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Former spy chief: No link between Iraq and 9/11

July 21st, 2010 . by TexasFred

Former spy chief: No link between Iraq and 9/11

LONDON (AP) — The war in Iraq led to a loss of focus on the threat from al-Qaeda, emboldened al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and helped to breed a generation of homegrown terrorists, Britain’s former domestic spy chief told a U.K. inquiry Tuesday.

Making the sharpest criticism so far aired in the inquiry, Eliza Manningham-Buller, director of the MI5 agency between 2002 and 2007, said Britain’s government paid little attention to warnings that the war would fuel domestic terrorism.

Manningham-Buller also said Iraq had posed little threat before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and insisted there was no evidence of a link between former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

“There was no credible intelligence to suggest that connection and that was the judgment, I might say, of the CIA,” she told the inquiry. “It was not a judgment that found favor with some parts of the American machine.”

Full Story Here:
Former spy chief: No link between Iraq and 9/11

I’m not the head of MI5 or the CIA, I’m not a former *spy chief*, but long time readers of this blog will recollect the fact that I said the same things about the invasion of Iraq, and all the reasons that were given, long before it became a part of the accepted theory.

The ex-spy chief said those pushing the case for war in the United States gave undue prominence to scraps of inconclusive intelligence on possible links between Iraq and the 2001 attacks. She singled out the then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

“It is why Donald Rumsfeld started an alternative intelligence unit in the Pentagon to seek an alternative judgment,” said Manningham-Buller, who was a frequent visitor to the U.S. as MI5 chief.

Rumsfeld was merely doing the bidding of his boss. George W. Bush saw an opportunity to strike Saddam Hussein and take revenge for the threats Saddam had made against GHW Bush. I have stated that as my belief on numerous occasions.

Maybe the former head of MI5 reads my blog… Hey… It could happen… :P

“Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and I have never seen anything to make me change my mind,” she said.

Ditto. Save the desperate desires of a child to please his father, there was NO reason to go into Iraq when we did. Saddam was contained, a no-fly zone was in place and enforced, every time a SAM site lit up, it got lit up by American fighter jets and Iraq was just hanging in there, a threat to no one on this side of the Atlantic.

I too have seen nothing that will ever change my mind on that. Sorry about that Amy… :?

Manningham-Buller also indicated that MI5 disagreed with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair over a key justification for the war — Iraq’s purported harboring of weapons of mass destruction.

She said the belief that Iraq might use such weapons against the West “wasn’t a concern in either the short term or the medium term to either my colleagues or myself.”

To date, Iraq had some yellow cake uranium, that, in and of itself is NOT a danger, it wasn’t refined and posed NO danger to anyone in it’s condition. Saddam’s nuclear scientists had all but abandoned the idea of building Saddam a nuclear device, they knew he was a madman but they placated him and kept him happy with useless research and data.

The only other so-called WMD was a few .155mm Howitzer shells loaded with sarin gas. That gas was so depleted that it had liquefied. It was manufactured pre-1991, it could be poured directly on the skin with NO adverse effect.

Also, the effective range of a .155mm Howitzer is 18,000m - 30,000m (with rocket-assisted projectile), that hardly qualifies as a WMD that the continental USA needed to concern itself with.

Manningham-Buller said the focus on Iraq had far-reaching consequences for the mission to tackle global terrorism.

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Petraeus’s Successor Is Known for Impolitic Words

July 20th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Petraeus’s Successor Is Known for Impolitic Words

WASHINGTON — To those who have served under him, Gen. James N. Mattis is the consummate Marine commander, a warrior who chooses to lead from the front lines and speaks bluntly rather than concerning himself with political correctness.

But General Mattis, President Obama’s choice to command American forces across the strategic crescent that encompasses Iraq and Afghanistan, has also been occasionally seen by his civilian superiors as too rough-edged at a time when military strategy is as much about winning the allegiance of local populations as it is about firepower.

If his predecessor as the commander of Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus, is known for his skill at winning over constituencies outside the military, General Mattis, 59, has a reputation for candid, Patton-esque statements that are not always appreciated inside or outside the Pentagon.

“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap around women for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,�? General Mattis said during a forum in San Diego in 2005. “You know guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway, so it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.�?

Full Story Here:
Petraeus’s Successor Is Known for Impolitic Words

Seeing Gen. Mattis picked by Obama was as surprising to me as it would be if I were picked to be the President of our local TEA Party group. Fire eating LEADERS aren’t appreciated in some places, of that I am certain.

Gen. Mattis and I share a lot of the same views, we are not politically correct, we speak our minds and don’t give a damn who likes it, and we see victory achieved by actually defeating the enemies of this nation, not by talking them to death.

Gen. James N. Mattis is a Marine. He is a tribute to the Corps, and no Mr. Obama, it is NOT pronounced *corpse*. Mattis leads, he doesn’t hold a ‘beer summit’, although I would bet that his staff has enjoyed a celebratory drink on occasion!

