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  1. #1
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    Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Iraq, claimed the U.S. government, was a "threat" to the world because of its alleged possession of "weapons of mass destruction". In order to explain that no WMD were found in Iraq after the invasion, the notion that there had been an "intelligence failure" has been widely propagated. But any analysis comparing the claims that were made against Iraq against the facts known, not in hindsight, but at the time, reveals huge obstacles to the "intelligence failure" theory.

    Take any aspect of the case for war and perform the above analysis. Let's take anthrax. Among the WMD Iraq was supposed to have possessed was weaponized anthrax, described by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis."As with other aspects of the government's case for war, the story of Iraq's anthrax is instructive, if we are willing to accept the conclusions a review of the facts inevitably leads to.

    First, let us recognize the now widely accepted judgment that Iraq actually had no anthrax at the time of the U.S. invasion, or for many years prior, for that matter. According to the report of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) headed by Charles Duelfer, "ISG judges that in 1991 and 1992, Iraq appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks of BW weapons and probably destroyed remaining holdings of bulk BW agent."

    This is the conclusion—that Iraq had actually told the truth when it declared that it had unilaterally destroyed its proscribed biological weapons—that the CIA was finally forced to concede after the fruitless search for WMD in Iraq and tens of thousands (by the most conservative estimates) of deaths later.

    In sharp contrast, the claim from the U.S. government prior to the invasion was that Iraq maintained stockpiles of biological weapons, including anthrax. In September of 2002, President Bush said, "The dangers we face only worsen from month to month and year to year…and each passing day could be the one on which the Iraq regime gives anthrax or VX nerve gas or someday a nuclear weapon to a terrorist group." Bush declared that the U.S. must ensure that Saddam Hussein "never has the capacity to use the stockpiles of anthrax that we know he has…" That same month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that Saddam Hussein "has amassed large clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including anthrax, botulism toxin, and possibly smallpox."

    The government claim was unambiguous, and stated not as a possibility or judgment, but as absolute fact: Iraq possessed weaponized anthrax, and not just in minute quantities, but in "stockpiles". But what actual evidence was this claim based upon? Did the intelligence available at the time support these claims? Anthrax was an outstanding issue for UNMOVIC inspectors, but what was the nature of that unresolved dispute?

    When he addressed the UN General Assembly in 2002, Bush gave the administration version, saying, "From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents…"

    The implication was clear, but the language highly deceptive, and highly relevant facts left deliberately undisclosed. It is true that for the first four years of UN inspections, Iraq denied ever having had a biological weapons program. Then Hussein Kamal defected and revealed that this was false, forcing Iraq to acknowledge its past program (not a then-current program, as implied by Bush's choice of language), which pre-dated the 1991 Gulf War. Also noticeably absent from Bush's remarks was the fact that Kamal had told UN inspectors that "nothing remained" of Iraq's biological weapons, but that they were "destroyed" in 1991.

    Another relevant fact relegated to the dustbin of history by the Bush administration is that UN inspectors indeed verified that weapons had been destroyed by Iraq in 1991. As the British dossier on Iraq's WMD from September 2002 acknowledged, "Iraq destroyed unilaterally and illegally, some biological weapons in 1991 and 1992 making accounting for these weapons impossible."

    This is a remarkable admission, if one is willing to contemplate the implications. The United States and Britain went to war in Iraq claiming Iraq had failed to account for its WMD, even while it was recognized that "accounting for these weapons" would be "impossible". In other words, they demanded that Iraq do the "impossible" and then invaded when what they knew was an "impossible" task was not accomplished.

    The British dossier explained the issue regarding anthrax succinctly: "From a series of Iraqi declarations to the UN during the 1990s we know that by 1991 they had produced at least…8,500 litres of anthrax", but the UN inspectors "were unable to account for…growth media procured for biological agent production (enough to produce over three times the 8,500 litres of anthrax spores Iraq admits to having manufactured)…" While Iraq had claimed its weapons had been destroyed, "Iraq could not explain large discrepancies between the amount of growth media (nutrients required for the specialized growth of agent) it procured before 1991 and the amounts of agent it admits to having manufactured."

    In other words, the Iraqis admitted to having produced 8,500 litres of anthrax, but they could possibly have produced more. And as the chief inspector for the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) Hans Blix explained, "In most cases, the issues are outstanding not because there is information that contradicts Iraq's account, but simply because there is a lack of supporting evidence" (emphasis added). In other words, there was no evidence that Iraq still possessed any of its biological weapons produced prior to the arrival in 1991 of inspections teams (then known as the United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM). Inspectors simply couldn't verify that all weapons had indeed been destroyed as declared by Iraq.

    Furthermore, as Blix also explained, while "Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 litres" of anthrax, "which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991", not only was there "no convincing evidence for its destruction", but "Iraq has provided little evidence for this production…"

    In other words, not only was there no evidence that Iraq still possessed the 8,500 litres of anthrax it claimed to have produced, there was "little evidence" it had ever been produced in the first place. Often noted was the fact that it was within the realm of possibility that Iraq had actually produced more than the amount it claimed and that Iraq hadn't destroyed this anthrax. On the other hand, there was the possibility, usually dismissed outright, that Iraq had destroyed the anthrax and other weapons it admitted to having produced (this author knows of not a single instance of this possibility being acknowledged by any government official).

