Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Ari Fleischer' tiny cajone's, and WMD's
Fleischer then and now: There's a telling difference
Once an unwavering administration foot soldier, the ex-White House spokesman gives an insider's account.
By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
January 30, 2007
WASHINGTON — As White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer was known for staying strictly on message, the public face of an administration reluctant to acknowledge mistakes or internal rifts.
But Fleischer was behind a different microphone Monday: He spent hours testifying in federal court on what it was like behind the scenes in 2003 when a key part of the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq disintegrated.
During more than three hours of testimony that offered a rare glimpse inside the usually secretive Bush White House, Fleischer showed little of the unyielding discipline that defined his tenure as press secretary. He pointed fingers at a former colleague, acknowledged frustration at how powerless he often was to sway the media, and described in detail the frantic White House efforts to contain a spreading public relations debacle.
Fleischer was the main prosecution witness Monday in the ongoing trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby stands accused of lying to federal authorities investigating the White House's role in exposing the identity of a clandestine CIA officer.
At one point Fleischer described the dismay he felt as it became increasingly clear that the White House could no longer back one of President Bush's most alarming remarks in his 2003 State of the Union speech — that Iraq was seeking to acquire uranium from Africa.
Sixteen Words Video
Sixteen Words and the Trial of Scooter Libby
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t Report
Tuesday 23 January 2007
Four years ago this month, President Bush, in his State of the Union address, said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
The intelligence those sixteen words were based upon turned out to be crude forgeries. Evidence collected by journalists and various legislative committees over the years suggests that a cabal of White House officials were fully aware that the intelligence was suspect, but allowed its inclusion in the State of the Union address because it would help the administration win support for the war.
Smoking Gun Video