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Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse [2x]
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Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse [2x]



Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse - Democracy is In Trouble             
     Henning Ziegler <hziegler {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>                                   

   Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse - Democracy is In Trouble             
     ronda {AT} ais.org (Ronda Hauben)                                                    



------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 10:52:07 +0200
From: Henning Ziegler <hziegler {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse - Democracy is In Trouble


The current debates about George Bush knowingly presenting fraudulent
evidence have been interpreted in some of the better German newspapers
as a relatively meaningless issue. Of course the evidence was made up,
as was (has often been throughout U.S. history since the last century)
the enemy. That is what I would call performative politics. The debate
could actually be diagnosed as another turn in the war game, at the
end of which some official has to resign, which has been reported on
www.indymedia.org right after the beginning of the war.

Henning

- -- 

http://www.henningziegler.de
http://www.fotomat.org

Neue Artikel:
http://www.gendernet.udk-berlin.de
http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2003/issue/1/ziegler/
http://www.nmediac.net/summer2002/hackers.html


Nachricht vom Dienstag, 24. Juni 2003 -->


RH> The following article is online at Telepolis in English and German.

RH> I welcome comments.

RH> Ronda


RH> The U.S. Government Case for War in Iraq Based on Forgery and Lies
RH> http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/15062/1.html


RH> Ronda Hauben  24.06.2003

RH> The Threat to Any Democratic Processes of Government

RH> In the past few weeks, there have been many questions raised in the U.S.
RH> and world press about whether George Bush knowingly presented fraudulent
RH> evidence about the existence of a nuclear capability in Iraq. It was on
RH> the basis of such Weapons of Mass Destruction,(WMD) that Iraq was said to
RH> present a danger to the US. This was the U.S. government's public
RH> justification for its war against Iraq.

RH> Currently there are inquiries by the British, US and Australian
RH> governments about the use of such a fraudulent case to justify war. One of
RH> the most significant falsifications in the WMD public debate, is Bush's
RH> reference to an alleged attempt by Iraq to buy 500 tons of uranium oxide
RH> from the African country, Niger. In his State of the Union address on
RH> January 28, 2003, Bush declared that, "The British government has learned
RH> that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from
RH> Africa."

RH> Similar claims had been made by the CIA in their September 24, 2002
RH> briefing to the Congress. The case for Iraq's nuclear capability was based
RH> on documents known to be forged as of March 2002. Yet the claims continued
RH> to be used by Bush, by the CIA, and by other administration officials as a
RH> key component of their case for the war against Iraq.

RH> According to several different reports, in 2001, the CIA learned of the
RH> claims about Iraq trying to buy uranium oxide from Niger. Vice President
RH> Dick Cheney's office raised questions about this situation in February
RH> 2002. The CIA sent a former U.S. ambassador, one who was respected in
RH> Africa, to Niger, to speak with government officials there. The ambassador
RH> learned that the dates and signatures on the documents being used to
RH> support the claim were fraudulent. He reported his findings back to the
RH> CIA. A Washington Post article=A0[1] indicates that the CIA sent the White
RH> House a report of the fraudulent nature of the documents in March 2002.(1)
RH> Six months later, however, in September 2002, the head of the CIA claimed
RH> was still referring to a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. The reports are
RH> that he referring to the Niger information, without presenting the result
RH> of the ambassador's investigation. A number of Congressmen say they voted
RH> to authorize a war against Iraq based on the administration claim that
RH> Iraq had a nuclear capability. The Democratic Party minority has now asked
RH> for a transcript of the CIA official testimony at the September 24, 2002
RH> Congressional hearing. They want to determine whether the CIA testimony at
RH> the hearing presented the forged nature of the Niger documents.

RH> Other CIA or State Department activities in 2002 and 2003 continued,
RH> making 0the same case to justify a war against Iraq. For example, in
RH> response to the Iraq weapons declaration filed with the UN on December 7,
RH> 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the UN Security
RH> Council on December 19, 2002. He presented the Security Council with a one
RH> page State Department fact sheet in response to the Iraqi declaration.
RH> That fact sheet stated that, "The Declaration ignores efforts to procure
RH> uranium from Niger. Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium
RH> procurement?"

RH> After Bush's State of the Union speech, the International Atomic Energy
RH> Agency (IAEA) requested that the U.S. government provide evidence about
RH> the Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium oxide in Africa. On March 7, 2003, a
RH> day after the documents were finally given to the Agency, the head of the
RH> agency, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei publicly presented that the
RH> documents were forgeries.

