Did Trump damage his chances by accusing Bush of lying about Iraq?

posted at 1:21 pm on February 15, 2016 by Allahpundit

Ace says yes. I’m not convinced.

If Donald Trump is right, and George W. Bush deliberately schemed with his neo-con advisers to “lie” us into a phony war with Iraq, what does that say about the average Republican voter who supported Bush from 1999, voted for him, defended him through the recount, cried with him on 9/11, agreed with him on Iraq, defended him from ceaseless liberal attacks on him during the war, defended him from Obama’s never-expiring “Blame Bush” blame-shifting, etc.?

If Trump is right, then we’re not just wrong to have supported him. If Trump’s right, we’re goddamned rubes and fools to have defended this Actual Hitler-Level Monster for going on 17 years now…

This is a long way of saying Trump specifically and completely contradicted a belief that 75-80% of Republicans have about Bush — that he was a fundamentally decent man, perhaps overwhelmed by a very difficult period, who made an erroneous decision based on incomplete information — and instead offered a new belief, that Bush deliberately lied about Iraq’s WMD’s, a position that 75-80% of Republicans have long not only rejected but have been actively hostile towards…

I think Trump, who has been a past-master at getting people to buy-in to a very low-cost premise — “Let’s Make America Great Again” — just made a very high cost premise central to buying into him.

In other words, most Republicans have too much of their own political ego invested in the idea of George W. Bush’s basic decency after 15 years to now accept Trump telling them that was a stupid investment. The psychological blow of admitting it would be too heavy; if Ace is right, they’d sooner turn on Trump than cut Dubya loose and admit they were suckers all along. That’s one way of looking at it. Another way, though, is that Trump is offering some Republicans a type of opportunity about which he knows a lot: He’s giving them a chance to declare bankruptcy on their Bush investment. Dubya’s legacy, especially as regards Iraq, has sat heavily on the party’s shoulders through two terms of Obama and now, implausibly, threatens to affect a presidential primary in 2016 thanks to Jeb’s insistence on going forward. Trump’s offering Republicans the chance to lay down the weight. Declare bankruptcy on Bush and support Trump in doing whatever the hell he’s really planning to do as president. Attacking Bush as a liar rather than as an incompetent is risky for the reasons Ace says, but if you’re offering someone bankruptcy on a political investment it’s arguably better to denigrate that investment than to praise it for having had “good intentions” or whatever. If you’re a GOPer who’s remained more or less loyal to Bush for the past 10 years, getting permission from Trump to call him a liar might help you make the break more cleanly and quickly than an elaborate, anguished “he’s a good man but…” argument would.

All of this assumes, though, that voters who watched the debate were paying close attention to Trump’s choice of words and that their thinking about Dubya and Trump proceeds in a clear, linear way — i.e., “Trump says Bush lied about Iraq, but I think Iraq was merely a disastrous but well-intentioned mistake. Damn that Trump! I’m done with him!” I’ll bet, for many viewers, the lie/incompetence distinction that’s so important to people who follow politics closely either went right over their heads or was assimilated long ago into a judgment that Iraq was a terrible idea and Bush is morally responsible to some great, yet vague, degree. To the average voter, “Bush lied” may be less a specific accusation of high criminal treachery committed by Bush than an especially emphatic way of saying “Bush’s performance in Iraq was really, really bad, much worse than Republicans typically admit.” I think a lot of Republicans would agree with that even if they don’t agree with Trump on the specifics of his charge. And they may appreciate that someone more mainstream within the party than Ron Paul is finally on a debate stage saying it. Especially when the alternative, rallying to the Bushes’ defense, implicitly also means rallying to Prince Jeb. That’s the context for Trump’s “Bush lied” accusation, after all — it’s an attack on Jeb via an attack on his brother. To the extent voters interpret it that way, they’ll be more willing to give Trump a pass. All’s fair in love and politics, after all, especially when you’re trying to stop a political dynasty.

I think that, at this stage of the game, if you’re still open to Trump then nothing he says about Bush or Iraq is going to sway you. If you’ve sat through 20 Ted Cruz commercials a day in South Carolina attacking him as a phony conservative, a pro-choicer, and a parasite using eminent domain to prey on the working class, “Bush lied” isn’t the straw that’ll break the camel’s back. If anything, it’s all part of Trump’s Republican reboot. Trumpmania is a catharsis, repudiating the establishment and its idols (except Reagan, who’s simply too sanctified). If Bush gets caught up in that, eh. That’s all part of Year Zero. If Trump ends up paying a price for this, I think it’s more likely to come after he’s the nominee and some segment of conservatives decides that they can’t in good conscience support him in the general. “Bush lied!” will be part of a long list of disqualifying Trump positions for those righties once the time comes to make their break. For most Republicans it’ll be absorbed and put aside — but keep an eye on what happens this week as Dubya hits the trail for Jeb. The fact that he’ll be right there in front of South Carolinians, reminding them of how much they like him, makes Ace’s theory stronger than I would otherwise expect. If George W. charms the electorate and Trump keeps attacking, his “reboot” may come off as boorishness towards a former Republican president and some SC voters who otherwise might not have thought much about it may feel pulled to defend Dubya. That’d be a bad outcome for Trump. If he’s smart, he’ll let what he said at the debate stand without doubling down. We’ll see.

