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View Poll Results: Should we have invaded Iraq on 3/19/03?
Yes 16 15.53%
No 84 81.55%
Too close to call at this point. Leave it to Gaz. Also, I'm a wishy-washy fop of a human being. 3 2.91%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:56 AM  
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Invasion of Iraq 10 years later: Good move or mistake

10 years ago today the US invaded Iraq to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. The after-effects of that decision are still being felt to this day, and obviously will continue to play out in the years and decades to come. At this milestone, however, knowing everything that you know now, should we have gone in, or not?

Regrets and hypotheticals aren't really the goal here. We could go on and on (and have, many times) about how the post-invasion situation was handled, etc. ad infinitum. You should vote simply on the facts as they have actually occurred over the last 10 years.

Poll forthcoming. Note that it will be a public poll.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #46
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what the **** did we even go over there for?

oh yeah....personal interests and nothing more.

good job gwb
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:28 PM   #47
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http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013...-intelligence/
Quote:

I Tried to Make the Intelligence Behind the Iraq War Less Bogus


Ten years ago this week, the U.S. invaded Iraq, citing intelligence that turned out to be bogus. I had to work on some of it — and I also had to work on keeping the really, really terrible versions of it out of our analysis.

Specifically, I was a CIA analyst working in the Counterterrorism Center in the overburdened days after 9/11. As analysts, we spend most of our time identifying burgeoning issues based on communications intercepts, reports from CIA case officers, imagery from satellites, accounts from other governments, and piecing together a story.

What we don’t do routinely is tie one catastrophe to another. But that was exactly what I was asked to do in November 2002, shortly after Congress voted to authorize war with Iraq. That war was predicated on Saddam Hussein’s (ultimately nonexistent) stockpiles of deadly weapons, but lurking in the background was the assertion that he’d pass them on to al-Qaida.

At the CIA’s Iraq Branch in the Counterterrorism Center, we didn’t think Saddam had any substantial ties to al-Qaida. But soon we found ourselves fielding questions from determined Bush administration officials about whether Saddam was tied to 9/11.

That’s how my team ended up in a windowless room with my branch chief, “Karen,” who was pretending to be Dick Cheney or his chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

That month, Vice President Cheney scheduled a meeting with our Branch to discuss our assessment of Iraq’s relationship with al-Qaida and 9/11. It was his second visit to the Branch; there always seemed to be more questions. The Branch Chief called us together for a practice session in a bland conference room a few days before their arrival. At this so-called “murderboard” session, we weren’t stripping down our analysis to find data we’d missed. We were practicing how to defend our perspective when questioned by the Vice President of the United States.

The Branch Chief would get the ball rolling with questions designed to lead us down a rabbit hole. Karen had briefed Libby, so she was skilled at impersonating both the Vice President and Libby — that is, she was being relentless and insistent — to anticipate the questions they would ask. We had a bottom line: Fear of Islamic extremism growing in Iraq would limit Saddam’s willingness to work with bin Laden. Fake-Cheney would rejoinder: Would ideological differences really hinder their cooperation? Anticipating the response, she’d come back with: What if bin Laden convinced Saddam that acting against the United States was in both of their best interests; you have told us we don’t know exactly how much communication has taken place between the regime and al-Qaida; and you have already found information that specified safe havens, contact and training?

We needed to poke holes in our analysis, to be sure we were right. If not, we could rest assured Cheney would. Already, Cheney’s Pentagon ally, Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith, had put together an alternative analysis faulting our own and asserting instead that “multiple areas of cooperation” existed between al-Qaida and Saddam. The ongoing questions and briefings became a labyrinth.

How far down a rabbit hole should we go in answering questions? Will it be misconstrued as an actual answer based on a made-up scenario? It was an unorthodox practice. But we were unused to a senior political figure being willing to dig down into the details of our analysis.

In the abstract, challenging CIA’s analysis is a good thing: agency analysts get stuff wrong, as evidenced by Saddam’s non-WMD. But in this case, it was problematic. The nature of intelligence analysis is to gather as much information as possible to assist a policymaker in making difficult choices. If a policymaker has a preference for what the intelligence product should say, that pollutes the objectivity of the intelligence — and diminishes its value.

