Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Impeach Cheney for Stupidity. Do It Now

I don't know whether this is the fault of the usually-reliable David Sanger or the usually-unreliable Bob Woodward, but Sanger pulls some punches--or rather, some punches are pulled by someone--in Sanger's story about Woodward's forthcoming book State of Denial.

Sanger writes:

Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq - New York Times: Vice President Cheney is described as a man so determined to find proof that his claim about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was accurate that, in the summer of 2003, his aides were calling the chief weapons inspector, David Kay, with specific satellite coordinates as the sites of possible caches. None resulted in any finds...

Some punches have been pulled. A Tiny Revolution reads Corn and Isikoff and has the full-punch story:

A Tiny Revolution: Yet More Again From Hubris Additionally: Here's more.... Something like this apparently appears in Bob Woodward's new book as well. As Hubris recounts it, one night after Kay had arrived in Iraq on his fruitness WMD hunt, he was woken up in the middle of the night with a message from Cheney's office. They'd sent him:

...a highly sensitive communications intercept that had captured a snippet of conversation between two unidentified people. Cheney's aides were reading raw transcripts straight from the National Security Agency. And a Cheney staffer who had gotten hold of this piece of unanalyzed intelligence thought that it contained a reference to a WMD storage site in Iraq, even though the captured exchange didn't specifically mention weapons. What made this intercept most promising was that it had come with geographic coordinates for one of the unidentified persons...The next morning, [Kay's] analysts checked the coordinates and discovered they referred to a site in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon--not anywhere in Iraq. This was no lead...[j]ust as Cheney and Libby had done before the war, the vice president's aides were rummaging through top secret, unprocessed intelligence in the hope of discovering what everyone else in the U.S. government had missed.

But the vice president and his aides didn't have a globe with lines of latitude and longitude, or a map of the Middle East, did they?

There is more:

The signals intercept was not the only intelligence tip Cheney's office urgently passed on to Kay. On another occasion, the vice president's aides sent a message to Kay and the ISG: check out this overhead photograph. It showed what looked like the opening of a tunnel.... Kay and several of his analysts... burst out laughing.... "Anyone who has spent any time on the ground in Iraq immediately would recognize these as cuts that the local population made to get to ground water for their animals," Kay said later. "We reported back that we had looked at it and it was not what you thought it was. There was no point humiliating them"...

But there is point in impeaching them, right?

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