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Washington Post Channels Drudge

I heard… Did you hear?…
No, but guess what?… You’re kidding!!

The Post is really outdoing themselves today. First they swiftboat
Barack Obama
. Then using second hand quotes of a convicted
Iran-contra felon
, Elliot Abrams, they churn up a story that has Bill Clinton
practically salivating over the Iraq war. Trying to do a multiple bank shot
off of the former president’s recent comments in Iowa, which didn’t do Hillary
any good and gave me whiplash, they base their tale on Abrams telling former
Rice aide Hillary
Mann Leverett what he supposedly heard Bill Clinton say in a pro forma
briefing on the coming Iraq war. The Post then uses Leverett
as the sole source for their article, though she has no first hand knowledge
of the meeting. Through a method similar to the kid game telephone,
they then go to excrutiating contortions trying to prove these factoids even
though there’s no conclusive proof that Abrams was in the room with Clinton
either. This concoction has not one single provable first hand source.
Not one. This also comes at a time when we have Karl Rove out spinning
on “Charlie Rose”
and everywhere else that the Iraq war resolution
in the fall of 2002 was really the Congress’s idea and not Mr. Bush’s.
It never occurs to the Post that Abrams couldn’t find the truth with
Johnny Appleseed as a guide, so their stenographers lap it right up and spit
it out instead.

A former senior aide to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice disputed
Bill Clinton’s statement this week that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,”
saying that the former president was privately briefed by top White House
officials about war planning in 2003 and that he told them he supported the
invasion. … ..

… .. Hillary Mann Leverett, at the time the White House director of Persian
Gulf affairs, said that Rice and Elliott Abrams, then National Security Council
senior director for Near East and North African affairs, met with Clinton
several times in the months before the March 2003 invasion to answer any questions
he might have. She said she was “shocked” and “astonished”
by Clinton’s remarks this week, made to voters in Iowa, because she has distinct
memories of Abrams “coming back from those meetings literally glowing
and boasting that ‘we have Clinton’s support.’ ”

Leverett, a former career foreign service officer who said she is not involved
in any presidential campaign, said the incident affected her because of her
own doubts about the wisdom of an attack. “To hear President Clinton
was supportive really silenced whatever questions I had,” she recalled.
Leverett, who worked in the same office as Abrams at the time, said Rice and
Abrams “made it a high priority” to get Clinton’s support, meeting
with him at least twice. Abrams was tasked to answer Clinton’s questions and
“took the responsibility very seriously,” Leverett said. “Elliott
was then very focused on making sure that we followed up on Clinton’s questions
to keep Clinton happy and on board.” … ..

Clinton’s Claim of Opposing Iraq War From Outset Disputed

Don’t you just love the quotes. Leverett was “shocked,”
she was “astonished”! I bet. Maybe because Abrams was unloading
bull. I don’t doubt Leverett’s recollections at all. But Abrams? Yeah, and the
Bushies wanted Bill Clinton happy, too. Right.

People who actually are in the position to know what happens in these circumstances
say that whenever a president decides to go to war he invites the former president
to the White House. Bush’s team, in this case, briefs Bill Clinton; they tell
him they’re going to war on such-and-such a date, using bombing, ground invasion
or whatever, but it’s simply a courtesy meeting, a pro forma back and forth.
Translation: Clinton comes in, they tell him how it’s going to go down, they
thank him for showing up, see ya, bye. Seriously, can you imagine George W.
Bush asking Bill Clinton’s advice on going to war? Bush was ignoring his generals! So now we’re supposed to buy that Bush, back in 2003,
cared what Clinton thought or said? It’s just not credible. From the moment
Bush came into office everything Bill Clinton was anathema to them, everything.

That it’s Elliot Abrams at the foundation of this convenient Iraq yarn, which
is then repeated by a senior aide that was nowhere near the briefing at the
time, well, color me highly skeptical. When I first read it this morning, the
quotes, the connections to the source, the actual source himself, then the degrees
of separation and the contorted reporting to tie it back to Iowa, well, it all
seemed just too remarkable, too coincidental. After dissecting it, as I did
on my radio show today
, it’s all too incredible and unbelievable.

So yet a second time in one day the Post pens an anti Democratic screed,
the first one
targeting Obama
, with this one targeting
Hillary through Bill
. Now that’s triangulation. It also drums up a an anti
Democratic storyline that there’s controversy afoot, first questioning Obama’s
faith bona fides with a wingnut Muslim slur; then going to Hillary on her perceived
Iraq vulnerabilities, which the Post hopes will get the horse race
going even harder, no doubt preparing the ground for the general election. After
all, it’s good to get a jump on this stuff with a little preemptive “journalism.”
Can’t have Republicans getting creamed next year by Obama or Clinton. That doesn’t
sell papers or web advertising if you don’t bring eyes to the page.

So instead let’s get everyone to believe what a convicted Iran-contra liar
supposedly said about something Bill Clinton allegedly uttered in a briefing
we don’t even know the Iran-contra liar attended, which is offered up by an
aide who happened to be around when Abrams fed her his malarkey. Considering
the truth track record of the Bush administration, I’d say anything that comes
out of this crew should be greeted with a healthy cackle. That it started
with someone neck deep and convicted in Iran-contra says it all.

But to the Washington Post it’s news; whether it’s an Obama Muslim slur, or
going at Hill through Bill on Iraq, if it gets eyes to page and gets talked
about on cable and wingnut radio, it’s, as they say, mission accomplished.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong