Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics — Rick Moran @ 9:06 am

I don’t pretend to really understand quantum mechanics, the counter-intuitive theory that much of modern physics and chemistry is based. Having read a dozen or so explanations of it, about all I can say is that I can grasp a crude outline of the theory’s basic tenets; a noted example being that the properties of light can be measured as either a wave function or a particle function but not both. This relates to the famous “Schroedinger’s Cat” experiment where the observer has a privileged frame of reference and all depends on what the observer sees.

A vial of acid is placed in a box along with a cat and radioactive material. If an atom decays in the box, the acid will be released and the cat will die. The point of the thought experiment is that 1) physicists don’t like cats very much and 2) in the quantum world, the cat exists as both alive and dead at the same time - only when we open the box do we “collapse” reality and discover whether we have killed the cat.

One interpretation of this is the “Many Worlds Theory” that stipulates once the observer chooses, an infinite number of other universes are created where every other possibility regarding the collapse occurs and reality evolves from that point in a different way than the universe you and I inhabit.One example would be that in the Schroedinger’s Cat experiment, the observer gets what he deserves and is poisoned by the radioactive material and dies a horrible death Another more prosaic scenario would be the example of the British plot to kill Hitler in June of 1944. In our universe, the plot failed. But the “Many Worlds” interpretation takes the attempted assassination and a million other universes are split off so that in some universes Hitler is indeed killed and all reality evolves from that point to today with a dead Hitler.

The “Many Worlds” theory cleans up some of the more troubling inconsistencies in quantum mechanics at the atomic level. It is also a useful model of reality when trying to explain the Democratic party. How else can you describe a party that so stubbornly ignores the facts of this universe we inhabit only to take facts from other universes where black is white, up is down, and pre-war Iraq intelligence regarding the link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda is either “twisted” or deliberately falsified, thus taking this country into war based on lies?

Over the weekend, the Senator from Michigan Carl Levin released a declassified report from the Defense Intelligence agency that discredits one of the key human intelligence assets used to connect Saddam with al Qaeda:

A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, “was intentionally misleading the debriefers’’ in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda’s work with illicit weapons.

The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi’s credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi’s information as “credible’’ evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons

The problem, as Stephen Hayes points out in this Weekly Standard article, is that the Administration ignored the DIA brief because the CIA was enthusiastically vouching for his authenticity:

Why would Bush make such a claim when a DIA report had raised the possibility that al Libi was lying? One possibility: The CIA was saying that al Libi was credible.

On February 11, 2003–a year after the DIA report–CIA Director George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said: “Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al Qaeda. It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.”

Of course, if the only evidence the Administration had of the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was Mr. Libi and his tall tales, the Bush people would in fact be guilty of at the very least, ignoring evidence presented by an important part of the intelligence analysis community. But as we’ve discovered from numerous investigations and commissions, there is a considerable body of incontrovertible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda did have a working relationship prior to 9/11. This is from another Stephen Hayes piece in the Weekly Standard from November, 2003:

Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda–perhaps even for Mohamed Atta–according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by The Weekly Standard.

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America’s most determined and dangerous enemies.

According to the memo–which lays out the intelligence in 50 numbered points–Iraq-al Qaeda contacts began in 1990 and continued through mid-March 2003, days before the Iraq War began. Most of the numbered passages contain straight, fact-based intelligence reporting, which some cases includes an evaluation of the credibility of the source. This reporting is often followed by commentary and analysis.

Despite this overwhelming evidence, when the 9/11 Commission released a statement saying there was no evidence of a “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, the press and the Democrats eagerly deleted the word “collaborative” and accused the Administration of lying about any relationship between Saddam and Bin Laden.

This is not what the Commission said as the report clearly shows. High level contacts between the Iraqi government and al Qaeda were frequent during the lead up to 9/11. The Iraqis even offered Bin Laden a safe haven after he was booted out of Sudan.

But listening to Carl Levin and the Democrats, one would be convinced that they had entered an alternate universe where the 9/11 Commission report never existed. It’s as if the Democrats could not only determine whether or not Schroedinger’s cat was dead or alive, but that they could actually choose which of the “Many Worlds” they wish the rest of us to live in.

