(Photo of Gen. Patraeus and President Bush via AFP/File/Jim Watson.)
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has a scathing op-ed in the WaPo this morning, in which she says: “Our troops face death every day; the least the president can do is face the truth.”
That would be swell, if I thought he knew what the meaning of truth was. But given his penchant for jiggering the numbers (easy to do when you keep them classified), and after reading Sidney Blumenthal’s latest, I sincerely doubt that the man even cares about being honest — either with himself or any of the folks around him. Before they trot out Gen. Patraeus for the political dodge and phony show (and his very best Colin Powell “good soldier” impression), everyone needs to take a long look at Sydney’s article. To wit:
Both the French intelligence service and the CIA paid Sabri hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least $200,000 in the case of the CIA) to give them documents on Saddam’s WMD programs. “The information detailed that Saddam may have wished to have a program, that his engineers had told him they could build a nuclear weapon within two years if they had fissible material, which they didn’t, and that they had no chemical or biological weapons,” one of the former CIA officers told me….
The next day, Sept. 18, Tenet briefed Bush on Sabri. “Tenet told me he briefed the president personally,” said one of the former CIA officers. According to Tenet, Bush’s response was to call the information “the same old thing.” Bush insisted it was simply what Saddam wanted him to think. “The president had no interest in the intelligence,” said the CIA officer. The other officer said, “Bush didn’t give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up.”
This brings to mind something that James Fallows wrote the other day:
…the most plausible explanation for the otherwise bewildering chain of errors was the personal dynamics of the people at the top. The darkness of Cheney, the ideological cocksureness of Wolfowitz and operational cocksureness of Rumsfeld, the careerism of Tenet, the pliancy of Rice and (for different reasons) Powell. And, transcending them all, the magical combination of certainty and lack of curiosity of the man at the top…
Nothing like being certain even when you are utterly and completely wrong, is there? Especially when it is other people’s children who are dying for your lies and certitude. But what does President Short Attention Span (and apparently incurious delusional idiocy) care when there’s a BBQ to attend, thrown in honor of the “meat guy.”
Emptywheel has a couple of theories that are well worth the discussion on this. In the meantime, I need some coffee. These people make me ill, and I need fortification from the utterly disgusted feeling in the pit of my stomach.
While you are waiting on the refill, the Speaker’s blog has some video clips up of testimony from yesterday’s hearing on the GAO findings on Iraq. And Eric Boehlert has a great piece on how the media spent its summer vacation (hint: they aren’t going to like their grade). Greg Mitchell at E&P has some similar thoughts, and Atrios has visuals.
Jeebus. Perhaps Pickles has some painkillers to spare for the blossoming headache I get from contemplating her husband’s many failures…she may need them after reading this.
PS — RIP to a great voice, Lucianno Pavarotti has passed away. His performances always transfixed me as a child watching him on PBS, and this performance from Puccini’s Nessun Dorma (YouTube) is a great example of why.