On Sunday, March 16, 2003, I watched Cheney on “Meet The Press” contradict our assessment publicly. “We know that he [Saddam] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups,” Cheney said, “including the al-Qaeda organization.” I was basically watching Cheney field-test arguments that we would have to anticipate — and rebut — at CIA. Except instead of asking us questions behind closed doors, Cheney was asserting to the public as fact something that we found to be anything but. I found myself yelling at the TV like I was contesting a ref’s blown call in a football game.

The agency’s intelligence collection on Iraq’s relationship with al-Qaida was thin — Iraq’s connections to terrorist organizations were so minute it wasn’t a priority for us — so it was difficult to even construct a chart showing connections, as if we were mapping the Barksdale crew on The Wire. Saddam has a history of supporting small, anti-Israel terrorist groups; in early 2002, due to the war in Afghanistan, the terrorist leader Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi moved into Iraq on his own, with no direction or control by al-Qaida or Saddam; there were reports of varying reliability saying Iraq had discussions with al-Qaida about establishing a safe haven, dating from the early 1990s. The Zarqawi stuff would prove to be relevant, after the U.S. invasion. The rest of it didn’t add up to much. We concluded that, at most, the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida was like two independent groups trying to exploit each other.

None of that stopped the invasion. Nor did the invasion stop the troll-y back-and-forth with the White House on Saddam and terrorism. When I volunteered to deploy to Iraq, my boss’ boss wouldn’t spare me for four days’ worth of weapons training. ( “I would rather have you come back in a body bag than spend that much time out of the office,” he told me.) They were so frantic to respond to White House questions that supporting the actual war effort took a back seat.

As it turned out, the questions wouldn’t stop once the invasion occurred. In June 2003, the Defense Department started to report that troops discovered caches of Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents allegedly proving Saddam was tight with al-Qaida.

The documents claimed to directly link Mohammed Atta, one of the main 9/11 hijackers, with the Baghdad training camp of Abu Nidal, the infamous Palestinian terrorist. It was a hand-written note, supposedly by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS). If the documents were real, it was damning evidence that Iraq worked with al-Qaida long before the 9/11 attacks; if not, someone embarked on a very sophisticated strategy to play the U.S. government, our team or both.

And if this was truly a smoking gun, our team would be blamed — rightly — for getting it wrong. There was a sense of urgency at the CIA to evaluate these documents and provide an answer.

We got to work. We worked with the Secret Service to test the ink. If we could determine how old the ink itself was, we would have a time frame for when the documents were prepared. While in Iraq, I asked every high-level Iraqi government detainee I could about the details of the document. They either had grave doubts, or flatly said the document was bogus. They were adamant the names and roles outlined in the documents didn’t match the structure of the IIS. Having studied the Iraqi intelligence apparatus extensively before the war, everything they said lined up with the structure we understood to be true. The FBI had put together a timeline of Atta’s 2001 travels around the world, culling together airline records, ATM withdrawals and hotel receipts. Much like the infamous “Prague meeting” — another ultimately-bogus thread weaving al-Qaida together with Saddam — the FBI material indicated Atta was in the U.S. when the IIS document indicated he was meeting with Abu Nidal in Iraq.

Our Branch Chief, Karen, walked into Cheney’s office with everything we’d uncovered about the Abu Nidal link in June 2003. It seemed airtight. The Secret Service had determined that the paper was made after the date printed on the page. The timeframes didn’t match. The ink was inconsistent with the ink manufactured in the early 1990s purported timeframe of the documents. The chain of command indicated in the documents contradicted the description of the Iraqi intelligence bureaucracy provided by our detainees, even down to incorrect titles.

These were forgeries.

I wasn’t there, but I heard the vice president was gracious and thanked her.

I actually quit the CIA for 3 days in 2004. I was exhausted answering historical questions trying to justify the invasion while at the same time trying to define Iraqi al-Qaida leader Zarqawi’s growing role as a real threat. I couldn’t take it. People were dying and we were still talking about evidence of a connection between Saddam and al-Qaida. After a few phone calls with leadership in the Counterterrorism Center, I went back after 3 days and switched roles to the operations side — the National Clandestine Service — heading up the targeting operations team looking for Zarqawi. Instead of writing about him, I wanted to find him, I felt like the U.S. accidentally gave him a platform that helped him grow into a major terrorist. I moved onto another assignment a few months before he was killed in 2006.

