Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You too

I can't get behind the New York Times firewall, but Amy Alkon at the Advice Goddess can and provides this snippet of a new article by Don Van Natta Jr. entitled Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

The NYT source is probably the British memo already reported by the Guardian in February 2006, which was reviewed by Confederate Yankee.

"The diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning", the president told Mr Blair. The prime minister is said to have raised no objection. He is quoted as saying he was "solidly with the president and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam". ...

The disclosures come in a new edition of Lawless World, by Phillipe Sands, a QC and professor of international law at University College, London. Professor Sands last year exposed the doubts shared by Foreign Office lawyers about the legality of the invasion in disclosures which eventually forced the prime minister to publish the full legal advice given to him by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.

Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]".

The IHT account of the same story, which is not behind a firewall reveals that the Guardian and NYT articles are exactly from the same source.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Bush, Blair and six of their top aides. ...

Stamped "extremely sensitive," the five-page memorandum, which was circulated among a handful of Blair's most senior aides, had not been made public. Several highlights were first published in January in the book "Lawless World," which was written by a British lawyer and international law professor, Philippe Sands. In early February, Channel 4 in London first broadcast several excerpts from the memo. Since then, The New York Times has reviewed the five-page memo in its entirety.

There are some differences in the text. In the Guardian article the phrase "The diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning" is attributed directly to President Bush. But in the IHT account of the NYT story the words appear to be the paraphrase of Blair aide David Manning. However, both repeat the bizarre proposal to 'paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire'. These memos are being taken as proof of some kind to demonstrate premeditated aggression by the US, but they deserve a closer look because some of the things they suggest are absurd. One obvious problem was eloquently pointed out by Confederate Yankee.

U2 high altitude surveillance aircraft typically operate near their operational ceiling of 70,000 feet, or more than 13 miles in the air. The aircraft simply cannot be seen from the ground, regardless of what paint scheme it manifests, whether it is United Nations blue, or pink with green stripes. The very concept is preposterous.

If Bush and Blair wanted to use Iraqi anti-aircraft fire as their excuse to trigger a war, they hardly had to make up an incident.

Iraq has a long and well documented history of firing upon aircraft enforcing the U.N.-mandated "No-fly" zones in what became unofficially known as the No-Fly Zone War which occurred more or less continuously from the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 until the Iraq War began on March 20, 2003.


Confederate Yankee's is right: U-2s can't be seen from the ground to distinguish UN markings or colors. Colors can't be reliably distinguished at any but the shortest ranges, which is why aircraft shape and IFF are used for recognition instead. Anybody who has to get close enough to read the lettering on the side of a U2 is close enough to get his head examined. Of course it may be argued that President Bush only proved his mental incapacity by making such a strange suggestion. But what would that say about the newspapermen who never noticed the implausibility? Or about Tony Blair who presumably let this sail right past him?

On the basis of internal problems, I think these memos need further examination.


Blogger Dan said...

Wow. Yet another memo about this. How people can bear this level of repetition is beyond me. Yeah he was set for war because he knew and everyone else knew that Saddam was an idiot who wouldn't relent. Same thing with Iran. Yes, it is inevitable. Hey! New York Times! Hire me! Hire me!

Wretchard, when are you going to go print and destroy these fools all by your industrious & insightful lonesome, I daily wonder.

3/28/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

GWB flew jets in the Texas ANG.
Regardless of what Rather may have thought of his service there, he certainly would have had a grasp of and knowledge about the capabilities of various aicraft - as you point out.

Once again, the Bush lied crowd let their hate get in the way of any applied logic.

We may never be able to trust anything they put forth without first applying a hefty amount of due diligence.

3/28/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

When there is a 50/50 or even 60/40 chance of Iraq having wmd's, what should the decision be given the lack of intellegence and the circumstances at the time?

I don't think Saadam was the problem anyway, two sociopathic sons and a rising Islamic army were a serious problem.

Bush was a pilot in the national guard. Maybe he said something like that as a joke?

