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Hullabaloo


Sunday, April 29, 2007

 
Consulting The Experts

by digby

Via Kevin, I see that James Fallows also noticed that Dan Bartlett told a little fib regarding one of Tenent's accusations:

Tenet, as mentioned earlier, would have better served his country (and his reputation) by speaking up more promptly about the Bush Administration’s failure ever to have a “serious debate” about whether it was worth invading Iraq.

But his failing was telling the truth too late — not sticking to, well, a lie like the one Bartlett uttered yesterday (according to the AP) as part of the White House’s attempt to rebut Tenet:

“This president weighed all the various proposals, weighed all the various consequences before he did make a decision.”

I say plainly: that is a lie. To be precise about it, no account of the Administration’s deliberations, by anyone other than Bartlett just now, offers even the slightest evidence that this claim is true. Innumberable accounts offer ample evidence that it is false. I have asked this direct question to many interviewees who were in a position to know: was there ever such a meeting or discussion? The answer was always, No.


Actually, that's not precisely true. It has been documented that Bush sought advice from some people:

According to "Plan of Attack," Bush asked Rice and his longtime communications adviser, Karen Hughes, whether he should attack Iraq, but he did not specifically ask Powell or Rumsfeld. "I could tell what they thought," the president said. "I didn't need to ask their opinion about Saddam Hussein or how to deal with Saddam Hussein. If you were sitting where I sit, you could be pretty clear."


And then there was the Big Kahuna:

Bush said he did not remember asking the question of his father, former president George H.W. Bush, who fought Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War..."You know he is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to," Bush said.


So it's not really fair to claim that the president had just made up his mind without input or consideration --- he consulted with Condi, Karen and God. He just didn't weigh the options and consequences with his secretary of defense, State, the military or any experts. Let's not be unfair here.



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