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Last Night the Rachel Maddow show sent a video crew to actually watch and play the new Bush Library "Game": Decision Points Theater.  This is the Bush Administrations post Power attempt to yet again bamboozle and trick the public into thinking that George W. Bush made the "Right" decision to invade and decimate an unarmed country that hadn't attacked us, didn't have WMD's and didn't have any ties to terrorist groups such as al Qeada.

In this display, called “Decision Points,” participants play a game where they’re forced to make the same decisions President Bush did. On the issue of Iraq, there’s even a wholly new video message from the former president, who comes out when participants choose not to invade the country.

Just imagine if President Bill Clinton set up a whole interactive display at his presidential library designed to convince viewers that his biggest scandal wasn’t that bad either, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said Wednesday night. Or President Richard Nixon basing his library around an exhibit illustrating how he really, really wasn’t a crook.

Maddow's point deserves to be driven home, because this Library exhibit does not attempt to portray that the information and intelligence was "flawed" and therefore the decision to invade Iraq was a honest, well meaning mistake.


If you don't choose to do what GWB chose to do, you get scolded by his former officials and then Bush himself comes on the screen - using current contemporary footage - to argue that there was a "World-Wide Consensus"  (yet there wasn't) that Saddam was a danger and that invading his country (and coincidentally getting 4,000 American Troops Killed, and 150,000 Iraqis killed, and unleashing years of Sectarian Violence and disruption, inspiring a brand new world-wide jihad movement and leading our country into a decade of torture and degradation) was the only viable choice.

That's just plain nuts.

Let's look just to take a couple simple examples at the 16 Words from the 2003 State of the Union.

The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
If you look this up on they - believe or not - defend it.
  • A British intelligence review released July 14 calls Bush’s 16 words “well founded.”
  • A separate report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee said July 7 that the US also had similar information from “a number of intelligence reports,” a fact that was classified at the time Bush spoke.
  • Ironically, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who later called Bush’s 16 words a “lie”, supplied information that the Central Intelligence Agency took as confirmation that Iraq may indeed have been seeking uranium from Niger.

    None of the new information suggests Iraq ever nailed down a deal to buy uranium, and the Senate report makes clear that  US intelligence analysts have come to doubt whether  Iraq was even trying to buy the stuff. In fact, both the White House and the CIA long ago conceded that the 16 words shouldn’t have been part of Bush’s speech.

    But what he said – that Iraq sought uranium – is just what both British and US intelligence were telling him at the time. So Bush may indeed have been misinformed, but that's not the same as lying

He wasn't misinformed, he deliberately ignored what he didn't want to hear which is worse than just lying - it's delusional.

And this is exactly how this bullpuckey continues to be promulgated. The only true part of that claim is the section on the "British Report" - and consequently that's exactly why Bush had to refer to the British because U.S. intelligence sources DID NOT support that claim.

This is what George Tenet wrote about the 16 Words in July of 2003 in reaction to Joe Wilson op-ed "What I didn't Find in Africa".

In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA’s counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger’s processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all.


In October, the Intelligence Community (IC) produced a classified, 90 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s WMD programs. There is a lengthy section in which most agencies of the Intelligence Community judged that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Let me emphasize, the NIE’s Key Judgments cited six reasons for this assessment; the African uranium issue was not one of them.

All Joe Wilson found was the the Iraqis had asked to meet Nigerien Officials, and that the Nigerien Officials turned them down, and that outside of official channels there was literally no possible way for Iraq to obtain "Uranium from Africa".

This is something that George Tenet had sent multiple memos to the White House over, specifically asking them to remove the reference to Yellowcake/African Uranium".

And they did remove it during one Bush Speech in Cincinnati.

Bush had wanted to include the 16 words in his Cincinnati speech months earlier. But the CIA advised against it, saying the intelligence was unreliable.
So they knew there were problems and issues with that claim - but they didn't care.

Because then it came back, only this time it doesn't refer to what U.S. Intelligence believed it referred to what the British believed based on a document that our State Department had already determined was a Forgery.

ROME, Nov. 3 - Italy's spymaster identified an Italian occasional spy named Rocco Martino on Thursday as the disseminator of forged documents that described efforts by Iraq to buy uranium ore from Niger for a nuclear weapons program, three lawmakers said Thursday.

