Friday, February 09, 2007

Condi Rice: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

The WaPo reports:

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was pressed yesterday on whether the Bush administration missed an opportunity to improve relations with Iran in 2003, when Tehran issued a proposal calling for a broad dialogue with the United States, on matters including cooperation on nuclear safeguards, action against terrorists and possible recognition of Israel. Although former administration officials have said the proposal was discussed and ultimately rejected by top U.S. officials, Rice, who was then national security adviser, said she never saw it." [Yeah right!]

I found it interesting Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "I think I would have noticed if the Iranians had said, 'We're ready to recognize Israel.' . . I just don't remember any such thing."

Since when has the recognition of Israel ever been the main precondition to talks with Iran? Her contention that she wouldn't have paid attention to any proposal that didn't start with the recognition of Israel is completely outrageous. Particularly coming from her, one of the main architects of the Iraq war, a war that's cost us 3,100 American lives defending a country that also refuses to recognize the existence of Israel. [Talk about a red herring!]

Rice claims, "I have read about this so-called proposal from Iran. We had people who said, 'The Iranians want to talk to you,' lots of people who said, 'The Iranians want to talk to you." Yet, apparently, she never bothered to ask anyone where this information was coming from? And, naturally, it never dawned on her to ask what the Iranians were offering either.

Glenn Kessler writes that in the document, "Iran offered to put a series of U.S. aims on the agenda, including full cooperation on nuclear safeguards, 'decisive action' against terrorists, coordination in Iraq, ending 'materiel support' for Palestinian militias and accepting a two state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Imagine what the Middle East would look like today if she had taken the slightest interest in acting on the Iranian offer. Oh right, her story is that she never saw it. One of her staff members, Flynt Leverett, says he saw the document floating around Foggy Bottom but she's says, "First of all, I don't know what Flynt Leverett is talking about, quite frankly. Maybe, I should ask him when he came to me and said, 'We have a proposal from Iran and we really ought to take it.'"

You know, she's got a good idea there. I'm thinking perhaps it might be informative for the Foreign Relations Committee to ask Leverett what he did or didn't tell her about the Iranian proposal and then have her back to testify again -- this time under oath. Being compelled to tell the truth just might help to refresh her memory on the issue of what she did and didn't see. I remember her saying repeatedly after 9/11 that there wasn't anyway she could have known terrorists would use planes as missiles -- until, that is, it came time to testify under oath at the 9/11 commission hearings. [Inthesetimes]When it became clear to her that she just might perjure herself repeating that particular bald-faced lie, she quickly changed her story and said she'd "misspoke."

To even a five year old it should be obvious she is not telling the truth about what she knows about this crucially important document. Leverett says he saw the two page document in a fax machine, but it wasn't his job to put it on her desk. That job would have fallen to rabidly pro-Israel Elliot Abrams, who is her national security adviser in charge of the Middle East and what is laughingly called "democracy promotion." [You're doing a hecuva of job Elliot!] Leverett says, "If he did not put it on her desk, that says volumes about how she handled the issue."

Yes, we're paying dearly for the way she handled the issue and she should be held accountable. Bring her back up to the Hill and make her testify under oath. Too many lives have already been lost not to know the truth of the matter. Did the Bush administration have a chance to make a "grand bargain" with Iran? Did they blow it or did they simply decide confrontation was the better option? Many thousands of more lives might be in the balance if this administration continues on its present bellicose course, we have a right to know. The Senate has a duty to the American people to get to the bottom of this.

[See an interview with Leverett on the document at the Council on Foriegn Relation's web site.]


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