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Tilting at Windmills

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January 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

CHERRY PICKING ADVICE FROM THE MASTERS....The Pentagon says it's reluctant to release all the documents captured after the fall of Iraq. Why? Because they're afraid the press might cherry pick just a few of the documents and thus make some kind of unfair point not supported by the entire weight of the evidence.

No, really, that's what they say. I'm not making that up. Marc Lynch has the details.

Kevin Drum 12:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (66)

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When, in a system of government of, by and for the people (leaving aside the irony), did that become a legitimate excuse for the government to withhold information from the citizenry?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 7, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Cambone projecting.

Posted by: Joel on January 7, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Cue FakeTbrosz Inc.!

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Posted by: Phobos Deimos on January 7, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

The Pentagon wants exclusive cherry picking rights. Their experience in this area does give that policy credence, eh?

Of course, after years of translating and combing through about 2 million documents, they have managed to locate only one which alludes to an Irag-Al Queda link. Even then, the document is not released, but merely leaked in the form of characterized snippets.

This is similar, in reverse, to the famous Friday night mass document dump of Bush's National Guard records, where those that were pertinent were cherry picked to be excluded.

Posted by: jayarbee on January 7, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

So how does the Pentagon know so much about cherry picking?

Posted by: Carl on January 7, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

From the link:

The main worry, says DiRita, is that the mainstream press might cherry-pick documents and mischaracterize their meaning. "There is always the concern that people would be chasing a lot of information good or bad, and when the Times or the Post splashes a headline about some sensational-sounding document that would seem to 'prove' that sanctions were working, or that Saddam was just a misunderstood patriot, or some other nonsense, we'd spend a lot of time chasing around after it."

Obvious translation from Bushspeak to English:

There is clear documentation that proves sanctions were working. We're not going to let anybody outside of us get their hands on that.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 7, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 is exactly right.

Posted by: cleek on January 7, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the clear documentation that the Iraqis were actually trying to kill Zarqawi, defeat Ansar al Islam, and prevent Al Qaeda from getting a toehold in Iraq.

Posted by: kenga on January 7, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Cherry picking is as American as apple pie.

Posted by: x on January 7, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the clear documentation that the Iraqis were actually trying to kill Zarqawi, defeat Ansar al Islam, and prevent Al Qaeda from getting a toehold in Iraq.

Right. I neglected the part of the translation from Bushspeak to English dealing with the remark "Saddam was just a misunderstood patriot". That seems pretty obviously to be the way Bushspeak alludes to the fact that Saddam was interested only in maintaining power in Iraq, and considered interlopers like al Qaida to be the enemy.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 7, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I know these are serious matters and all, but sometimes you just have to shake your head and laugh at these sorry excuses for people.

lol

Posted by: cdj on January 7, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Only "The King" is allowed to cherry pick.

It's treason if anybody else does such a un-American thing.

Posted by: Mark-NC on January 7, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think they should release all of them. I suspect they would support Hayes' views a lot more than otherwise.

I notice that Lynch simply assumes Hayes is wrong, and leaves it at that. Same for the assumption that Kristol is being devious when he asks for all the documents to be released.

Saddam has a long and proven history, and reasonable people suspect that those documents are much more likely to indict him than vindicate him. Haye's "cherry picks" some titles here.

Incidentally, at what point did "cherry picking" among the documents become an issue, instead of concerns about the accuracy of a given document? If one official document says "the WMD will be shipped to Syria tomorrow," or perhaps instead "we will have completed destruction of all our WMD by 2000," does it matter in any way that this piece of information was picked out of a large pile? Unless, of course, you find both documents at the same time...

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to assume that the fake tbrosz has, once again, stopped using a marker to denote his posts. Reasonable people, over two years later, have figured out that Hussein had nothing that could seriously be called a threat to our nation and reasonable people have also long since figured out that when the Bush administration tells us that something is black we can expect that it is, at best medium gray and more likely ecru.

