Bush Never Said "Imminent Threat"

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by mozier, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. mozier

    mozier
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    Here's is Jonah Golberg's column from today's paper. InHim2002 and Galatian may not want to believe this, but it is all true.

    mozier


    'Imminent threat' is revisionist spin
    By Jonah Goldberg
    TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

    Jimmy Carter never used the word "malaise" in his "malaise speech." Abraham Lincoln never said, "God must have loved the common people, he made so many of them."

    And George W. Bush never said that the threat from Iraq was "imminent."

    He never said it. Seriously. Not once.

    Teams of rhetoric inspectors have been poring over Bush's comments, utterances, speeches and gesticulations for about as long as we've been looking for WMD in Iraq and, to date, nobody has found a shred of proof that the president - or anybody in his Cabinet - ever once said Iraq or Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent" threat to the United States.

    In fact, one of the only good finds on this score actually says the complete opposite. In President Bush's State of the Union Address last January, he said:

    "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."

    This is important because the favorite talking point of Democrats and liberal pundits right now is that the president "lied" when he said that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."

    Just the other day Sen. Jay Rockefeller said on "Fox News Sunday," "What I keep having to remind myself is that we went to war in Iraq based upon an imminent threat which was being caused by weapons of mass destruction." And New York Times columnist Paul Krugman hyperventilated: "The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."

    Ted Kennedy offered the most infamous summary: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."

    It would make things so much easier to say that all of the war's critics are as intellectually dishonest as Kennedy or Krugman. Unfortunately for the war's defenders, but fortunately for the republic, not everyone is willing to stoop to their level.

    Indeed, there are quite a few facts on the side of those who say the administration claimed the threat was imminent. In Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, Bush said, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." Bush reiterated the claim from British Intelligence that Saddam could launch a chemical missile attack with 45 minutes. Various Cabinet members referred to this or that threat as "immediate" and "gathering." There was a lot of talk about "reconstituted nuclear programs" and even "mushroom clouds."

    On inspection, some of these quotes seem damning, others don't. But none of it supports the case that Bush "lied" or perpetrated a "fraud." It might - and almost surely does - help the case that Bush was wrong about the extent of the Iraqi threat (though even that door isn't completely closed yet). But these statements don't prove deception. Nor, in my opinion do they have much to do with dispelling the case for war.

    Regardless, to argue persuasively that Bush lied, you'd have to demonstrate that he knew that our own intelligence agencies, numerous U.N. teams and the intelligence services of Britain, Germany, France and other allies were all wrong. And, by the way, President Clinton - who just last July said, "When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for (in Iraq)" - would have to be wrong, too.

    The "made up in Texas" stuff is only possible if you're filming an Oliver Stone movie.

    Moreover, while the public debate may have left the impression that the threat was more imminent than it turned out to be, the formal deliberations in Congress and the United Nations had nothing to do with imminence.

    That debate was about Iraq's ongoing, globally undisputed and flagrant defiance of U.N. resolutions and the need to be pro-active against anything like another 9-11. Read the actual congressional resolution authorizing force (http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/text/1010res.htm). It's mostly about Iraq's defiance of the United Nations.

    Indeed, numerous Democrats, including Sens. Kennedy and John Kerry, opposed the resolution authorizing the use of force precisely because it wasn't hinged to an imminent threat from Iraq (Kerry ultimately flip-flopped and voted for the resolution anyway). Sen. Robert Byrd even offered an amendment requiring that imminence become the standard for war. After a debate, he lost.

    In other words, Kennedy & Co. objected to the war before it was launched because Bush wouldn't say the threat was imminent and now they're peeved because Bush "lied" when he said the threat was imminent. That's laugh-factory logic.

    This spin probably won't stick. After all, as Abraham Lincoln once said, "You cannot fool all the people all the time."

    Oh, wait. Lincoln never said that either.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  2. Mike McK

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    You know, I agree. This has been brought up by many people but I don't think it will do any good. The conspiracy people here on the left are looking for a demon and they won't stop until they find one, even if it means having to make one up.

    I seriously doubt that what President Bush said really matters. In another thread, I posted the transcript of an interview given by David Kay, head weapons inspector where he detailed how they had found WMDs. To a man, the anti-American left said, "Oh, but they didn't find WMD's". It's a bit like the old Monty Python "Dead Parrot" skit where the guy is standing there with an obviously dead parrot, banging it on the counter to demonstrate it's demise, all the while being told by the shopkeeper, "Oh, it's not dead, it's just resting."
     