Exit question: This weekend Trump said about the war, “I’m the only one with the vision to have said don’t do it.” Is that true? BuzzFeed couldn’t find any pre-war statements by Trump that it was a bad idea — but did find a passage in his 2000 book about Saddam’s nuclear program in which Trump wrote, “if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion.” Hmmmm.


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As an assimilater of information, I’ve appreciated this site as an observer for many years.
Today, I have two comments:

1) DONALD TRUMP
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

2) No comment.

mpower on February 15, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Well, now that you ask, has Trump said anything that might provide evidence of his preferred remedies for situations like ISIS in the middle east? I’ll have to rely on you. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t listen to him anymore because I no longer trust anything he says. And people like you who have been taken in by his personality cult to the point that nothing you’ve ever said before matters if Trump decides to change your mind for you–nothing but sadness and pity.

Immolate on February 15, 2016 at 4:28 PM

There is no remedy to the middle east. Check your premise.

fatlibertarianinokc on February 15, 2016 at 4:33 PM

It took you this long to figure this out, genius?

Well, you have to remember that us neocon globalists who want to let hordes of Muslims and Mexicans into the country are slow learners.

Wait, look over there! A Muslim intruder. Run for it.

SteveMG on February 15, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Well, you have to remember that us neocon globalists who want to let hordes of Muslims and Mexicans into the country are slow learners.

Wait, look over there! A Muslim intruder. Run for it.

SteveMG on February 15, 2016 at 4:36 PM

You guys do seem to be pretty dense about observing the results of policies, and drawing conclusions.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 4:38 PM

Trump could leave 4 Americans to die in some far off unstable country.

He could leak a crap ton of sensitive national secrets via an unauthorized home brew email server in his wine cellar.

He could have a decades long record of lies, scandal, and corruption.

And he can even say “Bush lied, people died” at major public forums.

He would still not lose support among the die hard Trumpsters. Good news is, if Trump ever drops out his followers will have another option in the general election.

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Immolate on February 15, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Do you think Trump will lie us into ANOTHER war in the Middle East?

TheMadHessian on February 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Because of the stupid change to facebook, this may be may last comment. I am only chiming in here because Trump has just kicked every supporter in the slats. He has shown his true colors. I didn’t like Bush, I disagreed with his going into Iraq. But once we went in there, I felt it was my duty to support the effort.That support was made more difficult because of the insane hysteria of the dhimocrapts, only for political reasons, not because of conviction. This was not the best face the dhimocrapts could have put on, but we endured their idiotic insults with the aim of supporting our troop. I did not want another ending like Vietnam. Now Trump has come out saying most of his supporters are idiots and he is really a dhimocrapt! Screw him. He could apologize until election day and he will never, never get my, and I suspect many other votes. I really think he, like obama, is too self-centered to realiize what he has done. Is there anyone with any guts to tell him> Drop out now!

Old Country Boy on February 15, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Country boy, it’s painful to hear, but needs repeating periodically. People realized much later on, that Vietnam was a mistake, and that is also the consensus with Iraq. We just have to face reality.

Trump is doing a few things here:
1) signalling to anyone thinking about voting for the Bushes again, that they need their head examined; and that Iraq will obviously become an issue in the general campaign
2) alleviate any ideas among Democrats thinking of crossing over, that he is another neocon
3) weakens W’s ability to campaign extensively for Jeb

Blair and Bush both apologized for the Iraq invasion/nation building, so I don’t know why you’re being so hard on Trump.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 4:49 PM

You guys do seem to be pretty dense about observing the results of policies, and drawing conclusions.

And Trump has been where during this crisis?

You Trump supporters are so wedded to this fraud that you can’t think straight.

We agree about the problems (for the most part); we think you’re foolish to think this fraud Trump is the solution.

But that’s all neocon and globalist talk and I’m the Establishment and burn it down.

SteveMG on February 15, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Bush did lie about Iraq, with his “sister-in-law” Hillary telling the same lies, and got thousands of American troops killed for nothing remotely worth the price.

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM

It should not surprise anyone in the least if in the coming years Bush and Obama go on an “Islam is love, not hate” tour together financed generously by especially Bush’s dear friends the depraved Saudis. If not for Obama, Bush would be America’s worst President ever. And with or without Obama, he is one of those with the lowest IQ.

