Nor did Russert allude to the fact that Saddam had WMD, used them on his own people and agreed, after the first Gulf War, not only to discontinue his WMD program and destroy his existing stockpiles, but to prove to the United States and its allies that he had done so. Instead, he submitted a bogus 12,000-page document full of lies.
In addition, Russert most conspicuously did not share the fact that scores of Democratic leaders, beginning with Bill Clinton, spoke very clearly and often about the unambiguous existence of Saddam's WMD and that they supported a policy to seek a change of his regime.
Russert did not mention that these Democrats, having access to the very same intelligence as President Bush, voted to authorize him to militarily attack Iraq. Russert also failed to note that this congressional war resolution contained multiple reasons for going to war against Iraq -- not just WMD -- and that despite John Kerry's later lies to the contrary, was not conditional on President Bush further exhausting diplomatic avenues or even more weapons inspections.
And in mentioning the "costs of the war" as one of Bush's "misjudgments," Russert also conveniently omitted the fact that from early on, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld steadfastly refused to be pinned down on the projected "costs of the war" because they were "unknowable."
Also interesting was Russert's water-carrying for the Democrats on the Iran issue, as when he asked whether we'd have an easier time dealing with Iran if "we did not have the complication of Iraq." In other words, doesn't the "fact" that Bush lied on Iraq WMD mean that no one will believe him on Iran WMD?
A better question would have been, "Knowing what we now know about how Democrats retrospectively distorted the circumstances leading up to the Iraq War, especially portraying Bush as having lied about WMD, and knowing their fair weather support for our mission in Iraq and how they soured the public on it, wouldn't it be very difficult to get the public to support an attack of Iran's suspected nuclear facilities?"
Russert also mouthed the Democrats' talking point that the Guantanamo prison is "wrong" and giving "America a black eye around the world." Dr. Rice correctly responded that we can't release known terrorists who will just "go back to killing Americans." Maybe it's just me, but I would think this last one would be a no-brainer, even for liberals.
With media megaphones like Russert it's amazing Bush has any support left for the war at all.