Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All Tomorrow's Parties

Yo, Conservatives. Tom Tomorrow has a question for you:

And a sincere question for conservatives: Why do you still believe anything this administration says?

Apparently, Tom's miffed about this:

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile “biological laboratories.” He declared, “We have found the weapons of mass destruction.”

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president’s statement. The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped “secret” and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.


Mr. Tomorrow gets all abrasive and mean with the rest of his questions, but I do think that first one's not-terrible. Where's the trust come from? Is it that the alternative is too uncomfortable to consider?

Because, frankly, it seems like there's a half-truth, misdirection, or outright lie coming out of the White House on a daily basis.

21 Comments:

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I can't speak for all "conservatives," and I think I sort of answered it yesterday, but here's the basic issue the way I see it:

People just don't know who to trust, the President or his critics. Tom Tomorrow certainly doesn't help, although his reaction seems evident of some liberals. If I disagree with you, well then I must have a "mental disorder," or maybe I'm "just not very smart," like our resident genius, Tom Tomorrow. [Note: The rest of Tom's "questions," aren't questions at all. They're purely argumentative.]

Let's look, for example, about the claim that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger. All lies, we're told. Damned lies. Lies, lies, lies. How can you believe this administration? All they tell you are lies.

Well, maybe not: http://www.slate.com/id/2139609/

And so then you're stuck. The critics appear flailing and lying and misdirecting.

Unfortunately, if there is a group of people more lacking in credibility than the President, it's his critics.

So, Tom, here's my answer. Why do I still believe what this administration says? I don't necessarily. But I would likely have a "mental disorder" if I were more inclined to believe you.

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous gato negro said...

Yeah, Hitchens is a credible journalist.

You can actually see the PNAC's hand up his ass in photographs. It's well-documented.

What's hilarious is that by over-extending ourselves in Iraq, Iran now has enriched uranium and there isn't a damn (reasonable) thing we can do about it. Hoo-rah?

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Ben Miro said...

Also, the problem with your "blame the critics" spin, other than the frightfully unamericanness of it, is that "the critics" can't get 2300 Americans and 100k Iraqis killed for nothing but stone cold greed.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Everyone's always more credible when they say what you know to be "right," right?

And are we to believe that anyone here would advocate doing anything to Iran with the troops that are tied up in Iraq? Because if not, claiming that we're overextended appears a little disengenuous.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

It's not "blame the critics." I don't blame them for anything. I just don't trust them. Which makes getting to the truth a much more tedious task that frankly, I don't have time for.

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger Ben Miro said...

Let me elaborate on the unamericanness comment, I think regardless of party affiliation or idealogy...it's our #1 duty as Americans to hold the powers we elect to the fire, so to speak.

I hate how 'high school football team' politics in America has gotten.

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous gato negro said...

Don't have time...for the truth? Why bother discussing this with you?

Here's a question that no conservative has been able to answer for me: If you believe in this war...and provided you're able-bodied, etc...why aren't you over there?

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Ben Miro said...

It seems you're blaming the critics for obscuring the obvious truth that the administration is ardently trying to get to us.
I would much rather live in a country where the people were overly critical of the government than not at all.

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Katanga,

I agree. Hold them to the fire. Good stuff. Truth to power. Stick it to the man. All good things. But with what? What's the truth?

If it's unamerican to allow the powers that be to proceed without a challenge, surely it's also unamerican to lob baseless challenges at those powers that be merely because of "party affiliation."

What's good for the goose, right?

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Gato,

You've just put forth the topic for the next post: The Chicken-Hawk "argument," and why it's a disengenuous non-argument almost not deserving a response.

Nevertheless, since some still seem intent on making it, I'll respond at length later.

Meanwhile, here is a related question you may consider while awaiting my upcoming post:

If you like higher taxes so much, why don't you just give the government more money?

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous gato negro said...

