Skip to comments.Kay on Today: "It Was Absolutely Prudent to Go to War Against Saddam" (Remarkable New Info)
Posted on 01/27/2004 5:24:28 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
If one reasonably fair-and-balanced Today Show interview is a fluke, could two be a trend?
Back on January 15th, I reported on Katie Couric's interview with Ted Kennedy in which she had been remarkably tough on the senior splasher from Massachusetts regarding his speech on Iraq.
This morning, it was Matt Lauer's turn to offer, dare I say it, a thoroughly fair performance in his interview of former chief US weapons inspector in Iraq David Kay.
From a national security and political perspective, what was much more important than the tone of Lauer's questions was the substance of Kay's remarks. Democrats looking to exploit Kay's earlier remarks to accuse the Bush administration of misleading the American people will come away from this interview bitterly disappointed, their arguments in tatters.
For on every issue down the line, Kay forcefully made the case that the Bush administration acted in good faith, that Saddam was indeed a threat, and that war against him was absolutely justified.
Began Lauer: "Some people have relied on your earlier statement to say that the US misled the American people into war on the basis of a claim that Saddam had WMDs. Do you think the US misled the American people?"
Kay: "It wasn't only the US who came to that conclusion. The French, Germans, and UN all thought Saddam had WMDs."
Lauer: "If you didn't find WMDs, does that mean they never existed, or could they have been moved prior to war?"
Kay: "We looked at that possiblity but we didn't find evidence that there were large stockpiles prior to the war."
Lauer than ran a clip from Pres. Bush's State of the Union Address from one year ago, in which he stated that Saddam had been employing huge resources to develop WMDs and had built up a large stockpile.
Lauer: "Was that inaccurate?"
Kay: "It was inaccurate in terms of the reality we found on the ground now, but it was accurate in terms of the intelligence at the time.
"It was also accurate in the sense that Saddam did spend large sums of money trying to get WMDs but he simply didn't get what he paid for.
"There was lots of corruption in the Iraq WMD development program."
Lauer: "So scientists lied to Saddam, they told him they could develop WMDs, took huge sums of money and didn't deliver?"
Kay: "Right. There was widespread corruption, lots of money wasted. People were concerned about the money, not about working."
Lauer: "But the intent to develop WMDs was there?"
Kay: "Absolutely, Saddam surely wanted to get WMDs and spent a lot of money trying to do so."
Lauer then showed a clip from Colin Powell at the UN saying Saddam had at least 500 tons of WMDs. Again, Kay explained that Powell was not being intentionally misleading and that his statement was based on the best intelligence available at the time.
Added Kay, responding to what some of the Dems are alleging: "To say there must have been pressure from the White House on the intelligence community is wrong. We've also been wrong about Iran and Libya. We clearly need better intelligence."
Lauer then quoted from Kay's earlier interview with Tom Brokaw in which Kay had said that "if anyone was abused (by faulty intelligence) it was the President of the US rather than the other way around."
Kay confirmed the accuracy of that remark.
Lauer: "Is it true that in 2000 and 2001 Saddam was pushing his nuclear progarm?"
Kay: "Yes, he was pushing hard for nuclear and long range missiles. Look, it's clear the man had the intent. He simply wasn't successful."
"He clearly lied to UN and was in material brach."
In a key moment in the interview, Lauer asked: "Based on everything you now know, was it prudent to go to war against Saddam?"
Kay: "It was absolutely prudent to go to war. The system was collapsing, Iraq was a country with desire to develop WMDs, and it was attracting terrorists like flies to honey."
Lauer: "Are your earlier comments being exploited for political reasons?"
"Inevitably yes, but what we have is a national security issue that shouldn't be exploited as a political issue."
Lauer: "Should we continue to search for WMDs as VP Cheney has suggested?
That's exactly what was going through my mind as I watched the interview unfold. This was blockbuster stuff. Will the networks cover it? Will the NY Times give it 1/10th the inches it devoted to Kay's original "there are no WMDs" report? Somehow I doubt it.
I don't suppose we'll see this quote in the New York Times.
No. Think of it this way: what candidates supported the war or voted in favor of action? Who would the Libs want to be able to "forgive" a vote if they can show he was misled (even to the point of saying Bush was also misled) to make that canadidate more palatable as the Dem Nominee?
I agree. If you can hide one of these, image how easy it would be to hide a liter of anthrax....
You don't supose that they have discovered "Trash Bush... Tatings fall. Be fair ... Ratings rise" do you?
Nah!!! Katie and Lauer are both to perky to figure that out.
I have been patiently pointing out for two days that in two different interviews that I know of, (NPR, then yesterday's Brokaw), Kay said what they found indicated Iraq was MORE of a threat than we thought before going in. I surmised due to terrorism when I heard it the first time, and indeed, that's what he pointed to, in part, in his Brokaw, and now Today interviews.
He's been saying it, it's been buried, and like you, I termed it a bombshell revelation.