• dohbama
    The 19 hijackers were representing misguided fundamentalist….. How can you blame the actions on 1.6 billion Muslims?
    In your hypothetical a group of radical Catholics blowing up an abortion clinic would not represent the Catholic Church and I would not owe an apology for their actions.
    In a more realistic scenario, I blamed the Catholic Church for protecting the priests accused of child molestation.

    December 19, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

  • If the terrorist that flew planes into the World Trace Center and Pentagon were not representing Islam and jihad what religion did they represent? And Muslims lump themselves into that pile when they do not speak out against the radical faction of that religion. I'm not sure but I belive you have written that you are Catholic. If a group of radical Catholics started blowing up abortion clinics I'm sure you would speak out against them. 

    December 18, 2008 at 7:14 p.m.

  • Rollinstone
    Instead of wild exaggerations, why can’t you see that Iraq was a deterrent to Iran prior our invasion? Iran is an enemy to the Taliban so they helped in the Afghanistan invasion. We removed that natural barrier when we invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein would have made sure Iran didn't acquire a nuclear weapon or materials. As Colin Powell said “Iraq is in a box” prior to the invasion.
    Dick Cheney told Rush Limbaugh (mockingly) that closing Gitmo would not be an easy task…Obama and Gates know that… Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the barriers would not be difficult to overcome…..
    The terrorist that bombed out buildings were not representing Islam and it's hurtful to our cause when those on the right continue to lump all Muslims in one pile.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:58 p.m.

  • I know what the presidential powers are in the “Wars Powers Act” and the United States Constitution so I don't will hide behind what you perceive to be a conspirator left-wing media. Some of Bush's actions are illegal as defined in the Constitution and after Obama is sworn in many whistleblowers will go to the Hill to testify.
    George W. Bush is the worst president in that country's history and the Iraq war was the worst foreign policy blunder in our history. I don’t mince words.
    That's one thing right wingers don't seem to understand, it's all about slogans and talking points. Fighting Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is just not about the United States. Other countries (our allies) had been attacked because we were diverted to Iraq instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan.
    I read the book “State of Denial”, Fiasco, Hubris, the 1% Doctrine, 9/11 Commission Report, Phase II of Senate Intelligence Committee Report are just a few I can remember off hand.
    BTW if over 62% of the American people believe we shouldn't never invaded , that number encompasses Republicans, conservatives, liberals, independents, and Democrats.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:39 p.m.

  • Yeah your right Mike, we have some pretty intolerant and violent religions in this country. Just the other day I saw some young Mormon missionaries riding their bikes carrying back packs I’m sure were loaded with explosives. And I’m just waiting for one of those Southern Baptists to fly a plane into a building.

    And of course your right, Iran would never have tried to build the bomb if we had not invaded Iraq and for that matter the Taliban would have continued to lay low - except we went and invaded Iraq, darn it anyway.

    Mr. Obama has pledged to close the prison, but aides say it is easier said than done. The president-elect will have to make decisions on issues such as the fate of prisoners who have been approved for release, but whom no other country is willing to accept.
    More than a dozen Uighurs, Chinese Muslims who were captured near the Afghan border, have been cleared of terrorism charges but remain locked up at Guantanamo because they face persecution in China and no country will accept them. A federal judge's order to free them in the U.S. is on hold while the Bush administration appeals.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:38 p.m.

  • The Presidents power during a time of war or iminent danger in almost unrestrained.  Bush's actions are not so mush different than that of previous leaders in the same situation.  FDR imprissoned Japanese imigrants during WWII, Lincon suspended habius corpus and restricted the press from publishing anti union articles (Thats would be the  first ammendment).  What kills me is that the liberal media acts like its all new to the system and what Bush is doing is "illegal".  The bottom line is Bush is responsible for our safety as a country, and for us to have not gotten attacked since 9/11 means he is doing a pretty good job.  If wire taps, or waterboarding is what it takes then bring it on.
    As for your comment about the deleted phrases in the state of the union, That was the 1% of uncertanty that I was talking about.  The Africa reports became uncreadable shortly before the SOTU Adress.  Tenet and his staff had not had the oportunity to look over the speach.  So I have read (State of Denial, Bob Woodard) 
    That report states in the last sentance,  "unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials". 

    December 18, 2008 at 1:58 p.m.

  • Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms

    U.S. investigators hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have found no evidence that such material was moved to Syria for safekeeping before the war, according to a final report of the investigation released yesterday.
    Although Syria helped Iraq evade U.N.-imposed sanctions by shipping military and other products across its borders, the investigators "found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD." Because of the insular nature of Saddam Hussein's government, however, the investigators were "unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials."

