July 15, 2003

I Knew Intellectual Standards at Stanford Were Low, But This Is Ridiculous

I knew that intellectual standards at Stanford are low, but this is ridiculous. Ex-Stanford professor and provost Condoleeza Rice complains that it is not fair for her to be tested on footnotes that she did not know were there:

With Mallets Toward One (washingtonpost.com): Meanwhile, reporters keep hounding the administration over President Bush's use of the bogus Iraqi uranium procurement allegation. They pestered national security adviser Condoleezza Rice last week on Air Force One. When an intelligence agency demurs from a consensus view in an assessment, it "takes a footnote," Rice explained. The State Department's Intelligence and Research (INR) office doubted the story about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger, she said, and that "standard INR footnote was 59 pages in the back," so she and Bush didn't know...

Condi: You know those little superscript numbers you occasionally see in the text? Those are called "footnote numbers." For every footnote in the back, there is a number. That's how you know that if you are a serious rather than a casual reader of National Intelligence Assessments, you are supposed to turn to the back of the report and read the footnote.

And, yes, professors, graduate students, and Assistants to the President for National Security are always responsible for material in the footnotes. Posted by DeLong at July 15, 2003 05:13 PM | TrackBack

Comments

"I Knew Intellectual Standards at Stanford Were Low"

Brad do you really mean this? Are the intellectual standards low at the Stanford economics dept? I'm asking this as a serious question.

Posted by: Bobby on July 15, 2003 05:44 PM

Bobby --- as a loyal member of the Cal-Berkeley community, Prof. DeLong is required to pretend that Stanford is actually a junior college, all Stanford undergrads are named either "Muffy" or "Biff", etc. As a Cal graduate, I'm supposed to pretend this, too, but I've allowed my membership in the alumni society to lapse, so I can let you in on the joke.

Posted by: Cosma on July 15, 2003 06:04 PM

Cosma's right. However, letting your membership in the alumni association lapse does *not* exempt you from the requirement of having the proper attitude toward Leland Stanford Junior University...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on July 15, 2003 06:51 PM

See, this confuses me.

People are dying, we've tossed all our international support overboard, and their defense is "We're not competent to run a country."

What scares me is that this is their defense going into a re-election campaign.

Posted by: julia on July 15, 2003 06:53 PM

"Leland Stanford Junior University"

I thought it was called "Junior University" because (1) its founder Leland Stanford named it after his late son (and I was just guessing, for no particular reason, that his late son's name was Leland Stanford, Jr.) or (2) Leland Stanford named it after himself, and the suffix "Jr." was at the end of the full name of Leland Stanford himself.

Is it really a junior college?

Posted by: Bobby on July 15, 2003 07:22 PM

What I mean is: Does the complete name of Stanford actually mean junior college -- I know that Stanford is not actually a junior college . . .

Posted by: Bobby on July 15, 2003 07:33 PM

No. We are deliberately confusing you. Its real name is "Leland Stanford, Jr., University"--i.e., a university named after Leland Stanford, Jr. It sees itself as a university, not as a junior university.

But we at Berkeley can hardly be expected to resist...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on July 15, 2003 07:46 PM

Something else that couldn't be resisted is taking this seriously:

"The State Department's Intelligence and Research (INR) office doubted the story about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger, she said, and that 'standard INR footnote was 59 pages in the back,' so she and Bush didn't know..."

This is obviously wildly out of context. And notice that this: "so she and Bush didn't know...", is not something Condi Rice said.

What she did say (if we can believe the reporter): "standard INR footnote was 59 pages in the back,", is meaningless.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on July 16, 2003 06:35 AM

Stanford University? Never heard of it.

Cal '95

Posted by: Dan on July 16, 2003 06:47 AM

The full quote from the Press Gaggle with Ari Fleischer and Dr. Condoleeza Rice (on preview, this board is unhappy with my html link. Maybe I munged it. Anyway, the date was 11 July.) is priceless. Dr. Rice says:

But let me just go to the point you made, David. The CIA -- I've read the reports that you've also read, that there were -- the British were told they shouldn't put this in the paper. I've read those reports. All that I can tell you is that if there were doubts about the underlying intelligence in the NIE, those doubts were not communicated to the President. The only thing that was there in the NIE was a kind of a standard INR footnote, which is kind of 59 pages away from the bulk of the NIE. That's the only thing that's there. And you have footnotes all the time in CIA -- I mean, in NIEs. So if there was a concern about the underlying intelligence there, the President was unaware of that concern and as was I.

