Wednesday, December 5, 2007


If any of you watch Live with Dan Abrams on MSNBC, you have to give the man credit. He does not give up on his questions. And unlike Chris Matthews, he also does not interrupt and talk over the answers of the panelists. Using this style, he can try to get his guests to answer the question he asks (rather than skirting around it, as most try to do) but still gives them a chance to answer, before calling them on their BS and asking them the question again.

So it was amusing yesterday to watch him grill a Republican Strategist (talk shows still don't pick their guests well) over Iran and watch as the Strategist failed miserably to answer the question. He didn't stutter, he didn't falter in his words. No, he just spewed propaganda like bomb in a honey bucket. Even Pat Buchanan thought everything the strategist said was crap.

Here is the better part of the transcript (emphasis mine):

DAN ABRAMS: All right. Jack, now look, don‘t - I don‘t want to change the question here. The question is not - is Iran dangerous or could Iran be dangerous, OK? Because everyone, I think, on this panel will concede that Iran could be dangerous. That‘s not the question. The question is - has the administration misled us in the last few months about Iran‘s nuclear capability?

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I think not in any way. I think this, if anything, makes the president‘s case stronger. I think he was charitable today, Dan. There‘s a very fine line between an intention to have a program and having a program. These people have always intended to have a program. What you have today is clear and convincing evidence for the first time that these people have a program. You now have concrete evidence on the table. The difference is, and I think this will appeal to you, you were making the analogy to a courtroom in your opening piece. You can‘t make that analogy because the stakes here are higher. If we‘re wrong, you could have hundreds of thousands of people killed. What you have to understand is this at the end of the day is not North Korea because North Korea at the end of the day is China‘s problem, it‘s Russia‘s problem, it can be contained.

ABRAMS: Yes, but don‘t change the subject. I‘m not going to let you change the subject. That‘s what all the Bush team is trying to do. They‘re trying to change the subject away from whether there‘s been dishonesty. And Rachel, I saw shaking your head. It is infuriating, I agree with you because I see you getting the notion that somehow this report proves they‘ve been right all along. I mean, the 2005 report suggested that Iran had a nuclear program. So, this is not the first time we‘re hearing about the possibility. And the fact that they halted it in 2003, has to make us ask questions about what we were being told in 2007?

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA: The only way you can understand this as a validation of what the White House has been saying is if you completely deny everything the White House has been saying. What they‘ve been saying is that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they aggressively want a nuclear weapon. But National Intelligence Estimate rejects this and I quote, “With high confidence.” So, I don‘t know how that means that proves the opposite of that is true.


BURKMAN: If I may Dan. The issue - the White House did not that say that. I think Rachel mischaracterized what they‘re saying. What they‘re saying is they are developing and working toward. That‘s what Dana Perino said, that‘s what Stephen Hadley had said.

MADDOW: But no, that‘s not what they said. They don‘t want nuclear weapons.


ABRAMS: That‘s a dishonest representation of what I said. Go ahead,

Pat. I want you to -

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Look, how can you credibly say Iran is driving toward nuclear weapons when they voluntarily shut down their nuclear weapons program four years ago? That tells me they‘re thinking over whether they really want to have them. If they shut down their secret program, it means they‘re not driving toward nuclear weapons. And it means they may be enriching uranium for the reason that they‘ve got a right to do that under the treaty that they signed.

ABRAMS: And Jack, let me ask you this one, how do you spin Samuel Bodman, the Energy secretary‘s comment on November 13th - “We are convinced that they are developing nuclear weapons.” What‘s ambiguous about that? BURKMAN: I don‘t think you have to spin it because I think if you have in the recent past, and three or four years ago is certainly the recent past, somebody clearly working toward a program, you have evidence of that.

