Sunday, September 28, 2003

Methods so you don't have to be dependent on people's memories

I just read the transcript of Condi Rice’s interview on “Meet the Obsequious Press” this morning. She says “I would warn off jumping in to any conclusions about what David Kay’s report says” about Iraqi WMDs. Of course that was the report that was supposed to be released last week and wasn’t and will probably never be released, so don’t jump to any conclusions before then. She said that we should continue believing in WMDs because everyone’s always believed in WMDs, and that was the premise behind the UN policies and Clinton’s air strikes in 1998. No, Clinton’s air strikes in 1998 were about a certain blow job, just ask any of your right-wing friends. Russert asked how the claims about Nigerien yellow cake got back into the State of the Union address three months after the DCI had them removed from an earlier speech. “It’s not a matter of getting back in. It’s a matter, Tim, that three-plus months later, people didn’t remember that George Tenet had asked that it be taken out of the Cincinnati speech and then it was cleared by the agency. I didn’t remember. Steve Hadley didn’t remember. We are trying to put now in place methods so you don’t have to be dependent on people’s memories for something like that.” Gee, I thought the human race had already developed methods so we wouldn’t have to be dependent on memory. Ya know: writing, Lexis-Nexis, shit like that. It would explain a lot about the Bush admin operates: they haven’t developed written language yet.

Some day we’ll find out what the hell is going on behind the scenes. The CIA just asked the FBI to investigate the leaking to the press of the fact that Ambassador Wilson’s wife was in the CIA, a serious crime under the 1982 Anti-Phillip Agee Law, which had been pushed for very hard indeed by George Bush the Elder. What took them so long? Didn’t get a big enough bribe in the last budget? Or if it’s that DCI Tenet himself leaked the fact, then why is his agency doing this at all? Personally I’d love to see Karl Rove go to prison, or Condi Rice.

This is where the incestuous relationship between the press and government becomes so obnoxious. Rove, or whoever, shopped that story all over town, meaning that reporters and editors at at least 6 newspapers know who the leaker is, which probably means everyone in the Washington press corps knows, and they write stories containing speculation about things they know the truth about. Sometime when Bush the Elder was VP, the Post did a profile of Jennifer Fitzgerald, who worked for him and was rumored to be his mistress. This was the point of the story, since they wouldn’t have written a story about her otherwise, but they didn’t mention the rumor; they did say that she had “worked under Mr. Bush in a variety of positions.”

Yesterday I mentioned Putin’s strategy to push Chechnya out of sight and mind. Today, the acting quisling president of Chechnya is poisoned, though still alive as of this writing.

Newsweek story about Rummy’s regime change in Iraq. He ordered Jay Garner not to take with him 16 of the 20 State Dept officials he planned to, because they were too pro-Arab (no doubt they could speak Arabic, which almost no one else in the provisional government can). It says even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion.

Tony Blair tells David Frost that he would do absolutely nothing different about Iraq. The Labour Party annual conference this week will not be allowed to discuss the matter. “Don’t mention the war,” as every paper inevitably puts it.

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