    Free E-mail Newsletters

    Today's Headlines & Columnists
    See a Sample  |  Sign Up Now
    Breaking News Alerts
    See a Sample  |  Sign Up Now

    By Dana Priest
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, April 26, 2005; Page A01

    December 18, 2008 at 12:14 p.m.

  • George Tenet was a pitiful yes-man, who also had the White House staff delete portion of the State of the Union speech where the president said that Iraq had purchased yellowcake from Africa. That “slam dunk” statement has never been proven because Tenet cannot recall saying that. The CIA analysts have always admitted that evidence to the contrary was always available.
    You seem to dismiss the fact that Vice President Cheney said we would have gone into Iraq with or without signs of WMD. This is the premise of my blog. The Constitution forbids torture, the vice President is now admitting we tortured. He goes back to the old Nixonian phrase “if the president does it, then its legal.” That makes us a monarchy or dictatorship.
    You seem to want to elevate your status while degrading mine in trying to prove your point, which has been dismissed by other CIA analyst and the FBI. I will admit I do not know a thing about interrogation; so I deferred to the experts.

    Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms

    By Dana Priest
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, April 26, 2005; Page A01

    U.S. investigators hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have found no evidence that such material was moved to Syria for safekeeping before the war, according to a final report of the investigation released yesterday.
    Although Syria helped Iraq evade U.N.-imposed sanctions by shipping military and other products across its borders, the investigators "found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD." Because of the insular nature of Saddam Hussein's government, however, the investigators were "unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials."

    December 18, 2008 at 12:10 p.m.

  • About the CIA and their thought on weather or not Iraq had WMDs, Tenet (Head of CIA) gave information to the pres and his cabinet that stated they were 99% sure they were there.  They did say that they weren't 100% sure but that all evidence (including video footage of the trucks leaving out the back gate) pointed to WMDs in Iraq.  Now, if you are saying that it is a bad call to do what our leaders did and go after those supposed weapons, than God help us if your ever in charge of the safety and wellbeing of lives.
     I have been directly responsible of fellow lives.  As a leader of Marines in Iraq while conducting combat missions, I can tell you that tough interrogation tacticts save lives.  That is a Fact, no opinion there.  Yes, all information that is collected while slapping somebody around is not 100% reliable.  But would if it was 60% or even 30%.  Wouldn't it be worth it to save lives.  And so what if somebodies feelings get hurt or they get a broken nose, some water splashed in their face, or a cracked rib,  their bodies will heal.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:56 a.m.

  • Twist words and information? Is it your way to say I am lying or misinformed?
    Winning? That's an interesting point that the right wing keeps putting out without a clear definition of winning….. “Cut and run” is a talking point, nothing else. The fact that Iran is stronger, Al Qaeda is multiplying in Pakistan, and the Taliban has joined them, and terrorist attacks around the world have escalated makes winning in Iraq a moot point. The best we can hope for is a more stable Iraq for now. IMO ,generations of Shiite and Sunni conflicts will again resurface when we leave. All we have done is turn the country over to the 80% Shiite, who will align themselves with Iran.
    Intolerant religion is not for us to decide, we have that in our country. We had a mission to bring those that attacked us on 9/11, to justice; we abandon that with a detour to Iraq… Our destiny in Iraq has been laid out for us by the Iraqi parliament.
    Talk about distortions, I have never heard any talk of letting the detainee loose in the United States .We have secure prisons and a good criminal justice system. Of the 500 or more detainees, we know that 17 of them are innocent, several still have to have a military tribunal, but a lot of them should never have been sent to Guantánamo Bay. Well we deport individuals to their country of origin, we don't really care where they want them or not. That's an excuse. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is working on closing down Guantánamo Bay.
    The detainee said the actions at Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghaib were great recruiting tools…. I am not interested in individual opinions on interrogation methods; I just want methods that work.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:51 a.m.

  • Mike, you have an uncanny ability to twist words and information.  I am not talking about how or why we got into the war.  My point is we are in it and we need to try and win it.  Given that fact what is the alternative?  More specifically what is your alternative. 
    We are not going to cut and run, I will bet Obama will not do that.  This is a tough war we are in.  We are dealing with an intolerant religion that is plagued with extremists, all over the world.   And by the way the people we have in Guantánamo are killers.  And their country's of orgin do not want them back - go figure.  So what is being discussed, proposed, is to let them loose in this country - gosh just what we need !  The thought that we may have roughed up some of these killers really keeps me up at night.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:06 a.m.

