Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dick Cheney has not credibly explained these activities.

Dick Cheney and his circle of the like-minded known as the WHIG (White House Iraq Group) were determined to lead us down the Yellowcake Road. This group of hardheaded realists were untroubled by inconvenient facts -- until those facts were brought to light. President Sluggo tried to scare us in his 2003 state of the union speech by claiming that Saddam Hussein was shopping for uranium in Africa. When Joseph Wilson revealed that the president's "16 words" in his state of the union speech had no basis in fact, the WHIG swung into action. As the Washington Post reports, Scooter Libby and his boss couldn't tolerate their use of bogus intelligence being exposed:
The threat Wilson posed was that his charges were equally simple and marketable. He charged that Cheney asked a question and then disregarded, as did the president and his staff, an answer he did not like.
The indictment clearly demonstrates the extent of Scooter Libby's persistence in going after Wilson. Libby had nine conversations about Wilson and his wife in June and July of 2003, including two with Judith Miller. The first of these conversations was with Cheney, who told him, "that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in the Counterproliferation Division." By the way, the infamous "16 words" was followed by another bit of bogus intelligence:
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.
Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
The aluminum tube claim was later shown to be equally spurious. Supporters of the war in Iraq argue that almost everyone believed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Perhaps, but not everyone paraded phony evidence before the country and the world to bolster the case for war. Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA operative because her husband dared to show us that this evidence was forged. We have also learned, via the National Journal, that Cheney and Libby withheld documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee relating to this bogus intelligence:
Had the withheld information been turned over, according to administration and congressional sources, it likely would have shifted a portion of the blame away from the intelligence agencies to the Bush administration as to who was responsible for the erroneous information being presented to the American public, Congress, and the international community.
Our vice president pushed that phony evidence and has sought to cover his tracks ever since. Dick Cheney has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

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