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 5:05 PM

TheMadHessian on February 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM

I have absolutely no way to know.

Trump using “he lied” is parroting code pink and the lefties – so that is very concerning. The truth is no one knows what Trump would do. Either supporter or detractor. It’s like Wheel of Fortune.

Seems strange to accept that.

Zomcon JEM on February 15, 2016 at 5:10 PM

Using the word “lied” may be a bit strong, but this won’t hurt him. Americans don’t like seeing young men and women dying for people who hate us.

Rose on February 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Hot Air,

Your comment section is what made this site unique and enjoyable.

I sincerely would like to thank and say goodbye to all the wonderful Hot Air commenters.

Be well, all the best,

Mike Brooks

mjbrooks3 on February 15, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Hot Air,

Your comment section is what made this site unique and enjoyable.

I sincerely would like to thank and say goodbye to all the wonderful Hot Air commenters.

Be well, all the best,

Mike Brooks

Make Comment Blogs Great Again

mjbrooks3 on February 15, 2016 at 5:33 PM

I’m beginning to think this Trump fellow is the one candidate who could be found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy with no effect whatsoever on his poll numbers . . .

BigAlSouth on February 15, 2016 at 5:37 PM

There is no remedy to the middle east. Check your premise.

fatlibertarianinokc on February 15, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Not my premise sport, Trump’s.

Do you think Trump will lie us into ANOTHER war in the Middle East?

TheMadHessian on February 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Trump will lie about anything and everything. Whether he will lie to get us into a war in the Middle East is anyone’s guess. It’s not like he has any kind of coherent foreign policy that would allow me to forecast his likely moves. To answer your monotonous question, if Trump decides to put us in another war in the Middle East, he wouldn’t think twice about lying if it helped him.

Now my turn. Do you believe Bush intentionally mislead America to justify going to war in Iraq? What was your position at the time and do you have evidence to back that up? Your word is most certainly insufficient.

Immolate on February 15, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Blair and Bush both apologized for the Iraq invasion/nation building, so I don’t know why you’re being so hard on Trump.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 4:49 PM

He blamed Bush for 9/11.

He said Bush lied us into Iraq.

That is wrong and unforgivable.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Hot Air,

Your comment section is what made this site unique and enjoyable.

I sincerely would like to thank and say goodbye to all the wonderful Hot Air commenters.

Be well, all the best,

Mike Brooks

Make Comment Blogs Great Again

mjbrooks3 on February 15, 2016 at 5:33 PM

I too will be missing it. Been reading them for years and especially like the close knit group and level of predictability regarding participants.

Not looking forward to the new melting pot that’s going to replace it. Nor the lack of control and civility we’ve enjoyed for so long.

Going to try to setup an account, but I doubt I’ll be able to keep my name. If it turns into the cesspool I expect, the new account will go inactive in short order.

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 5:50 PM

Using the word “lied” may be a bit strong, but this won’t hurt him. Americans don’t like seeing young men and women dying for people who hate us.

Rose on February 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM

There were clear lies involved, but not necessarily from Bush himself. These lies were used to force a number of hesitant Republicans to support the war.

t’s been well-documented that Cheney told prominent Republicans behind closed doors that Saddam would soon possess nuclear weapons and that those weapons posed a dire threat to the US.
Specifically, Cheney told Dick Armey a fairy tale about a ‘suitcase bomb’ threat. Armey had been a strong opponent of the war up that point, and Cheney was shameless enough to force the issue by inventing facts.

bayam on February 15, 2016 at 5:57 PM

Sam Stein Verified account 
[email protected]
Trump spokesperson: some 9/11 hijackers trained in Florida, “under Jeb Bush’s watch to take down those towers”

Is this really okay with people?

Trump is in full tinfoil hat territory now.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 6:01 PM

nope!

TRUMP 2016
America’s Alpha Male

Pragmatic on February 15, 2016 at 6:10 PM

bush lied …many, many people died!

Pragmatic on February 15, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Did Trump enhance his chances among people who don’t think anything like you politically, nothing at all like you? People who you don’t even consider, people you don’t know about? Is that possible? I don’t know. Let’s spin around until we’re all dizzy and bump into each other and discuss our perceptions.

bour3 on February 15, 2016 at 6:13 PM

He blamed Bush for 9/11.

He said Bush lied us into Iraq.

That is wrong and unforgivable.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Bush was the captain of the ship on 9-11, and he did lie us into Iraq, with no actionable intelligence that should have taken us in there.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 6:21 PM

In 1995 when I learned they were grooming “W” to run for POTUS, I said to my high school friends, if we elect him POTUS he will go back to IRAQ to finish the job. Well he found his way.
“What does it say about us who voted for them, We can be fooled a number of times just as those who voted for Obama were fooled.

