Saturday :: Jul 10, 2004

Bush's Reaction to the Senate Intelligence Report

by Mary

Why am I not surprised at reading this?

Bush said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania that he hadn't read the report. But he said Saddam was a threat that had to be eliminated.

"Saddam Hussein had the capacity to make weapons. See, he had the ability to make them. He had the intent. We knew he hated America," Bush said. "We knew he tortured his own people, and we knew he had the capability of making weapons. That we do know. They haven't found the stockpiles, but we do know he could make them."

I'd like to remind people what David Kay said last March to the Arms Control Association:

ACT: Vice President Cheney recently said that there might still be weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. Your mid-January report was obviously fairly skeptical of that possibility. Do you think he's being realistic? Do you think his comments are helpful?

Kay: I certainly think it's important to continue the search for reasons of the procurement network if nothing else, and I think all of us recognize that since Iraq had weapons pre-1991, it is possible that their efforts to destroy them were less than 100 percent complete. I mean, most things in Iraq don't run at 100 percent efficiency. So, I wouldn't be surprised if there turned out to be rockets or mortars with pre-1990 gas, and so it's worth doing. What worries me about the vice president's statement is, I think people who hold out for a Hail-Mary pass—and lo and behold maybe we'll find that stockpile a year or two years out so everyone keeps searching-delay the inevitable looking back at what went wrong. I believe we have enough evidence now to say that the intelligence process, and the policy process that used that information, did not work at the level of effectiveness that we require in the age that we live in. It's a little like the analogy I sometimes use [of NASA's troubled and nearly fatal Apollo 13 mission to the moon]: in Apollo 13, if when the astronauts had said, "Houston, we have a problem," mission control had responded, "Well, you're only a third of the way to the moon. Why don't you keep going and we'll see how serious this problem is? And if and when you get there you don't make it, we'll investigate and we'll fix it for the next one." I mean, it is very hard for institutions to fix problems while they're in denial as to whether the problem really existed. And I am concerned that statements by the vice president and others—principally the vice president and the administration—really raise that issue.

If there is any reason to question the ability of George W Bush to act as a responsible leader, it is this refusal to ever admit that he might have been mistaken. Our country will never fix the problems that we face under this type of "leadership". It is a recipe for disaster.

Updated to correct spelling.

Mary :: 12:14 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!