3/28/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Bon Air,

I have a hunch it was said and understood as a joke -- if it was said at all. Even if you believe President Bush is an idiot (though he can't be that much of an idiot to fly supersonic aircraft, which he did) could Blair and the aides in attendance, some who presumably had passing acquaintance with aircraft have been so stupid? I think the joke angle works best. The scary thing is that newsies might actually not get the punchline. "And then I struck a match to see how much gas I had left" ... and these op-ed guys were all handing you a book of matches.

3/28/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Many government employees in the UK at all levels including the very highest are on the left in the UK, which means well to the left of 90% of the Democratic party in the US. They are also engaged at the moment in a campaign to get rid of Tony Blair and substitute Gordon Brown, who they believe (probably rightly) is less likely to cooperate with the US, on anything.

Gordon Brown's supporters are trying (typical leftist tactic) to get him installed as Prime Minister without having to hold a party election. The one thing which could stymie that effort is the emergence of a candidate to his right, i.e. more like Tony Blair. Hence the whole series of recent desperate efforts to discredit Blair's actions, including an election finance scandal which has just hurt the party at least as much as it did Blair.

Leaks from senior British official sources concerning supposedly irresponsible remarks from Bush and/or Blair around the time of the Iraq war need to be weighed and understood in this light, because their role in this political dogfight may well be the only meaning or substance they contain.

The fact is that the British government is controlled and directed at least as much by senior officials as by elected politicians (see the classic and wickedly accurate television series 'Yes, Minister'). This is the point in the electoral cycle when the officials have their best shot at determining who their next master will be. Their thumbs will be found pressing on the scale more than once over the coming months.

3/28/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

When the Bay of Pigs invasion started going down the tubes, President Kennedy ordered USN aircraft to go in, look things over, and, it was hoped, intimidate the Cuban Air Force into staying on the ground. But in order to establish "plausible deniability" or some similar diplomatic lingerie, the aircraft's U.S. markings were painted out. Neededless to say, the communists nor anyone else were fooled by F-8's and A-4's without markings, nor were they intimidated.

Kennedy was the kind of President that did things half-assed in the belief that it would be less offensive than doing things more effectively. The whole Vietnam War was built around that philosophy. "Yes, we got involved militarily, but not very well, so give us credit for that much."

President Bush is not that kind of president.

3/28/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

My guess: he said it. And he was joking. The joke was obvious to all those in the room and probably solicited a chuckle. Then the conversation went on and the joke was forgotten. Except by the New York Times who can not keep their pants on no matter how stupid their story is. Whatever. Let's move on.

3/28/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

March 27, 2006
Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says

LONDON — In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides.

"The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin."

The timetable came at an important diplomatic moment. Five days after the Bush-Blair meeting, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was scheduled to appear before the United Nations to present the American evidence that Iraq posed a threat to world security by hiding unconventional weapons.

Although the United States and Britain aggressively sought a second United Nations resolution against Iraq — which they failed to obtain — the president said repeatedly that he did not believe he needed it for an invasion.

Stamped "extremely sensitive," the five-page memorandum, which was circulated among a handful of Mr. Blair's most senior aides, had not been made public. Several highlights were first published in January in the book "Lawless World," which was written by a British lawyer and international law professor, Philippe Sands. In early February, Channel 4 in London first broadcast several excerpts from the memo.

Since then, The New York Times has reviewed the five-page memo in its entirety. While the president's sentiments about invading Iraq were known at the time, the previously unreported material offers an unfiltered view of two leaders on the brink of war, yet supremely confident.

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

Those proposals were first reported last month in the British press, but the memo does not make clear whether they reflected Mr. Bush's extemporaneous suggestions, or were elements of the government's plan.

Consistent Remarks

Two senior British officials confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but declined to talk further about it, citing Britain's Official Secrets Act, which made it illegal to divulge classified information. But one of them said, "In all of this discussion during the run-up to the Iraq war, it is obvious that viewing a snapshot at a certain point in time gives only a partial view of the decision-making process."