Nat George on February 15, 2016 at 6:28 PM

Bush was the captain of the ship on 9-11, and he did lie us into Iraq, with no actionable intelligence that should have taken us in there.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 6:21 PM

It is time for a third party…. go join up with Sanders. Because you are a drag on this nation.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 6:28 PM

I’m sorry these people have ruined Hot Air. It is just a shame. But they are right not to continue giving them a platform for their hate.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 6:29 PM

Oh petunia.

Nein commenten.

oryguncon on February 15, 2016 at 6:41 PM

Bush was the captain of the ship on 9-11, and he did lie us into Iraq, with no actionable intelligence that should have taken us in there.

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 6:21 PM

What utter BS

OT, I’m as sad as everyone else that HA is changing the way post are done. I don’t really post much (mostly lurk) but still a very sad day, like losing a good friend, as I’m sure others have noted I do read the articles, but usually I start with the posts, C’est la vie I guess, maybe more like C’est la Mort. Salem doesn’t make its money on the post but on the clicks and click troughs, may they are being too clever by half, we move I guess.

whbates on February 15, 2016 at 6:55 PM

It’s day like this where you really miss Michelle Malkin. There are patterns on the sites she sold to a certain company. The comment section turning over tomorrow being one of them.

Swell job, Ed the Red and AP. Hopefully AP will be the first to comment tomorrow. After all, shouldn’t you folks lead by example? Instead of hiding behind an anonymous handle, come out and say hi to all of us.

CommieJuice on February 15, 2016 at 6:56 PM

Did Trump damage his chances by accusing Bush of lying about Iraq?

If so, likely only among supporters who were surprised by that.

I’m not and I wasn’t.

farsighted on February 15, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Hot Air was great.

I’m out of here.

Adios amigo’s.

Go Cruz!!!

aquaviva on February 15, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Everyone knows now, of course, that everything would have been better if Saddam was still running Iraq — with useless UN inspectors now long gone and toothless UN security council resolutions long forgotten.

The Donald claims he knew this all along. And he is a man of honesty and integrity, with the bankruptcies to prove it.

Saddam would have learned his lesson, or something. Just like he learned his lesson in 1991. Oh, wait.

farsighted on February 15, 2016 at 7:13 PM

Post debate SC poll — Trump up +19.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4lhKxf9pMitY1A1OExNSnNrNmM/view?pref=2&pli=1

Dancing Queen on February 15, 2016 at 7:16 PM

Dancing Queen on February 15, 2016 at 7:16 PM

HOPE AMERICA CHANGE AGAIN! -Donack O’Bump

Glenn Jericho on February 15, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Well Mark Levin has totally turned on Trump, he’s screaming about it right now. :)

AYNBLAND on February 15, 2016 at 7:20 PM

He’s going to make ‘great’ deals with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and he has the same world view as Code Pink. Awesome.

bitsy on February 15, 2016 at 7:32 PM

bush lied …many, many people died!

Pragmatic on February 15, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Dirty liberal Trumper scum. We won that War and Obama pissed it away. You denigrated the sacrifice of those who fought and died in that war.

AYNBLAND on February 15, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Facebook now for comments? No policing?

Facebook — a cyber-land where Trolls Run Wild. Where trolling is a way of life.

I came to places like HA to get away from trolls.

Said adios to the GOP awhile ago.

Now its adios, HA.

farsighted on February 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

Here’s Mark Levin going Nuclear at Trump… http://therightscoop.com/mark-levin-goes-nuclear-over-donald-trumps-debate-comments-audio/

AYNBLAND on February 15, 2016 at 7:41 PM

If I ever thought about voting for Donald, he just shit in his hat. AMF.

Dingbat63 on February 15, 2016 at 7:45 PM

I’d lay ten to one Trump could call Reagan an amnesty-loving, big-spending failure and he still wouldn’t lose any support. There is literally nothing he could say at this point that would dissuade the die hards.

Even if he reneged on his pet issue, immigration, Trumpers would argue, “He’s just using a double- reverse political judo move to get elected!”

Lamont Cranston on February 15, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Not a chance and here’s a poll to prove it! Suck it haters:

PPP POST DEBATE POLL:

Trump 35%, Cruz 18%

From the pollsters: “The GOP poll suggests Trump’s debate performance – in which he criticized former President George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks – may not be hurting the frontrunner in a state that has deep ties to the Bush family.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article60547281.html#storylink=cpy

PPP is notoriously anti-Trump so…. WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Aslans Girl on February 15, 2016 at 8:25 PM

The Bush family has been a disaster for the country’, the Republican Party, and conservatives.

If people want to hold on to he didn’t lie — even though he made so many other mistakes trying to fix Daddy’s and Colin’s and Norm’s mistakes — ok… Hold on to that.