  3. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Mike, the propogandists would have folks believe that the opposition to the Iraq policy is a left-wing perspective. That simply isn't true. Much of the opposition is on the right.

    It's ironic that Bush supporters paint anyone who criticizes him as "leftists", when in fact much of the opposition comes from those who oppose his leftist policies.

    If you are a Bush supporter, you are the leftist: massive federalization of education, massive, massive, massive, massive federal spending and deficits, promotion of the homosexual lobby, massive foreign aid, unrestricted immigration, and an imperialist foreign policy.
     
  4. Mike McK

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    Actually, this thread is specifically about the war in Iraq and whether or not he said that there was an imminent threat.

    It you have a problem with his domestic policy, then start another thread just for that.
     
  5. Daisy

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    So an attack in 45 minutes is not "imminent"? "Immediate" does not mean "imminent" either? Does it only count if the exact word is used whether the meaning is the same or not?
     
  6. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    No. All he said was that British intel said that they were capable of being ready to attack in 45 minutes.

    Simply being able to do something is not "imminent". "Imminent" means that something is going to happen soon or close by.

    I don't see where he said anything was "immediate".

    But the meaning isn't the same. Again, he hasn't said "immediate" and merely stating that British intel says that Iraq had the ability to be ready to make an atack is not even remotely the same as saying that an attack is "imminent".
     
  7. mozier

    mozier
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    Right, MikeMcK.

    And like the article says, it is the Liberals themselves that are saying that Bush said it was "imminent," when in fact he never said it.

    mozier
     
  8. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    This is a favorite tactic of the left. Make up something really bad that the Republicans are supposed to have done or said and then tell everyone how bad they are for doing or saying it, even if they never did. They can't fight us on the issues and they know that to demonize us is the only chance they have.
     
  9. InHim2002

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    interesting thread - I am a bit confused though.

    Bush & Blair said that he was:

    a) able to launch against us in 45 mins
    b) a threat to the west

    moreover, i am interested in the difference between a threat and an imminent threat - love the semantics!

    oh btw - found any wmd yet?
     
  10. InHim2002

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    it is also interesting to note that Iraq posed no threat at all to the west - Bush certainly said that they were a threat did he not?
     
  11. The Galatian

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    Kinda like the "Gore said he invented the internet" scam?

    Sounds like poetic justice, to me. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I too, would like to know why Bush is now running from his earlier claim that Saddam was a threat to the US.

    Anybody want to explain that? Does it have anything to do with the fact that all the "evidence" he cited didn't exist? Or that he can't find any trace of WMD after all?
     
  12. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Here's Algore's exact quote:

    "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

    [qb]
    I wasn't aware that he is.

    This is what I meant when I said that you would deny it. Thanks for bearing this out for me.
     
  13. InHim2002

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  14. KenH

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    I see that it turns out that the dyed-in-the-wool Bush supporters are no more honest than the dyed-in-the-wool Clinton supporters were. When they are backed against a wall, they try to use semantics to extricate themselves and to defend their leader.
     
  15. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Yes, the snopes piece includes the quote I posted, further emphasizing that he did, indeed claim to have invented the internet.
     
  16. Mike McK

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    No, there are no semantics being played here. What we have are two different things: the president saying that British intel has found that Iraq could be ready to make an attack in 45 minutes and the false claim that Bush said that Iraq was an "immenent threat".

    Again, two different things.

    ((Mozier - did I not call this one perfectly?))
     
  17. InHim2002

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    all the while ignoring the fact that Iraq posed no threat - immediate or not - to the west

    keep beating that strawman
     
  18. KenH

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    Admitting up front that I am dense, [​IMG] what is the difference? I don't see any difference of substance here.
     
  19. Mike McK

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    I've already explained that.

    To say that something is "imminent" mean that it is likely to happen soon or close by. To say something is possible doesn't mean that it will happen, only that it is able to happen.

    One is active, one is passive.
     
  20. KenH

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    It all means the same thing to the average listener and reader. You supporters of President Bush are really straining to try to defend his language that he used which has resulted in the U.S. military being bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq. And you know if the situation a year from the now has not significantly improved, then Mr. Bush will very likely lose in November 2004.
     

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