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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Condilicious 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot P.S.:



UPDATE: Dept. of Because-Her-Lips-Were-Moving: Spencer Ackerman of TPM Muckraker reports on Secretary Rice's recent difficulties in recollecting the peace feelers sent out by Iran, and summarily rejected by the Bush administration, in 2003 ("everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups"):
Quite a missed opportunity, if true. That's why Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) asked Rice about it in today's hearing. Rice didn't deny that the Iranians made such an overture. But she did say that "I don't remember reading" such a fax. "I can't say categorically" that it didn't happen, she specified, but she said she thought she would remember hearing about a step as dramatic as Iranian recognition of Israel.

Kessler, however, cited an interview Rice gave to NPR last year in which she appeared to have a clearer memory of what the Iranians put on offer . . . .

Dodd asked Rice to provide the cable traffic from the State Department during that period to the committee in closed session, so stay tuned: we may have some harder evidence in the near future of what Iran was willing to concede in the wake of the Iraq war -- years before the rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the increased tension with the Bush administration.
Former NSC staffer and CIA analyst Flynt Leverett has this to add:
Leverett himself says he "saw the actual document" detailing the offer, which arrived at the State Department's Near Eastern Affairs bureau via fax around late April or early May of 2003, when he had left the White House to return to his regular post as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency . . . .

What's more, Leverett says that he tried to include information on the fax in a New York Times op-ed he wrote in December of 2006 that was heavily redacted at the White House's behest. Even though the information had been reported before -- in Kessler's original Post story, for instance -- the White House held it back, claiming it was "classified."
Furthermore, a spokeswoman for the NSC told the Washington Post that Elliott Abrams, who was in charge of Middle East policy under Rice, "has no memory of any such fax and never saw or heard of any such thing." All of which leads us to wonder: is amnesia, by any chance, contagious?

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