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Talking Points Memo: Kay Report


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The report by chief weapons inspector David Kay (search ), that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." About WMDs in Iraq, Dr. Kay has concluded the following:

• Iraqi scientists received money from Saddam Hussein (search ) to construct deadly weapons, but did not do so, diverting the money to other projects or personal gain.

• Saddam Hussein didn't know this because he grew increasingly chaotic in the late '90s and thought the weapons were being made.

• The CIA (search ) failed to learn the true story and erroneously reported that the weapons were being made.

• Dr. Kay says a lack of ground intelligence inside Iraq caused the agency's mistake.

• There was one active WMD program underway until the American invasion. That was the construction of the poison Ricin (search ). Now you may remember, Ricin was shipped to England from Iraq. British authorities arrested those involved before the poison could kill anyone.

• Dr. Kay believes Iraq was a threat to the world, but not the same threat President Bush outlined to the nation.

• Kay says terrorists passed through Iraq all the time. And scientists could easily give them stuff Ricin.

• Finally, Kay says President Bush did not pressure him in any way and ordered him to "find the truth."

Now I believe Kay's report. And that should end all this "lie" nonsense.

President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair also saw the same CIA intelligence Mr. Bush did and arrived at the same conclusion.

So anyone who continues to call the president a liar on WMDs is himself lying, unless he calls Clinton and Blair liars as well. And that's simply irresponsible.

The most disturbing thing about Kay's report is the mistake by the CIA. That agency was clueless to prevent 9-11, and now Kay believes it botched WMDs as well.

President Bush has to address this entire issue with special emphasis on the Central Intelligence Agency. Why is George Tenet (search) still in charge there? It might not be his direct fault, but clearly the CIA has made at least two drastic errors. A change is needed.

Mr. Bush has two choices. He can explain the Kay report and admit the mistakes made. Or he can ignore the issue, hoping Americans will ignore it come next November.

Clearing the air is always the best policy, so I call on the president to address the issue directly. Americans will forgive mistakes made in good faith.

Finally, there's no question the White House was not skeptical enough when it came to Iraq. Bush wanted Saddam's head. And any information that led to that end was encouraged. That is not the way to conduct foreign policy in this very dangerous world. Any and all mistakes will come back to haunt.

In the end, fair-minded Americans will decide whether the president did the right thing in Iraq. And he should be as open as possible on the subject.


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Joe Wilson was dispatched to find out whether Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase enriched yellowcake uranium from Africa. He came home in 2002 and told top administration officials that the claims were untrue or couldn't be proven, and yet Bush included that claim in his 2003 State of the Union address.

Bush's Mis-State-Ment Of The Union Fiasco

As the Niger controversy -- Yellowcake-gate -- is turning into a political firestorm, the question should be: What didn't the president know -- and why didn't he know it? And why does he know less and less every day?

After all, it's becoming clearer by the day that just about everyone else involved knew that the president was using a bogus charge to alarm the nation about Saddam's nuclear threat. Whatever the opposite of "top secret" is, this was it.

The U.S. ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, knew: She had sent reports to Washington debunking the allegations. Joe Wilson, the envoy sent to Niger by the CIA, knew: His fact-finding trip quickly confirmed the ambassador's findings. The CIA knew: The agency tried unsuccessfully in September 2002 to convince the Brits to take the false charge out of an intelligence report. The State Department knew: Its Bureau of Intelligence and Research labeled it "highly dubious." Tenet and Powell knew: They refused to use it. The president's speechwriters knew: They were told to remove a reference to the Niger uranium in a speech the president delivered in Cincinnati on Oct. 7 -- three months before his State of the Union.

This administration also tried to convince the American people (and succeeded to a large degree) that Saddam Hussein had a link to the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. Almost every administration official has now disavowed any link between the two, even Colin Powell who made the original charge before the UN. Bush himself admitted as much in September 2003.

Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link

US President George Bush has said there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks.....

......Mr Bush did however repeat his belief that the former Iraqi president had ties to al-Qaeda - the group widely regarded as responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington.

Mr. Bush also gave specifics about how much specific WMDs that Saddam Hussein purportedly had. He stated that they could be mobilized within 45 minutes and could be used to attack us and our allies.

FWIW, following is a link to the many mistruths (Is that better?) that Bush gave prior to this war in a speech in Cincinnati, including a "mushroom cloud" reference to really scare the populace!!

Bush's Mushroom Cloud as a Smoking Gun Speech

Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do

.....Yet Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons, despite international sanctions, U.N. demands, and isolation from the civilized world. Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work....

....We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade.

.....Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

.....Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

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I think that there was some flawed and/or old intelligence suggesting that Saddam did have weapons. There was also reliable intelligence that suggested that this was not probable. Based on that alone you could make an argument for or against invasion of Iraq.

However, we had UNMOVIC inspectors on the ground in Iraq for three months PRIOR to attacking and they searched multiple suspected weapons sites and time after time came up with the same answer: no weapons. Zilch. Nada. Over and over they were told by the administration where to look because our INTELLIGENCE said that's where weapons were at that time and they always found nothing. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FACT!!! This SHOULD'VE been enough to make most people stop and ponder the quality of the information being used to make these important decisions, especially since the primary reason we were attacking Iraq was based on the the premise of these WMD's. Without the WMD's, Saddam is just an impotent leader of a never-was Arab country that was struggling under the weight of economic sanctions. With them, though, Bush told us he would use them to attack America, give them to the 9/11 terrorists he was supposedly allied with or use them on his own people again.

Also, against this backdrop, Saddam purportedly wanted to negotiate just days before the attack. It seems to me to be highly reasonable to think that he could've been removed from power without one shot being fired, as was the case with Charles Taylor in Liberia.

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