WEEKLY JOE

Today, on a special ‘best of’ Al Franken Show edition, you heard columnist Joe Conason in our last hour.  Enjoy Joe on air?  Enjoy Joe in print, too.  Joe’s most recent column in the NY Observer, “Politics prevails again in Rice’s appointment.” A snippet:

The rise of Condoleezza Rice demonstrates this disturbing trend, however inspiring it is to see the first black woman appointed Secretary of State. As National Security Advisor, Ms. Rice nimbly abandoned her own once-cautious views to echo those of the dominant faction in the White House and the Pentagon. She repeatedly proved her willingness to prevaricate, whether to conceal the administration’s missteps before Sept. 11 or to promote myths about Saddam Hussein’s arsenal.

Historians will someday ask how Ms. Rice escaped accountability for neglecting urgent warnings about Al Qaeda by former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, former C.I.A. director George Tenet and others during the summer of 2001. They will wonder why she endorsed a decision to wage war based on patently false “intelligence” about Iraq’s nonexistent nuclear capacity. Did she know that the aluminum tubes supposedly intended for uranium enrichment were not suited to that purpose, as the government’s experts explained? Did she ignore evidence that the Niger uranium tale had been concocted from a forgery? She has never given convincing answers, leaving her integrity and competence in doubt.

John Nichols, columnist for The Nation and The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, with more on Rice in the must-read, “A Politician, Not a Diplomat.”