Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lies, damned lies, and the White House (Part I)

Bush's revisionism. Bush's culture of irresponsibility.

An editorial in today's Times wades through all the spin, all the bullshit spewing forth from the Bush Administration and its talking-point regurgitators on the right, and gets it right:

To avoid having to account for his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq, President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence. He's tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton. He's tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A. Lately, he's gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists.

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true...

The president and his top advisers may very well have sincerely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they did not allow the American people, or even Congress, to have the information necessary to make reasoned judgments of their own. It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections. We need to know how that happened and why.

Mr. Bush said last Friday that he welcomed debate, even in a time of war, but that "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." We agree, but it is Mr. Bush and his team who are rewriting history.

Read the whole thing to find out how.

At The Huffington Post, Eric Alterman goes after former Times columnist William Safire for his own lies.

Similarly, Shakespeare's Sister refuses to forgive the "Gray Lady": "The Bush-version of history began to be written when you decided not to question [Bush] or his decisions in the wake of 9/11. The rewriting of history to reflect the reality of that time has only just begun." Very well put.

On the right, with a response, is Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute.

More on this later tonight.

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  • Am I the only one who sees a real problem in the "we were lied to/misled by The President's intelligence reports" gambit- leaving any contravening evidence such as susequent discoveries of mustard gas warheads or overheard conversations about concealing chemical weapons aside- because the Dems' insistence on not believing it after they bought into it because didn't have the confidence to stand up and vote agaist it makes them look weak, foolish, or dishonest?
    Heck, Sen. Kerry is still SENATOR Kerry because he `voted for the war before voting against it,` rather than accepting a mistake and having since wisened up.
    Isn't the President's job to lead his country, to plead his case to Congress- and isn't it Congress' job to vote AGAINST him if they disagree even if it's not politically expedient?
    This angle can't sit well with moderates (we'll stand up for something unless everyone else says something else), or even the Dean-o-crats (they were outsmarted by "stupid" Dubya. And obviously it doesn't convince Conservatives to make the jump...
    We're stuck with a 2-party system for the forseeable immediate future - is one of them scoring cheap short-term political points worth the risk of weakening it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:03 AM  

  • Certainly, the Democrats don't look good -- many of them voted for the war resolution because they didn't want to look unpatriotic or because they didn't want to have the issue used against them in a future election -- say, in a future race for the presidency. But the Democrats did not have the same intelligence as the White House and it seems clear that the intelligence was at least shaped around a preconceived policy (to go to war), if not outright manipulated.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 2:40 PM  

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