It is depressing to have to go through this again at this late date, especially since we've been over this ground so often in the past, but the President's critics leave us no alternative. The AP has reported that an allegedly independent study has found that the administration made a total of 935 separate statements in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq which were subsequently found to be either untrue or unconfirmable. The left has taken this as proof that George Bush lied us into war and have worked themselves into a swivet over what they see as the Bush administration's impeachable mendacity.
Here's Keith Olbermann and Air America's Rachel Maddow, for instance, talking tonight about the story. Their presentation of this report is breathtakingly fatuous.
First of all, the report is not done by non-partisan, independent actors. One of the organizations involved is funded by George Soros who is a rabidly anti-Bush partisan and a major left-wing moneybags. The AP's failure to mention this in their story is itself a breach of professional responsibility. That neither Olbermann nor Maddow mention it is either an indication that they didn't do their homework or that they were deliberately trying to hide this from their viewers.
Secondly, and most important, Olbermann and Maddow keep referring to the claims made by the administration, including the President, as lies, yet the AP report doesn't use this word and nothing in the story warrants such a judgment.
It is astonishing that this distinction still has to be made, but apparently it needs to be explained for those who, like Mr. Olbermann, have a limited ability to understand simple definitions: An error is not a lie. A lie involves a deliberate attempt to deceive. The liar knows that what he is saying is not true. Nothing in the AP story establishes that anyone knew that what they were asserting about Iraq's threat to the rest of the world, their possession of WMD, their support for al Qaeda, and so on, was in any way false.
On the contrary, the intelligence services of the whole world thought they were true, everyone in the Clinton administration and the Democratic leadership thought they were true, Saddam was behaving as if they were true, Iraqi defectors were telling us they were true. Yet when it turns out that some of the claims appear to have been wrong, Mr. Olbermann, whose own relationship with the truth is somewhat checkered, eagerly concludes that George Bush and his minions are liars and calls for impeachment.Anyone who believes that George Bush was the only one who was telling us at the time that Saddam was a real threat and that he lied us into war in Iraq needs to watch this video. It'll be an eye-opener (HT: A Blog For All):
Some people truly are shameless. If one is going to call someone else a liar he has the responsibility of demonstrating that the person in question knew that what he was saying was false. To accuse someone of lying without making that demonstration is a reprehensible slander and the person who does it has disgraced himself.RLC