Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn

Committee Seeks Niger Documents and Testimony and Instructs State Department Not to Impede Probe in which Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has the unmitigated gull to ask why Secretary of State Rice and the Bush Whitehouse is impeding its investigation,

I am writing to urge you to instruct your staff, particularly officials in your legislative affairs office, not to impede the Committee’s investigation into why President Bush and other senior Administration off,rcials, including yourself, cited forged evidence in building a case for war against lraq. I am also writing to notity you of a deposition of a State Department offlrcial and to request documents relevant to the Committee’s investigation.

On Wednesday, Committee staff contacted Simon Dodge, a nuclear weapons analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to ask whether he would be willing to meet to discuss the warnings he raised in January 2003 about the fabricated evidence that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Mr. Dodge wrote to members of the Intelligence Community on January 13,2003 – two weeks before the President’s State of the Union address – that the Niger claim was “probably a hoax” and “clearly a forgery.” l Mr. Dodge indicated that he was willing to cooperate fully with the Committee’s efforts.

Yesterday, however, a member of your legislative office informed Committee staff that you were prohibiting Mr. Dodge from meeting with Committee investigators. This official claimed that allowing Mr. Dodge to speak with Committee staff would be o’inappropriate” because the Committee voted to issue a subpoena to compel your attendance at a hearing on your knowledge of the fabricated evidence. (emphasis mine) – note there are the usual formatting problems because of copying directly from the pdf.

Burden of Proof

As Simon Dodge of the State Department’s intelligence bureau began to review the documents in Washington, he soon concluded that they were fakes. One of the papers described a secret meeting in Rome at which representatives of Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Pakistan formed a joint “plan of action” to defend themselves against the West in alliance with “Islamic patriots accused of belonging to criminal organizations.” Dodge later told Senate investigators that he considered the claim “completely implausible,” or, as Michael Isikoff and David Corn put it, “something out of James Bond — or maybe Austin Powers.” Niger embassy stamps, palpably fake, linked the “plan of action” document to those depicting the Iraq deal. The papers are a hoax, Dodge e-mailed colleagues.

Well you see there’s nothing wrong here because Bush is the Decider-Commander Guy and lies told in the course of proceeding with their divine cause don’t really apply to Republican presidents because the rule of law, facts and carefully weighed judgments are just so much excess baggage in the great crusade. Remember that conservative intellectual Harvey C. Mansfield writing at the Wall Street Journal reminded us “the rule of law has two defects, each of which suggests the need for one-man rule.”

If you were looking for the definitive account of events that has lead to Paul Wolfowitz’s current scandal see this piece by David Corn at The Nation, Wolfowitz and Riza: How Sweet It Is!

The Riza deal included more than that first big pay hike and annual increases. It also essentially guaranteed Riza subsequent promotions to higher pay grades. And the deal would provide her the yearly pay increases for up to ten years, if Wolfowitz remained at the Bank for a second term. By the end of a second Wolfowitz term, Riza, were she to stay a Bank employee, would make close to $400,000, possibly more.

Do conservatives suffer from moral dyslexia, perhaps thinking that cronyism is a virtue rather then a vice. Aren’t conservatives the ones that in constantly shrill tones keep insisting that the world runs best when one gets ahead based on merit. A concept that most people would generally agree with, but here again we have conservatives playing one tune and marching to another.

Tinfoil everywhere: THE TINFOIL BRIGADE

A Rasmussen poll tells us that one in five of U.S. voters questioned in the poll believe that George Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. More than one in three of Democratic voters believed this.

and this, FOX news poll – was Saddam involved in 911

Even after all the evidence. Even after most of the Bush team give up on trying to make this connection. Even after all the proof we have seen to the contrary we get this. 54% of fox viewers think Saddam WAS involved in the attacks on 911.

J. Goodrich says he has no explanation as to why people believe what they do about Bush that perhaps it is because the administration is so secretive and arrogant – see Rice versus Waxman. On the other hand I can see why so many Fox viewers are misinformed – because Fox misinformed them. As the Bill Moyers special last week showed the press in general has been less then the watchdogs of truth when it comes to covering all the disjointed details of the the last six years. The Bushies haven’t seemed to slow down a step in being as imperialistic as they can. Bush and his cadre do see themselves as above the law with Republican blogs and pundits defending their right to give American values the back of their hand. So when conservatives act like criminals people are going to suspect that they are capable of crimes, even as something as horrendous as 9-11. I don’t think BushCo had foreknowledge of the exact plot, but a very good case could be made that by failing to act on the information that they did have Bush and company were criminally negligent.

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” – Benjamin Franklin