October 9, 2003

From the "It's OK to tell a lie to show Bush lied" files...

From Andrew Sullivan:

THE "IMMINENT" THREAT: Here's a fascinating nugget. Ted Kennedy, who is now claiming that the administration claimed an "imminent" threat from Saddam, didn't feel that way directly after the president's State of the Union address last January. Here's the money quote from the Los Angeles Times:
But afterward, some said the speech failed to end the debate on whether to go to war. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said he would introduce a resolution today that would require Bush to come back to Congress and present "convincing evidence of an imminent threat" before U.S. troops are sent to war with Iraq. Congress approved a resolution last fall authorizing Bush to use military force against Iraq, and that measure did not require a second review.
Now, presumably that means that Kennedy himself didn't believe that the president had argued or shown that Saddam's threat was "imminent." Now he's changed his tune. Pure politics, as usual, from the senator from Massachusetts. (In another twist, you'll see that the L.A. Times reporter simply describes Bush's speech as arguing that the threat is "imminent" with no evidence at all. She doesn't even notice the discrepancy between her headline and Kennedy's protestation. I guess people hear what they want to hear.)
The "Imminent Threat' lie is being pushed really hard right now. And one can see why certain people like it. Not only do they get to claim that Bush lied when he "said" there was an imminent threat, but they can avoid taking a position on what he really said, which is that we can no longer wait until a threat is imminent. That's a subject to avoid if you are trying to please both the "activists," who would be glad to sacrifice a few million people if it meant that America was humbled and restrained; and ordinary voters, who can't quite see what's so wrong with the sheriff plugging the bad guys before they blow up the town, rather than after.

Posted by John Weidner at October 9, 2003 5:57 PM
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