July 25, 2004

9/11 Report

The WSJ has a useful summary.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 08:00 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Joe Wilson and John Kerry

I am already so very tired of the Democrat's tactics this election season. It's as if they realized during the Clinton years that being caught actually lying to a federal grand jury, and made a mental note: We'll get those Republicans for lying next time around. Now, of course, virtually everything Bush says that they disagree with is a lie -- no matter that lying is a particular type of falsehood, an intentional one. But they're not sweating those details.

Here's a bit from a must read column by Mark Steyn:

Well, the week went pretty much as I predicted seven days ago:



But it turns out JOE WILSON LIED! PEOPLE DIED. Of embarrassment mostly. At least I'm assuming that's why the New York Times, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, PBS drone Bill Moyers and all the other media bigwigs Joseph C. Wilson IV suckered have fallen silent on the subject of the white knight of integrity they've previously given the hold-the-front-page treatment, too.

And what about John F. Kerry? Joe Wilson campaigned with Kerry in at least six states, and claims to have helped with the candidate's speeches. He was said to be a senior foreign policy adviser to the senator. As of Friday, Wilson's Web site, restorehonesty.com, was still wholly paid for by Kerry's presidential campaign.

Heigh-ho. It would be nice to hear his media boosters howling en masse, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" But Joe Wilson's already slipping down the old media memory hole. He served his purpose -- he damaged Bush, he tainted the liberation of Iraq -- and yes, by the time you read this the Kerry campaign may well have pulled the plug on his Web site, and Salon magazine's luxury cruise will probably have to find another headline speaker, and he won't be doing Tim Russert again any time soon. But what matters to the media and to Senator Kerry is that he helped the cause of (to quote his book title) The Politics Of Truth, and if it takes a serial liar to do that, so be it.

But before he gets lowered in his yellowcake overcoat into the Niger River, let's pause to consider: What do Joe Wilson's lies mean? And what does it say about the Democrats and the media that so many high-ranking figures took him at his word?

First, contrary to what Wilson wrote in the New York Times, Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. In support of that proposition are a Senate report in Washington, Lord Butler's report in London, MI6, French intelligence, other European agencies -- and, as we now know, the CIA report, based on Joe Wilson's original briefing to them. Against that proposition is Joe Wilson's revised version of events for the Times.

This isn't difficult. In 1999, a senior Iraqi "trade" delegation went to Niger. Uranium accounts for 75 percent of Niger's exports. The rest is goats, cowpeas and onions. So who sends senior trade missions to Niger? Maybe Saddam dispatched his Baathist big shots all the way to the dusty capital of Niamy because he had a sudden yen for goat and onion stew with a side order of black-eyed peas, and Major Wanke, the then-president, had offered him a great three-for-one deal.

But that's not what Joe Wilson found. Major Wanke's prime minister, among others, told Ambassador Wilson that he believed Iraq wanted yellowcake. And Ambassador Wilson told the CIA. And the CIA's report agreed with the British and the Europeans that "Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from Africa."

In his ludicrously vain memoir The Politics Of Truth, Wilson plays up his knowledge of the country. He makes much of his intimacy with Wanke and gives himself the credit for ridding Niger of the Wanke regime. The question then is why a man who knew so much about what was going on chose deliberately to misrepresent it to all his media/ Democrat buddies, not to mention to the American people. For a book called The Politics Of Truth, it's remarkably short of it. On page 2, Wilson says of his trip to Niger: "I had found nothing to substantiate the rumors." But he had.

That's what lying is, by the way: intentional deceit, not unreliable intelligence. And I'm not usually the sort to bandy the liar-liar-pants-on-fire charge beloved by so many in our politics today, but I'll make an exception in the case of Wilson, who's never been shy about the term. He called Bush a "liar" and he called Cheney a "lying sonofabitch," on stage at a John Kerry rally in Iowa.

Read the rest.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 09:50 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 11, 2004

The Big Niger-Uranium Lie

Apparently it wasn't Bush who lied.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 09:02 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Allawi Is No Ostrich

The new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi thinks there was a Saddam-al Qaeda connection. Apparently he's not moved by the New York Times' spin.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 04:12 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

War Agendas

More evidence of lying about the war in Iraq here. Have they no shame?

