Softballs on Downing Street
David Gregory filled in for Chris Mathews, because of "breaking news" on the further delay of Bolton's nomination. So what does that have to do with Gregory filling in? That's what I thought, but that was their reasoning, so no Matthews.
The coverage begins with a montage of clips from the British press; to be fair it wasn't half bad. Then Gregory has his first guest on, the London Times reporter who broke the story: Michael Smith. Gregory brings up the major points of contention with the Downing Street Memo:
1. The White House aggressively planned for the war months before going to the U.N.
2. The case of fixing the intelligence around the policy.
3. The mention of the case for war being thin.
4. The lack of post war planning on the part of the White House.
Smith backs up the claim of the Downing Street Minutes as a smoking gun for an illegitimate war. He also mentions the six Briefing Documents that further solidify this claim. Smith than goes on to explain the authenticity of the documents and gives an explanation for no longer having the originals to protect the source, as well as keeping their copy per the recommendation of their lawyers.
Then all goes to hell...
James Woolsey, a former CIA director, and David Kay, the head weapons inspector in Iraq, come on as guests. Woolsey insist the British usage of fixing the intelligence, literally means to fix, as in, correct the intelligence. Kay babbles on as to how we should focus on the problem at hand with Iraq; he dismisses the Downing Street Memos as irrelevant, in the context of being in a war. Kay comes just short of stating, we shouldn't change Presidents in the time of war.
You have to wonder how much these two just made for twenty minutes work; they're obviously on the Bush payroll. Fine performance guys... how do you sleep at night?
Gregory showed some promise in the beginning, with a couple of decent follow ups with Woosley and Gray, but in the end he cowers, and backs off from the tag team's defense of the Bush administration.
Not much of a surprise by any means... but what a disappointment.