Idiocy in action
"This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out."
The push to throw these documents to the dogs was part of a larger effort to counter waning support for the war. Back in March, Stephen Hayes, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, was one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the documents' release. He recounted how the president was intent on releasing the documents, even over Negroponte's protests. He described a February 16th conference call between the president, the vice-president, Indiana Republican Mike Pence, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and U.S. Ambassador to IRaq Zalmay Khalilzad (via telephone).
The conference call began with Pence commenting on all the favorable news coverage the release of certain pre-Saddam audio tapes had garned ("Mr. President, the war had its best night on the network news since the war ended.") Hayes then described how the president wanted more pre-war information released:
[President Bush] turned to Hadley and asked for an update. Hadley explained that John Negroponte, Bush's Director of National Intelligence, "owns the documents" and that DNI lawyers were deciding how they might be handled.
Bush extended his arms in exasperation and worried aloud that people who see the documents in 10 years will wonder why they weren't released sooner. "If I knew then what I know now," Bush said in the voice of a war skeptic, "I would have been more supportive of the war."
Bush told Hadley to expedite the release of the Iraq documents. "This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out." The president would reiterate this point before the meeting adjourned. And as the briefing ended, he approached Pence, poked a finger in the congressman's chest, and thanked him for raising the issue. When Pence began to restate his view that the documents should be released, Bush put his hand up, as if to say, "I hear you. It will be taken care of."
The issue was indeed taken care of, and the president eventually released the documents, and the right-wing pounced, and they found nothing.
Whether terrorists and rogue nations also found nothing remains to be seen.
posted by Steve @ 12:31:00 AM