After leaving the CIA, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this sorry absurd role in intelligence history, and my bit role in it. No intelligence analyst should have to deal with policymakers delving into intelligence work. It sounds bureaucratic and boring, but the distinction matters: CIA doesn’t have a policy agenda, it seeks to inform those agendas. Politicians and appointees have ideas for shaping the world. Mingling the two is a recipe for self-delusion and, as we saw in Iraq, failure.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:30 PM   #48
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Cue patteeu white-knighting Cheney in 3....2.....1.....
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirk digler View Post
Quote:
On Sunday, March 16, 2003, I watched Cheney on “Meet The Press” contradict our assessment publicly. “We know that he [Saddam] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups,” Cheney said, “including the al-Qaeda organization.” I was basically watching Cheney field-test arguments that we would have to anticipate — and rebut — at CIA. Except instead of asking us questions behind closed doors, Cheney was asserting to the public as fact something that we found to be anything but. I found myself yelling at the TV like I was contesting a ref’s blown call in a football game.
What Nada Bakos apparently doesn't understand is that his group wasn't the only intelligence group with an opinion on these things.

He may also be unaware that his group turned out to be wrong on this assessment and Cheney's statement was vindicated by a postwar investigation of captured Iraqi documents.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
Cue patteeu white-knighting Cheney in 3....2.....1.....
I'm on it!
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #51
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Death, taxes, and patteeu going to the grave defending Cheney. Fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What Nada Bakos apparently doesn't understand is that his group wasn't the only intelligence group with an opinion on these things.

He may also be unaware that his group turned out to be wrong on this assessment and Cheney's statement was vindicated by a postwar investigation of captured Iraqi documents.
No, his group just didn't support the initiative that Cheney and the Cronies were trying to implement, which at the time was the popular point of view. Doesn't make him wrong in the least.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
Cue patteeu white-knighting Cheney in 3....2.....1.....


Right on cue
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:40 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What Nada Bakos apparently doesn't understand is that his group wasn't the only intelligence group with an opinion on these things.

He may also be unaware that his group turned out to be wrong on this assessment and Cheney's statement was vindicated by a postwar investigation of captured Iraqi documents.
If you read on his team found those documents to be forgeries.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:59 PM   #54
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If you read on his team found those documents to be forgeries.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:11 PM   #55
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Death, taxes, and patteeu going to the grave defending Cheney. Fantastic.



No, his group just didn't support the initiative that Cheney and the Cronies were trying to implement, which at the time was the popular point of view. Doesn't make him wrong in the least.
He's wrong because he got it wrong, not because he didn't support some initiative.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #56
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Complete waste of life and money. The CIA and MI6 knew there were no WMDs and that Iraq was no where close to making one. Unfortunately our "leaders" had already made up their minds and didn't care.

I can't post links or embed a youtube video but search "The Spies Who Fooled The World" on youtube and you can watch a show from the BBC last night. The build up to the war was completely made up BS.

Last edited by WhawhaWhat; 03-19-2013 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by WhawhaWhat View Post
Complete waste of life and money. The CIA and MI6 knew there were no WMDs and that Iraq was no where close to making one. Unfortunately our "leaders" had already made up their minds and didn't care.

I can't post links or embed a youtube video but search "The Spies Who Fooled The World" on youtube and you can watch a show from the BBC last night. The build up to the war was completely made up BS.
This is ridiculous. Read the Senate report on pre-war intelligence or the Butler Report from Great Britain and it will be clear that that's not the case. There were internal disputes about certain specific points of intelligence, but it's simply not true that our intelligence services knew there were no WMD.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #58
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This is ridiculous. Read the Senate report on pre-war intelligence or the Butler Report from Great Britain and it will be clear that that's not the case. There were internal disputes about certain specific points of intelligence, but it's simply not true that our intelligence services knew there were no WMD.
Watch the show I posted about. Also.. bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21786506. This is the news piece that the show is based on. I can't post a link yet so that's the best I can do. Sorry. Here is part of it -

Quote:
But not all the intelligence was wrong. Information from two highly-placed sources close to Saddam Hussein was correct.

Both said Iraq did not have any active WMD.

