Monday, November 21, 2005



FORMER SENATOR Bob Graham has penned a rebuttal to the President's claim Congress had the same information as the administration, available via the Washington Post:

The former Senator writes as someone who not only voted no on the 2002 war resolution but can claim to have had access through committee to classified information and assessments.

Shorn of the daggers thrown at GWB, Graham's claim is simple: Congress was given a watered down version of the NIE threat assessments mostly redacted of dissenting opinions.

The NIE assessments came from CIA, not the White House directly, and were produced at Graham's insistence.

So let me get this straight, Senator... According to your account:

1) The White House for unspecified reasons did not request the preparation of a "National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)"... including a "rationale for a preemptive war in Iraq." You explain, "An NIE is the product of the entire intelligence community, and its most comprehensive assessment."

2) You and your fellows requested the NIE.

3) The provided classified document, in your eminently experienced and superbly informed opinion, badly undermined the case for war.

4) You then requested a declassified version of the NIE be provided to Congress.

5) The requested redacted version of the assessment was materially altered in that it contained none of the information that undermined the case.

6) You knew this and did nothing. You hid behind that "classified" designation and let your fellows vote this Nation into a war based on crap.

You sonofabitch.

A man - someone worthy of being the heir to men who pledged their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" - would have thrown the rules to the dogs and shouted the truth from the Capitol steps.

Whatever you are, Bob, you're no man - and no American, either.

That is great stuff. But I'm having a hard time connecting the dots now. Where am I going wrong?

1. CIA produces doc against going to war.

2. CIA redacts doc for general congressional viewing and it is now transformed into neutral-war doc, or something to the like.

3. George Tenent tells GWB Iraq WMD argument is a "slam dunk".

4. Colin Powell, a very independent guy, buys in enough to go to the UN.
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