    It's not surprising that only one of these two possible scenarios ever appeared within the rhetoric of administration officials in making the case for war against Iraq, just as it was never publicly acknowledged in administration speeches that inspectors had verified that weapons had been unilaterally destroyed in 1991. The nature of the outstanding issues of anthrax and other biological weapons were never fully explained, for the obvious reasons.

    Consequently, it was also never explained that Iraq had been "fundamentally disarmed" by UN inspectors, in the words of former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter, with "90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability…verifiably eliminated". It was never revealed to the American public by the Bush administration that even had Iraq managed to maintain "stockpiles" of the anthrax it had produced, it had a shelf life which would have rendered it useless many years prior. Iraq, Ritter explained, produced only "liquid bulk anthrax", which "even under ideal storage conditions, germinates in three years, becoming useless."

    This was the nature of the "outstanding" issue as it pertained to anthrax in the months building up to war. For the obvious reasons, the full relevant facts were never disclosed to the American public by administration officials.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Implicating Iraq

    On February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the U.N. Security Council to present the U.S. case for war to the world. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit," he said, holding up a small vial filled with white powder, "about this amount—this is just about the amount of a teaspoon—less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shut down the United States Senate in the fall of 2001."

    "If concentrated into this dry form," he said, the amount of anthrax Iraq "could have" produced, "would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons." Iraq, claimed Powell "had perfected drying techniques for their biological weapons programs" and had "incorporated this drying expertise" into "mobile production facilities."

    The "mobile production facilities" (subject for another critical analysis outside the scope of this exploration) never existed. That aside, Iraq had only produced liquid bulk anthrax. Contrary to Powell's deceptive language, there is no evidence that Iraq ever successfully produced dried anthrax. The Duelfer Report states that the "ISG has found no information" that Iraq ever produced "weaponizable dried B. anthracis." In April 2003, a senior scientist in Iraq's biological weapons program during the 1980s, Dr. Nissar Hindawi, told the New York Times that while they produced "huge quantities" of liquid anthrax, "There were orders to destroy it", and also that Iraq had never been able to make dried anthrax.

    Powell's insinuation that Iraq had powdered anthrax served several purposes. First, it served to counter the fact, little disclosed as it was, that Iraq's liquid anthrax would have degraded years before. Second, while Powell stopped short of suggesting Iraq was involved, the reference served as a means to provide a mental association with the anthrax letters mailed in the U.S. shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was, in short, a useful propaganda ploy, not seen for the first time in his performance before the U.N.

    The charge of Iraqi involvement in those anthrax attacks had already been made long before, and needn't have been directly repeated. After anthrax was mailed to various well-known individuals within the United States following the 9/11 attacks, Iraq was immediately marked as the culprit by many.

    William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and chairman of the Project for a New American Century, connected the dots between "anthrax cases in Florida" with "a few of the September 11 terrorists, led by Mohammed Atta" who had resided in that state, and then from Atta to "the terrorist-sponsoring country that we know has a long record of developing anthrax as a biological weapon, Iraq". Furthermore, Kristol wrote, "Atta reportedly met with one or more Iraqi agents in Prague in June 2000 just before flying to the United States" (The claim that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi agents in Prague is yet another subject worthy of an intensive review and analysis, again outside the scope of the present one. Suffice to say, for our present purposes, that this had always been a dubious claim).

    The Guardian reported that investigators had "named Iraq as prime suspect as the source of the deadly spores", thus "adding to what US hawks say is a growing mass of evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved, possibly indirectly, with the 11 September hijackers." Noting that "In liquid form, anthrax is useless", the report added that "US intelligence believes Iraq has the technology and supplies of anthrax suitable for terrorist use." A CIA source was quoted as saying, "They aren't making this stuff in caves in Afghanistan. This is prima facie evidence of the involvement of a state intelligence agency. Maybe Iran has the capability. But it doesn't look likely politically. That leaves Iraq."

    The charge that Atta had met with an Iraqi agent was repeated, but, the paper added, "Jim Woolsey, CIA director from 1993 to 1996, recently visited London on behalf of the hawkish Defence Department to 'firm up' other evidence of Iraqi involvement in 11 September. Some observers fear linking Saddam to the terrorist attacks is part of an agenda being driven by US hawks eager to broaden the war to include Iraq…"

    Then former U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler, in an interview with CNN, also suggested an Iraq connection to the anthrax mailings. "What we've got to be certain about above all is whether it came from a country supporting these terrorists as a matter of policy, such as Iraq, which we know has made this stuff."

    Butler went further, saying, "there's a credible report, not fully verified, that they may indeed have given anthrax to exactly the group that did the World Trade Center." The "report" had thus somehow graduated from being merely an alleged meeting to an alleged exchange of anthrax.

