April 25, 2007

The Mything Link

Hatched by Dafydd

So the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a snit, have subpoenaed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: They demand she some and testify about pre-Iraq war intelligence -- and about one element in particular:

Republicans accused Democrats of a "fishing expedition." But Democrats said they want Rice to explain what she knew about administration's warnings, later proven false, that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger for nuclear arms.

Ah, we come around once more, in the fullness of time, to arguing over President Bush's famous "sixteen words" from his 2003 State of the Union address:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

But in the meanwhile (since the last go-round) -- did I miss some huge revelation? Has the claim that Iraq "sought" yellowcake from Niger been "proven false?" Did I miss some great and powerful bombshell that was dropped subsequent to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report of July 7th, 2004?

Perhaps my memory fails, but I was under the distinct impression that that massive report on pre-war intelligence in fact found that those words were true -- not just literally (the Brits were reporting such), but in the deeper sense as well... that Iraq really had tried to obtain uranium from Africa. Oh yes, here is it... page 43 (page 8 on the pdf):

The intelligence report based on the former ambassador’s trip was disseminated on March 8,2002....

The intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996-1997). Mavaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware’of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999, [name redacted] businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted “expanding commercial relations” to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that “although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq.”

The "former ambassador" referenced above, from whose debriefing this "intelligence report" was prepared, was some guy named Joe Wilson. (Scooter Libby hinted to me that the former ambassador's wife was in the CIA at the time and may have had something to do with his trip to Niger.)

But according to the impeccably credentialed Reuters News Service, the warnings "that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger for nuclear arms" were "later proven false." And if you can't trust Reuters, well, who can you trust?

Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that the president and his entire administration, including Condoleezza Rice, must have lied; and the Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans -- presumably due to Condi's bullying -- must have conspired to slip that supposed confirmation into the 2004 report.

Secretary Rice should be dragged before Chairman Henry Waxman's (D-CA, 95%) committee and interrogated about her Iraq lies and deceptions!

...And about the firing of those U.S. attorneys.

...Oh, and Katrina, and the Pat Tillman cover-up.

...And isn't it about time we got to the bottom of yet another scandal? What did Condi know (and when did she know it) about Bush stealing the 2000 election? It's the most urgent question facing our country today, and all else must stop until we finally get some answers... under oath!

Thus is born the great and powerful mythic lore that sustains the American Left.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 25, 2007, at the time of 2:10 PM

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Tracked on April 26, 2007 7:30 PM


The following hissed in response by: MTF

We have to tolerate democracy I know, because all else is worse, but this kind of stuff in the middle of a war (designed only to make the administration run poorly) is near to the absolute limit. The snow is gone from D.C., and the flurries you are seeing are of subpoena's for every single responsible member of the administration.

The President might just as well issue blanket pardons to everyone for everything, and get over the political fallout in one big news cycle, instead of suffering the death of a thousand cuts.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 25, 2007 2:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: Section9

I actually believe that Rice has deliberately baited Henry Waxman into drawing up this subpoeana. Waxman is a Villian right out of Central Casting and Rice is perfectly positioned to play the Heroine.

Rice has sent letters to Waxman over the last month that Henry and his supporters could only find deliberately insulting and provoking. It is a partisan fishing expedition, and I actually believe that Rice wants to appear in front of Waxman's committee, but only after making him look as much like Joe McCarthy as possible.

She's already succeeded in splitting the committee along partisan lines, so she's succeeded in shaping the battlefield to her liking. Well done, imho.

Good on ya', Condi! I predict that Rice will show everyone how to take down a bully.

The above hissed in response by: Section9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 25, 2007 5:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

It's all about the oilvotes! I excerpted and linked.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 25, 2007 11:56 PM

The following hissed in response by: camwg

Just watched on c-span Rep Tom Davis(R) ranking member of the oversight committee, in his opening statement stipulate that we can all agree that the Presidents remarks have now been proven false. Something we can all agree on. I don't agree to that. What the hey, they have not been proven to have been false and the ranking Republican member on the committee doesn't even know this? They drive me nuts, don't they ever read or have staff members read the relevant reports? Who in the Republican party is going around saying this and why?

