I'm going a little bit out of order compared to the original list, but this one is fast becoming a conservative mantra:
No one in the Bush administration ever characterized Saddam Hussein as an "imminent threat" before the war with Iraq.
"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons."-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02
"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency." -- President Bush, 10/2/02
"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." -- President Bush, 10/7/02
"I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month...So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?" -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02
"Well, of course he is. -- White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?, 1/26/03
"Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country. His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa." -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/29/03
"This is about imminent threat." -- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03
So can we consider that myth dispatched, perhaps? Thanks for the pointers to Tom Tomorrow, who also recommends a fun Google search for the phrase "We know he has weapons of mass destruction." Another good link about this comes from The Daily Mislead.
Art Silber has more on this. Not only does he point to some choice "imminent threat" pre-war quotes, but he goes on to talk about the latest spin, which is that we went to war because of an intelligence failure. Sorry, no. We went to war because Bushco chose to go to war...
It is simply not true that the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq was the result of "bad intelligence." In the most significant sense, that decision had nothing at all to do with the quality of the intelligence they were getting. The decision was one of policy -- a decision that depended "not upon available facts but upon judgment." As the Star-Tribune editorial points out, the Clinton administration had virtually the same intelligence -- yet came to a different conclusion altogether with regard to the proper course of action.
But this tactic serves an important purpose: it passes blame off to another party, and in effect lets the administration off the hook. The administration thus hopes to insulate itself from examination, criticism and accountability. It's as if the administration is saying: "The intelligence made us do it."
But the intelligence, whatever it was, didn't make them do anything. They had already decided what they wanted to do -- and the intelligence was almost irrelevant.
For more on the absolute stupidity of the "CIA made us do it" excuse, go see the latest from Atrios and Talking Points Memo. This kind of historical revisionism is something the so-called-liberal-media most definitely should not allow.Posted by Observer at February 2, 2004 07:02 AM
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