The Impeachment Thread, vol.1 - "WMD"

My favorite D3 system is...

  • Followers! (damn that belly button is sexy:-) )

    Votes: 3 5.6%
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    Votes: 35 64.8%
  • Artisans - Crafting & Salvaging !

    Votes: 10 18.5%
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    Votes: 1 1.9%
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  • Total voters
    54

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
The Impeachment Thread, vol.1 - "WMD"

Well, I better address this, as I had mentioned I would earlier. I expect that one of the first topics which the Legislative Branch will start to discuss within the New Year will be the impeachment of President Bush. However, I'm very upset that one of the best sources regarding the issue I'd like to address has been pulled back off-line in accordance with the "culture of secrecy".

The reason for this (and the follow-up, "Terrorists") thread is pretty simple. It is to put to rest what I regard as the foolish or dishonest claim, "there were no WMD in Iraq". I hear this claim constantly, and am about sick of what I regard as a blatant lie being bandied about for political reasons.

This thread isn't to argue the legitimacy of the invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration, or to discuss how much people hate Bush for conducting an offensive war, or how the pacification/occupation/what-have-you is going. Please try to keep within these boundaries as far as you are able.

I also think it will be productive to consider the misnomer, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and discuss in terms about "NBC" (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) weapons. So, let us begin with a poll.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
I suppose you're going to end up saying that Iraq had enough smoke detectors to cobble together a dirty bomb, thus satisfying your hazy "nuclear capabilities" statement. Or "chemical capabilities" includes expired ear medicine.

I eagerly await your dicking around with terms and tinfoil asshattery (is that a mixed metaphor?).
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
Define minor.

Your options and the terms used within are leading and open-ended, not to mention you're playing loose and easy with time. You'd think that since you're apparently going to make multiple threads on this topic, you would have started off with a more simplified poll.

Then again, it's much easier to shift the goal posts, put words in the mouths of others, and dismiss any post you disagree with out of hand by doing it your way. So you've got that going for you, which is nice.


jmerv said:
I expect that one of the first topics which the Legislative Branch will start to discuss within the New Year will be the impeachment of President Bush.
And I expect you're going to be wrong. We'll see.
 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I voted for the first No, although the first three all fit in one way or the other.

The WMD we found were leftovers from an earlier time, many of which were, shall we say, past their expiration date.

And yes, we did sell harmful chem/bio materials to Iraq, but I hesitate to say that we "gave Iraq WMD", since, if I remember correctly, it was under the umbrella of medical research at the time.
 

EliManning

Diabloii.Net Member
I also think it will be productive to consider the misnomer, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and discuss in terms about "NBC" (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) weapons. So, let us begin with a poll.
I think there's a key distinction to be made here that everyone on earth failed to make until after the invasion and the Bush administration is still failing to make to this day. Biological and chemical weapons are what Hussein had in limited quantities, but are not massively destructive by any definition. Indiscriminate killers, sure, but massively destructive absolutely not.

However, in the lead-up to the war, the term NBC wasn't being tossed about quite so liberally. In fact I'd be extremely surprised if you found me a single pre-war news article about the case for war in Iraq that includes the term. Certainly all talk from the US government was WMD, yellowcake, depleted uranium, and so on and so forth ad nauseum. Practically nothing was made of al-samoud 2s except insofar as they could one day carry nuclear payloads, nobody in normal civilian life had ever heard the term "chemical precursors" (whose presence alone only indicates that chemical weapons failed to be produced), nobody was talking about sarin or vx gas or rocket sauce, nobody was mentioning Hussein's mobile meth labs. None of this came until post-invasion. The pre-invasion talk was exclusively nuclear/WMD/materials Hussein might have had that might help start a nuclear program. So when people claim that there were no WMD found, it is absolutely 100% indisputably true. NBC have been found, sure, but no nuclear weapons. Nothing that is capable of destroying infrastructure on a massive scale has ever in the history of the universe existed within the boundaries that currently define the nation of Iraq. Repeatedly clamoring to call people liars does not make them liars. If you hate hearing people say that Iraq has no WMD, then the fault lies with those who continually asserted that they had WMD and never mentioned NBC until years later.



 

WebDragon

Diabloii.Net Member
SaroDarksbane said:
I voted for the first No, although the first three all fit in one way or the other.

The WMD we found were leftovers from an earlier time, many of which were, shall we say, past their expiration date.
I voted the 2nd No, although I would've prefered if it actually was a Yes. As in, Yes they had biological/chem weapons that were remnants from the Iraq/Iran war, so in a strictly technical sense, they had WMD capability. But with the small amounts they had, they really weren't a threat on the magnitude of the word WMD implies. I also suspect that they didn't have any serious capability of continuing to produce those on a military deployment scale.