But he under-fought 2 wars….and I’m still not sure that starting the second didn’t let bin Laden get away.

So I guess if you want to go Levin- ballistic on this, have at it.

43 is a nice man who was a terrible president and a bad Commander in Chief.

And he set so much else bad in motion…but fine — draw the line here. Rice and Bush – like Sheehan Summer– were all to willing to fold their tent on yellow cake. But save him from this one, by all means.

Meanwhile he was complicit in 11 million illegal aliens — and their 20 million family members — who will drown a once great nation as soon as almost any of the other candidates – even Cruz, apparently — give us amnesty.

We will rest assured though that the Bush family name has been saved from this liberal calumny.

EastofEden on February 15, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Perhaps the greatest thing I’ll regret about HA’s comments being no more is hearing you and the others here of your ilk shake your head in disbelief and pooh-pooh about how hateful this country is as Donald Trump is elected in November.

avgjo on February 15, 2016 at 3:57 PM

I think you’re deluding yourself that there’s a shot that Trump ever becomes president.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Here are 10 FACTS that all voters need to know:

#1. Condoleezza Rice said Iraq had no WMD’s July 29, 2001:

But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let’s remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.

#2. Secretary Powell said Iraq had no WMD’s in 2001:

The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn’t have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained… He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. They have not been able to come out with the capacity to deliver these kinds of systems or to actually have these kinds of systems that is much beyond where they were 10 years ago… He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

#3. In 2002 Saddam Hussein, invited UN weapons inspectors to come into Iraq to prove to Bush that the Iraq government had no WMD’s and was not a threat to the US.

#4. In 2002 UN inspectors began visiting sites where WMD production was suspected, but found no evidence of such activities and in January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/documents/quarterly_reports/s-2003-580.pdf

#5. On March 7, The UN inspectors reported accelerated cooperation throughout the month of February. The UN inspectors were picking the locations that they would inspect each day without giving any prior knowledge of the location or what they were looking for and yet the UN inspectors reported that they were still given full cooperation from the Iraq government. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0303/S00109.htm

#6. Although it received only mild press attention, a March 6, 2003 UN inspectors report said that incriminating documents had been forged to deceive the US public, particularly concerning Iraqi acquisition of uranium and further contended that some or all of the weapons inspectors’ reports were vastly misrepresented by the Bush administration, especially in the connection between Iraq and terrorist groups. Fundamentalist Muslim groups, at the time generally did not support Iraq, as it was a secular nation that did not enforce Sharia law. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59403-2003Mar7.html

#7. After an investigation about the misinformation on Iraq the 2007 Pentagon Inspector General Report says that Feith’s Office of Special Plans, an office in the Pentagon run by Douglas Feith was the source of most of the misleading intelligence on Iraq. That his office had;

developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.

#8. On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.

#9. Immediately after the UN inspectors said Iraq was cooperating fully and that they had not found any WMD’s, Bush advised them to leave Iraq and gave Saddam a 48 hr deadline. So all U.N. inspectors, whom had insisted that Saddam was fully cooperating with them and had released a preliminary report that said Iraq had NO WMD’s, had to immediately evacuate Iraq after Bush declared a 48 hour deadline to war. www (dot) foxnews (dot) com/story/2003/03/18/un-inspectors-leave-iraq/

“Late last night… I was advised by the US Government to pull out our inspectors from Baghdad,” the UN’s chief nuclear weapons inspector Mohammed ElBaradei said on Monday.

#10. The UN weapons inspectors said that any chemical weapons manufactured in Iraq would quickly degrade and become harmless within two years at most because Iraqi chemical weapons have a usable shelf life of weeks or months due to impurities in the precursors..

In order for Iraq to have any usable chemical weapons Iraq would have had thousands of documented scientist operating large specialized military laboratories that were able to contentiously produce tens of thousands of tons of chemical weapons every month to constantly replace the quickly degrading ones.

Even the most sophisticated chemical weapons manufactured from the most advanced laboratories in the US are only able to last about five years. For example Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of approximately five years, VX lasts a bit longer (but not much longer), and botulinum toxin and liquid anthrax last about three years. Therefore any weapons found in Iraq would need to have been made RECENTLY ,(yr2001-2002), with an active chemical program having thousands of scientists running large specialized military facilities that are capable of continuously manufacturing new chemical weapons to replace the quickly degrading stock otherwise they are harmless substances and no threat.

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 8:41 PM

I did not want another ending like Vietnam.

Old Country Boy on February 15, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Stop supporting wars we can’t win, then.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 8:44 PM

Not looking forward to the new melting pot that’s going to replace it. Nor the lack of control and civility we’ve enjoyed for so long.

Oxymoron on February 15, 2016 at 5:50 PM

Civility?

