11/26/2005

Is Bush lying about his lies?

Not only did the Bush administration deceive the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, it is now deceiving them about the deceptions. In a burst of political tantrums, the president and the vice president have shouted that it was "irresponsible" to assert that there had been deception and it was unfair to the troops fighting in Iraq.

Is the administration lying about its lies? That many of the arguments in favor of the war were false is beyond question. Nor can there be any serious doubt that the new argument that it is irresponsible to question the old arguments is also false. But if a lie is a conscious effort to deceive, then the charge that the president and the men around him deliberately lied and are now lying again, then that issue must be left to heaven. It is enough to say they spread falsehoods three years because they had made up their minds that there had to be a war and are now spreading falsehoods about the original falsehoods. The president is not a man who likes to admit he was wrong. Therefore, one must cover up the mistakes.

Consider some of the evidence. Vice President Dick Cheney and the president both insisted that Iraq was trying to import "yellowcake" uranium for nuclear weapons. Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and the vice president warned of "mushroom clouds."

Bush says that everyone agreed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He has said in the past that it was not his fault that all the intelligence agencies of the world believed that they did. Therefore, the intelligence agencies of the world were to blame for the mistake, he wasn't. Everyone in Washington, he argues, supported the war.

In truth, many Democratic senators did, not realizing how much the case in favor of the war had been cooked. In the national intelligence estimate issued just before the war, the internal dissent was excluded. The administration had created an atmosphere of fear and deception that indeed won support for the war...


Is Bush lying about his lies?

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