Monday, January 12, 2004

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill charged that President Bush was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq within a few days of coming to office. This, of course, comes as no surprise to us America-hating, anti-troop, terrorist-loving, unpatriotic chicken littles. But when the criticism of the president comes from a man he personally handpicked to be in his cabinet, maybe it'll have a little more resonance with the skeptics.

Mr. O'Neill, who was sacked because he didn't support one of the president's tax cuts, also made the allegation that the president was unwilling to engage in debate. This charge shocks approximately no one but again the news is not what was said but who said it.

Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, a Bush ally, raged, "Not since Julius Caesar have I seen such a blatant stab in the back - et tu, Mr O'Neill?" Maybe this is the kind of loyalty the president's leadership style engenders.

While it's true that a treasury secretary is not likely to receive the most classified national security intelligence, it's telling that no one's yet denied O'Neill's charge. CBS News' reports that the White House neither confirmed nor denied when planning for a war with Iraq began.

The BBC now reports that the US Treasury Department has called for an investigation into whether [O'Neill] leaked secret documents in his new book.

100 bucks says they complete this investigation faster than the inquiry into who criminally leaked the name of that CIA agent.

The pre-war critics who thought the Iraq invasion was imposed for reasons other than national security are looking increasingly prescient. Not that they ever looked otherwise.

Those around the world who really mistrust (or worse) the United States have just been given yet another rational justification for that mistrust. How this strategy fights extremism is beyond me?

During President Clinton's reign, Republicans furious with Clinton's personal conduct demanded indignantly, "Where's the outrage?"

Given that the current president's controversial conduct is anything but personal, the same question is even more pertinent today.

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