    Butler, like Powell, was delivering useful propaganda, making an insinuation based upon theories lacking the slightest modicum of evidence and dependent upon a dubious intelligence report. "It's possible," he repeated, "that many months ago anthrax, a small quantity of it, was handed over in Prague to Mohammed Atta…and the person who handed it over in Prague was an Iraqi."

    Scott Ritter rebutted the charge against Iraq in the Guardian:

    Under the most stringent on-site inspection regime in the history of arms control, Iraq's biological weapons programmes were dismantled, destroyed or rendered harmless during the course of hundreds of no-notice inspections. The major biological weapons production facility - al Hakum, which was responsible for producing Iraq's anthrax - was blown up by high explosive charges and all its equipment destroyed…. Thousands of swabs and samples were taken from buildings and soil throughout Iraq. No evidence of anthrax or any other biological agent was discovered. While it was impossible to verify that all of Iraq's biological capability had been destroyed, the UN never once found evidence that Iraq had either retained biological weapons or associated production equipment, or was continuing work in the field.

    Ritter also pointed out that Iraq had produced the Vollum strain of anthrax, while the strain used in the mailings had been the Ames strain, and that even had Iraq the capability, it would "undermine what has been Iraq's number one priority over the past decade: the lifting of economic sanctions".

    "There is no verifiable link whatever," wrote Ritter, "and it is irresponsible for someone of Mr Butler's stature to be involved in unsubstantiated speculation. His behaviour has, it seems, been guided by animosity towards Baghdad, rather than the facts."

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    However, the propaganda campaign against Iraq continued unabated. The Washington Post included Iraq alongside the U.S. and former Soviet Union as having "developed the kind of additives that enable anthrax spores to remain suspended in the air, making them more easily inhaled and therefore more deadly." The paper cited Richard Spertzel, a former member of the UNSCOM team, in reporting that Iraq had a process to dry anthrax spores "in the presence of aluminum-based clays or silica powders", a reference to bentonite.

    Yet Spertzel later testified before the House Committee on International Relations that Iraq's final product was liquid anthrax. "Iraq used bentonite in its production of Bacillus thuringensis spores," Spertzel said, but notably did not claim that it had also done so with Bacillus anthracis. While Iraq had worked on drying other materials, possibly with the intention of producing dried anthrax, Spertzel acknowledged that "no samples of such preparations were obtained" by UNSCOM. In other words, there was no evidence Iraq had ever produced dried anthrax. Spertzel also noted that Iraq's drying process was different from the U.S. and Soviet Union, in particular because it did not mill the spores.

    David Kay, who headed up the Iraq Survey Group before being replaced by Charles Duelfer, similarly acknowledged in Senate testimony that Iraq had not dried anthrax but a "simulant".

    Yet before the month of October was out, the London Times could report that "a trail of clues…point to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq having a hand in al-Qaeda's terrorist missions." Noting the reported meeting of Atta with an Iraqi agent, the paper stated that "To get proof of the Baghdad connection, senior officials in the Bush Administration even sent a former CIA Director to Britain" and "Intelligence officers in Washington have deliberately leaked the testimony of an Iraqi defector…who said that Saddam set up a terrorist training school…" Citing "Israeli security sources", the Times repeated the claim "that Atta was handed a vacuum flask of anthrax by his Iraqi contact."

    The editor of The Wall Street Journal opined that the report of the Atta meeting "should be a scales-from-the-eyes moment", but that the "government is back at the old stand, stressing that any Ph.D. microbiologist can whomp up weapons-grade anthrax and leaking that the FBI and CIA suspect domestic cranks." Iraq "has the anthrax", he wrote, adding that it was "capable of milling anthrax to military grade" (recall that, according to Spertzel, the Iraqi process using a simulant did not involve milling). "There is plenty of reason to presume he's behind the current attacks," the piece concluded, "with bin Laden and his al Qaeda network as a front or ally."

    Author Laurie Mylroie, who wrote a book claiming that Iraq was involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, another dubious claim repeated by administration officials, stated in an interview that "Iraq is the number one suspect" in the anthrax investigation.

    When the fact that the Ames strain was used in the mailings became problematic, The Washington Post assisted the propaganda campaign by reporting that Iraq had attempted to obtain the Ames strain from Britain, and while there is "no proof that Iraqi scientists obtained the Ames strain from another supplier", Iraq "may yet be linked to the series of biological attacks against the United States." Guilty until proven innocent.

    By December, the propaganda furor had seemed to run its course. The New York Times reported that "Shortly after the first anthrax victim died in October, the Bush administration began in intense effort to explore any possible link between Iraq and the attacks and continued to do so even after scientists determined that the lethal germ was an American strain" and cited a "senior intelligence official" as saying, "We looked for any shred of evidence that would bear on this, or any foreign source. It's just not there."

    The White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer, said "The evidence is increasingly looking like it was a domestic source." The Director of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, similarly stated that "based on the investigative work of many agencies, we're all more inclined to think that the perpetrator is domestic."

