December 01, 2005

Democratic Revisionist History - Part V

The Village Voice has posted Hillary Clinton's letter to constituents in which she claims that she voted for the war because she was duped. Here is my favorite excerpt:

In October 2002, I voted for the resolution to authorize the Administration to use force in Iraq. I voted for it on the basis of the evidence presented by the Administration, assurances they gave that they would first seek to resolve the issue of weapons of mass destruction peacefully through United Nations sponsored inspections, and the argument that the resolution was needed because Saddam Hussein never did anything to comply with his obligations that he was not forced to do.

Their assurances turned out to be empty ones, as the Administration refused repeated requests from the U.N. inspectors to finish their work. And the "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda turned out to be false.

Maybe she is confusing the Bush Administration with the Clinton Administration:

"(Iraq) admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability — notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs. And might I say, UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production." -— Text of President Clinton's address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff, Feb. 17, 1998

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

Well, isn't it funny that Ms. Clinton, herself, before the Iraq War vote was absolutely 100% certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?

Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people....It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." Hillary Clinton's speech in support of Senate Joint Resolution 45 (i.e., the Resolution authorizing the Iraq War).

Hmmm.... isn't it fair to say that Ms. Clinton was hyping intelligence or pushing the case for war? Isn't it fair to say that Ms. Clinton's speech on the Senate floor may have swayed others?
My major problem with Hillary Clinton's "explanation" for her Iraq War vote is that she fails to take responsibility or otherwise own her vote. Rather than saying, we were all mistaken, she seems to be saying that she would not have voted for war if it had not been for the "assurances" of the Bush administration that such WMD's were present in Iraq.

So, her defense is that she is easily manipulated????? And, this woman wants us to believe she is qualified to be President of the United States???? Sorry, but a true leader would put more thought into such important issues as war than merely relying on the "assurances" of others. If my leader decides to go to war, that leader must act decisively and fight to win. Most importantly, a true leader would take responsibility for their actions-even the mistakes.

Her argument assumes that the Bush administration was in possession of evidence that was exculpatory to Saddam Hussein and did not reveal it to Congress or that the Bush administration "cherry picked" intelligence that it gave to Congress. As Michael Barone wrote, this argument is absolutely wrong:

Bush, Cheney and the administration have the truth on their side. Exhaustive and authoritative examinations of the prewar intelligence, by the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004, by the Silberman-Robb Commission in 2005 and by the British commission headed by Lord Butler, have established that U.S. intelligence agencies, and the intelligence organizations of leading countries like Britain, France and Germany, believed that Saddam Hussein's regime was in possession of or developing weapons of mass destruction -- chemical and biological weapons, which the regime had used before, and nuclear weapons, which it was working on in the 1980s.

To the charges that Bush "cherry-picked" intelligence, the commission co-chaired by former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb found that the intelligence available to Bush but not to Congress was even more alarming than the intelligence Congress had.

The Silberman-Robb panel also concluded, after a detailed investigation, that in no instance did Bush administration authorities pressure intelligence officials to alter their findings.

Much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.

But Bush didn't lie about it.

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