Thank you for being a valued part of the CNET community. As of December 1, 2020, the forums are in read-only format. In early 2021, CNET Forums will no longer be available. We are grateful for the participation and advice you have provided to one another over the years.


CNET Support

General discussion

DID Bush lie????

Dec 15, 2005 10:30PM PST

From the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service:

By virtue of his constitutional role as commander-and-in-chief and head of the executive branch, the President has access to all national intelligence collected, analyzed and produced by the Intelligence Community. The President's position also affords him the authority - which, at certain times, has been aggressively asserted (1) - to restrict the flow of intelligence information to Congress and its two intelligence committees, which are charged with providing legislative oversight of the Intelligence Community. (2) As a result, the President, and a small number of presidentially-designated Cabinet-level officials, including the Vice President (3) - in contrast to Members of Congress (4) - have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods. They, unlike Members of Congress, also have the authority to more extensively task the Intelligence Community, and its extensive cadre of analysts, for follow-up information. As a result, the President and his most senior advisors arguably are better positioned to assess the quality of the Community's intelligence more accurately than is Congress. (5)

In addition to their greater access to intelligence, the President and his senior advisors also are better equipped than is Congress to assess intelligence information by virtue of the primacy of their roles in formulating U.S. foreign policy. Their foreign policy responsibilities often require active, sustained, and often personal interaction, with senior officials of many of the same countries targeted for intelligence collection by the Intelligence Community. Thus the President and his senior advisors are uniquely positioned to glean additional information and impressions - information that, like certain sensitive intelligence information, is generally unavailable to Congress - that can provide them with an important additional perspective with which to judge the quality of intelligence.

Full text here.

So with that in mind, was Bush lying when he said the following?

''That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate -- who had access to the same intelligence -- voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.''

- President Bush, November 11, 2005.

''So I went to the United States Congress. The Congress looked at the same intelligence I looked at, remembered the same history I remembered, and concluded Saddam Hussein was a threat, and voted to authorize the use of force.''

- President Bush, October 1, 2004.

''Now, the United States Congress looked at the same intelligence I looked at, the exact same intelligence, and came to the same conclusion. Members of both political parties looked at the intelligence. My opponent looked at the very same intelligence and came to the same conclusion.''

- President Bush, August 5, 2004.

Discussion is locked

- Collapse -
Unless you (or somebody) can prove
Dec 15, 2005 10:47PM PST

that what Congress saw wasn't everything that Bush saw, then NO

Wouldn't all of those documents have to be 'unclassified' in order to prove what you are asking? If they were already 'unclassified' in order to show them to Congress, are you suggesting that there are 'more' documents that refuted what Congress saw, and if so, where are they? Don't you think that 'somebody' somewhere knows about those 'more' documents and would have spoken up (blown the whistle) already?

What you are looking for is the same thing we were looking for in Iraq....weapons of mass destruction....only you are speculating whereas you are saying Bush was on a witch hunt for nothing because he knowingly lied. If you think that BUSH was capable of lying, why is it so hard to comprehend that SADDAM could have lied about what he had or didn't have?

You want proof of something that doesn't or may not exist....which is exactly what we wanted when we went to Iraq. Only if Saddam had what we believed he had, his threat was far more destructive to the world (and based on his personal history for human destruction it was more easily believable)

Now...with all of that said....what do you think were the 'real' reasons Bush went to Iraq, if you believe he 'lied' or concealed or doctored information given to Congress to get their okay?


- Collapse -
If the text I provided is accurate...
Dec 15, 2005 11:08PM PST

...then as I see it one of two things had to have happened:

1. Bush lied when he said Congress saw everything he saw.

2. Bush was telling the truth when he said Congress saw everything he saw, but broke the law by letting them see it since they don't have the proper security clearance.

I don't have an answer to your last question. The "he did it for his daddy" argument falls a little flat mainly because his daddy advised him against invading.

I also don't know what percentage of the intel Bush saw was also seen by Tony Blair, etal.

