Day By Day

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lies of the Left -- "Bush Lied"

You probably heard all those breathless reports over the past few days to the effect that the Senate Intelligence Committee had concluded that President Bush had lied to take America to war in Iraq. Of course you do! It was featured in nearly every broadcast.

Well, what was being reported was Senator Rockefeller's characterization of what the committee report said. None of the hot shot commentators in the MSM bothered to actually read the report before mouthing off about it.

Fred Hiatt has actually gone over the report and finds that there is remarkably little substance to Sen. Rockefeller's statements.

[D]ive into Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

In the report's final section, the committee takes issue with Bush's statements about Saddam Hussein's intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?

Read the whole thing here.

Once again it is the Democrat leadership, not the Bush Administration, that is guilty of systematic misrepresentation of information.



The New York Sun reports more instances in which the Rockefeller Committee Report ignored or excluded evidence that shows that the administration acted in good faith. [here]

The Anchoress [I thought she had stopped blogging] has links to more sources [here]. She wonders why the truth is finally beginning to filter into the MSM.

1) Perhaps they see things improving so much in Iraq that there is going to be a slow turning around of the narrative - like turning around the Titanic - so that Democrats can stop pretending they never voted for the action, and get ready to claim a share in victory. Then it gives room to the presumed Democrat president to settle the Iraq matter with an American “presence” in Iraq - comparable to our presences in Germany, and elsewhere - so that he can get on with the business of “changing” America domestically. After all, the WaPo editorial board warned Obama just last week that he needed to update his thinking on Iraq.

2) Perhaps they see that the relentless pounding the press has given Bush for the last 5 years has had enough of an impact for him to have any sort of rehabilitation, either in the polls or in history, and so they figure they can put away the flamethrowers.

3) Perhaps there are still some journalists who are more interested in telling the whole story than in framing and enshrining a narrative.

I want to believe it’s #3.

She's being far too charitable.

What is clear from any objective analysis of the record is that Bush did not lie. Lots of other people [Democrat leaders and veteran intelligence professionals in particular] did lie, time and time again. All Rockefeller and his stooges in the press have done is once again to confirm that President Bush is a far finer man than his critics.