Darwin Fish

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them

The paperback edition of Al Franken's best seller came out this month. And as Franken promised, the addendums don't fail to entertain. (For those of you who have not read this book yet, I highly recommend it.)

On page 376, Franken tells of his disgust at being betrayed by Colin Powell, "the only high-level official in the Bush administaration that I could trust."

Powell told the General Assembly and the rest of the world that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear program. As Rice, Rumsfeld, and Bush had said in the weeks prior, we didn't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. Powell's evidence? Powell wasn't stupid enough to use the uranium-from-Africa stroy the President had tried to feed us in his State of the Union Address. No, Powell's proof was the aluminum tubes.
These were the aluminum tubes that Saddam had beem importing..to make rockets. But the Bush administration told us that they were to be used for centrifuging uranium to turn it into weapons-grade uranium...
As Powell told The New York Times:

What we notice in these different batches is a progression to higher and higher levels of specification, including in the latest batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth outer and inner surfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go to all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be blown into shrapnel when it went off?

Six months later, on August 10, I read an article in The Washington Post by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus. It was a little late, consdiering.. that we..were occupying Iraq, losing about 1.7 guys a day... Speaking publicly for the first time, House G. Wood III, founder of the Oak Ride centrifuge physics department...said of the aluminum tubes in question: It would have been extremely difficult to make these tubes into centrifuges. It stretches the imagination to come up with a way. I do not know any real centrifuge experts that feel differently"
It turns out that the aluminum tubes were the wrong size to be used in centrifuges...And the anodized coating?...If aluminum tubes were going to be used for centrifuging uranium, the first thing you'd have to do is mill of all the anodized coating.

On page 380, Franken discusses the faults of the Bush administration:
On February 8, President Bush opened his 2004 campaign with a disastrous appearance on Meet the Press, reminding Tim Russert that he is a "war president." Yet, never before has this country cut taxes in a time of war. I ran this by Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Princeton economist, who told me he can't find a civilization in the history of mankind that has cut taxes while at war.

Franken also retells of the hilarious law suit against him by Fox, provides addendums addressing Treason by Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly. He also re-dedicates his book, to none other than Bill O'Reilly.


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