William Rusher has a great column at Townhall today about Frank Rich’s new book about Bush lies and the NYT’s review of it. Rusher discusses the question those on the Left who claim we were “lied into war” in Iraq never acknowledge, much less answer.
Now, while it is incontestable that Saddam had possessed chemical and biological WMDs, we now know that he was not close to possessing nuclear weapons at the time of our attack in March 2003. The Bush administration has fully admitted as much, blaming the error on faulty intelligence. But Rich and Buruma aren’t buying that. The charge is that Cheney simply lied in order to trick us into war.
Why Cheney (or Bush, for that matter) would declare that Saddam was nearing nuclear capability, when they allegedly knew that the contention would be proved false in a matter of months, is a good question nobody has answered.That has always driven me crazy about the “Bush lied about WMD” claims. If he really lied about it, and knew that there were no stockpiles of WMD, then he would know that none would be found and that he would pay a huge political price. Rusher points out the other obvious question that those on the Left refuse to address.
If Cheney was lying about Saddam’s nuclear intentions in the summer of 2002, what was Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., doing when he said, that October, that “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons”? Or Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., when he said in that same month, “I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in (Saddam’s) hands is a real and grave threat to our security”? Or, if we assume that Cheney had somehow brainwashed these men, who brainwashed President Clinton when he declared, on Feb. 17, 1998, “We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program” — while George Bush was still merely governor of Texas?