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Pat Miletich is a moron

There’s no better way to start your morning than to read a forum on regarding foreign policy. You get to hear a whole bunch of fucking geniuses talk about how we need to “close our boarders to keep illegal Mexicans out (not against Mexicans just illegal Mexicans)” and how we need to “bomb all foreign countries that don’t do what we say”. Nothing out of the ordinary here … oh wait! Pat Miletich joins in!

Dear liberal terrorist sympathizers,

The idea of fighting for civil rights is correct, but not for people that want this country to crumble to the ground. By your strategy we would “civil rights” ourselves straight to the grave.

This nation was founded on Christian values, so I say if immigrants can’t respect that they should hit the bricks. I have to respect Muslim rules when in the Middle East, why not them when here?

Push this button for Arabic Push this button for Spanish Push this button for BULLSHIT!

  • Stellar53 says:

    Not sure what is wrong with what he is saying? Don’t really believe in the Christian values thing but I believe in the be a good person values.

    See my pet peeves…

  • Atom says:

    agree with stellar… nothing he said really rubbed my jackal fur the wrong way..

    He even tried to be funny at the end.

  • intenso says:

    You don’t have to “respect” jack shit to stay in this country. That’s not one of the rules.

  • MacDaddy says:

    His nation was founded on Christian values, like slavery, genocide of the original inhabitants, and a profound and abiding hatred of Catholics and other apostates. (eyes roll into head).

  • Captain says:

    I don’t know the context of why he said that but I don’t think it would help to understand. Seems like the same tired rhetoric. I love that he seems to put “Christian values” at odds with civil rights. Lovely.

    Funny thing about all these people with “Christian values” is that they are usually way less tolerant and compassionate than people with little to no religious beliefs.

  • MacDaddy says:

    The real problem with the USA is all the fucking lazy Croatians coming over and stealing their MMA jobs.

  • Erin says:

    Freedom of religion only for people who practice MY religion! America, Fuck Yeah!

  • FRANKIE says:

    Pat’s a cunt. But that’s not really news.

  • kentyman says:

    MacDaddy: Awesome.

  • dulljake says:

    I just hate the attitude of “it’s my way or the highway” BS coming from a country founded on the values of equity, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • kentyman says:

    It’s not coming from our country, it’s coming from a douchebag. Yes, plenty of these douchebags exist, but please don’t confuse the two. :)

  • Keith says:

    Pat’s kinda right on this one. In Islam there is no room for anything but Islam. They don’t attempt to merge with the society their in. Instead they move in and conquer. That’s always been the case.

    In England, muslim communities bypass the English judicial system and have their Sharia courts where English law as no application.

    People are all happy when they speak about the big social advances we’ve made in terms of allowing guys to boink eitherother in the ass and all sorts of fun stuff like that. But understand if you do that anywhere where Sharia is enforced and you can find yourself in front of a firing squad quickly.

  • nem0 says:

    If Islam isn’t going to play by the (secular) rules and laws of whatever country they’re in, that’s one thing, but to say that they’re fucked up because they’re not going with Christian beliefs is a completely different argument.

    Religious freedom in the US is a joke. You’re free to practice whatever religion you like, as long as it’s got something to do with Jesus!

  • Keith says:

    Bah. I call BS on that. The US is full of jews and Hindus, and they have integrated themselves just fine.

  • goo says:

    Is this why Matt and Tim are shit at BJJ?

  • dulljake says:

    so far, it seems to be the prevailing attitude of a solid majority of Americans, not just this idiot.

  • I dunno. I bet if you ask people a question like “Should muslims be allowed to practice their religion freely in america” you’d find that most of the people you ask would say yes. They’re just not verbose to explain in a non-racist non-stupid way that they’re concerned with islamic fundamentalists who consider killing the infadels as a big part of their religion.

  • Eriu says:

    As have numerous Muslims, Keith. Muslim does not equal “women hating religious nutjob” anymore than Christian equals “women hating religious nutjob”.

  • winklepicker says:

    My favorite soundbite relating to this kind of ig’nance is people who say, “Welcome to America: Now Speak English!” without a trace of irony. English!

  • killNU says:

    I thought you guys had a separation of church and state i find it funny that such a self proclaimed free & equal country gets wrapped up in such garbage all the time. every thing is a big deal fuck why would even ask pat millabitch a political question never mind expecting a sound answer come on your own prez is a war criminal that can barely spell his own name and you get up in arms about a comment a glorified personal trainer made ????

  • I agree with Pat and Keith, the real morons are those who let themselves be conquered by these muslims,
    either in a ‘silent’ invasion as is happening in Europe, or with plain terrorism as is happening in the USA.

  • kentyman says:

    so far, it seems to be the prevailing attitude of a solid majority of Americans, not just this idiot.

    Jake, you’re misinformed.

    Again, there are plenty of these people, but just because they’re talking louder than the majority doesn’t make them the majority.

  • Keith says:

    You are 100% correct. The problem is that the fundamentalist nutjobs seem to have a unique ability to seize power.

  • Very true. After all, you got a guy named OBAMA that might become president. And he’s not even white. WTF.

  • dignan says:

    “…in the the land of the FREE, and the home of the brave.”

    Miletich doesn’t even sound some like an American name, it sounds Polish or some shit. Go back to Poland, next thing you know it’ll be “Press 3 for Polish.”

    I wish they would pass some strict immigration laws that don’t grandfather any of the fucking immigrants…the only people that would be remotely happy having this done are the Native American Indians.

    I also want to focus on the fact that he can barely put a normal sentence together. Something all the MFS guys have in common.

    Imagine Pat, Sylvia, Hughes, and Pulver all taking the SAT. Their combined scored would come somewhere in the range of -9.

  • Lifer says:

    it’s nice to be white.

  • Keith says:

    “Imagine Pat, Sylvia, Hughes, and Pulver all taking the SAT. Their combined scored would come somewhere in the range of -9”

    Imagine you in a ring with any of em. I bet you’d last somewhere in the range of 9 seconds.

    Last time I checked the SAT was not a citizenship requirement.

  • dignan says:

    Keith you ignorant fuck.

    Start taking advice and listening to opinions of people who have some sort of intelligence. This is often times measured by SAT scores, ACT, GRE’s, MCAT’s…people with degrees. People who have graduated from high school? People who don’t have to roll around on a mat with another man for a pittance.

    Nothing like a racist, ignorant, American to get my blood boiling.

    There are so many ignorant, redneck, racist Americans out there…and even though I live here, deserve everything they have coming to them.

    I bet Keith voted for GWB as well…and probably still stands up for the choices of this facist American government. Did I mean facist, communist, or Marxist, Keith? You probably have no fucking clue what I am even talking about.

    Suck a dick.

  • :-O

    Let’s all take a breather for two seconds and remember we all love the saaame thing: FREEDOM!

  • Accomando says:

    “…this facist American government. Did I mean facist, communist, or Marxist,..”

    Its FASCIST moron! Remember the kick you got out of “ciggarettes” you cock-sucker?

    “…facist American government…”

    Says the dumbass that has never actually lived in a fascist country. By virtue of yo being able to type that little frustrated diatrabe of yours with no repercussions proves this fact.

  • dignan says:

    Oops…it is fascist. :-) I guess I can’t correct people anymore, but in all seriousness I was typing fast, and missed it.

    With the amount of freedoms and liberties that have been removed or threatened via the Patriot Act, voter fraud, illegal wars…I could go on..there are far more countries that are truly free, and home to brave people. America used to be the gold standard, and now its an embarrassment around the world.

    I think there are valid argument for fascism and communism, not that I agree with their opinions…but there is nothing worse than a country on their soapbox screaming about democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness when in fact they are constantly fear mongering and violating the very liberties and democracy they hold so dear. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

    Hopefully the American people will stop listening to fuck wads like Miletich and start standing up in the name of every fucking immigrant relative of theirs that stole the land from the Indians.

  • danaunclefesterwhite says:

    Religious fundamentalism is a joke. Whether it be Christian, Islamic, Jewish or whatever. Religion is the opiate of the masses. America wasn’t founded on Christian values. Jefferson and some of the other prominent founding fathers were Deists and they supported separation of church and state. I don’t know what these fundie Christians are being taught in schools.

  • danaunclefesterwhite says:

    [quote]Hopefully the American people will stop listening to fuck wads like Miletich and start standing up in the name of every fucking immigrant relative of theirs that stole the land from the Indians.[/quote]
    Most so-called “white Americans” have relatives that arrived in the United States from Europe in the 19th and 20th century. So for most of them, their relatives didn’t steal the land from the Indians. If you’re a Croatian-American (like Miletich), Irish-American or Italian-American that had grandparents arrive from Ellis Island, you didn’t steal shit from the Indians. The colonialists that arrived in the 17th and 18th century were the ones who did the stealing.

  • Accomando says:

    “…the amount of freedoms and liberties that have been removed or threatened via the Patriot Act…”

    Would you be able to relay a first hand experience where this has personally effected you?

    “…Hopefully the American people will stop listening to fuck wads like Miletich…”

    No one listen’s to miletich.

  • dignan says:


    I simply went back to the source of white people claiming ownership of the land.

    The fact that a citizen with direct ancestry to landed immigrants, who possibly were persecuted at the time in the land of the free, preaches hate and intolerance in unacceptable in my book.

  • the muslims preach hate and intolerance

    so kick them out

  • Erin says:

    Yes, damn you evil Muslims. I mean really, who ever heard of Christians slaughtering heathens in the name of their god?

    (Yes, that was with the sarcasm voice)

  • Keith says:


    A few things:

    1. I have a masters and scored a 1290 on my SAT’s (I took them back when 1600 was max score and there was no essay.)
    2. I have a nice cushy fat Analysts job that pays me more than enough money.
    3. I did vote for GWB. It was a lesser of two evils vote both times. My ideal presidential candidate is Ron Paul.
    4. I’m a card Carrying Member of the NRA.
    5. I am an active member of my Christian based church.
    (now you’re think, man what a conservative nutjob but…)
    6. I full respect the right for two dudes to do eachother in the ass. Just don’t do it in front of me.
    7. My house generates more electricity than it uses.
    8. I drive a fucking hybrid.
    9. My Brother in law, who was my friend before he was family, is black. One of my best friends is Persian (Iranian), and I speak spanish fluidly.

    Don’t you dare classify me as an racist ignoramus. Its a completely false classification and shows your ignorance in the entire argument. This isn’t an argument of race but of cultures. America is/was the great “melting pot.” And I have no issues with those who want to come here and melt in. My big issue is with those who VOLUNTARILY come to this country and then say, “Fuck you. I’m not going to learn your language or bother to adhere to your laws.” I *HAD* to learn Spanish for that very reason. Here in SoCal we have tons of Latin American immigrants who are too lazy or ignorant to learn the language of the country they chose to come to.

    I think that’s exactly what Pat’s getting at, although in a gruff fighter type of way. Go ahead and Flame him with your liberalist ideas, but ask yourself if you can speak this freely in Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or any other dedicated Islamic country before you curse about what Pat’s trying to defend.

    Freedom is as much about Culture as it is about ideals.

  • operator says:

    I wonder if the christians respected the indians beleifs when they were bashing their heads off the rocks and killing women and children in the name of progress. Yup this nation was founded on christian values.

  • kentyman says:

    Don’t forgot the Native Americans liked to kick each other’s asses too. The “white man” just happened to be better at it than the whole lot of them. Or at least their diseases were.

  • I think we can sum this up with the following: everyone is evil

  • Accomando says:

    “…everyone is evil…”

    Dead on linker.

    When one looks throughout history, WAR is the NORM. Peace is just an occasional exception to the rule.

  • especially us

    we like to hit ppl in their faces just for fun 😀

  • Knight says:

    Religious freedom is not a joke in America. You will not be arrested, persecuted or killed by the government for not being a Christian, like you will in some other countries for not following their traditional beliefs.

  • Tell that to the people in Guantanamo bay. Oh wait, they’re not ‘people’ anymore

  • Accomando says:

    “…Tell that to the people in Guantanamo bay…”

    Guess what, we released some of those cock-suckers only for them to take up arms again against us, really smart!

    “…One of the repatriated prisoners is still at large after taking leadership of a militant faction in Pakistan and aligning himself with al Qaeda, Pakistani officials said. In telephone calls to Pakistani reporters, he has bragged that he tricked his U.S. interrogators into believing he was someone else….”

    Please, eveyone continue to cry for those poor guantanamo detainees.

  • Raptor says:

    yeah cause those people in Guantanamo Bay are obviously there for being Muslim *rolls eyes* I’m not saying they’re necessarily terrorists, but they’re there because they are alleged terrorists, not for being Muslims so you comment about Guantanamo Bay is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  • kentyman says:

    I agree. Lame point, ‘Linker.

  • Jens Pulver says:

    I caught Pat Militich sucking off Matt Hughes at the back of TGI Fridays, he spotted me and arm-barred me into handing over the negatives….which kind of surprised me as my camera is digital.

  • Oh shit. I forgot about all those white guys there.

  • Keith says:

    if you’re in Gitmo its because you MAY be a terrorist. Don’t get me wrong, I think Gitmo is a shitty situation that needs to be remedied but ppl are not there because they’re Muslim. It just happens to be that Islam is religion of the vast majority of terrorists.

  • Accomando says:

    “…Oh shit. I forgot about all those white guys there…”

    Well, I’m sure some of the prisoners at gitmo are either pustun, afghan, or iranian (all indo-european peoples), so techincally speaking yes, there are a bunch of white guys there.

  • Raptor says:

    ““…Oh shit. I forgot about all those white guys there…”

    Again, irrelevant.

    Btw, I recall a Chinese American guy actually being held there a few years back.

    Are you being serious Fightlinker or are you just trolling at this point?

  • Raptor says:

    That said, I do find Pat’s comments to be pretty redneckish.

    Anyways, this nation (as well as most of the European nations that are dealing with issues regarding clashes between Islamic values and the native values) was founded on secular values. Yes, that means Christian OR Islam values shouldn’t be used as a basis for the moral framework of the US. I definitely wouldn’t want the Inquisition (yes, it still exists) or Sharia courts being set up in the US.

