‘To Start a War’ author Robert Draper talks about the intelligence disasters that led Bush to invade Iraq
August 1, 2020 at 7:33 PM - Views: 44 #342675N2DocParticipant
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Robert Draper, a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a contributor to National Geographic, is the author of the new book “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq.” Draper in 2008 published another book about Bush, “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush,” which covered the first six years of his presidency.
In a phone interview with Business Insider Columnist Anthony L. Fisher, Draper talked about why he felt the time was right to revisit the greatest foreign policy catastrophe of modern times, Donald Rumsfeld’s micro-managing megalomania, and who in the administration will Colin Powell never forgive.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
“A fundamental illogic pervaded”
August 1, 2020 at 7:49 PM #342681
August 1, 2020 at 7:58 PM #342685PhlemParticipant
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August 1, 2020 at 8:56 PM #342701tk2kewlParticipant
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August 1, 2020 at 9:46 PM #342718
August 1, 2020 at 10:32 PM #342726HassleCatParticipant
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So many “analysts” look at it as an intelligence failure, intelligence done wrong, big mistakes by bumbling idiots, etc. All bullshit. It was lies, pure and simple. Powell certainly knew he was directed to feed bullshit to the American people. When he came on TV with his photographs of fuzzy blobs in the desert and stories of vague telephone intercepts that may or may not have been correctly translated, millions of viewers were yelling “Bullshit!” at their television screens. We knew it was a manufactured excuse to invade Iraq, and we knew our feckless politicians were selling us out. Years later, we have these reporters like Draper, members of the same media that helped perpetuate the lies in the first place, excusing themselves for not telling us what should have been obvious to them. The failure was theirs. They were not taken in; they just pretended to be. Please don’t buy their books.
August 1, 2020 at 10:35 PM #342727Jan BoehmermanModerator
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Dubya is a WAR CRIMINAL! And don’t forget his “Svengali”, Dick Cheney!
August 1, 2020 at 10:53 PM #342731D503Participant
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From a long line of traitors. And yet the family is still in positions of power.
The intelligence did NOT support invasion(* listened to his own ‘intelligence’ people), it wasn’t Iraq that was behind 9-11(it was Saudis(and maybe * and darth)). As for Powell, I will never forget nor forgive the dog and pony show he put on at the UN.
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Asimov; "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." - Fud's First Law of Opposition
August 2, 2020 at 2:40 AM #342811MistaPParticipant
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When you parse that out, some of why people voted for Trump can be explained by cultural grievances up to and including out and out racism. Some of it can be explained by the echo chamber of conservative media that demonized Hillary Clinton over 25 years. some of it is because during the primaries Trump distinguished himself from his Republican opponents by basically saying you’re part of the problem, all of your experience, what did it get us? It got us this catastrophic war in Iraq, which was something that Republicans at the time hadn’t given voice to.
I would, by the way, add a fourth, and that is the unmanned aerial vehicles intelligence. It was this truly alarming proposition that the president learned in the spring of 2002 that apparently the Iraqi regime was acquiring a mapping software of American cities. That was the first available evidence that Saddam was indeed interested in striking the American homeland. It really freaked Bush out. It freaked a lot of people in the administration out, and it just turned out to be untrue. It turned out that there was an innocuous explanation for the purchase of that software – that it came with hardware [the Iraqis] wanted for domestic reconnaissance missions for their surveillance vehicles.
The president really believed Saddam had weapons. He just didn’t believe the CIA was doing a particularly good job of making that case. And so, as you mentioned, he said let’s get people in, let’s get lawyers in to help with the case. Let’s get people from Madison Avenue. And then he added one step further and said, and lets them be sure and tie in the whole business of terrorism for a domestic audience.
In fact, the closest to anyone being fired were a couple of analysts who were mentioned in the book – Jerry Watson and Larry Fox – who were so bothered by how so wrong the WMD intelligence turned out to be that they were pestering their senior managers that we need to come clean with the American public about it. And the senior managers got so tired of listening to those two that they basically moved them off campus out of Langley headquarters. But to my knowledge, not one person was fired for those intelligence failures, quite the contrary. Many of them are doing quite well today. Tenet received the Presidential Medal of Honour.
honestly the main flaw is that it focuses on the Chief Dipshit as though he had final say; we’re often given the narrative that the American people are inherently warlike, that it was “stamped from the beginning” at Jamestown and Pequot, but in fact there’s a strong isolationist streak (you can see it on the Right in Robert A. Taft and even Goldwater)
Kerry voted for Iraq
McCain voted for Iraq
Romney backed Iraq
Clinton voted for Iraq
Biden voted for Iraq
that alone might be enough to sink 2020
also, who sweats this much around cake?
also interesting that Hussein thought this’d be an opportunity to reach out to Washington (which’d been his close ally until 1991) in a shared fight against the explody people: Ho, Lumumba, Sukarno, Castro, Ortega, the FMLN all thought the US would side with them against the colonists and dictators the US Presidents were vocally denouncing
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