Balkinization  

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Tipping the War on Terror

Mary L. Dudziak

Jeh C. Johnson, General Counsel of the Defense Department, suggested this week that we may be reaching a “tipping point” in the war with Al Qaeda. 
“I do believe that on the present course, there will come a tipping point — a tipping point at which so many of the leaders and operatives of Al Qaeda and its affiliates have been killed or captured and the group is no longer able to attempt or launch a strategic attack against the United States, such that Al Qaeda as we know it, the organization that our Congress authorized the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.”
Some legal scholars have reacted by treating this tipping point as if it were an ending to war.   Under the conventional formulation of wartimes and their impacts, the tipping/ending would be the moment when the imagined pendulum begins to swing in a new direction – away from wartime and the prioritization of security over rights.  Peacetime, and the normal rule of law, would then return.  Echoing this idea, Johnson remarked:  "'War' must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs....Peace must be regarded as the norm toward which the human race continually strives."

If the tipping point is going to do this work, altering the very state of the world away from war/wartime, we should stop and think about what tipping is, or what it means.

Johnson may have in mind the definition of “tipping point” as “the prevalence of a social phenomenon sufficient to set in motion a process of rapid change; the moment when such a change begins to occur.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Prominent examples of this usage are in the American civil rights literature about “white flight,” but this usage appears across fields.  In his book Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell applies it to technology: “For the next three years, businesses slowly and steadily bought more and more faxes, until, in 1987, enough people had faxes that it made sense for everyone to get a fax. Nineteen eighty-seven was the fax machine Tipping Point.”

There are other meanings of tipping, such as bestowing gratuities, like tipping a cab driver, or giving private information, like passing on a tip at the racetrack.  To tip is also to upset something, as in tipping over a glass and spilling a drink.  And of course, having too much to drink can make you “tipsie.”  In this way tip, or tipping, or tipping point seems a conventional, even frivolous concept.  By itself, perhaps it does little work for us.

But the original meaning of “tipping,” according to the OED, is “The action of furnishing or fitting with a tip.”  The tip of a spear, as it were.  Sharpening the point of a spear involves burnishing its ending.  This makes the weapon sharper, and more precise.

This helps us to understand the War on Terror tipping in the context of the Obama Administration’s effort to develop rules for targeted killings, thereby legitimating and perpetuating the personalization of warfare.  We are not tipping from war to peace, if peace is understood as the absence of warfare.  Instead, we are sharpening the weapon.  This enables warfare to be more precise, more targeted, more secret, more isolated from public awareness and accountability.  In this way tipping the war on terror may not bring about an ending, but instead facilitate an ongoing war.

Comments:

In climate science, the tipping point is when runaway global warming must be reduced by entropy or re-balancing until stable.

In nuclear physics, a tipping point is an excited state that resolves into lower energy elements, for example, when an A bomb explodes and proceeds uncontrollably to completion.

However, there is a semantic difficulty with these concepts if viewed strictly by definition as discontinuous functions. There may be a continuum which is inappropriately omitted from the definition of entropy as applying to 'isolated systems'.

Johnson's concept development in the Oxford Union speech deemphasizes the profiling work available to DoD, performed by other agencies and their global counterparts. Those profiles define the extent of individuality of targeted billigerents.
 

Mary well parses "tipping point" as used by G.C. Johnson; and John Lopresti in his comment provides additional meaningful views of "tipping point," particularly in science. The use of "tipping point" by Johnson may be glib, appealing to the masses familiar with Gladwell (and pundits who overuse the term). Perhaps "tipping point" means whatever one wants it to mean. But there exist situations that bring about groups like Al Queda throughout the world that are not being addressed by the nations in which they exist. So America is put on the defensive, in the name of National Security. Sometimes that defensiveness is misused. Consider not just the War on Terror but the War on Drugs. Sitting in a comfortable chair far from the conflicts, tipping a cold one, we can all understand "tipping point" in our own way.

But let's look at physics' "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Johnson's "tipping point" may quash Al Queda but what will be the reaction? This law of physics may also apply to the original meaning of "tipping." So Mary's concluding sentence may be ominously correct about ongoing war.

[Welcome back Mary, and thanks for opening up for comments on the serious subject of war.]
 

"But let's look at physics' "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.""

The point of tipping points, is that, depending on the dynamics of the situation, the reaction isn't necessarily opposite. The classic example in physics of a "tipping point", would be balancing a tall block on end. As you start pushing it over, there's a restoring force, your "opposite" reaction. But when you reach the tipping point, where the center of gravity moves outside the base of support, the reaction force isn't opposite anymore, and the block will tip over without any added action on your part.

A "tipping point" is any inflection in a system where restoring forces switch their sign, and start moving the system away from it's previous equilibrium, rather than back to it.

In politics, tipping points are closely related to the idea of a "preference cascade", where enough people tell the truth about their views, that other people who've been lying about them stop lying, and people suddenly realize that they were in the majority all the time. This is how oppressive regimes suddenly fall, the way the USSR did; Hated all along by most people, the people suddenly realize everyone around them also hates the regime.

So, in the present instance, the idea is that Al Qaeda isn't really all that popular in the areas it controls, it's just too dangerous for the people there to act against it. Weaken them enough, and people will find it safe to oppose them, and suddenly you'll find the population cooperating against Al Qaeda, where they used to help it. Not because they've changed their opinions, but because they dare to act on them.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. Johnson fundamentally misunderstands the nature of decentralized movements. Al Qaeda is a very loose confederation of jihadi groups without a centralized command structure.

The US has very successfully killed hundreds of sl Qaeda leaders around the world over several years, but the organiation was not decapitated as the politicians like to claim.

Obama finally signed off on the SEALs killing bin Laden, then al Qaeda sacks our embassy annex in Benghazi and rapes and murders our ambassador.

You defeat decentralized movements by making them unpopular, denying them people and sanctuary.
 

While Brett, as an engineer, may be closer to physics that I, a mere lawyer, I know from watching "The Big Bang" - and from talks with a Nobel Laureate in Physics over the years - that theoretical physicists disdain the views of engineers on the subject. I chose not to get into gravity and bodies at rest and bodies in motion, but consider in warfare - or preludes to warfare - actions that are taken or considered. What will the reaction be? Well, we found out in Vietnam. So then there is developed a reaction to the reaction, e.g., counter-insurgency. But the latter in time is addressed by further reaction.

The atom bomb sent a message to the world - don't mess with America. What was the reaction? We'll get our one nuclear capability, by hook or by crook. Segue to current times with all the concerns with Iran having such capability, to compete with other nations that have that capability. Consider all these actions and reactions. What if at the beginning more thought had been given to the reactions and reactions to reactions? Might we be better off?

