Andrea Mitchell Blasts Bush and Conservative Bloggers Over Iraqi Nukes
Unless you’ve been asleep all day, you are well aware of a New York Times article published Friday concerning a website the federal government set up last March to “make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war.” Conservative talk radio and blogs have been enthralled by this piece, in particular, the following paragraph (emphasis mine):
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
In a report about this issue early Friday morning on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell was highly critical of conservative bloggers, and said that these revelations would be harmful to the Bush administration just before Tuesday’s elections (video here):
At the time, the head of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Peter Hoekstra in fact said, quote: "Let's unleash the power of the Internet on these documents to see if there was a smoking gun on weapons of mass destruction." And, they had been, in fact, arguing for months with John Negroponte, the head of the National Intelligence office, because the intelligence experts, Norah, were reluctant to release these documents. Skeptics at the time said that all this was being done by conservative bloggers and others on the Intelligence committees to try to bolster their argument that the war was in fact justified in the first place.
As you might imagine, since this is four days before the midterm elections, O’Donnell asked Mitchell: "So Andrea, on a political level, do you think it helps the Administration by reminding people about potential weapons of mass destruction that were developed before the first Gulf War perhaps? Or, does it hurt the Administration because it looks like they really bungled an issue of national security and intelligence?" Mitchell quite predictably responded:
This is a complicated story to really penetrate and for people to understand this close to an election. But, I think the net affect would likely be that it would hurt the Administration because it shows that they—once again, you know—were the gang that couldn't shoot straight!—and were so eager to justify their case for the war that they forced the Intelligence community to do something that the experts didn't want to do and the President himself overruled John Negroponte on.
O’Donnell, obviously quite satisfied with that answer, agreed: “And that’s the key point.”
Bias? What liberal bias?