I think there's a key distinction to be made here that everyone on earth failed to make until after the invasion and the Bush administration is still failing to make to this day. Biological and chemical weapons are what Hussein had in limited quantities, but are not massively destructive by any definition. Indiscriminate killers, sure, but massively destructive absolutely not.
I agree that this is a key distinction. However, the scale, which is in question is such an arguable point (not that I don't agree with it) that its hard to reach a real conclusion with it.


Edit: Here's a link to a similar poll that I posted about 7 months ago. Not the same options, but similar nonetheless.



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, if back in the let's-go-bomb-Iraq-it'll-be-great days people had qualified their use of the term "WMDs" to mean only things like sarin gas and anthrax, I would've thought "so freaking what?".
 

RevenantsKnight

Diabloii.Net Member
Biological and chemical weapons are what Hussein had in limited quantities, but are not massively destructive by any definition. Indiscriminate killers, sure, but massively destructive absolutely not.
A bit of an aside, but some pathogens, if weaponized, have the potential to be massively destructive; the best (or worst) of them can keep pace with nuclear weapons given the right atmospheric conditions and preparation. A model noted in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences (June 2002, Vol. 323:6,) estimates that a 5-lb release of dry, prepared anthrax over St. Louis, given average atmospheric conditions, would cause 62,000 deaths. Even if you halve that number, the only thing that can begin to rival that sort of damage-to-quantity ratio is a nuclear weapon. Anthrax is also not capable of causing secondary infections. You could switch the pathogen to plague, which is highly infectious in its pneumonic form. Since it's less stable, the death count would be much lower, but even a 10% count of 6,200 infections (not even deaths) as a first wave would swamp any health care system. If containment fails, then the casualty count starts going up very quickly, especially if infected people enter the global net of air traffic.

An aside to the aside: anthrax is a :censored: because it contaminates the target area long after deployment and is quite difficult to eliminate. Look up Gruinard Island if you're curious.



 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20041006-1210-us-iraq-weapons.html

Difficult to explain why Charles Duelfer, the man Bush hand picked (hint, close friend) TESITIFIED that there was no WMD prior to the invasion.

Even more difficult to explain why Duelfer's testimony was CONSISTENT with David Kay, the other Bush appointed WMD chief inspector who offered the same conclusion.

I'm trying to keep an open mind. But it's difficult in light of two chief WMD inspectors.

Both of which were sent by Bush?
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
However, in the lead-up to the war, the term NBC wasn't being tossed about quite so liberally. In fact I'd be extremely surprised if you found me a single pre-war news article about the case for war in Iraq that includes the term.
Yeah, it's not like Bush mentioned it in a presidential speech before the war started or anything.

An interesting tidbit to that article: both "chemical" and "biological" are mentioned before "nuclear." And here's an interesting quote:

Bush said:
"We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons."
EliManning said:
nobody was talking about sarin or vx gas or rocket sauce
No one except the president, maybe? He specifically lists sarin gas and VX poison gas in his address.
Bush said:
We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.
EliManning said:
Repeatedly clamoring to call people liars does not make them liars.
But telling lies does make you a liar.



 

buttershug

Diabloii.Net Member
Sr. pulled out early because of fears of WMD supplied by the US.
Jr. went in because the bad man threatened to kill his daddy.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
I remember that speech, and others like it. I always thought "Mustard gas? Sarin? Nerve? If it ain't nukes then GTFO."
 

KillerAim

Diabloii.Net Member
But aren't we asking the wrong question here if we're talking about impeachment?

The important question to answer is whether or not Bush believed and had a right to believe that Iraq had WMDs at the time of the invasion. When it comes to impeachment, who cares if WMD's exist? Their existence or lack of existence does nothing to prove or disprove intent.

If it could be proven that the best intelligence at the time said there was no WMD's and Bush ignored them and lied to the people, then I don't care if tomorrow we find thousands of WMD's buried at thousands of different places in Iraq. He should be impeached.

If, however, it can be proven that the best intelligence at that time believed that WMD's existed and Bush acted upon that belief, then he shouldn't be impeached even if we find documents that demonstrably prove that no WMD's ever existed in Iraq.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
If they're serious about impeachment (we'll see), and they try for anything other than the wiretaps they're wasting their time. I've yet to see convincing evidence Bush & Co. deliberately lied. Maybe it happened, maybe not - it won't hold up without something damning though.

In short, what KillerAim said.
 