RH> On March 17, 2003, Representative Henry Waxman, a Democratic Congressman
RH> from California, and minority Chair of the Government Reform Committee in
RH> the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote a letter=A0[2] to Bush's office
RH> asking for an explanation of how the case for a nuclear capacity in Iraq
RH> could be built on the basis of forged documents.

RH> He received a response from Paul Kelly, of the State Department
RH> legislative office. Kelly writes:

RH> Beginning in late 2001, the United States obtained information through
RH> several channels, including U.S. intelligence sources and overt sources,
RH> reporting that Iraq had attempted to procure uranium from Africa. In
RH> addition, two Western European allies informed us of similar reporting
RH> from their own intelligence services. As you know, the UK made this
RH> information public in its September 2002 dossier on "Iraq's Weapons of
RH> Mass Destruction." The other Western European ally relayed this
RH> information to us privately and said, while it did not believe any uranium
RH> had been shipped to Iraq, it believed Iraq had sought to purchase uranium
RH> from Niger. We sought several times to determine the basis for the latter
RH> assessment, and whether it was based on independent evidence not otherwise
RH> available to the U.S. Not until March 4 did we learn that in fact the
RH> second Western European government had based its assessment on evidence
RH> already available to the U.S. that was subsequently discredited. Letter
RH> from Paul V. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Dept
RH> of State, April 29, 2003

RH> The U.S. government had used the case for Iraq's nuclear capability when
RH> Powell made to the UN Security Council on December 19, 2002 and in the
RH> President's State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, even though
RH> they knew there were forged documents as the basis for this claim. Kelly
RH> suggests that it was all right to continue to make the case, based on
RH> hearsay evidence from some other country, until they learned on March 4,
RH> 2003 that the other Western European government was also based on forged
RH> documents. Such reasoning continues the deception. It doesn't acknowledge
RH> the responsibility of government officials to honest activity in the
RH> conduct of their office. Once forged documents are recognized, and Kelly
RH> acknowledges the recognition of the forgery, there is no basis to continue
RH> to make a case. There is the responsibility to challenge any other
RH> documents which make a similar case.

RH> While such an excuse for including discredited information in an important
RH> speech like the President's State of the Union speech appears flimsy at
RH> best, yet another explanation has been given by National Security Advisor
RH> Condoleezza Rice when she appeared on Sunday television talk shows on June
RH> 8, 2003. She said that the President's Office didn't know that the CIA had
RH> judged the Niger story to be based on forged documents.

RH> In a letter=A0[3] to Rice on June 10, Waxman quotes her comments. She
RH> says:

RH> =2E.I will tell you that when this issue was raised with the intelligence
RH> community...the intelligence community did not know at that time, or at
RH> levels that got to us, that there were serious questions about this
RH> report.

RH> Disputing Rice's claim that the State Department did not know of the
RH> forgeries, Greg Thielmann describes how his office conveyed this
RH> information to the Department of the Secretary of State well before the
RH> State of the Union address. As Director of the State Department Bureau of
RH> Intelligence and Research (INR) until Fall 2002, he explains that the
RH> Niger documents were judged to be "garbage" by his office. He reports that
RH> this judgement was conveyed at that time to the Office of the U.S.
RH> Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Thielmann has been quoted in newspaper
RH> and magazine accounts and has appeared on television interviews refuting
RH> that the State Department did not know of the forgeries.

RH> Whether or not the Bush administration recognized the fraudulent nature of
RH> the Niger documents and the case for Iraq's possession of nuclear weapons
RH> fraudulent before the first week in March 2003, however, still does not
RH> relieve them of a responsibility regarding the discrepancy between the
RH> nature of their case for war and the evidence they provided for that case.
RH> Kelly admits that by March 4, 2003 the forgery was known. There was still
RH> plenty of time for George Bush to reverse the decision to go to war
RH> against Iraq. He didn't reverse it. No other reliable evidence was
RH> presented at the time of any Iraqi nuclear capacity. Yet on March 19,
RH> 2003, George Bush announced=A0[4] the beginning of a war against Iraq,
RH> claiming that the purpose of the war was "disarm Iraq and to...defend the
RH> world from grave danger."

RH> One conclusion that can be draw is that it didn't matter to George Bush
RH> that the reasons given to the public to go to war against Iraq were based
RH> on fraudulent evidence. Whether the public was behind Bush's march to war
RH> or not, was unimportant to Bush. He couldn't know that unless an honest
RH> case was made to the public about the reasons for going to war.

