Plain talk from the plains

January 25, 2007

Chuck Hagel has been a man on fire for the truth of late. It’s like a light bulb went on. Like the censor every politician, Democrat or Republican, carries around in his head, the one who whispers at every impulse to depart from Cloud Cuckoo Land, “You can’t say that, Michael Moore might approve,” has dropped his blue pencil behind the chaise longue and just can’t find it again.

But in an interview with GQ, he takes a couple giant leaps beyond even his celebrated remarks on the Senate floor.

Leap 1: Chuck confirms what a couple Dems peeped (without media echo) at the time. Bush initially insisted that the AUMF authorize not just war in Iraq, but any military step Dubya chose in “the region”. By implication, he intended to get cover not just for invading Baghdad, but also Damascus and Tehran. And, should they happen to strike oil, Armenia.

Leap 2: Chuck confirms that we were deliberately lied into the war (see p. 3 of the interview):

HAGEL. So the president comes out talking about “weapons of mass destruction” that this “madman dictator” Saddam Hussein has, and “our intelligence shows he’s got it,” and “he’s capable of weaponizing,” and so on.

GQ. And producing a National Intelligence Estimate that turned out to be doctored.
HAGEL. Oh yeah. All this stuff was doctored. Absolutely. But that’s what we were presented with. And I’m not dismissing our responsibility to look into the thing, because there were senators who said, “I don’t believe them.”

McCain’s badly stained Plain Talk jersey has just passed to a new player. And unless they’re willing to pass it on to Jim Webb on the other team, I’m betting it retires with him.


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