In other words, "But we didn't know we had to know the footnotes, too!"

Posted by: Paul on July 16, 2003 08:12 AM

Guess I'm but a crude observer, but the spread of her peepers makes one wonder predator or prey, this also indicates fetal alcohol syndrome, mild retardation often accompanies this unfortunate condition. Could explain much,God save the Queen and the U S.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2003 08:31 AM

To Show Loyalty, Rice Lies for Bush
by Joe Conason
http://www2.observer.com/observer/pages/conason.asp
Consider the poignant case of Condoleezza Rice, who entered this administration as a respected academic expert on Russian affairs and the former provost of Stanford University. Unlike some of the figures around the President, Dr. Rice had no serious blots on her reputation when she was appointed national security advisor. From a family that suffered the indignities and deprivations of segregated Alabama, she has long been admired as an African-American woman who rose by dint of personal effort and scholarly ability as well as affirmative action. The list of honors, degrees, directorships and other achievements on her official résumé is extraordinary.

After serving in the first Bush White House on the National Security Council, and then a stint in the 2000 campaign as a discreet adviser on foreign affairs, she had come to be regarded by the political clan as among its most reliable members. Sometimes she almost appeared to have been adopted by the President and his family.

But during the past two years of international crisis, Dr. Rice has been dispatched to prevaricate repeatedly in defense of her boss. She was caught spreading a false story about Sept. 11, claiming that Air Force One flew the President to Oklahoma after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because "intelligence" indicated that terrorists were aiming for the White House and the Presidential jet. Later she testified that the U.S. government had never anticipated an assault by airliner, when in fact there had been many warnings of exactly such tactics—most notably during the summer of 2001, when Western intelligence services set up anti-aircraft batteries around the Genoa summit to protect the President.

Memories are short in this country, so Dr. Rice escaped those embarrassing incidents with her reputation more or less intact. Then last year, as the determination of the White House to wage war on Iraq became plain, she began to promote dubious stories about Saddam Hussein’s regime. As national security advisor, she had access to all of the sensitive intelligence about Iraq, so the press and Congress took her pronouncements seriously.

More than anyone other than the President himself, Dr. Rice stoked fears about a "mushroom cloud" rising over an American city unless the U.S. waged war on Iraq. To promote such dread, she warned that a shipment of aluminum tubes purchased by the Iraqis could only be intended for a uranium-enrichment device. Long after the International Atomic Energy Authority debunked that claim, the national security advisor continued to insist that it must be true.

Still, she had gotten away with those whoppers as well, thanks to the complaisant national press corps. Lately, however, she has engaged in deceptions that are too obvious and too simple to ignore. Not only is she responsible for the false allegation about Niger uranium in the State of the Union address, but she dishonorably forced C.I.A. director George Tenet to say that was his fault rather than hers.

Dr. Rice knew that the C.I.A. had questioned the veracity of the Niger uranium tale. She knew because Mr. Tenet had warned her deputy, Stephen Hadley, of its dubious quality three months earlier. Yet she permitted that sentence to be uttered by the President. Now she tells us that those 16 words were "accurate" because the information was attributed to British intelligence. She wants us to believe that until last month she had never heard about the mission to Niger undertaken by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who reported back to the C.I.A. and the State Department that the Niger uranium story was a fake.

But neither she nor the President, nor anyone else in authority, ever cared whether that story was true. It merely served a purpose, like the "aluminum tubes" allegation, and the assertion that Saddam was assisting Al Qaeda, and the other prewar "intelligence" myths designed to excite belligerence and undermine the U.N. inspection process.

Dr. Rice played her role in that campaign with consummate loyalty indeed. She continues to do so, and in the process she has damaged herself permanently for an unscrupulous family of politicians. I hope they’re grateful.

Joe Conason is the author of
The Hunting of the President:
The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

Posted by: Mike Rifkin on July 16, 2003 08:31 AM

For Rice to ignore a footnote in a National Intelligence Estimate is a far, far worse mistake than ignoring a footnote in an academic publication. Footnotes in an NIE are traditionally expressions of serious dissent from the main message of the text, rather than source citations or amplification of side issues, as in academic journals. "Taking a footnote" in an NIE is thus the equivalent of intellectual civil war within the body of a very considered assessment. To get the drift of an NIE is to rigorously examine the footnotes as well as the text. Rice knows this perfectly well.

