SPADES | politicians

CONDOLEEZA RICE : *queen of spades
(what do these signs mean?)

Condoleezza Rice arrived in Washington a respected authority on Russian politics. But power is a powerful drug. It has undermined the integrity of many. Dr. Rice can be counted among the victims.

After 9-11, Rice spread the false story that Bush was flown to Oklahoma after the attack because "intelligence" indicated the White House and Air Force One were also targets. There was no such intelligence.


Then she testified the U.S. government had never anticipated an attack by an airliner, despite what we now know to have been many such warnings received and then ignored by the Bush administration. Joe Conason writes "in fact there had been many warnings of exactly such tactics-most notably during the summer of 2001, when Western intelligence services set up anti-aircraft batteries around the Genoa summit to protect the President."


Afterwards, Rice began shilling for Bush's attack on Iraq. She began warning us that the aluminum tubes were only for the production of atomic weapons and that we risked an atomic attack. On CNN's "Late Edition" Rice said the tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs." She also said, "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."


Rice also spread the allegation that Iraq had tried to purchase "yellowcake uranium" from Niger, another untruth. She appears to have been a primary reason Bush included it in his State of the Union address. On July 11, 2003, Rice told the press aboard Air Force One: "Had I known that there was a forged document here, would I put this in the State of the Union? No."

Actually, "Yes." If they believed what they were saying, why did the U.S. refuse for months to turn over their 'proof' to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? When the IAEA did get the "evidence" they quickly found out the documents were crude forgeries. Given all the other misrepresentation, errors, untruths, and lies, this is not evidence of carelessness, but instead a campaign for war, regardless of the evidence.


This interpretation becomes even stronger considering that Stephen Hadley, Rice's deputy, disclosed that two CIA memos and a phone call from CIA Director George Tenet had persuaded him to take a similar passage about Iraq and uranium out of a presidential speech three months before the State of the Union address. According to an AOP report, "Hadley said one of the memos casting doubt on the intelligence was sent to Rice. She doesn't recall reading it, the NSC's spokesman said."


Humor helps at this point, and Brad DeLong gives us a refreshing dose while discussing Rice's handling of the uranium issue. Writes DeLong (an economist at Berkeley):

I knew that intellectual standards at Stanford are low, but this is ridiculous. Ex-Stanford professor and provost Condoleeza Rice complains that it is not fair for her to be tested on footnotes that she did not know were there:

With Mallets Toward One ( Meanwhile, reporters keep hounding the administration over President Bush's use of the bogus Iraqi uranium procurement allegation. They pestered national security adviser Condoleezza Rice last week on Air Force One. When an intelligence agency demurs from a consensus view in an assessment, it "takes a footnote," Rice explained. The State Department's Intelligence and Research (INR) office doubted the story about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger, she said, and that "standard INR footnote was 59 pages in the back," so she and Bush didn't know...

Condi: You know those little superscript numbers you occasionally see in the text? Those are called "footnote numbers." For every footnote in the back, there is a number. That's how you know that if you are a serious rather than a casual reader of National Intelligence Assessments, you are supposed to turn to the back of the report and read the footnote.

And, yes, professors, graduate students, and Assistants to the President for National Security are always responsible for material in the footnotes.

July 15, 2003; 05:13 PM


For more silliness from Rice, see also:

Rice is a liar, incompetent, or both. You decide.

In the uproar over the falsehoods in Bush's State of the Union address, Rice first tried to blame George Tenet, director of the CIA. "Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery" she said. But as early as October, 2002, Tenet personally warned Rice's deputy, Steve Hadley, not to use the Africa/uranium claim.

Here Rice crossed another ethical line, where dishonesty became ruthlessness. For Tenet, if anyone in the inner circles of Bush's power, had tried to warn the government not to use the uranium claim.

Clinton and Rice on english
Rice's appeared on Fox News to explain the yellowcake debacle. In a statement that would have done Bill Clinton proud, Rice said, "The statement that (Bush) made was indeed accurate. The British government did say that. Not only was the statement accurate, there were statements of this kind in the National Intelligence Estimate." In other words, rather than telling us that Iraq was guilty of these actions, which is what we all foolishly thought he said, Bush was essentially giving a school report, telling us that the British government had made claims about Iraqi guilt. Imagine that. How foolish of us.

But, why then did Tenet "take the blame" by stating the uranium yellowcake ore statement should not have been included in the president's speech? After all, all Bush was doing was reporting on a British report. Why did Bush, Rice, and Rumsfeld try and confuse us by saying first that Bush's assertion was not accurate and then saying that it was? The answer is simple, and not pretty.


And before 9-11?
Rice told the public in May 2002 that a pre 9-11 intelligence briefing for the president on terrorism contained only a general warnings and historical information. Nothing specific. But according to the Congressional report on 9-11, Bush's briefing a month before the suicide hijackings included, as an AP story reported, "recent intelligence that al-Qaida was planning to send operatives into the United States to carry out an attack using high explosives." AP adds "The White House defended Rice, saying her answers were accurate given what she could state publicly at the time about still-classified information." Yeah.

AP continued, " The Sept. 11 congressional investigators underscore their point three times in their report, using nearly identical language to contrast Rice's answers with the actual information in the presidential briefing." Basically, the White House had explicit reports that Al Qaeda was planning an attack, that they planned to use planes to fly into major buildings.

The president's daily briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, contained "information acquired in May 2001 that indicated a group of bin Laden supporters was planning attacks in the United States with explosives,'' the report stated.

Rice "stated, however, that the report did not contain specific warning information, but only a generalized warning, and did not contain information that al-Qaida was discussing a particular planned attack against a specific target at any specific time, place, or by any specific method." More tricky language the report did not tell her that four aircraft were to be hijacked on 9-11, and that the four targets were the two WTC towers, the Pentagon, and whatever the fourth would have been. But most of us would expect that less specific reports would have led to heightened security.

At a May 2002 press briefing, Rice said that "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

AP writes the congressional report states that "from at least 1994, and continuing into the summer of 2001, the Intelligence Community received information indicating that terrorists were contemplating, among other means of attack, the use of aircraft as weapons.''

The Bushies resorted to their most frequently given reason for lying to us: national security. "Dr. Rice's briefing was a full and accurate accounting of the materials in question without compromising classified material that could endanger national security,'' National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said. How keeping this information from us helped any security but the election possibilities of the White House is difficult to grasp. The entire story is even worse, but check for yourselves:

For more, see:
(this is a pdf file)

*Note: By 'spades' we only mean politicians. It is an unfortunate coincidence that 'spades' has also been used as an offensive reference to African Americans. For hundreds of years, the spades suit has been thought of as the most powerful in the deck and hence has been associated with politicians, people in government. This is the only sense we intend to give the term.

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