"BUSH AIDES SET STRATEGY TO SELL POLICY ON IRAQ
Saturday, September 7, 2002 Pg. A1, A6 By Elizabeth Bumiller WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein. The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It as not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq. The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to launch their plan. “From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.” A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year. “Everybody felt that was a moment that Americans wanted to hear from him,” said Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political advisor. Sept. 11 will also be a time, Mr. Rove said, “to seize the moment to make clear what lies ahead.” Toward that end, in June the White House picked Ellis Island in New York Harbor, not Governors Island, as the place where President Bush is to deliver his Sept. 11 address to the nation. Both spots were considered, White House advisors said, but the television camera angles were more spectacular from Ellis Island, where the Statue of Liberty will be seen aglow behind Mr. Bush. “We had made a decision to that this would be a compelling story either place,” said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. “We sent a team out to go look and they said, ‘This is a better shot,’ and we said O.K.” In the same way, Mr. Bush’s Sept. 11 remarks, about 10 minutes in length, are to serve as the emotional precursor for a tougher speech about Iraq that the president is to deliver to the United Nations General Assembly the following day.
[***] White House officials said they began planning more intensively for the Iraq rollout in July, even as Mr. Bush was busy responding to the summer’s corporate scandals. Advisors consulted the Congressional calendar to figure out the best time for Iraq hearings while Ms. Hughes, even as she was driving back to Texas, discussed with Mr. Bush the outlines of his Sept. 11 speech. By August, with Congress out of town and the United Nations not convening until September, White House officials decided to wait out the month, even as final planning continued by phone between advisors in Washington and at Mr. Bush’s ranch in Texas. “There was a deliberate sense that this was not the time to engage in his process,” Mr. Rove said. “The thought was in August the president is sort of on vacation.” [...]
'What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground,' said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. 'We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.'
Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns.Compare that summary of Whig Hadley's remarks above to Whig Wilkinson's remarks quoted last week.
Appreciative of their attention, yet undaunted, Sheehan said she planned to continue her roadside vigil, except for a few breaks, until she gets to talk to Bush. Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.
"They (the advisers) said we are in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the world's a better place with Saddam gone and that we're making the world a safer place with what we're doing over there," Sheehan said in a telephone interview after the meeting. [emphasis added]
The Rosa Parks analogy might not be as farfetched as it first appears. Rosa Parks hasn't always been "ROSA PARKS." She wasn't always a heroine of American history. She was a woman who wanted to take a seat on the bus. She started her life as one of millions of African Americans subjected to apartheid regulations that many white Americans saw as reasonable, or at least traditional and acceptable. She never could have anticipated how she would become a symbol for millions because of her ability to show a clear injustice in simple terms. And the White House Iraq Group, with all its abilities to fix intelligence, stay on message, catapult propaganda, and create media echo chambers, may be no match for one mother who wants to know why her son died.Like something out of a movie, a caravan of suburbans, vans, and cars swooped upon us and with synchronized precision, SS agents got out of the vehicles and surrounded us. It was eerie, frightening, and thrilling! Two men who appeared quite important walked up to Cindy. Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs played good cop and sat on the pavement looking up at Cindy. Joseph W. Hagin, Deputy Chief of Staff was the bad cop so he sat in one of the chairs we had brought. They went through the same old trite bullshit party line spiel we have all heard a million times! The only problem is that Cindy is fully informed, intelligent, quick-witted, calm and focused, and disarming in her honesty and directness. Effortlessly, she made them look as foolish as they are!
Hadley reminded her that the Iraqis could now vote. She showed him Casey's pictures, told him that she had give birth to him after carrying him for nine months. That she had nursed him for over a year. She said a few more things about Casey then asked Hadley if he thought she had gone through all that so Iraqis could vote. She cried just a little and everyone was quite touched. We applauded for her several times during their meeting.
HOW MANY BUSHIES ARE NEEDED TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB?
1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed.
2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed.
3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.
4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either responsible for changing the light bulb or for darkness.
5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light bulb.
6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, throwing the switch that turns on a light illuminating a banner that reads " Lightbulb Change Accomplished", whether or not it has been changed.
7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark.
8. One to viciously smear #7.
9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb changing policy all along.
10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.
