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Watergate had nothing on this..

I am now convinced Nixon’s crime was to be a republican. We are now getting told by the Obama administration’s IRS cronies that we can’t get Lerner’s emails, because, not only did the PC she used crash and lose her local copy, but they then formatted that hard drive and gave it to somebody else.

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightening rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.

“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a brief hallway interview. Two additional sources told POLITICO the same late Wednesday, citing IRS officials.

It may just be standard government procedure, but the revelation is significant because some lawmakers and observers thought there was a way that tech experts could revive Lerner’s emails after they were washed away in a computer crash in the summer of 2011. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), for example, subpoenaed her damaged hard drive earlier this week, when he asked for “all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers” and “all electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner.”

“IT experts have weighed in and said yes — we can get those” emails, said Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) earlier Wednesday.

The latest news suggests such professionals may never get the chance to try again — and the IRS has even said its criminal investigators who specialize in rebuilding hard drives to recover hidden information from criminals were unable to restore the data back in 2011. But this is only likely to further enrage Republicans, who are fuming over the matter and suspect Washington officials drove the selective scrutiny.

Sure, I buy into the nonsense that an organization awash with tax payer money to waste that spends hundreds of thousands on fluff bullshit (remember those training videos?) like the IRS has to recycle a hard drive that’s at least 2 year old after it crashes. Sounds like a sold move without any risk of it blowing up again. How convenient! I am sure the same problem occurred with the other people whose emails also mysteriously have vanished because of some mechanical failure. It’s just a coincidence that the people that have mechanical failures at the IRS are the ones under investigation. I still ask where the backups are. I bet that we will find out that the dog ate the tape drives or they stored that stuff on the cloud and it rained, causing them to lose it!

Can you imagine the reaction from the left if they had caught the Boosh administration using some government agency, let alone one as powerful as the IRS, to target their political enemies, only to be told they couldn’t get a look at the evidence from the major perpetrators under investigation, because all the people involved suffered mechanical failures, of one sort or another, and that the storage for the evidence was then recycled/destroyed? Do you think the LSM would be mute like it is now about this revelation, or would be getting demands for answers? I guess the Pulitzer prize doesn’t hold as much sway in the DNC propagandist community it once had. Or maybe it is just, as I pointed out at the start of this post, that Nixon’s crime was to be a republican.

Un-fucking-believable.

51 comments

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  1. Xetrov says:

    This entire situation is such an amazing level of bullshit. Emails are not only stored on the local hard drive of a user’s machine. Ever, in any email system I’ve ever heard of except maybe Juno in 1992. if journalists don’t call bullshit on this, it’s the clearest example of media bias ever. I mean, we’re talking investigative journalism that would take no more investigation than walking down the hall and asking your organizations exchange admin if it were possible. It’s not.

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    Can you imagine the reaction from the left if they had caught the Boosh administration using some government agency, let alone one as powerful as the IRS, to target their political enemies, only to be told they couldn’t get a look at the evidence from the major perpetrators under investigation, because all the people involved suffered mechanical failures, of one sort or another, and that the storage for the evidence was then recycled/destroyed?

    We don’t have to imagine. As I mentioned in another thread, they went nuts over the 2007 e-mails disappearing in relation to the firing of the US Attorneys.

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  3. Iconoclast says:

    The real insult is that they really really really seem to expect us to believe this crap. Emails are stored on servers, only a copy is downloaded to the client. There is also a copy on the originating machine.

    They must really think we’re all dumber than rocks…..

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  4. Hal_10000 says:

    Actually, Vox in the most predicable column ever, said this just proves the IRS needs a bigger budget:

    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/18/5820916/the-irs-scandal-shows-the-irs-needs-more-money

    This impoverished agency is paying Lois Lerner a six-figure pension.

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  5. AlexInCT says:

    That’s a joke right Hal? Please, please, puh-lease! tell me this is a f-ing joke. What the IRS needs is to be freaking abloished.

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  6. Biggie G says:

    How many years in federal PMITA prison would that excuse get you if you were called before the IRS on a tax avoidance issue?

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  7. Section8 says:

    This crap going on lately is pretty brazen. I think the WH and the left figure they are immune to whatever. Just say teabagger racist, blah blah blah and it will go away. This stuff isn’t going away anymore. The left is losing credibility by the day. Long overdue but never too late.

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  8. Hal_10000 says:

    Interesting point from the Week. Under federal law, corporations are required to maintain e-mail archives for five years or face 20 years in prison:

    http://theweek.com/article/index/263304/the-irss-stunning-and-shameful-record-keeping-hypocrisy#axzz34z8kmqpd?utm_source=links&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=twitter

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  9. AlexInCT says:

    Interesting point from the Week. Under federal law, corporations are required to maintain e-mail archives for five years or face 20 years in prison:

    I guarantee you that was some leftist that pushed for that to be law. Our political class in general, but the democrats in particular, seem to be real good at passing laws they claim are to help protect us, and then absolve themselves from the same.

    Special Prosecutor time, already.

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  10. Biggie G says:

    This is a little childish and I would like to think that our legislators actually do have better things to do with their time, but it is still funny. I will try one of these next year when I file my taxes.

    http://tinyurl.com/lftrq3p

    Rep. Steve Stockman’s “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts” Resolution

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  11. HARLEY says:

    looks like the IRS had cpontr4acted out someone to archive their emails.
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/06/breaking-irs-contracted-with-sonasoft-for-email-archiving-back-in-2005/

    What pisses me really off is the attitude, they know that we all know they are lying, but they don’t care, the smug look is one of, “So?, what you gonna do about it?.. that what i thought nothing….”
    No one will be arrested, no one will go to jail, no one will lose a job….Congress is neutered, and the SC? HA! right…

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  12. AlexInCT says:

    looks like the IRS had cpontr4acted out someone to archive their emails.

    There will be some mechanical failure, or someone in the private sector will end up being blamed for those also being gone.

    What pisses me really off is the attitude, they know that we all know they are lying, but they don’t care, the smug look is one of, “So?, what you gonna do about it?..

    Thug life baby!

    No one will be arrested, no one will go to jail, no one will lose a job….

    Only republicans are ever held to account. And the left is fine with things being this way. After all, they mean well….

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  13. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  14. AlexInCT says:

    Yeah because the jails are just over-flowing with right-wing bankers and those responsible for invading Iraq.

    Making up accusations about crimes and actual criminal activity are different things., CM. Your idiotic supposition that Iraq was about stealing oil or making bankers rich, is just that: idiotic. Oh I know, the only reason they didn’t do that was because collectivist idiots like you made sure they couldn’t. In the mean time your collectivists fellow travelers across this globe are robbing the productive blind. Conversely, the fact that the IRS now is pretending the dog ate their emails however, is a clear indication that this evidence was destroyed because the people involved need to protect themselves from accusations that are bearing out and showing the WH was behind this highly illegal and criminal activity.

    Very few at the top are held to account, no matter what flavour they are.

    Expect nothing other than this from someone like you when confronted with this information CM. BTW, Nixon wants his presidency back. He got kicked out for far less than Obama has gotten away with so far. But maybe he wasn’t as “on top” as Obama was. The corrupt media is quick to accuse and judge republicans and incredibly adept at hiding the criminal activities and involvement of democrats, but the sad fact is that democrats protect each other while republicans tend to abandon those that are even accused of doing wrong. Go ask the imprisoned Enron people how they feel about Corzine whom walked off with billions and did what they got hammered for on steroids. The clue is whom Corzine gave huge donations to. If you need a hint it is the same guy accused of being behind the IRS attacks on his opponents.