  • Rollingstone
    How can you give an alternative to someone who will call it useless information?
    Like I said, money can be recouped; the lives and injuries cannot….. Accountability is what I'm trying to emphasize…. Conservative Republicans used to be great stewards of the purse strings. To hand out 363 tons ($12 billion) without one congressional hearing and just one GAO audit is unbelievable.
    It we are going to war (because we have no alternative) we should all sacrifice and impose a war tax and a draft. We cannot just borrow a trillion dollars for defense contractors and just say no to domestic spending. Oversight and accountability (which was not done) would make sure our money was used wisely.
    Entitlements and defense spending do balloon the deficits, but we are not going to gut either expenditure out of our budget.

    December 18, 2008 at 10 a.m.

  • Cspitt
    I agree that every individual veteran does not carry the same weight across the board. Reporters were embedded with the troops on missions which you mention and they lived to write books, many of which I have read. I did not mean to imply that everything we did in Iraq was on the negative side.
    As far as the CIA saying that that WMD was 99% accurate is not believable because the previous administration pulled out all the CIA personnel out of Iraq because they were not a viable threat. Our satellite photos prior to the invasion did not see any movements of material into Syria; Colin Powell's testimony to the UN was based on a tortured detainee and later proved to be lies. Former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix did not find WMD. The CIA sent the sister the main nuclear scientist to Iraq to check on the status of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. The CIA reported that Iraq disbanded their program in 1991. This evidence was presented to the administration but they chose to dismiss it. You might want to look at the conclusion the Senate Intelligence Committee came to when they investigated the hype given to congress as a reason to go to war .Despite all this vice President Cheney told ABC news that an invasion of Iraq was going to happen, WMD or not.
    I am not that naïve to think that we did not torture in our previous wars. The Bush administration gave orders (unconstitutional) to torture the detainees but when they were caught at it; (incompetence) let the lower-ranked personnel take the fall. In the previous wars we tortured and destroy the evidence not try to disband the Geneva Convention in order to cover their tracks. The CIA did not try demand immunity from prosecution or shut down their operation.
    I am aligned with Colin Powell, John McCain, and others that want to shut down Guantánamo Bay because we cannot serve justice to tortured detainees. Testimony from a tortured detainee is inadmissible and makes a mockery of our justice system.
    I don't pretend to be an expert on interrogation methods but when FBI Director Robert Mueller says torture does not produce credible evidence; I tend to agree.
    Its people like me that will ultimately end this country is a brash statement, especially after the actions of George W. Bush.

    Thanks for the kind words OMG1

    December 18, 2008 at 9:40 a.m.

  • Well thought out, well written and as far as I can tell, pretty d**ned accurate. 

    December 17, 2008 at 9:20 p.m.

  • To your comment on the veterans.  The individual veteran experience does not carry an equal weight across the board.  I can personally assure you that about 50 percent of the Iraq veterans either never left their nice cozy bases or traveled from one resort base to another.  Now I am not belittling their service.  God bless them all for signing on the dotted line during a time of war and serving their country, but their role in the big show was a supporting one.  With that being said, a supply clerk who spent 13 months in a resort type camp doesn't carry near the same clout than that of a Marine grunt who walked the streets, knocked down doors, and gathered Intel from regular sources out in zone.  We made friends with some informants and we shook it out of others.
    As for your opinion that we went in under wrong conditions.  How is it that if the CIA gives a 99% likely to have WMDs not give us enough reason to go in.  The CIA had video footage of UN officials coming in one gate and Iraqis loading up trucks and driving out the back gate. (that truck was followed into Syria and was never found)  My opinion (a rarely mentioned one), is that WMD or material for producing them, were there.  They just snuk them across their open border with Syria before we could get to them.  I never understood why nobody ever covered this angle.  Saddam had extreme secrecy among his closest followers, and could easily have had this happen.
    Again on the torture issue, how can you think for a second that no form of torture is credible?  Are we to just ask the terrorist nicely and if they say no or nothing at all, we then just let them go?  As bad as the pictures in your head are of Guantanamo and US interrogations are, just think for a second about the US soldiers and contractors who have been taken captive.  What do you think happens to them?  Is it even on the same scale?  Can you even call getting someones head wet torture when you see video of Iraqis disemboweling civilians, or cutting their heads off with a dull knife.  It is people who think like you who will ultimately end this country. 

    December 17, 2008 at 8:49 p.m.

  • The Iraq war is expensive both in lives and treasure, but given we are at war, there and elsewhere what is the alternative?  Believe me no one likes war, I hate it.  But again what's our/your alternative and please don't tell me we should have never gone to war that is useless information. 
    The money we are spending there now we have to spend until we can safely pull out with some assurance we won't have to quickly go back.  The money for other social programs we don't have to spend, in fact we can't spend.  The projected deficits under current entitlements is staggering.  These projections were made before the economy entered this severe recession.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:56 p.m.

