Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Yellowcake Con
So now the British government has published its own inquiry into the intelligence behind the invasion of Iraq, with equally devastating implications for the credibility of the Bush-Blair "lied" crowd. Like last week's 511-page document from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the exhaustive British study found some flawed intelligence but no evidence of "deliberate distortion." Inquiry leader Lord Butler told reporters that Prime Minister Tony Blair had "acted in good faith."
What's more, Lord Butler was not ready to dismiss Saddam Hussein as a threat merely because no large "stockpiles" of weapons of mass destruction have been found. The report concludes that Saddam probably intended to pursue his banned programs, including the nuclear one, if and when U.N. sanctions were lifted; that research, development and procurement continued so WMD capabilities could be sustained; and that he was pursuing the development of WMD delivery systems--missiles--of longer range than the U.N. permitted.
But the part that may prove most salient in the U.S. is that, like the Senate Intelligence findings, the Butler report vindicates President Bush on the allegedly misleading "16 words" regarding uranium from Africa: "We conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa' was well-founded."
We're awaiting apologies from former Ambassador Joe Wilson, and all those who championed him....
All of this matters because Mr. Wilson's disinformation became the vanguard of a year-long assault on Mr. Bush's credibility. The political goal was to portray the President as a "liar," regardless of the facts. Now that we know those facts, Americans can decide who the real liars are.
And those liars owe their audience an apology.... Thus, I am starting the PDWatch: every day, until ProgressiveDecision admits on their blog that they lied about the facts vis-a-vis the Yellowcake Con, I will be posting daily reminders that the folks at ProgressiveDecision are liars.