Skip to comments.FR Columnists'Corner - "Where's my yellowcake?!" by JohnHuang2
Posted on 08/03/2003 10:09:05 AM PDT by Bob J
"Where's my yellowcake?! "
"George W. Bushs personal credibility was under threat as senior Democrats used the Niger uranium controversy to attack him and demand a public inquiry into the affair," reports London's Independent newspaper this week.
"The issue of whether President Bush knowingly misled the public is fast becoming his government's first scandal," the paper adds. This would be the very "first scandal" after the Bush-Wants-To-Put-Arsenic-In-Your-Drinking-Water `scandal,' the Enron `scandal,' the Halliburton `scandal,' the Arthur Andersen `scandal,' the `Secret'-Energy-Task-Force `scandal,' the BUSH-KNEW-ABOUT-9/11-BEFORE-9/11-BUT-DID-NOTHING- TO-PREVENT-IT! `scandal,' the No-Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction `scandal,' the Baghdad Museum `scandal,' Top-Gun-Landing-On-U.S.-Carrier `scandal,' the `Bring-'em-On!' scandal, and so forth.
And while Administration officials sought this week to put the uranium issue to rest, anecdotal evidence from recent man-on-the-street interviews across the nation suggests the effort has failed. From coffee shops in New York to shopping Malls in Kansas and California, the uranium controversy roils the heartland.
Views expressed by Debbie Crowe of Kansas, who runs a panhandling and squeegee operation on the streets of Topeka, were typical. "All my friends and I are roiled -- ROILED! -- by this controversy!" she said. "Bush lied about Saddam! He slammed shut a windshield of opportunity for squeaky clean Saddam. In his mad rush to war, Bush ran every red light of diplomacy while looking only through his rear-view window. Saddam was framed! Okay, I said what you wanted me to say for this stupid interview, big words and all, now where's my money?"
Or take David Mack of New York, who owns and runs a 'Will Work For Food' operation on street corners of the Big Apple. "My pals and I are roiled -- ROILED! -- by this controversy," he said. "And what's this stuff about `yellowcake?' What's wrong with Saddam buying some yellowcake? I buy yellowcake all the time, just ask the guy at Entenmann's Bakery! Lil' Debbie's yellow pound cake is good, too. Heck, I may just draw up a new `Will Work For Yellowcake' poster. Sorta like Saddam's, `Will Oil For Food' sign.Okay, I said what you wanted me to say for this stupid interview, now where's my yellow pound cake?!
In the nation's capital, the controversy, while equally roiling, was seen somewhat from a different perspective, however.
At the center of the growing scandal which has rocked Washington, a town where White House cover-ups, duplicity and deceit are time-honored tradition: The charge that Bush intentionally used mostly accurate information, backed by multiple sources, collected by British intelligence to accuse Saddam, in a 16-word line during January's State of the Union Address, of pursuing precursor nuclear materials from Africa. In March, two months after Bush's SOTU, U.N. officials ruled a source for the uranium charge, which London says was not a source for the uranium charge, as a hoax document. The crux of the White House scandal? The lack of a White House cover-up! If Bush had the SOTU address to do over again, he'd nix the uranium charge, say White House officials, in hindsight, given how Kofi Annan and other Saddamites would seize the `forgery' red-herring, `a key piece of evidence' which wasn't a key piece of evidence, to discredit the charge altogether. The President's candor and honesty sent shock waves across Washington, igniting the biggest firestorm since Iran/Contra. Why is the President committing such revolting honesty, such appalling decency? Why no lies, why no cover-ups -- no dirty tricks? Any President would lie and cover-up, given the circumstances -- who does Bush think he is, anyway?
What makes him think he can get away with NOT trying to pull the wool over our eyes?
Modesty, integrity, virtue, propriety -- each of these scandalous traits are earmarks of this administration, attributes laid bare in this `deepening' scandal. Profoundly troubling questions are raised when a President refuses to engage in cover-ups, dirty tricks and denial.
