Sunday, November 13, 2005

Incompetence or conspiracy?

I seldom watch the Sunday "news" shows, because they've become (were they always?) uninformative shouting matches, without deliberation, without elucidation, just noise. But today I glimpsed Wolf Blitzer's (his real name?) program, interviewing Senators Pat Roberts, R. Kansas, alongside Carl Levin, D. Michigan, on various topics. Among the questions was why various Bush administration officials kept repeating as fact that Iraq had trained al Qaeda operatives before 9/11, when that assertion had been debunked in a Defense Intelligence Agency report long before. It seems that the source, a captured al Qaeda fighter, was said to be unreliable, saying whatever it took to maintain his captors' interest.

Pat Roberts' answer was succinct. "The DIA report didn't reach the policymakers."

And Wolf's next question: "Isn't that a terrible commentary on our intelligence system?" or words to that effect, turning to Levin, an avoidance that Levin bit on.

You don't have to be a trial lawyer to know that the next question that Wolf should have asked Roberts was this: "How do you know that?"

You take it from there.

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