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Thread: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Ah... when Clinton declared that Saddam's regime posed a nuclear, biological and chemical threat, he was basing his actions on solid and accurate intelligence. When Bush declared that Saddam's regime posed a nuclear, biological and chemical threat, he was lying. Got it.

    I'd say they were both lying. The difference being that Clinton didn't act on his lie.

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    In the upcoming Newsweek issue, May 18, another former Bush aid, Richard N. Haas, shines a little more light on how open to diplomacy the Bush administration truly was (NOT!) and just how early Bush had made up his mind to invade an innocent country. All contrary to Bush's public comments!
    Did we invade the sheep of Kanuckistan?
    Didn't think so?

    Haiti?
    Er, no. Clinton did that.
    Hmmm. The Balkans? No. Clinton again.

    All those dead Skinnies?
    Clinton.

    Rwanda?
    Didn't do anything there.
    800,000 dead.


    Iraq?
    What did Maddie Albright say about all those dead children?
    500,000 innocent kids?
    MA: Worth the cost".

    That is some combination of circumstances on The Clintons watch.
    Millions of dead, and nobody freed.

    What "innocent country" did Bush invade?

    North Korea is still there.

    Please help fill the gaps of the last 8 years.
    I missed something.

    .
    Last edited by zimmer; 05-06-09 at 06:13 PM.
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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
    Please help fill the gaps of the last 8 years.
    I missed something.
    Maybe your next trip should be to Crawford, Texas. There is a little man there who is probably the only person on the planet who can explain to you what happened during the last eight years in a manner that you are able to comprehend.
    Thank You Barack Obama for Restoring Honor To The Presidency.
    President Obama will rank as one of our greatest presidents!

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
    Did we invade the sheep of Kanuckistan?
    Didn't think so?


    The following comparisons you have made are completely inappropriate and you will soon see why. The military of Iraq was devastated in the first Gulf War and never really recovered to it's former strength. There was no question among military experts that Iraq was not an international or regional military threat. At the time of the invasion Iraqi forces were fully contained within their borders and other than being oppressive towards the population there was no immediate threat of any kind. There was no evidence of WMD's being reported. Without a doubt Saddam was not fully cooperating, but towards the end his government was making rapid and meaningful concessions. U.N. inspectors were reporting that they were making up for lost time, that they needed more time, that no evidence had yet been found, but they did not believe an invasion was necessary at this point.

    Haiti?
    Er, no. Clinton did that.
    The operation in Haiti was to restore the democratically elected president after a bloody coup. Which resulted in a major humanitarian crisis, the bulk of which the U.S. was faced with absorbing. That was a very immediate crisis which was occurring in our backyard. We restored order, let a multinational professional police organization take over, and we pulled out. Trivia: How many U.S. soldiers lost their lives? How many Haitian civilians died as a result of U.S. military action? How much infrastructure was destroyed by U.S. action?

    Hmmm. The Balkans? No. Clinton again.
    Do you know anything at all about our involvement in the Balkans? You're making a pretty ridiculous comparison here if you think that was anything even remotely similar to the invasion of Iraq. The Balkans were in the throes of a raging civil war that was costing thousands of civilian casualties, and in the process of destabilizing the entire region. This was a war already in progress in which large scale massacres of innocents were taking place. We responded with air strikes (Operation Deliberate Force). It was after the Dayton Peace Agreements that U.S. ground forces participated in a U.N. peace keeping operation (IFOR/SFOR). This was nothing like Iraq.

    Would you like to try again?

    All those dead Skinnies?
    Clinton.
    Again, this was in incident of in progress civil war that was creating a massive humanitarian crisis. Innocents were literally starving to death on the streets as the result of a failed state being raped by rival warlords. This was a U.N. operation that was not aimed at regime change but at protecting innocent people and the U.N. aid shipments that were being stolen. Again the nature and the scale of this operation isn't even remotely comparable to Iraq. That you are even attempting this shows you have no interest in an intelligent discourse on this matter.

