Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Is not this something more than fantasy?"

The National Journal's Hotline ledes with this. LEDES!

The Plamegate rumor mill is churning overtime, with not one but two aides to VP Cheney said to have been flipped by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. But that's just the surface. An e-mail circulating among lefty bloggers contends that ex-Sec/State Colin Powell shoots the smoking gun linking Cheney to the whole affair. It is greeted with considerable skepticism, but also considerable interest.

You should not come out and say such a thing. You will look awfully foolish if you are wrong, as it would be speculation unbounded. Maybe you can insinuate it.

But, really, even if you spent a long time last night and early in the morning combing over columns and a Vanity Fair article from May 2004 -- you know, the one where the then Secretary of State calls a WHIG paper "bullshit!" in a tense meeting -- it would be ridiculous to actually put in print Colin Powell's name with this investigation.

Sure, Bob Novak spoke to two sources. We know he called Ari Fleischer on July 7, 2003, and we know that Fleisher was with Powell on that day. Sure, we know that Novak said that his main source was not a "partisan gunslinger".

But, please, liberal bloggers, only insinuate it.

It is interesting to see the number one Google search for insinuate as well.

Some interesting new news, from Lawrence Wilkerson. Wilkerson was also mentioned in that Vanity Fair article. First, let's take something from US News that should quell a lot of the previous speculation:

Wilkerson says he hopes his speaking out might "effect some change for the good." He acknowledges that his dissent has taken a personal toll–especially in his relationship with Powell. He says he was "physically thrown out" by Powell from the secretary's office after an argument over Iraq. He still praises Powell's leadership and "inveterate optimism." Unlike Wilkerson, Powell has kept his counsel private since leaving Foggy Bottom, aside from a few public comments on mistaken U.S. intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"He's the world's most loyal soldier," says Wilkerson.

Financial Times:

In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post with some more quotes:

And, on Capitol Hill yesterday, Republicans joined in criticizing the administration about Iraq. When Rice said at a hearing that "we have made significant progress" in Iraq, Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.) replied: "Well, we all wish that were true, but we can't kid ourselves, either."

I can't wait to read the full transcript on The Washington Note.


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