Thursday, July 24, 2003
Today the Vice President of the United States ascended from his subterranean lair for another no-question-asked ex cathedra pronouncement in this newly orchestrated counter-attack on critics of his credibility-plagued Executive branch.
The Bush administration’s Eminence Gris, looking a tad more gris, tried to maintain the fig leaf of an involved CEO President while claiming the administration’s factual support came from a document the President and his National Security Advisor have publicly claimed not to have read in its entirety.
The October 2, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, assembled through intra agency haggling and politics, said:
"We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction program in defiance of U.N. resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons, as well as missiles with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions. If left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."
The basis for these broad claims rests on the famous Dodgy Dossiers; forgeries of Nigerian government documents stolen by unknown parties from the Nigerian Embassy in Rome, Italy early in January of 2001.
The “crude forgeries” indicated that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium yellowcake, restated in the immortal words of President Bush II, from Africa.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported two separate memos from the CIA were sent to Assistant National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley on October 5th and 6th 2002 that disproved an Iraqi interest in acquiring yellowcake; memos Hadley claims to have forgotten until recent events jogged his memory.
We have been told Mr. Hadley is a fine Assistant National Security Advisor. I suspect if the Congress is able to get past claims of privilege we will find him, like so much else connected to this administration, to have been only “darn good”.
Mr. Cheney forgets that most Americans have already witnessed events oddly similar to this yellowcake flap in a past still recent from traumatic memory.
A stark reminder of that other time when the President discounted an intelligence briefing during a lazy August vacation in Crawford came with today’s release of the sanitized Report of Congressional Investigation into the events surrounding September 11, 2001.
Ironically, through the same tightly coordinated efforts of the media Wurlitzer that enabled and maintained their power, the Bush defense, in the yellowcake matter devolved into noise, pointing fingers and thinly veiled threats.
Americans, with our short attention spans, are not as good extracting information from dense word convolutions as we are at quick subjective judgments.
Able-bodied Bush lackeys, echoing through the Wurlitzer, have been working double and triple overtime (unpaid, I hope) executing the Vice President’s attack on the hyped build to the Iraq II war. The exuberant avalanche of media could’s, might’s and maybe’s that herald massaged news have prompted a dizzying array of random images and irrelevant concepts. But, some concepts, like a 14 year-old boy dying in a firefight, poke through the numbing blizzard.
Concepts like Presidents and their PhD advisors who do not read the brief and beautifully typed classified reports placed so carefully by fussy sub-assistants on their uncluttered highly polished desks knife cleanly out of the darkness to command an occupied American’s attention.
Clearly, Mr. Vice President, the President has not been served by your direction of his government. As former Presidents and their advisors have counseled, the only course for the self-described “man in the bubble” is the complete frankness of a Nixonion “total hangout”. The Vice President could have taken a major step today by simply taking reporter’s questions at the conclusion of his AEI remarks. Truth can take the heat; funny business withers merely in the glare.
Photo: David Snyder, Reuter's