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  15. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  16. hist_ed says:

    “There has been ZERO accountability for that colossal fuck-up, which is an issue of far greater magnitude than what has happened at the US IRS”

    CM can you really not grasp the difference between a legal policy mistake and a crime? Whatever you or anyone else thinks of the Iraq invasion, it was legal under US law-both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of it. That is what legally authorizes war in these United States. As for political accountability, I would say the election of Obama pretty much takes care of that. Even though the invasion of Iraq was a bipartisan affair, the GOP got tarred with most of the guilt (Hillary Clinton got a share as well, which is probably why she is not in The White House right now). The GOP suffered politically for what was viewed as a bad policy decision-this is exactly how it is supposed to work in multiparty democracies. In tin pot dictatorships and totalitarian states, people are hauled off to prison or shot for policy errors.

    What are actually crimes in the US is using government power to persecute people because of their political opinions, to lie to Congress, to destroy evidence and to conspire to deprive people of their civil rights (I probably missed a few things there). Can you see the difference there?

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  17. CM says:

    It was one lie after another to get that war started. And no meaningful accountability whatsoever for the people involved. But, right, it was simply “a mistake”. Or a boo-boo even. All swept under the carpet. But the Republicans are apparently treated unfairly and picked on. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

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  18. AlexInCT says:

    It was one lie after another to get that war started.

    If that’s so CM, then the lying started with the Clintons and the demcorats, long before Boosh took office, and the UN, every intelligence organization in the world, and even with Saddam Hussein himself. This stuff is easy to find. All these people were for talking big about war with Iraq, all while engaging in shady backroom deals that made millions for those Saddam bribed or paid off, until Boosh actually decided he was going to take the call for war seriously, and go to war. You can Google the stuff if you but wanted to get down to the bottom of the truth. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your narrative.

    And no meaningful accountability whatsoever for the people involved.

    Exactly! So many agents on the left that undermined this war at every turn, costing our troops their lives, got away with it. One of them even got to be elected president where he prompty proceeded to lose any gain that had been reached despite efforts of people like him to make us lose. Now he and people like you are desperate to deflect attention, which is why you are pushing this discredited lefty nonsense, it looks like. Funny how Obama took ownership of Iraq while the going was good, and now that he fucked it up, suddenly we are back to not only “It’s Boosh’s fault, but the war is illegal!”. You collectivists nanny staters are something else.

    But, right, it was simply “a mistake”. Or a boo-boo even. All swept under the carpet. But the Republicans are apparently treated unfairly and picked on. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

    You are a fucking moron. Facts and logic will never get in the way of your leftard fantasies.

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  19. Section8 says:

    More “objective” responses from our resident left wing nut. The topic at hand is the “better” side having full control and were going to be honest and transparent. That was a total failure and those who marketed this bunch should be outraged they were duped. That won’t happen though. Now it’s some Iraq bullshit twist to mitigate what is going on now. Typical. But this is a good thing. It just further cheapens the false idea of the left being the more dignified group.

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  20. hist_ed says:

    “It was one lie after another to get that war started”

    CM, lying is not a crime in the US except under very narrow circumstances.

    Lying is telling an intentional falsehood. Do you really think that various intelligences agencies (US and others), majorities in both houses of Congress, lots of world leaders, the United Nations, lots of administrations officials and most of the press all knew that the intelligence was wrong?

    Now of course, we see this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10913275/Isis-storms-Saddam-era-chemical-weapons-complex-in-Iraq.html

    Seems like there were WMDs. Stocks of sarin and mustard gas.

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  21. CM says:

    If that’s so CM, then the lying started with the Clintons and the demcorats, long before Boosh took office, and the UN, every intelligence organization in the world, and even with Saddam Hussein himself.

    It was the Bush Administration who stupidly decided to invade Iraq, and none of them have had to account for it.

    Do you really think that various intelligences agencies (US and others), majorities in both houses of Congress, lots of world leaders, the United Nations, lots of administrations officials and most of the press all knew that the intelligence was wrong?

    What was actually known was very different to what was portrayed (and yes, at the time). There was doubt, but what was portrayed/sold was a complete lack of doubt.
    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2008/01/23/5641/false-pretenses

    Now it’s some Iraq bullshit twist to mitigate what is going on now. Typical.

    I responded to Alex’s specific claim. It doesn’t mitigate anything happening now. Keep making shit up if you like though.

    Funny how Obama took ownership of Iraq while the going was good, and now that he fucked it up, suddenly we are back to not only “It’s Boosh’s fault, but the war is illegal!”.

    It was always illegal under international law (not that most of you give two shits about that).
    But yep, no accountability required because, as I stated, it can all be waved away with “blame Boosh” etc. As you’ve just done again.

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  22. CM says:

    Seems like there were WMDs. Stocks of sarin and mustard gas.

    In the 1980′s and early 1990′s, according to your link.

    “Two wars, sanctions and UN oversight reduced Iraqi’s premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,”

    So what did you mean by “were”? And are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Bush Administration? ;-)

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  23. Section8 says:

    (not that most of you give two shits about that).

    Nope, and neither do you. Getting outraged over an international incident only matters when it suits the agenda. That goes for both sides. Let’s quit pretending otherwise.

    It doesn’t mitigate anything happening now.

    Sure it does. Hardly a word from you on this whole topic where there have been many posts about it. The only reason you’re commenting on it now is to spin a tangent of “Bush did it too!” “Bush was worse!”. I will give you credit at least you haven’t resorted to the more common leftist response of, but but but teabaggers, and racists and anarchists and guns and stuff, and this is a good thing don’t stop Obama he should do more of it!

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  24. hist_ed says:

    “So what did you mean by “were”?” Well the Telegraph says a few days ago.

    CM, from the article: “The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin”

    Now I will grant you that “disused” mustard and sarin probably aren’t as lethal as the fresh stuff, but would you want to be splashed by any?

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  25. CM says:

    Nope, and neither do you. Getting outraged over an international incident only matters when it suits the agenda. That goes for both sides. Let’s quit pretending otherwise.

    There we go, telling me what I think. Only last week you were outraged that anyone could possible tell someone what they think. Good one.

    Sure it does. Hardly a word from you on this whole topic where there have been many posts about it.

    I usually hold off until sufficient facts are known, but it certainly sounds dodgy at this stage. When facts emerge, relevant charges against the relevant people should absolutely follow. Accountability (and relating to the right people, not convenient scapegoats) is vitally important.

    The only reason you’re commenting on it now is to spin a tangent of “Bush did it too!”

    I responded directly to a specific comment made by Alex. Have a go at him if you’re unhappy about it being picked up on.

    “Bush was worse!”.

    Again, Alex made a claim and I responded with a specific example.
    In terms of the scale of what it means I can’t think of anything in my lifetime that was so bald-faced and cynical and with such devastating consequences, yet which led to absolutely no accountability. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other examples, at a lower scale. Including from the left.

    I will give you credit at least you haven’t resorted to the more common leftist response of, but but but teabaggers, and racists and anarchists and guns and stuff, and this is a good thing don’t stop Obama he should do more of it!