Posted by: heavy on January 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, is their concern unreasonable?

I suspect not.

While 'heavy' claims that Iraq did nothing that could threaten our country, captured documents from Iraq and Afghanistan clearly demonstrate that Saddam was, indeed, had training camps for terrorists. These terrorists went elsewhere in the Middle East, and some came back to Iraq to fight our soldiers.

That's just one example.

If you follow the link you'll find, unfortunately, that the information wasn't revealed in the NYT or in WaPo. It's in the Weekly Standard, which means some of you will be concerned about catching cooties just by clicking the link (fair warning as a service to my liberal friends).

You'd think, in light of the claims by some on the Left that Saddam had nothing to do with terrorism, that this would be something the MSM would want to track down -- if true, report it, and if not true, refute it.

Nope, not a word from the NYT/CBS/WaPo gang.

That's the cherry-picking issue: the MSM isn't going to comb through all these documnts to get at all the big issues; they're going to report selectively to fit their agenda.

So, again, is the Pentagon's concern unreasonable?

Nope.

Posted by: Steve White on January 7, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0 writes, There is clear documentation that proves sanctions were working.

Well yeah, if the goal was to starve Iraqi children, the sanctions clearly worked.

If the goal was to bribe Germans, French and Russians to support Iraq at the U.N. and to provide arms under the table, the sanctions worked just dandy. Thanks to the information revealed in the Oil-for-Food program scandal, we know exactly how well the sanctions worked in that respect.

If the goal was to force Saddam to modify his behavior, alas, the sanctions didn't work so well.

Posted by: Steve White on January 7, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

SW: Just because the Pentagon had 'reasonable' concerns doesn't give them the right to cover their asses like this.

And since when did 'cherry picking' a mound of documents become a bad thing? Isn't that was writing and editing a story demands?

Posted by: Jones on January 7, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Jones, I don't mind reporters reading a mound of documents and figuring out what it all means. Not at all.

The Pentagon is concerned that the reporters are going to use the documents to write stories that lambast them. Given the MSM track record, I understand their concern.

Posted by: Steve White on January 7, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

While 'heavy' claims that Iraq did nothing that could threaten our country, captured documents from Iraq and Afghanistan clearly demonstrate that Saddam was, indeed, had training camps for terrorists.

Please define "training camp for terrorists". I read the Weekly Standard piece, and I still have no idea what they were talking about.

Who exactly was being trained in these camps? By whom? To do what? Given that the word "terrorist" in the Standard's usage covers everything from ex-Iraqi Army officers now organizing insurgent resistance, to benighted losers trying to set their shoes on fire, they might for all I know be talking about Iraqi Army training camps. I simply have no idea what the piece is actually talking about.

In its sole moment of specificity, the Standard piece refers to Ansar al-Islam training camps. Ansar al-Islam's camp(s) were in the US-enforced no-fly zone in Iraq's Kurdish-controlled north, where Hussein did not control his own territory - which we've been trying to get through people's thick skulls for years now, ever since Bush supporters began raising Ansar as an example of Hussein's alleged support for terrorism.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 7, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Pentagon is concerned that the reporters are going to use the documents to write stories that lambast them. Given the MSM track record, I understand their concern.

Given the Pentagon's record, I understand the lambasting.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 7, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

There is clear documentation that proves sanctions were working.

the nut of the matter. thank you, frankly

Posted by: benjoya on January 7, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

some sensational-sounding document that would seem to 'prove' that sanctions were working, or that Saddam was just a misunderstood patriot,

i mean, how much more obvious can you get?

Posted by: benjoya on January 7, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations to Kevin for so many wonderful new year gifts in the form of blogs that write themselves.

Posted by: lib on January 7, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK
So, is their concern unreasonable?

I suspect not.

Whether or not their "concern" is "unreasonable" is immaterial, because its not their job to withhold information from the public on the basis that some members of the public might selectively use it in the exercise their first amendment rights, and by doing might spread stories that are inconsistent with what the Pentagon wants the public to believe (whether true or false).

