Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Senate Report on Saddam and al-Qaeda

It's out, and man is it damning. Republicans are spinning their wheels. A brief rundown of the highlights:

- Iraq "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.

- Saddam did not have any chemical weapons when we invaded, per this language: "Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessments that Iraq 'has chemical weapons' or 'is expanding its chemical industry to support chemical weapons (CW) production.' The ISG uncovered no evidence indicating that Iraq maintained a stockpile of chemical weapons or had been producing chemical weapons. The ISG found that Iraq likely destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles after the Gulf War due to invasive UN investigations. Iraq declared the destruction of these materials to the UN shortly thereafter.

- Bush's claim that Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicles were going to deliver WMDs to fearful civilian populations was utter bullshit. The Senate report says postwar findings show conclusively that, just as the Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Army already concluded in 2003, the UAVs were "primarily intended for reconnaissance.

- The administration pushed analysts to show a link where none could be established. As one of several examples, the report quotes the former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence as asking them to "lean far forward and do a speculative piece," querying, "if you were going to stretch to the maximum the evidence you had, what would you come up with?

- There is simply no evidence Saddam had ties with al-Qaeda, whether public or secret, large or small. There is nothing in this report that supports Bush's position. Without really even needing to, the report lays on the pain by quoting the CIA inspector general report from December 2005: "The data reveal few indications of an established relationship between al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein's regime before September 11, 2001."

The report, along with an eye-opening look at how Cheney continues to pretend not to know what the Senate found, is at

Oh, and Senate Intelligence Committe chairman Pat Roberts, who is a gigantic friend of the Bush administration, is now calling pre-war preparations "a tragic intelligence failure." That story ran at,00.html -- that's, not exactly a bastion of leftist anti-military sentiment.

By the way, if you're in the DC area, the National Book Festival is Sept. 30 and you are a sucker if you don't go.


Blogger charvakan said...

Nice work. This is the sort of thing that deserves a wider audience, say at...oh, I know, TLI.

I must be a real sucker because I will be in Williamsburg this weekend to smother Audrey during Parents' Weekend at W&M. No books for me!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Lapp said...

For the record, this was at TLI before I posted it here.

12:30 PM  

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