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April 09, 2006

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Kimball Corson

Whoops, that is 2,723 dead, not 272.

Sigmund Is Calling For You, Kimball!

I wrote, in part:

“. . . Whether Bush ought have disclosed what was in the annex depends on his purpose for declassifying the NIE. My claim is that President Bush's decision to declassify part of the NIE was ‘2) a declassification decision designed to correct a widespread misunderstanding of why the President did something (a subset of 1), and also fine.’ What was the nature of this misunderstanding?”

[Intellectually Dishonest Kimball] responds:

Credible argument does not permit quotations out of context, especially where the full context refutes the portion quoted.

Oh? You mean like this:

"What was the nature of this misunderstanding? I think Oleg Cassini above explains it quite succinctly: "Conspiracy theorists said 'War for oil! Blood for oil!' Bush replied, 'No, I did it because he was a threat.'" In that light, unless you can prove Bush went to war so as to steal Iraq's oil, you are making a false statement when you call him dishonest, Kimball."

Since you are intellectually dishonest, let's examine your conceptual enterprise a bit more. First you claim that your analysis is not conceptual, because "We cannot ever know what went on in Bush’s head." Then you conjecture what went on in his head: "Either he was relying on something to form his impression or he was hallucinating or hearing God’s voice." What you fail to mention, perhaps because you are all too eager to make leaps of logic from your paranoid fantasy of Bush having hallucinations to the competence of his entire administration ("Anyway you cut it, the Bush Administration looks like a bunch of inept fools."), is that "To be sure, as information becomes declassified, we will know more in the future." Which means you have no idea whether Bush possessed better or more credible information -- or assurances from other world leaders -- that made striking Iraq sensible and a belief that Iraq was a threat reasonable under the circumstances.

In addition, your definition of the "mire" in Iraq applies equally well to Social Security and Medicare: "By mired in Iraq I refer to our past Congressional appropriations of more than a quarter of a trillion dollars..." By your logic, then, the government should abolish Social Security and Medicare. Your other complaints about the war in Iraq amount to the claim that Iraqis would be better off if Hussein were still ruling them. That is false. You also do not know whether the situation will improve. You are, again, speculating, in a self-serving and cretinously pessimistic way. You might want to see a therapist about that.

Lastly, "No, I do not blame Bush for those killed during elections, but I do genuinely think Bush was wrong to believe Iraq was a serious threat and to invade it." This has nothing to do with the debate we have been having. My claim was that Bush thought Iraq was a threat. Whether it was a "SERIOUS threat" is a new standard you have manifested out of the blue to cover your ass, because you have recognized that your argument has no merit.

It is telling that you admit the reporter you rely upon for your rife speculation is wont to make-up lies and print them to aggrandize his own celebrity: "This charge against Hersh is not new and it is not without validity..."

You are also a rank liar when you say: "We know, from what I have argued, that he did not rely on p. 24 of the NIE." Actually, that was my argument. You insisted that Bush did in fact rely on it in forming his impression that Iraq was a threat. You only changed your tune once I pointed out that you were begging the question, which is a fallacy. Your entire running commentary has been speculative, incoherent, and paranoid.

Also, it is no answer to the proof that you have contradicted yourself to say "I disagree." You can disagree all you want; you still contradicted yourself. Your argument has no merit.

Thanks for proving all my points.

Lastly wasn't lastly because I decided to get nasty

Should have used preview.

Nutball Math Genius Calls For Carpet-Bombing The Middle East!

Nutball Corson Strikes Again: "My concern is the death of anyone, arguably excluding insurgent Sunni/al-Quaeda, but I have a problem excluding even them because we are an armed force occupying their territory. Yes, I include the Arab civilian body count, which we ignore and do not report. I also include dead American and coalition forces. Every one counts. Also, referring just to American troops in Iraq, I believe the correct numbers are 2,72 dead, 17,269 injured and 130,000 to 132,000 in country."

1. Al-Qaeda does not have any territory. It has no rightful claim to Iraq. That you would think so is astounding.

2. You are wrong. For the elections, there were approximately 160,000 there. (We were talking about deaths during the elections, remember?) That was recently drawn down to approximately 130,000. You are clearly trying to rig the numbers to make your case. It does not work.