  • Since this blog started out as a lack of accountability by this administration and drifted off to name-calling and I have admitted the Democrats and liberals were not innocent in the prime lending fiasco…. Right-wingers like to lay that housing lending downfall on the poor, minorities, and Democrats without addressing credit default swaps and manipulation by Wall Street.
    I just wish that the culprits of the Iraq War would just go away and quit trying to preserve their legacy with lies…. I know they will not be punished but I wish the media (not Fox) would quit interviewing them.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:41 p.m.

  • And liberals wanted "affordable housing" or did you intentionally forget that - ho ho ho.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

  • I always wondered why God didn't tell him the outcome.....
    We spend $343 million a day in Iraq and conservatives say we cannot afford to insure 47 million of our citizens.
    Conservatives cry about unemployment insurance,minimum wage,equal rights for equal pay for women, but always want to cut the corporate tax rates and capital gains tax....Merry Christmas..ho-ho-ho.
    The Fed is already @ 0% and the rich still want tax cuts....And they wonder why they get wiped out(except in the south)

    December 17, 2008 at 5:25 p.m.

  • God told Bush to go to war. So he has a perfect out.  He can blame God.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:14 p.m.

  • Conservatives can no longer lecture on monetary policies…. As long as their donors like Halliburton, Blackwater, and KBR got their share, the message was “stay the course.”
    Conservatives have to be shown that they don't care about the deficit and the debt when it comes to their wants. How many spending vetoes did this president issue? It became a party of borrow and spend.
    So you can label all you want, but this country will no longer be fooled.
    Rollinstone & cspitt make up that 25% who still believe in this war and President
    Talk about unique.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:05 p.m.

  • Sorry, if I sounded negative on the war, I'm not.  My point was whenever liberals want to spend more money they bring up the Iraq War and use it as an excuse, a club, to get more funding for their liberal agenda. 

    December 17, 2008 at 4:52 p.m.

  • Cspitt says Saddam murdered 500,000 of his own people but that was not the reasons given for this war of choice because we knew this before the first Iraq war..The U. S. sided with him against Iran(1980-88).….. Warlords in Africa have butchered more than that, yet we did not invade them.
    You were not the only soldier to see and report incidents in Iraq, so despite the media ;your account is only one of many who disagree with you…Proberly over 300,000 U. S. troops have gone and come back from Iraq telling a different story so the “I have the only answer” won’t fly.
    I know several veterans that have been to Iraq… It is not a unique thing (talking to a veteran).
    Torturing prisoners is against the Constitution. Water boarding falls in that category….. There are six detainees that we cannot try as war criminals because we tortured them…The FBI are on record saying torture does not produce good Intel…. It was a tortured detainee that told us Saddam had WMD….He later said he lied in order to get them to stop.

    December 17, 2008 at 4:45 p.m.

  • I don't get what you bleeding hearts don't get about the war in Iraq.  You say, "Iraq is no better off", but Saddam Hussein murdered over 500,000 of his own people.  I saw with my own two eyes the remnants of mass grave sites outside of Hilla filled with 10s of thousands of bodies.  Men, women and children all there, killed for no reason.  This mans place in history alongside Hitler and Stalin.  Every Iraq civilian I talked to could tell you a story of themselves, a friend, or a close relative who had been killed, tortured (real torture, not water boarding or sleep deprivation), or dismembered by Saddam or a member of his party. 
     How freaking dare you liberals for saying this whole mess is for nothing.  We were greeted as liberators when we marched up to Baghdad and that is a FACT.  What happened after that was a mistake in strategy that cost us their hearts and minds.  But I don't blame you for your Ignorance, every main stream media outlet out there is calling the war a screw up (even Fox),and its easier to just fall in line and get your news and public view from John Stewart and other late night comedians then to actually look up the information for yourself, or sit down and talk to a veteran of the war for a while. 
    As for your view on torture, the Japanese killed people during the Bataan Death March.  Look it up on Google and read a little.  Discover what is the difference in the methods of torture you are discussing.  The Japanese murdered civilians and GIs with samurai swords, decapitating them randomly as they walked by.  The US uses water boarding and sleep deprivation.  Maybe even a little bit of slapping them around.  But at the end of the day there is NO PERMANENT DAMAGE done to them. 

    December 17, 2008 at 4:13 p.m.

  • Hello Rollinstone
    Money can always be recouped, the 4000 lives and over 30,000 injured cannot.
    Accountability can bring closure to the Iraq war fiasco and can be a deterrent against another foreign-policy blunder.

    December 17, 2008 at 3:06 p.m.

  • The Iraq War has maybe one one good point, it can always be used as an excuse to spend more money on something else.

    December 17, 2008 at 2:57 p.m.