Thursday, March 02, 2006

Stating the Obvious

Firedoglake links to Murray Waas's latest:

Two highly classified intelligence reports delivered directly to President Bush before the Iraq war cast doubt on key public assertions made by the president, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials as justifications for invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, according to records and knowledgeable sources.

The first report, delivered to Bush in early October 2002, was a one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate that discussed whether Saddam's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes was for the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon.

Among other things, the report stated that the Energy Department and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research believed that the tubes were "intended for conventional weapons," a view disagreeing with that of other intelligence agencies, including the CIA, which believed that the tubes were intended for a nuclear bomb...

The second classified report, delivered to Bush in early January 2003, was also a summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, this one focusing on whether Saddam would launch an unprovoked attack on the United States, either directly, or indirectly by working with terrorists.

The report stated that U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that it was unlikely that Saddam would try to attack the United States -- except if "ongoing military operations risked the imminent demise of his regime" or if he intended to "extract revenge" for such an assault, according to records and sources.

The single dissent in the report again came from State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, known as INR, which believed that the Iraqi leader was "unlikely to conduct clandestine attacks against the U.S. homeland even if [his] regime's demise is imminent" as the result of a U.S. invasion.

You know, in retrospect, it was pretty clear back during the run up to war that the "casus belli" was all lies and bullshit. Anyone--that is, anyone with a brain, Senator Hatch--could see. But I'm guessing that Shrub and company craved the taste of war so badly (as long as their sorry asses weren't on the line) that they figured the lies wouldn't really matter all that much after "Mission Accomplished."

But reality has a nasty way of intruding upon flight-suit prancings.

And it's good to see evidence making its way into the media...even if we could've used a LOT more of it back then...

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