    Gee thanks.
    Is that the more common leftist response, or are you taking a self-selected sample and applying that generally to help in justifying your own opinions?

    hist_ed, I’m not sure what your point is, which is why I asked what you meant by ‘were’. Are you suggesting that these old disused sites were justifiably used in Bush’s arguments for the invasion? I don’t think that’s right, because everyone knew about those. As that article states, it was a site specifically covered by UN oversight. Bush et al very clearly weren’t talking about those sites in their hundreds of misleading public statements and definitive claims (which weren’t backed up by the intelligence).

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  26. Section8 says:

    “Only last week you were outraged that anyone could possible tell someone what they think.”

    Not even in the same league. That was already explained by many in the prior thread. I suggest go back and read it again. Shame so much typing was done and you still couldn’t get it apparently.

    “not that most of you give two shits about that”

    No one was outraged by your mind reading with this above quote including me. This would be a better comparison. Hint: Your mind reading with the quote above was based on what you’ve picked up on with people’s opinions here over the last few years, and is an assessment on your end. Fair enough. Someone giving a story about their childhood and then you basically telling them they have no idea how they really felt, and what they took away from it is where wacky and ridiculous come in. Maybe you’ll figure it out maybe you won’t. I’ll bet on won’t at this point and let it go.

    “Is that the more common leftist response, or are you taking a self-selected sample and applying that generally to help in justifying your own opinions?”

    Nope. It’s the pretty standard leftist knee-jerk reaction. Of course being eight thousand miles away it might be hard to see from there.

    “In terms of the scale of what it means I can’t think of anything in my lifetime that was so bald-faced and cynical and with such devastating consequences, yet which led to absolutely no accountability. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other examples, at a lower scale. Including from the left.”

    Really? You have Putin invading other countries now. No UN involvement. No 12 years of resolutions, no nothing. Which leads me back to my mind reading statement. Where’s the outrage cupcake? As far as the bald-faced, that’s your opinion. For such a cynical plan it was real stupid for them to let journalists have a front seat to the war wasn’t it? You would think for all the planning, reporters would have been kept out and then a staged stash of weapons would have been displayed. Now arguing whether we should have been there is one thing. The grand conspiracy though is your opinion not fact.

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  27. CM says:

    Not even in the same league. That was already explained by many in the prior thread. I suggest go back and read it again. Shame so much typing was done and you still couldn’t get it apparently.

    So pick an equivalent to the Iraq Invasion and I’ll let you know what my reaction was.

    No one was outraged by your mind reading with this above quote including me.

    Of course you’re not outraged, it’s not even arguable. It’s been explicitly expressed a number of times. Nobody would even try and deny it. Only a lunatic would try and appear to be outraged.

    This would be a better comparison.

    It’s not even the same sport, let alone the same league.

    Someone giving a story about their childhood and then you basically telling them they have no idea how they really felt, and what they took away from it is where wacky and ridiculous come in. Maybe you’ll figure it out maybe you won’t. I’ll bet on won’t at this point and let it go.

    Wow, are we even referring to the same thread? I suggested it sounded like trauma (and I provided a specific definition and nobody suggested why it didn’t fit the definition, even after I asked again). I never told Xetrov how to feel about it, and what he should have taken from it. No wonder you’re going down this road, you’ve misinformed yourself.

    Of course being eight thousand miles away it might be hard to see from there.

    Yep that’s a fair point. Nevertheless, there were plenty on the left making excellent points before the invasion, but they were either all ignored, or shouted down – treated as being no different to the nutjobs and knee-jerk reactionaries. I was told I must love Saddam a number of times during detailed discussions about specifics. There was simply no way to have a rational discussion. The writing was obviously on the wall, the invasion would happen irrespective of the existence or quality of argument.
    What it did do though is give me some sense of the frustration and anger and helplessness that you guys show sometimes. You guys are feeling pretty shitty about the state of the Republic….well back in 2003 I and others were wondering what the point of 50 years of international law (and the actual need to present a valid case) was, among other things.

    Really? You have Putin invading other countries now. No UN involvement. No 12 years of resolutions, no nothing. Which leads me back to my mind reading statement. Where’s the outrage cupcake?

    The main difference of course being that Putin doesn’t pretend to be taking a stand on my behalf. He’s not part of the West. He shares little in the way of values with me or my community/country. The actual specifics are quite different too – there is little comparison in terms of what it means to the planet.

    As far as the bald-faced, that’s your opinion. For such a cynical plan it was real stupid for them to let journalists have a front seat to the war wasn’t it?

    Not when all the journalists do is wave American flags instead of do any actual reporting (other than being the mouthpiece for the Administration).
    Yes it’s my opinion, but it’s an extremely informed opinion.

    You would think for all the planning,

    What planning is this? There was a distinct lack of any. All the effort apparently went into the marketing stage. Assumptions substituted for planning.

    Now arguing whether we should have been there is one thing. The grand conspiracy though is your opinion not fact.

    WTF? What grand conspiracy are you talking about? I don’t really do conspiracies, you should have picked up on that by now (“Shame so much typing was done and you still couldn’t get it apparently”).

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  28. hist_ed says:

    CM, I’ve never encountered anyone who, when talking or writing about the war in Iraq, says “There were no WMDs, except the hundreds of tons of sarin and mustard gas (oh and massive piles of uranium) that we already knew about.” And I am struggling a little to understand the logic behind that. If Hussein had piles of poison gas that everyone knew about, couldn’t he still use it? Or do little UN lists prevent genocidal dictators from killing people?

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  29. Iconoclast says:

    I responded to Alex’s specific claim.

    Said claim being, “Only republicans are ever held to account.” That is the claim you quoted, and your response was a complete non sequitur. Alex didn’t claim that all Republicans are held to account. No, he only said that those who are held to account all happen to be Republicans. Not the same thing. So bringing up Bush and the Iraq invasion to beat on yet again completely misses the point. If you want to refute Alex’s claim, then point out a recent example (i.e. since the time of Nixon) where someone on the left was ever held to account. Hell, Nixon’s predecessor, LBJ, allegedly lied about the Gulf of Tonkin to step up our involvement in the Vietnam war. And it was Kennedy who got us involved there in the first place.

    I am sure you love to beat on the Iraq invasion every chance you get, but the one thing you will never understand is the feeling a nation experiences after suffering a terrorist attack like 9/11, followed by an anthrax scare and the beltway shooter. We were all on edge, and the Administration is tasked with protecting the American people. Not the people of the world. Not the UN. Not the French or Germans or Russians. Not the people of Australia or New Zealand. No. The Administration answers to the American people. Period. And we perceived ourselves to be under attack.

    Any forthcoming disagreements you may harbor are beyond irrelevant, so don’t bother expressing them.

    Hussein’s Iraq did have a history of sponsoring terrorism, and he did violate UN resolutions. Furthermore, France vowed to make the USA powerless to use force against Iraq from day one. So, from the USA’s perspective, the UN was a corrupt organization.

    I’ve just given you a glimpse of the USA’s perspective. We all know yours, so you don’t need to give us the litany yet again. The bottom line is that your response to Alex was a non sequitur, in that Iraq is utterly irrlevant to Alex’ point.

