HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins

emails:
Digby:
digbysez at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Monday, January 12, 2004

 
Fact Checking Their Asses

I realize that there can no longer be any form of political discourse that cannot fit on a bumper sticker, but this is really getting ridiculous.

Mark Kleiman sets the record straight on this nonsense today about Clark's "inconsistencies" on the subject of whether Iraq and al Qaeda were "linked."

But there is even more.

Clark is also on record as a military expert testifying about this very subject before the House and Senate Armed Services Committess, in full context, saying exactly what he claims to have said and believed at the very same time.

There has been no inconsistency. He said then that Saddam had no substantial ties to al Qaeda and that there was no evidence that he had been involved in 9/11. He did, however, say that it would not be unusual if there were some low level links between them.

transcript 9/29/02

SAXTON (R-NJ): Mr. Perle, General Clark indicated a few minutes ago that he wasn't sure -- I'm sorry, I don't want to mischaracterize what General Clark said but something to the effect that we don't have information that Al Qaida and the Iraqi regime are connected. Is that a fair characterization, General Clark?

CLARK: I'm saying there hasn't been any substantiation of the linkage of the Iraqi regime to the events of 9/11 or the fact that they are giving weapons of mass destruction capability to Al Qaida, yes sir.

SAXTON: OK, now that has been a widely held view, at least in some quarters, and I suspect that one of the difficulties that we've had in addressing this subject comes because of the difficulty of collecting intelligence in that region of the world for all the reasons that we know.

However, yesterday the president's national security adviser began to talk about this subject in a different light. She said we clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and member of Al Qaida going back for a long time. We know too that several of the Al Qaida detainees, in particular some high-ranking detainees have said that Iraq provided some training to Al Qaida in chemical weapons development.

Now I suspect that it would be difficult for someone to say that if they didn't have information to back it up and she also suggested that the details of the contacts would be released at a later to date and from my knowledge of intelligence work, which is sketchy, but from what I know it's difficult sometimes to disclose details because you endanger sources.

And so, I think this is a subject that certainly there are beginning to be indications that there are -- as a matter of fact, other bad guys have gone to Iraq. Abu Nidal died there recently, and when you couple all this with the notion that Saddam has been very determined to act out against his neighbors and the West and seems to stop at nothing, to draw the conclusion based on evidence that is beginning to emerge that there is no contact and no general theme of cooperation between Saddam and officials or the leadership of Al Qaida is a stretch, and I think a dangerous conclusion to come to. Richard Perle, would you give us your opinion?

PERLE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Saxton. I think you've identified an important issue and a serious problem. It is true that it is difficult to collect intelligence in these areas but the bigger problem in my view has been a stunning lack of competence among our own intelligence agencies. They've simply proved incompetent in this area and I've testified on this theme several times over the last ten or 15 years.

What we are now beginning to see is evidence that was there all along. It simply wasn't properly assessed, and the reason why it wasn't assessed in my view is that a point of view dominated the intelligence community, the CIA in particular and that point of view held that a secular Baathist regime like that of Saddam Hussein would not cooperate with religious fanatics like Al Qaida.

This was a theory. There was nothing to support it except the speculation of the intelligence officials who held that view, and as a result they simply didn't look for evidence that there might be a connection. Now that we are aware of the strange ways in which terrorists cooperate all over the world, we're beginning to find significant evidence.

There is no logical basis for the IRA cooperating with terrorists in Columbia and yet we've caught them red handed doing it. There's a kind of professional trade craft involved in which people engaged in the business of terrorism work with one another for mutual convenience, sometimes for exchanges of money and the like.

So there is, in fact, evidence of relations between Saddam and Al Qaida and I believe that the more intensively we scrutinize databases of information available to us in the past, the more evidence of that we're going to find.

CLARK: Representative Saxton, if I could just tag along on that. I think there's no question that, even though we may not have the evidence as Richard says, that there have been such contacts. It's normal. It's natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think it's clear that regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections that Saddam Hussein is a threat.

So I think that, you know, the key issue is how we move from here and what do we need to do to deal with this threat? But I think what's also clear is that the way you deal with the threat from Iraq is different than the way you deal with the threat from Al Qaida. And so, my contention has been we need to look at different means for dealing with these threats. We need to take advantage of all the resources at our disposal, not just the military.

If I could say with respect to the inspections issue, as well as the comments of my friend and colleague Richard Perle, I'm not either optimistic or pessimistic. I practiced weapons inspection. I've been involved in diplomacy at the United Nations, and I've been involved in setting up the plans for a number of post conflict situations, including Bosnia, Haiti, and Kosovo, so I'm only giving you the best judgment from my own perspective. I don't label it. So, Richard, if I could just in a friendly way say if you won't label me, I won't label you.


You really need to read the whole transcript. You'll be reminded just how certifiably insane Richard Perle and the GOP lackeys in congress were at the time. I think we've all blocked it from our memories. It was downright surreal.

Clark's views are clear. He calls Saddam a threat, but not an imminent threat. He states that the most important thing is to get inspectors back into the country and gain the support of the international community. He rejects the notion of a preemption doctrine. He said that the use of force was to be used as diplomatic leverage, but thought that the president should be required to come back for final authority.

In both this and his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee at around the same time you see his unwillingness to jump on to what was becoming an unstoppable train. Senators, congressmen and Republican assholes of all stripes gave him tons of shit, but he kept right on saying what they didn't want to hear.

It's not quite as simple as "Let's Kill The Bastards!" or "Hell No We Won't Go" but it is the serious and thoughtful position of a man with a fine mind and years of experience who had great reservations about the way the administration was hurtling us into war. He deserves some credit for that. Indeed, one might even think that such complexity of thought would be a requirement in a president.



Search Digby!