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URANIUMGATE

Information Sharing: Why Did Bush Coordinate All National Security Through Himself Via Condi Rice?

Margie Burns has attended two D.C. press conferences and a press briefing on the newly released 9-11 report. Here is her first response to it, how unclassified information is being dropped down the Bush memory hole. --Politex, 07.31.03

On February 13, 2001, George W. Bush, three weeks in the Oval Office, issued his first official White House document pertaining to national security. The document, called a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD), reorganized the National Security Council, established by President Truman in 1947.

(http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/nspd-1.htm)

“SUBJECT: Organization of the National Security Council System:”

“This document is the first in a series of National Security Presidential Directives. National Security Presidential Directives shall replace both Presidential Decision Directives and Presidential Review Directives as an instrument for communicating presidential decisions about the national security policies of the United States.”

The NSPD redefined “security” with a heavier emphasis on economic matters: “National security includes the defense of the United States of America, protection of our constitutional system of government, and the advancement of United States interests around the globe. National security also depends on America's opportunity to prosper in the world economy.”

Now, the memo continued, “The NSC shall advise and assist me in integrating all aspects of national security policy as it affects the United States - domestic, foreign, military, intelligence, and economics (in conjunction with the National Economic Council (NEC)).”

The new priorities are fairly clear. “Regular attendees” for NSC meetings still include the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs [Condoleezza Rice], along with the CIA Director and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, the Attorney General and heads of other departments and agencies are invited to attend only “when appropriate.” The White House Chief of Staff [Andrew Card] and the assistant to the President for Economic Policy [then Larry Lindsey], by contrast, “are invited to attend any NSC meeting.”

The NSPD also boosted National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice’s place in the food chain. Rice, also three weeks in office at the time, was slated to attend all NSC meetings, per the above, and was responsible “for determining the agenda, ensuring that necessary papers are prepared, and recording NSC actions and Presidential decisions.” Not that Rice would carry the ball alone if business matters came up: “When international economic issues are on the agenda of the NSC, [Rice] and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy shall perform these tasks in concert.”

Rice was also deputed to chair meetings of the NSC Principals Committee, which would now add international economic matters to its security responsibilities. The NSPD further directed that meetings of the NSC Deputies Committee be called and chaired by Rice’s Deputy, new appointee Stephen J. Hadley.

In the interest of consolidating, “Management of . . . national security policies by multiple agencies of the United States Government shall usually be accomplished by the NSC Policy Coordination Committees (NSC/PCCs),” designated “the main day-to-day fora for interagency coordination of national security policy.”

Regrettably, in light of subsequent events, these committees are organized by region, with Near East and North Africa separate from Europe and Eurasia, both separate from the Western Hemisphere, and no regional committee for North America.

Eleven separate committees were established to deal with “functional topics” including “Counter-Terrorism and National Preparedness.” This committee, along with six others including “Arms Control,” “Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence,” and “Records Access and Information Security,” was to be chaired by Rice, who also designated each committee’s Executive Secretary.

In light of subsequent events, a single sentence is perhaps the most dramatic statement in the NSPD: “The existing system of Interagency Working Groups is abolished.”

The NSPD also abolished “other existing NSC interagency groups, ad hoc bodies, and executive committees,” unless “specifically reestablished.” Their reestablishment would be up to Rice.

Given this history, it is ironic now to see Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley taking the knife in the ribs for Bush’s bogus Iraq pronouncements. Aside from the global perception that both are controlled by the White House, there is that little matter of their contradictory statements. Hadley used the “Niger uranium” argument, for example, in February 2003, well after he knew it to be spurious.

(http://usembassy.state.gov/mumbai/wwwhwashnews200.html)

There is worse than irony, however, in hearing the consensus of the 9-11 report, that a large problem was lack of information sharing or coordination among key agencies. How could the White House ever have thought that abolishing the inter-agency work groups was a good idea, if security was the objective? Why was so much responsibility placed on the shoulders of one person, Condoleezza Rice, whose only previous foreign affairs experience had been as a young and inexperienced Russian affairs aide in Daddy Bush's administration? Why was national security blended with commerce?