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  30. hist_ed says:

    So just to clarify things a little:
    CM’s answer to my question: “CM can you really not grasp the difference between a legal policy mistake and a crime?” is apparently “no.”

    CM agrees that Iraq had stockpiles of WMDs prior to the invasion, but they were “specifically covered by UN oversight.”

    CM apparently thinks that UN oversight would constrain the actions of Saddam Hussein.

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  31. Seattle Outcast says:

    Or that the UN actually has any bearing on the issue. “UN oversight” is a meaningless concept.

    Never understood the libtard insistence that the UN is anything more than a sideshow debating society that the US hosts for PR reasons. Quite honestly, we’re getting a pretty shitty return on the investment…

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  32. CM says:

    CM, I’ve never encountered anyone who, when talking or writing about the war in Iraq, says “There were no WMDs, except the hundreds of tons of sarin and mustard gas (oh and massive piles of uranium) that we already knew about.”

    I cannot explain why you haven’t. The reasons stated by the Administration did not involve old shuttered sites that were no longer of use – the whole case was on active WMD programes and useable WMDs being a clear and present danger. It’s perverse to have successfully closed old plants/depots and then attempt to use them as a reason to go to war.

    And I am struggling a little to understand the logic behind that. If Hussein had piles of poison gas that everyone knew about, couldn’t he still use it?

    You seem to be treating these sites as operational, whereas your own article repeatedly notes that there is little or nothing that they could use. E.g. “There are believed to be no chemical weapon materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”

    Or do little UN lists prevent genocidal dictators from killing people?

    Ah ok, well now I guess we can really see where all this comes from.

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  33. CM says:

    Alex didn’t claim that all Republicans are held to account. No, he only said that those who are held to account all happen to be Republicans. Not the same thing.

    Very true.
    It’s rare that any elites are held to account – that’s really my point in response. The Bush Administration being Exhibit A of a whole load of Republicans who didn’t have to account for jack. Those alarm bells certainly start ringing loudly when people start complaining about the other side not being held accountable.

    I am sure you love to beat on the Iraq invasion every chance you get

    I’m sure you do just the same with Obamacare.

    Any forthcoming disagreements you may harbor are beyond irrelevant, so don’t bother expressing them.

    Fuck off with that bullshit already. You don’t get to determine who writes what. How incredibly arrogant. But this is EXACTLY what happened during the drum-beat. You’re inadvertently providing an accurate snapshot how what it worked back then.

    …..but the one thing you will never understand is the feeling a nation experiences after suffering a terrorist attack like 9/11, followed by an anthrax scare and the beltway shooter. We were all on edge, and the Administration is tasked with protecting the American people. Not the people of the world. Not the UN. Not the French or Germans or Russians. Not the people of Australia or New Zealand. No. The Administration answers to the American people. Period. And we perceived ourselves to be under attack.

    I can appreciate the hurt and anger from 9/11. I’m not a robot. Even I was upset by it, and yes I can only imagine how the US population felt.
    But invading Iraq was a super-dumb response, manufactured over a number of years, involving a litany of lies (and many involved 9/11 which should be considered disgraceful and the lowest of the low). It was the height of cynicism and arrogance. Just like telling people not to respond.

    Hussein’s Iraq did have a history of sponsoring terrorism, and he did violate UN resolutions.

    By their very actions the US made it clear what it thinks about UN resolutions, so that argument is extremely weak. As for “sponsoring terrorism”, well that’s a continuum and has specific context. Did he sponsor 9/11?

    Furthermore, France vowed to make the USA powerless to use force against Iraq from day one. So, from the USA’s perspective, the UN was a corrupt organization.

    Disagreeing that the use of force is justified doesn’t inherently make anything corrupt. That argument makes no sense. What de Villepin did say was that “If war is the only way to resolve this problem, we are going down a dead end”. The fear was disastrous consequences for long-term regional stability. Which is exactly what happened.
    And let’s not pretend that it was only those nations with something to gain that were opposed to force. The US wasn’t even close to getting the numbers, despite bribes.
    And let’s not pretend that the US doesn’t pre-veto any potential resolution in relation to Israel (even Obama has done this) – does that make the UN corrupt?

    So just to clarify things a little:
    CM’s answer to my question: “CM can you really not grasp the difference between a legal policy mistake and a crime?” is apparently “no.”

    I never claimed it was illegal under US law. I’m talking about people being held to account for the consequences of a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation.

    CM agrees that Iraq had stockpiles of WMDs prior to the invasion, but they were “specifically covered by UN oversight.”

    Read your own article.

    CM apparently thinks that UN oversight would constrain the actions of Saddam Hussein.

    What actions of concern had he taken since the Gulf War? Compared to the cluster fuck of the last 11 years? The 11th hour progress indicated that the containment policy (in terms of WMDs) had worked well.
    There were clearly some significant issues with how the UN was operating with respect to Iraq, however it’s a false choice to argue that invasion was the only other option.

    Or that the UN actually has any bearing on the issue. “UN oversight” is a meaningless concept.

    How so?

    Never understood the libtard insistence that the UN is anything more than a sideshow debating society that the US hosts for PR reasons. Quite honestly, we’re getting a pretty shitty return on the investment…

    Never understood why some on the right insist that a few small part of what the UN does is, in fact, the sum total of the UN. Even a simple and easy bit of research would assist, but no, best to avoid any chance of suffering from cognitive dissonance. UN derangement syndrome is alive and well.

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  34. Section8 says:

    The main difference of course being that Putin doesn’t pretend to be taking a stand on my behalf. He’s not part of the West. He shares little in the way of values with me or my community/country. The actual specifics are quite different too – there is little comparison in terms of what it means to the planet.

    I thought international law was your value. Where’s the outrage? Invading your neighbors doesn’t matter now? They’re part of the UN so they do share your value, they vote on your UN laws and rules like every other country in the UN. Somehow it doesn’t matter because wha? what? Anyhow don’t bother spinning anymore, not worth my time or you can spin all you want I don’t care. I won’t be reading it that can be someone else’s problem. I already (and correctly) responded to your assessment with my assessment based on past experiences of conversation. You know, the one that’s not in the same sport but really is.

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  35. CM says:

    I thought international law was your value.

    I happen to think adhering to laws you’ve signed up to is fairly important yeah. Rather than breaking them because people disagree with you.

    Where’s the outrage?

    The level of outrage doesn’t determine whether something is unlawful or not. And there’s nothing unusual or strange or wrong or hypocritical about having a greater interest if the unlawful act is being carried out by ‘your side’, and/or it foreseeable leads to significant death and destruction and years or decades of instability in a volatile area, all to the point where knock effects can potentially affect you personally (it wasn’t particularly fun knowing that if I’d caught a slightly later train to work I might have been blown up in 2005).

    They’re part of the UN so they do share your value

    Ah so now you also get to define the parameters of ‘my value’. What does that even mean? The UN General Assembly is made up of the member states. How does that impart a ‘value’ on me?

    they vote on your UN laws and rules like every other country in the UN.

    t

    It’s no more ‘my’ UN than it is yours.
    Crimea is a territory with disputed sovereignty I don’t support a military invasion of Russia, but neither do I in any way condone or support them. They aren’t the only choices available though.

    Somehow it doesn’t matter because wha? what?

    I never said it didn’t matter. It would awesome if you stopped just making shit up.