That's not a legitimate reason for public servants to withhold information from the public they serve.

If there is concern for cherry-picking, you release all the documents, and you make sure that your press releases accompanying the general release highlight the points and documents you think are important and relevant. Will your critics in the media and the public trumpet other parts of the release? Sure. And the people in general will hear the various sides, if they are interested enough go through the released documentation, and come to their own conclusion.

That's what popular sovereignty -- government by the people -- is about. Its not about keeping the public in the dark to prevent them from being exposed to ideas that don't serve the ruling clique and to prevent them from making informed decisions. That's tyranny through control of information.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 7, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK


CMDICELY: That's what popular sovereignty -- government by the people -- is about. Its not about keeping the public in the dark to prevent them from being exposed to ideas that don't serve the ruling clique and to prevent them from making informed decisions. That's tyranny through control of information.

This (and the entirety of your comment) is so precisely to the point as to negate everything else posted in this thread thus far. If only this obvious assessment had appeared in Kevin's original post where it would receive the widest possible readership.

But Kevin won't say these things in such a straightforward manner, just as he won't call the administration a pack of liars, nor call for the impeachment of its figurehead. Oh, sure, he'll likely get onboard if ever an actual movement developed, once he felt himself in safe harbor. How sad it is that the weakest willed are the appointed as the voice for the public's interest.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 7, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Since when is "I'm really scared of the press" an acceptable exemption from FOIA requirements?

Posted by: Will on January 7, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Now,now, boys and girls, King George W. the First is going to be angry with you for questioning his commands. After all you live in a democracy and will be told what you need to know when the time is apporopriate. Now be good and go about your business and leave all of this to the ruling classes.

Posted by: murmeister on January 7, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

The best thing that would happen after the release of all the documents to the public (hopefully online) is that the blogosphere, all across the political spectrum, would probably do a hell of a better job analyzing them than the media would.

The only caveat I might have would be documents that might put some innocent Iraqi or other person in danger. Not sure who would be able to decide this, or how. If the DoD starts filtering for that sort of thing, it would be pretty easy to start filtering for other stuff.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

If the goal was to force Saddam to modify his behavior, alas, the sanctions didn't work so well.

The "goal" of the sanctions was (initially in 1990) to punish Iraq for invading Kuwait. Post Gulf War, it was to provide Iraq a strong incentive to end its WMD programs, which of course we now know it did in 1991.

There is no fact more basic than this to understanding Iraq-US relations. Not knowing it is like someone opining about chemistry while demonstrating they don't know water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen.

Holy christ, what an idiot Steve White is. George Bush must sleep well knowing he has this army of morons marching behind him.

Posted by: grh on January 7, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond the extraordinary stupidity Steve White demonstrates re the issue of sanctions, I'm also quite impressed with his magnificent credulity concerning the Weekly Standard. You'd think that after a publication is willing to repeat and amplify the most egregious lies on a subject, and then been proven wrong in the most spectacular way imaginable, people like Steve White might develop some elementary skepticism about them and their "sources." But no.

Truly, no con men ever had a more eager bunch of rubes and dupes than the Bush administration. You can hear Steve White & co saying to themselves: the very fact that we've given these people our life savings for what turned out to be sugar water means that surely THIS time the magical elixer will work!!!

Posted by: grh on January 7, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White: So, again, is the Pentagon's concern unreasonable?

Yes, at least Rumsfeld appears to think so, and apparently Cambone is also changing his tune.

tbrosz: The best thing that would happen after the release of all the documents to the public (hopefully online) is that the blogosphere, all across the political spectrum, would probably do a hell of a better job analyzing them than the media would.

Rumsfled appears to agree.

From the Weekly Standard piece linked to by Abu Aardvark:

...Rumsfeld is pushing aggressively for a massive dump of the captured documents. "He has a sense that public vetting of this information is likely to be as good an astringent as any other process we could develop," says Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita.

