Clarice Feldman does her usual superb work in exposing Henry Waxman's peddling of lies. One of the things that totally mystifies us supporters of the Bush Administration is its absolute, total, continuous, inexplicable refusal to make its case in the public forum. Whatever Bush's view of the value of bipartisanship in Washington, and by now he has no excuse not to be disabused of this idea however useful it may have been in Texas, even bipartisanship does not preclude making your case, which is the most basic of political transactions!!
This Waxman inquiry is a softball for someone who wants to make the case. It gives the Administration the opportunity to clobber Wilson and to review every fact in the case. If the Administration mere minimally forensically adept, which it is not, this would be a delicious opportunity.
As you suggest, the tone should be patient condescension. It should say how grateful the Administration was for Wilson's confirmation of the attempt by Iraq to buy uranium in Niger - which was the conclusion of the CIA after the "debriefing" of Wilson. It should lament the absence of a written report by Wilson, but speculate that such absence is due to his lack of credentials, professionalism and discipline. Still, he contributed what he could to the narrative.
The is a great opportunity. Waxman, very likely not having done his homework, is obviously unaware that all the facts support the Administration's case. And here, in this "coda" long after it could have expected to have a forum to once again open this case, he has offered them one, nay (as Churchill would have put it) he has insisted on one. "Oh, said Br'er Rabbit, don't throw me in that briar patch."
The tone should be lecturing, with no "as you knows'" to soften the pounding of the facts on hollow skulls. Assume that the inquiry, inartfully phrased as it is, means the questioner does not know the facts. Lay them out one by one and then pound them home! One at a time. Without apology!
Will they do it? Of course not. You simply cannot insult these people. Barbara Boxer can attack Condi for being single, but will Condi send a referral on the Logan Act and Nancy with the Scarf to the Justice Department? Of course not. Will she give a lecturing, condescending, very long, fact by fact answer to the Waxman Inquiry? Of course not. It will be "as you know Congressman" and "there was controversy on this point, Congresman," and "we have already said it was a mistake to put it in the speech Congressman," yadda, yadda, yadda. They will not make their case though, as the Bible says in a different context, "the heavens fall."
Just a thought.