- Collapse -
#2 doesn't hold water
Dec 15, 2005 11:22PM PST

if those documents wren't 'classified'

Somewhere along the line Blair had the same intel....I don't know if the sources were the same.


- Collapse -
I believe, if you check it out......
Dec 15, 2005 11:47PM PST

....that the President doesn't inform Congress, rather the intelligence committees of those two bodies, and those members supposedly do have the proper clearances.

The article is no more than assertions, as to the actions of the President, not fact. The mere fact that he has the authority to do certain things, does not mean that he exercised that authority. And political rable rousing certainly doesn't make it fact.

There is a saying about riding a dead horse, and Josh, I'm surprised and disappointed in this thread.

- Collapse -
That's correct, Del
Dec 15, 2005 11:54PM PST

The President briefs certain committee chairmen, who then discuss the matters with the rest of the members of their committees (without specifically revealing the classified info), who then take it to Congress as a whole.

All this means that Joe Average Congressman did NOT see the exact same intel that Bush saw.

I'm sorry you're disappointed. I think it's a pretty important matter, certainly more important than lying about a BJ.

- Collapse -
This is an assumption
Dec 16, 2005 12:23AM PST

without proof of fact either.

>>>>All this means that Joe Average Congressman did NOT see the exact same intel that Bush saw.>>>>

It could very well be that what the intel heads of Congress saw was exactly the same as what Bush saw and relayed that information to the rest of Congress. I doubt seriously that the intel heads of Congress would have rewritten just to please Bush.


- Collapse -
Josh is correct but playing with words...
Dec 16, 2005 12:58AM PST

because he KNOWS that every member of Congress did not see ALL the info.

NO ONE however has made any such claim. Congress did have the exact same info although they did not receive the exact same reports. If (and only if) someone is willing to totally disregard the actual info passed along can they say that Congress did not see the same reports because that much is correct. They did however have access to the same INFORMATION although in many instances they did not even avail themselves of it (Reid and Schumer have both admitted that they NEVER BOTHERED READING the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) prepared for both them and the President in 2002 prior to their supportive vote).

In language the "far left 'progressives'" might understand, if you are viewing this post in a browser with graphics turned off you are NOT receiving the same identical page (substitute report for page there) although you are receiving the same information relevant to the post--extraneous info relevant to advertising is not seen but it has nothing to do with the content of the information in the post.

- Collapse -
Not playing with words, just reading 'em
Dec 16, 2005 1:19AM PST
''Now, the United States Congress looked at the same intelligence I looked at, the exact same intelligence, and came to the same conclusion. Members of both political parties looked at the intelligence. My opponent looked at the very same intelligence and came to the same conclusion.''

They did not look at the exact same intelligence he looked at. They were given summations of what was in that intel by those who had the clearance to see it.
- Collapse -
Wrong again Josh...
Dec 16, 2005 2:38AM PST

because Kerry, as a potential president, WAS GIVEN EXACTLY the same info and even in some of the same briefings.

Kerry chose NOT to bother himself with much of it but then maybe you have forgotten how he campaigned rather than attending security briefings he was invited to and expected to attend.

- Collapse -
Yes ...
Dec 16, 2005 4:19AM PST

... they looked at the same intel he did. What's so difficult for you to understand? Or did he lie because they didn't look at the intel??

- Collapse -
I won't post them YET again ...
Dec 16, 2005 4:17AM PST

... but READ the statements made ON THE SENATE FLOOR during the debate on the Iraq Resolution in Oct. 2002. You will note that the Senators make the same -- some considerably MORE implicating of Saddam -- assertions regarding WMD and related security threats referencing the SAME NIE that was available to ALL of them. Now they claim Bush lied and misled them which is POPPYCOCK. Damned right THAT is important, but you are too focused on your hatred for the President to see the obvious Sad

- Collapse -
While ALL government documents are 'classified'...
Dec 16, 2005 12:46AM PST

Information contained in them is disseminated at many different levels. At some levels certain information is unavailable (such as on the floor of Congress to all members) while at higher levels is is all available (such as the leaders of the various committees who generally have the same clearance as the President and generally also the same "need to know") and at other levels such as the intermediate level of the general members of the committee itself.

