As I'm sure you've read elsewhere, according to Gallup, half of Americans polled now believe that Bush and Co. lied to get us into Iraq. As usual, the omnipresent Juan Cole was all over this one, as were many other bloggers. But I think a slight clarification is in order. It was implied in Cole's post, as well as many others, but it really isn't stated explicitly what exactly it is that we were accusing Bush of lying about.
The Lying Point
And the point is that we didn't need to discover the lack of WMD's to know that Bush was lying. His lie wasn't that he believed that there were weapons or ties to terrorism. After all, belief doesn't require proof, and he probably did believe that he'd find some WMD's and terrorist connections. That's what he was counting on as the ultimate backup for his plans: if all else failed, he'd have the WMD to talk about for election day.
His lie was that he said he had solid evidence to back up those claims. But whether or not he believed these things to be true, he knew that he didn't have the evidence of it. His lying wasn't from ignorance, but about his ignorance. It's not about whether he believed the claims to be true, but whether he had reason to believe those claims; and whether he conveyed the true state of the paltry intelligence, or if he intentionally overstated it.
And even IF we had found WMD's in Iraq, Bush was still lying. I can claim that I have proof that Cheney wears women's underwear, but I'd be lying even if it's true. My claim isn't about what Cheney wears, but on my supposed evidence. I'm not vouching for the panties, but for having seen the proof of them. So if I don't have the evidence, my claim is untrue, no matter what Cheney's choice of inner protection is. (I'm joking, of course. Cyborgs don't need underwear.)
And that is exactly what I was saying since before the war. Unfortunately for you, I didn't have this blog back then and my main forum of the Yahoo message boards has all but obliterated my posts. So you'll just have to take my word on this one. But this was exactly what I was saying before the war. Time has shown that we were right; but any honest person knew that going into this mess.
Well I've written a whole bunch more on this, but it wasn't really fine-tuned, so I'm saving the rest for later. It's pretty good and really gets more in-depth with this. But this was supposed to be a relatively topical post, and if I wait until I get everything in line, then I'll just keep waiting. But in the meantime, you can soak in my favorite quote. Or there's also this one. And of course, this one. Or just go hear them all. Enjoy!