Debra J. Saunders

 "No question"? Those words, I presume, were written upon much consideration, staff vetting and exposure to Kerry's much-vaunted "nuance."

 As it turns out, "no question" is the giant chink in U.S. intelligence -- or so news stories on "groupthink" in the CIA say. (So now that everyone agrees that "groupthink" misled intelligence operatives completely, I'm waiting for new stories that suggest the intelligence was not completely wrong. This just in: In 1999, Iraq may well have been shopping for uranium in Niger.)

 Here is where Rove is right: Kerry boasts that he is the international community's darling and that he has been steeped in intelligence and foreign intrigue for decades. And, sacre bleu, he's practically French.

 Yet the senator said in a primary election debate, "I don't regret my vote. I regret we had a president who misled the nation and broke every promise he made to the Congress of the United States."

 "Broke every promise" apparently is longhand for "Bush lied."

 Bush lied. Those two words have become such a mantra that it is hard to know how to begin addressing them. There's the awful knowledge, which makes me want to vomit, that U.S. intelligence was severely flawed -- and those flaws fueled a war. It was Hussein's flouting of the U.N. cease-fire agreement that made the war not only possible but justifiable. Still, war was more avoidable than America knew.

 "I think every premonition I had about the downside of this war was proved prescient," Kerry also told the Chronicle, "and it comes out of the experience that I personally had when we lost the consent and legitimacy of our nation in the war that I fought in."

 And yet Kerry voted for this war. How can a man so savvy and sophisticated -- so prescient, if he does say so himself -- have been misled by that simpleton Bush?

 "Proved prescient," yet "misled."

 Now that is nuance.

Debra J. Saunders

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