Posted by Old Benjamin at 04:14 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Iraq-Al Qaeda

More Bush-Cheney lies about the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection here.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 06:57 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 21, 2004

9/11 Commission Manipulation

William Safire:

WASHINGTON — "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie" went the Times headline. "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed" front-paged The Washington Post. The A.P. led with the thrilling words "Bluntly contradicting the Bush Administration, the commission. . . ." This understandably caused my editorial-page colleagues to draw the conclusion that "there was never any evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. . . ."

All wrong. The basis for the hoo-ha was not a judgment of the panel of commissioners appointed to investigate the 9/11 attacks. As reporters noted below the headlines, it was an interim report of the commission's runaway staff, headed by the ex-N.S.C. aide Philip Zelikow. After Vice President Dick Cheney's outraged objection, the staff's sweeping conclusion was soon disavowed by both commission chairman Tom Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton. . . .

Cheney's ire was misdirected. Don't blame the media for jumping on the politically charged Zelikow report. Blame the commission's leaders for ducking responsibility for its interim findings. Kean and Hamilton have allowed themselves to be jerked around by a manipulative staff.

Yesterday, Governor Kean passed along this stunner about "no collaborative relationship" to ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "Members do not get involved in staff reports."

Not involved? Another commission member tells me he did not see the Zelikow bombshell until the night before its release. Moreover, the White House, vetting the report for secrets, failed to raise an objection to a Democratic bonanza in the tricky paragraph leading to the misleading "no Qaeda-Iraq tie."

The 9/11 Commission is just ridiculous.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 02:04 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 20, 2004

Was Saddam Linked to 9/11?

I don't know, but the NY Times has grudgingly conceded today that the Administration never said that Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks. The Times has got the past statements from Administration officials to prove it too.

I wonder if those on the anti-war left will now stop with their campaign of deception designed to make people believe that the Administration did try to connect Saddam with 9/11. I doubt it.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 08:36 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

9/11 Commission Agrees that NY Times Lied

The commission's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, and its vice chairman, Lee H. Hamilton, appeared on the ABC News program "This Week" as two other commission members were interviewed on the NBC News program "Meet the Press" about initial findings of the commission. Its final report is scheduled to be released next month. . . .

"We have concluded there is no evidence that we can find whatsoever that Iraq or Saddam Hussein participated in any way in attacks on the United States," Mr. Kean said. "What we do say, however, is there were contacts."

Mr. Hamilton said he had looked at the statements "quite carefully" from the administration. "They are not claiming there was a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda with regard to the attacks on the United States," he said.

He later added that with regard to the administration's core statements, "I don't think there is a difference of opinion with regard to those statements."

So it is seems that it's now well established that the NY Times lied last week with its headline claiming the Commission found no Al Qaeda-Iraq tie.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 08:26 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Saddam-Al Qaeda Link?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks has been told ``a very prominent member'' of al Qaeda served as an officer in Saddam Hussein's militia, a panel member said on Sunday.

Republican commissioner John Lehman told NBC's ``Meet the Press'' program that the new intelligence, if proven true, buttresses claims by the Bush administration of ties between Iraq and the militant network believed responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.

``We are now in the process of getting this latest intelligence,'' Lehman said.

Commission Chairman Thomas Kean urged the administration to make any such information available to the panel quickly.

``Obviously, if there is any information (that) has to do with the subject of the report, we need it, and we need it pretty fast,'' Kean said on ABC's ``This Week'' program. ``We'll ask for it and see.''

He said the final report would be modified to take any new intelligence into account.

Lehman said the information, contained in ``captured documents,'' was obtained after the commission report was written that stated there was no evidence of a ``collaborative relationship'' between Iraq and al Qaeda.

``Some of these documents indicate that (there was) at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al Qaeda,'' Lehman said.

``That still has to be confirmed, but the vice president (Dick Cheney) was right when he said that he may have things that we don't yet have,'' said Lehman, a former Navy secretary.

As they say, developing . . .

Posted by Old Benjamin at 08:15 PM | Permalink | TrackBack