011704132726…Rochester NY—

Let’s start out with basic fact: The Democrats are electoral trouble… serious electoral trouble. The polling data over the last six months and longer clearly and consistently places President Bush several dozen percentage points over any rival the Democrats can come up with, including Hillary Clinton.

So you can imagine their glee when Paul O’Neill stepped into the spotlight, having been pushed by Ron Suskind. The book Suskind wrote “The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill.” must have seemed the right tool at the right time. The press, dealing with small news cycles in Iraq, and the ungodly boring events in Iowa… which everyone suspects will in the end be meaningless, was looking for some spark, and hoping they could fan it into a flame to burn down the Presidency of one George W. Bush. O’Neill looked to be the match to star this fire.

It amazes me… the short memory that the left has. It was just two short years ago that he was the brunt of jokes from the left. Now suddenly they take him seriously. Why? Because he’s giving them something to chew on other than their own recent failings.

Immediately, and predictably, the leftist hacks started working on out of context and twisted quotes from Mr. O’Neill.  Said one such hack:

“Like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people.” That certainly captured my attention: DUH-Be-Ya’s own ex-secretary of the Treasury describing Baby Bush’s clueless demeanor at a Cabinet meeting.”

But was it really so?

No, this is leftist dominated news media twists, because what O’Neill really said was that HE felt like “Like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people.”, not that Mr. Bush was acting that way.

He was complaining, in short, that he felt disconnected from the processes of the White House.

Let’s look at the bigger lines the Democrats and the press (A redundancy) seized upon:

* O’Neill had seen no evidence of WMD in Iraq, and from day one the Bush Administration was hell-bent on deposing Saddam.

Well, it didn’t take too much thinking to notice a little problem… O’Neill is complaining he’s out of the loop and yet we’re supposed to take his seeing no evidence of WMD to mean that WMD do not exist in Iraq?

* The Bush administration from Day one, wanted Saddam out of power and was willing to do what it needed to do to make that happen.

Ted Kennedy made a speech the other day, trying to sell the same dishwater: That Mr. Bush had made the whole thing up the act was illegal, and so on. The Democrats are focused like a laser on this point because they know it to be their only hope to regain power.

Well, perhaps Democrats have shorter memories than the rest of us, or perhaps they’re just not wanting to tell us the truth.

But I seem to recall something called the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which was passed by the house with a large majority, and unanimously by the Senate. Meaning Kennedy voted for regime change in Iraq, in 1998. He may have been drunk at the time, and may not remember it, but he voted for it. The act as passed and signed into law by President Clinton declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.

So, it appears Mr. Bush was obeying the law. If we’re to believe with the Democrats, that all this is Mr. Bush’s doing, we also then think, as the Colorado Conservative notes in his blog, that

“….Bush is SOOOOO Evil that he was able to enact regime change in Iraq TWO YEARS BEFORE HE WAS ELECTED. FOUR YEARS BEFORE THE ACTUAL WAR”

I should also point up that one complaint from the left was that Bush went into Iraq with no plan. Now he’s tried and convicted in the press of doing what the Democrats wanted…following a pre-set, well thought out plan… in fact he was planning it all along. Which way are they going with this?

But let’s look closer at this claim of President Bush making it all up, let’s look at what the Congress had to say on the point, also by way of Colorado’s site:

The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an 8 year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops and ballistic missiles against Iranian cities.

(2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds.

(3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth defects that affect the town today.

(4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a 7 month occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses against Kuwaiti civilians, and setting Kuwait’s oil wells ablaze upon retreat.

(5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently accepted the ceasefire conditions specified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other things, to disclose fully and permit the dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.

(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.

(7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed invasion of or attack against Kuwait.

(8) On August 31, 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its opponents by helping one Kurdish faction capture Irbil, the seat of the Kurdish regional government.

(9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM personnel in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass destruction programs.

(10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM, and subsequently threatened to end long-term monitoring activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM.

(11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-235, which declared that `the Government of Iraq is in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’ and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations.’.

(12) On May 1, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-174, which made $5,000,000 available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition for such activities as organization, training, communication and dissemination of information, developing and implementing agreements among opposition groups, compiling information to support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes, and for related purposes.

You can perhaps understand why this point of O’Neill’s about this being the first priority of the Bush Administration fell off the newspaper front pages rather quickly… Almost as quickly as the bit about the lack of evidence of WMD.