The timing was a thing of pure political beauty. President George W. Bush was only a few days away from speaking to the United Nations’ General Assembly about Iraq’s renewed efforts to acquire banned weaponry. And, in a month, the president was going to Congress to seek a resolution approving of a war against Iraq. A Sunday morning story, September 8, 2002, in the New York Times made the U.N. speech and the congressional debate much easier for the White House.
Under the headline, “Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts,” a 3603 word story by Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller detailed the administration’s case against Saddam Hussein related to weapons of mass destruction. America was about to be scared. Citing “administration officials,” “Iraqi defectors,” and “intelligence sources,” Gordon and Miller wrote that Iraq had attempted to buy the type of aluminum tubes needed for the construction of a gas centrifuge to develop nuclear materials.
To create the beginnings of war hysteria and nuclear phobia, the White House Iraq Group had planned to immediately execute a tactic that created a media echo chamber. The same Sunday morning that the tubes story was splattered on the front page of the Times, the Bush administration dispatched the vice president, the national security advisor, and the secretary of state, to elevate the buzz on the network talk shows. A false story had been planted, was given credibility by a leading publication, and then the people who benefited from the one-sided information appeared on national television to corroborate the value of their bad evidence. [...]
Please read it all! I'm also adding this article as a reference to the sidebar of Whiggate Update because it's such a great summary of how this Group operated.
Brenda, from Fort Worth, Tx writes:
Something to ponder... Osama Bin Laden attacked the United States and killed many innocent victims on 911 without the use of weapons of mass destruction or chemical warfare.
That act cost the United States and it's citizens billions of dollars, not to mention the families that lost loved ones on that horrible day.
With that memory, how can Americans be upset with President Bush's decision to pursue Saddam Hussain? September 11 proved to Americans that it does not take weapons of mass destruction or chemical warfare to cripple the United States.
Mr. Hussain has the proven ability to gather forces to pursue deadly interests in the United States and has continued to be a threat to our safety.
I commend Mr. Bush's decision to pursue and capture Mr. Hussain.
I am anxious to see the day that Bin Laden is brought to justice. Until then, it is nice to know that we finally have a president that is making a positive impact on the safety of the United States.
Blessings, Brenda Lungrin
Brenda, thanks for your question[sic].
As President Bush said after September 11, the war on terror is a different kind of war against a different kind of enemy. And as the President said today, he will not take risks with the lives and security of the American people by assuming the goodwill of dictators.
The decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision. September 11 taught us that we must confront threats to our Nation before it is too late.
Saddam repeatedly defied the international community -- ignoring the demand of the United Nations and 17 UN resolutions.
He had large quantities of WMD that he failed to account for.
Saddam stonewalled inspectors, played cat and mouse games with the UN, and then threw the inspectors out of Iraq.
Saddam used WMD on his own people and against his neighbors.
Saddam was a threat to the stability of the region, and a threat to his neighbors.
War was President Bush's last option. That's why he exhausted diplomatic options, to include giving Saddam Hussein one more warning, and yet another UN resolution. Given this final chance, Saddam chose defiance, and he chose war.
Saddam Hussein and his regime were a threat to our nation, and our nation is safer with his regime out of power and with Saddam sitting in a jail cell.
Removing his regime was the right decision then, and it is the right decision now.
Ambassador Wilson:"...a meeting was held - sometime in March of 2003 - in the offices of the Vice President at which it was decided to do a "work up" on me. A work up means to run an intel op to glean all the information you can about me. My understanding is that at a minimum, [Cheney's chief of staff] Scooter Libby was at this meeting.
But in retrospect looking at this, the natural group [of people] who would meet to discuss something like this would be the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
Raw Story: Right, and the group includes Karl Rove as part of that main group of six.
Wilson: Yes, that would include Rove. I believe it is Rove, Karen Hughes, Libby, and others.
Raw Story: Also: Andrew Card, Mary Matlin and James Wilkinson as well as others who advised then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley.
Wilson: That would be the natural group because they were constituted to spin the war, so they would be naturally the ones to try to deflect criticism. Now, some of those people would have very high security clearances....
According to the results of free non-scientific online tests, TBL found that he was "Existentialist", "Communist", and "A Grammar God," i.e., if he were a short wall-eyed Frenchman rather than a 6'3" blond American, he would be constantly mistaken for Jean-Paul Sartre!