From CBS News:
Sen.: Iraq Would Be Better With Saddam
Sept. 9, 2006 (CBS) When the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of its findings this past week, the Republican chairman of the committee, Pat Roberts, left town without doing interviews, calling the report a rehash of unfounded partisan allegations…
But after 2 1/2 years of reviewing pre-war intelligence behind closed doors, the lead Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.V.), who voted for the Iraq War, says the Bush administration pulled the wool over everyone's eyes.
"The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said 'we want to go to war,'" Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. "Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said 'my vote was wrong.'"
Rockefeller went a step further. He says the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq — even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.
He said he sees that as a better scenario, and a safer scenario, "because it is called the 'war on terror.'" …
"[Saddam] wasn't going to attack us. He would've been isolated there," Rockefeller said. "He would have been in control of that country but we wouldn't have depleted our resources preventing us from prosecuting a war on terror which is what this is all about." …
Lest we forget Senator Jay Rockefeller said this about Saddam Hussein on the floor of the US Senate:
Statement of Senator Rockefeller on the Senate floor
On the Iraq Resolution
October 10, 2002
MR. ROCKEFELLER: Mr. President, we are here today to debate one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my 18 years in the Senate. There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein is a despicable dictator, a war criminal, a regional menace, and a real and growing threat to the United States…
But it is equally clear that doing nothing and preserving the status quo also pose serious risks. Those risks are less visible, and their time frame is less certain. But after a great deal of consultation and soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that the risks of doing nothing — for our citizens and for our nation — are too great to bear.
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources — something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant.
Americans will return to a situation like that we faced in the Cold War, waking each morning knowing we are at risk from nuclear blackmail by a dictatorship that has declared itself to be our enemy. Only, back then, our communist foes were a rational and predictable bureaucracy; this time, our nuclear foe would be an unpredictable and often irrational individual, a dictator who has demonstrated that he is prepared to violate international law and initiate unprovoked attacks when he feels it serves his purposes to do so.
The global community — in the form of the United Nations — has declared repeatedly, through multiple resolutions, that the frightening prospect of a nuclear-armed Saddam cannot come to pass. But the U.N. has been unable to enforce those resolutions. We must eliminate that threat now, before it is too late.
But this isn’t just a future threat. Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.
And he could make those weapons available to many terrorist groups which have contact with his government, and those groups could bring those weapons into the U.S. and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.
We cannot know for certain that Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction he currently possesses, or that he will use them against us. But we do know Saddam has the capability. Rebuilding that capability has been a higher priority for Saddam than the welfare of his own people — and he has ill-will toward America.
I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk…
Saddam has misjudged what he can get away with, and how the United States and the world will respond, many times before. At the end of the day, we cannot let the security of American citizens rest in the hands of someone whose track record gives us every reason to fear that he is prepared to use the weapons he has against his enemies.
As the attacks of September 11 demonstrated, the immense destructiveness of modern technology means we can no longer afford to wait around for a smoking gun. September 11 demonstrated that the fact that an attack on our homeland has not yet occurred cannot give us any false sense of security that one will not occur in the future. We no longer have that luxury…
There has been some debate over how "imminent" a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!…
I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks — and we should not minimize the risks — we must authorize the President to take the necessary steps to deal with that threat. And so I will vote for the Lieberman/McCain resolution…
Saddam Hussein represents a grave threat to the United States, and I have concluded we must use force to deal with him if all other means fail. That is the core issue, and whether we vote on it now, or in January, or in six months time, that is the issue we all have to confront…
In fact Rockefeller here and regularly called Saddam an "imminent threat," a phrase that President Bush never used.
As the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Rockefeller saw exactly the same intelligence as the President saw. Intelligence that the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission and every other investigatory body has found was not massaged to generate any desired outcome.
Also, lest we forget, years before the cynical and manipulative Bush was elected President, Mr. Rockefeller voted for the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which called for "regime change" in Iraq:
It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.
In fact, this act passed unanimously in the Senate and was signed into law by that paragon of honesty, President Bill Clinton.
But Rockefeller is the despicable character behind the notorious " Rockefeller Memo." That document outlines the course of action he has been following ever since.
Clearly nothing matters to Mr. Rockefeller but his own personal power. He is a traitor to our soldiers and to our country.
Sixty years ago he would be in jail. Under Lincoln, he would have been hanged.
What an indictment it is of our electoral system that the good people of West Virginia are represented by the likes of "Jay" Rockefeller and "Exalted Cyclops" Robert Byrd.