Many of you criticized me for being wrong on some of the facts with respect to the Bush record, and rightly so. I've gone back to check the facts, and I made some mistakes. I'm embarrassed by the mistakes of course, and now that I have a better understanding of the facts, the Bush record doesn't seem as bad as I thought. I still haven't been convinced that he should be re-elected, but I'm not as opposed to him as I was a week ago.
You must login to vote
In thinking about it, I realized that what upset me most about George Bush was the sense that I get sometimes that he's not as sincere in his faith as other Christians I know. It's upsetting because I know people who are TRULY committed to Christian principles, and their faith guides every aspect of their lives - from the jobs they take, to the neighborhood they live in, to where they shop, and what they do with their free time. To pin the label of Christian on yourself without challenging yourself to live up to the high standards of morality, honesty and integrity, would be wrong. You do a disservice to those who are truly committed. I'm not nearly so consistent as these people are, but then I don't present myself as a Christian.
It's also irresponsible to vote for a Presidential candidate based solely on a "feeling" - especially when you've access to so much information, and well developed opinions. I've got a few weeks before the election, and I'd like to use the time to make an informed decision. Will you help me?
In order to encourage a dialog, I'm going to pick just one point-of-concern that I have, and lay out the facts as I've come to understand them. I'll also present my opinion on the issue, based on those facts. I'm also including some information about the sources I used to garner the facts. My hope is that those of you out there who support Bush will care enough to respond, and give me some more to think about. Specifically, I'd like for you to:
A. Point out and errors/mistakes in the facts that I present
B. Offer any additional facts that you think are relevant
C. Take all of the facts as you understand them, and present your opinion based on those facts
It's a bit much I know, but this election is especially important, so I'm hoping that some of you will care enough about the outcome to make a serious effort. I understand that it may take a day or so to gather facts, and get your thoughts down on paper - and that's okay. I only ask that if you plan on responding, but need time to frame an adequate response, just chime in with a quick comment saying as much. I'd hate to feel l ike I was left "hanging". If I get a response on this one issue, I'll do the same thing with more issues.
I've chosen the Yellowcake Uranium and Niger Story as my first issue.
an article "WHO LIED TO WHOM? " by Seymour M. Hersh in New Yorker (march 2003)
an article "Evolving Untruths - A Timeline: How Did False Evidence Make It to the President?" it's a timeline presented by ABC. it can be found on ABC.com
an article "Senate Intelligence Committee report: What Joseph Wilson didn't’t tell the public about his search for the ‘truth’ on reports Saddam’s Iraq wanted to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger, Africa" http://frankwarner.typepad.com/ (July 14, 2004)
Rumors about Iraq purchasing/attempting to purchase uranium surfaced some time before January 2002.
In Feb 2002, Ambassador Joe Wilson is sent to investigate. He concludes that the claim is "bogus and unrealistic". He reports his finding to the CIA in March 2002.
In Sep 2002, the British publish a dossier that includes the Niger/uranium story - even though the CIA tried
to persuade the British to not use the story, because it wasn't credible.
In Oct 2002 the CIA publishes an intelligence dossier that intentionally omits the Niger story.
in the weeks leading up to the 2003 State of the Union address, several Bush administration officials make statements that imply that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium. This is even after the Joe Wilson found the claims to be less than credible, and the CIA decided to remove them from its published intel report.
During the State of the Union address, the President presents the yellowcake story, and sites the British as the source. He does not mention the CIA-sponsored investigation taken up by Joe Wilson. He does not mention that the CIA stripped language about the Niger/Iraq uranium story from its own intel report.
Since the State of the Union speech, the story has been discredited further.
The questions for me are as follows:
Did the president have a good-faith basis on which to make the assertions?
Did the President have an obligation to present the entire truth as he knew it?
Did the President actually know that the CIA didn't think the story was credible?
I'm not so sure that Bush intended to mislead us, but my "gut" tells me he knew more than he let on about. I'm open to persuasion; PLEASE comment.
(Whatever you think about the writing, whatever you do, PLEASE take the time to comment. I'm looking for constructive critism; blocks upon which I can build. THANKS!!! rajengineer)