    Nonetheless, despite these admissions, the allegation of Iraqi involvement remained alive and well. An article in The Weekly Standard, for instance, in April 2002, again tried to argue in favor of the Iraq conspiracy theory, rehashing the earlier claims.

    Colin Powell, in his presentation to the UN, knew the claim of Iraqi involvement in the anthrax mailings was spurious. But he need not have actually made the claim. Merely drawing the mental association between Iraq and the anthrax mailings was enough for propaganda effect, the same propaganda technique that, as polls indicated, led a large majority of Americans to believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    The Source

    As noted earlier, the strain of anthrax used in the mailings was identified as the Ames strain. It did not come from Iraq, but was traced to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The U.S. had been working with powdered anthrax since 1992 in a biowarfare program at Dugway Proving Ground, an Army installation in Utah.

    But another interesting footnote to the anthrax story, though usually ignored, reared its head from time to time during the propaganda campaign to implicate Iraq in the anthrax mailings. The UK paper the Telegraph pointed out that "Iraq obtained much of its anthrax supply from the American Type Culture Collection. Between 1985 and 1989, it obtained at least 21 strains of anthrax from ATCC and about 15 other class III pathogens, the bacteria that pose an extreme risk to human health. One strain had a British military pedigree and three of the other strains were listed as coming from the American military's biological warfare programme."

    Scott Ritter, in his rebuttal to Richard Butler, similarly noted that "Iraq procured the Vollum strain of anthrax from American Type Culture Collection..." David Kelly, also a former UN inspector and British Foreign Office expert, likewise noted the origin of Saddam Hussein's anthrax strains.

    The Washington Post noted at the bottom of an article on page A12 that Iraq "had received the two Vollum strains and five other strains of anthrax bacterium from the American Type Culture Collection…" The New York Times made the same observation, adding that none of the strains Iraq obtained were of the Ames variety.

    It was a well known fact by the time the administration began beating the drums of war that Iraq had obtained its anthrax from the U.S. Yet, it was rarely noted during either the maelstrom of reports attempting to implicate Iraq in the anthrax mailings or later during the months the government was making its case for the use of armed force.

    Iraq's anthrax is traceable back to a biological warfare program instituted by Winston Churchill during World War II. The culture developed under that program was sent to the United States. It was this anthrax that Iraq weaponized in its biological warfare program.

    As author William Blum noted in 1998, "When Iraq engaged in chemical and biological warfare in the 1980s, barely a peep of moral outrage could be heard from Washington, as it kept supplying Saddam with the materials he needed to build weapons."

    A Senate report in 1994 observed that:

    The United States provided the Government of Iraq with "dual use" licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological, and missile-system programs, including...chemical warfare agent precursors; chemical warfare agent production facility plans and technical drawings (provided as pesticide production facility plans); chemical warhead filling equipment; biological warfare related materials; missile fabrication equipment; and, missile-system guidance equipment....

    Records available from the supplier for the period from 1985 until the present show that during this time, pathogenic (meaning "disease producing"), toxigenic (meaning "poisonous"), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce…. These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.

    Although Iraq's biological warfare program was not revealed until years later, it was well known that Iraq had engaged in chemical warfare against Iran and the Kurds during the 1980s. This did not stop the U.S. from supporting Saddam Hussein or helping him to acquire materials such as anthrax which eventually found their way into Iraq's biological weapons program. The obvious corollary is that the U.S. was little concerned with Iraq's WMD at the time.

    What happened, then? Did the U.S. government suddenly become concerned with WMD? This is the usual hypothesis, that although we made "mistakes" in the past, now we are on a "change of course" to right those wrongs. The U.S., therefore, even though it had assisted him in acquiring them, would now hold Saddam Hussein accountable for his WMD.

    There are several problems with this theory. First, many of the policy makers in the George W. Bush administration were the same policy makers during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Secondly, if there had been an honest desire to hold Saddam accountable for his WMD, then facts would have mattered. As a review of the facts reveals, truth was not a companion, but a casualty of the administrations claims against Iraq.

    Anthrax was but one part of the case for war against Iraq, and a relatively minor role it played, at that. But, although it is beyond the scope of this review to do so, our experiment may be repeated with virtually any aspect of the case for war. Any rational analysis comparing the claims being made against the known facts leads to one inevitable conclusion: the notion of an "intelligence failure" leading to the Iraq war is nothing more than a myth.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Raider, my friend, this one's dedicated to you. Don't let me down.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Gee, think we could get a link to where you copied that novel from please?

    Thank you

    p.s. does this mean you want to get into this debate again? If so, I have a lot more FACTS (not connect the dots speculation) along with some new findings to share with you from the conclusions of a couple more bi-partisan investigations into this "Bush lied us into war" load of bunk you like preaching. Just say the word...

    .
    Last edited by Grim17; 02-03-2006 at 01:01 PM.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17
    Gee, think we could get a link to where you copied that novel from please?
    Why, Grim, this is a Yirmeyahu original.

