What "Conventional Wisdom" isn't telling you.
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2004, 7:08pm PT  

The Rightwing Extremist-controlled "Conventional Wisdom" will tell you that the recent Senate Intelligence Report on the WMD fiasco sited "no evidence" of the Bush Administration pressuring the CIA to sex up their intelligence.

Well...the truth (for those who are interested in such a thing) is that this report was specifically meant to deal only with the CIA's failures. The report on the Administration's culpability in it all was --- by agreement between Senate Republicans and the White House --- set to come out only after the November election. So hopefully Dubya can look forward to reading that one from Crawford. It's only the American Electorate who once again get the shaft and will go to the polls without all the info they might have been able to use to make an informed vote.

But David Corn in The Nation finds the goods in this report anyway. Where the "National Intelligence Estimate" had one thing to say about the WMD's, the Bush Administration routinely upped the rhetorical ante when they spoke to Americans about it. Here's an example from deep within the report (deep enough that the Mainstream Media couldn't be bothered with it):

Bush and his lot overstated the overstatements of the intelligence community. The National Intelligence Estimate said Iraq had an extensive biological weapons program. Bush said Hussein was sitting on a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons. The NIE concluded (also falsely) that Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to hit the United States with biological weapons. Bush warned that Iraq already had a "growing fleet" of UAVs ready to hit the United States. The NIE noted that Iraq was "reconstituting" its nuclear weapons program but had no nuclear weapons yet. Bush said, "We don't know whether or not [Hussein] has a nuclear weapon"--a comment suggesting he might possess one.

The Senate intelligence report indirectly indicts Bush. It notes that there was one area where the intelligence community was correct: the supposed relationship between Hussein and Al Qaeda. "The Central Intelligence Agency," the report says, "reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship." This means that when Bush said before the war that Saddam Hussein was "a threat because he's dealing with Al Qaeda," he was not basing this significant assertion on the findings of the US intelligence community. And he ignored the intelligence when he called Saddam Hussein "an ally" of Al Qaeda during his May 1, 2003, speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. and Mrs. America (Mom and Dad): You were being lied to. Whether you like to hear that or not. Face it. Do the right thing, don't vote to put such a man back in the White House this November. Your country deserves so much more.

Corn also asks this on-the-money question:

Since 800 Americans lost their lives because of a phony threat assessment--and thousands of GIs lost limbs and the American taxpayers are out up to $200 billion--don't the relatives of the dead and injured and the rest of us have a right to know, before the election, whether the Bush Administration mishandled or misrepresented the intelligence?

Of course they do. As do we. But of course, in Bush's America, we're supposed to believe that we're not deserving of such consideration. Get with the program, Corn! You Freedom Hater!