Monday, July 12, 2004
Plamegate: Another DEMOCRATIC Scandal
Looks like Plamegate is another Democratic scandal:
In fact, the [bipartisan Senate] report shows that one of the first allegations of false intelligence was itself a distortion: Mr. Bush's allegedly misleading claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had been seeking uranium ore from Africa. The Senate report notes that Presidential accuser and former CIA consultant Joe Wilson returned from his trip to Africa with no information that cast serious doubt on such a claim; and that, contrary to Mr. Wilson's public claims, his wife (a CIA employee) was involved in helping arrange his mission.
"When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the '16 words' or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger Uranium reporting," the report says. In short, Joe Wilson is a partisan fraud whose trip disproved nothing, and what CIA doubts there were on Niger weren't shared with the White House.
"The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities."
So reads Conclusion 83 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on prewar intelligence on Iraq. The Committee likewise found no evidence of pressure to link Iraq to al Qaeda. So it appears that some of the claims about WMD used by the Bush Administration and others to argue for war in Iraq were mistaken because they were based on erroneous information provided by the CIA.
A few apologies would seem to be in order. Allegations of lying or misleading the nation to war are about the most serious charge that can be leveled against a President. But according to this unanimous study, signed by Jay Rockefeller and seven other Democrats, those frequent charges from prominent Democrats and the media are without merit.
Or to put it more directly, if President Bush was "lying" about WMD, then so was Mr. Rockefeller when he relied on CIA evidence to claim in October 2002 that Saddam Hussein's weapons "pose a very real threat to America." Also lying at the time were John Kerry, John Edwards, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and so on.