Deciding to showcase the allegations in Ron Suskind's new book which “says President Bush committed an impeachable offense” by ordering “the CIA to forge a letter to bolster his case for the war in Iraq,” CNN's Jack Cafferty posed as one of his “Cafferty File” questions on Tuesday: “What does it mean, do you suppose, if the White House did, in fact, order the CIA to forge a letter in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq?” (Anchor Wolf Blitzer marveled: “We're just hearing now, Jack, that there may be an effort in the Congress to now go ahead and have some hearings on this explosive, explosive charge.”)
All the responses Cafferty highlighted later in the hour presumed the accuracy of Suskind's claims and condemned President Bush, including “Kirk,” who asserted:
If true, then Bush, Cheney, et cetera deserved to be clapped in irons, held for trial and executed for treason.
Cafferty also read aloud the complaint from Tom in Boston that “it means we should be ashamed as Americans. Bill Clinton was impeached for not being honest about his sexual indiscretion,” but Bush gets away “scot-free.” Joanne in Maine declared: “George Bush is not only the worst President in the history of this country he's also the biggest criminal.” A Canadien, “Ron from Winnipeg,” lectured those in the lower 48:
To put it simply, the Bush administration made you all out for fools then proved themselves right. How you ever reelected this bum, is beyond me. Good luck.
My earlier NB posting, “Nets Lend Credibility to 'Bombshell' Iraq Deception Allegations,” noted how Wolf Blitzer opened the first (4 PM EDT) hour of Tuesday's The Situation Room just an hour before the “Cafferty File” on the same topic:
Shocking allegations about the President's determination to invade Iraq. A brand new book claims the White House forged a key piece of evidence and turned a blind eye to another. This hour, the book's bombshells and the administration's adamant denials.
The Tuesday, August 5 “Cafferty File” segment during the 5 PM EDT hour of CNN's The Situation Room:
JACK CAFFERTY: A new book says President Bush committed an impeachable offense. He ordered the CIA to forge a letter to bolster his case for the war in Iraq. These explosive charges are contained in a new book, "The Way of the World," by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind. He says he spoke on the record with U.S. intelligence officials who said that President Bush was informed in January of 2003 that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. The President's response to this information was reportedly, quote: "F-it. We're going in," unquote.
Three months later, the U.S. invaded Iraq using a forged document as its rationale, says Suskind. He writes: "The White House called on the CIA to concoct this forged letter from the head of the Iraqi intelligence agency to Saddam Hussein. It was backdated" -- the letter -- "to before 9/11 and indicated one of the main hijackers, Mohammed Atta, trained for his deadly mission in Iraq." The phony letter was designed to prove a nonexistent link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, the head of Iraqi intelligence, who told British intelligence sources that Iraq had no WMD, he was resettled in Jordan with the help of the CIA and paid $5 million in hush money.
Suskind called Mr. Bush's actions "one of the greatest lies in modern American political history" and suggests they constitute a crime far worse than Watergate.
The White House pushing back hard. They call Suskind's claims "absurd." They describe his work as "gutter journalism" -- he did win the Pulitzer Prize -- including what the White House calls "wild allegations that no one can verify."
Former CIA Director George Tenet ridicules the credibility of Suskind's sources, as well. He calls the White House directive to forge a letter quote "a complete fabrication," unquote
So here's the question: What does it mean, do you suppose, if the White House did, in fact, order the CIA to forge a letter in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile. You can post a comment on my blog -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We're just hearing now, Jack, that there may be an effort in the Congress to now go ahead and have some hearings on this explosive, explosive charge. What do you think?
CAFFERTY: I think I'll hold my breath. Impeachment's off the table, remember?
BLITZER: Yes, at least -- all right. You're right.
The replies Cafferty chose to highlight later in the hour:
The question this hour is what does it mean if the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq? That's the charge that's made in the new book called "The Way of the World" by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind. Here is some of what you've written. Got a lot of mail on this.
Tom in Boston: "It means we should be ashamed as Americans. Bill Clinton was impeached for not being honest about his sexual indiscretion. George W. Bush misled the Congress and the public about Iraq, condoned the torture of prisoners, authorized illegal electronic surveillance and refused to comply with subpoenas just to name a few and yet he'll walk away scot-free. Times like these make me want to move to New Zealand."
John writes: "Call a special session of Congress to investigate these charges now. To hell with the Olympics. This is the drama America really wants to see. If these charges prove to be true, we show the world that we're willing to impeach a sitting lame duck President and correct our mistakes in public."
Ron from Winnipeg writes: "To put it simply, the Bush administration made you all out for fools then proved themselves right. How you ever reelected this bum, is beyond me. Good luck."
Kirk writes: "If true, then Bush, Cheney, et cetera deserved to be clapped in irons, held for trial and executed for treason."
Joanne in Blaine, Maine writes: "So why am I not surprised? George Bush is not only the worst President in the history of this country he's also the biggest criminal. And he got away with it all. What's wrong with this Congress? He should have been impeached and criminally charged years ago."
Susan writes: "Ah, to be the torch bearer in this crusade. It's time to investigate every minute indiscretion of the Bush administration. Suskind is a well-respected journalist who finally reveals what could be the truth about our invasion of Iraq. If Bush is innocent of forgery, there ought to be no problem with a thorough investigation. Let the games begin."
And Tom in Denver says: "Suskind, Woodward and Clarke and McClellan? How many more books does the American public need before it realizes that this administration has done something terribly wrong?"
If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to my blog at CNN.com/CaffertyFile. Look for yours there among hundreds of others.