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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Invictus @ Blah3 - Life In The Shadow Of Empire...

Cheney's appearance yesterday on Meet the Press reminded me of his visit with Tim Russert on Sept. 8, 2002 (please go read it for a sorry reminder of how this country was misled to war). Remember that visit? It was the one in which Cheney pointed to that day's NY Times and said:
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Specifically aluminum tubes. There’s a story in The New York Times this morning-this is-I don’t-and I want to attribute The Times. I don’t want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it’s now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge.
And, in fact, the Times had reported that day:
More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

The Times referred to "Bush administration officials," "American officials," and "American intelligence."

It quoted a "senior administration official" as follows:

''The jewel in the crown is nuclear,'' a senior administration official said. ''The closer he gets to a nuclear capability, the more credible is his threat to use chemical or biological weapons. Nuclear weapons are his hole card.''

''The question is not, why now?'' the official added, referring to a potential military campaign to oust Mr. Hussein. ''The question is why waiting is better. The closer Saddam Hussein gets to a nuclear weapon, the harder he will be to deal with.''

I remember wondering at the time why all these officials needed anonymity to discuss Saddam's nuclear ambitions. What repurcussions could there be for attaching one's name to the comment that "the jewel in the crown is nuclear"? Is that some sort of state secret?

As Isikoff and Corn revisit this scam, it was all part of the administration's feedback loop:

1) Plant a story with the media.
2) Get on the talk shows and refer to the story you planted as "proof" of your premise.

I don't know why -- can't quite explain it -- but I find the administration's use of this feedback loop particularly unconscionable.

Separately, Russert questioned Cheney about why our allies weren't on the same page with regard to Iraq's aspirations:

MR. RUSSERT: Why haven’t our allies, who presumably would know the same information, come to the same conclusion?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I don’t think they know the same information.

Yeah, of course they don't, you lying sack of shit. They knew the real information: That Saddam was an impotent tyrant who'd been essentially defanged.
Blah3 - Life In The Shadow Of Empire...


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