Friday, February 09, 2007

Well, it's not like anyone DIED or anything, right? Right?


Via AmericaBlog, we learn (maybe a touch late) that, yes indeedy, the alleged link between Iraq and al-Qaeda was, um, contrived. And how gracefully does one extract oneself from the accusation of cooking the books, intelligence-wise?

In a telephone interview yesterday, Feith emphasized the inspector general's conclusion that his actions, described in the report as "inappropriate," were not unlawful.

So Feith's doctoring of intelligence was not, as it were, technically "illegal," per se. And this is what the neo-con position has finally come to -- that they technically didn't actually violate the letter of the law.

From where I'm sitting, that's a mighty low bar, standards-wise. Your morals and values party in action.

19 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

The whole American justice system is based on the technicality of the law, not the spirit of it.

They're doomed if that doesn't change.

Michael said...

OK, so technically "fudging intelligence" is not "against the law".

How about a class-action-driven charge of "accessory to murder after the fact"? Is that still illegal, or what?

The Seer said...

Ah, guys, remember Scooter — lieing to a federal official?

Think they can prove Doug deliberately misrepresented to facts?

Think Abu Gonzalez would go along with a prosecution like that?

southern quebec said...

Oh, you mean this Douglas Feith?
Tommy Franks in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, in which Franks calls Feith "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth."

Ti-Guy said...

Think they can prove Doug deliberately misrepresented to facts?

That is indeed the problem. Lying to the point of being held legally responsible is a weakness in American jurisprudence because the lawyers there are very practiced in making intent (which is almost impossible to prove) a defense and people are gullible enough to fall for it.

sooey said...

they beat us in going after money crimes, though. tax fraud, insider trading. they hate that shit with a passion we seem to reserve for the weather.

Jose said...

The same sales pitch is now being used on Iran. This time we're supposed to believe that Iran is fueling Iraq's insurgency.

The new sales pitch is actually more credible than the last (which isn't saying much). But there's a lot of hope for optimism:

-Congress isn't buying it.
-The NIE contradicts the message coming out of the White House.
-The Military has privately leaked that they think such a move would be a mistake.
-Public opinion is against escalation.

The surge wasn't Bush's last gasp. The "It's all Iran's fault" is the latest gasp. Hopefully it will fall flat. At which point the White House will come up with a new pitch.

Zorpheous said...

I seem to remember so many stupid neo-clowns spouting that it was all the CIA fault, that the White House didn't screw with or manipulate the intelligence,...

Now I wonder if the media in America and Fox News will be covering this story?

Anonymous said...

What's amazing is that this is news in the US over 3 years after the war started. Everyone outside the US knew it all along.

What do you think about this local story.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/02/08/bc-dancers-cancer.html

frizell said...

"...Feith's assessment in 2002 that Iraq and al-Qaeda had a "mature symbiotic relationship" was not fully supported by available intelligence..."

The implication being that his assessment was supported to some degree.
Hardly the definition of "contrived".

So, the officials in question saw what they wished to see in the reports to them, while you see what you wish to see in the newspaper accounts that you read.

CC said...

frizell weites:

"The implication being that his assessment was supported to some degree."

A claim I'm sure you'll be happy to back up with, uh ... well, around here, we call them "facts."

Go wild. We're waiting.

The Seer said...

What's amazing is that this is news in the US over 3 years after the war started.

It's not "news in the US" in the sense that no one in the US knew it before, it's news in the US in the sense that no one had seem the actual evidence before. Dear Leader & Dead-Eye, until now, had succeeded in keeping this stuff classified.

"The implication being that his assessment was supported to some degree."

In the American law of defamation, we have a concept of "wanton & reckless disregard for the truth." This standard is satisfied if someone publishes representations about another that are known to be false, or by making representations of fact "recklessly, as a positive assertion, in the face of strong reason to doubt the truth thereof." In the law of defamation, “supported to some degree” does not make out a defense.

Intent is almost impossible to prove . . .

In Michigan court houses, we have this old saying that “intent is a secret of a man’s mind, made known by what he says and by what he does, and sometimes actions speak louder than words.”

What Doug, Dear Leader & Dead-Eye did was make representations of fact recklessly, as positive assertions, while concealing a strong body of evidence to the contrary, with intent to intimidate opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

The problem in the US is not what we knew, or what was “supported to some degree,” or what we can prove, the problem it politics, which has been described as “the art of the possible”

frizell said...

If Feith's assessment was pure fiction, why did the inspector-general's report use the qualifier "fully"? Why not just say "not supported"?

You wish to imply that there was no intelligence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda when even the inspector-general will not say such a thing. Again, you read into things what you wish to see as much as the political advisors to the Bush White House do.

Now, if you have "facts" proving your version of reality, go wild. I am waiting.

The Seer said...

Frizell . . .
If Feith's assessment was pure fiction, why did the inspector-general's report use the qualifier "fully"? Why not just say "not supported"?

According to CIA, and to Richard Clark, there was no credible intelligence linking Iraq and Al Qaeda.

I agree there was incredible intelligence linking Iraq to Al Qaeda.

Perhaps you, Frizzell, can find the credible evidence Dear Leader and Dead-Eye are seeking.

Ti-Guy said...

It's the same argument over and over. Frizell, you can't prove there was no link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. You can't prove there were no WMD's. You cannot prove the non-existence of something because, by definition, the non-existent does not exist.

You can't prove a negative.

“intent is a secret of a man’s mind, made known by what he says and by what he does, and sometimes actions speak louder than words.”

That doesn't work with the deluded, the insane, and the irretrievably dishonest. What I'm waiting with bated breath to find out is which of these categories the various members of the current US administration and most of Congress fall under.

frizell said...

I am not asking that anyone prove there was no link between al-Qaeda and Iraq, my comments just deal with the inspector-general's report and its use of qualifiers. It simply does not say what CC implies it says in his post. It says that Feith's report used some reliable and some unreliable sources of intelligence: this would make the report flawed, to be sure, but not wholly untrue.

Ti-Guy said...

We've had at least four years of this nit-picking. What's the point, exactly?

Adam C said...

Frizell: How untrue was it? Was it a half-truth? Was it a quarter-truth? We could do that all day, but as Ti says, what's the point?

Do you really believe that you weren't deliberately deceived? Do you think it was accident or stupidity that cause them to 'half-lie' to you?

CC claims in his post that the intelligence was "doctored", which certainly seems consistent with the Post's article. Nothing that you've said contradicts that assertion.

Anonymous said...

You checked your link lately?