W stands for whopper
While it is not uncommon for politicians to prevaricate, the current president has come up with some costly whoppers:
- The unfulfilled commitment to bring the author of the September 11th attacks to justice – instead letting him go in the December 2001 battle of Tora Bora;
- The evanescent Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Saddam/Al Qaeda links which formed the pretext for a war that has so far killed 1,700 US soldiers, wounded thousands more and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis;
- The hollow claim that the war would be short and that our troops would be welcomed as liberators; and
- The empty notion that by fighting terrorists in Iraq we would be safe from terrorists at home delivered repeatedly and as recently as June 28th, a bit over a week before the bombings in London, capital of a loyal Iraq ally.
Compared to all these false claims, it is interesting that the one evoking the most focused press furor has far lower human costs – Karl Rove’s involvement in violating the cover of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame – about two years after fervent White House denials of same.
However, this firestorm ties together some of this administration’s important operating principles:
- Fixing the facts – here a link between Uranium and Saddam -- to fit the president’s will;
- Destroying political opponents – Joe Wilson and his wife – through fingerprint-free machinations; and
- Protecting the loyal – Karl Rove and Bob Novak – while punishing the enemy – The New York Times.
Whether or not Rove emerges from this battle unscathed, history will well remember this presidency and its headline will be: W Stands for Whopper.