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Scott Ritter on the NIE Report and War With Iran

Posted on Dec 4, 2007
Scott Ritter
Truthdig / Zuade Kaufman

By James Harris

The Truthdig columnist (and WMD expert) warns that war with Iran could be inevitable, despite the National Intelligence Estimate report that says Iran dismantled its nuclear program in 2003. Bush, Ritter argues, doesn’t let facts get in the way of what he wants.

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By cann4ing, December 31, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, Ritter’s failure to mention Kucinich, while disturbing, is altogether predictable.  It is a reflection of just how close our society has traversed towards George Orwell’s “1984.”  Where Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, fed inconvenient facts down memory holes, the 21st Century American mass media is driven by a substance deficit disorder which, rather than deal with the only presidential candidate who is willing to take a stand on matters that truly matter to the vast majority of the American electorate, the middle and working classes.

Take America’s papers of record, the New York Times and the Washington Post.  You can scan them week after week without so much as a mention of the name Dennis Kucinich.  The WaPo has run a series of pieces on on individual candidates, but Kucinich is not amongst them.  Yesterday, the NY Times ran a two-page article setting the so-called positions of the candidates side-by-side and this was followed up today by a Paul Krugman op ed, which, like his earlier piece on health care ignored the fundamental distinction between Kucinich’s “single-payer” plan and the variable health care insurer subsidy scams that the corporate candidates (Obama/Clinton/Edwards) are advancing.  One page had the positions of every Republican, including Ron Paul.  On the Democratic side, both Kucinich and Gravel were excluded even though Kucinich consistently polls fourth in general polls and has led in internet polls.

The reality is that while we are sold the notion that we live in a democracy, we actually live in a corporatocracy.  We are fed the illusion that the People are in control by an increasingly consolidated corporate media which does not merely manipulate but aspires to define reality.

Why do otherwise knowledgeable people like Scott Ritter ignore the Kucinich campaign?  Because the corporate media has fed the Kucinich campaign down the memory hole even as Kucinich conducts it.  Within the confines of the corporate media, the Kucinich campaign can be compared to the tree which falls inside a forest, far removed from the closest human being.  If no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound?  If, hypothetically, it did, what relevance does that sound have when no one hears it?

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By John Billera, December 23, 2007 at 1:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s stop calling names, and we all agree that Bush made a mess of foreign policy,We are stuck right now in Iraq, and there is apparent proof on “The Institute for the Study of War” that Iran is delivering industrial amounts of war material to keep the war going and kill Americans,Please Scott Ritter tell us what we can do to offset the forces that are feeding the flames. We know Iraq is a mess, but what about the bigger picture?
Thank you, John Billera.

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By cyrena, December 20, 2007 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

#118292 by Ernest Canning

...“Interesting how Ritter can go through this lengthy interview, praise Ron Paul, actually mention impeachment, yet fail to mention Dennis Kucinich….”

I noticed this myself, and was literally AMAZED. For all of the addressing that he does to the real issue of American ignorance, he’s apparently taken a sip of the kool-aid himself, or caught the disease.

He even went into the thing about Ron Paul having studied the Constitution, and claims HIMSELF to be a student of history!! It all sounds so reasonable, unless one actually HAS studied not just the Constitution, but Ron Paul’s ACTIONS in Congress, that clearly defy his commitment to it.
So, I worry about Scott sometimes, (this isn’t the first) and I can only suggest that the same concept of hypnotics that effect the rest of the population that he addresses, such as the consumerism (as evidenced by Oprah and other Celebs) and I would certainly add the religion (as evidenced by the fundamentalist and evangelical ‘Christians’) has hit him as well, as evidenced by the hypnotic that RP has provided to the masses.

It’s like, drink this, it tastes great, and soothes those feelings of frustration that you have against this disaster that has come from the whole ‘unitary executive’ doctrine. So of course that sounds appealing. Everybody jumps on board, because RP has been miraculously effective in picking the right rhetoric to sell, which only some of us understand to be the epitome of incongruity and downright moral bankruptcy. Not unlike what we’ve seen from the White House for the past 7 years, that Scott expounds on so well. He just hasn’t figured out that RP offers nothing more than the same, packaged differently.

