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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Bob Graham And The Italian Job

It is easy to love Presidential candidate Bob Graham's resume - former Florida Governor, current Senator, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - but he is not going to be nominated.

I went to his website with the idea that, with his intelligence background, he might be interesting on the subject of Iraq. I was not disappointed.

October 10, 2002 - Senate Vote Autorizing the Use of Force in Iraq

They say that passing this resolution is the equivalent of if the Alllies had declared war on Hitler. I disagree with that assessment of what this lesson of history means. In my judgment, passing this resolution tonight will be the equivalent of declaring war on Italy. That is not what we should be doing. We should not just be declaring war on Mussolini's Italy. We should be declaring war on Hitler's Germany.

Now, there are good reasons for considering attacking today's Italy, meaning Iraq. Saddam Hussein's regime has chemical and biological weapons and is trying to get nuclear capacity. But the briefings I have received have shown that trying to block him and any necessary nuclear materials have been largely successful, as evidenced by the recent intercept of centrifuge tubes. And he is years away from having nuclear capability. So why does it make sense to attack this era's Italy, and not Germany, especially when by attacking Italy, we are making Germany a more probable adversary?

Personally, I would pay extra to watch Graham debate Bush. After Graham declares war on Italy, Bush may invade the Bay of Pigs. Sorry. Anyway, the added emphasis was there to add emphasis to the bit about Saddam's nuclear capabilities and intentions.

January 28, 2003 - On Bush's SOTU Address

[Sen Bob Graham] said [Pres. Bush] had still not made the case for going to war with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

“I think the President moved forward tonight and presented some new information. The test is going to be whether he is persuasive enough to cause a significant number of other countries to join us in an alliance. We don’t want to be in the situation of waging the military action alone, and then undertaking the reconstruction of Iraq alone,” Graham said.

Good point. But no comment on the famous 16 words relating to Africa and uranium, which would have been uncanny.

Febrary 5, 2003 - Comments on the Colin Powell UN Presentation

I applaud Secretary Powell for finally making available to the world the information on which this administration will base its actions against Iraq. In my judgement, the most significant information was the confirmation of a linkage between the shadowy networks of international terrorists and Saddam Hussein, the true coalition of evil.

“Since October, the American intelligence community has been warning us that, when Saddam Hussein is on the verge of being toppled, he will be the most dangerous, including striking out against Americans here in our homeland and abroad.

““In my opinion, this linkage of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah - with a substantial number of trained terrorist operatives placed inside the United States - represents the greatest danger to our people. I am outraged that four months have passed with little effort having been made to increase the security of our people.

Again, he talks about Saddam's links to terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda.

As former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Bob Graham could have been pounding the table about Administration manipulation of the intelligence and mismanagement of the intelligence community. Instead, silence.

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