Bush, Pentagon ignored warnings

Soldiers on duty in IraqIntelligence analysts predicted, in secret papers circulated within the government before the Iraq invasion, that al-Qaida would see U.S. military action as an opportunity to increase its operations and that Iran would try to shape a post-Saddam Iraq.

The top analysts in government also said that establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a "long, difficult and probably turbulent process."

Democrats said the newly declassified documents, part of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation released Friday, make clear that the Bush administration was warned about the very challenges it now faces as it tries to stabilize Iraq.

"Sadly, the administration's refusal to heed these dire warnings — and worse, to plan for them — has led to tragic consequences for which our nation is paying a terrible price," said Senate Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Some Republicans rejected the committee's work as flawed. The panel's top Republican, Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, said the report's conclusions selectively highlight the intelligence agencies' findings that seem to be important now, distorting the picture of what was presented to policy-makers.

He said the committee's work on the Iraq intelligence "has become too embroiled in politics and partisanship to produce an accurate and meaningful report."

Publication of the 229-page document was approved by a vote of 10-5, with two Republicans — Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska — voting with Democrats to release it.

Asked about the report at his Thursday news conference, in advance of its release, President Bush stood by his decision to topple the Iraqi regime. He said he firmly believes the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

"Going into Iraq, we were warned about a lot of things, some of which happened, some of which didn't happen," he said. "Obviously, as I made a decision … I weighed the risks and rewards of any decision."

The investigation reviewed assessments from a number of agencies but focused on two January 2003 papers from the National Intelligence Council: "Regional Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq" and "Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq."

Those papers drew from expertise within a number spy agencies and were distributed to scores of White House, national security, diplomatic and congressional officials — most of whom were listed in 81 pages of the Senate report.

Among other conclusions, the analysts found:

• Establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a long, steep and probably turbulent challenge. They said that contributions could be made by 4 million Iraqi exiles and Iraq's impoverished, underemployed middle class. But they noted that opposition parties would need sustained economic, political and military support.

• Al-Qaida would see the invasion as a chance to accelerate its attacks, and the lines between al-Qaida and other terrorist groups "could become blurred." In a weak spot in the analysis, one paper said that the risk of terror attacks would spike after the invasion and slow over the next three to five years. However, the State Department recently found that attacks last year alone rose sharply.

• Groups in Iraq's deeply divided society would become violent, unless stopped by the occupying force. "Score settling would occur throughout Iraq between those associated with Saddam's regime and those who have suffered most under it," one report stated.

• Iraq's neighbors would jockey for influence and Iranian leaders would try to shape the post-Saddam era to demonstrate Tehran's importance in the region. The less Tehran felt threatened by U.S. actions, the analysts said, "the better the chance that they could cooperate in the postwar period."

• Postwar Iraq would face significant economic challenges, having few resources beyond oil. Analysts predicted that Iraq's large petroleum resources would make economic reconstruction easier, but they didn't anticipate that continued fighting and sabotage would drag down oil production.

• Military action to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction would not cause other governments in the region to give up such programs.

As numerous investigations have found, the intelligence agencies of the United States and its allies were wrong about Iraq's supposed weapons programs.

The report is the latest chapter in the Intelligence Committee's ongoing investigation into the prewar Iraq intelligence. Because committee members couldn't agree on clear conclusions about the postwar predictions, they saved their analyses for appendices attached to the report.

"The most chilling and prescient warning from the intelligence community prior to the war was that the American invasion would bring about instability in Iraq that would be exploited by Iran and al-Qaida," wrote four Democratic senators — Rockefeller, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, four Republican senators — Bond, John Warner of Virginia, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Richard Burr of North Carolina — wrote that the report exaggerates the importance of the pre-invasion assessments. They said the reports weren't based on intelligence information, but instead were speculation from experts in and out of government.

"They were no more authoritative than the many other educated opinions that were available in the same time frame," the Republicans wrote.

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On the Net:

Senate Intelligence Committee: http://intelligence.senate.gov/index.html

7 Responses to "Bush, Pentagon ignored warnings"

  1. SEAL  May 28, 2007 at 4:12 am

    I don’t know enough about any of the candidates thus far to have any faith in one. There are quite a few I know should not be president or in the government anywhere.

    Certainly, none of the republicans. Definately not Clinton or the $400 haircut. I have heard some of the Dems say a few things that sounded good but they were basically just saying they could do a better job. Like “improving” things instead of changing them.

