Just so you know, in a speech the other day in Cleveland, Bush denied that he’d ever linked the events of 9/11/2001 with Saddam Hussein.No, really—he actually said it:
Which is simply breathtaking. (Though not so breathtaking that USA Today couldn’t uncritically report Bush’s denial. Let the organ harvesting begin.)
“First, just if I may correct a misperception. I don’t think we ever said—at least I know I didn’t say—that there was a direct connection between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein.”
As written up in the San Francisco Chronicle, Bush made this statement in response to a question from:
Please don’t tell me that Bush was ambushed, or that his words were taken out of context. It was a clear, straightforward statement that happened to be obviously and risibly false. The question itself was the very definition of “foreseeable,” and it came out of a heavily screened, hand-picked audience. It had to; Bush won’t talk to any other sort.
…an elderly gentleman who cited what he said were the three main reasons for going to war in Iraq—WMD, Iraq’s ties to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists, and the alleged purchase of nuclear material from Niger—and then noted dryly that all three of these rationales turned out to be false.
“How do we restore confidence that Americans may have in their leaders and to be sure that the information they are getting now is correct?” he asked the president.
Bush also explained his complete failure to turn up Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction, thus:
No, they didn’t. The whole world doubted there was any such thing, and only let us get away with starting the war because Bush & Co. swore the WMDs existed.
“The truth of the matter is that the whole world thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
The rest of the story’s behind the Globe & Mail’s firewall, but you can also read it here.
U.S. ignored WMD message, analyst says
Toronto—A conference of top-level military analysts was told that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks—a message that later fell on deaf ears in the U.S. capital, analysts say. …
There are ever so many other reputable sources I could have linked to on that point. But we all know that.
I keep thinking about all the times, during the runup to and early stages of the war, in correspondence and online, when Macdonald said that Iraq obviously didn’t have WMDs. Why? Because none of their neighbors were acting like they were worried about it. That’s as simple and straightforward a test as Richard Feynman dunking a NASA O-ring in ice water during hearings on the Challenger explosion.I also liked Claude Muncey’s remark in chat today, when I mentioned that I was contemplating Bush’s performance with no small degree of amazement:
Claude: “Is this the speech where he admitted being kidnapped by Greys and therefore missed his make-up time for the National Guard?”
Me: “That’d be the one.”