RH> What is the effect of having presented a fraudulent case to the U.S.
RH> Congress, the U.S. public, and the U.N. Security Council, and the world
RH> about the reasons for a war against Iraq? John W. Dean, former Counsel to
RH> the Nixon White House, recently reminded the public that the abuse of U.S.
RH> government processes by the President and other offices of government is a
RH> crime of the highest order. Though Dean doesn't mention the fraudulent
RH> nature of the U.S. government claims about Iraq's nuclear capability, he
RH> does explain that lies by government officials regarding WMD in Iraq are a
RH> challenge to the integrity of the U.S. government. Waging war against a
RH> sovereign nation based on fraudulent claims and misrepresentations like
RH> those presented about the existence of WMD in Iraq, is a challenge to any
RH> pretense of democratic processes. How can people oversee what their
RH> government officials are doing if the government officials openly lie to
RH> them? How can there be any pretense of constitutional processes where
RH> sovereignty resides with the people if they are not allowed to know what
RH> government officials are doing? This is a serious challenge to the nature
RH> and future of law and government. Whether this challenge can be taken up
RH> or not is an important question for our times.

RH> Links

RH> [1]
RH> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52813-2003Jun12.html?nav=3D
RH> hptop_ts [2] http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_march_17_let.htm
RH> [3] http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_june_10_let.htm [4]
RH> http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html

RH> Telepolis Artikel-URL:
RH> http://www.telepolis.de/english/inhalt/co/15062/1.html

RH> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
RH> Copyright =A9 1996-2003. All Rights Reserved. Alle Rechte vorbehalten
RH> Heise Zeitschriften Verlag, Hannover

RH> #  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
RH> #  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
RH> #  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
RH> #  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
RH> #  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net


------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 15:43:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: ronda {AT} ais.org (Ronda Hauben)
Subject: Re: <nettime> WMD and the Bush Whitehouse - Democracy is In Trouble

Henning Ziegler <hziegler {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de> wrote:

>The current debates about George Bush knowingly presenting fraudulent
>evidence have been interpreted in some of the better German newspapers
>as a relatively meaningless issue. 

Interesting.

This seems problemmatic to me.

Unless one is held to some standards, then chaos sets in.

It is true that there have been lots of lies told by different
sections of the U.S. government.

But there need to be some consequence for lies. Otherwise the
processes disappear.

An oldtimer I knew who was a Flint Sit Down striker in 1937 and
who lived on through the 1980s.

A lesson he had learned through the years was that the democratic
processes are very important. That one has to utilize and 
have an appreciation for them.

How other countries like Germany and the German press view the 
US is important. That is why it is a problem that the U.S. President
and his administration are willing to present lies to the people
of the US and of the world.

What are the consequences of this? This needs to be understood.

With Watergate there was the effort in the U.S. government to 
learn something from the  scandal. If there isn't from this
scandal then there still will be effects from it.

>Of course the evidence was made up,

But what are the consequence of making a war based on lies? and forged
documents?

Wasn't this some of how Hitler functioned?

Is this something that is accepted?

>as was (has often been throughout U.S. history since the last century)
>the enemy. That is what I would call performative politics. The debate
>could actually be diagnosed as another turn in the war game, at the
>end of which some official has to resign, which has been reported on
>www.indymedia.org right after the beginning of the war.
>
But it is a deeper problem than that some official has to resign.

It's a symptom of a deep structural problem.


If the standard is that a public official can lie at will, what
happens to the public processes and the citizens' rights in that
system?

What happens in the dealings of other countries with that country?

This reminds me of the Brecht/Weill Opera Mahagonney

with best wishes

Ronda





















Henning

- -- 

http://www.henningziegler.de
http://www.fotomat.org

Neue Artikel:
http://www.gendernet.udk-berlin.de
http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2003/issue/1/ziegler/
http://www.nmediac.net/summer2002/hackers.html


Nachricht vom Dienstag, 24. Juni 2003 -->


RH> The following article is online at Telepolis in English and German.

RH> I welcome comments.

RH> Ronda


RH> The U.S. Government Case for War in Iraq Based on Forgery and Lies
RH> http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/15062/1.html


RH> Ronda Hauben  24.06.2003

RH> The Threat to Any Democratic Processes of Government

RH> In the past few weeks, there have been many questions raised in the U.S.
RH> and world press about whether George Bush knowingly presented fraudulent
RH> evidence about the existence of a nuclear capability in Iraq. It was on
RH> the basis of such Weapons of Mass Destruction,(WMD) that Iraq was said to
RH> present a danger to the US. This was the U.S. government's public
RH> justification for its war against Iraq.