Meantime, he talks about how important impeachment is, and fails to acknowledge that Dennis Kucinich is the ONLY one who has finally been able to at least bring such a resolution to the floor, ONLY to have it shut down by RON PAUL, among others, via a piece of bullshit political sophistry that a more educated populace would have recognized as exactly that.
So, Scott says he’s a student of history, and has failed, (along with other RP supporters) to question exactly what FORM of Constitutional history RP promises to put in place of the unitary executive gone wild.

Meantime, there is nothing in the rhetoric or actions of RP that would leave any of us to think that he plans to acknowledge any portion of the Constitution after 1787, and before the Civil War. We are looking at a pre-Civil War Constitution with RP. Dennis picks it up from there, and actually incorporates it, as it is legally intended to DATE.

They don’t get that.

So, prepare oneself for such a horrible mess (because that was a most horrible time) if you’re planning to stick around. It’ll be every man/woman/child for themselves, and we’ll be back to the classes of the landed gentry, the aristocracy, and pretty much lawless, as things were then. Slavery, indentured servitude, black codes, and the elite power structure. That’s the plan of RP.
It just won’t be a ‘unitary executive’. It’ll be an oligarchy, with possibly different players than the ones that have ruled us so far, and with far less ‘practical’ freedom for the majority. “Freedom” means nothing without opportunity, and any semblance of that will be gone entirely.

Just ask the Indians with their alleged ‘sovereignty’ in the very few parcels of dirt that haven’t been CONSTITUTIONALLY stolen from them, as they’ve been forced to the periphery, over the past 400 years. They’ll tell you all about that ‘freedom’ and sovereignty of the Indigenous State.

Meantime, I’ll send some more pennies to Kucinich, since his sense of integrity doesn’t allow him to poison the masses with bullshit, in order to obtain it.

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By James, December 20, 2007 at 4:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder why He wants to goto war. The Arms companies want more money, The oil companies want more money, The Zionist want to protect Israel. I am so fed up with this crap. The demacraps and the republicons are now all in bed with each other and don’t give a damn about the American people. Why don’t you get off the lazy boy America and fight for your country. I say we get more people like Paul & Kuciniche in office and oust these idiots then make them all pay dearly. We need about 400 impeachments in this country then we can start cleaning up our own backyards also.

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By someguy, December 20, 2007 at 2:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Because of the failing dollar, more and more oil producing countries are looking at other currencies in exchange for their oil. This is why Bush has a hard on for Venezuala and Iran. Iran is now accepting Euros for oil. We need to keep two things in mind: 1. Eighty-Five percent of our oil consumption is from here at home, Mexico, Venezuala, and Canada. Also, when we begin to extract the oil in the Rockies, we will have more oil than all of the middle east. 2. If and when we strike Iran, our US Naval 7th Fleet will be the sacrifical lamb since Iran has a large number of Russian ‘cruise-like’ missiles capable of sinking anything out there.

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By Nomascerdo, December 12, 2007 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

I just got a chance to listen to this podcast and I have to say that it is exciting to hear Ritter highlight my two favorite candidates, Ron Paul and Bill Richardson. 

He was particularly animated about how in his view Ron Paul is the only candidate in either party who has discussed in detail how the concept of the unitary executive is hogwash and MUST be reversed.

Go Scott Go!

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By BG, December 11, 2007 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If our Congress does not impeach Bush if lying us into a un-American, un-Constitutional war….we must hold them just as accountable if they follow him again, like dumb, blind lambs, into war with Iran.  Yes, he is guilty…..but they are playing along….and granting him the power…..accomplice to the crime (both parties).  We must remove these blind globalist, thus some non-political Americans may need to run for political positions.