Rice is showing a lot of strain over all this. Cheney, an equal culprit in the WMD controversy issue, is nowhere to be seen. Interesting.

Posted by: Jim Harris on July 16, 2003 09:14 AM

Casualties since May 1:

American soldiers 84
British soldiers 10

Note: American forces have risen to about 145,000
British forces have been cut to about 5,000

Why does the press often refer to 20 or 30 or so American soldiers killed in Iraq since May 1?

Posted by: emma on July 16, 2003 09:25 AM

Does Stanfurd have an element named after it? I think not. However, it is good at producing political hacks.

Go Bears!

Posted by: Tom on July 16, 2003 10:43 AM

Rice is in over her head. The NSA should not be a yes man. This is Mr. Bush's mistake. The fact that he demands yes men like Condi Rice is his problem.

This story would not have any legs if Iraq had gone according to plans. Americans are worried about our soldiers being attacked daily and bogged down in a quagmire. Americans are worried more about how we get out than how we got in. The BIG story is the lack of planning for post war Iraq and how that happened. The blame for botching the post-war is hitting the Pentagon civilians for being arrogant know it alls.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/6287254.htm

Posted by: bakho on July 16, 2003 11:27 AM

I'm afraid Jim has the assessment just right. Tenet was first in line. He let is scuples slip after an extensive battle. I don't know of evidence that Rice put up as much of a fight, but she is obviously out there making the excuses because her job is to take the blows for the President. Cheney is MIA, but if it comes down to it, he was the one stalking around the CIA demanding that intelligence estimates be skewed in ways analysts couldn't really justify, not Bush. It was Powell who made those misleading assertions to the UN, not Bush. It was Rumsfeld who set up a group to manufacture convenient intelligence briefs, not Bush. They serve at the pleasure of the President, and understand their responsibilities.

Remember when Powell described Whitman as a "wind dummy", a paratroopers reference to a dummy dropped from a plane to see which way the wind is blowing above the drop site? Rise is the new wind dummy.

Posted by: K Harris on July 16, 2003 11:55 AM

With reference both to this post and the one about Kinsley (Who lied? Bush!), two Democratic presidential candidates (Lieberman and Dean)called for Tenet to resign today. Why? Because he is "part of the shifting of blame." In other words, because of his role in protecting Bush, rather than because he is the one who made the mistake. Dean said Tenet wasn't the only one to blame, naming the NSA, State and the "office" of the vice president? Not Bush. Not Cheney, but Cheney's office. There must be a rule about this, right? Some rule I don't know that says you can't spill the blood of kings or something?

Posted by: K Harris on July 16, 2003 12:57 PM

Before you get attacked for being sloppy and therefore invalidating the legitimate questions, I believe that something 50 pages back would probably be an end-note or a chapter note. "C" students don't read end notes and we don't believe that we are responsible for them either.

Posted by: MacMan on July 16, 2003 01:28 PM

Quoting Joe Conason:

" the mission to Niger undertaken by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who reported back to the C.I.A. and the State Department that the Niger uranium story was a fake."

That's not what George Tenet said about this:

-----------quote------------
In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger's processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all.

Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other senior Administration officials. We also had to consider that the former Nigerien officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said.
-----------endquote----------

That's a long way from the story, "was a fake"

Tenet also goes on to say:

------------quote-----------
Also in the fall of 2002, our British colleagues told us they were planning to publish an unclassified dossier that mentioned reports of Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa. Because we viewed the reporting on such acquisition attempts to be inconclusive, we expressed reservations about its inclusion but our colleagues said they were confident in their reports and left it in their document.
----------endquote----------

"inconclusive" is also a long way from, "was a fake". Is this the same Joe Conason who claims Ann Coulter can be trusted?

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on July 16, 2003 02:01 PM

Dean is a hot head who builds his support by feeding spicy tofu to the base. Lieberman is a moralist and a religious scold. What do you expect them to say?

This "who lied about the WMD" is a typical press summer scandal. It is not going to get traction with the general public. HD and JL are barking up the wrong tree.

Americans are worried about our soldiers and how to get them out of Iraq, not how we got them in there. That is past history. Soldiers are there and the American people supported sending them there. There was a consensus that Saddam had to go. He is gone (we think) and that cannot be undone.

