Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Rummy Plays The Clinton Card

I caught the last twenty minutes of a Pentagon press briefing today on C-Span 2.

Not a habit for me. It's frustrating to view 'distinguished' members of the press allowing good questions to go unanswered and going limp as packaged answers go unchallenged.

Rummy was his usual arrogant self and Richard Myers a willing leaning post. He propped-up every non-statement made by his boss with an expanded version of same.

And I can sympathise with the press to a point. Men like Rumsfeld and Myers are so good at what they do and one reporter can't monopolise the forum.

But there's no excuse for intentionally misleading statements to drift out over the airwaves as if fact even if it means you won't get called on at the next conference.

Today Rummy reinforced the obvious that the Bush administration has agreed they should invoke Clinton's bombing of Iraq whenever questioned about missing WMD. Bush has been doing it in his fundraising speeches. Rummy took it for a longer spin.

It's stomach wrenching enough being expected to calmly abide rabid detractors of Clinton's bombing campaign now using the action as a flame extinguisher.

But when the press allows someone of Rummy's influence to sloppily 'revise' the story behind intelligence that led to Clinton's and allegedly Bush's decision to attack Iraq even when it's been soundly discredited is grossly negligent.

Am I to believe that someone as intelligent as Donald Rumsfeld comes to a press conference but can't 'specifically recall' the details of a story he's obviously rehearsed? Am I to forget that for months now the 'rest of the story' has been available to anyone who doesn't have their head inextricably [apparently] buried?

He went on that how after '9 months of inspecting' within a '10, or 20, or 30 percent error-frame', after which the inspectors were ready to declare Iraq compliant, their minds were 'changed' by the 'evidence' of a defector.

He must be talking about Kamel. Clinton used him as well.

But we now know that 'intelligence' also included this statement;

"All weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed."

Is it too much to expect the press to remind these people of this fact?

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