Bush Lied — Or Did He?

By Callimachus | Related entries in Media, The War On Terrorism

The Chicago Tribune fearlessly investigates Shrubbie McHitlerburton the Impeachment Chimp, holds his feet to the fire, speaks truth to power, despite the certainty of being “rendered” to an “American gulag”:

On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration’s arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured–those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.

The matrix below summarizes findings from the resulting nine editorials. We have tried to bring order to a national debate that has flared for almost three years. Our intent was to help Tribune readers judge the case for war–based not on who shouts loudest, but on what actually was said and what happened.

Read it, and see what they concluded. It’s no surprise, actually. They simply read the speeches of the administration and the reports of the investigating bodies. It’s all public. Any sane person who did the same would likely come to nearly the same conclusion. It’s a shame so few have done the same.

The Trib is moderately Republican in its editorial policies — it endorsed Bush in 2004, but in doing so said more kind things about Kerry than did many newspapers that endorsed Kerry. But if in your mind that disqualifies or taints its findings in this case, then do you feel the same about every investigative series by the New York Times, the LA Times and the WaPo?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2005 and is filed under Media, The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Bush Lied — Or Did He?”

  1. Justin Gardner Says:

    Interesting read, but the only thing that would color my feelings about this is it’s an editorial. However…putting that aside for a moment…

    Frankly, I don’t remember anybody saying that Bush lied about things like the UN resolutions being ignored by Saddam. However, they did beg the question for many “should we invade Iraq for reasons A, B & C if the WMD thing isn’t true.” For many liberal hawks, the answer was yes. Not for me. I mean, even you’ve said that the whole WMD thing wasn’t much of an issue for you, and we should have gone in there because it had to happen one day anyway. But the majority of Americans supported the idea of going into Iraq because of talk of “smoking guns” and “mushroom clouds.” Hell, I was even for the war when I thought Saddam had the capabilities to strike us, but when they started presenting evidence I found it ridiculously lacking.

    From the editorial comes this…

    There was no need for the administration to rely on risky intelligence to chronicle many of Iraq’s other sins. In putting so much emphasis on illicit weaponry, the White House advanced its most provocative, least verifiable case for war when others would have sufficed.

    So then, this issue of lying or misleading or whatever you want to call it (willful intellectual dishonesty?) has always been focused on WMDs because that’s what the Administration focused on. And contrary to what the editorial suggests, they had to know that many Americans wouldn’t be for a war simply to bring democracy to Iraq. They HAD to know. These are smart people who wanted to sell a war Cal. Basic logic begs that they had to know, and they banked on creating confusion in people’s minds about Saddam’s ability to actually strike us here in the US. Both you and know that Cal.

    And again, I do think you’ll find that the vast, vast, vast majority of people’s ire about the war rests squarely on Bush’s WMD gambit. We weren’t convinced by the evidence we saw and we felt there were better ways to prosecute the WOT instead of going into Iraq. And you know what, we were probably right. But we’ll have to wait 10 years to see if that “probably” turns into “definitely.”

  2. callimachus Says:

    Basic logic begs that they had to know, and they banked on creating confusion in people’s minds about Saddam’s ability to actually strike us here in the US. Both you and know that Cal.

    The administration didn’t create confusion about that. Saddam created confusion about that. Saddam — remember him? All the administration had to do was say, “nobody knows, but here’s what we believe based on what has happened before and what was there before.” And the people would decide whether they thought it was worth the while to run the risk that whatever Saddam had was going to end up in the hands of whoever was trying to kill us all and end up here.

    We weren’t convinced by the evidence we saw and we felt there were better ways to prosecute the WOT instead of going into Iraq.

    Such as? In 1941, Japan attacked America. In 1942, America responded by invading Algeria. Surely there were better ways to get at the people who did Pearl Harbor to us.

  3. Justin Gardner Says:

    Okay, fair enough on the Saddam point. But you were talking about Bush lying, not Saddam. Of course Saddam was a liar and he obfuscated like crazy, but so have a dozen other despots. I was merely talking about the ways in which our Administration relied on cherry picking their intelligence and ignoring the dissenting voices. I understand why they did it, but I think it was intellectually dishonest and has hurt our credibility, regardless of how much a tyrant Saddam was.

    Such as? In 1941, Japan attacked America. In 1942, America responded by invading Algeria. Surely there were better ways to get at the people who did Pearl Harbor to us.

    I don’t think this comparison is apt since the entire world was at war at that time. You could argue that the entire world is at war with terrorism, but the situations are vastly different.

    But to answer your question, such as finshing the job in Afghanistan, going after countries that actually have operational ties with Al Qaeda (like Iran and Sudan) or who actually have chemical and biological weapons (Syria). And let’s not forget North Korea either, who actually have the nuclear weapons programs AND the capabilities to possible strike our west coast. There were numerous ways to prosecute the WOT that made much more sense than Iraq, but Saddam was an easy target, and pumping his programs up was an easy sell.

    Those prognostications turned out to be dead wrong and now our credibility to possibly prosecute another war against a “rogue” nation is in serious jeporady. And Cal, that’s what I think is one of the most important parts in this argument. The hawks can talk all they want about our absolute right to defend our country, but how likely is it that we’ll be able to do this type of thing again unless first attacked?

    Credibility counts for a lot more than I think you give it credit for, and just because we are the goods guys in this fight doesn’t mean that we haven’t lost a great deal of credibility in the eyes of those would (and should) support us next. And remember, these are self correcting systems. It’s already happened in Spain, where the people voted our the Bush supporter, and Spain has subsequently pulled their troops. How many other scenarios like this are going to happen in the upcoming years? I don’t know, but my guess is that you’re probably going to see more leaders elected who aren’t as sympathetic to Bush’s pleas for support in the WOT. Honestly, I hope I’m wrong, but you get what you give and our flawed strategy and poor execution for winning the peace has not engendered much additional loyalty to our cause.

  4. william Says:

    CT: “Hussein didn’t have illicit weapons stockpiles to wield or hand to terrorists.”

    We still don’t know that. When/if we raise an American flag in Syria or Iran, we’ll find all those weapons.

    On the eve of the war, Hussein says, “Hey Iran (or Syria), can you hold these for me? It’ll make the west look really bad.”

    What do you think Iran/Syria would say?

  5. Callimachus Says:

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to stop posting here. It’s bad enough that the site is inaccessible, but I also find that only about half the comments I make ever actually appear on the site. That’s actually worse, as a poster. I make a post and stake out some position. Then someone replies and writes, “you’re saying xxxxx.” And no I’m not saying that at all, but when I try to write that, it never appears, and so the discussion goes on as though I tacitly accepted saying xxxxx. When you post, you should be prepared to defend and explain. But the inability to comment on a regular basis undermines that and renders the whole process invalid.

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