The Times Sticks Up for Democrats
I know, I know, what a shock
!Mr. Bush says everyone had the same intelligence he had - Mr. Clinton and his advisers, foreign governments, and members of Congress - and that all of them reached the same conclusions. The only part that is true is that Mr. Bush was working off the same intelligence Mr. Clinton had. But that is scary, not reassuring. The reports about Saddam Hussein's weapons were old, some more than 10 years old. Nothing was fresher than about five years, except reports that later proved to be fanciful.
Hmmmm, could there possibly be a reason that nothing was fresher than about five years? What might that be? Is it that Saddam had not allowed inspectors into his country?It's hard to imagine what Mr. Bush means when he says everyone reached the same conclusion. There was indeed a widespread belief that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. But Mr. Clinton looked at the data and concluded that inspections and pressure were working - a view we now know was accurate. France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified. Even Britain admitted later that there had been no new evidence about Iraq, just new politics.
It is hard to imagine what Mr Bush means? Here's a clue: Maybe he means that everybody believed Iraq had chemical and biological weapons? France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified because all of them were getting bribed by Saddam. And you know that it wasn't just "new politics" that had changed since the Clinton Administration:
Look, we are all guilty of looking at information and seeing the stuff that confirms our judgment and ignoring the evidence that does not. The New York Times does it in this very article, dismissing the Niger yellowcake story, despite the fact that the CIA did indeed believe it at the time.
See also Tim Hoy's excellent post on this subject
Update: The White House itself does a full-on fisking
. Now that's more like it!