The irascible douche now acknowledges there is no evidence that Susan Rice was responsible for editing CIA talking points after the Benghazi attack, and that the DNI gave her what she subsequently went on TV with. End of scandal. No formal retractionor apology of course:
Today’s news comes just a week after McCain went on national television and claimed that Rice’s “talking points came from the White House, not from the DNI. He added on Fox that “I think it’s patently obvious that the talking points that Ambassador Rice had didn’t come from the CIA. It came from the White House.” For weeks, McCain has lambasted the administration forengaging in “either a cover-up or the worst kind of incompetence” on the Benghazi attack.
Of course, McCain believed it was perfectly obvious that Saddam had WMDs in Iraq. And so did I. I’ve learned to wait for the facts a little bit longer before jumping to conclusions of conspiracy or mendacity.
Mother Jones - By David Corn
In an act of historical airbrushing, the ex-president leaves a key player out of his account of the CIA leak case.
In his new book, George W. Bush repeatedly challenges the charge that he misled the country into the Iraq war. He writes, “I didn’t like hearing people claim I had lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” But while defending his integrity, he presents assertions that are outright false: for instance, that Iraq had a WMD infrastructure and was pursuing such weapons at the time of the invasion (it did not and was not), and that Saddam Hussein had refused to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors (he was not fully cooperating with inspectors, but the inspectors had reported Iraq’s cooperation was increasing). His account is often selective—such as when he recounts a 2003 meeting with Tony Blair and fails to mention that at this session he (Bush) raised the possibility of kick-starting the Iraq war with a phony provocation. But Bush’s selectivity is glaringly apparent when he recounts one of the dark moments of his presidency: the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.
Bush describes this episode for one purpose: to discuss the “most emotional personnel decision” of his presidency—whether or not to pardon White House aide Scooter Libby, who had been convicted of lying to FBI agents and a grand jury during the investigation of the Plame leak. He notes that this affair began when former ambassador Joe Wilson, Plame’s husband, wrote a post-invasion op-ed challenging Bush’s pre-invasion claim that Iraq had sought to buy uranium (presumably for use in a nuclear weapons program) from Niger. Bush doesn’t fully cover the back story: Nearly a year prior to Bush publicly making the uranium-from-Niger charge, the CIA—after Vice President Dick Cheney had requested the agency provide him more information on this matter—asked Wilson to trek to Niger to check out the allegation. Wilson did so and reported back to the agency that this sort of uranium deal would have been nearly impossible to pull off.
Valerie Plame: How to Dismantle 23,000 Atom Bombs -The ex-CIA agent on why we’re running out of time to get rid of the world’s nukes.
Corn on “Hardball”: Cheney Forgets Plamegate
22 Things Cheney Can’t Recall About the Plame Case - In the CIA leak investigation, the former Vice President tried the Alberto Gonzales defense.
Novak, Corn, and Plamegate
Bush told us this week that he does care. Not about the dead and neglected of New Orleans. He cares about people accusing him of not caring…
Apparently the worst moment of his presidency — which included 9/11 — was getting slighted by Kanye West?
George W. Bush cared a great deal about one particular black person: Kanye West.
From his recent interview with Matt Lauer, on the occasion of the publication of Bush’s new book:
MATT LAUER: You remember what he said?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, I do. He called me a racist.
MATT LAUER: Well, what he said was, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That’s — “he’s a racist.” And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.” It’s another thing to say, “This man’s a racist.” I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.
MATT LAUER: This from the book. “Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust.” You go on. “I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low.”
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt ‘em when I heard ‘em, felt ‘em when I wrote ‘em and I felt ‘em when I’m listening to ‘em.
MATT LAUER: You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And — it was a disgusting moment.