  • kentyman says:

    You’re implying causation when there’s only correlation. You know better than that.

    And yes, technically Persians (most Iranians) are “white”.

  • sean says:

    ok, this guy is a friggin dumbass… just because you live in the mid-west, and think the whole country thinks like you, doesn’t make you right at all. This whole christian values thing is the biggest load of crap, we’re in the 21st century and all these bible-belt retards are so stuck in this mindset of America being the chosen country by god or jesus, and in my oppinion, is completely wrong. One of the most important things to happen to western civilization since the dark ages is the seperation of church and state. The country should be run as a democracy, not the way some 2000 year old book thinks you should live. Which by the way, would make people stone other people to death for not believing the same book…………….
    and just because the middle east mostly follows muslim rule, doesn’t mean america should. I mean, look at all the problems it has caused there, war everywhere, israel and palestine are fighting daily over some piece of land a 2000 year old book told them used to be theirs……
    religion and politics should not intertwine whatsoever, if religion gives you good morales to live by (don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat) then that is great. but remember, it’s not religion that gives you these rules, it’s basic common sense.

  • Squash says:

    Americas was actually founded on Deist values. Look it up.

  • kentyman says:

    There needs to be a limit to the size of comments…

  • Sam says:

    What Do Liberals Believe In?

    There was an article, titled “30 Things Conservatives Know” on the New Media Hournal website a few days back that seems to have aroused the ire of some liberals. (I can’t imagine why!)

    Those same liberals mocked, and knocked those beliefs in several forums that I visit, yet never said what they “know” or believe in. Of course, that’s about par for the course.

    So, here is a short list of the things that they appear to believe in. Not being a liberal myself, I cannot attest to the accuracy of this list, only that this is what I have observed them being in support of.
    In no particular order:
    1: Abortion.
    Liberals believe that abortion is a perfectly accpetable method of birth control no matter the age of the girl/woman having it. The life of the unborn to the, is little more than a collection of random cells that will one day become a human being. That those cells will be a person some day doesn’t seem to matter to them, it’s a nuisance and must be killed before it causes the woman any real inconvienence.

    2: Personal responsibility:
    Liberals don’t believe in it. Personal responsibility applies to everyone else but them. They want what they want, when they want it, and no one should ever stand in their way of getting it.

    3: Gun control:
    No one should ever be allowed to ownm possess, or use a gun for any reason, not even to defend the lives of you, your family, you home, or other innocents against any two-legged predator. To them, safety lies in disarmament. Liberals claim, falsely, that taking our guns away will make us all safer from harm.
    It never seems to occur to them that criminals, those who use guns in an criminal manner, don’t pay the slightest attent to gun control laws. But those of us who do would be, if they had their way, totally defenseless against those who would harm us, or take by force that which is ours.

    4: Religion:
    Liberals, so it appears, not only don’t have any religious beliefs, but don’t want any one else to have them either. Have you ever met a conservative athiest? I don’t think that there is any such critter. The ACLU regularly files lawsuits against schools, cities, and towns, that dare to express a religious belief. Let me clarify that. They attack Christianity, and rarely attack Judaism, and never, ever will they attack Islam.
    Liberals tend to be apologists for Islam, for what reasons, God alone knows why.

    5: Education:
    Liberals seem to think that the schools are the place to teach children, as young as 5-years-old, about sexuality. They appear to believe that no parent, unless they too are liberal, is qualified to teach their own child about this subject. These liberal “educators” seem to believe that even the youngest children should know all about the perversion of homosexuality, and accept it as “normal”.
    Liberals also seem to think that children should never be allowed to play the games that children have played for many generations. Tag is out, so is dodgeball, cops & robbers, cowboys & indians, even hide & seek! No game where a child might even accidently touch another is verboten!
    Not to mention the outright lies and distortions about science, history, and a host of other subjects.

    Liberals want, and frequently demand, that everyone accpt as normal, the perversity of homosexuality. They not only demand it, they are using legislative and judicial tools to force that acceptance. For a group that claims only about 3% of the population, it’s damn difficult to rationalize homosexuality as “normal”. The homophiles will even resort to violence to get their way. Sort of queer KKK.

    Liberals also seem to believe that we, either as individuals, or as a nation, don’t have any right to protect ourselve, or our interests. They seem to feel that we should allow our enemies to do whatever they want to us, and never seek reprisal. They would have us become slaves, rather than a free people.
    I have often wondered how a liberal would deal with a home invader, who was threatening his children. Would he allow the intruder to take what he wanted, or harm whomever he wished, without fighting back? Sadly, that might just be the case.

    These are just a few of the things that liberals appear to believe. It is what they so often say, that there is little reason not to believe that this is the case.

    I would sure like to see a PET scan of a liberal brain thinking over a problem and compare it to a conservative working on the same problem.
    It would be very interesting to learn if liberals are laboring under some sort of brain disease.
    At least that would explain why they are so socially suicidal.

    And it would explain their almost alien thought processes.

    “Liberals love to talk about this or that human right, such as a right to health care, food or housing. That’s a perverse usage of the term ‘right.’ A right, such as a right to free speech, imposes no obligation on another, except that of non-interference. The so-called right to health care, food or housing, whether a person can afford it or not, is something entirely different. It does impose an obligation on another. If one person has a right to something he didn’t produce, simultaneously and of necessity it means that some other person does not have right to something he did produce. That’s because, since there’s no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, in order for government to give one American a dollar, it must, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. I’d like to hear the moral argument for taking what belongs to one person to give to another person.”

  • John says:

    I’m a big fan of Pat’s, but sadly he’s wrong here. This country was also founded with the principle of seperation of church and state. Nobody needs to or has to abide by Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Scientoligist, or any other religous law that they aren’t personally bound to, but must abide by American laws. He has a good point about the respect thing though. And as far as the press1 for English 2 for Spanish thing thats just a part of capitolism, expanding a company to as many different people as possible.

  • Looks like i’ve opened the floodgates here :-p

  • ok, i’ll go read a book now^^

    just remember, muslims are bad :p

    i’d vote against them even it is just because they don’t have a sense of humour. A simple cartoon makes them go mad.

  • Boomer says:

    I agree with Pat on this one…and well said nephildevil. A silent invasion of this type is equivalent to and has the same effect of one with guns and missiles.

  • Notahypochristian says:

    Captain, you’re post hit the nail directly on the head. You are very wise. I’ve been saying the same thing since I realized I wanted to be a good, tolerant, compassionate person who is not a hypocrite–in other words, not a Christian.

  • “Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of ‘direct’ expression.

    Results in mobocracy.”

    My background is in policy and speech writing. I actually know the person well who invented this term, “mobocracy”. For anyone else to repeat or use it as if it contained any sort of intellectual significance has a poverty of clairvoyance more than they will ever understand or overcome. My condolences to you.

  • Gustavo Jimenez says:

    Miletich is a piece of shit.

  • Sam says:

    The lunatic left never lets the facts get in the way of their crazy conspiracy theories.

    The Persistant Myth of the Stolen Election

    Its an article of faith on the left that George Bush “stole” the 2000 election with the aid of the Supreme Court which gave him a win in FL that he didn’t earn and thus a Presidency he didn’t earn.

    To this day, the myth is still perpertrated by the likes of Jesse Jackson, John Edwards and John Kerry:

    There are many issues to debate and argue about the sordid Florida experience, but one of the most intriguing is how a cottage industry has sprung up among liberals to perpetuate this myth. (Jesse Jackson still refers to Florida as “the scene of the crime” where “we were disenfranchised. Our birthright stolen.”) As the 2004 election grew closer, the distortions spread beyond Moore’s fantasy to the presidential campaign itself. Senator John Kerry told crowds that “we know thousands of people were denied the right to vote.” His running mate, former trial lawyer John Edwards, ended speeches with a closing argument about “an incredible miscarriage of justice” in Florida.
    The problem for the left is that there are no facts to support the myth. Unlike Michael Moore’s claim in his factually challenged film “Fahrenheit 911”, none of the recounts which were conducted post election showed that Al Gore would have won:

    But in fact, every single recount of the votes in Florida determined that George W. Bush had won the state’s twenty-five electoral votes and therefore the presidency. This includes a manual recount of votes in largely Democratic counties by a consortium of news organizations, among them the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. As the New York Times reported on November 21, 2001, “A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year’s presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.” The USA Today recount team concluded: “Who would have won if Al Gore had gotten manual counts he requested in four counties? Answer: George W. Bush.”
    Despite evidence to the contrary in the form of that presented by the consortium of news organizations, the myth persists among the left. It is the origin of the hate which they feel for Gerorge Bush.

    When confronted by the fact that the news consortium could find no basis for the claim that Bush and the Supreme Court had “stolen” the election, many on the left then made the claim that certain minorities had been illegally “disenfranchised” (by not counting their vote) and others had not been allowed to vote … in fact, per the claim, prevented by police from voting. Enough, those critics claim, to have easily made the difference for Al Gore.

    After all the media recounts of 2001 showed that George W. Bush would still have won under any fair standard, Democratic activists have narrowed their charges to the purported disfranchisement of black voters. The Civil Rights Commission, led by Democrat Mary Frances Berry-with only two Republican commissioners at the time-issued a scathing majority report in 2001 alleging “widespread voter disenfranchisement” and accusing Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush of “failing to fulfill their duties in a manner that would prevent this disenfranchisement.”
    So by what means did the Civil Rights Commission prove these charges? Well, in fact, they really never did.

    But when it comes to actual evidence of racial bias, the report draws inferences that are not supported by any data and ignores facts that challenge its conclusions. Since we have a secret ballot in America, we do not know the race of the 180,000 voters (2.9 percent of the total number of ballots cast in Florida) whose ballots had no valid vote for president. Machine error cannot be the cause of discrimination, since the machine doesn’t know the race of the voter either, and in any case accounts for about one error in 250,000 votes cast. (And, as some have asked, is it not racist in the first place to assume that those who spoil ballots are necessarily minority voters?)
    The Commission simply assumed that the invalid ballots were those of minorities. That somehow blacks and other minorities were shut out of voting based on the evidence that 180,000 ballots had no valid vote for president. That somehow those counting the ballots knew the voters were black.

    Sounds absurd, but that’s the core of the claim.

    The question then is: was the commission able to come up with “a consistent, statistically significant relationship between the share of voters who were African-American and the ballot spoilage rate?”

    The answer is a flat “no”. In fact, a study showed something else entirely:

    John Lott, an economist and statistician from the Yale Law School now with the American Enterprise Institute, studied spoilage rates in Florida by county in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections and compared them with demographic changes in county populations. He concluded that “the percent of voters in different race or ethnic categories is never statistically related to ballot spoilage.”
    Lott found that among the 25 Florida counties with the greatest rate of vote spoilage, 24 had Democratic election officers in charge of counting the votes. He concluded that “having Democratic officials in charge [of county elections] increases ballot spoilage rates significantly, but the effect is stronger when that official is an African-American.”

    In other words, the possibility of disenfranchisement as charged by the Civil Rights Commission took place in counties with Democratic officials in charge of the elections and counting.

    How then is it possible for Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush in particular and the Republicans in general, to have “disenfranchized” minority voters in those counties?

    In fact, ballot spoilage at the rate indicated in the 2000 election is about average and happens in every election:

    Ballot-spoilage rates across the country range between 2 and 3 percent of total ballots cast. Florida’s rate in 2000 was 3 percent. In 1996 it was 2.5 percent.
    Another of the charges leveled was that blacks were kept away from the polling places by police.

    Other charges from Democratic activists turned out to be “falsehoods and exaggerations.” For instance, when the commission investigated the charge that a police traffic checkpoint near a polling place had intimidated black voters, it turned out that the checkpoint operated for ninety minutes at a location two miles from the poll and not even on the same road. And of the sixteen people given citations, twelve were white.
    And last, but not least, “the Florida attorney general Bob Butterworth-a Democrat-testified that of the 2,600 complaints he received on Election Day, only three were about racial discrimination.”

    The myth’s foundations are easily destroyed with fact, but not as easily dismissed by those who badly want to believe George Bush was “selected not elected”. Although false, the myth gives them a basis for their claim to the illegitimacy of Bush’s presidency and a reason for their hate. Whether its true or not apparently doesn’t matter anymore (and I’m not so sure it mattered then) as the hate is now so rooted within them that it is a part of their political being. ABB is their mantra and ABB is who they’ll vote for, regardless of whether that’s good for the country or not.

  • Sam says:

    Illegal Immigration Facts and Figures
    10.4 million illegal aliens reside in the United States.
    (source: Pew Hispanic Center)

    Every year, 500,000 additional illegal aliens enter the United States
    (source: Pew Hispanic Center)

    California’s nearly 3 million illegal immigrants cost taxpayers nearly $9 billion each year
    (source: Federation for American Immigration Reform)

    Illegal aliens cost the federal government $10 billion more annually than they pay in taxes.
    (source: Center for Immigration Studies)

    Taxpayers pay $1.4 billion annually to house the 48,000 illegal aliens in California prisons.
    (source: Federation for American Immigration Reform)

    FBI Fast Facts
    2006 (1st Qtr) INS/FBI Statistical Report on Illegal Immigration.