Indeed, the Democrats, and thereby, the news media, have dropped all references to Paul O’Neill. As this is written, it’s Saturday afternoon, and the Sunday Morning news show schedules are still pretty much in flux. However, I’m willing to bet that nobody makes any mention of him at all. Apparently, they sense that they got caught, and they’re not about to risk more exposure. As I glance through the various wire services this morning, I can find no reference to Mr. O’Neill at all, more recent than the morning of January 15th.

Some Democrats are wondering what hit them, today. Others are loudly suggesting (sans evidence, of course) that O’Neill was intimidated by the Bush Administration into silence.

Well, you just knew the Democrats were going to try to say that Bush was silencing a Whistle- Blower, rather than they’d overstated their case, and stretched O’Neill’s intent, didn’t you, really? I have some serious doubts on that score, however. First, because such facts would soon get out to a press desperate to effect the removal of Mr. Bush from office.

Secondly, Mr. O’Neil is a hard bitten businessman, with plenty of financial resources of his own to bring into play, and at this stage of his life, little to lose. This is a guy known to have gone toe to toe with Vice President Dick Cheney in the past. I doubt Rove would have much effect on him.  But still for at least a while, the speculation kept coming from the left as regards why the sudden change on the part of Mr. O’Neill. Chief among the speculations, was that Mr. Bush had clamped down on a whistle-blower.

Think about it; what else are they going to say? They’ve been trying to say all along that Bush made up the whole Iraq conflict… and nothing else they could have said in this O’Neill situation would have aided their larger case. In fact, saying anything else…anything, exposes them to how badly overstated the left’s case on this point really is. And what does O’Neill himself say on the matter? Asked if he thought the internal Treasury probe was a get-even move by the administration, O’Neill replied

“I don’t think so. If I were secretary of the treasury and these circumstances occurred, I would have asked the inspector general to look into it.”

The silence from the left after this one took on monumental proportions. What they saw as one of the biggest weapons they had in this election, had blown up in their faces.

To further the point of how integral this attempted ‘he made it up’ story is to the Democrats, and how overstated it is, I refer again to Mr. Kennedy’s speech of the other day, and the 1998 bill he voted for. I again refer to the series of MOVEON ads and gatherings, where this point is hammered at again and again. You remember those… the ones where Hitler gets invoked repeatedly.

The Democrats decided to use O’Neill for their own ends to spread this lie. They had to twist his words and intentions to do it, but no matter for that.

Thing is, O’Neill backfired on them, which I found amusing. For all the charges of how he’s backtracking now, the fact is, he’s not backtracking. He’s simply telling the truth… something which apparently Suskind wouldn’t let him do in the book, for reasons of his own. In short O’Neill’s ghost-writer got out of control. Indeed, he’s on record as stating he ‘probably’ would vote for Mr. Bush for a second term, adding that

“‘I don’t see anyone who is better prepared or more capable”

One e-mail writer to my blog the other day put it very well:

“O’Neill now presents the picture of a man being manipulated for political gain by the Democrats and finally standing up for himself, and speaking for himself.”

So, as a direct result of that truth telling, Mr. O’Neill’s face is removed from the “News” papers and TV sets of the world to languish in the obscurity brought on by having revealed, even if unwittingly, how far the left and the press are willing to leave the truth behind, to regain their hold on American politics.

Now, as to Suskind himself, and his inability to tell the truth, well, that’s the final straw.

Suskind claimed in the relentless promotion of this sham, that he has documents showing that preparations for the Iraq war were well underway before 9-11. He cited–and even showed–what he said was a Pentagon document, entitled, ‘Foreign Suitors for Iraq Oilfield Contracts.’ He claimed the document was about planning for post-war Iraq oil.

While his assertion is correct, for the reasons I’ve already listed, his supposed proof is in fact a lie.

The document was in fact from the Vice- President’s Office, and was part of the Energy Project that was the focus of Dick Cheney’s attention before 9/11. It had no connection at all with the war effort but was, rather, part of a study of global oil supplies, of which Iraq was only a part.

Judicial Watch has it available.  Drudge in fact had the link up before the echo died on the initial story. (By the way, this is why the investigation by the Administration; not to chase O’Neill, but to disprove the claim.)

This O’Neill business, and the Democrats trying to use him as a tool against President Bush should put to rest the question of who is telling the truth on Iraq and a number of other matters…. but it won’t. The reasons simple enough, and clearly seen by their actions over the last several months…; The Democrats clearly don’t have anything but their anger and their lies to offer as reasons for their being elected.

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