Dover Bitch

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"We'll get back in what you take out"

Everybody remembers the infamous "16 Words" in the State of the Union which triggered the entire Plamegate investigation. Many also remember that former CIA director George Tenet pulled that reference from a speech delivered by President Bush a few months before the SOTU.

Who took the blame for the words creeping back into Bush's speech? That would be former Deputy National Security Advisor (and current NSA) Stephen Hadley.

Hadley, in a rare hour-long, on-the-record session with reporters, said he had received two memos from the CIA and a phone call from Tenet raising objections to a section in a speech Bush was to give in Cincinnati on Oct. 7.

But he suggested the entire episode slipped his mind when Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech was being vetted.

So the dubious "intelligence" claims suggesting Saddam Hussein had nukes were pulled out, but somehow made it back in later. An innocent mistake? Hard to believe that a claim that sensational would accidentally slip back in to the president's biggest speech of the year... a rehearsed speech delivered directly to Congress and televised in prime time to the entire nation.

Well, as Newsweek reports, rejected intel supporting the call to war in Iraq had some big allies in the White House.

Behind the scenes, no one pushed the terror link harder than Libby. He urged Colin Powell's staff to include the Prague meeting in the secretary of State's speech to the United Nations. But Powell wanted no part of it. After one long session debating the evidence before the speech, Libby turned to a Powell aide. "Don't worry about any of this," he said, according to someone who was in the room. "We'll get back in what you take out." They didn't. Powell refused to use the line, but Libby's audacity stunned everyone at the table. "The notion that they've become a gang has some merit," says a longtime colleague of Libby's who requested anonymity to preserve the friendship. "A small group who only talk to each other ... You pay a price for that."

Still think it was an accident?

UPDATE: According to the American Prospect, it is being reported by Italian newspaper La Repubblica that Hadley met with the Italian officials linked to the forged Niger documents on Sept. 9, 2002.

Still think it was an accident?

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