In “Reign of Error,” columnist Paul Krugman is depressed that a new Harris poll says 50 percent of Americans believe Iraq really had weapons of mass destruction when it was invaded in 2003. That figure is up from 36 percent in February of 2005, in spite of all the international reports that say nothing was found in Iraq to justify the “imminent threat” to America described by President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, et al, in the run-up to the invasion.The problem? Well, F.T. misrepresents the facts by claiming that "the 'imminent threat' to America [was] described by President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, et al, in the run-up to the invasion." Of course, the whole point of a doctrine of pre-emption is to address a threat BEFORE it becomes imminent and that, of course, was the argument made by the Administration, for good or ill. That F.T. and the far Left have to misrepresent the argument made demonstrates the emptiness of their position.
And if F.T. wants to dispute the point, I cordially invite him to give me chapter and verse as to any time the President, Vice President, or any member of the Administration said the threat was imminent. A good discussion on the issue can be found here, and it makes the rational point that, while there may have been those in the Administration who tried to make the argument, the dominant argument was to the contrary. Indeed, the only examples that the author could find were instances of reporters putting words into the mouth of presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer:
In short, those who claim the Administration used the argument that Iraq was an "imminent threat" are not only misstating the facts. In fact, they are ignoring the uncontroverted evidence.
Moreover, there are extremely few instances in which any member of the Bush administration even suggested that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."
Twice, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer affirmed questions from reporters using the phrase "imminent threat" to describe the administration's case against Iraq. As the liberal Center for American Progress pointed out, when Fleischer was asked by a reporter on May 7 of this year, "Well, we went to war, didn't we, to find these -- because we said that these weapons were a direct and imminent threat to the United States? Isn't that true?" he replied, "Absolutely." And on October 16 of last year, a reporter asked, "Ari, the President has been saying that the threat from Iraq is imminent, that we have to act now to disarm the country of its weapons of mass destruction, and that it has to allow the U.N. inspectors in, unfettered, no conditions, so forth." Fleischer replied, simply, "Yes."
While Fleischer's affirmation of reporters' use of the phrase is indeed notable, it's important to keep in mind that he never uttered the words himself - hardly conclusive evidence in the matter.
There is obviously some argument against the doctrine of preemption, and against virtually every Administration policy, and certainly, respectably people have respectably made them. However, any argument which begins from the premise that the term “imminent threat” to America was used by President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, et al, in the run-up to the invasion is a bald-faced lie, and speaks volumes about both the integrity of its advocate, and the reason of their position.
Of course, in the modern world, that's what it takes to be on the far Left.
UPDATE: Oh my! When F.T. is called out for his lies, he engages in ... more lies! Now he's questioning my legal credentials. I guess it just demonstrates how far removed he is from being an actual journalist, since a real journalist --- or anyone capable of your basic Internet search --- would have little trouble confirming that I am, as F.T. puts it, "actually ... a lawyer."