October 30, 2004

Holbrooke on Blitzer

Richard Holbrooke was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer yesterday, and it went a little something like this, emphasis mine:

BLITZER: Because the sense is -- and it could be totally misguided -- that before the elections in Spain, as you know, there was a huge terrorist attack to try to affect the political situation in Spain.

HOLBROOKE: What happened in Spain was unique, because the Spanish government blamed it on Basque separatists and it wasn't. And that's what blew up in their face.

The United States is not Spain. We're united in the war against al Qaeda. We're united against this murderer who you've just shown on television. And John Kerry has sworn and pledged it will be his top priority to pursue him and hunt him down. ...

BLITZER: Are you concerned, though, that when Americans see this videotape -- it will be all over the news media, as you can imagine, not only today, but in the days to come -- they will be reminded of what happened on 9/11 and they will say, you know what, I better vote for Bush, because he is tougher in dealing with al Qaeda than Kerry?

HOLBROOKE: I don't think so.

I think it also raises a much deeper question. How can this grotesque mass murderer be out there on worldwide television more than three years after 9/11? Why haven't we captured him, if the Bush administration was going to be so effective in the war on terror? President Bush said in the debates that he has rolled up 75 percent of al Qaeda. Well, it sure doesn't sound like it now. And, in Iraq, we have created a new terrorist center in places like Fallujah. And now it turns out that we also have some very serious missing high explosives. ...

HOLBROOKE: And as Secretary Rumsfeld himself said in the famous leaked memo, aren't we creating more terrorists than we're killing?

BLITZER: Briefly, while I have you, these missing explosives in Iraq that's causing quite a bit of a controversy, the Pentagon came out today. They brought a major who was there. He said he destroyed a lot. He wasn't sure, could have been from the IAEA-inspected cache of weapons. It might not have been. He didn't know for sure.

The information is still being assembled. The criticism of John Kerry is that, he has rushed to make this an issue when he doesn't have all the facts.

HOLBROOKE: I think this is just astonishing, Wolf. The administration doesn't know what happened in Al-Qaqaa, a well-known weapons dump, which you just showed in an earlier part of your program, that the IAEA had described in detail with Secretary Powell sitting in the room at the U.N. Security Council two years ago?

You're saying that now the administration should figure out? The truth is simple. The details are murky, but the truth is simple. The ammunition went missing. It includes the most dangerous high explosives, things that are used to create nuclear bombs, not nuclear weapons, but the implosionary device. Americans may have been killed because of this. The administration lost track of it, until journalists found discovered it.

Then they admitted it. Then they denied it. Then they recalibrated it. That's all silly details. The truth is simple. Tons of the most dangerous weaponry are missing. ...

It's nice to see regurgitated Republican talking points get so completely spanked. Holbrooke even took the time to explode the old chestnut about the elections in Spain, which were lost because the government were liars, and not as conventional wisdom would have it that it was because of the attack. Isn't it good to know that Kerry is taking advice from people like this, instead of the yams whispering in the president's ear?

Posted by natasha at October 30, 2004 01:22 PM | Elections | Technorati links |

I watched the Holbrooke piece, and, I agree that he did a great job. However, I wish he would have just slapped Wolfie for being a Repub stooge in the interview. He was so slanted in his questions.

Posted by: Scott at October 30, 2004 03:26 PM