The above hissed in response by: camwg [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 3:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: Steelhand

It would be wonderful for our country if Sect. Rice were to testify, and clearly state that certain facts are true: the bulk of the entire world's intelligence resources beleived in the existance of Iraqi WMD; the British intelligence did indeed have knowledge of Sadaam attempting to secure yellow-cake; the government of Iraq was in contact with, if not completely aligned with, Al-Quaida; the United Nations did provide, through Sadaam's intransigence towards the UN inspectors, sufficient reason to believe that there was an impending danger sufficient, in the light of the WTC attacks, to invade Iraq.

However, we know that she has every reason to suspect that there will be an attempt to twist her words into a contradiction, real or imagined, sufficient to bring charges of perjury. This will be beaten to death on the networks and in the papers, further weakening the administration.

For her to testify would be a high risk/reward opportunity with a great deal of personal risk involved. The Dems are pros at the game of obfuscation in a torrent of words. Play at your own risk if you dare, Condeleezza.

The above hissed in response by: Steelhand [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 4:44 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dan S

"Just watched on c-span Rep Tom Davis(R) ranking member of the oversight committee, in his opening statement stipulate that we can all agree that the Presidents remarks have now been proven false."

Maybe he was referring to the parts where W said the nation was united against terrorism and we stood behind the troops?

The above hissed in response by: Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 7:32 AM

The following hissed in response by: Eilish

I keep hearing this compared to the work of the oversite committee during the later part of the Clinton administration. It seems competely different to me, but maybe I'm being all partisan and everything. I'd love to see some analysis by someone with more knowledge of this than I have.

The above hissed in response by: Eilish [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 8:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


(Is that pronounced "eyelash?")

The most obvious difference is that the investigations of President Bill Clinton focused on actual high crimes and misdemeanors:

  • Accepting money from Red China in exchange for altering American foreign policy and authorizing the transfer of our most highly classified nuclear secrets to the PRC;
  • Auctioning off everything from face time with the president to ambassadorships to (in the end) criminal pardons;
  • Land swindles;
  • Illegal futures trading;
  • Perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering...

That sort of thing.

By contrast, the Democrats are investigating the Bush administration for:

  • Invading Iraq;
  • Firing U.S. attorneys who reject the president's priorities for prosecution and go freelancing instead;
  • Asking witnesses to the death of Pat Tillman not to talk to anyone about it until the investigation concludes;
  • The investigation, prosecution, and conviction of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison;
  • The decision not to extend full constitutional protection to unlawful enemy combatants held in a foreign country;
  • The inability to prevent 9/11.

Do you see the difference? Republicans in the 1990s investigated actual criminal accusations against President Clinton and his administration.

Democrats today use congressional investigations as political weapons: When they disagree with administrative decisions, they demand an investigation, trying to criminalize policy disputes.

This is exactly what they did under Reagan with the "Boland Amendment" and the investigation of Oliver North, John Poindexter, et al for "violating" it... the whole Iran-Contra "scandal" (the scandal consisted of the president conducting foreign policy that the Congress didn't like).

The only distinction between the Reagan era and today is that the Democrats are even more aggressive, frantic, and hysterical about trying to criminalize policy disputes, because they have a chance to lose us another war.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 2:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: Eilish

(It is pronounced Ay-lish or I-lish, please forgive my not-very-accurate phonetic renditions. I personally pronounce it Ay-lish the Ei sounding like a long A. You're not the first to try the eyelash thing though. Luckily, I know how to pronounce your name as my maiden name was Jones!)

Thanks for the history refresher. That was my recollection, but I didn't remember details on investigations. There were just so many...

I do take comfort in the fact that in a year, very few will remember what topics were covered in these investigations. I worry more about the blatant doublespeak referenced in your latest post about Tenant's book. It is infuriating and extremely disturbing how blatant it has become.

The above hissed in response by: Eilish [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 8:33 PM

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