On Sunday, Frederick Jones, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said the president's public comments were consistent with his private remarks made to Mr. Blair. "While the use of force was a last option, we recognized that it might be necessary and were planning accordingly," Mr. Jones said.

"The public record at the time, including numerous statements by the President, makes clear that the administration was continuing to pursue a diplomatic solution into 2003," he said. "Saddam Hussein was given every opportunity to comply, but he chose continued defiance, even after being given one final opportunity to comply or face serious consequences. Our public and private comments are fully consistent."

The January 2003 memo is the latest in a series of secret memos produced by top aides to Mr. Blair that summarize private discussions between the president and the prime minister. Another group of British memos, including the so-called Downing Street memo written in July 2002, showed that some senior British officials had been concerned that the United States was determined to invade Iraq, and that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by the Bush administration to fit its desire to go to war.

The latest memo is striking in its characterization of frank, almost casual, conversation by Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair about the most serious subjects. At one point, the leaders swapped ideas for a postwar Iraqi government. "As for the future government of Iraq, people would find it very odd if we handed it over to another dictator," the prime minister is quoted as saying.

"Bush agreed," Mr. Manning wrote. This exchange, like most of the quotations in this article, have not been previously reported.

Mr. Bush was accompanied at the meeting by Condoleezza Rice, who was then the national security adviser; Dan Fried, a senior aide to Ms. Rice; and Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff. Along with Mr. Manning, Mr. Blair was joined by two other senior aides: Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff, and Matthew Rycroft, a foreign policy aide and the author of the Downing Street memo.

By late January 2003, United Nations inspectors had spent six weeks in Iraq hunting for weapons under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1441, which authorized "serious consequences" if Iraq voluntarily failed to disarm. Led by Hans Blix, the inspectors had reported little cooperation from Mr. Hussein, and no success finding any unconventional weapons.

At their meeting, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair candidly expressed their doubts that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be found in Iraq in the coming weeks, the memo said. The president spoke as if an invasion was unavoidable. The two leaders discussed a timetable for the war, details of the military campaign and plans for the aftermath of the war.

Discussing Provocation

Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. Since they were first reported last month, neither the White House nor the British government has discussed them.

"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction.

A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The memo does not indicate how Mr. Blair responded to the idea.

Mr. Sands first reported the proposals in his book, although he did not use any direct quotations from the memo. He is a professor of international law at University College of London and the founding member of the Matrix law office in London, where the prime minister's wife, Cherie Blair, is a partner.

Mr. Jones, the National Security Council spokesman, declined to discuss the proposals, saying, "We are not going to get into discussing private discussions of the two leaders."

At several points during the meeting between Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, there was palpable tension over finding a legitimate legal trigger for going to war that would be acceptable to other nations, the memo said. The prime minister was quoted as saying it was essential for both countries to lobby for a second United Nations resolution against Iraq, because it would serve as "an insurance policy against the unexpected."

The memo said Mr. Blair told Mr. Bush, "If anything went wrong with the military campaign, or if Saddam increased the stakes by burning the oil wells, killing children or fomenting internal divisions within Iraq, a second resolution would give us international cover, especially with the Arabs."

Running Out of Time

Mr. Bush agreed that the two countries should attempt to get a second resolution, but he added that time was running out. "The U.S. would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would twist arms and even threaten," Mr. Bush was paraphrased in the memo as saying.

The document added, "But he had to say that if we ultimately failed, military action would follow anyway."

The leaders agreed that three weeks remained to obtain a second United Nations Security Council resolution before military commanders would need to begin preparing for an invasion.

Summarizing statements by the president, the memo says: "The air campaign would probably last four days, during which some 1,500 targets would be hit. Great care would be taken to avoid hitting innocent civilians. Bush thought the impact of the air onslaught would ensure the early collapse of Saddam's regime. Given this military timetable, we needed to go for a second resolution as soon as possible. This probably meant after Blix's next report to the Security Council in mid-February."

Mr. Blair was described as responding that both countries would make clear that a second resolution amounted to "Saddam's final opportunity." The memo described Mr. Blair as saying: "We had been very patient. Now we should be saying that the crisis must be resolved in weeks, not months."

