This morning on CNN, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh addressed the uproar at the highest levels of the U.S. military over plans to launch a massive strike against Iran that would include nuclear weapons:
What I’m writing here is that if this [plan to use nukes] isn’t removed — and I say this very seriously, I’ve been around this town for 40 years — some senior officers are prepared to resign. They’re that upset about the fact that this plan is kept in. … [O]ne thing about our military, they’re very loyal to the president, but they’re getting to the edge. They’re getting to the edge with not only Rumsfeld, but with Cheney and the President.
Hersh also addressed claims today by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that the idea of a nuclear strike on Iran is “completely nuts.” Hersh’s response: “He didn’t deny there’s serious planning about the military strike, is the point. He’s absolutely right about a nuclear option, but there is planning for conventional war.”
Full transcript: Read more
Crooks & Liars has the full video.
This morning on Fox News Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) called on President Bush to come clean about the leak of classified Iraq intelligence to New York Times reporter Judy Miller. Specter said that President Bush “owes a specific explanation to the American people”:
[W]e ought not to have leaks in government. We ought not to have them, and the President is justifiably criticized the Congress for leaking and, of course, the White House has leaked, but we ought to get to the bottom of it so it can be evaluated again by the American people.
Full transcript below: Read more
When former Deputy Attorney General James Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the outing of Valerie Plame he called Fitzgerald “an absolutely apolitical career prosecutor” and praised “his sterling reputation for integrity and impartiality.”
But now, Fitzgerald’s investigation has uncovered information that is damaging to President Bush. Today on Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol began the attack:
You know, the leak story is absurd, but I now think the whole prosecution is absurd. And I have hesitated to say this, because I have friends who respect Fitzgerald, but I now think it’s a politically motivated attempt to wound the Bush administration. … He is now out to discredit the Bush administration. He has bought the argument that there is something improper about the Bush administration responding to Joe Wilson’s charges.
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Today on ABC’s This Week, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) shared his latest rosy assessment of conditions in Iraq. Watch it:
As George Stephanopoulos mentions, a new government report actually paints a “somber portrait of Iraqi discord” and undermines Boehner’s spin. But Stephanopoulos allowed Boehner to incorrectly assert that the report found that “12 of the 18 [Iraqi] provinces are safe.” The report actually shows that only three provinces are stable. All other provinces are still considered in critical, serious or moderate danger.
Additionally, Baghdad has, on average, eight hours of elecriticy a day, compared with the 16-24 hours it had before the U.S. invasion in 2003. Potable water availability, sewage system coverage, and water treatment capacity are also down from pre-war levels.
Like Boehner, we’d love to hear some good news from Iraq. But we’re not willing to make it up.
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This morning, the Washington Post published an editorial — entitled “A Good Leak” — vigorously defending President Bush’s decision to authorize a leak of classified information as part of a political effort to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Apparently, it isn’t a very strong case because, in order to make their point, the editors had to mangle the facts –
CLAIM: Wilson said Cheney sent him to Africa “Mr. Libby’s motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]
Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president’s office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney’s questions. [Bloomberg, 7/14/05]
CLAIM: There is no evidence of a White House effort to punish Wilson. “Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative…After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson’s charge.” [Washington Post, 4/9/06]
Moreover, given that there is evidence that other White House officials with whom defendant spoke prior to July14, 2003 discussed Wilson’s wife’s employment with the press both prior to, and after, July 14, 2003 – which evidence has been shared with defendant – it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to “punish” Wilson. [Fitzgerald filing, pg. 29-30]