Sunday, July 13, 2003
A highly interesting morning on the Sunday talking head programs proved beyond doubt that a huge political scandal is beginning to engulf Washington, DC.
The press, seemingly overnight, is beginning to realize it. Certainly, Don Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, various high-powered politicals, including a certain Vice President, and elements of the intelligence services know it as well.
A power-shifting scandal of historic importance and, from the silver lining department, the first in 30 years that cannot be easily headlined with the suffix gate.
It must have been the President's whey faced non-reaction during a Q & A in Entebbe, Uganda Friday that convinced fence sitters to hop down on to the scandal side. With eyes like pinpoints and a slack mouth, an emotionless leader of the Western world denied responsibility for only 16 words that capped months of nuclear whispers and a fear-mongering litany of dirty bombers, robot airplanes and "known" Iraqi radiological sites.
The President did not appear angry. He seemed confused. His hair was mussed and the televised image didn't possess the Mike Deaverish panache usually associated with Mr. Bush's controlled, image-polished appearances. He looked as he did on those scattered September 11, 2001 broadcasts from his flight to safety. He looked scared and it appears that he has reason to be.
Sunday, the reptilian Defense Secretary's aggressive avuncularity quickly dissipated under Russert and Stephanopolis' somewhat muscular morning questioning and, with a wardrobe of dismissive hand gestures, Mr. Rumsfeld denied any personal responsibility for the yellowcake matter. Doctor Rice was an altogether different kettle of fish. On FOX, though I missed most of the interview, she was clearly uncomfortable before Tony Snow let her off the hook. However, before a surprisingly relentless Bob Schieffer on CBS' Face the Nation, Condaleezza Rice gave a disgraceful performance that evaded questions and often devolved into inchoate babble.
America's word and her honor are at stake here along with the lives of thousands of our servicemen and our national security due to information manufactured to smooth a political agenda.
It is of major importance to identify the Executive branch individual or group of individuals responsible for advancing the yellowcake forgery. As many in both political parties have said yesterday and today, let the chips fall where they may.
Jul14 suffix Update: When I hinted in my unexpressed hope that no one here in America would needlessly strap the suffix "gate" to any Dodgy Dossier-related subject, I knew in my heart that some blogging bernsteins would give the time-worn buckles a new workout. Surfing liberal blogspace today, I found two unharmonious examples: Weaponsgate, I have to admit, confused me when I encountered it. No zip. The feel of a predigital scandal. And, Uraniumgate which should prove unpronouncible to more than just Tom Brokaw. I'm counting the hours until Yellowcakegate!