The pressing issues are who botched the post war planning on Iraq and who has the best plan for winning the peace and bringing the troops home. The WH is suffering from having people running the show that supported a "friendly dictator" policy that failed miserably and do not understand how to implement the best alternative.

Here is one good alternative, but this administration is too proud to accept help even when they get in over their heads.

There are four urgent steps that we should take in order to win the peace.

Number one—We increase overall troop strength with more allied troops with the right skills and training.  And that means particularly, that people with Arabic speaking skills, and even, hopefully, Muslims.  Without adequate security, every other peacekeeping goal is at risk.  That means you have to immediately offer NATO a role to give Allies a graceful way to participate.  Without real allies in real numbers, especially Arab-speaking, we are asking our young men and women to bear a needless risk for a length of time that is undescribed.  We also need greater United Nations involvement in the humanitarian and governance transformation. And the world needs to be invested in the outcome in Iraq

Second, we have to train Iraqis more rapidly to carry out what always was an obvious job—of restoring civil order in the aftermath of the victory.  The police functions have to be provided in an adequate form, we need to protect the people, and guarantee the safety of our own troops in that process.  Such an effort will require international police trainers and mentors as well as military trainers in an accelerated commitment.

Third, we have to lay out immediately and publicly a clear plan for the transfer of power to Iraqis as soon as possible.  The sense of American occupation works against our peaceful goals, works against the transformation of democracy ultimately, works against our troops and their safety, and works against our greater goals in the Middle East.  We promised the Iraqis democracy, but we’re sending mixed signals about really letting them run their own country.

Fourth, we must move more quickly to provide the basic services, such as electricity, and transportation.  Without economic recovery, the gap between the expectations and the reality will be a major retardant on popular support for the United States activities in Iraq.  Peacekeeping is linked to the humanitarian and to the governance transformation and the global investment in that is the fastest, most effective way to be able to strengthen our goals and provide safety to our troops.

Posted by: bakho on July 16, 2003 02:04 PM

Also in Tenet's statement,

http://www.usembassy.lt/pas/hyperfile/eur109.htm

"In September and October 2002 before Senate Committees, senior intelligence officials in response to questions told members of Congress that we differed with the British dossier on the reliability of the uranium reporting."

Doesn't that mean that Senators Kerry, Edwards, and especially Graham (the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee) would have known this at the time they voted on the Iraq resolution?

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on July 16, 2003 02:18 PM

"Is this the same Joe Conason who claims Ann Coulter can be trusted?"

Joe Conason trusts Ann Coulter? Wow, there goes the little respect I had for him. Only a blathering idiot would trust Ann Coulter.

Posted by: achilles on July 16, 2003 03:16 PM

Well we now know that Coulter and Condi have similer problems with both history and footnotes.

Is this some peculiar, new, learning disability.

Posted by: Lawrence on July 16, 2003 03:38 PM

Condi Rice should hire Ann Coulter. What a coup. Ann is even more dishonest than Condi AND Ann certainly knows how to count footnotes. Sorry folks - I just had to let off a little steam.

Posted by: Hal McClure on July 16, 2003 04:26 PM

Condi Rice should hire Ann Coulter. What a coup. Ann is even more dishonest than Condi AND Ann certainly knows how to count footnotes. Sorry folks - I just had to let off a little steam.

Posted by: Hal McClure on July 16, 2003 04:29 PM

Let's see we have Condi and the Hoover Institution from Stanford, Bush from Yale and
Harvard. Just what is going on in these private
colleges? One wonders if they are not up to the
standards of our public universities. There seem to be repeated errors of critical thinking that are made by outstanding representatives of these
institutions. Maybe we need to have the federal government go in and regulate the standards of private universities, since they are obviously producing substandard products.

Cal '90 - roll on you bears

Posted by: non economist on July 16, 2003 06:04 PM

Patrick, I'm not sure why you want to take Tenet's statement at face value, since he clearly has an interest in discrediting Wilson's version of the story. FWIW, what Wilson actually reported is in dispute, but Wilson's version supports Conason:

"Has the Bush Administration declared war on a former ambassador who conducted a fact-finding mission to probe possible Iraqi interest in African uranium? Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson raised the Administration's ire with an op-ed piece in The New York Times on July 6 charging that the Administration had "twisted" intelligence to "exaggerate" the Iraqi threat. Since then Administration officials have taken public and private whacks at Wilson, charging that his 2002 report, made at the behest of U.S. intelligence, was faulty and that his mission was a scheme cooked up by mid-level operatives. Some government officials, noting that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, intimate that she was involved in his being dispatched Niger to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein's government had sought to purchase large quantities of uranium ore, sometimes referred to as yellow cake, for the purposes of building nuclear devices.