    Anyhow don’t bother spinning anymore, not worth my time or you can spin all you want I don’t care. I won’t be reading it that can be someone else’s problem. I already (and correctly) responded to your assessment with my assessment based on past experiences of conversation. You know, the one that’s not in the same sport but really is.

    Bye then. Thanks for the little reminder of how the invasion was green-lit.

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  36. AlexInCT says:

    I happen to think adhering to laws you’ve signed up to is fairly important yeah. Rather than breaking them because people disagree with you.

    Oh, bullshit. You are lying through your teeth. People like you only have a problem with the US, and then the US under republican leadership, doing things. The fact that you have to mumble around Obama’s cock every time you defend the criminal shit they are up to, is more than enough evidence of that. And I also remind you that you have all but conceded that you are a Palestinian sympathizer too. Your side seems to never have any concerns when these people and their death cult do anything wrong. Other examples abound.

    No, your objection here is about Boosh and the fact that he didn’t bow down to the fucking corrupt UN. You, and people that think like you, can all kiss my ass. International law is a fucking travesty. It is a system put together to protect the totalitarian states, including the Western European nanny states and others around the globe that share a similar political model, and give them power they neither deserve or have earned. And the representative agency for this international law, the UN, is by far one the most despicable organization – after the leadership of the various communist nations that murdered over 100 million and imprisoned billions – that the left managed to straddle humanity with.

    I remind you again that the main objection to Boosh’s invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with law, justice or, anything decent. The objection to that war, from people that had before all but clamored for it, was all from entities with their own immoral and selfish objectives, and international law was just a fucking excuse to cover that shit up. In the US it came from the corrupt American left that was pissed off he had prevented Al Gore and his army of lawyers from stealing the 2000 election. They wanted payback for that and the fact, as Clinton articulated so well, that 9-11 happened on a republican’s watch, and instead of milking it politically he chose to act in the best interest of the American people. Saddam was also one of their fellow travelers and a former ally of the USSR, for whom most of these scumbags still pine. The American left has zero moral ground to stand on, as they had no problem with Clinton wanting war before Boosh actually did it, and now seem to have no problem with Obama doing much more of the same. Fuck the lot of them.

    Of the nations that protested Iraq the hardest, the French and the Russians did so because they wanted to make sure Saddam stayed in power. That was both so they could collect the billions owed them in weapons sales, both past and future ones – yes, including WMDs and other shit they sold Saddam so he could kill his own people and his neighbors – as well as maintaining the grip they had managed to establish on the Iraqi oil flow. These fuckers where even actively at work in the UN trying to lift some of the sanction so Saddam could sell more oil and give them more cash. Had these two assholes not told Saddam they would protect him regardless of what the US said in the UN, Saddam would have wizened up and come clean, avoiding the whole thing. There is a lot more to their objections, and none of it was based on any lawful or decent reasons. BTW, the left was riight when they mentioned the Iraqi war was about oil. Only the people interested in the oil were not the Boosh people, but all those leading the opposition to any action against Saddam.

    The fucking French are about the most corrupt nation on the planet. My instinct is to be on the opposite side of whatever the French are by default. These are the scumbags that sold Iraq a nuclear reactor, amongst a vast assortment of other weapon systems, which included the means to create his biological and chemical arsenal, on top of the nuclear one he so desperately wanted. If it was not for the always maligned Israelis Saddam would have had French nukes to use on the people of the Middle East. The French also were the ring leaders in helping Saddam circumvent the UN sanctions. The fucking cheese-eating surrender monkeys didn’t object to the Iraqi invasion for any other reason than what was profitable to them, the Iraqi or American people, nay the people of the world, be damned.

    Then there were the cock sucking Russians, which not only profited from higher oil prices in a market where the Iraqi oil flow was tightly controlled, but whom had been pining for some grandeur after the fall of the USSR. They were owed billions in weapons sales, yes, including for WMDs and WMD production technologies, and knew they would make billions more once sanctions were either reduced or gone and Saddam started rearming and reconstituting his dormant WMD programs. Even worse, I believe, the Russians were doing all the stalling they could so they could help move the existing Iraqi WMDs out of Iraq should another round of inspections be agreed upon. That’s the WMDs the Israelis bombed in Syria and which are now being used by both sides fighting in Syria. Look at what Russia is up these days – and what good has your vaunted international law been there – for a glimpse of what motivated them then.

    Finally we have the UN. More corrupt and nefarious a den of thieves you can’t find except for maybe in France. This was the organization that knowingly undermined its own sanctions programs and had numerous members of the leadership making billions allowing Saddam to sell oil on the black market to keep paying and arming his goons, buying his Viagra, and building his palaces. In the mean time they lamented about how the US was refusing to lift the sanctions that starved poor Iraqi children. This is the entity that has people that treat their own citizens like chattel running human rights commissions. The one whose peace keepers constantly are outed as child rapist and abusers. The vile entity that pushes false science and other nonsense on people, in order to justify their never ending need for more wealth and freedom confiscation, while pretending to be the only one that can save humanity.

    Fuck you and your international law.

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  37. Iconoclast says:

    It’s rare that any elites are held to account — that’s really my point in response.

    Yeah, but when that rare even does occur, it just so happens that the “elites” in question happen to be Republican — that’s really the point you’re evading.

    The Bush Administration being Exhibit A of a whole load of Republicans who didn’t have to account for jack.

    Assuming the truth of the statement for the sake of argument, it’s still irrelevant to the main point. Since it is irrelevant, it also serves as Exhibit A of your obsession with the Iraq invasion and how you barf it up at every opportunity for the sole purpose of beating on it, and on the Bush Administration, which, incidentally, has been out of power for half a decade now.

    I’m sure you do just the same with Obamacare.

    If I’m still harping on it a decade from now, even when the subject at hand is something else entirely, then yeah, you might have something resembling a valid point.

    You don’t get to determine who writes what.

    Yeah, you are correct — I am absolutely powerless to prevent someone from spewing forth utterly irrelevant nonsense if that someone is hell-bent on doing exactly that.

    I can appreciate the hurt and anger from 9/11.

    Sure. Sure you can.

    I’m not a robot.

    No?

    Even I was upset by it…

    Even you, huh?

    But…

    Yeah, we could have all predicted that there was a “but”…

    But invading Iraq was a super-dumb response, manufactured over a number of years, involving a litany of lies (and many involved 9/11 which should be considered disgraceful and the lowest of the low). It was the height of cynicism and arrogance. Just like telling people not to respond.

    What a load of crap. The invasion took place in March, 2003, a mere 18 months after 9/11. “Manufactured over a number of years”, my ass. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, attacking Iraq was explicitly ruled out as an initial response to 9/11, and only became a target much later.

    As for “sponsoring terrorism”, well that’s a continuum and has specific context. Did [Hussein] sponsor 9/11?

    Bush made it explicitly clear early on that we were not at war with the perpetrators of 9/11, but with Islamic terrorism itself. He made this clear just days after 9/11.

    Disagreeing that the use of force is justified doesn’t inherently make anything corrupt.

    No, but the reasons behind such a disagreement certainly can.

    The fear was disastrous consequences for long-term regional stability. Which is exactly what happened.

    No, the fear was a loss of revenue, due to sweetheart deals with Iraq being jeopardized. Which is exactly what happened.