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 8:47 PM

I started here in 2008…this site has gone beyond the ridiculous…it once was a place to learn things…no more.

I’ll take my leave now. Oh, Hi Jersey taxpayer…took your advice, hope all is well!!

NJ Red on February 15, 2016 at 9:17 PM

It is time for a third party…. go join up with Sanders. Because you are a drag on this nation.

petunia on February 15, 2016 at 6:28 PM

Have you seen the polls, Petunia? You’re they guys who’ll be leaving the party.

No one outside the media supports you.

Magicjava on February 15, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Here is where much of the misinformation about Iraq had come from:

The Bush administration primarily relied on the torture confession of Zubaydah for justifying the invasion of Iraq. U.S. officials stated that the allegations that Iraq and al-Qaeda were linked in the training of people on chemical weapons came from Zubaydah and The U.S. Government included statements made by Zubaydah in regards to al Qaeda’s ability to obtain a dirty bomb to show a link between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Abu Zubaydah is one of three individuals “best positioned to know about impending terrorist atrocities.” His interrogation “led to reliable information”, a “prolific producer” of information, with whom originated roughly 25 percent of the information on al Qaeda that came from human sources. – [National Security Agency Director] Michael Hayden

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed that Zubaydah was “a man who knows of additional attacks”, and thus needed to be subjected to harsh interrogation techniques to save American lives.

“one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” –President George W. Bush

The Joint Congressional inquiry called him “al-Qa’ida leader Abu Zubaydah,” and the “Bin Ladin lieutenant captured in March 2002.” As late as 2006, the Justice Department’s Inspector General report on the 9/11 attacks called Zubaydah a “Bin Laden lieutenant.”

The 9/11 commission report calls him a senior Al Qaeda operative, a “long-time ally of Bin Ladin,” a “Bin Ladin lieutenant,” and an “al Qaeda lieutenant”. He is mentioned over 50 times in the 9/11 Report for providing intimate intelligence about the planning of 9/11 and (according to the 9/11 report) he personally helped OBL and KSM, plan the 9/11 attacks, (he is the source that identified KSM and Ramsi bin Alshibh), which led to their being arrested.

Abu Zubaydah is “extremely dangerous” and a planner of 9/11. – State Department legal advisor John B. Bellinger III in a June 2007 briefing.

Major Paul Burney, a psychiatrist with the United States Army, said to the Senate Intelligence Committee, “while we were [at Guantanamo] a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful.” He said that higher-ups were “frustrated” and applied “more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”

In August 2002, the Office of Legal Counsel, Jay Bybee and John Yoo wrote the first Torture Memo, the purpose of the memo was to describe and authorize specific enhanced interrogation techniques to be used on Abu Zubaydah, the first suspect to be tortured.

Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, the former chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell said to the Senate Intelligence Committee:

The administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002—well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion—its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee,(Abu Zubaydah), even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee “was compliant” (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods because the detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet.

This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, “revealed” such contacts. Of course, later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

But now the CIA Says It Misjudged Role of High-Value Detainee Abu Zubaidain and in September 2009 – the U.S. government admitted in writing in a court proceeding that Abu Zubaydah had never been a member or associate or supporter of al-Qaeda, was not involved in 9/11, and had no prior knowledge of 9/11:

The Government has not contended in this proceeding that Petitioner [Abu Zubaydah] was a member of al-Qaida or otherwise formally identified with al-Qaida.

Respondent [The United States Government] does not contend that Petitioner was a “member” of al-Qaida in the sense of having sworn a bayat (allegiance) or having otherwise satisfied any formal criteria that either Petitioner or al-Qaida may have considered necessary for inclusion in al-Qaida. Nor is the Government detaining Petitioner based on any allegation that Petitioner views himself as part of al-Qaida as a matter of subjective personal conscience, ideology, or worldview.

The Government has not contended in this proceeding that Petitioner had any direct role in or advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
***
The Government has not contended that Petitioner had any personal involvement in planning or executing either the 1998 embassy bombings… or the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Now all the charges have been refiled and have completely removed any mention of Abu Zubaida as his name has vanished from the documents.

Over 100 detainees were accused of having conspired with Abu Zubaida, and the charge sheets contained numerous references to Abu Zubaida confessing that he was #3 in command of Al Qaeda and had recruited/given orders to most of the detainees with no less than 1,001 references to Abu Zubaydah in all the detainee charge sheets.

His removal from all the documents charging over 100 detainees is because the U.S. government has now admitted in writing in a court proceeding that Abu Zubaydah had never been a member or associate or supporter of al-Qaeda, was not involved in 9/11, and had no prior knowledge of 9/11.

