This week Joe Klein authors Time’s front cover story on Iran, titled, “Iran’s Nukes: Now They Tell Us,” in reference to the recent intelligence revelations that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Klein cheered President Bush’s response to the NIE, stating that it was “an amazing moment of candor by the United States”:
The Bush reaction to this — he didn’t try to block it. He didn’t try to postpone it. He didn’t spend weeks, he didn’t ask the intelligence community ‘give me a couple of weeks, let’s see if we can figure out some kind of negotiating initiative or some way to respond to this.’ He didn’t try to spin it to our advantage. This is an amazing moment of candor by the United States.
Contrary to Klein’s assertion that the White House “didn’t try to block it,” the NIE was completed a year ago but stalled by the White House in an effort to “make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s militarily aggressive policy toward Iran.”
Moreover, the White House confirmed that Bush lied to the public, as he was told in August that Iran’s nuclear weapons program “may be suspended.” (Bush previously said he was never told what information the intelligence community possessed.) A skeptical Joe Scarborough responded to Klein’s cheerleading for the administration, stating, “Well that’s one way to look at it,” then explained that Bush continued to warn of World War III with Iran despite knowing better. Klein chuckled, “There is that…”
In Joe Klein’s world, once White House deception and deceit is revealed to the public, it becomes “amazing candor.”