Skip to comments.Suddenly, it becomes imminently clear
Posted on 10/11/2003 12:46:46 PM PDT by dirtboy
For weeks now, to the point of annoyance, weve witnessed Democratic politicians and liberal media talking heads stating that the threat from Saddam wasnt imminent, as President Bush had claimed. Nancy Pelosi said it, as did Senators Levin and Rockefeller. The AP and Reuters have claimed it. Bob Edwards on NPR stated it as fact in a softball question to Terry McAuliffe during an NPR interview. By the time the Kay Report was made public, the NY Times felt the lie well-positioned enough to incorporate it into their opening front-page salvo against the evidence Kay presented:
Analysis: preliminary report delivered by David Kay, chief arms inspector in Iraq, forces Bush administration to come face to face with this reality: that nothing found so far backs up administration claims that Saddam Hussein posed imminent threat to world
However, anyone who gets their news from non-PIPA approved media outlets is well aware that Bush said nothing of the sort. As a refresher, here are Bushs actual comments from the 2003 State of the Union Address:
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."
So why would the Dems so transparently alter Bushs clear meaning here? I initially chalked it up to their pathological tendency to play games with the truth, whether they need to or not. However, upon reflecting upon Charles Krauthammers brilliant analysis in his column WMDs in a Haystack, the purpose and timing of this lie and the need for the Dems to distort what Bush said becomes clear. From Krauthammer:
Ekeus theorizes that Hussein decided years ago that it was unwise to store mustard gas and other unstable and corrosive poisons in barrels, and also difficult to conceal them. Therefore, rather than store large stocks of weapons of mass destruction, he would adapt the program to retain an infrastructure (laboratories, equipment, trained scientists, detailed plans) that could "break out" and ramp up production when needed. The model is Japanese "just in time" manufacturing, where you save on inventory by making and delivering stuff in immediate response to orders. Except that Hussein's business was toxins, not Toyotas. (emphasis mine)
The Kay Report found the framework of an extensive chemical and biological weapons program, but no weapons themselves. Above and beyond the possibility that the finished weapons themselves are either still hidden or were shipped to another country such as Syria, the existence of this kind of program was both a vindication of the decision to invade and of Bushs postulation that we should not wait until the threat is imminent.
Hence the need to alter the debate and Bushs very words.
By shifting the debate to a position where the threat from Saddam was stated by Bush as imminent, the Dems basically are attempting to make the just-in-time manufacturing approach from Saddam irrelevant to the case against him, and the Kay Report, instead of being a justification for the war, instead becomes damnation of Bush and more evidence that Bush lied to get us into war.
But the timing is rather interesting the Dems started lying about this well before the Kay Report went public. How could they have been aware of the need to engage in damage control over the Kay Report and lay the groundwork of widespread lying before the report came out?
I believe that the answer lies in Kays initial Senate briefing on his findings that happened in late July. Kay made it clear that Saddam had engaged in an extensive deception campaign to hide his WMD programs. I would also speculate that Kay confided to the Senators present that he had found programs but no weapons. It is my belief that at least one Dem Senator, seeing the problems that Kays findings would present to their attacks on Bush, saw the need to change Bushs position regarding the threat from Saddam, hence the sudden barrage of claims from the Dems that Bush stated the threat from Saddam was imminent.
If this is the case, a Dem Senator took a classified briefing and used it for purely political purposes. It would be very interesting to track this lie back in time and see when it went into widespread Dem use.
It would be interesting to trace this lie back in time and see where it started. Do you have any quotes from Graham saying that Bush claimed the threat was imminent?
Yes, it was with utter amazement that I watched Dem leader after Dem leader forcefully say into the camera, "There was no imminent threat."
I asked myself why, oh why, they were all taking so many prime-time opportunities to agree with GWB, then it dawned on me - they must actually believe their own hyperbole and thought they were disagreeing. All I can say is Nancy Pelosi, you go girl!
| If this is the case, a Dem Senator took a classified briefing and used it for purely political purposes. It would be very interesting to track this lie back in time and see when it went into widespread Dem use.
I've learned that Dems don't just spontaneously start spouting the same lie in unison. There is usually an orchestrated campaign behind the scenes to coordinate the attack and create the impression of truth by the widespread repetition of the same lie. So now, when did the "imminent threat" lie really start getting widespread use? When did the DNC get the fax machines cranked up?
Except Bush never said that. In fact he said the opposite, that if we waited until the threat was imminent it would be too late. The whole point was to act before the threat became imminent.
That's my entire point. Why did the Dems feel the need to engage in such a widespread, orchestrated campaign? It doesn't take much to debunk this lie, yet the NY Times felt the lie important enough to lead with it on their front-page analysis of the Kay Report.
IMO it was an attempt to neutralize the political impact of Kay finding these WMD programs. The programs themselves are not imminent threats - so if you can convince the people that Bush claimed the threat from Saddam was imminent, the Kay Report goes from being a justification for the war to being a condemnation of Bush. That is EXACTLY why the Dems are doing this - they knew we would find the WMD programs in place, and created an elaborate new lie to create a position from which to attack Bush.
My recollection is that her column concerned the "imminence"-question. If someone finds and more closely examines it, then it could provide some circumstantial evidence about the existence of a "memo" being circulated on this question.
Here is a link to the piece, entitled President calls Iraq threat imminent.
Reading through this article, one can see that the paper willfully misrepresented what the President said.
Consider her May 14 column. She wrote: ''Busy chasing off Saddam, the president and vice president had told us that al-Qaida was spent. 'Al-Qaida is on the run,' President Bush said last week. 'That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated. . . . They're not a problem anymore.' ''
Dowd chastised the president for his smug overconfidence about al-Qaida being ''not a problem anymore,'' just days before al-Qaida pulled off a major bombing in Saudi Arabia.
The problem, however, is that Dowd used ellipses to completely change the meaning of the president's remarks. The president never claimed that al-Qaida was no longer a problem. Rather, he said that the al-Qaida leaders who had been killed or captured were no longer a problem. Here's the quote from his May 5 speech in Little Rock, Ark., without the ellipses: ''Right now, about half of all the top al-Qaida operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem anymore.''
It's interesting to note that the NY Times has managed to refine the Dowdism process into something even more transparent - in their efforts to slime Arnold as a Hitler sympathizer, they didn't even use the ellipses.
By Maura Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- A somber and steely President Bush, speaking to a skeptical world Tuesday in his State of the Union address, provided a forceful and detailed denunciation of Iraq, promising new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime poses an imminent danger to the world and demanding the United Nations convene in just one week to consider the threat.
Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen the media so bad as I've seen them this year. The Baltimore Sun did a story on that PIPA report and completely misrepresented the first issue covered by PIPA. Bloomberg injected the imminent word into a story about Bush's comments about the Kay Report, even though Bush never used the word during those comments. And most of the time they won't publish a correction even when it is pointed out to them.
It would be interesting to find the first use of an elected Dem claiming that Bush said that the threat was imminent.