3. Whether the number is around 2600 or 2700, it is still less than 2% of 160,000. My statement stands. By using "mire" language, you were clearly trying to compare Iraq to Vietnam. Iraq is not in any way relevant to this discussion comparable to Vietnam, unless we are living on the moon.

4. You say that you are concerned about the deaths of anyone, but then note that: "The best choice I think would have been to just have serious air strikes against al-Queda encampments and training facilities and suspected or potential WMD sites most anywhere in the Arab world, excluding Saudi Arabia, Egypt and perhaps some others." Yes, mass bombing of random Arab nations would cause less death. Then the world would love us.

Contradictory Corson Strikes Again! Jim Haggerty Realizes He Has Won And Stops Posting!

Contradictory Corson: "With respect to why Bush put us in a war with Iraq, I have only said that if Bush thought Saddam was a threat, either he was (a) hallucinating, (b) hearing the voice of God (which some would say is the same thing) or (c) he based his view on some informational perception on which he was relying. That is my position, which you do not address. You likewise do not address my contention that, after exhaustive searching and evaluation of all intelligence, there is nothing known to establish Saddam as a threat except the refuted and possibly fraudulent p.24 NIE excerpt. Believe me, if Bush had something better, he would have leaked that instead."


But wait! This is the speculation you said you weren't engaging in! I guess I did address this PROOF OF CONTRADICTION.

Kimball Corson

To : Jim Haggerty, a name at last.

Jim, you have a serious problem with anger and civility. Be that as it may, I will address your missteps, old and new here a last time, and be done with you as well.

You wrote:
“. . . Whether Bush ought have disclosed what was in the annex depends on his purpose for declassifying the NIE. My claim is that President Bush's decision to declassify part of the NIE was ‘2) a declassification decision designed to correct a widespread misunderstanding of why the President did something (a subset of 1), and also fine.”
I responded
Credible argument does not permit quotations out of context, especially where the full context refutes the portion quoted and where he could not have relied on p.24 of the NIE for reasons I have explained.
You replied:
Oh? You mean like this: "What was the nature of this misunderstanding? I think Oleg Cassini above explains it quite succinctly: "Conspiracy theorists said 'War for oil! Blood for oil!' Bush replied, 'No, I did it because he was a threat.'" In that light, unless you can prove Bush went to war so as to steal Iraq's oil, you are making a false statement when you call him dishonest, Kimball. Since you are intellectually dishonest . . .”
I reply here:
You argument is disconnected, absurd and only marginally worthy of this reply saying so.

You write:
“Let's examine your conceptual enterprise a bit more. First you claim that your analysis is not conceptual, because "We cannot ever know what went on in Bush’s head." Then you conjecture what went on in his head: "Either he was relying on something to form his impression or he was hallucinating or hearing God’s voice."
I respond:
You have obviously never read Hume. I do not go into Bush’s thought processes, but try to deal only with empirical reality, except to suggest if no such reality supports his view Iraq was a threat worthy of our invasion, then his is getting this view non-empirically, i.e., hallucinating or hearing God’s voice, which many would say is the same thing.

You write:
“What you fail to mention, perhaps because you are all too eager to make leaps of logic from your paranoid fantasy of Bush having hallucinations to the competence of his entire administration ("Anyway you cut it, the Bush Administration looks like a bunch of inept fools."), is that "To be sure, as information becomes declassified, we will know more in the future." Which means you have no idea whether Bush possessed better or more credible information -- or assurances from other world leaders -- that made striking Iraq sensible and a belief that Iraq was a threat reasonable under the circumstances.
I respond:
As I said, if Bush had more credible information not subject to my arguments, he would have leaked it. In fact, other world leaders (except Blair, whose arm he twisted, and a few other token sycophants) and the UN did not support Bush decision to invade Iraq, even after he mislead them too on what a supposed “threat” Iraq was, as Powell now concedes he wrongfully did to the UN. We do now know there was no more credible information, for reasons I have explained many times and you ignore. What is being kept classified here is largely the specifics of the Bush Administration’s wrong doing.

You write:
In addition, your definition of the "mire" in Iraq applies equally well to Social Security and Medicare:
I respond:
Absurd. Not even close. Read how I defined mired again in context and don’t do to me what Bush did to us: take partial quotes out of the full quoted context which refutes them.

