Blunt assertions, no evidence, no investigation

The Wash­ing­ton Post has an arti­cle about the Bush White House’s com­mon prac­tice of mak­ing unat­trib­uted state­ments about Iraq with­out get­ting CIA feed­back. Some of the whop­pers include:

Sept 26: Iraq “could launch a bio­log­i­cal or chem­i­cal attack 45 min­utes after the order is given.“Sept 28: “there are al Qae­da ter­ror­ists inside Iraq”

Oct 7: “Sad­dam Hus­sein aids and pro­tects ter­ror­ists, includ­ing mem­bers of al Qaeda.”

All of these claims were strong­ly dis­put­ed by intel­li­gence experts at the time and only the most die-heart Adminstration-booster would want to claim now that any of them are true.

The 45 minute claim has got­ten a thor­ough rebuk­ing in the U.K.

This is the sec­ond time in as many weeks where a Bush quote has sud­den­ly tak­en me back to the Rea­gan years. That 45 minute claim just echos in my head of Reagan’s “the San­din­istas are just two days dri­ve from Har­lin­gen, Texas.” They both have that “oh my god, the bar­bar­ians are at the door” urgency. Both also posit an arch-enemy that turned out to be a paper tiger when all the pro­pa­gan­da was peeled back. (For the young’ins out there, Rea­gan respond­ed to the two-drive fear by min­ing Nicaragua’s har­bors, an act which was lat­er declared ille­gal by the World Court).