Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 26, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

SHOOTING THE MESSENGER....Justin Logan excerpts an interesting piece today by Philip Giraldi in the print edition of The American Conservative. Giraldi claims that when the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center provided Dick Cheney with a special briefing on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's prewar ties with Saddam Hussein last month, Cheney was a wee bit unhappy with their conclusions:

The CTC concluded that Saddam Hussein had not materially supported Zarqawi before the U.S.-led invasion and that Zarqawi's infrastructure in Iraq before the war was confined to the northern no-fly zones of Kurdistan, beyond Baghdad's reach. Cheney reacted with fury, screaming at the briefer that CIA was trying to get John Kerry elected by contradicting the president's stance that Saddam had supported terrorism and therefore needed to be overthrown. The hapless briefer was shaken by the vice president's outburst, and the incident was reported back to [newly appointed CIA director Porter] Goss, who indicated that he was reluctant to confront the vice president's staff regarding it.

I don't know who Giraldi's source for this was, but it's a sadly familiar MO for this administration: shoot the messenger, refuse to believe anything you don't want to believe, and treat everything first and foremost as an excuse for partisan bludgeoning, not as a serious problem that requires serious analysis and a serious solution.

You can't excise a cancer if you spend your time screaming at the lab because the biopsy report isn't what you expected. Why would anyone think that Bush and Cheney can successfully fight terrorism if they willfully refuse to understand the true nature of the threat?

Kevin Drum 6:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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