It reported: "Bush agreed. He commented that he was not itching to go to war, but we could not allow Saddam to go on playing with us. At some point, probably when we had passed the second resolutions — assuming we did — we should warn Saddam that he had a week to leave. We should notify the media too. We would then have a clear field if Saddam refused to go."

Mr. Bush devoted much of the meeting to outlining the military strategy. The president, the memo says, said the planned air campaign "would destroy Saddam's command and control quickly." It also said that he expected Iraq's army to "fold very quickly." He also is reported as telling the prime minister that the Republican Guard would be "decimated by the bombing."

Despite his optimism, Mr. Bush said he was aware that "there were uncertainties and risks," the memo says, and it goes on, "As far as destroying the oil wells were concerned, the U.S. was well equipped to repair them quickly, although this would be easier in the south of Iraq than in the north."

The two men briefly discussed plans for a post-Hussein Iraqi government. "The prime minister asked about aftermath planning," the memo says. "Condi Rice said that a great deal of work was now in hand.

Referring to the Defense Department, it said: "A planning cell in D.O.D. was looking at all aspects and would deploy to Iraq to direct operations as soon as the military action was over. Bush said that a great deal of detailed planning had been done on supplying the Iraqi people with food and medicine."

Planning for After the War

The leaders then looked beyond the war, imagining the transition from Mr. Hussein's rule to a new government. Immediately after the war, a military occupation would be put in place for an unknown period of time, the president was described as saying. He spoke of the "dilemma of managing the transition to the civil administration," the memo says.

The document concludes with Mr. Manning still holding out a last-minute hope of inspectors finding weapons in Iraq, or even Mr. Hussein voluntarily leaving Iraq. But Mr. Manning wrote that he was concerned this could not be accomplished by Mr. Bush's timeline for war.

"This makes the timing very tight," he wrote. "We therefore need to stay closely alongside Blix, do all we can to help the inspectors make a significant find, and work hard on the other members of the Security Council to accept the noncooperation case so that we can secure the minimum nine votes when we need them, probably the end of February."

At a White House news conference following the closed-door session, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair said "the crisis" had to be resolved in a timely manner. "Saddam Hussein is not disarming," the president told reporters. "He is a danger to the world. He must disarm. And that's why I have constantly said — and the prime minister has constantly said — this issue will come to a head in a matter of weeks, not months."

Despite intense lobbying by the United States and Britain, a second United Nations resolution was not obtained. The American-led military coalition invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, nine days after the target date set by the president on that late January day at the White House.

3/28/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

The article had an hysterical headline, but I thought it was a nothing-burger. At the end of January in 2003 the President believed that Saddam would neither co-operate with UNSCOM or leave Iraq.

Good. He believed what every other intelligent observer believed at that time. The war was on the rails from the time the President procured what the NYTimes misleadingly refers to as the first resolution (it was the 16th). Either Saddam had to back down or there would be war. The US cannot afford to make hollow threats.

The real accusation of the Kosites and other suffers of BDS is that Bush determined to make war on Iraq in 2001, and that everything that happened over the next 15 months was a charade. This article comes no where near supporting that notion.

3/28/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I am tired of hearing this crap. Turning Dan Rather's acronym back on them, "FEA."

3/28/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I find it alarming that such obvious logical inconsistencies are not only not noticed by our earnest political opposites, they are EMBRACED!

The "Bush Position" against Iraq is exactly the same as the often espoused and effortlessly accepted "Clinton Position."

The heart of the argument appears to be that AFTER 9/11, we shoulda tooka chillpill. Just relax, let Saddam slide from all this nasty UN sanctions / air embargo.

The entire argument of the libs against the war rests upon a determined, purposeful, core lack of knowledge of History.

To follow their argument that "Bush Lied" about Iraq, you have to posit that History only began on 1/20/01. All evidence previous to that date is disallowed.

The part about the U-2 is just code, to freak out the natives. Takes their minds off the UAV's.

3/28/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger ed said...


