Bush, Saddam, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction:
WHO IS REALLY LYING?
Bush lied about the Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is the mantra of most of the democrat candidates, all of their professional spinmeisters, and the constant harangue of the liberal media. To determine if Bush did, in fact lie, we must accomplish two goals. First, we must determine what is meant by the word lie. Then, we must consider the facts of the situation and see if President Bush did actually lie, as the word is generally understood.
So then, what is a lie? Is it merely an untruth? Is it just a false statement? No, it is more complicated than that. A witness in court must swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This three-part element, when violated in any of its components, is what a lie really is. It may be a lie of commission or omission, covert or overt.
When Bill Clinton said that he never had sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, he was committing an overt lie. The statement itself is patently false. It is so false that even Clinton, the master of the genre, could make only a feeble effort to redefine what sex is to try to extricate himself from his own falsehood. His democrat cohorts, however, committed a lie of omission in their defense of him. The party line became, Sure he lied, but he only lied about sex. Any man would lie about a private act whose discovery would be hurtful to his family.
What they omitted was that Mr. Clinton was the defendant in a sexual harassment case (Paula Jones) and was queried about Ms. Lewinsky because the law says that prior bad acts can be brought up in court in such cases, due to the he-said, she-said nature of the charges. So, if your secretary sues you because you told her that if she didnt have sex with you, she would get fired, it would be permissible to bring up facts related to the last ten secretaries that had been dismissed. If one or more of them corroborates the plaintiffs story, it would certainly lend credence to the charges. So, to say that Mr. Clintons lie was only about sex is as disingenuous as if Michael Jackson were found to be lying only about sex. Having sex with an underling, in the first case, or a twelve year-old boy, in the second, is different from having a consensual affair with your next-door neighbor.
It is evident that, for something to be the truth, it must be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Here is another example. A woman hears her husband leaving the house early one Saturday morning. He returns at ten oclock after being gone for several hours. He has had a history of philandering, so the wife is suspicious.
Where the Hell were you? she inquires. I got the car washed, is the reply. He points out the window to their gleaming sedan. But was he telling the truth, as it is commonly understood?
Heres what actually happened: he left the house at seven, got to the car wash when it opened, left there at seven thirty, and drove to his girlfriends house a few miles away. He spent a few hours there committing adultery, and was back home at ten. His statement, that he got the car washed, while perfectly true and perfectly obvious from the cars exterior, is, in fact, part of a lie. The lie is clearly one of omission. The critical question, from the wifes viewpoint, was an implied, Have you been seeing that bimbo again? But, since it was not specifically asked, the question went unanswered. Had the wife countered with, It took you all morning to get your car washed? the man would still not be caught in an overt lie. He could have replied with It takes over an hour to get the car washed on Saturday morning at eight oclock. While the statement is true, it is irrelevant because he wasnt at the car wash at eight oclock. He was there at seven when the lines are short. His answer implied that he was there at eight, but he didnt actually say that he was. Bill Clinton would be proud.
Now to the question of George Bush and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the issue of who really is lying. The democrats are all using the same basic talking points. They allege:
1. George Bush said that Saddam had WMDs.
2. He took the country into war because of it.
3. Despite nearly a year of searching, no WMDs have been found, and therefore,
4. George Bush is a liar, which leads to
5. And should be replaced by a democrat, the party renowned for its honesty.
There are some shades and gradations of the above, depending upon whether its Howard Dean or John Kerry doing the talking, but the basic premise is the one I have outlined. Lets check it for veracity.
The very first statement is a lie of omission, and is actually the key to the democrats game plan to discredit the President. On the face of it, the statement George Bush said that Saddam had WMDs appears to be perfectly true. And it is, as far as it goes. But, as we have learned, sometimes statements dont go far enough, and the veracity of the statement is quite dubious, based upon a key omission. What is it that is omitted here? We all heard the President make the statement many times. Here is the key element: because George Bush subsequently acted (attacked Iraq) based upon this statement, the democrats are trying to make it seem like the statement really is:
George Bush (and George Bush alone) said that Saddam had WMDs. That is clearly what they are implying. But, before the war started, everyone in the world said that Saddam had WMDs. Bush said it, but so did Clinton, Gore, Daschle, Kennedy, Pelosi and Kerry, to say nothing of Koffi Annan and Dominique de Villepin. Even Saddam Hussein said that he had weapons of mass destruction. Weekly Standard Link.
Of course, it wouldnt be much of an indictment of the President if the first premise was: George Bush and the entire world said that Saddam had WMDs, or even, more accurately, The entire world said that Saddam had WMDs, which clearly would include George W. Bush among its minions. No, the liars on the left find it convenient to assign a belief which is held by all, and attribute it to one (and only one) person. This disingenuous act is exacerbated by their turning the truth further on its head by calling Bush the liar.
