November 12, 2005


"Neither assertion is wholly accurate." They are lying.

While I applaud Milbank and Pincus for today's article in the Washington Post, why can't they just come out and directly say our President is a big, fat LIAR:
President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence.

Neither assertion is wholly accurate.

The administration's overarching point is true: Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements.

But Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions.

...Bush does not share his most sensitive intelligence, such as the President's Daily Brief, with lawmakers. Also, the National Intelligence Estimate summarizing the intelligence community's views about the threat from Iraq was given to Congress just days before the vote to authorize the use of force in that country...

Bush, in his speech Friday, said that "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." But in trying to set the record straight, he asserted: "When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support."

The October 2002 joint resolution authorized the use of force in Iraq, but it did not directly mention the removal of Hussein from power.

The resolution voiced support for diplomatic efforts to enforce "all relevant Security Council resolutions," and for using the armed forces to enforce the resolutions and defend "against the continuing threat posed by Iraq."

Nobody seems interested in recalling that lots of legislators bought the assessment that Iraq had WMDs, but not the suggestion that an attack was warranted. It was widely maintained that the UN sanctions and weapons inspections were at least keeping those weapons from being deployed in any threatening manner and would eventually have found any that were in Iraq.

Bush links the assumption that the WMDs were real to the further assumption that Iraq was an imminent threat to the US. That was a link many Democrats simply were not making prior to the invasion.

The Administration, in suggesting that the war was sold to the American public and Congress based on anything other than the imminent threat theory, is guilty of rewriting history, not the Democrats.

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