Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The snake in the grass

The other day I made an offhand remark about the Bush administration's strange tendency to clutch vipers to its bosom. That fact is made more apparent the more one learns about the strange "Plamegate" affair.

The conclusion that Colin Powell is a lying snake who should never have been granted a position of trust in a Republican administration is now inescapable.

Ed Laskey writes in The American Thinker:

Draw your own conclusions from the fact that Armitage’s best friend Colin Powell called Dick Cheney’s supporters (including Scooter Libby, Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz) the “Gestapo Office” (quite insulting considering that there is a history of relatives lost in the Holocaust among them).

Factor in that Powell called Doug Feith “a card-carrying member of the Likud Party” and referred to the Likudnicks in the White House controlling policy during his “exit interview with Bush” (see Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq) – thereby showing his support for anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

Don’t forget that Powell is also joined at the hip with Brent Scowcroft – no friend of Israel and an investor in the Saudi-funded Carlyle Group? Consider that Armitage felt it was fine for Libby to undergo undeserved torment during Fitzgerald’s inquisition and that Colin Powell also knew that Armitage was the leaker but kept quiet about his knowledge when interviewed by the Justice two days after Amitage admitted to Powell he was the leaker.

The Wall Street Journal has this to add:

Meanwhile, according to the Corn-Isikoff book, Mr. Armitage never did tell the White House or his boss, the President, that he was the leaker. Instead, in October 2003 he told Mr. Powell, who told the State Department general counsel, who in turn told the Justice Department but gave the White House Counsel only the sketchiest overview of what he'd learned and didn't mention Mr. Armitage's name. So while Mr. Fitzgerald presumably knew when he began his probe two months later that Mr. Armitage was Mr. Novak's source, the President himself was apparently kept in the dark, even as he was pledging publicly to find out who the leaker was.

At a minimum, there appears to be a serious question of disloyalty here. By keeping silent, Messrs. Powell and Armitage let the President take political heat for the case, while also letting Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby and other White House officials twist in the wind for more than two years. We also know that it was the folks in Mr. Powell's shop--including his former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson and intelligence officer Carl Ford Jr.--who did so much to trash John Bolton's nomination to be Ambassador to the U.N. in 2005. The State Department clique that Mr. Bush tolerated for so long did tremendous damage to his Administration.

It was Colin Powell who, as Chairman of the JCS, convinced George H W Bush not to press on to Bagdad in the first Gulf War and unseat Saddam Hussein. This failure to finish the job allowed the Iraq situation to fester for the eight years of the do-nothing Clinton administration and left the situation for George W Bush to clean up.

It was Powell as Secretary of State who insisted that the nation waste over a year dithering with the UN and Europe in the buildup to the Iraq war. Powell failed to recognize that the leaders of the UN, France and Germany were essentially the paid employees of Saddam Hussein and would never authorize his removal.

Since leaving the State Department Powell has waged a low key campaign to undermine the President’s foreign policy in the Middle East and undercut Mr. Bush’s choice to lead the American delegation to the UN.

From giving disastrously bad advice to maintaining a dishonest silence when administration colleagues were having their lives ruined and their effectiveness diminished (in a time of war) by a baseless criminal investigation Powell’s involvement with the Bush administration ran the spectrum from merely useless to actively harmful.