Above all, why was virtually total control of national security taken over by a politically-preoccupied White House? --Margie Burns, 07.31.03

***

Sidebar: Who Is Stephen Hadley?

Stephen Hadley, 53, served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy from 1989 to 1993 and was responsible for defense policy on NATO and Western Europe, nuclear weapons and ballistic missile defense, and arms control. He was also active in the negotiations that resulted in the START I and START II treaties. Hadley worked closely with the Bush-Cheney campaign as a foreign policy advisor specializing in European and Russian affairs and was a principal in the Scowcroft Group international consulting firm. Hadley was a partner in Shea & Gardner, the Washington law firm representing Lockheed Martin. He is a member of the Vulcans, an eight-person foreign policy team formed during the Bush campaign that includes Condoleezza Rice and Richard Perle. Hadley also worked for the Tower Commission investigating U. S. arms sales to Iran.

Why is this relevant or important?

Stephen Hadley is more than some flunky bungler who would be unaware of intelligence guidance from the CIA in regards to Uranium or anything else. As early as November of 2002 Hadley was involved in what was called as a "new phase" by a White House spokesman, who described the goal as building fresh public support for White House policy regarding Iraq. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley, were directly involved.

In an article by Steve Hadley in the Chicago Tribune February 16, 2003, he amplified the administration view that: "According to British intelligence, the regime has tried to acquire natural uranium from abroad". He concluded that all of the facts pointed to a sustained, wide-ranging effort to develop nuclear weapons. (http://www.uspolicy.be/issues/Iraq/hadley.031003.htm)

Hadley is not a new face. He co-wrote a National Institute for Public Policy paper last year portraying a nuclear bunker-buster as an ideal weapon against the nuclear, chemical or biological weapons stockpiles of rogue nations such as Iraq. (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0311-05.htm)

He co-authored a report advocating a new nuclear arms race which said,"Under certain circumstances very severe nuclear threats may be needed to deter any of these potential adversaries."

In a byliner titled:"Tribunal is Threat to USA," Hadley promotes President Bush's determination to protect U.S. citizens from the judgement of the International Criminal Court. (http://usembassy.state.gov/tokyo/wwwhse1533) -- Ron Fullwood, 07.31.03

***

Hadley has another set of credentials, sinister, perhaps, in combination with the ones mentioned by Fullwood. He was a trustee on the board of a corporation called Analytic Services, Inc (ANSER) before being named Deputy for natl security. Anser formed an entity called the Homeland Security Institute in 1999, formally established spring 2001. Note that this was well BEFORE 9-11. The NSPD I wrote about, dated Feb 13, 2001, was publicly released by the White House on Mar 13, 2001. That same date a mini-symposium on "homeland security" was held by military-intelligence-think-tank types, in Laurel, Maryland. These were some of the same people, with lots of support from the Rev Moon's publications, who put considerable energy into touting a "second Pearl Harbor." The whole "homeland security" concept (and phrase) was boosted pretty consistently during spring of 2001. By the way, this unwritten-about history weakens the credibility of the White House's Andrew Card. He was the one who spun a fairy tale about how the "homeland security" concept was developed by Cheney to a couple of WashPost reporters. He must have known better, if he knew anything about its development at all. --Margie Burns, 08.02.03


CIA Provides Evidence That White House Was Aware Of CIA Warning Before SOTU Speech, So Rice Retracts Claim Through Deputy, WP

"The new information amounted to an on-the-record mea culpa for a White House that had pointed fingers at the CIA for vetting the speech, prompting an earlier acceptance of responsibility by Tenet. But that abruptly changed yesterday after the CIA furnished evidence that it had fought inclusion of the charge.

"The disclosures punctured claims made by Rice and others in the last two weeks. Rice and other officials had asserted that nobody in the White House knew of CIA objections, and that the CIA supported the Africa accusation generally, making only technical objections about location and quantity. On Friday, a White House official mischaracterized the CIA's objections, saying repeatedly that Tenet opposed the inclusion in Bush's Oct. 7 speech "because it was single source, not because it was flawed."

