At some level I almost have to admire the in-your-face, out in public and entirely brazen sort of payback the Bush White House metes out to those who are so villainous as to break the Bush code of silence. You can see it now in an almost comical mendacity about whether Dick Armitage was somehow off the reservation when he threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age if the country didn’t get religion, shall we say, on rooting out the Taliban in the days after 9/11.
Here’s an out-take on Bush’s reaction today from the Post …
Asked at the news briefing in the East Room whether the United States would have actually attacked Pakistan if Musharraf had not agreed to cooperate in the war on terrorism, Bush said, “The first I’ve heard of this is when I read it in the newspaper today. You know, I was — I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words.” He said then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell informed him shortly after Sept. 11 that Musharraf “understands the stakes, and he wants to join and help root out an enemy that has come and killed 3,000 of our citizens.”
Leave it to that friggin’ Dick Armitage to get us cross-wise with allies.
(I guess the president missed all those news reports at the time that bragged on our ‘with us or against us’ speech to Pakistan.)
And wasn’t it Powell who made the UN speech on WMD? I’m seeing a pattern here.