The latest entrant in the Mistakes Were Made sweepstakes regarding C-Plus Augustus‘ blundering in Iraq is journalistic giant — and stenographer to the powerful — Bob Woodward, who stopped by Fox News Sunday this weekend because he is a big-time Beltway ‘ho who doesn’t care what kind of riff-raff leaves the money on the dresser these days. Anyway, Bob wants to assure us that the leadership of the late Avignon Presidency were babes in the woods.
Woodward: “I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.” …
The fact remains that a lot of people inside and outside government — in fact, most of the actual military and diplomatic experts in the field — told the neocon fantasts in the administration exactly what was going to happen if it decided to “kick over the hornet’s nest” in Iraq. These people were ignored (The Future of Iraq project at State), marginalized (Hans Blix), or actively destroyed (Eric Shinseki). There was a reason for this. The reason was that the people who were talking to Bob Woodward wanted to deceive the nation to get what they wanted.
On 7 October 2002, C-Plus Augustus gave a speech in Cincinnati. In that speech, he laid out his fanciful case for war in some detail. Because Bob seems to be floundering a bit in the swamps of history these days, let’s lend him a hand, “The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program… Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.”
Uh, no. The great body of evidence “indicated” no such thing. This was simply the story they fed to Judith Miller, who then returned the serve to them so Dick Cheney could nail the putaway in front of a gullible Tim Russert on TV. Bob seems to believe that a campaign of deception and trimming is not a “lie.” I had nuns who would have beheaded him with a window pole for that kind of “purpose of evasion.”