David Kirkpatrick

January 16, 2009

Bush’s Iraq failure

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:24 pm

Whatever else you think about the war in Iraq, this bit of analysis is beyond reproach. You can try and shout down the facts, but the facts do remain.

From the link:

The Iraq war was a case study of what happens when politicisation is mixed with incompetence. A long-standing convention holds that politics stops at the ocean’s edge. But Mr Bush and his inner circle labelled the Democrats “Defeaticrats” whenever they were reluctant to support extending the war from Afghanistan to Iraq. They manipulated intelligence to demonstrate that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and had close relations with al-Qaeda. This not only divided a country that had been brought together by September 11th; it also undermined popular support for what Mr Bush regarded as the central theme of his presidency, the war on terror.

Sean Wilentz, a historian at Princeton, remarks how unusual it is for a president to have politicised such a national catastrophe: “No other president—Lincoln in the civil war, FDR in world war two, John F. Kennedy at critical moments of the cold war—faced with such a monumental set of military and political circumstances, failed to embrace the opposing political party to help wage a truly national struggle. But Bush shut out and even demonised the Democrats.”

August 5, 2008

Bush 43 regime — criminal and inept

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:05 pm

Every time I think it couldn’t get worse, news about the Bush 43 regime has a new surprise to share. For the good of our nation, we need to rip the curtain aside and get a good look at the mess Bush/Cheney/Rove created.

Offhand I’d say the GOP is the major victim, only because the American public can weather this type of storm and move forward. The GOP is an embarrassing gang of hypocrites, writ large.

In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD — as Habbush had foretold — the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a “small team from the al Qaeda organization.”The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up in Baghdad, and roiled the global newcycles in December, 2003 (conning even venerable journalists with Tom Brokaw). The mission is a statutory violation of the charter of CIA, and amendments added in 1991, prohibiting CIA from conduction disinformation campaigns on U.S. soil.

So that’s Suskind’s version of events. I’ll be curious to see what evidence he has to back it up. If this allegation is true (and that’s a big “if” at this point), then the letter was intended solely for political purposes. By the fall of 2003, we had already invaded Iraq and declared “Mission Accomplished.” The issue at that point was the looming political fallout as the original case for war crumbled.

Update 8/7/08 — This story is becoming a bit more odd. And it looks like Cheney’s fingerprints are on the illegal disinformation.

From the link:

My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment.  Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job.  The Pentagon has its own false documents center, primarily used to produce fake papers for Delta Force and other special ops officers traveling under cover as businessmen.  It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq.  Unlike the Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public.  Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith’s office specialized in such activity. 

March 13, 2008

Iraq — no WMDs, no al Qaeda/Saddam connection

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:05 pm

Okay. We found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the reason given pre-invasion for immediate action. Maybe the intelligence was bad, maybe cooked up. At this point there’s no way of knowing.

After that intelligence failure was disclosed and publicized, the Bush 43 regime continued (and still does to some extent) to push the idea the Iraq invasion was also important because we were able to break up an al Qaeda/Saddam Hussein party plotting against the US.

Whoops. Turns out that was patently false, and a US military study conclusively covers that very fact.

From the TPM Muckraker link:

We were told by the Joint Forces Command that our copy was mailed today. But ABC News has already got its copy and posted it for all to see. So here you go (pdf). Behold! “This study found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e. direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”

It’s a shame every stated justification for the preemptive strike against Iraq has proven false. Right now we are in a true quagmire, with no end in sight. It’s wonderful the “surge” has improved conditions, but by all rights we shouldn’t be caught in a brutal civil war and spending unfathomable amounts of US treasure as our economy sinks into recession and our dollar freefalls in the international market.

(And although I’m not going to dig up any links right now, serious economists on the right and left, aside from pollyanna cheerleaders, agree we are in recession regardless how the Fed wants to play this thing.)