As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Critical Mass On Bush's Demonstrable Lies

The acknowledgment that Mr. Bush was indeed briefed that Iran's nuclear program may have been suspended back in August, yet he continued the saber-rattling for months thereafter, is starting to provoke a blistering reaction in the media. And today we've learned that Fourthbranch had the intel for two weeks and, if you believe the White House, didn't mention it to his boss:

In the end, American intelligence officials rejected that theory, though they were challenged to defend that conclusion in a meeting two weeks ago in the White House situation room, in which the notes and deliberations were described to the most senior members of President Bush’s national security team, including Vice President Dick Cheney.

“It was a pretty vivid exchange,” said one participant in the conversation.

And I still think the press should be asking: if Dick had seen--and twisted the arms of--this intelligence two weeks ago, then why didn't he even tell Bush about it? Or did he?

Actually, surprisingly, they are asking that today. And they're wondering about the timeline, essentially what did the President know and when did he know it. In a seminal piece, Dan Froomkin details how you can pinpoint when Bush was told to change his rhetoric subtly enough to react to the new information.

But a close examination of his word choice over the past year suggests that he learned something around August that got him to stop making claims that were apparently no longer supported by American intelligence.

Instead of directly condemning Iranian leaders for pursuing nuclear weapons, he started more vaguely accusing them of seeking the knowledge necessary to make such a weapon.

Even as he did that, however, he and the vice president accelerated their rhetorical efforts to persuade the public that the nuclear threat posed by Iran was grave and urgent. Bush went so far in late August and October as to warn of the potential for a nuclear holocaust.

Indeed, a careful parsing of Bush's words indicates that, while not saying anything that could later prove to be demonstrably false, Bush left his listeners with what he likely knew was a fundamentally false impression. And he did so in the pursuit of a more muscular and possibly even military approach to a Middle Eastern country.

It's an oddly familiar pattern of deception.

You can dive into the piece for the details.

The White House is really in a bind now. Without the lesson of Iraq, and the hyping of intelligence, the cherry-picking of data, the entire m.o. laid out to the world, perhaps the nation's radar wouldn't be at attention. But nobody believes this President anymore. Nobody gives him the benefit of the doubt. And that's simply because he doesn't deserve it. He and his minions clearly knew about additional information on Iran's nuclear program at a time when they were amping up the rhetoric in order to put the country on a path to yet another war. It's a familiar and dastardly script.

P.S. See Keith Olbermann's special comment, it breaks this all down with laser-like perceptiveness.

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