So the "tipping point" regarding Al Queda, however "tipping point" is defined, mostly likely will not be the end of what is described as terror, as people will find a way to react to - to resist - what they deem to be injustices.

On another thread at this Blog discussing "elites" who control America, I referred to C. Wright Mills' "The Power Elite" published in 1956 in which he described the elite as consisting of the economic, military and political. In his Farewell Speech in January of 1961, Ike "warned" us of the "military/industrial complex, among other things. In an earlier draft of the Speech Ike had a trinity by including "congressional" in this complex which was presumably deleted for political reasons. I have been unable to ascertain whether Ike was influenced by Mils' trinity of the power elite. Perhaps this was coincidence.

In any event, Ike was aware of the Bay of Pigs proposal in waiting for his successor JFK and I assume he knew a tad about Gen. LeMay's tendencies. So, was this really a "warning"? Well, I did some Googling recently and lo and behold recent observers suggest that this was not a "warning" on Ike's part. Going back, Ike's son had suggested such. Also, in his retirement, Ike at times took pride in his "warning" and at other times fudged over it. Like much of history, sometimes we get a lot of revisionism. So was what was understood as a "warning" in January 1961 not really a "warning"?

At the time of Ike's Speech, America had limited involvements in Vietnam, which escalated with JFK, LBJ and RMN. There were a bunch of little wars that followed, e.g., Grenada (earlier known to some of us in song only). Then the Cold War ended. Peace at last? Ooops! Iraq I. Then after 9/11/01, Afghanistan (we're still there!) and Iraq II. And of course we've got the Arab Spring, with Syria perhaps serving as kindling for an Arab Summer, Fall and Winter (not to ignore the plight of the Palestinians).

So is all this an ongoing war? Can we have Globalization without this? Do world and American economics feed on ongoing war? Will war drone on, and on, and on?
 

Does our yodeler have evidence that Al Queda raped our ambassador in Libya?

As to our yodeler's solution for eliminating a decentralized Al Queda:

"You defeat decentralized movements by making them unpopular, denying them people and sanctuary."

perhaps he has some ideas on how to make such movements unpopular and denying them people and sanctuary that would not involve targeted killings. [I'm not for such killings, as the reactions often create more problems.] Sovereign nations may be involved over which America has no influence. The international community is not united on this. Is there a real means other than force of some kind to combat such movements? Politics serves as a trap for the Executive, whether a Democrat or a Republican.
 

Shag:

The rape of our ambassador was reported in the Arab press and not denied by State.

As for al Qaeda, you use classic anti insurgency tactics as done rather successfully during the Iraq surge - use the terrorist murders of locals to ally with the locals to deny the enemy sanctuary and gather intel on them to kill them off.
 

Our yodeler's:

" ... use classic anti insurgency tactics as done rather successfully during the Iraq surge ... "

raises serious questions as to success. As to our yodeler's use of "classic," that seems to suggest the tactics were not of recent vintage (a la Petraeus?). Can the same tactics succeed in another nation, such as Afghanistan? It's far from clear. But how would our yodeler's solution work if America is not in the sovereign nation with decentralized terrorists?
 

Shag:

Petreaus did not invent counter insurgency, he simply wrote the book reminding our high tech, Gulf War military how to employ these principles.

We are employing the proper principles in Afghanistan, but we deployed too few troops and , more importantly, did not include Pakistan in the campaign.

 

The people we are dropping bombs on in Pakistan would probably beg to differ.

By the way, we are hated in Pakistan.
 

According to Snopes, the rape story has not yet been confirmed

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/stevens.asp
 

Dilan:

Who is going to confirm what was done to the ambassador? This White House who lied that the al Qaeda attack was a protest against a video in order to cover up the attack before the election?
 

"I know from watching "The Big Bang" - and from talks with a Nobel Laureate in Physics over the years - that theoretical physicists disdain the views of engineers on the subject."

I'd simply remark that, engineers vs physicists, the feeling is mutual. They tell us a yardstick standing on end is unstable, we use stabilizing it as a standard exercise in control systems class. You can get so blinded by what is, that you forget "what is" is subject to manipulation.
 

I guess it depends on what the meaning of "is" is: "is you is or is you ain't .... " But is that yardstick on end unstable before it is stabilized?
 

Of course it is; Physicists concentrate on learning what is. Engineers on making what is, into what they want it to be.

On their home ground, physicists rule, they just tend to forget where that home ground ends.
 

Cover up the attack? What the fuck are you talking about? The attack was covered by every news organization in the country.
 

Bartbuster, the administration certainly was covering up the fact that it was an Al Qaeda attack, sticking to the claim that it was a mob incensed over a youtube video long after the claim lost all plausibility, (Which is to say, within hours, given the synchronized attacks on multiple embassies.)

One wonders where they got the idea to blame it on that obscure video, given that there was never any evidence of a connection in the first place.
 

Yes, Brett, I think they may have "covered it up" for about 48 hours. You people have lost your fucking minds.
 

BB:

Obama, Clinton, Rice and Carney repeatedly lied about a demonstration for over two weeks and the only real coverage was by Fox, with some by CNN until they sat on the story like the rest of the Democrat media.

If this were Bush, you would be howling for impeachment.
 

As Bart points out, a coverup being a partial failure is hardly the same as it not taking place.
 

If this were Bush, you would be howling for impeachment.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:16 PM


If this were Bush we'd be invading Iraq again for an attack that had nothing to do with Iraq. Assholes like you were trying to claim there was WMD in Iraq long after even Bush had admitted that there was no WMD. You're not really in a position to be wetting yourself over an Obama coverup. You personally have done much, MUCH worse.

Guys, there was nothing to cover up. Ergo, there was no coverup.

 

Who is going to confirm what was done to the ambassador? This White House who lied that the al Qaeda attack was a protest against a video in order to cover up the attack before the election?

Bart, seriously, as someone who disagrees with you but sometimes concedes when you have a valid point, this is black helicopter stuff here.

The snopes page makes things very clear. There are some reports of an assault. However, there are also reasons to doubt those reports. A number of journalists who have gathered facts on this matter are skeptical of the claims.

It's all being investigated. Even if you don't trust the White House, Congress is investigating as well.

Thus, the report has not been confirmed, not simply by the White House but by the ordinary journalistic process by which reports get confirmed. Perhaps it will get confirmed later on, perhaps it won't. But there's no basis to just believe any thinly sourced claim because you don't trust the White House. You just don't know and there is a process by which we might eventually know.
 

Our yodeler's:

"If this were Bush, ...."

deserves a comparison.

Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, and the rest of the neocons lied, exaggerated about WMDs, etc, to make the case to the American public for the invasion of Iraq. It turned out there were no WMDs, etc. And the invasion resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries of American military and Iraq citizens, with a great expenditure of public fisc. But for the lies of Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, and the rest of the neocons, this may not have been the result. Powell manned up to his errors. Bush, Cheney, Rice and the rest of the neocons have not.

Assuming the cover-up in Libya claimed by our dyslexic due Bert and Brat, the damage was done before the alleged cover-up, not as a result of lies as in the case of Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and the rest of the neocons with Iraq.

And concerning cover-ups, let's go back to the days of the Nixon Watergate cover-up. Investigation revealed that indeed Nixon and his ilk had actually committed the crimes that were being covered-up. Consider how long it took to uncover the Nixon cover-up. Nixon did not immediately call for investigations, fighting tooth and nail until SCOTUS got him.

The Obama Administration quickly called for investigations of the events in Libya. Congress has jumped in as well. The response has been quick.

So going back to Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and the rest of the neocons, compare the results of their lies with the results of the alleged cover-up by the Obama Administration.

The reason for the reactions of Sens. McCain and Sissypuss, is that Obama won reelection and the Republicans were unable to get R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012 a victory with the unfortunate event in Libya, where four Americans were killed. Compare that with the thousands, hundreds of thousands, killed and injured in Iraq due to the lies of Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and the neocons.

Let's see what the investigations by the Executive and by Congress reveal.
 

Dilan:

Al Qaeda would have done the rape to shame the ambassador and by extension the US. Congress is not going to subpoena the coroner report and provide al Qaeda that propaganda victory.
 

Shag:

CIA and State knew there was no demonstration and this was a military attack by local militias as they watched it real time and that it was almost certainly al Qaeda within 24 hours. There was nothing to investigate. The demonstration story was a complete fabrication and the investigationa means to give the fabrication plausible deniability.

Obama and Clinton lied repeatedly to the American people to cover up the most successful al Qaeda attack on the US since the original 9/11. Rice had access to the classified i telligence and almost certainly lied. Carney is either a liar or a dupe who should have resigned when he discovered the lie.

If this were Bush, you too would be screaming for impeachment.
 

Our yodeler's source is Al Queda! What else Al Queda says doest our yodeler buys into for the truth?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], our yodeler commented at this Blog during the 2012 campaign that the events in Libya would be "huge" for R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012. Our yodeler was a mere tool for Fox, which Tom Ricks well exposed on trying to make this "huge."
 

Our yodeler ignores proportionality and causation, even assuming the alleged cover-up. Did the alleged cover-up cause the four deaths?

Nothing to investigate? No need for the FBI, the CIA, etc, in the Administration to investigate? No need for Congress to investigate? No need for the Fourth Estate to investigate? Why, because the GOP talking points may turn out to lack substance with thorough investigations? "Huge"? Condi Rice's claim of a potential
mushroom cloud" in support of invading Iraq was "huge." Again, proportionality, causation.
 

Off-topic (why not?), I've been saving a "post-it" note for the right occasion:

Last week on the Colbert Show, Stephen gave a "Wage of the Finger" to Univ. of CO students, none of whom signed up for the "gun dorm." I guess it;s not just our yodeler shooting blanks in the Mile Hight State (of mind).

Of course (back on topic), our yodeler continues to shoot blanks on the alleged cover-up in Libya.
 

Obama and Clinton lied repeatedly to the American people to cover up the most successful al Qaeda attack on the US since the original 9/11.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:40 AM


That's completely insane. Al Qaeda was killing US troops in Iraq on a regular basis.

Seriously, you fucknuts have lost your minds. You got thousands of people killed for nothing in Iraq and now you're angry that Obama lied about four people who were killed in Benghazi? Hell, Obama could be lying about dead bodies in the Lincoln Bedroom and it would not be as bad as the shit you lunatics have supported.

In any case, I fully support you continuing to lose your minds over this. It should make your party look extra sane in 2016.
 

Bart

I always try to make the most careful conclusions I can, which usually leads me away from any sensational or sweeping ones. I've learned the hard way that this reduces the amount of egg on one's face later.

As to the Libyan situation it seems to me to be completely plausible that different people in the administration likely had different ideas about what was going on. There were protests and outrage over this video in various locations in the ME. Some of these protests involved violence against our embassies. Then we get word that embassy staff are killed in Libya. It seems natural to assume protests might be involved. What seems wrong with that?

I will say (probably canceling out everything in my first paragraph ;)) that I actually found that Glenn Beck, of all people, made a compelling case that what went on in Benghazi was likely a CIA operation that went bad. If this were the case, then one can understand why the administration might have obfuscated about it for a while...
 

I wish Mr. W had finished this:

"If this were the case, then one can understand why the administration might have obfuscated about it for a while..."

by mentioning that it was that very same CIA that presented the talking points to the Administration (via Susan Rice), presumably to keep CIA sources ;rotected. As to the actual role of the CIA in "causing" the events in Libya (as opposed to any alleged cover-up), that definitely needs investigation.
 

Mr. W:

There was no crowd of civilians and no demonstration.

CIA had a drone above the compound and Stste had video feed on location.

ALL the reports from the ground discussed a terrorist attack and NONE reported a demonstration.

The CIA evaluation stated this was an al Qaeda attack.

According to the most recent story out if the administration, some unidentified person in DNI Clapper's office rewrote the CIA report, but they reguse to disclose the basis for the changes because there is none.

This is as close to a slam dunk scandal as it gets. If this were Bush, the Democrat press would be running this 24/7.
 

Our yodeler, with this:

"This is as close to a slam dunk scandal as it gets."

is a reminder of Dick Cheney's "slam dunk" (that couldn't make it as a crib shot) on WMDs in Iraq to justify the invasion. Rather, it was the result of a self-inflicted "Curveball" miss with Bush/Cheney at bat. And what happened to Dick ("5 draft deferments") Cheney as a result. And compare what resulted from Cheney's failing "slam dunk" in lives lost, injured, and the impact upon the fisc: perspective, causation, please. Any alleged cover-up by the Obama Administration did not cause the four deaths in Libya. Our yodeler has a lot in common with Cheney, who is a real Dick.
 

We had a drone flying over the compound from the very beginning of the attack? Doesn't that sound a little odd to you?
 

This is as close to a slam dunk

I seem to recall you saying something similar about Romney winning the election.
 

"Would have" is not evidence, as you well know Bart.
 

bb:

We have recon drones over most hotspots across the world and increasingly over the US.