EliManning

Diabloii.Net Member
A bit of an aside, but some pathogens, if weaponized, have the potential to be massively destructive; the best (or worst) of them can keep pace with nuclear weapons given the right atmospheric conditions and preparation. A model noted in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences (June 2002, Vol. 323:6,) estimates that a 5-lb release of dry, prepared anthrax over St. Louis, given average atmospheric conditions, would cause 62,000 deaths.
But that's precisely the distinction. I'm not saying that chemical or biological weapons can't cause a lot of deaths or can't cause them indiscriminately. We're perfectly in agreement on that. Killing a lot of people is distinct from mass destruction, however. A roadside bomb is more destructive than any amount of anthrax will ever be. Anthrax doesn't destroy anything. Nuclear weapons destroy things, and in quantities that can reasonably be described as massive.

Aero said:
Yeah, it's not like Bush mentioned it in a presidential speech before the war started or anything.
Are you denying the point though? You and I and the American people know full well that for every one mention of biological or chemical weapons you'll easily be able to find 20 articles about nuclear. And what was our case at the UN? Yellowcake if I'm not mistaken? You know full well that nobody cared about biological or chemical weapons and the totality of our persuasive powers rested on the case for nuclear weaponry. If it had been about biological or chemical weapons nobody, congress included, would have cared. Congressmen asked about their war vote even today will tell you that they voted for war on the assumption that we had real evidence that Hussein had or was close to acquiring nuclear weaponry. Stop being obtuse.

KillerAim said:
The important question to answer is whether or not Bush believed and had a right to believe that Iraq had WMDs at the time of the invasion. When it comes to impeachment, who cares if WMD's exist? Their existence or lack of existence does nothing to prove or disprove intent.
Well, I think what Jmerv is trying to do is assert that WMD do exist, and thereby counter the accusation that Bush intended to deceive based on the fact that Bush happened to guess correctly based on shaky intel. Presumably he believes that if someone says something and it turns out to be true then the idea that they intended to deceive you is indefensible. Which still isn't any more reasonable, but I guess I just felt the need to point out that this discussion revolves around the case against impeachment rather than the case for it. I think somebody's scared.



 

buttershug

Diabloii.Net Member
But that's precisely the distinction. I'm not saying that chemical or biological weapons can't cause a lot of deaths or can't cause them indiscriminately. We're perfectly in agreement on that. Killing a lot of people is distinct from mass destruction, however. A roadside bomb is more destructive than any amount of anthrax will ever be. Anthrax doesn't destroy anything. Nuclear weapons destroy things, and in quantities that can reasonably be described as massive.


.
Destroying (killing) someone doesn't count as destruction?



 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Stop being obtuse.
Sure, when you stop giving misinformation. You said no one was talking about A before the war. I gave you a presidential speech where A was talked about before the war. How does that make me obtuse?

I'm sorry you were wrong, but did you have to sink to name calling?

If it had been about biological or chemical weapons nobody, congress included, would have cared.
I don't really see how that claim works. The president did seem to care about biological and chemical weapons, considering he mentioned them in his 2003 State of the Union address as well.

It seems to me that it's easier to claim the war was about something we didn't find so the anti-war folks can call it all a failure. I'm still confused why doesn't "weapons of mass destruction" include chemical and biological weapons?

http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/demsonwmds.php has some quotes (that have been posted all over the place for the past couple years) which seem to indicate even democrats in Congress considered biological and chemical weapons to be weapons of mass destruction. But it certainly indicates they were contemplating chemical and biological weapons.



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Doesn't everyone have anthrax?

It seems to me that it's easier to claim the war was about something we didn't find so the anti-war folks can call it all a failure. I'm still confused why doesn't "weapons of mass destruction" include chemical and biological weapons?
Ever heard of chemical/biological non-proliferation?



 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
So how much of WMD did Sadam have? Was it a material amount?

Can someone post an offical site from the White House providing evidence of WMD?

Up to now as far as I know, both of Bush's own hand-picked WMD inspectors have testified they didn't find any. Then Bush himself said there were no WMD.


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20041006-1210-us-iraq-weapons.html

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/12/wmd.search/

"After Duelfer delivered his Iraq Survey Group's report to the Senate, Bush acknowledged that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction at the time he ordered the invasion but said Saddam was "systematically gaming the system" and that the world is safer because he is no longer in power."

Duelfer said Wednesday his teams found no evidence of a mobile biological weapons capability.

The U.S. official said he believes Saddam decided to give up his weapons in 1991, but tried to conceal his nuclear and biological programs for as long as possible. Then in 1995, when his son-in-law Hussain Kamal defected with information about the programs, he gave those up, too.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/06/iraq.wmd.report/

Iraq's nuclear program, which in 1991 was well-advanced, "was decaying" by 2001, the official said, to the point where Iraq was -- if it even could restart the program -- "many years from a bomb."
 
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