micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Thursday, November 20, 2003
Towards framing the debate over what was known about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

Truth will not make us free, but taking control of the production of truth will.

                                                                           Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000)

John Diamond writes in yesterday's USA Today:

CIA Director George Tenet has ordered investigators to substantially widen their internal probe of Iraq intelligence to consider whether the agency missed telltale signs that Iraq had gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction before the U.S.-led invasion last March.

The probe, which has been conducted by a four-member team of former senior CIA analysts since early this year, was broadened this week. It will now extend into 20 volumes of raw intelligence reports, such as electronic intercepts, spy satellite photos and reports from human sources. Until now, the team had limited its work to a far smaller volume of finished intelligence reports and assessments...

Although [former C.I.A. director and head of this team Richard [Kerr] would like to wait until chief U.S. weapons searcher David Kay finishes his work in Iraq sometime next spring or summer, the team has already concluded that no matter how long Kay's teams look, they are unlikely to turn up the vast arsenal U.S. intelligence said was in Iraq before the war.

This matter is of great controversy and it is hard to talk about without getting into debates about whether or not the invasion of Iraq was justified, something that Saragon recently made clear if it wasn't beforehand. Still keeping an eye on the government's actions is important, especially when the action involves war, and so questions do need to be asked. Before they can be formulated, some agreement needs to be reached. Specifically, there needs to be agreement that Team Bush not only said Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction but also that at various times they said the regime presently had the ability and the motive to strike the U.S. and that this was one of the reasons given for invading Iraq. If agreement isn't there on these points, the rest of this discussion is pointless, but if there is agreement the following are questions of great importance...

1) What did Team Bush know about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

2) What did Team Bush believe about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

3) If the answer to 2) is different from the answer to 1), what explains this difference? Specifically, was it a matter of the information they had and didn't have, the analysis of this information or both?

4) What did Team Bush know about "the threat" posed by Saddam's regime?

5) What did Team Bush believe about "the threat" posed by Saddam's regime?

6) If the answer to 5) is different from 4), what explains the difference? Was it a matter of the information they had and didn't have, the analysis of this information or both?

7) Did inclinations to a particular policy, set of policies, action or set of actions influence how Team Bush collected and/or analyzed data related to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the threat coming from Saddam's regime? If so, how and what particular policy, set of policies, action or set of actions were the inclinations for?

8) Were Team Bush's statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the threat posed by Saddam's regime consistent with what they knew and what they believed? If not, what were the differences? Specifically, did they say and/or imply they knew more or less about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq than they actually did and did they say and/or imply that they knew more or less about the threat from Saddam's regime than they actually did?

9) Were the actions of Team Bush consistent with regard to Iraq consistent with the answers to questions 1), 2), 4) and 5). If not, how were they different?

A few things needs to be clarified. First, by Team Bush, I mean not only the Bush Administration but also those directly part of the Bush Administration's governing apparatus. For example, an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell might actually be an employee of the State Department but should be considered part of Team Bush due to Powell's position. Second, there almost certainly were differences amongst members of Team Bush on the matters touched upon in these questions. This doesn't mean that there are not answers to these questions but rather that the answers need to take this into account when applicable. There are also going to be issues time -when did they know what they knew?- that complicate answers. Finally, it is very possible that answers to all of these questions will not be forthcoming and/or that the answers that do become available are lacking in terms of clarity. While unfortunate, this does not mean that the pursuit of answers to these questions is misguided as any answers that do come out will be important in developing an historical evaluation of the Team Bush's level of honesty and their drive towards invading Iraq.