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More On Iraq-Al-Qaeda



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Drudge got a peek at the German papers.

Go Over to The Homepage If You Are in The Corner



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We’re updating with rapid responses to Powell.

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Toujours La France



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The French foreign minister has reacted to Powell’s presentation. No surprises there. France favors strengthening the inspectors, giving them more time to work, nobody should do anything absent UN approval, etc. Oh, and this: “Baghdad must do more,” the foreign minister said. Or what, Monsieur? France will taunt them some more? Cowards.

Web Briefing: July 26, 2014

How Cool Is This?



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Burning Sources



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A friend of mine IM’d me after Powell’s speech to say she was disappointed that Powell didn’t present more hard evidence. I explained that he surely presented the absolute bare minimum that he thought he had to, simply to protect our sources. But I was just guessing. It seems that that’s true. “We burned some very important sources to try to make this case,” said Ken Pollack just now on CNN, speaking of the evidence Powell presented at the Security Council. He wasn’t criticizing Powell, but simply saying that making this case cost us dearly. For example, the Iraqis now know how we track their chemical weapons activity. They’ll devise some other way now to keep it hidden.

Re: Biden



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Nick Schulz (he’s from that TechCentral place, remember) points out: Joe Biden does not help the public more clearly understand complicated issues… ever. The burden of proof for juries is deliberately high – beyond a reasonable doubt – it doesn’t make sense that he’d then say the international community would present an even higher standard that must be met. Beyond an unreasonable doubt? Oh, wait, when it comes to France and Germany, that sounds about right.

Blind



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The Russian foreign minister just told the Security Council that everyone needs to “study” Powell’s speech, but for now, the weapons inspectors need to be allowed more time to do their job, because inspections are “working.” He’d be more credible if he asserted the existence of the Tooth Fairy.

It Seems to Me...



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If this speech is as effective as I hope it is, it will solidify the judgement of history that France really messed up when it ambushed Colin Powell in the Security Council last month. That effort pushed Powell into the hawk camp and everything which followed that ambush has played poorly for the French.

Sorry



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Lifetime is entertainment for women. I flip back and forth between the two so much I get confused.

Just Kidding



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I thought it was a masterful presentation. I think Powell could have been a bit more dramatic in his style. He sometimes seemed to be racing through all of the substance. Still, the substance was very impressive. Beyond all of the obvious points about the power of his argument, I thought the impression of his argument may have been more important and influential. When you watch the Secretary of State run through the phone intercepts, the satellite photos etc. you get the sense that the United States is one serious country. We take our work seriously and we know what we’re talking about. The look on the Pakistani ambassador’s face seemed to say, “Dang! I wonder if their satellites have the goods on us too?”

The pose from the French — and it has been a pose — has been struck to suggest that the United States is a foolhardy cowboy which doesn’t have the intellectual heft to conduct serious diplomacy. I think that general myth was deeply punctured by Powell’s presentation. You simply couldn’t watch that and think America’s going off half-cocked to war in order to bolster Bush’s poll ratings etc.

Oh, Goodness....



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Security Council is beginning to react now: Sounds like China’s man wants more inspections! U.K.’s Straw is rocking, though.

What’s All This About a Speech?



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I was watching the Nancy Kerrigan story on WE, Entertainment for Women.

Richard Butler



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He has “absolutely” made the case. But Butler, on NBC, has his doubts about Germany and France.

God Bless Gen. Powell



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Well, that was magnificent. Just magnificent. He made us all proud with his rigor, his relentlessness, and the moral force of his argument. If the UN doesn’t accept his case, they are hopelessly weak, and irrelevant. Now, here come the responses.

Case Closed Again.



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“Saddam Huseein will stop at nothing until someone stops him.” Waiting a few more months is not an option, Powell says. Powell.

“Sinister Nexus”



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He is linking al Qaeda and Iraq….denials are part of a “web of lies.” By the way, for those of you at work and not listening, Hamas gets mentioned too.

What Now?



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Powell just made the connection between an al-Qaeda operative working with Iraq, and also working with al-Qaeda operatives in Europe and Russia, who were planning to carry out poison attacks. What now, Messrs. Chirac, Schroder and Putin? What can they say? What will they tell their own people?

Congress Reacts



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Some congressfolks got a preview this morning. Here is Joe Biden: “If I had this evidence before a jury that was an unbiased jury, I could get a conviction,” Biden said. “But we’re talking about a different stage. He has a tougher audience. And there is a lot of skepticism that exists in the international community, based upon some of the ways in which in the past we have presented our case.”



Iraq and Terrorism



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Iraq has a top agent in a terrorist camp in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Al-Qaeda affiliates that have converged, post-Afghan war, in Baghdad. Powell: “They’ve been operating freely in the capital for eight months.”

Iraq’s Nuke Program



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There can be no doubt that Iraq is very close to having a nuclear bomb, and has been trying very hard to cross the nuclear line. The missiles they are developing today, Powell just showed, can deliver nuclear warheads as far as Cairo and Ankara — and even into the southernmost parts of the former Soviet Union. Do the French, the Russians, and the Germans, to say nothing of the Arab/Islamic governments whose people would actually be threatened with mass death, really want to permit a Kim Jong-Il in the Middle East.

Powell also just said that Iraq has been modifying drone aircraft to fly, unmanned, for hundreds of kilometers to deliver biological weapons.

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