"Shortly after Friday's briefing, Dan Bartlett, Bush communications director , and Stephen Hadley, Bush's deputy national security adviser, said yesterday, Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speechwriter, discovered the first of two CIA memos to the White House from last October. The CIA memo found, dated Oct. 5 and addressed to Gerson, Hadley and others, objected to a sentence the White House included in a draft of Bush's upcoming speech, saying Hussein's "regime has been caught attempting to purchase" uranium in Africa....

"Hadley, who also received a phone call from CIA Director George J. Tenet before the president's Oct. 7 speech asking that the Africa allegation be removed, took the blame for allowing the charge to be revived in the State of the Union address. "I should have recalled . . . that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue," he said....It remains unclear why the Africa uranium claim continued to bubble up in key presidential speeches." [No one in the White House has come forward to take the responsibility for putting the bogus uranium information in drafts of Bush speech after Bush speech. --Politex, 07.23.03]


White House Made CIA Take The Fall
--Senator Rockefeller

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL, 07.22.03: Well, let’s talk about how deeply this goes. You know the structure of the White House. It’s been widely reported that Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to the vice president, and vice president were in charge of preparing all of the intelligence material justifying the war with regard to nuclear, chemical and biological. They presented all that evidence in the Situation Room before the State of the Union Address....

MATTHEWS: ...What role did the vice president’s office known to push the case for Iraqi nuclear threat play in overruling the warnings? “Washington Post’s” June Spit-catch this-
This is by the White House-by the V.P. and his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, sent signals intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired here. That’s from a CIA official.
In other words, they were pushing for the right information. As I quoted last night, by the way, “U.S. News & World Report” hardly a liberal magazine, quote: Nearly every day Cheney and Scooter hammered the agency, the CIA, on Iraq and terrorism. So we got a lot of pressure from the vice president’s office to produce the right kind of intelligence.
Now we find out that the CIA warned the White House not to use this kind of intelligence, not to make the case for some sort of uranium deal with Niger, but they went ahead and did it. We got to find out why. So who here has been calling the shots. That is the big question. J. Rockefeller is a ranking Democrat on the Select Intelligence Committee, the United States Senator. What do you make of the admission, by the way, the big confession that they were warned by the CIA as late as last October, as early-that they shouldn’t use this uranium story from Niger?

SENATOR JOHN ROCKEFELLER, (D-WV), SELECT INTEL. COMMITTEE: It’s no surprise. We all know that. We didn’t know at the time he gave the speech, but we know it now. It is no surprise, and thank heavens they have finally taken some responsibility.

MATTHEWS: Why do you think the White House has changed its tune and admitted that they did get information...

ROCKEFELLER: Public pressure.

MATTHEWS: ... in those two memos?

ROCKEFELLER: Public pressure and pressure from a lot of people like myself. They just wouldn’t stand for George Tenet being the fall guy knowing perfectly well he said no to the president before.

MATTHEWS: Maybe there’s cable traffic showing that they informed the White House and they wee holding that.

ROCKEFELLER: They have all of this stuff-all this stuff, they had.

MATTHEWS: So the CIA had the gun, they could have proved at any time they had informed...

ROCKEFELLER: Correct.

MATTHEWS: ... the White House. They were being good soldiers. Let me ask you about the role of the vice president. All of the journalistic coverage of this says that he’s been running the operation in terms of intelligence in the White House. Doesn’t he have to answer to this?

ROCKEFELLER: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you. Do you believe it is the case that Scooter Libby, his chief of staff, and the vice president have been putting pressure on the CIA, intelligence agencies to come up with the right argument for the war with Iraq to justify the war?

ROCKEFELLER: I do not...

MATTHEWS: Pressuring them?

ROCKEFELLER: I do not know that, but I suspect it. And I think that’s what this is all-a lot of this has been about, is the shaping of the speech and intelligence committee to produce a product that will please the top echelons of the White House. That’s dangerous.