ABRAMS: This is - as you‘re saying - again, we‘re now learning that this administration knew—I‘m concerned about the dishonesty here because I think Iran is a threat, I really do. But I‘m concerned about being dishonest. I want the truth from my government. I don‘t want people spinning things. And that‘s what I feel like has been happening even though they knew it. And let me let Pat take us inside.

BUCHANAN: I think it‘s worse than that in this sense. Look, we were driving straight toward an attack on Iran. The president and vice president and the neoconservatives were painting us into a corner where we had no choice but to destroy these nuclear facilities. And if they knew they had shut down a program and they knew that the intelligence is saying, look, we may think the Iranians backed off from this four years ago, they were stampeding us toward war, the same way it was done in 2003.

ABRAMS: Go ahead, jack.

BURKMAN: You see, Dan, the margin for error is zero. This is a guy who‘s committed to the destruction of Israel. The president of Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel quote on his words, “I want to wipe Israel off the map.


ABRAMS: But you‘re changing the subject again, Jack. The subject is not is - look, we can talk about whether Iran is a threat. Iran is a possible threat, alright? No question about it. The question is whether we have been lied to as of late. Let me play you two pieces of sound, Jack. I want to ask you if this make you nervous? This is comparing the president talking about Iraq in 2005 and talking about Iran now.


BUSH: Iran was dangerous. Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.

We did find out that he had the intent and the capability of making weapons, which in my judgment still made him a dangerous man and the world understood how dangerous Saddam Hussein was.

We talked about Iran and the desire to work jointly to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear weapons - (Librocrat's note: This clip was played by accident - it was supposed to end after the Saddam Hussein statement, but the clip guy played it too long. In the end, I wish it was played)


ABRAMS: I didn‘t need the last piece of sound there, Jack. You listen to the talk about the dangerous man—it‘s a little bit frightening and it goes to Pat‘s point about being on this sort of road to war.

BURKMAN: Let me respond specifically to your legal question. I think it is an appropriate question. I don‘t see, Dan, a material distinction between an intention to develop a nuclear program and actually developing a program when, when that party has already engaged in moving toward developing a program.

ABRAMS: No, that ignores the significance, Rachel, of this new report.

MADDOW: Yes, you cannot make a case to the American people that we ought to invade a country because there‘s a bad man there or somebody who once had a nuclear thought. The case they were making to us about attacking Iran was that Iran posed an imminent danger because of this nuclear weapons program that we now know doesn‘t exist. The evidence is bunk.

ABRAMS: Right. Pat, final word, I‘ve got to wrap it up.

BUCHANAN: We‘re headed for war because we could not take the risk and there was, as far as we know now, no risk there.

ABRAMS: And we were and I am concerned about the credibility factor.
I don‘t want that to be lost on this. Don‘t let them change the subject.
They‘ve got to answer the question, have they been telling us the truth?

I want to repeat what was bolded. This idiot thinks that having once started making nuclear weapons is EXACTLY THE SAME THING as building them. So when various members of government say that "we are telling them to stop their nuclear weapons research," even though they're not researching it, that's okay because they once did. It's not a lie, because they stopped only 4 years ago. Thus it is okay that we say they are currently doing it.

So in honor of that: We here on this website are begging George Bush to stop snorting cocaine. We are also asking - NAY, TELLING - Saddam Hussein that he needs to stop what he's doing to the Iraqi's. I know he's dead now, but because he was doing terrible things recently, it's okay that I imply he's still doing them. In fact, once we found out that 3 or 4 years ago he was doing terrible things to Iraqis, it only VALIDATES my statement that he is doing it right now as we speak.

1 comment:

libhom said...

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA: The only way you can understand this as a validation of what the White House has been saying is if you completely deny everything the White House has been saying. What they‘ve been saying is that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they aggressively want a nuclear weapon. But National Intelligence Estimate rejects this and I quote, “With high confidence.” So, I don‘t know how that means that proves the opposite of that is true.

Maddow sure hit that one out of the ballpark. She is so much smarter than most of the pundits on cable.