A former Bush administration official who led the fruitless postwar effort to find unconventional weapons in Iraq told Congress yesterday that the National Security Council, led by Condoleezza Rice, had botched intelligence information before the war and was "the dog that did not bark" with respect to the status of Iraq's weapons program
In uncharacteristically caustic remarks about his former colleagues, the weapons inspector, David Kay, said the security council had failed to protect President George W. Bush from faulty prewar intelligence and had left Secretary of State Colin Powell "hanging out in the wind" when he tried to gather intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs.
"Where was the NSC?" Kay asked, suggesting that the president had come to depend too heavily on information supplied by Rice, Bush's national security adviser, and that the president needed to reach out to others for national security information.
"Where was the National Security Council when, apparently, the president expressed his own doubt about the adequacy of the case concerning Iraq's WMD weapons that was made before him?" Kay asked.
"Why was the secretary of state sent to the CIA to personally vet the data that he was to take the Security Council in New York, and ultimately left to hang in the wind for data that was misleading and, in some cases, absolutely false and known by parts of the intelligence community to be false?" he continued. "Where was the NSC then?"
It's almost been a year. What has she done with the supposed "Iraqi Stabilization Task Force?"
(This from last October:)
"The White House, facing setbacks and growing casualties in Iraq, is asserting a larger role in overseeing reconstruction efforts and the tens of billions of dollars being spent by the United States.
The move is intended to "cut through some of the bureaucracy and the red tape" [Right!] in Washington and accelerate the work in Iraq, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said yesterday.
A classified memo distributed last week established the Iraq Stabilization Group within the White House under Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser to President Bush. Officials said creation of the group would give Rice authority to spur the bureaucracy and put more accountability in the White House.
"Condi's job, and Condi's team is going to make sure that the efforts are continued to be coordinated so that we continue to make progress," Bush said at an East Room news conference with the president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.
"And listen, we're making good progress in Iraq," the president said. "Sometimes it's hard to tell it when you listen to the filter (of critics). We're making good progress." [Suuuuure!}
And how about the " I misspoke " fiasco before testifying about planes being flown into buildings at the 9-11 commission hearings?
Or the "very important priciple" she was defending by not testifying and then testifying any way. How about the "16 words" in the State of the Union speech?
I want a job where no matter how badly I screw up I can't get fired.