The tire­some Demo­cratic ar­gu­ment over WMDs

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - David Lim­baugh

Now that for­mer CIA Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Tenet has be­gun his pile-on of the be­lea­guered Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion on the very is­sue (WMD) he helped the ad­min­is­tra­tion for­mu­late, be pre­pared for a new round of “Bush lied, peo­ple died” pro­pa­ganda. Since Democrats are forc­ing us to deal with this is­sue, yet again, couldn’t we just once put them on the ropes?

The en­tire WMD is­sue has been a Demo­cratic di­ver­sion from the get-go. It has al­lowed Democrats im­mea­sur­able cover for their ir­re­spon­si­ble ab­sence of pol­icy on Iraq and has pro­vided end­less fod­der for their li­belous claims against the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Democrats’ be­hav­ior over the last six years re­minds me of that of O.J. Simp­son’s “Dream Team.” Since the blood ev­i­dence against O.J. was over­whelm­ing and the de­fense had no case, it had to cre­ate sin­is­ter diver­sions to dis­credit the ev­i­dence gath­er­ers and paint po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors as racists. Hap­pily for the de­fense, cer­tain anom­alies fell into its lap that it could ex­ploit to con­fuse and in­cite a racially charged jury.

Sim­i­larly, un­til re­cently, Democrats have had no pol­icy since 9/11 be­gan, other than to try to poke holes in the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies and ac­tions — and to in­flame the pas­sions of the elec­toral “jury” against the Bush Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Iraq War. Un­for­tu­nately, anom­alies have fallen into their laps as well: lit­tle things that ap­peared wrong that they could blow up and dis­tort to dis­credit the ad­min­is­tra­tion and the war ef­fort. Con­sider:

Dems say Mr. Bush lied about, hyped, dis­torted and man­u­fac­tured the WMD intelligence to trick them into sup­port­ing the war. Never mind that they are on record in­de­pen­dently mak­ing sim­i­lar claims even be­fore Mr. Bush’s al­leged mis­state­ments.

Never mind that Democrats wouldn’t con­ceiv­ably have re­lied on the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion for some­thing this im­por­tant, since, from the be­gin­ning, they have proudly dis­trusted ev­ery­thing it has said.

Never mind that Democrats re­ceived intelligence brief­ings com­piled not by the Bush White House, but our intelligence agen­cies, which were less alarmist about Iraqi WMD than the pres­i­den­tial daily brief­ings pro­vided to the White House. Yet th­ese Democrats still voted for the Iraq War res­o­lu­tion.

But into their laps fell the re­port that the CIA be­gan to have some doubts about the 16word State of the Union speech state­ment that the Bri­tish had learned that Sad­dam had tried to ac­quire yel­low cake ura­nium from Africa. The CIA had even caused that state­ment to be re­moved from a pres­i­den­tial speech in Cincin­nati three months ear­lier. (If the glove doesn’t fit, you must ac­quit).

Never mind that the Brits still stood by the state­ment and that the CIA didn’t say it was wrong, just that there wasn’t suf­fi­cient cer­tainty about it to in­clude it in the speech. Never mind that the CIA vet­ted this SOTU speech and didn’t rec­om­mend dele­tion of the 16 words and that Mr. Tenet even said Mr. Bush “had ev­ery rea­son to be­lieve the state­ment was sound.” Never mind that the state­ment was tech­ni­cally ac­cu­rate and was prob­a­bly ac­cu­rate in fact.

Then, into their laps fell an- other gift: The ad­min­is­tra­tion apol­o­gized for the in­clu­sion of the state­ment in the SOTU speech, not be­cause it didn’t be­lieve it was true, but be­cause it didn’t meet the higher stan­dard of proof nor­mally re­quired for SOTU speech as­ser­tions.

Now, Democrats had “proof” Mr. Bush hyped the intelligence.

Dems ex­ploited many other morsels in the en­su­ing years, such as that Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney met with the CIA. Never mind that bi­par­ti­san in­ves­ti­ga­tors, af­ter in­ter­view­ing hun­dreds of intelligence of­fi­cers, con­cluded Mr. Cheney did not pres­sure the CIA to hype the intelligence.

Ex­ploitable diver­sions are still rain­ing from the sky. In his new book, Ge­orge Tenet says, among other things, he didn’t mean what ev­ery­one thought he meant when he said the ev­i­dence for Iraqi WMD was a “slam dunk.”

This is get­ting so tire­some. The in­escapable fact is that the CIA and 14 other U.S. intelligence agen­cies and the intelligence agen­cies of most other na­tions be­lieved Iraq had chem­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal weapons and was try­ing to re­con­sti­tute its nu­clear pro­gram. Cou­pled with Sad­dam’s be­hav­ior to­ward weapons in­spec­tors, his vi­o­la­tions of treaties and U.N. res­o­lu­tions, his fail­ure to meet his bur­den of prov­ing he had de­stroyed WMD we know he had and used on his own peo­ple, and his sup­port and har­bor­ing of ter­ror­ists — not­with­stand­ing Dem diver­sions about the lat­ter point as well — Mr. Bush would have been ir­re­spon­si­ble not to have taken ac­tion.

Are Democrats will­ing to com­mit to the po­si­tion that they would not have at­tacked Iraq and that the world would be a safer place with Sad­dam still in power? If so, they should be forced to face the con­se­quences of that po­si­tion, as co­gently il­lu­mi­nated by Na­tional Re­view On­line’s Andrew McCarthy: “a Sad­dam Hus­sein, em­bold­ened from hav­ing faced down the United States and its sanc­tions, loaded with money, arm­ing with WMDs, and cod­dling ji­hadists.”

David Lim­baugh, the brother of talk ra­dio host Rush Lim­baugh, is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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