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December 17, 2008

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Nonsense. Iraq clearly had scientists. And it had technology comparable to that of 1950s America. And it had a crazy dictator. Ergo, mushroom cloud. The math is all there, plain as day.

Why, Saddam was just as big a threat to NYC as Syria or Ethiopia or Indonesia. How could we NOT invade? You're just mad because you secretly harbor a deep rooted support for the Ba'thist party. Also.

Cheney appears to be confusing “capability” with “desire.”

The entire Iraq invasion was another iteration of that mistake.

Did Cheney specify if the intelligence "that Saddam Hussein still had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction" was the intel gathered in the field or if it was the stuff his guys cooked up back in the office? I mean, he technically could have been telling the truth depending on the meaning of "intelligence." (Note: before blasting me as a Cheney fan, understand that my sarcasm level is particularly high today.)

IRAQ had WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION RELATED PROGRAM ACTIVITIES.

Why did this phrase never break out? It perfectly encapsulates the dead-enders' backpedaling doublespeak.

Why did this phrase never break out?

Hey I use "something-or-other program related activities" on a regular basis. Sometimes I even combine it with "the global war on something-or-other."

In our house, we have a bottle of ammonia under the sink and a bottle of bleach in the basement next to the washing machine.

Voila--the capability of producing weapons of mass destruction!

Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder if Cheney isn't suffering from kind of clinical mental impairment?

Dementia?
Paranoia?
Any of a variety of personality disorders?

I think the guy is either pathological or nuts. Just my two cents.

Thanks -

Sociopath.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION RELATED PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

You know, lots of countries have WMD-related programs. It's not an international crime per sè. Most of these WMD-related programs aim at diminishing the threat posed by enemy WMDs. For example, the fact that Iraqi soldiers carried a gas mask in their combat gear was not a proof of the Iraqi intent to use WMDs. On the contrary, it is the standard practice of most militaries of the world. You never know when the enemy is going to use gas or bioagents. However, if your troops have NBC protection gear, the effectiveness of the chemical and bioagents will be reduced dramatically. Thus, your enemy may decide not to use his WMDs.

On the other hand, about every industrialized country has the "potential" to develop WMDs at a fast pace. Google, for instance, "bioarosol instrumentation". If you can produce bioaerosol instruments, you must calibrate them with aerosols that resemble the right thing very closely.

Sad impotent clown who spends an hour each night in front a mirror pretending he's the President giving a speech announcing the nuclear destruction of a major American city by terrorists.

I.e., the logical extension of every white male in this country who ever used, in affirmation of its meaning, the phrase causus belli .

In the center of his head, incidentally, is a white room with buzzing lights, no furniture, and a hairless acephalic hermaphroditic body being crushed by a very large remote control.

Love him? Hate him? How do YOU feel about our soon to be former President? Take part in a chance to immortalize your views in book form by visiting http://goodbyegeorgew.com/ and letting your opinion be read!

What's that old joke about the deputy who tried to take a woman in for fishing without a license (because she was in a boat with fishing equipment while she was reading a book) and the woman threatened to charge the deputy with rape because the guy had a penis.

russell: is "Cheney...suffering from [some]kind of clinical mental impairment?"
I recommend reading Richard Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." It gave me a great deal of insight when I read it in 1969, and thought of it when I considered the political landscape ever since.

I.e., the logical extension of every white male in this country who ever used, in affirmation of its meaning, the phrase causus belli.

Can't be that many then, as it's actually casus belli - sorry, couldn't resist.

i'd prefer a Cassis Bellini.

--

how strange that, when searching to see if that was already a drink, i find that i'm the #1 Google hit, having made the exact same joke, almost two years ago.

i guess that means i need to buy some peaches, champagne and creme de cassis.

Of course Iraq had WMD capability. It takes human beings to create such weapons, and they had human beings. So they obviously could create WMDs. Now that Iraq has fewer human beings, the threat is obviously reduced.

"Cheney...suffering from [some]kind of clinical mental impairment?

Google on "Cheney pumphead"....

Am I the only one who finds Cheney's avuncular warmth to be utterly endearing?

Given that one can purchase everything needed to culture botulin or anthrax at Wal-Mart for less than $500, color me less than impressed with Mr. Cheney's claims.

I think Cheney's admissions about his connections to the torture are intended to stir up talk like that coming from Carl Levin now about investigations and possible charges, to force Bush to pardon him before time runs out.