RH> Currently there are inquiries by the British, US and Australian
RH> governments about the use of such a fraudulent case to justify war. One of
RH> the most significant falsifications in the WMD public debate, is Bush's
RH> reference to an alleged attempt by Iraq to buy 500 tons of uranium oxide
RH> from the African country, Niger. In his State of the Union address on
RH> January 28, 2003, Bush declared that, "The British government has learned
RH> that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from
RH> Africa."

RH> Similar claims had been made by the CIA in their September 24, 2002
RH> briefing to the Congress. The case for Iraq's nuclear capability was based
RH> on documents known to be forged as of March 2002. Yet the claims continued
RH> to be used by Bush, by the CIA, and by other administration officials as a
RH> key component of their case for the war against Iraq.

RH> According to several different reports, in 2001, the CIA learned of the
RH> claims about Iraq trying to buy uranium oxide from Niger. Vice President
RH> Dick Cheney's office raised questions about this situation in February
RH> 2002. The CIA sent a former U.S. ambassador, one who was respected in
RH> Africa, to Niger, to speak with government officials there. The ambassador
RH> learned that the dates and signatures on the documents being used to
RH> support the claim were fraudulent. He reported his findings back to the
RH> CIA. A Washington Post article=A0[1] indicates that the CIA sent the White
RH> House a report of the fraudulent nature of the documents in March 2002.(1)
RH> Six months later, however, in September 2002, the head of the CIA claimed
RH> was still referring to a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. The reports are
RH> that he referring to the Niger information, without presenting the result
RH> of the ambassador's investigation. A number of Congressmen say they voted
RH> to authorize a war against Iraq based on the administration claim that
RH> Iraq had a nuclear capability. The Democratic Party minority has now asked
RH> for a transcript of the CIA official testimony at the September 24, 2002
RH> Congressional hearing. They want to determine whether the CIA testimony at
RH> the hearing presented the forged nature of the Niger documents.

RH> Other CIA or State Department activities in 2002 and 2003 continued,
RH> making 0the same case to justify a war against Iraq. For example, in
RH> response to the Iraq weapons declaration filed with the UN on December 7,
RH> 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the UN Security
RH> Council on December 19, 2002. He presented the Security Council with a one
RH> page State Department fact sheet in response to the Iraqi declaration.
RH> That fact sheet stated that, "The Declaration ignores efforts to procure
RH> uranium from Niger. Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium
RH> procurement?"

RH> After Bush's State of the Union speech, the International Atomic Energy
RH> Agency (IAEA) requested that the U.S. government provide evidence about
RH> the Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium oxide in Africa. On March 7, 2003, a
RH> day after the documents were finally given to the Agency, the head of the
RH> agency, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei publicly presented that the
RH> documents were forgeries.

RH> On March 17, 2003, Representative Henry Waxman, a Democratic Congressman
RH> from California, and minority Chair of the Government Reform Committee in
RH> the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote a letter=A0[2] to Bush's office
RH> asking for an explanation of how the case for a nuclear capacity in Iraq
RH> could be built on the basis of forged documents.

RH> He received a response from Paul Kelly, of the State Department
RH> legislative office. Kelly writes:

RH> Beginning in late 2001, the United States obtained information through
RH> several channels, including U.S. intelligence sources and overt sources,
RH> reporting that Iraq had attempted to procure uranium from Africa. In
RH> addition, two Western European allies informed us of similar reporting
RH> from their own intelligence services. As you know, the UK made this
RH> information public in its September 2002 dossier on "Iraq's Weapons of
RH> Mass Destruction." The other Western European ally relayed this
RH> information to us privately and said, while it did not believe any uranium
RH> had been shipped to Iraq, it believed Iraq had sought to purchase uranium
RH> from Niger. We sought several times to determine the basis for the latter
RH> assessment, and whether it was based on independent evidence not otherwise
RH> available to the U.S. Not until March 4 did we learn that in fact the
RH> second Western European government had based its assessment on evidence
RH> already available to the U.S. that was subsequently discredited. Letter
RH> from Paul V. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Dept
RH> of State, April 29, 2003

RH> The U.S. government had used the case for Iraq's nuclear capability when
RH> Powell made to the UN Security Council on December 19, 2002 and in the
RH> President's State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, even though
RH> they knew there were forged documents as the basis for this claim. Kelly
RH> suggests that it was all right to continue to make the case, based on
RH> hearsay evidence from some other country, until they learned on March 4,
RH> 2003 that the other Western European government was also based on forged
RH> documents. Such reasoning continues the deception. It doesn't acknowledge
RH> the responsibility of government officials to honest activity in the
RH> conduct of their office. Once forged documents are recognized, and Kelly
RH> acknowledges the recognition of the forgery, there is no basis to continue
RH> to make a case. There is the responsibility to challenge any other
RH> documents which make a similar case.