    62% of all “undocumented immigrants” in the United States are working for cash and not paying taxes, predominantly illegal aliens, working without a green card;

    95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens;

    83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens;

    86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens;

    75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Albuquerque are illegal aliens;

    More than 380,000 “anchor babies” were born in the United States in 2005 were to parents who are illegal aliens; making those 380,000 babies automatically U.S. citizens. 97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayer;

    More than 66% of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers;

    24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally;

    40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally;

    48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally;

    29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually;

    More than 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages

    More than 53% of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens;

    More than half of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border;

    More than 43% of all Food Stamps issued are to illegal aliens;

    More than 41% of all unemployment checks issued in the United States are to illegal aliens;

    58% of all Welfare payments in the United States are issued to illegal aliens;

    Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties in the United States are illegal aliens;

    14 out of 31 TV stations in L.A. are Spanish-only;

    16 out of 28 TV stations in Phoenix are Spanish-only;

    15 out of 24 TV stations in Albuquerque are Spanish-only;

    21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish-only;

    17 radio stations in Phoenix are Spanish-only;

    17 radio stations in Albuquerque are Spanish-only;

    More than 34% of Arizona students in grades 1-12 are illegal aliens;

    More than 24% of Arizona students in grades 1-12 are non-English-speaking;

    More than 39% of California students in grades 1-12 are illegal aliens;

    More than 42% of California students in grades 1-12 are non-English-speaking

    In Los Angeles County, 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish;

    More than 71% of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by illegal aliens or transport coyotes”;

    47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens;

    63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens;

    66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66%, 98% are illegal aliens;

    Less than 2% of illegal aliens in the United States are picking crops , but 41% are on welfare;

    Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration;

    The cost of immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 (latest know calculation. Can you imagine what it must be in 2006? WOW!) was a NET (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 BILLION a year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University];

    The estimated profit to U.S. corporations and businesses employing ILLEGAL aliens in 2005 was more than $2.36 TRILLION dollars;

    The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican ILLEGAL alien is $55,000.00 cost to the American taxpayer in a 5-year span. You, personally, are giving $11,000 every year to ILLEGAL aliens.

    House Allows Rebates for 3 MILLION Illegal Aliens In $146 Billion Stimulus Plan!!

    …Bill Makes Them Equal to US Citizens and Legal Residents!

    As part of the government’s $146 billion economic stimulus plan, the House INEXCUSABLY plans to grant rebates of $300-$600 apiece to illegal aliens. This would be potential losses of between $900,000,000 and $1,800,000,000! This is yet another example of how illegal immigration hinders our economy.

    I think most people have heard that there are these differences, but I think that what most of them have not heard is that there are the same differences between Asian-Americans and whites as there are between whites and blacks. Asian-American families have higher incomes than white families; during downturns in the economy, whites get laid off moreso than Asian-Americans. Among people who apply for mortgage loans, whites get turned down more often than Asian-Americans. Whites have to resort to sub-prime loans more often than Asian-Americans.

    But, most of the people who talk about these things leave out Asian-Americans because it really kills their whole story. Their whole story is that non-whites do poorly because of white racism. Well then, if you find that there is the same disparity between Asian-Americans and whites as there is between whites and other non-whites, that whole argument falls down.

    All that being said, you’ve also noted that if you compare apples to apples, black Americans and white Americans earn very similar amounts. Can you tell us about that?

    Well, for example, black married couples have had a poverty rate in single digits ever since 1994, even though the black population as a whole, particularly blacks in the ghettos, have far higher poverty rates than whites.

    So, what we’re really saying is that there are lifestyle differences that have profound effects on economic outcomes. So, obviously it’s not just simply the act of getting married, it’s that there are a whole set of commitments and values and whatnot that differentiate those who get married from those who have a more adventurous lifestyle.

    Another thing we hear discussed quite a bit is that wages have been stagnant for a long time. You explained in your book that whether you are talking about per capita individual or per capita family wages makes a big difference in that area. Can you tell us about that?

    Yeah, most of the data that is thrown around is data about households or families and the problem with that is that the size of households differs over time, it differs from one racial/ethnic group to another, and it differs from one income bracket to another.

    For example, when they told me how the bottom 20% (in per capita family wages) weren’t doing as well as the top 20% — well, the last time I checked, there were 39 million people (comprising) the bottom 20% of families and there were 64 million people (comprising) the top 20%. So, we’re really not talking about the same number of people, we’re talking about categories.

    One of the other problems, too, in talking about income brackets is that it’s true that top income bracket is increasing its income faster than the bottom income bracket. But, the joker in all this is that people are moving from one bracket to another.

    So, if you follow actual flesh and blood human beings over time, you find for example that people who were in the bottom 20% (in per capita individual wages)in 1996 — had their incomes increase by 91% by 2005. Over that same span of time, people who were in the top 1% had their incomes decrease by 26%. So, if you follow flesh and blood people over time with income tax returns as the Treasury Department does, you find the direct opposite result of what you do if you talk about these abstract brackets. If we’re talking about “rich” and “poor,” we should be talking about rich and poor people, not rich and poor brackets. If we have compassion, we should have compassion for people, not for abstract statistic categories.

    There’s a rather large trade gap in this country between what we buy and what we export. What are the ramifications of that and should we be greatly concerned about it?

    Not really. There are circumstances in which that could be a problem and other circumstances in which it would not. There’s nothing wonderful about having an export surplus rather than an import surplus.

    We had an export surplus throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s and we had an import surplus throughout the prosperity of the 1990s. There are all sorts of other factors that are involved that make far more of a difference.

  • Sam says:

    PAPER: Dems knew about waterboarding in 2002…
    Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
    In Meetings, Spy Panels’ Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

    By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, December 9, 2007; Page A01

    In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

    Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

    CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in an interview two months ago that he had informed congressional overseers of “all aspects of the detention and interrogation program.”
    “The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

    Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

    Yet long before “waterboarding” entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

    With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

    Individual lawmakers’ recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. “Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

    Congressional officials say the groups’ ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited them from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of their own staffs. And while various officials have described the briefings as detailed and graphic, it is unclear precisely what members were told about waterboarding and how it is conducted. Several officials familiar with the briefings also recalled that the meetings were marked by an atmosphere of deep concern about the possibility of an imminent terrorist attack.

    “In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to Sept. 11 and people were still in a panic,” said one U.S. official present during the early briefings. “But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, ‘We don’t care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.’ ”

    Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 — by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding — did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent. The opposition reached a boiling point this past October, when Democratic lawmakers condemned the practice during Michael B. Mukasey’s confirmation hearings for attorney general.

    GOP lawmakers and Bush administration officials have previously said members of Congress were well informed and were supportive of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques. But the details of who in Congress knew what, and when, about waterboarding — a form of simulated drowning that is the most extreme and widely condemned interrogation technique — have not previously been disclosed.

    U.S. law requires the CIA to inform Congress of covert activities and allows the briefings to be limited in certain highly sensitive cases to a “Gang of Eight,” including the four top congressional leaders of both parties as well as the four senior intelligence committee members. In this case, most briefings about detainee programs were limited to the “Gang of Four,” the top Republican and Democrat on the two committees. A few staff members were permitted to attend some of the briefings.

    That decision reflected the White House’s decision that the “enhanced interrogation” program would be treated as one of the nation’s top secrets for fear of warning al-Qaeda members about what they might expect, said U.S. officials familiar with the decision. Critics have since said the administration’s motivation was at least partly to hide from view an embarrassing practice that the CIA considered vital but outsiders would almost certainly condemn as abhorrent.

    Information about the use of waterboarding nonetheless began to seep out after a furious internal debate among military lawyers and policymakers over its legality and morality. Once it became public, other members of Congress — beyond the four that interacted regularly with the CIA on its most sensitive activities — insisted on being briefed on it, and the circle of those in the know widened.

    In September 2006, the CIA for the first time briefed all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, producing some heated exchanges with CIA officials, including Director Michael V. Hayden. The CIA director said during a television interview two months ago that he had informed congressional overseers of “all aspects of the detention and interrogation program.” He said the “rich dialogue” with Congress led him to propose a new interrogation program that President Bush formally announced over the summer

    “I can’t describe that program to you,” Hayden said. “But I would suggest to you that it would be wrong to assume that the program of the past is necessarily the program moving forward into the future.”

    Waterboarding Used on at Least 3

    Waterboarding as an interrogation technique has its roots in some of history’s worst totalitarian nations, from Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition to North Korea and Iraq. In the United States, the technique was first used five decades ago as a training tool to give U.S. troops a realistic sense of what they could expect if captured by the Soviet Union or the armies of Southeast Asia. The U.S. military has officially regarded the tactic as torture since the Spanish-American War.

    In general, the technique involves strapping a prisoner to a board or other flat surface, and then raising his feet above the level of his head. A cloth is then placed over the subject’s mouth and nose, and water is poured over his face to make the prisoner believe he is drowning.

    U.S. officials knowledgeable about the CIA’s use of the technique say it was used on three individuals — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein Abu Zubaida, a senior al-Qaeda member and Osama bin Laden associate captured in Pakistan in March 2002; and a third detainee who has not been publicly identified.

    Abu Zubaida, the first of the “high-value” detainees in CIA custody, was subjected to harsh interrogation methods beginning in spring 2002 after he refused to cooperate with questioners, the officials said. CIA briefers gave the four intelligence committee members limited information about Abu Zubaida’s detention in spring 2002, but offered a more detailed account of its interrogation practices in September of that year, said officials with direct knowledge of the briefings.

    The CIA provided another briefing the following month, and then about 28 additional briefings over five years, said three U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge of the meetings. During these sessions, the agency provided information about the techniques it was using as well as the information it collected.

    Lawmakers have varied recollections about the topics covered in the briefings.

    Graham said he has no memory of ever being told about waterboarding or other harsh tactics. Graham left the Senate intelligence committee in January 2003, and was replaced by Rockefeller. “Personally, I was unaware of it, so I couldn’t object,” Graham said in an interview. He said he now believes the techniques constituted torture and were illegal.

    Pelosi declined to comment directly on her reaction to the classified briefings. But a congressional source familiar with Pelosi’s position on the matter said the California lawmaker did recall discussions about enhanced interrogation. The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage — they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice — and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time.

    Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee’s top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA’s program because of strict rules of secrecy.

    “When you serve on intelligence committee you sign a second oath — one of secrecy,” she said. “I was briefed, but the information was closely held to just the Gang of Four. I was not free to disclose anything.”

    Roberts declined to comment on his participation in the briefings. Rockefeller also declined to talk about the briefings, but the West Virginia Democrat’s public statements show him leading the push in 2005 for expanded congressional oversight and an investigation of CIA interrogation practices. “I proposed without success, both in committee and on the Senate floor, that the committee undertake an investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation activities,” Rockefeller said in a statement Friday.

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam War prisoner who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, took an early interest in the program even though he was not a member of the intelligence committee, and spoke out against waterboarding in private conversations with White House officials in late 2005 before denouncing it publicly.

    In May 2007, four months after Democrats regained control of Congress and well after the CIA had forsworn further waterboarding, four senators submitted written objections to the CIA’s use of that tactic and other, still unspecified “enhanced” techniques in two classified letters to Hayden last spring, shortly after receiving a classified hearing on the topic. One letter was sent on May 1 by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). A similar letter was sent May 10 by a bipartisan group of three senators: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

    In a rare public statement last month that broached the subject of his classified objections, Feingold complained about administration claims of congressional support, saying that it was “not the case” that lawmakers briefed on the CIA’s program “have approved it or consented to it.”

    Staff writers Josh White and Walter Pincus and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

  • Sam says:

    Why Have Media Ignored 1992 Gore Speech That Blasted Iraq As Terror Sponsor?
    Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 12, 2007 – 15:59.
    Most Americans are aware that former Vice President Rewind: Gore Blasts Bush Father for Ignoring Iraq Terror Ties…
    This is the tape featured on The Rush Limbaugh Show on Tuesday. In the 1992 speech Gore condemns President Bush for “blatant disregard for brutal terrorism, a dangerous blindness to the murderous ambitions of a despot.”

    Al Gore has been an outspoken opponent of President George W. Bush’s policies concerning Iraq.

    Yet, as Gore has traveled the nation and the world speaking against this war, the media have chosen to ignore a major policy speech given by vice presidential candidate Gore at the Hyatt Regency Hotel/Capitol Hill to the Center on National Policy on September 29, 1992.

    Many statements made by Gore that afternoon largely contradict positions espoused by the soon-to-be-doctor today, including his contention at the time that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, was seeking nuclear weapons, and sanctioned, sponsored, and supported terrorist activities.

    Fortunately, this speech was aired on C-SPAN, and was posted at YouTube Friday (video available here, h/t Rush Limbaugh). The full transcript follows with relevant sections bolded:

    SEN. GORE: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Madeleine Albright, thank you so much for your generous and eloquent introduction and for your leadership of the Center for National Priorities. This is a wonderful organization, and I’m most grateful to all who have a handle in steering it, and all of you for coming to be present on this occasion. I see a great many friends in the audience, and I will not try to acknowledge everyone who should be singled out. I hope I shall be forgiven if I single out only one person and acknowledge my friend Pamela Harriman (sp), who has been a close adviser and supporter and friend for many years. But I could as well acknowledge a dozen or more others in this audience, and I am grateful to every single one of you for being present.

    One of the most important questions in this campaign involves the judgment of the candidates on foreign policy. The American people know that the world is full of unexpected surprises and dangers, and as a result they want to know whether or not a president can handle these uncertainties, recognize unanticipated dangers, and realize when national policy must be changed to reflect new realities. The American people also want to know whether or not they can count on their president to tell them the truth.

    President Bush, in his handling of our policy toward Iraq, has failed all of these tests, and failed them badly. His poor judgment, moral blindness, and bungling policies led directly to a war that should never have taken place. And because of his naivete and lack of candor, US taxpayers are now stuck with paying the bill for $1.9 billion President Bush gave to Saddam Hussein even though top administration officials were repeatedly told Saddam was using our tax dollars to buy weapons technology.

    President Bush, of course, believes that the war with Iraq was his finest hour as the organizer and leader of a vast coalition of armed forces united for the purpose of frustrating the designs of an evil dictator. But the war with Iraq had deep roots, and if George Bush’s prosecution of the war is part of his record, so too is his involvement in the diplomacy which led to it, both in the Reagan-Bush era and far moreso during his own presidency, when he accelerated foreign aid and the sale of weapons technology to Iraq right up until the invasion of Kuwait in spite of repeated warnings that anyone with common sense would have had no difficulty whatsoever understanding.

    The path leading to that war and the path which the President has followed after are deeply shadowed in profound error, in duplicity, and in amoral disregard for our most basic values as a nation. There is also substantial evidence that his administration intentionally falsified export records and reports to Congress and in the process apparently violated a number of laws intended to prevent such horrendous mistakes.

