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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Monday, June 09, 2003

While Others Search For Evidence Of Iraqi Weapons Of Mass Destruction...

I am searching for evidence of leadership by top Democrats on this issue.

Joe Lieberman: (Sept. 13, 2002)

"...The essential facts are known. We know of the weapons in Saddam's possession: chemical, biological, and nuclear in time. We know of his unequalled willingness to use them.

...On November 13, 1998, after Saddam ejected the U.N. weapons inspectors, I said on this floor, "If we let him block the inspections and the monitoring that he agreed to as a condition of the cease-fire in the Gulf War, then there is no doubt that one day soon, he will use weapons of mass destruction, carried by ballistic missiles, against Americans in the Middle East or (against) our allies."

John Kerry: (Jan 23,2003)

"...now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm.

So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.

John Edwards: (Oct. 10, 2002):

"This [Senate] resolution sends a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," he said of the resolution that passed both the House and the Senate by overwhelming bipartisan margins.

..."Iraq has continued to seek nuclear weapons and develop its arsenal in defiance of the collective will of the international community, as expressed through the United Nations Security Council," he said. It is violating the terms of the 1991 cease-fire that ended the Gulf War, and as many as 16 Security Council resolutions, including 11 resolutions concerning Iraq's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

...after 11 years of watching Hussein play shell-games with his weapons programs, there is little reason to believe he has any intention to comply with an even tougher resolution. We cannot trust Saddam Hussein, and we would be irresponsible to do so."

That is enough for today, although at this rate it may be a long week. Robert Kagan has more in the WaPo.

UPDATE: This is like eating potato chips. Let's try Nancy "Sly like a fox" Pelosi:

Sept. 12, 2002: "I was also glad that he went to the United Nations and asked for enforcement of U.N. resolutions on weapons inspections and elimination of weapons of mass destruction. We must work with the U.N. in the event that such enforcement fails.

"Our goal is to eliminate those weapons of mass destruction and the threat they pose to Americans, the Iraqi people and, indeed, the world.

...I have not yet seen evidence of imminent nuclear or other kind of threat that demands immediate military action."

October 3, 2002: "As the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, I have seen no evidence or intelligence that suggests that Iraq indeed poses an imminent threat to our nation. If the Administration has that information, they have not shared it with the Congress.

"If we invade Iraq, we will show our military power. If we can eliminate the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction without invading, we will show our strength."

Well, she is not saying they don't exist. However, she was consistent and, so far, correct, as to the "imminent threat" or lack thereof. Bother. Let's make her VP, then.

Howard Dean (February 25, 2003):

...My view of this is since Iraq is not an imminent danger to the United States, the United States should not unilaterally attack Iraq. Iraq does not have nuclear weapons. They do not have much of a nuclear program, if they have one at all left.

...We believe... I believe that Iraq does have chemical and biological weapons, and they are a threat to many nations in the region, but not to the United States. Therefore in my view, the United States ought not to attack unilaterally.

Dean-Pelosi 2004! But he still believed in the mysterious chemical and biological programs.

UPDATE: Reader Rebellion, and I Win A Bet (made with/against myself).

Look, these hapless Dems don't control access to intelligence. If they were misled by the Admin, well, what can you say except they should have had better instincts, and they need to develop more contacts. Bob Graham, when I get to him, will be interesting, given his role on Senate Intelligence.

Anyway, I actually had anticipated that flaw in the argument (no, really), and correctly guessed who would lead the rebellion, so you can't say I am totally out to lunch. Now, I just need to develop a strong rebuttal. Do you think this partisan spinning is easy? Developing...

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