    And let’s not pretend that the US doesn’t pre-veto any potential resolution in relation to Israel (even Obama has done this) – does that make the UN corrupt?

    Potentially, yes, depending on the actual circumstances behind the “pre-vetoes”. As far as I am concerned, the UN absolutely is corrupt, and this isn’t just based on the Iraq affair, but on general principles. There have been many stories about UN peacekeepers raping women in various countries, for example. There was the Oil for Food program, and how it was corrupt. There is the fact that thug dictatorships are on the human rights council, and so forth. In terms of geopolitics, the UN is a tragic joke.

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  38. CM says:

    Oh, bullshit. You are lying through your teeth. People like you only have a problem with the US, and then the US under republican leadership, doing things.

    People like you decide what everyone else thinks, and what they actually think appears to not matter a great deal.

    And I also remind you that you have all but conceded that you are a Palestinian sympathizer too.

    Wow. Good one. I guess I could make some comment about you “mumbling around Israeli cock” here.

    Your side seems to never have any concerns when these people and their death cult do anything wrong. Other examples abound.

    I can only answer for myself. And observe how others are treated. Your ‘examples’ invariably are just nonsense. More often than not when they are challenged you revert back to vague unsupported claims and accusations. Or you ignore it entirely.

    No, your objection here is about Boosh and the fact that he didn’t bow down to the fucking corrupt UN.

    My objectives to the war were many. But again, explaining anything to you is pointless, you just decide based on your inability to think beyond black and white.

    communist nations that murdered over 100 million and imprisoned billions

    Do you get money every time you repeat that? I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned it in the World Cup thread. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time.

    I remind you again that the main objection to Boosh’s invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with law, justice or, anything decent. The objection to that war, from people that had before all but clamored for it, was all from entities with their own immoral and selfish objectives, and international law was just a fucking excuse to cover that shit up.

    And I’m saying that the legitimate arguments for why war was a bad idea where dismissed/ignored. That others where claiming other things doesn’t negate those arguments, or the fact that they were dismissed.

    The American left has zero moral ground to stand on, as they had no problem with Clinton wanting war before Boosh actually did it,

    When did Clinton advocate for war, and do everything possible to get one?

    Of the nations that protested Iraq the hardest, the French and the Russians did so because they wanted to make sure Saddam stayed in power.

    I dunno, certainly the populations of many other countries were just as opposed (if not more). But leaving France and Russia aside (and the fact that they adopted arguments to hide their obvious motivations) the war still didn’t make sense and was unjustified and illegal. Just because someone you don’t like adopts your arguments, that doesn’t make your arguments wrong.

    The fucking French are about the most corrupt nation on the planet. My instinct is to be on the opposite side of whatever the French are by default.

    Right. Because as you keep demonstrating (every week, for the entire time I’ve been here) there is only black or white. Good to see you admit it so explicitly. Amazing that you think it’s a good thing.

    I have no reason to inherently support the French, who committed a murderous terrorist act in my hometown as well as undertaking nuclear testing in the Pacific for decades because who the fuck cares about people in the Pacific. They never gave us a large statue. We have precisely ZERO in common with Russia.

    These fuckers where even actively at work in the UN trying to lift some of the sanction so Saddam could sell more oil and give them more cash. Had these two assholes not told Saddam they would protect him regardless of what the US said in the UN, Saddam would have wizened up and come clean, avoiding the whole thing.

    The US was supposedly also actively turning a blind eye to Jordan taking advantage of the situation in the same way. It appears to have been a cosy little fucked-up situation.

    The fucking cheese-eating surrender monkeys didn’t object to the Iraqi invasion for any other reason than what was profitable to them, the Iraqi or American people, nay the people of the world, be damned.

    Again, that doesn’t actually affect the anti-war arguments in any way, and nor does it explain why the US got such little support among other countries at the UNSC (and certainly the populations of most countries). “France was corrupt” doesn’t justify pre-emptive war. That’s a cop-out.

    Even worse, I believe, the Russians were doing all the stalling they could so they could help move the existing Iraqi WMDs out of Iraq should another round of inspections be agreed upon. That’s the WMDs the Israelis bombed in Syria and which are now being used by both sides fighting in Syria.

    Good to see you added “I believe” as that is obviously speculation.

    Look at what Russia is up these days – and what good has your vaunted international law been there – for a glimpse of what motivated them then.

    I never claimed international law automatically stops and fixes everything. The Russian situation is complex from an international law situation. It doesn’t retrospectively justify Iraq.

    Finally we have the UN. More corrupt and nefarious a den of thieves you can’t find except for maybe in France.

    Except that almost the entire UN is non-political.

    The vile entity that pushes false science and other nonsense on people, in order to justify their never ending need for more wealth and freedom confiscation, while pretending to be the only one that can save humanity.

    Climate change…..awesome. You got both Stalin and climate change into the same post. And yet I’m hassled for bringing up Iraq in relation to leaders being held to account. Love it.

    Fuck you and your international law.

    Lube away.

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  39. CM says:

    Yeah, but when that rare even does occur, it just so happens that the “elites” in question happen to be Republican — that’s really the point you’re evading.

    The discussion has evolved, I haven’t attempted to evade anything.
    Who? Nixon?

    Assuming the truth of the statement for the sake of argument, it’s still irrelevant to the main point.

    I clarified what I’m saying in relation to exactly what Alex said.

    …. your obsession with the Iraq invasion and how you barf it up at every opportunity for the sole purpose of beating on it,

    It’s so instructive though, and provides such a good point of comparison. It’s also still extremely relevant in many ways. People who supported it actively share the responsibility in the ramifications, because without such public support it would never have happened. But it’s fascinating to see people deny that in a variety of ways.

    and on the Bush Administration, which, incidentally, has been out of power for half a decade now.

    Ah right, so all the ramifications from the Iraq invasion ended as soon as Bush left office. Phew, that’s a relief. I assume the same will apply to Obama too. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know that.

    If I’m still harping on it a decade from now, even when the subject at hand is something else entirely, then yeah, you might have something resembling a valid point.

    Have you ever had an issue with Alex bringing his same old examples when they’re not relevant? In any case, it is relevant in terms of leaders being accountable for what they have done.
    I’m guessing here but I’m pretty sure that Obamacare will still be an active topic in a decade.

    Sure. Sure you can.
    No?
    Even you, huh?

    Here we go yet again. I’m just pretending.
    Yet again, it doesn’t get lower than that. Pathetic. Such a self-defeating tactic.

    What a load of crap. The invasion took place in March, 2003, a mere 18 months after 9/11. “Manufactured over a number of years”, my ass.

    18 months then. Still a decent amount of time.

    According to the 9/11 Commission Report, attacking Iraq was explicitly ruled out as an initial response to 9/11, and only became a target much later.

    Right but 9/11 was a fundamental part of the context. That’s not even arguable. It wasn’t THE response, but it was still A response.

    Bush made it explicitly clear early on that we were not at war with the perpetrators of 9/11, but with Islamic terrorism itself. He made this clear just days after 9/11.

    Bush himself made 28 false statements about Iraq’s connections with Al Qaeda. To try and argue that they separated the two through that 18 months is just utter horseshit. They were repeatedly linked.
    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/19/14969/search-iraq-war-card-database

    No, but the reasons behind such a disagreement certainly can.