    Nineteen months ago, President Bush called Saddam Hussein “a new Hitler who had to be stopped at all costs”, yet today that same tyrant remains firmly in power, resisting by every means the will of the international community. No wonder so many Americans ask themselves whether our victory over Saddam will ultimately prove an illusion.

    The conduct of the war will remain a proud memory for all Americans, but the full history must also include events before and after the war. That detailed record requires a little more time and effort to understand. better pay attention to that detailed record which provides a deeply And if we really want to judge President Bush’s stewardship of policy, then we had disturbing look at a blatant disregard for brutal terrorism, a dangerous blindness to the murderous ambitions of a despot, and what certainly appears to be an on-going effort to hide the facts from the American people whose tax dollars paid for this policy and whose sons and daughters risked and lost their lives in its pursuit.

    George Bush wants the American people to see him as the hero who put out a raging fire, but new evidence now shows that he is the one who set the fire. He not only struck the match, he poured gasoline on the flames. So give him credit for calling in the fire department, but understand clearly who it was that started the blaze. Now, let me begin providing a basic historical frame of reference.

    In September of 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. Iraq was the odds-on favorite to win the war in short order. However, by May of 1982, Iraq was clearly in trouble. It had lost a major battle with Iran, and our policymakers began to imagine Iran under a radical Islamic government emerging as the dominant regional power: clearly a nightmare.

    I believe that is why in February 1982 President Reagan took Iraq off the list of states that sponsored terrorism. He did this not because Iraq had gone straight and given up terrorism, but because he wanted to help Iraq while there was time. By taking Iraq’s name off the list, President Reagan opened the way for Iraq to receive US credits through subsidized agricultural loan guarantees and Export-Import Bank credits. Reagan’s decision also removed certain kinds of export controls intended to block the transfer of US technology to countries on the official terrorism list. In other words, for strategic reasons the Reagan-Bush administration would overlook virtually any unpleasant reality in Iraq and apparently subvert US laws in order to prop up Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime.

    Now, of course, George Bush claims he was an outsider in another momentous Reagan decision during these years: to sell arms to Iran in direct exchange for the release of American hostages. Of course, by now, most people find that very hard to believe, and the documentary record is closing in on him. Recently, we learned that former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger were outraged when they heard that then-Vice President Bush was disclaiming any knowledge of the Iran arms deal and the fact that these two senior cabinet officers had vigorously opposed it. Notes taken at the time of their telephone conversation about this event have Mr. Weinberger saying that Bush’s comments were terrible and that far from being ignorant of developments, Bush had been on the other side of the struggle over policy.

    Just last week, more evidence surfaced showing that Bush is recorded as having attended numerous meetings over a span of three years White House senior officials debated the plan to swap arms to Iran, and then were briefed on the status of the program. He was also present at the meetings in which the trade for arms in return for American hostages was explicitly discussed. And now, two of the briefers have directly challenged the veracity of President Bush’s claim that he didn’t know arms were being swapped for hostages. Far from being out of the loop, Bush seems to have been one of the most vigorous and vociferous advocates of the illegal side of the argument. Indeed, his claims to the contrary are simply no longer credible. His national security adviser was clearly uncomfortable, even going so far as to say that Bush’s version was “possibly true”.

    Well, now new evidence about his policy toward Iraq directly contradicts President Bush’s repeated statements to the American people that he did nothing that helped Saddam’s effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction during the months and years preceding Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. To begin with, George Bush cannot even try to claim ignorance where policy toward Iraq was concerned. Not only was he directly in the loop, he was a principle architect of the policy from its earliest days.

    For example, in April of 1984, Bush personally lobbied the Exim Bank’s chairman, a friend from college days, to disregard the views of his own economists and extend credits to Iraq. Doubts about Iraq’s creditworthiness were very well-founded, but the overriding issue was whether Iraq could continue to hold on in the war with Iran. That’s all that seemed to matter. In pursuit of that objective, the Reagan-Bush administration would overlook the fact that it was an Iraq-based group that masterminded the assassination attempt against Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, which occurred in June of 1982.

    This event, of course, triggered Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, not exactly a minor consequence for US policy. The Reagan-Bush administration was also prepared to overlook the fact that the terrorists who masterminded the attack on the Achille- Lauro and the savage murder of American Leon Klinghoffer, fled with Iraqi assistance. Nor did it seem to matter that the team of terrorists who set out to blow up the Rome airport came directly from Baghdad with suitcase bombs. Iraq not only stayed off the terrorist list no matter what, but in November 1984, full diplomatic relations were established with the country. The US government continued to exert every effort to channel assistance to Saddam Hussein, even with evidence that he was not only promoting terrorism, but was also pursuing a nuclear weapons program.As early as May of 1985, Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perl warned about the suspected diversion of US exports of dual-use technology to the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. But Bush ensured that the flow of technology continued. In March 1987, Bush again took a prominent role.

    When Iraq’s ambassador complained that our defense department was taking too long and being too cautious about export licenses for high-tech items, Bush apparently agreed with him that the defense department was being capricious and had to get with the program. There might have been a moment’s pause for reflection when Iraqi aircraft intentionally attacked the USS Stark in May of 1987 killing 37 sailors, but the administration smoothed it over very fast. This was the spring when the Exim Bank’s staff was resisting another $200 million loan to Iraq, but again the loan was granted after Bush, again, personally intervened to stress its political importance. The loan went through in May, barely 48 hours before the attack on the Stark.

    Now let me make a point about foreign policy and the real world. The actual conduct of foreign policy often bears as much resemblance to academic theory as the conduct of domestic politics bears to a civics course. If we have to deal with someone bad in order to handle someone even worse, then for heaven’s sake, we should at least be ready to reevaluate the relationship the moment it has outlived its value to the United States. In other words, whatever the arguments for temporarily supporting Saddam Hussein as a barrier separating Saudi Arabia’s oil from Iran’s militant fundamentalists, Bush deserves heavy blame for intentionally concealing from the American people the clear nature of Saddam Hussein and his regime and for convincing himself that friendly relations with such a monster would be possible, and for persisting in this effort far, far beyond the point of folly.

    Throughout this period, Saddam’s atrocities continued. In March of 1988, Saddam used poison gas on the Kurdish town of Halabja (ph), brutally murdering some 5,000 innocent men, women, and children, and none of us can ever forget the pictures of their bodies, of parents trying to shield their infants, even in death, that were in our news media and around the world. The Iran-Iraq War then ended in August of 1988, and Iraq had not prevailed, but neither had it been defeated. As a result, you would think that the administration would give our policies a second look to see if they should be altered, but the Reagan-Bush administration never hesitated, even when the news became much, much worse.

    Within days of the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein, seeing that he had gotten away with using poison gas against the Kurds previously, launched additional major gas attacks on them. The war was over, and he was determined to settle accounts. Saddam’s attacks created, in addition to the wave of deaths, a flight of about half a million Kurdish refugees. The effect of these events on the public and on Congress was electrifying. The outrage and disgust sparked action and ignited an intensification of efforts in the Congress to pull the plug on US support for Saddam Hussein. I, myself, went to the Senate floor twice demanding tough action, but these efforts were resisted to the bitter end by the Reagan-Bush and Bush-Quayle administrations.

    For example, they pulled out all the stops to defeat the Prevention of Genocide Act after the US Senate had passed it unanimously in September of 1988. Meanwhile, the US Customs Service was reporting that in 1988, it had marked a notable increase in the activity of Iraq’s network of procuring agents and front corporations. A concerted effort was underway to obtain missile technology, chemical weapons technology, and biological weapons technology.In January 1989, President George Bush was sworn in. Based on plentiful evidence, he had reason to know that his ongoing policy regarding Iraq was already malfunctioning badly. Just last week, we learned of a memorandum written in March of that year, just two months after his inauguration, to Secretary of State James Baker as Baker prepared to meet with a senior Iraqi official, in which the author of the memorandum noted that Iraq continued to cooperate with terrorists, that it was meddling in Lebanon, that it was working hard at chemical and biological weapons and new missiles. These are exact quotes from the memorandum to the administration.
    And what is especially interesting about this memo is that it notes that in the months preceding this meeting, Iraqi oil exports to the US had increased dramatically and on favorable terms. That point raised the question of a quid pro quo sought by the Iraqi officials: cheap oil in return for, quote, “freer export licensing procedures for high tech.” End quote. The memo’s drafter notes, somewhat impatiently and critically, that export applications for high tech were being held up by the Commerce Department and by the Defense Department out of concern that proposed exports could enhance Iraq’s military capabilities. These concerns were, of course, well-founded.

    In April 1989, a nuclear proliferation expert from the Department of Energy reported intelligence indicators that Iraq had begun a crash program to build an atomic bomb. In June of the same year, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that Iraq was running a major European network to procure military goods that were not supposed to be sold to Iraq. In August, the FBI rated the Atlanta branch of the Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, or BNL, and seized evidence of over $4 billion in illegal loans to Iraq, as well as the use of about $2 billion of those funds to buy nuclear and other military technologies.

    And on September 22nd, Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly wrote a memorandum acknowledging that money coming to Iraq through the Atlanta branch of the BNL did, quote, “appear to have been used,” end quote, to finance acquisition of sensitive military technology. Also in that same month, September, the USDA reported kickbacks and possible diversions of US-supplied agricultural funds for military purposes. And most significant of all, in the same month, September of 1989, the CIA reported to Secretary of State Baker and other top Bush administration officials that Iraq was clandestinely procuring nuclear weapons technology through a global network of front companies.

    Did all of this make any impression at all on President Bush? Did his judgment on foreign policy come into play when he was told that this nation, with a record of terrorism continuing, was making a sustained, concerted effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical, and biological?Well, evidently not, because in the midst of this flood of highly alarming information from the CIA, the Defense Department, the Energy Department, the Commerce Department, the Justice Department, the State Department, other agencies throughout the government, on October 2nd, 1989, President Bush signed a document known as NSD 26, which established the policy toward Iraq under his administration. This document is the benchmark for judging George Bush’s record for the direction of American policy toward Iraq in the period that would ultimately lead us to war. We have only a partial idea of what is in that document, since the version that was finally released to Congress has been heavily censored, but the core statement of purpose and the fundamental assumptions behind it are crystal clear. And so, as a result, is the incredibly poor judgment of George Bush on foreign policy.

    NSD 26 mandated the pursuit of improved economic and political ties with Iraq on the assumption that Iraqi behavior could be modified by means of new favors to be granted. Well, perhaps so, if this were a state not under the complete control of a single man whose ruthlessness had already been totally apparent. And the text of NSD 26 blindly ignores the evidence already at the administration’s disposal of Iraqi behavior in the past regarding human rights, terrorism, use of chemical weapons, the pursuit of advanced weapons of mass destruction. Instead, it makes an heroic assumption of good behavior in the future on the basis of an interesting theory, namely that Iraq would suddenly and completely change its ways out of a fear of economic and political sanctions.

    Well, it leaps from the page that George Bush, both as vice president and president, had done his utmost to make sure that no such sanctions would ever apply to Saddam Hussein. Bush was the very man who had personally intervened to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in additional loans, and what was the result on the second occasion he did that? Forty-eight hours later, Saddam ordered the attack on the USS Stark, 48 hours later.

    The question is unavoidable. Why should Saddam Hussein be at all concerned about a threat of action in the future from George Bush, the same man who had resolutely blocked any such action in the past? To the contrary, Saddam had every reason to assume that Bush would look the other way no matter what he did. He had already launched poison gas attacks repeatedly, and Bush looked the other way. He had already conducted extensive terrorism activities, and Bush had looked the other way. He was already deeply involved in the effort to acquire nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and Bush knew it, but he looked the other way.

    Well, in my view, the Bush administration was acting in a manner directly opposite to what you would expect with all of the evidence that it had available to it at the time. Saddam Hussein’s nature and intentions were perfectly visible.

    In October of 1989, representatives of the Departments of State and Agriculture met to discuss Iraq’s diversion of US agricultural credits into the acquisition of US technology for its nuclear weapons program. Later that same month, however, on October 26th, Assistant Secretary of State Kelly sent Secretary Baker a memo jointly written with the State Department’s legal counsel, Abe Sofaer, urging that Baker push yet another $1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees for Iraq, notwithstanding the mushrooming scandal surrounding the diversion of BNL loans by Iraq for nuclear purposes. They knew it.

    Now, I will leave to others to debate whether Sofaer’s efforts or those of White House counsel Boyden Gray’s staff to sound out the intentions of the Atlanta prosecutor constituted a crude form of intervention. My point is that before and after consecrating a policy that tied us hip and thigh to Saddam Hussein, George Bush had all the information that he needed to know that he was in deep, deep water.

    But he persisted, although in November the CIA again reported that Baghdad was shopping everywhere for chemical, biological, nuclear technologies, and for ballistic missile technology. Did that set off an alarm bell in the Bush White House? And even though the CIA again reported a link between BNL funding and the Iraq nuclear and missile programs, in November, the administration agreed to go ahead with another billion dollars in US taxpayer-subsidized loan guarantees to Iraq, loans that the US taxpayers now, courtesy of George Bush, have to pay off.

    In January of 1990, President Bush issued a determination that exempted Iraq from Section 512 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act of November ’89 prohibiting further loans to Iraq. The Congress had seen this evidence, and as representatives of the American people, they were attempting to protect the taxpayers against the loss of funds and to protect us and the rest of the world against the use of taxpayer dollars to finance terrorism and to acquire weapons of mass destruction. But on grounds of national security, the President declared that the act’s prohibitions would not apply. And yet this was the same season when the Rand Corporation reported that an estimated 1,400 terrorists were operating openly out of Iraq.In February 1990, Saddam Hussein called for the removal of US forces from the Persian Gulf, and yet the same month the administration actually apologized to Saddam for the offending content of a Voice of American broadcast which had had the temerity to criticize Iraq’s human rights record. Coddling tyrants is a hallmark of the Bush foreign policy.

