Fried Rice, Yet Again
By Anthony Wade
I did a piece several months ago called Fried Rice, discussing the absurd statement by Condoleezza Rice that George Bush would one day be considered in the same breath as the largest diplomatic figures of the last 100 years, including Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. She was apparently inhaling again as she took to the talk circuit today.
Taking the we dont do mistakes cue from her boss, Rice portrayed today that the pre-invasion comments she made about Saddams nuclear capabilities as being accurate and defended the slaughter that ensued. In case you do not remember during the frantic run-up to the war, Bush sent out everyone to scare us into thinking that Saddam had all sorts of WMD. Rice was charged with selling us the nuclear side of it. Her most famous line was we dont want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. Mixed in with that fear-mongering tactic was some false intelligence. It was asserted that Saddam had recently bought some high-strength aluminum tubing which were, "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs", according to Rice. What she was not telling us however was that there were other rationale for the tubes that were in fact more plausible and in fact that the tubes had already been discredited as being useless for nuclear weapons. When asked about it today she said, "I knew that there was a dispute. I actually didn't really know the nature of the dispute". Well, allow me to clarify for you Condi.
The aluminum tubes were alleged by Condi, at the behest of Bush, to be used for the enrichment of uranium, a critical step toward building a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately for them, aluminum is not a material conducive for enriching uranium. When you combine that with the fact that the dimensions were wrong and Saddam sought no other materials which would be needed for such a venture, many logically concluded that they were purchased for 81mm artillery rockets Hussein said they were for. Of course all of this was known at the time because it was the opinion of the intelligence community that the tubes were NOT related to any nuclear aspirations. Of course the troubling thing for me is how our National Security Advisor did not know this? Compounding the problem with not knowing, Dr. Rice felt the prudent thing to do would be to spread the possibility of a mushroom cloud to the American people. This is the same National Security Advisor who could not have imagined terrorists flying planes into buildings even though she had been briefed about just that.
Continuing in her talk show soiree today, Rice said, "I stand by to this day the correctness of the decision to take seriously an intelligence assessment that Saddam Hussein would likely have a nuclear weapon by the end of the decade". Well, thats sweet Condi, but asinine. Not only would Saddam not have had a nuclear weapon, it appears he would not have had any weapons at all. I do not understand where the humility in this administration resides. We have found nothing in Iraq but death. The reasons for the war have been proven to be false and even if you want to ignore the culpability of the administration for cooking false intelligence, they should at least have the decency to say, oops, my bad, at this point. Instead we have people like Rice touring the Sunday morning talk shows to hype up discredited claims and defend the indefensible. Lets see what else she had to say:
"We were all unhappy that the intelligence was not as good as we had thought that it was. But the essential judgment was absolutely right. Saddam Hussein was a threat".
No offense, but I could care less if Rice is unhappy. The disingenuousness of this statement is staggering. What Dr. Rice is saying is that regardless of the truth, the judgment is correct. That is so abundantly stupid we should launch an investigation into her academic credentials. Also, the intelligence was good; it said the tubes were NOT for usage in nuclear weaponry. The issue is why the administration chose to lie about it and say that they were for the enrichment of uranium when they knew that aluminum is not suitable for that purpose.
"If you underestimate the nuclear threat of a tyrant, you make a really big mistake."
Hmm, I would proffer that when you lie to start a war that has killed tens of thousands of people and over 1000 American kids, you make a really, really, really big mistake, or a colossal error in judgment, if you will. I might also ask how this statement is consistent with Bush ignoring North Korea and Iran while they reconstituted their nuclear capabilities.
The bottom line is that this administration has no credibility left. It is devoid of substance and has lied so many times that it is a reflex action at this point, not a conscious decision. The New York Times has quoted four CIA officials and a senior administration official as saying that Rice's staff had been told in 2001 that Energy Department experts believed the tubes were probably intended for small artillery rockets and not nuclear weapons. Dr. Rices response to that today was that she learned of objections by the Energy Department only after making her 2002 comments.
Are we supposed to buy that? A year before making the mushroom cloud threats, her office was informed that the very tubes she was going to pimp as proof for nuclear potential were not usable for nuclear purposes. For a year, no one mentions it to her. Then she goes to the American people and puts visions of mushroom clouds in their heads by using these tubes as her proof. If this is not enough, two more years later she has the unadulterated nerve to defend the entire process. If it was not so frightening and pathetic it would be laughable. People get fired for such stupidity out here in the real world. In the land of the Bush Cabal, they get oil tankers named after themselves.
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional counselor, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
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