Thursday, July 10, 2003
The impossibility over the past few days to get anybody in the administration to give a direct, unequivocally straight answer regarding Bush’s false claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq had attempted to purchase enriched uranium from Africa (in particular, Niger) has been frustrating to watch. Frustrating because this story has been smoldering for so long now and the mainstream press has been all but silent about it except for a few columnists (Nicholas Kristof at the Times, who sometimes drives me crazy with his nagging air of righteousness, has been particularly fantastic in asking the real question, “what did the administration know about the claim and when did the know it?”) who have helped to make it into a small fire. Josh Marshall of Talking Points has been doing a stellar job over the last few days of assembling and dissecting the comments of each player as they’re now (finally) weighing in. Take some time to read Marshall’s comments over the last few days (beginning with his July 7th post, quoting at length Ari Fleischer’s fumbling attempt to answer the questions of an on the ball reporter and ending with today’s bomb from CBS News which headlines, Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False) . One of the administration’s most pressing claims for pre-emptive war against Iraq is, as is becoming more and more transparent, a lie.