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By cann4ing, December 5, 2007 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the link Austin.  It indeed proves that the shameless prevaricating fascist in the White House has no intention of letting a little thing like this NIE debunking of the supposed threat to stand in the way of the continuing neocon goal of regime change.  Better impeach now, before it is too late.

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By BruceInAustin, December 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

GWB proved Scott right today when he said the following.

Very insightful, Scott.  Very insightful.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, December 5, 2007 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

The Iraq Study Group took place several years after Shock and Awe, a disastrous mistake. 

Now, no, yesterday is the time to convene an Iran Study Group, before we commit yet another atrocity.

Bush is a psychopath and a brat who has to be reined in. I suggest bringing Chavez to the U.S. for a consult on how to stand up to the bully.  Congress can’t and won’t.

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By VillageElder, December 5, 2007 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Bush simply follows the Cheney 1% doctrine.  If there is a 1% chance that some one might hurt you or think about hurting you ATTACK!  Truth and reality be damned!

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By dick, December 5, 2007 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel is in charge here, and Bush will do as they want, which is to wage war on Iran. This has been Isreal’s plan for years, all in print.

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By cann4ing, December 5, 2007 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Interesting how Ritter can go through this lengthy interview, praise Ron Paul, actually mention impeachment, yet fail to mention Dennis Kucinich.

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By Eso, December 5, 2007 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

So, maybe this is as good a time as any to bring God back down to Earth from the Heaven that we invented and sent him to to keep him quiet.

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By cann4ing, December 5, 2007 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

john from Ojai, excellent point.

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By Mei, December 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I need to hear who is behind the president’s Iran policy. Why this policy?? Why did the interviewer not aski some fundamental questions?

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By A Khokar, December 5, 2007 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Middle East needs friends; not masters

We all know that Oil supply from Middle East wells is our life line and it keeps our western economies rolling. US seems to be in hurry to fully bring the entire Middle Eastern oil producing enclaves in to their own folds; before this that the old adversary Russia; sooner wakes up and snatches away this opportunity from them.(Signs are very much there).

But US rather tackling the bigger monster- Russia first; choose to deal with a lesser devil…Iran by creating an anchorage of its own in Middle East(by occupying Iraq) to deal with the Russian future conquests. But Iran had its natural ambitions dictated by the lay of its land and century old traditions maketh it stand as lofty as it could be, as a big brother in the Persian Gulf; over looking and guarding the Arab peninsula. This centuries old status of Iran is very well seated in the local populace and culture; and is duly recognised in the Arab world. 

Many a conquerors and archaic invaders like US had been to the Arab land of Iraq before. They always carried out grand scale savage massacres of the natives to subjugate them. The infrastructures and seats of civilization and knowledge were raised to ground. Euphrates and Tigris rivers have been flowing filled with blood and dead bodies to their brims; but always these conquests were short lived and none of the invaders could subjugate the natives; except this that the invaders left their own grave yards behind. They were compelled to retreat; frustrated.

It is God’s design that on this planet earth; today we find the rich, flourishing and technologically advanced economies lying in the west where as their life line…feed (oil) stems from the East. This unique layout of interdependence, dictated by the nature demands that some fair and befitting system such as Barter Systems etc be put in place and be run with all the fairness of business.
America may find Iran on their right hand in negotiating all these aspects with logic and wisdom; because logic and wisdom is deep seeded in their souls and soil.

What ever our intelligence reports and assessment say; this is but certain that we need a visionary; a Messiah to come up with some justifiable; a ‘Just system’ in the Middle East and win the hearts and minds of people. Invading the countries or installation of some agents with a bad intent like; Israel etc to bully around and thrusting the policy of extermination of innocent inhabitants dotting around these oil pits, plus terrifying them or make them starved by imposing sanctions; coercing and tying them into trades bondages; these may not be the solution. It may make the heads… bow but that does not mean that it will also bend the minds.
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By David277, December 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush will launch a military strike on Iran over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2008.  Nothing and no one can stop him.  That action will bring about the destruction of the United States.  In 2015, a civil war will break out in the U.S. over water in the southeast.  Thousands will die and the country will break into factions.  It will not be pretty.  You would do well to prepare now.  It could happen sooner.

