Thursday, November 30, 2006

Truth and Iraq

Brian Logan, writing about David Hare, in The Times 2 on Monday:   
“My plays are very near the knuckle,” he told The Times last month. In another recent interview, discussing Stuff Happens, he claims that “my theory” that “the Iraq invasion was dreamt up by an opportunistic group in the White House who were simply exploiting 9/11 in the most cynical way” was at the time “a very controversial point of view”. Was it controversial? Wasn’t it, in the UK at least, the orthodoxy?
True. But Logan also says:
Stuff Happens was an unenlightening cuttings-job on the machinations leading to war [..], plus some made-up bits promoting Colin Powell as a man of integrity, and George W. Bush as the brains behind the operation. History, it need hardly be added, has since made a mockery of both characterisations.

Still, it never ceases to amaze me how, in their rush to condemn the Bush government and its Iraq policy, people are prepared to diesregard the truth. 'Iraq Uncovered', a rather dreary documentary film from 2004, shown recently on Five US in Britain, claimed that Richard Armitage, Powell's deputy at the State Department, was a neo-conservative! Well, I'd never heard that one before. There is a specific reason for doubting it.

When it emerged that it was Armitage who leaked the information that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, there was barely a mention, at least in the British media. If it had been more evidence to implicate Karl Rove or even Dick Cheney, we'd never have heard the end of it. As The Washington Post put it:
Armitage's involvement in the matter does not fit neatly into the assertions of Bush administration critics that Plame's employment was disclosed as part of a White House conspiracy to besmirch Wilson by suggesting his Niger trip stemmed from nepotism at the CIA. Wilson and Plame have sued top administration officials, alleging that the leak was meant as retaliation.

But Armitage, the source Novak had described obliquely as someone who is "not a political gunslinger," was by all accounts hardly a tool of White House political operatives. [..] Armitage was a prominent Republican appointee. But he also privately disagreed with the tone and style of White House policymaking on Iraq and other matters. ('Ex-Colleague Says Armitage Was Source of CIA Leak', August 29, 2006)


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