Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cheney Pushed For War With Iraq Much Earlier Than is Acknowledged

Get the fuck out of here! They were pushing for war with Iraq a lot earlier than is generally acknowledged? The whole post-9/11 planning might have been orchestrated with such a goal in mind? No fucking way, man! I’m sure everything is on the up-and-up!


Anyway, today’s article examines not only the crucial question of how Administration wonks and key personnel tie together in the web that leads between the Downing Street memo and the Plame case, but also the truth of how early the Administration began pushing for its illegal war. Here’s a little sample to whet your appetite:

Vice President Cheney, for instance, is widely credited with having launched the administration's nuclear drumbeat to war in Iraq via a series of speeches he gave, beginning in August 2002, vividly accusing Saddam of having an active nuclear weapons program. As it happens though, he started beating the nuclear drum with vigor significantly earlier than most remember; indeed at a time that was particularly curious given its proximity to the famous mission former Ambassador Joseph Wilson took on behalf of the CIA.

Cheney's initial public attempts to raise the nuclear nightmare did not in fact begin with his August 2002 barrage of nuclear speeches, but rather five months before that, just after his return from a tour of Arab capitals where he had tried in vain to gin up local support for military action against Iraq. Indeed, the specific date on which his campaign was launched was March 24, 2002, when, on return from the Middle East, he appeared on three major Sunday public-affairs television programs bearing similar messages on each. On CNN's "Late Edition," he offered the following comment on Saddam:
"This is a man of great evil, as the President said. And he is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time."

The question is, just how deeply involved is the Vice President in this whole mess? I mean, sure, we Liberals generally assume that he’s pulling a lot of strings in the White House (and I’m sure that’s a fair assumption, along with our assumptions about Karl Rove), but it seems to me that there is more meat to the accusation than we previously could have believed. To me, the smoking gun is here:

It's worth asking, then: On what basis could Cheney make such assertions with such evident certainty, nearly six months before, on September 7, 2002, Judith Miller and Michael Gordon of the New York Times first broke a story about how Iraq had ordered "specially designed aluminum tubes," supposedly intended as components for centrifuges to enrich uranium for Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program. Even five months later, after all, those tubes would still be the only real piece of evidence for the existence of an Iraqi nuclear program offered by Colin Powell in his presentation to the UN Security Council.

I think it’s become very clear that there was no “hidden intelligence” that the Administration was hiding from the American people, Congress, or the UN. So what was Cheney doing beating the drums?

I’m not going to cover the entire story here and take away from their thunder, but I urge you to check it out at Mother Jones right now.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:25 AM