1. Since Bush was a fighter pilot during the era when the U-2 was the dominant spy plane I find it hard to believe that he would make that kind of mistake.

2. This is a memo by yet another third party so who knows what is being added for political or dramatic purposes.

3/28/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

The question I like to ask is whether those who are against the current Iraq war would have supported the removal of the 'No Fly Zone' that existed (more or less) from 1991 on.

Why was Saddam forbidden from overflying 'his own' nation? We know the answer. Many do not.

From my perspective, most anti-war types no little of the Iraq conflict prior to 9-11.

3/28/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

BugMeNot will get you behind those aggravating non-subscription registrations.

3/28/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Who gives a f*ck what the NYT says?

3/28/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

The number of limeys anxious to believe any of this is so huge there is little chance the Euro MSM will "look into" any credibility issue of the memo. It just ain't gonna happen!

In 48 hours this will simply be another 'accepted' proof-test along the lines of "Bush lied, people died", et al.

3/28/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

One of these days the MSM will go to the effort of producing a properly designed forgery and potentially cause Bush some real grief. However by that time, they will have cried "Wolf!" so often that only the moonbats will be paying attention to them.

3/28/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

I am constantly amazed that so many people ignore policies that were in place prior to Bush's arrival. Do they think we don't remember?

www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/ 1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html

In a time where so many politicians and media people resemble the village idiot rather than the village leader I am grateful for leaders like Bush, Blair, and Howard. As an American, I am especially grateful for Blair and Howard.

3/28/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

PeterBoston said...
Who gives a f*ck what the NYT says?

5:41 PM

Hee Hee......succinctly put... no need to add to that!

3/28/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

PeterBoston said...
Who gives a f*ck what the NYT says?

I do! That damn newspaper is turning the weak-minded amongst into Brokeback weaklings!

I really care that those bastards propagate lies to hurt the weak among us.

3/28/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If I recall correctly, the U2s used for UN missions were actually USAF aircraft flying under UN authority. The UN itself does not operate U2s. Therefore the so-called plot reported in this memo sounds strange to the point of being ridiculous.

3/28/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The UN itself does not operate U2s. Therefore the so-called plot reported in this memo sounds strange to the point of being ridiculous.

This proves 1 of 2 things (or both maybe):

1. NYT investigative reporting has little to be said for it.

2. NYT goes ahead and quotes the British memo knowing Bush must have been joking but spin it as though he were serious. Purposefully leaving out alot of unanswered questions.

This is a dangerous paper.

3/28/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Deceit" is the deliberate withholding of pertinent information. The NYTimes is deceitful as a matter of course.

3/28/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... that many Americans, mainly unskilled workers on lower incomes and their families, were harmed by the competition of immigrants willing to work for much less. A study by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies shows that between March 2000 and March 2005 only 9 percent of net new adult jobs went to native-born Americans.

One comparison of Camarota's is especially striking: the number of adult immigrant workers with a high school degree or less increased by 1.6 million while unemployment among their American counterparts increased by nearly one million -- and the number of discouraged Americans who left the labor force altogether rose by 1.5 million. ... "

3/28/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Yusef said...

Suggested future NYT headlines:

- Bush Was Set on Path to Cut Taxes, 2001 Memo Shows

- Bush Was Set on Path to Appoint Justices like Scallia and Thomas, 2004 Memo Shows

- Bush Was Set on Path to Support Oil Drilling in ANWAR, 2001 Memo Shows

- Bush Was Is a Churchgoing Christian, 2001 Memo Shows

...and whatever other shocking revelation you might like.

3/28/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"President Kennedy ordered USN aircraft to go in, look things over, and, it was hoped, intimidate the Cuban Air Force into staying on the ground. But in order to establish "plausible deniability" or some similar diplomatic lingerie, the aircraft's U.S. markings were painted out."

I think this was in case the aircraft were shot down and the wreckage produced. But clearly as you point out, the F-8s and A-4s were recognizable by shape and other signatures.

3/28/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Did this memo come from a Kinko's in London?

