Finally, someone with balls…
I smell something – and it ainâ€™t a copy of the Quâ€™ran sopping wet from being stuck in a toilet in Guantanamo Bay. Itâ€™s the ink drying on Scott McClellanâ€™s resignation, and in an only partly imperfect world, it would be drifting out over Washington, and imminently.
Last Thursday, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeldâ€™s go-to guy whenever the situation calls for the kind of gravitas the Secretary himself canâ€™t supply, told reporters at the Pentagon that rioting in Afghanistan was related more to the on-going political reconciliation process there, than it was to a controversial note buried in the pages of Newsweek claiming that the government was investigating whether or not some nitwit interrogator at Gitmo really had desecrated a Muslim holy book.
But Monday afternoon, while offering himself up to the networks for a series of rare, almost unprecedented sit-down interviews on the White House lawn, Press Secretary McClellan said, in effect, that General Myers, and the head of the after-action report following the disturbances in Jalalabad, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, were dead wrong. The Newsweek story, McClellan said, â€œhas done damage to our image abroad and it has done damage to the credibility of the media and Newsweek in particular. People have lost lives. This report has had serious consequences.â€
Whenever I hear Scott McClellan talking about â€˜media credibility,â€™ I strain to remember who it was who admitted Jeff Gannon to the White House press room and called on him all those times.
Whenever I hear this White House talking about â€˜doing to damage to our image abroadâ€™ and how â€˜people have lost lives,â€™ I strain to remember who it was who went traipsing into Iraq looking for WMD that will apparently turn up just after the Holy Grail will – and at what human cost.
One of the most under-publicized analyses of 9/11 concludes that Osama Bin Laden assumed that the attacks on the U.S. would galvanize Islamic anger towards this country, and they’d overthrow their secular governments and woo-hoo we’ve got an international religious war. Obviously it didn’t happen. It didn’t even happen when the West went into Iraq. But if stuff like the Newsweek version of a now two-year old tale about toilets and Quâ€™rans is enough to set off rioting in the streets of countries whose nationals were not even the supposed recipients of the â€˜abuseâ€™, then werenâ€™t those members of the military or the government with whom Newsweek vetted the plausibility of its item, honor-bound to say â€œyou canâ€™t print thisâ€?
Or would somebody rather play politics with this? The way Craig Crawford reconstructed it, this one went similarly to the way the Killian Memos story evolved at the White House. The news organization turns to the administration for a denial. The administration says nothing. The news organization runs the story. The administration jumps on the necks of the news organization with both feet – or has its proxies do it for them.
Thatâ€™s beyond shameful. Itâ€™s treasonous.