Dick Cheney Spins the Pentagon Report
It's not everyday that the Portland Freelancer lands in Time magazine, but I suppose for a joke writer, that's way up there. It happened last year and I only noticed because the same joke was reprinted in the Oregonian's editorial page with a little reference to Time under it and a nice ink drawing of Saddam. It just referred to a report that Saddam didn't have anything to do with 9/11, released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the punch line was, "Thank God we found that out before we did anything crazy."
I thought about that joke again today after reading about the Pentagon's new report saying that Saddam was not working with al Qaida and thus the basis for the Iraq War as revenge for 9/11 is just spin that spun out.
This report was noteworthy because it shows how far the Bush administration's influence on the Pentagon has waned. Do you think Donald Rumsfeld would have put this out? We now have the Pentagon discrediting the civilian leaders, which is interesting. It's a sign that they don't want to take the blame for the failure in Iraq, and don't kid yourself, Republican spin masters wouldn't be talking about how much better things are there, if it were true.
The McCain visit to the marketplace in Baghdad represents the almost comical level of spin coming out of the Republicans and this White House. McCain's attempt the other day - for sheer comic value - rivals the shots of the Minister of Information reassuring everyone that the invasion was being handled even as American tanks rolled in behind him. Years from now when this is all just a hideous memory, that scene with McCain will get similar treatment in the documentaries: "Look at me in my flak jacket with my 100 soldiers and 3 helicopter escort! I'm safe in Baghdad!"
So if the pro-war group is starting to look just plain ridiculous, how is our old lawyer-shooting buddy, Dick Cheney doing? The Pentagon report was a direct slap at his power, wasn't it? Where do you go when your own military treats you like this? Wasn't this a sign that you're loosing control?
Cheney was like a little piglet with no nipple left to suck, so he turned to the warm, ample bosom of Rush Limbaugh for the milk of jilted chicken hawks. There he proceeded to say that al Qaida was "present" in Iraq before we invaded. So that's the new threshold to justify this tragedy? Hell, they were present here. He didn't even try to say Saddam had harbored them. They were just present. You know, like in Minnesota.
Dick Cheney's counter spin on Limbaugh will be good enough for that last 29% - the ones that just don't get it, and will never get it. The ones that don't want to get it. We're onto the new spin now which is that the tide of victory is just ahead if those darn Democrats don't pull out the troops and run first.
Okay, Dick, but there was a time when you controlled the spin of the entire federal government. You and your little buddy Donald Rumsfeld would never have let the Pentagon report something like this. Now Donald is gone, and you're left running to Rush Limbaugh. Please, be a compassionate conservative for once. Rush's nipples have to be pretty sore by now.