The same reason Euros opposed OIF is the same reason they opposed Turkey in the EU - freedom is only for white christian chicks in London, not for brown muslim ones in Ankara or Afghanistan.

Underneath all this hype is the same old, old, old story from long ago. The only thing that make sense is a deep-seated racism that Europe has never lost.

3/28/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Ahhyeeenkkh! Facts... Aargh! Facts are closing in on me, upsetting my FEELINGS and calling me to deal with... (ugh!) Reality!

If only those Far Right Bigots with Cluebats would STOP confusing me with the facts, my mind would be made up!

Case closed! (slam!... creeak!)
Closed! Closed I say! Out, out damned fact! And cursed be he who first cries, "I've changed my mind!"

(A sharp ripost to Pore Corrie is posted at BrainSurgeryWithSpoons.blogspot.com)

3/28/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Gee thanks robert, I wont have to renew my subcription of the NYT now.

3/28/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Did DPW buy out NYT when I wasn't looking?

3/28/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


n September 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave an address that seemed remarkably prescient. Speaking at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld warned of "an adversary that poses a threat, [a] serious threat, to the security of the United States of America"--one that "attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans, and beyond.

But Rumsfeld wasn't talking about Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. The "serious threat" he was referring to was something else entirely: The Defense Department, Rumsfeld said, was dangerously out of touch with the modern boardroom.

ith chiseled features that gave him more than a passing resemblance to Tommy Lee Jones, Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski was not the first person you might finger for a dot-com egghead. After flying in Vietnam and skippering the USS Midway during the first Gulf war, Cebrowski spent the late '90s as president of the Naval War College, and he seemed destined for a post in the Pentagon's highest echelon.

But there was another side to Cebrowski, a nervous energy and a maverick streak that made him prone to trendy theories and sky-high philosophizing--which, for a long time, kept him out of the Defense Department's inner sanctum. He spoke in the rapid-fire argot one expects from a McKinsey consultant or a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

uch has been made of Rumsfeld's previous tour in the White House, as chief of staff and then secretary of defense to Gerald Ford. But less has been made about what he did afterward. In 1977, Rumsfeld parlayed his administration experience into a lucrative yet challenging position at the head of G.D. Searle, then an ailing pharmaceutical giant.

Generals as CEO's

3/29/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger _Jon said...

If it wasn't a joke, I think one could argue that if it were painted with UN markings and shot down, the wreckage would show the plane as UN - thus incriminating Saddam.

I'd hate to be the pilot selected for that mission....

3/30/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger sf said...

As many commenters have already noted, the NYT article by Van Natta is pure anti-Bush propaganda. One indicator is the article's note--twice--that the U.S. "failed to obtain" a "second" resolution.

This very careful wording was used instead of the more accurate "They decided not to ask for one more resolution" because most readers would probably interpret this as meaning the U.S. had tried introducing a 'second' resolution specifically threatening war, but the measure did not pass.

For the article's author to use this curious construction not once but twice gives the game away.

Another smoking gun against the Times is Van Natta's use of the term "second resolution" when in fact the UN had previously approved sixteen resolutions ordering Saddam to disarm--all of which Hussein had cheerfully ignored.

3/31/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger the mad fiddler said...

Here I lament the worthless secondary education I received as a result of six decades of Democratic Party domination of Congress, State legislatures, county boards of supervisors, local school boards, the public school system, the teachers' unions, and flouridated water.

(Tee Hee!)

Wretchard needs to post a standard list of definitions of the sort of deliberate logical fallacies and rhetorical tricks I shoulda learnt if only I’da been eddicated proper-like.

For instance, the sort of shameless “begging of the question” the NYT article’s author repeats, presenting assertions as proven, then using them to support further extrapolations, inuendo, and surmise as equally beyond challenge

I finished college thinking a straw man was simply one of Dorothy’s chummies.

4/02/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger the mad fiddler said...

NYT Set on Path to Disinformation, Memos Prove


Gravity Suspected in Collapse of WTC

News at Eleven

Sun Set on Path to... oh, ferget it!

4/02/2006 10:48:00 PM  

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