Keep Your Eyes on John Negroponte
Jude Wanniski
April 12, 2005


Memo To: Sen. Jay Rockefeller [D WV], Senate Intelligence Committee
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Don’t Trust Him

Yesterday we watched the Senate Foreign Relations Committee run through its interview with John Bolton, President Bush’s totally unqualified nominee to be UN Ambassador, a man who is only capable of causing trouble. It does look like the Republican Senators will abrogate their responsibility to give advise and consent in what the Constitution believed would be an honest effort on the part of the Legislative Branch.

Today, I watched the Senate Intelligence Committee go through the motions of interviewing John Negroponte, who President Bush has nominated to be the first real “intelligence czar.” I gather from the hearings that you think Negroponte is not a bad choice for the position and will vote for his confirmation. But I think you will be making a mistake. Negroponte appears to be a man separate and apart from the Perle Cabal that orchestrated the war with Iraq via his neo-con control of Vice President Cheney. But Negroponte could never have climbed up the bureaucratic ranks at the State Department to become U.N. Ambassador, then U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad, and now the fellow into whose eyes and ears will flow all the deep, dark secrets of the massive intelligence network in the U.S. government. The power that FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover had in his day was trivial compared to the power Negroponte will have to guide him in the direction that the Perle Cabal desires. Mr. Bush will be putty in his hands.

Now there have been Democrats raising questions about Negroponte’s behavior as Ambassador to Honduras when the Cold War was still raging. In a memo I wrote in this space to Senator Biden recently, I suggested the Senate forget whatever he did in the Reagan years when we were still wrapping up the Cold War. There have also been questions raised about his effectiveness as Ambassador to Baghdad, as the situation in Iraq got progressively worse -- as he worked with the interim government to win the minds and hearts of the occupied Iraqis by destroying the city of Fallujah.

Senator, I hope you don’t think it was Negroponte’s decision to bomb the bejesus out of the town to “teach Iraqis a lesson” in how they should be occupied. Of course not. He took his orders from the Cabal in Washington, with Paul Wolfowitz telling him “bombs away,” after checking with Richard Perle, the mastermind in the Cabal. Negroponte then rang up interim Prime Minister Allawi and gave him his orders. Everyone in Iraq knows what happened, which is why Allawi didn’t get any votes in the elections and will soon be out of business. Okay, okay. There was a little blood spilled in Fallujah. But I would forgive Negroponte even for that. There was no intelligence failure. Perle wanted blood to be spilled, and he had the backing of the President, Vice President, Defense Secretary, down the line.

My gripe about Negroponte, which nobody seems to have brought up, is that he was our Ambassador to the United Nations during those many months when the U.N. was passing UNSCR #1441 and then executing it successfully. That is, the Security Council empowered Hans Blix, UNMOVIC’s director, to send inspectors into Iraq and look under into every nook and cranny for chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. It also empowered Mohammed al-Baradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to look into every noon and cranny and interrogate all of Saddam’s scientists he could lay his hands on to see if there was any trace of a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. Negroponte was right there from one day to the next, learning everything the other suspicious members of the Security Council were learning. He could see with his own eyes and ears everything the French, the Russians, the Germans, the Chinese could see, far more than I could see by watching as much as was made available on television.

In other words, if he couldn’t see that UNMOVIC and the IAEA had successfully completed their jobs, that there were no WMD, and Iraq was no threat to anyone, then he was a true member of the Perle conspiracy to go to war for reasons having nothing to do with WMD and Saddam Hussein’s threats to the region. The only other alternative is that where everyone else could see that Saddam had done everything asked of him, Negroponte was too dense to understand what was going on. Either way, I urge you Senator Rockefeller, as the ranking Democrat at Senate Intelligence, to keep an eye on him from your position in the Intelligence Committee. Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Committee, will of course do no such thing, as he has already abrogated his Constitutional responsibilities by rolling over and playing dead for the Executive Branch. He has promised you for two years that he will have hearings to find out how the Intelligence Community was manipulated to produce this god-awful war, but of course will never be able to do so. It would look to ugly. At least don’t hold your breath. If Senate Democrats roll over and play dead, maybe we will all wind up in that position sooner than we ever expected.