Why is it so difficult for Condoleezza Rice to tell the truth? The story in the New York Times yesterday in many ways recounted what we learned in this story from two years ago:
Evidence on Iraq Challenged: Experts Question if Tubes Were Meant for Weapons Program by Joby Warrick, Thursday, September 19, 2002…There is no evidence that any of the tubes reached Iraq. But in its white paper on Iraq released to the United Nations last week, the Bush administration cited the seized shipments as evidence that Iraq is actively seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said in a televised interview that the tubes “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” Since then, U.S. officials have acknowledged differing opinions within the U.S. intelligence community about possible uses for the tubes – with some experts contending that a more plausible explanation was that the aluminum was meant to build launch tubes for Iraq’s artillery rockets.
Dick Cheney definitively declares Iraq had an active nuclear program citing these tubes as irrefutable evidence – even though he knew at the time there was not an active nuclear program and even if there were, Iraq was years away from being able to make a nuclear bomb. Dr. Rice on one hand said she had no information that these tubes might be for different purposes untial after she declear their only potential use was for nuclear weapons, but she also says she was vaguely away of some debate. But her staff knew the doubts that these tubes were for a nuclear weapons program. Is Dr. Rice so derelict in her duties that she does not consult with her own staff before making such statements?
Rice appeared on ABC’s This Week as well as on CNN’s Late Edition. ABC notes:
On Sunday, Rice acknowledged she was aware of a debate among U.S. intelligence agencies about whether those tubes were intended for nuclear weapons…”The intelligence community assessment as a whole was that these (tubes) were likely and certainly suitable for, and likely for, his nuclear weapons program,” Rice told ABC’s “This Week”.. But two years later, Rice insisted she has no regrets about how the administration portrayed what it believed was a dangerous threat posed by Saddam. “I stand by to this day the correctness of the decision to take seriously an intelligence assessment that Saddam Hussein would likely have a nuclear weapon” if action wasn’t taken…A New York Times story Sunday quoted four CIA officials and a senior administration official as saying that Rice and her staff had been told in 2001 that Energy Department experts believed the tubes were probably intended for small artillery rockets and not nuclear weapons. Rice said she learned of objections by the Energy Department only after making her 2002 comments.
New York Times report Sunday cited Rice’s comments and quoted CIA and administration officials as saying that Department of Energy experts told her staff almost a year before – in 2001 – that they thought the tubes were for artillery rockets, not for creating nuclear weapons. Rice said she was vaguely aware of a debate about the tubes but believed that the intelligence community “as a whole” agreed they were meant for nuclear weapons work.
Why is it so hard for these two networks to put this plainly as in: “Dr. Rice excused her past lies by offerring more lies”.