Will there be a March Surprise?
We made fun of Tim Russert's
comments following Bush's press conference:
[Bush] has analyzed all the information, all the intelligence, all the data. That he had concluded as commander-in-chief that Saddam Hussein is a risk to American security and that he has made a decision.
thinking that it was Russert's way of excusing the President's lack of detail. However, we were struck by the following exchange on the Charlie Rose Show
(6 March 2003):
JIM HOAGLAND: I think there are distinct links between al-Qaeda and Iraq of a nature that helped stage September 11th and other terrorist attacks against Americans.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you really?
HOAGLAND: I do believe that.
ROSE: But you've seen no evidence.
HOAGLAND: I've seen some evidence. There's evidence buried in CIA files susceptible to various interpretations - that I interpret in that direction.
[and later on in the program:]
ROSE: If they had the information, it would seem to me to be so important to show it to other heads of state, at least.
HOAGLAND: I cannot give you full clarity on this. The one thing I can offer you is that there is a feeling at this White House that you stage your debate pretty much as you stage a political campaign. And you wait until you've got maximum attention - until you've got everybody's attention. You've certainly got Saddam Hussein's attention today. You've got the nation's attention. And you make your best case then. We'll see in a few days, I think, in a very short time, whether there's anything to what I'm saying or not.
Maybe Russert knows something we don't.