It Sucks to be the King

In a rare display of regard for the truth on Saturday, the WaPo took a breather from sucking Bush off and pointed out he’s something of a, um, liar:

President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence.

Neither assertion is wholly accurate…

Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions.
Not to be pedantic or anything, but the administration has been using that argument for a lot longer than a couple of days, and I think it would be fair to say that, in pointing out that it was utter bullshit, the WaPo was scooped by the entire liberal blogosphere. Nonetheless, that a major paper finally picked up on the whole “truth” meme is good news…and sent the administration scrambling. After five years of not being held accountable for anything, they weren’t prepared for the WaPo’s vicious weekend onslaught.

By yesterday, the White House had issued their rebuttal—Setting the Record Straight, which is essentially a regurgitation of the same nonsense we’ve heard for years, amounting to talking points attractive to their base, but nothing substantive to thoroughly rebut the very real dilemma one faces after cooking intelligence to fearmonger the country into supporting a war of choice, and then getting busted. Repeatedly. (Today, Raw Story reports on 2001 testimony from George Tenet which further weakens the White House’s case against its detractors.)

How serious is this, really? Well, if you believe the polls, Bush is on the ropes. The Nov. 9 NBC/WSJ poll showed that 57% of Americans believe Bush deliberately misled them in making his case for the war, and Zogby’s Nov. 4 poll showed that 53% of Americans want Congress to consider impeaching Bush if he did deliberately mislead the public. If the situation in Iraq doesn’t significantly improve and thereby rekindle support for the war (an unlikely event, by any deduction), support will instead continue to dwindle—and that means more and more former gung-ho supporters are going to be looking for someone to blame, which could mean real trouble for Bush.

That’s the problem with kingmakers—they can be a king’s undoing, too.

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