November 11, 2005

White House Fights Back - Finally! Hadley Takes Issue With Democratic Hypocrisy

From the Washington Post:

The White House went on the offensive in the debate over the Iraq war yesterday,insisting that U.S. intelligence had compiled a "very strong case" that Saddam Hussein harbored banned weapons and accusing congressional critics of hypocrisy because many of them voted for force three years ago.

Bristling from fresh assaults on its justification for war, the White House dispatched national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley to the briefing room to issue a rebuttal to "the notion that somehow the administration manipulated prewar intelligence about Iraq." The administration's judgment on the threat posed by Iraq, he said,"represented the collective view of the intelligence community" and was "shared by Republicans and Democrats alike."

"Some of the critics today," Hadley added, "believed themselves in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, they stated that belief, and they voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein posed a dangerous threat to the American people. For those critics to ignore their own past statements exposes the hollowness of their current attacks."

It is about time that the administration fought back. There was clearly an intelligence failure leading up to the Iraq War. Of course, it is undeniable that President Bush believed the intelligence he was given and, based upon that intelligence, made a decision to go to war. However, President Bush did not make the decision alone. Bush submitted the Iraq War to a vote in Congress - a vote in which a large number of Democrats endorsed the war.

The Democrat response:

Democrats immediately took issue with Hadley's account. Within minutes of his briefing, the Senate Democratic caucus issued a statement saying the responsibility did not fall on lawmakers who voted to authorize use of force: "Some critics of how the administration misused intelligence did believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. What these critics object to is the hyping of the intelligence by the Bush administration."

You have to be kidding me. So, Democrats are not responsible for the Congressional resolution they supported that authorized the war against Iraq? Sorry, but do they really believe Americans are morons? At the end of the day, they voted for war based on the same intelligence that President Bush saw - regardless of whether it was hyped by the Bush administration.

By issuing such a statement, the Democrats do not portray themselves as serious lawmakers, let alone responsible in matters of national security. This statement can be read only to mean that either (a) they didn't seriously evaluate the intelligence information they were given or (b)they are gullible or easily fooled. Either way, does it paint a pretty picture of Democrats? How is this a winning strategy?

Even the ultra-far left doesn't believe that the Democrats who voted for war are not responsible for their vote! Cindy Sheehan and her Code Pink friends, who I think are certifiable nut-jobs, have largely chastised Democratic lawmakers such as Hillary Clinton, who voted in favor of the war.

Ted Kennedy also issued his own response:

In a separate statement earlier in the day, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) recounted the various urgent warnings about supposed Iraqi weapons delivered by Bush and his advisers in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion -- warnings that all proved overstated if not flatly wrong."In his march to war, President Bush exaggerated the threat to the American people," Kennedy said. "It was not subtle. It was not nuanced. It was pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam's ability to provide nuclear weapons to al Qaeda justified immediate war."

What a hypocrite:

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

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