Obama's missing words?

Barack Obama's Oct. 26, 2002, speech at an antiwar rally in Chicago is getting renewed attention. There is a website called ObamaWasRight ("brought to you by DraftObama.org") that highlights Obama's early opposition to the war in Iraq and contrasts that position with statements from Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. The site also links to the text of Obama's speech, as posted at Wikipedia Wikisource, a sister site to Wikipedia.

A slightly different text of the speech was posted at the Obama2010 website (the placeholder should Obama run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010). That version includes ellipses (...) in a couple of places where, according to the Wikipedia version, Obama referred to the U.N. weapons inspectors and the pre-war intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs and ambitions. Here is a passage from the Wiki version. The words in bold were missing from the Obama2010 version:

"Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."

There are a couple of other discrepancies. The Obama2010 version lacks a sentence adding detail about his grandfather's World War II service ("He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka."). And the final paragraph of the Wikipedia version is missing from the Obama2010 version:

"The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain."

Yesterday, when I asked about the ellipses, a spokesman for Obama's exploratory committee told me that the version at Obama2010 was complete. The Wikipedia version, which has been edited several times, does not list its original source. It has some credibility, however, because Obama, the gifted orator that he is, would never have ended his speech where the Obama2010 text ends. It's too abrupt an ending.

Incidentally, a New Yorker article from May 2004 (when Obama was running for the U.S. Senate) refers to the 2002 speech and its reception this way:

"Obama’s core support in the primary came from African-Americans, most of them in Chicago, and from 'lakefront liberals'—residents of the city’s swankier boroughs, most of them white professionals. Among the latter, many had been drawn initially by Obama’s early opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Apparently, few who heard a speech that he gave at an antiwar rally in downtown Chicago in the fall of 2002—months before he announced for the Senate—forgot it. 'It was the best antiwar speech I have ever heard, bar none,' a lifelong Democratic activist, now in her late sixties, told me. I asked Obama about that speech. 'I noticed that a lot of people at that rally were wearing buttons saying, "War Is Not an Option," ' he said. 'And I thought, I don’t agree with that. Sometimes war is an option. The Civil War was worth fighting. World War Two. So I got up and said that, among other things.' What he said, among other things, was 'I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.' Invading and occupying Iraq, he said, would be 'a rash war, a war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.' "