    Rwanda?
    Didn't do anything there.
    800,000 dead.
    Then why bring it up?

    Iraq?
    What did Maddie Albright say about all those dead children?
    500,000 innocent kids?
    MA: Worth the cost".
    So wait a minute. You will condemn Clinton for presiding over sanctions against Iraq that were aimed at the government, which ended up hurting the populace as the government funneled the majority of international aid to itself instead of it's people...yet you will support Bush decision to invade that same nation and utterly destroy it's infrastructure and unleash a horribl insurgency that consumed tens of thousands of lives and scores more injuries. So Clinton is the bad guy due to the fact that Saddam horded international aid but Bush gets a pass for attacking a nation that was basically on it's knees militarily and no threat to anyone but itself. Nice logic.

    That is some combination of circumstances on The Clintons watch.
    Millions of dead, and nobody freed.
    And that is an incredibly dishonest or at least completely ignorant series of statements you just made.

    What "innocent country" did Bush invade?
    He invaded the country of Iraq with out necessity. It was a war of choice.

    North Korea is still there.
    Yeah, what was Bush doing with North Korea? A known state sponsor of terrorism, a known rogue state pursuing nuclear weapons actively. Sanctions I believe wasn't it? Like Clinton?

    Please help fill the gaps of the last 8 years.
    I missed something.
    You apparently missed a whole lot.
    Last edited by Lerxst; 05-06-09 at 11:31 PM.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
    I always love how quickly the pro-Bush/anti-Dem crowd rushes to dismiss a source before they actually read what the source has to say. Books are the devil!!!! And anyone who worked for Bush then later criticized him is a publicity whoring liar!!!!

    I remember someone on here trying to tell me that Richard Clarke was a disgruntled, washed up hack. That was their defense to his allegations. He cited dates, other witnesses, the whole shooting match. Yet he was a nobody, a turncoat, looking only to make a fortune. They never read his book, nor could they actually cite anything in his background. All they knew was he was a Bush backstabber and that was enough.

    Rubes.
    Richard Clarke:

    Tell me the story about the post-Gulf War discovery and the vice president --

    Richard Clarke: During the course of the first Gulf War, one of the things I did at the request of the secretary of state [James Baker] was to plan for what became the U.N. Special Commission that would go into Iraq after the war and look for weapons of mass destruction. In the first few months of that commission, it was filled with American and British special forces and intelligence officers dressed up in civilian clothes and carrying the U.N. flag.

    One of the early operations we planned was a raid on what was the Agricultural Ministry but we had reason to believe was actually something else. And it was a surprise. We went there, broke down doors, blew off locks, got into the sanctum sanctorum. The Iraqis immediately reacted, surrounded the facility and prevented the U.N. inspectors from getting out.

    We thought that might happen, too, so we had given them satellite telephones. They translated the nuclear reports on site into English from the Arabic and read them to us over the satellite telephones. My secretary stayed up all night transcribing these reports from Baghdad. What they said, very clearly, was there was a massive nuclear weapons development program that was probably nine to 18 months away from having its first nuclear weapons detonation and that CIA had totally missed it; we had bombed everything we could bomb in Iraq, but missed an enormous nuclear weapons development facility. Didn't know it was there; never dropped one bomb on it.

    We prepared this report so that when the secretary of defense [Cheney] and the secretary of state arrived in the morning, it was on their desk. I know that Dick Cheney that morning looked at that report and said, "Here's what the Iraqis themselves are saying: that there's this huge facility that was never hit during the war; that they were very close to making a nuclear bomb, and CIA didn't know it." I'm sure he said to himself, "I can never trust CIA again to tell me when a country is about to make a nuclear bomb."

    So he's probably carrying that bone in his throat for eight years out of government.