... In what is perhaps a sign of a changing dynamic within the administration, Cambone is now saying that he, like his boss, favors a broad document release.

Posted by: has407 on January 7, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

...Rumsfeld is pushing aggressively for a massive dump of the captured documents.

Kevin, you have been had. All this Kabuki just to show that Rumsfeld is for relasing all the documents?

Apart from the folks at the Corner (or their fello travelers here and elsewhre), who believes that they will ever release any documents that might have even a hint of the proof of the stupidity of their adventure? Just like they had a full investigation of Abu Ghraib, now they will release all the documents. Haha!

Posted by: nut on January 7, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of like the assholes cherry picked the intelligence before the war?

I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander?

When the fuck did that rule get changed?

Posted by: Vinnie on January 7, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

No, really, that's what they say. I'm not making that up. Marc Lynch has the details.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 7, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe writes, Please define "training camp for terrorists". I read the Weekly Standard piece, and I still have no idea what they were talking about.

Who exactly was being trained in these camps? By whom? To do what?

From the article:

The secret training took place primarily at three campsin Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pakand was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algerias GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000.

That's the answer. Saddam was training individuals who belonged to some nasty terrorist groups.

The GPSC is, in English, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a particularly venomous terror group that has kept the civil war alive in Algeria, at a cost of over 100,000 dead. The Sudanese Islamic Army led the attack against Christians and animists in southern Sudan -- again, hundreds of thousands dead.

That's who Saddam was helping to train.

Posted by: Steve White on January 7, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, is that the same Weekly World News that gave us all the inside dope on the Clinton administration's wrongdoing that all turned out to be nothing? Sorry, you need to be credible before you can provide a major scoop like this. And stop with the "liberal media" lie. You know better Steve, that's just a joke the Republicans use because it allows them to pretend the clowns of the Weekly World News are a "serious" media organization.

Remember, the Weekly World News proved' the case for a connection before and it turned out they were lying then too. Fool me once, shame on shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again

Posted by: heavy on January 7, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Mission Accomplished, right?

http://frankkoughan.blogspot.com/2006/01/mission-accomplished.html

Posted by: Kate on January 7, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

You might ask who translated the documents up to this point. The army got rid of quite a few translators because they were unnatural or some such. I wonder why they didn't get Chalabi's folks to help out? It looks like he'll have some time on his hands in a month or so.

Posted by: TJM on January 7, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

That's the answer. Saddam was training individuals who belonged to some nasty terrorist groups.

What an excellent opportunity to quote myself!

Beyond the extraordinary stupidity Steve White demonstrates re the issue of sanctions, I'm also quite impressed with his magnificent credulity concerning the Weekly Standard. You'd think that after a publication is willing to repeat and amplify the most egregious lies on a subject, and then been proven wrong in the most spectacular way imaginable, people like Steve White might develop some elementary skepticism about them and their "sources." But no.

It really requires the mind of a three year-oldand not a particularly bright three yearto act like Steve White and happily gulp down whatever bullshit Stephen Hayes is spraying America with this week.

For comparison's sake, here's some of his previous superlative work:

The case that Saddam already possesses such weapons, and that he's not reluctant to use them, is overwhelming. Indeed, to argue that Saddam is merely "intent on developing" weapons of mass destruction--the favorite phrasing of those who argue that Saddam is "bottled up"--one must disbelieve a mind-boggling number of reports from highly credible sources that suggest the Iraqi dictator already has them...

While no one can say for sure just how extensive Saddam's arsenal was when inspectors were withdrawn in 1998, there is little doubt that he retained weapons of mass destruction...

