Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thank God for Bob Sommerby 

Today's Howler goes ballistic over the WaPo's idiocy in claiming that the Downing Street Memo(s) are old news. The editorial in question states, basically that, well, they really did think there were WMDs. Of course, that's not the point. The point is that there were asinine claims about aluminum tubes, nuclear weapons and unmanned arial vehicles that were not supported by intelligence, yet were hyped by the Administration anyway. And, as you'll see below, we need Democrats to make this point--yet they seem unable to do so. Why? Sommerby:
ONE MORE PATHETIC POINT: Let’s note one more pathetic point from the material quoted above. Did "U.S. and British intelligence agencies genuinely believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction?" The record suggests that they more-or-less did, although the Admin exaggerated their state of certainty. (Much more on that all next week.) But that is not what is really at stake when we say Bush "fixed" the intel. What kind of "fixing" is really at issue? In August 2002, the Bush Admin began making wild, scary claims about Saddam’s nuclear program; these claims went well beyond the state of the intel, and constitute the most important "fixing" of same (again, much more next week). When informed critics say that Bush and Cheney and Rice fixed the intel, they refer to specific claims like these—to Rice’s claim that those aluminum tubes could only be used for nuclear weapons, for example. In these claims, the Bush Admion went well beyond the state of the intel. And of course, their claims were just wrong. There’s a simple word for what Bush and Rice did; simply put, Rice was just lying.

Yes, that is what informed critics mean when they say Bush fixed the intel. Sadly, trhough, the people who run our Dem/liberal firmament are rarely this well-informed. Over and over, leading liberals go on TV and offer the silly "but Bush said there were WMD" argument. This is an automatic loser, as Howard Dean showed on Meet the Press last month in this laughable, hopeless exchange:
DEAN (5/22/05): Some of the things that the president said on our way into Iraq, they just weren't true, and I don't think that's right. So—

RUSSERT: Such as?

DEAN: Such as the weapons of mass destruction, which we have all known about, but the—

RUSSERT: Well, you said there were weapons of mass destruction!

DEAN: I said I wasn't sure, but I said I thought there probably were.
Hopeless! Dean himself had said there were WMD ("probably"), and he looked silly when Russert called him on it. Indeed, many major Dems, including Bill Clinton and Al Gore, had said there were WMD; most leading figures did seem to believe this. But neither Dean, nor anyone else, made those fake, phony claims about Saddam’s nukes—the claims which drive the debate from August 02 through the fall (much more on these claims next week). Sadly, though, today’s Dems and liberals are simply too stupid to organize even the simplest points. They’ve been slaughtered this way on TV for years—and that’s why the Post can offer this cheap escape now. You might want to recall this ineptitude when you get more brilliant messaging from your inspired liberal leaders.
What if Dean would have said, "well, I thought they had chemical weapons, probably, but Bush and Co. were running around scaring the pants off everyone by making shit up UAVs and aluminum tubes and mobile weapons labs. And that's why the American people, at the time, more-or-less supported the war--because Bush lied and said Saddam was a direct threat to the American people"? Would that be so hard to say?
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