JOHN HAWKINS WRITES that people are rewriting history to attack Bush on Iraq.
UPDATE: C.D. Harris points out more problems with the “Bush lied” claims.
I probably should take these more seriously, just because the mainstream media are pretending to. But it’s hard to take it seriously when it looks like the same bogus crap from the same desperate people, who — as Randy Barnett notes here — want to blur the line between “mistakes” and “lies” in a way that they certainly never did during the Clinton Administration.
It’s partisan backstabbing, pure and simple, and it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.
ANOTHER UPDATE: But Pejman Yousefzadeh, who is more patient than I, has something worth reading on the absurdity of these claims. Bush lied, and then was surprised his lies weren’t true? Eh?
Wishful thinking? Maybe. But that’s not the same thing as lying, and the people pushing the “Bush lied” meme know that, and don’t care.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: This is worth reading, too:
Take the Axis of Evil, for example. When Bush linked Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, the response from the left was “What? Those are totally unrelated evils. You obviously are an idiot.” Even from many of us on the right, the response was, “Obviously this is the scoring of a rhetorical point rather than a literal axis, since Iran and Iraq hate each other, and North Korea is on the other side of the world.”
But ever since then it’s proven out that Bush was just telling us, as straight as he could, what the intelligence showed. North Korean missiles have been sold to Iran, aiding the development of Iran’s own weapons program, including the missile that can hit Israel. The DPRK and Iran have openly coordinated their nuclear programs. The Iran/Iraq frontier appears to have been far more porous that most of us believed, with groups like Ansar al-Islam operating on both sides and giving aid to al Qaeda. The smuggling of Iraqi oil out through Iran appears to have opened secret, but real, ties between those governments. We’ve recently uncovered a huge cache of documents belonging to the Mukhabarat, Iraqi intelligence, and I expect them to demonstrate far more serious and numerous ties than have heretofore emerged.
So, this claim that Bush lied about Iraq has to be put into a fence. Based on what is now open source, we can say that Bush’s claims about Iraq have all borne out except the WMD claims. Those claims were beliefs shared by the United Nations, which had 18 Security Council resolutions on the subject and which wasted years and fortunes begging Hussein to let them inspect. The nations on the Security Council have some of the best intelligence services in the world, so we have to assume that the evidence on WMD was pretty emphatic. All intelligence is speculative, but the degree of unity of opinion here is remarkable.
So if it wasn’t WMD as a whole that Bush lied about, then we have to limit ourselves to nuclear weapons. But here again, Bush’s claims were only that he believed Hussein was preparing to reconstitute his nuclear program, not that there was a reconstituted nuclear program. That is the kind of thing intelligence can simply be wrong about. So we must draw the fence tighter and tighter to find an area in which we can clearly say that Bush lied.
And at last, I can’t find one. The area that the left has focused upon is the Niger uranium. But Bush’s claim in the State of the Union address was that the British had warned him of the purchase. While the CIA’s document has been demonstrated to be a forgery, the British sources–we still don’t know exactly what they were–are still supported by their government. Tony Blair, while playing down WMD generally, spoke to the Niger issue yesterday.
Read the whole thing. And remember that even if Bush turns out to have been wrong — something not yet proven — it’s only a lie if he knew he was wrong when he said it, something not in evidence at all. It’s not surprising that some people want to keep that particular point off the table, but it’s dishonest of them to do so.
LAST UPDATE, REALLY: This says it all:
But if it’s all about oil, why are so many Democrats supporting it?
Because Bush lied to them of course. They may hate him and do their best to undermine anything he does, but they actually believe everything he says!
Now if things go wrong in Liberia, they can claim they were fooled by Bush again.
That Bush — a complete moron, and yet, somehow, an utterly compelling mastermind!