“Exaggerations?” Oh, Dearie me, must you be so very harsh & confrontational?

Senate Panel Accuses Bush of Iraq Exaggerations

June 5, 2008
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON – In a report long delayed by partisan squabbling, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday accused President Bush and Vice President Cheney of taking the country to war in Iraq by exaggerating evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda in the emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein,” Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said in a statement accompanying the 171-page report.The committee’s report cited some instances in which public statements by senior administration officials were not supported by the intelligence available at the time, such as suggestions that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda were operating in a kind of partnership, that the Baghdad regime had provided the terrorist network with weapons training, and that one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had met an Iraqi intelligence operative in Prague in 2001.

But the report found that on several key issues, including Iraq’s alleged nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, public statements from Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and other top officials before the war were generally “substantiated” by the best estimates of the intelligence agencies, though the statements did not always reflect the agencies’ uncertainty about the evidence. All the weapons claims were disproved after invading troops found no unconventional arsenal and little effort to build one.

Republicans on the committee sharply dissented from some of its findings and attached a detailed minority report that listed pre-war statements by Mr. Rockefeller and other Democrats describing the threat posed by Iraq.

“The report released today was a waste of committee time and resources that should have been spent overseeing the intelligence community,” said the minority report, signed by Sen. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican, and three Republican colleagues.

A second committee report, also made public on Thursday, detailed a series of clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranian dissidents in Rome and Paris in 2001 and 2003. It accused Stephen Hadley, now the national security advisor, and Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary, of failing to properly inform the intelligence agencies and the State Department about the meetings.

The two reports are the final parts of the committee’s so-called “phase two” investigation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq and related issues. The first phase of the inquiry, completed in July 2004, identified grave faults in the intelligence agencies’ collection and analysis of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

In order to complete that initial 2004 report, committee members agreed to put off several of the more politically volatile topics. Sen. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who was then chairman, nonetheless declared nearly four years ago that the phase two effort was “a priority. I made my commitment and it will get done.”

But a lengthy standoff ensued. Democrats accused Republicans of dodging their demands to complete the inquiry in order to protect the Bush administration from damaging revelations. Republicans insisted that they were not dragging their feet and asserted that the findings might well turn out to embarrass Congressional Democrats.

In September 2006, the committee issued reports on two parts of the phase two study, one on how pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs and links to terrorism compared with post-war findings and another on the intelligence agencies’ use of information from the Iraqi National Congress, the controversial opposition group to Saddam Hussein.

In May 2007, the committee, now led by Democrats, put out a third part of the phase two review, this one examining pre-war predictions by the intelligence agencies about post-war Iraq.

But it would take another year to complete the most delicate part of the planned inquiry, the look at pre-war public statements by executive branch officials. In the end, the Republicans chose to issue their own dissenting report, aimed at showing that some Democrats who have been eager to attack the administration had themselves made bellicose comments about Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, once seen as a relative refuge from the political maneuvering and brawling that characterizes many other committees, has been mired in partisan dispute for most of the last five years. Thursday’s reports and the polarized comments accompanying them are unlikely to improve relations between Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Bond and their party colleagues on the committee.


Well, for once the Repugs got something right… The effort’s been a complete waste and if you think Conyers is going to go to the mat and start impeachment hearings over “exaggerations”… well, he’s not gonna do it!



  1. You could be right. Try my new rant for size. “Impeachment – not!”
    I would like to see George Bush charged with about 1000 individual indictments for murder by the relatives of the kids he has caused to be killed in Iraq. Even a few would force news coverage and surely would give backbone to Congress. This could be a way to poke a hole in the damn dam.

    If you agree, help pass this on.

    Impeachment – not!

    Impeachment is the term used for the action that a disgruntled public may take to “hinder or impede,” “interfere with,” and “criticize unfavorably.” the activity of a public official.”

    Now, let me ask you right up front. Since the George Bush and Dick Cheney time left in office is only seven months and they are considered to be “lame ducks” how will a long drawn out process of impeachment to investigate their alleged improprieties suffice to calm the irate public and make them whole again?

    The obvious answer is it will not. A slap on the wrist, an apology and a black mark on their legacy is not enough retribution to ease the pain of the families and friends of the 4,085 sons and daughters that were killed in the illegal and unnecessary Iraq war. More than 50,000 of America’s finest are causalities of the Bush-Chaney War and many are suffering horrendous lifetime damage. Even as I write the Bush-Cheney duo is making every effort to find an excuse to start a war with Iran. Their plans are laid. There are fifty PERMANENT US army bases completed and ready for occupation in Iraq. George Bush said that we would be in Iraq for 40 years. Now McCain has upped that to 100 years!

