Mona Charen
Recommend this article
"Bush Lied, People Died" they chanted. When the intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- information that was believed by the intelligence agencies of our major allies; that was described by the Clinton-appointed head of the CIA as a "slam dunk"; and that was agreed to by heads of state and leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties -- turned out to be badly mistaken, George W. Bush was branded a liar.

Even Democrats such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle, and Ted Kennedy, who had warned about Saddam's WMD program on various occasions, quickly scurried to the "Bush lied, people died" slander when the intelligence proved inaccurate.

Neither Bush nor Secretary of State Colin Powell lied about Iraq. They received bad information. Error is part of the human condition. So is venality, and that is what marked the Democrats' scurrilous attacks on Bush when the intelligence failure came to light. They could have reasonably criticized Bush for not being more skeptical of intelligence reports, but no, they resorted to slurs.

On the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, an al-Qaida-linked band of terrorists attacked our consulate in Benghazi, Libya and killed our ambassador and three other Americans. President Obama and his entire administration denied that the attack had anything to do with the anniversary of al-Qaida's greatest victory, attributing the attack to spontaneous rage at an Internet video. On September 13, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "The protests we're seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States." They stuck to this story for more than a week, even as evidence accumulated that it was false.

If it were a simple matter of bad information, the administration had ample opportunities to modify its initial response to the tragedy. As Eli Lake reported in The Daily Beast, intelligence agencies were confiding within 24 hours that the attacks seemed pre-planned. Intercepts showed that an al-Qaida affiliate boasted of its success to another al-Qaida group on September 12. "There was very good information on this within the first 24 hours," an intelligence official told Lake. Skeptical Republicans with military experience like John McCain and Mike Rogers also observed, in those first hours after the attack, that RPGs are not usually carried to "spontaneous" protests.

Recommend this article

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Mona Charen's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
 
©Creators Syndicate