Bush’s Iraq War Lies Were Untrue

Much hubbub overnight by a joint Center for Public Integrity – Fund for Independence in Journalism study of statements made by Bush administration officials in their attempt to sell the Iraq War.

Bush’s Iraq War Lies Were Untrue

AP/YahooNews: Study: False statements preceded war

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

[…]

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida,” according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”

NYT is less judgmental with “Web Site Assembles U.S. Prewar Claims

Warnings about the need to confront Iraq, by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and two White House press secretaries, among others, can be combed line by line, and reviewed alongside detailed critiques published after the fact by official panels, historians, journalists and independent experts.

There is no startling new information in the archive, because all the documents have been published previously. But the new computer tool is remarkable for its scope, and its replay of the crescendo of statements that led to the war. Muckrakers may find browsing the site reminiscent of what Richard M. Nixon used to dismissively call “wallowing in Watergate.”

[…]

The officials have defended many of their prewar statements as having been based on the intelligence that was available at the time — although there is now evidence that some statements contradicted even the sketchy intelligence of the time.

President Bush said in 2005 that “much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong” but that “it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”

This is the crux of the matter. Being proven wrong is not “lying.”

The study is entitled, “False Pretenses: Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.” Quite clearly, then, the authors contend that the statements were made with full knowledge that they were wrong in order to lead the nation to war.

The study finds no such thing.

It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose “Duelfer Report” established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

But those committees were taking the evidence from well after the study’s timeframe. None of those commissions found that the administration deliberately lied.

The Duelfer Report was released a month before the 2004 election. Its chairman, Charles Duelfer, told a Senate panel, “We were almost all wrong” on Iraq. Note that he includes himself — and his audience — in this. This was Page 1 in the Washington Post and almost surely led every news report in the country that night. Bush was re-elected a month later.

The 9/11 Commission’s task, as its nickname implies, was to conduct a postmortem on the attacks, not assess the arguments leading up to the Iraq War. Its main findings were that our system of intelligence was broken and simply not up to the task of counterterrorism.

As to its findings on Saddam’s links to al Qaeda and similar organizations, the story is far more complex. Read Judith S. Yaphe’s statement to the Commission for a solid overview.

The executive summary of “False Pretenses” includes a number of statements that, given the advantage of hindsight, were untrue.

On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”

Rather clearly, our intelligence was wrong. But there’s no reason in the world to believe Powell believed that to be the case. That this was among the strongest examples the authors could find speaks to their agenda — and the weakness of their case — rather than Powell’s integrity.

Or this:

On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.

So, a report that would be written a month after Bush made the statement demonstrated that what Bush thought was true was wrong. And, of course, in May 2003 the war was already underway, so this was hardly an example of “false pretenses” getting us into war.

The most damning examples are along these lines:

In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with Al Qaeda is unclear.”

Of course, there’s no evidence here that Rumsfeld was aware of these reports. SECDEFs don’t read things that don’t make it to the top of the chain of command, after all.

My strong suspicion, though, is that Rumsfeld knew that an unequivocal “Sure” overstated the case. This, I think, reflects the consensus view of all but the most rabid pro- or anti-Bush observers that the administration 1) thought Saddam was dangerous, 2) believed he had an active WMD program if not WMD possession, 3) feared Saddam would transfer said technology to terrorists and other enemies of the United States and 4) cherry picked information that bolstered their case for action while downplaying dissenting views and evidence.

That’s bad. It’s not the way democracies are supposed to work and undermines the public’s confidence in their leaders. But it’s light years away from simply lying to the people about WMD known not to exist, which is what the report alleges.

Further, it’s worth noting that, despite most of the evidence and conclusions above being widespread by the fall of 2004, President Bush was nonetheless reelected by a comfortable margin. The public had already turned against the war by that point but nonetheless believed he was someone they trusted to continue to lead the national security apparatus.

UPDATE: Bryan Preston weighs in, noting that George Soros funded the report and wondering why that fact isn’t prominently noted in the news accounts.

Dave Schuler thinks most of the bloggers discussing the report are “using precisely the same approach used by the Bush Administration: they’re going beyond what the report says and voting their hearts, saying what they believe to be true rather than what can be proven to be true.”

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Intelligence, Iraq War, National Security, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    “Bush’s Iraq War Lies Were Untrue”

    That’s a little redundant, don’t you think?

    Intentionally so. The point of the post is that the study presumes that untrue things are therefore lies.

  2. Hal says:

    The public had already turned against the war by that point but nonetheless believed he was someone they trusted to continue to lead the national security apparatus.

    Well, that or the anti-gay amendments and such that Rove pushed to have on the ballot in key states which helped push him over the top.

    It seems really, really dangerous to make the inferences you’re making, James.

  3. davod says:

    From everything I have seen the cherry picking you describe consisted of taking the majority of intelligence opinions and discarding the outliers.

    I am sorry, but that is normally how the process works.

  4. James Joyner says:

    It seems really, really dangerous to make the inferences you’re making, James.

    Elaborate, please.

  5. Hal says:

    Elaborate, please.

    Sorry, perhaps “dangerous” was a bad choice. “self delusional” would be perhaps better. Let’s remember that if Ohio went for Kerry, Bush would have lost. And Ohio was THE place for the anti-gay measures that Rove pushed (very hard, I might add) to get on the ballot, which increased evangelical turnout. Coupled with the voting irregularities in Ohio, massive problems with the polling places, etc, I think it’s safe to say that Rove’s gambit was pretty effective. And considering the margin of victory in Ohio – 118,601 votes – it’s pretty clear that had those votes gone the other way the narrative would be quite different.

    So making such a bold statement as to say that the electorate had decided he was the guy he trusted seems pretty weak, at best, and self delusional if you just look at the Ohio results – even if you don’t believe there was any hanky panky or voter suppression, or what have you.

    Clearly, a lot of people voted for Bush because they turned out for their real issue, which was making sure the anti-gay measures in Ohio passed. Voting for Bush was a secondary concern.

  6. tim says:

    “Bush’s Iraq War Lies Were Untrue”

    That’s a little redundant, don’t you think?

  7. Philadelphia Steve says:

    So, instead of being deceitful, President Bush was just ignorant.

    I feel much better.

  8. M1EK says:

    Being proven wrong is not “lying.”

    When you say things like “we know they have them; and we know where they are”, referring to WMDs, and you really DON’T know either one of those things, you are lying. Period.

  9. M1EK says:

    Also, refer to Bob Graham’s comments about the run-up to war. Even the intelligence he was getting was clear that the war was unjustified – unfortunately, his rank-and-file colleagues only got the stuff that was being filtered by Cheney’s crew.

