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Doug Feith Says Pentagon Overdid WMD Rationale
apnews, ^ | July 14, 2005 | By ROBERT BURNS

Posted on 07/15/2005 2:55:29 AM PDT by RDangerfield

      The top policy adviser to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says the Bush administration erred by building its public case for war against Saddam Hussein mainly on the claim that he possessed banned weapons. The comment by Douglas J. Feith, in an interview with The Associated Press, is a rare admission of error about Iraq by a senior administration official. Feith, who is leaving after four years as the undersecretary of defense for policy, said he remains convinced that President Bush was correct in deciding that war against Iraq was necessary.
      "I don't think there is any question that we as an administration, instead of giving proper emphasis to all major elements of the rationale for war, overemphasized the WMD aspect," he said, using the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction. The administration claimed the now-deposed Iraqi president possessed mass-killing chemical and biological weapons at the time of the March 2003 invasion and cited them most prominently as justification for attacking.
      No such weapons have been found. In March, a bipartisan presidential commission said U.S. spy agencies were "dead wrong" in most of their prewar assessments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. One of the architects of the administration's strategy for the war on terror, Feith strongly defended the decision to invade Iraq.
      "It would have been better had we done a better job of communicating in all of its breadth the strategic rationale for the war," Feith said in an hour-long interview this week at his home in suburban Washington. The broader rationale, Feith said, included the danger posed by Iraq's potential to resume building chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons - know-how that the Iraqi regime developed before the 1991 Gulf War.
      In his report to Congress on a CIA-led postwar search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, U.S. arms inspector Charles Duelfer said none could be found and there was no evidence Saddam produced any after 1991. But Duelfer also said it was clear that Saddam hoped to revive his weapons programs if U.N. sanctions were lifted.
      "Our intelligence community made, apparently, an error, as to the stockpiles" of weapons it assured President Bush existed in 2003, Feith said. Thus that part of the administration's argument for why war was necessary was overdone, he said, adding, "Anything we said at all about stockpiles was overemphasis, given that we didn't find them."
      [More... long detailed story]

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: defense; dougfeith; iraq; war; weapons; wmd; womd
Comments anyone?
1 posted on 07/15/2005 2:55:31 AM PDT by RDangerfield
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To: RDangerfield
"The comment by Douglas J. Feith, in an interview with The Associated Press, is a rare admission of error about Iraq by a senior administration official. Feith, who is leaving after four years as the undersecretary of defense for policy, said he remains convinced that President Bush was correct in deciding that war against Iraq was necessary. "

How a headline can easily be turned on end...even in the same sentence!

2 posted on 07/15/2005 3:08:16 AM PDT by endthematrix ("an ominous vacancy" fills this space)
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To: RDangerfield
I would agree with him that the WMD angle was overemphasized. It was one of many reasons to take it to Iraq.....which the majority of Congress agreed to. Bush didn't lie; creating a battlefield in Iraq has drawn out terrorists & planners to pick off; Iraq has been a distraction - but not to us, to AQ; and there is no denying that the dynamics in the ME have changed as a result.

Remember, the only alternative that has been offered by the Left comes from their favorite son, Michael Moore who has said: "There is no terrorist threat."

Uh huh.....tell it to Madrid....tell it to NYC.....tell it to London.....

3 posted on 07/15/2005 3:11:19 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: RDangerfield

I always thought we went in to Iraq because:

(1)America will never be safe from terrorism until Islamist terror is eradicated. Islamist terror will use wmd's on us when they can.

(2)Since the home of Islamic terror is the Middle East, the eradication of Islamist terror requires remodeling the Middle East in terms of its nations' attitudes and alignments. As Saddam's regime was a huge threat to world peace, we might as well start there, as it would seem futile to work toward changing Middle Eastern attitudes while his brutal regime remained in place. Conversely, Iraq as a friendly country would have a hugely beneficial effect on world peace and terror.

(3)The wmd issue was brought forward mainly in an attempt to bring on board other European nations.

4 posted on 07/15/2005 3:28:04 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: RDangerfield
....this has NOTHING to do with the Pentagon,.....move on.....


5 posted on 07/15/2005 3:33:38 AM PDT by maestro
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To: RDangerfield
We did Iraq because after 9/11 someone's ass needed kicking and Saddam had been wagging his ass at us for a decade.

This rationale, expressed in better language, would have been much better.

The tortuous attempts to find WMD comes from the same idiots who write policies for our brave soldiers and marines defining "Koran abuse".

Our policy to the monsters behind 9/11 should have been simple and clear - "Don't tug on Superman's cape".

THAT Iraq policy would still command broad popular support.

6 posted on 07/15/2005 3:34:20 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God)
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To: RDangerfield

I always thought the press overdid the emphasis on the WMD factor. Whenever I read the transcripts and watched the speeches, WMD was only one of several reasons, all of them valid.

The press I felt latched onto the sexy WMD angle and didn't let it go, along with promoting the link between 9/11 and Saddam, which was not a reason for the invasion of Iraq cited or hinted by the Bush Administration.

7 posted on 07/15/2005 3:42:53 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: RDangerfield

Is there anyone who thinks that Saddam was given sufficient advance warning that an invasion was imminent, to bury or relocate the weapons in question?

