Sunday, July 13, 2003

The real victim

Bush now considers the matter of Yellowcake-gate closed, meaning Tenet won’t get fired for “letting” Bush tell a porkie. So why does Bush think that *he* gets to decide when the question is closed? Because he sees no connection between himself and the words that are expelled from his mouth. Therefore, when Bush tells an untruth, he is actually the real victim, but in this case Bush has magnanimously decided to let Tenet off the hook for Bush having lied. Bush is not actually a liar, they are suggesting, he is a lie-delivery system. After all, you don’t blame the urinal for your bladder infection.

The person who wrote the lie in the first place is still at large. His speechwriter claims to have forgotten who inserted the text about Niger. Must have been the lie fairies.

The US has put out a reward of $2,500 for anyone with information about one of the many incidents in which Iraqis kill or try to kill US soldiers. That’s insultingly paltry, isn’t it? It’s 1/10,000th of the reward for Saddam’s capture. Still, that hasn’t happened either. It’s nice to know there are things the Iraqis won’t do for money. And still none of Saddam’s look-alikes have been found. Or Osama or Mullah Omar. Remember Mullah Omar?

The falsely named Iraqi governing council has just met (the Iraqi national budget was announced a week ago) and, exercising the one governing power devolved to it by Proconsul Bremer, has named a new holiday, the falsely named Independence Day, and abolished 6 old ones, which my feeble grasp of mathematics suggests means that Iraqis will have to work 5 more days for the same money.

The appointed council has been described as a mixture of Shiites, Kurds and whatnot, fully representative of the diversity of Iraqis (evidently the Iraqi population has 8 men to every woman, which would explain why they’re so cranky). 10 of the 25 lived in exile, 6 in Kurdish or other areas not controlled by Saddam. One is Chalabi. And, if this is any help, 18 wore business suits, 4 had keffiyas, 2 tribal costumes. The people surrounding the meeting wore US military combat gear, with some CIA agents in plain clothes. No members of the Iraqi public were allowed in. The most important member, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, said “We are working as fast as possible to end this invasion.” The sentence was mysteriously left out of the official translation. Can’t find it through Google, either.

Condi Rice was at the forefront in blaming George Tenet for Yellowcake-gate, but it turns out the State of the Union address was not the first time someone tried to put the Niger lie into a Bush speech, that the CIA had in fact intervened 3 months before with her deputy. So maybe Condi can stop trying to shift the blame away from herself. In a new shift, today the Bushies were trying to claim that it was all true, that Iraq really was trying to buy uranium in Niger. Look in the next couple of days for an attempt to blame France (if MI6 really didn’t tell the CIA everything it knew, it was because it got the info from French intelligence, which makes sense since France runs Niger’s uranium program).

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