  10. James Joyner says:

    So making such a bold statement as to say that the electorate had decided he was the guy he trusted seems pretty weak, at best, and self delusional if you just look at the Ohio results – even if you don’t believe there was any hanky panky or voter suppression, or what have you.

    As a technical matter, Ohio was the difference maker — but only because it was the last state counted. Regardless, Bush won by 2 million votes nationally.

    No doubt that issues other than security mattered. But it was the main issue in the campaign.

    “What one issue mattered most to you in deciding how you voted for president?” Open-ended. Multiple responses accepted. Asked of Bush and Kerry voters. Form 1 (N=569).

    .
    %

    Iraq/The war
    27

    Economy/Jobs
    14

    Moral values
    9

    Terrorism/Security
    9

    Honesty/Integrity
    5

    Other Bush
    5

    Other Kerry
    4

    Health care
    3

    Abortion
    3

    Direction of the country
    2

    Candidate’s religiosity, morals
    2

    Strength/Leadership
    2

    Foreign policy
    2

    Gay marriage/Marriage
    2

    Don’t change course
    2

    Other
    15

    Unsure/Nothing/Everything
    5

  11. Hal says:

    27% !!! 36 if you add the second issue.

    Geebus, you’re reaching. Basically, you’ve just proven that it’s rather a long stretch to say that people “believed he was someone they trusted to continue to lead the national security apparatus.”

    Also, this is *all* voters, which include democrats who voted for Kerry for precisely the same reasons. So, you’d pretty much have cut that in half unless you have a different break down.

    Even better, you simply ignored the next table in the link you provided:

    “Which ONE issue mattered most to you in deciding how you voted for president . . . ?” Respondents read list of options below. Options rotated. Asked of Bush and Kerry voters. Form 2 (N=567).

    .

    ALL BUSH Voters KERRY Voters
    % % %
    Moral values

    27 44 7
    Iraq

    22 11 34
    Economy/Jobs

    21 7 36
    Terrorism

    14 24 3
    Health care

    4 1 8
    Education

    4 2 6
    Taxes

    3 4 2
    Other (vol.)

    4 5 3
    Unsure

    1 2 1

    Clearly, MORAL issues ruled the day with Bush voters, which is exactly what my post was saying. Iraq and terrorism – even among the faithful, were a

  12. Hal says:

    dang. I was saying that this table shows that even among the faithful Iraq and terrorism couldn’t hold a candle to Moral issues. And it’s interesting to see that in the break down, Terrorism was a bigger issue for people who voted *against* Bush.

  13. Nick says:

    While reading the “he said she said” historical record, I think your point 4) cherry picked information that bolstered their case for action while downplaying dissenting views and evidence clearly identifies the problem at hand. The questions we should be asking isn’t who’s fault it is, that’s just campaign fodder. Instead we should focus on how to solve the root problem. Time was of the essence in the run up to the war. Cherry picked statements can manipulate public opinion in one direction or another, but that opinion rarely holds true over time. If the American public and our elected officials had waited for additional analysis reconciled or addressed all other detractors, the war may have never happened. I guess with all our historical knowledge and so called advanced democratic state, we’re destined to repeat past mistakes. In the end our society is no different than a herd of lemmings sprinting off the cliff in the name of self preservation. And that is exactly how both party establishments like to have it.

    Nick – the ignorant citizen from the north

  14. Hal says:

    Geebus. Even the last table of the link you provided cuts right against your thesis:

    “Which issues, if any, were most important to you in deciding how you would vote for president today? . . .” Respondents could make up to two selections from the list below.

    .

    ALL Voters BUSH Voters KERRY Voters
    % % %
    Moral/Ethical values

    40 54 24
    Jobs/Economy

    33 18 48
    Terrorism/Homeland security

    29 45 13
    Situation in Iraq

    16 11 21
    Education

    15 12 18
    Social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage

    15 14 15
    Taxes

    9 11 7
    Health care

    9 5 14
    Foreign affairs

    5 3 8
    Social Security

    5 3 7
    Medicare/Prescription drugs

    3 2 4
    None of the above

    2 2 3

  15. Good Lt says:

    Interesting that none of these Democrats and their statements leading up to the Iraq war were included in the Soros propaganda.

    Interesting, but not surprising.

    Being wrong and lying aren’t the same thing, no matter how much the antiBushies want it to be.

  16. davod says:

    “If the American public and our elected officials had waited for additional analysis reconciled or addressed all other detractors, the war may have never happened.”

    Just what additional analyis would have changed the picture.

  17. Adam H. says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/18/AR2005111802397.html

    That was written by the Bob Graham, head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the run-up to the invasion. It is manifestly obvious that the president was not being honest.

  18. Joe American says:

    They are simply war-criminals disguised as incompetent leaders. Prosecute!

  19. cian says:

    From everything I have seen the cherry picking you describe consisted of taking the majority of intelligence opinions and discarding the outliers.

    I am sorry, but that is normally how the process works.

    It was much more than cherry picking I’m afraid. As the Downing Street memo shows, the administration was deliberately fixing the facts to suit their desired outcome- war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

    Iraq did not represent an imminent threat to the United States. A thoughtful President, aware of his solemn obligation never to send the troops under his commend into battle unnecessarily, would have taken the time available to weigh all intelligence carefully, listening to both sides with equal seriousness.

    As events have shown, confirming what many throughout the diplomatic and intelligence services were saying, everything the administration put forward as fact has turned out to be false.

    In short, close to 4000 American men and women have lost their lives in war that need not have been fought and that has left America weaker not stronger and less safe than before

    His supporters have already forgiven the president for this gravest of sins. History and a majority of the American people never will.

  20. Grewgills says:


    4) cherry picked and exaggerated information that bolstered their case for action while downplaying dissenting views and evidence and smearing any who put forward dissenting views
    5) made absolute declarative statements about knowledge of WMDs (and their location), potential uses of aluminum tubes*, and Al Qaida ties without said knowledge or in spite of evidence to the contrary.

    4 amounts to misrepresentation and misdirection and 5 amounts to lies.

    * contrary to what was known at the time.

  21. Nick says:

    Just what additional analysis would have changed the picture.

    Confirmation and verification of all data points including reconciliation of the outliers. Any intelligence agency worth their weight in paper clips did the analysis, it was just ignored.

  22. Demosthenes says:

    I generally agree with the post. President Bush probably did not think he was lying. It is likely he thought it likely that WMD would be found, and Saddam was hiding them. President Bush is incurious and, therefore, would never investigate to determine whether his preconceived notions are true or not. Vice President Chaney, on the other hand, undoubtedly knew that the WMD stuff was a bunch of nonsense. Mr. Chaney wanted war to overthrown Saddam, and WMD was merely a pretext. Illustrative of Mr. Cheney’s knowledge was his panic when Amb. Wilson openly questioned the administration line on WMD, which lead to Mr. Cheney’s hatchet man, Scooter Libby, outing Amb. Wilson’s wife — a covert CIA agent. I doubt many of you will agree with me, but all of us — other than the truly ideologically blinkered — know this is the truth.