And speaking of Cheney's waterboarding conversation, I mentioned to bedtimeforbonzo on the other thread Michael Smerconish's disgusting torture defense, which you may want to watch if you were under the impression that he was a civilized person.

rea, the ability to produce chlorine was cited as part of the threat of Saddam (Hey, it was used on the battlefield in WW1!). I doubt that there are many states that lack that ability (maybe the Vatican).

I doubt that there are many states that lack that ability (maybe the Vatican).

Also Monaco and the Isle of Man.

But Lichtenstein probably could.

Iraq possessed huge stores (desert) of mica, feldspar, and quartz which could have been readily converted into windhields for bomb carrying planes capable of delivering nuclear devices given to it by rogue scientists intent upon destroying Israel, and other countries in the region, and indeed, beyond.

We should really be tracking sales of these, not just to Iraq but to any and all hostile or failed states.

These too -- we need to put a stop to rogue particle physics research now!

Thanks -

Is there any possibility of consigning the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" to the rubbish heap? Lumping mustard gas in with nuclear weapons muddies rather than clarifying, and lately people have been including plain high explosives, ordinary chemicals like chlorine, and even drugs like methamphetamine. When a country is supposedly on the verge of making WMDs, it makes a huge difference what exactly we're talking about.

The most effective weapons of mass destruction (given the number of victims) are likely the AK47 and the common (anti-personnel) landmine. Cars and alcohol (especially when combined) are even more murderous, although they are not usually considered weapons.

I doubt that there are many states that lack that ability

to produce chlorine, you need table salt, water, and electricity. as a bonus, you get sodium hydroxide and hydrogen.

But the electricity generating capability could have been removed without invasion. HCl on MnO2 or H2SO4 on NaCl* would have done the job of chlorine production without.

*Just imagine what could have happened, if an Iraqi had driven a car into an American city and poured sea water into the battery?

hairshirthedonist: Am I the only one who finds Cheney's avuncular warmth to be utterly endearing?

Been hitting the Cassis Bellini a little hard, have you, hsh?

KCinDC: I think Cheney's admissions about his connections to the torture are intended to stir up talk like that coming from Carl Levin now about investigations and possible charges, to force Bush to pardon him before time runs out.

That makes sense to me, as the only other explanation involves sociopathy. Not that they're mutually incompatible. He's always been the most out-and-out torture advocate in the current regime.

to produce chlorine, you need table salt, water, and electricity. as a bonus, you get sodium hydroxide and hydrogen.

Dude, having divulged that information, you are now officially considered to be a munition.

Thanks -

Hartmut and Jesurgilac--I find it hard to beleive that they don't have both bleach and ammonia in the Vatican or Monaco--although Maybe the Isle of Man . . .

Maybe, but do they have the means to deliver in sufficient quantities? To my knowledge the Vatican does not produce this stuff*.
Call again, when the pope goes nuclear ;-)

*caveat: the Vatican has (or had) shares in chemical companies (including one that produces contraceptives btw)

Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder if Cheney isn't suffering from kind of clinical mental impairment?

Dementia?
Paranoia?

If you read Jane Mayer, or listen to her talk, or read an interview with her, you'll see that she's discussed at some length, repeatedly, how affected Cheney was by the combination of being in the White House on September 11th, by the later false alarm going off that there had been a biological warfare attack on the White House, and that he himself had been personally contaminated, and was going to die, and by his subsequent insistence on reading daily raw intelligence, which featured a daily drum beat of (false) stories of about-to-happen attacks by WMDs.

As it happens.

Example:

[...] The next day, the worst of these fears seemed realized. On October 18, 2001, an alarm in the White House went off. Chillingly, the warning signal wasn't a simple fire alarm triggered by the detection of smoke. It was a sensitive, specialized sensor, designed to alert anyone in the vicinity that the air they were breathing had been contaminated by potentially lethal radioactive, chemical, or biological agents. Everyone who had entered the Situation Room that day was believed to have been exposed, and that included Cheney. "They thought there had been a nerve attack," a former administration official, who was sworn to secrecy about it, later confided. "It was really, really scary. They thought that Cheney was already lethally infected." Facing the possibility of his own death, the Vice President nonetheless calmly reported the emergency to the rest of the National Security Council.

