With all Due Respect, Mr. President, You're a Liar

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

With all Due Respect, Mr. President, You're a Liar

Once again, the Bush administration is playing its favorite trump card: deception. This time, the goal is to rewrite both the prelude to the Iraq war and the aftermath of that war. In his speech yesterday in Alaska, the president declared:
... [Iraq] was judged by intelligence agencies around the globe to possess weapons of mass destruction.
How many of these very same intelligence agencies produced other reports -- ignored or downplayed -- that cast doubt on Iraq's possession of WMDs?

And what about the infamous 2002 Downing Street memo? In that memo, a British official concluded that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed" by the Bush administration to fit its policy of removing Saddam Hussein from power. Care to comment, Mr. President?

In his speech yesterday, the president gave this rosy assessment of Iraq:
Because we acted, the Iraqi people now live in freedom, and the people of the United States are safer.
He left out "and they lived happily ever after."

Yes, ousting Saddam Hussein's regime was very good news, but what kind of regime will emerge is still unclear. In his speech, Bush didn't talk much about day-to-day living conditions in Iraq, which were called "dismal" by a U.N. official earlier this year.

Since there were no WMDs in Iraq, it's flimsy at best for Bush to argue that invading the country makes America "safer."
Leaders in my administration and members of the United States Congress from both political parties looked at the same intelligence on Iraq, and reached the same conclusion: Saddam Hussein was a threat.
That's a lie, Mr. President, but at least it's a crafty one. True, your administration and members of Congress "looked at the same intelligence," but what was "looked at" was crafted and cleansed by your administration.

For example, before the invasion of Iraq, Senate Democrats were not shown the Defense Intelligence Agency's February 2002 report, which challenged the credibility of the supposed al-Qaeda informer whose allegations were used to push the "Saddam has WMDs" message.

I'll leave the last words to columnist Robert Scheer: "The Bush defense of what is arguably the biggest lie ever put over on the American people is that everyone had gotten the intelligence wrong. Not so at the highest level of U.S. intelligence, as [the 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency report] so clearly shows. How could the president not have known?"

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