Wilson is fighting back. In an interview with TIME, Wilson, who served as an ambassador to Gabon and as a senior American diplomat in Baghdad under the current president's father, angrily said that his wife had nothing to do with his trip to Africa. "That is bulls__t. That is absolutely not the case," Wilson told TIME. "I met with between six and eight analysts and operators from CIA and elsewhere [before the Feb 2002 trip]. None of the people in that meeting did I know, and they took the decision to send me. This is a smear job."

Government officials are not only disputing the genesis of Wilson's trip, but also what he found. Last week Bush Administration officials said that Wilson's report, far from undermining the President's claim in this year's State of the Union address that Iraq had sought uranium from Africa, had in fact reinforced it. They say that when Wilson returned from Africa in Feb. 2002, he included in his report an encounter with a former Nigerien government official who told him that Iraq had approached him in June 1999, expressing interest in expanding commercial relations between Iraq and Niger. The Administration claims that Wilson reported that the former Nigerien official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. "This is in Wilson's report back to the CIA," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters last week, a few days before he left his post to join the private sector. "Wilson's own report, the very man who was on television saying Niger denies it...reports himself that officials in Niger said that Iraq was seeking to contact officials in Niger about sales."

Wilson's version of the story has a crucial difference. He says the official in question was contacted by an Algerian-Nigerien intermediary who inquired if the official would meet with an Iraqi about "commercial" sales — an offer he declined. Wilson dismissed the suggestion, included in CIA Director George Tenet's own mea culpa last week, that this validates what the President claimed in this State of the Union address: "That then translates into an Iraqi effort to import a significant quantity of uranium as the President alleged? These guys really need to get serious."

Government officials also chide Wilson for not delving into the details of the now infamous forged papers that pointed to a sale of uranium to Iraq. When Tenet issued his I-take-the-blame statement on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium connection last week, he took a none-too-subtle jab at Wilson's report. "There was no mention in the report of forged documents — or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all," Tenet wrote. For his part Wilson says he did not deal with the forgeries explicitly in his report because he never saw them. However, Wilson says he refuted the documents' central allegation that Niger had been negotiating a sale of uranium to Iraq when he explained in his report that several Nigerien government signatures would be required to permit such a sale — signatures that were either absent or clearly botched in the forged documents."

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,465137,00.html

Posted by: nameless on July 16, 2003 06:40 PM

I suppose I ought to address the paddywhackery: one of the findings of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was that intelligence data had been used in Mr Tony's Magic Dossiers in a manner that departed from normal practice, in over-stating intelligence from single sources:

-------quote-------
We conclude that the language used in the September dossier was in places more assertive than that traditionally used in intelligence documents. We believe that there is much value in retaining the measured and even cautious tones which have been the hallmark of intelligence assessments and we recommend that this approach be
retained.
-------quote-------

Ambassador Wilson's conclusions are in keeping with the practice of 'retaining the measured and even cautious tones which have been the hallmark of intelligence assessments'. Tenet's reading is a smear. I'm sure that's why you embrace it.


Also, from the committee report:

-------quote------
We conclude that it is very odd indeed that the Government asserts that it was not relying on the evidence which has since been shown to have been forged, but that eight months later it is still reviewing the other evidence. The assertion “… that Iraq sought the supply of significant amounts of uranium from Africa …” should have
been qualified to reflect the uncertainty. We recommend that the Government explain on what evidence it relied for its judgment in September 2002 that Iraq had recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. We further
recommend that in its response to this Report the Government set out whether it still considers the September dossier to be accurate in what it states about Iraq’s attempts to procure uranium from Africa, in the light of subsequent events.
-------quote-------

You draw your own conclusions.

Posted by: nick sweeney on July 16, 2003 09:09 PM

BTW, here's the independent intelligence that the Tony Blair supposedly had on the uranium purchase:

"The Prime Minister replied: "I stand by entirely the claim that was made last September. The intelligence on which we based this was not the so-called forged documents that have been put to the IAEA, and the IAEA have accepted that they got no such forged documents from British intelligence ­ we have independent intelligence to that effect."