What we had in Lichtenstein, but not in Libya, was a Marine security detail.

Shag:

As for your request for investigations...

We could use a full amd public investigation on who denied requested security in Libya and the who told the CIA reaction force to stand down during the attack.
 

Blankshot, the drone wasn't over the compound for the entire incident. The idea that the WH would have known everything about the incident from that drone is nonsense.
 

Anyhoo, you should definitely keep flogging this "coverup". It sure helped you clowns in the last election.

 

Bart

As someone who seems quite skeptical of the government's ability to do even simple tasks you really think we had a drone sending clear, unambiguous video feed directly to some decision maker? As you acknowledge we have drones over many hotspots at any time feeding video. I can imagine this not getting through clearly for days frankly.

But more likely to me is that this was a CIA operation gone awry, and that a combination of the difficulty of assessing conflicting information, CIA incompetence and desire to obfuscate whatever they were doing there led them to give, let us say, less than perfect information to administration officials.

There's certainly evidence to support such a view:

http://dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Press%20Releases/ODNI_Benghazi_Statement_9.28.2012.pdf




 

There is more to Jen Johnson's speech than the "tipping point" raised by this post. At the NYTimes Taking Note Blog, editorialist Andrew Rosenthal has posted "The War on Terror is Not the New Normal." It provides a link to a transcript of the speech that includes footnotes. The speech is quite sobering on war and what it means to be at war. Hopefully Rosenthal's post title is correct. I don't know if Mary has read Rosenthal's recent post but her thoughts via an "Update" would be appreciated. Johnson covered quite a bit beyond the "tipping point," including his references to Martin Luther King, Jr., who attended Morehouse College as did Johnson.
 

Jonathan Hafetz's post on Jen Johnson's speech is welcomed. There is much to think about in that speech. An ongoing war is not acceptable, even with all-voluntary military service. Eventually we all feel the pain of war as these volunteers are strained physically, mentally and financially. There are also the strains upon long cherished - and fought for - liberties. Johnson's mention of Churchill's "beginning of the end" of war may provide a view through a tunnel, a long one, with possible light at the end.

Then we have the situations in the Greater Middle East. Tom Friedman's NYTimes column today does not bode well for peace on earth, good will towards men. These are serious, complex times.
 

Mr. W:

I never claimed the feed was clear and unambiguous, nor is that relevant to the scandal.

What makes the administration statements clearly and unambiguoisly lies is that thay were contrary to the evidence we did have.

Obama, Clinton, Rice and Carney stated that demonstrators against a video sacked our embassy and killed our ambassador. There never was any evidence whatsoever of this and the administration has never pointed to any.

Rice and Carney further claimed that there was no evidence of a terror attack. This was contrary to the evidence and the reports of an organized military attack provided to Obama, Clinton and Rice.

Next, the administration claimed the intelligence on the ground was confused. In fact, the video was fed directly to the White House situation room and all of the reports from Libya said terror attack.

Then the admjnistration said the CIA analysis was the basis for their story. Petreaus put the lie to that and said the CIA concluded this was an al Qaeda attack, but someone above them rewrote the report.

How many lies does it take to convince you?

 

Our yodeler's closing question to Mr. W:

"How many lies does it take to convince you?"

was not a question our yodeler responded to during the 8 years of Bush/Cheney that concluded with the 2008 Great Recession. Oh those many lies by Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and the neocons on WMDs, etc, that "justified" the invasion of Iraq resulting in thousands, hundreds of thousands, dead, injured, maimed, dislocated, etc. Compare this to the alleged lies of the Obama Administrationthat did NOT result in the 4 deaths in Libya. Our yodeler does not want full investigations because they may destroy the GOP Tea Party talking points on the events in Libya.

 

Here's something really, really HUGE for the Tea Party and our yodeler to ponder:

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/dick-armey-freedomworks-president-clashed-over-book-deal-84599.html?hp=l12

Dick Armey, a "grass roots" (like our yodeler?) Tea Partier, has cashed-in, joining the 0.1% (unlike our yodeler). Has Armey left any crumpet crumbs for what's left of the Tea Party?
 

Rice and Carney further claimed that there was no evidence of a terror attack.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:31 AM


That is simply a lie. Obama called it a terror attack the next day.


I never claimed the feed was clear and unambiguous,
...
Next, the administration claimed the intelligence on the ground was confused. In fact, the video was fed directly to the White House situation room and all of the reports from Libya said terror attack


You should probably try to space out your direct contradictions a little better. You'll still be a complete tool, but it won't be quite so obvious.
 

How many lies does it take to convince you?

# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:31 AM


It's not that you're a liar, it's that you're a really bad liar. Become a better liar and I might be convinced that you're not an idiot.
 

Bart

I think you're being careless here.

"Obama, Clinton, Rice and Carney stated that demonstrators against a video sacked our embassy and killed our ambassador"

The idea was expressed that a "small and savage group" of attackers used protests as inspiration or an opportunity to attack, and that's not quite the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_the_U.S._diplomatic_mission_in_Benghazi#U.S._government_response

"There never was any evidence whatsoever of this"

This doesn't seem correct either, since many independent news agencies reported this independently of administration sources. Libyan officals and citizens spoken to at the time made statements to this effect. It's clear there was conflicting information going on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_the_U.S._diplomatic_mission_in_Benghazi#Investigation_timeline

"Then the admjnistration said the CIA analysis was the basis for their story. Petreaus put the lie to that and said the CIA concluded this was an al Qaeda attack, but someone above them rewrote the report."

Rice's talking points from the CIA were rewritten by DNI and then the CIA and FBI signed off on them. That still sounds like an intelligence screw up to me.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57552328/sources-office-of-the-dni-cut-al-qaeda-reference-from-benghazi-talking-points-and-cia-fbi-signed-off/


 

BB:

1) The video feed showed an armed attack, but not the organization who carried it out or clear shots of the faces of all the attackers. Not clear and unambiguous.

2) the day after the attack, Obama passingly referred to generic acts of terror, nothing about the al Qaeda attack reported by State and CIA. The administration was openly denying a terror attack a couple days later.
 

Baghdad,

1. the drone didn't show up until well after the attack had started, so it was completely useless for providing intel on what was going on when the attack started. It also could not interview anyone to determine their motives. It showed people shooting at the facility. Thank God it was there or we never would have known that...

2. Obama referred to it as a terror attack. Period. The fact that he didn't name who was involved was complete irrelevant.

Meanwhile, how's that WMD search in Iraq coming along, you propaganda spewing troll?
 

Our yodeler's #1) and #2) responses to Mr. W are equivalent to a kindergardener's responses to nature. Our yodeler needs to get off the potty with his crapola.
 