  23. Our Paul says:

    Elegant post, well argued, for the continuation of the fairy story of the Brave Decider, who mislead by his incompetent spies, embarked on a war to: (1) rid a megalomaniac ruler of weapons of mass destruction, (2) Liberate an oppressed people, yearning to be free, or, (3) Introduce the beauty and advantages of Democracy into the Middle East. Take your choice; all were used, depending on the teller of this fairy story…

    Unmentioned in Mr. Joyner’s fairy story was the opposition by other countries this war, and the work by Hans Blix who was showing that the primary premises (ye old mushroom cloud) were incorrect.

    No matter how you slice it, of the many paths available to it, the Administration chose war. No matter how you gild the story, the choice for war was made immediately after 9/11, and was of greater import than Afghanistan or Bin Laden.

    Like Mr. Joyner I grieve for the mud on the reputation of General Powell, a man of integrity and service to the country. Unfortunately, given a choice of duty (service to the Commander in Chief) and Honor (service to truth) he chose the former, thinking that he could in some fashion modify the course the Administration was choosing…

  24. jay k. says:

    if i have reports, as it has been shown the administration did, that there is good reason to doubt something…but i go out and make an unequivocal statement on the subject…then i’m lying. if i say aluminum tubes can only be used for nuclear enrichment, but i have seen reports that cast doubt on that finding…then i am lying. end of story. period. and if i am the president and my staff chose not to show me those reports, then i am an incompetent manager. you chose…liar or incompetent, then hitch your wagon to one of the candidates and move on.

  25. jeff says:

    If you have all the data and information these guys had and you got wrong so often, either people lying or are grotesquely incompetent. So you’re going with grotesquely incompetent?

  26. Tlaloc says:

    To make this easy I’ve put the lies in bold:

    On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.”

    See, was that so hard? When you claim to have facts and solid intelligence when the opposite is true, AND YOU KNOW THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE then you are lying.

    Did they know the opposite was true? Yes. The intelligence of the time was highly speculative. Their statements were definitive, leaving no possiobility of error. They lied. Period.

    It is nice that you wish to give them some benefit of the doubt but they have proven utterly unworthy of it.

    You’re smarter than this Mr. Joyner.

  27. Good Lt says:

    I see a gaggle of lefties here don’t want to face the ugly truth about their attempted hijacking of the English language – mugging the word “incorrect” and trying to change it to “lie.”

    It’s easy to dispel this nonsense, really. Watch this video, lefties. Then come back and prattle on about the evils of Democrats for us. We’ll wait.

    Again, the same people who defend Bill Clinton who are fulttering in here, accusing people of LYING, are just too rich.

    A lie is “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” That’s a lie. He did, he knew it, and he lied about it. To a judge and to everyone.

    Being wrong is “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein has recently tried to by large quantities of uranium from Africa.” There is no lie there – that’s what the intel said going back to 1998, and this video proves the Democrats were reading the same intel back then.

    Stop trying to redefine the word “incorrect” or “incompetent” to mean “lie.”

    Clinton would be ashamed of you.

  28. Good Lt says:

    >>>See, was that so hard? When you claim to have facts and solid intelligence when the opposite is true, AND YOU KNOW THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE then you are lying.

    Where’s the evidence that he didn’t believe the intel? Where’s the evidence that he knew the opposite was true? Provide links and sources so we can evaluate, please.

    You have no case if you can’t produce any.

    Thanks in advance for clearing this up.

  29. Tlaloc says:

    Interesting that none of these Democrats and their statements leading up to the Iraq war were included in the Soros propaganda.

    Quick question, who do the various intelligence agencies of the US report to? The President. They inform congress as *he* allows. Consequently blaming democrats for being wrong after they had been lied to is a bit, shall we say, disingenous?

  30. Tlaloc says:

    Being wrong is “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein has recently tried to by large quantities of uranium from Africa.” There is no lie there – that’s what the intel said going back to 1998, and this video proves the Democrats were reading the same intel back then.

    No, that’s a lie of ommission because they knew at the time that that story was bull&^^$.

    Where’s the evidence that he didn’t believe the intel? Where’s the evidence that he knew the opposite was true? Provide links and sources so we can evaluate, please.

    So you haven’t read any of the findings about the Iraq war intelligence is what you are saying? And here you are pretending to know something about the matter?

  31. Good Lt says:

    >>>They inform congress as *he* allows.

    This is factually incorrect.

    Members of Congress have access to all the same intel that Bush did, which they can access when they want to. They would not have had the information necessary to vote on these matters in 2002 had they not.

    And of course, the proof that they knew what the intel said is shown in this video that you curiously are not watching because it demolishes completely the “BOOSH LIED” canard.

    Keep trying.

  32. Good Lt says:

    >>>No, that’s a lie of ommission because they knew at the time that that story was bull&^^$.

    EVIDENCE SUPPOORING THIS INCORRECT ASSERTION, PLEASE.

    >>>So you haven’t read any of the findings about the Iraq war intelligence is what you are saying? And here you are pretending to know something about the matter?

    CITE THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING YOUR ASSERTIONS IF YOU’RE SO CERTAIN.

    Thanks.

  33. Tlaloc says:

    This is factually incorrect.

    Members of Congress have access to all the same intel that Bush did,

    Congress did not have access to the same intellignce. When an NIE is put together there are a ton of foot notes, additional materials and so on that go with it to give the full picture. Congress does not get that. What they get is essentially the executive summary, which paints a misleading picture when the best estimate is highly speculative because they do not get any of that information that there are credible alternatives.

  34. Good Lt says:

    >>>Consequently blaming democrats for being wrong after they had been lied to is a bit, shall we say, disingenous?

    How were they “lied to” in 1998, before BOOSH was a blip on the radar screen?

    Answer: NOBODY LIED.

    You’re being a tad disingenuous.

  35. Good Lt says:

    >>> Congress does not get that.

    They certainly can if they want to, but then again, making war is not constitutionally delegated solely to Congress.

    And they did have all the same intel in 1998.

    >>>What they get is essentially the executive summary, which paints a misleading picture when the best estimate is highly speculative because they do not get any of that information that there are credible alternatives.

    So Congress has no access or recourse to check out intel they think might be incorrect?

    NOPE. Congress has the right to get any intel the President does. The PRESS doesn’t have a right to the information, but members of Congress sure as hell do.

    Stop trying to rewrite the Constitutional powers of Congress and the Presidency in your quest to rewrite history.

