Wednesday, January 23, 2008
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A small memo to the Center for Public Integrity
Dear CPI staffer,
So I hear you have this brand-new website that, "documents 935 false statements by top administration officials to justify Iraq War." This is a great public good, and you have reason to feel happy about it.
On the other hand:
1) Sending me approximately 935 e-mail notifications about the new website will not put you in my good graces [C'mon, it was really close to 935?--ed. OK, it was closer to five, but I can confirm that these e-mails actually existed, and they clearly have the capability to send me 931 more. I had to act preemptively.]Warm regards,
Daniel Dreznerposted by Dan on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM
I received their notifications, too. What a bunch of losers. As Donny Baker would say, "I said it to their face." It didn't matter, though, because I was probably emailed by a mailbot.
And, for the record, the Iraq war was and continues to be completely justified for many good reasons. That's my opinion and I'm not interested in debating or defending it herein. But, I think those who continue to cry "criminal!" about every decision made by this (or any other) administration they don't personally agree with are nothing but a bunch of spoiled brats. And that certainly includes the CPI, which has no 'I' in truth.posted by: Useless Sam Grant on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
and do you really think that the first two would provide any value-added?
I guess we´ll never know unless they do testify, will we?posted by: Randy Paul on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
About Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and their campaigning for relatives:
I am shocked, shocked, to discover that the Bush Administration talked a lot about Iraqi WMDs during 2002 and 2003. I am also shocked to discover that the administration officials talked a whole bunch about it right before (i) getting the authorization to go to war and (ii) actually going to war. I ddn't know people actively talked about their reasons for going to war before, um, going to war. I am absolutely stunned, in particular, that the white house press secrearies were all chatty Kathy about this. Jeepers.
Man, this all so very 2004. And really light on demonstrating that the parties who made the false statements knew the statements were false at the time they made them.
Props to Center for the searchable database of misstatements. Bloggers the world around will have a ball dredging up blasts from the past. I can forsee a random Cheney misstatement generator.
Whta really would have been helpful would have been a table of what people knew and when they should have known it. The database throws some of that information in there, but it is a little hard to judge the connections. Maybe a spreadsheet?posted by: Appalled Moderate on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
Also, why start on 9/11, and why limit it to the Bush Administration? By including statements by the Clinton Administration and members of Congress (from both parties) CPI could have at the very least given us a nice four-digit number.posted by: Justin on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
"why limit it to the Bush Administration?"
I guess because maybe President Clinton didn't send 150,000 troops to Iraq?posted by: Arr-squared on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
Appalled's second paragraph is the real meat here.
As I've posted elsewhere today, I don't care in the slightest if the President and the Administration made "false statements" about Iraq. I would care if they knowingly made statements they knew or had compelling reason to believe were false at the time of utterance.
CPI's press release, oddly, doesn't use wording like "lied" or "knowing falsehood". I imagine there's a very good reason they chose the term "false statement" rather than "lie" or "knowing falsehood" - which is that, by all the evidence the Congressional oversight has provided, the President and his Administration were speaking in justified good faith - even though they turned out to be wrong, because the intelligence community was wrong.
When CPI calls for investigations into the CIA's failure to provide information that was actually correct, or shows me that the President acted in bad faith, I'll consider thinking this is anything but the most transparent political posturing and deliberate attempts to conflate "wrong" and "lied" in the mind of a public that's been subjected to that same confusion repeatedly for the past five years or so.
At the same time, I'll consider the need for Uggs in Hades.posted by: Sigivald on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
I guess because maybe President Clinton didn't send 150,000 troops to Iraq?
And yet Pres. Clinton publicly and vocally supported all Bush Administration claims regarding Iraqi WMD's. He (and Sen. Clinton) both directly contributed to America going to war with Iraq.posted by: kwo on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
You should have tried preventative blogging rather than preemptive blogging. Stop them before they have the capability to email you the first time.posted by: Aaron on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
"And yet Pres. Clinton publicly and vocally supported all Bush Administration claims regarding Iraqi WMD's. He (and Sen. Clinton) both directly contributed to America going to war with Iraq."
I agree 100%. That said, I would rank their contributions: Bush >> Sen. Clinton >> Pres. Clinton
Do you disagree?posted by: Arr-squared on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
Clinton bombed Iraq based on WMD claims. People died. Let's not just forget about him and act like he just mentioned WMD in a speech or two.posted by: Aaron on 01.23.08 at 08:57 AM [permalink]
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