Thursday, July 15, 2004

Apologies ARE in Order



From the Washington Times', Time to Apologize to Bush:

Earlier this week, Americans learned from the Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) report that the Bush administration did not lie about or manipulate intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. To reiterate, the report found "no evidence that the [intelligence community's] mischaracterization or exaggeration of [Iraq's] weapons of mass destruction capabilities was the result of political pressure ... The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

Yesterday, a British inquiry exonerated the Blair government of exactly the same charge. "We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence [on the part of the Blair administration]. We found no evidence of [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessments and the judgments inside them being pulled in any particular direction to meet the policy concerns of senior officials on the JIC," the report said.

The British report also agreed with the SIC about the nature of Iraq's weapons programs. In short, intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs on both sides of the Atlantic was flawed, but no one "lied" about it. Both President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair acted in good faith given the intelligence provided by their respective agencies. This is the nature of leadership.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the 2004 elections. Soon after the fall of Baghdad, it started to become clear that Saddam Hussein did not have the weapons programs everyone believed he had. Urged along by one dissembling former ambassador, the Democrats soon lost control and began to accuse the president of the United States of lying to, or at least misleading, the American people.

To name only a few, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), in a television ad, mentioned the "yellowcake" reference in the president's 2003 State of the Union, adding "the administration knew it wasn't true ... It's time to tell the truth." (No, it was true, then as now.) The DNC Web site also informed readers about the administration's "year-long campaign of deception involving a bogus intelligence report on Iraq's nuclear program." DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe huffed, "This may be the first time in recent memory that a president knowingly misled the American people during the State of the Union address." According to John Kerry, Mr. Bush "misled every one of us." Sen. Joseph Biden believed the administration "hyped [the intelligence] ... to create a sense of urgency and a threat." Sen. Carl Levin said, "The statement that Iraq was attempting to acquire African uranium was not an inadvertent mistake. It was negotiated between CIA and National Security Council officials, and it was highly misleading."

We agree with the Wall Street Journal on this matter: Apologies are in order.

Also check out Joseph Wilson: Liar, Robert Novak's take on the Errant Former Ambassador, and Ann Coulter's piece on how WILSON Lied, Kids Died!

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