Monday, March 27, 2006

The return of Memogate

NYTimes finally wants to talk about the Downing Street Memo, which records a meeting between Bush and Blair in January of 2003:

Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. Since they were first reported last month, neither the White House nor the British government has discussed them.

"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction. A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The memo does not indicate how Mr. Blair responded to the idea.

So...this seems like a pretty different mindset from the one the president described himself as being in prior to the war. You know, the mindset where he said, a month after the Blair meeting, "I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully."

BushCo's response:

On Sunday, Frederick Jones, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said the president's public comments were consistent with his private remarks made to Mr. Blair. "While the use of force was a last option, we recognized that it might be necessary and were planning accordingly," Mr. Jones said.

"The public record at the time, including numerous statements by the President, makes clear that the administration was continuing to pursue a diplomatic solution into 2003," he said. "Saddam Hussein was given every opportunity to comply, but he chose continued defiance, even after being given one final opportunity to comply or face serious consequences. Our public and private comments are fully consistent."

I'm not sure which part is the "diplomatic solution." Is it the dummy plane, the planted defector, or the assassination?


The Kaiser said...

Do you ever wonder if Bush's mouthpieces ever cry themselves to sleep at night? I always envision McClellan blubbering quietly into his pillow until sweet sweet unconsciousness takes the shame away for a little while.

Oh, and for further fear and loathing recall Bush's more recent protestations that he "did not want war" which he made live, looking a person right in the eye.

vikkitikkitavi said...

If professional scumbag Ari Fleischer couldn't take it, you know it's bad, dude.