Oddly enough I just read this anecdote in Stephen Hayes’ hagiography of Cheney. In an interview with Hayes, Mike McConnell confesses to the childish tactics he used to force CENTCOM to commit, one way or another, whether they thought Saddam would invade Kuwait.

"I’m going to see the chairman [Powell]," [McConnell] told his colleagues. "I went up to his office on the second floor…. So I went up to the second floor and went into the executive assistant’s office, just outside the chairman’s office. There’s a little peephole–you can look in to see if he’s busy so you don’t interrupt him, that sort of thing. So I looked in and he was sitting at his desk. I came out and I walked down the hall and had a Coke and went back down. And I said: "I’ve seen the chairman and here’s what we’re going to do." I never said that I’d talked to the chairman. "I’ve seen the chairman."

Our Director of National Intelligence, you see, is the kind of man who plays the old game you did as a five year old: "I saw mom and you’re in deep trouble," I used to tell my brothers. Only, by the time I was about six, I realized it was immature and dishonest. McConnell, apparently, has made an adult career out of such tactics.

So I guess it’s no surprise that such a mental five-year old would release this statement, upon having been caught lying (HT TP).

During the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on September 10, 2007, I discussed the critical importance to our national security of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the recent amendments to FISA made by the Protect America Act. The Protect America Act was urgently needed by our intelligence professionals to close critical gaps in our capabilities and permit them to more readily follow terrorist threats, such as the plot uncovered in Germany. However, information contributing to the recent arrests was not collected under authorities provided by the Protect America Act.

Shorter McConnell: "Okay, I lied when I told you we caught the German terrorists using the new program. But the program changes were important. Because I said so, that’s why." With absolutely no shame at having been caught in a lie.

I can see why our intellectually-impaired President likes this guy.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.