Your write:
Your other complaints about the war in Iraq amount to the claim that Iraqis would be better off if Hussein were still ruling them. That is false. You also do not know whether the situation will improve. You are, again, speculating . .
I respond:
There is no contention between my complaints and Iraq being better off under Hussein. This is a non-sequiter. However, now that you mention it, I and most Iraqis do think Iraq was better off under Saddam. He kept stability in the country, the Shiites and the Sunnis from each others throats, then country from civil war and the water and power running. The whole Middle East was better off before our invasion and, most importantly, we too were much better off. That is why the invasion was a mistake. Too, in case you haven’t noticed, the Administration’s prognosis for Iraq is dire (speculation OK then ?), not jubilant, as you might suggest. And remember, in the long run we are all dead so don’t give me the lion and lamb lying down together business.

You write:
Lastly, "No, I do not blame Bush for those killed during elections, but I do genuinely think Bush was wrong to believe Iraq was a serious threat and to invade it." This has nothing to do with the debate we have been having. My claim was that Bush thought Iraq was a threat. Whether it was a "SERIOUS threat" is a new standard you have manifested out of the blue to cover your ass, because you have recognized that your argument has no merit.
I respond:
Not true. I will stay with what I intended all along and not suggest a different, higher standard, as arguably I mistakenly did. My position is and has been Iraq was not a sufficient threat to justify us invading it. Period.

You write:
It is telling that you admit the reporter you rely upon for your rife speculation is wont to make-up lies and print them to aggrandize his own celebrity: "This charge against Hersh is not new and it is not without validity..."
I respond:
That is not at all what I said and you patch my partial quote to something you say and Keller did not.. You are quoting me out of context or quote mining me. It is a shabby tactic of argument. Read again what I wrote. Hersh is right much more often than not. That is why, as Keller explains, the Times usually follows him though usually a bit later, after they have done their own checking. (Hersh does not turn over his notes to the Times because he writes for the New Yorker.)

You write:
You are also a rank liar when you say: "We know, from what I have argued, that he did not rely on p. 24 of the NIE." Actually, that was my argument. You insisted that Bush did in fact rely on it in forming his impression that Iraq was a threat. You only changed your tune once I pointed out that you were begging the question, which is a fallacy. Your entire running commentary has been speculative, incoherent, and paranoid.
I respond:
Early on, I established by time lines that Bush could not have relied on p. 24 of the NIE because he declared his conclusion that Iraq was a threat before the NIE was given to him, and because, as the British Downing Street Memo makes clear, Bush was looking for intelligence to justify his baseless conclusion Iraq was a threat and needed to be invaded. I am saying Bush could not have relied on the NIE which is different than your mistaken contention that he did not have to rely on anything to reach that conclusion – the hallucination or God’s voice option, a la Hume. This is not a contradiction. You only fail to understand the distinction.

You write:
Lastly wasn't lastly because I decided to get nasty
I respond:
I disagree. You were nasty from the outset.

You write, after quoting me:
"’My concern is the death of anyone, arguably excluding insurgent Sunni/al-Quaeda, but I have a problem excluding even them because we are an armed force occupying their territory. . . .Also, referring just to American troops in Iraq, I believe the correct numbers are 2,723 dead, 17,269 injured and 130,000 to 132,000 in country.’
1. Al-Qaeda does not have any territory. It has no rightful claim to Iraq. That you
would think so is astounding.
I respond:
I did not say al-Qaeda did have a territory or a claim to Iraq. All I meant to say is that there are now al-Qaeda in Iraq fighting against us , nothing more.

You write:
2. You are wrong. For the elections, there were approximately 160,000 there. (We
were talking about deaths during the elections, remember? . . . You are clearly trying to rig the numbers to make your case. It does not work.
I respond:
By using the present tense with “are, instead of “were,” I was obviously referring to the present time. Those are the current numbers. I was not referring to the past.

You write:
By using "mire" language, you were clearly trying to compare Iraq to Vietnam. Iraq is not in any way relevant to this discussion comparable to Vietnam, unless we are living on the moon.
I respond:
I explained what I specifically meant by “mired” in this instance and I stand by it. You can quote me out of context all you want, but it does not change what I said.

