Jeez, Righties Are So Gullible

Last night the Bush Administration began release of some Iraqi documents seized by U.S. intelligence after the invasion. John Solomon reports for the Associated Press:

The documents, the first of thousands expected to be declassified over the next several months, were released via a Pentagon Web site at the direction of National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.

Many were in Arabic _ with no English translation _ including one the administration said showed that Iraqi intelligence officials suspected al-Qaida members were inside Iraq in 2002.

The Pentagon Web site described that document this way: “2002 Iraqi Intelligence Correspondence concerning the presence of al-Qaida Members in Iraq. Correspondence between IRS members on a suspicion, later confirmed, of the presence of an Al-Qaeda terrorist group. Moreover, it includes photos and names.”

Various rightie pundits like Michael Barone and Stephen Hayes have been hyping these documents in recent weeks. Barone, for example, wrote ten days ago,

Light on the Saddam regime’s collaboration with terrorists will almost certainly be shed by analysis of some 2 million documents captured in Iraq. But, as the intrepid Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard has pointed out, almost none of those documents has been translated or released either to the public or to the congressional intelligence committees. It appears that career professionals and, perhaps, political appointees have been blocking release of these documents.

Oooo, the dreaded career professionals.

Why do their superiors not order them released? Many Americans cling with religious intensity to the notion that somehow Saddam had no terrorist ties — a notion used to delegitimize our war effort. We should bring the truth, or as much of it as is available, out into the open.

I commented on this Barone screed here.

Looking back, the recent hyping of and now the release of these documents seems just a little too … coordinated. Especially since it seems timed to the beginning of an air war against North Viet Nam insurgent strongholds in Iraq.

And it was also timed to the release today of a Bush foreign policy document that restates the “Bush Doctrine” — the right to pre-empt threats, e.g. invade anybody we damn well like — and which also states “We face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.”

We know where this is going, don’t we?

But the real knee-slapper is this … the usual tools are hyping the Saddam-al Qaeda connection with a vengeance. Al Qaeda was in Iraq before the invasion! This guy writes (under the headline “Saddam Tied to al Qaeda”) “Consider this the final nail in the coffin of the liberal fantasy about Al Qaeda ties to Iraq.” Another found a photo of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the documents!

Do these people have fewer than three functioning brain cells apiece? Or were they not paying attention?

OF COURSE Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was in Iraq before the invasion. And he was running terrorist training camps in Iraq before the invasion. This is not a secret. Everybody knows this. I’ve even written about it myself several times.

But here is the part the bleepheads of the Right never get through their impenetrable skulls: Zarqawi was operating in Iraqi KURDISTAN, an area of northern Iraq that had become a safe haven for Kurds. He was in a part of Iraq over which Saddam Hussein had no control. He was, in fact, in part of Iraq controlled by our buddies, the Kurds. Kurdish autonomy had been shielded by U.S. air power since the end of the 1991 war.

Now, here is the juicy part. Fred Kaplan wrote in Slate, April 14, 2004 (righties, this is for you, so pay attention):

Apparently, Bush had three opportunities, long before the war, to destroy a terrorist camp in northern Iraq run by Abu Musab Zarqawi, the al-Qaida associate who recently cut off the head of Nicholas Berg. But the White House decided not to carry out the attack because, as the [NBC News] story puts it:

    [T]he administration feared [that] destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

The implications of this are more shocking, in their way, than the news from Abu Ghraib. Bush promoted the invasion of Iraq as a vital battle in the war on terrorism, a continuation of our response to 9/11. Here was a chance to wipe out a high-ranking terrorist. And Bush didn’t take advantage of it because doing so might also wipe out a rationale for invasion.

I’ll pause to let that sink in. Kaplan continued,

As far back as June 2002, U.S. intelligence reported that Zarqawi had set up a weapons lab at Kirma in northern Iraq that was capable of producing ricin and cyanide. The Pentagon drew up an attack plan involving cruise missiles and smart bombs. The White House turned it down. In October 2002, intelligence reported that Zarqawi was preparing to use his bio-weapons in Europe. The Pentagon drew up another attack plan. The White House again demurred. In January 2003, police in London arrested terrorist suspects connected to the camp. The Pentagon devised another attack plan. Again, the White House killed the plan, not Zarqawi.

When the war finally started in March, the camp was attacked early on. But by that time, Zarqawi and his followers had departed.

This camp was in the Kurdish enclave of Iraq. The U.S. military had been mounting airstrikes against various targets throughout Iraq—mainly air-defense sites—for the previous few years. It would not have been a major escalation to destroy this camp, especially after the war against al-Qaida in Afghanistan. The Kurds, whose autonomy had been shielded by U.S. air power since the end of the 1991 war, wouldn’t have minded and could even have helped.