    We need a president with a supportive congress that has the commitment to actually reverse the damage caused by the organized corporate criminal gang that came into power in 1980 when they found and installed a clueless actor to play his dream role and then went to work raping the world. Unfortunately, when they followed with one of their “real” henchmen, he was too obvious and they lost the top job twice to a “good ol boy” with great charisma and one hell of a lot of political smarts. But he blew himself out of the ability to be very effective against them with one stupid act. Everyone knows that “star fuckers” will brag. That’s why the do it.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, they were cleaning up, drying out, and governor role grooming the perfect presidental prop. The useless but marketable son of one of the “dons” who would approve approve approve every thing they wanted and stay out of the way playing predident by birthright. He let them down with Katrina but how was he supposed to know the president was supposed to actually do something about disaster? “Don’t we have guys that take care of those things and I get the credit?” Then he really pissed them off by firing Rumsfeld but he was sick and tired of taking all the heat and not being worshiped on the party circuit as before. He had to blame someone. Nothing is ever his fault. He blames Rove for the last election results. But he can’t make it without him – and Gonzales too BTW.

    Bush is very unhappy right now because he is actually having to do president stuff. But at the same time, he’s getting off on his new image as the “decider.” At least he can be important and act tough for a change. The dons don’t give shit about anything except keeping him there to the end of his term while they look for another right person and a way to keep one of their own in the White House. That will not happen unless they feel its important enough to create something of the magnitude of 9/11 again but in reverse where the “republicans save” the nation. Maybe catch Osama been Hiden? I’m off the subject – sorry.

    Of course, all of the present presidential candidates all talk about “changing the direction” in Iraq. That’s because they all know that we cannot actually withdraw the troops. The occupation wiill have to be reduced in stages and there must always be a major presense of around 50,000 of our battle ready forces there. Not only to guard the oil but to make a one government Iraq possible. That is a reality they all know.

    Obama is the only candidate out there that has the right message. “We the people. Help me take our country back and change things.” He is not running with the backing of the DNC. Hillary has that. Obama is going after the grass roots – the people that are fed up with the whole lot of polititions. This is the same tactic the Kennedys used to overcome Johnson’s DNC support.

    The best thing Obama has going for him is that he is not part of the establishment. He has been an outsider from day one in congress. That is why he was chosen to speak at Kerry’s convention win. Fresh face of the future and black voter support. But he freaked them out with his presense and speaking ability. He became an overnight star. And he has capitalized on it.

    If, and that is a big IF, Obama is for real, he would be the best of the bunch. In fact, the only one. But, he could be on a suicide mission. Being black, he is a much easier target than the Kennedys. Naturally, some KKK loonies are going to go after him. Lots of fall guys around. “It was no surprise.” “Go get Judge Roberts to swear in the President of Vice.”

    We could see the same senario where they cut convention a deal for the Kennedy nomination and installed the one the really wanted as the vice president (Johnson) ready to take over. It would be interesting to see who this one would be. If it were Hillary, that would confim suspicions. They would make a cute couple like a circus oddity. He is two feet taller than her.

    I dunno, Gene, too ealy to tell anything yet. I like Obama so far. Like you, I would like to see the whole damned establishment bunch thrown out. That’s at least 60% of congress and no law degree candidates to replace them. It is imperative we get a majority with the commitment to seperation of church and state. Sandy is correct in her analysis of that problem. They are the greatest danger to the nation right now. Most people do not know how dedicated to religion by war they are. That’s their history.

    We just have to watch, listen, investigate and really support those that show themselves to be the right ones. If any show up?

    Anyway, you asked and that’s what I think for whatever it’s worth. We must have a complete regime change ASAP but this isn’t South America or Africa so it will take a while to do it. But it will be a lot more peaceful. I just hope that Iranian leader continues to refuse the bait. So far he has shown himself a hell of a lot smarter than our capital mob bosses.

  2. gene  May 27, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Thanks (SEAL) your comments are helping me see the “bigger picture” which at my humble level of existence is hard to see at times.

    I certainly agree about a leader (person) with “intelligent, calm, clear thinking” to “guide” ie. lead us out of this incrediable mess this country is almost cemented in.

    Would certainly appreciate (YOUR) thoughts on who that (person) might be, hoping such an individual is even
    available at this point in this nation’s history. Thanks in advance….gene

  3. SEAL  May 26, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Gene, I was never at the Pentegon level where policy and decisions are made. I was the guy they handed the mission to and told to figure out how to do it and then get it done. But I spent enough time with the brass hats to learn what the mindset of our government is.