MATTHEWS: Here’s what President Bush said about intelligence that was used for the State of the Union Address.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The speech that I gave was cleared by the CIA, and the thing that’s important to realize is that we’re constantly gathering data. Subsequent to the speech, the CIA had some doubts. But when I gave-when they talked about the speech, when they looked at the speech, it was clear. Otherwise I would not have put it in the speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: The president said, as you just heard, that the intelligence that we got, that there was something wrong with the intelligence that he used in his State of the Union Address with regard to a possible arms deal with Niger wasn’t brought to him in the White House until after he gave the speech. We now know it came early in October. It came months before.

ROCKEFELLER: We have known that forever. We know it now. We didn’t know when he gave the speech. But, we-all of the evidence that he had all that time, and his people had all of that time, which only he had, we now know. So why didn’t he fess up earlier?

MATTHEWS: Give me motive, Senator, about why the president, his people, Scooter Libby, the vice president, whoever else was involved in this, would have ignored intelligence not to use some information that wasn’t verifiable? Why would they go ahead and use it?

ROCKEFELLER: It’s dangerous and it’s dumb. Probably to try to make the case better for the war and make it sound more attractive to the American people. I can’t think of any other reason, but it’s a lousy way to run a government.

MATTHEWS: Was it important to their case to claim there was a nuclear threat? ROCKEFELLER: Yes, because nuclear is the ultimate destroyer.

Chemicals can blow, bio can dissipate, nuclear kills millions.

MATTHEWS: Will your committee continue to investigate this and try too find out who ultimately made the push to use this information, even if it was bogus?

ROCKEFELLER: Yes, and we will also try to get people from the National Security Council. And there’s a precedent for that. Carter set up Brashinsky on the Billy Carter-Libya case, and Reagan set up Poindexter on the Iran-Contra thing, so there is-and they better not argue that there isn’t.

MATTHEWS: Do you sense any effort by the White House to try to muzzle the CIA on this, and make them take the fall?

ROCKEFELLER: I think there was, yes. They did make them take the fall.


URANIUMGATE: Blood On Their Hands?

"CIA director George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and again took responsibility for President Bush's false claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger, but he admitted that he didn't know the claim, which he successfully removed from at least one of the president's previous speeches, would be included in the State of the Union address. Tenet said that his staff should have told him about it. It later emerged that the White House and the CIA had negotiated over the line, which "the CIA knew to be incredible." The White House, one senator said, wanted to know "how far you could go and be close to the truth." President Bush said that "the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence and the speeches I have given are backed by good intelligence," and he told a group of surprised reporters that Saddam Hussein had refused to permit weapons inspectors to return to Iraq: "And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power." A White House official noted that the president "is not a fact checker." British prime minister Tony Blair addressed the United States Congress and predicted that history will "forgive" him even if weapons of mass destruction are never found in Iraq. He received 19 standing ovations; after the first one he responded: "This is more than I deserve and more than I'm used to, frankly." Dr. David Kelly, a British Ministry of Defense scientist who was accused of being the source of news reports that the British government had doctored its intelligence on Iraq, was found dead two days after he was interrogated by a parliamentary committee. Amid calls for his resignation, Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked by a reporter whether he had "blood on his hands." --Harper's Review, 07.22.03


more uraniumgate


Bush Officials Reportedly Commit Criminal Act

Novak, TIME Say Bush Officials Outed CIA Covert Operative

"While we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk about the affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the former ambassador who was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to investigate reports of attempted Iraqi uranium purchases and who recently went public with his findings. Since then administration allies have sought to discredit him — it's unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine say that administration officials told them that they believed that Mr. Wilson had been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom they identified as a C.I.A. operative.

Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson's wife is true (he refuses to confirm or deny it), Bush administration officials have exposed the identity of a covert operative. That happens to be a criminal act; it's also definitely unpatriotic.

So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to punish Mr. Wilson, but also to send a message.

