Thursday, April 13, 2006

Man Attacks Folks Who Buy Ink by the Barrel

The White House is blaming the messenger over the mess from the weather balloon trailers.

The Washington Post and ABC reported that President Bush and other members of his administration pointed to two trailers (left) captured in Iraq as proof of WMDs.

The administration continued to call the trailers mobile biological weapons labs -- for months after a Pentagon investigation determined they were for making hydrogen to fill weather balloons.

As we noted yesterday -- weather balloons have been mistaken for UFOs before -- but this is the first time they've been mistaken for WMDs.

Both the Post and ABC have run quotes and soundbites from the President and his administration over the weeks and months after the report was filed.

The White House has attacked the message:

"This is reckless reporting and for you all to go on the air this morning and make such a charge is irresponsible, and I hope that ABC would apologize for it and make a correction on the air." -- White House Spokesman Scott McClellan, Briefing, Wednesday, April 13.
Not a smart challenge when you're going after someone with a well-stocked video library.

ABC responded by running soundbites from Secretary of State Condi Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney publicly referring to the trailers as mobile weapons labs.

Meanwhile, DNC Chairman Howard Dean has called for the President to declassify the report to help set the record straight. That's a somewhat tongue-in-cheek response to last week's White House response to leaks of WMD intel to the New York Times. The administration then said the President could declassify intel to make his case. (WashPost)

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