Acknowledging a mistake -- that this or that line should not have been included in Bush's address, what's next? Admitting they're only human? With Bush, Washington is boring enough; 2 1/2 years in office, and still no major scandal from this White House. No Lewinsky, no Watergate, no Irangate, no Billygate, no nothing. The starved press corp feels entitled to at least 1 major scandal per presidential term, and Bush ain't following protocol.
Democrat White House hopefuls were quick to pounce, treating the issue of war as courtroom drama, the White House as prosecutor, Saddam as defendant. The White House, in building its case against defendant Saddam, `admits' a document it did not enter into evidence in building its case against defendant Saddam was later ruled a forgery, no? Well, say Democrats, a motion to suppress such tainted evidence, which `prosecutors' did not use as evidence, should have been filed; or, better yet, a motion to dismiss altogether. Any fair-minded judge would rule the case too tainted by a `tainted' document that was never used in the case, calling into question the whole case brought against Saddam and co-defendants. Motion to dismiss granted! Why go after Saddam so aggressively when there are bigger fish to fry -- Ken Lay and Enron, for example.
(Backing Democrats' claim that charges Saddam sought nuclear weapons are based on forgeries, a whole bunch of forgery equipment was unearthed in the backyard of an Iraqi scientist in late June. The forgery equipment -- centrifuge parts to separate heavy and light molecule forgeries for enriching deadly uranium forgeries -- was ordered hidden from U.N. Forgery Inspectors by Saddam's son Qusay, according Mahdi Obeidi, the Iraqi scientist. The concealment was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling on Saddam to disclose all possible forgery equipment).
As the presidential campaign heats up, Democrats have launched a full-scale assault on Bush, focusing not just on Iraq, but on Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq.
Democrat '04 hopeless Dick Gephardt, under mounting pressure from `patriotic' party militants furious at Bush for winning the war, Sunday appeared to retract his vote for war, calling "for a `full, complete, bipartisan' [Watergate-style] investigation of the circumstances surrounding Congress' decision to authorize the war," the Associated Press reports, amid a frenzy of Democrat finger-pointing as they scramble to explain to base voters just how they were tricked into war by that dumb guy from Texas. "We've got to make sure we get all the facts out," said the Missouri Democrat, who all but promises to sign, as president, an Executive Order retracting the war. How did Bush con us all into voting to convict and remove a sitting president -- Saddam -- without all the facts out?
"Gephardt said he's troubled by some of the arguments President Bush used to make his case for war in" his January State of the Union Address, the AP adds. Bush's January SOTU address forced Gephardt to vote for war in October, 3 months earlier, Gephardt strongly implied.
"I think the American people are aware this administration has engaged in a pattern of deceit...our country is being distorted by fear," declared Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrat vote-getting powerhouse, at a "peace forum" in Iowa. He blasted Bush for raising military spending during wartime, raising the nation's fear. Bush's `raising fear' factor, not al-Qaeda's razing towers factor, led this nation to war.
During the forum at Drake University, Kucinich, who voted against removing Saddam, accused Vice-President Dick Cheney of pressuring C.I.A. to plant `evidence' in intelligence reports implicating an innocent dictator of banned weapons possession.
Sen. John F. Kerry, another '04 hopeless, accused Bush on Wednesday of suffering "a `dangerous credibility gap' on national security and questioned if the" U.S. was safer after 9/11, Reuters reports.
"It is clear," J.F.Kerry added, "that a dangerous missile gap has developed between the U.S. and the Soviets...." er ... Typo alert, my bad.
Starting over, "It is clear that a dangerous gap in credibility has developed between President Bush's tough rhetoric and timid policies which don't do nearly enough to protect Americans from danger" at home, said Kerry at a veterans' memorial hall in New York.
Reuters: "Americans have a right to ask, `Are we safer today than we were in the days after September 11th?' he asked. `Are our nation's firefighters and police officers better prepared to wage the war on terror?'"
Kerry called for hiring 100,000 new firefighters and vowed to restore Clinton's COPS program "to put 100,000 new police on the streets," says Reuters.
