We have seen the Vice President on Meet the Press saying that the administration was convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It is Cheny who quotes the CIA chief as saying that the evidence is conclusive, using the slam-dunk metaphor of Georgetown basketball-loving Tenet.
According to others, notably Bob Woodward, the comment came when King George the Incompetent listened to the evidence and questioned its sufficiency. My sense of it is that Dubya is a guy who likes a one-page memo, and likes a one-line summary even more. It is hard to imagine him saying that he needs more texture in his intelligence reportage.
For his part, Tenet says that he didn’t mean that the evidence was a slam-dunk case against Iraq. His story is that Dubya heard the evidence, and accepted it for decision-making purposes. The problem for Dubya was that he felt that the American people would demand a more persuasive case. “This is the best we’ve got?” one George asked the other.
Tenet, if he is to be taken at his word, understood this to mean, “Could you punch it up a little bit for Joe Public?” The other George told the president that would be no problem. “Slam dunk,” he said.
This is breathtaking, but we’ve seen this kind of excuse offered before by the Party of Bush.
When Cheney tried to excuse himself for not anticipating the level of violence in Iraq, I pointed out in Cheney admits guilt that this is not an excuse – it is an indictment of his lack of foresight. Remember when King George the Incompetent explained that he didn’t want to let the voting public know that he was about to shit-can Donald Rumsfeld because “didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign?” So, he lied. As I said at Truth and Consequences,
Only one with total disdain for the electoral process would not be ashamed to admit that he had tried to mislead the public on this crucial matter. Someone with disdain for the electoral process like King George the Incompetent.Again, the excuse offered is an admission of a greater offense.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the job of the Director of Central Intelligence is not to sell policy to Joe Public. That’s a slam dunk.
“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”