Next time Boxer's campaign calls me for a donation, I'm there.
Anyway, I refer to the confirmation hearings of world class liar Condoleeza Rice. She took umbrage when Boxer confronted her with her own contradictory statements (we call them lies in the real world), asked Boxer not to impugn her (Rice's) integrity.
Too late. None left to impugn.
Worth noting, too, her unwillingness to admit any mistakes. As with other members of the neocon cabal, admitting mistakes is tantamount to child molesting. It's simply not done. Gods don't make mistakes. Especially those that see mandates the way some people see The Blessed Virgin in water stains on a dirty stucco wall in Tiajuana.
Here's a recap from the American Progress Action Fund:
Demur, Defer, Deter
In nearly ten hours of testimony yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bush Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice faced "pointed questions about her role in shaping U.S. policies over the past four years," especially America's strategy in Iraq and treatment of prisoners there and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But "throughout the long day, Rice said little that so much as suggested a pending departure from any of the Bush administration's present policies, toward Iraq or any other issue." Instead, on issues from whether the U.S. would stay the course in Iraq, to her feelings about torture, Rice substituted doubletalk and obfuscation for straight answers, refusing to take responsibility for any of the "serial disasters" that characterized President Bush's first-term foreign policy.
STILL NO PLAN: Refusing "to set any timetable for the withdrawal of American troops," Rice made it painfully clear that the Bush administration has no long term strategy for Iraq. Citing concern among Iraqi and American officials that the U.S. plans to cut and run in Iraq, Sen. Biden (D-DE) asked Rice if there was any "reasonable possibility that the United States would withdraw the bulk of its forces before the end of 2005." Rice replied, "I can't judge that," adding lamely, "I will say that we're going to try to help the Iraqis get this done." As Slate's Fred Kaplan pointed out, "This wasn't even a 'non-denial denial.' It wasn't a denial. [Rice] declined to assure the Iraqis or anyone else that the United States is firmly committed…The question that Biden said everyone is asking in Iraq—are we staying, or are we plotting to cut and run?—remains, remarkably, unanswered."
THE TRAINING GAME: On Tuesday, Rice once again exaggerated the progress of programs to train Iraqi soldiers. As recently as last September, Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld promised there would be 145,000 Iraqis "sufficiently trained and equipped" by the time of the elections. On Tuesday, Rice estimated the number was "somewhere over 120,000." Biden, who was recently in Iraq, sharply contradicted her: "I think you'll find, if you speak to the folks on the ground, they don't think there's more than 4,000 actually trained Iraqi forces." According to figures released last week, about 53,000 police officers, 40,000 national guard members and 4,000 soldiers are 'trained and on hand.'" But "Mass defections of Iraqi troops are still frequent," with some guard brigades recording losses of up to 50 percent of their personnel. Committee Chairman Dick Lugar (R-IN) appealed to Rice to "come up with 'some measurement' to gauge progress on the issue."
RICE'S TORTURED RESPONSE: In one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing, Rice declined to make a clear statement against the use of torture. Citing instances of forced nudity and simulated drowning as interrogation techniques, Sen. Dodd (D-CT) asked Rice, "What are your views on that? Is that torture, in your view, or not?" Rice "declined to characterize" the abusive methods, saying such determinations were made by the Justice Department and that it wouldn't be "appropriate" for her to comment. "It's a disappointing answer," Dodd retorted, "with the world watching, when a simple question is raised about techniques that I think most people would conclude in this country are torture, it's important at a moment like that that you can speak clearly and directly."
RICE WANTS LIES RESPECTED: Rice refused to take responsibility for her misstatements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. On 9/9/02, Rice said, "We do know that [Saddam] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon." And on 9/7/03, Rice said, "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Later, after weapons inspector David Kay had determined Iraq's nuclear weapons programs were retired in 1991, Rice told PBS that "It was a case that said he was trying to reconstitute…Nobody ever said that it was going to be the next year." Rice did not admit any inconsistency in those statements, instead lashing out at Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) at her hearing for "impugning my integrity." But Rice impugned her own integrity: click here for more than fifty Rice misstatements about 9/11 and the war in Iraq during her four year tenure as national security advisor.
CLUELESS IN IRAN: According to an article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, President Bush's "next strategic target" is Iran, where U.S. forces have for months been carrying out secret reconnaissance missions in preparation for possible air strikes. Questioned about the article by John Kerry (D-MA), Rice said it was "inaccurate." Kerry asked, "About Iran?" Rice replied, "It is inaccurate." This exchange was repeated a few times. "Finally, Rice said that hitting Iran with airstrikes was not U.S. policy. Kerry let it go. But it's worth pointing out that Hersh didn't claim it was policy, only that the top civilians in the Pentagon were pushing for it to be policy." Otherwise, Rice "broke no new ground in how the administration plans to deal with the nuclear threats posed by North Korea and Iran."