The spymaster, Gen. Nicolò Pollari, director of the Italian military intelligence agency known as Sismi, disclosed that Mr. Martino was the source of the forged documents in closed-door testimony to a parliamentary committee that oversees secret services, the lawmakers said.

After Wilson both the CIA and State Dept. didn't trust the forgery anymore.  The Energy Department had done an extensive blow by blow knockdown of the aluminum tubes/centrifuge claims.
“The activities we have detected do not … add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquiring nuclear weapons.”
The Defense Intelligence Agency - which had had some access to Curveball and knew he was unreliable - had already stated that Iraq didn't have any WMD's.

“An unclassified excerpt of a 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency study on Iraq’s chemical warfare program in which it stated that there is ‘no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or where Iraq has – or will – establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.’” The report also said, “A substantial amount of Iraq’s chemical warfare agents, precursors, munitions, and production equipment were destroyed between 1991 and 1998 as a result of Operation Desert Storm and UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission) actions.”
The information linking Iraq to al Qeada came from a man who'd been tortured into saying it in Mubarrak's Egypt - Ibn Sheik al Libi.
Libi was captured fleeing Afghanistan in late 2001, and he vanished into the secret detention system run by the Bush administration. He became the unnamed source, according to Senate investigators, behind Bush administration claims in 2002 and 2003 that Iraq had provided training in chemical and biological weapons to al-Qaeda operatives. The claim was most famously delivered by then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in his address to the United Nations in February 2003.
That training didn't happen.  It was a fantasy, just like the "Mobile Labs" that Curveball manufactured to keep the cash payments coming.

What's worse is that when the head of Iraqi Intelligence defected before the war and confirmed the DIA assessment that all Iraqi WMD's had been destroyed, instead of listening to him Bush reportedly said - "Why doesn't he give us something we can use?" and then suddenly Habbush writes and signs a Forged Back-dated Letter which attempts to confirm not only the debunked Yellowcake Story but also the torture generated Link to al Qeada Story.

"Suskind reports that in early 2003 in secret meetings with British intelligence, Habbush revealed that Iraq in fact did not have weapons of mass destruction. That information was passed on to the CIA. Suskind claims the president wasn't interested in information that contradicted the case for war. After the president was told about Habbush, Suskind quotes Mr. Bush telling an aide, 'Why don't they ask them to give us something we can use to help us make our case?' Suskind writes that Mr. Bush later dismissed Habbush and cut off the channel of communication to the Iraqi intelligence chief. . . .
From the Telegraph report on the Letter.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.

In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".

The second part of the memo, which is headed "Niger Shipment", contains a report about an unspecified shipment - believed to be uranium - that it says has been transported to Iraq via Libya and Syria.

The Bush White House has denied being involved in the Habbush forgery, yet they've never denied that they were informed via the Brits that Habbush said "Iraq has no WMD".  It is a little more than beyond odd that Hubbush did such a 180, from saying Iraqi is innocent to then immediately linking them to both Nuclear Proliferation and direct involvement in 9-11.

That just smells.

That letter was the perfect golden smoking gun for the Bush Administration to justify their War, despite what the DIA, State Dept, Energy Dept and even the CIA were saying.

Saddam himself confirmed Habbush's report through his Declaration to the UN which pointed out that Iraq Had No More WMD's, but Condoleeza Rice called this a lie because his Declaration Didn't Explain Where The Yellowcake Went?

For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons.
And then of course, there were the Downing Street Memos, and that fact the UN Weapons Inspectors - after they had return to Iraq before the war - were telling us our WMD claims were nothing by Garbage After Garbage.

The correct choice would have been to listen to Hubbush rather than dismiss him, to listen the State Dept, listen to the Energy Dept, listen to the DIA, the CIA and the Weapons Inspectors instead of Curveball, al-Libi and a pack of forgeries.  It would have been better to fit the policy to the facts rather than the other way around.

This was not a noble cause, nor was it a mistake. It was an Con-Job.

And yea, it's a National Scandal that the Big Con Continues.


Originally posted to Vyan on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Indianapolis Kossacks and Friends of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

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