Macsmind - Fair and Balanced (apologies to Fox)

In the SSCI Report, page 449, the additional views of Vice Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Richard Durbin, are given:

“The Bush Administration's case against Iraq was largely based on the argument that we knew with certainty that Iraq possessed large quantities of chemical and biological weapons, was aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons, and that an established relationship between Baghdad and al-Qaeda would allow for the transfer of these weapons for use against the United States. This national security rationale being put forth publicly by senior Administration officials in support of regime change in Iraq was simple, direct and often fundamentally misleading.

The rhetorical drumbeat for war in the months leading up to the Intelligence Community's October estimate, sounded Erom the highest levels of the government, repeatedly overstated what the Intelligence Community assessed at the time. Here are some examples of the exaggerations:

These high-profile statements in support of the Administration's policy of regime change were made in advance of any meaningful intelligence analysis and created pressure on the Intelligence Community to conform to the certainty contained in the pronouncements.”

They then go on to quote Bush Administration official’s statements on Saddam and WMD. But interestingly enough they leave out their own statements made about the same time.

So as a Macsmind service to the community, I will add them to give their ‘views’ context. As well I will add other democratic voices. I know they also would want this to be a ‘fair and balanced assessment” of views from both sides of the isle.

"[Saddam Hussein] has said, in no uncertain terms, that he would use weapons of mass destruction against the United States. He has, at this moment, stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and is pursuing nuclear weapons." (Secretary Rumsfeld, Testimony Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 19,2002)

"[Iraq] has weapons of mass destruction. And the battlefield has now shifted to America.. ." (President Bush, Remarks at OHS Complex, September 19,2002)

"Well, I think there was new information in there, particularly about the 45-minute threshold by which Saddam Hussein has got his biological and chemicalweapons triggered to be launched. There was new information in there about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain uranium from African nations. That was new information." (Press Secretary Fleischer, Press Briefing, September 24,2002)

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

And what say ye Senator Rockefeller?

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"[Ylou can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." (President Bush, Photo Opportunity, September 25,2002)

"We have what we consider to be credible evidence that a1 Qaeda leaders have sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapon of - weapons ofmass destruction capabilities." (Secretary Rumsfeld, DoD News Briefing,September 26,2002)

"We know they have weapons of mass destruction. We know they have active programs. There isn't any debate about it." (Secretary Rumsfeld, DoD News Briefing, September 26,2002)

"The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons.. .and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given." (President Bush, Radio Address, September 28,2002)

"The dangers we face only worsen from month to month and year to year.. .andeach passing day could be the one on which the Iraqi regime gives anthrax or VX nerve gas or someday a nuclear weapon". . . it's been pretty well confirmed that [9/11 al-Qaeda hijacker Mohammed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack." (Vice President Cheney, Meet the Press, December 9,2001)

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."_ - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002 |

We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."_ - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

To that what say ye Senator Levin?

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"[Saddam Hussein] is a dangerous man who possesses the world's most dangerous weapons." (President Bush, Press Conference, March 22,2002)

"But we know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.. .Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon." (Vice President Cheney, Speech to the VFW's 1031d National Convention, August 26,2002)

"We do know that there have been shipments going.. . into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to - high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."
(National Security Advisor Rice, Late Edition, September 8,2002)

"I think if you asked, do we know that he had a role in 9/11, no, we do not know that [Saddam Hussein] had a role in 911 1. But I think that this is the test that sets a bar that is far too high." (National Security Advisor Rice, Late Edition, September 8,2002)

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

And what say ye Senator Durbin?

"One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or some other nation may acquire or develop nuclear weapons." Dick Durbin - September 30, 1999

Yep, fair and balanced are we.

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