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Thursday, 02 November 2006 06:51

DNC: Rumsfeld and Cheney Stay The Course

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DNC: Rumsfeld and Cheney Stay The Course

Washington, DC - Yesterday during an interview with the Associated Press, President Bush said he "wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain in his administration until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-criticized members of his team." [AP, 11/1/06] Despite their numerous faulty predictions and assertions, President Bush remains completely loyal to two architects of his failed Iraq policy.

"President Bush's loyalty to the architects of his failed Iraq policy that continues to create more terrorists is further evidence of his determination to stay the course at all costs," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "While the President says he listens to the generals, he clearly hasn't been paying attention to generals who have called for Rumsfeld to resign. Our troops and their families deserve a new direction. Democrats are offering the American people a new direction that includes a strategy for victory in Iraq that redeploys our troops to better fight the war on terror."


2002: Rumsfeld Says Iraqis Would Start Singing and Flying Kites After Liberation. "Think of the faces in Afghanistan when the people were liberated, when they moved out in the streets and they started singing and flying kites and women went to school and people were able to function and other countries were able to start interacting with them. That's what would happen in Iraq." [Media Roundtable, 9/13/02]

2003: Rumsfeld "Doubts" the War Will Last Six Months. During a town hall meeting with troops, Rumsfeld said that if the US went to war in Iraq, although "it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." [Town Hall Meeting, 2/7/03]

2002: Rumsfeld Said Only Conclusion Possible Was That Iraq Was Accelerating WMD Programs. Rumsfeld told the House Armed Services Committee in 2002, "Knowing what we know about Iraq's history, no conclusion is possible except that they have and are accelerating their WMD programs." [House Armed Services Committee Hearing, 9/17/02]

2003: Rumsfeld Said "We Know Where" The WMD Are. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, when asked why the military had not found Iraq's weapons of mass destruction yet, Rumsfeld said, "We know where [the WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." [ABC, 3/30/03]

June 2003: Rumsfeld Says Army's Estimates of Troops Needed For Post-War Iraq Were Too High. Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz criticized the Army's chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, after Shinseki told Congress in February 2003 that the occupation could require "several hundred thousand troops." Wolfowitz called Shinseki's estimate "wildly off the mark." [USA Today, 6/2/03]


Cheney Says "We've Done Enormous Damage to Al Qaeda. When asked about whether there were more terrorists now than previously, Cheney said that "We have done enormous damage to al Qaeda, to the leadership of al Qaeda. We have captured and killed hundreds of their senior people. I think we've also made significant progress." [NBC, 9/10/06]

Expert Says Al Qaeda On the March, Not In Retreat. "Al Qaeda, the initial focus of the 'global war on terror,' has been disrupted and dispersed. But it has been succeeded by a looser network of affiliates and homegrown terrorists - like those who carried out bombings in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 - who could grow to be just as dangerous...Bruce Hoffman, a former director of terrorism studies at the Rand Corp. who teaches at Georgetown University and the U.S. Military Academy, [said] "Al Qaeda is still alive and kicking. It's just changed its modus operandi. We've often painted a picture of Al Qaeda in retreat. I'm not sure it isn't Al Qaeda on the march.'" [Los Angeles Times, 9/10/06]

Terrorism Experts Say Al Qaeda Movement Has Gained Ground Since Invasion Of Iraq. "Al Qaeda has responded to four years of intense pressure from the United States and its allies by dispersing its surviving operatives, distributing its ideology and techniques for mass-casualty attacks to a wide audience on the Internet, and encouraging new adherents to act spontaneously in its name. Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, terrorism experts in and out of government have warned that the movement has appeared to gain ground, particularly in Europe, where a large, mobile, technology-savvy and well-educated Muslim population includes alienated young people attracted to the call of holy war against the West." [Washington Post, 7/8/05]