    The facts speak for themselves. Take any aspect of the case for war. Compare what was said with the facts known at the time. They deceived you, Grim. They lied.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Yirmeyahu, everything you try and claim with your assumptions and "Connect the dots" theories, are based on your preconceived notion that the administration must have fudged the intelligence. Six different investigations have now come to the same conclusion, that the administration didn't "make up" or "exaggerate" the published intelligence that was available back then.

    Try a little different mind set when you look at what happened and what was said and done back then.

    Based on the intelligence, the administration not only had the right to say what they did about Iraq's perceived threat, it was their DUTY to do so. They informed the American people and the world of the possible destruction and loss of human life that could occur if Saddam were to use the weapons that not only American intelligence, but most major intelligence agencies world wide, were convinced he did in fact posses.

    The other choice the administration had, was to take your approach and assume that the intelligence was wrong and not inform anyone of what was believed to be true about Iraq's weapons capabilities.

    I ask you, which is the better approach:

    1) Believe the intelligence, assume the worse and take action to prevent Saddam from either attacking or selling his weapons to a terrorist organization, that would surely use those weapons to kill thousands of innocent people.

    2) Not tell the American people or the world what intelligence sources believed Saddam was capable of and just sit back and hope that they were wrong.

    Taking choice #2 and being wrong, would be the most tragic and irresponsible thing any leader of any country could ever do to it's people. You know the old saying, "Better safe than sorry" don't you? Well that is exactly the approach that our government took in this case and it was the right thing to do.

    Let us not forget the fact that after we informed the UN of what intelligence sources determined Saddam's threat to be, we did not just invade Iraq. We authored what later became UN resolution 1441 and submitted it to the UN Security Council. They unanimously approved that resolution by a vote of 11-0. It was then submitted to Saddam and it gave him the opportunity to live up to his commitment and account for his wmd stocks that he himself had admitted to having. The choice to go to war was made by Saddam when he once again thumbed his nose at the demands of the world.

    There was no lies. There were no deceptions. Our government was very careful to present only the facts based on world wide intelligence. Any assumptions made by the American people were based the same way you make your claims Yirmeyahu... By connecting the dots.

    The only difference is, the American people connected the dots and assumed the worse because they didn't want to see another 9/11 happen, and you connected your dots based on a hatred for the American government and the president, in an effort to destroy the current administration.

    .

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Grim,

    Read the article. Let's discuss the case for war as it applies to anthrax. They used lies and deceptions.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Yirmeyahu you are not a fool in my opinion, yet your continue to make the case that "Bush lied" by presenting all these reports and testimonies that contradict what the administration claimed about Iraq's wmd in the lead up to war, but continue to ignore one big giant fact every time.

    You keep forgetting that all these things you say "prove" the administration lied were never presented to the president.

    All the intelligence that is gathered by the various agencies both in the U.S. and abroad is compiled and reviewed by the intelligence community. Based on that, they reached a conclusion about what they believed Saddam's capabilities were and presented that report (the NIE) to the white house. That is what the president and the administration see, not all the crap you keep using to make your claim.

    I have made you aware of this at least a dozen times. It's the way it has worked in Washington for many years and an easy fact to look up, yet you choose to ignore it and keep running in circles with this "destroy Bush" obsession and it's getting pathetic.

    Here are a few facts from the available intelligence that the president DID see.

    .

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Grim,

    The information in the image you posted is addressed in the article. It simply demonstrates what I've said, that they deliberately deceived.

    You're argument is that the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false. First, they made claims not supported by any "intelligence". Second, they ignored information that contradicted their claims. Most of the information contradicting their claims was not secret "intelligence", but publicly available.

    Bush said "we know he has" anthrax. That was a lie. Show me where the intelligence report is that states with absolute certainty that Iraq had anthrax. In your own image from the WMD report, they speak of possible amounts which may be unnaccounted for. That's not a subtle difference.

    Rumsfeld said Saddam "has ammased large clandestine stockpiles" of anthrax. That was a lie. Show me which "intelligence" report said Iraq had ammased large stockpiles of anthrax.

    Even if Iraq had produced more anthrax than it declared, it would have degraded and would have been useless. That was never disclosed. That's deliberate deception.

    Bush insinuated that a defector revealed that Iraq still had anthrax, but didn't disclose that he was referring to Hussein Kamel, killed in 1996 for defecing in 1995, at which time he revealed Iraq's pre-91 efforts which had ended. He also told the UN that all the weapons had been destroyed. This was deliberately deceptive.

    Colin Powell deliberately insinuated that Iraq had weaponized powdered anthrax, despite there not being any evidence to support such an assertion. He deceived.

    Powell said with certainty that Iraq had "mobile production facilities" capable of producing anthrax, despite a total lack of credible evidence supporting the claim. He deceived.

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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    You're argument is that the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false.
    Could you please tell me what investigation filed such a report stating that the president received those other reports?

