Yellowcake Hits the Fan
Going back to the initial admission that the State of the Union information was incorrect, I speculated that a vaguely phrased statement would only ignite more press scrutiny. Recall the initial statement, as described in the NYT:
White House officials issued a statement in Mr. Fleischer’s name that made clear that they no longer stood behind Mr. Bush’s statement.
How Mr. Bush’s statement made it into last January’s State of the Union address is still unclear. No one involved in drafting the speech will say who put the phrase in, or whether it was drawn from the classified intelligence estimate.
It’s starting to look like I was right and Rove made, or allowed to be made, a rare but major PR miscalculation. Today, Colin Powell joined in the mess and didn’t help matters for the administration; see NYT, CalPundit, Likely Story, and Josh Marshall.
But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true.
But, this is surely true: during the time that the false information was knowingly placed in the State of the Union speech and throughout the following period in which misleading stories were disseminated, no one in the administration was on the giving or receiving end of oral sex. Go about your business.
UPDATE: CBS changed the headline to “CIA Takes Blame For WMD Flap”.