More firefighters? More fire-hoses? More fire-trucks? More nurses? More first-responders? Yeah, like I've said, that'll really scare the hell out of al-Qaeda!
Kerry, who insists he's "absolutely convinced my vote" for war "was the right vote," demanded that Bush be investigated in case "my vote" for war was not the right vote. "The Bush administration went to war without a plan to win the peace," said Kerry, in contrast to Democrats who go to war without a plan to win to the war.
Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, striking a more moderate tone, told reporters on Monday that Bush's misconduct in deposing Saddam Hussein has earned him impeachment, and would be impeached if Democrats ran the show up on Capitol Hill.
"If the standard of impeachment that the Republicans set for Bill Clinton, that a personal, consensual relationship was the basis for impeachment, would not a president who knowingly deceived the American people about something as important as whether to go to war meet the standard of impeachment," said Graham, who argued in Clinton's day that a president who knowingly deceived the American people about something as important as whether to go to war in Kosovo to hide charges of a personal, nonconsensual sexual assault (see Juanita Broaddrick) would not meet the standard of impeachment. Neither would chasing dangerous Asprin factories in Sudan or Tomahawking dangerous Camels in Afghanistan to divert media coverage away from embarrassing testimony over a personal, consensual relationship (see Monica Lewinsky) meet the standard of impeachment, say Democrats. Nor would Desert Foxing Iraq to delay House impeachment proceedings over felony acts meet the standard of impeachment either, say Democrats.
Graham, who denies any politics involved in attacking the President, is running for president. At a candidates forum in his home state Monday he called "Lied" a "three-letter word and "deceit" a "five-letter word." The candidate maintains he's ready for prime-time.
Meanwhile, the Democrat National Committee on Friday launched a major TV ad blitz, accusing Bush of falsely accusing Saddam over uranium.
The 30-second ad, titled Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False, featuring a voice which oddly sounds like Dan Rather's, opens with this: "Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President's mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address -- despite objections from the CIA...the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true."
Oops! My mistake again -- that's not the DNC, it's CBS News, jumping the gun again in a "bombshell exclusive" on their homepage Friday. The article was later retracted. Network executives, who accuse Bush of using faulty intelligence from unreliable sources, blamed faulty intelligence from unreliable sources for the flap.
The unreliable sources deny the claim.
Meanwhile, in a further blow to Democrats, "U.S. forces killed five Iraqis and captured another on Tuesday after they came under ambush while driving out of an ammunition depot west of Baghdad," Reuters reports. No U.S. casualties were reported, as worries grow among Democrats, "who voice bewilderment and frustration that Bush's support, as seen in poll data, has not fallen further as the casualties rise in Iraq," reports MSNBC analyst, Tom Curry. The problem for Democrats is that, they can root for U.S. body-bags, yet even a Beirut-scale truck-bombing, which in '83 killed 241 Marines in Lebanon, will not be enough to swing public support against the War on Terror, nor lead to calls for withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq, let alone rally the country behind Howard Dean or Carol Moseley Braun, staunch advocates of ousted Iraq dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Indeed, as Gallup's Frank Newport notes, "We know that prior to the war, some Americans said up to 1,000 deaths would be acceptable," (MSNBC, 7/16/03).
Democrats are a long way from realizing that benchmark, though hopes were lifted Wednesday with reports of another U.S. combat death in Baghdad. At 147, the total U.S. death toll is still 853 short of what the public had expected, and what Democrats need.
Even more daunting for Democrats: No further al-Qaeda attacks here at home since 9/11. That's 22 months of no hostile action on U.S. soil, al-Qaeda's chosen battlefield. Abroad, the nation aggressively wages the War on Terror, dismantling, bit-by-bit, the al-Qaeda network. Widely anticipated al-Qaeda blowback after the U.S.-led strike on Iraq, which Democrats insist had no dealings with al-Qaeda, was a no-show, further fueling Democrat despair.
Democrats, putting a brave face on a dreadful situation, hotly deny al-Qaeda is losing. A few minor setbacks, perhaps, but al-Qaeda has America on the run. Bin Laden and Saddam, two `brilliant' military strategists, are not to be sold short. It's the U.S., Democrats say, that will be defeated. Unless we elect Howard (`I'll hire advisers who'll teach me how many troops are actively serving in the military') Dean. Or Al Sharpton.