But the problem, from Bush’s perspective, was that this was the only tangible evidence of terrorists in Iraq. Colin Powell even showed the location of the camp on a map during his famous Feb. 5 briefing at the U.N. Security Council. The camp was in an area of Iraq that Saddam didn’t control. But never mind, it was something. To wipe it out ahead of time might lead some people—in Congress, the United Nations, and the American public—to conclude that Saddam’s links to terrorists were finished, that maybe the war wasn’t necessary. So Bush let it be.

Also in Slate, Daniel Benjamin wrote (October, 2004):

Why didn’t the Bush administration kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when it had the chance?

That it had opportunities to take out the Jordanian-born jihadist has been clear since Secretary of State Colin Powell devoted a long section of his February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council. In those remarks, which were given to underscore the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, Powell dwelt at length on the terrorist camp in Khurmal, in the pre-invasion Kurdish enclave. It was at that camp that Zarqawi, other jihadists who had fled Afghanistan, and Kurdish radicals were training and producing the poison ricin and cyanide.

Neither the Khurmal camp nor the surrounding area were under Saddam’s control, but Powell provided much detail purporting to show Zarqawi’s ties to the Baghdad regime. His arguments have since been largely discredited by the intelligence community. Many of us who have worked in counterterrorism wondered at the time about Powell’s claims. If we knew where the camp of a leading jihadist was and knew that his followers were working on unconventional weapons, why weren’t we bombing it or sending in special operations forces—especially since this was a relatively “permissive” environment?

Benjamin’s answer boils down to “because Bushies are idiots,” as opposed to Kaplan’s theory that the Bushies left Zarqawi alone deliberately because his presence in Iraq was one of their excuses for invading it.

But today, once again, Zarqawi is dangled in front of the mouth-breathers and throwbacks of the Right to show them that, see, Saddam Hussein did too have ties to terrorism. And they, dumb beasts that they are, take the bait.

‘Scuse me while I pound my head on the floor and scream.

30 thoughts on “Jeez, Righties Are So Gullible

  1. For the same reason BinLaden is alive well and living in Saudi Arabia wearing golden robes

  2. …including one the administration said showed that Iraqi intelligence officials suspected al-Qaida members were in Iraq in 2002.

    Kinda gives the game away, doesn’t it? Saddam was playing footsie with Bin Laden and didn’t tell his own intelligence officials? They were reduced to ‘suspecting’ that a-Q was in Iraq!

  3. Kinda gives the game away, doesn’t it?

    Well, to anyone with a brain, yes. But this leaves out the Bush base.

  4. When your hero worshiping, macho by association image depends upon your not understanding something….well….

  5. To your question regarding brain cells – yes. Many more than three. As to whether you or anyone from the left can grasp the logic of Saddam needing some sacrificial lamb to demonstrate to the West that he was not a threata after 9-11, and then passing up the obvious choice of turning over Al Qaeda he knew where in Iraq, how many liberal brain cells does it take to grasp that? Maybe we should ask why people are so trusting of a murderous mad man with WMD know-how and who harbored terrorists – butcouldn’t think of one single act to diffuse the situation??? And to think Saddam had no control of Sunni portions of Iraq, but full control of the more populous Shiite areas is a real laugher!

    Whatever. Insults are good sign argument and logic are beyond the grasp of those spewing the insults! You made my day. Nice to see gullibiliy is still alive and well.

  6. And to think Saddam had no control of Sunni portions of Iraq, but full control of the more populous Shiite areas is a real laugher!

    I’m glad you are amused. We are, however, talking about the KURDISH portion of Iraq (as in, “Saddam gassed the Kurds”) and in fact Kurdish autonomy had been shielded by U.S. air power since the end of the 1991 war.

    These are facts. Not something you run into much on the Right, I know.

    You made my day.

    You are easily amused.

  7. Maybe we should ask why people are so trusting of a murderous mad man with WMD know-how and who harbored terrorists – but couldn’t think of one single act to diffuse the situation?

    Taking the last part of your statement first, if I remember correctly, nearly everyone in the world wanted Bush to hold off the invasion so the weapons inspectors could complete their work. Hans Blix begged Bush. This would’ve defused the situation, as it would have shown Bush’s claims to be false, and denied him the rationale for the invasion. But he had to have his war anyway.

    It comes down to who do you trust? You’re mistaken if you think people on the left trust a murderous thug like Saddam. As it turns out our trust in Bush was misplaced, and that’s proven by facts even Bush admits to.

