Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- June 5th edition

June 5, 2006: Iraqis look on as members of Company B, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, search vehicles during a traffic control point mission near Tall Afar

June 5, 2002:

U.S. And U.K. Hot On Iraq

Iraq poses an increasing threat that must be met, the defense chiefs of the United States and Britain said Wednesday, showing growing impatience with Saddam Hussein.

"We know that Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq has had a sizable appetite for weapons of mass destruction" and is finding ways to acquire the ingredients, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said.

"We know the borders into that country are quite porous," he added, allowing Iraq to import technologies with applications in both civilian and military industries as well as illicit materials.

"There is not a doubt in the world that with every month that goes by their programs mature," he said.

Iraq denies it has or is developing any weapons of mass destruction, but it has refused to allow the international inspections that it agreed to accept as a condition of ending the 1991 Gulf War.

Rumsfeld would not discuss the possibility of U.S. military action to topple Saddam's government, saying that was a matter for President Bush to decide. He spoke at a joint news conference with British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon after meetings to discuss Iraq and other issues.

Read the rest at CBS News

June 5, 2003:

Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits

Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials.

With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction, the visits by the vice president and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here," one senior agency official said yesterday.

Other agency officials said they were not influenced by the visits from the vice president's office, and some said they welcomed them. But the disclosure of Cheney's unusual hands-on role comes on the heels of mounting concern from intelligence officials and members of Congress that the administration may have exaggerated intelligence it received about Iraq to build a case for war.

While visits to CIA headquarters by a vice president are not unprecedented, they are unusual, according to intelligence officials. The exact number of trips by Cheney to the CIA could not be learned, but one agency official described them as "multiple."

Read the rest at the Washington Post

June 5, 2004:

Former U.S. hunter rules out finding Iraq WMD stockpiles

No stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq, and coalition leaders were wrong in their assessment of Saddam Hussein's arsenal, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector said Saturday.

David Kay's comments came a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared to suggest that the Iraq Survey Group may cite evidence of such weapons when it gives its next report.

"We know Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He used them," Blair said Friday. "What we know also is that we haven't yet found them." He then pointed out that the Iraq Survey Group was due to report in a few months.

Ridding Iraq of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons was the main justification Blair gave for going to war last year. But the prime minister's staunch support for the U.S.-led invasion has proved deeply unpopular in Britain.

Kay, who resigned from the CIA in January after searches failed to turn up weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, dismissed any suggestion that such arms could be found.

"Anyone out there holding — as I gather Prime Minister Blair has recently said — the prospect that ISG is going to unmask actual weapons of mass destruction are really delusional," Kay told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Read the rest at USA Today

June 5, 2005:

Administration's Offenses Impeachable

Let's consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago:

A British citizen leaked a memo to London's Sunday Times. The memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove was the head of the England's MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured, hyped - the product of whole cloth fabrication.

So we got aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds imported from Niger, biological weapons labs in weather trucks, fear and trembling, the phony ultimatums to Saddam Hussein to turn over the weapons he didn't have and thus couldn't. We got the call to arms, the stifling of dissent, the parade of retired generals strategizing on the "news" shows, with us or against us, flags in the lapel, a craven media afraid to look for a truth that might disturb their corporate owners who would profit from the war. Shock and Awe. Fallujah. Abu Ghraib.

It was all a lie. Many of us have said for a long time it was a lie. But here it is in black and white: Lies from a president who has taken a sacred trust to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Read the rest at the Bangor Daily News

June 5, 2006:

Bush names general as saviour of the CIA's once-proud reputation

The Central Intelligence Agency, already buffeted by turf wars, resignations and recriminations over September 11 and the war in Iraq, faces more turmoil this week when President George W Bush names its new head.

He seems certain to nominate Gen Michael Hayden, America's highest ranking military intelligence officer, to replace Porter Goss, 68, who was forced out on Friday in the latest upheaval to rock the organisation.

Gen Hayden will be brought in to head an agency once synonymous with Cold War espionage but now racked by rifts and struggling to keep its feet in America's sprawling intelligence network.

"For way too long, the CIA sat back on its laurels," a senior Pentagon adviser told The Sunday Telegraph.

"They didn't have a whiff of 9/11, they got Iraq wrong, they didn't even predict the fall of the Soviet Union when the Cold War was supposed to be their specialist field. Any organisation with a track record like that deserves a shake-up."

Before he can start work, Gen Hayden, a popular and well-respected 36-year veteran in his field, must undergo a bruising confirmation in the Senate. Democrats have pledged to grill him for his role in overseeing and defending the controversial domestic eavesdropping programme authorised by Mr Bush without court warrants.

The latest shake-up comes as the United States grapples with a series of international crises, notably the conflict in Iraq, Iran's nuclear ambitions and the search for Osama bin Laden - where the CIA's expertise in human intelligence could be crucial.

If confirmed, Gen Hayden will inherit an organisation that has suffered an exodus of senior officers, a slide in morale and been plagued by leaks, which the White House regards as sign of revolt.

Read the rest at the Telegraph