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A mistake or a lie?

Andy Stone’s July 10 column, “Good News … and the president is leading the way once again,” is a good example of the protestations that were to inevitably follow the White House admonition that intelligence ultimately did not support the theory that Iraq was attempting to acquire uranium from Africa.

But more than that, it exemplifies a predictable and reactionary attitude, lacking in any intellectual sophistication, that has become the trademark of those who despise the Bush administration.

Of course, much of Stone’s commentary was presented tongue-in-cheek, but ultimately it HAD to be if his central thesis was to be upheld: Bush lies about big things and gets away with it. Clinton lied about little things and was impeached.



For one, it is abundantly clear that Clinton, in contrast to Bush, knowingly told untruths with an intent to deceive – not so much the American people as a federal grand jury – after having taken a legally binding oath about a legally discoverable issue in order to fix the outcome of a Federal civil rights lawsuit that was legally proceeding against him. That act subjected Clinton to a perjury charge, and it is for that reason, among others, that he was impeached.

In the case of our current president, we have a single drop of dubious intelligence, amidst an ocean of clear indications, that Saddam Hussein sought to acquire WMD, that was improvidently used as a basis for a single sentence in the “State of the Union” address.




I’m always impressed with the confidence in which very unremarkable minds proclaim Bush to be an imbecile, but it strains credulity to think he is so dumb he would knowingly lie about something that, in retrospect, is as easily disproven as his critics suggest.

This goes beyond the claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger to WMD as a whole, the absence of which the “peace” cabal has seized upon to prove that Bush lied about EVERYTHING leading up to the war.

So Bush is so stupid that he never thought about the political fallout that would inevitably result from the failure to find weapons he knew weren’t there but falsely claimed existed?

The Bush-haters will undoubtedly say “precisely” so that they can maintain their preferred characterization of him as both a liar and a dope; but the more temperate and thoughtful among us should be able to distinguish between a mistake and a lie, and have no shame in doing so despite the eye-rolling satirization with which those who wish the worst upon Bush will react.

Jay Pate

Snowmass Village


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