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By SaraB, December 5, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

I too heard Scott say it first: “there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and anyone who says otherwise is lying”. (I’ve quoted him so many times his ears must be permanently red by now.)He said it on a BBC interview shown in Britain where I then lived. The slightly outraged (or mischievous) reporter objected, “But Mr Ritter, both The US President, Mr Bush and Brtain’s Prim Minister, Tony Blair insist that Iraq has these weapons.” Scott Ritter merely repeated his previous statement (to huge effect, actually. And that interview never appeared again or anywhere else nor did the suggestion that the WMDs were a lie from then on. (Until the months ticked by, none were found and then the report came out confirming the fact that they did not exist). At the time, I did a mountain of research and put together a documentary proposal, (speaking briefly to Scott as well as a former Iraqi ambassador in the process) to expose what was really happening in Iraq and what was behind the war. No one in the BBC, Channel 4 or anywhere else wanted to touch it.

Here is my beef. A handful (large handful it’s true but a handful nonetheless) of people screamed that the pretext for the war was false, that there was a completely hidden and very nasty agenda behind the war (we even predicted that George would go to war without proof of WMDs). that makes the sincere protestations of how ‘we had no idea the intelligence was wrong - not a clue ’ utterly bogus. Because we saw that evidence and said so. Our leaders certainly knew about it. which means that they lied. Which means that they are guilty o crimes against their own nations and, by the letter of the law not some shrill hysterical argument, against humanity.

But we have no way to demand that the powerful answer for their crimes except by persuading their fellow power sharers to act against them. Foxes and henhouses again. Checks and balances only work when the people haven’t become the enemy of the government, which now holds ALL the cards. They have nothing to do with us, with democracy, with protecting the weak from the strong any longer. Instead they are simply used as a means to play power chess among the elite. So a new level of restraint to power is needed. Impeachment would mean the Constitution declaring check mate against Bush in this terrifying power game that is carving our the new scope of presidential power. A game that has both Clinton and Giulianni mesmerized by the possibility of inheriting a presidency which makes them ‘ruler of America’. But the fact that it isn’t certain shows how desperately we need something other mechanism.
We need to go from People’s Court TV to a People’s Court in fact - one that is independent of any government, whose officers may not receive a single penny or gift from any lobby whatever (and may not go to work for any corporation involved in their own Court rooms) one answerable only to the Constitution and one by which any holder of office or judicial power may be called to account, including the President of the United state of America.

When we ran out of ivory someone invented plastic. We’ve run out of justice in the present system so it is time to get inventive.

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By Howard, December 5, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

RE:  #118222 by Non Credo on 12/05 at 11:12 am
(719 comments total)

  “The Israeli government has dismissed this intel report and continues to insist that Iran is an imminent nuclear threat. “

The Israeli gov’t can easily dismiss the report. Our intelligence is not that accurate, as we’ve certainy seen. Better to be safe than sorry. Take all reports with a grain or two of salt.  Just because Iran stopped in ‘03 does not mean that they are not going at it full tilt at the moment or in the very near future.

I don’t believe the Israeli lobby has anywhere near the influence its bandied about to have. And now that the above pablum report is out they surely are not knocking themselves out on this item.

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By cognitorex, December 5, 2007 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Do we need a ‘Taunting’ analysis?
It’s interesting to remember that there were two parts to the then there or is there ain’t…WMD’s in Iraq situation.
Part one was the Bushco drive and manipulation to say that they existed.
Part two was that our adversary, Saddam, for his own reasons, gave every indication that weapons of chemical, ballistic or nuclear nature could well exist.
Now Iran repeats the same game. Their body language states clearly, “If we want nukes we’ll damn well have nukes.” “What processes we’re employing aren’t exactly nuke forming but they may damn well lead to nuke forming.”
We never knew that Saddam was posturing so as to lie.
Perhaps we should now understand and gain insider knowledge of what Iran’s motives are or might be to so fabricate a situation that could set Bushco all a wacky-bombing, shock and awing.

