That's the audacious title of James Kirchick's piece in today's L.A. Times. Kirchick, an assistant editor of the New Republic, makes a compelling case simply by stating what all well-informed, intellectually honest people already know:
[I]n spite of all the accusations of White House "manipulation" -- that it pressured intelligence analysts into connecting Hussein and Al Qaeda and concocted evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- administration critics continually demonstrate an inability to distinguish making claims based on flawed intelligence from knowingly propagating falsehoods.Among many of those "administration critics" the belief that "Bush lied, people died" is undergirded by an almost religious certainty: It's simply true, and concrete evidence to the contrary may be ignored. It's as if these people were wearing blinders.
[W]ar critics, old and newfangled, still don't get that a lie is an act of deliberate, not unwitting, deception. If Democrats wish to contend they were "misled" into war, they should vent their spleen at the CIA.So true. Read the whole thing.
In 2003, top Senate Democrats -- not just Rockefeller but also Carl Levin, Clinton, Kerry and others -- sounded just as alarmist. Conveniently, this month's report, titled "Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information," includes only statements by the executive branch. Had it scrutinized public statements of Democrats on the Intelligence, Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees -- who have access to the same intelligence information as the president and his chief advisors -- many senators would be unable to distinguish their own words from what they today characterize as warmongering.