A succession of Iraqi defectors who left after the inspectors were withdrawn in 1998--some more credible than others--have confirmed Saddam's continuation of his WMD programs. Last fall, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, an Iraqi civil engineer who fled the country, told U.S. intelligence officials that he had worked at nearly two dozen of Saddam's biological and chemical weapons facilities under the auspices of Iraq's Military Industrial Organization. He provided those officials with detailed accounts of the operations--including descriptions of storage facilities designed to look like water wells--and reported that a major task was to make weapons facilities impenetrable from the outside and leak-proof from the inside. In one case, he even produced a contract that his company signed with the Iraqi regime. He told the New York Times's Judith Miller that he worked on a biological weapons facility in Waziriya, which he said, "was near the Mercedes dealer."

Posted by: grh on January 7, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, that Stephen Hayes WMD article contains incredible elementary errors of fact, errors that were obvious at the time to anyone with the most basic understanding of the issue. In that, they're not unlike Steve White's incredible elementary misunderstanding of the sanctions issue.

So I guess it's no wonder Steve White sees Hayes as a brother-in-arms.

Posted by: grh on January 7, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

That's it? You guys read an article claiming that Saddam trained 8,000 Islamic terrorists; an article which falsifies several years' worth of your propaganda and you simply ignore it?

Reality-based my ass.

Posted by: am on January 7, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

In a society that is supposedly about accountability in government, it is indeed odd that all the King's Men won't us actually read the documents from Iraq. Not trusting the Press is not a good excuse...for not trusting your own citizens. Its Monarchism, pure and simple.

Posted by: parrot on January 7, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

am:

That's it? You guys read an article claiming that Saddam trained 8,000 Islamic terrorists; an article which falsifies several years' worth of your propaganda and you simply ignore it?

Looks like another wonderful opportunity to quote myself:

Truly, no con men ever had a more eager bunch of rubes and dupes than the Bush administration. You can hear Steve White & co saying to themselves: the very fact that we've given these people our life savings for what turned out to be sugar water means that surely THIS time the magical elixer will work!!!
Posted by: grh on January 7, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

That's it? You guys read an article claiming that Saddam trained 8,000 Islamic terrorists; an article which falsifies several years' worth of your propaganda and you simply ignore it? - am

You might forgive us our skepticism. After all this is an administration that has paid for positive press before. And even if they didn't pay the reporter for it directly several of the big MSM organizations seem more than eager to push a pro-administration puff piece. There is always a Roger Ailes or a Judy Miller dying to run interference for this bunch of crooks.

You know, I'd be just as skeptical if the story told us that Saddam trained 8 Islamic terrorists. Bush and company have lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't believe them if they said farts stink.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 7, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

It always amazes me when the Righties claim it was awful to sanction Iraq and starve a lot of children, but it's better to bomb them to death.

Posted by: MarkH on January 8, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

That's it? You guys read an article claiming that Saddam trained 8,000 Islamic terrorists; an article which falsifies several years' worth of your propaganda and you simply ignore it?
Posted by: am

ironically, it's still fewer terrorists than have been financed and trained by my american tax dollars.

Posted by: Nads on January 8, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Next thing you know, we'll be seeing articles about how Saddam got a blowjob.

Posted by: Mammon on January 8, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

The only caveat I might have would be documents that might put some innocent Iraqi or other person in danger. - tbrosz

Your concern about putting innocent Iraqis in danger is touching, tbrosz. It might have extended to the US's decision to invade Iraq in the first place.

Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algerias GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000.

That's the answer. Saddam was training individuals who belonged to some nasty terrorist groups.

If this information checks out - and, again, I will wait until a respectable news organization reviews the documents and associated interviews, rather than a partisan flack sheet notorious for spreading disinformation - then what it says is that Saddam's military provided training to the Islamist forces in the civil wars in Algeria and Sudan. In Algeria, those forces were/are on the losing side, and are still insurgents; in Sudan, they're part of or allied with the national government.