  36. jay k. says:

    good lt…
    i admire your loyalty. misguided though it may be.
    he made that statement trying to bolster his case for attacking and occupying another sovereign nation. at the same time he also knew that there was serious doubt by several agencies about whether saddam had tried to purchase uranium. that makes it a lie. this is not a case of discovering an error after the fact. the white house had been told on at least a couple of occasions that the story was untrue.
    additionally…if you equate lying about extra-marital sex with lies that lead to the death of 4000 of our troops and countless innocent civilians then you have a bigger problem than simple bush cult worship.

  37. Tlaloc says:

    EVIDENCE SUPPOORING THIS INCORRECT ASSERTION, PLEASE.

    So you aren’t familiar with the whole Joe Wilson thing either, huh? Why exactly are you broadcasting your ignorance?

    CITE THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING YOUR ASSERTIONS IF YOU’RE SO CERTAIN.

    start here:

    3. Overall Conclusions -Weapons of Mass Destruction
    (U) Conclusion 1. Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s ContinuiHg Programsfor Weapons of Muss Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.

    from the Senate Select Intelligence Commitee report on the matter, you know the one you couldn’t be bothered to read. You can find it here:
    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

    Now of course you sare going to say “But that says it was the analystts to blame!” That’s because you’re not paying attention. The PResident has access to the conflicting reports. He is in a position to know that the NIE is speculative. Congress isn’t.

    Furthermore it’s not exactly a coincidence that the NIE came out so badly skewed from reality. Bush’s administration is legendary for pushing politics into every aspect of government (the DoJ, the FDA, and most certainly the CIA).

  38. Tlaloc says:

    Good Lt- you are wrong about congress having access to everything the president does. You eaither know this and are lying or you are ignorant and refuse to learn. Either way what’s the point of me continuing to try and educate you?

  39. Good Lt says:

    >>>additionally…if you equate lying about extra-marital sex with lies that lead to the death of 4000 of our troops and countless innocent civilians then you have a bigger problem than simple bush cult worship.

    NOBODY LIED ABOUT IRAQ. One is a lie (Clinton) and the other is faulty intel (Bush). There’s a difference that even a child can decipher. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this simple concept that seems to confound Bush-haters.

    I don’t like BOOSH much at all. But pretending facts don’t exist to prop up your repeated lies about “THE LIES OF WAR” is really not helping your case.

    >>>nation. at the same time he also knew that there was serious doubt by several agencies about whether saddam had tried to purchase uranium.

    So what? I thought the argument was that there was no credible alternative to the intel Boosh “cherry picked.” So what you’re saying, then, is that he was presented with intel from UN, UK, US, and other sources suggesting one thing, and intel from other sources advising caution.

    The decision was his to make, and he made it. You may not have liked the decision, that’s irrelevant. It doesn’t make anybody a “liar” because they made an unpopular decision.

    I mentioned Clintoon to give you an example of the definition of a lie, which I assume was clear.

    I’m still not sure what’s so hard to understand about this.

  40. Good Lt says:

    >>>Good Lt- you are wrong about congress having access to everything the president does.

    They had access to all of the pre-war intel that he did. Whether or not they chose to exercise their oversight role is another question.

    >>>You either know this and are lying or you are ignorant and refuse to learn. Either way what’s the point of me continuing to try and educate you?

    That’s a nice false dichotomy, but you have backed up anything you’ve been proclaiming here with a shred of evidence. I provided a video to you showing many of the public statements going back to 1998 that Democrats who saw and were aware of the intel were saying.

    You respond with “nuh-uh.”

    Sorry. Yeah-huh.

    CITE EVIDENCE PROVING ME WRONG. CITE EVIDENCE PROVING BOOSH “LIED.”

    Thanks.

  41. jay k. says:

    good lt…
    congress DOES NOT have the same access to intel that the white house does. certain members may. and because it is classified information they are not free to discuss it with other members. one member that did have access is bob graham who was the chairmean of the senate select committee on intelligence during the tragedy of 9/11 and the run-up to bushs war in iraq. he voted against giving bush authorization to attack and occupy iraq. he has since written about the numerous caveats in the sept. 2002 nie…caveats that were omitted from the executive summary. that is the executive summary that was available to the entire congress.
    so stop trying to rewrite the constitutional powers of congress and the presidency in your quest to rewrite history.

  42. jay k. says:

    i don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this simple concept that seems to confound bush-lovers. if you make an unequivocal statement about something which you know there is doubt about then you are lying. period. end of story.

  43. Laney says:

    You guys still trying to claim/believe that the Bushies didn’t know that the Niger uranium, aluminum tubes, intercontinental gas-spraying cruise missiles, and Saddam-9/11 connection stories were lies?

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  44. Tlaloc says:

    That’s a nice false dichotomy, but you have backed up anything you’ve been proclaiming here with a shred of evidence.

    Okay so now we know you are a liar since you asked for evidence and I gave you a quote and a link to the SSIC report.

    See how this works- you just made a statement that was false and you had reason to know it was false, hence *you* are a liar.

  45. Grewgills says:

    One is a lie (Clinton) and the other is faulty intel (Bush).

    Actually they both parsed words in an intentional effort to mislead while keeping the statements defensible as literal truth. The veracity of the statements made by both Bush and Clinton are on a similar level, but the subject matter and its importance to the national interests are quite different.

    Others in the administration made statements more bold than did Bush and some of those are lies. ie “We know where they are [WMDs]. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” or “[the aluminum tubes are] only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.” The first of those statements is an unequivocal statement of knowledge that he did not possess. (He could not have known they were there since they were not.) The second statement was contradicted by the IAEA and the Dept of Energy prior to the statement. Maybe when Bush made that claim in the SOTU he had been misinformed, but someone was doing that misinforming and they were tied to the administration and they if not he were certainly lying.

  46. Good Lt says:

    >>> if you make an unequivocal statement about something which you know there is doubt about then you are lying.

    That’s called making a decision.

    Lying would be making an unequivocal statement indirect opposition to ALL OF THE INTEL HAD IT SAID SADDAM HAD NO WMD.

    IT DID NOT SAY THAT.

    Thanks for playing, and really, go back and look up the definition of “lying.” Your definition isn’t even close.

    >>>i don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this simple concept that seems to confound bush-lovers. if you make an unequivocal statement about something which you know there is doubt about then you are lying. period. end of story.

    The passage you cited was not a “lie.” He made a judgement call as president, which nobody argues he that he does not have the right to do, and he made the call. That’s not a “lie.”

    I’m sorry to dissappoint you. You had it all figured out until you saw the Democrats hawking BOOSH’s rhetoric on Iraq years before he even entered office.

    I know – it’s inconvenient to face the truth sometimes, especially when you’ve spent so many years convincing yourself that your lies are objective reality.