    Bush said "we know he has" anthrax. That was a lie. Show me where the intelligence report is that states with absolute certainty that Iraq had anthrax.
    Iraq already admitted to producing anthrax in 1995 according to UNSCOM, then in September, 2002 (the same month Bush addressed the U.N general assembly) the DIA published "Iraq - Key WMD Facilities An Operational Support Study" which stated "Iraq is assessed to possess biological agent stockpiles that may be weaponized and ready for use. The size of those stockpiles is unknown and subject to debate."

    Rumsfeld said Saddam "has ammased large clandestine stockpiles" of anthrax. That was a lie. Show me which "intelligence" report said Iraq had ammased large stockpiles of anthrax.
    the DIA published "Iraq - Key WMD Facilities An Operational Support Study" which stated "Iraq is assessed to possess biological agent stockpiles..." Stockpiles of what agents had already been determined years ago, which included anthrax.

    Even if Iraq had produced more anthrax than it declared, it would have degraded and would have been useless. That was never disclosed. That's deliberate deception.
    That is true of liquid anthrax, but the NIE had determined that Iraq had increased it's effectiveness by successfully "mastering the ability to produce dried agent." At least one facility in Iraq had been converting the liquid anthrax into the dry form, which the NIE pointed out as significant because the dry agent is much easier to handle and has a longer shelf life.

    Colin Powell deliberately insinuated that Iraq had weaponized powdered anthrax, despite there not being any evidence to support such an assertion. He deceived.
    The key word there Yirmeyahu is "insinuated". Powell insinuated that because that is exactly what the 2002 NIE report had done as stated above.

    Powell said with certainty that Iraq had "mobile production facilities" capable of producing anthrax, despite a total lack of credible evidence supporting the claim. He deceived.
    The Senate report already addressed that issue and placed the blame squarely on top CIA officials for not disclosing to Mr. Powell that they suspected that their informant "Curveball" wasn't as credible as they had once thought.
    Yirmeyahu, you continue to think you are smarter than 6 separate BI-PARTISAN investigations into this matter and the fact is, YOU ARE NOT.

    You said to me "You're argument is the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false." and that my friend is the one that you need to prove on two levels:

    1) Bush did receive and read all the information you speak of.
    2) That the information you stated, is some how more credible than the information both Bush and Powell used in their case for invading Iraq.

    Keep in mind Yirmeyahu, there are a whole lot of blood thirsty Democrats in both the congress and the senate that live, eat and breathe for the opportunity to impeach George Bush, and if your claims were relevant they would have already done so.

    So go ahead and spin, spin spin some more Yirmeyahu... The world needs fools too.

    .
    Last edited by Grim17; 02-05-2006 at 07:48 PM.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2005
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    Aspartame Island
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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17
    Yirmeyahu, you continue to think you are smarter than 6 separate BI-PARTISAN investigations into this matter and the fact is, YOU ARE NOT.

    You said to me "You're argument is the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false." and that my friend is the one that you need to prove on two levels:

    1) Bush did receive and read all the information you speak of.
    2) That the information you stated, is some how more credible than the information both Bush and Powell used in their case for invading Iraq.

    Keep in mind Yirmeyahu, there are a whole lot of blood thirsty Democrats in both the congress and the senate that live, eat and breathe for the opportunity to impeach George Bush, and if your claims were relevant they would have already done so.

    So go ahead and spin, spin spin some more Yirmeyahu... The world needs fools too.

    .
    So Grim, what is your opinion on the fact that America is to blame for supplying Iraq in the first place ? Not only weapons in the 80's but strains of anthrax as well ? As the article stated;

    Scott Ritter, in his rebuttal to Richard Butler, similarly noted that "Iraq procured the Vollum strain of anthrax from American Type Culture Collection..." David Kelly, also a former UN inspector and British Foreign Office expert, likewise noted the origin of Saddam Hussein's anthrax strains.

    The Washington Post noted at the bottom of an article on page A12 that Iraq "had received the two Vollum strains and five other strains of anthrax bacterium from the American Type Culture Collection…" The New York Times made the same observation, adding that none of the strains Iraq obtained were of the Ames variety.
    Powell is mentioned more in the article as the one blatantly lying here. Rumsfeld lies, as do other politicians. It's nothing new. The "blood thirsty democrats" also lie. Noone is disputing that either. What needs to happen is the politicians to be held accountable for their actions. We will never see that happen as big business ultimately rules the politicians anyway. The money talks. Unless the people change that, there won't be any change.

    Just think of it Grim, in a little while, if Bush has his way, he'll be the dictator of the U.S. You may even be elevated to be his bosom buddy for your loyal and unwavering support of the current administration. Then you guys can persecute to your heart's content. All of them "unAmerican" bastards that fail to agree with you and Bushie will be grass under the neocon lawn mower.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    YIR: You're argument is that the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false.

    GRIM: Could you please tell me what investigation filed such a report stating that the president received those other reports?
    You lost me. Information was publicly available contradicting his claims. It wasn't secret intelligence.

    YIR: Bush said "we know he has" anthrax. That was a lie. Show me where the intelligence report is that states with absolute certainty that Iraq had anthrax.

