Russert's role in the lead up to the war

It’s pretty clear Russert was talking about their ultimate exit and incorrectly blaming it on Saddam. Otherwise you have to argue he’s asking Gore what he would to about a break in inspections that lasted barely two weeks.

But the second time is what Russert was refrring to when he said, “a year ago” to Al Gore. He did the interview with Gore in December of '99.

But after they left, SH wouldn’t let them back in. Maybe that’s technically not kicking them out, but what’s the difference? He did kick them out once, and when he let them back in he didn’t really cooperate with them. Then they left, and he wouldn’t let them back in.

So, we wouldn’t have gone to war if only Russert had said: What are you going to do now that SH won’t let the inspectors back in?" instead of saying SH kicked them out?

So you concede that “a year ago” relative to the Gore interview, Saddam did not kick the inspectors out.

Russert and other journalists who didn’t ask enough tough questions leading up to the war are not at fault for the war, unless they also happened to be holding executive governmental office, such as President, Veep, Sec Defense, Sec of State, Nat’L Sec.Advisor, etc., at the same time. The ones who told the lies, or who relied on egregiously wrong intelligence, are the ones at fault.

Not to mention the fact that they left because they had nothing to do - the Hussein government had suspended all cooperation with the teams.

Look, you can play games with what Russert said or didn’t say - it doesn’t change the fact one bit that Iraq wasn’t in compliance with their obligations under the UN resolutions and the cease-fire.

Well, that’s fair. Same for me with names like Julius Seezer and President Linken. :wink:

No, I don’t. He did kick them out, and when he let them back in he didn’t cooperate with them so they left. Then he wouldn’t let them back in. It’s a semantic nitpick that any of his guests could easily correct. If they didn’t, then it’s their fault, not Russert’s.

Irrelevant. Also specious. They took a few potshots at UN planes. Big deal. Bust as i said, irrlevant, since nothing in the UN Resolution authorized regime change as retribution for a violation, much less unilateral, non-defensive regime change by the US.

Wait, why is this not a big deal?

Russert made a factully incorrect statement when he said, One year ago Saddam Hussein threw out all the inspectors who could find his chemical or nuclear capability.” That was a false assetion, period. It’s actually doubly false since he also accused saddam of hiding nuclear and chemical capabilities which we now know did not exist (and for which Russert had no evidence when he said it).

It’s also not true that Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors back in. He let them back in unconditionally in 2003, but Bush yanked them because they weren’t finding anything and it was becoming damaging to his case for invasion.

Because they didn’t have anti-aircraft capabilities which were any genuine threat to the UN planes. It was an impotent, symbolic act, no better than firing a shotgun at them.

Although Mr Moto supports the war, there was nothing in his post about a justification for the war. It is a fact that SH was not in compliance with the UNSC resolutions.

What do the UNSC resolutions have to do with this discussion?

No. If I kick you out of my dinner party, then let you back in later and make you stay in the library while the rest of continue eating, I think it’s fair to say I kicked you out. Especially if you leave because you’re bored and then I don’t let you return at all later.

Do you have a cite for that? Russert usually doesn’t make assertions-- he usually just asks questions.

Irrelevant, since that’s after the timeframe we’re talking about here.

I know a lot of people would prefer that Russert (and other journalists) would have tried to call out Bush, Cheney, and others on what they said in response to his questions. Personally, I think there’s a good place for journalists who simply ask good questions to get leaders on the record on critical issues, and let people make up their own mind.

I think Russert did ask tough questions, regardless of what his personal views were on the war. I look at the transcript of the Cheney interview and think that Russert asked the right things. Such as:

I think those are good, fair questions. To boil down Russert’s responsibility for the war to a few questions about UN inspectors being kicked out of the country is making a mountain out of a molehill. Russert, in my estimation, neither tilted his questions to being pro-war or anti-war, and that I think is a commendable task for a journalist.

Note to self: be very careful about accepting an invitation to dine at John Mace’s house.

It’s an error, and if it makes no difference, it’s still worth remembering that at the time, it was often cited as part of the whole “He’s not complying, we don’t know what he’s hiding” thing.

At what time? When the AUMF was passed, he was not in compliance because he would not let the inspectors in.

But this whole business of him not being in compliance is a red herring anyway. The UNSC resolutions were so strict and so onerous (from SH’s perspective) that it was next to impossible for him to comply. It was a “slam dunk” for any US president to prove that SH wasn’t in compliance, but that doesn’t mean we should’ve gone to war.