Friday, July 11, 2003
transcript: ABC This Morning
Terry Moran: Now to the challenge to the Bush Administrations credibility. President Bush, as you well know, is under increasing fire for standing in front of the country making his case for the war with Iraq and including in it a false statement about Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. At issue, the president’s January State of the Union charge that Saddam tried to buy nuclear bomb ingredients in Africa.
Bush (1/28/03): “Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to buy high strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”
TM: The White House now admits that was false. Their intelligence information was wrong. Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont, running for the Democratic presidential nomination is the first major presidential candidate calling on administration officials to resign.
Governor Dean, yesterday your campaign released a press release, a statement saying there are those in this administration that misled the president, mislead the nation and mislead the world in making the case for war against Iraq. They know who they are and they should resign today. Who are you talking about? Are we talking about Secretary Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Secretary Rumsfeld?
Howard Dean: We don’t know exactly who misled the president. What we do know is that about a year before the President’s State of the Union address, Ambassador Wilson went to Niger to find out what was going on in terms of uranium being sold to the Iraqis. What he found was that there was no evidence whatsoever that was going on. A year later the President of the United States told the American people that in fact Iraq was buying uranium in Africa. That was not true. Ambassador Wilson a year earlier had filed those reports with the Secretary of State’s office, with the Vice President’s office and with the CIA. So they knew at the time the president told the American people that what the president was telling the American people was false. That is pretty serious. Whoever it was that withheld that information needs to resign.
TM: I’ll get to that in a moment, but is it possible that the president in your mind that the president lied.
HD: Anything is possible. I think we need is a full scale investigation which I’ve been calling for about three weeks; bi-partisan investigation outside the congress. Which clearly the Republican majority is stonewalling these kinds of investigations. We need to find out what the president and when he knew it. This is a serious credibility issue for the United States government and it needs to be resolved publicly and now.
TM: Are you a Democrat who would like to see a special prosecutor again like Ken Starr come back and open up an investigation again of the President?
HD: Well the special prosecutor law was so badly abused during the last administration that that’s a difficult issue. It may be that is the only way we can get at this because clearly the President’s people have been absolutely stonewalling any investigation. We still haven’t seen the report on what went wrong before 9/11. We need a lot of information about what’s the matter with our intelligence, why these agencies aren’t talking to each other. Secretary Rumsfeld said a few days ago that this was all news to him, he only found out three or four days ago, that the information the President had a year ago was false. No something is very wrong if the Department of State, the CIA, and the Vice President’s office know something’s false and the Secretary of Defense doesn’t know it’s false. This government either is inept or simply has not told us the truth. We need to know what the answers are here.
TM: And that is a possibility: Either deliberate deception or ineptitude. But you’re already calling on someone to resign based on deception, isn’t that sentence first, verdict afterward. Aren’t you already coming to the conclusion before the investigation?
HD: There’s too much misinformation that’s been put into effect around this war. Four of my colleagues running for president voted for the war. Evidently they must have based their vote on misinformation as well. We have a serious problem in the Congress; a serious problem in the executive branch. We need to know the answers; the credibility of the United States is at stake here.
TM: Alright, Howard Dean democratic candidate for president once again stirring up the pot. Thanks very much for being with us.
And he’s been good at that but the question in Washington is: Does this charge stick?
Claire Shipman: Certainly works for Howard Dean so far in terms of his popularity, which is an interesting strategy. Thanks.
DiscussionPost a Comment
Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.