You write:
You say that you are concerned about the deaths of anyone, but then note that: "The best choice I think would have been to just have serious air strikes against al-Queda encampments and training facilities and suspected or potential WMD sites most anywhere in the Arab world, excluding Saudi Arabia, Egypt and perhaps some others." Yes, mass bombing of random Arab nations would cause less death. Then the world would love us.
I respond:
This is a fair criticism of my position. To be sure, strategic strikes would cost some human life, including some civilians as well. Against al-Qaeda forces,, strikes are justifiable, I believe. Too, if there is loss of life at nuclear and biological facilities that is regrettable, but probably necessary if we are to put any teeth in the preemption doctrine, which is an entirely separate discussion. I am certainly not suggesting carpet bombing as you state with you moniker “Nutball Math Genius Calls For Carpet-Bombing The Middle East!” You overreach.

You write, quoting me at length first:
"With respect to why Bush put us in a war with Iraq, I have only said that if Bush thought Saddam was a threat, either he was (a) hallucinating, (b) hearing the voice of God (which some would say is the same thing) or (c) he based his view on some informational perception on which he was relying. That is my position, which you do not address. You likewise do not address my contention that, after exhaustive searching and evaluation of all intelligence, there is nothing known to establish Saddam as a threat except the refuted and possibly fraudulent p.24 NIE excerpt. Believe me, if Bush had something better, he would have leaked that instead."

But wait! This is the speculation you said you weren't engaging in! I guess I did address this PROOF OF CONTRADICTION. Contradictory Corson Strikes Again! Jim Haggerty Realizes He Has Won And Stops Posting!

I respond:
You remind me of Bush on the aircraft carrier declaring victory in Iraq, while we are still fighting, even now, Saddam’s Sunni officers and troops as insurgents in a gorilla war where they are getting the better of us and pushing Iraq toward civil war. Too, you still do not address my position and contention, just as I say above, but you promised your last one, was your last post. As I would say to Bush, what kind of victory is that?

Kimball Corson Is Still A Nutbag

Whew! Well, I am now clear on your position:

1. You do believe the Iraqi people were better off being ruled by Hussein than they are ruling themselves.

2. You now concede that random mass bombing of Arab nations -- as you suggested -- is a bad plan.

3. You did not mean to imply that al Qaeda has a rightful claim to territory in Iraq, although that is a reasonable interpretation of what you wrote.

4. You think that when I said "Bush did not need to rely on the NIE in forming his impression that Iraq was a threat" what I meant was "Bush hallucinated that God spoke to him".

5. You admit that there is classified information pertinent to this question that you have no access to and which could reveal everything you have conjectured is false.

6. You admit that you have taken my quotes out of context more than once.

7. You believe it plausible that Bush went to war to "occupy" Iraq and steal the Sunni's oil.

8. You now claim that you established that Bush could not rely on the NIE in forming his impression that Iraq was a threat, when that has been the point of contention between us from the start. That is, you have now formally discarded your original argument.

8. Citing to Hume somehow helps you avoid the Law of Contradiction.

In light of this, I must change my mind, and so I shall respond. I have read Hume, and, to my knowledge, even Hume believes in the Law of Contradiction. But I am sure there is a conspiracy nut out there who thinks otherwise, and his name is probably Kimball Corson.

The second time I wrote 8, I meant 9.

I should have used preview, again.

Playing With Numbers

Liar Kimball: "Those are the current numbers. I was not referring to the past."

It is irrational for you to keep rejiggering the numbers. Slightly below 2% or slightly above 2% is still approximately 2%, which was my original statement. It still stands.

Iraq is not Vietnam. The risk of death for American troops in Iraq is very low. If you think the risk of death to American troops is very high, that calls your entire analysis of the situation in Iraq into question.

As for your analysis of tense, we were talking about the number of deaths during the election, which is in the past, and the number of troops in the region, which is the present. The relevant troop level is around 160,000 in either case.

Kimball Admits That He Is Antiwar Because He Loves To Hug Trees

Kimball Comes Clean: My position is and has been Iraq was not a sufficient threat to justify us invading it. Period.

Now, this is clearly wrong. We were right to invade in 1991. And we would have been right to invade when Hussein gassed the Kurds. And we would have been right to invade when Hussein first began violating the international laws that regulated his containment. That is a separate and distinct argument from "Bush lied to us to get us into a war for oil." But you cannot prove he lied, because the evidence suggests he really did believe that Iraq was a threat.

