Congressional Chairperson Nancy Pelosi has been copping a lot of flack for her “unauthorized” visit to Israel and Syria.
After visiting with Olmert, she apparently delivered a message to Assad as to Israel’s demands for a peaceful relationship. No sooner had Pelosi met with Assad, than Olmert contradited her in the press. What is strange about all this is that both Pelosi and Tom Lantos, who accompanied her, are both strongly pro Israel, so what happened?
As soon as Pelosi made the diplomatic demarche public, Olmert denied it had ever existed. But no less an Israel hawk than Tom Lantos not only confirms that Pelosi delivered exactly the message conveyed to her by Olmert in Jerusalem, he also lays blame for the Olmert denial squarely at the feet of the White House. Marshall quotes Rom Kampeas at JTA:
Olmert’s grip on power is certainly on the skids at the moment, but could he really have conspired with the Bush Administration to redetermine one of his strongest supporters in Washington?
Accepting Olmert’s word at face value that he never gave Pelosi a message for Assad is a dubious proposition. The man is known for having as tenuous a relationship with the truth as both Dick Cheney and George Bush. Personally, I think these media outlets have been willingly swindled on this story. I just hope someone can come up with the phone records proving a Cheney call to Olmert during which they discussed precisely this matter.