A Subtle Shift

Fred Kaplan catches Bush’s latest semantic games:

On Iraq, Bush — as usual — was very careful with his language. Three years ago, he told the Oak Ridge scientists, Iraq was ruled by “a proven mass murderer who refused to account for weapons of mass murder.” (Note: “weapons of mass murder,” not “weapons of mass destruction”; and “refused to account for,” not “refused to disarm.”)

Bill Clinton, of course, was widely excoriated for his belief that the truth-value of a sentence depends on the tense of its verb.