Kimball Lives on the Planet of the Apes!!!

Oh, and what is a "gorilla war"? Apparently, you thinkthe Iraqi insurgents are led by Charleton Heston.

Kimball Corson

Jim,

I mean what I said, not what you say I said. I also meant it when I said that was my substantive response to you.

Jim Haggerty

Then you have no substantive response to me, because nothing you said has any substance.

Oh, and my name isn't Jim Haggerty

:)

Kimball Corson


Corrections:

Jim or Whomever (I wouldn’t use my real name either, if I were you),

I mean what I said (except gorilla, of course, should be guerilla), not what you say I said. I also meant it when I said that was my last substantive response to you. I am obviously tired . . . of the repetition and the tedium.

If Kimball Was Guillible Enough To Believe My Name Is Jim Haggerty, Then You Can Sell Him A Bridge I

Kimball The Tree-Hugger: "What is being kept classified here is largely the specifics of the Bush Administration’s wrong doing."

This quote reflects one of the major problems with your "substantive" approach.

Hume would surely note that if the information is classified (i.e., you have not observed it), you have no idea, other than a speculative and spurious one, of what it consists. Let us say that I have ten fresh grapefruits in my refrigerator. You have never been over to my apartment, as I have a "No Nutball" policy, and so you have never opened my refrigerator and observed those grapefruits. You say that I have ten grapefruits in my refrigerator that are black with rot. I have no reason to believe what you say is credible, i.e., that you know what you are talking about, because there was no way for you to have acquainted yourself with the truth.

Note that you might be coincidentally right, and yet be utterly incredible. It is possible that if I randomly declare that there is life on Mars, because I had a dream of it, there really is life on Mars. That doesn't make my sourcing credible.

The same is true of the classified information that has yet to be declassified. You have no idea whether it exonerates Bush. You are just assuming the conclusion, a fallacy. So did you hallucinate? Or did God tell you? Or perhaps you read it in one of Hume's tomes? While you are at it, tell me what my lucky numbers for the lottery tomorrow....

When I Say Proof Of Contradiction, I Mean Proof Of Contradiction

In Brooklyn.

Kimball Corson

Now not Jim or again whomever,

I believe you have a screw loose, especially with your references to Freud, imputations of mental problems and inane arguments; you are admittedly and demonstrably dishonest (Jim Haggerty, then not Jim Haggerty; false characterizations, quote mining, etc.) and that you are abusing blog policy by your use of ad hominem slurs in lieu of your real name or at least a consistent designation. My suggestion: get more help.

When I Say Proof Of Contradiction, I Mean Proof Of Contradiction

I assume we are done.

Bob

"Oops, I accidentally disclosed a state secret. It's okay though, because I am the President."

When secrecy is a matter of convenience for politicians, then the union is lost.

Bob

The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.

- John F. Kennedy

Secrecy means evasion, and evasion means a problem to the moral mind.

- Gilbert Parker

Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.

- Lord Acton

More history is made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills and proclamations.

- John Barth


Secrets are for warmongers.

- Walter Ulbricht

Kimball Corson

Bob,

We are largely on the same page here, but what about not telling our enemies about our future plans in regard to them?

Bob

We shouldn't have plans in regard to our "enemies".

And why do we have enemies? Only due to prior atrocities committed by ourselves upon them. It's time for their retribution. We should ask for forgiveness and make amends. The we should do like the Swiss and remain politically neutral and trade with all.

You do realize that one day, the USA will not be top dog any longer. We will get our tails kicked. There's nothing we can do about it now. We've bullied many countries around. We've created many enemies. Many want to see us fall. The sad fact is, we brought it on ourselves.

Kimball Corson

Even when a country is nice, well behaved and has a reputation for being so, it can still get its butt kicked by a country that is badly disposed. Of course, when you have behaved badly and made a lot of enemies and then become relatively weak, you are really going to get it. But then, this doesn't consider nuks which allow the weak to reap havoc on the strong as well. The great equalizer, as the used to call a concealed handgun.

Kimball Corson

Nukes are, between weak and strong countries that have them, what handguns are in the possession of weak and strong men. The advantages of strength are compromised.

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