democrats' own words
democrats once talked big
A sample from the big talkers:
“There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001
“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 the means of delivering them.”
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 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
“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002
“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
“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
“He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002
“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
“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
“It appears that with the deadline for exile come and gone, Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism. If so, the only exit strategy is victory, this is our common mission and the world’s cause. We're in this together. We want to complete the mission while safeguarding our troops, avoiding innocent civilian casualties, disarming Saddam Hussein and engaging the community of nations to rebuild Iraq.”
Sen. John F. Kerry March 20, 2003
Hillary Clinton claimed that the United States had inherent authority to intervene in Iraq. This undercuts the "illegal war" camp. Sample:
But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.
Hillary Clinton's full floor speech in favor of the Iraq War Resolution is here.
Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller's floor speech in favor of the Iraq War Resolution is here.
Sen. Ted Kennedy's news release prior to the vote.
I have come here today to express my view that America should not go to war against Iraq unless and until other reasonable alternatives are exhausted. But I begin with the strongest possible affirmation that good and decent people on all sides of this debate, who may in the end stand on opposing sides of this decision, are equally committed to our national security.
This is the same Kennedy who later said: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."
Who Said It Game has a nice collection of quotes organized by speaker. Check it out.
hillary tries to revise
WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Clinton left one thing out this week when she tried to explain her views on Iraq - namely that she used to agree almost completely with President Bush, even after the war took a nosedive.
On Tuesday, Clinton wrote in a 1,600-word letter to supporters that her 2002 vote for war in Iraq was based on "evidence presented by the [Bush] administration."
"The 'evidence' of weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda turned out to be false," Clinton wrote.
But just months after the bombs started falling, Clinton (D-N.Y.) called a Daily News reporter to insist she had no second thoughts about her vote for war.
The war was worth it just to remove Saddam Hussein from power, she said.
Clinton emphatically told The News in her 2003 call, "I felt that it was appropriate under the circumstances, which really went back to 1998 under the Clinton administration's conclusion that the regime had to change, that the President [Bush] had authority to pursue that goal."
"Why was the intelligence consistent from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration?" Clinton added. "The intelligence was consistent for over a decade."