Can Bush Be Trusted Again?

This weekend, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts suggested that the President could no longer be unconditionally trusted if he called for future military action.

“I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action,” Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Given the White House’s current argument that those who took the President’s pre-war statements about Iraq at face value are equally at fault as the administration, Congress has every right to be weary of trusting the President in the future. Here’s a question every defender of Bush needs to answer: Would you trust the President’s word if he sought a resolution for future military action?

Below are some examples of Bush’s congressional allies who urged critics of the war to trust President Bush on Iraq.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth: “I don’t believe the president is trying to deceive anyone or dissuade anyone. People can trust the word of the president of the United States. He makes a compelling case that we cannot trust Saddam.” [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 10/7/02]

Former Rep. Joe Skeen: “Rep. Joe Skeen, a Picacho Republican, said some of the issues involved are necessarily secret. ‘He (Bush) knows more about the situation in Iraq than probably anyone else in the world. And he’s not about to tell Congress everything he knows,’ Skeen said. ‘So you have to know he’s playing some of his cards close to his chest this time. I know him and I trust him. So I support him.‘” [Albuquerque Tribune, 10/11/02]

Former Majority Leader Dick Armey:
“The House voted 296-133 in favour of a resolution giving Mr Bush the right to launch a military strike, even without the backing of the United Nations. ‘Mr President, we are about to give you a great trust,’ said the House majority leader, Republican Dick Armey.” [Independent, 10/11/02]

“Mr. President,” he said, “we trust to you the best we have to give. Use them well so they can come home and say to our grandchildren, ‘Sleep soundly, my baby.’ ” He choked up and walked out of the House chamber. [NYT, 10/11/02]

Sen. Robert Bennett: “I’m absolutely sure that the Presidential power will be used in the right possible way in every possible circumstance. I will be doing it because I trust George W. Bush’s instincts as outlined, as clearly as any President has ever outlined America’s role in the post-war world.” [NewsHour, 10/7/02]

Sen. Trent Lott: “The Democratic Party is – is certainly very liberal, and I think is really represented by people like Jim McDermott and David Bonior that went over to Baghdad and said we can take Saddam Hussein at face value, but we can’t trust the president of the United States,” Sen. Trent Lott said. [Boston Globe, 10/7/02]

“Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) derided Daschle and other Democrats for isolating themselves in their opposition to giving Bush the power he needs. ‘I trust this president and I believe the American people do,’ said Lott. ‘Only in the Senate Democratic caucus do you find that kind of reservation.'” [Los Angeles Times, 10/3/02]

Rep. Don Young: “The President understands, I understand and a sizable majority of the Congress understands that the UN is not responsible for the safety of America. Saddam Hussein is in fact a dangerous threat to our Democracy. In the end, we have to address these facts and I trust the President and his advisors to handle this situation,” said Congressman [Don] Young [R-AK]. [Press Release, 10/3/02]

– Faiz and Payson