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June 16, 2004
Still Missing His Rabies Shot

Alert reader and fellow blogger Marc from Cranial Cavity forwarded me this link to a Union-Leader article from Sunday, which reports on Al Gore's screech speech to a Manchester, NH Democratic fundraiser. It looks like what James Taranto calls the "erstwhile veep" has not yet stopped foaming at the mouth regarding his nemesis from 2000, George Bush:

Al Gore last night charged President Bush has endangered Americas position in the world with a mistaken invasion of Iraq and by flaunting international convention.

This was done in our name. This changes for many in the world the meaning of America, the image of America, Gore told 300 Democrat powerbrokers at a fundraiser for the city party.

In a fiery 40 minute speech, the former vice president knocked the Bush administration for using wrong information to justify the invasion, in particular for relying on Iraqi dissident Ahmed Chalabi, who has since been reportedly linked to Iran.

Which means that for 3 years, hes been doping the President of the United States, Gore said. Does that inspire confidence?

Ahmed Chalabi, you may recall, led the Iraqi National Congress, a dissident Iraqi group that had every bit of influence over the Clinton White House as it did over the Bush administration. Dick Cheney hardly pulled the INC out of his hat in January 2001; after all, even according to the NY Times (as reprinted in the International Herald Tribune), his biggest success came when Clinton and Congress made Iraqi regime change the official foreign policy of the US:

His biggest success came in 1998. That year a group of influential conservatives wrote an "Open Letter" to President Bill Clinton calling for "regime change" in Iraq to become the official policy of the United States. Those signing the document included many of the men who came to dominate the top ranks of the Bush administration three years later: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Armitage, among others.

Their entreaty helped propel an act of Congress that Clinton endorsed. And the letter stated clearly that the United States should "recognize a provisional government of Iraq based on the principles and leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) that is representative of all the peoples of Iraq."

The Clinton Administration's Chalabi doping was not just limited to acts of Congress, either, as the Washington Post reported in November 1998, noting their continued work with Chalabi despite some reservations about his effectiveness. However, the Post makes clear that Chalabi's effectiveness outstripped that of the Clinton administration:

Previous administration efforts at mobilizing the Iraqi opposition using covert assistance from the CIA have been dismal failures. With CIA support, Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, allied with two Kurdish militias, carried out paramilitary operations in northern Iraq. But the administration and the CIA ultimately abandoned Chalabi in favor of a group of ex-Iraqi military officers called the Iraqi National Accord who claimed that they could orchestrate a military coup to topple Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi National Accord, however, proved to be deeply penetrated by Iraqi intelligence, which foiled its coup strategy in June 1996. Two months later, Saddam Hussein's forces rolled into northern Iraq and devastated opposition camps controlled by the Popular Union of Kurdistan and the Iraqi National Congress.

So exactly who doped who and when seems a lot more ambiguous than the ranting Al Gore lets on.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 16, 2004 3:50 PM

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