Letters

Letters 02-15-2016

No More Balloon Launches In the recent Wedding issue, a writer noted a trend of celebratory balloon launches at weddings. Balloon releases are nothing more than a wind-born distribution of litter, not an appropriate way to celebrate a marriage or commemorate cancer victims and survivors...

Plenty Of Blame In Flint Many opinions have been voiced about the Flint water crisis; all have left many questions unasked, such as: Lead is the culprit, and a there is a ban on lead in paint, as well as one on lead in new plumbing materials. There are still many service connecting pipes made out of lead in service. Why? Have any been installed despite the ban?

Stop Balloon Releases I was appalled by the column on the wedding traditions article that suggested making new traditions like releasing balloons at the conclusion of the ceremony! I am the president of AFFEW (A Few Friends for the Environment of the World) in Ludington, and we clean beaches four times a year....

Roosevelt Had It Right 202 years ago the British Royal Navy bombarded Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812. While being held captive aboard the HMS Surprise, Francis Scott Key composed the immortal “Star Spangled Banner” poem. 202 years later I ask, “Oh, say can you see” one of the most appallingly dishonest presidential election cycles since the Adams/Jefferson election of 1800...

Avoid Urban Sprawl In Petoskey I urge Resort Township, the City of Petoskey and Emmet County to dissuade Bay Harbor’s proposal to add new business and residential development along U.S. 31 near the main entrance to Bay Harbor...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The Fix Was In... Did...
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The Fix Was In... Did Bush deliberately deceive Americans on Iraq

Rep. John Conyers - June 16th, 2005
We have reached a point where all but the most delusional enthusiasts of the Iraq war have now acknowledged that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion and likely for over a decade preceding the war. Fox News and the President were slow to acknowledge this fact, but now have.
Unfortunately, it seems this rare consensus has lulled many into failing to ask the follow-up question: why were the President and other high-ranking administration officials so definitive in their statements that Iraq possessed WMD?
This question is not of a merely historical significance: we deserve to know whether these statements were the result of a “massive intelligence failure” as some have contended or a deliberate deception of the Congress and the American people.
Essentially, the question boils down to what lawyers call “mens rea.”
Before a defendant can be convicted of a crime the judge or jury must find not only that the defendant committed the wrongful act but also did so with a state of mind indicating culpability. In the case of a fraud, the jury must find that there was intent to deceive. In the case of Iraq, the weight of evidence continues to accumulate indicating that the American people and Congress may well have been the victims of a deliberate deception.
On page A26 of the Sunday, May 22 edition of the Washington Post, under the headline “Prewar Findings Worried Analysts,” we learned that four days before the President made the now retracted claim that Iraq was trying to buy “significant quantities” of uranium from Africa, the National Security Council thought this case was so weak that it put out a frantic call for new intelligence.
In the same article, we learned that before an Oct. 7, 2002
Presidential speech in which the President claimed there was a potential threat to the U.S. by Iraq through unmanned aircraft “that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons,” and a contemporaneous claim to Congress by Vice President Cheney and then-CIA Director George Tenet that this was the “smoking gun” justifying the war, “ the CIA was still uncertain whether the [source of the information] was lying.”
On page A1 of the Saturday, May 28 edition of the Washington Post, under the headline “Analysts Behind Iraq Intelligence Were Rewarded,” we learned that the analysts who pushed the now discredited claim that Iraq’s purchase of aluminum tubes was for the purpose of furthering a nuclear weapons program, have been richly rewarded for this conspicuous failure, receiving job performance rewards in each of the three years since this grave error.
The same article quotes “some current and former officials” as generally stating “the episode shows how the administration has failed to hold people accountable for mistakes on prewar intelligence.”
Early this morning on the Associated Press wire, under the headline “Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing,” we learn that the President’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations once again exercised his unique diplomatic talents, flying “to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.”
The diplomat’s sin? He was “trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.”
Thus, absent any contradictory evidence, in the past two weeks alone (leaving out the reports of the last three years), we have a pretty clear pattern. This Administration had a cover story, namely that a clear and present danger to the United States was posed by Iraq’s WMD, for something they knew they wanted to do: go to war with Iraq. Those who brought forward the weight of evidence disputing these claims were first ignored and later punished. Those who assisted in the cover story were rewarded.
Sounds like the intelligence and facts were being “fixed” around the policy, as the Downing Street Minutes claim. That sounds like deliberate deception to me.

John Conyers represents the Michigan’s 14th Congressional District. Eighty-eight members of Congress have signed a letter authored by Rep. Conyers calling on President Bush to answer questions about a secret U.S.-UK agreement to attack Iraq.



 
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