Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scottie Doth Protest Too Much?

Scottie was all agitated about the suggestion that his boss is a big fat liar.
"It's reckless reporting. Everybody should be agitated about it," White House spokesman McClellan told reporters of The Washington Post report.

But Scottie's passionate denials seem a little out of character, considering he normally resembles a limp squid.

When Bush said "we have found the weapons of mass destruction," the White House had been faxed a report which unequivocally denied that the trailers were mobile biological weapons labs. But Bush stated unequivocally the opposite, despite having been made aware of serious doubts.

But, just like with every other bit of inconvenient information that doesn't fit the script, Preznit McLeaky ignored it.
McClellan said Bush made his statement based on the combined conclusions of the CIA and DIA that were given to him in a May 28 white paper.

That white paper reflected the intelligence community's position at the time that the mobile units were biological weapons laboratories.

Perfectly reasonable explanation, until you see what the CIA and DIA White Paper based their confident conclusion on: info from Curveball [pdf], who was revealed to be a possible fabricator in late 2002, and the fact that they couldn't think of any other plausible uses for the trailers. Seriously.

The State Department dissented from the CIA's opinion about the trailers, but were left out of the loop. Perhaps the State Department uses better fax paper, so their copy didn't curl up and roll under the fax machine, like at the White House.
The fact that the C.I.A. and the D.I.A. did not consult with other agencies in producing the so-called white paper reflects a rare but not unknown approach, officials from the intelligence agencies and Congress said.

...

"We didn't shop that paper around because we were the ones who were most knowledgeable about it," the C.I.A. official said. "We were the ones who knew from a former Iraqi scientist [ed: yep, Curveball] what to expect, and we didn't have to ask a handful of people in small agencies."

Small, insignificant agencies like the State Department.
But administration officials sympathetic to the State Department said that the department's intelligence bureau felt it had been deliberately shut out of the process. The intelligence bureau has been more skeptical than the C.I.A. and D.I.A. on matters related to Iraq's suspected illicit weapons program and its ties to terrorism.

An intelligence official sympathetic to the C.I.A. view said the State Department intelligence bureau's skepticism had been well known and that seeking its input on the report would have served no useful purpose.

Got that? The CIA supporter said the CIA had no use for evidence that didn't fit the agenda.

But Scottie won't give up. Oops, I mean a "U.S. intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity" ::winkwink:: won't give up.
...the field report was a preliminary finding that had to be evaluated.

"You don't change a report that has been coordinated in the (intelligence) community based on a field report," the official said. "It's a preliminary report. No matter how strongly the individual may feel about the subject matter."

No matter how uncoordinated the White Paper was, how little evidence it was based on, you don't change it just because some other agency has unequivocal evidence that contradicts the White House spin. Also, no matter how much the contradictory evidence gets evaluated, you shelve it and ignore it for nearly a year.
The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were classified and shelved, the Post reported. It added that for nearly a year after that, the Bush administration continued to publicly assert that the trailers were biological weapons factories.

There seems to be only two ways the White House can go in explaining this. They were either incompetent and stupid, or deliberately deceitful. Obviously the former is less damaging. But they're both. Incompetent and stupid to rush into actions based on wishful thinking, and deliberately deceitful by disregarding information which doesn't fit their wishful thinking, which leads to further incompetence and stupidity, which also leads to further deliberate deceitfulness in hiding their incompetence and stupidity.

Maybe that's why Scottie's so frazzled. For the normal joe who doesn't delve deeply into issues, this incident, more than the other complicated instances of White House criminality and lies, may be easier to understand . The President knew the truth, but told us a lie for nearly a year.

Come to think of it, it's the same with the Plame leak. He knew he was the leaker, but claimed for more than two years that he didn't know who the leaker was.

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