Thursday, April 08, 2004

Remember: Al Hunt is always wrong

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s token liberal on the Capital Gang this past Saturday, going at it with Bob Novak over 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste:

NOVAK: …. the partisan Democrats on that commission-- Richard Ben-Veniste has been a Democratic hatchet man for 30 years, is going to go after her very hard with the kind of questions you-- you had.
HUNT: Let me just say one more thing. Richard Ben-Veniste has not worked for a Democratic politician.
HUNT: He's been a lawyer. The idea...
HUNT: ...hatchet man for 30 years is an absolute slander!
NOVAK: Only people like you think he is not a Democratic hatchet man because I've been watching him for 30 years...
HUNT: Well, I'll tell...
NOVAK: ...I've been watching him in the Whitewater, in the Watergate, and he is a Democratic hatchet man!
HUNT: You are dead wrong! He is not. He hasn't worked for a single Democratic politician...

I didn’t see Dr. Rice’s testimony but I have this excerpt from the transcript:

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?
RICE: I believe the title was, Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.
Now, the ...
BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.
RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste ...
BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the ...
RICE: I would like to finish my point here.
BEN-VENISTE: I didn't know there was a point.
RICE: Given that _ you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.
BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was.
RICE: You said, did it not warn of attacks. It did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.

What the hell was that all about? This is supposed to be a public forum on 9/11 and Ben-Veniste tries to cut off an expanded answer by the national security advisor? Damn. Well, like I said, I didn’t see the hearing on TV, but many others did and came to the unanimous conclusion that Richard Ben-Veniste is a complete tool.

Balloon Juice: “The shameless mugging, rude interruptions, and over-all appalling behavior of Richard Ben-Veniste during the hearings …[strong language removed]…should put to rest any idea to what level Democrats will stoop for cheap partisan gain.”

Outside the Beltway: “Richard Ben-Veniste was rude and grandstanding during his entire session, playing to the audience. The idea that this charade is going to actually produce useful information is absurd.”

Buzz Machine: “Condi Rice has been doing a very good job in her testimony before the 9/11 commission. Richard Ben Veniste, on the other hand, is an ass, acting like a prosecutor getting his moment in the TV sun. He's hostile and political. That kind of behavior is both unproductive, it harms the mission of the commission and its reputation and thus the veracity of the report it will issue.”

Tiny Little Lies: “Ben Veniste took a ridiculous adversarial posture, twisting facts and presuming to silence Dr. Rice in mid-answer as though she were a witness in a purse-snatching trial.”

I’m sure there are more comments out there, but these are the snap reactions.

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