The Blogosphere, like nature, abhors a vacuum. So inspired by Jon Stewart's extended interview of Alan Simpson on the fiscal cliff, I offer in verse:

What if
The fiscal cliff
Makes no dif?

(Feel free to add verses.]
 

Mr.W: I think you're being careless here.

BD: "Obama, Clinton, Rice and Carney stated that demonstrators against a video sacked our embassy and killed our ambassador"

Mr.W: The idea was expressed that a "small and savage group" of attackers used protests as inspiration or an opportunity to attack, and that's not quite the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_the_U.S._diplomatic_mission_in_Benghazi#U.S._government_response


First, be cautious using Wiki for anything but a reference to the most general propositions. Any politically contentious entry is revised continuously by partisans.

Next, Clinton gave this variation of the demonstration lie to avoid offending the Libyan government or people. It is a distinction without a difference from my statement and no less a lie. http://abcnews.go.com/International/libya-consulate-hit-attacks-lasted-hours/story?id=17215154

BD: "There never was any evidence whatsoever of this"

Mr. W: This doesn't seem correct either, since many independent news agencies reported this independently of administration sources. Libyan officals and citizens spoken to at the time made statements to this effect. It's clear there was conflicting information going on.


There were no reporters or (so far as has been reported to date) no Libyan government witnesses at the scene. They are repeating what the U.S. government claimed.

Next, the administration claimed the basis for the demonstration lie was the intelligence reports - NONE of which reported a demonstration.

BD: "Then the admjnistration said the CIA analysis was the basis for their story. Petreaus put the lie to that and said the CIA concluded this was an al Qaeda attack, but someone above them rewrote the report."

Mr W: Rice's talking points from the CIA were rewritten by DNI and then the CIA and FBI signed off on them. That still sounds like an intelligence screw up to me.


You are giving the current story being provided by the administration. The administration still refuses to disclose who rewrote the CIA analysis and what basis they used. This suggests the latest administration version of events is also a lie. They are buying time.

We can play this game as long as you like, but the evidence is clear and unambiguous that Obama and his people were caught in a bald faced lie to the American people.
 

BB:

The annex had its own live video feed.


 

For those with hazy memories as to all the lies made by Obama, Clinton, Rice and Carney concerning the al Qaeda attack on the Benghazi consulate annex, here are some of the greatest hits as of a month ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY7ExPd9sq0

Of course, this is not complete compendium of the lies and there have been several over the weeks since.
 

Blankshot, how's that WMD search coming along?
 

Baghdad, you're hyperventilating because you feel the White House didn't use the word "terrorism" in the right context to describe the Benghazi attack. Your standard for what is considered lying has changed significantly since Cheney/Bush retired in disgrace.
 

Bart

1. I'm not sure what your link is providing. Are you disputing that administration officials described the attack as one in which protests were used as inspiration or opportunity for an organized attack by extremists?

2. "There were no reporters or (so far as has been reported to date) no Libyan government witnesses at the scene"

"CBS News reported that Wanis al-Sharef (also spelled al-Sharif), a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said that an angry mob had gathered outside the consulate to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad. According to al-Sharef, the mob stormed the consulate after the U.S. troops who responded fired rounds into the air to try and disperse the crowd."

"The Guardian published a video interview of a local Libyan on the consulate compound right after the attack, who presumed and empathized that the attack was in response to the anti-Islamic film"

"Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur's office condemned the attack and extended condolences, saying: "While strongly condemning any attempt to abuse the person of Muhammad, or an insult to our holy places and prejudice against the faith, we reject and strongly condemn the use of force to terrorise innocent people and the killing of innocent people."

Bart, the idea that Libyans didn't contemporanously argue demonstrations were involved seems demonstrably false...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_the_U.S._diplomatic_mission_in_Benghazi

"You are giving the current story being provided by the administration. The administration still refuses to disclose who rewrote the CIA analysis and what basis they used."

Do you not believe it was altered by a DNI official? What grounds have you for that?

"We can play this game as long as you like, but the evidence is clear and unambiguous that Obama and his people were caught in a bald faced lie to the American people."

Bart. Bart. You thought the evidence was clear and unambiguous that Romney was going to win the election. This evidence is anything but clear and unambiguous. You might be right, but it's not obvious, unless one is looking through partisan-colored glasses, and hasn't that viewpoint landed you in verifiable error enough?


 

hasn't that viewpoint landed you in verifiable error enough?

Proving Bart wrong does not qualify as a verifiable error. It just means that there is 1 less path to him being right.
 

Mr. W: Are you disputing that administration officials described the attack as one in which protests were used as inspiration or opportunity for an organized attack by extremists?

Yes. The administration did not talk about an organized terrorist attack (nevertheless one by al Qeada) for weeks. Indeed, Obama sent out Rice to specifically deny that alternative.

BD: "There were no reporters or (so far as has been reported to date) no Libyan government witnesses at the scene."

Wanis al-Sharef was not at the scene during the attack.

Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur was not at the scene during the attack.

Your unidentified Guardian interviewee was not at the scene during the attack.

Remember that there never was any evidence of a demonstration against a video and the Obama administration has never cited any. Indeed, Rice has recently admitted what CIA and State knew from the beginning - there was no demonstration.

THUS, to the extent your Libyans above are even referring to a demonstration against a video, where did they get this fiction if not from the Americans???

BD: "You are giving the current story being provided by the administration. The administration still refuses to disclose who rewrote the CIA analysis and what basis they used."

Mr. W: Do you not believe it was altered by a DNI official? What grounds have you for that?


I have no idea who rewrote the actual intelligence. Given the administration's rampant lying as to their sources, I have no reason to believe their latest story.

The only way we will find out is subpoenaing intelligence and administration personnel up the chain of command, placing them under oath and cross examining them like criminal perps.

Once again, we can play this game as long as you like, but it will not change the lies into honest mistakes.

The administration story had no basis in fact.

Obama, Clinton and Rice had access to the facts. Carney had knowledge of the facts by the time Fox broke the scandal if not before.

You cannot get around this.
 

Our yodeler's:

"
You cannot get around this."

can more vividly be applied to the Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rummy [i neglected him earlier] and the rest of the neocons who lied about WMDs, etc, to justify invading Iraq resulting the deaths, injuries, maiming of thousands, hundreds of thousands as compared to the fact that any alleged cover-up by the Obama Administration occurred AFTER the deaths of four Americans in Libya. Let's get a full investigation starting with some specified period of time BEFORE the events in Libya occurred. Any alleged cover-up by the Obama Administration pales in comparison to Nixon/ Watergate and Reagan/Contra cover-ups.
 