    See – here’s a lie: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    He knew what he was saying was patently and completely false. He knew the truth and he lied about it.

    You still have yet to cite any evidence “lies” were told to anyone, and why BOOSH hasn’t been prosecuted for “LYING.”

    Keeping in mind, of course, that being wrong and lying are two different things – hence, they’re different words.

  47. Good Lt says:

    >>>Bush’s administration is legendary for pushing politics into every aspect of government (the DoJ, the FDA, and most certainly the CIA).

    We all know that Democrats never push politics into anything, though. Not global warming hysterics, not race and class warfare, not healthcare, NOTHING.

    ONLY BOOSH PLAYS POLITICS. That’s the best you can do?

    LOL

    Wait till the Donks get the White House back, and then talk to me about who’s “pushing politics.”

    But I’m sure you’ll stop paying attention by then.

    >>>Okay so now we know you are a liar since you asked for evidence and I gave you a quote and a link to the SSIC report.

    Where did the report say he lied?

  48. Good Lt says:

    >>>You guys still trying to claim/believe that the Bushies didn’t know that the Niger uranium, aluminum tubes, intercontinental gas-spraying cruise missiles, and Saddam-9/11 connection stories were lies?

    I’m still waiting for the “proof” that anything Bush ever said about Iraq or otherwise was “LYING,” as opposed to being factually wrong.

    Lying implies malice and intentional deceit, which no lib making any wild accusation here can seem to cough up evidence of.

    Because there isn’t any, save the screams of a bunch of leftwing harpies as unacquainted with the facts as they are with the definitions of words like “incorrect” and “lie.”

  49. jay k. says:

    good lt…
    no it is not called making a decision. it is called lying. if you say something that you know is not true then you are lying. if you portray something as fact when you know it may not be then you are lying.
    of course by your faulty logic he made the wrong choice 935 times.
    liar or incompetent…he is still a disgrace and should not be in office.

  50. dearleader nyc says:

    Yay! It’s time for everyone’s favorite Bush Administration game: “Are They Lying or just Grotesquely Incompetent?”

    I’d argue the two aren’t mutually exclusive…whatever one can say about the pre-war bamboozlement, whether they were technically “lies”, “misrepresentations”, or just “bullshit”, they have unequivically lied about the run-up to the war repeatedly. Most obviously when they said “Saddam wasn’t letting the inspectors do their job” or “we couldn’t wait any longer”, referring to the period when they were in Iraq and not finding shit. So like most good politicians, Bush and Co. were smart enough to couch their falsehoods in such away that they can now get away with the “we were just dead wrong about EVERYTHING” line, which is pretty much the most charitable interpretation possible.

    So it really doesn’t matter who wins the “Liars vs. Incompetents” game because we’re all losers.

  51. Scott Swank says:

    Good Lt,

    Let’s say that I hold a coin in my hand and I know that when I flip it that it may come up heads or it may come up tails. Now I tell you that it will without doubt come up heads on the next flip. I’m lying, right? I am, in your words, engaging in intentional deceit.

    Now let’s say that there are hundreds of thousands of lives on the line. That makes for a pretty awful lie on my part, doesn’t it?

  52. Ron P says:

    Once again Democrats prove by their actions that they are manipulative and irresponsible when it comes to “facts” and “reporting”. Is it the Democrat’s general belief that all Americans are so stupid as to fall for this crap? I guess it is a good thing for you voting cows out there that the Democrats are so willing to show you how and what to think and believe. God forbid any Democrat should have to crack a book and really look something up in an effort to determine the truth.

    Democrats suck.

  53. R. Richardson says:

    Colin Powell deceived all Americans. He was an icon to many of us. According to the study he made more false statements about Iraq than anyone else from the white House during the two year period following 911. What could have been his motive. I hope one day that he will reveal why he lied and caused such a grave injustice to the United States.

  54. Cernig says:

    James,

    Hot Air’s Bryan Preston links to the Sunlight Foundation, not the CPI, as proof that the CPI is one of “many George Soros fronts”. The Malkinites got the wrong group.

    Regards, C

  55. jay k. says:

    ron p believes bush, and then says this about democrats. he was lied to 953 times in two years, believed every word, and then talks about truth, and the inability to look up facts. ha. you can’t make it up.
    this whole thing does bring up an interesting point for discussion. had bush been honest and told america right upfront that “…we think iraq has wmd, although there is solid evidence to the contrary, and we think he might have ties to al queda, although there is solid evidence to the contrary. and just the same we want to invade iraq in order to provide halliburton with billions in bid-free contracts and to spread democracy like wild-flowers throughout the middle east…” what kind of backing do you think would he have had?

  56. Good Lt says:

    LET’s ROLL THE TAPE AND SEE WHO’S “LYING.”

    Boy. There are a lot of liars Democrats mouthing Bush’s lines in that video – even in the 1990s.

    Strange, that. Wonder why we don’t heart more about that from the arbiters of “truth” known as the nutroots.

  57. Tony Feltner says:

    This is a lie.

    “And, as a last resort, we must be willing to use military force. We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030308-1.html

  58. cian says:

    Good Lt, you need to go easy on the cap tab, it makes you sound crazy.

    Clinton’s attempt to leave a little wiggle room in his 1998 statement failed miserably, honest people new he was lying. The same honest people know the Bush admin is lying now.

    Looks like somewhere along the way you lost the ability to tell the difference.

  59. Good Lt says:

    I still haven’t seen any proof that Bush “lied.”

    I have seen overwhelming proof that the intel that he and many other policy makers had relied on since the late 1990’s regarding Iraq was flawed.

    That’s, unfortunately for those here attemtping to rewrite history, not a lie.

    It’s one thing to disagree fundamentally with the war in Iraq. It’s another thing entirely to try to rewrite the history of how that war came about.

  60. jay k. says:

    goodlt…
    um…how many of the people in the video attacked and occupied iraq? how many of them sent 4000 troops to their death…based on what you very generously call a wrong decision? which one of them borrowed two trillion dollars based upon what you very generously call a wrong decision?
    clinton did approve some “surgical” bombing. bombing which the dulfer report later said was very effective in halting iraqs wmd capabilities. other factors that had halted iraqs wmd capabilities before bush 43 attacked and occupied them was the original gulf war, and weapons inspections.
    so i’m not really sure what your point is.
    lying or incompetent. take your pick.

  61. Good Lt says:

    >>>”And, as a last resort, we must be willing to use military force. We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.”

    What about it is a lie?

    We went to the UN, got resolution 1441, passed bi-partisan resolutions in the Congress, offered ultimatums to Hussein, spent 13 months debating it before March 2003…

    Where’s the lie?

