Democrat leaders, preparing their rebuttal to the president's speech even before he delivered it, said he should concede he made mistakes as a means to reclaiming credibility on Iraq -- as if they actually want him to have greater credibility.
In the same breath they say he lied to get us into war -- an offense so grave that some of them are advocating he be impeached over it. While national Democrat politicians have long been confused over the distinction between intentional wrongs and mistakes -- thanks to Bill Clinton successfully depicting his pre-meditated transgressions as mistakes -- isn't it clear that if President Bush lied to get us into the war, he didn't merely make a mistake?
But let's explore this beyond semantics. As everyone should know by now, President Bush based his decision to attack on intelligence information provided to him and which he didn't pressure the intelligence agencies to exaggerate. The intelligence agencies of most other nations, including those who nevertheless refused to join us against Iraq, concurred that Saddam was amassing WMD stockpiles.
This assessment was bolstered by Saddam's intractable behavior in persistently defying U.N. weapons inspectors as if he had something to hide and repeatedly violating U.N. resolutions. He had the burden of proving he had disposed of the WMD he demonstrably had and used on his own people, but instead submitted a bogus 12,000-page document, virtually inviting us to attack.
President Bush believed -- and the evidence confirms -- that Saddam's Iraq was a safe haven for international terrorists not unlike Afghanistan under the Taliban. Credible reports have emerged that some of his henchmen were present at 9-11 planning meetings.
But Democrats contend that our failure to find Saddam's WMD stockpiles after we deposed him proves that President Bush lied about their existence in the first place. President Bush's reliance on the best available intelligence, though it may have turned out to be wrong, doesn't make him a liar or prove that he made a mistake in attacking. He would have made a mistake had he failed to act on the information he had, especially considering Saddam's self-incriminating behavior.
As I've written before, Democrats are the ones who are lying when they say they weren't relying on the very same intelligence in supporting the Iraq war resolution. And they are lying when they falsely accuse President Bush of lying about the intelligence.