    RC: There's no doubt that the Dick Cheney who comes back into office nine years later has that as one of the things burnt into his memory: that Iraq wants a nuclear weapon; Iraq was that close to getting a nuclear weapon; and CIA hadn't a clue.
    FRONTLINE: the dark side: interviews: richard clarke | PBS

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkad View Post
    Dick Cheney comes back into office NINE YEARS LATER. I don't give two ****s if Dick Cheney had a bad taste in his mouth from nine years ago. His judgement was crap and that bad tasted doesn't exonerate him. It was his duty, and that of the rest of our nations leadership, to deal with the evidence at hand in 2003. At the time they were deciding to invade Iraq, not a bunch of holdover feelings from nine years ago. And there was no evidence of WMD's. They knew this.

    They sent our sons and daughters to war, we killed Iraqi sons and daughters. And for what? Nothing. The entire premise of the war was challenged before the first shot was fired due to a lack of supporting evidence, and guess what...Richard Clarke and the rest were vindicated. No WMD's.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Lerxst: Why not spell it out for me... save me a trip to Crawford? Or is it that you are wholly incompetent to make the case against Bush and hiding behind hollow words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
    ... And there was no evidence of WMD's. They knew this.

    They sent our sons and daughters to war, we killed Iraqi sons and daughters. And for what? Nothing. The entire premise of the war was challenged before the first shot was fired due to a lack of supporting evidence, and guess what...Richard Clarke and the rest were vindicated. No WMD's.
    This isn't the best of the testimony, but it'll do in a pinch... because I've gotta run.
    David Kay's testimony under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee blows your hollow BS out of the water.
    His entire testimony is rife with reasons it was the right thing to do.

    Remember "Connect the dots"? Guess not.
    That was only one tactic in the Libs perverted little game of CYA for 30 years of hostility to our military and intel services.

    Read, learn, grow.
    CRG: Dr David Kay's Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee
    WARNER: ... As you recently stated, Dr. Kay -- and I quote you -- "It was reasonable to conclude that Iraq posed an imminent threat. What we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war," end quote.

    WARNER: Further, you said on NBC's "Today Show" on Tuesday that it was, quote, "absolutely prudent for the U.S. to go to war."

    KAY: We're also in a period in which we've had intelligence surprises in the proliferation area that go the other way. The case of Iran, a nuclear program that the Iranians admit was 18 years on, that we underestimated. And, in fact, we didn't discover it. It was discovered by a group of Iranian dissidents outside the country who pointed the international community at the location.

    The Libyan program recently discovered was far more extensive than was assessed prior to that.

    There's a long record here of being wrong. There's a good reason for it. There are probably multiple reasons. Certainly proliferation is a hard thing to track, particularly in countries that deny easy and free access and don't have free and open societies.

    In my judgment, based on the work that has been done to this point of the Iraq Survey Group, and in fact, that I reported to you in October, Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities: one last chance to come clean about what it had.

    We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material.
    Last edited by zimmer; 05-07-09 at 12:56 PM.
    The Clintons are what happens...
    when you have NO MORAL COMPASS.

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
    Lerxst: Why not spell it out for me... save me a trip to Crawford? Or is it that you are wholly incompetent to make the case against Bush and hiding behind hollow words?



    This isn't the best of the testimony, but it'll do in a pinch... because I've gotta run.
    David Kay's testimony under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee blows your hollow BS out of the water.
    His entire testimony is rife with reasons it was the right thing to do.

    Remember "Connect the dots"? Guess not.
    That was only one tactic in the Libs perverted little game of CYA for 30 years of hostility to our military and intel services.

