Friday, August 27, 2004
The arrogance of Howell Raines: The former editor of the New York Times has taken on the serious subject of President Bush's intelligence, or, from his analysis, the lack thereof.
Bush's former counselor Karen Hughes, in her awkwardly named book "Ten Minutes From Normal," assures us that what "Bush does best of all" is "ask questions that bore to the heart of the matter." She says that during the 2000 campaign she and a "brilliant" issues staff "never once succeeded" in anticipating all of Bush's penetrating questions. "He has a laser-like ability," Hughes writes, "to reduce an issue to its core."
In regard to Iraq and the war on terror, though, there's little evidence in the public record of such Bush interventions. We have been told instead that George Tenet, then director of central intelligence, successfully misled Bush by assuring him that the evidence on Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction was "a slam-dunk."
Bush is stupid because the then-director of the CIA, George Tenet, managed to deceive him. Let's ignore the fact that there has been no evidence that Tenet ever "misled" the president -- that implies Tenet knew there were no WMDs. Instead, let's suppose Raines is right and Bush is too stupid to see through someone with an undergraduate degree from Georgetown and Master's degree from Columbia.
What does that say about Raines himself when he got suckered by a kid who didn't even manage to graduate from Maryland? (No offense to any Maryland grads.)
You'd think Raines would be a little chastened after all he's gone through, but the arrogance of elitist liberals knows no bounds.