January 21, 2004

By the Issues

Here is a review of the SotU address on some of the issues. You know if I posted my opinion, it would just be a bunch of sophomoric jokes. Like that Bush has too many of those "Ain't I just a clever dickens?" moments. (Maggie says "Or ain't the speech writers clever Dickenses") And can't Nanci Pelosi read the speeches in advance? And can't she turn down that creepy vibe that I can't quite put my finger on? And can't someone wake up that poor Tom Daschle for god's sake!

I swear at some point Bush said that we took down a dangerous Baptist regime. I swear I heard that. That's my story and I'm sticking' to it.

But the above story makes some good points.

What Bush said: Search teams have "identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities" in Iraq. "Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day."

Context: The Bush administration has struggled to explain why weapons hunters have found no chemical or biological weapons in Iraq in 10 months of searching. On the eve of the war, President Bush said there was "no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." He said terrorist groups could acquire weapons from Iraq and use them against the United States. A search effort led by CIA appointee David Kay has turned up no weapons and no evidence of any advanced weapons program, raising questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence and the Bush administration's justification for war in Iraq.

Dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activity-like militaryish thingies. Literally. Dozens. Many scribbled on notepads. One guy scratched something into the sand. Really.

Come on, people. Let's look back... far back... Remember these quotes? :

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."
Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002
I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction-related program activities will be found.
Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing, Apr. 10, 2003
If you don't, don't worry. No one was speaking in such mealy-mouthed language before the war. It wouldn't have been right to let the people decide on what we actually knew. Not what someone apparently wanted to be true. I would have preferred Bush had continued to say "weapons of mass destruction" because at least it would be consistent.

I haven't read it yet, but Maggie endorses the Center for American Progress' Politics Without Fingerprints.

Posted by James at January 21, 2004 9:18 PM
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