    I cannot help but agree with their reality of the facts. The risk is too great. However, I do disagree with the method. I think that political rapport between nations backed up by the power of our military would serve us and all of mankind better. And I believe that could still be accomplished.

    But they have created the conditions for a new “cold war” between us and Russia/China. This time it will be an economic war supported by military force instead of just massive military bristling. The point was, we had to get there first, i.e. “preemptive.” So, the die is cast. We cannot retreat.

    I think the most critical concern for us, now, is to select the right person to run this nation. It is imperative that we remove the incompetence of a GW Bush and the myopic lunacy of a Dick Cheney from the controls. We need an intelligent, calm, clear thinking individual surrounded by the right advisors to guide us through the delicate negotiations that will come.

    That sure as hell is not Hillary Clinton.

  4. gene  May 26, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    You bunch of stupid f**king idiots, ie. congress, Bush white house, anything political!!

    Its self evident as hell now that this moron we call a “commander and chief” or is that “commander and and chief idiot” lied and fabricated evidence to get this so call war on terror started. Oh…by the way…he new about (911) before the planes ever hit those buildings that just happen to crumble in 10sec flat…impossible without explosive devices placed on each floor…..and they were!!!…placed on each floor.

    While most brain dead americans are celebrating memorial day this weekend, young men continue to scrafic their lives for (black gold)…oil. Some actually believing it is a war against terror not realizing their “commander and chief idiot” is one evil SOB who could care less how many innocent people (US soldiers, Iraqi women and children) are murdered each day.

    How could this one murdering bastard be allowed to continue? Congress is to blame, those spineless shits had their chance but it is evident now that they are as evil as this monster we call president.

  5. SEAL  May 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    This exercise is a classic example of the make work political posturing that our elected officials actually engage in rather than do the job they have been hired to do. Dredging up the six year old obvious as if it is a newly discovered revelation, they can wave their arms and shout about. The public is fed a continual series of contentions, exposures, and concerns deliberately orchestrated to focus the attention where the government wants it focused while appearing to be the dynamic leaders who are serving the nation and its people. They select the emotional or importance impact value of each new revelation according to the public mood or condition of the moment. Extreme emotional issues are normally reserved to be trotted out for elections.

    The preceding paragraph is nothing new to most of us commenting on CHB but not recognized by the general voting population and that is why it continues to exist. It works because the corporate controlled media sponsors it. They have the national voice and we do not. As long as they are able to maintain the illusion of a two party adversarial government the nation will continue to be entertained by meaningless nonsense while the real government prances merrily along its path to riches and power. The three branches established by our Constitution have been reduced to nothing other than a front for the new empire.

    The only way to prevent the plan of corporate world domination is educating the public. Conditions sufficient to provide an exposure that would invoke enough emotion for general public action does not yet exist. And the one hot button issue of the Iraq war will be placated next year before the general elections. Of course, that will be pushed to the limit and then timed as a declared success with a withdrawal that will, in reality, be only a build up of our forces in the region. The plans have already been drawn, approved, and budgeted for increasing our military forces for the upcoming permanent occupation of the center of the Middle East to control its vast oil reserves. That will become a fact unless the American and international public is made acutely aware of it and then motivated to prevent it. Causing that would be a very dangerous exercise for those who may try to lead.

    No matter whom the voter sends to the legislative or executive branch of government the result will be the same. Regardless of the personal conviction or intent of any candidate, upon their arrival at the halls of power he/she will be handed the “survival reality” that all must accept. There is no choice. It is them or us. We cannot allow “them” to control the worlds fuel and, ergo, the worlds economy. Forget what you want; what is good or bad; what is moral or immoral; what should or shouldn’t be. We must do what we must to SURVIVE. As long as the opportunity to gain the power to control the world’s resources by mega maniacal governments exists there will be no chance for cooperative rule. Never will there be that kind of trust among leaders of nations with such diverse ideology. The stakes are too high. This is the mindset we are up against. How do you fight that? Or should we?

  6. gene  May 26, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Dam (Seal) you made my 3 active brain cells go into overdrive, now I have one hell of a headache. Very thought provoking comments and very true. It would seem all is lost in this corporate world of greed and power

  7. cookiehustler  May 27, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    I would think other nations that have the bomb feel the same way about who controls the world’s oil reserves.

    I also believe our oil people’s plans like always are to sell oil to the highest bidder.

    I have no faith or respect in either their jibber jabber flag waving patriotism or their altruistic ramblings concerning our nations best interests.

    Fug em all on a rocking horse pump untill their guts fall out.

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