Monday, November 15, 2004

The White House Resigned Today

It sure feels like the White House itself resigned today, but it turns out that it was only four cabinet members. The biggest name was Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was joined by Education Secretary Rod Paige, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. These four resignations came on the heels of two others from last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans.

And we shouldn't forget the two resignations from the CIA last week, Deputy Director John McLaughlin and Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's search for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, also known as "Anonymous" from his pen name for the book "Imperial Hubris." Steven Kappes the CIA's deputy director for operations is also reported to have submitted his resignation.

You have to wonder at all the ship jumping. Many of these people had some taint over the four years. Ashcroft has been under fire from the public for his unabashed faith in The Patriot Act and his complete blank on terrorists convictions. Rod Paige put his foot in his mouth for calling the teachers union (the NEA) "terrorists" and had to apologize for that. Abraham ran the Energy Department that had essentially no energy policy and had to deal with the political fallout of the big blackout.

But Colin Powell was of course the most well known of the resignations. Considered one of the few moderates in the Bush White House, he had a good deal of respect from many Americans until he gave his speech to the UN on the matter of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

For those Americans who weren't sure what to believe as to WMDs prior to the war, Powell's speech convinced many that there must be some fire behind the smoke. Powell had been ordered by President Bush to give the speech but he was given bad information which in essence made his speech nothing but smoke and mirrors, no fire. Even at the time he refused to use the evidence of the forged document that was suppose to prove Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase uranium yellow cake from Niger. It was reported that behind the scenes Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."

The UN speech would have to be Colin Powell's defining moment during his time in the Dubya White House. It was Powell that convinced many in the media and the public that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when it has now been shown that his entire speech was nothing but telling of rumors.

It now should be interesting to see how many other Bush Administration officials will bail out while the bailing is good. Certainly I won't be sad at most of these resignations except now I have to wonder who they will be replaced with. We could get candidates that are even worse. This is now a lame duck administration so I guess we will see a bunch of lame ducks in the cabinet. Maybe it would be good just to leave the jobs vacant until 2008, that seems a heck of a lot safer than filling in the jobs with lame duck conservative right wingers.


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