Condi's Yes Man

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With all the hoopla about Condoleezza Rice replacing Colin Powell as secretary of state, less attention has been paid to her replacement as national security adviser. The Wash Post has an article today that casts a dim light on Stephen J. Hadley, whose career highlights include taking pain-free responsibility for the muffed intel in the 2003 State of the Union Address and letting the Pentagon "for allowing Pentagon officials to rewrite the summary of decision meetings more to their liking." And this evaluation from the 9/11 commish:

The Sept. 11 commission, which relied on extensive interviews with administration officials, portrayed Hadley as not effective in resolving several policy issues, such as the question of whether to retaliate for al Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole in October 2000 and the issue of how to use an unmanned drone aircraft, the Predator, that was being refitted with Hellfire missiles.

Whole story here.

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  1. And the very next day Russia announces its “next generation” of nukes, which will be designed to thwart Bush’s dodgy “missle defense shield.” Hadley’s biggest claim to fame, of course, is a paper he wrote about…developing a missle defense shield.

    A new arms race. Nice work, guys.

  2. What about the SOTU intel was “Muffed,” Gillespie? Do you mean the famous sixteen words?
    1) Jack Straw et al still stands behind the claim
    2) FT’s foreign correspondent had three different Euro intelligence sources saying Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa
    3) There’s a strong case that the original guy running around with the false documents (who Joe “Sweet Mint Tea” Wilson trumpeted as evidence that Bush lied in the SOTU) was intentionally planted by the Iraqis, the French or some party wanting to make Bush look bad.

  3. my god… mr snake, you’ve sunk to a new low in error-denial propaganda.

    you should read sy hersh’s book, my friend. is a piece of intelligence really intelligence if it can be debunked using google for an hour or two? and is an administration interested in getting good intelligence if it accepts such a thing as truth?

    one word, mr snake: stovepiping.

  4. please, read for your edification.

    One senior I.A.E.A. official went further. He told me, ?These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking.?

  5. Snake:
    “There’s a strong case that the original guy … was intentionally planted by the Iraqis, the French or some party wanting to make Bush look bad.”

    Which one is it? the Iraqis? the French? some other party? How could it be a strong case when you can’t even decide who to blame it on?

  6. Excerpt from the FT Story:

    “Until now, the only evidence of Iraq’s alleged attempts to buy uranium from Niger had turned out to be a forgery. In October 2002, documents were handed to the US embassy in Rome that appeared to be correspondence between Niger and Iraqi officials.

    When the US State Department later passed the documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, they were found to be fake. US officials have subsequently distanced themselves from the entire notion that Iraq was seeking buy uranium from Niger.

    However, European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.”

    Marius, we now have what’s called an “open question.” Hersh is not quite in Jayson Blair/David Brock territory but close. Take a person with a Paul Bunyan sized ax to grind against Bush and questionable journalistic practices (take A.M. Rosenthal’s word for it, not mine) and I read Hersh’s damning lines about intent and purpose with a salt lick.

    But let’s assume that Hersh was doing his journalistic best…the FT story concedes and then discounts the IAEA commentary on those forged documents with newer revelations about hard intelligence, i.e., electronic sources.

    Don’t force me to call Sulla in and revisit the social war.

  7. Call Me Snake,

    Actually, according to the FT piece, there is no “new evidence,” but there are new allegations. Its not like youve pointed us to any documents, recordings, etc.; what you have pointed to us to is the statements of unknown persons.

  8. Hersh is not quite in Jayson Blair/David Brock territory but close.

    this is amazing. hersh is a journalist and is not perfect; but he is no fraud. he quotes endlessly from myriad sources in his writing. note that their words convey their opinions.

    sincerely, to take a couple lines of an ft article regarding some unvetted intelligence about a supposed conversation that may have referenced iraq — and with that presume to dismiss literally books full of sourced, vetted reporting by one of the best investigative journalists today working is…. amazing. any rationalist would have to accuse you of bias and wishful thinking, mr snake.

    Don’t force me to call Sulla in and revisit the social war.

    have you seen him lately? don’t tell him you talked to me.

  9. Don’t worry, I probably would agree with that legion soldier from Gaul: “I can not kill Gaius Marius”

    Now that’s loyalty.

  10. ‘What about the SOTU intel was “Muffed,”‘

    Unammaned Iraqi drones o’ death that could reach our shores.

    Aluminum tubes that couldn’t be used for uranium refinement.

    Saddam’s ability to launch a nuclearl attack agains the United States in 45 minutes.

    Mobile biological weapons labs.

    Each and every one of these assertions has been conclusively disproven. Mr. Hadley, the man you are defending, has admitted that they have all been disproven.

    It would appear that being right about the Iraq war is the surest way to get fired in this administration (O’Neil, Shinseki, the career CIA agents), while being wrong, and being proven wrong in public, is the surest way to get promoted.

  11. Is Bush painting himself into Impeachment Corner or what?

  12. Nice Carvillian Scattershot, Joseph.

    However, none of these topics you mentioned as being “conclusively disproven” have even the slightest relevance to the question of an Iraqi effort to get African uranium.

    But, since you’ve brought up irrelevant shit, I’d like to paraphrase Tony Blair from a recent interview with Tina Brown. PM Blair, like me, finds it quite interesting that progressives like joe aren’t more excited at the prospect of a conservative republican fulfilling progressive Wilsonian ideals like the massive social gains in Afghanistan, and the massive social gains that will result from a pluralistic Iraq.

  13. The question was not about African Uranium, CMS. You asked “What about the SOTU intel was “Muffed.””

    Answering the question you asked is not irrelevant. You asked about muffed intel, I gave you examples of muffed intel.

    And no, I’m not going to let you change the subject.

  14. Ruthless, lying to the public is not a high crime or misdemeanor. The President can lie to us all he wants, and the only way we have to call him to account is at the ballot box.

    Oops.

  15. “…massive social gains that will result from a pluralistic Iraq.”

    Your prediction regarding the future of Iraq is just a guess. Even assuming Iraq doesn’t erupt in civil war, it probably won’t be any more pluralistic than Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani wants it to be. Until we see Al-Sistani’s candidates lose an election and become the loyal opposition, I don’t see much reason to expect the Shia portion of Iraq to be much more pluralistic than Iran.

    By the way, it doesn’t surprise me to find a supporter of the Bush Administration who expects to see “massive social gains” from a government dominated by religious fundamentalists. For some reason, it just doesn’t.

  16. Snake,

    “Hersh is not quite in Jayson Blair/David Brock territory but close.”

    I’ve asked before, but no one’s been able to help. Maybe you can. What has Hersh written in the past that was so demonstrably false that it diminished his reputation so?

    BTW, I thought you were dead.

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