  62. jay k. says:

    goodlt…
    you apparently are just thick. if you make an unequivocal statement that you know may be wrong then you are lying. if you say i know, when you don’t, then you are lying. when you say that aluminum tubes can only be used for nuclear enrichment when you know they are unsuitable for that task then you are lying.
    i do admire your blind loyalty though.

  63. Tony Feltner says:

    What about it is a lie?

    We went to the UN, got resolution 1441, passed bi-partisan resolutions in the Congress, offered ultimatums to Hussein, spent 13 months debating it before March 2003…

    I’m sorry: I should have been more specific. Here’s the lie:

    “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.”

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    “CITE EVIDENCE PROVING BOOSH ‘LIED.’ ”

    This little list is a good place to start:

    – we have found the weapons of mass destruction
    – he wouldn’t let them in
    – a wiretap requires a court order

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    Several people have pointed out correctly that the aluminum tubes are an example of Bush et al pretending to have information they didn’t actually have (something normal humans ordinarily call “lying”).

    A concise outline of this issue (Bush et al lying about the tubes), with extensive supporting citations, is here.

  66. Good Lt says:

    >>>um…how many of the people in the video attacked and occupied iraq?

    How many people in that video saw the same intel Bush did? All of them. Guess your attempt to shift the goalposts is proof you lost the argument of “nobody saw the intel,” and that “Bush made it all up and lied about it.”

    Concession accepted.

    Many of those Democrats, including Clinton and Reid, among others, voted for the war resolution in October 2002. Their attempts to slither away from their votes while pretending they never supported the war are pathetic lies in themselves.

    >>>clinton did approve some “surgical” bombing.

    OHHHH…so now it’s OK to order strikes other countries because it’s a Democrat and the strikes are “surgical.” Guess the people who died in the baby milk factory are grateful Clinton was such a humanitarian.

    And on what intel did Clinton act? The intel was obviously wrong. Guess he lied about that, too.

    QED

    >>>bombing which the dulfer report later said was very effective in halting iraqs wmd capabilities.

    But there were no WMDs, we’re told by the Bush-haters. Clinton eliminated them all by bombing a baby milk factory where all the WMD’s that never existed suddenly did exist for the purposes of rewriting history.

    Christ, that Klintoon Koolaid is powerful.

    >>>other factors that had halted iraqs wmd capabilities before bush 43 attacked and occupied them was the original gulf war, and weapons inspections.

    Tell it to the Kurds, who were gassed in the north by those “halted” WMDs.

    The original Gulf war was a UN-authorized invasion of Iraq supported by the International community to get Iraq out of Kuwait. WMDs had nothing to do with it.

    >>>so i’m not really sure what your point is.
    lying or incompetent. take your pick.

    You’re making my point.

    You have to pick one. Lying requires proof of malice and intentional deceit. Incompetence requires making bad choices given the information you have. They’re not “the same thing.”

    And if you accept the facts – that Bush did’t “lie” about anything – then you can get on the road to recovery. I know to you, that might seem unfathomable, but dealing with factual reality and history is healthy and necessary to make informed judgements about the quality of information you receive.

  67. Good Lt says:

    >>>”We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.”

    Again…We went to the UN, got resolution 1441, passed bi-partisan resolutions in the Congress, offered ultimatums to Hussein, spent 13 months debating it before March 2003…

    That doesn’t seem like the actions of a war-mongering tyrant nation. We exercised restraint, despite the fact that the restraint didn’t ultimately lead to doing nothing.

    So, again, you’ve failed to prove the “lie” happened.

  68. Good Lt says:

    >>>if you make an unequivocal statement that you know may be wrong then you are lying.

    No, you’re just stupid if you do this.

    MAY be wrong? This means that there is a possibilty that he believed what he was saying.

    Hence, NO LIE, which you’re again trying to define as a ‘mistake.’

    If you make an unequivocable statement you KNOW is completely false, that you yourself don’t believe, and that had no basis in reality (I did not have sexual relations with that woman), that’s a lie.

    So far, you’ve failed to prove any lie took place. In fact, you’re close to proving that in fact it was pure incompetence and bad intel, because you can’t cite a lie.

    If you proved the lie was there (as it sooo clearly is, right?), then why can’t you get charges filed?

    Because everyone knows the truth. Bush made a bad decision on Iraq. He didn’t “LIE” about it.
    Keep trying.

  69. Tony Feltner says:

    That doesn’t seem like the actions of a war-mongering tyrant nation. We exercised restraint, despite the fact that the restraint didn’t ultimately lead to doing nothing.

    The US invaded Iraq. That is NOT “doing everything we can to avoid war.” It’s starting a war.

  70. Scott Swank says:

    Good Lt,

    We know that Bush knew that the intelligence was mixed on whether Iraq had WMD. In spite of this he said that the intelligence was not mixed. That is a lie.

    We know that Bush knew Al Qaida was not linked to Iraq. In spite of this he said that Al Qaida was linked to Iraq. That is also a lie.

    This is all pretty simple and straighforward.

  71. jay k. says:

    badlt…
    “how many people in that video saw the same intel bush did? all of them.” no they did not. clinton saw intel during his presidency and acted in what we later saw was an effective manner. the intel had changed by the time bush was there, largly due to what clinton had done. bush saw intel and simply omitted what he didn’t like. the intel was not bad…it was intel with plenty of caveats. it said “it may be this, but it may be that”. bush read it and said “it is this”. that is by definition a lie. he knew there was no absolute judgement, but he said there was an absolute judgment.
    he said war was a last resort, when he had already decided to go to war.
    he lied and 4000 troops died needlessly. and your children and their children will pay the two trillion dollars he borrowed. and you will still be defending the defenseless. schmoe.

  72. John says:

    It’s pretty clear that the Bush Admin did in fact try to cherry-pick data that supported their goal, and suppress that which did not. Please see the Downing Street Memo, and the attempts to nail Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame.

    But if that doesn’t work for you, all you need do is look at what is going on with Iran right now. It’s the same damn thing, and Americans are mostly eating it up.

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, thrice, etcetera, and I’m probably an American.

    That the rightwing continues to support this failed party is shocking. Whether it’s lies, or simply outrageous incompetence, you guys deserve to tank as a nation unless you make an example of Bush & Co.

  73. Good Lt, might as well give up. You are trying to reason in the realm of facts whereas your rhetorical opponents are trafficking in TRUTH!

    You aren’t playing the same game. It’s kind of like the old joke about trying to teach a dog French. The only thing you’ll succeed in doing is annoying the dog.

  74. Robert in BA says:

    John at 03:25 pm,

    You nailed it!
    I had to leave the country. Too many moron Americans letting the country tank while supporting war criminals.

    American exceptionalism=exceptionally large number of Americans who are evil and/or stupid.

  75. Michael says:

    If I said that tomorrow will be sunny, and it is rainy, then I am wrong.