    GRIM: Iraq already admitted to producing anthrax in 1995 according to UNSCOM, then in September, 2002 (the same month Bush addressed the U.N general assembly) the DIA published "Iraq - Key WMD Facilities An Operational Support Study" which stated "Iraq is assessed to possess biological agent stockpiles that may be weaponized and ready for use. The size of those stockpiles is unknown and subject to debate."
    Iraq did NOT admit to producing anthrax in 1995. That is FALSE. In 1995, Iraq admitted to having had produced anthrax prior to '91. Hussen Kamal also said all weapons were destroyed.

    Bush didn't say "he likely possesses" or "it's possible he has", he said "we know he has" anthrax. And he neglected to mention that even if Iraq still had anthrax, it would have degraded and would be useless. He neglected to say that there was no evidence that Iraq had continued production of anthrax while insinuating just the opposite.

    YIR: Rumsfeld said Saddam "has ammased large clandestine stockpiles" of anthrax. That was a lie. Show me which "intelligence" report said Iraq had ammased large stockpiles of anthrax.

    GRIM: The DIA published "Iraq - Key WMD Facilities An Operational Support Study" which stated "Iraq is assessed to possess biological agent stockpiles..." Stockpiles of what agents had already been determined years ago, which included anthrax.
    Assessed based on what information? Why, UNSCOM reports, of course. The nature of the evidence was never explained to the American people, as I fully reviewed in the article above. This assessment is based upon the assumption, without evidence, that Iraq had produced more anthrax than was declared.

    Important caveats such as that and contradicting information were deliberately kept from the public while misleadeing or outright false statements were made, such as Rumsfeld's above statement that Iraq had "ammased large clandestine stockpiles" of anthrax.

    YIR: Even if Iraq had produced more anthrax than it declared, it would have degraded and would have been useless. That was never disclosed. That's deliberate deception.

    GRIM: That is true of liquid anthrax, but the NIE had determined that Iraq had increased it's effectiveness by successfully "mastering the ability to produce dried agent." At least one facility in Iraq had been converting the liquid anthrax into the dry form, which the NIE pointed out as significant because the dry agent is much easier to handle and has a longer shelf life.
    There was no evidence Iraq had ever produced dried anthrax before inspectors went in. They had successfully dried another agent, a simulant. There is no evidence Iraq ever produced liquid or dried anthrax after inspectors went in. Your statement "one facility in Iraq had been converting the liquid anthrax into the dry form" is false.

    YIR: Colin Powell deliberately insinuated that Iraq had weaponized powdered anthrax, despite there not being any evidence to support such an assertion. He deceived.

    GRIM: The key word there Yirmeyahu is "insinuated". Powell insinuated that because that is exactly what the 2002 NIE report had done as stated above.
    False. There was no evidence Iraq had dried anthrax. Powell knew that.

    YIR: Powell said with certainty that Iraq had "mobile production facilities" capable of producing anthrax, despite a total lack of credible evidence supporting the claim. He deceived.

    GRIM: The Senate report already addressed that issue and placed the blame squarely on top CIA officials for not disclosing to Mr. Powell that they suspected that their informant "Curveball" wasn't as credible as they had once thought.
    Powell needn't have known the specific details about the sources for this info. Powell didn't say "sources say Iraq has mobile labs" or "we think Iraq may have mobile labs", but stated with certainty, as absolute fact, that Iraq had mobile labs. There was no credible evidence supporting this statement.

    Yirmeyahu, you continue to think you are smarter than 6 separate BI-PARTISAN investigations into this matter and the fact is, YOU ARE NOT.
    Which investigations are you referring to? I have not claimed to be smarter than anyone or anything. But it's a simple enough analysis to compare what they said with the known facts available at the time. Any fool can perform that experiment, which clearly reveals that they lied and deceived.

    We're not talking one or two or three instances of mere bad information getting through, we're talking about a systematic campaign of deception.

    You said to me "You're argument is the Bush administration was never presented with some information while it was presented with other information. That it false." and that my friend is the one that you need to prove on two levels:
    1) Bush did receive and read all the information you speak of.
    Why do you limit this to Bush? There were many in his administration making similar claims. I didn't only quote Bush. I also quoted Rumsfeld and Powell. The information you refer to, of which I've spoken, was not from some secret intelligence that didn't make it's way up to the White House. It was public information. Anyone who wanted to investigate to learn for themselves could have looked it up.

    The administration clearly wasn't interested in the truth.

    2) That the information you stated, is some how more credible than the information both Bush and Powell used in their case for invading Iraq.
    Already done. Read the above article.

    Keep in mind Yirmeyahu, there are a whole lot of blood thirsty Democrats in both the congress and the senate that live, eat and breathe for the opportunity to impeach George Bush, and if your claims were relevant they would have already done so.
    That's fallacious logic.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    SW United States
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    6,643

    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    Iraq did NOT admit to producing anthrax in 1995. That is FALSE. In 1995, Iraq admitted to having had produced anthrax prior to '91. Hussen Kamal also said all weapons were destroyed.
    You are correct. I misread the report, but you are ignoring UNSCOM's final report which stated they were unable to verify both how many aerial bombs existed and how many were destroyed. They also had a problem with Iraq's claim that they produced 4 "drop tanks" used for BW. Their investigation indicated that they had produced 12.