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 9:28 PM

Here is where much of the misinformation about Iraq had come from:

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 9:28 PM

No, here’s where the misinformation came from…

A Symphony of Lies

Magicjava on February 15, 2016 at 9:31 PM

AYNBLAND on February 15, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Amen. Hot Air has become a magnet for Dem Trolls pushing Trump to split the Tea Party/Conservative wing from the rest of the Rs. The pure garbage on this thread blaming Bush for 9/11 and WMDs is a dead giveaway. It’s pure Leftist lunacy from the tin foil hat playbook.

Oh, and PPP is a Dhimicrat pollster so good luck riding that horse to the barn.

2ndMAW68 on February 15, 2016 at 9:37 PM

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 9:28 PM

You’re living in the past. Why is that?

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 9:39 PM

POST DEBATE SOUTH CAROLINA POLL

TRUMP 35%,
CRUZ 18%,
RUBIO 18%

Whoa.

fatlibertarianinokc on February 15, 2016 at 9:42 PM

Oh, and PPP is a Dhimicrat pollster so good luck riding that horse to the barn.

2ndMAW68 on February 15, 2016 at 9:37 PM

PPP was the most accurate pollster in 2012.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 9:44 PM

Magicjava on February 15, 2016 at 9:31 PM

Ugggg…What next..Dylan Avery and “Loose Change”?

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 9:50 PM

You’re living in the past. Why is that?

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 9:39 PM

This issue was just brought up at the last 2016 presidential debate.

Trump was asked if he still thinks members of the Bush administration should be tried for war crimes Trump reiterated again that Bush and his administration knew there were no WMD’s in Iraq and had thus lied to get the American people to support a war in Iraq.

This subject is not only a current issue at the primaries but it will also continue to be a major issue during the general election.

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 9:50 PM

This subject is not only a current issue at the primaries but it will also continue to be a major issue during the general election.

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 9:50 PM

And?? Many things in the past are brought up for deflection? What are you basing your claim that Bush and 911 will “continue to be a major issue” in, exactly?

Definitely lost in the past.

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 9:52 PM

Post Debate Poll:

After debate, Trump still tops SC GOP presidential race

TRUMP 35%
CRUZ 18%
RUBIO 18%…

It appears Cruz’s negative campaigning is hurting only himself.

TheRightMan on February 15, 2016 at 10:05 PM

TheRightMan on February 15, 2016 at 10:05 PM

Yeah I dont think so. Trump is depending on having a watered down field. Trump has a hard ceiling he is not going to overcome. The general electorate is another beast all together. Trump sports even higher unfavorability than even HILLARY and JEB. Right there should sound alarms in the Trumpkins heads, but nope, they insist they can win with 35% of the popular vote. Even Hillary as it stand now will wipe the flood with Trump. The media has not even started the normal demonetization of the GOP candidates yet.

watertown on February 15, 2016 at 10:11 PM

I did not want another ending like Vietnam.

Old Country Boy on February 15, 2016 at 4:22 PM
Stop supporting wars we can’t win, then.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 8:44 PM

I was going to give this pu, but the lies and stupidity of Tlaloc is really typical of what has lost all the wars we have won. Tlaloc, you sound like a college kid who doesn’t know come hare from sic’em about what really happens in theis world. Vietnam was totally and completely won by the Ametican and Australian military. Intelligent, brave and tenacious heroes through the military. Unfortunately, after the war was won and almost ALL the American forces returned to the states, the asshole dhimocrapt traitors in congress cancelled the financial aid for the South Vietnamese, while the Chinese continued to give. Ther same thing happened in Iraq with obama filling the role of dhimocraptic traitor. The United States Military DOES NOT LOSE WARS. The American presidents and congress lose wars, aided and abetted by asshole voters like you! That is what I was writing about. You are the jerk, that when your butt is saved by the local policeman, you then accuse him of brutality and shout insults at the thugs that were hurting you. You are a coward! I can write this way because I won’t be here after midnight. I won’t miss Hot Air too much. There a a lot of good people here, but there are too many pukes like you to put up with.

Old Country Boy on February 15, 2016 at 10:15 PM

watertown on February 15, 2016 at 10:11 PM

What hard ceiling?

Many here keep on parroting the media’s talking points like it is gospel? Did you ever hear of Trump over-performing what the polls predicted in NH?

In a plurality of candidates, Trump scoring 35% is impressive. When the field whittles down, what law says Trump won’t get his share?

Say Rubio drops out, what makes you think Cruz will sweep all Rubio’s support? Or Jeb Bush? Or Kasich?

TheRightMan on February 15, 2016 at 10:23 PM

What are you basing your claim that Bush and 911 will “continue to be a major issue” in, exactly?

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 9:52 PM

Because so many Americans have lost a loved to the war or have a loved one disabled from the war or is a vet or has a loved one trying to adjust to life after the war it continues to remain a big issue.

