Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pulling off the WHIG

Thanks to slimmouse at the Rigorous Intuition board for this:

The Fitzgerald investigation into Plamegate has the potential to bring all sorts of nastiness to the surface. The White House Iraq Group was the architect of the WMD ruse, and all of the strings lead to that particular group of puppeteers.

This is a very important analysis. An excerpt:

But someone, or some entity, within the Administration had to coordinate these concerted propaganda campaigns. That was the bailiwick and job-assignment of the WHIG, chaired by Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card, the regular members of which were Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff. In other words, WHIG included the key decision makers (Rove, Rice, Card, Cheney-via Libby), and the key propaganda specialists (Hughes, Matalin, et al.).

They waited a month to launch their first public-relations bombardment. Why September? Andy Card let slip the reason in an interview with the New York Times: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," he said.

They soon determined that the public was most frightened of a possible nuclear attack by al-Qaida, and so, the day after publication of Card's marketing quote, the Bush Administration heavies began dropping their Iraq-as-nuclear-menace grenades into the public airwaves. They attempted to back up their claims by quoting from reports by international nuclear energy agencies supposedly saying that Iraq was about to become a nuclear power -- but no such reports existed.

But the lack of believable evidence about WMD didn't stop them, and the fright campaign continued. Some of that history may well have been in Fitzgerald's classified showing before the court.


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