Neither of these groups have ever committed a terrorist act against an American, or against any foreign target, as far as I am aware. Neither of them had anything to do with plotting 9/11. How exactly they are "associated with" Al-Qaeda remains unexplained, but regardless, Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is much more directly associated with active terrorists than Saddam Hussein ever was, if these documents are the best that conservatives can come up with to prove a link.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 8, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, the part beginning "Many of the fighters..." should be in quotes; the rest is from Steven White.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 8, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Steve White: The GPSC [sic] is, in English, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a particularly venomous terror group that has kept the civil war alive in Algeria, at a cost of over 100,000 dead. The Sudanese Islamic Army led the attack against Christians and animists in southern Sudan -- again, hundreds of thousands dead.

You appear to confuse the GSPC and the GIA; the GSPC is--or at least was--more moderate, having broken with the GIA in the early 90's IIRC (over the issue of civilan deaths). The GSPC is no angel, but it is incredulous to peg them with the primary responsibility for "over 100,000" dead. Similarly, the "Sudanese Islamic Army" is a label that appears to have been invented to cover a hodge-podge by people who either don't know or don't care about the details.

That there were touchpoints between various groups prior to 2000 (and that continues today) is no suprise, and has been documented elsewhere. That Hussein had his fingers in those pies should also be no surprise; you'll find similar--and equally tenuous--connections with Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, etc., especially if you look at the world through an "us versus them" lens.

That is typical of Steve Haye's reporting, and the view of many on the right--lump all "terrorists" into one bucket, and conflate or ignore 20+ years of history and the changing relationships of various groups because "9/11 changed everything" (no Mr. Hayes, it ony highlights your ignorance). NB: The public "alignment" of several groups with al Qaeda is a recent phenomena (e.g., circa 2003 in the case of GSPC IIRC).

Posted by: has407 on January 8, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe:

Your concern about putting innocent Iraqis in danger is touching, tbrosz. It might have extended to the US's decision to invade Iraq in the first place.

Yeah, Iraqis were living in peace, safety and kite-flying harmony before the invasion. You might want to take that one up with the Kurds and Shiites.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 8, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Iraqis were living in peace, safety and kite-flying harmony before the invasion. You might want to take that one up with the Kurds and Shiites. - tbrosz

So, to make a Democracy we have to crush several thousand skulls? Bon Apptit! But seriously brosz, if this invasion were the brainchild of some mushy headed liberal Democrat that wanted to save the Iraqi people for humanitarian reasons ONLY would you still be behind it? If so do tell. A genocide in the Sudan awaits our help.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 8, 2006 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

they're afraid the press might cherry pick just a few of the documents and thus make some kind of unfair point

Posted by: ape on January 8, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, that Stephen Hayes WMD article contains incredible elementary errors of fact, errors that were obvious at the time to anyone with the most basic understanding of the issue. In that, they're not unlike Steve White's incredible elementary misunderstanding of the sanctions issue.

Posted by: Mark on January 8, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe:

Your concern about putting innocent Iraqis in danger is touching, tbrosz. It might have extended to the US's decision to invade Iraq in the first place.

Or it might have extended to America's enthusiastic assistance to Saddam during the eighties, or to our standing by while Saddam used chemical weapons against the Shiites at the end of Gulf War I, or to our strangling of Iraq via sanctions from 91 to 03. Etc.

But no. The purported "concern" of people like tbrosz is the same as the deep concern of people in the Soviet Union for the terrible suffering of the Vietnamese at the hands of the US...who then of course enthusiastically supported Soviet repression elsewhere. Such people are "concerned" about whoever their government tells them to be concerned about.

Posted by: grh on January 8, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

You might ask who translated the documents up to this point. The army got rid of quite a few translators because they were unnatural or some such. I wonder why they didn't get Chalabi's folks to help out? It looks like he'll have some time on his hands in a month or so.

Posted by: Jeny on January 8, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

What's both sad and funny about Kevin's rant is that he ignores the elephant in the room:

From what has been translated and released thus far, we now have proofs that Saddam worked hand-in-glove with terrorists (specifically including Al Q) and supported their organizations and trained tens of thousands of "fighters".

