Monday, December 1, 2008

Bush's Biggest Regret: Bad Iraqi Intelligence

When asked what the biggest regret of his presidency was, President Bush said:

"The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq," Bush said 50 days before president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration," Bush told ABC.

The president won't get much argument on that one, although sadly there are many competitors. The president deserves kudos on his integrity to finally admit that the stated reason we went to Iraq was false. One wonders what his sycophantic followers will do now, having insisted for so long that there were so WMDs in Iraq.

Worse yet, Bush ruins his rare moment of clarity with yet another example of the intellectual laziness that so marred his administration:

But Bush refused to say whether he would have ordered the March 2003 invasion if he had known that late dictator Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, calling it "an interesting question."

More than 4,200 US troops have died in Iraq since Bush launched the war after a months-long public campaign centered on the charge -- later proved false -- that Saddam possessed vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

"That is a do-over that I can't do. It's hard for me to speculate," said Bush, who declared as recently as last week that Saddam's ouster was "the right decision then -- and it is the right decision today."

What a load of buffalo bagels. It's not hard at all, especially with the 20/20 hindsight that there were no WMDs. Of course he wouldn't have, if for no other reason than he would never have gotten congressional approval without them. To say that he would have ordered the attack anyway would be to brand him insane. After all, the bad intelligence would not have been a big deal if attacking Iraq was the right decision anyway! 4,200 Americans, and nearly a million Iraqis are dead due to that bad information, and Bush says its just too damned hard to say if he'd have chosen to keep them all alive were he not misled by bad information.

To see how insane that is, imagine me falsely telling you there is a fire in a huge building, and that you need to pull the fire alarm. You do so, only to set off a panic, leading to hundreds of people being trampled to death. Then you are interviewed by the local media, who you tell that the biggest mistake you made was listening to me, and yet, its just too damned hard to speculate as to whether you might have pulled the alarm anyway.

No it isn't. George W. Bush, attacking Iraq was one giant history-making fuck up. We CLEARLY would not have done it were it not for the WMD scare. If you wish to blame those who gave you the relied-upon misinformation, go right ahead. There is no doubt plenty of blame to spread around. But please, at the end of a presidency filled with intelligence-insulting moments, don't end it by giving us this intellectually dishonest steaming pile. For once, be honest, and admit a mistake. This country has many problems, due to many mistakes, and there can be no correction of mistakes without acknowledging their existence. America has been in denial for too long.

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