If lying is wrong -- and it is -- lying about lying (falsely accusing others of lying) is also wrong. So if lying about WMD is wrong, so are false accusations that President Bush lied about WMD.
Two recent news stories tend to exonerate the president with respect to Iraqi WMD. One concerns the overworked Democratic allegation that Bush lied in his 2003 State of the Union Speech in saying that Saddam sought to acquire uranium from Niger. Yet the British are set to release a report finding that Saddam indeed may have tried to procure substantial quantities of this vital nuclear weapons component after all.
The other exculpatory factoid, ironically, is implicit in the newly published Senate Intelligence Committee report that we had miserable intelligence failures respecting Iraqi WMD leading up to the war.
The Committee concluded, based on hundreds of interviews with intelligence officials, that the Bush administration did not try to pressure the CIA to fabricate or exaggerate the case for Iraqi WMD. If the primary American spy agency told the administration (and Congress) that Saddam was feverishly pursuing WMD and acknowledges that the administration didn't pressure it to say so, isn't it obvious that the president wasn't lying about WMD?
More significantly, the president didn't make this decision alone. Congress, including Senators Kerry and Edwards, joined him in it after reviewing the same intelligence data. So when Kerry accuses Bush of lying about Iraqi WMD, he is tacitly implicating himself in the same lie.
Kerry has really boxed himself in here. Either Bush lied, in which case Kerry did, too, or Bush did not lie, but Kerry is still lying by maintaining, falsely, that Bush lied. Either way, Kerry is lying. Amazing, when you consider the whole thrust of the Democratic case against President Bush is his alleged dishonesty. And just so we're clear, Kerry continues to accuse Bush of lying, even following the release of the Committee report.
In fact, one reason I've been able to remain cautiously optimistic through the campaign is that I believe that at least a plurality of American voters will see through the Democrats' consistently hysterical conspiracy theories and shameless defamation of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
I trust that despite the ebbs and flows in President Bush's personal approval ratings, when the time comes for competent voters to separate the chads from their ballots, they will choose the team that places our national security interests above partisan politics.