    There is another question that begs an answer, how many unhappy Americans that want to see Bush and Cheney impeached are willing to permit a war with Iran with the full knowledge that we will occupy Iraq for the next fifty years or more?

    That is an easy answer – NONE! The last impeachment poll was over a year ago and at that time 54% of the adults were if favor of impeachment. Since then another 470 Americans have been killed. I wonder what the American body count will be in 40 years or 100 years from now.

    As the end draws near for the Bush administration, I don’t believe that anyone in the world wants to see these evil doers sneak out with a free pass. Maybe the war profiteers in the Bush/Cheney administration are willing to trade American blood for oil but we need to take a new poll to see just how many Americans are willing to follow them in their march to Iran.

    Because of time, more screw ups, and additional data the American public is better informed today – in spite of the information blockade by the corporate owned media – then when the last poll was taken. A new poll should show a much greater percentage of Americans willing to make Bush & Cheney pay for their sins against the American people.

    There is another way to exact retribution from George Bush and Dick Cheney for causing the unnecessary deaths of 4,085 Americans. A way has been proposed that is more direct, less time consuming, will produce a penalty suitable for the crime, and in all probability would establish a definite deterrent for the likes of any future president with similar ambitions. Read Vincent Bugliosi new book ‘The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder’. If it is not available locally it can be purchased from amazon.com. Vincent Bugliosi was the Los Angeles County prosecuting attorney that successfully convicted Charles Manson for murder. He believes it is the fault of the American people that permitted the obscenities of the Bush administration and it is up to the American people to countermand the illegalities and extract retribution. Mr. Bugliosi believes there is an abundance of evidence to convict George W. Bush for murder and that he would be willing to assist any one in the prosecution there of.

  2. Brian,

    I couldn’t agree more with nearly everything you’ve said.

    My only dissonance is with your contention that “…the American People would be in favor of a fair trial…”.

    Perhaps my cynicism exerts too much effect over my views but, sadly, I don’t think the vast majority of the American public gives a shit as long as there are sufficient supplies of Cheetos in the ‘Snacks’ aisle, gas within some achievable financial range, someone else’s kid dying in Iraq or Afghanistan, and nothing to interfere with evening TV scheduling (esp. The Simpsons & American Idol).

    Were it otherwise, the American people would have long-ago risen, in righteous wrath, in their millions and occupied the streets until some justice was done.

    Sites such as this one, help us to maintain a sense sanity, contact & brotherhood whilst all else are losing their minds.

    Neither of the two potential Presidential candidates (Nader excluded) offers a hope of justice.

  3. The long anticipated investigation of the Bush administration into the lies, distortions, coercive tactics, and deceptions, destroying evidence and manufacturing false evidence that conned the American public into going to war with Iraq must continue even if it takes another five years. Democratic leaders, Conyers, Pelosi, Reid, Rockefeller, and Waxman, all proffered alibis’ for not starting investigations into ANY of the wrong doings of the Bush administration. Some beat their chests and made threatening gestures but whined that they didn’t have enough support because they were in the minority. Then when the American people gave them the majority they all hummed and hawed that Nancy Pelosi took ‘impeachment off the table’ and would absolutely not permit any investigation that may embarrass President Bush. Pelosi claimed that any investigation would be disruptive and a hindrance to her proposed agenda. It is a known fact that the demeanor of Republican congressmen is akin to rabid killer K-9s and their opponents, the Democrats,by contrast are the cuddly loving pussycats but since the American people have handed the Democrats the hammer of power our elected representatives no longer have a viable excuse. It is exceedingly becoming evident, at least to this writer, that both parties are in cahoots and are jointly scamming the American public. We don’t want a committee of blind people assuming the investigation into the questionable (?) details of the mountain of wrong doings of the GOP elephant. George Bush admitted to condoning torture. This alone is grounds for impeachment. The American people would be in favor of a fair trial to listen to George Bush explain how the American people, including 40,000 American troop casualties, 4,000 American troops killed and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi citizens killed, benefited more from the unjust and illegal war on Iraq than he did. We, as well as the whole world, would be willing to patiently listen to an accounting of all his excuses and alibis, as we did with Saddam Hussein, before meting out his just deserts, as we did with Saddam Hussein.

    For those who feel that what I say maybe, “very harsh and controversial” I suggest you read Vincent Bugliosi new book ‘The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder’. If it is not available locally it can be purchased from amazon.com. Vincent Bugliosi was the Los Angeles County prosecuting attorney that successfully convicted Charles Manson for murder. He believes it is the fault of the American people that permitted the obscenities of the Bush administration and it is up to the American people to countermand the illegalities and extract retribution. Mr. Bugliosi believes there is an abundance of evidence to convict George W. Bush for murder and that he would be willing to assist any one in the prosecution there of.

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