And that should alarm us. We've just seen how politicized, cooked intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the Wilson affair suggests that the administration intends to continue pressuring analysts to tell it what it wants to hear." --Paul Krugman, NYT, 07.22.03


more uraniumgate


July 10, 2003 May Be The Day Bush Lost The Election

If President Bush is not reelected, we may look back on last Thursday, July 10, 2003, as the day the shadow of defeat first crossed his political horizon....The headlines...on CBS, were: "President Bush's false claim about Iraqi weapons; he made it despite a CIA warning the intelligence was bad. More Americans say U.S. is losing control of Iraq. Also tonight, food lines in America; they're back and getting longer." --David Broder, 07.15.03


BUSH WATCH EDITORIAL

Bush Does Not Take Responsibility For His Tragic Iraq Deception

Bush campaigned on the promise of creating a "Responsibility Era" in Washington, but, like his record of being AWOL in the military while praising our troops for their patriotism and courage under fire, he doesn't expect us to hold him responsible for his actions.

Friday, Bush blamed CIA director George Tenet for allowing him to lie to the American people in his State of the Union address through a deceptive statement connecting Iraq and uranium he had been warned not to use because it was "pretty well discredited" (NYT), was pointedly not used in any other Bush speech, before or after, and was more than likely part of the White House "bullshit" that Colin Powell refused to mouth at the UN a week later.

We know that the statement was meant to be deceptive, since the White House has admitted that the wording of the allegation in Bush's State of the Union speech was carefully worked out to have Bush blame the British for the facts behind the statement, facts that the White House, at the very least, knew were in disupute among the major players in his own administration, but were central to Bush's need to convince the American people of the need to attack Iraq: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

As if orchestrated, Tenet took responsibility for approving the deceptive statement in the speech, while confirming it was the White House's statement, that the White House pressed him to allow the statement to remain in the speech, and the White House decided to leave it in the speech after Tenet had, again, warned them about it. Tellingly, neither Tenet nor any member of the White House team, --Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld-- have explained what new evidence or new reasoning went into Tenet's acquiescence.

Tenet can't be held responsibile for Bush's irresponsibility. Just as Rice once wanted us to believe that the White House had never been aware of the possibility that jets could be used as terrorist bombs against the nation's skyscrapers in spite of a history of such warnings by the intelligence community, she would now have us believe that the White House had not been sufficiently warned by the CIA about the bogus quality of the Iraq-uranium info and that the CIA has the final word on what goes into important Bush speeches.

Saturday, the New York Times reminded us that a State Department report on the dubiousness of the Iraq-uranium allegations had been sent to Cheney in March of '02. Friday, the Washington Post reported that Tenet unsuccessfully tried to get the the British government to delete the discredited reference to Iraq and uranium in September of '02, suggesting that the CIA took time to vet the info thoroughly.

With both the mainstream media and the DEMs calling for an investigation of what Bush knew and when he knew it, what we're looking at here is the President of the United States knowingly including unsubstantiated, discredited info that he had been warned not to use in a speech mandated by law and delivered with intention to deceive. --Jerry Politex, www.bushwatch.com, 07.12.03


CIA Provides Evidence That White House Was Aware Of CIA Warning Before SOTU Speech, So Rice Retracts Claim Through Deputy , WP

"The new information amounted to an on-the-record mea culpa for a White House that had pointed fingers at the CIA for vetting the speech, prompting an earlier acceptance of responsibility by Tenet. But that abruptly changed yesterday after the CIA furnished evidence that it had fought inclusion of the charge.

"The disclosures punctured claims made by Rice and others in the last two weeks. Rice and other officials had asserted that nobody in the White House knew of CIA objections, and that the CIA supported the Africa accusation generally, making only technical objections about location and quantity. On Friday, a White House official mischaracterized the CIA's objections, saying repeatedly that Tenet opposed the inclusion in Bush's Oct. 7 speech "because it was single source, not because it was flawed."

"Shortly after Friday's briefing, Dan Bartlett, Bush communications director , and Stephen Hadley, Bush's deputy national security adviser, said yesterday, Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speechwriter, discovered the first of two CIA memos to the White House from last October. The CIA memo found, dated Oct. 5 and addressed to Gerson, Hadley and others, objected to a sentence the White House included in a draft of Bush's upcoming speech, saying Hussein's "regime has been caught attempting to purchase" uranium in Africa....

