Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Another media cycle ticks by and still nothing further on Colonel Joe Dowdy is to be found in the mainstream media. Meanwhile Internet search engines are humming with repeated requests for the limited information on Dowdy available.
The very telepresent Chairman of the Joints Chiefs General Richard Myers was on Larry King last evening reinforcing the heavy administration spin regarding the ground battle in Iraq and attempting again to smear any criticism of the plan.
Old Larry tried to mine for a little dirt by pressing the General on Rumsfeld’s “style”.
It was funny watching the General’s eyes pong about as he stammered that the Defense Secretary’s style was “widely known”. If “widely known” means material that I too have read and not just Pentagon hallway scuttlebutt then it seems the JCS Chairman was acknowledging Rummy’s go for the throat no disagreement countenanced personality.
I wish they could be honest enough with the American people to say that the decision to rapidly push on to Baghdad was made knowing the gamble would lead to potentially increased numbers of lost American lives.
Mere preliminary questioning along these lines prompted great waves of dissembling bon homme from the peripatetic Earth shoe wearing Defense Secretary at yesterday’s press conference. “We have no perfect knowledge…” is a favorite Rumfeldian way of saying, “shit happens” as an argument closer. A preponderance of Henny Penny negativity grew, into “…chasing the wrong rabbit” when it came to a question on the initially trouble beset lighter ground force.
So, lets see…nothing is perfect and reporters are chasing rabbits if they look at less than perfect aspects of the “superb” plan?
Finally a question on the Iraqi National Museum and the Secretary just doesn’t know “the Iraqi will have to sort this out…”
I thought it very curious that all cable "news" networks left the press conference as the Secretary was responding to the Iraq National Museum question causing this writer's flight to C-SPAN. The networks were hustling to a Laci Peterson update and, of course, couldn't wait until the Defense Secretary finished his question. Even press conference slo-poke MSNBC hopped out of the Pentagon press conference fast as a rabbit being chased!
A very interesting report in the London Guardian indicates that the US government didn’t attempt to freeze or monitor Iraqi financial transactions in the weeks and days leading up to war as was done prior to Afghanistan with the Taliban.
…Before the fall of Baghdad…a far more damaging form of looting was already under way as Iraqi bank accounts were ransacked and millions of dollars were transferred into private accounts abroad, Middle Eastern banking sources said yesterday.
US investigators are scrambling to track down the missing money, estimated at between $5bn and $40bn (£3.2m and £25.bn), but some financial experts believe much of it has gone for good, and may have slipped into the hands of extremist groups such as al-Qaida. One official who has seen reports from Middle Eastern banks told the Guardian he had seen details of at least five transfers of between $100,000 and $1m going to a single bank whose name he provided but did not want published.
"We saw it pick up right at the beginning of the shooting war. Then it really peaked the day before and the day of the fall of Saddam's statue [in Baghdad]. We haven't really seen anything since," the official said.
Administration water carrier Howard Kurtz has a frightening sentiment buried in his column in today’s Washington Post that most likely conveys the feelings of some in the Bush camp:
Syria? Bah. It's already being touted as "Cakewalk II".