The Prime Minister continued: "We know in the 1980s that Iraq purchased from Niger over 270 tons of uranium, and therefore it is not beyond the bounds of possibility ­ let's at least put it like this ­ that they went back to Niger again. That is why I stand by entirely the statement that was made in the September dossier."

His remarks drew gasps from MPs."

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=425057

Posted by: nameless on July 16, 2003 10:09 PM

Bakho,

Whatever one thinks of Dean and Lieberman, my point wasn't that they were the first off the reservation. Rather, they are still nibbling on the little fishes. Neither man came right out and said "Bush lied" in the way Kinsley did. As Kinsley points out, pundits are showing similar reluctance. My guess is that Democrats and pundits who know that advertisers pay their salaries have the still-high approval ratings Bush enjoys firmly in mind. Work on his underlings to erode his support. If that works (I note your skepticism, but these things can cannot be known ahead of time), then everybody moves on to direct attacks on a weakened prey. But I'm just guessing.

Posted by: K Harris on July 17, 2003 05:22 AM

KHarris: My point is that quibbling over 16 words in the SOTU address is petty gotcha politics. The Iraq issue is far more serious as Americans and Iraqis are dying every day because of our policy. We don't need to cut down the president with sniping. We need to get him to face his mistakes of inadequate planning and unilateralism and make some real progress in rebuilding Iraq. The decision to invade Iraq has already been made. We are now responsible for the mess we have created. The fallout if we fail in Iraq will not be pretty. We need to win the peace.

Patrick, you wrote; "Doesn't that mean that Senators Kerry, Edwards, and especially Graham (the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee) would have known this at the time they voted on the Iraq resolution?"

What is your point? Graham voted AGAINST the resolution. Graham has been highly critical of the secrecy of the Bush administration and the use of intelligence since the Iraq policy was first forwarded. Graham has been complaining that intelligence was being mishandled for well over a year.

Kerry voted FOR the resolution and has always supported removal of Saddam. Kerry has never been critical of the war effort. However, Kerry has issued blistering criticism of Mr. Bush for failing to have an adequate post war plan and his unilateralist approach that has alienated our allies. Kerry has issued his own plan for US policy in Iraq and it is a multilateral approach that includes NATO and the UN.

Edwards voted FOR the resolution and is concentrating on domestic issues. He has not been very vocal on Iraq.

The nuke question was never the only reason to deal with Saddam. A decade of sanctions and bombing Iraq every other day gets old. A vote for the resolution did not mean the Senators bought the bogus nuke story.

The biggest problem I have with the faulty nukes intelligence is that our troops spent over a month on a wild goose chase because the administration got it wrong. In the meantime they failed to prevent vandalism of existing nuke facilities that did result in radioactive contamination. Bad intelligence diverts needed resources and manpower. The lack of adequate planning and risk assessment for post-war Iraq is appalling.

Posted by: bakho on July 17, 2003 08:20 AM

>>Is this the same Joe Conason who claims Ann Coulter can be trusted?
Posted by Patrick R. Sullivan at July 16, 2003 02:01 PM>Joe Conason trusts Ann Coulter? Wow, there goes the little respect I had for him. Only a blathering idiot would trust Ann Coulter.
Posted by achilles at July 16, 2003 03:16 PM<<http://www.salon.com/books/review/2003/07/04/treason/index.html

Posted by: Mike Rifkin on July 17, 2003 01:55 PM

" Ambassador Wilson's conclusions are in keeping with the practice of 'retaining the measured and even cautious tones which have been the hallmark of intelligence assessments'. Tenet's reading is a smear. I'm sure that's why you embrace it.'

Oh really? Wilson didn't file any report at all.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on July 18, 2003 08:40 AM

" What is your point? Graham voted AGAINST the resolution. Graham has been highly critical of the secrecy of the Bush administration and the use of intelligence since the Iraq policy was first forwarded. Graham has been complaining that intelligence was being mishandled for well over a year."

I would have thought my point obvious. Since this business about the dispute over the credibility of the uranium from Africa was known at the time of the vote, it was also known to the Senators at the time of SOTU. So, why the big deal now?

I agree with you that this does a serious disservice to our country. Especially to those Americans being fired upon by the remnants of Saddam's loyalists in the "Sunni Triangle". The partisan sniping at Bush gives aid and comfort to those enemies.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on July 18, 2003 12:45 PM
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