During his press briefing with Capitol Hill reporters on Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle could barely contain the smile on his face as he discussed what he believed the Bush Administration knew about possible terrorist attacks prior to September 11.
“I wouldn’t know,” Daschle said with a smile, adding quickly that he was never briefed on those issues by the White House, nor did he ever ask.
Daschle should be smiling, and White House staffers know why. The initial leaks about the intelligence briefings President Bush received last August came from Democratic staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, not the FBI or the CIA as some on Capitol Hill would have us believe.
According to one knowledgeable Senate source, the Senate and House intelligence committees received some of the briefing material prepared by the CIA for the president’s daily review about three weeks ago. This, as part of their ongoing review of the CIA’s analysis of potential terrorism threats leading up to September 11.
“It wouldn’t be the kind [of intelligence information] the committee staffers would normally see in the course of their work,” says the source. “Those briefings are limited to the White House, the President, the Vice President, Condi Rice, senators and representatives don’t get those briefings. I don’t know if the CIA intended for that material to end up here or not. It might have been an oversight. No matter now, the cat is out of the bag.”
According to a senior Democratic Senate aide, the word has been out for more than six weeks that “We have to get Bush,” says the source. “Daschle is absolutely desperate. Gephardt, I guess is absolutely desperate. Bush’s polling numbers weren’t moving down, he was bulletproof. Everyone was under orders to keep their eyes and ears open for anything we could use.”
It’s not clear whether Daschle was aware of the potentially explosive information prior to its being put in the hands of Washington reporters. “I’d be surprised if he did,” says a senior Democratic leadership aide. “It isn’t the kind of thing he’s want to really see or know about beforehand. But we know someone friendly to our side did the leaking. We knew if we could get something out there, the media wouldn’t try to put the leak into political perspective for the public, just the potential for a ‘Briefing-gate.’ And, as usual, the press did our job for us.”p> LEATHER BOUND br> Unlike the times when then President Bill Clinton had to go shopping for a university or a site for his presidential library — remember the embarrassment when Georgetown and Yale turned him down? — schools are already lining up to snatch up a library deal for George W. Bush. /p>
But Baylor University is going about it the wrong way. Last month, as it prepares to make a formal pitch to the Big Guy in Washington, the Texas college school sent representatives to Little Rock to spend a few days with Clinton Library staffers and fundraisers.
“We talked to them about our fundraising problems, highlighted the amount of planning it takes to put a deal like this together, all the blood and sweat,” says a Clinton Library source. “Baylor views this as a huge opportunity to raise its visibility. Hearing them talk made us realize we should have sought a tighter relationship with Mr. Clinton’s schools.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online