Thursday, June 16, 2005

Fred Kaplan: The Downing Street Memos Prove Bush Didn't Lie

At least, about WMDs. Fred Kaplan at Slate has one of the more thoughtful pieces on the the 7, 8, or however many memos it's up to now, and points out that, in their totality, they make an argument the anti-Bush folks are ignoring: Bush and Blair (and indeed, as I've argued, just about the whole damn world) BELIEVED the WMD intelligence:
These top officials genuinely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - and that they constituted a threat. They believed that the international community had to be sold on the matter. But not all sales pitches are consciously deceptive. The salesmen in this case turned out to be wrong; their goods were bunk. But they seemed to believe in their product at the time.
Kaplan also gets into the meaning of fixed around:
It's worth noting that "fixed around" is not synonymous with "fixed." To say that Bush and his aides "fixed" intelligence - as some Web sites claim the memo shows - would mean that they distorted or falsified it. To say "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" means that they were viewing, sifting, and interpreting intelligence in a way that would strengthen the case for their policy, for going to war.
If it weren't such a colossal waste of time, money, and effort, I'd actually be for televised Downing Street Memo hearings...the more we learn, the more secure we can feel in knowing that Bush and Blair sincerely believed there was a WMD program.

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