    Sure, but that doesn’t negate the good reasons for disagreeing which aren’t related to the corruption.

    No, the fear was a loss of revenue, due to sweetheart deals with Iraq being jeopardized. Which is exactly what happened.

    Sure, but what was articulated/argued was a widely held view (by people without ulterior motives) and how strong, and how widely held that argument is, doesn’t depend on ulterior motives.

    As far as I am concerned, the UN absolutely is corrupt, and this isn’t just based on the Iraq affair, but on general principles. There have been many stories about UN peacekeepers raping women in various countries, for example. There was the Oil for Food program, and how it was corrupt. There is the fact that thug dictatorships are on the human rights council, and so forth. In terms of geopolitics, the UN is a tragic joke.

    Well again, the vast majority of what the UN does isn’t political and is keeping millions from dying horrible deaths, and keeping disease from spreading.
    I certainly have a number of issues with the UN, including how the Security Council and veto system works, and peacekeepers raping women is obviously appalling. But rather than dismissing it entirely it makes more sense to me to try and improve it. But maybe I’m just pretending about that too, right?

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  40. AlexInCT says:

    Well again, the vast majority of what the UN does isn’t political and is keeping millions from dying horrible deaths, and keeping disease from spreading.

    I bet whatever you are on is illegal.

    Please, if this is happening it likely is despite UN involvement. Maybe you are referring to the olden days where the UN was not as corrupt as it has been in the past 3 decades – which happen to coincide with the rise of the new progressive movement around the globe – because the US kept the riff-raff in their place. These days you are far more likely to have members of the UN steal your shit, prostitute your women and children, or just sit there and watch others kill you.

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  41. CM says:

    I bet whatever you are on is illegal.

    Please, if this is happening

    Again, at least you’re owning your ignorance. However, again, you seem to be actively pleased about it, which is just weird.
    For a start there is the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, and UNICEF

    These days you are far more likely to have members of the UN steal your shit, prostitute your women and children, or just sit there and watch others kill you.

    Isn’t that the same logic which says if you live in America you’re likely to get killed in a shooting rampage?

    The reality is that no single country or group of countries has legitimacy in taking action unilaterally. As flawed as parts of the UN may be, there is inherent legitimacy derived from action authorised by a body which represents pretty much everyone. Like it or not. And that was ONE of the issues in 2003.

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  42. Iconoclast says:

    Here we go yet again. I’m just pretending.

    Let’s just say I’m not convinced.

    Yet again, it doesn’t get lower than that. Pathetic. Such a self-defeating tactic.

    Puerile nonsense. Constantly bringing up the Iraq invasion just to mentally masturbate over it again and again is what’s pathetic.

    For the record, I believe it was possible to have a stable republic in Iraq, but it would have taken long-term commitment, something this Administration is clearly not interested in. I think Obama was absolutely giddy with the prospect of abandoning the Iraq effort and letting it spectacularly fail, just so he could point his finger and say, “See? We Told You So!”. I really do believe that, your forthcoming charges of ODS notwithstanding.

    But rather than dismissing it entirely…

    What exactly did I say, you fucking moron? “IN TERMS OF GEOPOLITICS, the UN is a tragic joke.” Does that fucking sound like I’m “dismissing it entirely”? Geez, even when I carefully qualify something, it completely sails over your pointy head. Fuck all.

    I am fully aware of things like the WHO and UNICEF and the work they do, which is why I said GEOPOLITICS. Can you not be so fucking dense? It’s bad enough that you’re pounding your pud over this subject yet again, but it’s even worse when you don’t bother to parse what I actually write.

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  43. Iconoclast says:

    The discussion has evolved…

    Horseshit. You immediately brought up the Iraq invasion by way of response. It was in the very first sentence you wrote in this thread. It’s like you just couldn’t wait for yet another opportunity to masturbate over it.

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  44. Iconoclast says:

    The discussion has evolved been hijacked…

    There, that’s better.

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  45. Iconoclast says:

    Revisionist History Prevails on Iraq Invasion:

    Legally, the U.S. went to war against Saddam because he had done things such as commit genocide against the Kurds, Shiites and the Marsh Arabs, and attacked four of his neighbors. He had tried to arrange the assassination of a former U.S. president, George H.W. Bush. He had paid bounties for suicide bombers on the West Bank and was harboring the worst of global terrorists. Saddam also offered refuge to at least one of the architects of the first World Trade Center Bombing in 1993, and violated U.N.-authorized no-fly zones.

    Launching a costly campaign to remove Saddam may or may not have been a wise move. But it is historically inaccurate to suggest that the Iraq War was cooked up by George W. Bush alone — or that it did not do enormous damage to al-Qaeda, bring salvation for the Kurds, and by 2009 provide a rare chance for the now-bickering Iraqis to make something out of what Saddam had tried to destroy.

    WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND (italic emphasis added):

    The consequences became clear when negotiations began over the crucial question of withdrawing American troops after 2011. The leaders of all the major Iraqi parties had privately told American commanders that they wanted several thousand military personnel to remain, to train Iraqi forces and to help track down insurgents. The commanders told me that Maliki, too, said that he wanted to keep troops in Iraq. But he argued that the long-standing agreement that gave American soldiers immunity from Iraqi courts was increasingly unpopular; parliament would forbid the troops to stay unless they were subject to local law.

    President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq. For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis—like how many troops they wanted to leave behind—because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” Jeffrey told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ ” At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said.

    Crocker saw in Iraq one final unintended consequence of America’s long war: the state that we created doesn’t work without us. The Americans bequeathed the Iraqis a constitution, regular elections, and a two-hundred-and-seventy-five-member parliament, with a quarter of the seats occupied by women. Jeffrey, the former Ambassador, told me optimistically, “Maliki is worried about his reëlection. How many countries in the Arab world can you say that about?” And yet, in an accurate reflection of the country itself, the parliament is locked in a seemingly permanent stalemate.

    After nine years of brokering agreements, the Americans had made themselves indispensable. “We were hardwired into the Iraqi political system,” Crocker told me. “From the very first days, they were all deeply suspicious of each other. Concession and compromise meant betrayal and death. What we could do is make them listen to us. It required constant engagement: we’d go to Maliki and explain our views, and ask him if he’d consider something. Maybe we would finally get him to say that he would, provided the Sunni leadership would do a series of things first. So we’d go back to the Sunnis. That’s the way it had to work.

    “We are not doing that anymore,” Crocker said, “and the system is still too underdeveloped, and there’s too much suspicion, for their leaders to do it on their own. That trusted middleman is still us. And we are not there.”

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  46. Iconoclast says:

    JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE WAR (italic emphasis added):

    The United States went to war with Saddam Hussein in 1991 to force his invading armies out of Kuwait. At the end of the Gulf War, a truce was signed leaving Saddam in power. The truce was sealed by UN Resolutions 687 and 689, which established the conditions by which America — still technically at war with Saddam since there had been no peace treaty — would allow him to retain his position as Iraq’s President.

