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Calpundit had a very enlightening post on Bush/AWOL a few days back. Enlightening insofar as it displayed for the world the ignorance from the Left on the issue. Reading the post (or any of the others in the endless series he's made on the topic) and the comments you can almost imagine the group gathered around the paper, or the glowing monitors displaying the image thereof, marveling at the possible significance of their "Holy Grail". One went so far as to refer to the document as the "blue dress" for the Bush administration, which by itself gives a tremendous amount of insight into why the Dems get themselves into a slathering rage over this whole issue.
The only problem is, there's not one of them that comprehends what that document is, let alone whether it had any significance whatsoever, because none of them has a military background. In fact, few even know anyone who knows anyone in the military. To be fair, site owner Kevin Drum admits as much in the post, but also makes clear what his fondest dream is. (Or is that "Fonda-est" dream?)
Reading Kevin's post several days ago I hoped that Baldilocks would weigh in; a retired Air Force Reservist has a bit of gravitas when it come to interpreting such documents. She's done so, and she doesn't disappoint.
And both sides of the issue will be satisfied with her response; the Right because she completely and satisfactorily answers the questions and settles the issue, and the Left because the truth absolutely doesn't matter to them. In fact, their eyes are closed and their fingers are jammed dangerously deep into their... ears on this one.
Case in point, even after the White House released documents on the issue, Idiotarians in Congress attempted to push it. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong guy. Even more unfortunately for them, cameras were rolling, and America was treated to the site of a genuine military hero calmly dismantling a witless congressman and one of his lackeys.
...Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., Robert Melendez, D-N.J., Rep. Robert I Wexler, D-Fla., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, challenged Powell about the administration's case, suggesting it may have been misleading from the outset.
"Truth is the first casualty of war," Ackerman said. "I would contend truth was murdered before a shot was fired."
"We went into this war under false premises," Melendez said.
Wexler told Powell he considered him to be "the credible voice in the administration."
"When you reached the conclusion that Iraq represented a clear and present danger to the United States, that meant a lot to me," Wexler said. "But the facts suggest there was a part of the story that was not true."
Powell fielded the assertions calmly, defending the president's judgment and his own.
But when Brown contrasted Powell's military experience to Bush's record with the National Guard, saying the president "may have been AWOL" from duty, Powell exploded.
"First of all, Mr. Brown, I won't dignify your comments about the president because you don't know what you are talking about," Powell snapped.
"I'm sorry I don't know what you mean, Mr. Secretary," Brown replied.
"You made reference to the president," Powell shot back.
Brown then repeated his understanding that Bush may have been AWOL from guard duty.
"Mr. Brown, let's not go there," Powell retorted. "Let's not go there in this hearing. If you want to have a political fight on this matter, that is very controversial, and I think it is being dealt with by the White House, fine, but let's not go there."
If you haven't seen the video yet, you should try. The secretary was instantly the Four Star, with a dash of Top Sergeant thrown in for good measure. The exchange continued:
Powell then went on to defend the Bush administration's assertions on Iraq's prewar weaponry. "We didn't make it up," Powell said. "It was information that reflected the views of analysts in all the various agencies."
But the dispute with Brown did not end.
"Are you shaking your head for something, young man?," Powell asked when he noticed an aide to Brown apparently disagreeing.
"I seldom come to a meeting when I'm talking to a congressman and I have people aligned behind you giving editorial comment by headshakes," Powell said.
Brown, defending his assistant, said "I think people have opinions."
Indeed they do. In my opinion, Mr. Brown (who has no military service in his background) is a sad little fool, and a poor representative of the people of Ohio.
And he's fortunate that the "Secretary of State" side of Colin Powell stayed in control. Who wasn't longing for the unasked question; "How 'bout I walk across the room and wipe that smirk of your face?" Followed by a complete transformation into something that would make R. Lee Ermy cringe in fear.
But the General kept his cool. Ice, baby, pure ice. And you have to see it to truly appreciate it. A clueless congressman exposed with cameras rolling.
But none of this matters, as WaPo reports in this story about the President's visit to the Dentist
...White House press secretary Scott McClellan criticized Democrats and others who were asking new questions.
"I think what you are seeing is gutter politics," he said. "The American people deserve better. There are some who are not interested in their facts. They are simply trolling for trash."
He's referring to some in congress and the press, as the White House Press corps has made this their cause célèbre, in light of the lack of American deaths in Iraq this week. (Feb 11 White House press briefing video here)
Not to be outdone, Katie Couric got to ask hopeful future VP candidate Edwards on Today for his thoughts on the issue, specifically whether he thought the release of the President's records resolved everything. The wanna-veep said he thought there were plenty of legitimate questions to be answered.
Depends on what your definition of word "legitimate" is.
Update: The WaPo has more details, and a slightly different spin, (and the most intrusive registration process I've seen) on the General's testimony:
The public scolding came after Powell had already endured a number of attacks by Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy during an appearance before the House International Relations Committee. He had just snapped at a member of Congress who had casually declared President Bush "AWOL" from the Vietnam War.
Powell was recalling for the panel his review of the prewar intelligence. "I went and lived at the CIA for about four days to make sure that nothing was," he began, when he paused and glared at a staffer seated behind the members of Congress.
"Are you shaking your head for something, young man, back there?" Powell asked. "Are you part of these proceedings?"
Powell's unusual remarks threatened to derail the hearing. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a 12-year veteran of the House, objected, "Mr. Chairman, I've never heard a witness reprimand a staff person in the middle of a question."
Powell shot back, "I seldom come to a meeting where I am talking to a congressman and I have people aligned behind you giving editorial comment by head shakes."
"Well, I think people have opinions," Brown responded.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) rushed to defend Powell. "I think the secretary is owed an apology for that, not reprimand," he said.
This brought a reaction from Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who had earlier in the hearing been cut off by Rohrabacher when a statement he made denouncing the administration's claims on weapons of mass destruction ran over the assigned length. "Point of order, Mr. Chairman," he asked. "Has that gentleman who's speaking been recognized?"
Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), the committee's chairman, urged members to calm down, despite the "very emotional subject."
Repeat: The WaPo might be impressed with his 12 years in the House, but this guy Brown is an embarrassment to Ohio.
And the behavior of the Democrats can only be explained in light of the fact that the party is self-destructing. Not funny.
I saw that exchange and was so proud of Colin Powell's handling of the situation. Sherrod is part of the Democrats who have chosen to bash the Bush administration as soon as they felt it was safe after 911. Simply, the Dems call Bush the most devisive president ever, yet it is the Dems who have been on a campaign for years. Let's see... they lost the house,senate, judicial and executive branch. Just how desperate are the Dems? You figure it out.
Sherrod must go...and Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, Corrian Brown, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy....and Kerry. Please give them the BOOT!Posted by Don H at September 9, 2004 02:11 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(1) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)