The same unhinged reasoning can be found in the now infamous “16 words” of the President’s State of the Union speech where the President said “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As it turns out, the Brits based that intel on documents we now know were forged by an Italian businessman who claims he did it at bidding of French intelligence. But, as Joe Wilson discovered independently, a high level Iraqi trade delegation did in fact meet with a former Niger Prime Minister in order to “expand trade.” Given that Niger’s meager export economy is overwhelmingly based on the sale of yellow cake uranium, it turns out that the guts of the statement were true. The information did indeed come from the British and Saddam was seeking to reconstitute his nuclear program the minute that the world was looking the other way once sanctions were lifted (something that liberals had been screaming for the United States to do for years).

But in the Many Worlds of the Democrats, not only did the President “twist” this intelligence to fool the American people into going to war with Saddam Hussein, but that Joe Wilson is a saintly, truth telling whistleblower instead of the leaker of classified material and a liar of monumental proportions that he really is.

This particular universe occupied by the Democrats must be a fascinating place to live. Imagine existing where the ordinary laws of gravity are turned on its head and humans can fly. Or a place where you can’t go anywhere without tripping over faeries and leprechauns. This would be a place where bedtime stories are true, where Mother Goose has a loft in Greenwich Village and the Grinch actually does try and steal Christmas. Such a universe might also have the Cubs winning as many World Championships as the Yankees.

This is the only explanation for why Democrats like Carl Levin continue to insist that what is patently false is actually the truth of the matter. By creating their own universe to explain pre-war Iraqi intelligence as a place where the Administration deceitfully “twisted” information to suit their own nefarious designs, they take themselves out of our reality altogether and and try to drag the rest of us with them as they descend into the darkness of conspiracy theory and fantasy.

How about a universe where Democrats are actually heroic supporters of America and American values rather than a collection of deranged, Bush-hating, America trashing lickspittles who are so desperate for electoral victory that they will risk the future of this country by working for the defeat of the armed forces of the United States on the field of battle in Iraq?

That might be one of the “Many Worlds” that just doesn’t exist.


  1. As a Michigan resident, I suffer the ravages of Carl Levin’s lack of attention to our state. Rather than attending to a state in a near depression, he’s content to chase his numerous pet theories and leave Michigan to fall into a pothole.

    Comment by P. Aaron — 11/7/2005 @ 12:53 pm

  2. There are actually two halves to the argument that Democrats have to present successfully for this to mean anything. They would first have to show that the intelligence was manipulated or ignored by Bush in “misleading” America to war, and they’d have to show that the world would be a better place with Saddam still in power. Good luck on both counts.

    Comment by Giacomo — 11/7/2005 @ 6:51 pm

  3. Although I’m not a Democrat, I guess I must be one of those who has created an alternate universe where Bush’s team has not told the complete truth, so I suppose I should try and defend my little fantasy world as best I can.

    First, I believe Mr. Bush genuinely believed that there were WMD. So, I’m perfectly willing to give him a pass on that point.

    However, I disagree with Rick and Stephen Hayes that the relationship between Al Queada and Saddam Hussein reached the critical threat level that was depicted by the Administration. When I read what Hayes has written, I find myself thinking “If this is evidence of an insidious relationship to a terrorist organization, what middle east nation is innocent?” On this count, I believe the Administration is guilty of significant exageration.

    On the issue of Africa and yellowcake, the Administration itself has admitted (to their credit) that this should not have been in the State of the Union address. Case closed.

    Additionally, I think it’s fair to say on several specific occasions, that some in the Administration went beyond the absolute truth. For example, when Condi Rice evoked the image of the “mushroom cloud”, it was well known that Iraq had no nuclear program, in fact the AEIA certified that that was the case. Overselling the threat level in this manner was quite common.

    Finally, there is a class of untruth-telling that involves re-telling uncertain intelligence in certain terms. An obvious example was the time Rumsfeld appeared on one of the Sunday morning talk shows and stated that he “knew” where the WMD were located. Of course, he did not. Other examples of this sort of talk abound.

    In conclusion, it seems only logical to me that when an Administration (not just this one) decides on a course of action, they want to sell it. In the course of selling it, some untruths are always told - both intentionally and uninentionally. To suggest that the Bush Administration is somehow an exception to this natural order of things, seems to me to be a fantasy - not the other way around.

    Comment by LaurenceB — 11/8/2005 @ 9:04 am

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  6. “As it turns out, the Brits based that intel on documents we now know were forged by an Italian businessman who claims he did it at bidding of French intelligence.”

    You are wrong here. Google the term “Butler review” and you will find that an independent British review of pre-war intelligence found that the British report that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger was NOT based on the forged documents.

    Comment by no — 12/10/2005 @ 6:40 pm

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