"The administration did not talk about an organized terrorist attack (nevertheless one by al Qeada) for weeks"

That seems false. Administration officials said that violent extremists used the alleged protests as an opportunity to launch an attack.

"Secretary of State Clinton also made a statement on September 12, describing the perpetrators as "heavily armed militants" and "a small and savage group - not the people or government of Libya.""

"Rice stated-Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy--sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that-- in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_the_U.S._diplomatic_mission_in_Benghazi#U.S._government_response

"Wanis al-Sharef was not at the scene during the attack.

Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur was not at the scene during the attack.

Your unidentified Guardian interviewee was not at the scene during the attack."

Perhaps they were not at the attack, but is it unreasonable to think Libyans in Libya might know what went on?

"to the extent your Libyans above are even referring to a demonstration against a video, where did they get this fiction if not from the Americans???"

The story citing al-Sharef clocked in at 6 am Sept. 12. That doesn't seem to be much time for the administration to plant this false story, does it?

"Obama, Clinton and Rice had access to the facts"

Again, we have evidence that the intelligence agencies had supplied them with a different set of facts. The agencies themselves have said this, and external journalists have confirmed this.
 

Fareed Zakaria's column in today's WaPo "End the war on terror and save billions" references, briefly, Jen Johnson's speech. Hopefully, we will hear more voices on this subject. As Zakaria points out, no President likes to give up power, including the Bush/Cheney executive powers resulting from 9/11/01. But we need an end to what Mary has described as possibly resulting in ongoing war. Let's preserve our liberties that war may infringe upon.
 

Professor Hafetz poses the wrong question when he asks if Mr. Johnson's comments suggest that the Obama administration might end the war on al Qaeda.

Given that al Qaeda attacked and continues to attack the United States, the correct question is whether al Qaeda will ever end their war against us.
 

BD: The administration did not talk about an organized terrorist attack (nevertheless one by al Qeada) for weeks"

Mr. W: That seems false. Administration officials said that violent extremists used the alleged protests as an opportunity to launch an attack.


Your quotes prove my point.

Non-existent demonstration.

Terrorists become extremists.

Nothing about an organized al Qaeda military attack.

Mr. W: Perhaps they were not at the attack, but is it unreasonable to think Libyans in Libya might know what went on?

No. Given that our real time intelligence showed no demonstration, why would we believe non-witness Libyan speculation to the contrary. Remember, Obama and his team never claimed to be using these Libyans as a source.

BD: ...to the extent your Libyans above are even referring to a demonstration against a video, where did they get this fiction if not from the Americans???

Mr. W: The story citing al-Sharef clocked in at 6 am Sept. 12. That doesn't seem to be much time for the administration to plant this false story, does it?


Remember, this is playing out in real time in the White House situation room, at State and at DOD the night before. Among the top action items after an attack is deciding what to tell interested parties and the public.

The White House was writing the President's remarks that night and State was assuredly in contact with the Libyans that night.

You are playing a losing hand here.

 

You are playing a losing hand here.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:38 AM


I hate to point this out (not really...), but we actually have the winning hand. Obama won.

In any case, what do you think the grounds for impeachment would be? Is 'improper use of the word "terrorism"' grounds for impeachment?


 

Bart

Again, I think you're not being careful here. I didn't say the administration didn't put forward the idea of a demonstration, I said though that it did put forward the idea of 'extremists' and 'heavily armed militants' (you don't find these to be words often used to describe terrorist and similar groups?) attacked using protests as an inspiration or opportunity. Now, it seems the idea that it occurred during a protest was wrong, but it's a different thing to say 'this happened due to a protest' and 'this happened due to an organized attack using the protest as an opportunity.'

"Given that our real time intelligence showed no demonstration, why would we believe non-witness Libyan speculation to the contrary. Remember, Obama and his team never claimed to be using these Libyans as a source"

Is it clear that our 'real time intelligence showed no demonstration?' While sources have said that there was intelligence it was an attack, they also say there were conflicting things coming in at the time (doesn't that sound quite normal for something like this?). The fact that the administration wasn't using these Libyan sources actually cuts against your story imo; many independent sources, from news agencies with correspondents on the ground, to Libyan officials, and even Libyan citizens living nearby thought a protest had been involved. Protests were occuring all over the Muslim world, and while there may not have been on at the consulate or safe house building I'd be willing to bet there were demonstrations somewhere in Benghazi. Coming upon the aftermath of the attack it seems normal to assume that the furor over the video was involved; so normal in fact that Libyan officials, Libyan citizens, and news agencies with people on the ground there all found it likely. So why is it so remarkable that the administration thought so until more evidence could be gotten and clarified?

Let me finish with an old phrase that conservatives used to make a lot: don't be quick to attribute to government malevolence what can be chalked up as government incompetence. Our intelligence sources are far from infallible about events happening half a world away, and they have a history of misleading politicians for various reasons.
 

Mr. W:

An intelligence screw up is when you have multiple contradictory sources and choose to believe the wrong one. In this case, the administration rewrote the intelligence to suit their own purposes.

Team Obama is not acting malevolently, but rather like most politicians - hiding their screwups from the voters.
 

Our yodeler's:

"You are playing a losing hand here."

demonstrates his "poker face" with less than a pair o deuces. Our yodeler ignores the Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rummy and the neocons lies with WMDs et al that justified their invasion of Iraq with resulting hundreds of thousands of deaths, injured, maimed, displaced, etc, and focusing on an alleged cover-up that did not result in the killing of 4 Americans. No matter our yodeler's repetition of his crapola, proportionality and causation weigh substantially more on the hands of Bush et al, with their colossal screw up. Tom Ricks has exposed the Faux News and GOP talking points on this, for which our yodeler is a mere tool.
 

He's not a mere tool. He's a really big tool.
 

Another voice in the LATimes today: Peter Bartosiewicz's Op-Ed "A permanent war on terror - In trying to prevent terrorist attacks, the U.S. risks eroding civil liberties," to add to Mary et al on the problems that ongoing war imposes.
 

"An intelligence screw up is when you have multiple contradictory sources and choose to believe the wrong one. In this case, the administration rewrote the intelligence to suit their own purposes."

Again, where is the evidence of this? The only thing we seem to know is that the administration officials you castigate had memos from the intelligence community that they spoke from. The DNI supposedly altered an original one, but it was signed off on by the CIA and FBI. How is that an administration official rewriting intelligence to suit their own purposes?

And what would be their purposes, btw? I'm not sure 'angry mob of people we just liberated in controversial action kill four Americans' helps the administration any more than 'organized terrorist attack kills four Americans.'
 

