Monday, August 02, 2010

Bush lied about Iraqi WMDs

The Richmond Times Dispatch has an editorial today that is remarkable for the mental gymnastics it attempts. The Richmond Times Dispatch excused Bush's actions in 2006, concluding Bush did not lie to the American people about WMD. In 2008, it took the Bush administration to task for not providing "an explanation regarding the absent WMDs." Today it goes a step further down the road, attacking the people who criticized Bush for using phony and manipulated "intelligence" to justify an attack on Iraq. It concludes by criticizing Karl Rove for what amounts to failing to lie more skillfully:
Bush's accusers have behaved with indecency, of that there is no doubt. Yet rather than transcending their smarmy standards, Rove joins them in the depths. He casts his "mistake" essentially in partisan terms. In admitting that he and his boss erred in giving the left an opening, Rove remains seemingly unappreciative of the ethical dimension. As president and commander-in-chief, Bush had a moral obligation to offer the American people a full explanation regarding Iraq and the WMDs. The political consequences of such transparency would have been incidental. The point was figuratively to look citizens in the eye and to tell them what happened and why. This marks not only a failure of presidential leadership of historic proportions but also a betrayal of a trusting nation. The disgrace is absolute.
The editors of the Richmond Times Dispatch simply don't get it. Four years after the word got out to the rest of the world that the Bush administration--and Dick Cheney in particular--tampered with the intelligence process that led to the decision to attack Iraq. Are they hung up on the word "lie"? Would they be more comfortable with the word "misled"? How about "bamboozled"? The Bush administration bamboozled the American people into attacking Iraq by editing the intelligence to make it look as though the Iraqis had WMD, even though they didn't. Can the RTD's editors accept that?

It has long been established that Bush was told the truth about Iraq's non-existent WMD, but chose instead to use the "intelligence" fabricated by Dick Cheney and his advisers to mislead the American people into a war with Iraq that has cost the lives of thousands of Americans and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.From Salon.com:
On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam's inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.
Read the entire article at Salon.com.



Colin Powell admits he was misled.



I wonder if this is another one of those issues that will play out like massive resistance did at the RTD. The RTD waited forty years before admitting it was wrong about massive resistance. Will we have to wait another forty years for the RTD to admit that the Bush administration deliberately lied to, misled, and bamboozled the American people into war in Iraq?

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