To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.
Two more Americans were killed in Iraq Thursday. That brings the total since Saddam fell to 74 -- 29 of those killed in action. At this point, it's fair to say the Bush administration failed to anticipate the intensity of the post-Saddam problems. Secretary Rumsfeld now admits the occupation is costing double what he thought it would.
But it is not fair to call the occupation a failure. More time is needed to get things under control in Iraq. But the continuing guerrilla warfare action is a major problem, and there's no question about that.
And there is the constant drum beat from the elite left wing media that Mr. Bush and his crew lied about intelligence. Yesterday, The New York Times editorialized that the Bush administration was not cooperating with a Sept. 11 investigative commission headed by former Republican New Jersey Governor, Tom Kean.
The Times said: "Too polite to use the word 'stonewalling,' the bipartisan commission nevertheless warned the nation that thus far, the administration had 'underestimated' the scale of the commission's work."
But as usual, The Times drew a conclusion that is debatable. Here's what Governor Kean said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM KEAN, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: We don't believe it's stonewalling. In many cases, just the way a bureaucracy moves. We just ask the assistance of the White House and people who head those various departments that are slow to tell them, please, please get moving. We have a job to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, that’s a lot more benign then The Times editorial. The no spin truth is that the Bush administration and the Clinton people before it don't want intelligence failure spotlighted, so the governor does have his work cut out.
Politicians on both sides have made mistakes, and most of the time, they avoid admitting those mistakes. That's what's going on with this weapons of mass destruction controversy. President Bush cherry picked intelligence that pointed to WMDs inside Iraq. Now he's got some explaining to do. The anti-Bush zealots, of course, don't want to hear any explanations. They've already convicted Bush of lying. This is, of course, irresponsible. It is possible the President did lie, but most of the credible evidence points to wishful thinking on WMDs, rather than outright deception.
By the way, the president must tell us his feelings on the guerrilla action in Iraq and the WMDs, or risk losing popularity. FOX News White House Correspondent Jim Angle said on the "Radio Factor" that the Bush administration is the most secretive he's ever covered. That has to change.
We the people deserve an extensive update from the president before he goes on summer vacation. This is not a partisan issue. This is a people issue. There are things we have the right to know about, and the president must tell us.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team is pretty bad, but off the field it's always entertaining at the stadium. Each game, four fans dress up like sausages and race around.
Well, why wouldn't everybody want to do that?
Well, the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman apparently had a problem with one of the sausages and whacked her with a baseball bat. It's unbelievable what happened here. This guy, Simon, whacks her and gets arrested. All right? He left the game. He's been charged with misdemeanor battery.
Now, why would the guy whack the sausage lady with the bat? And then he just sits there. Look at him. He's just looking at her, like, hey, I whack everybody with bats. By the way, the bratwurst guy won the race, if you care, and the whole thing is ridiculous. You know, I'd sue the guy. I hope the sausage sues him and gets about $100,000 out of him.
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