Thursday, January 29, 2004

Whitewash or Hogwash? White House refuses even Kay's plea for inquiry

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 — David A. Kay, the former chief weapons inspector in Iraq, called on Wednesday for an independent inquiry into prewar intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, but he said he did not believe that the Bush administration had pressured intelligence analysts to exaggerate the threat.

The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Dr. Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by Congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency.
[emphasis added]

As reported in the NYT.

Now that's interesting. Personally my initial reaction was that while Kay had been very careful to stick to the facts in his reports of lack of Iraqi WMD, he was clearly in Bush's corner. His hyperbolic language provided a cover for the President to claim even in the SOTU that Iraq had been at least involved in "weapons of mass destruction program related activities". Which is pretty vague. It's sort of like saying if you went to a plastic surgeon for some Botox treatment you were in with the crowd trying to make the Atom Bomb. Botox is considered a biological weapons material. Bush actually earlier called the discovery of a single vial of a weak strain of Botox - yes quite similar to the kind used in cosmetic treatments - as "proof" of an Iraqi weapons programme. Now that Kay and a Senate commitee have apaprently sided with Bush on who was at fault:

The report is already being described by Senate Republicans as evidence that President Bush and his top advisors were primarily the victims, not the abusers, of faulty intelligence about Iraq. But some administration critics are calling the report a whitewash. And Senate Democrats insist its scope was so narrowly focused that it fails to present the full picture of an intelligence failure on Iraq that now appears to have bordered on the catastrophic. [emphasis added]

Now however, meek Kay who has run cover for the White House in exaggerating every possible find - a few college university chemistry department with standard off the shelf chemicals becomes a sinister "network of laboratories" supporting a chemical weapons programme - has called for an inquiry. One that he no doubt means for the blame to be shifted entirely onto the much abused Intelligence Agencies, and no blame at all placed on the politicians who put their fingers in their ears and shouted "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" every time someone brought up any evidence contradicting what the politicians wanted to hear.

Yet this scape-goat of an inquiry is too much for the White House! They will brook no questioning whatsoever! In fact despite admitting that "some errors" were made, Condi Rice denies any need for a review of what went wrong whatsoever(NYT).

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's national security adviser acknowledged Thursday some prewar intelligence about Iraq was flawed but brushed aside calls for launching an independent investigation.

That's very interesting. They won't even give in a single inch, not even at the suggestion of their tame dog Kay. Well, well, well. Personally, the oldman honestly thought that nothing could ever or would ever be pinned on ole GW Bush. Whether or not they were guilty, the oldman figured that they'd covered their tracks well enough or had a handy scape-goat ready to take the fall for the big guy that it would never ever be laid at the Administration's top door. Could it be that Bush has the equivalent of Nixon's tapes somewhere, that somewhere they've slipped up and there is some sort of incriminating evidence? Do they have something to hide? Veerrryyyy interesting. Very very interesting. The oldman will continue watching this issue closely.

Meanwhile Senator John McCain (AZ-R) splitting with many of his Republican colleagues has has called for an independent investigation as reported by the AP.

WASHINGTON - Parting company with many of his fellow Republicans, Sen. John McCain said Thursday he wants an independent commission to take a sweeping look at recent intelligence failures.

The White House has dismissed the proposal, saying the CIA is committed to reviewing the intelligence behind claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration also argues that the weapons search is not yet complete.

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