[ Could Bush make it any more clear that he is not interested in being “a uniter,” as he likes to put it? Silberman, the one he appointed to head the commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the Iraq War, is a sneaky partisan who let Oliver North off the hook. –doclalor ]
Bush Appoints Iran-Contra Figure To Head Up Iraq “Intelligence” Probe
Thursday, February 12th, 2004 | Listen to: Segment
President Bush last week appointed a commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the invasion of Iraq. Critics see the move as little more than window dressing since the commission will have no subpoena powers and won't report until 2005 – after the presidential election.
The impartiality of the commission has also come into question. The co-chairs named to head up the inquiry will be federal appeals court Judge Laurence Silberman and former Virginia Democratic Senator Charles Robb.
Judge Silberman has been described as a longtime Republican operative and is widely thought to have helped orchestrate Ronald Reagan's1980 “October Suprise” when Reagan secretly made contacts with the Iranian government before he was elected.
It is alleged that President Reagan sent Silberman in the fall of 1980 to make sure the Iranians weren't planning to give up the US hostages taken at the American embassy, thus creating an “October surprise” that would help reelect Jimmy Carter. Silberman was rewarded for his role in Iran with the judgeship that later allowed him to overturn the conviction of Oliver North for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
During the 1990s, Silberman advised Republican activists on strategies to pursue sexual misconduct allegations against President Clinton.
Yesterday, Nevada Senator Harry Reid asked President Bush to rescind Silberman's nomination saying in the Senate that “it's been acknowledged by most everyone that he is one of the most partisan people in our community.”
Read the interview with Ford/Carter/Reagan National Security Council member Gary Sick and Inter Press journalist Jim Lobe.