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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


An Important Question that Needs to Be Asked

Did Saddam Hussein seek to purchase uranium from Niger? Was there a link between Hussein and al Qaeda? Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction? The war party assures us that the answers to these questions really don't matter. Saddam was a threat and needed to be removed from power, and the world is safer with him out of the picture. End of story.

You can bet that those for the war and those against it will continue to debate these issues at least through the next couple of election cycles. But one question seems to be absent from the discussion: with billions and billions of dollars invested in intelligence-gathering agencies and satellite surveillance, why did the Bush administration choose to justify its actions based heavily on dubious intelligence reports from a foreign nation? It would seem to me that if the American taxpayers are going to foot the bill for this war, we should at least be getting our money's worth.

You will recall that British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented the world with a 19-page dossier on Saddam Hussein and the threat Iraq posed. When it was discovered that most of the information it contained was plagiarized from a 12-year-old college term paper the hawks tried to make the case that while the evidence may not have been up-to-date, drastic action was still needed if the world was going to be made safe from weapons of mass destruction.

In a Sept. 2002 radio address to the nation President Bush parroted the concerns of his English counterpart:
The danger to our country is grave and it is growing. The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.
Naturally, Bush had no reason to question the validity of information received from such trusted allies, and when he told America that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger most people believed him. After all, just because this administration has defaced the Constitution and expanded government in ways that would make even Bill Clinton blush doesn't mean it would mislead the public in order to prosecute its war on terror—right?

I'll ask the question again: with billions and billions of dollars invested in intelligence-gathering agencies and satellite surveillance, why did the Bush administration choose to justify its actions based heavily on dubious intelligence reports from a foreign nation? Who knows? But if the intelligence used to justify the war is of such a questionable nature—and if this is an example of how well allied nations can work together toward a common goal—then the administration has much bigger problems on its hands.

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