This weekend at the Aspen Ideas Festival, President Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove seemed incapable of uttering a single honest statement.
Facing a chilly reception from the audience, who “shook their heads and groaned in unison” during the speech, Rove grossly distorted administration’s policies, on everything from Guantanamo to Iraq to the leak case:
“Our principal health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed them so well.” In fact, Guantanamo prisoners are facing a mental health crisis, with over 40 suicide attempts since its opening, including one suicide in May. Some have been so severely tortured that they were treated by “experts in treating torture victims.”
“80–90 percent of violence in Iraq is due to al Qaeda.” As former Secretary of State Colin Powell noted earlier in the conference, only 10 percent of violence in Iraq is due to al Qaeda. As the Carpetbagger noted, “by all indications, Powell was rounding up.” Now, the mainstream media is buying into the al Qaeda fearmongering, as Glenn Greenwald reported.
“We all thought [Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mass destruction. The whole world did.” U.N.weapons inspectors and prominent members of the international community strongly disagreed with this assessment before the invasion. One weapons inspector referred to pre-war U.S. intelligence as “garbage after garbage after garbage.”
On the CIA leak case:
“My contribution to this was to say to a reporter, which is a lesson about talking to reporters, the words ‘I heard that, too.’” Rove leaked Valerie Plame’s identity not only to Novak, but to Time’s Matthew Cooper. Cooper said his conversation with Rove was the first time he heard anything about Plame.