Intelligence that would NOT compromise National Security would be available to the general membership of Congress but intel that would or could compromise security is much more closely guarded and with all the "leaks" it is easy to see why.

Anyone the least bit familiar with security clearances and document classification already understands that but the problem is that most do not and are led down some rather imaginative paths by a media with an agenda.

The report is purely SPECULATIVE and their inability to cite any specifics should be considered rather informative by itself.

- Collapse -
Josh ...
Dec 16, 2005 4:00AM PST

... he probably has ACCESS to more of the raw intelligence data than members of Congress. But forgetting your hatred for Bush for a moment, why on earth would we want ANY President to be spending his time going through such raw intel data and analyzing it himself? That's why we don't just have CIA agents, we have analysts that go through the stuff, decide what is credible, not or questionable, etc. It is THEIR job, not the President's, to assemble the National Intelligence Estimate. THAT SAME DOCUMENT was made available to the the Senators -- where's your ire that few even BOTHERED to read it, but took to the Senate floor to pontificate about what it said!??

I would note that the person you voted for in the last election DIDN'T read the NIE or show up for most (if not all) of the intelligence briefings. He got his own, he said. One wonders by whom (Clarke, Wilson and Berger??).

Who saw what? They all had the opportunity to see the same NIE. Too many Senators didn't see it, so I guess Bush lied? (grin). OTOH, just because he has access to more raw data doesn't mean he saw it or even had the responsibility to see it. I hate to bring up Clinton, but at least Bush had DAILY briefings with his CIA head. Clinton met with Woolsey but twice, and at most twice a week with Tenet but not individually. So don't go off on Bush not being curious enough intellectually.

- Collapse -
(NT) (NT) don't you think that congress gets security clearances?
Dec 16, 2005 4:46AM PST
- Collapse -
They do, yes
Dec 16, 2005 4:58AM PST

But there are many levels of security clearances, with the President, Vice President and only a handful of other people at the very top level. That means that Joe Congressman cannot possibly have looked at the exact same intel that the President looked at if any of it was at the highest classification level.

- Collapse -
For many of the Senators ...
Dec 16, 2005 5:02AM PST

... we aren't talking about "Joe Congressman", we're talking about some on the committee that have the clearances and are briefed even more fully than the remainder of Congress.

You are really reaching for some reason Josh. Must be a bad day for the Democrats what with the election in Iraq and all the good news on the economy and all. Must get that off the front pages at all cost huh?

- Collapse -
Thank you for illustrating my point
Dec 16, 2005 5:51AM PST
...briefed even more fully than the remainder of Congress.

Which means the remainder of Congress was not briefed as fully, which means they did not see all of the exact same intel Bush saw.
- Collapse -
(NT) (NT) They all saw the NIE. QED.
Dec 16, 2005 5:53AM PST
- Collapse -
They were briefed, if that's the case,
Dec 16, 2005 6:03AM PST

by those others who DID see it. Are you suggesting that those that saw it doctored it in order to make Bush happy and reported what they knew was false intel then to the rest?

What ARE you actually saying here, Josh? Either everybody saw the same or those who COULD see more classified saw the same and then changed it from the original or nobody really saw anything because they admittedly didn't bother to read what they had.

You're going in circles......


- Collapse -
'many levels of security clearances,...
Dec 16, 2005 5:24AM PST

with the President, Vice President and only a handful of other people at the very top level."

A popular misconception without basis in fact.

I, due to reasons unmentioned, still retain my own TOP SECRET clearance which is as high as they go. That is all the President has and every congressman also as soon as their security investigation is completed. I and most others ARE NOT privy to everything the president or even members of Congress are (but there are members of Congress who are not privy to information that I am). Everything is tied to "need to know" and "Joe Congressman" has less need to know about certain subjects than other Congressmen (such as Jill Congressman) who have the same security clearance but, because of being on some specific committee, do have the magic NEED TO KNOW.

