Friday, February 02, 2007


Didn't there used to be a respected journalist named David Ignatius?

Thanks to Soccer Dad for responding to what may very well be David Ignatius’s worst ever column in today’s Washington Post: A Failed Cover-Up. I read the piece late last night and it was only the time constraint that allowed me to resist the urge to mock Mr. Ignatius on a line by line basis. Apparently the word that Joe Wilson is a discredited partisan hack (or that the White House WASN'T the source of the Plame leak) hasn’t quite made the rounds among all the intelligentsia in Washington. SD adds some needed context and I would like throw in one other comment.

Mr. Ignatius writes:

“The CIA briefer responded the next day with a comment that should have aroused skepticism on whether Iraq needed to buy any more uranium: Iraq already had 550 tons of "yellowcake" ore -- 200 tons of it from Niger.”

Helpfully, he provides a link to that memo response. Sure enough, it acknowledges that Saddam had the 550 tons. The CIA’s source for that info is the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). The IAEA confirmed the existence of the 550 tons as well as that they were in sealed containers subject to IAEA inspection. In fact, the IAEA verified those containers were still sealed as of just the month before (May 2003).

So why does Mr. Ignatius think this should have aroused skepticism as to Iraq’s desire for more? If anything, I think this buttresses the fear that Iraq was actively seeking more. If Iraq wanted to jump start its nuclear program again, it would certainly make sense for it to try and obtain yellowcake that the IAEA and professional skeptics like David Ignatius WOULDN’T KNOW it had. Which is what the President said: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”…‘sought’, not ‘obtained’. Significantly, the British have been unwavering in their backing of those famous 16 words.

This has all been hashed and re-hashed for years now and yet, remarkably, Joe Wilson continues to be treated as a knowledgeable observer with something worth hearing. With this column, David Ignatius sinks to the depths of his clichéd, predicatable and INarticulate fellow pundits: Harold Meyerson and Eugene Robinson.

Maybe you really do have to hit rock-bottom...

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