    Ultimately, the chief reason why the U.S. invaded Iraq was not, as critics later claimed, to find and dismantle Saddam’s stockpiles of WMD. The “Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq” that President Bush obtained in October 2002 was a resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, with Democratic as well as Republican majorities. It contained a total of 23 clauses that spelled out the rationale for the war. Of those 23 clauses, only 2 mentioned WMD. What the Authorization did stress — in 12 separate clauses — were 16 UN Security Council Resolutions that Saddam had ignored or defied since 1991. These Resolutions were more than mere expressions of UN opinion. The first two — Resolutions 687 and 689 — constituted the terms of the truce negotiated in the first Gulf War, a truce whose violation was a legal justification for renewed combat. The other 14 Resolutions were failed attempts to enforce those first two. In sum, the major reason why the U.S. was preparing for war, was to enforce the UN Resolutions and international law.

    As a result of President Bush’s appeal, the UN Security Council voted unanimously (on November 7, 2002) to present Saddam with an ultimatum and a 30-day deadline — to expire on December 7, 2002 — by which date he was bound to honor the terms of the Gulf War truce and to destroy his illegal weapons programs, or face “serious consequences.” This ultimatum was UN Resolution 1441 – the seventeenth attempt to enforce a truce to which Saddam had agreed after the Gulf War of 1991. The deadline came and went without Saddam’s compliance, as the Iraqi dictator knew that his military suppliers and political allies — Russia and France — would never authorize its enforcement by arms. This — and not a preference for unilateral measures — is the reason why the United States eventually went to war against Iraq without UN approval.

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  47. Xetrov says:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/06/irs-admits-leaking-confidential-information-used-against-mitt-romney-in-2012-elections/

    The conservative group National Organization of Marriage accused the IRS of leaking documents to the Obama Campaign in 2012. A top Obama campaign official Joe Solomese used the information to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 election. The Huffington Post used the leaked documents in a story questioning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support for traditional marriage. The document showed Romney donated $10,000 to NOM.

    The IRS agreed this week to pay only $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage after leaking confidential information to a leading gay marriage group.

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  48. Xetrov says:

    (sorry for bringing the thread back to the topic)

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  49. CM says:

    Puerile nonsense.

    It’s puerile nonsense to suggest that the person you’re engaged in discussion with is just pretending. If you won’t take people at their word, what is the point of engaging in ANY discussion? It’s a very bizarre thing to do because it’s so self-defeating.

    What exactly did I say, you fucking moron? “IN TERMS OF GEOPOLITICS, the UN is a tragic joke.” Does that fucking sound like I’m “dismissing it entirely”? Geez, even when I carefully qualify something, it completely sails over your pointy head. Fuck all.

    I am fully aware of things like the WHO and UNICEF and the work they do, which is why I said GEOPOLITICS. Can you not be so fucking dense? It’s bad enough that you’re pounding your pud over this subject yet again, but it’s even worse when you don’t bother to parse what I actually write.

    I was speaking more generally about attitudes to the UN from the right in the US, I didn’t actually mean to imply that you suggested that it should be dismissed entirely. My bad for not being clearer.

    Horseshit. You immediately brought up the Iraq invasion by way of response. It was in the very first sentence you wrote in this thread. It’s like you just couldn’t wait for yet another opportunity to masturbate over it.

    Your point was that I was evading something. My response was that I wasn’t intentionally evading anything. If it ends up being a direct comparison of examples of US leaders being held to account then I’m happy to be involved in that, without evading anything.

    There, that’s better.

    Funny how I directly respond to some charge from Alex and yet I’m the one hijacking. If I made such a claim in a thread I have no doubt it would get picked up on but that there would be no complaints about anything being hijacked.

    Revisionist History Prevails on Iraq Invasion:

    None of those provide legal justification in international law, even if they’re enough to provide internal legal justification in one country. Not sure what the second paragraph is in response to.

    JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE WAR (italic emphasis added):

    The final paragraph somehow manages to leave out the fact that UN Resolution 1441 was ONLY agreed on the basis it WASN’T a final ultimatum.
    Nothing new in there though. Well other than another reminder that it was sold to the public quite differently.

    (sorry for bringing the thread back to the topic)

    ;-)
    No worries I’m finished.

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  50. Iconoclast says:

    The final paragraph somehow manages to leave out the fact that UN Resolution 1441 was ONLY agreed on the basis it WASN’T a final ultimatum.

    Bold emphasis added:

    2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council; and accordingly decides to set up an enhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council;

    Sure, the word “ultimatum” doesn’t appear, but the words “final opportunity” certainly do.

    13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;

    What “serious consequences” would those be? More sanctions? More corrupt Oil-for-Food-like programs? Those were certainly effective so far, right? Another resolution?

    That’s the problem — the UN itself was arguably not following international law by failing to enforce the sixteen Resolutions already in place. And as previously noted, we were already in a state of war with Iraq, we just ceased hostilities based on Resolutions 687 and 689. Since Hussein violated those Resolutions, we already had the right to resume hostilities. But we allowed the UN to dicker around with 14 additional Resolutions over a decade, yet Hussein remained in violation. And, given that France and Russia would absolutely never authorize military intervention, the UN was a dead end. And again, since military intervention was, for all practical purposes, completely and utterly off the table, it wouldn’t matter how many strongly-worded Resolutions the UN passed, none would ever have any teeth due to utter lack of military threat. So again, the UN itself was violating international law by not enforcing its own Resolutions.

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  51. Iconoclast says:

    So, Mr. Hitchens, Weren’t You Wrong About Iraq?

    Was it then correct to send military forces to the Gulf, in case Saddam continued his long policy of defiance, concealment, and expulsion or obstruction of U.N. inspectors?

    If you understand the history of the inspection process at all, you must concede that Saddam would never have agreed to readmit the inspectors if coalition forces had not made their appearance on his borders and in the waters of the Gulf. It was never a choice between inspection and intervention: It was only the believable threat of an intervention that enabled even limited inspections to resume.

    Should it not have been known by Western intelligence that Iraq had no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction?

    The entire record of UNSCOM until that date had shown a determination on the part of the Iraqi dictatorship to build dummy facilities to deceive inspectors, to refuse to allow scientists to be interviewed without coercion, to conceal chemical and biological deposits, and to search the black market for materiel that would breach the sanctions. The defection of Saddam Hussein’s sons-in-law, the Kamel brothers, had shown that this policy was even more systematic than had even been suspected.

    Could Iraq have been believably “inspected” while the Baath Party remained in power?

    No. The word inspector is misleading here. The small number of U.N. personnel were not supposed to comb the countryside. They were supposed to monitor the handover of the items on Iraq’s list, to check them, and then to supervise their destruction. (If Iraq disposed of the items in any other way—by burying or destroying or neutralizing them, as now seems possible—that would have been an additional grave breach of the resolutions.) To call for serious and unimpeachable inspections was to call, in effect, for a change of regime in Iraq.

    Wasn’t Colin Powell’s performance at the United Nations a bit of a disgrace?

    Yes, it was, as was the supporting role played by George Tenet and the CIA (which has been reliably wrong on Iraq since 1963). Some good legal experts—Ruth Wedgwood most notably—have argued that the previous resolutions were self-enforcing and that there was no need for a second resolution or for Powell’s dog-and-pony show. Some say that the whole thing was done in order to save Tony Blair’s political skin. A few points of interest did emerge from Powell’s presentation: The Iraqi authorities were caught on air trying to mislead U.N inspectors (nothing new there), and the presence in Iraq of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a very dangerous al-Qaida refugee from newly liberated Afghanistan, was established. The full significance of this was only to become evident later on.

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