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By lodipete, December 5, 2007 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

If the democrat congress doesn’t stop the decider from deciding on war, is there not some mechanism in each state’s constitution for removing senators and congressmen?

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By Peter L. Everts, December 5, 2007 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Enough of Bush, enough of cowardly Democrats.  Thinking Americans must take back their country from the neo-cons, creationists, evangelists, etc.  Enough of foolish religious mantras.  Live your life without rancor for fellow humans who believe in the golden rule not fake commandments and “gods”.

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By Eso, December 5, 2007 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

I fear that Bush wants a 3rd term of the U.S. presidency and certainly a war with Iran will further the cause. Congress is playing right into his hands, and so are the presidential canditates. We should start living in the world of tomorrow, not today.

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By d.alon, December 5, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich is fighting a lonely fight for all of us and doesn’t receive anything but ridicule from the mainstream and most people.  “Idiot America” does say allot, but I like Ben Franklin’s statement that people who are willing to trade their liberties for security deserve neither.  Dennis is the only candidate willing to reverse all the policies so detrimental to the poor and middle class and who will restore our freedoms.  Kucinich is the only candidate who has proven with his actions that he is actually for the people and the Constitution.  To vote for Hillary, like the wealthy class have told us to, is only a betrayal of me and mine.

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By rangertommy, December 5, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

The only power Bush has is the power people give him.  He is a man in a suit who is pretending to be a real president.  All it will take to stop him from doing in Iran what he did in Iraq is for the military leadership to say one word (rhymes with “snow”): “NO.”  I applaud some of them for beginning to intimate that this is what he can expect.  Keep it up, and stop this guy in his tracks!  We can’t wait until his term runs out.  His rhetoric on intelligence conclusions related to Iran suggests that he is out of touch with reality.  16 different intelligence agencies say one thing, and he, from the Oval Office, says that he knows better/more than they do?  Hello??!!  The guy had barely even been out of the country before being installed in the White House, and he knows more than they do?  If that isn’t sheer arrogance and insanity, I don’t know what is.  He’s a nut, and anyone who carries out his unbelievable “foreign policy” should have their own heads examined.   

I’m no Nancy Reagan fan, but I certainly hope anyone with the position to carry out Bush’s orders follows her advice on drugs: “Just say no!”

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By Verne Arnold, December 5, 2007 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

LOL - then COL.  Jeez, depending on whose side we’re on; all of the news is good (no matter what the facts)or all the news is bad.  From my side; all of the good news is bad!!!

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By john from ojai, December 5, 2007 at 1:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admire Scott Ritter for educating us on issues like Iraq and Iran but in this interview he failed to acknowledge the one congressman who decisively addresses all of Scott’s concerns.Scott says we need an educated and wise congress. Dennis Kucinich is the only democratic candidate for president who was wise enough to vote against the Iraq war resolution.
Scott says we need a congress that will hold Bush/Cheney accountable. Dennis Kucinich had the courage and wisdom to submit HR333/HR799 calling for the impeachment of Cheney. I haven’t heard one other candidate support this even though it’s absolutely essential to stopping this country’s move to fascism.

Scott says we need a congress and citizenry that studies the issues and knows the Constitution. Dennis Kucinich is the only democratic candidate who read and voted against the Patriot Act. He probably knows the Constitution better than any democratic candidate and even carries a copy in his pocket to demonstrate how important it is to him.

Scott mentions Bill Richardson as a good candidate but Bill is poorly positioned to handle the all important Palestine/Israel conflict.In one debate Bill repeated whose side he was on three times so the lobbies were clear where he stood.Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate that can bring peace to this conflict because he is the only candidate who has an even handed and balanced perspective on it.

