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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Smoking Gun


Update

Capitol Hill Blue has retracted the article quoted here, saying that there is no CIA analyst named Terrance J. Wilkinson, so I've posted my own retraction here and above. I've changed the font color of the now discredited material to red so you'll still know what it said, but know that it seems to be as dodgy as Tony Blair's dossier.


An intelligence consultant who was present at two White House briefings where the uranium report was discussed confirmed that the President was told the intelligence was questionable and that his national security advisors urged him not to include the claim in his State of the Union address.

"The report had already been discredited," said Terrance J. Wilkinson, a CIA advisor present at two White House briefings. "This point was clearly made when the President was in the room during at least two of the briefings."

Bush's response was anger, Wilkinson said.

"He said that if the current operatives working for the CIA couldn't prove the story was true, then the agency had better find some who could," Wilkinson said. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country."
-- Capitol Hill Blue.


Meanwhile, the hammer continues to see everything as a nail:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) also defended Bush's approach, telling reporters that it is "very easy to pick one little flaw here and one little flaw there." He defended the U.S.-led war against Iraq as "morally sound, and it is not just because somebody forged or made a mistake. . . . The Democrats can try all they want to undermine that, but the American people understand it and they support it." -- Washington Post.

DeLay certainly should know how easy it is, having picked on a little flaw here and a little flaw there to impeach Clinton for a much lesser crime. Fortunately, a few Democrats are finally finding out how easy it is--especially when the Liar in Chief gives them so much to work with:

Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) called it a "very important admission," adding, "This ought to be reviewed very carefully. It ought to be the subject of careful scrutiny as well as some hearings."

The senior Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.), said the administration's admission was not a revelation. "The whole world knew it was a fraud," Rockefeller said, adding that the current intelligence committee inquiry should determine how it got into the Bush speech. "Who decided this was something they could work with?" Rockefeller asked.

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, yesterday questioned why, as late as the president's Jan. 28 speech, "policymakers were still using information which the intelligence community knew was almost certainly false."
...
Several candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke out yesterday. Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said Bush's "factual lapse" cannot be easily dismissed "as an intelligence failure." He said the president "has a pattern of using excessive language in his speeches and off-the-cuff remarks" which "represents a failure of presidential leadership."

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said the administration "doesn't get honesty points for belatedly admitting what has been apparent to the world for some time -- that emphatic statements made on Iraq were inaccurate."

Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), former chairman of the intelligence panel, said, "George Bush's credibility is increasingly in doubt."

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) expanded the credibility problem to the administration: "The White House's admission that it cited false information to set this country on the path toward war erodes the credibility of the administration."

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean said, "The credibility of the U.S. is a precious commodity. We should all be deeply dismayed that our nation was taken to war and our reputation in the world forever tainted by what appears to be the deliberate effort of this administration to mislead the American people, Congress and the United Nations."


What did he know? That he had no evidence of WMD's. When did he know it? Before the state of the union address to Congress and the American public in which he knowingly cited false information. Before the war started. Case Closed. Impeach Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and Rumsfeld now!

(I'd love to include Ashcroft, too, but I can't see an easy way to link him to the lying-about-WMD's issue. We'll let Bush's successor replace Ashcroft.)