So there’s a new Senate report out that’s sure to become the source of Democrat talking points for days to come. The report apparently tells us again that Saddam wasn’t coordinating with Osama on the 9/11 plans. Of course, that wasn’t the reason behind going to war, but it’s a convenient strawman for the Left to set up and knock down in their attempt to score political points against the President… by any means necessary.
Before the ink was dry on this report, Democrat Jay Rockefeller was rushing to the podium to deliver his “I told you so” campaign speech:
Let me share some important excerpts from the report which reflect both my own views and the views of all of my Democratic colleagues on the committee…
Prior to the war, administration officials repeatedly characterized Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs in more conclusive and threatening terms than were substantiated by the underlying intelligence assessments…
Funny he’d make this claim… considering his own speech on the Senate floor on October 10, 2002, just prior to voting for the Iraq war:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.,,
I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks — and we should not minimize the risks — we must authorize the President to take the necessary steps to deal with that threat.
I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk.
Interesting. The same intelligence upon which the administration relied. So, Senator Rockefeller, were you lying then or are you lying now?
Democrats like Rockefeller continue to blame Bush for relying on the same intelligence upon which they based their votes to authorize the war… a war which could not have taken place without such authorization.
But maybe Bush misled us on just how “imminent” the threat really was. Again, from Rockefeller’s prepared speech yesterday:
The committee has uncovered information in its investigation which shows that the administration ignored warnings prior to the war about the veracity of the intelligence trumpeted publicly to support its case that Iraq was an imminent threat to the security of the United States.
But the same Senator Rockefeller said this in that October, 2002 speech:
There has been some debate over how “imminent” a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat……
Again, it’s easy to judge in hindsight. And we have the luxury of second-guessing now. Democrats want you to forget that these threats and risks we were warned about, not only by the Bush administration, but also by Democrats and the Clinton administration were made at a time when the murderous tyrant who had already used WMDs was still in power and still provoking the international community.
Continuing the rest of that Rockefeller quote:
…There has been some debate over how “imminent” a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!
So Rockefeller had all the evidence he needed to authorize the war. Even if that evidence was “uncorroborated, unreliable, and, in critical instances, fabricated”. And he publicly declared that waiting for more evidence, or perhaps more corroboration and proof of reliability, was not a risk we could afford to take.
Ignoring that context of the state of the world in 2002 for political advantage in 2006 is disingenuous. It’s political opportunism at its worst.
As he pointed out back then, the context in which the lead up to the Iraq war occurred was in the wake of 9/11. That’s the connection to 9/11 the Bush administration has continually made. In the context of having endured the worst terror attack on our soil, we could not afford to let growing threats (related or not to the 9/11 perpetrators themselves) materialize before deciding to act. As this upcoming miniseries on ABC shows, the cost of ignoring growing threats is high.
As one Senator has said:
“September 11 has forever changed the world. We may not like it, but that is the world in which we live. When there is a grave threat to Americans’ lives, we have a responsibility to take action to prevent it.”
Oh, and in case you’re wondering who said that…. it was also from the October 10, 2002 speech from Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeler.
I’m curious about this new Senate report’s findings in light of the documents that had been uncovered showing Saddam’s financial ties to al-Qaida offshoot, Abu Sayyaf or the directive for his aides to “develop the relationship” with the bin Laden. Or what of the “Saddam Papers“? Or the “Pentagon Papers“? Or even the first Senate Intelligence Committee Report? Or Richard Clarke’s claim about Iraqi nerve gas agents working with al-Qaida at El Shifa?
GOP.com has a video of Democrats “then and now”. And here are clips of each Democrat with their “then videos” side-by-side with their “now videos”. It’s too bad MSM would never show something like this on the evening news.