Cheney Says Bush Administration Has Not Backed Off Hunt for Bin Laden. When asked about progress in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Cheney said that "We have stayed actively and aggressively involved in the hunt for bin Laden from the very beginning. bin Laden has been a top priority for us from the very beginning. He continues to be a top priority today. That hasn't changed.There has been no lessening of our interest or of our activity." [NBC, 9/10/06]

In 2006, CIA Closed Unit Focused on Capture of Bin Laden. The Central Intelligence Agency closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded in late 2005 and its analysts were reassigned. Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a mistaken view within the agency that bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was. "This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals." [New York Times, 7/4/06]

Trail to Bin Laden Has Gone "Stone Cold." "The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years. Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world -- no tips from informants, no snippets from electronic intercepts, no points on any satellite image -- has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials." [Washington Post, 9/10/06]

Cheney Says Taliban is "No Longer In Power." In an interview with NBC's Tim Russert, Cheney stated that "The Taliban are no longer in power. There is a democratically elected president, democratically elected parliament, a new constitution.We are much better off today because Afghanistan is not the safe haven for terrorist that it was on 9-11." [NBC, 9/10/06]

Afghanistan Scholar Says US Strategy in Afghanistan May Be Helping Al Qaeda. A leading Afghanistan scholar, Barnett Rubin from the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, says that America's military counterterrorism strategy has failed to eliminate the Taliban - and may actually be contributing to the growth of the insurgent Islamist group. He believes that although the international community helped Afghanistan create the trappings of democratic institutions, the changes are still largely cosmetic. Rubin says that in some places, the Bush Administration has "actually turned farmers in some areas against us and driven them into the arms of terrorists." [Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/10/06]

Cheney: We Used the Information Provided to Us At the Time On WMD. When asked about the use of false pre-war intelligence on Iraq's capability for weapons of mass destruction, Cheney said, "Because what the reports also showed.While he did not have stock piles, clearly the intelligence that said he did was wrong. That was the intelligence all of us saw and believed.That was the information provided to us at that time. [NBC, 9/10/06]

2002: CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, And National Intelligence Council Warned that Iraqi National Congress Information on Iraq's Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons Capabilities Was Suspect. A recent Senate report reveals that the Bush Administration received two April 2002 CIA assessments, a May 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency fabrication notice and a July 2002 National Intelligence Council warning saying the INC source may have been coached by the exile group into fabricating information about the strength of Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons capabilities. [Washington Post, 9/9/06]

Cheney Still Insists on Link Between Iraq and Al Qaeda; Said He Hadn't Seen Reports Rebutting the Connection. When asked why the Administration promoting the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to justify the war in Iraq, Cheney stated, "So you've got Iraq and 9/11, no evidence that there's a connection. You've got Iraq and al Qaeda, testimony from the director of C.I.A. That there was indeed a relationship. Zarqawi in Baghdad, et cetera. I haven't seen the [Senate] report. We know that Zarqawi running the terrorist camp in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 after we went into 9-11, then fled and went to Baghdad and set up operations in Baghdad in the spring of 2002 and was there and then basically until the time we launched into Iraq." [NBC, 9/10/06]

2003 - 2005: No Link Between Iraq and Al Qaeda; Hussein Rebuffed Al Qaeda Overtures. In a classified January 2003 report, the CIA concluded Saddam "viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat." An additional CIA assessment in October 2005 concluded that Saddam's government "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates." In fact, rather than aligning himself with al-Qaida and Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Saddam repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaida's overtures and tried to capture al-Zarqawi. [New York Times, 9/8/06; Washington Post, 9/8/06]

Cheney Said That The Insurgency in Iraq Was "More Difficult" Than Anticipated. When asked about his 2005 statement saying that the insurgency was in its last throes, Cheney stated that "I think that there is no question that the insurgency has been more difficult than I had anticipated." [NBC, 9/10/06]

2003: National Intelligence Estimate Warned in 2003 Of the Strength of the Insurgency and the Possibility for Civil War. "U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports." [San Jose Mercury News, 3/1/06]

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