a timely post
Billmon's Whiskey Bar has an excellent timeline of the, ah, evolving Bush Administration
lies claims about Iraq's alleged weapons if mass destruction, including recent statements by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz to the effect that, shucks, Iraq might not have had any -- let alone the vast stockpiles they and, yes, Bush asserted they did.
Why does the backpedaling of key Administration figures and war advocates matter? As CalPundit sums up,
[A]s a pre-emptive strike against those of you who want to claim that WMD wasn't really the main reason for war and us whiny libs are making too big a deal out of it, please re-read George Bush's State of the Union speech from January. The section dealing with Iraq starts with "Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced...." and ends with the phrase "we will lead a coalition to disarm him." It consists of 18 paragraphs and 1,200 words. Out of that, 16 paragraphs and 1,100 words are dedicated to WMD.
So please don't insult our intelligence by pretending that WMD wasn't the main selling point of the war. We all know it was.
Of course it was -- Iraq's WMDs, along with hyperbolic -- er, hypothetical conjectures about Iraq handing them off to terrorists -- were essential to convincing Americans that Iraq posed a threat. And no, subsequent discoveries of some paltry trailer truck will not vindicate the hawks. The US has had free run of the country for more than a month now. Bush and crew not only asserted that Iraq did have chemical and biological weapons in quantity, but that they knew what they had and where they were. Few possibilities exist at this point, none of them pleasing:
- Bush was misled by massively faulty intelligence -- a dire threat to national security if true, yet one Laughing Boy appears to be doing little if anything about
- Bush knew the info he was peddling was bogus -- that is, he lied us into war. An impeachable offense, in my opinion, if there ever was one, and moreover an astonishing assertion of tyrranical behaviour I can't believe any reputable conservative embraces.
- There were WMDs, and the US has failed to secure them, which means they could well be in the very hands of the terrorists whose acquisition of same the was was allegedly about -- an astonishing example of incompetence.
Any way you slice it, Bush owes this nation an explanation -- and in my opinion, a resignation.
Update: More chronology from the Independent in the UK, where at least someone is holding Tony Blair answerable to his claims.