Politicians: The Things They Say & How They Say Them
Here is a troubling story:
…Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia…has over the past two years repeatedly accused the Bush administration of deliberately deceiving the American public to take the nation to war. It’s hard to imagine a more serious charge. And Rockefeller makes it perhaps more credibly than most Iraq War critics–as the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
It’s no surprise then that reporters sought out Rockefeller for his reaction to George W. Bush’s address to the nation Tuesday night. The junior senator from West Virginia minced no words. Iraq, he said, “had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden, it had nothing to do with al-Qaida, it had nothing to do with September 11, which he managed to mention three or four times and infer three or four more times.”
This, Rockefeller seems to find outrageous. “It’s sort of amazing that a president could stand up before hundreds of millions of Americans and say that and come back to 9/11–somehow figuring that it clicks a button, that everybody grows more patriotic and more patient. Well, maybe that’s good p.r. work, which it isn’t, but it’s not the way that a commander in chief executes a war. And that’s his responsibility in this case.”
It is an attack on President Bush that echoes those we’ve heard from Democrats–both those on the fringe left and those at the top of the party–for the past 27 months. And it is nonsense…
Odd then that Senator Rockefeller would have spoken of a “substantial connection between Saddam and al Qaeda” just one month before the Iraq War began. In some interviews Rockefeller did say that he hadn’t seen evidence of close ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. But asked about an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on February 5, 2003, Rockefeller agreed with Republican Senator Pat Roberts that Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq before the war and his links to a poison camp in northern Iraq were troubling. Rockefeller continued: “The fact that Zarqawi certainly is related to the death of the U.S. aid officer and that he is very close to bin Laden puts at rest, in fairly dramatic terms, that there is at least a substantial connection between Saddam and al Qaeda.”…
…other aspects of Rockefeller’s 2002 speech. It’s worth noting, however, that the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told his colleagues that “there is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.” And: “Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now.” And: “We cannot know for certain that Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction he currently possesses, or that he will use them against us. But we do know Saddam has the capability.”
Unmistakable evidence. Existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities. We do know Saddam has the capability. Remember these things the next time you hear Rockefeller and his colleagues accuse the Bush Administration of exaggerating or fabricating the threat from Iraq.
Rockefeller ended his 2002 floor speech with yet another direct reference to September 11–his fifth.
“September 11 has forever changed the world. We may not like it, but that is the world in which we live. When there is a grave threat to Americans’ lives, we have a responsibility to take action to prevent it.”
Do you find it troubling when politicians radically change their tune – and the only reason for it seems to be politics? Do you find it troubling when those changes relate directly to the national security of America – at a time when we are at war?
And then, on top of it, they are so full of themselves:
…can you imagine George Washington referring in public, or in private for that matter, to his many virtues? In normal America if you have a high character you don’t wrestle people to the ground until they acknowledge it. You certainly don’t announce it. If you are compassionate, you are compassionate; if others see it, fine. If you hold to principle it will become clear. You don’t proclaim these things. You can’t, for the same reason that to brag about your modesty is to undercut the truth of the claim…
How exactly does it work? How does legitimate self-confidence become wildly inflated self-regard? How does self respect become unblinking conceit? How exactly does one’s character become destabilized in Washington?…
What is wrong with them? This is not a rhetorical question. I think it is unspoken question No. 1 as Americans look at so many of the individuals in our government. What is wrong with them?
Normal people just don’t act this way.
Yet more arguments for term limits. Yet another argument for limited government.
And another reason why a diligent citizenry is so essential to ensuring our freedoms are protected.
Sadly, it is an uphill battle, isn’t it?