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Perino Dismisses CPI Study: Truth On How We Sold The Iraq War Is Not ‘Worth Spending Time On’

By Satyam Khanna on January 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm

"Perino Dismisses CPI Study: Truth On How We Sold The Iraq War Is Not ‘Worth Spending Time On’"

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A new study by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism found that the Bush administration issued 935 false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years following 9/11. President Bush “led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

In today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino attacked the study. Perino claimed the study “is so flawed” because it “only looked at members of the administration” and not “people around the world”:

I hardly think that the study is worth spending time on. It is so flawed, in terms of taking anything into context or including — they only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world.

Because, as you’ll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed the dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/01/perinocpi.320.240.flv]

Perino argues that “we thought as a collective body that there” were WMDs. “The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world,” added spokesperson Scott Stanzel.

The entire world community, however, didn’t endorse the Bush administration’s pre-war claims. For example, the IAEA’s Mohamed ElBaradei, Hans Blix, and other U.N. inspectors were all skeptical of Bush’s WMD allegations. Members of Congress who received the administration’s classified intelligence briefings raised similar concerns.

Dan Froomkin reports today that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long overdue Phase II report on “whether the White House intentionally deceived the public” prior to the war will be out “before the end of spring.”

Transcript:

QUESTION: Any reaction to the study out from the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism, when they did what they called a count of hundreds of false statements made by the president and top administration officials regarding the threat posed by Iraq. And they counted during the two years after 9/11.

PERINO: I hardly think that the study is worth spending time on. It is so flawed, in terms of taking anything into context or including — they only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world.

Because, as you’ll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed the dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence. And the other thing that that study fails to do is to say that after realizing that there was no WMD, as we thought as a collective body that there was, that this White House, the president set about to make reforms in the intelligence community to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

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