Chris Matthews - Hardhead

Watching Chris Matthews french kiss Howard Feinstein about Bush's problems later in the show was bad enough, but I had to check the calender to see if the date was right for the openning skit. The reason is Matthew's obsession with "trumped up intel" leading up to the Iraq war. You know, the same story he has been spewing about since 2004?

His guest were former CIA hero Gary Berntsen, and "waste of space" Tyler (Tiny) Drumheller. (transcript here).

Tyler I dealt with here. Old story, just rehashing over and over again, and still crap. Again, Tiny has a book out.

Berntsen wrote a book also, Jawbreaker, in which he claims that the Pentagon and especially Gen. Tommy Franks let Bin Laden get away (That senerio is debatable, but the book is an excellent read). In fact on the book's cover it says, "The book the CIA doesn't want you to read". When I read it I wanted to join up again. More about Jawbreaker in this book review here. I especially like this review quote:

"We can’t unhook ourselves from NA [Northern Alliance] intel, just because you want to go to the front and start shooting guys in the head. Besides, we’re not going to win this war by killing guys one by one. There are only a few of us, so we have to use intel to identify large elements of the enemy and kill in the hundreds. If anyone wants a day off each week to go down to the front line and shoot guys, that’s fine. I know some of you live for that sh*t, but that’s not going to win the war."


But before he gets to the point where he’s given the operational freedom under Bush to make such a speech, Berntsen details how the Clinton administration hindered every operation involving Al-Qaeda, offering such comments about the president and his CIA bosses as, "That will never happen, President Clinton doesn’t have it in his DNA to act that boldly," or "Clinton’s contempt for military action coupled with risk aversion on the seventh floor (the DCI’s office) makes it a nonstarter."

Berntsen reveals that, under Clinton and CIA Director George Tenet, aggressive operations officers transferred out of counterterrorism because they knew nothing they proposed would ever come to pass. When Clinton and Tenet claimed they had "declared war on Al-Qaeda," the news was treated with humorous contempt as everyone knew it was mere talk. "Thanks for sharing," was one officer’s response.

On his way to his first mission with the Northern Alliance in early 2000, Berntsen writes, he was enthusiastic: "I considered myself lucky to be living this great adventure in the company of brave men." But Tenet and Clinton pulled the plug on his operation just as two top Al-Qaeda lieutenants were about to be captured, leaving Berntsen disgusted and the Northern Alliance disillusioned.

Berntsen then was transferred to South America, where his station chief specifically warned him not to focus on any counterterrorist activity.'

Yep, that's Clinton, the guy who said no to taking Osama and yes, yeS, yES, YES! to Monica Lewinski and the rest and deaths of 3000 are history.

Berntsen is a standup guy and actually came across pretty well the interview, although he looked like he knew he was in the mud pit with a couple of pigs. Matthews was trying to get Berntsen to follow tiny's assertions about "trumped up intel", but he didn't. He has too much integrity for that.

The funny part came at the end of the piece when Matthews brought up his dance partner, Joe Wilson into the picture.

"MATTHEWS: What did he mean when I asked him "why didn’t the vice president get a report back from the (Wilson's) trip to Africa by Joe Wilson?" That would have cleared this whole thing up. He said to ask him. What does that mean? "

It means Chris that as we've have known for two years that Wilson is a proven lying sack of crap who was sent to Niger to avoid losing a cash cow who was Saddam.

Fact is that his non-report proved nothing and in fact proved otherwise according to the SSCI that Saddam was getting some cake on the side.

When they start hauling away ex ops and reporters when this is all said and done Matthews is going to need a rubber room.

Oh? What's this more of that pesky WMD evidence.