by adam mathes
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Imagining Away Inspections

President Bush Welcomes President Kwasniewski to White House (emphasis added) -

Q Mr. President, but how do you describe and account for the difference between what you claimed prior to the war about what he possessed and what he was capable of, and what the intelligence said he possessed and was capable of in terms of a nuclear weapon within the decade, and the fact that David Kay says the intelligence was inaccurate and wrong, and nothing has been found? Don't you owe the American people an explanation?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I think the Iraq Survey Group must do its work. Again, I appreciate David Kay's contribution. I said in the run-up to the war against Iraq that -- first of all, I hoped the international community would take care of him. I was hoping the United Nations would enforce its resolutions, one of many. And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.

Is Bush delusional? Did everyone else just imagine Hans Blix and the inspectors in Iraq?

Joe Conason writes more about this in Salon, but you have to watch their stupid ads. (Yes, I know, it’s a link to an article in Salon. Please forgive me.)

Bush made a less ambiguous (and equally false) statement about Iraq not letting inspectors in on July 14 - President Reaffirms Strong Position on Liberia (again, emphasis added) -

Q So even though there has been some question about the intelligence -- the intelligence community knowing beforehand that perhaps it wasn't, you still believe that when you gave it --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the speech that I gave was cleared by the CIA. And, look, the thing that's important to realize is that we're constantly gathering data. Subsequent to the speech, the CIA had some doubts. But when I gave the -- when they talked about the speech and when they looked at the speech, it was cleared. Otherwise, I wouldn't have put it in the speech. I'm not interested in talking about intelligence unless it's cleared by the CIA. And as Director Tenet said, it was cleared by the CIA.

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful.

Shouldn’t somebody say something to the President when he says something so utterly insane? Is he consciously lying, or is he so utterly ignorant of the run-up to the war that he actually believes Saddam didn’t let inspectors in? I think either way it’s terrifying.

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