Sunday, July 11, 2004
Jay Rockefeller tells a whopper: West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, should never go on Fox News Sunday again. Last October, then-host Tony Snow eviscerated the good senator with his own words. Today, Rockefeller appeared alongside fellow Senator Pat Roberts and made an astounding claim that the media has completely ignored.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on that, because it's exactly where I wanted to go next.
Senator Rockefeller, let's look at Congress's role in this, and in fact when you voted to go to war, you talked — I was reading it just the other day — that Saddam Hussein is a threat, he's got weapons of mass destruction.
You are the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Did you ever, in the run-up to the war, ask, "Where's your evidence?" to the CIA analysts, the people that were coming and talking to you. "Where's the hard evidence? How do you know?" Did you ever ask those questions?
ROCKEFELLER: We had some threat briefings on it, but we didn't have probably the amount of all-source, as they say, intelligence that the president has — that he had all during that period of time.
I voted for it, because I sat approximately 50 feet, you know, looking as I am at you, in front of the president of the United States, telling me that they had nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, and the means to, you know, ballistically send them — weaponize them, and send them in our direction, or through terrorism, through Al Qaeda.
Read that last paragraph again. Rockefeller is claiming that President Bush told him something that no one in the Bush administration ever said publicly. Something Secretary of State Colin Powell never claimed when he outlined the case against Saddam Hussein in the U.N. Security Council. And something Rockefeller himself has never claimed before.
Rockefeller just claimed on national TV that President Bush told him Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons and ICBMs. Not developing nuclear weapons. Not desiring nuclear weapons. But having nuclear weapons.
Neither anchor Chris Wallace nor Roberts followed up on the astounding claim. Why, I cannot say. When Rockefeller said that my eyes got wide immediately saw that was news, but I'm apparently the only one. Just about every news report on this morning news show appearances focuses on the two senators' desire to get a new CIA director soon.
The media's missed another big story. Someone should get on the phone to Rockefeller and ask him if he wishes to revise and extend his remarks.