"Hadley, who also received a phone call from CIA Director George J. Tenet before the president's Oct. 7 speech asking that the Africa allegation be removed, took the blame for allowing the charge to be revived in the State of the Union address. "I should have recalled . . . that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue," he said....It remains unclear why the Africa uranium claim continued to bubble up in key presidential speeches." [No one in the White House has come forward to take the responsibility for putting the bogus uranium information in drafts of Bush speech after Bush speech. --Politex, 07.23.03]


Bush Officials Reportedly Commit Criminal Act

Novak, TIME Say Bush Officials Outed CIA Covert Operative

"While we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk about the affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the former ambassador who was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to investigate reports of attempted Iraqi uranium purchases and who recently went public with his findings. Since then administration allies have sought to discredit him — it's unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine say that administration officials told them that they believed that Mr. Wilson had been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom they identified as a C.I.A. operative.

Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson's wife is true (he refuses to confirm or deny it), Bush administration officials have exposed the identity of a covert operative. That happens to be a criminal act; it's also definitely unpatriotic.

So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to punish Mr. Wilson, but also to send a message.

And that should alarm us. We've just seen how politicized, cooked intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the Wilson affair suggests that the administration intends to continue pressuring analysts to tell it what it wants to hear." --Paul Krugman, NYT, 07.22.03


SATURDAY MORNING BUSH LIE "'The president was comfortable at the time [of his SOTU speech], based on the information that was provided in his speech,' the [press-briefing White House senior official who refused to have his name made public] said of the decision to use it in the address to Congress. 'The president of the United States is not a fact-checker.'" --Washington Post, 07.19.03

"[A White House web site] photo released for this year's [State Of the Union] speech shows [Bush] working on the address. The caption reads: 'Sketching notes in the margin of speech drafts, President Bush rewrites portions of the address in the Oval Office Jan. 23, 2003.'...[Another] caption reads: 'Working at his desk in the Oval Office, President Bush reviews the [2002] State of the Union address line-by-line and word-by-word.'" --Al Kamen, Washington Post, 07.18.03


Politex Called Bush A Liar On The Steps Of The U.S. Capitol In 2001

Read His Speech Here


Lying Bush Administration Lies Again

Had Forged Documents Before Bush Delivered Speech

"The State Department received copies of what would turn out to be forged documents suggesting that Iraq tried to purchase uranium oxide from Niger three months before the president's State of the Union address, administration officials said. The documents, which officials said appeared to be of "dubious authenticity," (*) were distributed to the CIA and other agencies within days, but the U.S. government waited four months to turn them over to United Nations weapons inspectors who had been demanding to see evidence of U.S. and British claims that Iraq's attempted purchase of uranium oxide violated U.N. resolutions and was among the reasons to go to war. State Department officials could not say yesterday why they did not turn over the documents when the inspectors asked for them in December. The administration, facing increased criticism over the claims it made about Iraq's attempts to buy uranium, had said until now that it did not have the documents before the State of the Union speech." --Washington Post, 07.18.03

(*) "Dubious Authenticity" is putting it mildly, according to a national report. The documents have been shown on TV and it was pointed out that the letterhead was out of date at the time the letters were suposedly written, seals of state were used incorrectly, and one letter to an official was signed by that same oficial. Yet, the Bush administration would have us believe that three months after receipt, the CIA was still not sure the documents were bogus, so Bush used them as intelligence in his speech. --Politex, 07.18.03


Bush Checked, OK'd SOTU, Word For Word

Bush pores over and checks [his] speeches carefully, the White House says on its Web site, making sure every word is exactly right, just the way he wants it. For example, a photo released for this year's speech shows him working on the address. The caption reads: "Sketching notes in the margin of speech drafts, President Bush rewrites portions of the address in the Oval Office Jan. 23, 2003." [At that point, the State Dept. and CIA had been holding the forged uranium documents for over two months. Cheney may have been sent a copy of the documents as well, since the CIA sent him a March '02 report questioning their authenticity. --Politex]

The president's meticulous devotion to detail was also highlighted in the photo display from the 2002 State of the Union. The White House wouldn't give permission to use the photo focusing on two cufflinked forearms editing a speech draft. But here's the relevant portion. The caption reads: "Working at his desk in the Oval Office, President Bush reviews the State of the Union address line-by-line and word-by-word." --Al Kamen, Washington Post, 07.18.03


