Why do I hate George W. Bush? Let me count the ways. Or, rather, let me just count one. In response to the SSCI Report which clearly establishes that the reasons the president gave us for going to war involved several key factual claims that turn out to be false, the president had two viable options. One would be to concede that the reason offered (a direct, short-term military threat posed by Iraq) reflected the imperatives of Security Council politics rather than the administration’s real thinking and instead offer up one of the two dozen or so “right reasons” for war that various pundits have offered over the past several years. Another would be to say that the stated reason was the real reason and that the factual judgments underlying it were reasonable ex ante, though ex post we can see that they were wrong. This is the William F. Buckley position: “if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have supported that.”
Instead of picking one of these two alternatives, however, the president (once again) make shit up and the press (once again) didn’t cover it properly. The headling out of Oak Ridge should have been: “President Defends Iraq War By Making Shit Up.” Under these circumstances, it’s just not possible to engage in a rational dialogue.