Want to try to tell us what clearance you think is higher than TOP SECRET? (To save yourself embarassment, before you mention ULTRA please research what ULTRA was.)

- Collapse -
Hope and a prayer?
Dec 16, 2005 12:32AM PST

It should be noted right up front that the authors of the "report" were unable to cite any such intel that Bush had that Congress didn't and when questioned have admitted to reporters that they haven't actually seen any such.

What IS TELLING is the fact, admitted to by Senator Reid and others, that although they had access to the NIE they did not bother reading it!

Additionally, in 2004 Congress received over 1000 personal briefings from the various Intelligence Agencies ans more than 4,000 intelligence products (such as briefings, papers and testimony) to the Congressional Committees as a whole.

After reading that report you might be interested in comparing it to the following (lengthy but worth it):
Hans Blix is mentioned as well as his report of "The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km [105 miles] southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . ."

And Lawrence Wilkerson (Powell's Chief of Staff) - "I can't tell you why the French, the Germans, the Brits and us thought that most of the material, if not all of it, that we presented at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 was the truth. I can't. I've wrestled with it. [But] when you see a satellite photograph of all the signs of the chemical-weapons ASP--Ammunition Supply Point--with chemical weapons, and you match all those signs with your matrix on what should show a chemical ASP, and they're there, you have to conclude that it's a chemical ASP, especially when you see the next satellite photograph which shows the UN inspectors wheeling in their white vehicles with black markings on them to that same ASP, and everything is changed, everything is clean. . . . But George [Tenet] was convinced, John McLaughlin [Tenet's deputy] was convinced, that what we were presented [for Powell's UN speech] was accurate." ...

People say, well, INR dissented. That's a bunch of bull. INR dissented that the nuclear program was up and running. That's all INR dissented on. They were right there with the chems and the bios. ...
At a November 15 press conference, I asked Reid and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.): ?The Washington Post reported that six senators read that NIE in 2002 before the vote to authorize the war. Did both of you read it?? Reid at first said: ?As indicated last week, Sen. [Carl] Levin [D.-Mich.] has worked very hard to make that public. Now, everyone has read it. Everyone has read it.?

But following up, I asked: ?But before you voted for the war??

Reid said: ?We?re talking about six senators. The answer is, if you ask me, I didn?t read it. But I don?t know who did. But there?s a hundred senators, not six. And some members of the Intelligence Committee may have read it. I don?t know. But the fact of the matter is?you can?t escape this?the administration manipulated the evidence and the people who opposed them, like Amb. [Joseph] Wilson were taken to the woodshed.?
Did Hillary Lie America Into War?

No, she did not.

Sen. Clinton got her bad intelligence the same place President Bush got his: the CIA. Specifically, from George Tenet, the man President Clinton appointed Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).

The entire chain of custody on the intelligence Sen. Clinton used in her October 10, 2002 Senate floor speech ran through Democratic politicians back to a Democrat-appointed DCI.

In 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate, and Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida chaired the Intelligence Committee. On Sept. 9, 2002, Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, a member of the Intelligence Committee, wrote Clinton-appointed Tenet asking for a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq?s WMD programs.

NIEs, the Intelligence Committee later said in its unanimous bipartisan investigative report on Iraq intelligence, ?are intended to provide policymakers in both the executive and legislative branches with the best, unvarnished, and unbiased information.?
An NIE, the committee quoted a CIA document as explaining, ?is the Director?s estimate, and its findings are his.?

