Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Never their fault
Reuters reports that few minutes ago the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State. That's no surprise; we expected it. Reuters seems to think that the committee vote also ends any discussion of Rice, because they have removed from the visible parts of their website all reporting on her testimony before the committee. Too bad. She said some things that need to be discussed. Reuters is also wrong in thinking this ends the discussion. All the committee vote did was pass the nomination onto the floor of the Senate for debate and a full Senate vote.

Kos picked this bit up from her testimony this morning:
Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday the Bush administration made some bad decisions in Iraq and was unprepared for stabilizing the country in a rare acknowledgment of mistakes.

But Democrats complained the Republican President Bush's administration was unwilling to learn from its mistakes to change policies in Iraq, be candid about the cost of continued deployment and develop a better exit strategy.

"We have made a lot of decisions in this period of time. Some of them have been good, some of them have not been good, some of them have been bad decisions, I am sure," Rice told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"We didn't have the right skills, the right capacity, to deal with a reconstruction effort of this kind," she said on the second day of hearings on her confirmation...

"We have made a lot of decisions," she says, but she speaks of it as a matter of abstract statistics. Yes some of those were sure to be good and some bad. I picture her whipping out a chart of a bell curve at this point. She makes no effort to name the bad decisions--or even to show that she is aware which ones fall onto that end of the curve. The closest she does come to mentioning a shortfall, "We didn't have ... the right capacity,"isn't really an admission of guilt. At best she's blaming vague circumstances; at worst she's passing the buck back to Clinton. "We failed because Clinton didn't plan to invade and occupy Iraq and didn't give us the tools to do so."

Still, I do have to give her credit for making sure the American people are fed only the very best propaganda. Like so much that comes out of this administration, her words give the impression of one thing while actually saying something very different. The tone of this statement is one of humility, of taking responsibility. But the actual meaning of the words accomplishes no such thing. She only admits to mistakes as an academic possibility, but not as a real event for which she and her boss bear responsibility.

Pretty slick.

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