Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The White House, Citing Executive Petulance . . .  

According to beltway sources, the information on the single page is not particularly sensitive or damaging to Bush. The problem is, it's all been boiled down to words of one syllable and presented as a dialogue between the lovable cartoon characters Yogi and Boo Boo. From the New York Times (via Zemblan patriot J.D.):
The White House and the Central Intelligence Agency have refused to give the Senate Intelligence Committee a one-page summary of prewar intelligence in Iraq prepared for President Bush that contains few of the qualifiers and none of the dissents spelled out in longer intelligence reviews, according to Congressional officials.

Senate Democrats claim that the document could help clear up exactly what intelligence agencies told Mr. Bush about Iraq's illicit weapons. The administration and the C.I.A. say the White House is protected by executive privilege, and Republicans on the committee dismissed the Democrats' argument that the summary was significant.

The review, prepared for President Bush in October 2002, summarized the findings of a classified, 90-page National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq's illicit weapons. Congressional officials said that notes taken by Senate staffers who were permitted to review the document show that it eliminated references to dissent within the government about the National Intelligence Estimate's conclusions.

"In determining what the president was told about the contents of the N.I.E. dealing with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, qualifiers and all, there is nothing clearer than this single page," Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in a 10-page "additional view" that was published as an addendum to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Friday.
"Why did Saddam have WMD's, Yogi?"

"Well, Boo Boo, most of those WMD's were sold to Saddam back in the eighties, before the dangers of WMD's were known . . . . "

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