RH> While such an excuse for including discredited information in an important
RH> speech like the President's State of the Union speech appears flimsy at
RH> best, yet another explanation has been given by National Security Advisor
RH> Condoleezza Rice when she appeared on Sunday television talk shows on June
RH> 8, 2003. She said that the President's Office didn't know that the CIA had
RH> judged the Niger story to be based on forged documents.

RH> In a letter=A0[3] to Rice on June 10, Waxman quotes her comments. She
RH> says:

RH> =2E.I will tell you that when this issue was raised with the intelligence
RH> community...the intelligence community did not know at that time, or at
RH> levels that got to us, that there were serious questions about this
RH> report.

RH> Disputing Rice's claim that the State Department did not know of the
RH> forgeries, Greg Thielmann describes how his office conveyed this
RH> information to the Department of the Secretary of State well before the
RH> State of the Union address. As Director of the State Department Bureau of
RH> Intelligence and Research (INR) until Fall 2002, he explains that the
RH> Niger documents were judged to be "garbage" by his office. He reports that
RH> this judgement was conveyed at that time to the Office of the U.S.
RH> Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Thielmann has been quoted in newspaper
RH> and magazine accounts and has appeared on television interviews refuting
RH> that the State Department did not know of the forgeries.

RH> Whether or not the Bush administration recognized the fraudulent nature of
RH> the Niger documents and the case for Iraq's possession of nuclear weapons
RH> fraudulent before the first week in March 2003, however, still does not
RH> relieve them of a responsibility regarding the discrepancy between the
RH> nature of their case for war and the evidence they provided for that case.
RH> Kelly admits that by March 4, 2003 the forgery was known. There was still
RH> plenty of time for George Bush to reverse the decision to go to war
RH> against Iraq. He didn't reverse it. No other reliable evidence was
RH> presented at the time of any Iraqi nuclear capacity. Yet on March 19,
RH> 2003, George Bush announced=A0[4] the beginning of a war against Iraq,
RH> claiming that the purpose of the war was "disarm Iraq and to...defend the
RH> world from grave danger."

RH> One conclusion that can be draw is that it didn't matter to George Bush
RH> that the reasons given to the public to go to war against Iraq were based
RH> on fraudulent evidence. Whether the public was behind Bush's march to war
RH> or not, was unimportant to Bush. He couldn't know that unless an honest
RH> case was made to the public about the reasons for going to war.

RH> What is the effect of having presented a fraudulent case to the U.S.
RH> Congress, the U.S. public, and the U.N. Security Council, and the world
RH> about the reasons for a war against Iraq? John W. Dean, former Counsel to
RH> the Nixon White House, recently reminded the public that the abuse of U.S.
RH> government processes by the President and other offices of government is a
RH> crime of the highest order. Though Dean doesn't mention the fraudulent
RH> nature of the U.S. government claims about Iraq's nuclear capability, he
RH> does explain that lies by government officials regarding WMD in Iraq are a
RH> challenge to the integrity of the U.S. government. Waging war against a
RH> sovereign nation based on fraudulent claims and misrepresentations like
RH> those presented about the existence of WMD in Iraq, is a challenge to any
RH> pretense of democratic processes. How can people oversee what their
RH> government officials are doing if the government officials openly lie to
RH> them? How can there be any pretense of constitutional processes where
RH> sovereignty resides with the people if they are not allowed to know what
RH> government officials are doing? This is a serious challenge to the nature
RH> and future of law and government. Whether this challenge can be taken up
RH> or not is an important question for our times.

RH> Links

RH> [1]
RH> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52813-2003Jun12.html?nav=3D
RH> hptop_ts [2] http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_march_17_let.htm
RH> [3] http://www.house.gov/waxman/text/admin_iraq_june_10_let.htm [4]
RH> http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html

RH> Telepolis Artikel-URL:
RH> http://www.telepolis.de/english/inhalt/co/15062/1.html

RH> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
RH> Copyright =A9 1996-2003. All Rights Reserved. Alle Rechte vorbehalten
RH> Heise Zeitschriften Verlag, Hannover

RH> #  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
RH> #  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
RH> #  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
RH> #  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
RH> #  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net



------------------------------

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net