    March 1990 brought no improvement when US and British agents arrested several Iraqis in the act of trying to smuggle nuclear triggering devices into Iraq. In April, Saddam Hussein issued his infamous threat to burn up half of Israel with chemical weapons, and he noted “advanced binary chemical weapons”. Still, Bush toadied up to Saddam.

    Nothing seemed to set off the alarm in the Bush White House. It seemed that Saddam could do anything, say anything, threaten anything, and still the US taxpayer loans continued to finance his acquisition of the very weapons that he was threatening openly to use.

    Also in April, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that BNL money was diverted to purchase nuclear triggers in the United States which had later been seized by British Customs. That same month, British Customs also seized pipe sections headed for Iraq which were quickly determined to have been parts of a supergun. Similar shipments were seized in Greece, Turkey, Italy, West Germany, and Switzerland. And yet, on April 12th, at the personal request of George Bush, Senators Bob Dole and Alan Simpson, the number one and number two Republican leaders in the Senate respectively, travelled to Baghdad and told Saddam Hussein that President Bush was still ready to veto any sanctions against Iraq that Congress might pass. They added as a footnote, again at Bush’s person request, they said, “the comforting news that the author of that offending Voice of America criticism had been fired that same day” in an effort to please Saddam.

    In April and May, Commerce Undersecretary Dennis Kloske attended two meetings at the White House where he recommended that the US tighten restrictions on exports of high technology. But again, he was overruled, and the flow of technology from the US continued. As a sidenote, when Kloske testified about this before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade about a year later, he was fired within 48 hours.

    Well, May arrives, and a terrorist attack on the public beaches of Tel Aviv was launched and thwarted. It was planned by a Palestinian group operating openly in Baghdad with the full knowledge and support of Saddam Hussein. On May 21st, the USDA sent up another warning about diversions of funds from US-guaranteed loans. But on June 15th, 1990, Assistant Secretary of State Kelly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the administration still opposed any congressional sanctions against Iraq, and in July, as Iraqi tanks and soldiers massed on the Kuwaiti border, the Senate tried to pass another sanctions bill against Iraq, and the administration fiercely opposed it all out. Not only that, but on the eve of the invasion, the Bush-Quayle administration kept selling Saddam Hussein dual-use technology such as sophisticated computers, flight simulators, and equipment to manufacture gun barrels. At that very moment, however, high-level officials in the administration, including Secretary Baker, were finally forced to confront what they should have known from the outset of Bush’s administration — that Iraq had grossly abused the benefits extended to it by Bush.

    In July, a memo jointly drafted by four senior officers of the State Department was sent to Secretary Baker and approved by him. According to this memorandum, the existence of which just came to light a few days ago, the administration acknowledged, and I quote, “Iraq is actively engaged in developing chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missile systems, and may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons as well. Iraq has been attempting to obtain items to support these proliferation activities from US exporters; in some cases, successfully.” End quote. The memorandum concludes that the time had come for the administration to, quote, “move now on Iraq because of its very active proliferation-related procurement efforts, and because there is a danger that US exporters could become implicated in these efforts.” End quote.

    Well, now bear in mind that at this point Saddam Hussein was only one week away from an act of open aggression that would bring us to war. It had taken this long for an awareness of what was going on for years to be acknowledged within the administration. Much has been said about the record of our ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie’s famous interview of July 25th with Saddam Hussein. But the ambassador’s servile message was a clear expression of Bush’s personal views. Her message was totally in line with US policy laid down by President Bush personally in October of 1989 and clung to until August 2nd, 1990 when Iraq invaded, conquered, and annexed Kuwait.

    Within a month, our sons and daughters were to be sent to risk their lives, facing a threat that had been built up through US technology and US tax dollars by our own President, who now summoned them to battle. In answer to this charge, President Bush has explicitly denied that his policies enhanced Saddam Hussein’s nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities. He denied this, not only in an official report to Congress in the Fall of 1991, but as recently as June 13th and July 1st of this year, when Bush said, and I quote, “We did not enhance Saddam Hussein’s nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons capability.” That statement has no credibility. As I have just mentioned, his own secretary of state knew differently and wrote differently, at least as of July 1990, and the actual record of our exports shows the facts rather differently than the President wants to remember them.

    Here are the facts. Almost 30 percent of our non-agricultural exports to Iraq between 1985 and 1990 went directly to the Iraqi military industrial complex. Of these exports, there were 162 items that were licensed for sale despite their potential nuclear applications. The administration permitted the sale of powerful computers, comparable to those used in our own missile test ranges, despite objections from the Department of Defense. It allowed shipment of high tech equipment needed for Iraq’s Condor 2 missile, which was to have been able to deliver a nuclear warhead at a range of more than 600 miles. It allowed for the export of materials needed for the infamous supergun project, intended to have the ability to launch nuclear weapons like artillery shells over hundreds of miles. Machine tools, lasers and other equipment for the manufacture of rocket casings needed in Scud missiles were sold. When UN inspectors got into Iraq, they found that Saddam Hussein’s main nuclear weapons complex, a carbide-tipped machine tool factory, had been built with technology and equipment licensed for export by the Bush administration.

    The administration licensed technology and equipment for fabricating shapes out of glass fiber, over the objections of the Department of Defense, which noted that the purchaser was part of the Iraqi military- industrial complex and that this equipment was needed for a nuclear weapons program. They did it anyway. The administration preferred to blindly accept the importer’s ludicrous claim that the Iraqi military-industrial complex would use this equipment to make shower stalls. Equipment for a so-called detergent factory was licensed, yet this same factory was used to make chemical weapons, used by a nation that had already broken the taboo since World War I and massively used chemical weapons on its own people. What were they thinking?

    Seventeen licenses for the export of bacterial and fungus cultures to Iraq were granted, even though the CIA specifically linked the Iraqi government agencies involved to, quote, “biological warfare support and numerous other military activities.” End quote. The UN Special Commission, once it finally got inside Iraq, is reported to have found equipment from 11 American companies in Iraqi missile and chemical weapons plants.

    It is truly astounding to look at the list of Iraqi customers who were identified and then approved to receive this material by the Bush administration — the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, known as MIMI, which was headed by a brigadier general who was Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, and which the CIA identified as, quote, “controlling Iraq’s nuclear network.” That didn’t set off an alarm bell? It’s okay to send this equipment to the man our CIA says is in control of the nuclear network in Iraq?Another customer approved: The Saddam State Establishment and Salah al Din (sp), called in an intelligence report typical of Iraq’s armed production facilities. Saad 16 (sp), identified back in 1986 as a key missile production site, where as much as 40 percent of the equipment was reported to be US made. The administration even sold Saddam Hussein helicopters for his personal use equipped with special infrared guidance and defensive systems so that he would be more at ease.

    Incredibly, the Bush administration knew all along that the chief purchasing agent for much of this material was the head of an Iraqi weapons complex. The tentacle of the octopus, as one law enforcement official put it, was a US company called Matrix Churchill. It was a key player in Saddam Hussein’s efforts to acquire nuclear and other weapons technologies. The chairman of this so-called American corporation was one Safa Al-Habobi, who was simultaneously the director general of the Iraqi Nassir (sp) State Enterprise for Mechanical Industries, well-known by our intelligence agencies as a major Iraqi military-industrial complex where missiles and nuclear weapons equipment were manufactured. He was the principal purchasing agent.

    There was report after report linking Habobi’s firm, Matrix Churchill, to Iraq’s global network of front companies and even back to the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, and Saddam’s son-in- law, Hussein Kamal (sp).

    But the Bush administration kept issuing licenses for high-tech exports no matter what. Cozy up to Saddam. Make him our friend. This was the Bush theory in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. And as for how Iraq paid for all of this? When it was already far over its head in debt as a result of the war with Iran and Saddam Hussein’s disastrous economic policies? Well, a large part of the answer is: on credit in the form of loans guaranteed by the US taxpayers at the insistence of the Bush-Quayle administration over the objections of those who were in charge of evaluating creditworthiness and evaluating the use to which the money was to be put.

    In the fall of ’89, Bush pushed hard to make sure that that $1 billion in new loan guarantees were provided to Saddam, and it didn’t matter that federal agencies were reporting severe abuses of prior loan guarantees. In the end, the US taxpayer, of course, has been left holding the bag for almost $2 billion of loans which Iraq will never repay. After bailing out the savings and loans, American taxpayers are now being forced by Bush’s poor judgment to bail out Saddam Hussein.

    When it came time to confront the consequences of these years of serious mistakes, when it came time to confront Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait with an international coalition united in its resolve and purpose, George Bush all the way up to the moment the combat ended displayed fortitude, skill, and leadership. But the chestnuts he pulled from that fire were his own. His policies nurtured Saddam Hussein. He was deaf to information that to any other ear was a firebell in the night, ringing clearly that our policies were disastrously wrong, leading toward tragedy.

    And, of course, incredibly, immediately following the war, Bush reverted to form. At Bush’s encouragement, an armed resistance to Saddam Hussein had sprung up in Iraq, but at the critical moment, it was George Bush’s decision to betray that resistance by tolerating Saddam Hussein’s use of attack helicopters to put down the rebellions and to slaughter the dissenters. That was a clear violation of the terms of the cease-fire, and it was a violation we had more than enough power to suppress rather easily. Had we insisted on the terms of the cease-fire, there would have been a much better chance that today we would not be facing Saddam Hussein still in power.

    Well, should a man who mistook Saddam Hussein for a docile and friendly ally and who then pursued that error to the point where lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans had to be put on the line have a second term as president of the United States? Has George Bush told the truth, the whole truth, about a policy that left our nation facing a brutal, murderous dictator? If he will take the credit for the victory, will he also take responsibility for the policy that made that war inevitable? The answer to these questions is, of course, no. He’s not fond of accepting responsibility.

    George Bush sent loan guarantees to an oil-rich dictator. George Bush sold dangerous technology to a criminal who was intent on developing and using lethal weapons. George Bush sent secret intelligence reports to a man who, by any stretch of the imagination, could not be trusted. George Bush refused to face the truth or to hear the urgent warnings coming from his own administration. And then, George Bush put American lives on the line in a war that never should have happened, except for his mistakes.

    In so many ways, George Bush simply does not fit the requirements of the new world order his own speechwriters once summoned up. We require a fresh approach from a new leader of vigor and high intelligence, of courage and vision, who believes to the core that the enemies of freedom cannot be anything but the enemies of our country. I think that the people of the United States have and will take the opportunity to select such a leader. Bill Clinton is that man. Thank you. (Applause.)

    MS. ALBRIGHT: Senator Gore has time for a few questions, if you would pass your questions up, please.

    As you yourself said, President Bush has claimed that they have a legitimate policy for drawing Iraq into the family of nations. Isn’t this just the way foreign policy is done? Shouldn’t we give them the benefit of the doubt?

    SEN. GORE: I believe there is a clear line of demarcation between the standard which ought to be used in judging the persistent support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and the standard which ought to be used in the aftermath of that war.

    I question the decisions that were made during the war, but the decisions made after the end of that war, when the justification for coddling Saddam so thoroughly was dissipated, those decisions reflected truly atrocious judgment. I really do not understand how anyone could receive this flood of information about the terrorism, the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, the unremitting hostility to the United States and to all of our objectives and interests, save the — except for the continued flow of cheap oil, I don’t understand how anyone with sound judgment could have persisted in supporting Saddam as much as Bush did and forcing the US taxpayers to subsidize his acquisition of weapons of mass destruction.

    Now, during the period prior to the end of the Iran-Iraq war, as I stated, I think a different standard ought to be used. I still question the decisions that were made then. I think we went too far. But the central point in response to this question is, when one makes a judgment of that sort, based on the calculation of the national interest in balancing the real politik motives of countries like Iran and Iraq — when one is force to make an unpleasant decision of that kind, when circumstances change, we have to adjust, and we have to recognize that they have changed and untie ourselves from such an unsavory, brutal, aggressive, and dangerous dictator. Instead, when the circumstances changed, allowing us to bring our policy more into line with American values, Bush accelerated the former policy and stepped up the taxpayer loans and the sales of high tech equipment. It is an astonishing record, truly, and led directly to the war.

    MS. ALBRIGHT: Israeli governments have obviously been concerned about Iraqi nuclear and chemical weapons programs. Is there any evidence that the Bush administration had been warned by the Israelis of Iraqi actions prior to the invasion of Kuwait?

    SEN. GORE: Well, of course, going back to 1981, Israel took direct action of its own to halt or at least slow down at that point that Iraqi effort to develop nuclear weapons. But the Bush administration has refused to acknowledge warnings from any source. Whatever the evidence, they have ignored it. Many of our allies have provided us with evidence of Iraq’s persistent effort to acquire these weapons of mass destruction. Many people within the Bush administration raised warning flags. But Bush, once he sets out on a course to coddle someone, he goes the distance. (Laughter and applause.)

    MS. ALBRIGHT: This is kind of a combination of questions, and it tags onto what you’ve just been saying, but how is it that someone like Bush, with all his supposed foreign policy experience, was so blind to this set of facts that you’ve laid out?

    SEN. GORE: I think it is — I think the errors are rooted not in his intelligence, but in his judgment. I believe that he was intent on currying favor with this powerful leader on the assumption that ultimately they would be friends, and that Saddam would so appreciate what Bush had done for him, that at critical moments, this relationship could be used to modify Iraq’s behavior in ways that would serve our interests. Now bear in mind that this assumption was being used by a man, George Bush, who had already done a lot of personal favors for Iraq, and had those favors followed by increasingly aggressive and outrageous responses. The second time that we know about, at least — the second time he personally intervened to secure US taxpayer loans for Saddam, less than two days after the loan went through, Saddam ordered the attack on the USS Stark. Now it would seem to me that George Bush might begin to wonder whether his efforts were being appreciated or not, but it seemed never to occur to him. Indeed, in that infamous meeting between April Glaspie and Saddam, he even instructed Glaspie to say that we have no particular national interest in protecting the territory of Kuwait, we have no treaties with them, we aren’t especially concerned about border disputes between you and Kuwait — at a time when the tanks were massing on the border. In fact, even after the invasion, it took Margaret Thatcher to provide him some backbone.

