Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Annotating Karen

Apparently, Karen Hughes is already bored with the “working mom” shtick – though she is at least a cheerful zealot. From Last night’s interview with Larry King (transcript):

KING: Do you ever give a thought that Iraq may be a mistake?

HUGHES: No, Larry, I don't think so.

How silly, Larry. Of course not. None of these people ever consider, even for a moment, that they could ever, ever, be wrong. Not that that could remotely, possibly, be a problem….

HUGHES: Now, there clearly today there's a reminder that there are some forces in Iraq, some people, forces of terror and chaos and thugs, like this militant cleric, who apparently has put together an illegal militia and is really trying to undermine not only what America is trying to do, but what the Iraqi people are trying to do…

And I think what you have is a small percentage of people -- I saw Paul Bremer today saying perhaps 10 percent -- who want to undermine the cause of democracy and freedom there. But the vast majority of people I think understand the stakes and want a free and democratic Iraq.

A small percentage? 10 percent? Iraq, according to my terrorist manual almanac, has a population of about 25 million – so “10 percent” would be about 2.5 million. Just to put this in perspective, imagine what New York City -- with a metro area population of about 22 million -- would be like if some 2 Million of its people were actively supporting an armed overthrow of the government. I don’t think I’d be terribly reassured by the statement that you “think” that a “vast majority” want a “free and democratic” place. (Never mind the fact that one can only guess why, or on the basis of what evidence, you might “think” that at all.)

KING: But there were no weapons of mass destruction. When combat ended, the president announced the end of major combat; 480 troops have died since that announcement.

HUGHES: Well, Larry, let's go back and talk about the weapons. First of all, David Kay, the chief weapons inspector, came back and reached two very important conclusion. And I'm worried the American people only heard one of them. He said we were wrong about the weapons. And you'll still find disagreement in Washington. Some in Washington still believe we will find weapons. After all, he used them in the past. We know he had them. He at one point -- he used them against his own people.

But just as important, I would argue, David Kay concluded that we were absolutely right about the war, because he said the situation in Iraq was even more unstable, more dangerous, more likely that terrorists might have gained the means or the knowledge or some materials to have been able to develop weapons of mass destruction. And Larry, that's the nightmare scenario. And that's why, when you hear the administration talk that everything is different in the aftermath of September 11, you know, it's interesting, right now, we're listening to a commission that's questioning should we have done more to preempt September 11 before it happened.

Well, what the president is trying to do is preempt the possibility of a nuclear September 11, with the nightmare scenario that terrorists will be able to access weapons of mass destruction.

Can you believe she’s out there flacking this crap?

“Some in Washington still believe we will find weapons?” Come now, Karen.

“David Kay concluded that we were absolutely right about the war?” I dunno, folks, but “absolutely” anything sounds a lot more like Karen Hughes than David Kay.

There’s plenty more to criticize about that passage, but then there’s this. Note the artful tense change (italics added):

HUGHES: Well, again, al Qaeda, there are forces -- there are terror forces in Iraq. There was information, materials, plans, program activities to develop weapons of mass destruction, and a brutal dictator who also hated America and who we thought would stop at nothing in order to help America's enemies.

Sheesh. So let me get this straight. Because the terrorists who weren’t there before are there now, it was right all along to invade, on the basis of “program activities?”

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I’m just not sure what makes me sicker: listening to Karen peddle this crap, or watching Larry King sit idly by, letting it all pass virtually unchallenged.


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