Right now, Mr. Fund's statement seems very prophetic, while, of course, Paul O'Neill's confused and contradictory statements do indeed seem pathetic (rhyme intended). Truly, Mr. O'Neill's confident interview with Katie Couric on Monday gave way soon after one of the centerpiece documents put on display, a document which he claimed showed how the President and his staff had planned on dividing up Iraq's oil fields, turned out instead to be a classified document from Cheney's energy summit which mapped the world's oil reserves and the way various nations were invested in those resources.
Now Mr. O'Neill is facing a possible investigation over this classified document, though, admittedly, it has been readily available to the public via the Judicial Watch website for several months. I seriously doubt there will be a full-scale investigation, but just the fact that Mr. O'Neill was willing to release this document, along with over 19,000 other documents, many of which are likely classified, says something of the man's character, don't you think?
Well, just as O'Neill's original statements sent waves rippling out into the political world, inciting folks such as Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy to immediately accuse President Bush of manipulating 9-11 for personal reasons, I would imagine Mr. O'Neill's complete flip-flop (does that sound familiar) would have some ripple effects as well.
The only problem is that the major news networks, which aired O'Neill's original statements and interviewed him en masse seem uninterested in giving any major coverage to the fact that O'Neill's claims were, at best, "exaggerated." Kudos at least to the Today Show and to Katie Couric for at least taking the time to follow up with Mr. O'Neill to ask for clarification.
Time to do a little prophesying myself:
This whole manufactured "scandal" will never be raised as an issue by whoever becomes the Democratic candidate for the 2004 election. By then, Mr. O'Neill's reputation will be nil with both Democrats and Republicans and only the extreme left blogs (can you say, "Dem-o-crat-ic Un-der-ground?) will try and keep the issue alive. O'Neill is already trying to slink away from all the controversy he has generated, as if he had no clue regarding the impact of his words. If that is true, then no wonder Bush fired him.