    A quote from Clementine Paddleford (sp), who wrote in the 1950s is applicable here. She said, “Don’t put a wishbone where a backbone should be.” (Laughter.) That’s what Bush attempted to do, and it doesn’t work in foreign policy. (Applause.)

    MS. ALBRIGHT: Don’t you think that the President has already addressed many of these issues? What does he have to do now to respond to the train of thought that you’ve laid out here?

    SEN. GORE: Well, I think he has to come clean with the American people, and in fact, he has not answered these questions. Let me compare his responses on the swap of arms for hostages with his responses on the way his policies built up Iraq’s military power. On the swap of arms for hostages, he has repeatedly said he was out of the loop, didn’t know that the secretaries of defense and state were objecting. If he had, he might have raised concerns of his own, but he was excluded from key meetings and just didn’t know what was going on.

    Well, of course, now that’s simply not credible because the evidence is piling up, and has he responded to questions about that evidence? No. He has just brushed it off by saying, “There has already been an investigation and I was exonerated.” Well, in fact, there has not been an effort to require him to answer specific questions about that matter, and his statements that he was out of the loop and didn’t know what was going on, again, are simply not credible.

    Similarly, to this day, George Bush is telling the American people that his decisions did not result in assistance to Saddam Hussein in building up his nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons technology. That is simply not true. His own Secretary of State had said exactly the contrary in an official memorandum written one week before the invasion of Kuwait. Repeated statements from Cabinet departments and the CIA have stated exactly the contrary. But President Bush continues to assert to the American people that there was no problem with this.

    Now, let me tell you the link between these two. He was willing to swap arms for hostages even though that would involve dealing directly with terrorists in a manner which risked convincing those terrorists that they could continue their horrendous activities and even be rewarded for it. If he had been held accountable for the poor judgment he exhibited during the arms for hostages swap, he might have been a little more reluctant to make the same moral mistake in the Iraqgate controversy, because the key misjudgment was a willingness to deal with a nation that was guilty of terrorism on a continuing basis and reward them on the hope and expectation that they would change their ways, when, in fact, rewarding them for their behavior could well have been expected to encourage more such behavior. It’s the same basic miscalculation and poor judgment.

    MS. ALBRIGHT: We conclude with a final question. Beginning January 21st, 1993, what will the policy of the Clinton-Gore administration be towards Saddam Hussein and Iraq?

    SEN. GORE: Since this is the last question, before I answer it, let me invite the attention of those present to materials that I have asked my staff to prepare, which lays out all of the evidence that I have presented here with extensive footnotes referring in each case to the specific documents and to the specific evidence that I am relying on and quoting from in the speech. I have also asked them to prepare, and they have done so, listings of the technology that was specifically exported and a rather extensive month-by-month calendar of exactly when the warnings came, when they were ignored, and when the decisions were made to support Saddam in spite of those warnings. So, I invite your attention to the more detailed version of this presentation.

    Now, Governor Clinton and I have spelled out what we believe is an appropriate policy toward Iraq. We believe that the elements of democratic resistance within Iraq deserve support and encouragement from the United States of America. We believe that Saddam must be required to comply with the UN resolutions, all of the UN resolutions, including the one, 688, which prevents him from persecuting his own people, the Kurds in the south, the Muslim resistance elements — the Kurds in the north, the Muslim resistance elements in the south, and those Sunni resistance fighters in the middle part of the country who have formed a common bond with the Shi’a in the south and the Kurds in the north and are even now attempting to organize a more effective front against Saddam Hussein.

    We believe that this kind of behavior simply cannot be tolerated. And we believe that American foreign policy ought to be based on a clear understanding of what American interests are in this new world of the ’90s and the 21st century and based on American values, support for freedom, political freedom and economic freedom, and not the coddling of tyrants, which has been the hallmark of the Bush foreign policy.

    Thank you all very much for being here. (Applause.) Thank you, Madeleine.

    As one can plainly see, candidate Gore believed in 1992 that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, was trying to develop and acquire a nuclear arsenal, and was financing and supporting terrorism around the world.

    With this in mind, why haven’t the media reported on this major policy speech whenever Gore states otherwise?

    Yes, that is indeed a rhetorical question.

  • Sam says:

    The grand strategy of George W. Bush

    In January we noted the Foreign Policy article on the Bush Doctrine by Yale history professor John Lewis Gaddis in our post “The Bush Doctine as grand strategy.” (The article does not appear to be available online now.) Professor Gaddis has expanded the article into a book (Surprise, Security, and the American Experience) due out next month, and the book is the occasion for today’s Boston Globe article “Grand old policy.”

    Professor Gaddis is the preeminent American diplomatic historian. His 1998 We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History is a debate-closing book on the longstanding academic controversy over the origin of the Cold War. In addition to his purely historical pursuits, Professor Gaddis’s academic interests include the revival of the study of grand strategy.

    Laura Secor is the author of the Globe article, and she frames Gaddis’s thesis with the skepticism that the typical Globe reader would bring to it:

    Every president makes foreign policy. Only a select few, over the sweep of history, design what scholars term grand strategy.

    Grand strategy is the blueprint from which policy follows. It envisions a country’s mission, defines its interests, and sets its priorities. Part of grand strategy’s grandeur lies in its durability: A single grand strategy can shape decades, even centuries, of policy.

    Who, then, have been the great grand strategists among American statesmen? According to a slim forthcoming volume by John Lewis Gaddis, the Yale historian whom many describe as the dean of Cold War studies and one of the nation’s most eminent diplomatic historians, they are John Quincy Adams, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and George W. Bush.

    Gaddis knows the latter name may bring a number of his colleagues up short. Critics charge that President Bush is a lightweight, Gaddis laments, and they do so because the president is a generalist who prefers the big picture to its details. Over lunch at Mory’s, Yale’s tweedy private dining club, Gaddis suggests that academics underrate Bush because they overvalue specialized knowledge. In reality, as his new book asserts, after Sept. 11, 2001, Bush underwent “one of the most surprising transformations of an underrated national leader since Prince Hal became Henry V.”

    Professor Gaddis not only credits President Bush with formulating a successsor to the Rooseveltian postwar grand strategy that was appropriate to America’s post-9/11 circumstances, but also with early success in applying the strategy:

    The postwar United States extended its sphere of influence partly through generous economic aid, partly through the alliance system, and largely by the consent of the states in its orbit. So long as the Soviet Union was around, small states always knew that there was something worse than American domination.

    The end of the Cold War changed all that — and found the United States without a grand strategy. President Bill Clinton, says Gaddis, thought that “globalization and democratization were irreversible processes, therefore we didn’t need a grand strategy. Clinton said as much at one point. I think that was shallow. I think they were asleep at the switch.”

    Enter Prince Hal. The Bush administration, marvels Gaddis, undertook a decisive and courageous reassessment of American grand strategy following the shock of the 9/11 attacks. At his doctrine’s center, Bush placed the democratization of the Middle East and the urgent need to prevent terrorists and rogue states from getting nuclear weapons. Bush also boldly rejected the constraints of an outmoded international system that was really nothing more than a “snapshot of the configuration of power that existed in 1945,” Gaddis says.

    Despite the dark predictions of critics, Gaddis writes, so far the military action in Iraq has produced “a modest improvement in American and global economic conditions; an intensified dialogue within the Arab world about political reform; a withdrawal of American forces from Saudi Arabia . . .; and an increasing nervousness on the part of the Syrian and Iranian governments as they contemplated the consequences of being surrounded by American clients or surrogates.” Indeed, Gaddis writes, the United States has emerged “as a more powerful and purposeful actor within the international system than it had been on Sept. 11, 2001.”

    That’s not to say that the Bush administration has behaved flawlessly. Gaddis says, “They don’t give enough weight to how frightening it can be if you have that much power and then you deploy it, and you deploy language foolishly.” Nonetheless, he stresses, “I do take them very seriously. I do think Bush is in charge himself, and has been very underrated as a leader in all of this just as Ronald Reagan was underrated.”

    Gaddis: Bush Pre-emption Doctrine The Most Dramatic Policy Shift Since Cold War
    Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor
    Interviewee: John Lewis Gaddis

    February 6, 2004

    John Lewis Gaddis, a noted historian of U.S. foreign policy, says the Bush administration’s pre-emption doctrine is “the most dramatic and most significant shift” in Washington’s international strategy since the outbreak of the Cold War following World War II. While the implementation of the policy can be faulted, Gaddis says, the approach overall is succeeding.

    “This is an administration, I believe, which is thinking in global terms,” says Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett professor of military and naval history and acting director of the international security studies program at Yale. “I think it is thinking in integrated terms, in the sense that the various parts of the strategy interconnect with each other in a fairly impressive way.”

    He was interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, consulting editor of, on February 6, 2004.

    What do you think about the Bush administration’s foreign policy so far?

    Several things impress me about it— some favorably, some non-favorably, some historically. Let me begin with the historical. As a result of September 11, I think that the shift in foreign policy to a strategy of pre-emption— that supplements but doesn’t replace the Cold War strategies of containment and deterrence— is the most dramatic and most significant shift in American foreign policy since the beginning of the Cold War.

    In terms of how it is going, I would like to begin with the downside and then shift to the upside, as I see it. It seems to me, in terms of execution there have been a lot of problems. First of all, the rhetoric has often undermined the objectives of the administration. And this was a problem even before September 11. The language was not deployed as carefully as the military forces were.

    Are you talking about the axis of evil speech?

    I am talking about the axis of evil speech [the January 2002 State of the Union address]. I am talking about the initial pronouncements [on] the [administration’s rejection of the] Kyoto Protocol [on Climate Change], the [rejection] of the International Criminal Court, the assertions of unilateralism that were so carelessly made in the early days of the administration, and certainly the axis of evil speech and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s relegation of portions of Europe to old status, et cetera. These generated more friction than was necessary, and that certainly is a downside. Also falling in the category of faulty execution is the occupation and administration of Iraq. The administration surely did not give as much attention to that as they did to how they were going to invade Iraq in the first place.

    At the same time, if you back off from these things and simply ask the question, “What is the larger objective of this strategy?” [the answer is,] this is an administration, I believe, which is thinking in global terms. It is thinking in integrated terms, in the sense that the various parts of the strategy interconnect with each other in a fairly impressive way.

    And if you ask about the overall objectives of the strategy, it seems to me that the picture is better and a good deal more successful. The logic of the administration’s strategy has been to say that pre-emption is necessary to deal with adversaries like the 9/11 terrorists because you not only have to find these people themselves, but you also have to either intimidate or, if necessary, take out those states which might have been supporting such terrorists in the past, the assumption being that terrorism can’t succeed without some kind of state support.

    Can I stop you on the word pre-emptive? I know it was used in the National Security Strategy of September 2002, but pre-emptive carries with it the thought of stopping some imminent attack. We now know in Iraq there probably wasn’t an imminent attack likely. Wouldn’t preventive be a better word?

    The terms are confusing because there was a fairly clear and sharp distinction during the Cold War between pre-emptive and preventive war. In the Cold War, pre-emption meant imminent danger. Preventive was understood to be a more long-term question. I have always felt that these terms were not easily separated, that there was a kind of blur between them. And I think that is all the more relevant as you move out of the Cold War and as we get away from the context of nuclear war in which these terms were being used. The idea of pre-emption or prevention is not new in American foreign policy.

    It’s deeply rooted in American foreign policy, going all the way back to the aftermath of the War of 1812. It was a dominant feature of our foreign policy for 100 years, coming all the way up through the early 20 th century Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine [that made the Western Hemisphere off-limits to European colonization]. There were no clear distinctions made between pre-emption and prevention in the thinking of that period.

    I think we are actually back to a kind of situation which 19 th-century strategists had to deal with: the danger of non-state actors who, with state support or taking advantage of the failure of states, might gain locations from which they could threaten American interests. There was a sense that these dangers had to be pre-empted or prevented by taking over Florida, for example, from Spain, or taking over Texas from Mexico, or, according to many historians, provoking a war with Mexico so [the United States] could take California to prevent the French or British from taking it later.

    [Another example is] our interventions in Central America at the beginning of the 20th century, which were intended to prevent so-called failed states from providing excuses that might lead European powers like imperial Germany, for instance, to intervene. There is a long tradition behind this, and I think it obscures more than it illuminates to try to provide this pre-emption/prevention distinction from the nuclear debates in the 1950s and 1960s and try to make them work in this new situation.

    Now that Iraq has fallen, do you expect there will be much positive fallout in the other Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, that are not democracies?

    This gets back to my point that, while the execution has been flawed, in many ways, in particular situations, one can make the case that the overall [administration] strategy has gone reasonably well. First of all, we have gone now, thank God and cross fingers, for well over two years without any recurrences of what happened on September 11. And it is easy to lose sight of how fearful all of us were that [the events of] September 11 were simply a precursor for something much worse that could happen at any moment. So the very fact that something much worse has not happened so far is in some way an indication that the larger strategy has worked.

    Secondly, it seems to me that the real goal of the strategy has been one that the administration cannot publicly acknowledge: simply to frighten badly any state that might be thinking about supporting terrorists in the future. I like to use the analogy that [the strategy] is a little bit like the parking signs that Mayor Ed Koch used to have put up around New York City [that read], “Don’t even think about parking here.” This is the administration’s objective with the strategy— “Don’t even think about doing what the Taliban did in harboring al Qaeda.”

    In that sense, the administration has been quite successful. It has forced [changes in] problematic states whose intentions we had reason to doubt, like Libya and Iran, and in Pakistan, which had a record of supporting terrorism or supplying weapons of mass destruction to others. It is quite obvious that rethinking has happened in these states. There is even some ambiguity about the direction that Syria will be taking. But clearly, there has been sober rethinking in these states about the pluses and minuses of giving support to terrorists.

    The whole context, the whole center of gravity in the Middle East, in that sense, has shifted as a result of the administration’s strategy. Related to that, and getting back to the question you were asking, something very fundamental has happened in terms of the American support for democracy in the Middle East.