Members of the National Security Council were all too well aware of the seriousness of the peril they were facing. At Cheney's urging, they had received a harrowing briefing just a few weeks earlier about the possibility of biological attack. His attention had been drawn to the subject by a war game called Dark Winter conducted in the summer before that simulated the effects of an outbreak of smallpox in America. After the September 11 attacks, Cheney's chief of staff,

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, screened a video of the Dark Winter exercise for Cheney, showing that the United States was virtually defenseless against smallpox or any other biological attack. Cheney in particular was so stricken by the potential for attack that he insisted that the rest of the National Security Council undergo a gruesome briefing on it on September 20, 2001. When the White House sensor registered the presence of such poisons less than a month later, many, including Cheney, believed a nightmare was unfolding. "It was a really nerve-jangling time," the former official said.

In time, the Situation Room alarm turned out to be false. But on October 22, the Secret Service reported that it had found what it believed to be additional anthrax traces on an automated letter-opening device used on White House mail. By then, Cheney had convinced the President to support a $1.6 billion bioterrorism-preparedness program.

Cheney argued that every citizen in the country should be vaccinated against smallpox.

During the ten days after the Vice President's scare, threats of mortal attack were nonetheless so frequent, and so terrifying, that on October 29 Cheney quietly insisted upon absenting himself from the White House to what was described as "a secure, undisclosed location" — one of several Cold War-era nuclear-hardened subterranean bunkers built during the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, the nearest of which were located hundreds of feet below bedrock in places such as Mount Weather, in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, and along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border not far from Camp David.

[...]

Officials who worked in the White House and other sensitive posts with access to raw intelligence files during the fall of 2001 say it is nearly impossible to exaggerate the sense of mortal and existential danger that dominated the thinking of the upper rungs of the Bush Administration during those months.

"They thought they were going to get hit again. They convinced themselves that they were facing a ticking time bomb," recalled Roger Cressey, who then headed what was known as the Terrorist Threats Sub-Group of the National Security Council.

[...]

The sense of fear within the White House was understandable, but it was intensified by what was supposed to be a valuable new intelligence tool introduced after September 11, what came to be known as the "Top Secret Codeword/Threat Matrix." Having underestimated Al Qaeda before the attacks, Bush and Cheney took aggressive steps to ensure that they would never get similarly blindsided again. In the days immediately after the attacks, he and Cheney demanded to see all available raw intelligence reports concerning additional possible threats to America on a daily basis. Cheney had long been a skeptic about the CIA's skills, and was particularly insistent on reviewing the data himself. "The mistake," Cressey concluded later, "was not to have proper analysis of the intelligence before giving it to the President. There was no filter. Most of it was garbage. None of it had been corroborated or screened. But it went directly to the President and his advisers, who are not intelligence experts. That's when mistakes got made." Others who saw the same intelligence reports found the experience mind-altering. It was "like being stuck in a room listening to Led Zeppelin music," said Jim Baker, former head of the Counsel in the Department of Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. Readers suffered "sensory overload" and became "paranoid." Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey believed that the cumulative effect turned national security concerns into "an obsession."

A sense of constant danger followed Cheney everywhere. When he commuted to his White House office from the vice presidential residence, he was chauffeured in an armored motorcade that varied its route to foil possible attackers. On the backseat behind Cheney rested a duffel bag stocked with a gas mask and a biochemical surival suit.

Rarely did he travel without a medical doctor in tow.
Cheney managed to make light of these macabre arrangements, joking about evading "The Jackal" by varying his routines, and teasing an old friend that, alas, he had too little survival equipment to be able to share his. Some of those around Cheney wondered if the attacks, perhaps in combination with his medical problems, had exacerbated his natural pessimism. An old family friend found him changed after September 11, "more steely, as if he was preoccupied by terrible things he couldn't talk about." Brent Scowcroft, a lifelong acquaintance, told The New Yorker, "I don't know him anymore." In the view of some detractors, such as Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, "Cheney was traumatized by 9/11. The poor guy became paranoid."

Etc.

So, no, it's hardly just you, Russell.

Gary:

I recall Suskind in One Percent Doctrine also painting some of Cheney's actions as the result of real paranoia/trauma. FWIW.


and by his subsequent insistence on reading daily raw intelligence, which featured a daily drum beat of (false) stories of about-to-happen attacks by WMDs.

Denethor meets palantir. Madness ensues.

Well summarised, TLTiABQ.

Apologies. Trying to post here.

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