tony blair explains the choice for war
The real point is that those who disagree with the war, disagree fundamentally with the judgment that led to war. What is more, their alternative judgment is both entirely rational and arguable. Kosovo, with ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians, was not a hard decision for most people; nor was Afghanistan after the shock of September 11; nor was Sierra Leone.
Iraq in March 2003 was an immensely difficult judgment. It was divisive because it was difficult. I have never disrespected those who disagreed with the decision. Sure, some were anti-American; some against all wars. But there was a core of sensible people who faced with this decision would have gone the other way, for sensible reasons. Their argument is one I understand totally. It is that Iraq posed no direct, immediate threat to Britain; and that Iraq's WMD, even on our own case, was not serious enough to warrant war, certainly without a specific U.N. resolution mandating military action. And they argue: Saddam could, in any event, be contained.
the duelfer report
Charles Duelfer completed the post invasion hunt for WMD and wrote the final report.
You can read the Key Findings in about ten minutes. They are here. In short, Duelfer says Saddam was gaming the UN and wobbly allies to end sanctions, and planning to reconstitute his weapons program once the heat was off.
Duelfer also noted that no one but Saddam, including his top generals, knew the truth about WMD. GET THE FULL DUELFER REPORT HERE.
why did saddam bluff about wmd?
Kenneth Pollack was a top Iraq advisor to President Clinton. As author of The Threatening Storm, he strongly advocated liberating Iraq. He was convinced Saddam had WMD.
He tries to sort through what went wrong in The Atlantic Monthly. There's a touch of cover-his-ass in his comments about Bush, but his speculation about why Saddam pulled his bluff is fascinating.
senate intelligence committee report
A scathing assessment of the job done by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. It also contains facts refuting a few of Joseph Wilson (Mr. Valerie Plame) whoppers.
Was pre-war intelligence misrepresented to the public? This bipartisan commission said no.
lord butler's report
"Blair lied" or "sexed up" the intelligence was the claim the Butler commission looked into. Answer: no he didn't. Also: the BBC had lied about the lying, and some heads rolled.
was saddam connected to osama bin laden?
Bill Clinton's Justice Department thought so. Read its indictment of Osama.
...the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement
with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that
they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons
richard clarke: osama will "boogie to baghdad"
I have to admit that I have failed miserably in my small effort to make the words “Boogie to Baghdad” part of the national conversation on ties between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
In case you don’t remember, “Boogie to Baghdad” is the phrase that Richard Clarke, when he was the top White House counterterrorism official during the Clinton administration, used to express his fear that if American forces pushed Osama bin Laden too hard at his hideout in Afghanistan, bin Laden might move to Iraq, where he could stay in the protection of Saddam Hussein.
Clarke’s opinion was based on intelligence indicating a number of contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq, including word that Saddam had offered bin Laden safe haven.
It’s all laid out in the Sept. 11 commission report. “Boogie to Baghdad” is on Page 134.
Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest. Having lost thousands of Americans on a single morning, we are not going to answer further danger by simply issuing diplomatic protests or sharply worded condemnations. We will not wait in false comfort while terrorists plot against innocent Americans. We will not permit outlaw states and terror groups to join forces in a deadly alliance that could threaten the lives of millions of Americans. We will act, and act decisively, before gathering threats can inflict catastrophic harm on the American people.
From the first hour, we've known that the war on terror would be long and difficult. It would test our resolve, demand many sacrifices - above all, from the fine young men and women who defend this country.
pajamas media carnival of prewar intelligence