Sheldon Richman on Presidential Sophists on the Loose:
The controversy over President Bush’s State of the Union allegation about President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and African uranium is a lesson in how to distinguish a PR flack from an honest commentator. The latter tries to ground his statements in evidence and logic. The flack performs embarrassing mental contortions that have no bearing on the matter.
This Republican Administration has no more frigging integrity than the previous Democratic Administration.
For example, to the criticism that the president knew or should have known that the uranium claim had been debunked, administration officials, outsider defenders, and the president himself reply that the offending sentence shouldn’t have been in the speech and that it’s all the CIA’s fault. That’s supposed to close the controversy and allow us to move on.
The Administration can believe that we're all supposed to move on if it wants. I don't take my cues from Bush. The truth is too important to trust to any politician.
But wait — it’s not responsive to the criticism. The question now is not whether the sentence should have been in the speech, but why it was in the speech, given everything else we know.
Because he didn't think he'd get caught lying.
When the same apologists attribute the sentence’s inclusion to intelligence complications or snafus, that is again unresponsive. It has already been established that the CIA, at the urging of Vice President Dick Cheney, sent an envoy to confirm or debunk the information. That envoy, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, concluded that the documents giving rise to the report were obviously fraudulent.
Dittoheads are pretty much a cowardly bunch. They're willing to make any excuse, so long as its their guy they're excusing. Let the guy be from a different political party, however, and the story is much different. Cowards and liars, all of them.
This is assuredly not merely a case of the CIA’s failure to properly vet data. It knew the truth. It successfully counseled the president and other officials to keep the false story out of speeches in the fall of 2002. But the story ended up in the Big Speech in January 2003. Whatever it is, it’s no intelligence snafu. CIA Director George Tenet looks like a classic fall guy.
Its time for impeachment hearings folks. Lies that get people killed should not be excused.