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With right wingnuts it’s considered a feature, not a bug.

Newt Gingrich (r): ….If he will accept it I will ask John Bolton to be Secretary of State, [applause] But I will only appoint him if he will agree that his first job is the complete and thorough transformation of the State Department and the replacement of the current Foreign Service culture with a new entrepreneurial and aggressive culture dedicated to the proposition that defending freedom and defending America is the first business of the State Department, not appeasing our opponents. [applause]….

Purges and shooting from the hip. Who needs actual competence at the State Department?

John Bolton (r) in 2002:

01 November 2002

Bolton Says Rogue States Seek Weapons of Mass Destruction, November 1, 2002


Following is the text of Bolton’s remarks:

(begin transcript)

The International Aspects of Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction

By the Honorable John R. Bolton Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, United States Department of State

To the Second Global Conference on Nuclear, Bio/Chem Terrorism: Mitigation and Response

Sponsored by The Hudson Institute

Washington, DC


….Without question, the states most aggressively seeking to acquire WMD and their means of delivery are Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, followed by Libya and Syria. It is no coincidence that these states, which are uniformly hostile to the United States, as well as to many of our friends and allies, are among the ones we identify as state sponsors of terrorism….

….Iraq, despite U.N. sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq’s procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand. We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material — whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability — it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year. It has rebuilt its civilian chemical infrastructure and renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard, sarin and VX. It actively maintains all key aspects of its offensive BW [biological weapons] program. And in terms of its support for terrorism, we have established that Iraq has permitted al-Qaeda to operate within its territory. As the president said recently, “The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist organizations. And there are al-Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq.” The president has made his position on Iraq eminently clear, and in the coming weeks and months we shall see what we shall see….

John Bolton (r) in 2010:

Ambassador John Bolton at Missouri Boys State: Q and A, part 3 (June 20, 2010)

Question: …Now, I notice you’ve been putting down the current administration quite a bit. [crosstalk] I recall…

Ambassador Bolton: Not really, I haven’t even gotten started yet.

Question: Oh, okay, well,[applause, cheers]…

Now, now going back to two thousand three when we went into the Iraq war, if I recall, you and the Bush administration supported the Iraq war quite substantially. Now, what is your justification for going into the war since they had no nuclear weapons and then themselves had no threat to the United States as a whole? [applause, cheers]

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I, I view, I view the regime of Saddam Hussein as a threat to international peace and security. And I felt that, uh, after the first gulf war, uh, there was unfinished business in leaving him in power. Uh, now don’t get me wrong, when President Bush forty-one, uh, stopped the, uh, military action and, uh, when he did and essentially took the steps that allowed Saddam to remain in power, at the time I thought that was the right course of action. Uh, and it was only with the passage of time that I realized that, uh, that had been a mistake. Uh, so I view the decision, uh, in two thousand three to overthrow Saddam, eh, effectively as a continuation of the first Persian Gulf War. Uh, and this is not unusual in history, in Europe they had the Thirty-Years War, uh, things go on for a long period of time. But essentially, removing Saddam Hussein was important to remove a threat, uh, that he posed, he and his regime posed in the region and around the world.

Now, the question of whether the regime possessed weapons of mass destruction, uh, I think is one that has been badly misunderstood. There is simply no question that had Saddam accomplished his objectives of eliminating the, uh, U.N. sanctions, uh, and getting U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq, which would have happened as soon as the sanctions regime was lifted entirely, uh, he would have gone back to the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. During the entire period of time after, uh, the nineteen ninety nineteen ninety-one, uh, war he kept, on his payroll, uh, thousands of nuclear scientists and technicians. He called them his nuclear mujahedeen. And there’s no doubt that once the inspectors were gone he would have gone back to his efforts to, uh, achieve nuclear weapons.

