Sunday, November 13, 2005


Lies, lies and more lies. Instead of using the occasion to honor our soldiers on Veterans day, Bush used the occasion to do a little political judo. This clip from the CJR says it better than I:

One part of the speech directly tackled questions over the intelligence used as justification for the invasion of Iraq, and one quote in particular has shown up in most press reports about the speech. The New York Times ran the president's quote in full in its early report this afternoon:

Some Democrats and antiwar critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war ... These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.

While it's true that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence that the Bush administration pressured intelligence agents into altering their findings, the president still fudges the issue just a bit here. Yet neither the Times nor any of the major media outlets we looked at managed to pick up on his sleight of hand.

Fact is, as Harry Reid's "Rule 21" gambit pointed out last week, the initial Senate investigation only looked at how the intelligence community handled the information it collected -- and, as of yet, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has not investigated exactly what intelligence went to the president, whether all of it was taken into account and what the vetting process was at the executive branch.

To put an even finer point on it, the chairman of the commission, Judge Laurence Silberman, that Festus cites was quoted as saying "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry."

Yet another sort of factual statement from Festus that doesn't mean what it seems to say because, well, because it's a lie. . .