Friday, April 27, 2007

He shoots, he misses!

Johnny Rocketseed (John Hinkeraker for the uninitiated) made the expected howl tonight about the subpoena of Condoleezza Rice to testify before Henry Waxman's committee in the House about the trumped-up claim that Iraq tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. Johnny is nothing if not predictable. But he made one comment that caught Spot's eye:

Where to begin. [sic] Actually, as we've pointed out many times, the weight of the evidence is that Iraq did, in fact, try to buy uranium from Niger. Beyond that, what President Bush actually said in his State of the Union speech--the famous "sixteen words"--was indisputably true. And beyond that, who cares?

I beg your pardon, Johnny? Spotty wonders what planet this guy is from? Spot would like to see Johnny prove that assertion with competent evidence.

Boys and girls, your friend Spot decided to see how long it would take to debunk Johnny's codswallop. The answer is under a minute. In an article in the Friday New York Times on George Tenets' new book, due out next week. A NYT reporter got a hold of an advance copy and pens this:

Mr. Tenet describes helping to kill a planned speech by Mr. Cheney on the eve of the invasion because its claims of links between Al Qaeda and Iraq went "way beyond what the intelligence shows."

"Mr. President, we cannot support the speech and it should not be given," Mr. Tenet wrote that he told Mr. Bush. Mr. Cheney never delivered the remarks.

Mr. Tenet hints at some score-settling in the book. He describes in particular the extraordinary tension between him and Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, in internal debate over how the president came to say erroneously in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa.

He describes an episode in 2003, shortly after he issued a statement taking partial responsibility for that error. He said he was invited over for a Sunday afternoon, back-patio lemonade by Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state. Mr. Powell described what Mr. Tenet called "a lively debate" on Air Force One a few days before about whether the White House should continue to support Mr. Tenet as C.I.A. director.

"In the end, the president said yes, and said so publicly," Mr. Tenet wrote. "But Colin let me know that other officials, particularly the vice president, had quite another view."

He writes that the controversy over who was to blame for the State of the Union error was the beginning of the end of his tenure. After the finger-pointing between the White House and the C.I.A., he wrote, "My relationship with the administration was forever changed." [italics are Spot's]

So, boys and girls, who is the competent witness, George Tenet or Johnny Rocketseed?

It's not Johnny Rocketseed, is it, Spotty?

No, grasshopper, it's not.

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