January 30, 2004

#143: He's "not buying it." No evidence needed...

P. Krugman

In Where's the Apology (01/30/04) Paul Krugman tries to leverage two recent reports, one by David Kay and the other by Lord Hutton to bolster the anti-war left's position that Bush (and, to a lesser extent, Blair) are guilty misleading their countries into waging war. He comes a cropper because the case he needs to make requires two steps. First, that the prewar intelligence was weak or deficient and second (and more important), that Bush and Blair deliberately hyped the intelligence to promote war. After some grandstanding and smoke and mirrors rhetoric, Krugman finally faces his problem directly with this paragraph (we added CAPS for emphasis).

"True, Mr. Kay still claims that this was a pure intelligence failure. I DON'T BUY IT: the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has issued a damning report on how the threat from Iraq was hyped, and FORMER OFFICIALS warned of politicized intelligence during the war buildup. (Yes, the Hutton report gave Tony Blair a clean bill of health, but many people � including a majority of the British public, ACCORDING TO POLLS � regard that report as a whitewash.)"
Notice that Krugman's case, as usual, comes down to what he's "not buying" or what some leftwing research group is claiming or what unnamed officials warn or some polls show. Ultimately, the Kay and Hutton reports are of no help to him at all.

He ends this pitiful column on this weak note.

"Still, the big story isn't about Mr. Bush; it's about what's happening to America. Other presidents would have liked to bully the C.I.A., stonewall investigations and give huge contracts to their friends without oversight. They knew, however, that they couldn't. What has gone wrong with our country that allows this president to get away with such things?"
The title of this column, Where's the Apology, says it all. Life would be so much simpler for PK if Bush would just confess.

[The Truth Squad is a group of economists who have long marveled at the writings of Paul Krugman. The Squad Reports are synopses of their discussions. ]

Posted by John Weidner at January 30, 2004 1:50 PM
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