    If I said that I know it will be sunny tomorrow, and it is rainy, then I lied.

    Did you notice the difference? The lie isn’t the “it will be sunny”, the lie is the “I know”. When they said they knew that Saddam has WMDs, they lied about knowing.

  76. Tlaloc says:

    Good Lt, might as well give up. You are trying to reason in the realm of facts whereas your rhetorical opponents are trafficking in TRUTH!

    Yeah, charles, except for the part where Good Lt has lied about events in this thread (claimed no proof offered after he was given direct link and quotes), admits to being ignorant of the subject matter (is unfamiliar with the SSCI and the Wilson-Plame stuff), and claims to know things which are false (that congress gets the same intelligence as the president).

    You maybe should have chosen someone who hadn’t already thoroughly beclowned themseleves for your self serving elegy.

  77. At least I know I’ll get good service.

  78. ME says:

    On meet the press, before the war, Cheney quoted a source in a NYT story to corroborate his assertion that Iraq and Quaeda were in cahoots.

    That source turned out to be Dick Cheney himself.

    When Dick Cheney, after quoting the source, says, “That’s not just me telling you this, it’s the New York Times”, knowing that the only reason it was in the Times was because he had been the source for that story, I call that lying.

    He lied about Iraq to get the US “in the mood” for war. If you can’t see that by now, you are a hopelessly misinformed and gullible partisan.

  79. ME says:

    I can’t help but mention one more thing.

    The Adlai Stevenson presentation to the UN regarding soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, when compared to Colin Powell’s pitiful WMD presentation to the same body, provides a startling contrast between Powell’s vague assertions and Stevenson’s very specific and heavily analyzed claims. Stevenson told the UN details about how things were moved, specific model numbers of components and equipment derived from satellite photos in great detail, etc…. while Colin Powell had no specifics whatsoever, showing us “illustrations” (!!!), pictures of Firetrucks, and a little anthrax “Show and tell”.

    In calmer, less fearful times, the lack of specifics and the ridiculous amount of conjecture without evidence (especially given the nature of the allegations) would have been seen as a red flag that the govt. didn’t really have a clue (or was trying to pull one over).

    Incompetence or Lying? It doesn’t matter to me when the end result is the same.

  80. ME says:

    Ray Robinson,

    So did the United States ante-1989. What’s your point?

  81. Laney says:

    @ Good Lt

    I’m still waiting for the “proof” that anything Bush ever said about Iraq or otherwise was “LYING,” as opposed to being factually wrong.

    Lying implies malice and intentional deceit

    The Bushies had all sorts of internal documentation that the aluminum tubes, Niger uranium, and Saddam-9/11 stories weren’t true. At least half a dozen folks who were in the Bush Administration have admitted as much.

  82. jay k. says:

    nice to see faux news commentator ray robison hawking his own book.

  83. Mark E. says:

    Saddam not linked to al Qaeda?

    BS. I’ve done years of grunt work on that topic for http://www.regimeofterror.com and have documented HUNDREDS of ex Saddam Baathists caught working with al Qaeda since 2002, many of whom have told their captors of prewar cooperation. I am so sick and tired of liars in the press who don’t know a damn thing about the topic spouting this crap off.

  84. Tlaloc says:

    I’ve done years of grunt work on that topic for http://www.regimeofterror.com and have documented HUNDREDS of ex Saddam Baathists caught working with al Qaeda since 2002

    Nobody denies that since we overthrew the country that the ex-baathists have sometimes worked with the AQI crowd. That being the case your argument is not really relevant.

    I am so sick and tired of liars in the press who don’t know a damn thing about the topic spouting this crap off.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself there, tiger.

  85. Roderick says:

    Mark E.: BS. I’ve done years of grunt work on that topic for http://www.regimeofterror.com and have documented HUNDREDS of ex Saddam Baathists caught working with al Qaeda since 2002, many of whom have told their captors of prewar cooperation. I am so sick and tired of liars in the press who don’t know a damn thing about the topic spouting this crap off.

    Roderick: and the current Iraqi government has allowed some of those same Baathists back into the government.

    So what exactly have the deaths of almost 4000 U.S. soldiers accomplished?

  86. Ron P says:

    You Democrats have been crying about the same thing for years. It didn’t keep Bush from getting re-elected, and it won’t put a Democrat in the White House. Who would vote for such a titty baby party that cries for years and years is beyond me. Al Gore has been starting nearly every speech he gives with a whiny “I should have been President” line that makes him look like the biggest vagina in US history. The only people ya’ll impress with your made up crap is each other. We need a database for Democratic Titty Babies so we can show our children what losers do with the their lives; such as cry incessantly when they don’t get their way. Are Democrats trying to keep Bush from getting elected for a 3rd term? Otherwise, I don’t see your point. The rest of the country apparently still doesn’t believe you or your propaganda.

  87. Tlaloc says:

    Quite the charmer, Ron P. And eloquent to boot.

  88. Mark_W says:

    Lying implies malice and intentional deceit

    Please search for Office for Special Plans or Stove piping

  89. David says:

    If you look at http://www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/Default.aspx?src=home&context=overview&id=945 actually there is a plausible case for knowing deceit, or at least of irresponsibility in insisting on those facts that supported war vs. recognizing that there was too much doubt in those facts to spend lives based on the known intelligence at the time. The report does say that there was important known information in CIA and government circles contradicting what top US officials were saying as justification for war. This included CIA officials saying back then that there was no substantial link between Al Queda, and that the Iraq-Africa connection was probably not so, yet these claims were used by top US officials nevertheless to foment war, and the other information was not presented to the general public at the time. Withholding such information (that did not suit the desired policy) could very well be a form of deceit.

    I remember hearing on TV that the Iraq-Africa connection was not what the President said it was. I heard it within hours of the fatal State of the Union in which fear was unwisely used to start war. However, I quickly noticed that this fact never changed the direction things were going in (towards war).

    So this article does not accurately represent the report. What does appear to be false is the degree of certainty with which the case for war was made, when there was a lot of known indication to the contrary (visit the Public Integrity center website).

    Also, we were told this would be a short, cheap cakewalk, paid for by Iraq oil (not endless occupation to be paid for by American children and grandchildren). Yet they did not tell us of the information they had about the likelihood of insurgency and score-settling if the US went into Bagdad. In the 90’s Cheney gave reasons for the US not going into Baghdad in the first Iraq war–reasons which have proved to be major results of the current occupation. If they were truly honest with us, they would have told us about these concerns as major likelihoods up front, because that was also part of the Iraqi intelligence, and we were not warned that this was a likelihood, rather, there was a salesjob done to make it sound necessary, easy and beneficial (I view it as salesmanship over statesmanship).