In these times of uber-PCness it truly is a shock that Gen. Mattis has been chosen as the leader of CentCom. Not to denigrate the DoD and CentCom, but in the current administration, oh hell, in many PAST administrations, the POTUS seems to think that the title of Commander in Chief automatically makes him the ultimate warfighter.

It does not.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates described General Mattis as “one of our military’s outstanding combat leaders and strategic thinkers.�?

That description, “one of our military’s outstanding combat leaders and strategic thinkers.�?, has me wondering how long Gen. Mattis can, or will last working under the most gutless POTUS in U.S. history. Barack Hussein Obama has openly demonstrated his disdain for the military and law enforcement. An un-PC Marine General is bound to offend Obama, sooner or later, and I am betting it will be sooner rather than later.

But the general angered one of Mr. Gates’s predecessors, Donald H. Rumsfeld, in 2001 with another remark that played well with his Marines, but not with civilian leaders in Washington. After Marines under his command seized an airstrip outside Kandahar, establishing the first forward operating base for conventional forces in the country, General Mattis declared, “The Marines have landed, and we now own a piece of Afghanistan.�?

Mr. Rumsfeld and other senior officials believed that these words violated the official message of the invasion, that the United States had no desire to occupy a Muslim nation, but was fighting to free Afghanistan from the Taliban tyranny.

As I have stated on numerous occasions, Donald Rumsfeld was a less than competent leader and was *Peter Principled* throughout most of his career. Rumsfeld was no more a military leader than was George W. Bush or is Barack Hussein Obama.

General Mattis is viewed differently by those who have been with him on the front lines.

It was the first winter of the war in Afghanistan, when the wind stabbed like an ice pick and fingertips froze to triggers, but a young lieutenant’s blood simmered as he approached a Marine fighting hole and spotted three heads silhouetted in the moonlight. He had ordered only two Marines to stand watch while the rest of the platoon was ordered to rest before an expected Taliban attack at first light.

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Iraq to reopen museum looted in US invasion chaos

February 23rd, 2009 . by TexasFred

Iraq to reopen museum looted in US invasion chaos

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s restored National Museum is reopening Tuesday, nearly six years after looters carried away antiquities and treasures as U.S. troops stood by in the chaos of Saddam Hussein’s fall from power.

The museum, rededicated Monday, was among hundreds of institutions — universities, hospitals, cultural offices — ransacked during the lawless aftermath of Saddam’s ouster. It became a symbol for critics of Washington’s inability to maintain order amid the disintegration of Iraq’s police and military.

Full Story Here:
Iraq to reopen museum looted in US invasion chaos

“Washington’s inability to maintain order” sums it up pretty well I believe. I’m not a big *museum* goer, never really have been, but I am pleased the Iraqis have been able to restore their national museum, these things are important to the people!

When asked at the time why U.S. troops did not actively seek to stop the lawlessness, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld famously said, “Stuff happens … and it’s untidy and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”

That statement from Donald Rumsfeld is the biggest *cop out* I have heard in quite a while. The U.S. military went into Iraq, under orders from George W. Bush, under the auspices of the DoD, Rumsfeld, and did exactly what was planned BY Bush and Rumsfeld. They deposed Saddam, they defeated his Republican Guard and dispersed his police, and we hear Mission accomplished!

As far as Bush and Rumsfeld were concerned, it really was mission accomplished, that was what they wanted to do, our troops followed orders and it was a done deal.

Others claimed the U.S. troops lacked a clear mandate to act from Washington.

The above line is, in my opinion, a lot closer to the truth than any in the Bush administration would have cared for the general public ever know. The Bush administration had no more idea of what their next move needed to be than I have regarding a solution to the financial crisis we are suffering, a crisis that I blame, at least in part, on the BILLIONS of tax dollars that have been wasted on what was, and has been fully substantiated to have been, an unnecessary mission.

Our foray into Iraq, on the whim of George W. Bush, has cost us the lives over 4,200 service men and women, and has wasted untold BILLIONS of dollars while costing us even MORE lives and dollars yet to be spent in the retaking of Afghanistan. The real War on Terror was there, in Afghanistan, but Bush took the focus off of Afghanistan with HIS claims of terror support from Baghdad, and with the threats that the American people faced from the WMDs that Saddam supposedly possessed and was in the process of directing against the USA, in what I am guessing Bush believed to be an imminent attack. That was the premise anyway.

The glib quip by Rumsfeld, “Stuff happens“, pretty much says it all regarding any planning or preparation by the Bush administration. We took Saddam and Company out, a job we didn’t need to do in my opinion, but, once we took them out, Iraq, it’s people, their safety and well being, their protection and everything that goes along with it, became our clear and immediate responsibility.

When WWII ended we stepped in and provided a benevolent, yet demanding leadership of Germany and Japan, we did NOT allow the German or Japanese people to just ‘run wild’. Our nation helped rebuild the nations that we had defeated after a long and bitter World War, but during that rebuilding, we administered those nations as their infrastructure was rebuilt as well. The lessons of history would have served Bush and his cronies well, if they had only studied those lessons history.

Which reminds me of a line from The Wizard of Oz, ‘If I only had a brain’…

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