Liar Bush Lies Again

"We gave [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." --George W. Bush, July 16, 2003

transcript...audio...video

"The president's assertion that the war began because Iraq did not admit inspectors appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring: Hussein had, in fact, admitted the inspectors and Bush had opposed extending their work because he did not believe them effective." --Dana Priest and Dana Milbank, Washington Post, July 15, 2003

"A presidential statement so frontally at variance with the universally acknowledged facts obviously presents a problem for the White House press corps. He wasn't joking, and he didn't sound disoriented or unwell." --Joe Conason Salon, July 15, 2003


Tenet Points Finger Of Blame Back To White House

...CIA Director George Tenet told members of Congress a White House official insisted that President Bush's State of the Union address include an assertion about Saddam Hussein's nuclear intentions that had not been verified, a Senate Intelligence Committee member said Thursday....Durbin, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," said that Tenet "certainly told us who the person was who was insistent on putting this language in which the CIA knew to be incredible, this language about the uranium shipment from Africa. And there was this negotiation between the White House and the CIA about just how far you could go and be close to the truth and unfortunately those sixteen words were included in the most important speech the president delivers in any given year," Durbin added....Who is it in the White House who was hellbent on misleading the American people and why are they still there?," Durbin said Thursday. "Being a member of the Intelligence Committee I can't disclose that but I trust that it will come out," he said. --Washington Post, 07.17.03


Tenet Indicates He Was Duped By White House

...CIA Director George J. Tenet told the Senate intelligence committee yesterday that his staff did not bring to his attention a questionable statement about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address...."Members were stunned," one Democratic senator in the meeting said, "because he said he basically wasn't aware of the sentence until recently." Yesterday, the Democratic senator said Tenet was repeatedly asked why the CIA permitted the allegation in the address, especially since Tenet had interceded with the White House to remove a more detailed reference to the claim from a Bush speech on Oct. 7.

"There was mixed reaction to his answers as to why they compromised after he told us how dubious and incredible the intelligence was," said the senator, who insisted on anonymity....Another Democrat on the committee said, "The real question is why someone was so insistent that they wanted this information in." Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, another Democratic presidential contender, said [Tenet] should resign because he helped cover up for the White House. "He knew very well that the intelligence was false," Dean said, "and for him to take the blame means he was participating in an attempt to avoid finding out what really happened." --Washington Post, 07.17.03


"As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While, technically, my answers were legally accurate, I was not entirely truthful with my information."

---President Bill Clinton, August 1998

"It didn't rise to the standard of a presidential speech, but it's not known, for example, that it was inaccurate. In fact, people think it was technically accurate."

--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, July 2003


Songbook: Sixteen Little words

JENKINS: 16 Words And What Do You Get? (essay)


July 10, 2003 May Be The Day Bush Lost The Election

If President Bush is not reelected, we may look back on last Thursday, July 10, 2003, as the day the shadow of defeat first crossed his political horizon....The headlines...on CBS, were: "President Bush's false claim about Iraqi weapons; he made it despite a CIA warning the intelligence was bad. More Americans say U.S. is losing control of Iraq. Also tonight, food lines in America; they're back and getting longer." --David Broder, 07.15.03


BUSH WATCH EDITORIAL

Bush Does Not Take Responsibility For His Tragic Iraq Deception

Bush campaigned on the promise of creating a "Responsibility Era" in Washington, but, like his record of being AWOL in the military while praising our troops for their patriotism and courage under fire, he doesn't expect us to hold him responsible for his actions.

Friday, Bush blamed CIA director George Tenet for allowing him to lie to the American people in his State of the Union address through a deceptive statement connecting Iraq and uranium he had been warned not to use because it was "pretty well discredited" (NYT), was pointedly not used in any other Bush speech, before or after, and was more than likely part of the White House "bullshit" that Colin Powell refused to mouth at the UN a week later.