And what would be their purposes, btw? I'm not sure 'angry mob of people we just liberated in controversial action kill four Americans' helps the administration any more than 'organized terrorist attack kills four Americans.'
# posted by Mr. Whiskas : 10:07 AM


If anything it is a worse situation. Of course, logic has nothing to do with what Baghdad Bart is trying to do.
 

BD: An intelligence screw up is when you have multiple contradictory sources and choose to believe the wrong one. In this case, the administration rewrote the intelligence to suit their own purposes.

Mr. W: Again, where is the evidence of this?


Lord give me patience...

Which part of the demonstration story has no basis in either the reported intelligence or fact do have difficulty understanding?

An intelligence snafu would be the intelligence community choosing to believe intelligence suggesting a demonstration and and disbelieving intelligence suggesting an al Qaeda attack.

In this case, There was NO, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH intelligence suggesting a demonstration.

The administration did not make a bad choice, they made up a story from whole cloth.

Why did the political appointees at FBI and CIA sign off on this fiction? That is a damn good question for Congress to ask.
 

"Lord, give me patience"

Give YOU patience!!

For the love of Sister Mary and Father Falanagan!

You've gone on for a 75+ comment thread spinning ridiculous fantasy arguments that veer between Obama's omniscience to his rank incompetence and every possible permutation in-between -- whichever suits your argument at the moment -- trying to make a case that it's somehow "obvious" to anybody with half a brain what happened in Libya, despite the fact that it can take years, and often never, to sort out that sort of thing.

It really goes without saying for anyone who makes even a passing study of how events unfold that THE FIRST REPORTS ARE ALWAYS WRONG. I see no evidence that drones have negated that basic fact of life, any more than any other technology invented in the last couple of centuries has.

Now it's certainly true that you obviously and desperately want there to be a crime, conspiracy and cover-up here and therefore no amount of facts or argumentation will shake you from that belief.

But even you must recognize that this tin hat version of events is simply not "taking" with the public. No doubt there will always be people who believe otherwise. After all, the world has its Holocaust deniers, Moon landing doubters and Elvis-is-alivers despite mountains of evidence. It always says a lot more about the believer of such nonsense than it does about the supposed conspiracy.

This message paid for by the Bavarian Illuminati
 

Let's apply our yodeler's question:

"Why did the political appointees at FBI and CIA sign off on this fiction? That is a damn good question for Congress to ask."

to Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rummy and the neocons, including their political appointees at various federal agencies and their lies on WMDs, etc, to justify invading Iraq, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries, maiming, displacements, exhausting the fisc, etc. Proportionality, causation, please. In contrast, any alleged cover-ups by the Obama Administration did NOT result in the four deaths that had occurred in Libya.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], did Congress investigate the Bush et al lies thoroughly? Bush et al swung and missed the Curveball they relied upon.

Indeed, let's have a thorough investigation so we can compare the results with Bush et al on WMD, etc, lies, and with Reagan's Iran/Contra. Let's include a look at Congress' decreases in State Dept. funding for security of diplomats. Our yodeler continues to attempt to inflate a ballon with a hole in it.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag:

There is no comparison between the Libya scandal and Iraq.

The intelligence indicated that Iraq had active WMD programs and a large stockpile of chemical weapons.

We found active chemical, biological and nuclear programs as well as 500+ sarin and mustard gas shells, but not the larger stockpiles we thought Iraq possessed.

If Saddam is to be believed, Iraq fed us disinformation exaggerating their weapons to deter an invasion.

If Mossad is to be believed, Saddam moved most of his stockpile to Syria.

At no point did the intelligence community fabricate information as the Obama administration fabricated the demonstration story.
 

Our yodeler still has his head up the derrieres of Bush/Cheney. Slam dunk Cheney. Mushroom cloud Rice. Aluminum tubes not involved with WMDs and the like. Photos with wrong information. What was that intelligence that Bush et al relied upon? Curveball? Even Powell realized he had been fed a bunch of crapola by Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rummy and the rest of the neocons. Powell accepted that he was snookered.

And our yodeler ignores the results of the Bush et al lies and the resulting hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries, maiming, dislocations, etc, resulting from the invasion of Iraq based on lies. No deaths resulted from any alleged cover up by the Obama Administration.
 

"Which part of the demonstration story has no basis in either the reported intelligence or fact do have difficulty understanding?"

It's hard to know what happens in a hot spot half way around the world. Protests were occuring all over the Arab world, and they were at times coupled with attacks on our embassies. Interestingly, while many stories say there was no protest at the Benghazi consulate in question they don't say there were no protests anywhere in Benghazi that day (it would be odd if there were not).

So it's not surprising that the administration might be confused. And what seems to collaborate this is that many Libyans seemed confused as to what happened, and many independent news agencies (some of them not US-based) were likewise confused. And to top it all off, the intelligence community itself has said they were confused as well!

Basically all you have going for your story is: administration officials talked about an attack connected to a protest, then they said it was an attack sans protest, and they had reports to suggest it was an attack. But as we've seen everyone (administration, Libyans, news agencies) seemed confused about that.

"Now it's certainly true that you obviously and desperately want there to be a crime, conspiracy and cover-up here and therefore no amount of facts or argumentation will shake you from that belief."

The amazing thing is he went through this process before the election. He knew Obama's policies were failures; he knew the demographics were in Romney's favor; he wanted it all to be true, and so he produced an 'analysis' of the facts that anyone watching elections for years would have known to be skeptical of, and he was flat wrong. It sounds like he did this before with McCain from comments poste here...And yet here he is again letting wish replace thought...

"There is no comparison between the Libya scandal and Iraq."

Yes, only the latter debacle cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

"The intelligence indicated that Iraq had active WMD programs and a large stockpile of chemical weapons"

This is a rewrite of history. Administration officials sold the war on the possibility of Saddam developing NUCLEAR weapons (the 'mushroom cloud' was not a sarin gas cloud). After thousands dead and billions spent we found WWI era mustard gas and such. Bush himself admitted it did not turn out as he thought.

You talk of this administration 'rewriting' intelligence. Official accounts post-Iraq showed Feifth, Perle and Wolfowitz were rewriting and selectively presenting CIA and other agency intelligence in ways that were misleading, at best.
 

For a reality check, our yodeler should wade through Maureen Dowd's NYTimes column today "A Lost Civilization" to understand he is part of that loss. DeMint is on a pillow on a bed that will remain empty for some time. Alas, our yodeler lacks a golden parachute to come to earth in his Mile High State (of mind)..
 

BD: "Which part of the demonstration story has no basis in either the reported intelligence or fact do have difficulty understanding?"

