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Anybody But George

July 12th, 2003

The excuses are flying again, this time in response to the revelation concerning Bush’s State of the Union address. Turns out that Bush’s claim that Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger was not just false, but knowingly false. The CIA knew it was wrong. A government representative sent to Niger reported it was impossible. And yet with this knowledge, wanting to fuel the war against Iraq, it was decided that the CIA’s information be ignored and a report from British intelligence be used instead. the question is, who decided to lie? Well, you can guess what the Bush administration is saying:

Anybody but George.

Apparently, a George Bush was out of the loop yet again in the White House. Despite the fact that we should have known that Iraq had no nuclear program and a severely diminished bio- and chemical weapons program, despite the knowledge that there was no tie between Hussein and Al-Qaeda or 9-11, despite the intelligence that said Iraq was no threat to us at all, and now despite the fact that the administration knew the Niger story was a complete lie–despite all these things, George W. Bush made statements completely to the contrary in his State of the Union speech, and in countless speeches before and after, and yet somehow, he never lied.

Really, there are only a few possibilities. One is that Bush knowingly lied to us. The other is that everyone lied to Bush. Neither possibility is good, but you can guess which one the administration is playing.

George Tenet, director of the CIA, is now in the process of falling on his sword. George W. Bush, Condaleeza Rice and Senator Pat Roberts are helping him, making sure the sword is guided directly to his heart and not faked into his armpit. Tenet is the only one who has to fall right now, as the Niger story is the only one with the definitive smoking gun.

But the question should become, who’s responsible for all the other lies? Who’s going to fall on his or her sword when WMD are never found? Who lied to Bush about that? Who’s taking the fall for deceiving bush about Al Qaeda and 9-11 ties?

The “anybody but George” strategy has a flaw in it: used too often, it will give the impression that Bush is surrounded by deceitful liars who keep him in the dark, and/or he is an unwitting, gullible fool. But we know, in our heart of hearts, that neither is true. We know that Bush has been lying. It’s simply that a majority of Americans either don’t want to believe it (for personal, political or other reasons), or they know it and don’t care because it relieves them of being responsible for doing things they want but know are wrong.

Note: Josh Marshall has been closely
reporting on the Niger story in his
Talking Points Memo” blog.
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  1. August 4th, 2003 at 00:40 | #1

    Dear Bush, Kerry, Dean, Gephardt or Leiberman supporters
    We are having an on line debate on the 2004 Election. Come show your support for your candidate all comments are welcome and many will be used to build a new web site on the Presidential candidates. So please show you care about America come to the debate at http://election2004.4t.com

    Thank you
    People Who Care About America

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