Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Armitage Had Motive

With all due respect to Michael Isikoff and David Corn, this chitchat stuff is just nonsense.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage wasn't gossiping when he spoke to Bob Woodward and Richard Novak in the spring and summer of 2003, he was busy actively defending the Bush Administration against a then-beginning-to-rage firestorm concerning the intelligence on Iraq's WMD capabilities and intentions which prompted the preemptive invasion.

Armitage had a vested interest in quieting critics in the spring and summer of 2003, "partisan gunslinger" or not.

Almost one month after Novak's first column which outed former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, on August 13, 2003, Richard Armitage gave the Keynote Address for a conference held at the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre in Sydney, Australia, in which he continued to assert Iraq had WMD:

Now, I don’t want to leave this podium without addressing something that has aroused a great deal of concern here and in my country, and that is the fact that we have not yet found enough evidence of Saddam Hussein’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. We will. I have absolute confidence about that. Indeed, the fact that it has taken us this long to find the evidence is a chilling reminder that these programs are far too easy to move, and I believe far too easy to hide.

Consider, for example, that UNSCOM was only able to confirm the existence of a biological warfare program that Saddam Hussein claimed not to have after years of inspections, because a high level defector walked in and gave them the evidence. Dr David Kay was part of the original UN inspection team, and today he is back in Iraq working for us, continuing the search. He’s making solid progress in finding the evidence of Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. But he’s also finding that deception and concealment were an extensive and embedded part of the program perfected over the course of two decades. It’s going to take some time to find not just the weapons, but the equipment and the people and the materials that made up this program.

President Bush has made it crystal clear that we don’t intend to stay in Iraq any longer than is necessary, but I will make it crystal clear to you today that we are not going to leave until we find and destroy Iraq’s capability to produce biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

At the time, Armitage had a very strong motive to try to get journalists to stay away from the "disinformation" being spread by Joe Wilson by suggesting that his trip was only a "boondoggle" set up by his wife. Armitage was still publicly insisting that the intelligence was accurate and that Iraq had WMD, so anyone insisting otherwise wouldn't only be attacking President Bush, but also the Deputy Secretary of State himself.


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