The CIA's source was Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri.

Former CIA man Bill Murray - then head of the agency's station in Paris - dealt with him via an intermediary, an Arab journalist, to whom he gave $200,000 (£132,000) in cash as a down payment.

He said Naji Sabri "looked like a person of real interest - someone who we really should be talking to".

Murray put together a list of questions to put to the minister, with WMD at the top.

The intermediary met Naji Sabri in New York in September 2002 when he was about to address the UN - six months before the start of the war and just a week before the British dossier was published.

The intermediary bought the minister a handmade suit which the minister wore at the UN, a sign Mr Murray took to mean that Naji Sabri was on board.

Mr Murray says the upshot was intelligence that Saddam Hussein "had some chemical weapons left over from the early 90s, [and] had taken the stocks and given them to various tribes that were loyal to him. [He] had intentions to have weapons of mass destruction - chemical, biological and nuclear - but at that point in time he virtually had nothing".
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:33 PM   #59
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I cant help but believing our involvement in Iraq had nothing to do with WMD but basically was a way of getting men, airfields and equipment closer to Iran.

That situation isn't over yet, and its possible could really flare up in about a year.

If we end up at war with Iran it will be an interesting situation.......will we even be able to use the airfields or fly over Iraq?

My general feeling is no, this was not worth it.......I did think it was at the time though...but mainly because I wasn't familiar with the sunni vs shia details.....

I wonder though, if you asked 100 shia Iraqis 100 kurds and 100 sunnis whether theyre better off now, what the results would be.....I'd guess the shia and kurds are happy we came in and only the sunni would not be......but I wonder what the numbers would be.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #60
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Mistake. I love belonging to the American generation that put a war on the credit card.

http://factleft.com/2010/06/21/iraq-...-not-paid-for/

The Iraq War is second most expensive war in US history after World War II and the only war in US history not paid for by increased taxes. Rather than cutting spending or instituting a tax to pay for the war, Bush cut taxes and put the cost on the credit card. Here is how we used to pay for our wars:

Civil War: Increased tarrifs and instituted an Income Tax

Spanish American War: Instituted Telephone, Telegraph and Message Excise tax.

World War I: Instituted and increased Federal Income Tax, Re-instituted Telephone Excise tax.

Word War II: Increased all tax rates, reduced exemptions. Collections rose by 18 times between 1941 in 1945.

Korean War: 1950 and 1951, congress Increased taxes by 4% of GPD to pay for the war.

Viet Nam: 1968: Tax 10% Surcharge, Reduded to 5% in 1969
/article then cites the info if you want to know where the figures come from
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How did we pay for the Iraqi war? Special allocations. Guess who ended that?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009...ighing-the-ir/

Obama: No More War Spending Tricks
By Nathan Hodge 02.25.097:00 AM 2009


In his address last night on the economic crisis, President Barack Obama made it official: No more budgetary sleight-of-hand at the Pentagon.

As we have noted here before, the U.S. military has largely paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending measures, in effect keeping wartime costs off the books. In addition to masking skyrocketing budget growth at the Department of Defense, this process has allowed the services to treat budget supplementals as a piggy bank for new procurement. Members of Congress may have grumbled about poor oversight, but they have largely acquiesced.

Obama’s message? Not anymore.

"That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price."

This is the first real move toward belt-tightening at the Pentagon; we’ll see if the new Defense Department budget reflects it, and Obama’s pledge to stop "paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use."


Meanwhile, the president is weighing the options for a withdrawal from Iraq. In his speech, Obama said he would "soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war."

What that means is that combat troops could likely be out of Iraq by the end of next summer. The Washington Post quotes anonymous officials as saying Obama will announce a withdrawal plan later this week that would have U.S. forces out by August 2010. A substantial force may stay on, however, to train and advise the Iraq military and conduct limited counterterrorism missions. As the New York Times notes, one of Obama’s national security advisers said during the campaign that that the force could number between 30,000 to 55,000 troops.

Meanwhile, the fighting in Iraq is not over. In the volatile city of Mosul, gunmen in police uniforms opened fire on U.S. soldiers, killing a U.S. soldier and an interpreter.


Link to Obama's full address on the matter: (it's very long and covers many topics)
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_...n-of-Congress/
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