Monday, April 24, 2006
Two stories become one.
The first article to consider is the interview given by President Bush to the News Telegraph of Britain. In this interview President Bush states unequivocally that the final decision to invade Iraq was not made until 48 hours before the start of hostilities.
The President furthermore puts forth some effort to rebut the notion that the decision was actually made many months prior to the invasion as shown by the Downing Street Memos. (Which memos we must remember have never been questioned as authentic, and indeed which memos disclosure led to the prosecution of those responsible for exposing them under the state secrets act.) Regarding all this the President says:
"I took the decision after the ultimatum," Bush said emphatically. "I didn't want to put troops in Iraq unless I had to. And Tony didn't want to send troops unless he had to. I guess in the UK there's all kinds of rumors about 'we made the decision nine months ahead of time'. It's just not true.Note that the President, in effect, calls the minutes of the meeting with Tony Blair (the Downing Street Memo) a rumor. Trying to paint a proven fact as an untrue rumor simply shows the extent to which this President, who once touted his own integrity, has sacrificed that ideal on the alter of political expediency.
Given the disaster that Iraq has become, Bush is stuck trying to rewrite documented history. He does this by attempting to equate the facts as rumor, and then substituting his own narrative as true history. Unfortunately for Bush this is not working, and in trying to rewrite history President Bush is doing enormous damage to his credibility.
The second story I want to cover in this post is one of the reasons why Presidential credibility is at such a low these days. The following story gained far more notoriety than the interview with the British paper, but I believe the narrative provided by both stories when considered concurrently illustrates precisely the problem faced by this President.
The other story to consider in the context of Bush lying us to war is thanks to Tyler Drumheller, former head of CIA covert operations in Europe, who has given an interview to 60 minutes' Ed Bradley. Mr. Drumheller states in no uncertain terms, that the administration was told of intelligence that questioned the administrations drive to prove that Iraq continued to possess WMD. According to Mr. Drumheller, (and various other sources) each time the intelligence did not fit the policy of regime change, that intelligence was not given consideration.
the real failure was not in the intelligence community but in the White House. He says he saw how the Bush administration, time and again, welcomed intelligence that fit the president's determination to go to war and turned a blind eye to intelligence that did not.Mr. Drumheller describes the case of Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, described as a member of Saddams inner circle as a case in point. When the administration was made aware that the inner circle of Saddam was penetrated by the CIA they were thrilled with the news. However when Mr. Sabri told his handlers that Iraq had no nuclear weapons program or even stockpiles of WMD, the response by the administration was to ignore him.
"It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it's an intelligence failure. It's an intelligence failure. This was a policy failure," Drumheller tells Bradley.
"The idea of going after Iraq was U.S. policy. It was going to happen one way or the other,"
"The group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they're no longer interested," Drumheller recalls. "And we said, 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said, 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.'"Is this not an interesting juxtaposition? Saturday we have an interview of the President in which he states in no uncertain terms that the decision to invade Iraq was not made until 48 hours prior to the invasion actually happening. Yet the very next day we hear from a top level CIA operative who gives us the down and dirty details that prove exactly the opposite of the Presidents contention. It seems that no matter how hard he tries, the President can not remake history to be what it is not, and in continuously trying to do so he is further destroying his already ruined reputation. The President would do well to stop pretending that continuing the bluster and lying will make this all go away. The only way for him to stop the bleeding is to step up and admit the truth that everyone except the most ardent koolaid drinkers can see. America is big on forgiveness, but small on being blatantly lied to.
Let me ask you... who do you believe is telling the truth here. If you believe the President is being honest with us, but the CIA agent is lying, I have some ocean front property in Utah I believe would be a great investment opportunity for you.
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