    The nature of the evidence was never explained to the American people, as I fully reviewed in the article above. This assessment is based upon the assumption, without evidence, that Iraq had produced more anthrax than was declared.
    You again are correct. The problem is this wasn't a deception by the president. This information was gone through by the IC and the senate report is explaining what they discovered in their investigation about much of the information being nothing but educated guesses. That was not known at the time by Bush and the administration and thats why Yirmeyahu, this is where I stop.

    You are a fool that still thinks he is smarter than 6 bi-partisan investigations into this matter and your continuously ignoring of the fact that published intelligence presented at the time reflected the same information that we were all hearing from Bush, Powell and Rumsfeld. Your posts are nothing but an example of the ramblings that emanate from someone so filled with partisan hatred and complete lack of respect for the U.S and it's government, that they aren't capable of seeing anything that could contradict their hate based vendetta.

    It is truly sad that someone who seems to be intelligent, can think that his conclusions trump the conclusions of 6 investigations. Investigations that were teaming with democrats who wanted nothing more than to destroy Bush and his administration. Do you really think that Diane Feinstein, John Edwards or Dick Durban (just to name a few) would have ignored any information that proved that the administration lied? GET REAL!!!!

    .

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,099

    Re: Iraq's Anthrax and the Myth of "Intelligence Failure"

    YIR: Iraq did NOT admit to producing anthrax in 1995. That is FALSE. In 1995, Iraq admitted to having had produced anthrax prior to '91. Hussen Kamal also said all weapons were destroyed.

    GrIM: You are correct. I misread the report, but you are ignoring UNSCOM's final report which stated they were unable to verify both how many aerial bombs existed and how many were destroyed. They also had a problem with Iraq's claim that they produced 4 "drop tanks" used for BW. Their investigation indicated that they had produced 12.
    Your misreading is understandable, since it's the impression the administration deliberately attemptd to seal into people's minds by similarly mistating the facts.

    As for aerial bombs and drop tanks, they aren't relevant. The issue here is anthrax, not means of dispersal.

    YIR: The nature of the evidence was never explained to the American people, as I fully reviewed in the article above. This assessment is based upon the assumption, without evidence, that Iraq had produced more anthrax than was declared.

    GRIM: You again are correct. The problem is this wasn't a deception by the president... That was not known at the time by Bush and the administration...
    If I was aware of it, Grim, you can be sure the Bush administration was aware of it.

    Are you telling me the administration didn't have access to UNSCOM or UNMOVIC reports? Interesting how the British Dossier acknowledged the nature of the dispute, but how it "was not known at the time by the Bush administration". Curious.

    This is the problem with your argument. You're speaking as though the only information contradicting their public statements were buried down in the bowels of the intelligence agencies and never made it to the light of day. That is incorrect.

    Most of the information contradicting their claims was public knowledge.

    So if Bush and Co. didn't know, it was because they didn't want to know. It's quite possible they deliberately deceived themselves, as well as others.

    You are a fool that still thinks he is smarter than 6 bi-partisan investigations into this matter...
    Which investigations are you referring to? Please name for me these investigations which compared what was claimed by the administration with the facts available to them at the time. Thanks.

    ... and your continuously ignoring of the fact that published intelligence presented at the time reflected the same information that we were all hearing from Bush, Powell and Rumsfeld.
    No it didn't. That's the point.

    Bush said "we know he has" anthrax. That was a lie. Show me where the intelligence report is that states with absolute certainty that Iraq had anthrax. In your own image from the WMD report, they speak of possible amounts which may be unnaccounted for. That's not a subtle difference.

    Rumsfeld said Saddam "has ammased large clandestine stockpiles" of anthrax. That was a lie. Show me which "intelligence" report said Iraq had ammased large stockpiles of anthrax. The best they could do was say it was possible, based on speculative estimates that Iraq still possessed anthrax.

    Even if Iraq had produced more anthrax than it declared, it would have degraded and would have been useless. That was never disclosed. That's deliberate deception.

    Bush insinuated that a defector revealed that Iraq still had anthrax, but didn't disclose that he was referring to Hussein Kamel, killed in 1996 for defecing in 1995, at which time he revealed Iraq's pre-91 efforts which had ended. He also told the UN that all the weapons had been destroyed. This was deliberately deceptive.

    Colin Powell deliberately insinuated that Iraq had weaponized powdered anthrax, despite there not being any evidence to support such an assertion. He deceived.

    Powell said with certainty that Iraq had "mobile production facilities" capable of producing anthrax, despite a total lack of credible evidence supporting the claim. He deceived.
    Last edited by Yirmeyahu; 02-07-2006 at 04:20 AM.

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