We know that the statement was meant to be deceptive, since the White House has admitted that the wording of the allegation in Bush's State of the Union speech was carefully worked out to have Bush blame the British for the facts behind the statement, facts that the White House, at the very least, knew were in disupute among the major players in his own administration, but were central to Bush's need to convince the American people of the need to attack Iraq: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

As if orchestrated, Tenet took responsibility for approving the deceptive statement in the speech, while confirming it was the White House's statement, that the White House pressed him to allow the statement to remain in the speech, and the White House decided to leave it in the speech after Tenet had, again, warned them about it. Tellingly, neither Tenet nor any member of the White House team, --Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld-- have explained what new evidence or new reasoning went into Tenet's acquiescence.

Tenet can't be held responsibile for Bush's irresponsibility. Just as Rice once wanted us to believe that the White House had never been aware of the possibility that jets could be used as terrorist bombs against the nation's skyscrapers in spite of a history of such warnings by the intelligence community, she would now have us believe that the White House had not been sufficiently warned by the CIA about the bogus quality of the Iraq-uranium info and that the CIA has the final word on what goes into important Bush speeches.

Saturday, the New York Times reminded us that a State Department report on the dubiousness of the Iraq-uranium allegations had been sent to Cheney in March of '02. Friday, the Washington Post reported that Tenet unsuccessfully tried to get the the British government to delete the discredited reference to Iraq and uranium in September of '02, suggesting that the CIA took time to vet the info thoroughly.

With both the mainstream media and the DEMs calling for an investigation of what Bush knew and when he knew it, what we're looking at here is the President of the United States knowingly including unsubstantiated, discredited info that he had been warned not to use in a speech mandated by law and delivered with intention to deceive. --Jerry Politex, www.bushwatch.com, 07.12.03

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Long-Time White House Insider Explains What Probably Happened

"Former White House official David Gergen, who served under several Republican and Democratic presidents, wonders if CIA Director George Tenet will pay the price for the [Bush] mistake.

"'Yes, it absolutely suggests that,' Gergen said today. 'It sounds to me... as if they had a negotiation between the agency and the NSC over what they were going to say, that the CIA objected strenuously to the idea of asserting it on the basis of U.S. intelligence, and when the NSC came back and said, let's blame it on them, let's attribute it to the British, the CIA, well, on that basis, on part of our negotiation, we withdraw our formal objection.'" --Wolf Blitzer, 07.12.03

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CIA Director Says His Agency Should Have Stopped Bush And His SOTU Speech Writers From Deciding To Deceive The American People

"Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was given. Various parts were shared with cognizant elements of the Agency for review. Although the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries*, officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct — i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a Presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed." --CIA Director George Tenet, 07.11.03

*According to a PBS panalist on Washington Week In Review this evening, British officials and the British media had indicated in December, months previous to the Bush speech, that the Niger-Iraq documents were forged. --Politex, 07.11.03

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CBS News Reports That In Dec.'02 CIA Warned Bush That Uranium Info "Wasn't True," But Bush Included It In His '03 SOTU Speech, Anyway

Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: "Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it was delivered.

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,” Mr. Bush said.

The statement was technically correct*, since it accurately reflected the British paper. But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true. --CBS News, 07.11.03 Photo: Screen capture of ABC News story on its web page by Media Whores Online: "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False," 07.11.03. Truthout reports that the photo shows the original version of the story.

*"Technically correct" is a euphemism for "lie." --Politex, 07.11.03

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CIA Told Blair To Remove Uranium Info From Document Sept. '02

"The CIA tried unsuccessfully in early September 2002 to persuade the British government to drop from an official intelligence paper a reference to Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Africa that President Bush included in his State of the Union address four months later, senior Bush administration officials said yesterday....The latest disclosures further illustrate the lack of confidence expressed by the U.S. intelligence community in the months leading up to Bush's speech about allegations of Iraqi efforts to buy uranium in Africa. Even so, Bush used the charge -- citing British intelligence -- in the Jan. 28 address as part of his effort to convince Congress and the American people that Iraq had a program to build weapons of mass destruction and posed a serious threat." --Washington Post, 07.11.03


29 Bush Lies About Iraqi WMD

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