    Read, learn, grow.
    CRG: Dr David Kay's Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee
    So where in that testimony does it say that Iraq had WMD's? Where in that testimony did it detail the evidence of WMD's? Hmmm....nowhere. David Kay's testimony blew nothing out of the water. David Kay is desperately looking for a friend here because he can't avoid the fact that we got it all wrong. The testimony here is rife with indication that the case for war was built on a massive intelligence failure, that even Kay was fooled into believing they would find WMD's. If you read the whole thing what Kay is saying is that Saddam was in violation of many U.N. resolutions, but there was nothing to indicate he actually had a real WMD program and absolutely no stockpiles of WMD's. The ISG effort was very politicized and the subject of much heated debate. Just look at the tone of those interviewing Kay. You practically have the Republicans (Warner and McCain) qualifying his answers both before and after he makes his statements, and you have the Democrats asking him tough questions and trying to get him to the point. For Pete's sake you have Kay, whom you put full stock in given the nature of your post, saying "we were all wrong" and you have Warner saying "now now, didn't you say we still have work to do? don't you think you are being premature here?" To which Kay says "well yeah" and then later continues to say "in my opinion we were wrong."

    But what why did you leave so much out of that statement Zimmer? You forgot this...
    KAY: Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here.

    Senator Kennedy knows very directly. Senator Kennedy and I talked on several occasions prior to the war that my view was that the best evidence that I had seen was that Iraq, indeed, had weapons of mass destruction.

    I would also point out that many governments that chose not to support this war -- certainly, the French president, Chirac, as I recall in April of last year, referred to Iraq's possession of WMD. The German certainly -- the intelligence service believed that there were WMD.

    It turns out that we were all wrong, probably in my judgment, and that is most disturbing.
    Wow, we were all wrong. Hmmm...you're still trying to defend the decision to invade with a partial statement from a guy who resigned because the work of the ISG was compromised. And you chose to leave a key portion of the statement. Let's see some other neat points you left out.

    I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons there.

    Is it theoretically possible in a country as vast as that that they've hidden? It's theoretically possible, but we went after this not in the way of trying to find where the weapons are hidden. When you don't find them in the obvious places, you look to see: Were they produced? Were there people that produced them? Were there the inputs to the production process? And you do that and you eliminate.

    That's what I mean by unresolved ambiguity. When the ISG wraps up its work, whether it be six months or six years from now, there are still going to be people to say, "You didn't look everywhere. Isn't it possible it was hidden someplace?" And the answer has got to be, honestly, "Yes, it's possible." But you try to eliminate that by this other process.

    And when I reached the conclusion -- which I admit is partial and is purely mine -- that I think there were no large stockpiles of WMD, it's based on that process.
    Hmmm....this is great too!
    LEVIN: Dr. Kay, on the question of stockpiles you have stated, I believe, that in your opinion Iraq did not have large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in 2002. Is that correct?

    KAY: That's correct, Senator.

    LEVIN: Do you have any evidence that they had any stockpiles, large or small, in 2002?

    KAY: We simply have no evidence, Senator.

    LEVIN: You've not uncovered any evidence of small stockpiles?

    KAY: We've not uncovered any small stockpiles, that's correct.

    LEVIN: Have you uncovered any evidence that they had small stockpiles in 2002?

    KAY: We've got evidence that they certainly could have produced small amounts, but we've not discovered evidence of the stockpiles.
    Here is another nice tidbit...
    LEVIN: On the question of the vans, according to the New York Times on January 26th, you indicated that there's a consensus in the intelligence community that the trailers that were found were intended to produce hydrogen for weather balloons or possibly rocket fuel, but not for producing biological warfare agents.

    LEVIN: Was that an accurate report of your position?

    KAY: That's probably not my exact words, but roughly accurate.

    I think the consensus opinion is that when you look at those two trailers, while had capabilities in many areas, their actual intended use was not for the production of biological weapons.
    Levin just won't let up!
    LEVIN: My final question, Dr. Kay, subject to the chair perhaps commenting on my request, is this: Is it your judgment that the aluminum tubes that Iraq was trying to acquire were intended or used for a centrifuge program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons? Is that your view?