    There is no question that our strategy up until this administration had been anything but one of supporting democratic elements in the Middle East. We did not for various reasons— our oil dependency, or the geopolitical context of the Cold War, or whatever. We put a lot more emphasis on simply building solid relationships with whomever the rulers of Middle East states happened to be than we did in trying to transform these states into democracies or transplant the idea of democracy to that part of the world.

    What happened on September 11 was that it became painfully clear that this was a strategy that had more liabilities than assets for American national security. This gets back to the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis and so on. What has happened here is fundamental. This administration is dead serious about trying to make the world safe for democracy. It is as serious about the fundamental premises that Woodrow Wilson set forward some eight decades ago as any subsequent administration has been.

    It is striking to have Bush become a Wilsonian, isn’t it?

    Absolutely. But our old categories of right and left really mean less and less when it comes to foreign policy. Think back through Republican presidencies of the recent past. Who was the president Richard Nixon most admired? He claimed it was Wilson. Maybe he was just being cynical. But it was interesting he made that choice.

    If you asked what was one of the distinctive features of Ronald Reagan’s presidency as far as foreign policy was concerned, one of the most important aspects of it was that he actually agreed with Jimmy Carter on the promotion of human rights, that he was as serious about this as Carter was. That made human rights a priority on the conservative, Republican agenda, surely reflecting the early neoconservative influences on foreign policy. That trend has continued into this administration, which has moved even more radically and more firmly in this direction. So, ironically, this conservative Republican administration is really the most radical American administration we have seen in years in terms of its promotion of democracy abroad in places that were earlier regarded as inhospitable to it.

    If you were advising the Democratic candidate for president, how would you deal with the Bush foreign policy?

    First of all, whoever the Democratic candidate is, he is going to have to acknowledge the importance of what happened on September 11. He’s going to have to acknowledge that we are facing a completely new geopolitical situation. To try and sell the line that what we have done in the aftermath of September 11 has been either misguided, irresponsible, or flawed, is simply not going to work. We cannot go back to the world as it was before September 11.

    The candidate should acknowledge the logic of the new strategy, that pre-emption does have a place in American foreign policy, both because it is part of our history but also because, increasingly, others have come around to the same point of view. Pre-emption is out there now for discussion and debate as a legitimate instrument of foreign policy, in a way that it certainly wasn’t before September 11.

    I think any responsible Democrat has to acknowledge that. I think where the basis for criticism comes in would be the area of execution. It is not so much that the overall strategy is flawed, but is it being executed in such a way as to minimize friction, minimize the resistance that’s generated from careless rhetoric or faulty implementation? I think surely the issue of costs is out there and is a major one. Can the administration sustain the obligations it is taking on at a time when it is projecting record deficits at home? What about the ends-means relationship, which is absolutely essential when you are thinking about grand strategy?

    I would say that debate along these lines is what a responsible Democratic candidate would have to do. Take seriously the shift in our national security priorities but, at the same time, find a basis for legitimate debate on the question of how we respond to those shifts and how we execute the strategy. This again would have plenty of parallels to the early Cold War experience. After the strategy of containment was formulated and implemented in 1946-47, you didn’t find the Republican Party seeking to overturn it. Those Republicans who would have liked to have done that, like [Senator] Robert Taft [of Ohio, who lost the 1952 presidential nomination to Dwight D. Eisenhower] ended up out in the cold. The Eisenhower wing of the Republican Party began with accepting the principles of the strategy of the Truman administration but criticizing the execution of it. They were successful in those ways. I think something like that is what now has to happen within the Democratic Party.

  • Sam says:

    Iraq technically put itself into a state of war with the United States by violating the cease-fire that ended the 1991 Gulf War. Long before the 2003 war, Iraqi forces were shooting daily at American and British warplanes assigned to enforce the U.N.-imposed no-fly zones over Iraq.
    The Clinton administration chose to ignore these attacks and other cease-fire violations, but the Bush administration decided to take action in view of Iraq’s manifest failure to prove that it had dismantled its prohibited programs to build weapons of mass destruction and missiles that threatened its neighbors. The U.N. Charter explicitly recognizes the right of every state to act in self-defense.
    General Georges Hormiz Sada (aka Gewargis or George Hormis; Arabic: كوركيس هرمز ساده, Syriac: ܓܘܪܓܝܣ ܗܪܡܙ ܣܕܐ; born 1939?) is an Iraqi of Assyrian descent, an author and retired general officer of the Iraqi Air Force.

    Sada was born to an Assyrian family (see his account) in Northern Iraq, that belonged to the Chaldean Catholic Church before becoming a ‘born-again’ Christian. In 1959 he graduated from the Iraqi Air Academy, and over the following years served as an Air Force Officer, including stints studying overseas in Britain, the USSR and the United States. Through 1964-1965 he was a student at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

    He officially retired in 1986 as a 2 star officer, but was called back to active service for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. According to his autobiography, he was briefly imprisoned in 1991 for refusing to execute POWs. He was told that Saddam didn’t want him harmed but that he never wanted to see him again either.

    After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, Sada sided with the US-led government, and served as spokesman for the interim leader Iyad Allawi, and was appointed as National Security Advisor.

    In August 2004 Sada announced that he would be signing a bill to introduce the death penalty for those “threatening national security”. (on al-Jazeera)

    He serves as the Senior Warden of the St. Georges Anglican Church and as the President of the National Presbyterian Church, both in Baghdad. The former President of the Evangelical Churches of Iraq, Sada is also chairman of the Assembly of Iraqi Evangelical Presbyterian Churches. He has been active in advocating that Iraq was historically Christian in nature, and not Muslim.

    On January 24th 2006, he announced the publication of a book he had written entitled Saddam’s Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied And Survived Saddam Hussein, with the tagline “An insider exposes plans to destroy Israel, hide WMDs and control the Arab world.”[1] Sada, the former Air Vice-Marshal under Hussein, appeared the following day on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, where he discussed his book and reported that other pilots told him that Hussein had ordered them to fly portions of the WMD stockpiles to Damascus in Syria just prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

    Well, I want to make it clear, very clear to everybody in the world that we had the weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, and the regime used them against our Iraqi people…I know it because I have got the captains of the Iraqi airway that were my friends, and they told me these weapons of mass destruction had been moved to Syria. Iraq had some projects for nuclear weapons but it was destroyed in 1981.

    The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology — parts needed to develop a bomb program — that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad, CNN has learned.

    The parts, with accompanying plans, were unearthed by Iraqi scientist Mahdi Obeidi who had hidden them under a rose bush in his garden 12 years ago under orders from Qusay Hussein and Saddam Hussein’s then son-in-law, Hussein Kamel.

    U.S. officials emphasized this was not evidence Iraq had a nuclear weapon — but it was evidence the Iraqis concealed plans to reconstitute their nuclear program as soon as the world was no longer looking.

    The parts and documents Obeidi gave the CIA were shown exclusively to CNN at CIA headquarters in Virginia.

    Obeidi told CNN the parts of a gas centrifuge system for enriching uranium were part of a highly sophisticated system he was ordered to hide to be ready to rebuild the bomb program.

    “I have very important things at my disposal that I have been ordered to have, to keep, and I’ve kept them, and I don’t want this to proliferate, because of its potential consequences if it falls in the hands of tyrants, in the hands of dictators or of terrorists,” said Obeidi, who has been taken out of Iraq with the help of the U.S. government.

    Obeidi also said he was not the only scientist ordered to hide that type of equipment.

    “I think there may be more than three other copies. And I think it is quite important to look at this list so they will not fall into the hands of the wrong people,” he said.

    Centrifuges are drums or cylinders that spin at high speed and separate heavy and light molecules, allowing increasingly enriched uranium to be drawn off.

    David Kay, who led three U.N. arms inspection missions in Iraq in 1991-92 and now heads the CIA’s search for unconventional weapons, started work two days ago in Baghdad. CNN spoke to him about the case over a secure teleconferencing line.

    “It begins to tell us how huge our job is,” Kay said. “Remember, his material was buried in a barrel behind his house in a rose garden.

    “There’s no way that that would have been discovered by normal international inspections. I couldn’t have done it. My successors couldn’t have done it.”

    In what was to be his last book, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, about the murders of black children in Atlanta in the early 1980s, the great James Baldwin had the following reminiscence:

    Some years ago, after the disappearance of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwirner in Mississippi, some friends of mine were dragging the river for their bodies. This one wasn’t Schwirner. This one wasn’t Goodman. This one wasn’t Chaney. Then, as Dave Dennis tells it: “It suddenly struck us � what difference did it make that it wasn’t them? What are these bodies doing in the river?”

    I wouldn’t ordinarily rest anything on an assertion from the Apostle Paul, who described faith itself as “the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” But a whole school of pseudo-empiricism is now springing up, concerning the “evidence” from Iraq. In Slate a few weeks ago, reviewing the new book by Saddam’s one-time chief physicist Mahdi Obeidi, I pointed to some important facts about Iraq’s weaponry that have only become known to us as a direct consequence of regime-change. Some of these things�the buried nuclear centrifuge, or the attempt to purchase missiles from North Korea�were rather worse than had been previously alleged by the administration. Moreover, nobody before the war had claimed that Iraq had no covert weaponry at all. (To the contrary, I used to have to argue every day with antiwar forces who said that Saddam would be able to liquidate tens of thousands of coalition troops, not to mention many Israelis, with his mighty arsenal.)

    A comparable elision is now under way in the matter of “terrorism.” In that Saddam Hussein will not have to stand trial for direct complicity in the crimes of 11 September 2001, it is now being freely said that he was not really a friend of jihadist fanaticism at all. The two cases in point are Abdul Rahman Yasin, a crucial member of the team that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, and Abu Musad al-Zarqawi, currently the leader of a very deadly and ruthless group known as Monotheism and Jihad, operating in central Iraq. (Mr. Zarqawi is evidently a “hands-on” kind of a guy: He is believed to be, and has claimed to be, the wielder of the murderer’s knife in more than one decapitation-porn video.)

    The latter is one respect, at least, in which he differs from Osama Bin Laden. Like many a crazed Islamist, Bin Laden prefers to lead from the rear and to send others to die. Even if he is still alive�which seems open to great doubt�he only escaped by running away from the capital city of the Afghanistan he had helped oppress and enslave. Not for him the baring of the chest to the Crusader-Zionist bullets. In every other important resemblance, however, Zarqawi is a Bin Laden clone. He has the same theology, of contempt for Shia Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and secularists. He was in the next camp over in Afghanistan. He has been convincingly accused by the Jordanian police�he is of Jordanian nationality�of trying to get hold of chemical and biological weapons.

    Ah, but is he really a certified al-Qaida man? Well, he has made professions of fealty to Osama. And a Zarqawi messenger and known associate was intercepted some time ago leaving Iraq with a message for the boss about creating a new front in Iraq against all heretics and unbelievers (with special emphasis on starting a Shia-Sunni civil war). If you asked me, I would say that Zarqawi was at the very least a Bin Laden wannabe, and at the very most a rival for the possibly vacant position of most lethal Islamist killer in the world. (Ah, but I didn’t prove that he was actually in Bin Laden’s inner circle.)

    An equally interesting question is Zarqawi’s connection to the Baathist underworld. It is known that he was in Iraq before the invasion, though our intelligence is so bad (yet again) that we don’t know if this was for medical treatment or not, or even whether he had lost part of a limb in or around Tora Bora. His main pre-war activity was directed at the Kurdish leadership in that part of northern Iraq that was outside Saddam Hussein’s immediate control. It is evident that he can penetrate very well-guarded parts of Baghdad and other major cities, that he has more than one safe-house, and that he disposes of a huge amount of money. His network, of local and foreign recruits, is taken very seriously by all observers.

    In order to believe that Zarqawi is or was innocent of al-Qaida and Baathist ties, therefore, or in order to believe that he does not in fact represent such a tie, you must be ready to believe that:

    1) A low-level Iraqi official decided to admit a much-hunted Jordanian�a refugee from the invasion of Afghanistan, after Sept. 11, 2001�when even the most conservative forces in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were keeping their distance from such people and even assisting in rounding them up.

    2) That this newly admitted immigrant felt that the most pressing need of the holy war was the assassination of Kurdish leaders opposed to the rule of Saddam Hussein.

    3) That a recently arrived Jordanian, in a totally controlled police state, was so enterprising as to swiftly put himself in possession of maps, city diagrams, large sums of cash, and a group of heavily armed fighters hitherto named after the Iraqi dictator�the Fedayeen Saddam.

    I can only say that you are quite welcome to believe all of that if you wish. But you must be able to wish quite hard. The same is true of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was at least an Iraqi passport-holder when he skipped bail from New Jersey in 1993 as one of the most wanted men in the United States and made it through Jordan to Baghdad in a matter of hours. Peter Boyer in The New Yorker of Nov. 1 is the latest to see nothing especially odd in this. (Boyer does concede, as the New York Times did once report, that Saddam may have hoped to use Yasin as a “bargaining chip.” Indeed. And to bargain about what? My friend Rolf Ekeus, the eminent Swedish diplomat who originally founded the UNSCOM inspectorate, told me that Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s slimy foreign minister, once asked him to act as intermediary. In return for an easing of sanctions, said Aziz, Iraq had a lot of information about the whereabouts of terrorists that it was willing to trade �)

    Millions of Iraqis can tell you that during the Saddam despotism their country was as hard to enter as it was to leave. Any reporter with average knowledge or experience can also tell you that decisions of this kind�about which high-value fugitive to admit, for example�were not taken at consular or desk-officer level during the days of the supreme and absolute leader. But of course, this is no smoking gun. Perhaps, indeed, the Baathists and the jihadists simply collaborate without having to be told. Meanwhile, what are all those other bodies doing in the river?

    Each year about this time, some parents write in to ask for suggestions of things for their children to read during the summer, in order to counteract the steady diet of liberal-left indoctrination they have been getting in schools and colleges.

    This year there is a new book that is almost tailor-made for that purpose. Its title is “Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies” by Gregory Jackson. In it, all sorts of political and media spin are shot to pieces by hard facts.

