelligence. They wanted intelligence they could use to link Iraq with 911 and show Iraq was developing WMDs and discredit the ability of inspection teams.

Tenet provided all of that.
Since you purport to know so much about the role of US intelligence in the Iraq War:

I don't purport that.
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What were the specific contents of the intelligence reports that Tenet provided to the Bush administration? When the Bush administration made their public rationale for going to war, did they present that information faithfully, or did they alter it in any way?

Off the top of my head: Iraq's attempt to get yellowcake (uranium) from Africa; Iraq's effort to develop anthrax; Iraq's effort to import equipment used for uranium enrichment; Iraq hiding evidence from UN inspectors.

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What specific information did the CIA provide, that allegedly linked Iraq with the 9/11 attacks?

Off the top of my head there were reports that Iraqi intelligence agents met with Al Queada operatives (in Mexico City, IIRC)

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In what way did Tenet and the CIA "discredit" the inspection teams?

I didn't say he did. I said they (The Bush administration) did. They raised doubts about their effectiveness and their motives.

Tenet, of course did nothing to correct the record before Congress or the people.

Quote
Do you believe George Tenet played some role in the Valerie Plame outing?

Probably not intentionally. I didn't say he did. I said the Bush Administration did. Tenet, or his staff, probably provided the details about her relationship and her role and Chaney and Scooter took it from there. So yes he played a role.

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What was the context of the phrase "slam dunk," as used by Tenet in a White House meeting? How was it misrepresented in testimony before Congress? 

That context was that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction.  I didn't say that was misrepresented.

Quote
If you really want to learn about the role of the faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq war I’d suggest Robert Woodward’s book.

I've read that one too. But Tenet is a primary source whereas Woodward is not.

Woodward is an unbiased source Tenet is not.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2019, 10:26:20 AM »
I think thats fair. But they were also liars and should be prosecuted for lying to the american people on such an important matter.

Lying to the American people is not a crime.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2019, 10:30:14 AM »
I think thats fair. But they were also liars and should be prosecuted for lying to the american people on such an important matter.

Lying to the American people is not a crime.
No, but did they not also lie to congress to get the war approved?
If not that then they are still war criminals for invading a sovereign nation without due cause.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2019, 11:54:38 AM »
I think thats fair. But they were also liars and should be prosecuted for lying to the american people on such an important matter.

Lying to the American people is not a crime.
No, but did they not also lie to congress to get the war approved?
If not that then they are still war criminals for invading a sovereign nation without due cause.
The war in Iraq was an extension of the Persian gulf war. The US had full authority under UN resolutions and Congressional authorization to conduct military operations in Iraq.

The war crime was not in going to war the war crimes were committed in the conduct of the war.


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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2019, 04:46:44 PM »
There is quite some disagreement in this thread. Is this an unsettled issue?

For some reason, France and Germany didn't believe that Saddam Hussein was developing, or had developed, WMDs. I think that if they thought he had, they would have supported the war, maybe even participating in it themselves.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2019, 09:03:43 PM »
I think thats fair. But they were also liars and should be prosecuted for lying to the american people on such an important matter.

Lying to the American people is not a crime.
No, but did they not also lie to congress to get the war approved?
If not that then they are still war criminals for invading a sovereign nation without due cause.

Did either Bush or Cheney actually directly provide any statement to Congress?  I’d be surprised if they did. And even if they did, the crime of giving materially false statements before Congress requires scienter; it is not merely making a false statement, but knowingly and willfully doing so. That standard would be almost impossible to meet, especially when they could point to intelligence they were provided by national security agencies.  Sure I think they knew it was trumped up; but I also doubt that they ever said or wrote anything that could be used in a court to prove that they knew it.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2019, 09:26:55 PM »
I think the question for the topic of this post is fallacious.

I think it's clear that the Bush administration lied about WMDs in Iraq. It's also clear that either Blair lied or was lied to.


And these lies were a conspiracy in the general use of the term, although possibly not in the legal definition.

But why does it matter if it is a "conspiracy theory" or not?

Just because most conspiracy theories are false and baseless doesn't mean that all are.

Watergate was a conspiracy theory, before it wasn't.

Iran Contra was a conspiracy theory before it wasn't.

Russian interference in the US elections and the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians was a conspiracy theory until it wasn't.

The theory is that Bush and Chaney and others in and out of their administration lied in order to get support for America (and others) going to war against Iraq.

The fact is that Bush and Chaney and others in and out of their administration lied in order to get support for America (and others) going to war against Iraq.
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Is it a conspiracy theory that Bush/Blair lied about WMDs in Iraq?
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2019, 09:53:21 AM »
No, but did they not also lie to congress to get the war approved?
If not that then they are still war criminals for invading a sovereign nation without due cause.

AFAIK, war was never declared; Congress simply approved a boatload of military spending for the Occupation.

 

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