It's not disingenuous in the slightest I honestly want to know. During WW2 people lined up for blocks to enlist.

Like higher taxes...where'd you get that? I'll pretend it's not a pointless obfuscating bit o prattle and answer honestly. I pay my fair share, never cheat, and don't bitch about it.

Equating $$$ with human lives is pretty fucked up, to say the least.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Gato,

It's a logical equivalent. Not a moral equivalent. But I am guessing you knew that.

And I promise to address this all tomorrow. Like to give people something to look forward to. It makes me a crowd pleaser.

Meanwhile, folk, no commentary on the racial preferences? Come on.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Yay for debate.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Ben Miro said...

I blame you for this, Morse.

Jabs, surely you don't think all the challenges to this admin. are baseless?

I think government should be held to a higher standard than the people, yes. Call me crazy. I employee and fund those cockfaces.

BTW, I'm not a libertarian, either...I believe in the nowadays quaint notion of checks, balances, all that shit.

It appears we have a leadership of ex-oilmen plowing the oil richest places on the planet. And miracle upon miracle: oil co's are reaping record-breaking profit. Things that make you 'hmmmm', indeed.

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Blame me for what? Making people honestly and intelligently confront difficult issues?

Blame away! :)

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Katanga,

First, am I Jabs or Jaba. I like Jabs. I don't get the feeling that "The Hut," follows it.

No, I do not believe they are blameless.

And I agree with you, that they should be held to a higher standard.

And libertarians believe in checks and balances.

About the oil, I'm inclined to disagree that we're fighting the war for oil. But that's one of those, yes, no, yes, no arguments that goes nowhere.

And last, "cockfaces." Awesome. I'll leave it at that.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Sorry, sort of mispoke. I do not believe all of the challenges are baseless. I very specifically do not believe that. Which is why I think the baseless ones are particularly annoying. How do we separate the wheat from the chaff.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I'll field that one.

What's not to trust about this article? How do you spin the existence of hard data?

The argument of not caring too much about the actions of the administration because you can't trust anybody seems kind of dangerous to me. It's sort of nihilist, in that it assumes no truth, just endless spin. Talk about relativism!

And the simple answer is that I refuse to accept that. Here, we have clear evidence of no intent to use these things for purposes of weapon-making. Yet, we have clear evidence of the administration stating the contrary, after the fact.

Where's there a "trust" issue?

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous gato negro said...

If you can cite Hitchens, I can site Robert Scheer:

Read it.

I think Powell resigning was one of the biggest "tells" of the decline of this administration.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

This article is exactly what I'm talking about.

Here you have what appears to be a disagreement between certain Defense Teams, an Iraqi Survey Group, and another technical team who filed reports.

Upon compiling all the reports (purportedly including the technical team's report), the Iraqi Survey Group apparently found that they were confident they were used for mobile biological agents.

In what way is this "clear"? What we have evidence of is a disagreement in the intelligence community.

It's the same argument that any evidence of a dissenting opinion in the administration is a "smoking gun" of lying. That's ridiculous. No administration is expected to operate that way. It would be paralyzed.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Here you have what appears to be a disagreement between certain Defense Teams, an Iraqi Survey Group, and another technical team who filed reports.

Upon compiling all the reports (purportedly including the technical team's report), the Iraqi Survey Group apparently found that they were confident they were used for mobile biological agents.

Huh?

From the article:

"A spokesman for the DIA asserted that the team's findings were neither ignored nor suppressed, but were incorporated in the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, which led the official search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The survey group's final report in September 2004 -- 15 months after the technical report was written -- said the trailers were "impractical" for biological weapons production and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons."

The Iraqi Survey Group came to the opposite conclusion from what you assert.

What we have is evidence that this report was shelved and, apparently, ignored.

All of this documentation argues against mobile weapons labs. What is the evidence to refute it? One discredited CIA informant.

From appearances, we took the word of one defector over teams of trained experts.

 

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