"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Smoking Gun: As with Everything, It’s All how One reads it

We armchair “intelligence analysts” and “political pundits” see what we want to see when it comes to defending our points of view. I am guilty of it as many others are as well. Try as we may, one is not always successful in avoiding this; while many do not bother trying at all.

Remarks on the de-classification of parts of a Defense Department report that I have viewed at Real Clear Politics alone are:

It was all lies. All of it, And now not even the delusional can say otherwise

I'm not sure how Dick Cheney lives with himself.”

No Sh*t Sherlock! Oh, and Cheney continues to be a big, fat liar.

What I guess I find interesting are my continued “delusions,” that “intelligence” is still not 100% conclusive that everything was wrong in the assessments in general and the cocksure “intelligence” in the above quotes as clear indications of lying.

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.”

This is the smoking gun that Levin and the Left has been seeking yet I am “delusional” in my skepticism of perfect intelligence when the article itself can’t quite bring itself to accuse conclusively though tries to if nowhere else than in the articles title.

A senior analyst from the counterterrorism task force upon receiving an early copy of Feith conclusions of an Iraq/al Qaida tie(s) wrote a rebuttal to it considering ‘“15 of 26 key conclusions”’ as being of ‘“no intelligence value.”’

Not in an attempt at continuing my “delusions,” but more in withholding judgment or jumping to wished for conclusions or placing blame where blame may not be appropriate; I wonder about the 11 “key conclusions” the analyst did not take issue with.

Add to that the “revelation” that the ‘“Making the Case account”’ upon suggesting its wide circulation was shot down as ‘"putting it out there would be playing into the hands of people" such as then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, and belittled the author for trying to support "some agenda of people in the building." And I still sit here wondering what it is everyone is up to in the halls of government.

Rather than as a people “demanding truth” for the truths sake, we all jump up and down claiming “GOTCHA!” or “LIAR” which is all just a bit too emotional for me (not that I don’t get wound up as well). Shouldn’t Left or Right be concerned at all with why does one side in government does something to thwart another and vice versa? Is there no concern about this that gives pause to consider why any of us would think one group of politicos is more honest or virtuous than another? Wouldn’t we rest easier knowing that our best interests and safety was of more concern to our government than infighting?

Continuing on, a footnote to Inspector Generals report read: Iraq and al-Qaida did not cooperate in all categories" alleged by Feith's office.”


"the terms the Intelligence Community used to describe the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida were validated, [namely] 'no conclusive signs ‘and’ direct cooperation . . . has not been established.' "

The above may be yet another smoking gun to some, but to me implies that there are “categories” where there was cooperation. Should we be happy about that? What are those “categories” and how could they affect or have affected us?


“Zarqawi, whom Cheney depicted yesterday as an agent of al-Qaeda in Iraq before the war, was not then an al-Qaeda member but was the leader of an unaffiliated terrorist group who occasionally associated with al-Qaeda adherents, according to several intelligence analysts. He publicly allied himself with al-Qaeda in early 2004, after the U.S. invasion.”

This Zarqawi information is “according to several intelligence analysts,” what exactly does that mean. Was this in the report(s) or “anonymous” sources to the paper and again what states that these particular “intelligence analysts” are correct.

Zarqawi in Iraq was not an al-Qaeda member prior to the war, but a “leader of an unaffiliated terrorist group who occasionally associated with al-Qaeda adherents.” What are we to make of this? Is this a case “no conclusive signs” and “direct cooperation” not being established like that between Iraq and al Qaida, or do we have another way of defining relationships between terror groups?

“"Overall, the reporting provides no conclusive signs of cooperation on specific terrorist operations," that CIA report said, adding that discussions on the issue were "necessarily speculative."

“The CIA had separately concluded that reports of Iraqi training on weapons of mass destruction were "episodic, sketchy, or not corroborated in other channels," the inspector general's report said. It quoted an August 2002 CIA report describing the relationship as more closely resembling "two organizations trying to feel out or exploit each other" rather than cooperating operationally.”’

They were more like, "two organizations trying to feel out or exploit each other" rather than cooperating operationally.” This does not tie Iraq/Hussein and al Qaida, but where might this have led and would we have wanted that? Is this the same guide-on the “intelligence analysts” use in their assessment of the Zarqawi and al Qaida relationship? Just how close a working or “operational” relationship do terrorist groups or the likes of Hussein need to work together?

To those that take offense, I apologize for my “delusions,” you need not reciprocate.

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