Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What Changed?

From FOX news (which doesn't automatically disqualify it as true).

Former Clinton CENTCOM commander, Anthony Zinni — the most prominent of the retired generals attacking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — now says that, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, "What bothered me ... [was that] I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew. There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD."

But in early 2000, Zinni told Congress "Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region," adding, "Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, [and] retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions ... Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months."


So what changed between 2000 and the invasion in 2003? Where Zinni and Clinton in on Bush's 'big lie'? Pretty handy since Bush hadn't even been elected yet.

I think this is a case of revisionist history that most critics are suffering from today. It's easy too look back today and say the intelligence was bad, but no one knew for sure in 2003. In any organization the size of the US intelligence agencies you can find dissenting opinions, but the preponderancece of the evidence pointed to Iraq have WMD. Remember, inspectors were shocked at how advanced the Iraqi WMD programs were (especially nuclear) in 1991. Again, intelligence is not a precise art. Never has been, never will be.

9 Comments:

Blogger George W. Bush said...

Yawn.

9:35 AM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

Yawn.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

How dare Zinni change his story! He's probably just preening his way into the Democratic Presidential nomination.

There must be some way we can silence him and his radical ideas, or at least discredit him. Did he pilot a swift boat in the Vietnam War? Does he have a wife with a CIA cover we can blow?

You know, treason isn't just a great Ann Coulter book; it's also a crime punishable by death. Maybe if we sent a few of these ex-generals to the gallows, we'd put an end to this flip-flopping.

10:28 AM  
Blogger hurtleg said...

Where is all of this vitriol coming from. I never used the word treason or implied it. I was making a point about Monday morning quarterbacking, not questioning his patriotism. I think you read a lot more into this post than was there. Calm down a little bit. And as far as the yawn, I guess we don't want facts to get in the way of a good story line that Bush is an evil liar etc. etc.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Wait - now I'm supposed to CALM DOWN?! Conservatives are constantly reminding us that we are AT WAR. They say if we do not present a united front, our enemies will exploit our weakness. They lambaste critics of the administration for endangering the lives of our troops by questioning the president's decisions, or attempting to curtail his authority.

And yet you find the suggestion of treason unpalatable? Treason isn't about a lack of patriotism; it's about aiding and abeting the enemy. Zinni's flip-flopping arguably does this, no?

1:01 PM  
Blogger hurtleg said...

OK, you are projecting Ann Coulter onto me. I don't think questioning policy is a treasonable offense punishable by law, we are a democracy (despite what the radical left wants to believe).

It is fair game to counter the arguments of someone who is criticizing. I was pointing out inconsistencies and wanted to understand why his story changed. I don't think the benefit of hindsight allows for the I told you so's.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Notice that Zinn's two statements
are not inconsistent. In the one
describing 2003 he said there
was "no solid proof," while in the
2000 statement he said "Iraq
probably is continuing..."

Yes, the preponderance of
evidence in 2003 was that Iraq
had some WMD's, but that is
completely consistent with
both of those statements.
That doesn't look like a case of
revisionist history to me.


What worries me is that Bush
did not sell the 2003
invasion by using the term
"preponderance of the evidence."
He implied a higher degree of
certainty than that. If Bush
misled people about the
certainty level of such statements,
that is a very important
deception that voters should know
about.

9:57 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Tim,

Clearly the evidence was overstated. It may well be that the administration was choosing what to believe, but I don't think they necessarily misled the public, any more than any pedantic group is intentionally misleading the public. I have student who thinks that there is a Divine Right to the Presidency and that everyone is related to Charlemagne. Is he misleading the other students? Not intentionally.

To a lesser degree, that's what Bush's team did.

Germanicus,

Isn't our democracy, with it's allowance for debate, exactly what allows suicide terrorism to succeed? Maybe we should not stop with putting the generals on the gallows, but end debate here as well?

Now, I say all of this, but the Democratic solution to getting out of Iraq with a "win" is what again, exactly?

7:52 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"Isn't our democracy, with it's allowance for debate, exactly what allows suicide terrorism to succeed?"

While "succeed" isn't the verb I'd use to describe suicide terrorism's effect, you strike at the heart of the problem: suicide terrorism can never be defeated, and this "war on terrorism" can never be "won."

"the Democratic solution to getting out of Iraq with a "win" is what again, exactly?"

Beats me. They'd probably just keep saying we've won and hope the press buys it. Substantively the same as the GOP strategy, but with fewer tax cuts.

8:46 AM  

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