Wednesday :: Apr 12, 2006

Mobile Trailers Pushback: Release The Report Or Quit Your Whining


by Steve

Scottie McClellan said today at the press briefing that an apology by the Washington Post was in order for their story on Bush’s lies touting the mobile weapons labs. The White House claims that both the CIA and DIA never told Bush that the story was crap. , even though Colin Powell said that he knew the story was crap and that it was all Cheney’s fault that both he and Bush kept making the claim.

At a time when a majority now want the number of troops in Iraq to be reduced no matter what (see the graphic above), note the furious White House pushback on this. Whenever these goons push back this hard, it is because they are scared. Remember how Rove wanted to bury any acknowledgement that Bush knew the aluminum tubes story was suspect until way after the election? It’s the same thing here: the White House is deathly afraid, especially now with poll ratings in the 30's, that Bush is revealed to have known that major elements of the WMD claims were suspect prior to the 2003 SOTU, and yet he went to war anyway.

Remember what the Post story claimed:

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.
The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

The Post’s story indicates that there were numerous anxious calls and emails between the survey team and Washington between the team's arrival in Iraq May 25 and their report back to DC on May 27, as it became clear that the survey team was about to debunk the conclusions of the CIA and DIA.

"Within the first four hours," said one team member, who like the others spoke on the condition he not be named, "it was clear to everyone that these were not biological labs."
News of the team's early impressions leaped across the Atlantic well ahead of the technical report. Over the next two days, a stream of anxious e-mails and phone calls from Washington pressed for details and clarifications.
The reason for the nervousness was soon obvious: In Washington, a CIA analyst had written a draft white paper on the trailers, an official assessment that would also reflect the views of the DIA. The white paper described the trailers as "the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program." It also explicitly rejected an explanation by Iraqi officials, described in a New York Times article a few days earlier, that the trailers might be mobile units for producing hydrogen.
But the technical team's preliminary report, written in a tent in Baghdad and approved by each team member, reached a conclusion opposite from that of the white paper.

Yet even with all of this email and phone traffic and concern from the CIA and DIA, an unidentified CIA analyst coordinated the issuance of a joint CIA-DIA white paper on May 28, 2003 which concluded that the trailers were proof of Saddam’s bio weapons program, only a day after the team of scientific experts had submitted their contrary findings to Washington on May 27, 2003. It is based on this rushed May 28, 2003 joint white paper from the CIA and DIA, in the face of all those emails and phone calls, that the White House maintained the same story for a year. And that same white paper is the basis for the White House saying today that Bush was only relying upon what the intelligence community told him, and wasn’t therefore lying for a year until the Duelfer report came out in 2004 to blow away the CIA/DIA white paper. In fact, the Agency is saying today that the contrary report of May 27, 2003 wasn't vetted until later in the summer, which validates what the Post said in its story. Yet the CIA and Rummy's DIA had advance knowledge as far back as May 25th that the weapons lab story would not hold up. So does that mean that there were no public indications to the contrary that the CIA-DIA white paper might be wrong?

Only if no one in the Bush Administration reads the NYT.

Guess who reported in the friggin’ newspaper as early as June 7, 2003 that intelligence analysts here and abroad questioned whether the trailers were for bio weapons? Judy Miller. And yet, after this story hit the New York Times, Bush and Cheney kept claiming for a year that the intelligence community was in agreement that the trailers were proof of Saddam’s bio weapons program.

Howard Dean nails it: prove it Mr. Bush. If the White House claims that it wasn’t told about the trailers, yet the team that went over there filed a report that said the story was garbage, then the White House should declassify the whole report and all supporting documents that Bush had at his disposal.

Until then, shut the f*ck up Scottie.

Graphic courtesy of PollingReport.com
Hat tip to Raw Story

Steve :: 1:19 PM :: Comments (30) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!