8 posted on 07/15/2005 4:08:07 AM PDT by David Isaac
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To: David Isaac

a little off topic but... anyone else want to see Saddam on a bumbfights video? Let him grow that scraggly @ss hair and beard back and pay some bumb a bottle of whiskey to kick his butt. Record it and then put him back in the slammer. DO that every week forever. Post it and charge $29.95 a month membership.

9 posted on 07/15/2005 4:16:29 AM PDT by BookaT (My cat's breath smells like cat food!)
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To: RDangerfield

How about the rationale that Saddam continually thumbed his nose at the cease fire agreement from 91.

10 posted on 07/15/2005 5:38:26 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Sam Cree

Sam Cree:
I, for one, agree with you. There were many strategic and military reasons to COMPLETE the job that Bush 1 SHOULD have completed and take out Saddam once and for all. But once Bush decided to accede to the Colin Powell path of going to the UN they had to find a rationale that would "fly" with the Security Council. US National security wouldnt fly... and the socio-political benefits of ridding the world of a terrorist tyrant like Saddam wouldnt fly.. and certainly his monetary and materiel support of Palestinian suicide bombers would NEVER fly in the UN..

So they fastened upon WMD as a "cause" even the Euro-weenies of France and Germany could support. I NEVER was comfortable with that as the main rationale for war, but since I like most others fully expected that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD around I said: OK, if that does it for the war effort fine.

We are 100% better off without Saddam. The war and its effort to bring a non-terrorist democrcay to the Middle East WAS worth it. The critics of the war are left-wing America hating appeasers, as far as I'm concerned.

But once Pres. Bush went the UN route the wheels came off the international effort. The French betrayed Powell. The Russians saw a wedge to stick it to Friend Bush over anti-democracy critiques. And the WMD became the only diplomatic "issue" we could try in the Sec. Council.

Feith is right. There were other, better reasons to oust Saddam, but the doggone U.N. path basically short circuited them all. Had Bush bypassed the UN altogether, the WMD issue would have been one, but hardly the main or only one, of the reasons to oust Saddam.

11 posted on 07/15/2005 5:40:59 AM PDT by UncleSamUSA (the land of the free and the home of the brave)
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To: coconutt2000

Don't blame the press. Administration officials said that WMD-possession was the angle everyone could agree on.

12 posted on 07/15/2005 5:44:53 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative

Good point, Granite. Almost every comment was directed at some peripheral point instead of responding to the statement by the architect of the WOMD theory who now admits that the administration made a mistake. He seems to be the only one in the group who knows how to say what we treat our children to say: "I was wrong."

13 posted on 07/15/2005 8:15:52 AM PDT by RDangerfield
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To: UncleSamUSA; Jim Noble
My opinion is that there are good arguments for not having gone into Iraq, but also some very good ones for having done so.

I think, of all politicians, Bush is the one who seems to understand most clearly that Islamic terror will, if not eradicated, sooner or later, maybe tomorrow, maybe in ten years, use WMD's on the United States. And, since America is the guarantor of freedom and the guarantor of the existence of Western civilization, then freedom and Western Civilization are at risk as long as Islamic terror exists. In any event, the evil entity of Islamic terror has to be eradicated.

In my mind, it's kind of hard to imagine eradicating Islamic terror without rooting it out of its breeding ground, the Middle East. Once we make that obvious decision, taking out Saddam's brutal, warlike and ambitioius regime is also an obvous move. His continued existence as ruler of Iraq is a clear impediment to peace and stability in the region. If regime change there is successful, there is suddenly yet another friendly Middle East nation, leaving only Syria and Iran in the hostile camp. The odds of the Iranian people overthrowing their fundamentalist rulers are suddenly much better, there is now a real possibility of relative peace in that unholy part of the world. Seen in these terms, Bush is nothing less than a visionary. Outrageously ambitious, yes. Taking a gamble, yes. But very likely a necessary gamble if we are not to abandon the world to the constant threat of terror and another age of darkness.

IMO, "liberals" hate Bush so much for exactly that reason, they sense the enormity of what he could accomplish. Trouble for them is that he's from the wrong side of the tracks, he's a Republican. That is what is unforgivable and that is why they are all so desperate to bring him down. Little monkey faced Georgie isn't supposed to be the one saving Western civilization, it's supposed to be one of the elite beautiful people on the Left side of the tracks.

For those who maintain that since Saddam didn't participate in 9/11, hitting him was beside the point, it's a certainty that Al Qaeda and Islamic terror don't share that view. Their desperate effort in Iraq, which parallels the American Left's effort here at home, makes that more than clear. And I notice that liberals making the above argument never use Saddam's name, they always refer not to him, but to "them," in an attempt to include the entire Iraqi people, as if freeing them from Saddam was not in their interest. It's fascinating that the self proclaimed saviors of the world's oppressed can support both terror and real oppression in what is nothing less than their own quest for power.

And to those who love the jingle, "when Clinton lied, nobody died" I would respond:

First, although IMO Bush can be accused of disingenuousness in allowing the WMD issue to take center stage, it's assured, as even Clinton agrees, that he did not lie. Congress cannot be excused in agreeing with him by saying that they were reluctant - they saw the same intel as the president did. In any case, reluctance is not a virtue in this case.

But the point and the correct reply to the jingle is that:

Bush was willing to risk his presidency to save civilization

Clinton risked his presidency to get a blow job from a kid.

14 posted on 07/18/2005 6:15:24 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: RDangerfield


15 posted on 07/21/2005 8:05:42 PM PDT by Huck (Whatever.)
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