On a recent episode of “Morning Joe,” the show Joe Scarborough hosts on MSNBC, retiring Senator Joe Lieberman had a bizarre exchange with Arianna Huffington. The exchange proves that the left is still not over Iraqi WMDs.
According to Newsbusters:
“ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: It was stunning to hear you say that there was evidence that Saddam Hussein was working on weapons of mass destruction, given that even Pres. Bush himself has now accepted that there had been no evidence. So on what basis are you saying that?
“JOE LIEBERMAN: I’m basing it on the so-called Duelfer Report. Charles D-U-E-L-F-E-R conducted the most comprehensive report on behalf of our government. And it was, nobody thought it was partisan. I want to be very clear: he didn’t find big caches of weapons of mass destruction. But he found, and proved I think, that Saddam had every intention, and particularly to develop nuclear weapons, was developing chemical and biological and weapons . . .
“HUFFINGTON: Based on this completely unfounded assumptions, I sincerely hope for the sake of the country that you do not become Secretary of Defense.
“LIEBERMAN: Now Arianna, these are not unfounded. Go read the Duelfer Report.
“HUFFINGTON: There is nothing in the report that proves anything you have said.
“LIEBERMAN: I don’t think you’ve read it, sweetheart.”
That last sentence was a study in condescending contempt that would have made Huffington spit out her ouzo if she had been drinking that early in the morning. It is what an adult says to a child when she is getting too annoying.
Lieberman was, of course, correct in his characterization of the Duelfer Report. Furthermore, the report found evidence that there was a transfer of WMDs from Iraq to Syria just before the outbreak of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rumor has it that the WMD cache was destroyed in a subsequent Israeli air raid.
Also, despite Ms. Huffington’s misgivings, Joe Lieberman would make a splendid Secretary of Defense when Robert Gates retires sometime this year, as he has already announced. Lieberman was actually on the short list for Secretary of Defense in a hypothetical John McCain administration. As a former Democrat who has the respect of Republicans whose views on national security are hawkish, Lieberman would be a good fit at the Pentagon for the remaining months of the Obama administration.
Mind, with the current mood of austerity and the disdain the current administration has for national defense in any case, whoever replaces Gates will be given the thankless task of managing the downsizing of the military, knowing surely the cost that will entail in blood and treasure later on. So perhaps Lieberman secretly agrees with Huffington that he should not be Secretary of Defense. Who wants to end his career of public service working for the modern Stanley Baldwin?
Lieberman is also unlikely to be asked to be a Secretary of State under a future Republican administration. The task of that Secretary of State will be to rebuild American defenses, just as Don Rumsfeld, George W. Bush’s first Secretary of State, did in the wake of the Clinton cutbacks, and Cap Weinberger, Reagan’s Secretary of State, did after Jimmy Carter’s hollow military. No Democrat, even one as hawkish as Joe Lieberman, is going to be given that task.
Sources:Report: Senator Joe Lieberman to Retire, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, January 19th, 2011
Arianna To Lieberman: ‘For Sake Of Country, I Hope You Don’t Become Secretary Of Defense’, Mark Finkelstein, Newsbusters, January 20th, 2011
DCI Special Advisor Report on Iraq’s WMD, Central Intelligence Agency