Uh, now some people have said that the, uh, failure to find, uh, nuclear weapons or chemical weapons, uh, in Iraq was, was either because the administration distorted what his capabilities were, or that it was an intelligence failure and that, uh, what we know today proves that we shouldn’t have gone to war against Iraq. Well, I can tell you it was not an exaggeration, uh, because you can’t do that in Washington and not read about it in the paper the next day. Nor was it an intelligence failure. The fear that we had about Iraq’s, particularly its chemical weapons, came not from intelligence but came from Iraq’s own declarations in nineteen ninety-one as a condition of the ceasefire after the first Persian Gulf War. Iraq claimed that it had enormous quantities of chemical weapons and under, uh, uh, Resolution Six Eighty-Seven, the so called Security Council Ceasefire Resolution, Iraq was required, uh, to, uh, destroy the weapons that it declared, uh, or to prove to the U.N. weapons inspectors that it had destroyed the weapons. So when the weapons inspectors went in and they began to destroy, uh, various aspects of, of Saddam’s nuclear program and his ballistic missile program, uh, the U.N. weapons inspectors said to the Iraqi’s, show us the chemical weapons that you declared so that we can begin destroying them. Uh, and the Iraqi’s said in response, well, that’s okay we’ve already destroyed them all. And the U.N. weapons inspectors said, okay fine, show us the places where you destroyed the chemical weapons, show us the records how the destruction took place, introduce us to the scientists and technicians who carried out the destruction so that we can interview them and verify that in fact you have destroyed these weapons that you declared. That you declared. And the Iraqi’s said, we’re not gonna show you the locations, we’re not gonna show you the documents, we’re not gonna introduce you to the people who accomplished it. Now, I will tell you there was n
ot anybody involved in dealing with Iraq who didn’t believe that, uh, the Iraqis were flat out lying about having destroyed all those weapons. Uh, they, they had declared that they had the weapons and they produced no proof, uh, to support their assertions that they had destroyed the weapons. So, everybody believed, everybody believed that the weapons still existed. Uh, and in fact, that’s why when American and other coalition forces went in to Iraq they took with them chemical weapons protective gear which is incredibly bulky, cumbersome, and in the middle of, uh, the, uh, Iraqi summer, extremely hot. No responsible American general would burden his troops with that chemical weapons protective gear unless they thought that there was a real risk that Saddam would use chemical weapons. Uh, and in fact, many people around the world argued against the American attack precisely on the grounds that it would provoke Saddam to use the chemical weapons that he had declared.

Uh, now, in fact, uh no chemical weapons were used during the second Persian Gulf War and we have not located, uh, anything but little bits and traces of the chemical weapons capability. Now that means one of several things. First, that somehow or another Saddam had destroyed the chemical weapons. But there is simply no, uh, uh, no evidence anywhere that that’s happened. It’s not something that you just kind of dump into the Tigris and Euphrates River, uh, unless you want to kill everything in it for hundreds of miles. Uh, the, if you look at the way the United States is destroying its own chemical weapons supplies it’s in very tightly controlled  circumstances. This is an extraordinarily hazardous, uh, thing to do, uh, with great risk of, uh, uh, of people getting killed if the process goes wrong. So, to have destroyed the, uh, supplies that Iraq claimed would have, there would have been evidence of it and we’ve found no such evidence. Second possibility is he shipped it out of the country. We just don’t know whether he did or not. Third possibility is that he buried it in the desert somewhere. Now, hard as that is to believe, you ought to go on, uh, the Internet and find the pictures that American troops took of big fighter planes wrapped in burlap buried in the desert sands being uncovered by American bulldozers. It’s like scenes out of Planet of the Apes with wings and tail fins of Migs peering out of the desert sand. Anybody who’s crazy enough to bury Mig fighters in the desert is probably crazy enough to bury chemical weapons. [applause] But we haven’t, we haven’t found that. So, so that, please, don’t go away, I’m not done yet. [laughter] That leaves the possibility that Saddam was lying about his chemical weapons capabilities in nineteen ninety-one when he made the declarations to the United Nations. That, that may be the most likely outcome. That shows how profoundly, uh, deceptive and threatening this regime was. But, but let’s be clear, the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was a plus for the United States and the world, it has, it has removed one of the most dangerous regimes, uh, in the Middle East, it has given the Israeli [sic] people the chance for self government, which they hadn’t had in their entire history, uh, and I think that it will lead, uh, to, to greater peace and security for the United States. [applause, cheers]

Let’s just take, let’s just take one or two more here. Anybody else over here? Go ahead….

“…So, everybody believed, everybody believed that the weapons still existed…”

Not exactly.

Curveball admissions vindicate suspicions of CIA’s former Europe chief

Tyler Drumheller says he warned agency director George Tenet over intelligence supplied by Iraqi defector in 2003

Helen Pidd and Martin Chulov

Tuesday 15 February 2011 11.08 EST

The former head of the CIA in Europe, when told of the admissions by the agent codenamed Curveball to the Guardian, said the news made him feel better about himself.

Tyler Drumheller, who says he warned the head of the US intelligence agency before the 2003 invasion of Iraq that Curveball might be a liar, said the confession would be a final wake-up call for the hawks who continued to believe that there had been WMD but that the CIA had been “too stupid” to find them.

“The interesting part for me is that he has recanted what he said, which is fascinating in the sense that I think there are still a number of people who still thought there was something in that. Even now,” he said…

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That worked out quite well, didn’t it?