    So now, 2000 plus kids dead for a bunch of self-serving lies, our military in tatters, our reputation in ruins worldwide, we’re in debt up the yin-yang, and our enemies are more emboldened than ever. And did I mention that our Constitution doesn’t mean anything any more? Are you beginning to get the picture? Who do you trust?

  8. Thanks to comment #7. we now know how things are in the Bizzaro alternate universe. Thanks for the glimpse under the rock.
    The largest assault ever is under way in Iraq as I write this.
    This administration is out of control and must be impeached before our country is ruined!

  9. Can the righties with more than three brain cells explain to me why the still-free Zarqawi terrorists from ‘the camp in Kurdistan’ who were ‘known’ to be ‘making ricin and cyanide’ have not ever used these poisons?

  10. Donna, you misunderstood what they were saying. The intelligence reports stated they were making rice ‘n beans, not ricin, and the report sad sy ‘n i’d rather eat tabouli.
    These are common mistakes in the intelgince kommunity, just like poor spellin’
    Ricin is a potent toxin, 100 x more toxic than cobra venomn, but you gotta either administer it in an anema or
    poke someone in the butt with an umbrella tipped with some to kill a person, unless you mix it in some cocaine and trick them into snortin’ it. Cyanide is good for cleaning jewlery, or in pellet form in a gas chamber. AK 47’s on the other hand…..

  11. Maybe we should ask why people are so trusting of a murderous mad man with WMD know-how and who harbored terrorists – butcouldn’t think of one single act to diffuse the situation??

    I’ve asked that question and the answer that came back to me was:

    1. Saddam didn’t have WMD’s or the know how, if WMD’s are meant to be as implied by our government— being nuclear.

    2. “Terrorists” is a relative term in the abstract and has become almost a meaningless diversion to reality.Bush has pumped the phantom of terrorism up so great that it’s lost value in reasoning. Bush has intentionally diluted and conflated the word terrorist to obscure his deceit in the invasion of Iraq.

    3. Simply put…There was absolutely nothing Saddam could have done to prevent the invasion of Iraq. Bush, in his egotistical delusion,determined to invade Iraq and determined to deceive the American people to carry out his fantasy. If you remember..Bush received a word from God instructing him to “take out” Saddam. So nothing Saddam could do was going to change the will of God.

  12. Say…who was President when 9/11 happened?

    Yeah, thought so….

    So, who was responsible?

    Oh, right it was Clinton wasn’t it?

    Once again it would seem the right is populated with…well folks who aren’t too bright.

    Must be the Kool-Aid.

    Nasty stuff that is…..

  13. While Americans are distracted today by the war in Iraq, lets not forget the war taking place on our borders.Senators in Washington ,headed by Arlen Specter, are working on the guest worker program for illegal immigrants.After the march in Chicago last Friday of 100,000 illegals demanding their rights,the pressure is on to let all of the millions now here to stay for two years,go HOME for a year,apply to come back and then stay for six years.While the Bush administration is busy with their invasion of another country,they are closing there eyes and opening up wider the door allowing the invasion of America.Bush said there would be another attack on our country,there’s one going on right under his nose.I’m all for immigration when it is done legally,but when a certain group gets to jump to the head of the line with the help of Washington,what kind of message does it send to the rest of the world?

  14. Maha, I read your post and followed all pertinent links. I post here and there only occasionally and when I do, I try to be funny or sarcastic (you know-make jokes when things seem bad). Well, there is nothing funny about this and I can’t think of anything sarcastic to say – I really just want to cry. Despite how many times we read that Clinton missed opportunities to take out Bin Laden, no one can accuse him of doing so in order to start a war (well except maybe people like #7). Why are these facts not reported more widely – why is there no investigation – why is there no impeachment…why…why…why? Of course, these are rhetorical questions – the answers also make me want to cry.

  15. Republican swine fascists (led and governed by chief swine Karl Rove) have manged to turn the word “liberal” into an expletive. Someone in the progressive blogosphere said yesterday that in the past she would never employ a term like “fascist” because it was, well, “hyperbolic.”

    I say whoa! Let’s just take a page out of swine Karl’s book and use the wholly accurate term “fascist” to describe what these Republicans are doing in their death throes.

    Fear. War. Lies. War. Lies.

    Swine Karl sez: Escalate the war in Iraq. Hey, I’ve got an even better idea! Election is comin’ up. Poll numbers are down. Here’s what we’re gonna do to keep the sheep cowering in fear. We’re gonna tell them Iran is about to drop a nuclear weapon on Israel. Or San Francisco. Or Honolulu.

    Our job is to pertect americuns, so that’s why we will INVADE IRAN! Yes! That’s the ticket!

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  17. Let’s send Cheney over there with his gun that he used in TX while “quail hunting”.

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