Bush Lied?

Er, not so fast. Fred Hyatt at the Washington Postwas, amazingly, allowed to publish this editorial (sorry for the massive excerpts. I usually do not like to do it this much)

Search the Internet for “Bush Lied” products, and you will find sites that offer more than a thousand designs. The basic “Bush Lied, People Died” bumper sticker is only the beginning.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.

“In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent,” he said.

And what were those lies that Rockefeller exposed?

 On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.

In other words, the premise, that Bush Lied, Kids Died, is a bunch of hooey not supported by the report itself. Most who live in Reality, rather then the Reality Based Community, understand this.

But the phony “Bush lied” story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.

That’s right, everyone. What certainly did not help was the shifting of the focus of our intelligence agencies to economic intelligence gathering early in the Clinton years, which reduced our ability to know what we needed to know about threats from Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Islamic terrorist groups, etc. Granted, we did need to have some focus about economic threats, but not to the point that our other intelligence was reduced.

And it trivializes a double dilemma that President Bill Clinton faced before Bush and that President Obama or McCain may well face after: when to act on a threat in the inevitable absence of perfect intelligence and how to mobilize popular support for such action, if deemed essential for national security, in a democracy that will always, and rightly, be reluctant.  

When to attack? Good question. One that it seems as if the current Democrat presidential poseur is unwilling to answer. Considering the presidential oath of office does say something about preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution, and the Constitution says something, specifically, I believe, about being the Commander in Chief of the US armed forces, but nothing about forcing socialized health care on the American public, John McCain can answer.

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4 Responses to “Bush Lied?”

  1. John Ryan says:

    If Bush got bad intelligence why did he give Tenet the Director of Central Intelligence the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award he was elligible for ?

  2. John Ryan says:

    Sure is hot here in New York City I wonder if Darth is still wearing his jacket ?http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=azV4Vb0kqWX8&refer=home
    RECORD HIGH TEMPS !!

  3. manbearpig says:

    Again… the east cost (NYC specifically) considering the rest of the country irrelevant. There are other areas of the country you know… in fact, two weeks ago we were 1 degree away from a record LOW. I am still waiting for global warming, in fact, I WELCOME IT!

  4. forest hunter says:

    Damn near mid June here which, up until this year, meant the air conditioner was on, no blankets on the bed and my fat layer would be melting. (full disclosure: I’ve only been here for 13 years)

    Air con is still off, I had to cover up with blanket last night and have actually gained when I normally lose weight, so except for the reality of being cooler, I might be more concerned about the GW hysterian’s.

    But somehow I doubt it, at least in that man’s arrogant notion to be able to paint the sun green should be taken on.

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