uranium fib update
As has been noted elsewhere, CIA director George Tenet has accepted responsibility for the President making certain false claims in the State of the Union Address; Bush now considers the matter closed, while continuing to express confidence in the Tenet.
So let's recap here -- Tenet accepts responsibility for an egregious blunder that created a false impression about Iraq's threat, but Bush won't hold him accountable for it. Of course, the "blunder" helped sell the American people into accepting Bush's fishy justifications...
Look at this spin right there in the lede:
President Bush said Saturday he had confidence in CIA Director George Tenet despite his agency's failure to warn Bush against making allegations about Iraq's nuclear weapons program later found false. [emphasis added]
What terrible reportage. As has been noted exhaustively, the problem isn't that Bush made claims in the SOTU that were later found false -- well, it is, but after all, those would be most of his claims about Iraq -- but rather that the Niger uranium claim was known by the Administration at the time to be false. It'd be nice if the so-called "liberal media" would get that bit right.
CalPundit believes that this particular issue -- but not the wider question of Bush's mendacity -- is dead now, and unfortunately I tend to agree. Josh Marshall and Eschaton (scroll up from there) rightly point out that Tenet's admission raises more questions than it answers. Pandagon skewers the "it was just one sentence" defense. Mary at The Left Coaster has a timeline of the story that shows how Tenet taking the bullet doesn't quite cover Bush. And even if this one matter is cleared up, it doesn't disrupt Bush's pattern of deception leading up to the war.
Still, I think the crucial development was the Bush Administration's being forced by a for-once alert press into admitting that its claims were bogus. There's lots more there, and the first chink in Bush's armor has appeared. And the voters appear to be noticing thay the reality of Bush's policies is not quite what he promises. It remains to be seen whether others -- Democrats, the press, and the few remaining principled conservatives -- are willing to hold the Integrity President accountable.