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Posted: 10/5/2004 9:37:55 AM EST
Rumsfeld Says He Was Misunderstood on Iraq-Al Qaeda

Tue Oct 5,10:08 AM ET U.S. National - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday he was misunderstood when he stated hours earlier that he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s Iraq (news - web sites) and al Qaeda.

"I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al Qaeda and Iraq," Rumsfeld said in a Web site statement issued following remarks he made to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday.

"Today at the Council, I even noted that 'when I'm in Washington, I pull out a piece of paper and say "I don't know, because I'm not in that business, but I'll tell you what the CIA (news - web sites) thinks" and I read it'."

In the new statement, issued on the Pentagon (news - web sites) Web site, Rumsfeld listed what he said were arguments for suggesting links between al Qaeda and Iraq under Saddam, including what the CIA regarded as "credible evidence" that al Qaeda leaders had sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session before the Council on Foreign Relations, had been asked to explain the connection between Saddam and Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al Qaeda network -- one of the U.S. arguments for launching a war on Iraq.

He replied: "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."


Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:42:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 9:43:24 AM EST by Dolomite]
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:44:41 AM EST
And Bremer said today that insufficient troop levels prevented the "winning of the peace" in Iraq.

Sounds like a political coup, to me.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:48:44 AM EST
Actually, no.


Just another media lie, putting words into peoples mouth.

The press corps no longer has any credability, when the Internet can refute anything they broadcast as "news" within hours.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:50:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mach1:
And Bremer said today that insufficient troop levels prevented the "winning of the peace" in Iraq.

Sounds like a political coup, to me.

Bremer also says that his statement has been distorted.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:51:43 AM EST
Hey, Kerry hisself has admitted an al-Q, Iraq link. Probably in his haste to out-do President Bush, but nonetheless, he said it.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 10:17:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Actually, no.


Just another media lie, putting words into peoples mouth.

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 10:23:33 AM EST
Perhaps they're just helping to set up a better position for Cheney in the debate tonight. That way he can begin to disavow the admininstrations prior insistence on the presence of WMDs in Iraq, and the Al Qaeda/Hussein link as well.

I think it puts him in better position against the attacks that are sure to come from Edwards.

Or maybe not... I doubt Cheney will back down on ANYTHING he has said previously.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 7:26:17 AM EST
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
The Missing Men Attended the Global Test
Andrew Sullivan feels justified in saying, "I told you so". In the Daily Dish, he says:

Now, Bremer: The main criticisms this blog has directed at the conduct of the war have been the insufficient troop numbers and allowing the looting and disorder to spread after the liberation. Now comes Jerry Bremer to say exactly the same thing:

"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness. We never had enough troops on the ground."

That's a big admission. Why doesn't Edwards bring that up directly tonight with Cheney? And since it was so obvious so soon, why didn't the administration do anything to change that policy once its failings had become so glaring? Pig-headedness? Ignorance? Hubris? Or merely Rumsfeld - shorthand for all three?

Sullivan's source for Bremer's remarks is the Washington Post which begins its story this way:

The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until the handover of political power on June 28, said he still supports the decision to intervene in Iraq but said a lack of adequate forces hampered the occupation and efforts to end the looting early on.

What Bremer actually said was:

"We paid a big price for not stopping it (looting) because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "We never had enough troops on the ground."

From that quote the "Washington Post" concluded that:

Bremer's comments were striking because they echoed contentions of many administration critics, including Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, who argue that the U.S. government failed to plan adequately to maintain security in Iraq after the invasion.

Bremer's own interpretation of his own comments was rather different. He claimed the coalition was shorthanded when it arrived in Baghdad.

"I believe that we currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq," he said in an e-mailed statement. He said all references in recent speeches to troop levels related to the situation when he arrived in Baghdad in May 2003 -- "and when I believed we needed either more coalition troops or Iraqi security forces to address the looting."

Before we dismiss Bremer's statement as a belated attempt to split hairs and return to the Party Line it is important to remember one simple fact. The US arrived in Baghdad in May, 2003 minus nearly half the mechanized force intended for the operation. The Fourth Infantry Division which was scheduled to attack downward from Turkey and sweep through the Sunni heartland never arrived in large part due to the opposition of countries like France in the Security Council. Instead, it was forced to re-embark and ship around to the Gulf where it marched north up the Tigris in the path of the 3rd Infantry Division. The 3rd ID, for its part had to continue its attack north to partially subdue the towns in the Sunni triangle. It was a double-whammy. Not only was the 4th ID missing from the order of battle, the 3rd ID had to send units out of Baghdad. to continue the fight further on. Here's what the Christian Science Monitor had to report on February 21, 2003, just weeks before OIF actually began:

A US-led war in Iraq without Turkey as a pivotal ally was once a remote possibility. But months of prickly negotiations between Washington and Ankara are coming to a head and the US is dangerously close to its first setback - one that would force drastic changes in the war plan, military officials say. Already 30 to 40 US cargo ships are either waiting off the Turkish coast or scheduled to arrive there soon, officials say. The Bush administration says Turkey must decide Friday whether tens of thousands of US troops can be stationed here.

"They would have to change their entire strategy as a result," says one US military official.

Some 20 to 30 US cargo ships bound from Texas ports and another 10 headed from Northern Europe are carrying 4.5 million sq. ft. of cargo including tanks, trucks, and other heavy equipment for the 16,000-strong division. It would take 18 to 21 days to divert these ships from the eastern Mediterranean to Kuwait via the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, with additional delays possible from winter high seas and traffic in the Suez Canal. The roll-on, roll-off cargo ships of the ready reserve fleet travel at about 14 to 16 knots. Once in Kuwait, finding pier space to offload the cargo, and additional staging grounds, could also take time, officials say.

Turkish President Ahmet Sezer says that the US must first win international legitimacy before launching any military operation in Iraq, arguing that a second UN Security Council resolution beyond Resolution 1441 be passed. Bush administration officials will seek a vote at the Council next week, requiring 9 out of 15 votes for the measure to pass. But even if it does not, Bush has said, the US may go ahead and launch a war led by a "coalition of the willing."

The Fourth Infantry Division, at that time the most modern armored force in the Army, was not absent due to the "Pig-headedness? Ignorance? Hubris?" of Donald Rumsfeld. It was missing directly as a result of the machinations of those supposed to administer Kerry's Global Test to America in the United Nations, who were large part responsible for closing Turkey to the United States. To continue Sullivan's quote: "Why doesn't Edwards bring that up directly tonight with Cheney?" Cheney should. And to Sullivan's question: "since it was so obvious so soon, why didn't the administration do anything to change that policy once its failings had become so glaring?" one might answer that it did, re-embarking the 4ID and sailing it a total of 1/5th of the way around the world into congested ports which had never planned to receive them, before marching it 600 kilometers up to Baghdad.

# posted by wretchard : 6:20 PM 58 comments
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 7:31:51 AM EST
Too bad we can't trust the news media for accruacy.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 7:33:18 AM EST

Link Posted: 10/6/2004 7:53:59 AM EST
In case you missed it, -Absolut- has thoughtfully provided us with a voting guide for this November...
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 9:11:02 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 10:26:44 AM EST
Dinger. you keep belieiving those liberal media/press canards and maybe one day in another dimension, they may come true.

Sources are everything for a story. These sources are known liars. Most of the press and media are super libs who would love nothing better than to get rid of BushCo. I think CBS makes my case pretty well.

You'd do well to research your anti-Bush remarks before posting the liberal tripe. You get caught too often merely regurjitating the swill put out by the liberal press.
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