    KAY: Senator Levin, this is an area which falls into what Senator Warner referred to -- where I think it's important that the investigation continue.

    It is my judgment, based on the evidence that was collected, but there clearly can be more, that it's more than probable that those tubes were intended for use in a conventional missile program, rather than in a centrifuge program. But it's an open question still being investigated.

    LEVIN: But that is your judgment, that they were not related to uranium enrichment?

    KAY: That is my personal judgment, that they probably were not, based on evidence -- but there's still more evidence possible to gain.

    LEVIN: One short, final question, my second final question: In your judgment, had Iraq reconstituted its nuclear weapon program in the way you understand the word "reconstitute"?

    KAY: It was in the early stages of renovating the program, building new buildings. It was not a reconstituted, full-blown nuclear program.
    MCCAIN: When you answered a question from Reuters, "What happened to the stockpiles of chemical and bioweapons that everyone expected to be there?," your answer was simple: quote, "I don't think they existed."

    So what needs to be established here is that when we -- at least, I believe is your view and certainly mine -- as you just stated, America, the world and Iraq is a far better and safer place with Saddam Hussein gone from power. And the sacrifice made by American citizens, and that are serving and sacrificing today was not only worth it, but very important to the future of the Middle East and to the world. Do you share that?

    KAY: That's certainly true, Senator. I probably learned not to speak to wire reporters and even to watch out for senators who want one-word answers.
    On the intelligence breakdown...
    KAY: I am convinced that that is the important forefront of the inquiry that, quite frankly, you must undertake.

    I've got hypotheses of where I think things generically have occurred. I think we became almost addicted to the incredible amount of effort that UNSCOM and U.N. inspectors could produce on the scene and that flow of information...

    MCCAIN: Including intelligence gained by the previous administration.

    KAY: That's correct. And did not develop our own HUMINT sources there.

    Now, this really goes back, quite frankly -- the change took place if you look at it goes back to the Carter administration, when, as a result of things that had occurred in the Vietnam area, essentially our HUMINT capability was spun down and we got in the habit of relying on intelligence collected by liaison services.

    If a liaison -- an individual from another country, gets caught as a spy it doesn't make the front page of The Washington Post or New York Times, it's not politically embarrassing and, quite frankly, you don't have a dead American. So there are good reasons to do it.

    More importantly, and things that I think you've got to worry about, we have all stressed, why didn't the intelligence community connect the dots prior to 9/11? It all looks very clear in retrospect.

    Quite frankly, the most common problem you have with analysts is you do not want them to overanalyze the data. If there are only a few dots connected, maybe they don't belong connected.

    I'm convinced in this area, partly because of Iraqi behavior -- to a large extent because of Iraqi behavior -- they cheated, they lied, we knew it, UNSCOM, the U.N. had caught them -- we got in the habit of new pieces of information accreted to this overall consensus view without challenging that consensus.

    MCCAIN: Do you believe that those that provided false intelligence estimates ought to be held accountable?

    KAY: Absolutely.
    Kay's statement here came after the invasion had already taken place, after Kay admitted they went in thinking they were going to find WMD's. Richard Clarke and his team had actually examined as much intel as there was prior to the invasion and advised the Bush administration they didn't believe there were any WMD's there. That was ignored. Both the U.S. and the U.K. were guilty of making much of their case on unvetted, suspect raw intelligence and a lack of actual information...they were estimating and speculating. Kay says as much here. His defense is "hey, we were justified because we jsut didn't know for sure." That is a fundamental flaw in justifying the death sentences of people. You had better have some evidence. We had none before the invasion, we had none after the invasion.

    You blew nothing out of the water, all you did is reinforce my case that the U.S. made a huge mistake and did so based on a very bad intelligence gambit. In fact we did this knowing our intel was far from solid.

    And if you are going to take shots at me, you might figure out who you are actually addressing in your post. I didn't tell you take a trip to Crawford. But I'll gladly spell it out for you, and gladly debunk your faulty argument.