Although the actual NIE is unavailable it is interesting to see what the CIA has had to say about what Schumer, Reid, Rockefeller, and others claiming "lies" and information Bush had but Congress didn't --

- Collapse -
(NT) (NT) No.
Dec 16, 2005 2:40AM PST
- Collapse -
Dec 16, 2005 4:40AM PST
everal Congressional and intelligence officials with access to the 15 assessments [of intel suggesting aluminum tubes showed Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program] said not one of them informed senior policy makers of the Energy Department?s dissent. They described a series of reports, some with ominous titles, that failed to convey either the existence or the substance of the intensifying debate.? [NYT, 10/3/04]

- Collapse -
So are you saying
Dec 16, 2005 4:47AM PST

that those 'several' looked at the intel reports (the same ones Bush saw) and voted to go to Iraq anyhow? If not, which ones of those several voted yea and which ones voted nay? WHO are these 'several'?


- Collapse -
The article is stating that
Dec 16, 2005 5:10AM PST

the intel made available was lacking any mention of the supremely qualified, relevent, and dissenting opinions from within the government.


- Collapse -
Your quote is factually INCORRECT...
Dec 16, 2005 5:13AM PST
Myth #4: We buried divergent views and concealed uncertainties: Diverse agency views, particularly on whether Baghdad was reconstituting its uranium enrichment effort and as a subset of that, the purposes of attempted Iraqi aluminum tube purchases, were fully vetted during the coordination process. Alternative views presented by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, the Office of Intelligence in the Department of Energy, and by the US Air Force were showcased in the National Intelligence Estimate and were acknowledged in unclassified papers on the subject. Moreover, suggestions that their alternative views were buried as footnotes in the text are wrong. All agencies were fully exposed to these alternative views, and the heads of those organizations blessed the wording and placement of their alternative views. Uncertainties were highlighted in the Key Judgments and throughout the main text. Any reader would have had to read only as far as the second paragraph of the Key Judgments to know that as we said: "We lacked specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD program."

Powell's chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson informs us that even the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, known as INR, was convinced:

"People say, well, INR dissented. That's a bunch of bull. INR dissented that the nuclear program was up and running. That's all INR dissented on. They were right there with the chems and the bios."

In explaining its dissent on Iraq's nuclear program, the INR had, as stated in the NIE of 2002, expressed doubt about:

Iraq's efforts to acquire aluminum tubes [which are] central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear-weapons program. . . . INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors . . . in Iraq's nuclear-weapons program.

But, according to Wilkerson:

"The French came in in the middle of my deliberations at the CIA and said, we have just spun aluminum tubes, and by God, we did it to this rpm, et cetera, et cetera, and it was all, you know, proof positive that the aluminum tubes were not for mortar casings or artillery casings, they were for centrifuges. Otherwise, why would you have such exquisite instruments?"

But Schumer, Reid, and MOST of the rest of the Senate and House DID NOT EVEN BOTHER READING THE NIE.

Try checking the links offered once in a while to avoid accepting garbage from the media and making statements out of ignorance.
- Collapse -
Opinions, of course,
Dec 16, 2005 5:22AM PST



- Collapse -
Opinions as regard factual printed matter...
Dec 16, 2005 5:28AM PST

only differ when one avoids reading or referring to the document's originators and thus speaking from avoidable ignorance--yes, you could avoid it.

- Collapse -
If it's all opinion, why does this thread exist?
Dec 16, 2005 12:22PM PST

The left is trying deperately to manufacture an issue since there are no facts on which to raise an issue.

- Collapse -
In the BULK of the text of the 10/2002 NIE
Dec 16, 2005 5:31AM PST
Key Judgments...

Most agencies believe that Saddam's personal interest in and Iraq's aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors--as well as Iraq's attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools--provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad's nuclear weapons program. (DOE agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.)


State/INR Alternative View of Iraq's Nuclear Program

The Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) believes that Saddam continues to want nuclear weapons and that available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities. The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq may be doing so, but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment. Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, INR is unwilling to speculate that such an effort began soon after the departure of UN inspectors or to project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening. As a result, INR is unable to predict when Iraq could acquire a nuclear device or weapon.

In INR's view Iraq's efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets. The very large quantities being sought, the way the tubes were tested by the Iraqis, and the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts are among the factors, in addition to the DOE assessment, that lead INR to conclude that the tubes are not intended for use in Iraq's nuclear weapon program.