April 19, 2004


Condi was on Face The Nation this weekend talking about Woodward’s new book. I stupidly missed the 60 Minutes where they talked about the Woodward book. There were parts of the CBS interview I was particularly interested in:

�Gets to a point where in July, the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn’t know and it is done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War, which Congress has approved. �Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this.”

I must be insane, but this seems wrong to me.

Congress didn’t approve that cash for an Iraqi war effort, it was approved for Afghanistan (possibly, though I’m not sure, for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan). I’m baffled that this isn’t getting more attention. Of course, I was baffled when no one cared about the outing of Valerie Plame back in July of ‘03. It took a few months before anyone was interested in that story — a story about political revenge which still hasn’t been resolved.

Back to Iraq war planning and cash.

Condi was on Face The Nation this weekend, and they tossed some questions her way about this book. You can find the transcript on the Face The Nation website in PDF form.

It shows that the press is finally starting to get a little feisty:

SCHIEFFER: But, Dr. Rice, you cannot take money that Congress has appropriated for one purpose and spend it on something else. That’s against the law.”

The administration line seems to be to claim congress approved the money for the entire region, not just Afghanistan. Condi goes with the stalling tactic of saying “I haven’t read the book” and “money wasn’t taken away from Afghanistan.” Translation: STALL.

Condi needs to brush up on economics. If money appropriated by congress is spent on Iraq, it can’t also be spent on Afghanistan. If Iraq is not involved with al Qaeda, then spending money on Iraq war planning is not spending money on the war on terror. What area are we talking about?

Finally, we’re learning who ranks where in the eyes of this administration:

In chilling detail, he documents what has been long suspected, that it was a war within the
administration going on over what to do. He identifies Vice President Cheney as the official
who led the fight to take out Saddam Hussein, and he identifies Secretary of State Powell as
the official who opposed it, warning the president that Pottery—Pottery Barn rules would be
in effect. That is, if you break it, you own it. He reveals that early on, as officials were
publicly denying such plans, that money Congress had appropriated to fight the war in
Afghanistan was being used to pay for preparations for war with Iraq. And he says Saudi
Arabia’s ambassador, Prince Bandar, was told about it before Secretary of State Powell.

The Saudis learn about the Iraq war plans before Colin Powell?

During the election, people were saying that Bush would put together the best team. But Bush’s love for mental inbreeding marginalized the voices of reason within his own administration, circumventing his State Department. Diplomacy has no place in war planning.

The best Dr. Rice can do to identify Powell’s location “in the loop” is to say that she suspects Colin would not have been surprised that Prince Bandar was being briefed. He wasn’t in on the briefing (the State Department wasn’t in on it). But don’t worry — they told Powell a couple of days later.

Posted by James at April 19, 2004 1:29 PM
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I don't know about y'all but the book I can't wait to read is Powell's. I always had enormous respect for the man until last years little deceit at the UN. I've gotta believe this is eating him up. I'm shocked he hasn't resigned yet but assume he feels it's better for him to be where he is and possibly have some influence over policy than for him to be on the outside.

Posted by: bob at April 19, 2004 1:44 PM

Powell really doesn't seem like the kind to politically kiss and tell, but time will tell.

If he writes a revealing book, it will be many, many years in the future.

If he writes a book within the next eight years, I would expect it to reveal very little.

Posted by: James at April 19, 2004 1:47 PM

Powell's already said (months ago) he wants to "retire" if Bush gets re-"elected," hasn't he? I believe someone else said that too - maybe Rice. I think that pretty much says it all.

Posted by: julie at April 19, 2004 2:23 PM

I guess I have to agree with you re. him not being the type. I guess I'm just thinking if I were him and my good name had been shot to hell over the past year or so I'd want my version of the "truth" to be out there. But your right he's a "good soldier" and will take a bullet for that moron in the oval office.

Posted by: Bob at April 19, 2004 2:49 PM

I was hugely disappointed in Powell's performance with the twenty seven 8 x 10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used in evidence...(apologies to Arlo Guthrie).

All I could think of was "They got to him." Poor bastard. He's one of those sad people who believes in "going down with the ship." Well, wave bye bye, because it's slipping under the surface.

Posted by: Patti M. at April 19, 2004 2:51 PM

There are sometimes second acts in politics.

Posted by: James at April 19, 2004 3:42 PM

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