    If you think that the Constitution of the United States provides for “separation of church and state,” that George W. Bush is not as smart as either Al Gore or John Kerry, or that the big-money donors to political campaigns give more to the Republicans than to the Democrats, this book provides documented facts showing the opposite.

    The book goes literally from A to Z, with 26 chapters covering subjects from abortion to zealots who are terrorists.

    Some of the facts cited are historical facts and some are statistical. Among the historical facts is that there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution about a “separation of church and state,” despite how often that phrase has been repeated in the media, in politics, and even in courts of law.

    Over the years, liberal judges have twisted the First Amendment’s phrase about “free exercise of religion” to mean the opposite — that you are not free to exercise your religion if atheists or members of non-Christian religions say that they are offended.

    Whatever the best social policy might be as regards Christmas displays or the use of vouchers in parochial schools, none of this is banned by the Constitution. Some judges, however, use the Constitution as a blank check, authorizing them to ban whatever they don’t like and call it Constitutional law.

    President Bush, like Ronald Reagan before him and innumerable others who are out of favor among liberals, has repeatedly been depicted as such a mental lightweight that he is not in the same league with brilliant guys like Al Gore and John Kerry.

    The fact is that George W. Bush and John Kerry both went to Yale, where Bush had a higher grade-point average. Bush also scored higher than Kerry on intelligence tests that both took in the military. Gore went to Harvard, where he finished in the bottom fifth of his class two years in a row.

    Grades and test scores are not everything. But they are something — and those who are convinced that their guys are way smarter have no hard facts at all to back up this widely and fervently believed notion.

    The cold fact is that anyone who spouts the liberal line is likely to be depicted as sophisticated, if not brilliant, and anyone who opposes it is likely to be considered dull, if not stupid, in the liberal media.

    The grand political fallacy of the age is that the Republicans are the party of wealth, while the Democrats are the party of compassion for the little guy. This is something that has been assumed and repeated so often that it has become a “well-known fact” without any hard evidence being asked for or given.

    In the 2000 elections, the counties that voted for Bush had a smaller percentage of their population with annual incomes over $100,000 than the counties that voted for Gore. The Bush counties also had a higher percentage of their population earning under $30,000 a year.

    It has become axiomatic in the liberal media that big-money donors give most of that big money to the Republicans. But the hard data show that the top ten donors to political campaigns gave far more to the Democrats, with the lone exception being the National Association of Realtors, who gave 50 percent to the Democrats and 49 percent to the Republicans.

    “Racism” is the trump card in the indictment of Republicans. But the cold fact is that the whole Jim Crow era in the South was dominated by Democrats. A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for civil rights legislation.

    Bill Clinton’s cabinet consisted overwhelmingly of white males while Bush’s cabinet has been the most ethnically diverse in history.

    But who cares about facts any more?

  • Sam says:


    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

    “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    Why we need the wealthy to go shopping
    NEW YORK (AP) — It’s hard to feel sorry for well-heeled shoppers whose idea of tough economic times is passing on $1,000 Burberry raincoats or that $300 limo ride while the working poor skimp on vegetables and take the bus.

    Clothier Jeffrey Landis, right, shows fabric to Tim Philosophos at Montopoli Custom Clothiers in Chicago.

    But economists say that recent signs of cutting back by the affluent could hurt the economy and deliver even more pain to lower-income workers, who are dependent on their business and fat tips.

    Nathan Warren, a limo driver, knows this first hand: He has seen his monthly wages drop by 40 percent to about $1,800 since late last year. His work week at Newport Beach, California-based Classy Ride Limousine Service was reduced to three days from five amid slow business.

    “I have to struggle to get by. I am pinching pennies,” said Warren, 30, a Costa Mesa, California resident. “I am eating more cereal and am not buying clothing.”

    Cutbacks by the wealthy have a ripple effect across all consumer spending, said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s because American households in the top 20 percent by income — those making at least $150,000 a year — account for about 40 percent of overall consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of economic activity.

    Niemira expects the retail sector, whose growth was fueled in part by strong gains at luxury chains, will struggle to eke out a 1 percentage sales increase in stores opened at least a year during the next few months. That’s below the 2.1 percent average for 2007 and 3.7 percent for 2006.

    Just look at the cutbacks by Dali Wiederhoft, a 52-year-old marketing executive from Reno, Nevada, made skittish by a volatile stock market, a 20 percent decline in her home value and recession fears.

    Over the past three months Wiederhoft pared her spending on clothes to $500 per month from about $3,000; that means no more Jimmy Choo shoes and David Yurman jewelry. Her cutbacks also included canceling the services of a cleaning woman and a lawn care company. She also plans to trade in her BMW for a Ford when her lease expires in about a month.

    “This is a time to have cash, not to spend. So, I’m cutting wherever I can,” she said.

    Such reined-in spending seems to be the end of a winning streak for luxury retailers that once appeared immune to the economic slowdown. Tiffany & Co. and Williams-Sonoma Inc. both reduced their earnings outlooks and Burberry PLC said it may miss its 2008 profit forecast. Coach Inc. reported a 1.1 percent decline in same-store sales at its North American stores for the second quarter ended December 29, 2007 and Compagnie FinanciÇere Richemont SA, the Swiss parent of Cartier and Baume & Mercier, reported a slowdown in holiday sales growth.

    Soaring home values had made upper-middle class shoppers feel wealthy in recent years, causing them to trade up to $500 Coach handbags and $1,000 espresso makers, but a housing slump has wiped away their paper wealth. The woes are creeping into even the high-end luxury sector, as affluent shoppers are rattled by the turbulence in the financial markets.

    American Express Co., whose customers are generally affluent, said it expects slower spending and more missed payments on credit cards throughout 2008.

    The economy needs affluent shoppers to spend with enthusiasm. According to the government’s latest survey of consumer expenditures, the top 20 percent of households spend about $94,000 annually, almost five times the bottom 20 percent and more per year than the bottom sixty percent combined.

    Then there’s also the multiplier effect. When shoppers splurge on $1,000 dinners and $300 limousine rides, that means fatter tips for the waiter and the driver. Sales clerks at upscale stores, who typically earn sales commissions, also depend on spending sprees of mink coats and jewelry. But the trickling down is starting to dry up, threatening to hurt a broad base of low-paid workers like Warren, the limo driver.

    Classy Ride Limousine Service, which caters to clients with an average household income of $200,000, has suffered a 10 percent dip in business last year, according to general manager Jason Lattier.

    “We’ve been really slow,” said Lattier, noting that 12 out of his 20 drivers are now working three days per week. With the average driver earnings $150 a day in tips and wages, that means a weekly shortfall of $300.

    In Chicago, Montopoli Custom Clothiers, a tailor to consumers willing to spend $3,000 to $30,000 for a custom-made suit, has also seen business suffer. Sales dropped 10 percent in October and November from the year-ago period, according to president Jeff Landis. He noted that 20 percent of his clients, who include commodity traders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, delayed buying suits for fall.

    “I consider them a leading economic indicator,” said Landis. He’s taken more aggressive measures like increasing calls to clients to get them in the store, but hasn’t laid off anyone.

    “I’m not at the point of panic,” he said.

    Overall, the super wealthy — consumers with a net worth of more than $10 million — are still splurging on $1 million boats, $10 million diamond jewelry and other luxuries, according to Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute, a research institute based in New York.

    But this crowd could stop splurging, simply because they’re not in the mood. That happened right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, though luxury spending rebounded soon after.

    Jim Taylor, vice chairman of marketing consultancy The Harrison Group, said he’s seeing a marked shift in the way people look upon spending.

    “There’s a real decline in enthusiasm for self-indulgent purchasing,” said Taylor.

    Orrin Feingold, a New York entrepreneur, decided to get out of his lease on a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle because he realized he didn’t need to spend $650 a month and another $500 on parking. Feingold, 39, a former chief financial officer of a health care company, said the uncertain financial climate is making him think twice about spending.

    “I want to be more practical,” he said.

    Luxury stores, which have a big presence in New York, are closely monitoring Wall Street. The financial industry accounts for about 20 percent of wages in New York City, according to the state comptroller’s office.

    Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, a leading executive compensation consultancy, expects bonuses to fall as much as 30 percent this year. But more importantly, massive layoffs on Wall Street could cause the affluent to pull back even more.

    Meanwhile, Warren, the California limo driver is focusing on day-to-day survival. Faced with a monthly rent of $1,300, he has no choice but look for a full-time job.

    He’s had training as a machinist before, but now things are too unsettled.

    “There is so much uncertainty in the economy from what I see, so I am not sure where I am going to look,” he said.

    Cutbacks by the wealthy have a ripple effect across all consumer spending, said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s because American households in the top 20 percent by income — those making at least $150,000 a year — account for about 40 percent of overall consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of economic activity.

  • Come Correct says:

    He’s standing up for what he believes in. And he believes good things.

  • operator says:

    Bible thumpers think everyone is going to hell but them. You could be the kindest most compassionate person in the world who hands out blankets to the homeless, voluteers in a soup kitchen and donates to numorous charities but if you’re not one of them you are going to hell.

  • Stellar53 says:

    Sam, thank you for ruining a thread…..not one person read what you inserted….

    Keith stated the correct:

    “Don’t you dare classify me as an racist ignoramus. Its a completely false classification and shows your ignorance in the entire argument. This isn’t an argument of race but of cultures. America is/was the great “melting pot.” And I have no issues with those who want to come here and melt in. My big issue is with those who VOLUNTARILY come to this country and then say, “Fuck you. I’m not going to learn your language or bother to adhere to your laws.” I *HAD* to learn Spanish for that very reason. Here in SoCal we have tons of Latin American immigrants who are too lazy or ignorant to learn the language of the country they chose to come to.”

  • Sam says:

    Media Ignore Saddam’s WMD Intent

    When FBI agent George Piro recently described debriefing Saddam Hussein for seven months after his capture, he disclosed that the Iraqi dictator admitted his intention to re-start his weapons of mass destruction program within a year.

    That plan included developing nuclear weapons capability, according to Saddam.

    The revelation should have hit Page One of every newspaper.

    It would have further justified President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, a key issue in the coming presidential election. But many in the mainstream media could not bear to hear that Bush may have done something right.

    When Piro’s interview came out in my book, “The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack,” NBC Nightly News, Fox News, and Newsmax ran the news of Saddam’s admission, but few newspapers published a story.

    CNN ran a story on the debriefing of Saddam but made no mention of Saddam’s plans to resume his weapons of mass destruction program, including developing nuclear capability. Instead, CNN said that what Saddam told Piro “throws more cold water on the justification for war” because Saddam admitted he was bluffing about having weapons of mass destruction.

    Two and a half months later, “60 Minutes” ran the first television interview with Piro. The interview buried the reference to Saddam’s WMD and nuclear plans, as did the press release on the CBS Web site. Likewise, an AP story on the interview mentioned Saddam’s plans in the 11th paragraph. Only four U.S. newspapers ran a story referring to Saddam’s WMD and nuclear plans.

    The Washington Post ran a 542-word story on the interview leaving out any mention of Saddam’s avowed intentions. The New York Times ran no story at all.

    Today, we have press censorship similar to what existed in the old Soviet Union, except the censors are journalists themselves, and it’s in reverse: News favorable to the government is suppressed.

  • Sam says:

    Geldof: Western Press Refuses to Credit Bush for African Achievements

    President Bush is off in Africa this week enjoying plaudits from numerous African political leaders for his efforts to modernize and improve health and human rights situations there.

    Just as they’ve done with positive Iraq news, however, the Western press is burying the story when it comes to the Bush administration’s achievements in Africa. Irish rock star and human rights activist Bob Geldof chided the media today for the situation:

    He [Geldof] spoke off the cuff to reporters today who were waiting for a press conference with Mr. Bush and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

    Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement.

    Mr. Bush, said Mr. Geldof, “has done more than any other president so far.”

    “This is the triumph of American policy really,” he said. “It was probably unexpected of the man. It was expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion.”

    “What’s in it for [Mr. Bush]? Absolutely nothing,” Mr. Geldof said.

    Mr. Geldof said that the president has failed “to articulate this to Americans” but said he is also “pissed off” at the press for their failure to report on this good news story.

    “You guys didn’t pay attention,” Geldof said to a group of reporters from all the major newspapers.

    Bob Geldof in Rwanda gives Bush his props

    KIGALI, Rwanda — Bob Geldof has parachuted into the White House travel pool here in Rwanda, and will join us on the flight from Air Force One to Ghana tonight.

    He’s going to interview President Bush for Time magazine and several European outlets, such as Liberacion, about aid to Africa for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and business development.

    Mr. Geldof is an Irish rock and roll singer and longtime social activist who has helped, along with U2 rocker Bono, raise awareness about need in Africa. His most well known achievement is organizing the Live Aid concert in 1985, which raised money for debt relief for poor African countries.

    But Mr. Geldof has remained closely engaged with African affairs since then, and he spoke off the cuff to reporters today who were waiting for a press conference with Mr. Bush and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

    Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement.

    Mr. Bush, said Mr. Geldof, “has done more than any other president so far.”

    “This is the triumph of American policy really,” he said. “It was probably unexpected of the man. It was expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion.”

    “What’s in it for [Mr. Bush]? Absolutely nothing,” Mr. Geldof said.

    Mr. Geldof said that the president has failed “to articulate this to Americans” but said he is also “pissed off” at the press for their failure to report on this good news story.

    “You guys didn’t pay attention,” Geldof said to a group of reporters from all the major newspapers.

    Bush administration officials, incidentally, have also been quite displeased with some of the press coverage on this trip that they have viewed as overly negative and ignoring their achievements.

    — Jon Ward, White House correspondent, The Washington Times…_in_rwanda.html

    “You guys didn’t pay attention,” Geldof said to a group of reporters from all the major newspapers.

    You are wrong Sir Bob. They are paying attention but can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that the US is the most generous nation in the world and aid to Africa has increased under President Bush.

    Both truths, taken separately, would be hard enough to admit. But to admit both at the same time would cause heads to explode and it would make it hard to paint the US as selfish and Bush as an evil, uncaring, capitalist ogre.