Ignoring Sen. Rockefeller's Own "Rhetoric About Iraq" and WMD

Mark Mazzetti gets Saturday's front-page with some hot news - a Senate Democrat attacking Bush's foreign policy ("Leading Senator Assails President Over Iran Stance").

"The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration's increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003.

"Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who took control of the committee this month, said that the administration was building a case against Tehran even as American intelligence agencies still know little about either Iran's internal dynamics or its intentions in the Middle East."

But Mazzetti ignores the "rhetoric about Iraq" Rockefeller himself issued before the 2003 invasion. Since Mazzetti didn't get to it, here's something to read alongsidethe Times' attempt to paint Rockefeller as a latter-day Cassandra about the threat of Saddam Hussein.

From a speech Rockefeller made on the Senate floor in October 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources-something that is not that difficult in the current world. We should also remember that we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction....He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East."