Monday, December 01, 2008

Debriefing Bush

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess." That, in a nutshell, is George W. Bush's valedictory thought about invading Iraq, in interviews with Charlie Gibson on ABC this week.

"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is [sic] a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush added.

But the historical record shows that the "lot of people" consisted mainly of Dick Cheney and his henchman, relying on a swindling Ahmad Chalabi and torturing CIA intelligence into a false case against the Iraqi regime he was salivating to replace.

"We've really got to make the case" against Hussein, Bush told Secretary of State Colin Powell in January 2003, "and I want you to make it" at the UN.

A few days later, according to the Washington Post, Powell was "taken aback" by "a 48-page, single-spaced compilation of Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction program, replete with drama, rhetorical devices and a kitchen sink full of allegations. The most extreme version of every charge the administration had made about Hussein, the document had been written, Powell concluded, under the tutelage of Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, who shared all of his boss's hard-line views and then some."

In blaming faulty intelligence for a misbegotten war, Bush is exposing himself to history's choice of branding him either a fool or a lethal liar.

He would have done much better by looking back to George Washington's farewell words as he left the presidency:

"The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."


Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

George Tenet. Let's not forget about that SOB. "Slam dunk", my ass.

Anonymous said...

He was not prepared for war; However, he started one.

He was not prepared for office, yet he became president.

He was not prepared to serve in the military, though he joined.

What a sad excuse for a man. He was not prepared to be one.