So my challenge to Scott Ritter is to support the one candidate that is actually consistent with his stated values. I think it’s important for all of us to know what we value, recognize it when a representative shares those values and then support him/her any way we can.

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By Kevin, December 4, 2007 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am confused about the statement diplomacy is working. If the program was stopped in 03’ isn’t the “diplomacy he is referring to recent sanctions , I need some clarification, unless there is a new time machine at the NSA?

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By Robert, December 4, 2007 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment


An Old Face Resurfaces

The Bush administration has offered the former World Bank president a new public service position.

By Michael Isikoff | NEWSWEEK

Dec 10, 2007 Issue

“Don’t ever say the Bush administration doesn’t take care of its own. Nearly three years after Paul Wolfowitz resigned as deputy Defense secretary and six months after his stormy departure as president of the World Bank—amid allegations that he improperly awarded a raise to his girlfriend—he’s in line to return to public service. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has offered Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq War, a position as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, a prestigious State Department panel, according to two department sources who declined to be identified discussing personnel matters. The 18-member panel, which has access to highly classified intelligence, advises Rice on disarmament, nuclear proliferation, WMD issues and other matters. “We think he is well suited and will do an excellent job,” said one senior official.

Wolfowitz, now a visiting scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, will replace former senator Fred Thompson, who quit over the summer to run for president. Although officials declined to say how Rice came to choose him, Wolfowitz began his government career in the 1970s in the State Department as an arms-control expert; he forged a relationship with Rice during the 2000 presidential campaign, when they both served as top foreign-policy advisers to the then candidate Bush. But his selection has raised more than a few eyebrows within State because he’ll be providing advice on some of the same issues that critics say the administration got spectacularly wrong when Wolfowitz was pushing the case for the Iraq War at the Pentagon. (One of the department sources called the appointment “amazing.”) At least Wolfowitz, who did not return calls seeking comment, will have like-minded company: other panel members include Robert Joseph, the former National Security Council official in charge of Iraq WMD intelligence, and ex-CIA director James Woolsey, both strong allies during the Iraq debate.

The sources said Wolfowitz has already accepted Rice’s offer to fill the part-time position, though it won’t be announced until the completion of a standard check for conflicts of interest. But he won’t have to worry about any complaints from pesky Democrats. The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation.”

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By vip vipperman, December 4, 2007 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is an idiot capable of denial on a scale only lunatics can muster…....too bad 1 million Iraqis and 30,000 American casualties had to pay the price for his lifelong pattern of ‘rich boy cowboy I’m above the law’ attitude. Unlike all of his previous failures and bankruptcies, his dad’s friends can’t clean this God forsaken, tragic, bloody mess up for him. He will have to answer to God and history.
    Father in Heaven, deliver us from W and his pointless mistake of a war. I for one would leap at the chance to take back Saddam in return for our casualties and treasure, not to mention respect from the rest of the free world. Maybe then we could prosecute Bin Laden. Remember him?

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By Paolo, December 4, 2007 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

Iran, so far as anyone can determine, NEVER had a nuclear weapons program. They have attempted to develop a nuclear POWER program—which makes perfect sense, given the fact that oil (even their own oil) will eventually run out.

Enrichment of uranium for power purposes requires a purity of 3 percent of the desired isotope (it’s been decades, but I believe its U235—or is it 238?). Nuclear weapons enrichment requires purity well over 90 percent. It’s a whole different ball game, in other words.

The IAEA has conducted thorough inspections looking for any sign of a nuclear weapons program, which, because of enrichment requirements, would be difficult to hide.

Iran is not now a threat, and never has been a threat. It’s all about political power and empire, folks.

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 4, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Bush says he (the Neocons) doesn’t want IRAN to have “knowledge” of how to make a nuclear weapon.

Neither does Bush want anyone else to have “knowledge” that Iran is NOT making nuclear weapons.

But, most of all, Bush has “knowledge” of making nuclear weapons - and that is the most DANGEROUS thing of all!

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