Sunday, December 28, 2003

Knocking down herrings
The news part of this is Viceroy Paul Bremmer insulting our noble ally Tony Blair, by my favorite part is the mangled metaphor.
Tony Blair faced new charges of exaggerating information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction last night after America's senior official in the country rejected his claim that "massive evidence" of secret laboratories had been found.


The Tories leapt on the contradiction as proof that despite the Hutton Inquiry into the death of the Government scientist Dr David Kelly, Mr Blair continued to "sex up" information about Iraq's weapons in order to defend his political position.


In his Christmas message to troops a fortnight ago, which reached British soldiers in the Gulf, Mr Blair said the Iraq Survey Group searching for evidence of Saddam's weapons had unearthed "massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories". This, he claimed, showed that the former Iraqi dictator had attempted to "conceal weapons".

But Mr Bremer, interviewed on ITV1's Jonathan Dimbleby Programme, who was initially unaware that it was the Prime Minister who had made the claim, ridiculed the comment.

"I don't know where those words come from, but that is not what [ISG chief] David Kay has said," he told Dimbleby as the interviewer tried to interrupt to tell him the source.

"I have read his reports so I don't know who said that. It sounds like a bit of a red herring to me. It sounds like someone who doesn't agree with the policy sets up a red herring then knocks it down."

When Dimbleby finally managed to tell him it was Mr Blair who made the comment, Mr Bremer beat a partial retreat, saying: "There is actually a lot of evidence that had been made public."

“Sets up a red herring then knocks it down." I like that. After that he drags a straw man through the underbrush to create a false trail. This still falls into a distant second place behind my all-time favorite mangled metaphor, made by then Alaskan governor Jay Hammond who announced, “the ship of state is breaking new ground.” Now that was a herring that deserved to be knocked down.

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