Friday, May 05, 2006

RICK MORAN AT RIGHT WING NUT HOUSE makes a fittingly bizarre analogy in his post commenting on the questions Donald Rumsfeld was asked by former CIA employee Ray McGovern and other antiwar activists at yesterday's speech in Atlanta.

Rick starts out by saying that Rumsfeld lied when he told McGovern that he (Rumsfeld) never said that he knew where the weapons of mass destruction were:

Donald Rumsfeld told a bald faced lie yesterday. In the process of telling the lie, the Secretary of Defense showed that public officials still don't get it, that with the advent of the internet and its powerful search engines, every utterance made in public yesterday can be recalled immediately and compared for accuracy today.

But, Rick continues, although Rumsfeld lied when he said he didn't make the statement, when he made the statement, he was telling the truth:

The irony here is that McGovern was accusing Rumsefeld of "lying" in 2003 while the Secretary ended up lying about actually telling the truth. What was the truth? That Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Bush, the overwhelming majority of analysts in our intelligence community, the intelligence agencies of the western world, Hosni Mubarak, the Emir of Kuwait, Vladmir Putin, and Saddam Hussein himself all believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. [Emphasis in original.]

Of course, it's not true to say that "the overwhelming majority" of U.S. intelligence analysts and intelligence agencies in other countries believed Iraq had WMDs at the time of the U.S. invasion -- and even when intelligence about Iraq's weapons program was viewed as credible, there was no consensus within the intelligence community about how significant any Iraqi weapons program was in the context of its ability to harm U.S. national security.

What IS overwhelming is the documented evidence that Bush cherry-picked the intelligence that came to the conclusions he favored and rejected the rest.

Nevertheless, Rick thinks that if the Bush administration wholeheartedly believed that the intelligence indicating that Iraq had WMDs was correct and that all the evidence to the contrary was wrong, then Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney did not lie when they insisted with complete certitude that Iraq had WMDs, and that in fact they even knew exactly where the WMDs were. If the Bushies convinced themselves that Iraq had WMDs even after being told that the intelligence they were relying on was fraudulent or unconfirmed, then they did not lie.

Now, back to that bizarre analogy I mentioned at the start of this post:

To accuse someone of lying when they believe what they are saying is true is idiocy. Does a child lie when he talks about Santa Claus coming on Christmas eve? According [to] the left, the answer is yes. The child believes whole heartedly in Santa Claus and talks about him as if he is a real person. But for the left, this doesn't matter. The child is lying through his teeth and should be "called out" for his prevarications.

Does Rick Moran truly want to leave his readers with the clear implication that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, et al., are like credulous, naive children who will believe that Santa Claus is a real person because their parents have told them he is a real person, even though they have no objective evidence to support their belief that he is a real person?

Children grow, and eventually come to realize -- even if no one actually tells them -- that Santa Claus is not a real person. Perhaps Rick should think twice about defending the truthfulness and integrity of Donald Rumsfeld and Pres. Bush by insinuating that, like innocent, trusting children, they believe what they are told and what they want to believe without asking for proof.

(Cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's.)

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