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Reply #37: more from Hubris: [View All]

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-05-07 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. more from Hubris:

Silencing a Skeptic

An excerpt from 'Hubris,' the new Isikoff and Corn book about how the Bush administration sold the Iraq war to its supporters


At one point, other members of Congress were able to witness Bush's intense feelings about Saddam up close. At a breakfast with a few congressional leaders in late September, Bush expressed exasperation when the issue of a diplomatic settlement arose. Saddam had shown his contempt for the United States, he told the legislators. There was no use in talking to him. Do you want to know what the foreign policy of Iraq is to the United States is? Bush asked angrily. The president then answered his own question by raising his middle finger and thrusting it inches in front Senator Daschle's face, according to a witness. F--k the United States!" Bush continued. "Thats what it isand thats why were going to get him!"


"Trust me on this, Dick," Vice President Dick Cheney told House Majority Leader Dick Armey. When I get done with this briefing, youre going to be with me.

It was an afternoon late in September, and Armey had been invited over to the vice presidents small hideaway office in the U.S. Capitol. This was the briefing Bush had promised Armey three weeks earlier. Ever since then, Armey had bowed to the presidents wishes and not said anything in public about his doubts about the Bush's stand. But the White House understood Armeys importance. He was the number two Republican in the House. If he broke ranks, that would be a problem. So Cheney was dispatched to do the job himself.

Armey thought Cheneys opening remark was odd: "He didn't say you're going to be with us. He didn't say you're going to be with the president. He said you're going to be with me."
Over the next half hour, Cheney, surrounded by aides, pointed to pictures of the aluminum tubes, showed overhead images of nuclear sites supposedly under construction, displayed drawings of mobile biological labs and photographs of UAVs that could hit Israel and spread mass death. He talked about the "associations" and "relationships" between Saddam and al Qaeda. He noted that the Iraqis could slip miniaturized biological weapons (that fit in suitcases) to terrorists, who could bring them into the United States and kill thousands.

As Armey listened to Cheney and stared at the photos, it occurred to him that he couldn't really see anything in the pictures. They were aerial shots of buildings and other sites. Who knew what was in those buildings? Armey realized he had to rely on what Cheney was telling him. "It wasn't very convincing," Armey later recalled. If I had gotten the same briefing from President Clinton or Al Gore, I probably would have said, 'Ah, bulls--t.' But you don't do that with your own people." He assumed Cheney was leveling him; it never occurred to Armey that the vice president was not telling him the whole story.

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