    Now, how about that other post of yours I broke down? You wanna have a go at that or was this it? Here is a hint, if you are going to address a post of mine citing a lack of evidence for justifying the war, don't produce a series of statements that back me up. All you've done is find someone who said "I think we were justified in invading based on the intel" and then says "we were all wrong."
    Last edited by Lerxst; 05-07-09 at 07:18 PM.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    All Richard N. Haas has done is re-emphasize what we all know as public knowledge:

    • That the Bush 43 Administration was keen on going to war w/Iraqi no sooner than GW Bush was in the White house.
    • That the WMD argument was trumped up.
    • That Bush 43 had little foreign relations experience - a point that was made time and time again in the 2000 Presidential debates, but nobody cared enough to listen back then.
    • That most of W's real power rested w/his cabinet members. (See Dick Chaney for details)


    And frankly, nobody's going to come out with a book that bashes the very administration they work for while they're still gainfully employed by that administration or when that administration is still in power. Talk about political suicide! So, the argument that Haas "waiting" to cash in as it were instead of speaking up back then is pure non-sense. It's absord!! Still, I don't think we should dismiss what former staffers have to say about the power players they worked for just because that power player is no longer in power. Some of the best kept secrets of former presidents didn't come out in public until they were no longer in office, i.e., FRD's poor health and that he was near death while in the White House, JFK's adultery, Nixon's tapes, and now the true nature and intent of Bush 43's foreign policy.

    Dismiss it if you will, but I find is strangely ironic that the very people who condemn Pres. Obama's foreign (and domestic) policies are so gone-ho over a president who took this country to war on a lie, pushed the UN aside except when it suited his agenda, and infringed on our right to privacy in more ways than one can shake a stick at. Yet, if Pres. Obama sneezes the U.S. and the world is suddenly thrown into chaos. Go figure...

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    Re: The Dilemma of Dissent - A former Bush aide looks back

    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
    So where in that testimony does it say that Iraq had WMD's? Where in that testimony did it detail the evidence of WMD's? Hmmm....nowhere. David Kay's testimony blew nothing out of the water. David Kay is desperately looking for a friend here because he can't avoid the fact that we got it all wrong. The testimony here is rife with indication that the case for war was built on a massive intelligence failure, that even Kay was fooled into believing they would find WMD's. If you read the whole thing what Kay is saying is that Saddam was in violation of many U.N. resolutions, but there was nothing to indicate he actually had a real WMD program and absolutely no stockpiles of WMD's. The ISG effort was very politicized and the subject of much heated debate. Just look at the tone of those interviewing Kay. You practically have the Republicans (Warner and McCain) qualifying his answers both before and after he makes his statements, and you have the Democrats asking him tough questions and trying to get him to the point. For Pete's sake you have Kay, whom you put full stock in given the nature of your post, saying "we were all wrong" and you have Warner saying "now now, didn't you say we still have work to do? don't you think you are being premature here?" To which Kay says "well yeah" and then later continues to say "in my opinion we were wrong."
    Lerxst.

    You did not read the testimony.
    I have gone through it several times after watching it... on CNNi.
    Kay admits they were wrong about WMD, but says all were wrong. But they acted on the best intel they had, and had done the right thing.
    He also notes failures in other directions as quoted above.

    He says we may have been lucky, and we could still have fallout.
    He says the regime was dangerous, volatile because it was instable. The chances of a terrorists hooking up with someone in the regime was real because of this instability.

    My few words can do scant justice to his testimony.

    In all seriousness, this document should put your ill feeling to rest if you are intellectually honest. David Kay is a serious man, an expert in his field. His answers are thoughtful and based on a thorough understanding of the history. He is a professional in every sense of the word. And he does expose warts and all.

    If you want an emotional pinata, that's another story.

    .
    The Clintons are what happens...
    when you have NO MORAL COMPASS.

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