Mr. W: It's hard to know what happens in a hot spot half way around the world."


Spare me. It was on live feed video, which CIA has already shown the congressional intel committees.

The only real question from the video is why DoD did not use it to direct a ready reaction force and armed drones.

BD: The intelligence indicated that Iraq had active WMD programs and a large stockpile of chemical weapons

Mr. W: This is a rewrite of history.Administration officials sold the war on the possibility of Saddam developing NUCLEAR weapons.


What the administration emphasized in its arguments for war does not change the intelligence.

As an aside, in an absolutely fascinating development a few years back, DoD started posting online the treasure trove of Iraqi intelligence documents captured during the war. DoD did not appear to be vetting these documents and instead was seeking public assistance translating this mass. These documents laid out Saddam's alliance with al Qaeda and ongoing WMD programs with the Russians and Germans. When a translator informed DoD that it had published Iraqi plans to produce a nuclear weapon, the website shut down.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/03/world/middleeast/03documents.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&

https://thecitizenpamphleteer.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/partners-in-the-business-of-terror-saddam-and-al-qaeda/

Mr. W: You talk of this administration 'rewriting' intelligence. Official accounts post-Iraq showed Feifth, Perle and Wolfowitz were rewriting and selectively presenting CIA and other agency intelligence in ways that were misleading, at best.

That is incorrect.

The Bush administration produced multiple views of the meaning of the same intelligence. Most of these were leaked, providing for a rather vigorous prewar debate.

Feifth wrote a book detailing the hundreds of intelligence sources which formed the basis for the interpretations of his faction.

The Dem Senate's post war investigation of the Bush administration representations of the intelligence found that they were generally correct. https://thecitizenpamphleteer.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/senate-dems-confirm-that-dem-claim-that-bush-lied-and-people-died-was-a-lie/
 

Bart

Mr. W: Official accounts post-Iraq showed Feifth, Perle and Wolfowitz were rewriting and selectively presenting CIA and other agency intelligence in ways that were misleading, at best.

BD: That is incorrect.

The 2007 Inspector General report concluded that the Office of Special Plans and their counterpart "did not show the variance with the consensus of the Intelligence community." This is fancy talk for ignoring, omitting, or spinning evidence and conclusions counter to their findings they gave to officials.

http://www.npr.org/documents/2007/feb/dod_iog_iraq_summary.pdf

The Senate report you reference was even more critical in that vein.

http://intelligence.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=298775

Heck, even the GOP led 2004 report concluded:

"Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Report_of_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraq#General_conclusions_on_intelligence_relating_to_Iraq.27s_WMD_and_ties_to_terrorism

Your story about the documents made public actually serves to bolster the idea that you are being less than careful before leaping to conclusions you want to reach. From the story you link to:

"Some intelligence officials feared that individual documents, translated and interpreted by amateurs, would be used out of context to second-guess the intelligence agencies’ view that Mr. Hussein did not have unconventional weapons or substantive ties to Al Qaeda. Reviewing the documents for release would add an unnecessary burden on busy intelligence analysts, they argued.

On March 16, after the documents’ release was approved, Mr. Negroponte’s office issued a terse public announcement including a disclaimer that remained on the Web site: “The U.S. government has made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy of the information contained therein, or the quality of any translations, when available."

So the validity, authenticity, accuracy, meaning and context of the documents cannot guaranteed, but they should be the leaping off point for major conclusions? Sound like your reliance on certain polls and models that led to a major conclusion you made recently that turned out spectacularly wrong...
 

Mr. W: "The 2007 Inspector General report concluded that the Office of Special Plans and their counterpart "did not show the variance with the consensus of the Intelligence community." This is fancy talk for ignoring, omitting, or spinning evidence and conclusions counter to their findings they gave to officials."

No, it is bureaucratese for OSP had a different interpretation from CIA of the same intelligence. The intelligence itself was never changed.

Remember, there is a difference between facts and interpreting what the facts mean.

For example, there was a spirited argument concerning whether an Iraqi vehicle (fact) could be used as a biological warfare lab (interpretation of the capabilities of the factual vehicle).

What team Obama did in Libya was analogous to changing the vehicle to fictional mosque to mislead the public as to the nature of the facility.
 

I am at a sports bar in Florida with a beer watching football and blogging during commercials.

My kinda vacation.
 

Our yodeler's:

"Remember, there is a difference between facts and interpreting what the facts mean."

is, in his personal situation, incomplete, in that he makes crapola up.
 

"No, it is bureaucratese for OSP had a different interpretation from CIA of the same intelligence"

Not at all. Even a cursory read of the report informs that they mean ignoring when analyzing, and omitting when presenting, evidence, context and analysis that would undercut the view they were pushing. Things like presenting Curveball's assertions without noting the many sources of his unreliability; presenting information as supporting an 'mature' and 'symbiotic' relationship between the Hussein government and Al-qaida while leaving out the doubting conclusions of intelligence agencies on that information and the evidence on which those conclusions were based; etc.

In many ways the Iraq and Libya situation seem very similar. In both cases administration officials gave statements which were later found to be inconsistent with known intelligence (remember Bush's '16 words'?), but which they and intelligence agencies said had been given to them by the agencies.

But in another way they are not comparable. In Libya something happened and at most the administration arrived at what happened in a few weeks, and no negative actions seemed to flow from any inconclusive or incorrect initial assessments. With Iraq known intelligence was ignored, selectively presented, etc., in a months long process (in some cases it took years to fix!), was found to be wrong, and an invasion rested on it.

You know, in a way you were right at first; they are not that comparable at all.
 

"...and no negative actions seemed to flow from any inconclusive or incorrect initial assessments."

Apart from the reelection of a president who lies almost pathologically to the people, I suppose not.

This regime's international cred was shot back in 2009.
 

This regime's international cred was shot back in 2009.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 5:34 PM


lol

When do you think your "cred": was shot?
 

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I certainly feel the war on terrorism will have no end until we address some of the issues that make recruiting terrorists so easy.

http://garylanta.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/mali-and-war-on-terrorism.html
 

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Not at all. Even a cursory read of the report informs that they mean ignoring when analyzing, and omitting when presenting, evidence, context and analysis that would undercut the view they were pushing. Things like presenting Curveball's assertions without noting the many sources of his unreliability; presenting information as supporting an 'mature' and 'symbiotic' relationship between the Hussein government and Al-qaida while leaving out the doubting conclusions of intelligence agencies on that information and the evidence on which those conclusions were based; etc.英雄联盟代练价格 league of legends boosting  Buy Fifa 15 Coins  LOL boosting

 

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