Bob Novak seems to have some doubts about the Boy King
The function of the State of the Union was to make clearer to the nation and the world the necessity for a regime change in Baghdad, though that phrase was not used. No new evidence was presented Tuesday night as Bush offered the same thin gruel offered on Capitol Hill last week in a senators-only top secret briefing by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which was widely described as a fiasco. While the senators could ask embarrassing questions behind closed doors, the president was uninterrupted by his cheering listeners.
Thus, Bush rhetorically connected the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda without providing a smoking gun. This justification for war implied lack of confidence in the argument that Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction constitute a valid cause for war. The White House promises to bolster that claim with future declassification of secret evidence.
“This speech is the beginning of a series of speeches,” said the “Senior Administration Official.” While acknowledging that the State of the Union “spends a great deal of time on Iraq,” he added: “One of these days, there will be an ‘Iraq only’ speech. And plans change. Who knows what’s going to (happen)?”
On reading Novak’s column, and combining it with Michael Kelly’s latest, one has to wonder: is there anyone is this administration who is willing to go on the record about anything? Witness…
On the day before the speech, a source officially described as a “Senior Administration Official” insisted that President Bush is undecided
“This speech is the beginning of a series of speeches,” said the “Senior Administration Official
According to the White House, he was moved by his Walter Reed Hospital visit with veterans of Afghanistan
“Committing troops is a difficult, tough decision for the American president,” said the “Senior Administration Official
People who “know a heck of a lot more about the markets” than the president “will tell you that is part of the reason why our investment is not as strong as it should be,” said the “Senior Administration Official
“This is not a declaration of war,” said the senior administration official, speaking on the day before the president’s State of the Union address
I spent half an hour or so on Monday interviewing, with some others, a “senior administration official,” as the White House ground rules dictate the nomenclature.
The senior administration official described a president who would accept an eleventh-hour peace,
There won’t be much more of this, the official said
“Look, Saddam is a creature of habit,” the senior administration official said
“We cannot allow Iraq to get to the same position where North Korea is,” the official said
The official described both Hussein and al Qaeda as “a great danger to America” in their very “nature”
The official talked of the conflict, now and coming, in historical and frankly moral terms.
…and on and on.
I thought it was only Steno Sue Schmidt that used to uncritically just take down notes and quote them verbatim in her articles, but now it looks as if the likes of Novak & Kelly just turn on a tape recorder, then go outside for a smoke.
It’s good work if you can get it….