Especially when Jeb keeps saying that he support his brothers decision to invade Iraq during each debate as Trump continues to say that the invasion of Iraq was massive blunder costing American blood and treasure while only making the area worse.

Their position on the Iraq war and the Bush doctrine says a lot about how a they will conduct their foreign policy.

JustTheFacts on February 15, 2016 at 10:43 PM

There is no way in the world that I could ever vote for Trump for anything. He is a Fascist liberal. His ultra pro-choice views, his views on eminent domain, his views on how to use politicians via “donations” for self-enrichment, his views on health care and his love for The Clintons are all anathema to a conservative.

If he is the nominee, then The Republican Party will become just like this site will after the comments change, just a shell of its former self.

Theophile on February 15, 2016 at 11:01 PM

What Trump did in that debate was reveal himself. And now we see the poisonous snake that he is, it will be easier to accept whatever candidate can get the votes to beat him for the nomination.

There is going to be a lot of pressure for Kasich and Bush to drop after South Carolina. And probably Carson too. And whoever those voters go to… will beat Trump.

That is how Trump damaged himself.

Even 42% isn’t enough, now we know who he is.

petunia on February 16, 2016 at 2:22 AM

I just dont know.

Trump is a charlatan and an embarrassment, but like himself, his fan club (and thats what his supporters have become, ignoring everything he says and does in order to stay loyal to a man, not the idea of conservatism, or the Constitution), his fan club has no conscience.

Many of them shrug off his childish behavior, and idiotic blathering while hypocritically pointing out false forms of Trumps own defects in Cruz or Rubio.

The Trump movement is an ego train.

His fan club becomes more pridefully invested in him, each time he exposes his dishonesty or incompetence. Like a battered spouse, he lies to them and treats them with no respect, but they defend him to the end.

I dont know if anything stops the Trump kamikaze mission.

The Supreme Court hanging in the balance should be enough to make most Republicans get serious and make a thoughtful judgment about their candidate.

Im not sure anything gets Trump’s fan clubbers to stop fiddling on the deck of their Titanic. They seem to be willing to go down with the ship, even if it takes the country and their rights as free Americans with it.

Its pathetic and sad…..

alecj on February 16, 2016 at 7:31 AM

petunia on February 16, 2016 at 2:22 AM

“Rubio Tuesday”

He would never say where he came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
He comes and goes
Goodbye, Rubio Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day…

claudius on February 16, 2016 at 9:25 AM

I hate to say it since I was backing him from the start. He finally went over the line for me. Would rather see Hillary win then Trump. If he has that little respect for a past President, especially one that kept America safe for years unlike the current one that has let this country get hit over and over again. I can not back anyone like that.

pwb on February 16, 2016 at 10:10 AM

No

Next question …

chuckh on February 16, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Trump is a bombastic real estate developer who has parlayed his real estate success into various egocentric business models. He is astute at spotting trends. He spotted the immigration backlash and he has used that to gin up the unsuspecting.

People equating his business success with some sort of conservative political savvy are not truly examining his past and now current statements and actions.

Now that he is letting the mask slip, many Trump supporters are going to continue to rail that he is the messiah of immigration reform, knowing full well he is not who they wanted him to be. Will that pride take them all the way through?

One last thing, because many of us attempt to point out the fallacies and errors of Trump, doesn’t mean we are haters or neanderthals. It simply means we disagree and are making our points known.

Neitherleftorright on February 16, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Trump is finished!!!!1!!11!!!!11!!!!

#3,682

Nutstuyu on February 16, 2016 at 1:08 PM

PPP was the most accurate pollster in 2012.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 9:44 PM

And the Mayan calendar was the most accurate calendar up to 2012. What’s your point?

Nutstuyu on February 16, 2016 at 1:11 PM

But despite his comments Trump is still leading even among voters with a positive view of GWB- he gets 26% to 22% for Cruz, 20% for Rubio, and 10% for Jeb Bush. And Trump is dominant with the swath of voters that doesn’t like George W. Bush, getting 57% to 12% for Kasich, and 11% each for Cruz and Rubio.

Oops.

xblade on February 16, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Oh, and PPP is a Dhimicrat pollster so good luck riding that horse to the barn.

2ndMAW68

Yeah, that argument worked out well for Romney, didn’t it?

xblade on February 16, 2016 at 2:04 PM

The dems just love this bigmouthed blowhard. He’s their kind of guy.

Lee Jan on February 16, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Trump is a CLOWN!
What an F’n embarrassment!

RedManBlueState on February 16, 2016 at 3:26 PM

WHY does he get sooo much free air time and news cycles???
… because he’s a complete train wreck.

RedManBlueState on February 16, 2016 at 3:28 PM

He might as well be Howard Stern…
Babbabooie, Babbabooie.

RedManBlueState on February 16, 2016 at 3:29 PM

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