by Alex Hamilton
Imagine having the chance to question Mr. Bush at the presidential debates
Mr. Bush, you have had your way with this country for 4 years, and now I want explanations in rigorous detail. I will not accept rhetorical answers, the American soldiers that died believing in you, and those who will inherit this country deserve better than that. I want to get some real answers, no buzz words, just facts.
Mr. Bush, time and time again you claim that the war in Iraq has made Americans safer at home. What empirical data do you have to back up this assertion? I will present you with one of your recent quotes and then, several quotes from respected centers of strategic analysis.
It is a ridiculous notion to assert that since America is on the offense, more people want to hurt us. - George W. Bush as seen in www.whitehouse.gov video of 08/02/2004 briefing The result has been an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al-Qaeda. The war against Iraq was not integral to the GWOT (The Global War on Terrorism), but rather a detour from it - Bounding the Global War on Terrorism, The United States Army War College pp. v It(The Global War on Terrorism) also seems to have conflated them(terrorist threats) into a monolithic threat, and in so doing has subordinated strategic clarity to the moral clarity it strives for in foreign policy and may have set the United States on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and nonstate entities that pose no serious threat to the United States. - Bounding the Global War on Terrorism, The United States Army War College pp. v "On the minus side, war in Iraq has probably inflamed radical passions among Muslims and thus increased al-Qaeda's recruiting power and morale and, at least marginally, its operating capability,"- 2003 Annual Report, International Institute for Strategic Studies
As of now, no weapons of mass destruction have been found. In light of this information, I ask you to back up your claim above, and your continuing claims that Americans are now safer from terrorist attack based solely on the war in Iraq .
Question 2(two parts):
Scenario 1: ( Iraq possessed WMD)
Given that Iraq possessed WMD and yet none have been found, please explain how Americans are safer with the missing weapons possibly in the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups.
Scenario 2: ( Iraq did not possess WMD)
WMD would be the only plausible threat posed to the United States by a nation such as Iraq . Please explain how Americans are safer now that we have our military, our coffers, and our international prestige so heavily invested in Iraq , given the fact that Iraq did not possess WMD.
In summary, given the above scenarios, either Iraq possessed WMDs and we now face the danger that those weapons have fallen into the hands of possible terrorists, or they did not have WMD and we are in an unnecessary war. Please explain this paradox.
Why has your administration failed to act decisively to find who leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the reporter Robert Novak?
Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent. - David Corn A White House Smear, The Nation Magazine
This leak to Robert Novak outted Ms. Plame, ruined any chances that the years of set up work spent would pay off, endangered the lives of Plame and those working closely with her, and is a crime as laid out above.
Consider the following affidavit which is an edited version of the Moveon.org affidavit campaign:1) I, ___________, do hereby attest that on or about the dates of June 1, 2003, through July 14, 2003, I did not contact, whether by telephone, facsimile, e-mail, in person, or by any other means, any reporter, correspondent, journalist, or any other member of the media, with the intent to or purpose of naming former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. 2) I, ___________, further attest that on or about the dates of June 1, 2003 , through July 30, 2003 , I did not have any conversation, whether by telephone, e-mail, in person, or by any other means, with any reporter, correspondent, journalist, or any other member of the media, during which the employment of Valerie Plame was discussed in any way. 3) I, ___________, further attest that I have no knowledge of anyone who on or about the dates of June 1, 2003, through July 30, 2003, took part in either of the actions described in parts 1 and 2 of this affidavit.
Will you willingly distribute this affidavit to your administration? In addition, please discuss how this leak by your administration has impacted the War on Terrorism with special regards to the CIAs information gathering resources.
Given the intelligence failures of the past 4 years, the policy of pre-emptive war seems to be in need of a set of strict guidelines governing when it should and should not be entered into. If given the opportunity to serve the American people, please briefly describe what guidelines you would set to engaging in another pre-emptive war and how those guidelines would have affected the policy that was laid out during your first term with specific reference to the burden of proof against Iraq and the missing WMD and lack of terrorist connections. Should Americans expect another pre-emptive war with such flimsy and hyped evidence used as justification?
Before 9-11 you were well known as the vacationing president. Given the intelligence you were receiving, including a Presidential Brief entitled Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in the U.S. and the following:
"There were more than
40 intelligence articles in the PDBs from January 20 to
September 10, 2001
, that related to Bin Ladin."
- 9-11 Commission Report pp. 254
"In the spring of 2001, the level of reporting
on terrorist threats and planned attacks increased dramatically
to its highest level since the millennium alert. At the end of March, the
intelligence community disseminated a terrorist threat advisory,
indicating a heightened threat
of Sunni extremist terrorist attacks against
facilities, personnel, and other interests."
- 9-11 Commission Report pp. 255
Given the information about, would you have cut short your month long vacation during the month of August of 2001 in Crawford , Texas and returned to Washington to shake the intelligence trees? As a follow-up; if elected again, will you agree to take only as much vacation as an average full-time worker as determined by Bureau of Labor statistical data and cut short any vacations that are interrupted by such ominous intelligence as that above?
Everyone needs to be asking hard questions. If our press does not feel the duty to do so, we must take it upon ourselves to ask the questions. We must demand that we are represented, and that our elected officials are subjected to the most difficult questions possible in order to keep them honest, and our policies based on fact and common decency. Should we expect any less?
Alex Hamilton is co-administrator and founder of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush, seeking his removal from office and creating a progressive organization to push the agenda in the coming years.
Email Alex: email@example.com