Bush Team on a Busman’s Holiday*

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, Yellowcake!

2002 was a busy year for the Bush Team….
January 9: Douglas Feith (OOSP) calls Lt. Gen. Jay Garner on the phone….
Feith: Garner, I got a job for you.
Garner: Hello? Who is this?
Feith: Directive from da Man himself
Garner: The president?!
Feith: Rumsfeld, you idiot. Da Man. We need you to put together a team from the other agency to do the planning for postwar Iraq, if there was a war, I mean.
Garner: Which agency? What war?!
Meanwhile, at the State Department……
Colin Powell calls Tom Warrick, a State Department staffer.
Powell: Tom, I want you to head up a new project. I’m calling it The Future of Iraq Project.
Warrick: Um, great. Does this mean we’re going to war, Secretary?
February 19: At a meeting at the CIA, George Tenet, Condi Rice and Colin Powell all agree to send Joseph Wilson to Niger, even though the State Department says the Yellowcake story is bogus.
February 21: Lt. Gen. Garner has 70 to 100 staff on his new team, which includes Tom Warrick from the State Dept.
March 14: Garner briefs President Bush on the team project; Rumsfeld asks him if Tom Warrick is on the team. When Garner says yes, Rumsfeld tells him that he can’t use Warrick “or his work”. Tom Warrick is dismissed.

June:
A memo from Washington lobbyist for the Iraq National Congress, Entifadh Qunbar, is read by a U.S. Senate Committee. It suggests that intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction is going directly to the Vice President via John Hannah (Cheney’s Senior National Security Advisor) and Bill Luti (OOSP). They are the only two people authorized to receive the intelligence reports.
August: WHIG (White House Iraq Group) is founded by Andrew Card to “market the Iraq war”; members of the group include Karl Rove, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice, and a few other insiders.
August 1: President Bush goes on vacation
August 26: Dick Cheney, in a speech to a convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars says we now know Hussein has nuclear weapons capability.
Labor Day: “Rollout” of new White House product: Iraq war (“From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August,” Andrew Card.) Bush vacation over.
September 8: Condoleezza Rice on CNN: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
September 9: Stephen Hadley (WHIG member) meets with Nicolo Pollari, Chief of Italian Intelligence agency (SISMI)

September 26:
Colin Powell, in closed testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says “reports” of yellowcake acquisition by Iraq are “further proof” of Iraq having nuclear weapons capability. British “white paper” on Iraq nuclear weapons program comes out and says Iraq “had recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” CIA tells the Brits to drop that claim. The Brits say it’s from a different source. Condoleeza Rice is briefed on the British report.
October: The Office of Special Plans (D. Feith operation) inserts a reference to the British “white paper” into the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which President Bush reads. The CIA insists on a footnote in the NIE stating that there are “different interpretations” of the yellowcake claims and that the State Department thinks the claims are “highly dubious.”
October 16: The Yellowcake Papers (direct from Italy via Pollari) are distributed by the State Department. President Bush makes a speech in Cincinnati, saying “We cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
December 19: The U.S. State Department accuses Niger of traffic in uranium. They put out a Fact Sheet that says Iraq is hiding efforts to procure uranium from Niger. The IAEA (Internatl. Atomic Energy Agency) reads the Fact Sheet and asks to see the proof.

They are still waiting…..

*busman’s holiday: from “buzz man’s holiday,” the word came from the common practice of two pickpockets working as a team, one of whom would “buzz the mark,” or engage the victim in conversation, while the other picked his pocket.