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Proof Goes Poof

More exposure the "proof" of Iraqi WMD.
"We fell for it," said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents.
But not to worry, all of the proof that hasn't been exposed as fake is still real.
3/08/2003 10:25:00 AM [Link] |

More on Proof of Iraqi WMD

My post on Powell's "proof" of Iraqi chemical weapons notwithstanding, I actually don't require proof of Iraq's chemical weapons before supporting a war. Even though Powell does not want to say it, we certainly have proof of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, assuming we do as the IRS suggests, and keep all of the receipts.

But proof of WMD is not the issue. The issue is whether he will use them on us (or give them to someone who will) and whether we can stop him without war. This is where the administration has made no case. Instead, they cloud the issue with spin, marketing, scripted press conferences and media manipulation. That is not to say that a case cannot be made--it just hasn't been yet, and worse, they don't even try.
3/07/2003 11:57:00 PM [Link] |

New York Dean for America Meetup

I traveled down to NYC to attend the Meetup for Howard Dean with special guest -- Howard Dean. The place was packed--there were hundreds in the Essex Lounge and probably close to a hundred outside. Gov. Howard Dean came on at 8pm (right on time) and gave elements of his stump speech "I'm Howard Dean and I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party" (this time attributing it to Paul Wellstone), "We can do better", etc. The new twist was that he spoke for a little on the nature of activism and the role of the internet in this generation's particular brand. He spoke about how the internet is playing a larger role in politics (citing among other things, the virtual march on Washington). He urged the attendees to get the word out. He also spoke to the need to get Dean on the ballot in NY (an arduous process that must be done district by district), and the importance of fund raising.

New York for Dean announced that they are now officially part of the national campaign (could NY be Dean country?). During their intro they took special note of the size of Dean's sign-ups compared to Kerry's and specifically listed the size of groups in various cities in Texas (could Texas be Dean country?).

Anyway, it was all very exciting--I got a chance to meet other supporters, have a few beers and have a once in a lifetime chance to see Dean live. "I didn't think that he was going to talk about the economy, but then - BAM - second encore!"
3/05/2003 11:04:00 PM [Link] |

Proof of Iraqi Chemical Weapons

I have had a link to Powell's speech to the UN in the Raw Data section of my blogroll since it was posted. I read it at the time, and like most everyone else, was intrigued--short of convinced, but I found what he said worth considering.

For the past few weeks, anyone who talks about the reasons for war cites that presentation as "proof" that the Iraqis have chemical weapons. I have a higher standard for proof than that. In fact as I read his statement over again, I find it sorely lacking in any kind of proof. It only qualifies as proof if I just take Powell at his word, and if I do, I don't need to see any evidence. This is an excerpt from his speech, but I have replaced his evidence with what I feel is an equivalent.

Remarks to the United Nations Security Council

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President and Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, I would like to begin by expressing my thanks for the special effort that each of you made to be here today. This is an important day for us all as we review the situation with respect to Iraq and its disarmament obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

Let me begin by playing a tape for you. What you’re about to hear is a conversation that my government monitored. It takes place on November 26th of last year, on the day before United Nations teams resumed inspections in Iraq. The conversation involves two senior officers, a colonel and a brigadier general from Iraq's elite military unit, the Republican Guard. [editor: Please note that while the general is giving instructions, his cohorts are laughing at us. AUDIO]

SECRETARY POWELL: Let me pause and review some of the key elements of this conversation that you just heard between these two officers.

First, they acknowledge that our colleague, Mohammed ElBaradei is coming, and they know what he's coming for and they know he's coming the next day. He's coming to look for things that are prohibited. He is expecting these gentlemen to cooperate with him and not hide things.

Let me say a word about satellite images before I show a couple. The photos that I am about to show you are sometimes hard for the average person to interpret, hard for me. The painstaking work of photo analysis takes experts with years and years of experience, poring for hours and hours over light tables. But as I show you these images, I will try to capture and explain what they mean, what they indicate, to our imagery specialists.

Let's look at one. This one is about a weapons munition facility, a facility that holds ammunition at a place called Taji. This is one of about 65 such facilities in Iraq. We know that this one has housed chemical munitions. In fact, this is where the Iraqis recently came up with the additional four chemical weapons shells.
Anyway, Powell went on like this for a couple of hours. He told us he was showing us proof, he told us we wouldn't understand it. We were asked to take his word. Those who do, didn't need to see any evidence. Those who feel like they've been fooled too often by this administration would like to see a little more.
3/04/2003 09:38:00 PM [Link] |

The West Wing: GOP (part II)

In order to help even up the prime-time political shows, I present the next installment of The West Wing: GOP. Part I can be found here.




Press Secretary FLARI EISCHER standing at podium. Seats facing him are filled with REPORTERS.


I have some remarks and then I'll take questions. Yesterday, when I was left the briefing crying while you laughed me off the stage, that was because I had just come from chopping onions, not because I was upset about your reaction to my remarks about paying off foreign leaders. Also, we captured a major Al Qaeda leader, a Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, with the help of the Turkish government, so we they will be collecting the twenty-five billion dollar reward we posted for his capture. Yes, Thelen, your question.


I understood that the Pakistanis were the ones who caught Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, so why is Turkey getting the reward, and I have a follow-up.


Frankly, Turkey did more to bring in this fugitive. Also, Turkey is the only democracy in the region and a strong ally and friend of the United States.


Isn't Pakistan a strong ally and friend of the United States?


Of course, and your follow-up?


The stated reward for the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is twenty-five million. When did that become twenty-five billion?


Yesterday, we decided it was more useful to offer larger rewards rather than fund homeland security. We realized, and rightly so, that the rewards were quite frankly going to be more effective at capturing terrorists than our own efforts.



Attorney General ASH CROFTJOHN is seated at his desk watching the press conference on C-SPAN. He picks up his phone.


(into phone) Thelen Omas is asking questions again. What does the TIA have on her? (pause) Uh huh (pause) Ok, that's pretty good. See if you can leak that to her old boss at the Times. (pause) No, not the real paper, the Moonie Times.



Tune in next week for some situation room drama.
3/02/2003 12:59:00 AM [Link] |