No. It was a crucial one. The head editor of US News put it well on Hardball Wednesday night, pointing out that nuclear weapons are in a class of their own and that the gulf between accusing Iraq of chem/bio and nuclear is large. Every piece of info presented about a possible nuclear program was either entirely fabricated (Bush citing ficticious IAEA reports) or discredited before hand (aluminum tubes and niger docs). The only reason the Niger docs are such a big deal is because they made it into the State of the Union, which is sacred. Go look at the transcript and note that Bush doesn't even state that Saddam has chemical weapons in it, because he knew that after the war was over he would have caught shit. The bush admin tried to slip this past by pinning it on britain, but that has failed. Now they are trying to pin it on the CIA.
Crucial vs. not cruicial is an opinion. I'm getting nitpicky now, but technically it wasn't IAEA "reports
", it was an IAEA report, not referenced by name, number, etc. To say it was fabricated is a bit of a stretch. That's semantics though, so I'll leave it be. As far as the CIA, I'm not sure how you can refute their statement. If the CIA did clear it, then well, they cleared it and it is they who are responsible. You may suspect Bush of of knowing, even strongly, suspect him, but the fact is there is asbsolutely no evidence he knew.
All of the many people stating that the Bush admin was informed.
You've referenced one man's quote (earlier) and have failed to provide the link. I want the quote from the guy that was supposedly there when Bush was told.
do you mean like what does 'is' mean? Here's a clue, get a dictionary
This is as valid a point as the old standby: "What did he/she know and when did he/she know it?". Does "new" mean the last 3 months? One year? Ten years? So, we acted on intelligence we already had. Is that a bad thing? Was there a requirement for new intelligence? Was Clinton wrong to bomb in 1998 based on the nearly the same intelligence? What Rumsefled was saying, I think, is that there wasn't new revelation that caused everyone to sit up and take notice. Rather, it was existing intelligence as seen through 9/11-colored glasses that promted action.
In Bush at War
Bob Woodward notes that Bush thought of Saddam immediately after 9/11. He said that it was his feeling that Saddam might even be proven to be behind it (though there is no evidence of this now, this shows that Iraq was on his radar immediately after 9/11 and the early days of the WOT). Bush considered Iraq to be part of the WOT, and the administration used existing intelligence to yes, SELL the war. Of course they did! They wanted to take out Saddam, whom they considered a threat, a maniacal murderer, and a violator of all agreements he had ever made with respect to WMD, Oil for Food, etc. What were they going to do...NOT try and convince the public? Woodward notes that it was Powell who talked Bush and Rumsfeld out of going after Iraq immediately. My point here is that Rumsfeld was clarifying the fact that we already had the intelligence, and it wasn't as if they woke up one day and saw a report that said "NEWSFLASH: Saddam has new chemcial weapons he might give to Al-Qaeda". The action was a pre-emption based on what we already knew. I don't see how Rumsefeld's statement supports your argument in any way.
'We' doesn't include you. 'We' includes everone that actually looked at the reports. If the public didn't know, it was because they were lied to.
There you go again! You are basing a point on a false assumption, namely, that you know all the facts. The FACT is that you (nor I) cannot begin to know "what the Bush administration knew". Your closed intel vs. open intel argument is nothing but a distraction. You can do all the research you want, but if you actually think you have access to exactly what the upper eschelon of the government did, think again. Please tell me you don't really believe this.
To this end, there is one fact about the lead-up to war that will NEVER cease to amaze me. That fact is this: Elitist pseudo-academic liberals (you), Hollywood celebrities and anti-war leaders in general consistently believe themselves to not only be MORE informed than The President and his cabinet.. they also consider themselves to posess superior judgement (especially on matters of national security). This is perhaps the most absurd notion in politics today.
The fact that you claim to know "all there is to know" on this situation is the very definition of arrogance. Let's post it in large text so everyone can see:giant thinks he knows everything the government knows as it pertains to secret intelligence and surveillance of foreign powers!
There. Someone had to say it