Josh in comments before said:
just a little reminder. please tell robert and me exactly how the administration was not lying through their teeth.
also tell me why we have not had any terror alerts since the election.
The link notes that the Iraqi Survey Group has stopped trying to find WMD in Iraq and a bunch of quotations from administration officials such as:
We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud
Condoleeza Rice, US National Security Advisor
CNN Late Edition
Given that every intelligence agency in the world believed that Iraq had WMD, that the UN (and the Clinton administration) said he had WMD in 1998, that he USED WMD before and we have no record of destruction of them, it seems odd to accuse the Administration of lying. Perhaps the administration was incorrect in their beliefs, but I think lying requires an intent to decieve that certainly appears to be absent. Moreover, given that we don’t know what happenned to the WMD he already possessed, we don’t actually have evidence that they were wrong. The reasonable presumption was that Saddam had WMD and much of the discussion was whether or not his WMD justified action. We also now know that Saddam was intent on being able to produce WMD (including nukes). We now know that the “sixteen words” from Bush’s State of the Union were true; Saddam was attempting to obtain uranium from Africa. I am not saying that the critics were lying when they claimed these 16 words to be false, but there is at this point a lot of evidence that Joseph Wilson, the primary source of these claims, lied quite a lot.
And the fact that Saddam was attempting to obtain uranium, places the Condi quote in context. Given that Saddam was evading the UN inspection regime, we didn’t want to find out he was successful in obtaining nukes the hard way. This justification for war stands regardless of whether WMD are ever found. I would also remind Josh that WMD was one of many justifications for this war, including shutting down his funding of terroritsts, building liberal institutions in the Middle East, securing the oil supply, and enforcing UN resolutions that were imposed on Saddam as the result of his invasion of Kuwait.
As for the absence of terror alerts since the election, I don’t know. Perhaps the terrorists decided that action immediately after an election is a lot less useful than action before an election. On the other hand, checking Google News…FBI Alerts Boston of Four Terror Suspects (from this morning!).
I would suspect that Josh does not actually believe there are terrorists out to get us and that they aren’t networked with the governments of Syria and Iran and the former government of Iraq. Perhaps he is right, but there is a lot of evidence the other way. I wouldn’t count on it and I’m glad that our President doesn’t either.