Yet, for all the Democrat bravado, I don't think it's Bush hiding in caves and tunnels, nor is it Bush disguised as a woman in Baghdad, writing angry letters to the editor, firing-off cheap-quality audio-tapes for friendly media, which spouts off about how bin Laden and Saddam are really winning, as Democrats drool.
Democrats, who demand that Bush invade Liberia, accuse Bush of stretching forces too thin. Yet, look at the shape al-Qaeda's in. Rock-bottom morale. Forces stretched wider than Waxman's nostrils, thinner than Dean's read on reality. A string of defeats. Humongous casualties. Two national sanctuaries (Afghanistan and Iraq) gone -- Great Satan's got 'em. Funding sources drying up. No soft money. No hard money. I could go on.
And as 9 bozos running for president keep quibbling over 1 line in 1 presidential speech, or whimper in fear over some gunmen loose in Baghdad, they are, for Americans, 9 daily reminders of why the Howard Deans and John Kerrys are not to be trusted with national security.
Anyway, that's... My two cents... "JohnHuang2"
I'm roiled, I tell ya!
"...he called "Lied" a "three-letter word and "deceit" a "five-letter word." The candidate maintains he's ready for prime-time."
This from the man who was President of Florida...twice!
Excellent, JH2! It's up to your usual superior standards!
Thank you for posting this, BobJ.
I just saved a ton of money by switching to Geico.
John is missing very important ingredients in this yellow cake mix...the first was provided by Stephen Hadley, Bush's #2 security guy...
An unsigned CIA memo on Oct. 5 advised that "the CIA had reservations about the British reporting" on Iraq's alleged attempts in Niger, Hadley said. A second memo, sent on Oct. 6, elaborated on the CIA's doubts, describing "some weakness in the evidence," such as the fact that Iraq already had a large stock of uranium and probably wouldn't need more, Hadley said.Then add this second ingredient provided by the IAEA's own inspection reports...
Sept 30, 2002 - Several Iraqi nuclear weapons facilities and much equipment were indeed dismantled or destroyed by U.N. inspectors between 1991 and 1998. However, substantial and significant issues about Iraqs ability to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program remained unresolved when the inspectors left the country.Why wasn't THAT info in the SOTU? IMHO, Hadley should be fired for his stupidity and the CIA needs to desperately clean house.
Dolley, citing IAEAs own inspection reports as documentation, said: Iraq has never surrendered to inspectors its two completed designs for a nuclear bomb, nuclear-bomb components such as explosive lenses and neutron initiators that it is known to have possessed, or almost any documentation of its efforts to enrich uranium to bomb-grade using gas centrifuges, devices which are small and readily concealed from reconnaissance.
Moreover, IAEA has previously conceded that Iraqs weaponization R&D---small-scale technical research devoted to the design of a nuclear bombs components---is not readily detected by means of inspections. IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei stated in 1998 that no matter how comprehensive the inspection, any country-wide verification process, in Iraq or anywhere else, has a degree of uncertainty that aims to verify the absence of readily concealable objects such as small amounts of nuclear material or weapons components.
The IAEAs own guidelines for the safeguarding of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium gives the conversion time for transforming these materials into weapons components as on the order of seven to ten days or one to three weeks, depending on the form the materials are in (metal, oxide or nitrate) when the materials are acquired by means of diversion or theft. Thus, Iraq could be capable of producing a nuclear weapon in less than a month with sufficient diverted or stolen fissile material if it has managed to fabricate and conceal all of the non-nuclear components of a weapon.
Not to mention, those enlightened and sophisticated Euros and the UN. "Hey, you Americans, we hate your guts, but don't take it personally. Go get'em! We're right behind you...right behind this big, thick wall. Let us know when it's over."
It is truly amazing how ignorant so many Americans (and almost all media members) are to simple yet relevant contrasts like this eloquent statement.
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