Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Playing Hardball

Well, I've been illin' in bed all day with an occasional nap with Nip (one of our fluffy cats), and I kept thinking about trying do some transcription of that Hardball episode from last night. Thankfully, MSNBC's just posted the transcript so I don't have to do the work and can concentrate on important things, like napping with our other fluffy cat, Wompus. Here's the opening:

Karl Rove, the president‘s political ramrod, has been called back to the grand jury probing the CIA leak case. If you don‘t think this leak case matters, ask yourself, what was the most frightening case you heard for going to war with Iraq? Probably it was that Saddam Hussein was buying uranium yellow cake in Africa to build nuclear weapons. The president said it in his 2003 State of the Union address. The vice president repeated it with military precision, almost like a Gatling gun, Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons, Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons, again and again.

But it wasn‘t true. There‘s no evidence even now that Saddam tried to by nuclear materials in Africa. We know that now because the man the CIA sent down there to Niger to check it out, sent there after Vice President Cheney asked the CIA to check it out, wrote a “New York Times” article a few months after the war started that there was no deal. Worse yet, the former ambassador, Joseph Wilson, wrote that the people around the president must have known there was no deal, even when the president and his people kept telling the country there was.

How did the Bush people react to this unwelcome news? This is what the CIA leak case, which could produce indictments any day now, is all about. Did the people around the president actively try to discredit that man who came back from Africa, to say the yellow cake story was a phony? Did they try and kill the messenger? Did they use to enormous media power of the White House to discredit the ambassador, his mission and his wife at the CIA, who suggested him for the mission?

And, in doing so, did they abuse the office and the power to which the president was elected? Did they break the law? Did they conspire to punish a critic of the war, even if their weapon was the destruction of his wife‘s undercover career by identifying her to the public? Did they lie about their actions to government investigators to a grand jury or even to the president himself?


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