What say you, Kevin? Clearly the Iraq war was necessary and vital to the security of these United States. We now have real proofs.

Oh, I get it -- you'll keep silent because only 50,000 of some two million documents in Saddam's secret files have been translated and only a few of them have been made public. You KNOW that there must be contradictory evidence in what our government hasn't made public (or not yet read!).

Come on, Kevin, be a man! Admit you were wrong and that our President made the right decisions and will win a well-deserved place in the pantheon of American heros.

Kinda sticks in your throat?

And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

Posted by: Norman on January 8, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I read the Weekly Standard article by Hays this morning and my jaw dropped. If Iraq really was funding terrorist camps, maybe just maybe, Bush was right about invading. However, after further reading, cross-checking other related stories and a moment of reflection, it occurred to me that this is just another example of the absolute relentlessness of the right-wing in adhering to a false claim. The charge that Hussein was training hijackers at Salman Pak has been standard fare on Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily website for years. It is also total hokum, as the CIA has completely discredited this tale.

Remember, these are the loonies who kept pushing the "Vince Foster was murdered" myth, long after four separate investigations (two led by Republicans) concluded it was suicide. By saying that the Pentagram is reluctant to release the evidence, they tipped their hand. You don't think if there was one scintilla of evidence linking bin Laden to Hussein, the Bushies wouldn't be screaming it from the rooftops?!? Give me a friggin' break....

Then another thought occurred to me:

The opposition is truly and certifiably insane!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 8, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, Kevin, be a man! Admit you were wrong and that our President made the right decisions and will win a well-deserved place in the pantheon of American heros.

Kinda sticks in your throat? - Norman

Sticks in your throat? Pantheon of American heros? Wait, could it possibly be?

George W. Bush is the salty yet crunchy defender of Earth! Able to take a tumble off of a speeding bike, wherever there is scandal he'll be there, saving true Americans from having to pay employees a living wage, its Pretzel President!

Yes Norman, there truly is a Santa Claus.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 9, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Mark:

By the way, that Stephen Hayes WMD article contains incredible elementary errors of fact, errors that were obvious at the time to anyone with the most basic understanding of the issue. In that, they're not unlike Steve White's incredible elementary misunderstanding of the sanctions issue.

This is interesting. The link in that post goes to one of those online poker sites. If this is spam, it's context-sensitive and knowledgable of the site. How does that work?

Posted by: tbrosz on January 9, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Stephen:

However, after further reading, cross-checking other related stories and a moment of reflection, it occurred to me that this is just another example of the absolute relentlessness of the right-wing in adhering to a false claim. The charge that Hussein was training hijackers at Salman Pak has been standard fare on Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily website for years. It is also total hokum, as the CIA has completely discredited this tale.

What did you cross-check? What related stories did you see that negated this information?

I don't think the word "hijackers" even appears in the story, although Salman Pak did have an old airplane fuselage parked there.

What doubts I have on this story stem largely from those "anonymous sources." The sooner the unclassified documents are made public, the better.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 9, 2006 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

Because they're afraid the press might cherry pick just a few of the documents and thus make some kind of unfair point not supported by the entire weight of the evidence.
That's a guaranteed occurance. The left has been cherry picking the information they like and ignoring the information they don't like for years now.

If the media made any attempt at both sides of a story, this would not be a concern. But since they don't, it is.

I am happy to know that the government is finally wising up. Maybe after the media has been suitably cut off they'll get their sorry act together.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Steve White: If the goal was to bribe Germans, French and Russians to support Iraq at the U.N. and to provide arms under the table, the sanctions worked just dandy.

More Steve White lies.

What a surprise.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 9, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

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流行,歌曲,图片,下载,明星

Posted by: 明星,歌曲,流行,图片, on January 9, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK


cn: I am happy to know that the government is finally wising up.


are you talking about the only u-s administration found by a federal judge to be guilty of....i'll use his term...

"covert propoganda" ?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 9, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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