The second statement, He took the country into war because of it, is also partly true, but false in what it omits. George Bush and, indeed, Colin Powell, made a very strong case for the war, and the existence of the WMDs was only part of the reason. The democrats have attempted (rather successfully) to frame their argument that Bush made an assertion which ultimately he has been unable to prove. They (conveniently) omit just enough to keep their argument strong. Lets examine what they have left out.
What is inarguable is that Saddam, at one point in time, did have Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is inarguable because there is clear evidence that he used them. He killed thousands of Kurds with poison gas, dealt the Marsh Arabs a similar fate, and was actively using chemical weapons throughout the long war with Iran. Nobody, not even Howard Dean or Scott Ritter can say, with a straight face, that Saddam never had WMDs. The 1998 inventoried list, as cited above in The Weekly Standard, is not in dispute. The United Nations passed over a dozen resolutions, attempting to get Saddam to disarm. The final one, Resolution 1441, clearly, irrevocably, and for the final time, gave Saddam a last chance to come clean. Since the weapons clearly existed at one time, it was necessary for Saddam, as demanded by The United Nations, to hand over all proscribed munitions, and to explain and verify what had become of the rest. If weapons had been destroyed, he was to show evidence (video, trace element, even a bookkeeping entry) to prove it.
No evidence of such compliance has ever been offered. George Bush went to war because Saddam Hussein did not comply with the UNs resolution. The onus was on Saddam to prove he had destroyed known stocks of illegal weapons. The onus is not, as implied by the democrats, on George Bush to find those weapons. It is almost as if George Bush had invaded some peace-loving nation, like Switzerland, accusing it of making illegal weapons. That is not the case at all. The prior existence of Saddams WMDs was never in dispute
To give another analogy, consider the case of a mass-murderer who pulls out an automatic weapon and fires into a bunch of schoolchildren, killing nine of them. There are about a thousand witnesses, including a police officer, who gives chase. After a long run, he eventually starts gaining on the perpetrator, and yells, Police! Put down your weapon! Put your hands up and surrender! But, the alleged perpetrator keeps running. The policeman uses his own weapon to shoot the guy. Unfortunately, the police are unable to find the perpetrators weapon. If you are a democrat, the only conclusion that you could draw is that the weapon never existed. Tell that to the nine dead schoolchildren. And tell the Kurds that Saddam never gassed their village.
The left is forced into a syllogism that is absurd on its face. They really are saying:
1. Saddam had WMDs.
2. We cant find the WMDs, therefore
3. Saddam didnt have WMDs , and
4. George Bush is a liar for saying that he did.
Clearly, syllogisms dont work that way. One must start with a premise, and, based upon that premise, come to a conclusion. However, (and this is critical),
the conclusion can never invalidate the original premise.
For instance, my premise might be: "An apple is a fruit." It is clearly a true statement. From this, I can infer that if I am eating an apple, I am, in fact, eating a fruit. I cannot, however, by the rules of logic, infer that if I am eating a fruit, it must be an apple. I obviously could be eating an orange or a pear, and would still be eating a fruit. One could make many statements related to the original premise, but one could never say, An apple is a fruit. I am eating a fruit. It is a pear. Therefore, an apple is not a fruit. One can never invalidate the original premise. It is an absurdity.
While Saddams possession of WMDs is not quite the tautology of An apple is a fruit, it is pretty close. If the democrats accept it as a fact, as they all did in 1998 when Clinton was president, they are left with the above non sequitur. Since he did have the weapons and we cant find them, we cannot conclude that he never had them. (Unless we are democrats!) So then, what can rational people conclude? The choices are obvious. I will list them.
1. He hid them so well that we havent discovered them.
2. He transferred them to another country or entity.
3. He destroyed them.
Of course, there might be some combination of these three. If Saddam hid or transferred the weapons, the President was clearly correct in launching the invasion. That he had years to hide them does not make us at fault for not yet finding them. If he transferred them to a terrorist state, or a terrorist group, the invasion gains even more justification. Finally, the left might lead you to believe that if he destroyed them, we were wrong to invade. That is not the case. He had to show proof that he destroyed them, or else, like a gunman running from the police, the only safe assumption that can be made is that he still has the weapon or weapons. Thats why the police say, Come out slowly with your hands up! It is not enough to disarm. If you act as if you are still armed (for a criminalkeeping your hand in your pocket, pointing like a gun), the only way that you can be treated is as if you are, in fact, still armed. If the weapon is found, of course, these issues are moot. In Saddams case, the weapons have yet to be found in any significant quantity. This does not mean that he never had them, nor does it indicate that Saddam complied in any way with UN Resolution 1441, which passed unanimously, with even France and Germany approving it. Yes, there is a big lie involving George Bush, the invasion of Iraq, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Clearly, hes not the one telling it.
Nice. The Dims hate it when logic gets in the way.
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