September 22, 2006

Well, he's just quite the Washington Chatty Cathy, no?

Bush 'taken aback' by Musharraf comment

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush said Friday he was "taken aback" by a purported U.S. threat to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age if it did not cooperate in the fight against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks. [...]

In an interview to air Sunday on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" program, Musharraf said that after the attacks, Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state, told Pakistan's intelligence director that the United States would bomb his country if it didn't help fight terrorists.

He said that Armitage had told him, "Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age."

Armitage has disputed the language attributed to him but did not deny the message was a strong one.

Asked about the report, Bush said, "The first I heard of this is when I read it in the newspaper. I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words." [...]

After the revelation that Armitage is the person who should be doing the dance of the marching frogs for saying something to reporters that they should have been able to figure out from Who's Who, it could be that Bush is merely allowing Armitage to twist in the wind on this one in order to make Armitage appear to be even more loose-lipped and twitchy.

I have a feeling that the idea was to send Musharraf a strong message to make him understand the necessity of not supporting bin Ladin and being an actual help, and the deputy sectretary of state took it upon himself to flesh out the details of just how strong of a warning to send. Nothing like a little swaggering cowboy imperialist chatter to make a point--especially since everyone probably figures that's what Bush would have said, since he's so lacking in grace and nuance. Truthiness, y'know?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at September 22, 2006 11:15 AM