Obamamessiah’s new intelligence head defends his comments on Taiwan.
[quote][b]US’ Blair defends ‘turd’ comment, Taiwan record[/b]
By William Lowther
STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON
Sunday, Feb 01, 2009, Page 2
Admiral Dennis Blair, whom US President Barack Obama has chosen to be the US’ next director of national intelligence, is vigorously defending his record on Taiwan.
As head of Pacific Command from 1999 to 2002, Blair was head of the US official delegation that observed Taiwan’s Han Kuang series of military exercises and has a reputation for supporting Taiwan independence.
But following his confirmation hearings in the US Senate last week, Blair was challenged by Republican Senator Christopher Bond to answer a question in writing “for the record.”
Bond wrote to Blair: “A number of negative comments about United States policy toward Taiwan have been attributed to you in the past — I believe at one time, you referred to Taiwan as the ‘turd in the punchbowl of US-China relations.’”
The senator said that Blair was on the record as saying that the Taiwan Relations Act was great.
“So,” Bond said, “what is your view on US policy towards Taiwan?”
In a written reply just made public, Blair said: “It is absolutely incorrect that I ever referred to Taiwan itself as the ‘turd in the punchbowl of US-China relations.’ Whoever gave this account to the press was maliciously attempting to portray me as a supporter of China at the expense of Taiwan.
“I did in fact use the too-colorful phrase ‘tossing a turd in the punchbowl’ in a closed meeting in 2000, but the phrase referred to a specific action by a former Taiwanese government official that had been taken without consulting the United States and had caused a confrontation with Washington and the Chicoms.”
“I have never made negative comments about the United States policy towards Taiwan in the past. I have stated opinions about statements,” he said.
Blair’s office refused to comment further.
The admiral is expected to be confirmed soon. [/quote]