    I don’t claim to know the conscience of the officials who fomented war, but the true extent to which knowing lies were told by specific US officials is known by God, who knows the relationship between outer words and the heart of a person, so ultimately their actions will be in His just hands.

    It is very easy to see that anything pointing towards war was maximized and the considerable amount of contradictory information was given very little weight in making the judgment for aggressive war. And many lives were spent as a result, so that is something to reflect on, the degree to which this was a wise, responsible decision to go to war based on the information that was not considered airtight in intelligence circles, but was presented with a much higher degree of certainty by politicians.

    I hope our nation and world learns from this type of behavior and is not perpetually foolish enough to elect leaders who continually insist on foreign war whether it is the will of the people or not, or even if it hurts the nation, as has this war with more harm than benefit for the interests of the average American. Needless war damages national psyches. I hope we have more integrity in our leadership, and that the government serve the needs of the people, not ego-driven ambitions, needless fears and wargames at immense cost of life and treasure to so many. But rather policies of wisdom for the common good. God bless America.

  90. Grewgills says:

    Lying implies malice and intentional deceit

    By your definition, Clinton did not lie. There was no malice on his part in parsing his words to mislead.

    Rather than using your manufactured definition why don’t we stick to Webster’s or OED for our definitions?
    According to Webster:
    lie
    intransitive verb
    1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
    2 : to create a false or misleading impression
    transitive verb
    : to bring about by telling lies (he lied his way out of trouble or he lied us into war)

    It is possible to parse Clinton’s statement (I did not have sexual relations with that woman…) in such a way that it does not meet definition 1. According to Webster’s sexual relations = sexual intercourse = heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis*.
    One can do the same with most of Bush’s (and his admin’s) statements.

    Now if we take the more inclusive definition 2, then Clinton clearly lied. He was certainly trying “to create a false or misleading impression.”
    If we are going to use this definition we should remain consistent and apply the same standard in both cases. Using this second definition it is clear that Bush and others in his administration lied. They consistently tried “to create the false or misleading impression” that it was certain that Iraq possessed WMDs and had a collaborative relationship with Al Qaida. The intelligence that was given to them at the time came with many caveats and uncertainties. At the time there was also evidence given to them that directly contradicted claims they made (re aluminum tubes and uranium from Niger). They continued to portray the evidence as one sided and definitive when they had information that it was far from so. By the standard you have set for Clinton they also are liars.
    By the same token one cannot claim on most of these counts that they lied and Clinton did not. One can, however, point to the relative importance of the issues and the relative consequences and find that justice was far from evenly applied on all fronts.

    * def 1 of sexual intercourse in Webster’s

  91. Warpublican says:

    When Dick Cheney said:
    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”
    That was a lie. There were ALWAYS doubts – and there was NEVER proof that Saddam was amassing weapons to use against us.

  92. jukeboxgrad says:

    “there is no doubt”

    Exactly.

    Expressions like “absolute certainty” and “no doubt” were used on many occasions (some relevant citations summarized here).

    That’s the core problem: Bush et al expressed “absolute certainty,” even though the underlying intel was very far from absolutely certain. In other words, they lied. When you pretend to know something you don’t actually know, here’s what you are: a liar.

    It’s nice to see Joyner acknowledging they “cherry picked information,” but this profoundly understates what happened. The deception went far beyond just cherry-picking. When Cheney claimed “absolute certainty” about the tubes, that was fabrication, not cherry-picking. How do we know? Because even Joe, the hawk in the CIA who was the central source of the centrifuge claim, did not make a statement as strong as what Cheney and Rice said.

  93. M1EK says:

    James, I hope you and the other Chamber of Commerce Republicans are proud of yourselves. Go back and read this thread and see what you’ve done to our country by carrying the water of Cheney’s crowd.

    Anybody who argues that Bush didn’t lie without addressing Senator Graham’s statements in particular isn’t worth spending the electrons on.

  94. jukeboxgrad says:

    “If you proved the lie was there … then why can’t you get charges filed?”

    It would be nice if we had a two-party system. Unfortunately, the same corporate elite that owns and operates the GOP also has a large ownership interest in the DNC. We have the best government money can buy.

    To understand the real story of the war, just look here, here, here, and here. Total amount of reading: about fifty words.

  95. Laney says:

    @Good Lt

    You keep asking for evidence. There’s lots and lots and lots of documentation that the Bushies knew the specific claims they were making about aluminum tubes, yellowcake, and a Saddam role in 9/11 were incorrect at the time they were making them.

    I can’t post book chapters online, so give us an email adress where I can send you PDFs.

  96. Thomas Vogler says:

    It isn’t really accurate to compare Clinton’s speech-act with those of Bush, Cheney, etc. Clinton’s utterance was proven beyond doubt to be a lie, in a formal setting. Before those hearings, there was abundant reason to imagine that he was lying. It was a very plausible thing to suppose. But the hypothesis wasn’t proven. I think that is where we are, with this administration. There is legitimate reason to think we may have been lied to, particularly by Cheney, but in the absence of an impeachment proceeding, there is no ground for knowing that we have been lied to, as we know Clinton lied to us. There has been no process employed to prove anything. We can say, “I am convinced that they lied,” or, “I am convinced that they didn’t lie,” and our statements carry the same weight of veracity as the statement, “we were convinced that they possessed weapons of mass destruction.” There may be evidence suggesting that they weren’t convinced. If Cheney were to be impeached, and that evidence existed and was introduced, and then through cross-examination it was proven in public that he deliberately said things that he knew at the time to be false, then we might have the same comfort of saying, “Cheney lied” that we enjoy when we say “Clinton lied.” Until that improbable day, all we can say is, “I am convinced that Cheney lied,” and, in opposition, “No one has proven Cheney lied.” Both of which are true statements. This administration’s antagonists do themselves a disservice by claiming that dishonesty has been proven without any legal proceeding. It would be much better to argue that what has been proven is the need for impeachment. Until then, they get to believe that what they believe is true, and everybody gets to do that. I would still get to believe that Clinton didn’t have intercourse with that woman, if I wanted to, if it mattered, had there been no hearings.

  97. jukeboxgrad says:

    “This administration’s antagonists do themselves a disservice by claiming that dishonesty has been proven without any legal proceeding. It would be much better to argue that what has been proven is the need for impeachment.”

    Both things are true: there is “the need for impeachment,” and “dishonesty has been proven.” You do yourself a disservice by claiming otherwise without lifting a finger to address the proof that’s been presented.

    You’re essentially claiming that we can’t know anything for sure unless it’s been proven in a court of law. That’s nonsense. In human affairs, there’s no such thing as absolute perfection, or perfect knowledge, even in a court of law. There’s nothing magical about legal proceedings. While legal proceedings would offer greater confidence and a longer list of examples, dishonesty has already been proven, according to any standard of common sense, and ordinary usage of these words.